Speaking of Pets (Opinion)

Saturdays at 8:59 a.m.

Speaking of Pets with host Mindy Norton is a commentary (opinion piece) for people who care about pets and humane treatment for animals in general, and who want to celebrate that special relationship between us and our animal companions.

supercarrot [Flickr]

While the FDA has listed the top 16 dog foods reported in cases of dilated cardiomyopathy, keep in mind that the chart is not a complete list of the pet foods reported.  Your veterinarian is the best source of advice on what to feed your furry friend to help keep it healthy and happy.


Pet Drinking Problem

Jul 6, 2019
Lisa Zins [Flickr]

Animals, like humans, can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water.   Proper hydration helps maintain a normal body temperature.  It aids in digesting and absorbing nutrients from food, and removing waste products through the urinary tract and bowel.   It may be the most important nutrient you can provide for your best friend.


Summer Pet Safety

Jun 29, 2019
Medical Lake Veterinary Hospital [Facebook]

The picture is hard to look at, but the problem is real.  In Washington, a dog followed his owner for over a mile before the human realized the pads on the pet's feet were burned by walking on hot pavement.  It's up to you to keep your best friend safe.


Lessons from My Dad

Jun 15, 2019
Mindy Norton

If you want your children, or nieces or nephews, to share your compassion for animals, do what my Dad did - model it for them.  Encourage those around you to treat animals with respect, and leave your own legacy of  kindness.


Pedro Nuno Caetano [Flickr]

Busy lifestyle? Not much room? A cat may be the pet for you.  They almost housebreak themselves.  And when you adopt from a shelter or rescue group, you save a life - but having a cat may also save yours.  Just petting a cat can lower your blood pressure and release positive endorphins in your brain!


Humane Society of the United States [Facebook]

The Midwest has been hit hard with storm systems that spawned tornadoes and serious widespread flooding, putting humans and animals in harm's way .  Once again, animal organizations, rescue groups and volunteers are on the ground trying to save the lives of those four-footed victims of the weather.


Frankenmuth Dog Bowl

May 25, 2019
Frankenmuth Dog Bowl [Facebook]

This weekend, Frankenmuth, Michigan will host its 13th annual Dog Bowl with two days of entertainment and activity for people and their dogs.  This high-energy event includes everything from canine fun runs to a pet parade to a costume contest.  The goal is to encourage responsible pet ownership with events that both people and their four-footed companions can enjoy!


Remembering Doris Day

May 18, 2019
Doris Day Animal League [Facebook]

Compassion for animals was the hallmark of Doris Day's personal life.  She was involved locally and nationally in speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.  She also motivated those around her to get involved.  As she said, "If I can do it, you can do it.  Anybody can."  


Be Kind to Animals

May 11, 2019
mripp (Matthias Ripp) [Flickr]

Kindness begins at home, making sure your own pet is well cared for, with healthy food, fresh water, and good veterinary care.   

However, kindness is not so much an action as it is an attitude.  Treating our pets and other animals with care and compassion is a way of showing our respect for the creatures who share our  lives and our world.


Empty the Shelters!

May 4, 2019
Klearchos Kapoutsis [Flickr]

National Empty the Shelters Day is sponsored by the Bissell Foundation with the goal of finding loving homes for animals in shelters.  You can make a difference by adopting a pet from your local shelter, or by having your own female pet spayed or male pet neutered to prevent even one more litter.


Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue [Flickr]

Flowers are a lovely way to add color to our homes, but some of them pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of our four-footed friends, both inside and outside the house.  Before decorating with live plants, check to be sure you are choosing ones that are not toxic to your pets.


Easter and Your Pet

Apr 20, 2019
Terry Ballard [Flickr]

At Easter many of us are surrounded by lots of goodies and decorations that may be harmful to our pets.  Being aware of the danger helps us make sure our best friends stay safe at holiday time.


Bark in the Park 2019

Apr 13, 2019
Bark in the Park [Facebook]

Dog parks are great for canine family members, but there are benefits for humans, as well.  You can take a break from your routine and spend quality time with your best friend, outside, in the fresh air.  You meet other dog owners and make new friends while your furry buddy is doing the same thing.  And you can learn a lot by swapping tips and information with other dog people about food, training and even veterinary care.  It's amazing how easy it is to make friends when you have a dog on the end of the leash!


Allergies in Pets

Mar 30, 2019
Ivan Radic [Flickr]

Allergies in your pet can show up as sneezing, coughing or watery eyes, but more often you may see skin irritation.  Your pet may scratch or bite its skin or paws, or even lose hair in spots.  Don't assume the problem is fleas. Finding relief for your furry friend is one way to show a little love for your best friend.


Poison Prevention Week

Mar 23, 2019
shari snaps (Shari Hindman) [Flickr]

Keeping your pet safe means making sure its environment is safe - which means protecting it from getting into anything that might harm it.  Sharing some things with your pet could make it sick (or worse).  


St. Patrick's Day Pets

Mar 16, 2019
ismael villafranco [Flickr]

Manx cats come in many coat colors and patterns, including tabby, calico and even tortoiseshell.  The lack of a tail is genetic, but a Manx female can have a litter that includes kittens with tails and kittens without tails.


Tornado Pet Safety

Mar 9, 2019
Muffet (liz west) [Flickr]

If the only time you put your pet in a carrier is when you take it to the veterinarian's office, it may not seem like a safe place to your furry friend.  But if you let your pet become accustomed to spending time in the carrier occasionally, even without the door closed, it can become a cozy spot where your best friend can be - and feel - safe!


Spay Day

Feb 23, 2019
Mindy Norton

Gypsy is a T-N-R cat.  She was trapped as an community cat, spayed and released.  You can see that her left ear has been "tipped" - the tip was surgically removed when she was spayed so that anyone finding her would know the surgery had already been done.  It turned out that she was not a feral cat but a stray that (we believe) had at one time had a home and an owner.  She has learned to trust humans and enjoys the company!


Pet Dental Health

Feb 16, 2019
Noël Zia Lee [Flickr]

Some dogs, especially certain breeds (like Golden Retrievers) naturally look like they are smiling.  But almost all dogs have the ability to smile.  I had a Boston Terrier that would raise his upper lip all the way around in his imitation of the smiles he saw on our faces.


Pet Relationships

Feb 9, 2019
edavid3001 [Flickr]

B.B. King's dog, Lucille, was a white Maltese.  This small breed is known to be affectionate, playful and intelligent.  But so are many other pets, whether purebred or not.  Just look for one that suits your personality and lifestyle!


pete Thanks for 4 Million Views (pete beard) [Flckr]

Taking your pet out for a walk is good for both of you.  You get a little exercise, your best friend enjoys a change of scenery, and you share a good time with your furry companion.  Part of being a responsible pet owner is doing things together!


Mindy Norton

Look at that tail - straight behind her - and her focused look.  This cat has found her prey.  It may be a chipmunk, or a leaf, or a toy, but she is all business.  Cats are hunters by nature, so even in play time their body language speaks volumes about their nature.


Cold Weather and Pets

Jan 19, 2019
anneheathen [Flickr]

Watching the weather forecast helps us to plan our activities.  It can also help us keep our best friends safe from the dangers of winter weather.

fab4chiky [Flickr]

Pets, especially cats, often like to find places to snuggle down, away from the hustle and bustle.  I once had a cat that disappeared for a while.  I finally found her in a dresser drawer that had been left open, then pushed closed.  She was sleeping on a pair of jeans in a very tight space!


Lisa Zins [Flickr]

A happy, healthy pet requires care and attention from you - and that includes play time.  It's good exercise for your furry buddy, and a great bonding time for you and your best friend!


Graham Mitchell [Flickr]

Many of the things we love about celebrating the New Year, like parties and fireworks, are not good for our pets and can actually harm or frighten them.  Keep your best friend safe on New Year's Eve so you both can enjoy the coming year together!


Animals at the Manger

Dec 22, 2018
Ferlinka Borzoi (Deb West) [Flickr]

Several years ago, visitors to a church nativity scene found a stray puppy curled up in the manger.  Was it just a coincidence that this "shepherd" was guarding the baby Jesus?  The pup was later adopted but the photograph is still shared around the world, reminding us of the kinship between people and pets.


Orin Zebest [Flickr]

It may be sad to think about a pet spending Christmas in a cage at an animal shelter ; but it is heart-breaking to think about a pet being returned to a shelter after Christmas, just when it thought it would have a home.  It is true - "A dog [or any pet] is for life, not just for Christmas."


Stressed Out Pets

Dec 8, 2018
toritoons (Tori Behr) [Flickr]

During the holidays, a pet owner may forget that changes in routine and activities can make your furry companion anxious and uneasy, which could leave both of you feeling, well, less than festive.   Giving your pet a little extra time and attention may help ease the stress for you and your best friend.


Hanukkah and Pets

Dec 1, 2018
Scazon [Flickr]

You may notice there is no pet in this picture of the Menorrah.  Our furry friends should not be near lit candles or open flames.  Keeping your pet safe during Hanukkah will help to ensure that all family members enjoy the holiday, including the four-footed ones.