Monday, March 17, 2014

Keeping older people and pets together and why you should be cautious about kissing your pet

Mr B is daring me to pick up his ball.

Its no secret that at SAT HQ we recognise the importance of the human-animal bond, and keeping older people and their companion animals together is of the utmost importance for both the human and animal sides of the equation.

If you feel strongly about this, and/or live in the ACT or can get down there next week,  the Pets and Aged Care Steering Group is hosting a FREE session on the ways to support low-income, frail or aged pet owners who face temporary or other crises during which their pet may need to be accommodated or rehomed.

The session, to be held at the Hughes Community Centre on Thursday March 27 from 10am-12pm, will provide details about successful in-home pet support programs in communities around Australia, and the potential for similar programs to be implemented in the ACT. 

You may not consider yourself old yet, but with any luck you'll get there and so will we, and when we do we'd like to have our companions by our side. Learn more and have your say now. Pet-friendly accommodation doesn't fall from the sky - its often the result of hard lobbying by groups like this. To register please click here.

Too slow!
The human-animal bond is important, but some people take it a little too far. Over at Associate Professor Scott Weese's Worms and Germs blog (one of my personal faves), he discusses the risks of pashing pets. He also introduces a saying I've not heard before: "Common sense is like deoderant. The people who need it most don't use it."

Reptiles carry Salmonella, which can wreak havoc on one's gastrointestinal tract. Read more here.

If you must kiss your pet, do it with your eyes wide open. One woman learned what happens when you think you're kissing your cat, only to discover that the pile of fur sleeping beside you is a rabid raccoon. It isn't pleasant.

[When I was in the US visiting practices, I attended one practice where the head nurse came in with her cat for treatment. He was at home, inside, minding his own business when a raccoon came through the cat door and BROKE THE CATS FEMUR. Not trying to paint a bad picture of raccoons, but it seems like a very good reason to have a lockable cat door].