Cancer in Pets….a TOUGH Topic

More than ever dogs are truly a part of the American family. With this shift in the way that dog and cat illness is being viewed by pet parents there has also been a shift in how this disease is being approached and treated by veterinarians. Sadly Cancer is more prevalent in our pets than ever before. Many owners are now choosing cutting edge and sometimes very expensive treatments/procedures rather than face the thought of losing their beloved family member. In past years if a dog was diagnosed with cancer they were often quietly put to sleep. Cancer is the #1 cause of death in dogs over the age of ten according to Pets WebMD.  The good news is that “half of all cancers are curable if caught early”. To get the facts visit Pet WebMD @ http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/dogs-and-cancer-get-the-facts.

Currently there are a wide variety of treatment choices that can save or greatly prolong your pet’s life. Many veterinary hospitals have become very similar to human hospitals with new advancements in technology and lists of options for each medical scenario presented after a thorough work up.  As with most choices, it can be a much needed blessing or a completely overwhelming experience! Know the facts before you go, as information overload can be incapacitating at such a critical time. After you receive your first diagnosis get a second opinion, just like you would for yourself! Consult with multiple vets and contact specialists that may have more updated information than your everyday vet.

One very interesting part of this development in veterinary medicine is that many of the technologies now used to treat children and adults were perfected on dogs and cats! CSU is a leader in the US with both their veterinary programs as well as with their animal cancer center. Check out the Colorado State Universities web site for some of the most cutting edge technology being developed right now! http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/ns/.

One of the most common forms of cancer in dogs is bone cancer or Osteosarcoma. CSU has one of the most advanced programs in the country to treat this terrible disease. Some of techniques developed in this program have been incorporated into treating children with brain tumors. It is comforting to know that if our beloved pets have to experience this terrible disease at least they are helping to pave the way to help others! Check out the link below to be taken directly to the CSU cancer center homepage. They offer a lot of great information on cancer of all types and the various treatments.  http://www.csuanimalcancercenter.org/srt_treatment.

Another helpful site is http://www.caninecancer.com/typesofcancr.html this link provides a listing of the most common types of cancers found in dogs. Unfortunately dogs and cats are prone to the very same types of cancer that people are.

While animal medicine continues to advance there are no easy answers for a pet parent faced with this disease. Many of us have been through it and if we have not than we certainly know someone who has. There are many ways that we can help.  The National Canine Cancer foundation has a fantastic web page that offers a wide variety of information.  Whether to find people who are going through something similar to what you may be experiencing or to educate yourself about treatment options; or if you simply want to help out check out this great site!

http://www.wearethecure.org/

 “The passion that moves us forward is from
experiencing what Cancer really does to the ones we love.
We are driven because there is a hole in our soul
where once was the love of our dog.” Gary D. Nice

 

Advertisements

Lights! Camera! Pet Fashion!

Dressing your dog up for Halloween has become a pretty popular trend today. Owners have dressed their dog as a super hero, a ballerina and even a police officer! But the fashion fun for a furry friend doesn’t end after Halloween! Fashion forward dog owners are constantly on top of the hottest trends in fashion. Year round attention is paid to the new looks not only for themselves but for their pet as well!

image by AnnrKiszt

This dog is dashing in his tux! In this outfit he is fit to go to a wedding, ball or even meet the queen!

 

image by sneakerdog

These two pups are wrapped in soft, cuddly fabrics, and of course- on trend in leopard print!

 

image by Frank Kovalchek

 And finally, these working dogs have a more practical and functional approach to fashion…warmth! Although neon is very in this season as well 🙂

 All kidding aside though, dressing your dog up in these winter months can be good for them, especially if you live in a cold area that gets snowfall each year. Websites like All Dog Boots features a variety of different footwear for your dog.  Booties range from furry and warm to water-resistant, these doggie shoes can help keep paws warm and protected from ice, salt and the harsh elements of winter.

And while boots can keep your dogs feet a little warmer this winter, sweaters and coats can help keep their bodies warm too! Finding warm outerwear for your dog can be easy. Petco and PetSmart both carry a wide range of sweaters, coats and even t-shirts for your dog. While you are there, you should also pick up your dog’s favorite JW Pet toy! It’s never too early to stock up for Christmas!

So, TELL US….what are some of your favorite doggie fashion accessories?

Dog Friendly Cities

Image by Mike Baird

Whether you live in the heat of Texas or the cool shores of Maine, the USA is overall a dog friendly place to live, lucky dogs! While it is nice to take your dog on an evening walk around the block, many cities now offer even more exciting places to bring your dog along! Don’t let Fido feel left out-bring him along for the ride!

In 2011, Dogfriendly.com released a listing of the top 10 dog friendly cities in America. Topping the list was Portland, Oregon! “Home to the famous and dog-friendly Rose Gardens and the Lucky Lab (brewing company) you and your dog would have a great time in Portland.” says Dogfriendly .com. Don’t reside in Portland? Well maybe your city is on this list, which features cities in California, Washington, Pennsylvania, Texas and many more. You can see the full listing at Dog Friendly.

But what makes a city “dog friendly?” Hotels, beaches, trails, restaurants and even events that allow you to bring your beloved pooch along all help to meet the criteria to determine the top dog friendliest cities. “It takes a lot to create a city that truly embraces its canine population,” says Susan Chaney, editor of Dog Fancy Magazine. “We look at over 20 criteria. Naturally, it has to be a fun place for dogs and their owners. For example, we check into dog-centered activities, such as doggie festivals, parades and other events, as well as how many hotels are dog-friendly and how many restaurants allow dogs to eat on their patios. However, excellent veterinary care and an active humane society are also key elements of a pet-friendly city, and are as essential for travelers passing through as for the pets and their people who reside there. Further, it’s clear that in the cities on our annual list, both the local government and general population embrace having that ‘doggie element’ in their communities.” You can visit MSNBC.com for another great listing of the top 10 dog friendly cities as well.

Are you and your dog beach-going fans? Well Life with Dogs has made it easy to find beaches that allow dogs near you! These beaches span across the US from the Atlantic to the Pacific and everywhere in between, so you can choose the beach that fits you and your dogs needs. Rounding out the list at number 1 is Fort Desoto Beach in Florida. This beach features showers and drinking water for your pet and combines human and canine beach-lovers alike. Wow, sure sounds like fun for Fido! Chicago is the destination of the very first off-leash beach for dogs, Montrose Dog Beach!

JW corporate offices are located close to New York City, this famous concrete jungle is actually right in our backyard! While that may not seem like an optimal place for a dog, NYC is featured as one of the most dog friendly cities in America. With its off-leash dog parks, walking trails, dog friendly beaches, restaurants and hotels, New York has all little Fido could want and more! Planning to visit New York City in the future? Check out the Soho Grand Hotel, a pet friendly place accepting reservations for both you and your pet. They also give away complimentary goldfish at the end of your stay-talk about animal friendly! There is also a dog walking tour that visits neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, Soho, the Lower East Side and Little Italy.

Planning a road trip and want to know your best bets with pet friendly destinations? Check out Go Pet Friendly. There, you can find hotels, campgrounds, restaurants and activities that are pet friendly!  This website is perfect for traveling families who don’t want to live their furry friend at home.

Do you live in one of the featured cities? TELL US… what you & your dog do in your city for fun!

Pet Overpopulation-What Can YOU Do?

Image by Mark Hanna

Pet overpopulation is a serious issue in America; however, it is often overlooked by many pet parents. While pet adoption is becoming increasingly popular, there are still thousands of cats and dogs that don’t get adopted each year and continue to sit in a shelter or are unfortunately put down. However, there is a solution to pet overpopulation: getting our pets spayed or neutered. This is the only way to keep shelter numbers down each year.

According to the American Humane Association, “Each year, approximately 8 million stray and unwanted animals are taken in by shelters across the country. Tragically, about 3.7 million — nearly half — of these animals must be euthanized because good homes cannot be found for them. In fact, shelter euthanasia is the leading cause of death for both dogs and cats in the United States.” These are startling statistics! Especially when there is such an easy solution: get your pets spayed and neutered! “It is a common myth that pet overpopulation means there are “not enough” homes for all the shelter animals. In reality, there are more than enough homes, but not enough people are choosing to adopt from a shelter. Seventeen million Americans acquire a new pet each year — that is more than double the number of shelter animals! Sadly, only 3.5 million people, or about 20 percent, choose to adopt their new pet. The rest choose to buy their pets from pet stores or breeders, or they choose a variety of other cheap or free sources, such as friends, neighbors or Internet ads,” states the American Humane Association.

Image by nursenancypresents.wordpress.com

The image above shows how quickly an unsprayed female and unneutered male can increase overpopulation in cats and dogs exponentially.  So what does this all mean for YOU? How can YOU help the cause of pet overpopulation? Well, follow these tips and you can make a huge difference!:

  • Spay or neuter your pet
  • Adopt your pets from a shelter or local rescue group
  • Educate and inform others of pet overpopulation and what they can do
  • Make sure you want to adopt-this is not a decision to be made lightly! Pets are a big responsibility, always do your research before adopting

Stay on top of your pet’s health! Make sure to not only get them spayed or neutered but to take them to the vet annually for checkups, help them get plenty of exercise, feed them a healthy diet and spoil them with plenty of JW Pet toys! Our new Stretchin’ & Fetchin’ dog toys are perfect for fetch and tug-giving your dog lots of activity to stay healthy. Staying fit can be hard work so make sure to keep a big JW bowl of water around for when your pet needs to quench their thirst! While it is important to help the pet overpopulation cause, the steps you can take to help start at home with your own pets.

“One of the most serious problems impacting animals is overpopulation. There are so many dogs being born every day, throughout the United States, that there are just not enough homes for all of them. This results in the destruction and mistreatment of thousands of animals,” The DJ&T Foundation reminds us. Bob Barker, who started the DJ&T Foundation in 1995, helps to fund low cost spay and neuter clinics to decrease pet overpopulation. To find out more about this organization, visit http://www.djtfoundation.org/1.htm . It can help you find a facility near you where you can get your pet spayed or neutered for a discounted price. There are many options available all over the country!

Remember, there are currently about 163 million pet cats and dogs in the U.S., and about one out of every 20 ends up in a shelter each year. Want to find out more about pet overpopulation, the causes and what you can do to help? Head on over to http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/issues-information/pet-overpopulation.html for more. Also, comment below and let us know how you are helping to put an end to pet overpopulation.

 

Dog’s Best (and sometimes unlikely) Friends

They say dog is man’s best friend but who is the dog’s best friend? Well there have been plenty of cute stories out there about dogs becoming best friends with dolphins, owls, fish and even elephants! These canine-animal bonds might seem odd to us but are often unbreakable to the animals that have forged them. Friendship is defined as “a relationship between two people who hold mutual affection for each other.” However, the connection that some of the animals below possess with each other may go much further than just mutual affection. Some of these amazing bonds are lifelong commitments that truly inspire.

In 2008, a piglet was born weighing less than a pound and could not open its eyes. Seeing that the pigs hope for survival was slim, the owner, Johanna Kerby, took the piglet to her dachshund dog that had just given birth to puppies a little while before. Well, the rest as they say is history. The dachshund, Tink loved the little pig and accepted him immediately, even licking the piglet all over to clean him!

The pig was lovingly adopted into the Dachshund family and nursed to health by his new canine mother; he never chose to return to his pig family. His brothers are now canine and that’s how it will stay. To read more about Tink and her piglet, visit Piglet and dachshund .

Another well known story of unique animal friendship is the story of an elephant named Tarra and a dog named Bella. While it is common for elephants to seek out a partner, mate or friend to spend their life with, it is not as common for them to select a dog! “Bella knows she’s not an elephant. Tarra knows she’s not a dog,” says elephant sanctuary co-founder, Carol Buckley says. “But that’s not a problem for them.” These two are inseparable; they eat together, sleep together and play together (maybe we should send them an extra large Hol-ee Roller toy, they would have a blast). Their difference in size doesn’t even seem to bother Tarra or Bella, they have it all worked out! If you want to learn more about these two head on over to Tarra and Bella.

A story that may hit close to home for many of you is that of the blind dog, Cashew and her “seeing eye cat,” Libby.  These 2 lived together for most of their lives with little interaction until Cashew turned 12 and began to lose her eyesight; suddenly Libby stepped in to help. It was Libby who helped to guide Cashew to her should eat, sleep and play areas. It’s as if Libby knew that Cashew needed the help and who better to help the family dog than the family house cat? According to their owner, Terry Burns, “They only got closer and closer as time went on.” Now this cat deserves a reward; maybe some JW Cataction Cat Toys! What fun she would have with our Rattle Ball, perfect for paw-swatting fun and it has noise so Cashew will always know where she is!

So is it common for dogs to form bonds with animals that are different species? “Given the right set of circumstances, and the right animals, they can form close and lasting relationships,” says John Wright, Ph.D., a certified applied animal behaviorist and professor of psychology at Mercer University in Macon, GA. Wright goes on to say that “even unlikely animal friendships can endure if both animals belong to a social species”. Well that is certainly the case with the animals in the book Unlikely Friendships. This book by Jennifer S. Holland is a wonderful compilation of stories and photos of animals with unlikely friends. It will truly warm your heart.

To hear more about these special animal relationships go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33485224/ns/health-pet_health/t/unlikely-friends-why-we-love-odd-animal-pairs/#.T_3Nu5GT7IU .

Do you have pets that are friends and are different species? What is the most unusual animal relationship that you have seen?