For Better or Worse, Some Things Never Change
Winter Pet Safety
Like it or not, winter comes every year, and we're in the thick of it right now here in the States. This year has already brought record lows across the land - and climate change promises worse in the years to come. Since intensifying low temperatures and storm systems will surely make our winter lives increasingly harsh, it's critical to follow a few simple protocols with your pets during the colder months. Dress up Duke in a sweater and booties, for example, and know how and when to change Misty's eating and bathing routines when the mercury plummets. Click the snowy mutt above for PawNation's helpful tips, or see what the ASPCA has to say on the subject. Keep warm!
Fruit for Dogs
Even for seasoned dog owners, it's sometimes hard to remember all the foods that aren't safe for our furry friends. Frequent reminders should be a habit for all, so this month we bring you Modern Dog magazine's fun guide to a handful of fruits that will help or harm your dog. Will watermelon work your weimaraner into a fit? Are apples A-OK? Find these and more food facts with a click of the image above. Want a more comprehensive list of foods and plants that are poisonous to dogs? Check out this EntirelyPets image gallery (click each picture to learn its threat), or consult Pet Poison Helpline's exhaustive list of substances that can harm your dog or cat, complete with toxicity level and symptoms to watch for.
If you read the Fruit for Dogs articles, you have a better sense of what things are poisonous for your canine friends. But every dog owner knows poisonous foods and plants aren't the only threats to our mutts out there in the world. Like people, dogs have emergencies too. Do you know what to do if Shasta gets stung by a bee, or sprayed by a skunk? What if Lucky's choking - is there a canine version of the Heimlich maneuver? Knowing what to do in each type of doggie emergency is important, so if you're a dog owner, educate yourself. Get started by clicking the worried pup above for the Modern Dog magazine article. Then have a good reference text or website handy (like PetMD's symptom checker).
Luckily, Some Things Do Change
Citizenship for Our Pets?
What about other animals? What would it look like?
With all we do for our pets, does it seem strange they're still considered property? We treat them as members of our families, taking care of them and mourning their loss when they pass. Why, then, are they not afforded membership in our society in the same (or similar) ways people are? The question isn't going unasked. Canadian professor, philosopher and author Will Kymlicka and co-author of Zoopolis Sue Donaldson think animals should be granted citizenship - of a sort. Click the puzzled pup at left to read the Vox.com interview.
Not Citizens Yet
The fact that we "own" our pets shows that we consider them property, at least to some extent. But most of us also consider them family, best friends, companions. It's an interesting, and seemingly contradictory setup. Enter Bela - a beautiful, healthy German shepherd - and Bela's owner, and the owner's estate attorney. Connie Lay's last will directed that Bela be put down and cremated upon Connie's death. No, really. And Connie's estate attorney intended, and technically had every right, to comply with Connie's dying wish. Click the top image at right to read the Inquisitr.com article of this unbelievable predicament; one we believe wouldn't have happened if Bela were a citizen, and one that immediately brought animal lovers together in Bela's defense. Then take comfort with this story of Bela's ultimate triumph, and consider the prospect of citizenship for animals.
Amazing New Tech for Dogs
If you haven't heard about Bubbles or TurboRoo, then it's possible this article about Derby will be your debut to the world of 3D printing for dogs. Specifically, for dogs born with physical abnormalities that make getting around, and daily life in general, a daunting feat. The progress and availability of 3D printing is changing the way we build just about everything. Did you know you can even print your food now? But here at The Acres we think its application for improving dogs' lives is one of the best things ever. (Have tissues ready for the video!)
Chances are you know about the Fitbit wearable fitness tracker, or any of the other similar products on the market from Garmin, Jawbone, Misfit. You may even be aware there are similar products for your four-legged family members, and that police and military dogs use wearable tech too. But new technology is doing more than tracking your pet's movements and vital signs. Link through the image above to the Today article about the Scout 5000, and read the CNET trade show review here.
Transitions Can Be Difficult...
Those Dog Years Go By Fast
Dog years are accelerated years, from a human perspective. Our canine friends seem to age faster than we do, and we generally have to see them go before we do. Through the aging process, though, dogs encounter most of the same deteriorating health issues we do, and its helpful to know from the start what's likely to come down the road. From vision and memory loss to changes in weight and decreased mobility, dogs go through it all. And they're no strangers to diseases like cancer and diabetes. (Read how to diagnose and treat diabetes in your dog here.) Follow the old dog in the image above for the PetMD intro to what you can expect as your pooch enters her twilight years, and what you can do.
Time to Change Your Dog's Diet?
"Dog food is dog food, right?" Your vet cringes at these words. Indeed not all dog foods are created equal, and you should research what food type is best for your particular pup. But once you've found a great food, don't think you're done. Your dog goes through different life stages with different dietary needs. And significant changes in your dog's weight may also necessitate a new strategy. But that's not all! Many observable factors in your dog should be examined as possible signs his diet needs modifying. Maybe your dog should be gluten-free, like many people these days. Or maybe she's not getting the ideal balance of nutrients. Link through the dog above for signs to watch for, and what they mean.