Monthly Pets First
Spring Into Action HOW MUCH EXERCISE DOES A BORDER COLLIE NEED?
The weather is finally starting to warm up, and let me tell you, spring cannot come soon enough. While I like some aspects of winter — ice fishing, for example — this winter skipped all the fun parts of the season and left us with gray skies and freezing weather for months on end. I’m really looking forward to being able to spend more time outside again. Humans aren’t the only ones who look forward to warmer weather though. Our pets can suffer from cabin fever during the winter too. This time of year, we see a lot of pets come in who have put on a few pounds because they weren’t getting enough exercise during the winter. Spring is a good time to build workout habits with your pet. It will help them maintain a healthy weight, and it’s good for their mental well-being. Dogs and cats need mental stimuli as much as they need physical exercise. My dog, Sam, is a border collie; she’s a working dog who is smart and full of energy. Stacey and I have to make sure Sam gets plenty of exercise or she’ll go stir-crazy. I go to CrossFit four times a week in the mornings before work, and when I get back, I take Sam out for a walk. She wears this little backpack filled with a couple water bottles so she has to work a bit harder on her walks. I incorporate some obedience training by making her sit before we cross the street. Our walks are a great way to start the day, and Sam looks forward to them. She sees going on a walk with me as her job. Sam also comes to work with me and hangs out in the office during the day. During my lunch break, we go outside to play ball so she can work off more energy. We’ve also started puppy agility classes in the
“If you are working on getting your dog or cat more exercise, I recommend making it a daily habit.”
evenings so she can run around and get more mental stimulation. I cannot stress this enough: If you don’t have time to exercise your dog, don’t get a highly energetic breed. A lot of health and behavioral problems arise when pets don’t get the exercise they need. I’m fortunate to be able to take Sam to work with me and have the time to walk her in the morning. However, I know not everyone has that kind of time in their schedule. If you are working on getting your dog or cat more exercise, I recommend making it a daily habit. Every day after work, take your dog for a walk, no matter what the weather is like. If you have a cat, block out some time to play with them before bed. When exercising your pet becomes a habit, it’s easier to maintain. The good news is that it’s usually easier to build new habits in the spring. Maybe it’s just me, but spring is a very optimistic time of year. The days are a bit longer, the sun is shining more, and the birds are singing. Who wouldn’t want to spend more time outside with their dog?
What’s Meant to Be BEHIND THE SCENES WITH KRYSTAL WUMKES There are two sides to running an animal hospital.“Side A”involves working with animals. This is the side our clients see every day when our veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary assistants treat patients and keep them happy and healthy. Then there’s“Side B,”which makes sure Side A runs smoothly. Side B is human resources, onboarding, meetings, annual reviews, training, and policy procedure manuals. That’s the side that our practice manager, Krystal Wumkes, is in charge of. Krystal is celebrating her five-year anniversary with us at the beginning of March. It’s a real balancing act to keep Petersen Pet Hospital running each day, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have Krystal here to help. Any of our patients who have been with us for a few years knows what an impact Krystal has made. When Dr. Brad Petersen first opened the hospital, he was trying to handle Side A and Side B on his own. When he finally realized he needed more help, a fellow veterinarian referred him to Krystal. Dr. Petersen took one look at her resume and reached out to offer her the job. There was just one hitch.
MAN’S BEST FRIEND
How Your Dog Makes You Healthier
“At the time, I was seven months pregnant,” Krystal explained.“I was upfront with Dr. Petersen. I told him it was my ideal job and a great opportunity, but I was expecting and wouldn’t be able to start full-time until after my maternity leave. Unfortunately, he needed someone to start right away. I was really bummed out, but life moves on. I welcomed my daughter, Kinsley, into
Bad news, cat lovers. Science says dogs really are better than cats — at least in terms of helping their owners live longer. Two major studies published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes have found that dog ownership can be beneficial to a person’s health. The first of these studies took place in Sweden, where researchers identified nearly 350,000 individuals who had suffered a heart attack or stroke between 2001 and 2012. In Sweden, dogs must be registered with the Swedish Board of Agriculture, so researchers were able to determine who on their list were dog owners. They found that individuals who owned dogs tended to have better health prospects than people without dogs. Of those who had suffered a heart attack, dog owners had a 33% lower risk of death. Dog owners who suffered a stroke were also 37% less likely to die than those who did not have a dog. The second study was a review and meta-analysis conducted by Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Researchers reviewed 10 studies that contained data on 3.8 million people. They found that dog owners tended to be healthier and live longer. The research concluded that dog owners have a 65% lower risk of dying after a heart attack, a 31% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 24% lower risk of “all-cause mortality” when compared to people who don’t have dogs. What makes dog people healthier? Researchers from both studies believe the health benefits from dog ownership are thanks to the physical and the mental boost that comes from taking care of a dog. Dog owners get more physical exercise as they go on walks or play with their energetic pups. This results in lower blood pressure and better cholesterol profiles. Companionship is also a big factor, as people who live with dogs tend to feel less lonely than those who live alone. “We know that social isolation is a strong risk factor for worst health outcomes and premature death,” said Trove Fall, VMD, Ph.D., one of the co-authors of the Swedish study.
Puppy’s Favorite Peanut Butter Sandwich Treats Want to show your dog they’re a really good boy (or girl)? Whip up some of these fantastic peanut butter sandwich dog treats! Your pup will be begging for more.
Dogs have always been man’s best friend, and now they have the data to prove it.
Inspired by TheNoviceChefBlog.com
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Leaves of 3, Leave Them Be
What Do You Know About Poison Ivy?
The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising, and the great outdoors are calling your name. It’s time to start planning your summer adventures! Just remember to watch out for the enemy of all outdoor enthusiasts: poison ivy. Found in every state except Hawaii and Alaska, poison ivy — or more accurately, the rash-causing urushiol oil on its leaves — can quickly ruin a trip. Before you head out on your next outdoor adventure, make sure you get your facts straight.
the world happy and healthy. A fewmonths later, I sent Dr. Petersen an email to see if he’d filled the position. To my delight, the job was still available. This time, I was able to start right away. It was just meant to be.”
The poison ivy rash is not contagious.
Most of Krystal’s job keeps her behind
the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly, but she loves to
Many people believe the poison ivy rash can spread if the blisters pop, but the only thing that can cause the rash is urushiol oil. This is why it’s so important to clean your skin and wash your clothes as soon as possible. Urushiol oil can spread onto objects like doors or chairs, and you don’t have to touch poison ivy to have a reaction to urushiol oil.
visit with the puppies and kittens when she can. And when a new client comes in with aWheaten terrier, Krystal makes a point to introduce herself.
You cannot become immune to poison ivy.
“I have a soft spot for Wheaten terriers,”she says.“I have one at home, Paisley, and they’re a tremendous breed. I also have a Yorkiepoo named Jackson. Between those two dogs, my three kids —Kinsley, Huxley, and Daxton— and my husband, Doug, I’m usually as busy at home as I am at work. But that works for me. I like being busy — it makes every day an adventure!”
Urushiol oil triggers an allergic reaction in 85% of people, leading to the ensuing rash. Some people believe regular exposure to poison ivy can help develop an immunity to urushiol oil, but this isn’t the case. In fact, it’s just the opposite. About 15% of the population isn’t allergic to poison ivy, but the allergy can develop over time. The more you’re exposed to poison ivy, the worse your outbreak can become.
If you touch poison ivy, do not pour urine on your skin to prevent the rash.
Urine, vinegar, dirt, bleach, and even gasoline are common “treatments” for preventing or curing a poison ivy rash. None of these are effective, and some can really hurt you. If you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, your best course of action is to wash your skin with soap and water. Cleaning off the urushiol oil within 20 minutes of exposure can greatly decrease your odds of developing a rash.
• • •
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 cup creamy, xylitol-free peanut butter
1/2 cup milk (replace with lactose-free milk for lactose- intolerant pups)
1 large egg
When all is said and done, the best way to treat poison ivy is to
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing until soft dough forms. 3. Flour countertop, then roll dough to be 1-inch thick. Use 1 1/2-inch circle-shaped cookie cutter to cut dough into circles. Use all dough. 4. Bake for 10–12 minutes until cookies are an even color on top. (Note: Cookies will lighten in color as they cook.) Carefully remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool. 5. Smear a little peanut butter in the center of two cookies to make a sandwich, and serve to your favorite pooch! Pro Tip: To keep cookies fresh, don’t turn them all into sandwiches at the same time. Wait to put peanut butter between cookies until you’re ready to treat your dog. With this method, cookies will stay fresh for up to two weeks.
avoid it altogether. The next time you’re exploring the great outdoors, just remember: Leaves of three, leave them be.
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1031 Kacena Road, Hiawatha, IA 52233 www.PetersenPetHospital.com 319-743-0554
Mon–Fri: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. (Closed Fridays from 12:30–2:10 p.m. for teammeetings) Sat: 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Sun: Closed
Inside This Issue
Sam’s Important Job
Want to Be Healthier? Get a Dog!
BLACK An Incredible Balancing Act 50% BLACK
Peanut Butter Sandwich Dog Treats
Poison Ivy Myths
Bringing Love, Joy, and Life Back to Kishi Station
TAMA, THE CALICO The First Feline Stationmaster in All of Japan
During the mid-2000s, the Kishi Train Station in Japan began to deteriorate. By 2006, Kishi Station was left completely unstaffed because of low ridership and financial problems. However, one last resident still remained after everyone else was long gone: a black, white, and tan cat named Tama. Tama first appeared at the station as a young cat in the late 1990s. She lived near the train station and would visit commuters daily to receive affection and the occasional treat. But, as it turned out, her continued visits to Kishi Station would end up playing a much bigger role for the station. The same year it became unstaffed, residents living near the station asked the president of theWakayama Electric Railway, Mitsunobu Kojima, to revive the station because the cat’s survival depended on it. It turns out Tama’s original owner had asked the railway workers to care for her before he moved away —he couldn’t bear to take her from the station she loved to visit so much. So, Kojima decided to go meet Tama. He liked her immediately and adopted her. A year later, Tama was officially named the Stationmaster of Kishi Station, the first cat stationmaster in Japan. To complete her look, Kojima gave her a small conductor hat to wear as she greeted commuters from her window perch inside the ticket gates.
As an official stationmaster, Tama became well known all across Japan and throughout the world. She appeared in the media and on promotional materials that soon brought much- needed foot traffic to Kishi Station. Thousands of tourists
came rushing to Kishi to see Tama for themselves, ride the Tamaden carriage, and pick up Tama merchandise inside the station.
Tama brought joy to all commuters for the next several years before passing away in 2015. Nearly 3,000 people attended her funeral, and her legacy lives on. Tama’s successors continue as stationmasters: Nitama, who serves as Kishi stationmaster, and assistant Yontama at Idakiso, five stations away.
Tama’s friendly and loving nature impacted many people around her, and she will always be affectionately known as the cat who saved the Japanese train station.
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