Your Pets Count

pet information that caters to your special friend



August 2021

Things to Do With Your Dog at The Beach

Monday, July 19, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

What to Do at the Beach

It’s always fun to take your best friend to the beach.  The American Kennel Club has put together a list of safe things that you can do with your dog at the beach!

You can do many of your favorite at-home activities at the beach as well. For example, you can play tug-of-war or provide your dog with their favorite puzzle toy. But don’t miss out on all the opportunities for beach-related excitement. Here are some activities to try on your next beach outing:

  • Go for a walk. Explore the shore and let your dog soak in the new experiences like sniffing seaweed, watching scuttling crabs, or chasing seagulls.
  • Play fetch on the beach with a ball or flying disc. Just be sure to choose a quiet spot so your dog’s enthusiasm for the game doesn’t disturb other beachgoers.
  • Play fetch in the water. Choose a brightly colored floating toy so your dog can spot it on top of the waves. Be sure to play this game in relatively shallow water as a bad throw can send your dog too far out from the shoreline.
  • Frolic together in the water. Splashing through the waves is a fun game, but your dog can easily overtire. So, stay close to shore and don’t leave your dog’s side.
  • Go swimming. If they are new to the water, teach your dog to swim. Let them go at their own pace and fit them with a life jacket to provide extra confidence. But even experienced dogs need constant supervision to ensure they don’t overtire or swim too far from shore.
  • Teach your dog to surf or boogie board. If your dog is a confident swimmer, see if they might enjoy balancing on a board and surfing the waves. Learning to balance is also great for dog sports like agility or feeling comfortable in a canoe or kayak.
  • Play in the sand. This is great for dogs who love to dig. Alternatively, you can build sandcastles and then let your dog destroy them.
  • Go boating together. If the water is calm enough, get your dog’s life jacket and try a canoe or kayak ride together.

Whatever activities you decide to pursue, always supervise your dog. It’s important for your dog’s safety, but it’s also part of responsible dog ownership. Don’t let your dog disturb wildlife, damage vegetation, or become a nuisance to other people or dogs on the beach.


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Common Problems with Senior Cats

Sunday, July 18, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Our cat Atlantis is nearing 18 years old and is showing real signs of aging. Although we are over pampering him and giving him all of the love and care possible, there are still signs that his age is taking over.  Hillspet,com has put together some problems that can develop with  senior cats. How many boxes are checked off for you?

Aging cat issues are often similar to those faced by humans. Older cats are susceptible to such problems as arthritis, obesity, vision and hearing problems and dementia, as well as a host of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, kidney or liver disease and thyroid problems. Aging cats are susceptible to dental issues like gum disease and feline tooth resorption, a disease in which teeth dissolve at the roots. Here are some signs that your cat might be experiencing one of these common senior cat problems:


  • Difficulty or reluctance to try jumping or climbing
  • Changes in weight
  • Strange lumps or bumps
  • Failing to use the litter box
  • Appetite loss
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Incontinence or lack of urination
  • Lethargy or listlessness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Excessive meowing, yowling, or other vocalizations
  • Runny nose or eyes
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Bumping into objects
  • Pawing at her eyes
  • Excessive blinking

Be there for your senior cat, he really needs you!

Remember, your pets count!

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Knee Injuries Don’t Only Affect Humans

Saturday, July 17, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

The most common knee injury in dogs is when they tear one of the two knee ligaments that stabilize the knee joint. Called an ACL injury, it can happen when a dog is running and inadvertently steps in a hole, slips in the mud or is hit by a car, any action that puts tremendous stress on a dog’s knee. Large breed dogs which makes the knee more vulnerable, are especially prone to ACL injuries. St Bernard’s and Newfoundlands for example as well as poor physical condition in obese and elderly dogs makes them vulnerable as well. If the knee ligament is simply ripped, a period of rest may be enough to get the dog back in action but a torn ligament requires surgery to recreate the damaged tissue. Never try to diagnose this problem or administer pet medication on your own. The is a job for a vet. Remember, your pets count!

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Whether you have a cat or a kitten or whether your cat is big or small, they must be fed a nutritious diet. Work with your vet to determine, the correct weight for your cat. Then make sure that the cat food you’re giving him is nutritious. We’ve discussed how to examine the ingredients in cat food but the first product should not be grains, it should be meat, chicken or fish. Look at the package to determine how much cat food you should feed your cat. Keep this in mind. Cat food manufacturers often list the high range of a serving size on the package because it means your cat will eat more, which means you’ll buy more. You must also consider your cat’s activity level. If your cat is running around chasing cat toys all day, they will probably eat the amount of food that the package recommends. If your cat is older and sleeps most of the day, they will eat less. I would show your vet the food that you’re feeding your cat and let him read the label to determine the amount that your cat should be eating.

Remember, your pets count!

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You love to fish and so does your dog. He goes with you on every trip. You’re just getting back to the dock with a good catch of salmon and trout. To reward your dog for being such a good companion, you throw him a fish. Did you know that you may be killing him with your kindness? Salmon poisoning disease found primarily in the northern pacific area of the U.S., and the pacific coast of Canada is often fatal for dogs. The disease is caused when the dog eats raw salmon or trout contaminated with a parasite that contains the infecting organism. Symptoms usually appear five to seven days later. Look for lack of appetite, fever, vomiting and diarrhea if you suspect that your dog may be infected. Salmon poisoning disease is curable if caught early and the dog is treated with fluids, antibiotics and anti vomiting medication. So instead of throwing him a raw fish, buy him a dog toy instead!

Remember, your pets count!

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Train your Pup the Right Way from the Start!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

In the 1980’s, I  had a Chihuahua and I have to admit, I didn’t socialize or train him properly. While he was I puppy, I didn’t crate him. I held my breath every night wondering what I would find when I got home and every night I found a mess! Plants over turned, toilet paper all over, pillows ripped apart and foam all over the place. As you can imagine, my frustration level was at it’s peak.

Today, we live in a different world. We train our pups better and use their crates as a method of training. We also have technology where we could monitor our pups every move while we’re away.Take advantage of it but don’t panic if you see a little unacceptable behavior!

Happy monitoring! Remember, your pets count!


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Protecting Your Dog from Fox

Tuesday, July 13, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

In our neighborhood, every now and then you’ll see a fox. Since there are many pets in our community, we must be aware of some of the dangers that foxes can cause. The one major problem that foxes present is the danger of disease. They may carry rabies and one bite can cause an infection. Foxes also defecate where people live and the bacteria can spread to humans and as well as pets if your dog or cat gets too close. It’s always a good idea to keep your dog on his dog leash whenever possible. I always recommend keeping cats indoors. It’s safer for you and them.  Check your garden and clean any feces that you may notice. Dogs go everywhere so don’t take any chances. One important fact that your should remember is that you may not be infected in diseases that foxes carry but your pet will be. Mange, for example can affect dogs but the disease is easily treated and will not kill the dog once the treatment with pet medication begins. The worst case scenario is hair loss by your pet if it’s not treated.

Always be on the safe side. Keep your dog contained or when walking him, keep him on his dog leash so he doesn’t wonder too far.

Remember, your pets count!

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Looking for A Pet Online?

Monday, July 12, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

If you want to search for a new pet online, you have many options depending on what you’re looking for. There are rescue groups for almost any breed of dog or cat. There are shelters in almost every town and there are cyber shelters such as I would advise you not to fall in love with a pet just by looking at a photo. We discussed in previous postings the characteristics of particular breeds of pets. Research the breeds temperament and background. Consider the breeds, size, general behavior and any other characteristics that may be important to you. Any pet that you bring into your home should match well with your family and your lifestyle. Check out the rescue group as well. Find out about its procedure, its follow up policies and its adoption fees. Before you go out and buy that dog leash or that cat bed make sure you do your homework.

Remember, your pets count!

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Older Cat Yowling

Saturday, July 10, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Our cat Atlantis, yowls regularly. In fact he’s been yowling more as he gets older. A yowl is a loud, uncomfortable sound that sounds like your cat may be in pain.  We don’t know the reason for Atlantis’s howling but may have some answers.


1. Cats yowl because they’re hungry

This one is obvious, but cats do what works. A cat yowling in your face gets that food bowl refilled. Hunger is easy to rule out. If your cat has plenty of food and is still yowling, hunger is probably not the cause.

2. Cat yowling happens to get your attention

Although cats have a reputation for being aloof loners, some cats need more attention than others. If you’ve been away from home a lot lately or not playing or cuddling with your cat as much as usual, try to ramp up the attention and see if that cat yowling stops.

3. Cats yowl because they’re bored

Cats require a certain amount of enrichment in their lives. A cat yowling might be the cat’s way of expressing that she’s frustrated and bored. “It’s really hard for owners to provide an indoor-only environment that’s entertaining to cats — especially a cat that’s been outside and then is brought inside,” Dr. Karsten explains. “Some cats do fine with it, but many don’t.” If you think your cat is longing for the great outdoors, consider building or purchasing a cat enclosure so she can have safe outdoor time.

4. It might signal a hormone issue

“When I think about yowling, the first thing that comes to my mind is breeding season,” Dr. Karsten says. “When cats are breeding, they can make really horrible noises that really disturb people, but it’s quite normal.” If your cat isn’t spayed, she might be in heat. Talk to your vet about having your cat spayed and see if that takes care of the yowling.

5. Cats yowl when they’re in pain

A cat might yowl if she’s hurting. Since cats instinctively hide their pain, almost anything could be causing it, including arthritis, an injury or an illness. “You want to rule out medical (causes), so have your vet do a full physical, including looking at bloodwork to make sure there’s nothing abnormal and checking for pain,” says Dr. Karsten, who adds that hyperthyroidism may cause irritability, which manifests in cat yowling.

6. It could signify cognitive dysfunction

If your cat is older, cognitive dysfunction (aka cat dementia) could be behind all those cat yowling sounds. Your vet can examine your cat to determine if this might be the cause. “They start to not really understand what’s going on and then they start to vocalize,” Dr. Karsten says. “A lot of times, the yowling seems to happen at nighttime. Try feeding them a highly digestible meal before bed so they’re not hungry, create a relaxing area for them at night, and increase environmental enrichment throughout the day so they’re tired at night.”

7. Cats yowl due to behavioral issues

“If nothing seems medically abnormal and it’s a younger animal, it could be some sort of behavioral issue going on,” Dr. Karsten says. “Keep a log of all your cat’s activities. Journal when the yowling happens and try to link it to something, some sort of trigger.” For instance, if you’ve had any changes in the household, like a new baby, a new housemate, or a recent move or divorce, your cat might be yowling out of stress or anxiety. If your cat is always yowling next to the same window, for example, maybe a stray cat outside is coming around and upsetting her.

If all that cat yowling becomes bad enough that it’s affecting your cat’s quality of life (or yours!), and you can’t identify a trigger, ask your vet for a referral to a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, who might be able to figure out the root cause of the yowling and help you work with your cat to resolve it.

Remember, your pets count!

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What to Do If a Timid Dog Gets Lost

Friday, July 9, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

Many people choose to adopt a shy or timid dog because they may be calmer and easier to handle than a more active, hyper breed.  What should you do if your timid dog gets loose or lost?  You may want to proceed a little differently than if your dog was more active. Here are some tips.

  1. Call the rescue organization from where you adopted the dog. In some cases, they may send someone out to help locate the dog since the dog may be bonded which can help.
  2. Contact your locate animal shelter and animal hospitals and inform them that the dog is missing. Local shelters have experience in setting up methods to locate your dog.
  3. Call your dogs name if you think you see him. Never chase a dog. Always remember that the dog is frightened and will run even further away if chased.
  4. Leave a food and water bowl our near your home. Or if you know the area where your dog is hiding, leave it there. If you do know the area where the dog ay be hiding, inform the local animal shelter, so they can set up a trap in that area and they will include the food and water in the trap.
  5. Post lost dog flyers in the neighborhood and on social media. The flyers should contain the dogs photo, contact info and dogs name.

Lastly, many shy dogs gain confidence if they are adopted into a family who already has a friendly dog. The shy dog may quickly gain his confidence by being around a friendly dog.

Remember, your pets count!

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