Is it bad to cuddle with your cat?

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Every cat has a different personality. Some cats are more affectionate while others prefer being left alone. Cuddling your kitty is something that all cat mum and dad’s do whether their cats like it or not. Some cats squirm and squeal while being hugged so much so that many owners wonder whether their cats are in real discomfort.

Do cats like being hugged?

It depends on the cat in question. Some breeds like the Burmese cat are very affectionate and love a good cuddle session. Many domestic cats whose owners have brought them up in a safe and loving environment wouldn’t object to a cuddle every now and then while others with a traumatic past at the hands of a human would make it known quite quickly that they aren’t in the mood.

How do I hug my cat without him/her running away?

Some cats give a tough guy vibe but they’re real softies on the inside. Give him/her a soft rub and see how they react to judge if they’re in the mood or not. Try to hold your cat very carefully and let him/her know that they can leave whenever they want to by not holding them too tightly. Cats are comfortable when they aren’t trapped in a spot so giving them an out is a way of making them feel relaxed around you. Let him/her come to you. They need to know that they are in control. Positive reinforcement from a hug can go a long way to making them see it as a positive thing. Try speaking to your cat in a happy, calm voice while also giving them treats occasionally. Doing these things will make your cats associate your hugs to a positive experience. Let go when your cats start letting you know that they are done. Holding on for too long can annoy them which will make them think twice before coming to you the next time.

Cats are social animals and hugging them makes them feel safe. They feel protected while hugged as long as you’re not forceful about it. Respect their space because like humans, sometimes they aren’t in the mood. Some cats may also not like being cuddled because of a bad experience with a human in the past. That does not mean they do not like you, they’d just rather show their affection in a different way. Like human beings, each cat has their own personality with some being more aggressive, cowardly, loving etc. Respecting your cats space is key to making sure you both have a healthy, happy relationship with each other.

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How to keep your pet’s food fresh

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You wouldn’t drink that funky looking milk that’s been in the fridge for the last 2 months, would you? Just like human food, pet food does go bad if it is not stored properly. You may not know when your dogs food has gone bad because you’re not the one eating it but you’re pooch will know and may sometimes not eat when his/her instincts scream no.

How do I store my pet’s dry food?

Dry pet food must be stored in a dry, cool place preferably a cupboard with a temperature of under 100°F (38°C). Anything over this temperature accelerates the rate at which the food degrades. It is preferable to store the food in an environment in which you have some measure of control over. Storing food in a basket outdoors or in your garage is a bad idea because of the unpredictability of it. As far as possible, try to keep the dry food in its original packaging. High quality dog and cat food is packaged carefully to keep out the elements. Dry food should be consumed 6 weeks after opening the bag. It is okay to leave kibble out in the open but do not leave more than your pet can consume over 24 hours. Leaving kibble out for longer than 24 hours in not advised.

Unopened canned food will stay fresh for a couple of years when kept in a cool, dry place. Once opened, canned food should be kept in your refrigerator for no longer than 7 days. Pet food can be expensive, if you’d like to save money on canned food, consider freezing each individual serving separately so that you can slow down bacteria spread by thawing on an as needed basis.

Tips

  1. If you’d like to keep your dry pet food for longer than 6 weeks, consider putting the food in its original packaging in a secondary container. Glass and stainless steel work here. Having two layers of protection will keep your pets food fresher for longer.
  2. Wash the glass or stainless steel container regularly. Washing it every time you replace the bag of food is a good idea. Fat from a previous bag can make the container a playground for bacteria.
  3. If you know what your pets food is supposed to smell like, you’ll be able to tell when the food has gone bad. Train yourself by taking a quick whiff off your pets food when you open it so that if the food goes wonky, you’ll be able to tell.

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The Pet Food Trends You Should Watch Out For

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Pets usually spell big money. The pet food industry costs a bomb. The US is the leading country in pet food production and influences trends in the industry worldwide. Most pet trends mimic human trends as it is the human that ultimately makes the choice for their pet.

The raw food revolution will continue to gather support; in the meanwhile, here are some other pet food trends to look out for-

  • Humanization of pet food – There is a growing demand for pet food that resembles human cuisine including its ingredients, aroma and product names. Retailers have already caught on to this trend, offering pet food i.e. seasonal, home-made and with free from/clean labels.
  • Premiumization of pet food – The trend for locally sourced, traceable and premium ingredients will dominate the pet food market in the time to come. There is a growing need for pet food recipes that are simple, natural, gourmet and made with authentic ingredients. They must also be high on protein, vegetable content and contain super foods.

Kinds of pet food-

  • Raw meats and treats – Freeze dried raw meats have already entered the pet food market. They form a part of the “complete” food section and are rehydrated before feeding a pet.
  • Single Servings – Cats are notoriously fussy eaters. Single serve wet cat foods have been designed keeping their food leanings in mind. These are available in a plethora of flavors so the cat can decide which appeals to them.
  • Insect Proteins – There has been a growing interest in the use of insects as an alternative source of protein. A limited number of pet foods already incorporate insect proteins into them. The need for a sustainable cheaper source of pet nutrition is slated to increase this manifold.
  • Home Delivery – The home delivery of pet food is about to become a reality. Now you can order both your and your pet’s food online. Pet food delivery services offer customized, fresh and home-made, quality pet food conveniently to your doorstep.
  • Micro-targeted and Functional pet food – Pet food marketers are dividing the market into separate categories of specialized target customers with specific nutritional needs. These sub-groups include age, breed, size, activity level, indoor v/s outdoor, type of fur, allergies and other chronic health conditions.
  • Preventative pet food – Like for human food, pet owners are investing upon pet food that will prevent illness in their pets and promote pet health.

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Times You Feel Your Dog is Behaving Like a Cat

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Possible Causes-

If you own a dog as well as a cat, you are bound to witness mixed behavior by the two. Your cat may exhibit dog-like behavior and vice versa. Your dog can start to mimic your cat’s behavior as a result of cohabitation. Some dog breeds, on the other hand, are predisposed to feline behavior. The Manchester Terrier, Papillion, and Italian Greyhound are a few of the dog breeds that display cat-like behavior.
If your dog exhibits the following behavior, you may start to feel like it has magically turned into a cat-

Signs of Problem Behavior-

  • Follow insects and rats.
    Cats spend a modest amount of time chasing after insects and rats. If your dog starts to do the same, it could make for a confusing time.
  • Cuddle into your lap. Dogs don’t usually place themselves in your lap. It is characteristic behavior for cats.
  • Is shy in front of strangers. Dogs are naturally friendly and not suspicious of strangers unless trained to be so. Cats, on the other hand, take time to warm up to strangers.
  • Chases intruders.
  • Spends time relaxing all day. Dogs are generally active and love to play around. Cats are lazy compared to their canine counterparts. It is unusual for a dog to spend time laying about, unless injured or unwell.
  • Licks themselves as kittens tend to do.
    Cats are cautious about their grooming routine and can often be found licking themselves clean. If a dog starts to lick himself, it can be said that he is displaying cat-like behavior.
  • Perches on high surfaces without fear.
    Cats can climb up high surfaces and jump from them with great ease. Dogs are unable to do the same. If you find your dog suddenly perching on the sofa’s armrest, it may be a cause for concern.
  • Likes to chase fast-moving objects that catch their eye.
  • Gets into tiny cramped spaces to reach food or otherwise.
    Cats can easily slip in and out of cramped spaces. A dog cannot quite manipulate its body to do the same.
  • Curls up into a ball and falls asleep instantaneously, irrespective of its size or age.
  • Can be silent except in the presence of other dogs.
  • Chases at things in the air that they fail to identify, such as flies.
  • Gets along easily with other humans than those of its kind.
  • Perks up its ears at the sudden instance of a sound.
    Cats are famously curious in nature. If a dog is suddenly interested in the minutiae it used to ignore before; it can be said to be exhibiting catlike behavior.

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Is Your Pup Gaining Weight? Here’s How to Help it

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Most dogs are fed free choice, which means food is available to them 24/7. Such a feeding pattern is unnatural for any mammal. Like their owners, dogs may eat out of boredom and not only hunger. Behavior like this can contribute to unnatural hormone changes making weight loss difficult.
Overweight pups are at a risk of developing Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases, Arthritis, Lung disorder, High Blood Pressure, Immune Dysfunction, and Cancerous tumors.

Dogs that maintain ideal body weight have been proven to live 2 years longer than their obese counterparts.

Find Out if Your Dog is Overweight

Before imposing a weight loss routine on your pooch, it is important to detect if he/she is overweight. This can be done at home by feeling the sides of the pet’s abdomen. If the ribs can be felt but not seen, your pup’s weight should not be a problem. However, if the pet doesn’t display a distinct tummy tuck and shows rolls of fat on the lower back above the tail, it is a sign for caution. Your puppy might be overweight.

Signs that indicate excess weight in a dog are – heavy breathing, lack of endurance, lethargy, eating too much, trouble getting up or walking up the stairs. Hypothyroidism & Cunning’s Syndrome can also cause weight gain in dogs. A veterinary visit is recommended just in case. The normal weight range for grown dogs is as follows –

Small breeds – Upto 20 pounds

Medium breeds – Under 80 pounds

Large breeds – Upto 200 pounds

Gathering a little information on your dog’s lineage may also come in handy, if purebred. A male dog should grow to its father’s weight on maturity. Alternatively, a female dog will grow to its mother’s weight.

Overweight dogs are usually indicative of their sedentary lifestyle.

Only 17% out of the 50% of overweight dog owners admit there is a weight issue with their dog.

Aid Your Dog’s Weight Loss

Your dog’s weight can be controlled if the following is put into practice –

  • Count your dog’s daily calorie intake. A dog’s age and activity level determine how many calories they require.
  • Measure your dog’s food instead of guessing the amount to be given. Use an 8 ounce cup instead of a bowl/coffee mug.
  • Feed 2-4 small portions per day. It will increase their metabolic rate & burn more calories faster.
  • Be wary of canine weight loss food marketed as “diet”, “lite” or “reduced calorie”. These only satiate your pet temporarily, leaving him continually hungry.
  • Get your pet to exercise at least 30 minutes a day – walk, run, swim, play Fetch or climb stairs. Keep his food out of reach forcing him to move around.
  • Feed him no-sugar low-calorie treats.

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What To Do When There Is An Outbreak Of Canine Flu

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The gentle beasts which are also known as man’s best friends are not immune to diseases. Canine influenza or dog flu is a particularly common illness affecting a major population of dogs and even cats. The viral strain can be traced back to horses in racing grounds. The influenza strain H3N8 is said to have evolved and latched on to the racing greyhounds present in proximity to the horses. In Asian countries, influenza got carried over to dogs through a strain of avian flu virus present in the live-market birds. The virus is said to be highly contagious and it is possible that two dogs may have a completely different strain of virus making them sick.

Understanding the Infection

The virus attacks the respiratory tract of the host canine deteriorating the cells of their nasal cavity. This can lead to an inflammatory reaction which may further cause bronchitis and tracheitis. Mild to heavy nasal discharge, lethargy, breathlessness and cough are the major clinical symptoms. In some cases, the host may even develop a fever. The influenza can also result in pneumonia if severe. Some dogs may be carrying a strain of the virus but show virtually no sign of illness.

How to Take Care of Your Furry Buddy

During a canine flu outbreak, the only way to diagnose it is through clinical tests. If you notice that your dog has developed a wet cough and has a constant nasal discharge, it is advisable to rush to a nearby veterinarian and get them tested. The course of treatment can only be identified after biology of the strain has been studied since this virus is notorious for evolving depending upon the breed it affects. Cold patches to cool down your dog if they are running a fever, as well as cough suppressants, are usually given to manage the symptoms. The doctors advise good rest, proper hydration and a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines to ensure a healthy recovery. Since the strain is passed on from other dogs, it is advisable to keep them isolated for a chance to get better soon.

Prevention is better than Cure

The foremost known cause of canine influenza is interaction with another dog which has been affected by the virus. Owners should make sure that their dogs don’t mingle with seemingly sick ones. Regular checkups with the vet also help in diagnosing the disease faster. Owners should always wash their hands or change their clothes after any interaction with a stranger’s dog. Proper vaccination is also imperative to eradicate the disease early. Since the disease is known to affect the respiratory system first, make sure your dog has his snout and mouth covered with a mask while walking them.

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Why are pets so picky when it comes to food?

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Have you wondered why your pets are so picky when it comes to food? Well, it isn’t just your little furry ones. As it happens, majority of pets are picky eaters and we finally have an explanation as to why it is so. It does look like even they have their preferences.

Researches and studies

Recent studies conducted by the Oregon State University, have shown that dogs are attracted to high-fat food while cats like their carbohydrates better.

The research involved 17 healthy adult dogs and 27 cats during a span of 28 days and used four different kinds of food. All of them prepared in a way that they tasted equally good so that flavor was irrelevant. So, the animals could decide only based on their bodily needs.

The animals had choices among high-fat, high-carbohydrate, high-protein and balanced foods. The dogs were given an hour to eat whatever they wanted, just enough to maintain weight, none more. The cats were also not allowed to overeat. But even if it is given unlimited supply of food, a cat eats only as to maintain its weight and nothing extra.

The positioning of the food containers was changed occasionally to prevent any kind of bias.

Conclusions

While cats chose to consume 43 percent of their diet from carbs and 30 percent from proteins, dogs consumed their 41 percent from fats and 36 percent from carbs. Conclusions were also drawn on the basis of body mass and age. The statistics from the study showed that younger dogs with less body mass did not gravitate to high-protein food items, it was mostly popular with older dogs with greater body mass.

On the cat side of the study, younger cats wanted more protein than older cats. It was found that for older cats have different gut microbiomes from younger cats, that results in difference in metabolic activities. The concentrations of sulfated microbial catabolic products – protein-breakdown leftovers were significantly higher. What it means is that it becomes difficult for an older cat to dispose off the extra protein, while a younger cat can do it efficiently.

Now that you’ve surmised so much, the next time you put out a bowl of food in front of your pet and he or she takes one sniff of it and gives you a disappointed shrug (or worse, a scowl), you would know why!

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Why Should You Go for a Pet First Aid Training Course?

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Do you own a pet or perhaps, want one someday? Maybe you are just fond of animals? Don’t wait till your pet faces a health emergency! Sign up for a pet first aid training course.

Pet first aid is similar to human first aid except the suffering pet often cannot communicate the source of its ailment. In such a situation, it becomes the pet parent’s responsibility to learn which vital conditions and what behavior is characteristic to the pet concerned. The pet owner can then take quick action on detecting any abnormalities to the regular pattern.

Why it is important-

Any pet owner will vouch for how precious their pet is to them. A pet is more than just an animal; it is an additional member to the owner’s family. It is important to meet their basic needs by providing proper nutrition, vaccinations & the occasional veterinarian visit. However, there is more to pet-care than simply this.

Pets are curious by nature & prone to accidents. Research data predicts 92% of all pets will find themselves in an emergency situation at some point in their lives. About 60% of animal hospital visits are emergencies. No pet parent wants to be helpless at the face of an emergency. Prompt remedial action can not only be the deciding factor between life and death. It can also determine whether the disability will be temporary/permanent, the duration of recovery and the expense involved.

How it can help-

  • Pets often swallow indigestible products that pose a choking hazard.
  • Eat toxic materials that could poison them.
  • Injure themselves while at play or in a fight, leaving wounds open to infection.
  • Suffer a heatstroke

A pet first aid training course will equip the pet-owner with practice on how to perform CPR, other routine bodily examinations and the know-how to check for the pet’s vitals. It will also teach them how to come to the pet’s aid if the above-listed problems arise.

The caregivers will be trained to lower the pet’s body temperature in the occasion of a heatstroke. He/she will be taught how to stem blood loss to prevent excessive bleeding. They will learn how to clean and/or bandage their pet’s wounds to prevent infection. The course will instruct the owner how to induce vomiting in the pet to eject poisonous substances it may have swallowed. Steps to prevent the pet from choking will also be discussed.

Pet first aid training will instill necessary confidence in the pet owner to handle his/her pet without panicking in an emergency situation. Several books and videos are now available online to guide pet owners in such emergencies. However, the expertise gained from an in-person class is irreplaceable. The hands-on skill training provided in them will ensure your pet is in safe hands until the vet arrives.

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Designing Your Home to Live Well With Dogs and Cats

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If you wish to turn your home into a pet-friendly space, here are a few tips to follow:

Think about prevention

First and foremost, you need to think about your the safety of your belongings. Since cats and dogs have a strong olfactory system, which they use to understand their surroundings. This is the reason why it chews on your shoes or sniffs the sofa. If you wish to prevent your pet from destroying your belongings, you can lock them in a cabinet. This prevents your pet from digging through your belongings.

Vacuum regularly

Dog and cat hair sticking to sofas and couches can be extremely irritating. This can get worse if you are allergic to their fur. Shedding is something that neither you nor your pet can avoid. At the same time, your pet may jump on the bed or sofa with dirty paws, thereby giving you a hard time. You can keep your house free of your pet’s hair by vacuuming your furniture regularly. Make this a daily routine if your pet is shedding hair.

Use stain-resistant, washable fabrics

Instead of using silk, velvet or chintz, which holds pet hair, you can check out Crypton, a synthetic fabric that can withstand bacteria, stains, odor and soiled paws. Leather is also a good choice because it is durable and easy to clean. The ultra-seude fabric is also good because it is machine-washable. When it comes to bedspreads, you can go for duvet because you can wash them regularly. These fabrics work extremely well for on-the-go pet owners who get very little time for housework.

Create a designated pet area

You can create a designated area within the house for your pets so that they don’t dirty the entire house. You can create a space with an up-cycled furniture where your dog can jump about or lounge. You can even use old bedspreads to create a cozy hammock for it. When it comes to your cat, you can install a perch in the room because cats like elevated positions. A designated pet area will help you to keep your house clean and cater to your pet’s need for fun. It is, however, advisable that you use hard surfaces for flooring the space.

Groom your pet regularly

Last but certainly not the least, you need to groom your pets regularly. Bathe it and trim its nails so that it stays clean and doesn’t tear off your expensive furniture. Having a clean pet in the house can reduce dirt and your headache of clearing out mess every day. Proper grooming also keeps diseases at bay and promotes your pet’s overall well-being.

Follow these tips to create a space that you can stylishly and comfortably share with your pets.

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Why Missing Your Pooch After Its Death Is Normal

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A large number of people choose to have pets simply because they love animals. Out of the numerous animals people bring home as pets, dogs are the most common. More often than not, people form a strong and deep bond with their pooch(es). Be it a single pooch, or multiple pooches, the hardest part for a dog owner is, perhaps, the death of their pooch.

The grieving process

Grieving is an individualized process, and varies from person to person. Every person grieves differently. While some express their grief by devoting most of their time to work, some grieve by crying, or becoming violent. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, in her book On Death & Dying, states that the grieving process has five stages. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The intensity of emotions until reaching the final stage of acceptance depends on various factors. These factors include your age, the bond you shared with your pooch, and the role he/she played in your life.

Why is it normal to miss your pooch?

Based on various research studies, it has been established that the animal-human bond is strong. In 2002, an article in the journal Society & Animals made a conclusion about the deep bond shared between animals and humans. It was found that the loss of a pet could be as devastating as losing a family member, or even more than that.

One of the reasons for missing your pooch after its death is the loss of companionship he/she provided. In many cases, the owner saw the pooch as their child/sibling/or best friend, which adds to the grief faced by the death. Missing your dog is a natural response which occurs due to the loss of a close one. It is considered healthy to take your own time to grieve, in order to accept the death.

Coping with the grief

Although every individual copes with grief differently, it is important to remember that you must not feel ashamed of grieving for your pooch, despite what others say. The most essential thing is to ensure that you don’t try to hurry the grieving process or ignore your feelings. As a pet owner, you must take care of yourself, and reach out to someone for help, if required. You can also choose to get another dog, if you feel that you are ready for that step.

Although losing a pooch can be one of the hardest situations, you must always remember to take as much time as it takes to accept the loss, and move ahead with the good memories. One of the healthiest ways of overcoming grief is to keep the memories of your pooch alive.

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