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.


Common Human Medications and Pet Safety

Keeping the holidays safe for our pets – Common Human Medications and Pet Safety


The holiday season brings images of presents, Santa, beautiful decorations, parties and festivities. Yet it is also the season for colds, viral and bacterial infections, and the “flu”.  Often the first option is taking over-the-counter medicine for symptom relief. While we are aware of the typical holiday hazards for our pets and have taken extra precaution to keep our pets safe, often we not aware of the hazards for our pets due to OTC and prescription drugs. The Pet Poison Helpline states that “Nearly 50% of all calls received by Pet Poison Helpline involve human medications – both over-the-counter and prescription”.

Some of the common human medications that receive the most calls at the Animal Poison Control Center and the Pet Poison Helpline:

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory bills) A few common ones are ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).  This group tops the list and can cause serious stomach and intestinal ulcers and possible kidney failure in cats, dogs, birds and other small mammals.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a popular pain medication and though it is safe for humans, even children, it is very harmful to pets.
  • Antidepressants such as Efexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lexapro.
  • Benzodiazepines and sleep aids such as Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, and Lunesta.
  • Cholesterol medicines such as Lipitor, Zocor, or Crestor.
  • Decongestants such as Phenylephrine and Pseudoephedrine

A few tips for reducing the risk of your pet accidentally ingesting human medicines:

Many “cold and flu” products are a combination of NSAIDs and decongestants. It is important to check labels for the ingredient listing. It is also important to keep the package so you have the ingredient list available in case of an emergency.

If you carry cough drops, gum, or medicines in your purse make sure it is out of your pet’s reach. Holiday entertaining and additional guests in your home increase the likelihood that your pet could snoop in a purse and find harmful pills. Ask your guests to “guard” their purses and explain the reason why.

Never leave your pills anywhere a pet can reach them. Some dogs can chew through a pill bottle or a 7-day pill box to get to the “treat”.

Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your pet ingested any medicine that wasn’t prescribed to them.

For more information and a complete listing hazardous human medications see the following:




English Cocker Spaniel dog and cat lie together. looking at cameAre you getting a new pet?  Have you considered adopting an older dog or cat? I know – who can resist the antics of a rambunctious kitten or puppy? They’re fun and adorable – they bring out maternal and paternal instincts in us. They’re so cute and cuddly. They’re so much fun to play with. We imagine the fun we’ll have with them as they grow and become our best friends. Stop though and consider a few things:

Puppies & kittens can be “destructive” as they go through the baby and adolescent stages of development.  Puppies chew on everything in sight – slippers, table legs; kittens can shred furniture and carpeting. They love to dig in plants or overturn your potted plants.  You definitely need to “puppy or kitten” proof your home before getting one.

Puppies & kittens have lots of energy. They require a lot of time and energy to cleaning up after them, keeping them safe and to helping them to use up their excess energy constructively.

Still unsure?  Here are a few more considerations:

  • Puppies and kittens change as they age so you don’t always know what they’ll look like when they’re full grown. With an older dog or cat you know their size and physical characteristics. You have a better idea of their temperament and health.
  • Older pets make great companions especially for older people or less active people who perhaps do not have the energy to keep up with an active kitten or puppy.
  • Older pets do not require as much supervision so they can left along for longer periods of time making them excellent pets of choice for a busy person.
  • Older pets are trainable and some studies indicate that older pets have a longer attention span and benefit from training more than younger pets.
  • Adopt a pet – save a life!  This is especially true when you adopt an older pet. Senior shelter pets have very poor odds of being adopted.  Older pets seem to recognize that you giving them a second chance and often show their appreciation by forming an instant and close bond with their new owners.

Adopt a senior pet – you truly are saving a life!

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog. ~ Sydney Jeanne Seward

More information:


Holiday Pet Safety

THE HOLIDAYSthe most wonderful time of the year! It’s the season that entices us with aromas and fragrances and tantalizes our taste buds. It is a time for joy, happiness and merriment. For our pets, though, there are some potential hazards to their health and safety. It is challenging to keep our furry family members safe during the holiday season.


Deck the Halls with boughs of holly – we enjoy making our homes festive by using fresh greens and flowering plants. Unfortunately many of the more popular holiday plants such as poinsettias, mistletoe, holly and amaryllis are either irritating or toxic to cats and dogs. A safer holiday plant is the Christmas cactus which is non toxic to cats and dogs.

And, of course, we can’t forget the traditional Christmas tree:
O Christmas Tree…..How lovely are your branches……. Yes, lovely to look at but pine needles are mildly toxic and can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach. They are not easily digested and can cause GI problems and vomiting. More toxic, however, is the standing water in the tree stand. It contains fertilizers and probably harbors mold and bacteria – a few sips can cause your pet to become extremely sick. Keep the tree stand covered so your pets can’t drink the tree water.

Remember that eating or ingesting any plant material can cause vomiting and other reactions in your pets even if it not considered toxic.


  • Tinsel is so pretty at night when the lights are turned on but if ingested by pets can cause blockages in their intestinal tract. Tinsel, lights and breakable ornaments should not be placed on the lower branches of Christmas trees.
  • Burning candles are beautiful and add ambiance to our holiday atmosphere but should be placed well out of reach of pets such as on a high shelf or mantel. Instead of real candles consider using reusable flameless candles.
  • Snow globes and bubble lights may contain poison chemicals such as antifreeze.
  • Wrapping items such as string, ribbon, yarn can cause serious problems if swallowed by pets.


For many people, chocolate is an important “food” for the holidays. It is, however, toxic to dogs and cats. Grapes and raisins, and currants can result in kidney failure in dogs. The artificial sweetener, xylitol, is present in some gums, breath mints, candy, and other human food and is very toxic to dogs. Turkey and turkey skin, and table scraps can be especially difficult for pets to digest and may cause pancreatitis.

It is important to put food preparation items and leftover food away immediately – dogs have a keen sense of smell; the smells coming from leftovers and the trash can are tempting to our pets. Foil, plastic wrap, bags can cause choking or intestinal obstruction if ingested by our pets. Turkey carcasses make excellent soup broth but the bones can splinter and puncture their digestive tract.

Keep the holidays safe for your furry family and friends by being careful of potential problems and hazards.

Wishing you a joyful and safe holiday season!

Two excellent resources:


Survey: Pet Owners and the Human-Animal Bond

Survey: Pet Owners and the Human-Animal Bond


The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HARBI) supports scientific research to prove what many of us believe to be true – humans and pets share a special, mutually beneficial connection or bond.

So why is this new study news worthy – it is the first survey of its kind to explore the connection for pet owners’ knowledge about the health benefits of the human-animal bond impacts pet care and welfare. The results of this survey released by The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) shows that knowledge that pets improve our health boosts animal welfare.

The study is available at

A summary of a few findings are:

The majority of pet owners are aware of the health benefits of pets. They also have personally experienced those benefits.

The more pet owners learn about scientific research on the benefits of the human-animal bond, the more likely they are to take actions to improve pet health.

“Scientific research shows that pets are good for our health, improving heart health, relieving stress and positively impacting conditions from autism to PTSD,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “Now, for the first time, we have data to show that it’s a two-way street – when we know how good pets are for us, we are more likely to take better care of them!”

In many ways all of us share in the good news of this survey. As pet lovers we often share our personal stories about how much we love our pets and how much they’ve helped us. This sharing does make a difference.

Find out more about the work of HABRI –


Cool Treats For Your Dog

We’re halfway through the 2nd hottest month in Las Vegas with an average temperature of 103. Of course, July outshines August with an average temperature of 106. It’s still HOT and keeping our pets hydrated is still a challenge.

Here are a few ideas for adding some cool treats for your dog.

Watermelon TreatsWatermelon Dog Treats are very easy to make.

2 Cups seedless Watermelon
1 Cup Coconut Water*
Optional: you can add 1/4 cup honey or blackstrap molasses

Blend the ingredients together to make a liquid. Pour the liquid into some ice cube trays and freeze. Note: if you use the silicone bone or paw print molds you must use a cookie tray or something solid to be able to pour the liquid into the molds and then to place in the freezer. Otherwise, you’ll have a sticky mess on your counter, floor or freezer.

*Coconut water is naturally refreshing and contains easily digested carbohydrates and electrolytes.

Ice Cream Recipe

1 Cup ripe bananas
8 ounces yogurt
1/3 Cup peanut butter**

Blend ingredients together. Pour mixture into ice cube trays, plastic or paper cups, or freezer molds and place into freezer.

**Peanut butter – it is best to use unsalted and unsweetened AND check the label to make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol.  Xylitol is toxic to dogs.

These treats are safe for humans also. Personally I like the watermelon treats. I don’t like coconut water alone but combined with the watermelon it is tasty and refreshing.

The ingredients in these recipes are considered safe for dogs. Remember though that these are treats and need to be offered carefully. It is always best to add just one or two new items at a time in case your dog has an adverse reaction to them. If your dog has any medical condition please check with your veterinarian about offering these frozen treats to them.

Stay cool with these cool frozen treats!


Summer Safety Tips – Keeping our Pets Hydrated

Pet Hydration 1 (1)Good news! August is the halfway mark to the end of summer and cooler weather is coming! However, keeping our pets hydrated is still an important topic for pet parents.  

How much water do our pets need?

Did you know that your cat or dog is made up of 80% water? (Humans are made up of 65% water) This is why people and pets need water to properly maintain all body functions. Generally cats or dogs need approximately ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound daily depending on diet (canned food contains more water), age, activity level and time of year.

Generally if dogs are supplied with fresh clean water they will drink the amount their body requires.  Keeping cats hydrated is a little more challenging – they get most of their water intake from their food and dry food, for example, only contains about 10% moisture. They will need their food supplemented with extra drinking water.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Pets:

  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Depression

Also watch for sudden changes in behavior and in their drinking habits.  If you suspect dehydration perform a skin test: Gently grab a fold of skin on the back of the neck or between the shoulder blades & release. If the skin snaps back into place, your pet should be okay. If the skin slowly returns to place, your pet could be dehydrated. Contact your vet if you suspect dehydration in your pet.


Stay Cool and Hydrated this summer!


Exciting news from the U.S. Postal Service

Exciting news from the U.S. Postal Service – issue date for the Pets Forever stamps is August 2.

To mark the first day of the program the USPS is holding an event on August 2 at the World Pet Association’s Superzoo convention in Las Vegas.

This series celebrates the animals in our lives that bring joy, companionship, and love.

Postage stampsThe stamp art for this series features 20 photographs by Eric Isselée. Included are: puppies, betta fish, iguanas, hamsters, goldfish, parrots, guinea pigs, tortoises, rabbits, kittens, corn snakes, mice, hermit crabs, chinchillas, gerbils, dogs, parakeets, horses, cats and geckos. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamps and was inspired by her lifelong love of animals.

Responsible pet ownership is part of this program – for more information about this series:




Water Intoxication

Dog - Sprayed by HoseWater – what if a dog ingests too much water?

Summers in Las Vegas are HOT! Keeping ourselves and our dogs hydrated in our area is a huge challenge. Drinking an ample amount of water is essential. However, recently we became aware of a condition called “water toxicity” and that it is possible for a dog to ingest more water than they can eliminate. This can cause hyponatremia, a condition where sodium levels drop dangerously low and upset the electrolyte balance. When this happens the body’s water levels rise and cells absorb the excess fluid and swell. This affects all vital organs, brain cells and even the central nervous system.

The good news is that water toxicity in dogs is relatively rare and doesn’t happen often but the bad news is that it develops quickly and is can be life threatening. All dogs are at risk but there are some groups that are more at risk:

Water-loving dogs: It is  most often seen in water-loving canines who would stay in the lake, pond or pool all day if you let them; pets that lap or bite at the water continuously while playing in it; and dogs that swallow water unintentionally as they dive for a ball or other toy.

Dogs with little body fat: muscular dogs with less body fat do not have the extra fat tissue to help absorb the excess fluid and it is absorbed by the body leading to water toxicity.

Dogs with high energy:  They are highly focused and will keep jumping, diving, retrieving the ball or stick until their parents stop them.

Small dogs and puppies: It takes less time for water to accumulate in their bodies they tend to show symptoms quickly.

Awareness – It is important to be aware that water toxicity is a potential danger to your dog. Know the symptoms and if your dog has been in or around water and exhibits some of the symptoms it is important to seek veterinarian care immediately. Treatment usually includes IV delivery of electrolytes, diuretics and drugs to reduce brain swelling.

Symptoms: Lethargy, lack of coordination, bloating; glazed eyes, vomiting, pale gums, nausea, dilated pupils, excessive drooling and more advanced symptoms such as difficulty breathing, collapsing, loss of consciousness, and seizures.

A few ideas to help prevent over hydration:

  • Supervise your pet whenever they are in or near water. Be especially careful on days when the water is rough.
  • Take frequent breaks and give them an opportunity to pee to get rid of extra water in the body.
  • Watch your dog closely when they are in a body of water and if their mouth is open a lot they are probably ingesting water.
  • If your dog likes to play in or drink from the hose or sprinkler direct the hose at their body instead of directly into their mouth. Since water from a hose is under pressure they can ingest a great deal of water in a short period of time.

Summer fun and water safety go hand-in-hand. Be aware of both challenges – making sure your pets are hydrated and protecting them from over hydration. Stay cool, have fun AND please stay safe!

For more information: