The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

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September 15, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Household Tick and Flea Treatments That Do Not Actually Work

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Fleas and ticks are a well known problem for every pet owner. Everyone seems to have heard of some method or to get rid of them but it’s not easy to differentiate actual solutions from fake ones. This is doubly true if you get your advice from online sources. To help you care for your pet better, here are a few common myths busted about getting rid of fleas and ticks:

  • Myth: Keeping your pet indoors

    While there is a slightly lower chance of tick infestation if you keep your pet indoors, fleas are a problem regardless. Fleas can travel through multiple means including pant legs, shoes, clothes etc. This means that they can make themselves at home and start breeding inside your house. It only takes about 2 weeks before 2 fleas turn into 2000. It is highly recommended that preventative medication be given to your pets throughout the year.

  • Myth: Feed garlic to your pets

    For some reason, a ton of online sources suggest adding garlic to your pets meals, either raw or in powder form, or administering it orally. The origin of this myth is unknown but it’s a myth regardless. Garlic has no effect on fleas and ticks, Moreover it can cause serious harm to your pets, especially cats. Stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhea and in more serious cases, anemia are all a result of excessive garlic consumption.

  • Myth: Apply orange on your pets

    Many people believe that oranges and other citrus fruits repel fleas if rubbed on their pets. While oranges tend to have to an effect on insects, fleas and ticks are not insects. For it to have any affect on fleas, it will have to be chemically extracted and concentrated to toxic levels that will harm your pets.

  • Myth: Human lice shampoos work on pets

    The jury is still out on this solution. Sometimes, human shampoos could work but they contain ingredients like pyrethrins that are harmful to pets. Any vet will tell you to choose shampoos that have safer compounds. While it might be tempting to save a buck, it is simpler to buy flea and tick shampoos that are specifically for pets. They will get rid of fleas without causing any skin damage or more serious illnesses.

  • Myth: Plant Fleabane in your yard

    There is no proven research that repels fleas. Some say that the plant, also known as Pennyroyal, will repel fleas naturally while others claim that you have to burn it to release flea-repelling scents. Either way, this is unlikely to work as you have to plant it or burn it in very large amounts. It also does not protect the indoors where, as stated before, fleas and ticks can be present.

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September 14, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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How to Deal With Kidney Failure in Your Dog

Image credits – Pixabay

Canine kidney failure is a condition that not only frustrates the affected animal, but also the human owner. If you’re pet owner who just found out that your dog has kidney failure, the news can be extremely disheartening.

There is no denying that the times ahead are going to be tough. However, it doesn’t have to be as painful as you imagine it to be. You still have the ability and power to make your dog’s life a little better and even prevent the condition from progressing too soon.

The solution lies in using a broad approach. The more attention you pay to your dog’s needs, the longer you are likely to have him/her around.

But, before we look at the solution, let us first take a look at kidney failure.

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure or renal failure is not a condition in itself. Rather, it is the consequence of a condition known as kidney disease or renal disease. Kidney disease generally affects older animals, but, is found in younger animals as well.

There are primarily 2 kinds of kidney disease – acute and chronic. In the former type, the symptoms show up all of a sudden, with the cause usually being toxicity. In the latter type, the condition is progressive and worsens gradually over time. The symptoms tend to be very unspecific, which makes it harder to detect at an early stage.

The acute or chronic nature of kidney disease is determined by the cause. As for causes, there are many including age, infections (viral, bacterial or fungal), abnormal protein deposits (amyloidosis), trauma, toxicity (through ingestion of medication or toxic substances), and autoimmune diseases etc.

General symptoms include an increase in urination and water consumption, along with nocturnal urination, vomiting, weight loss, lethargy and blood in urine etc. There could also be a decrease in or complete lack of urination as well.

Treatment

The only way to deal with kidney disease is by seeking medical treatment. Once your veterinarian is able to confirm the condition, which is achieved by observing symptoms and carrying out several tests, he/she will suggest a change in diet and prescribe medication and therapy.

Fluid therapy is one form of treatment. This treatment is provided in direct response to your dog’s need for fluids, which is something that all kidney disease patients suffer from. Their kidneys fail to concentrate urine, resulting in more water being passed out. This affects the body’s fluid balance.

So, you will be required to compensate for the fluid loss by giving your dog more water. As the condition progresses, your dog will require subcutaneous fluids. The administering of subcutaneous fluids can be done at home. Most veterinarians will train owners on this.

Potassium may also be included in the fluids to maintain electrolyte balance and in some cases, fluids may be administered intravenously.

Apart from Fluid Therapy, changes will be made to the dog’s diet. Usually, this included a low quantity-high quality protein diet. The idea is to minimize thee stress on the kidneys. The dietary change is introduced gradually to ensure that the dog gets used to it.
The protein content must be optimal – more or less will lead to other complications. For example, low protein leads to protein malnutrition, which isn’t healthy at all.

So, make sure your dog is checked on a regular basis by your vet. With the right kind of treatment, your dog is sure to live a better and longer life.

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September 13, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Busting the Most Common Tick Myths

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With a recent increase in the tick population, the myths about them are also on the rise. Everything about them including where they originate from, how they infect pets and more importantly, how to get rid of them can be misinterpreted and misleading. Depending on who you talk to, different myths have been passed on from generations, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest myths to help you deal with ticks better:

  • Myth: Ticks jump out from trees
    This is one of the most common myths out there. Experts have however, proven that not only can ticks not jump but they can’t climb far up trees either. Ticks are usually present on low blades of grass or bushes and latch onto pets that come in contact with them. Some ticks are even blind and use only the front part of their bodies for climbing onto pets and humans.
  • Myth: You can get rid of ticks using matches, Vaseline etc
    Although some home remedies do work, tweezers are your best bet for getting ticks out. Burning matches are extremely unsafe and no responsible pet owner will want to it near their pet The best way to get rid of ticks is to grab the body with tweezers and pull the body out. Once you’ve pulled out as much as possible, use soap and water to clean the area.
  • Myth: Ticks only spread Lyme disease
    Lyme disease is the most common disease spread by ticks but there are other potentially fatal diseases that they also spread to dogs and humans. This includes spotted fever, ehrilichiosis, anplasmosis and more. Unfortunately, diseases that are spread through ticks do not show up in blood tests and can be hard to detect. Early symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases are similar to that of the flu.
  • Myth: Ticks aren’t a problem in the winter
    Ticks have no problems surviving in winter as they tend to relocate indoors and be even more of a hassle for you and your pets. Some ticks also have various mechanisms to survive in the winter including secretions. Vets usually recommend preventative medication throughout the year for this reason.
  • Myth: Ticks can spread diseases without their bodies
    Many pet owners believe that ticks can still spread diseases even after they pull out the body. This incredulous myth leads many pet owners to worry about tick removal even more. Ticks cannot spread diseases using just their heads. Minor inflammation is the only consequence of letting tick heads remain on your pet’s skin. Heat packs will help them fall off quicker. In any case, tick heads will fall off in a few days by themselves.
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September 12, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Basic Commands You Need to Teach Your Dog Before Guests Come Over to Visit

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While you might be ready to have your pup tag along with you to parties and family get-togethers, he might not be completely ready for it. If you are visiting friends or relatives, or have guests over at your house, make sure that your dog knows these basic commands.

House training basics

One of the most common issues dog owners face when they visit someone else’s house are the basic house training mistakes. Your dog might understand that it is not acceptable to relieve himself inside your house, but he does not get the fact that the same applies inside the homes of your family and friends. Just to be on the safer side and avoid an unwanted accident, take him out to relieve himself as soon as you arrive at the destination and praise him for doing his business. Use your “go potty” or “go outside” command by letting him out after eating or drinking. Supervise him as closely as you can when you house training him for the first time.

Jumping

Dogs tend to start excited pretty soon and before you know it, they are jumping around for attention. Dog owners don’t handle the jumping behavior of their dogs properly and this leads to repeat offenses. In most of the cases, they end up inadvertently rewarding their dogs for their behavior by using their hands to move them off, which can seem a lot like petting. However, this will end up giving your dog more attention. The better response would be to ignore him completely and withhold all attention till he has all the paws back on the floor. Or, if you have taught him the “off” command, make sure that he listens to it and has all the paws on the ground before you reward him.

The “Sit” command

This is the most important behavior your dog needs to know before you take him to visit people. Your dog must have a clear understanding of how to control his voice and mouth, and a “sit” command should be able to take care of inappropriate biting, chewing and barking. To teach him to hold that position, ask him to “sit” and withhold rewards till he has complied. Keep repeating the routine for longer time intervals, till he comes to understand that “sit” means “sit and calm down”.

As Fido gets better at sitting and staying when you command him to, you can take away the treats and replace them with petting and words of praise. Eventually, he will learn to sit without the expectation of any other reward except your approval. When that happens, you know that your dog is ready to go anywhere you take him.

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September 9, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Ways To Train Your Cat To Perform Basic Tasks

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Cats aren’t as easy to train as dogs, in fact many believe that cats can’t be trained at all. While they may not be the easiest to train, they can be taught basic commands and tricks. Let’s take a look at 3 of the most basic commands that your cat needs to learn and how to train your cat to obey the.

Using the litter box

The first thing to do when you bring a cat home is to train it to excrete in the right place. To teach your cat to use the litter box, place it in a quiet location that is not too far from the cat. Cats like to do the deed in peace so a relaxed environment is preferred. Place the cat in the litter box shortly after meals and wait till it poops. If it does poop, you can reward it with treats and petting. If your cat is still young, it might poop outside the box sometimes, do not punish it when it does so. Instead, take it near the litter box and let it finish there. As a last resort, you can keep your cat in a separate room with the litter box until it poops. Cats will eventually pick up scent cues to understand where to excrete.

Stop Biting and Scratching

Cats bite and scratch you, either as a defense mechanism or during play. If your cat is too aggressive while scratching then you can play dead or feign injury to make it understand that biting hurts you. As for scratching, buying a scratch post for your cat helps. If your cat scratches you when you pick it up, it might be a sign that it doesn’t want to be picked up. Respect your cat’s boundaries and do not make it feel too uncomfortable. Often, forceful affection will just lead to more aggression. If your cat still scratches or bites, you can use the spraying method to make it stop. No matter how bad the problem gets, never declaw your cats. Declawing will have lasting damage on the cats.

Staying Off the counter

Cats have the habit of jumping on surfaces where they’re not supposed to. The first thing to do is remove food from the counter and keep cat food on the floor. You can also buy a cat tower to stop it from climbing on counters. If your kitty still doesn’t get the message create an unpleasant, but harmless stimuli on the counter. An example of this would be applying double-sided tape on some areas of the counter. You can also lock your cat outside the room to teach it a lesson.