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You are currently browsing the The Pet Product Guru blog archives for August, 2012.



August 2012

Archive for August, 2012

Puppy proofing your home

Friday, August 31, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Before you bring your new puppy home, you’ll need to prepare your house. Young dogs seem to get into anything and everything within reach. If you’re not prepared, their curiosity could prove dangerous. Start by looking at your house the way a dog would see it. Look down low for objects that could be hazardous such as wires, trash and sharp objects. Make sure to keep pesticides, anti freeze and all other chemicals out of reach. It’s a good idea to store the dangerous items in a locked cabinet.Some house plants could  also be poisonous to pets so keep them up high. Remember, no matter how well you think that you’ve puppy proofed your home, you should still  keep a close eye on your new puppy.

Remember, your pets count!

Understanding your cats meows

Thursday, August 30, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

When your cat meows, do you know what he is trying to tell you? Probably not, but the way a cat meows can indicate how he is feeling and what he would like from you. Here’s a short list of different kinds of “meow requests.”

  • Short meow: Standard greeting.
  • Multiple meows: Excited greetings.
  • Mid-pitch meow: Plea for something like food or water.
  • Drawn-out mrrroooow: A demand for something.
  • Low pitch MRRRooooowww: A complaint or displeasure
  • Lower than mid pitch MEEOOOOOOwww: Begging, for something such as food.
  • High-pitch RRRROWW!: Anger, pain or being fearful.
  • Chatter (rapid teeth-chattering): Excitement, frustration.
  • Chirrup (a cross between a meow and a purr with rising inflection): Friendly greeting sound, often used by a mother cat to call to her kittens.
  • Purr: Invites close contact or attention.
  • Hiss: A serious sign of aggression.








So pay attention to what your cat is trying to tell you, it may be important!


Remember, your pets count!










Tips when camping with your dog

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Taking a dog with you on a camping trip can be a fun and exciting experience both for you and your dog. He’ll love the new sights, sounds and smells. There are some important preparation tips that you should remember before you go.

  • Vaccinations and license should be current. A dog can encounter un-vaccincated animals while camping   Ask your vet about the areas where you will be camping/traveling, as some carry additional health risks for dogs and may warrant additional precautions.
  • Chip your dog – A microchip will help locate your dog should he get lost.
  • Know your dog – You must know how your dog deals with other people, what frightens him and puts him on guard? What makes him growl or whimper? How does he deal with children or other dogs? Know your dogs body language and know how to calm him down.
  • Start with short day trips – Dogs stress out with drastic changes in their environment, they could even get sick. Take your dog on a day trip every week for awhile. Take along a bowl and a bed, some of the things that you will take with you when you go camping.  Put up a tent in the back yard before the actual trip. Sit in it with your dog in the yard. Give your dog lots of attention if he joins you.
  • Make sure your dog is in shape – There may be more walking, hiking etc. so make sure that your dog is exercised regularly and is in good shape.
  • Leash your dog – Make sure you dog is kept on a leash. This will protect both your dog and other campers.
  • Notify a friend, ranger or relative This is a tip for camping in general, let a friend, ranger or relative know where you will be, how long you will be there and well you are returning. When you return, notify them right away. You are at risk for adverse encounters with wildlife, weather or people. Don’t rely on a cellular phone; coverage is not good in many areas and technology fails (batteries die, phones get dropped and break, you can’t get a signal, etc.). Make arrangements to check in with a friend upon your return, and let them know when that is supposed to happen; the check-in is essential because, if you often forget to check back with them when you get home, then when you’re really in trouble it may take an extra day for them to realize that there’s a problem and notify searchers.

Follow these simple tips and have a great time camping with your dog.

When you finicky cat stops eating

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

After a restful week vacation in Delaware, I noticed that my younger cat Millie stopped eating. Millie is a very finicky eater anyway but I became concerned because it seemed as if she wasn’t eating anything for a couple of days. I tried to pamper her, giving her extra treats but nothing seemed to work. She didn’t seem ill and other than not eating , she behaved normally. Now I’ve mentioned in the past that my older cat, Mollie always tries to intimidate her. I think that Mollie causes Millie to “stress out.”  Well, the good news is Millie began eating again today and did use her litter box. I realized that if a cat is stressed out, they can stop eating.

Cats should be fed in a quiet place free from any loud noise or foot traffic. It’s always a good idea to introduce your cat to a variety of foods while she is still a kitten. This way if you can’t get her favorite food, there’s always a substitute.

Finally, you have to rule out any medical condition such as renal failure that may have caused her to stop eating. Watch for weight loss, lethargy, vomiting etc. If you notice any of these things, get her to the vet for a proper diagnosis. never ignore a change in eating habits.

Luckily, Millie seems to be fine now but I will monitor her closely and take her for a checkup.

Remember, your pet count!


Technology can help find a lost pet

Sunday, August 26, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

You come home from work to find your dog missing. You notice that you left the back door open. Now how are you going to get him back?  A little foresight of course could have prevented the problem. First of all your dog should be micro-chipped. This way if someone finds him and takes him to the vet, the vet will read the micro chip and see all of the owners information.

The i-phone has a new app called Anyone who finds a lost pet can open up the app on their i-phone, photograph the pet, provide details and hit the “send” button. Owners of missing pets get an e-mail showing the photo and the details as well as a map that shows the GPS location as to where the pet was located.

The internet has some sites that also may be helpful. Flealess Market’s Lost Pets International page ( lets owners post missing pet information on a state-by-state basis. There are also many GPS devices that help to track lost pets. Roam EO uses a handset to track your pet. The Tagg pet tracker ( links to cellphone networks. Prices start at about $100.  There’s also a good tutorial on dog tracking collars at

There are many ways  that today’s technology can really help.  A lost pet is one of the most stressful situations.

Remember, your pets count!

Do your cats love sleeping in the sun?

Saturday, August 25, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Both of my cats love to lie in the sun. My younger cat, Millie loves to lie on the windowsill and look out. My older cat, Mollie will find a sunny spot in my bedroom and stretch out. Why do they do this? Maybe one reason may be a need for a sound sleep. Cats require about 15 hours of sleep each day. Warmth often helps them get their best rest. When cats doze off, their temperature drops slightly and sleeping in the sun can help make up the difference. Some cats not only enjoy the suns rays, they also find a heating vent or other source of warmth. My cat Mollie loves to stretch out on my porch on a warm day when we’re down in Delaware. Sometimes it’s even too warm for me and I retreat inside to the air conditioning but Mollie will stay out and bake! Remember that cats cannot tolerate excessive or prolonged heat. After a while, I ‘ll  take Mollie inside if I feel that it’s too hot or she’s been out there too long.  Make sure that there is always a place for your cat to cool off.

Remember, your pets count!

Your itchy dog

Friday, August 24, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Allergies in dogs often produce itchy skin but allergies aren’t the only reason why a dog will constantly scratch. Veterinarians call itchy skin pruritus. Sometimes your vet will have a hard time figuring out the cause. Sometimes the itch can be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection.  An external parasite, hormonal disorder or immune system disorder can also be the cause. All this may seem confusing. pseudo mange is extremely itchy where regular mange may not be as itchy. Then we have flee bite dermatitis which is an allergy from the saliva of a parasite. When you bring your itchy dog to the veterinarian, expect that he or she will have to do some work to get to the root of the problem.

Remember, your pets count!


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Treating a cat with feline diabetes

Thursday, August 23, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Feline diabetes is a treatable disease in cats if it’s caught early and if you follow your vets  instructions. One of the main treatments is a low-carbohydrate diet along with insulin therapy . Oral medications are used when insulin can’t be used for some reason but they may have side affects. If your vet suspects feline diabetes, he will administer blood and urine tests along with a physical examination. Never adjust your cats insulin therapy on your own because this can be more complicated when it comes to cats. Always check with your  vet before making any adjustments. Cats with feline diabetes should have regular checkups every three or four months.

Remember, your pets count!

A dog leash buying guide

Wednesday, August 22, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

One of the first things that you need to do when you adopt a dog or a new puppy is buy a leash. This may not be as simple as it sounds.  You must keep in mind that a dog leash is a training tool.  You can pay lots of money for a fancy leash but what good is it if it can’t keep your dog under control? The best leash is one that allows you to communicate with your dog and get him to do what you want him to do.  A  standard 6 inch nylon or leather dog leash s great for walks or basic obedience exercises, but it won’t allow you to give corrections to your dog over long distances.  A retractable 25 – 30 foot leash is good for training a puppy or teaching him the “stay” command but it may be a little difficult to keep him under control.  Never use a chain leash, they are not good for training and they may injure your dog.

The size of the leash depends on the size of your dog.  The bigger the dog, the wider his leash should be. When buying a leash for a puppy, think in terms of the size he’ll be when he’s full grown. A leash should be long enough to give him some slack but too long which will make it difficult for you to control him. Avoid  leashes with decorations or glitter. They could come off and choke your dog. Always have more that one leash available.

Remember, your pets count!

Chronic renal failure in cats

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

If your cat is constantly drinking from either the water bowl or faucet, I would watch very closely. My younger cat is obsessed with water and as soon as I get up, she runs into the bathroom, sits on the sink and wants me to run the water. Sometimes there could be something wrong. Here are some signs to look for.

  • Excessive thirst – The first sign of chronic renal failure is excessive thirst and urination.
  • Dehydration – This occurs in chronic renal failure because they cannot make concentrated urine. Your cat may also stop eating because of extreme illness,
  • Nausea and loss of appetite – stomach upset can lead to vomiting. The vomit may be food or a foamy liquid.
  • Lethargy – As cats lose their appetite, they lose weight which weakens them. You cat will sit still and look depressed. He will have no energy or interest in any activity or food.

If you notice any of these symptoms, get your cat to a vet right away!

Remember, your pets count!