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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Weight Loss Resolutions
Vet hospital encourages cats and dogs to lose weight in 2011
It’s that time of year when everyone is making their New Years resolutions, many related to losing weight. In recent years, obesity has been a problem among both humans and pets, which can lead to a myriad of health consequences, including a shorter life span. To encourage pet weight loss resolutions, the Vinton Veterinary Hospital in Virginia is sponsoring a Biggest Loser competition for dogs...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Adoptions Increase This Holiday Season
Shelters report higher adoption rates for December
Many shelters around the country are reporting higher adoption rates this holiday season. This is great news, although Christmas isn’t exactly the best time to bring home a new animal. I know many families want to surprise their kids with a puppy or kitten, but I can’t even imagine bringing home a new pet with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Nonetheless, I’m happy to see people adopt...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Proposed Ban in NYC for Chained Dogs
Bill to limit tethering to three hours
In New York, it’s common to see dogs tied to parking meters and trees while their family runs errands in nearby stores. I’m always afraid the pups will get stolen or get too hot or cold, depending on the weather. But even worse are the pets that get left behind at home, chained to fences for hours on end. This is more common in the outer Boroughs of the city, like the Bronx and Brooklyn. Earlier...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Toxic Holiday Plants
Watch out for dangerous mistletoe this December
For years I’ve avoided Poinsettia plants around the holidays because I’d always heard that they were highly toxic for animals. But according to Veterinary Medicine magazine, the toxicity of Poinsettias has been greatly exaggerated.  Research estimates that the average animal would have to ingest 500 to 600 Poinsettia leaves to surpass toxic levels. The most common symptom is irritation to the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Seasons Greetings from the Dogs
Sending cards from the pets is increasing in popularity
This past weekend, I finally got my Christmas cards out and, as always, they were complete with my dogs’ signatures and the annual holiday photo of the pups. Seasons greetings aren’t the only cards “sent” by my dogs. I routinely mail birthday cards and get well soon cards to friends’ pets from my furry crew.    Years ago, when I first started writing cards from my pets, I rarely received any in...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Caring for Pets Through Tough Times
Seer Farms temporarily takes in pets from families in crisis
In tough economic times, we’ve seen an increase in surrendered dogs, a myriad of shelter budget cuts, and the creation of the pet soup kitchen. According to the ASPCA, the recession has added an estimated one to two million animals to shelters.  And that's on top of the six to eight million pets surrendered each year. I can’t even imagine what I would do if I was financially unable to keep my...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dog Bites on the Rise
Hospitalization for dog bites doubled in 15 years
  According to a new government study, the number of Americans hospitalized for dog bites almost doubled between 1993 and 2008. The researchers at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the department responsible for the survey, are at a loss to explain the increase. The popularity of pets in recent years doesn’t account for the spike, as their numbers have only increased slightly.  At...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Holiday Gifting for Pets
56 percent of dog lovers buy their pups a present
According to a recent Associated Press-Petside.com poll, 56 percent of dog lovers will be buying their pets a Christmas gift this year. The percentage stayed consistent even among people who have lost their job in the past six months. One of my favorite parts of the holidays is buying gifts for my friends and family—and that of course includes my pets.  This year’s goodies include a Ram Tuff...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Calming Music for Rescue
Through a Dog’s Ear offers free music and a chance to help shelters
It probably comes as no surprise that classical music has a calming effect on animals, as well as humans. Many animal shelters and boarding facilities play soothing music to create a less stressful environment for pets. A few years ago, concert pianist and Julliard graduate, Lisa Spector, and sound researcher, Joshua Leeds, teamed up to figure out what exactly about classical music had a soothing...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Social Animals Have Bigger Brains
New study suggests social animals developed larger noggins
Ask a cat lover and a dog lover which species is smarter and you'll get two different answers.  As a dog lover myself, you can guess my opinion, though what do I know, apparently a study in the United Kingdom found that the average cat lover holds a higher education than the canine persuasion! But, smarts aside, the truth is that dogs have larger brains, and not because they’re generally bigger...

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