How Will You Celebrate Change a Pet’s Life Day?

Change a Pets Life Day


It takes so little to change a pet’s life and now there’s a whole day dedicated to it. Several years ago, some of the top animal welfare organizations came together to create Change a Pet’s Life Day. It takes place on Wednesday, January 24, and the purpose is to raise awareness of companion animal adoption and their well-being in general. You can do several things to help animals on this day or any other day.

Adopt a Pet from a Shelter
Hundreds of animal shelters across the country participate in this event by reducing or even waiving fees on Change a Pet’s Life Day. Some take it a step further by offering other incentives to adopt, such as a free spay or neuter surgery or providing all shots the pet needs. 

You literally save a dog or cat’s life when you adopt from a shelter, but it gets even better than that. By adopting one homeless pet, you free up space for the shelter to take in another. Even if you can’t adopt on January 24, you can let others know about the event by sharing a link on your social media accounts or telling them in person.

Consider Offering Foster Care for Pets
Not everyone can adopt for a variety of reasons. However, you can still help homeless pets by offering temporary shelter if possible. Local no-kill shelters are always looking for new pet foster parents. You would take the pet into your home and care for her until the volunteer organization finds a suitable permanent home. One of your volunteer duties might include helping to review applications from people wanting to adopt the pet. 

Volunteer to Help Promote the Event
This awareness campaign takes a lot of dedicated people to ensure the greatest results for pets. You can still help if you’re unable to adopt or foster a pet who needs a home. For example, you can offer to help promote Change a Pet’s Life Day by printing and distributing flyers, creating a graphic design, or paying to run an ad in the local newspaper in Grantsburg or Wild River. Another possibility is helping to process paperwork at the adoption events taking place in the community that day. 

Resolve to Change Your Own Pet’s Life This Year
The new year is the ideal time to start a new routine with a pet you already have, such as enrolling your dog in obedience classes or making sure your cat gets to the vet for regular check-ups. Grantsburg Animal Hospital and Wild River Veterinary Clinic look forward to seeing your pet in 2018, whether he’s been with you for years or you decided to adopt or foster on January 24. 
Photo Credit: Fat Camera / Getty Images

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Enjoy Winter Walks with Your Dog

Enjoy Winter Walks with Your Dog


It has only officially been winter for a few weeks, yet we have already experienced brutal cold in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The bone-chilling temperatures are enough to make anyone want to hibernate until spring. However, you know that’s not possible when you have a dog because he still needs a daily walk. If you don’t walk with your dog daily already, consider making this a habit now that we’re officially in National Walk Your Dog Month.

Bundling up to head outside in January may not sound like much fun to you, but consider how important it is to your dog. When dogs don’t get enough exercise, they still need to release their pent-up energy somehow. This could result in your dog making a mess in the house by chewing up the furniture, knocking over valuables, and even eliminating indoors. A lack of exercise is often behind a dog who suddenly develop separation anxiety as well.

Benefits of Walking with Your Dog Every Day
It's no secret that both people and their pets are getting bigger all the time, thanks in large part to a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, Minnesota and Wisconsin are both top contenders for having the greatest number of obese dogs in the country. While our harsh winters are partly to blame, daily walks are part of the deal when adopting a dog. Your dog misses out on many benefits when you skip it, including your complete attention, social interaction with other people and dogs, and greater confidence in new situaitons. Additionally, regular exercise helps to prevent obesity and reduce the risk of several diseases.
Walking every day is just as good for you. By walking just 30 minutes each day, you reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and depression, particularly of the seasonal variety. As long as both you and your dog bundle up, you can walk outdoors during all but the most severe winter weather conditions.
Safety Tips for Walking with Your Dog in the Winter
Although daily walking has many benefits in all types of weather, you do need to take some extra safety precautions in the winter. For example, cover your dog’s paws with booties to protect them from extreme cold as well as road salt and other chemicals. We recommend that you trim the fur between each of your dog’s toes regularly to keep ice, salt, and chemicals from sticking to his paw pads. 
Make sure that your dog doesn’t get too far ahead of you and slip on a pile of ice. She could easily fall through or injure herself in another way. Lastly, head home at the first sign of possible frostbite or hypothermia. These could include xcessive shivering, anxiety, whining, increased panting, confusion and disorientation, and trying to sit down while you’re out walking.
If your dog does sustain an injury or you’re concerned he has caught a cold-related illness, don’t hesitate to contact us at Grantsburg Animal Hospital at 715-463-2536 or Wild River Veterinary Clinic at 320-629-7474. 

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Keep Pet Safety in Mind When Celebrating This New Year's Eve

Celebrating New Years Eve
It doesn’t seem possible that we will turn the calendar from 2017 to 2018 in a matter of days. Whether you celebrate on New Year’s Eve or not, it’s important to take precautions if you have a pet. You could spend the evening reading a book and your dog or cat could still become anxious by the next-door neighbor lighting off fireworks. 
Like all holidays, New Year’s Eve is confusing from a pet’s point of view. It’s noisy, there’s strangers in the house, and there’s all these curious things like party hats, confetti, and noisemakers. We hope the following tips will help the furry members of your household have a safe and happy new year.
Don’t Let Your Pet Be a Party Animal
Even shy dogs and cats are bound to feel curious about what’s going on if you host a party on December 31. However, the best place for pets is far away from the party crowd in a bedroom or other room where you can close the door. Preferably, it won’t have windows that your pet can look out and become even more anxious by what might be going on outside. Be sure to stock the room with her favorite toys, bedding material, regular food, and enough water to get through the evening comfortably.
Loud and Unexpected Noises Can Heighten Your Pet’s Anxiety
While you and your guests might enjoy blowing and swinging noisemakers before and after midnight, these sounds can cause your pet extreme anxiety. The same is true of fireworks. Since you can’t control whether other people light them off, keeping your pet in another room with soft, relaxing music playing is your best bet. Just be sure to peak in often to offer comfort and praise your dog or cat for good behavior. 
Giving Alcohol to Pets is Not a Joke
People sometimes act in unexpected ways after having a bit to drink and may find it amusing to give beer, wine, or another type of alcoholic beverage to your dog or cat. However, this isn’t funny at all. Alcohol is toxic to pets, even in small doses. If you think this could happen at your party, let your guests know that you won’t tolerate it. You should also keep all alcoholic beverages out of your pet’s reach.
Make Sure Your Pet Has Proper Identification
Anxious or overly excited pets may still find a way to run out of the house while your attention is elsewhere on New Year’s Eve. At Grantsburg Animal Hospital and Wild River Veterinary Clinic, we recommend that you get a microchip for your dog or cat if you don’t already have one. It’s good to have a tag and collar, but they can come loose or stuck on a fence. When your pet has a microchip, anyone who finds him can take him to the nearest animal shelter or veterinary clinic. The staff will scan your pet, discover the microchip, and obtain your contact information.
The staff at both of our clinics wish you and your pet a happy and healthy 2018. Thank you for allowing us to serve you in 2017.

Photo Credit: master1305 / Getty Images


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How to Choose the Best Toys for Your Cat This Holiday Season

It that gift-buying time of year again. If you share your home with one or more cats, you may be wondering what would make a good holiday gift. After all, cats require toys to keep their minds sharp, their weight down, and boredom at bay. At Grantsburg Animal Hospital and Wild River Veterinary Clinic, we urge you to consider safety before anything else. Many cat toys have small parts that can present a choking hazard. Specific things to look for include buttons, strings, sewn-on eyes, feathers, toyss with unsecured batteries, and small toys that your cat could try to swallow.


Toys that you choose for your cat should be large enough to fit into her mouth but nothing that she could swallow. You have probably also noticed that your cat can feel just as entertained by batting around common household items. However, you shouldn’t allow her access to pipe cleaners, small caps, hair ties, rubber bands, sewing supplies, buttons, flowers and plants, or batteries.


The Best Types of Toys for Cats
Today’s domesticated feline may not resemble his ancestors who had to hunt for their prey, but he still carries this instinct with him. You can help foster it by purchasing cat toys that allow him to chase and stalk. Fishing pole types of toys that you wave in front of your cat are ideal for this purpose as is a laser pointer. Cats tend to show more interest in toys that continually move rather than ones that you throw for them to chase on their own. If you buy toy mice, consider tying a string to one and pulling it across the floor for your cat to chase.
A treat dispenser is another good idea, especially if you have a cat who loves treats but hates exercise. By placing the treats inside of the toy, it forces your cat to chase it before it releases the treats for her to eat. Additionally, consider toys that your cat can use alone when you’re gone at work during the day. These could include small balls, toy mice, and food puzzles.
Check Your Cat’s Toys Often for Safety
You will need to keep some toys out of your cat’s reach while you’re not home, such as fishing pole toys. These are great fun for the two of you to play together, but your cat could swallow strings, feathers, or other embellishments when no one is home to supervise. You should also hide battery-operated toys or anything with small parts when your cat is home alone. Lastly, we encourage you to go through your cat’s toys regularly and throw away any broken items. 
Order Fun and Safe Cat Toys from Our Online Store
Skip the crowds this holiday season and order cat toys directly from our online store. We guarantee the safety and quality, and you enjoy fast home delivery and stress-free shopping. 
The staff at both of our clinics wish you the happiest of holidays!

Photo  credit: 2002lubava1981 / Getty Images

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