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Watch Out For the Crankies Who Don’t Like Pets!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

CRANKYMENWe are all pet lovers. I know that because you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t. Unfortunately, there are lots of people who do not like pets. Yesterday, I went to the county park for my daily walk. There are always lots of dogs having a great time with their owners and the park is a perfect place for your dog to get exercise. As I was walking, I noticed a bunch of people with their dogs, all on their dog leashes. They seemed to be in a group talking. I also saw a man screaming at them to get their dogs out of the park. The dogs had a perfect right to be in the park. They were with their owners and were not causing any harm. As I went to tell this cranky old man off, the group went up to him in unison and shouted at him to get out of the park. They also used lots of obsenities which prompted him to hurry off. I said “good for them.” The park is a public place and our furry friends have the perfect right to be there! So it turns out that I didn’t have to intervene on their behalf after all. If you take your dog to the park, no one can say anything to you if your dog is on a leash and you pick up after him. There are also special dog runs where your dog could be taken off his leash for exercise and to social with other canine friends. Have fun with your dog in the park and beware of cranky old men!!

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Stopping Dog Separation Anxiety

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogwindowI’m sure that you’ve had this experience if you own a dog and don’t keep him in is dog carrier or dog crate while you’re gone. You come home to find your dog at the window barking up a storm! When your dog is home alone and starts barking, he could be barking a things outside or he may be just upset because you’re gone. Victoria Voight,an Animal Behavorist in Pomona, California suggests that you turn on a thirty minute tape when you leave the house and then listen to the tape when you get back. She says that if you hear the dog start walking around and whining and barking or knocking things over, he probably has separation anxiety. Dogs have to be acclimated slowly to being alone. Start by leaving for only a minute or two then gradually work your way toward longer intervals. If the problem doesn’t get better seek professional help.

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Kidney Disease and Lower Protein Cat Foods

Sunday, February 7, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

cateatCats need protein but if your cat has kidney disease, too much protein is very hard on the kidneys and could accelerate the advancement of the disease. In addition to Hills prescription low protein cat foods, there are other foods that are lower in protein. In addition to Hills, I’ve been using Purina Pro Plan for Urinary tract health, , Wellness Signature selects which is 6% protein, Blue Healthy Gourmet with 8% Protein, Neo Feline Formula with is 8% protein. Compare these to most other cat foods which are about 34% protein, these foods are much better for cats with kidney disease. I mix several of these foods together, to give my Mollie some variety and to ensure that she eats like she should. Do your homework and ask your vet about feline kidney disease. It’s a very delicate balance to control it.

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How Many Cats Are Too Many?

Saturday, February 6, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

lotscatsYou know that I am an animal lover. I saw a special on 20/20 . They did a story about people with too many cats. One woman had over 100 in her house!! I just want you to know that this is only my opinion. I always try to live a balanced life. I mean spending quality time for work, friends, family and my two cats. I also believe that when you adopt a pet, you should strive to give them a clean, healthy, happy and peaceful life. People who go to extremes and by “extremes” I mean having so many cats living indoors are not doing themselves or the animals any good. They create an imbalance in their lives. Caring for over many cats requires lots of time, money and cleaning. Think of all of the food, litter, cat toys, not to mention the expense incurred if they get sick.

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dogcatErica Freeman, a professor at the University of Maryland School of nursing says that studies have shown that animals are good for our health. This is true whether we own our own pet or just spending some time with one. According to Dr. Freeman, pet owners have better health in general, fewer doctor visits, higher self esteem and tend to be more independent that non pet owners. She says that dogs can also motive people to exercise. People who won’t take a walk by themselves would be more motivated if they knew that they had to get up to walk their dog. People who walk with a dog walk longer and faster then people who walk alone. You don’t have a pet yet? I would think about adopting one! They offer more than just good health. They offer unconditional love that is very difficult to find these days. So head on out to get a pet carrier for your new pet!

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dogkissSometimes we get so involved with our new puppy, buying new dog toys, choosing dog food etc. we sometimes forget about his visits to the vet. How many times a year should you take your dog to the vet? Even though a new puppy may be up to date on his shots and may even be spayed or neutered, it’s a good idea to take him to the vet a few days after you take him home. All healthy dogs should visit the vet at least once a year, twice is advisable. Older dogs should visit the vet every six months or even more frequently.  This gives the vet an opportunity to examine your dog and make sure that he’s healthy.

Before selecting a vet, ask about emergency services. It’s important that your vet be accessible in an emergency. There are many animal hospitals that offer 24/7 care and emergency service for your pet. Don’t neglect taking your pet in for checkups even if you suspect that something may be wrong. You’ll regret it if you wait and find out that it’s too late. Also don’t let money hold you back. I know vets are expensive but would you neglect a family members health because of money? Absolutely not!  Your pet is your family and should not be neglected either.

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What Happens If Your Dog Breaks A Tooth?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogteethIt’s not unusual for a dog to break a tooth chewing on a hard bone or dog toy. Jerry Ann Holsman, a certified veterinary technician at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine says that the important thing to remember is that a fractured tooth is likely very painful so it needs to be taken care of right away. The sooner that you can get your dog to a veterinarian, the sooner his tooth can be saved with a root canal or another procedure. If the tooth is beyond repair, your veterinarian will likely remove it. Don’t worry if there is a whole in his “smile” because dogs can get along fine without a few teeth. I’m sure that your dog prefers comfort and well being over vanity. Watch out for those rawhide bones, they can do damage and break your dogs teeth!

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DachshundA miniature Dachshund may be small but he has plenty of energy. Along with long walks, you can help train his energy with some lively games. There’s nothing more enjoyable for your mini dog than playing fetch. Retrieving balls and squeaky toys is his idea of nirvana. He should have a whole box of dog toys!  It is also a good opportunity for you to teach him the command “drop it.” He also likes to play “tug” but make sure it’s not too rough and you are the one who starts and ends the game. Playing hide and seek with him is also fun as long as he already knows how to sit. Try teaching him a few new tricks like “hi five” or “take a bow.” If you take the time to play with your mini Dachshund, he will have a fit mind and body. It will also keep him more relaxed and happier. He will really enjoy sleeping in his dog bed at the end of a long day of play!

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Good Report From The Vet For Molly

Saturday, January 30, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy
She should better test results today!

She should better test results today!

Recently, my 16 1/2 year old cat was diagnosed with Kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. This is a very dangerous combination for cats since Kidney disease is usually not curable. Over the past month, I’ve been on a mission to sustain the quality of Molly’s life for as long as possible. She’s been taking Methimozole  twice a day. I cut the tablet in half because I don’t want it to slow the thyroid down too much. I’m also giving her a combination of a prescription cat food diet and my own concoction of Purina Pro Plan urinary tract lower protein cat food and Pet Fresh chicken morsels. These are higher in protein (which is not good for kidney disease) but she likes them and she has to eat. I’m also giving her a high quality omega three oil.

Molly’s last blood test was not good. It showed an over active thyroid, high creatinine levels which indicate kidney disease and weight loss. Today’s exam showed the thyroid T4 cells back to a normal level, lower creatinine levels and slight weight gain. Both myself and her vet are very pleased. We are doing everything we could to keep Molly with us as long as possible. Don’t give up on your pet, always do the best you can to keep her healthy for as long as possible.

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The Need To Knead

Thursday, January 28, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catkneadYou may wonder, why cats knead? It sort of looks like they’re making bread by kneading the dough.  It’s almost always done on a soft pliable surface like pillow, blanket, cat bed or even your tummy! Kneading is an instinctive trait. Kittens knead on their mothers tummy  as they snuggle close to nurse. The kneading stimulates milk flow in the nipples. Kneading may also go back to the days when wild cats patted down tall grass or shredded leaves to make a soft, fluffy bed for sleeping or giving birth. Another reason is that cats have scent glands on the pad of their paws and kneading is a way to spread their scent on anything they choose. Their scent is a territorial marker. So always give kitty lots of love and a cat treat every now and then because some of his unique habits make him such a lovable pet.

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