March 2008 Newsletter

Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM
HealthyPetNet Product Formulator

Are you ready for Spring?

It's here.  The sun's warmth feels a bit stronger and the days are getting a little longer.  Spring is the time of year when we break away from the comfort of our cozy homes and get outside.  I just love taking my dog, Otto, out for a long walk.  We both enjoy the smell of the fresh air and the sound of the birds.  It's really a special time for us and chances are that you enjoy outdoor activities with your companion animal, too.

That's why I want to share two important safety tips with you. Every year, I read heartbreaking statistics about lost pets and accidents that could have been avoided with just a little planning. Our companion animals are family members and they can't always protect themselves.  That's our job as pet parents.  So here are a couple of things to help keep your pet safe during this glorious Spring season.

Identification for Dogs & Cats

Even though I am sure that you keep a close eye on your companion animal when outdoors, a number of things can happen to separate you.  If this does take place, the proper identification will help reunite you with your pet.  Animals without ID tags are often mistaken as strays and they are sometimes treated differently, so make sure your dog or cat has the proper identification.  I suggest a sturdy, yet comfortable, breakaway collar with an ID tag containing your pet's name plus your name, address and phone number.  Also, hook your pet's  rabies tag on the collar.

As some collars can fall off and others break away if caught on an object, a microchip is a good idea.  This is a very small device that your veterinarian can inject under the skin around the shoulder blades.  The chip has a number that is registered with the manufacturer and other local, state and nationwide agencies.  Many shelters and vets have scanners that read the number on the microchip.  Then, it's a simple call to the manufacturer or agency to get your name and phone number for a happy ending.


Lawn & Garden Dangers

As the weather  warms up, the neighborhood seems to wake up to lawn and garden care.  Many common fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides can be toxic to animals if inhaled or ingested.  There is some indication from recent studies that the rising rate of certain cancers in dogs and children may be linked to herbicides and pesticides.  To be safe, make sure you read and follow the directions carefully.  During and after treatment, be sure to keep your pets away from the lawn or garden until the area is completely dry.  In some cases, this could mean an entire day.  If your pet is accidentally exposed to any lawn or garden treatment, act quickly.  Wash your pet immediately with liquid dish soap and call your veterinarian. 

Want a safer alternative?  Go organic.  In general, these kinds of lawn and garden treatments are safer.  However, again, please read and follow the instructions carefully.

Here's wishing you and your companion animal a happy and safe Spring.

P.S.  Can your dog or cat use a little sprucing up, but it is too chilly for a bath? 

Try our Bath Fresh Mist.  An easy-to-use spray that is enhanced with a moisture-activated odor-fighter that safely absorbs and neutralizes odors, giving your pet a fresh "just bathed" look and feel. Contains a blend of certified organic herbal extracts, pure plant botanicals and natural fruit extracts that assist with detangling as well as nourishing the coat’s natural condition, leaving it soft, luxurious and delicately fragrant. Not just a cover up - actually neutralizes odors.  Rinse Free Formula! 

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