Archive for July, 2010

Moving With Pets
July 23, 2010

Dear Liz – We’re moving next month but I’m not sure how to do this without stressing my pets out.  Got any suggestions?

Signed, Excited in Essex.

Dear Excited – Congratulations on the move!  My first thought is that depending on the age of the animals you have, you might want to do a few different things…

If your pets are younger and easily adapt to different situations, a move might not be an issue.  Just pack them up when the time is ready and get them to the new place.  You may, though, want to confine them to a single room while you’re getting everything into the new house so they don’t accidentally get out and run off in all the excitement.  Keep their things with them so they have something familiar to see and smell, to reduce any anxiety they may have.  Make SURE you have identification on them for the “just in case”.  This way, if they do run off, you have a way to get them back.

If your pets are older, it’s going to stress them out completely to move.  Try putting them into boarding or have them at a friend’s house while you actually move.  Keeping some of their things with them will help as well.  Toys, bedding, etc., can be comforting.

Set up a place for them at the new house.  Make sure everything is familiar to them and make sure the house is settled and quiet before you bring them home.  This MAY mean keeping them in boarding or at your friend’s home for up to a week, but it will be well worth it in the long run.  Bring them home only after the hustle and bustle is settled.

Once they’re in the new place, lavish them with attention as they may still be anxious.  If all your efforts don’t’ work and, say, your pet does not eat or return to a normal routine, contact your vet as some anti anxiety medication might be in order while your pet adjusts.

Have a wonderful time in your new place!

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Stray Cats
July 14, 2010

Dear Liz – We live in an area with a population of stray cats.  We’ve been feeding them while trying to place them but no shelter wants them.  What do we do?

Signed, Strays in Seymour

Dear Seymour:  First, let me thank you for trying to help!  The stray cat population has exploded in CT, unfortunately.  I do have suggestions, though, that might help in the long run.

It is up to each, individual, town in the state to mandate whether or not their municipal animal shelters will accept stray cats.  Find out if your town does take them in.  If not, you might want to get a group going to try and change that!

Cats will always be dumped as they’re the “throw away” pets (along with flushing fish down the toilet), but if we mandate that each town has to take care of their cat population, it might elevate the status of cats (and goldfish!).

In the mean time, see if your neighborhood will get a fund together to spay / neuter the cat population there.  There are low cost spay & neuter clinics around that can help.  There are also groups who help with trapping these cats (if they’re feral) and getting them vaccinated as well.  If it’s just you and a stray cat that’s shown up on your doorstep, you can still use the advice listed here.

Look on www.Petfinder.com – Plug in that you’re looking for cats in CT.  Then call every shelter you can to see if they can take in at least one.  If they say they’re full (and most likely they are) get on a waiting list for intakes or call them every few days.  This will be a lot of work, but if it helps just one cat, it’s worth it!

Set up cat houses in the areas where the cats stay.  This will at least protect them from inclement weather.  Cat houses can be just dog houses (the plastic, Igloo type work great) that are set up, a bit off the ground.  You can find used ones in any local paper or on the internet.  Again, even if it’s just one cat that’s found its way to your house, setting up some kind of shelter for it would be great.

Report any sick looking cats!  Remember that Rabies is very prevalent in the state and cat populations are affected often.  If you see a stray cat acting in a strange manner, be sure to keep away from it and all the others as well.  Call your animal control officer right away.

Work with your animal control officer or cat rescue if they’re open to it.  They can have great resources to try and help.

If it sounds like I don’t have an immediate solution for you, you’re right.  I don’t.  The cat population has been ignored and allowed to boom in every state.  Unfortunately, there is not a quick fix in sight and each town has to decide how they want to handle this issue.

Hot Dogs!
July 5, 2010

There is nothing better, or worse, than a hot dog!  A good dog, grilled just right, covered in mustard and sour kraut is the best.  A dog that’s over heated is, you guessed it, the worst!

So, while I’m sure you all know what to do with the first kind, I’ve set up a few reminders on the second…

  1. NO dog likes the heat.  NO dog…. So the best place for them is obviously in a cool place, like an air-conditioned room or a shady spot under a tree.  Remember, though, that the sun moves so keep an eye on your pooch so that he’s not in the shade in the morning and the sun by mid day. ALWAYS make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water available.
  1. Cars are not a place to keep ANY animal!  A car parked on hot pavement heats up VERY quickly and pets left inside can be overcome and die before you know it.
  1. Speaking of becoming over heated…. IF your pet becomes over heated, move it to a cool place immediately.  Put cold bottles (soda, etc) between the dog’s front and back legs (if the dog is lying down) or pour water over the dog to cool it down.  Immediately contact your veterinarian and keep cooling the dog down on the way if he does not respond appropriately.  Dogs can die of heat stroke.
  1. Remember, too, that walking your dog on hot pavement can actually burn the pads of their feet. If it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot on the pavement, it’s too hot for your dog as well.  And try to walk him first thing in the morning or after dinner, when the pavement isn’t as hot.
  1. If your dog is of the long hair variety and you’ve chosen to shave him, make sure to keep him out of the sun!  Dogs can get sunburn and dogs with shaved fur have less protection against the sun’s rays.