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Archive for the ‘Cat Health and Cat Care’

How to Donate Pet Hair to Oil Spill Clean-Up!

May 20, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Cat Grooming, Cat Health and Cat Care, Dog Grooming, General Dog Health, Pet Hair Donations for Oil Spills, Pets In The News

Pet hair can be a serious inconvenience for pet owners. Pet hair (along with dander) irritates allergies. Pet hair sticks to clothing, furniture, carpeting, the HVAC intake, and it seems to permeate every nook and cranny of your home! (Somehow, a dog hair managed to permeate my car stereo faceplate, so there’s a big red MinPin hair located in the middle of the stereo display – behind the glass. Go figure! Very curious, especially since my MinPin rarely ever rides in that particular car!)

But dog hair and cat hair can be used to help the environment and it can help save the lives of other animals like birds, dolphins and sea turtles. Pet owners can donate pet hair to the oil spill clean-up efforts! So save the dog fur and cat fur from your pet’s brush and send out the hair to the Gulf oil spill clean-up operation!

What Happens to Hair Donated to the Oil Spill in the Gulf?

Wondering where to send pet hair donations for the Gulf oil spill clean-up? One organization, called Matter of Trust, is collecting pet and human hair for the oil spill.

Human and pet hair donated to the Gulf oil spill is stuffed into nylons (Matter of Trust is also accepting donations of hole-free nylons to the oil spill clean-up) which are then covered with a layer of mesh. The hair booms are placed on the water’s surface and the hair absorbs the oil (hair is great at collecting oil – that’s why shampooing is necessary!) Pet hair donations for the oil spill are also transformed into Ottomats.

Invented by a hair stylist, Ottomats serve a similar function as hair booms, but they look like a grey blanket-sized Scotch Brite pad. Ottomats are reusable, so they’re a great way of using hair to clean up oil spills.


Where to Send Pet Hair Donations to Clean Up the Oil Spill in the Gulf

Matter of Trust is accepting hair donations from individual pet owners, groomers, barber shops, salons, alpaca farmers and just about anyone else who has human or pet hair to offer! You can register as a donor on the organization’s website under the “Ways to Contribute” section; once registered, you’ll get all of the necessary information required to donate human and/or pet hair for oil spill clean-up. (Scroll down to end of article to access the site here on The Sick Dog Blog!)

Pet owners can send in pet hair donations of any size. Matter of Trust also has some interesting videos that explain how to make hair booms (which can then be donated), how hair absorbs oil spills and more.

The need for effective, non-toxic oil spill clean-up techniques is very real, as “one quart of oil can contaminate 1 million gallons of drinking water.” So hair booms and Ottomats that aren’t used for the Gulf oil spill will definitely come in handy down the line. According to Matter of Trust, 2,600 smaller oil spills occur each year; this releases 726 million gallons of contaminants into the environment. In addition, 363 million gallons of motor oil are released into the ocean on an annual basis.

Other Uses for Pet Hair: Turn Pet Hair into Yarn and Knit a Blanket or Other Keepsake

Looking for another use for pet hair? Save dog fur and cat fur from home pet grooming sessions until you have 3 to 5 pounds of fur (the quantity varies depending on the item you’ll be creating from the pet hair yarn.)

Next, find a local crafter who can spin the fur into yarn. (Crafters who spin fur into yarn can be found online.) Once this is complete, the yarn can be knitted into a blanket, scarf or another keepsake. Turning pet fur into yarn and creating knitted or crocheted items is a great way to feel close to a pet, particularly once they’ve passed on.

To learn more about hair donations for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, read How to Donate Fur and Hair for Oil Spill Clean-up.

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Pet Medication – Pills or Liquid?

December 29, 2009 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Cat Health and Cat Care, Cat Medications, Pet Medications

Pet Medication – Opt for Pills or Capsules for a Happy Dog and Owner! (Thiago Miqueias Photo)

If you take a sick dog (or cat) to the veterinary clinic, your vet may prescribe medication. Some pet medications are available as a caplet or pill and in liquid form. On occasion, a vet may ask the owner what type of pet medication they’d prefer – pill or liquid.

I always recommend opting for pet medication in pill form. This will make medicating the pet much easier, for both dog and owner.

Reasons to Opt for Pet Medication in Pill Form

If you are given a choice on your next trip to the veterinary clinic, I strongly recommend opting for the pill version of the dog’s medication. Here are a few reasons why I always pick the pill or caplet over the liquid medication.


  • Imprecise dosing of the dog’s medicine – Imprecise dosing is a huge problem with liquid pet medication. If your pet spits out the liquid, you have no idea how much he’s consumed. Some dogs will suddenly turn their head away as the owner is squirting the medication into the dog’s mouth, leading to a partial dose. So you’re left with a difficult decision – leave the dog with a partial dose or try to give a full dose and risk giving too much medication since you’re unsure how much he spit out. Pills are easy – it’s all or nothing.
  • Problems giving medication to the dog – With liquid, your dog actually tastes the medication, so he’s more apt to object. When a dog refuses to take medication, you’ll face a physical struggle. This increases the chances that the dog will spit out medication, leaving you to face the aforementioned partial dose vs. possible overdose dilemma.
  • Increased cost of pet medication – With a liquid medication, there’s a chance you could spill the bottle (especially if you leave it uncapped nearby and your dog starts to struggle when you attempt to give the medicine). Pet owners may also need to buy additional medication for the dog if he spits it out or if the dog turns his head as you’re releasing the pet medication into his mouth.
  • Lack of methods for giving the dog medication – It’s hard to give a pet medicine if it’s in liquid form. You only have one option: to open the dog’s mouth and squirt the medication inside.

With pet medication in pill form, you have many dosing options, which I’ve discussed in several different articles on The Sick Dog Blog:

Pet owners may also want to read about a common mistake – trying to hide pet medication in dog food or cat food. Read this article on The Sick Dog Blog to learn why you should never try to hide a dog’s pill in pet food.

Granted, pet ownership is not an exact science. So there may be a few dogs out there who take liquid medication without a problem. If a pet owner has tried liquid pet medication and it works well,  then by all means, go for the liquid! But in my experience with literally dozens of dogs and cats over the years (and remember, I own and foster special needs animals, so our animals take more pills in a week than many pets take in a lifetime!) it’s virtually always easier to give a pill instead of liquid. And with pills and caplets, there is less chance that you’ll need to purchase more pet meds due to a “misfire” with the liquid. And missed doses or partial doses of pet medication can mean a longer course of medication for the pet, which means more doses and more money spent on the cat’s or dog’s medication.

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