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Got questions about pet care? Premier Scottsdale Pet Care has your answers.
Check out these commonly asked questions and some facts that may surprise you.
Q: Is it safe to use Teflon-type cookware if I have a pet bird?
A: Teflon-type nonstick cookware can be lethal to every species of bird. The gas that is emitted when the coating is overheated is toxic to birds. You should dispose of any cookware in which the surface is damaged and make sure you do not leave pans unattended. Also, never use a Teflon-coated heat lamp if you have a bird.
Q: Can I feed fruit to my guinea pig?
A: Watch the amount of sugar you feed your guinea pig. One slice of an apple per week is okay, but avoid raisins, jams or jellies, and bananas (which can cause constipation and be deadly.) Also avoid feeding iceberg lettuce, as it is high in nitrates.
Q: Can I walk my dog outside in the summer?
A: Scottsdale gets extremely hot during the summer, so early mornings and late evenings are the best times to take your dog for a walk. A good rule to follow is that if you cannot press the palm of your hand on the ground for 5 seconds without it feeling too hot for your hand, then it is too hot for your dog.
Q: Should I get my dog or cat spayed or neutered?
A: YES! Unless you are serious about breeding your pet, there are so many good reasons to spay/neuter. Dogs and cats that are spayed/neutered are easier to train and more well behaved, less likely to roam, have less chance of getting certain cancers, are less aggressive, and live longer, healthier lives. According to the SPCA International, one unspayed cat and her offspring can produce over 400,000 kittens and one unspayed dog can produce over 6,000 puppies!
Q: My cat seems to groom himself a lot. Is that normal?
A: YES! Cats spend about 30% of their lives grooming themselves.
Q: My dog never sweats when outside in the heat. Is she okay?
A: Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet. The only way for them to discharge heat is to pant through their mouths. Make sure that your dog does not overheat, as this can be very dangerous.
Q: Can my dog see colors?
A: Yes, but not like humans do. They can see blue, green, yellow and gray, however, reds are seen by dogs on a grayscale.
Q: How fast can domestic dogs and cats run?
A: Dogs can run about 19 miles per hour at full speed and cats can run about 12 miles per hour. Cats can sprint at 30 miles per hour!
Q: Is my hamster winking at me?
A: Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time.
Q: My cat does not have the same number of toes on the front paws as the back ones. Is that okay?
A: Absolutely. Cats have four toes on their back paws and five toes on the front paws.
Q: How long can an iguana hold its breath?
A: Believe it or not, iguanas can hold their breath for 30 minutes.
Q: Are turtles, tortoises and terrapins the same?
A: No. A very simple answer is that turtles spend most of their time in the water, while tortoises live on land. Terrapins spend time on both land and in the water.
Q: Why do dogs lift their legs to urinate?
A: Urine is loaded with chemical scents and dogs want to leave this scent where it will be found by other dogs. The higher on an object that they can mark, the bigger they will “appear” to other dogs.
Q: Does my dog have fur or hair?
A: The terms are often used interchangeably, but generally speaking, a dog with a double coat is considered to have fur, whereas a single coated dog is considered to have hair.
Q: Can I give ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin to my dog or cat?
A: All three of them are dangerous to cats. Buffered aspirin may be given to dogs at different dosing levels than humans. Remember, it is important to consult your vet before giving any medications to your pet.
Q: Is it safe to supplement my dog’s diet with fresh ingredients?
A: Absolutely, but watch out because some foods can be dangerous and even toxic to dogs. Avoid chocolate, caffeine, avocados, grapes, raisins, dairy products, alcohol, fatty foods, tree nuts (such as macadamias, almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.), onions, raw meat, raw eggs, and xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in gum, mints and candy). This list is not complete by any means. Contact your vet with any questions.
Q: Are my houseplants dangerous to my dogs?
A: Some houseplants are poisonous to dogs. Many dogs will leave your plants alone, but here is a short list of ones to watch out for: many fern varieties, poinsettia, cyclamen, hydrangea, kalanchoe, philodendron, corn plant, peace lily, many varieties of ivy, sago palm, and many lilies and bulbs commonly found in floral arrangements.
Q: Can I feed dog food to my cat or cat food to my dog?
A: No. Cats require five times more protein in their food than dogs. Commercially prepared cat and dog foods are designed with proper amounts of protein, fat and other nutrients.
Q: My dog seems to sleep most of the day. Is this normal?
A: Check with your vet if you are concerned, however, dogs sleep 12 hours per day on average while cats spend up to 16 hours asleep each day. Puppies and kittens will often sleep more than this.
Q: How do I know if I have the correct size collar for my dog or cat?
A: You should be able to slip two fingers between the collar and your pet’s neck.
Q: Can I use mothballs to protect my clothes, or can this be dangerous to my pet?
A: Mothballs are dangerous to both cats and dogs, so use cedar as an alternative.
Q: I’ve heard that dogs have better hearing than humans. Is that correct?
A: Well, it is complicated. Dogs can hear four times the distance of humans (partly due to the mobility of their ears) but hear low-pitched sounds about the same as humans. However, dogs hear high-pitched sounds that are twice as high as the sounds that humans can detect.
Q: Which is the most important of the five senses for a dog?
A: This is by far the sense of smell for dogs. The sense of smell for a dog is 44 times stronger than that of a human, although dogs cannot smell when they are first born. Dogs are able to identify smells so diluted that even the most sensitive scientific instruments cannot measure them. Not surprisingly, scent is a major means of communication among dogs.
Q: How do I know if my horse is overheating?
A: The best way to check for heat stress is to take the horse’s temperature. Signs of heat stress include blowing hard, lethargy, no interest in grazing, and standing with no interest in her surroundings. Get your horse in the shade and begin cooling her out. Hose her down with cool water and remove excess water with a scraper. Then hose her down again, repeating the process until her temperature is normal once again. Contact your vet if she does not cool out within one hour.
Q: Should I have my cat declawed?
A: It is not recommended. Declawing a cat is major surgery for a cat. It is performed under anesthesia and the tip of a cat’s digit is removed on the front paws. It can result in life-long discomfort for the cat.