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If You Own a Pet, Be Responsible

Friday, December 2, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

I read a very disturbing article the other day. Did you know that  about 5 to 7 million companion animals enter shelters every year and 3 to 4 million are euthanized!  (60% are dogs and 70% are cats) These statistics are staggering! More than 20 percent of people who leave dogs in shelters adopted them from a shelter.  Lets face the fact that many people should NEVER own a pet whether it be a dog or a cat, it doesn’t matter. I hate to say it but we are a very selfish, self centered society.  Many of us don’t have time to spend with a pet. Work and a social life rules. Also many neglect to realize that owning a pet requires patience, and flexibility. Yes, there is a possibility that a piece of furniture may be ruined but does this justify taking the pet back to the shelter  only to be euthanized 72 hours later. Come on, show some compassion. Would you put your child up for adoption if he accidently spills something and ruins your rug??  Prospective pet owners must be prepared to face some challenges ahead before adopting a pet. If they can’t or don’t expect anything to change, then don’t even consider adopting. So many people adopt dogs of cats because their child wants a pet. Many of these people have no clue of how to care for the pet but because their child is insisting, crying, whining or whatever, they give in and who suffers? The poor pet. Come on people, use common sense, be considerate of our furry friends. They truly deserve a good life and if you can’t give them one, then let someone else give them a good life, love and affection. Sorry if I offend anyone but this is a fact, there are too many inconsiderate, selfish people out there!!

Remember, pets are family!
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Are Cats Able to Swim?

Thursday, December 1, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-waterLast weekend, the east coast had several severe rain storms. One calico cat was found on Governors island about a mile out in New York harbor. The cat’s fur was matted with some sea weed intertwined and she was wet. It’s  suspected that this cat got swept out in the bay at the time of the severe thunderstorm and swam to safety on Governor’s Island.

Cats do know how to swim. Some are good swimmers and some, not so good but they have a natural instinct to swim just as dogs do. There was a time when cats loved the water but as time passed, they slowly began not to like being in water.

A cat breed that loves the water and is a very good swimmer is the Turkish Van. Their paws help to move them forward and their tails act as rudders.  They swam to cool themselves off on a hot day in Turkey and originated at Lake Van, hence the name.

Even though some cats don’t mind water, I’m sure they would rather be catching some “z’s” in their nice comfortable cat bed!

Remember, pets are family!
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Easing Your Cats Anxiety

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

catanxiety-comI’m sure you’ve heard your cat hiss and have seen him puff up his tail. This means that he feels threatened. If you watch closely, when your cat gets startled, the pupils of his eyes will quickly become smaller. Your cat may show several different signs that he is frightened. He may also run, hide, growl and arch his back. To help reduce your cat’s anxiety, it is much better to slowly introduce anything that is new or different such as new cat toy, object, person and even another animal. Slowly, over time he will become used to the new addition to his environment. If your cat runs off and hides because he his frightened, don’t run after him and try to pull him out from under the sofa or bed. You’ll just make things worse. Be patient and let him come out when he is ready. One of my cats runs and hides when one of my friends comes over. My friend does not like cats and one time startled her. Since that time, she’s in her cozy little hiding place when my friend is over.

One important thing to remember with cats is that you should keep their routine as consistent as possible. This includes feeding, playing and cuddling.

Remember, pets are family!

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Obesity in cats is just as unhealthy as it is in humans. It not only shortens your cats lifespan but can cause many diseases including heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.Your vet will advise you if your cat is overweight and will also suggest a change in diet. Snacks should be given sparingly. I must admit that I fall short in this area. Snacks adds calories and are not that nutritious.

Always try to exercise your cat. Have him catch a toy at the end of a stick.  Cats loves this and it provides the exercise that indoor cats need. Overweight cats that  suddenly stop eating can develop a serious liver  condition Hepatic Lipidosis .  So reduce your cats weight by good food management and exercise. You will add years onto his life and he will look much better as well!

He’ll thank you for it.

Remember, pets are family!
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Cat Stomach Issues

Monday, November 28, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

kittenvetIt’s called inflammatory bowel disease, or irritable bowel syndrome but it’s just plain stomach trouble. This is not a happy time for a cat with a sensitive stomach or for the people who care for the cat. Chronic vomiting and diarrhea can have a lot of different causes. Sometimes changing cat food too quickly can cause these symptoms.

If any of these symptoms are occurring, get your cat to the vet for a diagnosis. Your vet might recommend a change of diet or administer pet medication to alleviate some of the symptoms.  If your cat is overly sensitive to any kind of protein, many pet companies are aware of this and offer specially formulated diets that contain easy to digest rice and egg protein in their cat food. Sensitive stomach is not at all uncommon with cats, and fortunately, it’s almost always manageable.

Remember, pets are family!
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Effusion, Serious Medical Condition in Pets

Saturday, November 26, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

dogcheckPleural Effusion is a condition where fluid or pus accumulates in an animals chest cavity compressing the lungs and heart. Leah Cohn, Professor of Veterinary Internal Medicine at the University of Missouri says that animals with pleural effusion have to breathe very rapidly because they can’t expand their lungs. They take short, shallow, rapid breaths. She says the pleural effusion has many potential causes such as infection and congestive heart failure. Treatment will vary. If a pet is struggling to breath, most veterinarians will remove the fluid with a needle and syringe. This is a process that may need to be repeated until the underlying cause of the fluid buildup can be cured. In this case pet medication alone will not cure this kind of problem. If you notice your pet breathing very rapidly, take him to your vet right away.

Remember, pets are family!
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Cats Love their Snacks

Friday, November 25, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

My cat Millie looks forward to her snacks every evening. Giving snacks add some variety to your cat’s diet but they should not be substituted for regular cat food. Some snacks don’t contain the nutrients that are necessary in your cat’s diet. Here’s my recommendation on giving snacks. Make sure that your cat is eating his regular food during the day. I give my cat 1/2 can of wet food and a handful of dry cat food every morning. Since cats are “nibblers,” I leave her food out all day. About 5:00pm every evening, I give her a wet food snack and later a few dry snacks.Millie is spoiled and goes by her snack bowl several times each night. I do get up and satisfy her request by giving her a few more. Personally, I don’t recommend this. Give your cat snack once per day. Make sure that you don’t give them too many snacks as I sometimes do. .  A few snack pieces are a fine each evening. Don’t worry if you forget, your cat will remind you that it’s snack time!

Remember, pets are family!

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Signs that Cats Do Care When We’re Away

Thursday, November 24, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

A few years ago,I had to go to New Jersey for Thanksgiving day. We didn’t stay overnight but since we live 238 miles away from our destination, it was a long day. We were gone for about 14 hours.  When I got home there was no sign of my cat Millie . She’s usually in the hallway waiting for her treats. She finally strolled out about five minutes later. It seemed that she was a little “miffed” that we left her for awhile.  Unlike, children, cats cannot give their owners verbal feedback on how they coped in your absence.

Cats can also miss you if you’re leaving them with a sitter. There are signs to look for if you’re leaving your cat with a sitter.  The sitter may notice that the cat is not eating as much as usual. They may not want to play with their cat toys. If there is no medical condition, it’s safe to assume that your cat is simply missing you and has decided not to eat for awhile.  They probably don’t feel as secure or content as they are when you’re there. The best thing that the sitter can do is encourage the cat to eat by placing fresh food and water in your cat’s bowl everyday. He should start eating again after he adjusts to the fact that you’re not around.

Cats could also act differently when you’re gone. A docile cat may starting picking fights with his companion for no apparent reason.  This could be a sign that the cat owner’s absence is causing anxiety and even insecurity. The sitter should not intervene unless the fight is vicious. As soon as you return home, your cat will behave as if you were never gone.

Remember, pets are family!

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Keeping Your Pets Safe This Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

Pet thanksgiving

All of those delicious smells coming from the kitchen no Thanksgiving day will entice your dog but there are some things that you should be aware of.

  • It’s a bad idea to let your dog have all the food that you and your guests are having. This includes mash potatoes, gravy etc. A little turkey would be fine but don’t over do it. Fatty foods can lead to an upset stomach and keep in mind that turkey skin can wreak havoc with a dog’s digestive system, so make sure she gets skinless, boneless turkey.
  • Give your dog lots of exercise before the Thanksgiving feast. It she’s pooped, she may stay away from the table.
  • Keep all turkey bones away from your dog. Make sure that the garbage is covered tightly. Put plates in an unreachable area if you can’t dispose of everything properly right away.
  • Sage and some other herbs have essential oils that can cause tummy upset and central nervous system depression if a dog eats them in large quantities. Keep them away from your dog to be on the safe side.
  • Keep raw dough away from your dog.  Heat causes raw dough to rise. If your dog eats enough of it, the heat in her stomach will cause the dough to rise causing pain, vomiting, and bloating and maybe even a trip to the doggy E.R.
  • Keep all alcoholic beverages away from your pet.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving .
Remember, pets are family!

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The Kindness of Fostering Animals

Sunday, November 20, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGFOSTERSometimes instead of fostering a child,foster parents choose to foster an animal. These foster parents take in shelter dog and cats that are ill, not socialized or not yet weaned and turn them into healthy, loving, adoptable pets. By providing temporary homes, foster parents enable shelters to take in more animals than they would otherwise have room for. So if you have the time, space and love to share with a foster pet, contact your local shelter or rescue group. If your application is approved, you’ll attend training sessions to learn how to socialize, house train and maybe even bottle feed your foster pet. The hardest part of fostering is giving up your foster pet. After you buy the cat bed or dog crate, they are hard to let go of but you are doing a wonderful service by providing shelter and care for a sheltered pet!

Remember, pets are family!

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