It’s Raining Cats and Dogs!

February 10, 2011

Feel like your daily weather report is missing something?  You’ll love this new app from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  Their new free app called “PetWeather” brings you your daily local weather report along with pet care tips and pictures of cute little four-legged friends. 

The app uses GPS or a zip code you provide to predict the three day weather forecast and how it could affect your pet.  You’ll even receive an alert should the weather take a turn for the worst so that you can take steps to protect your furry friends.  Even if the weather report is less than ideal in the dead of winter, a delightful little picture of an animal that’s related to the weather will be there to brighten your day.  So if it is raining, or snowing, cats and dogs you’ll see a picture of say a puppy in a hat and coat.  To learn more about this app or to download for free, visit the PetWeather page.

{ 0 comments }

Pet Dental Health Month!

February 3, 2011

February isn’t just for Valentine’s Day; it’s also Pet Dental Health Month!  The American Veterinary Medical Association, a sponsor of Pet Dental Health Month, reminds all pet owners to recognize the importance of keeping their pet’s teeth squeaky clean and plaque free. Most pet owners are unaware of the dangers that can build in their dog and cats’ mouths.  Dental disease is actually the most common ailment for dogs and cats.  A major dental disease for cats and dogs is periodontal disease which is a common infection, and if untreated, can lead to serious medical conditions such as diabetes, strokes and other life threatening conditions. Shocking statistics show that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats will have some form of periodontal disease by age two.

Dental disease isn’t just bad breath; it can be very painful and adversely affect a pet’s entire body.  If dental disease progresses too much, it will require a professional dental cleaning which is typically performed under anesthesia, and can be costly.  Owners should brush their pets’ teeth daily using toothpaste made specifically for pets.  This can be easier said than done, so if you can’t brush daily try dental treats, chews, or even a drinking water additive.  You can prevent or slow down the development of dental disease by treating your pet’s precious pearly whites just as kindly as you treat your own.

{ 0 comments }

Mythbusting Your Pets

January 31, 2011

Have you ever discovered that something you thought was common knowledge was actually just plain wrong? It’s not an unusual experience. Even our cuddly, four-legged companions are sources of common misconceptions. Keep reading to find out the truth about cats and dogs.

It is widely believed that table scraps are good for dogs and that a saucer of milk is just the thing for a feline. However, when it comes to keeping your furry friend healthy, it is best to stick to foods specially formulated for their dietary needs. Both cats and dogs are lactose intolerant. Milk may be pleasing to their palates but it can lead to a very upset tummy and can even cause vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, table scraps and human food often contain chemicals, spices and other elements that animals would never have encountered in nature.  However, please be advised also against feeding your pet raw meat. Any bacteria or other unfriendly organisms in raw meat could be spread from your pet’s saliva to you and your family. A good rule of thumb is to stick to high quality, natural or organic pet foods to keep your companion happy and healthy.

Puppy kisses may seem sweet, but you might want to think twice about letting your pooch give you a big wet one. Just take a moment to think about where your dog’s mouth has been. Doesn’t exactly make you want to pucker up, but many people still find themselves enjoying slobbery kisses from their pup. Many veterinarians recommend brushing your dog’s teeth with a toothpaste especially formulated for dogs or using dental chew toys to keep your dog’s mouth clean. Regular cleanings can help prevent against a variety of health problems as well as cutting down on the doggy breath.

One last myth that persists in passing as fact is the belief that cats always land on their feet. Unfortunately, though cats are quite nimble creatures, they too are vulnerable to falls. Make sure your windows are secure, especially if you live higher up in the sky. Now that we’ve busted these common myths and misconceptions about your furballs, hopefully you will be able to use your knowledge to give your pet a long and happy life.

{ 0 comments }

Electronic Mice for Kitty?

January 14, 2011

An interesting fact of the day, ipad now has apps for your cat!   There are several different games out there.  They are designed to keep your kitty stimulated and of course, up to date with the newest tech trends.  Nate Murray, one of the creators of the app, is confident this app will succeed, “We think it’s a first in competitive video gaming for animals.”

So what would an app for cat look like?  There are several to choose from but most of them are the same concept; something moves across the screen like a mouse or a dot.  Obvious flaws that may occur with such an app include a scratched screen or a dropped ipad.  Another thing to watch out for is that some apps don’t require a password to approve a purchase of an upgraded app, once you are within the game.  Despite these shortcomings, your cat is sure to be entertained by all the wonderful electronic mice.  Most of them are free so it may be worth a try!

{ 0 comments }

Wine and Dine Your Canine

December 22, 2010

Home cooking for your pet isn’t just the latest trend in spoiling your pet, it is a great way to save money and extend your pets’ lifespan.  Feeding your pet dog food every day is like us eating cereal every day, it lacks what we need most, protein.  According to vet Francisco DiPolo of TriBeca’s Worth Street Veterinary Center, “any ingredient you use out of your fridge is going to be better than what’s coming out of a bag or a can,” this includes protein, fat, complex carbohydrates and vegetables.  The following do’s and don’ts can help your pet to make a smooth transition to a healthy homemade diet.

Do’s: If you are considering switching your pet to a homemade diet it is important to consult a vet or a pet nutritionalist.  Ask for a list of foods that you should not feed your pet to avoid your pet getting sick.  Alldredge’s canine nutrition consultations recommend implementing a protein, a power-food fruit or vegetable and a whole grain into your pets’ diet. 

Don’ts:  Avoid feeding your pet chocolate, onions, raisins, grapes and avocados.  These foods can be harmful to pets in large amounts.  Anything containing artificial sweeteners can be dangerous as well.  Don’t assume that all breeds are the same; some breeds may be more sensitive to foods than others due to their genetic disposition.

{ 0 comments }

Pet Airways has created a new niche in the airline industry by creating a pet only airline.  With Pet Airways pets aren’t treated as cargo or packages, they are treated as Pawsengers and fly with no cargo hold, no tarmac delays and no human passengers. According to the Department of Transportation 154 pets died, 63 were injured and 38 lost through August 2010.   Pet Airways might just be a good idea for flying your pets.

The Pet Airways travel experience is one that will put both you and your pet at ease.  Throughout the process pets are monitored to ensure that they have had a potty break less than 2 hours before departure and once on the flight they are monitored by a Pet Attendant every 15 minutes to ensure safety and comfort.  Pet Airways allows pet owners to fly with comfort knowing that their pets aren’t being tossed around with the rest of their cargo.

{ 0 comments }

Go Fetch!

December 7, 2010

Many dog owners take outstanding care of man’s best friend. They purchase the best food and spend hours walking, grooming and playing with their dog. However, many dog owners look at training their dog as a luxury, one that is often too expensive. This attitude is unfortunate because it deprives many people and dogs of the opportunity to enjoy their relationship to the fullest. Training your dog can help you to better manage and prevent a variety of behavioral problems. Training also gives you an incredible amount of insight into the way your dog’s mind works.

Training your dog can be free or cheap. There are lots of great resources on the internet, especially on youtube, that can teach you how to train your dog using positive reinforcement. Check out your local library for books on training your dog and canine behavior. When there is no price on this knowledge, there is no excuse not to use it! If you have the budget for it, look into obedience classes or, for those with bigger budgets, private sessions with a trainer. Make sure you see a trainer who does not use intimidation, punishment and fear. Your dog will thrive if you train him to respond to positive reinforcement!

{ 0 comments }

A Breath of Fresh Air

December 2, 2010

Being out in nature, going for long walks and sitting around a campfire with the ones you love is a great way to unwind and create lasting memories for years to come. Have you ever wished you could share the joy and freedom of camping with your canine family members too? You and your pup can easily enjoy the great outdoors together. Check with your campsite to see if they allow dogs, pack some extra supplies for your pet and hit the trail. Remember, when you go on your camping trip, always keep an eye on your dog. Don’t let him run wild in the woods!

Running around in the fresh air, your dog will burn about twice as many calories as he normally does. Bring lots of extra food and treats to keep your pooch going strong. Remember to always keep your food secured away from hungry bears and other wild animals. You may want a longer leash for your dog at the campsite than you would use in the city. Additionally, pack a first aid kit for your dog. You will want to bring a liquid bandage product, a wrap bandage like Vetrap bandages to stop bleeding in case your dog breaks a toenail. If your dog is not used to walking in rough terrains, you may even want to purchase some booties to protect his paws. If you wouldn’t want to run around barefoot in the woods, chances are your dog wouldn’t like to either.

When you settle down in your tent at night, try to get your dog to come inside to sleep with you. You may want to practice a little tent-time in your yard at home to see how your dog responds to the idea of going inside a tent. To keep your dog out of your sleeping bag, bring along a bed or blanket for him to sleep on. Just like at home, always keep plenty of fresh water out for your dog. Hopefully you and your dog can follow these tips and safely enjoy camping together for many years to come! Do you camp with your dog? Share your tips and stories in the comments!

{ 0 comments }

As a pet owner you know that somewhere along the lines your pet became more than a pet.  Pets are more like our children.  Dresses, rain boots, Halloween costumes and the latest fashion collar may help your pet to look great but rather than spending excessive amounts of money on things our pets don’t need, we should save that money for things that they will need, such as healthcare.

Most pet owners do not have pet insurance for their pet nor do they have the funds to pay for emergencies out of pocket.  The American Animal Hospital Association urges pet owners to set money aside for their pet’s healthcare.  According to Consumer Reports, pet owners would be better off putting several hundred dollars each year into an emergency fund rather than paying for health insurance due to the ambiguities of what is actually covered under pet insurance.

On the other hand, if a pet develops a chronic condition or needs major care, a pet owner may reap the benefits of pet insurance.  When looking into a policy for your pet it is important to look at sample policies and their limitations, exceptions and co-payments.  Some breeds have pre existing conditions that will not be covered with pet insurance.

There is no way to determine if one should purchase health insurance for their pet but we think it is safe to say that every pet owner should research their options and decide on what works best for them.  In the event of an emergency our pets will be better off if we either invest in health insurance or a savings account rather than spending our every last penny on fashionable and cute but highly unnecessary accessories for our pets.

{ 0 comments }

 The holiday season is right around the corner and it’s extremely important to remember there are a number of foods we should not share with our faithful four-legged friends. These foods may be devilishly delicious, but they can have a negative effect on our pet’s health. Take a look at the list of foods below and think twice before passing the plate to your pet:

 Alcoholic Beverages: Stick to water this holiday season. Alcohol can cause severe intoxication, coma and death

  • Baby food: Some baby food contains onion powder, which can be very toxic to dogs
  • Fish bones, poultry bones & other meats: Fish and poultry bones can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system
  • Chocolate, coffee & caffeine: Your pets do not need the caffeine high. Caffeine can be very toxic and have harmful affect on the heart and nervous system
  • Fat trimmings: Fat trimmings aren’t healthy for you or pet, so be sure to cut off all the fat before sharing scraps with your pet. If not, you may be putting your pet at risk for developing pancreatitis
  • Grapes, raisins & macadamia nuts: These simple snacks can cause kidney disease and have negative health risks on the digestive and nervous system
  • Milk & other dairy products: Believe it or not, many dogs and cats are lactose-intolerant and have a difficult time breaking down the enzyme lactase
  • Mushrooms, onion & garlic: Mushrooms contain toxins that may affect multiple systems in the body as well as cause shock or even death. Onion and garlic can damage red blood cells and cause anemia
  • Too many table scraps: Keep your pet healthy, strong and slim by keeping your pet away from table scraps.

{ 0 comments }