Meko the Miracle Dog

The Hot Dig-Kitty-Dog Blog

Petpourri

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

Meko under the Christmas tree with the sleighYes, it is that time of year again, when the little ones start sniffing around the tree that is suddenly put up in the living room, searching out the cookies that they know are in one of the packages for them. By little ones, of course, I mean dogs. Cats are also curious by nature, but I'm not sure if they have the same interest in treats that dogs have, unless it is made of catnip!

But every Christmas, my girls, well, Meko actually, can't wait to open the presents that are under the tree with her name on them. And how does she know there are gifts under the tree for her? Look at the picture and tell me she doesn't think that everything in that sleigh has her name on it! Since we got this sleigh several years ago (from my sister, who painted it) and have designated it as the girls' toy sleigh, she elects herself 'protector of the sleigh' and will sit next to it for hours. She usually just sits next to it, quietly, like a little sentinel. Other times she can't wait any longer and will start making a quiet whine sound, barely audible, and then getting a little louder until I finally tell her to stop and leave the sleigh alone. Too cute!

 

 

In an effort to close down all puppy mills, the San Diego City Council voted to ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in all pet stores. The second largest city in the country to follow the ban, Los Angeles, already banning pet store sales, is the largest city.

Puppy mills are notorious for breeding animals under the most heinous conditions, forcing them to nurse their young under the most unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Driven only by profits, the animals are only useful to them as long as they are producing. The pet stores around the country and often found in shopping malls, are the biggest clients of puppy mill offspring.

To put an end to puppy mills and the continued mistreatment of the innocent animals in their possession, contact your city and state officials and convince them to follow in the footsteps of San Diego and Los Angeles by asking them to ban the sale of animals in pet stores. Dr. Gary Weitzman, CEO of the Humane Society, assures responsible and reputable breeders that they will not be affected by the ban.

 

 

 

 

                                                      

cat wrapped in blanket watercolor painting by artist DJ Geribo

 

There are lots of fun facts about cats and I found a few recently on the Purina website. One that I found very interesting, that a lot of you may not know, is that cats purr without taking a breath - they actually purr while inhaling and exhaling.

Another common misconception about cats is that they can see in the dark. They can, rather, see quite well in low light. In fact, they see about six times better than humans can at night. It all has to do with the construction of the cats' eyes which allow in more light. Which probably explains why they like going on the prowl at night.

Cats have amazing hearing such as the high-pitched sounds rats and mice make to communicate. This helps make them excellent hunters for reducing the rodent population in your home.

Although we do not have cats in our home since Jim is allergic, if he was not, I'm sure we would have at least one cat which would put us into the group of people who live with America's favorite pet (81 million). About 72 million homes have dogs.

If you've ever wondered why cats have such long whiskers, rest assured they aren't just for looks. They use their whiskers to measure whether or not they can fit through tight spaces. It also helps them detect objects when walking around in the dark. This is why you should never cut a cat's whiskers.

 

 

I'm pretty sure I've written about this in the past, but it is definitely something that needs repeating. Although we might love the summer heat and think our pets do also, too much heat can be deadly for our cats and dogs. Here are a few tips to remember and keep with you at all times.

1. Never, ever, ever leave your pet locked in a vehicle during the hot summer months. You might think, with the window opened a crack, that they are fine but the temperature inside the vehicle can heat up to 120 degrees in a few minutes when it is just 80 degrees outside.

2. When you travel with your pet, keep your vet's emergency number with you or find a local vet hospital and have that number readily available. The time to look for a vet's number is not when you are in the middle of an emergency.

3. Always make sure you have plenty of water on hand for your pet. Just like you need extra water to stay hydrated during the hot summer days, your pet needs to, also.

4. If you tie your dog up outside, make sure they not only have plenty of room to move around (and plenty of water on hand) but that they also have a shaded area to get out of the sun especially at the heat of the day. Again, too much sun can lead to heat stroke or death for your dog.

5. If you bring your dog for a walk with you, test the sidewalk temperature with your own feet. If the sidewalk is too hot for your feet, it will be too hot for your dog's feet, too.

6. Watch for signs of heat stroke in your cats, too. If they are panting for a long time, pacing, have increased heartbeat, an increased body temperature, and respiratory distress (all similar symptoms to dogs) they may be experiencing heat stroke. Encourage them to drink more water and add ice cubes to their water bowl.

7. This should go without saying but I'll say it anyway - avoid strenuous exercise with your dog when it is exceptionally hot outside. Just like you, your dog can overheat and too much running and playing can be too much for them. They will keep going if you keep playing - it is up to you as their caretaker to know better. Limit outdoor activity to 20 minutes and it is best to keep outdoor playtime to early morning or evening when it isn't as hot outside.

 

I remember one time seeing a man who was at least 6'4" tall running with his puppy, a Jack Russell Terrier. Obviously he wanted his dog to learn to run with him but at that young age, and with his incredible height difference and extra long legs, there was no way the little dog would be able to catch up. This was many years ago and I saw him a distance away from me so didn't have the opportunity to say anything before he was gone. If I saw something similar today, I would chase after the man and tell him how abusive he was being to such a tiny dog. It amazed me that he couldn't see the difference and I wondered why he didn't get a greyhound to go running with him instead. At least they would have been better matched!!!

 

 

Do you feel like you are making too many visits to the vet? Your dog or cat could be one of the breeds that is more prone to illness.

Because of their scrunched noses, the bull dog is often at the vet's office. Golden retrievers are likely to have hip dysplasia, especially as they age. Surgery can sometimes help but the condition causes much pain and suffering for your dog.

Surprising to me, Burmese mountain dogs, actually one quarter of them, are stricken with a genetic cancer of the lungs and lymph nodes.

Cats aren't safe, either. The ears of the Scottish fold cat can sometimes develop bone and cartilage deformities. And the Maine coon cat is sometimes afflicted with hereditary heart problems.

Be grateful if you have a pet who isn't prone to one of these conditions. To find out more about your breed of dog or cat, check with your vet or read as much online as you can before buying your pet. And remember, never purchase a dog or cat from a pet store. Wonderful dogs and cats can found, waiting for homes, at your local shelter.