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Archive for December, 2011

Pet safety during the holidays

Friday, December 16, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Some thought and preparation can help keep your pets safe during the holidays. If you put up a tree, it’s always a good idea to wire it to the ceiling so it can’t tip over. Breakable decorations and electrical wires should not be within reach and as we mentioned in a previous blog, tinsel must be avoided.  Consider displaying fake plants. Mistletoe, Poinsettias, and holly amongst others are toxic to animals.  Some of the sweet treats that we love during the holidays can wreak havoc on our pet’s intestines.  Make sure that all food, candy and alcohol is out of reach.  Be vigilant about he trash.  Give your dog lots of exercise and keep all pets on their regular routines. These are small precautions but they can help prevent any problems during the holidays.

Happy holiday! Remember, your pets count!

Winter coats for dogs

Friday, December 16, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

If your dog gives a sigh when another dog in a warm winter coat walks by, it’s more that just a fashion statement. Most small dogs that aren’t accustomed to very cold conditions do appreciate a little insulation around their middles. If it’s cold and windy where you live, then you should get your dog some warm clothing such as a dog coat or sweater. Some dogs will wear booties others won’t but wearing a coat is a good idea. You can find coats online or in mail order catalogs. It’s also fun to shop in person. Remember, the proper fit is more important than looking fancy. Take your time and choose a dog coat that both your and your dog will be comfortable with. Then you can watch the other dogs give that envious look when they walk by.

Remember, your pets count!

Cats sleeping in the sun

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Most cats love to sleep in the sun.Why are they always looking for a warm spot to snuggle?  One reason could simply that they want to get a sound sleep. Cats require about 15 hours of sleep per day and warmth often helps them get their best rest. When cats sleep, their temperature drops slightly and sleeping in the sun can help make up the difference. You’ll notice that some cats not only enjoy the suns rays but they will search out a heating  vent or another source of heat. They love the warmth of your bed. That’s why you’ll often find them snuggled up next to you when you wake up in the morning. Keep in mind that cats cannot tolerate excessive or prolonged heat. If your cat goes outdoors in summer, make sure that you provide a shady area for him.

Remember, your pets count!

It can be very frustrating to get your dog in the perfect position for that Christmas picture. What’s even more frustrating is getting him to sit still.  Before we go any further, your dog must be trained to sit and stay.  Let your dog get used to the camera. Let him take a good long sniff then start taking some shots to get him used to the clicking sound. The idea is to keep things natural and relaxed. Don’t grab a bunch of treats and shove them in your dogs face. Once he’s still and in the right position, take lots of pictures. Turn the flash off if outdoors or in an area that’s well lit. Your picture will look better in natural sunlight. Too much light will cause that “washed out” look. Get down to your dog’s level. Don’t stand over him. Pay attention to the background. A simple background like a beach or some trees are fine and will make your dog stand out better. A friend with a dog toy will come in handy if you want a head-on shot or a regal profile. However, keep your dog’s personality in mind, some dogs will get very excited when they see toys. Be creative, the best shots are often the spontaneous ones. Good luck, we’ll look for you and your best friend on that Christmas card!

Remember, your pets count!

There are good samaritans out there!

Sunday, December 11, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

This week, there was lots of disturbing news regarding the treatment of animals. Here in New Jersey over 400 black bears were killed for no reason. The courts gave hunters the authority to gun down these bears for absolutely no purpose. Barbaric isn’t it? They claim that this will reduce the bear population in NJ.  I doubt it. It gives hunters a reason to load their shot guns and destroy these creatures. It’s disgraceful and I must say that I am really ashamed that I live in this awful state with this awful governor!

Enough politics, there is some good news that occurred this week. A lady, driving past a house in Hawthorne, NJ saw smoke billowing out of someone’s basement. She also heard a dog barking. She stopped the car, made her way to the back of the house and put herself in danger. She kicked in the back door and a small dog came running out. Firefighters arrived at the scene and put out the fire which destroyed the basement and almost killed the little dog.  The dog was treated for smoke inhalation but was alright. Kudos to this wonderful women who risked her life to save this animal. I wish that there were more people like her but unfortunately there are many animal haters who get pleasure out of killing rather than protecting our animals. The owners of the house lost over $65,000 in instruments and recording equipment but said that it didn’t matter at all as long as their precious pup was still alive.

Remember, your pets count!

Jumping and your dog’s joints

Saturday, December 10, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

If you have a small dog, you make think that it’s cute when he jumps up onto y0ur lap. Letting him on the furniture is a bad idea. Not only will you have to vacuum your chair or sofa more often but it’s hard on you dogs joints.  It can cause an unexpected injury, especially in puppies or older dogs. It you want to cuddle with your little friend, pick him up by  hand and place him gently on your lap. You can also buy a set of pet stairs to help him climb up comfortably. Scaling stairs too often can also cause stress on your dog’s joints. You should buy a set that’s not too high or wide for your dog. Keep an eye on your pup when he’s up high. You don’t want him to fall and injure himself.

Remember, your pets count!

Removing surgical stitches

Thursday, December 8, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

When your dog or cat has surgery, your veterinarian will tell you when to bring him back to have his stitches  removed. Not all stitches need to come out. Stitches that are absorbed in the skin, break down rather quickly and they are the sutures of choice but sometimes these sutures can cause and immune response causing inflammation and scarring. Non absorbable stitches made of things like silk, nylon and stainless steel wire are used in situations when healing take more time.  These are usually removed in a few weeks. Sometimes they are left in for good. There’s a better chance that there won’t be any immune response these regular sutures.

Remember, your pets count.

How to “unlap” a lap dog

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

When your dog was a little puppy, you probably  enjoyed  having him sit on your lap. Your dog is now grown and still jumps up and wants to sit on your lap. Of course, your lap is not the perfect place for an adult dog. You must stop this behavior in its tracks before lap sitting  becomes a regular, life long habit. You probably want to treat your lap like any other piece of furniture where dogs are not allowed.  Hopefully, your puppy is learning the “off” command.  As many times as it takes, firmly say “off” and give your pup a little help getting down.  The floor is perfectly fine for dogs.  When he gets off your lap, and lies on the floor, praise him and give him a dog treat.This will quickly change his mind and he will quickly watch TV with you on the floor instead of on your lap.

Remember, your pets count!

Barn cats are the real workers of the feline world. Barn cats control rodents in horse stables, mills, shops and barns. These cats don’t always get the respect that they deserve. Here’s a barn cat bill of rights.

  • The right to regular veterinary cat just like a house cat. This means exams, shots and treatment for parasites that they may get from eating rodents.
  • The right to clean water and nutritious food that doesn’t attract unwanted visitors.
  • The right to be spayed or neutered so the population of barn cats can be kept under control.
  • Barn cats have the right to a place that is safe from deadly rat poison.

These cats are doing an important job and they need to be cared for well and be kept safe.

Remember, your pets count!

Just adopted a puppy? Here are some quick tips

Saturday, December 3, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

You just brought home your new puppy and both of you are in for a period of adjustment. Here are some quick tips in caring for a puppy.

  • Make sure that your house is safe for your puppy. Don’t give him run of the house yet. Keep him in a puppy proofed room where there is nothing that he could ingest or destroy.
  • Feed the puppy quality dog food either wet or dry three times a day until he is 12 to 16 weeks old.
  • Make sure that your puppy is crated when you are sleeping or out of the house.
  • Keep the crate free from blankets or things that he chew up.
  • Never leave the puppy alone outside or tied up while you are in a store. You are asking for trouble.
  • Make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible to examine your new pup or give him is shots if he hasn’t yet been vaccinated. Your vet will discuss the feeding and training requirements with you.

You and your puppy will enjoy a long, happy life together.

Remember, your pets count!