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All Dogs and Cats Need Routine Veterinary Care

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All Dogs and Cats Need Routine Veterinary Care

You should select a "family" veterinarian who is familiar with the species you have chosen. Your local veterinary associations, friends, and neighbors, or the yellow pages can help you find the right veterinarian for you and your animals. You may have to speak with several veterinarians before you find the right one for your circumstances. Staying with one veterinary group allows them to get to know you and your animal and provides continuity of care for your animals.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A VISIT TO THE VETERINARIAN

Physical examination

Animals do not always let us know when something is wrong until the disease is quite advanced. Many species provide only subtle signs of disease. Some of these problems can be detected early through annual examinations or more frequent examinations if any problems are seen by a caretaker. This visit is also your chance to ask any questions about your animal's health, nutrition, flea control, behavior, etc. One area often overlooked by caretakers is dental care of their animals. Dogs and cats benefit from having their teeth brushed and can develop severe dental disease before you are aware of the problem. Your veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning with polishing or a plan for home cleaning. Your veterinarian can also tell you if your animal is overweight. Each visit to the veterinarian provides a record of your pet’s weight that can be used to see if your pet seems to be gaining or losing weight. He/she can offer suggestions on optimal feeding or how to get your animal to lose weight.

Vaccinations

Periodic vaccinations are important for all dogs and cats to help prevent disease. Vaccinations are especially important in puppies and kittens that are not fully able to protect themselves from serious diseases, with the specific schedule generally starting at 6-8 weeks of age and continuing until the pet is 12-16 weeks of age. These diseases can be fatal but are infrequently seen because of the widespread use of effective vaccines. Just because you have never seen these diseases does not mean you do not need to vaccinate your dog or cat because some of them can survive in the environment for long periods, waiting to be picked up by an unprotected animal. Clinics are available to provide vaccinations without examination but annual examinations are still recommended even if you choose to obtain vaccinations elsewhere.
If your veterinarian feels that your dog or cat has a problem that would be best handled by a veterinarian who specializes in that field, he/she may refer you to a specialist in cardiology, behavior, surgery, internal medicine, etc.  In case of emergency, some veterinarian will take these calls or may refer you to an emergency clinic that can provide care during hours most clinics are not staffed. If you see anything out of the ordinary (such as changes in appetite, water intake, urination, or significant change in behavior) or any obvious injury or illness, call your veterinary hospital to see if they feel an examination is needed.

Routine home check-up

You should check your pets’ body daily for lumps, cuts, swelling, or any other changes. Your veterinarian may find abnormalities that you miss, but generally animals have their veterinary physicals only once a year.Animals can't describe their difficulties, so it is important to be alert and spot problems early, and seek veterinary attention when needed.
Important Reminder:  An annual examination is always needed for the general health and maintenance of your pet. Just because your pet does not seem ill does not mean you should skip his/her annual checkup. Your veterinarian can spot problems before it’s too late.  A thorough examination would include listening to the heart, checking the teeth, ears, eyes, stomach, kidneys, liver, etc.

Remember, they can’t tell you how they feel until it’s too late so it’s up to you to take care of them.

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10 Great Reasons to Open Your Heart to a Senior Pet

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10 Great Reasons to Open Your Heart to a Senior Pet

Imagine a pet that loves sharing quiet moments with you… one that doesn’t chew or scratch everything in sight… one that’s calm and more focused on only you.

That’s a senior pet.

Senior pets still have a lot of love to give.  They can and do bond very strongly with their humans.  Many seem to understand that they’ve been given another chance at a happy life… and they’re grateful for the opportunity to love someone and be loved back.

So if you’re considering a new addition to your family, why not give some thought to giving a deserving senior a second chance?  Instead of passing by the older pets, stop and spend some time with them- you might must end up finding a new best friend.

Wouldn’t it be nice to give a deserving senior a place to live out their golden years?

Benefits for the senior human:

Research has shown that companion animals can help improve physical and mental health.  By adopting a new furry friend, seniors can experience the benefits of decreased heart rate and blood pressure that so many people feel when they are relaxing with their pet.
Cats provide friendship for lonely individuals, offering an opportunity for care taking and interaction that an older person may miss if family is not nearby.
The company of a pet has been proven to reduce depression in the elderly, often delaying the onset of confusion and reducing the length of the average hospital stay.


  1. Older dogs have manners. Unlike puppies, many grown-up dogs have spent years living with a family and being socialized to life with humans.
    They may have received obedience training and respond to commands like Sit, Stay, and Down. 
    Many are house trained and it takes a matter of hours or a day or two to help them learn the potty rules in their new home.
  2. Senior pets are less destructive. Most older adoptive pets are well past the search-and-destroy phase. 
    You don't need to worry so much about finding your favorite pair of shoes or a table leg chewed beyond recognition. Chances are your senior kitty has no urge to overturn your potted plant or shred the handmade quilt your grandma gave you.
  3. What you see is what you get. A senior pet holds no surprises as to how big he might get, what color his adult coat will be, or whether his hips will be healthy. A senior pet comes to you with his own history, which makes his future much more predictable than that of an 8-week old puppy or kitten.
  4. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Adult dogs can focus on the task at hand (unlike many of their much younger counterparts). If your adopted older pet needs to learn a few things in her new life with you, not to worry. Enroll her in an obedience class, contact a trainer, or go the do-it-yourself route. Older dogs are more attentive than puppies, and more eager to please their humans.
  5. You can custom order your senior pet. If you're looking for a short-haired cat, for example, or a kitty with no history of dental disease, you can search until you find an older pet with exactly those attributes. If you already have a cat and need your adoptive dog to get along with cats, again, you'll have a much better chance of finding an older adoptive dog who is a perfect companion for your family.
  6. You can adopt a purebred pet if you want. If you really love a certain breed of dog or cat, chances are there's a breed rescue club that can point you in the direction of older purebred pets in need of homes.
  7. Senior pets are great company for senior citizens. Many elderly people find the calm presence of an older pet very comforting. They appreciate having a companion who is also 'getting up there' in age, doesn't mind hearing the same stories again and again, and is content to move through life at a slower speed.
  8. Older pets are relaxing to hang out with. Senior dogs and cats have all the basics down and aren't full of wild energy to burn. Because you're not constantly chasing around or cleaning up after your older pet, you have a lot more time to spend finding fun things to do or just relaxing together.
  9. Adopted senior pets are grateful for your kindness. Somehow, older pets seem to know you gave them a home when no one else would. Many new owners form a close bond very quickly with their senior dog or cat, because the pet shows them a level of attention and devotion that is unique to older adopted animals.
  10. You can be a hero to a deserving dog or cat. Almost without exception, people who adopt older animals feel a special sense of pride and purpose in opening their heart to a hard-to-place pet. Doing a good thing really does make you feel good!


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Protecting Your Pets Paws This Winter

Most aren't aware and even I wasn't before joining Little Shelter, most ice melt is toxic to animals. I've seen my dogs and others on walks this winter suddenly stop or begin to hop on 3 legs to avoid stepping on salted roads.

There are some solutions available to pet owners who want to continue walking their dogs in the frosty winter. One such method is making your dog wear doggie boots. I've seen many hilarious attempts as dogs try to figure out how exactly to walk. To get your pet use to boots put them on for a few minutes each day, allowing your pet to become more comfortable with them.

Another solid solution is to apply a protective balm to your pets paws. Applying the balm allows your pet to avoid the dangers of walking on the toxic salt, just make sure your pet doesn't have issues with you touching their feet! There are a few brands sold in pet stores as well as even petroleum jelly is a solid alternative.

Make sure after every walk to wipe off your pets paws, removing all the harmful chemicals and salts that have accumulated during the walk. Not doing this could have some health concerns for your pet after time.

Of course, if your pet mostly walks around your backyard there are salt brands that are non-toxic and do not harm your pets feet. These brands are often found around the same price as toxic pet salts, so the cost isn't a big difference. Whenever we need to get ice melt to keep our animals, staff, and volunteers safe we only buy pet approved brands.

 

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Best of LI for the 5th Straight Year!

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Little Shelter's efforts in the community were once again recognized  by the Long Island Press this year when you, our supporters, went to the polls and voted for us!  We are very proud to announce that Little Shelter has won the titles 'Best Animal Shelter" and Best Animal Rescue" on Long Island for the 5th consecutive year!

Little Shelter's primary goal is to rescue and find homes for abandoned and homeless animals; we have been doing this for 87 years and counting!  Over the last 20 years Little Shelter has developed several innovative programs to benefit our community and beyond.  Little Shelter is a leader in the area of Humane Education for Children, as well as Animal Therapy  for Veterans suffering from post traumatic stress.  We run an Animal Soup Kitchen for members of our community who need assistance feeding and providing basic medical care for their pets.  These are only a few of the programs Little Shelter offers that distinguish us from other shelters. These programs, along with your support, are truly what make Little Shelter the Best of Long Island!  

Our fifth consecutive win indicates to Little Shelter Staff and Volunteers that you appreciate our efforts.   Readers of the Long Island Press recognize what an asset Little Shelter is to Long Island, and voters set out to let everyone know by voting us the WINNER!

 We would like to thank the readers of the Long Island Press and our wonderful supporters for voting us NUMBER ONE!

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