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Archive for September, 2010

Is your dog into garbage?

Thursday, September 30, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-garbageKeeping your dog away from the garbage is more that just ordinary sanitation. Dogs who are trash eaters are living dangerously.  They can digest many foreign objects and bone fragments which are very dangerous to their digestive tract.  If they are digesting moist food from the garbage, it may be toxic to their system.  Discarded food can grow fungus in just two or three days. This can pose a great risk to your dog.  Cheese products like old pizza are particularly dangerous because they contain toxins that can give your pet muscle tremors and seizures. It’s important to keep your pet away from the trash. If he does manage to get into the garbage, watch him closely. A loss of appetite, shivering or yellow eyes are signs that you must call your vet immediately. Give him lots of dog toys and dog treats and keep him away from the garbage!

Can your pet get high blood pressure?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cute-puppy-and-kittenDid you ever think that only humans can get high blood pressure?  Cats and dogs can also suffer from hypertension.  Most of the time, they will never show any obvious signs of the disease.  The ability to recognize and to treat hypertension in dogs and cats is a relatively recent development in veterinary medicine.  Treatment for a pet with high blood pressure may include a low salt diet and pet medication to lower their blood pressure.  It has been found that in pets, hypertension is almost always secondary to some other disorder which may include diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid disease.  The chance of treating the hypertension really increases if you are able to discover and eradicate the underlying disease.

Toxic Lawn Care

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-cat-lawnIf you are planning to use pesticides or fertilizers on your lawn, you must think about the affect they may have on your cat or dog.  Keep your dog or cat (if he goes outside) inside for at least 24 hours after applying any chemical to your lawn. If he must go out, keep him on his dog leash and away from the treated areas.   There’s no need to panic. If applied properly, these chemicals can irritate your dog or cats paws but they rarely can poison a pet.  Clean up any pesticide spills. A puddle of the stuff could be dangerous to your pet.  Please note that research had shown an increase in cases of lymphoma  in dogs that were exposed to the herbicide 2 4 D. Make sure that you read all of the labels and take the proper precautions.

dog-witchIf you are thinking of taking your dog out for Halloween and dressing him up, here are some tips.

  • Pick out a suitable costume for your dog and make sure that it fits properly and is not too tight. There are many styles and sizes to choose from. Most large department stores will sell dog costumes as well as the larger pet stores. You may even try shopping online.
  • Get your dog leash and collar ready. Make sure that your dog is securely on his leash. There will be lots of children out at this time.  This neighborhood may be busy and this can be a bit scary to your dog. Put reflective tape on the leash or your may even want to purchase a flashing leash which is available at many pet stores. It’s important that you and your dog are seen on those dark streets at night.
  • Make sure that you respect your neighbors. It’s a good idea to bring someone else with you. They can ring the doorbell and say that there’s at dog, not a child at the door. Some homeowners will want to give out dog biscuits and may even want to pet your dog. Make sure that your dog is comfortable around people.
  • Keep your dog away from children who are trick or treating.  Dogs can get scared of masks and loud noises.
  • Remember, chocolate can be fatal to a dog. Don’t let the homeowners try to give any candy to your dog. Take some dog biscuits to give to your dog while you are out.
  • Take some pictures that you will treasure for many years to come!

You pet’s digestion process

Sunday, September 26, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-and-cat-togetherYour pets ability to digest pet food properly is a measure of how efficiently the nutrients in a given product are absorbed and used in your pets system. The ability for a pet to digest their food properly is the highest when a product contains high quality ingredients. That’s why we mentioned to always read the label carefully.  The product’s formulas must be carefully targeted to a particular type of pet. For instance, my older cat, Molly is a bit overweight so I make sure that I feed her mostly cat dry cat food especially made for indoor cats.  According to Veterinarian Steven Cohn, most quality diets are at least 85%  digestible or even higher. In cases where a special diet is used to manage a disease such as diabetes or to help a dog loose weight,  a well formulated dog food will contain added fiber. This may actually reduce the foods overall digestibility.  Even if this is the case, this product is still high in quality. We also mentioned in a previous posting that cat or dog treats should not be used as a substitute for their actual meal. The contents in these treats can contain lots of fat and the ingredients may not be of the highest quality.

The Wirehaired Fox Terrier

Saturday, September 25, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

wire-terriersThis dog came from England and was developed by  fox hunting enthusiasts. They are a  medium size dog is that weighs between 7 and 10 pounds. They have a rough, or broken coat and their coloring is usually white based with brown or gray markings.  These dogs are very energetic and intelligent.  They require lots of attention and exercise. They don’t like being bored. They are also very nosy and once acquired in a family they will make sure that the know all of your business!  They love to snuggle on the couch or in their dog bed in the evenings and really make a great companion pet.  If you’re a swimmer, you can take you Wirehaired Terrier with you as they love a swim. I would recommend putting a life jacket on them.

If their hair becomes too long, it should be taken out by hand to preserve the colors. Some owners prefer to have them clipped three or four times a year which is fine but clipping dulls the colors and makes their coat soft and more difficult to maintain.

If they are cared for properly, they should be friendly, energetic,  and very playful. Now because of their energy, this dog may not be suited for everyone but if you have kids, don’t mind the jumping and energy, they make wonderful family pets.

Is it cruel to keep a cat indoors?

Friday, September 24, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-on-computerDoes keeping your cat in your house or apartment mean that he is cooped up or he is being kept from harm?  You may hear some people say that keeping a cat indoors all day is cruel but indoor cats are much better off.  If you ask your veterinarian, you would probably be told that your cat will be healthier and have a longer life.  That’s because an indoor cat is less likely to be exposed to bacterial or viral infections.

Last week while taking a bike ride in Delaware, I came across a dead kitten in the middle of the road. I thought that if that little kitten had a good home and was kept indoors, this wouldn’t have happened. Keeping a cat indoors prevents it from being hit by a car or being attacked by wild animals.  Chances are, an indoor cat won’t pick up any fleas or ticks.

The biggest problem for an indoor cat is boredom. So the solution would be to provide your cat with plenty of cat toys and posts to scratch on and make sure that you play with him often. As we speak, my small cat Millie is bored. She’s meowing and wants to go out on the terrace and “help” me water the plants. She does this at this time everyday. Give your cat things to look forward to and she will live a very healthy, happy, longer life.

Changing to a new pet food

Thursday, September 23, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-cat-eatingYesterday, we discussed the quality of pet food. We’ll stay on this subject today and talk about changing to a new pet food. Unlike us, your pet should not eat one kind of pet food for breakfast and a completely different food for dinner.  If you decide to change from one pet food to another, you should do so slowly.  Changing foods too fast, can affect you pets GI system. If you change slowly, this problem will be kept to a minimum. With sudden changes in their diet, pets are prone to stomach upset,  gas, bloating,  diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems.  Increase the amount of a new food little by little, over a period of five to seven days.  Slowly decrease the old food and you pet will be less likely to get an upset stomach.  Remember, cat or dog treats, do not take the place of regular pet food.

Choosing the best cat food

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cute-cats-in-bedChoosing the right food for your cat can be a difficult task.  When you walk down the pet aisle in the supermarket, you’re overwhelmed by the amount of pet foods that are available. The key may be the company that makes the food.  Look for labels that have complete product guides on them, an 800 number that you can call with questions and data about proven research and feeding trials.  Use the large companies that do the feeding trials.  A feeding trial means that the food has been laboratory tested, has been shown to be nutritionally balanced for a certain life stage and proven to be delicious and irresistible to cats.  I would recommend using both a wet and dry food combination and provide your cat with an adequate amount of cat treats and plenty of water.

Vitamins for your pets

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-and-cat-in-holeHigh quality pet food manufacturers work hand in hand with veterinarians and nutritionists to assure that their product not only  tastes good but contains all of the nutrients that your pet requires throughout his life.  The vitamins are already in there. Steven Cohn, who is a Veterinarian with Nestle Purina Pet Care Company says that if your pet is normal and healthy and you’re feeding him quality food from a reputable company, you don’t have to provide any vitamin supplements to the pet’s diet.  Dr. Cohn says that extra vitamins can do more harm than good.  He says that the only time vitamin supplements may be called for is if your pet is suffering from a disease or disorder.  In this situation, your veterinarian will determine which extra vitamin supplements are needed. So keep feeding high quality food and provide plenty of treats and forget about extra vitamin supplement unless recommended by your vet.