Benefits of Playful Activities

What images come up when you think of playful pets?

Probably the picture is of cute cuddly kittens or puppies playing with their siblings, wrestling, chasing and just having Fun! Play is instinctive in young pets and is important in their development into adulthood. Yet, like us, pets never lose their ability and desire to play.

It can be challenging to find toys and games to keep their playful activities varied and interesting. Plus every pet is unique and likes different toys and games. Since the traditional season of gift giving is fast approaching we’d like to help Santa by giving him a list of favorite toys from our readers.

Send us an email at telling us what your pet’s favorite toy or game is. We’ll make a list with ideas for the pets on Santa’s “Nice” list and share them in our next issue.

Kidney Disease

What is kidney disease?
Any disease process, acute or chronic, that prevents the kidneys from functioning properly. Every wonder what the kidneys do? Well, the kidneys have multiple jobs, but their primary and most important role is to filter the blood and remove toxins.

What are the most common causes of kidney disease?
Before discussing, it is important to understand the difference between acute and chronic kidney disease. In acute cases, the onset is sudden and clinical signs are usually more severe, since blood toxins build up quickly. In chronic cases, the disease usually progresses slowly and clinical signs may go unnoticed for months.

Most common causes of acute kidney disease are ingestion of toxins such as certain foods or plants. For example, raisins and grapes can be extremely toxic to dogs. In cats, ingestion of lilies can cause kidney failure and even death. Other causes of acute kidney disease include infectious causes, such as leptospirosis, lyme disease and pyelonephritis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection usually spread by infected wildlife and concentrated in areas with rivers, lakes and/or streams. Leptospirosis is not common in Nevada. Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks, this is why tick prevention is important in areas where tick burdens are high. Pyelonephritis occurs secondary to a lower urinary tract infection, when bacteria ascend up into the kidneys, causing sudden and often severe illness.

Chronic kidney disease usually occurs over a long period of time. In many patients with chronic disease, the underlying cause may not be determined. Chronic kidney disease is more common in aging dogs and cats.

What are signs of kidney disease?
During the early stages of kidney disease, the signs are usually non specific, such as increased thirst and urination, and decreased appetite. In acute cases, or when the disease process progresses, you may notice vomiting, lethargy and weight loss.

How do you diagnose kidney disease?
Since chronic kidney disease may go unnoticed, it is important to include annual veterinarian care. IF your pet is over 7 years of age, it is recommended to have routine check-ups every 6 months. Your veterinarian may perform a physical exam, complete blood profile, and urinalysis. In addition, imaging, such as radiographs (x-rays) and ultrasound of the kidneys may be performed. However,
many tests may be normal in early stages of kidney disease.  A newer blood test, called SDMA is now routinely used to aid in earlier detection of kidney disease.

What are treatment options?
The mainstay in treating kidney disease, is good hydration and dietary modification. If an underlying cause is determined, other treatments may be used. Occasionally, your pet may need hospitalization for more intensive care.

If you think your pet is showing clinical signs of kidney disease, please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

Did you know? Ethylene glycol, a common ingredient in anti freeze, is severely toxic to dogs. In addition, giving your pets over-the-counter human drugs, such as aspirin, may cause kidney failure. Please make sure to keep these products out of reach of your furry friends.

Pet-Friendly Dining Etiquette

Dining out with your dog can be an exciting new adventure for you and your favorite pooch to enjoy. With more and more restaurants and coffee shops offering pet-friendly eating areas, the ability to take your dog with you for a cup of coffee or a nice meal with friends is such a welcome option. For the optimal dining experience, there are a few things you can do beforehand to help ensure that your dog is up to a social dining experience.

Since you know your dog’s personality and possible problematic behaviors, you will be able to determine if your dog is a good candidate for a social dining experience. Like many people, not all dogs are comfortable in social situations. Meeting new people, new dogs, and dealing with unpredictable situations can be too much for some dogs. If your dog is very timid or potentially aggressive in social settings, it may be best to leave him at home until you feel confident in his readiness. But if your dog is obedient, good with other dogs, and enjoys meeting new people, he may be the perfect candidate to accompany you on a dining or coffee date.

Before you embark on your first doggie-dining outing, here are a few tips and rules of etiquette you may find helpful:

Restaurant Policy – Check out the pet-friendly restaurant you are considering visiting beforehand. Make a note of the table locations and available seating. You may want to check with the staff regarding their pet-friendly policies and call them ahead of time to check on seating availability before you go.

Socialize Your Dog – A well-socialized dog that is comfortable with people and unfamiliar surroundings will probably be a good dining companion in a pet-friendly restaurant. Lying down next to your chair and being patient is really all that you are asking of your four-legged companion. Your dog should be well-versed in the basic commands of sit, lie down, and stay.

Before You Go – It is important to have a plan before you embark on this new adventure. Prepare for your visit by packing a water bowl and a chewy or quiet toy for your dog to enjoy while you are eating. Be sure to exercise your dog and feed him before you go to the restaurant. A full-bellied, tired pooch will only add to your chances of having an uneventful, relaxing time with your friends. Immediately before you enter the restaurant, give your dog a chance to go potty. (An unexpected potty accident can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable dining interruption.) Plan on bringing a friend with you for your restaurant visit. If YOU need a restroom break, your friend can take care of your dog in your absence.

At the Table – Keep your dog leashed at all times. While seated at your table, keep your dog’s leash in your hand or readily available to you. Do not tie the leash to the table or even your chair. An unexpected “dog emergency”, like a scrambling mouse or squirrel, may surprise you both with an overturned table or chair. Either keep the leash in hand or try sitting on it, wrapping it around your thigh or ankle. Keep your dog close to you where he is not obstructing the foot traffic of other patrons or your server.

Table Manners – It is always important for you and your pup to observe good table manners; no begging, barking or feeding your dog from your plate or silverware. (It is a violation of health codes for pets to use the restaurant’s dishware or silverware.) If you’ve forgotten your water bowl, your server will typically be happy to bring you a plastic water bowl for your dog. Additionally, your dog should not be allowed on your lap or seated in a chair at the table. Pets should be positioned next to your chair where they can relax comfortably.

The ability to eat out with our pets is a refreshing option for pet lovers. By observing a few guidelines in dining etiquette, you and your dog can enjoy many fun-filled dining adventures.

August 15th is National Check The Chip Day

This event was created by the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association with support from HomeAgain to encourage pet owners to check their pet’s microchip information annually and keep it up-to-date. By doing this yearly, you increase your pet’s chances of returning home if lost!

Adventure is out there, protect your pet!

– By Alexa Rabini

Once upon a time there was a dog named Daisy. She was a happy pup with a loving family! Daisy spent her days begging for food, going on neighborhood walks and playing outside in the yard. But one day while she was chasing a bird, it suddenly got dark and started to rain. Daisy was so scared she panicked and crawled under the gate! Looking for her family, she just kept running and running. When the rain finally stopped, she didn’t know where she was or where her family went. Luckily for Daisy, Alexa was out taking her dog Lily for a walk. She found Daisy and took her back to her house to keep her safe until she could find her family. Daisy was given a warm bed and a fresh bowl of water. But she was very sad and missed her family very much. Daisy’s family returned home from dinner and couldn’t find her anywhere. They called their neighbors and asked if anyone had seen her. Fortunately, Daisy’s family had her microchipped the year before and the registration information was current. The next morning Alexa took her to the nearest veterinarian and they found her chip. Alexa called Daisy’s family and told them that she was safe. Daisy was so happy to see her family! Because of her microchip and an up-to-date registration, Daisy and her family were reunited.
August 15th is National Check The Chip Day Microchips are the size of a rice grain and do not cause your pet any pain. ID tags can easily be damaged or removed.

Alexa Rabini is Pet Care Consultant at Pets of Las Vegas.


Pet Safety In The Garage

When you picture your garage, what do you see? Sharp objects? Heavy machinery? Hazardous and flammable materials? Do you envision a safe environment for your pets to be in? Would you keep your pet in a garage for any period of time, or would you worry for their safety and health?

Chances are, your garage isn’t the safest place for your pet to be in. However, where your pet goes isn’t always in your control. Someone leaves a door open, or your pet follows you into the garage. Regardless, it’s a wise decision to carefully prepare the garage just in case an accident does occur. The following four points are some ideas that will help you prepare your garage to be a safe place for your pet.

  1. Keep hazardous materials placed high above the ground and out of reach. Pets are notorious for finding small things to chew on and even swallow. Your pet isn’t at fault for this, it’s just part of their instinct. Keep an eye out for potential “chew toys”, small objects, or chemicals that could pose a lethal threat to your pet.
  2. Ensure there are no sharp objects within reach or laying on the floor. These include power tools, knives, even nails and screws. If you have recently used a power tool, make sure there are no sharp metal shavings that your pet can step on.
  3. Electrical wiring must be kept out of reach. You can purchase wire protector or wrap duct tape around the wire. Another option is to ensure the wiring is tucked away behind a desk or is pressed up against the base of the wall, increasing the likelihood that it will be out of sight, and out of mind for your pet.
  4. The garage is often utilized as storage space, which may include boxes and objects piled on top of each other, in high places like shelves, or on top of cabinets. The main concern here is to simply ensure that these items are secure and maintain no risk of falling down if knocked over. Depending on the size of your pet, it can be extremely dangerous by not taking care of these stacked and stored items.

These are just a few ideas on how you can ensure your garage is a safe place for your pet. You never know what might happen. Protect your pet by preparing for the worst.

Matt works for Custom Garage Storage Solutions. He enjoys traveling with his wife, spending time with his Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and spending time with friends.


Celebrating Presidents’ Day

Celebrating Presidents’ Day
Presidents’ Day originally was established in 1885 to recognize President George Washington. The day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.

It gives us an excellent opportunity to learn more about our presidents and their pets. It is interesting to learn about the variety of pets that were part of their lives. Since 1800 the White House has been home to more than 400 animals including cats, dogs, alligators and others. We often view our presidents only as historical or political leaders. Learning about them as pet parents and animal lovers offers us a glimpse into the lives of the men, women, and children who occupied our nation’s capital.

Our Presidents and Their Pets
President Washington, known as The Father of Our Country is also considered to be the Father of the American foxhound. In addition to his 36 dogs he also owned and loved horses. The Washington household also had birds; one parrot in particular was a favorite of the first lady. Polly often spent time sitting with Mrs. Washington even when she was entertaining guests.

President Lincoln was the first president to bring a cat into the White House. When he assumed office and traveled from Illinois to the White House, his son, Tad, asked his father to bring his cat (Tabby) along. President Lincoln agreed. He loved all cats and could play with them for hours. Once when a reporter asked Mary Todd Lincoln if her husband had a hobby she replied simply, “cats”. We know that Abraham Lincoln owned at least 2 dogs, Fido and Jip. A book by Matthew Algeo, Abe & Fido: Lincoln’s Love of Animals and the Touching Story of His Favorite Canine Companion depicts Lincoln as a deeply compassionate animal lover and shares the story of his favorite dog, Fido.

President Coolidge had a “personal zoo” that included more than 26 pets, including a bobcat named Smoky, six dogs, a goose, a donkey, a cat, an antelope, a wallaby, and two lion cubs called Tax Reduction and Budget Bureau. He also had a pair of raccoons called Reuben and Rebecca. Reuben didn’t like being around people but Rebecca loved posing for photos. Calvin often took her on a leash for walks on the grounds of the White House. Another one of his popular pets was Billy, a pygmy hippopotamus. Billy was donated to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

President Theodore Roosevelt’s household consisted of six children and numerous pets including a bear, badger, pony, hyena, pigs and birds. Guinea pigs were part of the family and President Roosevelt felt they made perfect pets for his children. The guinea pigs often were seen playing with the children outside on the White House lawn. One of the guinea pigs lived in a cage with Peter the rabbit. Sounds like a typical household of pets and children!

White House Gators!
The White House was home to three alligators – one was given to John Quincy Adams by the Marquis de Lafayette and lived in a White House bathroom. President Adams enjoyed scaring his guests with his unusual household pet.

Though President Hoover and his wife, Lou, were dog lovers, their son, Allan Henry, had a pair of alligators as pets. Normally they were kept in a bathtub but often escaped and were seen roaming the grounds of the White House. The alligators were eventually donated to the Smithsonian Zoo

Guess who had a Doggie birthday party in the White House. President Harding and his family had a birthday party for their dog Laddie Boy. The guest list included other dogs. A dog biscuit cake with frosting was served. Just a typical family celebrating the birthday of a family member!

I identified with President Lincoln and his love and enjoyment of cats. The image of guinea pigs and children playing on the White House lawn warmed my heart. I would have loved seeing President Coolidge walking his raccoon. Our presidents and their families indeed were pet people!

See the following for more interesting tales of pets and presidents plus photos:


October 11, 2017 – National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Have you noticed some signs of weight gain – clothes getting a little tighter, getting “winded” climbing stairs, flunked the “pinch an inch” test?  As humans, we know what these signs mean and can choose to take corrective dietary and lifestyle steps to reduce our weight. Unfortunately, our pets are dependent on us to help them maintain a healthy weight. Overweight and obese pets can suffer from joint problems and arthritis; develop diabetes, and can experience increased susceptibility to heat stroke. Obesity in pets reduces quality of life ad shortens their lifespan.

On October 11, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)* will conduct its tenth annual U.S. pet obesity prevalence survey. Results from their 2016 survey show that 53.9% of dogs and 58.9% of cats are overweight or obese.

A few tips to help keep your pet at a healthy weight:

MONITOR MEALTIMES – For many pets it is best to provide food at mealtimes rather than having their bowl filled with food available at all times. Determine your pet’s calorie needs and divide that into 2 or 3 mini meals. Word of caution – it is important to not cause quick weight loss. Know your pet’s ideal weight and create realistic timelines for weight loss. Avoid giving your pet table food or table scraps because prepared people food is usually higher in salt, sugar and fat content than is healthy for pets.

LIMIT SNACKS OR TREATS – Treats add calories and must be counted as part of your pet’s daily calories. Offer healthy snacks and consider replacing treats with other rewards such as belly rubs, body massage, and extra hugs.

TAKE MORE WALKS – Both of you will benefit from daily walks around the neighborhood or dog park. Start with short walks and watch for signs of over exertion especially if your pet is older or already overweight. In addition to burning calories, brisk walks help strengthen the respiratory and circulatory systems, keep joints flexible, and releases excess energy and alleviate boredom.

Regularly monitor weight – routinely weigh your pet approximately once every two weeks at the same time of day and on the same scale for accuracy. This will help you notice weight loss or gains and maintain a record for your pet’s health file.

“Our pets will thank us for helping them maintain an ideal body weight. They will live longer and happier lives as a result.” ~ Dr. Chad Bower, DVM

*The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) was founded in 2005 by veterinarian, Dr. Ernie Ward.


Are you a Cat Person or a Dog Person?

Do you love the sound of Meow or Woof?

Recently while taking my two young granddaughters out to eat I was privileged to eavesdrop on their conversation. Allie, the youngest, stated that she was a dog person. She plans to have four dogs; one or two would be therapy or service dogs. Allie also loves horses, cats and all animals but she is a “self-identified” dog person. She looks at a dog and it’s an instant sibling-style connection. Her cousin, Laura, wasn’t sure if she is a cat person or a dog person. She loves her pet rats, and her other grandmother’s dog, Fritz. It takes a while for my cats to warm up to her but she likes them. She also loves horses. At this point I was included in the conversation. She stated emphatically “Grandma, you’re a cat person.” And I said, yes!

Later, reflecting on the conversation, I thought back to my pet experiences as a child. I was fortunate to have had dogs, cats, rabbits and birds as pets. I also had lots of opportunities to be around with cows, pigs, chickens, and goats. Yet cats hold a special spot in my heart.  I describe myself as an animal/pet lover but I identify myself as a cat person – there is a special connection.

Researchers are beginning to study the connection between personality and pet preference. There is increasing evidence suggesting that there are distinct personality differences between cat people and dog people. One study, Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project, led by psychologist Samuel Gosling, University of Texas at Austin included about 4,500 participants who answered questions using the Big Five model to assess personality. The areas are:

Extraversion – talkative, energetic, assertive
Agreeableness – sympathetic, kind, affectionate
Conscientiousness – organized, thorough
Neuroticism – tense, moody, anxious
Openness – having wide interests, being imaginative

The volunteers in this study completed the personality test first and then self-identified themselves as a cat person, a dog person, both, or neither. The results: 46% dog people; 12% cat people, 27% both, and 15% as neither.

Some of the findings:
Extraversion: Dog people were 15% more extroverted than cat people. What it means: Outgoing, enthusiastic, positive, energetic
Agreeableness: Dog people were 13% more likely to be agreeable than a cat person. Agreeable people tend to be trusting, altruistic, kind, affectionate, and sociable
Conscientiousness: Dog people were 11% more conscientious than cat people. What it means: Self-disciplined, strong sense of duty, tend to be “planners”
Neuroticism: Cat people were 12% more neurotic than dog people. Neurotic people are: Easily stressed, anxious, worriers
Openness: Cat people were 11% more likely to be open. Open people tend to be curious, creative, artistic, nontraditional thinkers open to trying new things.

Interesting results – as a cat person I wasn’t sure I liked them until I got to the last section.  Yes, Laura, I still identify as a cat person!

What about you? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at and share your thoughts with us.


COOL Products to Keep Your Pet Cool!

Legally, when the National Weather Service issues an Excessive Heat Warning Clark County requires that you provide supplemental cooling for your pet.  Plus, keeping our pets cool and safe during the hot Vegas summer heat is part of being a loving and caring pet parent.

Pets can get dehydrated quickly so make sure they always have fresh, clean water available. Consider adding ice cubes to their water dish or fountain to keep it cool a little longer.

PET WATER BOTTLE Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating. Offer small drinks frequently rather than one large drink.

WATER FOUNTAIN Hydration is essential. Water fountains provide fresh running water which pets like. Creating water stations in various locations in your home will encourage pets to drink more frequently. Cats especially need extra enticement to drink water.











Dogs need to exercise in the summer, however, take extra caution in this extreme heat. Taking your pet for walks in very early morning or late evening is recommended. Remember, hot pavements can burn sensitive paw pads and pavements can be extremely hot even later in the day.

DOG BOOTS Protect your dog’s paws from the hot pavement by wearing dog booties. Note: dogs “perspire” through their paws – take breaks and remove boots periodically to prevent overheating.

COOLING VEST Some are filled with water and others are filled with gel, but they both work by pulling the heat away from your dog’s body. There are also neck wraps or bandanas designed for cooling, too. For keeping your furry friend comfy at home, there are cooling mats for the floor.












If possible, bring your pets inside especially puppies, older or obese dogs, or dogs with medical conditions. Certain breeds such as Pugs, Boston Terriers, or other flat-faced dogs are also more susceptible to overheating and hot weather problems.

When your pet is outside make sure they have a shady place to get out of the sun and that they have access to cool drinking water. Small child swimming pools, cooling mats, and misting systems can also keep dogs cool when outside.

And, don’t forget the sunglasses!

PLASTIC KIDDIE POOL A plastic kiddie pool or large tub might be a great option if your dog loves water. Many dogs love playing or lounging in the cool water.

SUNGLASSES OR GOGGLES Protecting your dog’s eyes from UV rays or debris is just as important as protecting your own. That’s where the dog sunglasses and doggy goggles can help! Plus they’ll be the coolest dog around town!













Feline behavior – is it influenced more by Nature or Nurture?

Have you ever wondered about your cat’s personality and behaviors? I have! Ever since I adopted Rowdy, a cute affectionate kitten, I’ve wondered about that age-old scientific nurture vs. nature debate about animal behaviors. A cat’s nature is the temperament and personality that they were born with. Other behaviors are learned or acquired by training and nurturing.

I decided to do some reading and found that a lot has been written about this topic. Each cat is an individual but it seems that there are common traits that have a genetic basis. There are certain innate characteristics based on the breed. The term “domestic” cat is used to describe cats of unknown breed; they can still have characteristics and traits based on their breed mix. For example, Persians are affectionate and love sitting on your lap. Siamese cats communicate with their “meow” and body language.  Another breed that is popular is the ragdoll. Their most adorable trait is that it goes limp when it is picked up. They’re considered to be the most affectionate, gentle, and huggable cat you could get.

Let me share a little bit about Rowdy. He was described by the cat rescue as a little “love bug” who loves to snuggle as fiercely as he loves to play. He’s a jumper and loves to flip his body in the air when he plays. He has dog-like characteristics like fetching and chasing toys. Orphaned as a young kitten, he was bottle fed and fostered by a family who had two young boys.

Were his cute yet unusual personality traits due to his early nurturing? Every morning I hear him in the litter box scratching the side for about five minutes. He knows he is supposed to scratch but he doesn’t know why he is scratching. He hops out leaving his poop uncovered. Fortunately for him, Solly, his adopted brother hops in and covers it for him. He didn’t have a mommy cat to teach him Litter Box Basics 101. He is an explorer and I often find him on high shelves sharing space with many breakable items. My attempts to get him before he knocked items off the shelf were met with a limp cat. My guess is that he is part Ragdoll. He truly is the most huggable cat I’ve ever had.

There is also some evidence that suggests that coat color is linked genetically to temperament and traits. This was extremely interesting to me since Rowdy is a Tuxedo cat. This isn’t a breed but a color pattern that is found in almost all types of domestic cats. Tuxedos have an outgoing personality; they’re relaxed and have dog-like in personality traits (that fits him perfectly)

Another popular cat is the Ginger Tabby. This cat is not a breed either but a color coat pattern. They are also called orange tables. They are usually easy going and friendly, they like to be stroked and petted but dislike being held and cuddled. This fits my older cat, Solomon, perfectly. He is my sensitive, shy gentleman. He loves to lie beside me but hates it when I try to pick him up to hold him. At first, I thought Solomon was having problems bonding with me because of trust issues. I adopted him after his second rehoming experience. I expected him to become more huggable after a period of adjustment. Recognizing that it was probably due to his nature rather than a bonding failure helped me relax and enjoy this handsome companion cat without putting unrealistic expectations on him.

Learning more about our cats helps us appreciate their unique personalities and character traits. ©LVPSM 2017


Pet Trends – 2017

Good News – according to a recent survey* pet ownership is up; 68 percent of American households now have a pet. There are 84.6 million households that have a pet compared to2015 when there were 79.7 million pet-owning households.

The demographic group called Mellennial/Gen Y is responsible for this increase. This group defined roughly as those born between 1980 and 2000 have exceeded prior numbers of pet ownership – they now account for 35 percent of all pet owners. Rather than becoming homeowners, car owners or parents they are choosing to adopt or buy pets. Their “fur babies” offer companionship and commitment during an unstable period when they are struggling to start their careers, find affordable housing, perhaps pay off school loans, and establish financial security. They are most likely the first generation to grow up thinking of pets more like family than animals. Consequently they prepare for pet parenting the same way as people prepare for their first child; they read pet parenting books and do the research.  They are taking pet parenting to a new level –maybe they should be known as Generation Pet!

* American Pet Products Association (APPA) – 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey


Animal Protection Laws

In early January the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) announced the publication of the 2016 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report, The eleventh edition of the Animal Protection Laws compendium contains the general animal protection and related statutes for all of the states, principal districts and territories of the United States of America, and for all of Canada.

The report highlights the top, middle, and bottom tiers of jurisdictions and notes the “Best Five” and “Worst Five” states overall. Nevada is #24 – in the middle tier!

Animal Protection Laws of Nevada:

For more information about the report or the American Legal Defense Fund:


Potbellied Pigs

October 2016 – The City Council of Las Vegas approved changes for potbellied pigs. The size restrictions were eliminated and the number of potbellied pigs allowed was increased. Depending on the size of the lot more than one pig is allowed as follows:

  • Less than 13,200 square feet: One potbellied pig allowed.
  • 13,200 to 20,000 square feet: Two potbellied pigs allowed.
  • 20,000 square feet and up: Three potbellied pigs allowed.

Pigs are social animals and thrive in pairs or herds – the above changes will make it possible to place paired and bonded pigs into permanent homes.  As potbellied pigs continue to grow in popularity it is important for prospective pet pig parents to be aware of the major commitment a pig represents.

Their life span is approximately 12 to 20 years. Contrary to claims, however, of tiny teacup piglets weighing less than 20 lbs, most mature potbellied pig will weigh from 60 to 200 lbs or more. Pigs make wonderful pets but only for the right owner. Do your research. If you decide that a pig is right for you, check our local rescues for a pig or pigs in need of a permanent home.


Keeping your dog warm and safe this winter!

dog-in-sweaterBrr!  Baby, it’s cold outside! Even in Las Vegas we can experience some very cold weather especially at night. Before going outside most people check the weather and dress accordingly. Dogs are unable to check the weather. Yes, they have fur coats but dogs that are outdoors for any length of time need extra protection against the cold. The temperature can feel worse than what the thermometer reads – check the temperature and the wind chill factor to determine what your dog needs to stay warm this winter.

Dogs use up more calories in the winter trying to stay warm. Feed him a little more in the winter if he spends a lot of time outside. Caution: Indoor pets conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter. They may also exercise less when they go outside so you might need to reduce the amount of food you give them to avoid weight gain.

Wearing a sweater for shorthaired, senior or frail dogs will help keep them warm when they go outside. However, dogs lose most of their body heat through their paw pads, ears and through respiration so they are still vulnerable to the cold even when wearing a sweater. Cold weather can be especially difficult for young puppies, senior pets and those with certain health issues like arthritis or diabetes. Take extra precaution to protect them from getting too cold.

Watch for signs that your pet is uncomfortably cold. Shivering is often the one we notice first since it is the primary way dogs use to produce heat. Others include whining, anxiety, slowing down or stopping, and looking for a warm place to burrow.

Snuggle with your pet, stay warm and safe! We’ll be complaining about the heat soon enough!

Note: If you have an outdoor-only pet, please consider bringing them indoors when our temperatures drop – if that is not possible make sure they have insulated shelter, warm bedding, water, and extra food. It takes more energy to stay warm when it’s cold and outdoor pets eat more during the winter.


















Pets and Winter Hazards!

cats-winterCats & Cars:  The warmth of a car’s motor is tempting to outdoor animals, especially cats. Tap your car’s hood a few times and wait a few minutes before starting your car. This extra precaution may save the life of a cat or a litter of kittens!

The danger of Antifreeze – Unfortunately though it may taste delicious to your cat or dog it is extremely dangerous to pets. It contains ethylene glycol, an ingredient that can be fatal to dogs and cats if not treated immediately. According to the Pet Poison Helpline the three stages of antifreeze poisoning in dogs and cats:

  • Stage 1: This occurs within 30 minutes to 12 hours, and looks similar to alcohol poisoning. Signs of walking drunk, drooling/hypersalivating, vomiting, seizuring, vomiting, and excessive thirst and urination are seen.
  • Stage 2: This occurs 12-24 hours after a dog or cat has gotten into antifreeze, and signs of “alcohol” poisoning appear to resolve, when underlying severe internal damage is still occurring. Signs of drunkenness seem to improve, but signs of an elevated heart rate, increase breathing effort, and dehydration may start to develop.
  • Stage 3: In cats, this stage occurs 12-24 hours after getting into antifreeze. In dogs, this stage occurs 36-72 hours after getting into antifreeze. During this stage, severe kidney failure is developing secondary to calcium crystals forming in the kidneys. Severe lethargy, coma, depression, vomiting, seizures, drooling, and inappetance may be seen.