Pet Advice

How to Help a Stray Cat Transition to the Indoors

We cat lovers often see stray cats and kittens around our homes and/or business.  Sadly enough, some of the stray cats are usually abandoned or lost pets that now live outdoors fending for themselves. Stray cats are different from feral cats. Feral cats only know life outdoors and have never been domesticated.  If you want to bring a stray into your home to take care of either full time or until you can help find the cat a forever home, below are some tips that should help. 

Your first need to earn the cat’s trust which can always be done with food

Set out dry cat food and fresh water at the same time every day. Dry food is recommended because it won't attract insects, like wet food will, and it won't smell as much. Set the food and water as close to your door as you think the cat will come. If you follow a daily routine, that cat(s) will learn when "dinnertime" is and come to your door at the same time every day.

Help A Stray Cat

I’m sweet, just scared!

Shaking the bag of dry food every time you put it out will function as a reminder that it’s time to eat.  If they hear the sound from somewhere else, they'll come running because they'll know it's time to eat.  If the cat refuses to eat with you sitting there, go inside and let the kitty eat on his own.  If you do this repeatedly, the cat will likely let you sit down with them sooner rather than later.

Watch the kitty for a few days

Observe the cat for a few days. It is important to know if the cat is a neighborhood cat that likes to be outdoors, a feral cat or a stray cat. All cats will trust you if you feed them. To tell the subtle differences between the cats, you should keep in mind that neighborhood cats usually get feed at home so won't eat or eat much. Feral and stray cats are always hungry, but the stray cat is friendlier and will allow you to pet him or her whereas the feral cat is far more cautious or skittish.

     Take the kitty to the vet for an exam

Take the cat to the vet as soon as possible. A medical exam is important to rule out any contagious diseases that the cat can possibly spread to other animals in the home. Have the cat sprayed or neutered if it is not fixed already.

Treat the cat for any aliments he may have if you can afford to (hopefully). Most stray cats have fleas and/or tapeworms. The vet will diagnose any problems and prescribe a course of treatment. Keep the cat separated and in its own room until it is free of fleas and other parasites if need be.

Prepare a separate room for your stray cat if you have other pets at home.

Prepare a room in your room for the cat to live in as is a temporary measure.  Make sure that the room has fresh water, food, a litter box and a bed or blanket for the cat. Make certain no other animals are in this room.  This can even be a bathroom at least temporarily.

Allow the cat into the rest of the house once he or she is healthy. Only after the cat gets a clean bill of health from the vet should you allow it access to the rest of the house and the other animals

Try to confine your cat to the indoors

Confine your stray kitty to the indoors. Stray cats that are use to the outdoors will make numerous attempts to get back outside. Put secure screens on all windows. Make certain the cat is out of the way when opening or closing the front door. If your kitty runs outdoor and doesn’t come back, he or she might not be as lucky to find someone else to care for him or her.

With time and effort, you can get a stray cat to trust you and feel comfortable in your home.  You can then either have a great new family member or a more adjusted cat to foster until you help the stray cat find its forever home.

Join today and start getting popular.  It’s fun, free and the prizes are awesome! 

Like this article?

Orange Tabby Cats...Have More Fun!




Heartworm Disease in Dogs – Serious But Treatable

Heartworm disease in dogs is a dangerous disease that starts as a parasite that resides in a dog’s heart and/or arteries of your poor pup.  The parasite can travel through the bloodstream and harm arteries and vital organs as they move.  The parasite will usually spread throughout your dog’s bloodstream and infect the lung and the heart chamber about six months after the initial infection. Several hundred worms can live in one dog for five to seven years. Heartworm disease is serious, and can be fatal.  Yet, the good news is that heartworm disease can be detected in tests by your vet and be treated with medication.

The symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs

Some of the symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs can include labored breathing, coughing, vomiting, weight loss and listlessness, and fatigue after only moderate exercise. However, some dogs exhibit no symptoms at all until late stages of infection which is why testing is very important.

If you notice that your dog’s energy has decreased, he or she seems ill or is showing any of the general symptoms described above, please contact your veterinarian immediately.  It is always better to be safe and be on top of the disease before it infects your dog.

Heartworm disease is usually diagnosed by your vet

Heartworm disease is diagnosed by examination, radiographs or ultrasound, and a veterinarian-administered blood test. All dogs should be routinely screened with a blood test for heartworm either annually in spring, at the start of mosquito season, or before being placed on a new prescription for a heartworm preventive.

Heartworn Disease In Dog

Heartworm is caused by mosquitoes and is very unusual

Heartworms are transmitted from animal to animal by mosquitoes. The lifecycle of the heartworm is hard to gauge as an animal must carry at least two heartworms (a male and a female) in order for female heartworms to reproduce. When the mosquito next bites a susceptible animal, the infective larvae enter the tissues and begin a migration into the blood vessels.  And if it resides there long enough without being destroyed, it can start to grow.

Heartworms enter an animal’s bloodstream as tiny, invisible larvae, but can reach lengths of more than twelve inches at maturity.

Dogs that live in humid clients are more susceptible to heartworm disease

Heartworm infestation can happen to any dog (as well as cats and some wild animals), but since mosquitoes are their carriers, dogs who live in hot, humid regions—conditions in which mosquitoes thrive—are at the greatest risk. The disease has been seen in every state except Alaska, but is most common in or on the East Coast, southern United States and Mississippi River Valley.

Heartworm can be prevented by medication prescribed by your veterinarian

The good news is that heartworm is easy preventable with an inexpensive, chewable pill available with a vet’s prescription. The pills—highly palatable to most dogs—are usually administered monthly and manufactured by several companies. The pills can be given to dogs under 6 months of age without a blood test, but older animals must be screened for the disease prior to starting medication. You can opt to give your dog a pill only during mosquito season spring through winter but the most recent recommendation from the American Heartworm Society is to keep giving them all yea. There are also topical products available that you can apply to the skin.

Treatment for heartworm disease

If your dog is diagnosed with heartworm disease, a thorough examination of your dog should be taken to determine the best course of treatment and the potential risks involved. The most common course of treatment is a series of injections of drugs that are placed into the dogs’ muscle. This cure has a high success rate and usually requires hospitalization; in certain circumstances, however, it may be performed on an outpatient basis. However, all treatment of heartworm disease usually require many weeks of exercise restriction and might have side effects. Disease prevention is a much better and safer option. After treatment, your dog should be placed on a preventative medication to reduce the risk of infection so it does not reoccur.

If you take your dog to the vet for regular testing, heartworm disease can be prevented before it begins.


Join today and start getting popular.  It’s fun, free and the prizes are awesome! 

Like this article?

Orange Tabby Cats...Have More Fun!



Tips to Keep Your Dogs Cool in the Summer Heat

Summer is already heating up and most of our dogs don’t like the heat.  Or at least, they react to it by becoming lethargic and dogs don’t have the ability to cool themselves by sweating as we humans do.  Panting is their way to keep themselves cool.  But, in the hot summer months, it’s important to help your dog’s keep cools since they can’t on their own.

Below are some tips to help your dog stay cool during the hot summer months:

Keep cool water readily available for your pup

To keep your dogs’ cool in the summer, it is essential that you keep fresh, cool water available to your dog at all times. In hot weather, this is even more crucial. Make sure you keep the water dish in a shady location and change the water frequently. If you want to keep fresh water available outdoors, you might want to look into a watering system that hooks up to a faucet.

Make sure to take your dogs on shorter walks in early morning or evening

During the hot summer days, the best time to walk your dog is in the early morning or evening.  If you can, wait until the sun goes down to give your dog some relief.  And, dogs can feel the sun on their paws and can get sun burn.  If you are heading to the dog park, just let your dogs’ play for a short time.  They can’t tell us that they are overheated so it’s best to keep all sun exposure and outdoor time to a minimum.

dogs cool in summer

Hot?  I’m not hot!

Try a cooling dog bed since they sleep a lot in the heat

You might want to try a cooling dog bed where your dog can escape to during the day. While a dog bed is nice and soft, it might also be too warm. However, a cooling dog bed can offer the comfort and softness of a typical dog bed with the coolness your dog craves. Cooling dog beds often use a gel-like material or simply water to keep the bed feeling cool. These beds are especially great for senior dogs as an alternative for hard floors or even carpet.  

There are several other products out there designed to cool off your dog. Some work better than others, and often it just depends on the dog. If you decide to try out one of these products, just remember that nothing can substitute fresh water and shade. No dog should go for long without plenty of both.  There are a variety of cooling dog vest, collars and crates with cooling fans.

Try a misting fan, but not a regular fan

Misting fans and aerosols that spew water into the air also lower the temperature and can keep your dog’s fur damp.  When your dog gest misty, it also helps her or him cool off when the water evaporates. Misters can be placed on the porch, deck or near the puppy playpen and will keep your dog cool.  Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet.) And regular fans don't cool off pets as effectively as they do people.

Make sure your dog has shelter from the sun

Your dog might enjoy a little sunbathing, but he or she ultimately needs a cool, shady spot to relax. The best thing you can do for your dog is to offer shelter. Shade from trees works, but an actual structure is better. Consider getting an insulated dog house, but make sure it is large and well-ventilated or you can try an open-air tent or canopy. Of course, the most ideal shelter is in your home with a doggie door to allow indoor access.

Dogs love little kiddie pools to cool themselves off

If your dog loves water, then a large tub or kiddie pool (molded plastic, not inflatable) might be a great addition to your yard. You can find tubs or pools at most home stores. Many dogs enjoy playing and lounging in the cool water. Just make sure you supervise your dog at all times. Also, keep the pool in a shady spot and change the water frequently.

Never leave your dog in a hot car

We all know how hot it gets in our car, even when it is not even that warm out.  Therefore, don’t even think about leaving your dog in the car while you are running errands or any time during the summer.  It’s cruel and way too hot for our doggies and can cause heat stroke and death.

No matter what you do to keep your dog cool, the best thing you can do is to keep a close eye on your pup. When in doubt, get your dog to a cooler area. Be sure to contact your vet immediately if you notice signs of heat stroke or extreme lethargy.


Join today and start getting popular.  It’s fun, free and the prizes are awesome! 

Like this article?

Orange Tabby Cats...Have More Fun!



Do Our Cats Get Hot in the Summer? Yes, they do!

Our cats love nothing better than catching the rays of the sun on a carpet or a window perch. However, as our summer months approach and temperatures start climbing, your cat can potentially be exposed to the dangers of heat stroke (hyperthermia).  While your cat will instinctively search for cooler spots to spend his or her time, it is our responsibility as cat owners to help keep our kitties cool.

Below are some tips to help keep your cats cool in the summer months:

Keep your air conditioning on low or fan on to keep your cat cool

Use your usual cooling methods that you would for yourself to help keep your cat cool too. If you have air conditioning or fans, keeping your cat indoors will ensure that it is benefiting from the cooling, too. Many of the things you do also benefit your cat, such as keeping the blinds, drapes, and most doors closed. Just be sure to allow your kitties to have a choice to exit if they feel too cold, so that they can go into a warmer room when he/she pleases.

Cats Get Hot In Summer

Nice and cool in here!


Make sure to always have cold water available

While this might be obvious, even indoor cats have an increased need for fresh, cool water during hotter weather. Replenish water in bowls on a regular basis. Adding an ice cube in a water bowl not only keeps the water temperature cooler, it can become a little enticement for your cat to drink. It's not unusual for a curious kitty to paw at the floating ice cube in play and then lick her wet paw.

If your cat tends to play too enthusiastically in her water bowl and ends up with most of it spilled all over the floor, consider getting a pet water fountain. This way, she can paw at the water flowing from the fountain into the reservoir.

Make sure your kitty has either tile or somewhere shady to lie down

Invest in large, shady potted plants. Make sure they will provide ample shade for your kitty and not be toxic to her should she decide to taste-test the leaves. Check with your local poison control center for a list of toxic houseplants.

If your home is carpeted, provide your kitty with cooler places to lie down.  If you find your cat in the bathroom on the tile floor, there is a reason.  It helps that your kitty has a cool place to lie.  And you might notice when your kitty walks across your tile floor, you will see moist paw prints left. Cats sweat through their foot pads. If your home is hot, and you don’t see moist paw prints, that should raise concern.

How to check to see if your cat is dehydrated

You can check for dehydration several ways:  roll kitty’s bottom eyelid down. You should see moisture pool up in the lower lid.  No moisture, kitty needs a vet!

Check your cat’s mouth by pressing your finger lightly against her gums (which should be pink and happy). Your print should leave an impression for about a second then the gums pink up again. If they stay pale, or appear streaked or white, call your vet for an immediate appointment.

The final way to check for dehydration, is while your cat is resting, gently pick up the scruff of her neck, without lifting her body. Pinch the scruff lightly, release. The skin should fold down within seconds. If it remains in a pinched position- call your vet!

Below are some normal behavioral patterns during the hot summer months:

Your kitty might seem to be grooming him or herself more than usual, but this is normal. This is a cooling mechanism similar to sweating: as the saliva evaporates off its fur, the cat will cool down.

Cats, like dogs and mice, have their sweat glands on their paws. If your cat is leaving wet paw prints, he or she is sweating and will need to replenish its fluids. You can try cooling your cat down by dipping its paws in water or even with a damp, cool towel.

Don't worry if your cat starts panting. Cats pant more rarely than dogs, but your kitty might pant to take in cooler air if he or she is particularly hot. Heavy panting could be cause for concern, however, and you should call your vet.

Monitor your cat for symptoms of heatstroke

Heatstroke is a real medical emergency. If you suspect your cat has heatstroke you must act quickly.  Move your cat to a cool place and immediately contact your veterinarian. Symptoms of heatstroke include:

    • Heavy panting
    • Drooling
    • Red tongue and lips
    • Dullness
    • Weakness and collapsing
    • Convulsions
    • Vomiting

If you just keep in mind that your kitties are like us, humans, when it gets hot out:  they need plenty of water, a cool place to hang out, and need to be watched for symptoms of anything different or unusual that might occur.

Join today and start getting popular.  It’s fun, free and the prizes are awesome! 

Like this article?

Orange Tabby Cats...Have More Fun!





Why Do Dogs Chew Their Nails?

Our dogs tend to groom themselves by licking themselves and sometimes they might even lick or chew on their nails. Dogs that chew their nails chronically, however, might be telling you something is wrong. Chronic nail-biting means it's time to take your dog to the veterinarian to determine whether a fungal infection or allergy is causing irritation or if it is something behavioral.  It depends on the frequency and time when your dog is chewing his or her nails to determine why your dog is chewing his nails.

Below are some reasons why your dog might be chewing on his or her nails:

Your dog could be chewing on his nails because they need to be groomed

It is important for so many reasons to keep your dogs' nails trimmed neatly. When you let your dog's nails grow too long it can become painful for them to walk. The nails can curve in, making getting around difficult and injuring the skin. Your dog may be biting his nails chronically in an attempt to groom himself. Take your dog to a groomer to ensure his nails are trimmed correctly.  If your dog is chewing on them, the nails are probably too long.

Dogs Chew Their Nails

These nails are too long!

Your dog could be chewing on his nail because it is broken

Broken nails aren't always obvious. Sometimes they break at the very base of the nail, where the nail is still attached to your pup's skin; such a break will still be very bothersome to your pup. Your little guy may start biting at and licking the out-of-order nail. He may do it because it's causing him pain and it's the only thing he knows to do in response, or he may be trying to actually take the bothersome thing off his foot. Broken nails do sometimes come off on their own, but don't let the situation resolve itself and become infected and go see your vet.

If your dog has allergies, he or she might bite his nails

Allergies to food or to grass, pollen and other outdoor allergens can make your dog itchy; and chewing on paws is a symptom. He may chew to cope or to relieve itching directly in the paw. Chewing on nails may help to relieve itchiness. Have you changed your dog’s food?  Is there a lot of pollen in the air?  Talk to your veterinarian to determine what is triggering your pooch's allergic reaction.

Your dog might have an infection in his nails

Your dog may be chewing his nails because the nail bed has a fungal infection. It might also be a result of injuring a nail.   If a nail is injured, and the wound is exposed, infection may result. If the area around the dog's nails appears red, swollen, tender to the touch or is seeping, it may be infected.  An exposed and untreated wound may lead to infection and make your dog itch. You will have to take your pooch to the veterinarian for treatment with an antibiotic.

Your dog could be chewing on his nails because he is anxious

Some dogs are neurotic or just anxious. Sometimes a case of separation anxiety or stress about his surroundings will have your dog chewing on his nails to relieve his nervousness.  Chewing nails, defecating in the house and destructive behavior are common signs of anxiety. Dogs are den animals by nature, and need to feel secure. Consider leaving a radio or TV on so the dog can hear human interaction, and supply him with a few chew toys to ease his need to gnaw.

Your dog could simply be chewing on his nails because he is bored

Stimulating a dog's senses is essential. Exercise, playtime, talking and training are all essential. A bored dog will become destructive to himself and his surroundings. Nail biting is a common sign of boredom. Supply your puppy with interactive play toys when dog or human interaction isn't possible.

Your dog could be chewing on his nail because it is broken

Broken nails aren't always obvious. Sometimes they break at the very base of the nail, where the nail is still attached to your pup's skin; such a break will still be very bothersome to your pup. Your little guy may start biting at and licking the out-of-order nail. Broken nails do sometimes come off on their own, but don't let the situation resolve itself. Lots of blood will be covering your floor, and there's a good chance of infection, so go see your vet before the nail becomes infected.

If your dog continues to chew on his or her nails after you take him to the groomer, then it’s best to call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment.  If your vet determines that it is not a medical condition, then it is behavioral and needs to be addressed accordingly.

Join today and start getting popular.  It’s fun, free and the prizes are awesome! 

Like this article?

Orange Tabby Cats...Have More Fun!