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You are currently browsing the The Pet Product Guru blog archives for August, 2023.



August 2023

Archive for August, 2023

Are Calico Cats Always Females?

Tuesday, August 29, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

You may be surprised to hear that the majority of calico cats are female.  Is it possible for a calico cat to ever be a male?  First off, you must understand what a calico cat is. Is not a cat breed but rather a color pattern. Three colors are always present, black, white and orange. Most are female because of genetics. Coat color in cats is a sex linked trait. Female animals have two X chromosomes (XX), males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (XY). The coding for black or orange coloring is found in the X chromosome . White coloring is a separate gene. Since females have two X chromosomes, they can display two colors such as orange and black or variations. They can also display white creating a three color mix.  Males have only one X chromosome and can display orange OR black. So can a calico cat ever be male. Yes in very rare cases where the male cat has two X chromosomes.

Remember, pets are family!

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Can a Dog Be Jealous?

Saturday, August 26, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

St. Bernard dog laying in the garden.

If you pay attention to another dog, will your pouch get pissed? The answer is yes he will! Researchers at the University of California, San Diego asked the owners of 36 small dogs to pay attention to  an animated stuffed dog. They also were to give lots of attention to a plastic jack-o’-lantern bucket and read a children’s book aloud, all while ignoring their pet. More than three-quarters of the dogs pushed or touched their owners or the object when it appeared that their master was praising another dog. Some even snapped at the fake puppy the study said.

So when you’re in the dog park paying attention to another persons dog, be aware that your dog is feeling a little slighted. He may even give you the “evil eye.” So shower him with love and affection!

Remember,pets are family!

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Foods Dangerous to Pets

Thursday, August 24, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

There are many foods, chemicals or medications that are not harmful to humans but can really harm our pets. Here’s some of them.

Milk – some people think that this is good for cats but actually it can cause them to have digestive problems and cause diarrhea.
Onions – Can destroy a dog’s red blood cells causing anemia.
Chocolate – is lethal for both dogs and cats. Baking chocolate is even more dangerous. Avoid it at all times.
Grapes and Raisins – Can lead to loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and acute renal failure in dogs causing death.
Coffee – is dangerous to animals. Watch out for grounds that may spill. You don’t want you dog or cat to eat them.
Fatty foods – like chicken or turkey skins or gravy can cause pancreatitis and inflammation of the digestive gland which can be very painful and serious.
Nicotine – this can increase an animals heart rate leading to collapse or even death. Make sure that you do not leave tobacco lying around for your dog to get at!!
Alcoholic beverages – keep these away for animals at all times as they can be very dangerous. Never try to get your dog drunk for laughs. I’ve actually seen some stupid people try to do this!
Always feed you pets healthy foods, dog treats and cat treats. Check the labels for nutrition which we discussed in a previous post.

Remember, pets are family!
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Big Dogs in Big Cities

Tuesday, August 22, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

St. Bernard dog laying in the garden.

According to Dr. Timothy Mann, a New York City veterinarian, dogs, energy levels and temperament are more important than factors and size. Some large dogs don’t need a big living space if you provide other opportunities Big CItyfor exercise.  He says that St. Bernards and even great  Danes can all live comfortably in the city. The need regular long walks or a run in a dog park. Then, when they come home, they will be content just lying around. Greyhounds will surprise you. They like to run when they have a chance but they are big couch potatoes! Just give them enough exercise outside and they’ll do fine.

There are advantages to having smalls breeds in apartments or condominiums. Some small dogs can even be trained to use a litter box or fake grass on a balcony so you don’t have to worry about rushing downstairs or waiting for the elevator. Apartments are usually too small for a dog exercise pen, so it’s important that you take your little one out often for exercise.

Remember, pets are family!

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Unwanted Porch Visitors

Saturday, August 19, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

Close-up of a raccoon in an eco-farm

We have lots of cats in our neighborhood and some of them are very friendly. Three cats come to our porch daily to feast on some dry food that I leave for them everyday. One cat, that the neighbors call Mitzy is an extremely friendly cat and allows you to pet her and pick her up. We enjoy feeding the neighborhood cats. However we also have some nocturnal visitors that I would say are not really welcome although they are very cute. Many times we forget to take in the left over cat food left out during the day and lately a family of raccoons have been making their way to our porch to feast on the leftovers. Unlike the cats, raccoons make a racket. They toss the bowls around and climb on the furniture. Last night I heard them and turned the light on. Instead of running away, they came over to the door expecting me to welcome them into house.

If you feed outdoor cats and don’t want unexpected guests, remove any leftover food before it gets dark!

Remember, pets are family!

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Does Your Dog Have a Fever?

Friday, August 18, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

jack russell dog sleeping in bed with high fever temperature, ice bag on head, thermometer in mouth, covered by a blanket

Detecting a fever in a dog can be difficult. Some signs to look for are lethargy and panting. If your dog does have a fever, he may also refuse his food. A dogs normal temperature at rest is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees. This number can climb higher when your dog has some kind of medical problem. Anything higher than 104 degrees requires an immediate call to your veterinarian.The most common cause for fever in dogs is infection, particularly from a wound or abscessed tooth. The most accurate way to detect a fever in your dog is to use a rectal thermometer. Ask your veterinarian to show you how. Do not try to do it by yourself or never administer any pet medication with your vets advice.

Remember, pets are family!

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Guidelines for Pet Sitters

Wednesday, August 16, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

Happy woman with her cat at home takes a selfie

Back in the days when I had a dog, I would be gone for many hours during the day. I would buy all types of toys, there were so many rawhide bones around the house that I could have filled an entire room with them! This did not keep my dog content while I was gone. It was quite apparent that he was lonely and need so much attention when  I would arrive home. Looking back now at this situation really saddens me. Are you in the same type of situation now? Maybe you should consider hiring a Pet Sitter.  If you decide to go this route, here are some things that you should remember.

1. The Pet Sitter should conduct himself/herself in a professional manner and give you his undivided attention while being interviewed.

2. Your Pet Sitter should have insurance and be bonded if they are with a pet sitting company.

3. The Pet Sitter should conduct business with honesty and integrity. They should also observe all federal, state and local laws pertaining to operating the business of animal care.

4. The Pet Sitter should have a least three references which you should check out thoroughly.

These following issues regarding your pet must also be considered when hiring a Pet Sitter.

1. Your pet needs to be comfortable with the pet sitter. You must allow time for your dog to get used to the Pet Sitter by allowing the sitter to come by several days while you’re at home  before being left alone with your pet.

2. The Pet Sitter must be interested in learning as much as possible about your pet. This includes eating habits, health issues, temperament, exercise etc.

3. Make sure you give the Pet Sitter a list of emergency phone numbers in case your pet becomes ill or has an accident. This list should include your vets number, as well as the numbers of other vets in case your vet is not available.

4. The Pet Sitter must be knowledgeable of pet first aid and other concerns such as pet food re-calls.

5. You must agree that your Pet Sitter can or cannot have others visitors while they are pet sitting your dog.

Remember, pets are family!

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Dogs for a Busy Schedule

Sunday, August 13, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

spoiled bulldog sleeps in owner’s sofa! Ten-months old female English bulldog

If you have a busy schedule and you are thinking about getting a dog, you may want to choose a breed that likes to lie around, like a couch potato. You may also want to choose a dog that’s low maintenance when it comes to grooming. For example, a small, short haired dog such as a Chihuahua will not need as much grooming as a long haired Golden Retriever. Boxers and Beagles are also easier to groom. Their short hair is not prone to mats and you could easily remove ticks if you need to. Always remember, no matter what breed you choose, your dog will still need lots of attention. He may not shed as much as a Sheep dog or run as much as a Collie, but he will still need regular walks, exercise and grooming sessions. So when thinking about a dog, don’t forget about that dog leash and dog toy just yet and make sure you have plenty of dog treats! If your schedule requires that you work long hours or have to travel frequently, consider a cat instead. It’s just not fair for the dog.

Remember, pets are family!

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TMJ Jaw Problems in Pets

Friday, August 11, 2023
posted by Jim Murphy

Veterinarian doctor conducts physical examination of dog oral cavity. Veterinary clinic services concept

The temporomandibular joint or TMJ is a hinged joint that lets your jaw open and close. Problems with it can occur in pets as well as people. Inflammation, developmental structure and trauma are a few ways that your pet can end up with a TMJ that isn’t functioning properly.  As a result, your pet may be unable to eat without pain, or in a severe case may be unable to open his mouth at all. Problems with TMJ are generally diagnosed by a pet dentist through radiography or CT scan. It’s important to investigate possible TMJ problems promptly because many get worse over time and can cause discomfort for your pet until they are treated. For more information, talk to your veterinarian.
Remember, pets are family!

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Petting a cat

This year has been challenging for my spouse and I. We have been going through an extremely stressful medical crisis and it’s affecting every aspect of our lives. My spouse was diagnosed with critical coronary artery disease and is facing open heart surgery in September to replace his aortic valve. This includes a double bypass. It was determined that open heart surgery is the best solution.

In the meantime, we’ve been spending our Summer in doctor’s offices and hospitals. There is so much to do and so much to learn before this major procedure that it’s overwhelming for both of us. Anxiety and depression is setting in big time. For me, waiting is torture! Not knowing what to expect makes me feel as if my nerves are rattling outside of my body! I’ve been doing lots of research but there is so much information that my head is spinning. I’m trying to learn how to care for him when he’s home. What to do, what not to do. The feeling is smothering!

I am thankful that my cat Millie who’s 18 years old is still with us. She provides a sense of “calm” throughout this nerve rattling period in our lives. She sits with me, purrs and shows peace and love all the time. Her presence calms me down.

Pets provide love, comfort and peace and they are a stable presence in times of crisis. They also give us a sense of “normalcy” when life throws us a curve ball. I’m thankful for Millie and I’m trying to take one day at a time! After all, I’m the caregiver, I have to stay healthy!

Remember, pets are family!

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