Kitty boredom?

Zzzzzzzzz

According to PetMD, cats can sleep between 15-20 in a 24 hour period … (are you jealous?)  What do they do in their ‘awake’ time?  To make sure your kitty isn’t bored during the day while you’re at work, try these simple things … just in case they wake up!

  • put a puzzle feeder around the house somewhere with their favorite cat treat inside
  • place a cat perch in a window (hang a bird feeder or two where your kitty can watch for extra entertainment!
  • leave open paper bags out and about
  • some interesting and safe toys around the house will curb boredom
  • add a cat tree to your living room with lots of different levels and toys

In all cases – don’t be surprised if you come home to your kitty sleeping in the paper bag, on the cat tree, or the window perch.

Local Pet Businesses Raise Money for Humane Indiana

On February 3rd, 2018 several local pet business and Langel’s Pizzeria in Highland Indiana teamed up for “Pizza For Paws” and were able to raise $1327 to help the shelter animals at Humane Indiana.

The businesses that participated were Bentley’s Pet Stuff (Schererville), Laurie Tuttle Dog Training, Poochs Palate, Pups In A Tub,, The Pet ParlorYoung Living (Essential Oils for Pets) and Kristin Challman Pet Portraits.

“It was really a fun time and it’s always great to see how everyone’s heart is geared toward helping these animals.   I was glad to be part of it.” said Pat Thompson, owner of the Pet Parlor.

The fundraiser included a pet photo contest and raffled helium-filled balloons with valuable coupons from the vendors inside.   10% of Langel’s lunch, drinks,  and buffet proceeds went toward the event.

Winner of the photo contest was Elizabeth Klemm – she took home a beautiful  pet-themed gift basket valued at over $175.  Congratulations Elizabeth!

Thanks everyone, for making it such a fun time and for helping all those animals.

 

Something Smells Fishy Here…Tip 37

Do you have an older dog or cat?

if your dog is older you may consider giving him or her fish oil as a supplement to their regular diet.

Why fish oil?

There’s a good reason that fish oil is the most common supplement given to older dogs and cats. Here are just a few:

  • it’s an anti inflammatory
  • it helps manage certain heart problems
  • it promotes healthy skin and coat
  • it helps with joint problems and arthritis
  • in some studies it has even slowed the growth of cancer

That’s enough for me!  Bring on the salmon! Or, of course the herring, the anchovies, the tuna, the sardines and cod!

It’s Time To Weigh In – Tip 36

When was the last time you weighed your pet?

Weight loss (or weight gain) just might be a sign of something more serious than a few extra treats. And sometimes it’s hard to notice if your pet has gained or lost a few pounds … especially if they have fluffy fur that hides that loss or gain.

Be consistent

The trick is to just get into the habit of weighing your pet every month. That way, you’ll be alerted to any changes or trends that might need to be addressed.

It’s Pet Dental Health Month – Do We Have A Party? Tip 34

February is Pet Dental Health Month – Do we celebrate or what?

Seems like it would be an odd sort of party, don’t you think?  “What should I bring?”  “A couple of tooth brushes and some cake-and-ice-cream-flavored pet toothpaste would be great!”  But why is this ‘pet dental health month’ a ‘thing’?  Should we really care that much about our pets teeth?

Did you know?

Teeth problems can lead to MUCH nastier things than bad breath and unsightly teeth.

The American Veterinary Dental College says, “…periodontal disease is usually under-treated, and may cause multiple problems in the oral cavity and may be associated with damage to internal organs in some patients as they age.”

“Your dog’s bad breath could be killing him.”

Oh, okay – that’s why they made the whole month of February for pet dental awareness.  Dental health (for you and your pet) is really important to the overall health of the body.  Not just your mouth.  Infections that start in the mouth can spread to the entire body – so what?  Well, that can result in things like sepsis, paralysis, and death.

Do we have your attention now?

Since your pets can’t brush –  it’s up to you to do their teeth care for them.

How?

Glad you asked.  Here are some ways to help care for your pets teeth:

  • Brush them.  Yep – you can brush  your pets teeth.
  • Clean them with an old (clean) sock.  Ever wonder what to do with those stray socks from the dryer? They make great ‘teeth wipers’ for your pets.  Then throw them away or re-wash and use them again and again.
  • Give them things to chew on that will scrape that ‘gunk’ off.  Raw (never cooked) bones are great for this.  There are treats on the market specifically for teeth cleaning.
  • Visit your vet.  Your vet will know if your dog or cat needs professional assistance in the teeth cleaning department.

Is Your Pet In Your Last Will and Testament? – Tip 31

What would your cat do with $13 million dollars??

Maria Assunta was 94 when she passed away and she was pretty crazy.  Crazy about her cat,  I mean – she left her entire fortune ($13 million) to “Tommaso” her cat!

She found Tommaso as a stray – ridden with fleas and in need of some TLC.  She was a widow and had no children, so Tommaso fell into the heiresses loving heart.

 Uh Oh – There’s a hitch!

Italian law doesn’t allow passing one’s wealth directly to an animal, so Maria entrusted her nurse to oversee her estate AND care for her beloved Tommaso.  So now Tommaso and the nurse are living a pretty good life….

Have YOU considered your pet(s) in your last will and testament?

You (probably) don’t have $13 million to think about what you’re going to do with when you pass away … but maybe you should consider how your pet(s) will be cared for in your absence.

“Nope. Not Gonna Eat That!” – Tip 29

“He’s not eating.”

It’s a sentence heard at veterinary offices every single day.  It’s always good to be watchful when you pet stops eating.  But how do you know if your pet is expressing an illness or is just plain bored with his food?  When your pet stops eating its regular diet, here are some things you can try before you rush in to see the vet.

Try these suggestions first:

  • Stop the treats (just like you and me, treats can decrease desire for food at meal times)
  • Check the food you’re feeding (food tends to lose its enticing odor when it’s been around too long)
  • Add some warm water, chicken broth, or a teaspoon or two of canned food to the dry kibble
  • Try leaving him or her alone to eat quietly
  • Try staying with him or her (sometimes they would like you there)
  • Make it fun.  There is one dog we pet sit for that won’t eat unless we throw the kibble and he chases after it!
  • Check those teeth!  I had a cat once who couldn’t eat because his gums were sore.
  • Change the food.  Do this slowly over time.  If you switch too quickly, it may cause tummy upset.

Nothing worked.

There are many reasons why your cat or dog may be turning up their little noses at the food you’re putting down and one of them, unfortunately, may be illness.  If there are no other signs of illness and you’ve tried the above suggestions and they still won’t nibble, it’s be time to take them to the Dr.

Oh NO! NOT THAT!! – Tip 28

Oh NO!  NOT THAT!!

If you’ve ever faced the issue of your kitty urinating outside their litter box than you’ve probably wondered WHY?? (among experiencing some other emotions – I’m sure)

Here is a short list of possible reasons why your furry friend has decided to ‘go’ somewhere else:

  • Your cat is sick
  • Your cat has behavioral issues
  • Your cat is under stress
  • Your cat is simply mad about the cleanliness of their litter box

Before you give your cat a new home….

Don’t do anything drastic … before you decide your cat can’t live with you anymore take him/her to the vet.  But clean and change the litter in the box first to see if that solves the problem.

Guess How Many Teeth Your Dog Has??- Tip 24

Bet you didn’t know!

I bet you didn’t know that your full-grown kitty has 30 teeth!  No, I didn’t count them – not sure I know of a cat that would allow that!

Bones and Grass

In the wild, cats take care of their own teeth by chewing on (raw) bones and eating grass.  Since the domestication of our cats it’s up to US to keep those little biters clean!  (Like there’s not enough on your plate, right??)

Brush your cats teeth!

Yes, that’s a thing!  There are little toothbrushes available so that you can help with this task.  Here’s a link to check it out:  this one is poultry-flavored….yum!

How often should I brush them?

How often do you brush your own?  (If you’re one of those odd sorts who brush your teeth 14 times/day … just disregard that last question).  Seriously, the answer is : everyday.  Brush your cats teeth everyday.

Oh, yes – and don’t forget!

Your dog has teeth too….42 to be exact.  They will need more toothpaste.

Would you feed your dog or cat pizza and diet coke’s for the rest of it’s life?- Tip 23

Yay!  We’ve made it 23 days of little awesome pet tips!  Thanks for sticking it out with me!  Here is number 23:

Would you feed your dog or cat pizza and diet coke’s for the rest of it’s life?

I don’t think you would.  Think of it this way – we probably only feed our pets roughly the same brand and type of food on a daily basis, right?  It’s for this reason that we need to be sure that the food we have chosen for our pets is of the highest quality we can afford.

They eat it everyday.

If we were are feeding a low-quality food to our pets on a daily basis, it would be like feeding our kids fast food every single day … that can spell all kinds of trouble in the long run.

It will show!

Your pet will have a shinier coat, healthier skin, and bright eyes – not to mention the internal benefits (stronger immune system, better intestinal health,  and greater mental acuity to name a few) that come from eating a high-quality food.  How does your food stack up?

Make Sure Your Cat Is Purrrfectly Happy – Tip 22

Is your cat happy?

They’re not likely to answer directly if you ask them (yes, I’ve tried), but there are some clues to tell you when your cat is a happy critter.  Check this list and see if your kitty is purrrfectly happy:

  • Yep, number one:  they PURR
  • They knead you (and yes, a cat will act like they don’t need you – ha!  See what I did there?!)
  • The are relaxed in your presence
  • They rub up against you (this is their way of ‘claiming’ you as territory)
  • They eat well
  • They are social with you

There you have it!  Is your cat happy?

 

How To Be An Awesome Pet Owner – Tip 17

How often do you touch your pet?

I know it might be an unusual question – one that might get a response of, “Everyday, of course!”, and I would answer the same.  But I mean touch your pet with intention.

Sometimes you have to develop trust before your pet will let you poke around.

This morning, while I was petting Shea (my dog) I started to give her a little massage.  She was so relaxed – absolutely loving it. Once she was so relaxed and happy with our bonding time, I was able to take her paws in my hand and explore between her pads.  Normally, she would jerk her paw out of my hand – unless I had taken the time and she was in this relaxed and trusting state of mind.

What will you notice?

As I was gently checking in between her pads, I found a little sticker she must have picked up while we were on our walk earlier.  I removed it – but the thought stayed with me that maybe I should intentionally check her body on a semi-regular basis.  I do this with my pet sitting clients dogs and cats all the time – so why would I ‘forget’ with my own baby?  I’ve been able to bring lumps and bumps and even a case of worms or two to our owners attention that they had missed just like me.

Pay attention to your dog or cat.

I think the main issue here is that we pet owners tend to be human when it comes to our own dogs and cats.  We get into our routines and we really do forget to see with new eyes and feel with new hands.  We get foggy to what we do repeatedly.  Let’s not do this with our own pets.  Pay attention.  Take some time to FEEL your pet while you’re stroking and petting his or her body.  Feel the places you don’t normally touch.  Be aware of your pet.

How To Be An Awesome Pet Owner – Tip 13

Are you neglecting your cat without knowing it?

Cats are such ‘easy’ low-maintenance critters that sometimes it’s easy to get into the routine of just scooping the litter, changing the water and giving fresh food and going about the rest of our day.  It’s okay, people get busy – what can we do?

Try some playtime!

Playtime with you cat will make his (and your) life better in so many ways:

  • exercise for your cat
  • bonding between the two of you
  • lowered blood pressure (for both of you)
  • fun (for both of you)

How important is interaction with your cat?

In a recent study, it was found that domestic animals chose interaction with their human over food!  Wow – if they could talk, they’d probably remind us!  Click here to read more.

You don’t need any more reasons, do you?  Go spend some time with your kitty….

How To Be An Awesome Pet Owner – Tip 11

Try a little warmth for arthritic joints.

Older dogs (and cats too) can suffer with joint pain as they age.  Pets tend to hide their pain so it’s up to you to be aware.

common signs of pain in pets:

  • slowed or less frequent movement
  • avoiding the stairs
  • panting
  • whining for ‘no reason’
  • trouble getting up and down
  • not jumping up on things they used to

Sometimes all it takes is a little warmth to help.

You can try warm blankets or towels. Try warming them in the dryer.  Never use a heating pad – this can cause burns. You might even try gentle massage to the hips and joints to get the blood to these areas.

A word of caution:

Be gentle ~ if these areas are hurting, you don’t know how much pressure is ‘too much’.  If your cat moves away from the touch or your dog doesn’t seem to like it: STOP!

There are pain medications specifically for dogs and cats who are suffering from arthritis – ask your veterinarian.

How To Be An Awesome Pet Owner – Tip 10

Did you flush your toilet this morning?

How often do you scoop your cat’s litter box?

(Not judging here, just trying to get you to think from your kitty’s perspective)  Cats are very clean animals and appreciate a clean place to use the bathroom (just like us!).

How often should you scoop?

Scoop your cat’s box daily.  If that’s not a possibility for you, then add another litter box to the mix and scoop every other day.

Why should you scoop so often?

Ever hear of the term ‘litter box avoidance’? There are, of course, many reasons for litter box avoidance (and some of them will merit medical attention), but this one is surely in the top ten reasons why your cat may stop using his litter box.

If your cat needs to go potty and happens to find his or her litter box like a nasty un-flushed toilet in a row of public stalls (trying to paint a graphic for you here)… he’ll do exactly what you and I would do: find another place to go.

Be Warned!

Many cats will start to urinate and defecate on your clean carpet and then continue to find what they think are ‘appropriate’ places to do their business.

So, if a nasty litter box is the reason your fastidious feline is looking for another toilet try the  easy fix:  Scoop Daily!

How To Be An Awesome Pet Owner – Tip 8

Snip. Snip. Snip. Oops.

NEVER use scissors to clip things out of your pets fur!

We pet owner know very well how weird stuff can get caught in our pets fur – We also tend to think that we would do fine by our pets to remove it with scissors.

Think again!

When I worked at a veterinary hospital (ancient history) I was amazed at how many dogs and cats had to come in for stitches because the pet-mom or pet-dad thought they were doing the right thing and used scissors to remove something from their pets fur.

What things?

  • matted hair
  • stickers
  • gum
  • ice-balls between the pads (to name just a few)

One jerky movement later and *poof*

Road trip to the vets office!  Be safe (and smart) – find another way … avoid the scissors.

There ARE alternatives to scissors.

There are other ways to deal with the above mentioned  – for example, stickers and matted hair can be gotten out with patience and a good dog-comb.  I’d recommend a Furminator type comb for stickers and a steel comb with wider teeth for mats.  If the mats are too bad, set an appointment with your local groomer.  Ice-balls in the pads should be melted with a tepid (NOT HOT) water bath.  Gum?  Ice cubes if it’s on the surface and peanut butter if it’s closer to the skin.

Safe ~ Not Sorry.

When something is stuck in your pets fur, please don’t grab for the scissors – leave that for the professional groomers.

 

How To Be An Awesome Pet Owner – Tip 7

Ok, after all of that cuddling, it’s time for some tough love.

How long has it been since you took your dog or cat in to see that vet just for a check up?  Too many of us wait for some reason (symptom) to show up before we take them in and this could spell disaster.

We both know it’s in the best interest of our pets.

This is easy:

  • Pick up your phone
  • dial your vets office
  • make the appointment
  • keep the appointment

Done!  You are an awesome pet owner!!