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Broken Arrow Animal Control – Wednesday’s Children

posted April 27th, 2015 by
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Foshay Photographers

TulsaPets Magazine toured the Broken Arrow Animal Control shelter and took these pictures of adorable animals available for adoption. If you are thinking about a new family member, please consider saving the life of a homeless animal!

Visit the shelter and take home a new best friend!

Foshay Photographers

Make a difference – adopt a shelter animal!

All of these pictures were taken Friday, April 24th, by Bob Foshay

The Broken Arrow Shelter is open to the public: Monday – Friday 11:30 – 5:45

& Saturday 10:00 – 3:00. Closed Sundays and some City holidays.

Dogs and cat adoptions are $60.00

Broken Arrow Animal Control Shelter

4121 E. Omaha Street

Broken Arrow, OK 74014

918-259-8311

This Week’s Wednesday’s Children available from the City of Broken Arrow Animal Control Shelter.   There are some beautiful dogs and cats for adoption so please go rescue one today! Rescued pets make the best companions!!!  A big “THANKS” is owed to Bob Foshay for doing what he does every week!

* Pictured Animals may no longer be available

“I knew I didn’t want to be a large-animal veterinarian, and I didn’t want to live in North Dakota”

posted April 25th, 2015 by
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Ross Clark

Practice management guru Dr. Ross Clark reveals his thoughts about the past and future of veterinary medicine.

 

Apr 21, 2015

 

Training 911 – Socialization Nation

posted April 19th, 2015 by
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Training 911

Training 911

Socialization Nation

 

By Mary Green

 

Socialization is a big buzzword in dog training and pet owner circles. Dog parks, play groups, day cares and training classes all stress the importance of socializing your pet. Here’s a common scenario: a pet owner calls me and says, “I think my dog needs socialization.”  “OK”, I answer. “What’s going on with her?” “I took her to the vet today, and she was afraid of everyone and everything,” she says. “So my vet said she is under-socialized.”

 

What Is Socialization, and How Do You Go About “Socializing” Your Dog?

Socialization is the process of introducing a puppy to people, places, objects, animals and sounds. When a puppy is exposed to these new things in a positive manner, she is more likely to accept new things as an adult.

According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the primary and most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life. During this time, sociability outweighs fear. Great! However, when you bring your puppy home at 8 weeks, she is already two-thirds of the way through the socialization period. It’s not too late! Your puppies aren’t destined to be social outcasts or misfits if you take smart steps toward socialization.

Have puppy parties

Invite people to come over! Rule of thumb: for every woman the puppy meets, she needs to meet one adult male and one child. Invite kids of all ages but not all at the same time. Ask people to wear funny hats, coats and uniforms.

Go to puppy kindergarten

Dr. Ian Dunbar (at dogstardaily.com) has some tips for finding a good puppy class. Enroll in a puppy class that has a good sanitization program and requires proof of vaccination and work closely with your veterinarian to keep your puppy current on her vaccinations.

Visit pet-friendly businesses

Don’t limit your field trips to the pet supply store. Find a café with a dog-friendly patio. Ask businesses that you frequent (your bank, hardware store, liquor store, book-store, etc.) if you can bring your puppy in for

a visit and make

it brief!

Make happy visits to the veterinarian or groomer

Just run in, meet some people, see some other animals and get up on

the scale or grooming table! Every visit to the veterinarian shouldn’t be just for a procedure or vaccination. Many vet clinics have resident birds and cats to visit, as well as pet-friendly staff.

Car rides

Make the most of a car ride by going to a drive-through fast food restaurant. Or go to the automatic car wash, but be aware that it can be pretty scary. Go to the drive up window at the bank and see if the teller has dog cookies, which many often do!

At home

Introduce your pup to the scary things that reside in your home, such as the vacuum cleaner. I had a puppy that thought the vacuum was a fire-breathing dragon that lived in the closet/cave and sprung ferociously to life. Items you use daily, such as a hair dryer, coffee bean grinder, and appliances, provide opportunities for your puppy to socialize with objects. Get creative and pull out your motion-activated holiday decorations.

The goal is to let your puppy socialize at her own pace. Don’t overwhelm her with  too many things at one time. Give her the time and space to be comfortable in approaching new people, animals or objects, and reward her with treats and praise for each encounter.

Take A Hike…And Take Your Dog With You!

posted April 12th, 2015 by
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Take a Hike

Take A Hike…And Take Your Dog With You!

 

By Anna Holton-Dean

 

Crisp, cool fall months are the perfect time to enjoy some outdoor activities that were otherwise treacherous in the sweltering summer heat. Hiking is at the top of our fall must-do list, and the best part is many nearby hiking trails allow your dog to come along for the fun. On-leash, of course, it can be the perfect fall activity to enjoy with your pet.

However, before any activity, do your homework, ensuring your pet is ready for a hike. Considerations would include breed type, length and thickness of coat, age and endurance. A smashed face breed will overheat more quickly than a dog with a longer snout, as will a dog with a longer, thicker coat.

“Do check into your breed’s history and ask your veterinarian before taking your dog for a hike,” Nancy Gallimore, certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA), advises. “I had a guy who took his new shelter/rescue dog for a five-mile run, and the dog collapsed.” Just as a person must work up to that type of distance and endurance, so must a pet. Knowing your pet’s fitness level and limitations is a must.

Gallimore, co-owner of Pooches Place, has been hiking with dogs for over 12 years and training dogs for 20 years (professionally certified for seven years). She and Lawanna Smith, also a CPDT-KA and co-owner of Pooches Place, offer up some expert advice for anyone contemplating hiking with a pet:

Be sure to choose a dog-friendly trail, and do not take your dog to hike a trail if you are unfamiliar with it. This article includes  insight and advice on five area trails which allow dogs.

No matter where you choose to hike, keep your dog on a leash. “Even the best trained dogs may take off after a squirrel or deer,” Gallimore says.

If not hiking locally and traveling to a different region, consider the altitude difference and carry your dog’s vaccination records with you.

Fall temperatures should be pleasant, but always be aware of the temp. “Your dog does not sweat like you do,” Gallimore says. “So carry fresh water for your dog. If he starts to lag behind, stop. Learn the signs of heat exhaustion.”

In relation to fresh water, also do not let your dog drink from ponds or standing/ stagnant water for risk of parasites or bacteria. Also, supervise carefully that he doesn’t eat anything along the trail.

Buy dog-safe sunscreen if your pooch has thin hair and pink skin. Dogs can burn too!

Make sure your dog has flea/tick prevention, and check your dog for fleas/ ticks/stickers/burrs after a hike.

Pay attention to the trail’s surface. Make sure it won’t harm paws, and check the dog’s paws throughout the hike. “You get blisters, so can your dog,” Gallimore says. “Inspect pads and between pads carefully after a hike. If the temps are too hot or too cold, check the trail surface to be sure it’s not going to burn or be too cold on exposed paws.”

Do not hike in wilderness areas at dusk/ after dusk. “This is the time of day coyotes and other predators come out,” Gallimore says. “Your dog may attract the attention of predators.” Furthermore, “know the wildlife you may encounter in the area. Even deer can be aggressive during certain times of year. Raccoons, skunks, etc., can be a threat.”

Carry a first aid kit with you, asking your vet for advice on what to keep in it in case of injury, snake bite or allergic reaction to bug bites, etc.

Always carry your cell phone in case of emergency.

Area Pet-Friendly Hiking Trails

Kent Frates, co-author of “Oklahoma Hiking Trails” suggests Lake Thunderbird State Park in Norman and Arcadia Lake Trail near Edmond as dog-friendly hiking trails, in that the terrain and environment should be the most accommodating. These are the best options for hiking newbies, including pets new to hiking too.

Of course, Turkey Mountain in the heart of Tulsa is another good option. Frates cautions it is hilly but should be doable for most dogs. If your dog is up for some hills (no pun intended), he will probably enjoy the hike. Gallimore suggests early morning hikes to avoid bikers on Turkey Mountain who can appear in a flash, and you will have to quickly move your dog out of harm’s way.

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Indiahoma also welcomes pets on-leash, but the terrain is a little rough. For dogs with hiking experience and endurance, this trail would offer a welcomed challenge.

The Trail at Keystone Lake allows dogs, but the terrain is rocky with some elevation, and you may encounter ticks or chiggers which could be a problem, Frates says. Should you accept this challenge, go prepared with the necessary items and plan.

More Oklahoma hiking trails we should know about? Let us know on our Facebook page or via Twitter @tulsapetsmag. For more hiking tips and info, check out  “Oklahoma Hiking Trails” by Kent Frates and Larry Floyd, available for purchase from Amazon.com.

While there are many considerations, hiking can be a great outdoor activity for you and your dog. A little homework and forethought can go a long way toward creating a new healthy hobby to benefit both person and pet.

Prickly Pets

posted April 5th, 2015 by
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Hedgehog 2

Prickly Pets

 

From hedges to households, hedgehogs reign as the latest pet trend.

 

By Bria Bolton Moore

 

When he was 9 years old, Mary Dickey’s son Ryan didn’t beg for a rowdy puppy or a purring kitten like most kids. He wanted a palm-sized prickly playmate, a hedgehog.

Mary granted Ryan’s wish, and they got their first hedgehog, Tiggy, in 1995. The Dickeys began breeding and caring for hedgehogs at their home in Stillwater, Okla.

 

“We went from having them in my son’s bedroom to the bedroom being overtaken by being the ‘animal room’,” Mary Dickey said.

Today, 20 years after Tiggy became part of their family, Dickey has eight hedgehogs, three females and five males, and operates Atlantis Hedgehogs.

It seems more and more people are interested in welcoming a quill-covered animal into their homes. Due to exotic animal ownership restrictions, keeping a hedgehog as a pet is banned or restricted in at least     six states. However, their popularity as American pets grows.

Dickey said she has seen sparked interest at Atlantis Hedgehogs with an influx of calls as more people question if a hedgehog is the right pet for them. Similarly, Kimber Knight, who owns Parkplase Heggies in Ramona, Okla., has also experienced more inquiries.

“I have gotten more emails and calls in the last six months than I ever have,” said Knight, who has owned hedgehogs since 1999 when her family got their first heggie, Sonic.

Dr. Rachael Davis, DVM, is a small and exotic animal veterinarian at VCA Woodland South Animal Hospital in Tulsa. She said she has cared for more hedgehogs recently, three in the last few months, and has about five in her client base.

People are fascinated by the small, cute creatures. Social media celebrity Biddy the Hedgehog has an Instagram account with more than 480,000 followers featuring snapshots of Biddy at the beach, on road trips and hanging out with a fellow pet, Charlie the Mini Mutt. The April 2014 cover of National Geographic highlighted Jade, a female hedgehog from South Carolina, who attracted attention to the magazine’s piece on owning exotic animals.

While there are 15 hedgehog species, most domestic hedgehogs in the United States are African Pygmy hedgehogs. They generally have white bellies, of course fur, with more than 5,000 spines covering their crown of the head and back. Male hedgehogs weigh about 1.5 to 2.5 pounds, while the females weigh half a pound to 1 pound. Hedgehogs live about four to six years.

The right pet for you?

Kristen Zorbini Bongard is a board member of the Hedgehog Welfare Society, a 501(c)(3) committed to the health and welfare of hedgehogs through rescue, education and research. The society has more than 1,600 members who reside in 31 countries.

“I originally became interested in hedge-hogs because I was allergic to many of the more traditional furry pets,” Bongard said. “I read a couple of books about them and then adopted an unwanted hedgehog from a friend of a friend.”

As a rescuer, Bongard said she sees “many, many instances of buyer’s remorse” because people don’t know a lot about hedgehogs before they bring them home. She encourages people to do their research, talk to someone who owns a hedgehog and meet a hedgehog before deciding to get one as a pet.

“They’re really interesting pets, but they’re not for everyone,” Bongard said.

She said she has spent thousands of dollars in vet bills through the years.

“They are exotic animals and require a knowledgeable vet and frequently require anesthesia just to be examined—the downside of a pet that can enclose its body in sharp quills,” Bongard said. “For all you put in, you will still not have an animal that will miss you when you’re gone or greet you at the door with a wagging tail. Make sure it’s worth it to you before you commit to owning a hedgehog.”

Hedgehogs can be interactive pets, but they’re naturally shy, rolling up into a ball when they feel threatened or uncomfortable.

“They require a little bit of effort, but they can be a lot of fun,” Dickey said. “They’re not social like a dog or a cat that seeks to be friends with you. You have to handle them a lot. So, if you’re not willing to handle your hedgehog, you may end up with a little pet that sits in the corner, and you never see it. And it’s prickly,” she said between laughs.

Dr. Davis echoed Dickey’s comments on hedgehog temperament.

“Some aren’t really interested in being handled,” Dr. Davis said. “They want to just roll up into a ball. But, most of the time, that can be overcome with gentle handling and getting them used to people. Then, I see some that are just out, walking around and aren’t even phased by coming in to see me (in the veterinarian’s office).”

Dr. Davis said some hedgehogs are stressed by new people, small children, or dogs and cats that may be perceived as predators.

Another unique characteristic is anointing. When hedgehogs encounter a new smell or object, they pick it up or chew at it until they begin drooling excessively. Then, they rub the saliva all over their quills and body in a process called self-anointing. No one knows why the animals anoint, but it’s a common behavior.

Hedgehogs can be purchased from a breeder or a pet store that offers exotics. A hedgehog from Atlantis Hedgehogs costs $125 while a hedgehog from Parkplase Heggies costs $150.

Caring for a hedgehog

“They’re easy to care for,” Dickey said. “They’re not rodents, so they don’t have     any odor.”

A hedgehog should be housed alone in a large cage with a solid base, at least 2 feet by 3 feet with shredded newspaper or Aspen shavings. A hiding place or shelter as well   as an exercise wheel are recommended. The cage should be cleaned weekly.

In the wild, a hedgehog diet consists mostly of insects. However, pet hedgehogs usually eat two to three teaspoons a day of commercial hedgehog food or low-calorie cat food. Their diet should be supplemented with one to two teaspoons of mixed vegetables or fruit as well as insects, such as crickets or mealworms.

“The most common issue I see with [hedgehogs] is obesity,” Dr. Davis said. “It’s hard, because there’s not a readily-available hedgehog diet.”

Dr. Davis said other common health problems are mites and dental disease.

Hedgehogs are also nocturnal, sleeping during most of the day, so Dr. Davis advises owners to house their pets in a non-sleeping room.

“A lot of people will get [hedgehogs] for their children, put the cage in the child’s bedroom, and then the hedgehog’s up, running around all night long.”

Dr. Davis also recommends that owners take their hedgehogs to see an exotic veterinarian at least once a year for a check-up.

Bongard has cared for more than a dozen hedgehogs since getting to know her first hedgehog in 2004.

“Hedgehogs are really fascinating creatures,” Bongard said. “They are independent and sometimes standoffish,  but that’s part of their charm. There’s something magical about earning their trust over many, many days and watching them splat out, unafraid, on your lap. They have adorable little faces, too.”

The Animal Conference in Oklahoma City

posted April 5th, 2015 by
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Pic 2

2015 Animal Conference

reported for TulsaPets Magazine by Holly Clay

photography by Holly Clay and Austin Clay

The 2015 Animal Conference hosted by the Kirkpatrick Foundation was held on March 30 – 31, in Downtown Oklahoma City. The Conference prides itself on being a forum for impact, ideas and inspiration, focused on creating a safe and humane environment for all creatures.

Animal Conf Photo V (2)

The Skirvin lobby

This one-of-a-kind event happens only once every three years. OKC was lucky enough to host this year’s event at the beautiful, historic Skirvin Hilton hotel. Attendees and speakers came from across the country, including prominent authors, public speakers and animal specialists, as well as the average animal enthusiast.

What is the Animal Conference?

The Animal Conference is a “breeding ground” of knowledge regarding the humane treatment of all animals. The Kirkpatrick Foundation of Oklahoma City not only hosted but sponsored the event. The Foundation has long been a prominent leader and activist for the wellbeing of animals with John Kirkpatrick also being the founder of the Oklahoma Zoological Society in 1954.

The event was a great opportunity to discover and explore ideas of meaningful and effective ways to complete Oklahoma’s goal of being the most humane, safest place to be an animal by the year 2032. What an accomplishment that will be! I personally could not think of a better place to bring a group of likeminded individuals together to create a safer place for animals and our environment.

A therapy dog attendee.

A therapy dog attendee

The Conference offered studies, lectures and eye-opening sessions that were not just limited to the average house pet. For instance, a wealth of information was shared regarding the humane treatment of livestock, horses, birds and other wild animals. The hallways and conference rooms were full of happy-tailed therapy dogs, adoptive kittens and mountains of resources about how to cultivate a better environment for animals and mankind alike.

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Kittens for adoption from Central OK Humane Society

Sunday, March 29, kicked off the event with a welcome reception at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, also open to the public. Attendees were treated to a special guest, National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore. Sartore’s career has taken him around the world, as he photographs amazing, exotic creatures.

“When we save species, we are actually saving ourselves,” he said. If you missed this event, you can still check out some of his work online. He is an incredible photographer with many captivating stories.

Monday, the Conference continued with more amazing speakers, informative breakout sessions and even a tour of the new Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility at the Oklahoma City Zoo, opening to the public in 2015.

During an award luncheon, the Foundation presented its Kirkpatrick Honor for Animal Wellbeing Award to Natalee Cross for her dedicated work to rescue and rehabilitate horses. The prestigious award is given to someone who possesses a great deal of integrity and willpower for the betterment of animals. Before the presentation of the award, a powerful video showcased Cross’s hard work to save horses that would have otherwise been killed. The video was extremely motivating and heart wrenching.

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Attendees view the video of Natalee Cross of Blaze’s Equine Rescue

Other events included intriguing and thought-provoking breakout sessions. Some of these sessions discussed the souls of animals and different religious traditions, historic views of animals and the existence of their souls. Especially beneficial to Oklahomans, some sessions centered on emergency preparedness when dealing with major disasters and pets, and understanding what happens with our beloved pets when disaster strikes.

Natalee Cross accepting the Kirkpatrick Honor for Animal Wellbeing award.

Natalee Cross accepting the Kirkpatrick Honor for Animal Wellbeing Award

Additional topics covered animal abuse and the human-animal bond. Of course, there were happy, uplifting sessions, such as the Great Horned Owl cam with Alessondra Click, which is now an Internet sensation with more than 6 million views (OKCOwlCam.com).

Tuesday brought even more exciting, fun activities, breakouts and events. In the Myriad Gardens, “high-flyin’ disc dogs” performed with their trainers, Lee Fairchild and Chris Meyers. Dora, Ace, JC, DD, JD and Gracie were nothing short of amazing with their tricks and stunts.

Local food trucks and vendors set up camp, along with The Bella Foundation who brought with them precious, adoptable kittens. The famous cat Sauerkraut who has over 200 thousand social media followers also made an appearance. Decked out in a pink stroller, Sauerkraut seemed to be OK with all the attention.

How can you help?

If you missed this incredibly cool event, you can plan to attend in 2018. Valuable resources can still be obtained; visit http://www.theanimalconference.com/.

To learn more about the new Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital opening 2015 at the Oklahoma City Zoo, visit http://www.safeandhumaneoklahoma.org/safe-and-humane/joan-kirkpatrick-animal-hospital.

Let’s all stay focused on the goal of becoming the safest and most humane place to be an animal by the year 2032.