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May 31, 2023

Top 5 Ways Your Veterinarian Can Help You Prepare Your Pet for Hurricane Season

NOAA predicts up to nine hurricanes this season, including 1-4 major hurricanes: highlighting the need for preparations

Today, Thrive Pet Healthcare, a leading veterinary service network with 400 locations across the U.S., urged pet owners to take proactive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of their beloved pets following the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) prediction of up to nine hurricanes, 1-4 major, for the upcoming season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.  

“It only takes one storm to cause a disruption in your household,” said Dr. Anthony Coronado, Thrive Pet Healthcare’s National Director of Emergency Services and Urgent Care. “Pets are equally impacted by these disruptions and depend on their humans to protect them from the potential dangers of hurricanes. A few simple precautionary steps can ensure your pet's safety and well-being when they are at their most vulnerable.”

Thrive Pet Healthcare encourages pet owners to consult with their veterinarian when preparing for hurricane season. Below are the top five ways your veterinarian can help to better prepare you and your pet for hurricanes:

1. Vaccines – Make sure your pets are current on their vaccines, especially rabies, leptospirosis, Bordetella, canine influenza, as well as distemper combination vaccines. Keep a copy of your pet’s vaccination records handy. Some of the shelters, boarding kennels, rescues and hotels that might provide temporary housing for pets after a hurricane frequently require vaccination records.

2. Heartworm preventatives – In the aftermath of flooding, the dampness may result in an increase in the mosquito population. Dogs and cats are at heightened risk of contracting a mosquito-borne illness like heartworm disease if they are not on a routine heartworm preventative or if they miss a dose. Heartworm symptoms are often unnoticeable until irreversible damage has been done. Having your pet on a routine heartworm preventative can mitigate the risk. Ensure you have enough to get through hurricane season should there be any supply disruptions.

3. Flea and tick protection – Like mosquitoes, fleas and ticks also flourish after a storm. Veterinarian-prescribed flea and tick preventatives are the best way to protect your pet from harmful and sometimes deadly parasite-related illnesses.

4. Medications – If you regularly administer medication to your pet, ensure you have enough on hand in case there are supply disruptions or you and your pet have to temporarily relocate following a major storm. Ask your veterinarian for an extra supply of necessary medications.

5. Microchipping – During a storm, pets may escape out of fear or become separated from their owners. A microchip about the size of a grain of rice can be implanted during your pet’s routine wellness exam. It contains a unique ID number registered with the pet owner’s contact information. When a lost pet is found, shelters, rescue centers and veterinarians can scan the microchip, enabling a safe return home.

Pet owners are also reminded to ensure their pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information, including their name, telephone number and any urgent medical conditions that require medication such as heart disease, epilepsy, diabetes or cancer.

To locate a Thrive Pet Healthcare location near you, including primary, specialty, urgent, and emergency veterinary care services, visit www.ThrivePetCare.com

About Thrive Pet Healthcare:

Thrive Pet Healthcare is a leading veterinary service network that uniquely delivers a continuum of care to pet families and services to veterinary hospitals. With an industry-first membership program and over 350 acute, primary, and specialty providers, Thrive Pet Healthcare offers personalized, accessible care through every stage of a pet’s life and health. The veterinarian-founded organization provides premier benefits for practice staff while elevating privately held veterinary hospitals with innovative service and technology solutions. By focusing on the needs and aspirations of veterinary care providers, Thrive Pet Healthcare is supporting the well-being of the industry and raising the national bar for veterinary excellence. To learn more about Thrive Pet Healthcare, please visit www.thrivepetcare.com.

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Oct 27, 2021

3 Beginner Tips To Help You Master the Art of Horse Riding

Are you hoping to pick up horse riding as a hobby? Whether you’ve dabbled in horse riding in the past and have recently decided to get serious about it or whether you’re a total newcomer to the sport, there are several important tips that can help you learn the ropes of this unique hobby quickly. Take a look at these three tips that can help beginners quickly master the art of horse riding. 

1. Prepare With All the Necessary Accessories and Safety Gear

Before getting on a horse, it’s important to make sure you’re properly prepared with all the necessary horse jump accessories and other safety gear essentials you may require. This gear can help keep you and the horse safe in the event of an accident and is an absolute must for both beginners and those riding at a more advanced level. If you’re just now shopping for your safety gear and other basics, make sure to pick up:

  • Helmets
  • Knee pads and elbow pads
  • Sturdy riding boots
  • Riding gloves
  • A safety vest
  • Riding pants

2. Practice Getting On and Off Your Horse

Although it may sound simple, beginners may need a little practice mounting and dismounting a horse. Spend a little time just practicing this one skill before moving on to others. To successfully get on your horse, you should:

  • Start from the left side of your horse
  • Hold the reins loosely in your left hand
  • Start by putting your left foot in the stirrup and step up
  • Swing your other leg over the horse and take your seat carefully

3. Take Lessons and Practice Essential Horse Riding Skills

Lastly, you may want to consider starting off your riding days with some professional lessons to help you master the basic skills you need to know. Having a strong foundation can help set you up for quick progress. You can opt for individual or group lessons for beginners that can help you learn more about:

  • Trotting and walking
  • Trail riding
  • Standing quietly
  • Mounting and dismounting
  • Slow reversal
  • Side-passing

Learning to ride horses as a hobby can help you stay in shape, bond with these majestic animals and enjoy a time-honored tradition. If you’re a beginner, these top tips can help you master the basics of horse riding in no time. Make sure you have all the safety gear you need, practice mounting and dismounting and consider taking lessons to move from beginner to pro at a steady pace.

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Dec 8, 2020

Essential Basic Tack For Your Horse

You've got the horse, you've got your horse-riding duds, but now you need to get your horse dressed, too! There's a lot to think about when buying tack, or horse riding gear, for your horse and many pieces to consider. We'll help break it down the basics so you can be confident in each piece you pick out. 


Getting Back on Track 

The first piece of equipment most people think of when it comes to horseback is the saddle. Saddles are generally leather and can be pricey, but shopping at discount horse suppliers can help you find a good deal. There are a number of styles from western to endurance to dressage, but a general purpose saddle will suit most recreational riders. Always check with a professional to fit your horse.

Underneath the saddle will sit your saddle pads. Saddle pads come in all sorts of options and are really your chance to try out some fashionable horse tack. They come in all sorts of colors and fabrics, though quilted cotton is quite popular as it is breathable and helps wick away moisture.

In addition to these items, you'll need a girth and stirrups. Girths wrap around your horse's belly and come in several materials such as string, nylon, synthetic, or leather. Whatever you choose, make sure its comfortably suits your horse and saddle. Stirrups hold up your feet and consist of a leather strap and an iron foothold. You should always begin with correctly-sized safety stirrups, which will have an elastic at the side. 


Get Your Head in the Game

When it comes to horse's headgear, we're not referring to braces and expanders; we're referring to bridles, reins, and bits. The bridle, buckled straps encircling the horse's head, are attached the the bit, a (generally) metal piece that sits in the horse's mouth, and the reins, all of which are used to control the horse.

For your bridle and bit, you'll want to make sure the style you choose suits your horses head size and shape. Narrower straps for smaller, more delicate horses and wider straps for larger animals. If you event, make sure to check that what you purchase will fit within the restrictions and guidelines of what is appropriate wear. Additionally, you may need a stronger bit for more strident purposes such as jumping or hacking. Reins come in a variety of materials and rubber or lined rubber can be a very good option for a good grip. 

These basics of horse's tack will get you started on outfitting your horse properly, and soon both you and your horse will be dressed to the nines and ready to run. 

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Aug 4, 2020

3 Benefits of Owning a Horse

Are you searching for a new hobby that will occupy your time and provide joy? Owning a horse is an extraordinarily fulfilling way to spend your time. Every day is an adventure with these beautiful animals. The gratification of training them and seeing their improvement in different areas is one of the best feelings in the world. Here are three ways owning a horse can enhance your quality of life.
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1. Better Physical Health

Are you looking for a way to tone your body and get more exercise? Your core and back muscles are constantly engaged while riding horseback. Your arm and leg muscles are also being activated, so you get a full-body workout each time you ride.

Along with building muscle, you can improve your overall physical skill. Galloping and using horse jump equipment during training helps to improve your balance and coordination. These are just a handful of the numerous benefits to your physical strength, stamina and endurance.
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2. Increased Accountability

Horses require a lot of attention and care which instills accountability in their owners. People who own horses tend to be more responsible individuals. Various challenges are sure to arise when you own a horse, be they behavioral or health-related. To find a solution, you need to be willing to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Good owners hold themselves accountable to provide proper care.

You can apply these skills to other parts of your life. Whether it is becoming a reliable, dedicated worker at your job or keeping everything together at home. You become accountable because you care about the well-being of your horses.

3. Improved Mental Health

Doctors attest that spending time outdoors and getting plenty of fresh air has a positive impact on the mind. This can be a great way to get the stresses of the day out and use your time in a healthy way. Training, riding and taking care of a horse can all help build self-confidence, too. Horses also make excellent companion animals because they are very intuitive creatures, so spending time with them can be therapeutic and beneficial for cognitive dexterity in general.
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While horse ownership is a tremendous responsibility, it can also be incredibly rewarding. The challenges involved are outweighed by the wonderful memories that are made during the time spent together daily. Horses are intelligent beings, and the companionship they offer can provide joy in your life. Apart from the tangible benefits you receive, the bond you develop together over time is priceless.

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Mar 26, 2017

Alligator Adventure Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Review

A week ago, we took our son to Alligator Adventure in Myrtle Beach, SC, to celebrate his 9th birthday. He had been wanting to go for a while, so we figured it would be the great place for some birthday fun. William is a big animal lover and enjoys learning as much as he can about them. Alligators and crocodiles are in his top 5 favorites, so we knew Alligator Adventure would be the perfect choice. It was actually quite chilly when we went, but that didn't stop us!


They have a massive parking area, but since we were there in more of the off-season,  we were able to park in front of the main entrance. You are greeting by a pond full of turtles basking in the sun. We paid for entrance at the ticket booth and were pleased to find out that at the end of our visit, we could get our receipt endorsed to return within 7 days. So basically it's like a buy-one-get-one free deal. This explained why I wasn't able to find any discounts or coupons anywhere. It's actually a really good deal. Admission was around $66 for two adults and one child.


The minute we entered the park, I could hear William squeal and almost yell out, "Alligators!" Of course, we had a quick talk about rules beforehand to remind him not to be loud so he would not scare any of the animals. Trust me though, the parents had to hold back their excitement, too. πŸ˜ƒ


The first exhibit was the Juvenile American Alligators habitat. It's actually very overwhelming to see so many alligators piled up all over each other. Although I grew up in Florida, I can truly say that I have never seen this many alligators at once. It's absolutely amazing to see! William was in absolute gator heaven.


The whole park is filled with so many amazing creatures and they have show times where you can gets hands-on with a few of them. It was really cool to learn some animal facts as well as get to actually touch them. Again, William was in heaven! At the end of each animal handling session, the zoo keeper would ask if anyone had any questions. Leave it to my kid to be the only one with his hand raised high!



A post shared by Shelly πŸ‡¬πŸ‡ΎπŸ‘‘ (@momfiles) on
I don't want to bombard you with 100 photos, but I do have to mention that the reptile house/Serpentarium was so impressive and had so many snakes species in beautiful habitats. Some of the snakes were enormous! It was really a lot to take in.


The crocodile area was one of my personal favorite places and had a great variety of species from all over the world. William fell in love with one particular croc that you would not have expected. It wasn't the largest croc on earth weighing 2,000 pounds or the rare albino ones, it was a lonely one named Bob who was born without a tail. She would not have been able to survive in the wild without it and Alligator Adventure took her in and gave her a wonderful home. William talked about Bob for days after we got home.


Alligator Adventure is an absolutely beautiful place to visit if you are an animal or nature lover. We really enjoyed the Nature Walk and feeding the ducks along the way. It was really great that William was able to stop at each exhibit and read all about the animals and the habitats.



We utilized our free second visit the following day (which we highly recommend) and discovered spots we missed during the first visit. This was one of our most favorite trips and if you have ever considered visiting Alligator Adventure, I don't think you would be disappointed. I actually read a lot of reviews before we made the trip and they were mixed. We give it two thumbs up! I am going to make William a photobook with all of the animal pictures to remember how much fun we all had.

You can get more information about Alligator Adventure here. This was not a hosted event. We had such a great time that we wanted to share our thoughts with you guys. Thanks for stopping by today. πŸ˜€
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Jul 17, 2014

Save the turtles-- please share!

I wanted to pass along this information...

Please help to save a turtle's life and perhaps even your child's.

In August, your children will be enjoying another edition of the extremely popular, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. This will include a whole new generation of kids who missed the 2007 animated film. It's fun and great entertainment.

But, your help is needed. Since the first movie was released in 1990, hundreds of thousands of live turtles, mostly water turtles called red eared sliders, were purchased for between $10 and $25 after each ninja movie was released. The result? Many, if not most, were dumped and even deliberately killed or flushed down the toilet. Remember people buying thousands of dogs that ended up in shelters after 101 Dalmatians came me out? Same problem.

Unfortunately, children do not realize that real turtles do not fly, perform stunts or do any of the exciting moves fictional movie turtles do. Parents, trying to please their children, purchased live turtles which ended up languishing in tanks. Or, when the kids realized after a few weeks that these were not ninja turtles, the turtles were dumped illegally into rivers and lakes as well as dumpsters, flushed down toilets or relinquished to shelters and overcrowded rescues. It's estimated that 90 percent died. Additionally, zoos do not take turtles.

Turtles have been around for 200 million years and outlived the dinosaur. Is this the way we want to treat our precious wildlife? Most of these turtles are taken out of the wild and sold to pet stores, breeders and mercados for profit.
Here's the bigger problem. Turtles carry salmonella which can make a child very, very sick and can even kill them. That's why turtles less than four inches were banned from sale in the U.S. in 1974 and still are...tiny turtles easily fit into a child's mouth. Children also tend to touch the water and don't wash their hands. It's an ugly problem. A nine month old baby in Los Angeles got salmonella meningitis from a turtle after its parents touched it and then held the baby. We do not recommend live turtles or tortoises for children under 13 because of salmonella exposure and because the kids lose interest almost immediately.

What can you do to help? Buy Ninja Turtles action figures and toys instead of live turtles and save a turtle's life, and perhaps even your child's.
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Jun 16, 2014

Tips on Integrating Cats and Dogs into the Same Home

June marks National Adopt a Cat Month, created by the American Humane Association to bring awareness to the growing cat population in shelters - approximately 3.4 million per year. Many individuals considering cat adoption may already have a dog. Regardless, before making the decision to bring a cat into your household, it is crucial that potential pet owners take a variety of factors into consideration.

To better help integrate cats into any family, Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow featuring Home Buddies, a premier in-home pet care service, has created a series of useful tips.

Tips on Integrating Cats and Dogs into the Same Home:

-Choose the Right Personality: Always consider the personalities of the animals you are bringing into the home. For example, if you have a dog who likes to chase, you will want a cat that won't be in fear.

-Separate Rooms: For the first week or so, keep the dog and cat separated. You can switch between confining one to a certain room or area for a couple of days and then switch which one is confined. This will give them each time to get to know each other's smells and become familiar with them.

-Supervise At All Times: Don't leave the animals together by themselves until everyone has settled into having new friends in the house. You want to be able to keep an eye on them, so lock them in separate areas when you are out of the house.

-Keep the Dog on a Leash: While the dog and cat are in the same room, allow the dog to see the cat moving around. Watch the dog to make sure it doesn't try to chase the cat and that it isn't too fixated on what the cat is doing. You can also feed the dog some treats when the cat is around to have them build up a positive association with the kitty.

-Practice Obedience: You can then use obedience commands to help keep your dog calm and focused when the cat is around.

-Create a Safe Zone: Make sure the cat has a place to jump up to if they need to. You always want to make sure that your kitty has a safe place to get away from the dog in case they dog does start to chase them.

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May 19, 2014

10 Things We Can Teach Our Children to Prevent Dog Bites

Did you know that children are the most common victims of dog bites? Many dog bites that affect children happen during everyday activities and with familiar dogs.

May 18 - 24 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has great ways to help parents and their children understand how they can prevent dog bites, so you can help your kids - and dogs-stay safe and happy!

10 Things We Can Teach Our Children to Prevent Dog Bites


  1. Avoid dogs you don't know. If you see an unknown dog wandering loose and unsupervised, avoid the dog.
  2. Ask before petting!  When the owner is with their dog, always ask the owner for permission to pet their pup. Even if it's a dog you know, asking first can help prevent sudden movements that may startle the dog.
  3. When confronted, don't panic. If a dog confronts you, walk confidently and quietly away. If a dog goes after you, stay calm and stand still, keeping hands low and clasped in front of you. It's important to take a defensive position, so the dog won't think you are trying to harm him.
  4. Don't make it worse. Avoid escalating the situation by yelling, running, hitting or making sudden movements towards the dog. All of these actions will make the dog feel threatened and can make the dog more aggressive.
  5. Let sleeping dogs lie. When a dog is sleeping or eating, leave the dog alone.
  6. Never tease dogs. Don't take their toys, food or treats, and never pretend to hit or kick them. This could create distrust in the dog, and make him or her more aggressive.
  7. Playtime has a beginning and end. A dog has to want to play, but when the dog leaves that's your cue that playtime is over. The dog will come back for more play if he feels like it.
  8. Never pull a dog's ears or tail. Pain makes a dog feel like he is in danger and he could respond by biting.
  9. Dogs aren't toys. Never climb on or try to ride dogs. Not only could this scare or anger the dog, but it could also injure the dog if he cannot support the weight or tries to get away.
  10. Dog crates are safe spaces. Don't bother a dog when he is in his crate. Dogs need a comfortable, safe place where the child never goes. Remember, dogs need alone time too!

Teach your children these simple lessons to reduce dog bites, and help keep your kids and pups safe, happy and healthy! For more information on preventing dog bites, visit www.avma.org.
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Mar 29, 2012

New fish, Happy kid and the Pet Store Mafia

For William's 4th birthday we purchased him an aquarium. He has a slight obsession with fish so we figured it would be a great thing for him to have. We kept it simple and went with a 10 gallon tank but opted to get the better filtration and lighting system. When we purchased everything to set the tank up, the customer service people at the pet store were very knowledgeable and willing to answer questions and give advice. We always had an aquarium for the girls when they were younger and had great success with it. As a matter of fact, the fish would sometimes get so big that we would have to donate them to the classrooms at the school. We went ahead and started off with all of what we needed to set the tank up and get the water ready to add fish. Back in the day we added fish within 24 hours. Nowadays they recommend 3 weeks! 3 weeks?? Try telling that to a 4 year old!
How happy does he look? 
We went yesterday to purchase some fish and boy was William excited. He made up his own song about going to the pet store to buy some fish. Too funny! We decided on a few glofish in cool, neon colors, a couple "Mickey Mouse"platys and a couple fancy tetras. When I asked the person in that area for help in purchasing the fish he immediately had that "look" on his face. This is how the interrogation... um conversation went...

Fish guy: Do you have your tank set up?
Me: Yes.
FG: Are you sure it is done properly?
Me: Yes
FG: How many fish do you want?
Me: 6
FG: What size is your tank? (At this point he is in my face looking at me like he is a prosecutor or something)
Me: 10 gallons
FG: Hmm, okay. But remember the rules... 1 inch of fish per gallon. Then he stares at me all scary.
Me: Uh, okay

If you could have seen his body language and heard his tone you would have been afraid of even breathing the wrong way. Like the husband says, they are like undercover PETA representatives or something! DANG! I mean come on, they are just fish. If I choose to buy 50 of them then I should be allowed to do so.


In the end, our boy is completely happy and enjoying his new pets. He is so curious and asks a lot questions about his fish. We look forward to adding some more fun friends as time goes on. We might have to rethink where to buy them from so we don't feel like we might catch a beat-down from the pet store mafia! :)
Shelly, Mom Files
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