Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Words of Wisdom From Cesar Millan

What your pet can teach you, by Cesar Millan. The most valuable lessons I've received have come from animals. Here are some of the ways dogs have helped me become a better, happier, and more-balanced human being.

Live in the moment. People often wonder how I get such quick results with the dogs I rehabilitate. The answer is simple: Dogs live in the moment. They don't regret the past or worry about the future. If we can learn to appreciate and focus on what's happening in the here and now, we'll experience a richness of living that other members of the animal kingdom enjoy.

Nurture a balanced life. I tell my clients to follow this simple rule with their dogs: Offer exercise, discipline, and affection every day. Do the same for yourself. We humans are happier if our routines include physical activity, a sense of structure, and the opportunity to give and receive love on a daily basis.

Learn to listen. Make the time to lend an ear to those you love or those who want to transform their lives. But don't try to fix their problems, and don't take their problems personally, either. A great leader is also a great follower and knows that everybody counts.

Don't hold grudges. There's a remarkable lack of conflict in dog packs. That's because members resolve the situation when disagreements arise, then move on. Imagine what our world would be like if we dealt with our conflicts before they escalated out of control. Holding onto negative feelings tends to make them multiply and prevent us from moving forward.

Celebrate every day. For a dog, every morning is Christmas morning. Every walk is the best walk, every meal is the best meal, every game is the best game. We can learn so much by observing the way our pets rejoice in life's simplest moments. Take time every day to celebrate the many gifts that are hidden in the ordinary events of your own life.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Animal Odd Couple

A friend emailed me this youtube video about a friendship between an elephant and a dog. Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Get Rid of Allergens, Not Pets

Today in my local paper, there was a column written about a 10 year old boy with allergies. His family has cats and his doctor said to get rid of them. The writer responded about how tramatic it would be for the boy to lose his pets.

She had this advice to get rid of allergens in the house.
1. Have your house steam cleaned. This is a safe, chemical-free way of eliminating allergens that are already in your home.
2. Then, be diligent with vacuuming. This means carpet, furniture, all the corners of every room, walls, etc. You'll need to use the hand tools to get all the nooks and crannies. This is a big job if you haven't vacuumed this way before, but once you get past the first time, it will be much easier and quicker after that, especially if you vacuum on a daily basis.
3. Invest in a couple of high quality HEPA air purifiers. These devices work great and really do clean the air. You'll notice allergy relief almost immediately once these are up and running. Be sure to change the filters according to the directions.
4. Teach your children to wash their hands frequently, especially after playing with or petting your pets. A lot of kids rub their eyes without thinking. Make sure they keep their hands away from their face and eyes. This will take practice and frequent reminders.
5. Keep the pets out of their bedroom. This should be a pet free zone. Having one room in the house should remain allergen-free, especially the one they spend their sleeping hours.
6. Finally, the most important step involves the use of a product that is called Allerpet/c (cats) or Allerpet/d (dogs). All you need to do is to regularly comb your pet and then apply Allerpet/c or d. with a microfiber cloth directly to your pets' coat. The application process is fairly enjoyable for your pet. It's like a massage. You'll want to use strokes that go both with and against the direction of the fur growth. You only need to apply the Allerpet/c or d weekly. But you should comb or brush you pet daily.

This seems like a lot of work, but allergy sufferers who love their pets have developed systems that work for them, and these systems become fairly simple routines.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thought For The Day

"Acquiring a dog may be the only time a person gets to choose a relative." Unknown

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Obese Cats, Grains and Diabetes

I wrote in a previous blog about overweight cats, diabetes and the cause (The Diabetes Food Connection in Cats, Sept. 3. 2008). Cats are becoming obese and getting sick with diabetes at an alarming rate. The cause --- their food. Most cat foods are filled with grains, mostly corn. Cats are carnivores, they need meat as the main ingredient in their food, not grains.

I was visiting a friend the other day and her cat is very obese. She said she was very concerned about him. I asked to see the food she was feeding him. She brought out a bag of Meow Mix. I showed her the first ingredient --WHOLE YELLOW CORN. I told her that cats are not grain eaters and the corn is just turning to sugar, which turns to fat. I had her switch to a natural brand of food, Wellness, they have a grain-free food for cats. I have a picture of her cat now, (at 23 pounds !) and will give you an update in a month.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Important Information About Chew Toys

This information is from Frazer Hale, DVM, FAVD, DAVDC, of the American Veterinary Dental College: Just because pet stores sell chew toys, does not necessarily mean the objects are good for pets' teeth.
He recommends the following rule when evaluating the appropriateness of chew toys: If you would not want the chew toy thrown at your knee cap, you shouldn't allow your pet to chew on it. (Hard on your knees, hard on their teeth!)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Pet's Ten Commandments

I received this from a friend today in an email:

A Pet's Ten Commandments...

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

Remember that they can't do a lot of things for themselves and that they depend on you to make their life a quality life!

Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God's critters.

Now please pass this on to other pet owners. We do not have to wait for Heaven, to be surrounded by hope, love and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!

Friday, January 9, 2009

When Do Dogs Turn Grey?

I tried to do research about what age dogs turn grey. I found out that some can be as young as 1 years old and some don't turn grey until 9 or 10. Some breeds don't turn grey at all.

Buddy has alot of black fur on his face. I have noticed in the last year that it is sprinkled with white hair. He will turn 5 years old next month. I thought this was much too young to turn grey. Jake was probably 10 years old when he started turning grey.

What I have found out is that, dogs are like humans, some turn grey young and some turn grey when they are very old.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pet Toys Can Be Dangerous

My last blog was about how much pets love new toys, but pet owners have to be very careful and cautious about what to buy.
There are no safety protocols in effect for pet toys. Most toys are made in China and some even contain lead. Pets can become sickened due to lead poisoning. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, difficulty walking, abdominal pain, tremors, blindness and even coma.

Some toys have small parts, robe or strings that can be swallowed by pets, but not passed in the stool. This can lead to intestinal blockages. Some of these pieces can actually perforate the intestines or the stomach, or leech toxic chemicals.

Cat owners need to be careful about bungee toys affixed to cat trees, cats have been strangled by the cord.
Dogs have choked to death on rawhide treats. Avoid rawhide toys.
Dogs have gotten their tongues sucked into rubber balls.

If you have a bird, you need to be especially careful. There are a lot of plastic bird toys. These are easily broken up by any sized bird and the sharp pieces can be swallowed. Avoid bird toys with bells as some of these are coated with zinc.

Supervise your pet when you give him a toy. Make sure the toy is size and species appropriate. Purchase products that come from trusted manufacturers and appear to be high quality. (I avoid anything made in China). Balls should have a number of air holes so that suction will not be created when a dog chews on them. Cat toys on strings/springs/elastic bungees should only be used when a cat is being supervised.

There just aren't the same safety measures taken for pets that there are for people. When in doubt, talk with your veterinarian. Most veterinarians have seen accidents that are toy-related and can give you some good tips on what to avoid.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dogs Enjoy Presents for Christmas

This is a photo of Buddy with his new toys that he opened for Christmas. My granddaughter picked out a green fuzzy bone that squeaks. She wrapped it up and Buddy opened it on Christmas morning. I don't know who had more fun, she or Buddy.

Santa brought him a new ball, biscuits and some duck jerky in his stocking. Buddy gets very excited about his new toys. He knows that Christmas is a special day.

When I was a child, our family had a dog named Cindy. She was a shepherd mix. Cindy always had a new toy wrapped for her under the tree each Christmas. The wrapped toy would be put under the tree weeks before Christmas. She would proudly carry around the wrapped toy, but she knew not to open it. On Christmas morning, as we were opening our presents, Cindy knew it was OK to open hers. I can still remember how happy she was about her new toy. It is just one of many fond memories that I have of her. I haven't had a dog since that would carry around a wrapped toy and not want to open it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pets Get Scared of Noise

Christmas, New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July, are times for fireworks. Unfortunately, many dogs are lost when they become frightened of the noise, and escape from their yard or the house.

To prevent your dog escaping, make sure he's securely confined. Ideally, this means he's inside your house, either in a crate or locked in a room. It's unlikely he'll escape under these circumstances.

If he does need to stay outside, be sure your fence is in good condition. Have a sturdy collar on your dog, make sure it won't slip over his head. Have a current ID tag on his collar. Hopefully you won't need it, but take a good clear photograph of him, so it's easy to make posters and share his description online, if he should escape.

Buddy and I wish you a Happy New Year!