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CONTENTS Publisher/Editor Maybi Perez Iglesias Contributing Writers Lisa A. Beach Ashley Talmadge MPI for Boomer Pet Magazine Laurren Darr Copy Assistant Tony Iglesias Distribution and Circulation Martha Gonzalez Graphic Designer Melissa Blanco Silva

24 Dogpark Do’s and Don’t’s 28 3 surprising ways pets benefit your kids

Social Media Director Maybi Perez Iglesias Marketing/Sales Maybi Perez Iglesias

7 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe in the Dog Days of Summer............................................. 8 Editor’s Picks.....................................................................12 Alternative Therapy: Help Your Pet Feel Better................................................13

Boomer Pet Magazine is published four times a year by Boomer Pet Magazine, Inc. This magazine or any portion of it may not be reproduced in any form without written consent. Reproduction of this magazine in whole or in part is forbidden. Boomer Pet Magazine is not responsible in any manner for errors or omissions or for any consequences arising from such. Boomer Pet Magazine is not responsible for comments made by writers or advertising companies. Health articles are for informational purposes only. Health articles are not to be used as medical advise. Distribution points may change at any time without prior notice. We are not responsible for any misrepresentations on comments, messages, articles, news stories, editorials and advertising through pring, digital, newsletter, website or social media. We are not held responsible for printing errors. Boomer Pet Magazine is a registered corporation.

Preventing Dog Bites....................................................... 16 5 Simple Ways to Make Your Bedroom Furniture Cat-Friendly.....................................................18 Bring Out the Wild Side of Your Indoor Cat........................................................... 20 Where’s Bella?................................................................. 30 Fashionable Al Fresco Festivities....................................32

7 Pet-proof your garden

Boomer Cover Credit: Hemp My Pet



22 Is your dog a swimmer? BOOMERPETMAG.COM





I’m excited about our summer issue! This issue is filled with information on great product lines for your pet and editorial content on pet product must haves and much more. I want to remind our readers that the summer days can bring lots of fun to our pet families but please keep in mind that these days are also exhausting for your pets due to the warm weather. Don’t forget to protect your fur baby when enjoying outside activities and always keep them well hydrated. I hope you have a fabulous summer! Don’t forget to follow our social media pages for up to date news stories and pet product info.

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Dogs can sniff, lick and chew their way into a case of poisoning. And cats aren’t immune to mischief! Keep your pet free of danger when in the garden by keeping the following in mind: If your pet experiences some of the following after a visit to the garden, they may have run into some kind of garden poison: Vomiting • Trembling • Itchiness • Excessive Salivation • Rapid Breathing Plants: it is common for your pet to come into contact with poisonous plants. Be aware of which plants to keep them away from. The following is a list of plants to watch from: Lilies • Foxgloves • Karaka • Aloe Vera • Onions and Garlic • Wandering Jew Some common potentially harmful dangers that can be found in gardens are: Mulch Products • Fertilizers • Pesticides • Slug and Snail Bait • Compost


Large ingestions of the meal-containing products found in some fertilizers can form a concretion in the stomach, potentially obstructing the gastrointestinal tract and causing severe pancreatitis, and those that contain iron may result in iron poisoning. Also, ingestion of pesticides and insecticides, especially if they contain organophosphates (often found in systemic rose care products), can be life-threatening, even when ingested in small amounts.


It’s vital to remember that sunburn can be just as harmful to dogs as it can be to humans. Too much sun can give dogs skin cancer, and some dogs are particularly at risk. Dog breeds with pale skin and thin hair as well as cats pale noses, are especially vulnerable to solar damage. If you are planning a day out in the sun, it is smart to keep our pets out of the mid-day sun.




7 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe in the dog days of summer

Warm summer weather gives you more chances to hang outside with your pet, whether you’re playing fetch at the park, swimming in the pool or going for a jog together. But the heat and the humidity pose some special dangers for your pet during the summer, including heat stroke, sunburn, dehydration and burned paw pads. by Lisa A. Beach

So how can you keep your pet safe in the heat this summer? Follow these safety tips: 1. Watch out for hot vehicles!

Never leave your pet unattended inside a parked car, not even for “just a few minutes.” Even with a window cracked open, on an 85-degree day, temperatures inside a car can soar to over 120 degrees in under 10 minutes. “This quickly boosts your pet’s body temperature, which can lead to heatstroke or even death,” explains Dr. Brian Benjamin of Ohio Drive Animal Hospital in Plano.

2. Provide unlimited access to fresh, cold water.

Pets can quickly get dehydrated, especially when it’s hot outside. Make sure your pet can get a drink of fresh water, both inside and outside. Tip: Add a few ice cubes to the bowl to keep the water cold.

3. Provide shade when your pet goes outside.

Make sure your pet has a shady retreat outside when the sun blazes overhead. If you don’t have a porch, overhang or tree, “a doghouse could work as long as it has good airflow,” points out Dr. Benjamin. “But if you can’t provide a shady escape from the sun, don’t leave your pet out for more than a few minutes.”

4. Exercise during cooler hours.

When you take your pet for a walk, Dr. Benjamin suggests going early in the morning or close to sundown when the temperature isn’t at its peak. “Bringing water makes a huge difference in helping your pet keep himself cool,” he says.

5. Walk your pet on the dirt or grass.

Sensitive paw pads can quickly burn with prolonged exposure to a hot surface, such as sidewalks or an asphalt parking lot. To avoid injury, don’t let your pet linger on hot surfaces when you take him for a walk. “Lots of dogs come into our hospital with blisters on their paw pads,” says Dr. Benjamin. “I see this a lot in dogs who don’t go outside very often. But if you take them frequently, the bottoms of their paws should get callouses, which toughen them up so they can withstand extreme temperatures a bit better.”

6. Keep your pet properly groomed.

If you think you should shave down your dog this summer to keep him cool, think again. “It’s a myth that grooming dogs, especially shaving them, keeps them cool,” explains Dr. Benjamin. “Unlike people, dogs don’t cool themselves through their skin, but through panting. Leaving the fur longer acts like an insulator.”

7. Apply a pet-friendly sunscreen.

Just like humans, dogs with thin or light-colored coats can get sunburn, especially on their ears and noses. Dr. Benjamin adds that, in addition to sunburn, this puts pets at increased risk for certain types of cancer. His advice? “Put sunscreen on your dog if he has a thin or light-colored coat and is going to be outside for an extended period of time. Whatever sunscreen you’d put on a baby would be gentle enough for your pet.”




Warning Signs of Heatstroke: If your pet can’t stand up, collapses, is panting, disoriented, is vomiting, has diarrhea or having seizures, contact your veterinarian immediately. Speed and quality of treatment can make the difference between life and death. Source: Dr. Brian Benjamin of Ohio Drive Animal Hospital in Plano.

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Alternative Therapy:

Acupuncture, Massage, and Other Techniques Help Your Pet Feel Better As people have increasingly sought alternative and complementary healthcare options for themselves, these techniques have also become available for pets. Nontraditional practices, such as acupuncture and massage, are often just as effective as the traditional standbys, and usually come with fewer (or no) side effects. Many pets benefit from the use of alternative therapies in conjunction with medication, surgery, and other more familiar treatment options. By Ashley Talmadge





Acupuncture has been practiced as a traditional Chinese medical treatment for thousands of years. The technique consists of inserting small needles into the skin at various “acupoints” on the body, thereby triggering specific parts of the nervous system. A variety of conditions can be successfully treated depending upon where the needles are inserted. For instance, when a signal stimulates production of white blood cells, the immune system can be enhanced. When production of endorphins and serotonins is stimulated, pain decreases. Electroacupuncture is a more recent innovation. After needles are inserted, they’re attached to a device that delivers electric pulses which may be adjusted for frequency and intensity. Veterinarian Dr. Darcy Hoyt is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA) through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS), and has been providing acupuncture for animal companions for over 10 years. Hoyt says she commonly uses acupuncture to treat musculoskeletal conditions (like arthritis), neurological conditions (such as when a pet exhibits balance issues or drags its feet), and chronic kidney failure in cats. While pain management without side effects is certainly a benefit, Hoyt says acupuncture also provides “prolonged quality and quantity of life” for many animals. “I’ve been seeing many of my geriatric patients for years and the owners attribute a large part of their longevity to the acupuncture treatments,” says Hoyt. During a session, needles are left in for 15-20 minutes; the entire appointment lasts 30-60 minutes depending on the needs of the animal and questions from the owner. Though most household pets take to the procedure well, Hoyt says the best candidates for acupuncture “are animals that like to lie down quietly and aren’t too agitated or fearful.” Some animals actually fall asleep during the procedure, or take a nap soon after.

The number and frequency of treatments varies. Pets with chronic conditions often take longer to respond and require more sessions than those with more acute conditions. Nonetheless, Hoyt says, “Sometimes owners notice improvement (say, in mobility) after just one treatment; I recommend weekly treatments at first to maximize this benefit.”


Massage has been used to treat a wide variety of species, from horses and elephants to cats and reptiles. Most techniques used on humans can also be used successfully on animals. A session often begins and ends with effleurage, a smooth stroking motion used to promote relaxation by reducing muscular tension. Petrissage is the kneading or rolling of the skin, muscles and tissues during which deeper pressure is applied. The technique is used to stimulate blood flow, repair injury, and promote healing. Percussive touch, including tapping or “chopping” motions, has a stimulating effect on the body. In general, massage improves venous as well as lymphatic circulation in targeted areas, and can assist in breaking down adhesions. Quimby Lombardozzi is a Certified Small Animal Massage Practitioner and has been providing massage therapy to animal companions for three years. She says massage is commonly used to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, anxiety, and age-related problems such as chronic muscle tension and limited range of motion. It’s also useful during rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery, especially in the hip area. “There are countless benefits to massage,” says Lombardozzi. “Increased circulation, improved flexibility, and pain relief are just a few.” Just as with humans, a massage session lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. “Some results are immediate, such as pain relief, and lowered blood pressure as a dog relaxes,” says Lombardozzi. The frequency of treatment will vary according to the pet’s needs. Certain conditions, such as impaired mobility, are best treated on an ongoing basis in order to maintain healthy muscle tone and flexibility. Lombardozzi says she enjoys seeing how massage positively affects the relationship between animal and caregiver. “I sometimes will show caregivers basic strokes they can use on their pet between appointments. They feel good being able to provide a degree of relief themselves, and it helps strengthen their bond even more.” SUMMER 2017



Other alternative practices include:


Hydrotherapy makes use of water as a therapeutic tool. The technique can be done either in a pool or on an underwater treadmill. Buoyancy allows the animal to move freely without its limbs and joints carrying full weight. Water depth, treadmill speed, and the force of jets can be regulated to create the most effective therapeutic environment for each animal. Hydrotherapy can be successfully used with animals experiencing neurological issues, mobility problems, arthritis, obesity, recuperation from injury, and much more. Among household pets, dogs are obvious candidates for this type of treatment, but cats can also benefit.

Herbal medicine

Humans have used healing herbs and other natural remedies for centuries. In the hands of a knowledgeable practitioner, pets can benefit as well. Conditions such as allergies, skin problems, digestive disorders, and arthritis are just some of the ailments that may be successfully treated with herbal medicine. Though some treatments are topical, most require the pet to ingest a substance. “Natural” does not automatically mean “safe,” and caregivers need to be alert for any adverse reactions. It’s also important for your regular vet to be aware of the alternative treatment, particularly if your pet is using conventional medication as well. As with any medical treatment, it’s important that a practitioner has the knowledge and experience required to perform a procedure safely and effectively. When considering acupuncture, massage, or any other alternative practice, you can start by asking your regular veterinarian for a referral. Be sure your potential provider has appropriate certification, ask for references from previous or current clients, and be aware of any contraindications related to your pet’s specific condition. SUMMER 2017



PREVENTING DOG BITES bites happen every year in the United States — and more than half

of kids bitten are under age 14. Dog bites can be much more than an innocent little nip, and some require hospitalization or even surgery. Teaching kids a few basic dog manners, though, will let them — and dogs — enjoy safer encounters.




Other People’s Pooches Any breed of dog might bite. And just because a dog is small or seems friendly doesn’t mean it can’t do some damage. Even the nicest, most well-trained family dog may snap if it’s startled, scared, threatened, agitated, angry, or hungry. No matter how well you think you know the dog, always supervise your kids around someone else’s pet. To reduce the risk of bites, teach kids these safety guidelines: Always ask the owner if it’s OK to pet the dog.Let the dog see and sniff you before petting it.Do not run toward or away from a dog. If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, stay calm, don’t look it directly in the eye, and stand still or back up slowly. If a dog tries to bite you, put anything you can between you and the dog. If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball, cover your face, and lie still.

Owner’s Manual A lot of the responsibility for preventing dog bites falls on the owner’s shoulders. Before getting a dog, talk to a professional (such as a veterinarian or reputable breeder or pet shelter) to discuss what type of dog or breed is best for your household. Ask questions about the dog’s temperament and health. A dog with a history of aggression is not suitable for a household with kids. If your family has a dog, make sure it gets all required immunizations and regular vet checkups. Also, have it spayed or neutered. Consider taking your dog to obedience school to make it more social and obedient, and thus less likely to bite someone. When you take your dog out in public, always keep it on a leash so you can be in control if its behavior gets out of hand. If you have kids, closely supervise them when they’re around the dog and never leave an

infant or toddler alone with your pet. Even if you don’t own a dog, make sure that your kids understand some “nevers” about being around dogs: Never squeeze dogs too tight, drop them, fall on them, or jump on them. Never tease dogs or pull their tails or ears. Never bother dogs while they’re eating, sleeping, or taking care of their puppies. Never take a toy or bone away from a dog or play tug of war with a dog. Never feed a dog a treat with your fingers. Put the treat in your palm with your fingers and thumb held close together. Never crowd a dog or back it into a corner. If a Dog Bites Your Child If your child is bitten by a dog, contact your doctor, particularly if the dog is not yours. Some dog bites need to be treated in an emergency




department. The force of a dog’s bite can actually result in a fracture (broken bone). Some dog bites can seem minor on the surface but can cause deeper injuries to muscle, bone, nerves and tendons. While rare, rabies and other kinds of infections from dogs like bacterial infections can occur and should be treated as quickly as possible. Always be sure to ask your doctor if your child needs antibiotics to prevent a dog bite from becoming infected. Not all cuts (lacerations) due to dog bites are stitched because this type of repair can increase the risk of infection. Your doctor will decide which lacerations should be stitched.

Try to have the following information available to help the doctor determine the risk of infection and what kind of treatment, if any, your child needs: 1. The name and location of the dog’s owners 2. If the dog is up to date on its vaccinations 3. Whether the attack was provoked or unprovoked (an example of a provoked attack would include approaching a dog while it’s eating or while it’s taking care of its puppies). Knowing the attack was unprovoked has nothing to do with assigning blame, but it lets the doctor know that the dog could be sick, which might affect treatment decisions. your child’s immunization s

This information was provided by KidsHealth®, one of the largest resources online for medically reviewed health information written for parents, kids, and teens. For more articles like this, visit KidsHealth. org or © 1995-2017 . The Nemours Foundation/ KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. © 1995-2017 . The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth®. Reprinted with permission.

5 SIMPLE WAYS to Make Your Bedroom Furniture Cat-Friendly

Getting a new furry friend can often be overwhelming, but trying to figure out what kind of food and toys to buy is often just the beginning. The most prudent new owners will make sure that the household environment is safe for the new pet. Surprisingly, some seemingly innocuous articles of bedroom furniture can mean struggles and danger for cats of any age. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to make the space ideal for a cat.





Strings and Fringe

It’s no secret that kittens love string, and many of them have been trained to associate dangling strings with playtime. Because of this, it may be easy for cats to believe that many common bedroom accessories are just more of their toys. Keep an eye out for fringe on clothing, chair linings, or anything else that may dangle from the ceiling, windows, or other bedroom fixtures.


Hidden Litter

A litter box can be an eyesore that detracts from any room, and so many owners choose to hide their box in a hallway or bathroom. To keep litter boxes further out of the way, owners can try to incorporate them among the bedroom furniture. There are many ways to disguise the box within hampers, dressers, or drawers, but make sure that the cat still has access to the room around the clock. When shopping for bedroom furniture Suffolk, VA pet owners go to Article Source: Article Source:



Having cats declawed is sometimes viewed as inhumane, and the procedure can lead to behavioral problems. On the other hand, trimming feline nails is complicated and can result in permanent nerve damage. So how is it possible to protect bedroom furniture despite this? It’s now possible to purchase small, plastic caps that clip onto your cat’s claws. The caps leave them healthy and inhibit them from doing damage to their surroundings and their caretakers.

Depending on the colors of the animal fur and the bedroom furniture, it can be frustrating to see that every bedroom fixture is regularly dusted with hairs. An easy fix to this is to find a cozy blanket that the feline can cuddle up and claim, keeping their shedding contained to one area.




Scratching Posts

In a similar vein, a remarkably easy way to reduce damage to possessions is by buying a scratching post. Encouraging your pet to scratch one item (and only one item) can significantly reduce how much they tear up other objects with their claws. This may require a bit of training so that they understand what is okay (and what isn’t okay) to scratch, but having a post can also reduce a cat’s stress and anxiety.

Cats are often marvelous additions to any home and are relatively low-maintenance pets. A few simple changes can go a long way toward keeping them happy and safe and keeping household decorations from being damaged. SUMMER 2017




OF YOUR INDOOR CAT Just like humans, cats need regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically healthy. Whether running in the backyard or chasing a toy, daily movement helps prevent obesity and reduce stress. And playing together helps you bond with your feline friend. If you’ve got a cat that goes outside, then she gets exercise chasing birds and squirrels. Of course, going outside also increases the likelihood that she’ll consume something poisonous, pick up fleas, and be more prone to infectious diseases. With these risks in mind, you might opt to keep Fluffy inside. But how can you keep her active if she’s cooped up in the house all day? “Have more than one cat,” suggests Dr. Brian Benjamin of Ohio Drive Animal Hospital in Plano. “Multiple cats in a home means they’ll have an instant playmate.” What else can you do to get Fluffy moving? by Lisa A. Beach




Tap into her predatory nature. Cats love to hunt for moving critters, so buy a few cat toys that mimic the prey found in nature, including battery-operated “mice” and feathers attached to sticks or strings.

Try a catnip treat. Many cats respond to catnip with a short burst of intense playfulness. If your cat enjoys this intoxicating herb, sprinkle some catnip inside a clean sock, tie the top, and let her bat around her irresistibly scented toy.

Keep the fun simple. Wiggle a string, ribbon or shoelace around the floor to entice your cat to pounce, or let her hide in a paper bag or empty box. Dr. Benjamin also suggests using a laser pointer along the floor or up the wall to encourage jumping. (Avoid shining the light in kitty’s eyes.).

Don’t leave the fun and games to the dogs. “It’s actually possible to train a cat to play fetch,” says Dr. Benjamin. “I did that with my own cat back in college. Just wad up a piece of paper, throw it and the cat will bring it back to you.” Keep a few treats on hand to reward Fluffy as you train her.

What about older cats? How can you keep them active? “Feed them on an elevated surface, like a countertop, where they have to jump to get their food,” advises Dr. Benjamin. With just a little effort, you can bring out the wild side of your indoor cat.





Many dogs love to swim and with summer right around the corner, here are some safety tips to follow to make your dog’s swimming days safe and fun:

Do not assume your dog can swim. Teach your dog how to get out of the water before engaging in any water activity. Tossing a stick into the water far from shore is an easy way of getting your dog friendly with the water. Keep in mind that your dog should come when called. Keep additional retrieving toys with you at all times. Remember that not all dogs are good swimmers. Some dogs have short feet and will only swim to survive. If you are taking your dog on a boat or raft, make sure you have a life preserver. Note that dogs get heavier in the water. It is important not to keep them in the water for long periods of time. If your dog doesn’t like the water, don’t make him go in, he will be scared. If you are hanging out at the pool, give your

canine a helping hand out of the pool to create a positive experience from start to finish. There are other precautions in order to making your dog’s swim time a fun one. Avoid going to the beach but if you do, note that moisture in a dog’s ear can set the ideal stage for an ear infection, so make sure to clean your dog’s ears thoroughly after each romp in the water. Ocean and lake water can set up nasty bacterial infections rapidly which can eat through your dog’s ear drum. TIP: Only swim with your dog in fresh water just to be safe and don’t allow your pet to drink from the ocean. Dogs can also suffer from hypothermia in cold water, but they won’t know what is making them cold. If you need to get out of the water because you are getting cold, your dog is at risk of getting cold as well. Positive reinforcement can go a long way when teaching your dog how to swim. Make sure you observe your dog closely at the water’s edge at all times.


Dogs can drown in your pool very fast. Make sure to always supervise your dog while swimming

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Barking Up the Right Tree: Dog Park Do’s and Don’ts Taking your pooch to a dog park sounds like fun, right? While it can turn into a doggie dream-come-true, it can also slide into a canine quandary if you’re not careful.

“It’s really important to make sure the dog is socialized before you turn him free at a dog park,” says Dr. Brian Benjamin of the Ohio Drive Animal Hospital in Plano. “You don’t want to be the owner who shows up with a dog who attacks others.” by Lisa A. Beach




From dogs gone wild to people behaving badly, a dog park brings together both risks and rewards. To make sure you’re barking up the right tree, follow these dog park guidelines:


Make sure your dog is current with all vaccines and heartworm/ flea/tick medications.

“You can’t trust that other owners are taking care of their dogs, so make sure yours is protected,” points out Dr. Benjamin.

Make sure the dog has access to water.

Some parks feature doggie water fountains, but some don’t. Play it safe by bringing your own water supply.

Take special consideration if your dog isn’t spayed or neutered.

“These dogs are more likely to be aggressive or try to mate while they’re there,” says Dr. Benjamin.

Time your visits appropriately.

It’s hotter and busier in the afternoon and early evening, so go early in the morning before the heat and crowds kick in.

Scout out good dog parks.

Dr. Benjamin advises looking for clean parks that are completely fenced in, preferably with separate sections for small and large dogs. Other good features include water fountains, shade trees, and walking paths.

DON’T Be that owner.

You know, the clueless guy on the phone not paying attention to his dog’s behavior or the bad-etiquette woman who doesn’t clean up after her pooch.

Even with all these precautions, sometimes things still go awry. What should you do if your dog gets in a fight? “It depends on the size of the dogs. Sometimes yelling works, and sometimes it helps if you can get a leash around your dog’s neck to pull him away from the other dog,” advises Dr. Benjamin. “But the potential is there for significant injury to both pets and people.”

Bring your dog to the park without some at-home exercise first.

“If a dog has been cooped up in the house all day, he tends to get overexcited once he gets to the park, which might bother other dogs,” points out Dr. Benjamin. Before heading to the park, take your dog for a quick walk or let him run around your backyard.

Take a puppy to a park prior to 16 weeks old.

“That’s the age they get the last round of puppy booster shots,” says Dr. Benjamin. “You want to make sure your dog is fully protected and vaccinated before going to a dog park.”

Find Your Local Dog Parks

Dog parks offer a great way to get outside, exercise your pup, and socialize. Not sure if there’s a dog park where you live? Try these online resources, searchable by city/zip code:




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3 Surprising Ways Pets Benefit Your Kids by Lisa A. Beach




It’s 6 a.m. and you hear your baby whimpering. He’s probably hungry, but you just want to sleep a little longer. Nevertheless, like any good parent, you get out of bed to feed him. But you’re not feeding your infant son. You’re feeding Rocky, your beloved golden retriever who is such an integral part of your family that you’re willing to get up at the crack of dawn for him. Why do you care so much? And what does this special bond mean to your family? As you incorporate a pet into your family’s daily rhythm, he quickly wiggles his way into your hearts. He flashes his “I’ll-miss-you” puppy dog eyes whenever you leave the house and greets you at the door when you come home. He wags his tail when you talk to him and curls up next to your kids, giving them a built-in snuggle buddy. In turn, your family celebrates his birthday, takes selfies with him, plays with him and takes him on vacation. It’s a two-way love-fest. “When I’m watching TV, Shadow sits on my chest and rubs his head against me,” explains Kevin, the “parent” of a 25 lb. cat. “He’s so heavy that it’s a little

hard to breathe. Even though I’m gasping for air after a few minutes, I love his affection.” Dr. Brian Benjamin of Ohio Drive Animal Hospital in Plano understands the special bond. “We have clients who celebrate Christmas and hang a stocking on the fireplace with their pet’s name just like a kid in the family,” says Dr. Benjamin.

3 Surprising Ways Pets Benefit Your Kids

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, growing up with a pet can usher in a host of benefits.

1. They learn how to be responsible.

“In many ways, the pet becomes like a child because it depends on its owner for food, water, bathing and a clean, healthy environment,” says Dr. Benjamin. “And the child becomes like a parent because he takes on the responsibility of helping to care for the pet.”

2. They learn big-picture lessons about the circle of life, from birth and

illnesses to accidents and death. “Loss of a pet is always difficult,” explains Dr. Benjamin. “This can be the first time a child experiences the loss of a loved one. It can lay the groundwork and set the stage for what it




means to lose a family member.”

3. They often confide in their pets,

treating them like a trusted confidant. Pets listen with no judgment, which helps kids share their feelings. And pets cuddle and provide comfort, which helps kids develop compassion and non-verbal communication skills.

“I have a son who has special needs,” points out Dr. Benjamin, “and he sometimes relates to pets in the house more easily than he relates to people.” It’s not just the kids who benefit from pet-ownership. Parents can get in on the tail-wagging benefits, too.

“People who share their houses with pets can have less overall stress because the pets act as a comforting factor,” says Dr. Benjamin. “Studies have shown that petting a purring cat can reduce heart rate and stress level.” This might just make up for all those mornings when you sacrifice extra shut-eye to get up and feed your “baby.”


A real-life story of a family that learned it was best to get their beloved pet microchipped. It was a peaceful Sunday afternoon with the perfect amount of sunshine and birds chirping until my son said, “Where’s Bella?” to which I responded, “I think she’s down in Dad’s office with him.” I thought that was the end of it. By Lauren Darr




Just a couple minutes later my frantic husband flies upstairs, opens the side door, shuts it, and yells, “Bella’s out!” Apparently, in getting some sprucing up done in the back yard, the gate was left open. Since Bella has a doggy door, she went out as part of her usual routine and likely thought, “FREEDOM!” The icing on this cake was that Bella didn’t have her collar or tags on. She was running around completely naked rendering useless the cute tag on her stylish collar that, when scanned, gives someone her information to be able to get her back home. We started walking the neighborhood. My son and I eventually hopped into the SUV to go around more streets and peruse the nearby parks… no Bella. Then, the phone rang. My husband had called the local police station and Bella was there. Off we went after getting her tag and medical information from the house. At the police station, we waited, gave our information and were made aware that there is usually a fine involved. We would have been more than happy to pay it, but, since this was our first incident, we weren’t fined. They said that they had scanned Bella for a chip, but found that she didn’t have one. This caught my attention because I was unaware that they police station had a chip reader. My perception was that they only had them at animal shelters. Right then and there, we made the decision to get a chip for Bella as it would have been a big relief to have a phone call from the police department than to go through the emotional turmoil that we’d been through. It was really a no-brainer for us, when we talked about how much we travel with Bella in tow. Any given weekend during the summer, we are several hours or states away at race tracks with my son’s racing. We couldn’t imagine if Bella got loose in one of these places and how we would try to locate her. A few days later, we had our appointment at the Park Ridge Animal Hospital. Our veterinarian explained that there are three different chip

companies that offer separate options. One issue used to be that a chip reader specific to the type of chip used to be necessary. So, if a shelter scanned the pet, but didn’t have the reader for the type of chip your pet had, it might not have shown up. Thanks to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), chip readers are fairly universal at this point and, at minimum, let the person scanning know that there is a chip in the pet. Chip providers like HomeAgain and AKC Reunite voluntarily participate in the universal database that can be accessed on the AAHA website. Our vet also conveyed that many more places have chip readers. This includes fire departments and police stations in addition to shelters. The procedure itself was more difficult for me than for Bella. The chip itself is very small – around the size of a grain of rice – and gets inserted around the shoulder blade. What might make a pet parent cringe is the needle. It is big enough around to hold the chip and long enough to insert the chip deep enough into the pet so that it won’t come out. Before inserting the chip, the vet made sure that the numbers on the collar tag, chip, and paperwork all match. She then scanned the chip to ensure that it would be read. The vet tech held Bella in place while our veterinarian cleaned the area of insertion and inserted the chip. It was so quick I almost missed the procedure. Bella didn’t even make a noise or flinch. She had a look on her face of “What’s going on?” and then she relaxed because it was done. The veterinarian tested the chip to make sure the reader read it and went over the paperwork. One thing that cannot be emphasized enough is to IMMEDIATELY REGISTER YOUR PET’S INFORMATION. Many people have their pet chipped and leave it at that. You MUST go on the website (or mail in the form provided at the appointment) to register your pet’s name, home, and contact information. Personally, we prefer the website registration so that we can easily access the




information at any time. And, there is a verification sent to your email address so that you know the process is complete almost instantaneously. Otherwise, there is no information on file. We were surprised at the relative inexpensiveness of getting Bella chipped. Our vet charged $65 for the insertion of the chip. This will vary from one animal hospital to another. To register your information in the database is $0. However, you can get upgrades like an annual membership of $20 or personalizing the chip with the dog’s name for $15. These are all optional and not necessary to have your and your pet’s information on file. If you move or change phone numbers, it’s important to update your contact information in the database. The overall cost is far less than what we would offer for a reward of the return of our precious family member should she ever decide to venture out on her own again. Coincidentally May is Chip Your Pet Month. There may be special clinics or special pricing with your veterinarian. Check with your local pet organizations and/or vet. We found thorough information and videos on pet chipping, visit the AKCReunite. org website.


Al Fresco Festivities by Laurren Darr




It’s that time of year between Memorial Day and Labor Day when people shed their layers of clothing from the winter time, go outside, and enjoy the summer. With the season comes outdoor gatherings, picnics, and barbeques. If you’re going to eat al fresco or plan an outdoor soiree, you’ll want to be equipped with the latest stylish picnic wares. If you’re going to be active at the gathering with your pet, a simple collar or accessory for the occasion should do. Wearing an outfit could hinder your pet’s ability to run around and have fun. Get Fido ready to go with the latest in trendy gingham prints. There is a plethora of options available like the fun red gingham print collars with ants by Lin of Etsy shop Doggie Custom Couture. The main items needed for a picnic is a proper blanket to spread out on. There are many options that are not only comfortable for you and your four-legged family members, but fashionable. Luckily there are specialized blankets that will resist the moisture of the ground on one side, but are a comfortable and have vibrant patterns on the other. There are many companies that also make

these blanket so that they conveniently fold up and Velcro® together so that they are easily transportable. A simple internet search will find many options. One of the biggest reasons for getting out to a public space where there are plenty of other families with pets is the fun and social interaction. In addition to the usual balls and Frisbees to play with, there are specific picnic-related toys that will keep Fido occupied. Etsy entrepreneur Megan Campbell of the shop OnTheGoWithRo makes ‘cat’sup bottles filled with catnip or another filler of your choice that would be the perfect picnicking toy for your furry feline.

yard for those times when your pet needs ‘me time.’ Look for a system that is lightweight, easily portable, and has breathable fabric that will keep your pets body temperature regulated. There are systems that also have a fabric across the top vs. being open in case you have a ‘jumper’ or ‘climber’ that could get out over the top of an open playpen. About Laurren Darr Laurren Darr is a lifelong pet fashionologist and founder of International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals. Her highly-anticipated book, Pet Fashion Industry Patterns, is available on Amazon.

Of course, the biggest thing to be concerned about when BBQing is safety. Don’t forget to have a durable containment system or play SUMMER 2017






oes your pet have an upset stomach every day? Are you constantly worried about a possible accident in your home or about how you're going to keep your yard clean when you can't pooper scoop what's been left behind by your dog? More than likely, your pet has a food sensitivity. Symptoms range from mild stomach issues, such as gas, to vomiting to diarrhea to fur loss to constant scratching to ear problems and beyond. Regardless of how your pet's issues show themselves, one thing remains the same — you worry about your dog or cat and feel guilty that you can't make him or her feel better. But maybe you can...

What's An Elimination Diet And Why Is It The First Step In Solving The Problem? There's a simple way to try to find out what's triggering your pet's symptoms. It's called an elimination diet. Simply look at the food you presently feed your cat or dog. More than likely, you're going to find a common protein listed in the ingredients, something as seemingly innocent as chicken. Now, switch your pet's food to one that doesn't include that ingredient to prove if that protein is the culprit. Ideally, try a food that features a novel protein.

Why A Novel Protein May Make Your Pet Feel Better While food allergies are common in people, there is a difference when it comes to our pets — they tend to develop sensitivities to everyday ingredients that generally don't affect us. Often, it's something they've been overexposed to or a combination of ingredients in their food. That's why your elimination diet should use a food featuring a "novel protein." These are protein sources that are still vital for your pet's health but which they haven't digested in the past. Foods such as kangaroo, venison, or duck make perfect novel proteins.

Why Choose Wet Food Over Dry? It's no accident that our KOHA Pet Food is wet. Wet food has a lot of advantages over kibble. For starters, it contains a higher concentration of protein. It also entices finicky eaters more since it has a stronger scent and flavor.

KOHA Has The Right Food For Your Pet We created KOHA Pet Food because we were dealing with food sensitivities in our own pets and couldn't find the right diet for them. Our Pet Foods were all designed with pet food sensitivities in mind. We knew we needed a clean, singlesourced protein formula that didn't include potatoes, grains or cheap fillers.

What If My Pet's A Finicky Eater? Generally speaking, pets rush to new food. And KOHA's novel proteins are delicious — we have it on good authority from our own pets. Remember, when trying an elimination diet, you shouldn't suddenly switch your pet's food. Start by adding a little of our KOHA food to your pet's present food, and then each day, take away a little of the old and add a little more of the new until your pet is completely on KOHA. Then sit back and watch to see if your dog or cat improves. If they're getting better, your elimination diet was a success, and you've proven your pets have a food sensitivity. If they're not getting better, it may be time to ask the veterinarian if there could be a different underlying cause to your pets' issues.

In addition, wet food is a good source of hydration if your pet doesn't drink enough. And as dogs age, owners sometimes find themselves needing to have wet food on hand, either because

of dental issues or to hide medicines. Wet food sometimes

also gets mixed in with kibble just to make a bowl of food more attractive to a pet.

Save 20% Off Your First KOHA Order Why wait to find out what's ailing your dog? The fix may be as simple as switching his or her food. Just visit and use the coupon code on this page to save 20% on your initial order of sample cans or a full case. Happier pets mean happier owners.

20% OFF at Code: BMSAVE20 Expires: September 1, 2017

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Limited Ingredient Diets and Delicious Stews Novel proteins like kangaroo, duck & venison Grain & potato free Up to 96% protein Great for finicky eaters or pets with digestive issues







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Perfect for Finicky Eaters and Pets With Digestive Issues 20% OFF at Code: BMSAVE20 Expires: September 1, 2017

✓ Up to 96% protein ✓ Real meat, fish or poultry is our #1 ingredient ✓ Limited Ingredient Diets and Delicious Stews ✓ Novel proteins like kangaroo, venison and duck ✓ Grain and potato free

Boomer Pet Magazine Summer 2017  
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