Friday, April 25, 2014

Parker's Pointers

            Although it is not common, sometimes we cats need to be given a good bath once in a while.  Our curiosity may get the best of us and we can get dirty or possibly something sticky in our coat.  I wanted to take a moment to share some great tips for anyone giving my feline friends a bath.

            Please keep in mind the reason we do not like to get wet is because our fur does not insulate well when it is wet.  So, the best time to give us a bath would be during a mellow point in our day.  Perhaps a play session prior to our bath would help tire us out a little.

            Since water is not one of our most favorite things, some believe that a little trim of our nails would be in your best interest.  When we are surrounded by water, we have this uncontrollable urge to try and get away to hide in a warm, dry place.

            To ensure the best possible outcome of cleanliness, a good brushing to get out extra fur would be wonderful.  I know I really love a good brushing and this would also help me relax and remain calm before going into, what I believe to be, the watery torture.  If we are willing, cotton balls in our ears will also help to keep water out of our ears during the bath.

            A great way to keep a good handle on us while we’re in the tub or sink is to lie a rubber bath mat down.  This way, it will be more difficult for us to slide around while being washed.  All that is needed for us is three to four inches of lukewarm water.  Please avoid hot water as our skin is very sensitive.

            Now is the time where we have to get wet.  Use a hand-held spray house to wet us down, paying close attention not to get any water in our ears, eyes, or nose.  If you don’t have a spray house, anything plastic like a pitcher or cup will work great.

            Since our skin is so sensitive, try to avoid using human shampoo.  Use a mixture of one part cat shampoo to five parts water and gently massage from head to tail.  Then, rinse all the shampoo off making sure all suds are gone since this can irritate our skin if left on.

            You can use a wet washcloth to carefully wipe our faces.  Again, be careful not to get water into our eyes, ears, or nose. 

            Finally, wrap us in a large, comfy towel and keep us in a warm, non-stressful place to dry.  I’m not a big fan of a hair dryer, but if your feline companions don’t mind it you can use that on a low setting.

Now comes the best part… after such an experience I am rewarded for being a good boy with praise and my favorite treats!  I hope this inside scoop straight from the cat’s mouth will help make your next feline bathing experience a little smoother.
                                                                                                Pawsfully Yours,


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pet First Aid Awareness Month

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month and a great opportunity for pet owners to brush up on tips from the American Red Cross to keep their animals safe and healthy as we head into spring and summer.
Heat stroke is one of the most common problems pets face in the warmer weather when they are not yet used to the warm temperatures. Pet owners should remember that the inside of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees in warm weather and should not leave their animals in the car, even during short trips. This can quickly lead to heat stroke. The signs of heat stroke include:
  • Heavy panting and being unable to calm down, even when lying down.
  • The pet’s gums may be brick red, they may have a fast pulse rate, or they may not be able to get up.
  • If someone suspects their pet has heat stroke, they should take the pet’s temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, they should cool the animal down. The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees. Bring the pet to the veterinarian immediately as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.
    Open doors and windows can be hazardous to a pet. The animal may try to get outside, increasing the risk of falling from windows or being hit by a vehicle. Some plants and flowers can be hazardous. For instance, many lilies are very poisonous to cats. Visit the ASPCA Poison Control web site to find out which plants and flowers are poisonous to animals. If someone thinks their animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, they should contact their veterinarian.
    Courses are available at many Red Cross chapters on how to care for your pet. The Red Cross has also developed Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid Guides with DVDs that teach basic responsibilities like spaying/neutering and giving medications, to performing CPR and preparing for disasters. Visit or call 1-800 RED CROSS to see when classes are available. The Guides are available through the Red Cross Store.
    Pet owners can follow these important steps to help keep their pet healthy:
  • Give pets plenty of exercise.
  • Make sure they have plenty of fresh, cool water.
  • Make sure they get regular yearly checkups with their veterinarian, and are up to date on vaccines, especially rabies.
  • Get pets spayed or neutered.
  • Keep dogs on leashes outside – another animal may be too much temptation
  • Know how to perform CPR and provide basic first aid until veterinary care is available
    Don’t forget to include pets in planning for emergencies in your home or neighborhood:
  • Make plans to take your pets with you if you have to evacuate.
  • Most Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety concerns and other considerations. Know which friends, relatives, hotels, boarding facilities will accept pets in an emergency.
  • Assemble an easy-to-carry kit with emergency supplies for pets: Leashes, harnesses and/or carriers
  • Food, drinking water, bowls, manual can opener
  • Medications and copies of medical records
  • Current photos of the pets
  • Pet First Aid Awareness Month is a great time for people to learn how to protect their pet and keep them healthy. More information on how to keep pets in good health are located on the Red Cross Pets and Disaster Safety Checklist.