People are increasingly discovering that pets provide them with emotional and physical health benefits, according to former AVMA President Dr. Douglas Aspros, and it is likely the stereotype of the "crazy cat lady" may soon be a thing of the past. Petting cats releases oxytocin, making people feel less stressed; the sound of a cat's purr can lower blood pressure; cat owners have less risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke; cats' companionship can reduce loneliness; and exposure early in life may prevent later pet allergies.
Pet owners have a new resource to consult for advice when their dog or cat stops breathing or has a seizure and needs first aid, thanks to the American Red Cross' new online program. The program is available for desktop computers or tablets, costs $25 and can be downloaded at www.redcross.org/catdogfirstaid.
Crave, a new grain-free, high-protein line of food for dogs and cats, is coming from Mars Petcare. The 12 varieties -- in wet cat, dry cat and dry dog food -- contain no artificial ingredients, the Franklin, Tenn., company said.
Last Wishes, Houston's first hospice service for terminally ill pets, has served more than 5,000 families since 2012. This year, Last Wishes opened a compassionate-care center, featuring pain-management consultations, acupuncture, therapeutic laser and sedation-euthanasia.
Cat owner Amy Plitt reports that the new Vesper V-Base cat tree resolves two issues she's had with such devices in the past: It's attractive, and her feline enjoys it. She agrees with Vesper that the tree is "elegant but practical," and likes the price: about $80 on Amazon.
Pet-product marketers can see both opportunity and challenge in research showing that many millennials regard their animals as stand-ins for the children they plan to have later, writes Sami Main. "Pet brands need to connect with pet owners on a deeper level to differentiate," said dog owner Meghan Foreman, 26.
Ontario Veterinary College veterinarian Jason Coe wants to make sure prospective pet owners put enough thought into the impact getting a new pet will have on their lives for the next 10 to 20 years, and he and his team have created a website with a budget calculator and other resources they hope will help. Dr. Coe says the idea was prompted by a study that found many people don't do enough research before they get a pet, which sometimes leads to people giving animals up to shelters.
Scottsdale, Ariz., was ranked the most pet-friendly city for 2017 in an analysis by WalletHub that considered 21 factors in the 100 largest cities including walkability, and data on veterinary costs, number of veterinarians per capita, pet-related businesses, dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants, pet caretakers and animal shelters. Phoenix received the second-highest rating, and Newark, N.J., was in the 100th spot.
On a warm day, temperatures inside vehicles can rapidly rise to dangerous levels, and even a cracked window will not protect pets, according to the AVMA. But under a new state law, Coloradoans can take action if they are concerned that a pet left inside a car is in danger of from heatstroke, though they should first try to make contact with the vehicle's owner or authorities equipped to handle the situation before breaking a window.
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