Vaccinating Your Pets: Why It’s So Important

Vaccinating Your Pets: Why It’s So Important

Regular preventative pet healthcare is essential in keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. Vaccines are a simple way to protect your pet from highly contagious and often deadly diseases, and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.

In fact, experts agree that widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Some of the most common vaccinations recommended by veterinarians include:

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Dogs

  • Rabies: a fatal viral infection of the brain and nerves that affects mammals – infection usually occurs through bites from infected animals, most commonly skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats
    * Vaccination for both dogs and cats is recommended, and is required in most states
  • Canine Parvovirus: a highly contagious virus that attacks a dog’s gastrointestinal tract; it is transmitted through oral contact with infected feces
  • Canine Distemper: a viral illness that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous system of dogs; it can be spread through the air, through direct contact with an infected animal or via contaminated objects
  • Bortadella: a bacteria commonly associated with respiratory disease in dogs and a common cause of kennel cough; it is highly contagious and can be transmitted through the air or direct contact.
    * Although Bortadella isn’t one of the “core vaccines” that are recommended for most pets, the vaccine is a common requirement when boarding your dog.

For dogs, an alternative option to routine vaccinations are titer tests. These tests, which can be performed by your veterinarian can help determine if a previous vaccine is still protecting your dog.

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Cats

  • Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV): the FIV disease weakens a cat’s immune system, leaving cats dangerously vulnerable to serious infections
  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV): a viral disease that weakens the immune system and is often passed from mother to kitten or through exposure to an infected cat’s saliva or other body fluids
  • Feline panleukopenia: Also known as feline distemper, this highly contagious viral illness attacks cells in the lymph nodes, bone marrow and intestinal tract. It is spread from cat to cat through contact with body fluids or contaminated objects.
  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis and Feline calicivirus infection: infectious diseases that often cause upper respiratory disease in cats.

Unfortunately, many people forgo vaccinations and routine healthcare for their pets because they are unable to afford this care. That’s why Rescue Me Ohio (RMO) and Ohio Voters for Companion Animals (OVCA) are sponsoring two upcoming H.O.P.E. Clinics, which offer affordable vaccinations for Ohio pets. The first clinic that we will be sponsoring will be this Sunday, April 30th, in the Columbus area. Please read our press release, or visit our Facebook events page for full details.

Learn more about pet vaccination by visiting the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Vaccination FAQ page. For more information about the H.O.P.E. Clinics that RMO and OVCA are sponsoring, please contact us.

Outside of Ohio? Visit the Humane Society’s website for a directory of organizations that provide financial assistance for veterinary care needs.

 

What You Need to Know About Spaying and Neutering Your Pets

What You Need to Know About Spaying and Neutering Your Pets

Spaying or neutering is one of the best things that can be done to benefit the lives of cats and dogs. In addition to helping to curb pet overpopulation, it can help make your pet healthier and help to reduce poor behavior. In an effort to spread the word about the benefits of spaying and neutering, the HSUS, the Humane Society International and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association runs its annual World Spay Day campaign.

Observed on the last Tuesday of February, World Spay Day brings awareness to the impact of affordable, accessible spay/neuter options to save the lives of companion animals, stray/feral cats, and stray dogs who may otherwise be put down in shelters or killed on the street. This year will be the 23rd annual World Spay Day, and will be observed on February 28, 2017.pexels-photo-133069

In honor of World Spay Day, we’re taking a look at some of the invaluable benefits that spaying and neutering your pets can bring:

Reduce the number of homeless pets killed – There are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering shelters every day. Barely half of those animals get adopted. Unfortunately, more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters each year.

Improve your pet’s health – Pets who live in the states with the highest rates of spaying/neutering also live the longest, according to this USA today study. Neutered males dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs, and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs. The reduced lifespan for unaltered pets can be attributed, in part, to their increased urge to roam, exposing them to fights with other animals, running out into the roads and other mishaps.animal-cute-kitten-cat.jpg

Also to consider is the reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Unspayed female cats and dogs have a far greater risk of developing pyrometra (fatal uterine infection), uterine cancer and other cancers of the reproductive system. Male pets who are neutered eliminate their chances of developing testicular cancer.

Reduce poor behavior – Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to urine-marking than neutered dogs. Although this behavior is most-commonly associated with male dogs, females can do it too. For cats, the urge to spray is extremely strong in an intact cat. The simplest solution is to have yours neutered or spayed by four months of age, before there’s even a problem.

Neutering solves 90 percent of all marking issues, even in cats that have been doing it for a while. It can also minimize howling, the urge to roam, and fighting with other males. In both cats and dogs, the longer you wait, the greater risk you run of the surgery not doing the trick because the behavior is so ingrained.

Other behaviors that spaying and neutering can alleviate include:

  • Roaming, especially when females are “in heat”
  • Aggression; studies show that most dog bites involve dogs who are unaltered
  • Excessive barking, mounting or other dominance-related behaviors

And despite what many may think, while getting your pets spayed/neutered can help curb undesirable behaviors, it will not change their fundamental personality, like their protective instinct.

Given these reasons, it would seem that it doesn’t make sense to not have your pet spayed or neutered. But still, many pets are left unaltered. One of the most common reasons that people skip out on this critical part of their pet’s health is due to cost. What many may not consider, however, is the costs of caring for litters of puppies or kittens, medical costs for cancers of the reproductive system, and the medical costs associated with fights involving unneutered or unspayed pets. In the long run, having your pet spayed or neutered is more cost-effective.

If you or someone you know is looking for an affordable option to spay or neuter a pet, the Humane Society can help you identify low-cost options in your area.

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For more information on World Spay Day, visit http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/spay_day/

2016 Pet Food Drive Collects Over 20K Pounds for Ohio’s Pet Food Pantries

We’re very excited to announce the results of our second-annual Statewide Pet Food Drive! Drumroll, please…The event, which took place on Nov. 19th, brought in over 20,000 pounds (20,544.76 to be exact) of pet food! 

We’d like to express our deepest gratitude to everyone involved in making this year’s event a success, especially our sponsor Coldwell Banker and all of those who came out to donate and support RMO and our partners.

All of the pet food and supplies collected went to six local non-profits that provide pet food pantry services, offering assistance to individuals and families in the area who have fallen on hard times and are struggling to feed their beloved pets. With all of the food collected, these groups will be able feed even more pets this year, and help keep them in their homes.

The beneficiaries for each region are:

The region that collected the most pet food and, in turn, was the recipient of an additional cash donation from Coldwell Banker was Youngstown, benefiting Legacy Dog Rescue.

“Legacy Dog Rescue was thrilled to be chosen as the Youngstown area beneficiary for the food drive – and we’re even more pleased with the results. Many families with pets will be able to be helped because of this. This time of year especially is hard on people; no one should have to decide between paying a gas bill or buying pet food,” says Jenn Overmier of Legacy Dog Rescue.

“We run solely off of donations, and can only distribute food when and if we have it, so this is exciting! We have a big holiday food giveaway on Sunday, Dec. 4th with more food than we’ve ever had to distribute. Huge thanks to everyone who helped make that possible.”

For additional information about Rescue Me Ohio, our annual pet food drive and other activities, please visit us on Facebook or at rescuemeohio.org.

Help Feed Pets in Need at Rescue Me Ohio’s Annual Statewide Pet Food Drive

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Statewide companion animal education and advocacy organization Rescue Me Ohio is excited to announce its second annual Statewide Pet Food Drive! This year’s pet food drive will be held in six regions across Ohio – Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown. The event will benefit one organization in each region that acts as a pet food pantry for the community, providing pet food to families who need temporary assistance in feeding their pets.

 The goal of the event is to help ensure that these organizations can continue to support the families and companion animals in their region and reduce the number of owner surrenders across the state. Last year, Rescue Me Ohio collected over 7,400 pounds of food for pet food pantries across the state, and we’re hoping to collect even more at this year’s pet food drive.

 The beneficiaries and collection sites for each region are as follows:

  • Akron beneficiary: People Care Pet Pantry
    • Collection sites: Petco (Brimfield), Petco (Macedonia)
  • Cleveland beneficiary: The Animal Rescue Center (ARC)
    • Collection sites: PetSmart (Willoughby), Pet Supplies Plus (Westlake), Pet Supplies Plus (Lakewood)
  • Columbus beneficiary: Hospets
    • Collection sites: Hospets Headquarters (Marysville), Pet Valu (Clintonville), Captivating Canines, Pet Valu (Lewis Center), Pet Valu (Marysville)
  • Dayton beneficiary: Advocates 4 Animals
    • Collection site: Petco (Clayton)
  • Toledo beneficiary: Humane Ohio
    • Collection site: Pet Supplies Plus (Alexis)
  • Youngstown beneficiary: Legacy Dog Rescue

    • Collection sites: Dar’s Dirty Dogs, OM Yoga & Healthy Balance, DogSmartzUnleased, Warren Harley Davidson

We’re also pleased to announce that Coldwell Banker will be partnering with Rescue Me Ohio as a sponsor for the event. Coldwell Banker will be collecting pet food for Rescue Me Ohio’s Pet Food Drive at several of its locations across Ohio.

Pet food can be dropped off at the following Coldwell Banker locations on November 19th from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.:

  • Twinsburg – 9005 Darrow Rd.
  • Willoughby Hills – 2804 SOM Center Rd.
  • Westlake – 24600 Detroit Rd.
  • Brecksville – 8915 Brecksville Rd.
  • Portage Lakes – 344 West Turkeyfoot Rd.
  • North Ridgeville – 32648 Center Ridge Rd.
  • Canton – 4686 Douglas Circle Nw.
  • Strongsville – 15380 Pearl Rd.

Additionally, Coldwell Banker has generously agreed to donate prize money to be awarded to the beneficiary in the region that collects the most pet food, in ounces.

Rescue Me Ohio would like to invite our communities across Ohio to come out on November 19th and participate in our annual pet food drive. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the beneficiaries in each region. For more information about Rescue Me Ohio’s Pet Food Drive in your region, you can contact your regional lead, find us on Facebook or visit rescuemeohio.org.

Have a question about your region’s food drive? Contact our regional leads:

For media inquiries, please contact Christine at pr@rescuemeohio.org.

The Top 5 Reasons to Attend Rescue Me Ohio’s Fourth Birthday Party and Fundraiser

BDAY PARTY

Who doesn’t love a carnival? To celebrate four years of success in supporting Ohio’s rescue community, Rescue Me Ohio will be hosting a street carnival themed birthday party extravaganza this Saturday in the Columbus area!

We invite you to join us at the Amvets Post 102 (485 Park Ave, Delaware, Ohio) from 1:00-5:00 p.m. this Saturday, May 21st for a fun-filled afternoon. This is an event you don’t want to miss, and here’s why:

Fun Games
What’s a carnival without games? We’ve got everything from Skee Ball, to Ring Toss and a Duck Pond and more! Games are free with admission, and offer the opportunity to win some great prizes.

Awesome Entertainment
DJ Suzy Waud will be playing your favorite hits throughout day (make sure to check out her page for a preview)!

We’ll also have a hypnotist – The Great Dean-O – and a fortune teller to complete the carnival experience. Don’t miss the fortune teller, from 2-4 p.m., and the hypnotist, from 3-4 p.m.

Fantastic Food
Two of Columbus’s favorite food trucks will be on-site: Burrito Bus and Explorers Club. They’ll be donating 10% of all sales during the party back to Rescue Me Ohio, so come hungry!  

Check out their menus in the meantime: Burrito Bus menu, Explorers Club menu.

Prizes, Prizes and More Prizes!
We’ve got so many awesome prizes to give away! Take your chances on a 50/50 raffle, win awesome donated gifts in our Chinese raffle and play your odds on our gift card tree. We’ve got over 20 items to give away in the Chinese raffle, and $1500 in donated gift cards for you to win!13178676_1391461270898042_1072684769317132556_n

Support a Great Cause
What makes the event even more fun? Supporting a great cause! All of the proceeds from the event will go directly to Rescue Me Ohio, helping us cover our operating costs, funding various programs and events to support Ohio’s companion animal organizations and educating the general public.

You can find more information on our Facebook page, or in our press release. Make sure to get their early, too, because the first 50 people through the door will receive a swag bag from Mutts & Co.! We hope to see you there!

Will You Be My Valentine? 10 Reasons Why Pets Make The Best Valentines

This year, why not skip out on all of the fancy dinners, expensive wine and stress of planning the perfect evening? Here’s a fool-proof plan for the perfect Valentine’s Day: spend some quality time with your pet! Keep reading to learn 10 reasons why pets make the absolute best Valentines.

1. They are pretty cheap dates. Your pet won’t expect to eat at the fanciest restaurant in town, or to be given extravagant Valentine’s Day gifts. All they’re looking for is some of their favorite food and snuggles from you!dog.jpeg

2. They’ll let you pick the movie. As long as you’re snuggling on the couch right next to them, your pet doesn’t care what you guys watch. So, bring on the Rom-Coms!

3. No reservations required. Skip out on the hassle of making reservations, or dealing with overcrowded restaurants. Your pet is happy just hanging out at home with you or taking a stroll through the park!

4. Forget the fancy clothes. You don’t need to buy a new dress or put on the three piece suit to impress your furry friend – they won’t ever judge your outfit choice!

5. Pets are easy to shop for. If you want to surprise your pet with a little something, you won’t have to search high or low for the perfect gift. You know what your pet likes, but they will also love anything that you give them.

6. No need to share your chocolate. Actually, don’t share your chocolate with them! Chocolate poisoning is harmful for both dogs and cats, so you can keep that giant heart-shaped box of chocolates all for yourself.

7. There’s no way that you’ll feel awkward, or suffer through small talk. Unlike a blind date or new crush, your pet is your best friend. You’re totally comfortable together and hanging with them on Valentine’s Day is sure to be a stress free time.

8. They’re good for your health! Studies have shown that pet owners exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels – all of which can help minimize your risk of having a heart attack down the road. Not to mention the impact your pets can have on your overall mood and happiness.

9. They give the BEST snuggles. Want to curl up on the couch and watch a season of your new TV addiction? There’s no one better to snuggle with than your furry friend.

10. They love you unconditionally. Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating the people (and animals) that you love. Pets will love you unconditionally (as I’m sure you love them), and what a good way to spend your Valentine’s day!

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So, put on your favorite pair of sweatpants, turn on a Rom-Com (or thriller, it’s up to you!), snuggle up with your pet and get ready for the best Valentine’s Day yet!

 

 

New Year’s Resolutions: Keeping Your Pet Happy & Healthy This Year

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If you’re anything like me, you probably went into 2016 with a few New Year’s resolutions and the best intentions for keeping them. While my resolve to stick with my resolutions often trickles off slowly throughout the year, there is one that I know I will keep: doing everything I can to make sure my cat remains happy and healthy all year long! Our pets play such an important role in our lives and in our families, so it’s up to us to make sure they’re living the best life possible.

In order to make sticking to this resolution even easier, here are a few tips and tricks to help you ensure a happy and healthy year for your furry friends!

Focus on creating a stress-free, loving environment for your pet

Ensuring your pet is in a happy, loving home will have a positive impact on your pet’s health.  According to this All Animals magazine article, “insecurity causes stress, while boredom and lack of sufficient exercise can lead to obsessive or destructive behaviors.”

Regular playtime and affection for your furry friends will exercise their bodies and their minds. Giving them opportunities to “hunt”, wrestle and chase toys around can help prevent your pets from developing behavioral problems. And, we’re able to build a stronger bond with our pets through playtime and interaction.

Help your pet maintain a healthy weight

Excess weight can bring on an array of health problems for your pet. Obesity increases the risk for other serious health problems like osteoarthritis, heart and respiratory diseases, diabetes and many types of cancers. So, we should be mindful of how much our pets our eating each day, and also what they are eating.

Not sure what your pet should be eating? Your vet can help you find out what the ideal body weight is for each of your pets, as well as provide accurate information about the types and correct amount of food they should be eating. Be mindful of feeding your pet table scraps, too, as food and portions that may be appropriate for humans to eat may not contribute to your pets balanced diet in a positive way (although, I know we all want to share with our furry friends!).

Make sure your pet is properly hydrated

Keeping your pets well-hydrated makes a world of difference in their health. Water helps your pet digest food, regulate body temperature, eliminate waste and allows salt and other electrolytes to pass through the body. Keep them looking and feeling good all year, by ensuring their proper hydration. This is especially critical in those summer months when temperatures are high!

You can ensure that your pet is getting adequate water by making sure clean water is always available throughout the house, and in several places. Additionally, a water bowl with a recirculating fountain may be a good way to encourage your pet to drink more, as many pets enjoy the running water.

Don’t skip out on regular vet visits

Regular checkups for your pets are extremely important. In addition to keeping your furry friend up-to-date on all the vaccinations they need to stay healthy, regular visits allow the vet to identify underlying conditions early on that may affect your pet later in life. They allow you to establish a relationship with your veterinarian, and for your veterinarian to get to know your pet – which is critical in helping them understand when something is wrong and identify the cause. And your vet can provide valuable guidance on things such as the ideal body weight for your pet, how much you should be feeding them, and how much exercise your pet should get.  

How often should you take your pet to the vet? Dr. Barry Kipperman (DVM, DACVIM) recommends at least once per year for animals under the age of 10, and twice yearly after that. By incorporating regular check-ups into your pet’s care, you can ensure your pet is in tip-top shape all year round!

So, as you’re focusing on keeping your New Year’s resolutions, think about making one more – to keep your furry friend happy and healthy this year. These tips will help you and your pet have the best year yet!