Friday, July 14, 2017

Facts About Fleas and Ticks

There is no bigger pain on the planet than fleas and ticks – and that’s coming from someone who encounters bad drivers every morning. But, as a fellow pet owner, fleas and ticks take the cake.

What Are Fleas and Ticks?
Fleas are small insects that latch onto your pet. They can find a home on your pet during a walk outside, or even in your home – fleas attach themselves to socks and shoes. Yikes!

When fleas cozy up in your pet’s fur, they feed on blood. They’re mini vampires in this sense. After a while, they’ll look to mate – the females lay eggs, which can fall off your pet and into your home and yard.

Ticks, much like fleas, attach themselves to the pet’s body as well. They’re bloodsuckers as too, capable of transmitting diseases when they bite. The problem, though, is that ticks are subtler about they’re invasion – releasing an anesthetic so the victim doesn’t feel a thing.

Detecting Fleas and Ticks
Fleas tend to leave little dark brown flecks, which can be found combing through your pet’s skin. This coupled with constant scratching is a sure fire sign your pet has a case of the itchy-crawly’s.

When looking for ticks, run your hand along your pet’s body. If you feel a tiny lump or bump, stop and look at it. If the bump is red, almost like a blood blubble, it’s a tick.

Flea and Tick Prevention
While it’s true that fleas and ticks are more prevalent in the summer months, thriving in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees, they can linger indoors during the winter months. This is why it’s good to find a year-round preventative product for your pets. But remember, these products are different for cats and dogs (some dog treatments are toxic to cats, and vice-versa). Visit your veterinarian for more details.

Yes, Your Dog CAN Get a Sunburn!

Summer’s officially here. That means sunny days, lemonade and trips to the ballpark. For your dog, it may also mean getting sunburnt. That’s right, animals can get sunburns as well.

Does My Dog Need Sunscreen?

If your dog is going to be outdoors for a prolonged period of time, yes, he or she needs sunscreen. Dogs with light skin and white fur/hair are the most susceptible to sunburn. According to Richard Goldstein, chief medical officer of the Animal Medical Center in New York City, “A dog’s skin can be damaged by the sun just like our own skin, so they require the same protection against the development of sunburn and skin cancer.”

Sun exposure is at its highest during early morning (10 am) to late-afternoon (4 pm). If your dog finds themselves outside for a significant duration of time during this period, note that you should reapply sunscreen to the sensitive areas – nose, around the lips, tips of the ears, the groin and the belly.

What Kind of Sunscreen Should I Use?
The recommended sunscreen for dogs is sunscreen that is designated for dog use. Such sunscreens don’t pose a health risk to your dog. However, if dog sunscreen isn’t available, a broad-spectrum sunscreen for babies and children (SPF 15 or higher) can be used. Just note, if going the broad-spectrum route, to check the label for the following two ingredients: zinc oxide and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA).  Both of these are toxic for dogs. You must use a broad-spectrum sunblock that does not contain these ingredients.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How to Manage Pet Allergies as the Seasons Change

For Those Of Us who Suffer From Pet Allergies, There’s Hope

As the seasons change, and the warm weather approaches, your pets will shed until the cows come home. Pet dander will litter your home and clothes, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through pet allergies. Just look at these quick tips to help survive allergy season.

You Shall Not Pass!
For starters, make your bedroom a pet-free zone. Keep dander away from where you get your beauty rest!
Buy a HEPA Filter
HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filters possess fine sieves and catch small allergens, removing unwanted particles and allergens from the air.
Break out the Vacuum and Duster
Allergens build up quick, especially in the spring/summer months. Vacuuming frequently, dusting tables, shelves and doorways is a surefire way to reduce your suffering.
If you’re finding that, despite your best efforts, nothing seems to be working, perhaps medication or an allergy shot is the best bet. Over-the-counter allergy medications, such as antihistamines, relieve mild allergy symptoms: nasal congestion and itchy eyes. Of course, always consult your primary care physician before considering over-the-counter medications.

Vaccinate Me, Doc
Allergy shots, or allergy vaccines, will help your body develop protective antibodies so you won’t have an allergic reaction when exposed to allergens. The only issue? There’s a good deal of time needed before you see dramatic results. It can take upwards of 5 years’ worth of injections before you’re completely allergy-free.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Cats Being Cats

Domesticated or Wild, Cats Have A Lot in Common

Have you ever looked at your fuzzy lil’ kitten and thought “if she was slightly larger, I bet she’d be Queen of the Jungle?” You have!? Well, so have I. Let’s be friends.

But first, lets find out how domesticated and wild cats are similar.

10. Purring
Lions and Tigers won’t cuddle up and purr like Miss Purrfect, you’re adorable Maine Coon with a penchant for climbing the Christmas tree, but a puma would. That’s right, Puma’s are known for more than just their speed.

9. Scent Marking
When your cat rubs up against you and wiggles his or her tail, they aren’t always looking for attention. It’s a sign of scent marking. You may pay the rent, but it’s Mittens’, the 10-year-old Siamese, territory now.

8. Sharpening Their Claws
It’s just another instance of marking their territory. While the large cats of the wilderness aren’t directly responsible for your need to replace yet another recliner, know they’ve influenced it a bit.

7. Go To Bed, Miss Purrfect
Wild cats like to hunt at night – it gives them an advantage. Domesticated cats? They like to run in circles upstairs and keep you awake.

6.  Hunting
Domesticated cats bring you tiny bird. Jaguars, on the other hand, well, don’t ever stray from a guided safari tour.

5. Number of Toes
All cats, domesticated and wild, have four toes on their hind feet and five toes on their front feet.

4. Put Your Claws Away
Cheetah’s are the only type of cat that doesn’t have retractable claws.

3. Meats, Meats, Meats
All cats are carnivores. So while you’re cutting meat out of your diet, don’t do the same for loveable Miss Purrfect.

2. Chromosomes
Within the cell of each cat, sans the Geoffreys Cat and the Ocelot, there are 38 chromosomes.

1.Speed Demon
Miss Purfect has a majestic stride as she chases after an unsuspecting spider, and her speed and agility are influenced by her elders of the wild.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tips for Puppy Potty Training

            There aren't many events in life that are more exciting than bringing home a new puppy, but one of the hardest things to do is housebreaking your new family member.

            If you are an extremely busy person who lives alone you may have to hire someone to give you a hand. For the first few weeks or so your puppy will need to be taken out every 1-2 hours. See if there is a neighbor, family member or friend that would be willing to lend a hand. There are even companies that offer puppy training services if you run out of options. Sometimes this may be your best choice since they already have training experience.

            When training your new 4 legged friend, the most important things to remember are:

·        Be Consistent
·        Use Positive Reinforcement
·        Be PATIENT!

-When bringing your puppy outside, make sure you are always bringing them to the same general area. The puppy will begin to recognize this routine and realize why he’s there.

-When your puppy goes to the bathroom where he/she is supposed to, make a big deal about it. Let your puppy know that you are happy with him/her and give them a treat for their success!
            These are a few very basic steps for successfully potty training your puppy. Remember, like a toddler, they are learning every day & they absorb more than you think. Be consistent, be positive, and be patient… And you will have a potty trained puppy in no time at all!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Keep your Pets Safe During Tick Season

With tick season upon us it is very important for dog and cat owners to be aware of the signs/symptoms of tick-borne illnesses. There are a number of diseases that can be transmitted through tick bites. Some of these diseases can cause your pet to suffer. If your dog or cat is experiencing any of these symptoms, it would be wise to contact your veterinarian ASAP:

-Loss of Appetite
-Weight Loss
-Enlarged Lymph Nodes
-Difficulty Walking
-Excessive Clumsiness

            While antibiotics can help with certain cases, some tick-born illnesses can leave your dog or cat with long term health issues. Even if the antibiotic seems to have done the trick, symptoms can surface down the road.

            The cost of treating a tick-borne illness in your pet will be much higher than the cost of preventative treatment you can use to combat the blood-sucking insects. It is very important to talk to your veterinarian about what method of preventative care is the best for your pet. There are different options, but the two main methods are a topical medicine that goes on the fur, or a chewable pill that is ingested.

            No matter what form of medication you choose, it is important to realize that no method has a 100% success rate. The chances of your dog getting ticks throughout its life are very high, especially if you live near wooded areas. That is why it is so important for you to monitor your pets closely, especially when coming in from outdoors. Even if your dog doesn't spend much time outside there are ways for ticks to find their way onto them. Ticks can be transferred to your pet from other dogs, or even humans who don't check themselves before entering the house. Tick borne illnesses are not to be taken lightly and it is important for pet owners to check their animals regularly, especially this season after such a mild winter

Saturday, April 29, 2017

10 Things You Didn't Know About Cats!

 The population of cats in the US is estimated to be between 125 to 150 million. That number is quickly increasing by the day. Although we seem to be surrounded by cats, how much do we REALLY know about our feline friends? Here are 10 interesting facts about these cuddly creatures that you probably didn’t know:

1. Catnip isn't Just for domestic cats- If you own a cat, chances are that you know the effect catnip has on them. Well, this isn't limited to just house cats. Even lions and tigers can't resist this tempting treat!

2. Cats don't have collarbones- This is how your cat is able to fit into very tight spaces. Cats are able to squeeze into openings that are the same size as their heads. Next time you you find your cat in an unusual place you'll know why.

3. Its more than just a "cat nap"- It's perfectly normal for your cat to spend a majority of their time snoozing. On average, a domestic cat will "nap" for about 2/3 of their life.

4. Back it up!- Most people know that cats have amazing vision in low light. What most DON'T know is that cats are farsighted which means they have trouble focusing on things that are closer than a foot in front of their faces.

5. Cats tolerate heat very well despite all that fur- Thanks to traits handed down by their ancestors, cats can thrive in hot temperatures. One unique feature is their ability to sweat through the pads on the bottoms of their paws!

6. Felines dream much like humans- As long as a cat is in a deep enough sleep, they will produce the same brain waves found in humans during the REM stage of their slumber.

7. Certain breeds like water- Breeds such as the Maine Coon, American Bobtail and a handful of others actually enjoy swimming or wading in water.

8. Obesity is a serious epidemic among cats- As of 2011, 54% of US cats were considered overweight/obese. This is also try of US dogs and humans!

9. Cats are VERY clean animals- Felines will spend about 1/3 of the time they are awake grooming themselves.

10. Cats are FAST- In short distances, domestic cats can travel at speeds of up to 31 MPH. Some of their "big cat" relatives, such as the cheetah, can reach a top speed of 75 MPH!

It is important to thoroughly educate yourself before becoming a cat owner. If you fail to do so the results could be Catastrophic.