February 23, 2015
by Sam Bourne

Who Pushes a Dog into Freezing Water?


Frigid temperatures might keep most people indoors hidden under wool blankets to stay warm. Snuggling up next to Fido can add some extra protection as the thermometer plummets below freezing.

But some brave souls will participate in local Polar Plunges, which involve diving into chilly waters to raise money for the Special Olympics. Recently, one dog owner came under fire for allowing his furry friend to take a dip with him.

Investigating allegations of animal cruelty

According to Mass Live, the Massachusetts Special Olympics organization tried to distance itself from Polar Plunge’s recent event at Spec Pond in Wilbraham. More than 100 residents were present at the event, despite the state’s current brutal weather conditions. However, photos emerged that showed one resident possibly pushing a dog into the water, raising concerns about animal cruelty.

“Special Olympics Massachusetts and Law Enforcement Torch Run in no way condone this action and we are very shocked and disappointed that this happened at what has consistently been a great community event,” read a press release.

The plunging dog was captured by a resident’s camera and the picture was uploaded to Facebook, where it was circulated shortly after the event. Yet, the Wilbraham Police Department issued a formal response after investigating the matter and reportedly doesn’t believe there was any evidence of mistreatment of the pooch. Officers spoke with the dog’s owner and had members of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals observe the canine following the event. After being checked by a veterinarian, the dog was cleared of any potential harm.

The Polar Plunge allowed people to register and donate money to the MSO organization, and then jump through a hole in Spec Pond into the freezing water. While there were no animal cruelty charges, MSO spokesperson Chris Ritchie explained there would be changes made to the event in the future.

While this incident is isolated, owners should know how to keep their four-legged friends toasty when coming in from the outdoors.

Heating up your canine

Although summer and winter are two different beasts, they both present challenges to keeping pets safe and comfortable. But your pooch can weather the storm with some help from you.

VetStreet explained that small and old dogs are typically ill-equipped to handle extreme cold. If your canine likes spending their time outside throughout the day, you should provide them with a shelter that shields them from any high winds or precipitation. The structure should be well-insulated for your dog’s body heat to maintain the appropriate temperature.

In addition, the cold, wet ground and excess salt can damage your canine’s paws. Consider investing in specialized boots that protect the pads from toxins commonly found in de-icing products. It’s also important to wipe their paws after coming inside to ensure that there are no residual effects once they’re back home. Maybe you can toss a special jacket on their back to add extra protection for walks.

Sign up for PetPlus today to find dog medicine and other products geared toward maintaining a healthy pooch.


February 16, 2015
by Sam Bourne
1 Comment

Blind Dog Saved After Plunging Into Frozen Pond


Sometimes, the winter can be a hard time for dogs depending on their background, as some are better suited for the colder temperatures than others. Other times, it doesn’t matter if you’re an Alaskan Malamute or a Jack Russell Terrier – winter just happens.

For one elderly, blind dog in the U.K., the horrors of winter were made abundantly real when he fell through the ice and into the frigid waters of a Hampstead Heath pond.

Escaping the chilly grip of the water

Hampstead Highgate Express reported that a 15-year-old terrier fell  into the icy waters of the Model Boating Pond, sending passers bye into a frenzy to free him. To make matters worse, the blind dog was largely unaware of the full nature of his situation, or the attempts to save him.

Ron Vester, a local man who was on the scene with a camera, said that the blind dog struggled to find his way back to shore because he didn’t know which way to turn. Luckily, he managed to scramble his way to a wire mesh that was being used to hold up a bank of reeds along the water. With the help of passersby, Vester called a Hampstead Heath ranger and lifeguard to arrange the rescue mission.

Wearing waist-high waders, the lifeguard walked about 20 feet along the outer edge of the reeds and grabbed the dog from the water. The terrier’s owner was waiting on the shoreline with her coat, wrapping the shivering dog in warmth before taking him home in her car.

The elderly Terrier was lucky to have had people nearby who were ready and willing to rescue him. It’s important for owners to know some basic winter safety tips in case they experience similar scenarios during winter walks.

Protecting your best friend from the cold

It’s common to walk your dog through the chilly woods, even during the winter months. It guarantees your pooch daily exercise and saves you from dealing with a hyperactive, cooped-up canine. However, dog owners should be wary of thin ice on ponds and know how to handle emergencies like this on the spot.

If your dog falls through ice into freezing water, PAW Rescue recommended wrapping them in a towel immediately to capture as much heat as possible. This maneuver can help prevent hypothermia, which can quickly lead to death in animals. If your pooch isn’t breathing after you rescue them, lay them flat on their side and make several quick compressions on their chest to expel water.

In the event that you don’t feel a heartbeat, you’ll want to begin making one or two quick, firm compressions on the chest wall and start artificial respiration. This involves firmly closing your dog’s muzzle and blowing air into their nose, which you should adjust depending on the size of your dog. Execute about 15 breaths followed by chest compressions until your pooch regains consciousness, then bring them to the veterinarian for a follow-up.

Owners should sign up for PetPlus to purchase discounted pet medication to use during their dogs’ recovery from accidents like falling through frozen ponds.


February 11, 2015
by Sam Bourne

3 Reasons Small Dogs Rule


It’s not uncommon for people to have particularly strong opinions about the kind of dogs they bring into their homes. Some may be influenced by family dogs they had growing up, while others might have their preferences shaped by canine experts.

But when it comes down to it, small dogs are versatile, charming and easy to maintain compared to larger breeds of canines. Here are three reasons why small dogs are the best.

1. Price

No one really wants to think about dollars and cents when buying a pooch, but it’s a necessary factor to consider. Big dogs can be more expensive in a number of ways, including the cost of food, professional grooming services, as well as pet medication, customized leashes, and collars. Conversely, smaller canines don’t take up as much space than their larger counterparts.

The same rings true for veterinarian treatments. Once dogs hit their senior years, it’s smart to bring them for annual check-ups to ensure that there are no serious conditions developing. If services are needed, it’s likely that total costs, including the procedure itself and rehabilitation efforts, will be far less expensive for smaller dogs than large ones.

2. Location

Depending on where people live, their homes may not be suitable for certain dog breeds. For example, living in a small urban apartment in a city like New York might be ideal for Pomeranians, but Bernese mountain dogs require more space then one might find in an urban home. If owners already have a larger breed and are trying to relocate, they’ll have a harder time finding an appropriate place to live.

This also plays into house training dogs, as owning a smaller pooch makes it easier to take them in and out of the building to do their business. Larger canines are more challenging to maneuver, too. When you’re planning to live in the big city, a small dog might be the best option for you.

3. Care

Owning a dog who weighs 25 pounds or less has many distinct advantages, especially when it comes to pet care. Because their bodies are smaller and support less weight, small pooches experience fewer joint problems, which can usually be treated with Dasuquin for Dogs. It’s also a lot easier to bathe a smaller dog, keeping their coats well-groomed and shiny throughout the year.

No matter the size, keep your dog healthy with medications and supplements purchased from PetPlus.


February 5, 2015
by Sam Bourne

Hero Cat Saves Abandoned Baby Boy from Freezing to Death


Cats have sour reputations as aloof animals who seem to care little for their owners and prefer solitude. However, cat parents know this couldn’t be further from the truth. Especially one Russian family, whose cat bucked the trend by caring for an abandoned child.

The furry godmother and her infant
A Russian baby boy was left abandoned in a stairwell by his mother as temperatures dipped below zero during the night, The New York Post reported. The unlikely hero – a stray tabby cat named Marsha – happened upon the infant and followed her feline instincts to save his life.

She climbed into the box that the boy had been left in and kept him warm for several hours until residents were alerted by his cries. They came out of their homes to find the surrogate furry godmother curled up around the infant and licking his face. Even though he had been left outside for a few hours, Marsha’s efforts left him undamaged by the experience.

Once the boy was discovered by residents, the local paramedics were called to the scene. As the EMTs took him into the ambulance, the feline reportedly ran after them like a worried mother.

The baby was said to be around 2 to 3 months old, and was checked over by medics and doctors after arriving at the hospital. He was declared fit and healthy, despite spending hours in the freezing cold. For her efforts, Marsha has been heralded as a hero by locals and rewarded with food.

Feline winter care tips for owners
The weather during the winter months of the year means that cat owners need to be mindful of health risks that pop up from the change in temperature. Ideally, all cats would be kept safely indoors during the harsher months. However, for many the standard is “once an outdoor cat, always an outdoor cat,” – freezing temperatures or not.  If you own a feline who refuses to remain cooped up indoors, Alley Cat Allies has some tips for protecting them during the winter months.

Shelter is important for hiding from harsh winds and precipitation, and should be placed in an area well removed from foot traffic. A good sized shelter is at least 18 inches tall, which helps trap the heat inside and keeps the cold out. In addition, owners should insulate the shelter with straw to repel moisture and ensure that cats are warm and dry.

Pet owners should sign up for PetPlus and make sure their feline friends’ prescription cat food is always stocked up for the winter.


February 4, 2015
by Sam Bourne

Hero Pup Saves Owners from Raging Fire


Dog owners form bonds with their pets that can run much deeper than long walks at the end of a day and healthy scratches behind their ears. At times, pooches can become so close to their “parents” that they can save their lives during emergencies.

This was the case with 7-month-old Cheeky Baby, who rescued her family from a burning house fire early in the morning.

Acting in the nick of time
WHDH 7 News in Boston reported that the pup was the only one awake at around 2:30 a.m. when she jumped on 12-year-old Jose Rodriguez’s bed to wake him up. According to the boy, Cheeky Baby was licking their faces and biting their ears until they woke up.

When they did, Jose and his brother realized the room was full of smoke and that a fire was quickly growing near his bed. Acting fast, the boys divided duties by waking up their family while the other grabbed water from downstairs to try and douse the flames. While the fire wound up destroying most of their possessions and made their home uninhabitable, the Rodriguezs are alive thanks to Cheeky Baby.

The pooch’s fast thinking isn’t the only time canines have acted heroically to save the lives of their owners.

Learning the long history of heroic pups
Cheeky Baby might count True, a blind, deaf and three-legged Dachshund, as a member of her hero dog squad. Back in 2012, this unlikely savior came to the rescue of her family when their cabin in Grady County, Oklahoma, caught fire one Sunday morning.

Owner Katie Crosley thought True needed to go outside to use the bathroom, but was greeted by a wall of flames when she opened her door. According to KFOR News, an electrical short had ignited a fireball on the front porch of their home, blocking the family’s exit. Thankfully, they had enough time to escape through the smoke and out of the back of the house.

NBC News reported that a few years earlier, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever saw his owner choking on a piece of fruit and was able to quickly perform a canine-modified Heimlich maneuver to save her life.  She had been trying to perform the technique on herself but it didn’t work.

Thinking fast, Toby quickly got up on his hind feet and put his front paws on Debbie’s shoulders, pushing her onto her back on the ground. He then started jumping up on her chest, which eventually dislodged the apple. Toby kept licking her face as well to keep her from passing out. The doctor told Debbie that she wouldn’t be alive without Toby’s ingenuity.

Dogs pay close attention to their owners and don’t hesitate to act quickly when they spot trouble. Reward them with the same dedication by signing up for PetPlus to purchase affordable pet meds online to keep them healthy.