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Does Pica Affect Cats?

Saturday, June 19, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Most of the time a cat, unlike a dog, a cat won’t chew on anything other than their food. Sometimes you will encounter a cat with a very strange behavior problem. They will chew on wool, plastic or other materials. There is a term for this behavior. It’s called Pica and it’s an eating disorder. It means that a cat will crave to eat other items besides their food. Siamese cats and other oriental breeds are the most frequent offenders. Almost any mixed breed cat can have this problem. Cats with Pica, will bite telephone cords, plastic items or even pantie hose. Veterinarians aren’t really sure why cats do this but Pica seems like a obsessive compulsive disorder. An interesting fact is that some cats respond to the same drugs that are used to treat obsessive compulsive disorders in humans. These cats may also crave ruffage so maybe it would be a good idea to plant a garden just for the cat suffering from Pica. Your cat will play with their cat toys but usually craves to eat the other items described earlier. If you suspect that your cat may have this disorder, it’s worth talking to your vet about it!

Remember, your pets count!

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You’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 traveling 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 traveling with your pet to keep him cool and comfortable.

Remember, your pets count.

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Keeping a Rabbit Indoors

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

The House Rabbit Society is a wonderful organization that specializes in the welfare of rabbits as pets. They provide adoption information as well as important facts about keeping rabbits healthy and happy. When I had a rabbit as a pet, I turned to them many times for guidance in rabbit care. Here is what they say about the advantages of keeping your pet rabbit indoors as opposed to outdoors.

The House Rabbit Society recommends your companion rabbit be housed indoors. A hutch rabbit cannot possibly receive as much attention as a rabbit within the home. After all, how much time do you intend to spend in the yard? Personalities emerge when your rabbit gets to know you. Their potential is realized when you enjoy each others’ companionship.

  • Rabbits are safer indoors More likely to be preyed upon. They can be frightened to death without even being touched by a predator.
  • Rabbits enjoy companionship from humans and sometimes other animals. Hutch rabbits often appear dull, uninterested or frightened. Rabbits need socializing.
  • Rabbits hide illnesses. You must act quickly when they are sick. When indoors, you notice their eating & behavior changes more quickly. You may not catch the subtle difference they exhibit when they are sick. Could mean life or death.
  • Indoor rabbits will probably live longer. They are safer from poor weather conditions, threatening animals, and are generally happier rabbits. When it is raining and cold, you may not go out to feed or check on your rabbit. He, too, is cold and lonely.
  • Indoor rabbits tend to become a part of the family. Not as easily forgotten about or given away. The human/animal bond is optimized when you get to see bunny dances and enjoy their companionship after a hard day.
  • Outdoor rabbits are sometimes even afraid of humans because they are not familiar with them. Housing a rabbit outdoors is usually the beginning of the end.

Remember, your pets count!

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You’ve finally decided to take some action to get your dog to lose weight. Overweight dogs are prone to many diseases like osteoarthritis, heart disease and diabetes. It is proven that dogs that are fit, live longer. The first thing that you should do to get your dog to lose weight is to take him to the vet to determine if there are underlying conditions that may be causing his weight problem. Your vet will help you calculate how many calories that your dog is already consuming. He will determine a lower calorie option that is both nutritious and lower in fat.  There are many over the counter weight management and healthy weight diets but these are not legally regulated. They may not even lower the calories to help your dog lose weight. One last thing to note is that table food and treats contain many calories and fat. It is recommended that your dog consume no more than 10% of his total calorie intake on snacks and table food.

Remember, your pets count!

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Learning the Socialize an Older Dog

Sunday, June 13, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

You’ve just adopted an older dog and don’t know whether or not he’s been socialized during his life. Start slow, don’t expose you new friend to lots of other dogs immediately. After you buy that new, fancy dog collar and dog leash, now it’s time to take him outside for a walk to see how he reacts to other people and other dogs. Take your dog with you frequently. Leaving a dog in his dog crate frequently is not going to make him comfortable around other dogs and humans.

Here are some ideas for making sure your dog gets plenty of socialization throughout his life:

  • Take regular walks in places your dog will get to meet other people and animals.
  • Visit the dog park.
  • Invite over friends and their dogs for playdates.
  • Enroll your dog in a dog daycare once or twice a week.

Keep you dog’s interactions with other dogs and people as positive as possilbe. Use praise and dog treats to tell your dog that having other people and animals around is a good thing.

Remember ,your pets count!

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We all go through it with our healthy cats. Healthy cats have healthy claws which means furniture destruction. We spend lots of money on automatic cat feeders and expensive cat toys  but what about a cat scratching post? All cats need to scratch and if you do not provide them with their own place, they will choose places on their own. Places you don’t want them to ruin. I have a cat who decided to scratch on one of my oriental rugs. The solution is to buy a good cat scratching post and train your cat to use it. Unfortunately many people buy a scratching post that their cat never touches. Do not buy a flimsy, light scratching post with thin soft carpeting. They will never use it and continue ruining your furniture.

The best posts are covered with a hemp product called “sisal.” It looks like thick twine wrapped around the pole. Cats love to dig their claws into this! The post should have a large, heavy post. Make sure is tall enough for your cat and make sure that it is study enough as not to tip over. Make sure that the scratching post is in a pleasant, accessible location. It’s a good idea to place the post in your cats sleeping area. Also place it where there are people. Don’t put it in a corner in the basement. Your cat will not use it. A good scratching post will save you the headache of replacing your furniture.

Remember, your pets count!

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Buying Pet Medication Online

Friday, June 11, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Technology has come a long way. Now we could do almost anything online even buy our pet’s medication but is it safe?  The FDA has warned about buying prescription medication online.  The truth is buying pet medication online is very safe. You get the same medication as the ones you get from the vets office but you must d0 your homework first.

To make sure that you get legitimate medications, make sure that you’re on a secure internet site. You should see a small gold padlock in the status bar of your browser (usually on the bottom). If the gold padlock is open the page is not encrypted. If the gold padlock is closed that means the sight has 128 bit encryption which means that it offers the highest level of protection offered for all your Internet communications, including credit card use and other financial transactions. It is important to note that the only place the locked padlock is important is on the page where you are entering your credit card or bank information. It does not have to appear on every page of the website. Make sure that you are ordering the exact medication that your vet prescribed. When in doubt, always verify with your vet. You must also know the dosage so before you attempt to order pet meds online, it is vital that you have this information correct!

The advantage of buying online is that you may get the medication a bit cheaper but that’s not the main reason. Taking your pet in to the vet can be risky if there are other sick pets in the waiting area. If your pet is sick, you probably would rather keep him home and not disturb him .In this case getting the medication delivered has it’s advantages.

Remember, your pets count!

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Finding a Pet Friendly Hotel/Motel

Thursday, June 10, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

I live in Rehoboth Beach and people are really ready for summer! The temperature will be warm today and people are heading to the beach and pools. Many people would like to have their pets with them while on vacation this year.The first thing that you have to do after choosing your destination is find a pet friendly hotel. There are many places to look for this information.  There  are several sites that publish world wide pet travel guides. Some of these sites include:

  1. Dogfriendly.com – this site includes many dog friendly services for pet friendly hotels, ski resorts, camping and RV sites,  restaurants etc.
  2. www.marriott.com/pet-friendly-hotels.mi
  3. Bringfido.com
  4. www.bestwestern.com/tripplanner/travelwithpets.asp

These are just a few of the many sites available. If you are thinking about taking your pet with you, it is really a good idea to determine where you can and cannot go with your dog or cat. Believe it or not more and more places are becoming pet friendly and it is becoming more common to bring your best friend with you. So pack that pet carrier and dog water bowl and have a  great time!

Remember, your pets count!

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One of the more common problems that present at the animal hospital is a bloody stool. Don’t take this lightly. Anytime you see blood in your pets stool, it’s time to take him to the vet right away for an evaluation. Bloody stools can range from a serious illness to gastrointestinal parasites,colonic irritation, irritable bowel syndrome to cancer. An important thing to remember is you must determine if your pet is passing digested blood or frank blood. Digested blood occurs in the upper gastrointestinal tract and it is a black tar color when it’s passed. This is called Melena. Frank blood is a bright red and indicates bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. In general melena is more serious than frank blood. In either situation a veterinarian must evaluate the seriousness of the situation.

A frequent condition often seen in smaller dogs is hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or HGE. This is when dogs a voluminous amounts of bloody stools usually along with vomiting. This stool is characterized as frank blood. HGE can be life threatening and often requires the pet to be admitted to the hospital.

Any blood seen in your pets stool must be analyzed by your vet.

Remember, your pets count!

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Going on A Trip? Prepare Your Pet Sitter

Sunday, June 6, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Are planning a trip soon? You know that you are placing a lot of responsibility in the hands of your pet sitter. You’re trusting this person to care for your precious pet while you’re gone.  You should help the sitter out by preparing your home properly. Start by doing an inspection of your home. Make sure that cleaning supplies and other materials that may be toxic to your pet are locked up.  Put poisonous plants out of reach. Lock outdoor gates and turn on any outside lights. In addition to leaving detailed contact information and detailed feeding and exercise instructions, make sure that you tell you pet sitter about any unusual circumstances like a door that doesn’t shut or a sink that doesn’t drain.  Make sure you tell the sitter where your pet supplies like pet food, dog leashes, dog water bowls and pet medication are kept. These small preparations will ensure the well being of your pet and will help ease your mind while you’re away.

Remember, your pets count!

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