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Archive for June, 2013

What Brand of Pet Food Should You Buy?

Sunday, June 16, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG AND CAT EATINGIf you just adopted a new pet, don’t go to the store and select the cheapest brand of pet food. Give your pet high quality food. Being a new pet owner, you are probably confused as to which foods are best suited for your pet. As you sort through the various brands,  look for a nutritional statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

The AAFCO determines the appropriate levels of fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals in growth and maintenance cat and dog foods. They help set the standards for the pet food industry according to  Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACCN, who works at AAHA-accredited Foster Hospital for Small Animals in Massachusetts.

Manufacturers frequently use the terms “natural,” “organic,” “premium,” or “gourmet” to appeal to pet owners but “complete and balanced” are the terms that pet owners should be concerned with.

Before a food can be marketed as “complete and balanced,” it must undergo a strict feeding trial under AAFCO guidelines or meet AAFCO nutrition levels.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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How Often Should you Clip Your Cats Nails?

Saturday, June 15, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

CAT NAILS TRIMMEDHow often should you clip your cat’s nails? This depends on how long that you want them to get. Some cats nails grow faster than others. I would recommend clipping your cats nails every two or three weeks. That’s if you want to minimize damage to your furniture and want to ensure that when he plays with you, he won’t leave any claw marks on you. Your veterinarian will trim your cats claws when you take him in for a checkup. If your cats claws are not trimmed on a regular basis, don’t worry, it won’t make your cat uncomfortable. If your cats claws begin growing into his skin, he will be uncomfortable and he should be taken to the vet to get them trimmed. Don’t attempt to trim his nails at thins point. You’ll do more harm than good!

Remember, your pets count!

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cat scratchingUnfortunately, there is no pet medication that will eliminate the allergen that triggers allergic reactions. I have two cats. When I pet my older cat Mollie and then touch my eyes, they immediately get itchy and begin to tear. If I pet my younger cat Millie and touch my eyes, nothing happens. This is weird but certain cats, trigger certain allergies. An estimated 6 million people are allergic to cats and one third of them have cats in their homes including me. When my doctor told me to get rid of the cats, I told him where to go! Steps can be taken in the home to decrease one’s exposure to the cat allergen. Cat allergen is not actually cat hair but a protein that is present in the saliva and dander of the cat. The allergens become airborne and are inhaled into the nose or lungs. These produce the allergic reactions that you may experience. Cat allergen is sticky and carried on clothing.

There are some things that you can do if you do own a cat. I bought cat wipes and wipe down my cats every few days. This keeps their skin moist and reduces the amount of cat dander. This does help me. If you touch your cat, don’t touch your face and make sure that you wash your hands right away. If you are severely allergic and do not have a cat, then don’t  consider getting one.

If you are like me, your allergy does not stop you. I have asthma and my cat did trigger attacks often. Instead of  getting rid of my cat, I got rid of the asthma buy going to my doctor and getting on a preventative once a day inhaler. Now I have two cats and no asthma!  You may have to consider  limiting where your cat goes. Don’t let him on your bed or on furniture. My does but I always gave my pets priority!

 

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The ASPCA

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

ASPCAASPCA stands for the American Society for the  Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It was founded in 1866. The ASPCA was the first humane organization established in the Western Hemisphere. Today it has two million supporters. The ASPCA’s  mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the U.S. It provides national leadership in government affairs and public policy as well as shelter support and animal poison control. The NYC headquarters contains a full service animal hospital, animal behavior center and adoption facility. The Humane Law Enforcement Department enforces New York’s animal cruelty laws. You can go to their website ASPCA.org to find out more or to donate to this very worthy cause.

Thanks to the the ASPCA for providing us with this very valuable information.

Remember, your pets count!

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How to protect your pet from theft

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG THEFTAccording to the American Kennel Club about 500 dogs were stolen in 2012. Dog theft is more common than you think.  Pet owners should be aware that this can occur at anytime. There are some things that you should do to protect your pet from thieves.

 

  • Never leave your pet unattended – Always be aware of the location of your pet and never leave your pet alone outdoors. Dogs love to run in the back yard, just make sure that they are within your visual range.
  • Build secure fences around your yard –  It is crucial to have a secure fence around your yard if you let your pet outdoors. Even if the fence is secure, a dog should never be left outside for extended periods of time by himself. I would always stay in the yard with him or at least on a deck or porch where you can always see him.  Your dog may see something interesting on the other side of the fence and attempt to dig a whole and wiggle through.
  • Never leave your pet alone in a car or tied to a pole while you go into a store or restaurant – your dog may be snatched from your car by a passer by who thinks that he is acting in the best interest of the pet by removing it. Dogs and cats should ever be left alone in a car for safety reasons. They could die is seconds if the temperature gets too hot.

Your dog could easily get off his leash if he is tied to a pole while you’re in a store of restaurant. He could be stolen or run in the street and get hit by a car. Use common sense, don’t do it!

Remember, your pets count!

 

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Beware of Hawks!

Sunday, June 9, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

hawk dogNever leave a small dog in the back yard alone. Hawks can snatch your little dog up in a moment. If your small dog is left unsupervised, it’s best leave him on a screened in porch.

This is a true story about a women who lived in an apartment. She owned a small Chihuahua. Each day, she would like to check the weather outside and would go to the window. She would see a large hawk sitting on her fire escape. She would not open the window for fear that the giant bird would come in. The hawk had other ideas. Since the chihuahua would frequently sit by the window, the hawk waited everyday with hopes that the window would open and he could snatch the small dog.

This is just a warning to really be aware of hawks or any other predator birds in your vicinity. Never leave small dogs or puppies in the back yard unattended!

Remember, your pets count!

 

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Housebreaking Your New Puppy

Saturday, June 8, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

PUPPY SHAMEYou just brought home your adorable new puppy. Now comes the hard part, training him. Each puppy conquers housebreaking  at a different rate. I would avoid paper training or using training pads. While this method has long been promoted as easy and acceptable, it also teaches your dog that going indoors is acceptable. I did this for my little Chihuahua and he would think it was fine to lift his leg in the house. He also found a plant in the living room which he used as his bath room! It was very difficult to break him form this.

Using a crate to train your new puppy is an excellent and a very effective method. This method is effective because your puppy will learn that he has to go outdoors.  Puppies have very small bladders and it will take a few months for them to get through the night without going. You need to be patient just like you would with a new baby. Crate training encourages the right kind of behavior.  Typically, a new puppy will need to go outside every two or three hours. This is why it is very important that you are there to spend time with him. Here’s a schedule that may be helpful to you.

7:00 am  –    take puppy outside

7:20 am –     give food and water to the puppy in his crate.

7:45 -am –    take puppy outside

11:30am –     take puppy outside

12:0o pm –   give food and water to the puppy in his crate.

12:45 pm-    take puppy outside

2:30pm –      take puppy outside

4:30pm –      take puppy outside

5:00pm –     give food and water to puppy in his crate.

5:30 pm       take puppy outside

After about an hour, take puppy for a short walk and spend time playing. This is very important in a puppy’s development. It will also help the puppy with sleeping through the night.

7:30pm       Remove any food and water for the night

8:30pm        Take the puppy outside

9:30 pm      Put the puppy in his crate to sleep.

Most likely for a few weeks your puppy will not be able to get through the night without going. Listen for any restlessness or whining in the night. If you hear him, get up and take him outside to go. You must be patient. Owning a dog is a big responsibility. Never ever punish your puppy if he has an accident!! Just get the pet odor remover.

 

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Caring for Your Pet’s Skin

Thursday, June 6, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

cat scratchingYour dog or cat probably loves to be scratched behind the ears but if you notice your furry friend scratching, chewing or licking his skin constantly, it may be a problem that not so easy to solve. Itchiness in pets may have many causes. It could be allergies. Dogs and cats can be allergic to fleas, pollen, mold and even dust mites. Humans get runny noses and watery eyes but dogs and cats show allergies by chewing or scratching their skin, paws or ears.

If you live a dry area, fleas, ticks, mange, or mites can cause your dog or cat to scratch their skin excessively. These issues may be seasonal in certain areas or could occur year round in others. The condition of your pets skin is an indication of their overall health. It’s a good idea to visit your veterinarian if you notice any abnormality in your pets skin or hair or if your pet begins to excessively scratch, lick or bite his fur. A cat who licks her paws constantly might be dealing with dry, itchy skin.  Your vet will determine the cause of the problem and recommend the proper treatment.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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Interesting Dog Facts

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGS MIDDLE AGESYour dog is part of your family but dogs have an interesting past. Here are some fun historical facts about man’s best friend.

  1. The first living creature sent into space was a female dog named Laika launched by the former USSR on November 3, 1957.
  2. The heaviest dog ever weighed 319 pounds.
  3. The oldest dog ever died at age 29.
  4. The dog was one of the first animals domesticated by humans.
  5. Mosaics meaning “Beware the Dog” would be found on doorsteps in ancient Roman cities.
  6. People in ancient China stayed warm by carrying toy breeds in their sleeves.
  7. The smallest mature dog was a Yorkshire Terrier that was 2 1/2 inches high at its shoulder.
  8. The tallest dog ever was a Great Dane who stood 41 inches high.

Next will let you know about some interesting jobs that dogs have had. Remember, your pets count!

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MEOW MEOW MEOW

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

MEOWINGOver the past few day, my cat Millie has been meowing more than usual. Of course, I have to tend to her needs every time she meows. She meows when she wants to be pet, she meows when she wants her snacks, she meows when she wants to play, she meows when she wants to go out on my terrace, she meows for no reason at all. The vocalizations your cat makes are designed to get some attention and she sure gets mine. Any kind of disturbance is calculated to get your attention. Any kind of response other than ignoring your cat will actually reinforce the behavior. So I am guilty of reinforcing my cats behavior. I’m not complaining, but my goal is to make sure that she is happy and content. I guess I’m a “doting parent.”

If the cat is upset, it will produce a variety of meowing calls that actually sound different from one another. These sounds convey different emotions which are:

Anger
Fright
Pain
Attention

ANGER
This high intensive sound made when the cat is extremely angry is called “caterwauling.” The sound can vary but it is usually very high and extremely intense.

FRIGHT
If a cat is cornered and cannot run away or hide, it may make a throaty yowling noise. The cat may also spit and hiss.

PAIN
If a cat is in agony it will scream or screech according to the intensity of the pain. If it is a kitten, the sound will be that of a squeal.

 

Remember, your pets count!

 

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