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Archive for April, 2016

How To Check Your Dogs Vitals

Monday, April 25, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

vetvitalThere are particular vital signs to look for if you suspect that your dog is sick. Make sure that you write these things down so that you can show them to your vet.

Temperature –  A normal temperature for a dog is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t check his temperature right after exercise or right after he wakes up. Results will not be accurate.

Gums – Gums should be pink in color and moist and slick to the touch. There’s a problem if they are pale, sticky or dry.

Heart Rate –Young puppies and small toy dogs will have a fast heart rate, averaging around 180 beats per minute. Medium and large dogs will have a heart rate – between 60-160 beats per minute. The larger the dog, the slower the normal heart rate.

Pulse – Take the pulse in the extremities. A dog’s pulse should be slightly slower that his heart rate. 60 beats per minute for a large dog and 120 bears per minute for a small dog.

Respiration – Small dogs will have a faster respiration rate around 30 breaths per minute and larger dogs will have a slower rate of respiration around 10 breaths per minute.

Dehyration –  If the dog bowl remains full, your dog may not be drinking enough .Check a dog for dehydration by pinching the skin at the dog’s scruff. Pull the skin upwards into a “tent” and then release. In a dehydrated dog, the skin will take several seconds to return to normal. The longer it takes the dog’s skin to return to normal, the more dehydrated the dog is. Dry gums are also a sign of dehydration.

If your dog stops eating is dog food and is not drinking,and  is spending an abnormal amount of time sleeping in his dog bed, these can be  signs that your dog is not well and must be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

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Benefits of Brushing Your Cat

Monday, April 25, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catbrushYou have a short haired cat and you think that you really don’t have to brush her regularly. She eats quality cat food and cat treats, she has plenty of cat toys to play with so why brush her? The truth is that brushing her regularly will cut down on shedding and the amount of hair getting ingested through her self-grooming.

  • Brushing triggers your cat’s natural oils which will help maintain skin and fur,
  • Regular brushing will eliminate tangles that can turn into mats.
  • Brushing enables you to check for parasites such as fleas and ticks.
  • Time spent brushing can help deepen the bond between you and your cat. It certainly does for my cat Molly. She loves to be brushed and actually looks content and happy!
  • Frequent brushing gets your cat used to being handled.
  • You can check for skin abnormalities or ear problems while brushing.
  • The more hair you brush, the less hair your cat will swallow. This can really limit the amount of hairballs that your cat spits up.

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Doggy Digestive Problems

Sunday, April 24, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

cutedogThere are some common signs of digestive problems in dogs. They are usually gas, bloating and diarrhea. If your dog has more than three bowel movements in a day, you may want to withhold dog food for twenty four hours. There are simple causes to lots of digestive problems. Dog food changes can cause some digestive problems. If you switch to a new dog food, do it gradually for a week or so to get your dog used to the new ingredients. Some dogs have food sensitivities. Some dogs have trouble digesting foods like corn, wheat products or soy. If this is the case, switch to a rice based diet. Parasites will cause digestive problems. There are several types of internal worms that can cause diarrhea and gas in dogs. Follow the proper deworming guidelines. If you give your dog table scraps, digestive problems can occur. Do not give your dog spicy, salty or heavily processed table scraps. If the problem persists, see your vet who may prescribe pet medication that can help.

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hamstercageIf you have a guinea pig, hamster or rabbit for a pet, you’ll want to keep their cages clean at all times. So how often should you do a thorough cage cleaning?  Your cage should never smell. If you walk past your pet’s cage and it smells unpleasant, then you’ve gone too long. Unlike cats or dogs who are free to roam the yard or house, a small animal spends most of it’s life in it’s cage. Dog food or cat food is given in a separate area. Dogs are taken outside on their dog leashes to get walked regularly and cats use kitty litter in separate areas of the home. Your small animal eats, poops and pees in his cage. On an average, small animal cages should be cleaned at least once a week. This includes replacing the bedding, cleaning the cage sides and wiping the bottom clean. You will need to spot clean particularly wet spots an additional 1 to 2 times during the week. Some people spot clean every day. Some change the cage as often as every 3 to 4 days. It all depends on your particular setup and home many small animals are kept in the cage.

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Do A Good Thing Today! Adopt an Older Pet

Saturday, April 23, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

olderdogFive million dogs and cats are killed yearly in US shelters and it’s the older generation who goes first. If your thinking about adopting a dog maybe you should think about going a little older and saving a dogs life! Here are five reasons to help you make this decision.

Older dogs are calmer and wiser and are more likely to adjust to your environment quickly. They will not cause mischief like a younger dog. An older dog knows how to sit still where as a puppy simply chooses to do what it wants, when it wants.
Older dogs seem to appreciate the love and care of their new owner. It’s like they feel as if they’ve been given a second chance. Older pets in a shelter may suffer from depression. This is your chance to give them love and happiness.
Although older dogs may have health problems, they do not generally require as much care and attention from you. They are secure in their life. They love attention from you and still love receiving a dog treat when they do something good!  They may not chase their dog toys around s much but  taking a shorter walk on their dog leash in the park rather then jogging for two hours is more preferred by an older dog.
Older dogs are often trained to follow commands and are often toilet trained.
It’s easier to make an assessment on an older dogs behavior and temperament.
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Feline Friends are Adjusting To Their New Home

Saturday, April 23, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

beachquietMOLLYCats are creatures of habit. They repeat the same actions time and time again. For the past 12 years, I’ve been taking my cats Molly and Millie down to our second home in southern Delaware nearly every weekend. They leave the comfort of one home, take the four our trip in their cat carriers and arrive in their second home. In each home, they have their particular cat beds in various places, their cat food was placed in certain area as well as the kitty litter box. It seemed when they arrived in each home, it took them awhile to feel comfortable. My younger cat Millie would sleep under the bed most of the day at our home down here.

I’m happy to announce that now we have moved to our home in southern Delaware permanently and our little furry friends seem to be enjoying their new it tremendously!  Here they have more space to roam around and cat beds scattered  in different areas. They love to go out on the porch once in awhile and watch the large variety of birds that southern Delaware offers. They no longer hide in certain areas and enjoy playing with their cat toys. I’m sure that they have no problem knowing that they no longer have to make the four hour trek back up to Jersey!

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Watch Out For Rawhide

Friday, April 22, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogboneThere are many opinions as to whether chewing rawhide bones are good or bad for your dog. Rawhide consists of the inner layer of hide that is usually from a cow. Many people give their dogs rawhide to chew in order to keep them occupied and to protect their teeth. Dogs have the natural instinct to chew and rawhide helps to stimulate this instinct. Make sure that your dog cannot swallow a large piece of rawhide. This can make your dog ill and will affect his digestive system by causing vomiting or diarrhea.

If you offer rawhide to your dog, give it to him in limited quantities. Make sure that you throw away uneaten pieces. If you give your dog rawhide pieces that are pressed and glued together with a gelatin base, watch for any bad reaction. Call your Vet immediately if you notice any reaction.

Choose rawhide that are made in the United States and make sure that the size fits your dog. Small pieces may cause a large dog to choke.

The better brands of rawhide bones are more expensive but well worth the price. You may want to consider an alternative to rawhide bones. There are many varieties of vegetable and meat flavored bones that are available at your pet store. It’s a good idea to offer your dog a variety of “chewables.”

It’s better to keep your dog occupied by giving him plenty of exercise and dog toys that he can fetch. There are dog treats that are safe and healthy for your dog. If you keep your dog confined in a dog crate, try taking him outside to run around. This will tire him out so you don’t have to occupy his time with rawhide bones.

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Getting Your Dog To Stop Barking

Friday, April 22, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogbarkSo you have a barker. You love him but maybe your neighbors would rather that you move. Here are some tips on how to control your dogs barking. These tips are recommended by the Humane Society.

  1. Remove the motivation –Your dog gets some kind of reward when he barks. Otherwise, he wouldn’t do it. Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.
  2. Ignore the barking –Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him any attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to him, don’t touch him, and don’t even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a dog treat.
  3. Desensitize your dog to the stimulus- Gradually get your dog accustomed to whatever is causing him to bark. Start with the stimulus (the thing that makes him bark) at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things (dog treats!).
  4. Teach your dog the “quiet” command -It may sound nonsensical, but the first step of this technique is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the dog treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.”
  5. Ask your dog for an incompatible behavior -When your dog starts barking, ask him to do something that’s incompatible with barking. Teaching your dog to react to barking stimuli with something that inhibits him from barking, such as lying down in his dog bed.
  6. Keep your dog tired – Make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive  dog toys.

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Dry or Canned Dog Food?

Thursday, April 21, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogcannedfoodDogs tend to really love moist canned dog food. It’s typically higher in fat and contains a lot of water. This makes it a tasty treat, but large dogs may need to eat a lot of it to get enough calories. Many veterinarians recommend dry dog food for regular meals. Kibble is also better for your dogs teeth. Canned dog food may be a better option in certain situations. For example, if you want to increase your dogs water intake. Overweight dogs may also benefit from canned food. They’ll feel full without eating as many calories. If your dog is a fussy eater, he may very well eat if canned food is mixed with his regular kibble. To determine the best diet for your individual dog, talk to your veterinarian. Don’t forget to always have plenty of water in his dog water bowl.

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Abandoned Cat with Feline FIV Disease

Thursday, April 21, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

catlookingin.comThere’s a disturbing story that I just learned about yesterday. Our next door neighbors moved away last September but left behind their cat. Henry the cat is mostly an outdoor cat that has FIV disease. I was not aware that Henry was left behind because since my neighbors moved, I have not seen him. If I had, I would have certainly done everything I could to feed him and offer him our porch to sleep on. It’s very upsetting to know that Henry was abandoned. Since I already have two cats, I was always concerned about the transmission of feline FIV disease. The disease can be controlled by feeding cats with this disease a high quality protein cat food. has described FIV in detail

FIV (Feline Immumodeficiency Virus) is a retrovirus in the same family as the human AIDS virus, with a few significant differences. It is estimated that in the United States, 2% of cats are infected with the FIV virus. Saliva to blood (biting) is generally accepted as the primary source of spreading the virus, and it is unlikely (but not impossible) that cats will spread FIV by drinking or eating out of the same cat food dish, or water bowl by mutual grooming. It is not surprising that outdoor cats are particularly susceptible to the virus, and the best way to prevent infection with FIV virus is to ensure that your cat stays indoors only, which eliminates the possibility of contact with FIV cats. Another, less common means of transmission is from the mother cat (Queen) to her kittens during gestation, during birth, or by nursing. There is comfort in the fact that not all FIV -positive queens pass the virus on to their kittens. This phenomenon is not fully understood, but all kittens from FIV-positive mothers should be tested for the FIV antibodies after six months.

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