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Archive for March, 2010

dog-getting-brushedGrooming is about more that getting your dog to look neat and clean. A proper brushing keeps your dog looking and feeling good. It is also a great bonding experience for the two of you. To keep your dog’s skin and hair healthy, don’t over bath him. Instead, brush is coat several times a week. This helps prevent mats, removes dirt and encourages the natural shedding process. As you brush, check your dog for cuts, sores and ticks. Look carefully at your dog’s eyes, ears and feet. Trim his toenails if necessary. It will take a little extra time each week but regular grooming sessions will help you prevent and detect any health problems in your pet plus your dog will likely love the attention. After grooming get his dog leash and take him outside for a little exercise!

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.

cute-puppy-on-leashDogs tend to really love moist canned food. It’s typically higher in fat and contains a lot of water. This makes it a tasty treat, but large dogs may need to eat a lot of it to get enough calories. Many veterinarians recommend dry dog food for regular meals. Kibble is also better for your dogs teeth. Canned dog food may be a better option in certain situations. For example, if you want to increase your dogs water intake. Overweight dogs may also benefit from canned food. They’ll feel full without eating as many calories. If your dog is a fussy eater, he may very well eat if canned food is mixed with his regular kibble. To determine the best diet for your individual dog, talk to your veterinarian. Don’t forget to always have plenty of water in his dog water bowl.

colorful-dogIf you are not planning on breeding you female dog, you are likely to have her spayed.  This involves having her ovaries and uterus removed. The procedure requires anesthesia but spays are routinely performed and the risks are low. In the long run, there are many potential health benefits. Spaying a dog before her first heat is a good way to reduce her risk of mammary tumors and uterine infections. So how early can you have it done?  Most veterinarians recommend spaying after a dog is five or six months old. Some new research has supported the concept of early spays, when a dog is only two months of age.  Talk to your veterinarian to determine what time is best and don’t worry, you dog will recover quickly and probably won’t even need to take any pet medication after the procedure.

psychic-petsDid you know that dogs and other animals have demonstrated psychic ability?  The sixth sense of dogs has been tested and demonstrated many times. They have sensed many things including the arrival of a loved one or even when a loved one was about to die. They have sensed natural disasters before they were about to happen. In the early 90’s, my dog became very agitated about 4 am on a Saturday morning. He jumped out of his dog bed and began barking and running around the room. A few seconds later, I heard a loud bang and felt a slight shaking which lasted  a couple of seconds. It turns out that a rare earthquake had occurred in Westchester County, New York and the rumble could be felt in my home which was at the time in Hoboken, NJ.

Dogs have also sensed people’s heart attacks, strokes, seizures and even cancer. They have found their way back home when taken far from their loved ones. There have even reacted to the presence of a ghost. I’ve noticed that at certain times, my cat would look up and then run around when there was absolutely nothing there or even when there wasn’t even any noise.

I’ve read many stories about dogs howling right before a loved ones death.  Read the book “Your Psychic Pet” by Richard Webster. I’m sure that you’ll find it very interesting.

cat-with-toothbrushDental disease is one of the most common problems in cats. It’s usually caused by the buildup of tartar on a cats teeth. When tartar accumulates, the gums become irritated and that can lead to infections and tooth loss.  Some cats have a tendency toward more tartar buildup just because of the chemistry of their mouths. These cats may need special cleanings several times a year. Most cats can maintain clean teeth through regular brushing (yes, there’s even beef flavored toothpaste that they like!) and a tartar controlled diet. If you notice bad breath or a change in your cats eating habits, these can be signs of a dental infection. Get him in his cat carrier and get to the vet as soon as possible.   Your veterinarian can provide more information about keeping your cats teeth healthy.

dogs-cats-and-rabbitsIn 2007 Americans spent 41 billion dollars that year on their pets. Our pets are our companions giving us unconditional love for many years. It is our responsibility to help them to live long happy, healthy lives. Most people including myself will take all of the necessary steps to insure our pets well being. That includes all of the expenses related to health issues that may arise. I once had a pet rabbit who had major health problems. I was constantly at the vet. It didn’t matter the cost was, I would do anything to get her well again.

I read an upsetting article today about some “group” (I won’t even mention the name or nature of this group) who said that Americans spend too much on their pets and and should put a limit on what we spend. Who are they to make such a statement?  There is no limit as to what I would do to keep both of my cats healthy. If you adopt a pet, you adopt a family member that deserves love and care.  It really bothers me that some people are so “empty.” Whether it be pet medication, pet carriers vet visits etc. the money is always well spent on our pets.

Treat Your Dog to Some Positive Reinforcement

Monday, March 15, 2010
posted by PetsRule

rawhide-bonesPositive reinforcement is the single most popular method for teaching dogs to obey human commands. Harsh punishment and intimidation are more than inhumane – they create a suspicious, fear-based relationship between owner and pet. On the other hand, rewarding a dog with a treat or a scratch on the back provides incentive for him to repeat that behavior in the future.

Bear in mind that most dogs are food-driven, and they will do whatever it takes to chomp on some dog treats. Once you’ve found the type of treat – whether it’s rawhide bones or a chewable bite – that appeals to your dog, use it as the go-to reward. Since dogs don’t have the same ability to associate actions with consequences well after the fact, you should reward good behavior immediately.

cat-fight-2When a cat who in the past had no problems using his litter pan and then suddenly begins urinating all over the floor, the problem could be either physiological or psychological. I would take him to the vet for a check up to rule out any physical problem.  Once the vet rules out any urinary or physical problems, then I would look to behavior issues that could have caused this change in behavior. Is he scent marking or flat out urinating? Have there been any changes in his environment?   Did you get a new carpet, new furniture, or a new pet? Changes in a cats world can cause him to “mark” his territory. Also, think about what’s happening to cause the cat to be nervous. Are you or your spouse gone more than usual? In my case, my younger cat, Millie suddenly began to urinate on the rug in the dining room.  I was constantly using pet odor removal products.It turns out that my older cat, Mollie, would chase her away from her litter box and block her from getting into the bathroom to use her litter. Mollie is my oldest and when I adopted Millie, Molly became very resentful. This resentment still continues to this day. Things are better now after I added additional litter boxes.

Never hit or scold your cat if this happens. Just relax and see if you could determine the cause of the problem.

older-catTime really flies for both ourselves and our cat companions. Look up one day and your feline friend is not as spry as a kitten and spending more time in her cat bed. Around eight or nine years, cats become prone to the ills of old age. They can develop chronic kidney or liver disease and maybe even diabetes or tumors. Their senses of site, smell, hearing and taste may begin to diminish. As their metabolism changes, a dietary adjustment may be necessary. The later years in humans and cats  is no time to carry around too much weight. My older cat Mollie is ten years old and is a bit over weight. I am giving her food for indoor cats only and trying lesser amounts and hope this does the trick. Cats don’t get Alzheimer’ s but they get forgetful as they get older. Through it all, with modern veterinary medicine and your loving care, your cats nine lives can extend into the teens and even early twenties.