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With Canada Dayand then the Fourth of July, just around the corner, pet parents everywhere are gearing up for a memorable long weekend complete with sun, fun and, of course, fireworks.

While the bright explosions of colour that light up the long weekend sky might thrill us two-legged folks, it can cause quite a bit of distress to our four-legged friends.

Watching your best friend shiver, shake, drool and hide can be difficult to watch but there are steps you can take to make the holiday celebration safer for your favourite furry friend.

1. KEEP ‘EM CALM

If your pet is one of the many that find fireworks terrifying be sure to speak with your veterinarian before the long weekend arrives to find out if there are any medications or supplements that can help make the firework celebration less stressful for your pet.

Natural alternatives, such as Homeopet Anxiety, BioCalm, D.A.P and Feliway Diffusers, may  help your pet feel at ease without any worry of the side effects that come with stronger prescription medications.

2. SWADDLE THEM WITH LOVE

One product that is a must-try for parents of frightened pets is the Thundershirt, a unique product based on the work of Dr. Temple Grandin, an author and professor at Colorado State University.

Much like swaddling a baby, the Thundershirt applies gentle pressure to specific points on your dog’s body to help him/her feel more secure and calm.  I have seen this shirt work on my own dog and can attest to the seemingly magical powers of the Thundershirts.

3. KEEP ‘EM SAFE

Dogs and cats left alone may panic at the explosive booming of fireworks and try to escape the noise, which is often when accidents happen.  A better solution is to provide a “cave” for your pet; place your scared pet in their crate or a safe room in your house.

Lowering the blinds and turning on the radio or television can help drown out the sights and sounds of fireworks and make the Canada Day experience less stressful for your furry friend.

If your pet sees that you are calm this will also ease their anxiety.

With a little planning and consideration you can make the Canada Day celebrations fun for all members of your family!

How are you and your pet planning to celebrate Canada Day?

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If I didn’t have animals

Nothing makes the beginning of the work week better than a little dose of humour.  This one comes courtesy of billfoundation.org

IF I DIDN’T HAVE ANIMALS… 

I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety.

My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.

All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair.

When the doorbell rings, it wouldn’t sound like a kennel.

When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there.

I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I wanted, without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.

I would not have strange presents under my Christmas tree — dog bones, stuffed animals, toys, treats nor would I have to explain to people why I wrap them.

I would have money … and no guilt to go on a real vacation.

I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grandkids thru college.

The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay, and leave him/her/it ALONE.

My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers.

My house would not look like a day care center, toys everywhere.

My pockets would not contain things like poop bags, treats and an extra leash.

I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L-, F-R-I-S-B-E-E,  W-A-L-K, or T-R-E-A-T.

I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside.

I would not look strangely at people who think having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.

I’d look forward to spring and the melting of snow instead of dreading mud season.

I would not have to answer the question “Why do you have so many dogs/animals?” from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally by someone as close to an angel as they will ever get.

. . . How empty my life would be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of Billfoundation.org

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Ten years ago you’d have been hard pressed to find any pet parents giving their dog a health supplement. These days, however, canine and feline supplements are so popular you’d be hard pressed to find someone NOT giving their pet some type of supplement.

In fact, take a walk down the aisle of your favourite pet store and you’re bound to see a plethora of health supplements aimed at improving and extending the health and longevity of your four-legged friend.

With so many options available, it can be hard to know which supplements will be beneficial and which companies you can trust.

LACK OF QUALITY CONTROL MEANS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE GIVING YOUR PET

We’ve all read the news stories about the lack of quality control in the human health supplement industry and I’m sad to say that the situation is no different when it comes to supplements for our pets.

Unfortunately, many manufacturers of pet supplements do not have the resources or infrastructure required to guarantee efficacy and absolute purity of raw material supply.  Consequently, it is not uncommon to find heavy metals, pesticide residue and toxic micro-contaminates in some of these products*.

So how do you know you’re really getting what you paid for? And how do you know the product is safe?

NASC – A QUALITY SEAL OF APPROVAL

Enter the NASC (National Animal Supplement Council), a U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of companion animals and horses.

Founded in 2001, NASC is an all-industry association of stakeholders concerned with the issues surrounding the supply of health supplements for animals, such as dogs, cats and horses.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET THE NASC SEAL ON A PRODUCT?

Before being granted permission to display the Seal on their products, websites, product literature and advertisements, NASC member companies are required to demonstrate compliance with the following criteria:

  1. The company must have a Quality Control Manual in place that provides written Standard Operating Procedures for production process control. This helps ensure the company is providing a consistent and quality product.
  2. The company must have an Adverse Event Reporting/Complaint System in place to continually monitor and evaluate products and ingredients.
  3. The company must follow proper Label Guidelines for all products and all forms of labeling.
  4. The company’s product labels must include any specific Warning and Caution Statements recommended by the Food & Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the NASC Scientific Advisory Committee for particular ingredients.

The purpose of the NASC and its audit program is to help minimize and control risk, statistically track product information, keep consumers educated with correct labeling information, and make consumerS aware of any possible ingredient complexities with caution and warning statements.

Ultimately, the entire program is designed to help elevate the quality of the animal health supplement industry for the benefit of all stakeholders including consumers and, more importantly, the animals themselves.

AVIVAGEN PRODUCTS TO SOON FEATURE THE NASC SEAL OF APPROVAL

In February 2012, Avivagen Animal Health obtained NASC accreditation and will soon proudly display the NASC seal of approval on our pet health supplements.

*(Kendall-Reed, P., Reed, S., (2002) Healing Arthritis)

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