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Tips for Introducing Unique Pets to Your Dog Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? It Could Be a Sign of Poor Health Pets Help Seniors Stay Healthier and Happier

Outward Signs of Aging in Your Pet

Volume 4 Issue 1 | Jan-Feb-Mar 2018

The Dog Poop Diet

Paradise Pets Magazine is published by Publish In Paradise for the purpose of uniting and supporting our pet communities. For advertising inquiries, please visit us online or email © 2018 Publish in Paradise Paradise Pets Magazine Publisher: Angela J. Willard Contributors: Sarah Pflug

On the cover: This French Bulldog is showing his pride. Photo © Sarah Pflug of Toronto, Ontario About Sarah: "I enjoy the finer things in life such as cheese, chocolate and pickles. I have a passion for food photography and am constantly pushing myself to expand on my knowledge and experience." You can see more of Sarah’s fabulous photos on her website at

This January marks our anniversary for Paradise Pets Magazine, which started in Key West in 2015. We now begin our fourth year and with that, a new direction. As I had stated in our last issue, we are offering free advertising to all businesses in the Keys that are pet-related or pet-friendly. This is a year long offer that began after Irma hit. It is our way of helping our friendly pet communities in the Keys recover. Be sure to get your free business listing in our online directory! Check the back cover of this issue for more information. Another way to help the Keys recover is to do business with one another in the Keys–but how do you do that if you don’t know about every pet-related or pet-friendly business, and their owners? With working so much, not all have the opportunity to go out and meet everybody. So we hope to help with that in our future issues by interviewing business owners in the Keys, like we did in our first issue with Ronnie Rupe and Richard Dennison, who own and operate Gourmet Nibbles and Baskets with Flowers by Request in Key West (read our first issue by following the link below). It is my hope that this new direction will mean a positive change for us all as we continue to overcome all the Irmas that come our way. Shalom, R e a d t h e f i r st i ssu e h


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Features Pet Parents 4

5 Tips for Introducing Unique Pets to Your Dog


Pets Help Seniors Stay Healthier and Happier


Tips to Maintain a Beautiful, Pet Friendly Home

Pet Health 6 Bad Breath in Pets Could Be a Sign of Poor Health

8 Outward Signs of Aging in Your Pet 16 The Dog Poop Diet

15 Resource Guide

Find us on Facebook Follow Us on Instagram & Twitter @ParadisePetsMag PARADISE PETS MAGAZINE DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational and interest purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. Veterinarians cannot answer specific questions about your pet's medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Your pet's medical protocol should be given by your local veterinarian.

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5 Tips for Introducing Unique Pets to Your Dog

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Photo credit: @in_stride_ride

ou're an animal lover, and you've dreamed about your dog running through a field alongside a horse or watching your pup play with a pet goat. But how will your companions respond when they meet their new unique sibling?


Also consider interactions your pet has had with other dogs to indicate how a future meeting with an unfamiliar animal might go.

To make sure your pets start their relationship out right, the experts at Tractor Supply Company, a nationwide rural lifestyle retailer, have five tips to make the introduction as seamless as possible.

2. Let the New Pet Get Comfortable

Taking the appropriate steps to properly introduce your dog to another animal such as a horse, pig, goat or rabbit - will drastically improve the chances of the two becoming friends.

1. Consider Your Pet's Personality Dogs are instinctively pack animals and tend to get along well with others, especially ones that roam in a pack or herd such as horses, goats and sheep.

Your dog isn't the only animal dealing with a change. Remember your new flock, pet goat or rabbit may need a few days to get used to their surroundings. Giving animals some time to learn their environment can alleviate some initial skittish behavior.

3. Set up a Controlled Introduction Whether introducing a small rabbit or big horse, start with a meeting where you have the control. Prior to orchestrating the first sniff, place your new animal inside a fenced enclosure that allows both your dog and the new friend enough space to observe each other.

But teaching your dog to live with respect for members of another species will depend on several factors, including its age, breed and temperament.

Once your dog has taken in all of the initial sights and smells, it still may take several weeks for comfort to set in. Take it slow, be persistent, and remember that peaceful coexistence starts with familiarity.

While breed doesn't always predict an animal's personality, it can be insightful in determining likely traits. For instance, labs, retrievers and terriers are natural hunters and might be better friends with a goat or pig rather than a rabbit.

4. Reward Calm Behavior Chances are your dog will be suspicious of something new in its backyard domain. (Continued on page 7)

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© Paul/

Bad Breath in Pets Could Be a Sign of Poor Health If you’ve ever experienced dry mouth, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Unfortunately, your pet can get dry mouth too, and it can lead to more serious issues down the line and can also be a sign of more serious current health issues. Dry mouth is a condition where saliva loses its protective benefits and leads to an overgrowth of odor-causing bacteria and plaque accumulation, as well as increases the risk of periodontal disease. While such diseases as diabetes can contribute to dry mouth in pets, the most common cause is medication. What’s more,

it is believed that medications increase the risk of developing complications due to dry mouth by 40 percent. This side effect is far-reaching. Medications for allergies, anxiety, urinary incontinence, osteoarthritis pain, heart conditions, high blood pressure and more can all contribute to dry mouth. While most pet parents are not aware their furry friends have dry mouth because they may still drool even with the condition, watching out for bad breath can help, as it is often a red flag that something is wrong.

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Experts say that you don’t need to wait until this becomes an issue to protect your pet’s health.

If your dog starts wiggling with excitement or whining, that's normal!

“Prevention is always the best medicine,” says Pamela K. Bosco, president of Pet King Brands.

Bosco recommends Oratene Brushless Oral Care for pets, an easy-to-use oral care product line that doesn’t require brushing. Whether it’s the water additive, breath freshening spray or brushless toothpaste gel, the enzymes in its formula work to replenish what is missing in order to help restore healthy oral flora, as well as destroy odor-causing bacteria and remove plaque biofilm. The products can help prevent complications due to dry mouth, and will benefit any age dog or cat, especially those on medications, aging pets, or those pet parents averse to brushing.

Oral health is crucial to a pet’s overall health. Be sure to pay special attention to the state of affairs in your pet’s mouth by taking steps to prevent dry mouth, a condition that can lead to serious health issues when left untreated.

Source: StatePoint

Reinforce positive interactions by offering comfort and rewarding submissive body language, such as relaxed ears and a lowered head. Be patient. Dogs are not trained overnight.

5. Leashed Meeting Next, using a leash, bring your dog to meet the new pet. Let them check each other out and interact in a safe way. Repeat this process for as long as it takes for your dog to relax. This portion of the interaction will require close observation of your dog's behavior. Any type of tension or aggression needs to result in a firm "no," while good behavior should be verbally praised. In the event that your dog shows signs of fear or aggression, increase your distance until you've reestablished a calm demeanor and then try again. Continue this ritual until your dog and your new pet start to behave like old friends.

For expert advice on raising pets and other animals, visit Source: BPT

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Outward Signs of Aging in Your Pet and How to Take Action


t seems like just yesterday you brought her home and made her a part of the family. If you own a cat or dog, you have fond memories of your furry family member from day one. Fast forward to today. Just like with people, age sometimes creeps up slowly on pets. Every pet is unique, so changes happen at different times. What's more, age-related changes can be easy to miss because they appear so gradually over time. Being aware and proactive is the best thing pet parents can do to help their pets stay healthy as they age. The American

Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that pets have a senior screening at about age 7. This allows the veterinarian to address any current concerns or potential health risks, including nutritional considerations. Aging in pets can potentially impact the relationship you have with them, so being aware of the signs and what to do can help keep your older pet in the game. To help you understand what to look for, Hill's Pet Nutrition has developed the "Tell TAILS" signs of aging in cats and dogs.

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T = Thinking-

Your pet gets confused by ordinary things, like how to find their bed.

activity and used that knowledge to create pet foods for pets of this age."

A = Activity-

When selecting food, consider key nutrients important for pets aged 7 and older. A high-quality food like Hill's Science Diet Youthful Vitality, developed from over a decade of extensive research, includes:

Your pet is less active. Naps are now more appealing than playing or exploring.

I = Interactions-

Your pet doesn't socialize with you as much as before.

L = Loss of control-

Your pet is well-trained, but has started to have accidents.

● High-quality protein with balanced levels of essential amino acids to support muscles.

S = Sleep-wake cycle-

● L-carnitine to help the body convert nutrients into energy to move, run and play.

Sleeping patterns have changed, with more awake time during the night.

You're the one who spends the most time with your pet, so it's important to note any of these changes and communicate them to your veterinarian. Consistent vet visits and changing your pet's food are just two things that can help older pets to continue to remain healthy in their later years. "As pets grow older, aging occurs inside every cell in their body and Hill's studies these changes down to the gene level," says Kathy Gross, Director of Clinical Nutrition at Hill's Science Diet. "Our research shows that gene expression and activity are different in pets aged 7 and older compared to their younger counterparts. Through this research we've identified natural ingredients and nutrients that change gene

● Right balance of phosphorus and sodium, not too much and not too little, helps maintain a healthy bladder, kidneys and heart. ● Antioxidant vitamins E and C along with beta-carotene and selenium to protect cells and support healthy immune function.

In addition to making nutritional adjustments, consider these smart tips for helping your pet get the most out of life and unlock their ageless spirit: 1. Providing regular exercise and opportunities to interact with family members helps keep older pets in shape and their minds actively engaged. (Continued on page 12)

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Pets Help Seniors Stay Healthier and Happier





Gabrielle Collette once said, "Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet." Pets provide meaningful social support for owners, and they can be especially beneficial for seniors. Ample research shows pet ownership delivers physical and mental health benefits for seniors, regardless of whether they're living on their own or in a senior living community. However, many older Americans still mistakenly believe moving into a senior living community means they'll have to

leave their pets behind. In fact, the fear they'll have to give up a beloved pet is among the top emotional reasons seniors don't want to move into senior living, according to author and senior real estate specialist Bruce Nemovitz. In an informal survey by Nemovitz, seniors ranked losing a pet as emotionally jarring as having to leave their familiar homes and possessions. "Senior living communities like Brookdale Senior Living are all about supporting the physical health and mental well-being of residents," says Carol Cummings, senior director of Optimum Life.

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"For many senior citizens, pets are an important part of their lives. It makes sense to preserve the bond between pet and senior owner whenever possible."

are less agitated and have fewer behavioral issues.

Pets in Senior Living Settings Physical Benefits Pet ownership benefits senior citizens in multiple ways, research shows. Older people who own dogs are likely to spend 22 additional minutes walking at a moderately intense pace each day, according to a recent study by The University of Lincoln and Glasgow Caledonian University. Published in BioMed Central, the study also found dog owners took more than 2,700 more steps per day than non-owners. Multiple studies have also concluded that pet ownership can help lower blood pressure, contribute to improved cardiovascular health and reduce cholesterol.

Mental Health Interacting with pets also has many mental health benefits, especially for seniors. Spending time with pets can help relieve anxiety and increase brain levels of the feel-good neurochemicals serotonin and dopamine. Pets can help relieve depression and feelings of loneliness. The online journal Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research reports multiple studies indicate dementia patients who interact with animals become more social,

"For too long, some senior living communities didn't recognize the value of allowing residents to bring their pets with them," Cummings says. "That has definitely changed." For seniors looking for a community that will accept their pets, Cummings suggests a few questions to ask: ● What is your pet policy and what type of animal do you consider a pet? Generally, small dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rats, hamsters, fish, turtles and other small companion animals qualify for pet policies. Seniors should check to be sure their pet meets the standards of the community. ● What is your pet health policy? Typically, senior living communities that accept small pets will want them to be current on all vaccinations and have regular exams by a licensed veterinarian. Pets will also need to have any required state- or county-issued licenses. ● What, if any, kind of training do you require pets to have? Requiring dogs to be house-trained and cats to be litter-trained is standard.

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â—? Communities will also want to know your pet is well-behaved and not aggressive. They may ask you to have pets obedience trained. â—? Do you offer any assistance with petrelated tasks? Most communities will require residents be able to care for pets themselves, including feeding, walking, potty needs and health needs.

"Moving into a senior living community is a big change, one that most residents find positive," Cummings says. "They gain freedom from home maintenance tasks and household chores, a socially rewarding environment, and as-needed support for healthcare and daily care. As long as seniors are still able to care for their pets, there's no reason they shouldn't be allowed to bring their best friends with them to their new homes."

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2. Just as with people, maintain a healthy body weight and body proportion (more muscle, strong bones, less body fat) by avoiding overfeeding, doing regular weigh-ins and avoiding unhealthy snacks. 3. Regular veterinary checkups (once per year for middle-aged pets and twice per year for senior pets over the age of 7) are recommended so any concerns or potential health risks can be addressed.

For more information about pet health for cats and dogs, visit For more information about pet aging and the cutting-edge food science in Science Diet Youthful Vitality, visit

Source: BPT Source: BPT

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Tips to Maintain a Beautiful, Pet Friendly Home


or all the companionship pets provide, it’s fair to admit that they can mess up a clean, tidy home pretty quickly. But rather than sequester furry loved ones to certain rooms of the house or simply submit to the chaos, you can follow a few savvy tips to keep your home fresh with less work.

pets’ coats healthy and help prevent shedding fur from ending up everywhere. After walking the dog or letting the cat into the backyard, wipe paws before pets get a chance to track in mud and debris. You can set up a clean-paws station by your home’s entrance to ensure you make this a habit.

Smart Flooring Pet Grooming Brushing pets regularly is good for them -and good for flooring and furniture. Do so every couple days in order to keep your

There’s no need to compromise on the quality of your home’s flooring, say experts. “As much as we all love our pets, it’s no secret that they can wreak havoc on

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flooring, especially carpets,” says Jennifer Bertrand, Flooring America design consultant. “But by seeking out products specifically designed for busy homes with pets, you can maintain the look of your carpets.” Bertrand points to Stainmaster’s PetProtect from Flooring America as a good solution for pet owners for a few reasons. “It resists pet stains. Which means you can worry about other things, like which dog park to visit next. Your pup will love it too, because he won’t get in trouble after his little mess-ups,” she says. When it comes to pet “mess-ups,” the carpeting features a breathable moisture barrier designed to prevent spills and accidents from soaking through the cushion and subfloor, so there are no lingering pet odors after a thorough cleaning. And because the carpeting releases more pet hair when vacuumed, this routine chore is made fast and simple.

lifestyle should be easy. But remember, it’s easier to clean as you go than it is to wait until things get out of hand. Keep cleaning supplies nearby (in a locked cabinet for Fido’s safety) for spot cleans and quick touch-ups after mishaps, and remember to vacuum regularly. Don’t forget corners, where build-up tends to occur. Wipe down surfaces to lift pet dander off baseboards, counters and window sills.

With a few tricks, and some smart petfriendly product selections where carpeting and furniture are concerned, you can have the best of both worlds: a clean and fresh home, and all the members of your family -- including those with four legs -- together when and where you like. Source: StatePoint

Look for carpeting with extra durability and protection against color fading, which means it will stay newer-looking for longer, with no compromise to your pet’s territory or your daily schedule. More information about pet-friendly carpets and flooring can be found at

Cleaning Habits With smart pet-friendly flooring and furniture choices (think microfiber sofas), cleaning up after your pet and busy

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Pet Resource Guide Key West, FL Florida Keys SPCA Key West Campus Adoption services, animal control & more. 5230 College Road, Key West, FL (305) 294-4857 | Xena Fund Financial help with veterinary care 1623 Laird Street, Key West, FL (305) 432-0494 |

Marathon, FL Florida Keys SPCA Marathon Campus Adoption services, animal control & more. 10550 Aviation Blvd. Marathon, FL (305)743-4800 |

Adopt at Your Local Shelter

Pawsitive Touch Giving your animal companions the energy to heal P.O. Box 500591, Marathon, FL 305.481.0868 |

Key Largo, FL Humane Animal Care Coalition 105951 Overseas Highway Key Largo, Florida 33037 305-451-0088

Do you have a pet business? A pet friendly motel, restaurant or other establishment? Get listed in our resource guide and we will connect you to pet parents in the Keys and beyond. Paradise Pets Magazine, Key West, FL Vol. 4 Issue 1 Š 2018 | 15

By Angela J. Willard for Paradise Pets Magazine

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Coprophagia (dogs eating poop) is a behavior problem. I recently found, what looked like, a half-munched poo while I was cleaning up our dog area. I decided to not inspect it too closely and figured I was imagining what “could have been” until I caught our six-month old puppy, Jax, shoving his nose up Chloe’s --- and trying to eat her poo as it was coming out. Absurd! Right? Nasty! But, apparently, this can be a common behavior, especially in puppies.

It’s important for Jax and all dogs to know that poop is okay—just not to eat. We don’t want them thinking that going poop is a bad thing, so they feel they should eat away any evidence! What to do: 1. Reinforce good pooping behavior. 2. Discourage Coprophagia. 3. Buy them healthy treats to munch on.

This is a new behavior in Jax that I have not seen before. It is a behavior I immediately addressed. If your puppy/dog tends to eat poop excessively, please take your poop-eating pup to the vet—it could be a symptom of an underlying medical issue or vitamin/mineral deficiency. And if your pup is not immunized, be sure to get him up to date on his immunizations because diseases can be spread through feces.

Why is My Dog Eating Poop? There’s a few reasons, I’ve learned, why dogs may chew the poo. Here’s a few:

4. Make sure potty pads are changed regularly after use.

Yummy Flavor! Another reason Jax, or any dog, may be eating poo is, well, he likes it. In a case such as this, it will be harder to break him of a poo-eating habit. It can be very hard to stop eating something you think is yummy, even if it’s bad for you. Us humans know this all too well! What to do: 1. Discourage Coprophagia.

Hiding the Evidence

2. Buy them healthy treats to munch on.

Both Jax and Chloe (4 year-old Chi) are trained to either go outside, or inside in their designated area on their “potty pads”. If for some reason they didn’t go where it is acceptable, maybe Jax is hiding any evidence of pooing outside the boundaries. Or maybe he is getting confused as to what is acceptable or not. So, now I have to reinforce his positive pooping behaviors while trying to discourage the poop eating behavior.

3. Clean up any poo immediately so your pup doesn’t have the chance to munch on it.

Doggy Boredom Maybe Jax, or your dog, is bored and wants more attention. Voila! I get attention when I am naughty, so let’s eat poop!! If

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this is the problem, there could be an easy fix.

4. Consult your holistic vet on ways to help calm your pet while addressing his Coprophagia.

What to do: 1. Spend more quality time with your dog. Copycat 2. Take them to the dog park more often (at least 1-2 times per week). 3. Buy (or make) them fun new toys to play with. 4. Socialize them with other (non-poop eating) dogs. 5. Discourage Coprophagia.

Stress If your dog is stressed, he may find some comfort in Coprophagia. Of course, that is not what we want for our pups, but nor do we want them to be stressed. So, if stress is the factor, then punishing your pooch for eating his poo will just stress him out more. Find ways to address his poo-eating stress relief that are not going to add to his stress. What to do: 1. Make sure your dog has a calm, relaxing home environment. 2. Spend quality time with your dog and be sure he is able to run and burn off extra energy. 3. Clean up any poo immediately so your pup doesn’t have the chance to munch on it.

Your dog just may be doing what he has seen other dogs do, or doing what a dominant dog is requiring of him. Especially in families with a lot of dogs, it may be hard to find the poop-eating culprit, and other dogs in the family pack just may follow the submissive-leader in the new poop-eating culture. Dogs have an order of dominant and submissive roles. Submissive dogs will sometimes eat the poo of their dominant counterparts. If you have a poop-eater leading your family pack and teaching bad manners, here are some things you can try. What to do: 1. Discourage Coprophagia. 2. Make sure poo is cleaned up pronto! If you have a lot of dogs, you may want to invest in a little help until this poop-eating crisis is over. 3. Buy them healthy treats to munch on. 4. Buy (or make) them fun new toys to play with. 5. Set up a video camera to see if you can catch the culprit! 6. Once you have found the poo-eater, discourage Coprophagia.

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7. Socialize them with other (non-poop eating) dogs.

The Reason That Should Not Exist: You Have a Hungry Dog The simple answer to your dog eating his poo or the cat’s poo, may be simply that he is not getting enough healthy foods in his daily diet. He may be lacking a nutritional component. The lack of iron, vitamin B or other vitamins/minerals could possibly lead your dog to eating feces. What to do: 1. Discourage Coprophagia.

2. Enjoy the puppies!!!

Another, natural way to address coprophagia, according to Dr. Ken Tudor, a Holistic Vet in Southern California is by adding MSG to your dog’s food: “The addition of MSG (monosodium glutamate) or MSG containing products (meat tenderizers) to the diet of the animal whose feces is being eaten often helps discourage coprophagia. In multi-pet households, it is probably easier to add MSG to everyone’s diet. Cats may not readily eat MSG-laced food, so if your dog eats cat poop, you may have to be more strategic with the litter box. Your veterinarian can help you with the proper dose of MSG.”

2. Buy them healthy, grain free dog food. 3. Consult your vet for suggestions on nutritious dog food and a healthy meal plan. 4. Feed your dog regularly-morning and night, or on demand. 5. If you need help feeding your dog, talk to Scott at Dog30 in Key West, or your vet.

A Good Pup Mum If your mama recently had a litter of puppies, eating poop is instinctual and completely normal. A mother with pups instinctively eats her pup’s poop to keep her den clean so as not to attract predators with the scent of her babies.

With my two dogs, Chloe is the mildmannered Chihuahua who would never eat her poo (or Jax’s). But Jax (a Jorky), being a puppy and having that Jack Russell in his blood, loves to get into everything, chew on EVERYTHING, and dig for treasures. Unfortunately, his treasures these days are not made of gold. I am definitely keeping a closer eye on him and staying on top of the poo issue (not literally) to ensure both Jax and Chloe have a happy, peaceful, coprophagia-free home.

What to do:

Sources: PetMD r/2013/dec/why-do-dogs-eat-poop-31118

1. Let them be. She is doing what nature has trained her to do. /evr_dg_why_do_puppies_eat_poop

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Paradise Pets Magazine, Key West, FL Jan-March 2018  
Paradise Pets Magazine, Key West, FL Jan-March 2018  

In this issue: 5 Tips for Introducing Unique Pets to Your Dog; Bad Breath in Pets Could Be a Sign of Poor Health; Outward Signs of Aging in...