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Leave the Leftovers in the Fridge


Leave the Leftovers in the FridgeCaring for animals is a passion of mine. I’ve rescued animals of all kinds since I was a child. After we moved to Texas, I was intrigued by the wildlife it offered. I’ve lived in wooded areas like upper Michigan, cities with tall buildings and concrete like in California, and deserts with oh so much sand like in Arizona. You know the saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas?” I did not fully understand what that meant until I saw the giant squirrels, the giant mosquitoes and the giant raccoons that would come right up into my lap while eating dog food that I’d set out for my rather confused dog.

Wild animals are not pets. You should never leave leftovers outside, and you should never invite a wild animal into your home (no matter how cute they are). Why, you ask? There are multiple reasons: the main one being that they are simply wild. You do not know what to expect. It can also be unsafe, and they can be carrying all kinds of ailments that could be transferred to your home, pets and human family.

Domestic animals are raised to believe that you will eventually give them what they want. Wild animals do not do the same. If you do leave any food outside, wild animals might soon come to expect their treats, and then they might bring it upon themselves to go into your house or even your neighbor’s to get it.

Still want to enjoy the view of deer in your backyard or hear the song of birds outside your window? As long as you respect their space, they usually respect yours as well. You’ll be able to have a safe and happy relationship with your wild animal friends by treating them to items better created for them like bird seed or salt licks.

Brookshire’s carries a selection of items you could use in the pet aisle. Check out how you can make your house more animal-friendly today and leave the leftovers in the fridge. There is always a new way to recreate those dishes tomorrow!

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Posted in: Pets


Family Matters: First Aid for Your Cat


First Aid for Your CatJust like with a child, it’s always best to be prepared in case of an emergency with your feline friend.

Cats can get into all sorts of trouble where first aid might be necessary.

They could get into a cat fight. If your cat is bleeding, approach him carefully to avoid getting hurt yourself. Apply pressure to the wound with a wad of gauze, tissue or a clean cloth. Hold pressure for 10 minutes. Keep your cat as calm and as still as possible during this time. You might lay the cat on its side and elevate the area where the cat is bleeding, if the cat will let you. For bleeding that won’t stop in 10 minutes, seek veterinary care. After the cut has stopped bleeding, clean with warm water and apply a topical ointment like Neosporin. Bandage with gauze, if necessary.

If your cat gets stung by a bee, it’s important to try to get the stinger out. Do so by running your fingernail along the bite, which should dislodge the stinger if it’s protruding from the skin. Apply ice or a cool compress to the sting site. A paste of baking soda and water may neutralize the sting. If it swells disproportionately, seek veterinary care immediately.

Your cat is usually pretty good at discerning what should and shouldn’t go into his mouth, but in case of accidental poisoning, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435. Staffed by a veterinary team, this line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

When your cat is vomiting excessively, remove all food and water. If no vomiting occurs for 6 hours, reintroduce water and a little food. If vomiting persists after 24 hours, contact your vet.



Family Matters: First Aid for Your Pup


First Aid for Your PupYou should have a first aid kit at home for your hound.

You never know what kind of mischief your pup will find!

The first aid kit should include:

  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
  • Blanket (a foil emergency blanket)
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Gauze rolls
  • Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting — do this only when directed by a veterinarian or a poison-control expert)
  • Ice pack
  • Non-latex, disposable gloves
  • Petroleum jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
  • Rectal thermometer (your pet’s temperature should not rise above 103° F or fall below 100° F)
  • Scissors (with blunt ends)
  • Sterile, non-stick gauze pads for bandages
  • Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
  • Tweezers
  • A pillowcase to confine your pet for treatment
  • A pet carrier

In addition, make sure to post your veterinarian’s information, an emergency vet’s information and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline number, (888) 426-4435, somewhere that’s easily accessible.



Family Matters: Grooming Your Feathered Friend


Grooming Your Feathered FriendYour pet bird will preen with pride when you give him a good grooming.

Start by checking his beak. Bird beaks should wear evenly, and be sure your pet bird has something in his cage that he can use to peck at to help with his beak. If his beak is uneven, contact your vet who can help trim it evenly.

Then, move on to his nails. Overgrown nails can cause problems with your bird’s feet. Trim with human nail clippers or a pair of dog nail clippers. Only trim a small amount each time.

If your bird is allowed out of his cage, he’ll need his wings trimmed. Leave this to a professional the first time, but watch closely so you can do it yourself at home. Be careful not to cut any blood feathers, as treatment will require first aid.

Finish up by misting your bird. Your bird might really enjoy getting a little wet because that will encourage him to groom himself. Choose a frequency that does not stress your pet bird; some birds will tolerate a daily misting; others will only enjoy once a week. Using a spray bottle with room temperature water, lightly spray your bird all over. Then, let him groom himself. Be sure he is out of drafts when you do this.



Family Matters: Grooming Your Small Animal


Grooming Your Small AnimalLuckily for you, your small pet, like a gerbil or guinea pig, is a fastidious groomer by instinct, so there’s little for you to do.

Small animals don’t really need to be bathed unless there’s some sort of extenuating circumstances, but they can use a nail trim on occasion. Use small human nail clippers to trim the tips of your small animal’s nails. Don’t take too much off, as they need their nails for traction, digging and burrowing.

Check your small pets’ teeth for signs of even wear, and make sure they have something available in their cage to chew on. Ferrets actually require a daily brushing of teeth, so make sure you’re committed to doing that before taking one into your home.

Feel free to brush your small pet or clean his ears with small cotton swabs and a drop of baby oil.



Family Matter: Dogs Home Alone


Dogs Home AloneBack-to-school can be a lonely time for your pet. It is for my dog, Astro. All summer, he’s had the luxury of having the boys home all day to play with him and to let him in and out at his whim.

When the boys go back to school, Astro is left to his own devices in the yard or in the house. Truth be told, he has to stay outside because it’s not always guaranteed I can come home in the middle of the day to let him out for a play and potty break.

Ease him into the back-to-school routine by leaving him in a quiet house for increasingly extended periods of time as it gets closer to school resuming. This might be hard if you have kids in the house, but hey, school supply shopping takes a few hours, at least.

You might use a white noise machine or leave your radio on set to a classical (soothing music, no heaving metal head banging for your pet) while you’re gone.

Make sure there are not too many temptations around the house of objects he could easily destroy. You might consider gating him into one room or area.

Fill a Kong toy will all kinds of toys to keep your pet occupied during the day. If your pet is outside, leave ropes, balls and other toys in the yard for fun and to help keep him occupied.

If your dog will be outside, fill a bowl with a few toys, then add water and freeze. Leave the ice block outside in the yard for him, and he will uncover the toys as the ice block melts during the day.



Family Matters: Bird Toys and Play


Bird Toys and PlayJust like kids, birds like to play, too!

Birds develop a fondness for play in the “child and adolescent” years between the time they are fledglings and the time they reach sexual maturity.

Provide your bird with plenty of outlets for his play.

They tend to like things that move and make noise. Birds also love a mirror. Place a non-breakable mirror in their cage or somewhere near their cage for them to enjoy their reflection.

Ladders, swings and bells are also fun for birds. Ladders are great because it gives them a chance to exercise, and swings fulfill a need for proprioceptive movement. Bells are a great cause and effect toy, as they will learn to ring them and enjoy the resulting sound.

Paper balls might also be a fun toy for your bird. Wad up a piece of scrapbooking paper, and place it in the bottom of his cage. You can also place a few on top of his cage and make him reach for them. Paper strips from your shredder are also fun for your bird. He’ll spend hours tearing at them. Paper cones and cups, slightly smashed, can occupy birds for hours. Place several around his cage.

Toys on strings suspended from the top of their cages can also give them something to bat around in space.



Family Matters: Cats Home Alone


Cats Home AloneCats are pretty self-sufficient, and they can easily be left home alone all day. However, they can get lonely, too.

If your cat is accustomed to having plenty of company, ease them into a back-to-school routine by leaving the house for several hours at a time.

You might want to leave a white noise machine or radio on that’s playing soothing music in your home while you’re gone, so your cat feels like it has company.

If your cat has a particular spot where he likes to sleep, put a stuffed toy or a hot water bottle (one he can’t puncture with teeth or claws) in the area, so he’ll have something to cuddle next to. Some pets respond well to an old-fashioned alarm clock, one that ticks, wrapped in a blanket or towel.

Make sure your pet has a clean litter box while you’re gone during the day, so he won’t choose other areas to potty while you’re gone.

Of course, make sure he has food and water available as well.



Family Matters: Small Animal Toys and Play


Small Animal Toys and PlayYour small animal, like a gerbil, hamster or guinea pig, loves to play in his cage! Despite the fact that you see them sleeping a lot, these animals, who seem to get a burst of energy in the evening, love a good romp through their habitat.

Provide tunnels for gerbils and hamsters to run through and hide. They will even sleep in these tunnels, where they feel safe and secure.

Balls are great for inside your small animal’s cage. Make sure the ball is size-appropriate for your pet, so he can enjoy it without swallowing it or having it be too overwhelming. Make sure it’s made of a durable plastic or other material that he can’t chew and shred.

Big plastic exercise balls are also fun for smaller pets. Hamsters love to be inside the ball and have free range to run around your house. Make sure they are on the floor, not a table or surface where they can fall. Also, make sure they are supervised when in the exercise ball, so they don’t get stuck under furniture or chased by larger pets.

An exercise wheel inside the cage can be a great option for a hamster or gerbil for exercise as well.

Many small pets love to chew, so visit your local pet store for a block of safe wood made specifically for your type of small pet that they can gnaw on to their heart’s content.



Family Matters: Traveling with Your Pup


Traveling with Your PupSure, your pet pooch wants to jump in the front seat, back seat or truck bed when you take a road trip. You can certainly enjoy your canine companion when you travel, but there are ways to be safe and smart when taking him out on the road.

First of all, don’t let your best friend hang out the window or ride in the bed of your truck. Both are very dangerous. Your pet can get hit by flying highway debris or somehow end up on the road himself.

Secondly, if your dog is small, put him in a secure carrier for the ride. If you have a big dog, consider a harness or restraint that can loop into your seat belt mechanism.

Take practice runs before your date of travel to see how your dog is going to tolerate riding in the car. Make sure he has a collar, ID and a leash, so you can take him to the restroom on pit stops. Make sure he has water, food and treats. If your dog gets carsick easily, a vet might be able to prescribe Benadryl to help him relax and sleep during the trip.

If you need to fly with your dog, check airline regulations on where your pup will ride, climate and pressurization measures; how he’ll be transported between gates; and to make sure his travel crate fits the airline’s restrictions.



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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