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Archive for the ‘Carriers’ Category

cat-with-green-frog-headIt’s usually cat dander that causes our cat allergies. There are ways to reduce the dander and provide some relief of allergy sufferers.

1. Try not to have your cat sleep in the bed with you. I let mine, but sometimes pay for it in the morning.

2. Wash all bedding with hot water at least twice each month.

3. Use HEPA air filters in the rooms where your cats are.

4. Vacuum at two to three times per week using a HEPA filter.

5. Wash your hands immediately after petting your cat and do not rub your eyes. I get itchy eyes for hours,  sometimes days if I don’t wash my hands.

6. Confine your cat to an area of the house.

7. Use pet wipes on your cat regularly to moisten the skin and contain the dander so it doesn’t fly all around the room.

8. Clean the cat bed regularly. Use a vacuum and if you can, it may be a good idea to wash it occasionally.

9.  DO NOT GET RID OF YOUR CAT!  Prevention can really help the problem.

cat-with-toysI must admit, I really did spoil my older cat Mollie. When she was very young, she would cry every night about 4:00am. I would have to get up and give her a can of wet food. Now she is 10 1/2 and still wants that food at around 4:00am. She will do anything to get me out of bed. One night, I was abruptly awakened to a symphony in my apartment. The music quickly reached earth shattering levels. I quickly jumped up and realized that Mollie had turned on the Bose wave radio on that sits on my nightstand! As I scrambled to turn it off before the police were at my door, Mollie just sat there and stared at me. She wanted her food and would do anything to get it. This continued night after night. Luckily the neighbors didn’t report me to the Condo board. One night, I was awake before Mollie got to the radio. I wanted to see how she did it. I kept my eye half open and sure enough at 4:00am she got on the nightstand, looked at me, looked at the Bose radio, looked at me again (I pretended that I was asleep) and quickly put her paw on the “on” button and turned the radio on. To my amazement, she then hit the volume button and kept her paw there until the volume reached an earth shattering level. Even though both buttons are located at the top of the radio, my cat knew exactly what to do to not only turn the radio on but to increase the volume. To make a long story short, I unplugged the Bose and it now is stuffed under my bed. Mollie wins again!

My younger cat Millie, likes to play all the time. She is determined to get me to play with her fishing  pole cat toy. She will drag it out and drop it where ever I am. That’s a hint that it’s time to play with Millie. Never underestimate the intelligence of your cat!

cat-in-sheetsUnfortunately, there is no pet medication that will eliminate the allergen that triggers allergic reactions. I have two cats. When I pet my older cat Mollie and then touch my eyes, they immediately get itchy and begin to tear. If I pet my younger cat Millie and touch my eyes, nothing happens. This is weird but certain cats, trigger certain allergies. An estimated 6 million people are allergic to cats and one third of them have cats in their homes including me. When my doctor told me to get rid of the cats, I told him where to go! Steps can be taken in the home to decrease one’s exposure to the cat allergen. Cat allergen is not actually cat hair but a protein that is present in the saliva and dander of the cat. The allergens become airborne and are inhaled into the nose or lungs. These produce the allergic reactions that you may experience. Cat allergen is sticky and carried on clothing.

There are some things that you can do if you do own a cat. I bought cat wipes and wipe down my cats every few days. This keeps their skin moist and reduces the amount of cat dander. This does help me. If you touch your cat, don’t touch your face and make sure that you wash your hands right away. If you are severely allergic and do not have a cat, then don’t  consider getting one.

If you are like me, your allergy does not stop you. I have asthma and my cat did trigger attacks often. Instead of  getting rid of my cat, I got rid of the asthma buy going to my doctor and getting on a preventative once a day inhaler. Now I have two cats and no asthma!  You may have to consider  limiting where your cat goes. Don’t let him on your bed or on furniture. My does but I always gave my pets priority!

cute-dog-2Environmental contaminants such as dust and mold can cause allergies in your dog. So can his food although it takes time and can be difficult to diagnose.  Kim Horne, a veterinary technical at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center says that your vet will put them on a food elimination diet trial. That means that the dog will spend between eight and ten weeks on a new diet. He will eat protein and carbohydate sources that he hasn’t had before. Then he will go back to eating his regular diet and his responses will be monitored. If the dog is truly allergic to food, there will be an increase in the clinical signs. These signs can include itching and inflamed skin. If any of these signs appear, various foods will be tried until one of these doesn’t trigger the allergy symptoms.  This could take time so be patient and do not be quick to administer any kind of pet medication that could suppress the symptoms.

cute-dog-and-cat-togetherWe tend to think that our pets digestive system is the same as ours. This is simply not true and what may be fine for us could be deadly for them. Here is a list of foods that you should never give to your dog or cat. If your pet does ingest something that is toxic to them, do not try to administer pet medication yourself. Seek immediate help from your veterinarian!

Tea and Coffee – dogs and cats are very sensitive to caffeine. Many have died after ingesting coffee  grounds.

no-sign1Grapes and Raisins – These contain potent kidney toxins for dogs. A single serving can cause long term damage.

Salty Foods – Hotdogs, soups, deli meats etc. contain far too much sodium for a cat or dog.

Alcohol – Cats and dogs are highly susceptible to alcohol’s toxic effects. Wine, beer and mixed drinks can cause vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea and even liver failure.

no-sign2Sweet desserts – Cats and dogs are poorly equipped to handle sugary foods and can develop diabetes.

Onions – Onions can destroy a dog’s red blood cells. The can lead to anemia, breathing problems, muscle weakness and death.

Chocolate – Never ever ever give your pet chocolate! Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which can over stimulate your dog’s central nervous system and cause life threatening problems. Dark chocolate contains the strongest concentration of these stimulants.

no-sign3Spoiled of moldy food – Spoiled leftovers are never an acceptable pet food. They con contain toxic fungal compounds and infectious bacteria.

Cooked bones – All cooked bones easily splinter and snap that can cause serious internal problems if swallowed.

Gravy and Sauces – Most of these are too rich for a dog or cat and contain fat, seasonings, sugar or cream which can upset your pets digestive system.

The holidays are almost here. Be careful when it comes to your pet. Stick to dog or cat food. Lots of “human food” is no good for them!

raven_smUrinary incontinence or urinary leaking is a common canine condition with causes ranging from infection to diabetes to abnormal development.  Tests will help determine the seriousness of your dogs problem. There are certain conditions like irritation or inflammation that can cause incontinence. These conditions are easily treatable. Another common cause especially in spayed females dogs and geriatric dogs is a weak bladder sphincter. This condition generally responds well to pet medication so most incontinent pets do not need to suffer.  If your dog is diagnosed with a more serious problem, surgical reconstruction of the lower urinary system will help protect your pet and those expensive carpets! So be patient when slipping on that dog leash and have the paper towels handy.

Training a Puppy to Go in His Dog Crate

Tuesday, September 8, 2009
posted by Jim Murphy

dog2A good way to get started is to confine your puppy to a crate when you can’t supervise him. This not only keeps him out of trouble but it also helps to housebreak him and make him feel safe.  In the wild, dogs create their own sleeping quarters by digging a den. A crate serves the same purpose for domestic dogs.  This is the reason why many dogs love their crates when they’re adults as well.  Make sure that you buy the proper size dog crate pads and do not leave your dog in there longer than overnight. The crate makes a dog feel secure, his crate should be quite small. Small enough to feel like a den.  The crate should be tall enough so that the dog can stand up, turn around and lie down with his spine straight. If you find that your crate is too big for your puppy, you can fill the extra space with a box until he grows.  If you train him to go in his crate while he is still a puppy, you will have no problem as he get older. Just be certain not to keep your dog in the crate all the time. Dogs are social creatures and should get sufficient exercise and be with people as often as possible.

dog-runningWhat can you do if every time you open the door, your dog bolts out and runs away. What stress this can cause fearing that she’ll get hit by a car, injure herself or get lost. Dr. Tom Kline, the past president of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association says that obediance training and spaying will help. He also says that an electronic fence also works very well. Some people think that these fences are cruel but Dr. Kline says that really are not because the dog hears the tone first. They don’t get the electrical zap.  Another way to stop the problem is to make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise.  When the door opens, she is so hyperactive that the first thing she does is run. If you keep her on a regular exercise program, she may not have the urge to bolt on you. Keeping her crated or in her dog carrier is not the answer.

dog-in-car You’re about to leave on a much needed vacation. You are taking your dog along with you because you can’t think of leaving him in a strange kennel all by himself for a week or longer. You put him in his crate, fill his dog bowl with cool water and put him in the back of your SUV. When it comes to car travel, special precautions should be taken.  Dogs do not do well in hot weather. You must be concerned with dehydration and stroke. I see this all the time – dogs in a car at a rest stop on a hot day with the windows basically closed. Last year, while coming back from my weekend place in Delaware, I stopped at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. In the car parked right next to me was a poor dog, crying. The windows were closed, it was a hot day and the owners were nowhere to be found. My heart was breaking for this poor animal. What were his selfish or stupid owners thinking?? After about ten minutes, I went back inside the rest stop and had the owners paged. I waited there until they came out.  I could see that the dog was panting in the terrific heat. They seemed concerned but it could have been too late. That dog could have died.  I stress – NEVER not for one second leave your dog in the car in the hot summer!!!!! That couple could have taken turns going into the rest stop.  One could have stayed with the dog in the car with the air conditioner on.

Typically, owners may think it is ok to leave a dog in a parked car for a few seconds with the window slightly cracked open. They may not be aware that the car will become  an oven!  Temperatures will reach 120 degrees or higher in a few minutes. Bring lots of water and offer it to your dog at regular intervals. Dogs get distracted during trips and will forget to drink.

I would recommend to make sure that your car is air conditioned. Keep it running at all times while your are traveling with your dog. If possible, take along another person on the trip so that when you stop, have the other person sit with the dog in the car with the air conditioner on.  Take turns going into the rest stop. This way your furry friend is cool and will not be frightened by being left alone.  If  it’s impossible to take someone else along, get the car real cool before you stop. Make sure that you park in the shade. If there is no shade, move on to another rest stop until you find shade! Crank the windows open and make your stop real quick. I mean no more than 3 minutes!!

Carrying Your Pet in Comfort and Style

Monday, May 11, 2009
posted by PetsRule

dog-tote

With Hollywood starlets always carrying their pets around with them, it’s becoming increasingly trendy to have a teacup poodle safely stored away in your handbag. And if you’re the proud owner of a small dog, this might be a desirable option. It’s also great if you take your pet with you when you travel. But you aren’t necessarily out of luck if you have a slightly larger dog. For these pets, there is a wide selection of larger pet carriers. While you can’t carry around a German Shepherd or Great Dane, a midrange pet carrier does make it possible to carry dogs over five pounds.

A pet carrier also has some distinct advantages over your standard handbag. For one, handbags are not specifically designed for pet transport. As such, a pet could be uncomfortable or even slightly injured on something like a sharp or jagged zipper. But don’t worry. You don’t have to abandon the fashion expert in you. These pet carriers can offer both attractive styling and total pet comfort.