Dear Tabby, One of my family’s New Year’s Resolution is to add a pet to our home in 2019. We’ve never had pets before and are unsure about immediately adding a dog or a cat. Can you give us any advice on how to go about dipping our toes into the world of pet ownership? Considering a Pet in Timbergrove Dear Considering a Pet, Owning a pet is a big responsibility -- even if it’s just a fish. Pets require (at a minimum) regular feedings, attention, baths or cage/tank cleanings, someone to care for them when you’re out of town...the list goes on and on. It’s not a decision to make flippantly and I applaud you for pausing to do some thinking on the topic before diving in. Here are a few things to consider: Getting the kids on board Kids are usually the first ones in the family to warm … [Read more...] about Planning to Add a Pet to Your Home in 2019?
Dear Tabby, One of our cats has stopped using the litter box and, instead, is peeing on the dog’s bed! What is this about? Is the cat mad at the dog? Please help! Perturbed with Inappropriate Peeing in Garden Oaks Dear Perturbed, While cats are typically considered factitious in their cleanliness, sometimes (for no apparent reason) a cat will decide to stop using the litter box. What follows can be a mess of epic proportions. While dog pee isn’t necessary pleasant, it is more diluted than cat urine. Cat urine contains uric acid, salt, electrolytes, detoxified substances and urea. One of the reasons the bad odor of cat urine is so unappealing is because sometimes the animal’s pee is left unnoticed until the smell gets progressively worse. Bacteria break down the urea, which … [Read more...] about Dear Tabby: Why is kitty peeing on the dog bed?
Dear Tabby, I have some New Year's resolutions in mind for myself, but I was thinking about ways that I can improve the life of my dog in 2019 as well. Any tips on how to make sure that the new year is my pup's best year yet? Healthy resolutions in The Heights Dear Healthy Resolutions, While humans all over the world are spending time considering their past failures and dreaming of future success, it is a good idea to keep Fido in mind when planning for a fruitful year of happiness and good health. Strive For a Healthy Diet and Exercise Much like most Americans' resolutions, the biggest thing you can do to make sure that Fido starts the new year healthy is to consider his diet and exercise habits. These days, grain-free is the biggest buzzword in pet food. The truth is, the … [Read more...] about Dear Tabby: Resolutions that benefit your pet
Dear Tabby, Santa is bringing us a new puppy for Christmas! We’re anxious to take her to our local dog park to let her burn off some of that puppy energy. What are the rules of the dog park for newbies like us? Mindful of our manners in the Heights Dear Mindful, Did you know there are more than 30 dog parks in the Greater Houston area? That means there’s plenty of space to get out and let your dog enjoy some leash-free scampering. Before you head out, though, let’s talk a little about dog park etiquette. Here’s a list of ground rules (some are written rules and some are merely implied) for visiting the dog park with your pet: No young puppies. Unless the dog park is empty, it might be too overwhelming for a small puppy. Experts advise that until your puppy is 4 months … [Read more...] about Minding Your Ps and Qs at the Dog Park
Dear Tabby, With the cold weather that we’ve been having lately, I’ve been worried about how to keep my pets safe in colder temperatures. Obviously, all outdoor animals come inside when the weather is freezing, but are there any other cold-weather pet hazards that we need to consider? Chilly in Candlelight Estates Dear Chilly, Houston has already experienced some rather unseasonably cold temperatures this year and there’s a good chance that winter is not quite done with us yet. While meteorologists remind us to protect our pipes, plants, and pets during freezes, there’s more to it than just putting a sweater on your dog when the temperatures dip below freezing. Here are a few other things to consider: 1. Watch Out for Outdoor Cats: If you have a cat–or even if you don't and … [Read more...] about Cold-weather pet hazards to consider