Monthly Archives: October 2011

Halloween, a Scary Time for your Pet

While the family is enjoying the fun of Halloween, it can be a frightening time for your pet. Please keep in mind these two things during your Halloween festivities!

The Scary Trick–or-Treat Bag
The trick-or-treat bag is scary for dogs, because it will likely contain treats that, if indiscriminately eaten by your dog, will result in a frightful trip to the animal ER, putting a definite damper on your Halloween fun. Chocolate contains a substance similar to caffeine and can make your dog very sick. Little boxes of raisins have also found their way into trick-or-treat bags. While raisins make a great snack for kids, they can damage the kidneys of your dog.  Some trick-or-treat bags contain a double whammy – chocolate covered raisins! And, don’t forget to monitor the mints and gum in the trick-or-treat bag as well. Xylitol is often used as a sugar substitute to protect the teeth of young children, but xylitol is toxic for dogs (and ferrets, too). Keep the treats away from your dog and your dog away from the animal ER.

The Great Escape
With all the commotion at the front door, your dog and cat will also want to be part of the Halloween action. Halloween is not a participation event for the family dog and cat. Escaping between the legs of excited trick-or-treaters is all too easy and dangerous. Play it safe on Halloween. Give your pets a new toy and put them safely in the bedroom, the basement or their crate. Be sure they are wearing their ID collars and double check the microchip registry to be sure your address is up to date, just in case they do slip outside.

So there you have it. It’s not Halloween that is scary to pets; what’s scary to pets are everyday things like chocolate and getting lost without a collar or microchip.

How to Make Bath Time Fun!

Playtime

Toys and play are essential before you even get your pet into the tub. Play with them in the bathroom and bring in favorite toys. Basically, you’re teaching them the bathroom is not a scary place.

Of course, like kids, toys in the tub are fun for your pet, too (though only the ones made of plastic). Pets especially love toys with treats hidden inside them. We say bonus points for the types of toys with treats that clean the teeth and sweeten the breath!

Water Temperature

Puppies and kitties are very sensitive to hot and cold. Just make sure the water is lukewarm, so their sweet, sensitive, baby skin won’t burn. Also, hot water can be a shock to an animal that has never had the luxury of a bath. Remember, this is their first time in the water!

Water Wings

We’re not saying you need those floaty devices that are so popular in teaching the young to swim. But for a young animal who’s never really been put into a pool of water, porcelain against paws can end up in a horrible sliding, scrabbling, scared event that no one wants.

A non-slip mat to perch your pet on is the perfect alternative to them sliding into the great white abyss of your tub. Your pet will have something to cling to and bathing won’t be traumatic — or seem like a bad rehearsal of Ice Capades.

 Bubble, Bubble

Fortunately, no toil and trouble this time. But we will the best way to make bath time fun is getting your pet high-quality shampoos, conditioners, and spritzers, which are hopefully made in exotic locales using exquisite ingredients.

Of course, such luxe doesn’t have to cost a paw and a tail. In fact, some of the best are available at very reasonable prices. So find a brand (or brands) your pet likes…

Treat Time!

During, before, and especially after … treats are a definite essential to any bath time.

                                                

Which Breed of Cat is Right for You?

Are you considering buying a cat?  Have you been trying to decide which breed of cat is right for you?  Here is a list of top cat breeds and their traits to help you with your decision.

1. Persian. The most popular breed for years, the Persian is known for its long hair, flat face, and laid-back nature. Happy as indoor lap cats, Persians are quiet, people-oriented and sweet. Daily grooming is a must or they quickly become matted, which is very painful for them.

2. Exotic. The Exotic is often called a shorthaired Persian. It has the same body build as the Persian, but with a short, dense coat that makes grooming much easier. Like the Persian, it has a quiet personality, is low-energy and likes to be around people.

Because the Exotic has the same facial build, it can have many of the same problems caused by a flat face, including breathing and eating problems, as well as eye and dental issues. They also shed a bit more than Persians.

3. Maine Coon. This large breed of cat is growing in popularity and could soon replace the Persian as the most popular breed. The Maine Coon tends to be larger than most breeds, with males sometimes topping 20 pounds. A one-time barn cat, they are known as friendly, outgoing, playful but not hyper, smart and easily trained. People-oriented, Maine Coons usually do well even with young children and dogs. They’re also known for the odd, almost chirping sound they make.

Because they are longhaired, Maine Coons should be groomed weekly, and they do shed quite a bit. Common health problems include heart disease and hip dysplasia.

4. Siamese. One of the oldest breeds, Siamese cats are long, lean, and athletic, with a high energy level. They love to climb and observe the world from high places, so perches or cat trees are a must. They are the talkers of the cat world, often carrying on conversations with their owners.

A very demanding cat in need of constant attention, they do best when kept with other Siamese cats. They like interacting with people and often become attached to one person over others. “If you don’t have the time to be their servant, you won’t get the most out of having a Siamese,” Williams, the Siamese owner, says with a laugh.

Health issues include teeth and eye problems, but they tend to be healthy and long-lived, the veterinarians say.

5. Ragdoll. These large, semi-longhaired cats are calm and gentle with a strong need for human contact. They are good with children and train easily, including learning tricks and walking on a leash. Grooming is necessary, but not as much as with a Persian. And although they shed, they aren’t considered heavy shedders. Ragdolls are a healthy breed that can live well into their teens.

6. Abyssinian. Abys are very high-energy cats that need room to run and climb. They are intelligent and high-strung, and although people-oriented, they aren’t lap cats. Abys may not be the best pet for younger children, but they do need others cats or pets as company. Their sleek, short coats mean little grooming is needed, but they do shed. Health problems include some dental and ear problems.

                                         

Managing your Pet’s Medication!

Are you buying medication for your pet?  There is a lot to consider.  Make sure you follow these pointers regarding your pet’s medications to ensure safety and success.

  • Read the label. Read it again and if you have questions, call your veterinarian’s office.
  • Give the medication as prescribed on the label. Don’t adjust the amount, frequency or duration of administration without talking to your veterinarian.
  • If you are having trouble administering medications, stop by your veterinarian’s office for a lesson in administration.
  • If the medication schedule does not fit with your schedule, ask your veterinarian if there is an alternative drug with a different schedule.
  • If your pet won’t take a pill, ask if the medication comes in a liquid or can be formulated into a liquid to ease administration.
  • If you think your pet is having a bad reaction to the medication, stop the medication and call your veterinarian immediately.
  • For after-hours trips to the animal ER, be sure to take all the medications with you and show them to the ER staff.