Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Resolutions for Dog & Cat Owners

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2015 seems to have gone by in a flash and here we are, welcoming 2016, a brand new year and a brand new start. The slate is clean so let's talk about what we can do for our dogs and cats this year.

Every dog and cat needs an annual veterinary check-up. Most people remember to take their dog in annually but they don't take their cat. Cats need an annual veterinary visit every bit as much as dogs. They are living, breathing sentient beings who need the same amount of attention, love and care.
Photo Courtesy of Susan Bulanda

Make this the year you will ask your veterinarian to show you how to brush your pet's teeth. It's easier if you start with a puppy or kitten but you can very slowly acclimate most dogs or cats to having their teeth brushed. They are subject to the same dental problems as we are and germs leaching down from dirty teeth can cause all sort of health problems.

No matter what sort of climate you live in, plan to do more with your pets. Clicker training is great for exercising the mind as well as the body. Don't just turn your dog out in the yard; take him for walks. It's great bonding time. Play games with your cats using interactive toys. You can also clicker train them to do all sorts of tricks. They'll love the time they spend with you and keep sessions to about 5 minutes about 3 times a day. Be sure your pet is dressed appropriately for the weather. In cold weather small dogs and those with little or no haircoat will need a coat or warm sweater. Hairless cats will also appreciate a sweater even though they are indoors. Walking on treated surfaces means you should consider training your dog to wear boots. Otherwise, wash off the pads of his feet so he won't lick them and ingest the ice melt.In warm weather, hairless cats and dogs will need sunscreen otherwise they will sunburn.

Remember that leaving your pet in the car in cold weather is just as dangerous as in hot weather. That  short errand you're going to run might take longer than you think. 

Plan to groom your cat or dog. Preferably daily but you can do it once a week if she has the kind of short coat that won't mat or tangle. 

Be sure they always have fresh water available. Keep nails and claws trimmed and neat.
Photo Courtesy of Lisette Brodey

When your pets are older they will need to see the veterinarian twice a year, starting with a Senior Wellness visit so your veterinarian can get a baseline.  If there is a problem, it can be found sooner and treatment started before it becomes embedded and is harder to treat and takes longer to resolve. That also means it's more expensive. If your older pets stay on their bed or have problems moving, take them to veterinarian. Telling yourself it's just old age is doing your cat or dog an injustice.

If your cat or dog has the right temperament for it and is properly socialized, this may be the year you want to find out about doing therapy work with your pet and sharing the love. You might try a new dog sport, or feline agility. The possibilities are seemingly endless. 

Remember that your pet is not just your best friend but you are your pet's best friend.

Aimee and I wish you and your pets a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Holiday Greetings & Winners of Up On The Woof Top

It's hard to believe it's December 26th!  Only 364 Days Until Christmas! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I hope the holidays have been good to you and your four-legged companions. As the New Year approaches, I wish for each of you and your companions Good Health, Happiness and Peace. If you have four-legged companions you have Love, Unconditional Love. It just doesn't get any better than the Human-Animal Bond.

I know you're waiting to find out who won the contest for a copy of the new DVD Christmas Movie, Up On The Woof Top.  The winners are listed below:

James Stagg

Katrina Trent

Lisette Brodey

Gordon Brice

Please e-mail me via my website: PerPETuallySpeaking.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Up On The Woof Top

'tis the Season and is there any of us who doesn't enjoy a good holiday film that the entire family can watch together? This one would be fun year-round, even with its Christmas/Santa Claus theme. 

This year Level 33 Entertainment has released the adorable Up On The Roof Top on both DVD and streaming video but, really, I think you'll want a copy of this one in your video library, not just as a family favorite at Christmas but to celebrate Christmas in July. 

Directed by Joe Clarke, the Film features Dennis Haskins of Saved by The Bell as Santa Claus and Adam Hicks of Disney's Zeke and Luther as well as Lemonade Mouth as the voice of the adorable dog. Yes, the dog talks which doesn't seem to really surprise the kids in the film.

The mischievous little guy who is one of Santa's dogs, manages to stow away on Santa's sled for Santa's test run before the big night. Unfortunately, things don't go quite the way he thought and he ends up being left behind in a suburban home in Iowa where the film was shot on location. His goal is to get back to the North Pole. He has the monumental chore of convincing the Anderson family of his true identity so Toby can return to the North Pole by Christmas Eve.

It's not all treats and toys. There's a crooked mall Santa along with his elf henchman to deal with and along the way the little dog learns that having a big heart is much more important than being a big dog. How can you not love that message?

Up On The Woof Top has been awarded the "Dove Family Approved Seal" by The Dove Foundation as a film that is considered Family Friendly.

Here's a treat for you: A link to the film's trailer.  Just click in the middle. You have to view it online. And another treat: Thanks to 33 Entertainment I have 4 copies of the DVD to go to 4 lucky winners.  Just leave a comment to be entered.  The Random Drawing will be this Friday!  So hurry!
UP ON THE WOOFTOP Official Trailer from Level 33 Entertainment on Vimeo.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pets as Holiday Gifts?

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Photo Courtesy of Susan Bulanda

This time of year too many people think it's a great idea to give a puppy or kitten as a gift. Generally speaking, it's a very bad idea. A puppy or kitten is a living, breathing sentient being who can live anywhere from 10 to 20 years. 

The first thing to consider is: does the person want the responsibility and can they afford veterinary bills, food, toys, bowls, food, training lesson? In the case of cats, they will also need litter boxes, litter (and those boxes have to be kept scrupulously clean), a sturdy scratching post, a sturdy cat tree with a base that won't topple over, special interactive toys. It all adds up. 

If they live in an apartment, are pets allowed?
Photo by Rabi Dixon

Even if the family has decided to get a pet, the holidays are the worst time to bring them home if you are busy and entertaining. The puppy or kitten is a baby who has left mother, littermates and all she has known and is suddenly thrust into a new, noisy place where she can be stepped on, accidentally let outside because guests are coming and going. It's noisy, confusing and your guest may decide to slip your new family member some food that isn't good for her, or, worst case scenario, someone let her drink an alcoholic beverage.

Photo by Claire Clayton
If you have decided to add a new family member, take time to do your research. Every puppy or kitten i s programmed to behave in a certain way and all babies are curious and mischievous. You need to confine the newcomer to one room with everything he needs and spend time with him. You need time when you can get down to the business of house training. That first veterinary appointment should be arranged within 48 hours of homecoming.

Photo by Anne Hudson

As an alternative to bringing the puppy or kitten home, give your family and IOU for the newcomer. Gifts should be all the accoutrements you will need for your new family member.  Gift wrap toys, bowls or dishes, litter boxes, litter, a book or two about the breed if you're getting a pedigreed dog or papered cat. You will need a book on training using positive methods, preferably clicker training (yes, you can clicker train a cat, too!), a special bed, a safe carrier, toys. 

Photo by Darlene Arden
Many shelters will not allow adoption during this busy time of year but you can buy a gift certificate to go under the tree.

Be very sure of what you are doing. Sadly, January is when those gift puppies and kittens are dumped back on a shelter.

When things have quieted down, and you have time off from work is the best time to introduce a newcomer into the family. You want to get off on the right foot and build a relationship that will last a lifetime. There is nothing as special as the human-animal bond.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cats Celebrate the Holidays!

Chanukah is in progress, Christmas is on the way and cats are celebrating as only they can. I thought everyone would enjoy this video from HooplaHa showing them at their adorable, mischievous best. I want to point out one glaring warning: whether for Chanukah or part of your Christmas decorations, PLEASE do not use real candles unless you know that you can keep your cats away from them. I was more than a little frightened for the cats in a couple of these clips. Consider those a warning and enjoy the rest.

I want to wish a Happy Everything to my readers!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Whisker Greens Revisited

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This post is sponsored by Pet Grass and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping create awareness about the launch of Whisker Greens but PerPETuallySpeaking only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Pet Grass is not responsible for the content of this article.

It has been a few weeks since WhiskerGreens arrived. The three pots of already grown - and still growing - organic wheat grass was packaged beautifully in a resealable plastic bag. It came with three little cardboard boxes in which each plant could be placed. Since I don't exactly have a green thumb, I wasn't about to try to create my own little garden for Aimee.
Mine. All mine.

My sixteen year old cat had never experienced cat grass in her life. I had seen cat grass kits in pet supply stores but I wasn't about to try to grow something. Aimee and I would both be disappointed in the results. This was easy, when you put it out for however long, you can pick it up, take the plant out of the cardboard holder and place the plant pot in a dish of water. Once it was "watered," I would pick it up and put it back in the plastic bag. I rotated the kit's plants so Aimee always had a "fresh" one. If you have more than one cat, you can opt to put out more than one plant.

A typical feline, Aimee was not about to let me see her nibbling on the Whisker Greens. I could catch her going past it. If she saw or heard me coming, she would deliberately turn around and walk away. It was as funny as it was frustrating because i had promised pictures of her with it as well as a video. I have blurry pictures and a short video!  Aimee wouldn't talk to the press even when the press was her Mama.
I wasn't doing anything!!

I had to sleep eventually and she knew it. You'll have to take my word for it. It was moving as she walked away. She may not have been talking but obviously the pet grass gossips.

The wheat grass is certified organic and there's an auto-ship option at the website. I'm hiding my credit card from Aimee.

Bring a little of the outdoors,indoors, in a very healthy version with Whisker Greens!

The company has been generous enough to offer a 10% discount to my readers on their first order!  Just use this coupon code: perpetually10

You can find Whisker Greens on Social Networks:

Twitter: @petgrasslove

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Morris "Paws It Forward" - You Can, too!

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Morris is Hard at Work on His Website

We visited with Morris the Cat a few months ago when he showed us how cats and their humans could Live Well and Prospurr. Morris' website is well worth a visit. Morris is back with a new project. This time, for the holiday season, he is "Pawing It Forward." You and your kitty can help him do exactly that.

Cats enjoy their food but many cats aren't as lucky as ours, or Morris. They don't have enough food, or any food at all. Cats who have made it as far as a shelter have to eat until their forever human comes along and adopts them. Morris, who enjoys a good meal as much as the next cat, is sharing his dining tips and even better, donating food to shelter kitties via the ASPCA.  

Morris the Star Relaxing in front of his bag and cans of 9Lives

Morris has starred in over fifty 9Lives Cat Food commercials. The orange tabby has gone from shelter to star and he wants to paw it forward. Since today, Tuesday December 1st, is Giving Tuesday it's the perfect day to kick off Morris' new campaign. If you belong to Twitter you're set to go, if not, this is a great excuse to join!  Just tag your tweets #MorrisFeeds and Morris will donate a bowl of yummy food to the ASPCA. 

Morris, every the clever kitty and entrepreneur, has created a video in which he tells you exactly what his new project is about and how you can help donate food and it won't cost you a penny.

Enjoy the video and help Morris Paw It Forward during the holiday season. There's no better time to start than now!

NOTE: Morris sent Aimee a box of 9 Lives. Since her Mama (yours truly) is an ethical journalist, Aimee and I donated the box of food to a local cat shelter. We were happy to do so.