Pet Tips

Pet Tip of the Month
Being allergic to your cat or dog can be quite a problem to pet owners, sometimes resulting in having to place a pet in a new home or surrender the pet to the Animal Shelter or euthanasia. There is an easy way to allergy-proof your cat or dog. Humans, if allergic, are basically allergic to the pet's dander or dandruff, not the hair. The animal's skin should be kept in tip-top condition, avoiding excess dryness and shedding. There are food additives to add to your pet's diet that helps keep skin moist. Pet supply stores and your veterinarian can recommend such a product. It will take a few weeks for it to take effect. Brush your dog and cat often to remove dead hair, doing so in a room you do not enter often or outside so loose dander will not fly about in your living area. Vacuum thoroughly as often as possible, wash all bedding, wipe counters and wash throw rags. This may have to be done a few times until all loose dander is removed from your house.

Next comes the pet's bath. Comb and brush your pet well and bathe your pet in a good quality, watered-down tearless protein shampoo for pets. Bathe twice, rinsing thoroughly (if you think pet is rinsed well, rinse again). Towel off excess water while pet is in the tub. Then pour over pet . . saturating the coat completely . . a solution of one part fabric softener and four parts water. Work it into the not rinse off. Dry your pet with a towel or dryer. It is recommended this procedure be done every 8 to 10 weeks to keep dander down. Of course, consult with your veterinarian or your physician regarding this procedure.

The Holidays are a great time for people but can be dangerous for pets. Most pet owners do not realize that this time of year calls for a closer watching of your pet and his or her environment than at any other time. The following are some helpful hints on coping with your pets and the holidays. 

Christmas Trees & Plants
If possible train your dog to stay away from the Christmas tree. Dogs can break ornaments and get cut or swallow the small pieces. Do not use tinsel as cats will try to eat it and can choke. Mistletoe, Holly and Poinsettia plants are popular and colorful this time of year but are very poisonous! Keep plants out of reach of pets, especially those pets that like to chew. 

House Guests
People traffic in the home increases dramatically at this time and can raise the stress levels not only in you but also in your pet. An animal's stress may result in flight or fight instincts. Stressed-out dogs have been known to bite guests or bolt through open doors to escape the noise and confusion. You may not know your pet is missing until many hours and miles later. Some people don't like to have animals around at gatherings so keeping your pet out of sight may be the best thing for you, your pet and your guests.

Animals can get ill drinking and eating rich foods which are different from their usual diet. Chocolate is toxic even in small amounts. Under no conditions should guests give your dog or cat alcohol because they think "its cute". Be firm with guests not to slip your dog or cat treats. Turkey meat is not easily digestible and turkey bones are dangerous!

Winter Weather
Winter poses special risks to pets. Keep indoor pets in a dry, warm area .. free of drafts. Outdoor animals should have a dry, insulated pet house that is out of the wind. Always keep fresh water available. Salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can burn the pads of animals feet. Use cat litter or similar absorbant on icy patches. Warm engines in parked cars attract cats. To avoid injury, bang on car hoods to scare them away before starting engines.