Pets

ADOPTING

ALLERGIES TO PETS

ANEMIA

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BLOAT

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CAT FACTS

CAT MOVING

CAT PRAISE

CATS AND NATURE

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DISTEMPER

DOG BUSINESS

DOG FACTS

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DYSPLASIA

DYSPNEA

EXERCISE

FAMILY PET

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GLAUCOMA

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HEART DISEASE

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HOT SPOTS

PET-IN-HEAT

HOME ALONE

ILLNESS

KIDNEY FAILURE

LOST PET

LYME DISEASE

MEDICATIONS

MULTIPLE PETS

NEUTERING

NUTRITION

OBEDIENCE TRAINING

PARVOVIRUS

PET ALLERGIES

PET GROOMING

PET HEALTH

PET INSURANCE

PET DRUG/FOOD RECALL

PET SAFETY

PNEUMONIA

RABIES

SCOOTING

SCRATCHING POST

TAIL-WAGGING

TOXIC FOODS

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Provide fresh water. Leave the water out so that your pet may drink whenever he or she likes. Do not use metal dishes outside for your dog or cat’s food in the winter. Their tongue could stick to the frozen metal.

 

The information in this "Pets" category is derived from Periodicals, Associations and pier reviews and is not a substitute for veterinary care of your pet.

 

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ADOPTING

Dogs and cats can either be purebred or they can be mixed breeds. The term "purebred" simply means that the parents are of the same breed, so they conform to what's called a "breed standard". You have a good chance of knowing the general characteristics of a purebred dog or cat: what they'll look like and their general behavioral traits. You should choose a dog with a temperament compatible with you. If you are not into having a purebred dog, consider mongrels (mixed), they are often endearing and in need of home. Purebred dogs come from a specific gene pool, and along with this, comes health problems from in-breeding. Mongrel’s on the other hand are less likely to suffer from inherited diseases and disabilities, as their gene pool is very large, making it less prone to genetic defects commonly found in certain types of purebreds.

Don't adopt a pet as a surprise gift for someone. Many pets are turned into animal shelters every year because the recipient of the pet did not want it. Pets have thoughts and feelings just like we do and it is frightening and confusing to be dumped at a shelter. Some adopting agencies require you to keep the adopted animal, if you think about giving it away, you must have their permission, as they will do a back ground check on whoever you are considering giving the pet.

Many cat lovers feel the urge to rescue one of these feline ferals from its sub-existence. But unfortunately, most adult feral cats won't adjust to the domestic life. True ferals are born in the wild and never experience human companionship during their critical period of socialization (about 2 to 9 weeks of age), so they will always remain frightened of people. "Only very young feral kittens" can learn to adjust fully to living in a home.

Adopting a pet is a life-long commitment and a very experience. You pet will become a part of your family, it has been shown that pets improve our lives in so many ways ... there are even health benefits such as lowered blood pressure and more exercise. Consider these things before choosing to adopt a pet:

Your family's activity level. If your family is the type that goes hiking often you will probably want a pet that you can take with you. If your family tends to stay at home to relax, a cat or a low-activity dog may be better for you.

Pet size. Is your home, yard, and car big enough to accommodate a large-breed dog? Are you able to physically handle a large dog? Do you have any physical conditions that may prevent you from exercising or caring for your pet?

Dogs are very social. They like to be with their families and included in activities and daily life. Being a responsible dog owner means teaching your dog to be a good house pet, and putting in the time and effort to make him a part of the family. Puppies are generally much more work than an adult dog. High-energy dogs of any size will need more time put aside for exercise. Another item to consider, Dogs need to be brushed to keep their coats healthy and free of mats. However, long-haired breeds need regular, if not daily, brushing which is a big-time commitment.

Having your dog "fixed" offers several health and behavior benefits, and ensures your pet doesn't contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.

A tattoo and microchip are both recommended as ID for your dog in case he or she gets lost.
Puppies need additional vaccines to protect their immature immune systems.

A fenced yard is ideal for dog owners, of course it is not mandatory. Your dog can be let out to relieve themselves without the owner having to go out with them. The yard also gives dogs a place to play and expend a little energy.

It is very sad to see some people get dogs, only to stick them outside on a chain to live their entire lives outside without much human contact. This is physically and mentally cruel. Think how bored you would be if you were stuck all alone with nothing to do, day after day! Small wonder some dogs living in that environment tear everything apart and bark all the time.

Making the decision to get a dog should not be taken lightly. Dog owners need to be prepared to feed, train, exercise, groom, and interact with their dogs, and get them medical care when needed. Although smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger ones, many dogs of all sizes can live into their teens. Anyone thinking of getting a dog should be prepared for a long-term, lifetime commitment. Sharing your life with a dog can be such a richly rewarding experience! Those Lower-energy households who wish to adopt should consider dogs with lower exercise needs to avoid situations where the dog gets bored and develops a greater risk for behavior problems.

If you are considering adopting large adult dogs, you will find that they make excellent pets and are often passed over in favor of cute puppies (puppies will eventually grow into dogs too!). With a full-grown dog, you see exactly what you're getting: you know how big the dog's going to be and what it looks like as an adult. A puppy is adorable, but you could be in for more work than you bargained for if the dog matures into a 70-lb adult with a long thick coat that needs a daily brushing. You will also find that adopting a older dog is a blessing, as they are usually forever grateful to you. They may have developed some habits that may be difficult to change, if it really is necessary to alter, but then again, accepting them as they are is who they are.

Adult dogs also have a better attention span. If the dog has had a previous home it may already be house trained and even obedience trained. Adult dogs are over the "chewing phase" too and are less likely to chew something inappropriate. Until trained with great patience, puppies will always chew something, rugs, tables, shoes., etc. until they are trained on the no's.

One of the most critical element in adopting and the proper care of a cat is understanding the commitment required. It calls for some expense and inconvenience. Take into consideration as to how will you care for your cat when the family takes that weeklong vacation? Do you have a friend or family member that would be willing to care for your cat while you're away? Or do you have someone who would drop by once a day to care for your cat? This might involve providing a little attention, cleaning the litter box, and making sure your cat is fed. Is this something you’re willing and able to do?

Another thing to keep in mind is that with multiple cat’s diseases will spread. Be aware of certain signs in your cats of illness. These can include, but are not limited to, lethargy, sneezing, watery or runny eyes, seeming depressed or staying away from the other cat(s). If you see anything like this in your cat please be sure and get him checked out with your Veterinarian. If the illness can be treated with medication, your Vet may be able to treat all of your other cats as well to prevent the spreading of disease. Remember also to get your pets vaccinated. Your Veterinarian will also send out yearly reminders when your cat is due for another vaccine.

Fleas and flea infestation can also become a big problem within multiple cat households. Again, your Veterinarian can recommend some useful products which can be used once a month. Some of these products also work on ticks. There are several things to keep in mind when dealing with fleas. If you see a flea or two on your cat, don't ignore this. Just one female flea can lay over 500 eggs in a few months; within a multiple cat household these new fleas will have plenty of food. With a good food supply a flea can go from egg to adult in about two weeks. The early treatment of your pet as well as your house and yard can help to control and eliminate the fleas.

While there are many issues to consider, the joys of owning more than one cat greatly outnumber the challenges. Cats are a lot like people in that they each have a distinct personality. When you have multiple cats running and playing in your house you will never be lonely for company or entertainment. Cats are regal, intelligent creatures and they will give you back as much love as you give to them.

 

PEOPLE ALLERGIES TO PETS

Many allergic owners obtain pets without thinking through the difficulties of living with them. And too often, they end up relinquishing pets, a decision that is difficult for the owner and can be life-threatening for the pet.

Cats and dogs are allergenic (allergy-causing) to people who are allergic to animals. Cats tend to be more allergenic than dogs for allergic people, although some people are more sensitive to dogs than cats. Contrary to popular belief, there are no "non-allergenic" breeds of dogs or cats; even hairless breeds may be highly allergenic.

Dogs with soft, constantly-growing hair may be less irritating to some individuals, although this may be because they are bathed and groomed more frequently. One dog or cat of a particular breed may be more irritating to an individual allergy sufferer than another animal of that same breed.

The source of irritation to pet-allergic humans? Glands in the animal's skin secrete tiny allergy-triggering proteins, called allergens, that linger in the animal's fur but also float easily in the air. Allergens are present in the animal's saliva and urine, too, and may become airborne when saliva dries on the fur. The severity of reaction to these allergens varies from one person to the next, ranging from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma, and can be complicated by simultaneous allergies to other irritants in the environment.

Ask your allergist to specifically test for allergies to pet dander, rather than making an assumption. And understand that allergies are cumulative. Many allergy sufferers are sensitive to more than one allergen. So, if you're allergic to dust, insecticides, pollen, cigarette smoke, and cat dander, you'll need to reduce the overall allergen level in your environment by concentrating on all of the causes, not just the pet allergy. For example, you may need to step up measures to remove cat dander from your home and carefully avoid cigarette smoke during spring, when it is difficult to avoid exposure to pollen.

Immunotherapy (allergy shots) can improve symptoms but cannot eliminate them entirely. They work by gradually desensitizing a person's immune system to the pet allergens. Allergy-causing proteins are injected under the person's skin, triggering the body to produce antibodies (protective proteins) which block the pet allergen from causing a reaction. Patients are usually given one dose per week for a few weeks to months (depending on the severity of the allergy) and then can often manage with one injection per month.

Additional treatments for allergies to pets are symptomatic, including steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and antihistamine pills. For asthma, there are multiple medications, sprays, and inhalers available. It is important to find an allergist who understands your commitment to living with your pet. A combination of approaches—medical control of symptoms, good housecleaning methods, and immunotherapy—is most likely to succeed in allowing an allergic person to live with pets.

If you do suffer from allergies, specifically from pets, and before you adopt, be sure to consider carefully whether you can live with the allergy before you bring a new pet home. Except in the case of children, who sometimes outgrow allergies, few allergy sufferers become accustomed to pets to whom they are allergic.

 

CAT BUSINESS

Punishment is not the answer when getting your cat to use the litter box. If you do find accidents, don't react or punish the cat. Animals do not understand any punishment that comes after the fact. Simply clean the areas thoroughly with enzyme-based products designed to eliminate cat urine and feces odor.

If your cat starts going outside the litter box, take him to your veterinarian immediately. A urinary tract infection in a male cat can quickly turn into a blocked bladder and become life-threatening. Your veterinarian can help determine if the problem is related to a disease or some other factor. A treatment program can be tailored to fit your need.

Cats hate change. Once they're used to a certain type of litter, they don't want to try something new. It smells funny, it feels different beneath their paws or maybe it just doesn't kick as well.

Cats tend to prefer clumping litter. But whatever their favorite type is, they don’t want you to change it, no matter how much money you are saving. If you really want to try a different brand, gradually mix it in with the regular litter over several weeks.

The other thing to remember is that individual cats may have different preferences, usually because they were raised on different types of litter. If you have more than one cat, you may need to provide a box for each with the preferred litter.

Cats have an exquisitely keen sense of smell, so do not place a room deodorizer in the near vicinity of their litter box, as the smell may be unpleasant to them, keeping them from using the litter box.

Cats do not want the litter box anywhere near where they eat, they want it in a quiet area and they don’t want to be interrupted. Place it in a room away from the food bowl with easy access and few interruptions. A heavy traffic area or a place where they can get startled by a dryer’s buzzer are not going to work.  Ideally, put it in a place near an escape, such as a door or a tall cat tree, so if something does scare them, they can exit.

Most cats prefer a large, open litter box. Look for one that is one and a half times longer than the cat’s body length.

Mother cats train their babies to use the litter box! Cats are very fastidious and always cover their feces in the wild. Cat mothers teach their little ones to use the litter box by the time they are weaned.

It is so important to wait until a kitten is 12-14 weeks old before bringing your new cat into your home.  They need the sibling play and the life skills training from their mother before they are ready to go be with their human companion.

When the kitten starts to walk on its own and has begun to feed itself, you can start introducing the litter box. Buy a box with a low lip so that the kitten can scramble over the top when it’s time to go. At first, you will probably need to place the kitten in the litter box a couple of time and scratch the litter with your finger. Do this immediately after feeding your kitten. They are quick to catch on that the litter box is their toilet. Some cats are finicky about their litter, so experiment with different ones, if there is a problem.

Many cats are put off by the odor of scented or deodorant litters. For the same reason, it's not a good idea to place a room deodorizer or air freshener near the litter box. A thin layer of baking soda placed on the bottom of the box will help absorb odors without repelling your cat, and odors shouldn't really be a problem if you keep the litter box clean. If you find the litter box odor offensive, your cat probably finds it even more offensive and won't want to eliminate there.

Normally a cat doesn't need to be taught what to do with a litter box because instinct will generally take over. The only thing you need to do is provide an acceptable, accessible litter box. It's not necessary to take your cat to the litter box and move their paws back and forth in the litter; in fact, this is not really a good idea, as such an unpleasant experience is likely to create a negative association with the litter box. If your kitten is having trouble grasping this concept, you might have to either cage or confine him to a small room. The cage theory works best because if there is just enough room for a bed, water, food, and the litter box, your kitten will be forced to use the box. Their instincts will kick in quickly, as soon as they realize quickly which spaces are for sleeping and eating and which ones are not.

Feces should be scooped out of the litter box daily. How often you actually change the litter depends on the number of cats you have, the number of litter boxes, and the type of litter you use. Every other day is a general guideline for clay litter, but depending on the circumstances, you may need to replace it more often, or only once a week. If you clean the litter box daily, scoop able litter may only need to be changed every two to three weeks. If you notice an odor or if much of the litter is wet or clumped, it's time for a change. Some cleaning products are toxic to cats, so do be careful what you wash the litter box with. Washing with soap and water should be sufficient. Beyond scooping the box, you need to clean it regularly. Plastic retains odors, so even if you scoop the box daily, it’s still going to get awfully smelling after a while. About 2 inches of litter is recommended for the box.

Many cats prefer to do their business outdoors, as this is nature’s way. If they spend a portion of their day outdoors, they will usually prefer relieving themselves outside, but having the litter box, certainly will give them a choice. It does not take long for them to train you that their standing or circling around the door is their signal for a visit with nature.

 

CAT FACT:

 


The first domestic cats became associated with humans about 10,000 years ago. Cats (as do all feline species) share a genetic anomaly that prevents them from tasting sweetness

It is thought that today's domesticated cat is a distant relative of the now distinct saber tooth tiger.

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear, and is "very independent".

Cats are much more aware of what goes on around them than humans are. For one, every hair on their body serves as a tactile sensor. The whiskers are used to determine distances and the size of openings, etc. But they use each hair on their body to detect motion and wind direction, which helps them locate their prey on a chase.

Cats are also much more sensitive to smell.  This sense is 14 times keener than that of humans. We release certain hormones when we're feeling certain ways. When we're happy, we release endorphins.  When we're depressed, we release serotonin. When in fear, humans release adrenaline, Cats can actually smell these hormones, and as a result, they can read our mood.

Cats can hear pitches much higher than we can. In fact, they can hear two octaves higher than dogs can!

Cats have another advantage certain other animal also have - a cluster of magnetized cells in their brains that acts as a compass. It takes about 2 months for this compass to set to their homes.  After that, a cat can find his way home over miles, using this homing device.

A Cat is sharing its home with you and whether cats are completely domesticated is questionable. A dog on the other hand is quite domesticated and thinks it is great to live with you, in your home (in particular, inside). Dog's smile with their tails, and occasionally they appear to actually smile, ask any dog owner, he/she thinks theirs does?



As to independence, although your cat that knows that it is about to be petted, given a treat or brushed, it is likely to get up, stretch, look around, go the round-about way, and then very casually wander (as if this was the cats idea) over to you.

Brush your cat daily.

Pet your cat in the direction of its fur, the spot just above the tail is sensitive - some cats enjoy being scratched there, others dislike it. Some cats can tolerate only a few minutes of being petted, while others will happily doze in your lap, being stroked for hours.



A Network of Resources & Information for Pet Lovers

 

CATS AND NATURE

A female cat is called a "Queen" and a male is call a "Tom"

The cat is a hunter by nature. It also is quite proud of its catch, or what is left of it. It's your cat’s way of showing you that it is protecting its territory.  So, when the remaining vitals (yuck) are on the steps, as hard as it is, praise your cat and say "thank you". You have made its day, then proceed with the burial services.

They have a better sense of balance than humans, mainly because they have a tail which they use in the same way that a tightrope walker uses a pole. Contrary to many people's belief, cats cannot see in the dark any better than we can, but their eyes are more specialized and are useful for gathering every scrap of light. Their vision works best at dawn and dusk, perhaps because this is the time when their prey is either waking up or retiring and so are not at their most alert. In addition, cats have a wider field of vision than man, consequently they see more movement on their periphery.

QT. Direct eye contact or staring at the cat is a threatening sign for the cat.  So if you are a cat lover and want the attention of a strange cat, maybe the best trick is to avoid the cat all together and see if it comes around.



Cats are built as natural hunters but unlike their wild cousins they don't often hunt out of hunger, although they do occasionally eat their catch. Basically, they are in it for the sport, perhaps instinctively seeing it as entertainment or a form of exercise. The way a cat toys with its prey may seem quite cruel to us, as the victim is rarely killed immediately. this is simply another way for a cat to hone its hunting skills. If it can bounce a bird into the air and catch it in its claws it has a better chance of success when it must pluck one out of the air to satisfy hunger. Similarly, kittens usually start with household spiders and flies, honing their own skills before progressing to mice, birds and other furring things.

 

CAT MOVING TIP

When moving to a new city or country, get all city, state and national rules regarding importation of animals, including health requirements. Do be aware that if you are moving to another state, that State may require proof of feline inoculations. All but four states require dogs to have rabies inoculation, and a number have the same regulation for cats. State and local laws usually stipulate that the rabies tag be securely attached to the pet's collar.

Make sure your pet's collar is comfortable. Whether you are traveling across town or across the country, always have them wearing their collar, with proper identification, it will be the surest way of getting your pet back if it becomes lost You want your pet's name and your name, address, and telephone numbers on it. While traveling with a pet keep vaccination records handy, also have records indicating any major medical problem and medications your pet is currently taking. This will be helpful if your pet needs to see a veterinarian while on the road or needs a prescription refilled.

In addition to permanent identity and rabies tags, both dogs and cats should be provided with special travel identification tags. A luggage- type tag with space on both sides for writing is excellent for this particular purpose. The tag should include the pet's name, your name and destination address, and the name and address of an alternate person to contact in case you cannot be located. Other pets are less apt to become lost, but birds are sometimes identified by leg bands; horses and ponies by brands, tattoos, color photos, and/or registration papers. The pet's health certificate may also be used for identification.


Cats tend to become more attached to their environment rather than to people. When relocating with a cat, it is necessary to prepare in advance. Show your cat plenty of attention and constantly reassure it with familiar items and scents so the move does not come as a shock. Cats may not be as familiar traveling in cars as dogs are. Several weeks prior to the move by car, it is recommended that you take your cat on short trips in the car around the neighborhood. Most cats are frightened of car travel, but usually become accustomed to it quickly. Some persons allow the cat to find its own niche in the car as long as it does not interfere with driver or passengers; others feel that the cat is better off in its own special carrier.

On moving day, confine your cat in its favorite room along with its favorite bed and toys. This is to make sure that it won't run away. Seeing everything packed and empty may make the cat feel unstable. Pack a travel case for your cat and count on numerous rest stops. Your pet will need the food, water dishes, plenty of food for the move, and a blanket or bed. But don't forget medications – bring extra, toys – to fight boredom, litter box and litter for the cat, and a picture of your pets for identification should they become lost or stolen.

Your cat should be the last thing you "pack up", when you move to your new location, put your cat in a large carrier, one that it can stand up in and turn around, also put something familiar in the carrier.

NEVER, let your cat out of the car at a rest stop, unless it is on a leash and no dogs or children are anywhere around. If it gets away, it is good-bye kitty. There are just too many potential things to spook your cat. It is must when traveling with a cat to place your cat in its carrier prior to your getting out. Your cat could bolt at the first opportunity, no matter how tame you think it is. Cats spook really easy.

When traveling with your cat, be very careful to protect them from the heat. Always park your car in a shaded area.  Heat in a car can reach over 110 plus degrees very quickly, this could take your cats life very fast. If you must exit the vehicle without your pet, open the windows (just enough "about 2 inches each" for airflow) to allow cross flow ventilation. Also, never place your cats traveling cage in direct sunlight. Always shield the cage with a towel or place a sun screen over the window(s). If you do allow your cat to roam freely in the car while traveling, place it back in its cage when you exit the vehicle, and never let the car windows (any window for that matter) down to far, as a cat does not have a collar bone, thus allowing it can squeeze through the smallest of openings.

If left alone in a motel or hotel room, it might disturb others, chew on furniture, have an "accident," or escape when the maid opens the door to clean the room.

When you arrive at your new home, consider that your *cat will encounter many of the same problems you will encounter in moving to a new place: a new house and neighborhood, unfamiliar sounds, strangers, different water, and a colder or warmer climate. it may be best to keep your pet confined until it realizes that this is the new home and that the family is going to stay, or it may wander off and try to return to the old home. This is especially true of cats. To make a pet feel more at home, use its familiar food and water dishes, bed, blanket, toys, etc. Try to put them in the same sort of location they had in the old homeplace your cat in a room with something familiar, of course, that could be the furniture. Do not let your cat out of that secure room for at least a few days, or your cat will attempt to "Go Home". Visit your cat as often as possible and comfort it. It will take a little time for it to adjust to it's new home.

*If you have a couple of cats, pay attention to how they interact before you move. Are they bitter rivals that only behave nicely to avoid getting in trouble? Do they tolerate, but basically ignore each other? Are they buddies? Each of these types of interactions require different methods of introduction to your new home.

 It's a good idea to get some specific advice from your vet before you move regarding how to deal with each of them attempting to use the new environment as an opportunity to finally establish dominance over the other. A good rule of thumb is to keep everything as equal as possible. Introduce each of your pets to the new home with one person for each animal. That way, if a problem arises, each person only needs to deal with one animal. If it's possible to do safely, try to have them enter the home at the same time, even if you have to use separate doors. Once they are both inside, they can be taken through the house at the same time, but on separate pathways.

Pets that tolerate but ignore each other also benefit from a separate but equal first exposure to a new home. The concern over one trying to establish dominance over the other isn't usually as high, but introducing them to the home at the same time with one person each helps encourage them to continue their civil tolerance of each other in the new environment.

Pets that are best friends are easiest, of course. You can just bring them into your new home, one in each arm and they will usually transition quite easily.

Travel by Air:

Security procedures do not prohibit you from bringing a pet on your flight. You should contact your airline or travel agent, however, before arriving at the airport to determine your airline's policy on traveling with pets. Major airlines require that the pet be examined by a veterinarian no more than ten days prior to the date of travel so be sure to bring current health and rabies vaccination certificates. If you are planning to bring an animal on-board the plane with you, you will need to present the animal to the security checkpoint screeners for screening.

  • Book a nonstop, midweek flight and avoid plane changes if possible
  • During warm weather periods choose early morning or late evening flights
  • In colder months, choose mid-day flights
  • Arrive at the airport early, exercise your pet and personally place it in its crate
  • Ask your veterinarian for specific feeding instructions for your pet during travel
  • Promptly pick up your pet upon arrival

Note: Pet owners who are considering air transportation for the family pet are cautioned to carefully consider the use of tranquilizers or sedatives.

Transport crates are available from most airlines or pet shops, and should be purchased in advance so your pet can become acclimated to the crate prior to travel. The crate must:

  • Be large enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around, and lie down
  • Have a leak proof bottom that is covered with plenty of absorbent material
  • Be ventilated on opposite sides, with exterior rims and knobs so that airflow is not impeded
  • Be strong and free of interior protrusions, with handle or grips
  • Be appropriately and clearly labeled - Include your name, home address, home phone and destination contact information
  • Clearly indicate on the crate “Live Animal”, with arrows indicating the crate’s upright position

 

DISASTER READY

The best way to protect your family from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan must include your pets. Your being ready could save your pets life.

Different disasters require different was of responding to your pets safety, whether the disaster is a wild fire, flood, hazardous spill or a hurricane, you and your pet may be required to evacuate.

In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe place for them, is likely to result in their being injured, lost, or worse. Be prepared for the day when you and your pets may have to leave your home in a hurry.

It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster, so plan ahead. Do not wait until disaster strikes!

  • If you have no family or close friends in the safety zone, contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size, and species. Some hotels will wave there "no pet" policies in an emergency. Keep a list of "pet friendly" places, including phone numbers, with other disaster information and supplies. If you have notice of an impending disaster, call ahead for reservations.
  • Ask friends, relatives, or others outside the affected area whether they could shelter your animals. If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together, but be prepared to house them separately.
  • Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers.
  • Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets in a disaster. Animal shelters may be overburdened caring for the animals they already have as well as those displaced by a disaster, so this should be your last resort.

 

Your pet disaster supplies kit should include

  • Medications and medical records.
  • A sturdy leash or harness, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can't escape.
  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.
  • Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter and pan.
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
  • Pet beds Carrier and toys.

-Ready for the Emergency

  • Often, warnings are issued hours, even days, in advance. At the first hint of disaster, act to protect your pet.
  • Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements for you and your pets.
  • Check to be sure your pet disaster supplies are ready to take at a moment's notice.
  • Bring all pets into the house so that you won't have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars and securely fastened, up-to-date identification. Attach the phone number and address of your temporary shelter, if you know it, or of a friend or relative outside the disaster area. You can buy temporary tags or put adhesive tape on the back of your pet's ID tag, adding information with an indelible pen.

Should you be away at the time of evacuation, do you have a trusted neighbor would be willing to take your pets and meet you at a prearranged location? This person should be comfortable with your pets, know where your animals are likely to be Do be ready well in advance.

Planning and preparation will enable you to evacuate with your pets quickly and safely. Your pet will react differently under stress. Outside your home and in the car, keep dogs securely leashed. Transport cats in carriers. Don't leave animals unattended anywhere they can run off. Pets are creatures of habit and anything that disrupts their usual routine can cause even your normal trustworthy pets to panic, hide, try to escape, or even bite or scratch. 

 

Approximately 2/3 of all households in the United States have a pet.

 

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DOG BUSINESS (Aka Pooping Business)

If our are patient and praise your dog when they do their business outside, you will win them over much faster. Do not scold them. When he does pee or poop where you don't want him to, quietly clean it up in a matter-of-fact way. This isn't a time to talk either loving or annoyed talk to him; essentially ignore him while you do the cleanup. Certainly, never yell or physically punish him in any way.

In order to have consistent potty training for a dog, it is imperative that you keep him on a schedule that is regular.

Take your dog to the same area each time your dog goes outside go with it. Take the puppy on a lead so you can be sure it goes to the same area of the yard each time. This way the puppy can smell itself and know what it's supposed to do. Only give your puppy about 10 minutes to potty, if it doesn't go, then bring it in and put it back in the crate, wait 15 - 30 minutes and take it back outside. Don't let the puppy play until it potties. Playing is a reward, don't reward bad behavior. Puppies are just little kids, they go outside, get excited, and forget why they went outside in the first place. It helps to give a command to potty, that way it learns a little faster what is expected, and later in life, if your running late, you can give the potty command and your dog will potty and be done with it.

Puppies vary in how old they are before they have control of elimination, but if you bring your puppy home around the age of 8 weeks, which is considered the ideal age, expect a month or two of accidents.

Take the dog out first thing in the morning every day and the last thing at night every night. Ensure that your dog learns to follow the schedule by keeping it at the same time. Most likely, he will pick it up fast and very soon he will pull you by your clothes to take him out for the intended job. Feeding the dog at a fixed time each day will also assist in potty training for a dog because when the dog eats on a regular schedule, his bowel movements will follow that schedule too. Only feed him and give him water when you can take him outside right away. Especially in a hot or dry climate, you would normally never let dogs be without access to fresh water, but for the weeks that you are training, this limitation will speed up the potty-training process for your dog. There will be fewer accidents and so the dog will more quickly learn what you want.

Paper training - Using potty pads or newspaper is up to you. Some small breed owners swear by them. Others think they are confusing to the puppy if your ultimate goal is for them to potty outside. It will take longer to house train if you first teach the pup to potty on paper, then turn around and want the pup to potty outside. Some small breed dogs don't like going outside when it is cold or wet so a lot of owners use paper during the winter season.

While dog or puppy house training or housebreaking puppy takes a commitment from you, it's not something that's complex or difficult to do.  Understand that the whole point of training your doggie, no matter if they're a new puppy or an older dog is to socialize them to be a reliable member of your family. 

Housetraining a puppy or even older dog is not difficult.  It takes a commitment from you to be consistent in working with your pup until they associate what you want done with pleasing you.  While puppy potty training isn't a two-week effort, you must admit that seeing and being around a well-trained animal is a joy.  If you were hoping that a few puppy potty training tips are enough to successfully housetrain your dog, you are in for a surprise. There are many more roads to travel with your dog. After a while you will catch on and your dog will be very proud of your progress.

With adult dogs and older puppies who are not housebroken, you often have more of an uphill battle because they have some undesirable habits to unlearn. 

The key to success is the timing of how long after they eat. Young puppies take in food or water and usually within 15 or 20 minutes, they pee or poop. So, you want to be on-time, when your dog is ready to relieve themself.

Crate Training a Puppy:

Your puppy should be in the crate while you are at work, sleeping, or anytime you are not able to watch it. Dogs are den animals so being in a crate is natural for them. Puppies will cry and want to be released at first, but be patient; it will get used to being in the crate and come to enjoy it. Make the crate a happy place, not a punishment. Teach your puppy a command when going in the crate, for example, kennel or go to your room; this will make it easier than trying to force or push the dog into the crate later. Also, dogs are pack animals so it's helpful if you keep the crate in the bedroom where the rest of the "pack" is sleeping. This is a tough one in the beginning because the puppy will cry and you will be tempted to let it out. Tough love, if the puppy is loose in the house then it will have the opportunity to potty anywhere it pleases. Keep the puppy crated at night until it can be trusted in the house.

Praise, Praise and praise again. Your Dog thrives on Praise.

 

DOG FACTS

Dogs were first domesticated from wolves at least 17,000 years ago, The dog traces its ancestry back to a five-toed, weasel like animal called Miacis, which lived in the Eocene epoch about 40 million years ago. This animal was the forebear of the cat, raccoon, bear, hyena, and civet, as well as of the wolf, fox, jackal, and dog. Miacis did not leave direct descendants, but doglike canids evolved from it. They are highly social animals and this similarity in their overall behavioral pattern accounts for their trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human households and social situations. This similarity has earned dogs a unique position in the realm of interspecies relationships. The loyalty and devotion that dogs demonstrate as part of their natural instincts as pack animals closely mimics the human idea of love and friendship. Many dog owners consider their pets as full-fledged family members.

Dogs' sense of hearing is more than ten times more acute than a human's.


The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes six groups: sporting dogs, hounds, working dogs, terriers, toys, and non-sporting dogs. Sporting dogs hunt, locate (point), and retrieve game birds. Hounds hunt all game except birds. Working dogs can do such jobs as herding farm animals, pulling sleds and carts, and guarding life and property. Terriers were once bred to ferret out rodents but are now bred as house pets. Toys are tiny dogs bred mainly as pets. Non-sporting dogs are those *purebreds not included in the other categories.

When a person decides to own a dog, he should be prepared to care for it properly. For a dog to stay healthy it must be correctly fed and adequately groomed, and its medical needs must be met. For a dog to be well-mannered it must be properly trained. It should never be ill-treated or mishandled

A dog's smell is more than 100,000 times stronger than that of a human.


Medical studies have shown that dogs seem to be able to sniff out melanomas and bladder cancer. The idea is not outrageous. Cancer patients have been shown to have traces of chemicals – like alkanes and benzene derivatives– in their breath, and other studies have shown dogs can detect chemicals in concentrations as small as a few parts per trillion.
Dogs are very unique in that they can be trained to detect epileptic seizures. 

Law enforcement agencies also rely on the dog's acute sense of smell to uncover illegal drugs. And specially trained dogs serve as the "eyes" of the blind, guiding the steps of their sightless masters around obstacles and hazards.

Do not leave your dog in the car unattended on hot days, even if the window is open. On a really hot day, it could kill your dog in less than a half hour, your pet's safety of your is your responsibility!



Dogs love to be petted and they also love praise. Brush them daily, bathing them weekly.

*To be a purebred dog, its sire and dam (father and mother) both must be of the same breed, as must its ancestors dating back to the establishment of the breed. Kennel clubs set their own standards.

 

DOG KINDNESS

: Your dog will forever love you, simply provide it with

" Love, Patience and Exercise".

We never expect our pet to get lost but all too often it happens and the sad reality is that most pets without identification will never be reunited with their family.

Countless dogs live their life on chains in their owners' yards. Despite being inherently social animals, too many dogs are relegated to this empty life. Dogs who live tethered outside often become lonely, unhappy, neurotic, bored and anxious. In many cases, they can develop territorial and aggressive behaviors.

When dogs live on chains, it creates problems for the entire community. Studies have shown that chained dogs are more likely to bite. Don’t chain or tether your dog. Chaining allows no opportunity for exercise and socialization, and when done for long periods of time can lead to behavior problems. Instead, set aside time every day to walk or play ball with your dog.

Chained dogs may unintentionally hang themselves if they are tethered too close to a fence and attempt to jump it. Chained dogs are also subject to attacks by other animals and cruel humans

More Kindness:

Spend quality time with your pet daily.

Never kick, hit, or spank a pet.

Provide pets with plenty of exercise.

Make sure they have constant access to shade in the summer, heat in winter, and a place that's always dry.

Provide nutritious food and constant fresh water for your pets.

Keep pets away from toxic household chemicals.

Make sure they always wear up-to-date ID tags.

Heat stroke can be fatal for pets as well as people.

QT. Dogs truly love squeaky toys or any toy that makes a noise when a dog grabs it.

 This is probably because the noise makes the dog think it has caught an injured animal. Choose toys where the squeaker will not pop out or else the dog might choke on it.


The safest place for pets to stay is indoors out of the heat or in a covered shaded and cool location. Pets can get sunburn too!  Use sunscreen on their nose and ears as necessary. Pets with light-colored noses or fur are especially vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer.

It is very dangerous, and in some states illegal, to drive with a dog in the back of a pick-up truck. Not only can flying debris cause serious injury, but a dog may be unintentionally thrown into traffic if the driver suddenly hits the brakes, swerves, or is hit by another car.   Sudden stops or evasive maneuvers can cause them to be thrown out, or they may jump out and be seriously injured or hit by another car and killed.   Dogs should ride either in the cab or in a secured crate in the bed of the truck.   

Teach your dog how to get out of your pool.  Like people, many dogs like cooling off in pools. Even if your dog can swim, tragedy can occur if he/she does not know how to exit the pool. This can be prevented by showing your dog how to enter the pool via the stairs and guiding him or her back out. Also, do not force your dog into the water if he/she is frightened.  Some dogs do not like to swim. Be sure all pool chemicals are stored safely out of reach.

Loud thunder or fireworks may frighten them and cause them to panic and dig out of the yard and get run away.

Just as the hot ground can burn your feet, it can also burn the pads of your pet causing swelling and possible bleeding of their feet. So limit the amount of time your pet spends on hot asphalt or concrete.

 

DOG MOVING

When moving to a new city or country, get all city, state and national rules regarding importation of animals, including health requirements. All but four states require dogs to have rabies inoculation, and a number have the same regulation for cats. State and local laws usually stipulate that the rabies tag be securely attached to the pet's collar. Also, while traveling with your dog keep vaccination records handy, also have records indicating any major medical problem and medications your dog is currently taking. This will be helpful if your pet needs to see a veterinarian while on the road or needs a prescription refilled.

In addition to permanent identity and rabies tags, both dogs and cats should be provided with special travel identification tags. A luggage- type tag with space on both sides for writing is excellent for this particular purpose. The tag should include the pet's name, your name and destination address, and the name and address of an alternate person to contact in case you cannot be located. Other pets are less apt to become lost, but birds are sometimes identified by leg bands; horses and ponies by brands, tattoos, color photos, and/or registration papers. The pet's health certificate may also be used for identification.


Schedule a thorough check up with your veterinarian about 10 days before traveling. If moving out of the US, let the vet know so that you dog can get the appropriate shots. Have the vet provide you with a dated health certificate indicating that your pet is in good health and has received all required vaccinations. Dogs are easier to move with than cats because dogs become more attached to their owners as opposed to their environment. In fact, unlike cats that prefer the routine, dogs welcome a change in the environment and even thrive in it.

Dogs may become a little upset on moving day when they see all of the unusual activity. You should confine the dog in its favorite room along with its favorite blanket and toys.

Your dog will need the obvious – food/water dishes, plenty of food for the move, and a blanket or bed. But don't forget medications – bring extra, toys – to fight boredom, and a picture of your pets for identification if they become lost.

Do not feed or water the pet just before starting. Feed it only once a day, preferably by evening. Try to keep to established walking and feeding routines. A few treats will do for snacks during the day.

Plan stops at regular intervals to give your pet a drink and a short run.

Take a container of fresh water along, a sudden change in drinking water may cause a temporary upset in some dogs.

A dog should be taught to sit or lie quietly in its own place, to keep its head inside the car, not to annoy the driver or passengers, or bark at passing vehicles.

If you must leave pet in the car on a warm day, park in the shade, open all the windows an inch or two for cross ventilation, leave water, and check on pet every hour or so. If the day is hot, it is best not to leave pet in the car at all. Heat can quickly become excessive in a parked car even if it is in the shade, and animals can suffer from heat prostration.

Take extra caution when at rest stop with your dog. Hold onto the lease with extra care, as your dog has been cooped up in the car and ready for some running, especially if it sees a squirrel or any other animal for that matter. Always attach the leash before opening the car door and detach it after the pet is back inside and the door closed. Take care when stopping at filling stations and restaurants. Do not give an excited pet a chance to bolt and become lost it may be gone forever in spite of identification tags. Many a sad tale has been told as to the plight of a family pet that broke got loose and ran away at a rest stop, only to be hit by a vehicle, or never seen again.

If left alone in a motel or hotel room, it might disturb others, chew on furniture, have an "accident," or escape when a cleaning person opens the door to clean the room.

As soon as you move into your new home, return your dog to its daily feeding and exercise schedule. Your pet will adjust more quickly.

Set up your pet's bed, toys and bowls in a location similar to your former home. This will provide the animal with a reference point while you arrange your new living space.

Travel by Air:

Security procedures do not prohibit you from bringing a pet on your flight. You should contact your airline or travel agent, however, before arriving at the airport to determine your airline's policy on traveling with pets. Major airlines require that the pet be examined by a veterinarian no more than ten days prior to the date of travel so be sure to bring current health and rabies vaccination certificates. If you are planning to bring an animal on-board the plane with you, you will need to present the animal to the security checkpoint screeners for screening.

  • Book a nonstop, midweek flight and avoid plane changes if possible
  • During warm weather periods choose early morning or late evening flights
  • In colder months, choose mid-day flights
  • Arrive at the airport early, exercise your pet and personally place it in its crate
  • Ask your veterinarian for specific feeding instructions for your pet during travel
  • Promptly pick up your pet upon arrival

Note: Pet owners who are considering air transportation for the family pet are cautioned to carefully consider the use of tranquilizers or sedatives, many pets have died due to being tranquilized or sedated. Do check with your vet and he will provide you with the possible ramifications.

Transport crates are available from most airlines or pet shops, and should be purchased in advance so your pet can become acclimated to the crate prior to travel. The crate must:

  • Be large enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around, and lie down
  • Have a leak proof bottom that is covered with plenty of absorbent material
  • Be ventilated on opposite sides, with exterior rims and knobs so that airflow is not impeded
  • Be strong and free of interior protrusions, with handle or grips
  • Be appropriately and clearly labeled - Include your name, home address, home phone and destination contact information
  • Clearly indicate on the crate “Live Animal”, with arrows indicating the crate’s upright position!
  • Pick your pet up as soon as possible, this has been a terrible trauma for them.

 

DOG TRIVIA

Just a few Facts!

A young dog has only 28 milk teeth

Dogs take between 10 and 30 breaths every minute

A dog's heart beats between 70 and 120 times a minute, compared with a human heart which beats 70 to 80 times a minute

A dog's temperature is between 100.2 and 102.8 degrees Fahrenheit

Dogs do not sweat by salivating. They sweat through the pads of their feet.

Female dog bites are twice as numerous as male dog bites

A dog’s sight is better than that of a human in dim light

  • Dogs do see color

Dogs have a visual range of 250 degrees compared to the human range of 180 degrees

A dog can hear sounds 250 yards away that most people cannot hear beyond 25 yards

Dogs have twice as many muscles for moving their ears as people

The average dog's mouth exerts 150 to 180 pounds of pressure per square inch. Some dogs can apply up to 450 pounds

More than five million puppies are born every year in the United States

A puppy is born blind, deaf and toothless

  • The Chow dog has a black tongue

During its first week 90% of a puppy’s time is spent sleeping and 10% eating

A puppy is only able to crawl during its first week

A puppy begins to see when it is between 2 to 3 weeks old

During the ages of 3 to 7 weeks a puppies first tooth, or milk teeth will appear

At the age of 3 weeks a puppy will develop its sense of smell

A puppy will sleep for 14 hours every day

A puppy’s adult teeth start to come through between 4 and 8 months when it starts to chew everything!

Some dogs reach sexual maturity at the age of eight months

A puppy is considered and adult at the age of one year. At this age it is as physically as mature as a 15-year-old human

  • The chihuahua is the smallest dog

The Greyhound is the Fastest Dog on Earth and can run 45 miles per hour for short periods of time

The Irish Wolfhounds is the largest dog

The Great Dane is the tallest dog

The St. Bernard is the heaviest dog

 

DYSPLASIA


 

DOG TRAINING

A dog’s brain is much smaller than a human, especially in the upper part of the brain called the cerebrum - the portion of the brain associated with intellectual functions such as speech, memory, consciousness, and logical and emotional thought. Dogs are capable of linking ideas together, but are totally incapable of linking actions that are separated by time.

They do not have the capacity to understand human language, thusly, it is important to use sound patterns, intonation, facial and body language as a form of communication. A dog wants to please and all learning should be based on positive reinforcement.

Any young dog can be trained to understand commands and to do simple tricks. When correctly trained, it is conditioned to respond to your commands, noises, or gestures.

Once an owner decides to train his puppy, however, he must be willing to stick with the job until the puppy learns the task. First, the owner should select a simple "call" name for the animal. The call name should be used frequently so the puppy can learn to recognize the sound of it.

A training session is best begun when the puppy is hungry because it is more alert at that time. Also, the owner can reinforce the dog's correct responses to commands with a dog biscuit or meat tidbit. The hungry dog is more apt to associate the correct performance of a task with a food reward.

To get the puppy into a collar at first, entice it to you by extending your open hands, pet it and say "good dog" (and include its name) when it comes, and finally slip the collar around its neck. Then attach a leash to the collar. If the puppy has confidence in you, it will walk along with you even though it is wearing the leash. A metal chain leash is usually best because the puppy will not be able to chew and play with it.

Wait until a puppy is at least six months old before trying to teach it tricks, but do teach it the meaning of "no" at an earlier age. The young dog must be corrected vocally each time it does something that you disapprove of. If you are consistent, it soon learns by your tone of voice what pleases you and what displeases you. Formal training sessions should entail no more than ten minutes of work at a time, and they should never tire the dog.

To teach the command "sit," keep the dog on your left side and pull up on its leash with your right hand while gently but firmly pushing its hindquarters to the floor. While doing this, say the command "sit" with authority. Reinforce its correct actions with a tidbit.

To teach the command "stay," work with the puppy after it has learned to sit. While it is sitting, raise your palm to the dog and order it to "stay." It will probably try to get up, so tell it "no." Whenever it remains in the sitting position after you have given the "stay" command, reward the dog with a tidbit.

More effort might be needed to teach the command "come." When the dog has learned to stay, command it to "come" and call it by name. When it comes to you, lavish the dog with praise and give it a snack. A very stubborn dog might have to be pulled with a cord tied around its collar while the command is given. If this is necessary, be firm but accompany the command with a friendly hand gesture. Many tugs may be necessary until the reluctant dog learns the meaning of "come." Do not be impatient with a puppy when teaching it simple tricks, and never get angry. If the training sessions are not going well, break them off and resume them later in the day or even on another day. In addition, give praise and tidbits to the dog only when they are earned.

Dog behavior can be puzzling to both new and experienced dog owners. Dogs do not operate with the same motivations as people, so their actions don’t always make sense to us.

Barking. When your dog barks, go see what your dog is barking at. If it’s for a good reason, like a stranger at the door or near your property, praise the dog and then tell him to be quiet. If its barking for no apparent reason other than a neighbor’s cat or a chipmunk, tell the dog to be quiet. The dog will soon see that sometimes barking is acceptable, but not always. The dog will learn to bark for the ‘good’ reasons. If the dog sees a neighbor’s pet or a chipmunk nearby, he will still bark, but not continually. Instead, he will bark once or twice to scare the nearby visitor and be satisfied.

Chewing
. Puppies love to chew, especially while they are teething. It feels good on raw gums, and very young puppies use their mouths to explore their world, tasting as they go. This is both natural and unavoidable, so prevention is the best cure for chewing. Dog-proof your home by moving harmful items like wires, power cords, and other small objects out of your dog’s reach. Have plenty of acceptable chew toys on hand. For teething puppies, freeze a baby’s teething ring or even a knotted rag for quick, inexpensive relief. So long as your dog has sufficient acceptable toys to chew, he will not chew on unacceptable items, Whenever the dog is in his crate or in a room, there should always be chew toys for him. If you see your dog chewing on something he shouldn't, correct him by saying “No,” and give him one of its toys instead.

Digging. Dogs usually dig either out of boredom, or to make a nice spot to lie down. Digging is natural for dogs. If you have the room to do so, make an acceptable spot for your dog to dig, like a sandbox. Place the sandbox in an area that is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Place your dog’s toys or treats in the box and encourage your dog to dig in that location, keep in mind that this does not always work, sometimes you have to experiment with different solutions and locations.

Jumping.
Jumping is a dogs’ expression of happiness. If you do not mind your dog jumping, train your dog to jump only when its ok, Otherwise, it will equate jumping as ok any time, including when guests that do not own a dog enter your home. Correct the dog immediately when he is about to jump. Praise him when he does not jump and stays on the ground. Start early on teaching your dog, that jumping on guest is not ok.

Puppy piddling. Puppies are like toddlers. Until such time that you have potty trained them, they will have accidents. On top of that they are very excitable and unfortunately this leads to piddling. They will outgrow it in time, so just be patient and wipe up their piddling.
.
Walking with your dog on a leash. If your dog that does not walk properly on a leash, then it will require some training. When the dog is about to apply any tension to the leash, immediately stop and be firm. When the dog turns to see what has happened to you, praise him for noticing and simultaneously move him back into his heel position. So long as the dog remains next to your leg, continue to praise him and give him rewards if necessary. Right next to you should be the most fun place for him to be. If he loses concentration and is about to put any tension on the leash again, stop without warning and repeat the sequence.

 

EXERCISE

CATS:

Cats need exercise and a lot of mental stimulation. Without it, they can get bored and develop behavior problems.

Cats like to chase things because they are natural hunters. So why not challenge and excite them by inventing games in which they can hunt imaginary prey?

The best toy has feathers, streamers, or other items attached to it with a string. Make sure the object doesn't have any loose parts that the cat can choke on. Mimic the movements of a bird or insect flying overhead or a small animal scurrying across the floor by moving the toy in short, jerky motions. Make sure you allow your cat to catch the "intended prey" now and again. Otherwise, they could lose interest in the game.

-"Some" cats enjoy the challenge of sneaking up on you. The first few times they may not understand the game, but after a few sessions, you will find if you walk around a corner and then wait for your pet, and then step out they will pick up on the game, attempting to sneak up on you. Make certain that they know this is a game, don't forget to laugh. It will do wonders for you emotionally and physically. Your cat will pick up on your good mood and everyone will have a good time.

- Use your interactive toy around a tall, sturdy scratching post to encourage your cat to scratch. This causes a full stretch, which helps tone the muscles in the shoulders and back.

-Invest in a multi-tiered cat tree so your cat can jump from one perch to the other during play. This exercise improves balance and coordination.

- Plastic caps from milk jugs make great hockey pucks. Drop one on the kitchen floor to work on your cat's speed and coordination.

Don't forget to laugh. It will do wonders for you emotionally and physically. Your cat will pick up on your good mood and everyone will have a good time. Play with your cat as often as you can, preferably for about ten minutes at a time, this will help create an inseparable bond between you and your pawed feline friend.

DOGS:

Although fenced yards provide a safe, handy place in which your dog can play and relax, every dog still deserves at least one walk a day beyond the yard.

Walk time together, especially active time, provides an opportunity for dog and guardian to interact and establish mutual communication and a strong bond of affection. Dogs on a walk also get to socialize with other dogs. This is especially beneficial for puppies, who learn the rules of canine social interaction from meeting older dogs. The majority of dogs will not run around a fenced yard enough to get the exercise they need. If you and your dog walk a mile or more a day, you'll both benefit by building strength and endurance, burning calories, breathing fresh air, and enjoying your dog’s discoveries.

Most dogs enjoy games of catch which is a good exercise for your dog. But you should be careful about using soft objects or tennis balls to avoid harming the dog's teeth.

Long walks in the woods, parks or on the beach will also make your pet happy. Jogging is great way to spend time with each other and it is beneficial for both of you. There are some things that you should be careful about during these activities

- Avoid jogging or biking with your dog if it has any pre-existing health problems.

- Take notice if the dog seems to be tired.

- Take water along for your dog, too.

- On hot summer days, you should go out early in the morning or late evening when it is cooler.

Dogs enjoy playing with Frisbees on land or in water. Also, you can play a simple game with a rope. You can get a rope and let your dog take one end and you the other, then you both pull away.

Swimming also is an enjoyable activity for your dog.

Exercising with your dog creates a human-dog bond. It is a great way to show that you care about your dog and make it happy. Tired dogs are the happiest ones.

Yard bound dogs get bored from lack of variety in their lives. Walk past a fenced yard and watch the resident dog race along the fence line, press its face through the links, bark, pant, whimper; and does anything to get your attention. Imagine being able to see a park, alley, or vacant lot from your yard but never getting the chance to explore it. Small wonder they get frustrated and act out.

If you are going to keep your Dog in a yard kennel, make certain that you exercise your pet at least once a day, and twice if possible.

The other option of keeping your pet enclosed. Install a buried (Invisible fence) electric fence. It's great for your dog, as it will experience freedom and still remain in the safety of your yard. Rarely after they are schooled in the use of the roaming area, that they will go beyond its border. You still have to walk your dog, if you want a happy dog.


Feed your Pet dry food or kibbles. They are nutritionally balanced, the least expensive and most convenient food, and it helps to keep teeth and gums healthy. If your pet is really a finicky eater, try mixing a little canned pet food with the dry food.

 

FAMILY PET

9 out of 10 of pet owners report feeling 'very close' to their pets, interestingly, almost as many as report feeling close to their families!

Owning a pet is a big responsibility for your family. Find questions to ask yourself on whether you're ready to own a pet, then get advice on how to choose a pet, train it, and help it live a healthy and happy life.

Pets as companions can positively influence child development. Studies have revealed greatly improved social competence and self-esteem in children with pets compared to those without. Children can learn about responsibility, gentle handling, animal behavior and death by living with a pet. One very positive effect in having a companion pet is that children learn to care for something other than themselves. Approximately 37% of households in the U.S. own a dog. A close second--35% of U.S. households own a cat.

Your pet provides you with much joy, and your home wouldn't be the same without them.

Do not expect any animal come to come willingly if you are raising your voice or if they think they are going to be punished. The cat will take off and the dogs tail with be under its body.

 

HEART DISEASE

Dog owners usually do not realize that their pets are susceptible to many forms of heart disease. In most cases, heart disease can be successfully managed with early detection and treatment".

Heart disease in dogs, as in people, can be either present at birth or acquired, often developing during middle age. (Acquired heart disease is more common, affecting many older dogs).

There are two common types of heart disease in dogs:

  • In one type, a dog's heart valves lose their ability to close properly, causing abnormal blood flow.
  • In the other type, the muscular walls of a dog's heart become thinned and weakened.

Both types develop gradually over time and result in the same serious condition called heart failure.

Heart failure is major threat to your dog's health. Of the dogs in the United States examined annually by a veterinarian, over 3 million have some form of acquired heart disease and may be in heart failure. Heart failure results from the heart's inability to pump blood at a rate required to meet the body's needs. While continuing to work harder to pump blood, further heart damage can occur.

Although some of the early stages of heart failure in dogs have no visible signs, heart failure can be diagnosed through a clinical evaluation by a veterinarian. Dogs with mild to moderate heart failure typically experience heart enlargement, coughing, lethargy and difficulty breathing. Severe heart failure is characterized by difficulty breathing (even at rest), fainting (yes, dogs faint), profound intolerance to exercise, loss of appetite and weight loss.

Regular veterinary visits are important for early detection of health problems. Your veterinarian may ask you for specific information about your dog before performing a thorough physical examination. If indicated, blood and urine tests, X-rays, an EKG or other tests may be ordered. Regular testing is important for early detection of heart disease in dogs.

"Too often, dog owners do not take their dogs to visit the veterinarian until they are displaying severe signs of heart failure, and by then it may be too late. When heart disease is detected in your dog, your veterinarian can recommend a schedule of regular visits and discuss a treatment plan that can help.

There is no cure for most heart disease in dogs, new treatments are available. Success of treatment depends on various factors, but early detection is always best. By following your veterinarian's recommendations, you can help your dog live a longer, more comfortable life.

 

HEARTWORMS

 

Heartworms are very real, "they can make your pets cough", and they can kill your pet.

Dogs and cats are at an increased risk of contracting heartworm in the summer. Heartworms are passed by mosquitoes Every time a mosquito bites your dog or cat; it may pass tiny little worms into the blood of your pet. These tiny baby worms travel in your pet's bloodstream all the way to the heart. When the worms get to the pet’s heart, they settle in and grow into adult worms, and start having families of their own. Once the heart gets filled up with worms, it can no longer properly pump blood, when the restriction becomes large enough due to more worms in the pumping area, your pet will start feeling sick. many times, he will have a cough because when the heart can't pump blood the right way, liquids can get "backed-up" in the lungs. occasionally the heart gets to overwhelmed with the worms, that they will move into the lung, which will bring on coughing.

Should your pets heart get to crowded with heartworms, sadly, there is not much you can do. It is a must that pet owners begin a program prescribed by your vet early on to prevent heartworms from the start! It is something that is so easy to do, and it can save your pets life! All you have to do is give your pet heartworm medicine once a month. It is that easy. You just need to know about how much your pet weighs to get them heartworm medicine. If your pet is older than six months and has never had heartworm medicine, you should talk to your veterinarian about heartworm testing and what you should do.

Taking monthly heartworm medicine prevents most other kinds of worms that your pet can get. Consequently, this will keep your pet feeling good, and will keep them from carrying other kinds of worms that they can pass to people and other animals.

This is one of the best ways to show them how much you love them.

 

PET IN HEAT

CATS:

Spaying/neutering decreases the incidence of some tumors and reproductive infections. A male cat should be neutered if it will be a house pet because the strong urine odor of unneutered males will make your cat an unacceptable housemate.

There are clear behavior changes that you will notice with a cat in heat (also known as 'estrus' and being in 'season'). These are:

  • Becoming excessively friendly
  • Rolling around on her back.
  • Wailing and yowling in a different tone.
  • Raising her hind quarters with her tail in the air and padding her feet.
  • Moving her tail to the side as she is walking or laying down.
  • Wanting to go out very frequently.
  • Urinating more frequently to spread her scent around.

Female felines will show signs of a cat in heat on average for one week every three weeks from late winter or early spring. This will continue for nine months or longer, or until she has mated. If she does not mate, the heat period can become more frequent until it is almost a continuous state. If successfully mated, then the signs a cat in heat shows will stop.

A female cat is most fertile between 3 to 4 days during the week she shows signs of being a cat in heat, and she is ready for mating when she raises her rear end off the ground when touched.

Mating triggers ovulation, and cats will mate several times to try to ensure fertilization. If given free reign, a female cat will mate with several Toms over 3 to 4 days, and so a single litter can contain kittens from a variety of male cats.

Cats can breed from 6 months old or even earlier in some breeds and will start to show signs of a cat in heat from that time. If you want your cat to have kittens it is always best to wait until it is over one year old. If your cat comes in contact with an un-neutered male cat, your cat will likely become pregnant.

If she comes into heat again in 2 to3 weeks’ time, then she is not a pregnant cat.

DOGS:

Spaying your female pet can help prevent cancers of the reproductive tract and may decrease the incidence of reproductive infections. Neutering your male dog will also prevent cancers and decrease the incidence of prostate problems. The incidence of more aggressive behavioral problems has also been shown to be reduced when dogs are spayed or neutered.

Should a female dog in your neighborhood comes into heat, you will need to be sure your intact male is kept safely within the confines of your house and property, so he does not wander off in pursuit of female dogs in heat. Female dogs in heat could present potential distractions, should they meet up with a male, they will have intercourse anywhere, anytime, and they do not care who is watching. Male dogs have been known to follow the scent of a female dog in heat for miles, so be sure to keep your dog on leash or in a fenced area to prevent him from escaping.

An unsprayed female dog will come into heat for the first time when she is around 6-12 months old and will come into heat about twice a year thereafter. Her heat cycle will last for approximately 3 weeks. During this time, she is receptive to mating with male dogs and they will come from far and near to try to gain access to her. Leaving female dogs in heat alone outdoors is a poor idea. During the three or so weeks she is in heat your female dog releases pheromones which male dogs detect and follow to your female, the distance that the scent travels is surprisingly far, bringing dogs from blocks around.

This can create real problems and can be dangerous if large or aggressive male dogs are attracted to your neighborhood. Male dogs may dig under or jump over fences in attempt to mate with female dogs in heat.

You should keep your female dog indoors while she is heat. Even so, you may find male suitors waiting on your doorstep if they have been attracted by pheromones left in her urine when she eliminates outdoors. 

If you chose not to spay your dog, keep your female dog indoors during her 3-week heat cycle. Only allow her outside for supervised playtimes and walks. Of course, she will create a lot of attention from any and all dogs, small and large, so Try to stay near your own home, if at all possible.

There are no medical, emotional or sociological reasons for a female dog to "have just one litter". 

 

HOME ALONE

Cats: It is not wise to leave your pets alone in your home for more than a few days.  In order to avoid your cat from doing destructive things when you're away; climbing the curtains, ripping up furniture, unrolling toilet paper or scattering things off coffee and end tables. This happens because your cat needs to be with you - and needs to play. Perhaps your cat is used to chasing a toy around that you dangle in front of him or her. But when you're away, your cat has to amuse him or herself by playing with a toy that's not as exciting as when you drag it around.

Many people believe that cats don't mind - or actually like - being alone. There is a popular myth that cats are antisocial animals, but many cats absolutely enjoy and want company. Cats will actually seek out other cats as friends. They'll sleep together, groom each other, and cry for their companion if he or she is missing.

A cats' sense of smell is one of their most important senses, and they are most comforted by the smell of people and things they are familiar with. Leave several of your old unwashed t-shirts or pieces of sweatshirts permeated with your scent in your cat's bed and in other corners and nooks where she might sleep during the day. Make it a point to wear some old t-shirts before leaving, to make sure your scent is well-embedded in them. If you can stand to go without deodorant for a few hours all the better. Your cat will be comforted by your unseen, but scented "presence" during your absence, and you'll feel better with that thought. Make sure your cat has access to a window so he or she can watch birds.

To keep your cat safe, before you leave cat proof your home. Remove all breakables on counters, shelves, dressers and tables that your kitty could possibly knock over. Accidents can happen, so it's best to do everything possible to insure your cat's safety. Don't leave any cleaning products or the like out. Put everything away. Shut all closet doors and cabinets. Make sure there aren't any potential dangers waiting to endanger your pet.

Cats usually do very well when left alone for a few days. However, putting out an extra litter box, (you can buy disposable ones that come with the litter in it) and use one of those food and water dispensing bowls - So they do not knock over the water. Make sure you have a backup plan if you get delayed in coming home - someone you can call to go and check on the cats, and replenish food and water and another litter box if need be.

Cats, unlike dogs, will usually eat just enough food that they are satisfied. A dog will usually inhale all of its food at a sitting.

It really is a good idea to have your pet(s) checked on every few days, if possible, by a friend. Some pet owners suggest turning on the radio softly, playing soft rock or classical, this appears to provide company and comfort to their pet.

Before you go, make your house "Cat-Safe"
1. Don't leave medications, household cleaners and other toxins where the cat can get to them.
2. Remove all strings, yarns, rubber bands, etc., that the kitten may chew on or ingest - can cause serious intestinal blockages
3. Make sure all windows and doors are securely locked and kitten-proofed
4. Make certain that you place door stoppers in doors that could trap your pet. Many a owner has found their pet trapped in a room for days. Don't be one of them.

Dogs:

Every dog that tears up the house when the owner is away is not suffering with separation anxiety. Most dogs with separation anxiety will panic within 30 minutes of your leaving the house. These dogs are truly panicked. They are not being spiteful and they are not mad at their owners; they are panicking.

Possible problems of Separation Anxiety:

  • A bored dog is a restless, sometimes "bad" dog. Dogs need interaction and exercise. Try walking your dog every morning before you leave.
  • Some dogs do not like confinement and will panic in a crate. These dogs will tear up a crate trying to find a way out, but do not necessarily have separation anxiety. Dogs with separation anxiety (that are crated) will still have separation anxiety in a crate. Some will tear up the crate, drool or salivate. Crating a separation anxiety-prone dog does not solve the problem.
  • Some dogs have a fear of loud noises. These dogs might be fearful of thunderstorms, fireworks, or other unfamiliar noises and your dog can tear up the house trying to escape the noise.
  • Sometimes puppies will chew or become destructive when unsupervised.

The behavior of your pets may change if you leave them alone for more than a day. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive.

Bored dogs can overeat just as bored humans do, so leaving out food for them is not good for their health. Dogs should have drinking water available any time they want it. Try leaving a bowl or two of water for him. If you can afford it, use a water dispensing product.

Dogs are intensely social and they need to be trained to tolerate isolation. Some dogs are fearful of things that might get them when they are left alone. And some dogs are over-attached to their owners and cannot cope with being parted from them even for short periods of time.

With dogs you need to get a sitter (or take them to the kennel) because they need to go outside and must go on walks. If your dog is an outdoor dog, leaving it alone all day is a terrible idea. Due to loneliness it guarantees problems with the neighbors and behavior problems.

 

PET ILLNESS
You should use caution In administering any medication to a pet, because too much may be toxic, the medicine may not be tolerated, or it can cause an upset stomach or ulcers in the animal.

Consult your veterinarian if your pet shows any of the following signs:
Abnormal discharges from the nose, eyes, or other body openings.
Loss of appetite, marked weight losses or gains, or excessive water consumption.
Difficult, abnormal, or uncontrolled waste elimination.
Abnormal behavior, sudden viciousness, or lethargy.
Abnormal lumps, limping, or difficulty getting up or lying down.
Excessive head shaking, scratching, and licking or biting any part of the body.
Foul Breath or excessive tarter deposits on your pet’s teeth.
Dandruff, loss of hair, open sores, and a ragged coat.

Various methods of giving medication:

It is always best to ask your vet first. He/she should be able to provide you with advice on tried and tested methods.

Some dogs will readily take a pill all on its own and others will be happy to swallow one wrapped in cheese or some other treat. But there are those dogs who will simply refuse to take a pill, easily separating it from the good stuff and spitting the pill out. For those pets, liquid medication may be the best option so be sure to ask your veterinarian if any medication prescribed for your dog is available in liquid form. Some pets will lick the liquid medication right off the spoon or it can be mixed in with some other food.

You can also administer medications, in both liquid and pill form, directly. For liquid medications, tip your dog's head back and lift his upper lip on one side of his head, forming a pouch between his teeth and cheek. Squeeze the medicine into the pouch and continue to hold your dog's head back, stroking his throat to get him to swallow. For pills, open your dog's mouth and place the pill as far back on his tongue as possible. Then shut his mouth, hold his head back, and stroke his throat to get him to swallow.

Most times you're dealing with a pill. You can try the Sneak Method, attempting to disguise a pill in a bit of something yummy in hopes that your pet doesn't notice the pill inside. Watch your cat carefully for the "spit-out" before considering the procedure a success -- it may not be. In fact, the Sneak Method works a lot better for dogs, who tend to inhale their food, cats on the other hand eat carefully, considering every mouthful. Sneaking a pill past your cat can be difficult.

The usual way is to the No-Nonsense Method, it is sometimes difficult, but once you've mastered it, you will know for sure where the pill went. Take a firm but gentle grip on your cat's head from above, pry open his jaw with the index finger of your other hand, and press the pill far enough back on the tongue to trigger swallowing. Ideally, the first time you attempt this task, have someone else hold your cat while you pill him.

Some people have good luck with "pill guns," plastic devices designed to accept a pill on the tip, press it to the back of your cat's tongue and release with a push on the plunger.

Another method is the use of Pill Pockets. They come in shapeable pill pockets are a great way to give a pill to a dog or cat, they're a tasty nutritious treat available in a variety of flavors. Pill pockets come in a resealable foil package for lasting freshness. Pill pockets make the process much easier and faster. They're a great solution for pets who don't like to take their medicine

If you are hiding the pill in a treat, always make sure that that the treat is large enough to cover the medication, but small enough for it still to be swallowed whole. All animals will chew if the morsel is large enough, and they may discover the medicine and reject it.

Giving a pill to a cat can be cat can be somewhat scary. Those long sharp teeth and claws can be pretty intimidating. Pill Pockets came out with a feline variety. Pill Pockets come in flavors such as salmon and chicken, you can feed them to our cats as treats too. That way, when it's time to put a pill inside, your cat won't suspect anything.

If you choose to give your cat the regular method, by deception in their food, disguise the medication in baby food, many cats can be tricked in this way. If not, you'll have to give the pill directly. Hold your cat between your knees while you're kneeling, making certain that her front legs are tucked between your knees to prevent scratching. With the palm of your hand on top of your cat's head, place your thumb and index finger on either side of her mouth, then tilt her head back until her mouth falls open. You can also, if needed, use your other hand to gently push down on her lower front teeth. With her mouth open, drop the pill as far back on her tongue as possible, keeping her head back until she swallows.

Many medicines come in liquid form and they can be easier to administer for some cats. A needless syringe from your veterinarian or pet store can be used to squirt the medication into your cat's throat. You may want to give your cat a treat after giving her the medication to prevent vomiting.

Eye and Ear medication:

A good method for applying ear medication is to place a large towel across your lap and draw up your pet, relaxing the animal with petting and gentle talk. After your pet is relaxed, apply the ear drops, massaging the base of the ear gently. For eye medication, gently apply a line of medication from the tube across the length of the eye, being careful not to touch the surface of the eye. Try to hit drops squarely in the center. Close the lid for a couple of seconds to let the medication distribute evenly.

 For Liquid Medication:

Be sure your veterinarian sends you home with some large syringes (without needles). These are marked on the sides to make measuring easy, and they're easier at getting liquid medicine in the right place (an eyedropper can also work). Raise your cat's muzzle with a firm but gentle hold on the top of the head and lift the lip on one side. Ease the tip to the back of the throat and then release the liquid in a slow, steady motion. Your cat will swallow naturally, it works great almost every time.


SYMPTOM:
Vomiting And Diarrhea

Dog and Cat illness symptoms show up for many of reasons. One of them could be pet cancer. Some other indications are: intestinal parasites, hypoadrenocorticism, liver disease, gastric ulcers, food allergy, absorption and digestion disorders, colitis, enteritis etc.

Difficulty In Breathing

Dyspnea:
The respiratory distress is known as dyspnea, characterized by labored and difficult breathing or shortness of breath. Minor causes can be of kennel cough, on the serious side, it could be breast cancer for female dogs. Other indications are heart disease or heart failure, lung disease, tumor etc. Bulldogs and Boston terriers, boxer and bracycephalic breed are more prone to breathing troubles show dog fever symptoms more often in addition to small and toy breeds.

Itching And Scratching

Hot Spots:
Is a skin infection known to veterinarians as "
Pyotraumatic dermatitis ". Hot spots are surface skin infections caused when populations of normal skin bacteria grow and overwhelm normal resistance. They are generally circular patches that lose hair, can be swollen, may exude a smelly pus, and can be painfully itchy, causing the dog to scratch, lick, or bite to the point of self-mutilation. Untreated hot spots can spread and provoke a normally even-tempered dog to growl or nip when touched.

They can come on with a matter of hours with no warning, but they do tend to follow a pattern that helps in predicting their occurrence.

Dogs most susceptible to hot spots are those with heavy coats and histories of allergies, ear infections, flea infestations, irritated anal sacs, and grooming problems such as hair tangles and mats, but any dog can develop this infection. Dogs in warm, humid climates may develop hot spots when they shed their undercoats if the dead hair is trapped next to the skin, and dogs with behavior problems may mutilate themselves by licking and biting. Indications are skin diseases, bacterial and yeast infections and allergies. Continued scratching or biting leads to lesions and thus encourage an infection to become established.

The most common locations for hot spots are the legs and feet, flanks, and rump — areas that can be reached by licking or biting — but these localized infections can also appear on ears, neck, and chest if the dog is continually scratching.

There are two approaches that are necessary for dealing with hot spots: treating sore and remove the actual cause to prevent a return.

  Suggestions:

  • Trim the hair around the sore to prevent further spread of the infection and expose the edges of the lesion;
  • Wash the area in a mild water-based astringent or antiseptic;
  • It will be necessary to use antibiotics or cortisone if the washing does not give results.

Prevention:
- Remove tangled or matted hair or trapped hair.

-Allergies:
 Begin an aggressive program to rid your home and yard of possible causes, check with your Vet.

-Behavioral:
Some dogs are so lonely that he hurt themself with constant licking or scratching, he may need more exercise, playtime, and attention. This can be the easiest or the hardest treatment to implement because there's no pill or ointment for long-term success; the requirements are time.

Blood In Stool And Urine

Blood in urine is possibly from the bladder, kidneys or from an earlier clotting and occasionally from the vaginal area in females. Causes are infections or stones in kidney or bladder or traumatic injuries. Blood in stool indicates one or all of these: Infection (bacterial, viral, protozoan, and intestinal parasites), inflammation or trauma in bowels. Intestinal cancer, intussusceptions and sundry diseases of the colon, rectum and anus

Coughing

This is a protective reflex to clear secretions due to foreign matters in the whole of respiratory system. Indications are obstruction, lung tumors, pneumonia, bronchitis, heartworm disease and heart failure in addition to dog fever symptoms. Coughing is predominantly found in dogs than in cats.



 Allergies:


Pet Allergies, and especially dog allergies, are not uncommon. There are three predominant types of allergy. 'Contact allergies' are triggered by allergens that come in contact with the skin. 'Food allergies' occur when a dog or cat has an adverse reaction to a particular ingested ingredient. 'Inhalant allergies' are spurred on by allergens breathed in by a pet.  A vet will often prescribe medications to help control allergic reactions. This in combination with improving a pet's diet and environment will often reduce allergy symptoms greatly.

Dogs may be affected by inhaling grass pollen in spring and summer or ragweed pollen in late summer and early autumn. If this is the case, the dog will start to scratch and bite his body, lick his paws, shake his head, and rub his face along the carpet for relief from the itch when pollen grains are swirling in the air.

However, many dogs suffering from allergies itch somewhat year-round because they are also affected by household dust, mold spores, and other irritants.

Treatment for inhalant allergies ranges from keeping Lassie comfortable with cool baths in shampoos or rinses containing aloe vera, oatmeal, or eucalyptus to drug therapy to interrupt the itch cycle until the skin can be healed and the allergen has (hopefully) diminished.

Inclusion of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet can also help keep skin supple and healthy. Many dog food companies add these fatty acids to their premium foods. Supplements such as Missing Link provide not only the Omega oils but also a balance of vitamins and minerals necessary for good skin and coat health.

Environmental controls include frequent vacuuming and dusting of the areas where the dog spends time and keeping his bedding dust-free.

Some dogs may get relief from antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), clemastine (Tavist) or chlorapheniramine (Chlortrimetron), but owners should ask their veterinarian for proper dosage for their pet and may have to try more than one before finding the formula that helps.

Steroids such as prednisone interfere with the immune system function so that the body no longer considers the allergens to be invaders. Steroids should be used carefully and sparingly as they may cause liver problems and, in older dogs, can trigger a form of Cushing’s disease. Steroids also increase appetite and thirst, cause more frequent urination, and can increase aggression in some dogs. However, small doses of predisone can be invaluable in treating a dog with chronic or acute allergic reactions when all else fails.

Dogs with allergies can scratch and bite themselves into skin infections that need treatment with antibiotics. Prednisone is often prescribed for these dogs to get the itching under control while the antibiotic deals with the bacterial infection.

by Dr. Lowell Ackerman DVM

Some dogs that have allergies to other components of their environment will also exhibit some dietary problems, but whether these problems are true food allergies is often difficult to ascertain.

If food allergy is suspected, veterinarian can prescribe diets with protein and carbohydrate sources and other nutrients that the dog has not been exposed to Lamb and rice used to be the combination of choice, but most premium dog food companies now have a lamb and rice diet, so hypoallergenic diets of fish and potatoes or venison and rice have taken their place.

Dr. Lowell Ackerman, a veterinary dermatologist, recommends home-cooked diets when food allergies or intolerances are suspected.

“Any suitable protein source may be mixed with rice and/or potatoes to create a hypoallergenic meal,” Ackerman wrote in Skin and Haircoat Problems in Dogs. “The meal is prepared by mixing one part lamb, rabbit, or venison (or other protein source to which the dog has never been exposed) with two parts rice and/or potatoes. All ingredients should be served boiled and fed in the same total volume as the pet’s normal diet. Once cooked, the meal can be packaged in individual portions, frozen, and then thawed as needed. This diet is not to be fed long-term. It is not nutritionally balanced to be a regular diet. It is only fed for one or two months at a time as a test diet."

When trying to isolate a food allergen, the dog must not get anything but the prescribed diet. If the dog tolerates the food well and the symptoms decline or disappear, other foods can be gradually reintroduced to determine which ingredient is the culprit. If the symptoms are not alleviated in four weeks, another hypoallergenic diet can be tried, and if it is not successful, further diagnostic tests are indicated


Anemia:

A sudden onset of anemia may be clinically sicker than animals with chronic anemia. This is due to the fact that animals can become partially adapted to the anemia over time, and may feel relatively good in spite of the anemia. Some pets may not show any signs at all.

Some Symptoms:
Lack of energy
Generalized weakness.
Pale gums.
Evidence of blood loss.
Increased respiratory rate.
Weight loss.
Vomiting.
Yellow discoloration of the skin.
Decreased appetite.


ARTHRITIS:

Arthritis occurs in dogs and cats and people in several ways. It can come about due to an injury to a joint, as an inflammatory disease of the bone, due to improper shape or conformation, improper nutrition or due to the ravages of time.

Nature’s provides a coat between two moving surfaces with a smooth cushiony membrane between the surfaces in an oily fluid and bind the two together with elastic sheets and ligaments. As your pet ages, this repair process becomes less successful and makes errors. With repeated movement throughout the years several things begin to happen. The elastic sheets and ligaments begin to stretch causing looser, more traumatic joint motion. This in turn bruises and erodes the joints smooth surfaces causing inflammation. As these surfaces continue to move, the inflammation causes new bone to be laid down in the way of motion where it does not belong and bone to be reabsorbed from where it is needed, this is called arthritis.

The problems that lead to arthritis begin quite early in the pet’s life but are not noticeable at that time. Choosing a breed of pet that has been bred for abnormal bone structure such as bulldogs or Persian cats mean that arthritis will occur sooner than if a more wolf-like or feral cat breed had been picked. Smaller breeds of dogs tend to have fewer problems than the large breeds. It is important that you keep your pet’s toenails clipped properly so their normal gait is not restricted. Overgrown toenails could be thought of as wearing shoes with improperly shaped soles and heels – they place strain on the joints that support them.
A very important caution in preventing or delaying arthritis in later life is not to overfeed puppies – especially puppies of larger breeds. Puppy chows, feed free choice (all they will eat) is not in the long-term interest of your pet. It has been found that if you feed less than the pet is willing to consume it will mature slower with stronger joints and ligaments and even live a longer life. Puppies that eat too much gain weight faster than their poorly calcified joints can support it. They develop loose overly flexible joints, which are a starting point for arthritis. Later in life, it is important that your pet remains trim and not overweight. Trim dogs develop less arthritis and if they do, it occurs later in life. A moderate amount of daily exercise like taking walks with your pets also delays arthritis. Hot tubs, whirlpools and swimming are great.

If your pet is already showing morning stiffness and intermittent lameness that signals arthritis. a few things you can do. First, if your pet is overweight try feeding less of a low caloric diet. There are a variety of nutritional supplements on the market today that might improve your pet’s joint function. Some are prepared from extracts of cartilage. Others are formulated from the glycosoaminoglycans found in clams. Some have other ingredients added. None have been adequately tested scientifically to prove that they work but none will usually cause harm to your pet, those of those, will also not be helpful in helping your arthritic pet.

If the pet is not overweight, you can try daily doses of aspirin, usually about 5 mg per pound body weight once or twice a day.  Should you attempt to exceed this dosage, some dogs can tolerate aspirin while others do not. Side effects are lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or dark stools. If any of these events occur you must lower the dose or discontinue it altogether. Never give aspirin to cats! Aspirin and all other anti-arthritic drugs are often referred to as NSAIs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). All the older ones, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and indomethacin are known for causing stomach problems in people and pets. Three newer ones with less of this side effect and which are approved for pets are carprofen (Rimadyl, Pfizer) and etodolac (Eto-Gesic, Wyeth Ft.Dodge) and meloxicam (Metacam, Merial). The first is a twice a day product, the second two, once a day. All three of these products seem to really help old dogs get about again. They cannot be used in cats.

There are many other scientifically unproven treatments for arthritis in pets. But the jury is out on most of them. Of course, you will likely try just about anything to help alleviate pain in your pet. Just be careful, as their system is similar to humans and some drugs have terrible adverse effects. 

Unfortunately, a point eventually comes when the use of these drugs is not enough. In these pets the carefully supervised use of cortisone-type drugs will often buy some extra mobility and time for your pet. Steroids are powerful drugs. The most commonly used ones for arthritic problems are prednisone and prednisolone. They are best given no more frequently than every second or third day. They relieve inflammation throughout the body but also cause increased appetite and thirst, fluid retention, liver enlargement and other changes


Bloat:

Bloat (gastric torsion & stomach distension) is a serious life-threatening emergency which must be treated by a qualified veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. Bloat is relatively common among large and deep-chested breeds, such as Basset Hounds, Dobermans, German Shepherds and Great Danes. Many experts believe that a feeding a large meal within 2 hours of exercise or severe stress may trigger this emergency. Eating quickly, changes in diet, and gas-producing foods may also contribute to this serious condition. Symptoms of Bloat include: unsuccessful retching, pacing, panting, drooling, an enlarged stomach/torso, and/or signs of distress.



CANCER:


Sores that do not heal.
loss of appetite.
Abnormal swellings and/or continue to grow.
Unexplained weight loss.
Bleeding or discharge from anybody opening.
Difficulty breathing, defecating or urinating.
Difficulty eating or swallowing.
Loss of interest in exercise or loss of stamina.

Osteosrcoma:

Bone cancer is unfortunately very common in dogs. Osteosarcoma is the type most often encountered. This type of cancer starts on the surface of the bone and progresses into the center. The effectiveness of treatment depends on several factors, one of which is the degree to which the cancer has infiltrated the marrow space - the center of the bone. The treatment of choice is usually surgery to remove the tumor. Usually, the entire limb is amputated. The outcome with this method of therapy depends primarily on whether immuno-modulation therapy is used to follow up the surgery.

Without immune therapy, the surgery alone almost never results in a cure. The cancer comes back in 99% of the cases. Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not work very well in these bone cancer cases. Radiation can be a good option at times though, especially in reducing the pain. But the Chemo, Surgery and Radiation cannot, by themselves, cure the cancer.

However, surgery (and/or radiation) with the addition of immune modulation therapy such as provided by modifying the immune system (your vet will discuss this with you) generally leads to a more favorable outcome in most cases. All other things being equal, this seems to be the easiest canine cancer to overcome using immune modulation therapy. In a younger or middle- aged dogs, which are otherwise healthy, the results following surgery and this treatment leads to complete remission in about 80% of the cases. 

Since the cost of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can be quite high, using immune modulation therapy alone with no other therapy is not the best option in overcoming the disease, it sometimes works and sometimes not. There are many factors involved in the successful outcome of osteosarcoma or any other medical challenge. The dogs age, diet, general state of health, other medications, previous history and genetic disposition all come into play.


Cherry Eye:

Is a large red mass bulging out of the inner corner of a dog’s eye. It is somewhat common and a benign occurrence in many breeds of dogs.

Though it may appear somewhat like a tumor or even an awfully big bug bite, the ‘cherry’ on your dog’s eye is actually a prolapsed (or popped out) gland. Known by veterinarians as the nictitans gland, this gland is present in the third eyelid of dogs and aids in the production of tears. Unlike humans, many animals possess this third eyelid which closes horizontally across the eye to provide extra protection and moisture. In dogs, this eyelid exists as a thin membrane (nictitating membrane) which is not visible under normal circumstances. In cases of cherry eye, this nictitans gland appears to pop out of its normal position and swell up on the outside of the eye.

It is unclear what causes cherry eye, but research shows that it may be related to the connective tissue that regularly holds the gland in place and connects it to surrounding structures. When this tissue is particularly weak, prolapse is more likely. Certain breeds are at an increased risk of developing cherry eye, including Boston Terriers, Beagles, Bulldogs, Saint Bernard’s, Shar-Peis, and Cocker Spaniels. While the condition may occur in any dog, these breeds have a much high incidence and frequently develop it in both eyes.

It is important to correct cherry eye in dogs, as the exposed gland is at a high risk of injury and infection. Also, the mucous discharge that sometimes accompanies the swollen gland can be very irritating; if the dog decides to rub or scratch at it, the entire eye is at risk of injury. Treatment for cherry eye does require surgery, however, the procedure is relatively straightforward and routine. Under general unaesthetic, the nictitans gland is replaced to its normal position and re-attached to the deeper structures of the eye.

Previously, it was routine to simply remove the gland, but this method has been shown to cause many problems for the dog later in life. Without the tear-producing function of this gland, dogs are prone to developing a dry eye. This dryness can still to occur in those dogs who have their gland surgically repositioned, however, the incidence is much lower (it occurs in approximately 20% of cases).

With today’s veterinary expertise, there are few complications related to replacing the gland. Dogs should be able to go home on the same or next day, often on a course of antibiotics to prevent infection. In some cases, however, the results of this surgery are not as permanent as owners would like. Dogs with cherry eye (especially the breeds mentioned above) can develop the problem again, and may require the repositioning surgery two or three times in their lives. Success rates are greatest, and recurrence is the least likely when the surgery is performed shortly after the prolapse.

Ultimately, cherry eye is more shocking than it is serious. Surgery, of course, should never be taken lightly, but fortunately, most veterinarians are extremely familiar with this condition<>



Diabetes:

Affects approximately 1 out of every 500 dogs in the U.S. Untreated, it leads to death; it also causes kidney failure and cataracts (which can lead to blindness).  An interesting fact is that 22% of dogs that had gone blind were brought to their veterinarian for behavioral problems, not blindness - the owners hadn’t even realized that their dogs had gone blind. The good news is that Diabetes is not a death sentence for your dog- with the correct diet and insulin, they can continue to enjoy their normal life spans. Some dog species are more prone to Diabetes, but any dog can get it. Some symptoms are:

  • Your dog has started drinking a lot of water (polydipsia) – more than normal
  • Your dog urinates frequently (polyuria).  Many pet guardians don’t think anything of this until their companion animal begins urinating in the house. 
  • Blood tests show that the dog’s blood glucose (sometimes referred to as blood sugar) levels are very high - this is called Diabetes Mellitus (the word “mellitus” comes from the Latin word for honey). 
  • Your dog’s appetite has significantly increased; he may seem hungry all the time.  And even though he is eating more, he is losing weight.
  • The dog’s energy and physical abilities are diminished because their cells are starved for energy.
  • Cataracts oftentimes develop in dogs due to the excess blood glucose causing swelling in the eye. 

Affected animals usually require insulin injections; insulin pills don’t work well for dogs.  In a dog, vets have to keep the blood glucose lower than in a cat, because the dog can develop cataracts if the blood glucose is too high.

Consistent daily exercise helps control diabetes, because it causes blood glucose to decrease as the muscles require energy (but excessive exercise may cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar).  Don’t expect your diabetic companion animal to be a couch potato all week, and then expect him to exercise for hours on weekends - be consistent. 

Should you overdo the exercise or insulin in your diabetic pet, you will see classic symptoms for hypoglycemia (same for humans):  lethargy, unsteady walking, confusion, loss of bladder control, vomiting and, at the extreme, seizures and loss of consciousness.  Treatment of hypoglycemia consists of getting sugar into your pet (or a person) as quickly as possible. Your vet can provide you with methods to deal with this when it occurs.


Drooling Dogs:

The Basset hound, St. Bernard, and Bullmastif are among some classic examples of dogs species that naturally drool and slobber. The skin around their mouths and jaws is very loose and this lets the drool seep out, especially when they eat and exercise. Some other dogs drool only occasionally and in varying amounts.

Just because your dog, who usually does not drool or slobber begins, doesn't  necessarily indicate a major  problem, but you should take note, because the causes can range from to a chipped/cracked tooth or gum infection (the more common reasons), to poisoning or a foreign object lodged in the throat. If it continues and you are unable to help remedy the cause by removing the obvious cause, then it's time to visit the vet and diagnose the severity of the condition.

Drooling Cats:

Occasionally adult cats will drool while they are being petted, massaged or while nuzzling into fabrics. This drooling is usually accompanied with the kneading of the cat's paws. This paw kneading action is identical to that performed by nursing kittens and it is this behavior that the cat is reproducing involuntarily in adulthood.

Attempting to correct this is difficult since it is so primal and involuntary. If the cat drools on you, wear older not cherished clothing or place a dishtowel on your lap.

If your cat is not typically a drooler and then suddenly begins indicates a problem. The problem can range from to a chipped/cracked tooth or gum infection (usually the cause), to poisoning or a foreign object lodged in the throat. Try gently checking your cat's mouth and look to see if you can spot the problem. Maybe there is a splinter or foreign object you can see and easily remove it without hurting the animal. If not, then it's time to visit the vet.


DYSPLASIA:  (The term dysplasia means abnormal growth)

Canine Hip Dysplasia is a relatively common disorder in veterinary medicine. Normally the highest incidence occurs in larger, rapidly growing dogs. There are misconceptions about dysplasia, considering it to be a form of arthritis affecting the hip joints
. It is true that some dogs do suffer from severe arthritis but this is the secondary result of dysplasia, not the primary problem.

Individual dogs may have different degrees of dysplasia. A dog’s weight makes a difference (a lighter dog can tolerate a more abnormal hip joint). The muscle mass supporting the joint is greater in a younger dog and helps reduce the stress directly on the bones. Some dogs have significant damage yet show virtually no symptoms or pain, while others show relative subtle changes and are very uncomfortable.

Hip Dysplasia is a disease that affects development of the hip joint in a young dog. It may or may not be bilateral (affecting both the right and left hip joints). It is brought about by a laxity of the muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments that should support the joint. Even dysplastic dogs are born with normal hips but the soft tissues that surround the joint start to develop abnormally as the puppy grows. This is because of genetic factors in the individual dog. The most important result of the change is that the two bones are not held in place but actually move apart. The joint capsule and the ligament between the two bones also stretch, adding further instability to the joint. As this happens, the articular surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. The slight separation of the two bones of the joint is called subluxation; this—and this alone— causes all of the resulting problems we associate with this disease.

Hip Dysplasia is genetically spread from one generation of dog to the next. A veterinarian can certify that a dog is not dysplastic by having it x-rayed after your dog is two (2) years old.

Surgery is an option, but should be considered except as a last resort. Non-surgical treatment of hip dysplasia is essentially the same as non-surgical treatment for any other type of arthritis. There are nutritional supplements to help repair cartilage, pain medications, and anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy and massage are also important and helpful in non-surgical joint therapy


DYSPNEA:
Respiratory distress, often called dyspnea, is labored, difficult breathing or shortness of breath that can occur at any time during the breathing process, during inspiration (breathing in) or expiration (breathing out). When your dog has trouble breathing, he may not be able to get enough oxygen to his tissues. Additionally, if he has heart failure, he may not be able to pump sufficient blood to his muscles and other tissues. Dyspnea is often associated with accumulation of fluid (edema) in the lungs or the chest cavity (pleural effusion). This fluid can lead to shortness of breath and coughing.

Causes
Heart Disease or heart failure
Lung disease.
Tumors or cancer in the lungs, which press on the airway
Infections, such as pneumonia
Trauma
Bleeding into the lungs or chest.


Fleas:

Some dogs become allergic to flea saliva. If this is the case, the bite of a single flea can send a dog into a paroxysm of chewing, especially around his tail and on his belly and inside hind legs. Dogs with flea bite allergy are often frantic to ease the itching and may chew themselves raw.

Top on the list for avoiding flea bite dermatitis is to control fleas. First line of defense is regular grooming of the dog, right down to the skin, to find fleas or flea droppings. Flea products are much safer for dogs and dog owners these days. Veterinarians have an arsenal of flea products to choose from, including once-a-month treatments and pills and shampoos, sprays, and premise foggers with growth regulators and genetically-engineered pyrethrin (daisy) ingredients. Many over-the-counter flea products also contain growth regulators and pyrethrins.

Some dog owners swear by garlic and brewer’s yeast to keep fleas away, but no evidence exists to prove these plant products are valuable preventives. Other dog owners plant herbs such as pennyroyal, southernwood, or wormwood around dog kennels or near doorways and use herbal flea collars, brush lavender or eucalyptus oil into the dog’s coat once a week, or sprinkle dried leaves of lavender, rosemary, sage, or eucalyptus in the dog’s bed to keep the little bloodsuckers at bay, but the jury is still out on effectiveness.

While waging all-out war on fleas, dog owners should also use the same treatments that work for inhalant allergies to reduce the itching and ease the discomfort of irritated skin.

A cat with fleas may scratch a lot, but then again, she may not. Fleas are small, black comma-shaped droppings in the cat's coat and, of course, the presence of live fleas. Both may be noticeable when the cat is being combed or brushed -- another good reason for regular grooming. To check a cat for flea dirt, stand your pet on a white or light-colored surface and ruffle their fur vigorously. If you see black specks, moisten a cotton ball or tissue and smear the specks. A streak of blood confirms flea dirt.

Fleas are mostly a nuisance and only slightly dangerous. They can carry tapeworms, which your cat can only get by swallowing a flea. A cat who has a particularly bad case of fleas can lose so much blood she becomes anemic. Anemia is moderately to very dangerous for kittens and weakened cats

Over-the-counter flea sprays and powders -- they're just not strong enough. Flea collars are also very little help in the battle against fleas. A plastic band with time-released insecticide at your cat's neck isn't going to do much to kill fleas riding on your cat's tail. Worse, if flea collars get wet, some can release all of their poison at once. If the infestation is more than you have the ability to handle, this is when your cat needs professional-strength flea treatment, consult the vet. Your vet can prescribe medication (administered by mouth, topically to the skin, or by injection, depending on the drug) to control both adult fleas and their ability to reproduce. These medications are usually given to the cat monthly.

 


Glaucoma:

In general, there are two types of glaucoma recognized in animals: primary and secondary glaucoma.

1. Primary

Primary glaucoma is the most common cause of glaucoma in dogs. It is caused when the drainage channels are unusually narrow or there are fewer channels than normal. As the dog ages, the drainage channels become smaller and eventually results in abnormally increased pressure within the eye.

This type of glaucoma usually occurs in both eyes, but often one eye is affected before the second eye. Primary glaucoma is usually inherited. Commonly affected dog breeds include the Cocker Spaniel, Samoyed, Chow and Basset Hound, but it has been reported in numerous other breeds.

2. Secondary

Secondary glaucoma is a consequence of some other eye disease. It occurs when another problem within the eye such as inflammation, tumor inside the eye, trauma, or a displaced lens blocks the drainage angle. It may develop rapidly or slowly. Secondary glaucoma is the most common cause of glaucoma in cats.

Many vets have the equipment needed to check for glaucoma, but you still get the more exact diagnosis from an animal ophthalmologist.

The diagnosis of glaucoma is based upon measurement of the pressure inside the eye, examination of the shape and color of the optic nerve and examination of the drainage channels or filtration angle. Using special equipment, the veterinary ophthalmologist examines the external and internal structures of your pet's eyes to detect any disorders that may be present. Depending on the type of glaucoma that is present, treatment may include eye drops or tablets to reduce the fluid pressure, surgery, or a combination of both. In a case of severe or chronic glaucoma where blindness is already present there are other treatments.

Glaucoma is caused when the eye's internal drainage channels become obstructed. Primary glaucoma is when the drainage channels are unusually narrow, Secondary glaucoma is a consequence of another eye disease. The diagnosis of glaucoma is based upon measurement of the pressure inside the eye and examination of the eye. Treatment can be medication or surgery.


Halitosis:

Usually halitosis normally has oral causes, although sometimes it can be caused by other disease processes. These include:

Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums.
Periodontitis (inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the tooth)
Abscessed tooth or teeth
Bone or hair stuck in mouth
Oral ulceration
Foreign bodies in the mouth (plant material or gras lawns)
Lung diseases, such as lung cancer
Severe Kidney disease.


KIDNEY FAILURE:

Kidney failure is most common in senior cats and happens as a result of the aging process. The kidneys begin to deteriorate and lose their ability to properly remove waste from the blood stream.

Symptoms of renal failure include constipation, lack of appetite, lethargy and possibly nausea or vomiting. As the kidneys fail, they require more and more liquids to process the toxins. Eventually the cat cannot drink enough water and the toxins begin to affect their entire body. Your veterinarian will most likely do blood and urine tests on your cat to confirm kidney failure.

There is no cure for renal failure but your veterinarian may be able to suggest things to help you prolong your cat’s life. Common treatments include an IV drip or even a dialysis machine. This special machine can help your pet filter the toxins but this can also be very costly.



Urinary Tract Infection for Cats:
Laura Pasten, D.V.M.
Bladder or urinary infections in a cat, often called Lower Urinary Tract Disease or LUTD, can exhibit many different symptoms:  frequent or inappropriate urination, bloody urine, straining or difficulty urinating, partial or complete blockage or inability to urinate, or even inability to control urinating or incontinence.  If your cat gets frequent LUTD, consider that over-vaccination may be a contributing factor—some vaccines are grown on feline kidney cell lines and may cause an autoimmune reaction in your cat’s kidneys (and even cause kidney failure); it is best to do titers for the diseases you vaccinate for to be sure your cat needs to be revaccinated (many cats don’t need to be revaccinated for ten years).  And don’t forget that food allergies can cause frequent cystitis or urinary infections also.  But as many as half the cases of LUTD won’t have an apparent cause—we tend to think those are either autoimmune problems or as a result of stress or anxiety (from another cat, dog, noise, move, etc.).  For these cases, giving an anti-anxiety medication or using a feline pheromone diffuser to reduce anxiety can be very helpful.

Your veterinarian will help you with your cat’s blockage, and you should consider having him do a surgery called perineal urethrostomy if your cat has been blocked before.  If blood is present in your cat’s urine, your vet will perform radiographic procedures to rule out bladder or kidney stones.  Once stones and blockages are ruled out, the next step is for your vet is to perform a urine culture and sensitivity.  This will let you know if your cat has a bladder bacterial infection, and more importantly, which antibiotic will be the best one to use to get rid of the infection.  Male cats tend to get blocked more frequently (due to a narrowing of the urethra in the penis), and female cats tend to get infections (often times due to fecal contamination of the vaginal area).  If your vet prescribes an antibiotic, make certain that you use it for a minimum of three weeks, and don’t stop until another urine culture and sensitivity comes back negative.  Otherwise, your cat will continue to have symptoms of infections as soon as the remaining bacteria have multiplied enough to cause problems.  Sometimes a cat has to be on antibiotics for a couple of months to get rid of a bladder infection.  This is because the bladder doesn’t have a very good blood supply, and the antibiotics are delivered via the bloodstream.

The pH balance of your cat’s urine is the most important factor in monitoring or preventing Lower Urinary Tract Disease.  Simply put, cats with a low urinary pH (more acidic) have very few urinary infections; cats with a higher urinary pH (more alkaline) have frequent urinary problems.  It’s a very individual thing – ten cats that eat the same food will end up with ten different urine pH’s. Cats whose bodies metabolize food in such a way that they have a higher pH (more alkaline) will have many urinary problems and require a special food that will result in a lower pH (more acidic).  For those cats, think of the food as a type of medicine – we don’t necessarily like the ingredients or how it tastes, but the medicine makes us better.  In general, the more meat or animal protein your cat eats, the more acidic his or her urine will be.  The more grain or carbohydrates your cat eats, the more alkaline his urine will be (although, again, this varies cat-to-cat).

I don’t recommend most of the prescription cat food that many vets encourage you to feed for urinary infections, since they contain animal by-products.  Instead, my first choice would be to mix your Pure Purr with equal amounts of Canidae’s feline diet (Felidae).  The first seven ingredients of Felidae are chicken, turkey, brown rice, lamb, chicken fat, herring, eggs—an excellent diet with lots of animal protein.

Your cat might have a lower urinary pH while eating the prescription food, but if a healthier food will do the job, why feed your companion animal food containing animal by-products?  You don’t have to guess about the effect the food is having on your pet’s condition.  Ask your veterinarian for some urine pH strips (they’re very inexpensive).  At approximately the same time each day (the urine will be more acidic in the morning), touch the paper to your cat’s genitalia (penis or vaginal opening) after he or she has urinated and read the pH by the color change registered on the special paper strips.  If you prefer, you can check the urine pH by leaving the litter material out of a clean litter box, then checking the urine.  Do this for three weeks on the combination diet, and if your cat’s urine pH is still in the 6.2 – 6.4 range (a bit too alkaline), you may have to switch to one of the prescription foods. Then continue to test for another three weeks.  I think that you’ll find that on the prescription food, your cat’s urinary pH would be the lowest (best to avoid urinary infections), but on the combination Felidae/Pure Purr, the pH would still be reasonably low.  Remember to ask your vet to repeat the urinary culture and sensitivity test even if you are receiving low pH readings.  And it’s important to ask your vet to be certain that your cat isn’t forming oxalates.  If he is, a different prescription diet (like Hill’s Prescription Diet Feline c/d oxl) is indicated. 

Be sure to carefully monitor your pet treats.  They are usually high in phosphorus and other minerals, which are fine for normal cats, but will cause urinary problems in cats predisposed to having Lower Urinary Tract Disease.  It’s similar to the way sugar doesn’t cause diabetes but for an animal predisposed to diabetes sugar can precipitate the disease.  Some treats that say they are specifically low in magnesium or whose packages advertise that they help maintain urinary tract health are fine for your cat.


Distemper

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, distemper is the “greatest single disease threat to the world’s dog population. Better than 50 percent of the adult dogs that contract the disease die from it. Among puppies, the death rate from distemper often reaches 80 percent.” Distemper affects other animals as well; raccoons, coyotes, wolves, foxes, ferrets, skunks, weasels, mink, badgers, hyenas, and jackals can also catch the disease and a population of lions in Africa has been decimated by it. The virus is spread through secretions in saliva, respiratory passages, urine, and feces and by inhalation of airborne droplets from sneezes and coughs. There is a difference of opinion about the longevity of the virus in the environment, with some sources saying it does not survive for extended periods and others

saying that the virus can survive freezing in winter. Whether it is long-lived or not, there’s no doubt that distemper is widespread and potentially deadly. The most common victim is an unvaccinated pup between the ages of three months and eight months. However, older dogs can contract the disease as well if they have not been vaccinated or if their immunity is incomplete.

About half of infected dogs – those with strong immune systems – show little or no symptoms of the disease. In other dogs, the illness is mild. In those dogs with compromised immune symptoms, the disease and its secondary infections can be serious or even fatal.


Distemper symptoms

Distemper may be misdiagnosed in its early stages because it begins as an upper respiratory infection resembling a cold., including fever of 103-105 degrees (normal for a dog is 100-102.5), loss of appetite, listlessness, and a watery discharge from eyes and nose. But dogs do not get colds like people do, so if these symptoms arise with a puppy, call the veterinary clinic immediately. Within a few days, the discharge turns yellow and becomes thick and sticky and the pup has a dry cough, and may have diarrhea and vomiting. Within the first two weeks of the disease, the symptoms fluctuate.

Some dogs shake off the disease after this stage, but others progress into pneumonia and neurological involvement. Seizures, encephalitis, partial paralysis, head-tilting, chorea (jerking or twitching) and other neurological signs can follow. Some dogs also experience a hardening of the nose leather and the footpads. Even if the initial disease has been mild, these symptoms can show up weeks later.

The virus can also persist in the system, attacking the spleen, thymus gland and lymph nodes of the immune system and creating immune deficiencies that allow bacterial infections to gain hold.


Distemper treatment and prevention

Treatment consists of fluids to prevent dehydration, antibiotics to treat or prevent secondary infection, drugs to stop diarrhea and vomiting, and anti-convulsant and sedatives to control seizures. Prevention is better. There are vaccines for puppies and adult dogs that provide immunity to the disease. Most veterinarians and breeders recommend a course of vaccinations for puppies to build immunity as the mother’s antibodies diminish in the puppy’s body. Boosters are also recommended, although a yearly booster is probably not necessary according to the latest research.


Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease (LD) is an infectious disease syndrome spread primarily by a tick as small as the period at the end of this sentence and no larger than the head of a pin. In animals, the disease can mimic flu-like symptoms of chronic arthritis and can lead to joint damage, heart complications and kidney problems. Studies indicate dogs are 50% more susceptible to it than humans.

The greatest chance of becoming infected by the bite of the tick occurs during May through September, the period of greatest nymphid tick activity. There is a moderate risk in the fall months and low risk during winter. It is important to remember that not all ticks carry Lyme Disease. A tick bite does not necessarily mean that the disease will follow and prompt removal of a tick will lessen chances of disease transmission.

There are a variety of symptoms, but clinical signs may not appear for a long period after initial infection:

  • Animals seldom develop the rash found in people.
  • Fever (102.5 to 106F)
  • Inappetence
  • Acute onset of lameness with no history of trauma
  • Arthralgia
  • Cows and horses may have chronic weight loss, abortions, and laminitis-like signs

Diagnosis is based primarily on blood testing. Antibiotics - tetracycline, penicillin and erythromycin - have been shown to be effective in treating the disease in animals in the early stages. If detected early enough, there is almost complete relief of pain and lameness within 24 hours of initial treatment in animals.

Ticks are found in the neck area, between the toes, in the ears, and in the folds between the legs and the body. To remove a tick, use small tweezers to firmly grip the tick's mouth parts as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight outward. Apply an antiseptic to the bitten area. After removing, destroy the tick by immersing it in alcohol. Save the tick, marking the date it was found on the body, in the event that symptoms arise and identification of the tick becomes necessary.


Parvovirus

In the late 1970s, a previously unknown rapid-onset, deadly virus began attacking canine digestive systems with great fury, often killing puppies in 48 hours. Spread through contact with infected feces, the long-lived virus attacked rapidly reproducing cells such as those lining the gastrointestinal tract, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and heart.

Researchers identified the disease as a canine parvovirus, CPV-2, perhaps a mutation of feline panleukopenia or a parvovirus that affects wildlife. CPV-2 also infects coyotes and other canids.

Canine parvovirus survives in the environment for five months or more and clings to shoes, floors, beds, and other surfaces where it can infect the next unprotected puppy to enter the house. It is resistant to most household cleansers but can be killed by bleach.

Parvovirus can decimate a litter, a kennel, a shelter, a pet store once it gets hold. Kennels that experience the disease often close their doors until they bleach every surface, towel, and dog bed.


Parvovirus symptoms and treatment

Parvovirus incubates for seven to 14 days. Initial signs of illness are lethargy, loss of appetite, and vomiting, followed within 24 hours by high fever (up to 106 degrees) and profuse, often bloody diarrhea. The dog’s abdomen is tucked up and he appears to be in extreme pain. Some puppies show only the first stage of depression and abdominal pain, then go into shock and die.

Parvovirus can also attack the rapidly-growing myocardial (muscle) cells of the heart in puppies born to a bitch who is not vaccinated against the disease. Those puppies that survive this form of the disease often have heart problems and die young.

There are several available tests to determine if parvovirus is the disease-causing agent, but treatment with fluids and antibiotics should commence while waiting for the test results. Puppies with bloody diarrhea are in danger from loss of fluids and electrolytes; they must be rehydrated and given antibiotics to prevent secondary infections such as pneumonia and septicemia.

Food and water should be withheld until the puppy’s system begins to overcome the disease. Small amounts of a bland diet of cottage cheese and rice or a prescription diet can be offered once the diarrhea and vomiting have subsided.


Parvovirus prevention

As with distemper, parvovirus is best prevented by vaccination. However, because there can be a gap between the gradual decline in residual immunity from mother’s milk and the pup’s ability to respond to the vaccination, some

vaccinated puppies may still get the disease. Therefore, cleanliness of the kennel facilities is imperative, especially in kennels with lots of litters and shelters or pet stores that constantly receive new dogs. Kennel runs and puppy cages should be cleaned of organic matter and then bleached before new animals are brought in. Adjacent runs should be bleached if they are contaminated by flowing water during the hosing.

Although it is not as serious in adults as in puppies, parvovirus can attack adult dogs. Therefore, booster vaccinations are also recommended, although they may not be necessary every year for pet dogs not exposed to unvaccinated animals or their feces.


Scooting:

Although more common in dogs than cats, scooting is the action of a pet that drags its bum on the floor. The cat or dog literally moves using its two front paws while its whole backside gets dragged. It may look like the animal has broken or injured its back legs and is using its front legs as crutches, but this is rarely the case. It's a very unique movement that usually denotes a problem with a dog or cat's anal sacs. It is also a condition that gets progressively more painful for the animal and should be dealt with quickly.

The anal sacs or anal glands are a pair of glands that are located just inside your dog's or cat's anus. These glands contain an extremely smelly substance. Most dogs empty their own anal sacs through normal defecation and most dog owners never have any problems during their dog's lifetime. However, sometimes these anal sacs get blocked or irritated and the dog will scoot in order to try and relieve the problem. They may also start chasing their tails and licking their anal region and fur around their tails. Cats will often obsessively start licking their anal areas and fur around their tails.

Scooting usually denotes an anal sac problem, scooting can also be the result of tapeworms, a back injury, ulcers near the anus or other problems.

Seek veterinary care to diagnose and treat any scooting problem in your dog or cat.


 

 

LOST PET

This can be a traumatic experience for your pet as well as you!

Keep a color photo of photos of your pet taken from the front and from the side

It is always a good idea for your pet to wear an I.D. tag with your current phone numbers w/ area code.

- Over 35% of lost dogs are found over ten miles from their home.

-Dogs are much more likely to get lost if they are not spayed or neutered.


-You should only use stretch collars for cats in case they should become tangled.

-The moment you realize that your pet is gone, begin looking, the sooner you start, the better the chance of finding it.


-Call your pets name,  Hearing your voice may encourage your pet to answer you, also check any places that it usually goes first, then begin enlarging the circle, also tell your neighbors.

-A frightened pet will usually hide, sometimes it can take a few days before they get hungry enough to come out. This is no reason to delay looking for them. A pet will often hide during the day, so use a flashlight and call your pets name. The flashlight serves different uses, it helps you in the dark, it provides you the ability to see your pet among things and last, it can help to see their eyes due to the flashlight.

-Sometimes your pet can become trapped, such as in a garage, or in a basement, or even in or under a car, for cats, if they are chased, that is the place they usually go, and they can stay up there for days, until found.

-Use your pet's photo to make "lost pet" signs. Put them up in your neighborhood and in post offices, pet supply stores, veterinary offices, and grocery stores. Inform your veterinarian and that your pet is lost in case they hear something, both in your area and surrounding areas. Your pet could be injured and picked up by car and taken out of the area in any direction for some distance.

-Contact your local animal shelter every day. Physically visit, don't just call. Many animals are difficult to describe over the phone, and only you really know what your pet looks like.

-Watch the found ads. Respond to any that might be close to your pet's description. Occasionally they may look terrible after a few days in hiding, a week of wandering the streets can make white pets look drab gray, and the ad's description might not exactly fit.

-Contact your local animal control agencies, this would include those in surrounding communities. Don't forget your local mail carrier and delivery people.

-Place ads in local newspapers and offer a reward in case someone found your untagged pet.(another really good reason to tag your pet, as people are less apt to keep your pet, if they know they have an owner).


-Consider the idea of having a microchip implanted (just under the skin, and painless) in your pet, it is always a wise idea.


Make certain with all ID tags to check the tags every few months to see if the information is wearing away. If so, replace tags immediately. Many animals at shelters have tags but they are so worn that the tags cannot be read and sadly the owner cannot be contacted!

Lastly, animals who have been lost for months have reunited with their owners.

 

MULTIPLE PETS

When your home becomes a multiple cat-cat or dog-dog home, or all of the preceding, it's important that you give each pet the same amount of affection. When it comes to dominance, they will deal with it between themselves, when establishing who's the boss, avoid showing favoritism.

When you have Cats, getting two or more cats to live under the same roof peacefully is not always easy. When raising multiple cats in a single household it is important to remember that it takes time. Although cats enjoy each other’s company they are still individuals who value their privacy and territory. Explore what it takes for multiple cats to live together without daily fights, and territorial disputes.

If you already have a cat in your home it is important to remember that it is his or her home first. If you plan on binging another cat in prepare ahead of time by setting up a spare room or bathroom with all the necessities that your new cat will need. This includes a litter box, somewhere soft and warm to sleep, food and water dishes, and last but not least some toys. The toys will help the new cat not feel trapped and gives them something to do.

Another thing to keep in mind is that with multiple cat’s diseases will spread. Be aware of certain signs in your cats of illness. These can include, but are not limited to, lethargy, sneezing, watery or runny eyes, seeming depressed or staying away from the other cat(s). If you see anything like this in your cat please be sure and get him checked out with your Veterinarian. If the illness can be treated with medication, your Vet may be able to treat all of your other cats as well to prevent the spreading of disease. Remember also to get your pets vaccinated. Your Veterinarian will also send out yearly reminders when your cat is due for another vaccine.

Fleas and flea infestation can also become a big problem within multiple cat households. Again, your Veterinarian can recommend some useful products which can be used once a month. Some of these products also work on ticks. There are several things to keep in mind when dealing with fleas. If you see a flea or two on your cat, don't ignore this. Just one female flea can lay over 500 eggs in a few months; within a multiple cat household these new fleas will have plenty of food. With a good food supply a flea can go from egg to adult in about two weeks. The early treatment of your pet as well as your house and yard can help to control and eliminate the fleas.

While there are many issues to consider, the joys of owning more than one cat greatly outnumber the challenges. Cats are a lot like people in that they each have a distinct personality. When you have multiple cats running and playing in your house you will never be lonely for company or entertainment.

Consider that if your cat is home alone for long periods of time and seems to be lonely, he may enjoy having another cat around. In addition, an older cat will often develop a new lease on life when a new kitten joins the family. However, cats who enjoy their solitude or are very territorial towards their homes and families may not appreciate sharing their lives with another cat.

There are also a few things for the humans in the household to consider. A new kitten means having to go through all of the frustrations of litter box training all over again. In addition, don't forget about the expense of vaccinating and neutering your kitten. Adding an older cat to the family can also be a challenge, as the cat will have to adjust to a new home and may develop behavioral or health problems.

Although some people feel that their cats will be more at home with a cat from the same breed, rest assured many cats are quite happy to hang out with other cat breeds.


When it comes to dogs,
owning multiple dogs can be expensive, especially with the cost of veterinary care, food and toys being quite costly. It's important to keep in mind the cost of routine immunizations and office visits which can add up over time even. Before adding a second dog, it's important to make certain that you can afford an additional dog, so you'll be prepared for any unexpected expenses. Some neighbors will be quite tolerant of a single dog living next door, but may balk at multiple dogs. Adding a second dog can mean a higher noise level as the two dogs will often up-one-another, when it comes to barking at a perceived threat.

When you add a second dog to your household, compatibility can be a problem. This is usually less of a problem if your second dog is opposite in sex and is a breed that is known for being tolerant of other animals. Having your dogs spayed and neutered can also help to control any dominance issues. You can expect some personality problems until your dogs have adjusted to its place in the hierarchy. Animals, such as dogs, live in social groups establish a social structure within the group called a Alpha-Beta dominance hierarchy. This dominance hierarchy normally serves to maintain order, reduce conflict and promote cooperation among group members. Conflicts arise between household dogs when there is instability in the hierarchy, that is, when the ranking or social position of each dog is not clear or is in contention. Initially, dogs may only snarl, growl or snap without injuring each other. Sometimes, however, the conflict may intensify into prolonged dangerous fighting which may result in one or both dogs being injured, no matter who is the dominant.

Dogs normally establish their dominance hierarchies through a series of ritualized behaviors that include body postures and vocalizations that don’t result in injury. One dog may "stand over" another by placing his paws or neck on the shoulders of the other.

Unfortunately, you cannot choose which dog you want to be dominant. The dogs will establish this between themselves, and any attempt on your part to interfere may result in increased conflict. Where each dog ranks in the dominance hierarchy is determined by the outcomes of interactions between the dogs themselves.

Determining which dog is dominant: Individual personality, as well as breed characteristics, are important factors. The dog that demands to be fed first, petted first and through the door first is usually the dominant dog.

 

PNEUMONIA

Pneumonia actually means “lung inflammation of some sort.” Pneumonia is separate from “bronchitis” which means “inflamed airways of the lung” but these two conditions commonly go together to created what is called “bronchopneumonia.” Pneumonia is an inflammation in deep lung tissues where oxygen is absorbed into the body and waste gases are removed. It can be life-threatening regardless of its cause. Usually caused by an infection, but not always.

Coughing is the main symptom, though certainly not all coughing pets (or even most coughing pets) have pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia does not just happen; it is virtually always caused by something else so some kind of diagnostics will likely be needed to determine what led to the bacterial pneumonia if it is not readily apparent.

Causes of Pneumonia:

-Allergic Pneumonia

-Bacterial Pneumonia (often secondary to severe Kennel Cough)

-Fungal Pneumonia (which is a very difficult fungi to treat).

-Parasitic Pneumonia

-Viral Pneumonia (usually the result of Canine Distemper Virus Infection or a Feline Upper Respiratory Infection)

Pneumonia is often also accompanied by a bacterial component, in which case treatment must also involve bacterial management a regime of Antibiotics, which are usually given for at least three weeks, but that can go longer depending on the dog's clinical results.

Treatment of pneumonia will depend on the pet's condition. At-home treatment can be given to pets who, though coughing, are otherwise stable and eating well. If your pet is to stay at home in lieu of a hospital stay, your pet will have to stay mainly indoors and avoiding prolonged exposure to extreme wet or cold weather, using a vaporizer several times a day, light exercise is important , but do not allow your to get short of breath during exercise/activity. Use a harness instead of a collar; this is less restricting to the neck, and will allow your dog to breathe easier, Avoid cough suppressants as the material in the chest needs to be coughed up, (Coughing may be annoying but it is therapeutic and when it comes to pneumonia, you want to encourage it, not suppress it). In addition, the pet will need repeat visits to your vet for progress on his lungs.

Hospitalization will be required for pets who are inactive, unstable and have poor appetites, while oxygen therapy and 24-hour care may be required for critical pets unable to get sufficient oxygen into their systems. Hospitalization for pneumonia may also include intravenous fluid therapy, antibiotic therapy, nebulization, and physical therapy. The goal during hospitalization is to get the pet stable and eating well in order to be discharged and sent home for at-home treatment

Cats can develop pneumonia, but only from getting sick due to a severe upper raspatory illness (URI) from feline viruses or by inhaling particles or wet fluid into their lungs.

 

NEUTERING

Spaying is the surgical sterilization of a female cat by removing the ovaries, oviduct, and uterus.


Neutering
is the surgical sterilization of a male dog by removing the testicles. (Relax, they are under sedation and they experience little pain)

Both surgeries are safe when done by a qualified veterinarian. And not only are they safe, having your pet spayed or neutered also has significant health benefits.

The other compelling reason to spay or neuter your pet is the very real fact that there are not enough loving homes available to adopt all the needy pets. Humane societies, animal shelters, dog pounds, rescue foundations ... they are all forced to humanely euthanize animals simply because no homes were available.

For Cats:
Besides the obvious need to control the number of unwanted stray cats, altering your cat will, in the case of both sexes, make them less territorial and aggressive. Overall, altered cats are better listeners and they also tend to have longer life spans. Some owners think it is best to let a female go into heat, or to even wait until after she has had her first litter of kittens before having her spayed. This is simply rubbish. With millions of unwanted cats destroyed every year and millions more dying from abandonment, there is simply no reason to let your cat bear a litter of kittens.

The cost of the surgery can vary, it's a good practice to call around for quotes. You'll find the cost can range from a low of twenty dollars, to a high of over one hundred-fifty. A rule of thumb is that if your cat is eating well, and uses the litter box regularly, as well as displays general alertness and activity levels he/she is ready to have the procedure done.

Your cat’s regular habits should return to normal within a day after the operation. It's not good practice to have the cat de-clawed at the same time. Some vets recommend declawing the cat "while she is already asleep” but there are complications that can arise. Also do not get the cat vaccinated at the same time you have your cat spayed or neutered.

This is a lot for a kitten to go through, so keeping their activity level low for two or three days is important. Don't coax him into playing or running around. If your cat is an outdoor kitty then you should probably keep him in for one or two weeks, to ensure the stitches heal, and reduce the chance of infection. During this recovery period monitoring their food intake,  and litter box usage will help you pick up on any abnormal activity.

Any change in habits could be the sign of an infection, should you suspect anything notify your vet right away


For Dogs: 

If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could product over 66,000 dogs in 6 years! Reason enough! Male dogs know nothing of fatherhood; they do not recognize pups as their own.


Spaying is a surgical technique by which the uterus and the ovaries of the female dog are removed. If you want to spay or neuter your dog, first get an opinion of a veterinarian.

Similarly, neutering a dog means removal of testicle by means of castration in case of male dogs. If proper antibiotic coverage is not maintained in both spaying and neutering, then the dogs may suffer from infections. Hence, when you want to spay or neuter your dog, cost factor needs analysis.


When you want to spay or neuter your dog, you have to understand that these irreversible operations pertaining to the spaying and neutering in dogs have definite impact on reproduction. When you want to spay or neuter your dog, general anesthesia is often chosen.

When you want to spay or neuter your dog, there are certain advantages that come along with these activities.

For example, as one of the dog spaying effects, the female dog may not wander. here and there or in roads, in search of male dogs. Further, the animal may not wander.

Further, if spaying is done, the inclination towards roaming behind the eligible males will get reduced. Effects of progesterone and estrogen hormones get highly minimized.

Dog neutering makes a dog to have fewer roaming characters behind the female and during the two to three days after the operation, the animal may not eat properly.

When you want to spay or neuter your dog, you should know that after 3 or 4 days of operation, the operated site may reveal swelling and this is normal with most of the surgical interferences.

Try to educate the dog owner on spaying and neutering. Whenever you want to spay or neuter your dog, see that they have attained age of at least of 4 to 6 months.

 

ODEDIENCE TRAINING
Training opens up a line of communication between you and your dog.

A dog’s social system has a pecking order. The leader of the pack is the Alpha. In the wild. He/She gets the best and first of everything – the best food, the best place to sleep, everything. All the other dogs in the pack respect the alpha dog’s wishes. An alpha dog doesn’t ask for what he wants, he demands it. He lets you know in no uncertain terms that he wants his dinner, that he wants to go out, that he wants to play or be petted and that he wants these things right now.

Your family is your dog’s pack. Most dogs fit easily into the lower levels of their human pack’s pecking order and don’t make trouble. They do what they’re told and don’t challenge authority. Other dogs don’t fit in quite as well. Some are natural leaders. These dogs can become problems to an unsuspecting family that’s not aware of their natural pack instincts. Some families treat their dogs as equals, not as subordinates. They let them get away with disobeying. 

Dogs need – and want – leaders. They have an instinctive need to fit into a pack. They want the security of knowing their place and what’s expected of them. Most of them don’t want to be alpha – they want someone else to give orders and make decisions. Your dog needs to learn how to be a subordinate, not an equal. He was born a subordinate and his mother made it clear, who was who. she being the Alpha. It is mandatory that your dog know that he/she is not the Alpha.

Before you can remove your dog from his alpha position, you must become alpha and earn his respect. Alpha is an attitude. It involves confidence, dignity, intelligence, an air of authority. A dog can sense this attitude almost immediately – it’s how his mother acted toward him. They’re gentle but firm, loving but leave little or no room for challenge. Most dogs are immediately submissive towards this type of personality because they recognize and respect alpha when they see it.

Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Walk tall. Practice using a new tone of voice, one that’s deep and firm. Do not ask your dog to do something, tell him. There’s a difference and he knows it! Always make it clear that you are the alpha, your dog understands that instinctively. This will be a shock to his system at first but you’ll be surprised how quickly he’ll catch on and that he’ll actually become eager to please you.

One of the first thing in obedience it to teach your dog to Sit. Thereafter every time your dog wants something – his dinner, a trip outside, a walk, some attention, anything – tell him (remember don’t ask him, tell him) to sit first. When he does, praise him and give him whatever it is he wants as a reward. If he refuses to sit, walk away and ignore him. No sit, no reward. If you don’t think he understands the command, work on his training some more. If he just doesn’t obey, ignore him, don’t give him what he wants or reward him in any manner.

Alpha dogs are used to being fussed over. In a real dog pack, subordinate dogs are forever touching, licking and grooming the alpha dog. It’s a show of respect and submission. Until your dog’s attitude has improved, cut down on the amount of affection he gets. When he wants attention, make him sit first, give him a few kind words and pats, then stop. Do not get down on the floor or on your knees to pet your dog. That, too, is a show of submission. Give praise, petting and rewards from a position that’s higher than the dog.

If you follow these suggestions in obedience your initial program of who is Alpha will be successful, your dog should start looking to you for directions and permission. He’ll show an eagerness to please. Watch how your dog approaches and greets you. A dog that accepts humans as superiors will approach you with his head slightly lowered and his ears back or off to the sides. Their entire body will have signs of submission.


Your goal should be to incorporate your obedience training, as it becomes part of your dog's favorite activities. A correct reprimand is short, sharp and immediate. Don't continue to reprimand him unless you catch him in the act. Never hit, kick, slap or spank your dog. This type of punishment always creates more problems and usually makes existing problems worse, such as barking, chewing dog, fear or aggressive. No dog should ever be corrected until you are sure he understands the command. Every dog should be given every opportunity to be successful.
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The single most important aspect of training is rewarding your dog for good behavior. The more times the dog is rewarded, the quicker he will learn. Therefore, it's essential that you set up situations repeatedly in order for your dog to get plenty of practice at doing the right thing. It's equally as important that you always praise your dog for good behavior instead of taking it for granted. It's easy to forget to praise good behavior because it goes unnoticed.

 

PET DRUG/FOOD RECALL

The Latest: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continue their comprehensive investigation of pet food contaminated with melamine and melamine-related compounds, and the feeding of contaminated pet food scraps to hogs and chickens. Melamine (Melamine is a small, nitrogen-containing molecule that has a number of industrial uses, including as an industrial binding agent, flame retardant, and as part of a polymer in the manufacture of cooking utensils and plates) is an industrial chemical that has no approved use as an ingredient in animal or human food in the United States.

(Both FDA and USDA agree that the consumption of pork, chicken, domestic fish, and eggs from animals inadvertently fed animal feed contaminated with melamine and melamine-related compounds is very unlikely to pose a human health risk.)

Note: This compiled list represents all pet food recalled since March 2007. If and when new information is received, this list will be updated. The “Information Current as of…” date provided above indicates when this Web page was updated; it does not indicate the date when the pet food recalls listed below were initiated. Once listed, each of the recalled pet food products remains listed, even if there are no new recalls associated with that product. Although we have taken care to make sure the information is accurate, if we learn that any information is not accurate, we will revise the list as soon as possible.

FDA has issued an import alert that stops all shipments of all vegetable protein products—not just wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate—from all of China. No product can enter the United States until the importer proves to FDA, through results from an independent laboratory, that the product is free of melamine and related compounds.

The import alert includes the following vegetable protein products:

wheat gluten

rice gluten, rice protein, rice protein concentrate

corn gluten, corn gluten meal, corn by-products (There is no evidence that contaminated corn gluten was imported in the United States for pet food production.)

soy protein, soy gluten

proteins (includes amino acids and protein hydrosylates)

mung bean protein.

Search for Pet Food Recalls:

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/petfoodrecall/

http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html

The FDA has no evidence to suggest that any of the imported products labeled as wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate that were contaminated with melamine and melamine-related compounds were used as ingredients in human food.

 

PET GROOMING

CATS:

To be healthy and happy, your companion animal needs basic grooming, too.

You as your pet’s caregiver can handle the brushing and other simple grooming procedures yourself. This type of regular grooming helps build a close bond between you and your pet, and keeps you informed of the condition of his fur, skin, teeth, nails, and ears. In fact, it is not uncommon to discover lumps, infections, and other problems during a thorough grooming routine.

Should you take your pet to a professional groomer? The answer depends on the type of pet you have and your comfort level. For example, many people feel comfortable grooming their short-haired cats, while owners of long-haired dogs prone to mats opt for professional grooming. If you fall into the latter category, this need not be a "hair-raising" experience for you, your pet, or the groomer. The key is finding the right groomer to provide quality grooming care for your pet.

Grooming requires more than simply getting a haircut. It may include bathing, combing, brushing, clipping nails, cutting or shaving mats, cleaning ears, and controlling external parasites.

You may not have the time, tools, experience, or physical ability to adequately groom your pet. Or a pet may require regular or seasonal clipping, medicated or flea baths, removal of skunk odors or harmful substances, or removal of matted fur. Typically, a trained professional can more safely and humanely handle tricky procedures and temperamental or frightened animals. (Removing severe mats should always be done by an experienced groomer to avoid accidental cuts.) Keep in mind, however, that professional groomers aren't miracle workers; it's up to you to stay on top of your pet's grooming needs.

Prior to introducing your pet to a groomer. Groom him briefly when you're both relaxed. For example, begin by gently massaging his coat each morning as you feed him. Gradually introduce a brush or comb. Each day, increase the grooming time and work on different areas. Reward your pet for cooperating. The more comfortable your pet feels with home grooming and around strangers, the better he'll tolerate professional grooming.

Your cat’s coat, it should be shiny and free from dandruff. It is a good indicator of your cat’s general health. Ungroomed fur which is abnormally sticking up, is a sign of ill health. By grooming your cat, you can encourage growth and shine in their hair.

Most cats when they are happy and content will groom several times a day. It keeps their fur clean and free from any loose fur or debris that may have got caught in it. The cats tongue is covered with long barb like hairs which is an excellent tool for washing with.

Cats are naturally clean animals, so your cat may not need you to groom her very much, particularly if she has short hair. Long-haired cats, on the other hand, need to be groomed more regularly, usually once a day.

If your cat is used to being groomed, you will both enjoy this time together. Most cats purr when they're brushed, because it feels like they're being patted. For first time grooming, let your cat become familiar with comb or brush, this will aid in limiting their anxiety.

Groom all the dead hair out of your cat's coat using a comb or soft bristle brush. Be particularly gentle when you're combing her head, then groom down her body, tail, and legs. Finally, go back over her coat with the brush to remove all loose hairs.

While grooming your cat, be alert for cuts, lumps, fleas and rashes. If you come across some, contact your vet.

The hair of long-haired cats and kittens can easily become matted. Once that happens, the tangled hair has to be removed before you can groom the cat properly – and unfortunately, this is not a happy moment for most cats, it might require the sedating of your cat and having the hair clipped by a professional cat groomer or your vet. Be sure to seek expert advice if your cat's hair becomes matted. If your cat is dirty, do not use soap, just wipe her down with a clean, damp cloth.  Cats should not be bathed too often as it removes the natural oils from the skin that help with waterproofing and insulation. Always use a specially formulated cat shampoo to reduce this risk.

DOGS:

Bathing dogs outdoors in warm weather may be the best place, because it is the messy part in dog grooming. Use a mild dog shampoo and start bathing the dog’s body and legs. The dogs head should be shampooed last, paying particular care to ensure that no shampoo gets into his eyes, ears, and nose. Cover the dog’s eyes with your hand while pushing the head down. You can try using cotton in the ears, or cover the ear hole with your thumb while bathing the dog. Leave the shampoo three or four minutes on the dog and then rinse, rinse, rinse. This removing of the shampoo is the most important part in bathing dogs.

When you are done bathing, towel dry the dog by blotting and pressing the towel against the coat. Once again, comb the coat through before drying to make sure there are no tangles or mats.

Always brush or comb your dog against the lay of the coat. You'll be surprised at how fluffy the coat will look. Brushing dogs is the most time intensive part in dog grooming. Do not press too hard with your wire slicker brush to avoid scraping the skin and giving your dog brush burn. If you encounter a mat, hold the mat close to the skin, insert the end tooth of the comb into the mat, and try working the mat loose. If this is not possible, consider to cut out a mat than cause the dog any unnecessary pain. Once your dog is matt-free, comb down to the skin.

A puppy should be housebroken as soon as possible. When the puppy takes its first water or food, note how long it takes for the puppy to urinate or defecate. When you discover the schedule, take the pup outside when the prescribed time has elapsed after feeding or drinking. Soon, the puppy will associate the outdoors with its relieving function and will no longer soil the house or the newspapers that have been spread around its living are

Young puppies should not be excessively groomed. A daily brushing with a soft brush is sufficient to remove surface dust and dirt. Some authorities believe that to conserve its natural skin oils a pup should not be completely bathed until its first birthday. Mud and deep dirt in its coat, however, can be removed with a damp, warm washrag. Afterward, the puppy should be completely dried with a rough towel. A dog can then have a complete bath when it is old enough, but it must be kept in the house until thoroughly dry, especially during winter. Dog nails should be trimmed periodically. Cut only the transparent part of the nail past the foot pads. Close clipping can cut into the "quick"--the portion of nail that has nerves and blood vessels--and hurt the animal. Special clippers can be purchased for trimming dog nails.

 

PET HEALTH / First Aid

Your dog should see the veterinarian for a full check-up, shots and a heartworm blood test every year, and immediately if he is sick or injured.

If you pet has cuts or bite marks (puncture wounds) Carefully clean the area with warm water.

Car accidents. Your pet is likely to be in shock; try to keep her quiet and warm, and try to stop any bleeding. Take your pet to the vet immediately - use a blanket or a board to get her there. Be very careful ... your gentle sweet pet may bite if she is frightened or hurting. Use great caution when moving a injured dog. If they are hit by a vehicle, there is always the chance that their back is broken. If they are moving their legs and tail, the chances are it is not broken. If your pet is in an accident, you must take care in lifting it, if at all possible, improvise a stretcher. Lifting them up, could cause more harm.

Bee or wasp stings. If you can see the stinger, take it out. Then wrap the affected area in a cool damp cloth. Watch for severe reactions - most pets should recover fairly quickly, but call your vet if yours does not.

Eye problems. If your pet is squinting and seems unable to open his eye, consult with your vet. The sooner, the better - eyes are a delicate organ and you don't want your beloved pet going blind or losing his eye!

Heat stroke. Watch for symptoms like uncontrollable panting, collapse, a blank or "fixed" stare, or even unconsciousness. Move your pet to a cool, quiet area and offer him or her some water.

Poison. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, call your vet immediately. Do not induce vomiting with your pet!! Provide all the information you can. For example, if you know your pet has ingested a poison, tell the vet what it was, how much, and when it occurred.

Dogs, Cats and Toilet Drinking:
Toilets are full of bacteria and that bacteria can potentially cause your dog or cat to get sick. In addition, toilet cleaner is extremely toxic to both cats and dogs and there is often cleaning compound or chemical residue in the toilet.

A new vaccination to protect our dogs from "Beaver Fever" has recently been approved for dogs. Giardiasis, also known as Beaver Fever, is a disease seen in a wide variety of animals, including our domestic dogs and cats, and people too. This disease is caused by a protozoan parasite entering the gastrointestinal tract from an infected water source. While infection may not cause clinical signs in some individuals, most infected animals suffer from intermittent episodes of mild or very.

To protect your dog against giardia, two initial vaccinations, two to four weeks apart, are usually given. This is followed by an annual vaccination. This vaccination appears to provide a greater degree of protection over natural immunity for a longer period of time. This is important, because giardia is notorious for re-infecting animals on a regular basis. A vaccinated animal that tested negative for giardia would not contribute to the pool of cysts in our environment, potentially infecting human hosts.

Giardia vaccination has also been used to try to treat symptomatic animals that do not respond to conventional antibiotic treatments. Since vaccination boosts the immune system in a different way from natural immunity, sometimes this has been effective to clear up the intermittent episodic diarrhea suffered by these animals.

Consult your veterinarian about this new vaccination and if it would be beneficial to you and your pet. There is also a giardia cat vaccination available in the United States

Shock.  If your dog is hit by a car, and it is not responsive, press firmly against the dog's gums until they turn white. Release and count the number of seconds until the gums return to their normal color. If it is more than 2-3 seconds, the dog may be going into shock. Failure to return to the reddish pink color indicates that the dog may be in serious trouble and needs immediate assistance.

Prevention is the medicine. Have your pet fully vaccinated every year; supervise your pet; and provide your pet with a proper diet and adequate exercise.

 While it can be difficult to know when to call the vet, below are a few tips for recognizing a problem with your pet.

  • Diarrhea.
  • Unexplained or sudden weight loss.
  • Significant loss of appetite or increased appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Pawing at ears or shaking head.
  • Lumps on body.
  • Significant fur loss (not just shedding, which is normal); dull, patchy coat.
  • Persistent sneezing or coughing.
  • Abnormal discharge from the eyes or nose.
  • Stiffness or weakness in any joints; pet moves with difficulty.
  • Straining to urinate or defecate. Inability to urinate is an emergency - get your cat to the vet immediately.
  • Injury.

Keep the name and number of the closest emergency vet clinic (for after-hours pet care), as well as those of your regular vet, close by.

CATS:

Your cat’s eyes should be bright and clear. There should be no redness, discharge or excessive blinking. If your cats third eye membrane (the haw) does not fully retract and can be seen, there could be an eye infection or foreign body caught in it.

A cat’s coat should be shiny and free from dandruff. It is a good indicator of your cat’s general health. Ungroomed fur which is abnormally sticking up, is a sign of ill health.

Any serious wound or wound that won't stop bleeding needs immediate veterinary attention. If direct pressure doesn't stop bleeding in a couple minutes -- or if the wound is spurting blood -- your cat is in grave danger. Take your cat directly to the vet, and continue to apply pressure and bandages until you can get her there.

Bite wounds should be treated by a vet, too, since they can become infected easily. Sometimes bites or other wounds will close up with some dirt or germs inside, causing an abscess -- a painful, swollen pocket of infection. If the site of a wound swells, leaks pus, or is sensitive to the touch, or if your cat suddenly begins to run a fever, call your vet right away.

Link:
How to treat a bleeding cat.

Your cat’s ears should be clean and should not contain dark brown wax, which could be a sign of ear mites. Also check for cuts or loose plant seeds.

Unusual behavior, like that of aggression in a normally happy cat, or a usually outgoing cat becoming quiet and timid are signs that all is not right.

 

PET INSURANCE

Your are looking for a plan that is a possible solution to your veterinary bills so that you can focus on providing your pet optimal health. You could consider Pet Insurance.

Typically pet insurance providers use one of two methods in determining reimbursements: a benefit schedule, which identifies how much is available per incident, or “reasonable and customary fees,” which can change based on the insurers discretion.

Veterinary Pet Insurance offers you a financial solution to managing your veterinary costs by reimbursing your eligible expenses for accidents, illnesses and routine preventive care, including office visits, lab fees, X-rays, surgeries, diagnostic testing, prescriptions, hospitalization and much more.

To be competitive and give you more choices, each pet insurance company offers slightly different plans. And that's the single biggest reason that you need to carefully compare the options to make an educated decision.

Things to think about and what to ask the insurer before you sign up for your pet are: Ask your Vet if he recommends any specific one? Make certain that the insurance company is licensed in your state. If in doubt, call your states Insurance Commissioner.

Choosing a higher deductible will lower your monthly premium, but means your out-of-pocket will be higher each time your pet requires medical treatment. Choosing a lower deductible will increase your monthly premium, but means your out-of-pocket costs will be lower.

Also, is there a penalty for changing plans and deductibles? You should be able to make those changes to maintain your pet's coverage in times of financial hardship.

Modern veterinary medicine can be sophisticated and extensive, which can make low per incident limits

 

(or low lifetime limits) unrealistic. Choose a plan that covers the true costs of unexpected illness and accidents.

Look for plans that cover illnesses, accidents, and optional routine care.

  • Illnesses – Any illness and accident plan should automatically cover common ailments, but what about chronic diseases like cancer or diabetes? Are they covered, as well? For how much?
  • Accidents – cuts and broken legs are common and should be covered. In an accident only plan, look for surgical coverage's that include removal of swallowed objects and treatment of hernias.
  • Routine Care – these optional coverages may include such preventive measures as annual exams, vaccinations, teeth cleaning, and diagnostics such as blood panels and urine testing.

Although wellness care, like check-ups and vaccinations, is key to keeping your pet healthy, not all pet health insurance companies offer wellness coverage.

Below are the most misunderstood and most important part of your pet insurance coverage.

It is calculated in one of two basic ways:

Either as a fair and straightforward percentage of your veterinarian's bill, or as a percentage of a benefit schedule which limits the amount the insurance company is willing to pay.

The actual reimbursement as a percentage of a benefit schedule can be as little as 30% of your vet bill. Avoid surprises by knowing what you're paying for. Find out how your reimbursements will be determined. Some companies pay a percentage of your veterinary expenses, while others pay only a fixed amount based on a benefits schedule. 

Look for plans that allow you to visit your vet of preference.:

  • Don't buy a policy that requires you to select a doctor you don't know from a list. Be sure you're allowed to visit any licensed Veterinarian.
  • After-Hours Emergency Care – Illnesses and accidents sometimes happen after normal business hours. Does your policy cover emergency care?
  • Specialists – When your pet needs treatment by a veterinary eye care specialist (ophthalmologist) or veterinary regarding cancer (oncologists), you'll want to be sure your policy covers specialist care.

Amazingly, there are pet insurance companies who will not list treatments and conditions that are not covered by their policies. Be sure you ask for specifics about what is and is not covered by your policy so that you know which treatments are available for your pet.

Typically, the policies cover the following: (But many more coverages are available).

Acne

Allergies

Arrhythmia

Asthma

Bite wounds

Bladder infections

Bronchitis

Burns

Cardiac arrest

Colitis

Conjunctivitis

Cushing’s disease

Dehydration

Diabetes

Ear infections

Electric shock

Epilepsy

Foreign body surgery

Fractures

Frostbite

Gastritis

Hepatitis

Hot spots

Hypertension

Lacerations

Laryngitis

Leukemia

Lyme disease

Near drowning

Pneumonia

Poisonings

Respiratory infections

Sinusitis

Soft tissue trauma

Strokes

Tendon ruptures

Tongue lacerations

Tumors

Ulcers

 

PET NUTRITION

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that pet foods, like human foods, be pure and wholesome, safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled. In addition, canned pet foods must be processed in conformance with the low acid canned food regulations to ensure the pet food is free of viable microorganisms.

The term "nutraceuticals" was coined to describe the increasing number of products offered for the prevention or treatment of disease but marketed under the guise of dietary supplements. The promise of a "safe" and "natural" remedy for disease is very appealing. However, since the product has not undergone the same testing for safety and efficacy as required for approved drugs, it's impossible to know whether the product works at all or is even unsafe. Presently, these substances are drugs if the labeling bears claims to treat or prevent disease, or if the intended use as a drug can be established by other means.


An informed consumer is the best consumer. It is easy to be confused by all the claims and promises made for pet foods and supplements, but keeping the rules described above in mind should help. If the pet owner has any questions, he or she should not hesitate to contact the manufacturer. Asking for advice from parties other than the manufacturer, such as FDA or state regulatory officials or university experts, may also be a good source of unbiased information. Also, as with other health matters, the pet's veterinarian should be consulted on dietary choices, especially with respect to any special use products.

There is no minimum carbohydrate requirement, there is a minimum glucose requirement necessary to supply energy to critical organs (i.e. the brain). Fibers are kinds of carbohydrates that modify the mix of the bacterial population in the small intestine, which can help manage chronic diarrhea. For dogs and cats to obtain the most benefit from fiber, the fiber source must be moderately fermentable. Fiber sources that have low fermentability (e.g. cellulose) result in poor development and less surface area of the intestinal mucosa. Highly fermentable fibers can produce gases and by-products that can lead to flatulence and excess mucus. Moderately fermentable fibers—including beet pulp, which is commonly used in both dog and cat foods—are best, as they promote a healthy gut while avoiding the undesirable side effects. Other examples of moderately fermentable fibers include brans (corn, rice and wheat) and wheat middlings. Foods that are high in fiber are not good for dogs and cats with high energy requirements, such as those who are young and growing.

It is okay to feed your puppy treats. However, treats should make up no more than five (5) percent of your puppy’s daily nutrient intake. The rest of his or her diet should come from a high-quality puppy food. of course, never any chocolate.

Adult dogs require sufficient nutrients to meet energy needs and to maintain and repair body tissues. The amount you feed your adult dog should be based on his or her size and energy output. Activity levels vary dramatically between pets, and will play an important role in determining caloric intake.


Meat is the most natural source of protein for cats and dogs and contains the amino acids most important to pet health. A mix of meat proteins (such as chicken and fish) helps round out the amino acid profile of the proteins included in the food. If a list of ingredients begins with whole chicken followed by three or more grains and no other meat proteins, it is likely that the food contains considerably more grain than meat.

  • Chicken meal is considered to be the single best source of protein in commercial pet food. All of our chicken comes from USDA approved plants and is hormone and antibiotic free. It is an excellent source of Omega 6 fatty acids, a natural coat and skin conditioner. This ingredient is very digestible, very palatable, and very expensive.
  • Pork Meal digestibility is second only to Fish Meal and far more digestible than beef. Fat levels are about the same as fish meal. Our Pork Meal comes from facilities preparing meat for your dinner table, and is shipped fresh. Parasites are non-existent in the U.S. hog industry today. Pork Meal, unlike bacon, is very low in nitrates. Pork Meal is an expensive ingredient so you seldom see it in other pet food brands. It is very palatable and is a hypoallergenic ingredient. It has an excellent amino acid and Omega fatty acid profile.

Using an animal by-product (e.g. chicken by-product), or more than one animal by-products, for a food's main protein source is indicative of a low-quality product. Animal by-products are any part of an animal not acceptable for human consumption. Fragments used in pet food are lower-cost by-products of another food manufacturing process. Fragment ingredients include wheat bran, wheat flour, rice flour, and wheat middling. These pre-processed ingredients have had much of their nutritional value leeched from them.

  • Chicken Fat is the highest of all animal sources in linoleic (Omega 6) acid (over 23%), an important element for skin and coat health.
  • Flaxseed is the whole seed of the flax plant. What makes flaxseed so outstanding is its mix in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Together these fibers aid in digestion and help to prevent constipation, thereby offering protection against cancer. (Also rich in Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids).  These fatty acids help produce the soft, luxuriant coat on your pet. Research also shows flaxseed has wide ranging health effect for your pet.

Dog owners are responsible for feeding, housebreaking, and cleaning their pets. They should also oversee the health of their dogs. It's best to consult a veterinarian at the first sign of a dog ailment.

A dog can be fed either the dry meal, biscuit, semi moist and cellophane-wrapped, or canned type of dog food. Whichever type is selected must contain the carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins essential for the animal's well-being.

Poor Quality commercial pet food can cause your pet to: dogs Chewing or licking its paws incessantly, your furry companion scratch or shed too much, too much poop in the yard or cat box. Poor quality commercial pet food may be the problem as well as causing allergies. Avoid generic or store brands. usually they contain poorer quality ingredients.

Avoid homemade diets for your pet, leave this up to the manufacturers, they know what your pet should have in its diet.
A well-balanced diet with the proper nutrition is important for a happy, healthy pet. Most commercial pet foods, those purchased in pet stores are usually the best, although they can vary significantly in nutritional value, if you have questions consult your vet.

Always provide fresh water. Leave the water out so that your pet may drink whenever he or she likes.

Don't feed your pet table scraps. It is often too greasy or rich. This can cause your pet to become overweight - and with it, develop health problems related to obesity. Your pet may also refuse to eat regular pet food once he or she has developed a taste for human food, this being a problem, as to their necessary nutrition needs.

Limit the treats. Treats are often salty and fatty, and once again, they can make your pet overweight.

Do not feed cat food to your dog, or dog food to your cat. Cats and dogs have very different nutritional requirements. Your dog most likely loves cat food, so try to keep kitty's food out of his reach.

 Dry food or kibble is best. It's nutritionally balanced, the least expensive and most convenient food, and it helps to keep teeth and gums healthy. If you have a finicky eater, you can mix a small amount with your pet's dry food to make it more appealing.

 Feed kittens and puppies a formulated food for their needs. Growing animals have special needs, especially kittens and puppies.

 Resist "free-feeding". All this means is leaving food out for your pet all time, leaving it up to them when they want to eat. This method may encourage overeating and obesity in your pet, although this is not always the case, there are always exceptions. This is one you are going to have to test.

 Set a feeding schedule. Kittens and puppies should be fed several times a day, with the number of meals decreasing as they get older. Adults need only be fed once or twice a day. Establish a schedule and stick to it.

Give your cat fresh water every day. You do not need to give your cat milk.

 If you need to change your pet's diet, do it gradually. Quick diet changes can cause diarrhea. Change your pet's diet over a week or so. Blend the old food and the new one together, a little each day, until after a week or so, they will be on their new food.

Also, to be considered, especially if you have older and overweight pets that may require a switch to special diet. There are lots of high-quality pet food formulated especially for senior pets, as well as plenty of low-calorie diets. You may want to consult with your vet to get recommendations.

When feeding a complete and balanced diet, it is unnecessary to give a vitamin supplement unless a specific vitamin deficiency is diagnosed by a veterinarian. Due to the practice of over supplementation, hypervitaminosis—poisoning due to excess vitamins—is more common these days than hypovitaminosis, or vitamin deficiency! Excess vitamin A may result in bone and joint pain, brittle bones and dry skin. Excess vitamin D may result in very dense bones, soft tissue calcification and joint calcification.

 

RABIES


Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is usually transmitted by a bite from a rabid animal. Only mammals get rabies.

Prompt and appropriate treatment, after being bitten and before the disease develops, can stop the infection and prevent the disease in people.

Human rabies cases in the United States have occurred after close exposure to a bat without an obvious sign or recollection of a bite and beware, not all rabid animals’ foam at the mouth or appear mad. Some infected animals can appear calm and tame.



Fortunately improved rabies vaccination and animal control programs and better treatment for people who have been bitten have dramatically reduced the number of human rabies cases in this country. The majority of recent human cases acquired in the United States have resulted from exposures to bats.

Most cases of rabies occur in wild animals, mainly skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes.

Controlling Rabies:

 

  • Have your veterinarian vaccinate your cats, dogs, ferrets, and selected livestock. Keep the vaccinations up-to-date. Your veterinarian will advise you on the recommended or required frequency of vaccination in your locality.
  • Reduce the possibility of exposure to rabies by keeping your animals on your property. Don't let pets roam free. Don't leave garbage or pet food outside because it may attract wild or stray animals.
  • Wild animals should not be kept as pets. They are a potential rabies threat to their owners and to others. Observe all wild animals from a distance, even if they seem friendly.
  • A rabid wild animal may act tame. Don't go near it. If you see a wild animal acting strangely, report it to the city or county animal control department.

  Dogs are still a significant source of rabies in many countries.

Should you be bitten, "Don't panic", but don't ignore the bite either. Wash the wound thoroughly and vigorously with soap and lots of water. If possible, capture the animal under a large box or can, or at least try to identify it before it runs away. Don't try to pick the animal up. Call the local animal control authorities to come and get the animal.

If it is a wild animal, try to capture it if you can do so safely without being bitten again. If the animal cannot be captured and it must be killed to prevent its escape, don't damage the head. The brain will be needed to test for rabies.

Call your physician immediately. Explain how you were bitten and follow the physician's advice.

Report the bite to the local health department.

 

If Your Pet Has Been Bitten

  • Immediately consult your veterinarian.
  • Report the bite to the local animal control authorities.
  • Dogs, cats and ferrets that are currently vaccinated should be re-vaccinated immediately, kept under the owner's control, and observed for a period as specified by state law or local ordinances (normally 45 days or more).
  • Animals with expired vaccinations will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets exposed to a rabid animal may need to be euthanatized immediately. Alternatively, the animal should be checked and immediately placed in strict isolation for 6 months and vaccinated 1 month before being released.
  • If bitten by a rabid animal, other animals should be euthanatized immediately.

 

Should your pet bit someone, make sure the victim to sees a physician immediately and to follow the physician's recommendations. Check with your veterinarian to be sure your pet's vaccinations are up-to-date.

Report the bite to the local health department and animal control authorities. If your pet is a cat, or dog, they will confine the animal and watch it closely for 10 days. Home confinement may be allowed. Immediately report any illness or unusual behavior with your pet to your local health department and veterinarian. Don't let your pet stray, and don't give your pet away. The animal must be available for observation by public health authorities or a veterinarian.

After the recommended observation period, have your pet vaccinated for rabies if it does not have a current rabies vaccination.
It's extremely important that you notify your family physician immediately after an animal bites you. Your physician can find out if the animal has been captured. Capture and observation of the animal can affect the treatment decisions of your physician. If necessary, your physician will give you the anti-rabies treatment recommended by the United States Public Health Service; and if necessary, will also treat you for other possible infections that could result from the bite.

 

PET SAFETY

Do not leave your dog unattended on a choke chain. It can get caught and strangle the dog. This is for walking/training purposes only! not a full-time collar. The author while driving through a parking lot, happened upon a horrific sight. There hanging over the bed of a pick-up was a beautiful female boxer, hanging down by the leash (that apparently had gotten shortened) and choker, her rear feet did not touch the ground. she had clawed the side of the truck in vain to get back up, but it was useless. The author jumped out of the car, ran over, and quickly lifted the animal back into the bed of the truck. Finally, the owner returned, and fortunately the pet had not choked to death. Obviously, when the owner went into the store, the dog attempted to run after her. That Boxer was so grateful to the author, she hung her head on his arm and would not move. A very fortunate animal, still alive, due to just-in-time circumstances.  Hopefully, you that leave your dogs in the back of pick-ups will take note. Next time there may not be a good Samaritan around and in-time.

Collars do not expand, and if you do purchase one, it is not going to stay there long. In the case of puppies and kittens they grow very quickly! If not loosened, collars can literally grow right into your pet's neck, creating a terrible and constant pain. Check your pet's collars at least every week until it is full-grown (that can be more than a year for really large breeds of dog). You should be able to easily slip two or three fingers between the pet's collar and their neck. Safety vests are a must for the working dog or if you take your dog jogging in poorly lit areas. Also essential for hunting dogs. Besides being constructed of reflective material higher end safety vests generate light and may have a flashing light for added visibility.

  • If you have a cat, be sure to buy a "break-away" collar that can easily break if it gets stuck on something. This will prevent your cat from being strangled by its collar.
  • Supervise the cat's play with items it can choke on.
  • Put all tinsel and string out of the reach of your pet.
  • Both dogs and cats can choke on small toys, toys that have items that can fall off such as eyes, or string that has been used to tie meat for cooking.

With regard to indoor/outdoor cats, statistics say that an inside cat lives a longer, healthier life than the kitty that moves about outside. Outdoor cats face dozens of dangers, including cars, other cats ready to fight for love or territory, and exposure to fleas, ticks, worms. Outdoor have more problems with fleas, ticks, worms, abscesses, cuts, diarrhea, a dull coat, and weight loss are all signs of trouble and are most often seen in outdoor cats.

Cats have an instinctual desire to stalk anything that moves. They like string, thread, yam, Christmas tree tinsel, ribbon, even shoelaces. This can be great fun to encourage if you supervise their play.

Never allow your dog to roam free; even a well-trained dog may, for some unknown reason, dart into the street-and the result could be tragic.

It should be mentioned that unfortunate car accidents, which can maim or kill your dog, can be avoided if he is confined at all times either indoors or, if outdoors., in a fenced-in-yard or some other protective enclosure.

When you walk your dog, leash him first so that he will be protected from moving vehicles.

Pet's safety of your is your responsibility

Dogs in Open Trucks.

  • Any sudden start, stop, or turn may toss your pet onto the highway where it can get hit by oncoming traffic. It is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die this way each year.
  • Open truck beds do not provide any protection from the weather. Hot sun can heat the metal floor of a truck bed enough to burn a pet's paw pads. A dog left sitting in the broiling sun without water or shade may suffer from heat stroke before long.
  • Do not leash your pet inside the truck bed -- many dogs have been strangled when tossed or bumped over the side of the truck and been left helplessly dangling.
  • If your dog must ride in the back of the truck, put the pet inside a crate that will give it some protection from the wind and weather. Tie the crate securely to the walls of the truck bed, so it cannot slide about or be tossed out of the truck
  • Although most dogs love to stick their heads out open windows, wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit into their eyes.
  • Insects or flying debris can also lodge in the nasal passages or get sucked into the windpipe, and this could bring about a visit to the vet.

General Household Tips to follow:

  • Avoid leaving plastic bags where your pet could suffocate themselves.
  • Place medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves
  • Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched cabinet
  • Check for and block any small spaces, nooks, or holes inside cabinets or behind washer/dryer units
  • Make sure your kitten hasn't jumped into the dryer before you turn it on
  • Keep the toilet lid closed to prevent drowning. Many people leave the sit up so their dog can drink at will, this is ok for a larger dog, if this is how you wish your dog to get its nourishment, but not for cats or puppies
  • Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing
  • Be careful that you don't close your kitten in closets or dresser drawers
  • If your cat or dog venture into your garage, clean all antifreeze from the floor and driveway, as one taste can be the end for your pet.
  • Place dangling wires from lamps, VCRs, televisions, stereos, and telephones out of reach
  • Put away children's toys and games, dog and cats can strangle on small items, just like babies.
  • Put away precious items until your kitten has the coordination not to knock them over
  • Move common house plants that may be poisonous out of reach. Don't forget hanging plants that can be jumped onto from nearby surfaces.

Run-away Dogs:

Keeping your dog from running off and becoming injured when playing around off leash, is reason enough to look for practical solutions. There are numerous wireless pet fence manufacturers to choose from: SportDOG Invisible Dog Fence, Extreme Dog Fence®, and Petsafe are 3 very good brands. This form of containment makes it possible for you to create invisible boundaries on your property, so that your dog doesn’t run off. How does it work?

A transmitter (usually housed in the garage or basement) sends a radio signal through a concealed wire buried along the perimeter of the "fenced in" area. Your dog wears a special collar with a receiver that alerts him with a warning tone when he’s approaching the edge of the safe area, followed by a minor shock if he gets too close. Additional training, usually 7 – 14 days, is necessary to assist your dog in understanding and learning the boundaries of the fence.

It is important to note that while invisible fences work well with most dogs, they are not 100 % effective, especially if your dog is older, stubborn and not well trained. If you think this might be the case with your pet and you want to try this product, make sure you are on guard for a reasonable trial period to make sure your dog doesn’t figure out he can ‘jump’ the fence and run off.

Another disadvantage to this type of fence is that it does not keep other animals out. For this reason, people often use this type of fence in conjunction with a standard fence to keep the dog out of a garden or pool.

 

CAT SCRATCHING POST

Never make the mistake of trying to "show her how" to scratch anything. You'll only offend her. She knows perfectly well how to do it. She just reserves the right to scratch when and where it suits her. Even at an early age, cats refuse to be coerced into doing what they don't want to do.

A cat scratching post can be a cat owner’s best friend. If you have a cat that scratches your furniture, you can usually solve your problem with a cat scratching post.

There are many varieties of cat scratching post and cat furniture. To find the type of cat furniture that fits your cat's needs, whether a cat scratching post, a cat perch or a cat condo, may require a bit of research.

Your cat is doing what comes naturally, looking for a strong and stable surface to scratch. Your chair or couch is the best available option!

Cats have a territorial instinct that prompts them to place their mark and establish their territory. Since their paws have scent glands that leave a distinctive scent, cats scratch surfaces in your home to let other cats know that they’re wandering into marked territory – even if you don’t have any other cats, your pet doesn’t know when one might show up! Cats also scratch simply because it feels good.

By your purchasing a cat scratching post, you solve a multiple problem, your cat no longer needs to scratch furniture and she can satisfy her urge to scratch and keep herself in shape at the same time by stretching, pulling and working the muscles of her front quarters, she’ll get the workout that she needs each time she takes on the scratching post.

Sisal scratching posts are ideal for releasing Kitty’s primal urges. This is a material she can shred to pieces with great satisfaction. I am referring to the sisal textile material, not the sisal rope. Sisal material has a perfect texture and grain for kitty to shred, and that is what she wants to do. (Studies have shown most cats prefer to mark their territory with vertical shredding marks, sisal textile provides the perfect surface for this behavior.) Be sure not to throw it away when it is shredded, since that’s when she’s broken it in satisfactorily, and she will not appreciate your concept on house cleaning. Also, a good post should be tall enough for your Kitty to fully stretch her body, usually at least 28 inches tall, and should be very stable.

Encourage your cat to use her post with different enticements. Feed her and play with her by the post. Rub dried catnip leaves or powder into it. Make all the associations with the post pleasurable. Reward her with a favorite treat when she uses it. Have her chase a string or a toy around the post or attach toys to it, which will result in her digging her claws into it.  It is a wise idea to put a post where your cat sleeps. Cats like to scratch when they awaken, especially in the morning and the middle of the night. If space permits, a scratching post in every room of the house is a cat's delight. The most important place is the area of the house in which you and your cat spend the most time.

If your cat continues scratching the furniture, sprays like a natural orange air freshener, bitter apple, actual orange peels and double-sided tape are good deterrents on the furniture sometimes work, at least according to some who say they rarely find a cat on a freshly sprayed area.  Another method is to try "squirting her with a squirt gun" or spray bottle set on stream. Another option is a safety whistle or other noise-maker, an empty pop can also can do the trick. You must employ these deterrents while she is scratching for them to be effective. The point is to establish an aversion to the spot you don't want her to scratch. "Do not let your pet know that you are the one squirting them or creating the noise", crazy as it seems, you want it to seem coming from an unknown predator. On the light side, you will delight at the response of a kitten being shot with a squirt of water, they jump and look very around for the enemy. Keep in mind that this is a determent, not a cruel tool to tease your pet with.

If you are starting with a kitten, consider yourself fortunate. It's much easier to initiate good habit patterns than to correct undesirable ones.

From the beginning teach your kitten the appropriate place to scratch. Use the methods already described, especially playing around the scratching post to capture your pets interest. Take advantage of your kitten's desire to play and attach toys to the post. 

If she starts to scratch an inappropriate object, immediately place her in front of her scratching post and begin petting her. Some cats will begin kneading when petted, thus digging their claws into the desired surface and establishing this as a fine place to scratch.

Cats are creatures of habit.

 

TAIL WAGGING

The Dog and Cat. When a dog wag's its tail, it's telling all, (the bigger the dog, the more danger to nearby items on the coffee table), that it is happy. A cat's tail has various meanings, as its tail is an extension of its feelings, as well as a warning of the cat’s intentions. Normally the higher the tail, the better the mood. A happy cat will hold its tail straight up, while in fear, it will tuck the tail between the legs, just like a dog does.

A broad swishing indicates annoyance, while twitches are a sign of curiosity and excitement, as when it is ready to pounce on prey. For example, the cat who decides it's had enough petting will signal by swishing the tail in impatience. If you continue, a bat with the paw generally follows. The batting is an act of aggression indicating your cat's agitation.

Really agitated cats will move their tails rapidly back and forth from the base, a clear, threatening signal, beware! those bites and scratches can really hurt. If your cat does scratch you and draw blood, put your wound up to its nose, sometimes this smell of your blood will cause them not to do this again, maybe?

A cat will yawn for the same reason as humans. Because they're relaxed and content. On the other hand, a yawning dog is actually stressed out. If you're petting a dog and he starts to yawn, stop. You're annoying him.
depends on the wag.  Your dog’s temperament is usually shown by its tail, If it's low and swinging, that's a sign of happiness and excitement. If it's high and stiff, that's actually a warning sign that you should back off.

Flat ears are a dog's way of saying either, "I'm scared" or "I'm sorry". Like if your dog digs up the garden and you catch him and tell him no, his ears will likely lie flat. For a cat, flat ears mean "I'm ready to rumble!" A cat folds its ears back so they don't get scratched in a fight.

When a Dog rolls over, it is saying "submission, and you are the boss". It's a submissive move and your welcome to rub his/her belly. On the other hand, a cat that exposes it's stomach does not want a tummy rub unless you’re in the mood for a wrist bite.

Should you see your pet's hair standing on end. For both cats and dog’s, it means, "I'm feeling threatened". It's an urgent signal to back off!

Some Safety Tips.
Things to Remember with Dogs (and All Animals)

  • Ask permission before petting someone else’s dog.
  • Leave mother animals and their puppies alone.
  • Do not try to pet dogs that are tied up, sleeping, eating, behind fences, or in vehicles.
  • Do not chase or tease dogs, or pull their ears or tails.
  • Do not grab their food, bones or toys.
  • Do not try to stop a fight. You will likely be the one who gets injured.
  • Always act kindly and gently. Animals have feelings too.
  • Remember that cats can bite and scratch unexpectedly.
  • Leave wild animals alone.
  • Do not leave babies or very young children alone with a dog.
  • Never allow a toddler around a dog, Never!

When you come upon a stray or loose dog:

  • Do not pet strays or dogs running loose.
  • Stand still (Stand like a Tree).
  • Let the dog sniff you
  • Children should be taught to never hug a dog. Many dogs tolerate such behavior but others don’t.
  • Do not stare at the dog. Dogs consider this as aggressive behavior.
  • Do not turn your back and run.
  • If the dog is barking or growling, slowly walk away, backwards or sideways, keeping the dog in view.


By law, owners are usually held liable for their dog's actions—including biting. You can reduce the likelihood of your dog biting someone by following these points:

  • Socialize and train your dog. It is best to start while your dog is a puppy, however, most dogs can be socialized to not be aggressive;
     
  • Do not let your dog run loose. Provide a fenced run and leash your dog when you go for a walk. Avoid having young children walk dogs they cannot control;
     
  • When you meet children while out for a walk, be sure they approach your dog properly. This ensures their safety as well as protecting your dog;
     
  • Teach children to observe the simple rules of safe and considerate behavior around dogs. In particular, teasing, chasing and yelling should be discouraged. Your dog may tolerate it, but another may not.

Dogs Can Be Friendly, And Dogs Can Bite!

The friendship of a dog can be wonderful for children's emotional and physical health. But children - especially those ten and under - are most at risk for dog bite injury. As well as disease and disfigurement, dog bites can bring about long-term emotional trauma. It is well known that stray dogs can be a danger. However, most bites are inflicted by dogs known to the victim often their own or a neighbor's dog. 

Dogs Bite Because

The vast majority of dogs are safe, reliable companions. But even a friendly dog may bite if threatened, angry, afraid or hurt. Some dogs can be described as dangerous—bred or trained to be aggressive, with predatory instincts that may cause them to chase and attack a fleeing child.

Most children’s dog bite injuries occur during play with a dog they know. A dog that is excited or nervous can bite by mistake. Children should be taught not to play fight, tease, yell at, or chase dogs or other animals.

Just as humans do, dogs protect things they care about, whether their food, puppies, or favorite toys. They also protect spaces—their own and their owners’. Eating and sleeping areas, yards, porches, and parked cars are all commonly defended by dogs. A child reaching through a fence or arriving unannounced at the door, can turn a neighbor’s warm, loyal pet into a growling, aggressive protector. Dogs provide us with protection. We must ensure that children understand this and are aware of situations that may frighten or anger a dog.

Stray dogs are in danger and may be dangerous. Any dog that is loose may be lost, frightened or injured—and more likely to bite.

Older dogs may have impaired vision or hearing, which can cause them to be more easily startled.

Dogs living with or around children need to be able to tolerate a degree of rough treatment without resorting to biting.

 

 

 

CAT PRAISE


Positive reinforcement means giving your pet something pleasant or rewarding immediately after she does something you want her to do. Because your praise or reward makes her more likely to repeat that behavior in the future, it is one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your cat's behavior.



Cats do not act out of spite or revenge and they don't have a moral sense of right and wrong. Never use physical punishment that involves discomfort or pain; in addition to being inhumane, such punishment may cause your cat to bite, defend herself, or resort to other undesirable behaviors. For example, holding your cat's neck skin and shaking her may result in a frightened cat that scratches or bites to defend herself


 

 

TOXIC FOODS

Avoid Feeding these toxic foods to Your Pet

Check the food you are sharing carefully. Many of these ingredients are tucked away in cookies, bread, cake, preserves and other processed foods. It is really important to be aware of what you are feeding your canine companion so that you can avoid these problem foods.

  • Show children this list and teach them early what they can and cannot feed their dog(s).
  • Many natural dog food supplements boast garlic as a natural flea preventative.
  • Too much of nearly anything will cause pets to vomit.
  • Be very careful when taking medication. If you drop one on the floor make sure you get it before your animals do. Look for small items and pills that have fallen to the floor.

Absolutely Never!

Alcoholic beverages, Apple seeds, Apricot pits, Avocados, *Candy, Cherry pits, Chocolate (any forms), Coffee & Tea (any forms), Fatty foods, Garlic, Hops (used in home beer brewing), Macadamia nuts, Moldy/Spoiled foods, Mushroom plants, Mustard seeds, Onions, Peach seeds, Potato leaves and stems (green parts), Raisins and Grapes, Rhubarb leaves, Salt, Tomato leaves and stems (green parts), Walnuts, Yeast dough, Products sweetened with Zylitol

*
Candy (particularly chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets, and any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol)

Alcohol: can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, poor breathing, abnormal blood acidity, coma and death, just like in humans. The difference is that dogs are much smaller and are more susceptible to intoxication.

Avocado: the substance Persin can cause vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes heart congestion.

Bones: can cause choking, or they can break apart into jagged pieces that become lodged in the digestive tract. Look for sturdy marrow bones that are less likely to splinter or nylon bones that wear down slowly

Caffeine/Coffee: warrant the same precautions as for chocolate. Caffeine, like theobromine, is a methylxanthine derivative with similar effects on dogs.

Chicken bones: can get lodged into the roof of the mouth.


Cooking Chocolate & Cocoa:
When affected by an overdose of chocolate, a dog can become excited and hyperactive. Due to the diuretic effect, it may pass large volumes of urine and it will be unusually thirsty. Vomiting and diarrhea are also common. The effect of theobromine on the heart is the most dangerous effect. Theobromine will either increase the dog’s heart rate or may cause the heart to beat irregularly. Death is quite possible, especially with exercise.

After their pet has eaten a large quantity of chocolate, many pet owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours, with death following within twenty-four hours.


   -Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and they claim that 'It is true that studies "Your Pet and Cocoa Mulch" Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and they claim that 'It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it.'

 

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by many nursery and hardware supply stores. The Cocoa Mulch contains a potential lethal ingredient called ' Theobromine'. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A case in point, one dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.

Corn on the cob: is one of the most common ways a dog can get a blocked intestine. The dog bites of a piece of the cob one inch long and swallows it. The corn is digested off the cob in the tummy and the cob is left to block the small intestine and feels like a brillo pad trying to scrape its way down the digestive track. This is seen in vet offices often and can kill the dog if not removed surgically

Grapes & Raisins: dogs who eat grapes and raisins typically begin vomiting within a few hours of ingestion. Most of the time, partially digested grapes and raisins could be seen in the vomit, fecal material, or both. At this point, some dogs would stop eating (anorexia), and develop diarrhea. The dogs often became quiet and lethargic, and showed signs of abdominal pain. These clinical signs lasted for several days - sometimes even weeks.

When medical care was sought, blood chemistry panels showed consistent patterns. Hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels) was frequently present, as well as elevated levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine and phosphorous (substances that reflect kidney function). These chemistries began to increase anywhere from 24 hours to several days after the dogs ate the fruit. As the kidney damage developed, the dogs would produce little urine. When they could no longer produce urine, death occurred. In some cases, dogs who received timely veterinary care still had to be euthanized.

Macadamia Nuts: The toxic compound is unknown but the effect of macadamia nuts is to cause locomotory difficulties. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.

Milk: owing to the lack of lactase, consumption may lead to bloating, gas, diarrhea and other digestive upsets.

Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic are other dangerous food ingredients that cause sickness in dogs, cats and also livestock. Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger.

Pets affected by onion toxicity will develop hemolytic anemia, where the pet’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body.

At first, pets affected by onion poisoning show gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhea. They will show no interest in food and will be dull and weak. The red pigment from the burst blood cells appears in an affected animal’s urine and it becomes breathless. The breathlessness occurs because the red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body are reduced in number.

Raw or undercooked meat and eggs:  While there is controversy surrounding the role of raw meat in a dog's diet, studies have shown that raw meat has a higher likelihood of harboring harmful bacteria than cooked or prepared dog food. As with humans, care needs to be taken in handling raw meat and eggs to avoid the possibility of contamination with Salmonella bacteria and E. coli. Raw eggs contain an enzyme (avidin) that can lead to skin and coat problems for a dog.

Salmon and trout: frequently have a parasite that cooking does not kill. It is fine for humans but can harm dogs.

 

Xylitol:  this can lead to liver failure through the over-release of insulin, vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. It does not take long to see signs of nearing liver failure - only a few days. Be very careful as this substance in a wide range of products, such as candy, chewing gum, toothpaste and baked goods.

Yeast dough: this refers to the dough prior to cooking. The yeast can continue to rise in the dog's stomach and cause painful bloating, gas and even rupture of the intestines or stomach. On top of this your dog will appear to be in a state of drunkenness.

 

TREATS

If you have any questions about how many and what kinds of treats are right for your pet, consult your veterinarian.

There's nothing wrong with feeding your pet the occasional treat. Small amounts of tasty food can be used if you are attempting to motivate your pet while training. These rewards are great to positively reinforce good behavior. These kinds of rewards can increase the bond between pets and owners, and some treats can even help your pet stay healthy

Snacks and treats for pets are implicitly intended to be offered on an occasional basis, and by no means should be fed as the mainstay of the diet. Although pet treats must meet all the other FDA and state regulations for labeling of pet foods, they are exempt from the need to include a nutritional adequacy statement. "Biscuits" are not exempt, unless they are identified as a "snack" or "treat" as well. Regardless, some treats and biscuits are formulated to be nutritionally complete, and some are not.

-A good rule of thumb to follow, 80% of your pet’s diet should come from a high quality pet food and the other 20% can come from good treats.

-Purchase treats made specifically for your type of pet. Many stores now offer treats formulated treats that are designed to taste good to your pet without upsetting Their stomachs.

-Try giving your pet treats that benefit her health. Pet stores now provide just about anything necessary for your pet’s diet, to include dental treats that clean teeth; cat treats that prevent hairballs; treats with added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

-Do not provide treats for your pet at meal times. They should consume their nutritional food first.

-Dogs often love veggies like baby carrots, broccoli, and green beans, which are low in calories and high in vitamins and healthy fiber. You'll have to use some care; however, some produce that people love can be harmful to dogs. Do check with your Vet prior to providing those vegetable treats beyond what is described above.

-Do not allow your pet to overeat. Keep them on a healthy diet. Treats are often salty and fatty, and once again, they can make your pet fat. Minimize snacks from the human table. It encourages poor manners from both the dog and the human and it blurs the line between what is good food for the animal and what is not. Start out right and keep it right. Rawhide Dog chews are great. Also, snacks and dog treats are a great way to praise and reward your dog.

Dogs value many high value treats such as filled bones, marrow bones, pig ears, etc. Any treat should only be given when the dogs are alone in separate rooms, and never serve special treats unless you're right there to supervise all interaction. Never throw down new chew toys and then leave for work, leaving your dog’s loose.

Variety in their diet is important and plenty of treats and food can be given to our pet, so long as they don’t have allergies or additional health problems. l.

If your pet is not lactose intolerant, then dairy products in moderation is perfectly fine as a treat. Many dogs love baby carrots, bananas, pumpkin

Only provide treats for your pet that contain the best natural, human grade (safe for humans) ingredients. Avoid treat that have sugar, salt, chemicals, artificial preservatives or indigestible fillers.


Some Suggestions for your Cats treat:

Tuna Treats : Great tuna taste:  ingredients: Whole wheat flour, tuna, cornmeal & parsley
Salmon Treats
: Cats love these salmon treats : ingredients: Whole wheat flour, salmon, parsley, eggs, water, sesame seeds & flax seeds
Catnip Krunchies : Just the right treat for the cats that like catnip:  ingredients: Whole wheat flour, wheat germ, milk powder, eggs, water, catnip, vegetable oil & molasses
Sardine Cookies
: Has all the favorites that cats love: ingredients: Whole wheat flour, oat bran, beef liver, green beans, sardines, oatmeal, eggs & garlic
Liver & Parsley Snack
: For the cats that love their meat: ingredients made with whole wheat flour, beef liver, liver broth, vegetable oil & parsley

Some Suggestions for your Dogs treats:

Bacon Bites
: Dogs love the taste of bacon. ingredients: Whole wheat flour, wheat germ, milk powder, cornmeal, bacon, eggs & bacon fat.
Bowser Biscuits
(tarter fighter): Filled with grit to help keep the tarter off their teeth: ingredients: Whole Wheat Flour, Cracked Wheat, Beef Broth, Wheat Germ, Milk Powder, Cornmeal, Honey, Canola Oil & Eggs.
Garden Veggie Biscuits
: Great tasting vegetarian treat: ingredients: Whole wheat flour, veggie broth, spinach, carrots, garlic, eggs & canola oil.

 

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