Picky Pets/Medication

Dogs will eat almost anything it seems, right? Your sock, your homework, or a stray kitchen floor scrap, but when it comes time to take their medicine for whatever ails them, many of us dog parents find ourselves frustrated when trying to get our pets to take it without a fuss. We’ve all experienced seeing the medication left sitting there looking right back at us!
Before we talk about the many options that may be helpful, always check with your pet’s veterinarian in regard to the details about the medications. Some medications may have a coating on them in which case they shouldn’t be cut or crushed. This coating is necessary for timed release of the medication and breaking or crushing it will destroy it. And always follow the medication directions for timing, dosage, etc. It is also imperative before trying any of the methods below to know your pet’s allergies to ingredients and to check labels thoroughly and consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure.
For most pets, the obvious way of ‘hiding’ a medication is through food. If your pet is food-driven it seems easy enough to hide the pill in a small bit of peanut butter, canned cheese, a marshmallow, a small piece of deli meat, cream cheese, or maybe wet dog food if they are used to dry food. If your dog is especially keen on eating the food and pushing the pill to the side, you could try crushing or grinding the pill. For a medication in capsule form, try opening the capsule and mixing the powdered medicine with a wet food such as gravy, cream cheese, peanut butter, etc.
Another idea is to use your dog’s paw. Whether it’s a crushed pill, a liquid, or powdered medication from a capsule, mixing it a small amount of peanut butter, cream cheese and smearing it on your dog’s paws might also work. They will lick it off and ingest the medication in the process.
If your dog is not taking the medication through food, another option that is especially handy and readily available are pill pockets. These work well if your dog is a fast eater or one who wolfs down their food or treats. They come in a variety of flavors and most dogs seem to like them and they’re easy enough to hide the pill in its whole form.
Perhaps your dog’s medication is a liquid. In this case, mixing the liquid medication with a pate or a gravy from wet food often works well. You can also give liquid meds via an oral “syringe.” This is often successfully done by giving it on the side of the mouth against the cheek. This may be something you can do alone but if not, asking a family member to help is a good idea. Not all dogs are overly cooperative. Giving your pet medicine is not only stressful for them, but it can also be stressful for you, too. Having someone hold your dog while you administer the medication will not only be helpful for you but also less stressful for you and your dog.
As always, asking your vet to demonstrate how to get your dog to take medication with less of a fight is always a good idea. He/she can help show you proper techniques and offer expert ideas into helping make this process less stressful.
In my personal experience, every dog is different like we are as people. You may need to try several different ways until you find one that is successful for you and your dog. Be patient and gentle and ask for help if necessary. In the end, we want what’s the very best for our pets and are willing to try to find whatever works to keep them healthy and happy!
Nicole Patrizio, Board Member and Fospice Mom

Tooth Or Consequences

A topic that I have written about before, and will again, is pet dental health. Why is this so important? Because the dental health of your pet can affect so many aspects of their lives, and not only health related.
· Did you know that by age 3, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs are experiencing some form of dental disease? This is not just an “old pet” problem! Bad breath is not normal for pets; it is either a sign of a health issue or a dental disease. Let’s put that myth to bed right now.
· Pets are good at hiding their pain, and if we wait until they tell us there is something wrong by not eating or rubbing at their mouth, the damage will be extensive.
· Pain can lead to behavioral changes in pets. They can become aggressive in general or just when someone is trying to touch the affected part of their body.
· The bacteria that forms in a pet’s mouth and causes dental disease causes plaque and tartar. It also affects their gums.
· Dental disease can lead to many other health issues including (not limited to this list):
o Heart issues
o Liver issues
o Kidney issues
o Complications for dogs with diabetes
· If not treated dental disease can lead to other complications with your pet’s oral health including:
o Abscessed or infected teeth
o Infections that lead to swelling in the face
o Broken teeth
o Rotting, weakening, and wearing away of the jaw bone leading to a broken jaw
As a pet owner myself, I have learned the hard way to take care of my pet’s teeth. And not just my dogs, but cats too. Early detection is key to avoiding all of the consequences noted above. Annual checkups with your vet and listening to their advice on when to get your pet’s teeth cleaned are key. Please take care of your pet so that they don’t become a statistic or have the issues our sweet Nevaeh has. We don’t ever want to see another dog end up where she is (but rest assured she is now being spoiled and taken care of!).

Why Shelter Seniors?

“ADOPT DON’T SHOP” this is a catchphrase that has helped shape the animal community as we know it. The “Adopt Don’t Shop” Campaign has been around for years, promoting the adoption of rescue pets from animal shelters. The campaign was started by an organization based in Los Angeles called “Last Chance For Animals” founded by Chris DeRose in 1984. There had come a time that drawing attention to the wonderful adoptable pets that have found themselves in a shelter was much needed in order to make a change. Since then, in a bill sponsored by State Senator Bob Hackett, the Shelter Dog was named the official state dog of Ohio! The bill was backed by nearly 100 co-sponsors and went into effect in March 2019. All this information is encouraging for animal lovers and those that believe that the animals that end up in shelters deserve a second chance. But then you have the fact of the adoption rate of senior pets. The sad reality is that senior dogs are one of the most at risk groups in shelters as they are usually the last to be adopted, spending up to 4 times longer than a younger dog. With a 25% adoption rate, compared to the 60% adoption rate of younger dogs and puppies.
The founder of Laber of Love Pet Rescue (Nicole Laber) recognized the need for senior dogs and cats while volunteering at her local shelter. It was then she had the opportunity to assist in fostering the less adoptable senior pets in order to get them out of the shelter for the remainder of their lives. After time and finding several like-minded, passionate people Laber of Love Pet Rescue was established in August of 2019. Laber of Love Pet Rescue is a Fospice Rescue that pulls terminally ill or senior pets from shelters and places them in a home for the remainder of their lives. The board and all those involved with Laber of Love Pet Rescue find themselves very fortunate to have the opportunity to help these senior or terminally ill pets find their way out of the shelter and into their forever loving home.
Chastity Crowder, Fospice Mom and Board President

Keeping Our Pets At A Healthy Weight

Walter joined Laber of Love weighing in at 26 pounds, extremely overweight. We were fortunate that given his age and weight that his blood work didn’t show any issues. However, we were not comfortable putting him under anesthesia at that weight for his dental so the procedure had to be postponed for a few months. We are very thankful that his amazing fospice parents were able to put him on a diet and get some weight off and he was able to have the dental done a couple of weeks ago.
We all want to spoil our pets and give them all the food and treats they want. We just want them to be happy, right? But, like Walter, this leaves our pets open to being extremely overweight and at higher risk of many health issues. Heart related problems, arthritis, diabetes – there are so many health related problems whose risks are raised for obese pets. Diet and exercise are extremely important in mitigating those risks. The attached article gives some great information on the risks of an overweight pet, how to maintain a healthy weight, and how to know what a healthy weight is for your pet. Please take a moment to read so we can all keep our pets happy, and healthy, and allow them to live long lives as our best friends!
Nicole Laber, Fospice Mom and Board Treasurer

Should Pets Be Gifts?

If you are reading this blog there is a good chance that you think pets are an important part of life. And who doesn’t want to share that joy with someone else? We surround ourselves with our loving pets, they make our days happier and ease the stress of the not-so-good days. We reap the benefits of being an animal parent and couldn’t imagine life without our beloved pets by our side. Now someone you love is wanting a pet and thinks they are ready. They have asked you to keep an eye out for just the right pet and then you find the perfect fit for your loved one. Why not surprise them and give them the pet of their dreams as a gift?!
You love pets. And you love the person looking for a new family member. How could this go wrong?
There are several things to consider when wanting to gift a pet. Below is a link to an article that lays out some of the key points to consider when wanting to give someone a pet. Please take time to read or even share the article with someone that is considering giving a pet as a gift.
With the holidays around the corner, we want to make our family and friends feel loved by giving them the gifts that they ask for and to make the holidays that more special. But a pet is so much more than an item that you think you might want. An animal, not the sweater that goes out of style next year and becomes the new ugly Christmas sweater next year. They are not the newest gadget that will make your life easier in 4 easy steps. Or the answer to why getting healthy this year is going to work.
Pets are a lifetime commitment. The average lifespan of a dog is 10 to 13 years. Cats can live up to 16 years old or even longer. Even goldfish have a life span of 10-15 years if housed correctly! So, getting caught up in holiday giving can affect the receiver for many years to come. Even worse, could result in having to rehome the animal or surrender to it a shelter.
Giving the pet vet care in order for it to live a long healthy life can be more than most new pet owner bargain or budget for. The average cost of owning a dog is $480 on the low end to the possibility of $3,470 per year on the high end. According to the ASPCA you can plan on spending around $634 annually on your cat. Of course, the goldfish is a bit more cost-effective than expecting someone else to maintain the health of their pet. For goldfish, you are looking at around $70 to set up and maintain a goldfish’s home.
If you are considering giving a pet as a gift, please make sure the recipient has a plan in place to receive such a valuable gift. Also plan on being a part of the plan because you have done the research and taken everything into consideration before making this big decision.
With the holidays around the corner, we want to make our family and friends feel loved by giving them the gifts they ask for and making the holidays more special. But a pet is so much more than an item that you think you might want. An animal, not the sweater that goes out of style next year and becomes the new ugly Christmas sweater next year. They are not the newest gadget that will make your life easier in 4 easy steps. Or the answer to why getting healthy this year is going to work.
Happy Holidays and stay safe,
Chastity Crowder, Fospice Mom and Board President

Cancer In Dogs And Cats

Finding a lump or a bump on your pet can be scary.  I know it is for me.  As an owner of many older dogs, I’ve definitely seen my share of lumps and bumps!  Many of them turn out to be malignant and harmless, but some are not.  So how do you know the difference?  For me that is an easy answer – I ask the Vet!  I trust them to tell me what I need to worry about and what I don’t.  Sweet little Heaven has several lumps, but thankfully they are cysts that form in oil glands, sebaceous cysts, and are completely harmless.  On the other hand, Nevaeh has the beginning of a mass in her mammary chain.  This one is concerning because of the location.  It’s not necessarily cancer, but we will definitely be keeping an eye on it and so is the Vet.  We rely on them to tell us what to do for diagnosis and when the best time to do it.  That is the best advice I can give you if you feel anything talk to your Vet.

We have been through terminal cancer diagnoses, they can be devastating for us as the owner.  But knowing that the end is near can be a gift as well.  It gives us time to share special moments with our pets.  To give them some extra special spoiling and us some extra special memories to keep after they have left us.
We have also been through cancer diagnoses that are treatable; thankfully many are today.  The earlier these are found, the better the outcome for the pets.  The key is to make sure you know your pets and find new lumps and bumps early.  Seek treatment from a trusted Vet; follow their recommendations and get your pet the care he or she needs early.  It really can make all the difference!
For more information on cancer in pets, check out this article: https://www.ahofstatesville.com/services/dogs/dog-cancer
Nicole Laber, Fospice Mom and Board Treasurer

Senior Companionship 4 Seniors

Laber of Love Pet Rescue is a fospice care organization.  Our mission is to place experienced pets in loving homes for the remainder of their lives. We also realize that the companionship goes both ways offering unconditional love thus posing the question “Who rescued who?”. Attached is an article that refers to the benefits of senior adults and pet ownership.  As pet lovers, none of us can argue any of the points of the benefits of pet ownership, *Healthy behavior habits. *Improves activity. *A sense of purpose. *Increases interaction. *Relieves stress. *Companionship. The alternative to the above list is the considerations that a senior must face in order to continue to be a pet owner during this season of life. *Experienced pet owner. *Choosing the right pet. *Financial stability. In addition, the article adds that getting an older pet would be a good choice.  Laber of Love Pet Rescue could be a valuable asset when it comes to deciding whether or not a pet is an option during a senior’s years. Going back to the list of concerns it suggests that being an experienced pet owner is helpful.  While some experience is very useful,  Laber of Love has an amazing support system put in place to assist with the basic needs of a pet owner from having a trainer available to reach out to when a questionable behavior might arise. And finding the right pet is just as important to Laber of Love as it should be an honest concern for the new owner. Laber of Love volunteers will be looking for just the right fit in order to make a successful match. Finally, the financial burden that a senior might feel when wanting to take the best care of their new companion. This is where the Laber of Love family of supporters has stepped up in order for our mission to be complete. Laber of Love Pet Rescue is committed to providing the comfort care our fospice pets deserve for the remainder of their lives. We are even there if Vet visits are a problem to manage.  Laber of Love Pet Rescue is so grateful for all the love and support that is sent our way for fospice rescue! We want to continue to pay it forward by sharing the love in the best way possible, saving lives. If you are interested in knowing about ways to help or how our fospice program works check out the fospice section of our website @ https://www.laberoflovepetrescue.com/#fospice

Additional info can be found @ https://www.homeinstead.com/location/347/news-and-media/benefits-of-companion-animals-for-elderly/

Chastity Crowder, Fospice Mom and Board President


Research Before Getting A Dog

This may be a long post so please stay with me here.  I want to talk to you today about adding a new dog to your family.  When it’s time to add a new family member, and getting a dog is adding a new family member, you are committing to keeping that dog for its entire life.  Please, first think about that.   We’ll talk about breed and size in a minute, but age is a consideration too when getting a new dog.  If you are adopting a puppy, that could be 15-18 years depending on the breed.  Are you ready for that commitment?  If not, is an older dog right for you?   Puppies require quite a bit more time and training as they need their owner to teach them almost everything.  Older dogs generally still require some training and patience as they enter a new home, but it’s usually quite a bit less than a puppy.

Second, think about where and how you live.  The breed, size, and temperament of the dog you adopt should be compatible with your living situation and your personality.  Apartments are great for some dog breeds that don’t need a ton of exercise, but some dog breeds need a home with a large fenced-in yard to get in some playtime.  Do some research to find the right breed/mix for your situation.  There are lots of websites out there that can tell you all about the breeds and what each needs and the adoption counselors whom you are going to adopt your dog from are great resources to help as well.  Not only can they tell you about breeds, but they can tell you about each specific dog too.  Listen to them.

Third, don’t forget your family.  Make sure you pick a dog that is good for your family situation now and for the future.  Do you have kids now or plan to?  Do you have other dogs or cats or plan on adding more?  Do you have farm animals?  Do you want a dog that will travel with you?  Plan for now and for the next 10 years.

And finally, make sure you have a plan and finances for all the things that your new dog will need.  Some breeds are prone to health concerns that will require additional Vet care, but all dogs will need a minimum of annual check-ups and vaccines.  Food, supplements, toys, and training should not be forgotten either.  Grooming is also very important to consider.  Be sure to know what grooming needs your new dog will have.  Will you need to brush/bathe the dog at home frequently?  With the dog need to see a professional groomer regularly?

Please take some time to think about all of this before bringing a new dog into your family, and have a discussion about it with the entire family.  This is an important decision that should be given thought and consideration.  Too many homeless dogs are in Shelters because their families didn’t take the time and understand what they were bringing home.  Shelters and Rescues are overwhelmed.   Take time to be a part of the solution, not the problem.   Pick a dog that fits your home and lifestyle, not just because it is “cute” or you feel sorry for it.

For more information, please take a look at the following: https://www.happyhounduniversity.com/single-post/essential-factors-to-consider-when-adopting-a-dog

Nicole Laber, Fospice Mom and Board Treasurer

Why Canine Influenza Vaccine

As of recent more and more dog boarders are starting to request that dogs have their canine influenza vaccine, but exactly why? Well, canine influenza, or CI, is a highly contagious viral infection, which is mainly seen in dogs. CI is transmitted through droplets from coughing, barking, and sneezing. CI can also be spread indirectly through shared feeding or drinking bowls, collars, or leashes. Because of CI’s fast and invisible transmission between dogs, this infection is easily contracted and shared between pets, making the vaccine highly suggested by vets and other pet health professionals. But what does the Canine Influenza vaccine do? Similar to human vaccines, the CI vaccine is not going to stop your dog from ever contracting CI, but make the symptoms and severity of the illness less harmful and long-lasting. This allows you if in serious condition, to check in with a vet to ensure your pet’s health and that they aren’t in clinical condition. And this doesn’t just stop with dogs. CI can spread to cats too, causing respiratory complications, fever, and eating inconsistencies. Because of this, CI vaccines for both your canine and feline friends are often recommended or required for most boarding shelters. As always, be sure to check with your Vet for specific recommendations for your pets. For more information, visit the AVMA website: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/canine-influenza

Clara Brown, Junior Board Member

Why Foster/Fospice Care

June is National Foster a Pet Month and local shelters, and rescues are always looking for fosters. According to the ASPCA, “Approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year.” Fostering a pet is not only providing a loving and caring home but can also save a pet’s life. “Data tells us that if we could encourage 2% more of the 85 million pet-owning households to foster just one pet a year, we can eliminate preventable euthanasia and save the lives of the 800,000 shelter animals at risk of euthanization.” Says Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Love.
One of the easiest ways to be part of Foster a Pet Month is by supporting your local animal shelter or rescue. Whether you choose to volunteer your time, donate financially, or foster a pet in your home you can make a difference! Traditional fostering is generally short-term while preparing the animal for its forever home. This provides the animal a peaceful place to live outside of many already overcrowded shelters. You may be the first to teach it basic manners, commands, and socialization. You may also be the first to provide that animal with unconditional love and care and doesn’t every pet deserve that?
In addition to traditional foster care, there are also rescues that focus their efforts on fospice care. Fospice care is end-of-life care for shelter pets in loving and caring foster homes. These pets are often senior in age and may also have medical issues. Fospice care is given to these pets for the remainder of their lives. It allows them to live in loving homes while being cared for physically and emotionally with the assurance they pass with dignity and comfort which they are so deserving of. Being a fospice mom myself, I was fortunate to care for and love a senior dog with kidney disease for 4 short months a year ago and it was an experience that has never left my heart. I felt humbled to be able to provide him with what he was in need of and to let go when it was time, knowing he had been cared for and loved. I currently have another senior dog in my home and it brings me joy to know she’s happy and loved (and spoiled!).
These are two very different types of fostering and while fospice care may not be for you, maybe traditional foster care is or vice versa. What we know for sure is there are thousands of pets in need of the love, care, and safety of a foster home and there are families out there looking to provide that.
If fostering a pet is something that calls to your heart please reach out to your local animal shelter or rescue.
Nicole Patrizio, Board Member and Fospice Mom