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You are currently browsing the The Pet Product Guru blog archives for June, 2013.



June 2013

Archive for June, 2013

Flea Protection Drops

Sunday, June 30, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

cat scratchingSeveral years ago, while vacationing in Delaware, I noticed that my two cats were scratching more than usual, even though they had their flea collars on. I then checked with my vet and he gave me drops to place on each cat. He told me to put the drops on their neck touching the skin. I did as he suggested. The scratching stopped but awhile later, while I was brushing my older cat, Molly, I noticed a bald spot around the area where I placed the drops. I checked it several times and it didn’t get worse. I checked with my vet and he said that Molly could have had an allergic reaction to the drops. My younger cat, Millie did not have any problem. Some cats may be allergic to these drops. If you notice anything unusual around the area where you placed the drops, check with your vet.

Remember, your pets count!


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The Best Way to Transport Your Pet

Saturday, June 29, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG CAR CARRIERWe are a very mobile society. We are taking our pets with us more and more these days. Safety is an important issue when transporting your pet. Let’s say you’re driving 35 miles an hour with a loose 60 pound dog in your car. If you stop suddenly or crash, that dog can have the impact of 2,700 pounds. More alarming facts are posted on Bark Buckle Loose pets are in danger of getting hurt during an accident. They also can cause an accident by distracting their owners.

The best way to transport your pet is in a padded carrier fastened with a seat belt or restraining device in the back seat. Strapping in the pet carrier prevents it from being thrown during an accident.

Pet seat belts are not as effective as a carrier but they are better than having the pet loose in the car. If you choose to use a seatbelt, make sure it’s padded and can adjust to your pet’s size. Test the seatbelt on your pet before you buy it. The latches should be metal rather than plastic and they should be secure.  Pets are safer in the back seat of a car. No matter which restraint you use, place your pet in the back seat. Never let your pet ride in front of an airbag. Have a happy summer with your pet.

Remember, your pets count!

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kittens eatingIt’s very important that we provide a nutritious diet for our feline friends. You’re doing your cat a great injustice if you select the cheapest brand of cat food whether it be canned or dried. Cats need hydration and should have some wet food in their diet. I give my cats a small amount of wet food and a cup of dry food each per day. When shopping for high quality cat food, always look at the ingredients on the back of the bag. Cats of all ages need high levels of protein in their diet. They also need certain amino acids such as taurine and arginine, and fatty acids such as arachidonic acid and linoleic acid. Cats also require preformed vitamin A. This is present only in food of animal origin.It  may be listed in cat foods as retinyl palmitate or acetate. The food must list a high quality protein such as meat, fist or egg as its first ingredient. These proteins are more digestible and complete than those of vegetables. Take your time, compare ingredients and make the right choice.

Remember, your pets count!

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Socializing Your Dog

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Chihuahua AggressiveI once owned a sweet, little Chihuahua but I was younger at the time and was more interested in my social life than my dogs. The fact of the matter is that I did not socialize him. This resulted in a little dog who was afraid of people and other dogs. He would try to nip at anyone who would come into my home. This was very difficult when friends and family visited. He would violently bark at the gas station attendant every time I would stop for gas. He was afraid of other dogs when I would take him to the park. This was not the dogs fault but it was my fault. I wish I could do it over. Now that my dog is gone, I sometimes look back and reflect on ways that I could have made his life better. I learned a lot since then.

All dogs should be socialized,  especially at an early age, get your dog out into the world and expose him to as many things as possible: children, adults, sights, sounds, places and other dogs. One important thing to remember  is that it’s not enough for your dog to see these things but your dog should have positive experiences with each and every one of them. As I described earlier,lack of socialization can cause behavior issues for any type of dog. Also, don’t forget to spend lots of quality time with him.

Remember, your pets count!


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Some plants that are toxic to your cat

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

CAT FLOWERCertain plants are toxic to cats.  You should be not only be concerned if your cat is an outdoor cat but should also keep in mind that indoor cats can nibble on fresh cut flowers. Here is a list of plants that are toxic to cats some more than others.

  • Autumn Crocus – watch for these symptoms 
    • Drooling
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Inappetance
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • Black-tarry stool
    • Organ damage
    • Respiratory failure
    • Seizures
    • Death
  • Azalea – Azaleas can have serious effects on pets. Eating even a few leaves can result in vomiting, diarrhea and excessive drooling; without immediate veterinary attention, the pet could fall into a coma and possibly die.
  • Cyclamen– The roots of this seasonal flowering plant are especially dangerous to pets. If ingested, cyclamen can cause severe vomiting and even death.
  • Kalanchoe– This popular flowering succulent plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea and heart arrhythmias if ingested by pets.
  • Lilies – he more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are true lilies, and these include Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies – all of which are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestions (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) can result in severe kidney failure.
  • Oleander – If ingested, the leaves can slow the heart rate, cause severe vomiting and possible death.
  • Dieffencachia – Popular in many homes and offices, dieffenbachia can cause intense oral irritation, drooling, nausea, vomiting and difficulty swallowing if ingested.

  • Daffodils– Ingestion can cause  severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression.
  • Lily of the Valley – These symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in heart rate, severe cardiac arrhythmias, and possibly seizures. Pets with any known exposure to this plant should be examined and evaluated by a veterinarian and treated symptomatically.
  • Sago Palm – . If ingested, the leaves and seeds can cause vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, severe liver failure and, in some cases, death.
  • Tulips and Hyacinths – The toxic principle of these plants is very concentrated in the bulbs (versus the leaf or flower), so make sure your dog isn’t digging up the bulbs in the garden. When the plant parts or bulbs are chewed or ingested, it can result in tissue irritation to the mouth and esophagus. Typical signs include profuse drooling, vomiting, or even diarrhea, depending on the amount consumed.

Information obtained from the Poison Pet Helpline website.

Remember, your pets count!


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Signs of Cushings Disease in your Dog

Sunday, June 23, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

BULL DOG FATCushing’s disease is  a chronically  debilitating hormone imbalance that can affect many species, humans included. This disease results   from excessive cortisol in the bloodstream. The symptoms are a result from a long term over-exposure to this hormone.  In Dogs, there are many signs to look for, The signs come on slowly and because of it’s gradual onset, the symptoms are written off as part of the aging process.  Here are some symtoms that you should be aware of and report to your veterinarian.

  • Drinking excessively
  • Urinating excessively
  • Incontinence
  • Muscle weakness
  • Skin conditions and hair loss

You’ll first notice that the water bowl must be filled more frequently than in the past. Some dogs can’t hold their bladder in the night and start crying to go outside.

All of these symptoms should be reported to your vet right away and he will give your dog the proper exam and recommend the best treatment.

Remember, your pets count!


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Cat calls

Saturday, June 22, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Kitten meowing   Original Filename: cat.jpgLately, my younger cat Millie has been a cry baby. She meows for everything and sometimes just walks around the house and meows!  She meows when it’s time for me to get up in the morning, she meows when she wants her snacks, she meows when she want to go out on the terrace and “help” me water the plants, she meows when she wants me to turn on the faucet so she can take a drink. (yes she does that too!) As you can see, I cater to her every need.

Meowing is reserved for cats communications with people. They make different sounds such as yowling, hissing or growling to communicate with each other. The amount of meowing varies by breed and even by cat. Oriental breeds, especially Siamese cats, are known as great “talkers,” so anyone who doesn’t like meowing probably should steer clear of these breeds. Some cats just seem to like to hear their own voices, while others seem to want to carry on a conversation with their owners. If your cat is talking a little more than you’d like, try to figure out the cause first. Once you know the reason, you can then work to get your cat to meow less or you can spoil her like I do and cater to her every need!

Remember, your pets count!

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dog ipodMusic can be very useful in cases of separation anxiety.  Put on music about twenty minutes before you leave. This gives your dog time to soak in the musical rhythms and hopefully make him feel calm and content. Music sure that the volume is low but low enough to mask external sounds.  Once your dog is relaxed, leave for a very short time, two or three minutes at first. Leave quietly and don’t make any fuss. You want your dog to remain peaceful and quiet.  The music should keep your dog calm for that period of time. You can now gradually increase the time that you’re gone but continue to keep the music on. If you are playing a CD, make sure the music is beautiful and peaceful. Put it on repeat an don’t worry about your dog getting bored with it. Hopefully,over time, you should see an improvement in his separation anxiety.

Remember, your pets count!


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Curing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG MESSThis is a story about a young man who owned a dog. The man was in the military and left for his tour in Afghanistan. During his time over there, the dog was taken care of by the man’s girlfriend. When than man’s tour was completed, he returned home to his loving pet who did not leave his side. The problem now is that the dog gets very stressed every time the man leaves the house, even if it’s just for a short period of time. He messes things up, jumps, barks etc. It’s very clear that this dog is suffering from separation anxiety. Every time his owner leaves the house, the dog feels that he will not return.

There are some things that could be done to help ease separation anxiety.  Counterconditioning may be a first step. Counterconditioning  is a treatment process that changes an animal’s fearful, anxious or aggressive reaction to a pleasant, relaxed one instead. It’s done by associating the sight or presence of a feared situation with something really good, something the dog loves. Over time, the dog learns that what he was fearing is actually very good for him.  These good things could be delicious food. The dog will associate being alone with having a delicious treat. Every time you leave the house, try giving the dog a “Kong,”

The following information was obtained from the ASPCA website.

What’s a KONG?

The KONG is a nontoxic, dishwasher-safe rubber toy with a hollow center. When stuffed with food, it provides dogs with a healthy outlet for their natural desire to chew and lick. KONGs come in many sizes, from very tiny to extra-large. Some are made for puppies with baby teeth, some are made for regular chewers and some are made for dogs with powerful jaws. There’s a KONG out there for every dog!

This is stuffed with something really tasty, like low-fat cream cheese, Cheez Whiz® or low-fat peanut butter, frozen banana and cottage cheese, or canned dog food and kibble. A KONG can even be frozen so that getting all the food out takes even more of your dog’s time. 

Try giving your dog a Kong when you leave the house for over a half hour or so, see what happens. Most likely, your dog may want you to go out more often!

Moderate or severe cases of separation anxiety must be dealt with differently. These cases require more complex desensitization. It crucial that your dog gradually becomes accustomed to being separated from you by starting with  many short separation experiences that do not produce anxiety. Then gradually increase the duration of separation time over many weeks of daily sessions.

We will write more on this subject in the coming weeks as the various situations can be complicated.

Remember, your pets counts!



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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG NAPPEDYou have an emergency have  to leave your dog tied to a pole for just a moment but when you come out, your dog is gone! You are devastated and confused, you panic, what should you do first?  You can go to the police and file a report but to tell you the truth, it won’t be their first priority. Become your own private detective and go to shelters and put up posters in your area. Start off with a three mile radius. Wait a few days and if you can’t locate your dog in five days, expand the radius to 50 miles. Keep going out. Go up to a 100- mile radius because it’s possible to recover a dog from 100 miles away. Some people will give up after a couple of weeks but some people actually find their dog a year later.So don’t give up. Keep asking around and stay determined!

If you are a real animal lover, then  refuse to buy cut-price dogs without the right paperwork or adequate background checks. Unfortunately, people buy stolen dogs. IF you can’t afford a dog, please don’t buy a stolen dog. Do your research, get the proper paperwork. Have your  dog micro chipped and do not let him out of your sight!

Remember, your pets count!


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