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Family Matters: Quirky Pet Behavior


Don’t you wish your pets could talk? Maybe then they could explain why they do such unusual things! Here are some common behaviors that folks ask about:

  •  Howling Cats: Cats yowl when they are after attention, but sometimes because they’re just plain bored! Try to find some new activities or toys to occupy their time.
  • Howling Dogs:  Dogs often howl in response to an unusual sound, such as a siren. Sometimes a simple distraction helps, such as offering a treat, a tummy rub or a walk.
  • Licking the Carpet: Dogs often do this as a calming technique when they’re stressed.
  • Body Licking: Licking their fur a lot may indicate a rash, allergy or even an infection. Take your pet to the vet for a checkup to rule out any problems.

Source: ASPCA



Family Matters: Dog’s Bad Breath


Dogs love to show their affection for their owners by giving them a sloppy wet kiss, but sometimes their breath is very unpleasant. Bad breath is due to having a build up of bacteria; it could be a simple problem of plaque, where you would just have to get their teeth cleaned, to a serious problem with your dog’s digestive tract. If your dog’s breath becomes unbearable, you may want to set up an appointment with your veterinarian. 

Here are some simple ways to help prevent your dog from having bad breath. What do you normally do when your breath is bad? You probably brush your teeth or place gum or mint in your mouth; do the same thing for your dog. You can brush your dog’s teeth with toothpaste and a toothbrush that is specifically made for dogs. When making your dog homemade treats add a little mint to the treat to freshen their breath. Periodically feeding your dog hard food and giving them a hard chew toy will help reduce the build up of plaque.



Family Matters: Dry Food vs. Wet Food


Dry food versus wet food is a great debate when wondering which kind of food to feed your cat. Before changing your cat’s diet always check with their vet.  One question to ask yourself is, when will I be feeding my cat? If you are going to be gone all day and are concerned about your cat getting hungry you may want to try dry food. With dry food, you can leave it out all day for your cat to snack on without the food going bad.

If you know that you will have time to feed your cat during the day, you may want to try wet food, so you can feed your cat fresh food when they get hungry. Another benefit to dry food is it helps your cat’s teeth stay clean, so you do not have to brush their teeth as often. You may want to talk to your cat’s vet to see if there are any recommendation on a specific kind of cat food that your cat may need.

 



Family Matters: Homemade Bird Feeder


Observing birds in your backyard can be so much fun; you can see different sizes and colors of birds flying in and out of your backyard. We all know if you put a little bird food in your backyard, birds will flock to your yard to eat. You can make a homemade bird feeder from recycled items in your house, peanut butter and bird food. 

First cut a circle or heart out of a plastic leftover milk jug or a cardboard box and then poke a hole in the top of the plastic/cardboard. Spread peanut butter over one side of your plastic/cardboard shape. Pour the bird food into a plate. Place the plastic/cardboard shape, peanut butter side down, into bird food and carefully repeat with other side. Place a ribbon through the hole on top of plastic/ cardboard and hang the feeder outside for the birds to enjoy.

This is a fun craft to make with your children!

 



Family Matters: Walking Your Dog in the Snow


I have really never paid attention to articles about pets and the snow; because I always think the weather will never get that bad here and my dogs are so small they mostly stay indoors. A last week when it snowed, I went walking with a friend that brought his dog. I am the type of person that when it snows I want to be outdoors, so I enjoy going walking in the snow. After walking in the snow with a dog, I wondered if there were any precautions you need to take with dogs and the snow. As humans, we put boots, jacket, scarves, and mittens on to go on adventures in the snow, so do dogs need something to protect them from the snow.  If you’re the type of person who loves to walk in the snow and you take your dog, check your dog’s fur when you’re finished with your walk. Ice can get stuck in your dog’s fur and around their feet. Pay close attention to your dog’s feet because if ice accumulated around their paws not only is it uncomfortable but it can also cause frostbite. When walking in your neighborhood or on a trail do not let your dog run around freely. The snow can mask any familiar smells to help lead your dog back to you. We all know that snow transforms the outdoors into a winter wonderland and sometimes to an unrecognizable place. If you let your dog run free they may not be able to recognize familiar places to return back home. Snow is an enjoyable treat from time to time; get out there and enjoy it! 



Family Matters: Indoor Entertainment For Your Pets


In the winter months it is best to leave your animals indoors due to cold weather. Since your dogs and cats are not running around outside, they are not getting the proper exercise and can get bored. Making homemade toys for your pets from household products will help keep them occupied while not spending a lot of money. 

Cats love to chase objects; it can be feathers, balls, or small toys. You can take a ball or bell, tie it up with a string and then tie the string to a door handle, or something that the bell or ball can hang down from, for your cat to play with. You can even make a toy for your cat that is as simple as a piece of paper crumbled into a ball or an empty toilet paper roll for them to hit around the house. 

Dogs need toys that they can sink their teeth into, like a bone or chew toy. Buying a bone that is the appropriate size for your dog will entertain them for awhile. It is best to buy them a bone versus giving them left over bones from dinner. You can make your dog a chew toy from an old sock by tying it into a knot for something they can chew on. You may need to watch your dog and make sure they do not think all socks are toys. 



Family Matters: Cat litter


We all know that cats are picky animals and if the litter box is not perfect they do not want to use it.

Here are some tips for keeping your litter box the way your cat wants it. 

Cats prefer litter that they used when they were kittens. If you’re happy and your cat is happy do not change litters.

Cats are picky about the smell and feel of the litter, so if they are not using their box try a different kind of litter.

When filling and maintaining the litter box, make sure that the litter is 2 inches deep.

Do not keep the litter box in a busy and loud location, cats like privacy too!  

(Source: ASPCA)

 



Remember the Animals


Brookshire’s employees rolled up their sleeves Wednesday, November 17, to help walk, feed, and groom some of the animals at the Humane Society of East Texas in Tyler.

Company officials, along with representatives of Mars PetCare and the Pedigree brand, also presented a check for $8,100 and bags of pet food to HSOET Executive Director Gayle Helms.

The check was made possibly by a donations and store sales program in BGC supermarkets.

The Humane Society provides approximately 27,000 pounds of food for animals each year at the shelter.

“We are very appreciative of the continued support received by BGC and Mars and their customers, especially at this time of the year” Helms said. “So often people forget about the needy animals, especially during the holidays.”

The HSOET is a selective admission, no-kill animal sanctuary serving Tyler and east Texas.

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Family Matters: Bringing a New Friend Home


Over the past few months, I have really wanted a new cat. It does not matter if it is a kitten or an adult; I just want a fluffy cat. I am always looking for the perfect cat for me. I have gone to pet stores and have looked on-line but I know that getting a pet can not be an overnight decision; it has to be something that you have planned for. 

 Before you would bring a new baby into a house you would prepare the house for the baby’s arrival, well you would do the same for your new pet. Make sure you have the proper supplies for the new pet like a food bowl, water bowl, collar, brush and a litter box, if you are getting a cat. The second thing you should do is pet-proof your house. Do a little research, make sure you do not have a plant that could harm your pet and learn about the different foods that could cause harm to your new pet. Also, if you’re getting a puppy or a kitten make sure they can not get a hold of any electrical cords, because they could chew the cord in half. Before getting your family a new pet think about what all you will need for the pet to make the experience less stressful not only on yourself but for the pet too. 



Family Matters: Making Noise


Cats tend to have a mind of their own and are typically stubborn. If your cat is doing something that you do not like, for example, jumping on the kitchen cabinets or scratching the couch, making a noise to startle them, not scare them; will make your cat stop. With repetitive action your cat will soon learn not to jump on the cabinet or scratch the couch. 



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