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Archive for January, 2016

Buying a Dog House For Your Best Friend

Sunday, January 17, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGHOUSEWhen purchasing a dog house, your will need to consider your dog’s breed. Think about the thickness of his coat, then consider the climate in which you live and find a selection of dog houses that will adequately protect him from the elements. Next, think about your dog’s size. He’ll need enough space to move around, sit and stand but not so much space that he isn’t cozy and warm. Remember, if the dog is still a puppy, you’ll want the house to work for him even after he’s full grown and you can always add extra blankets in the meantime. Finally, make sure the house you choose is well constructed and has plenty of ventilation. Add some chew toys and your dog will have a happy home.

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Is Your Dog Walking You?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGPULLHow to you stop your dogs leash pulling? If your dog is pulling on his leash, the experts say that both you and your dog have developed a very bad habit. To get him to walk on his dog leash without pulling, you must change your behavior. Put him on his leash, ask him to “heal,” then move forward when the leash is not tight. If he pulls on the leash, stop right away and don’t move. When your dog turns to look back, call him back heal position and start again. If he pulls on the leash, stop and repeat the process. Move forward only when the leash is loose. It will be slow and frustrating at first because leash pulling is a hard habit to break. If you are persistant about not allowing your dog to pull you anywhere, he will eventually stop pulling on his leash.

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DOGFLEECEWhen walking your dog in the cold winter months, it’s important to keep in mind that dogs are vulnerable to harsh weather conditions just like humans. Dogs have a natural coat of fur that shields them from the elements, but amongst all dogs, only a few breeds like St. Bernards and Huskies were bred to endure the cold. If your dog is not one of the few cold weather breeds, it’s best to cloth them in a fleece dog sweater during the winter. This will add an additional layer to help keep them warm and prevent frostbite and hypothermia.

It’s also a good idea to avoid walking your dogs for too long outdoors, especially if they’re just walking and not running; a dog’s feet can become cold and their vulnerability to frostbite increases.

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Positive Reinforcement For Dogs

Sunday, January 10, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGPOSPositive reinforcement is the single most popular method for teaching dogs to obey human commands. Harsh punishment and intimidation are more than inhumane – they create a suspicious, fear-based relationship between owner and pet. On the other hand, rewarding a dog with a treat or a scratch on the back provides incentive for him to repeat that behavior in the future.

Bear in mind that most dogs are food-driven, and they will do whatever it takes to chomp on some dog treats. Once you’ve found the type of treat – whether it’s rawhide bones or a chewable bite – that appeals to your dog, use it as the go-to reward. Since dogs don’t have the same ability to associate actions with consequences well after the fact, you should reward good behavior immediately.

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Update on Molly

Saturday, January 9, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

MAs you know my cat Molly was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and Kidney disease. Molly is 16 1/2 and the prognosis is not good. My vet put her on a prescription diet consisting of Hills kidney care food. This food is low in Phosphorus and low in protein. High protein is rough on the kidneys. Cats are supposed to eat protein so there’s lots of controversy over this. Molly hates this food and will not eat it. The beginning of this week was a bit difficult. She was listless and wouldn’t eat or drink. The other part of the problem is that she has to take medicine to slow her thyroid down. I’ve taken this medicine myself, so I know what it’s effects can be. It does make you tired and depressed. I’ve decided to do some research on my own. I’ve discovered that there are other foods that are lower in protein and phosphorus. The two I’ve chosen are Felo which has about 11% protein and Neo which has about 7% protein. I mix the two together add some juice from the purina broths for cats and add some home cooked baked chicken. Regular cat food has about 33% protein. These products are not sold in supermarkets. I got them from a local pet store here in Delaware.

Molly seems much better. She’s not sleeping as much, she looks physically better and she’s eating and drinking regularly. Sometimes, you have to do your own research. I am concerned that veterinarians don’t offer other diet options. I’m a bit suspicious as to why . I will continue to monitor Molly’s eating and drinking habits and adjust as necessary.

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Dogs Suffering From Hypothermia

Thursday, January 7, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGCOLDWe’ve been spoiled by all of the  warm weather in the northeast but watch out, here it comes. Extreme cold is on the way! We’ve spoken about how heat affects your dog. Today, we’re gonna talk about how the cold affects your dog. A dog with hypothermia is a very cold animal who’s losing body heat faster than he could generate more. He’ll start to shiver to warm up and every hair will stand on end to trap heat. If his body heat falls below 100.5 Fahrenheit, hypothermia can set it. In mild cases, your dog will seem sluggish and slow. Get him indoors and into a nice warm room and cozy dog bed and wrap him in a warm blanket. Let him warm up slowly. If he seems so sluggish that he is near collapse, rush him to the nearest clinic for treatment. Even if your dog gets better, have him checked by your veterinarian. Hypothermia can cause permanent damage.

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Approaching a Dog That You’ve Never Met Before

Wednesday, January 6, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGMEETDogs are social animals and a well trained dog is generally well behaved when meeting strangers. It helps to follow some basic steps when approaching any dog that you haven’t met before. First, it’s a good idea to ask the owner if it’s OK to great the dog. Always approach a dog when he’s on his dog leash. So you don’t intimidate the dog, bend on one knee beyond the reach of the dog. Remember, size matters and you are a big presence. Don’t stare directly at the dog and if you’re wearing a hat or sunglasses that may spook the dog, remove them slowly. Then, extend the back of a closed hand so the dog can sniff you. Once mutual contact is established, some mutual scratches under the chin and chest will help you become fast friends with you knew acquaintance.

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The Stinky Puppy Syndrome

Tuesday, January 5, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

STINKYPUPWe all love our animals, but let’s face it; sometimes they don’t leave the best impression when we’re trying to impress our friends and family. After all, when you’re throwing a party, there’s nothing worse than having to explain that the couch smells that musty because your miniature schnauzer gets to sleep on the furniture. If you find that your animals are leaving their unmistakable and distinctive smell all over your home, know that you don’t simply have to take it as part of being a pet owner.

Rather, there are multiple options for pet odor removal that can get rid of or cut down on the smell of pets. But just be certain about what you’re buying. Some products will only cover the smell of pet odor. By filling the air with a strong floral scent, you’ll essentially mask the embarrassing odor, but it won’t actually be gone. Make sure that whatever product you choose actually works to eliminate these odors.

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Feline Kidney Disease and Diet

Sunday, January 3, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catvet4I’ve mentioned that my cat Molly is suffering from Kidney disease. Unfortunately, this condition cannot be reversed. It took me awhile to digest this news but now I want to keep Molly living a quality life for as long as possible. My vet put Molly on a prescription diet consisting of low protein and low phosphorous. I’m learned that with kidney disease, the kidneys cannot break down the protein properly. The tricky thing is that cats eat protein so this is a bit of a catch 22. At first, I was mixing this food with her other food but I was advised against it by my vet. I have to keep Molly on this diet for the rest of her life. But what do I do, if she won’t eat? Fortunately, Molly loves the Geenie pill pocket treats. I use them when I administer her thyroid medication (She also has an overactive thyroid). My vet said that it was OK to put one or two in with her food. I break them up, mix them in with the food, heat the food for about 10 seconds. So far, so good. Molly has been adjusting to her new diet. My vet also said that it was ok to mix in some fresh boiled chicken or turkey in with her food  but not to give her any other food.

I hope that Molly will continue to eat this diet. I am learning to take it one day at a time with her.

Remember, your pets count!

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Detecting a Fever In Your Dog

Saturday, January 2, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

DogfeverDetecting a fever in a dog can be difficult. Some signs to look for are lethargy and panting. If your dog does have a fever, he may also refuse his food. A dogs normal temperature at rest is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees. This number can climb higher when your dog has some kind of medical problem. Anything higher than 104 degrees requires an immediate call to your veterinarian.The most common cause for fever in dogs is infection, particularly from a wound or abscessed tooth. The most accurate way to detect a fever in your dog is to use a rectal thermometer. Ask your veterinarian to show you how. Do not try to do it by yourself or never administer any pet medication with your vets advice.

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