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December 2009

Archive for December, 2009

dog-in-snowWell here we are about a week before Christmas and near blizzard conditions are expected in the North East. In fact, the snow should start falling any time now and not stop until tomorrow. How do our furry little friends like going out in the snow?  If you own a small dog, it is important to keep them bundled.  Try to find a long legged dog coat to keep the snow from clinging to their legs. The most important thing to remember while walking them is keep them moving. Some dogs love to run and play in the snow and after it has fallen, taking them to a park covered with snow could be very good exercise for both you and your dog. A word of caution, we are expecting blizzard conditions tonight  so take your dog outside before the heavy snow starts and the winds kick up. Make the walk brief and productive. Oh, get out the salt and snow shovels, you’ll need them tomorrow if you are on the east coast!

cat-on-motorcycleHow a cat behaves when its lost depends on the circumstances.  If you’ve recently moved and your cat isn’t familiar with its new surroundings, it may run off and try to return to its’ old home.  That’s a common scenerio.  If the neighborhood dog has been chasing it, its probably hiding somewhere close to home.  If a cats been abandoned, they will go into protective mode seeking shelter in a good hiding place.  Many times when a cat has gone missing, it’s owner will find it in a place that it had been previously investigating.  A basement, an attack, a closet or a garage where it got trapped. Cats rarely stray far.  If yours is lost, start a search right away.  Start with the house, then the yard and the neighborhood. Its most likely nearby. If it got out of it’s cat carrier and you’re not close to home, you may not be so lucky!

Which are the best cat scratching posts?

Thursday, December 17, 2009
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-scratching-postsWe all go through it with our healthy cats. Healthy cats have healthy claws which means furniture destruction. 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, accessable 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.

cat-heterochromiaPets with one blue eye and one brown eye is called complete heterochromia. It’s the way the pigment melanin is distributed in an animals’ skin and hair. A dog or cat that has complete heterochromia has a white area of skin and hair around it’s eye where there’s little or no melanin. The result is one blue eye.  Plenty of melanin is concentrated in the other eye which is a different color.  The reason for this is unclear. Complete heterochromia is seen quite often in cats, horses and other animals. Partial heterochromia where the iris of the eye is two different colors is much more unusual.  Why this occurs is not clearly understood. It is believed to be inherited in most cases.

If your dog has this condition, you may want to buy him dog sweater that matches the colors of his eyes. Now that’s a fashionable dog!

Information obtained from Animal Instincts.

Lead the Way

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
posted by PetsRule


There aren’t many dog supplies more important for any dog owner than a retractable dog leash. No matter the size, age or energy level of the dog, a retractable leash will guide your canine companion on any excursion you undertake together.  Dog leashes are mandatory almost everywhere you will go.  Unlike a heavier metal lead, the retractable dog leashes are lightweight and much more comfortable for most dogs, allowing them more space to move about freely.   (Note: agitated or harder-to-control dogs may not do well with this type of leash, as their constant pulling could hurt his neck and tire him out, and not in a good way.)   The handles are also made with a soft grip to allow everyday ease of use and prevent potential injury for the dog walker.

A retractable dog leash will also inhibit inappropriate urination, defecation, digging, damaging the property of others, and being aggressive with other dogs or people.  It will also keep them out of traffic and keep them from getting lost.

cute-puppies-3Many puppies already have worms when they are born. These are parasites that they got from their mother.  The American Association of Veterinary Parasit0logists says the process of de- worming for roundworms and hookworms should begin when puppies are two weeks old and be repeated every two weeks until they’re eight weeks old. If a puppy that has worms has not be de-wormed, his body will not respond to vaccinations as it should. He may not grow and develop normally.  You and your kids may be at risk as well as roundworms and hookworms can be transmitted to humans.  You probably won’t see the worms in your puppys’ stool unless the infestation is severe. So when you get a new puppy, make sure that it’s de-wormed. As your vet for the proper pet medication to use.

holiday-dogThe holidays are the most dangerous time for your pets. Just call any veterinary emergency clinic  to verify this. The number of pet injuries, poisonings, accidents and illness that are preventable rise dramatically from November to the beginning of January.  Here are some of the most dangerous.

1. The holiday food, pet owners seem to feed their pets very fatty leftovers and foods during the holidays. This causes a sharp rise in  pancreatitis in dogs.

2. The holiday plants like poinsettias are poisonous to dogs and cats. Don’t buy them and put them around your house.

3. Holiday tree ornaments such as tinsel and glass ornaments. Glass can break and injure your pet. I almost lost a cat because he ate the tinsel on the tree. DON’T USE IT IF YOU HAVE A PET!

4. Candles can cause burns if your cat accidentally  gets to close. If your dog knocks them over,they can cause a fire.

5. Dinner guests and holiday visitors that don’t know how to interact with your cat or dog can get scratched or bitten. It also provides an escape route for your pet if they leave the door open.

6. The holiday presents present a threat if they contain chocolate which is toxic to cats or dogs!

It’s a good idea to keep the ASPCA poison control number close just in case. 1-888-426-4435

If you play it safe, you won’t have to keep your pet in his pet or dog carrier or crate all the time during the holiday season.

cat-sleepingIt happens everyday. At about 10:00am both of my cats are through for the day. At least for now. They curl up in their favorite spots on the bed or in their cat beds and sleep through the day. Cats sure know how to sleep!  Although the amount of time varies from cat to cat they spend an average of 13 to 16 hours a day curled up, fast asleep. Did you know that only the bat and the opossum sleep more? We really don’t know why cats sleep so much but they come from a long line of hunters and preditors. They are most active at dawn and at dusk. This is when their prey is most active. My cats are up at the crack of dawn looking out the window making noises to attract the birds. At night, my younger cat Millie, needs to play. I have to play with her favorite toy until she tires out. Usually, I tire out before she does!! So don’t worry if you see your cat sleeping during the day. As long as she is alert when she’s up, she eats normally and uses her litter box regularly she is a perfectly healthy, normal pet.

wire-terrierThis happened twice this week to people that I know very well. My brother’s dog, a wire terrier suddenly got sick. He began vomiting, stopped eating and became listless and was lying on his back obviously in pain. My brother immediately took him to the vet. The vet found an intestinal infection caused by something he had ingested. It could have been from Thanksgiving since there was lots of food around. He could have gotten into the garbage and swallowed something. The good news is that my brother did not waste any time and their dog was given pet medication by the vet which cured the problem.

Another friend very recently noticed that her cat was not making it’s usual trips to the litter box and was acting sort of strange and listless. She rushed the cat to the vet and it was determined through X rays that there were staples in it’s intestine. The vet thought that they were not ingested but were left there during a botched neutering years ago. This story is still unfolding but the cat may have to have surgery to remove them.

It both of the above cases, the owners did not waste any time. If you notice any abnormal behavior in your pet, do not try to cure them yourselves. Get them to a vet right away. You’ll probably be glad you did!!

oveweight-dogExcess weight is a heavy burdon for any pet to bare. When your dog becomes obese, additional stress is placed on his heart , lungs and joints.  Make sure that you monitor your dogs weight. I’m sure you can’t give him a command to stand on the scale but you cat notice when that dog coat gets a bit more difficult to get on him. Run you hand along your dogs’ side as if you were petting him. Pressing gently, you should be able to count your dogs ribs as you run your hand over them. Then look at your dog objectively. When viewed from above, does his body angle in in front of his hips or has he lost his waste? If these simple tests make you suspect that your dog is getting to be a little too porky, take him to the vet for a proper examination and discuss the proper diet changes.

I have two cats and one is a bit overweight which is my fault because I do spoil her. I need to reduce her weight so I’m feeding her food for less active indoor cats and cutting back on her snacks. I’m sure that your vet will give you the proper advice for your dog.