Star-Bulletin Features

Friday, November 16, 2001


Pet owners’ care
deserves many thanks

Pet calendar on sale

By Hawaiian Humane Society

This is the time of year when we consider the quality of our lives and give thanks. Our pets are part of the family, and they are thankful for the many things we do to improve their quality of life.

There are many things you can do to keep your pet healthy and happy, and one of the most important of these is giving them proper nutrition.

For companion animals, eating well means eating a consistent diet of a nutritionally balanced, brand-name dog or cat food. Human food will not give your pets the proper nutrition and may even cause upset stomachs and other disorders.

Just as humans must make regular visits to the doctor, regular veterinary care will ensure your pet will be your companion for many years to come. Find a medical professional whom you like, and take your pet to scheduled visits. You'll be prepared in case of an emergency, get answers to your questions and learn about the stages of your pet's life.

Another thing homeowners can do to keep their pets safe is to clean the home's driveway to avoid the possibility of antifreeze poisoning.

Antifreeze smells and tastes sweet to animals, and it kills. Clean up drips in your garage and driveway, and hide any open containers of antifreeze. After an initial depression, animals may appear to recover, but actually they rapidly deteriorate. Every minute counts with this type of poison. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze.

Keep your cats at home. Indoor cats live three times longer than cats free to roam outdoors. House cats are protected from the hazards of cars, poisons, contagious diseases and other animals, and they won't be a bother to your neighbors.

There are indoor perches and climbing poles that you can build for your cat so they won't be bored, and special fencing to keep your cat safely in your yard. It's the kindest way to show your cat that you care!

Provide flea and heartworm treatment for your pet. According to the Humane Society of the United States, many nonprescription flea and tick products for dogs contain chemicals that are poisonous to children, cats, rodents and fish. People and other pets can be at risk by just rubbing against a newly treated dog.

Because of the serious health risk, use prescription flea products available from your veterinarian. Products such as Advantage, Frontline, Top Spot and Revolution kill fleas but have no effect on the nervous systems of mammals.

Sterilization can also extend the life of your companion animal by protecting them from certain diseases and infections, but it also reduces pet overpopulation by preventing unwanted births.

If your pet is not sterilized, take advantage of the affordable Neuter Now program. Read all about it on the Humane Society's Web site, or stop by the shelter and pick up a brochure.

Provide your pet with identification. Thousands of animals become lost each year, many of them close to the holidays. The lucky ones are wearing a collar and tag or have a microchip ID, or both.

The tiny chip is a powerful tool to quickly reunite frantic people with their lost pets. Your veterinarian implants the rice-size microchip painlessly under the skin between the animal's shoulders in just a few seconds, and it lasts a lifetime.

If you don't have a tag, write your phone number on the inside of your pet's collar with an indelible marker. Give your pet the tools to "talk to strangers" and tell where they live.

Shown are three pets featured in the Hawaiian
Humane Society 2002 calendar.

2002 pet calendar on sale

"Hawaii's Picture-Perfect Pets" is the name of the full-color 2002 calendar featuring pet photographs snapped by local pet owners. Every photo submitted to the Hawaiian Humane Society for the calendar -- 624 in all -- was used in 15 collage pages of the calendar, which also has 14 full-page feature photos.

The calendar is available for $10 at the Humane Society's customer service desk, and funds raised will benefit the organization's animal welfare programs. The Humane Society is open noon to 8 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. The office will be closed Thanksgiving Day.

The Humane Society is at 2700 Waialae Ave. For more information, call 946-2187.

"Pet Ohana" runs the first and third Fridays of the month. The Hawaiian Humane Society is a nonprofit agency dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals. It is at 2700 Waialae Ave. Call 946-2187.

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