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  • The Pet Boost: Furry Friends Help Seniors Feel Less Lonely
    by NewsUSA@NewsUSA.com (NewsUSA) on August 19, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    (NewsUSA) - Many older adults experience feelings of loneliness and isolation as they age, but pets can provide the companionship and love seniors desire. A new survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care Network, found regular interaction with animals can help to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness in older adults.The most frequently cited benefits of pet ownership are company, comfort, unconditional love, entertainment and improved mood. In fact, 86 percent of pet owners agree they would be lonelier and less happy without their pet, and 58 percent agree that they would not be as physically healthy without their pet.The companionship and love provided by a pet can be especially meaningful for those most at risk for isolation. Home Instead found that pet owners who live alone are significantly more likely to report increased benefits of pet ownership.Owning a pet can also be an important factor for seniors deciding where they will live as they age. According to the survey, 82 percent of older adults say they will not consider moving to a senior living community without their pet.While interaction with animals has been shown to improve mental and physical well-being in older adults, research from Home Instead confirms that seniors don't need to own pets to experience the benefits. Those who regularly interact with, but don't own, pets report feeling better just spending time with animals owned by family, friends and neighbors.There are many ways seniors can interact with animals without taking on the responsibility of pet ownership. Here are a few ideas:* Volunteer at a rescue organization or animal shelter. Many rescue organizations and animal shelters could use an extra hand. Seniors can help provide care for animals, including feeding, watering, restocking supplies, washing dishes, walking dogs, cleaning cages and enclosures or socializing with the animals. Volunteers experience the benefits of interacting with pets, and they can provide some care to an animal in need.* Get to know your neighbors' pets. Seniors who regularly walk their neighborhoods will likely see pet owners walking their dogs. Asking to join them for a walk might lead to new friendships with neighbors and dogs.* Connect with a therapy animal. Pet Partners therapy teams, made up of a pet owner and his or her registered animal, go into many locations where seniors are living or being treated, such as hospitals, hospice centers and care communities.* Visit a pet store. Some pet stores sell small animals, such as guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, gerbils, mice, rats, certain geckos, bearded dragons, snakes, and specific types of frogs, birds and fish. Visiting can provide a pet fix!With so many options available, finding the right animal interaction for each individual should be as easy as a walk in the dog park.To help older adults determine what type of pet interaction is right for them, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is offering free information and tips to help seniors incorporate animals into their lives. To learn more about how older adults can bring animals into their lives, visit PetsandSeniors.com or contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office or www.homeinstead.com.

  • Feature-Rich Dog Parks Are Coming to Towns Across America
    by NewsUSA@NewsUSA.com (NewsUSA) on March 7, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    (NewsUSA) - Lassie used to run free throughout the town, solving problems and rescuing kids in trouble.Today, it is rare and often illegal to let a dog roam off-leash. Even large parks usually have leash laws. At the same time, dog ownership is growing.According to the American Pet Products Association, there are over 60 million US households with at least one dog. And those dog owners are increasingly looking for places to let their dogs run and socialize off-leash.Some communities have solved this by creating off-leash areas such as fenced-in parks where people can let Spot run free.According to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, a good dog park has a few essential features. The basics are bags and trash cans for cleaning up after dogs, fresh drinking water, and shade for cooling down.Ideally, dog parks would include separate entrance and exit gates, allowing everyone to comeand go with not only ease, but safety. And a dual-gate system would help eliminate dogs escaping through any open gate while another dog is entering or leaving through it.While those are the basics, dog parks are popping up around the country with additional fun features to keep canines safe and happy.Beau's Dream Dog Park in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania has a tennis ball tree that launches balls for large dogs.Pilgrim Dog Park in Provincetown, Massachusetts has pet-friendly sculptures designed by local artists that dogs can play on.Catalyst Experiential is currently designing the Bucks County Dog Park, which will be one of the most feature-laden in the country. The entrance is designed to resemble the two halves of a large, broken dog biscuit. Once they pass through the "dog biscuit" entrance, dogs will find water features, an agility station, ample shade, and even dog-wash facilities inside their park. It's like Disney for dogs!The dog park is one of many projects that Catalyst Experiential is bringing to communities as a part of their vision to integrate community and communication.The "broken dog biscuit" entrance to the park features two displays that will enable local government, schools, organizations and businesses to speak directly to the communities they serve, including announcing local events, issuing safety messages, and other timely communications.A dog lover and owner himself, Catalyst Experiential CEO Thaddeus Bartkowski explains that "while dog ownership has increased, rules and regulations restricting the ability of dogs to run free has unfortunately been on the rise as well.""What we hope to create is a place where dogs can get the off-leash exercise they deserve to enhance quality of life for both the dogs and their owners," he says.For more information about Catalyst Experiential, reach out here. 

  • Pets-Come-First Trend Unleashes Happy Results For Homeowner
    by NewsUSA@NewsUSA.com (NewsUSA) on January 23, 2019 at 11:55 am

    (NewsUSA) - Some dog lovers show their puppy love with fancy dog food, a special spot on the sofa or toys and outfits. And then there are those who buy their dog a house. Not a doghouse mind you, a whole HOUSE. Meet Whitney, a 31-year-old mortgage industry professional who lives in Falls Church, Va. Similar to many millennials, she is focused on her career, so for now, her 3-year-old dog, Lucy Goose, is her baby. And as with any good parent, it's important to Whitney that her baby be happy in their family home. "When my dog is happy, I'm happy," she confides. Whitney became a first-time homebuyer nine years ago when she was only 22 years old. She purchased a one-bedroom condo because it was cheaper than renting in the high-priced, Washington, D.C.-area where she was living. With her family's help, she bought a $165,000 condo using a 10 percent gift down payment ($16,500) and private mortgage insurance. Her monthly mortgage payment was $2,100 (yes, that was cheaper than the average rent!), and she lived there for more than six years. One month before she sold her condo, Whitney adopted Lucy Goose from a shelter. Although only a puppy, it was obvious the Labrador/Great Dane mix wouldn't stay small for long. The single month Whitney and her energetic new puppy lived together in her small condo was challenging. Whitney knew she needed a larger place but wasn't sure exactly how much room she required. So she rented a townhouse - without a yard - in Arlington, Va., for $3,100 while she assessed the situation. It soon became apparent that a townhouse wouldn't work either, so she started house hunting. This time, Whitney knew exactly what she wanted: a dog-friendly house with enough room to grow her family. She searched for a house with the following must-haves: * Big, fenced-in backyard for Lucy to run and play * A doggy door so Whitney wouldn't have to worry if she worked late and Lucy needed to go outside * Nearby walking trails * Proximity to dog-friendly establishments, i.e., restaurants, dog parks, etc. * Room for another furry baby and any future unfurry babies It took Whitney one year to find a house that checked all her boxes. The house has four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms. It sits on a quarter acre, and has a large fenced-in yard and a doggy door for Lucy, who has since grown to be a 90-pound, gentle giant. The house also has a nature trail behind it. But her dream house came at a steep price: $600,000. Fortunately, investing in homeownership early in life paid off for Whitney. She had $40,000 in equity from the sale of her condo, and chose to make a low down payment of 5 percent ($30,000), using most of that equity. She was able to take out a high-balance conventional loan using private mortgage insurance to avoid having to put down 20 percent ($120,000). Her monthly mortgage payment is $3,800 - only $700 more than she was paying for the townhouse. They moved in last summer. And what does Lucy Goose think of her new house? "She is constantly happy," gushes Whitney. "She loves going in and out of her doggy door, and I've caught her sunbathing on the deck. I sacrifice a lot for Lucy, but she is my baby." Speaking of babies, Whitney is now engaged and while she and, her fiancé Eric have no immediate plans to start having children after they're married, it's nice to know they'll have room to grow their family. Then they can all sit, stay and be happy in their forever home. For more homebuyer resources, visit readynest.com.

  • Have A Dog Who Wets Her Bed? Your Vet Can Help
    by NewsUSA@NewsUSA.com (NewsUSA) on July 14, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    (NewsUSA) - As a pet owner, have you ever had a female dog who always finds the outdoor bathroom during the day, but wets her bed at night?Dogs who follow the house rules can be horrified when they realize that they've leaked -- even though it occurs during sleep.Plastic sheets aren't the answer, and most likely your long-suffering pet wouldn't be happy alone outside.Urine soiling isn't something pet owners enjoy discussing.Many assume it's a behavioral problem, believing they've failed to properly train their pets.But poor bladder control following spaying is actually a physical disorder that's seen mostly in middle-aged female dogs, and can occur any time after surgery.In addition, it's more common in large breeds and those who struggle with obesity.To that end, a rolled-up newspaper won't solve this problem, and won't improve behavioral house soiling either. Leaking urine during rest or sleep is not your dog's fault.There is value in spaying your female dog, but giving up their ovaries means the sphincter muscle in the bladder can be left just weak enough to relax and release urine. It may happen any time they drift off. The result is a tell-tale wet spot on their bed. About 20 percent of spayed dogs face this messy downside.For dog owners who want to try and help their pet, the answer may lie in a liver-flavored tablet.Proin tablets can be given twice daily, and make a difference in both a pet and an owner's life because urine leakage can damage relationships. Consider this: 18 percent of the dogs in shelters were surrendered by frustrated owners because of house soiling.Alternatively, there are other possible causes, so it's essential to allow your veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis before medication is started.Urinary tract infections are common, especially for indoor girls. Bladder stones can also cause house soiling. And elderly dogs may urinate indoors because of senile brain changes, a problem called cognitive dysfunction syndrome. Pets with urinary symptoms need to see their doctors.If a thorough exam and urinalysis come up normal, a healthy female dog who leaks only when resting or sleeping most likely has urinary incontinence due to reduced estrogen. You can explain all of this to your dog, ending "the talk" by telling her that she has urethral sphincter hypotonus. With her leader so well-informed, she is sure to feel better.Veterinarians like to uncover these cases because almost all of them can be turned from frustration to success.Proin is often chosen because it is the only non-hormone treatment option, and also because it's palatable and easy to dose.But in certain cases, due to pet irritability, restlessness, or medical conditions, Proin may be inappropriate.For those dogs, an old standby treatment -- a synthetic estrogen called diethylstilbestrol (DES) -- may be used.There are many undiagnosed female dogs struggling with nocturnal incontinence. The good news for spayed female bed wetters is that they can enjoy campouts and sleepovers just like everybody else.For more information on Proin, including important safety material, pet owners can visit www.proinforcanines.com.

  • How to Save Money on Pet Care
    by NewsUSA@NewsUSA.com (NewsUSA) on November 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    (NewsUSA) - Owning a pet has a lot of perks, but caring for one can take its toll on your wallet. According to the ASPCA, owning a dog or cat can cost up to $1,000 in the first year, and many people end up spending much more. The good news is you can cut your pet care expenses without compromising your pet's health and well-being. Here are a few ways you can save money and keep your pet healthy. 1. Don't skip the vet. If you're trying to save money, it can be tempting to cut back on veterinary visits. But according to Julie Ciarmella of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, "an investment in preventive healthcare can reduce your long-term pet healthcare costs." Why? Because regular check-ups can prevent expensive complications down the road. 2. Get by with a little help from your friends. Dog-walking, pet-sitting and kennel services can be some of the most expensive aspects of owning a pet. You can save money by taking the "you scratch my dog's back, I'll scratch your cat's chin" approach and tapping into a network of other pet owners in your area. Neighborhood dog parks are great places to meet like-minded pet lovers; or, you could try good old-fashioned advertising. 3. Choose high-quality pet products that give you more value for your money. Reaching for the cheapest product can feel like a thrifty move, but you may be surprised by the impact "cheap" products can have on your budget. For example, cheaper clay cat litter needs to be changed more often, so cat owners go through bag after bag. World's Best Cat Litter is an alternative that harnesses the concentrated power of corn for long-lasting performance. You'll use less litter, replace it less often and save money in the long run. In the end, remember that what your pet needs most is love. Keep things simple and invest in high-value products where it matters, and you'll be on your way to a pet care budget that works for you.

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