With the latest hurricane and more on the way, it’s time to revisit your pet disaster plan. You do have one, right? After Katrina and Harvey, everyone should understand the importance of disaster preparation.
I posted this in June for National Pet Preparedness Month. September is Disaster Preparation Month. Hurricane Ian drives home the importance of having a disaster plan not only for yourself when Mother Nature throws a tantrum but also to keep your pets safe. Whether you must deal with tornadoes, floods, landslides, typhoons, wildfires, or other emergencies, there’s a rule that we must always PLAN FOR THE WORST.
And then pray it doesn’t happen. For those going through issues now, refer to these resources:
Florida Animal Shelter Emergency Response
Mobile Phone: 941-525-8035.
Office Phone: 863-577-4605.
Florida Animal Shelter Emergency Response
American Humane Red Star Disaster Response
American Red Cross
Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief (Government)
Yes, cat separation anxiety affects many felines. When school restarts, and the kids go back to class, your cats (and your dogs) may suffer from separation anxiety. The signs of distress are very different, though. I encourage you to read on to learn about tips for helping your furry family members adjust.
More recently, with more folks working from home, the cats have finally settled into a new routine. But just about the time Kitty gets used to your new schedule, the world changes again if you go back to the office. That may make them more prone to developing separation behaviors when you go back to work or kids return to school and leave them alone.
We very often hear about doggy angst during a beloved human’s absence, but what about cats? Yep, it’s exactly the same—only different. Here’s how.
August 8 is WORLD CAT DAY (aka International Cat Day) and it’s the purr-fect time to celebrate our cat love. Maybe you wonder “why does my cat … ” do all sorts of things, or “how do I make my cat love me?” Here are my top 6 ideas how to love your cat every day of the year, so your cat loves you back–not just on World Cat Day.
Cats are great actors and try to convince pet parents they’re already purr-fectly healthy and happy. With cats, it’s Valentine’s Day every day and a good time to think “outside the litter box” and find special ways to love your cat.
It’s fun to celebrate World Cat Day with special treats and bonus snuggles. It’s even more important to show cat love every day of the year, and your cat won’t care if it costs fifty million dollars or fifty cents. In fact, fifty minutes spent with Kitty probably makes him think he won the cat lottery!
TOP 7 WAYS HOW TO LOVE YOUR CAT
Give Comfort. Cat comfort is an important issue for you cat love. Every cat is an individual, so while one cat wants to swing from the drapes and meet new people, strangers could be a horror movie for other cats. A lot of that has to do with your cat’s socialization and parentage. Cat love means we accept each cat as an individual and adjust expectations to each special cat. Here are six ways you can share cat love and increase your cat’s purrs…
During the pandemic, many of us adopted new furry friends. As many folks moved their work world to home, the dogs celebrated! For dogs, that’s winning the lottery, to have their humans with them 24/7. And for puppies adopted over the past couple of years, they’ve had their humans with them 24/7. But now since the country has “re-opened” and many return to work outside the home, will canine separation anxiety become a problem for your dog? What about when things return to “normal” — how will they cope?
Each fall when school classes resume, I write about dog separation anxiety, and that dogs left alone may act out. After summer vacation with the kiddos, dogs left behind at home can mope and feel awful…and so can cats. Any kind of absence can potentially result in canine separation anxiety. Not all problems are due to anxiety–although the behaviors may seem similar. Here’s what you need to know.
Way back in 1992, I helped found the Cat Writers' Association. Each year, the CWA hosts a contest for published work, and honors the best cat-centric material with a Certificate of Excellence in dozens of cat-egories. The top Certificate entry received the prestigious...
I’ve been blessed to share my life with two senior dogs, but only Magical-Dawg showed signs of dog senility, also known as canine cognitive dysfunction. Yes, both dogs and cats can suffer from a form of dementia, that some might described as a type of canine Alzheimer’s disease. Dogs aged 11 to 16 are most likely to develop Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), sort of the doggy version of Alzheimer’s Disease. CCD is a medical condition in which a starch-like waxy protein called beta amyloid collects in the brain and causes behavior changes. Here’s what you need to know and ways to slow down potential dog senility.
Signs of Dog Senility
Dogs cared for throughout their early years live longer than ever before. It’s not unusual for Toy-breed dogs to live into their mid-to-late teens and even big dogs today enjoy a decade or more of happy life with a loving owner. A longer life, though, can leave your dog befuddled when canine brains turn to mush.
Affected dogs become disoriented, wander, cry and pace, and can become lost in the house when out of your sight. Their behavior can change from confident to frightened, and the awake/sleep cycles may turn upside down. Dogs can forget house training, how to find the door or be unable to tell you when they need to “go.” And most heartbreaking of all, senile dogs lose interest in petting, ignore their beloved owners or furry friends, and might not recognize you.
A longer life is not necessarily a better life, especially if your dog no longer recognizes you. But there are ways to help your dog stay connected with the world and ward off signs of CCD…
Cat and dog dehydration refers to the excessive loss of body water. Pets are prone to dehydration when the weather gets very hot, and they don’t have access to enough water. As a result, they can develop heatstroke. More often, though, dog and cat dehydration happens from vomiting and diarrhea.
Here in Texas, we’ve had weeks of triple-digit temperatures. I worry about the outside pets, but even indoor cats and dogs can suffer from dehydration. Normal water loss occurs in the pet’s bathroom deposits, through moisture exhaled with the breath, and through sweat. These fluids get replaced when the cat and dog eat and drink.
Causes of Cat & Dog Dehydration
Any illness may prompt pets to stop eating and drinking, and prolonged fever increases the loss of body fluid. Specific disease conditions or injuries like diabetes or kidney disease may cause excessive urination that also causes of dehydration.
Cats evolved as desert creatures and have an amazing ability to conserve water, but cat dehydration can still kill. Even though cats seem to prefer to drink water in the weirdest places (the sink? your glass? the TOILET?!) they most often just don’t drink enough water. It’s important to know the signs of cat dehydration and provide ample drinking ops to keep kitty healthy and happy.
A normal adult pet’s total body water is approximately 60 percent of his body weight. That means your 12-pound pet carries over 7 pounds of liquid! Signs of dehydration become apparent when he loses as little as five percent of normal body water. A 12 to 15 percent loss of total body water results in shock and imminent death. Here are the signs of pet dehydration, and how to treat it with first aid.
I’m heading back home to visit my 95-year-old dad this weekend, and reconnect with friends at my high school reunion. Shadow-Pup and Karma-Kat will stay at the “pet resort” while I’m gone. My husband has scheduled folks to come in and replace the carpet with hardwood–what a process! Moving furniture around ain’t fun…and we waited until the last minute to (temporarily) relocated the dog bed and cat trees. As you know, our pets (especially cats) love the status quo. Urk!
Back in May, my CWA member colleague, Tracy Ahrens shared a guest blog with me about her special dog. Today, she shares musings about a special cat. My Karma also sleeps in a variety of endearing, awkward, and unique poses, so I smiled with recognition reading about her cat Forest. What is it about cat sleep habits that delights us so? I know that Karma has his favorite sleep spots–in the dog bed on the dining room table, top of his cat trees, and my pillow at night. So once the floors get done, we’ll make sure to satisfy and catify his kitty spots. Like Forest (below), Karma decides what he likes and wants.
This entertaining piece first appeared on the WagTheDogUK blog. It has won a CWA Certificate of Excellence Award in the 2021 contest.
Deck The Bed With…Colorful Quilts
Visitors to my kitchen are greeted by a small litter box close to the stove, snug against a cupboard and partially seated on an area rug.
I first lined the box with a spare bath towel and Forest purred while resting in it. Soon after, I topped that towel with a mini flannel quilt made by my mom. The quilt extends up the sides of the box and I carefully gather it around the edges so it stays in place when Forest crawls on top.
I have pondered the overall image of Forest in the litter box. He looks like the sweet filling in a little tart-like bed with a flannel quilt crust…
Summer arrived even earlier than expected this year, with temperatures hitting triple digits by mid-June. There’s still plenty of pet camping season left. Even though camping with pets isn’t for me, I know lots of folks who LOVE it, including my brother and his dog. He takes the dog with them camping, boating, skiing, and pretty much everywhere.
Bringing your furry one along camping (or glamping) is a great bonding experience. But before you pack up and hit the road, look over my DOs and DONTs of camping with your dog or cat.
What to do when camping with a pet
First, decide if your pet will enjoy camping. Not all will enjoy it. My Karma-Kat would HATE camping. He’s a homebody, and enjoys watching birds, bunnies, and squirrels through the window, but freezes when his paws hit the grass. Shadow-Pup’s more adventurous and probably would do better…
It’s National Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15, and here in Texas with heat rolling over the land, flash fires threaten all summer long. I wrote about disaster preparation on the blog recently, and fire hazards and smoke inhalation issues are another issue affecting pets. All across the country, too many folks have already lost homes, property, and even the lives of human and animal loved ones. A few years ago, some of my Facebook friends asked me to post about smoke inhalation information, and I wanted to expand on that. Knowing what to do should your cat or dog suffer fire-related injury could save their lives.
Most cases of smoke inhalation involve situations where the pet cannot escape. Dogs and especially cats tend to hide when frightened, and may not make an effort to get out of a burning building until too late. But the recent wind-fanned flames of grass fires move quickly, produce a lot of smoke, and can catch outdoor pets unprepared…