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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Overpopulation by the Numbers
The sobering statistics of puppy mills and shelters
The pet overpopulation problem can feel really overwhelming at times and it can be hard to see if rescue efforts are making a real difference. I recently read an article that looked at the juxtaposition of compassion and cruelty--the side of the pet world that pampers our animals like children versus the side that kills millions of them each year. The statistics are sobering, but also provides a...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Mysterious Death of a Show Dog
Champion Samoyed dies four days after Westminster
Earlier this month Cruz, a Champion Samoyed, was at the top of his game, trotting around the breed ring at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Just four days later the three-year old was at the emergency vet, dying of symptoms consistent with ingesting rat poison. No necropsy was performed, so it's unclear what killed Cruz. But if the suspicions are true, Cruz would have had to have eaten the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Pet Food Stamps
Nonprofit seeks to keep families together by giving out kibble
The downturn in the economy has meant difficult decisions for many people, including pet lovers. Animal shelters have been inundated with relinquished dogs and cats, while families worry about how they will put food on the table. In recent years, food banks have realized this struggle and many have added pet food to their shelves. There’s even been a rise in dedicated pet food pantries. But...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Preparing for Natural Disasters
Lessons learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
Pet Evacuation / Preparing for Natural Disasters
Hurricane sandy claimed hundreds of lives and caused billions of dollars in damage across the Caribbean and along the east coast of the United States. My family was fortunate to have weathered the storm safely, but I learned a lot of things that will help me better prepare my pets for the next storm. Hunkering Down at Home Keeping boredom at bay. Dealing with cabin fever was the least of my...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Controversy Over Vaccines
Veterinarians divided when it comes to immunity
For years people suspected that pet vaccines didn't need to be administered annually and that immunity was more similar to human shots. Fortunately in the last ten years, veterinary colleges and organizations, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), revisited their guidelines and now recommend administering core vaccines...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Effects of Neutering
New study looks at the health implications of spay/neuter
I affectionately call Nemo my "monster Sheltie" since he measures 19.5 inches at the shoulder, three and a half inches over the breed standard. Due to his big size, he often gets mistaken for a small Collie. On the recommendation of my veterinarian, I had Nemo neutered at 16 weeks old, which I later suspected may have contributed to his extra large stature. Canine sports medicine specialist Dr....
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Mandatory Microchips
All British dogs must be microchipped by 2016
I’m a huge fan of microchipping. Identification tags fall off, collars get snagged, and unfortunately bad people steal pets. A microchip, typically implanted between a dog’s shoulder blades, can help dogs find their way back home. I’m a proponent of microchip education and low cost clinics, but I wasn’t initially sure how I felt about a microchip law. Earlier this month, Britain announced that...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dog to the Rescue
Washington pup delivers a life saving note.
Every now and then you hear about a dog who is able to draw attention to a house on fire or to lead rescuers to a person in trouble. This story played out a little differently for a pup in Washington who delivered a life saving note. When a homeless man found himself in the middle of the woods with a medical emergency, he had no way to call for help. His only hope was to attach a letter to his...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Promoting Happiness
Animal Farm Foundation creates innovative fliers to encourage adoption
I hate to admit it, but sometimes I find myself ignoring the “dog for adoption” photos that my friends post on Facebook or the fliers that get posted at the pet store. There are just so many of them and sometimes it feels overwhelming how endless the overpopulation problem is. Obviously this kind of promotion works. I found my puppy, Scuttle, when a friend posted her photo online and I'm so...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Bully Stick Danger
Study finds bacteria and a hefty calorie count in the popular treat
There are a lot of pet treats out on the market and it seems like every week a new brand is getting recalled. I don’t even touch any chicken jerky manufactured in China due to the widespread contamination problems. More recently I’ve been choosing deer antlers and bully sticks, thinking that they’re safer since they’re all natural. But according to a study published in the Canadian Veterinary...

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