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Keep Your Pets Safe with an ID Tag and a Microchip!

April 17, 2014
Gaijin wearing a "If I am out, I am lost" tag. (Daniela Caride photo)

Gaijin wearing a “If I am out, I am lost” tag. (Daniela Caride photo)

This week is National Pet ID Week! And that is a great opportunity to tell you that nearly 1 out of every 3 pets will get lost at some point during their lifetime, according to The website says that without proper identification, 90% of lost pets never return home.

Make sure your cat and dog are microchipped and have ID tags on them. If they get lost, whoever finds them will be able to return them to you.

Your pet is not microchipped yet? Bring your pet to the vet to get the microchip inserted. After it’s in, you need to activate the chip by filling out a form with your contact info and mailing it to the microchip company. This way, your information will be linked to your animal. Don’t forget to call the microchip company to update your information every time you move or change your phone number!

Read interesting questions and answers about microchipping here.

Regarding tags, you can engrave a tag at practically  any pet store of your choice. Add the phone number where you are most available, or consider adding two phone numbers if you can’t be reached at one number all the time. Some people say it’s safer not to engrave your pet’s name, in case your animal gets stolen. (The kidnapper wouldn’t be able to claim your pet by name.)

The safest way to approach safety for your pets is to have both an ID tag and a microchip on them. If your dog, for example, loses his tag, the shelter that finds him will most likely be able to scan the chip. Having a tag on your pet’s collar is important because there are several microchip brands on the market, and shelters may not have all scanners. (Silly, right? It would be one scanner for all chips. But it’s not.) If the shelter is unable to read your pet’s microchip, with a tag on, you will definitely have a bigger chance to being reunited with your beloved companion.

With these simple steps, you will be able to enjoy the company of your pet without worrying as much, in case an emergency happens. Cal your vet today and go shopping for a cute tag!

- By Mahoney-Jean Coppinger

Dog Walking Tips

April 16, 2014
(Jan-Erik Finnberg Photo)

(Jan-Erik Finnberg Photo)

Spring is here, which means time to start getting outside and walking with your dog. Is your dog unruly and makes it difficult to have a safe and fun walk? There are many dog experts who recommend using the walk as a training tool with your pet.

Try these 5 tips for perfecting the dog walk:

1) Use a short leash.

Using a short leash allows for you to have more control over your dog. It also allows for you to more easily guide your dog using communications and correction techniques.

2) Walk in front of Fido.

When you walk in front of your dog you establish yourself as the pack leader. You should always make sure that your dog is next to you or behind you during your walk.

3) Don’t rush your walk.

Make sure that you set aside more than enough time to provide your dog with the best exercise. Many veterinarians and dog trainers agree that a dog walk should be between thirty minutes to an hour. Of course, if your dog starts to tire, then consider taking a break.

4) Provide a reward.

You should always reward your dog for doing a job well done! A reward can come in the form of a treat, a loving pat or allowing the dog to play around in the grass. Either way, you should always be in control of your dog and should reward them properly when they follow your lead.

5) Have fun!

A walk can be a great time to bond with your pet! Don’t forget to enjoy yourself and enjoy the sunny, spring weather! Invite friends with you to enjoy conversation, and exercise, together!


- By Rachelyn Provencher


We met the Easter Bunny!

April 14, 2014
Phinney's Friends volunteers heather (left) and Christine with Easter Bunny. :-)

Phinney’s Friends volunteers Heather (left) and Christine with the Easter Bunny. :-)

Phinney’s Friends had a great time yesterday at Easterpalooza — an event Pet Source promoted in its Marlborough store to celebrate Easter with its customers and friends.

As we were the featured charity, we had a table there with brochures and stickers, and our volunteers Heather and Christine talked to people about Phinney’s Friends work.

Thank you, Pet Source, for giving us the opportunity to be there!

World Health Day! Stay healthy with your pet!

April 7, 2014
(Matthew C. Wright photo)

(Matthew C. Wright photo)

As better weather approaches, we go out more. Did you know a little bug can change your fun plans? So, be prepared when you go out enjoy the day or your vacation!

Today is World Health Day — a campaign run by the World Health Organization to spread awareness of important health topics that are relevant around the world. This year’s world health issue is vector-born diseases. What’s a vector, you say? As defined on, a vector is “an insect or other organism that transmit a pathogenic fungus, virus, bacterium, etc”. In other words, a vector is a carrier for disease.

We all know that mosquitoes may cause West Nile Virus or Malaria, but did you know that they can also cause Dengue fever? Dengue fever is transmitted through a virus from a mosquito bite and can cause symptoms of fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, and muscle or bone pain. Like Dengue fever, West Nile Virus is caused by a virus. Malaria is caused by a parasite. In this example the mosquito is the vector and it transmits viruses or parasites through interaction with a human. Many vector-born diseases work this way.

Flies, ticks, bugs, and fresh water snails may also spread diseases. The good news is most of these diseases are preventable! Simple measures such as sleeping with netting around your bed, covering all exposed skin with clothing, and using insect repellant can protect you. There are also many products that can help keep your pets protected from tick-born and flea diseases. Talk to your vet about them.

According to the World Health Organization, about half of the world’s population is at risk for any of these vector-born diseases and more than one million people die annually from them. Increasing awareness is one way to reduce this number. The more you know, the better protected you are!

Click here to read a very interesting article on vector-born diseases that can affect pets and people.

- By Taylor Crampton

A friend, a smile

April 4, 2014

After our client Jack lost his kitty, Whiskas, he was feeling terribly alone and sad. Then he met Clancy, an FIV Positive kitty who has been at the shelter for too long, and also felt sad and lonely. These two are inseparable, and so enjoying each other’s company!


Our Client Liaison Starr paid them a visit this week, and this is what she reported back to us:


“Clancy is a real ham! He sits in the bath tub and watches, while Jack brushes his teeth. He jumped all over the priest who came to visit Jack last night. Lots of love and white hair all over him. Eva the care taker is in love too.”


“Jack looks a couple years younger, he’s just so happy with his new buddy. Just before Clancy jumped on him Jack said, “Oh boy, here he comes!” Clancy gave him a sweet hug and cuddle all on his own, and then jumped to the floor and sprawled out completely relaxed.”

Spring is here, and so is Lyme Disease!

April 2, 2014
(SuperFantastic photo)

(SuperFantastic photo)

April is Lyme disease prevention month for your dog, probably because Spring is here, and with it come the ticks, which transmit Lyme disease.

Lyme can be avoided if you are careful enough. Here are some of the steps you need to take to make sure your dog is protected…

  • Bring him to the vet every year for a checkup. Ask your vet about Lyme disease vaccination.
  • Bring your pet to the vet whenever he starts behaving out of the ordinary. Look for the signs of Lyme Disease: shifting leg lameness, stiff gait, arched back, difficulty breathing, and decrease in appetite.
  • Apply tick medicine on your dog as prescribed by your vet.

If your dog got infected, give him the meds prescribed by the vet, and make sure you don’t skip any scheduled pills. Antibiotics must be administered without interruption.

If you want more information on Lyme disease, here is a good resource:

- By Mahoney-Jean Coppinger

April is Pet First Aid Month!

April 1, 2014
(Lindsey Turner photo)

(Lindsey Turner photo)

I know you would rush your pet to the vet he needs medical attention. But what would you do if your pet falls down the stairs, or accidentally eats something poisonous? It is important that you know how to help your pet if an emergency occurs.

The first thing to do it to call your vet and describe the problem. Your vet will be able to tell if your pet needs to go in for a visit right away. So, always have your veterinarian’s phone number and the local vet hospital’s phone number handy.

You should also keep a pet first aid kit at home, and another one in the car, just in case.

- If you don’t have a first aid kit yet, make sure you have at least gauze to wrap up wounds and protect injuries.
- Towels and blankets are always useful, especially for carrying your pet to the vet.
- Have a pet thermometer in the house. The disposable thermometer covers are a good thing to buy, so you can keep your thermometer clean at all times.
- Make sure you carry a leash and a muzzle in your first aid kit.

Preventing injuries and illnesses is always best. So be aware that many items in your home may be harmful to your pet. Many foods, cleaning products, and definitely rodent poisons are dangerous to animals. Here is a comprehensive list of poisonous items for cats and dogs:

If your pet has gotten into anything you are unsure is dangerous, or if your pet is acting weird, the best thing is to call your vet. If you vet is unavailable, call the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. They have a $65 fee for advice.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to keep your family’s best friends safe and sound.

Please consider doing a training course on pet CPR!

- By Daniel R. Landers


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