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Archive for November, 2012

The Right Food Combination for your cats

Friday, November 30, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

I would never recommend giving a cat table food. Once in awhile, a lean piece of turkey or beef would be OK for a treat only. Cats need lots of protein. Make sure that you buy a quality cat food and read the label to ensure that it contains the proper nutrients. I have two cats and feed them once per day. Always make sure there is lots of fresh water on hand. Cats eat very small amounts at a time so I leave the food out all day even though my vet recommended that I take it away. You have to use your own good judgement. In this case, I didn’t agree with my vet because cats unlike like dogs  go back and forth to their dish all day. So I would always recommend leaving your cats food out all day.

I feed my cats one half can of wet food each and a handful of dry food each. I buy several kinds of dry food and mix them for variety. In the evening, I give them a few treats each for them to enjoy. They seem to do very well on this diet. The key is try to vary the food a bit. Don’t switch brands. Stick with one good brand but vary the flavors. Include some wet food  and you’ll have a healthy, happy cat!

Remember, your pets count!

Stress free holidays for cats

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

If you’re cat is normally a little high strung,will all of the holiday activity and visitors push her over the edge?  Not if you follow these simple rules for a stress free holiday for your cat. The first thing to remember is that this is not the best time to introduce a new pet. There’s enough stress around during the holidays  and another pet may just devastate her. This means no puppy’s and certainly not another cat. Second, unfamiliar guesst could be a shock to your little friend’s system. Remember, cats are not party animals. Find a safe quiet retreat for your cat as far from the festivities as possible until the last guests are gone.  Finally share the love. Petting your cat reduces blood pressure and anxiety so a little love will go a long way for you as well as for your cat.

Remember, your pets count!

Dogs and holiday stress

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy


Holiday parties and all of those strange visitors can be awfully stressful to the family dog. Here are four ways to help your dogs with stress.

  • Reduce temptation – whatever comes into the house whether it’s food or gifts, keep it safely out of reach of your dogs teeth.
  • Make sure that you enforce a “please don’t feed the dog” rule  for all of your visitors. This even includes close relatives like grandma.
  • Don’t neglect your pets daily exercise, not matter how busy you get. Remember your dog is relaxed when he’s tired.
  • Try to manage your own stress or at least don’t let it show.

The holidays make us all crazy so give your dog a hug, it could help!

Remember, your pets count!

Getting your cat used to travel by car

Sunday, November 25, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

My cats travel with me to Delaware on a regular basis. The trip is about 216 miles. It took time and patience to get them used to the car but now, I must say that they are pretty good and sleep most of the way. At first, my younger cat Millie would vomit while in her carrier. Here are some ways to get your cat used to the car.

Before putting your cat in his crate, get him used to the car by letting him roam around a bit and place his scent on the seats, doors, etc. Make sure that he doesn’t climb under the dashboard as my cat Millie tried to do. Take a blanket or your cats bed with his  scent on it and place it in the back seat, You can place the blanket  in your cats carrier. You may consider buying a spray scent that will calm him down. Check with your vet to get is recommendations on the best product to buy.

Place your cat in his carrier and place him in the back seat. Take him for several short rides at first. Hopefully after awhile, your cat will be ready to make his first longer trip.

Keep in mind that some cats never get used to the car. Ask your vet about medication that will calm him down in this case. Use this as a last resort after you are certain that your cat will not get used to riding in the car.

Remember, your pets count!

Small Breed Dogs that Don’t Shed

Saturday, November 24, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

You love animals but have allergies and live in a small apartment. You would love to own a dog but are concerned about shedding and size. You need to understand that ALL dogs shed, but some dogs shed inward instead of outward. So you need to know that there is some work required on your part. A dog that doesn’t shed all over your house will have an “undercoat.” This is where all of the hair goes. Instead of having to clean up hair all over the house. you are going to have to brush your dog, probably on a daily or every other day basis. If you don’t, your dog’s hair will become matted and you are going to have a huge mess on your hands. In addition to the huge mess, matted hair can become painful for your dog as it pulls on the skin. Unfortunately, if you allow your dog’s hair to become matted, you or your groomer will probably not be able to get it out and the dog will have to be shaved down.

 

Here is a short list of small dog breeds that don’t shed, or “non shedding” dogs:

Chinese Crested

Shih Tzu

Poodle

Boston Terrier

Border Terrier

Silky Terrie

 

These are a few. There are more.

Remember, your pets count!

Do dogs need coats in the winter

Friday, November 23, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Many people like to buy trendy coats for their pooch just to make a fashion statement but are coats necessary since most dogs have a thick coat of fur protecting them? Matthew Cooper, an emergency Veterinarian at New York Veterinary Specialists, a 24 hour vet emergency clinic in Manhattan says “for the most part, it’s not necessary.”  He also says that when it comes to long walks in the cold, the dogs mind it half as much as we do.

Some Veterinarians say that thick coats can be dangerous for your dog. If they are getting lots of exercise during their walk in the cold, the heavy coats could cause heat stroke. Remember, dogs don’t catch colds and low temperatures won’t give them the sniffles.  The truth is that many dogs don’t mind the frigid temperatures one bit.  It’s money that you don’t need to spend.

A coat will help a small breed with very short hair for obvious reasons.

Remember, your pets count!

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Your Pet

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

All of those delicious smells coming from the kitchen no Thanksgiving day will entice your dog but there are some things that you should be aware of.

 

  • It’s a bad idea to let your dog have all the food that you and your guests are having. This includes mash potatoes, gravy etc. A little turkey would be fine but don’t over do it. Fatty foods can lead to an upset stomach and keep in mind that turkey skin can wreak havoc with a dog’s digestive system, so make sure she gets skinless, boneless turkey.
  • Give your dog lots of exercise before the Thanksgiving feast. It she’s pooped, she may stay away from the table.
  • Keep all turkey bones away from your dog. Make sure that the garbage is covered tightly. Put plates in an unreachable area if you can’t dispose of everything properly right away.
  • Sage and some other herbs have essential oils that can cause tummy upset and central nervous system depression if a dog eats them in large quantities. Keep them away from your dog to be on the safe side.
  • Keep raw dough away from your dog.  Heat causes raw dough to rise. If your dog eats enough of it, the heat in her stomach will cause the dough to rise causing pain, vomiting, and bloating and maybe even a trip to the doggy E.R.
  • Keep all alcoholic beverages away from your pet.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving .

Remember, your pets count!

 

Cat Hairballs

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Recently I’ve noticed that my younger cat Millie is throwing up hairballs on a regular basis. She is constantly grooming herself  which is the primary cause causes the problem. She isn’t showing any other symptoms but it still concerns me.

It can be disturbing to watch (and hear) your cat eliminating a hairball. Some common hairball symptoms include hacking, gagging, and retching. Usually, your cat will then vomit the hairball in a relatively short period of time.

If you notice the following hairball symptoms, be sure to contact your veterinarian, as they could indicate that a hairball has caused a potentially life-threatening blockage:

  • Ongoing  vomiting , gagging, retching, or hacking without producing a hairball
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Nothing can be done to prevent hairballs in cats, but there are some things that you can do to reduce their frequency.

  1. Groom your cat regularly. The more fur you remove from your cat, the less fur that will end up as fodder for hairballs in her stomach. Combing or brushing your cat on a daily basis can be an effective way to minimize hairballs, and it can also provide a fun way for you to bond with your cat. If you can’t get your cat accustomed to grooming or brushing, think about taking her to a professional groomer for a grooming and hair cut (especially for long-haired cats) every six months or so.
  2. Give your cat a specialized “hairball formula” cat food. Many pet food manufacturers now make hairball-reduction cat foods. These high-fiber formulas are designed to improve the health of your cat’s coat, minimize the amount of shedding and encourage hairballs in cats to pass through the digestive system.
  3. Use a hairball product or laxative. There are a number of different hairball products on the market today, most of which are mild laxatives that help hairballs pass through the digestive tract.

Remember, your pets count!

Harmony among cats

Sunday, November 18, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

The leading cause of feline behavior problems is other cats at home. Cat on cat aggression is not a pretty thing and neither is territorial spraying.  Cats are a non social species. Put cats together and you’ll see what experts call a domestic hierarchy develop.  It’s not exactly an alpha dog thing but  younger, submissive cats do need to find their place in the hierarchy.  Cats like to divide up the home territory.  So be sure to keep that in mind.  if your cats are all spayed and neutered, it will simplify things.  Try feline appeasement which comes in diffusers like a nightlight. It’s not a cure all but it could help in a multi-cat household.

Remember, your pets count!

Many times blood found in your dog’s urine could indicate a urinary infection but this is not always the case. There are some other causes or blood in the urine aside from an infection. Your vet should perform a urine culture to determine if it’s an infection. If  the diagnosis is positive, the urine culture should be repeated after treatment to ensure that the infection is cleared. To perform this procedure your vet will collect a sterile urine sample in the office. It will be submitted to a laboratory to see if it grows any bacteria. This will confirm that the problem is an infection.

Other causes of bloody urine  can include urinary stones, bladder tumors or kidney or prostate issues.

If you see blood in your dog’s urine, get him checked by your vet as soon as possible.

Remember, your pets count!