Daily Archives: December 28, 2011
Have you ever secretly wanted to name one of our rescue puppies? Or maybe you would like to foster our puppies – but without the mess. Well your wish is granted!
Volunteers of Sadie Mae Foundation recently rescued Brandy and her ELEVEN puppies – and you have the opportunity to name or ‘virtually foster’ them!
You don’t have to open the door to the great outdoors to give your cat a more interesting life. In fact, by just looking at your home from a pet’s point of view and adding a few environmental enrichments, your cat can be both safe and happy indoors. Here are five easy ways to get going:
1. Think Vertical
Cats love to climb, so give them the opportunity. Cat trees mounted floor-to-ceiling, wrapped with sisal rope and studded with platforms for perching will give your cat the opportunity to look down on the rest of the world. This is especially satisfying if there are dogs in the household. What cat wouldn’t like the chance to finally look down on the dog?
2. Add Toys
The cat with the most toys wins. Every indoor cat should have toys for batting around, toys for chasing, toys to hide inside and toys for interactive play. And don’t forget that some of those toys ought to have catnip in them. While not all cats can enjoy the fragrant herb, those who do find it extremely blissful. If your cat is a catnip junkie, indulge him frequently. Rub fresh catnip onto cat trees or scratching posts, or stuff it into toys. It’s perfectly safe for your cat to enjoy the buzz.
Some of the most enjoyable toys for both people and cats are the interactive ones. Every cat lover should have a “kitty tease” toy, typically a flexible rod with a line that ends in something furry or feathery to engage a cat’s prey drive. Other interactive toys include gloves with goodies dangling from the fingertips, or laser pointers that offer cats a spot of light to chase. (Just be careful not to aim the beam into your cat’s eyes).
3. Provide Rooms with Views
Whatever the size of the house, your indoor cat will know every one of its sights and sounds within just a few days. Provide a little visual stimulation by putting a bird feeder outside a window fitted with a cat-sized ledge that allows for comfortable viewing.
Be aware, though, that the view of the world isn’t always going to work for your cat. If your yard is attracting other cats from the neighborhood, your own cat may become frustrated by the sight (he can even turn that frustration into attacks on people in the house!). Blocking visiting cats from your yard or discouraging them with sprinklers may solve the problem. Otherwise, you may have to make certain windows off-limits to your own cat.
If a window view isn’t going to work, try a TV. A few companies offer DVDs for cats. Pop one of these in, and it will entertain your cat with a lively mix of feline-friendly images and sounds, including those of birds and rodents.
4. Go Green
Cats love nibbling on plants. Any decent feline reference book will provide a list of plants which should not be in a pet-friendly house. You can also visit the Animal Poison Control Center for information on dangerous plants.
After you get the unsafe ones out of the way, protect your decorative houseplants by hanging them up or otherwise placing them out of reach. Keep cats from digging in your decorative pots by putting a layer of small, rough stones over the dirt. You can then add a collection of accessible plants (such as grass shoots) for him to rub.
5. Give Face Time
Of course, one of the best things you can do for your indoor cat is to spend time with him. Playing, grooming, petting or just plain hanging out — it’s all good. Your cat loves you and loves spending time with you.
Keeping a cat inside is one of the best ways to ensure a long and healthy life, but it won’t be a very happy existence unless you’re going to add some intrigue to the surroundings. It doesn’t take much in the way of time or effort, so get going. Your cat will thank you!
Veterinarians are seeing more cases of dogs who are high on pot than they have in recent memory, according to a newspaper report from Colorado.
“We used to see maybe one case a year,” Stacee Santi, a veterinarian in Durango, Colo., told the Durango Herald. “Now we’re seeing a couple a month.”
Why the increase? In part, because medical marijuana has made the herb more accessible. It also helps that pot is rather appealing to the canine palate.
“Dogs love the stuff,” veterinarian Jennifer Schoedler said. “I’ve seen them eat the buds, plants, joints and marijuana in food.”
And sometimes people who are operating in the Land of High decide it would be fun to blow marijuana smoke on a dog’s face to see a dog get stoned.
Dogster’s very own Eric Barchas, DVM, devotes a page on his website to marijuana intoxication in pets. He writes:
Serious long-term health consequences and fatality from marijuana intoxication are essentially unheard of. However, pets that are exposed to marijuana may display anxiety and disorientation, and are prone to ‘bad trips.’ “
Here are some more symptoms, taken directly from Dr. Barchas’s pot and pets page:
• Drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur.
• After exposure to marijuana, pets may lose bowel and bladder control. This results in house soiling.
• Extreme responses to noises, movements, and other forms of sensory stimulation may occur in pets that are exposed to marijuana. These responses can manifest as trembling or jerking of the head or extremities. In severe cases, the responses may appear similar to seizures.
That doesn’t sound like much fun at all. This isn’t your hang-out-and-be-very-mellow-and-eat-anything-you-can high. Dogs tend to react a little (or a lot) differently to some substances than we do.
Some people use marijuana to medicate their dogs who have bad arthritis or other painful maladies. I wonder if the reaction to pot is different in dogs who need relief from pain than it is from pain-free dogs? Have you heard of people doing this, and if so, do you know how things turned out?
(Additional source: SF Weekly)