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March 2011

Archive for March, 2011

Obtaining a dogs license

Thursday, March 31, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

puppies-cutiesAll dogs are required to be licensed. Licensing helps to find lost dogs plus helps to protect the public from diseases like rabies since all licensed dogs must be vaccinated. Here’s the licensing process.

  1. Have your dog vaccinated for rabies. Your Vet will let you know when your puppy is ready for this vaccination.
  2. Contact your local animal control agency for licensing information.
  3. Make sure you take proof of vaccination to the appropriate animal control agency at the time of vaccination.
  4. Be prepared to pay a fee. Fees are considerable less for spayed and neutered dogs and also for senior citizens.
  5. Affix the license to your dogs collar and keep the license paper with your other important documents.
  6. Renew the license as required. The animal control agency should notify you when it’s time for renewal.

Have fun with your new puppy. Alway give him plenty of dog treats along with lots of love.

Long dog leash or short leash?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-short-leashThere was a law recently passed in Sandusky, Ohio that forces dog owners to keep dogs on leashes that are no longer than six feet long.  The reason for the law is supposedly to prevent injuries to humans and other animals.  Although some people are in favor of this law, many people are arguing that a six feet dog leash is not large enough when walking a larger dog since large dogs are harder to control on short leashes.  So what’s your opinion? I believe that if the dog is trained well and the owner is responsible, a long leash will do just fine. Many people do not follow dog etiquette and let their dogs run and jump all over the place. We shouldn’t have to rely on these kinds of laws if citizens are responsible for properly training their dog and following the rules. If a dog is not trained properly, it could jump and possible knock down and injure a child or older person. While walking your dog, be aware and respectful of others around you.

Rescuing your cat in the event of a fire

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

firefighter-catDid you now that over 40,000 pets perish each year because of house fires and other disasters such as floods or hurricanes?  Cats run and hide very easily and this makes them difficult to locate them in the event of a fire or quick evacuation. I would recommend that you keep their pet carrier close at hand and close to the door. At least you won’t have to worry about searching for it if you need to get out in a hurry. Don’t spend too much time, I know this is difficult, but in the event of a fire, every second counts! If you can’t find you cat, leave it to the experts, just get out fast.

You should let rescuers know that there is a cat inside that needs to be rescued. Do this by purchasing decals that say “In case of a fire, please rescue cat.” Put them in a few prominent places and keep them there at all times.  Having a decal on the door or windows will let firefighters or police know right away that there is a pet inside that needs help!  These few seconds could mean life or death of a pet member.

Always have a plan that includes the rescuing of your pet in the event of a fire or other disaster.

Dogs in hot climates

Sunday, March 27, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-pool-2It’s February, and you’re in Florida with your dog enjoying the beautiful balmy weather. Now it’s August and the weather is like a firey furnace!  Although most breeds can live in hot climates with the proper care, some breeds do much better in hot weather. Dogs living in areas known for hot temperates need special care because they cannot handle the temperature extremes the way people can. When you adopt a dog, consider his outdoor environment and how much time he will be spending outdoors. When selecting a breed for hot climates, consider the following:

  • Size
  • Hair coat
  • Facial conformation

Panting is one method that dogs use to cool off. Breeds with pushed in noses and short faces such as English Bulldogs, pugs, Pekingese and boxers, tend to have a more difficult time in a hot climate.

Giant dog breeds such as Newfoundlands and St. Bernard’s cannot handle exercise in hot weather as well as smaller dogs can. They are prone to sluggishness and obesity.

Some dogs that do well in hot weather are:

  • Beagles
  • Schnauzers
  • Parson Russel Terriers
  • Greyhounds
  • Border Collie
  • Dobermen Pinchers
  • Whippets
  • Italian Greyhounds

Always make sure that his dog water bowl is filled at all times, especially during hot weather.

A heartwarming story of survival

Saturday, March 26, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

boxer-snowI was reading today about a boxer named Roxy who during the Dec. 26th blizzard, broke lose from her dog leash, leapt over the fence of her Staten Island home  and went on a two month adventure on her own. She must have gotten onto the Staten Island Expressway which was just a few blocks from her home and started running. She wound up in New Jersey, made it into Hudson County and ended up in Guttenberg which is about 20 miles away. Her exact route is unclear but she was picked up by the Guttenberg Police on March 5th  after being spotted in the road without a leash. She almost got hit by a car. Roxy was well trained, didn’t seem intimidated or nervous at police headquarters and even gave a “high five” to one of the police officers. The officer took her to the Oradell Animal Shelter in Paramus where she was happily reunited with her owners more than two months later. An incredible story since the winter in the  north east this year was brutal. Maybe Roxy had enough of the snow and decided to leave like we wish we could do. A great and happy ending and an incredible dog!

Keeping your dog out of the garbage

Friday, March 25, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-garbageIt can be very dangerous if your dog gets into your garbage. He could left eat cooked bones which he could choke on and even kill him. He could eat food that could make him ill, not to mention other things like aluminum foil.  If he is outside, make sure that the garbage cans are secure enough where he won’t be able to get into them. Get cans with a twist locking lid used to deter bears. Keep the lids on tight and keep the cans out of your dog’s sight it possible. Consider different sprays that are available at pet stores which will deter your dog from going near the cans. There’s  cayenne pepper and powders like bitter alum. Don’t depend on these sprays alone. It is very important that you make sure that your dog cannot get in your garbage at all.

Keep your dog properly exercised. Have him fetch his dog toys on a regular basis. This will prevent a lot of bad behavior. A dog that is under exercised and under stimulated will be more likely to act out in destructive ways.

Causes of hair loss in cats (Alopecia)

Thursday, March 24, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-asleepThere are many diseases that can cause a cat to lose it’s hair. Some conditions would be considered normal but some could indicate a serious condition. . If your cat is suffering from hair loss, it could result from anything from an allergic reaction to hyperthyroidism. It’s important to have your cat checked by a vet as soon as possible.  Some conditions require pet medication prescribed by your vet. Here are a few possible causes.

  • Allergic and irritant contact dermatitis – An allergic reaction following exposure to antibiotics applied to the skin; metals such as nickel; materials such as rubber, wool, and plastic; chemicals such as dyes and carpet deodorizers; or inflammation caused by irritating substances such as poison ivy. Generally requires multiple exposures. Symptoms include red skin and small bumps or blisters on the areas of skin that are sparsely haired and directly exposed to the offending substance; itching; hair loss in chronic conditions.
  • Alopecia areata – Thought to be an autoimmune disorder. Symptoms include Patches of hair loss especially on head, neck, and body; no itching.
  • Bacterial infection  – Often occurs as a result of another condition such as a parasitic, allergic, or hormonal condition.
  • Chemotherapy – Loss of hair due to chemotherapy is a concern for cat owners. Cats lose guard hairs so coat becomes soft and fuzzy; may lose whiskers
  • Drug or injection reaction – Rare skin reaction to a drug which is inhaled, given orally, or applied topically; more common with penicillins, sulfonamides, and cephalosporins; usually occurs within 2 weeks of giving the drug.
  • Food Allergies – Allergic reaction to something in the diet. Symptoms include Licking of feet, inflamed ears, itching, redness, and hair loss; sometimes development of infection or hot spots.
  • Hyperthyroidism – Approximately 1/3 of cats with this disease will have skin lesions; caused by excess secretion of thyroid hormone. Symptoms include Hair loss; hair easily pulled out; seborrhea; cats may overgroom and cause ‘hot spots’.
  • Ringworm – Infection with several types of fungus. Symptoms include Hair loss, scaly and crusty areas; some itching.

There are many more conditions. Always check with your vet if your cat has any unexplained hair loss. The information above was provided by Pet Education.Com.

What if an insect bites your dog?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-outsideMost insect bites are not really dangerous to your dog but they could be very irritating and painful. Pet medications containing Aloe Vera or oatmeal may be helpful in relieving some of the discomfort.

If your dog is stung by a bee, hornet or wasp, remove the stinger first. I know it may be tough to locate. Try using a magnifying glass if necessary and carefully pull the stinger out with a tweezers or your fingers.  After the stinger is out, bath the area with a mixture of baking soda and water. Then apply cold compresses to reduce the pain and swelling. Repeat this several times.

Some dogs will need immediate veterinary attention because they may be allergic to bites and stings.  If you see that your dog has trouble breathing, get him to a vet right away. Also, if you notice that he’s disoriented, call your vet. In an emergency situation where you cannot get your vet, give your dog Benadryl.  Ask your vet before hand what the proper dosage is.  Always keep a close eye on your dog’s symptoms after he’s stung or bitten.

Dog etiquette

Monday, March 21, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-elevatorRemember, not all people are dog lovers. If you live in a heavily populated area or a big city there are some things that you should remember with regards to your dog’s behavior. It’s up to you to present a dog who is well socialized and under control. If you’re in the elevator, keep you dog in the far corner so he doesn’t try to dash out every time the door opens. Never let your dog jump on the other people in the elevator. If your dog is not well socialized, make it a point to train him. In the meantime check with management to see if you could take a freight elevator or the stairs if you’re not on a high floor. Never allow your dog to soil in front of the building’s entrance. If you have a young pup or dog-in-training who can’t control himself, be sure to carry paper towels and odor neutralizer.

If you are planning on visiting friends and you want to take your dog, always check to make sure that it’s ok to bring the dog. Make sure that your dog will not run through your friends home and possible destroy some valuable possessions . Make sure that your dog is trained and does not jump. Never just assume that taking your dog is “OK.” and never surprise your friends with your dog  without checking first.  Be considerate of others who may not be dog lovers or who may even be afraid of dogs. Always reward your dog with a dog treat for good behavior.

Why do cats go crazy over cat nip?

Saturday, March 19, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-nipIs your cat getting high on cat nip? Why is this? What makes a cat go crazy over cat nip? It’s because of the plant’s natural chemical, trans-nepetalactone. It’s the smell rather than the taste that drives cats wild. This is similar to the essence excreted by females cats which male cats really love.  Females also love this scent. Kittens usually don’t respond to cat nip until they are about two months old. So instead of buying your cat a cat toy, try something that will make her feels like she’s in heaven – cat nip.