Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How to care for a hedgehog

Most of the pets we board are dogs, cats and occasionally rabbits, but when we recently had an inquiry on boarding a hedgehog, we decided to look into this interesting pet to get some more information!

1
Finding a good breeder. Finding a great breeder to purchase your hedgehog from is paramount.  If you don't, you could end up with a grumpy hedgehog that may die young. Avoid any breeder who posts on Craigslist. Do not buy them from pet stores. Be sure the breeder has quality, pedigree stock with no WHS or cancer in their lineage. See that the breeder is USDA licensed or is a part of breeders groups. Ask to see their set-up and meet their hedgehogs. Don't forget to check for illness.

Bringing the hedgehog home appropriately. Before purchase, make sure you have everything you need set up and ready to go. Allow the hedgehog at least a month to become familiar with you, the new scents, and the new surroundings. They have just experienced a huge change in their life!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Cat's Point of View at Christmas and the holidays!


Your holiday candles are irresistible for us!  You know how we love to 'paw-test' everything to see what it is!  And what cat, especially those inquisitive kittens, doesn't like to sniff and explore!  But singed paws and whiskers are very painful to us.  We surely don't want to create a fire hazard!  Try those electric candles they have, the are all the rage and are safe for all of us.  Also try to put them out of 'paw reach'.  Oh, and remember the fireplace screen - it's too hot for your furry friends and little tots!
  
We cats love your holiday plants!  We rarely eat them, but we do so enjoy clawing and licking them!  But remember that poisonous holiday plants could cause us tummy trouble that could ruin our holidays. Help us out and use silk or plastic holiday plants make an equally showy statement without the poison potential.

What temptation those trees are to us!  It's natural for us to think you've bought a new climbing perch, complete with cat toys that swing, sparkle, and invite paw-pats and biting. We love heights you know and what a challenge it is for us to climb and knock the whole thing down. You would be so proud if we make to the top! 
  
One year my owners made it hard for me to even get close to the tree!  They put aluminum foil all around the tree, and they know I don't like that odd feeling when I walk on it! I thought the shiny surface was part of the decoration!   They are so clever that they even dipped white cotton balls in Vicks and stuck them in the tree, knowing that my sense of smell would keep me away!  It looked like real snow; imagine my surprise when I got a whiff of menthol!

But I think I have finally figured it all out!  Who needs that tree with all of those tricks!  I am purrfectly content with a few empty boxes, big ragged bows and that crinkly paper that makes such a great sound! 

And please keep the holiday nog out of my paw's reach...It's like milk, after all...

    

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Advice from a Dog's Point of View!


Be especially patient with your humans!  They may be more stressed than usual so give them long, comforting 'doggie leans' and big sloppy, wet kisses!



Be tolerant if your humans put decorations on you.  Smile in appreciation and don't worry that you look ridiculous; they think you are adorable!






They may bring a tree into the house and set it up in your special space and cover it with lights, decorations and things they call 'gifts'.  Stay on their good side and remember:

  • Don't "go" on the tree
  • Don't drink the water in the big water bowl that holds the tree
  • Don't wag your tail when you are near the tree, even if you think you have plenty of room
  • Don't rip open the packages, even if your name is on them
  • Don't chew on the cord that connects the tree to the wall,  it's not a chew toy
  • Don't try to take the colorful balls off the tree or lay on the branches and bat at them 

Your humans may have lots of people over.  These parties can be lots of fun, but they also call for some discretion on your part:

  • Not all strangers appreciate kisses and doggie leans or kitties rubbing up against them
  • Don't eat off the buffet table, tempting and available as it looks (unless no one is looking of course)
  • Beg for goodies subtly, be pleasant, and above all, don't drool (humans can be so picky after all)
  • Let a strangers sit in your favorite spot on the sofa (maybe they will let you join them since you left it all nice and warm for them)
  • Don't drink out of glasses that they leave right next to you (even though you are more than happy to share your water bowl with them)
  • They might have really sparkling candles called Menorahs and they will be really sad if you knock them over (so limit the tail wagging around them just to be safe)



And the most important thing of all...A big man with a white beard and a very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night...DON'T BITE HIM!! 
Show him the reason for the season!

Monday, December 15, 2014

DIY First Aid Kit for Your Pet

Pet First Aid


Take some time and create your own first aid kit for your pet. If they could thank you, they would!


Chances are, your family knows exactly which cabinet to turn to at the sight of a runny nose, a splinter, blood, or tummy ache. But when your pet is in need of more than a scratch behind the ears, are you ready? Proper preparation is the best tool to arm yourself with in case of a pet emergency. A pet first aid kit is a smart, personalized, easily created resource that will prepare you to think quickly and logically. It is also something you can pack with you when you take your pet with you on a road trip!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rabies or Titers?

There is a simple test which may help determine if your dog needs a booster vaccine.
Vaccinations are critical to the well-being of dogs and they protect dogs from potentially deadly, infectious diseases such as distemper and parvovirus. However, vaccination is not without possible side effects—some of which can be life-threatening—so it is imperative to avoid over-vaccination.
Many veterinarians now offer a blood test—called a vaccine titer—to determine whether a dog is protected against these common viruses. Vaccine titers are performed by obtaining a blood sample at a dog’s annual examination and checking it for the presence of antibodies against these diseases.
If your dog still has antibodies three years after their most recent vaccine, a booster vaccine is usually not recommended. If a dog has a negative vaccine titer—meaning there are no measurable antibodies circulating in the blood stream—re-vaccination should be considered.
On September 6, 2014 I held a free Vaccine Titer Clinic sponsored by Spectrum Labs, the creators of VacciCheck Antibody Test Kit! Spectrum Labs donated the test kits to help me spread the word about this healthy vaccination alternative!
Check out our exciting results!
• 60 dogs were tested. All of these dogs were due for their annual checkup and 3 year vaccination. In other words, these dogs would have all been vaccinated at their next checkup.
• 54 dogs (90%) had protective levels of antibody for all viruses tested and did not require a vaccine this year!
This is just one excellent example of how using vaccine antibody titers can help us prevent over-vaccination. Ask your vet about it at your dog’s next checkup!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fleas in the winter?

Many pet owners believe that once winter hits, they no longer need residential pest control because their pet’s flea infestations will be over…at least for a few months. However, fleas continue to be a problem during the winter, and if you like to keep your home nice and warm (who doesn't?), then those pesky fleas have the perfect home.
Where To Find Fleas
Your home is a great place for fleas to breed during the winter, which not only continues your flea problem, but it also sets the stage for a more severe infestation in the spring. While fleas might spend most of their time on your pet, you should also carefully inspect your carpet, living room furniture and beds to see if they’re hiding out there. Anywhere your pet has traveled in your home should be checked carefully.
Problems Fleas Cause
Fleas feed on blood from your pet when they bite. This can cause serious skin damage for your pet, and in kittens and puppies, the problems are magnified. Smaller animals can even become anemic after suffering too many bites. Not to mention, they can bite people too, even if such cases are rare.
Do-it-yourself residential pest control rarely works because the chemicals available in the store simply aren't strong enough. The best flea control method is by treating the area with professional-grade chemicals. Don’t let fleas get you or your pet down this winter. 

Contact your local residential pest control company for quick elimination of your flea problem before it gets out of control.
SOURCE:  Allison Pest Control