A couple of years ago, Bravo-Dawg began scratching his ear, and yelping if bumped on that side—even tilting his head that direction. I suspected he had a painful dog ear infection. Magic had his share of ear infections, so I knew this was something that needed veterinary care sooner rather than later.
Dogs (and cats) are prone to ear infections because of the conformation of the ear itself. Human ear canals are straight, unlike the L-shaped pet’s ear canal. Debris and moisture can become trapped in the foot of that L, creating a perfect percolating environment for nasty agents to set up housekeeping. Some dogs invite you to rub their itchy ears with moans and groans.
Dog ear infections just like canine hot spots, also often develop because of allergies. If your dog has seasonal allergies, you’ll need to be extra vigilant. When dogs enjoy hot water games like hose tag, getting water inside the ears can predispose to earache and dog ear infection. Here’s how to deal with achy ears…
Did you know that April is First Aid Awareness Month? You can save your dog or cat’s life by knowing how to do pet CPR and how to perform rescue breathing. Pets suffer brain injury and death if oxygen is cut off for only a few minutes. When minutes count, rescue breathing can save your pet’s life.
We love it when our happy dogs wag-wag-wag with joy. Dogs talk with their tails, but too much wagging can result in dog tail injury. Tail talk expresses emotion and communicates so much, but what do you do when wags hurt? Labradors are notorious for dog tail injury. Here’s how to deal with tail wag trauma…
I write about pet holiday dangers every year. This listicle (and a fun infographic at the bottom) offers more than a dozen problems. I’ve included links to more detailed information for those wanting a deeper dive on all the must-knows for pet holiday safety!
Giving pets as gifts prompts discussions every time the subject comes up. Most recently, we got our “gift puppy” and “gift kitten” when they adopted us, and we’re so glad Karma-Kat and Shadow-Pup are part of our holidays. But for many folks, this year means a new puppy or new kitten for Christmas. Learn how to gift pets–and please share your experiences in the comments!
The professionals used to say that the holidays were a TERRIBLE time to get a new pet–that impulse adoptions could leave the cat or dog without a home after the cute-holiday-thrills wore off. More recently, though, the ASPCA conducted some surveys and discovered that when done properly, these adoptions can be lasting, loving adoptions. So I had to re-think my advice.
Holidays tend to be hectic times when normal routines go out the window. Whether a baby, adult, or senior rescue cat or dog, new animals need the stability of knowing what to expect. In fact, some holiday schedules may allow you to be home more during this time to help the new kitty or pooch adjust.
Holiday pets take more work, true. But just think: you’re not only giving the pet to a person—you’re giving a special human to a waiting cat or dog, a fur-kid hungry for a loving, permanent home. Happy holidays, indeed!
‘Tis the season, dog lovers! I remember one year when my dad sent me a pastel portrait of my German Shepherd, Magic (with the cat). They’d NEVER get that close in real life! That painting is one of my favorite treasures to this day. Finding the perfect gift for your dog and dog-obsessed friends and family can be tricky. But it’s so worth it to see their huge smile when they unwrap that pawsome present!
If you’re on the hunt for dog-riffic gifts, look no further. You’re sure to find something outrageously fun, quirky, adorable or practical for the dog-loving people and dogs in your life…including my books. *s*
Cat safe Christmas tree? Is there any other kind? I post this blog every year and — with Shadow-Pup now in the house, I’ve decided to try the Christmas tree this year for the first time in a couple of years.
If you plan to have a new pet under the tree, read this post on how to give pets as gifts. And if you have a shy kitty–well any cat for that matter–refer to this post about keeping cats calm during the holidays.
In the past, our old girl, Seren-Kitty, ignored the decorations and so did Magic. We were lucky that way—until Karma-Kat came along. Bravo-Dawg eggs him on, and the last time we put up a tree was quite an experience.
Karma turned the tree into a kitty jungle gym! And Bravo-Boy loved playing “tug” with branches. We’ll see how Shadow-Pup reacts. Meanwhile, here are my annual tips to help with YOUR tree, and you can read more about pet-safe holiday tips here.
Moving With Pets to a New Home: Getting Pets Used to a New Place
Moving with pets raises human stress levels and your cats and dogs are no different. While many dogs enjoy adventure and visiting unknown places (and smells!), cats bond closely with their home territory. Any change can put their tail in a twist when moving disrupts routine. An unfamiliar location, smells, and sounds raise levels of fear, anxiety, or stress (FAS).
With proper care, though, you can reduce or even eliminate the angst. Here are tips for moving with cats and dogs and helping them quickly acclimate to their new home.
Doggy DNA Misconceptions About Nature vs Nurture
Dog DNA tests today are popular because it influences both looks and behavior. Some dog breeds are known for specific tendencies. But socialization and training, and even mom-dog’s nurturing influence, also impact dogs.
Some dogs have to deal with a “ruff” reputation based entirely on dog dna and what breed they are – or just look like. Pit Bulls for instance seem to get lots of bad press for dog-on-dog aggression, but we also call them the “Nanny Dog” because they’re so darn good with kids. Other muscular dogs, big dogs like Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, can get called out as aggressive, dangerous or problematic based entirely on their looks, before they ever show signs of a snarl. Of course, ALL dogs have teeth that can do damage, so understanding dog communication keeps you (and your kids) safe…
How to Prepare Cats, Dogs, and People for Holiday Visits
Holiday celebrations include visiting family and friends. It also means keeping pets safe during the holidays. Since we consider cats and dogs part of the family, pet holiday visits require special preparations. Changes to routine can increase fear, anxiety, and stress in everyone, and especially our pets. Hitting the road also raises stress levels, so unless your pets adore car travel, prepare with advice in this article. Here are some tips for reducing the angst once you arrive, so that everyone enjoys family pet holiday visits.
We often lament the fact that dogs and cats don’t live as long as we do. But what about the reverse—what if your pets live longer than you do? Are there legal protections you can take in planning for when your pets outlive you? We loved them dearly while alive, and must also care for them when we’re gone with proper plans. And yes, it can happen totally out of the blue.
The unthinkable happens, even to animal professionals. Back in 2014, in the same week, our pet community felt rocked by the tragic and sudden deaths of two heroes, animal behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin and Cat Writers Association president Dr. Lorie Huston. Dr. Yin left behind her beloved dog Jonesy, while my friend Lorie left six special needs rescue cats. CWA members networked to re-home Lorie’s cats. More recently, the Cat Writers’ Association again lost a beloved leader when president Paula Gregg passed away suddenly. She had time to make plans for her beloved Persian cats, Truffle and Brulee.
None of these wonderful pet lovers expected to have their pets outlive them. Do you have plans for your special pets? Here are tips for planning for when your pets outlive you.
Like older pets, I also move a wee bit slower than in my youth. Shadow-Pup helps keep me active and young, as well as chasing and engaging the more mature Karma-Kat. Aging dogs and senior cats rock!
I’ll admit that senior pets have a special place in my heart, even if they suffer from senility. Maybe in part because I can more easily relate to them. Do you love old pets? Are you ready for some old dog and/or old cat love? Oh, here are 7 cheap DIY tips to help your old pets.
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