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Archive for August, 2016

Dogs Do Understand Some of What We Say

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

smartdogsScientists are now supporting what dog owners long believed. They found evidence that dogs do understand some of what we are saying. Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer. They did this to determine which part of their brain they were using.

They found that dogs processed words with the left hemisphere and used the right hemisphere to process pitch — just like people.

Another interesting fact is that the dogs only registered that they were being praised, if the words and pitch were positive. Meaningless words spoken in an encouraging voice or meaningful words spoken in a neutral tone didn’t have the same effect.

“Dog brains care about both what we say and how we say it,” said lead researcher Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. “Praise can work as a reward only if both word meaning and intonation match.”

These findings suggest that the mental ability to process language evolved earlier than previously believed. What sets humans aside from other species is the inventions on words.

So when you say “dog treat“, your dog understands those words. When he sees his dog leash, he knows he’s going for a walk but he understands the words “stop”  “wait” “lets go” etc. while being walked.

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A Cats Unusual Eating Habits

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catfridgeCats usually will eat multiple small meals per day. I put my cats food out in the morning and they will go back and forth for small portions throughout the day. Some owners notice differences on how cats eat their cat food.

Some cats will gobble down their food like dogs do while others are finicky and pick at their food. Some will even pick up mouthfuls of food and go and eat it away from their cat bowls. Some cats eats at specific times and some like my younger cat Millie will eat when no one else is around. Some cats will eat only canned cat food while others will eat only dry. Millie prefers dry only but will occasionally take a nibble at wet food.

Vetstreet says that your cat’s expectations are also about predictability. If your cat expects a good outcome, he will thrive in most situations. Expecting a bad outcome, or even more importantly, not knowing what to expect, can be very threatening to a cat. This is especially important in indoor cats because they are confined and have much less control of their surroundings than do their owners, who literally control every aspect of the cat’s life, including where and when he can eat, drink, eliminate, explore, etc.

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Sun Bathing Cats

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catsunBoth of my cats love to lie in the sun. My younger cat, Millie loves to lie wherever the sun is shining in.  My older cat, Molly loves to lie in a sunny spot on my deck and sprawl out. I have to keep her cat bed in a sunny spot. Why do they do this? Maybe one reason may be a need for a sound sleep. Cats require about 15 hours of sleep each day. Warmth often helps them get their best rest. When cats doze off, their temperature drops slightly and sleeping in the sun can help make up the difference. Some cats not only enjoy the suns rays, they also find a heating vent or other source of warmth. Sometimes it’s even too warm for me and I retreat inside to the air conditioning but Molly wants to stay out and bake! Remember that cats cannot tolerate excessive or prolonged heat. After a while, I ‘ll take Molly inside if I feel that it’s too hot or she’s been out there too long. Make sure that you have a cool water bowl filled at all times and that there is always a place for your cat to cool off.

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Can Pets Have High Blood Pressure?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catpressureDid you ever think that only humans can get high blood pressure? Cats and dogs can also suffer from hypertension. Most of the time, they will never show any obvious signs of the disease. The ability to recognize and to treat hypertension in dogs and cats is a relatively recent development in veterinary medicine. Treatment for a pet with high blood pressure may include a low salt diet and pet medication to lower their blood pressure. It has been found that in pets, hypertension is almost always secondary to some other disorder which may include diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid disease. The chance of treating the hypertension really increases if you are able to discover and eradicate the underlying disease.

Hyperthyroidism will cause high blood pressure as it does in humans. Kidney disease can be another cause. If your dog or cat is at the water bowl all the time and constantly urinating, that’s a sign to look for in Kidney disease. If he is losing weight and always eating his dog food or cat food, this can be a sign of hyperthyroidism which means that his blood pressure could be high.  Look for these subtle signs, then take your pet to the vet right away.

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Post Surgery Licking

Monday, August 29, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogeliaxcollarAfter your dog has surgery such as being spayed, it’s important to keep her from licking the wound because she could remove her stitches or cause an infection. Unfortunately, dogs instinctively want to lick their wounds so you may need to take some precautions. If bandages and topical pet medication and products don’t do the trick, try an Elizabethan collar. This is cone shaped and fits onto your dogs collar wrapping around her head like an upside down lampshade. Your dog may find this contraption bothersome but it will help keep her from licking and aggravating her incision site. To make the situation less stressful, you can remove the collar when you are able to keep an eye on her. Make sure he has a comfortable dog bed or dog crate to recover in and an occasional dog treat will always help him feel better!

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cateating5My 17 year old cat Molly has kidney disease. One of the symptoms associated with this condition is occasional or frequent vomiting. Molly has be doing pretty good as far as vomiting is concerned but over the past few days, her vomiting episodes have increased a bit which of course concerns me. I’ve feeding Molly a selective diet consisting of a mixture of prescription cat food, Weruva, moist cat food packs and a high potent omega oil. So far, she has been doing pretty well.

According to the College of Veterinary Medicine, kidney failure is a common cause of vomiting in dogs and cats. The kidneys can be acutely (suddenly) damaged by poisons such as antifreeze or by severe dehydration. Waste products that the kidneys normally get rid of, rise to high levels in just a few days. The kidneys can also gradually lose their ability to remove waste products from the body as the pet ages. Early signs of kidney failure include drinking and urinating large amounts called polyuria and polydipsia or PU-PD. PU-PD may be present for months to years before the kidney failure is severe enough to lead to waste product accumulation and vomiting. Vomiting in chronic kidney failure may began as occasional episodes and progress to severe, frequent vomiting. The pet with chronic kidney failure will often lose body condition and may have pale gums due to anemia.

We are watching Molly carefully  and are doing everything to slow the progress of this disease.

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A Practical Purpose For Dog Clothes

Sunday, August 28, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogsty;eThese days it’s not uncommon to walk down the street and see pets adorned in all manners of human clothing. Paris Hilton helped to popularize the trend; her Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, practically served as a fashion accessory in her own right. Hilton would parade around with the dog peering out of a purse or handbag, and it was almost always decked out in miniature pink apparel.

Dog coats, dog sweaters and all dog clothes aren’t just stylish statements, however – they have a more practical purpose as well. The air will be turning chilly very soon and before you know it, you’ll be walking your dog in a slushy mess. A dog parka or rain slicker is an essential part of any walking routine. Even though dogs’ natural fur is usually enough to keep them warm, it doesn’t always cut it in harsh conditions.

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Parrots Need Training

Saturday, August 27, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

parrotIf you adopt a puppy, training is probably the first thing on your mind. If a dog doesn’t walk right on his dog leash, it’s because he hasn’t been trained. It’s the same for parrots, maybe even more so. Training is a way that you learn to have a two way conversation with your parrot.

Spending some time to teach your parrot a few tricks like stepping up and going into his cage or carrier, gives you the opportunity to pay attention to your little birds body language. This is key. It helps birds learn how to learn. Parrots that understand that if they do something right, they will get a treat or get your attention. They will discover ways to get those treats. A parrot owner who trains their parrot is more mindful of rewarding for things your parrot enjoys rather then giving treats for behavior that they don’t enjoy. This makes for a pet bird that is not only a great companion, but a happy parrot that enjoys interacting with its household.

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The Benefits of Dog Parks

Saturday, August 27, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogparksdogpark2 Behavioral problems in dogs stem from a lack of physical and mental activity. Dogs are meant to be active. They’ve worked with people for thousands of years herding and protecting livestock and controlling vermin. Most pet dogs spend their days alone on the couch or in their dog bed waiting for their owners to come home to take them out for a walk or to toss around some of their dog toys. They eat dog food from bowls-no hunting or scavenging required. Many dogs become bored, lonely and overweight.

Dog parks are becoming more popular across the United States. They come in all sizes but have one main purpose, to allow dogs to run freely off their dog leash and socialize with other dogs.  Dog parks are not for everyone but they can benefit both people and their pets.

We will talk about whether you should try a dog park in later posts. A dogs disposition and socialization makes a big difference.

I would like to thank Web MD for providing some of this valuable information.

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Feeding Serving Sizes For Cats

Friday, August 26, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

cattableWhether you have a cat or a kitten or whether your cat is big or small, they must be fed a nutritious diet. Work with your vet to determine, the correct weight for your cat. Then make sure that the cat food you’re giving him is nutritious. We’ve discussed how to examine the ingredients in cat food but the first product should not be grains, it should be meat, chicken or fish. Look at the package to determine how much cat food you should feed your cat. Keep this in mind. Cat food manufacturers often list the high range of a serving size on the package because it means your cat will eat more, which means you’ll buy more. You must also consider your cat’s activity level. If your cat is running around chasing cat toys all day, they will probably eat the amount of food that the package recommends. If your cat is older and sleeps most of the day, they will eat less. I would show your vet the food that you’re feeding your cat and let him read the label to determine the amount that your cat should be eating.

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