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Pet Help & Information
(From subjects of flea help, skunk odor, pet safety, safe and harmful food, why
to spay & neuter and more)


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You Can Scroll Through The List or Click to Select a Shortcut Below~

WHY PETS SHOULD BE SPAY OR NEUTERED:

This simple chart illustrates the very real problem of not spaying or neutering your pets.  http://www.drsarapizano.org/why-you-need-to-spayneuter-your-pet/

Check with your County Extension Office or inquire at your veterinary office to see if they have a catch, fix, and release program in your area.  The feeding of a “couple” cats at my place of employment started quite innocently.  For 2-3 years I bought cat food and put out a bowl full as I left for work.  In the beginning there didn’t seem to be a problem but then our equipment outside started to get spray and you can’t very well clean it off canvas.  Then, during the winter, the little darlings would use the smallest bit of gravel, under the awning, to do their business.  Needless to say employees were not excited to come out and find cat poop next to their vehicle.  Something had to be done.  With the help of the Extension Office we live trapped the cats.  The ones that were not fixed were fixed and given a first round of shots.  In our situation I couldn’t have them released back to the same area because they would still do their business near employee cars.  Thank goodness I didn’t know what I was getting because ultimately we took 15-16 cats away from there.

Most of the cats were feral but 3-4 of them were pretty easy to work with, especially the young ones; not because they were young even the young ones can be vicious, but because I am persistent and spent time with them EVERY evening and greeted them every morning.  I fed and watered them twice a day and scooped out their boxes once a day.  Some were in cages, some in a bathroom where I could keep the door closed, and yet others in an unoccupied bedrooms.  I was fortunate that they all used the litter box.  When bringing a stray or feral cat into your home do not underestimate how crazy they can flip out and how high they can jump.  It takes a lot of patience and a great sense of humor.  I am happy to say that I placed all the cats we trapped and I am out of the cat rescuing business.  Please, spay and neuter your pets.

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CONSTIPATION:

Pumpkin, it’s not just for pumpkin pie anymore.  If you find that your pet is constipated or has diarrhea try this easy remedy.  Canned pumpkin puree, not pie filling, can be given to a dog or cat that is experiencing constipation or diarrhea.  Pumpkin has both a high fiber and water content.  The fiber in pumpkin will soften tools, but, if diarrhea is the problem the same fiber will absorb the extra water and make the stools firmer.

Pet Weight:  Less than 15 pounds give 1-2 teaspoons

                       15- 35 pounds give 1-2 tablespoons

                       35 pounds and up give 2-5 tablespoons

Cut back on the amount of pumpkin puree if the stools become too runny.  Place unused puree in a baggy or ice tray and freeze; take out as needed.  Any pet, with symptoms lasting 24-36 hours, should see their regular veterinarian.

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FOODS NOT TO FEED TO YOUR PET:

Alcohol     Avocado      Bones     Caffeine/Coffee     Chives     Chocolate     Eggs, raw     Garlic     Grapes     Macadamia Nuts     Meat, raw or undercooked     Milk     Onions     Salt     Xylitol     Yeast Dough’s

For an explanation as to why these are bad visit: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/people-foods.aspx

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TOXIC FOR YOUR DOG:

Apple Seeds     Corn on the Cob     Fat trimmings     Fish     Hops     Human vitamins     Liver     Marijuana     Mushrooms     Persimmons     Peaches     Plums     Potato     Rhubarb     Tomato leaves     Sugar     Tobacco

Found at:  http://www.caninejournal.com/foods-not-to-feed-dog

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FOODS TO NEVER GIVE YOUR CAT:

Alcohol     Bones     Caffeine/Caffeinated drinks     Candy     Chives     Chocolate     Dog food     Eggs, raw     Fat trimmings     Fish, raw     Garlic     Grapes     Gum     Onion     Liver     Meat, raw     Milk, other dairy products     Raisins     Treats, too many     Tuna     Yeast dough’s     Your personal medicine    

Taken from:  http://pets.webmd.com/cats/ss/slideshow-foods-your-cat-should-never-eat

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CLEANING CAT URINE


There is nothing worse than the smell of cat urine. Getting the smell out of material can be an arduous task. It is easier to remove the smell from hard surfaces. The first choice might be to reach for the bleach bottle but not just yet. Cat urine contains high levels of ammonia. Ammonia, mixed with bleach, produces toxic gases called chloramines. Exposure to chloramines will likely have you coughing, irritate your nose, throat, and eyes, causing shortness of breath, wheezing, and watery eyes. The same holds true if you mix the two while cleaning the bathroom. A good rule of thumb is, just don’t.
Since cat urine contains high levels of ammonia cats can be attracted back to the spots cleaned with ammonia or ammonia type products. www.aspca.org does not recommend cleaning accident spots with ammonia.
Two commercial products that come highly recommended are Urine Off and Nature’s Miracle. White vinegar also helps with urine odors.
A woman who is pregnant should take precaution when changing the litter box in order to avoid potential exposure to toxoplasmosis. If the cat(s) is an indoor, outdoor cat then it would be best if another family member changed the litter box. It is less of a concern if the cat is strictly an indoor cat although caution should still be observed.   
  

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SKUNK SMELL REMOVER:

We had to do this one evening at about 11:30PM and it was somewhat cold outside.  This worked wonders and we were able to bring the dog inside to dry and not freeze out in the cold.

1 bottle of hydrogen peroxide     ¼ cup baking soda     2 teaspoons of dish soap

Add these to a gallon bucket of water.  Allow to fizz.  Use a wet sponge to work into the area that was sprayed.  Be careful not to get in your pets eyes.  Wait 10-15 minutes before rinsing.  Repeat if necessary.

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TICK POWDER:

From http://www.aromathyme.com/natural-home.html   Combine ½ cup of baking soda or arrowroot powder (arrowroot powder is cheaper) and 2 drops of essential lavender oil and 2 drops of essential juniper berry oil in a bowl.  Mix well with fingers and lightly dust down the neck and back of your dog; don’t forget the ears but be careful not to get in the eyes.  Work the powder into their coat.

Do the same with your outdoor cats but you are going to use very little.

After you are done, and leftovers saved for next time, be sure to wash your hands so you don’t end up getting of the oils in your eyes. 

So far…so good!

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BUT I CRACKED THE WINDOWS:

Here is a 5 minute YouTube clip that shows what your dog experiences when you leave him in your car even though you have “cracked” the windows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssu3A8wqPPc

Why do people even take their dogs to the store with them?  Do they think the animal enjoys being locked inside a sweltering hot vehicle?  It doesn't make much difference if the windows are cracked; it will not be enough.  If you see a dog in distress or you are aware that too much time has passed and the owner hasn't returned call 911.  The owner could face animal cruelty charges and come out to find they are missing a window.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONkBVOZBuJQ

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SUMMERTIME REMINDERS:

It never fails, every year we read about deaths of pets as a result of the hot weather.  If we have a hard time dealing with it how much harder is it for your pet.  Please read these guidelines provided by Petfinder.

http://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-care/hot-weather-tips/

Heatstroke is a real problem for dogs.  Did you know that their sweat glands are in their paws?  It is very important to make sure your dog, if outside in the heat, has a shady spot and plenty of cool water to drink.  If you wouldn’t drink water that has been left out in the sun then do not leave your pets water in the sun.  For additional information on heatstroke please visit this website:  http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/heat.htm  If at all possible you might want to consider bringing your pet indoors during the hottest part of the day; just as you would bring them in during extreme cold winter nights

HERE COMES THE SUN:

Yes, your pet can sunburn, especially the hairless dogs, those with short hair, and ones with pale pink skin and noses.  Be sure to purchase an animal sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or greater.  Apply to the nose and any area that is hit by the reflecting sun, such as the belly, inner legs, and groin.

 

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THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER:

Water serves a dogs body in the same way it serves ours; to carry nutrients, aid digestion, lubricate joints, and remove body wastes.  Water is also necessary to cool their bodies helping them to maintain a normal body temperature.  Depending on the weather and exercise your dog should drink, per day, approximately 1 ounce of water per 1 pound of body weight.

I’m not sure where the notion of cats drinking milk came from other than in cartoons but, like dogs, cats need water too.  Milk is on the no-no list.  Without adequate water cats are prone to urinary issues; bladder stones and feline idiopathic cystitis.

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WINTERTIME REMINDERS:

Pets also need special attention during the winter.  Our pets depend on us to keep them safe.  

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/cold-weather-tips.aspx

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HOLIDAY REMINDERS:

Many times in the excitement of the holidays we may tend to “share” more with our pets than we should.  Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all holidays where an inside pet may be more apt to get the kind of human food he shouldn’t get.  We might absent-mindedly throw some turkey skin or fat trimmings to our outdoor pets, as a “treat”, not thinking of the harm it may do. 

Here are some additional reminders about Halloween.  Keep in mind that consistent door bell ringing or knocking at the door may stress your pet.  Some costumes may even scare you pet.  I know whenever my children put on a scary mask our dogs would growl and bark at them.  If your dog doesn't understand that it is you under that mask they won't understand the stranger at the door.  If your dog is stressed and loose in the house be cautious while opening the door as your dog might not only escape and run away but they could also bite someone. 

Keep candy away from your pet and candy wrappers off the floor. Candy may include the sweetener xylitol which is toxic to your pet and candy wrappers could pose a choking hazard.

Although pumpkin is not harmful to your pet a moldy one maybe.

The 4th of July is problematic for many pets.  We may like the sizzles and booms but many of our pets do not.  I live a couple of miles out of town and my cats and dogs are still bothered by the noise.  My cats prefer to come indoors and the problem is solved.  The dogs are another issue.  Even while indoors two were panting and, one of the two was panting/pacing; clearly stressed.  You would think that at 3 miles out the noise wouldn’t be an issue, but it is, every year.  This year I turned on a couple of fans but the one kept panting and pacing.  Then I turned on the radio; she is still panting and pacing.  Next I turned on the fan over the stove and the bathroom fan and finally she lay down.  Please, please, please take the sign of stress from your pet seriously.  This year I placed a feed on Facebook that basically said, check, check, and triple check to make sure your pet is safe and cannot get out once the fireworks start because it is heart breaking to read of someone trying to locate their lost pet the next day.  Sure enough, it wasn’t even 11:00 PM and someone was looking for the dog that “somehow” got out of the back yard.  Does that tell you something about HOW stressed that dog was?

I know others that have turned up the classic rock to camouflage the sound of fireworks and their dogs could not hear the fireworks over the music or recognize the fireworks and survived the 4th with without fear or torment, this does not work for all animals but it does for many.

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I CAN’T SEE YOU:

We live out of town and at night, especially in the winter months, it’s dark out here.  I hated letting the dogs out because I couldn’t see them.  Then I found what I call “blinky lights.”  Turn the light on, clip it to the dog collar, and let the dogs out.  It was such a relief to be able to know exactly where they are, especially since we live right next to a road.  I got our lights at our local General store.  When researching “blinky lights” for pets I discovered that Amazon sells collars that light up.  Either way a light on your pet is a good idea.

 

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WE’RE GOING FOR A RIDE:

Dogs, that is…not cats…they usually hate the car.  The best thing you can do for your cat if you need to take them in the car is to crate them.  I find that covering the crate with a blanket also helps to keep the cat calm.

Most dogs on the other hand love to go for car or pickup rides.  In terms of safety, if you would not let a young child have free reign of the vehicle or you would no let them sit on your lap, then it might be prudent no to let your dog do it either.  I know, none of us ever plan on having an accident but accidents happen, thus they are called accidents.  It will not matter if you are at fault or another party is at fault, what will matter to your pet is the danger they have been placed in and possible serious injury.  If your dog is used to riding on your lap it is going to be hard to break the habit because, after all, it does seem to make them happy.  But ask yourself, if my child or grandchild wanted to ride on your lap because it made them happy would you let them?  Even if there was no law against having a child on your lap most people would not allow it as they recognize the danger.  Please recognize the same danger for your pet. 

Unsecured dogs in the back of a pickup are also a problem.  What do you think will happen to your dog in case of an accident?  If your dog is going to travel in an open bed pickup please secure them.  Pet stores sell cross tethers for the back of pickups and combined with a padded harness will keep your dog safe.  A leash at the proper length will allow your pet mobility but not so much mobility that they can fall or jump out and be dragged…a not so pretty sight I have had the unfortunate occasion to witness. 

A plus to being tethered in the back of the pickup is when you stop to go into a store; you can be sure your dog will still be in the back when you return.  On more than one occasion I have known of people looking for their dog when the dog jumped out of the pickup after the owner had disappeared into a store.   Ten or fifteen minutes might not seem like a long time but, to your dog, it might as well be an hour.

Another consideration, in reference to your dog riding in the bed of the truck or sticking their head out the window, is damage to their eyes, ears, and nose.  Just think about a time you were walking and had a bug fly into your eye or a gust of wind came up and blew dirt into your eyes.  Now think about your dog in the back of the pickup.  I had never really thought about this particular scenario but after reading about it, it did make sense.

Of course, having a dog crate secured in the back of the pickup is also an option.

 

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BUG FREE INDOORS:

Most indoor pets also go outdoors where they are exposed to pests.  To help keep your indoors as pest fee as possible follow these simple steps.

  • Wash pet bedding once a week.  Watch for pepper-like flakes as they can be a sign of flea excrement.  Where there is excrement there are fleas. Isn’t that lovely?  If you wet the flakes and they become rusty brown that is exactly what it is.  A redoubling of your efforts will be in order.
     

  • Vacuum or sweep your floors often.  Don’t forget to get under the furniture.  Throw the vacuum bag out when done or dump the bin if there is no bag.
     

  • If you have carpets you may want to purchase a food grade DE, a nontoxic silica powder.  Sprinkle the powder on carpets, in floor crevices and beds; yours and the pets.  DE dehydrates the bugs so they are less likely to live.  For myself, personally, my daughters and I ripped up the carpeting and put flooring down.  One of the best darn decisions I ever made.

Fleas are not readily seen on long-haired cats or dogs.  Do a comb through once a month.   

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BUG FREE OUTDOORS:

  • Fleas and ticks live in tall grass and brush.  Mow often and keep bushes trimmed back, especially around the house.
     

  • Stack wood away from the house.  Stacked wood provides an excellent spot to harbor fleas.
     

  • Pests love the shady spots.  Treat the shady spots with an approved EPA insecticide or make your own if you don’t want to go the insecticide route.  From what I’ve read you can use the food grade DE, Diatomaceous Earth, or you can make a garlic, onion, pepper spray.  Comments on the DE are that it is hard to spread without a duster and some people were not happy with the flimsy packaging that it came in.  It sounds like this is a product you will want to purchase at your local pet or feed and seed store and be able to purchase a duster while you are at it.  When preparing the garlic, onion, and pepper concoction make sure to keep your fingers away from your eyes and wear gloves when spraying.

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