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April 2011

Archive for April, 2011

Housebreaking your puppy

Saturday, April 30, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

puppy-housebrokenThe secret of housebreaking a puppy is to catch him in the act of doing things right and give him lots of praise. Pups generally want to please.  To start, take your pup out often,the first thing in the morning, after he eats a meal, after a play session and every couple of hours otherwise. As you can see, it will require someone being at home with the pup at first. Soon, the routine will emerge. Be patient, young pups don’t have the muscle control to hold things in, so it’s up to you to figure out the timing. To keep stress levels low,  contain the pup in an easy clean up place until he gets the idea. Don’t reprimand him unless you catch him in the act of doing something wrong. Even then, make it nothing more than a firm “no.”  Don’t forget to reward him with dog treats every now and then when he’s right on target. In six to eight weeks, your pup will learn what you want and be happy to oblige.

Using the proper tone when training your pup

Friday, April 29, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

puppy-roseWhen you’re trying to teach your puppy a simple command or you’re correcting bad behavior, an appropriate tone of voice will convey the message most clearly. Remember that you’re dog is not human and he doesn’t understand English.  Give commands in a clear, firm voice with a tone that says that “I am your leader.”  Never let sharp, edgy or frustrated tones creep into your voice.  That will only confuse your little pup.  He’ll know that you’re displeased but he won’t know why. Whenever your puppy responds well or behaves nicely, praise him with warm, encouraging, upbeat tones. He’ll know that you’re happy and he’ll repeat the behavior.  It may take awhile but your pup will learn if you stay calm and consistent. When he does behave well, don’t forget to reward him with a dog treat!

Understanding Feline Leukemia

Thursday, April 28, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-fishingIf you’re a cat owner, you would cringe if your pet was diagnosed with feline leukemia. This viral disease is often fatal. It could leave it’s victims in such a debilitated state that they die of secondary infections or related illnesses such as kidney diseases, blood disorders or cancer. Feline Leukemia is highly contagious and can be spread through saliva, nasal secretions, urine and feces.  Cats can become infected through bite wounds or social grooming. Currently, there’s no cure for feline leukemia. The best preventative measure that you could take is to have your cat tested and then vaccinated for the disease.  The other option is to keep him indoors where he could not become infected from other infected cats. Keep him safe and occupied with lots of cat toys and love.

Command control for your dog

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

man-teaching-dogNothing will make your dog’s life calmer, happier and even safer than learning a few basic commands. You could start with “sit.”  It’s one of the easiest to learn and it’s also lets your dog know that you’re in charge and that he should obey you.  Teaching him to come is a little more of a challenge but it’s worth the effort.  You could imagine that this is important if he slips out of his dog leash and runs into the street.  “Stay” could be equally useful for keeping him out of harms way.  Another command that often comes in handy is “drop it.”  Time and again, you’ll be glad that he knows that one.  By teaching him these commands, you’ll lay the ground work for a happier relationship with your best friend!

Bad reactions to cat vaccines

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-shotIt’s not uncommon for a cat to have a reaction after receiving a shot. As you keep an eye on your pets condition and behavior, you may observe symptoms such as pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, a low fever or a reduced appetite.  These are generally mild reactions and rarely a cause for alarm. Serious reactions are unusual but not unheard of. If your recently vaccinated cat suddenly has a seizure, exhibits serious vomiting or diarrhea, or show signs of acute distress, there’s no time to waste. Don’t ever try to administer any pet medication on your own. Rush the animal to an animal hospital immediately. Your cat could be having a very serious reaction called anaphylactic shock. Quick action on your part could save you cats life.

Puppy accessories

Sunday, April 24, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

white-puppyWhen you bring home a new puppy,you’ll want to have a few essential accessories on hand. Especially formulated puppy food and tip proof food and water bowls.  An adjustable cloth or nylon collar along with a leash for those frequent walks that you’ll be taking. A roomy crate, dog carrier or dog bed is also essential because your pup will do a lot of sleeping at first.  Don’t forget about an ID tag and put it on his collar right away just in case he wanders off.  Other items that come in extremely handy include training pads, grooming supplies and toys for chasing and for chewing.  Your energetic new pup will need things to keep him occupied when you’re busy or away from home.

The Royal Dorgis

Saturday, April 23, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dorgisThis breed is not a pure bred and was introduced by Queen Elizabeth. It happened when one of her corgis mated with Princess Margaret’s Dachshund.  The queen is not a pure bred snob but she does know that mixed breeds are generally healthier than pure breds.  About half of the Queen’s dogs are Dorgis, a mix between the Dachshund and the Corgis. The Dorgis did not come about by accident. The queen went out of her way to breed these dogs. Dachshunds have back problems which could not be controlled by pet medication and commonly end up in wheel chairs. Many are put down because of back problems. If you could have a dog that looked and acted  mostly like a Dachshund (and may even be better behaved) and could be assured that you would not have to go through the heartbreak of having to put it down because of back trouble, wouldn’t you prefer a Dorgis?  The Queen showed us that we have a choice. If mixed breed dogs are good enough for the Queen, are they good enough for you? I know that I would rather have a healthier dog even if it means having a mixed breed.

Can cats swim?

Friday, April 22, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-waterLast weekend, the east coast had several severe rain storms. One calico cat was found on Governors island about a mile out in New York harbor. The cat’s fur was matted with some sea weed intertwined and she was wet. It’s  suspected that this cat got swept out in the bay at the time of the severe thunderstorm and swam to safety on Governor’s Island.

Cats do know how to swim. Some are good swimmers and some, not so good but they have a natural instinct to swim just as dogs do. There was a time when cats loved the water but as time passed, they slowly began not to like being in water.

A cat breed that loves the water and is a very good swimmer is the Turkish Van. Their paws help to move them forward and their tails act as rudders.  They swam to cool themselves off on a hot day in Turkey and originated at Lake Van, hence the name.

Even though some cats don’t mind water, I’m sure they would rather be catching some “z’s” in their nice comfortable cat bed!

Owners must protect their dogs from children!

Thursday, April 21, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-lickingI read a heart breaking story in the paper today. It was about a dog named Layla who sustained very serious injuries because the owner’s  son’s friend tried  to ride on the dog’s back! The owner questioned whether he should inform his son’s friends parents and hold the boy responsible for his dog’s injuries. The fact of the matter that this owner is totally responsible for this poor dog’s injuries. Dog owners are responsible for supervising their pets when children are present. Some dogs are not fond of children and some children don’t understand that they could injure a dog if they play too rough. Injuries could also occur if the children are playing with the dog’s toys. The dog can get too excited and accidentally  jump on the child causing injuries.  If you have children, never leave them alone with the dog .  Owners are responsible for protecting their pets as well as the children that are in the room with them. Holding a child’s parents responsible for a dog’s injuries is a cop out.

cute-cat-and-dogDiabetes is on the rise, not only in humans. Diabetes diagnosis are rising at even a faster rates for dogs and cats. Dogs in the state of New Jersey have the sixth highest rate of diabetes in the nation and cats have the 10th highest rate. This is according to the 2011 “State of Pet Health” report.

Diabetes affects about three in 1,000 dogs and 10 in 1,000 cats in New Jersey. The problems are caused by almost the same thing that causes diabetes in Humans. Obesity is one of the main causes. This occurs because pet owners are feeding the wrong kinds of food or larger portions.

Here are some ways to help prevent diabetes in dogs and cats.

  • Visit your vet. He will be able to tell if your pet is overweight.
  • Practice portion control – read the label and feed the correct amount. Watch out for snacks and treats. They contain lots of calories. That’s how my older cat became a bit overweight.
  • If it’s a new diet, ease into it slowly.
  • Pick up the pace. All pets need exercise. Long brisk walks for your dog and a cat toy that your cat can chase around should do the trick.
  • Skip the self feeder. Remove food after your dog is finished eating.
  • Make sure that the water bowl is always full.
  • Feed their souls with lots of love.