How Often to Immunize Dogs and Cats

Now that both of my pets are two years old they don’t need annual immunizations anymore. However, because some veterinarians still push for yearly shots, it’s tricky to determine which your pets need and when. Although some states still require yearly rabies vaccinations (and you should check to see if that’s the case in your state), the truth is that as long as adult cats and dogs receive their rabies shots on a regular schedule, after their shot when they turn one year of age they only need the immunization, at most, once every three years. Cats and dogs need … Continue reading

Why Vaccinations May Fail

I’m a big fan of vaccinating pets. Immunization has successfully prevented disease in millions of pets for years. But once in a while, a vaccine doesn’t work for a particular animal. Vaccine failure is pretty rare, but it can happen. Here are a few reasons why: Different strains of the same disease. Most of the time, the strain of a disease used in a vaccine protects your pet against other strains of the same disease. Sometimes, a new strain evolves that is resistant to the vaccine. (Drug-resistant diseases are a problem for humans, too.) The vaccine was spoiled. Many vaccines … Continue reading

Ask a Pets Blogger: How Long Does Parvo Live in the Environment?

A friend of mine recently fostered a dog who was suffering from parvo. With vet treatment, the dog survived and has gone on to a forever home… but my friend is now worried about future fosters. What can she do to protect the next dog that comes to stay with her? Parvo is a tough one to get rid of because it is so hardy — especially outdoors. A few ways in which the parvovirus can be spread: Carried on shoes or clothing. Surviving sub-freezing temperatures to infect dogs after the spring thaw. Freezing does NOT kill the virus — … Continue reading

Vaccine Allergies in Dogs

Most of the time, our four-legged friends handle their annual vaccinations with no problems. Once in a while, a pet may experience an adverse reaction to the vaccine. Ischemic dermatopathy (also known as cutaneous vasculitis) is a rare reaction to the rabies vaccine. Symptoms include: Ulcers, scabs, or lumps at the vaccine site Darkening of the skin at the injection site Scarring with loss of hair Lesions developing on ear flaps, elbows, footpads, and face Fever Symptoms of this reaction can show up within a few weeks of injection but can take several months to develop to a noticeable level. … Continue reading

Do Dogs Catch Colds?

Up until the last week or so, I could say that I’ve never really heard a dog cough before. But in the last few days, Lally’s been making a weird noise that is somewhere between a human cough and the sound she makes before she barfs. Aside from the cough, she seems fine… so it got me wondering: do dogs catch colds? Colds — like humans have — aren’t transmittable from humans to pets. So what could be causing Lally’s cough? Kennel cough comes with a high, dry cough — the dog seems to feel fine otherwise. In most adult … Continue reading

Vaccinations For Dogs

Vaccinations protect your pets against diseases that we were once helpless against. Diseases like rabies and distemper are easily prevented, helping ensure your pet has a long and healthy life. Vaccinating your pets also helps protect you and your family — some diseases can be passed from animal to human. The American Animal Hospital Association released canine vaccine guidelines in 2003 and updated them in 2006 to help veterinarians administer appropriate vaccines to dogs. The guidelines were developed by veterinarians, researchers, immunologists, and infectious disease experts. There are two different kinds of vaccine: core vaccines and noncore vaccines. Core vaccines … Continue reading

Spending on Pets Skyrockets

Despite our recession (though apparently it’s recovering), some industries are on the rise. One of them, according to BBC News, is the pet industries. That’s right, in a time when pet food banks are growing at Animal Control facilities across the country and some people are still losing/struggling to stay in their homes, Americans are spending more on their pets than ever before. As you might guess, 65% of the overall amount spent is on food and veterinary costs. More people are also buying pet insurance. Maybe this just indicates that more people are looking to own more pets. This … Continue reading

Is Pet Insurance Worth It ?

Pet owners have a choice. They can purchase pet insurance, or they can decide not to. There are no laws that require pet owners to buy this type of insurance. Is it worth it for you to spend money on a monthly pet insurance premium? The answer for that question depends on many factors. Pet owners love their pets. Many pet owners consider their pets to be as important a part of their family as the human members are. How often have you heard a person refer to their pets as their “fur babies”? I have seen people shopping in … Continue reading

PetPlan has Advice for “Take Your Dog to Work” Day

Will you be bringing your dog to your workplace on “Take Your Dog to Work” Day? It is being celebrated on June 24, 2011, and has been an annual event since it started in 1999. PetPlan insurance has some great advice for individuals and workplaces that are considering participating in what could be a really fun day. “Take Your Dog to Work Day” is a special day where employees have the opportunity to bring their dog with them to their workplace. It is something like “Take Your Child to Work” Day, but designed for people’s pets, instead of their children. … Continue reading

Liability Insurance For Pets?

If you are a pet owner, no matter what kind of pets you have, you know that sometimes your pets will need to visit a veterinarian. You might have purchased pet insurance to help with the (often expensive) cost of the medical care your pet needs. Have you also purchased liability insurance on your pet? Some lawmakers in Texas want to require all dog owners to buy a pet liability insurance policy. This has brought up some controversy. There is a piece of common sense that anyone who owns a pet soon comes to realize. Pets, just like humans, do … Continue reading