Have you thanked your pet?
Have you thanked your pet?
April is Heartworm Awareness Month. Is your pet heartworm free? Dogs are considered the definitive host for heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis). However, heartworms may infect more than 30 species of animals (e.g., coyotes, foxes, wolves and other wild canids, domestic cats and wild felids, ferrets, sea lions, etc.) Feline heartworms are more deadly and difficult to treat.
Guess what day it is? No, not hump day. It’s April Fools’ Day; sometimes called All Fools’ Day and one of the most light-hearted days of the year. Its origin is uncertain. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar. Whatever the origin, have fun with it, but be kind to one another!
Cats can become ill with many of the same ailments as humans. However, symptoms can be much different in humans and even dogs. Since our pets can’t tell us what hurts, they depend on us to figure it out.
I realized right away that it is much easier to determine what was ailing Baylie than our cat, Smoki, resulting in me becoming one of those helicopter pet parents to our 14-year-old cat. When Smoki was a young kitten, I took her to the vet because she just wasn’t behaving like her normal self. I was very green in the kitty parenting department and had no clue as to what was wrong. I found out that there is actually an acronym in the world of veterinary medicine for this condition in cats called “DAR” aka, “Doesn’t Act Right“. That pretty much summed it up with Smoki. She had no visible symptoms, but I knew something wasn’t quite right. She was a bit lethargic, didn’t want to play and preferred to hide underneath a living room chair; a place she never goes. If you are a cat parent, I’m sure you have seen this behavior.
Our friends at PetCareRx provided us with this interactive symptom checker for monitoring your cat’s symptoms. Just hover over the red dots on the kitty to display more information
This symptom checker is a good place to begin in identifying symptoms of illness in your cat. However, it is not intended to be a replacement for medical treatment. Always consult your veterinarian if your cat should become ill.
Brushing your dog’s teeth isn’t just about fresh breath. It’s an essential part of good oral care, and good oral care is important to your dog’s overall health. Although most people aren’t aware of it, periodontal or gum disease is a common, serious problem in dogs. Here’s a quick guide from our friends at Hill’s Pet Nutrition:
House training a new puppy requires commitment, patience and consistency/routine. Your puppy will do best on a schedule. They will soon learn when it is time to eat, sleep play and potty. The following are a few tips that I followed to successfully train my four-week old great pyrenees/border collie mix. It was trial and error but with minimal mishaps along the way.
Living in a multiple species household (one dog, one cat), you realize pretty quickly that dogs and cats are quite different in the appetite department. A cat will let you know if they have issues with what you serve them for dinner. They care about the presentation; type of bowl and how many morsels are contained within for maximum eating pleasure. Some don’t like to dine alone and require an escort for a 3:00 a.m. snack. Don’t be surprised if your cat turns up her nose and walks away from the food you have fed her for last ten years. That’s their way of letting us know it’s time for a change in the menu. However, with a large-breed dog, it’s quite different.
Yes, I admit, I bribe my dog. I have committed the cardinal sin in the dog training world. Cesar Milan and Victoria Stilwell would be appalled at my behavior. I don’t even want to think of the scolding I would get for reinforcing bad behavior in my dog, Baylie. I have no excuse for rewarding Baylie for bad behavior other than I am old, and I just don’t feel like running through the house chasing Baylie with the lid to the margarine container she just stole from the kitchen countertop. Trust me, it’s easier to shout, “treat” accompanied by the rattling of the treat jar to stop the sprint. Recently, I put into play a little reverse psychology. The less interest I show in retrieving an object, the less interested Baylie is to run with it or guard it. I just let her lose interest on her terms. Smart, huh? Plus, I have to admit, it can be quite entertaining at times just seeing what she will get into next.