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February 2023

Archive for February, 2023

Small Cat Breeds

Tuesday, February 28, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

SMALLCATBelieve it or not, there are small cat breeds. Here are a variety of small cats that are available to choose from. These include the Abyssinian, the American curl, the Balinese, the Colorpoint the Cornish Rex, the Devon Rex, the Russian Blue, the Javanese, the Singapura etc. Some cats can be smaller than the usual for various reasons. Some reasons for their small size, may be due to genetics, hormonal reasons and even environmental reasons. These cats usually have short coats that are silky and soft to touch. They have large distinctive eyes which are usually green or amber. These cats are good for those who like their cats to stay kitten like. They can be inquisitive and smart cats. They come in a single color, brown or beige. They love cozy cat beds where they could curl up and snuggle! These cats body’s are just 10 to 14 inches long. My younger cat Millie, is a smaller mixed breed. She doesn’t classify as a small cat but she is definitely on the small side and at 11, she still looks like a kitten! So if you like a cat to look like a kitten, you may consider some of these breeds. They eat the same cat food as normal sized cats and make sure you keep the cat treats handy!

Remember, pets are family!

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Brushing Your Dog Vs. Bathing

Monday, February 27, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGBRUSHDogs are like kids, most of them don’t like to take baths but even short haired dogs need proper grooming and a bath occasionally. Bathing too often can take away the natural oils that keep a dogs skin smooth and healthy. How much washing is too much depends on the humidity and the type of shampoo used. A general rule of thumb is that a good brushing is usually enough to keep your dog freshened up. In addition to removing dirt, a regular brushing will remove hair and make your dog more comfortable. Bathing is appropriate when a dog has body odor especially if he’s rolled in something that he shouldn’t have. A good rule to remember is that a dirty dog needs a brush and a smelly dog needs a bath. After his bath, give him some dog treats to keep him happy!
Remember pets are family!

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It’s always debatable as to how much to feed your cat. This article was published by and gives good guidelines as to how much to feed our feline friends. We like to thank for providing this valuable information.

How Often Should You Feed Your Cat?

This is a highly debated topic and the answer is unique to your cat.

Some cats are like cows and like to graze on food all day (and night). Others like eating at set times of the day and don’t let you forget what that time is.

The big factor, whether you leave food out all the time, feed several meals, or just two meals a day, is to make sure you aren’t giving them more calories than their daily intake needs. You should not just fill the bowl whenever it’s empty — this can lead to your cat becoming overweight or obese. Not all cats are good at regulating how much to eat at a meal.
Feed Your Cat at Least Twice a Day
Did You Know …
Outdoor cats can hunt 20+ times a day and eat 7+ meals depending on what they catch. Each one is about the size of a mouse. In fact, their stomachs are only as big as a ping pong ball.

It’s easy to see why feeding more small meals throughout the day can work best for your cat’s physiology and instinctual needs. And just like people, cats get HANGRY.

Going too long without eating can cause stress and sometimes even aggression toward people or other pets. A light meal every 6–8 hours is the perfect solution.

Like us, a cat’s stomach structure is simple. Once their stomach has filled it up with food, it begins to empty over a few hours. When their stomach is empty, which usually can take 8 to 10 hours, the brain begins to get signals from the stomach that it is hungry. This is one reason why it is generally recommended to feed cats at least twice daily.

We all know what it feels like to skip a meal or have to fast — NO FUN! Additionally, your cat’s stomach can produce extra acid if they go longer than 12 hours without food. This can cause your cat to become nauseated and possibly vomit. I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of cat vomit!

Whatever schedule works for you and your cat, stick to it. Cats like a predictable routine, just as most people do! Their day is designed around feeding and for some cats, it is how they cope with the day-to-day events of their household.

Feeding routines can also help you switch foods more easily. A hungry cat will be a little less picky.

Finally, a feeding routine allows you to better monitor how much your cat is eating or if there is a change in their behavior when eating. These can signal early health issues that might be missed without a schedule.

For some cat owners, feeding schedules can be difficult. In these situations, you can try an automatic feeder. These are helpful to control feeding times, feeding frequency, and amounts – this way you are less likely to cheat by giving extra! Some automatic feeders can offer frequent small meals, two main meals, and even have a cold section for canned food, as the one featured below.

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A Begging Dog

Friday, February 24, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

dogbegIf you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably heard that pitiful “whimper” when you are trying to eat dinner. You’ve seen those big eyes pleading with you to share just one small morsel of your delicious meal. It’s tempting to oblige but don’t give in with food or attention. Rewarding this behavior even once could lead to a chronic begging problem. Eventually, aside from being unhealthy for your pet, it will get rather irritating. Always feed dog treats away from the table. If your dog already begs, give him a comfortable dog bed to lie on and a chew  dog toy for him to keep him occupied while you eat. If that’s not enough to distract him, you may need to confine him to a crate or another room during meal time. Make sure that you feed him early so he’s not hungry during you dinner.

Remember, pets are family!
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When Training Your Dog, Go Beyond the Basics!

Thursday, February 23, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

dogstandingYour dog knows the basics. He’ll sit on command, hold his paw out when you say “shake,” and lie down when you tell him to. Now, you need him to get to the next level. Teaching a dog tricks could be a fun way to bond. So if you want to go beyond the basic commands with your dog, Try teaching him to stand on two legs or bow. Start by giving your dog a verbal cue then reward him with a dog treat when he actually performs the action. For example, dogs often bow when they want to play or when they wake up from a nap. Then, using the dog treat and a verbal command, guide the dog to perform the action again. Remember, keep practicing, be patient and use positive reinforcement. Before long you and your dog will be able to impress all of your friends! Now it’s time to teach him some tricks with a flying disc dog toy!

Remember, pets are family!

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dogkissSometimes we get so involved with our new puppy, buying new dog toys, choosing dog food etc. we sometimes forget about his visits to the vet. How many times a year should you take your dog to the vet? Even though a new puppy may be up to date on his shots and may even be spayed or neutered, it’s a good idea to take him to the vet a few days after you take him home. All healthy dogs should visit the vet at least once a year, twice is advisable. Older dogs should visit the vet every six months or even more frequently.  This gives the vet an opportunity to examine your dog and make sure that he’s healthy.

Before selecting a vet, ask about emergency services. It’s important that your vet be accessible in an emergency. There are many animal hospitals that offer 24/7 care and emergency service for your pet. Don’t neglect taking your pet in for checkups even if you suspect that something may be wrong. You’ll regret it if you wait and find out that it’s too late. Also don’t let money hold you back. I know vets are expensive but would you neglect a family members health because of money? Absolutely not!  Your pet is your family and should not be neglected either.

Remember, pets are family!

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Understanding Your Dogs Temperament

Monday, February 20, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

This article written by Pippa Mattinson of
Differences In Temperament Between Dogs

All dogs are different. Not just in appearance, but in personality too. Some are very lively and driven, whilst others are very chilled out and relaxed.

Dogs will also differ wildly in their feelings and reactions towards the people, and other dogs, that they meet each day.

Part of these differences in temperament are down to the way that the dog is raised, and part is down to his genes. But before we go any further, let’s clarify what we mean by temperament and behavior
What Do We Mean By Temperament?

Dog temperament is the underlying nature or personality of your dog.

It’s not the same as behavior. Although your dog’s temperament is a strong influence on their behavior, we can modify behavior through training.

Temperament, on the other hand, is a somewhat more permanent characteristic.
How Does A Dog’s Temperament Influence Behavior?

Your dog’s temperament governs the way he interacts with the world, and influences the activities he enjoys and likes to participate in.

It’s what makes most retrievers friendly and interested in retrieving. And what makes some other breeds wary of strangers and keen to guard homes, vehicles, and even people.

Scientists often use the word temperament to describe those aspects of character that are inherited, rather than learned through experience.

However many people discussing dog temperament also include those attributes of personality that your dog acquires as a young puppy. In many cases it is impossible to neatly divide the two up.

We don’t always know whether a nervous dog inherited his anxieties or whether these were caused by experiences he had when he was small. What matters is the outcome. But predicting that outcome, when choosing a puppy, can be challenging

It’s something you will need to seriously consider when selecting a breed, and when caring for your dog as he grows.
Why Does Dog Temperament Matter?

Does it really matter whether or not your dog is friendly? Especially when it comes to strangers. Isn’t it quite nice to have a dog that will ‘protect’ you?

Or guard your house?

And what about dogs that are more or less trainable than others? Is that something that can be inherited? And does it matter?

Perhaps you’d rather have a dog with a bit of character and independence than a dog that behaves like a robot.

The fact is, temperament does matter.

It matters very much. And there is a lot you can do to influence the temperament of your dog. Let’s take a closer look

Every year, thousands of people are victims of dog bites. Not just nips, but severe damaging attacks that result in hospitalization and occasionally even death.

Very sadly, the majority of these victims are also children.

Aside from the impact on the victim and their family, if your dog bites someone, he may need to be euthanized.

If he bites someone badly, you could personally end up in very serious trouble.

Whilst most dogs live peaceably amongst us, aggression by dogs towards people, and towards other dogs, is a significant problem in our society. And it’s one that really needs addressing.

So what makes some dogs safe and friendly, and other dogs aggressive and dangerous?
Influences On Temperament

There are two main influences on a dog’s temperament:

Genes and Environment

When you have found your puppy, you can influence the dog they will become, by providing a great environment in which your puppy can thrive. That means making your puppy feels safe and providing proper socialization and training.

But before you get to that point, your choice of breed is paramount, because genes have a powerful influence on temperament.
How Much Of Temperament Is Genetic In Origin?

Choosing a dog breed with a reputation for good temperament and a generally sunny disposition, is important. It isn’t a guarantee, because there are variations between individuals within a breed. But it stacks the odds in your favor.

Years ago there was a general understanding that aspects of temperament are genetic in origin. As we have learned about the importance of socializing puppies the pendulum has rather swung the other way. And there are now some assumptions that socialization can make any dog friendly.

That’s not entirely true.

You may have heard the slogan ‘deed not breed’ which refers to the stereotyping of certain breeds. And to the assumptions that dogs of certain breeds are guilty of being dangerous, without considering the individual dog.
The Deed Not Breed Campaign

The ‘deed not breed’ campaign is important because it underlines the fact that we cannot accurately predict behavior by knowing what breed a dog belongs to.

And because it emphasizes the importance of early environmental influences on a dog’s behavior

The deed not breed argument, quite rightly, has been driven home powerfully by some influential people.

Quite rightly, because it is important that individual dogs are not destroyed or abandoned simply because of the way they look or because of the breed they belong to.

But there are issues here that have been downplayed, and puppy buyers need to be aware of them
Inherited Aspects Of Canine Temperament

Whilst it is very important that we don’t condemn individual dogs simply because they belong to particular breeds, it is true that certain aspects of temperament, or tendencies to behave in certain ways are inherited.

This is why retrievers love retrieving. And this is why collies like to herd sheep.

And while it may make us feel uncomfortable put labels on breeds in this way, this is also why dogs from some other breeds or mixes are more likely to be involved in incidents involving aggression

This information is important for anyone choosing a puppy. Especially one that is going to be a family dog.
Choosing A Breed Carefully

The truth is that some breeds of dog are so naturally friendly and free from anxiety that many individuals of that breed are likely to make safe companions for children. Even if only minimally socialized.

And that some breeds are more vulnerable to poor socialization and training, and require a lot more effort on the part of the owner, in order to ensure that they grow up into friendly and gentle canine citizens.

For anyone willing to put in that extra effort those latter breeds may be a perfectly good choice, but for most families, especially those lacking experience with the breed in question, they are not. And prospective puppy parents need to know this.

There are some articles about the temperament of individual breeds at the foot of this article.
A Dog With A Lovely Temperament

It is possible to raise a healthy puppy from any breed of dog to be a good, safe, citizen.

And it is never acceptable to say that ‘this’ individual dog is unsafe because of his breed.

But that does not change the fact that there are some breeds where it is much easier to get the outcome you want.

If you want to give yourself the very best chance of a puppy with a wonderful temperament, not only should you provide optimum socialization and care for your puppy, but you should pick a breed where a friendly and trainable temperament has been established through good breeding.

Naturally Friendly Breeds Of Dog

Most of the sporting dog breeds fall into this category. Breeds such as the Labrador Retriever, and the Golden Retriever are popular family dogs with good reason.

You’ll still need to pick a responsible breeder, and check out the parents, but the chances of your dog growing up to have serious guarding tendencies for example, is reduced if you pick one of these breeds.

Guarding tendencies is often on the shopping list of features for new puppy parents. People like the idea of a family guard dog. So let’s look at that next.
Guarding The Home

People often say to me “I want the dog to be good with kids, but I also expect him to guard the house”

Some dogs will perform this ‘dual role’ without any problems, but many will not.

There are a great many inherent difficulties in balancing the two needs. This is because aggression in dogs is largely rooted in fear.
The Roots Of Aggression

Many dogs will not ‘guard’ possessions or property, because these instincts have been bred out of them over many generations.

Dogs are generally only aggressive to things, events, situations or people which they consider alien or unsafe.

The process of socialization that responsible dog owners carry out with puppies nowadays teaches the dog to feel safe around pretty much everything he is likely to come across in his everyday life.

Guarding things is unlikely to be on his list of priorities.

He is more likely to invite your burglar in and show him where the refrigerator is.

If you fail to socialize your dog properly he may well guard your home against strangers, unfortunately he may also guard your home against your friends and their small children.

This is both embarrassing and dangerous.

If you are worried about burglars you are in all honesty, better off investing in a decent burglar alarm and some sturdy locks.

Owning an aggressive dog is a huge responsibility and encouraging aggression deliberately is about as sensible as leaving your toddler in charge of a loaded shotgun.
Do your research

Choosing a dog that has been bred to be friendly and welcoming towards other dogs and people may mean that you have to compromise on other aspects of behavior that you may admire in a dog, such as protecting your property.

Trying to find a dog that will be generally friendly and easy to socialize is simply too important a goal to risk compromising with concerns about guarding the house.

Read as much as you can about the temperament of the groups of dogs you are interested in and the breeds within it.

Talk to your local vet, any local breeders of nice dogs and local people you know that have a lovely friendly dog. Spend some time with dogs of different breeds, observe how they react to strangers and in public.

Because here’s the thing

You need a friendly dog, and the world does not need any more aggressive ones.

Now let’s look at another aspect of temperament that is going to have a big influence over how much pleasure you get from your dog, particularly if your aim is to own a dog of medium to large size.

The Ability to Train

Not all dogs are equal when it comes to your ability to train them.

If you are interested in dog training and think you might want to train your pet to a high standard, consider buying a dog from one of the gun dog or pastoral breeds.

Most of the retriever breeds and traditional sheepdog breeds ( e.g. Border Collies and German Shepherds) are particularly trainable.

Ask yourself if the breed of dog that appeals to you has been expected to work in close co-operation with humans during the last few decades.

If the answer is yes, you are looking at a more trainable breed.

It is no coincidence that the vast majority of assistance dogs, like guide dogs, therapy dogs, military and police dogs, come from the gun dog and herding group.

Dogs that are expected to hunt in a pack, or to chase other animals at speed and over great distances, are likely to be more independent and less disposed to working as a team with a person.

This does not mean that these dogs cannot be trained, simply that you are not necessarily taking the easiest route if you choose one.

Of course breed, or type, isn’t everything. There is individual variation between members of the same breed, and even between puppies from the same litter.

Remember, pets are family!

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Taking Your Feline Friend on a Plane

Friday, February 17, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

CAT PLANEIf you’re like me, your pets have to go with you everywhere.  If I am flying and have to take my cat, I will never have her put in the luggage compartment. This can be dangerous. Sometimes pets are left on a hot runway waiting to be boarded for an hour or more.  You also run the risk of the airline losing your pet. I don’t trust them. I don’t even trust them with my luggage and prefer to carry it on with me!  Your cat can travel with you in the passenger cabin if you follow certain rules.  Cats must be kept in a sturdy cat carrier which is placed under the seat. Make sure that the carrier is not too large. The  maximum dimensions for any carrier are 21 inches long, about 13 inches wide and 9 inches high. Make your reservations as early as possible because the airlines restrict the number of animals allowed in the passenger cabin.  You also need to be assigned a seat that has room enough for you and your cat.  Zippered cat carriers work well on planes but make sure your cat cannot claw is way out and make sure that the zipper is secure.  Cat carriers must be ventilated on at least two sides.  Make sure that your cat is wearing a collar with an id tag and that the carrier is labeled with your name, address and telephone number.  Add about $50 to your ticket for a one way trip with your cat. Have a good flight!

Remember, pets are family!
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Too Many Pets in Beds

Thursday, February 16, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-in-bedEven though there are warnings of disease transmission by sleeping with our pets, 56 % of dog owners let their pets share their bed and 62% of cat owners let their cats sleep with them, this writer included. I read about one woman who shares her bed with six Rhodesian ridgebacks!

Two prominent California veterinarians concluded that even though sleeping with our pets is a common practice, there is still a risk for transmission of zoonotic agents by close contact between pets and their owners. Life threatening infections have occurred through bed sharing, kissing or licking. There is still a debate whether the study that was done is exaggerated. What is clear is that our pets are bedfellows in many American households. Maybe it would be better to just get your dog or cat a nice, comfortable dog or cat bed!

Remember, pets are family!

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Positive Ways to Use a Dog Crate

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

dogcrateA crate should always be a positive experience for your dog. Some people use the crate in the wrong way and create a negative experience for their dog. Bad crating occurs when the crate is over used or is misused. Some people want their dog out of the way so they “throw” then in their dog crate. These people should not own a dog. Crating a dog for eight hours while you’re at work or overnight is fine as long as the dog is given plenty or attention and exercise when you’re home. People who crate their dog for longer periods must question why they got a dog in the first place. It’s fine to send a child to his room if he has done something wrong. Dogs do not take to this kind of discipline in the same way. If your dog chews something that he is not supposed to and you “throw” him in his crate to punish him, you are not only punishing the dog but you are punishing yourself. The dog will NEVER want to go in his crate because you created such as bad experience for him. NEVER USE THE CRATE FOR PUNISHMENT!! You’ll be sorry if you do. Remember, dogs live in the moment, so you must catch in in the act of doing something wrong and correct him in the right way.

If you use your dog crate in the right way, it will become a safe, comfortable place for your dog.

Remember, pets are family!
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