Wild winter weather has led to an early emergence of ticks and with tick season now officially underway, we’re laying out the tips to make sure your dog stays safe.

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Photo by: André Karwath aka Aka (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Ticks are found virtually everywhere in California and if you visit woodsy areas with tall grasses, like the Marin Headlands, you will want to check your dog for ticks once you leave.

“Comb your dog or look him over thoroughly after outings to find ticks before they attach,” Dr. Brandy Vickers of Avenues Pet Hospital says.

It’s important to check your dog as soon as possible after leaving wooded areas. The faster you find a tick and have it removed, the lower the risk of transmission of tick-borne diseases.

We at Yellow Dog Blog are huge fans of legitimate, hard-working rescue groups. After all, a Bay Area rescue saved Yellow Dog and Sundown!

But it is heartbreaking to know not all dogs are so lucky. In fact, roughly 9,000 innocent animals are put to sleep every day across the U.S. simply because there aren’t enough people willing or able to adopt. So we’ve launched a new series on YDB highlighting rescue groups in California, the Rescue Me series.

We start with Pug Rescue of Sacramento, or PROS. PROS was founded in the early 1990s when Sacramento breeder Marianne Herzberg-Stanley found many pugs in need of homes. PROS was incorporated as a non-profit in 1996 and since then, they’ve rescued thousands of pugs, taking in more than 100 dogs a year.

Pug dogs jumping up
Two pugs greet a visitor at a PROS adoption event at Pet Food Express in Benicia.

PROS President Jan Grover has been working with the organization for 12 years, including three as president. She says the pug breed is special.

“Pugs are very oriented towards people,” Grover says. “They especially enjoy being around their own breed. At pug events, it’s like meeting a long-lost cousin.”

Dedicated volunteer and Dublin resident Elena Temples got involved with PROS more than ten years ago when she took her first pug puppy to Pug Sunday at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek.

Chances are if your pet is overweight, you don’t even know it. At least that’s what a survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) says. Roughly 45 percent of pet owners with an overweight or obese pet thought their animal was at a healthy weight.

The majority of dogs and cats in U.S. households are now overweight, with 52.5 percent of dogs and 58.3 percent of cats above their ideal weight. Dr. Brandy Vickers of Avenues Pet Hospital in San Francisco says it’s something she sees all too often.

“I would say two-thirds to four-fifths of the pets I see for regular check-ups are overweight to obese,” Dr. Vickers says.

dachshund pit bull mix
Sundown is at an ideal weight, according to the Nestle Purina weight chart. If you compare this picture to the chart below, you’ll see he matches up with the side view of the number 5 dog.

Overweight and obese animals are subject to the same diseases as humans and there has been a sharp increase in pet disease, including diabetes, hypertensions and cancer. But all these debilitating conditions are preventable by keeping your pet at a healthy weight.

You might be overwhelmed if you have an overweight pet, so we’re laying out the professional tips for getting your furry friend back in shape.