Home, Sweet Home: How to Acclimate Your Newly Adopted Cat or Kitten

iStock_000012318409_MediumThere’s something so exciting about those first few weeks with a new kitten or adopted cat! From the moment we make the decision to bring that adorable fur-face into our home, we’ve likely started making our enormous list of to-purchase items: cat toys, beds, food, treats, and the list goes on.  From choosing a name to playing with your adorable new pal, it’s easy to get caught up in how we feel (which is usually followed by a thrilled “Squeeeee!”).

We may get so caught up in our enthusiasm about the new addition to the family, we may forget that while newness for us may be fun, our new kitty may not agree. There are, however, some simple steps you can take to help your new friend adjust to the strange sights, smells, and hiding places of his or her new home. Continue reading

Safe Kids, Safe Pets: Raising Responsible Pet Owners

Blond happy girl with her chihuahua doggy portraitMost children long for an animal buddy growing up. Literature and films know this all too well and have created veritable empires from friendly animal heroes. Animals are amazing and entertaining creatures, and kids truly identify with them.

However, if a child is given the opportunity to live with a pet very important guidelines must be established to ensure everyone remains safe, healthy, and happy. Continue reading

Why Year-Round Heartworm Prevention Matters

iStock_000020494295_MediumFamilies with cats and dogs usually breathe a collective sigh of relief when it comes to autumn’s approach. Pets frolic outdoors for longer stretches and won’t easily overheat, de-hydrate, or become the prey of blood-sucking, disease-carrying parasites, such as mosquitos. In Cleveland, our first frost usually occurs around the first week in October. Mosquitos may die off before then but their effects are long-reaching and can be felt long into the winter months.

Understanding Heartworm

While many of us know that heartworm is a threat to our pets, few of us understand why. Continue reading

When Saying Goodbye is the Compassionate Decision

iStock_000027138034_MediumQuite possibly, one of the most difficult decisions we may face as loving pet parents is when to say goodbye to our pet. From the time we adopt that sweet kitten or playful puppy, through the many years we share with him or her, letting go of a beloved friend is heartbreaking. Yet, for a pet who is suffering in the final stages of terminal illness or old age, choosing euthanasia can be the most compassionate choice you make, allowing your pet an easier transition.

In most cases, consistent veterinary medical care will help inform you of your pet’s life expectancy and condition, depending on what disease or illness has been diagnosed. Through these examinations, you will feel better equipped to understand what your pet may be going through physically and emotionally. By partnering with your pet’s veterinary care team, you will be empowered with an understanding of his or her end of life stages and have the comfort of knowing you are never alone or without support. Continue reading

Animal Adventures and Pet Protagonists: A Young Animal-Lover’s Reading List

“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
– E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

iStock_000046924698_MediumMany of us hold a special place in our hearts for the books we loved as children. Whether it resides in nostalgia or life lessons, or simply strong writing, the magic of a wonderful book cannot be mistaken. Now, as quite of few of us have become parents, we find ourselves perusing those old, familiar titles and delighting in modern young adult fiction’s meaningful narratives and artistic illustrations.

As your children embark upon another school year, you may have the chance to thoughtfully engage them in post-library visit discussions or even create an inspired book night, with favorite titles to be read aloud over a shared snack.

There are a myriad of benefits to sharing the love of literature with your children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren. Reading together offers your family the chance to slow down, disconnect from gadgets, and share quality time together. In addition, many books pose philosophical and value-based questions, encourage problem-solving, deepen the channels of imagination, and increase reading and comprehension skills.

By instilling your love of reading in your children, you offer them the chance to develop their own fond memories of favorite childhood books. Here are some recommended animal stories to get you started. Continue reading