Posted on May 17th, 2013
The dog days of summer – what you can do to ensure your pet is safe from the heat.
We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but the ASPCA warns being overeager in hot weather can spell danger.
Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating. And if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately.
- Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
- Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
- Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. “On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. Also, leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal in several states.
- Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
- “During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets-mostly cats-fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured,” says Dr. Murray. “Pet owners need to know that this is completely preventable if they take simple precautions.” Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
- Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
- When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Posted on May 2nd, 2013
Tips for a healthy dog and cat.
Here at Clear the Air, we love our pets and want to provide them with a long and happy life. We would like to share some tips on keeping your pets’ happy and healthy.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Comment on our blog!
- Regular Vet Visits – Just like a human, your pet can get heart problems or have arthritis. Prevent any issues by taking your pet to the vet to prevent any issues or catch them early.
- Spay And Neuter – Sadly 8-10 million pets end up in US shelters every year. An easy way to stop that number from growing is to spay and neuter your cats and dogs. Not only does spaying and neutering cut down on the number of unwanted pets, it also can lower the risk of certain cancers and can reduce the risk of a pet getting lost by lowering the tendency to roam.
- Parasite Prevention – Fleas and ticks are the most common external parasite to plague pets. Fleas can lead to irritate skin, hot spots, infection and hair loss. If your pet swallows a flea, it can end up with tapeworms. Year round prevention of parasites is important to your pets’ health.
- Weight Control – Just like humans, obesity in pets in dangerous to your health. Do not over feed your pet. They need far fewer calories than most of us think. Ask your vet for feeding instructions.
- Enriched Environment – Mental simulation for your pet is key to long term health and welfare for your cat and dog. Daily walks for dogs and scratching posts, window perches and toys for your cats are great for your pets.
- Dental Care – Pets can suffer from gum disease, tooth loss and tooth pain. Make sure to keep up on regular brushing and oral cleanings to make sure your pets’ teeth stay healthy and clean.
- No People Medication – Medicines for humans can kill your pet. The most common pet poisoning culprits are ibuprofen and naproxen. They can cause kidney damage, seizures and cardiac arrest in a dog or cat.
Posted on May 1st, 2013
Planning a garden for the spring? Make sure you stay away from planting these plants if you have pets!
Clear the Air would like to share some toxic plants you should avoid planting in your garden if you have pets. Check them out below:
- Lilies: Any member of the lily family, from onions and leeks to Easter lilies are toxic to cats. Dogs may also be victim to this plant family.
- Oleander: This beautiful flowering bush is a danger to pets and to humans. A dog may think it’s great for a quick game of fetch, but that might be the last game the dog will ever play.
- Foxglove: Pharmaceutical companies use this biennial to make drugs for the digoxin family. It acts on the heart and can kill quickly.
- Grapes: It doesn’t take many grapes or raisins to kill a dog, and the faster the animal gets to a vet, the greater the chance it won’t die. If your grape vine is like mine, it might be easier to keep the dog away from the vine as they fall off faster than they can be picked.
- Apple Family: Cats probably won’t be bothered by this because they don’t have a desire/need to chew on things. Dogs, on the other hand, are far more likely to have problems. Like oleander, the sticks are toxic. The cyanide content from the inedible parts of this family can kill. This family includes apricots, plums, cherries, apples and peaches.
- Comfrey: Eating this plant can cause liver problems, no matter the species. It’s not a common herb garden plant, but it is beautiful, so it could be found in a flower bed.
- Chrysanthemum Family: Like the onion family, there are a lot of plants and they don’t look like they are related. Pyrethrum is used as fly spray on horses, and there are those who feel that it is dangerous. Stronger versions include wormwood, mugwort and southernwood. The latter is very aromatic.
- Tomato Family: Many vegetables in a veggie patch are related to tomatoes. This includes potatoes, eggplant and peppers. They are all members of the nightshade family. The edible parts are just that; edible. However, the rest of the plant, including leaves, is not safe.
When you are planning a garden, it’s a good idea to look up each plant. You can also talk to someone at the local nursery to make sure your pets are kept safe.
Posted on April 26th, 2013
Summer is around the corner and that means flea season.
Clear the Air wants to protect your pets from harmful pests such as fleas.
Is your pet safe from fleas? Follow these helpful steps below to make sure your pets aren’t overtaken by flea infestation this summer:
- Clean your home thoroughly. For any level of flea infestation, you will need to do a thorough house cleaning. Vacuum every corner of your home, wash all your dog’s bedding and toys, and vacuum your car too. Even if you don’t take your dog in the car, fleas can travel on yourself and stay in your car when you leave the home.
- Use a spot on medication such as Advantage or Frontline. Although only applied to one spot on your pet, spot on medicine is extremely effective at covering your pet’s entire body. The medicine is not affected by bathing, swimming or rain and will kill and repel fleas for several weeks before application. Make sure to purchase one that is appropriate for your dog’s age and size.
- If your flea infestation is serious, oral medications when combined with spot on medications will work to disrupt the life cycle of fleas. Try hiding the medicine in your dog’s food or smashing it into a powder and mixing it in your cat’s wet food.
- Bathe your dog with special medicated shampoo that kills fleas on contact. This process usually needs to be repeated every two weeks as the effective ingredients in these shampoos don’t last as long as spot-on or oral medications.
- Keep your yard trimmed back to help reduce the population of fleas. You can try using various yard sprays or granular treatments available at your veterinarian or garden center.
Posted on April 19th, 2013
Feeding tips for your cat.
Do you wonder how much your cat should eat? Is your cat overweight? Check out some helpful tips below to find out what type of feeding schedule your cat should be on:
Age: Of course age makes a huge difference in how often your cat should eat. Kittens require more food per pound of body weight to support growth than adult cats do. Kittens should be fed more often throughout the day. Kittens up to six months of age may require three meals a day. Once an adult, a cat can get fed once or twice a day. Senior cats age seven and above, should maintain the same feeding schedule.
Health: If your cat suffers from a health problem like diabetes, you may need to feed him depending on when his insulin he is administered. It is best to check with your veterinarian. If your cat has hyperthyroidism, he may want to eat all the time. When a cat ages, his teeth may go bad or may develop gum disease making it difficult to chew dry food. If this is the case, offering wet food is usually best. Or you can mash up dry food in the wet food to make it easier for your cat to chew his food.
Dry vs. Wet Food: Feeding only dry food is fine as long as it is complete and balanced. Cats that only eat dry food must be provided with lots of fresh water, especially if they are prone to developing urinary tract issues. It is usually a good idea to provide both dry and wet food to your cat.
Schedule: Pick a time that is easiest for you to prepare your cats meal. If mornings work best, make that a time you can give him his wet food. Once you start doing that for a couple days, your cat will already know his schedule and expect his food in the morning.
Do you have questions about feeding your cat? Please comment on our blog!
Posted on April 15th, 2013
What does a cat use its whiskers for?
Whiskers are a very important part of your cat’s body. Whiskers, like hair and nails, fall out and are replaced.
Whiskers are different from your cat’s body hair. They are two to three times thicker than your cat’s hair and are rooted very keep in your cat’s face into an area which is rich in nerves and blood vessels.
Cats have whiskers on their checks as well as shorter ones above their eyebrows, on their chin and on the back of their front legs. A cat’s facial whiskers are good for navigation, mood indication, and measuring an opening.
Whiskers help a cat feel his way around and are so sensitive they can detect the slightest directional change in a breeze. This helps a cat at night slink away through a room and not bump into anything. When a cat is angry or feels defensive, his whiskers will be pulled back. If the cat is happy, curios or content, his whiskers are more relaxed and can even be pushed forward.
Whiskers on a cat are primarily used to help a cat judge whether or not he’ll fit through an opening. A cat’s whiskers are roughly as wide as his body – being used as sort of a natural ruler. Whisker tips are sensitive to pressure. You’ll most likely see a cat stick his head in and out of an opening before he puts his body in it. By doing this, he judges the width of the opening to see if he can fit.
What other facts do you know about a cat’s whiskers? Please comment on our blog to share with us!
Posted on March 29th, 2013
Easter safety for your dogs and cats.
Clear the Air would like to share an article from The Country Feed Store about pet safety during Easter. Check it out:
- Treats – Chocolate bunnies are popular this time of year however chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs. Small amounts of theobromine, the toxic ingredient in chocolate, can cause vomiting and restlessness in pets. Large amounts of theobromine can be fatal.
- Xylitol – Sugar free treats usually contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many candies, chewing gums and baked treats. However, xylitol is extremely toxic to your pets. Don’t let your dog or cat snatch up a sugar free treat.
- Easter Lilies – Along with spring comes Easter Lilies. However, Easter lilies are toxic especially to cats. They can cause kidney failure and even death. Usually, when a cat consumes an Easter lily, they will vomit and usually become depressed within two hours. The vomiting will subside however the cat will not eat and will become more depressed. Call your veterinarian immediately.
- Plastic Easter Grass – Cats especially are attracted to the plastic grass you use for your Easter baskets. However, if ingested, it can cause gastrointestinal obstruction. If you suspect your cat has ingested the plastic grass, call your veterinarian immediately. Use paper Easter grass instead.
- Loud Noises – If you have a party and there will be loud noises and children running around, it might be wise to put your pet away in a quiet area. If your dog likes company, make Easter fun by creating an Easter basket for him and let him enjoy the festivities.
Posted on March 11th, 2013
Don’t let your litter box odor bring you down.
Does your cat’s litter box have an unpleasant odor coming from it? Chances are your cat may not enjoy using his/her sand box because of the strong odor. Clear the Air would like to share with all our cat lovers some tips for keeping your litter box odor free.
We have provided some helpful cat litter tips:
Scooping - The number one rule, and the only thing that will keep litter box odor at bay, is constant cleaning. That means scooping the box out at least twice a day, removing the solids and liquid clumps if you use clumping litter. If you don’t use clumping litter, you can use a large solid metal spoon to lift out the most urine-soaked areas each time you clean and add litter as needed to replace what is removed.
Washing Your Litter Box – You should also get in the habit of washing the litter box at least every other week if not more. Use a mild unscented dish detergent and rinse clean. Remember to clean your scooper too. When the box is dry, sprinkle a thin layer of our Cat Urine Odor Eliminator in the box first. Then add two to three inches of litter. Cats do not like a deep tray of litter and this allows you to add litter as you scoop.
Type of Litter – Some have perfumes and others have additives to only cover the smell. To a cat, these smells can be overwhelming and make the box unwelcoming. It is usually a good idea to get unscented litter and sprinkle our Cat Urine Odor Eliminator in the box to eliminate the odor, not cover it up.
Type of Litter Box – Using the largest box your home can accommodate is the best idea. A good rule of thumb is to get a box that is at least twice as long as your adult cat and wide as the cat is long. Even though a covered box is nicer to look at, most cats don’t like them and they also trap odors inside making it unpleasant for your pet to enter. Cats claws can get stuck in liners when they are digging for a place to relieve themselves and the urine can also seep into the liner, trapping odors in the box.
Location – Lastly, location of your cats litter box is very important to keep your pet happy to relieve himself in the correct areas. The rule is one litter box per cat plus one. If your cat is on the third floor of your house and the litter box is in the basement, he may not decide to make the long trek. It is important to have the boxes in different locations. Also make sure the box is in a low traffic area, away from his or her food and in a place that your cat can easily get in and out of.
These suggestions may take a lot of effort but not only with your cat be happier but you will as well, not having to put up with cat urine odors. Remember to pick up Clear the Air’s Cat Urine Odor Eliminator available at all Petco stores or online.
Posted on March 6th, 2013
The difference between dogs and cats.
Clear the Air always likes sharing funny and light stories about animals. We thought this was especially cute about the difference between cats and dogs. Check it out:
Excerpts from a Dog’s Diary:
8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
2:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary:
Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am.
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs. I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now.
Posted on February 25th, 2013
Bubbas - the Purrrrfect Choice!
Check out Bubbas’ bio:
This handsome boy is not only an absolute lovebug, but also has an adorable personality that is sure to capture your heart. Bubbas is 7-year old Domestic Longhair who is apt to be mistaken for a motor boat whenever he’s being pet, as he loves to purr! In fact, he has a tendency to enjoy such exchanges (petting for purring, and the like) so much that he might even drool a little! Despite how it might sound, I assure you, it’s adorable. This sweet guy takes just a bit of time to come out of his shell, but once he does – anyone who meets him is quick to fall in love. Bubbas is great about using his scratching post, and has a particular affinity for cat nip if one sees fit to offer him a treat for being so very awesome.
Bubbas would do well in a variety of homes, but doesn’t prefer to share the spotlight with another kitty and would therefore love to be the only cat in your life. But we’re certain that won’t be a problem with the abundance of personality and love this guy has to share.
For more information about this lovable gem of a kitty, or if you’d like to meet him, please contact Customer Service at (619) 299-7012 or stop by our Gaines Campus.
Animal ID 99289