Kick Off Your Holiday Shopping and Help Animals

This holiday, as you shop for gifts, don't forget to think about the pets in your life and animals in need.  Register at iGive.com, a site with 944 top-notch online merchants participate that will give a donation to your favorite charity when you make a purchase.  There are 49,000 charities receiving much-needed donations, such as the Humane Society of the United States.

Upon joining, you will receive $5 and another $5 on your first purchase.

Happy Birthday Samantha


To those who know her, November is my cat Samantha's Birthday.  She is 15 years old and still going strong!  Samantha was born in 1996 in Wayne, New Jersey and ended up in the Friends of Wayne County Animal Shelter.  It was love at first sight, and I brought her home the same day. 
Samantha has survived living outside in the wild in Vermont when she got lost at the age of 1.  She escaped from the house in early October and after a few sad weeks, we realized she most likely was gone forever.  Six weeks later; however, at the first snowfall of the season, she showed up at a neighbor's house, hungry and cold.  I was very thankful and considered it a miracle that she had survived.  I guess there is some truth to the saying cats have 9 lives!

Solving Kitty Litter Problems

Has your cat suddenly stopped using the litter box? Most cats instinctively know how to find and use a litterbox and it is not hard to train them if they need help.  Problems arise; however, when cats stop using their boxes all of a sudden. There are several possible reasons a cat could stop using a litterbox.  Here are some of the most common reasons.
  1. Medical problems -sometimes pain or illness can impair a cat's ability to use the litterbox.  If your cat seems to be in pain, take him to the vet. 
  2. Unclean litterbox - scoop the litterbox every day.  Cats have an excellent sense of smell and can be very picky.  They like clean litterboxes.
  3. Litterbox in bad location -  your cat's litterbox should be in a low-traffic, quiet area of the house
  4. Choice of cat litter - these days, there are many different types of litter to choose from: clumping, non-clumping, crystals and natural and biodegradable.  My favorite is Fresh Step clumping litter. All cats have different tastes, so you may have to try a few different brands before finding one that works.
  5. Number of boxes - in a multi-cat household, each cat should have a litterbox.  Too few litterboxes or boxes that are too small may turn off your cat.
  6. Moving location - once you find a good area of the house to place the litterbox, don't move it, cats prefer it in one place.
  7. Anxiety - stressed out cats or those who are upset for some reason could cause a cat to stop using his box.  It could be a new addition to the household, such as another pet or a person.

Guidelines for Grooming Your Pet

The sole purpose of pet grooming isn't just to show off your four-legged family member at special competitions. Maintaining your pet's appearance and hygiene is essential to a healthy, long lifespan. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are specialists called caretakers or animal service workers who will bathe, train, water, groom, and exercise animals for a fee. Special creative services, such as toenail painting and fur dying are also offered. These professionals tend to work in kennels, animal shelters, veterinary hospitals or clinics, zoos, or animal daycare facilities. Some of them work independently by either pet sitting in the homes of their clients or bringing animals to their own houses to care for them.

Information About Grooming Cats and Dogs

Although there's a host of professionals who are available to deliver pet care services, it's important to know how to care for your pet in between visits in order to help them stay neat and clean. Most pet owners keep a variety of grooming supplies handy. Helpful tools include, but aren't limited to, scissors, clippers, shampoo, conditioner, rakes, dryers, brushes, toothbrushes, special toothpaste, and flea control products. Bathing tubs, perfumes, and hair accessories may also be used.

Clipping and trimming your pet's fur is crucial to preserving its beauty. It's also a good idea to consistently cut their nails, as long nails become painful for them as they continue to grow. Trimming them also helps prevent them from scratching and hurting you.

Bathing pets helps get rid of odor, matted hair, and bugs. Most dogs require two consecutive baths to be considered fully clean. Using shampoo and conditioner helps preserve the natural coat of your animal and enhances shine.

Stripping, or the removal of dead hair, is also necessary to maintain your pet's outward appearance. Many people use their hands to perform the task, while others use a stripping knife.

Additional Rules for the Safety and Health of Your Pet

1. Keep track of your pet's diet: One of the primary requirements involved with preserving your pet's interior is to give it foods with nutritional value. This means keeping your dog or cat away from candy and other edible items that don't agree with their unique digestive systems. Otherwise, you could have a sick pet and incur numerous medical bills trying to make Fido or Whiskers well again.

2. Take your pet for routine check-ups: It's never good to assume that your dog or cat only needs to see a veterinarian when they're in bad health. You should take your pet to its doctor for regular visits to prevent them from getting sick later, to receive vaccinations, and to have tests taken, if necessary.  

Sources

Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2011). US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

American Animal Hospital Association. (2011).

Trick or Treat Halloween Safety Tips

It's that time of year again.  Jack-o-lanterns sitting in the window, Halloween figures on people's front porches, spooky Halloween decorations hanging from windows and doors.  Halloween is probably one of children's  favorite holidays as they look forward to getting dressed up in costumes and go door-to-door collecting candy.
However, some safety precautions must be taken to keep your pets safe this Halloween.  Here are some tips you can use to ensure your pet has a safe Halloween:

Keep pets away from Halloween candy, which can be toxic to dogs and cats 
    • The main culprits for harmful candy are:
      • Chocolate
      • Candy containing sugar free sweeteners.  Xylitol, a substance found in sugar-free candy, can cause serious reactions in pet's stomachs and intestines
      • Raisins

Prevent pets from escaping on Halloween night
    • Keep pets in a separate area of the house on Halloween night, when trick-or-treaters come and the door is frequently open and closed.  The costumes may look cute to look at, but pets may be frightened by them and try and run

Beware of Halloween decor around the house
    • Jack-o-Lanterns lit with a burning candle are a good example.  Pets could easily knock them over and create havoc.  Cats, being curious, may try and sniff a candle which could burn their noses.  Keep pets away from items such as fake cobwebs, light strands, loose wire and electrical cords.

Halloween Pet Photos


Happy Howl-a-Ween!

 
It's that time of year again...Halloween.  Dress up your pet in adorable Halloween costumes and head to your local PetSmart for their Howl-O-Ween Photo Event.

The event takes place at select PetSmart stores on Saturday, October 22nd from 3-5 pm.  Get a 4 x 6 photo and frame of your furry buddy dressed up in costume. 

Visit PetSmart.com  to find your nearest store!

Need a Halloween costume for your pet?  Visit Entirely Pets for a variety of great costumes!

If you have cute pictures of pets in costumes, we would love to see them!  Send me an email of your pet!

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month

If you are considering adopting a dog, or know someone who is, think about adopting from a shelter.  October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.

Shelter dogs make great pets!  Some people have the mistaken belief that a dog from a shelter will have a behavioral problem.  On the contrary, shelters are full of thousands of wonderful dogs looking for furr-ever homes.  There are many reasons a dog may end up in a shelter: owners pass away or go to nursing homes, someone in the family may have an allergy, people may have to move across the country and are unable to take their pets, and various other situations.

Make your home a loving home for a new grateful best friend.  Visit your nearest shelter, or to find adoptable dogs in your area, check on PetFinder.

For more information about Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, visit the ASPCA website. 

Do you have a great story about your dog that you have adopted from a shelter?  We would love to hear from you.