Pet Tips! From Our Animal Kinship Ministry

How To Honor a Pet Who Has Passed Away

Saying goodbye to someone you love is one of the hardest things that you will ever deal with in life. And that’s not just for humans, but also for our furry family members. Losing a dog many times leaves an irreplaceable hole in our heart, regardless of all the memories that you have of times cherished together. But thankfully there are ways to commemorate, and even honor our best friends. Above all, it’s important to remember them for who they were and the endless joy and love they brought to our lives.

Here are 3 amazing ways you can remember and honor a dog that has passed away:

1. Journal About The Happy Times: All deaths are tragic, whether it’s sudden or after a long life lived. It’s important once your dog has passed away that you think about the happy times the two of you had together, and focus your mindset on that. It’s only fair to yourself that you keep yourself positive, give yourself time to deal with the loss, and preserve their memory in the way that they deserve. Talk about your dog with others, write down happy memories the two of you shared, and of course, keep the photos out that capture the moments in time the two of you had.

2. Plant A Tree in Their Honor - Many people think to give donations in their dog’s honor or perhaps even get some permanent ink, but planting a tree in their honor is also a nice way to let their legacy live on for years to come. Pick a nice spot in your yard and plant a young tree, and as the years pass, you’ll be able to watch that beautiful tree grow big and strong. Each day that passes you’ll have a living legacy that you can always look to when you want to be reminded of your special friend.

3. Memorial Bracelet That Feeds 22 Shelter Dogs In Your Pup’s Name Visit iHeartDogs.com, who created this and honor your pup’s memory, while making a real impact in their name. This fashion-forward bracelet serves as a memory of the dog you loved and helps feed 22 shelter dogs who are waiting to be loved.

When a dog crosses over the Rainbow Bridge, they always take a piece of your heart with them. We crafted a unique and symbolic bracelet that memorializes the relationship you have with a dog who has passed on. Each piece features the following elements, all designed to honor the memory of your beloved pup:

1. Paw Bead: Symbolizes the paw prints they left on your heart
2. Heart Bead: Symbolizes the piece of your heart they took with them
3. White Ceramic Beads: Each bead represents a meal donation made in honor of your dog to rescues and shelters thru Rescue Bank.

Source: www.iHeartDogs.com

About Scottsdale Center for Spiritual Living's Pet Ministry

Scottsdale Center for Spiritual Living's Pet Ministry is a resource group helping pet owners who need information, resources or direction to meet the needs of their pets, focusing primarily on pet owners in Scottsdale but open to all others who contact us.

We discuss potential outreach efforts, report in on success of current outreach and discuss future ways we could help community.

Visit Scottsdale Center for Spiritual Living's Pet Ministry page for more information.

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How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Medication Poisoning

The best way to avoid this preventable form of poisoning in your pet is to keep all medications stored safely out of your pet’s reach. Even natural products, including herbal supplements, should be kept safely stowed away. Medications and supplements may be metabolized very differently in your pet than they are in a human, leading to unexpected, and sometimes deadly, consequences.

Keep in mind, too, that dogs can quickly chew through a pill bottle to reach its contents while cats can be quite clever at removing lids. Store medications in a cabinet that is either too high for your pet to reach or impossible for him to open (some cats and dogs can open cabinets, too, so plan accordingly).

Avoid storing medications on your nightstand or leaving them out on your kitchen counter or coffee table. If you accidentally drop any, be sure to pick up every pill immediately. Also, store your pet’s medications in a separate spot from human medications to avoid mix-ups.

Finally, if you think your pet has ingested a potentially poisonous medication, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 and bring your pet to an emergency vet facility immediately.

10 Human Medications That Can Poison Your Pet

The American Veterinary Medical Association reported the top 10 medications that are most often involved in pet poisonings reported to the ASPCA’s hotline.1 If you have any of these in your home, be sure they are kept safely out of your pet’s reach at all times.

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
Ibuprofen, such as Advil and Motrin, often has a sweet outer coating that seems tasty to pets. If ingested, it can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure. Ibuprofen is just one type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that may harm your pet even in very small doses. Symptoms of poisoning include digestive upset, vomiting, bloody stool, increased thirst, increased frequency of urination, staggering and seizures.

Tramadol (Ultram)
Tramadol (brand name Ultram) is a pain reliever that’s sometimes prescribed to pets as well as people. However, if your pet consumes too much, it can lead to sedation, disorientation, vomiting, tremors and seizures.

Alprazolam (Xanax)
This anti-anxiety medication is sometimes prescribed as a sleep aid as well. In pets, ingesting it may lead to sleepiness (or in some cases agitation), drops in blood pressure, weakness and collapse,and pose a significant risk because many people keep them on their nightstands in order to take them just before bedtime.

Adderall
Adderall contains amphetamines and is often prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. It acts as a stimulant in pets, and may lead to life-threatening elevated heart rate and body temperature, hyperactivity, tremors and seizures. The ADHD medications Concerta and Ritalin may have similar effects.

Zolpidem (Ambien)
This is another sleep aid that many pet parents leave on their nightstand to take before bedtime. If your cat decides to sample it, it could lead to sleepiness and make him wobbly. If a dog consumes it, it may lead to severe agitation and elevated heart rates.

Clonazepam (Klonopin)
Clonazepam, brand name Klonopin, is prescribed as an anti-convulsant and anti-anxiety medication as well as a sleep aid. It may lead to sleepiness and wobbliness in pets, as well as low blood pressure, weakness and collapse.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Even acetaminophen, common in many U.S. households, is extremely dangerous to pets. Cats, in particular, are very sensitive to its effects; just two extra-strength tablets can be fatal for felines. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage as well as red blood cell damage at higher doses.Symptoms of acetaminophen poisoning are lethargy, trouble breathing, dark-colored urine, diarrhea and vomiting. Many over-the-counter medications contain acetaminophen, including sinus and cold formulations.

Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
This over-the-counter pain reliever can lead to stomach ulcers and kidney failure in cats and dogs, even at very small doses.

Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
This antidepressant, anti-anxiety drug may lead to agitation, vocalization, tremors and seizures in pets.

10.Venlafaxine (Effexor)
Venlafaxine (brand name Effexor) is an antidepressant that may cause agitation, vocalization, tremors and seizures. According to the AVMA, “For some unknown reason, cats love to eat the capsules, but consuming them may lead to severe neurologic and cardiac side effects.

If your dog or cat ingests an antidepressant, symptoms can include listlessness, vomiting, and in some cases, a condition known as serotonin syndrome. This condition can cause agitation, disorientation and an elevated heart rate, along with elevated blood pressure and body temperature, tremors and seizures.

Just One Penny Can Fatally Poison Your Dog

Please don't assume that your pet must ingest an entire piggy bank to be in serious trouble. There are, sadly, many cases of dogs dying after ingesting just a single penny.

There are stories of hope as well, such as Jack, a Jack Russell terrier from New York City, who swallowed 111 pennies and survived after his veterinarian was able to surgically remove the coins.

In Jack's case, vomiting was the initial symptom, which highlights why it's so important to seek veterinary care if your dog is vomiting or seems otherwise ill. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) highlighted another case of penny poisoning in a dog:

" … [A] dog had been vomiting for three days and was suffering from anemia and elevated kidney values when his regular veterinarian called the APCC for help.

His owner had no idea if he'd eaten anything out of the ordinary, but the APCC suspected zinc toxicosis. Sure enough, x-rays revealed a metallic object in the stomach."

After the coin was surgically removed, this lucky dog made a full recovery after about 10 days. As mentioned, while dogs are most likely to be poisoned by pennies, even cats and larger pet birds can be at risk. The easiest way to prevent this potentially deadly accident is to store your coins safely out of your pet's reach.

In addition, wild animals and zoo animals also suffer if they ingest pennies, so be careful about dropping coins outdoors and definitely avoid tossing pennies into fountains, ponds or zoo-animal habitats.

Bone Broth: The "Soul Food" perfect for sick pets who won't or can't eat

Bone broth is an excellent source of nourishment for animals recovering from illness, finicky eaters, and senior pets with diminished appetites. Dr. Becker also uses bone broth for animal hospice patients. When animals are dying and no longer interested in eating or chewing food, often they’ll still lap broth.

You can make bone broth using whatever bones you choose. As the bones simmer on the stove they release all their minerals and marrow into the water, and the broth that results is a healthy source of extra nourishment for pets. When making broth you should use clean, filtered water to which you add a bit of vinegar (acetic acid) to help leech the minerals from the bones into the stockpot water. It is best to use raw apple cider vinegar, but you can use whatever vinegar is in your kitchen.

Two important things to remember about bone broth:

1) cooked bones are choking and GI hazards; and
2) bone broth alone is not a balanced diet and should be used only as an extra source of nourishment.

Cover the pot, turn on the heat and cook the chicken until the meat falls off the bone, which will be in about two and a half hours. Stir it occasionally while it cooks. Once the bones are separated from the meat, remove the meat and some of the broth. Then add more water and continue cooking to make a second round of broth.