Posts in Guest Post

Keep your pets safe this season: 6 Pet Spring Safety Tips

Spring seems to be finally arriving, and with it comes many potential dangers to your pets that as a pet owner, you need to know about. Here are 5 big things to look out for as the season changes to keep your pets safe.

Temperatures: We’ve had a strange winter with temperatures fluctuating day by day and week by week. Before taking your pet outside, check the wind chill and watch for signs your pet is getting too cold.

Melting Snow: Snow melting isn’t just about having puddles everywhere, there’s also the component of discovering what is underneath the snow. Squirrel nuts or bird feces that may have been dropped on your lawn in the fall have now had time to ferment and can be dangerous for your pets if ingested. Dogs tend to travel with their noses, so be diligent watching your pet when going for walks so they don’t ingest litter, cigarette butts, or anything else not yet cleaned up from the winter.

Salt Overload: Even if it’s been awhile since the roads were salted near you, if they had been heavily salted there is residue left behind in the sand, gravel, and puddles on your street. Salt acts as a local irritant, and when it dries, can irritate your pet enough to lick it off. This causes the threat of a dangerous amount of salt intake. Salt is a poison in large quantities and can cause problems for your pet. To avoid this, rinse your pet’s paws in a basin of warm water when you come inside after a walk, this will help remove any salt residue.

Spring plants: During the spring, soil is moist and fragrant and this can attract pets to eat things they find there! Plants with like Tulips and Lilies, or any with bulbs can be everything from a mild stomach irritant all the way up to a really strong toxin. For a list of poisonous plants and flowers, visit the Ontario SPCA factsheets. Some people are also putting down early fertilizer, which when ingested can be poisonous as well to your pets.

Fleas: Flea season is pretty much year round now because there isn’t heavy enough freezing for them to die off. The warm weather that comes from Spring allows flea eggs to start hatching, which can cause problems for your pet. Be aware and prepared for this issue to affect your pets.

Active Wildlife: With the change of season comes an awakening of wildlife. Spring is mating season, so within a few months litters will start being born. When walking at night, be vigilant in watching for skunks, and raccoons, and other wildlife common in your area.

For more tips on Spring and taking care of your pet, check out the Ontario SPCA factsheets.Happy Spring!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Spring is finally here. Time to Fix Your Pet!

Spring finally feels like it’s approaching; the sun is out, wildlife is waking up and animals are preparing for the spring season of love. You know what that means? It’s time to Fix Your Pet!

March is Fix Your Pet Month at the Ontario SPCA – A time dedicated to educating the public about the importance of spaying/neutering their pets to help control pet overpopulation.

People are sometimes daunted by the price of a spay/neuter surgery, but it’s important to remember this one cost covers your pet for life and comes with so many benefits.

Here are 3 reasons why you should Fix Your Pet:

  1. Every year, thousands of animals are abandoned on the street or end up in shelters trying to find new homes.
  2. There are physical benefits for your pets, such as reducing the risk of developing certain cancers, infections and illnesses, reducing physical stress and improving behaviour, including less territorial marking, destructiveness and aggression.
  3. In 2014, Ontario SPCA Animal Centres saw a reduction in cat-intake of 19% with some centres reporting a reduction of 40-50%, directly as a result of more spay/neuter surgeries in the province.

#ConeOfFame Post-surgery cat

Help us celebrate spay/neuter this month by taking the pledge on fixyourpet.ca to say you have or will be fixing your pet and be entered to win the Grand Prize. For a chance to win weekly prizes, enter our Cone of Fame Contest by posting a picture of your fixed pet in their cone on social media using the hashtag #ConeOfFame.

Looking for more information on the importance of fixing your pet? Check out our Animal’s Voice Pawdcast, “Ontario SPCA Spay/Neuter Services” on SoundCloud or  iTunes.

To learn more about the importance of having your pet spayed or neutered, visit fixyourpet.ca.

For more information on the Ontario SPCA’s High Volume Spay/Neuter Clinics, visit spayneuter.ontariospca.ca.

#ConeOfFame Post-surgery dog

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Don’t let your puppy feel left out while you bake. Try this ‘Pupcake’ recipe!

Have you ever been baking, and out of the corner of your eye see an interested puppy’s nose getting a little too close to the goods? Our pets love being with us, and they also love food! So it only makes sense that they’d want to be involved when you’re getting your sweets on in the kitchen. To keep them away from your baked goods, we have a great solution: make them their own, specialty, ‘pupcakes’! These are little treats, similar to the more traditional cupcakes, which are specifically made with ingredients that will not harm your pet, and that they’ll enjoy. We’ve broken it all down for you so you can quickly and easily make pet-safe cupcakes for your furry friends.

Pup getting too close to your treats?

Pup getting too close to your treats?

Make a special treat for your pet so they don't feel left out

Make a special treat for your pet so they don’t feel left out

“Pupcakes” recipe
Ingredients:
2-3/4 cups water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup dried apple pieces (you can also use fresh fruit)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg beaten
4 tablespoons honey
Directions:
• Preheat oven to 350C. Spray cupcake tin with cooking spray. Mix wet ingredients thoroughly.
• Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
• Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients slowly, scraping well to make sure no dry mixture is left.
• Pour into cupcake tins.
• Bake for 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the centre and if it comes out dry, they are done.
• Cool completely and serve. Store in a sealed container. Makes 12-14 pupcakes.

These are edible for humans, but designed for a dog’s palate, so don’t plan on serving them to your human friends. If your ‘pupcakes’ get you into a baking mood, consider hosting a Cupcake Day party during February to raise money for your local SPCA or Humane Society.
National Cupcake Day™ is a coordinated Canadian event to support local shelters, SPCAs, and Humane Societies. In 2015, animal lovers across Canada raised over $550,000 in support of their favourite societies.

Here’s all you need to do: register for National Cupcake Day, and host a party where you bake for your co-workers, friends and family. In exchange for a cupcake, your guests donate to the participating animal welfare charity of your choice. This simple, fun, event raises critically-needed funds for animals that are abused, abandoned, neglected or no longer wanted. Your Cupcake Day party can be held at your workplace, home, school or local community centre – anywhere you think people will enjoy a treat!

National Cupcake Day is Monday, February 29, 2016, but you can hold your Cupcake Day party on whatever day works best for you in February. The event is supported by the Ontario SPCA and BC SPCA on behalf of participating local shelters, SPCAs, and Humane Societies.
Get baking today, and make a difference in the lives of needy animals!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

7 Tips to get your pet through the winter

The winter months are full of perils for our furry friends, and it’s our responsibility to protect them! There are a number of things you need to be aware of as a pet parent, so here are six great tips to keeping your pet comfortable and happy through the winter months.

Help your pets enjoy winter  with these 7 tips

1. Reflective gear: The days are shorter during the winter, but that doesn’t mean your dog wants to take shorter walks! Consider purchasing some reflective gear for you and your dog so you can be seen and safe on your wintery strolls.
2. Clean your pet’s paws: After those lovely walks, make sure you carefully clean your pet’s paws to remove ice and salt, both of which can irritate their paws and cause them pain. Use warm water and a towel to gently clean any of these substances off the paws.
3. Dog boots: To help keep your pet comfortable on winter walks, purchase some dog boots. For all sizes and breeds of dogs, boots help minimize the contact between your dog’s feet and harmful chemicals. Not only that, but they prevent painful ice balls from forming on the paws of dogs with particularly hairy paws.
4. Proper doghouse: If your dog spends any extended period of time outside, they need a proper and suitable doghouse according to the Ontario SPCA Act, all year round. If dogs are tethered in any way outside they need ready access to a shelter so they can get out of the wind and cold.

Help your pets enjoy winter  with these 7 tips

5. Avoid Antifreeze: If you can, avoid using antifreeze on your car. To animals, the poisonous substance tastes sweet but if ingested they only need a small amount to permanently damage their kidney. Do some research and purchase the pet-friendly substitute to antifreeze instead. If you have to to change your car’s antifreeze, be very careful not to spill any around your car, and if it does spill, clean it thoroughly with detergent.
6. Check your car’s hot spots: Before starting your car in the winter, check your car hood and wheel wells for stray cats, or other wildlife. Animals may hide in those places to keep out of the cold, so it’s important to be aware.
7. No pets in cars! : In the winter your car can reach dangerously cold temperatures very fast. Whether it’s a quick coffee break, or a trip to the shopping mall, do not leave your pet alone in your car. Leave them at home where they are safe and warm, or stay in the car with them. To report a dog or cat in a car, call 310-SPCA in Ontario (for other provinces, contact your local SPCA or Humane Society, they will direct you to the appropriate help).
Help your pets enjoy winter  with these 7 tips

There you have it! Some tips to keep your pets safe through the wintery months. Enjoy them as best as you can!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

It’s Raining Feral Cats!

You may know Pharrell Williams. Probably Will Ferrell too. But have you heard the term “feral cats” before? If you aren’t quite sure what a feral cat is, don’t worry, you aren’t alone!

A “feral” cat is a cat who has reverted in some form or another to a wild state. Feral cats originate from former domestic cats who were lost or abandoned and then learned to live outdoors or in environments involving little human contact. In the Greater Toronto Area alone there are estimated to be over 100,000 feral cats roaming the streets. Now that’s a lot of cats!

Luckily, the Ontario SPCA has created three innovative programs to help the kind people that care for the feral cats of our communities rain or shine! The first is a Feral Cat Trap Depot Program where the Society loans out cat traps to feral cat caretakers at no charge. The hope is that these cats will undergo the TNR program (Trap, Neuter and Return) and will rejoin the stray cat population without the possibility of having more babies.

The second is a Free Feral Food Bank which provides a steady support of food to help out the feral cat caretakers. Without this program, the dedicated caretakers use their own money to personally care for these cats that have unfortunately been abandoned by our society.

And last but not least, the Ontario SPCA and their volunteers build feral cat shelters for feral cat caretakers so that they can provide a safe, warm place for feral cats during our cold, harsh winters. We know how cold it can be for us (who have warm houses to deal with the extreme temperatures), so you can understand why the need for these cats to have a warm place to call their own is so important. No one wants to be stuck out in a blizzard with no where to take shelter!

So why are the numbers of feral cats so high? We think it’s from a lack of spaying and neutering. To give you some perspective, in seven years, just one unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 80,000 kittens!

Shelters across the country are constantly taking in animals that are unfixed. According to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, 25,000 cats and over 8,500 dogs were spayed or neutered while at shelters in 2013 (please note: this does not include statistics from the Ontario SPCA).

It’s been proven over the years that spaying and neutering pets can really make a difference in the number of homeless pets on our streets. For example, since the Ontario SPCA Marion Vernon Memorial Animal Clinic opened in Barrie in 2009, the Ontario SPCA Barrie Branch has seen shelter cat intake reduce by 53%! In six years, that’s definitely a lot less homeless pets on the streets! Overall at Ontario SPCA Branches across the province, shelter intake has reduced by 27%.

Doing your part to help manage the current pet overpopulation crisis makes such a large impact that it can be seen in communities across Ontario. Imagine what we could accomplish if everyone spayed and neutered their pets?

Want to learn more about the importance of fixing your pet? Visit fixyourpet.ca – it’s the kindest thing you can do!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets