Adopting A Friend From A Shelter: An Artistic Part of Our Culture
Have you ever noticed that certain breeds of dogs, or even cats for that matter, have features and qualities that highlight a certain sense of natural beauty? Think about a feline’s face, how some of those stripes, body markings and even their whiskers make them so incredibly cute.
A “tuxedo cat” for example, although not an actual breed of feline in itself, is still well known for those particular markings that exhibit and remind ourselves about a trip to the prom, inclusion in a wedding line-up or other formal affair. It’s being all decked out with those black-and-white features that sets them apart from the rest of the cat crowd.
Dogs, on the other hand, are still capable of pulling off some pretty stunning looks themselves, like those breeds that showcase some really glamorous and artistic facial features themselves. Think about Norwich Terriers, with their short legs, wiry coat, pointed ears, and tapered muzzle.
Image Source: BentNotBroken
What about an Alaskan Husky, with those beautiful, crystal-clear, blue eyes and that thick, black, grey and white coat, a sight to be seen and an awesome dog that’s full of devotion, loyalty, love and affection. Then a Doberman Pincher sets his sights for an audience, with another suit of black and brown perfection found on this palate of a dog’s fur.
When you think about movie star dogs like the classic collie of Lassie or the perfect stance of a German Shepherd like Rin Tin Tin, don’t forget about the shabby, little dogs that also captured our hearts on screen. When Toto followed Dorothy down the Yellow Brick Road or Benji bounced onto the movie scene during the eighties, these loveable little terriers still tugged at our heartstrings and became an important part of our culture and found a place in our hearts forever.
While the part of Toto in the Wizard of Oz was played by a female Cairn Terrier, she also starred in sixteen other feature length films. Benji on the other hand was a mixed-breed shelter dog that was rescued by another animal trainer who took him on many adventures on the big screen.
Finicky Feline and Grumpy Gato
Many may not remember Morris the Cat, known as being the most finicky eater who would still consumed the Nine Lives ® brand of cat chow back in the seventies. Even more recently, Grumpy Cat, owned by Tabatha Bundesen, turned this former waitress into an internet sensation worth over $100 million dollars practically overnight. Even though this sour puss was born in the Bundesen home, Grumpy makes personal appearances at shelters to help boost pet adoption numbers.
Whether you’re looking for a fluffy feline, a purebred pup or a mongrel mutt, consider the fact that 25% of all dogs dropped into shelters around the country are actually purebred pooches without papers, according to figures from the Humane Society of the United States. Whether you admire them for their natural beauty or want a certain breed that will fit in with your lifestyle and unique situation, you’ll still find a best friend for life at a shelter near you.
Author: Amber Kingsley
Heartworm Disease: How It Affects the Lifestyle of Your Pets
With the aim to help pet owners on how to care for their furry pets such as cats and dogs, Jordan Walker keeps on writing informative posts at the Coops And Cages blog. To help increase our awareness, Jordan shares his post about heartworm disease.
Heartworm disease is a serious infection in animals, which are most common in pets, and might eventually become untreatable if not detected early. The carriers of this disease are the foot-long worms called heartworms. They are called such as they live inside an animal’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels. If left untreated, the animal infected with heartworms may suffer from organ damage, heart failure, lung disease, and worse, this can even cause death.
Domestic animals such as dogs and cats can be infected with heartworm disease. It can also be detected in other mammals, and in rare cases, including humans.
How Heartworm Disease Is Transmitted to Your Pets
Heartworm disease or HW infection is caused by Dirofilariaimmitis, a parasitic worm that breeds through a mosquito bite. As the mosquito bites an infected animal, it then carries these baby worms which develop and mature in a 10 to 14 day period. When the infected mosquito bites another dog or cat or a disease-prone wild animal, the infective worms are then transferred to the animal through the mosquito bite wound.
Heartworms then destroy the important organs in the animal’s body as they travel through the bloodstream. Once the worms are inside the body of a new host, they mature into adult heartworms in a time span of six months. They continue to grow in size after reaching sexual maturity, or around three months after entering the animal’s heart. All these grown entwined heartworms cause the blockage of normal blood flow inside an animal’s heart.
When heartworms are already fully grown, they continue to produce their offspring and live for up to five to seven years inside a dog’s body and about two to three years inside that of a cat’s. As the number of mosquitoes starts increasing during the spring and multiply more during the summer, the number of heartworms inside an infected animal grows too.
How Heartworm Disease Affects Your Pet Dogs
With the early onset of heartworm disease, there are barely any symptoms that can be seen in your infected pet dog. When the infection gets worse, that’s when the symptoms start showing up. The severity of the disease actually depends on a lot of factors: the number of worms living inside the dog; the period as to how long the dog has been infected; and the dog’s reaction to the disease.
As the dog’s blood vessels get blocked by a large mass of heartworms, the dog will then start having persistent mild coughs. He/she may show signs of tiredness after just a mild activity. Other symptoms may also include vomiting and weight loss. As heartworms continue to grow and arrive in the heart and lungs, the symptoms of the disease then progress. An infected dog’s blood pressure increases, thus causing your pet to have difficulty in breathing, which eventually leads to pneumonia or a heart failure. The heart and lung problems can be actually detected in an infected dog through a chest x-ray.
Any dog can be infected with just a single bite of an infected mosquito, but those in areas that are warm and humid are mostly at a risk to have it since these are where most mosquitoes thrive. The disease can simply exist anywhere as long as the place has mosquitoes and animals.
How Heartworm Disease Affects Your Pet Cats
Cats can also have heartworm disease if bitten by an infected mosquito. However, heartworms do not grow well inside a cat’s body as a cat is the kind of host that is resistant to worms.
A cat infected with heartworm disease rarely shows any symptom. But some of them with the disease suddenly die even if they didn’t look sick at all. Aside from x-rays, heartworm disease can be detected in cats through blood tests and a heart ultrasound.
After three to six months of being bitten by an infected mosquito, heartworms then arrive in the heart and lung arteries of the cat. When these heartworms die, they release toxins into the cat’s bloodstream causing lung problems to the cat. The cat then shows symptoms of respiratory problems such as coughing, difficulty in breathing, and increased respiratory rate.
Prevention and Treatment for Heartworm Disease in Your Pet Dogs and Cats
Heartworm disease is easily preventable by getting a veterinarian’s prescription on what your pet dogs and cats should take. Through a complete animal checkup, the vet will advise you with the best course of treatment for your pet. It can be through a surgery and removal of heartworms inside the animal’s body, or through a series of drug injections.
Prevention is still better than cure. When you have noticed a sudden change in your pet’s behavior and she seems ill, consult a veterinarian immediately. By doing this, you are assured of your pet’s health and safety, and you get to spend more time with your beloved pet.
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Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages
Pool Safety and Pets: Animals and The Summer Sun
Just like our two-legged children, our four-legged friends need adult supervision when they’re in and around the pool. Similar to a human child, they can also be susceptible to a painful sunburn. Animals with shorter hair, or very little hair like the Chinese Crested, those with lighter colored skin and fur are at a bigger risk from sun damage.
Areas they’re likely to be burned include their nose, the tips of their ears, around their eyes, mouth and on their underbellies. Animal owners can usually find pet-friendly sunscreen at larger pet stores or even online. Since you wouldn’t send your children out into the summer sun without protection, you shouldn’t do this to your pet either.
After noticing a dog walking gingerly on a hot sidewalk, this caused an insurance agent named Marcia Breithaupt to perform some research. Armed with a surface temperature gauge, she recorded the temperature of some common ground coverings underneath the hot summer sun. When the outside temperature was 95℉, she found these stinging conclusions:
- Concrete or cement that commonly surrounds swimming pools rose to 125℉
- Red bricks seen in many back yards and on patios measured 135℉
- Black asphalt on roadways registered a painful 140℉
- She also checked grey leather on a car seat and it came in at over 150℉
At those lower temperatures, it would be painful on their paws to walk on these surfaces, but those higher readings could lead to serious injuries, burns and permanent scarring. Other research agreed and found that at 120℉, we’re crossing into the threshold for pain and at 150℉, rapid blistering and burns occur.
As the infographic below shares, be sure that your pet has someplace safe to lay down if they’re out in the hot sun with us around the swimming pool. A towel or mat somewhere in the shade with plenty of clean, drinking water is a good idea. Check out “Summer Swimming: Pool Safety With Your Pet” for more tips on keeping them cool and safe when they’re in and around the pool.
About the author
Travel junkie, Amber Kingsley, is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA. Her art history background helps her hone in on topics that are of interest to readers. She is a dog enthusiast and loves spending time with her pomeranian, Agatha.