Thursday, September 24, 2015

Autumn Pet Safety Tips for Your Pet

There’s nothing like the start of the Autumn season. The leaves change color, crisp air begins to drift in, and we prepare for our favorite holiday celebrations. While there is much to look forward to this Fall, this season also brings with it dangers to your pet. To make sure your dog or cat stays healthy during these cozy next few months, check out these following tips. 

Full Tummies 

With the Autumn season comes a transition into cooler weather. Your pet will need more energy to stay warm in these cold temperatures. Therefore, consider feeding your pet a little more food. This will allow them to generate more body heat, and stay warm on those chilly Fall nights. Be sure to discuss your pet's needs with your local veterinarian before making any significant changes their diet. 

Rodent Danger

You and your pet aren't the only ones adjusting to the cold this month. Rats and other rodents begin to search for warmth indoors around this time, which could mean an infestation of mice in your home. Be careful when setting mouse traps and using rodenticides and poisons. Many of the products available today are very toxic to pets, and could even be fatal if ingested. Research safer methods of pest control, and if you must use rodenticides, keep them out of reach from your pets. 

Be Mindful of Mushrooms

Fall, much like spring, is a season in which an abundance of mushrooms pop up in forests, and even your backyard. Although 99% of these mushrooms are not dangerous, 1% can be highly toxic to both you and your pet. The problem is being able to distinguish the safe mushrooms from the life-threatening ones. When you take your dog for a walk try avoiding areas in which mushrooms are growing. If you believe your pet may have ingested a toxic mushroom, immediately contact the the ASPCA Animal Poison Control center

Bring your pet to Morris Animal Inn this Fall. Our building is specially designed for your pet's safety. Special features of our facility include climate control with air purification systems, soft natural lighting, skylights, and background music in every room, private residence on premises and 24-hour camera surveillance. Visit for more information on our luxury accommodations. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

An Active Cat is a Healthy Cat

Many people do not realize the benefit of exercise for cats.  Although they do have the evolutionary advantage of a high metabolism, cats still require consistent exercise to help maintain a healthy body condition and overall health. Felines have a long history of hunting and prowling, and keeping those natural instincts alive in your cat is important. Encourage your feline family member to be more active, and you will have a happier and healthier pet.

Cats are natural hunters
Originally, cats lived mostly outdoors. Keeping a cat as a household pet has become common only in recent years. In the past, cats survived by doing what they knew best – catching things (like mice and rodents). They kept entertained and fit by spending hours searching, stalking, and catching their meals. Now, most cats live indoors, and “the chase” is no longer a part of their lives. However, it is important to your cat’s health to allow them to use those hunting and prowling instincts they are so used to.

Keep your cat’s activity creative
Your cat probably enjoys lounging around (Adult cats sleep more than 16 hours a day!), but every cat needs to engage in some physical activity each day.

Activities that cats enjoy include: 

Cat trees and scratching posts: Cat trees are ideal because they entice cats to climb, which keeps their muscles working, and scratching provides both exercise and fun for your cat.

Mice and feather toys: These toys allow cats to mimic the act stalking their prey, an activity they are naturally inclined to do. 

Laser pointers: A beam of light acts as a bug that your cat can chase. Be sure to avoid pointing the beam of light directly into their eyes.

Exercise wheels: This is a great exercise for cats who need to lose weight. 

Indoor aquarium: An aquarium acts as constant entertainment for your cat.

Walks: If your cat enjoys the outdoors, going on walks in a stroller can be very stimulating. 

Why it’s important for cats to exercise
It’s important that your cat doesn’t become lazy. Lying around all day without any exercise can lead to obesity in cats, which causes issues like diabetes, joint pain, and liver problems. Cats should not eat more calories than they are expending. So, short activities (at least 10-15 minutes) throughout the day are essential to your cat's overall health.

Play time also allows cats to build trust with people. Creating that strong bond makes your feline friends happier and healthier.

Physical activity keeps your cat from getting bored. A bored cat becomes very curious, and may resort to scratching and chewing on furniture. Cats are less likely to become destructive if they get their energy out through daily exercise.

There are both physical and mental benefits to helping your cat stay active. Keeping your cat connected to its natural instincts is important to their overall well-being. Here at Morris Animal Inn, we understand that healthier cats are happier cats. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Top 10 Dog Facts

Did you know that a dog's temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit? Or that 62% of households in the U.S. have dogs? Or that the Newfoundland breed has a water resistant coat and webbed feet?!

There is so much we don't know about our dogs, and we are learning interesting things about them every day. Here's a list of our top ten dog facts that are sure to teach you something new about your fascinating furry friends!

1. There were three dogs that survived the historical sinking of the Titanic. The puppy passengers were from 1st class cabins, and included 2 Pomeranians and 1 Pekingese. 

2. There's a rumor that Paul McCartney recorded an ultrasonic whistle at the end of the Beatles song "A day in the life". This was only audible to dogs, and was a shout out to Paul's Shetland Sheepdog. 

3. Dalmatians are not born with the classic black spots that they are so well known for. As puppies, Dalmatians are pure white. They develop their spots as they grow older.

4. Dogs have the same type of rapid eye movement (REM) as humans. During this REM stage dogs can dream, just like us! Signs that your pet is dreaming include twitching and paw movements.

5. Dogs can see in the dark, due to a special membrane in their eyes called the tapetum lucidum.

6. According to a survey done, 72% of dog owners think that their dogs can sense when stormy weather is on its way. 

7. Do you share your side of the bed with your pup? Well, you're not alone! 45% of dogs sleep in their owners bed.

8. A dog's sense of smell is 10,000 - 100,000 times more acute than humans. Maybe that's why they're first to the table when dinner is ready. 

9. After going to the bathroom, dogs kick dirt up because they are using scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.

10. There's a reason dogs curl up in a ball when they sleep. Due to an age-old instinct, they curl up to keep themselves warm and to protect their abdomen and vital organs from predators. Plus, its adorable!

For the full list, check out 25 Cool Dog Facts. Do you know any surprising facts about man's best friend? Comment and share with us!

Source: Petfinder

Friday, September 4, 2015

Is Your Dog Guilty?

You come home from a nice evening out on the town and it hits you as you enter the house. The unmistakable odor of your dog’s elimination drifts into your nasal passages as you turn on the light. There it is, on the expensive living room floor. As your dog races in excitedly to greet you, your angry voice meets their sensitive ears and they slink back to where they came from. With the tail between the legs, eyes droopy and forlorn, they play the perfect part of the guilty party. Certain your dog’s behavior is an expression of guilt, you think good, they know that eliminating in the house is wrong. However, the canine world is much simpler than that and a dog's brain does not work the way our mind works.

Catch Them in the Act
We can learn many things from our dogs but perhaps the most zen-like of their qualities is the fact that they are experts at living in the present moment. In fact, they know no other way of living. So when you come home to a torn up shoe and scold your pet, it will be to no avail. Your dog will simply think that whatever he or she was doing when you came home was wrong. Your dog cannot correlate the torn up shoe from hours ago with your reprimands, even if you wave the shoe in front of his or her face. Only if you catch your dog in the act of the particular crime can you correct them. 

“The Look”
Where does that guilty look come from? When you scream or yell at your dog it scares them. That guilty look is your pup’s response to your behavior and can be credited to stress signals and appeasement behavior. When you stiffen your body stance, wave a reprimanding finger in their face and address them in an angry, stern tone, your dog reacts to your body language and knows they are in trouble but do not understand why. To neutralize your perceived "aggressive" behavior, your dog may exhibit signs of submission. This can include their tail between the legs, squinted or downcast eyes, rolling over, a thumping tail, or even showing teeth. For a perfect example of how a dog reacts to a scolding owner, watch the infamous video of Denver the Guilty Dog.

When you return home to those inevitable messes and chewed up signs that come with the territory of being a dog owner, take a deep breath and suppress your anger. Do not attempt to discipline your pooch unless you catch them in the act. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your breath and causing your dog undue stress.