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March 2016

Archive for March, 2016

Doggy Ear Care

Saturday, March 26, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGEAREar care is usually one of the easiest dog grooming tasks that you may do but it is a very necessary task. Unless your dog hunts, swims or has ear problems, ear cleaning needs to be done every few weeks. It’s a good idea to do it when you give your dog a bath.

Clean the outermost area of your dogs ears with a Q tip or a cotton swab that is dampened with water. You can even use a small amount of baby oil. To clean further inside the ear, you should use an ear cleaning solution. Ask your vet which is the best one to use. To do this, put the solution bottle between our palms to warm it first. Then squirt the prescribed amount into your dogs ear canal. Gently message the base of the ear. Remove any dirt or wax with a dry cotton ball or swab. Of course offer him a dog treat after the cleaning is finished.

If you keep your dogs ears clean, you will prevent infections and problems down the road. You will also save on vet and pet medication bills.

Remember, your pets count!

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Got a Pet Bunny, What Do You Feed It?

Friday, March 25, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

cutbunniesEaster and bunnies, go hand in hand. You can’t resist those adorable bunnies in the pet store, so you buy a cage or crate and take one home. Now what the heck do you feed a rabbit?

There are lots of products to choose from. Kaytee rabbit food is a good choice. Kaytee makes a large variety of rabbit food and treats. I had a rabbit as a pet several years ago. I fed her, rabbit pellets, and always made sure she had a large supply of hay and water in it’s cage. I also gave my rabbit leafy vegetables such as lettuce or cabbage along with a carrot every once in awhile. My rabbit Max, loved her treats. Kaytee also makes yogurt treats for rabbits. I included a few rabbit yogurt drops every evening to keep Max happy and Healthy!

Happy Easter!

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Dog Poisoning Prevention

Friday, March 25, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGPOISONThis week is National Poisoning Prevention Week and that also includes our pets. We should all be aware of ways to prevent poisoning and what to do case your dog eats something toxic. The first rule, when walking your dog always keep him on his dog leash. Make sure dog food is always sealed when purchased.

Pet MD has published a very thorough list of things to look for when a pet has been poisoned.

Some poisons are more obvious than others. Consider chemicals, paint, or tar on the skin, for example. Others are more insidious, from ingested plant material and drugs to surreptitiously consumed chemicals and inhaled substances.

Any sign of discomfort, agitation or pain must be investigated. Disorientation, vomiting, restlessness, staggering, depression, convulsions, lethargy, loss of appetite, twitching, dilated pupils, ulcers, diarrhea, heart palpitations, and coma can all be caused by various poisons.

Those toxins for which immediate care should be sought include the following (click on the terms to open the guides):

Skin contact

Petroleum products
Household chemicals
Paint or paint remover
Stinging nettles
Bufo toad venom
Flea and tick medication


Tear gas
Household chemicals


Household chemicals
Petroleum Products
All drugs

Poisonous Plants

English ivy
Peace Lily

Immediate Care

Call the Pet Poison Helpline (1-855-213-6680) or your veterinarian immediately upon ingestion or exposure to a known or possible toxin. Moreover, do not induce vomiting or offer any antidotes without the advice of a veterinarian, toxicologist, or poison control specialist.


Keep your dog away from work areas where contaminants are used.
If you can’t keep your dog away, ensure all chemicals are safely contained and stored out of reach of inquisitive paws and noses.
Do not keep poisonous plants in or around your home and watch for them while taking your dog outside.
If you use insecticides and/or rodenticides, follow the instructions carefully and make sure the dog cannot reach the treated area(s). The same goes for dog-specific insecticides (flea and tick collars, shampoos, etc.)
Keep human medications stored in a safe and secure location. Label them carefully and keep count of how many are in each container. This information will be extremely useful in case of ingestion or an overdose.

Remember, your pets count!

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What Kind of Dog Leash is Best Long or Short?

Thursday, March 24, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogleashshortThere was a law  passed in Sandusky, Ohio that forces dog owners to keep dogs on  dog leashes that are no longer than six feet long. The reason for the law is supposedly to prevent injuries to humans and other animals. Although some people are in favor of this law, many people are arguing that a six feet dog leash is not large enough when walking a larger dog since large dogs are harder to control on short leashes. So what’s your opinion? I believe that if the dog is trained well and the owner is responsible, a long dog leash will do just fine. Many people do not follow dog etiquette and let their dogs run and jump all over the place. We shouldn’t have to rely on these kinds of laws if citizens are responsible for properly training their dog and following the rules. If a dog is not trained properly, it could jump and possible knock down and injure a child or older person. While walking your dog, be aware and respectful of others around you.

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dogaloneIf you live in an rural area, it can be very tempting to let your dog out in the yard to do his business and get some exercise while you are still snuggled in your bed. You must remember, that dogs are social animals and enjoy being around people and other dogs. There’s nothing like an owner out in the park with his dog tossing around his favorite dog toy. Even though there’s a dog gate in your yard preventing your dog from running away, too much time alone will cause your dog to become independent and difficult to train. He will bark and upset the neighbors.. His motto will become “If it feels good, do it!” He may choose to dig up the tulip bulbs. or fence-fight with the dog next door. Without human feedback, these are all rewarding activities for a backyard dog. Personally I would not leave a dog in the backyard un- supervised. Be  a responsible dog owner. Exercise your dog regularly, give him dog treats for good behavior and let him spend as much time around you as possible!

Remember ,your pets count!

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The Best Posts For Your Feline Friend

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catscratchWe all go through it with our healthy cats. Healthy cats have healthy claws which means furniture destruction. We spend lots of money on automatic cat feeders and expensive cat toys  but what about a cat scratching post? All cats need to scratch and if you do not provide them with their own place, they will choose places on their own. Places you don’t want them to ruin. I have a cat who decided to scratch on one of my oriental rugs. The solution is to buy a good cat scratching post and train your cat to use it. Unfortunately many people buy a scratching post that their cat never touches. Do not buy a flimsy, light scratching post with thin soft carpeting. They will never use it and continue ruining your furniture.

The best posts are covered with a hemp product called “sisal.” It looks like thick twine wrapped around the pole. Cats love to dig their claws into this! The post should have a large, heavy post. Make sure is tall enough for your cat and make sure that it is study enough as not to tip over. Make sure that the scratching post is in a pleasant, accessable location. It’s a good idea to place the post in your cats sleeping area. Also place it where there are people. Don’t put it in a corner in the basement. Your cat will not use it. A good scratching post will save you the headache of replacing your furniture.

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dogtreatAll dogs love their treats but too many treats are not good for your dog for several reasons. If you give your dog a treat when training him or teaching him to do something, the dog treats are only given during these times. Giving too many treats may spoil your dog and his appetite. Generally, dog treats are less nutritious and more fattening than regular dog food.  If your dog is active, he or she won’t gain weight with this good active routine. He will burn the calories taken in, and at the same time get the nourishment he needs. In this case,  a few treats per day won’t hurt him but if he’s older and lounges around most of the day, I would cut back on the dog treats.  Make sure that your dog is fed a nutritious diet and ask your vet about treats that may be healthier for your dog. Use your own judgement and know how to say “no” to treats when necessary.

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When Cats Get Cold

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

COLDCATCats can get very cold and could get themselves into a very dangerous situation. It’s critical that all warm blooded animals maintain a certain body temperature and your cat is no exception. If your cat stays outdoors for too long in very cold weather, she could lose so much body heat that it becomes life threatening. If her gums are blue or she’s shivering violently, or she’s so cold that she’s barely breathing, she has hypothermia. You need to get her warmed up, but not too quickly. Take her to a small room and place her in her warm cat bed and wrap her in a cozy blanket. Fill some bottles with warm water and tuck them in around her. Let her warm up before offering her cat food or cat treats! Do not place anything hot up against her cold body as it could burn her. If things don’t begin to improve, call your veterinarian right away.

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What To Look For In A Shelter Dog

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogshelterI know you are so anxious to buy that dog leash, dog bed, dog food and all of the necessities before even going to the shelter to adopt a new best friend. There are things that you must find out before taking home your new friend.  Ask if the dogs at the shelter have been tested for any behavioral problems. Next tell the staff the dog traits that your family is looking for. If you have children, you’ll want a dog that interacts well with your child.  If you’re not looking for a high energy dog, make sure you tell the shelter this. Make sure that you request to visit with any dog in a quiet enclosed area. Every person in the family should pet every part of the dog. Lift paws, tug gently on ears, etc. Is the dog okay with that? Is there anyone in particular that the dog reacts to? Will the dog play? HOW does the dog play with you and his dog toys (IE is it rough?) Can you get the dog to STOP playing? In general. you want a dog who’s curious of both people and their surroundings. Chose a dog that won’t hesitate to come to you and will allow you to touch him anywhere without becoming aggressive. Watch out for fearful dogs – dogs that won’t approach you or that run and hide are likely not a good candidate for adoption unless you have a quiet household and some canine experience. Watch out for aggression – if a dog gets tense, nervous, or shows any other sign of aggression while being petted then also likely not a good choice.

Take your time and chose a dog that will give you lots of love and affection for many years to come!

Remember, your pets count!

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Buying Quality Dog Or Cat Food

Monday, March 21, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

GREATCATFOODDuring the past several months since my cat Molly was diagnosed  with kidney disease, I’ve been reading the labels very carefully of all cat food. First of all, I recommend that your cat or dog get used to both wet and dry food. Give them a variety of both. The next thing that I strongly recommend is that when reading the ingredients, the first item should be chicken, beef or fish. If you see things like grains. Put the bag or can back on the shelf and choose a cat  food or dog food where the first item reads, chicken, fish or beef. There are many brands to choose from. I like Wellness, Verus, and several of the Purina foods such as Purina Pro Plan. These foods usually cannot be found in a supermarket. You need to go to a local pet store or large pet stores like Pet Smart. A good diet is crucial to your pets health.

Remember, your pets count!

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