Who is ruling the pet care market now? Cats or dogs?

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There is a popular saying that dogs are a person’s best friend. Not anymore. When it comes to professional pet care services, cats are now kings. The latest survey data published by the Pet Sitters International or PSI reveals that professional pet grooming services now offer more services for cats compared to dogs. The figures say it all: about 97 percent of pet companies provide feline related services. For canines, the number drops to 96 percent. The figures were more slanted towards dogs than cats even as recent in 2016. The industry is now more focused towards cats and less towards dogs. Most companies, it should be told, cater to both pets.

Cat focus

The pet care industry has witnessed loving cat owners hiring professional pet care services to nurture their feline companions when they are forced to leave their kitties for work or when they fly outstation for professional duties. Cat owners are happy with the fact that professional pet carers come to their homes. It means that cat’s exposure to myriad illnesses is much minimized. The felines do not experience any of the so-called new environment-related stress.

A few pet sitters took the decision to concentrate exclusively on cats. Although there were always a few professional pet service providers who focused on felines, their numbers markedly rose in 2017 and 2018. A number of industry newcomers have taken the decision to care exclusively for cats. Whatever the cat and dog care numbers, it is a happy sign for the industry that an increasing number of pet owners now choose to hire a pet service professional, be it for their dogs or cats. It means a better quality of life for the pet as the owners do not have to dump their pets on unwilling family members or friends. Neighbors can also breathe easy, knowing that the animal is in extremely safe hands.

Research a must

It is important that pet owners do proper research before they sign their checkbook for hiring professional pet services. It is a good idea to write down a checklist of what you want from the pet sitter. Make sure that the pet sitter performs all you have written down. The PSI website has such a list to download.

When it comes to personality, cat owners are different than dog owners. Owners of cats usually stand apart from the crowd compared to dog owners who claim to be extroverted. It is interesting to note that rarely a cat person will refer to herself or himself as so. She would rather self-identify herself as someone who likes both cats and dogs. They are correct. It is all about companionship in the end.

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Why pet sitting and dog walking are in high demand these days

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It is important to comprehend from the first that dog walking and pet sitting comprise strenuous work. You have to acquire substantial knowledge about dogs and other pet animals to be successful in this field. The profession demands physical stamina and technical skill. You also must have a sweeping idea of a broad plethora of knowledge ranging from animal behavior to giving first aid to pets. Understanding city laws are a plus.

Not a bed of roses

Health insurance is non-existent. There is no paid time off. Extra money can be earned from taking care of the client’s pet on weekends and holidays. Many clients may ask you to take care of their pets during week evenings too. It means substantial driving from one client’s place to another and limited parking spots in downtown areas.

Then again, taking care of pets is a business, and like any other money-making schemes, there are a lot of similarities to other professions. You will be responsible for generating invoices, marketing, banking, and advertising. There are a number of other important tasks which keep the business running. You should answer the phone and return calls. You must also reply to important emails and do all the things that must be done.

Do not be discouraged by such bureaucratese. Dog walking and pet sitting are extremely profitable professions. The monetary returns are truly spectacular. You may find people from other professions resigning their jobs and joining your venture.

Finding a foot

By this time, you feel comfortable to begin your own dog-walking business. It is now important for you to examine yourself as to whether you have the acumen to make this venture a successful one. The first factor is, of course, doing a market survey as to whether there is a market demand for walking dogs in the area you wish to operate. Do not venture if there is no demand or too much competition already exists. The easiest way to find out the quantity of demand is to visit the local pet-store and making a few discreet inquiries. Classified advertisements in newspapers offer a mine of information in this regard. Go through the lists and find out the number of people offering the dog walking business.

It is important that you must love the pet you are hired to pamper or walk. It is also vital that you must have the experience or skill in keeping control over the dogs. If you were around only a few dogs before, volunteer at the local dog pound or animal shelter. It is no harm to take a formal course in caring for animals. Once you take the course, you will feel much more confidence when walking the pet.

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Signs of dehydration in dogs

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Dehydration is common in dogs. This happens when the canine does not drink water in sufficient quantities and when he does not get the necessary electrolytes for sustenance. A few dogs get this condition as they lose excessive amounts of fluid. If your dog suffers from dehydration, then it could die if you leave it untreated.

Causes

All dogs are susceptible to dehydration. This happens if they either do not get access to sufficient quantities of water or do not drink an optimum amount. A dog not drinking water means it suffers from a fever or a heat-stroke. The dog may also feel lethargic or nauseous and unable to drink the required amount of water. Your dog can also lose water if it frequently passes urine and more than the usual volume. This happens when the canine suffers from diabetes and other internal problems like kidney failure. Although many dogs drink more when they suffer from these conditions, the rate of loss is more than the water gain rate. It is important you take your dog to the veterinarian if there is a change in its water drinking habits.

Symptoms and treatment

A dog will show multiple dehydration symptoms like sunken eyes, lethargy, body collapse, dry gums, and weakness. The elasticity of the skin will also go away. If you are in doubt as to whether your dog drinks sufficient quantities of water, use your forefinger and thumb to pinch a small amount of skin on the head of your pet or on its back. A dry skin will have difficulty bouncing back or it may not bounce back at all.

The condition “skin tent” happens when the skin loses elasticity. Obese or emaciated animals suffered from a skin tent in its milder form. The condition is hard to examine in older animals as the skin is covered by a hair coat. Some dog breeds come with excessive folds in the skin.

If you believe that your dog is dehydrated, then the veterinarian will do a complete body examination of the dog. The reason for this checkup is to understand the severity of the dehydration and to identify potential reasons for this symptom. A few reasons could be obvious like a heat stroke or an upset tummy. Most reasons, of course, may not be detected by a simple exam. The veterinarian will recommend a few tests like ultrasound scans and X-rays.

Place your dog on a drip to counter the effects of dehydration. The outgoing fluids will be easily replaced. Further dehydration will be stopped, The veterinarian may administer the fluid below the dog’s skin to get a camel-like hump. The fluid will then get absorbed within a few hours. Oral rehydration can be possible if your dog has the ability to drink.

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Why a mother cat may abandon her kittens

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Kittens may be taken away from their mothers only when they cross the 10 weeks’ old threshold. An exception can be done when the mum rejects one or multiple number of her babies. Mother cats do if the kitten is born weak or in ill-health. If you find a scrawny baby kitty, take it to your home and feed it until the kitten becomes healthy.

Caution

It must be said that not all kittens are abandoned. If the kittens look healthy, it means the mum is nearby, searching for food. Outdoor mom cats sometimes scatter their kittens to save them from predators. These kittens will appear well-fed and you will find them hidden in a safe place. If you see a kitten, then monitor the location until you see the mother coming back. Take the kitten only if she does not return. Kittens prowl while their mum is not present and can get stuck in tough places. It follows that if you see a mother cat nervously walking around, and a kitten crying in another place, there is a chance they are trying to locate one another.

Reasons for rejection

A mom cat may reject her kitten if it has an illness or a deformity. She does this to protect her other babies. Cats are picky and a kitten could be rejected for a minor defect. If you find a deformed kitten mewling on the road, take it home. Another reason could that the mom has developed mastitis. This is a mammary gland infection. The cat nipple gets swollen and hard. The kitten cannot suckle it and it is equal to being rejected.

A mom cat can reject one or multiple babies if the litter size is too large for her to handle. A number of kittens mean inadequate quantity of milk for all. The mom could then make the decision to save the most healthy be rejecting the weaker ones. The mother will do this (if it does) within 24 hours of giving birth.

Kittens are also rejected by a too young mom with less developed maternal skills. These kinds of moms would be disinterested or confused. A few moms may find their way, but most do not. A disinterested mother cat could be traumatized by the birth procedure. Hyper-vigilant moms could be nervous and kittens cannot thus peacefully suckle.

If you see a rejected kitten, it is vital to take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Take the mom cat as well if possible. The veterinarian will check both of them and give them appropriate medicines. You need to feed the kittens milk replacement formula and also keep them in a warm place. A heated bed is needed if the kitten is below three weeks old.

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Giving your cat a massage

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Make your furry friends relax and calm by giving them a massage. It will help them to wind down after a long stressful cat day. The kitties will know you love and care for them. When it comes to your cat, a massage is much better than simply petting. If possible, massage your cat at least once a day. Your cat will bond with you and you both will be happy.

Be comfortable yourself

The first step to cat massage is to make the animal comfortable. Select a time when you yourself are relaxed to massage your kitty. Do not start suddenly after it comes back from outside or when it is doing something other than lazing around. Begin only when both of you are ready for a round of massage. Needless to say, do not massage your cat just after it had food. Wait a minimum of two hours before you start the procedure.

Ensure the cat is comfortable before you begin. It must be happy when around you. Do not grab it and carry your cat to the massage area. Let it come to you. It is best if your cat nuzzles up against you or it purrs. Sing to your kitty if this calms it down. Praise the animal to make it relax. Do not overdo your singing or talk in a high pitched voice. Your cat will become irritated or nervous if you do so. When you are sure that your cat is calm, then only begin the massage.

How to massage

Take a deep breath and be calm. Do not be tense. If you are, it will show up in the massage. Any cat can sense your mood and it will not want to take any massage from you after that. The massage time must not exceed 10 minutes per session. Spend one minute on each part of your cat’s body. This will make it relaxed.

Begin the massage from your cat’s favorite body spit. Stroke the cat at slow speed so that the kitty gets used to the message. This could be its chin or behind ears, or on the back. Start from a place which your cat is more amenable to be touched. Massage using the full hand, Do not make the mistake of using only the fingertips. This touch may not be enough to make your cat feel happy. Use the complete hand and apply gentle pressure to the body of your kitty as you stroke its body. Use the fingertips to massage only the face and the head. You can employ one hand or both hands to do the massage. Do pay attention to the cat’s reaction. Stop the massage if it tries to get up.

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Cool your dog on a hot day

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If you own a dog, chances are that your canine looks longingly towards you when you sip that cold drink on a hot summer day. Your dog is miserably hot with all that fur on its body. As an owner, it is your responsibility to protect it from a heatstroke. The latter is not so easy as it sounds. Many canines have died due to heat.

Cool is in

Help your dog by finding it a cool place in which it can relax. Take an outdoor thermometer and find the coolest area for your best friend. This could be the shade of a big tree or a small patio with a canvas canopy. You can also buy collapsible shade tents from garden stores or online. These can be folded and unfolded when required.

Go for a swim with your dog if you have a natural pond or a pool beside where you and the canine currently are located. Be careful before you and your dog jumps in. Your dog could be harmed if its body is near to having a heat stroke. An abrupt lowering of the dog’s surface temperature may lead to heating up of the internal organs. This may lead the dog’s body to overheat and consequently fall sick. To avoid this, ensure the dog enters the cool waters of the waterbody slowly. The animal should stand in the water and first cool its feet. Measure your dog’s body temperature with a rectal thermometer. It should not drop below 103 degrees Fahrenheit. If there is no lake or pool beside your house, place a wading pool to allow your dog to dip in the water. This works even if they stand on the pool surface with water submerging the feet base. Your dog’s foot pads help it to dissipate heat.

Breeze is good

Another way to cool your dog down is to provide a breeze. Place a table or window fan to make a pleasant wind. It helps to cool through evaporation. Dogs do not perspire much, and you may have to switch on the fan for a longer period of time. You can spray mist to cool it down. Hosing down may not work as it not only wastes water, many dogs are afraid of it. Spraying mist in comparison is much more comfortable to the canine. Wonder not, these fan attachments are not expensive. A number of gardening shops sell such kind of equipment.

You can also use any wet blanket to cool down the dog. Take a bath towel which you have dampened in water and then kept inside a refrigerator. This makes an excellent cooling material. You can also place frozen cans on the dog’s head, groin or neck. Put some ice in your dog’s watering bowl.

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The best ways to make a profit out of the pet care industry

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Pet owners spend massive amounts of money on their pets. As per a study was done by American Pet Products Association, the spend comes to a staggering $55 billion in the United States alone. It is thus logical to earn money by leveraging people’s passion for pets. It is to be noted that most of the opportunities present in the pet care industry are entry-level positions. Their pay scales are also quite less. The scene changes, however, when you consider making a business out of the demand for pet care products. Profits can be substantial as advertising does not cost much in this line of business. You can set your own timings and even do your business part-time.

Dog walking

Dog walking is an extremely profitable venture. It will be a literal walk in the park if you love dogs. This business is recession proof and costs a minimal amount of money to start. It is a low-stress job and you will enjoy being paid a good amount of money to walk the dog. The requirements to be a good dog walker are minimal: you should be fit and be comfortable managing a broad breed of dogs. Be prepared to clean poop. You must be happy to spend time out of your house, in any season, and in any weather. You will be needed to work five days a week. Yes, you will enjoy the substantial time between the walks.

To calculate how much amount of money you will make from walking dogs, multiply the number of dogs you will walk to walk numbers every week and then to the rates you will charge for every half hour walk. It is advisable you start with the timings you are comfortable with.

Dog training

You can also train dogs. Dog trainers provide a bouquet of services. These range from teaching simple obedience skills to carefully instructing dogs so that they can perform to win a prize in animal shows. This profession requires excellent PR skills as you have to teach the owners themselves on how to handle their four-legged pets. You should have ample patience to deal with both humans and animals.

Dog training business expenses vary. The best and the most profitable scenario is to open a complete service training school. This costs substantial quantities of money. The cheaper alternatives include visiting clients’ homes. You can also teach the occasional class to dog owners in continuing education colleges. Incomes from this business will vary, but most dog training business owners make enough money to lead a fairly comfortable life. No state or federal certification is needed to begin this business. You, however, may have to attend seminars on this subject.

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Should employers consider pet-bereavement leaves for their employees?

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A majority of pet owners dearly love their pets. They regard their four-legged companions as family members. A number of companies have begun to recognize-via extended leaves-that the grief suffered by a person when he or she loses a pet is equal to the death of a family member. Many corporates regard their employee’s pet to be a member of the employee family and take into consideration when granting leaves. Flexibility is given to employees who apply leaves stating the reason for leave as the death of their pets.

Changing the definition of family

Government companies continue to exclude pets from family definitions. There is a distinct possibility that both federal and state governments could change such a policy. Increasingly, there is a movement to reclassify animals as a kind of “sentient beings” from the present “chattels”. A few government departments have started to move towards the new definition. There is more than an even chance that a pet could be considered a member of the family even by public concerns within a few years. A few states have recognized animals to be sentient and possessing biological needs. The new system pushes humans to undertake a collective responsibility to make sure that animals are well fed and cared for. The development represents a human evolution in a positive manner.

Classifying pets as families have an unexpected benefit. This policy attracts and retains better employees. Organizations now recognize this in greater numbers and they soon align the procedures and policies to reflect greater empathy for pets. Company procedures and policies are now being enforced in a different manner.

Expanded definitions

Animals are now regarded as an immediate family member and being included under the bereavement leave benefits. The definition of family is now being changed. The legislation is now being edited to be non-discriminatory towards best-loved pets. The definition of family is now being broadened.

It is to be understood that if any organization takes the decision to expand the scope of bereavement leave so to include pets, then there should be no change in the way the benefit will be enforced. The employee should not be asked to provide proof of the pet’s passing. The employee must inform the employer of the pet’s death before taking the leave. If the employer is concerned about the employee falsifying records and abusing benefits from pet leaves, then new policies should be enacted to counter them. Companies must take into account the manner the entire workforce will be affected by these new policies. People who have no pets may take advantage of this new policies and apply for fraudulent leaves. Employers must be tactful about communication as a genuinely sad employee could be hurt by the use of harsh language originally created for reining in the dishonest ones.

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Is it okay to leash your cat?

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An increasing number of cat owners take their pet out for a walk on a leash. Most-but not all- felines love being outside, an environment of birds’ mellow chirping and the scent of trees and grass. If your cat is of the outdoor type, then walking it on a leash will strengthen the bond which exists between you two. It is perfectly okay to leash your cat.

Do understand not all cats like a leash to put around their body. They may not like to walk outside the home. If your cat is of the indoor type, do not force it outside. Respect its decisions.

Not all cats love unadulterated nature

Not all cats love to go outside the house. Some may actually detest trees, grasses, and wild animals. Those who do love being outside may love it so much that they scratch everything, especially trees. Once they understand you have no problem if they scratch outdoor things, they will be extremely happy. Remember a cat outside will be much more intelligent than an indoor cat. This is as the outdoor kitty thinks more. It will find out how to use its body and the smells of different things which come its way. The cat will be more engaged.

Taking your cat outdoors may transform the always scared kitty into a brave feline. When your cat knows that nothing bad is waiting for them around the corner, it will be more confident. Being confident means a happier animal.

Train before leash

Do not put the leash on your cat one fine day and then take it outside. Train it indoors before you open the main door. Buy a harness and keep it in the house. Allow your kitty to get familiar with it. When it does, strap your cat in. Ensure the harness makes a comfortable fit. Allow your cat to wear the equipment inside the house. It will drag the strap around. Give it time to get conditioned to the fact that it is fine to wear something. Reward it regularly. Give it wet treats when you slip the knot around its head. In a sentence, the cat must be comfortable with the harness.

When you are sure your cat has no problem with the leash, it is now time to take it outside. Open the main door. Allow your kitty to smell its surroundings. Permit it to choose the walk direction. Do not take your cat the first time to a place filled with traffic. Noisy conditions will frighten your cat. Take him to a calmer place instead. Do be warned that your cat may try to escape at the slightest opportunity. It may do this once you open the main door. Make it amply clear that you will open the door only after it opts to wear the harness.

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Simple tricks you can teach your dog

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Training your dog will keep its brain sharp. It will keep your best friend happy, mentally active, and obedient. The exercise is an excellent way to bond. Best of all? Both you and your pet could show some cool moves at the next party!

It is assumed that your dog has already mastered fundamental obedience commands like “down” and “sit”. If it has done so, then trick training is a cakewalk. In case your pet is a total newbie, teach it some fundamental obedience moves before you teach the following tricks. Each training session must not go beyond 10 minutes to a maximum of two times every day. It is vital that both you and your dog are in a good mood. Do not hesitate to reward your pet when it does what it is told. Do not express frustration on your friend. Do not be a brute and use physical force under any circumstances. Feeling angry? Stop the session immediately.

Roll over

Put the dog in “down” position. Take a treat in hand and then move hand slowly behind the neck of the dog. The aim of this move is to get your dog to gracefully turn its head sans standing up. When its head pivots back to sniff your treat, slowly roll it over. When your dog rolls over, praise it and give the treat. Repeat the process and say “roll” when doing so. Give treat after completion. Continue for 10 minutes.

Try the same process again later the same day. Do not do these actions in excess of 10 minutes. Your dog will in time learn to associate the action with the word “roll”. Do not give the treat after a few days. Praise every time when it completes the roll.

Shake hands

This is easy as dogs raise their paws by own accord when they want a treat. Begin by commanding your pet to “sit”. Take a treat in the hand and then slowly move the treat to the ground near the paw of the dog. Your dog will move its paw in anticipation. Use the “shake” verbal cue and give your pet the treat. Praise it fulsomely. Repeat these moves and gradually hold your hand higher and higher. This will force your dog to raise a paw higher as it wants the treat. Your aim is to raise the dog’s paw to your chest height. Use the same paw for practicing. When the dog becomes adept in one paw, switch to the other paw. It is important your pet comprehends the “other” word so that it automatically raises the correct paw. Your dog after a while will learn to do these by itself. Once it does, do away with the treat.

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