Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pets Are Forever, Not Just for The Holidays

When it comes to holiday gift giving the one thing you should not give is a pet. Adding a dog or cat to the family is a serious and personal decision. It is a lifetime commitment to the pet. 
Photo by Claire Clayton
Do you know if the person wants a pet? Do they have the time for a cat or dog? Every pet needs time, attention, and a lot of care. 
Can they afford a pet? I don't mean just the cost of buying or adopting a pet. If you're giving the pet as a gift, you are handling that expense. I mean the ongoing expense of food, veterinary care, training classes and all of the things a pet needs, the basics like food and water dishes, a harness, leash, toys, scratching post, litter boxes, cat tree, clicker, breed books, pet care books, treats, a bed, a carrier, a crate.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg. That list grows and grows as the pet ages. Can they afford pet insurance or to have a pet savings account in lieu of insurance to cover any emergencies? 
Photo by Mary Slaney
What if the person or couple has at least one child? Is the family willing to supervise the child and the pet to be sure that the child isn't injuring the pet?  If the child hurts the
pet and the pet bites because of pain who is going to get the blame?
Are they going to get rid of the pet because of something that is, 
essentially, their fault for not supervising more closely and for not
teaching the child how to behave properly around a pet.
Is someone in the family allergic to pets? 
If someone wants a pet, that should be their decision. They should choose the type of pet and be sure it fits into their lifestyle. They need to decide what size pet, what sort of personality, activity level and whether or not they are willing to do the training and give the pet attention for its entire life. This is a major commitment for the life of the pet which can be anywhere from eight years for a Giant breed dog, to 12 years, 15 or 16 years and even 20 years or more for a cat. 
If someone wants a pet, they should not bring it home for the holidays when there is so much going on, so much activity and so many people in and out of the house.  Better to buy the pet supplies they will need, have those wrapped and wait until after the holidays to bring the pet home when things have calmed down and the new owner(s) can spend time helping the new family member settle in, begin training and start to build that all-important human-animal bond.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fuzzy and the Pogo Plush Toy

As promised a few weeks ago, from time to time we will be reviewing products from PetSafe.  The reviews will pop up periodically.  This time we're talking about one of their Pogo Plush Toys.  

This is what the toy looked like in its packaging when I sent it  to  CA

Predicting who would be the best toy tester is a challenge.  In this case, I opted to send the toy to Southern California to my friend, Gary Rohde, who adopted Fuzzy, a mixed breed dog, from a local shelter.  Fuzzy is an enthusiastic dog who adores toys.  He's so enthusiastic that darned few toys will hold up to Fuzzy's, uh, scrutiny.  

This line of toys has movable squeakers, that sort of float through the toy. It's also a soft, plush toy. Perhaps not the best option for an enthusiastic chewer.  Time would tell.
The ladybug  toy came out of the envelope, the wrapping was removed and it was given over to its new owner.
Fuzzy and His Ladybug ToyA
Fuzzy immediately took possession of the toy. There's nothing Fuzzy likes quite as much as a new toy, He greets each one with enthusiasm. As you can see, this toy was no exception.

Ladybug's AntennaeWere Soon Separated from the toy

According to Gary, Fuzzy's owners, the "ears" lasted all of ten minutes before Fuzzy was able to separate them from the toy. "He loves it!!! But the ear was very easy to chew through."  Frankly,  I thought that was predictible but the rest of the toy held up much better than expected. Fuzzy enjoys chewing it, playing fetch with it and generally treating it as if it were a really tough toy. So far, so good.

And for those of you who like a little action with your reviews, here is a video Gary took of Fuzzy not only chewing the toy but if you wait long enough you'll see him playing fetch with it.  

NOTE:  PetSafe provided the Toy for review but there was no compensation for this review. All reviews on PerPETuallySpeaking are objective.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Royal Canin and The Curious Cat

Photo of Darlene & Aimee by Veronique Schejtman

NOTE: "I have written this post on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Royal Canin, but  please know that PerPETuallySpeaking shares information we feel is relevant to our readers."

When I brought Aimee home she was 3 1/2 years old, a retired show cat,and she arrived eating Royal Canin Special 33 and Royal Canin Intense Hairball formula.  She used to have it mixed together but when she moved here she insisted upon having the food in separate dishes.  As an only cat in this house, that's no problem.  Her coat has always been shiny, her eyes bright. 

When I took her for her first veterinary as the new kid in the family, her veterinarian asked what I was feeding her. I explained her Royal Canin diet and her veterinarian nodded approvingly.

Aimee's nearly-seamless transition to her new home was made even easier because she was on a familiar diet that agreed with her.  The company itself was founded by a veterinarian.

From time to time I have offered Aimee a taste of something I am eating as long as it's safe for a cat.  The little Chartreux will come up on my lap, sniff, and usually shoot me a look that clearly means, "how do you eat that stuff if you were eating Royal Canin your eyes would be brighter and your coat would be much shinier!"  I suspect my hairdresser would agree about my hair but I don't think Royal Canin will be making people food any time soon.

Royal Canin has done some interesting research lately.  Interestingly, almost half of all cat owners didn't do any research before they got their cat. How can anyone prepare for a new family member without learning as much as possible?  Cat owners, for the most part, know their cats sleep a lot but are unaware that cats also spend their time hunting, hiding and marking their territory.  They mainly get a cat because they believe cats are low maintenance since you don't have to walk them, etc.  However, this is a mistaken notion on their part since cats still need attention, seek us out as their family members and shouldn't be left alone with food, water and litterboxes while the owner goes away for the weekend.  Cats get lonely.  And what happens if there's a fire while the owner is away?

I wouldn't miss a moment with Aimee.  When i have to be away, she has a wonderful petsitter. And when i come home, my girl is excited to see me.

Did you know that cats eat many small meals a day?  One of Aimee's dishes, a special gift from her Auntie Sue, has a special message at the bottom: if you can read this, please refill. I am off sleeping.  And so the dish is magically refilled while she naps.  When she's ready to eat, her food is there.

People with multiple cats don't think about feeding them for their age, activity level, etc. Aimee is now 14 years old.  She gets twice yearly veterinary visits at this age and has had a baseline Senior Wellness visit.  That's important.  If there are changes, we will catch them sooner.

Royal Canin has something special for cat owners.  If you go to their Facebook page you will get a coupon for $7. Off a bag of Royal Canin.  That's an incredible deal and a nice incentive to try the food.  Aimee has flourished on it so I have no qualms about saying that our results have been terrific. To get a coupon go to:

If you'd like to visit Royal Canin on their website go to:

You can also follow them on Twitter: Find Royal Canin on Pinterest:
And, of course, you can Like them on Facebook:

Royal Canin has provided this really nifty infographic.  Take some time reading it.  And then snuggle with your kitties.  Time with cats is never wasted.