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Archive for February, 2012

Changing dog diets

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

When it comes to switching pets foods, gradual, proportional change  over time will be fine with a finicky cat but dogs are different. Most dogs will eat basically anything that lands in their bowl.  That kind of appetite doesn’t mean that a sudden change of diet isn’t a shock to the dog’s system. Indigestion, diarrhea and worse can result from  abrupt changes in diet. If your veterinarian has advised you to change your dogs food, do it gradually.  your veterinarian might recommend feeding a ratio of 50/50 old or new food at first.  then one third old food and two thirds new food for awhile. This will be easier on your dog’s digestive system and the transition will be smoother.

Remember, your pets count!

If your dog is still a puppy, make sure that has lots he has of toys to play with. Praise him when he’s playing with his toys. Keep a close eye on him. Never give him any praise if he is playing with your clothes, pillows, furniture etc.   Spend time each day giving him plenty of exercise and play time. Playing fetch with him gives him plenty of exercise, is great fun and helps him burn calories. Take your time when walking your dog. Walking is great for you and your best friend, it will keep him from being bored and get him tired so he gets a good nights sleep. Train you dog by teaching him basic tricks, he will become closer to you and also keep him occupied. When you’re about to leave for work in the morning, give your dog a chewy toy , a newspaper to rip up while you’re gone. It’s a good idea to keep the TV on while you’re gone so he doesn’t feel as if he’s alone. Animal Planet or a dog channel are good choices.  Take him to a grooming place so he sees other dogs and gets to play around with the other dogs.  All of these things will keep him from getting bored and potentially doing damage in your home.

Remember, your pets count!

The problem of shedding

Saturday, February 25, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Your furry friend who sheds a lot is a source of frustration. Daily or even twice daily brushing is often the best solution.  You choose where the fur goes and while brushing, helpful, moisturizing oils are distributed through the coat. Keeping your pets skin moist is also important.  Use a humidifier, give regular baths with a gentle shampoo and make sure that your pets diet has enough omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids from fish.  Keep in mind that shedding is a normal and necessary process but there are also numerous medical conditions with excessive shedding as a symptom. Be sure to consult your veterinarian if you suspect an underlying health problem.

Remember, your pets count.

Cats can get into the strangest places

Friday, February 24, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

A few days ago, while at my place in Delaware, my younger cat Millie decided to “disappear.” I usually let her out on the screened in porch. She had been outside a while and I decided to go out and check on her. I looked all over and she wasn’t there. Although I knew that she couldn’t get outside, I still had my doubts because she’s done stranger things before. I searched inside and looked all over, inside closets, under beds, couches, chairs and even under the covers on the bed. She was no where to be found. I really began to panic! I called her and called her, shook her little hanging toy but still no Millie. Where did she go? I was really worried since my place is not that big and there aren’t many places where she could hide. I then checked the bedroom once again. Something looked a little peculiar about the drawer in the dresser.  I opened the top drawer and there was Millie! Fast asleep and looking as cozy as she could. How did she get in there? I have no clue, I was just so relieved and glad that I found her. Cats can be strange and don’t try to unlock the mysteries behind why they do the things they do, just give them lots of love!

Remember, your pets count!

Joyriding dogs

Thursday, February 23, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Does your dog love to ride in the car? His head is stuck out the window and he loves the breeze and all of the things that he smells. What could be the harm in this?  Eye injuries that’s what so many vets hate to see.  Think of all of the things that go splat on your window and you can imagine how many potentially harmful things could get into your dog’s eyes.  There is a compromise. Roll down your window just enough for the dog’s nose. Those great smells will still be there. All that’s missing is the risk to your dog’s vision.  Don’t forget to buckle  your dog up. A properly fitted seat belt harness will keep your dog in place and from harm when you make that sharp turn.

Remember, your pets count!

Some tips on getting a good photograph of your cat

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats can be difficult to photograph. As soon as they notice the camera, they may dart under the bed, sofa or into another room.  Here are some tips that may help.

  1. Give her a treat  but don’t expect her to pose after just one treat. Give her a treat and keep some treats in your hand. Once she realized that you are giving her “free” treats, keep them near the camera and start photographing her.
  2. Set up some obstacles that you know that your cat can’t resist like some unrolled toilet paper, a card board box or an open window.  Just open the window a crack or maybe put some open treats on the counter. As soon as you have her attention, you can start taking the pictures.
  3. Put out some colorful blankets. Cats love anything new and will quickly go near the blankets and maybe even lie down so you can get a few good shots.
  4. Catch her in action. Have someone play with her with her favorite toy and take a bunch of pictures.

Some things that you shouldn’t do is use a flash. Give her a break after taking a few photos, be creative and patient and I’m sure that you will get some great pictures!

Remember, your pets count!

Do cats have bad moods?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Some days we feel like a million bucks other days,we feel bummed out and want to be alone. Our cats are the same as us in this way. Today, my older cat Mollie got up on the “wrong side of the bed.” She usually follows me all over the house and craves my attention. Today, when I went to pet her, she swatted me as if to say “leave me alone.”  She is not in a good mood today. Immediately, I tried to determine whether or not she’s feeling well.  It seems like she fine physically. She’s eating and acting normal in every other way. It seems like she just wants to be alone today. Respect you cat’s moods and always give her lots of love. Never scold her, it will  get her more upset. Tomorrow she’s be back to her “normal” self and will be craving all of your attention as usual.

Remember, your pets count!

 

Cleaning your dog’s ears

Sunday, February 19, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

If your dog is shaking it’s head  a lot and pawing its ears, it’s time for an ear cleaning before a nasty ear infection sets in. You’ll need soft cotton balls, and ear cleaning fluid from your veterinarian. While your at the vets, ask for instructions. You’ll be using your smallest finger because Q tips can go too far into the ear canal and damage the eardrum. Make sure that you have a towel handy because this could be a messy process.  Squirt a few drops in each ear. Your dog will probably shake it’s head so watch your eyes. Shaking loosens old ear wax. Wrap cotton around your little finger, and repeat as necessary.  If this causes any pain, the dog might have an ear infection and needs to see a veterinarian.

Do you give your dog table scraps?

Saturday, February 18, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Only a very rare dog will turn down a delicious, juicy table scrap but should you really feed your dog things that you can’t eat?  Lets consider some of the problems with feeding your dog table scraps.  You may say that you’ll watch for bones right? Well maybe. Lots of small bones can get mixed into table scraps. You’ll also watch for things that dogs can’t eat like chocolate. You may know this but does a friend that might be coming for dinner?  If you do feed your dog table scraps, they should be a small, measured amount along with a balanced diet of regular dog food. It all adds up and you don’t want an overweight dog begging at the table. If given sparingly, a nutritious table scrap every now and then is probably OK, it could even be a reward in your training routine.  Sit, stay, good dog and enjoy that great tasting piece of chicken!

Remember, your pets count!

 

Bad hair days for dogs

Friday, February 17, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Dog hair mats are a mixture of shedding hair, hair, dirt and debris.  These are impossible to brush and can get you and your dog very frustrated.  Long, thick, curly or silky haired dogs are most prone to hair mats, so are dogs that like to play in water. How can you prevent these from forming?  Brush you dog daily with a good quality brush to remove shed fur. If your pet has long hair, consider a hair cut. Bath you pet regularly because clean fur is less likely to mat. Excessive licking or scratching also causes mats so promptly treat the source of your pets itching.  Finally, a strong, healthy coat begins with good nutrition. If you do find a mat, eliminate it right away before that situation becomes much worse.

Remember, your pets count!