Grab a spoon—it’s National Ice Cream Month! It’s really no surprise that many of us love to spoil our pets with bits of our tasty summer treats, but pet parents please beware: Ice cream is just one of many summer goodies that could double as serious health hazards to our pets!
Ice cream Just say no to the cone. One lick or two (no chocolate, please!) is fine, but because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase—the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk—milk and other milk-based products can cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.
Chicken Bones Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural option, but chicken bones splinter easily and can cause choking or may become lodged in your pet’s digestive tract.
Potato Chips Who doesn’t like to crunch? While one or two plain chips may not pose a threat, large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many chips include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty snacks to yourself!
Lemonade A little sweet, a little tart—and a lot hazardous! Citrus plants contain citric acid, limonin and oils that can cause irritation, and possibly even central nervous system depression, if ingested in significant amounts. Clinical signs of central nervous system depression include vomiting, diarrhea, depression and potential photosensitivity.
Piña Colada We know they’re tasty, but any beveragecontaining alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death in our animals. So please, keep you summer cocktails out of your pet’s reach.
Guest blog by Jacque Schultz, Senior Director, ASPCA Equine Fund.
Do you care about homeless horses? We do, too! And we also care about those groups who give their all to help equines get a second chance—whether at a sanctuary or through adoption.
The ASPCA Equine Fund provides generous grants to groups that care for rescued horses, mules, donkeys and ponies—both wild and domestic. We also offer a series of day-long workshops aimed at helping these rescue groups with fundraising, board development and assisting law enforcement with large-scale cruelty seizures.
Do you know any equine sanctuaries that could use our support? Ask them to keep up-to-date on workshops, webinars, grant opportunities and more by subscribing to ASPCA Hoof Beat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember to support your local horse rescue!
Guest Blog from Lisa Phillips, Founder and CEO of the Retired Military Working Dog Assistance Organization
Independence Day is one of America’s most celebrated holidays. It is a day to reflect on America's freedom and the wars that were fought, and are still being fought, to keep us free. Many remember our two-legged heroes, but few realize that there are also four-legged heroes who have fought and died for America.
My name is Lisa Phillips, and I was a vet tech in the Army, taking care of our nation's Military Working Dogs (MWDs). During five years of active duty, my passion and love for these animals grew. I saw firsthand the key roles these loyal and dedicated heroes play in keeping America safe. When I was in the process of being medically discharged in 2005, I adopted my first MWD from Lackland AFB: Gizmo A085. I was his vet tech for the previous two years. In 2007, I was able to adopt MWD Bianca W229, also from Lackland.
MWDs are currently classified as equipment by the military. Equipment doesn’t breathe or bleed; dogs are living breathing creatures, not equipment. When their service to our country is completed, they are considered excess equipment and our country's responsibility for them ends. My love for these heroes is what kept me going on my mission to reclassify them and get help with their medical expenses and final transportation after they are retired.
U.S. Representative Walter Jones of (R-NC) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have introduced in Congress the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. This bill has bicameral and bipartisan support to reclassify our MWDs as "canine members of the armed forces" instead of equipment, provide financial help with medical bills after they retire via a non-profit, provide final transportation via donated frequent flyer miles, and decoration or other appropriate recognition to recognize particularly meritorious and courageous military working dogs.
On this Independence Day you can help our MWDs win their independence from being classified the same as a table, a chair or a computer and contact your two U.S. Senators and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act.
More pets are lost on the Fourth of July than any other time of year. It’s a heartbreaking scenario for pet parents, but swift action and major networking can increase the odds that you will be reunited with your cat or dog.
We recently surveyed more than 1,000 households with pets across the country to find out if they had lost a dog or cat in the past five years—and if they did, did they find that pet and where did they look?
Of those pet guardians surveyed, 15 percent had lost a dog or a cat in the past five years, and 85 percent of those lost dogs and cats were recovered.
The study's findings suggest the following are key when recovering a lost pet:
Searching immediately when one knows the pet is lost;
Searching within the neighborhood first through visual searches as well as posters and online; and
Checking local shelters from the first day your pet is lost.
If your pet is lost, it’s important not to panic. Enlist the help of all of your friends and neighbors and hit the streets! Read our extended article on Finding a Lost Pet for more information and helpful hints.
In the spirit of 1776, the year the United States gained independence, a nonprofit organization called Dog Bless You is campaigning to help veterans gain the freedom that comes with obtaining a service dog—and helping homeless animals in the process.
Dog Bless You works with service dog organizations throughout the United States, such as Freedom Service Dogs, Canines for Service and K9s for Warriors. These organizations rescue dogs from animal shelters and train them for our wounded war veterans. And here's how you can help.
Now through the Fourth of July, for every 1,000 likes the Dog Bless You Facebook page gets, the organization will match a U.S. veteran with a new best friend.