Alternative sweeteners are all the rage these days, and it only makes sense given what we know about the dangers of too much sugar. Reducing the amount of sugar in our diets can lead to a plethora of health benefits, including weight loss, better blood sugar control, and reduced risk of tooth decay.
The sugar substitute known as xylitol fits the bill when it comes to healthy sugar substitutes, and it can be found in a variety of sugar-free foods and personal care items. Although it’s a natural product that’s safe and even beneficial for human consumption, it can pose a deadly threat to our pets. Xylitol toxicity is a serious concern that should not be overlooked by any pet owner.Continue…
While the reasons to purchase a pet directly from a breeder vary, prospective owners are usually drawn to a particular look, distinct personality, or other well-known behavioral traits. While it’s true that responsible breeding has its place, the team at Godspeed Animal Care wants to remind people that a mixed breed pet can also bring a great deal to the table. In other words, adopting a mutt can be a huge game-changer!
A Look at Genetics
Part of the fun of a mixed breed pet is that we don’t always know their exact heritage. We can observe certain obvious markers, but without previous knowledge of a pet’s parents and/or genetic testing, it’s a guessing game.
Many owners are interested in having a concrete understanding of an animal’s breed so they can better determine whether they’ll be a good fit for their lifestyle and family.Continue…
One of the easiest ways to combat a heat wave is to simply get wet. This might take some of us out of our comfort zone (that is, a nice air conditioned environment), but the bottom line is that splashing around is not only effective, it’s fun, too! Chances are, your pet agrees with the fun factor. You want to make them happy and comfortable, but water safety for pets absolutely must be enforced.
There are quite a few precautions when it comes to summer in general. We recommend scheduling your pet’s wellness care exam before any upcoming adventures to ascertain the quality of their overall health. If they aren’t fully vaccinated yet or microchipped, these help protect them from unseen dangers this summer. Continue…
It’s 2 a.m. You’re making your way to the kitchen for a glass of water when you pass by the litter box to find your dog munching away on the…contents. Or maybe you’re out enjoying your favorite park when – to your dismay – Fido decides to snarf up another pet’s poo before you can even blink your eyes. As disgusting (and shocking) as this behavior may seem, seeing a dog eating poop is not uncommon.
While this scene may not be a favorite among pet owners, it’s important to understand why your potty-mouth pooch may be feasting on fecal matter.
Coprophagia isn’t exactly a word that rolls off the tongue, but it is the scientific term for ingesting feces. When it comes to dogs who are omnivores and natural scavengers, the tendency to eat a wide variety of things may perplex us, but seem perfectly OK to them. For this reason, we must take great care to keep our canine companions from eating something toxic or something that carries disease, such as a dead rodent or bird.
Humans have lived in harmony with canine companions for millennia, and the relationship continues to be mutually beneficial. From ancient Chinese scrolls depicting dogs and people working together to Roman frescoes showing a blind man being led by a dog, there’s clear evidence that supports this special dynamic.
Dogs have also been employed in the military looking for wounded soldiers or carrying messages to the front lines. These days, a service dog can help an individual in a variety of meaningful ways, and Godspeed Animal Care is proud to share them with you.
Seeing Eye, Hearing Ear
In 18th century France, canines were commonly engaged as assistants to the blind. Here in the U.S., the first guide dog school opened in 1929 called The Seeing Eye. Over the following years, formal training methods began to evolve in order to develop the concept of service dogs. While seeing eye dogs continued to help blind people with daily tasks and activities, service dogs were being trained to help deaf individuals as well.
The idea of the service dog was pioneered by Bonnie Bergin. Through her work with canine training and development, she helped to elevate the status of the service dog. Her work allowed a certain recognition of the bond between a service dog and their human partner, which created a wider acceptance in our culture.
The roles of service dogs continued to grow in the 1980’s and 1990’s, as they became extremely useful to individuals on the Autism spectrum and veterans suffering from PTSD. With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, it not only became unlawful to discriminate against disabled people, but necessary requirements for service dogs were also enforced.
When a puppy mouth-breathes all over your face, the result is a special combo of adorable and unsettling. That adorable quality, however, quickly fades when your dog reaches a point (usually around the age of three) when bacteria, plaque, and tarter all combine to usher in the beginning of periodontal (gum) disease. The first sign of this condition is – you guessed it – dog breath. The good news? It’s entirely preventable!
Warning! Stinky Breath Alert
Off-putting dog breath is not just proof that dogs will be dogs. Ranging from slightly sweet to rank and sour, dog breath serves as a red flag that something is not right inside the mouth.
While you may be dreading human flu season, canine influenza (dog flu) has been steadily infecting thousands of dogs across the United States and does not seem to be slowing down. Keep reading to learn more about canine influenza and how to protect your beloved pet.
History and Symptoms
Although there has been more discussion around canine flu since the H3N2 virus emerged in 2015, the illness has been around for a while. In fact, what’s referred to as canine influenza virus A developed from an equine flu strain (H3N8) and was first diagnosed in Florida in 2004.
Like equine-borne H3N8, the strain H3N2 was present in another species (birds) before it mutated and infected dogs. Collectively, these strains are often referred to as Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). This includes multiple viruses and bacterial infections that share similar pathologies.
Kennel cough (tracheobronchitis) can be caused by several different bacteria and viruses and is typically associated with a honking, persistent cough. In most cases, the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica (commonly referred to as just Bordetella) is to blame. However, kennel cough can also be caused by distemper, adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza, and the herpes virus.
Unfortunately, there have been recent outbreaks in our region, particularly in kennels, shelters, and other areas where dogs are housed together. With this in mind, it’s important to understand how to recognize symptoms and prevent the spread of kennel cough.
How Kennel Cough is Transmitted
Like most contagious viruses, kennel cough is spread through contact between animals. While it is airborne, direct contact also increases the chances of infection. Continue…
Chickahominy, James, York…these rivers offer plenty of things to do, not to mention Mobjack Bay, Chesapeake Bay, and the endless Atlantic shoreline. Indeed, our community lends itself to outdoor fun, making pet water safety that much more important. Together, we can help you keep your pet safe on – and around – the water. Continue…
Summer has officially arrived, and for many, that means revving up the engine and hitting the road. There’s a lot to love about a good old-fashioned road trip, and bringing your best fur friend along should double the fun…right?
Alas, some pets are more prone to stress, anxiety, and motion sickness than others. Luckily, there are ways to prepare for and address these issues, making driving with your pet a breeze.
Before setting off into the sunset, it’s critical to microchip your pet and keep information updated. This will ensure a swift reunion if you become separated while traveling. Likewise, make sure your pet’s ID tags are in good shape and are safely secured to his or her collar. Continue…