Monday, 24 April 2017

Some Quirky Dog Stuff....

I've once again been delving through the archives to dig out a few pieces of dog-related trivia that you may find of interest.

The Year Of The Dog 

If you were born in the years 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 you were, in Chinese astrology, born under the sign of the dog. You are deemed to loyal and discreet but also slightly temperamental!

Dog's Faces And Longevity

If your dog has a sharp wolf-like face it will typically outlive a flat-faced dog such as a bulldog.

A Dog's Urine Can Be THIS Corrosive!

Scientists in Croatia discovered that a chemical in the urine of male dogs was responsible for metal lampposts rotting and even falling down!

If You Do This You're Not Alone..

A survey found that around a third of dog owners have spoken to their dog on the phone or left a message for their canine friend while they were away from home.

Your Dog Not Only Dreams....

Research suggests that small breed dogs (and puppies) dream more than large dogs. A Toy Poodle for example may dream every ten minutes while a bigger breed such as a Golden Retriever or Great Dane may only dream once every hour to ninety minutes or so.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

5 Interesting Things About Cat Allergies

Having owned several cats over the years and run a pet business that put me in front of hundreds more, it has always been of interest to me why I was only 'allergic' to a certain few.  

Other people had told me the same thing about cats that they had owned, developing an allergic reaction to a new cat is more common than perhaps some realise.

I thought I would share with you a few interesting facts that my research has thrown up over the years.

  • A cat's dander (dead skin and hair) acts as a vehicle for the two proteins Fel d 1 and Fel d 4 which on becoming airborne (especially after grooming) can cause allergic reactions in some people. All cats produce dander but not all people are allergic to it.
  • Cat allergies are, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), roughly twice as common as dog allergies.
  • Male cats generally produce more allergens than female cats.
  • Neutered male cats generally produce less allergens than intact male cats.
  • The amount of allergens that a cat produces differs from cat to cat. Some people may be surprised to learn that there are no true 'hypoallergenic' breeds of cat such as hairless cats (which some think are hypoallergenic). They still produce the same allergenic proteins of other breeds. Hairless cats may prove to be beneficial allergy-wise to some owners as they lack the coats that additional allergens such as pollen or dust may cling to.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Just For Fun - Strange Cat And Dog Laws

Some states in America have passed a few fairly unusual laws when it comes to our canine and feline friends and today I thought I would share with you some of my favourite ones.

As a disclaimer, I genuinely have no idea if the following are still, or indeed have ever been, enforced or why these laws ever got passed in the first place!

  • In International Falls in Minnesota you must not allow your cat to chase a dog up a telegraph pole.
  • Another place in Minnesota, Duluth prohibits cats from sleeping in a bakery.
  • The cats of Ventura County, California should not have sex without a permit!
  • In Reed City, Michigan a law was passed that a pet cat and a pet bird should not be kept at the same premises.
  • Cats may not 'yowl' after 9pm in Columbus, Georgia.
  • In Galesburg, Illinois it is unlawful to keep a smelly dog.
  • Not to be outdone....North Brook, Illinois has it's own hard to enforce law that states that a dog must not bark for more than 15 minutes!
  • French Poodle owners in Chicago may be choked to learn that their pets are banned from attending the opera.
  • If your dog starts crying in Wanessa, New Jersey you should think about comforting your pooch quickly as it is against the law for a dog to cry there!
  • Illinois again gives us another strange is illegal to give your your dog whiskey in Chicago

Monday, 3 April 2017

Dogs - When Should You Call The Veterinarian?

When should you call the veterinarian? When your kids were infants and acting like something was wrong, you agonized over whether or not to call the pediatrician. You didn't want to be alarmists, but if something was wrong you certainly didn't want it to get any worse.

 We often feel the same way when it involves our dogs. It's difficult enough for veterinarians to diagnose a sick animal, so how can we mere lay persons know if something is wrong when an illness or injury isn't obvious. We can't.

 We need to pay attention to even slight changes in our dogs' behavior, elimination habits, eating habits or routines, and we shouldn't feel silly about calling the vet office just to report something.

 Domestication may have blunted some of our dogs' instincts, but it hasn't completely eliminated them. When sick or injured, animals perceive themselves to be vulnerable, because in their world, if you're sick or injured, you usually get beaten up or eaten.

 Dogs are very much creatures of habit; usually disliking changes in their environment or routines. So when they stray from their routines it could be a signal that we should make note of.

 They’ll often do things that mean all’s not right with the world. Some may be significant, some may not be, and different animals may react differently to the same symptoms.

 For instance, a sick dog may become very affectionate, or he could just as easily become indifferent and distant. And, to complicate matters a bit more, specific symptoms could indicate any number of possible problems.

 Most vets would rather you report any change you find suspicious instead of hesitating and perhaps delaying timely intervention that would make a big difference. Here are some things that should make little alarms go off:

 LOSS OF APPETITE usually is an early sign that something may be wrong, but then again, dogs will sometimes go off their feed for a day or so for no apparent reason. If he refuses meals, or special treats, for more than a day, I'd check with my vet.

 CHANGES IN ELIMINATION Of course the two extremes, diarrhea and constipation, may be obvious, but note subtle changes, such as in color, consistency, frequency, difficulty, or pain.

 BEHAVIORAL CHANGES such as uncharacteristic viciousness, depression, solitude, etc. may tip you off that something's amiss.

 Some obvious warning signs include: persistent scratching, biting or licking, hair loss, sores, lumps, changes in hair coat, excessive drinking, a red line along the gums, swelling above or below an individual tooth, bad breath or teeth that are markedly discolored.

 You should also investigate lameness, impaired agility, persistent shaking of the head, flakey skin, and discharges from anywhere on the body. Sometimes the vet can ease your mind over the phone, other times you’ll have to bring the dog in.

 Your observations help the vet reach a diagnosis and to start treatment before a big problem develops. So, it's a good idea for all family members to be vigilant and alert to changes in your dog. No dog owner wants to hear the vet say, "If we had caught this earlier, we could have hoped for a better outcome."

Bob Bamberg has been in the pet supply industry for more than a quarter century, including owning his own feed and grain store in Southeastern Massachusetts, USA. He writes a weekly newspaper column on pet health, nutrition and behaviour and his articles appear at .