Fur Kids Foundation vice president Mary wants you to know that the dog you’re approaching may be experiencing a little anxiety. And with his size, she really needs you to keep your distance until she knows he’s OK.
Sampson, an English mastiff who Mary and her significant other adopted from Big Dogs Hug Paws, has only been part of the family for a year. Mary also adopted Daisy, an English mastiff and from BDHP, a short time before they were chosen to take in handsome Sam.
“It’s not that Sam’s mean or aggressive, but he wasn't socialized properly as a puppy which makes him a little more hesitant when meeting people,” says Mary. In order for her to feel better about walking Sam in public, she has placed a simple yellow ribbon on his leash. This helps Mary tell others the correct way to approach Sam, so he can see that people are friendly and will not hurt him. Mary heard about the idea from the Yellow Dog Project out of Alberta, Canada.
It’s a simple concept: If your dog doesn't want to be approached, or you need an easy way to tell people to approach your dog appropriately, tie a yellow ribbon on his leash or collar. The ribbon works as a signal to others to ask before coming near a dog. It's part of a growing movement to urge people to use caution when approaching dogs.
“Think of it like this: not all people like each other, the same is true for dogs,” says Mary. “Some people do not like other people in their personal space. Sam just doesn’t want people in his bubble at all times.” She believes that it may take some dogs a bit of time to warm up to another dog/person.
Not all dogs who wear the yellow ribbon are anxious or aggressive. Some may need space because they are recovering from surgery, are old or don't like being approached too quickly. Some may be smaller dogs who become scared or react negatively around larger dogs. The dog may also be a service dog, and the person who the dog is helping needs that dog to keep on task. And, in Sam’s case, some are still in training.
“I found the Yellow Dog Project to be a great idea that can keep people and their dogs’ safe,” says Mary. “If people were more aware of the Project, it could save someone from being unnecessarily bitten or hurt.”
If your dog may need a little space when he’s around strangers and other dogs, or if you want others to keep some distance from you and your four-legged buddy, put a yellow ribbon on their leash or collar. Conversely, if you see a dog with a yellow ribbon or something yellow on his leash, know that this dog needs some space. Please do not approach this dog with your dog. Please maintain distance or give this dog and his/her person time to move out of your way.
And, every time you see a person walking his or her dog, always ask permission before you reach out to pet their fur kid. While most dogs are friendly and love people, there are some dogs who aren’t as friendly, and it’s just best that you don’t pet them without permission.
Feel free to share this post with friends, or download a flier about the Yellow Ribbon project and distribute.
Want help socializing your pup?
Check out the Foundation's Yappy Hours, held the first and third Saturday of the month at 7 am and the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 6 pm from April-September 2013.
It’s a dirty job, but you really have to do it. What you ask? Scoop your dog’s poo. And, what a better way to talk about it than during National Scoop the Poop Week, April 24-30, 2013. So, here's the scoop on your pet's poop:
Besides the unsightliness of dog waste on the ground, it poses a significant health hazard to people. How? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that pet waste can spread parasites including hookworms, ringworms, roundworms, tapeworms and Salmonella.
So, here’s a scenario: Say you’re at the park and you see some dude walking his four legged best friend. But when Fido stops to do No. 2, the man doesn’t pick it up. If that pup’s waste was infected with roundworm or other parasites, those nasty buggers can linger in the soil for years. Therefore, those who come in contact with the soil also come in contact with the infected eggs. The parasites may then survive on inanimate objects such as shoes, clothes, carpet and floors for months afterward.
Do your children, or your friend’s for family member’s children play at the park? Do you toss a football around or play Frisbee in that park with your friends? If you do, you’re now at risk. Just so you know, if a human ingests a roundworm larva, it can migrate through the body causing disease to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart or eyes.
Pretty nasty, right? Well, roundworm danger isn’t the only gross side effect of left-behind pet poo—it also contributes to harmful bacteria to our lakes, streams and waterways.
Dog droppings are teaming with E. Coli—one gram of dog feces contains more than 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. (This is the same E. Coli that causes serious kidney disorders, intestinal illness, cramps and diarrhea in humans.) When it rains, dog waste left on the ground washes into storm drains, which then flows into nearby streams, lakes and waterways including Gillette’s favorite public fishing lake at Dalbey Memorial Park, or even Donkey Creek. Therefore, the runoff from neglected pet waste also creates health hazards for fish, ducks, etc.
Oh, and one more thing: have you heard of the parvovirus? Parvovirus is an extremely contagious viral disease that can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog's FECES. That’s right, not picking up pet waste can also make Rover ill. Highly resistant, the virus can live in the environment for months, and may survive on inanimate objects such as food bowls, shoes, clothes, carpet and floors. It is common for an unvaccinated dog to contract parvovirus from parks where there are many dogs.
Nearly two decades ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified pet waste as a dangerous pollutant. Now you can see why.
Fur Kids Foundation wants to remind dog owners to pick up after their pet and carry dog waste bags when they exercise their dog. Pick up feces using a plastic bag, and knot the top to control odor and flies before disposing of it in a waste receptacle. Pet waste bags are available for purchase at several pet shops in the area, and many parks in the city and county provide bags for people to use (but these often run out). For those who want a greener option, scoop poop with biodegradable bags instead of plastic bags from the grocery store.
And, picking up poo isn't only for when you're at a park or in a public area. Please be sure to pick up your pet's waste at your home as well. In addition to regularly cleaning up after their dog, pet owners should also make sure that they get their animal regularly checked for parasites at your vet's office.
Dog Poop PSA
For an entertaining approach to scooping the poo, check out the Dog Doogity video created by Puget Sound Starts Here. This group is engaging citizens from all walks of life to raise awareness about how cleaning up dog waste will improve water quality in Puget Sound. The public service announcements instruct how to "bag it up" and toss it in the trash.
Exercise. If reading that word makes you cringe, then you’re probably not getting enough of it. And if you’re a dog owner who isn’t getting enough exercise, neither is Fido. A dog needs exercise and so do you. Why not do it together?
Enter the solution: Fur Kids Foundation’s weekly Yappy Hour Dog Walks. Each week for about an hour, the Fur Kids Foundation plans to gather as many pet owners and their fur kids as possible and get them out for a walk at Dalbey Memorial Park. And the best part: it’s FREE!
A brisk walk can do wonders for your immune system, cardiovascular health and help you manage your weight. But it can also help curb some of the destructive behaviors that dogs often exhibit such as:
The good news is that by exercising your pup regularly, you can keep them, and you, healthy and happy. Below are some of the benefits of exercising your dog:
Disclaimer: Before you start your dog’s exercise program
Just as in humans, before you begin an exercise program with your pup, please check with your veterinarian. He or she can check your dog for any health issues that may be aggravated by exercise and suggest safe activities. Some size, breed and age considerations include:
So now that you understand the benefits of exercising Rover regularly, I sure hope you plan on joining Fur Kids Foundation for Yappy Hour. The first one takes place Saturday, April 20 at 7 am at Dalbey Memorial Park—we’ll start at the Edward Shelter. There are a few rules:
For more information, please check out the Yappy Hour Dog Walks page online or contact the Fur Kids Foundation.
Howdy pet owners! Did you know that April is National Heartworm Awareness month? No. That’s OK, we’re here to help spread the word. Heartworm is one of the most preventable ailments in pets, and it’s also the most deadly.
To learn more about heartworm, check out this video from the American Veterinary Medical Association; and read the information below.
What is heartworm?
For those who may be new to pet parenthood, or perhaps just need a refresher, heartworm disease is caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of the lungs and occasionally in the right side of the heart of dogs, cats and other species of mammals. Heartworms are transmitted from animal to animal by mosquitoes. The good news is that this disease is almost completely preventable as long as you take the steps to protect your pet.
Can heartworm be treated?
According to the American Heartworm Society, there are a variety of options for preventing heartworm infection in both dogs and cats. These include daily and monthly tablets and chewables, monthly topicals and a six-month injectable product available only for dogs. Most of these options are inexpensive, and all are available with a vet’s prescription. When administered properly on a timely schedule, heartworm infection can be prevented.
Tess (above) was brought into Animal Medical Center Of Wyoming on her way to a Doberman Rescue when it was discovered that she had grade 3 heartworms. Can you see how bloated and uncomfortable she looks? This all could have been avoided had she been on a heartworm prevention medicine. Happily, Tess is now OK but never wants to go back to that situation again! Don't let your dog or cat go through this, please learn more about heartworms and how to prevent them.
What are the symptoms of heartworm?
According to the ASPCA, general symptoms of heartworm in dogs can include labored breathing, coughing, vomiting, weight loss and listlessness, and fatigue after only moderate exercise. However, some dogs exhibit no symptoms until they are in the late stages of infection. Cats may exhibit a persistent cough, breathing difficulties (panting, wheezing, rapid or open-mouthed breathing), depression, loss of appetite, weight loss, sporadic vomiting or lethargy. If you notice that your pet’s energy has decreased, he seems ill, or is exhibiting any of the general symptoms described above, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
What are the treatment options for heartworm?
If your pet does end up having heartworm, you can opt to put him through treatment. Usually, all but the most advanced cases of heartworm disease can be successfully treated in dogs. Currently, there are no products in the United States approved for the treatment of heartworm infection in cats, according to the American Heartworm Society. The ASPCA indicates that many heartworm-infected cats are able to fight the infection themselves, and can be monitored with radiographs every few months, while waiting out the worms’ lifespan. If an infected cat shows symptoms of lung disease, the cat can be given a cortisone-like medication as needed. Medication can also be given to help control coughing and vomiting.
The most common course of treatment for dogs is a series of injections of drugs called adulticides into the dogs’ muscle. This cure has a high success rate and usually requires hospitalization. However, all treatment protocols require several weeks of exercise restriction after treatment and are not without risk. After treatment, your dog should be placed on a preventative medication to reduce the risk of infection.
How is heartworm prevented?
Prevention is a safer and much less expensive option. Just so you know, heartworm prevention begins in May for Wyoming residents and ends in November; however, the American Heartworm Society recommends year-round protection. Be sure to contact your vet to see what they recommend.
Feel free to share this post with your friends, or download this flier on heartworm and distribute.
We are excited to announce that for the month of April, Photo Imaging Center of Gillette is helping pets one pic at a time with Pics for Pets.
For $30, you receive an 8"x10" professional portrait of your pet. And the best part, $15 is donated to the Fur Kids Foundation per package as well as 10 percent of additional sales from the pet pictures.
There are a couple of ways to participate:
1. Schedule a studio appointment with Photo Imaging Center, 1211 S. Douglas Highway Suite M, during the month of April. Call 307.682.3278.
2. Visit Photo Imaging Center of Gillette at the following days and locations:
In conjunction with this pet portrait event, Photo Imaging is organizing a food/litter drive for the City of Gillette Animal Shelter. If you bring 15 pound bag of food (name brand only) or cat litter you receive a free key chain with your pet's picture.
For more information, please contact Crystal Allison at Photo Imaging Center in Gillette at 307.682.3278. And, if you're on Facebook, please like Photo Imaging Center Gillette. And, if you've already had your pet's picture taken, be sure to tag it in Photo Imaging Center Gillette's Album, Pics for Pets 2013, to help us spread the word!
Created in November 2011, the Fur Kids Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education and aid to promote the well-being of animals in Campbell County.
Your donation saves lives. It goes to work helping animals in Campbell County receive adequate veterinary care during a time when their family may not be able to afford it. Please contact the Foundation to learn more or donate now using PayPal.
The Fur Kids Foundation blog is written by board member and Founder Felicia. If you have ideas that you would like to see published in the blog such as concerns about pet-focused topics in the community or a funny story, please contact the Foundation. Enjoy!