Author: Jeanne Bennett

Surviving a house fire with pets takes planning

Having your home damaged or destroyed by a fire is a major life trauma. No one ever wants to think a fire will happen to them. And hopefully it won’t. But there are almost 400,000 house fires in the U.S. every year and half a million pets are affected by these fires. So it’s important to be prepared and have a fire evacuation plan that you have practiced with your family and your pets. The best way to protect your pets in the event you have to evacuate is to bring them with you; if possible, secure dogs with...

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Mulch ado about nothing or is it?

While mulch serves a variety of functions in the home garden, mulch application issues, like mulch itself, is toxic to dogs and need to be addressed for the safety of your precious pets before they occur. Generally, mulch poses little threat to cats, though it can become a haven for use as a litter box. Dogs, on the other hand, often chew on some types of mulch, which can become dangerous. A wide range of mulch materials are available to the home gardener that are each ideal for different gardening applications. In terms of what is best for your...

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Catnip: The other weed

Catnip, catmint, catwort, field balm — it doesn’t matter what you call it. Lions, tigers, panthers, and your common domestic tabby just can’t seem to get enough of this fragrant herb. Originally from Europe and Asia, minty, lemony, potent catnip — Nepeta cataria — has long been associated with cats. Even its Latin-derived name, cataria, means “of a cat.” And research shows that cats big and small adore this weedy, invasive member of the mint family. But why do they like catnip so much? Is it safe? And what does it mean if your cat doesn’t like it? You...

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E-cigarettes and pets are NOT a healthy mix

You have seen the kiosk in the mall with the salespeople smoking to demonstrate how smoke emitted from them is so much different from cigarettes and heard the ads touting the benefits of smoking them instead of traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes are sparking heated debates as lawmakers, medical professionals and the industry grapple over the relative safety of the nicotine-delivering devices. If you are a pet owner, however, there is no debate. While the effects of e-cigarettes on humans are still debatable, nicotine poses a serious poisoning threat to dogs and cats, and e-cigarettes deliver a strong dose. Unfortunately, many...

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Dogs that eat human food must beware of ‘Garbage Gut’

Dietary indiscretion, also referred to as “Garbage Gut,” describes gastrointestinal upset that occurs when dogs ingest something their bodies cannot tolerate. Consumption of table scraps, garbage, spoiled food or food that just doesn’t agree with them may result in symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, and weakness in dogs. This condition may also be referred to as bacterial food poisoning, Song Bird Fever, or Carrion Toxicosis and the syndrome is similar to food poisoning in humans and is most likely to occur in warm climates or during the summer months when food is more likely to spoil. Dietary...

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