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Pets

We frequently add information and tips for your pets such as first aid, home-made treats, holiday tips and more so check back often!

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He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.  

Author Unknown

 

When choosing a family pet, please consider adopting from your local animal shelter...it'll do your heart good!

"Within the heart of every stray lies the singular desire to be loved"

 

 

~ Pet Tips & Remedies & More ~

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Important Tips for Summer

  • Provide plenty of clean, fresh water at ALL times and change at least once a day.

  • Ensure adequate shelter from the sun with good air circulation.

  • Don't exercise your dog in extreme heat.  Avoid walking on hot pavement.

  • Fill a baby pool with cold water and let your dog play in it.

  • Fill a clean 1-gallon milk container with water and freeze it. Place it in a cool spot in the yard so your pet can lie next to it.

  • NEVER, EVER leave your pets in a locked vehicle even with the windows cracked.  This can KILL an animal.

 

Important Tips for Winter

  • Always provide fresh, clean water and check to make sure it is not frozen

  • Provide a warm, dry area free from the elements.

  • Remove any ice, mud or snow from your pet's feet and coat as soon as possible.  Check for problems with frostbite if the weather has been especially cold.  Look for white, gray or reddish skin or if it's peeling or scaly. If so, take to the vet immediately.

  • Cats like to nap in warm places and this will include under the hoods of cars. Always knock on the hood of the car of honk the horn before you start the engine to scare a cat or other animals off.

  • Pets love antifreeze.  It smells good and tastes sweet. Small amounts can kill an animal and, unfortunately, symptoms may not show up for days.  Clean up any spills immediately and keep all containers tightly closed and store them where kids and animals cannot knock it over.

Important Tips Year-Round

Springtime brings mosquitoes and with them comes the risk of dogs and even cats becoming infected with heartworms. Even animals who live indoors are susceptible.

Signs of heartworm infection include coughing, exercise intolerance and lethargy in a mildly infected dog. An advanced case may cause life-threatening signs such as heart failure, liver or kidney failure, stroke or death.

There are preventatives that, if taken as directed, prevent infection. However, dogs with heartworm infection could become deadly ill if taking the preventative, so dogs need to be tested before administering these drugs.

Even dogs who take heartworm preventative year-round should be tested yearly. Popular preventatives include Interceptor, given monthly; Sentinel, which incorporates a flea-sterilizing ingredient as well; and Filaribits, given daily.

Use Heartgard for Cats to ward off the disease which is becoming increasingly prevalent in cats. However, for cats, symptoms are very different, so consult your doctor.

Yummy Dog Treats

  • 3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

  • 2 Cups Oatmeal

  • 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

  • 2 Cups Warm Water

  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

Mix all dry ingredients together and separately mix wet ingredients together. Blend dry and wet ingredients together a little at a time alternating between wet and dry.  Mix until dough becomes stiff.  Shape the dough into an oblong roll. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 300.  Slice dough roll into 1/4" slices and place onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.  Make approximately 2 dozen treats.

*Tip: Exchange peanut butter for 2/3 cup finely grated cheddar cheese for a different treat!

Homemade Shampoo for Dogs

  • 4 oz. Ivory Liquid Dish Soap

  • 4 oz. Water

  • 4 oz. Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 oz. Glycerin

Mix ingredients together and it's ready to go!  Lather dog well and rinse thoroughly.  No need for conditioner, the glycerin will give your dog a silky coat plus the vinegar eliminates odor!  The ingredients can be doubled or tripled with good results for those with multiple or larger dogs.

Tip:  Save an old shampoo bottle to put the mixture in.  Then just shake and wash!

Much thanks to Nancy in Wisconsin for sending us this wonderful recipe!

Skunk Problems? If your pooch got into a scrape with a skunk, try this. Use a commercial vinegar and water douche to cover up the smell. Pour it over your dog and rub it in.  Sponge it carefully on the face. Make sure you wear rubber gloves or you will get skunk odor on your hands. Do not rinse out.  Repeat as necessary.
Need to Repel Fleas? Avon to the Rescue! Avon's bath oil Skin-So-Soft has been shown to be an effective repellent for fleas. Add 1.5 ounces of Skin-So-Soft to one gallon of water and use a sponge to coat the dog. Apparently, fleas don't like the smell.
For natural flea control, add garlic and brewer's yeast to your to your dog's diet daily. You can try rubbing the yeast onto the fur for extra protection.
Mite Helper - Mix 1/2 ounce of almond oil and 400 IU of Vitamin E in a dropper bottle. Once a day, for 3 days, put a dropper-full in each ear and massage the ear well.  Let your pet shake its head and then clean out the opening with a Q-tip. Refrigerate the unused portion but warm (not hot) it up before each use.

Stop any  treatment for 3 days. Then add one slightly rounded teaspoon of yellow dock to 1 pint of boiling water. Cover tightly and let soak for 1/2 hour.  Strain and let cool. Put the mixture in a clear bottle and refrigerate. Begin another 3-day treatment with the same directions as above. Be sure to warm (not hot) the yellow dock solution before putting into the dog's ear.  Do not begin this second treatment if your pet's ears seems irritated. If the ears are inflamed or very sensitive, used bottled aloe vera gel instead of the oil until the inflammation subsides.

Hot Spots - Use the juice from an aloe vera plant or bottled 100% aloe vera gel to dab carefully on the hot spot.  Aloe vera will soothe and dry the irritation.  Use only the 2 versions of aloe vera  stated above. Products with aloe vera in it may contain a lot of alcohol which may aggravate the hot spot.

Pet Parenting Tips from the ASPCA

Although you can often find the perfect companion animal at local shelters, getting a pet should never be in impulse decision. Careful research and planning are essential, since being responsible for the happiness and well-being of your pet requires more than just providing adequate food, water and shelter. Potential pet parents should agree with these points before bringing a dog or cat home.

Animals are not disposable! Animals are not articles of clothing to be thrown out once they are no longer in style. The are capable of bonding deeply with their families and they deserve the same devotion from you. Adding a four-legged family member means making a lifelong commitment, which can easily be 10-15 years for dogs and up to 20 for cats.

Protect your pet's health and safety: Acquiring a dog of cat costs more than the adoption fee. Remember to include basic and emergency veterinary care, toys, supplies and food. Don't plan on leaving your dog alone in the backyard 24 hours a day. A dog that is constantly left along can develop behavior problems. Dogs thrive on several hours of exercise and companionship every day. Always keep your cat indoors. Cats who live outside face dangers from other animals and people and may prey on wildlife. Spaying and neutering is also essential for the animal's long-term health and happiness and providing the animal with proper identification will ensure his or her safety.

Choose the right pet for your home: Dogs and cats are not right for every household. Problems such as allergies, apartment restrictions and moving issues should be discovered before adopting a new pet. Large dogs may be too strong or active for small children. Small pets may be too delicate for children. Once you find a dog or cat that's right for you, obedience train your dog and make an effort to really understand cat behavior. Basic training helps you communicate better with your pets and strengthens the human-animal bond.

Teach yourself, family and children about the pet before adopting: Educate yourself and your children through reading books about pet care. Walking a dog several times a day, cleaning up feces, feeding and bathing a pet are all part of the ongoing family responsibilities of caring for an animal. No matter how mature your child is, you will need to provide constant supervision and act as a backup when your child is unable to handle the responsibility.  Puppies and children may not mix well. consider your child's age - very young children may unwittingly mishandle or hurt a puppy or kitten, which are particularly vulnerable to being pulled at, dropped or picked up inappropriately. Most toy-sized and touch-and-noise-sensitive dogs are not suitable for young children.

Make sure the pet suits your lifestyle: Dogs require daily exercise and attention and the size of the dog should be considered, since a large active dog may not be appropriate for a small apartment. One adult in the home should be designated as the primary caretaker so that the pet's daily needs, such as food and water, do not become lost in the shuffle of busy schedules.

Remember thinking before adopting will save the animal from being returned to the shelter and will offer the pet and family a long and satisfying life together. If you are confident that you are ready to add a four-legged member to your family, try beginning your search at our website www.aspca.org, where you can search shelters and animal rescue groups all across America. Or just take a trip to your local shelter.

To teach children the importance of kindness towards out animal friends, visit our children's website at www.animaland.org

Editors Note: Please also remember that birds and other small animals become attached to their families as well.  They should be considered no more disposable than a cat or dog.  As an owner of two small birds, I was surprised how quickly and strongly they became attached to us and just how anxious they were to spend time with us individually.  Just because they are easily transported to another home for quick disposal,  shouldn't mean their feelings don't matter. They do...birds can feel and hurt too.

Is your pet left alone quite a bit?  Here are a few suggestions that could help cure their blues.

  • Hide a few snacks around the house: Finding an unexpected treat in an odd corner can brighten a pet's day.

  • Find a companion: They don't have to be two of a kind. A cat and a dog will get along just fine.

  • Break the Silence: Turn on the radio or set the answering machine on high and call your pet once in awhile.

  • Please, Please, Please don't leave them in the dark: Either leave on a light or, if you have them, set timers to turn on lamps.

  • Rotate their toys: After they've been out a day or two, substitute others.

 Kill fleas instantly. Dawn dishwashing liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog's bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations and good-bye fleas!
  Rainy day cure for dog odor. Next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.

  Eliminate ear mites. All it takes is a few drops of Wesson corn oil in your cat's ear. Massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat's skin, smothers the mites and accelerates healing.

  Vaseline cure for hairballs. To prevent troublesome hairballs, apply a dollop of Vaseline petroleum jelly to your cat's nose. The cat will lick off the jelly, lubricating any hair in its stomach so it can pass easily through the digestive system.

Five Star Puppy Tip!

If you're housebreaking a new pup, try this! To remove odor and wetness from carpeting, blot up urine with paper towels and cover the soiled area with cat-box litter. After the litter has absorbed the liquid, vacuum it up - your carpeting will be odor-free. This really works!

 

 If you have a litter of puppies, place the same number of cloth strips as you have puppies in the bed with their mother. Then send a cloth strip with each puppy to its new home. The puppy will feel more secure with the scent of its mother nearby.

To give your dog a fresh smell and a cleaner coat, try sprinkling it with baby powder. Rub the powder into the pet's coat, wait a few minutes and brush it out. 

 

 

Doggy Treats

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup multigrain oatmeal or quick cooking oats, uncooked

  • 1/4 cup honey-crunch wheat germ

  • 1/4 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup salad oil

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1 tsp baking powder

About three hours before serving, in a large mixer bowl at low speed, mix 1 cup flour with remaining ingredients and 1/2 cup water until well blended. With spoon, stir in remaining 1/2 cup flour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With floured hands, on well-floured surface, knead dough until dough holds together. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick. With a 5" by 2 1/2" bone shaped cookie cutter (or any cookie cutter for that matter) cut out as many bones as possible. Reroll scraps and cut as above. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake on large ungreased cookie sheet for 20 minutes; turn oven off. Let cookie sheet remain in oven 1 hour. Remove bone from cookie sheet to wire rack When cool, store in airtight container or freeze if not using right away. Makes about 20 dog bones.

 

 

 

 

Traveling with Pets

  • If you want to take your pet on a car trip, first take it for short rides; increase the time on each subsequent trip so it gets used to the car.

  • If your pet is traveling in a carrier, put some of its favorite toys inside to make it feel more secure. Or line the traveling container with an old sweater of yours-- the familiar smell will comfort the animal.

  • Don't feed you pet for six hours before a car trip. If it has a tendency to car sickness, try to avoid giving even water for two hours before you leave home.

  • When you travel with you pet in a car, bring along a plastic freezer container of frozen water. As you travel, the water will thaw and your pet will have a fresh, cool drink ready.

  • If possible, carry water from home for your pet. The different mineral content of water in a new location could give it diarrhea.

  • When traveling with a dog, make sure he/she is on a leash before you get out of the care at your destination. Otherwise, it may get overexcited and jump out of the car and, possibly, get hit by another vehicle.

  • If you're traveling with a cat, keep the carrier firmly closed and don't release the cat until you get indoors. If the cat panics and jumps out of the car in a strange place, you'll have little chance of finding it again.

  • Before traveling with a pet, let the animal get used to the pet carrier. Leave the carrier out where the animal can smell it, explore it and sleep in it.

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