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Service Dog Health and Safety

  /  Service Dog Health and Safety

There has been a lot of talk about vaccinations lately. People are arguing whether or not they are necessary, questioning if they harm children and adults and what happens after you are vaccinated. It’s difficult because the facts are often treated as if they're up for debate. They are not. Vaccinations are overwhelmingly positive and extremely beneficial for our society. But how important is it to vaccinate your pet? Statistics are showing that not only are people refraining vaccinating themselves and their kids, they are choosing to keep their pets from being vaccinated as well. While it may be up to an individual whether or not they want to be vaccinated themselves, it is irresponsible when people don’t vaccinate their children and pets who cannot choose to make that decision for themselves. The Decline of Pet Vaccinations The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled the anti-vaccination movement the top threat to global health. This may seem like an over-exaggeration, but it it’s really not. Modern medicine and the health of our society has depended upon vaccinations to mitigate diseases like measles and polio, and this is at risk when people avoid vaccinations. The decline of vaccinations doesn’t just concern humans — now some pet owners are choosing not to vaccinate their animals either. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance has reported that the number of pet vaccinations have gone down, and they worry that this threat will continue to affect animals. Even the American Veterinary Medical Association has made a statement saying that vaccines prevent millions of animal diseases and deaths every year. The annual report from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals surveyed over 4,600 pet owners. The study found that about a quarter of dogs, or 2.2 million, were not vaccinated as puppies. The people said that the most common reason they did not vaccinate their dog was that it "isn’t necessary." This couldn’t be further from the truth. Vaccinations have already prevented the spread of disease and now that is being put at risk. It may be difficult to convince people to get vaccinations, but we can start by encouraging people to vaccinate their pets. Vaccines & Pet Insurance Many people avoid vaccinations because of the cost. If your pet is not insured, it can become very expensive according to MoneyPug, a site used to compare pet insurance. If you have pet insurance, you may be more inclined to visit the vet which

If you have a working dog, such as a Service Dog, choosing the best pet insurance may help you avoid financial issues down the road. There's a saying: hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Everyone, you, your family, friends and even your pets will need medical care at some point. The same is true for your animal. Hope is Not a Strategy Pet insurance is designed to cover a range of issues depending on the level of coverage you take out. Working dogs, since they often lead a more active life, come in contact with more hazards both environmental and bacterial, some of which can prove serious. If this type of problem occurs, you could face a heartbreaking decision if you are unprepared and do not have pet insurance. Choosing the Right Coverage for Your Animal and Your Pocket The good news is that you can get pet insurance for a very reasonable cost these days and this could end up saving you a fortune in the long run as well as potentially enabling you to save your animal's life. If you want to find the best pet insurance for your needs, you need to take a range of factors into consideration, as this will make it far easier for you to make an informed choice. One of the things that most pet owners and dog handlers will look at is the cost of the coverage. Of course, you do need to take other factors into consideration as well when making your choice, but when it comes to cost, you can compare different prices and deals with ease online in order to save money. Some policies will only cover up to a certain amount for treatment, surgery, and various other issues. It is important to ensure you read the small print and that you are familiar with exactly what your animal is covered for before you make your decision. Finally, check on the reputation of the provider before you make your mind up, as you need to find one that offers a good level of service and a speedy, convenient claims process. You can find out more about this from the insurance website, but it is best to check out reviews from other pet owners who have used the same insurance company to get a better idea of what you can expect. By choosing the best pet insurance policy, you can ensure your animal is

Although no one likes to think about it, unfortunately we are going to have to say goodbye to our beloved Service Dog or pet. Sometimes however, like the grief we will feel after our animal's death, determining when it's time for them to be put down can be extremely challenging. After we make the decision, we may also question whether we made the right choice. Here are a few tips on saying goodbye and making the decision to euthanize your dog.

What is CBD? CBD is short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. It's a naturally occurring substance that's used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) it is not psychoactive. In other words, CBD can not get you high. Despite the initial skepticism of some people. beneficial evidence for CBD is growing.  While you might have already heard about the benefits of CBD in humans, you may not realize that CBD can also be used for your dogs. Of course, please consult your veterinarian before administering any supplements or medications to your dog. Anxiety and stress relief Animals suffer from anxiety and stress, just like humans do. In fact, over the past 25 years, veterinary behaviorists have learned more about the biological basis of dog behavior and have prescribed drugs to help alleviate anxiousness, aggressiveness, clinginess or obsessive, accident-prone, traumatized, and anti-social behaviors in dogs. CBD represents a safer alternative, and it is more accessible as well. Anti-cancer properties Cancer is a major threat for both humans and animals. Most of the time treatment is only temporary. While evidence is emerging that CBD may have some anti-tumor properties, it can also help with the negative effects of the treatments used for cancer. Therefore, if your pet is diagnosed with cancer, CBD can be used for pain, nausea, and similar symptoms. Pain relief Many people know that CBD can be used for pain relief. The same thing applies to dogs. If your dog is in pain, CBD can help relieve it. It works even better for certain conditions such as joint pain, tumors and hip dysplasia. More than that, CBD does not come with the side effects of traditional medication. Skin conditions Dogs are also affected from various skin conditions. In fact, almost all dogs experience something like this during their life. There are various things that could affect your pet, from infections, bugs, eczema, and so on. CBD oil can impact the endocannabinoid system directly, helping to reduce the discomfort right at the source. You can purchase CBD oil and apply it topically. Can improve the well being of your dog Perhaps your dog suffers from discomfort related to injury or aging. As a result, your dog may naturally become less active and interested in activities. If you have a Service Dog, that pain could impact their ability to perform task or work related to your disability. If

2019 ushered in frigid weather and extreme cold across the United States. In late January and early February, the Midwestern states experienced subzero temperatures lasting days. Experts say staying in offers the most safety for humans and dogs alike, but for many Service Dog teams, particularly those that rely on public transportation, that's just not feasible. Keep reading to learn more about extreme cold weather safety for Service Dogs. Dangers of Extreme Cold Weather Whether or not there's snow on the ground, dangers of extreme cold abound. First, there's the cold itself. Exposure to cold for long enough results in a dangerous condition called "hypothermia." Hypothermia occurs when the body cannot keep itself warm. It most frequently occurs in those exposed to the elements or in those who are inappropriately dressed for the weather. When the cold is extreme enough, even a few minutes is enough to cause damage. Wind compounds the problem by making it feel colder than the actual temperature. Humidity and water cause the body to lose heat even quicker. Fun Fact: "According to physics experts, the freezing point of saliva is typically between -30 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit." Staying warm in extreme weather requires lots of energy. The body needs quality fuel in order to maintain its core body temperature. A core body temperature of 101 - 102.5F requires a dog's metabolism to work harder than a human's to stay warm. As such, a lack of calories can be a danger of extremely cold weather. On a similar note, biting winds and below freezing temps create a lack of available drinking water. Contrary to popular belief, it's very difficult to eat enough snow to meet a body's daily water needs. Additionally, melting that snow and heating it to body temp wastes valuable calories and energy. Finally, extreme weather brings lots of chemical use, especially in cities. Salt helps control ice. Antifreeze is everywhere. Businesses cover sidewalks in silt or sand to increase traction. Antifreeze is deadly to most animals, including dogs, and salt can cause digestive upsets and chemical burns. Factors That Affect Cold Tolerance Many people believe that dogs are adapted to survive outdoors. While that may have once been true, for many of today's domesticated canines, things have changed. In contrast with their wolfy ancestors, many dog breeds now have a short, thin coat and are more adapted to chilling on the living room floor than to running in the forest hunting down food.

Every reputable Service Dog organization and program worldwide recommends or requires alteration of working Service Dogs and Service Dogs in Training. With all the conflicting reports, myths, and misconceptions surrounding spaying and neutering, though, many find it difficult to know when the ideal time is to spay or neuter a growing dog. Read on for a scientific overview! Veterinarians across the world perform thousands of routine alteration surgeries a day. In the United States, spaying and neutering has become commonplace. Spaying or neutering a dog is supposed to provide behavior and health benefits, while also preventing contributing to the overpopulation of shelters and rescues. However, this routine surgery has come under intense scrutiny, especially when performed on very young dogs. Working Service Dogs are typically altered to provide easier care for the handler. Neutered male dogs often showcase fewer temperament issues. Spayed female dogs don't require intense supervision twice a year and special hygiene practices. Additionally, working Service Dogs shouldn't be benched to have puppies, as their handlers need them. Male Service Dogs shouldn't have to face the distraction of females in heat or the urge to breed. Assistance Dog programs utilizing in-house breeding programs usually have breeding stock with the proper aptitude and temperament for producing excellent Service Dog candidates. However, these dogs very, very, very rarely work as Service Dogs. Instead, they usually live on site at the program facility or in off-site guardian homes. Occasionally, a program or breeder may take a semen collection from an exceptional male prior to neutering him. Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Spaying and neutering provide multiple health and behavior benefits. Most notably, surgical alteration reduces the chances of various types of cancers found only in intact dogs and bitches. Alteration also helps prevent reproduction-related behaviors many people find offensive, like marking, humping, or flagging. Many veterinarians believe spaying or neutering at the right time plays a part in reducing aggression or territorial behavior. Finally, multiple studies demonstrate that spaying and neutering often prolong lifespan. In females, spaying before the first heat cycle results in drastically reduced chances of breast cancer. Breast cancer occurs frequently in intact bitches, with over 50% of cases malignant. Altering a female during adolescence reduces the chances of mammory tumors to .5%, whereas spaying after the first or second heat cycle results in an 8% and 26% chance. For males, neutering eliminates testicular cancers and age-related prostate problems. By 6 years of age, 70 to 80% of

We can’t control disasters but we can control how we respond to them. Our animals, pets, working and Service dogs are all part of our families and having a plan will make responding easier and less stressful. Most plans often overlook these important points. Therefore, preparing a disaster kit, having safe place to stay, having insurance all are important parts of ensuring your well-being in times of catastrophes. Make sure your pet, working dog or Service Dog are safe whatever the circumstances are. Create an emergency plan. For more detailed information on how to create a disaster plan, please click here. Infographic courtesy of mikesgearreviews.co      

Escalators and moving sidewalks are everywhere in today’s convenience driven-world. Today’s Service Dog teams are likely to regularly encounter them, especially teams that travel, work in a large or multi-story office building or those that enjoy frequenting the mall. For humans, getting on an escalator or moving sidewalk is simple: step on. For Service Dogs, though, there are some additional considerations for safety.