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Archive for December, 2012

Dogs that don’t like the snow

Sunday, December 30, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Most dogs love to run and play in the snow but there are some that really don’t like it and refuse to go. This can be very frustrating for the owner.  The ice treatment on pavement and sidewalks will irritate your dogs feet. This will add to the problem. If your dog refuses to go out in the snow, I would clear a spot down to the pavement for him. Make sure that there is no snow or ice treatment on the pavement. Buy a pair waterproof dog boots and slip them on his paws. Take him to the spot and hope for the best. You may have to do this several times before he get used to it.  Sometimes you may have to take him in to warm up and try again in about five minutes until he gets the message that it’s time for them to go.

Good luck!

Remember, your pets count!

Nursing a Newborn Kitten

Saturday, December 29, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

When caring for a new born kitten without it’s mother, it’s important that it’s fed properly.  The first thing to do is sterilize the kitten sized bottles in boiling water for about five minutes. Make sure they are cool before using. Place a large towel, a rough wash cloth and a bowl of warm water next to a comfortable chair.  Fill the bottle with  kitten milk replacement such as KMR.  Warm the bottle by placing it in a bowl of very hot water. Test it on your forearm. The temperature should be between 95 and 100 degrees fahrenheit or approximately body temperature.  Test the nipple to make sure that the milk flows properly. The milk should not leak out when the bottle is turned up side down. The milk should flow out when the nipple is gently pressed with your fingers.

Sit in the chair with the towel folded on your lap. Place the kitten face down on your lap and make sure that the kitten is warm before feeding. If he’s cold, he could develop digestive problems after feeding.  Without raising the kitten’s head, place the nipple in his mouth.  He should start nursing right away. Continue nursing until he is finished but do not overfeed.

If the kitten does not start nursing right away, check the nipple again.  Stroke his head and gently pet his back to start nursing reflexes.  Once he gets the idea, he will nurse readily.

Like humans, kittens need to be burped after nursing.  Hold one hand under his abdomen and very gently pat his back.  To stimulate defecation, , use a warm damp wash cloth or paper towel and gently massage his genital area. Don’t despair if he does not defecate right away. Urinating may take a bit longer.

After he is  done  feeding,  put him back in his bed and let him sleep undisturbed.

Remember, your pets count!

There are occasions when a mother cat will abandon it’s kittens. Feral Cats live very tough lives. They struggle with brutal weather conditions, sometimes they are on the border of starvation and get diseases that house cats never have to deal with. This can cause the cat to abandoned it’s newborn kittens.

Kittens 1 – 14 days old haven’t opened their eyes yet. Their ears are folded over and closed.

Kittens 2- 3 weeks old have their eyes open and move around shakily.

If you are attempting to care for orphaned kittens, the first thing that you should do is prepare the nesting box. You don’t need an elaborate box. The box must be big enough for the kittens to be able to turn around but not much bigger. Line the box with crumpled kleenex tissue paper.

Before you place the kittens in the box, examine them closely for fleas. Pick off any fleas with an eyebrow tweezer and drop them in alcohol or vodka. These pests can quickly suck a kitten dry of blood. If you find many fleas and the kittens gums are pale, give the kitten a drop of pediatric vitamins with iron. This should be helpful.

Warmth is especially important in a kittens first 14 days of life because they have not yet developed the ability to control their body temperature.

Keep a heating pad on one side of the box. Make sure it’s set to the lowest setting. Wrap the heating pad with cloth towels so the inside of the box stays at 90 degrees. You don’t want it higher than 90. Many kittens die because of too much heat rather than the cold.   With the heating pad on onlyone side of the box the kittens can crawl away from the heat if they want to.

Place the box in a draft free location. Make sure that the sides of the box are at least six inches so the kittens cannot fall out.

Make sure that the area is safe from other pets and children. As the kittens mature, the temperature can be decreased to 70 – 75 degrees.

Next we will discuss feeding a new born kitten.

Remember, your pets count!

 

What dogs are best for seniors?

Thursday, December 27, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Seniors need and appreciate the company of a dog probably more than any other age group but if a senior citizen wishes to adopt a puppy at age 65 or older,  there’s a lot to consider.  When the dog reaches fourteen or fifteen, the senior will be 76 or 77 years old. The question is will that senior still be able to care for the dog at that age. Sure many will but a lot could happen in that time  to limit the mobility of a senior citizen.  This is why an older, shelter dog may be a better choice . If there was ever a time to own a dog, it would be around the time that you hit 70.  For an older couple, a dog could make a hugh difference in their lives. The kids are grown and the rooms are empty. Never get a dog for someone without consulting with them first.

Smaller dogs are generally better for senior citizens. They are easier to manage and pick up after. Senior citizens are more into walking and jogging now than ever before for health reasons so having an active companion like a dog seems like a good idea. My first choice would be a mix breed from the local SPCA.  They have some of the best dogs and a knowledgeable staff that can help you find what you need and at an affordable price.  They screen all of the dogs and let you know the ones that you would be happy with.  A few good breeds for seniors are:

  • The Yorkshire Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Pug
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Shih Tzu

It a great thing to a senior to adopt a dog. There’s much love and affection to be had here.

Remember, your pets count!

What to look for in a Pet Sitter

Wednesday, December 26, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

If you are going away or if your job requires long hours, it could be a good idea to consider hiring a pet sitter for your dog or cat. Cats do well during the day by themselves but if you are going away for an extended period of time, I would consider a pet sitter. Pet owners should look at the following list before hiring a pet sitter.

  • The pet sitter visits the client’s home before the first pet sitting assignment to meet the pets and get detailed information about their care.
  • The pet sitter presents himself or herself in a professional manner. He or she should give you his or her undivided attention, be courteous, interested and well informed.
  • Pet sitter conducts business with honesty and integrity and observes all federal, state and local laws pertaining to business operations and animal care.
  • Your pet sitter should have liability insurance, and if the pet sitting company employs pet sitters, bonding may be necessary as well.
  • Does the pet sitter have a business license, if it’s required? Please note there is no occupational license for pet sitters, however, a business license may be required to own and operate a business in your locale. The pet sitter provides a service contract, and goes over specific services and their associated fees.

The pet sitter should always seem interested in learning as much as they can about your pet. They should also have an emergency list of veterinarians in case of an emergency and in case your veterinarian is not available. They should also have a back up plan in case they become ill. The pet sitter should also have a knowledge of first aid as well as be aware of any pet food recalls. Your pet sitter must return all of your phone calls and advise you of any change of schedule a few days in advance.

Always do your homework when selected a sitter for your pet. Take you time and you’ll have peace of mind.

Some of the information on todays blog was provided by petsit USA.

Remember, your pets count!

 

Happy Holidays from the Pet Product Guru

Sunday, December 23, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

It’s been a pleasure writing about “our little friends” and we intend to keep the information coming to you in 2013. Have a great holiday and make sure that you keep your pets safe during this time. Make sure that they don’t get into any holiday treats that they shouldn’t have. You don’t have to lock them up just make sure that they are supervised closely during the holiday festivities. After all they are also a part of your family.

There are also thousands of unwanted dogs and cats spending their holiday in shelters. They are anxiously waiting to be adopted into a loving household. If it’s in your heart to give one of these little guys a second chance, please do  so. It return, they will provide you with many years of unconditional love and affection.

We are taking a few days off for the holiday but will be back on Wednesday, December 26th. Enjoy your holiday and thank you so much for your support throughout the year.

We invite you to listen to our internet radio stations. Edgewater Radio, Constant Country KRS,  Movin Easy Net Radio and Starlite 365 are featuring lots of holiday music to keep you in the spirit.

Just click on THE EDGEWATER RADIO NETWORK, select a station, click on it and enjoy!

 

 

Do Cats Need Vitamins?

Saturday, December 22, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Just like humans, cats need vitamins to stay healthy. Essential vitamins include A,B,C,D,E and K. Complete high quality cat foods   typically provide cats with all the vitamins they need but vitamin supplements may be warranted for strays, especially kittens that have been malnurished.  Cats that are pregnant, nursing or unable to absorb certain nutrients may also benefit from vitamin supplements. Vitamin deficient cats may exhibit lethargy, anemia, poor skin, a dull coat and week bones and teeth. If your cat has a vitamin deficiency, follow your vets recommendation. Large doses of some vitamins can cause illness. In such cases, more is not necessarily better.

Remember, your pets count!

Safe Holiday Treats for your Pet

Friday, December 21, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Your pet is part of your family and the holidays could spell trouble if you pet eats the wrong foods. Some healthy treats that you may want to share with your pet over the holidays are

  • Plain, cooked meat like chicken or turkey without onions or garlic.
  • Cooked white rice
  • Cheese

Here’s a healthy recipe for your dog or cat if you want him to partake in the holiday festivities.

Fill a crock pot with white meat chicken and add some spices such as basil, thyme and oregano. Let the chicken cook for about eight hours until it’s tender and juicy. You can tear it into small pieces and give it to your cat, dog or both.  You make want to add some shredded cheese in the it for extra flavor.

Have a great holiday!

Remember, your pets count!

Your New Dogs First Day Home

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Congratulations, you just adopted a new puppy and are bringing him home. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Give your dog some boiled potatoes with his new food to avoid giving him diarrhea due to a change of diet.
  • Keep him on a leash at first until he gets used to his new surroundings.
  • Show him where his food and water are located.
  • Show him where he will be sleeping. If it’s in his crate, get him familiar with it but don’t lock him in right away.
  • When he’s inside, keep him near you and take him out for frequent walks. Take him to the same spot each time and praise him when he goes.
  • Watch him closely until he learns his routine. If he goes in the house, don’t assume that he’s not housebroken. He just has to get used to his new surroundings. Loudly say “NO.” Never hit him. You must catch the dog in the act if the correction is to be effective. Take him outside and praise him when he goes where he’s supposed to.   Praise, not punishment, is the key to a well behaved pet.

Remember, your pets count!

Should a Cat Eat Lots of Carbs?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

The meals eaten by a wild cat contain very few carbohydrates. Less than 5% of the total calories consumed.That carbohydrate level works because a cat is able to convert protein into fuel for energy. However, the cat can utilize carbs as a fuel source as well, especially if they break down easily and are easy to digest. Cereal grains such as rice corn and wheat are some of the most highly digestible carbohydrates which is why they are one of the main ingredients in commercial cat food. They are relatively cheap especially when they are compared to the prices of proteins. Thank the carbs in your cats food that she get a sufficient source of energy and you can keep her well fed without spending a fortune. Always remember that protein is the main ingredient.

Remember, your pets count!