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When Furry Friends Face Fire: A Guide to Dealing with Pet Burns



The How-To on Emergency Care for Burns in Pets: What You Need to Know.

It’s a pet parent’s worst nightmare. You turn your back for a second, only to discover that your four-legged friend has touched something hot and is now distressed. Accidents happen, and while we can’t anticipate every mishap, we can prepare ourselves for how to respond appropriately when our pets get burned.

The critical moments following a burn are when most people are likely to make misguided attempts to alleviate their pets’ pain. The first rule is to avoid using ointment, grease, or butter on the affected area. Contrary to old wives’ tales, these substances trap heat and can worsen the burn.

Instead, your immediate action should be to immerse the burned area in cold water. This will not only cool the affected area but also serve to dampen any emerging inflammation. Gently dry the burn area and wrap it in a clean or sterile dressing. This is where a well-stocked first-aid kit comes into play.

Even if the burn appears minor, it’s crucial to call your veterinary clinic. The vet will ask you a few questions to gauge the situation and will then guide you on the steps to take before your appointment. In severe cases, the vet may recommend coming in immediately.

If the burn is severe, use a clean, damp cloth to cover the affected area, opting for lukewarm water instead of cold. Handle your pet gently to avoid exacerbating the pain. Placing a muzzle on your pet may be necessary to prevent them from biting you or themselves in distress.

Once at the vet clinic, the healthcare team will conduct a thorough examination. Depending on the severity of the burn, the treatment plan may include painkillers, hygiene care, and nutrient-rich food to hasten recovery. Owners should heed the vet’s advice and make any necessary changes to their pets’ living conditions to prevent future accidents.

For those looking to arm themselves with more first-aid knowledge, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides invaluable resources on its website,

It’s never easy to see your beloved pet in distress. Knowing what to do—and what not to do—can make a significant difference in your pet’s pain levels and overall recovery process. Pet burns are a critical reminder that while accidents happen, it’s our responsibility to equip ourselves with the correct information to provide the best care possible for our furry family members.

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The Dark Side of Puppy Adoption: Why Steering Clear of Puppy Mills is Crucial



Putting Ethics Over Aesthetics: What Vets Want You to Know Before You Adopt a Puppy.

Everyone loves the idea of bringing home a cuddly, wriggly puppy. The prospect of little paws and wagging tails is undeniably enticing. However, where you get your new furry friend from can make a significant difference, not just in your life but in the welfare of animals. Veterinarians and animal welfare organizations strongly discourage adopting from puppy mills and for good reasons.

First things first, let’s define what a puppy mill is. Unlike responsible breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their animals, puppy mills are breeding operations where profit eclipses all else, often at the expense of the animal’s health and safety. At the core of a puppy mill’s business model is mass production, leading to cutting corners in ways that are almost universally harmful to the animals.

Puppy mills are easily identifiable by a series of red flags:

  • Inadequate Conditions: Unclean cages, poor ventilation, and insufficient light are the norms.
  • Subpar Care: Food is often low-grade, and pups receive little to no playtime or socialization, affecting their mental well-being.
  • Falsified Credentials: It’s not uncommon for puppy mills to forge registration and pedigree certificates, misleading the adopter.
  • Poor Breeding Practices: With profit as the prime motive, there’s little concern for avoiding genetic defects or hereditary disorders.

Adopting a dog from a puppy mill doesn’t just impact you; it perpetuates a vicious cycle. By purchasing from them, you’re providing revenue that keeps these unethical businesses in operation. Furthermore, you run the risk of bringing home a pet with severe health issues or behavioral problems. Many such dogs end up being abandoned or surrendered to shelters, exacerbating the homeless pet crisis.

Thankfully, there are better avenues for adoption. Certified breeders who undergo regular inspections and adhere to humane practices are an option. However, adopting from an animal shelter or rescue organization is often the most ethical choice. Not only do you offer a home to an animal in need, but you also make room for another dog to be rescued.

Puppy mills sell through various channels, from online classifieds to flea markets and even some pet stores. A little due diligence can go a long way in ensuring you’re not supporting these unscrupulous operations.

As inviting as the idea of a new puppy is, it’s crucial to approach adoption responsibly. A pet isn’t just an accessory but a life that will be part of your family for years to come. By avoiding puppy mills, you’re not just saving one animal; you’re contributing to a movement that insists on humane treatment for all.

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Unveiling the Spiky Enigma: A Comprehensive Guide to Caring for Pet Hedgehogs



Beyond the Adorable Videos: What It Really Takes to Keep a Hedgehog Happy and Healthy.

So, you’ve seen those endearing videos of hedgehogs curling into cute little balls or running on wheels, and you’re seriously considering adopting one. While it’s easy to fall for their undeniable charm, caring for a hedgehog is not as straightforward as it may seem. These little creatures, native to parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, require meticulous care. Before you embark on this prickly journey, here’s everything you need to know.

The saying “a hedgehog needs room to roam” couldn’t be truer. Unlike some small pets that are content in smaller enclosures, hedgehogs need ample space to move, run, climb, and dig. Experts recommend a living area of at least eight square feet. A small cage just won’t cut it; it’s crucial to provide them with a living environment that allows them to carry out their natural behaviors.

In addition to ample space, hedgehogs need toys and accessories for mental and physical stimulation. Think running wheels, small huts, climbing rocks, and an assortment of tubes and balls. These aren’t just cute add-ons; they’re necessities for your hedgehog’s well-being.

Hedgehogs are insectivores, but that doesn’t mean their diet should solely consist of insects. Many pet stores offer specialized feed formulated for insectivores. If you opt for a DIY approach, a balanced diet can include cat food mixed with fruits, vegetables, and insects like crickets and worms. However, portion control is vital. Hedgehogs have a propensity to gain weight, and obesity can prevent them from curling into a ball—a natural defense mechanism—which can endanger their health. If this happens, consult a veterinarian immediately.

Despite their wild origins, hedgehogs are relatively clean animals. They require occasional baths and nail trims. One crucial but often overlooked aspect is the cleanliness of their living environment. Dirty cages or running wheels can lead to soiled paws, increasing the risk of bacterial infections.

If you’re conscious about your energy bills, bear in mind that hedgehogs thrive in temperatures between 75 and 84°F. They react poorly to cold conditions. If maintaining this temperature range throughout the year is a concern, you might want to reconsider hedgehog adoption.

Pet hedgehogs are adorable, but they’re not the right fit for everyone. With specialized dietary needs, significant space requirements, and a need for warmer temperatures, they demand a dedicated owner. If you’re willing to put in the work, your prickly friend will offer a unique and rewarding companionship.

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The High Stakes of Pets and Pot: How to Safeguard Your Furry Friend from Cannabis Exposure



The Green Boom and Its Unintended Four-Legged Victims: What Pet Owners Need to Know.

As cannabis gains wider acceptance for medical and recreational use, it brings along new concerns—especially for pet owners. No matter how careful you are, the booming popularity of edibles and oils could spell danger for your furry friend. Here’s a guide on how to prevent cannabis poisoning in pets and what steps to take if exposure occurs.

In states where cannabis is legal, edibles have turned into a booming business. From brownies to jujubes, there’s an ever-expanding list of cannabis-infused treats. But what’s a sweet indulgence for humans can be a life-threatening hazard for dogs, who are naturally attracted to sugary foods. Not to mention, cannabis oils and capsules, though appearing innocuous, are just as harmful. Storing these items securely out of your pet’s reach is your first line of defense.

Beyond edibles, even the act of smoking cannabis can pose a threat. Though the effects of second-hand cannabis smoke on pets have not been as extensively researched as in humans, existing data suggest that it can lead to cannabis poisoning in animals. The best practice is to partake in smoking activities outside, far from your pet.

Pets won’t be able to tell you they’re feeling off, but there are noticeable symptoms that might indicate cannabis poisoning:

  • Agitation or nervousness
  • Abnormally cold body temperature
  • An unsteady gait
  • Altered heart rate
  • Lethargy or drowsiness
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Bloodshot eyes

Pets exposed to high-THC cannabis products are at greater risk and may require immediate emergency treatment.

If your pet shows signs of cannabis poisoning, immediate action is crucial. Contact an animal poison control center or your veterinary clinic as soon as possible. Many clinics now have expertise in treating cannabis exposure in pets, and some even have dedicated hotlines for such emergencies.

As the wave of cannabis legalization continues to roll across the country, pet owners need to be extra vigilant. While cannabis has therapeutic potential for humans, the consequences for our four-legged friends can be dire. Keep cannabis products securely stored, and be mindful of your usage habits to ensure the safety of your pets.

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Deciphering Furry Wishes: The “Show Me” Technique



A Simple Phrase Unlocks the Desires of Our Four-Legged Companions.

Pet owners often face the conundrum: “What does my pet want?” The riddle of their insistent nudges, eager eyes, or unexpected antics can leave many puzzled. But now, Liz Palika, in her latest book, “The New Age Dog,” provides a straightforward method for tapping into our pets’ unspoken desires.

It’s not uncommon to find ourselves in situations where our pets appear to be attempting communication, whether it’s a dog pacing back and forth or a cat assertively occupying your newspaper. Rather than playing a prolonged guessing game, Palika suggests a more direct approach: simply asking them.

Dubbed the “Show me” technique, it requires the owner to verbally prompt the pet with the phrase “Show me” and then follow the animal’s lead. As you repeat the command and approach various items—perhaps a leash indicating a walk or a water dish signifying thirst—pay attention to your pet’s reactions. An animated response typically means you’ve struck gold.

While many associate training primarily with dogs, Palika’s method is not species-specific. Cat owners, too, can benefit from the “Show me” routine. So, the next time your feline friend disrupts your TV time or makes a spontaneous lap landing, instead of shooing them away, consider asking them to guide you to the solution. More often than not, once their need is met, you can resume your activity in harmony.

Pets, much like humans, have their unique ways of expressing needs and desires. While they might not speak our language, the “Show me” technique offers an avenue to bridge the communication gap, fostering a deeper understanding and bond between pets and their owners. The next time Fluffy or Spot seems particularly insistent, remember: a simple question might just unlock the answer.

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Rethinking Rats: The Misunderstood Rodent You May Want to Adopt



Breaking Stereotypes: Why Domestic Rats Make Fantastic Pets.

Rats. The mere mention of the word conjures up negative images for many: disease, dirt, and general disdain. But what if the very qualities we associate with this oft-maligned creature are not only unfair but downright wrong when it comes to their domesticated counterparts? If you’re considering adopting a small pet, you may find that a rat could very well be your perfect match.

Many people are unaware that rats are highly intelligent creatures. They can recognize their names and even respond when called. This is not a mere response to a sound stimulus; it’s an indicator of their cognitive abilities. Rats can solve puzzles, navigate mazes, and are highly trainable, making them captivating pets for those who engage with them.

This intelligence also makes rats incredibly sociable animals. They enjoy human interaction, loving to be petted or sitting comfortably on a person’s shoulders. For people looking for more than just a pet to feed and look at, rats offer a relationship that’s much more interactive.

Contrary to their wild cousins, domesticated rats are exceptionally clean animals, spending a considerable amount of their waking hours grooming themselves. They are not aggressive and rarely bite, unlike other small pets like hamsters. Their friendly and gentle disposition makes them excellent pets for families with children, serving as a teaching moment for kids about the values of compassion and care for all creatures, not just the conventionally cute ones.

However, there is a somber reality to owning rats. They have relatively short lifespans, averaging between 2.5 to 3.5 years. This is indeed a point of consideration for anyone contemplating rat adoption, but it’s essential to note that what they lack in longevity, they make up for in the quality of companionship they offer. If well-cared for, these pets offer a relationship that, while short, is deeply fulfilling.

Before you let old stereotypes sway you, consider giving rats a chance. With their intelligence, affectionate nature, and suitability for children, domestic rats are a far cry from their misunderstood wild cousins. They may have a short lifespan, but the joy and companionship they bring into a home make them worth every moment. So the next time you’re at a pet store, skip the goldfish and consider adopting a pet that’s smart enough to know you, gentle enough to love you, and thankful enough to be saved from societal prejudice.

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The Unsung Heroes of Pet Care: A Closer Look at Veterinary Teams



Behind Every Healthy Pet is a Team of Skilled Professionals Offering More Than Just Medical Expertise.

In a society where pets are considered family members, the importance of veterinary care cannot be overstated. But do you ever stop to think about the complex ecosystem of professionals behind that medical care? Veterinary practices aren’t just run by veterinarians but involve a whole team of skilled individuals. From the receptionist who takes your appointment to the technician who administers anesthesia, everyone plays a critical role in maintaining your pet’s well-being.

Veterinarians, of course, are the face of any veterinary practice. Holding a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM), they are authorized to provide a broad spectrum of care, ranging from medical to surgical. Their workplace isn’t confined to just the neighborhood clinic; they can be found in settings as diverse as zoos, wildlife parks, teaching establishments, and even cutting-edge research laboratories. The veterinarian’s scope of work has evolved over the years, with many now specializing in various fields such as exotic animals, internal medicine, or emergency care.

Often working behind the scenes, Animal Health Technologists are vital to the veterinary industry. With rigorous college training under their belts, they assist veterinarians in a multitude of tasks, such as surgical procedures, X-rays, and anesthesia. Think of them as the nurses of the veterinary world. These professionals are increasingly pursuing specializations, providing services that were once the exclusive domain of veterinarians.

The role of a Veterinary Assistant is not to be understated. They are the ones ensuring that your pets are well-fed, clean, and comfortable during their stay at the clinic. They also play a critical role during examinations and treatments, often being the ones to restrain animals. In a way, they act as the bridge between the medical staff and your pet, ensuring a smooth experience for both parties.

Often overlooked but crucial for a well-functioning veterinary practice are the managers, receptionists, adoption advisers, and volunteers. These are the people who keep the clinic running efficiently, manage appointments, handle customer service, and even guide families through the adoption process. Their role is often more complicated than it seems and requires a deep understanding of both animal care and human psychology.

Taking care of pets is not a one-person job but a collective effort that requires skill, dedication, and a love for animals. The next time you visit your local veterinary clinic, take a moment to appreciate the coordinated teamwork that goes into keeping your furry, feathered, or scaled family member in peak health. It’s not just about the veterinarians; it’s about an entire community of professionals committed to the well-being of animals.

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Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal, VA
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Upcoming Events

8:00 am Breakfast with Santa @ Rivermont Volunteer Fire Department
Breakfast with Santa @ Rivermont Volunteer Fire Department
Dec 9 @ 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Breakfast with Santa @ Rivermont Volunteer Fire Department
Rivermont Volunteer Fire Department is having a Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 9th, from 8:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m. Adults are $10.00 Kids are $5.00 Children 5 and under are free!
12:00 pm Christmas Lunch for Kids, Vets a... @ Front Royal Elks Lodge
Christmas Lunch for Kids, Vets a... @ Front Royal Elks Lodge
Dec 9 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Christmas Lunch for Kids, Vets and Seniors @ Front Royal Elks Lodge
The Front Royal Elks Lodge will hold it’s annual Holiday Lunch for Kids, Veterans and Seniors on Saturday, December 9. Festivities will begin at 12 noon. Mr. and Mrs. Clause are said to be coming!
4:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 9 @ 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA’s Jet Propulsion[...]
7:30 pm American Legion Community Band C... @ Boggs Chapel at R-MA
American Legion Community Band C... @ Boggs Chapel at R-MA
Dec 12 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
American Legion Community Band Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel at R-MA
The American Legion Community Band, located in Front Royal, Virginia, was formed in 1986 and has been playing concerts in the area ever since. The conductors and band members are all volunteer musicians from the local[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 13 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
7:00 am Pancake Breakfast @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Pancake Breakfast @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Dec 16 @ 7:00 am – 10:00 am
Pancake Breakfast @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Join us for pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy, and juice/coffee! All are invited for this FREE event. Offering will be accepted.
10:00 am 10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 16 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of a Civil War Encampment during the holidays. Interact with the 10th VA Infantry, also known as the Valley Guards,[...]
1:00 pm The Nutcracker @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker @ Skyline High School
Dec 16 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Nutcracker @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its own student production of The Nutcracker, a Christmas classic to be enjoyed by the whole family! When: Saturday, December 16th at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM Where:[...]