Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April - LASPCA profile & Pet days

Spring is a very busy time in New Orleans with an increase in outdoor activities, including a plethora of festivals. For many it's also allergy season, and this year the oak trees were producing super early because of the lack of any real winter weather.

For pet parents, the month of April is also chock full of special awareness days for the health and safety of fur babies, including the ASPCA's Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, The Red Cross' Pet First Aid Awareness Month, as well as The American Heartworm Society's Heartworm Awareness Month.

It may seem silly to have a bunch of "made up" holidays dedicated to animal welfare, but these are all very important issues for everyone as information such as dog bite prevention (awareness dates for 2017 were April 9-15) has an impact on all members of a community.

While April seems to be the unofficial kickoff to festival season locally, two events this month included fur babies - The Freret Street Festival and the LASPCA's Brunch Fest. Petit Pet Care's Christy Bracken Hackenburg took part in the Freret Street Festival (held the first Saturday of the month), handing out treats and helping pups cool off at the Doggie Pit Stop.

Remember when we asked Has New Orleans Gone to the Dogs? Anyone visiting our city during this month could easily think so. Brunch Fest, a fund raiser for the LASPCA, was originally intended to be held in March, but had to be rescheduled to April 22 because of bad weather. Leave it to New Orleanians to turn festing into a fur baby pastime.

As mentioned above, April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month. Would you know what to do if your pet had a first aid emergency? Christy is Red Cross certified for cats and dogs in both first aid and CPR, but for those times in between sits, we've compiled information on a number of  topics to help maintain your fur baby's well-being on our Pinterest board, Pet Health and Safety.

For Heartworm Awareness Month, the American Heartworm Association wants you to know that heartworm is a serious concern for both dogs and cats that threatens their health in just about every state in the U.S. (It's an issue outside the states as well.) Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, and millions of dogs are known to be infected

The top five states for infection in 2016 were Mississipi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee. On the gulf coast we know all too well what a nuisance mosquitoes can be. In addition to talking to your vet about preventive care, be sure there aren't any areas around your home where standing water can provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

It is also Lyme Disease in Dogs Prevention Month. Most people know that lyme disease is carried by ticks. Specifically, it's cause by a bacteria called Borrelia Burgdorferi; an infected tick can transmit the disease within 12-48 hours, though symptoms may not show for 2-5 months. Keep grass cut and check your BFF thoroughly after spending time in wooded areas. See the link below for more information on Lyme Disease and prevention.

National Pet ID Week is designated for the third full week of April. A disturbing number of pet parents do not put ID tags on their pets. Even if your fur baby stays indoors or is never off-leash, things happen and you need to be sure they can be recovered.

If you follow Petit Pet Care on Facebook and Instagram, you've no doubt seen the "Cute Pet of the Day" and other photos posted. Christy has long had a love for photography and regularly volunteers at the LA-SPCA here in New Orleans photographing pets that are up for adoption.

The Louisiana SPCA has been committed to animal welfare since 1888. It is the oldest organization protecting companion animals in the state, and besides offering animals for adoption, engages in a variety of programming including a community clinic, pet lost and found, humane law enforcement, and a feral cat program. They also provide training assistance and conduct workshops to assist in improving the lives of animals and their humans. Recently we've been sharing weekly dog training tips from the LASPCA on our Facebook page.

While the SPCA's mission is year-round, April has been designated to amp up efforts to prevent animal cruelty across all communities. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month is a time for supporters of animal rights to make a collective effort to raise awareness about the important issues related to animal welfare.

Three other important pet days in April are International Guide Dog Day, celebrated the last Wednesday; Hairball Awareness Day, celebrated on the last Friday; and National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, celebrated on April 30.

As we said, April is a busy month! How did you spend National Pet Day? Comment below and let us know!

Helpful links:

April: Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Protecting Your Pet From Lyme Disease

National Pet ID Week: Everything You Need to Know About Microchipping

Louisiana SPCA

Heartworm Basics

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