Top Social Network for Animal Lovers – FunnyPaws.com

Our staff was just invited to join:  www.FunnyPaws.com – the newest social network available for pet owners, pet businesses, brands and others associated with the pet market.  This social network has a new twist and we think it will be one of the first to stand the test of time.

Social networks for pet lovers have come and gone – while none of them truly catching on.  Either there was difficulty in use, or they were setup as actual “pet” networking sites.  (we all know that it’s the owner’s doing the networking) – or maybe they were not really targeting what the user is truly looking for.

As pet owners and animal lovers, we want to be entertained, understand what’s new and impressive in the pet market, and get our questions answered by someone that is NOT a marketer for a pet store or manufacturer.  We want to talk to real people about real pet and animal problems.

Entertainment:  We don’t necessarily have to own pet’s to enjoy the laughter and love that animals can bring to our lives.  FunnyPaws has taken the lead in understanding that need.  Dedicated to laughs and love, you don’t have to be a pet owner to join.  (Joining is free and you can join straight through your twitter account if you have one).

Finally, if you own a pet store, are responsible for marketing a pet brand, are a vet, or a dog walker, you are welcome to create your own “Brand Group”, “Business Group” or “Local Group” on the website.   This can drum up business, but note that FunnyPaws will not tolerate spamming it’s members.

Although FunnyPaws is limiting it’s advertisements for now (all development was funded internally by owners) – we wonder where the revenue stream will eventually come from?  Stay tuned – but for now, please take a peek and join:  www.FunnyPaws.com.

How do I get my puppy/kitten to eat from a dish?

The age at which to begin teaching a kitten or puppy to lap from a dish is dependent upon its ability to stand up over the dish without toppling over.

A few tips for teaching to lap:

  • Start each feeding with a session where you dip your fingers into the shallow dish and let the animal lick your finger.
  • Repeat this several times, each time making the animal lean closer to the dish.
  • Every animal is different, but it shouldn’t take long for the animal to get the idea.
  • Finish the feeding session with a bottle depending on the amount lapped from the bowl.
  • Don’t push the animal’s nose into the dish. It might inhale the liquid into its lungs, which can lead to pneumonia and only stresses the animal, making your task all the more difficult.
  • Be patient.

Find Stainless Steel pet dishes at GregRobert

Gripsoft Pet Grooming Tools – New Packaging / Same Great Quality

GRIPSOFT by JWPET – the standard in dog and cat grooming tools has cool new packaging.

With a rubber handle designed in combination with groomers and a hand surgeon, Gripsoft grooming tools are the most comfortable you can buy. Their non-slip grips are made to optimize your comfort and control.

And the complete line means there is a specific Gripsoft tool made especially to match perfectly with your dog’s unique coat.  Don’t be fooled by the new yellow handle – it’s the same old great feeling grip to make sure you and your pet are comfortable when grooming.

A few of our favorites:

The Undercoat Rake loosens lightly matted parts of the coat and lifts out dead and shedding hair from the undercoat. A row of round-tipped teeth tend to your dog’s under layer of hair. The non-slip, ergonomically correct handle makes grooming a more pleasurable experience for both of you.
Slicker Brush – Ideal for daily brushing to remove dead and shedding hair. This brush has a rounded head and slightly angled pins, great for double coated breeds. The non-slip, ergonomically correct handle makes grooming a more pleasurable experience for both of you.

Hilton Herbs for Pets

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FEATURED PET BRAND – HILTON HERBS for PETS

With Hilton Herbs

you can be confident that all of their herbal canine and feline supplements offer a safe and effective way of providing pets with herbs to support and maintain healthy coat and skin, balanced nerves and

hormones, strong and healthy digestion, oral health, immunity, mobility and overall health and vitality.

How to Ease Arthritis Pain in Cats

Arthritis in dogs is extremely common, and while it is less common in cats, the problem still exists.  The most common type of arthritis in cats is known as degenerative arthritis.  Basically what happens to your cat is that joint protecting cartilage becomes diminished, meaning the bone is no longer cushioned by this protective cartilage.

Arthritis is a common problem in older felines because their cartilage has been worn down over the span of their life from jumping and moving around.  Another common cause of arthritis is joint injuries that do not properly heal.  These injuries usually happen from jumping from too high of an altitude.  Do not let your cat jump down from beds or couches.  Get pet stairs, like the Ultralite Pet Stairs by Solvit, so that your cat can climb down from his favorite windowsill, beds, or couches.

There is no way to cure arthritis in cats, but there are steps you can take to make sure your cat is not living with pain.  First things first, make sure your cat is at a healthy weight.  Extra pounds can put unnecessary pressure on your cat’s joints.  Your vet can let you know if your cat needs to lose a few pounds.  Next, giving your cat a warm place to lay down or sleep will ease joint related pain.  A heated cat bed or a heated cat pad is perfect to relax your kitty’s aching joints.  For a colorful and comfortable kitty pad, check out the Thermo-Kitty Fashion Splash, pictured to the right.  The Thermo-Kitty Fashion Splash comes in fun colors like blue, mocha, red, and purple.

There are also some great supplements that can help relieve the pain caused by arthritis.  The best supplement for arthritis is glucosamineCosequin for Cats with Glucosamine 55 ct is a great joint relief product because it comes in yummy chicken and tuna flavors.  Cosequin for Cats with Glucosamine 55 ct can be sprinkled on your cat’s food daily, so you have an easy and sneaky way to make sure your cat gets the glucosamine she needs.   If over the counter supplements are not helping your cat’s arthritis symptoms, you may want to talk to your vet about medication he or she can prescribe.  I always suggest that you start with supplements before turning toward prescription medicine.

Tips for Traveling with Your Dog or Cat

Taking your pet with you on vacation?  Moving a few states away, and need to get your pet to the new house?  Whether your pet is going to be traveling by car or plane, there are some important tips you need to know before you make any traveling plans.

First and foremost, you must be sure your pet does not eat for at least 6 hours before the trip.  If your pet is on an airplane, he or she may get nervous, which can cause stomach issues.  If your pet is traveling by car, it is easy for he or she to become nauseated during the car ride.  Not feeding your animal for at least 6 hours before the trip ensures there will be no issues with vomiting or severe stomach aches.

Secondly, you want to make sure that  you have a well ventilated carrier for your pet.  Air circulation can particularly be an issue if your pet is traveling with the cargo on the airplane.  However, it is always a good idea to keep your pet in a well ventilated cage so that it is easy for them to breathe properly, and so no respiratory issues affect your pet.

A great type of airline approved pet carrier is the Petmate Vari Kennel Ultra Traditional, shown to the right.  These carriers come in 4 different sizes, so you can find one that would best fit the needs of your cat or dog.  Not only does this carrier have the usual side ventilation, but it also has rear ventilation.  As mentioned above, ventilation is so important for safe travel.  The Petmate Vari Kennel Ultra Traditional even has strap holes on each corner to ensure that you can safely secure your pet into the car.

This last tip is very important: never, ever sedate your pet before a trip.  This especially rings true if your pet will be traveling in the cargo space on the airplane.  There will be no one there to watch your pet, and it is extremely risky to have a sedated pet unsupervised.  Sedated pets may have problems breathing regularly, and this combined with the lack of circulated air on an airplane can be a recipe for disaster.  As long as you remember to not feed your dog or cat at least  hours before embarking on a trip, you can be sure that they will be able to handle the travel.

Does Your Kitty Have a Cat Bed?

The fact is that cats will sleep wherever they want.  I used to find my cat sleeping in the most random places.  However, when I got my cat his own bed, he ended up sleeping in it all the time!  It can actually be nice for your cat to have his own place to sleep.  If your cat sleeps in your bed, it can get kind of annoying.  Your cat wants to be close to you, so you can get a cat bed  and keep it in your room so your cat can be close to you at night.

Since cats sleep about 2/3 of their life, you want to give him a comfortable place to sleep.  Most cat’s favorite placed to sleep is on a tree perch or a window perch.  They like to be high up, it makes them feel superior (which they already think they are!).  A cute window sill perch is the Purrfect Perch Heated Window Sill Perch for Cats, shown to the right.  Cats will have the perfect view to watch birds and any activity outside.  It is also heated, so your cat can be warm during the winter months.  The fleece cover of the Purrfect Perch Heated Window Sill Perch for Cats can be removed and easily washed.  Another reasons cats love window perches, particularly indoor cats, is because it is a great way to sun themselves.

Many cats also like round beds known as “cup” or “cuddler” beds.  A high quality cup/cuddler bed is the Cat N Round Cuddle Cup Cat Bed.  This cozy bed has walls that are filled with 6 inches of foam, and are 16 inches high.  This bed makes cats feel safe and warm, and somewhat hidden from others!  The fleece cover can be removed and washed.

If your cat does not like perch beds or cuddle beds, you should try cushion beds.  The Classic Striped Pet Cushion Bed is an ideal cushion bed.  It comes in 3 different colors, and three different sizes.  The cover is reversible, so you can either have the color side showing, or a soft fleece side showing.  Both the cover and the liner can be removed and machine washed.

As you may of noticed, each of the beds I mentioned have a removable cover.  Having this removable cover is imperative, especially for fluffy beds.  Fleas and mites can live in the fluffy fabric, so you need to throw these covers in the washer machine frequently to kill any bugs and their eggs.

Experiment with different beds to find out which bed your cat likes the most!

Does Your Cat Need a Carrier?

If you ask me, I would say that every cat needs a carrier.  Any time you travel, a carrier would come in handy.  Carriers are also great for taking your cat to the veterinarian.  There will be other cats there, and you do not want a cat fight to start!  Any time you take your cat in the car, a carrier would be helpful.  Some people like to take their cats on road trips with them, and you do not want to give your cat free run of the car!

Another reason that you may want a carrier is for introducing your cat to other animals.  Whether you have set up a kitty play date, or you are bringing a new animal home, a carrier is always very useful!

If you plan on frequently taking your cat for airplane rides, you might want to get a carrier that is airline approved.  The carrier shown to the right, the Vari-Kennel – Airline Approved Pet Kennel, has the approved dimensions per airplane guidelines (at 26x16x15).  With the Vari-Kennel – Airline Approved Pet Kennel, your cat can ride comfortably in the cargo hold.  Look through all of the airline approved pet carriers and find one that you like the best!  If you want your cat to sit with you in the passenger compartment, you need to get a soft sided carrier.  Choose one like the Petmate Soft Sided Kennel Cab Carrier for Small Pets.  The mesh lining allows for proper ventilation.

If you are getting a carrier for car traveling, I would recommend getting a larger crate.  This way, you can fit a litter box in the crate with your cat.  I would recommend taking a look at the Petmate Vari Kennel Ultra Traditional.  There are 4 different sizes to choose from.  So, depending on the size of your cat and how much room you have in the car for the crate, you can choose the right size!

The best part about cat carriers in that they are affordable.  In fact, cat carriers are more inexpensive that you may think!  Check out the variety of cat carriers and you will be pleasantly surprised!

Cat Hairballs – True or False Quiz

Most cats develop hairballs, a function of their fastidious grooming habits.  As they lick their coats, their tongues “grab” loose hair, which immediately gets swallowed. From the stomach, where it can’t be digested, it has only two ways to go—back up the esophagus, where it’s expelled as a hairball, or down through the small intestine toward the colon where it is becomes part of the stool.  Pictured to the right is Excel’s Long Hair Cat Hairball Remedy.

As much as the pre-hairball hacking and choking is disturbing to witness, and as disgusting as hairballs are to clean, the real potential for complication resulting from hair ingestion is the risk of a blockage to your cat’s GI tract, which can be life threatening and may require surgical intervention.

The treatment for hairballs is twofold:

  • Brush your cat’s hair regularly with a good quality cat brush. Spend 10 to 15 minutes each grooming session. 
  • Regular use of a cat hairball remedy, which will facilitate the hair’s smooth passage through the GI system and elimination. Be sure your cat has access to fresh drinking water at all times.

A cat who is experiencing hairball impaction will likely exhibit some of the following symptoms: vomiting and/or retching; diarrhea and/or inability to defecate; swollen abdomen; howling noises when using the litter box. If you note the persistence of any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Cat Tip of the Day: Finicky eating

Don’t panic if your cat rejects his favorite meal in a very random way.

Cats are notoriously finicky eaters.

Instead, offer something new. Cats crave variety. If that doesn’t work, don’t worry. Cats go through cycles of body weight, causing them to adjust their eating patterns. If this is the case, all the variety in the world will not make your cat eat more.

Pictured to the right is Sportmix Gourmet Cat Food which we recommend for it’s high nutrition and cat palatibility (is that a word?)

Continue to offer a nutritionally complete and balanced cat diet.  Avoid excessive cat treats and table scraps.  If your cat persists in not eating and begins to lose excessive amounts of weight, see your veterinarian.