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Archive for November, 2011

Is your home suitable for a dog?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Before adopting a dog, ask yourself the following 10 questions.

  1. What’s the best breed for our lifestyle?
  2. Will we have the time to give the dog the proper training?
  3. Will there always be someone around to walk and feed the dog?
  4. Are the children old enough to be given the responsibility of caring for a dog?
  5. We will have the time to care for the dog? Are we away too much?
  6. Who will care for the dog if we are away?
  7. Can we afford the extra expense?
  8. Is our yard large enough and secure enough for the dog to play outside?
  9. Are we home enough? Dogs get lonely and like to have people around
  10. Are we getting the dog for the right reasons? (Not just because our child wants one.)

Seriously, ask yourself these questions before you decide to adopt a dog.

Remember,your pets count.

Pets and puncture wounds

Sunday, November 27, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

A puncture wound is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an injury that is deeper than it is wide.  In pets, puncture wounds are often caused by bites or objects such as sticks, metal or glass. If your pets gets a puncture wound, check his overall health to see if it’s an emergency. Make sure that he’s not in shock, breathing heavily or bleeding profusely. Then take him to your veterinarian for an exam. Your pet may need a tetanus shot or rabies booster. Puncture wounds also need to  be kept clean so that they are free of infection. An abscess can form if the skin heals over the wounds sealing in an infection. So if the area is tender, smelly or oozing pus, call your veterinarian. Your pet may need antibiotics. Never try to administer any pet medication without the advice of a vet.

Remember, your pets count!

Giving your cat or dog a quality life

Saturday, November 26, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

I spoke to someone a few days ago who mentioned to me that their daughter brought home a cat from college. She adopted the cat last year when she attended college away from home. This year she is at a commuter college and lives at home with her parents. Her parents have a dog. The cat stays in the basement. What’s wrong with this picture? Our pets should be part of our family and although cats are solitary creatures, they do get lonely, require exercise and need attention just like a dog. I have written several blogs about how to introduce a cat to a home with a dog. Lots of people don’t want to be bothered to go through this task. I feel that his is not right. Cats and dogs can get along together if they are given a chance to adapt to one another. Keeping a cat in a dark, damp, lonely basement is not providing a quality life for the pet.  It’s sad to see that lots of people really don’t understand how to care for a pet properly. Make sure that your pet has a quality life. If you are too fussy about things like them jumping on the furniture, vomiting on your rug or if you don’t want to make a commitment to spend time and train the pet properly, then do me a favor, don’t adopt one just because you thin it’s “cute.” This is not fair to these poor animals. Give them a good home, lots of attention, good food, lots of exercise, otherwise don’t take them into your home. Remember, your pets count.

Cats self grooming

Friday, November 25, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats are very fastidious when it comes to their own person hygiene.  Sometimes it can appear that your cat is vane.  You may think that you take too long in the bathroom. your cat spends up to 15% of his time grooming himself. This is a habit that stems from natural instinct. Wild cats need to clean themselves regularly after they catch and eat their prey.  This natural behavior carries over to house cats and could be a way to detect the state of their overall health. It’s a positive sign to see your cat licking his coat regularly. The action spreads natural oils throughout his fur and tiny barbs on your cat’s tongue help him remove dirt and gnats.  His flexible spine enables him to do a good job and for the places that he can’t reach, he’ll use his paws to wash his face and head.

Remember, your pets count!

Happy Thanksgiving, keep your pets safe

Thursday, November 24, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

It’s Thanksgiving day and there will be guests and lots of food. It’s important that you remember to remind your guests not to give the begging pooch any table scraps. Dogs could choke on bones and cats can get very sick if they are given any chocolate. If your dog is a “jumper,” it will be a good idea to keep him in a separate room while the guests are arriving.  Make sure to keep your dog away from the door. He may dart out in all of the excitement. Keep these simple things in mind and you’re sure to have a great day.  Happy Thanksgiving! Remember, your pets count!

Caring for cats or dogs

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

How many times have we heard the question, are you a cat person or a dog person? You probably do have a preference but I doubt that it has anything to do with the level of care. Many people assume that cats are easier to care for than dogs and in many ways, this is true. Cats easily learn to use a litter box but just because cats are solitary creatures doesn’t mean that they don’t need lots of love and attention. Just like dogs, cats need mental stimulation and exercise.  Most cats enjoy playtime. My younger cat Millie likes to chase her fishing pole cat toy every night. She also likes lots of cat toys. Some cats even enjoy walking on a lease.  Remember, both cats and dogs require good grooming, vaccinations,  and regular check up with a veterinarian.

Remember, your pets count!

How to handle a small puppy

Sunday, November 20, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

For an insecure young puppy, being picked up by a human is a very scary experience. Even though a puppy’s mother used her teeth, we could do this a lot easier. Slip one of your hands under the puppy’s chest and tummy, then pull him up and cradle him against your chest. Use your other hand to support the front legs which could be shaking. Remember, the puppy has never been this far off the ground before. This is a real bonding moment in your puppy’s life. You could even feel his tiny heartbeat and he can hear yours too. Keep his head underneath for support when your return the puppy to it’s mother. Don’t be surprised if he runs back over to you.

Remember, your pets count.

 

Daily dog walks

Saturday, November 19, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

When you house trained your pup, someone had to be there at noon time, maybe more often to take him out for a walk. Canine toilet behavior has now become more routine, it’s almost tempting to slack off on dog walking too. Keep this in mind that daily dog walks are very beneficial to both you and your dog.  It’s good for both the physical and mental health of you and your dog. You’re probably saying to yourself that you hate carrying bags to pick up after your dog and water if he gets thirsty. They now have special doggie backpacks that can carry all of that and more. Your dog will look cool and you’ll feel smart. So grab your dog leash, it’s time to take your pup for a walk!

Remember, your pets count!

Harmony among cats

Friday, November 18, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

A leading cause of behavior problems with cats are multiple cats in the home. Cat on cat aggression is not pretty and neither is territorial spraying. Cats are a non social species. If you put cats together, you’ll see a domestic hierarchy develop. In my home, my older cat, Mollie is the dominant cat. It can be difficult for my younger cat, Millie because she always has to be on her guard. Mollie blocks her way to her food, the bathroom and just about everywhere. Mollie “stares her down” and silently tells Millie who’s boss. As you can see, cats like to divide up the home territory. Always keep this in mind if you are thinking of getting another cat. If your cats are all spayed and neutered, it will simplify things. Try feline appeasers. They come in plug in diffusers  like a night light. It’s not a cure all but it might keep your cats mellow in a multi-cat house hold.

Remember, your pets count!

Germs in the water bowl

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Dogs like to have their own dog food bowls but do you need more than one water bowl for more than one dog?  What about the germs in each dog’s mouth?  Just like humans, dogs have lots of bacteria in their saliva. We shouldn’t call them all germs because some bacteria serve a useful purpose. The bad bacteria gets zapped by acid in the dog’s stomach when it swallows.  Some diseases that dog’s pass along  are respiratory and some are transmitted by fecal contamination. If your dog has a compromised immune system, I wouldn’t let him share a water bowl or drink the water from any bowls that thoughtful store owners may keep outside their store for our canine friends.

Dogs with healthy immune systems can safely share one water bowl. Always keep plenty of water around. Adult dogs are 60% water so they need lots of hydration.

 

Remember, your pets count!