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First quarter Newsletter 2012


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How much do cats need to drink?; How to choose positive reinforcement trainers, Kill shelters

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First quarter Newsletter 2012

  1. 1. NewsletterWWW.MORRISVET.COM Like Us On Facebook! January -March What is Positive Reinforcement Training? Chris Positive reinforcement style training has become very popular in the last few years. When done correctly it teaches a dog to think, learn what is expected of him without fear and cruelty, and is a phenomenal tool for bonding you with your dog. However, many “trainers” are jumping on the positive bandwagon with no idea what it means. “Positive” is not a marketing gimmick or wording to be tossed around carelessly. It DOES NOT mean that after you have yelled at your dog, jerked your dog around, or physically punished your dog that you say “Good boy”.Did You Know?Scientists are constantly re-evaluating what True positive reinforcement trainers put anwe know to be medically true. Heartworm emphasis on building a relationship between your family and the pet. We emphasise obtaining gooddisease may be becoming harder to fight. behavior from the pet and rewarding that behaviorThere is evidence that it may take 2-3 months to have it continue. We teach you how to avoidfor prevention medications to effectively clear eliciting bad behavior and how to extinguish itdisease. This means skipping a few months when it happens. This is all done through usingin winter may allow the disease to get a items that are reinforcing to the dog such as toysfoothold in your pet’s body. The safest and food. These items are used to teach aprotection is year round especially when you behavior and as behaviors become reliable theyget the added benefits of intestinal parasite are decreased. They are never completelyprevention as well. phased out because a dog should be rewarded occasionally for behaving correctly throughout his lifetime.INSIDE THIS ISSUE Don’t be fooled by pretty words and fancy marketing. Learn to look for the hidden warning1 What is Positive Reinforcement Training signals. Trainers that advocate using pinch collars, choke chains, or no treat training are NOT2 When to Contact Your Vet positive reinforcement trainers. These tools damage the relationship and do not help it grow!3 Do Cats Drink Water These trainers will also hide behind excuses such4 No Kill Shelters as “No one training technique works for every dog”. Again this is the mark of a poor trainer who does not know how to train without cruelty training aids. Demand the best for you and your dog. Newsletter 1
  2. 2. Do You Know How Powerful Your Voice Is? When to Contact Your VeterinarianChris Drs. Foster & Smith Educational StaffYou, yes you who are reading this post right now.You obviously read our page to be educated, to laugh, Our pets cannot verbalize whether they hurt or share, whatever. Even if only for a few seconds it But although major cities are seeing an increase in 24-takes time and effort to check in and that shows that hour facilities for emergency pet care, it is not alwaysyou care. Every day you voice your opinion whetheryou know it or not. You vote with your dollar, with an option either geographically or monetarily to run toyour choice of merchandise, with your smallest action. the veterinarian every time you are suspicious thatYou proudly, as you should, slam the pet trade something is "wrong" with your pet.industry, yet when you purchase even the smallestconvenience token from the pet store just 2 blocks So how do you determine if your pet needs afrom work that sells puppies you have just supported veterinarians attention immediately? Here are a fewthe pet trade. When you buy handmade pet items youmay be supporting a small business person. When you examples of situations that would require immediatedonate supplies to an animal shelter you say you want veterinary attention. Keep in mind that this list isto help some pet’s life be more comfortable. meant only as an adjunct to your veterinarians advice:Many daily decisions that are made without thought Dogs:and taken for granted express our ethics and oursupport or descent. WOW! How powerful are you! Dogs, maybe because they are around us most of theSo I am asking every one of you reading this post; time, usually give pretty good indications when theythink about just one area that you are truly passionateabout. What have you sat back and thought “that are not feeling well. There are situations, however,should be different” “that isn’t right” “that should be when they are not just sick, but need a veterinariansstopped” or “wow, if only…” Here’s your chance. attention immediately. Some of them include:Now do something about (insert cause here). In 3minutes you can bring about powerful change! Yes, Trying to vomit and not being able to. This couldyou are THAT important. Pick up the phone and call indicate a serious and often lethal condition calledyour state representative, draft an email explainingyour opinion, organize a supply drive, or send some "Bloat." A dog that is doing this needs to be taken to amoney to help support a cause’s efforts. Any action veterinarian immediately, even in the middle of thethat takes you from passively sitting on the couch from night. With Bloat or Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV),arm chair coaching and puts you in the driver’s seat the dogs stomach fills with gas and sometimes twists,will help. causing a myriad of potentially fatal conditions. Recently legislation was passed allowing the sale ofhorse meat in the US. Many of us were outraged and Trouble breathing/catching breathhave been very vocal. Right now because of ourcollective voices a bill is going through to ban Not being able to get up/not using back legsdomestic horse consumption and exportation.Remember, the bad in the world can only survive Straining to defecate or urinatebecause no one seems to care. When no one speaks upfor the weak or the powerless we all lose. What are Difficulty giving birthyou going to do today? What are you going to say? Experiencing neurological symptoms like staggering, unable to stand, circling, drooling profusely.Pet Tracker CollarTagg Pet Tracker has invented a collar that tracks your Projectile vomiting and/or having diarrhea andpet’s movements. If you pet becomes lost you can just vomitinglog onto their website and find them! Contact them at or 800-530-6376. This Extreme lethargy (very tired, sluggish)affordable option is $90 for the collar and $8/monthfor monitoring. Inexpensive peace of mind!! Cats Newsletter 2 Frequent trips to the litter box and straining to urinate. The "blocked cat" scenario usually occurs
  3. 3. Cats: the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.Frequent trips to the litter box and straining to urinate. Cats Do Not Naturally Drink Much WaterThe "blocked cat" scenario usually occurs withneutered male cats and if not resolved, this situation Cats do not normally need to drink very much water. Catscould cause death. have evolved to obtain their water requirements almost entirely on the moisture content in their food. In the wild,Experiencing neurological symptoms like staggering, cats obtain most of their water from freshly killed preyunable to stand, circling, drooling profusely. (e.g., small rodents, birds, amphibians, and insects), all of which contain about 70 to 75 percent water. Cats can doProjectile vomiting and/or having diarrhea and well for long periods without drinking any water whenvomiting receiving canned food containing 67 to 73 percent water; however, they will become dehydrated when the waterExtreme lethargy (very tired, sluggish) content of the food drops to less than 61 percent. Therefore, normal cats eating rodents or birds or house cats eatingDragging/not being able to walk on back legs canned-only foods may obtain enough water in their diets so that extra drinking water may not always be needed .Trouble breathing/catching a breath Its very important to realize that domestic cats have aDifficulty in giving birth diminished "thirst drive" and ideally will derive most of Since cats are a little closer to the wild than their their daily water intake from the moisture contained in theirhousemates, the dogs, and since in the wild, the sick food. In this respect, control of water balance in cats differsare the non-survivors, cats often dont indicate that markedly from that of dogs and most other animals. Whenthey are sick until they are very ill. Some good dehydrated, cats are slower to initiate drinking or to drinkindications that they are ill are: enough for complete rehydration — one study found that A normally well-groomed cat that stops grooming dehydrated dogs will drink enough to replenish 6 percent of their body weight in an hour compared to the 24 hours itLoss of appetite for more than one day takes for dehydrated cats.Foul breath or drooling excessively In response to changes in the water content of food, cats adjust their voluntary water intake less precisely and lessNot producing stool rapidly than do dogs. Similarly, their compensatory drinking response to dehydration induced by higherPain when eating environmental temperatures or concurrent disease is less effective than it is in dogs.Erratic behavior or hidingSeek a veterinarians advice as soon as you can for How Much Water Does a Cat Need to Drink?these conditions. The amount of water drunk by an individual cat depends on a variety of factors, including the cats size and activity, the season, and whether the cats diet includes wet food orDaily Water Requirements and Needs dry cat food only. Factors such as high heat, exercise, orfor Cats lactation can double or triple the amount a cat drinks. And, of course, diseases such as hyperthyroidism, kidneyDrinking a healthy amount of water is vital to a cat’s disease, and diabetes will all greatly increase a cats dailyhealth. Most people don’t think of water as a nutrient. water requirements.But considering that water accounts for about two-thirds of a cat’s body weight and serves as the hub of So how much should a cat drink? A normal cat’s dailyall chemical processes in the body, its actually the water requirement ranges from 5 to 10 fluid ounces per day.king of all nutrients. Cats eating canned food will receive much of their daily water needs from its food, since canned food is about 70 to Water serves many physiological functions: it 80 percent water. In contrast, dry food is only 7 to 10transports nutrients and oxygen through the blood percent water. Normal cats eating canned food may need tostream and into the cells, moisturizes the air in the drink less than 1 ounce of additional water per day, whereaslungs, regulates body temperature, protects and a cat consuming only a dry diet may need to drink over 7moisturizes the joints and internal organs, and helps ounces per day to stay hydrated.eliminate waste products of metabolism through the Newsletter 3
  4. 4. Will Type of Food (Dry vs. Canned) Affect the Amount Now in a perfect world everyone would beof Water a Cat Drinks? matched up to the pet of their dreams. All puppies and kitties would be cuddled and A cat consuming a predominantly dry food diet will pampered for life. But we live in this world.drink more water than a cat consuming a canned food When there is no more space room must bediet. But in the end, when water from all sources is made or the pets suffer! It is naïve to believe thatadded together (moisture in their diet plus the water there is absolutely no reason to euthanize healthythey drink), the cat on dry food consumes about half pets. When a shelter has 10 black, sweet cats dothe amount of water required for adequate hydration you really think they will ALL get homes? Whatcompared to a cat eating canned food . do you think happens when shelters have to turn away pets? Desperate people abandon them in Put another way, when cats are fed only dry food, they locked houses or tied up in the yard, turn themdo increase the amount of water drunk but not nearly loose on the streets, or even shoot them. Doesenough to fully compensate. In one study, cats this seem like a humane, pain free existence?consuming a dry food diet containing 10% moisture These pets who have known nothing but securitywith free access to drinking water had an average daily and love now left to fend against traffic,urine volume of 2 fluid ounces. This urine volume starvation, and a world they know nothing about.almost doubled when the cats were then fed a canneddiet containing 75 percent moisture. There is no good, realistic answer. BUT we must give up our divisive, us verse them attitude. Shelters and rescues have an impossible yet vitalAre Kill Shelters Necessary? job. They are in a no win situation. They deserveChris our support and our compassion.Every week we get calls by people looking to What can you do to help?surrender their pets. Every single week.Sometimes it is just one dog or cat; sometimes itis an entire litter of kittens or multiple dogs. When 1. Donate your money to help facilitieswe give them rescue referrals the response is operate at maximum efficiency or buildalways the same “I only want no kill numbers” and additional room.“I have called all of those. They are all full.” 2. If you have room offer to be a fosterRight now the numbers of people no longer family. This temporary situation frees up afinancially able to care for once beloved pets is cage and allows the shelter to acceptsickening. more surrenders. 3. Donate supplies to help a shelter stretchSo let’s break this down. Shelter A has 10 slots their dollars to help as many pets asfor available surrenders and 9 cages are taken. possible.Family A has lost their job and must surrender 2 4. Become part of a think tank or committeedogs and 1 cat. Both dogs are black labs and the to organize better solutions. When we allshelter already has 4 black labs that are very put our heads together we can besweet and fun. Do the math. unstoppable.No one wants to face euthanasia as the end fortheir beloved healthy pet, but what is thealternative? It is a harsh, cold fact: onceresponsible people who own homes, havefamilies to support, and are good people arelosing everything that they hold dear. Sheltersare performing a very necessary service, often atgreat financial hardship.Eventually, as painful as it is there just are nomore resources to be stretched. No one is atfault here. Shelters are maxed to capacity. Donot fool yourself. Adoptions DO NOT equal thesurrenders. Newsletter 4