Thursday, May 29, 2014

Moving Day: How to Prepare Your Pet

Do you think your pet can tell when you’re preparing for a long trip? From cats crawling into suitcases to pups pouncing on the clean laundry pile, our pets sure seem to know that packing means something different is going on.

If you are packing for something bigger, like a move, your pet is bound to be curious about the process and, ultimately, the new place. Follow these tips for making the moving process, from pre-move packing to adjusting in a new home, easiest for your pet.

Visit your vet. Get a copy of all your pet’s records and make sure that all tags and vaccinations are up-to-date. If you are moving a great distance and need to find a new vet, ask your current vet for any recommendations or research your target area online.

Pack and prepare slowly. Begin packing belongings as early as possible so the transition is not as surprising and drastic for your pet. If you plan to crate your dog at all during the moving process, begin crate training early on as well and give your dog lots of encouragement.

Plan ahead for moving day. Pets appreciate familiar surroundings, so it will be easiest for them to adjust if your furniture and belongings are already in place once they arrive at the new house. Consider scheduling a lodging or daycare appointment for your pet on moving day, so they do not need to be a part of the move-in process. Morris Animal Inn is happy to provide pets a comfortable, secure environment while you are in transition. If your pet will be in the house on moving day, make sure they are secure in a single room or carrier, and pay them plenty of visits to keep their feeding and bathroom schedule as regular as possible.

Settle in. Once you are officially moved in to your new place, it will take some time for your pet to adjust. If your pet seems overwhelmed, consider designating a specific room or area for your pet with all their toys, bed and belongings until they start to feel at home.

Explore together. Your pet trusts you! If you are positive and encouraging about your new surroundings, your pet will feed off your comfort levels. Go for a walk around your new neighborhood, pay a visit to your new vet and spend time relaxing together.

Soon, you will both feel right at home!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

9 Quick Tips for Building a Bond with Your Feline Friend

Dogs usually come to mind as being man's best friend, when cats are just as capable to form long-lasting bonds with their owners.  Finding out how to please cats can be mystifying, so here are nine quick tips on how to build a bond with your furry feline friend.

Tip 1: Crazy for Catnip. Fifty percent of cats crave catnip, a fragrant herb from the mint family. The plant’s buds contain an essential oil that evokes chin and cheek rubbing, rolling and kicking, and even leaping into the air. Go for organic, it’s the most potent.

Tip 2: Embrace the Power of Petting. Studies show that people who pet their cats experience a reduction in feelings of anxiety. Petting your cat for just a few minutes releases a healthy amount of “feel-good” hormones. Research shows that the good feelings work both ways, meaning that your cat benefits as well!

Tip 3: Cat’s Tail – Mood Barometer! A loosely upright tail signals confidence. A tail that flicks toward you means, “Hello, my friend.” Whipping the tail from side to side or thumping it on the floor signifies agitation. A lightly twitching tails conveys relaxed alertness. A puffed-up tail indicates total fright.

Tip 4: Schedule Play Sessions. Kittens – and cats young at heart – are most active at dawn and dusk. That’s because they are crepuscular, wired genetically to do their best hunting and plays stalking during those times of day. Let the fun fly!

Tip 5: Buy a Handful of Peacock Feathers. Attach them to the end of a flexible pole and then flag your cat’s attention. Feathers are usually too much of a temptation to resist. In no time, you cat will be running, jumping, and performing amazing body twists and turns to snag those moving feathers.

Tip 6: Treat Your Cat like a CEO: Cat Extra-Ordinaire. Increase your cat’s daily dose of pampering. One easy way is to warm a small blanket in the clothes dryer for 5 to 10 minutes, then drape it on your cat during chilly nights to help her fall asleep. You can do the same for an arthritic cat to help improve blood flow and ease muscle aches.

Tip 7: Catwalk. If you’re cat crazy, think about installing a catwalk on brackets along a wall of your family room or bedroom. It should be 6 to 12 inches wide, and hang about 2 feet below the ceiling. Provide access with a couple of perches. Most cats adore the opportunity to explore the upper strata.

Tip 8: Warm and Cozy. Position your cat’s bed near a source of warmth – near a sunny window or by the fireplace or next to a heat vent. Grab your comforter and a good book, and spend some time with your snoozing friend while you pamper yourself with quiet time as well.

Tip 9: Take the Ho-Hum Out of Food.
Add a splash of tuna juice or salt-free chicken broth to commercial dry food. After this saucy feast, your feline may spend extra time savoring these special extras during her post-meal grooming sessions because of the lingering delightful aromas from these toppings.

Source: Tuft’s CatNip

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Introducing Pets to Newborns

Which came first – the baby or the pet? If your pet-focused family will soon be exposed to a newborn, preparation and gradual introductions are key to a healthy baby-pet relationship.

There are few things more heart-warming than a child-pet relationship, but these connections don't always happen instantly.

SheKnows Pets & Animals blog and the ASPCA offer tips for introducing your newborn to your cat or dog. Advancing with these four steps once you are expecting can help make the transition easier for you and your pet

Step 1: Start preparing your pet early. Cats in particular do not often respond well to sudden change. Use your time wisely and as you prepare for baby, let your pet do as well. Establish off-limits areas, like the baby’s room, early on so that your pet can become accustomed to giving the baby space. If you need to move feeding areas or litter boxes, do this as early as possible.

Step 2: Familiarize your pet with new smells and sounds. Using baby powder or lotion prior to adding a baby to your pet’s environment will help them get used to what a baby will smell like. Acclimating a dog or cat to the sounds of a baby may be one of the most important steps. You don’t want a crying baby and a crying pet at the same time! Consider playing an audio recording of a crying baby on occasion, and gradually increase the volume.

Step 3: Don’t force introductions. First impressions are important, which is why they should be done when all parties involved feel comfortable. Stay calm and relaxed when making the introduction, so your pet does not pick up on your nerves. Have treats handy and reward brief, positive interactions. If your dog seems nervous to investigate, praise them in a positive and reassuring tone.

Step 4: Encourage politeness and quiet time. It can be difficult to care for a baby with a pet constantly underfoot. Training your dog to obey an “away” or “quiet” command can help make caring for both a much easier task. Reinforcing basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come” will also come in handy. Consider scheduling your dog a visit to Morris Animal Inn for our Manners Training program to help solidify these skills.

If you’re expecting a new baby, you have nine months to prepare. Spend some of that time preparing with your pet, too, and you will all be ready for the wonderful new addition to your family!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 14th is a Birthday-Themed Dog Daycare Party for a Worthy Cause!

Morris Animal Inn is hosting a birthday-themed dog daycare paw-ty on May 14th. Register your pups for this worthy cause. We could make a big difference in helping The Birthday Box with their cause!

The Birthday Box is a nonprofit organization that provides needy children with an opportunity to blow out candles and make a birthday wish on his or her special day. An entire birthday celebration is assembled, packaged and then delivered  in a recycled box. This party in a box includes a birthday cake, candles, party plates, a birthday present and some party decorations.

With your help, The Birthday Box plans to locate and grant many more needy children the chance to celebrate on his or her birthday regardless of the family's financial status. No matter what age someone turns, a birthday is something one always remembers; especially a child. 

  • This Daycare Party benefits The Birthday Box ( - a nonprofit organization that provides birthdays to the less fortunate.
  • Morris Animal Inn has a collection box until May 14th for party supplies, unopened toys, games, books, etc. which we will give to The Birthday Box.
  • The Birthday Bash Party is only $59 and a portion of the proceeds benefit The Birthday Box.
  • Pups will enjoy: photos in the photo booth, fun ball pit, hula hoop hopping, barko polo in the indoor pool, bubbles, cake and more!

Donate an item to The Birthday Box to be eligible to win up to $50 towards future services at Morris Animal Inn. Help us celebrate!
CALL 973-539-0377 TODAY 


Friday, May 2, 2014

Do You Know the Proper Way to Pet Your Pet?

Nothing beats a good cuddle with your dog or cat, as long as both of you are enjoying it. Pets can be finicky about where they like to be pet and the people who pet them. In order to become one of the people your pet enjoys cuddling with, it’s important to learn how and where to scratch your cat or dog’s fur in just the right spot.

Petting a Cat

Cats can be very independent creatures, so they won’t hang around for a good scratch if they aren’t relaxed and comfortable. A study discussed on tested out four different locations on a cat’s body to see where they enjoyed being pet the most. The results showed that the most enjoyable petting occurred between the ear and the eye on their face. Other acceptable spots were the chin and lip area and the lower back.

This spot between your cat’s eye and ear, their upper cheek, contains a temporal gland that cats use to mark things. This is why you see your cat rubbing up against you, or furniture or other objects, with the side of their face. Marking with these scent glands is a cat’s way of socially bonding with us. Scratching your kitty in this spot will be most pleasing to them, and help you to bond together!

Petting a Dog

Dogs may be a little more forward with human interaction, but you still want to give a dog the chance to approach you first. If a dog seems hesitant to approach, squat down to their level and turn your body slightly to the side, to appear less threatening. 

Once a dog has approached you, give them a chance to sniff you out. suggests that once the dog seems comfortable, start by slowly petting them and see if they lean into you, a true sign that the dog is enjoying the contact. Most dogs are comfortable having their chest, shoulders and base of neck petted, so these are good places to start, rather than on top of their head. Your dog may enjoy being pet in other common spots, like the base of their tail, under their chin or on the back of their neck.

Whether you are spending time bonding with your own pet or meeting a new cat or dog for the first time, having knowledge of the common areas that pets enjoy being scratched will help you to make a new four-legged friend.