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Archive for October, 2009

vet-with-dogA veterinarian is your pets second best friend.  Remember, the worst time to look for a vet is when you really need one.  A veterinarian should also have good people skills.  Usually a veterinarian works with a team of professionals so you would want to evaluate the teams competence and caring.  You also must make sure that their fees are within your budget.  The best way to find a good veterinarian is by starting with a recommendation from a friend, neighbor, groomer or animal shelter worker. Check the yellow pages under “veterinarians” or “Animal Hospitals,” you may be able to find important information about the hours, services and staff.  Some veterinarian hospitals are members of the American Animal Hospital Association which signifies that the hospital has pursued and met the AAHA’s standards in areas such as quality care, facilities and equipment.  Before choosing a vet, ask yourself these important questions:

1.  Is the facility clean and comfortable?

2.  Are there technicians and other staff members on hand?

3.  How many veterinarians are in the practice?

4.  Are appointments required?

5. Do they provided emergency round the clock service?

6.  Is the staff caring, calm, competent and courteous?

7. Do they communicate effectively?

8. Do the veterinarians have special interests such as geriatrics?

9. Are X Rays, endoscopy, ultrasound and other tests done in house?

Choose a vet early on in your pets life. Make sure you are comfortable that you’ve made the right decision. Remember your veterinarian is not only there to administer pet medication.

goldenjn-retreiver-puppiesIs your dog at risk for hip dysplasia?  This disease of the hip joint can develop into arthritis later on.  Certain breeds such as Labrador and Golden retreivers are more at risk for this disease. Dr. Bill Smith, a professor of small animal surgery at the University of Illinois says that any large breed dog can develop this problem. If you have a large dog, ask your vet when your puppy is under a year old if hip dysplasia may be a problem and what you should do about it. He will tell you want signs to look for and treatment that is available including pet medication to ease the pain.

The Functional Side of Canine Clothes

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
posted by PetsRule


These days it’s not uncommon to walk down the street and see pets adorned in all manner 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 aren’t just stylish statements, however – they have a more practical purpose as well. Now that the air has turned chilly and snow will soon be falling in many parts of the country, a puppy 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.

Pet Odor Removers, which ones are the best?

Monday, October 19, 2009
posted by Jim Murphy

pet-sitter-dogsMost pet owners agree that removing pet odors, especially urine is no easy task. Most products mask the odor for awhile but the odor almost always returns. There are natural products on the market that work pretty well. They remove pet odors without enzymes, shampoos, chemicals, solvents, powders or sprays. Some experts say that the use of enzymes that break down the urine, rather than bleaching or covering it is ideal. You also want to protect your upholstery and buy a pet odor remover that does not stain. A pet odor remover that works on a variety of materials is a good choice. Make sure that you read the label. The odor remover usually comes in a liquid or foam. Foam cleaners are good for cleaning carpets.Products that neutralize and break down the odor molecule works best.  Look for the words, easy to apply, guarantee and biodegradable on the label. It’s always better to buy products that are non toxic to pets and children.  Make sure you store the pet odor removers out of the reach or mouths of children and pets.

cat-staringIf you stare at your cat and blink, there’s a good chance that she will blink back. I believe that one way that cats communicate is with their eyes. In shelters, if you blink very slowly at a feral cat, it usually calms them down. Cats can use their eyes to intimidate prey or even each other. When my cat Mollie  sits and stares at my younger cat Millie, Millie will dash across the room and hide. Cats have excellent peripheral vision. You get up at night and are stumbling for the light switch but your cat is navigating around the furniture and having a bite to eat without any problem. They have vertical irises and excellent night vision. Sometimes my cat will start to pounce on the floor. I see nothing but they see a tiny bug moving very fast through the carpet. We may have better color vision, but cats can detect motion much better than us. Cats also have a third eyelid which protects their eyes as they stalk prey under branches and underbrush. This eyelid is on the inside corner of the eye.

It’s not completely certain which colors a cat can see best but cats do have beautiful eyes and many times people will choose a cat based on the color of their eyes. So why is your cat so good at catching that bug or cat toy? That’s because of it’s excellent eyesight and ability to detect motion much better than humans.

trainingYou’re are adopting a dog. Should you get a purebred or a mixed breed? There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Purebreds have distinct personality traits.  Poodles are known for their intelligence. They are lively dogs with friendly dispositions and make good guard dogs. Standard poodles can live between 10 – 15 years and toy poodles live between 12 – 16 years. A Portuguese Water dog is one of the more ancient breeds.  They were bred to work and lived on boats in small spaces. They have a friendly temperament and get along with family and friends. They do bark at strangers. A Schnauzer  is alert, inquisitive and very intelligent. They are often referred to as the dog with the human brain. They are loyal and devoted, slow to anger and are quick to defend.

If you choose a pure bred, make sure that it has all of it’s papers including their backgroung and health. You must receive a registration certificate which tells you that the puppy is the offspring of a particular mother and the date the puppy was born. Purebred dog papers should include a pedigree which is the family tree of your dog. It show their bloodline going back four or more generations.

There are also some advantages for choosing a mixed breed. First of all, they are inexpensive.  Being that a mixed breed, is a combination of different kinds of pure breeds or other mixed breeds they will develop a unique personality. Their temperament will probably mimic that of their parents. There is no competition to show the dog or have them compete in any purebred contests. They are friendly and make good family pets.

Choose the breed, adopt the dog and then you can get all of the accessories that you need including dog beds, leashes, dog coats etc. You’ve made a wise choice to adopt a wonderful new family member!

cocker-spanielsOver 70% of households have either a dog or a cat. Our little furry friends always provide us with love an companionship. However, if we are allergic, there can be problems. Pet dander or skin flakes cause an allergic reaction such as sneezing, wheezing, running eyes and nose. This can be especially dangerous if you have asthma.  Here are some tips to help if you do develop an allergy. Keep your pet out of the bedroom. Keep all of your bedding clean. Wash your hands immediately after petting of touching your pet. Keep your pets off of the furniture so that dander does not get in your upholstery. Wear a protective mask and gloves when grooming your pet. There is no pet medication that will control dander but you can buy pet wipes and frequently wipe down your pet to keep his skin moist. This does work but you must do it frequently.Try bathing your pet regularly. This will reduce dander. I have asthma and suffered for many years with my cats Molly and Mille. I finally got on an asthma controlled medication which works wonders. If you do have asthma and are not on a medication to control the attacks, I would suggest that you try this. My life with my pets is no much better!

dog-with-owner1As soon as we adopt an adorable little puppy, you wish that he would live forever.  As time goes on we bond with them and they really become our family members.  Normally, when we pick a puppy, we usually do not think of it’s life span. The experts do agree that the small breeds outlive the larger breeds. The general rule of thumb regarding lifespan is the larger the dog, the shorter its life span. A medium – large dog can be expected to live 10 years. As with humans, if they are in good health, they can live longer.  Smaller breeds tend to live longer, ten to fifteen years. I had a Chihuahua, he lived to twelve but he was born with a heart defect and developed heart failure.  Occasionally, you will run into a small dog who is 19 or 20! This is rare but it does happen. The fastest way to shorten a dogs life span is to keep it indoors all the time. Dogs need regular exercise to keep their bones and lungs healthy. Good health and quality care are key in prolonging a dogs life. Genetics also play a very important rule in lonegevity but it’s one that we can’t control. The Irish Wolfhound usually has about seven good years. So if your dog is vaccinated, gets regular checkups, eats good food and gets lots of exercise, you will have him around a long time.  Large dogs often get arthritis. Your Vet can prescribe pet medication that may help with the pain but this will not normally prolong his life.

Choosing the best cat carrier.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
posted by Jim Murphy

cats-in-bedNow that you’ve adoped your pet cat, you want to get the best cat carrier for him. There are several to consider. A cardboard cat carrier, a hard sided pet carrier crate or a soft sided carrier. When I adopted my cat Millie, the adoption agency gave me a small cardboard crate to put her in. This worked out fine under the circumstances. She was a small cat and probably very frightened so she kept very quite and still on the way home. This would not be the kind of carrier I would recommend for permenant use. Your cat will claw it’s way through it in no time at all. The most important thing to consider is that the cat carrier should be put together well. You  don’t want to risk the chance of the carrier breaking open and dumping your cat onto a busy street. Look for good, secure latches! Choose a cat carrier that is big enough for your cat to move around in. He should be able to stand up and move around comfortably.  Ventilation is very important. Make sure that there are air vents on the side and the top. If you are flying with your cat make sure you check the airlines standards regarding carriers. Soft sided carriers are a little questionable in my opinion. They are not as secure. Your cat can claw through it. One time, I took had to board my cat Mollie. I dropped her off and decided to buy an expensive nylon carrier to take her home. When I picked her up, she was frustrated that I left her so long and when I got her in the cage, she was restless.  Within ten minutes, she managed to rip the nylon crate and proceeded to make her way on my lap. Needless to say, I let her stay there for the rest of the trip home but vowed never to get a soft cat carrier again. It’s up to you but I would recommend a hard sided, secure carrier that has lots of ventalation and secure latches.

cat-in-blindsYou’ve decided to apopt a cat. Good for you. Which cat is best for you?  While you’re at the animal shelter, stroll past all the cages containing cats. you’ll notice that some of the cats will meow at you for special attention while others will just lie there with a sense of superiority about them. There are so many different personalities to choose from and you have to decide which one is best for you. Here are some tips. Look for a cat who’s playful, active and alert. One of the most important things is to make sure that the cat is comfortable being held and stroked.  Make sure you ask the advice of a counselor at the shelter. They know the personalites of each cat better than anyone else.  Spend some time with several cats and see how they react to you.  After you make a choice, make sure the cat that your are going to adopt has received all of it’s shots and was spayed or neutered. Whatever choice you make, you will be giving your new friend a chance at a wonderful new life. Good luck and pamper him with all the cat toys and accessories that you wish!