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Archive for October, 2012

Protect your pet during Hurricane Sandy

Sunday, October 28, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

We are making final preparations for the arrival of this very large, dangerous storm. Make sure that your pets are included in your plans. Most shelters accept pets so please don’t leave your pets behind. Make a checklist for yourself as well as your pets. The official Delaware Website as a good checklist of what to include.

Pets

  • Make a disaster kit. Just like you have a kit for your family, your pets should have waterproof kits as well. Include medical records, vaccination history and medications, current photographs, veterinarian contact information, documentation of any behavior problems, alternate contact information, first-aid kit, leashes, collars, harnesses or muzzles with identification tags, a pet carrier, food and water bowls, litter pans, toys, blankets and food and water for at least seven days, with a can opener.
  • Update vaccinations. Make sure your pet is up-to-date before a storm event occurs.
  • Have an evacuation plan. Designated Delaware emergency shelters now offer housing for pets at or near human shelters. You should bring your pet disaster kit along, including food and water, and are encouraged to visit regularly and oversee day-to-day care for their pets. Owners should also have a list of other locations where they can evacuate with their pets, such as relatives, pet shelters or pet-friendly motels or hotels. Determine several routes to your local shelters before you leave.

Good luck and stay safe!

Remember, your pets count!

Protect your pet during a large storm

Saturday, October 27, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Today, we are awaiting the approach of  Hurricane Sandy.  I’m not the only one that feels “stressed out.” Our pets get stressed and frightened during large storms. The howling wind can cause cats to run and hide, the loud sound of thunder and branches snapping also takes it’s toll on our little friends. How can we help our pets stay calm? There are some things that we could do to help calm them down.  Ask your vet about some products that you can purchase that will calm down your pet. You can purchase a calming liquid made up of flower essences that you can put in your pets water that has a relaxing effect on your pet. Sometimes music can calm your pet down.  An easy-to-use pheromone spray that helps pets relax by creating a sense of well-being for dogs and cat is available to “de-stress” your dog or cat. Being close to you and hearing the sound of your voice will most certainly help a frightened dog or cat calm down.

If you’re in the path of Hurricane Sandy, be aware of your pets, stay close to them and comfort them if necessary.

Remember, your pets count!

Examining your pets history

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

When your pet meets a new veterinarian, many questions will come up regarding your  pets health history. The doctor will want to know is age, gender , weight whether or not he’s been neutered and his vaccination history. It’s important to share information about medications that your pet is taking, if he’s ever had a bad reaction to a vaccine or antibiotic or if he’s ever had a seizure. The main focus will be on the reason for your current visit. Is your pet exhibiting troubling health symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea? Does he have any unusual lumps or bumps? or does he have ay behavioral issues?  In order to deliver the best possible care, the veterinarian will want to learn everything possible about your pet.

Remember, your pets count!

Walking your dog without a leash

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

I know that you think that you know your dog. He always stays by you and obeys all of your commands. You may feel comfortalble taking him for a walk around your house without a leash. This is a big mistake. You never know what lurks around the corner. It could be something as simple as a squirrel that sends your dog off and running. I do have a sad stoy about a man who always walked his dog in the quiet area where he lived. There was very  little traffic and lots of space and most of all not too many people. One day while on his walk with his owner, the dog saw a squirrel. He quickly darted away and  ran across the road. At that time an SUV was coming down the road at a fast speed. He hit the little dog and killed him instantly. So if you think you can walk your dog without a leash, do me a favor and think of this story. It may save your dogs life!

Remember, your pets count!

Teaching your pup to swim

Sunday, October 21, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Before you start teaching your pup to swim, you have to slowly get him used to the water. Never push or rush him. You should give the pup a reason to want to swim. That could be to retreive, to follow you or to chase other dogs. Allow him to choose to swim. Once he begins to swim on his own, give him lots of practice.

To first introduce your dog to the water, start by having him follow you. Take small steps in water that he can stand in.  If your dog likes to retreive, throw some floating toys in the ater but make sure that he can still stand up in the water on his own. Gradually throw the toy further out. At some point, he will have to swim to get it. Another method is to take a friend with you and carry the pup out into the water. Stand facing each other close at first, then put the pup in the water an have the other person call him. Keep doing this and as he gains his confidence, step further and further back. Before you know it, your pup will be swimming on his own and loving it. Remember, practice, practice practice!

 

Your Pets Count!

Mats in your cats fur

Saturday, October 20, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

To keep you cat feeling good, you need to stop mats from  forming in her fur. Although cats groom  themselves, they need a little help from humans. Brushing and combing a short haired cat  once a week and brushing and combing a long haired cat daily, should do the trick. Most cats do not like being combed. Give your cat a little love before combing her and a treat afterwards. Pay special attention to where mats form like behind the ears, behind the front legs and backlegs and under the collar. If you find mats that do not comb out easily, do not use scissors. Instead, take the cat to a professional groomer. If you brush your cat regularly, it should take only five minutes. Outdoor or older cats make take a little more tme.

 

Remember, your pets count!

Small dogs are best for a small apartment

Thursday, October 18, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Small dog breeds are perfect canine companions, especially if you live in a small apartment. Here are some reasons. Small dogs usually require less exercise. Tossing a small ball indoors, will be plenty for them. It is also important to know  that small breeds can be trained to use wee wee pads which is perfect for the elderly especially on cold rainy or snowy days. These dogs will comfortably sit on your lap or sofa. They can also be kinder on your allergies. Toys dogs and Tea Cups breeds usually don’t shed much.  If security is your concern, don’t worry small breeds make great watchdogs and alert you if someone approaches your door or is on your property. If you like to take your dog with you on short trips to the store or mall, don’t worry, these dogs fit nicely into large handbags. Always give your dog lots of treats, love and affection. He’ll love living with you even if it’s in a small apartment!

Remember, your pets count!

 

 

How much time should you spend with your cat?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats are not like dogs in that dogs require attention almost all the time but cats are social creatures that do require your love, affection and time. I mentioned this several times in the past but if you’re never home or working constantly even when you are home —–STOP——Please don’t adopt a cat.  For gosh sake, don’t throw your cat in the basement and leave him there never to socialize with humans!!  They shouldn’t be treated like a piece of furniture and just because they seem to function fine when left alone, they do get lonely and require lots of love and attention like dogs.

When I’m home, I make sure that my cats have enough playtime, especially in the evening. Even if I’m tired, my younger cat Millie wants to play with her stick toy. I make sure she plays every night. In the morning, as soon as I get out of the shower, my older cat, Mollie is sitting there expecting to be brushed. Even though I’m in a hurry to get ready for work, I always take the time to brush her.

In the evening, they both want their snacks and I make sure that I’m here to give it to them. I frequently pet and talk to them. There’s nothing better than watching TV in the evening with Mollie snuggled next to me.

Treat your cats well!

Remember, your pets count!

 

 

How dogs react when a loved one dies

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Dogs do mourn the loss of a loved one. Pets can show signs of mourning in ways that the family does not recognize. Many dogs have a significant attachment to their owners and other family members. They can show anxiety, stress even if there is a short term separation.  Death can be much worse on them. They can sit and wait by the door or at the window everyday in anticipation that their loved one will eventually come home.

Some signs that a dog is mourning after a loved one dies are:

  • A less amount of social interactions.
  • Not interested in playing
  • moping or listlessness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Restlessness at night
  • Weight loss

Here’s a story that was posted by Pet Place.com.

Perhaps, the most famous dog-grieving story of all time is that of Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier owned by a Mr. John Gray of Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr. Gray passed away in 1858 and was buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, Bobby was one of the conspicuous mourners. As time went by he never forgot his deceased master. Every day for the next 14 years until his own death in 1872, Bobby spent each night lying on his master’s grave come rain, hail and snow. In honor of Bobby’s devotion, a statue and water fountain was erected to his memory in 1873.

Remember, your pets count!

 

What to do if your dog goes missing

Sunday, October 14, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

If your dog suddenly goes missing, your mind will go blank, that feeling of dread will come over you and you won’t know what to do first. Now lets think clearly.

  • Hopefully your dog is either micro-chipped or his collar contains your name, address and phone numbers. This information is vital for the safe return of your dog.
  • Have someone stay at home and man the phones in case someone calls with information about your dog. Take your cell phone with you when you start your search.
  • Have the person at home call local animal hospitals, shelters, police, etc.
  • Leave a description, picture of your dog and phone numbers at all locations that you check on. (Animal hospitals, shelters etc.)
  • Bring some bait with you like a bag of treats that you usually shake at home. Any other sounds that your dog is familiar with will help as well.
  • Bring business cards, a pad of paper where you can write down any specific information like phone numbers of anyone who helps you with the search.
  • Give your phone number to anyone you run in to.
  • There are also Web sites like PetAmberAlert.com or Craigslist where you can post your dog’s disappearance to get your word out to the concerned citizens in your area. Your local shelter or veterinarian may also be able to recommend good Internet resources for your area.
  • Create a poster with a picture of your dog and all other pertinent information
  • Check online and check the local newspaper to see if anyone has posted a notice that they have found a dog that matches yours.
  • Don’t give up. If your dog had proper identification from his collar or a microchip, chances are good you would have been notified if he had been found injured or worse. No news can be good news.

Hopefully your dog will be found safe and sound!

Remember, your pets count!