Check calendar for dog and cat days
• May is an eventful month for pets. Take time out to observe Pet Cancer Awareness Month, National Pet Month, Be Kind to Animals Week (May 5-11), National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day (take a pet first-aid class or set up a “go bag” with everything your pet might need if you have to evacuate on May 11), International Chihuahua Appreciation Day (May 14), World Turtle Day (May 23) and International Hug Your Cat Day (May 30). Cats don’t especially enjoy being hugged, so maybe just give her a good scratch behind the ears.
• Which is cleaner, your dog’s fur or your husband’s beard? Swiss researchers found that dog fur wins out. They swabbed the beards of 18 men and the necks of 30 dogs of assorted breeds and compared the results. All the men had high bacterial counts in their beards while only 23 of the dogs (76 percent) had the same result. The remaining seven dogs had medium-to-low levels of bacteria. Maybe it’s time to retire the phrase “You dirty dog!”
• If you have a new kitten, be sure she is properly vaccinated. Current recommendations are an initial inoculation for feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia when kittens are 6 to 8 weeks old, followed by additional doses every three to four weeks until the kitten is 16 to 20 weeks old. A single, separate rabies vaccine can be given when the kitten is 12 to 16 weeks old. Even if your locale does not require cats to be vaccinated for rabies, it offers important protection in case your cat ever encounters a rabid animal. Bats can fly into homes, and it’s not uncommon for cats in their own yards to come in contact with skunks and raccoons, which often carry rabies.— Dr. Marty Becker,
Kim Campbell Thornton
and Mikkel Becker