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Checking for a Sensitive Stomach in Cats

Saturday, February 24, 2024
posted by Jim Murphy

It sometimes could be difficult to determine whether or not your cat has a sensitive stomach. The first thing that you should do is to look at is his litter box. Is it more messy than usual? Does he have diarrhea? Is he vomiting? Did you recently change his diet? I would then get him checked out by a vet to rule out any serious health issues. If it’s determined that your cat has a dietary intolerance, then your vet will recommend a food that’s highly digestible. Your veterinarian might recommend a low-residue food.This which works by providing a special blend of fiber, protein and fat sources.

Make sure that you pay attention to your cats entire digestive system, not just his stomach. This includes intestines, mouth, esophagus, gums and teeth. Tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease could also contribute to this problem. Your vet will recommend that you take care of your cats teeth by brushing them regularly.

When you do find a diet that your cat will tolerate, make sure that you stick to it.

Remember, pets are family.

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Are You Too Old To Adopt another Pet?

Saturday, February 17, 2024
posted by Jim Murphy

I just turned 70 last October and was wondering if this age is too old to adopt a new pet. The thought is actually depressing until I read an article on tuftsyourdog.com. This article gave me confidence that if I decided to adopt a new pet, my age should not get in the way. I will share this article with you today.

You’re 68 and have lost your canine pal and want to adopt a new one. But the average life expectancy in the U.S. is just under 79 — you’ve got 11 years left, if you go by averages. Yet the average life expectancy of a dog is 10 to 13 years. Your pet may outlast you.

Just as important, maybe you anticipate losing steam over the next decade to the point that you won’t be able to give a dog what he needs in terms of daily walks and other forms of active care. Should you forego another opportunity for a canine bond?

Absolutely not!
Age really is just a number

“Generally, we encourage older folks to adopt pets because keeping one is a wonderful experience at any age,” says Rob Halpin, director of public relations at MSPCA-Angell, a Boston-based humane society, shelter, animal adoption agency, and animal hospital all under the same institutional umbrella. “Older folks, in particular, depending on their circumstances, may be especially well suited to keeping pets because they are often retired and just have more time to spend with a pet, which is enriching for both animal and person,” Mr. Halpin adds.

Rather than considering just your age, which is a number with no context, Mr. Halpin recommends going by the motto “Goodness of Fit.”

“Just as some younger people aren’t aways active or looking for an active dog and have a lifestyle that might dictate a more relaxed and sedentary pet, some older folks are fabulously fit and active and may want a dog who can keep up with them on hikes or runs,” he says. Indeed, there are plenty of people who are well into their 70s, and even their 80s and sometimes older, who go white water rafting and engage in all kinds of other vigorous physical activity that requires much more stamina than taking care of a dog.

And if you do feel a creeping frailty, you can always go with a dog that doesn’t require much exercise: a toy breed, perhaps, or a greyhound, who while large and fast, is happy to lie around much of the day just keeping you company and then amble along for slow walks. Then, too, you can choose a dog that is no longer a puppy and doesn’t have excess energy to burn. He will be happier to just walk at your side rather than drag you along because everything in the world is so exciting for him.
Financial considerations

Along with the physical activity requirements of owning a dog, you’ll want to consider the financial ones. Some people of retirement age are sitting pretty money-wise, with healthy pensions, social security checks coming in, and a tidy nest egg that they accumulated through the years, so the costs of owning a dog won’t weigh on them. For others, income diminishes considerably during retirement years. People of more limited means may want to consider a smaller dog. The ASPCA estimates that the minimum annual cost of taking care of a small dog versus a large one could differ by $300 a year. That comes to a $25 monthly difference that could be a deal breaker for someone whose budget simply can’t meet the added expense.

Once you factor in your financial situation, lifestyle, and overall health (older people are more diverse in terms of their health status than any other age group), you’re in an excellent position to make the right choice. Let the belly rubs, snuggle-ups, and overall cross-species companionship continue!
Before You Go

While caring for a dog is a good idea at any age as long as you’re physically able, you should have a plan in place for the possibility that your dog could outlive you. This is important for people at all stages of life, not just older men and women. No one can predict the future, including the immediate future. Take these steps:

-Talk to a responsible friend or relative who agrees to adopt your pet in the event that you can no longer take care of him either because of incapacitation or death.

-Carry an “alert card” in your wallet that lists the name and phone number of the person who will step in to care for your dog.

-Include your pet in your will. Just as you would include legal documentation of your wishes for who should raise your child in your absence and with what funds, include such information for your dog. Making it official means your pet will end up in the right hands.

Remember, pets are family!

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Does Your Cat Get Lonely?

Friday, February 9, 2024
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats are solitary creatures by nature which means that they don’t need anyone t0 survive. Dogs, on the hand require a pack leader weather it be a human or another dog. If you have an indoor cat and are gone for more than four hours a day, your cat may feel lonely. This varies from cat to cat. Some cats are perfectly fine being by themselves.

If your think that your cat is lonely, the solution may be to bring in another cat. Preferably, a younger cat of the opposite sex. Make sure that he or she is neutered. It may take awhile for the two cats to get used to each other. The cat that has been in the house the longest will always be the dominant cat. Make sure that you give the senior cat a little more attention than the younger cat. This is because when 2 or more cats live together, they develop a hierarchy in which one cat is the boss. I had a female and adopted another female and still, after 7 years, the younger cat feels threatened by the older one.

You can also try playing soft music while you’re out of the house, this may also curb their loneliness.

Remember, pets are family!
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Animal Abuse Beyond belief!

Saturday, February 3, 2024
posted by Jim Murphy

I’m taking the time to post this link to a story that broke this week in Felton, Delaware. You should click the link and read it for yourself. The horrible abuse of dogs and cats is difficult to comprehend. Our poor pets have no say, some people just don’t have souls and are just plain evil. We must work to protect our innocent, precious pets. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending and I pray that each and every one of these animals get adopted into wonderful stable homes.

Here’s the article. Click to read.

76 Pets Rescued from Felton, Home

Remember, pets are family!

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Keeping Your Dog Away from Garbage

Thursday, February 1, 2024
posted by Jim Murphy

Keeping your dog away from the garbage is more that just ordinary sanitation. Dogs who are trash eaters are living dangerously.  They can digest many foreign objects and bone fragments which are very dangerous to their digestive tract.  If they are digesting moist food from the garbage, it may be toxic to their system.  Discarded food can grow fungus in just two or three days. This can pose a great risk to your dog.  Cheese products like old pizza are particularly dangerous because they contain toxins that can give your pet muscle tremors and seizures. It’s important to keep your pet away from the trash. If he does manage to get into the garbage, watch him closely. A loss of appetite, shivering or yellow eyes are signs that you must call your vet immediately. Give him lots of dog toys and dog treats and keep him away from the garbage!

Remember, pets are family!

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How Much Should a Senior Cat Eat?

Saturday, January 27, 2024
posted by Jim Murphy

Our cat Millie is 19 years old. As they age, sometimes they may eat less or lose weight. Millie generally eats normally but there are days where she consumes less. I make sure that she resumes normal eating in a day or two. If she doesn’t, I would contact a vet. When your cat ages, you may notice some changes other than slowing down at bit. They may eat less and even lose a little weight. Heres how I determine whether or not there’s a problem. I ask myself these questions.

Is she eating?
Is she peeing normally?
Is she pooping normally?
Is the consistency of her poop normal?
Is she acting normal?
If the answer to these questions are “yes,” then I don’t worry.

Be Chewy.com writes about how much a senior cat should consume.

Most senior cats will have about the same caloric needs as an adult cat—roughly 280 to 360 daily calories depending on the normal lean weight—as long as they are healthy. Some older cats will actually have an increase in energy requirements. That increase may be due to a decrease in the ability to digest and utilize calories or it may be due to health problems that are commonly seen in senior cats.

Use your cat’s food label to calculate how much you need to feed your senior cat to meet their caloric requirement. Most cat food has calorie counts on the packaging. Initially, it’s best if you weigh out the daily meals. That will help you feed precise amounts.

Remember, pets are family!

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Treatment for a Dog with A Broken Leg

Sunday, January 21, 2024
posted by Jim Murphy

Just like humans, dogs are prone to broken bones. Leg fractures are the most common. One thing that you should remember is that dogs have a high pain tolerance. You may notice their leg dangling but see that they aren’t really in pain.  Look to see if  the leg is swollen. Also look for signs of shock such as pale or white gums, rapid breathing or a rapid heartbeat. If you notice any of these signs, get the dog to the vet right away.

Here are some tips in caring for a dogs broken leg:

  • If necessary, restrain the dog.
  • Be soft spoken and approach the dog slowly.
  • If it does not have a leash, place a leash around its neck and attach the leash to a secure object.
  • Pull the dog against the object and try to tie the dog so that it can’t move it’s head.
  • Look closely at the break.  See if there is an open wound, or a bone protruding or if it’s closed meaning that there is no break in the skin.
  • If the limb is grossly misshapen, or the dog is in great pain, hold a towel underneath him and transport him to the animal hospital.
  • If the wound is open, flush with warm water, put a towel under the dog and get him to the hospital. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PUT A SPLINT ON HIM.
  • If the wound is not open and the leg is not out of shape and the dog does not appear to be in too much pain, use any splint material such as newspapers, cardboard, magazines to immobilize the limb, NOT RESET IT.
  • Attach the splints to the dogs leg and wrap gauze or torn strips of cloth around it.
  • Tape or tie the strips firmly but not too tight as to inhibit circulation.
  • Transport the dog to the vet.

Reassure the dog on the way to the vet and maybe give him a dog treat or two to calm him down.

Remember, pets are family!

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It’s Cold! Keep Your Dog Warm

Thursday, January 18, 2024
posted by Jim Murphy

The cold weather is taking a grip on the U.S. this winter and keeping your best friend warm is always a big concern for most dog owners.  If you have a small dog, an older dog or short haired dog, you should consider purchasing a dog coat to keep him warm during his winter walks.  You may want to choose a sweater for the cool autumn evenings and a heavier coat for the winter months especially if you live in a colder climate. Make sure the sweater or coat fits properly and is easy to put on and take off.  Most dogs don’t like wearing clothing at first. Get your dog used to the coat by putting it on him for short periods at a time.  Then give him a treat. Your dog will learn to associate wearing his coat with those delicious dog treats.

Make sure that you choose a coat that’s appropriate. It should be make of warm materials like wool. Look for water resistant materials for snowy or rainy days. Don’t worry about what looks fashionable. This is not the priority. You should be concerned about keeping your dog warm.

You may want to consider boots. The ice treatment like rock salt that’s put on sidewalks and steps can really irritate your dog’s feet.  Keep your dog warm and safe this year and make sure that he’s comfortable.

Remember, pets are family!

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Behavior Problems with Dogs

Saturday, January 13, 2024
posted by Jim Murphy

If your dogs behavior is so inappropriate, your veterinarian may refer you to an veterinary behaviorist. This is an expert who deals with dogs and cats behaving badly. Jerry Flanigan, a Behaviorist with Carolina Veterinary Specialists says that if your dog or cat suffers from separation anxiety or acts out in other destructive ways, a behaviorist will develop an action plan based on your pets history and issues. Then it’s up to you to do the majority of the work making the appropriate changes to encourage better pet behavior. A reminder never punish you pet by putting him in his pet carrier, you will defeat the purpose plus create lots of anxiety for your pet!

Remember, pets are family!

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The Right Dog Sitter

Thursday, January 11, 2024
posted by Jim Murphy

The first step is picking the right sitter for your dog. My first choice would be someone that I know and my dog knows and trusts. That’s half the battle. This person should be able to balance and calm your dog down if he is nervous.  I would not suggest, leaving a dog who is a bit hyperactive with an elderly relative.  The Pet Sitter should understand the needs of your dog. The best thing to do is to have the Pet Sitter, come to your home, stay there while you’re away and maintain the dog’s daily routine. Keep the  walking, feeding and sleeping schedule the same.

If you have to leave your dog at another location, make sure that you get him familiar with the surroundings. May several trips to the new location. Make sure that he’s comfortable before leaving him.

If you choose to leave your dog with a family member, make sure that they know the whole routine. For example, if your dog is used to a one hour walk in the morning, a fifteen minute walk won’t do it.

Leave a checklist for the Pet Sitter, include important information like your phone number, the vet’s phone number and address and the nearest 24 hour animal hospital.  If there are any medications, leave very detailed instructions on how the medication should be administered as well as the frequency and time.  Also, make sure the Pet Sitter knows how ofter to check the dog water bowl. It should be filled at all times.  Note any behavior issues like whether or not you allow the dog on the furniture. Inform the sitter as to when the dog should receive a treat.

If you follow these tips, just relax. Your dog will be in good hands while you’re gone. It’s a good idea to check in with the sitter every few days if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time.

Remember, pets are family!

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