All Past Articles

The Holiday Gift

posted November 30th, 2016 by
  • Share
Holiday Gift

The Holiday Gift

For most of us, there’s always at least one person on our holiday gift-giving list that has us completely stumped.  However, if in a flash of brilliance you decide what that person needs is a four-legged companion (ie something that barks or purrs), please STOP.  That cute ball of fur may warm the holiday season, but there is little guarantee it will really be the gift of the century unless you know for sure, without a doubt, there’s no hesitation you have a viable Plan B if the gift needs to be re-homed.

I’ve never received a puppy or kitten as a present.  However, as the Mom of three I’ve had many dogs and cats suddenly change their address to my house because my child is moving, getting married, leaving the country, has a boyfriend/girlfriend who doesn’t like animals, is just too busy to care for anything other than themselves.  The list may be endless, but the solution was Mom’s house.

Likewise when you give a gift of love that requires feeding, care and responsibility, please be sure you’ve also realize that gift may someday be living with you.  If that is not an option for you, then change the gift list for that person to something else.

The television and news ads will also show children getting a puppy or kitten for Christmas.  If that child lives in your house, all of us in rescue hope you have made a silent commitment to yourself that the gift has found a home and will not be returned to the rescue/shelter/breeder/craig’s list/neighbor – it will be your responsibility too.

This is the season of love, hope, holidays, families, memories, traditions and gift-giving.  Making the right choice is not always easy.  Making the wrong choice can result in a gift being returned.  There’s a huge difference between returning a gift to Target, Macy’s, et al and returning an animal. 

Write your list, check it twice, then make the right decision if it involves a pet. 

Happy Christmas Shopping

Kay Stout, Director

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

Facebook

Twitter

Male Cat Urinary Obstruction

posted November 29th, 2016 by
  • Share
Holiday Safety

Male Cat Urinary Obstruction

One of the most common challenges we see in the ER when it comes to cats is urinary obstruction in male cats, also commonly called “blocked tom.”  The obstructions are developed when the tube that drains urine from the bladder becomes blocked when mucus, crystals or other small stones are formed in the kidneys and pass down through the bladder and become stuck. 

As a male cat owner, it is important to be aware of this problem and be vigilant in watching for symptoms.  Here are the most common symptoms to keep an eye out for:

~straining to urinate

~frequent urination

~blood in the urine

~painful urination

~inappropriate urination (urinating outside the litter box)

An examination at the first sign of these symptoms is important as urinary blockage can become life threatening if urine can’t empty from the bladder. 

Treatment often requires emergency care as the blockage may need to be flushed with a catheter or surgically removed. 

There are some ways to try and prevent urinary stones and potential blockage.  The following are some good practices for any cat:

~Keep your cat at a healthy weight.

~Give your cat canned food to help increase moisture and which also more closely resembles their natural diet.

~Keep water fresh and clean

~Make sure you have enough litter boxes for your cat/cats

~Minimize stress for your cat

Outdoor Cats

posted November 21st, 2016 by
  • Share
Outdoor Cats

OUTDOOR CATS: TEN WINTER WEATHER TIPS

 

Outdoor CatsBETHESDA, Md., USA – Nov. 17, 2016 – As temperatures across the country begin to drop, many people find themselves concerned about how to care for outdoor cats in the wintertime. Cats are resilient, but they can always use a hand staying warm and healthy during cold weather.

“Cats live and thrive outdoors in all kinds of climates,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “But a little extra help during the winter months can go a long way for protecting community cats.”

Alley Cat Allies offers ten easy ways people can make life outdoors even more comfortable for cats:

Protection from the Cold

  • Provide shelters to keep cats warm. These can be easy and inexpensive to build yourself, or can be purchased pre-made online. Check out our new do-it-yourself shelter video at http://www.alleycat.org/resources/how-to-build-an-outdoor-shelter/.
  • Insulate shelters with straw. Not only is straw less expensive and easy to come by (just check your local pet supply store or garden center), but straw repels moisture.
  • Remove snow from all shelter entrances and exits. It’s important to keep cats from getting snowed in.

Outdoor CatsExtra Food and Water

  • Increase food portions to help cats conserve energy and stay warm. Canned or wet food, which takes less energy to digest, should be in insulated containers. Dry food, which will not freeze, also works.
  • Keep water from freezing to prevent dehydration. To keep water drinkable, use bowls that are deep rather than wide and place them in a sunny spot. Or use heated electric bowls.

A Little Precaution Could Save a Cat’s Life

  • Do not use antifreeze, which is deadly, in an area accessible to cats. Keep antifreeze out of reach and clean up spills. Most antifreeze brands use ethylene glycol as the main ingredient, so be sure to switch to a brand made with propylene glycol because it is less toxic.
  • Refrain from using salt and chemicals to melt snow. These can be lethal when licked off paws or ingested from melting puddles and can hurt a cat’s paw pads.
  • Check your car before you drive. Look between your tires and give the hood of your car a few taps before starting it to make sure that a cat has not hidden underneath or inside the engine for warmth.

Outdoor CatsSpay and Neuter Before Kitten Season

Winter is the prime breeding season for community cats and the ideal time to spay and neuter. If you’re conducting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)—the only humane and effective approach to stabilize community cat populations—in the winter, follow these safety tips:

  • Check the traps frequently and provide a warm holding area, pre-and-post surgery. If it’s too cold for you, then it’s probably too cold for cats to be in traps, exposed to the elements, for extended periods of time. Keep traps covered and secured in a temperature-controlled vehicle or building.
  • Ask your veterinarian to shave only a small area for spay/neuter surgery. This will help the cats stay warm by maintaining maximum fur coverage.

More winter weather tips for outdoor cats are available at www.alleycat.org/WinterWeather.

###

About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 600,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.

Making a Distinction – Making a Difference

posted November 19th, 2016 by
  • Share
Making a Distinction

Making a Distinction – Making a Difference

People who work in rescue are passionate about their calling.  Sometimes that passion gets in the way of collaboration, working together and solving a problem.  All of us face that challenge and each of us, in our own way, chart our course.

Most recently, with the success PAAS has had transporting dogs from the Vinita area, as well as rescues/shelters throughout Oklahoma, we’ve come to realize we save lives by transporting.  Our transports are built on trust with Denver Dumb Friends League. That doesn’t work for everyone.

Some people need to interview each adopter, visit the home and check on the references.  Their focus, their success is measured much differently.  Other rescuers adopt via PetSmart/Atwoods/et al.  Some choose to ensure they find the perfect home – which can take years.  I think of them as sanctuaries where the animals are safe. Some send their dogs, one-by-one, on transports to other destinations.   Thanks to social media – especially Facebook – this works beautifully.

At the end of the year, we, collectively, have saved thousands of dogs and cats.  Each rescue, in their own way, has found the path that works for them.

This past year it has been rewarding to see rescues work together, share resources and save lives.  My hope is it will continue to grow.  If you’re involved with a shelter or rescue, I hope you will think about how you rescue, who you rescue and, most importantly, how many find a new home.

Kay Stout, Director

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

Facebook

Twitter

Thanksgiving: 10 Things to be Thankful for

posted November 15th, 2016 by
  • Share
Nicole Castillo

Thanksgiving is around the corner and we are reminded of what we are grateful for. Pet owners are, of course, thankful for their pets, but this year, I am thinking of the little details that make life with animals so much easier, and I am thankful for these things.

 

The Litter GenieThanksgiving

If you have cats and don’t know what this is, then this is a life-changing moment for you. Much like the Diaper Genie, the Litter Genie is a cat waste system that eliminates poo odors from creeping through your house. I will never be without this product. Thank you, Litter Genie, my house smells like apple-cinnamon because you do your job so well.

Thanksgiving

 Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Water Additive

My senior dog, Cheyanne, has a heart murmur and cannot be put under anesthesia, therefore she can’t have her teeth cleaned by the vet. I clean her teeth as best I can, but her breath smells horrible. A few drops of this in her water make a great difference! It is safe for both cats and dogs and uses green tea extract to help freshen breath. Thank you, Tropiclean, for making car trips with this old dog much more pleasant!

 

Groomers

Thanksgiving

I used to be a pet groomer and I understand the back-breaking job it is to send 10-20 furry customers home shiny and smelling like heaven. These people work extra hard to clean and style over-excited, frightened, or downright livid pets every day, without injury to the pet or human. It’s a dangerous job! Thank you, groomers, for making our pets look like a million bucks.

Thanksgiving

 

 Large Cat Litter Pans

If you have ever owned a plus-sized cat, you know what I’m talking about. Thank you, XL cat litter pans, for thinking of the husky domestic felines who need to use the litter just like any other cat.

 

 

Veterinarian staff Thanksgiving

These people have seen it all. They have vaccinated new puppies, performed life-saving surgeries, and held hands of those who must say good-bye to their best friend. Though it may look chaotic and fun, a vet office is a labor of love. Thank you to our veterinarians and vet techs, you keep our furry families together as much as you can. (Britton Road Veterinarians shown in picture)

Thanksgiving

 Furminator

I know this sounds violent, but I assure you, it’s not. The Furminator is a de-shedding brush that catches your dog or cats’ wooly undercoat. It’s a must-have tool come springtime when your pet starts to shed like crazy. Thank you furminator, for combing out a pile of fur that is equal in size to the animal being combed.

 

 Animal Shelters

Thanksgiving

These individuals never take a day off. This Thanksgiving and Christmas, while most are at home with their families, the staff at these shelters will be walking and feeding those who have no home or family to go to. They fall in love with the animals and cry happy tears when a dog or cat is finally adopted. Selfless. Optimistic. Kind. Thank you to all who work at our Oklahoma animal shelters, you are changing the world, one soul at a time.

 

 

 ThanksgivingRetractable leashes

How did we manage before retractable leashes? Although it not a great idea to use these leashes where there are many people, these are great for quiet walks at the park. Once you’re dog is leash trained, it is a nice treat to let them roam about with a bit more freedom. Thank you, retractable leash, for allowing my dog to run around while I stay still!

Locally-owned Pet StoresThanksgiving

You guys are the bread and butter of the pet community. Not only do you provide healthy food and products for our pets, but your store is an adventure to all four-legged customers who trot through the door. Thank you, local pet store owners, for giving us a fun place to shop and spend time with our fur kids.

 

 

YouThanksgiving

I am thankful for you, sweet reader. You are the pet community. There is no better gathering than a pet event, filled with loving, gentle people who all have one thing in common. We love animals. We care for animals. We fight for animals. We work for animals. We write for animals. We see the good in the world through the innocent eyes of our fur kids. Because of you, thousands of dogs and cats have loving homes. Because of you, our animal shelters stay afloat. Because of you, I can write a blog about what I am thankful for. Thank you, pet community, for always choosing love, and making more room in your heart and life for your pets. (Free to Live Animal Sanctuary in picture)

Dog Smells

posted November 13th, 2016 by
  • Share
Dog Smells

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Dog Smells

without Expensive Products

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Dog Smells without Expensive Products There are plenty of great things about owning a dog. Companionship, exercise and love toThere are plenty of great things about owning a dog. Companionship, exercise and love to name a few. But one of the downsides is that “doggy” smell that seems to be impossible to remove.

Considering the benefits of owning a dog, most owners are happy to just accept the smell as part of the deal. Dogs don’t hold themselves to the same hygiene standards as humans, so it’s not a surprise they smell a bit! But the good news is that a dog smell doesn’t need to be an unavoidable side-effect of owning a dog, as we’ll see in this article.

What Causes the Dog Smell?

All animals have a natural smell, but the dog version seems to be particularly strong and distinctive. This is mainly because dogs are larger than other indoor domestic animals, which is why cat owners don’t have a similar problem.

The doggy smell is often caused by paw sweat which is carried around the home. The continuous build-up of sweat and bacteria leads to sofas and other furniture starting to smell.

Smells may also be caused by unconscious scent-marking. Don’t worry – this doesn’t involve urinating on the carpet! Dogs naturally produce a smell to mark their territory, and this is often the main culprit when it comes to a lingering smell in your home. Other causes for a dog smell include skin oil, which is why dogs with oily skin often smell more strongly, and ear wax.

In many cases, the smell is simply because your pet is dirty. Dirt provides the perfect environment for odor-releasing bacteria (just like humans).

Tip #1 – Freshen Up Your Upholstery

Furniture is one of the most commonly overlooked sources of a dog smell. Most people don’t vacuum upholstery as often as carpets, which is why the fabric can harbor odors – especially if your pet loves to sleep on the sofa.

 The first step is to remove and wash any covers that can be machine washed. Use a high heat (check the label first though) to quickly get rid of odor-releasing particles.

For parts of the sofa that can’t be machine washed, baking soda can be useful for getting rid of smells. Just sprinkle it over areas you think are particularly smelly and leave for 2-3 hours, before vacuuming up the powder.

Tip #2 – Wash (And Dry) Your Dog More Regularly

The cleaner your dog, the less he is going to smell. When giving your pet a bath, make sure you check the feet and fur for anything he might have stepped or rolled in. Then use a dog shampoo (don’t use regular shampoo) on his entire body.

Once washed, it’s also important to dry your dog thoroughly. Dog hair is a perfect location for bacteria, which also thrives on moist conditions. This is why “wet dog” is such a distinctive smell!

Unfortunately, most dogs hate having baths. You can often make the process more fun for them by providing the occasional treat throughout the process.

Tip #3 – Get Rid of Carpet Smells

Carpets, wood floors and even vinyl can start to smell if not cleaned regularly. In fact, flooring is probably the most common cause of a dog smell that never seems to go away. This is because your dog’s feet picks up all sorts of bacteria on walks, which are then carried into the home.

For this reason, hard floors should be regularly cleaned with an anti-bacterial floor cleaner that’s suitable for the type of material. The goal isn’t to make the floor look clean, although this is a bonus, but to kill bacteria living on the floor.

You can also use the baking soda trick on carpets to clean areas that smell noticeably bad. Sprinkle the powder on the worst areas and leave it overnight.

Note: if your carpets are heavily soiled, you may need to hire a professional carpet cleaner. This can be expensive, but provides a much cleaner starting point to maintain a smell-free home.

Tip #4 – Vacuum Three Times Each Week

Dog hair isn’t the only thing that drops off your pet. Skin particles, bacteria and dirt are all released from your dog – especially when he shakes after a walk.

That’s why it’s a good idea to vacuum at least three times per week. This sounds like a lot, but you’ll be amazed at how much dirt and hair a vacuum with strong suction will remove from your home even when cleaning regularly.

If you own a steam cleaner, the high pressure output can kill bacteria in carpets and on hard floors. Some steam cleaners also come with an upholstery tool, which can be useful for removing stubborn odors from sofas and other furniture.

Tip #5 – Brush Your Pooch’s Teeth

Finally, bad dog breath is another common source of unwanted odors. The best way to solve this is to regularly clean your dog’s teeth.

Admittedly, many dogs hate having their teeth cleaned. If your pet won’t let you clean his teeth, you can try treats that clean while the dog chews them. These aren’t as effective as a proper toothbrush though.

Summary

An unpleasant smell doesn’t need to be an unavoidable consequence of owning a dog. By following the tips in this post, you can get rid of the dog smell and make your home smell fresh and inviting.

While it’s a good idea to follow all the tips in this post, the most important is keeping your upholstery and carpets as clean as possible. These are reservoirs of bacteria that cause your home to smell, so cleaning them can have a big effect on odors.

- Andrew Webster