Jan 27

It’s always nice to start the week out with some uplifting news:

  • Some of Michael Vick’s dogs are thriving on TLC while being rehabbed in the Bay Area.  Read abodog-reading-paper.jpgut it & watch the video, courtesy of  KPIX-TV.  Another wonderful article & a heartwarming slide-show are featured on msnbc.com.  Kudos to the Oakland shelter and volunteers for Bad Rap, a San Francisco Bay Area pit bull advocacy group, who are fostering and training some of the dogs.
  • Gracie May, a brown tabby cat, flew cross-country the hard way – in her guardians’ suitcase.  She crawled into the suitcase as they packed, without being noticed.  Read about her adventure & the happy ending, or watch the Today Show video.

I’d love to make “Good Mews” a regular feature in my blog, with your help.  If you’d like to share a story about local pets or good Samaritans, please do!

© 2008 CritterConsulting

Jan 17

I’ve found this quote helpful in all aspects of life: dog-and-cat-flower-pot.jpg

“It’s no trick loving somebody at their best.  Love is loving them at their  worst.”                                                                                                           

-Tom Stoppard, The Real Thing-



Jan 9

From the SF-SPCA‘s e-zine, “The Scoop”:

Millions of Americans regard their pets as members of the family, and we spend billions of dollars each year on supplies and services for them. There’s no doubt that we love our dogs and cats, but there are some simple things we can do to make them even healthier, happier and safer:

  • If you haven’t already done so, choose a good veterinarian for your pet.
  • A yearly wellness check-up, for both dogs and cats, which includes a medical and dental examination, is a pro-active way to ensure your pet’s health for the New Year.
  • If your pet is overweight, resolve to give him more exercise and to feed him a healthy diet.
  • It’s important to follow your vet’s guidance about vaccination schedules, for rabies and other deadly diseases.
  • Have your dog or cat tested for heartworm and other parasites.
  • If your pet is on medication, always follow the dosage instructions exactly.
  • Finish all the medication prescribed and get a refill when you’re supposed to.
  • It’s also important to keep a file of your pet’s medical records and history.
  • Have your pet spayed or neutered, if you haven’t already done so. This is the most important way to reduce the numbers of unwanted companion animals, and it also has health and behavioral benefits for your pet.
  • Have your cat or dog microchipped, because it’s the most effective way to recover a missing pet.
  • Keep a current photograph of your pet just in case he does get lost.
  • As a special New Year resolution for cats, the animal behaviorists at the San Francisco SPCA suggest daily play sessions with interactive toys for physical and mental fitness. And keep your cat indoors – she’ll live a longer, healthier life.
  • For dogs and puppies, the behaviorists recommend training or activity classes, which are loads of fun.
  • Resolve to go for a walk with your dog every day; this is a healthy activity for you and your pet!
  • And make it a very happy New Year by spending as much time as possible with your animal companion.
  • Jan 3

    Happy New Year to you & your furry family members!

    New years westie

    It struck me that I have the same experience each New Year, and I’d like to share it with you.  When midnight rolls around in my neighborhood, I hear the celebratory fireworks followed by a chorus of barking backyard dogs.  This saddens me greatly.  These pups are outside in the below-freezing temps, often tethered, and they’re frightened by the fireworks.

    PETA’s new psa illustrates a similar scenario, from a dog’s point of view.  Share it with your pet-loving friends:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSYUs5dLJgE

    Please provide your pets with a warm, safe, and secure environment throughout the year.  I wish all of you a cozy, contented New Year!

    ©  2008 CritterConsulting

    Jan 1

    Winter is approaching, and the days are getting shorter, cooler, and wetter.   Help your pets adjust comfortably to the new season.

    Christmas Boxer

    Shorter days can be unnerving, and possibly dangerous for your pets.  Consider your evening walks with your dog.  Lately, they’ve been well lit, but with dusk coming sooner, you may notice Rover’s anxious reaction to familiar  places and things along the way because everything looks different in the dimming light.  To help your pup relax, go for short daily dusk walks at first.  Take a few of Rover’s favorite things (treats, ball, squeaky) with you.  If he gets nervous, help him have fun via play and praise or treats  to reward bravery.  Or pick up the pace and jog a bit with your dog.  (Make sure you discuss any increase in your dog’s exercise routine with your vet first.)  As Rover relaxes, gradually increase the length of your walks.   It’s important to your dog that you feel safe also, as he can sense your emotional state and will react to it.  So make sure you walk where you feel comfortable.  Consider  wearing reflective clothing.   (For your pup, sahalie.com has a new reflective leash and collar.  Reflective vests are also available). Be sure to bring your indoor/outdoor cat in sooner, before dusk.  Cats are naturally more active at dusk, and will begin roaming sooner as the days get shorter.  To enrich Kitty’s longer nights indoors, consider several short,  interactive play sessions.  Start playing before sunset so your cat won’t mind being in with you.  This is a great outlet for her predatory instincts, and it can be very helpful with the “nighttime crazies”, including ankle ambushes, experienced by owners of young cats.

    ………….for a change in the weather

    Cold, damp conditions aren’t any more pleasant for your pet than for you.  Keep them warm and comfortable through the winter months.    This is especially important for short-coated pets who are less insulated from temperature extremes and for senior or arthritic dog and cats.

    Consider bringing your pet indoors as much as possible.  A warm place to snuggle is greatly appreciated.  Try a cushy bed  for your dog (his joints will thank you), with an extra blanket  to help him conserve body heat.   Your cat might enjoy a “cup” style bed lined with a newly warmed towel from the dryer.   Other helpful items include sweaters or jackets for pup (not just a fashion statement!) ; plastic heating discs that can be warmed in the microwave to provide all-night comfort; and heating pads.  Just be sure to supervise your pet closely when you introduce these items .  Safety must be considered along with comfort.  For example, chewing puppies cannot be trusted with heating devices.  If you have concerns, discuss them with your veterinarian.

    The rain is here.  Along with muddy paws, stormy weather can bring about house soiling problems.  Dogs who use pet doors may suddenly choose to potty inside, where it’s warm, dry, and well lit.  Increase your supervision with Pup, perhaps closing the dog door until you’re sure he’s making good choices.  Cats who eliminate outside in pleasant weather will appreciate a litter box indoors, in a private location.

    Many pets (and people) are afraid of thunderstorms.  Generally these fears intensify unless you help them cope.  Try playing with your pet, rather than petting & soothing him.  For more info on how to help your furry friend relax, or to prevent a fear from developing, call Critter Consulting for ideas.  Each pet requires a positive, unique approach to resolving this common anxiety.

    © 2008 CritterConsulting