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February 2014

Archive for February, 2014

How to Find a No Kill Pet Shelter

Friday, February 28, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG SHELTERIf you have no other choice and are forced to give up your pet, find a no kill shelter and give the shelter a good reason to take your pet. The problem is that most no kill shelters are always full so your reasons are critical. The shelter has to choose between your pet and many others that need help so it’s not an easy decision for them either.

  1. Make sure that your pet is up to date on his medical care. This includes spaying/neutering and vaccinations.
  2. Make sure that you have a solid reason to put your pet up for adoption. Things like “Moving”, “Pregnant”, or “Allergies ” or “my building no longer accepts pets” are not by themselves convincing reasons for a shelter to take your pet because there are plenty of examples of people who manage to keep their pets in spite of those circumstances. In the case of a building not accepting pets, don’t take that apartment or move if the rules change.  Explain why your situation goes above and beyond the ordinary and what you’ve already done to try and work around the problem.
  3. Consider making a donation. This is not bribing them but these  people are volunteers who work hard. A donation would be  greatly appreciated.

Finally before you decide find a no kill shelter, list your pet on this site:      Sometimes shelters tell you that they are “no kill,” but who can trust them?

If at all possible, don’t give up your pet. See if you can find someone who will give him a good home. After all, he has given you lots of love and dedication. This is the least you could do.

Remember, your pets count!


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A Few Ways to Make Your Dog Smell Better

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGBATHSome people love that doggy smell but some would prefer either no smell at all or a cleaner aroma.  Fortunately improving your dogs smell is a relatively simple process. Sometimes the source of your dogs smell is something obvious like getting sprayed by a skunk or rolling in something nasty. If he was sprayed by a skunk, don’t use tomato juice to get rid of the smell, it doesn’t work.  Mix one quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, one quarter cup of baking soda (not the powder), and one teaspoon of liquid  dish or hand soap. Sponge this all over your dog and rinse well.  Other ways to get rid of a dog smell that not caused by the obvious is regular bathing.  Use a good dog shampoo. Sometimes poor diet can cause a dog to smell.  Use a high quality dog food and eliminate spicy foods from his diet.  If your dog wears a muzzle and if he has long hair, keep the hair around his muzzle trimmed. Accumulated food can stick in his muzzle hair and cause odor. Long haired dogs should be groomed regularly especially in warm weather. Finally, clean your dogs teeth regularly. Bad breath can contribute to the odor problem.

Remember, your pets count!

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Your Lazy Cat

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

CAT SLEEPING IN SUNCAT SLEEP 2 cat parakeetIt would be an understatement to say that cats take “catnaps.” Cats actually spend about two thirds of their life sleeping. That’s anywhere from 13 to 16 hours a day!  This makes the cat one of the highest ranked sleepers among mammals; not too many other mammals can claim that they spend up to two-thirds of their life asleep.  Many owners believe that cats are nocturnal because they seem to always be awake when their owners get up in the morning. The truth is that cats sleep the most during the night and during the middle part of the day. I can tell you the time (about 10:15 am ) every morning that both of my cats are fast asleep.  That’s because that in the wild, cats  do the majority of their hunting during the dawn and twilight hours, when small prey such as rodents are active. They retain this schedule from their ancestors, therefore they are most active in the early morning and when the sun sets. So if you are feeling guilty that your not home to play with your cat during the day, forget about it, he’s snoozing anyway!

Remember, your pets count!


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Which Dog Breeds Live The Longest

Sunday, February 23, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG LARGESMALLUnfortunately, dogs do not live as long as humans or even indoor cats for that matter. The lifespan of a dog depends on the breed, size, and gender. In general, the larger your dog, the less time it will live.  If you are considering a dog with a longer lifespan, consider the smaller breeds or mixed breeds.  The average lifespan of a purebred dog is between 10 and 15 years. A Golden labrador Retriever lives only between 10 and 12 years.

Chihuahuas can live up to 15 years or more. It’s not unusual to see a 17-year old miniature poodle. Any dog in the giant breeds — dogs weighing more than 100 pounds — is considered geriatric at 6 to 7 years.  Dogs that weight less than 30 pounds live the longest.  What matters in determining lifespan is the weight not the height of the dog. Short dogs like the English Bulldog can weigh 60 to 70 pounds therefore they will have a shorter lifespan.

Pure breed dogs can have genetic problems which can cut down on their lifespan. When considering a purebred dog, it’s a good idea to find out what kinds of illnesses run in the breed.  Breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Dobermans tend to suffer from hip dysplasia.  Cancer is the most common cause of death among older dogs. Some breeds, such as Boxers, Golden Retrievers, and Rottweilers, have unusually high rates of cancer. As many as a third of all Bernese Mountain Dogs die of cancer.

There’s lots to think about when choosing a dog with a longer lifespan.

Remember, your pets count!

Special thanks to (Dog)spired for providing some of this helpful information.


Getting Rid of Cat Hair In Your Home

Saturday, February 22, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

LONG HAIRED CATWe love our little feline critters but sometimes we find it a little frustrating trying to remove their hair from all over the house. This can be a problem if your are having visitors that may be allergic to cat hair. One time before owning my cats and taking care of my asthma, I spent the night at a friends house. Her family had three long haired cats. Bottom line, I had to go to the emergency room because I got an asthma attack so bad than I nearly stopped breathing!  Here are some tips that may help out in this situation.

  1. Sprinkle your carpets with baking soda. This will help to loosen the cat hair in the carpet.
  2. Vacuum your entire house and use the attachment to vacuum the upholstery.
  3. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and rub your hand over the furniture. The gloves will help collect any hair and roll it onto the floor where it can be vacuumed up.
  4. Use a squeegee that is about as large as a push broom. Push it around any hard surfaces to pick up any cat hair.
  5. Wipe down the counters or any other surfaces with a dry kitchen sponge or use a dust buster to pick up any hair.
  6. Brush your cat going in the opposite direction, then  run a lint roller over her to pick up the hair before it falls on the floor.
  7. Give your house another quick vacuuming to ensure that you picked up all of the hair.

Remember, your pets count!

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Is Your Dog a Thief?

Friday, February 21, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG HIDNGDoes your dog hide bones, shoes or other items? If you see your dog hiding food, it could mean that he is insecure. He may feel a need to provide for the future. Never rebuke a dog when your catch him hiding an item. This will only make him more insecure. Hiding often occurs when a dog is introduced to a new home and should stop when he gets settled in.  Never chase your dog if your catch him hiding something.  Running away from people is life-threatening for a dog. Pattern your dog to always come toward you, unless you are playing with him outside where he is retrieving something.

You could make this into a game instead of showing that you’re upset. Take an item and let your dog chase you for it. This way he will feel that he did not do anything wrong by hiding. Keep items that don’t want hidden out of your dog’s reach.

Just tolerate his hiding, it’s just part of being a dog!

Remember, your pets count!

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Transforming an Outdoor Cat to an Indoor Cat

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

CAT ON WINDOWThere’s an outdoor cat who comes around everyday for food. He hangs around on your deck or in your yard. You become attached and now want to take him indoors are train him to be an indoor cat. Can this be done?  Yes but it does require planning, persistence, and patience.  You have to make the change from outdoor to indoor gradually until he is perfectly comfortable staying in the house. Some cats will adjust right away while others will just be miserable during the process. They may scratch at doors, claw at windows, yowl, and try to dash through open doors.

While indoors,  introduce him to the litter box and scratching post. If you’re feeding the cat outdoors, start feeding him indoors. After he finishes eating, don’t let him out right away. Gradually let him stay inside longer and longer. Make sure that other members of the family know that they have to close doors quickly. Buy some cat toys and start playing with him on a regular basis. He will look forward to this as well as keep his mind and body in shape.

If you live in a cold climate, a nice warm home will help him feel cozy and comfortable. When the weather gets warmer, you can take him outside on a leash or harness.  Take him to the vet for a checkup as soon as possible to get a health reading and rule out any diseases that he may be carrying.

Before you know it, your cat will get used to staying indoors and make a wonderful house pet.

Remember, your pets count!

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Snoozing is Important for Your Kitten

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

CUTE KITTEN SLEEPINGThere’s nothing better than getting home after a hard day and resting on a high quality and inviting bed. It seems like the stress of even the worst day can be alleviated with the right bed and bed accessories. And if this holds true for humans, why not pets? Remember that sleep is just as important for our four legged friends, and for that reason, you should always ensure that they have a safe, comfortable, and luxurious place to rest.

Whether you’re looking for a dog bed or a cat bed, make sure your pet bed fits your animal correctly. A bed that’s too small will be uncomfortable for your pet, and they simply won’t enjoy sleeping in that space. Just like you need your own private space, so do your animals. Make sure that space is the best it can possibly be. Your furry friends deserve it!

Remember, your pets count!


Arthroscopy – What is It?

Sunday, February 16, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG BED3Does your pet have a bad shoulder, knee or elbow? If this is the case your vet may refer you to an Arthroscopic Surgeon. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of joint conditions.  It involves making very tiny incisions into your pets joint. One incision allows a surgeon to insert surgical instruments and another will allow an arthroscope to be inserted. This is a tiny telescope with a light. Dr. John Payne of the Pittsburgh Veterinary and Emergency Center says that the arthroscope  allows the surgeon to view the joint and see everything that’s going on.  He also says that the incisions are so small that infections after surgery are very rare.  After surgery,you should see an improvement in your pets condition.  Your vet will prescribe any pet medication that may be necessary.

Remember, your pets count!


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BLACK CATPay close attention to your cat’s “meows.” Changes in tone can indicate distress. This was the case last night with our cat Molly. We were about to leave for our four hour trip down to Delaware as we’ve done for the past 13 years. Neither Molly or Millie are thrilled about the fact that they have to get into their carriers and make the trek down the most miserable NJ Turnpike! Molly did not want to get into her carrier last night. I eventually got her in but she started “meowing” and clawing to get out. She does “meow” a little but as we pulled out of our complex, I noticed a change in her “meows.” They seemed deeper and more desperate. As I we made our way into Fort Lee and eventually on to the “dreaded” NJ Turnpike, I noticed that she sounded like she was throwing up. The sound got worse and I immediately pulled over. I opened her carrier and found that her right paw was stuck in between her collar restricting her breathing. I  had to force her paw through her collar to relieve her misery and distress.

I felt terrible that I didn’t recognize her distress call. She could have choked. Thank goodness after I removed the paw, pet her and calmed her down, the rest of the trip was uneventful. She began purring and eventually fell asleep.

Message: don’t take your cat’s cries for granted!

Remember, your pets count!

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