Sunday, October 2, 2016

Why I Dislike When Peole Say They Are Rehoming Kittens

I very much dislike seeing ads where people say they are rehoming kittens or puppies.  It's not so much that I mind that they are looking for homes for their unwanted kittens or pups as much as I mind them using the term "Rehoming" in this situation.

There used to be a time when people just said "Giving away a litter of kittens", and although I disagree with allowing any pet to breed, and shutter at the thought of where some of these kittens might end up going, at least the wording was correct.  Even when backyard breeders would produce a litter they used to just say "pups for sale".  Recently people have wanted to sound less factual and have used phases like "Litter up for adoption" or "Kittens to be rehomed".  Before I go further I will clarify that "adoption" is when a pet is from a shelter and involves actual contracts and such. 

As far as the "rehoming" term I will explain why I detest its use in these situations.  The word rehoming itself is misleading.  It implies the kittens, or puppies, had a home in the first place.  They didn't.  They had a birth place, but did not have a home.  In the case of an accidental litter the owner of the mother typically considers the kittens or pups as an unwanted surprise.  On in the case of a backyard breeder the young ones were produced just to make a profit, so giving them a home was never really an option. 

Somebody tried to "rehome" this litter of kittens by abandoning them on my farm.

When you have a child you give it a home... the child knows it has a home and even after they leave they can always come "home", even if just to visit and do their laundry.  People who give away, or sell, litters of kittens and/or pups do not want them back.  They want them gone! 

This is a personal rant, just a thought that passed my mind after yet again seeing a post where somebody was wanting to "rehome" a litter of unwanted kittens.  Note that it does not apply in the case where a person has an older pet they loved for years and had provided a home for but no longer can, this rant is for people with unwanted kittens and pups only.

If you don't like what I had to say.. that's fine, we all have opinions, deal with it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to Deal with a Pet that has Fleas

So many times I have heard people say they put their pet outside because it has fleas and they do not want it in the house.  This is a horrid attitude, if your pet has fleas you need to help your pet, you need to deal with it.  I think one reason why people are so callous to their pets is they simply do not know how to get rid of fleas or assume it is expensive to do so.

There are many ways of controlling fleas on your pet.  I do not recommend flea collars or other over-the-counter flea control remedies.  Many of these have been linked to pet death even when used correctly.  They use ingredients that some pets are allergic to.  Additionally flea collars are not very effective in the first place.

Bathing your cat or dog in any regular dish washing liquid can help but their are claims that DAWN dish washing liquid is even more effective against fleas than the others.  Never use an anti-bacterial dish washing detergent on your pet.

I prefer the cheap method of flea removal; a flea comb. You can comb through your pet's fur under bright light (or in the sun) and remove any fleas or flea eggs.  You can stick these in cold water or on to tape, for disposal. 

Additionally you have to vacuum your home to get rid of eggs that could potentially hatch.  Pay close attention to areas your pet likes to sleep and wash all pet bedding.  Keep the lawn mowed short to reducing hiding places of fleas.   Note that ants will eat fleas too so if you have ants in your yard, consider them as allies rather than enemies.  If you are rural a few free range hens, ducks, or guinea fowl will eat fleas.

Food grade diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled on the pet to help control fleas too.

Cats that go outside are likely to get fleas, do not ignore your pet's itching!

Some people feed Brewer's Yeast to their pet to control fleas, and in fact some pet foods contain this as an ingredient.  Dogs can be given small amounts of garlic as well to help control fleas. Note that these products will not get rid of fleas but are used to help prevent them.

Your veterinarian will carry safe products for flea and tick control.  These products can also be ordered online too, however a prescription is usually required and the weight of your pet must be known for a proper dosage.  Note that you can buy similar products in the stores but these are not as safe as the ones from the veterinarian.

Mainly a person must realize that it is cruel to ignore the fact that their pet has fleas.  If your pet has fleas you need to deal with it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cats who are Not Spayed Should Not Go Outside

If you spend any time on Yahoo! Answers, or throughout the Internet in forums on pets, you will often encounter people freaking out as they should do in regard to their cat who is about to have kittens, or who just has had kittens, and so forth.

As a person who is well aware of the statistics regarding cat overpopulation these people frighten me. Don't get me wrong, I love kittens, they are super cute, but I am disgusted at the number of people who let their cats breed with little regard to the fact that in the United States alone over 3 million more cats are born than there will be homes for and those cats will be euthanized in shelters. Not to mention the untold others killed by owners who do not know what to do with them, or tossed out, abandoned to become feral or die.

Very simply I would love to yell “Spay your Cat!”. People seem to come up with all kinds of excuses as to why they did not spay their cat, the most feeble being “I was going to spay her but she was pregnant.”. This is a horrid excuse since a cat who was not spayed should not have been allowed outside in the first place. Other people actually use the fact that the cat was in heat as an excuse for letting her get pregnant “She was so annoying, I had to put her outside.”.

Some pet owners seriously horrify me.

There is really no excuse for letting a cat get pregnant. Domestic cats are not an endangered species, there is no reason to make more. Her own health is at risk simply by being allowed to breed – she risks getting a cat STD (sexually transmitted disease), the pregnancy itself could have complications (perhaps requiring a cesarean section to save her life), and if she is young, old, or in poor health, her life could be at risk in general.

As a person who has worked at an animal shelter, and seen week old, three week old, eight week old, and so on, kittens being euthanized by the bag full, I beg all cat owners to think harder about spaying their cat. If for some moral, or financial reason you opt not to spay your cat, at least keep her indoors. The reality is that for every kitten born there are more that will not find homes, if your cat's kittens find homes somebody else's cat's kittens will not.

There are just not enough homes for all the kittens, deal with it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Come On Pet Owners, How Poor Are you Really?

Often I encounter a pet owner pleading online for help with their sick, injured, or dying, pet. They always seem to have the line “I cannot afford to take it to a vet, please help”. I roll my eyes nearly every time I see this, my typical response is “If you can afford a computer and Internet service, you should be able to afford to take your pet to the veterinarian.”. Yet when you say this to somebody their typical response is something like “I am on my cell phone!”. To me there is no difference, if you can afford a computer and Internet, or a cell phone, you darn well can afford to take your pet to the vet.

Veterinarian care is expensive, no doubt about it, but so are many things, coffee, shoes, car payments, and a lot of other things that really are luxuries not necessities.

Lower income people who want to have pets need to understand that sometimes pet ownership means making a sacrifice on other things in order to put money away for emergency vet care. And believe me I was there once myself (lower income I mean).

I worked part time for minimum wage raising a kid as a single parent, paying a mortgage and so forth, even with the widows pension I got (my first husband had passed away) I was still living on less than a welfare mom with one kid. I made sacrifices and lived frugally. I had no cable, no Internet, no cell phone, so ya, it does piss me off when some jerk driving a $15,000 new car bitches about not being able to afford vet care for their pet.

At least get your pet to the veterinarian so you know what is wrong, how bad it is, and how much it will cost, before you rush around taking advice from strangers on the Internet who may not know what they are talking about.

Owning a pet should be a serious commitment, that animal's life and health are your responsibility. If it dies because you were too cheap to sacrifice a cup of coffee, or could not live without a cell phone, it is your fault.

Don't be going online looking for free veterinarian help, complaining you are poor when you have 20 pairs of shoes in your closet and case of beer in the fridge. That ain't poverty.

I should add that I sympathetic when a person cannot pay expensive treatment costs, as these costs can get into thousands of dollars, but I have little sympathy for the person who gets a puppy then complains two weeks later when it is sick that they cannot afford to take it to the vet, what on earth were they doing getting a puppy in the first place? My sympathies are with the pup.

The same thing for the person who breeds there dog then finds themselves in an emergency situation requiring a caesarian section, a common risk in breeding some dogs, and complains they cannot afford it – again, then why did they bred their dog?

For the lower income people there are many cheap pets, or simply do as I did (I use to work part time for minimum wage only but always had money for my pet's needs), live frugally and below your means, and if you cannot do that – do not get a pet.

There is also no excuse for not spaying or neutering a cat or dog, if this is a financial concern you think you cannot make, adopt one that has already been fixed rather than taking one that still requires this somewhat expensive surgery – also note it is cheaper to fix male animals than females.

I could go on and on, the point is most people have money to spend on their pets, but have chosen to spend it on other things instead.   To those complaining that they cannot afford vet care for their pet, I ask "How much is your cell phone bill?".  Your pet is a financial commitment, deal with it!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Goldfish Need Proper Care

For some reason people seem to think that because goldfish are cheap they do not require proper care.  Often put into a bowl with nothing more than a plastic plant, we assume they are happy because we were once told they have a 20 second memory or something of the sort.

Goldfish have actually been shown to have a 3 month memory, they are so smart they can be trained to swim through mazes or push a ball through a hoop. 

When kept in bowls they suffer from stunted size, mostly due to the fact that goldfish pee a lot, without a filter their tank gets dirty quick, basically they do not grow because they are swimming in toxic water.

©B Nelson

For some stupid reason people seem to think that goldfish, which can grow up to 12 inches or more, are okay in a tiny bowl, for their tiny life.  Speaking of tiny life, goldfish can actually live for 20 years, so they really are more of a long term commitment than people think. 

This has become such an issue that Rome has banned people from keeping goldfish in bowls, and many areas where they use to be considered carnival prizes have banned that idea too - yeah.

Gold fish are real living things, they are animals, they deserve better treatment than to be kept in a filthy, tiny bowl devoid of anything even remotely considered interesting.

If you want a pet that requires no care, and no space, get a pet rock.  If you want a goldfish you need to provide it with the right size tank, this can even mean a 30 gallon tank for just two fish.  Goldfish were not meant to be stunted, they were meant to grow and live full lives, deal with it.

Other Reading

How Much Space do Goldfish Need?

Why is my Goldfish not Eating?

Types of Goldfish

Friday, December 16, 2011

After Hours Pet Emergency Care

So it's Friday night and your pet is sick and your excuse for not taking it to the veterinarian is that they are closed. What a load of crap. Nearly all veterinarians offer 24 hour emergency care. Get your pet to a vet now because if you wait until Monday your pet could be dead, or in worse condition.

The real reason people do not want to take their sick pet to the vet after hours is either due to laziness, on my gosh they might miss the hockey game, or due to the fact that they do not want to pay extra for emergency care.

Most veterinarians have an additional charge for calls made after hours. Big deal, this is your pet's life we may be talking about. The very least you can do is call, find out what the extra charge is, and decide if you can afford it.

You may even be able to talk to the veterinarian, explain the symptoms, and have them suggest if the pet should come in right away, or if it can wait until morning. You should know most will suggest bringing in the pet at the time, because depending what is wrong, waiting could threaten its chances for survival.

You should never wait if your pet has a fever of 2 degrees more than normal, if it is very young, very old, or pregnant and been straining to deliver for more than 1 hour. Black smelly diarrhea, can be a sign of parvo, this cannot wait. If your pet is unconscious you need to call a vet, also do not take the “wait and see” approach if it has swallowed poison. CALL THE VET!

Of course many after hour, especially weekend, veterinarian appointments can be avoided if you simply take it to the vet if symptoms first show up during regular open hours rather than hoping they go away on their own. There is nothing worse, and more frustrating to a vet, than a person who noticed their pet was sick on Wednesday but they waited until it was really sick on Saturday night before calling for help.

When you call a veterinarian after hours you either get their answering service, or may get the veterinarian themselves. Be respectful of them and their time, they do not want to drop what they are doing any more than you do, but it is their job. Do not argue about having to pay extra simply because they served you after hours. When was the last time you had a car mechanic look at your car at 2 in the morning?

Tips on When to Take a Sick Dog to the Vet
Tips on When to Take a Sick Cat to the Vet

Your pet is  your responsibility, when it is ill, no matter what day or time,  you need to suck it up and... well... deal with it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fat Pets are Abused Pets

Some people love to brag about their fat pet. They flaunt the picture of their chubby chihuahua or porky Persian as if rolls of skin were a sign of affection. Food does not equal love, too much food equals abuse, and a fat pet is a sign of a pet that is fed too much and exercised too little.

Not only can cats and dogs suffer from obesity, so can other pets, ponies not only get fat but if overfed they can get founder which may cripple them for life. Although many people do not realize it, snakes are often fed more than they need, and can be “fat”.

Neutering is commonly blamed for making a pet fat, but in reality overfeeding, and lack of exercise are the real cause. The problem is made worse when the pet gets so fat it often suffers from heart problems and joint pain making it less willing to exercise.

photo source
A fat pet is only slightly excusable; it is easy for a pet to put on a few pounds and for the owner not to notice, but obesity is not excusable. If a pet reaches such levels that it waddles around like a seal, this is a case of abuse, and allowing a pet to be in such a condition can result in prosecution under animal cruelty. In fact 2 brothers in England were charged with such a crime in 2006 when they allowed their chocolate lab, Rusty, to become so obese he moved like a seal.

While you do not want to see ribs and hip bones sticking out of a pet, if you cannot feel ribs then your pet is fat.

Pets become fat because their owners equate food with love, they overfeed the pet because they feel guilty. Dogs become fat because it is their nature to eat everything they can, they do not regulate their intake, they live as though every meal may be their last. Cats become obese for different reasons, while most cats regulate how much they eat, many cat foods skimp on quality ingredients and use fattening ones instead. "Chunks in gravy" = fattening.  Where in nature would a dog or cat going to find gravy?  Get real!

If your pet is fat you need to start increasing the amount of exercise the pet gets, and decreasing the amount of food it gets (gradually - crash dieting can be dangerous). With cats it is very important to feed a better quality food, one with less carbohydrates, after all cats are carnivores, the carbs used as filler in cheap foods are what make them fat.

There is no excuse for having an obese pet. No excuse for not walking a dog once or twice a day, no excuse for not playing with your cat – they love honey suckle toys by the way! If your pet is fat it is your fault you need to start looking after it and not smothering it with calories.

Oh sure you might try to use the “Thyroid condition" as an excuse, but a thyroid condition is no excuse for overfeeding it, or not exercising it, if the pet has a thyroid condition talk to the vet and give the pet more exercise to balance the issue.

If your pet is fat get up off your lazy ass and do something about it. You are not showing your pet love by giving it treats, or too much food, you are killing it, shortening its lifespan, making it sick.  Your pet needs better care, you need to deal with it.

*Note obese pets can become diabetic.

How to Put your Cat on a Diet