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Currently an owner of 3 dogs and 2 cats, I’ve gained a plethora of pet-related experience over the years. I strive to provide the best home I can for my little terrors, and you’ll read all about our trials and tribulations as I continue down the rewarding yet rocky road of pet parenthood.

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Three Ways Your Dog is Training You

dog training fail from memdiary.comEver hear that joke about how a group of aliens visits Earth and see us (humans) feeding, bathing, picking up poop, and otherwise caring for our pets and they make the assumption that the dogs and cats are the ones in charge here on Earth? The thing about humor is that its funny because there’s a partial truth in the butt of the joke. Please welcome our guest poster, Brittany West, with an article about how our pets just might train us and not the other way around:

As pet owners, we like to think we have our animals well-trained. My dog uses the doggie door without a problem, and the cat comes on cue. But if I had a nickel for every time someone jokingly said that the animals have me trained, I would be exceedingly wealthy. That is one of the most common phrases that pet owners use amongst each other, and for good reason. Here are just some of the ways that your pet may be training you.
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What You Need to Know about Jerky Treats & Your Pets’ Health

Sick DogIf you’ve been following the news this week, you probably have heard about the FDA’s update on jerky treats. To many pet owners, the fact that dogs are getting sick and dying, from unknown causes, have been linked to common jerky treats that are manufactured in China.

The FDA has been researching the illnesses and deaths for months with no new leads about the cause of the mysterious illness. At the time of the update, over 580 pets have died as a result of tainted treats and over 3,600 pets have become ill since 2007.

The FDA needs more information to continue their research, so they’re asking pet owners and veterinarians to report illnesses and deaths that may be related to jerky pet treats. The FDA’s website goes over, in detail, the information that should be included in your report. If your pet has become ill after ingesting jerky treats that were manufactured in China, we urge you to report as much as you can so that the FDA can solve this mystery.

What Are Some Symptoms of This Mysterious Illness

If you pet experiences any of the following symptoms within a few hours of eating a jerky treat made from chicken, duck, sweet potatoes or dried fruits, consult your veterinarian immediately and save the remaining treats and packaging for testing.

  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased activity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased water consumption
  • Increased urination

Severe cases have also displayed:

  • Kidney failure
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Collapse/convulsions

What Can You Do To Avoid Tainted Treats?

USA made jerky treatsMost of the jerky treats implicated in this illness have been manufactured in China.  For the safety of your pets, That Pet Place has removed any jerky treats that have been made in China from our shelves and website.

Find a manufacturer of jerky treats that uses ingredients from the USA. At thatpetplace.com we’ve made it easy to find jerky treats made in the USA with our navigation panel. You might consider feeding a different type of treat to your pet. If you’d like to be more proactive about the types of treat you are feeding to your pets, you can invest in a food dehydrator and make your own jerky treats from any kind of meat or fruit/vegetable.

The best thing you can do is to be vigilant and to read the labels of the products that your pet is eating. Pet food manufacturers are not required to list the origins of all the ingredients on their packaging by law, at least not yet. We sincerely hope that this mysterious outbreak of illness can be stopped soon.

 

5 cat facts that will blow you away!

1377226_10151948253781469_75442444_nCats. They may have taken over the internet (LOLCats, anyone?), and surpassed dogs as the most popular pet on earth, but we still have a lot of learning to do. Mysterious and aloof, felines have been with us as companions for centuries; from being revered in Ancient Egypt to being implicated in witch trials. Here are 5 little-know cat facts to tuck into your trivia arsenal for your next appearance on Jeopardy!

1.They’re missing their “sweet tooth”

That’s right; cats can’t taste sweets and sugars. Studies have shown that cats will avoid bitter and sour foods, but they show no indication that they have a preference or avoidance for sweets.  Dogs can taste some sweet flavors, and they tend to show a preference for them. That’s why you’ll find fruit-flavored dog treats, but not cat treats. In a way, I envy them. They’ll never taste the sweetness of candy and be tempted to eat a bag-full in the middle of the night when no one else is watching.

 

2. A cat’s purr mimics a baby’s cry

Well, sometimes they do. If your cat is purring when she wants to share your tuna sandwich, she can mimic some of the high frequency vibrations that occur in a human baby’s cry. That subtle difference in tone can be detected by humans and has been described as “less pleasant sounding” and “urgent” in this study when compared to purrs that are not soliciting food and are merely communicating contentment.

1374378_10151946442031469_2011686158_n3. Siamese cats are albino, sort of

It’s technically called temperature-sensitive albinism. It is caused by a mutated gene and resulting enzyme. All Siamese kittens are born white, and they develop their coloring over time. The enzyme, called tryosinase, is temperature sensitive and will only activate at below average body temperatures. This causes the coolest parts of the cat to develop color and distinct markings (generally the nose, feet, and tail).

Interestingly enough, this harmless, mutated gene is also the cause of the Siamese cat’s blue eyes. All kittens are born with blue eyes, but this albinism gene keeps the eyes from developing another pigment. It is also responsible for the red flash seen in a Siamese cats’ photograph, rather than the green glow that you usually get when you take your cat’s photograph at night.
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Clumps, crystals and more – your guide to choosing the best cat litter

Classic Tabby Scottish FoldCat litter: every cat parent needs it, every new cat owner is overwhelmed by the vast number of choices, and every multiple cat owner is trying to find the most effective brand. You’ve got clumping vs. non clumping, clay vs. silica vs. biodegradable vs. flushable… where do you even start?

If you’re a new cat caregiver with a shiny new kitten, choosing the type of litter you want to use will likely depend on your personal preferences and it will be easy to litter train your kitten because they haven’t developed a preference for a particular texture yet. What I’m trying to say (gracefully) is that cats can be downright snobby about the type of litter they’ll use.

I’m sure you’re all gasping at the implications. You’re probably saying, “My cat, a snob? Never!” I’m not being judgmental, but in my experience with cats, they generally tend to be extremely picky about everything in their environment. My cats don’t tolerate change and if they don’t get their way they’re going to go on a hunger strike or pee in my purse. Trust me; it’s not as fun as it sounds. To illustrate: they will only use one type of litter (Feline Pine) eat one kind of food (Friskies, the pate, not chunked), and any guest spending the night leaves me wondering where and when I’ll find the proverbial pee in the purse!

How do you change the type of litter you use without protest from the felines?

Examining the damage to the litter bagOh no, so you have an adult cat and want to change litters for some of the reasons we’ll discuss later in the article? All is not lost! You can gradually introduce a new type of litter; it just takes a little bit of time. Here are the steps; it’s pretty similar to how you might change up your dog or cat’s food. Read More »

How to treat and prevent flea allergy dermatitis in dogs

Got It!Many people in the northeast have had a rough time with fleas this summer. A combination of a mild winter in 2012 and a humid summer have created the perfect storm for these tough bugs to thrive. The battle against flea infestations doesn’t end with the cooler weather of fall. In many areas, even here in the northeast, fleas are active until the dead of winter and can even continue living in your home during the cold winter months. Don’t let your guard down, the battle against fleas is never over.

Fiproguard MaxI use a topical “spot on” flea preventative on my dogs every month. If you want to get specific about it, I use Sentry Fiproguard Max (it’s a less-expensive generic brand of Frontline Plus). However, these preventative measures weren’t enough for me this year.
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Do Dog Rocks Work to Prevent Urine Burn? A Dog Rocks Review

 

Dog Rocks, out of package

Freshly Rinsed Dog Rocks

In post earlier this week, I explained what Dog Rocks are and how they claim to eliminate new urine burn spots on your lawn. I used them for 30 days and here is what I found:

I’m not sure what I expected, but I removed the Dog Rocks from the package… and they were plain looking rocks. Maybe I expected them to feel magical or mysterious in some way, but no, just igneous rock from a special site in Australia.

[Mini Geology Lesson: Igneous rock is one of the 3 main types of rock found in the Earth’s crust. It is formed through the cooling of magma (lava). The conditions of the cooling magma (if it is under a lot of pressure, if it cools very fast or very slow, etc) determine the specific properties of the rock (how porous it is, color, texture). ]

I rinsed them and placed them in the filter housing area of my dog water fountain so that my pups wouldn’t be tempted to remove and chew on the rocks. Then it was just a waiting game.

These are the photos of the areas where my dogs usually eliminate on day 1:

Lawn Burn before Dog Rocks

2 main areas of my yard before using Dog Rocks

Here are the photos of the same areas on day 31:

After pics of yard

Same areas of the yard after 1 month of using Dog Rocks

My opinion: Do dog rocks work?

While I admit that my results weren’t as amazing as the photos on the packaging suggest, I definitely do see an improvement. My dogs go to the bathroom in the same area of the yard day after day, so there aren’t spots anywhere else on my lawn from my own dogs. Dog Rocks won’t cure the already existing burn spots, so I was looking for new burn patches in these areas. Instead, what I see is my grass growing back into the previously burnt areas, and no clear evidence of new burn spots. Again, this is only after 1 month. I’ll continue to use them and hopefully by spring I’ll have a lush green lawn like my neighbors 🙂

A couple of notes:

  • I conducted this test in August, which isn’t exactly the best month for growing new grass in our area. Dog Rocks won’t cure the already existing urine burns, freshly grown grass will eventually fill in the spots. You can speed up the process by tilling the burnt areas and planting new grass seed. I prefer to let the lawn do the hard work.
  • Diet plays a major role in the amount of nitrates in your dog’s urine. I feed a pretty high protein, home cooked diet because my dogs are highly active. Choosing a high quality dog food with appropriate protein levels for your dog is a key component in controlling lawn burn.
  • Dog Rocks need to be replaced every 2 months and one packet of rocks should be in each water bowl that is available to your dogs for the best results.
Dog Rocks

Dog Rocks by Dog Rocks USA

Because I have three dogs and a pretty small yard, my results might not be typical. Pick up a package of dog rocks and give them a try for yourself. They’re all-natural, they won’t harm your pet (so long as they don’t eat the rocks), they’re inexpensive compared to other additives and alternatives, and they might help prevent unsightly urine burn patches on your lawn. Find Dog Rocks at the lowest price online at thatpetplace.com!

 

Preventing Lawn Urine Spots: What are Dog Rocks and How Do They Work?

Dog Rocks

Dog Rocks: Lawn Urine Burn Preventative

If you have dogs and you like to keep a nice green lawn, you probably have tried every remedy in the book to prevent those unsightly urine burn patches in the area where your dog pees. There’s a new product in town that claims to prevent your dog’s urine from burning your lawn when used as directed.

Dog Rocks USA was kind enough to provide me with a sample of their product to try and review. Up front, let me tell you that I was skeptical that rocks could help me in my battle of the brown spots in my lawn. First, let me straighten a few things out:

Lawn burn example

Lawn burn cause by my boys’ leg lifting near the edge of my garden.

  • Dog Rocks are not going to rid your lawn of existing urine spots, but is intended to prevent new spots. This is an important distinction.
  • Dog Rocks do not change the pH of your dog’s urine (which can be harmful, especially to dogs with kidney disease)
  • Diet also plays a key role in how many urine burn patches you have on your lawn. A diet very high in protein creates more nitrogen in your dog’s urine. Feed a high quality diet for the best results. Dog rocks will not alter the amount of nitrogen (nitrates) your dog produces naturally.

After that last point, you may be wondering how Dog Rocks work
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Road Trip! Tips for traveling with your dog

Barret - in the JeepIt’s officially summer and often families will hit the road and enjoy some rest & relaxation. It’s becoming more and more common place to bring your pet along. Traveling with your dog can be rewarding and fun, and many hotels and campsites are becoming pet friendly, but what about during the car ride itself?

Traveling with your pets in the car can be stress-free if you follow some easy-to-follow safety guidelines:

1. Head for a pre-trip vet check. The vet will make sure that you pet is up to date on all required vaccinations and will give you a health certificate indicating your pet is healthy. Be sure to bring this certificate with you, along with vaccination records and microchip information.

2. Exercise your dog before you get in the car. Take a quick trip to the dog park or a nice long walk around the community park to make sure your pet has had a chance to empty his bladder and bowels and is nice and calm once you get on the road.

3. Make stops often so your dog can stretch out his legs and empty his bladder. He can’t answer you when call out “anyone need to use this rest stop?” so you should probably stop.

4. Use safety restraints in the car. In some states (ones that you might be travelling through) require dog seat belts, safety restraints or Dog car seats. If you’re using a kennel or carrier, make sure that it is securely strapped to the seat in case of an accident. Also, never let your pet sit in the front seat or on your lap. In the event the airbag would deploy your pet could be seriously injured or even killed. Lastly, do not strap your dog or cat carrier to the top of your car or in a trailer.  Read More »

Reduce Your Dog’s Carbon Pawprint

Hi Pet Blog readers, please welcome Adam Holmes with this guest post with some easy ways to reduce your pet’s carbon footprint.

The Real Scoop on Dog PoopAs pet lovers we enjoy buying things and spoiling our pets. Sometimes those extra purchases and items can have a negative impact on Mother Nature. This article is not suggesting that we stop buying dog toys and accessories, but we can take steps to reduce the carbon pawprint of our pets by making responsible and informed choices.

1. Install a Dog Door

Instead of laying down newspapers or potty mats in the laundry room, install a doggie door so your pet can go outside whenever the urge strikes. For safety and security, you may want to install a traditional fence or a wireless dog fence as a great way to keep your dog in your yard.

*Editor’s Note* If you install a wireless fence, make sure that your dog is supervised while he is enjoying the great outdoors. Also note that invisible fences do not keep other pets or animals out of your yard.

2. Biodegradable Poop Bags

We all know that you’re not going to take on poo duty with your bare hands (please don’t) but plastic bags cause a lot of harm to the environment. They are difficult to decompose and if they do they leach harmful substances into the environment. Many pet supply stores have started carrying biodegradable poo bags that come in small dispensers that you can hook onto your leash. Choose these over regular plastic bags and choose paper or reusable grocery bags while you are at the store.

3. Scoop

As unappealing as it is, scoop your dog’s poop as often as possible and always pick it up when you are out and about. When left outside for long periods of time, fecal matter can find its way into sewer systems and water ways and can contaminate the environment. A pooper-scooper can be helpful if you don’t like touching your dogs’ waste.
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Iams & Eukanuba dog and cat food recalls : August 2013

iamscatThe health and safety of your pets is very important to That Pet Place. We regret to inform you that P&G has announced a limited, voluntary recall of select Iams dry cat & dry dog and Eukanuba dry dog foods because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No health effects related to salmonella have been reported on these products. P&G is taking this precautionary step in order to ensure our customers and consumers get the highest level of quality and service. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.

Lot Code ExampleThe lot codes of the recalled products include: 3186 4177, 3187 4177, 3188 4177, 3189 Eukanuba4177, 3190 4177, 3191 4177, 3192 4177, 3193 4177, 3193 4177, 3194 4177, & 3195 4177. The lot code is located on the front or back of the bag at the top of the bag and is the bottom left number.

For more information on how to find your bag’s lot codes, please see Iam’s recall listing for dog foods, Iam’s recall listing for cat foods or Eukanuba’s recall listing for affected dog foods.

What to do if you have an affected product:
If you determine that you have one of the affected products you may return the product to That Fish Place – That Pet Place retail store or the store where you purchased your pet food for replacement or reimbursement for your purchase.

If you need additional information regarding this recall please visit Iams or Eukanuba’s websites.  We will keep you updated if there are any updates related to this recall. 

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