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Archive for September, 2010

The top ten smartest dog breeds

Monday, September 20, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

collie-graduationAccording to Pet Meds online, these are the top smartest dog breeds in the world.

1.  Border Collie – They always need a job to do and should not be left home alone for long periods of time.

2.  Poodle – Highly intelligent and one of the easiest breeds to train.

3.  German Shephards – Intelligent, courageous and have a strong protective instinct.

4.  Golden Retriever – Loyal, loving and patient and the most popular dog breed.

5.  Doberman Pinsher – Loyal, assertive and fearless.

6.  Shetland Sheepdog – Their owners say that they almost have human intelligence.

7.  Labrador Retriever – Loving, affectionate and patient.

8.  Papillon – Tough, moody and aggressive.

9. Rottweiler – Fearsome, but a great family dog.

10.Australian Cattle Dog – Very active and needs lots of exercise.

Don’t worry if your dog is not on this list, I’m sure that he is loving and intelligent after all, he’s yours isn’t he?  Now go out and buy him a brand new dog coat for the winter.

Stopping a dog from eating his stool

Sunday, September 19, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-lickingThis is an unpleasant topic but if you have a dog, you can relate.  Dogs will eat just about anything including their own feces or the feces of other animals.  I know that this sounds disgusting but it’s  common enough to be given a medical name: Coprophagy.  This is a natural act. Newborn puppies haven’t learned to urinate or defecate on their own so their mother licks them to stimulate elimination.  When an adult dog eats it’s own stool, it is usually a sign of loneliness or boredom. This is not usually a problem for the dog but poses an aesthetic problem for the dog owner.  You know what I mean when you’ve witnessed this and then your sweet dog tries to lick you face!!

You can try to break the habit but relieving your dogs boredom. Take him for longer walks, give him plenty of exercise and make sure that he has a wide variety of dog toys to play with.  Feed him more than once a day and give him treats every now and then so he has something to look forward to.

To prevent this problem, make sure that you pick up after your dog right away or if he is in a public place, you may want to consider a muzzle. If you own a cat, keep him away from the cat litter.  Good luck!

Spaying and neutering your cat

Saturday, September 18, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

kitten-very-cuteUsually, it is recommending that female cats get spayed at six months of age or before they go into heat.  This procedure involves anesthetizing the cat and the veterinarian makes an incision which the ovaries and the uterus are removed.  You may ask why cats are spayed when they are not in the heat cycle. Most vets prefer to spay when the cat is not in heat because the procedure is easier. If the cat is in heat, the procedure takes a bit longer because of increased blood to the uterus area. They can charge you a little more to spay while the cat is in heat.  The stitches usually dissolve and the cat recovers very  quickly. Before you know it, your kitten will be jumping around playing with her cat toys as usual.

Males cats are usually neutered between 5 1/2 and nine months. This is done before habits such as spraying urine begins. Neutering involves of the source sex hormones and and sex cells which are the testicles. Two very small incisions are made which usually don’t  require stitches. The cat is usually sent home the very same day.

There is a new technology for spaying a female cat that is used in Europe. It involves making a very small incision on the side of the abdomen. It’s a very safe and cost effective procedure that has not yet been used in the United States. This technique was developed for the use on feral cats which are released into the wild within 48 hours ofter the surgery.

Preventing dogs from licking after surgery

Friday, September 17, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-elizabethanAfter your dog has surgery such as being spayed, it’s important to keep her from licking the wound because she could remove her stitches or cause an infection. Unfortunately, dogs instinctively want to lick their wounds so you may need to take some precautions. If bandages and topical pet medication and products don’t do the trick, try an Elizabethan collar. This is cone shaped and fits onto your dogs collar wrapping around her head like an upside down lampshade.  Your dog may find this contraption bothersome but it will help keep her from licking and aggravating her incision site.  To make the situation less stressful, you can remove the collar when you are able to keep an eye on her.

The proper diet for a diabetic cat

Thursday, September 16, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-in-sheetsWhen your cat has diabetes, she’s prone to large peaks and valleys in her blood glucose level.  This is a situation that you need to monitor carefully. Steven Carone, who is a Veterinarian with Nestle, Purina Pet Care Company says that in recent years nutritionists have discovered that the right diet can help to regular a diabetic cat’s blood glucose levels. Reducing the amount of carbohydrates and increasing their protein intake will help to manage diabetes.  Reducing the amount of carbohydrates can help to blunt the cats glucose curve and can have a positive effect on a cat’s long term health. Some cats actually go off insulin when they are put on a high protein, carb. restrictive kind of diet. Even cats that still need insulin, often require less. Always check the carb and protein levels of your cats food and cat treats.

Extending health insurance for pets

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-and-cat-31Yesterday, we discussed health insurance for our pets. Today we are going to continue with this subject. The primary purpose of health insurance is to cover the unexpected like accidents and illnesses.  Pet owners can also opt to extend their coverage to include annual exams, vaccinations and neutering.  These are procedures that are meant to prevent rather than cure problems down the road.  Keep in mind that preventable diseases are only covered if you follow your vet’s advice. For example, if you follow your vets advice and vaccinate your dog against  Lyme disease  and he develops this disease anyway, it would be covered under the pets health insurance policy. In such cases, prevention can save you lots of money. So you can buy your dog another dog toy with the money that you just saved!

Health Insurance for your pets

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cute-puppySome pet owners want their pets to have the same level of health care as they do.  Today, health insurance is available to help cover the cost of a pets unexpected illnesses. Veterinarian, Bill Craig who is the Medical Director for Purina Health Care Insurance says that their pet health care policies have the same look and feel as the owners own health insurance. You pay your deductible for the year then there’s an 80/20 co pay after that. Pet owners pay upfront for the veterinarian services which can include any pet medication that is administered, then submit a claim form to the insurance company. Pre-existing  conditions are not covered.  In England nearly a quarter of all pets are insured but here in the U.S. it’s less than two percent.

dog-boxI know I’ve written about this topic several times. It’s one that I really feel passionate about. The reason why I’m writing about it again today is that today, a note was slipped under my door which read “Pets Coming to Grand Cove?” It went on to say that a vote is being taken to allow both dogs and cats into our condo community. There are currently no pets allowed but they really don’t say anything about cats. I have two cats and when I moved here about ten years ago, I was so paranoid that someone may see me bringing in a cat that I covered my cat’s cage with a bunch of blankets and “smuggled” her in. Now isn’t it ridiculous that we have to do that? Our pets are our family and should be allowed where ever we choose to live. There is a reason why pets are now being considered here at Grand Cove. The reason is that the real estate market is lousy and in order to be competitive in this market, allowing pets may make sales easier.

For many years most coop and condo communities here in north jersey “snubbed” pets.  Pets should always be allowed in my opinion, most people have pets and if you’re investing so much money in a place to live, it doesn’t make sense not to allow our pets.

I do believe that rules need to be established and followed. Fines should be issued to careless people who are not following the rules properly. For example, areas should be designated where pets can and cannot be walked. All dogs must be kept on their dog leash when outside and  a limit as  to the amount of pets one owner could have should be part of the rules and regulations.

It was encouraging to see this “change of heart” but did it have to occur because of a down real estate market?

Do cats like music?

Sunday, September 12, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-headphonesI have two cats. Mollie, my older cat and the younger one, Millie. I’m a music lover and run three online internet radio stations each with a different format. When I listen to my oldies station, my cat Mollie, usually sleeps in her bed next to the speaker and does not pay any attention.

Edgewater Gold Radio

When I listen to my vocal and popular standard station, she actually gets up and sits on the chair right next to the speaker and listens very attentively and actually seems to enjoy the music.

Movin Easy Net Radio

When I listen to my country station, she actually leaves the room and sleeps in the bedroom. I guess that’s saying something for her taste for country music.

Constant Country KRS

My younger cat, Millie, pays no attention to music, but does like to watch TV.

Feline reactions to music are quite variable. Some react with fear while others seem to really enjoy certain types of music. Austrian scientists have found that cats seem to prefer instruments such as the oboe or deep bass. There was one cat owner who listened to an easy listening radio station and said that her cat changed it to hard rock when she left the room!  Overall, they found that cats prefer fast beats to slow beats and deep tones to high pitched tones.

Don’t go out and buy an Oboe or Bass just yet, stick to your basic cat toys! Your cat will love you especially if you’re playing her favorite music while she plays with her toys.

Getting your dog used to a pet sitter

Saturday, September 11, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-sitterThe first step is picking the right sitter for your dog. My first choice would be someone that I know and my dog knows and trusts. That’s half the battle. This person should be able to balance and calm your dog down if he is nervous.  I would not suggest, leaving a dog who is a bit hyperactive with an elderly relative.  The Pet Sitter should understand the needs of your dog. The best thing to do is to have the Pet Sitter, come to your home, stay there while you’re away and maintain the dog’s daily routine. Keep the  walking, feeding and sleeping schedule the same.

If you have to leave your dog at another location, make sure that you get him familiar with the surroundings. May several trips to the new location. Make sure that he’s comfortable before leaving him.

If you choose to leave your dog with a family member, make sure that they know the whole routine. For example, if your dog is used to a one hour walk in the morning, a fifteen minute walk won’t do it.

Leave a checklist for the Pet Sitter, include important information like your phone number, the vet’s phone number and address and the nearest 24 hour animal hospital.  If there are any medications, leave very detailed instructions on how the medication should be administered as well as the frequency and time.  Also, make sure the Pet Sitter knows how ofter to check the dog water bowl. It should be filled at all times.  Note any behavior issues like whether or not you allow the dog on the furniture. Inform the sitter as to when the dog should receive a treat.

If you follow these tips, just relax. Your dog will be in good hands while you’re gone. It’s a good idea to check in with the sitter every few days if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time.