Friday, June 28, 2013

Fourth of July Pet Safety

While you may be counting down to fireworks and barbeques on the Fourth of July, these exciting activities can be scary or even dangerous for your pet. As tempting as it may be to bring your pet along to celebrate this summer holiday, the American Kennel Club (AKC) advises against exposing pets to the rockets’ red glare.

In order to help your pet stay safe and calm during your Independence Day festivities, AKC suggests keeping your dog at home rather than bringing them along to your neighborhood party. The noise and reverberation from fireworks can be frightening to dogs, not to mention painful for their sensitive ears. Keeping your pet indoors will help dull the noise. Leave the television or radio on for calm sounds to help drown out the outdoor bangs and booms.

You can help stem the visual stimulation as well by lowering blinds and curtains and, if your pet is crate trained, keeping them in their crate and covering it with a blanket to help them feel more secure. The biggest security blanket, however, is you! If your pet seems nervous, spend some time relaxing with them. Your lack of fear and calm voice will help assure pups that they can feel comfortable.

If you are hosting the celebrations or do decide to bring your pet along, do your best to keep their environment as normal as possible. Avoid feeding your dog any BBQ scraps. Although it may be tempting to give in to a mooching pooch, any change in their diet can lead to an upset stomach and more stress. 

Don’t let your pet ingest any out of the ordinary substances. Human bug spray and sunscreen can be dangerous for pets, as can other celebratory products like matches and lighter fluid.

As a final safety precaution, having your dog microchipped with a permanent ID can help you find your pet should they get nervous and hide or run away. Talk with your vet about preparing for this situation and any specific concerns you may have during this busy holiday.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What’s Your Pet Thinking? Pet Psychics Aim to Provide Answers

It happens to every pet owner. Your dog pulled the curtains off the window, your cat won’t come out from under the couch, or your new puppy has a thing for eating bugs. All that crazy pet behavior leaves you looking into their innocent eyes and asking yourself, “What on earth are they thinking?”

According to today’s Pet Psychics, we just might be able to find out.

Heidi Schulman is a part of the growing profession of pet psychics, people who work to bring pet owners closer to their animals by communicating directly with their pets. Whether or not this telepathic communication can deliver real answers is a matter of opinion and belief, but the prospect of gaining insight into your pet’s psyche is certainly tempting for many pet owners.

A recent Huffington Post “Weird News” article on the subject explained that for Schulman, the inspiration began with her rescue dog, Bosco. She said that she could sense a nonverbal communication between herself and her dog, and found herself wondering what he would say if he could talk. The result was “The Original Dog Tarot: Divine the Canine Mind,” a guidebook and series of 30 tarot cards for helping pet owners communicate with their dogs.

Pet psychics throughout the country describe their abilities in many different ways, from tarot card readings to, as “The Secret Language of Dogs” author Jocelyn Kessler says, communicating energetically with the canine or feline mind. Sonya Fitzpatrick, another pet psychic who hosts a popular radio show on Sirius XM, says that clients can call for telephone consultations or even reach out to her for help finding a lost pet.

Like many psychic professions, this one has its skeptics. Veterinarian Jeff Nichol, referenced in a Washington Post story on pet psychics, warns against turning to nontraditional methods for treating your pet’s behavior or health problems. 

But what about just for fun? Would you try a tarot reading or pet psychic with your pet? 

We can’t claim to read a dog’s mind, but we can advise pet owners on how to read the nonverbal signals your dog displays. Keep reading “If They Could Talk” for weekly tips on working with your pet, and feel free to explore our previous posts for advice on reading dog body language

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Healthy Hound – Summer Tips and Trips for a Healthy Pet

It’s not uncommon to find humans hitting the gym this time of year to “get fit” for the summer season. Though they may not be strolling down the beach in a bathing suit any time soon, you should also think about your pet’s health and fitness this time of year. Morris Animal Inn and our sister organization, Morris K9 Campus, are pleased to provide events, trip ideas and tips to help you look out for your furry friend this summer.

Buy healthy food for your pet. Fresh produce is an easy find this time of year, but what about healthy alternatives for your dog? Morris Animal Inn will be coming together with local vendors at the Morristown Farmer’s Market this summer to provide healthy treats, like dog granola, for your pets. Stop by the market at the Morristown Parking Authority public parking lot on Saturday, June 15 between 8:30 am – 2:00 pm to find healthy foods for you and your pet all in one place.

Get all your training and pet behavior questions answered. Our sister facility Morris K9 Campus in Randolph is pleased to have Dr. Ian Dunbar visiting on June 15th and 16th. The celebrated Veterinarian, Animal Behaviorist and author will be hosting a Fun and Games Dog Training Workshop both days, during which he will teach participants many ways to keep dogs active. For pet owners who may have questions for Dr. Dunbar about their pet’s behavior, he will also be hosting a Q&A session on Saturday, June 15 from 7 – 9:30 pm. For more information on both sessions, visit

Keep your pet active. A pet that is left to their own devices all summer long may experience loss of energy or worse, take out pent-up energy on your couch cushions. Morris Animal Inn offers day care and lodging services to keep your pet busy while you’re working, away on vacation or just looking to venture out for the day. By offering group and private play sessions outside, indoor pool swims, treadmill sessions and healthy treats, we work to keep your pet active, healthy and happy. These activities will help provide both mental and physical stimulation for your dog; just what they need to stay fit this season. 

To schedule your pet a stay at Morris Animal Inn, or to learn more about our upcoming events, call us at 973-539-0377. We look forward to seeing you and your pet this summer!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I’m Not a Cat Person or a Dog Person, I'm an Animal Person! What about you?

For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to animals.  If asked when that love began, I would be hard-pressed to come up with an answer.

Could it have begun with my childhood Boxer named Brandy, on whose jowls I would tug mercilessly while giggling like a Hyena as she patiently watched me with her saucer-like eyes in adoration?

Or was it the hours I spent in front of the TV watching Lassie save any number of animals from the perils of “the well”, only to come leaping through Timmy’s window at the end of the day, her “work” complete?

I can’t tell you where it began, but what I can tell you is that I LOVE ANIMALS. I swoon over animals the way many people coo and fuss over a rosy-cheeked, talcum scented human bundle being wheeled in a baby carriage. But what kind of animal person am I? 

When asked if I am a cat person or a dog person, I would have to reply that I have qualities of both. I possess qualities of other animals that make me an ANIMAL person, not specific to one kind of animal!

I remember a Teddy Bear Hamster that I had in college named “Cooch.” I loved that hamster with the same kind of love that I have for my cat and my dog. It was no different.  Cooch was a living, breathing creature that gave me hours of pleasure just watching him go about his daily hamster routine. The pain I felt when he left for the vast Hamster Heaven in the sky hurt the same as it would if any of my other pets were to leave me.

The stereotype of “cat person” and “dog person” has grown to reference personality traits as well as animal preference. When asked if my personality is more cat-like or dog-like, I would say neither!  I have traits that are “animal-like”, and if you think long and hard enough, I am sure that you do too.

I have the:

·       Appetite of a horse

·       Ability to swim like a dolphin

·       The stubbornness of a mule

·       The industriousness of a squirrel

·       The exuberance of a dog with a new bone

·       The grin of a Cheshire Cat

·       The clumsiness of a bear

·       The talkativeness of a parrot

·       The humor and laugh of a chimpanzee!

There is nothing more that I love than:

·       Being greeted by my dog as if I have been gone for a year, (when in fact, I was only gone for five minutes)

·       The velvety feel of my cat’s fur beneath my fingertips

·       The love and sense of acceptance I feel when I have them both in my arms

·       Feeling my cat’s feather-light whiskers brush my cheek

·       Wiping dog slobber from my face after an exuberant licking fest

This week is PET APPRECIATION WEEK, it saddens me to think that we devote just one week to this important event. To me, PET APPRECIATION WEEK should be EVERY WEEK! Our pets ask for so little and give us so much.

All they want is:

·       Love

·       Security

·       Someone to play with

·       Food to eat

·       Comfy places to sleep

·       A safe home

·       Someone to care about their mental and physical health

What they give us in return is unconditional love.

Let’s not define ourselves as cat people or dog people. Let’s all be ANIMAL PEOPLE! I don’t care if you have a ferret, a python, a turtle or a rabbit; a creature has wiggled, galloped, flew, hopped or swam its way into your heart. You are loved and needed by those beautiful creatures that are in your care. They ask for so little, but they give so much.  Let’s lose the “Cat People” and “Dog People” labels and be ANIMAL PEOPLE!

We are pleased to have Caren Gittleman as a guest writer for If They Could Talk. Caren is a Professional Pet Blogger/Freelance Writer. She and her cat, Cody, write Cat Chat With Caren & Cody She also writes Dakota’s Den with her Shetland Sheepdog, Dakota