Posts Tagged ‘dogs and cats’
From the folks at HealthyPet.com!
Whether you have recently adopted an older pet, or have given up trying to correct your pet’s bad habits, it is not too late to teach him good manners. From house training to digging and chewing, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) offers tips on how to train your problem canine or feline.
“Consistency and positive reinforcement are the key to training a pet of any age,” says Link Welborn, DVM, AAHA past president. “In fact, older pets may be easier to train than puppies and kittens because they have a longer attention span.”
Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks
House training should be a breeze for older pets who have less urgency problems and better control. Keep a close eye on your dog or confine him to a specific area while indoors. Take him to the same outside spot every time he goes to the bathroom. Use consistent encouragement and give him plenty of praise afterward. Treats can be used to assist in house training. Make sure that the treat is given immediately after the pet has gone potty. If the treat is given when the dog comes inside, you will train your dog to walk through a door, not go potty outside.
Solving the Litter Box Blues
Training your older feline companion will be easier if you use the same brand of litter that she previously used. If you don’t know what kind of liter was previously used it is a good idea to offer several different types. This can be done by using the disposable aluminum trays and filling each of them with different litter (the litter that she digs in and uses most often is the litter you should use). Please note that cats have preferences for texture and smell, so buying a litter that smells better to you may cause your pet to avoid the litter box.
Food treats and positive reinforcement will help your pet learn basic commands such as “sit,” “stay” and “come.” Plan your commands ahead of time and make sure that everyone in your household uses the same commands so your pet doesn’t get confused. Say the command once and then physically put your pet in the position you desire if he doesn’t obey. If you continuously say the command and the pet does not listen it will reinforce the fact that they do not have to listen to you. Please click here to continue reading this fabulous article at HealthyPet.com!
From the great folks at HealthyPet.com!
Growing up, many of us asked our parents for a pet at one time or another. I was no exception to this, in fact, I was probably a bit over-the-top when it came to asking my parents for a pet I could call my own. Although we always had pets in our home, I wanted to have one that was mine, one I could care for all by myself. Hearing of someone giving away kittens, or walking by someone selling puppies in a parking lot would always lead to heartache.
“Please, Mom?! I’ll take really good care of her! Pleeeeeeease?!”
“No, Sarah. We have enough animals at home to care for,” she’d say. And then I’d cry.
Whether my mom was right or wrong depends on who you ask, but research is beginning to say that animals have multiple positive effects on children. According to a recent New York Times article, researchers are beginning to focus on the effects pets have on the lives of children. With research focused on a wide range of issues–normal childhood development, childhood obesity, traumatized children, and autism–it’s becoming clear that a furry friend can often have a positive impact on the lives of children in just about any circumstance.
Some of the benefits include:
Development of social skills–Particularly empathy and communication, both of which are of interest to those studying autism.
Calming effect–During high stress or traumatic situations, pets seem to provide comfort to children.
Fighting childhood obesity–Just as with adults, walking and playing with dogs provides physical activity that many children wouldn’t get otherwise.
Building up the immune system–Early exposure to pets may have a protective effect, decreasing the chances of a child developing allergies.
Perhaps some of the strongest evidence of the positive relationship between children and pets comes from children themselves, many citing animals as sources of emotional support.
When I was 12 years old, my dreams of becoming a pet owner became a reality. Our 93-year-old neighbor liked to feed stray cats, and one happened to have a litter of kittens in her backyard. By the time my sister and I stumbled upon the litter, all were dead but two. I rushed them back to our house, urging my mother to let me keep them and nurse them back to health. With the two small, sick kittens in my arms, she reluctantly agreed. A few days later, despite my best efforts, one of the kittens died. The other, who I named Melissa, survived, learning to suck formula from a tiny bottle, following me everywhere, and sleeping curled up beside me in my bed.
Free-ranging and feral cats lead complex and busy lives. They maintain large territories that often contain a varietyof habitats (forest, farmland, urban gardens, etc.). They explore, they hunt, they scavenge for food, and they might interact with other cats. In contrast, household cats, especially those who live exclusively indoors, have little to do and boredom may set in.
Even if you don’t think that your cat seems bored, there are a number of good reasons to provide enrichment opportunities for your feline friend.
- Cats who lack enrichment can be aggressive in play, both with people and with other animals in the household.
- Young cats without planned enrichment opportunities often pester their pet parents for play at inappropriate hours of the day and night. They may also interact destructively with furniture, plants or other objects in the house.
- Cats lacking enrichment can become reclusive and are more likely to retreat from new people or objects that enter their homes than cats who are frequently exposed to a variety new sights and sounds.
- Cats lacking regular play may be more attracted to perches by windows. When looking outside, they may overreact to the presence of outdoor cats they can see and become very distressed.
Great Ways to Enrich Your Cat’s Life
Enrichment opportunities can easily be provided for cats. Here are some ideas to try:
- Provide a variety of toys for your cat. Some cats prefer toys that they can throw around themselves. Other cats prefer toys that require owner participation, such as those you wiggle and dangle. Stimulating play for a cat involves opportunities to “hunt,” so move toys in such a way that they mimic the movements of a rodent or bird. Introduce new toys periodically to keep your cat from becoming bored with her toys. Please see our article,Cat Toys, for fun toy recommendations and tips on playing with your cat.
- Provide objects for your cat to explore, such as cardboard boxes, paper shopping bags, packing paper and toys that encourage her to investigate various holes with her paws. A dripping water tap can provide hours of fun! An aquarium with real fish or even a bowl of fake fish that move around can fascinate your cat. Rotate playtime objects frequently so that your cat doesn’t become bored.
If you have a new puppy then you know how great they are. They are cute, cuddly, and will provide you with lifelong friendship & devotion. They have the sweetest puppy breath, make the cutest sounds, and are so fun to watch as they grow. Puppies need early Veterinary care to keep them healthy & well.
Protect your new friend with the best veterinary care right here at Michigan Road Animal Hospital! Just like children, puppies require vaccinations to build immunity against common diseases. Go right to our puppy package page by clicking here. Your puppy will recieve vaccines every 3 – 4 weeks starting at around 6 – 8 weeks of age until he/she is about 14-16 weeks old. Our Puppy Packages include everything your pup needs to get off to a healthy start including: three wellness visits to their Veterinarian, vaccines, intestinal parasite screenings & dewormings, heartworm & flea preventative for the first three months, a Home Again® microchip & 1st year’s Enrollment, nutritional counselling, 30 days of Trupanion® pet health insurance, and a puppy consult with our trainer,Catherine Steinke of Sensible K9®. We also offer discounted spay & neuter surgeries for our puppy package puppies.
Please contact us today for more information, to schedule an appointment or if we can answer any questions!
The Right Pet for Your Child’s Age
Thinking of adding a pet to the family? Make sure you’re bringing home an animal who is appropriate for your child’s age.
Infants cannot handle or take care of pets. So, if you already have a family pet when your child is born—or if you adopted soon after—make sure to formally introduce your infant to your pet. Supervise them as they get to know each other, gradually increasing the length of time they spend together.
Toddlers are curious and will pull at an animal’s fur, limbs and ears in an attempt to make contact through touching. Make sure that the pet you’ve adopted can handle being touched in this way. As your pet and child spend time together (always under your supervision!), take great care that your child doesn’t hurt your pet by grabbing. Also be sure that your child doesn’t grab your pet’s food and water dishes, your cat’s litterbox or its contents. If you have fish, keep small hands away from aquarium wires and out of aquariums!
At this age, your child is learning about contact and empathy. ASPCA experts recommend a guinea pig for a pet. Guinea pigs like to be held, seldom bite and will whistle when excited or happy, to the delight of most kids. Your child can also help with responsibilities by filling the water bottle and food dish.
Kids this age have inconsistent attention spans and are best off with small pets such as gerbils and goldfish. Supervise them during play sessions and while they do chores such as cleaning cages, filling water bottles and bowls, measuring food and scrubbing cage furniture and toys. This is a good time to develop good hygiene habits around pets with an emphasis on washing hands and surfaces when done handling or playing.
Please click here to continue to the full article!
By Stacy @ Trupanion
I’ve written about the importance of pet safety in cars in the past because it’s an issue I feel very passionately about. My own adopted dog of nearly three years had a car seat belt in her size before I even brought her home.
After reading a very well-written and in-depth article on Mother Nature Network, I became inspired to post a reminder to all pet owners. While I won’t go into as much detail as they did, I will highlight the key points and encourage you to check out their article.
- The article says, “According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), diversions that last more than 2 seconds increase your risk of crashing.”
- Driving with a dog in your lap is like driving with a bag of groceries in your lap and hinders your ability to control the steering wheel effectively.
- On top of that, if your airbag deploys, your precious pet not only gets smashed between you and the bag, but also prevents the airbag of doing its job.
- “Traveling at just 30 miles per hour, an unrestrained 10-pound dog will exert roughly 300 pounds of pressure in an accident, according to Jennifer Huebner-Davidson, traffic safety programs manager for AAA. Without a safety restraint, that pint-size pooch can injure other passengers or get hurt on impact.”
From Healthypet.com-for all things pet!
Equally important to annual dental exams at your veterinarian’s practice is home dental care, including brushing your pet’s teeth every day if possible. AAHA recommends a technique for both younger and older animals, although it’s easier to start brushing when your pet is young.
To introduce a fearful Fido or timid Tabby to the idea of dental care, start slowly and gradually. Dip a finger into beef bouillon (for dogs) or tuna water (for cats) and gently rub along your pet’s gums and teeth. The most important area to focus on is the gum line (the crevice where the gums meet the teeth), where bacteria and food mix to form plaque. Focusing on the gum line, start at the front of the mouth, then move to the back upper and lower teeth and gum areas. Once your pet is okay with a little bit of touching, gradually introduce gauze over your finger and rub the teeth and gums in a circular fashion.
When your four-legged friend can handle the gauze, try brushing with a toothbrush specially designed for pets or a very soft, ultra-sensitive toothbrush designed for people. The bristles should be held at a 45-degree angle to the tooth surface and be moved in an oval motion. Scrub in the gum line, as this is where odor and infection begin. Gradually add special dog/cat toothpaste (flavored with meat or fish), but never use people toothpaste or baking soda, as both will upset your pet’s stomach.
Use the following process to clean the inside surfaces of your pet’s teeth:
- Place your hand over your pet’s muzzle from the top
- Gently squeeze and push his lips on one side between the back teeth (to keep his mouth open)
- Pull his head back gently so his mouth opens
- Brush his teeth on the opposite side
- Repeat this process for the other side
The entire process should only take a minute or two. If your dog or cat continues to resist, try gently wrapping him in a large bath towel with only his head sticking out. Above all, avoid overstraining and keep sessions short and positive. With plenty of praise and reassurance, your dental sessions can bring the two of you closer—a closeness that won’t be marred by the perils of dog breath.
Top 5 Most Hazardous Handbag Contents
Handbags: Reservoirs for Items Toxic to Pets
To a dog or cat, a handbag or backpack can be like an amusement park. In one compact place, she can find many flavorful treasures to nuzzle, sniff and chew. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if all the contents in handbags and backpacks were safe for pets, but unfortunately that isn’t the case; they are reservoirs for things toxic to dogs and cats.
“We often talk to panicked pet owners who are dealing with the aftermath of handbag invasions by unsuspecting pets,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, and assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “As we head into the cold months when pets are more often indoors, it’s important for pet owners to be cognizant of some typical handbag contents and how the contents can poison their dog or cat.”
The five most common purse items that are toxic to pets are sugarless chewing gum, medications, asthma inhalers, cigarettes and hand sanitizers.
Sugarless chewing gum and breath mints
Many women carry chewing gum in their purses and don’t realize that, if ingested by a dog, it can be fatal. Most sugarless gums, including some Trident™, Orbit™, and Ice Breaker™ brands, contain xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to dogs. Some sugarless mints and flavored multi-vitamins may also be made with xylitol. When ingested, even small amounts of xylitol can result in a life-threatening and rapid drop in blood sugar, and if large amounts are ingested, dogs can suffer from severe liver failure. Signs of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, weakness, difficulty walking, collapse, tremors and seizures.
Please click here to continue to the full article at PetPoisonHelpline.com!
Jack the Cat” is back from his two-month foray into the netherworld of JFK Airport in the New York City suburbs, theNew York Post and other news organizations report.
The feisty feline, who gained international attention, escaped after owner Karen Pascoe checked him in at American Airlines to relocate to California. Pascoe continued with her move, but when the heartbroken owner felt JFK was not doing enough to find little 5-year-old Jack, she created a Facebook page: Jack the Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK.
The page collected tens of thousands of “Likes” and, as of this afternoon, had nearly 17,000 fans. Jack also generated lots of popularity through a Twitter account that broadcast statements such as: “What I’ve learned? Nathan’s has better scraps than Sbarro.”
The above is a video on YouTube about Jack’s plight created by a concerned real estate agent in Upstate New York.
Aviation staffers at JFK captured Jack on Tuesday as he tumbled through the ceiling tiles inside a Customs and Border Patrol room, the Post reports.
“One of our deputy chief officers saw it and grabbed it and alerted American Airlines,” Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Anthony Bucci tells the Post.
“Today is such a good day,” Pascoe, 43, told the Post. “I just never gave up hope.”
Jack is in the care of a veterinarian in Queens and suffers from fatty liver disease, a condition common in malnourished animals.
Please click here to continue to the full article.
No Scaredy Cats This Halloween: Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents
Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all the way to November 1.
1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.
3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.
6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.
Please continue to the ASPCA’s full article by clicking here.