5 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

You might be thinking about a special person in your life this month, but February is also a time to think your pets! In addition to Valentine’s Day, we’re also celebrating National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. If you haven’t already, this is a great time to take your pet in to get spayed or neutered. And if you’re wondering whether or not you should, here are five reasons why it’s important.

1. It saves lives!

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Source: Pixabay

According to the Humane Society, between six and eight million animals enter shelters every year. While about half of those will end up getting adopted, the rest are tragically euthanized. It’s clear that pet overpopulation is a big problem! When responsible pet owners spay and neuter their pets, they are working to solve that problem.

2. It’s good for your pet’s health.

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Source: Pixabay

Spaying and neutering can reduce the risk of certain health conditions. For example, spaying female pets before their first litter can help to prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, while neutering your male pets can prevent prostate problems (see ASPCA). This article from USA Today lists spaying and neutering as one of the key factors related to longer life spans in pets.

3. It saves money.

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Source: Pixabay

While some pet owners may shy away from the cost involved in spaying or neutering their pets, it really does save money in the end. If your pet is healthier, you’ll have fewer vet bills. Treating the type of health problems mentioned above can get expensive, so avoiding them is going to be good for your wallet. Caring for litters of puppies and kittens can be also be costly.

Fortunately, there are lost cost spay and neuter programs all over the country. Check out this Humane Society page for an easy provider search as well as some suggestions for what to do if you can’t find an affordable option in your area.

4. It can prevent bad behavior.

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Source: Pixabay

Some unsavory pet habits are less often seen in spayed or neutered pets. These include the tendency to mark territory by spraying urine all over, mounting other pets or people, roaming, and aggression (see ASPCA). Of course, spaying or neutering won’t completely solve all of these problems, but it can go a long way toward preventing them.

5. It’s good for your community.

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Source: Pixabay

Pet overpopulation isn’t just bad for the pets who end up getting euthanized, according to this WebMD article. It’s also bad for the community. Stray animals living on the streets can cause all sorts of problems, from property damage to car accidents. Seeing that your pets are spayed or neutered helps reduce the number of animals that wind up as strays.

Show your love for your pets, your community, and domestic animals everywhere by spaying or neutering your pets this month!

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Healthy Eating Habits for Your Pet

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You might have made some resolutions this month about healthy eating habits, but did you take any time to think about what you’re feeding the furry members of your family? In addition to picking a healthy dog or cat food option, it’s important to make sure you know what human foods are safe to pass on to your pets. Here’s a quick overview of what’s okay to give to your dog or cat and what’s not, as well as a few pet-friendly recipes.

Drinks

Really, all your pet needs to drink is water. However, you should definitely avoid giving Fido and Fluffy any beverage that contains alcohol, caffeine, or milk. Drinks that contain these ingredients can all make your pet very sick. Yes, that includes giving your cat a bowl of milk. Adult cats and dogs don’t make enough of the enzyme that is required to break down the lactose in milk and dairy products, so it can make them sick.

If you are worried that your pet might not be getting enough to drink, check out these WebMD articles about dehydration in cats and dogs.

Meat

ASPCA recommends that you don’t give your pets raw or under cooked meat or eggs since these foods can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. And while it might seem natural give your dog a leftover bone, it can also be dangerous because bone splinters can injure your pet’s throat or digestive tract.

So, if you want to share some table scrapes with your pet, just make sure they are cooked and boneless.

Fruits and Vegetables

Avocados, grapes and raisins, coconut, onions, garlic, and chives are some of the fruits and vegetables that are best avoided when passing human food on to animals. Some others, such as citrus fruits, are generally safe in small amounts, but can cause problems if your pet eats too much.

Fruits and veggies that are safe to give your dog include apples, bananas, broccoli, and cucumbers. You can find out more here.

Nuts

Nuts are best avoided as they contain high amounts of oils and fats that aren’t good for your pets and could even cause pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are especially dangerous for animals and can cause symptoms such as weakness, vomiting, and hyperthermia.

ASPCA suggests steering clear of nuts entirely, although other sources suggest some kinds are okay. You can read more about the issue in this article.

Snacks

When it comes to human snack foods, you should avoid giving your pet anything with a high salt content, such as chips or pretzels. A little salt probably won’t hurt them, but too much can cause serious problems. As for sweet snacks, be careful not to give your animal pal anything that contains xylitol, which is commonly used as a sweetener in many human snacks but can cause a dangerous increase of insulin in animals and even lead to liver failure.

While some human food is safe to pass on to your pets, if you’re looking for a special treat, consider making them one of these just-for-pets recipes:

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Make sure that your pet stays healthy this year by keeping in mind which foods are or are not safe for them to eat. What’s your pet’s favorite healthy treat?

Title image via Pexels.

Are You Ready to Adopt a Rescue Animal? 8 things to consider first.

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Last week, we talked about some of the incredible benefits of pet ownership. If you’re thinking it might be time to get a cat or dog, adoption through a shelter or foster program like Survivor Tails is a great way to go! Not only are you saving a life, but you’ll have plenty of loveable pets to choose from. However, before you get taken in those big brown puppy eyes or an infectious purr, there are 8 things to consider to make sure you are truly ready to adopt a rescue animal.

1. Getting a pet is a life-time commitment.

It’s easy to be swept up in the moment when you’re choosing a pet, but remember that adopting is a life-time commitment—the animal’s lifetime, that is. Some dogs can live as long as 18 years and many cats live into their early 20s. Of course, not all pets will live that long, but it’s worth doing some research into the breed of animal you are considering adopting so that you know what to expect.

 

2. Does a pet fit into your lifestyle?

Everything from the size of your home to your work schedule can influence your ability to care for a pet. Rather than taking home the first cute puppy you see and expecting him to fit into your life, take some time to consider what kind of pet you really want. Are you looking for an energetic dog to play fetch with in the backyard or a sedate kitty to snuggle with in your tiny apartment?

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This is Chachi, one of the many adorable dogs available for adoption right now.

 

3. How future life changes might affect your pet.

Sometimes people end up relinquishing their pets because they are moving or going through another life change that makes pet ownership difficult. Of course, you can’t plan for everything, but think about how possible changes in your future might affect a pet. What happens if you move? Change work schedules? Get married? Have a baby?

 

4. Is anyone in your home allergic to animals?

This might seem pretty obvious, but do you know whether anyone you live with might be allergic to the type of pet you are getting? It’s definitely worth finding out before you bring that cuddly kitten home.

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Teddy is one of a litter of five kittens currently looking for forever homes.

 

5. Pets take time.

You’ll be responsible for feeding and grooming your pet, as well as making sure they get enough exercise and taking them to the vet if they get sick. Different pets require different time commitments. Do you have time for a daily walk with a dog or would you rather just have a cat who can go out without you?

 

6. Pets take money.

Have you thought about all the potential costs involved? What about kitty litter, a dog house, training classes, and toys? Did you know that you can get pet insurance to help with vet bills? There’s a lot to consider, so make sure you do a little adding up before making the commitment. Here’s a good article that discusses the annual cost of having a pet.

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Daisy is a pit bull mix puppy. You can find out more about her and other adoptable pets by visiting http://www.survivortails.rescueme.org.

 

7. Is your home safe for pets?

Before you bring an animal into your home, be sure it’s safe. Exposed cords, accessible chemicals, and other household hazards can be dangerous to your new pet. For some suggestions on making sure your home is pet-proof, check out this article.

 

8. Are you ready to be a responsible pet owner?

Owning a pet can be lots of fun! However, it’s also a big responsibility. You’ll be in charge of making sure that your pet is healthy and safe for other people and animals to be around. You will need to know what the local ordinances are for things like licensing and leash requirements, provide your pet with tags or other identification, and ensure that your pet is well-trained. And that’s on top of all the other issues we’ve already mentioned.

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Honey-Bunny is a 9-year-old Dachshund in need of a good home.

 

Sometimes animals wind up in shelters, and even facing euthanasia, because their owners might not have been as prepared for pet ownership as they initially thought. So, while we love pets and love the humans who foster and adopt them, we want to make sure that potential pet owners are ready to take on the responsibility, as well as the joys, of gaining a four-footed family member. We encourage you research and think before adopting!

 

If you are thinking about adopting through Survivor Tails Animal Rescue, you can learn more and check out the animals waiting to find their forever homes by visiting our website. And if you have questions, you can contact one of our volunteer coordinators by emailing adoptions@survivortails.org or check out this blog post that addresses some common adoption concerns.

Title image via Unsplash.

What Are Pets Good For? 5 Reasons to Adopt a Pet.

The 2015-2016 APPA survey indicates that 65% of U.S. households include a pet. Ever wonder what all the fuss is about? Whether you’re seriously considering getting a pet, or just curious about why so many people do, here are 5 reasons that explain exactly what pets are good for.

1. Pets are good for your heart.

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Source: Unsplash

Really, they are! According to the CDC, owning a pet can result in lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Why? Probably because pets tend to have a calming effect on their owners, helping to combat stress, and because pets can help you stay more active. If you want to know more, check out this article from Harvard Healthy Publications.

2. Pets are good for helping you lose weight.

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You wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds, but you know you don’t exercise enough. Sound familiar? Owning a pet, especially a dog, can be a great motivation to get up, get outside, and get moving. This article from Weight Watchers notes a study that showed participants who walked as little as 20 minutes a day, five times a week, lost an average of 14 pounds!

3. Pets are good for your social life.

Want to be more social? Pet ownership not only gives you an instant animal pal, but can help you make more human friends as well. For example, one study found that pet owners were 60% more likely to get to know people in their neighborhood! Just taking your dog for a walk can be a great way to meet new people and any kind of pet gives you an instant conversation starter.

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Source: Pixabay

4. Pets are good for your mental health.

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Source: Unsplash

If you ever feel stressed out, anxious, depressed, or lonely, having a pet can help to relieve these negative emotions and improve your overall mental health. Partially, for all the reasons listed above, like getting outside and being more active, but also because of the hormone oxytocin.

Oxytocin is released during physical contact and plays a big role in human relationships, causing us to feel more relaxed, trusting, and psychologically stable (PyschCentral). But did you know that interacting with your pet can also increase your oxytocin levels? For more on the psychological benefits of pet ownership, check out this Psychology Today article or this one from Huffington Post.

5. Pets are good for your children.

Have your kids been begging for a pet? There are plenty of reasons to give in. Not only can your children enjoy all the above benefits, but there is research that indicates having pets in the home actually reduces your child’s risk of developing some types of allergies. Is your child learning to read? Pets also make great reading buddies, since kids may feel more relaxed reading aloud to a pet than to an adult.

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Source: Unsplash

Pets are great for all these reasons and so many more! If you live in Massachusetts or New Hampshire and are considering fostering or adopting a rescue animal, visit our website to learn more about Survivor Tails Animal Rescue. If you live somewhere else, we encourage you to seek out shelters and animal rescue organizations in your area. There are many, many healthy, loving animals just waiting for a good home!

Of course, pet ownership may not be for everyone. Next week, we’ll be talking about things to consider before you adopt, so keep watching for that!

In the meantime, if you already own a pet or are seriously thinking about getting one, take a moment to comment and let us know what you love about pets!

Adoption Spotlight: Check Out Some of the Amazing Pets Waiting for Adoption

Thinking about getting a pet? There’s no better way to bring a four-footed friend into your home than to adopt one in need! When you adopt through Survivor Tails Animal Rescue, or another rescue organization, you are saving a life and helping to offset the problem of overpopulation in America.

Here are two of the amazing animals currently hoping to be adopted:

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Bullseye is a three-year-old Pit/Beagle mix who is great with people, children, and other dogs! His former owner loved him very much, but got into a situation where she could no longer care for him. Now he’s looking for a new home and a family to love! He weighs about 45 to 50 pounds and is good on a leash and in the car. You can check out his profile at RescueMe.org.

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Lily is a Tiger Cat who enjoys head scratches and naps in warm places. A stray on the streets outside Boston, Lily was found when she had a litter of kittens in someone’s backyard. A kind stranger took the family into their home, but now that her kittens are growing up, Lily is ready to find a forever home of her own. She has been diagnosed with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). While cats with FIV can live long, healthy lives, Lily would be best as an only cat. If you think you might like to give this sweet kitty a home, check out her profile on RescueMe.org.

These are just two of the hopefuls waiting in Survivor Tails’ foster homes for a second chance at life. You can see more adoptable rescue animals at RescueMe.org and PetFinder.com. You can also check out our Facebook page for information about newly rescued animals and to find out more about what we do at Survivor Tails Animal Rescue.

7 Ways to Get Involved with Survivor Tails Animal Rescue

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2.4 million healthy, adoptable pets are euthanized in shelters every year (Humane Society). Here at Survivor Tails Animal Rescue, we work with volunteers and communities to rescue cats and dogs from this fate and place them in loving homes. If you would like to get involved, here are seven ways you can make a difference today.

1. Foster a rescue animal.

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Mattie is one of the many pets currently available for adoption.

If you are in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut, you can become one of our foster families. Since we have no shelter, we rely on our incredible fosters to care for the cats and dogs we rescue while they wait to be placed in their forever homes. Fostering a rescue animal through Survivor Tails is free, aside from food and toys, and we ensure that every animal is fully vetted and spayed or neutered if of age.

You can learn more about our foster program or fill out an online application by visiting our website.

2. Adopt a rescue animal.

For individuals or families who are ready to welcome a pet into their home permanently, you can save a life by adopting a rescue animal. Visit our Adopt page to learn more.

3. Volunteer with Survivor Tails.

In addition to fostering or adopting animals, we always need people who are willing to help out. From processing applications to assisting with animal transportation, there are plenty of ways you can be a part of Survivor Tails. Click here to find out more or to fill out an online volunteer application.

4. Donate to Survivor Tails.

Each rescue comes with many financial costs, such as pull fees, transport, vetting, fixing, quarantining, training, and more. Since the money we receive from adoption fees does not always cover these costs, we depend on the generous donations of our supporters. Each donation helps us to save more lives. You can donate by visiting our website.

5. Shop from our Amazon Wish List.

Purchasing one or more items from our Amazon Wish List is a simple, but significant way to help us keep the animals we rescue safe, healthy, and happy. The list includes items like toys, leashes, treats, and bedding. Whatever your price range, your gift will go to help an animal in need.

6. Come to an event.

You can support Survivor Tails and meet some of our great volunteers and supporters by attending one of our community events. We don’t have an event on the schedule for the next few weeks, but you can watch for future events by periodically checking out our Facebook Events Page.

7. Spread the word.

Finally, the easiest and quickest way you can get involved today is to share our mission with friends and family on social media.

  • Share this post.
  • Like our Facebook page. While you’re there, check out some of our recent posts and share one or two with your friends.
  • Follow us on Twitter and like or retweet some of our tweets.
  • Visit the About page on our website and scroll down to the Press section. Read and share one or more of the news stories that have been written about Survivor Tails.

As a volunteer-only organization, we know the value of each person who decides to get involved. Whether your contribution is time, money, or a loving home for a rescue animal, there is something that you can do today to help us save lives and combat the problems of animal overpopulation.

How will you make a difference today?

Featured image via Pixabay.