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Archive for June, 2010

cat-hidingCats can be very difficult when it comes to grooming. If you’re lucky enough to have a cat who actually likes to be brushed, then great, but if your cat squirms, hisses, and runs away every time you take out the brush, then maybe this tip will help. Try giving your cat a toy that will occupy him while you brush. If he likes catnip, that may even be more enticing for him. He will concentrate on biting the cat toy with catnip rather than you. He may also stay put while you groom him. My older cat loves to be brushed and even cries for more after I’m finished. My younger cat will do anything to get away and she’s a squirmy one. She will twist herself out of anything!  Try the toy and who knows, this may solve your problem.

Tips for choosing a groomer

Saturday, June 19, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-at-groomer-2Generally, if your dog has long hair, you’ll need to take him to the groomer on a regular basis, about once every one or two months.  If you are in the process of choosing a groomer for your dog, here are some tips that may help.

  • Make sure that the shop is well ventilated. Your dog will be there for about half of the day and he should be cool and comfortable.
  • Check out the fee. Find out what services that are included in the fee.  Most places include a bath, brushing and and ear cleaning and a drying service.
  • Ask about the method used for drying. This is very important! I’ve heard stories where at some salons the dog was burned to death because of a lack of supervision!
  • Ask if certain vaccinations are required before the dog is accepted for grooming.
  • See if the salon that you are choosing has a policy for dealing with sick dogs that are brought in for grooming.
  • How long will the grooming take? Will you have to pay for additional charges if you have to pick your dog up at a later time?
  • How far in advance do you have to make an appointment?
  • Ask about how the salon deals with emergencies such as if your dog was sprayed by a skunk or rolled in noxious substances.

If your dog has to stay while you’re at work, you may want to bring along one of his favorite dog toys.

cat-stretchingCats are natural yoga teachers. They’re sleek, flexible and mobile and we admire their talent for stretching, bending and getting in and out of tight spots.  What makes a cat so limber?  Their anatomy plays a big role.  They have thirteen thoracic vertibre to our twelve and seven lumbar vertibre to our five. This gives cats a big advantage in spinal mobility and flex mobility.  Cats also have a tail that acts as a counter balance.  Add to this a set of free floating clavicle bones and you’ll know why it’s hard to get your squirmy cat in his pet carrier when it’s time for a trip!

Dogs losing weight.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-sadIs your dog losing weight, almost like he’s on a diet?  You’ll need to take him to the veterinarian. There are a variety of possible reasons for weight loss. Diet, parasites, diabetes, cancer and heart disease are some causes just to name a few. To make a diagnosis, your veterinarian will ask you about other symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. Take note of any changes in your dogs behavior.  You may want to consider bringing a stool sample to your veterinarian.  The veterinarian will examine your dog and run a series of tests such as x rays, blood tests or a urine analysis. Then he will make an official diagnosis. Some diet changes and pet medication is all you may need.

Choosing a Doberman Pinscher

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dobermanA Doberman Pinscher is a medium sized dog that has sort of a square shape. Doberman’s are very keen, energetic dogs with a tremendous about of strength and stamina. These dogs are “people” dogs and do not like being in kennels or left alone in the back yard in a dog pen or on a dog leash.  They need human interaction and leadership. They are loyal, tolerant and affectionate with family members.  They are also very assertive and bold and very adaptable. Doberman’s are easy to train and make terrific watch dogs.

This breed is not for everyone. They need an owner who is willing  and able to display a natural authority over him. All family members must be firm can consistent when it comes to the rules.  You set the rules for your dog and then stick to them.  You must also learn how to handle this kind of dog as they can become very stubborn and willful if they are allowed to have their own way. Remember you’re the leader. They make good family dogs if they are trained well, exercised regularly and socialized.  Doberman’s have a reputation of being an aggressive dog. This is not the case. Doberman’s make very good therapy dogs. They are sweet and gentle with nursing home patients.  Issues arise when the owners do not stick to the rules and do not provide the proper leadership.

As far as living conditions are concerned, Doberman’s do well in an average size apartment but they must get lots of exercise.  They are very cold sensitive and not an outside dog. This is the reason why police in a cold area are not able to use them

cat-meowingDepending on how much pain your cat is feeling, a cat with a splinter may be quiet or very hard to deal with. One way or another, the splinter needs to come out.  If your cat is OK with you handling her paw, get some tweezers and gently remove the splinter.  Rub in some alcohol, or pet medication such as antibiotic salve and you’re done.  If your cat’s in pain and is frantic, you’re probably going to need help. Ask a friend or neighbor to hold the cat while you gently place a towel over her body and wrap it around her. Leave her head and the paw with the splinter exposed. If you use this strategy, you can work slowly and carefully to get the splinter out.  If the situation is more difficult for you to handle on your own, turn to your veterinarian.

golden-doodleI know when you hear the name “Golden doodle,” you’re probably thinking that this is an odd looking dog.  Don’t laugh at the sound of the name, it’s a hybrid breed, part Golden Retriever and part Poodle and it’s is a beautiful family friendly dog. In the mid 90’s, the dog was intentionally developed in an attempt to create a light shedding dog that would be good for families with mild allergies. The idea was to create a dog for people who love the personality and look of Golden Retrievers but can’t stand their shedding. Because they’re a hybrid breed, Golden doodles can inherit the fur qualities of the long haired Golden Retriever or the Poodle but most often, their fur has qualities from both breeds.  This breed is great around children. So when you get your Golden doodle home, pamper him a bit with lots of treats, toys and maybe even a padded fleece dog bed!

Is your cat getting skinny?

Saturday, June 12, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

skinny-catsIf your cat is losing weight and  not just fur, it’s important to get him checked out by a veterinarian.  Although stress is one of the main causes of weight loss in cats, there could be a host of other reasons why your cat is losing weight. These include, parasites, heart worm, cancer, feline leukemia virus and kidney disease are only some of the potential reasons for weight loss in cats.  With so many possible causes, there’s no sense in guessing what’s wrong. You need an official diagnosis from a veterinarian. Take note of other symptoms. Is your cat eating?  Did he stop playing with his cat toys?   Does he have diarrhea?  How has his behavior changed?  Observe your cat carefully, then take him in for a thorough exam.

I once had a cat who started to get thin very fast. He stopped eating and became listless. It turned out that he had eaten the tinsel on the Christmas tree and got a very severe infection which almost killed him. Luckily, I was able to spend time and slowly nurse him back to health.

Does your dog have a runny nose?

Friday, June 11, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dogs-listening-to-musicHealthy dogs have cool, moist noses but a runny nose is out of the norm and not a good sign.  It could mean that your dog has an illness such as kennel cough or distemper. He may have an allergy or a sinus infection, maybe even a polyp or tumor.  Most of all a runny nose means that he got  a foreign body such as an insect, a piece of string or a paper clip up his nose.  He could have even jammed a stick up his nose.  No matter what’s causing the runny nose, get him to a veterinarian right away. Only a professional can deal with any of these issues, even a wedged in foreign body.  Don’t ever try to remove anything from your dog’s nose yourself as you could easily damage the inside of his nasal passages. Leave this job to your vet. He’ll do what’s necessary and give him pet medication to stop any infection.

cat-sleeping1Does your cat sleep just about anywhere? Mine do. Whether it be in a closet, under the bed, under the covers of the bed, on the window sill etc. My younger cat sleeps on top of my audio equipment! It can’t be comfortable but it is warm. Cats like warm places. You’ll never know where you’ll find your cat sleeping. I’m sure that you’ve had an experience where you’ve spent quite a while shopping for a nice cozy cat bed. You pick one out, spend a fortune, take it home and there it sits in the corner collecting dust rather than cat hair. Your cat is sleeping somewhere else and wants no part if the cozy, expensive cat-sleeping-on-computer1cat bed that you just spent half of your pay cat-in-box-4-usecheck on!cat-sleeping-on-a-car2