August for Pet Lovers: What's Happening This Month

August 6, 2018

The Paws Spot
Traci Wilkerson Steckel, Traci's Paws

Can you believe that August is here!? It’s almost time for the kids to trade in the sun screen for backpacks in preparation for a new school year. Although August might be a time for us to wind down from our summer fun, it’s a pretty busy month for our furry friends. Get your pencils ready to mark some important dates this month to ensure your pets feel extra loved and are happy & healthy. 

August 1, 2018 – DOGust

Post-summer sadness doesn’t even have time to settle in, as we start August off with a howling good time, celebrating all of the rescue dogs from sea to shining sea on August 1st - but this can happen all month long!

In 2008, North Shore Animal League America, noted as the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, founded DOGust, the day declared to celebrate all shelter dogs still “on the inside” and those who’ve been adopted, as their designated birthday as a way to honor these dogs and promote pet adoption.

If you have a rescue pup and haven’t planned a pawty, not to worry! San Diego has many great pet stores & bakeries with doggy birthday cakes and even boxed pup cake & ice cream mix that you can pick up on the way home from work. If you have a pet on a strict diet, try making a cake using his/her own food. Remember to consult your veterinarian before introducing something new like a pupcake into your pet’s diet. 

Did she say birthday cakes and ice cream for your PETS? Yes! In a recent survey conducted by Head Solutions Group LLC. on behalf of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, more millennials consider their pet as a “fur baby” and are spending more money on their pets now than ever. We believe this includes splurging for pet birthday parties too, as this is definitely a growing trend.

From celebrity pups on Instagram to a high end automotive dealership, people from all over are celebrating rescue pups by sharing photos of their furry friend’s birthday and bringing awareness to pet adoption. If you want to join in on the DOGust fun, share your photos by tagging them with #DOGust.

August 1-31, 2018 Pet Immunization Awareness Month

This entire month of August is dedicated to promoting pet vaccine awareness, to make sure your pet is healthy and safe from disease. Although some people are on the fence about pet vaccinations, contracting a dangerous disease by not vaccinating a pet outweighs the potential side effects of the vaccination.

In 2017 The American Veterinary Medical Association revised their vaccination guidelines to reflect many factors to see if your pet is a candidate for all vaccinations and how frequently they should be given. A few examples of the revision are your pet’s lifestyle. This consists of a long list of questions including your pet’s age, if your pet frequents day care, if Lyme disease is known in your region among many others. Another example is anti-body testing. This does not cover all vaccinations but might determine if your pet is more or less susceptible to a particular disease, and if all vaccinations are still required for your pet. Rabies for example is required by law in many states. The Center for Disease Control estimates that around the world, there is 1 death from rabies every 10 minutes. 

Please play it safe and call your veterinarian this month to discuss vaccinating your pet and any possible updates to his/her vaccination schedule. It is important to bring up any questions or concerns you have and remember, even non-life-threatening illnesses can become deadly if your pet has an underlying health condition.

August 5-11, 2018 International Assistance Dog Week

Have you ever worked 7 days a week, for a 10 hour shift, then been on-call the remaining hours of the day or night? Well if you did or still do, someone may say you’re “working like a dog”! You may not realize, but many assitance dogs work this very schedule.

As defined by the American Disabilities Act, an Assistance Animal is “any animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.” This is a week we recognize all of the hard work that these amazing assistance dogs do and bring awareness of how they keep their humans safe and living the most ordinary and comfortable lives possible.

Unfortunately, there is a growing number of people who try to abuse this and attempt to pass their pets off as assistance dogs. When untrained, pets can act out including biting other pets and people and this is causing a bad rap for trained assistance animals, especially dogs. If you have any questions regarding which animals are considered assistance animals, their roles and their rights, contact your veterinarian or read this pawesome report by the American Veterinary Medical Association, “Assistance Animals Rights of Access and the Problem of Fraud”.

So, on this week and always, we want to give a big high-paw to all assistance dogs for all of the amazing work, support, companionship and love they are providing individuals, and not to overlook that they are giving so many people a second chance at life!

Still to come this month (more on these later)...

August 15, 2018 National Check the Chip Day

August 22, 2018 National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day

August 26, 2018 National Dog Day