A new fitness experience is taking the world by storm. It’s called MEOW-GA (it’s like regular yoga but with cats!). We decided to take two incredible things like kittens and yoga to create the ultimate exercise and relaxation experience. But that’s not all! This unique spin on meow-ga will offer complimentary wine and cheese after the class is finished and a shelter tour to add a little splash to your weekend.
Did you know that Western science is starting to provide some concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay.
Did you know that when conducting a task that’s stressful, people actually experienced less stress when their pets were with them than when a supportive friend or even their spouse was present!
The class itself will be a 60 minute All-Level Restorative yoga class taught by Sandra Escobedo followed by an hour to enjoy wine, snacks and a tour of Calgary Humane Society. 100% of proceeds will go to the animals!
Classes will be limited to 15 people. Due to the high level of interest, it is suggested that you register immediately to avoid F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out).
Look at how much fun we had when we hosted Calgary Stampeders Wide Receiver, Reggie Begelton, for a meow-ga session!
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.
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.
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.
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.
At approximately noon on February 21, 2019, a senior female dog, appearing to be a maltese or bichon, suffering severe medical neglect, was abandoned by an unknown female in the Sunridge Petland store. Surveillance video shows a woman entering the pet store with something concealed in her jacket. Within minutes, she leaves with the jacket loose and open. Soon after, store staff discovered a blind and immobile dog left behind. Calgary Humane Society was notified of the offense and the dog was seized as abandoned.
Examination of the dog revealed a very poor prognosis due to untreated diabetes. Diabetic animals that go untreated, suffer immensely. Veterinarians determined the dog needed to be euthanized to end its suffering. Investigators have not been able to identify the woman in the video and hope the public may recognize her so the investigation can be pursued further. Brad Nichols, Senior Manager, Animal Cruelty Investigations, said, “While some may see this as a semi-responsible abandonment as it was done indoors at a pet store, it remains irresponsible, inappropriate and criminal. There are a multitude of veterinary clinics in the area, as well as the services of Calgary Humane Society that could have been utilized rather than dumping an elderly, blind dog in unfamiliar surroundings. We would like to speak with the woman in the video to further understand the actions taken on February 21.”
If you have any information about this case please contact Calgary Humane Society at (403) 205-4455 or online at calgaryhumane.ca
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…)
We hope you have been enjoying our relatively warm winter so far, but it appears the mercury is starting to drop. Burr! Time to curl up with a great book, a warm blanket and the family pet for some warm indoor evenings.
In some of our previous entries, we talked about animal safety in winter but some of you have very correctly pointed out two things: (1) Most of our advice has been about dogs and (2) The safest place for your cat this winter is indoors.
You are absolutely right on both counts! A lot of the winter safety advice we hand out is for dogs because dogs typically continue to go outside in the winter while we truly hope that everyone is keeping their felines indoors. For felines that are let outside or those who do not have homes, winter can be a very hazardous time. In fact, being allowed to roam outside is hazardous for felines at any time of the year, in addition to being against city bylaws. We have previously shared a little information on how to keep these outdoor felines safe, but we would also encourage you to bring any cats you find outside in the cold to our shelter so we can keep them safe. (more…)
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.
Over the past month or two we’ve brought you a LOT of content about how to keep your pet safe during the winter season and holidays. Today we’re bringing you a one-stop shop for all of the best safety info we can offer! Presenting… The CHS Winter Pet Safety Round Up! (more…)
Calgary Humane Society is hoping to on-board foster parents during the holiday season. Do you happen to have space for an animal during your holiday? Apply to be a foster parent today!
We want to place all of our foster animals into homes for the holidays.
Many of these placements will vary from short term to long term so we are willing to work with you to find the right placement for your holiday. This will be determined on a case by case basis by our lovely Foster Program Coordinators.
We are hoping to hold orientations for new foster parents during the evenings of December 18th – 21st so please apply immediately if you are interested so we can sort through applications and contact successful applicants.
Placement will depend on the volume of applications we receive. If we are unable to place an animal in your home during the holiday’s we would still like to keep you on the foster team for future placements.
Foster pick-ups will take place between December 19th – 22nd