The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

October 11, 2019
by Lynn Merton

Best Ways to Transport Your Dog

Image Credits: Pixabay

There are many situations where you might need to transport your dog. You could be moving across the country or going on holiday. Transporting your dog isn’t as simple as buying a plane ticket for your dog and calling it a day. You’ll need to take precautions to ensure that your best friend arrives at his destination unscathed. Here’s how you can go about transporting your dog.

  1. Bring your dog into the airplane cabin with you – Many airlines allow their passengers to bring their dogs into the airplane cabin with them. The caveat to this rule is that the dog must weigh less than 20 pounds and be able to fit under the seat in front of you. Check with the airline before taking your dog as the rules vary per airline. Flights are allowed to hold only a certain number of pets, which is why you should let the airline know that you’re planning to bring your pet in advance. Fees are usually within the range of $50 to $125.
  2. You might be able to fly your dog in the cargo hold – If your dog is bigger, you might be able to fly your dog in cargo. It isn’t ideal as it’s always a risk flying a dog in cargo. However, you can make it easier for your dog by following these tips.

    a. Fly direct flights.

    b. Tell the captain and a flight attendant that your dog is in cargo as this might influence their decision making and cause them to take special precautions.

    c. The flight you take should be dependent on the season. If you’re flying in the summer, choose early morning or a late evening flight. If you’re flying in the winter, choose an afternoon flight.

    d. Make use of a collar that won’t snag onto anything by accident. A permanent ID, which includes your name, phone number, home address, telephone number, should be attached to the collar.

    e. Cut your dog’s nails short so that they don’t get stuck onto anything.

    f. Forget about tranquilizers unless your vet prescribes them for the flight.
  3. Ship your canine through freight – Plenty of companies who transport animals through either air or land exist. The IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transport Association) is a good place to start. If you’d like to avoid being scammed, make use of the IPATA to find a company to transport your dog. Charges could range from anywhere between several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on various factors such as distance, animal size, and so on.

Transporting a dog isn’t cheap or easy. The right way to do it is to spend as much money as you can to ensure your dog is comfortable and arrives safely.

October 10, 2019
by Lynn Merton

Yes, it is Possible to Train Your Cat!

Image Credit – Pixabay

Shocking as it may sound, cats can be trained! You can train your cat to do novelty tricks as well as develop useful behavior. Unlike dogs, cats are less instinctively driven to work with their human companions. You cannot train your cat the way you train your dog. But you can train your cat to

  • Litter training: always use the litter for defecating
  • Approach to gesture or call
  • Stay still and calm for grooming
  • Interact with you and others
  • Play with you, others or with toys
  • Remain calm while traveling

You and your cat will have a better relationship if your cat develops useful behavior. The first thing to remember is that cats respond to positive reinforcement and not punishments. Punishing them induces stress, which will lead to behavioral and health problems.

  • Positive reinforcement with clickers and treats to develop good behavior! Offering your cat treat for good behavior following a click helps train your cat better. Rewarding without a clicker may confuse the cat as to why he/she is being rewarded. When a command is obeyed, the cat hears a click followed by a reward that is more likely to catch on. 
  • Vocal cues: You can start by using a distinct noise before you open a can or a bag before feeding. The cat will learn to associate that sound with something positive like food and treats and head to you when it hears it. You can encourage response to this sound outside feeding time by rewarding the cat.

Positive reinforcement and reward also help to train the cat to stay still while grooming, especially while treating flea and tick.

Things to keep in mind while training your cat

Training a cat helps in its well-being, and it is important for your well-being as well. You will have a better relationship with your cat with proper training. The most important thing to keep in mind while training a cat is that a cat does not respond to punishment and dominance. Some things to keep in mind while training a cat include

  • The best positive reinforcement you can use while training treats such as the Greenie’s Pill Pockets.
  • Make sure you give your cat a reward only when he/she responds to a specific command/sound or for a specific behavior
  • Repeat the training process several times so that your cat learns why he/she is being rewarded with a treat
  • Use a clicker to time your reward precisely and eventually cut down on treats. Your cat will start to respond to the clicker.
  • Make sure you train one trick at a time to avoid any confusion.

Make sure you always start with simple tricks and treats and proceed to big rewards for bigger tricks. This way, you can keep the training interesting and rewarding as well.

October 9, 2019
by Lynn Merton

Why is Chocolate Harmful for Cats?

Image Credits: Pixabay

It is common knowledge that eating chocolate can be fatal for dogs, but does the same hold true for cats too? Yes, for the most part. Chocolate is equally harmful for cats. While your cat may not try to steal from your chocolate stash, it will definitely be tempted if you drink a chocolate milkshake around it. Don’t give in to its begging – keep that chocolate drink away!

Chocolate and cocoa products contain an ingredient, theobromine, which gets naturally metabolized in our bodies. The same isn’t true for our canine and feline friends. It gets stored up in their bodies instead and this toxic build-up of the substance can lead to major health complaints such as liver failure.

How much chocolate will make your cat sick?

Even little amounts of chocolate can make your cat ill, so try to keep all your chocolates out of reach. The amount of chocolate that will make your cat sick will depend on a variety of factors starting with its metabolism. Your cat’s weight, size and the type of chocolate consumed all play a role. Milk or white chocolate is relatively safer than dark and bitter variants, which contain more theobromine content.

The following are common symptoms of chocolate poisoning in your cat that you should be watchful of –

  • Seizures
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Increased heart rate
  • Accelerated breathing
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness

If you notice any of these symptoms manifesting in your cat, contact a vet at the earliest.

What to do when you suspect your cat has ingested chocolate

If you suspect that your cat has taken a bite from your chocolate, keep it under close supervision for at least 24 hours and don’t let it escape outdoors. If you catch it in the act, take it to a vet clinic where the vet will try to induce vomiting in your pet. If your cat vomits out the chocolate, the toxic element will be prevented from building up in its body. Your cat may vomit of its own after having chocolate, but don’t try to get it to vomit by yourself without any knowledge or practice at home. Also, try to learn what kind of chocolate it has happened to consume and inform the vet of the same, so any risk posed can be duly assessed.

Remember – No chocolate for your cat! If you want to treat your cat, do it with cat treats. There’s a range of cat treats available in the market which not only appeals to your cat’s taste and sense of smell; they actually provide nutritional benefits. So, why put them at a health risk by giving them chocolate when you can give them a wholesome cat treats?

October 8, 2019
by Lynn Merton

What Will Happen if My Cat Drinks Alcohol?

Image Credits: Pixabay

Alcohol isn’t good for human health, let alone cat health! But you don’t need to have someone pour alcohol into their feeding bowl for cats to taste the alcohol. These curious creatures may take a sip out of your glass when you’re not looking, lick off the alcohol from any floor/kitchen platform spillage, or come in contact with alcohol from your mouthwash, deodorant, or other products found around your house which may contain alcohol. While beer and cider contain lesser alcohol than other alcoholic beverages, even these can be harmful for your cat.

Effects of alcohol consumption on your cat

The effects from alcohol your cat will experience will depend on the quantity of alcohol it has consumed, the cat’s metabolism, as well as how long ago it consumed said alcohol. In terms of short-term behavioral change, your cat will probably become excited or drowsy. More long-term effects may include –

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Liver failure
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Respiratory issues
  • Kidney failure
  • Death

Alcohol consumption basically triggers ethanol poisoning in your feline, irrespective of breed or age. Ethanol poisoning can result from alcoholic beverages or household products infused with alcohol.

You might think trying to make your cat drink water would help, but as cats don’t have much of an inherent sense of dehydration. If your cat happens to drink some alcohol and begins displaying signs of ethanol poisoning, don’t wait for the symptoms to pass. Call your vet immediately.

How will you be able to tell if your cat is experiencing alcohol poisoning?

Your cat will express the following symptoms if he/she is falling victim to alcohol poisoning –

  • Vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Slowed down heartbeat
  • Suppressed reflexes
  • Increased/uncontrollable urinating

Alcohol works in a cat’s body, similar to how it does in a human’s body. Your pet might begin to appear uncoordinated or drowsy under the effects of alcohol, just as you would. If it has eaten after drinking, the effects may not be prominent for a while. However, if it has ingested alcohol on an empty stomach, then it might begin experiencing the symptoms within half an hour from ingestion. That said, alcohol consumption can be lethal for feline health. Don’t take any chances and consult a vet as soon as you can, to prevent any unfortunate circumstances.

How is ethanol poisoning treated in a cat?

Vets treat ethanol poisoning in cats. These vets carry out blood tests to determine the reach of the alcohol in the cat’s system and then start required therapy or medication. The cat may be administered intravenous fluids for rehydration, ventilation, cardiac therapy, and so on. The treatment method used by the vet will correspond with the symptoms of alcohol poisoning that needs to be taken care of.

October 7, 2019
by Lynn Merton

Respiratory Problems in Short Nose Dog Breeds

Image Credits: Pixabay

Someone, who has never heard of the term short nose dog before, would assume that these are dogs with some sort of rare canine disease. However, these are very common and beloved dog breeds, pets to numerous households across the world. Here is all you need to know about these adorable creatures

What are short nose dog breeds?

Scientifically termed as Brachycephalic Dogs, these are canine breeds having extremely shortened snouts. Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus are some of the most popular breeds of Brachycephalic Dogs. This term can also be used to describe mixed breeds, which have inherited this feature from their short nosed ancestors. The differentiating factor of brachycephalic dogs from breeds that simply have smaller snouts is that their extremely short snouts, makes them look like they are completely flat-faced.

Disorders unique to short nose dog breeds

Having extremely short snouts puts these breeds at a high risk of developing a disorder termed brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS). The different afflictions commonly observed in BOAS are:

A hypoplastic trachea – In this case, the trachea or windpipe of the animal, is of a smaller diameter than normal, restricting the quantity of air that can pass through the trachea at any given point of time, which also restricts the proper functioning of the respiratory system of the animal.

Stenotic Nares – In this condition, the nostrils of the animal are very narrow and small, which again restricts the amount of air that reaches the respiratory system of the animal.

Elongated Soft Palate – The soft tissues located on the roof of the mouth, is termed as the soft palate. In this case, the soft palate is too long for the length of the mouth, blocking the windpipe and restricting the passage of air in the windpipe.

Everted laryngeal saccules – Laryngeal saccules are small sacs located in the larynx of canines. In canine suffering from BOAS, these sacs can restrict airflow by turning outwards from the larynx, or being sucked into the airway owing to the extra effort put in by the animal to respire. This extra respiratory effort is a result of the animal trying to move air past their Everted laryngeal saccules or Elongated Soft Palate.

Canine suffering from BOAS can be suffering from one or more of the above-mentioned disorders.

Care for brachycephalic dogs

A brachycephalic dog should never take part in vigorous exercise, which can lead to aggravation of its existing symptoms. It is very important to keep them out of the heat, as they are susceptible to heat exhaustion and stroke, which can lead to collapse. It is important to follow a well-balanced diet in order to avoid obesity.