Dog Bite Prevention Week

     National Dog Bite Prevention Week starts on Sunday.  The American Veterinary Medical Association started designating a week to focus attention on dog bites and theirImage prevention.  Just how much of a problem is this in our country?  4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half of those are children.  The Insurance Information Institute says dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2012 at nearly $500 million dollars.  The number of claims filed last year actually decreased by 1.4 percent.  Georgia ranks 9th in the US with 121 claims paid last year worth $3.3 million.  The US Postal service says that nearly 5900 letter carriers were attacked by dogs last year.  Atlanta doesn’t show up in the top 20 US cities for dog attacks on Postal Service Workers, but Los Angeles is number one with 69.

  Whether or not a dog will bite has nothing to do with the breed.  Any dog in any breed can bite. Image The friendliest Lab will turn aggressive if it’s chained to a pole and ignored all day.  Socialization of your dog with people at an early age is very important.  You should never leave a child alone with a dog.  Make sure your kids know not to disturb a dog that is eating or sleeping.   Avoid exposing your dog to people and situations that are unfamiliar to it so you don’t know how it will react.  If you’re thinking about getting a dog, talk to a vet or an animal behaviorist about what breeds work best with your household situation.  Do you have small children? Will the dog spend a lot of time alone?  These things are important in ensuring that your dog will be less likely to attack someone. 

    Don’t be afraid to keep people, especially children away from your pet when you are walking them.  A lot of times when our dog walkers are walking client dogs someone will come up and ask if they can pet the dog.  ImageVI tell the sitters to politely decline, telling them it’s not their dog and they are not sure how the dog will react.  Sometimes children may get a little bolder approaching a dog on a leash, but since the dog is on a leash and out of its comfort zone, it may be more on edge and more likely to attack.  The advice I give my sitters could work for you:  Be aware of your surroundings and eliminate the potential for trouble before it happens.  If you are walking your dog and there is a group of children or you see a dog off its leash, turn around or go a different way, so there won’t be any interaction. 

    Some of the links in this story have more tips to avoid dog bites.  Be sure and check those out and check in on my Facebook and Google + pages to see things I’ll have posted all next week.  Dogs are for fun and pleasure, but you must remember they are animals and you never know how they will react in strange situations.  Stay safe and don’t wind up as a statistic!

   Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/

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National Pet Month

   Now that we are getting weather in Atlanta that feels a little like the way spring is supposed to feel, I’ve noticed dogs out about as much as the pollen.  As I drive to my dog walking jobs with Fetch! Pet Care, Image I see all sorts of breeds out with their owners.  May is National Pet Month, and many organizations are promoting adoptions so you can have a new pet to give you another reason to be outside and enjoy the nice spring weather.

      It may be as easy as ever to see some of the pets that need homes.  The Cobb County Animal control is having a big adoption fair at Jim Miller Park on May 18.  On June 9, an animal rescue fair at Willis Equestrian Park in Alpharetta is being billed as the largest pet adoption event in the Southeastern United States.  The Georgia Homeless Pets has pets it is trying to find a home for at Pet Smarts stores in Smryna and Austell. every weekend.  Of course, most days the Humane society of Cobb County Imageis open for you to come in and look for a pet.  They mostly just have cats because of the limited space there.  The Atlanta Humane Society has two offices: one on Howell Mill Rd. and one on Mansell Rd. in Roswell.  Most breeds have a rescue group in the Atlanta area or somewhere in Georgia.  There are too many other rescue groups in the metro Atlanta area to mention all of them, but many will be represented at the event at Willis Park. 

    The first thing about adopting a pet is making sure that everyone in the family is on Imageboard.  You may want to contact trainers about what breeds fit in with your family’s lifestyle and personality.  They can also tell you about what breeds may work better with kids.  If you’re not sure about if a pet will work with your family, you can foster a dog.  Many of the organizations that put pets up for adoption need foster homes.  You can get a pet for a while and see how it works.  Sometimes the foster pet is available for long-term adoption.  If it’s not, but you realize a pet will work in your home, you can get another one.  If you have kids, it may be beneficial for you to scout a few possible pets without the kids around and once you have narrowed down the animals, have the kids check them out.

   Maybe you’ve thought it would be a great way to spend a nice spring evening, walking the dog.  Or perhaps your kids have made that suggestion.  Pet ownership is great, but it does take work.  Of course you can hire a professional pet sitting company like Fetch! Pet Care to stop by and give the dog a walk, or clean out the cat’s box and play with it, (sales pitch) but you will want to do most of it yourself.  If you have been seriously considering adding a pet to your family, take advantage of these opportunities available the next few weeks to save a pet’s life and bringing new life to your home!

Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/

Injury Rehab for Pets

Could you imagine your dog rehabilitating with the same equipment used to rehab professional athletes who make millions of dollars a year?  It’s happening in Roswell.

When one of the Atlanta Hawks has a problem with an ankle or hamstring, they rehab in an underwater treadmill.  The one the Hawks have is one of only 3 underwater treadmills in Atlanta for human rehabilitation. 20130411_135902 There’s one for dogs at the Atlanta Animal Rehabilitation and Fitness Center in Roswell.   The center was opened in 2004 by Dr. David Flier, DVM, MS.  The center also houses the Veterinary referral surgical practice, where Dr. Flier performs surgery.  There is one other pet rehab center in the state, but this is the only one adjacent to a surgical clinic.  The company operates other surgical centers in Marietta and Woodstock.

Jonna Kanable20130411_140255 is one of the certified Canine rehabilitation practitioners on staff at the AARF and says the industry has been growing a lot over the past 10 years, but there are still a lot of pet owners that don’t realize what’s available to them.  She has plenty of equipment available to work with the dogs, but her favorite piece is the pool treadmill.  “It’s very effective,” Jonna said.  “It gets the most results over any other modality.”

This dog in the pool is Angel, a Golden Retriever with arthritis in her hips and has problems getting up. 20130411_140138 She has shown remarkable progress since she’s been coming to the pool.  “She comes in every week or so for a treatment and is doing a lot better.”  About 60% of their patients come in after surgery on their back, knees or other orthopedic condition.  The rest, like Angel are older dogs suffering from arthritis.

Allie is one of the dogs that had back surgery and needed to be sling walked to use the bathroom.  Her owner, Deb Baker, hired my dog walking and pet sitting service, Fetch! Pet Care to do that when she was at work.   Heather, our sitter, 20120802_101437would use a sling under her back legs to help her go outside.  Deb continued Allie’s rehab by going to the pool at the clinic.  “It was remarkable how she was able to recover from using the pool,” she said.  This was a more than a year ago and she doesn’t need us to do the visits anymore.

A friend of mine, Dee Hodges sent her French Bulldog, Sugar, to the clinic.  Sugar was paralyzed after suffering a ruptured disk.  She wasn’t aware of the clinic and didn’t get Sugar in there until several weeks after his surgery.  “I wish we started sooner,” Dee said.  “We saw some improvement.  The staff was very professional and very loving with Sugar.”  She used 6 underwater treatments and some cold laser as well.

The rehab for the dogs continues even after their therapy at the clinic concludes.  “We teach the owners things to do to increase the dog’s mobility, said Jonna.  She says the rehab is just like training a dog and consistency is very important.  20130411_140102

Technology and training are keeping athletes playing their sports longer and longer.  If you use a clinic like the Atlanta Animal Rehabilitation and Fitness Center and have a trainer like Jonna and her staff that has the latest in equipment and technique you’ll have your dog living a long, healthy, happy life.

Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/