Podcast: Considering Pet Safety by Dr Patrick Mahaney

Today’s podcast topic is pet safety, which can cover a multitude of areas. Safety in the home, safety interacting with other people and dogs, safety in different environments.

The questions Dr Patrick Mahaney and I tackle are:

  1. Recently a friend told me that it was OK to leave his dog in the car if it was in the shade with the windows down a crack. Can you give us some facts on internal/external temperatures of a car so show that’s just not going to help
  2. Can you talk about the Yellow Dog Project? It’s big out in Colorado
  3. Any suggestions on important first aid type items to keep on hand for your pets? [link mentioned http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pet_first_aid_kit.html] Can you do the Heimlich Maneuver on your dog?
  4. Where’s an official place to get alerted about pet food recalls? Often the press releases are put out late Friday afternoon and I might miss an important one (fda site) [link mentioned www.thetruthaboutpetfood.com]
  5. I have big dogs so don’t crate them in the car. What do you suggest for car safety while traveling? [link mentioned


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Guest Post: dog walking safety by Dr Rex Riggs

Yea it is summer!  Wow, was that the worse winter you can remember?  Well, now we all are doing as much as possible outside as we can, and that includes doing a lot of those things with our dogs. Taking a walk with a dog is one of the best therapies I know to wind down after a hard day at work. The serene evening hours, to me, is the best time to take a stroll. But….be aware, danger may be right around the corner.

Many of us live in areas that have no sidewalks, so we often use the streets. I am an avid cyclist, so I know all too well, of the dangers on the road. People really don’t pay that much attention while they are driving. You need to be visible, even in daylight and almost to the obnoxious extreme, to make sure people know you are there. I have 2 lights in the front, two in the back on my bike and I dress head to toe in dayglow green cycling gear (sorry for the mental image!). You can definitely see me!

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Podcast: your questions on pet dental health with Dr Patrick Mahaney

This month, we are talking pet dentals. It’s Pet Dental Health Month according to the AVMA so it’s as good a time as any to talk about teeth and pets and why keeping teeth healthy is good for your pet’s overall health.

In our podcast, Dr Patrick and I address the following questions:

What is the current status of dog and cat dental health - good, bad, or plain ugly?

Why is brushing your pet's teeth so important? How can you make it a positive and simple daily task if you're just beginning to brush their teeth?

What are some examples of instances when it might be best to forgo dental care?

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December is Winter Danger Month at Embrace Pet Insurance

As we get more news of winter storms causing havoc across the US (even in usually wonderfully warm Phoenix of all places!), we tackle the topic of winter dangers around this time of year. Not just the colder weather but also the holiday decorations, rich food, and overall busy-ness that can cause anxiety in our pets.

I would like to highlight some handy articles we have in The Water Bowl, the Embrace informational website on pet health and care:

Holiday Fare You Should NOT Feed Your Pet

Ten Doggy Exercise Tips for Avoiding the Winter Bulge

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One Dog's Passing Highlights the Benefits of Therapy Dogs in Schools

As part of our focus on working dogs and cats this month, I was reminded yesterday how far reaching the benefits of therapy dogs are when the new that Brutus, our kids' school principal's boxer, passed away over the weekend. Brutus was more than a pet, he was a therapy dog who helped with many of the children at that school.

In an excerpt from our principal's letter to parents:

It is with a very heavy heart that I write to inform you all that our dog, Brutus, passed away over the weekend.  This was unexpected and, as you can imagine, has been heartbreaking for my family.  I am so grateful that over the past 3 years, Brutus also became part of the Gurney family. However, we always knew that the challenge of adding Brutus to our Gurney family would be that at some point we’d have to inform students of his passing. My hope was to have his younger brother, Woody (currently 18 months old), completely trained and credentialed through Therapy Dog International by the end of this school year so that we could phase Brutus out as he aged.  Unfortunately, Brutus left us much earlier than ever expected.

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Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney and Laura Bennett talk about the wonder of working dogs and cats

Today's podcast is on working dogs and cats. There are many different kinds of ways dogs work in society such as dogs that sniff out drugs, bombs, fruit and other banned substances, cadaver dogs, seizure or blood-sugar alert dogs, mold-sniffing dogs, and even cancer-sniffing dogs. In addition, there are therapy dogs and cats. And of course, actual dogs and cats that work on the farm or in the field hunting or dragging a sled in the Iditarod.

Our podcast discusses the following questions about working dogs and cats:

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October is Working Dogs and Cats Month at Embrace Pet Insurance

This month, we are celebrating working dogs and cats of all types at Embrace Pet Insurance.

And before you ask, yes, there are cats that do "work". Apart from cleaning up the rodents on the premises (which your cat may or may not have a talent for), some cats are quite good at being therapy cats, whether in a hospital, nursing home, or in your own home.

Having said that, dogs pull a lot of weight when it comes to work. There are police dogs that work actively in the field plus sniff out drugs, bombs, fruit and other banned substances, and of course, criminals. There are cadaver dogs, seizure or blood-sugar alert dogs, mold-sniffing dogs, and even cancer-sniffing dogs? And of course, dogs and cats that work on the farm or in the field hunting or dragging a sled in the Iditarod.

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Guest Post: a veterinary perspective of disaster preparedness

Do you know how your local authorities would help your pets in times of a disaster? Dr Riggs talks about the PETS Act and how you can take some minimal steps to be prepared should something happen in your area.

It seems we now live in a world of the ever present disasters. (I always wonder, though. if the world has really gotten worse or is it that now we have a million cable news channels, reporting everything, as it happens…..But I digress.) Today, there are currently 5,000 fire fighters fighting some 10 huge wildfires in California. The California fires have burned twice as much acres over last year and the Santa Anna winds, which annually, fan these fires and spreads them, have not hit this year.

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Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney on Pet Disaster Preparedness

Today’s topic is disaster preparedness for pets, something to think about as fires rage, hurricanes threaten, and earthquakes lurk.

Our monthly podcast starts with Dr Patrick Mahaney talking about disasters he has had to face in his practice followed by these questions:

  1. Adrienne: could you touch on some of the common disasters encountered in regional areas of the country and perhaps some uncommon ones that people may not think of or are aware of?
  2. Kate: I'm guessing we should have a plan in place in case of disaster for our pets... what would that plan look like?
  3. Adrienne (who has a volunteer search and rescue dog): could you outline the necessary items to be included in a disaster preparedness kit: 
    • What things you will need to care for your pet in the event of a disaster or if you
      would need to evacuate (floods, fires, hurricanes, etc.) 
    • What types of contact information and identification for the pet do you need in case
      you should become separated. 
    • Also what the length of time the kit should cover and how often it should be
  4. Katie: During Sandy, those who didn't evacuate were forced to leave their pets behind for days, some a week or more, until the barrier island reopened. While we all know having evacuated sooner could have avoided the issue, are there any suggestions on what to do in that event to
    help keep your pet safe until you can return?

 Click on the link below for the podcast.

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August is Disaster Preparedness Month at Embrace Pet Insurance

There are some disasters you can prepare for such as hurricanes, where you may have days to get ready, forest fires where you might have a few hours to prepare, and tornadoes, that might afford 20 minutes or so of warning. And there are some that come totally unannounced such as earthquakes or a house fire. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about all of this.

Either way, are you prepared to deal with a disaster? And just as important, is your pet prepared?

We're going to focus on how to get prepared and what you need in the event of a disaster. Let's hope we never have to use this information, but just like pet insurance, it will be there when you need it the most.

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