5 Things Every Dog and Cat Owner Should Know

No matter how careful we are as pet owners, dogs and cats sometimes still manage to cut themselves, get overheated and eat things they really shouldn’t. In honor of National Pet First Aid Awareness month, we at Paw Nation want to help you be prepared should trouble strike.We asked Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro, Director of Emergency Services at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in Colorado, and the official veterinarian of Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl VI what she recommends you do in these five common situations:


1. Treating A Cut or Scratched Paw
“One of the most important things clients can do if injury is on the animal’s paw is to put pressure on it with a clean towel and bring the pet into the nearest veterinary hospital,” Dr. Mazzaferro tells Paw Nation. Don’t apply a tourniquet because it can decrease blood supply to the injured limb and be dangerous. And you should probably avoid rinsing a wounded paw in water. “Sometimes that will release a blood clot that’s formed.” says Dr. Mazzaferro.

2. Evaluating Vomiting and Diarrhea

“If your pet’s vomiting or diarrhea occurs more than just a couple of times, or if there is blood in it, or any suspicion of the dog or cat having gotten into a toxin, the pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away,” says Dr. Mazzaferro. Otherwise, if vomiting occurs just a couple of times, withhold food and water for at least six hours and see if the condition subsides. “If they continue to vomit or become lethargic, or if they’re a puppy or a very small, toy breed dog, I would bring them into a vet because they can dehydrate quickly,” says Dr. Mazzaferro



How To Deal With Cat Dandruff


The condition of a cat’s coat is a good gauge of its overall health. Cat dandruff, characterized by a dry or oily coat with visible flakes, can be caused by anything from dry air to parasites, obesity, and serious diseases like skin cancer. Therefore, if you see these symptoms of dandruff on your cat, a trip to the vet’s office may be in order.”Many diseases show up first in the skin,” says Dr. Jean Hofve, a holistic veterinarian and author of “The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care.” “It’s impossible to diagnose skin disease just by looking at it.”

A veterinarian can analyze a cat’s skin cells under a microscope and perform blood tests or biopsies to narrow down the cause of the dandruff.”What we generally think of as dandruff is usually nutrition related. It is most common in overweight cats, and in cats eating mostly or only dry food,” says Hofve. Therefore, says Dr. Hofve, dry kibble should be reduced or eliminated. Kibble is low in moisture and will dehydrate cats and, in turn, their skin.

Pet Acupuncture Makes A Point With Animal Owners

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Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron and Patrick Dempsey have all turned to acupuncture for their beloved pets. But the Eastern-influenced practice isn’t just for A-listers: Veterinarians say everyday pet owners are turning to pet acupuncture – and the results are often dramatic.

“My dog would not be alive today if not for his acupuncture treatments,” Jane Komarov, owner of Bailey, a 14-year-old bearded collie, tells PEOPLE Pets. For the past year-and-a-half, Bailey has received weekly acupuncture treatments from Dr. Bridget Halligan at West Chelsea Veterinary in New York City, and Komarov says it has made a huge difference in treating the pup’s degenerative myelopathy, a condition similar to multiple sclerosis in humans. After initially trying pain medications like Rimadyl to treat Bailey’s symptoms, they caused a nearly toxic reaction in the dog’s sensitive stomach. Komarov then turned to acupuncture — and the results have been eye-popping.

Summer Pet Health Tips

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It’s that time of year again. With temperatures hitting record highs across the country, it’s important to know how to keep your pets healthy and happy in this hot weather.
Summertime can be as much fun for your pet as it is for you. But pet owners need to take some precautions to keep their animal companions happy, cool and safe during the dog days of summer. Pet expert Andrea Arden offers these important hot-weather tips.

dog summer

Sun protection
Many of the safety concerns we have for ourselves during the hottest months of the year also apply to our pets. Consistent use of sunscreen in order to avoid sun damage is as important for our pets as it is for us. This is especially important if your pet has short hair, white fur or pink skin. Talk to your veterinarian about choosing a sunscreen (most important to apply on ears and nose) and be sure to limit your pet’s sun exposure.