Collie Corner

Vacations as a Pet Guardian


Being a part of the adult world and putting in full-time hours at work can get exhausting as time goes on, especially if you do not regularly take some time off for yourself.  The reason some of the best companies offer more vacation time than is required is because making sure your valued team members experience some pressure, but no stress, is the key to better work ethic in the long run.

Most folks do not end up spending every single vacation day on an actual vacation.  Most times, it just does not make sense to spend our hard earned money on plane tickets and hotel rooms when we are probably trying to save up for something our families need as a whole.

But even if you are just taking a short weekend trip to a friend’s cabin, being a pet guardian means lots of extra preparation must be made ahead of time.  Make sure that if your dog is not coming along for the ride, that he or she is staying with responsible lodging during non-peak times.  Cats are best left at home with someone they are already familiar with.  We all deserve a little break or trip now and then, but remember that this time should be pleasant for our companions too.

Don’t put clothes on dogs and cats!


When Halloween comes around, a lot of suburban folks especially love to dress up their dogs and even cats up in costume.  The purchase at the local mart was most likely an impulse buy, and now the four-legged friend must suffer in an uncomfortable outfit for the rest of the night.

Although we don’t like to see animals with human clothing, it happens all the time.  This is definitely more so the case when it comes to smaller toy breeds of dog, such as Chihuahuas or Pomeranians.  People like to put dresses or accessories on them, and even do wasteful events such as dog weddings.  In reality, although weddings can be fun, there is no reason why a dog or cat would appreciate a human ceremony based on earning money.  Although the person may think that their dog looks funny or cute, the truth is that dressing them up like that (like declawing your cat) is only to satisfy our vanity.

In urban areas with expensive, small apartments there is no short supply of young adults with wealthy parents, who choose to tote around a nervous pet companion.  If we really love our dog or cat and want to be the best person that we can be for them, then it requires us to stop and reflect on our interactions with them.  At the end of the day, are our actions really about them, or about us?


Exercising with your Collie & Pets


Obesity is a major health epidemic in the United States, and amongst pet owners nation wide.  It leads to health problems such as high cholesterol and type 2 Diabetes. The best way to not experience the health issues that come with obesity is by preventing it in the first place.  Doctors have always recommended just two things amongst the ever changing hype of diet fads, and that is a healthy diet and a somewhat active lifestyle.

It feels like nowadays many people are wrapped up in the cross-fit and strong-man/strong-woman exercise crazes, but keeping you and your collie healthy can be much easier.  Physicians recommend getting 3-5 hours of exercise per week.  This can look like a Monday, Wednesday, Friday weekly trip to the park for some frisbee action with your collie.

Remember– each fitness goal is going to be different for each individual, so remember that exercising does not have to be an intimidating process.  But that is why our collie or dog makes a great exercise partner.  Rather than going to a gym where critical eyes can judge you, your four-legged companion will appreciate your company and always accept you.  So, keep his or her health in top shape with a wholesome dog diet and lots of active games.  They will enjoy the extra happy years spent with you living as a healthy and well-loved dog.


“Lassie” and Youth with Animals


We can not speak for everybody, but is it just us or does it seem like the recent generations of youth have never even heard of the character Lassie?  Especially the baby boomers from the mid twentieth century were fans of this television series following the adventures of a rough collie and her boy.  

The story originally began as a novel by Eric Knight which was published in 1940.  To the delight of fans, the story was later filmed three years later as “Lassie Come Home.”  The original dog actor who played the role later bore descendants who also continued the tradition of Lassie.  Many of us recall asking  this dog if the little boy got stuck in the well again, how funny.

But these days it seems like there is not as much media attention toward the excellent things our youth could be learning from a Lassie-type relationship.  Especially when it comes to young children who are still in elementary school, guardians should be even more diligent with setting guidelines for how a dog or cat should be treated.  With the right start, one could learn the responsibility of regularly feeding another living being and being sensitive to a collie’s needs.  

Cooling Off your Collie


The summer seasons just seem to get more hot and humid every year.  No wonder more and more folks are agreeing that climate change is taking place on planet earth.  Although a lot of us love summer because of the heat and sun.  But just like the sun harmful UVA and UVB rays have the potential to lead to skin cancer, our collies are also at risk when temperatures start to range in the hot to extremely hot levels.

High temperatures are not a friend of the collie, and this is even more so the case with collies compared to some other dog breeds because of its typically thick, multi-layered coat.  In order to combat the heat, a dogs naturally reaction is to pant as a method to cool oneself off; however, in comparison to sweating this is actually not as efficient.  This means that our four-legged friends do not tolerate the heat as well as your human family members do.  There are signs to look for when your collie begins experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion or dehydration.  Stick around to here about them later as well as some more tips.

Let’s start with those of you who have We recommend not going on long walks when the weather is too hot and you notice your collie panting as soon as the front door opens.  Some blacktop can reach extreme temperatures as well which can cause burns, so be prepared with dog booties to protect their paw pads.  But we are just beginning to explain a few of the many ways to cool off your beloved collie companion.


Furniture for Your Cat and Dog-Lovers


If you are a typical dog lover, chances are you let your collie chill on the couch next to you (or maybe on you.)  There’s a reason our buddies are called human’s best friend:  they love to “help us out” and being a part of the things we do at home.  Unless your dog companion has experienced a lot of stress, moving  or redesigning your interiors with is not much of a challenge.

But chances are, you are not just a dog lover; but like all kinds of four-legged friends.  For many cat guardians especially, choosing new furniture for human use can be an exhausting process as we carefully consider materials that are still of high quality, but at the same time, do not figuratively call to the cats to do feline things in its vicinity.  This means that wicker stools or other furnishings out of very natural, non-dyed, organic materials with a lot of height will probably be out of the question.

Other than that, the next step would be to make sure your cat feels secure with the amount of space is has to do cat playing, grooming, nail scratching on pads or cat trees, and other things.  This can be the case when you are considering a move as well.

A cheap compromise that keeps your kitties happy and off your things, is by using shipping or packaging materials.  We often use the boxes that come when we order natural dust-free litter or food online; once everything is unwrapped, you will have a cardboard box and (hopefully) a couple long pieces of regular brown packing paper.  All you have to do is un-crumple and re-crumple the paper a few times and place it over cat-friendly spaces.  Eventually, a friend of ours saved enough paper to cover half of the space in his/her place.  The cardboard boxes can be used to offer privacy over litter boxes, and encourage wild kitty tree marking habits.  Letting them get in touch with their instincts will make them feel secure and accepted as long as you’re their cat and dog lover.

Non-pet-friendly Plants


Go spider plants!

Do we really know what cats or dogs do when we leave the house?  There is a chance that your furry companions could be sticking their noses into dangerous things while you are away for business or errands.  One of the steps that we can take to ensure their safety in our homes as guardians, is to be extremely careful consumers when it comes to purchasing house plants, or even any plants outside the home (depending on how often your cat or dog goes outside.)

Especially during special occasions, you may feel inclined to buy or gift some lilies.  But even though they are beautiful and the perfect centerpiece for Nanna’s bouquet, I don’t think her cat Mr. Jingles would appreciate that.  True lilies like Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies have toxins that can cause severe liver failure in lighter dogs and all cats.  Just 2-3 leaves could spell death, which is why being informed is so important.

Other dangerous plants to steer away from include:

  • tulips and hyacinths
  • African violet
  • Lilies
  • Sago Palm
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Azalea
  • Daffodils
  • Kalanchoe
  • Cyclamen
  • Oleander
  • Lily of the Valley

We recommend just sticking with plants that are both easy to care for, and are definitely safe.  If you had to pick one, we hope you would choose the guaranteed safety of your animal companion over the vanity of your flora.

Spider plants are a great example.  Often, they are cheap to buy at the store and are low maintenance.  They also can be cloned easily, so you may only take one trip to your florist, but end up with several potted spider plants by the next year.  Cats and dogs love to stick their faces in the leaves and when they sprout shiny, new leaves it can give you a feeling of small victory.  You now know one more thing to help yourself be a great animal guardian.

Dog & Cat History


While our elders and Tom & Jerry tell us that cats and dogs are natural sworn enemies, luckily we have cute animal friends youtube videos to show them the truth.  Even though there are many differences between cats and dogs, this does not guarantee that both cannot be happy house mates.  Ideally, not every cat-dog relationship will be close friendship, but they should both be satisfied with sharing the same space– your home.

While both cats and dogs are domesticated from their wild ancestors, dogs had more active human interference in this process.  Dog breeds were bred from wild dogs and/or wolves for specific purposes such as hunting, security/protection, companionship, and even rescue missions.  In comparison, cats began as wild cats, and then people like farmers let them hunt the mice and vermin in the barns or other buildings.  Slowly over time, cats became domesticated naturally as they acclimated to eating some grain and living closer to humans.  In fact, if you were to take a look at a wild cat (now rare), you may be surprised to find that they are quite small in size.

Taking not only the history of all cats and dogs into account, but your individual cat and dog’s past is one of the most important factors in fostering a good relationship between the two.

Mealtimes with your Dog or Cat


Whenever we get hungry, we usually go to either our kitchen, the grocery store/market, or a restaurant to grab some grub.  Although we may love our cats and dogs just as if they were human members of the family, that does not mean that their dietary needs are human.  So, we do not recommend feeding your Collie and other furry friends from the dinner table.  To enjoy many healthy and happy years with them, there are some things to take into consideration when it comes to mealtimes:  food formulas, food portions, and feeding schedule.

There are many brands of dog and cat food available on the market.  Making your own natural dog or cat food is also possible; however, the details are best discussed with a veterinarian or specialist.  Whether you choose dry or wet food, there will be advantages and disadvantages to both and therefore having both will be more beneficial to your pet.   In addition, consider the life stage of your pet when choosing what kind of food you want to buy:  kittens and puppies require more nutrients while they are still growing, and mature or pregnant companions will also need a special diet.  But what is the best dog food?  We can’t say for sure, but s a consumer of pet food, make sure that you always check the ingredient label; and keep in mind that generally, you will get what you pay for.

If your Collie is around the middle in terms of weight, let’s just say around fifty pounds, then they are going to require less calories than you would think.  We humans may like to have three meals a day with snacks in-between, but a medium dog would need approximately 3.5-4 cups of food per day.  It may seem like a lot, but measuring out food accurately with utensils will actually make the amount of food appear smaller in many cases.

Keeping a set schedule for mealtimes is also helpful for the health of your cat or dog.  Having a routine will make them feel more trusting and secure, especially knowing that their food source will come consistently.  The addition of an exercise routine before eating will help foster a good relationship with your pet and make healthy habits a part of everyday life, and hopefully that will be a life of many great years spent with you.

Never Declaw a Cat!


Declawing will definitely cause more than just cat frowns.

As the domestic house cat is rising in popularity, and may soon replace dogs as the most common pet in America; we at Collie Corner want to take a firm stance against declawing.  Declawing surgery in and of itself is mutilation because it amputates your kitty’s first knuckle bones.  Could you imagine trying to live your everyday life with painfully deformed hands and arthritis just because your parents couldn’t bother taking the time to teach us house manners?  Luckily, many veterinarians in the United States are refusing to offer the surgery but many humans are still signing their cats up for this torturous procedure.

Many who claim to be animal lovers, think that it is impossible to train a cat.  But having extra scratching posts and encouraging them to use it will help.  For deterring animals away from the furniture, you can also put double-sided scotch tape on the corners.  Spraying water at cats is discouraged because it can foster hostility in your relationships.

If all seems to fail, there is even a humane option.  Acrylic nail caps are fairly cheap, and you or a vet can just pop them onto your cat’s claws.  So, don’t let your loved one down and do something that cannot be undone:  forego declawing for other safe and kinder alternatives like the ones mentioned here.