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Archive for April, 2016

Lots and Lots of Cat Naps!

Saturday, April 30, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catnapIt happens everyday. At about 10:00am both of my cats are through for the day. At least for now. They curl up in their favorite spots on the bed or in their cat beds and sleep through the day. Cats sure know how to sleep! Although the amount of time varies from cat to cat they spend an average of 13 to 16 hours a day curled up, fast asleep. Did you know that only the bat and the opossum sleep more? We really don’t know why cats sleep so much but they come from a long line of hunters and preditors. They are most active at dawn and at dusk. This is when their prey is most active. My cats are up at the crack of dawn looking out the window making noises to attract the birds. At night, my younger cat Millie, needs to play. I have to play with her favorite cat toy until she tires out. Usually, I tire out before she does!! So don’t worry if you see your cat sleeping during the day. As long as she is alert when she’s up, she eats her cat food normally and uses her litter box regularly she is a perfectly healthy, normal pet.

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Should You Walk Your Cat On A Leash?

Saturday, April 30, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catleashA cat’s life is safer when they live indoors. Lots of people would like to give their cat some fresh air and would like to take them for a walk on a leash. There are leashes for cats available that are different from a typical dog leash. It is possible to train a cat to walk on a leash. Use a harness instead of a cat collar and get a leash that is four to six feet long. The first thing that you must do is get your cat used to the harness. If she resists, don’t force her. Leave the harness around for a few days where she can smell it. When she’s ready, let your cat drag the leash but keep an eye on her. Then hold the leash and follow her for short indoor walks. Eventually, you can try to take her outside. Make sure that you praise her, pet her and give her a cat treat when she goes where you want. Never pull.

In my opinion, if your cat won’t walk on a leash, don’t force her. Indoor cats are not used to being on a leash or being outdoors. An ideal situation is a screened in porch. Make sure she has plenty of cat toys to play with.  This way your cat can get the feeling that they’re outside without really being out. They can rome around on their own and will still remain safe.

Remember, your pets count!

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Remember, Pets Can’t Dial 911

Friday, April 29, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

petvet3Our pets can’t tell us how they’re feeling.They’re not eating their dog food or cat food. We need to know when our pets are ill and not ignore important, sometimes life threatening symptoms. Here is a quick checklist. If your pet has any unexplained symptoms such as the ones listed below, get him to a vet or animal hospital immediately. It’s always better to be on the safe side and get things checked out fast. Many animal hospitals and clinics are open 24 hours. It’s a good idea to check which ones are open in your area so that you’re ready in case of an emergency.

Symptoms to look for:

Vomiting or Diarrhea
Urinating more frequently
Hair Loss or itchy skin
Stiffness, lameness or difficulty with rising
Lack of Appetite or Decreased Activity
If you notice any of these symptoms, get your pet in for a check up. Many times pet medication will take care of the problem, however any of these symptoms could be a more serious condition.

Remember your pets can’t dial 911!

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Does a Cat’s Scent Really Keep Mice Away

Friday, April 29, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catmouseWe know that every time you buy that little mouse cat toy, your cat will chase it like it’s the real thing. Do cats prefer mice as a meal in place of their cat food? The answer is “no but” It’s my experience that a cat’s scent will keep mice away. I once lived in a condo in Hoboken, NJ. Every unit on our floor had a problem with mice except ours. The reason I believe this is that we had a cat . I also had a mobile home in recreational camping area in Delaware. Most of the other RV’s or mobiles had problems with mice. Ours never did. I attribute it to the fact that we always brought our two cats down and their scent kept the mice out. Mice will always find a way to get into your home. If there is a place where they cannot detect the scent of your cat, you still may have a problem. My experience is that a cat’s scent will definitely be a deterrent for mice. So if you live in a wooded area or in an apartment in an urban area, it may be a great time to adopt a cat to keep those mice away. Even though the cat bed, litter box and cat food will cost you a bit, it’s still worth it.

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A Cat Scratching Dilemma

Thursday, April 28, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catscratchI have a problem that I can’t seem to solve. As you all know, since my older cat Molly has been diagnosed with kidney and thyroid disease, I’ve been spoiling her to death. I’ve been giving her a large variety of cat treats, constantly changing cat food by trying higher quality foods and basically letting her run the house. She is now in the habit of scratching my chairs. I’ve tried several cat repellent products including Boundary which is usually a very effective product. The products are not working as Molly continues to claw the chairs. I don’t have a solution for this yet but will keep you posted. Luckily I’ve been catching Molly in the act most of the time. The dilemma continues!

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tablescrapsBefore we start, you should know what you should NEVER feed to your dog. These items are:

raisins or grapes
Raw meat
sugary foods
spicy foods
lunch meat
These items may not have any external affects on your dog initially, but they really make a mess out of their insides. Their liver is affected and could be damaged. Also, avoid salty foods

Here are some food that’s OK to feed to your dog.

fresh turkey or chicken (without the skin)
Sometimes your vet will even recommend these items in place of traditional dog treats.

You should always feed your dog a high quality dog food. Always limit the amount of table food that you give to your dog. The more table scraps that you give him, the more likely that he will become a picky eater and may no longer want his dog food. I would recommend not giving table scraps at all. You may give him some fruits, veggies or nuts once in awhile in place of his dog treats and you could throw in some dog toys to keep him in good shape.

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Does Your Dog Scoot?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogscootYou’re in the process of making dinner and your guests are about to arrive. You just gave him his dog food and he brings you his dog leash and lets you know it’s time for a walk. Before you even put on dogs leash, she  comes into the kitchen and goes for a “scoot.” She sits on her behind and drags her rear across the floor. What does this mean? It means that she’s probably itchy. One of two things may be going on. The most common cause of itchy bottoms in dogs is clogged anal glands. When you dog defecates, her anal glands deposit secretions on the stool. These secretions will help other dogs recognize who your dog is, her age and her gender. Sometimes these glands get clogged and need to be treated by a veterinarian. There is another possible reason for bottom scooting. It could be tape worm. If you notice worm segments that look like long grains of rice in your dog’s feces, bring a stool sample to your veterinarian for testing. There is some pet medication that could help. So don’t ignore that scoot.

Remember, your pets count!

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Easy Steps to Set Up Your First Bird Cage

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

birdscageSo you’ve decided to get a Parakeet or maybe it’s a Finch or a Cockatoo.  Since you’re new at this, here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Finding a bird cage – Find a place in your home for the  stand and bird  cage. Make sure that the cage is large enough so that your bird is not cramped and make sure that the bars are not too far apart. You don’t want you bird’s head to get stuck between the bars.
  2. Consider how the cage is made – A stainless steel bird cage is your best bet. It will last for years also, birds with very strong beaks won’t be able to mess it up.
  3. Place food and water in the cage – I recommend food and water bowls that hand on the side of the cage. These are made for your bird to perch on. These allow for easy refills and may be more convenient than placing a bowl on the bottom of the cage.
  4. Add a bathing dish – Most birds like to bath. Add a third dish for bathing.
  5. Include accessories for your bird cage. Birds need perches and toys. Birds spend a lot of their time on perches. Place them at different heights within the cage. Get some  toys like your mirrors, ladders, and bells. These keep your bird from becoming bored.
  6. Line the bottom of your cage – Line to bottom of your  bird cage with something like paper towels. This will catch the droppings and make for easier cleanup.
  7. Add the finishing touches – Fill up all of the dishes with bird food and water, hang up the toys and mirror and finally, add the bird.

Remember, your pets count!

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Love Those Bulldogs!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

bulldogI’ve been seeing lots of Bulldogs around lately. Bulldogs are great companions. Remember that bulldogs and heat don’t mix well. Make sure that he is kept in a cool environment indoors. Make sure he has his dog toys, pet carrier, dog crate and all of the other essentials. The AKC registers over 140 dog breeds every year and the bulldog is in the top 40 every year! When buying water bowls for your bulldog, invest in heavy duty stainless steel bowls. They will reduce the rash and redness on your bulldogs face from the bowls. They can be cleaned easily and are much better than plastic.

Bulldogs get along great with children and other pets as a general rule. They love a nice, soft couch, lots of attention, especially getting their bellies rubbed. They have a great disposition, and will give you and your family lots and lots of love.

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dog cat waterThere are many factors that affect the amount of water needed by your pet each day. One guaranteed fact is that you have to make water accessible to your dog or cat at all times. Those dog water bowls should be filled again as soon as your dog drinks all the water in it. A cats water bowl should also always be filled with fresh water. I have two cats. I keep two water bowls filled with fresh water plus a water fountain that provides running fresh water all the time.

A general rule of thumb is that an animal needs to consume 2.5 times the amount of water, as its daily intake of food. If an animal eats 2 lbs. of dry food it should consume 5 lbs. of water. (There are 8 lbs. in a gallon.) If he eats 4 oz. of dry food, he should drink 10 ounces of water (1¼ cup). Factors such as high heat and exercise or lactation can increase the needed amount two or three times above normal. (This information retrieved from

Most animals will consume more water that necessary but too little water can cause major problems. Dogs lop down lots of water but cats need to be watched more carefully as they will drink very little water at a time. Animals that eat canned foods get most of their moisture from the food and may drink much less than an animal on dry dog food or dry cat food.

Remember, your pets count.

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