Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Small Dogs v. Larger Breeds

As I was walking Beanie today (adorable, small Pomeranian-Poodle) these thoughts came to mind. 

While large dogs and small are all part of the same biological pool, there are big differences -- not just in size.  If you want a dog who can be easily well trained, who will listen to your commands, and who will make you top dog in his or her eyes, you want a larger breed, like a Labrador.  They are lots of terrific large breed dogs.

Smaller breeds:
They have longer life spans than the larger breeds.  They eat less (so the food bill is less).  In case of danger, a small dog can be easily picked up and carried.  It's fun to have an animal cuddle in your lap.  Because of their independent, spunky personalities, they can be quite funny!  They don't eat  much, they eliminate less, so there's less to pick up. And, they often maintain a cute "puppy" like appearance into adulthood.

Are you a fan of small or large dogs?  I would love to hear from you.

The Thundershirt Works!

Whoever invented The Thundershirt is brillant -- and by now, probably wealthy.  It is basically a piece of soft material that wraps snuggly around an animal's torso.  It is the swaddling effect that gives both human babies and other animals comfort, and eases their fears.

On 4th of July this year, two Westies wore it, at my recommendation.  These siblings love to bark. They are not leash trained, so they pull like crazy.  The Thundershirt descreased the barking by 98% -  though they still went ballistic when a skateboarder sailed by, barking at other dogs ceased.  They were a bit easier to walk on leash, and overall, calmer.  I've witnessed this working successfully on about a half dozen animals, and don't know of any failures.

Now there's a Thundershirt for cats.  Since my cat has a difficult time with the 4th (as most animals do), and he doesn't need further stress ( he was diagnosed with renal disease 2.5 years ago), I decided to try it.  The effect it had on my kitty was nothing short of amazing.  He became such a mellow fellow I was able to clip his front nails for the first time.  He also became super affectionate and cuddly.  I plan to put it on him the next time we go to the vet since he loathes traveling in his carrier.

The company offers a 45 day money back guarantee; Petco, 30 days.  It comes in small, medium and large.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cat Litter: Which to buy?

Let me first state that I don't receive any type of remuneration for the products I endorse.  I simply enjoy finding new products, and passing that information on.

Essentials by Arm & Hammer used to be my favorite clumping litter.  Sadly, either a disgruntled employee has tampered with their product, or they have foolishly fiddled with the formulation.  It simply doesn't clump the urine at all well anymore, and that has been true for several bags I've tried.  Very disappointing, because it is less expensive than the one which is now my top choice.  My cat likes both, but then, he's not cleaning the litter box, or paying the bills. 

The World's Best Cat Litter (yep, a bit of hyperbole there) now gets my top vote . If  you don't have a tight budget, this is my #1 recommendation:

1.  It is natural, made from corn.  Doesn't contain synthetic chemicals or   perfumes.
2.  It is odor absorbing, and has a pleasant, natural scent.
3.  You can actually flush it down the toilet! 
4.  If you google the item, you can find a free bag rebate.

I am NOT a fan of non-clumping litter, like pine pellets.  Clumping litter is a marvelous invention and it makes care of the kitty box a lot easier. 

Freddie's carries the smaller sizes; if you go to the pet supply stores, you will find large bags (20 lbs?) which will likely be less costly per pound.

If you have a favorite, please write and let me know why.

Dogs, Bikes, Summer

As we know, Portland has a big bicycle culture.  It's a healthy, environmentally friendly way to get around town, and that's great.  Today, though, I noticed a not uncommon sight while I was dog walking.  A young woman was riding her bike, and she had her dog on a leash.  So as she was riding, her dog had no choice but to run along side of her. 

The sun was high in the sky around 1pm.  The dog had no way of letting his guardian ("owner") know of his fatigue and need for rest and water. A dog in that situation could stumble, and possibly be dragged.  The dog was panting, and it didn't look like she was carrying water.

What do you think?