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The Pet Blog represents the contributions of all of the on-staff pet experts at That Fish Place – That Pet Place. Contact us with the links here or leave a comment.


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Holiday Gift Guide – Top 10 Gifts for Your Cats

Cat ShelvesChristmas is just around the corner and it just wouldn’t be complete without some gifts under the tree for your favorite feline(s)!  There are some great gifts for your cats to add to the list this year…read on to make this holiday a success for your precious pet with these great holiday suggestions!

1. Cat/Cloud Shelves

Everyone who shares a home with a cat knows they love to climb and explore areas that provide the best view of the room. Whether you have limited space or not, a cumbersome cat tree may not be an option. Enter the new line of cat shelves available at thatpetplace.com. These innovative and attractive wall mount shelves are functional wall decor, so they’re as much a gift to you as they are for your kitties. Install the shelves on any wall to create open and secure resting and perching spots for your pets. The shelves are sleek and stylish, and a variety of colors allows you to choose the unit that best fits your existing decor. Each shelf features a wide, cushioned base to accommodate cat weight up to 50 lb. Read More »

Why Does My Cat Do That? – Common Questions on Kitty Behavior

Happy CatYou know your pets better than anyone, but even though you love them no matter what, their adorable and often mystifying behaviors may sometimes make you ask “why do you do that”?  Here are some simple answers to common questions on cat behaviors you may witness every day.

Why does my cat purr?

Your cat’s purr may be one of your favorite things about hime or her.  Where that distinctive sound originates is still debated, but cat owners know that unmistakeable trill, which begins when the cat is about a week old. Cats purr when they are content and happy, but also when they are stressed by fear or pain. The frequency of the purr has been linked to stimulated bone growth and healing, and it is also believed that endorphins are released while the sound is produced. So, despite the obvious communicative properties of a good healthy purr, it may actually be contributing to your pet’s overall well-being, as a self-soothing, self-healing, relaxing therapy. You probably already know that a purring cat can have similarly soothing, healing, relaxing powers on you too!

Why does my cat knead me with his paws?

kitten bitingNot all cats knead, but the explanation for why those that do is pretty simple. Kittens knead as a sign of contentment, and the action helps their mothers milk flow while they nurse. As the cat matures, kneading is still a signal of contentment at their situation, and it is also a way to mark territory, as cat’s perspire through the pads on their paws. Getting a kitty massage is usually pretty fun, but some cats can be obsessive with kneading, or the behavior may lead to or be done in conjunction with suckling or chewing, which leads us to… Read More »

That Fish Place – That Pet Place Earns Google Trusted Store Badge

That Fish Place – That Pet Place has earned the Google Trusted Store badge for demonstrating a track record of on-time shipping and excellence in customer service. The badge is displayed across the site to remind you, as our consumers, that you can shop from thatpetplace.com with confidence and with Google’s free purchase protection. If there is an eligible issue that comes up with your order and you cannot resolve it with the merchant to your satisfaction, Google will work with you and the merchant for a resolution. You can read more about this award here.

Carbon Monoxide and Pets

white dog sleepingDo you ever consider the dangers of carbon monoxide to pets? One of our Facebook fans recently shared with us a tragic story of 12 pet birds lost to carbon monoxide poisoning. The heartbreaking tale also involved the family dog who, after some time has made a full recovery. This blog post is intended to raise awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning not just for people, but for the pets we keep as well. Most cases of carbon monoxide toxicity in pets occur, sadly, due to human error, and the results can be devastating.  A dog left in an enclosed garage with a running automobile, for example, can be exposed to toxic levels of carbon monoxide in about ten minutes. But animals may also exposed to toxic levels of carbon monoxide when they are trapped in a building that is on fire, or when a slow leak from a heating system amongst other causes. It’s important to make yourself familiar with easy ways to prevent exposure, as well as a course of action should evacuation or medical attention be necessary.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, non-irritating gas produced by the incomplete combustion of carbon fuels. It is potentially toxic and may even cause death. Carbon monoxide may be produced by unventilated kerosene or propane heaters, gasoline engines, automobile exhaust, or fumes from carbon-based fuel heating systems. When inhaled, Carbon Monoxide gas is readily absorbed into the bloodstream, combining with hemoglobin and rapidly reducing oxygen delivery to the body,leading to decreased oxygen to the brain and heart. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide leads to hypoxemia (critically low blood oxygen levels) and eventually death.

What are the signs and symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

Depending upon the concentration and duration of exposure of carbon monoxide, the symptoms may manifest quickly, or gradually over a period of prolonged exposure. Some pets, such as birds, are more sensitive to Carbon Monoxide levels and relatively small exposure may prove detrimental. Acute behavioral and physical symptoms include:

•Sleepiness
•Weakness
•Lethargy
•Labored breathing
•Seizures
•Depression
•Deafness
•Erratic movements
•Coma

Pregnant animals, especially those in late gestation, may abort their babies pre term. Examination of your pet’s skin and mucous membranes such as nostrils, ears, genitals may show bright red coloration, though this symptom may not be apparent on most pets.

Consistant exposure to lower levels of carbon monoxide include flu like symptoms like nausea, vomiting, aches, weakness and loss of stamina. Blood acidosis is also a side effect.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Carbon monoxide detectorCarbon monoxide is life-threatening and treatment will require immediate veterinary attention. If you know or suspect that your pet is suffering from carbon monoxide toxicity, the first step is to move your pets away from the source of the carbon monoxide to a place where they can breathe fresh air. As soon as possible, transport them to the vet for oxygen therapy and fluids. The oxygen will remove the carbon monoxide from the blood, bringing your pet’s oxygen levels back to normal. Your vet will also collect blood samples for a complete blood count and biochemistry, as establishing the levels of carbon monoxide, carboxyhemoglobin and acids in the blood will dictate the initial treatment plan and continued treatment. Urinalysis and other applicable body fluid tests may also be performed. In some cases, your veterinarian may perform an electrocardiogram (ECG) to determine if your pet’s heart function has also been affected.

Your vet will instruct you on extended care. Generally, while your pet is recovering from the carbon monoxide poisoning, activity should be limited for several weeks following the exposure. Shorter walks, limited play and exercise, and a little extra TLC will be required until your pet is fully recovered. Observe your pet closely during recovery for residual signs of nervous system issues, and if you see any anomalies, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Prevention

Obviously, the best course of action is to prevent your pets and the rest of your family from exposure of any detrimental levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide detectors are the first line of defense against this elusive killer, and should be installed in various areas of your home. Minimize or prevent exposure to carbon monoxide by ensuring that your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances are serviced annually by a qualified technician. Don’t use generators, charcoal grills or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window where gasses could accumulate in an enclosed area.
And don’t run a vehicle inside a garage attached, even if you leave the door open, and especially if the garage is attached to your house. Provide adequate ventilation for any fuel powered device and be sure to know what to do should an unfortunate exposure to carbon monoxide should occur.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning can occur any time of year and is often due to human error. Protect you and your family, including four-footed members through prevention and close attention to potential sources.

White dog sleeping image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Eli Duke

Best Dog Treats – Tasty Favorites for Your Canine Companions

Dog with RawhideOffering your pet a sweet or savory treat seems like it would be a simple gesture of affection, but with so many treats and chews to choose from sometimes it can be rough to find the right one to buy.  If you’re fortunate enough to be able to take your pet inside your local pet store to pick out his or her own favorites you’re a step ahead, but if you’re on your own while shopping it may be a little tougher to navigate to the the right products. Here is a brief description of some of the best dog treats and chews and why they may or may not suit your pet. Please remember that no matter what tasty tidbit you offer your pet, observe them closely to make sure they’re enjoying their snack safely.

Chances are you know your pet better than anyone, so you probably have a good idea what they might like and what will be appropriate to offer. Your dog may already show an affinity for certain flavors or textures, or he may have some habits or behaviors that need to be considered while you shop. For example, if your dog is a strong chewer, you’ll want something that doesn’t break or splinter. If your dog is a little “chunky” low calorie snacks may be just the ticket. Small breed and senior pets may only want bite-sized, soft or chewy products that are easy to break apart. It may even be possible your pet has some medical issue, sensitive stomach, allergies, dry skin, ect. that steer you towards supplemented or specially formulated creations. Read More »

Catnip – Interesting Facts and FAQs about Your Cat’s Herb of Choice

CatnipDoes your cat go cuckoo for Catnip? If you have you know how much fun it is to watch them rolling and twisting, rubbing, batting, clawing and biting those fuzzy and aromatic leaves. But have you ever wondered why cats react the way they do to the plant? Read on to find out more about your cat’s favorite flora!

About the Plant

Catnip, Nepeta cataria, also known as Catmint, is a member of the mint family, one of about 250 species. It is native to Europe but has naturalized here in the US and in many other places. You can often find it along roadsides and in fields if you know how to recognize it, most of us would see it as nothing more than a roadside weed. The plants grow up to about 40 inches tall, with angular stems, soft, fuzzy, triangular-shaped leaves with scalloped-edges, and clusters of tiny pinkish-purple flower heads through summer. Of course, the easiest way to identify it is that characteristic smell! Your cat reacts to the potent essential oil, nepetalactone that gives catnip its distinctive aroma and has a powerful effect on the behavior of many cats.

It Only Takes a Little Whiff

Researchers aren’t sure why a cat’s brain responds as it does to this herb, but it’s thought that the oils in catnip mimic the feline “happy” pheromones.  When they smell that oil it stimulates the receptors in the brain that respond to those pheromones, triggering the behaviors and physical responses you love to watch. Read More »

Pet Identification Types – Helping Lost Pets Find Their Way Home to You

Have you ever lost a pet? Maybe your cat or dog slipped out an open door or through an open gate in your back yard? If you’ve ever experienced the panic and stress of a lost pet, then you may already know the importance of having some form of pet identification on your pet to help them find their way home to you! Accidents happen. Sometimes pets are scared, sometimes they’re curious, sometimes they just like to run. I used to have a “runner”. The Jack Russell would, upon seeing even a small chance to escape the house would seize the opportunity, running for miles through yards, across streets without a destination in mind, simply running to run and without desire to be captured or return. On more than one occasion I was able to  pursue and capture my wiley pet, but there were one or two times when I returned to my home distraught after losing sight of him, thinking the worst that I might never see him again. Fortunately, he never went on a joy run without his collar, which not only held his license, but also a simple ID tag, etched with his name and my phone number…perhaps the best couple of bucks I spent since it was that little tag that brought my dog back to me.

Just a few minutes of your time and a few dollars from your wallet can mean the difference between losing a pet forever and having them home safe with you. Here are several methods of pet identification you can employ for the safety and security of your pet. You can use a single method, or better yet a combination of ID’s.

IMG_2373ID Tags and Collars

Perhaps the simplest and easiest method of ID is an etched or printed ID tag or collar. You can purchase a personalized tag or collar from any variety of retail or online sources. Many tags can be printed with several lines of text, so you can choose the info you would like to have displayed. Personalized accessories like these not only allow you to personalize your pet’s style, but also to supply them with a quickly visible and accessible means of identifying your pet and contacting you.

Read More »

Get Ready for Spring with a New Weight Loss Program for Pets

we all have some weight to shed, even our petsWe’ve written on numerous occasions about America’s pet obesity epidemic and have provided tips on how to slim and trim your pet. We’re honored to welcome Rainier Fuclan as a guest blogger with a new canine or feline weight loss plan to help our pets lose weight safely.  Rainier Fuclan is a marketing strategist, freelance writer and pet lover! When he’s not busy working you can find him at home playing with his dog Peanut and cat Anya.

Anya

Rainier’s cat Anya, perfectly slim and trim.

Spring is almost upon us, and with the warmer weather comes the realization that some of us will need to take off a few pounds we’ve gained over the winter months. While you’re taking a critical eye to your waistline, now might be a good time to see whether your four-legged friends could afford to shed a few pounds as well. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 50 percent of cats and dogs are currently overweight, and one-third of those pets are considered obese, or weighing more than 30 percent over what is considered a healthy weight for them.

Having an overweight or obese pet can be more problematic than just having a few extra pounds of pet to love. Pet owners spend millions of dollars annually to treat obesity-related conditions, and aside from the financial strain on a pet owner’s pocketbook, the pets themselves can suffer from conditions such as kidney failure, diabetes, and cancer. Read More »

Rabbit Health: How a Misaligned Jaw Almost Killed my Pet Rabbit

Despite being partially blind, Matthew the rabbit is easily one of the liveliest pets in my house. His outgoing personality, penchant for mischief, and insistent foot stomps for attention are both endearing and frustrating. So, when boisterous Matthew huddled in the back of his cage one night and refused to eat or play, we knew something was wrong. When his head suddenly listed to one side and his muscles tensed minutes later, we were terrified that we were losing our little mischief-maker.

Fortunately, Matthew survived. Quick online research confirmed what we already thought; Matthew had suffered a stroke, though minor enough that he regained most of his muscle control. We scheduled a veterinarian appointment and monitored him carefully in the meantime. While he could nibble some of his pellets and try to chew with his right, the left side of his face seemed locked and stiff, and he could not move his lips enough to grasp hay or fully close his right eye.

We figured this was a result of the stroke only, but our veterinarian found a root cause that surprised us. After determining that Matthew’s lips still had circulation and feeling, he used a scope to view Matthew’s back teeth, which are tightly positioned back by the cheeks and almost impossible to examine otherwise.  After this check, our vet informed us that Matthew’s jaw was slightly misaligned, causing one of his back left teeth to wear improperly. This created a sharp, uncomfortable point that discouraged him from using that side correctly for a while. The area underneath this tooth became infected, and the infection’s swelling had likely triggered the stroke. While the movement of his left facial muscles would slowly return, the pain from the tooth and infection was discouraging him from using them. Matthew required a few weeks of antibiotics to overcome the infection, along with some rabbit-safe painkiller and anti-inflammatory to encourage proper use of the pointed tooth.

While the vet explained that sedating Matthew and physically filing the back tooth was an option, he did not recommend this after such a high health risk as a stroke. He explained that the location and of the tooth and current discomfort made filing without anesthesia impossible, and our safest bet for Matthew was to see if we could get him to use that side again himself. He also recommended purchasing rabbit-safe cardboard tubes to chew. Unlike normal wooden chews, these would be softer and help prevent making the sensitive area sore. If Matthew still could not wear his tooth enough to be comfortable, sedation and filing was still an option, but it would indicate that he would likely need it every couple of months. Placing a sensitive animal such as a rabbit under anesthesia so frequently is in itself risky, and he suggested we wait on that option unless it seemed necessary.

We left the vet’s office both fearful and optimistic, armed with information, medicine, and a powdered probiotic food to maintain Matthew’s digestive system after his time spent with inadequate eating. As his poor muscle control made using a water bottle difficult, we also boosted his fluid intake with feeding syringes. Providing dishes of water was a poor idea for Matthew; with his poor vision and compromised health, he merely kept his distance from the unfamiliar shape.

After a few days, slow improvements began to show. Matthew’s energy was returning, and he no longer sulked in the back of his cage. He began eating his pellets more regularly and could use his water bottle again, and we stopped the supplemented feed soon after he began his first clumsy bites of hay. He could fully blink his left eye, and movement returned to the left side of his face.

As of today, Matthew seems to be recovered and shows no difficulty grasping, chewing, or biting. While there is no way to correct his conformation, the medications assisted him enough to begin wearing the tooth more properly. I’ve seen many different health conditions in rabbits, but I never expected such an unusual cause as a poor jaw alignment jaw to potentially cause something as serious as a stroke. The vet suggested keeping a close watch for any changes in behavior, as infections as he had can be difficult to truly eliminate in rabbits and might eventually reoccur. For now, Matthew is himself again: stomping for attention, digging at the floor, and watching the activity around him with an alert curiosity.

 

 

Pedicures for Pups – The Importance of Paw Maintenance

Paw PartsLike the human foot, your dog’s paws are designed by nature to function to protect leg bones and joints from the impact of walking, running, and jumping.  The specialized calloused tissue of the pads form a protective barrier against hot and cold and help your dog to grip terrain as they explore. We’re fortunate to have a plethora of shoe styles to protect our feet, and the luxury of going for periodic foot pampering sessions and exams to ensure that our feet can do their job effectively. Did you know that there are lots of easy things you can do at home for your pet to keep his paws in prime condition too? Take a look below to learn some simple ways to keep your pet’s peds happy and healthy year round. Read More »

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