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May 2013

Archive for May, 2013

Aggressive Pooch

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

It never fails, you take your dog out for a calm walk around the neighborhood and you wind up on your butt as he drags you toward a bicycle, jogger, squirrel, or anything that is moving.  How do we calm him down so you and he can enjoy a peaceful walk?  There is something that you may want to try. You have to desensitize him to the presence of bikers and joggers. Try getting a friend to bike or jog by over and over. (Hopefully, he is a good friend who can deal with your dog chasing after him!)  Start at a distance where your dog barely notices and gradually have your friend get closer and closer. Feed your dog treats the whole time that your friend is in view. Mix up the areas as well as the helpers. (hopefully you have lots of friends) Keep feeding him treats but not if he barks and runs toward the biker or jogger. Eventually, your dog will see a jogger, or biker and look immediately at you for a treat.  There will be no more lunging and barking and dragging you on your butt. A good trainer or behaviorist can help you with your timing. Good luck with this one!

Remember, your pets count!


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My Cat is My Alarm Clock

Sunday, May 12, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

In case the power goes out, I never have to worry. My cat, Millie will wake me up the same time every morning. By 6:00 am every morning, Millie will climb on my headboard and begin to pace back and forth and meow. She insists that I get up and feed her, pet her and give her water. Cats can be very needy and Millie is one of those cats. Their instinct enables them to do things on schedule. They are very consistent and persistent! If the alarm goes off and I get out of bed, she is happy but on weekends, when the alarm is off, she will meow and meow starting at 6:00 am. I don’t get mad and even try to reason with her but she usually wins. After the pacing and meowing, I crawl out of bed by about 6:30 – 7:00 am. My cat controls me and it’s all my fault because I spoiled her when she was very young!  The cats rule!!

Remember, your pets count!

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Is Such a Thing As a Mini Greyhound?

Saturday, May 11, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

You just saw a small dog run by that seemed like a small version of the Greyhound.  You may have seen an Italian Greyhound.  This is an ancient canine breed  that has all of the sleek proportions of a full size greyhound. These dogs are barely a foot tall. If you compare a regular greyhound to, lets say a bus, then the Italian greyhound could be compared to an Italian sports car. They have the same easy going, sweet disposition of the larger greyhounds and the desire to run.  It was a favorite of Italian noblemen and if you know anything about art, you would know that the miniature greyhound is frequently seen in renaissance art.  So now you’re thinking that the Italian greyhound would make a perfect apartment dog right?  You are partially correct. They are good for apartments in terms of size, but they require lots of exercise. You can’t just put on his dog leash and stoll around the neighborhood. These dogs like to run in wide open spaces. So if you live in a city, you way want to re-consider owning an Italian greyhound.

You may think that if you have a Pit Bull or Rottweilers, you’ll be protected if an intruder breaks into your home. The truth of the matter is that they may not even bark, let alone bite an intruder.  The following excerpt is taken from CBS in Atlanta. It involves staged break ins with the results of each.

CBS Atlanta put five breeds known for being instinctive guard dogs to the test by staging break-ins at their homes and watching their reactions. Some yelped at the fake intruder, most whimpered, one did tricks, another let the intruder carry her out of the home in his arms — and none of them fought him off.

Jeff Schettler of the Georgia K9 National Training Center played the part of the burglar, dressed up in a protective suit in case the dogs attacked. He hardly needed it: Only one of the dogs, Kevlar, a 100-pound German shepherd, nipped at him before scurrying away and cowering.

“Even when they are in their own home, they can be a bit nervous,” Schettler told CBS Atlanta.

Ryan and Rihannon, the owners of Roxie, an 85-pound Rottweiler, have had their home burglarized before. They even have a mark on their front door where a burglar broke in. They told CBS Atlanta that they adopted Roxie to fend off future intruders.

But when Schettler entered their home, Roxie did little more than let out a few barks. She mostly eyed the intruder from a distance and whimpered — but did nothing to stop him.

“I hoped that she would, you know, live up to her reputation as a protector and, you know, give him a chomp on the arm,” Ryan said.

And the dog that did tricks for Schettler as he invaded her home? That was Bindi, the 29-pound pit bull. Yes, pit bulls may get a bad rap for being aggressive and ferocious, but Bindi just waved at the would-be burglar with her paw.

The other dogs involved in the tests were Calico, a 38-pound Brittany spaniel, and Star, a 10-pound papillon mix.

The results may be disappointing to some, since two of the test breeds — German shepherds and Rottweilers — have been listed among the 10 best breeds for guard dogs. But Schettler said that no matter what breed the dog is, if it hasn’t been trained to protect, it likely won’t fight back against an intruder. It’s also worth noting that when Schettler entered each home, he didn’t exactly cause the kind of ruckus that a real burglar likely would.

We would like to thank CBS in Atlanta for providing this valuable information!

Remember, your pets count!

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Taking Your Dog to the Beach in Summer

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Before you know it, you’ll be spending time with your best friend at the beach. Make sure that you always provide enough shade and water for your dog. Dogs, especially those with short hair and pink skin can sunburn. Limit your dogs exposure to the sun and apply sunblock to his ears and nose thirty minutes before going outside.  Know the water conditions. It’s a good idea to check with your lifeguard.  Dogs are easy targets for sea lice and jellyfish. Running on the sand is a strenuous exercise both for humans and dogs. If your dog is out of shape, he can easily pull a tendon or ligament. Monitor your dog’s activity.

Don’t let your dog drink seawater, the salt will make him sick.  Salt and minerals in the ocean can damage your dogs coat so rinse him off a the end of the day.

Not all beaches allow dogs so check with your local town before heading out. Have a great summer with your best friend!

Remember, your pets count!


Here are nine things to keep in mind if you own a cat.  Readers Disgest has published these facts about your feline friends.

  1. Nose to nose greetings between cats are unusual but cats who know each other well but have been apart for a while feel safe enough to do this to confirm visual recognition and gain information about how the other cat is, where he has been and what he has been doing.
  2. Purring usually indicates that your cat is content but a deep purr could indicate illness.
  3. Cats retain their kitten vocal signals to communicate with humans but they usually use an adult  repertoire of sounds to communicate with other cats.
  4. Like dogs, cats can also get sick and die from eating chocolate.
  5. Cats like to nap rather than sleep. When in a deep sleep, they do tend to dream like we do.
  6. Cats blink and narrow their eyes when they make eye contact. To make friends with an unfamiliar cat, blink and look away when you catch his eyes.
  7. Cats cannot understand punishment as humans do. They must be praised and rewarded for good behavior.
  8. Giving your cat a strip of raw meat to chew on everyday will keep his teeth and gums in good condition. Make sure that the meat is deboned.
  9. Cats can tolerate heat very well but never leave them in the car with the windows rolled up on a hot day!

Remember, Your pets count!

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If you are feeding a feral cat and she has kittens, you may decide that you want to adopt the whole family. Here are some suggestions. Wait until the kittens are about 5 or 6 weeks old, then get a cat carrier and a pair of rubber gloves. Carefully see if you could get the kittens into a carrier. You may have to catch one or two at a time. Take them to the vet for a checkup and get them their shots.  You can call your local shelter and ask them to borrow a trap to catch the mom. Once you catch her, see if you can get her in a carrier and take her to the vet for a thorough checkup. You want to make sure the kittens and their mother are healthy and get them spayed or neutered. Your vet will also want to vaccinate the mother before spaying her. Set up a place in your home to keep mom and the kittens. Feral cats could take a while to socialize, so take your time and be patient. Set up a litter box and show the new family where it is. After the mother cat is spayed, you can schedule the kittens for neutering or spaying once they are about 4 months old. You’ll now have a family of wonderful companions. You may choose to put some of them up for adoption. Make sure they go to a good home.

Remember, your pets count!


Cats eating dog food

Saturday, May 4, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

The other day I was in the supermarket looking for a higher quality food to work into my cat’s diet. I bought the highest quality purina brand. The next morning, I prepared my cats food bowls for the day. I mixed some of the new higher quality food cat food with their present food. I put the bowls on the floor and my cats began eating. As I was putting the food back on the shelf, I noticed a picture of a small dog on the bottom of the bag. Immediately, I panicked thinking that the dog food will harm my cats. I quickly emptied their bowls and put in their regular food. The packaging for the cat and dog food is so similar that the clerk in the store must have made a mistake and put the dogs food in the cats section but will dog food harm your cat?

The answer to that question is simple: cats should not be fed  dog food because felines and canines have very different dietary needs, but a few nibbles from the dog’s dish won’t do any harm. So I relaxed after reading this. Don’t substitute cat food for dog food and try not to let your cats eat the dogs food because they will get full and not eat their regular food which contains the proper nutrients that they need.

Remember, your pets count!

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Getting a Heavy Dog to Trim Down

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Excessive weight can effect the health of your dog. It’s important to check with your vet before you begin any major adjustments to your pets diet.  Your vet will examine your dog to determine if there are any underlying conditions  such as the thyroid that may cause your dog to gain weight. Did you know that a healthy dog can abstain from food for five days before any noticeable health affects occur?  The exception may be the very small breeds.

You should provide your dog with fresh water and a high quality, completely balanced diet. Look on for the ingredients on the package. Meat should be the first item listed.  Record an accurate pre-diet weight, then reduce your dogs ration by one third. This should include all treats, snacks or leftovers. Re-weigh your pet in two weeks. If your dog begs for food,this is a good thing but don’t give in, stick with the diet.

If you notice that after two weeks, your dog has lost even a little weight, you’re on the right track. Stick with this schedule. If you see that your dog has not lost any weight, reduce the ration by another third. Re-weigh in two weeks.  Try to exercise your dog a little more and always consult with your vet before changing anything else.  Make sure that everyone in the household cooperates and does not sneak your dog a extra snack or food under the table. Hopefully you’ll see some positive results in a few weeks.

Remember, your pets count!