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Archive for July, 2015

Pet Digestion

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGCATCUTEYour pets ability to digest pet food properly is a measure of how efficiently the nutrients in a given product are absorbed and used in your pets system. The ability for a pet to digest their food properly is the highest when a product contains high quality ingredients. That’s why we mentioned to always read the label carefully. The product’s formulas must be carefully targeted to a particular type of pet. For instance, my older cat, Molly is a bit overweight so I make sure that I feed her mostly cat dry cat food especially made for indoor cats. According to Veterinarian Steven Cohn, most quality diets are at least 85% digestible or even higher. In cases where a special diet is used to manage a disease such as diabetes or to help a dog loose weight, a well formulated dog food will contain added fiber. This may actually reduce the foods overall digestibility. Even if this is the case, this product is still high in quality. We also mentioned in a previous posting that cat or dog treats should not be used as a substitute for their actual meal. The contents in these treats can contain lots of fat and the ingredients may not be of the highest quality.

 

Remember, your pets count!

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cat dry foodMy cat Molly is now 16 years old and she is beginning to have problems. She has slowed down, lost weight and now has stopped eating her dry food. I took her for her checkup in April but I’m scheduling another appointment to try to get to the bottom of this. She is also having mild seizures once and a while which I want to check out. Cats are no different than us in the sense that the older you get, the more problems you have.

As far a the dry food issue, the following excerpt from nest.com may explain the problem.

If your cat has stopped eating his dry food, the problem might not be the food at all — it could be the water. Dry food is crunchy, crumbly and dusty, and you can work up a serious thirst when it’s all you eat. If your cat’s water isn’t fresh and clean, he may not want to drink it, and dehydration is a powerful eating deterrent. Even if he is drinking enough, he may just be over dry food. Cats in the wild change up their diets all the time, so a little variety here and there isn’t the worst thing. Try mixing in a little bit of wet food with the kibbles — you avoid the tummy distress that can happen with a cold-turkey switch, but you appeal to your cat’s senses of smell and taste with moist, rich food.
Of course, if your cat isn’t eating his dry food anymore, it could indicate a health issue. Infections and diseases like cancer, liver failure, kidney failure and gastrointestinal problems can all make a cat lose his appetite, and these are all things you need to get treated sooner rather than later. Even dental problems like gum disease, broken teeth or a weak jaw can make crunching up dry food into a painful, tedious exercise. If your cat is consistently avoiding food and nothing you do makes a difference, it’s time to see a vet.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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Dogs that Love The Water

Sunday, July 12, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGWATERThe other night while waiting at the dock for our evening cruise to start boarding, we noticed a beautiful Golden Retriever jumping in and out of the water. He would grab a tree branch, jump in the water and swim with the branch in his mouth, jump out, shake off and jump in again. He provided us with some entertainment while waiting.

Dogs are know to love the water. Here’s a list of the top 10 dogs that love the water. You will notice that the Golden Retriever is on this list.

1. American Water Spaniel
2. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
3. Cocker Spaniel
4. Golden Retriever
5. Irish Water Spaniel
6. Labrador Retriever
7. Newfoundland
8. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
9. Poodle
10. Portuguese Water Dog

Enjoy the water this summer with your best friend!

Remember, your pets count!

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Getting Your New Puppy To Walk On His Leash

Saturday, July 11, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

CUTPUPPYFinally, the time has come for you and your new puppy to go on his first walk. You spend lots of time choosing his new,”trendy” looking dog leash, now it’s time to show him off. Unfortunately, you puppy does not care about how he looks in that really “cool” dog leash but rather cares about trying to get out of it! Here are a few tips that may help you out.

1. Encourage your puppy to follow you instead of heading for everything that is around him.

2. Take some treats with you and always keep a few in your hand. When you call your puppy and he comes to you, reward him with a treat.

3. Always praise your puppy when you give a treat. Continue walking and praising as you go. Make sure you walk slow, encouraging your puppy to follow you along the way.

4. Stand still if your puppy pulls the wrong way on the leash. Do not pull you force him to walk. Just stop and wait for him to realize that he is going the wrong way. Call him and when he comes, reward him with another treat.

5. Keep the dog leash loose when walking your puppy. Do this only if he is walking beside you not sitting down or pulling you. It ‘s a good idea to take a squeeky toy with you to get his attention every now and then.

Remember be patient. Dog training is a process requiring lots of repetition and praise. Never yell or hit your dog for not obeying. This is not only cruel but will prevent your dog from learning to walk on a leash properly.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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How to Safely Change a Cats Diet

Friday, July 10, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

cat eatingIt may be necessary to change your cats diet due to health or other reasons. This should never be done suddenly and never wait until your cat is hungry enough to eat the new food. A much safer way is to gradually mix in the new food with the old food. Then increase the percentage of the new food until your cat is eating only the new food. This make take several weeks so be patient.A slow dietary transition will also help the cat’s digestive system adjust to the new food gradually without causing indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal upset. In some cases, cats just won’t like the taste or texture of a particular food and never will accept it. Cats have a highly sensitive sense of smell and a less well developed sense of taste. They tend to prefer canned food served slightly above room temperature and will rarely eat anything that has just been refrigerated.  Alway make sure that your cat has access to fresh water at all times.

Remember, your pets count!

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Cats In Cars

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

CAT SCAREDA few weeks ago, I decided take my older cat Molly to Delaware. I left my younger cat Millie at home. The reason why I only took Molly was because she is getting older and seemed to be having trouble with her hind legs. I decided to put Molly (in her carrier) in the front seat with me and strap her in. I figured that since we were alone, she would prefer to ride next to me. She usually rides in the back seat with Millie. During the trip, she was unusually uncomfortable. She “meowed” the entire way and could not seem to settle down. I didn’t know what caused her change in behavior.

The next time down to Delaware, I took both Molly and Millie and they both rode in the back seat. Molly didn’t make a sound all the way down. She was very comfortable and slept  most of the way. My theory is that riding in the front seat may have made Molly dizzy. She could see all of the cars and trucks whiz by on the highway. In the back seat, she can’t see all of the cars going by and it’s not as bright. This is only my theory, but sometimes it could be little things that can affect your cats behavior.

Remember, your pets count!

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It’s Hurricane Season, Prepare Your Pets

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

PETSHURRICAINEt’s hurricane season and make sure that you remember your pets when making disaster emergency plans! If you have to evacuate because a hurricane threatens the area in which you live, don’t forget about your cat of dog. Keep his pet carrier in a convenient place in case you have to get out fast. The instincts of your pet cannot be counted on to survive a disaster. Pack at least one weeks supply of pet food and always remember your pets leash. Make sure that you have the proper ID tags clearly visible on your pet. If you must go to a hotel or shelter, ask if it’s OK to bring your pet. It is very important that you don’t wait until the last minute to evacuate. Rescue officials may not let you take your pet. Keep up to date on all of the weather conditions and evacuate sooner rather than later. If you have no choice but to leave your pet home, make sure that he has a current ID and a secure collar. Take a picture of your pet with you just in case he gets lost. I cannot emphasize it enough that your pets are a part of your family. Plan ahead and make sure they are included in your disaster plans.

Remember, your pets count!

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Pets Can’t Dial 911

Sunday, July 5, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGUNDEROur pets can’t tell us how they’re feeling. We need to know when our pets are ill and not ignore important, sometimes life threatening symptoms. Here is a quick checklist. If your pet has any unexplained symptoms such as the ones listed below, get him to a vet or animal hospital immediately. It’s always better to be on the safe side and get things checked out fast. Many animal hospitals and clinics are open 24 hours. It’s a good idea to check which ones are open in your area so that you’re ready in case of an emergency.

Symptoms to look for:

Vomiting or Diarrhea
Urinating more frequently
Hair Loss or itchy skin
Stiffness, lameness or difficulty with rising
Coughing
Lack of Appetite or Decreased Activity
If you notice any of these symptoms, get your pet in for a check up. Many times pet medication will take care of the problem, however any of these symptoms could be a more serious condition.

Remember your pets can’t dial 911!

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Keeping Your Dog Safe From Fireworks!

Saturday, July 4, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGFIREWORKSThere’s no doubt about it, dogs hate fireworks.  More dogs run away on the Fourth of July that any other day, so you should take extra steps to ensure their safety. Keep a close eye on your dog during the commotion and make sure that your pet is wearing proper identification.

It is natural for dogs to be afraid of loud noises. The sounds trigger their nervous systems, and they can become anxious or afraid. Running away from the noise is a survival instinct.

Here are some steps in keeping your dog calm during the fireworks displays.

  1. Arrange to have your dog in a safe place where there are no fireworks displays.  Keep him is a quiet room or even take him to a friend that is not near any fireworks.
  2. If you can’t take your dog away from the fireworks, have a travel kennel handy at home. Keep him in there where he will feel safe. Don’t leave him alone. If you’re not going to be home, have a friend or relative stay with him. Take him out every four hours to relieve himself.
  3. The best way to prepare your dog for fireworks is to make sure he’s comfortable with the sound in advance. This process can take time,  possibly three or four months of playing the recorded sound of fireworks for your dog at an increasingly louder volume before he eats, before a walk, and before affection and play time.
  4. If you must have your dog with you, remember not to make a fuss over the fireworks. Try to ignore them, so your dog will sense that they are not a big deal.

Have a very happy and safe holiday with your pet.

Remember, your pets count!

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Summer’s Here – Traveling with Your Dog

Thursday, July 2, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGVACAYou’re finally on vacation and will be taking your dog with you. This is great but you must remember some important things before you begin your trip. Once you’re on the road, be aware that pets need breaks just as humans do. Make sure that you stop frequently and provide plenty of fresh water to quench your best friends thirst. It is very important that you don’t leave your dog in a hot car when you take a break. It’s a good idea to travel in the evening hours if you’re travelling alone with your dog. This way, when you stop, you could turn the car off, crank the window down a bit and feel certain that your dog will be ok in the cooler night air. If you have to travel during the day, try to take someone else along with you. This was you could leave them with your dog while you take a break and vice versa. Stop in an area where you could take your dog for a walk to stretch his legs. It’s a good idea to have an air conditioned vehicle when travelling with your pet to keep him cool and comfortable.

Remember, your pets count.

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