It’s time to brush up on your pet’s dental health and enjoy 25% off dental cleaning at the ARL’s Boston Veterinary Care February in honor of National Pet Dental Health Month!
Your pet’s stinky breath may not just be the result of eating a smelly dinner. Bad breath can be a sign of dental problems. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar can build up on your pet’s teeth, causing bad breath, gingivitis, tooth loss, and infections. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of three.
Just as it is for people, the best way to prevent dental problems in your pet is to brush their teeth. Watch a demonstration of how to brush your pet’s teeth in the video below:
Seeing your veterinarian for a regular dental check up and cleaning also keeps your pet’s pearly whites healthy.
According to a 2013 analysis conducted by VPI Pet Insurance, the average cost to prevent dental disease in pets is $171.82, but it costs $531.71 to treat dental disease. So talk to your veterinarian today about maintaining your pet’s dental health!
To book an appointment for a dental cleaning with Boston Veterinary Care with Boston Veterinary Care, visit bostonvetcare.com.
CBS News paid a visit to the Animal Rescue League of Boston last week to interview Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, the ARL’s vice president of animal welfare, about the rising trend of “puppy transports” – when animals are relocated from one community to another state or region for adoption.
Often because of socioeconomic or cultural, animal control facilities and shelters in many regions of the country find themselves with far more stray or abandoned puppies and young dogs than they can find homes for locally.
Since the practice of puppy transports began, many veterinarians have expressed concern about the health, welfare, and safety of animals traveling on a transport, as well as the risks that transported dogs may pose to dogs in the receiving communities. Veterinarians want to ensure steps are taken to control the spread and transmission of disease.
Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore offers her insights on the rising trend of puppy transports.
As the chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Animal Welfare Committee, Dr. Smith helped craft the AVMA’s policy on the relocation of animals for adoption. Ahead of her interview with CBS News, we sat down with her to talk more about what people should know about puppy transports.
ARL Blog: What are the major concerns veterinarians have about puppy transports?
Dr. Smith: The biggest concern veterinarians have is for animal and public health – that animals with mostly unknown medical backgrounds and lacking much preventive care would spread large amounts of infectious disease from the place they were leaving to the place they were headed. The health, welfare, and safety of animals during the transport–how they are treated and cared for during travel–is also something veterinarians care about very much.
They also care about their clients, who may end up heartbroken if the unwittingly adopt a sick puppy.
ARL Blog: If someone is considering adopting from a puppy transport, what do they need to know?
Dr. Smith: Learning more about the shelter or rescue group you’re adopting from to find out how the health and safety of animals and people are addressed before and during transport is very important!
One of the major goals of the AVMA policy was to provide organizations with guidance on doing transports safely and humanely. The public can also use the AVMA policy as a point of reference for the standards of care they should expect from any group transporting animals for local adoption.
Download the AVMA’s Best Practices for the Relocation of Animals for Adoption
Find out if and how the organization that is bringing the puppies in for adoption is helping the community where they came from. Are they giving back to the sending community to improve access to spay/neuter and other veterinary services? Organizations involved in puppy transports run the gamut from responsible, welfare-oriented groups, to uncaring individuals motivated by financial profit.
The ARL works with rescue partners to bring puppies from the South to our Brewster shelter several times a year. Our Boston shelter also receives occasional transports of chihuahuas from California.
ARL Blog: Has the increased interest in puppy transports had an impact on local animals who need homes ?
Dr. Smith: The AVMA policy encourages communities to assess their local animal population first to figure out if there’s a real shortage of adoptable animals. Because of higher spay/neuter rates of dogs in New England, for example, there aren’t as many stray or abandoned puppies as there are in other parts of the country.
There are dogs in many communities in Massachusetts that need help getting to a shelter where they stand a better chance of getting adopted. To address this issue, the ARL collaborates with the Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s AniMatch program.
The idea is for organizations to pursue their passion for helping animals find homes in a healthy, safe, and responsible way for all animals, people, and communities.
Thank you to the two boys who called the Animal Rescue League and Boston Animal Care (BAC) for help with a puppy rescue on a very cold night earlier this week.
Two boys found the small puppy trapped between a fence and a wall in a local park.
After hearing whimpering noises coming from somewhere, the boys went outside to look around and try to find what was making them. They followed a trail of tiny footprints in the park across the street from their home and found the poor pup trapped between a metal fence and retaining wall!
Realizing the little dog was stuck and would not survive a night out in the freezing cold, the two rushed to get help. The ARL and BAC arrived on the scene and worked together to pull the shivering and frightened puppy out from behind the fence.
Watch the short video of the gentle rescue below.
We’re happy to report the little guy is sweet as can be and recovering very well from his ordeal thanks to the two kind young men who helped an animal in need!
With wind chill advisories in effect for many parts of the state and forecasts predicting some of the coldest temperatures in Boston in many years, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is urging people to take precautions: “Minimize outside activities, particularly for the elderly and very young. Also, consider your pets.”
The ARL asks pet owners to bring outdoor pets indoors.
Limiting outdoor time for indoor pets is a good idea during extreme cold weather, says the ARL.
Though they may have furry coats, animals are by no means immune to dangerously cold temperatures. Even rabbits, cats, and dogs that typically live outdoors need extra assistance keeping warm as temperatures plummet.
“Because it’s been a relatively warm fall and early winter, animals who live outdoors have not developed their thick winter coats or had a chance to acclimate to this sudden cold,” explains Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, the ARL’s vice president of animal welfare.
She adds that, “some breeds simply don’t develop winter coats and don’t belong outdoors in the winter at all.”
If you are concerned about feral or stray cats living in your neighborhood or around a store or business you are familiar with, also try to bring them indoors to a garage or basement if possible. If that’s not possible, the ASPCA has put together a handy “how to” guide for making an inexpensive cat shelter to help community cats make it through this cold snap.
The ASPCA says an elevated foam bin filled with stray provides warm shelter for feral cats.
Other preparations you can make to protect animals during the winter include:
Winterize outdoor accommodations. If your pets must stay outdoors, ensure they have adequate protection against the elements. Veterinary experts agree a winter-friendly shelter should have three enclosed sides, stand off the ground, and contain generous amounts of bedding such as clean straw. Take steps to ensure your pet’s drinking water does not freeze.
Check underneath the car hood. Cats love to warm up underneath cars and car hoods, leading to burns and other grave injuries when the car gets turned on suddenly. Make a habit to pound on the hood of the car and give a visual check underneath your vehicle before you start it to make sure no one is taking a nap or basking in the heat from the engine.
Don’t leave your pet inside the car. The warm temperatures inside your vehicle don’t stick around for very long once the engine is off. Your car can act like a refrigerator and your pet can quickly start to freeze.
SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Have concerns about an animal in your neighborhood out in the extreme cold this week? Contact your local animal control office or authorities immediately to let them know about your concerns.
Did Santa bring you a new puppy for Christmas? Or is teaching your dog not to jump all over your holiday guests on your 2015 to-do list?
There’s no better time to consider taking a dog training classes than National Train-Your-Dog Month this January!
As our experienced dog-trainers will tell you, a well-behaved dog is a happy dog.
Registration for Winter 2015 dog training classes at the ARL is open!
He can hang out with visitors, go places with you and join in on family activities. If your dog has learned some basic house and outdoor manners, he will not jump all over guests or bother them too much. He can ride in a car safely, go to a relative’s house and settle, go to the park or the beach for an outing and come back when called.
Especially when it’s too cold for pets and people to be outside for a long period of time, teaching tricks is a great activity to do with your dog—it’s entertainment for the whole family! A few minutes a day of positive training can really help your pet burn excess energy.
This winter, the ARL has many dog training classes for dogs of all ages that review basic and advanced cues, along with house and outdoor manners. All classes are held at our Boston headquarters and you have access to free on-site parking.
For the new puppy in your life, we recommend Puppy Kindergarten, a six-week course for puppies 8-20 weeks old. The first week is for owners only (we have much more to learn than our puppies!). Tuesday classes begin next week on January 15 and Thursday classes on January 20. The “PK” experience includes:
• An off leash puppy play period for puppy socialization
• Training games for the enjoyment of both puppies and owners
• Basic commands
• Discussions about puppy behavior problems, proper nutrition and veterinary care
For the dog who needs to learn some better manners, we suggest Good Manners. In just six week,s you will cover a variety of basic commands including sit, down, and stay. Your dog will also have the chance to work on greeting skills with other dogs and people during this interactive and hands-on course.
And for the old dog ready to learn some new tricks, check out Sniffing for Fun and our Loose-Leash Workshop, offering tips, techniques, and advise on equipment you may need to teach your dog to walk nicely on leash.
Of course, people aren’t the only ones getting into the holiday spirit this week. Check out how festive Lilac and Lavendar, a special pair of guinea pigs at our Brewster shelter, and their chum Ruffles can be!
A very special thanks to everyone who has made supply donations to our shelters! Your gifts of treats, toys, bedding, and more has made the animals feel very special and loved indeed.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) newest addition, little Piper the kitten, is recovering from delicate surgery performed on Monday to repair her broken back leg.
Just as the cold weather hit, kind Samaritans discovered the 6-8 week-old brown tabby all alone and struggling to walk near an ice cream shop in Orleans, MA. After police brought her to the ARL’s Brewster shelter, ARL veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley recommended bringing Piper up to Boston to explore all the options for repairing her leg.
“Piper was anemic, dehydrated, and clearly in some discomfort because of her broken leg,” Dr. Quigley explained. “Because she was so little, we wanted to make sure we helped her heal with minimal pain.”
An x-ray of Piper’s leg with the pins and steel plate post surgery.
The ARL funded Piper’s surgery at Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment and Specialties in Walpole, MA, where veterinary surgeons inserted a steel plate and pins to repair the serious fracture in her thigh. The organization will continue to help Piper rehabilitate over the next 6-8 weeks and begin the process of finding her a permanent home.
“She’s like our very own Tiny Tim,” said Marianne Gasbarro, the ARL’s Boston shelter manager. “She got the treatment she needed just in time and will have a much better life in the new year ahead.”
The ARL expects Piper’s medical costs will top $2,000 with surgery and after care. The organization does not receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help stray animals like Piper recover.
Special things in store for everyone who adopts today
All ARL shelters are open for business on Black Friday with a special “deal” of our own! Everyone who adopts from one of our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham on November 28 will receive:
The unwavering love and loyalty of a shelter pet (no limit on supply!)
An ARL pet emergency backpack (cat or dog version, while supplies last)
Free first wellness visit at Boston Veterinary Care vet clinic
Free pet toothbrush and toothpaste (while supplies last)
Only in Boston and Dedham – Coupon for 20% off your entire purchase with PALS reward from Petco Unleashed
Only in Boston – Coupon for 20% off your entire purchase at D’Tails (73 Berkeley Street, Boston)
Only in Brewster – Coupon for $10 off your pet supply purchase of $40 or more at Agway
Maverick loves to play and sing. Come meet him on Black Friday at the ARL’s Boston shelter.
Carrie loves being the center of attention. Come meet her on Black Friday at the ARL’s Boston shelter.
Generous supporters of the ARL have also pre-paid the adoption fees on select shelter animals, including the bear-huggable Carrie and the ever-spunky Maverick.
Our Black Friday specials are part of our “Home for the Holidays” community outreach campaign to encourage adoption and support for animals in need in our community. Visit arlboston.org/homeforholidays for more information.
Shelter locations and hours on Black Friday are as follows:
10 Chandler Street, Boston
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
3981 Main St. (Route 6A), East Brewster
10:00 am – 4:00 pm