Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Warning Your Loved Ones...about Catnip.

Catnip. Harmless recreational substance...or a gateway to the destruction of young minds??

You be the judge.

A new short film is making the rounds and it examines the effects of catnip on those who are unabashed users of the hallucinogenic. Some say it's nothing more than a good time, while others wonder if the risks outweigh the rewards. Catnip use is on the rise and kitties everywhere are doing it every which they can to chase higher highs as they chase those toy mice and jingle balls.

This Sundance Film Festival award-winning film by Jason Willis examines the history of catnip, the effects of the reality-bending substance and what the future holds for long-term recreational users who swear by its mind-expanding properties. Those who use it say catnip can tap them into the universe and show them sights and sounds never before experienced. Sounds pretty groovy, huh man? Though one must consider the possibility that some harmless experimentation for cheap kicks could devolve into a life-long addiction. Is catnip something to be fooled around with? Judge for yourself in this educational film.

Watch it with your feline loved ones and discuss catnip use with them. Can they stop whenever they want? Or is it becoming a problem? We hope this educational film helps you and your kitties decide*

*And just in case you weren't sure about this post yet...we're kidding. The short film is a parody of those educational films teachers would show us in school warning us of the dangers of drugs, sex, and nuclear weapons...and it is HILARIOUS. 


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Taking Your Pet on Vacation -- The Do’s and Don’ts

Some pet owners have to go everywhere with their furry loved one. We at PCWT are always here for you if you need to go out of town for any length of time. But maybe it’s time for your pet to have a vacation of their own. After all, animals need some time off from their routines too. Maybe you work endless hours all week and this is a time for you two to bond all over again. Whatever the reason, there are some important things to keep in mind when bringing your dog or cat with you on a long trip. Air travel and road travel each present their own sets of challenges and conveniences when travelling with a pet, so consider the following tips when you’re planning your next getaway with your four-legged pal.

First thing to do is take your pet for a veterinary check up. Make sure your pet is healthy enough to travel and is up to date on all of their shots. Get a health certificate before you go, as many airlines require one before they will allow your pet to board the plane.

You will also want to have your pet microchipped, in the event your pet gets lost. Whether travelling by air or by land, a lost pet can be devastating to both of you. The microchip will make finding them much easier.
Buy a USDA- approved pet crate. This is essential no matter how you plan on travelling, as it will be your pet’s living quarters for the duration of the trip. Be sure it’s big enough for your pet to stand and move around inside of comfortably. Don’t let it be too confining for them or they won’t enjoy their time inside of it. The crate is required for air travel, especially if your pet is too large to stay in the cabin with you and must travel in the storage area below.  Cats don’t necessarily need much in the way of preparation before they go into their crate. Just be sure they have water, comfortable and familiar bedding and maybe a few toys so that they don’t get completely spooked. For dogs, get them some exercise before you place them into the crate so they don’t have much pent up energy before being confined to the carrier. Make it a positive experience for them. Don’t act like it’s the end of the world that they’re going inside by acting sorry or sad that you have to put them inside of it. Put familiar clothing or bedding for them to feel comfortable and be sure there’s nothing within that can fly around and harm them. You’ll also want to get the dog to pee and poop as well so they’re not holding it for the duration of the trip.

Prep the crate with all of you and your pet’s information for airline travel. Inform anyone and everyone possible that this is your pet inside of the crate and it’s a living, breathing animal that must be cared for with the utmost attention to detail. For car trips, keeping your loved one in the crate is the safest way for them to travel but take a pit stop every few hours for a snack and/or a walk. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Brushing Your Kitty’s Teeth

When it comes to a cat’s well-being, many owners tend to neglect one of the most important areas of the body: their mouth. Good dental hygiene plays a vital role in keeping your feline friend healthy and happy. So it’s important to give those teeth a cleaning every so often to ward off gum disease and infection. Just like us humans, you’ll want to your cat to get regular oral checkups to avoid illness or discomfort.

There are two ways to do this; you can either give it a try yourself or bring your cat to the veterinarian. Like most cats, yours may not be all too keen on going to the vet. But then it may not be all that excited about you rooting around in its mouth either. To avoid the first option, you can try to entice the cat into the second.  Food is going to be the easiest way to start. Try dipping your finger into something familiar that the cat enjoys eating. It can be milk, the oil from a can of tuna, or just simply a few morsels of its favorite wet food. Let the cat lick it off your finger and feel accustomed to having your finger in and around its mouth. Repeat the procedure a few times; try to touch their teeth more with every attempt. But remember to do so without making any sudden movements. This will only scare the cat away and make it feel skittish about you going anywhere near its mouth.

Once the cat is cool about you and your finger, wrap some gauze on your finger tip with a pet toothpaste or some other mild sterile substitute. Very gently, rub the teeth in a circular motion in the same manner you would brush your own teeth. You’re going to want to do this quickly as most cats aren’t going to stick around for this procedure too long. Keep in mind not to be aggressive or jerky with your finger movements, just do the job and get out of there.

Of course, if you just can’t get your cat to play ball, you’re going to have to go to the vet.  Obviously, they have things there that you likely don’t have access to; like anesthesia, tranquilizers, those tiny little  mirrors the dentist sticks into your mouth, and ultrasonic scalers to remove tartar buildup. So try to see what your cat will allow you to get away with first, and then decide if you need a professional cleaning to get the job done. The cat may not thank you at first, but in the long run he or she will be quite grateful.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's 2013. Time for some New Year's Resolutions...for your pets too!

It never fails. A new year brings new resolutions designed to make each of us better, stronger, more fit. Then around mid February, we lose interest as the stressed routines of life take over. Sometimes all we need is a friend to help guide us through those obstacles and surge forward to our goals. Our pets can be a motivating force for good in situations such as these, because sometimes they too could use a fresh start.

What is it we usually resolve to do more of in the new year? Watch our diet, exercise more, live healthier. Turns out many pets could use the same self-improvement. Here are some helpful hints to get your furry friend started on keeping those New Year's resolutions...and when you start to falter (and you will because you're human), they can help lead you back down the path of commitment and ultimate success as well. 

Diet: Sure we all know what's good for us, the problem is we don't always choose to make the right choice about what we put into our bodies. Helping your pet eat a balanced diet will not only prevent weight gain and possible obesity, but you will see the benefits it has to their coat, skin, and teeth. Keeping your pet healthy will give them strong muscle tone and they'll look great. Think of all the money you'll save in the long run with less visits to the vet's office too. 

Exercise: Yeah it's such a pain in the neck. But doing it with your buddy will make it easier to get started on keeping this New Year's resolution. Routine exercise keeps the heart and joints healthy for you and your pet, as both of you maintain good body weight and image. A long walk or a heart-healthy jog will also give you some much needed bonding time with your pet.

Living Healthy: Sure, diet and exercise are important to living healthy but many of us don't visit the doctor as often as we should. You don't always need to be sick to see a physician. Regular check-ups are the best way to avoid long term health concerns and it's the same thing with your pet. A yearly visit to the vet will keep your best pal safe and healthy, catching any possible conditions before they become a problem. This preventative approach will save your pet from needless discomfort and pain and save you money on costly vet bills that could have been avoided. 

It's only haven't given up yet have you??