Five Pet-Related April Holidays
As pet owners, we are always looking for ways to celebrate our pets and raise awareness for pet concerns. The month of April has several ways we can do that, from promoting pet health, to adopting a new pet, and everything in between.
1. National Adopt a Greyhound Month
This promotes adoptions for former racing Greyhounds. Racing Greyhounds spend their entire lives at the track until they are retired around two years old, this can make them curious and scared when entering the regular world. Greyhounds are constantly surrounded by other Greyhounds, so they are often very good with other animals and children. It is commonly believed that Greyhounds need to run and be active constantly, but this is not true. They will have bursts of energy and will run it off, but Greyhounds are just like other dogs and love to lay on the couch or a fluffy dog bed too. Greyhounds are trained to chase and will chase after small animals if they see one, it is very important to never chain up a Greyhound because they can strangle themselves trying to go after an animal, they are also very fast, reaching 40 mph in seconds, and must not be let off their leash if they are not in an enclosed area. Greyhounds are not very vocal dogs and do not bark much. For more information on about Greyhounds or adopting a Greyhound please visit http://www.ngap.org/index.html , http://www.adopt-a-greyhound.org, or http://www.greyhoundpets.org.
2. National Heartworm Awareness Month
Heartworms are a parasite that infect your pets, and as the name suggests they live in the animal’s heart or nearby arteries. Pets are infected by mosquitoes that have fed on other infected animals and introduce larva to the pet’s bloodstream when they bite. Prevention is a large part of keeping your pet safe from infection, there are several methods for heartworm medication and the veterinarian will suggest the method they believe is best. Being a mosquito spread disease it is also important as a pet owner to keep your yard mosquito free, there are pet safe repellents and plants that can help and always be sure there is no standing water in your yard for mosquitos to lay their eggs. It is also important to do regular heartworm testing, even if your dog or cat is on medication, so that if there is a problem with the medication, like the animal vomiting without your knowledge or an accidental missed dose, the vet will be able to detect and treat heartworms early. Speak with your veterinarian about heartworm testing and beginning preventative treatments.
3. Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month
Lyme disease is an illness that is spread through the bite of a deer tick, it can affect dogs and their owners, cats are highly resistant to Lyme Disease. Dogs, and their humans, should be inspected thoroughly for ticks and if found the tick removed from the skin. Symptoms of Lyme disease can show up two to five months after being bitten, symptoms can be mild such as joint pain, loss of appetite, or fever, but can be more severe if the bacteria attacks the nervous system or kidneys. Treatment can be as easy as antibiotics or more complicated if there is joint or kidney damage. Flea and tick preventative medications are available to prevent contraction of Lyme Disease.
4. National Pet First Aid Awareness Month
In a pet emergency before you can make it to the vet do you know what to do? The American Red Cross promotes National Pet First Aid Awareness in the month of April to help ensure that pet owners know what to do in an emergency involving their pet. They offer pet first aid classes which can be found on their website https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class under first aid and selecting cat and dog as the focus, the class is online and $25. They also suggest that every pet owner have a pet emergency kit with a leash and collar, food and water, medications, and a photo of the pet.
5. Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
April 30 is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. If you have been considering adoption this is an exciting time to do it, if you aren’t ready to bring a new pet into your family please share adoptable pets on social media, you could help that pet find its furrever family.