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Archive for August, 2011

Electrical Fences

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

A good fence keeps dogs from roaming and improves the relationship with your neighbor. Many people install underground electric fences that will activate a dog’s collar when he gets too close. The dog will first hear a warning tone, then feel a mild shock. This sometimes makes dogs fear the yard which you don’t want. Put up flags to show him the yard’s boundaries, then walk your dog around the yard on his dog leash. Whenever he approaches the fence, tug on leash to return him to a safe area.  Do this for a few days then allow him to experience a small shock. Soon your dog will get used to the perimeter of the yard and not go to the edge where he could get a shock.  For the next steps, take your dog off his leash and play with him in the yard. Make sure he is always supervised at this point.  After a few days, try him in the yard by himself. Observe him from a nearby door or window. Before long, your yard will be a great and safe playground for your dog.

Remember, your pets count!

America’s top pet

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Dogs or cats, what do you think?  What is the number one most popular pet in America?  The answer depends on how you count and of course who you ask.  About 37% of American households have a dog and 32% of households have a cat. .or two…or more. Maybe you’re starting to see the trend. The average dog owning household has 1.7 dogs. This adds up to about 70 million dogs nationwide.  There are 2.2 cats on the average in cat owning households. This adds up to over 80 million cats. Some people think that it’s no contest because they have both kinds of pets.  So I may say that cat lovers believe that cats are America’s top pet and dog lovers say that dogs are the top pet. Whatever – keeping pampering those wonderful pets with lots of cat and dog treats, toys and love. Remember, your pets count!

Cat treats vs cat food

Sunday, August 28, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Each night at about 7:00pm my cats come in the kitchen and wait for their treats. Cat crave treats! What’s the difference between treats and dry cat food?  Cats do enjoy their wet and dry food but if you want to really entice your cats appetite, give them some cat treats every now and then. My cats are spoiled and get treats nearly everyday.  Treats could be like giving your cat dessert. It should be given sparingly. Generally cat food is higher in protein than treats. This should make up the bulk of your pets diet. Treats should also be nutritional, so make sure that you read the labels on all treats. Adding treats to your cats routine can make, training your cat more successful, add to your cats pleasure and even create a tighter bond between you and your cat. Remember, your pets count.

Home massage for dogs

Friday, August 26, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Chances are your dog would enjoy a good massage as much as you do.  Not deep muscle massage,that’s  a job for Physical Therapists at your veterinary clinic.  It’s more like a light, relaxing rubdown from head to tail, not to mention a scratch around the ears and tummy. Think about what feels good when you get a massage.  Do the same, gently for your dog.  Your dog will let you know if anything is tender and hurts. A frequent rubdown, even daily is a good way to know any changes in your dogs condition.  If it’s tick season where you are, it’s a good chance to do that important tick check as well. After his massage, give him a treat! He’ll really appreciate it. Remember your pets count!

Hurricane preparedness for pets

Thursday, August 25, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Many areas along the east coast are preparing for evacuation in preparation for hurricane Irene. Our pets depend on us for their safety. Never leave them behind! You don’t know how long you’ll be away. You don’t know the condition of your property until they have to return.  Your pets may not survive on their own. Be smart,  plan for your pets evacuation along with your own. Pack at least three days of pet food and water for your pet. Pack any medications that you may need as well have make sure that your pet is wearing a collar displaying his name, your name and address. e-mail address and telephone number.  Take along all important documents. We mentioned some of these things yesterday.

If you are not evacuating, do not attempt to walk your dog in the middle of a hurricane. Dangerous conditions could harm both you and your pet. Wait until the storm passes before taking your dog outside.

As of now, hurricane Irene is predicted to impact the US East coast all the way from North Carolina to Maine and beyond. Prepare now, it’s going to be a tough weekend!

 

Protecting our pets in the event of a hurricane

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

It’s all over the news. Hurricane Irene is expected to have a big impact on the east coast of the U.S. from the Carolina’s all the way up to Maine. We have to include our pets in our emergency plans. In the event that you have to evacuate, here are some things that you should do.

Find a pet friendly shelter. Take along these items.

  • Food and water – pack at least a three day supply of food and water for your pet.
  • Medicine – keep an extra supply of any medicine that your pet must take.
  • Collar and leashes – some shelters don’t allow a retractable dog leash. Make sure that you have a good leash, and all of your dog’s information on his collar. It’s even better if your pet is micro-chipped.
  • First aid – You can purchase a first aid kt for your pets.
  • Medical records – Keep all immunization papers and documents regarding your pets medications together in a water proof container.
  • Bring along small bags, disinfectants, and newspapers used for cleanup. Bring a litter box and litter for your cat.
  • Photo – Bring a recent photo of you and your pet in the case of separation.
  • Pet Carrier – You’ll never know where you will end up in a disaster. It’s a good idea to keep a crate with you.
  • Favorite toys – Your pet will be stressed just as you are. A few toys will her calm her down.
Always remember your pets in the event of a major weather event. Remember, your pets count!

Saving our pets

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

If a new measure is passed by the legislature in New Jersey is signed my Gov. Christie, shelters could now forgo the current seven day waiting period and euthanize animals for reasons of  age, health or even behavior at any time.  Euthanizing an animal so soon based on age and behavior is very subjective. It is cruel for the defenseless animal.  This is very disturbing because sometimes if a pet is lost, the owner will not always contact a shelter right away.  Their pet could be destroyed for no reason!  Another unfair and senseless law in the state of New Jersey!  Their argument is to provide a humane way of allowing shelters deal with overpopulation.  The Governor must sign the bill by Thursday or offer a conditional veto which would give legislators a chance to take another look at this unfair law. The elimination of the seven day period is a serious flaw in this new law and must be changed.

We should be looking to limit the euthanizing of innocent animals not increase it!

Make sure you pet has a collar where the animal’s name, your address and telephone number  is prominently displayed.  It’s a good idea to have a micro-chip placed in your pet. If your pet shows up at a shelter, he will be scanned. Your name and contact information will be displayed and you will be contacted right away. It’s a simple procedure which your vet could perform.

Remember, your pets count!

Elevating your Great Dane’s Dog Bowl

Sunday, August 21, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

It’s been accepted practice for many years to elevate the food bowls of  large breed dogs such as Great Danes or St. Bernard’s because they’re susceptible to a potentially life threatening condition called “bloat.”  It’s brought on by too much air in the stomach.  The body cannot expel this excess air. The reason for this condition is unknown.  Recent research has revealed that a raised food bowl does little to prevent bloat and may even increase your dogs chances of developing it.  Elevated food bowls may still be useful for some pets.  Eating out of a raised bowl can reduce the stress on the necks and backs of Greyhounds and other big legged dogs. It’s also a lot easier on dogs that have arthritis.

Remember, your pets count!

Is aspirin safe for cats?

Saturday, August 20, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

If you have an older cat that suffers from arthritis, you might be tempted to give your  pet pain medication from your medicine cabinet.  Stop right there! Medicine such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are toxic to cats.  In very rare instances, some veterinarians will prescribe aspirin for cats but only in tiny amounts and on a very specific schedule. Most veterinarians prefer other methods to treat arthritis in cats.  They would recommend inflammation reducing agents such as Glucosamine instead. They may even recommend rehabilitation treatments such as acupuncture.  In most cases these therapies tend to work best. Always consult with your veterinarian and never administer any pet medication without his expert opinion. Remember, your pets count.

Getting your cat to drink more water

Friday, August 19, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats get dehydrated just as humans do. It’s important that your cat drink enough water throughout the day. Sometimes it seems a if my cats never drink water. There are some things that you could do to get them to drink more. The first thing that I would do is put several water bowls around the house. Vary the size and material of the bowls. and material of the bowls. Put the bowls in different places. Cats seem to get interested in anything that is “new” or “out of place.”  Try running water. My cats love to drink from the water faucet or the bathtub. They now make battery operated water bowls that actually run water.  You may try adding some food to the water. This does not work for my cats but it may for yours.  My younger cat ,Millie loves to drink the water that runs off of the plants after I water them. I don’t encourage this especially if you use plant food or bug repellent. It could actually make your cat sick.