Does Your Pet Dream?

Many people have long believed that their pets dream. Twitching noses and wiggling paws are often taken as evidence of deep sleep adventures. While it is currently impossible to know for sure if Fido is chasing one hundred mailmen or if Fluffy is dreaming of opening the world’s largest can of tuna, recent research indicates that your pet does indeed dream.

Like you, your pet’s dreams often include things they experienced during the day. Matthew Wilson and Kenway Louie, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently did a study on the brains of sleeping rats. During the day, they ran the rats through mazes and recorded their brain activity. They found that while the rats slept, their brains engaged in the same patterns. The brain activity patterns were so specific that the researchers were even able to identify particular areas of the maze in the rats’ dreams. These findings suggest that animals dream in much the same way that people do.

When you see your four-legged friend dreaming, don’t wake them! Our pets need deep sleep time to stay in good health. Normally, little jerks and twitches during sleep are incredibly adorable and not a cause for concern. However, if you notice your pet’s movements becoming exaggerated like they are having a seizure or if they appear to be in pain, you may want to videotape their sleep and show it to your veterinarian. Make sure your pet eats right and gets plenty of exercise and their sleep cycles should be absolutely purrfect. Most likely, they will be having sweet dreams about their wonderful day with you!

Rub-a-Dub, Cats in the Tub

The best part about giving your cat a bath is that you don’t have to do it often. Most cats are not big fans of getting even small sprinkles of water on their fur, so bath time tends to involve splashing, scratching, plenty of mewing and sometimes a bit of resentment until kitty dries off.  You may not find your feline friend lounging in the tub any time soon, but you can take a few simple steps to make bath time a little more pleasant for kitty and for you.

Pull on a pair of rubber gloves because even the sweetest cat is likely to claw and scratch when bath time rolls around. Next, get some gentle pet shampoo. Cats don’t like strong scents on their fur and they don’t like getting shampoo in their eyes any more than you do. Don’t try to dunk kitty in the tub! Instead, fill the sink with about 3 inches of warm water. Gently wet your cat from his shoulders to his tail, lather him up and rinse him off. If necessary, clean his face with a washcloth. After the bath, wrap your cat in a large towel (bonus points if you warm the towel in the dryer!) and try to get as much water off of him as possible. Try using blow-dryer on a low setting if you have a long-haired cat who isn’t too frightened of the noise.

Luckily, most of the time cats are self-cleaning creatures. From time to time, your cat may soil himself in a litter box accident or need a flea-bath, but thankfully these incidents are few and far between. Kitty’s best friend will probably never be rubber ducky, but at least now you know you can make bath time a little less difficult. Do you have any tips to make bath time easier for you and your cat? Please feel free to share in the comments!

5 Thanksgiving Tips You and Your Dog Will Be Thankful For

Preparing a Thanksgiving feast can be a difficult time for you and your dogs.  Due to all the chaos dogs often times can find themselves feeling neglected and indulging themselves in a little too much turkey.  This Thanksgiving follow these helpful tips to help keep you and your dog happy and safe.

  1.  Don’t neglect your pet.  During all the hustle and bustle of preparing a Thanksgiving feast your pets may start to feel neglected.  Take the time to play with and/or walk you pet.  Not only will it make them feel loved but it will make them more inclined to rest while you continue to prepare and eat your turkey dinner.
  2. Don’t leave the turkey unattended.  The rich aroma of a cooked turkey is enough to make anyone want to dig in but even an uncooked turkey is irresistible to a dog.  Raw meat, turkey bones and dark turkey meat can all be harmful to your dog.  Cooked dark turkey meat and turkey skin are difficult to digest and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis.
  3. Clean as you go.  Continue to clean and tidy the kitchen as you go.  Not only will it save you a huge mess at the end of the night but it will eliminate potential hazards to your dog.
  4. Keep the trashcan out of reach.  Many dogs can’t resist the smell of food, even if it has already been disposed.  Keep your trashcans in a safe place away from your dogs so there are no temptations to dig in.
  5. Give your pet a Thanksgiving treat.  Allow your pet to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner without begging for scraps at the table.  Giving your pet a Kong filled with white turkey meat and dog food will keep your pet satisfied and out of trouble.  If your pet finishes their treat while other guests are continuing to enjoy their dinner, don’t cave in to their begging, you wouldn’t want them to over indulge.

We hope these tips will help you and your loving companions to have a Thanksgiving that you can be thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Smartphones Lead to Smart Pet Owners

Like owner like pet!  Each year Americans are getting fatter and our pets are too!  According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) we are “obesogenic.”  In layman’s terms our environment tends to encourage excessive weight gain.  This helps to explain why 51.5% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese.  Just like us our pets are at risk for osteoarthritis, insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, several forms of cancer, and much more.

Owners can prevent their pet from being exposed to obesity simply by feeding them the right amount of food.  But how do we know how much is too much for our pet?  CU-PetHealth, a new app created by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University for iPhones and iPads, may be the perfect solution for us tech savvy Americans.  CU-PetHealth can be compared to many other pet apps that allow users to store their pet’s medical history and set reminders for upcoming vet appointments.  But CU-PetHealth goes above and beyond all other apps by allowing the user to find out the proper amount of food to feed their dog or cat based on age, weight and other factors.  Keep being a smart pet owner simple and purchase CU-PetHealth for $3.99 on iTunes.

Blue Buffalo Company Recall

On October 8, 2010 Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd, recalled certain dry dog food products due to the possibility of harmfully high levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is healthy for dogs in small amounts but in high doses may cause dogs to become lethargic, consume an abnormally large amount of water and increase urination. The affected products, Blue Wilderness Chicken, Basics Salmon and Large Breed Adult Chicken dry dog foods, were distributed nationwide to pet specialty stores like vetdepot. If your pet consumed one of the recalled products and is exhibiting symptoms of a Vitamin D overdose, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.  If you purchased any of the named products please contact the place of purchase for a full refund; you may also call Blue Buffalo Company with any questions or concerns at 1-877-523-9114.