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October 2011

Archive for October, 2011

Teaching a small dog to use a litter box

Sunday, October 30, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

The snowstorm that blanketed the northeast yesterday made it difficult for some to walk their dogs. I bet lots of you just wished that your dog could use a cats litter pan. The fact is that if you have a small dog, it is possible to train him to use a litter pan. Of course, long walks are good for a dog, but in cold, wet, snowy weather, it is actually more humane to have him just use a litter box.

How might your  house-trained dog learn to use an indoor litter pan? First, consider the surface on which your dog most often urinates or defecates outdoors. If she’s partial to grass or asphalt, using a similar surface would be best. Clay-based litter may be a reasonable substitute for asphalt or gravel but you may literally have to provide an indoor grassy surface – at least initially – for a dog that’s used to urinated in the yard.

For puppies, consider the times your dog’s most likely to urinate or defecate; instead of taking her outside take her to the litter box instead.  Praise her and reward her with a dog treat when she goes in the pan.

If your dog happens to eliminate in the house but in an inappropriate spot (while you’re home), clap your hands to interrupt her and take her quickly to the desired location immediately. Any elimination in the pan should be  praised and otherwise rewarded the at the time that it happens. It also may be helpful to reward even mild interest and sniffing in the vicinity of the new “toilet.”

Keep in mind that you may not be able to train some dogs to use a litter pan. Some small dogs may be trained but remember, they must also be housebroken and go outdoors. You have a dual job ahead of you. Good luck! Remember, your pets count.

Can a cat and a bird live in the same house together? The simple answer to this questions is “yes,” cats and birds can live harmoniously together in the same house.  The owner must take certain measures to ensure the safety of both the cat and the bird.  If  your cat shows an interest in attacking the bird, a quick squirt with a water bottle may discourage him for the moment. You may have to do this a few times before the cat gets the message.  If your bird is aggressive  toward the cat, you must discipline the bird as well. This can be a little difficult. Put the bird back in his cage and cover the cage for awhile. Keep placing the two together for short periods of time and supervise them closely.

Birds are able to catch certain diseases from cats.  Direct contact with the cat’s fur, especially through biting can increase the risk to the bird.  Try to avoid physical contact  between the bird and the cat if at all possible.

With consistent training, both should be able to tolerate each other fairly quickly. Many owners find that the their cat and bird actually enjoy each other’s company but you must always be there to supervise themwhen the bird is out of it’s cage. Be patient and persistent, you may be surprised at the results.

Remember, your pets count.

Brushing your cat can help with hairballs

Thursday, October 27, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

My older cat Mollie who loves to be brushed

My older cat, Mollie always had a problem with hairballs. I would buy various products that were supposed to control this problem but  they never really took care of  her problem. I would still find hairballs on the floor and hear her choking to cough them up. I then began brushing her on a regular basis. In the past, I would only brush her once in awhile. The regular brushing has seemed to really control her hairball problem. I haven’t seen a hairball in a few months. I brush her about three times a week for about 5 to 10 minutes. She loves it and doesn’t want me to stop. This seems to control her hairball problem better than the medication that I was giving her.

Remember, your pets count!

The best dogs for apartment living

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

There are certain types of dogs that do better than others in an apartment. Generally, the larger the dog, the more space required. First of all if you are moving into an apartment, make sure that it allows dogs.  Almost any dog can live in an apartment, if they get enough exercise and the right kind of exercise.  If you are jogging with your dog, provide the proper leadership. Make sure that you can make the dog “heel” while on the jog. If you live in an apartment, you have to spend much more time taking your dog for a walk to ensure that he gets the right amount of exercise. Keep this in mind before adopting the dog.

Here are the ten breeds that are best suited for an apartment.

  1. Pekingese – They enjoy romping outside but also like to stay in.
  2. Basset Hound – A very good natured and easy going breed.
  3. English Toy Spaniel – It’s a great lap dog but still playful.
  4. Bulldog- The most docile and mellow of all dogs.
  5. Boston Terrier- He’s well mannered indoors but playful outside.
  6. Lhasa Apso– this dog has a tough character and can be stubborn. They like to play indoors.
  7. ShihTzu – A great lap dog but also needs lots of exercise.
  8. Chinese Crested Dog– is devoted to its family and willing to please; it is also good with other dogs, pets, and strangers.  They don’t mind a short walk every day, but not in the cold.
  9. Toy Manchester Terrier – Playful with it’s family but can be shy with strangers. Likes to play outdoors.
  10.  Yorkshire Terrier – You can exercise them indoors but you should interact with some games for them.
Make sure that you dog has plenty of dog toys to keep him occupied when you’re gone.
Remember, your pets count!

The best way to clean your cats litter box

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

In order to thoroughly clean your cats litter box, here are some steps that you should take.

  1. Dumb all of the used litter into a garbage bag and toss it out immediately.
  2. When cleaning the box, use very hot  soapy water . Do not use harsh chemicals. I use dish washing liquid.  Scrub the box with old rags that you keep just for this purpose.
  3. After scrubbing , rinse the box very well with hot water to remove all traces of  soap.
  4. Fill the box with hot water and add a cup of bleach.
  5. Rinse the box again very well with hot water to remove the bleach.
  6. You can either air dry the box, or wipe it with a clean rag.
  7. Fill the box with clean litter. You may want to line to box with kitty liners, or a plastic bag. This will make clean up next time easier.
Change the box a least one a week and scoop every day. Your cats does not like a dirty box and neither will you.
Remember, your pets count!

Excessive urination in dogs

Sunday, October 23, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

If you notice that your dog is urinating more than usual or having frequent “accidents” in the house, then there is a problem. Here are some possible reasons.

1.Canine Urinary tract infections or Canine Cystitis means that your dog’s bladder is inflamed because of infection. This causes the need for her to urinate more often.

2. Bladder stones in dogs are also a fairly common problem. The stones form when high mineral levels in the urine crystallize and form stones.

3. If your dog is older, your vet may suspect a hormonal imbalance which affects your dogs kidney function.

4.Canine Diabetes  unfortunately is on the rise these days. As a result, your dog will drink more water and urinate more frequenctly.

5.Cushings Disease is a disease that usually affects older dogs. Along with hair loss and weight gain, you’ll notice your dog drinking more water and urinating more.

Don’t try to diagnose any of these diseases by yourself or administer any pet medication that is not prescribed by your vet. Contact your vet immediately and he’ll  administer the necessary tests and make the final diagnosis.

Remember, your pets count!

How do you know if your dog has cataracts?

Saturday, October 22, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

If your dog is getting older and he’s having trouble seeing, then he could have cataracts. It’s the most common problem affecting a dog’s vision.  Unfortunately, there are no effective pet medications to prevent or treat cataracts. Cataracts usually affect the lens of an eye in a dog.  Dogs may develop cataracts for a number of reasons. Genetics could be one reason. If cataracts run in the dog’s family, then chances are he’ll develop them when he gets older. Sometimes cataracts develop just because the dog is getting older. There are situations where a dog could develop a cataract as a result of an injury to the eye.  Here are the symptoms that you should look for:

  • Change of eye color – if the color changes to grey, white or blue, chances are that his vision is weakening.
  • Whining/Vomiting – If your dog has trouble with his vision, he may get dizzy resulting in vomiting and whining.
  • Redness around the eye – Cataract sometimes affect the area around the eye resulting in redness and swelling.
  • Less movement – If your dog was usually very active and suddenly lies down more, he may be having trouble seeing.
  • Bumping into things – Dogs have very strong senses but if they’re losing their eyesight, their senses weaken and they can’t tell the difference between colors.
If your dog is showing any of these signs, have him checked out by your vet. Remember, your pets count!

When you’re teaching your dog not to pull on his leash, you should use a four or six foot leash.Extendable leashes or longer leashes are great for exercising a dog  but they don’t work well when teaching your dog not to pull.  So what leashes are the best for this kind of training?

  • Use a regular buckle or a snap collar.
  • A limited slip collar or a greyhound collar
  • Head halter or head collar
  • No pull harness
A head halter or a no pull harness can decrease pulling enough for you without any additional training. These are effective enough to make the walk for you and your dog more pleasant.  You may choose to use a head halter or a pull harness without training but keep in mind that your dog will probably start pulling again if you don’t use them. Dogs learn very specifically. If they are trained not to pull when wearing these devices, they won’t pull when they are not wearing them.
Remember, your pets count!

The Chausie one of the most beautiful cats

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

If you’ve never heard of a Chausie, don’t worry, many people have not. These beautiful cats are a result of careful breeding between wild “jungle” cats and domestic cats. They were first bred in the 60’s as a safer alternative than to keep jungle cats in the home. It has the looks, grace and style of a jungle cats but the gentle disposition of  a domestic cat. Today, the most common breed used to product a Chausie is the Abyssinian because it looks like a jungle cat but is much smaller. Adult males can reach 25 pounds so Chausies require lots of activity and lots of space. Chausies are heavy boned with long, slender legs and a muscular body. They have piercing oval gold or yellow eyes and a triangular shaped face with three round corners. They are loyal to their owners and have a high energy level.They love playing with their cat toys. Some are champion jumpers and they made an ideal companion for young children.

Remember, your pets count!

Dognapping on the rise! Blame the economy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

I am so sick of the sad state of our economy and the problems that it’s causing.  It’s bad enough that jobs are scarce and companies that do hire are trying to squeeze the life out of us by offering the lowest of salaries! Credit card companies have increased interest rates, increased minimum payments and fees to a point where people can’t pay anymore. These companies deserve NOT to be paid! We all know about the housing market – to tell you the truth, this is vent day for me because I am sick of it all! To make matters worse there are so many scams that you don’t know who to trust anymore. Every time you pick up the telephone someone is trying to offer you the life of your dreams in Florida, or sell you something like hot waitresses, men’s underwear, trips to Europe, an online business you’ve heard them all! I don’t even answerthe phone anymore. It’s sad and to make matters worse, our furry friends are suffering as well.

Here’s one to add to the list: according to USA Today, the number of dogs that have been snatched from unsuspecting owners has spiked. During the first seven months of 2011, per the American Kennel Club (AKC), there were reports of 224 stolen dogs, compared with 150 during the same time period last year. That’s a rise of 49%. Overall last year, there were 255 dogs reported stolen, up from 162 in 2009 and 71 in 2008.

Why the rise in dognappings?  Stolen dogs are often re-sold over the internet. The greedy dognapper may also want to see if the owner will post a reward for the safe return of the dog.  Then he will collect the cash while making up a phony story as to where the dog was located. Yorkies, Pomeranians and other smaller breeds are the most likely dogs to be stolen. Why them? They’re especially popular nowadays among dog lovers, and because of their tiny size, they’re easier to snatch and hide. There have been many reports of car break ins and the dogs taken. Please, don’t leave your dog alone in the car.

Keep a close eye on your dog, this world is filled with lots of evil, greedy people!

Remember, your pets count!