Dear Tabby, I love using essential oils in my home, but I’ve heard that some can be toxic to my pets. Can you help me to determine if I need to ditch my “oily” habit to protect my pets? Essential Oil Fanatic in Timbergrove Dear Essential Oil Fanatic, Essential oils are all the rage these days! Folks are using them to not only enhance the scent of their homes but also to help alleviate stress and other ailments. While some essential oils can be beneficial to pets and even help to strengthen their immune system, vets warn you to use them in moderation and with caution. Never put them in food or water “Essential oils should never be given by mouth or in the animal’s food,” said Murl Bailey, a professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. … [Read more...] about Are essential oils dangerous to pets?
Dear Tabby, We are planning to do some camping this winter with our dog. What should we consider before taking the dog camping with us? Craving a Campfire in The Heights Dear Craving a Campfire, While camping with your furry friends can be fun, it’s not without some risk and better enjoyed if you’ve prepared well. Our friends at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine have some advice on making the most out of camping with your canine. Make sure campground allows pets First of all, make sure that you choose a campground that will work for you and your dog. “Many campgrounds allow pets, with certain rules and regulations,” said Dr. Mark Stickney, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical … [Read more...] about Resolving to camp more in 2020? Should you take your dog along?
Dear Tabby, We’d like to get a bird as a pet but hate the idea of buying one from a breeder. Is it possible to adopt a bird? What do we need to know prior to getting one? Bringing Home A Birdie in Brooksmith Dear Bringing Home A Birdie, Thank you for your willingness to explore bird adoption before heading directly to a breeder or pet store! According to the website petfinder.com, many people do not realize there are thousands of birds that are looking for forever homes. Birds are beautiful, often exotic animals that are fun, social and smart creatures – some even talk! These attributes have made birds popular pets in recent years. However, people often have unrealistic expectations about the amount of love and care it takes to properly care for a bird, which in turn has … [Read more...] about Adding a feathered friend to your flock?
Dear Tabby, Our cat scratches on everything! Our furniture, our carpet, even our metal bed frame! Why does he do this and what can we do about it? Sick of the Scratching in Forest West Dear Sick of the Scratching, Scratching on things is a very normal part of being a cat. In the wild, a cat will scratch on trees or the ground in order to mark his territory and sharpen his claws, but our little “lions in the living room” have to make do with what household furnishings have to offer in the way of scratching opportunities. More often than not, this can cause some problems in the home when kitty’s clawing becomes destructive. First up, let’s explore why cats scratch: Scratching keeps cats happy and healthy. Scratching is like “cat yoga” in a way -- it just feels good. The same … [Read more...] about Three reasons why cats scratch and what you can do to cope
Dear Tabby, We have lots of neighborhood strays who frequent our yard. While I like the fact that they help control the rodent population, I’m not keen on them being in my yard all of the time. Any advice on how to make our yard less hospitable for the neighborhood strays? Unhappy Hosts in the Heights Dear Unhappy Hosts, You’ve got a very common problem on your hands, unfortunately. According to Citizens for Animal Protection, feral cats are the largest cause of pet overpopulation in Houston. Thousands of feral cats are born into homelessness every year, often right in our own neighborhoods. Left unattended, feral cat colonies can grow out of control. We’ll discuss ways to help control the feral cat population in a bit, but first, here are a few tips from the website … [Read more...] about Tips for deterring visits from feral cats