little boy playing with a puppy

from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The ongoing epidemic of Ebola in West Africa has raised several questions about how the disease affects the animal population, and in particular, the risk to household pets. While the information available suggests that the virus may be found in several kinds of animals, CDC, the US Department of Agriculture, and the American Veterinary Medical Association do not believe that pets are at significant risk for Ebola in the United States.

How are animals involved in Ebola outbreaks?

Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola has not yet been confirmed, the way in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, scientists believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal, such as a fruit bat or primate (apes and monkeys), which is called a spillover event. Person-to-person transmission follows and can lead to large numbers of affected persons. In some past Ebola outbreaks, primates were also affected by Ebola, and multiple spillover events occurred when people touched or ate infected primates. In the current West African epidemic, animals have not been found to be a factor in ongoing Ebola transmission.

How does Ebola spread?

When infection occurs in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with

  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.
  • Only a few species of mammals (for example, humans, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus.

Can dogs get infected or sick with Ebola?

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or other animals. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola. There is limited evidence that dogs become infected with Ebola virus, but there is no evidence that they develop disease.

Here in the United States, are our dogs and cats at risk of becoming sick with Ebola?

The risk of an Ebola outbreak affecting multiple people in the United States is very low. Therefore, the risk to pets is also very low, as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a person with Ebola. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola.

Can I get Ebola from my dog or cat?

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or animals. The chances of a dog or cat being exposed to Ebola virus in the United States is very low as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a symptomatic person sick with Ebola.

Can my pet’s body, fur, or paws spread Ebola to a person?

We do not yet know whether or not a pet’s body, paws, or fur can pick up and spread Ebola to people or other animals. It is important to keep people and animals away from blood or body fluids of a person with symptoms of Ebola infection.

What if there is a pet in the home of an Ebola patient?

CDC recommends that public health officials in collaboration with a veterinarian evaluate the pet’s risk of exposure to the virus (close contact or exposure to blood or body fluids of an Ebola patient). Based on this evaluation as well as the specific situation, local and state human and animal health officials will determine how the pet should be handled.

Can I get my dog or cat tested for Ebola?

There would not be any reason to test a dog or cat for Ebola if there was no exposure to a person infected with Ebola. Currently, routine testing for Ebola is not available for pets.

What are the requirements for bringing pets or other animals into the United States from West Africa?

CDC regulations require that dogs and cats imported into the United States be healthy. Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies before arrival into the United States. Monkeys and African rodents are not allowed to be imported as pets under any circumstances.

Each state and U.S. Territory has its own rules for pet ownership and importation, and these rules may be different from federal regulations. Airlines may have additional requirements.

Can monkeys spread Ebola?

Yes, monkeys are at risk for Ebola. Symptoms of Ebola infection in monkeys include fever, decreased appetite, and sudden death. Monkeys should not be allowed to have contact with anyone who may have Ebola. Healthy monkeys already living in the United States and without exposure to a person infected with Ebola are not at risk for spreading Ebola.

Can bats spread Ebola?

Fruit bats in Africa are considered to be a natural reservoir for Ebola. Bats in North America are not known to carry Ebola and so CDC considers the risk of an Ebola outbreak from bats occurring in the United States to be very low. However, bats are known to carry rabies and other diseases here in the United States. To reduce the risk of disease transmission, never attempt to touch a bat, living or dead.

Where can I find more information about Ebola and pet dogs and cats?

CDC is currently working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and many other partners to develop additional guidance for the U.S. pet population. Additional information and guidance will be posted on this website as well as partner websites as soon as it becomes available.

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CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.

 
Photo courtesy of Pup'uccino

Photo courtesy of Pup’uccino

Dog lovers and coffee lovers unite! There’s a dog cafe coming to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Pup’uccino Dog Rescue Cafe will open with help from the public in a Kickstarter campaign that ends November 11.

There will be two rooms in the new dog cafe, the front room being a traditional cafe with the addition of dog hitches for cafe-goers who bring their own dogs. A second room will be an indoor dog lounge for customers to enjoy off-leash play with their pets. It is in this room where Pup’uccino will incorporate the element of dog rescue and adoption. Here, rescue dogs and potential dog adopters are brought together in a space where dogs are free to bond and express their true personalities without the border of a cage or anxiety derived from isolation.

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Cafes have long been community hubs, serving up coffee and conviviality in a friendly atmosphere. By allowing dogs in its cafe, Pup’uccino extends an opportunity for community members to develop connections with dogs and fellow dog lovers.

If you are interested in helping to fund Pup’uccino, here a link to its Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1056453068/dog-rescue-cafe-and-indoor-dog-lounge

 

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Send the Crash Test Dogs – The Adventures of MAX & DUKE a private message with a brief description. Be prepared, they may show up at your door!

If we can fit your adventure into their travel itinerary, we’ll contact you – so be sure to include your contact info!

 

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We say goodbye to three Pet Travel Experts friends whose work richly benefited companion animals and those who loved them. We will see you in the stars.

• Dr. Sophia Yin: pioneer in humane training of pets, animal behavior expert; author, lecturer, freelance writer and blogger – http://drsophiayin.com/

• Dr. Lorie Huston: pet health and pet care expert; president of the Cat Writers’ Association; freelance writer and blogger – http://www.pet-health-care-gazette.com/

• Lucy Carter: as the research assistant for The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel and the face of The Jet Set Pets, Lucy inspired pet owners to travel the world with their furry loved ones – http://thejetsetpets.com/

 

by Ingrid King, founder and publisher of The Conscious Cat

Cat cafés have long been popular in Japan and Europe. Finally, the first North American cat café opened its doors in Montreal, Canada. Café des Chats is home to eight cats, who have their own window perch and mingle with animal-loving customers. The Star reports that along with the usual tables and chairs designed for human clientele, the space is filled with scratching posts, plush toys, and a special multi-level window perch for the felines-in-residence. Read the full story on TheStar.com.

photo credit: led cafe des chats

photo credit: le cafe des chats

This article is reprinted by permission of The Conscious Cat. Find the original article here.

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CC logo with booksIngrid King is the founder and publisher of The Conscious Cat, a multiple award winning blog featuring expert advice from a seasoned cat consultant. You’ll find articles on cat health, cat nutrition, cat behavior, cat lifestyle, product and book reviews, as well as news from around the cat world.

 

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Six Things You Should Know When Taking a Cat on a Road Trip

by Pet Hotels of America

Taking a cat on a road trip can be a great experience if you prepare properly and understand your animal’s limitations. Today we will focus on traveling with a cat in a car and what you need to consider before leaving.

#1.  First, you will want to contact the state veterinarian’s office. There are rules and regulations for each state. You will need to find out if there are requirements or restrictions for every state you will drive through.

#2.  Pet experts recommend you stop every two hours for your cat to stretch, especially during the day. At night, most cats can go longer periods without stopping. When you do stop, make sure your cat is leashed. If you don’t have your cat chipped, it’s a good idea to do that before you leave on your journey.

#3.  Make sure your cat’s bedding is comfortable in the carrier and the carrier is secured. Like kids, when traveling with a cat, give him toys to keep him occupied.

#4.  Never leave your cat alone in the car even if you crack the windows. Remember, on a 80 degree day the interior of a parked car can reach up to 105 degrees within only 10 minutes.

#5.  When taking a cat on a road trip, it’s best to chart your course before you leave. Determine how many hours your cat can handle in a car carrier. Even if you make frequent stops to let your cat stretch, it is still hard for him to stay in a car as long as humans can so take this into consideration when planning your trip. Have your hotels reserved in advance if possible. Pet Hotels of America has more than 25,000 pet-friendly hotels to choose from so make sure you take care of this before heading out.

#6.  Once you reach your destination, have fun. Cat’s love vacations too!

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Pet-Hotels-of-America-main--150x150Pet Hotels of America is a one-stop travel-planning website for pet owners that can be found at http://www.pethotelsofamerica.com. Travelers with pets may make reservations at any of its 25,000 pet-friendly hotels in the U.S., pet-friendly car agencies and airlines. The website provides for pet owners, negotiated low hotel rates and often such extras as a free breakfast buffet or Starbucks certificate. Pet Hotels of America also has listings, maps and comment pages for pet-friendly beaches, parks and restaurants; kennels, doggie daycares and pet resorts; animal events and pet expos; and pet services including veterinarians, groomers and more.

 

Make Sure your Pet is Safe and Not Left Behind

Pet owners, September is Emergency Preparedness Month so take a moment to ensure that your pet is not left behind in a disaster. If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household and it is important to be prepared for the unexpected situation.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.

If you evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has devoted an entire section on its Ready site towards tailoring a plan for animals and pets. Here, you will find guidelines on planning for pet needs during a disaster, guidelines for larger animals, and where to go for more information.

You are also able to download FEMA’s free brochure on Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies. The information in the brochure was developed in consultation with the American Kennel Club (AKC), The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Humane Society of the United States.

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Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

 

Labor day picnicking with family, friends and pets is the classic way to savor the last days of summer. Our pets certainly love this ritual just as much as us as it means more quality time spent in the great outdoors. Amid all the fun and activity it can be easy to lose sight of the lurking dangers to our pets. After all, who would think a potato chip bag could kill a pet? Pets love to lick the crumbs from chip bags, but in doing so their heads may get stuck in the bag, the pet then panics depleting the oxygen in the bag, and then quickly suffocates. This problem is far more common than you think. Watch this video from The Preventive Vet on pet suffocation and how you can take easy steps to prevent pet suffocation.

There are many other unexpected pet picnic dangers like corn cobs and cocoa mulch. The Animal Medical Center in New York has a brief but informative slideshow outlining Pet Picnic Perils at http://amcny.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/pet-picnic-perils/.

 

It’s National Dog Day – paws up for dogs, arguably the happiest of travel companions!

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Oz the Terrier is always ready for a travel adventure!

by Oz the Terrier of oztheterrier.com

“Who wants to go for a ride in the car?”

I am sure several sets of ears perked up when they heard that question!

It’s a doggie dog world out there and what dog wouldn’t want to go explore it?  I love going on a road trip with Ma and Daddy-dog whether we are just going to the park or a friend’s house or we are going on one of our camping adventures.  No dog wants to be left behind and miss all the fun.

With that in mind, I would like to share some Travel Safety Tips so that your road trip adventures are both fun and safe.

1) Don’t end up in the doghouse.
Wherever you are going (hotel, campsite, park, etc.), make sure they allow pets before you set off on your trip.2) Don’t be sick as a dog.
Be sure you have had a check up and all necessary vaccinations before you leave.  Some veterinarians will even give you a Health Certificate as proof you are up-to-date on all your vaccinations.

3) Don’t go chasing your own tail.
Always know where to find the closest veterinarian/animal hospital to your destination as accidents can happen.  A great resource is the AVMA’s MyVeterinarian.com, where you can search Vets by zip code or city/state.

4) Do have your name all over it.
Be sure to have an accurate ID tag with your name, address and phone number in case you get lost.  If you are microchipped, remember to keep your registration information updated.

5) Do stay on a short leash.
Remember to be properly restrained while in the car.  I use my safety harness which attaches to the child safety restraints provided in the back seat of the car.  You can read more about my harness HERE.

You can also be in a carrier so long as it is appropriately sized so you can lie down, stand up and turn around, but not so big that could get thrown around in case of sudden stops or a collision.  There are several kinds of carriers; I have written about one pet carrier HERE.

6) Do see a man about a dog…or two.
Frequent stops on road trips are a must!  Everyone needs an opportunity to do their business, stretch and mentally exercise by checking out their surroundings.

7) Have a dog’s breakfast…and lunch and dinner.
Whenever you make a pit stop be sure to drink plenty of water.  Pack plenty of water and food for your trip and try to keep your feeding schedule close to normal.

8) Get in the picture.
Make sure your humans have a recent picture of you in their wallet or on their phone, so if you get lost, they can easily use the picture to help find you.

9) Have a memory like an elephant.
Don’t forget to bring your medications with you including any flea and tick preventatives if you will be gone for an extended time.

This article is reprinted by permission of oztheterrier.com. Find the original article here.

_________________________________________________________________________________Oz_03-300x214Oz the Terrier is a writer and poet with a passion for “ruffing it” in the Florida outdoors.  Whether it’s  camping, hiking, canoeing or biking, you will find Oz happily accompanying his humans on all their adventures. Come explore Florida from a dog’s point of view at oztheterrier.com.