Archive For the ‘Pet Safety’ Category

How WellPet is Helping Texas in Hurricane Harvey Aftermath

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

The people and pets affected by Hurricane Harvey are just starting the long, overwhelming process of recovering and rebuilding. Like so many others across the nation, the team at WellPet was inspired to offer support to those in need as quickly as possible. The team has come together to lend a hand in a few different ways:

Donating Food

In the days following Harvey, we reached out to a variety of people in our network to see which shelters needed the most urgent support to keep displaced pets fed. So far, we’ve donated about 45 pallets of dog and cat food to a variety of Texas shelters including Austin Pets Alive, Fort Bend County Animal Services, Richmond SPCA and Cassie’s Place.

Donating Money

Through our WellPet Foundation, we’re donating $10,000.00, split between the American Red Cross and Austin Pets Alive. WellPet is also matching up to an additional $5,000 in donations to these organizations based on employee contributions.

Donating Time

We have also looked into volunteer opportunities for WellPet employees in Texas. In the coming weeks, a group of WellPet volunteers will travel to Texas once we confirm where we can best help out. WellPet is generously covering all associated employee travel fees as well as accommodating time off. If you know of a community in Texas in need of volunteers, please post on our Facebook page or email us at info@wellpet.com.

Donating Love & Shelter

As passionate pet parents, one of the ways we’re prepared to help is with shelter and love for displaced pets, either through fostering or adoption. We’re working with Yellow Rose Animal Rescue and Seer Farms who are currently in the process of re-locating animals out of Texas to New England to make more room in the shelters inundated with rescues. We hope to be able to share some of our foster stories in the weeks and months to come.

Tough times like these help remind us that we’re all in it together. In what ways have you or your employers been lending a hand during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey?

Time for Your Pet’s Check-Up

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

When did your pet get his last wellness check? It may have been a while; it’s easy to let well-vet visits and annual check-ups get lost in the daily shuffle when your pet is happy and healthy. Though your pet seems healthy, it is important to attend to routine vaccinations and check-ups. August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so as you get your own health in check, take time to swing by the vet; this will ensure you and your pet have a healthy year.

Why Are Annual Vaccines Necessary?

Vaccines are used in human and pet medicine to strengthen a patient’s immune system against dangerous and deadly diseases. In recent years, you may have noticed the number of vaccines your pet needs have increased. The reason is that as veterinary medicine advances, so do the variety of vaccinations that are available to immunize your pet against disease. In other words, if there was a vaccine to immunize against heart worms, wouldn’t you want it?

As for whether or not vaccinations are necessary on a schedule is dependent upon the pet. The recommendation is to update most immunizations annually as the longer a pet goes without a vaccine, the weaker his immune system becomes (some immunizations are needed every few years). Though getting increasingly more vaccines year-after-year seems costly, two consequences of not getting vaccines that are more costly are: your pet becoming seriously ill or losing your pet (in which case, the costs are emotional).

What Vaccines or Boosters do Pets Regularly Need to Get?

Though there are many vaccines available, there are only a handful of core vaccinations. These are considered to have high efficiency.  Vaccines include:

  • Distemper: Canine distemper is a severe, airborne virus that can cause permanent brain damage in dogs as well as other problems. Feline distemper is also severe and can be fatal.
  • Parvovirus (canine): This is a contagious disease and can cause severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and death.
  • Calicivirus (feline): A contagious upper respiratory condition leading to oral ulcerations, fever, joint pain, and anorexia in felines.
  • Rabies: Rabies is fatal to cats and dogs; there is no treatment other than prevention.
  • Adenovirus, types 1 and 2 (canine): Type 1 is spread through canine urine and feces and leads to hepatitis, which causes severe liver damage and death. Type 2 is spread via coughs and sneezes.
  • Feline Herpesvirus: Herpervirus causes a highly contagious respiratory problem called feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR).

There are also non-core vaccinations that are highly recommended but that can be administered on a case-by-case basis. Variables for non-core vaccinations include your pet’s health and age and risk of exposure. A few non-core vaccines include those for feline leukemia, bordetella (feline & canine), canine influenza, and lyme disease (canine).

What if My Pet is Indoors?

A common question when it comes to pet vaccinations is whether or not pets that live exclusively indoors need routine vaccinations. Individual veterinarians may have differing recommendations for the frequency of vaccinations, but the recommendation is still yes. Though indoor pets have less exposure to potentially deadly viruses than outdoor or indoor / outdoor pets, there is always risk be it from your pet getting outside, to encountering an ill animal, to having an already-compromised immune system.

Consult your veterinarian to determine what vaccines your pet needs and how often. If you haven’t had your annual check-up yet, or if it’s been a while, make an appointment this August and get on the health bandwagon during National Immunization Awareness Month.

Vaccines are one essential way to boost your pet’s immune system. Feeding your pet a diet rich in natural ingredients is another important and easy way to contribute to your pet’s immune health and overall wellness.

Can My Pet Get Zika Virus?

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

It’s summer, which means pesky insects are abundant, making now the best time to learn what’s “bugging” your pet. One of the most widely reported concerns is Zika virus. Zika is spread by mosquitos and is known mostly for causing issues in pregnant women’s fetuses; however, it’s important to know if Zika can harm your pet. Learn what other insect-spread issues are prominent in the summer and how to naturally prevent them.

Can Cats & Dogs Get Zika?

Currently, there is no evidence that animals play a role in spreading Zika virus. According to the CDC, studies show some breeds of animals can become infected with the virus; however, they show no signs of illness and have not shown to be able to transmit the virus to humans. What’s more, “there have not been any reports of pets … becoming sick with Zika virus.”

So, for now, it’s safe to assume that your pet (or their young if they become pregnant) is not vulnerable to Zika; however, mosquitos do carry other viruses (such as West Nile Virus (WNV)) and diseases that can substantially compromise your pets’ health.

What Pest-Transmitted Illnesses are Problems for Pets?

Dogs, it seems, are safe from West Nile Virus. While they can become infected, they show no clinical signs of WNV. Cats, on the other hand, can show mild signs of WNV including: fever, lethargy, and smaller appetite.

Another not-so-common mosquito-transmitted infection pets can get is Lyme disease. Signs of Lyme disease, which are depression, smaller appetite, and lethargy, are relatively similar to those that appear in cats infected with WNV.

The main mosquito-borne illness that is a threat to dogs and cats is Heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is known to have potential lasting effects and can even shorten your cat or dog’s lifespan. Signs of Heartworm disease include:

  • Coughing (both)
  • Swollen belly (both)
  • Poor appetite and weight loss (both)
  • Poor energy / fatigue (dogs)
  • Labored breathing and rapid heart rate (dogs)
  • Pale gums at late stages (dogs)
  • Difficulty walking (cats)
  • Asthma attacks (cats)
  • Fainting (cats)

Year-round treatment is a good way to help prevent your cat or dog from being bitten by an infected mosquito.

How Can I Naturally Protect My Pet from Disease & Infection?

While there are no non-medical heartworm preventative medications, there are natural (chemical-free) options for creating a mosquito-free environment around your home.  A natural approach to repelling mosquitos is preferred by many pet owners because it is a long-term solution for a never-ending problem. Certain oils, herbs, and other solutions have time-honored reputations for being effective in repelling mosquitos (and other insects). These include:

  • Lemon eucalyptus oil, which has been proven to be more effective than the leading chemical-derived mosquito repellent. Look for a pet-safe lemon eucalyptus oil to use around your home.
  • Geranium oil and soybean oil are also effective natural solutions and are available in pet sprays.
  • Citronella oil is most often found in lotions, sprays, and candles. Being near a candle or incense burner lowers the risk of being attacked by a mosquito, but it’s noted that Citronella shouldn’t be the only repellent solution you use.

Any oil or herbal solution you choose to keep your home and yard mosquito-free should be carefully researched. Make sure you have a pet-safe solution of whatever it is you use; after all, your main goal is to naturally keep your pet comfortable, healthy, and safe throughout the summer.

If natural solutions to your pet’s health are a priority, then make sure what you feed them is made with all natural ingredients. Eagle Pack pet food takes pride in making a wide variety of cat and dog foods that are all natural.

How to Keep Your Pet from Getting Overheated

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

It’s that time of year again. Summer is here and the sun…well, the sun brings the heat. It’s a great time to be outside for your pets and for you; however, it’s also a dangerous time as it’s much easier for pets to get overheated during the summer months. By learning how to keep your pet from getting overheated (and how to react if they do), you can guarantee plenty of fun (but perfectly safe) time in the sun.

Tips for Keeping Your Pet from Getting Overheated

Ideally, your pet will never know what it feels like to get overheated. For example, you are surely already a wise and loving pet owner and know better than to do something that would pose immediate danger to your pet like leave them alone in the parked car (even with the windows down). Such could lead to heat stroke.

Of course, even more seemingly harmless activities can also lead to overheating, but you can manage those with these tips:

  • Exercise outdoors early in the morning or later in the afternoon; avoid being outside when the sun is at the brightest and hottest.
  • Carry a fresh supply of water and a collapsible water dish for your pet to rehydrate when you are out.
  • Look for shady areas to rest if you’re out for a walk on a sunny day.
  • Avoid too much physical exertion when it is exceptionally hot or humid. Consider taking shorter, more frequent outings to ensure your pet still gets plenty of exercise.

Another tip is to be mindful of your pet’s breed and any specific conditions that might afflict them. For example, flat-faced dogs (like Pugs, to name one) are unable to pant as easily as other breeds, which makes them more vulnerable to heat stroke.

Signs Your Pet is Getting Overheated

Panting is something that pets do when they are getting overheated. Panting is a pet’s natural way of regulating body temperature; however, it doesn’t help in warm weather. Becoming overheated can cause your pet to suffer a potentially fatal heat stroke as well as sustaining damage to their heart, liver, brain, and / or nervous system.

Thus, being able to read the signs as to when your pet is getting overheated is critical. Signs in addition to panting include:

  • Glazed eyes
  • Weakness / collapse, stumbling / staggering, loss of conscious
  • Seizures
  • Excess drooling
  • High pulse and heart rate
  • Extreme thirst
  • Bright or dark red tongue / pulse
  • High temperature (over 104 degrees)

What to Do When Your Pet is Dangerously Overheated

While prevention is the best treatment of overheating, the best thing you can do is to quickly cool your pet down by doing the following:

  • Get your pet into the shade or air-conditioning
  • Run cool (never cold) water over your pet
  • Use ice packs or cold towels to your pet’s head, neck, and chest
  • Give your pet small quantities of cool water to drink or ice cubes to lick
  • Immediately seek emergency veterinary care

In high heat and humidity situations, pets can rapidly go from fatigued to distressed to being in serious danger in a matter of moments. The best way to keep your pet from getting overheated is to practice preventative techniques. If you find you’re in a situation where your pet might get overheated, monitor your pet closely and act quickly as doing so could save your pet’s life. By being aware and being vigilant, you and your pet can have a fun, cool summer.

Being aware of the many dangers that threaten your pet’s health is important. This is why Eagle Pack doesn’t use any potentially harmful chemicals or additives in their pet food recipes. Eagle Pack wants your pet to be able to grow old with you.

Ways to Protect Your Pet

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s a great time to make sure you are doing everything you can to ensure you pet stays safe and healthy. This ranges from evaluating the tag and collar your pet has to ensuring your pet is tick and flea-free.

Protect Your Pet from Being Stolen or Lost

Even the most loyal and well-disciplined cat or dog is at risk of running away or of being stolen. Sometimes, pets can escape while you are out of town, and if your pet does not have proper identification, then it is possible you will never see your pet again.

Though there is no way to guarantee a lost or stolen pet will be returned to you, having some form of ID on the pet helps increase the likelihood that pets and their owners will be reunited after a separation.

  • Collar and ID Tag: Your cat or dog should wear a properly fitted collar at all times. There are breakaway collars for cat owners who are concerned their outdoor kitties might get caught on something. In addition to the collar, your pet should have an ID tag that includes helpful information be it the pet’s name and your phone number, or the pet’s name and the name and number of your veterinary clinic.
  • Microchip: If you are opposed to collars and tags, microchips have been very successful in helping pet owners reunite with their pets. Your veterinarian installs your pet’s microchip. Should your pet ever be lost, a scan of the microchip will reveal your information, and you can immediately be reunited.

Note that there are occasions where a friendly neighbor isn’t the one who finds your lost pet. If your pet ends up at the city pound, then an ID tag or a microchip could save your pet’s life.

Protect Your Pet from Parasites 

As the weather gets warmer, the parasites become more problematic. Fleas and ticks love making nests in your cat or dog’s hair or fur. Even more annoying, fleas and ticks are everywhere. They are outside in the grass; they are in your home in the carpet or in the bedding. Neither indoor nor outdoor pets are immune from picking up a parasite.

Help prevent fleas and ticks by:

  • Combing your pet with a flea comb
  • Keep your pet’s bedding clean
  • Give your pet regular baths
  • Consider using a flea prevention product with your veterinarian’s guidance (note that elderly and pregnant animals can be harmed by certain flea and tick products)

Keeping your home clean and your grass routinely mowed will also help keep fleas and ticks at bay.

Protect Your Pet with Routine Checkups 

It is easy to forget to schedule regular wellness checks with your vet especially if your pet is healthy; however, an annual visit is important so that your pet can stay caught up with vaccinations. Additionally, your pet gets a professional evaluation on overall health including weight, skin condition, oral care, etc.

Any potential issues can be addressed. You can also use your annual visit to consult with your vet about any concerns you might have or about questions regarding parasite prevention, microchips versus tags and collars, spaying and neutering, staying safe in harsh weather, disaster preparedness, and more.

Be proactive about protecting your pet; with a proper ID, flea and tick prevention, and regular wellness checks, you can keep your pet safer, healthier, and happier.

Salute to Military K9’s!

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Chances are, you haven’t thought much about dogs in the military but in fact, they’ve been used for active duty since Ancient Greece where they mostly served as guards and on patrol. Over the years, they’ve served as attackers and even as ambulance patrol.

The United States observed how the Europeans included dogs in their campaigns during WWI — mostly as messengers and guards, however it wasn’t until 1942 when an active training and development campaign was developed by dog breeder Mrs. Alene Erlanger and the AKC in the U.S. This initiative to train dogs for war time duties was known as “Dogs for Defense.”

Dogs for Defense partnered with the American Theatre Wing War Service and found eager breeders ready to donate dogs and trainers to donate their time. These original dogs were trained for war and first took on their military assignments in the deserts of North Africa where they could perform sentry, messenger and other duties.

Nowadays, “solider dogs” are assigned one of two responsibilities; bomb/weapon detection or tracking/protection. In both cases, they’re required to have highly selective olfactory (smell) senses. They also must be highly trainable and not prone to diseases such as hip dysplasia.

As you can imagine, highly effective military dogs require a special mix of aggressiveness, precision, loyalty and training. You might think of German Shepherds as the “poster dog” of K9 Veterans, and they are common, but many different breeds are used including Labrador Retrievers. In fact, the Navy SEALS use a Belgian breed known as a Belgian Malinois. These are dogs are smaller and faster than German Shepherds. They also have a highly perceptive olfactory sense with the ability to smell up to 40 times more than humans.

While other breeds have included Malamutes, Eskimo dogs and Huskies to pull sleds, these days the military primarily uses Shepherds, Labradors and the Belgian Malinois breeds. There are breeders who specialize in these dogs and identify potential solider dog candidates from their litters. Dogs that are particularly drawn to balls, Kong’s and other toys and have an extreme curiosity are possibilities.

Once identified as a potential candidate, they undergo a physical screening and are put through a few training exercises. If they pass these tests, they’ll go on to K9 School. K9 School is a rigorous training process held mostly at one of the specialized training sites in the U.S. There, they’re assigned a human handler who works with them on a daily basis to form a strong human/dog team and help the dog achieve his or her their best.

Generally soldiers who are assigned as handlers to dogs, train with them during K9 School however, these may not be the same dogs that go with them to war. In many cases, K9 School is training for both human and dog on how to be part of a team. Frequently, soldiers are assigned a different dog once they’re deployed but the basics on how to work together are there for both of them. It doesn’t take long for a soldier and dog to forge a bond during active duty.

Thank you to all of the K9’s for your duty!

National Pet Dental Month

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Your pet’s mouth offers a glimpse of his or her overall health. For example, red, swollen gums can indicate gingivitis or worse, gum disease. Gingivitis is a painful condition with those swollen gums. But when it progresses to gum disease it leads to lost teeth and even the spread of bacteria throughout the body.

It starts with a plaque buildup and can progress to gum disease if left unchecked. If your pet has gum disease, it means the teeth have started to pull away slightly from the gums leaving areas where bacteria can form. From there, it can spread throughout your pet’s body weakening the immune system and leaving your pet susceptible to other illnesses or health problems.

You Can Protect Your Pet’s Teeth

That’s why it’s so important to make sure your pet has regular (professional) teeth cleanings and between these in depth cleanings, you want to brush them at home. But it won’t work if you simply go out, call Lucy over, ask her to open wide and submit to your teeth brushing. If you’ve tried this tactic you know it doesn’t work.

Start small. Have patience and be prepared. You can start by gathering your supplies and keeping them nearby where you plan to make the brushing a regular habit.

Dog Tooth Brushing Supplies
Patience, Rome wasn’t built in a day and if you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth before, he’s not likely to sit still for it now. You’ll work up to it.

  • Soft cloth – to get your pet used to having something in his mouth that you control.
  • Doggie toothpaste – Your dog WILL swallow it and the people kind can upset their tummies. Plus, beef flavored toothpaste may be an easier “sell” than your tube of minty fresh.
  • Doggie Toothbrush – After all, their mouths are shaped differently than ours.

The Process
Wait until your dog is nice and relaxed. Go for a long run or walk with your pet to tire them out.

Step 1: Your goal today is simply to let him put your finger on his teeth and move them back and forth. You can wrap your finger in the cloth and insert your finger along one side or the other. If your dog fights you, back up and put a little of the toothpaste on the cloth and try again. If that doesn’t work, you might try a little peanut butter. Your goal is to get your dog to let you run your finger over his or her teeth. Depending on your dog, this can take a couple of attempts or many attempts.

Step 2: Once you’ve worked up to “brushing” with your cloth wrapped finger and your dog is accepting of this, you can then introduce the brush. The process is the same for cats but you may need more patience.

If it’s been awhile since your pet’s teeth were professionally cleaned, you’ll want to make an appointment with your vet for a thorough cleaning. This is especially true if you see evidence of disease like those red, swollen gums we mentioned earlier or any of the teeth are black or seriously discolored. Your vet can often catch problems before they turn more serious.

6 Fun Fall Activities to Enjoy with Your Pet

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

September 23rd is officially the first day of fall! What’s not to love about this time of year? The weather is nice, the colorful leaves are falling and the holidays are right around the corner! You’re not the only one looking forward to this time of year – this can be a fun time of year for your pets as well. Let’s talk about some fun activities to enjoy with your pets during the fall months.

Take a Hike

The fall is the perfect time to explore some of your favorite hikes, trails, and national parks, so leash up your buddy and get ready for some fun! You and your dog are bound to enjoy the pretty fall foliage and all the great fall scents. Just make sure that your dog is properly treated for ticks and fleas before heading out, and you are on your way to a fun, safe hike!

Have a Doggy Play Date

Depending on where you live, fall can be a bit too chilly at times to enjoy the outdoors. Your dog still needs to get the proper amount of exercise and physical activity on those chilly days. Why not invite a friend to bring their dog over for a little play date action? This can be a lot of fun for both you and your dog and will provide them with a good amount of exercise!

Toss around the Football

We can’t speak for everyone, but for some people fall means FOOTBALL! So, get in the spirit and toss a football around with your dog in the park or the backyard. Sure, he can’t throw it back or score a touchdown, but he surely will love being on the receiving end. For smaller dogs you can even throw a small, plush football around instead.

Head to the Pumpkin Patch

Fall means pumpkin everything, right? Head to a pumpkin patch in your area and bring your dog along with you {as long as it is dog-friendly}. Let your dog help you pick out the perfect pumpkins to adorn your house with. This would also be a good time to snap some cute fall photos of your dog posing beside the prettiest pumpkin of the patch! Did you know that many dogs actually enjoy the taste of pumpkin? It’s even safe for them to eat! Give them a scoop with their next meal and see how they like it.

Camping Trip

A camping trip is like a dog’s dream come true, and fall is one of the best times of year to do it. Find a dog-friendly camping ground near you and plan a trip. Your dog will love spending quality time with you in the outdoors and you can enjoy unplugging and getting away for the weekend.

Halloween Fun

There are always plenty of pet-friendly community events happening around Halloween. These events are a great opportunity for your dog to get some social interaction and even for you to meet other dog lovers in your community. Start planning early and {if your dog doesn’t mind} find the perfect Halloween costume for both you and your dog to wear to join in on all of the fun!

Fall is such a great time of year to plan fun activities with your pet. We couldn’t possibly list all of the pet-friendly activities for you to enjoy. The important thing is to get out and spend some quality time with your pet and let them enjoy this time of year as much as the rest of us do. Happy Fall!

Eagle Pack Nutrition in Action Video

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Check out our new Eagle Pack- Nutrition in Action video!

Responsible Pet Owners Month

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Owning a pet is a rewarding part of life, but there are certain responsibilities that are a big part of the package deal and your pet relies on you in many ways. February is Responsible Pet Owners Month and in recognition, we’ve compiled a list of things that you can do as a responsible pet owner.

5 Responsibilities of a Pet Owner


1. Do Your Research – Being a responsible pet owner begins before even bringing a pet into your home. It is your responsibility to do the research involved to decide on a pet that will fit into your lifestyle.

  • Consider your current daily schedule and how much time you’ll be able to designate for your pet’s needs.
  • Do your research on breed-specific characteristics and the activity levels that various breeds of dogs require to ensure it is a good match for your lifestyle.

2. Practice Healthy Habits- Whether it’s long walks and hikes or active play in the house or yard, encouraging regular exercise will help keep your pet (and you) healthy

  • Fun Fact – The New York Times has stated that before getting a dog, new dog owners had timed about 89 minutes of weekly walking, but dog ownership boosted that number to 130 minutes a week.

3. Have Your Pet Micro-Chipped – You never know when your pet may be feeling adventurous and dig their way out of the fence, or a door may get left open and serve as an invitation for them to sneak out. Having your pet micro-chipped can be a life-saver when it comes to finding a lost pet.

  • The micro-chip serves as your pet’s personal tracking device, allowing you to locate them if they get lost.
  • This is also a service that is usually included when adopting a pet from an animal shelter.

4. Schedule Health Check-ups – Maintaining your pet’s health is one of the biggest responsibilities of a pet owner, and a big part of that is scheduling a yearly veterinary exam.

  • Our pets are unable to tell us when something is wrong, so it is up to us as their owner to identify any potential problems and to know when they need medical attention.
  • Yearly veterinary exams are also necessary to renew any medications your pet may need, including preventative heart worm medication and/or flea and tick prevention.

5. Provide a Nutritional Diet – As the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” Well, the same goes for your pet. Be selective when it comes to choosing your pet’s food to be sure they receive proper nutrition.

  • Feeding a diet with high quality, wholesome ingredients will help ensure your pet gets the most out of the nutrition they receive.
  • Eagle Pack has a variety of diets suitable for pet’s life stage and lifestyle. From small breed to large and giant breed dogs, ranging from puppy to adulthood, Eagle Pack provides formulas with the right balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates combined with health promoting antioxidant support.

Caring for a pet is a daily responsibility, but the responsibility comes with a reward. A reward of unconditional love and daily gratitude from your #1 fan – your pet.