Have you ever been in the park or walking down the street and noticed a dog with a yellow ribbon or scarf tied around their collar or leash? Did you think the dog's owner was just making a fashion statement? Actually, a yellow ribbon is meant as a warning to the public that caution should be observed when approaching this dog. This doesn't necessarily mean that the dog is aggressive. There are many reasons that a dog may need space. Some dogs have issues with anxiety, some get overly excited when approached by strangers, some may be in the process of being trained, and sometimes they are adjusting to a new dog walker. Whatever the reason, if you see a dog with a yellow ribbon, this dog needs space. Children, especially, need to be educated about the yellow ribbon as they tend to run up to every dog they see wanting to pet them. Of course, it is always wise to teach children to ask the owner or handler before petting any dog, but if they know about the yellow ribbon, they will know to avoid the situation altogether. Hopefully, this will avoid any unfortunate incidents.
The Yellow Dog Project is a nonprofit that is trying to educate the public about yellow ribbons. To get more information visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheYellowDogProject
February is the beginning of skunk mating season. While our thoughts turn to love each February, it seems that skunks are thinking about the same thing. They seem to be everywhere this year. While looking out my front window the other night, I saw one waddling across my sidewalk, two feet from my porch steps. As a professional pet sitter, I live in fear of a dog or cat in my care being sprayed by a skunk. The best way to reduce the risk of this happening is to not allow them to roam free, particularly at night. If dogs are kept in a fenced yard or on a leash, you dramatically reduce the risk. Underground fences, of course, offer no protection.
What should you do if your pet does get sprayed? There are many myths and old wive's tales about what works. I always heard tomato juice or vinegar, but I read that this actually only masks the smell. Also, there are solutions you can buy for this purpose, but that can be expensive. Although, thankfully, I have no experience with this, I did do a little online research and found this recipe and instructions for skunk odor removal. According to several articles from reputable sources, this works..although it may take several applications.
Put on old clothes and rubber gloves. Next, check the pet for any bites and scratches, as well as injuries to their eyes. Your veterinarian will need to be contacted if any injuries are found. Skunks can carry rabies. If the animal seems fine physically, proceed with bathing your pet. Time is of the essence here, as the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get rid of the stench. Put a couple of drops of mineral oil in your pet's eyes to protect from splashes, then mix together:
1 qt. of hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup of baking soda
1 to 2 tsp. of liquid soap such as Dawn
You can add lukewarm water as needed for large dogs. Mix these ingredients well. It is very important that you don't soak your pet with water before applying. Massage the solution into your pet's coat, but avoid the ears, eyes and mouth. Let the solution remain on your pet for at least 5 minutes, longer if necessary. Repeat as many times as needed.
During this season of hearts and flowers, keep an eye out for our black & white, furry friends who are seeking their own valentine, and I hope this is a recipe that you never have to use. :)
It always breaks my heart to read about dogs in hoarding situations that have never known a human's love. Hoping and praying there will be a happy ending for them all.
It's getting to be that time of year again. Warm weather, blooming flowers and trees, outdoor activities....and afternoon storms! Although thunderstorms can happen at any time of year, they are more likely to occur in Spring and Summer. If you have a dog that suffers from thunder phobia, you know this is not an issue that can be ignored. Your normally calm, relaxed pup can turn into a panting, pacing, clingy, nervous wreck. In severe cases, they become destructive, damaging your home and hurting themselves. Why does this happen to some dogs, and what can you do to relieve their anxiety?
Experts aren't exactly sure why dogs experience this, but suspect that it is a combination of thunder, lightning, wind, pressure changes, static electricity and low frequency sounds which precede a storm. Some believe that dogs receive painful shocks from static right before storms begin.
There is really no easy fix, but there are some things that you can do to help relieve your dog's panic.
1. Provide a safe place for them to hide like a bathroom or closet where they are free to come and go.
2. Teach your dog to lie calmly near you when the weather is good. When storms begin, use the same command so the dog knows what behavior is expected.
3. You can also try distracting your dog by playing with him, getting out a favorite toy or offering treats. Basically, you are trying to help him forget about what is going on and replace it with something he enjoys.
4. You could try competing with the noise by turning on music or television.
5. Many dog owners sing the praises of thunder shirts. Thunder shirts apply gentle pressure which is thought to calm the nervous system. One theory is that it changes the dog’s breathing pattern. It is important to put the thunder shirt on before anxious behavior begins so your dog doesn’t associate the thunder shirt with storms.
6. Another possible option is DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromones). This comes in the form of spray, plug-in diffusers, collars, etc. DAP is a synthetic version of the pheromones released by the mother dog during lactation. These pheromones are thought to give dogs a sense of calm and reassurance.
7. In severe cases, you may need to consult your veterinarian about anxiety medication.
Remember never scold your dog, and it is important to deal with this behavior as soon as you notice it. If left untreated, the behavior can become worse over time. Enjoy this beautiful warm weather and help your dog enjoy it too!
Last Friday I received a text message from my daughter, "Taking Huey to the vet! He is peeing outside the box and then keeps licking himself." A few hours later I received another text, "Now Huey can't pee at all!!" Fortunately, by that time she was at the vet and they quickly assessed Huey's problem....Urinary Tract Obstruction!
A male cat's urethra is much longer and narrower than a female’s. This makes some of them prone to blockages. A blockage is a medical emergency and veterinary care is needed immediately. When a cat cannot pee and his bladder fills to capacity, the kidneys stop working. Kidney failure can occur in as little as 24 hours and death in as little as 48 hours.
What causes this? The urethra can become blocked by the formation of crystals/stones. There are varying opinions as to why these form, but many experts believe that increasing water consumption will dilute the urine helping prevent crystals from saturating the urine. Cats typically have a low thirst drive, and if they are fed only dry food, they do not get the necessary amount of moisture to keep them well hydrated. This can contribute to urinary tract infections and blockages. Also, in many cases, cat water fountains will encourage your cat to drink more.
Possible signs of a urinary issues leading to obstruction:
1. Cat is straining to urinate and producing little to no urine. (You may notice he is spending a lot of time sitting in the litter box or if you use scoopable litter, notice small clumps instead of larger ones.
2. Peeing outside the box. An urgent need to pee might cause cats to go wherever they are instead of making the trek to the litter box.
3. Crying out while attempting to urinate. Obviously, his attempt to urinate is causing pain.
4. Blood in urine. Look for dark or bloody urine.
5. Other signs of illness. You may notice lethargy, vomiting or loss of appetite.
If your cat is unable to urinate, take him to the vet immediately! If it is after hours, he will need to see the nearest 24 hour emergency vet. The prognosis is good if care is begun right away. This is, however, not a "wait until morning" situation. Once the blockage is removed, the vet's office should be able to help you come up with a diet plan, etc. to help manage your precious kitty's urinary tract health.
* By the way, Huey is home from the hospital and back to his old self. : )
Hi, I'm Sherrie Sadler, owner and operator of On Their Own Turf Pet Care in Murfreesboro, TN. I have owned many pets over the years and love animals of all kinds. So, I decided to "do what I love" by opening a professional pet sitting business. I offer love and care to your beloved pets right "on their own turf" where they are most comfortable. Call us at 615-900-0845 or email.