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Your October 2019 Newsletter from Largo Veterinary Hospital
October 2019 Pet Holidays
October is National Animal Safety & Protection, Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, & Pet Wellness Month
October 4: World Pets Day
October 7–13: Animal Welfare Week
October 14–20: Veterinary Technician Week
October 29: National Cat Day
What is a Feral Cat?

A feral cat is typically born in the wild or outdoors with little to no human interaction. It is not wise to try to turn an adult feral cat into a pet. Also please don't take them to a shelter, they have a high risk of being euthanized. Consider make a difference by taking part in a Trap-Neuter-Return effort. This entails humanely trapping a feral cat in a boxtrap, taking it to a vet to be spayed or neutered, then letting it go in its wild home. This keeps the cat safe, but is also an investment in the future to ensure the feral cat population remains contained.  
If you do find kittens from feral parents it is possible for them to become house pets, with proper socialization to humans.
8 Great Pit Bull Traits
With nearly 18,000 pit bull and pit mixes sitting in shelters waiting for their forever homes, the least we can do is give you 8 reasons why they are a great breed to choose.
 #1 - They're easy to train.
This breed is easier to train than many other breeds. Pit bulls are more likely to obey their owners and require fewer command repetitions.
#2 – "Locking Jaw" is a Myth
 Many people believe that the pit bull can lock their jaw – making it impossible to get them to release something they are holding. And while they do have strong jaws, studies have proved there is nothing different about it than other breeds; they cannot lock their jaw.
#3- They fare well in the heat.
This breed does well in hotter climates, due to their short-low maintenance fur. Don’t expect a pit bull to adjust well to cold locations.
#4 - They suffer from few dental problems. You won’t have to worry about this breed’s high dental bills. Pit bulls have great dental health and very few, if any, dental problems during their lifetime.
#5 -They can be great with kids.
When trained properly, the American pit bull terrier is considered playful and great with children. The pit bull was given the nickname "Nanny Dog" in the 50’s because they were so good with kids. You can find many images from that era showing kids and pit bulls together.
#6 - Protective of Their Owners.
Their loyal nature can lead the breed to protect its owner in times of crisis.
 Most rarely bark and can be too trusting of humans unless they need to protect their family.
# 7- Eager to please
Despite the bad rep the breed has received, the pit bull was actually bred to be loving of his family and to be eager to please – he will do anything his owners asks of him—making him perfect for any performance sport. A well-socialized pit bull has a very “lab-like” personality.
#8 - They have long lifespans.
A pit bull will be part of your family for many years to come. The average life span is 8-15 years.
Paws Off The Candy!
The biggest trick for a safe Halloween is not letting your pets get their paws on any of the holiday treats.  There is no candy safe for our pets. We all know that chocolate is hazardous to their tummys but did you know sweeteners like xylitol can be toxic!
Other dangerous holiday treats include: lollipops with sticks, alcohol, apple seeds, grapes, raisins walnuts and macadamia nuts. Keep Halloween food away from pets and be sure to tell children not to feed anything to animals.
5 Tips to Prevent Pet Obesity
So, obviously we know that helping our furry friends maintain a healthy weight is the simple matter of balancing what goes in with what gets used. But it is easier said than done when busy schedules and soulful begging eyes are working against our best efforts. We hope these tips will help you prevent pet obesity:
1. Know what your pet needs-there's math involved here!
First, get a good estimate of how many calories your pet needs per day. This is seldom the recommended feeding amount stated on the food bag! 
-Multiply your pet’s weight in pounds by 13.6.
-Add 70 to the answer above.
The total of steps one and two is your dog’s RER in calories per day.
So, if your dog weighs 50 pounds, multiply this by 13.6 to get 680 and then add 70 for a total RER of 750 calories per day.
The total above is what your pet needs if it were doing no other activity for the day. Of course, we all do at least some actual activity. So one needs a multiplier to get the right estimate of calories needed for both living and moving. The following estimates should be used for healthy mostly-indoor pets:
1.2 – Obese-prone adult (for instance if you have observed easy weight gain in the past)
1.4 – Neutered adult
1.6 – Unneutered adult
If the example pet above was neutered, the total daily need would be 750 x 1.4, or 1050 calories.
It is critical to note here that if your pet is very young or is pregnant or nursing, you should consult Dr. Daniels for more specific recommendations. Additionally, this formula is not ideal for pets weighing less than 5 pounds or more than 120 pounds.
2. Know what your pet gets:
All pet foods are required to have the calories per cup listed on the package. So, once you know your pet’s approximate needs, you can determine how much food will satisfy the requirement. Make sure you are using an accurate measuring cup or scoop! 
3. Adjust when needed:
When measuring food, consider activity levels and treats for that specific day. If you worked a double shift and missed the usual afternoon walk/play session, cut back a bit. If you went out for a weekend warrior walk or played flashlight tag for 30 minutes that gave your pet three extra hours of exercise than usual, increase the dinner portion. If you and your pet are working on a new trick and using treats for rewards, be sure and deduct those extra calories from a meal.
4. Keep treats healthy:
Dog biscuits are similar to human cookies; despite claims of containing healthy-sounding flavors like chicken or beef, the main ingredients are usually flour and corn and are generally around 50 or more calories of mainly excess carbohydrate. Also like human cookies they often don’t pack much nutrition in and their calories add up quickly.
5. Don't forget the activity side of the equation:
Of course, the other half of the calories in/calories out equation is activity and exercise!! Helping your pet burn a few extra calories can give the food intake a bit more leeway. And, like us, being fit has all kinds of other health benefits such as improving signs of aging and using calories more efficiently.
If you are still struggling to help your pet reach a healthy weight or want a more detailed health plan please make an appointment to see Dr. Daniels.
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Meet Lacey Bryant Our October 2019 Pet of the Month

My name is Lacey and I am a 15-year-old DMH feline. I was a very special gift to my owner from his granddaughter. You should know that I am a busy lady. Dad would tell you that I love to unroll the toilet paper. It's my favorite thing to play with; that soft white roll is never-ending and just keeps going around and around when I bat my paw at it! Although I prefer to hang in the bathroom to keep myself entertained, I got mischievous one night and went exploring on a second story balcony. I lost my balance and fell off, it was so embarrassing! I was thankful to be ok. I am thankful for my owner who spoils me with Whisker's chicken treats and a cozy queen size bed to dream when I sleep.
Why Does My Dog Kick Grass After Pooping?
Canines are very territorial. They mark their claims with scents that come from the feces, urine, and even from their paw pads. Surprisingly, the scents left from the feet outlast those from the feces and urine, which dry up relatively quickly and lose their potency!  Additionally, marks left in the ground from the scraping send their own memo: the dog that did this is present, strong, and claiming this territory.
Glands in the feet secrete pheromones, a chemical that triggers social reactions from members of the same species. Communicating through these hormones may be the key to why dogs kick the grass after pooping. If you have several dogs in your neighborhood that pass your house throughout the day, your dog may be anxious to send those dogs a message. The possible communications could include claims of territory, sexual availability, food trail indicators, and warning others of present dangers. These hormones also affect many aspects of a dog’s behavior and physiology.
Why Does My Dog Only Sniff Certain People?
10 Ways to Entertain a Bored Dog at Work.
10 Tips for a Happy Indoor Cat
How to Stop Your Cat From Peeing Outside the Litter Box
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Largo Veterinary Hospital  •  1120 Starkey Road  •  Largo  •  FL  •  33771

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