Meko the Miracle Dog

The Hot Dig-Kitty-Dog Blog

The "Hot Dig-Kitty-Dog" Blog

Help Shelter Pets Official Blog Pages

persian cat notecard by dj geribo at help shelter pets detail imageIn the Northeast United States where I live, it gets very cold in the winter months, January and February in particular. For some odd reason, some people think that just because their dog or cat has fur, that they can withstand any temperature, no matter how cold it gets. This is simply not true and if they decide to leave their pets out in this frigid weather, they will soon discover the dire consequence of committing such a crime: their animals will freeze to death.

This is a gentle reminder that if you are cold your pet is cold, too. Bring them indoors. If you do not allow dogs or cats in your house (and personally, I have to wonder why someone would have a dog or cat if they didn't allow them in the house since they are members of your family) at least have a warm place for them in your basement or a shed where they can get out of the frigid temperatures.


Help Shelter Pets Persian cat card sold in The Card Shop

Almost everyone I know who has a dog or a cat complains about the bad breath problem, particularly from their dog german shorthaired pointer notecard by dj geribo at help shelter pets thumbnail image(since they are more apt to want to kiss their owners than a cat does.) But bad breath can be a serious problem and lead to gum disease and teeth extractions, and they should have their teeth cleaned regularly. Small dogs seem to have more of a problem with this than bigger dogs, who are more apt to chew beef bones that help clean their teeth.

We just had Meko's teeth cleaned in November and now Kitsu will be having her teeth cleaned in February. Our dog's vet offers teeth cleaning discounts in February - your dog's vet probably offers teeth cleaning discounts, too.

A regular teeth cleaning is all part of good health maintenance, just the same as we do for ourselves.


Help Shelter Pets German Short-Haired Pointer dog card sold in The Card Shop.

yorkshire-terrier-young-notecard-by-dj-geribo-at-help-shelter-pets-detail-imageYour 3-year old is crying for a new puppy for Christmas. As a parent, you want to give your child everything their heart desires. But wait, what about the puppy? First of all, a 3-year-old is too young to make any kind of decision about bringing a puppy into the home. The first time the fingers go into the puppy's mouth and those sharp little teeth bite down, you'll be dumping the innocent pup at the local shelter. Spare the pup the trauma and start first with a guinea pig, and not until your child is about 5-years-old. For 5-to 10-year-olds mice, rats, or fish are good choices for pets. Your child will learn about responsibility in the form of cleaning a cage or a tank and making sure the new pet has food each day.

Not until a child is between 10 and 13 are they ready to take on the responsibility of a dog or even a cat. Both demand a certain amount of time each day (dogs more than cats) and need to be fed, have water, and played with or make sure they have some kind of exercise. But as the parent, you should always oversee the child's responsibility and make sure the animal is taken care of everyday.

And then there is all the excitement around the holidays not to mention company that can terrify a new dog or cat. There should be quiet and a normal everyday environment for them to come into when you bring a new pet home. Wait a month or so after the holidays before you purchase a new pet, especially a puppy.

If your 3-year-old wants a puppy for Christmas, they make some very life-like stuffed animals.


Help Shelter Pets Yorkshire Terrier puppy card sold in The Card Shop.


MekoKitsuspecialdinner1It is that time of year again, the Christmas holiday season, when our dogs and cats have access to more food items that can either be fatal to your pet or at least make them very sick. Here are some of the worst that you should never feed your pets or make sure they do not have access to the following:

1. chocolate (seems dark is worse than milk but it is best to avoid giving or letting your pets get access to any chocolate)

2. onions

3. xylitol (found in sugar-free gum and candy)

4. grapes and raisins

5. avocados

6. macadamia nuts (they should not be fed most nuts. Some dogs tolerate peanuts just fine whereas others can develop allergies like people do or eating the nuts will give them diarrhea - I know this one for a fact!)

7. fatty and fried foods


This is a short list, I'm sure there are many others, but some of these are more readily available this time of year than at other times. But at least be sure to keep this particular list of foods out of the reach of your pets.


Meko and Kitsu eating a special Thanksgiving dinner....without onions or anything else that is not good for them!


If you have both cats and dogs in your family and are having trouble getting the two comfortable living in the same house, this article, together with last week's article on Friends and Foes will hopefully help bring calm and contentment back into your home.  To continue from last week:

6. Let them smell each other, from a distance. Bring  a shirt or towel with your dog's smell on it to the cat and place in near the cat's bed or somewhere around its area. And do the same with the cat - use a towel or blanket with your cat's odor on it and bring it to the dog's area. Then also rub the item from the dog on the cat and the item from the cat on the dog, to get the other pet's smell on them. Once they have been around the other's scent for awhile, it won't seem like you are introducing each of them to a stranger.

7. Make sure your cat's litter box is in a private area, away from the dog.

8. Be sure to trim your cat's claws, which can seriously injure your dog if the cat feels threatened. DO NOT ever declaw your cat - it is a painful experience for the cat and your cat will feel completely defenseless around the dog.

9. Your dog and cat should also have their own eating areas. Your dog will most likely want to eat the cat's food so for this reason alone their food should be separate (your dog will eat more than its share and gain unwanted weight and your cat will be hungry all the time.)

10. Let the pair figure out for themselves if they want to be friends. You really can't force anything between them.


Hopefully having dogs and cats in your home will result in a harmonic atmosphere for all concerned. If the dog or cat is stressed around the other all the time, perhaps finding one of them another home is the only and best solution.


(This article was excerpted from an article at



News about Help Shelter Pets.

Life with our "pack" - Meko, Kitsu, and Jacquay.

Musings by the Cofounders of Help Shelter Pets.

News about and shared by the shelters we're supporting.

Stories you've shared with us about your adopted pets.

Animal news, product reviews, and other useful information for pet owners.