Help Your Dog Fight Flu Season

September 10, 2017 by · Comments Off on Help Your Dog Fight Flu Season
Filed under: Articles 

(Family Features) People who have suffered from the flu know how exhausting the fever, chills and upset stomach can be. Your dog may be at risk for the same symptoms. One type of canine influenza virus – CIV H3N8 – has been around for years, and a new type (CIV H3N2) was identified in Chicago in March 2015. Since then, the virus has spread to more than 25 states, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health Diagnostic Center.

CIV H3N2 is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs and from contact with contaminated objects, such as toys, clothing, water bowls, etc.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs frequently in contact with other dogs are at high risk of infection. This includes dogs that are boarded, enrolled in day care and visit groomers or dog parks.

“I take my dogs to dog parks and because they’re social, I’m concerned they’ll catch the virus and it will spread in those areas,” said Kelsey Risher, a Chicago-area owner of two active dogs.

In the initial phase of infection, the dog appears healthy, but can spread the virus to other dogs. Symptoms include: coughing, sneezing, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever and discharge from the eyes and nose.

Most dogs recover in two to three weeks. However, because CIV H3N2 can be difficult to diagnose and in severe instances may be fatal, effective prevention is critical.

In November 2015, Zoetis, the world’s largest animal health company, was the first to be granted a conditional license for a vaccine for CIV H3N2.

“I’ll be telling clients I recommend the vaccination,” said Dr. Scott Rovner, a Chicago veterinarian. “I’ll be vaccinating my own two dogs who go to day care. I think it’s going to be a great product to help slow down and lessen the clinical signs that we see with our patients.”

Preventive measures to help protect your dog include:

  • Washing toys, bowls and bedding regularly.
  • After contact with other dogs, wash your hands thoroughly before handling your own pet.
  • Consulting with your veterinarian regarding the appropriate vaccination protocol for your dog.

By following these simple measures and consulting your veterinarian, this flu season can be easier for your canine companions.

Visit DogFluFacts.com for more information about preventing canine influenza.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Ways to Welcome a Shelter Dog

September 3, 2017 by · Comments Off on Ways to Welcome a Shelter Dog
Filed under: Articles 

(Family Features) Animal shelters are full of lovable dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages deserving of a good home and ready to become your next four-legged family member. In fact, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, nearly 2 million dogs are adopted into new families each year.

However, choosing the right dog is just the beginning. The first weeks after bringing home an adopted pet are critical. It’s a time to get to know one another and build a lifelong connection. Here are some steps to help ease the transition:

Create a pet-friendly environment. Keep items that are unsafe, such as chemicals and certain house plants, out of reach. Cords and objects that invite chewing also should be tucked away. If certain areas will be off limits, use baby gates to block them.

Expect accidents. While house training a puppy is to be expected, you may find that an older dog needs help in this area as well. The stress of transitioning into a new household can lead to accidents, so keep this in mind and be sure to provide your new pet with lots of potty breaks, patience and instruction.

Start with smart nutrition. Providing your new dog with a high-quality diet from the beginning can contribute to a lifetime of whole body health. Chose a complete, balanced food with real meat as the No. 1 ingredient, such as Purina ONE SmartBlend, so that you can be confident you’re giving them the best nutrition available.

Introduce a schedule. Providing dogs with a consistent routine right off the bat can help ease their stress during the transition. Set a schedule for walks, feeding time and training so he can settle into a routine that feels a bit more familiar.

Approach training with patience. Without knowing how your pet was trained, it can be difficult to predict how he will respond in his new environment. For example, he may be used to receiving treats for good behavior, while you prefer to reward with praise. Plan to be flexible, and soon you’ll come to a shared understanding.

Emmy-nominated actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson recently began putting these tips into practice after adopting his new dog, Fennel. The television star partnered with Purina ONE to promote its ONE Difference campaign, which celebrates those making a positive difference in the life of shelter dogs, and he ended up finding a forever friend in the process. The 8-month-old Cockapoo mix joins Ferguson’s 3-year-old Maltese-Yorkie mix, Leaf. The pair are currently taking the Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge, and encouraging others to do the same.

Learn more, and find out why more than 90,000 dog owners have decided to switch to Purina ONE, by visiting www.PurinaONE/MakeONEDifference.

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