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Archive for January, 2010

cat-outside-in-snow1Neutering a cat has many advantages. It helps reduce cat overpopulation. It also makes your cat content at staying indoors and out of trouble. The main reason to neuter a male cat is to reduce the amount of objectionable behavior that is very common in all male cats.

Roaming – Neutering will reduce this characteristic by about 85-90%. Over 50% stop this behavior as soon as they are neutered.

Marking their territory with urine – Over 90% of cats will stop this nasty habit right away.

Fighting and aggressive behavior – Again over 90% will stop this quickly after being neutered.

Another reason for neutering has to do with your cats physical appearance. Cats neutered prior to six months of age develop a more muscular body and a fuller face. Get him some new toys or a new cat scratching post after the procedure so he will still feel a little like a cat!

dog-on-beachAccording to a recent survey by the travel industry,70% of pet owners want to take their pets with them when the go on vacation. Fortunately, there are now over 20,000 pet friendly hotels and motels nationwide. Some chains even allow pets in all of their locations. There are lots of websites that list hotels that will welcome your cat or dog. Many sites allow you to make reservations online and some also offer reviews and advice from other travelers. Check out, petswelcome.com, petfriendly.com, bringyourpet.com, takeyourpet.com, and travelpets.com, or you could just search the internet for pet friendly hotels.  Make sure you take along your dogs favorite bone or your cats favorite cat toy to make him feel right at home.

dog-collarA nylon or leather collar is safe for your dog to wear at all times. Collars should always be tight enough that your dog cannot get out of it. A general rule of thumb is that you should be able to insert two fingers between the collar and your dogs neck. This way it is loose enough for him to wear all the time but tight enough that he can’t break out of it. This type of collar has a metal ring on it for ease in fastening a dog leash, dog tags and other identification tags.

Buckle collars are safe enough for puppies but would not provide enough control for a full grown dog. They are also not strong enough.

Choke and slip collars are good for training a dog. They tighten up then release quickly.  They have metal links with a ring on each end. It is very important to make sure that these collars fit properly and a good idea to take your dog along with you when you are purchasing one. To properly fit your dog’s choke or slip collar, stand on his right side and loop the chain through the link. Hold the collar like a lazy “P.” The straight part of the “P” must go across the top of your dog’s neck.

Helping Dogs Warm Up

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
posted by PetsRule

dog-sweater

When walking your dog in the cold winter months, it’s important to keep in mind that dogs are vulnerable to harsh weather conditions just like humans. Dogs have a natural coat of fur that shields them from the elements, but amongst all dogs, only a few breeds like St. Bernards and Huskies were bred to endure the cold. If your dog is not one of the few cold weather breeds, it’s best to cloth them in a fleece dog sweater during the winter. This will add an additional layer to help keep them warm and prevent frostbite and hypothermia.

It’s also a good idea to avoid walking your dogs for too long outdoors, especially if they’re just walking and not running; a dog’s feet can become cold and their vulnerability to frostbite increases.

very-cute-catI am telling you, this season is a bad one for colds for me. I work with children and constantly catch their colds. In fact, I have another one right now. I have two cats and always wondered if they could catch my cold. They haven’t yet but with the amount of them that I’ve been getting this season, anything is possible. The facts are that a cold is an upper respiratory infection and cats can get a respiratory tract infection. Common signs are running eyes, nasal discharge, some wheezing and sneezing.  This condition is commonly caused by a virus. The good news is that you cannot get a cold from your cat and vice versa.  It is common for a cat to catch a cold if it is an outdoor cat or lives in a multi- cat environment.

Because the condition is generally caused by a virus, pet medication such as antibiotics are not effective. It just takes time for your cat the clear the infection.  Sometimes a vet will prescribe an antibiotic to prevent or treat secondary infections.

puppies-cutiesNow that you just brought home your new puppy, you have to think about how much to feed him and how often. Here are some guidelines to help you out. Puppies less than three months old should be fed four times a day. How much should you feed him. As a general rule, start with a quarter cup of food. You can adjust this amount as your pup gets older. When your puppy is between three and six months old, feed him three times a day. Check the manufacturers recommendations as to how much to feed. Also, as your puppy gets bigger, gradually increase the amount.

Once your puppy is over six months old, his adult feeding habit could be established. Usually two feedings a day is recommended. Once in the morning and then again in the early evening. Small dogs and toy dogs should continue to be fed three times a day. This will help to prevent hypoglycemia. Always remember to keep his dog water bowl full at all times.

italian-greyhoundYou just saw a small dog run by that seemed like a small version of the Greyhound.  You may have seen an Italian Greyhound.  This is an ancient canine breed  that has all of the sleek proportions of a full size greyhound. These dogs are barely a foot tall. If you compare a regular greyhound to, lets say a bus, then the Italian greyhound could be compared to an Italian sports car. They have the same easy going, sweet disposition of the larger greyhounds and the desire to run.  It was a favorite of Italian noblemen and if you know anything about art, you would know that the miniature greyhound is frequently seen in renaissance art.  So now you’re thinking that the Italian greyhound would make a perfect apartment dog right?  You are partially correct. They are good for apartments in terms of size, but they require lots of exercise. You can’t just put on his dog leash and stoll around the neighborhood. These dogs like to run in wide open spaces. So if you live in a city, you way want to re-consider owning an Italian greyhound.

cats-twoYou have no choice but you have to leave town on business and must leave your beloved cat at home. This always made me a little nervous. Cats are independent but they do get lonely. Here’s what I would recommend. Cats are most comfortable in their own environment and if you could get someone that is reliable and likes pets to stay with your cat, that would be perfect. If you can’t, the second best choice is to get a reliable friend or neighbor to look in on your cat every day. It is important that someone be there at some point each day while you’re away.

Write down specific instructions for the pet sitter. This should include the time, amount and type of food that is fed. Make sure to include plenty of water at all times. I would have them fill two or three large bowls of water. Make sure that the sitter knows where everything is located.

It is important to provide the sitter important phone numbers, like your number, your vets name and number as well as the local police and fire department.

Finally, your cat does need affection. Make sure that the sitter is comfortable petting and playing with your cat. Leave lots of  cat toys around for your cat to play with. I would ask the sitter to play will your cat a little each day. Before you know it, you’ll be back home with your pet.

kitten-in-glassYoung  kittens nurse from their mother from six to eight weeks but three weeks is a good time to get them started on solid food. Don’t worry, they have plenty of appetite for both kinds of food. That’s because young kittens need one and a half as much protein and three times as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult cat. This is easy to provide if you choose a commercially prepared kitten food, a so called “growth diet.” Make sure that you follow label instructions on how much to feed and how often. The time will come when growth formula is too rich for your adult cat so consult with your veterinarian about the right time to switch your cats diet.  Now that you kitten is eating solid foods, soon it will be time to train him to use a litter box.  You could use a self cleaning litter box but if you’re like me, you may be better off with a simple old fashioned one.

cute-bulldogBulldogs are great companions. Remember that bulldogs and heat don’t mix well. Make sure that he is kept in a cool environment indoors. Make sure he has his dog toys, pet carrier, crate and all of the other essentials. The AKC registers over 140 dog breeds every year and the bulldog is in the top 40 every year!  When buying water bowls for your bulldog, invest in heavy duty stainless steel bowls. They will reduce the rash and redness on your bulldogs face  from the bowls. They can be cleaned easily and are much better than plastic.

Bulldogs get along great with children and other pets as  a general rule. They love a nice, soft couch, lots of attention, especially getting their bellies rubbed. They have a great disposition, and will give you and your family lots and lots of love.

Bulldogs, unlike other breeds have no cosmetic surgery done such as tail docking and ear cropping. You should always consider getting a microchip implanted when he is young. It is completely painless and will contain all of the pertinent information to track your dog in the event that he gets lost.

On a final note, one requirement of the bulldog is that you give them lots of love and attention. They will surely repay you many times over!