Today is the 10th annual Celebrate Shelter Pets Day. This awareness event is designed to encourage the adoption of shelter pets by having owners tell their pet adoption stories on social media using the #CelebrateShelterPets hashtag.
The hardest part about sharing your life with a companion animal is when the time comes to say goodbye. The loss of a beloved pet is difficult for all pet parents. Luckily, there are some helpful support resources out there, including Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center’s Honoring the Bond program.
Honoring the Bond not only helps clients of the Veterinary Medical Center (providing on-site social work services) but also pet owners everywhere.
Do other animals in the home grieve the loss of a companion?
Ohio State has also compiled a great suggested reading list on topics related to pet loss, including making end of life decisions and children’s books about the loss of a pet. You can also find a list of hotlines and online sites that support grieving pet owners.
We sell a variety of cute animal-themed items through a partnership with Threadless. 35-45% of all sales go to the FACE Foundation and our work to save the lives of pets in need of critical veterinary care.
We carry a wide range of clothing and accessories that feature artwork of a few of the adorable pets we have helped save.
All products are on sale until 11/27/19, 9 p.m. CT, so take a look!
An organization of cat care professionals in the UK called The Cat Group has created a very helpful “Kitten Checklist” for anyone thinking about adding a new kitten to their family!
This user-friendly checklist was designed to help owners choose a happy and healthy kitten, whether it comes from a shelter, rescue organization, friend, or breeder.
Besides checking for signs of poor health, the creators of the checklist also note the importance of assessing temperament. “Many people don’t understand that in order to become a good pet cat, kittens need positive interactions with people and need to get used to the human environment and lifestyle before they are about 8 weeks old,” they report.
The checklist guides potential owners through a series of questions. These include things to consider before visiting a shelter or breeder to see kittens and what to observe when you are visiting and interacting with a kitten.
The health section includes an easy way to evaluate the different parts of a kitten’s body: eyes, ears, nose, coat, etc.
You can download or print out the Kitten Checklist pdf by clicking HERE.
The placebo effect is a known factor in human medicine. It occurs when a patient feels that they are benefiting from a fake pill or treatment, often given to patients in double-blind studies when researchers are testing new medications.
Is there a placebo effect for pets? A recent article in The Atlantic addresses this question.
While our pets don’t know what kind of medicine they are getting, we as owners do know. It turns out that placebos can trick owners into thinking that their pets are feeling better.
In one study on a canine epilepsy drug, 79% of owners with dogs on the placebo reported a reduction in seizures.
How does this happen? Veterinary experts report that we have “blind spots” about our pets, and our perceptions of their health don’t always match up with reality. This often happens when pet owners are aware that their pets are being studied and they have an expectation that they will see an improvement.
The placebo effect among pet owners is similar to what’s known as the “caregiver placebo effect.” When a patient—human or animal—can’t speak about how they are feeling, the caregiver must observe and judge the effects of a treatment.
The article points to one canine arthritis drug study where the perceptions of both owners and veterinarians were compared to actual physical exams. It turns out that even the vets were guilty of the caregiver placebo effect.
The danger of the veterinary placebo effect is that our pets may continue to suffer while we think that they are feeling better. Veterinarians note that it’s natural for us to want our pets to feel better, we just have to be aware of our perceptions and expectations.