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pet information that caters to your special friend

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Dog Shyness

Thursday, March 21, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

Does your dog start to shake or hide around people? Does he put his tail between his legs and doesn’t leave your side while in public? Your dog is either afraid or very shy which can be caused by many different issues. If you adopted a dog from a shelter, there could be “skeletons” in his closet that you may not be aware of. If the shyness is moderate to severe, your best bet is to seek a trainer that is well educated in behavior modification. If the condition is not that severe there are some things that may help this situation. Quick and dirty tips .com, provides the following information for dogs that do not have a severe shyness problem.

How to Know Which Situations Scare Your Dog

Shyness and fear are hard to shake under the best of circumstances, whereas fearful responses are easily learned. And the more time your dog spends feeling anxious or fearful, the deeper that anxious groove gets worn. So, as much as you can, protect your shy dog from things that scare her.  Trainers and behaviorists use the concept of “threshold,” meaning the point at which an animal just barely becomes alert to something that worries or upsets her. She might watch whatever it is, or breathe faster, or give some other sign that she’s less than 100 percent relaxed and happy. That is your cue. Make it your business to create more distance between your dog and the object of her alertness. If you live in an urban environment or if your dog is afraid of many things, you may not be able to avoid them all. Do the best you can.

After that, it probably goes without saying that you shouldn’t push your dog to engage. Nor should you use food to lure her toward something that scares her. If your offer of a treat frequently predicts situations in which she’s pressured to approach scary things, you can even wind up with a dog who’s afraid of treats.

Remember, your pets count!

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10 Healthy Treat Tips For Cats

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

My cat Millie loves her treats but I must admit, we give her too many. Treats should be a small part of your cats diet. They also have a tendency to make your cat overweight. Our goal is to decrease the amount of treats that we give our cat Millie.

WebMD has put together 10 healthy treat tips for cats.

  1. ) Remember moderation. Like people, cats can develop a taste for treats, and they may decide to avoid their own food in favor of the goodies they love. For this reason, keep cat treats novel by offering them no more than two or three times a week, says Susan G. Wynn, DVM, CVA, a veterinary nutritionist in Georgia.
  2. Go easy with “people food.” Foods made for cats are formulated to contain the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids a cat needs for good health, so “people food” should be a minimal part of your cat’s diet. For an occasional delicacy, you might try small bits of cheese or cooked tuna, chicken, fish, or liver. You can also give your cat a tablespoon of milk now and again, but for cats that are lactose intolerant, this may cause diarrhea, Wynn says.
  3. Avoid toxic foods. Raisins, grapes, onions, alcohol, salt, tea — we may love them, but these and other common foods can be toxic to cats. If you’re not sure a treat is safe, talk your vet before giving it to your kitty.
  4. Ban begging. When giving your cat a treat, avoid doing it at the dinner table or at the cat’s insistence. Don’t reward begging.
  5. Overweight cats need care. There’s no way around it: Cat treats add calories. But simply cutting out treats isn’t going to do much for an overweight cat, McGeorge says. She recommends having your cat evaluated by a vet, who will develop a safe diet plan to help your cat lose weight “slowly and carefully. Rapid weight loss in an overweight cat can lead to a serious liver disease called hepatic lipidosis.”
  6. Go green. Catnip makes a fine cat treat, Wynn tells WebMD — and it’s low-calorie. Most cats love both catnip and “cat grass,” which is actually a cereal grass like wheat or oats. Both treats are easy to grow in a sunny window, and you can also find dried and fresh greens in pet stores. Always be sure the plant you’re offering your cat is safe for felines. But don’t be alarmed if your cat regurgitates the kitty grass you buy — some just do that. Stick with catnip for those cats, McGeorge suggests. If you’re not sure a plant is cat-safe, check the ASPCA’s web site for information on plants toxic to felines. If you think your cat may have eaten a dangerous plant call your vet immediately, or contact the Animal Poison Control Center at(888-426-4435).
  7. Give cat treats for fun and fitness. Help your cat exercise brain and body by using cat treats to train them in agility exercises or tricks. This can be even more enjoyable for indoor-only cats.
  8. Apologize with cat treats. Try giving cat treats after something kitty doesn’t like — such as claw trimming, tooth brushing, or a dose of medication. Along with praise and petting, this can go a long way toward soothing a feline who’s been forced to do something unpleasant
  9. Don’t use cat treats to replace love. Cats don’t have many needs: a healthy diet, safe home, loving attention. When you’re short on time, it can be easy to think a handful of treats builds the same bond as a stroke or cuddle, but “I’m not sure it really works that way,” says Anthony Herrig, an Oregon engineer with four contented felines. “My cats are no more lovable for having had a treat. I think it’s physical contact like playing, petting, and holding that helps a cat bond with you.”
  10. Make your own natural cat treats. By cooking up small bits of liver, fish, or eggs for your cat, you’ll know exactly what’s in the treats she’s eating. You can even make organic cat treats for kitty by buying meat, fish, and eggs that are certified organic. But remember, these treats should make up only a small part of your cat’s overall diet.

Remember, your pets count!

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No Aspirin For Cats!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

If you have an older cat that suffers from arthritis, you might be tempted to give your  pet pain medication from your medicine cabinet.  Stop right there! Medicine such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are toxic to cats.  In very rare instances, some veterinarians will prescribe aspirin for cats but only in tiny amounts and on a very specific schedule. Most veterinarians prefer other methods to treat arthritis in cats.  They would recommend inflammation reducing agents such as Glucosamine instead. They may even recommend rehabilitation treatments such as acupuncture.  In most cases these therapies tend to work best. Always consult with your veterinarian and never administer any pet medication without his expert opinion. Remember, your pets count.

Remember, your pets count!

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Some Cities Where Pets Are Welcome!

Monday, March 18, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

Most of us love going on vacation but if we’re a pet lover, we dread leaving our beloved pet behind. Why not consider taking our furry friend along with us? Many cities across the country are welcoming man’s best friends into their beaches, parks, hotels and yes, even restaurants. What are the qualifications for a city to be consider to be “pet friendly?” It needs to have hotels that welcome our pets plus lots of open space for pets and their owners to roam. It must have an active Humane Society plus high quality veterinarians.

Here are the top five pet friendly  cities.

1. Portland, Oregon

2. New York City, New York (believe it or not!)

3. San Diego, California

4. Colorado Springs, Colorado

5. Orlando, Florida

Have a wonderful vacation with your pet!

Remember, your pets count!

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Frustration Can Make A Dog Aggressive

Sunday, March 17, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

There are many reasons why a dog may become aggressive ranging from illness to possessiveness. Today we are going to focus on frustration.

Aggression that’s caused by frustration is often referred to as redirected aggression or barrier frustration. It occurs when a dog is frustrated at not being able to get to something and takes its frustration out in another way. This type of aggression is often seen in dogs that spend a lot of time tied up, restrained on a leash, or behind a chain-link fence.

For example, a dog that’s chained in a yard may spend the day straining to get to a dog that lives across the street or in an adjacent yard. The restrained dog usually barks and growls more fiercely as the frustration grows. When the owner approaches, the dog may redirect its frustration and bite the owner. Thanks to The Spruce Pets for providing this information.

Proper training is key to help avoid frustration and aggression. We will cover this topic in a future post.

Remember, your pets count!

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Do Cats Mind Being Kept Indoors?

Saturday, March 16, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

Does keeping your cat in your house or apartment mean that he is cooped up or he is being kept from harm?  You may hear some people say that keeping a cat indoors all day is cruel but indoor cats are much better off.  If you ask your veterinarian, you would probably be told that your cat will be healthier and have a longer life.  That’s because an indoor cat is less likely to be exposed to bacterial or viral infections.

Last year while bike riding, I came across a dead kitten in the middle of the road. I thought that if that little kitten had a good home and was kept indoors, this wouldn’t have happened. Keeping a cat indoors prevents it from being hit by a car or being attacked by wild animals.  Chances are, an indoor cat won’t pick up any fleas or ticks.

The biggest problem for an indoor cat is boredom. So the solution would be to provide your cat with plenty of cat toys and posts to scratch on and make sure that you play with him often. Give your cat things to look forward to and she will live a very healthy, happy, longer life.

Remember, your pets count!

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Benefits of an Organic Diet for Your Dog

Thursday, March 14, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

We all want a healthy diet for our pets but should be go organic? Organic Authority .com has put today some great benefits to your dog by feeding him an organic diet. Read the article below and discover some of the great benefits from feeding organic.

1. Reduction of skin ailments and allergies.If your dog suffers from allergies or an irritating skin condition, you’ve probably tried “everything” hoping to provide your pet some relief.Special dips, sprays, shampoos, creams and medications may or may not help.Premium brands of dog food recommended by vets still leave some dogs scratching or bald.Why doesn’t anything work, and why should organic food be any different?

Organic dog food may provide your pet with the best chance combating skin infections and allergies long term.It is free of artificial colors and flavor enhancers, chemical additives and toxic pesticides that could be the source of your dog’s allergies.Organic dog food contains quality protein and grain sources of exceptional nutritional value.This supports your dog’s immune system to help build resistance to skin infections. 3. Fewer digestive disorders. Superior sources of grains and proteins and a lack of chemicals and artificial substances makes organic dog food more digestible.If your dog vomits occasionally after meals or commonly experiences gas, bloating or diarrhea, check with your veterinarian for underlying illness.In the absence of another cause, feed your dog and organic diet and you’ll both enjoy the improvements!Once again, it is the superior nutritional value of organic dog food that can make a difference.Since it is naturally more nutritious, many owners report their dogs eat less organic dog food than other commercial varieties.Organic food doesn’t contain bulk-fillers, so your dog consumes only what it needs to maintain healthy energy levels and life functions.It probably tastes better to your dog, too!Dogs feel more satiated eating smaller amounts of tasty, nutrient-dense foods.An organic diet can help your dog lose weight and exercise more. Easily digestible oats, barley or other natural whole grains and human-grade turkey, lamb or chicken make a tremendous difference to your dog’s digestive system.Rather than consuming corn or other bulk fillers and chemical additives, your dog will ingest only what it needs for healthy metabolic functioning.Dogs eat and eliminate less when they are on an organic diet.They tend to have more predictable bowel movements with firm, less smelly stools. 4. Better overall health and stronger immunity.Even if you dog doesn’t suffer from skin ailments, obesity or digestive problems, an organic diet can still be of benefit. Although nearly every brand of dog food claims to be “nutritionally complete,” most veterinarians still recommend “premium” brands of dog food over “grocery store” varieties.At the heart of the matter is and always has been the better nutritional value of the premium brands. Organic dog food provides better quality sources of nutritional substances than even the non-organic, premium brands.It is more digestible for dogs.One final, key factor is that because it is more digestible, dogs are likely to absorb rather than eliminate more of the nutrients they require to maintain a healthy immune system. Boosting your dog’s immunity may help prevent costly infections and illnesses that require veterinarian care. 5. Quality of Life and Longevity.Just as the quality of your diet affects the quality of your life, what you feed your dog will have a direct impact on how he or she looks, feels, and acts.By feeding organic food you can help ensure your dog lives a long, happy and healthy life.It is one ingredient in an overall healthy lifestyle you can help your dog enjoy.A luxurious, shiny coat, energy to run and play, a healthy weight and a strong immune system can maximize your dog’s life expectancy and quality of life into old age.

Remember, your pets count!

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A Good Dog Just A Phone Call Away

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

Adopting a new family member is an exciting experience but once you get your new best friend home, there is an adjustment process that has to take place. Some dogs had some training before they went to their new forever home but many did not. You should first do your own assessment. Discover the commands that your dog responds to and the ones that he doesn’t.

The AKC GoodDog!SM Helpline offers live telephone support from their team of knowledgeable trainers. Whether you need help training your puppy, introducing an adult dog to your home, or improving their manners, AKC can assist you.

You can use their helpline by following this link and filling out a short form.

CLICK ON THIS!

It;s comforting to to know that if you need some advice with dog training there is someplace you can go.

Remember, your pets count!

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Most of the time, when we think of treats for pets, we think of dogs. There are many treats on the market for cats as well. My cat Millie loves her treats and sometimes I think she eats more treats than food!

Make sure that you carefully choose the right treat for your cat. Treats should never amount to more than 10% of the cats diet. Sometimes I think I give Millie more than that. I can’t resist her coming out and meowing for her treats about three times a night. I need to take my own advice!

Cat treats can also be very fatty and you want to make sure that his treats don’t spoil their appetite. Always check the ingredients on the label. Look for treats that are lower in calories. Another thing that you may want to check is the veterinarian-approved AAFCO certification.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials publishes a set of guidelines for cat food and treats, and if the ingredient definitions meet the regulations, you will see, “Formulated to meet the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profile for Kittens/Adults/Senior)” printed on the label of the treats. Watch out for companies that do not provide this information.  Always look for a treat that is nutritionally balanced yet also has flavor that will appeal to your cats. Treats usually come in beef, chicken or fish flavors. Choose a treat that you cat will like best. Millie likes them all.

Don’t ever feed your cat things like cookies or popcorn. Stick will nutritionally balanced store bought cat treats.

Remember, your pets count!

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A Brief History of Kitty Litter

Saturday, March 9, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

There are lots of types of kitty litter,crystal, clumping, scented or unscented. There are so many choices that are available today, that it takes a little while to choose.  In the old days, cats used wooden boxes filled with sand, sawdust or ashes.  This was the case until 1947 when a man whose family sold industrial absorbents gave a batch of clay pellets to a woman in Michigan. The women was tired of her cat tracking her sooty paw prints around and wanted a cleaner alternative. She and her cat loved the clay pellets and kept coming back for more.  The man, Ed Low kept bagging the stuff and kept on selling it.  In 1964, Mr. Low founded the Tidy Cats brand. That’s the history of kitty litter. Now who invented litter liners and all of the other cat accessories? A story for another time.

Remember, your pets count!

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