The ThunderShirt

Posted in General Interest, Pet Anxiety | No Comments »

When I noticed Stella becoming  more and more terrified of veterinary visits, I decided to do a little research on non-drug treatments to help her cope.  Such things as routine annual exams & vaccinations or any other necessary medical attention are so important and definitely should not be ignored.  After much research I found the ThunderShirt, decided to give it a chance and was so excited when the shipment arrived.  It’s made of quality soft-to-the-touch thick stretchy fabric.

On the box, it says that the ThunderShirt can be used for:

  • fear of thunder
  • barking problems
  • as a general training too
  • any noise anxiety
  • separation anxiety
  • car or travel anxiety
  • any excitability
  • crate anxiety
  • reactivity
  • general fearfulness
  • leash pulling
  • and more

Anxiety symptoms listed by the ThunderShirt Company include and are not limited to: panting, shaking, drooling, barking/whining, hiding, scratching, licking, bolting, eliminating indoors, seizures.

How does it work you may ask?  It’s described as “applies gentle, constant pressure on a dog’s torso, that has an amazing calming effect for most dogs…  Pressure has been used to successfully reduce anxiety for many years for both animals and humans.  Examples include parents swaddling infants, veterinarians using squeeze chutes when vaccinating cattle, and thousands of people with autism using pressure to relieve persistent anxiety.”  I like that there was an option at the time we purchased it to return the product within 45 days for a full refund of the purchase price (had we felt it was not the right solution for us), but since we thought it was a good product, we did end up keeping it.

Our thoughts: Honestly, the pressure of the ThunderShirt is quite gentle.  Stella seems to tolerate her ThunderShirt pretty well and normally acts relaxed without any obsessive tendencies.  Does it lesson her vet anxiety?  Maybe a little.  Any progress is really a step in the right direction.  I also bring along one of her favorite blankets to lay on and dog toys to keep her entertained in the vet waiting lounge.

Please comment on your experience with your ThunderShirt purchase.  I would love to know what other furmoms think of it.

*Photocredit: ThunderShirt Company

thundershirt dog model thundershirt sizing chart

 

 

Beyond Just the Usual Dewey Decimal System at an Iowa Library…

Posted in Books, General Interest | No Comments »

Meet Dewey, a small-town Iowa library cat :)…  I am making my way through this book which I borrowed from my husband (a real cat lover).  I adore animal/pet stories!  It began with Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book in 5th. grade.

*Photocredit: Amazon.com & DeweyReadMoreBooks.com

 

 

The Amazing Dr. Pol & Dr. Greg Martinez

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This is going to be a very quick post.  I’ve been meaning to share this with everyone… Go check out Dr. Jan Pol’s television show on the National Geographic channel and Dr. Greg Martinez on You Tube (both have their own websites so click on the corresponding links)!  Fun to watch and loads of valuable information; even with this being true, don’t forget to take your pet for annual checkups and as needed to your local veterinary clinic!  Always remember that they depend on you to keep them well.

*Photocredits: ThinkStock & Wikimedia.org

cutelittlepiggy by thinkstock Golden Retriever puppy

 

The Loveliest Pet Christmas Stockings…

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Several years ago my husband ordered a couple of stockings made by Annie’s Woolens for us.  They are beautifully made, have lasted for quite some time, can be stored in the attic or basement without worry (just be sure to use a sturdy container), and can hold quite a bit of stocking stuffers (toys, treats, clothing).  I wish the pet ones were as big as the ones for people though I suppose if you ordered them early for next Christmas, they may be able to accommodate your request.

The personalized family stockings are: $44.95 each and measure 7″ wide by 21.5″ long.

The pet stockings are: $36.00 each and measure 6.5″ wide by 18″ long.

They have a nice variety you may choose from besides the ones I’ve highlighted.  Currently we are using solid red velvet stockings purchased from Pottery Barn for our furbabies.  I would have ordered from Annie Woolens had I known they also make pet ones (just so we’d have matching sets) but no big deal =).

*Photocredit: Annie Woolens

Invisible Cats & Dogs

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I meant to blog about the topic of invisible cats and dogs for a while now; sorry for the delay.  I’m not sure who began this campaign but does it really matter since it advocates for such a worthy cause.  The original campaign also reads “invisible dogs” but I think the issue applies to all homeless animals be they cat, dog, rabbit, horses, etc since they are all looking for, need, and are deserving of a loving forever home.  This is also a 24/7 concern as well.  As you know, many healthy animals continue to be euthanized due to over-population and over-crowding in certain shelters.  This is very disturbing and saddens me deeply.

This is an exerpt by Best Friends Animal Society:

“We’ll give you a few clues: some are playful pups, others are wise seniors. Some like long mountainous hikes, others prefer an uptown stroll. Most love belly rubs and lounging on couches with their people. All of them want a family of their own, and all have lots of love to give.

They sound just like regular dogs, right?

You guessed it, they are exactly like the dogs you see all around you… with one major difference… most of us don’t see them.

Right now in your community, there are likely thousands of Invisible Dogs wishing someone like you would see them. They are tucked away in shelters, far from the eyes and thoughts of people who could spring them from their kennels and take them home.
So thanks for joining Best Friends to help these dogs be seen. Together, we can bring Invisible Dogs into the spotlight – and help them go home.”

Shelter animals really make the best pets and I do know this by personal experience.  Know that you are also saving and enriching a life.  The world needs good karma. It starts with you. Please consider a shelter adoption before considering anything else.

*Reference: www.invisibledogs.org

Spread Some Holiday Cheer! Please Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays!

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Petfinder.com’s third annual Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays Campaign is fast approaching so I really wanted to blog about this important topic in support of their cause.  To be honest I have not had the pleasure of such an experience because my husband and I have always had a full house.  Two to three furbabies is unfortunately all we can handle at this time.  I really wish we could take more in; I miss my Neo terribly and miss having a meezer around.

I’m going to highlight Petfinder’s conversation regarding the reasons to foster; however, I encourage you to visit their blog for a more detailed look at their post.  Please also visit Petfinder.com- your future best friend is hoping you will find them.

*Reference: 3rd. Annual Petfinder’s Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays Campaign

  1. Giving shelters and rescue groups extra help during a time of year when they are usually short-staffed.
  2. Giving other foster parents a chance to travel or just take a break.
  3. Freeing up a spot so the shelter or rescue group can take in another pet.
  4. Giving your foster pet the time he or she needs to be ready for adoption. (Learn common reasons pets need foster homes).
  5. Helping the shelter or rescue group learn more about the pet so he can end up in the home best suited to him.
  6. Socializing the pet to a home environment and possibly getting him used to being around other pets and different types of people.

As much as we hear about or see injustices around the world, I believe that there’s always something that can be done to send good karma back out into the world.   Fostering/rescuing a soul is definitely one of these things.

Jake & Opie’s Christmas Wishlist

Posted in Jake, Outlaw Pete | No Comments »

Jake isn’t normally a very demanding cat except for some scraps of attention during prime kitty time (when I’m retiring for the night).  Overall, he’s been a pretty good cat this year (minus the times he’s acted as Opie’s scout) so his stocking won’t be filled with a lump of coal but with some of his favorite goodies.  He still has a bunch of new fleece catnip-stuffed fortune cookies which he hasn’t gone through yet so…  this year he will receive a couple of replacement mice stuffed with catnip by CFA.  Like the fortune cookie, he happily carries this toy in his mouth throughout the house.  Sometimes we play fetch so he bounds up and down the stairs with the mouse to perpetuate our little game.  No doubt that boy must have been a dog in his previous life!  His current mouse is in poor but well-loved shape.

Opie has been a bit naughtier this year with his adamant counter-surfing and food pilfering behavior; however, not enough to warrant a lump of coal in his stocking either.  I do understand that the diet the boys were placed on by their veterinarian has taken a hard toll on them so every once in a while I do treat them with a few morsels each of Feline Greenies (they seem to prefer the fish flavors).  They will each be receiving some bags of Greenies in their stockings.  Opie isn’t as into toys as much as Jake so I will have to make up the difference somehow.

*Photocredit: Petco & Greenies

Durapet Stainless Steel Bowls

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My husband and I were on a hunt for a cat bowl which couldn’t be easily flipped over.  Our boys have a habit of batting the water in their bowls (for whatever odd reason) and chasing each other around the house at break-neck speed (causing them to run into things; namely their bowls).  We saw this product on one of our pet food-shopping outings and wanted to give this a try.  I wouldn’t say that it’s 100% splatter proof even with its high walls (filled no more than 40% with water and with at least two re-fillings per day) but I haven’t seen it flip over yet so I believe it’s at least partially successful.  The bowl is easily cleaned and is lighter than a porcelain bowl its size (we opted for the larger size).  If you are at your wits’ end, give Durapet a try.  I also understand they have a slow-feed bowls as well for animals who tend to “inhale” or “shovel” their food and those with other digestive issues.

*Photocredit: Durapet

Guide Star: Non-Profit Reference

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I had mentioned Guide Star previously and would like to include this current post as an addendum to the Paws for Japan blog post.  Below is part of Guide Star’s Mission Statement:

“If you care about nonprofits and the work they do, then you’re affected by what Guide Star does—even if this is your first visit to www.guidestar.org. Guide Star gathers and publicizes information about nonprofit organizations. Guide Star’s reach is far and wide with a database that is broad and deep.

Guide Star encourages nonprofits to share information about their organizations openly and completely. Any nonprofit in Guide Star’s database can update its report with information about its mission, programs, leaders, goals, accomplishments, and needs—for free. Guide Star combines the information that nonprofits supply with data from several other sources. You’ll find GuideStar data:

  • on the Guide Star Web site
  • on the many Guide Star client Web sites
  • in computer applications used by funding entities and private companies who work with nonprofits

If you’re new to GuideStar, search the site to find the nonprofit information you need—it’s free! You’ll get even more information if you complete Guide Star’s registration form and log in—also free!

Why is Guide Star so very passionate about nonprofit information? Because the best possible decisions are made when donors, funders, researchers, educators, professional service providers, governing agencies, and the media use the quality information that Guide Star provides. Those decisions affect our world today and will continue to affect it for generations to come.

Guide Star has an ambitious plan for long-term sustainability that combines public and philanthropic support with earned revenue. Subscriptions and licensing fees for Guide Star services provide important financial support for Guide Star work—in 2008, they made up 67 percent of Guide Star’s total revenue. The remaining 33 percent of Guide Star’s operating revenue came from Guide Star foundation membership program, program-related grants, and contributions. As a public charity, providing nonprofit information to a broad audience at no cost to those users is an important part of Guide Star’s public service, one that Guide Star pledges to continue.”

*Reference: Guide Star

People Foods to Avoid for Pets

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So far this has been my understanding of people foods or ingredients to avoid for pets:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Garlic
  • Nuts
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Cooked bones (chicken, turkey, pork, beef)
  • Xylitol (sweetener in many sugar-free gum and candies)

If I have left anything off this list or if there is any inaccuracy, please let me know by posting a comment.  I would really appreciate it.  Thanks!