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Archive for April, 2010

cat-litter-boxAs we all know, cats are very fussy about their litter boxes. You must make sure that your cats litter box is kept clean at all times.  If you don’t  keep it clean enough for your cat’s taste, don’t be surprised if you find that you cat goes outside the box.

Here are some easy ways to keep it clean at all times.

  • Clean up any litter that your cat may get on the floor everyday.
  • Change the litter box at least once per week.
  • Wash the box thoroughly with soap and hot water. Do not use any harsh detergents.
  • If you use a plastic liner, line the box with a new liner.
  • Make sure that you scoop the poop once per day.

If you follow these instructions, you will always have a clean litter box and a happy cat. If you have a self cleaning litter box, make sure that you follow the instructions  carefully. Always make sure that the box is functioning properly.

cat-asleepI had a conversation yesterday with a friend who has outdoor cats. She said that sometimes her cats prefer to stay indoors but she will let them out when they meow at the door. You know my feelings about an outdoor cat. I feel they live longer and are much safer indoors. Outdoor cats are roamers. Sometimes they will not come home for a night or two which is perfectly normal. My friend mentioned that one time her cat did not come home for ten days! Now if that were me, I would panic! I would fear that it was injured or hit by a car and that I couldn’t do anything to help it. The story turns out fine for my friend. One morning she got up and found her 10 year old tabby meowing at the back door. Now if only cats can talk and tell you where they were. You can’t punish them and send them to their room, you can’t give them a time out, you just have to grin and get used to the fact that if you let your cat outdoors, it may stay away for several nights at a time. Now don’t you wish that your outdoor cat was fast asleep with you inside in it’s cat bed?

fancy-dog-collarIf you’re looking for a dog collar, nylon and leather collars with either a buckled or snapped together closures are the best choices. Make sure that you test the snap closure to make sure that the hold is strong. Depending on the size of your dog, you may have to select one that can adjusts easily as your dog grows. It’s a good idea to get your pets name and contact number woven on the collar. Here are some basic tips when selecting a dog collar.

  • The ideal fit should allow between one and three fingers between your dogs neck and the collar depending on the size of your dog.
  • If you have a small dog, lets say under 20 pounds, leave 1 finger between your dogs neck and the collar.
  • If you have a medium size dog, allow 2 fingers between your dogs neck and collar.
  • If your dog is very large, 3 finger separation between the dogs neck and collar is the best.

Slip or choke dog collars consist of a length of leather , nylon or chain link with rings at each end. These collars are used as training collars to control your dog . I recommend a reward system to train your dog. You should never use this kind of collar permanently. They should never be used on toy or small dogs under 20 pounds. Now get a strong dog leash to do along with the collar.

dog-with-vetMany middle ages and senior dogs, especially those that are overweight develop benign tumors under their skin. These growths are usually located on the belly or the upper legs and are generally harmless. If you notice a lump on your dog, have your veterinarian check it out. If it is a benign tumor and the dogs movement is not compromised, no treatment is necessary but it is still a good idea to keep an eye on the fatty deposit to make sure that it doesn’t grow. Your veterinarian can biopsy the growth every now and then to check for any cancerous changes. If your dog has one of these growths (lypoma), there is a chance that he will develop more. This doesn’t mean that you should dismiss any new growths or bumps. Have them checked out.  Ask your vet to give each one a proper exam. Usually no pet medication is prescribed and nothing else has to be done.

Whipworm in dogs, will pet medication help?

Thursday, April 15, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cute-puppy-and-kittenWhipworms are nasty parasites that can that can live in a dog’s large intestine and feed on his blood.  Some dogs with whipworm show no symptoms at all but many have diaherrea and lose weight. In severe cases, the they may develop anemia. Because infected whipworm eggs are passed in an infected animal’s feces,   they can contaminate water and soil. Healthy dogs then contract whipworm by ingesting the eggs.  To prevent problems, keep your yard free of droppings and bring a fecal sample in when you take your dog for is routine examination. Your veterinarian will perform a fecal test to check for whipworm. He will prescribe a pet medication like a canine de-wormer if the test is positive.

dogs-in-the-cityIf you live in the city, you know the challenges that you face everyday when you take your dog out for a walk. The sidewalks are crowded, there lots of traffic, joggers, walkers, construction scaffolding and double wide strollers that create quite the obstacle course for you and your pet. Most cities have some form of  dog leash, license and pick up after your dog laws. Make sure you know the rules and abide by them. The well trained dog needs to respond to a minimum of four basic commands: sit-stay, heel, leave it alone and come. When you’re waiting for a traffic light and you give the command, sit-stay, your dog is out of harms way.  Even though your dog likes to walk on a nice loose leash, in the city, you must use the “heel” position and keep him close to you until you reach a park or open area. Use the command “leave it” when your dog is about to pick up something inappropriate like chicken bones or other garbage. Should your dog break is collar or slip his leash, the command “come” could save his life.  Remember that dogs can be frightened by sudden loud noise and there are lots of them in any city.  Be aware that such situations may demand quick and complete control on your part to prevent your dog for jumping or biting. Keep these tips in mind and make sure that your dog knows and obeys these commands and you should not have any trouble with your city dog.

The Basics of Crate Training

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
posted by PetsRule

cratetrainIf you’re interested in crate training your dog, there are several benefits that your dog can derive from this endeavor. But there are things to keep in mind with this training. For one, crates are not meant to be permanent indoor houses for your dog. As such, your dog isn’t meant to be cooped up in his crate for long periods of time. And spending time in the crate should certainly never be used as a punishment. If your dog has done something wrong, don’t ever send him to his crate. He will only learn to associate the crate with punishment.

With dog crates, you also want to make sure you indulge in a crate that’s big enough to accommodate the dog, his water dish, his food, and even some of his preferred toys. You can make the crate more comfortable and accommodating by adding a couple of dog crate pads as well. Also keep an eye open for potential health problems in your dog. If your dog is feeling nauseous, for example, don’t confine him in his crate. This can only lead to a seriously compounded problem.

cat-drinking-for-a-faucetIt is a misconception that cats hate water.  Some cats do, but lots of cats actually like the water. My two cats love to get under the faucet and drink the running water. My younger cat, Millie likes me to run the faucet in the shower for her. She enjoys drinking the water and using it to wash her paws. In fact, she will stand by the shower and meow. I have to stop what I’m doing and turn the faucet on for her.

Tigers love the water. They play in it and use it to cool off in summer.  Some cats do not like the water. Many cat breeds have coats which can trap the water. If the cats gets wet, it ruins the ability for them to keep warm in cool weather. All cats do not like getting splashed with water. Water can hurt their sensitive ears and potentially cause an infection as well.  Some domestic cats like the Bengal and Turkish Van are famous for liking water. They will play with it and sometimes even swim.

So if your cat likes playing under the faucet rather that playing with his cat toys, it’s no cause for concern, just turn the water on for him and I’m sure he’ll be very appreciative!

dogs-greetingDogs parks are a double edge sword. On one hand, it’s a great place to exercise your dog but on the other hand, it can traumatize your dog and make him reactive and perhaps even get him killed. Now which one the these extremes is the correct one?  Actually they both are. You dog park can be a terrific place to take your dog, provided that it is well monitored, well constructed and well maintained.  It can also be a nightmare for both you and your dog. If you understand the rules of the park and other dog owners understand the rules, it could be a wonderful place for your dog.  When people don’t follow the rules, that’s when disaster happens. The best dog parks are those in which the users band together and create a community environment.  One of the early dog parks that was in Sausalito, California actually held informal wine and cheese parties every Friday to develop a sense of community. They all worked together and kept any problems at the park to a minimum.

Not all dogs will do well in a dog park. If the dog has serious behavior problems, he needs to be socialized and trained before even attempting to bring him to a dog park.

Consider the following before walking through the gate of a dog park and removing Rovers dog leash.

  • Dog parks should be friendly places without being overbearing or bullying places.
  • Your dog should be confident and social in the park. Those dogs that are aggressive, fearful or reactive are not god candidates for dog parks.
  • Basic good manners are a must in the park. Your dog should not slam other dogs, jump on kids or other dogs or jump on the laps of humans sitting on a bench.
  • Your dog should be responsive to certain rules. He should come when called and sit when he is told.
  • Barking should be kept at a reasonable level.
  • Only healthy dogs should visit the park.

Follow these rules and hopefully others in the park are following the same rules and you and your dog will have a great experience!

cat-and-vetYour cat has been diagnosed with diabetes. She’ll have to go to the vet regularly for monitoring however, you should be able for monitor your cat’s diabetes from home. The first thing that you must do is make sure that she is eating and drinking well. Make sure that you ask your vet about the kind of diet that she should be on. Follow the insulin schedule that your vet has given to you.  Cats require insulin injections to be administered twice per day. Your vet may recommend a high protein diet for your cat since this will help assist with her glucose regulation. This type of diet may not be appropriate for every kind of diabetic cat. Follow your vets instructions carefully. The complication that is one of the worst for a diabetic cat is hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. This can be fatal if it’s not addressed quickly. Signs to look for are your cat becoming weak or having a seizure. Do not reach for any pet medication at this point. Assume that it is related to low blood sugar and rub some corn syrup on her gums. When she is alert, encourage her to eat and then contact your veterinarian immediately. Ask your vet about other ways to check your cat at home in order to avoid these dangerous hypoglycemic situations.  There are home glucose monitoring systems that involve pricking the cats ear or toe pad. Results are easily obtainable and are one of the best methods of getting your cats glucose regulated.