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Archive for May, 2010

dog-hot-dogI’m sure that there are many family barbeque’s going on today.  Many owners allow their dogs to roam free while they are cooking on the grill.  The barbeque can be hazardous to your dog. Grills get very hot and your dog doesn’t realize that it’s hot and before you know it, he can really burn himself if he goes for that burger or hot dog. If your dog is a lively one, he may accidentally bump into the grill and knock it over and cause himself injury as well as others. Always keep your dog away from the grill. Keep him on his dog leash while you’re grilling.

Dogs love burgers and hot dogs and may even try to steel a dog or two during your family get together. This food is not  good for your dog. You may have to tell your guests not to sneak burgers or hot dogs to Buster. Instead, offer your dog some of his favorite food during this time so he doesn’t feel “left out.”

Remember, water is one of the core components of  an animal’s diet. Always keep the dog water bowl filled if he’s spending the day with you outside in the sunshine.  If you are traveling with your dog during the summer, always take water with you and offer it to him frequently during the trip.

HAVE A WONDERFUL MEMORIAL DAY!!

cat-getting-brushedBrushing is the most common way to groom your cat. It can also help cut down on hairballs if you do it regularly. You’ll save on hairball remedies. If your cat has long hair, she should be brushed everyday to prevent the hair from becoming matted.  Brushing is also a good way to reduce the amount of fur on your clothes and furniture. My cat will run away when he sees me coming with the brush but once I get her settled, she really enjoys it when I brush her. If I stop, she will “meow” telling me that she wants more!

While brushing her, it’s a good idea to sometimes comb through her fur and check for fleas.  Brushing is also a good way to check the general condition of your cat. Check to see that the fur is smooth and shiny and also check to see if your cat has any lumps or bumps on her. If you find one have your vet check it out right away. It could be nothing or something serious but treatable if detected early.

dog-hotelIt’s vacation time and their are lots of pet friendly hotels out there. If you do decide to take your dog along with you, here are some things that you should remember with regards to his stay at the hotel.

  • Find out where there are pet friendly hotels ahead of time. Ask about any restrictions such as size and breed of dog. You don’t want any surprises while on the road.
  • Make sure you respect the other guests.
  • Ask management where you should walk your dog. Keep your dog on his leash and walk him away from guests and always clean up after him.
  • Keep your dog as quiet as possible. Bring along some familiar items such as dog toys and treats to keep him occupied.
  • Do not leave your dog unattended. He may destroy the property which won’t sit too well with the hotel owners.
  • Pick up after your dog. Always leave the room neat and clean. It’s a good idea to bring along some pet stain remover and odor remover.
  • Remember that one bad experience with a dog guest can cause the management to refuse all pets in the future.

Be considerate and follow the rules and you and your dog will always be welcomed back.

HAVE A GREAT VACATION!!

dog-hugYou are planning a vacation and are now faced with the task of selecting the proper kennel for your pet. Here are some tips that may help you out.

  1. Call the kennel to determine whether it would be able to accommodate your pet during the time that you will be away. Also discuss any special situations such as a very large dog breed, special pet medications, whether your pet is a very young kitten or puppy etc. Make plans to visit the kennel. Always do this ahead of time.
  2. During your visit, check out the cleaning procedures. The kennel should look and smell neat and clean.
  3. Some dog kennels have a policy where visitors are not allowed in the area where the animals are kept. The reason for this is that visitors can bring in different diseases and bacteria because they don’t follow the same disinfecting procedures as the staff does.  Another reason is that some pets are afraid of strangers and can get stressed.
  4. Give the kennel your vets  name and telephone number.
  5. Give the kennel the name and telephone number of the place where you will be staying. It’s also a good idea to check in with the kennel at  some point during your vacation to make sure that your pet is doing OK.

An advantage of a good kennel is that the staff is usually trained to look for signs of illness in your pet. Friends and family who care for pets in your absence will not notice this.

If you do your research, your pets stay at the kennel will not be a bad experience for him.

dog-in-crateIt’s the holiday weekend and many people are on the road with their pets. Make sure that you have  a sturdy, well ventilated dog crate that is an adequate size for your pet to stand up and turn comfortably. The crate should not have any hazardous protrusions on the inside that could injure your pet. Make sure that the latch on the door is secure. The handle should also be secure so that your dog does not get accidentally  dropped and possibly injured. The bottom of the crate should be leak proof and you should place a soft blanket or cloth on the inside for your dog to lie down comfortably.

Print your pets name, your name and home address as well as the address of your destination on the outside of the crate with a permanent marker. Include your 800 number if you have one or if not, print call collect on the outside of the crate. Never put the leash inside the crate as your pet could get tangled in it.  Finally, make sure that your dog is used to the crate before beginning your trip.

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.

38450-000-01_picnikIt seems like anywhere you go, you always see dogs in trendy tee shirts, sweaters etc. Last weekend, I was at the New York Pet Show and even though the temperature was in the 70’s, many people brought their dogs wearing a variety of tee shirts, sweat shirts and even dog coats. I even saw a dog wearing sun glasses. Are dogs uncomfortable wearing clothes?

Many dogs do get cold in winter especially if they have a thin coat. In this case, a coat or sweater will really help to keep them warm. The only time that I think that it’s cruel, is when the clothing or accessories are hurting the dog or if it’s uncomfortably warm  outside. If I were a dog, I probably would not want to wear any clothing except if it’s very very cold outside. Some people dress their dog for fashionable reasons which I disagree with. Some people even have their dog’s  tail docked or ears cropped so that they could be “trendy” looking.  Why put the animal through that? People do things like this for themselves not for their dog.

dogs-listening-to-musicThere are lots of dogs who love to go for a ride, but for some, traveling in the car could be extremely stressful. If your dog cries, shakes, or pants excessively in his pet carrier or in the back seat of your car, there is something other than drugs that you can try. Psychoacoustically designed music which is designed to keep you alert and soothes your pets nerves, can make that dreaded drive much more pleasant.  The canine nervous system is extremely sensitive to sound. Special arrangements of classical music can have a soothing impact on your anxious friend in his crate or back seat. You will be reading more details on this in the coming weeks. We will give you specific information as where ti obtain this type of music as well as music that is specifically designed for your dog or cat. Believe it or not, music that is soothing to your dog may not be soothing to your cat. There are different types of music designed specifically for dogs or cats. Stay tuned, more to come on this topic!

Sometimes our pets get a “bad rap.”

Sunday, May 23, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

sad-dogToday’s Bergen Record, headline in the Real Estate Section.

Don’t Let Your Pets ruin the sale

I was immediately turned off by the headline but went ahead to read the article. The article basically said that by having pets in the home could cause problems with a sale of a house and the Realtor recommended  boarding them during the time that the property is up for sale. Some things that she said did make sense like:

  • Removing pet stains from furniture and runs.
  • vacuum thoroughly
  • Make sure that you pet name and characteristics are on the listing sheet.
  • Make plans to keep your pet in his crate or in a separate area of the house during showings
  • Remove odors if any exist.
  • Make sure that doors are not left open during showings if the owner is not home. When I sold my home, I discussed the fact that I had a cat. A big note was posted to the door telling the real estate agents and prospective buyers not to leave any doors left open and to close the door behind them.
  • If a dog is present, the owner must be home during the showings.
  • Keep dog , cat beds and accessories in the appropriate places, not in the middle of a room.

Pets are part of our families and a part of our lives. It takes months to sell a home and the comment about boarding your pets during this time is really being cruel to the animal. I realize that having children and pets could slow down the process a bit but hey, they are a part of our lives. If a Realtor insisted on me getting rid of my pets during the time that my house was up for sale, I would just find another Realtor. The Realtor also mentioned that you could include your pets as part of the sale!!!  I really think that this women does not like pets. Our pets are not like pieces of furniture and her insensitive remarks made me question her qualifications.  My feelings, if you take the time and prepare properly and have a plan for your children and pets during showings, your house will sell. If someone likes it, pets won’t turn them off and if they do, they would probably be very very difficult buyers who will drive you nuts during the process anyway.

Physical therapy for dogs.

Saturday, May 22, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-in-waterIf you’ve ever had orthopedic surgery perhaps for your knee or shoulder, you know the importance of physical therapy.  Janet Van Dyke, a veterinarian at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute says that  minimum invasive procedures are being developed for dogs to repair injuries around the shoulder. There are also rehabilitation techniques that are being done on these dogs with the intent of getting them back to full peak performance. The healing techniques include movement and exercise, stretching, heat and cold therapy and hydrotherapy.  Combined with pain management, they will help get your dog back to normal in no time.  Before you know it, your dog will be back in the park, off his dog leash and catching a frisbee!