What is Parvovirus?

Our partner clinics have been seeing an increased number of puppies infected with Parvovirus. Parvo is always in the community, so we want to make sure you know how to prevent it and spot the signs that your pet might sick. Early intervention is key to a full recovery.

 

What is Parvovirus?

Canine Parvovirus (also known as “Parvo”) is a virus that can cause severe inflammation of the intestines in canines. The virus infects cells of the intestine leading to structural changes that prevent dogs from properly absorbing nutrients.

Canine Parvovirus is a dangerous and extraordinarily contagious virus that spreads easily between unvaccinated dogs. If not caught early and treated aggressively, Parvovirus infection can be fatal.

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Party with a Purpose Ideas for People Who Don’t Like to Party

We get it: not everyone likes to be surrounded by all of their family and friends at the same time. Don’t worry though! You can still fundraise to help feed the animals at Calgary Humane Society as part of our Party with a Purpose event. We’ve come up with 5 “party” ideas for introverts or people who don’t like to party.

1. Hold a Bottle Drive

Ask your friends and family to gather all of their recyclable bottles and drop them off at your house. Once you’ve taken them to the bottle depot, you can donate your earnings to Calgary Humane Society as part of Party with a Purpose. Alternatively, ask your friends to take their own bottles in – even less work for you! – and contribute their bottle money on your Party with a Purpose web page.

2. Complete a Challenge

Do you love running or riding your bike? Set yourself a new challenge and ask friends to pledge money based on your distance or for completion of your challenge.

3. Have a Potluck with Co-Workers

Doing a potluck at work means there’s no pressure on you to be the perfect host or entertain your guests. To attend the potluck, everyone must bring a dish and make a donation to your Party with a Purpose. Don’t want to eat with your colleagues? No problem – just go back to your desk!

4. Walk a Dog

Invite friends and family members to donate to your Party with a Purpose in exchange for taking their dog for a walk.

5. Give Something Up or Start Something New

Party with a Purpose is now a month-long event, so it’s the perfect length of time to commit to getting rid of an old habit or starting a new one. Want to give up chocolate or pop? Encourage yourself to go to the gym five days per week? Ask your friends and family to join you with their own commitment, and donate a dollar or two for each successful day. At the end of the month, you’ll not only have kicked/created a habit but also helped the animals as well!

…last but not least, email your friends and family the link to your Party with a Purpose fundraising web page and ask them to donate towards food for all of our furry and scaly friends. No party necessary!

 

What to do if you see a Dog in a Hot Car

Heat stroke can happen to our furry friends in under 10 minutes. Dogs can’t sweat like humans, so they cannot effectively cool off their bodies if left in a hot car.

If you see a dog in a car on a warm day (even a comfortable outside temperature can become sweltering in an enclosed space like a vehicle), here’s what you should do:

  1. Quickly record the time of day, temperature, your location, license plate number, make/model of the car and a brief description of the dog. You can take photos with your cell phone or take notes. You will need this information to pass on to Calgary Police Service (CPS) or Calgary Humane Society (CHS).
  2. A dog in a hot car is a dog in distress. The longer it stays in the car, the hotter the internal temperature will get. Immediately call CPS or CHS to file a report.
  3. If the owner returns before you can complete your call or before CPS or CHS arrive, it is still important to ensure the information you noted in step 1 is received by CPS or CHS. CPS or CHS will follow up and educate the dog’s owner on the dangers of leaving their dog in a hot car and check to ensure that the dog is okay.

 

What to do if you see a Dog in a Hot Car

 

We are all responsible for helping animals in distress. Pass this message on to people who may not realize how dangerous it is to leave their dog in their vehicle. Tell your friends what to do if they see a dog in a hot car. Spread the word!

Working Together to Bring An End to Animal Cruelty

Dog Jog is our annual walk or jog to bring an end to animal cruelty. As Calgary’s only open-admission shelter, this means one simple thing; we never say no, we never turn an animal away. When they need us, we respond.

Fundraising events like Dog Jog are vital to support the thousands of animals we take into our care every year. By investing resources into our Protection & Investigation Department Calgary Humane Society hopes to one day end animal cruelty.

 

Calgary Humane Society employs the only team of Provincially-appointed Peace Officers, whose mandate is to enforce the Animal Protection Act of Alberta, in the City of Calgary. An offense against the Animal Protection Act of Alberta is allowing an animal to be in distress.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Senior Pets

We all love our furry friends and want what is best for them, especially as they ease into old age. Sometimes we’ll notice shifts in their behaviour, their appetite, or the way they look as our pets get older. Are these things to be concerned about? Today on the blog we address some of these popular questions regarding senior pets.

Is it normal for my dog or cat to get grey hair?

Yes it is! We have a blog post all about grey hair or fur in aging pets. You can read more about this topic here.

Do I need to change my pet’s diet as they get older?

Animal’s nutritional requirements change as they age. Your pet may benefit from a more senior-appropriate diet. We recommend discussing your pet’s nutritional needs with your veterinarian so they can recommend the diet most suitable for your pet’s age and health requirements.

I think my dog is going deaf. Is this possible?

It sure is. Just like in humans, animals can suffer from hearing loss as they age. You can read more about hearing loss in senior pets, along with tips to help you and your pet adjust to this new way of living, in this blog post.

My pet is losing weight. What should I do?

Weight loss is often a sign of an illness in all pets. Please contact your veterinarian if your pet is not eating or losing weight.

Will adopting a kitten/puppy keep my senior pet “young”?

This depends entirely on the animal you already own and the one you are looking at adopting. A high energy puppy or kitten may stress out your old friend, or if their personalities are a good match the new addition may be a fun companion. In these instances, we would suggest fostering an animal first in case the disruption to your senior pet’s routine is too much for them. If they get along with your foster pet, great! You can apply to adopt your foster pet if you’re fostering through Calgary Humane Society. If not, you’ve assisted an animal in need and helped them get ready for a new home. Either way a slow and appropriate introduction will help both animals put their best foot forward.

Can senior pets lose their eyesight?

Yes they can. Unlike humans, though, pets have other senses that are very strong, so you may not notice a change in your pet’s eyesight as quickly as you would if it were your own. Animals adapt well and may not show any signs that their vision is impaired. Keep an eye out for any cloudiness developing, or behavioural signs like bumping into furniture that has moved or hesitance walking in unfamiliar environments.

Should I be supplementing my senior pet’s diet?

A healthy senior on an age-appropriate, high quality diet may not require any supplements. Certain health conditions that may develop as an animal ages can benefit from nutritional supplementation. Your veterinarian can help you determine gaps in your pets nutrition and advise you on the best way to ensure your pet is getting everything they need from their food. Most pets, at a minimum, will benefit from a joint supplement as they start getting older. Always ensure your senior pet is getting enough fresh water too.

How can I keep my senior pet healthy?

Early intervention will go a long way in keeping your senior pet in their best health! We recommend getting bloodwork done when your pet is young and healthy to establish baseline values that you can compare to as they age. Consider yearly bloodwork and increasing exams with your vet to twice a year to catch changes early. Keep your friend at a healthy weight to avoid additional stress on joints. Pay attention to their dental health (even when they are younger!) as dental disease can cause pain, infections, difficulty eating, and could lead to more significant health problems like heart disease.

Will my dog or cat become incontinent?

Senior animals can sometimes start house soiling, but it is often due to a medical condition rather than just old age. Kidney disease, diabetes, certain cancers, urinary tract infections, spinal issues, arthritis pain and numerous other issues can cause a previously house-trained pet to start urinating or defecating in the home. If your senior pet starts having trouble making it outside or to the litterbox please make an appointment with your veterinarian.

My senior dog is not acting like himself. Are changes to behaviour a sign of old age?

The answer to this question varies depending on the animal and the changes you are seeing. It’s not uncommon for you to see a bit less enthusiasm and energy as animal ages. However, if your dog has become more aggressive or lethargic, for example, please speak to your veterinarian. You’ll know what is normal behaviour and what isn’t for your pet, and sudden changes could be a sign that they are sick. Also keep an eye out for gradual behavioural changes occurring over time. Cats and dogs can suffer from dementia (called cognitive dysfunction) much like their human counterparts. Certain conditions like hyperthyroidism or epilepsy can also cause changes in behaviour and require medical intervention.

What do I do when my senior pet passes away?

Saying goodbye to a pet is extremely hard. They are a member of your family and we understand how important they are to you. Calgary Humane Society offers cremation and memorial services for your furry friend and can assist in ensuring their memory is preserved.

 

Just like humans, pets change as they get older. The most important thing is to check in on your buddy and make sure they are still enjoying a good quality of life. Dogs and cats can live happily and healthily well into their senior years, even if they slow down a bit. Regular veterinary care and routine checks are especially important for our senior pets to ensure they live a long and happy life.

 

Training Tools for Dogs

The behaviour you’re trying to teach your dog will affect the tools that you use for training. Whether you’re actively working on behaviour or just trying to get out on a walk with less frustration, a variety of humane and functional equipment exists to assist you with your goals. (more…)

Response to Edmonton Humane Society’s Announcement Regarding Animal Protection Department

Media Release – January 23, 2019

Calgary, AB — Immediate Release

 

We are surprised and saddened to hear about the decision by Edmonton Humane Society to close its Animal Protection department. Calgary Humane Society recognizes the importance and value in having Peace Officers who help to fulfill our mandate of protecting animals in the City of Calgary by enforcing the Alberta Animal Protection Act.  Humane Societies and SPCAs are in a unique position to be able to provide these services to the community and help save animals from situations of neglect and cruelty.  It will be very difficult to fulfill the mandate embedded in their name (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) without also being able to do this targeted education and enforcement work. We imagine this must have been a very difficult decision for Edmonton Humane Society and its Board of Directors.

5 Household Items that may be Harming Your Pets

Many of us don’t realize the dangers lurking in our own homes! Our pets can be very sensitive to some common household products. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most dangerous items that you may have in your house that could be harming your pets.

1. Essential Oils

Essential oils are never okay for cats. Cats cannot metabolize any essential oils and they should not be consumed by your cat, applied topically, or diffused into the air. For cats, there is no safe amount of dilution. Essential oils will build up in their system since they are unable to metabolize and get rid of them, and this can cause serious health problems. You can read more about essential oils and cats here. If you must diffuse oils in your home with a cat, ensure they are safely in another room. However, even this is not recommended.

Any oils used around or on a dog should be heavily diluted, although some are not safe at any dose. Dogs also have a strong sense of smell and may be irritated by the oils. Essential oils should never be applied topically without being diluted and could cause chemical burns to a dog’s skin if used in too high a concentration.

Never use any essential oils on or near your animal without checking with your regular veterinarian first.

2. Leftover food

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but did you also know that onions, some artificial sweeteners (like xylitol), garlic, apricots, chives, leeks, grapefruit, limes, macadamia nuts, oranges, peaches, and rhubarb are toxic to dogs too? So are many other things listed here on the Pet Poison Helpline website. It is always safest to feed your pet a healthy, balanced pet food, rather than scraps off of your plate.

3. Plants

Consuming household plants can lead to an upset stomach and vomiting. Some plants in particular are poisonous to your furry friend, including: tomato plants, geraniums, mint, oregano, all forms of lillies including peace lillies, tulips, camomile, poinsettias, peonies, and mums. Plant fertilizer, bulbs, and mulch can also cause harm to your pet if they have a habit of digging up your garden and ingesting these items.

For a full list of toxic plants, check out this helpful resource.

4. Items in your garage

Many items that are present in your garage, like antifreeze, things that expand like glue or spray foam, engine oil, de-icing salt, batteries, insecticides, tools, and other items can be dangerous to your pet. Small screws and bits of wire or twine can also be harmful if ingested. Animals can also harm themselves on saws or other sharp objects. It is very important to organize these items in locked cabinets or on high shelves if your animal is going to spend any time in your garage or shed.

5. Recreational and prescription drugs

It should go without saying that any medication should be kept out of reach of pets. Even your pet’s own medication should be kept in a safe, pet-proof place until it is time for them to take it.  With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, it is also important to keep recreational drugs away from your pet. THC, a component in cannabis plants, is toxic to pets.

If you ever suspect that your pet has consumed something that it shouldn’t have, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

Can Housesoiling be Cured?

Housesoiling does not have to be a forever problem! In fact, we find many cats that were surrendered for housesoiling in one home do not have this issue in their foster homes or with their new families. There are many factors that can contribute to a cat urinating or defecating outside their litterbox. Thankfully this is often a problem that can be solved.

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