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You are currently browsing the The Pet Product Guru blog archives for July, 2009.



July 2009

Archive for July, 2009

dog8Most flea and tick products are available over the counter. I recommend that before you use any flea and tick product, including flea and tick spray that you check with your vet. Some products may contain ingredients that can harm you pets and even your children!  Here’s some recent news obtained from the Humane Society’s website.

Due to a sharp increase in the number of incidents being reported from the use of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control for pets, the Environmental Protection Agency announced in April 2009 that it is intensifying its evaluation of whether further restrictions on the use of these products are necessary to better protect pets.

Sometimes harmful pesticides make their way to the store shelves. Here are some harmful chemicals to watch out for. This information was obtained from the Humane Society.

The Chemicals

Besides pyrethroid-based products, ingredients to be wary of are organophosphate insecticides (OPs) and carbamates, both of which are found in various flea and tick products. A product contains an OP if the ingredient list contains chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos, phosmet, naled, tetrachlorvinphos, diazinon, or malathion. If the ingredient list includes carbaryl or propoxur, the product contains a carbamate. According to the NRDC, the potential dangers posed by these products are greatest for children and pets. There is reason to be concerned about long-term, cumulative exposures as well as combined exposures from the use of other products containing OPs and carbamates. The Center For Public Integrity’s study said permethrin is classified under the most toxic category by NRDC because the EPA says it is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” if ingested orally.

The Products

The NRDC’s report lists flea- and tick-control products marketed under the following major brand names that have been found to contain OPs: Alco, Americare, Beaphar, Double Duty, Ford’s Freedom Five, Happy Jack, Hartz, Hopkins, Kill-Ko, Protection, Rabon, Riverdale, Sergeant’s, Unicorn, Vet-Kem, Victory, and Zema. To protect their pets and children, consumers should consult with a veterinarian before purchasing any over-the-counter (OTC) products.

The Effects

According to the NRDC, there are studies that show OPs and carbamates can harm the nervous system. Children can be especially vulnerable because their nervous systems are still developing. For pets, the data is limited, but according to NRDC, many companion animals appear to have been injured or killed through exposure to pet products containing OPs. Cats are particularly vulnerable, since they often lack enzymes for metabolizing or detoxifying OPs and can ingest OPs by licking their fur.

You can reduce the risks by keeping you cat indoors, combing you pet frequently with a flea comb, wash your pets bedding frequently and wash you pets with a pesticide free shampoo.

Again, I stress that before you use any flea and tick product, check with your vet.

dog1Your schedule is hectic, you’ve worked an 11 hour day and now you come home and your dog is practically begging you to play with him. You must consider that while you were away, your dog was probably a little board and now is his time for him  to play. How much exercise does your dog need?  Not all dogs require the same amount of exercise. You may think that size matters. It may to some degree but breed is what matters  more when it comes to exercise.  If you own a Jack Russell Terrier, you probably know that if he is not even enough exercise, he will misbehave.  Small dogs frequently need more exercise that larger dogs but the good news is that they can exercise in the house or apartment. Keep his favorite toys available.  If you spend 15 minutes or more playing with him everyday, this should satisfy his exercise needs.  If you own a medium or large dog, a 45 min. to 1 hour walk in the park each day should meet his exercise requirements. Bring a frisbee to get him running a bit.  After you adopt your dog, you will know in a short time how much exercise he requires. You may want to consider a dog exercise pen. Most pens may be used indoors and outside.

Make sure that your dog gets enough exercise and avoid misbehavior and possibly damage to some of the valuable possessions in your home.

Pet Stain Removal

Monday, July 20, 2009
posted by Jim Murphy

friendscat-dogYou are having guests on the weekend and you are busy preparing the menu and cleaning the house. You smell something in the dining room as you look closer, you notice that your pet decided to relieve himself right under your dining room table. What luck! The stain is on a rug under the table. You have to remove both the stain and the odor.  Soak of the urine with a paper towel. Place a thick layer of paper towels on the wet spot and cover the towels with some newspaper. Stand on the padding or put something heavy on the padding for a few minutes. Do this until the padding is barely damp. Rinse the area with cool water. After rinsing, either blot the area dry or use a wet vac. Apply some pet stain removal to get rid of any odor.

Hopefully this will be the end your pet accidents in the house!

planeThe following information was obtained from Travel Smart.

Your are going away and do not want to leave you pet behind. If you’re like me, you don’t want to check him in and have him travel in the cargo compartment. You’ve heard horror stories about pets dying from being left on a hot runaway in some god awful tropical place! No – not for our pets! If I ever had to travel with my pet, she would either have to be in her pet carrier in the seat next to me or under the seat in front of me.

Here are some guidelines from Travel Smart which may help you in making that all important decision.

Airline In-Cabin 1-way Remarks
Yes $65 Small dogs, cats, birds. Carrier 8.5x17x12. Pet & carrier not exceed 40 lbs. Restrictions apply on flights to Bahamas.
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Checked or cargo only Call Cats, dogs, birds & other animals subject to approval.
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Cargo 808-836-4126
Within Hawaii only Call Small cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, turtles & birds. One pet per adult passenger in the cabin. Larger pets up to 70lbs. in cargo. Pets not permitted into Hawaii due to quarantine.
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Yes $80 Cats, dogs, birds. Carrier max: 23x13x9. Cargo carriers up to 40x27x30. Not counted as part of baggage allowance. Specific health restrictions & requirements based upon destination.
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ATA (American Trans Air)
Yes $75 Cats, dogs, birds in carry on. Carrier max: 9x15x25. Counts as carry-on baggage. Requires health certificate issued within 10 days of flight.
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Yes $80 Cats, dogs, birds, rabbits. Carrier max: 22x14x9. Carrier available for $45. Not counted toward baggage allowance.
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Yes $50 Cats, dogs, ferrets, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs. Carrier size depends on equipment flown. Counts as a carry-on. Cabin, checked or cargo available.
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Checked only $100 Two animals per person may be checked as baggage. Requires health certificate issued within 10 days & rabies certificate for dogs.
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Cargo only Call Cats, dogs, birds, rabbits. Certain restrictions apply to specific breeds & times of year. No pets allowed into Hawaii because of quarantine.
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Checked or cargo only See: ALASKA
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Yes $50 Small cats & dogs. Carrier max: 17×12.5×8. Available for $20. Combined weight of pet & carrier may not exceed 20 lbs.
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Cargo: 800-892-6580, ext 5
Small dogs $100 Not all flights accept animals. Counts as carry-on. Special below cabin pet compartment ($75) & cargo options also available. Carriers available from 21x16x15 to 40x27x30, $70 to $125.
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Yes $80 Not all flights accept pets. Temperature controlled Priority Pet Program. Check to see what documentation is required. Breed & temperature restrictions apply.
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Yes $75 In-cabin carrier max: 18x14x9. Temperature restrictions apply on cargo shipping.
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Yes $75 Cats and dogs 16 ibs or less. Carrier max: 18x11x10.5.
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Cargo: 800-UACARGO
Yes $100-$200
Shipping charge
depending on size
Dog, cat or bird may be carried on board if carrier fits under seat. Pressurized checked & cargo shipping available. Documentation required.

Yes $80 In-cabin only. No connections. Dogs, cats, birds or small aquarium fish. Carrier max: 17x16x8.

Which is the best type of dog bed to buy?

Saturday, July 18, 2009
posted by Jim Murphy

doginbedWhere does your dog sleep?  Does he sleep in bed with you? Does he sleep on your sofa? These places are not the best spots  especially if you suffer from any allergies. One of your pets basic needs is a great dog bed!  There are so many varieties of dog beds that making a choice can be difficult.  A standard dog bed is like a cushion with no edges. These beds are covered with materials such as flannel, fleece,denim or microfiber. They often contain polyester filling and/or foam padding. Some have a removable, washable cover. These beds are good for all dogs except if your dog has a orthopedic problem such as arthritis. He may need more support.  You can choose a dog bed with soft sides or a nest bed. The raised edges enable your dog to curl up.

Orthopedic dog beds are designed especially for dogs with arthritis or some other kind of problem. These beds are make with a thick foam and the sides usually are made of a harder material. They  put less stress on your dogs joints and are good for senior dogs as well as boney dogs like Whippets or Greyhounds. These beds will prevent calluses or sores.

There are so many different types of dog beds. Choose one that will best suit your dog.


I’m on vacation in southern Delaware and my two cats are with me. It is Friday, July 17th and it’s hot and humid. My two cats are now fast asleep on the screened in porch. It’s air conditioned inside but the heat does not seem to bother them. Everyday, they take their nap at about 10:30am until around 5:00pm or so. What a life! They also sleep at night. So just how many hours do cats sleep?  They sleep an average of 13  to 16 hours everyday.  Only bats and opossum’s sleep longer. They are most active a dawn and dusk. This explains why they wake me up every morning at about 5:00am. My older cat, Mollie will sit on my nightstand and gently stroke my face to get my attention. If this does not work, she will proceed to knock over the telephone, my eyeglasses, clock radio etc. I must heed her call and get up. I eventually get out of bed, pick up all of the debris left behind and proceed to the kitchen to give her a can of her wet food. This usually keeps her busy for awhile.  My younger cat, Millie likes to play in the evening. At about 8:00pm each night, she will let me know that she is ready to play by her meow.  If I don’t get her stick toy, she will proceed to do things that she is not supposed to like go behind the TV. She’ll even get up on the TV stand and try to block my view. (Who says that cats are not smart?) I then give in get her stick toy and begin playing with her. I must continue until she is ready to stop!

So why do cats sleep so much?  Nobody’s sure, but cats evolved from a long line of hunters and predators which may explain their sleep patterns.

May sure that you stock up on the cat beds and get ready for some exercise in the evenings!

raven_smYou’ve just adopted a new puppy and the first thing that you want to purchase is a dog crate.  Make sure that you choose a crate size that will be large enough to accommodate him as an adult.  He should be able to stand, lie down or sit in any position that he chooses.  You may want to consider purchasing a crate that is sectioned off to allow for growth. Consider the kind of wire used. Make sure that your puppies paws do not fit through the wire.  A crate made of plastic is easier to clean than a wire crate.

It is much safer to keep your dog in his crate while your are traveling. Remember his crate is his castle! Never use the crate for punishment or your dog will always associate his crate with something bad. Always keep the crate visable and let him go in it everyday. Always remove his collar before putting him in his crate. Finally give him a bowl of water, some of his favorite toys and don’t forget the dog crate pad. Now you’re all set to enjoy your new puppy!

images_picnikUnfortunately, it may become necessary to administer pet medication to your cat by injection. If your cat develops diabetes, you may have to give him an injection of insulin everyday for the rest of his life. This isn’t as bad as it sounds. It is sometimes easier to give him an injection that it is a pill.  Grab some of his fur and lift. Then brush away his hair until you see a bare spot. Insert the needle into the surface of the skin, press the plunger and that’s it, you’re done.

If your cat is not laid back it may be a little difficult at first but over time, it will get easier and easier. Just be patient and you’ll do fine. If you are administering insulin, make sure that you keep it refrigerated at all times.

snowparka97blackToday, dressing our dogs is almost as important as dressing ourselves. Sometimes owners dress up their dogs to match what they are wearing. Why do we do this??  The answer depends on the person you ask and the kind of dog that they own. I owned a Chihuahua. I only put a sweater or coat on him because he would shiver in the cold weather and I wanted to keep him warm. Lots of people want to make fashion statements when dressing their dog and will spends lots of money buying designer dog clothes. Dog clothes were originally developed for identity purposes and protection from the environment and from attack.  Today the role of dogs has changed to that of a family member. We choose to cloth them to protect them from the elements or just for fun or  fashion purposes.

One word of caution, don’t leave your dog alone with his clothes on. He may begin chewing or try to take the clothes off and hurt himself.

Enjoy buying those dog sweat shirts, dog coats, raincoats and sweaters, I’m sure that your dog won’t mind!

011 Many cats enjoy playing with catnip toys, balls that make some kind of  jingling sound, milk rings, pom poms etc. I have two cats. My oldest cat, Mollie does not anything except a toy that has catnip in it. She likes to get high every now and then! She does not like any other toys. In fact, if you dangle a toy on a string in front of her, she gets mad and runs away! My other cat, Mille, on the other hand, loves toys. She loves to push the little balls around the house. She especially loves the fishing pole cat toy. In fact, she cries everynight for someone to play with her with this toy. If we don’t play with her, she does things to get our attention like go behind the TV where’s she’s not allowed! She also runs around the house and cries. This happens until we give in and play with her.  If we come home late and do not have a chance to play with her with her fishing pole toy, we will find them scattered all over the house in the morning (She has lots of them!). This is so we will get the message! Most cats love to play. Make sure you make some time everyday to play with yours.