Wednesday, December 5, 2018

BBB: Think carefully before buying a pet as a holiday gift

One of the most popular holiday gifts for youngsters is a new member of the family, such as a dog, cat, bird or exotic animal, but is it a good idea to buy a pet without discussing it in advance and getting the entire family on board? Officials with the Better Business Bureau say probably not.

There is no question that kids’ faces light up when they get a new pet; however, some young children do not understand that they will have to be responsible for the pet too, and that means feeding and taking a dog out for a walk in the middle of winter.

When your family brings home a pet, it needs some peace and quiet, and the opportunity to get used to its new surroundings. This is often not possible around the hectic holidays, and all of the excitement can be stressful for the pet.

Other concerns involving the purchase of pets are fraud and unwittingly buying from a breeding facility known as a puppy mill. Puppy mills are operations where the breeders put profits ahead of the health of the animals, in conditions experts describe as “inhumane.” When you buy from a breeder outside of the state you are taking a big chance. If you don’t see the breeding facility, you won’t know what sort of conditions the pet was raised in.

BBB has heard from heartbroken consumers, who send their payment and wait for the delivery, but the pet never arrives, or the seller demands fees that were not disclosed when they made the purchase.

BBB offers these tips to help you make the right decision for your family when buying a pet:

• Select a pet that is age-appropriate. If it is impractical for other family members to help care for larger animals such as cats or dogs, consider buying a small pet such as a hamster, which is easier for children to take care of.

• Check breeders’ and shelters’ credentials. If you locate a puppy through a website, do not send money without first speaking to the breeder and checking references and credentials. Find out if the breeder is a member of an American Kennel Club-affiliated club and call to verify membership.

• Avoid buying pets through classified ads. You can get some wonderful deals through classified ads; however, a pet seller may not have the proper paperwork. Some scammers make big money selling pets that they stole from people’s property or public areas.

• Don’t be fooled by a well-designed website. This is always good advice. Unscrupulous operators create professional-looking but fraudulent websites that are designed to lure potential buyers with cute puppy pictures they stole from other breeders’ websites.

• Take all of the costs into account. Many people don’t think past the initial fee required to buy or adopt a pet. A cat costs about $350 to $400 a year, a small or medium dog costs about $400 to $500 a year and larger dogs even more. You also might want to consider buying medical insurance for your pet. Veterinary care can be very expensive when there’s a health problem or if your pet is injured in an accident.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

There is No Such Thing As Hypoallergenic Dogs

There's no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed, although some individual dogs may cause fewer allergy symptoms than others.
Many people think that pet allergies are caused by a dog's or cat's fur, but the real source of pet allergies is often a protein that's in the saliva and urine of dogs and cats. This protein sticks to the dead, dried flakes (dander) from your pet's skin.
Some dog breeds are marketed as hypoallergenic because they don't shed fur or they shed very little. Because these dogs don't shed, the allergy-causing dander that sticks to their fur doesn't get released into the air or onto the floor as much as with a shedding dog. But while you may have less dog hair with a nonshedding dog, no dog breed is hypoallergenic.
If you're allergic to dogs, but still want to have one, consider the following tips to reduce your allergy symptoms:
  • Choose a smaller dog, which will shed less dander than will a larger dog.
  • Keep your pet out of your bedroom and other rooms in which you spend a lot of time.
  • Keep your pet outside, if weather permits.
  • Bathe your pet weekly to remove dander from its coat.
  • Choose carpet-free flooring, or shampoo your carpet regularly.
  • Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifier and vent filters to help reduce airborne pet allergens.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

How To Get Rid Of Mice With a Cat

A Cat is the Best Natural Mouse Deterrent!!!

If you are looking for a natural mouse deterrent, consider getting a cat.  The great thing about having a cat is their very presence will help to keep the mice away.

Having a cat on your property is one of the most natural ways to get rid of mice since you are letting nature take care of itself. It’s the cycle of life.

If you are thinking about getting a cat to use as a mouse deterrent – Read these tips so you know what to expect and make sure your cat knows how to hunt!!

How To Make Sure Your Cat Is An Effective Mouse Deterrent
Mice will build a home where they feel safe & secure.  When they come into your home, they will look for an unoccupied area to live & breed.  This may be in your walls, under the stove or in the attic. If they smell a cat in the area, they are very likely to find a better place to call home where they will not be hunted on a daily basis.

However, just because you have a cat, this does not mean you will never have a mouse in your house again. There may be a place in your house that does not have the smell of your cat, so the mice may still come in. Or if food & shelter is very limited in your area, the mouse may consider your home to be the only option.

How To Select A Cat That Will Catch Mice
First of all, not all cats are natural mousers. Ideally, you will be able to find a kitty that has lived for some time outside and knows how to hunt. If you live near a rural area, you can normally find barn cats looking for a good home.

Talk to your local humane society or shelter. They will know the cat’s background and should be able to help you select the right cat for your home. A kitten would be sweet, but will not know how to hunt. If you have your heart set on getting a kitten, many shelters will have both the mother & kittens that are up for adoption. The mother will be able to teach the kitten how to hunt. Female cats are also rumored to be better mousers.

Some cats will actually ignore mice, especially cats which have always lived indoors & have not been exposed to any type of hunting games or toys. Yes, there are lazy cats, just like lazy dogs & lazy people~

If you already have a cat, but he/she doesn’t know how to hunt, they can still be an effective mouse deterrent.  Consider encouraging your cat to visit the area where you have the most mice.  You could give it a few treats in the kitchen or play a game in the basement where the mice are known to frequent.  Cats love to brush up against objects, leaving their scent trail behind.  If you can encourage your cat to do this where you also have mouse activity, the trail they leave behind will be a good mouse deterrent as well.

Does Your Cat Have The Play Or Kill Mindset?
There are some cats that will just want to play with the mouse. Be prepared to watch your cat toy with a mouse, over & over & over again.

And they like to bring their toys home. You may find a dead mouse on your front porch or sometimes even in your house. A cat likes to bring its trophy home to his or her owner. They are very proud of their catch having sometimes been stalking them for days.

And occasionally your cat will bring home a mouse that is still alive. The funniest thing I heard was a story from my neighbor. Her cat brought home a mouse that must have just been stunned. The cat had it in her mouth when it came back inside. My neighbor saw her cat with the mouse & screamed.  The cat let go of the mouse & it ran straight under her cupboards.

Make A Commitment To Your Cat
Getting a cat is a commitment. You have to remember that you are getting a pet, a new family member, not just an in-house mouse killing machine. Do you have the time and energy to devote to your new cat? Do you know where the cat will live? You’ll need a place to keep the litter box, toys, scratching post, etc.

Cats don’t require as much attention as some other pets, but they still need to be loved & cared for. So while getting a cat is a wonderfully natural solution to getting rid of your mouse problem, please make sure you are willing to commit to their care.  After all, he or she is working hard for you and deserves a good home!

How To Get Rid Of Mice Today!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

How To Keep Your Pet Safe From Household Hazards

Every home contains a variety of everyday items and substances that can be dangerous or even fatal if ingested by dogs and cats. You can protect your pet’s health by becoming aware of the most common health hazards found in many pet-owning households.

Hazards in the Kitchen

Many foods are perfectly safe for humans, but could be harmful or potentially deadly to pets. To be safe, keep the following food items out of your pet’s menu:Kitten sitting behind a hydrangea blossom

•Coffee grounds
•Fatty foods
•Yeast dough
•Macadamia nuts
•Any products containing xylitol (an artificial sweetener)
Always keep garbage out of a pet’s reach, as rotting food contains molds or bacteria that could cause food poisoning.

Cleaning Products

Many household cleaners can be used safely around pets. However, the key to safe use lies in reading and following product directions for proper use and storage.

For instance, if the label states “keep pets and children away from area until dry”, follow those directions to prevent possible health risks. Products containing bleach can safely disinfect many household surfaces when used properly, but can cause stomach upset, drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, severe burns if swallowed, and respiratory tract irritation if inhaled in a high enough concentration. In addition, skin contact with concentrated solutions may produce serious chemical burns. Some detergents can produce a similar reaction and cats can be particularly sensitive to certain ingredients such as phenols.

As a general rule, store all cleaning products in a secure cabinet out of the reach of pets and keep them in their original packaging, or in a clearly labeled and tightly sealed container.

As with household cleaners, read and follow label instructions before using any type of pesticide in your pet’s environment. For example, flea and tick products labeled “for use on dogs only” should never be used on cats or other species, as serious or even life-threatening problems could result. Always consult with your veterinarian about the safe use of these products for your pet.

If a pet ingests rat or mouse poison, potentially serious or even life-threatening illness can result; therefore, when using any rodenticide, it is important to place the poison in areas completely inaccessible to pets. Some of the newer rodenticides have no known antidote, and can pose significant safety risks to animals and people.

Hazards in the Bathroom

All medicines should be tightly closed and stored securely and away from pets.
Medications that treat human medical conditions can make pets very sick. Never give your pet any medication, including over-the-counter medications, unless directed by your veterinarian. As a rule, all medicines should be tightly closed and stored securely and away from pets.

Medications that pose higher risk include:

•Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen
•Diet Pills/Vitamins
•Cold Medicines
•Prescription Drugs
Soaps and other Sundries
Bath and hand soaps, toothpaste and sun screens should also be kept away from your pets. They can cause stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea. Keep toilet lids closed to prevent your pets from consuming treated toilet bowl water that could irritate their digestive tract.

Hazards in the Bedroom & Living Room

While they may smell good, many liquid potpourri products contain ingredients that can cause oral ulcerations and other problems, so keep them out of the reach of your pets.

Just one mothball has the potential to sicken a dog or cat; mothballs that contain naphthalene can cause serious illness, including digestive tract irritation, liver, kidney and blood cell damage, swelling of the brain tissues, seizures, coma, respiratory tract damage (if inhaled) and even death (if ingested). Tobacco products, pennies (those minted after 1982 contain zinc) and alkaline batteries (like those in your remote controls) can also be hazardous when ingested.

Hazards in the Garage & Yard

Antifreeze, Herbicides and Insecticides
Ethylene glycol-containing antifreeze and coolants, even in small quantities, can be fatal to pets. While antifreeze products containing propylene glycol are less toxic than those containing ethylene glycol, they can still be dangerous. In addition to antifreeze, other substances routinely stored in the garage including insecticides, plant/lawn fertilizers, weed killers, ice-melting products, and gasoline also pose a threat to your pet’s health if ingested.

When chemical treatments are applied to grassy areas, be sure and keep your pet off the lawn for the manufacturer’s recommended time. If pets are exposed to wet chemicals or granules that adhere to their legs or body, they may lick it off later; stomach upset or more serious problems could result.

Polyurethane adhesives are found in a large number of household products, and some can be very dangerous if ingested by pets. In particular, several brands of expanding wood glues – those containing diphenylmethane diisocyanate (often abbreviated as MDI) – have the potential to form obstructive gastrointestinal masses if ingested. The ingested adhesive can form an expanding ball of glue in your pet’s esophagus and/or stomach, creating a firm mass that can be 4-8 times the glue’s original volume. This effect has been reported from as little as 2 oz. of glue, with the obstructive mass forming within minutes of the pet ingesting the adhesive.

Paints and Solvents
Paint thinners, mineral spirits, and other solvents are dangerous and can cause severe irritation or chemical burns if swallowed or if they come in contact with your pet’s skin.

While most latex house paints typically produce a minor stomach upset, some types of artist’s or other specialty paints may contain heavy metals or volatile substances that could become harmful if inhaled or ingested.

Plants - Inside or Around the House
There are many household and yard plants that can sicken your pet. Some of the most commonly grown greenery that should be kept away from pets includes:

•Certain types of lilies (Lilium and Hemerocallis species) are highly toxic to cats, resulting in kidney failure — even if only small amounts are ingested.
•Lily of the Valley, oleander, yew, foxglove, and kalanchoe may cause heart problems if ingested.
•Sago palms (Cycas species) can cause severe intestinal problems, seizures and liver damage, especially if the nut portion of the plant is consumed.
•Azaleas, rhododendrons and tulip/narcissus bulbs can cause intestinal upset, weakness, depression, heart problems, coma and death.
•Castor bean can cause severe intestinal problems, seizures, coma, and death. Other plants that can cause intestinal upset include cyclamen, amaryllis, chrysanthemums, pothos, English ivy, philodendron, corn plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, hibiscus, hydrangea, peace lily and schefflera/scheffleria.
•Rhubarb leaves and shamrock contain substances that can produce kidney failure.
•Additionally, fungi (such as certain varieties of mushrooms) can cause liver damage or other illnesses.
A few other potentially harmful plants include the yesterday-today-and-tomorrow plant (Brunfelsia species), autumn crocus (Colchicum species), and glory lily (Gloriosa species).

Other Household Hazards
Small items that fall on the floor can be easily swallowed by a curious pet. Such items include coins, buttons, small children’s toys, medicine bottles, jewelry, nails and screws. The result may be damage to your pet’s digestive tract and the need for surgical removal of the object.

While electrical cords are especially tempting to puppies, ferrets and pet rodents who like to chew on almost anything, even an adult dog or cat could find them of interest; burns or electrocution could result from chewing on live cords. Prevent this by using cord covers and blocking access to wires.

A note about narcotics
Narcotics, including marijuana, can pose life-threatening risks to your pets if ingested. If you suspect your pet has ingested any narcotics, please notify your veterinarian immediately so your pet can receive the life-saving treatment they need.

Holiday Hazards

Holidays and visitors can pose a special challenge to your pets. Discourage well-meaning guests from spoiling pets with extra treats and scraps from the dinner table. Fatty, rich, or spicy foods can cause vomiting and diarrhea and lead to inflammation of the pancreas, which can be life-threatening. Poultry or other soft bones can splinter and damage your pet’s mouth or esophagus.

While trick-or-treating is fun for children, it can be hazardous to pets. Halloween treats such as chocolate or candy sweetened with xylitol can make a harmful snack. Certain  holiday decorations (especially tinsel, ribbons and ornaments) also pose a hazard to pets, so make sure nothing is left on the floor or on tables within reach.

String-like items can damage your pet’s intestine and could prove fatal if not surgically removed. While poinsettia is not deadly as popular legend would have it, it could still cause an upset stomach if consumed. Holly and mistletoe are more toxic than poinsettias and can cause intestinal upset. Christmas tree water treated with preservatives (including fertilizers) can also cause an upset stomach. Water that is allowed to stagnate in tree stands contains bacteria that, if ingested, could lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

A Special Note of Caution to Bird Owners
Most hazards listed here also apply to your pet bird, particularly if it is allowed to roam freely outside of its cage. In addition, birds are especially vulnerable to inhaled particles and fumes from aerosol products, tobacco products, certain glues, paints and air fresheners. Birds should never be allowed in areas where such products are being used. As a rule, birds should never be kept in kitchens because cooking fumes, smoke and odors can present a potentially fatal hazard.

What to do if your pet is poisoned
Don’t wait! Time is critical for successfully treating accidental poisoning. Pick up the phone and call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435; a consultation fee may apply). Be prepared to provide your pet’s breed, age, weight and any symptoms. Keep the product container or plant sample with you to assist in identification so the appropriate treatment recommendations can be made.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter

If its 32 degrees or below, limit time for animals to be outside. Keep pets inside for the bulk of day and if anything at the very least overnight.

Know when winter gear is actually necessary. If your town is known for salting or using de-icer on the streets and sidewalks during winter it might be wise to invest in some doggie booties. However if anything clean your pet's paws with some luke warm warm and apply some paw palm. Jackets and sweaters are cute but should only be use on dog with short coats otherwise it's rather pointless. Most dogs will develop a winter coat before it gets too cold, specifically dogs use to being outdoors for a extended period of time.

Monitor working dogs, puppies and older dogs that are primarily outside for long periods or live in outdoor kennels. Ensure outdoor dogs have access to warmth when its really cold. Be it a daft-less covered sheltered with hay for insulation or inside a heated area.

Ensure outdoor cats have access to a safe, warm shelter. Ensure there is adequate drinking supply for outdoor cats 24/7. Always bank on you car hood or physically check under you car hood to ensure a cat has not decided to use the area to keep warm.

Make sure indoor cats stay indoor. If let outside strictly indoor cats ca get confused, freak out and get lost. Which goes to say alway make sure your pet has a identification tag and is microchipped.

Prepare your pooch for long hikes. Ensure you have enough fresh water and food for both you and you pet.

Store anifreeze in a secure place and if you have a spill near your vehicle, clean up immediately with absorbant material like cat litter. Antifreeze is poisonous to animals!

Don't feed pets holiday dinner scraps. Some foods are poisonous. Fatty foods can give pets upset stomachs and bones can get stuck in their throughts or perfirate their digestive tract.

Keep decorations out of pet's reach. Poinsettias are toxic and garland, strings and tinsel can cause gastrointestal obstruction.

Ensure your pet is comforable around people. Have a quiet place set up away from people for pets with anxiety. Make sure your pet does not boly out the door while guests are going in and out of your house.