Why Dogs Eat Grass

Magical-Dawg often enjoys eating grass–did you ever wonder why dogs eat grass? With Magic, he tends to munch on the freshest shoots, particularly when he’s not yet eaten his breakfast. Of course, then he has to vomit (yuck!), so we try to avoid allowing the behavior when we can.

GET DOGGY VOMITING TREATMENT TIPS NOW!

why dogs eat grassI’m sharing this entry about why dogs eat grass which is an excerpt from Dog Facts, The Series 7 (Chapter G). This chapter covers a lot of ground, and here’s the topic list:

Geriatric Dog, Giardiasis, Glaucoma, Grape/Raisin Toxicity, Grass (Eating), Grief, and Grooming.

I’ve broken the massive book into discounted treat-size alpha-chapter sections. Folks can choose which ones they most need. Each chapter will release every other week. Of course, you can still get the entire book either in Kindle or 630+ pages of print.

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WHY DOGS EAT GRASS

Dogs are omnivores, which means they can eat nearly anything, including vegetables or fruits. Wild canids like coyotes typically eat vegetable matter found in the stomach and intestines of prey animals, but may also eat roots, grasses and even fruit. Our dogs often beg for and enjoy snacks of raw vegetables like lettuce, green beans and carrots.

While some dogs eat weird stuff and get into trouble, it’s not unusual for dogs to eat grass.

Most pet dogs occasionally eat grass, which may be used as a natural emetic to stimulate vomiting when the dog feels unwell. However, grass eating does not always result in vomiting; some dogs may simply relish the flavor or texture. Some speculation exists that grass grazing may provide trace elements of vitamins.

Indoor dogs may indulge their urge to graze by nibbling houseplants which, depending on the ipadverticalright_634x982-1plant, may be dangerous. Occasional grass eating isn’t a cause for concern. However, if grazing becomes a habit, and especially if grass eating prompts vomiting more than two days in a row, your dog should be examined by a veterinarian to rule out a health problem.

GET DOGGY VOMITING TREATMENT TIPS NOW!

Find out more details about other “G” topics in  Dog Facts, The Series 7 (Chapter G).

How about your dogs? Do they eat grass? Does it make ’em “whoops” or do they just enjoy grazing?


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Flower Essences for Cats & Dogs: What Are They & How to Use Them

Have you ever used flower essences for dogs and cats? Do you think they’re effective? Or is this “woo-woo” stuff just a hoax that works, if at all, with a placebo effect?

A cute small kitten on the head of a large patient German Shepherd Dog that is laying down against a white backdrop and looking up

I’m sharing this information from my FLOWER ESSENCE entry from Cat Facts, The Series 6 (F): The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia which includes these topics:

False Pregnancy, Fear, Feline Hepatic Lipidosis (FHL), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), Feline Ischemic Encephalopathy, Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV), Feral, Flatulence, Fleas, Flower Essences, Food, Food Additives, Food Supplements, Fracture, and Frostbite

I’ve broken the massive book into discounted catnip-size alpha-chapter sections. Folks can choose which ones they most need. Each chapter will release every other week. Of course, you can still get the entire CAT FACTS book either in Kindle or 540+ pages of print.

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

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WHAT ARE FLOWER ESSENCES FOR DOGS AND CATS

Flower essences are a type of “vibrational therapy” made from the essential oils of wild plants, trees, and bushes said to offer benefits to the emotional state of pets. Several brands are available. One of the best known, Bach Flower Remedies, consists of 38 individual essences made by infusing spring water with wild flowers either by steeping in the sun or by boiling.

TREATING DOG AND CAT EMOTIONS?

You’d think such things must come from a “new age” mentality, but Bach Flower Remedies were created by British physician Dr. Edward Bach in the early 1900s. He believed disease to be a physical sign and end product of unhappiness, fear and worry, and identified twelve “pathological emotional states” in people that the essences are designed to treat:

  • fear
  • terror
  • mental torture or worry
  • indecision
  • indifference or boredom
  • doubt or discouragement
  • over-concern
  • weakness
  • self-distrust
  • impatience
  • over-enthusiasm
  • pride or aloofness

We can’t know with certainty that pets feel the same emotions as people do, but holistic veterinarians have used the remedies with success, by attempting to identify the emotional state in dogs and cats.

flower essences

BUT ARE THEY SAFE?

The great thing about Bach Flowers is they can be used safely by anyone. Even if you use the wrong remedy, although it may not help it won’t cause problems. The essences are easy to use. They don’t work in all cases, but when they do, they tend to work very quickly. You can combine them, but will get the best results by limiting to no more than three at a time.

Each individual flower essence treats a specific type of anxiety. They won’t cure behavior or health problems by themselves, but can help when used alongside other techniques. Occasionally more than one flower essences is combined into one remedy. The premixed Rescue Remedy, for example, contains the essences of Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, and Clematis. Rescue Remedy is considered an “emergency remedy” good for any kind of sudden stress or shock.

flower essences

HOW TO USE FLOWER ESSENCES FOR DOGS AND CATS

While you can take the remedies undiluted, it’s best to prepare a treatment bottle from the full-strength glass “stock bottle” you purchase.

  1. Obtain a glass 30 ml (1 oz.) dropper bottle and fill with spring water (not tap water).
  2. Add two drops of your chosen Remedy to the new bottle of spring water. It’s best to limit this to three Remedies in the same bottle.
  3. Shake well, at least ten times (practitioners call this “succussing”).
  4. Store the stock bottle and treatment bottle in a dark, cool place. The stock bottle should last for a very long time in this way.

TREATING CATS AND DOGS WITH FLOWER ESSENCES

To treat your cat or dog, use the treatment bottle and shake it each time before putting three drops in the water bowl for Kitty and Fluffy to sip all day. It won’t hurt if the other pets also drink. Alternatively, you can mix the drops into a teaspoonful of plain yogurt for the cat or dog to take as a treat.

Since it’s a vibrational energy medicine, practitioners say that simply dripping the two drops on the pet’s forehead or a paw also works. Don’t let the dropper touch the skin, fur or mouth or you’ll contaminate the bottle. Holistic veterinarians usually advise giving three drops, one to four times a day as needed, until your pet acts like she feels better. More is NOT better—Bach Flower Remedies work best over a longer period of time.

ipadverticalright_634x982-1Find out more details about catnip and other “F” topics in Cat Facts, The Series 6 (F): The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia.

So…is vibrational energy a bunch of hooey? And just for the sake of argument…if it IS a kind of placebo effect (can pets have a placebo effect???) what’s wrong with that if your cat and dog feels better?


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Note: I am an affiliate of Amazon and some links earn me a small referral fee. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Second Story Kitty? Tips for Grounding Countertop Cruising Cats

Do you struggle with how to keep cats off counters? Cats become pests with their determination to stay above it all. They cruise kitchen countertops, lounge atop doors and leap to refrigerator tops to ambush treats.

Today I’m traveling to New York to give a talk at the BlogPurr event about the different kinds of “cat parents” from drama-mamma to doting dad. Do your cats get away with everything, or are you a strict “parent?” It seemed appropriate to focus today’s blog on a common kitty challenge.

The urge to be the top cat seems a universal kitty vice. By understanding why cats scale the heights, cat care givers can provide legal outlets that keep both the kitty happy, and out of your butter dish.

keep cats off counters

Why Cats Love Heights

Cats come pre-programmed to seek elevated lounging spots. Think about it–a kitty walking on the wild side wants to see enemies (and potential munch-able critters) but remain invisible. A cat quite literally believes she “owns” the space she can see.

Cats also control each other’s interactions—or even the dog’s movements—with pointed stares. This cats-eye-power packs even more punch from an elevated perch, giving the cat ownership and control over even more territory. The cat that commands the highest perch is the high-cat-on-the-totem pole in that particular room.

What’s The Attraction?

Individual cats may have specific preferences for lounge spots. But in general, there are five reasons cats seek a particular place.

  • The taller the perch, the more important the cat.
  • Perches near important pathways like windows or stairways offer high kitty value.
  • Cats are furry heat-seeking missiles, so the tops of warm TVs or computer monitors, or snuggled under lamps prove irresistible. My cat loves to sleep in the paper well of my printer.
  • Lounging requires a soft, comfy surface like the back of chairs.
  • Kitchen counters and stove tops smell yummy or even have snacks within paw reach that keep the cat burglar returning to the scene of the cat crime.

You won’t keep your cat on the ground. Cats tend to avoid low spots with no view, or that are cold and uncomfortable. So give your cat what she wants with irresistible legal perch options and make forbidden spots unattractive.

kitten climbing ladder

Cats naturally love heights.

How to Keep Cats Off Counters & Grounding High Rise Cats

Evaluate your cat’s favorite perches, and make your choice better. My cat Seren loves to lounge on top of the piano (height) beneath a lamp (warmth) next to the window (view). To purr-suade her otherwise, we placed a three-tiered cat tree that’s TALLER than the piano and has a softer surface (comfort), still under the lamp beside the piano, and still in front of the window.

  • For your cat household, have at least one cat tree (or acceptable high-value lounge spot) for each cat. Otherwise, they may argue over who gets first dibs.
  • Make the legal lounge taller than the forbidden object, but nearby so the location remains attractive. An empty bookshelf can work, or even an inexpensive ladder. Put a cat bed stocked with kitty treats on the paint rack.
  • Make off-limits spots unattractive. Booby-trap counters so they’re no longer comfy. Double-sided tape products like Sticky Paws applied to place mats can be scattered on forbidden surfaces, for example.
  • Cats hate weird textures, too. Aluminum foil that covers stove tops can keep some cats at bay.
  • For hard case cats, invest in clear plastic carpet runner to line the counter top, dining table or other illegal location. Just place it nub-side up, and kitty will seek a more comfy spot to lounge.
  • You can also set up the SSScat Product, an aerosol can with a motion detector that hisses air to shoo critters away even when you’re not there.

Karma Cat In PrinterChoose which battles to fight, because it’s hard to win them all—and you want your cat to like you. My cats are not allowed on the mantel where they play gravity experiments with fine breakables. But they won the battle of the dining room table where Karma and Seren lounge in plush cat beds beneath a stained glass lamp.

I’ve also trained Seren to exit the printer when I need it. Karma hasn’t quite gotten that messagNEW-CatCompet-COVER-kindlee yet, though. In families, sometimes you must compromise.

What about you? How do you manage your counter top cruising kitties? Do tell!

Learn about more cat behavior issues in ComPETability.


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Note: I am an affiliated of Amazon and some links earn me a small referral fee. Please stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Doggy Stink Bomb? Dealing with Canine Flatulence

flatulence

WHAT IS CANINE FLATULENCE?

Also referred to as passing gas, this stinky dog condition is both offensive and embarrassing to a dog owner. Gas is produced naturally in the intestines during digestion, and some dogs produce more than others. Usually, the obnoxious condition isn’t dangerous, but flatulence can be the sign of a health problem.

I’m sharing this entry about canine FLATULENCE, an excerpt from Dog Facts, The Series 6 (Chapter F) This chapter covers a lot of ground, and here’s the topic list:

Fading Puppy Syndrome, False Pregnancy, Fear, Fence, Feral, Flatulence, Fleas, Flower Essences, Flukes, Food, Food Additives, Food Supplements, Fracture, Frostbite, and Fungus.

I’ve broken the massive book into discounted treat-size alpha-chapter sections. Folks can choose which ones they most need. Each chapter will release every other week. Of course, you can still get the entire book either in Kindle or 630+ pages of print.

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

fb-add-copyWHAT CAUSES CANINE FLATULENCE?

What and how the dog eats influences how much gas will be produced, and ultimately passed. Inappropriate food supplements, snacking from the garbage, or any sudden change in diet can make the problem worse. Diets that include highly fermentable substances, large quantities of milk, or simply gulping air when eating or drinking are common causes.

Gorging allows food to stay in the stomach for extended periods, and tends to make dogs more prone to gas. Feed your dogs separately to cut down on competition. Slow the gulper by placing a large non-swallowable ball in the bowl so she must eat around it. Invest in a foraging feeder, bowls designed to make dogs work to reach the food.

REDUCING DOGGY STINK BOMBS

Try offering the dog a more digestible diet. Check the ingredient list on the package and ask your veterinarian to recommend an appropriate choice. Change diets gradually over a week’s period, by initially mixing two-thirds of the old diet with one-third new. Progress to half and half, then one-third to two-thirds, and finally the new diet entirely.

The flower essence crab apple can help bring the body back into balance. Add two or three drops onto your pet’s tongue or in his drinking water each day. Adding digestive enzymes to your dog’s food may also help. As your holistic veterinarian for a recommendation.

Another helpful option is garnishing the dog’s regular diet with a tablespoonful of plain yogurt, which contains beneficial bacteria that helps digestion and reduces flatulence. Many dogs love the flavor. As a last resort, your veterinarian may prescribe a human medication that contains simethicone and activated charcoal to control the gas. There is also an anti-gas veterinary product called CurTail that contains an enzyme that aids food digestion and reduces flatulence. Amazon also has a number of potential remedies for dog flatulence.

ipadverticalright_634x982Find out more details about other “F” topics in  Dog Facts, The Series 6 (Chapter F).

Do you suffer from doggy stink bombs? How do you manage gassy pets? Any successful tips you can share? Fire away! (pun intended…)


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Note: I am an affiliated of Amazon and some links earn me a small referral fee. Please stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Are Ear Mites Bugging Your Cat?

EAR MITES LOVE CATS (DOGS, TOO)

These tiny parasites are common in cats, and causes otodectic mange, more commonly known as ear mite infestation. Ear mites (Otodectes cynotis) are a kind of arthropod that are actually related to and look something like spiders. The first four legs of all stages bear unjointed short stalks and suckers, and adult males also have suckers on the rear legs. Ewwww!

ear mites

Ear mites are so tiny, the “evidence” may not be seen except under a microscope.

I’m sharing this information from my EAR MITES entry from Cat Facts, The Series 5 (E): The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia which includes these topics:

Ear Mites, Ears, Eating, Eclampsia (Milk Fever), Electrical Shock, Elizabethan Collar, Endoscope, Enteritis, Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex, Epilepsy, Euthanasia, and Eyes

I’ve broken the massive book into discounted catnip-size alpha-chapter sections. Folks can choose which ones they most need. Each chapter will release every other week. Of course, you can still get the entire CAT FACTS book either in Kindle or 540+ pages of print.

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

Cat Facts Chapter E

EAR MITE LIFE CYCLE

The mites live on the surface of the skin of the ear and ear canal. Adult females lay eggs with cement that sticks them in place. After incubating four days, eggs hatch into six-legged larvae. Larvae feed for three to ten days, consuming the debris of the ear canal, and piercing the skin to suck lymph. Each larva hatches into an eight-legged protonymph, which then molts into a deutonymph. The deutonymph becomes attached to an adult male end to end by the suckers on their rear legs. If a female adult emerges from the deutonymph, fertilization occurs and the female becomes egg bearing. The life cycle lasts three weeks.

ear mites cause scratching

Intense itching with resultant scratching can damage the ear.

CONSEQUENCES OF EAR MITES

Ear mites are the most common cause of ear inflammation. Symptoms of ear mite infestation include brown, waxy debris in the ear canal, and/or crust formation. The crawling mites inside the ear canal produce intense itching and discomfort. Infested cats will shake their heads, dig at their ears, and show a variety of restless behavior.

Excessive head shaking or scratching at the ears caused by ear mites can result in secondary trauma to the pinna, the external portion of your cat’s ear. This can cause a kind of blood blister called a hematoma.

DIAGNOSING EAR MITES

Ear mites are extremely contagious, and outdoor cats are most commonly affected. These parasites aren’t selective; they infest many species, including cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets and other pets. Kittens often acquire ear mites from their mother.

If one pet is diagnosed with ear mites, all the animals in a multi-pet household must be treated to prevent reinfestation. When left untreated, ear mites can cause severe problems of the middle and inner ear, which may affect the cat’s hearing and balance.

Diagnosis is made by actually seeing the mite. The parasite is tiny, white, and nearly impossible to see with the naked eye. Generally, the veterinarian will make a slide of a sample of the ear debris, and examine it under the microscope to identify the parasite.

HOW TO TREAT CAT EAR MITES

Treatment consists of flushing out the debris, and applying insecticide to kill the mites. Bland oil, like mineral oil squirted into the ear canal followed by gentle massage helps flush out the crumbly material. Because of the three week lifespan of the mites, more than one treatment may be necessary to kill the mites as they hatch.

A number of over the counter ear drop medications are available for treating ear mites in cats. Many of them contain insecticides such as carbaryl or pyrethrins in a mineral oil solution. Sometimes, steroids are necessary to help the inflammation subside, and antibiotic ointment may be indicated to treat bacterial infections.

NATURAL OPTIONS FOR TREATING EAR MITES

Holistic veterinarians may recommend using a green tea rinse, since it’s a natural antiseptic and can gently remove the ear debris caused by the mites. Steep a tablespoon of green tea leaves in a cup of hot water for three or four minutes, strain it, and allow to cool to room temperature. Flush your pet’s ear canal with the tea, using a small dropper.

A natural traditional way to treat ear mites is to suffocate the bugs with oil. Place two or three drops of vegetable oil in the pet’s ears, and massage. The oil also soothes the itch, but you’ll need to treat the ears daily for at least a month to catch all the maturing bugs, and your cat’s oily head may not be to his (or your) liking.

VETERINARY INTERVENTION

When the cat’s ears are very sore, sedation may be necessary to properly clean his ears. Even when ear drops are effective, some cats object to having their ears cleaned and treated, and unless the entire course of treatment is completed, the problem will recur. In addition, some cats are resistant to certain medications, or are hard for owners to handle and medicate at home.

For these stubborn cases, an injectable medication may be the answer. One or two beipadverticalright_634x982neath-the-skin injections of an insecticide called Ivermectin is effective, but not FDA approved for this use. Veterinarians may use the drug “off label” with the informed consent of their clients.

Find out more details about catnip and other “E” topics in  Cat Facts, The Series 5 (E): The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia

Has your cat ever suffered from ear mites? How did you get rid of them? Please share your experiences! (Oh, and I hope you’ll forward this post to those who need the info…)


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!