~Dog and Cat

 Disabilities in Dog Owners

Just because you are dealing with a disability does not mean you can’t have a dog in your life.  Studies indicate doing so will benefit you and the dog.  There are some things you can do to make the experience easier.

 If you need help giving your dog medicine, fluids, or shots, ask your veterinarian if he or she knows of anyone who will make home visits. If not, contact local pet-sitters to find ones who will assist you. Many pet-sitters are trained to perform these functions for the sick pet for owners who cannot perform them for themselves or for owners when they are away.

To play with your dog, use flashlights or laser pointers. Dogs love chasing the light, and you won't have to make a move.  An alternative is a remote control car for him to chase.  He gets exercise and you do not get over-exhausted.

 If you have difficulty performing basic functions for yourself, investigate the use of a service or assistance dog. Assistance dogs are trained to help people with physical limitations perform their everyday functions. Assistance dogs are accepted in public places just as guide dogs and hearing dogs are.

Divide large bags of food into smaller containers to help with lifting and filling dishes.  If you get large dishes, you will spend less time and energy filling them. There are dog food stands that raise the bowls above floor  so you won’t have to bend as much when you fill them.

Walking a dog when you are disabled can be difficult.  Consider hiring a neighborhood teen to do this or have a pet sitter come in and walk your dog each day.  Fenced-in yards are another alternative to consider.

Having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the companionship of a dog.  It takes just a little adjusting for you both to be happy.

Disorders Your Dog May Inherit
A vital part of good prevention is to know the common types of illnesses and disorders associated with particular dog breeds. For dogs, the parts of their body that are most frequently affected by congenital problems are the central nervous system, the eyes, the muscles, and the bones. For instance, the Beagle, Collie, miniature Poodle, German Shepherd, and Keeshond are more likely to inherit epilepsy.

Different types of nervous system disorders are often passed on within certain breeds. Examples are paralysis of the front and back legs, which is common in the Irish Setter, a failure of muscle coordination common in Fox Terrier, and abnormal swelling of the brain is common in the Chihuahua, English Bulldog, and Cocker Spaniel.

A great number of common breeds suffer from congenital eye abnormalities including glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness.

Breeds such as Basenji, Basset Hound, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, and Cairn Terrier have a high risk for inguinal hernias (gut protrudes into the groin). Umbilical hernias (gut protrudes through the navel) are inherited defects in breeds like Bull Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Pekingese, Basenji, Collie, Weimaraner, Airedale Terrier, and Pointer.

In order to keep health problems in your dog from getting serious, you need to detect them early. Therefore, it is necessary to give your dog a basic check-up about once a week. This check-up takes no more than a few minutes, and it can help prevent problems as well as expenses down the road.

Start with a body rub. This makes your pet comfortable. While giving him his rub, check for any signs of flaking or scabs which can be a sign of parasites, a skin disorder, or allergies.

Also check for any lumps and bumps. Although they are a normal part of aging in dogs, they can also be a symptom that there is something wrong. Check for any swelling that could indicate parasites, heart trouble, or cancer.

His breathing should be smooth and quiet, unless he is panting. If his breathing is raspy or rattling, he could have a respiratory problem.

Your dog's heartbeat should be regular and strong. To check for his pulse, place your hand against his chest by his left elbow. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply it by four. The rate should range between 60 and 160.

Lastly, examine his ears, eyes, and mouth and check for any signs of abnormalities


Does Your Cat Have an Allergy?
When a cat is allergic to something, common indications will be itchy skin, coughing and/or sneezing, or vomiting or diarrhea in the case of a digestive allergy. Allergies to fleas, foods, things inhaled, or something they have come in contact with are the most likely allergies in cats.
Contact allergies generally result in a fairly localized reaction on the skin. The cat may scratch a lot or there may be an indication of irritation at the place of contact. Most common causes of contact allergies in cats would obviously be items with which they come in close contact such as flea collars, bedding, toys, etc. The simplest cure is to remove the contact.
Flea allergies are very common in cats. A normal cat may simply bite or scratch for a while and then go on to other things, but a cat with a flea allergy may scratch, chew, and worry at the spot until large amounts of fur are lost.
Inhalant types of allergies are probably the most common in cats. Your cat can be allergic to the exact same allergens that you are. Tree pollens, grass pollens, and weed pollens along with the rest of the items we humans fear; mold, mildew, dust mites, and dust itself can all trigger allergic reactions in cats.
As in humans, true food allergies in cats can be extremely difficult to pinpoint. One reason is that they commonly demonstrate many of the symptoms of distress seen in the other groups. True food allergies in cats can cause itching and/or respiratory problems. Most food allergies will center around the type of protein common in the cat's diet, such as beef, pork, poultry, or lamb. Simply eliminating that type of protein by changing to another type of food will usually take care of the problem.


Doggie First Aid Kit
As a dog owner, you may find yourself needing to give your dog first aid. Dogs are curious creatures and sometimes get into dangerous situations. When they get into trouble, it will be your job to help.  Many of the problems a dog faces are similar to those of our own. Until you can get your dog to a vet, he will depend on you. Having the supplies you need on hand will really help you to be effective.
Rolls of gauze and tape are handy to slow or stop bleeding and are necessary in your doggie first aid kit. You can also find some great blood-clotting topical products too. Hydrogen peroxide is important for cleaning wounds. An old clean blanket is essential for wrapping a dog in shock. A first aid kit should also include an antihistamine for bee or wasp stings, an antibiotic gel and an eye wash. Also, absorbent cotton, gauze rolls or pads, scissors (preferably with rounded tips), tweezers, a rectal thermometer; syringes (without the needle) for giving oral medications, elastic bandages.
Take time to learn the basics of first aid. Keep your vet's phone number handy in case you need him. If you think your dog may need professional care in the middle of the night or on a weekend, consider calling your vet and advising him. He may have some good advice or instructions to help you reach him.  Many cities now have pet emergency centers.  It is advisable to keep their number in your first aid kit as well.
Keep in mind that an injured dog is scared and may bite.  If you feel this is possible, a muzzle is another addition to your kit.  Avoid giving your dog Tylenol.  Ask your vet before it is necessary what kind of pain medication is okay and keep some of that with the rest.

Doggie Sit-Ups
Ideal play or training sessions with your dog end with the dog feeling both tired and successful.  One method that accomplishes creating a sense of accomplishment in both you and your dog, as well as enforcing obedience, is doing a session or two of doggie sit-ups. It helps to have a lot of small treats on hand for these. At first, you may have to give a tiny bite after each part of the exercise.  Eventually, your goal will be to complete the entire set before a treat is given.
Start by having your dog sit.  Once sitting, have him lay, then sit again and finally stand.  This is one sit-up.  The ideal session will be to have your dog repeat this sequence of moves a total of ten times, but at first you may only be able to get him to cooperate for one or two.  That is fine.  Every few days add an additional turn before he gets his treat until he is doing the full ten.
This exercise reinforces the basic commands of sit, down and stay.  If your dog has yet to learn these commands, you will have to work on them at the same time.  This allows you to accomplish two things at the same time. Keep in mind, however, that trying to learn a new command is tiring in itself.  Adjust the number of sit-ups accordingly or you are bound to have a very frustrated dog.
Dogs love to feel they have made their people happy.  Allowing your dog to combine some of the simplest commands into your play session will make him feel he has accomplished this task and he will be all the more eager to do whatever else you have in store for him during this time.
Dogs and Cats Compared
Dog is essentially a servant. His feelings toward his master are comradely and his manner familiar; he enjoys the master's affection and regard.  He will go to any length to please and protect his people. He can be taught any manner of service tasks and will go about them with enthusiasm. His aim is to please.
The cat is different. She serves no one, knowingly or willingly. Her one accomplishment -- the hunting of mice, rats and other rodents -- is self-taught. The man does not live who can claim to have trained a cat to perform a task for human benefit. There are no police cats, no watch cats, no sled cats. The cat does not even come when she's called, unless it suits her.
Dogsare dependent upon humans.  They seek humans for companionship, play and care.  They enjoy the role of being part of the “pack” and will go to great lengths to keep that position.
Cats are also quite self-sufficient. You never have to entertain them. This is not to say that they cannot be entertained or that they themselves are not entertaining. It is just that their errands are many and their schedules full.  Cats prefer going it alone, depending upon their own wit to survive.
Whether you choose to share your home with a dog or a cat depends a great deal upon your own personality.  If you seek to be in charge, you will come to blows with cat every time.  She cannot be controlled.  If companionship and undying loyalty are what you seek, a dog will fill the position willingly.
There are homes and people for both dog and cat—examine what you expect carefully and choose accordingly.  Your home will be blessed with the presence of either.
Dogs and Cats Under the Same Roof
Dogs are often territorial and will fight not just new cats but other new dogs as well. They tend to mark their territory and will fight anyone who invades their space. Cats have the same tendencies and even if they are smaller than to dogs, they will scratch and fight for their territory.
The first step is obedience. This is necessary especially for the dog, which is usually the aggressor in this kind of situation. You have to train your dog to obey when you say "no".
Allow your cat to wander around the house. Cats love to roam and this will make her scent scattered in your home. After doing this, lock your cat in one room and let your dog wander around the house sniffing for the cat's scent. This will make your dog acquainted to your cats smell and train the dog that the cat is part of the household.

Dogs usually start barking whenever they see some other animals in their territory, hoping to scare them away. They won't really lunge at something immediately. Once he starts barking, this is where the obedience part starts to come in. Say "no" and make him realize that the cat is also a pet.

If your dog starts to calm down when in the presence of the cat, then it's the time to let him sniff the cat. Once your dog starts to decide not to bark at your cat you know that you've done the introduction part successfully.

The final step is making sure that both pets have the time to coexist. This part is usually the cat's fault. Cats have the tendency to be aloof and stay away from the dog and other people. It's not because they are afraid of the dog but more because it's their nature to be alone.

Dogs Can Suffer Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Some dogs are prone to becoming victims of obsessive-compulsive disorder when under stress. The stress can cause either a sudden or gradual onset of the condition. The behavior pattern that emerges will depend on the particular breed. In general, longhaired large breeds of dogs may over groom, herding breeds may chase or hoard and a pure predatory breed may bite, mouth or chase objects.  All these have human comparisons.

All the behaviors performed by compulsive canines are essentially normal behaviors. They are just performed over and over again and out of context. The same occurs with humans. There is nothing wrong with washing your hands repeatedly, but if you wash your hands several hundred times a day you have a problem. Psychiatrists treat the human problems on a case-by case basis. Veterinarians remain divided regarding the significance of canine overly expressed behaviors. Some feel it may be our attempt to humanize our pets, yet others are not so sure. Whatever the cause, it is very real in some dogs.

Lick granuloma in the canine is equivalent to hand washing in the human. Affected dogs lick their wrists or hocks excessively, over-cleaning or over grooming themselves until the skin in these regions is ulcerated. For years, no one knew why dogs engaged in this pointless, mindless behavior. Now, veterinarians are seeing the OCD link and with this understanding are able to treat the condition much more effectively. Lick granuloma primarily affects larger breeds of dogs such as Labradors, golden retrievers, Great Danes and Dobermans. Individual susceptibility and environmental influences are also required for the full expression of the behavior. Affected animals are usually anxious, sensitive, and high-strung and may give an impression of a generalized anxiety disorder. Environmental factors include various stresses and conflict situations, including separation anxiety or boredom.

Don’t Let Your Dog Walk You
Be Unpredictable

Making quick and abrupt turns in the opposite direction anytime your dog starts to get ahead of you will teach him to pay attention to where you’re going. Praise him lavishly when he returns to your side and even reward with a small treat if your dog is food motivated. The idea is to stop the pulling before it even starts by catching him off guard. Be calm, no need to scold him, he’ll figure it out.

You may have to turn around forty times in the first session and barely make it half way down the driveway, but don’t worry, it will get better the more you practice. Many dogs catch on quickly to this game and start to watch their owner closely to see what they’ll do next. A dog that’s paying attention to you isn’t pulling on the leash.

Set The Rules

And stick to them! Decide once and for all that you will not allow him to pull and then react anytime he tries to move ahead of you. This means you’ll have to be watching him closely during the first couple sessions. Allowing him to pull sometimes but not all the time will only confuse your dog. Look at your next couple walks as training experiences, not exercise. Once your dog gets the hang of it then you can start to plan on moving past the driveway.

Practice, Distract, and Practice Some More

Teaching good leash walking skills is an ongoing process. You may always need to ‘be unpredictable’ every once in a while even after your dog understands what you expect. Keep him on his toes and keep practicing. Don’t be stingy with the praise, let him know when he’s doing the right thing and you’ll start to see more of that behavior.

Epilepsy in Dogs and Cats

Epilepsy in dogs and cats is similar to that in humans.  The main symptom is a type of seizure. Seizures can come in many forms and several of these are listed below:
 Generalized Seizures

Generalized seizures are the most common type of seizures in dogs and cats. There are several variations of these seizures:
1. Absence seizures (petit mal): sudden brief loss of consciousness, rare in animals
2. Myoclonic seizures: muscle jerk of one or more muscles
3. Clonic seizures: rhythmic muscle contractions
4. Tonic seizures: increase in muscle tone in all skeletal muscles
5. Tonic Clonic seizures (grand mal): the most common form of seizure in pets
Tonic Clonic Seizures

Tonic Clonic (grand mal) seizures account for 60% of seizures in cats and 80% of seizures in dogs. They are usually accompanied by a loss of consciousness, and consist of a tonic phase, where the increased muscle tone causes the animal to fall on its side with its limbs extended, and a clonic phase, consisting of intense muscle jerking or paddling movements.
In order to diagnose true epilepsy, other causes of seizures must be first ruled out. Once a tentative diagnosis of epilepsy has been made (by excluding all the other known causes of seizures), the animal can be prescribed anticonvulsant drugs. These drugs are not appropriate for animals with seizures caused by a problem outside the brain. The overall goal of anticonvulsant therapy is to eradicate all seizure activity, but this is rarely achieved. A more realistic goal is to reduce the frequency of the seizures to a level that is acceptable for the owner, without having negative side effects for the animal.

Since epilepsy is not curable, the owner must be prepared to give the medication for the rest of the animals life.

Flea Control
Whether you have a dog or a cat, chances are you will find yourself in need of ridding them of fleas at least once.  Below are a few suggestions to help you with the task.
 Keep an Eye on Your Pet
Watch your pet for commons signs and symptoms of a flea infestation such as excessive biting and scratching, particularly around the tail and lower back areas. Check for raw patches of skin where your dog or cat may have been scratching at fleas for some time. Another bit of evidence is "flea debris," specks of dried blood that are black in color.
Flea Collars and Powders

If you have caught the problem relatively early, it may be possible to eliminate fleas by simply using flea collars and powders. There are several brands and types to choose from, and many contain a special comb with fine teeth that is designed to remove fleas from fur.

Flea Baths

It's helpful to bathe your pet frequently using a specially formulated soap or treatment. It's necessary to take into consideration the type of fur or coat your pet has when bathing. This is particularly true for dogs as some breeds have essential oils that shouldn't be washed away with soap and water more than once or twice a year. If bathing in a flea bath isn't an option for your pet, consult your vet for other alternatives.

Monthly Medication

There are pills available for your pet to take on a monthly basis that will prevent fleas from reproducing, but they do not kill the ones that have already reached adulthood. There are also multi-purpose medications and products available that are designed to prevent fleas from reproducing as well as controlling heartworm, hookworms, whipworms and roundworms.

Fleas will always exist, but with careful planning and proper treatment, they need not become a problem for you or your pet.

Giving Your Cat Medication
There are times in every cat’s life when he will need to take medication of some sort.  Cat owners who have been through this know how hard it can be getting the cat to cooperate.  Below are a few suggestions that may help in your endeavor.
The first choice is to hide medication in some of your cat’s favorite food.  This may not always be easy, as in the case of capsules or pills.  The cat’s keen sense of smell will also be a problem, so it is advisable to pick some of the smelliest food you can if you use this method. 
Liquid medication works well mixed into food, especially salmon.  The liquid mixes well with the oils and is almost undetectable by your cat.  If at all possible, ask your vet for medication in liquid form. 
Crushing a pill or emptying a capsule into food is risky.  The taste and smell is often bitter and easily detectable by the cat.  If you must use this method, make sure whatever you use is sufficiently strong in both smell and taste.  It will also be necessary to make sure your cat eats the entire portion in order to get all the medicine into his system.
If you must give medication to your cat without the benefit of food, pick him up by the back of his neck like a mother cat.  This will render him momentarily unmovable.  Gently pry open his mouth and place the medication as far back as possible.  Holding his mouth gently closed, stroke his throat.  This will cause a reflexive swallowing reaction.  Once the medication is down, give him cuddles.
If all else fails, you can talk with your vet and have him show you how he suggests administering medication to cats

Helping Your Cat Survive Your Move
Moving into a new home is stressful for most of us.  Humans understand the reasoning, but cats don’t.  Changing your cat’s environment will need to be done gently and with patience.
It is normal for a cat to hide for a few days when moving into a new place.  He is nervous and unsure of where he can go and what is going on.  He may be worried that you will leave him alone and not return.  Some cats will act out aggressively at this point, showing their displeasure in hissing and biting.  Be patient, he will adjust.
It can help if you confine your cat to only one room when you first move.  Make sure he has food and water and his litter box.  Provide him with his usual sleeping blanket and some familiar toys.  All these will give him comfort and make the new environment more familiar.
Having more than one cat at a time like this is ideal.  They will stick together and find comfort.  You may find two cats who, until now, were barely tolerant of each other will become friendly and form a lasting bond.  Going through a confusing situation together will cement that bonding.
Make sure you give your cat extra attention during this time.  He will sense your mood and the stress you feel at moving may increase his.  Try to stay calm when interacting with him.  If possible, make the room he is confined to the bedroom.  This way, he will have you available at night.
In time, your cat will be back to ruling his domain.  All it takes is a little time and a lot of patience.  Following the above steps may make each of you deal with a move more effectively.


 Household Dog Dangers

Dogs have a tendency of trying to eat just about everything they come across.  In most cases, this causes some slight discomfort.  There are things, however, that can be dangerous enough to cause death to your dog if he eats them.  Following is a brief list:
1) Antifreeze: Many people do not realize it, but common antifreeze kills many pets each year. It smells and tastes very sweet to your dog and is very appealing to him.

2) Chocolate: Chocolate contains a substance called the obromine which is toxic to dogs. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate is especially dangerous.

 3) Bleach: As you might imagine, household bleach is toxic to dogs. Keep all products containing bleach out of your dog's reach.

4) Tylenol: As little as two regular strength Tylenol tablets can kill a small dog.

5) Watch Batteries: If your dog ingests a watch battery, it can cause a potentially fatal ulceration in the stomach within 12 hours. All other alkaline batteries are toxic to dogs as well.

6) Moth Balls: Moth balls are very dangerous to dogs. They contain an insecticide that causes central nervous system excitement and seizures..

7) Fabric Softeners and other detergents: All sorts of household detergents are toxic to dogs at one level or another, but fabric softeners fall into the highly toxic category.
8) Mouthwash: Mouthwash can contain boric acid which is highly toxic to dogs. Symptoms of poisoning by mouthwash include vomiting, drooling, seizures, and coma.
9) Peach Pits: With most fruits, the pits and the seeds are toxic to dogs. Signs of poisoning include drooling, vomiting, and lethargy.
10) Household Plants: Many common and popular household plants are highly toxic to dogs. A partial list of toxic plants includes poinsettias, lilies, ferns, devil's ivy, aloe, and ivy.

 If you think your dog may have eaten any of these substances, or anything else that could poison him, call a vet immediately.  It could save his life.

 How to Deal With Separation Anxiety
Many dogs are put to sleep by owners who can no longer figure out what to do with adog that barks or howls constantly when they are gone, destroys things in their absence and basically makes a nuisance of himself.  These people do not understand that the dog is not being disobedient—he is most likely suffering from separation anxiety.
Dogs are pack animals.  As his family, you are his pack.  When you leave him alone, he feels lost and scared.  Often loud noises will frighten him.  His howling and destructiveness are the only way he has of showing his displeasure.  You can help him get through this with patience.
Try to find a room where he feels comfortable—one that isn’t close to a street or other traffic.  If possible, buying a crate made specifically for the size of your dog will help him feel more comfortable.  Placing a loved toy and an item of clothing that smells like you inside with him will increase that comfort.
Start by leaving him only a few minutes at a time.  He needs to be confident that you will return.  You can gradually extend the amount of time as he becomes more comfortable. Praise him greatly for every time he waits quietly.  If all else fails, talk with your vet and see if he can prescribe some type of anti-anxiety medication to give your dog when you need to be away. 
Your dog can’t help his anxiety.  You are his safety and he feels lost without you.  Give him time and patience and he will eventually learn to tolerate your absence.  There is no reason to have a healthy animal put down because he loves you so much he misses you when you are gone.  Work with him.  You and he will both benefit from this.

Human Food Could Kill Your Dog
Let’s face it—dogs are not known for being fussy eaters.  Some dogs will eat anything and everything they can get into their mouth.  This isn’t a big problem with many human foods, but there are a few that could be potentially fatal to your dog.
We are all aware that many dogs cannot eat chocolate.  While a tiny bite here and there may not hurt most dogs, it could kill others.  Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are especially hazardous.
Onions are another no-no for your dog.  There are chemicals in onions that turn to poison within the dog’s digestive system.  This is true of some strains of mushrooms as well.  Rather than take the chance, it is important to keep both these substances out of your dog’s reach. Garlic is another culprit.  The toxic effect of this spice is quick.
Any kind of seed could cause problems in your dog.  While most will only cause discomfort and possible vomiting, seeds such as apple seeds can be fatal.  If you have a dog that likes to investigate the garbage, it is important to make sure he can’t get to these.
Chicken bones are another hazard to dogs, as are those of turkey and duck.  These bones tend to shatter and the sharp pieces can poke a hole in your dog’s stomach or intestine.
Dogs are known for eating many things a human stomach cannot handle.  This, however, does not mean they can eat all a human can.  To be safe, make sure foods are not left where your dog can discover them.  The most innocent looking item could be the one that kills your dog. A few minutes of caution can save a lifetime of sadness should you lose your dog.

Is My Cat’s Aggression Normal?
Play aggression is defined as the stalking, chasing, pouncing, biting, and scratching behaviors, which normally occur when cats engage in play. Problems occur when these behaviors are directed against instead of with people in the household.

Another common cause for play aggression towards humans is when owners leave a single young cat alone for most of the day. Play aggression can also be triggered and reinforced by owners who insist on letting a cat "attack" their hands and feet.

Owners must learn to recognize the postures exhibited by cats engaging in problematic, as opposed to acceptable, play aggression. The typical play aggression cat will demonstrate predatory type of behaviors.

The cat will stalk the owners and pounce on moving body parts such as hands and feet. Growling and hissing usually does not occur, however, the cat's pupils will be widely dilated. Bites and scratches inflicted during a play aggression attack are usually inhibited and not severe.
All of the above types of aggression are normal for a cat.  There are, however, a couple circumstances when there may be cause to worry.
If a cat hisses and growls while attacking, he is not playing.  This type of behavior is intended to inflict pain.  It is important to find out what may be causing this behavior.  Reacting with physical punishment will only make the cat worse.  Try talking quietly and calmly to him until he has settled.
Medical causes for aggression should be pursued only if a cat exhibits behavior that is unusual for the particular cat, or behavior accompanied by abnormal clinical signs. If a cat that previously loved to be petted suddenly starts biting when stroked, you should look for a possible source of pain.

Knowing what is and is not normal for a cat will help you avoid problems in the long run.
Keeping Your Dog From Jumping
Dogs want to see and interact with people face to face.  This leads to many dogs jumping in order to have that face-to-face contact.  When your dog is small, this may not be a problem, but large dogs can be intimidating when they jump, not to mention it can be painful.
The first thing you can do to prevent jumping is to kneel down to the dog’s level.  This will allow him to see your face and eliminates the main reason he jumps in the first place.
Getting down on his level will let him know you see him.
Another method you can use if the above doesn’t work is to turn your back on your dog.  Look up toward the ceiling and refuse to acknowledge him until he settles and sits.  Dogs hate to be ignored, especially if that is the reason for their jumping in the first place.  For this method to work, you must be steadfast in not making any eye contact until he has calmed.  The slightest acknowledgment will get him excited all over again.
A third method that seems to work well with larger dogs is to wait until they jump and gently grab hold of their front legs.  Slowly walk the dog backwards a couple of feet then gently set his front paws on the floor, saying “down” firmly.  Dogs hate to walk backwards, and doing so will make him start to associate the unpleasantness with jumping.  Saying the word “down” as you place his paws on the floor will get him to associate it with keeping his feet on the floor.
It doesn’t take long to train a dog not to jump as long as you are consistent with whichever method you choose.  It also helps if you can enlist the cooperation of other family members so everyone is using the same method.  This creates less confusion and more success.

 Keeping Your Dog Safe On the Road
Car rides are the favorite of many dogs.  There are some precautions you can take to make sure this activity will be enjoyable for both of you for years to come.
If you have any type of car with a trunk open to the inside of the car or with some other vehicles, you can have your dog ride in the back separated from you by a gate or a net. If you have a regular car, there are special dog seat belts and other types of restraints available. You don’t want your dog flying forward if you must stop quickly.  You also don’t want him trying to climb into the front and distracting you.
Dog owners who drive a pickup truck should not let dogs ride free in the pickup bed. This can create a dangerous situation for the dog and other drivers if your dog falls out or decides to jump out. Dogs that ride without restraints in the pickup bed may go flying if you stop short and suddenly. Tying the dog in the bed is not a good idea either as the dog may still jump or fall out and wind up being choked or dragged along the road The best and safest solution is to have your dog ride in the cab of the truck with you. .
Never leave your dog in the car with the windows completely up—especially in summer.  The interior of a car can heat up quickly, reaching temperatures in excess of 120 degrees in a very short time.  This could cause heat exhaustion and even death in your dog.  If you are going to have to leave the vehicle and can’t take your dog with you, it is best to leave him at home for this trip. It is better to have him disappointed today than not around tomorrow.

Keeping Your Indoor Cat Happy
We all know that a cat that spends most of his time indoors is healthier.  Studies show that indoor cats live nearly twice as long as outdoor cats.  The risk of accidents and disease are reduced, or eliminated.  Your cat doesn’t know this, however, so how do you keep him happy about staying inside and not roaming the neighborhood.
First of all, spending time playing with your cat will make him feel loved.  It will give him exercise and help work off any excess energy he may be experiencing. 
Cats like to eat green things.  Plant some cat grass in pots around the house and allow him to nibble from them.  This will help take care of his need to eat greenery.
Opening a window that has a secure screen will allow your cat to have fresh air.  If you hang a bir feeder within sight of this window, you will find your cat staying entertained for hours on end as he watches the birds come and go.
If you have a porch, tying your cat out on a leash will allow him to lie in the sunshine and breath fresh air.  The leash will keep him safely secure so he does not roam and get lost or hurt.  This is one instance when it is important to make sure he is up to date on his shots.  This will make sure he does not catch any airborne diseases.
Following the above suggestions will help insure your indoor cat stays both happy and healthy—and all those who share their home with a cat know that a happy cat makes for a happy home.

Leash Training Your Cat
You can train your cat to walk on a leash with a lot of patience and a few simple rules. A harness is best for a cat. Cat's won't respond well to jerking their collar so a harness is really best and should be loose and comfortable for the cat.
First, allow your cat to play with the new items so she gets used to them.  Try putting the harness on her and see how she reacts. This step is very important, if you force the cat to wear the harness, they are not going to be happy at all with the harness or with you. Take your time with all the steps. If your cat balks at any step, go back to the previous one. It is a lot harder getting a cat to cooperate than it is for a dog.
After the cat is wearing the harness loose, then it is the time to tighten the harness up until it is the right fit for the cat. At this point, you will want to give the cat time to wear the harness. Next attach the leash. Then you will want to start walking the cat inside, until the cat is doing well. Once the cat is comfortable with the leash then it is time to go outside for a walk.
When walking with the cat make sure there is not too much loose leash or they will be running in all random directions. There are many distractions for a cat outdoors - birds, squirrels and the neighbor’s pets might cause your cat to want to run around, but you must keep a tight leash so that your cat walks with you and is not dragging you all over the place. You will soon be enjoying your outings.
Little Known Dog Breeds
We are familiar with such dog breeds as the poodle and Labrador retriever. There are other breeds less known, especially in this country.  Below, I have given a short description of several of these less-known dog breeds.
 Affenpinscher  -- This is the smallest dog in the breed which also presented us the schnauzers. The affenpinscher is thought to be the most suitable for a family pet as it is very intelligent, easy to train of a good demeanor. They have a dark fur and have always shown affection to human beings.
Anatolian Shepherd -- This dog breed is of a medium size and has proved to be very courageous. This breed is very powerful and loyal and it is used for military and hunting purposes.
The basenji --These are medium sized muscular dogs and are also named the African Barkless Dogs. These dogs are able to bark, they just choose not to.  Their biggest skill is hunting.
The Bouvier des Flandres -- This dog is similar to the terrier one . Their fur is generally dark and they have proven to be very calm. At the beginning they were bred as herders in France but nowadays they are used for police and military purposes, as well as guidance for blind persons.
Asian Ovtcharka  --The Central Asian Ovtcharka are large and muscular dogs. They appear to be very loyal and fearless dogs with strong protective instincts which makes them perfect as watchdogs.
The Polish Owczarek Nizinny  -- This dog is of medium size and has long fur which covers its eyes. These are devilish dogs that are known for creating chaos when left alone.
The next time you are looking to add a new dog to your household, why not take a look at one of these?

 Making Homemade Pet Food

We want our pets to have the best possible care—and this includes feeding them appropriately.  Below is a brief idea of what food is best for your pet.
Animals, because they are color blind, choose their foods by smell. Most dogs like liver, fat, garlic, onions, horsemeat, lamb, beef, cheese and fish. Cats enjoy chicken, liver, fish, turkey, lamb, and yeast, and prefer fresh to aged flavors.
Animals do not need salt added to their diet as the natural salt in the food is enough for them.
Dogs may eat any vegetable they want, but cats should not have any starchy veggies, like peas and corn. Some dogs and cats even enjoy fruits!
It's a good idea to always add a grain, such as Kibble, wheat germ, cooked oatmeal or whole wheat bread to meat dinners. For dogs use 75% carbohydrate foods (grains and vegetables) to 25% meat; for cats use half carbohydrate foods to half meat.
One way of making sure your dog or cat gets a healthy diet is to make it yourself.  This way you can be assured it is fresh and contains only healthy ingredients.  A very good recipe that can be adapted for either a dog or cat is:
Combine 1 chicken liver, 1 giblet, 1 chicken heart, 1 chicken neck, 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley.
Cover and simmer until the giblet is tender.
Chop all the meat for dogs removing bones and mix with kibble; for cats, you may want to grind the meat in the blender.
Taking the time to prepare your pet’s food will not only save you money in the long run, but also provide them with healthy meals that can be adapted to add variety and account for personal tastes.  What more could your pet want?
Making Nail Clipping Less Stressful
While a vet can and will clip your dog’s nails for you, many times you will want to save the cost and trip by doing it yourself.  Below are a couple of suggestions to make this session less stressful for both you and your dog.
To clip your dog’s nails you will need some basic equipment that you can pick up at any good pet supply store. Special dog nail clippers have a different shape and are specially designed to make the clipping as fast and painless as possible. There are other items you can buy to make it easier to trim your dog's nails too - various products that encourage the blood clotting process are very useful in case of messy clipping accidents. .
When clipping your dogs nails for the first time its important to ask someone who knows how to do it to show you. If your dog has dark nails (as many do) you will want to watch to get an idea of where your dogs "quick" is located. Most veterinarians will clip your dogs nails for you and this is the best way to learn. Don't clip your dogs nails until you are completely sure what you are doing. Not only will your dog pick up on your anxiousness but he will most probably make things difficult for you.
Many people find that one of the best ways to ensure a calm and easy nail clipping session is by walking the dog before you start with the clipping. Tire your dog out well and he might not be able to make as much of a fuss as he'd like. Even the simple act of massaging your dogs paws for a few minutes every day to desensitize your dog to being touched there.

Parvovirus in Dogs
Parvo is a serious viral disease that can be deadly even if treatment is given.  Parvovirus is a disease that attacks dividing cells. The most prominent location for dividing cells in your dog’s body is the intestinal lining or the lining of the digestive system. When this disease attacks and kills these cells it causes dogs and puppies to not be able to absorb nutrients or liquids. Parvo is seen more in puppies than in adult dogs, but both can catch the disease.
Symptoms of parvo include diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy. Most dogs stop eating or have a loss of appetite, diarrhea, high fever, and depression. Their stool can be very liquid, foul smelling, usually yellow in color, and contain blood. The secondary symptoms appear as severe gastrointestinal distress, which includes vomiting and bloody diarrhea. In the later stages of parvo dehydration, shock, and death.
Transmission of parvo from one dog to another occurs through their feces. Parvo can be carried in an adult dog that shows no outward signs, but the disease can be found in their stool. The disease is not an air born type, but can be transmitted through the sole of your shoe and even birds may carry this deadly disease into your yard if they have been in contact with the infected feces.
All dogs and puppies are susceptible to parvo but there are a few breeds that seem to be more susceptible than others. These include Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and other black and tan breeds. These breeds usually are more prone to contracting this disease and not recovering.
Without treatment your dog only has a 20% survival rate and with treatment an 80% survival rate. So, of course, the best medicine is to prevent the exposure and to vaccinate your dog against this deadly disease

Pet Socialization
Socializing your pet to accept new dogs into the household is not always an easy task. The dog usually has its own ideas of its territory and home and is generally not a generous creature when it come to sharing but would much rather chase the intruders away. We have to reprogram the dogs thinking to make it understand that chasing the cat or iguana or whatever other pet you may have, is not acceptable.
To start, make certain that the new animal will be safe. Place the new pet in a pet carrier or some other sturdy structure that prohibits the dog from actually physically contacting the animal but still allows for both dogs to see, smell and hear each other. This provides a way for both dogs to acclimate to each other in a safe, though possibly a bit stressful, situation. In later steps, gloves might be advisable to avoid scratches from a nervous pet.
After the dogs have both calmed a bit give them each a small reward, such as a morsel of some favorite food. Be sure to give the dog lots of verbal praise and affection when it is not barking or trying to get to the new animal as this will show the dog that you are accepting of the new pet's presence and you expect him to be also.
One last point to keep in mind is that just like humans, not everyone is going to get along. There will be days where the dog and the cat are going to feud or the iguana will get cantankerous and slap the dog with his tail for the fun of it. Some dogs were just never meant to live in harmony but with a lot of patience and a little direction you can make your household fairly peaceable most of the time.
Preventing and Treating Heatstroke
Heat stroke, a condition that is caused when a dog is unable to purge unneeded heat from their bodies, raises the temperature of their delicate internal organs and causes massive damage to a dog's living tissue, This can kill the dog..
The signs of heatstroke are many, but varied and very easily discerned. Such signs include: increased panting or breathing (this sort of fast panting/breathing sounds more desperate than normal panting/breathing), heightened pulse rate, and bright red gums. Dogs also tend to look hot or as if they're wilting, just like humans do. If left untreated, heat stroke leads to shock or unconsciousness.
The dog will need to be moved into a cool area with good ventilation, as well as being soaked in cold water or gently sprayed with cold water from a hose if a tub of ice water isn't immediately available. Be careful however, as once the dog's temperature drops back down to a healthy 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius), leaving the dog in cold water any longer (the cooling process is very fast) risks causing hypothermia, so keep a close eye on your pet as he cools down after heat stroke.
Be especially protective of older and younger dogs, both of which suffer heatstroke more easily. Once your pet has stabilized and the situation seems to be over, you should still bring your dog to the veterinarian. Heatstroke has hidden effects, such as dehydration and brain damage, which may only show after the immediate danger of death is over. All in all, heat stroke is easy to prevent.  Keep plenty of water for him to drink and a shady spot to get out of the sun.  Avoid excessive exercising on hot days.  Simple steps, yet worth the effort to keep your dog healthy in the heat.

Preventing Arthritis in Dogs
Some dogs are more prone to arthritis than others. Arthritis and bone disease usually take one of several types. These include hip dysplasia, dislocation of the kneecap, arthritis of the elbow, swelling and pain in the leg bones, and degeneration of the shoulder joint.
Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip sockets that allow excessive movement in the joint. This condition causes chronic inflammation and calcium deposits. Dislocation of the kneecap is a malformation of the leg bones that causes the kneecap to continually pull out of its place and slip back and forth, creating a low-grade inflammation. Arthritis of the elbow is a hereditary condition caused by improper bone formation. Swelling and pain in the leg bones is caused by insufficient production of vitamin C, which results in poor nutrition and heredity. Degeneration of the shoulder joint is the breakdown of cartilage in the shoulder causing inflammation and pain when moving.
These conditions are mostly hereditary and could be prevented if the female dog were fed properly throughout her pregnancy. The period of growth inside the uterus is most vital in terms of the formation of structure and essential tissues. Proper nutrition is a must during this stage. Unfortunately, many people don’t consider the effects of poor nutrition on the unborn babies.
Giving your dog vitamin C on a regular basis also decreases or prevents some of these conditions from developing. Supply your dog with 250 to 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day, depending on the age and size of your dog. For example, a small Chihuahua puppy should get a dose of 250 milligrams per day and a large Doberman would get a dose of 500 milligrams per day. It is best to consult a vet who is informed in the use of vitamins. He will be able to help you find the correct dosage.


Skin Disorders in Cats

Most cats are covered with a thick, protective fur.  This makes it extremely difficult to tell if a cat has a skin problem before it becomes extreme.  It is important to take time on a regular basis to examine your cat’s skin closely for anything that may be wrong.
Run your hand gently over his body and explore the skin for any unusual patches. If you find any, part the fur by brushing it slightly, so that you can see beneath the fur and have a better look at the skin. If you do this often enough and understand your cat’s body, you should be able to spot any irregularity easily. You will learn to know what looks normal and what doesn’t.
Cheyletiellosis  is a skin disorder in cats icaused by skin mites and is particularly contagious between cats as well as humans. In cats, the symptoms are itching and it usually results in heavy scaling and flaking of the skin, which is why Cheyletiellosis in cats is often known as “walking dandruff”. This skin condition is usually not deadly and can be easily treated with the right medication once the condition has been diagnosed and confirm.
Alopecia is a skin disorder in cats that will cause hair loss due to endocrine disturbances, localized infections, or generalized illnesses. The condition can also be a result of stress. The symptoms included bald patches on the skin and can be accompanied by reddened or inflamed skin. Not a deadly skin disease, and with proper treatment, the fur would most likely grow back. 
While most skin conditions are cause by allergies to food and pesticides bite, and can be easily managed and treated, early detection is still important.  A few minutes each day could very well prevent days of discomfort later.

Skin Irritation in Dogs
Dogs can suffer from skin problems the same as humans.  How you treat the particular problem will depend on what is causing it.  Below I will cover the most common skin irritations in dogs.
One of the most common problems in dogs is the presence of fleas and ticks, which are parasites that live on the surface of the skin and feed on the dog’s blood. These parasites’ saliva causes skin irritation and results in intense scratching.
There are preventive products available for use on a monthly basis that will prevent this type of infestation.
Mange is a skin problem caused by mites that burrow underneath the dog’s skin, causing intense and even agonizing itching. Bald spots or inflamed red skin are common symptoms of mange. Two types of mange exist in dogs: sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange, depending on the kind of mite involved.
Mange or scabies causes intense itching in the dog as the mites burrow under the skin and even lay their eggs there. Scabies can infect humans as well and cause itchiness, although infection in humans usually disappears by itself after a while. However, it is still important for people to seek treatment if they get infected.
The best way to kill the mites is to soak your dog in a lime and sulfur medicated dip for 10 to 15 minutes a few times in a week. The dip should not be washed off, but left to dry on your dog’s skin and fur. During this time, it’s best to watch your dog closely and prevent him from licking himself dry.
It is best to check with your vet if your dog is itching and you can’t find any parasites.  It is possible he is experiencing an allergy or simply his coat is too dry.  The vet will be able to help diagnose his exact problem.

Stopping Your Cat From Spraying
Spraying is a behavior in cats, mainly males, which many owners confuse with urinating outside the litter box.  The difference between the two is that a cat will urinate on a flat horizontal surface.  Spraying is most often done on a vertical surface.  Female cats will spray on horizontal surfaces, but it is rare.
The primary reason a cat sprays is because felines are very territorial animals and like to mark their turf by spraying urine to let other cats know who owns that little piece of the world. If you notice things being marked near windows or screen doors where your cat can see outside it’s a pretty good chance there is a cat hanging around your house or passing by frequently.
Many times a cat will spray because of psychological problems such as anxiety, stress or a feeling of being threatened by something or someone. If personal items are being sprayed it is usually a sign that your cat has some issues with the person. The addition of a new cat or even having too many cats for the size of your house can cause spraying problems.
If the cat is put into a stressful situation like someone new moving in (a new baby) or being introduced into a new living environment they might feel the need to spray.
 By taking time to examine the events going on in your cat’s life, you may be able to eliminate this behavior.  There are products sold at pet stores that contain odors only your cat can smell.  These are designed to comfort your cat.  Another thing that often eliminates spraying behavior is to have your cat neutered.  In most cases, this is the most effective method as it alleviates the territorial instinct in your cat.  This is yet one more argument for neutering.
Teaching An Abused Dog to Trust
Often you will come across a dog that has been abused at one point in his life.  These dogs are difficult to deal with as the normal things we do causes them anxiety and fear.  You can, however, increase your chances of teaching an abused dog to trust with a few simple changes in approach and a lot of patience.
When interacting with this dog, bend down to appear less threatening.  When talking to him, keep your voice low and cheerful.  A loud or frustrated tone will cause him to fear.  Call him to you; don’t approach him.  If he makes an effort to obey, praise him.  Don’t wait for him to obey completely.  Remember, he may be used to getting hit when he approaches someone.
When you do get to pet this dog, avoid his head.  Keep your hand palm up as it approaches him and gently rub under his chin or on his chest.  Rubbing either spot tends to calm a dog.  If he moves to step backward, let him retreat.  In time, he will stay longer.
When a dog is nervous or scared, he will often wet the floor involuntarily.  If this should happen, it is important not to allow your frustration to show.  It is not a deliberate attempt at disobeying and will likely disappear as he gains trust in you.
Keep any sessions short, with just a few minutes of actual touch each time.  You can gradually increase the time as his trust grows.  Often, just sitting quietly and waiting for him to approach you will make him feel comfortable.  If your initial attempts fail, try this.
A once-abused dog can be as trusting and loving as any other.  All it takes is patience on the part of those in his life.  A crouching position, low voice and appropriate touch will win him over eventually.

The Case Against Declawing Your Cat

Declawing a cat is a major surgical procedure, performed under general anesthesia. It is actually amputation of the last joint on each toe, not a simple removal of the claw itself as many are led to believe.
Cats walk on their toes, unlike most mammals who walk on the soles of their feet. Their musculature, joints, tendons and ligaments are all designed to distribute their body weight to their toes. The claw is not a nail like human fingernails or toenails. It is actually a part of the last bone in a cat's toe. If you were to "declaw" a human in the same way a cat is declawed, you would be amputating all 10 fingers at the last joint!
There is a real possibility of complications after any major surgery, and declawing is no exception. There is the possibility of hemorrhage, infection, extreme pain and bone chips.
There is also the possibility of nerve damage.
The cat can become withdrawn, distant, fearful and/or aggressive, and often start biting, as this is the only means of defense left to them. Occasionally the cat will stop using the litter box because immediately after surgery it was painful to scratch in the litter box, and now they associate that pain with the litter box
Some countries have made declawing cats illegal.  They have considered it an abusive practice.  Getting a good scratching post for your cat and teaching him to use it will help save furniture.  Your cat needs his claws for defense and hunting if he ever gets lost.  Look for alternative methods to save things from your cat’s claws—just save your cat’s claws.  He will be happier and healthier from the choice and you will be happier knowing your feline friend has what he needs to survive.

Top Dog Diseases
Following is a list of the top diseases experienced in dogs.  Many are easily prevented with immunizations. Those that don’t have preventive shots can often be avoided with proper care.  Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all shots and make it a point to know the causes of these disorders in order to give him the best possible care.
Distemper is fatal in 80% of puppies and 50% of adults. All dogs are extremely vulnerable, and should be vaccinated, with subsequent boosters in keeping the recommendation of a Veterinarian.
Parvovirus (Parvo):
 Parvo is extremely contagious, especially among puppies, and can lead to death within 48 to 72 hours after exposure. Symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and severe diarrhea
Rabies is a virus and becomes fatal when symptoms appear. Because rabies can be fatal to humans and other mammals, state and local laws uniformly require rabies vaccination, many mandating booster shots yearly.
Kennel Cough:

This is a respiratory disease especially prevalent in kennels and shelters. Symptoms can include a dry hacking cough along with inflammation of the larynx, bronchial tubes and trachea. Vaccination, as often as every six months is recommended.


Symptoms of Leptospirosis include lethargy, kidney inflammation, low-grade fever, vomiting, reddening of the mucous membranes and conjunctiva, and blood clotting abnormalities.
Infectious canine hepatitis:

Lyme Disease:

Symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs will include lethargy, joint pain, lack of appetite, lymph node enlargement, and fever.


Diarrhea and vomiting are symptomatic of this dog disease so it can be confused with parvovirus. Other indications are loss of appetite, smelly diarrhea, lethargy and dehydration..


Heartworms are parasites that grow and multiply, infesting the chambers in the heart, arteries in the lungs. Symptoms appear gradually, usually manifested in easy tiring, lethargy and a soft cough. If not treated, it eventually brings on death by congestive heart failure in a once active animal

Traveling With Your Pet

Traveling with your pet can be hassle-free with a little bit of planning.  Below are some tips to help you with this.

If your pet is on medication, bring plenty of it so you’re not running out of medication when it’s needed. It would also be a good idea to have your veterinarian contact information in case you loose the medication, so the vet can call in a prescription should the other get lost.

Find out ahead of time that the hotel you make reservations at will accept pets. You don’t want to assume that there is a pet friendly hotel in a town you intend to stay in and when you get there, you’re turned away for having a pet or the one’s that allow the pets are all booked up.

Make sure your pet wears a collar with tags. One tag should be a current rabies tag and the other tag should have the dogs name, your name, address, town, state, and phone numbers. If you have a cell phone, add your cell phone number to the ID tag.  It wouldn’t hurt to get a microchip implanted either.  This is a much more reliable source of identification.

Bring along your pet’s food dishes, bed or pillow and a couple of its favorite toys. Having familiar items along for the trip can help ease the stress of traveling and make the trip more enjoyable for both you and your animal companion.


Stop frequently for exercise breaks.  A well-exercised animal will sleep and not be all over the place in a vehicle.  Most highway rest stops have places to walk your dog or cat.  Follow the guidelines and make sure to clean up after your pet.  Common courtesy will insure the facilities will welcome pets in the future.

Understanding Your Cat

Cats are very good at communicating.  Taking time to understand exactly what your cat is saying will make your relationship stronger.

A bristling tail held straight up, or one that thrashes back and forth are warnings. If a cat is feeling defensive, the tail is usually arched. Hissing and backing away with ears flat against the head are other defensive poses. You can tell a lot about a cat's state of being from its eyes. Wide, dilated eyes communicate anger or fear. A contented cat slowly blinks its eyes, or keeps them half-closed.

When it comes to sound, cats say more than meow. Did You know there are at least nineteen different types of "meow"? Their vocalizations fall into three groups, murmurs, open/closed mouth and intensity sounds. Murmured sounds include the low sound cats make when treats are coming, as well as the famous purr. Purring is usually interpreted as a sound of contentment, but it is really more a vocalization of intense emotion. In fact, an injured cat, or one being handled by a stranger - like a vet - often purr.

Open/closed mouth vocalizations include all the variations and intonations of "meow" that a cat uses to greet you, or ask for food, or otherwise demand attention. Intensity vocalizations are created when the cat holds her mouth open the entire time she is making sound. These are the highly emotional vocalization of fear, anger, and extreme pain.

Some cats are more talkative than others. Many owners notice a difference in the types of noises their cats make for them as opposed to strangers or other cats. The more time you spend with your cat, the more she'll communicate with you and the better you will understand what she is saying. It is well worth the time to learn

What is Distemper?


Anyone with a dog has heard the term distemper, but do you know what it is?  The following article will give you a brief overview.


Canine distemper is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus attacking the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs. Although dogs are the most commonly affected, Canine Distemper is also seen in foxes, ferrets, mink and many other carnivores. These infected animals are often the cause of the spread of this disease to domesticated dogs.

Canine Distemper is spread through bodily secretions (nasal fluid for example. The most common way it is caught is by breathing in particles secreted by infected dogs. For several weeks after recovery, a dog will still carry the virus that can lead to further contamination if not properly quarantined.

Upon contracting the virus, dogs often appear “normal” for several days. The initial symptoms of the disease are runny nose, water eyes and a sore throat. The dog’s temperature will increase to approximately 103.5°F (39.7°C). Over the next couple of days the symptoms worsen with the tonsils becoming enlarged, and the dog develops diarrhea. After approximately four weeks the virus begins to affect the brain. The dog will start twitching, which will gradually turn in to larger convulsions. The convulsions normally become so frequent and violent, that euthanasia is often carried out at this stage.

At this time, there is no cure for the actual virus that causes Canine Distemper. Treatment consists of controlling spread and severity of secondary symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Constant care is needed to make your dog as comfortable as possible.


The best thing to do is to have your dog immunized against this disorder.  This will make it unnecessary to put yourself and your dog through the hardship and heartache associated with Canine distemper.

What to Do With a Finicky Cat


There are many reasons your cat may not be eating. If she isn’t sick, you must do a little investigating to find the cause.

A cat may actually have trouble eating from a bowl that is too small or too light. If the bowl moves too much, your cat may find it not worth the effort. And some cats don’t like where their food bowl is placed – try simply changing its location.

If you have other cats or pets, other animals may intimidate your cat. A cat may find it difficult to eat from a bowl placed near a dog’s bed, near a noisy appliance or near a busy area of the house. Some cats will wait until a room is completely empty before eating. Many dogs will instinctively try to eat cat food when it is placed down.

And consider how long a bowl of cat food has been left out – food left out overnight or in hot weather may be unappetizing to your cat. And cats – even indoor cats - tend to eat less in warm weather.

Some cats don’t like changing food.  If you decide to change your brand of cat food, do so gradually over several days.  Mix a little more of the new food into the old food each day until you have completely changed over.

If your cat’s diet consists of mostly dry cat food, try giving it a treat of canned cat food occasionally, or add a little broth to its food. Some older cats or cats with sore gums or teeth can find dry food difficult to chew.

With a little investigation, you will be able to figure out just why your cat isn’t eating.  An adjustment here or there can turn your finicky cat completely around.

When You Don’t Want to Medicate Your Dog


Sometimes you want to avoid medicating your dog if possible.  There are some easy home remedies you can safely use.  If a solution you hear does not sound safe it is better to consult a vet first.  The following can all be used safely on your dog.

Ticks or fleas
Make a paste of  orange rinds and apply it evenly on the fur of the dog. Let it remain there for five hours and then wash it gently. This is one easy and safe home remedy for helping your dogs get rid of ticks and fleas.

Dry, cracked paws
Take Vaseline or petroleum jelly and apply it to the paws for four to five days. You will find the expected improvement and the paw will heal.

Odor problem
Add a few drops of vinegar in the dog'sbath water. If you have trouble getting your dog in the bath, using baking soda as a dry shampoo will work.  Sprinkle it on your dog’s coat and leave set for a few minutes and then brush out.

Insects and bites
Insect stings and bites are another common problem with dogs. As soon as you notice this, put adequate solution of baking soda and water on the stung area. Apply ice for any swelling.  If you notice any difficulty breathing after a sting, however, take your dog to the vet immediately as he may be allergic to the sting.

A word of caution is in order here.  Never give your dog anything involving onions or garlic, as these are toxic to a dog.  If your dog is experiencing vomiting, diarrhea or seems to be in pain, do not try any home remedies.  Call your vet immediately. It is better to be safe than to lose your beloved friend. 

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