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There are times when we have to leave our pets with a sitter or family member. Cats are creatures of routine and it’s always best to keep them at home while you’re gone, with a sitter of course. Cats feeling the absence of their owners will need extra attention and  reassurance. It’s best to have someone that your cat is familiar with stay with her while you’re gone.  While you’re gone, try not to make any more changes to her routine. Make sure that the sitter, feeds her at the same time and in the same place each day. Make sure her litter is kept clean. It’s a good idea to leave some of your clothing around for her to lie on. She will feel more secure being near something with your scent on it. When you arrive back home, you will be re-assured that your cat was not stressed and kept calm and content the whole time that you were gone. Of course, she did miss you although your she might not be at the door waiting!

Remember, pets are family!

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Tips to Find a Lost Dog

Monday, October 4, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Loosing a pet can be one of the most stressful experience that one can experience. We have a tendency to panic and don’t know what to do first. Here are ten quick tips. Print this blog out and keep it handy in case your dog gets lost.

1. Don’t waste time!  In the first two hours, get as many people as you can involved in your search. Ask any family, friends and any neighbor you see to search around town and up to a three-mile radius of the location where the dog was last seen.

2. Search  the neighborhood by foot. Create flyers to hand out and/or staple to telephone poles so that your information is readily available and easy to share. Put a photo (preferably color) of your dog on these cards or print out some images of your dog separately to accompany your information cards. Give these cards to anyone you encounter during this first search.

3.   Bring along your dog’s favorite toy of some other noise that he is familiar with. This will make him come when he hears it.

4.  Bring along another friendly dog companion if possible.

5. While you’re out searching, have someone else make phone calls to your local Humane Society, animal shelters, rescues, vets, and police departments. 

6. Create an ad with a recent picture of your dog. Describe the dog so that an average person would recognize him/her if they saw the dog. Include identifying information about him/her like his collar, dog tags, tattoo, identifying features like scars or unusual coloration or microchip ID number.

7. Intensify the search after your dog has been missing for 24 hours. Make at least 200 photocopies of your ad.  Start posting them on bulletin boards, super markets, telephone poles and in other highly visible areas.

8. Take “found” calls with a grain of salt. There could be some unethical people trying to take advantage. Ask key questions but don’t waste your time if you’re not getting anywhere.

9. After two days, extend your search.

  • Go a little further by vehicle and start spreading the word to local mail carriers, UPS and Fed Ex drivers, joggers, runners, bikers and anyone else walking around the search areas.
  • Continue using strong ad messages to spread and expand your search.
  • Expand the radius of your search area by several miles. Call shelters even beyond the area you think your dog could have reached.
  • Visit the animal shelters and rescue leagues to look for your pet every other day. Don’t expect volunteers to recognize one brown dog from another. If the dog is a dirty, matted mess that lost weight, you may have trouble identifying your own pet. Ask if there is a quarantine area or an area where injured animals are kept in case your dog is separated from those shown to the public.
  • Check the “found” ads in they newspaper each day your pet is lost.
  • Check online databases of lost and found dogs.

10. Stay positive. Dogs have been reunited with their owners even after a year or more.

Remember, pets are family!

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Never Give a Cat Aspirin!

Saturday, October 2, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

If you have an older cat that suffers from arthritis, you might be tempted to give your pet pain medication from your medicine cabinet. Stop right there! Medicine such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are toxic to cats. In very rare instances, some veterinarians will prescribe aspirin for cats but only in tiny amounts and on a very specific schedule. Most veterinarians prefer other methods to treat arthritis in cats. They would recommend inflammation reducing agents such as Glucosamine instead. They may even recommend rehabilitation treatments such as acupuncture. In most cases these therapies tend to work best. Always consult with your veterinarian and never administer any pet medication without his expert opinion. Remember, your pets count.

Remember, pets are family!

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It was 1982 and I decided to take the plunge and move into a condo in Hoboken, NJ. At the time, Hoboken was an up and coming community that still had it’s problems.  I was given all of the paperwork which indicated that pets were allowed. This was one of my requirements, I needed to move into a pet friendly building. I later adopted an adorable Chihuahua puppy from a friend at work. As you know, Chihuahua’s can be a bit fiesty.  I lived in a fourth floor walkup that had six apartments on each floor.  My unit was on the fourth floor. Whenever someone would reach the fourth floor, my little Chihuahua would bark. His bark made him sound like a much larger dog.

Neighbors began to complain about his barking and I had a big fight on my hands. At one board meeting, one very intolerant neighbor insisted that I get rid of my dog. I insisted that he move instead!! He did but the complaints continued.

One day, there was a break in and several apartments on different  floors were robbed. At least one apartment from each floor had been hit except the fourth floor where I lived with my little Chihuahua. The neighbors on the fourth floor were very grateful that none of their apartments were broken into. They said  that it was my little Chihuahua, with his ferocious bark that scared the home invaders away! Since that time all the neighbors loved my little dog and accepted his ferocious barks as a sign of good security for their units.

Remember, pets are family!

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What Questions to Ask A Prospective Dog Groomer

Thursday, September 30, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

If your dog has long hair and if you don’t have time to give him regular baths, you may want to take him to a groomer on a regular basis. When choosing a groomer, there are several steps that you have to take. First ask about their experience.

How long have they been in the dog grooming business?
What kind of training did they receive? Are they certified by NDGAA or another organization?
Do they specialize in any breed size or particular breed of dog? Are there any restrictions on the types of dogs they work with?
Ask about their level of service like cleaning your dog’s ears, checking his anal glands etc. Find out whether or not their fees are within your budget.
Safety is very important. I would ask the following questions.

Do they use a hand held dryer or a cage dryer? (I would prefer a hand held). If they do use a cage dryer, find out if someone always stays with the dogs. If they don’t, I would go elsewhere.

Do they sedate the dogs for grooming? If so, who does it and what type of training do they have?

Where do they keep the dogs when they’re not being groomed or waiting to be groomed?

What happens in an emergency or if your dog is injured? Is there a veterinarian on call or does someone have first aid training?

How is their record keeping? Do they keep complete records like medical, vaccinations and grooming history?

All of these things are important to consider when choosing a groomer.

After his first grooming session, give your dog a dog treat and lots of love!

Remember, pets are family!

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On Record for The Worlds Smallest Cat

Wednesday, September 29, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats usually are about 20 inches long and weight between 12 and 15 pounds but the world’s smallest cat was a male blue point Himalayan-Persian, named Tinker Toy that measured only 7 cm (2.75 in) tall and 19 cm (7.5 in) long when full grown (aged 2.5 years).  Tinker Toy was the runt of the litter which consisted of six kittens. The unusually tiny feline was owned by Katrina and Scott Forbes  of Taylorville, Illinois.  Tinker Toy was born on Dec. 25, 1990 and died in November of 1997 at the age of six.

Remember, pets are family.

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Doggie Toys, Which Ones to Avoid

Tuesday, September 28, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Not all dog treats and dog toys are safe for your dog. There’s a debate on whether or not you should give your dog rawhide to chew. I did once in awhile but didn’t make it a steady diet. Dog chews are a better choice. Your vet can tell you which ones are best.

Here are some things to avoid when it comes to dog toys
• Avoid the following!

  • balls with single air holes, which can create a deadly suction trap;
  • sticks and stones;
  • heavily dyed toys;
  • toys treated with fire retardants or stain guard;
  • soft plastics.
    • Always supervise your dog’s play time.
    • Choose toys to fit your dog’s size and avoid those he can work to the back of his mouth.
    • Select toys that match your dog’s play style.
    • Keep a variety of dog toy types on hand; rotate to spark your dog’s interest.
    • Don’t use toys as a substitute for interaction.

Remember, pets are family.

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Pet Adoption Screening Processes

Monday, September 27, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Pets deserve warm loving homes and quite frankly some people are not qualified to own a pet for various reasons. I’m sharing an article published by Pet Partners detailing all steps involved in the pet adoption screening process. Before you decide to adopt a pet, please refer to this article as it will help you make an informed decision.

 

Shelters vs. Rescues

There is a difference between animal shelters and animal rescues. Shelters are usually government funded with a central building that houses most of their adoptable animals. The processing time for adoption is considerably shorter when working with a shelter- in some cases, you can meet an adoptable pet, put in an application and be approved all in the same day. Take time to speak with staff or volunteers who interact with the shelter animals on a daily basis to get a sense of their personality. Remember that shelter animals are not always on their best behavior as shelters can be a loud, scary place. You won’t be able to take a shelter pet to your home before adopting him/her to ensure it’s a good fit, however some shelters will allow potential adopters to organize a meeting between their pets and the dog they want to adopt.

Rescues are often privately funded organizations run on donations and volunteers. Since rescue animals are generally fostered in a home environment by volunteers, you won’t be able to meet your potential new pet until after you’ve passed the application process. A benefit of adopting from a rescue is that you will have more opportunities to interact with the pet candidate in your home and with your own pets before signing adoption paperwork. While the thorough vetting of applicants may frustrate some potential pet owners, if you don’t mind waiting you may find a more perfect match for your family.

Submitting an application

When you’ve found a rescue with an animal you’d like to adopt, the first step is to fill out the rescue’s application form. It’s important to take your time completing this form and give thorough answers. Some rescues don’t contact applicants to get clarification on information written on the form, so provide any details you would like them to take into account when reviewing your paperwork.

Applications will normally ask:

  • Do you own or rent your home?
  • Do you have a fenced backyard (dogs), if not, how often and in what way will you provide exercise?
  • Does everyone in the house approve of getting a new pet?
  • Do you have children? Are they good with pets?
  • Do you currently have pets? Are they good with other animals?
  • Have you had this type of animal before?
  • Where will the animal be kept during the day? At night?
  • How will you care for the dog if you have to leave town?

Be honest in your answers and don’t lie about anything that you’re asked. It’s tempting to write down what you think the rescue wants to hear, but this could lead to you matching with a cat or dog who won’t fit well in your home environment. If you’re worried that a lack of backyard means you won’t be able to adopt a dog, include details on how you’re planning to provide exercise and increased socialization by taking your dog on walks and to the dog park. Don’t have a lot of experience with cats but you want a kitten to raise and love? Let the rescue know about the research you’ve been doing. Or petsit for a friend’s cats to get some experience.

Landlord approval

If you rent a home or apartment, confirm with your landlord that your rental is pet-friendly. Some rental properties have a limit on the number of pets, type of pet or breeds allowed. It’s best to check with your landlord before submitting an application on a dog or cat, as rescues will often call and speak with applicant’s landlords for approval.

References

Choose your references carefully, as they can have a lot of sway on adoption applications. Rescues will ask everything from how long the reference has known you, to if they would let you petsit their own pets. Choosing a reference that either doesn’t answer their phone or only responds with generic or uninterested comments to the questions can reflect poorly on your application. If the rescue has spent three days trying to reach a reference, odds are good another applicant will be chosen for the dog you’re interested in.

Your references should be individuals you’ve known at least a few years, who have seen you interact with animals. They should want to provide a rave review that causes the application screeners to want you to be the one to adopt the pet you’re interested in.

Veterinary records

Any rescue worth their salt will take the time to call your listed veterinarian to confirm that all of the pets in your home (current and past) were seen annually for a wellness check, kept up to date on vaccinations and were on preventative treatments. If your veterinary records show a history of lax pet parenting, rescues may choose to pass by your application for fear that you won’t keep your new pet up to date. It’s important that your pets see a vet for a wellness check every year to keep an eye on their physical and dental health.

Home visit

Many rescues will require a home visit to ensure that your new pet will have a safe home environment. This can also be a time when the potential new family member can meet other pets, children or adults in the home. Puppy-proof your home if you’re applying for a young dog and showcase the adoptable animal’s potential new toys, crate, feeding area etc. to show the rescue coordinator that you’re prepared for a new pet. If the rescue chooses you as the new adoptive family, you may only have a few days before bringing home the new animal and should be ready.

A few tips

Put in general applications

If you choose to go the route of adopting from an animal rescue, put in a general application with the rescue even before you see an animal listed on their website that you’d like to meet. Often rescues are happy to save approved applications for future adoptable animals. If your application is already approved and the rescue thinks you might be a good fit, you’ll move to the front of the line to meet the potential new pet. Complete applications with several local rescues and provide them with a list of what you’re looking for in a new pet.

Denied applications aren’t closed doors

If your application is denied, don’t be afraid to contact the rescue to inquire why it was turned down. There’s a chance that you can explain some information that might have been misinterpreted from the application forms. If their concern is something that you can alter, such as time away from home during the day, etc. ask if you can amend your application once you’ve made the necessary changes.

Volunteer

Volunteer with a local animal shelter or rescue! Acting as a volunteer means you’ll be the first to know when new animals are available for adoption, and you’ll already be well known by the rescue or shelter. Many volunteers choose to act as a foster and take available animals into their homes until they’re adopted. In some cases, volunteers who foster an animal will decide they love the pet too much to give up and will end up adopting the animal themselves!

Don’t give up!

Don’t get discouraged. Adopting a new pet can be a long process, so be prepared for it to take time. Often pet owners will spend a few months speaking with rescues or shelters and meeting potential new pets before they find one that fits well into their family. Once you’ve found the perfect match, the wait will seem well worth it!

Protect your new pet

Once you’ve been approved and bring home your new pet, you should consider enrolling him in a pet insurance policy. Pet insurance can help protect you against unexpected veterinary bills for accidents and illnesses. You can also enroll in wellness coverage which will reimburse for preventative care items such as vaccinations/titers, dental cleanings and much more! Get a quote.

Remember, pets are family!

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Adding a New Pet After The Passing of Another

Saturday, September 25, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Our cat Atlantis recently passed away leaving our cat Millie who’s now 16. We’ve been asked whether or not we’re going to get another cat or dog. We’ve even been asked to adopt an adorable kitten. After losing a pet, there’s a grieving process and I truly believe when it’s the right time to give a beloved pet a good home, we’ll know it. Something else to consider is our cat Millie. At this point in her life, we would be reluctant to introduce a new pet because it would definitely upset her and she would have to make some major adjustments in her senior years. So we are delaying our pet adoption efforts for now. There will come a time when we will be ready to adopt another cat or dog but we will patiently wait for that time to come.

My advice to anyone who has lost a beloved pet. Give yourself some time, you’ll know when it’s time for you to give another pet a wonderful home!

Remember, pet are family!

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Keeping Your Dog out of the Trash

Friday, September 24, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Does your dog always go for the dumpster when he sees one? Dogs that eat trash are living dangerously!  Not only are bone parts and other pieces of garbage hazardous to your dog’s digestive system but moist food can become toxic quickly.  Did you know that disgarded food scraps grow fungus in a couple of days? This poses a great risk to your dog. Moldy cheese product like old pizza are exceptionally dangerous because they contain toxins that can give your dog muscle tremors and seizures. Keep you dog on his dog leash and away from the trash while walking him. If he does manage to get into the garbage, watch him very closely. If he has a loss of appetite, shivering or yellow eyes or lips, there’s  a major problem. Make sure that you call your vet immediately.

Remember, pets are family

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