Monthly Archives: February 2012

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

A friend of mine recently had to make the agonizing decision to put one of her cats down.  When I asked her what happened, she said her 18 year old cat was suffering from FIP.

Not being completely up on what this disease is, I found an article about it and read about it.  What a horrible, sad and just…devastating disease.

It is so important to take your cat to the vet the minute they start showing any symptoms of the disease (poor appetite, failure to thrive (in kittens), weight loss, ratty-looking fur, eye problems, fever, anemia, lethargy, jaundice, neurological symptoms).

Please read the article and if your cat exhibits any of these symptoms, get them to a vet.  It is especially important to watch for these symptoms if your cat is elderly, or if they are a baby.  It is less common in middle aged cats.

Hopefully if this information can help one cat, we can also help their parent not have to go through what my friend did.

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Antioxidants For Cats

We all want our furbabies to live long, healthy and happy lives.  Just like humans, cats need certain vitamins and minerals in order to function.

Cats can be complex, but what we need to feed them to keep them healthy should not be.  There is a comprehensive article listing antioxidants that are essential for cats here.  It also explains what each does and why they are important.

If you are interested in buying any supplements for your cat, please speak to your vet first.  Wag.com sells some great ones.

You can also Google for more information on antioxidants.  It really is vitally important for our pets to maintain healthy, long and happy lives.

 

Weekly Trick – Spinning!

Here is an easy trick to teach your dog.  You will need treats and it’s probably a good idea that your dog knows his/her name.

Remember patience and do short training sessions so that your dog (and you) don’t become overwhelmed.

Here is a video of the trick in action.  It is NOT ME in the video.

 

 

Recipe Friday – Cheesy Meatballs For Dogs

Your dog will go crazy for these yummy, tasty meatball treats!

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1/2 pound ground beef (you can substitute for chicken, lamb etc)
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons cheese (your choice)
  • 1 large egg (if your dog cannot digest or is allergic to eggs you can leave it out.  The meatballs just might not stick together as easily as you want them to).
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric (great for digestion)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Form the mixture into 10 balls (or more depending on the size you want the meatballs to be and according to the size of your dog, if you have a small dog, the meatballs should be smaller) and place on the baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

Always make sure to substitute or omit ingredients that your dog is allergic to or cannot digest.

Socialization For Dogs

Dogs getting to be around other dogs is vital for a healthy, happy life.  Dogs are pack animals, meaning they like to be around their kin.

Socialization doesn’t just happen.  You need to work at it as a dog parent.  Your dog will thank you for this,

Find a dog park, have play dates with other dogs, just make sure to get your dog around others so that your dog is happy and has a fun and interesting life.

Here is an article explaining the ins and outs of how to socialize your dog.

 

Dog Intelligence and IQ Tests

We all know that dogs have certain degrees of intelligence that is normally related to their breed.  Some information suggests that dogs have the intelligence of a two year old human, and can even learn to deceive (not in a mean way but to play a “game” with their human pals).

This article from the Telegraph explains things more in depth.  Well worth a read.

 

After you read the article, I found a fun dog IQ test.  It tests their problem solving abilities, social learning, cleverness in moving objects and manipulation ability.  Make sure to read the instructions, and make sure that you follow them.  Do NOT show anger, disgust or impatience.  Be quiet and impartial so that there is no bias when administering this test.  Don’t worry if your dog does not score high, it’s just a fun test.

 

It is always interesting to think how smart our dog pals are.  I often wonder how much Sasha understands and what she is thinking.  Her ability to sense when I am hurt, ill or in trouble is sometimes uncanny, so I truly do believe that dogs have intelligence that we just don’t completely understand…yet.

 

Dogs – Therapy For Humans

As many of us know, dogs and animals in general can be therapeutic for those of us going through serious illnesses, those in nursing homes, depression and troubled children.

For those of you who are dog parents, have you ever thought of training your dog to be a therapy dog? For others, have you been needing a therapy dog to help you?

There is a great website dedicated to therapy dogs.  Tons of information, videos, training classes and more.  Check it out here.

I’d love to hear stories of those people who are training their dog to become a therapy dog, or those who used therapy dog’s services.  I am starting to get Sasha trained for this, and I am curious as to your thoughts.  Either you can leave comments here or check out the “contact” tab and e-mail me.

 

Weekly Trick – Teach Your Dog To Ring A Bell

This trick is especially helpful to teach your dog when they want to go outside.  Have a bell on a string by your door, and when your dog wants to go out to do their business, they can ring the bell and you can let them outside.

 

Your dog first needs to learn “touch”.  If you put your hand out in front of your dog, they will (usually) instinctively touch your hand.

Keep sticking your hand out in front of you and every time your dog touches your hand, give them a treat.  After they have that down pat, use the word “touch” as you stick your hand out.

Next, stick out different objects for your dog to touch, every time they touch it, give them a treat and praise them.

Now, bring out the bell and say “touch”.  Your dog should now associate the word with the action.  Give your dog a treat.  The next time, the bell should make noise when your dog touches it.  If you want them to really ring the bell loudly, say “touch, touch touch” or just say it in a more forceful, louder voice.  The bell should be rung louder and the trick is learned.

Here is a video of the trick, it is NOT ME in the video.  Remember to be patient and work at the trick at your dog’s pace.  Sometimes dogs pick up tricks immediately, sometimes tricks take days, even weeks to learn.  Take your time and have fun, learning tricks is a great bonding experience!

Recipe Friday – Lucky Putty Kitty Chicken Dinner

This recipe will feed 1-4 cats depending on how much you feed and their age/size.  It is enough for one cat for at least four days and can keep in the fridge for one week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of plain cooked chicken, diced into chunks (can be breasts, thighs, whichever you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup plain cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup plain frozen broccoli, cooked/steamed
  • 1/4 cup plain steamed carrots, chopped
  • chicken broth

 

Preparation:

Put all the ingredients into a food processor except the broth. Process ingredients on high, then slowly pour in the broth until the stuff takes-on a pasty consistency. You are basically making cat food and you want the consistency of canned cat food.  You can also use different meat if your cat cannot process chicken.  You can also use chicken livers for this food, your cat, if she/he is anything like Isis, will go nuts for the liver.

Pet Nutrition – Audio Interview

Here is a great audio interview with Dr. Celeste Yarnall, who has been into pet health and nutrition for over 40 years and has raised 11 generations of tonkonese cats.  The interview is wonderful in learning about raw food diet and proper health care for your pets.  It is well worth a listen.

 

Here is a link for the article before the audio interview.

Here is the link for the interview.  Enjoy!