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Archive for July, 2011

You notice that your dog has your neighbors dog pinned to the ground. You took him over there for a pleasant visit but now you’re becoming a bit concerned. You also notice that both dogs are snarling. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between playing dogs and fighting dogs. Did you notice whether or not your dog faced your neighbors dog, crouched down with his four limbs nearly touching the ground, and was his rear raised in the air?  Was his tail low, making short sweeps?  If this is the case, play was on his mind. These fake brawls socialize dogs and teach them to inhibit their bites so they don’t cause injury. But if your dogs tail was high and upright, he’s displaying dominance. If your neighbors dog is trying to get away, and the snarling sounds scary, it might be a fight. Breaking up a fight can be dangerous.  You should allow your neighbor’s dog to become submissive to end the action.

If your dog is aggressive toward other pets, it’s a good idea to keep him on his dog leash when visiting. Remember, your pets count!

Putting your cat to work

Saturday, July 16, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Many affectionate cats are used as therapy animals. They visit the elderly and people in hospitals but if your cat is particularly talented, you may also want to give him a job. If your cat can respond to commands, he may make a great actor or model.  All of those pet food mascots that you see on TV have to belong to somebody. So do the cats featured in TV shows and movies. Does your cat have star potential?  You also may want to talk to your veterinarian about ways for your cat to help other felines. For example, some veterinary colleges have blood donor programs so your fabulous feline could potentially help another pet in need.

Keep feeding him those cat treats and give him lots of love. Remember, your pets count!

Three dogs and one dog leash

Friday, July 15, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Suppose that you have three dogs ready and willing to walk but just two arms? Who gets left behind? You could walk all three dogs on one leash and have a free hand to spare. Here’s how. Pet supply stores sell handy leash attachments called couplers  for two dogs and triplers for three. These are short, nylon straps with snaps for dog’s collars and harnesses. One leash connects to the coupler and off you go! Your three dog team may be a little ragged at first but they will get used to this arrangement sooner than you think. through a kind of canine peer pressure.  They’d rather walk than race anyway.

Are your cats playing or fighting?

Thursday, July 14, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

If you have two cats and one is stalking the other in the middle of the living room, the two jump on each other and look like a ferocious ball of fur. Are they playing or fighting?  Cat play is quieter. You won’t hear the loud wailing of a serious fight. During play, the offensive and defensive roles shift back and forth. Cats usually don’t get injured in the fake battles and afterward, neither seems afraid of the other. They will also display friendly behavior between these “fake battles.”  Remember, if your cat’s tiff  involves howling, flattened ears, dilated pupils, arched backs and puffy hair, make a loud noise or spray them with water because you have a real fight on your hands. Play with them with their cat toys to keep them occupied and away from each other for awhile. Remember, your pets count!

Feeding time for your dog

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

When it comes to feeding your dog, the first step is to determine the correct quantity of food to give him in order to maintain a healthy weight. Next, it’s critical that you establish a routine. Offering your pet meals at the same time every day can promote digestive health and regular bowel movements. For dog owners, this can add up to predictable walk times.  Your pet will also feel more secure knowing that meals come at regular intervals and this security can create a stronger bond.  Knowing when your dog will be hungry can also be used to plan a training session.  Part of your pets meal allotment can be offered as rewards instead of dog treats. Dietary changes should be made gradually to help reduce upsets and unpleasant surprises. Remember, your pets count!

A common knee injury in dogs

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

The most common knee injury in dogs is when they tear one of the two knee ligaments that stabilize the knee joint.  Called an ACL injury, it can happen when a dog is running and inadvertently steps in a hole, slips in the mud or is hit by a car, any action that puts tremendous stress on a dog’s knee. Large breed dogs which makes the knee more vulnerable, are especially prone to ACL injuries. St Bernard’s and Newfoundlands for example as well as poor physical condition in obese and elderly dogs makes them vulnerable as well. If the knee ligament is simply ripped, a period of rest may be enough to get the dog back in action but a torn ligament requires surgery to recreate the damaged tissue. Never try to diagnose this problem or administer pet medication on your own. The is a job for a vet. Remember, your pets count!

The cat fights continue

Sunday, July 10, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

My two cats Mollie and Millie are not the best of friends. Mollie is very territorial and Millie is the younger of the two and was adopted about five years after Mollie was born.  I’m spending this week at my summer home in Delaware.  Usually, there are no incidents between my cats while I’m here but this time is different. Mollie is being more aggressive than usual toward Millie. She’s growling, running after her, blocking her way and watching her every move. I’m not overly concerned but I do feel bad for my younger cat. I will not scold Mollie, except when she goes to attack Millie. I’m trying to ignore it. I’ve come to terms with the fact that they will never get along. My advice to you if you’re in a similar situation. Make sure that their food and water bowls are kept separate. Set up two separate litter boxes and try to distribute your affection equally. As a general rule, if you have a female cat and then take in another female, there is only a very slim chance that they will become friends. Remember, your pets count.

Cat shows

Saturday, July 9, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats shows have more rings than a circus!  The judges award best in show in every ring. If that sounds confusing, remember, each ring is a separate show all within the bigger event.  You’ll see all kinds of cats, long hairs and short hairs. Pedigreed cats are judged by a very specific set of breed standards. Some shows have a household pet class where the judging is more selective. Toward the end, the judges narrow down their favorites to the ten best cats. Finally, just one, the best cat in show gets lots of cheers are applause. Cat shows are never dull whether you’re window shopping for a new pet or just there for the spectacle. After that show, your cat deserves lost of treats and pampering. Remember, your pets count!

Cats and pool parties

Friday, July 8, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Generally speaking domestic cats do not like to get wet. They prefer not to have a bath. Most are not interested in even going near the backyard pool.  Cats can swim and like dogs, they are natural swimmers. If fact, cats that are native to a warm climate such as lions and tigers seem to enjoy the water and swim very well. They do this sometimes to catch fish and sometimes just to cool off.  By contrast, wild cats from cold climates such as bobcats, cougars and snow leopards dislike swimming and don’t even like to get wet.  One house cat that loves to swim is the Turkish Van.  He was a house cat in Turkey for years and was known as the swimming cat. Don’t toss those cat toys in the pool just yet, keep your cat dry and he’ll be a lot happier!

Finding a stray

Thursday, July 7, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

When an unfamiliar dog or cat wanders into your yard or neighborhood, it may be a stray that could have been abandoned or maybe it’s a lost pet. Talk to the animal in a calm, reassuring voice. If it’s someones pet it may approach you. Then you could check for a collar and ID tag. If the cat or dog was abandoned or is a stray, it may be wary and not want to come to you. Many times the animal is hungry. Try giving it some food to win it over. Take your time and move slowly. Allow the animal to approach you and sniff your hand. If the dog or cat has ID tags, call the owner and restrain the animal  until the owner arrives. If the animal has no ID, call the police or your local animal shelter.