Pet Care Tips to Improve Pet Health and Quality of Life

| Modified on Jun 12, 2017

Be Careful
Posted by Nina (Chicago, Il) on 06/11/2017

I'm 70 yrs old & have had animal companions all my life. I've learned to be very careful following the advice on web sites. Cats should not be given Garlic or onion.( they do taste it even in the ears) It can cause digestive upset. Putting Peroxide in an animals ears can cause extreme distress. The bubbling is frightening, especially to a cat.So ids a spray bottle! One of the people that wrote in stated she was putting Garlic & water in a Kittens ears. The poor little kitten's ears were red & peeling from the garlic.Then she switched to Vinegar & water that must have burned terribly, even diluted. Many of the people that read these Blogs simply do NOT have common sense.They can do more harm than good trying to help their animal companions.


Moose Broth for Puppies in Danger
Posted by Cassie (California) on 04/20/2016

I had a friend from Maine that raised Belgium Shepherds. One of her female dogs gave birth to puppies but had complications with the births and the female dog had to be under the care of a Vet and could not feed her puppies. My friend and her husband were up for hours trying to feed the puppies with puppy formula and nursing bottles (they lost 20 pounds each trying to keep the puppies alive). The puppies were starving because they could not eat enough or rejected the formula and everything this couple tried would not work with the puppies.

The couple had a leg of moose meat in the freezer a friend had given them. My friend as a last resort cooked the moose meat and gave the puppies MOOSE BROTH using nursing bottles and miraculously the puppies thrived and lived! I just thought I would mention this in case someone finds themselves in this awful situation.

This is a true story.


Don't Leave Dogs in the Front Yard
Posted by Jb (Atlanta, GA) on 08/03/2013

Front yard, back yard. Doesn't matter. NEVER Leave Your Companion Unattended! Too much at stake. You would not leave a child unattended, Would You! ?!


Overnights at the Vet
Posted by Carla (Belmont, NC) on 03/10/2009

I took my dog to the vet and they ended up keeping him overnight so they could keep an eye on him well the vet bill was $500.00 dollars so when I picked him up I asked them does somebody stay here all night long at the vets office they told me NO, not knowing why I was asking they said "why do you ask' so I told them "I don't understand WHY you would keep him overnight and charge me an enormously amount of hard earned money when I know he would of been more comfortable in his own environment.AND it would NOT of cost me ANYTHING.

Smelly Vacuum Cleaner Solution
Posted by Bee (Va Beach, VA) on 11/07/2008
5 out of 5 stars

We have 2 dogs who shed a lot all throughout the year. Anyone who has dogs that shed know how smelly the vacuum cleaner can get from their fur! Well I finally figured out the perfect remedy. Before I start to vacuum I suck about a few cloves into the vacuum cleaner after crushing them into pieces with my shoe. The air smells like cloves, not smelly dog, for hours afterwards! You don't have add new cloves every time you vacuum, just after you clean out the bag/filter. I can't believe I didn't think of this before. Sigh.

Protecting Pets From Heat Waves
Posted by Suseeq (Sydney Australia) on 01/14/2014

We are suffering a heat wave in Australia 43c (105f) and my poor pets have been feeling it real bad. So for my bird a king parrot I gave him ice blocks and for my little jack russel, I got a childs football sock and filled it with ice cubes and tied it around his neck and within 15 mins he went from painting excessively to sleeping peacefully I left it there till the ice melted and for the rest of the day he was more relaxed. If you choose to do this, do not leave your pet unsupervised.


Administering Liquid Remedies
Posted by D.williams (Wilmington, Nc, Usa) on 10/13/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I am a life long lovers of cats and have found the most gentle and safe way to secure your kitty so that you can give them liquid meds is to take an old bath towel or small blanket and wrap them just like you would a human baby. This also works on small dogs and other small critters. Lay the towel over your cat's back from the neck down, you want the longer ends to it's sides, scoop them up in your lap and wrap the blanket securely around them tail end first then one side and the other. Make sure that their legs are tucked as if they were lieing on their belly with the tail tucked along their side or up along their stomach. Make sure it is tight but not strangling, especially around their neck, as they will squirm their way out if they can. Sit on the floor indian style with your kitty between your legs and gently but firmly hold their head with your thumb under their chin. I prefer a medicine syringe or eye dropper. Slide the tip of the syringe between their lips toward the back of the mouth and squeeze a little at a time into their mouth. They usually will open their mouth somewhat when the liquid enters and work their tongues to swallow, but don't stick it into their mouth any further than you have to or they will gag. Talking sweet to them and rubbing their head helps to calm them, especially if they start to freak out.

This also works great for ear cleaning/meds. This way their claws are away from you and they can't run like hell when they see the medicine! Even the most honery and psycho of kitties can usually be dosed this way. After reading so many posts of people being bitten and scratched by their beloved furry friends I had to share this with all of you. I've got my fair share of scars trying help my furry babies so I totally understand how hard it is to get their meds in them. I hope this helps and bless all of you, two legged and four legged.
Peace!


Charcoal for Spider Bites
Posted by Tina (Mabank, Tx) on 07/20/2011
5 out of 5 stars

My dog, lab mix, got bit by a spider. I was not sure what kind of spider but it swelled up within 6 hours. I would not have even seen the bite if it had not been for the bloodish/pus spot on his back. It had 2 distinct puncture wounds and there was a red ring, discolored skin where the punctures were, his hair fell out around the site and it was seeping a kind of pus/blood discharge. It was hot to the touch and ALL kinds of pus came out of it when I tried to apply a compress to it. Needless to say, I freaked out! Just so many things went through my head... Can't afford a vet, would my dog die?, how could I help him, how long ago did he get this bite? etc. , etc...

First I tried to wash the wound out with peroxide and some antibiotic ointment. Probably NOT a good idea because I didn't want the bite to be sealed up and was not sure how the peoxide would affect the poison. Then I thought about what I had on hand here at the house. I mixed up a saltwater solution and washed the wound. I tried to get the saltwater in the puncture holes. Then I grabbed a box of baking soda and added a few drops of water to make it pasty. I applied this over the wound and covered the area around the wound. Next I got on the internet and scanned vet sites, spider sites, just ANYWHERE for a picture to help me identify WHAT had bit him.

Next, I got on EC and started scanning everything I could find about spider bites. I found the charcoal post and thought it may be worth a try. I went to Walmart and in the pet section they have activated charcoal for your fish tank. Comes in a large plastic jar. (asked the pharmacist about charcoal but they only had some capsules. ) I took some charcoal, about a tsp. , crushed it and added a few drops of water, and applied it directly over the wound. It seemed to stay on pretty good. I thought it might fall off but it didn't. I left it on for a day and when I went to check it and change the charcoal I found the wound had formed some kind of scab with the charcoal. It seemed bonded with it and I didn't want to tear it off, so I left it on. This was 48 hours after the bite and I could see the red ring was gone, the swelling was gone, and the wound area seemed to be much smaller. The next day the scab seemed like it was hardened and smaller. By the evening it had fell off and there was no swelling, no redness, no discharge, in fact, there were NO HOLES either. It was almost like he had not been bit! Like it had totally healed up under the charcoal and was gone. Total time from finding bite to scab falling off was three 1/2 days.

I am so glad that I found this site and so glad that my dog is okay! I still don't know what bit him, but it was just wonderful to have him healed up and alive. I hope this helps someone else. If I had to do it over, I would probably remove the scab and add fresh charcoal to the wound daily. As this was my first time dealing with spider bites, and as the charcoal was working so well, I was hesitant to mess with the process. I also live rurally and don't have access to a GNC or health food store, so Walmart pet section had to be the choice. Good luck to all....

Don't Leave Dogs in the Front Yard
Posted by Deirdre (Atlanta, Ga) on 12/25/2009
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

This is a plea to all dog owners to please not leave your dog in your front yard, even if he/she has an electric collar/fence. I live in the Atlanta suburbs and another dog in our neighborhood, a beautiful white bulldog, was stolen last week out his front yard. I was out walking our dogs and encountered the family in their SUV, calling for their dog. They told me he had disappeared from their front yard, which he never left. The next day I saw that they had posted signs everywhere. I hope they find him.

I am very saddened when I hear about people leaving dogs in their yards because I know for a fact that dogs get stolen from their yards quite often. I had a roommate years ago in Los Angeles whose beautiful siberian husky was stolen from the front yard of my roommate's rental house. There is a happy ending to this story. He recovered the dog a year later when his jeep was stopped at a light in downtown LA and heard a dog howling nearby. A friend in the car said, hey that sounds just like Pierman! So my roommate pulled over, jumped out of his jeep and ran around the corner to find his dog sitting with a homeless person. The dog apparently recognized the sound of his owner's car a block away and started howling. The poor dog was in very poor health after a year on the streets and had developed an eating disorder. But how amazing that he was reunited with his owner!

So this is my plea to all pet owners to please be very careful when you leave your dog outside. Microchipping is a great idea in case the dog is stolen or runs away, but better to always supervise your beloved canine friends.

Thanks for reading...

Don't Leave Dogs in the Front Yard
Posted by Barkoutloud (Tampa, Florida) on 08/22/2012
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

Re: Dog in yard... If you have a small dog, BEWARE! Hawks and owls prey on small animals, and if your dog is small, they will be swept away! I knew about that, and inherited a small dog recently. I've been taking her out into the back yard, and had forgotten about that until a hawk swept by me and landed on a branch eyeing my little dog! It made me shiver knowing that if I hadn't been right there between her and the hawk, I would have been left standing watching the hawk take her away! Now I take her out on a leash every time!! .. And I hold on tight!


Administering Liquid Remedies
Posted by Tickertin (Richmond, VA) on 07/19/2009
5 out of 5 stars

How to Easily Dose your Cat: I tried the ACV and read with smiles the struggles to get the cats to drink. I have had cats for over thirty years and here is an easy method. I THOROUGHLY washed a small clear tube in which water soluable hair product had come in. (you can use conditioner or shampoo, clear is best and nothing oily to be SURE you can clean it out). Mine is a small one ounce squeeze tube that a sample of hair gel came in. Squeeze the sides in and draw into the tube the dose of ACV (mine was 1/2 tsp. fill rest with water. Lay cat on back in your lap and place tube to side and back of mouth and squeeze gently. They swallow by reflex if you don't put too much it all goes down. Squeeze too hard and they can cough it back out (but some still goes in). Clear tube is important so you can measure how much you are giving them so as not to over/under dose. My vet told me this years ago, cats have to swallow when you hold them this way and put the liquid in this way, and I have done it for years.

Pet Odors
Posted by Flourshoppe (Houston, Texas, Usa) on 06/17/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I couldn't believe it either but, it does work. My almost 13 year old Cockapoo Miranda, although paper trained, does miss and over time, that specific section I keep her papers in, needs extra cleaning. I first steam clean with regular cleaning solution. I then RINSE several times with just hot water. THEN, I add a solution of Apple Cider Vinegar and go over that area 2 times. Amazing how within a day, there is no sign of urine smell.


Pill Tips: Cream Cheese
Posted by Fleabag (Liverpool, Uk) on 10/25/2010

I learned this trick from a vet when my first dog became a master at locating and discarding pills from food/treats. Take any soft food they like (jam, cream cheese, a small chunk of dog food etc) and bury the pill inside. Then place on the end of your finger and pop onto the back of the dog's tongue, close its mouth and stroke the throat. The whole process can be achieved before the dog even knows what's going on. I've always fed pills this way since and never had any problems, even with my grumpy Collie/Terrier


Hardwood Floors and Steep Stairs
Posted by Darlene (Niagara Falls, Canada)

I have a large german shorthair who is 13 and has arthritic hips. He took a couple of spills down our stairs before I came up with this idea. We already had a doggy seatbelt harness for him. He now wears it 24/7. With this on I am able to walk down with him holding the harness in one hand and railing in the other to steady him to ensure his safety. I'm thrilled and he's learned quickly to wait for me.


Overnights at the Vet
Posted by Kevin (Jim Thorpe, pa) on 03/18/2009

Carla, Jane, I HEAR YA!

Carla I hate to say it, but $500? You got hosed. I love the part, We want to keep an eye on him, but there were no eyes there!

Carla, been there. At least you're pet walked out alive, mine didn't.

I can tell you a few horror stories. Here's the bottom line. Do research on all the vets in your area and beyond!

Call, ask simple things, like what a regular check-up will cost, what it entails, etc. There are very, very GOOD VETS! There are also very, very, bad vets!

If you go to a dog run or any place where pet folk gather (there's a rail/trail by my house), talk it up. Where do you take you're pet? How is that vet?

It's amazing and scary what you might hear.

Local dog shows are also a great place, this is where I found my Pet's vet. I have to travel apx. 35 miles to get to him, but believe me, it's worth it. He does'nt over charge, does his best to keep you're bill low and really, really goes the extra mile. In fact he knew of a drug store that made liquid compounds for my cat that flat out refused to take pills (Yeah, I went to a dog show to find my cat's vet.).

The vet that was 5 miles away from that drug store didn't know that. That vet was also a mere 3 miles from my house, and THAT vet told I had to find a drug store that did that on my own. He didn't know? Maybe he was getting a good profit from selling pills? But a vet that was 35 miles away knew where I could get liquid compounds made. Catch my drift?

This is 'Just a thought' but if you know of any 'no-kill' shelters in you're area, talk to them. See if there are any vets doing work there, they most likely are giving a big discount to the shelter for their work. Thought being, these guys are not in it just for the money, they are in their profession for the love of it. But again, it's just my thought on that.

They are out there folks, but YOU have to do the research!


Overnights at the Vet
Posted by Sheila (Los Angeles, CA) on 03/18/2009

Uggh, reading this reminds me how many terrible vets that I've been to over the years. I had a bad experience at one of the top recommended vets in LA a few years ago and it's made me much more cautious. I brought my dog in for an annual checkup and to get booster shots. The technician took him in the back and didn't come back for 15 minutes. I thought it was really weird and started to get angry. When he returned my dog he made up some excuse why he was back there so long. But later at home I saw my dog licking his right leg. When I looked more closely it looked like a puncture mark from a needle! I called the vet and they denied they had done anything to his leg and it must be my imagination. I told one of my friends about it who worked for a rescue organization. She disclosed that this same vet was very unethical... A few years back, her organization brought this same vet their cats and dogs to be immunized and cared for. Turns out he was drawing blood from them to use for transfusions for his surgeries on other cats and dogs! The rescue organization, enraged, called him on it and never brought their rescues back. But the terrible thing is that that I don't think they ever filed anything against this vet. At least now you can report this sort of thing anonymously online at various websites that rate doctors and vets.

I agree, we should all research vets and groomers and dog walkers online before walking in the door.


Overnights at the Vet
Posted by Michelle (Union City, Tn) on 02/20/2011

Yes, you have to stand your ground. When my great pyr started having problems.. Throwing up, etc. , I took her to 3 different vets and $1500 later, they still couldn't tell me what was wrong. One vet wanted to keep her on an iv, so I let them keep her one night and she wound up chewing the iv up and pulling it out. Not to mention all the dogs barking there were very nerve wracking. So when I went to check on her, I told them that I wanted to take her outside on a sheet or blanket and keep her hooked up out there. They looked at me like I was crazy and said that nobody ever had that request before... SO we went outside in the sun, laid on a sheet and she got hooked up to her iv.. She was a lot happier - and so was I - that she could be outside in the sun, away from all them barking dogs and with her owner. So no matter how crazy it seems, stand your ground and do what is best for your pet. If it doesn't seem right, it probably isn't. Go with your gut!


Cat and Dog Products
Posted by Katie Aymin (San Diego, USA) on 01/11/2009
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

When you ever go to the pet store to get shampoo or something else for your pet, make sure it does not have any chemicals. If you do not know what things are bad that are on the ingredient list most of them are hard to pronounce so if you see something be sure to look in up on the internet or in some books. These chemicals usually do not work or work for only a short time or increase the discomfort of your pet. Also to new pet owners, before you use a remedy always make sure your pet is not allergic to any of the ingredients.

Heating Pad for Cold Climates
Posted by Michael (Concord, Ohio) on 01/15/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I have a five yr. old Jack Russell. He has had surgery on one of his rear legs years ago due to defect in his knee joint. Over the years the best thing other than drugs for the vet to stop the pain and o comfort him was Heat. We moved from Cold Ohio to Naples, Fl. for a few years and he was like a pup again. Laying in the sun and that really helped him a lot. Now due to work we have had to move back to Ohio and the winter is really starting to take it tole on him. Instead of keeping him on meds from the vet we place a heating pad in his bed during the day and really helps him. Believe me, three or four hour of that and he is good to go. Other home made cures other than a good diet just are not going to made much difference. You got a just try the heating pad. It's cheap and it works.


Dog Park Tips
Posted by Jonna (Los Angeles) on 01/11/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I recently rescued a young border collie/chow mix and have been taking him to the dog parks every other day along with my other 2 dogs. He was most likely kept in a crate most of his life because he doesn't know how to walk on a leash nor socialize with other dogs. At first he just barked at the other dogs entering the park, but a few weeks ago he started to wait at the gate and literally pounced on dogs entering the park and nip at their ears, causing a complete ruckus! I stopped this aggressive behavior by carrying a spray bottle filled with water set to a thin but powerful stream (like a water gun)... every time I see that obsessed look as a dog is approaching the gate from the parking lot I say "NO, back off" and then spray him water on his face (doesn't hurt, just shocks him). It has also been very helpful when other dogs get into a fight. A few squirts and the dogs break apart. I highly suggest people carry a spray bottle or a water gun with them at the dog park. Just be careful you don't spray other dogs with it unless it's a bad fight you are breaking up -- the owners might get pissed off!

Night Lights for Aging Dogs
Posted by GS (Reston, VA) on 08/22/2007
5 out of 5 stars

A tip for your aging pet section. My 13 year old g. shephard mutt started to lose his eyesight and hearing recently. This in turn caused him to be disoriented at night -- with a hint of dementia! As soon as I got into bed and turned off the light, my dog would get up from his bed (at the base of my bed) and wander around the house looking for me. Well, one night he tripped down the stairs because it was so dark. Enough was enough. The next day I went to Home Depot and purchased 2 nightlights, one for the hallway and one for the bottom of the stairs. Now there is enough light peaking into the bedroom that he no longer gets up disoriented. Hope this helps someone! GS.

P.S. I really liked your comment about the hard wood floors and aging dogs. I totally agree.

4th of July and New Year's Eve Fireworks Issue
Posted by Earth Clinic (Atlanta, Ga) on 07/02/2014

Hi everyone,

Please consider sharing our page on how to keep your pets safe this 4th of July with your family and friends on Facebook. Here's the url: https://www.earthclinic.com/pets/how-to-protect-your-pets-during-july-4.html

Thank you!


Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Kay (Jax, FL Usa) on 05/21/2014

Checking the health of puppy litters: I have a friend who found a dog breeder on line and I am concerned they have found a bad one. What website would should the health line of the breeder's dogs? I have already checked the American Kennel Club.

Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 05/21/2014

Hey Kay!

I recommend starting research on this site first; not all breed clubs participate, however - but the ones that do identify the most prevalent diseases in their respective breeds and actively screen for them.

http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/

Next, your friend should be able to get the registered names of the sire and dam to the litter and should be able to search for them here:

http://www.offa.org/

I find it also helpful when researching a breeder to google "complaints against X kennel"; if the breeder has a long standing history of selling unhealthy dogs very often they come up in such a search.

And - how's your new puppy? Did the loose stools clear up?


Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Kay (Jax, FL, USA) on 05/28/2014

No, my new puppy still has loose stools. I have had him now for 4 weeks and he has been on chicken and rice probably 3 weeks mixed with different dry foods. When I transition to more dry food than rice and chicken, his stools become runny. The vet wanted to put him on a dog food called EN but I found it to be full of grain, corn meal, etc. My last dog which was a different breed, was allergic to all of that, so I am gun shy of starting my new pup. However, someone else told me to add a tablespoon of plain yogurt to his food(dry food only). He also poops several times a day. He is still gaining weight and he is now 13 weeks old. I don't know if I should bite the bullett and go for what the Vet wants to feed him or not. I have had some bad experiences with vets as they seem to want to sell their food, which isn't always better than anything else. This is a new vet for me. Any input?


Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 05/28/2014

Hey Kay!

What does your puppy's breeder say about the loose stools? Sometimes the breeder will know if there is something in a particular diet that is contrary to their breed.

I never transition my dogs on to any food - I do a hard switch and feed half the normal rations for the first three meals. This usually works for me. Loose stools in puppies can be from eating too large a portion, so you might try cutting the portion size to see if it affects stool consistency. I do find it easier to transition from home made chicken and rice to a chicken based kibble - over say a fish based kibble. I think as long as you choose a top diet you shouldn't need the EN diet - which I did look at and agree it's all corn and gluten and unidentified mystery protien. I did see that the EN is prescribed for stress based gastro issues - perhaps Rescue Remedy would help or a D.A.P. plug in. Does your puppy suffer from separation anxiety? And take the Rescue Remedy yourself in case your stress load is traveling down leash on you! The yogurt idea isn't a bad one, however there are better ways to deliver probiotics instead of dairy. I just buy varying strains of acidophillus from the refrigerator section at the health food store and dose with every meal.


Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 05/28/2014

Doh!

{head:desk}

You might try adding some activated charcoal to your pup's food for the loose stools. It's dusty, messy, fly-a-way stuff, so you will need to mix it into moistened or wet food and it will turn everything black! One half teaspoon per meal for 3 days - see if that has any effect.

Activated charcoal is good to have on hand for gastrointestinal upsets and in case of parvo or other enteritis type viruses.


Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Kay (Jax, Fl, USA) on 05/30/2014

Thanks for the input regarding diet for my new pup. I started him on the EN which was the vet requested. I tried 2 other foods which were grain and corn meal free and the minute I was giving him more kibble than chicken and rice, he did poorly. So, far I am now 3/4 EN to 1/4 rice and chicken and no issues. I may try to switch him to another high quality food(dry) but I needed to settle his stomach first.



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