January 12, 2015
Does Your Kitty Drink Enough Water?
I understand kitties are much neater and cleaner drinkers than dogs. That is if they drink at all. Some experts say cats do not feel thirst. If you notice your kitty drinking you can see what a delicate process it is. It has been said, on every lap a domestic cat takes it consumes approximately 0.1 milliliter of liquid. At four laps per second that comes out to be 5 teaspoons per minute.
If your kitty is not drinking you can help them out by adding a little water to their canned food and offer less or none at all of the dry processed foods. (some veterinarians insist that cats eat dry food so they will drink. This does not always work). Wet food is a much better diet for cats. Studies at Cornell University have proven dry food is full of carbs and makes your feline obese. Read more about what Cornell is doing for cats.
Encourage your cat to drink. It is known that cats do not need as much water as other creatures. It is important that they take in a sufficient amount. There are a few things you can do to help make sure that they drink to stay hydrated, especially during summer months.
* Change out water often
* Choose stainless steel, ceramic and glass bowls. Plastic will harbor odors that may be unpleasant for your kitty.
* Wash and rinse the bowls using a dish detergent that does not have citrus added. Cats hate citrus. (I love Ivory Liquid or Dawn).
* Use several bowls of different shapes and sizes and place them strategically through out the house. Let your kitty choose which one it likes the best. Take note, I am sure they will have a preference. (make sure at least one is wide enough so whiskers will not touch sides). Finicky Finicky Finicky
* Try a couple of ice cubes. You kitty might like colder water.
* If needed, flavor the water with a small amount of tuna or chicken broth.
* Refill the bowls at least once or better twice a day with fresh filtered or distilled water.
* Use a throw away liner to prevent saliva and water sediment from staining the sides of the bowl. (found at pet stores nationwide). yeah, they are plastic. Worth a try if so inclined. Me, I just replace and throw away the stained bowl.
* Don't rely on large waterers or fountains. I hate them! They need extra time and care to keep clean. Bacteria can build up quickly in areas you can't see. They can be expensive to operate using electricity or batteries and all have a filter that needs to be changed. So much easier to drip a faucet in a sink or tub for part of the day.
* Serve smaller and more frequent meals. This will give kitty the opportunity to be up next to the water bowl.
* Please do not add water to dry food. It makes it less appealing and can spoil quickly.
*This last tip, which inspired me to write this blog today, I read on WikiHow. Crush cat nip and blend it through out the water. Who would ever think of that. Worth a try!!!
If kitty likes to play in the water bowl place a towel around the bowl for a quick easy mop up. If they are as messy as I have seen some be simply place the bowl in the bathtub or sink.
Signs of good hydration
1. Urinating 2 - 3 times per day. Look in the litter pan for medium sized clumps.
2. Skin elasticity: Does the skin on their neck spring back after being gently pulled up.
3. Shiny coat without dry flakes. (good to have your cat on a fish diet too).
4. Your cat should not become overly lethargic after normal physical activity.
WE do all we can to contribute to our cat's health and well being. If you notice excessive changes in your cat's dietary intake or behavior take them to see your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Your cat will thank you
What To Do if Your Dog is Harmed by Fleas
Any dog owner will tell you that his/her worst nightmare is a pet that is infested with fleas. Your dog needs a lot of care, both preventive and reactive, to keep fleas at bay. with the help of some simple home remedies, you can prevent fleas as well as other types of pests from affecting your pet.
Essential oils such as eucalyptus, basil, peppermint, clove, or tea tree are known to be very effective against fleas when applied on your dog's collar. Another preventive remedy is to spray your pet with a solution of apple cider vinegar (one cup), water (one liter), and any pet friendly essential oil (a couple of drops).
Clean the house
If your dog is already affected by fleas, you would need to take curative steps. fleas on your pet means that your house is infested too. To get immediate relief from this problem, you must vacuum your home fully, wash the rugs, and clean the upholstery.
On your flooring, you could sprinkle a powder made from a boric acid base that is readily available in the market. There are many insecticides for fleas, but choose one that is organic and non-toxic. You could also use a flea trap such as a source of light over a sticky paper (flypaper) or a soap and water solution in a bowl to draw the fleas into it.
Methods to attack fleas
If the infestation is in the very early stages, you could run a fine tooth comb through your dog's coat, groin, near the tail, and legs to look for fleas. Your veterinarian may prescribe a spray, dip, shampoo, or collar, depending on the severity of infestation.
When you use an anti-flea spray on your pet, remember that you just have to dab it around the eyes, ears and other parts. Also, make sure that you use dips or rinses that are safe and as prescribed by your vet. Mild shampoos can be used on your pet, and for them to work, you would need to leave them on for 10 - 15 minutes before a bath.
For a natural shampoo to cure your dog of fleas, you would need to make a concoction of mild soap that is pet friendly, lemon juice, and water. You could also use rosemary dip; all you need to do is boil fresh rosemary for about 30 minutes. Then, take out the leaves, strain the water, dilute it with warm water, and when it is at the perfect temperature apply it to your dog's coat. Not only will the fleas be wiped out, but your furry friend will find great relief too.
Keep Your Home Safe For Your Cat
You can't begin your day without petting your cat; she is the joy of your life. But have you stopped and taken stock of how safe your home is for your pet? It is not such a complicated procedure as all you have to do is survey the house, one room after another. One of the first things to do is to make sure you keep the detergents, cleaning liquids, and medicines out of your cat's reach. The cat might spill some of these, come in contact by brushing against it, or lick something that could harm her. Keep all that stuff locked away in a cabinet.
Outdoors and garden spaces
Keep your cat indoors if it is raining. If you live in a neighborhood with heavy traffic, you should take extra care to ensure that your cat doesn't wander or get lost. While it may not be your choice to keep all cats indoors all the time and some cats that you don't want to go outdoors may have an opportunity to escape at times, make sure that it is into a safe environment. Cats that are accustom to the outdoors will almost always linger and hunt close to home claiming and protecting it's territory. Some may be terrified and bolt to look for a hiding place.
Planting time begins in the Fall in the South. With wildlife and pets in mind choose your plantings wisely. The garden area should be a safe zone for your cat. There are certain kinds of plants that can cause allergies or a fatality if your pet ingests them. It could be a stately oleander, majestic lily, or the beautiful azalea, so before planting you should make sure they are cat-safe plantings. Also make sure your cat does not come in contact with insecticides or fertilizers that you are using in the garden. Keep sharp garden tools out of it's reach and other random stuff such as coins, nails and buttons should also be kept away as there is the danger of your pet swallowing them.
Put away any cords, wire, rubber bands, strings that your cat could get entangled with. Your pet could trip over and fall over a cord lying on the floor while dashing across the room after it's toy. Inside the kitchen too, you should ensure there are no sharp objects like knife and scissors on the countertop that your cat could come in contact with.
Clear away all food crumbs and bones after cooking. Your cat could choke on bones and suffer a tremendous consequence. Clear all the leftovers because some cats might want to raid them. Such food could be unhealthy for your cat and must be kept put up. Around the house, always keep the doors of your washing machine and dryer closed; the same applies to trash cans, toilet lids, closets and cupboards.
I like to have the back porch and one room in the house set up special just for our cats. This is a place they love to go to. They are safely out of the way of certain noises and household duties and they are free to do whatever it is they like to do. There are so many things to think of when you have curious kitties around. It is hard for the normal family to stay on top of everything.
Cats generally like to be at a window or out on the lanai or porch. They will no doubt at some point jump up on the screen and make a tear. Our cat has not been a problem over the years. It is our puppy who was the problem. It did not take him long to create a hole big enough to use as a way to gain entry onto the porch. Our solution is to open up our doggy door to allow him to get in when ever he wants. Poor kitty has lost her privacy.
Now for the fix.
I know of one local company, Dulando Screen and Awning, Inc. I can highly recommend them for repairs and rescreening. I have seen them meticulously at work rescreening and love the quality screen they use. Best of all they have available Tuff Screen and pet-resistant screening. They have framing that comes in different colors. It is tear and puncture resistant to prevent damage by kids and pets. Installs like regular screen and provides excellent outward visibility. Call for your FREE estimate and ask about any available discount. Tell them that I pawsitively love their work.
Pet Care During an Emergency
It is always best to have some kind of a first-aid plan for any medical emergency that involve your cat or dog. In spite of the best of your intentions, there could be some type of incident and it is difficult to stay calm and think clearly and quickly. One of the first things you would need to do is keep the contact details of a 24 hour care center for your dog or cat handy. With smartphones, it is easy to save those emergency numbers so you can rush your pet to their facility in a timely manner.
Signs of an emergency
In a case regarding a dog, you know it is an emergency if your pet has gums that have turned pale, is breathing rather rapidly, has a huge change in temperature, has lost consciousness, has poor pulse rate or is bleeding heavily. Your dog might react in an aggressive manner if he or she is injured so approach carefully, sit down, and call the dog's name. if there's aggression, you may need extra help, but if the dog is passive, you would need to create a stretcher, support the neck and back, and get the dog to the nearest emergency center.
In a case regarding a cat, any panting is a bad sign, and change in body temperature or pulse rate could indicate that the cat is not doing well. Your cat should be taken to a professional right away.
In terms of first-aid, if your dog or cat is not conscious, use CPR, if necessary to keep their airway open. Any injury and bleeding, you should raise the injured part to an elevated position and put pressure on the wound. If your pet is choking, you need to try and remove whatever it is quickly by reaching in to pull it out, if you can see it. It is always smart to learn and know the Heimlich maneuver, or maybe by making a quick, jerky movement will help dislodge it. In case of a bee sting or an insect bite, your pet is likely to suffer itching, swelling or redness around the bite area. Also, some pets may have an allergy to stings and bites.
Allergies could lead to problems with breathing and collapse of your pet. You should first scrape out the insect's stinger from the fur or coat of your pet. Most pets will try to take care of this before you get to them. If not, make sure not to exert any pressure on the sac of venom in the insect because that is bound to release more poison. Apply a cold compress to the area where the insect has bitten or stung your pet. You could make a baking soda and water paste and apply to the area. Any problems with breathing should be immediately handled by an expert.
In general, you would need to put together a first-aid kit for any pet you might have. A good first aid kit includes the right size muzzle, towel, and blanket, gauze, cotton balls, cotton swabs, antiseptic lotion, rectal thermometer with lubricant, tweezers, saline solution, etc to save crucial time when your cat or dog is unwell.
Caring For Your Sick Cat
Your cat is unwell and you don't know what to do. The first step is stay calm and not feel agitated because cats have the ability to sense your panic or nervousness, and they could turn anxious themselves. This leads to a vicious cycle and is counter-productive. First things first, take your cat to a veterinarian. If your cat is anxious at the vet's clinic, one simple step you could take is to block the cat's view by covering the cage with a cloth. Talk to the cat in a soothing and calm manner. Don't pat your kitty's head or hold on to it tight; any strong physical move will ruffle the cat further.
Ask your veterinarian for tips on how to take care of the cat at home. Your vet will tell you to zero in on a small corner, a niche, or a safe space out of the way and free of drafts. This will give your cat a feeling of comfort and security. The litter box should be placed close by and your cat should have a warm blanket in a box or bed to snuggle under or rest upon.
Medications and food
You should also have a proper schedule or routine for administering medication. When giving the medication, don't abruptly put an end to whatever it is that your cat is doing and forcibly feed the drug. Ask the vet to suggest simple steps to administer the drug. You should make your cat feel more positive and wanted. Add to it with a little play and attention... it may make the medicine go down easier.
Treats, petting or brushing as rewards for accepting the oral drugs would be ideal. However, don't use medication along with food unless the vet says so. The cat may feel aversion to food and stop eating properly. If you are feeding food from cans, it is better to lightly warm it in a microwave. The warmth would be very comforting; you could feed broth also to help your cat recover. It would be nice to feed your cat with your hand, especially food that is soft. If it is liquids you are feeding, you could use a bottle.
Keep track of body temperature, at least twice a day. You would need to check the pulse of your cat as well. Monitor and record the quantity of food your cat is eating, the urinary habits, bowel movements, medications given and changes in the condition of the cat. If your cat is wounded, the bandages need to be changed often. Keep your vet updated about all the details and changes that you have noted, be it fever, bleeding, vomiting, or even changes in sleeping and eating habits.
Keeping Your Pets Cool When Temperatures Are Rising
Summers can get relentlessly hot with the uncompromising sun beating down, rising temperatures every day. Hot weather gets difficult for both humans and their furry companions. Summer heat coupled with humidity is pretty hard to cope with. High temperatures can be dangerous for your precious pet. Take care of your pet this summer with a few simple tips on how to keep your pet refreshed and relaxed as temperatures soar.
Take advantage of the many benefits summer has to offer and relax with your pet. As humidity increases, pets in thick furry coats heat up very quickly under the sun. Restrict walks and play to early hours in the morning or evening, when it's cooler. Keep your pet out of direct midday heat. always have water handy on walks and while playing, make certain that your pet is adequately hydrated at all times. Walk your pet on grassy surfaces as much as possible, because summer hot asphalt and tarmac might burn and scar your pet's paws.
*Shade your pet
Rest with your pet under tall shady trees out in open breezy parks on a hot summer day. Outdoor temperatures are usually much cooler than stuffy apartments that trap heat during the day. Make sure you find a cool space for your pet to relax under. Direct exposure to harsh sunlight for prolonged periods of time can lead to irreparable organ damage and possible irreversible harm. Trees with plenty of leaf cover, picnic umbrellas, or tarps make ideal shade covers.
*Help your pet keep cool
Feed your pet homemade popsicles; a touch of their favorite flavor will pawsitively thrill them. Make certain that your pet has access to cool fresh water at all times during summer. Delight your furry companion by adding ice chips to drinking water during heat waves. Frozen coconut water cubes is a great way to cool your pet down while balancing the ever depleting electrolytes due to the blistering heat. This will relax and relieve your pet from excess heat soon. When excessively panting, spray your pet with a mixture of water and aloe vera juice all over the body and directly into the mouth.
*Give your pet a summer crop
Pets benefit immensely from a nice summer haircut, clipping off excess or unwanted fur will help your pet regulate internal body temperature easier and faster. Before you shave off too much of your pet's coat, check it's breed origins. Some canine pets, like sheep dogs, have fur coats adapted to repel harmful UV rays.
Emergency Care For Your Pet
Accidents are part and parcel of everyday life; although sometimes situations such as a picnic on Independence Day might lead to some ungainly misadventures, for your furry friend. During such situations it is often difficult to make sound decisions, especially at odd hours of the night.
Round the clock emergency center
It is imperative you find a suitable veterinary emergency clinic in your neighborhood. Ask your vet about emergency care options available, in areas not too far from your home. Several veterinarians provide round the clock on-call services in case you need immediate help. It's generally advisable to have these numbers easily accessible, for instance posted on the refrigerator, on speed dial, or by the telephone are ideal places.
Situations where your pet might need emergency aid
Easy going parties quickly turning into nightmares are fairly common. Your pet can come under sever trauma brought on due to choking, inadvertent poisoning, allergic reaction, accidentally hit by a car or even a fall.
Signs that indicates your pet needs first aid
The moment you notice your pet out of breath, or breathing unusually fast, take your time to check them for further symptoms of trauma. Weak or rapid pulse is another indication that something might be amiss; check your pet's pulse by applying light pressure on the lateral arterial veins in their front paws, or using two fingers on the femoral artery high on inner thigh where it meets the body. More times than not you may feel your own pulse, counting how many heartbeats you feel in 15 seconds and multiply by four will also give you a pulse rate. Sudden drop in body temperature, especially if they go cold to the touch, difficulty in standing, or sudden paralysis, could mean insufficient blood flow that calls for immediate medical help.
Handy first aid tips
Most emergency situations calls for professional care, however, as a concerned pet owner you can take a few steps to stabilize your pet.
Keep the injured area elevated, particularly if it is an open wound. Applying pressure to the area will help stop excessive bleeding.
In case your pet is suffocating or choking, check their mouth with your fingers for any blockages that can be removed. Feeling the neck and massaging the surrounding area might also ease the blockage down the esophagus.
Perform a version of the Heimlich maneuver by delivering a swift sharp pat on their chest or back in an attempt to dislodge the obstruction. Make certain their tongue is pulled outside their mouth, hanging by the side of their jaw; this will prevent further asphyxiation by possibly choking on their own tongue. If your pet has inhaled a piece of food and can't recover, a firm and swift openhanded thud along both sides may be all you need to bring them around.
Keeping a blanket handy can serve you by being a stretcher, an over-sized bandage, warm the injured against onset of shock, or simply to calm & comfort.