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KitsuhealthynoseHow many times have you touched your dog's nose and it is dry? I know when I have felt my dog's nose and felt that it is dry and warm, to me, it was like I was taking my dog's temperature and the indication was that she wasn't feeling well. I usually did this after she appeared sluggish or not like her usual playful self.

By all reports, this is an accurate indication that your dog is not feeling well. Our dogs should have moist, smooth-surfaced noses with a consistent temperature to the pads of their feet. Dogs that are ill aren't able to keep themselves hydrated. They also most likely aren't eating normally which will add to their dehydration.

Keep an eye on your dog and watch her behavior. If she stops eating or drinking water, check her nose to see if it is dry, and then contact your veterinarian for proper care.


Ginger acrylic painting by DJ GeriboTo most of us, a purring cat seems to be a cat displaying that it is a happy cat. But that might not be true. A purring cat can also be a cat that is scared or threatened by something in its surroundings. It also might be purring because it is trying to vocalize to get your attention for food.

If you approach a cat that is purring, don't assume it is happy to see you. It just might be feeling threatened. Ear and tail position can be telling another story other than how happy he is to see you!

MekograsseaterIf you have a dog, there's a good chance you've seen it out in your yard, at one time or another, grazing. Sometimes one of my dogs can't get out of the house fast enough. I'm thinking she has to go to the bathroom really bad. But no, she doesn't have to go at all but starts eating grass immediately. All of our dogs occasionally eat grass, some eat it more than others. When Kitsu runs out and starts eating grass, I have connected it to an upset stomach- her stomach had been growling and grumbling all through the night. Eating grass can induce vomiting in dogs.

Some dogs eat grass because of a deficiency. Try adding some greens and vegetables to your dog's diet, like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, or parsley. Also, a variety of fruits will help, just make sure that the fruits and the vegetables are steamed and finely chopped and then mixed with their regular food.

And then other dogs may eat grass because they are in a restricted environment and they are just looking for some stimulation. Give your dog some appropriate chew toys to engage him in a healthy activity.


phoca thumb l camouflaged-kitty-painting-by-artist-dj-geriboAmong all the cat myths we've heard, the one that states that 'cats always land on their feet', is perhaps one that is most well-known. But, you may wonder, is it true? The simple answer is 'no.'

In an article on Paw Nation, a cat has a better chance of righting himself if he falls from a height greater than one to two-stories. As he falls, he is able to spread his weight across his body to slow down his fall causing less of an injury than an animal falling from a lower height. Of course, the consequences of such a fall can also cause the animal to sustain a variety of internal injuries, from skin lacerations to organ injuries and fractures. Also, if a cat is obese or physically compromised in any way, it may not be able to right itself, no matter how long or short the fall. The bottom line: It is best to keep your cat away from an open window or area where there is a possibility of him falling a great distance and sustaining irreparable injuries.

In other words, don't test the myth!



  Painting of 'Camouflaged Kitty' by DJ Geribo

phoca thumb l piglet-bath-nap-painting-by-artist-dj-geriboWe all know how much our dogs want to please us. But sometimes they can go overboard when they want to continue to play when it is too hot to do so. They can suffer from heat stroke the same as we can and it is up to us to assure that they are safe and kept cool.

If you are going out and want to take your dog or cat with you, be sure that, wherever you go, your pet will be cool. If you leave them in the car, keep your car running. In a matter of minutes the inside of a vehicle can reach temps well over 100 degrees. These temperatures can have devastating effects on your pet.

If your pet is overweight, put them on a diet and make sure they get plenty of exercise. Also, for long-haired breeds, those double coats can be heavy and uncomfortable. But remember, if you give them a 'summer shave', be sure to keep them out of the hot sun because their skin, like ours can get sun-burned. Although you might be tempted to put sunscreen on your pet, doing so can cause your pet to lick it off, which can make your pet sick.

If you put them outside, be sure to put them in an area that provides a lot of shade. And although it may be shady in the early morning before you leave for work, you should realize that the sun will move during the day and your pet may be stuck with the hot sun beating down on them with no place to go to get out of it. Also, provide an area other than on asphalt which can easily burn the sensitive pads on their feet.

Ice cubes are a good summer treat for your pet. They sometimes tend to drink too much water to cool themselves off and then end up throwing up some of the water. Ice cubes are a good way for them to get the water they need without drinking too much.

If you want to cool your pet down in a hurry, put cool water on their feet. Unlike people, dogs don't sweat but instead cool themselves through their panting and their feet. When one of my Pomeranians was a puppy, she would dig in her water bowl.

Again, although an ice cream always seems to make us feel better in the hot summer, avoid such treats for your pets who can be lactose-intolerant. All of my dogs have had a problem with dairy over the years. Dairy products can cause diarrhea in both dogs and cats. Ice cream is also high in sugar and fat, neither of which your pet needs. There are treats for dogs on the market that are milk-free or you can make your own. You can also put cat-nip into an ice cube for a treat for your cat.

(Painting of Pig Napping in Water Bowl by DJ Geribo)




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