Dog-Friendly Medications

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DIY Cat Tent!

Are you looking for an inexpensive way to give your cats the hideaway of their dreams? We’ve got you covered!

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 Grab the following supplies and then click here to check out the full DIY!

  • A cat
  • A medium t-shirt
  • A 15 x 15 inch piece of cardboard
  • Two wire hangers
  • Tape
  • Safety pins
  • Something to cut the hangers with and help bend them (Ex. Pliers)

Keep Pets and Christmas Trees Apart

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Depending on your pet’s temperament and the type of Christmas tree you have, there are a number of ways you can discourage cats and dogs from molesting the tree.

  • Put the tree in place several days before decorating it to allow the pet to get used to it. If their curiosity is satisfied, they will be less likely to play with the tree.
  • Position the tree away from a pet’s familiar areas, such as their feeding bowls, bed, or play areas. Also keep the tree away from shelves or furniture that can be convenient perches for a pet to jump into the branches.
  • When decorating the tree, let your pet see or sniff the decorations so they are familiar with them, but do not shake them or tempt your pet with the ornaments and garlands, or they may believe the decorations are new toys.
  • Avoid the most tempting ornaments altogether. Dangling, glittering, or moving ornaments will attract your pet’s attention, as will any food ornaments such as popcorn strings, cinnamon cutouts or candy canes.
  • Place a plastic chair mat, prickly side up, under the tree to discourage your pet from walking under the branches. Tin foil can also be used under the tree or wrapped around the lower part of the trunk to discourage pets.
  • If you are using a real tree, cover the water dish to keep your pet from taking a drink, especially if you use any additives in the water to extend the tree’s life.
  • Use a spray bottle and a firm “No!” to train your pet to stay away from the tree. Citrus, vinegar, or bitter sprays at the base of the tree can also be useful, as pets will avoid the smell.
  • Put the tree in a room that can be closed off from your pet, or use a baby gate to block the entrance and keep pets away. Another option is to use a decorative fence, like styles used in flowerbeds, to create a barrier around the tree.
  • Opt for a smaller, table-top tree that can be positioned out of a pet’s reach on a small table or bench. It will be easier to keep pets away from the tree if it is not on the floor.
  • Provide additional activities for your pet, such as new toys or other attention, to distract them from the tree. If they are bored or stressed, they will be more likely to take their frustrations out on your Christmas tree.

The best way to keep pets away from Christmas trees is to use as many techniques as possible to discourage their interest. Every pet is different, but with enough deterrents in place, any pet can learn that a Christmas tree isn’t meant for them.

Common Cat Diseases: Cancer

As a cat parent, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of common illnesses so you can seek veterinary help for your feline friend in a timely manner if necessary.
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Cancer is a class of diseases in which cells grow uncontrollably, invade surrounding tissue and may spread to other areas of the body. As with people, cats can get various kinds of cancer. The disease can be localized (confined to one area, like a tumor) or generalized (spread throughout the body).

Causes of Cancer

Cancer is a “multifactorial” disease, which means it has no known single cause. However, we do know that both hereditary and environmental factors can lead to the development of cancer in cats.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the ear, eyelid or nose is a skin cancer caused by repeated exposure to the sun. White, or light colored, cats are more susceptible to squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Lymphosarcoma or lymphoma (LSA), is one of the most common type of cancer in cats. Some reports estimate that 30% of all reported cat cancers are due to LSA. Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is linked to most forms of LSA except for the gastrointestinal (GI) form. FeLV is a transmittable retrovirus that can be passed in utero as well as through saliva and direct contact. Primarily a disease in younger cats, the virus doesn’t always manifest symptoms, so it is important to have your cat tested regularly to prevent transmission and progression. There is a vaccine available for FeLV that your veterinarian can discuss with you based on your cat’s lifestyle and risk of exposure to FeLV.

The GI form of LSA (the most common form) can cause a large mass in the stomach or intestine or diffuse infiltration throughout the intestinal tract.
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It is important to take your cat to your veterinarian if any evidence of disease is noted. LSA is not curable, however, most cats respond well to treatment.

Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms of cancer in cats may include:

  • Lumps (which are not always malignant, but are always worth having a veterinarian examine)
  • Swelling
  • Persistent sores or skin infections
  • Abnormal discharge from any part of the body
  • Bad breath
  • Listlessness, lethargy or other marked change in behavior
  • Weight loss
  • Sudden lameness
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Scaly and/or red skin patches
  • Decreased or loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
  • Change in behavior

Think your cat is showing symptoms of cancer? Give us a call right away!

Gifts Your Dog or Cat Actually Wants for Christmas

Homemade Treats: pets_163

Most homemade pet treats are pretty easy to make (some don’t even require baking), and you probably already have the ingredients. Whip up some treats, put them in a festive tin and you’re good to go.

Just be careful to read ingredient labels first. For example, some peanut butter manufacturers have recently added xylitol, which is toxic to pets.

The Doggie Fountain:

Dogs often need water when they’re outside, particularly in hot weather. For those of us who are tired of refilling the water bowl, the Original Doggie Fountain is a creative solution.

The dog steps on the paw-marked panel and can supply his own water whenever he needs it.

pets_162PetChatz:

This device lets you video call your dog or cat from anywhere. You can also release a scent or a treat. Even better, your pet can call you.

Dog Treat Launcher: 

When it comes to playing fetch, some dogs are tireless, so this gift might just be perfection. The Dog Treat Launcher is easy to use — just fill the container with your dog’s preferred treats and launch the treats up and away.

This will provide your dog with endless entertainment while you sit and relax. Well, at least until the treat container runs out.

Supercat Catnip Cave: 

Cats are crazy for paper bags and catnip, and this gift provides the best of both worlds: a paper bag infused with catnip. The scent is released whenever the bag is rubbed or thrown about, and the bag will last for up to 6 weeks.

Personalized Pet Pillow:

Who doesn’t love pillows? Combine pillows and pets by getting a personalized pet pillow.

People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

There are many different “People Foods” that are not safe for your pets to ingest. Be sure to avoid giving your pets any of the following items:

Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol. If you suspect that your pet has ingested alcohol, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.

Avocado
Avocado is primarily a problem for birds, rabbits, donkeys, horses, and ruminants including sheep and goats. The biggest concern is for cardiovascular damage and death in birds. Horses, donkeys and ruminants frequently get swollen, edematous head and neck.

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Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine

These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee, and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.

Citrus
The stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. Small doses, such as eating the fruit, are not likely to present problems beyond minor stomach upset.

Coconut and Coconut Oil

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When ingested in small amounts, coconut and coconut-based products are not likely to cause serious harm to your pet. The flesh and milk of fresh coconuts do contain oils that may cause stomach upset, loose stools or diarrhea. Because of this, we encourage you to use caution when offering your pets these foods. Coconut water is high in potassium and should not be given to your pet.

Grapes and Raisins
Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. Until more information is known about the toxic substance, it is best to avoid feeding grapes and raisins to dogs.

 

Unfortunately this is just the beginning. Find the full list of foods your pets should not ingest here.