Archive for January 2018

The Gift of Time

January 25, 2018

It’s already a month past Christmas, and if your house is anything like mine, dog and cat toys have been demolished and lie in little bits of fluff and tufts. Goodies have been eaten and we’re starting to get really bored with the winter weather that prevents long walks, or any walks, or much time spent in the backyard. The respite we had earlier in January was all too short, and now we’re anxiously counting down the days to spring that is still too many months away. On the days when cabin fever begins to set in, I’m thankful for antler chewies and indestructible toys and pets who manage to amuse one another.

January is a good time to pay attention to things we know we should do but often don’t or at least put off to another day. Updating our pets’ vaccinations might be one. A rabies vaccine is essential and required by law for dogs, but distemper/parvo shots are just as important. Parvo especially is a terrible disease, and no one wants to lose their dog to its insidious grasp. Heartworm tests are performed to assure pets aren’t positive, and now while mosquitoes are scarce is a good time to get them done. Licenses, too, are due for renewal soon, and providing your dog with a tag is one way to help him get home should he ever become lost. According to the ASPCA, more dogs are lost in winter, so keeping a dog on a leash if we do go out is for his own safety as well as that of others. Cleaning up after our dogs is just the good neighborly thing to do, no matter what time of year.

A few winter time precautions to remember: watch out for anti-freeze spills and take care of them right away; when buying salt for the sidewalks and driveway, look for the kind that is pet friendly; after walking our dogs outside near streets, wipe off their paws to remove any road salt. A little petroleum jelly rubbed on paws helps protect them in the cold. Outside pets need warm, dry shelters and fresh water. Pets left out in the extreme cold are at risk for hypothermia, frostbite and even death. If you see pets that are without shelter in the cold, please report it to animal control or your local law enforcement. Animal neglect is a misdemeanor in all 50 states. If you park your vehicle outside overnight, be sure to bang on the hood before starting. Cats are known to hide inside where it’s warm. Remember that elderly pets may feel the cold more and experience arthritis with pain and dysfunction, so be aware and check with your vet for ways to help him. Check with www.globalanimal.org for more winter safety tips for your pets.

At our house we also celebrated the first anniversary of adopting Ace the Tenacious Terrier. It’s often hard to imagine he is the same dog we brought into ourIMG_0716 lives last January. It truly is amazing what a stable life, good food, and love can do. If you are thinking of adopting a rescue pet, please be aware he or she may have issues, and you may need to be tolerant of them until that pet figures out he is really home for good. Be patient with him and give him the best gift you can, that of time.

Advertisements