A Guide to Cat & Dog Cohabitation (w/ pictures): "Ain’t Nothing Wrong With Me Loving You"

  
            Who says cats and dogs can’t live in harmony? Who says they can’t fall in love? I understand some people are “dog” people and some are “cat” people. But what if you are like me and have an appreciation for both species. If you are like me, you teach your pets tolerance of species other than our own. You’d be surprised of the true harmony that exists in my household with multiple species cohabiting here. It’s true, I have 2 cats and 2 dogs. While a couple of them grew up together since they were one year old, the others did not. I rescued all 4 of them at different points in time. I definitely got lucky and all my pets just “got it”. They had a mutual understanding that family was family, period. They accepted one another almost instantly. I always found it fascinating that my cat Isabella never attacked my dogs even when she was the most recent member introduced into the pack. However, when any other dog comes around, Isabella becomes extremely aggressive.
             This blog post is meant to celebrate and give respect to the bond and love between Cats and Dogs. It is also a guide to help you introduce one or the other to your household. But first, I’m going to hit you with some pictures of some inter-species cuddling to help you relax.
               OK- now that your back with me, are you planning to introduce a dog or cat to your household? With the guidance of a great educational resource called Pet University, here are some introductory tips:
  1. The First Meeting

Beware: Ordinary Household Items Could Poison Your Pet

     
          Spring is right around the corner, which is why I know you will be taking your spring cleaning pretty seriously. Something to keep in mind while you are going to work on cleaning your home is your pets. The simplest of household items could prove hazardous to your pet. Not to mention medications and other products that are meant to be ingested by you, applied to your skin, or your hair.
        The suggestions below were recommended by a companion veterinarian named Marianne Bailey. She lives and works in Maryland and knew that she wanted to be a veterinarian since she was young. She loves her patients and claims to have “the best job in the world”. We appreciate her expertise on this topic.
  • Basement: Rodent/Pesticides: Products such as rodenticide and pesticides are designed to kill rodents and pests and are obviously highly toxic to dogs and cats. Even if a small amount is ingested, your pet could bleed internally and eventually bleed to death. Please, please keep these products off the ground and in a closed and locked space
  • Bathroom: Medications: Many of the medications that you ingest are toxic to your pets. All meds should be kept in containers with lids tightly applied, and off of low cabinets or shelves. Some of the meds that common are the following: NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen), acetaminophen, prescription drugs, diet pills, antidepressants. 
  • Closet: Mothballs: Mothballs containing naphthalene can cause irritation to the digestive tract, liver and kidney damage, brain swelling, seizures, and possible comas. Mothballs not containing naphthalene can still make your dogs and cats very ill. Not to make you nervous, but please call your vet immediately if you suspect that your pet may have ingested a mothball.

  • Garage: Antifreeze: Antifreeze can result in death within a short period of time if not treated by a veterinarian. Until recently, antifreeze was made with a sweetening agent that made it attractive to pets. Now, Maryland law requires that a buttering agent be added to the product to eliminate accidental deaths by ingestion. Please keep these products off of the ground and low shelves. Immediately clean up any spills properly.
  • Kitchen: Foods/Items: Alcohol, Avocado, Candles (containing xylitol), Chocolate, Coffee grounds, Fatty Foods, Garlic, Grapes, Gum (sugar free kinds containing xylitol) Macadamia Nuts, Onions, Raisins, Tea, Salt. These foods are toxic and can kill your pet in larger doses. Keep these foods or items away from counter-edges and tables and keep bags of garbage tied up and out of your pet’s reach.
  • Sunroom: Plants: The most toxic plants to pets include lilies (especially to cats), sago palms which causes seizures and liver damage, hibiscus and castor bean resulting in gastrointestinal upset, rhododendrons and azaleas which may cause heart problems, coma and death, plus shamrocks that can cause kidney faiure. Additionally, there are sure to be other plants that are also toxic, so when it doubt, keep them away from your houseplants or don’t have those types of flowers in your home at all (sorry).
    Kev and Mac

           When in doubt, or you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. Be prepared to provide the following information: Pet breed, age, weight, symptoms, and package label information. Keep the product container with you so that the appropriate treatment can be suggested.
         I know this is not the most fun blog to read, but it always serves as a good reminder regarding what is bad for your pet when it comes to ordinary household items right under our noses. If we caused at least one reader to check at least one of the places we mentioned above, I’d say we’ve done our fair duty. Please be sure to spread this list to friends, as they would probably miss out on it unless they were subscribed to our blog/Facebook page.
We appreciate your readership and interest in improving the quality of life of you and your pet’s, which is exactly our mission at dealwagger.com. “Follow” us on Twitter @dealwagger.  ”Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dealwagger to follow our posts, and sign-up for our newsletter where we share worthwhile resources and contest freebies. Receive daily deal discounts in your E-mail inbox on quality pet products shipped to your door and on goods/services locally. Our launch date to be announced shortly.

About the author: Kevin Opos is the Director Marketing of dealwagger.com, having graduated with a B.A. in Communication from UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in Media Marketing. Residing in Los Angeles, CA, he has shared-custody of 2 dogs and is dedicated to supporting animal rescue organizations & the prevention of animal abuse by giving a voice to those who cannot speak.

United Airlines Discriminates Against Dogs by Breed

           
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            I sometimes wonder who the decision-makers are when it comes to large companies making controversial or discriminatory decisions that seem to set them back 10 years in terms of moral progress. So when I became aware of a recent decision from United Airlines that banned particular dog breeds from flying on their planes, I was taken aback and fully surprised that United would single out nine different breeds to include on their “No-Fly” list.
            As an engaged community member of the website Change.org, I was made aware of this issue and I signed the petition in support of dogs being able to fly regardless of breed. An average dog owner named Jessie Huart was blindsided with news of this policy when she attempted to book a ticket to travel with her 10-year-old pit bull named Slaw. The airline told her that because shes a pit bull, Slaw wasn’t permitted on the flight. Apparently this policy took action last week when United merged with Continental Airlines, making it the world’s largest air carrier and the only US-based airline that labels some dog breeds as “dangerous”.
            So long story short, the way a dog looks is the basis for banning particular dogs from flying with their owners. This may be an obvious statement, but there could be dogs that are not part of the nine banned breeds who could be more aggressive than any of the ones on the list, based upon the dog’s upbringing and personal history. For example, a Chihuahua could be a rescue and was abused or traumatized and therefore be more aggressive than a “bully breed” dog who was brought up consistently with affection and raised properly.
            These types of policies are opposed by every major dog-related organization. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Animal Control Association argue that physical appearance isn’t an effective way to predict or address aggression. These kinds of discriminatory policies fuel the misconceptions about bully breeds and lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent dogs. In addition, our country’s only statewide breed discriminatory law was repealed in Ohio just last month.
            While United and Continental still work out their merge, the company is listening closely to customer feedback, which is why dog-lovers and United/Continental Airline customers should sign Jessie Huart’s petition. It’s time to send a strong message to other companies and lawmakers that breed discrimination should not be tolerated.
            The bottom line here is: it is a bad idea to discriminate based on breed and physical appearance of a dog to be a good candidate for flying. Maybe, the airlines could find a different way of certifying the dogs for flight based on a behavioral test of some sort. It is simply unfair to label entire breeds to be dangerous, aggressive, or unfit for flight with their families. The other important concept to internalize here is speaking up for what you believe in. I highly recommend becoming a member of change.org. Real difference has taken place via this medium of signing petitions and I know Bank of America had to change their rate hike on debit/credit cards recently due to one young lady who decided to speak up and organize a petition online.
We appreciate your readership and interest in improving the quality of life of you and your pet’s, which is exactly our mission at dealwagger.com. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dealwagger to follow our posts, and sign-up for our newsletter where we share worthwhile resources and contest freebies. Receive daily deal discounts in your E-mail inbox on quality pet products shipped to your door and on goods/services locally. Our launch date to be announced shortly.

About the author: Kevin Opos is the Director Marketing of dealwagger.com, having graduated with a B.A. in Communication from UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in Media Marketing. Residing in Los Angeles, CA, he has shared-custody of 2 dogs and is dedicated to supporting animal rescue organizations & the prevention of animal abuse by giving a voice to those who cannot speak.