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Archive for the ‘Dog Clothing’ Category

Giving treats to your dog

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-treatYou should give your dog treats every now and then.  Dog treats reinforce that special bond between you and your dog.  They help with training and reinforcing positive behavior. When you select a treat for your dog, consider how many treats that you’ll give him, his age, health, allergies and overall preferences.  Treats should consume no more than 10% of your dog’s diet.  Puppies prefer smaller treats and senior dogs with chewing problems would prefer softer treats.

Treats should not affect your dog’s eating habits. They should be given when the dog does something good or between meals. This will prevent him from  begging for table scraps which could cause him to gain weight.  Table scraps can also cause picky eating habits and contribute to digestive problems.

If you’re using the treat for training purposes, choose a small treat that your dog could consume  quickly.   Natural treats are high in protein and may be a good choice for health purposes. Rawhide is good for the teeth but can cause choking in some cases. Ask your vet which treats would be best for your type of dog.

Who invented kitty litter?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-pee1There 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.

Protecting your dog in a car accident

Saturday, October 16, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

Car Ride for the DogOn Wednesday, a friend of a friend of mine was driving on the Long Island Expressway with his two dogs. He was side swiped by a truck. The front windshield was shattered and the car was totaled. Miraculously, neither he or his smaller dog was injured seriously. The smaller dog remained in the car. His larger dog, got so terrified, that it leaped through the shattered windshield and began running down the Long Island Expressway. If anyone knows the L.I.E. you know that it is always loaded with tons of traffic and lots of trucks! The man got out of the car, took his smaller dog and began running down the highway to look for his larger dog. What a horror!! The good news is that he did finally catch up with his dog who was still very scared and all three quickly got out of this awful situation. When he got back to his car, the cops were there wondering why he left the vehicle. Who cares!! As long as he and the dogs were safe.

How could we protect our dogs and cats in the event of an accident? It’s always much safer to keep them in their cat or dog crate but lots of dogs love riding in the car with their owners. I would then recommend, getting them a dog harness that’s called a “roadie.” You can get them from ruffrider.com. They work like a seat belt and strap your dog in and restrain him. I would always recommend either the crate or the harness. Drive safely all the times, especially if you have children or pets with you!

Choosing the best cat food

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cute-cats-in-bedChoosing the right food for your cat can be a difficult task.  When you walk down the pet aisle in the supermarket, you’re overwhelmed by the amount of pet foods that are available. The key may be the company that makes the food.  Look for labels that have complete product guides on them, an 800 number that you can call with questions and data about proven research and feeding trials.  Use the large companies that do the feeding trials.  A feeding trial means that the food has been laboratory tested, has been shown to be nutritionally balanced for a certain life stage and proven to be delicious and irresistible to cats.  I would recommend using both a wet and dry food combination and provide your cat with an adequate amount of cat treats and plenty of water.

Brushing your dog versus bathing

Wednesday, September 8, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-brushedDogs are like kids, most of them don’t like to take baths but even short haired dogs need proper grooming and a bath occasionally.  Bathing too often can take away the natural oils that keep a dogs skin smooth and healthy.  How much washing is too much depends on the humidity and the type of shampoo used. A general rule of thumb is that a good brushing is usually enough to keep your dog freshened up.  In addition to removing dirt, a regular brushing will remove hair and make your dog more comfortable.  Bathing is appropriate when a dog has body odor especially if he’s rolled in something that he shouldn’t have.  A good rule to remember is that a dirty dog needs a brush and a smelly dog needs a bath. After his bath, give him some dog treats to keep him happy!

Pet Emergencies

Monday, June 28, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-and-vetWe never want to think about an emergency situations with our pets. Sometimes it does happen and we need to think clearly. Here are some tips that may help in the event of an emergency.

Excessive bleeding – for external cuts, the owner can apply pressure or a tourniquet to the wound to control bleeding. If the bleeding is the result of a fight with another dog or cat, get the animal’s rabies vaccine history from its owner. Puncture wounds to the chest cavity or abdomen will need to be X-rayed for possible internal injuries. Bleeding from the mouth or anus could be a sign of internal trauma and requires prompt emergency care.

Poisoning – call your vet and or animal poison control at 888-426-4435 and do your best to describe the toxin that your pet ingested. Do not induce vomiting without speaking to the vet first, since caustic materials can cause even more damage coming up. In the ER, animals will be given something to coat their GI tract before vomiting is induced.

Broken limbs
– Move the animal as little as possible. Don’t try to stabilize the animal as you may get bitten. Lay a towel over the animal and try to keep is as calm as possible. Take your dog or cat to your vet for x-rays and treatment. Do not administer any pain or pet  medication without consulting your vet first.

Choking
– If you can see the object in your dog’s throat, you can try sweeping it out with your figures. If the object is lodged deeper down, rush the animal to a care facility.

Allergic reactions – These can be treated by simply giving the pet a dose of regular Benadryl(only as directed by your vet). The reaction can also be extreme, causing your animal to swell up or break out in hives, in which case a vet will likely administer pet medication such as an anti-inflammatory treatment, (steroids).
Trouble breathing or loss of consciousness – Unless you are trained in animal emergency care, it is best not to try to administer CPR to your dog or cat. Instead, get your pet as quickly as possible to the nearest care facility.

Always consult your vet in a pet emergency regarding the proper pet medication to administer.

dogs-nailsWhen you groom your dog, pause and take a good look at his paws. Check your dogs’ nails and make sure that they’re not too long and that they are healthy.  If his nails are brittle or break frequently for no reason, it’s a good idea to get this checked out by your veterinarian.  The problem could be mange,  a fungal disease that may be  contagious. It could also indicate a nutritional disorder. Some dog breeds such as Rottweilers and Greyhounds are susceptible to an auto immune disease which can cause brittle nails. If left unattended, brittle nails can break and become painful. Take your dog in for a good physical. If necessary, your veterinarian my draw blood or may prescribe some pet medication or supplements.

cat-grassIf you notice your cat nibbling on your plants, don’t get upset. Move the plant out of the cats reach. They do this as a substitute for eating grass which is perfectly natural behavior for cats. Eating grass for them is like taking medication. It induces vomiting.  The reason why cats need to regurgitate is to get rid of those nasty hairballs that accumulate in their digestive system because of grooming.  Because cats can’t stick their paw down their throat, they instinctively seek out grass and plants. Since they eat anything green, it’s important that they don’t eat toxic plants. You can make sure that your cat doesn’t eat poisonous plants by buying special cat grass sold at pet supply stores. They also like parsley, sage thyme and lavender.

cat-playing-with-toysDo not ever hit or punish your cat if he misbehaves. You will only teach him to fear you. You can train your and keep him out of trouble.  Since cats hate to be surprised, you can use water bottles, clapping, hissing or some other sound to discourage bad behavior. You must do it as soon as your cat starts this behavior. I usually clap loudly and this usually stops behavior such as scratching in inappropriate places.  If your cat bites, try putting the palm of your hand in the cats face and gently push. Accompany this with a “no.”!!!

Make certain behaviors impossible for a cat. Keep food in containers, keep breakable or dangerous items out of reach and make sure that heavy objects are secure on bookshelves or in closets.  You may try looking for childproofing objects and think of how to apply them to your cat.  If you’re defrosting meat do not leave it on the counter. Put it in the oven or keep it in the refrigerator. You will have the most success training your cat when he’s young. If he behaves well, give him at cat toy or cat treat!

cute-cat-2 I read an article today about someone who had to euthanize her pet because it was suffering from a serious disease and there was nothing more that could be done for it. She is feeling terribly guilty for having to put her beloved cat down. Her cat was about 18 years old and could no longer breath. There was no pet medication that could have helped and the cat would not have lived much longer.

This is one of the hardest decisions that anyone can make but most of us owning pets will have to do it at some point.  The lady in the article said that she made a decision to kill a sweet animal that did nothing but love her for 15 years. This is indeed very sad but the vet said that the disease would have caused the cat a horrible natural death. Trying to extend a pets life at this point becomes an act of personal selfishness. I know, I went through it with one of my pets. I did everything to keep my pet rabbit alive even though she was really suffering. At this point, we are only doing this for ourselves.

We love our pets and never want to let them go.  Those of us who love our pet companions have to love them all the way and that means we have to be responsible stewards all the way to the end of their lives.  If we’ve done everything we could and we are assured that there is no hope, it’s better not to let them suffer and let them go peacefully.