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March 2011

Archive for March, 2011

A cats emotional bond with it’s owner

Friday, March 18, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-lapSome people will say that cats don’t get attached to their owners like dogs do. I have to disagree. I have two cats and both are attached to me but my older cat Mollie is with me every hour that I spend at home. She is sitting with me right now purring as I write this piece. She follows me around where ever I go. When I’m watching TV, reading or working, she is right there with me. She’s even in the bathroom waiting for me to get out of the shower so I could pet her. She sleeps in my bed at night and even wakes me up in the morning if the alarm doesn’t go off. She knows the exact time that I must get up and she sits on the nightstand and meows. So I do think that cats could get very attached to their owners. The key is to give them lots of affection when they are very young. I found Mollie when she was only 5 weeks old. I aways gave her lots of love and affection and I sure do get lots back in return. Cats can be more independent but that doesn’t necessary mean that they are not attached to their owners. Got to go, time to give Mollie her snack. She also tells me when it’s time for that too!

Scent hounds

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

scent-houndThis type of dog hunts by scent rather than sound. They have one of the most sensitive noses of all canines.  These dogs specialize in following a smell or scent. Scent hounds have long drooping ears. One theory is that the ears help to collect scent and keep it near the nose and face. They also have very large nasal cavities which are better to detect a scent.  Scent hounds are not fast but they don’t need to be because they don’t need to keep their prey in sight. They need to have lots of endurance because they have to follow a scent a long distance and through rough terrain.  They can follow a scent trail even across water and even if the scent is several days old.  Scent hounds usually hunt in packs sometimes with multiple dogs in a single pack. Most of these breeds have booming voices and will use them while they are tracking a scent. This trait allows a dog’s handler to follow the dog or pack of dogs during a hunt even if they are out of sight.

Rather then chasing dog toys, these dogs are more comfortable chasing a scent. They are frequently used by the  police to track criminals.

Calming your pets nerves

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-headphonesWe all enjoy music, why shouldn’t our pets. Certain types of music can provide a soothing experience for your pets. The positive effects of these soothing sounds are confirmed by both animal psychologists and pet owners. The sound of the harp can be exceptionally relaxing for your pets. There are several artists that provide these recordings for your pets. One is Aliana Boone. She says that the harp is considered to be one of the most healing instruments next to the human voice. Boone conducted a study of her own. In 2000, she performed for hospitalized canines at the Florida Veterinary clinic. The hour long performances immediately began to the dogs heart rate, anxiety and respiration.

If your dog or cat is stressed because of a particular situation or maybe, they are high strung by nature, try soothing harp music. If it doesn’t calm them down right away, it will certainly calm you.

This is also a good way to calm your dog down after some vigorous exercise. They will be all wound up after fetching their favorite dog toy, so calm them down with some relaxing music!

Dogs with eye problems

Monday, March 14, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

A8N7GMDo you suspect that your dog may be suffering from an eye problem? Here are some symptoms to look for.

  • Is he tending to avoid light?
  • Are his eyes bulging?
  • Are his eyes closed or filled with pus?
  • Are they cloudy?
  • Are they red?
  • Is your dog trying to rub them?
  • Is his putting his face to the ground and trying to rub?

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet for an examination. It could be anything from an allergy to an infection. If it is an infection, pet medication will be prescribed which will help cure the problem.

According to the Organic Pet Digest, if your dog is prone to eye problems, consider adding one of the following to her diet:

  • Adding leafy green vegetables, parsley, any blue or purple berries, carrots, sesame seeds or sunflower seeds to the diet
  • Adding the following to his diet,  Zinc, Bioflavonoids, Pycnogenols, Vitamin A, Vitamin C or Vitamin D

Overweight Cats

Sunday, March 13, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

fat-cat-2Obesity is a very common problem in pets. Obesity develops when energy intake exceeds energy requirements. The excess energy is then stored as fat. Once a pet is obese, she may remain obese even after excessive caloric intake stops. The majority of cases of obesity are related to simple overfeeding coupled with lack of exercise.

Some cats like to chase their cat toys around which gives them plenty of exercise and keeps them from gaining weight. My older cat, Mollie never liked playing. She won’t chase her toys or run around for exercise. As a result, she’s overweight.

Normally, a short haired house cat should weight between 7 and 10 pounds. Once a cat is overweight,you must take some steps to help her shed the extra pounds which will keep her more healthy. You should play with your cat 30 to 40 minutes a day. If your cat is like my older cat and doesn’t like to play, concentrate on her diet. I always buy dried food for indoor cats. Make sure it’s has all the required ingredients, lots of protein and vegetables. This food has less calories then other dried foods. Also limit the amount of treats that you give your cat. Cat treats are high in calories. Just give her less you don’t have to stop giving her treats altogether.

If your cat is overweight, work with your veterinarian to get her on the proper diet and who will help you monitor the situation.

Training a small dog to use a litter box

Saturday, March 12, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-litterIt is actually possible to train a small dog to use a litter box. The advantages of this is that it could eliminate bathroom accidents. It’s great for people living in apartments. Your dog would be able to go at any time during the day. It also reduces the number of trips outside. This really helps in bad weather when lots of dogs don’t like going outside. Small dogs have small bladders and having a litter box will make it easier to have them go more frequently.

First of all, you’ll need a litter box especially made for dogs. There are some companies like Purina who make them. They’re also available through most pet retailers. You can use a large cat litter box. Put the box on a surface that’s easy to clean like a tiled floor.

To train your dog, you can shift your puppy from using newspaper to the litter box. Instead of taking your dog from the crate to the yard, take him from the crate to the litter box. Aways reward him with a dog treat when appropriate. Correct him if he goes somewhere else and praise him when he is successful.

You’ll be glad when he’s watching the rain or the snow through the window in a nice, warm apartment rather than struggling with him in the cold, damp weather.

Keeping your dog safe in summer

Friday, March 11, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-sunSummer is not too far away although after this winter, it’s hard to believe that before you know it, we’ll be basking in ninety degree heat.  Dogs don’t do well in hot weather. Sometimes we’re tempted to leave our dogs at home in a cool air conditioned house but lots of times, this is not practical.

Here are a few things to remember. Dogs build up heat as a function of volume and lose it as a function of surface area.  (What’s he trying to say??) This means that  larger dogs with rounder bodies have less surface area  for their size and build up heat faster.  Dogs lose heat through their nasal passages and their tongue. They don’t sweat. Dogs  with flat faces are less able to lose heat.  The bigger the dog and the flatter their face is, means that they are more prone to over heating.  Overweight and older dogs are even at greater risk.

Fur coats does block the suns rays but it also prevents heat from escaping.  Don’t shave your dog in an effort to keep him cooler.  He will then be more vulnerable to sunburn which will cause more problems.

Don’t exercise your dog when it’s warm and never keep him in a parked car. We spoke about this many times. He could die in a matter of minutes. As the warmer weather approaches, keep these things in mind and have a great summer with your dog. Give him a few dog treats for me!

Preventing your cats from jumping on furniture

Thursday, March 10, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-tableCats are climbers by nature so this is a tough one. If you wish to own a cat, keep in mind that they will jump on your furniture. There are certain places where you don’t want your cat to jump. One place is the dining room or kitchen table. Here are some suggestions that could help to keep your cat off of the furniture.

Provide an alternate nesting spot. Preferably elevated. My younger cat likes to sleep in her cat bed that’s on the second level of her cat scratching post. She seems to like the fact that’s it’s above the ground.  Try rubbing catnip into it to attract her. If your cat is nesting on the furniture, place a box or other object to obstruct it or spray it with bitter-apple cat repellent. When she does go to this place, say “no”firmly. Remove her if she jumps on a place where she’s not supposed to be.  Be consistent and provide her with plenty of affection when she behaves well.

Of course, I spoiled both of my cats and they have the run of the house. They climb on the couch, bed or chair which I don’t mind but always remember that cats will climb and be patient. Don’t rush back and dump your cat back at the shelter. Too many people do not do their homework when adopting a pet. This is one of the main reasons why so many sweet pets end up homeless once again!

Urine odor in your carpet

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-peeingThere’s that odor again. The smell of urine and you’re not sure where it’s coming from. You know it’s in your carpet but where?  The smell gets worse in the humidity. You can’t afford to have a new carpet put down. You know that your dog or cat urinated or is still urinating on your carpet and the urine is seeping through. You can’t see it, but you sure could smell it.

To get rid of it is actually a three step process.

  1. You have to try to locate the hidden urine spots. Try using a black light to locate the area where your pet has urinated.
  2. Clean the spot and remove any urine that has not yet soaked in.
  3. Apply an effective pet stain and odor removal product to eliminate lingering odors

You may have to repeat this process several times. I would then shampoo the entire carpet. Then you must find out why your dog or cat is urinating on the carpet and then try to stop him.  Good luck!  This is not an easy situation to deal with!

Some facts about Border Collies

Monday, March 7, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

border-collie-2Border Collies always need a job to do. They are the real “workaholics” of the dog world. They  need to be kept busy, whether it’s herding, fetching a dog toy like a frisbee, flyball etc. If you don’t give a Border Collie the physical and mental exercise that he needs, he will destroy everything!  Not just a pair of socks. He’ll destroy things like Mattresses, sofa cushions, recliners  and carpets. These are big ticket items. They could also seriously harm themselves by ingesting foreign objects. So plenty of exercise is the most important.

Border Collies also try to herd cars, which puts them in danger of being hit. Border Collies do best in a fenced-in yard.  They are extremely athletic and can jump over a six foot fence if they decide it’s worth the trouble. Border Collies will not necessarily do well with other animals in the house either, because … you guessed it — they will try to herd them.

These dogs are highly intelligent and will try to think, think and think everything through. They’ve been called the most intelligent breed in the world. So prospective owners should ask themselves, “Do I want a dog who’s smarter than me? If so this dog is for you!

This breed makes an affectionate and extraordinarily devoted pet. They are sweet and sensitive. They are even known for reading their owner’s minds . They are really not barkers but can be good watchdogs, as they are reserved with strangers and are naturally protective of their family and home.

This is the easiest of all dog breeds to train.  The Border Collie does do lots of shedding so grooming is very important.