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Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services

Pets for Life...not just Christmas

December 04, 2019

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At Salt Lake County Animal Services, we believe that pets make a family complete. We also believe that welcoming a new pet into your home is not a decision that should be taking lightly and “pets as presents” can be a hot debate no matter what season it is.

We are sure that there are many families dreaming of a furry friend for Christmas, so this seems like a good time to talk about this. Pets are for life, not just for Christmas.

A new pet can be the best gift you can give to your family, but it is essential that you think about all that goes into bringing a new pet into your home before making the decision. A new pet is a long-term commitment and will need your love and attention everyday for the rest of their lives. Be sure you are prepared to provide for all your pet’s needs before bringing one home.

Here are some things to consider:

Choose a pet that is compatible with your family’s lifestyle. Consider the space you have, how often someone is home and whether you are looking for calm and relaxed or an active and adventurous. How much grooming will your new pet need? Are you willing to provide vet care? Training? And who will care for you pet when you go on vacation? 

If you have weighed the options and decided that you want to commit to welcoming a new family member into your home, keep in mind that puppies and kittens are not your only option. Shelters have so many wonderful companions hoping for a second chance. There are many older pets, cats, dogs and even rabbits, that need loving homes. The pets that you give the second chance to are some of the most loving and loyal companions around and often have a lot of valuable skills they have already learned.

A loving new home is one of the most wonderful gifts to give a new pet, just make sure you are ready to make the commitment because pets are for life.

We have many wonderful pets hoping to find their forever homes here at Salt Lake County Animal Services at 511 W 3900 S in Salt Lake City.

You are welcome to come in and meet them anytime during our business hours Mon-Sat: 10 AM – 6 PM. We do stop meet and greets daily at 5:30 p.m.

You can view our animals who are available for adoption at

Where Are They Now: Fenrir

December 04, 2019

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We love hearing updates from pets adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services! If you want to share how your pet is doing, please send an email and a photo to

Here is an update from Fenrir, in his new home:

Hi friends,

This is Fenrir! I wanted to write and let you know that I'm pretty darn happy with the peeps who adopted me. They're taking me on runs and hikes, giving me big bones to chew on, and giving me lots of loving scratches. 

I've heard them say I have very bad separation anxiety and that we are very lucky to live in a house with understanding neighbors. But I also heard them say I'm settling in and getting a little better. I dunno what any of that means, but I do know that I'm happy. Thanks for being there for me when I needed you, and thanks for helping me find my home and my pack.

December Volunteer Spotlight: Lindsay Drake

December 03, 2019

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December Volunteer of the Month: Lindsay Drake

Meet our December Volunteer of the Month, Lindsay Drake! Interested in finding out more about volunteering, read for more about what our volunteers think about donating their time and hearts here at Salt Lake County Animal Services. 

What brought you to SLCoAS?

In the last few years I've come to realize the amount of Rabbits needed for homes. I've always been passionate about bunnies, but when I read the statistics I just really wanted to help. SLC Animal Services is just an caring community, and provided the perfect place for me to come volunteer.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering?

Spending time with the Rabbits. All of them have such different and fun personalities. I love getting to know then and care for them.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Lot's of hiking, baking, reading and spending time with my family.

Tell us about your family and fur kiddos:

My husband and I have a bunny named Gandalf (Gandy for short), and we just loving spending time going on walks together and cuddling on the couch!

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers?

Don't be afraid to ask for help! There are so many great resources and everyone is so incredibly welcoming to helping. Also, never forget you are making a difference in these animals lives. 

Do you have a favorite adoption story?

When we adopted our Rabbit, he was underweight, confined in a small space with other aggressive rabbits and was extremely timid. We weren't sure if he'd ever warm up to us. But now he's our best friend. He's so friendly, sassy and has soo much character! We are so glad we gave him a chance because once we provided a happy home he became the most happy bunny! 

Tell us something unique about you:

I was adopted as well! One of the reasons I am such a massive advocate for animal adoptions stems from this. I was given a beautiful life with my adopted family, and our fur friends deserve the same as well! 

Where is your favorite place to travel?

Paris! It's such a remarkably beautiful place and in the evenings it feel like there is magic in the air :) 

Have additional questions? Email for more information. 

November: Adopt a Senior Pet

November 04, 2019

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november adopt a senior pet

November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month:

November is dedicated to helping older pets find loving forever homes, if you have been considering adopting a four-legged friend, consider an older dog or cat in need. Salt Lake County Animal Services has programs for seniors. 

While we all agree that puppies and kittens are adorable, there are so many reasons that older pets make a great option for families looking to adopt a pet. Often senior pets are the last to be adopted from shelters.

What you see is what you get:

When adopting a senior pet, you know exactly what you are getting. Their personalities are already developed, you will know their size, energy level and health status, this can help you know that they will be a good fit for your family.

Mellow :
Older pets typically are much more mellow than puppies and kittens and are often content just relaxing and enjoy your day to day routine.

Most senior pets are often already trained and may even be skilled at all the basic commands. This does not mean you cannot teach them new tricks, often they are much easier to train than younger animals. They are more physically and mentally established and this allows them to better understand what their human is asking of them.

Senior pets are often not a 24-hour commitment. Many new pet owners underestimate the commitment it takes to properly train a new puppy. Senior dogs are often mellow and do not require constant attention, training and exercise, this does not mean that they don’t still love to play and enjoy time with you adventuring, they just do not require the focus and energy that a puppy or kitten may.

And last but certainly not least LOVE:
Senior pets seem to know they have truly been rescued and they are grateful for the second chance that they were given to be a part of a family.

Please consider opening your hearts and homes to senior pets.

Considering adoption? Take a look at our Senior to Senior program at Salt Lake County Animal Services. Anyone 55 years of age or older adopting an animal 5 years of age or older we will do a FREE adoption.

You can view our animals available for adoption at or come into Salt Lake County Animal Services anytime during our business hours Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Where Are They Now: Dizzy

October 28, 2019

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Where Are They Now, Dizzy

Where are they now! Meet Dizzy, she was adopted from the Salt Lake County Animal Services several months ago. We love getting updates on how pets are doing once they settle into their new homes. Did you adopt a pet from our shelter? Share your story with

Here is an update from Dizzy's new home: 

Just a quick update on Dizzy (German Shorthair Pointer formerly known as Luna).

She is doing awesome. She has seen our Vet twice. Once when we first returned for their overview & exam, and the second time about 10 days ago for a torn (upper) nail. She tore the nail climbing a cyclone fence, or at least that is our best guess. Ella & I have caught her climbing a 4' fence (which she could easily jump if she wanted) and trying go exploring. Both times, she KNEW she was wrong and returned on command.  Extensive follow up "boundary" training has corrected most concerns. Like most GSP's, she is stubborn and has her own ideas. A terrific quality she has is her desire to want to please and do the right thing. Dizzy is incredibly responsive to positive reinforcement.  She is very smart and focused, when she wants to be.

Dizzy is now officially part of our family and we believe she is loving life!  I can't wait to get her out for her first experience hunting pheasant & chukar with Maggie. We have a place where she can run free (safely) and just get used to this field environment.  I attached a quick photo of her sitting/laying in her usual crazy way. And yes, she was snoring just like Maggie was at the same time. This was after playing together on their 2 acres of open land.

Thanks again for all of your efforts and rest assured that Dizzy is as happy as a dog can be. Personally, I forgot how much time & work is sometimes needed correcting & training. But, it is all worth it!  She is a terrific little sister for Maggie and wonderful addition to our family. She is now socializing well with other dogs & people too.  We will keep you updated and send more photos.

~ Dennis 

November Volunteer Spotlight: Alex Luna

October 28, 2019

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Our volunteers at Salt Lake County Animal Services have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests! We love hearing from them. Interested in volunteering? Email for more information.

Meet our November Volunteer, Alex Luna. 

What brought you to SLCoAS?

I really wanted to do something I was passionate about. Helping the dogs, even though it’s small, is very rewarding. 

What is your favorite thing about volunteering?

My favorite thing is seeing the different types of personalities in the dogs. They all live together, but they are so different and it’s fun to interact with each individual personality.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I usually like to spend time with my dog, hang out with my friends, and go out to eat sushi.

Tell us about your family and fur kiddos:

I have a cute, mini dachshund and she’s my favorite human in the world.

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers?

I recommend just having fun and trying to make a connection with the dogs.

Do you have a favorite adoption story?

I’m really happy for Bubba! He is such a sweetheart. Though I was sad he left, I’m glad he found his forever home. 

Tell us something unique about you:

I can quote the entire movie “Mrs. Doubtfire”

Where is your favorite place to travel?

My favorite place to travel was Greece! I also enjoy visiting Las Vegas. 

pitbull awareness month 2019

September 20, 2019

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2019 national pit bull awareness

National Pit Bull Awareness Day was established in October of 2007 as a nationwide effort to bring positive awareness and attention to Pit Bulls and their responsible owners. Now, we, including Salt Lake County Animal Services celebrates the entire month and it is known as National Pit Bull Awareness Month.

Despite continuing efforts by adopters, advocates and supporters, much of the general public is very misinformed about the breed and they are often at the core of Breed Specific Legistilation (BSL), negative bias and discrimination.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of sharing their hearts and home with this loving, loyal and silly breed has no doubt experienced prejudice from a misinformed public.

Pit Bulls were once a proud American Icon. They are police dogs, service dogs, war heroes, movie dogs and loving and loyal family members.

If you are a Pit Bull guardian, be an ambassador for the breed! Educate, advocate and show the world that a responsible owner and help to change people’s perceptions. Be their voice!

Here are some fun events Salt Lake County Animal Services is participating in to celebrate this October:

Take a look at Salt Lake County Pit Crew on Facebook We will have fun facts on our face book page every day in October.

Oct 5: Join us for Dogtoberfest  and help us raise money for the shelter animals. 

Deadline to Register Oct 4: Think your pup could be the next Salt Lake County PAWlitical Mayor

Oct 12: Join our team for Strut your Mutt and help us raise funds for the injured animal fund.

Oct 18: Come Paint your pet at our Pet Portrait Fundraiser.

Oct 24: Free Pit Fix.

where are they now bubba

August 27, 2019

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2019 bubba

At Salt Lake County Animal Services we love to see photos of and updates on the pets you adopt from our shelter. Feel free to join our Furry Family group on Facebook to post your photos. Or send updates to 

Bubba❤️ we adopted him back in December. He absolutely loves cuddles and his other fur siblings! We are so happy to have him in our family. His brother Chopper has really brought out the pup in him!


september 2019 volunteer

August 27, 2019

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games to play with your dog

August 08, 2019

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8 games to play

Whether you have a distractible dog, a couch potato or a play-crazy canine, there are a lot of fun games you can add to your dog’s play to get his/her body moving and challenge your dog’s mind. Here at Salt Lake County Animal Services we have some fun games you can play with your dog. 

8 Games for You and Your Best Friend:

Vary the fetch:

Chase- It by Kong or a Flirt Pole is a pole and a line with a stuff animal or toy attached that can be used with more control that many traditional toys. Instead of throwing over and over in a straight line, you can vary the height, direction and distance of the object. This will keep your dog mentally challenged while playing.

Use Bubbles:

A lot of dog’s love bubbles and are entertained by chasing or biting at passing bubbles. Bubble chasing mimics a predatory behavior and can help work their mind and use their instincts. Just make sure you are using a pet-safe bubble that is nontoxic.

Play with water:

Some dogs love to join you in a game of chase as they follow you through the sprinklers on a hot day.

Other dogs find entertainment from a moving outdoor hose or filling up a small kiddie pool for them to play in. You can take a field day to your local canine-friendly park for some cooling down in the streams, ponds or lakes. Just make sure to stay in shallow water and stay away from strong currents.

Play Frisbee:

The type of frisbee that is best for a dog varies depending on the individual dog. Frisbee is a different game from a regular game of fetch with a ball because the saucer lingers longer in the air and gives even the most athletic canine a better chance of catching it in midair. Have a canine athlete? Take a look at a Frisbee Thrower, it allows for a longer launch without having to touch the disc.

Teach your dog scent:

Take a look here: This is a great game for a rainy day or just to get some mind exercise. Once your dog has got it down you can look into other food puzzles to keep it interesting.

Simon Says:

This is a great game for dogs that already know their basic commands. IE: sit, shake, down, roll over etc… Grab some of your dogs’ favorite treats and test his/her ability to understand command after command. Make sure to mix up the order every once and awhile to make sure you are keeping it interesting and your dog on their toes.

Hide and Seek:

This fun childhood game is not just reserved for human kids. Our four-legged friends can partake in the fun too. Find one of your dog’s favorite toys or grab a handful of treats. Have your dog sit and stay in one room and then go hide in another. Once you have found a good hiding space, call your dog. Once they have found you, reward them with treats and praise. This is a great interactive game for both the senses and the mind.

Treat Hunt:

Grab your dog’s favorite smelly treats and hide them around the living room or outside. Make sure your canine friend is in another room when hiding the treats, so they do not see or smell the secret hiding spots. Then invite them in to sniff out the treats. You can also do this with boxes, placing treats inside of only some of them and allowing them to sniff out the boxes that have treats inside of them. This is great for both the mind and the senses. It can also help to build confidence.

Playing games with your dog can help you bond, work on energy, stimulate his/her mind and teach some basic commands. Playing games gives your pup physical and mental exercise, as well as the opportunity for positive and fun interaction with you.

Looking to adopt? Take a look at our wonderful adoptable animals looking for their forever homes at

blaze where are they now

August 08, 2019

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The staff at Salt Lake County Animal Services loves hearing from adopters! Meet Blaze, formerly Tiny Tim. 

Just wanted to send an update about Tiny Tim who I adopted Feb 2018. His new name is Blaze. Hiking is one of our favorite activities, and he's happy to hike all day with me. He is an excellent disc dog and loves to retrieve balls in the lake. Despite being such a high energy dog, he loves to snuggle on the couch and is happy to take afternoon naps. He gets along amazingly with my other dogs and has helped me foster shy Chihuahuas and puppies. I hit the jackpot with him. He's perfect for me.


If you've adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services, please email with your adoption update! 

august 2019 volunteer

August 08, 2019

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2019 july volunteer

June 28, 2019

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where are they now charlie pebbles

June 20, 2019

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The staff at Salt Lake County Animal Services loves hearing from adopters! Meet Charlie, formally Pebbles! His now mom, saw him on a video on Facebook and said that he was meant to be her dog so she drove down from Wyoming to meet him.

“Pebbles actually goes by the name Charlie now :) he is happy, healthy and full of energy. He loves to wrestle with his brother Theo, run around outside in his big backyard, loves to cuddle and be tucked in and kissed goodnight. I saw videos of him and when I saw him I fell in love. At the time I was living in Cheyenne, WY with his brother Theo. I actually spoke with a few people there for almost a month and then I drove down to SLC with Theo. The two of them met and have been inseparable since. He has definitely made my little family complete. He is my little cuddle bug 😍 “-Madison

If you've adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services, please email with your adoption update! 

lost pet prevention month 2019

June 20, 2019

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One of the scariest experiences you can have is to lose your animal. At Salt Lake County Animal Services, we try to help reunite owners and pets as quick as possible. July 5th is historically the busiest day in shelters due to pets going missing because of the fear of fireworks on the Fourth of July. Here in Utah with Pioneer Day at the end of July we have a higher intake on the 25th of July as well.

July seems like a perfect month to highlight this issue, but potential lost pets exponentially increase during the summer due to warmer weather and travel, so it is important to always be well informed and know what to do if your pet goes missing.

There are many reasons that pets get lost, the best way for you to help a lost pet is to prevent the animal from going missing in the first place. Your pet should have an identification tag attached to their collar with contact information and a properly sized collar. You should be able to fit 2 fingers between a dog’s neck and a collar. Cats often need a breakaway collar to ensure their safety in case of jumping a fence this can make keeping tags on them difficult. This is a good example of why a microchip can be effective in helping your pet find their way home.

Microchipping is an effective way to keep tabs on your pet and help them find their way home. A microchip is a tiny device implanted with a shot that when scanned will match up your contact information in a database. It is very important that you keep your data updated and accurate with the Microchip company and your local shelter. Approximately half of pet owners don’t submit their contact information or keep it accurate rendering the device useless.

If your pet does go missing, start looking immediately. The longer you wait, the lower your chances are of recovering your furry friend. Post fliers, talk to neighbors, visit your local shelter and post on known social media sites.

If you find a lost animal the law states, you must bring the animal to your local animal control within 24 hours. This is the best chance that the animal will have of being reunited with its family. This is where they will go to look. The animal will remain at the shelter for a stray wait period and if the owner does not come in to redeem their pet then the animal will be placed up for adoption.

As mentioned, more dogs tend to run away on the 4th of July than any other day of the year and here in Utah we must also worry about the 24th of July with Pioneer Day being celebrated.

Here are some suggestions to create a safe, calm environment for your dog on these days.

*Always keep your dog on leash when out of the home.

*Create a safe space such as a crate or small room during the festivities.

*Make sure your pet is wearing a visible and up-to-date Id tag on their collar.

*Make sure your animals microchip information is up-to-date

*Get in some exercise earlier in the day and make sure your dog has had a chance to get out and use the bathroom before the festivities begin

*Mask the noise. Play soft music in the room where your dog is at, close the doors, windows and blinds to block out noises and lights. You can also stay in with your pets and watch a movie to help dampen the outside sounds.

*Use a calming aid

*Give your pet something to do such as toys, puzzles, and treats.

Lost pet statistics are grim. One in three pets will go missing in his or her lifetime, and less than 20% of dogs and 2% of cats will return home. Prevention is key. If your pet needs to be microchipped, you can drop into Salt Lake County Animal Services at 511 W 3900 S, and get a free microchip if you live in Salt Lake County. 

We hope you and your pets have a happy and safe month.

adopt a shelter cat month

May 30, 2019

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National Adopt a shelter Cat Month

If you have been thinking about adopting a cat or even know someone who wants to, June is a great month to consider adopting. Salt Lake County Animal Services is hosting CATurday on June 8 to celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Cat month.

Animal shelters are filled with wonderful pets in need of good homes and cats make up much of this population. June is one of the busiest months for animal shelters and being able to find good homes for the many animals can be challenging.

Approximately 3.2 million cats end up in shelters every year, including thousands born every spring and summer during “kitten season.” While plenty of cats still enter shelters each year, the number coming into the shelter is on the downswing from just a few years ago.

People prefer kittens over cats when adopting. About 82% of kittens are adopted from shelters while only 60% of cats get adopted. Adopting a furry friend can bring a lot of joy into your life and even lower stress and there are plenty of cats and kittens in animal shelters who need a good home.

Cats are perfect companions for families or individuals. While it is true that they are very affectionate, they can also be independent creatures allowing you to keep your freedom but gain a lot of love, not to mention they are self-cleaning. Adopting a pair of cats may be less work then getting a solo kitty. Bonded pairs can keep each other company and are less likely to take out their boredom on your house.

Worried if your cat would be able to get a long with a new cat? While it is recommended that you do a gradual introduction to reduce stress if you give it time they will likely become friends, at the very least many cats will learn to tolerate each other.

Remember adopting an animal is a long-term commitment even if your adopting an adult cat. Your new friend will likely be with you for years to come. Indoor cats live for an average of 12-15 years, but it is also perfectly normal for well cared for cats to live to be 20 years old.

Thinking of adopting?

Join us for Caturday on June 8 from 10 AM - 6 PM, for a cat adoption extravaganza! Cat adoption fees will be $10 and Kittens (6 months and under) will be $20. While supplies last we will be giving out cat adoption baskets, that have toys, treats, and other goodies for your new feline family member!

There will be booths from local vendors:
Pet Wants Sandy
Scentsy with Rebecca
ColorStreet with Stacy
Old Farm Pet Resort
One Balanced World
Street Dawg Crew of Utah
VCA Willow Creek Pet Center
Your Dog Friendly Agent
Ginger Bee Artwork

Questions? Email


2019 june volunteer

May 28, 2019

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where are they now yoshi

May 23, 2019

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We love hearing updates about our pets! If you have a story to share about your pet you adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services, please email

This is Yoshi, and he was adopted last year! Here is an update from his dad, Perry. 

Yoshi is doing amazing! Him and his brother Tech are inseparable.. He loves chewing on his toys and wrestling around but most of all he is a huge cuddle bug. Every time we have a guest over and they crash on the couch he will not leave their side and he sleeps with them all night. He loves being in the mountains and rolling around in the dirt and snow. He's getting so big and so handsome. He's def a kiddo at heart and I think it's his greatest trait. His upbeat energy def keeps the house fun and playful. Plus when he talks to us its the funniest thing to hear.

This year has flown by and even though the adjustment period was a bit rough to begin with, Yoshi is very smart and has grown leaps and bounds and it has been amazing to watch his personality really shine.. We love him with all of our hearts and couldn't imagine not having him in our little family.

asthma and allergy awareness month

May 03, 2019

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May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

While the awareness campaign is aimed at humans, pet owners should be able to recognize signs of asthma or allergies in their pets also. At Salt Lake County Animal Services, we often see pets come in with allergies not diagnosed. 

Have you ever wondered if your pet may be experiencing an allergic reaction to something in the environment, or the food it’s eating?

When we think about allergies, we are usually thinking about watery, itchy eyes or a runny nose but in a dog or a cat, allergies look different.

Most allergies we see in our pets show up in the form of skin issues, itching, red skin, hair loss, ear infections and even GI issues. This can be frustrating because they can be difficult to control and treat.

Allergies in pets can be classified as either environmental or food.

Food usually accounts for approximately 10% of pet allergies and may show up at any age.

When dealing with food allergies the allergen is usually a protein in the food such as chicken, beef, a carbohydrate preservative or food dye. These allergies are usually treated by a food trial with a limited ingredient diet that contains a novel protein your animal has not eaten before and one other carbohydrate source, such as green pea. It is important to note that it can take up to six weeks to see any results of the skin issues resolving after changing the diet.

Environmental allergies are often the same things that trigger hay fever in us, things like pollens, molds, dust mites, cleaning products, and so on. When a dog or a cat has an allergy to these things it is an exaggerated response by the immune system to something in the environment that shouldn’t cause an immune response.

In dogs you will often see chronic ear infections and their feet, armpits, lower belly and face tend to be very itchy causing them to scratch and lick these areas.

Dog Allergy Symptoms

  • Increased Scratching
  • Red, moist or scabbed skin
  • Runny eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Chewing or constant licking
  • Swollen paws
  • Snoring due to an inflamed throat
  • chronic ear infections

Cats will also become very itchy and may develop ear infections or even pull out their fur. In some cases, they will develop lip ulcers.

Cat Allergy Symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Urinating issues
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lethargic

In both pets, the itching can cause trauma to the skin and cause a secondary infection, so it is very important to seek treatment when you first notice your animal may have food or environmental allergies.

Asthma is an allergic reaction to an environmental stimulant, it can also affect dogs and cats at this time of the year.

How do I know my pet has asthma?

  1. Coughing and sneezing
  2. Difficulty breathing
  3. Poor appetite
  4. Weakness or fatigue
  5. Pale or blue gums (see a vet immediately)

What can you do to prevent asthma?

  1. Do not smoke in your house or around your pet
  2. Refrain from using hair sprays, perfumes and air fresheners
  3. Consider using baking soda in shallow dishes for absorbing odors
  4. Clean your cats litter box regularly
  5. Bathe your pet regularly

If you think your pet is suffering from allergies or asthma consult with your veterinarian to ensure what you are seeing is allergy related. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication depending on the severity of the allergy and just like people pets can be given an allergy shot. In some cases, you may just need to switch your pet’s food and your veterinarian can help you with a food trail to help you know what certain food ingredients the culprit may be.

Make sure to act quickly, ignoring the signs and symptoms of allergies and asthma can lead to a more acute problem in the future.

2019 may volunteer

April 30, 2019

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