The Social Benefits Of Pet Ownership

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A new study in the UK and the US has found that people who own pets have a higher chance at mixing and socializing with people that hose than don’t. The study comes after it was reported that more than half of the households in both countries combined has some kind of pet. Having a pet has a lot of benefits. In terms of socializing, having a pet can instantly make one popular amongst other people. Other than that, it has a range of benefits that enhance the social image of a person.

Here’s why owning a pet can boost your social image:

  1. The person is caring
    People who have pets are often looked upon as people who are caring. It is human psyche to mix with people who can invoke a sense of comfort and that often comes from people who own pets. Also, someone with a pet automatically becomes someone who knows how to deal with people easily. Therefore, all the more why he should have more friends.
  2. Easier to start a conversation
    It is easier to start a conversation with someone who is hanging around with a pet. Sometimes, the pets do funny stuff and that in itself is a conversation starter. Other times it’s simply irresistible to ignore a cute dog or a cat who attracts attention.
  3. Pet owners are healthy individuals
    If reports are to be believed, then people who own pets are healthier than those that don’t. All that walking around and running behind the pet finally pays off. Plus, healthier people find it easier to fit into a social gathering than those who aren’t. Because everyone loves to be in the company of someone who maintains himself/herself.
  4. Pet owners become friends instantly
    Birds of a feather flock together. In this case, the feathers are pets. There are countless groups on Facebook and otherwise who gather to discuss anything and everything related to their pets. It’s one of the best ways to socialize and pet owners therefore find it easier to meet new people. It also gives them an opportunity to spend their times doing something they love doing. Pets are the new cars as far as hobbies go!

Conclusion

Pet owners are more open towards socializing than people who don’t own pets. It’s because they know the importance of company and the impact it has on their lives. Pet owners who have similar types of pet gel easily and are quick at starting conversations. They are also healthy individuals and therefore get their share of the limelight. And since pet owners are looked upon as caring people, it becomes easy to start a conversation with them.

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Can social contagion explain our pet choices?

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In 1975, a new kind of ‘pet’ came into the market –‘pet rocks’. It started as a joke but these fuss-free ‘alternative’ to real pets became a rage. After six months, people moved on.

Social contagion is the way a certain behavior or preference to something spreads rapidly across a group of people like a contagious disease. Within the span of a few days or months as the novelty fades, this craze dies, often giving way to some other trend.

Animals too become the subjects of social contagion. There is a sudden flare in their popularity that dies just as quickly.

How does a pet fad start?

The sudden rise in popularity of certain animals Dalmatians, clown fishes, turtles, snowy owls can all be clearly identified with the release of movies. Also, when celebrities flaunt exotic animals like fashion accessories it gives rise to a new craze. What is more, online trading has opened up easy and illegal channels for procuring animals.

The chain of evil

Breeders often resort to unscrupulous means to meet the demand. Irresponsible breeding and improper handling often results in deformed or disease-prone offspring. Sometimes, animals captured from the wild are all sold off to naïve buyers.

When it comes to exotic pets, lack of proper background information regarding their dietary, exercise and habitat requirements cause deficiencies and illnesses. To further complicate matters, it may be difficult to find a veterinarian familiar with the animal’s medical and nutritional needs.

Misinformation regarding an animal’s nature is often circulated by pet traders, often intentionally. Vietnamese piglets were initially thought of as the ideal pets, small and docile. But they grew up to be massive and aggressive pigs, impossible for owners to manage.

There is also a risk of the exotic breeds being the carrier of diseases that may get transferred to their human caretakers.

When the task of taking care of these pets become just too much, owners release the animals ‘into the wild’. While some abandoned pets die painful deaths, some others, like the feral green iguanas of Florida thrive at the cost of the local species. Shelters too get overwhelmed by the sheer number of the ‘discarded’ pets.

Adopting a pet is a very serious responsibility. Pets sometimes require the care and attention an infant needs. It is not a decision to be made on an impulse. Before we bring a pet home, it is best if we consult a vet or a responsible pet owner, preferably with the same species of pet that we wish to adopt. If we are ready for this big step after weighing in all the points, life will be a blessing, for us and our animal friend.

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How to treat acne in your pets?

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Noticing red angry blemishes on our pooch’s skin one day is enough to make us anxious. But experts say there is no need to worry. It is just an outbreak of canine acne.
Acne can come in many forms (pimples, white heads or black heads) and are generally seen on the muzzle, chin or groin area. Like humans, dogs too get acne in their adolescence! That is, when they are less than a year old. They should clean up as our pups reach adulthood, but they can recur due to a number of reasons.

Causes

No one knows why, but dogs with short coats are more likely to have acne. Doggie pimples can be caused by hormonal changes, trauma, allergies or hygiene issues.

Symptoms

Acne starts as small bumps under a blocked hair follicle. Pups experience mild discomfort and start rubbing the spot against surfaces. When bacteria infect this area, pus collects and a pimple is formed. These tend to be rather itchy and release a sticky liquid and pus when they burst. If our pup worries the site too much, blood too starts to seep out.
Treatment
The first step to an effective treatment is to consult our veterinarian to rule out three other afflictions that in initial stages look deceptively like acne:

  • demodicosis, a type of mange,
  • ringworm, a fungal infection, and
  • folliculitis, a severe condition causing swollen throat and fever in puppies.

Once acne is verified as the culprit, treatment can be started. The fur around the area should be carefully clipped. The site should always be kept clean using medicated shampoos or gels with less than 5% benzoyl peroxide content. Human shampoos should never be used on dogs as they are too harsh for our pup’s delicate skin.

Next, tea tree oil of 0.1 to 1% concentration should be gently applied. The oil’s antiseptic properties keep the skin safe from further infections. However, the oil is toxic to our pets in higher concentrations.

If the acne is severely infected, our veterinarian would prescribe a course of antibiotics. The vet may also recommend the use of topical creams and ointments or a change in diet plan.

In the rare circumstance of the acne not responding to the treatment, swabs would be taken from the area. A lab culture would identify the exact bacteria causing the infection so that a more bacteria-specific antibiotic can be given to our dogs.

Prevention is better than cure. Once an acne episode is over, we must ensure that it doesn’t recur. Washing the acne prone areas with medicated shampoo for the next one year would go a long way in keeping our beloved pets healthy and happy.

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How To Make Weight-Loss Easier On Your Cat

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Feline obesity is a pretty serious problem on the rise. Although people find overweight cats to be adorable, that’s never the way it’s supposed to be. Various disorders like diabetes and hepatic lipidosis have been associated with obesity in cats. However, you can’t just start your cat on a diet out of the blue. The whole subject has to be approached very carefully. The best thing to do is to slowly transition her diet.

She may not necessarily be okay with it at first but remember that at the end of the day, it’s for her own good. It’s important to change her eating habits gradually and not overwhelm her with everything at once.

Why is it important to transition your cat into a new diet?
Changing a diet without any pre-warning will not only upset her mentally, but it could also upset her gastro intestinally. It may even end up resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and even an overall decrease in appetite. If you have a cat that is usually nonchalant about change, start by adding a little bit of her new food with her old one. Start increasing the amount of new food and decreasing the amount of the old one as she grows used to it. If all goes well, you can start following the new diet by the end of the week.

Not all cats are okay with a change in diet though. It’s especially hard to transition some cats to a new diet and it could take a lot of patience. Although it may be difficult, never resort to extreme measures like starving her to achieve your goal. Try feeding her at scheduled times rather than just putting out food so she can eat whenever she pleases. Remove all uneaten food after 30 minutes.

After she grows accustomed to following a diet, start adding new food in with the old. Gradually increase the new and decrease the old. Go slow. Don’t rush the process. She’ll get there eventually, if you rush her, she may give up eating all-together and that can cause a lot of additional health problems.

How should we exercise our cats?
Exercising our canine friends tend to be easier than exercising our feline companions. This is mainly because dogs are more active and cats need a little motive to get into action. Add a few toys to her environment. Leave toys next to her food and water bowls, her litter box, and her safe space (granted that your cat has established a safe space of her own where she goes to get away from the hustle and bustle in the house). Consider adopting another cat to play with her. Cats require communication and interaction just as much as humans do.

Always speak with your vet before you start you vat on a new diet or exercise program. He can recommend the best cat foods and exercise regimes.

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Fascinating Facts Concerning Your Dog’s Vision

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Dogs are wonderful creatures. They are very different to their feline counterparts but just as lovable – if not more. The world that our dogs see through their eyes is very different from the world that we see through ours. For our beloved dogs, the world is not as colorful a place as it is to us. Their point of view of the word is way less vibrant and grainier. Although this may be the case, they are also able to see things that we can’t even imagine seeing. Here are a few fun facts concerning your dog’s vision.

  1. They can’t see all the colors that we can.
    Not long back, scientists were under the impression that dogs were indeed, colorblind. This however, is not the case. They can still see in color, their eyes simply follow a completely different spectrum. Our dogs have lesser cone receptors that are color sensitive inside their retinas. You could compare a dog’s vision to that of someone who has colorblindness for red and green colors. Dogs can still see red, it’s just not as vibrant in their eyes. Unlike humans, they’re accustomed to seeing more sepias and pastels. They can see a wider range of colors that we can.
  2. Dogs don’t have eagle-eyed vision.
    Their vision isn’t 20/20. A dog’s vision is more like 20/75. What a dog would see from 20 feet can be likened to what humans see at 75 feet.To put this in people terms, dogs are nearsighted. Dogs are seeing in 75 percent fewer pixels than we are. They can still see, their vision is just a little more grainier than ours.
  3. They have a wider field of vision than ours.
    Their field of vision is around 240 degrees while we only see 180 degrees of our immediate surroundings without turning our heads. This is only a rough number and can vary greatly from breed to breed. They have great peripheral vision. No wonder they were used for hunting many years ago.
  4. Their vision becomes better during the night.
    Dogs are able to see just as well as cats during the night. Dogs have almost 7 times better vision than we do in the dark.
  5. Your dog has a third eyelid.
    Shocker right? There are actual uses for his third eyelid and it’s not just there for fun. It serves the function of protecting the eye from external harm and it also produces tears.
  6. Their eyes can give you an idea about their overall health.
    You can easily detect whether a dog has liver disease or not through their eyes. Just like in humans, jaundice can be recognized when the white parts of your dog’s eye turn a yellowish color. A change in their pupil size can also be an indication of an underlying medical issue.

Dogs are really interesting in all aspects of the word. They are loyal creatures who will never leave you in your hour of need. Their eyes are full of love and admiration for you.

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All People Should Love Cats – Here’s Why

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The world is divided into two types of people with very few people choosing to be in the middle. You are either a cat person on you’re a person who likes dogs. But all people should love cats. Cats aren’t as closed off and distant as the media makes them sound. There are many perks of owning a cat. Loving a cat makes you feel good about yourself. Here are some fun reasons for loving our cats.

  1. Cats teach tolerance.
    Cats teach people the valuable lesson of acceptance. They teach us to love people for who they are without attempting to change them. Cats are very independent creatures so there’s no way they will adjust how they act and their personality traits just so they can please a human. They do however, still give support and affection to their human companions – just in their own special way. They tend to be more of a gentle and discreet presence, offering comfort to those who need it. Although they love the silence and some solitude from time to time, they also love to have fun with their humans.
  2. Having issues with sleep? Get a cat!
    Cats tend to be one of the best sleep aids. Although more conventional methods like switching off all electronics, settling into a lavender-scented pillow, and turning off your mind from auto-replying to emails from work tend to help us settle down at night, a cat’s presence will transport you straight to dreamland. Their purring is as calming as it is adorable. The sound of her purr tends to calm us and bring us that same sense of safety that baby kittens feel when their mama purrs to tell them that they’re loved, warm, and safe. Sure beats a white-noise machine!
  3. Cats help in driving the economy.
    If you’re a cat lover, you spend a significant amount of money on them. When you have a child that you love, you can’t help but spoil them a little bit no matter how hard you try not to. So you obviously find yourself buying the best quality cat food and splurging on toys and treats. With every feline-related purchase that you make, you’re fueling the economic engine of the country.
  4. Cats are creatures of wonder.
    The genius behind the Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci told us that even the smallest cat is a true masterpiece. Cats are sleek, fluffy, a unique. Their different breeds are fascinating and different. They each possess an appeal and charm. They have different moods and different ways to communicate how they’re feeling. They always stay beautiful, even as they age. So you’ll always have something regal-looking in your home.

Cats are anything but boring. They have a curious mind and a calm nature. We shouldn’t even need reasons to love them. Their beauty itself should be reason enough.

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Why Do Cats Spray and How to Stop it

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You have a long, tiring day at work and the thought of cuddling up with your cat as soon as you get home brings a smile to your face. But alas! The moment you open the door, you are greeted with a not-so-welcoming, foul odor. Once again you find your cat’s territorial marks all over the place.
Many cat parents will be able to relate to the above-mentioned scenario and must be looking for solutions for this conundrum. To find one, we first need to familiarize ourselves with this peculiar behavior in cats.

What is cat spraying and how is it different from a cat urinating?
When you find your cat squatting and releasing urine in a large quantity on a horizontal surface, that’s when you know it is urinating. In contrast, when you find your cat squirting a small amount of urine on a vertical surface in an upright position, what you witness is called spraying.

Why is your cat spraying?
Although the most commonly understood reason for cat spraying is to mark their territory, cat parents are unaware of many other causes for this behavior. A cat spraying can be an indication of an underlying health problem, such as a urinary tract infection, bladder inflammation, or urinary incontinence. Spraying is also a sign of stress or anxiety in cats. By spraying, cats feel secure. Stray cats outside your house or your neighbor’s pet cats might be intimidating your cat and making it anxious. Your cat may also be spraying if it is having conflicts with a new pet you’ve recently introduced in the house. Spraying can also happen when you shift houses and your cat is not yet accustomed to it. As cats are extremely clean creatures, filthy litter box may also cause them to spray.

How to stop your cat from spraying?
If your cat sprays once in a while, you can choose to ignore it. However, if it starts happening frequently, it can create quite a nuisance for you, as a cat’s spray is much more pungent than its urine. If after a medical examination it is established that your cat is healthy, you need to get to the root cause of your cat spraying. First, do not punish your cat for spraying; it will only aggravate the stress. Check if stray cats or your neighbor’s cats are bullying it, and cover your windows temporarily to avoid their contact with your cat. Seek professional help to help your cat get along with the new pet. Make sure the litter box is orderly and clean. And most important of all, play with your cat and make it feel loved to reduce anxiety.

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To Declaw or Not to Declaw Your Cat

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You love your cat, and you adore playing with it. However, your love sometimes seems to vanish when your cat unexpectedly scratches you seriously, leaving you in pain, or when it damages your furniture by its incessant scratching. At such times, you end up contemplating a permanent solution for your woes – declawing your cat.

What is declawing and is it painful?
Unlike in human beings, cats’ nails are a segment of their toe’s last bones. In simple words, the procedure of declawing a cat involves cutting off the cat’s last bone of each toe. If we imagine the gruesome scenario of our own fingers being amputated at the last knuckle, we would get the answer to the is-declawing-painful question vividly – yes.

Declawing can be carried out using a number of methods. While the last bone can be cut off using a medical instrument such as a scalpel, it can also be amputated using laser. In contrast to the first method, the laser procedure prevents excessive blood loss and offers a speedier recovery. However, it is still painful for the cat. In another technique called tendonectomy, as the name suggests, the tendons connected to the last bone are cut. This deters the paw function.

After the declawing procedure, the paw wounds are stitched and bandaged, leaving the cat in discomfort and pain for the next few days. While the cat is recovering, the paws getting infected, especially from litter, is often a concern.

What are post-declawing effects in a cat?
Although declawing will get rid of your daily scratching problems, it may end up having permanent negative effects on your cat. Post declawing, if cats experience pain while using their litter box, they may end up avoiding its use altogether in the future. As claws are cats’ primary defending tools, declawing leaves them unable to protect themselves against other animals. Removing the claws also affects cats’ natural climbing ability. To defend themselves, declawed cats may resort to biting often, which may prove far more dangerous for cat owners than scratching. Declawed cats can also go through behavioral changes such as becoming anxious, hostile or introverted.

What are the humane ways to tackle cat scratching problems?

The first and foremost solution to your cat’s scratching problem is to trim its nails regularly. Another effective solution is to attach vinyl nail caps to your cat’s nails, also called Soft Paws. These allow cats to carry on their regular scratching movements but do not damage your furniture. To aid your cat’s scratching routine, install scratching posts at various locations in your house. You can also stick a two-way tape on your furniture that will discourage your cats from scratching it.

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All You Need to Know About Hemorrhoids in Dogs

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Dogs can also get hemorrhoids. Yes, this painful and gruesome condition can also affect our beloved pets. For humans, hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels located in the lower anus or rectum. They are usually internal but can also protrude externally. Suffice to say, they are a literal and very real pain in the behind.

Since the anatomy of a dog is different from that of a human, they rarely ever get hemorrhoids. But when they do, immediate medical attention is required. They can happen when the blood vessels that are in your dog’s anus gets enlarged. The vessels go on to bulge, because of the increased blood flow.

What are the causes of hemorrhoids in dogs?
Dog hemorrhoids usually occur when there is a pressure in the rectal area, causing the expansion of the blood vessels. The expanded blood vessels will then have an increased blood flow, then causing the vessels to further bulge, forming hemorrhoids. Vets also believe that a bad diet coupled with poor muscle tone may also have a part to play in the development of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids could also be a genetic component.

What are the different types of hemorrhoids?
Just like in humans, hemorrhoids in dogs can be both internal as well as external. Internal hemorrhoids can be found below the anus’s lining, inside the rectum. External hemorrhoids can be found outside the rectum, directly under the skin. They cause moderate to severe pain depending on the location and size. They can also rupture, causing bleeding, and more pain.

Symptoms that your dog might have hemorrhoids:
The very first sign that your dog might have a hemorrhoid is when he starts itching his rear end. You will start finding blood in his stool. If your dog is suffering from external hemorrhoids, he may event take to dragging that area on the ground to relieve the irritation and discomfort. In the case of external hemorrhoids, you’ll be able to catch it quicker because they protrude externally, making them easier to detect and diagnose.

Hemorrhoids in dogs can be difficult to distinguish. They often get mistaken for fissures and tumors. It’s safe to get your vet to do a thorough examination before jumping to the conclusion that your dog has hemorrhoids.

How should you treat your dog’s hemorrhoids?
The treatment for dog hemorrhoids is pretty straight forward. So straight forward that you can even do it at home. Apply chilled witch hazel with a cotton ball, three times a day, to the infected area. To keep the witch hazel chilled, store it in the fridge after each use.

There should also be a change in your dog’s diet. Ask your vet about the right foods and he will help you come up with a diet chart that works for everyone. Adding fiber is key. Try limiting or eliminating dairy products all together. Get him to drink more water. Remember that it only hurts while it lasts. Hemorrhoids is a curable condition.

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Pet Planning Tips You Should Know About

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Dogs are wonderful creatures. They are playful, mischievous, and loyal. Owning and taking care of a dog might seem fun from a distance but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There are certain things that you have to be aware of and certain things that you have to be responsible for. You have a whole living creature under your care and you have to be able to take care of that creature. The key is to be prepared. Remember that while inviting a new dog into your house can be an exciting time, it can also be a grueling and nerve-racking experience. Here are some tips that you could use to help you along your way to becoming a great pet parent.

  1. Make sure that the responsibility of pet ownership is not too big for you.

    There are a few questions that you should ask yourself before taking the leap and bringing a dog home.
    • Do you have the time and patience required to take him to his obedience training classes?
    • Do you have the time to practice everything you learnt in those classes when you get back home?
    • Why do you want a dog in the first place?
    • Do you have the ability to care for a dog? Will you have the time to exercise him on a daily basis? Will you be able to provide him with a fresh bowl of water and food at the right times and in the right intervals?
    • Will you be able to handle drool and dog hair on your clothes and furniture? Do you have the patience to clean the dog hairs from your upholstery?
    • Can you be patient enough to not yell at him when he accidentally chews your favorite book?
    • Are you able to obey proper leash laws while you’re walking him?
    • Will you be able to spare time to find a good veterinarian and start him on a health insurance plan so that he can be healthy?
    • Is there enough space in your home for your dog to run around and play comfortably?

  2. Do lots of research
    Don’t just pick the cutest dog you see and bring him home. Do research on dog breeds and the different breeds that are more likely to have certain medical conditions. Consider whether you’ll be able to deal with and take care of the dog breed that you want. Ask about your dog’s history, daily routine, and his behavior towards other people.
  3. Buy all the necessary supplies to welcome him home.

    Here are a few items that are must-haves for new dog owners:
    • Collar
    • Leash
    • Quality dog food (carefully selected after considering his age, activity levels, and current health.)
    • Identification tags
    • Dog toys
    • Water and food bowls (opt for stainless steel)
    • Bedding
    • Disposable waste bags

As you can see, there is some preparation that you have to go through to properly welcome a new dog into your life. Do the research and be ready when he comes home.

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