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031518 SWB DIGITAL EDITION

14 x March 15 — April

14 x March 15 — April 4, 2018 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 Practitioners, which deems the practice of declawing an ethically controversial procedure that is not medically necessary in most instances. In fact, declawing cats is now illegal in several U.S. cities. Find alternatives to declawing and cat-scratching solutions at savethecouches.com. Alternatives to Declawing There are numerous safe and painless alternatives to declawing, including the following ideas from pet behavior experts at Ceva Animal Health: • Routinely trim nails. Regular nail care is an important part of general care and hygiene for your cat, but it can also help prevent scratching damage by eliminating the sharp, destructive claw tips. Properly trimmed nails are less likely to snag or split, and cats with well-trimmed nails are less likely to resort to scratching as part of their own self-grooming rituals. • Create scratch-friendly zones. Keeping cats from scratching areas you don’t want them to bother is far more likely if you provide areas where they can scratch at will, such as scratching pads and posts. Pair these scratching areas with a product such as Feliscratch by Feliway, which is clinically proven to prevent destructive scratching by redirecting cats to scratch in the right place. Cats are attracted to the drug-free, naturally derived product and will feel compelled to scratch where it’s applied, leaving that chair or couch alone. • Reinforce off-limits areas. Cats are highly tactile, so applying textured materials like doublesided sticky tape or rough, crinkly aluminum foil to areas you don’t want scratched can be an effective deterrent. • Consult a behaviorist. Not all cases have easy answers, but an expert with experience in animal behavior can provide guidance based specifically on your cat’s personality and circumstances to help create a custom solution. • Eliminate negative reinforcements. Avoid punishing your cat for undesirable behavior. This includes shouting, spraying with water or swatting your cat. Punishment can increase stress and anxiety. It can make the problem worse and may even make your cat afraid of you. DIY Scratching Post Designating a spot for your cat to safely scratch is one of the most effective ways to minimize damage to your possessions. A homemade scratching post is a quick and easy project. • Cut a foot-long length of 4-by- 4-inch wood and a 1-foot square piece of plywood. The exact sizes can vary, but these are good starting points that you can adjust up or down, depending on your space. • Sand away splinters and rough edges. • Add a sturdy fabric wrap or paint to lend aesthetic appeal to the plywood base. • Wrap the post tightly with heavy-gauge rope or carpet scraps (or both), securing tightly with glue and reinforcing with a staple gun. • Securely attach the post to the base using a long bolt. • Place the post in an area your cat enjoys spending time, and consider adding a pheromone therapy spray to attract your cat to the post. (Family Features) Source: Ceva Animal Health Prepare for Your Puppy’s First Outdoor Adventure When there’s a new, adorable puppy in the house, it can be difficult to know what to do next. It’s an exciting world for puppies with lots to learn and discover. As they are mastering fundamental skills like walking on a leash and resisting the urge to chew up the furniture, it is also a good time to start building habits for a healthy, pest-free Healthy SMILES Start Here! Providing alternative care for treating gum disease and recession. • Laser Treatment • Pinhole Surgical Technique • Dental Implants • Teeth in a Day • Sedation Options

www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x March 15 — April 4, 2018 x 15 and disease-free life. These tips can help you keep your puppy happy, adventurous and, most importantly, healthy: • Keep puppies inside the safety of their homes or backyards until they are protected from infectious diseases with vaccines and from harmful pests by some form of flea and tick control. • Talk to your veterinarian about vaccines when your puppy is between 6 and 8 weeks old. • After 12 weeks of age, puppies can try convenient and effective flea and tick control options. Keep in mind that heat and humidity can speed up the flea reproductive cycle, so don’t be caught off guard as warm weather sets in. • After the final booster vaccination and initial rabies vaccine have been administered at approximately 16 weeks of age, puppies should be well-protected against disease and able to explore the great outdoors. • Get ready with the proper gear. Look for a sturdy leash and collar or adjustable harness that fits your puppy. Given this playful age, it is important to have the right supplies so your puppy doesn’t accidentally get loose or wander off. • Responsibly identify your puppy with a collar tag and microchip implant. Proactive steps can save you a lot of heartache if your puppy ever gets lost. Talk to your veterinarian about available options. • Before heading out for a walk, think ahead of your pup’s need for water. It is important to keep your puppy hydrated, especially during warmer weather, to avoid overheating. • Mark your calendar to keep track of veterinary visits and when it is time to reapply flea and tick treatment. Taking proactive steps now to protect your pup can help save time and money later in life, but, most importantly, it can lead to a healthy, happy life for your furry friend. (Family Features) Source: Adams Flea & Tick; adamspetcare.com ª 407-876-3676 Thank you for voting for us Douglas S. Pearce, DVM Susan E. Anderson, DVM Angela Chesanek, DVM Hahna Thomas, DVM Peter Rogers, DVM Complete Small Animal Care, Including Medicine, Surgery and Boarding 1909 Maguire Road, Windermere www.acwvet.com Hours of Operation: M-F 8am-5:30pm * Sat 8am-Noon Closed on Sundays & last Saturday of every month