Tips to maintain your dog’s coat

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Cuddling with a dog is a blissful experience. When you cuddle with a dog, their soft, shiny coat gently caresses your skin, relaxing your senses. A rough court can do more than just ruining your cuddling experience with your canine friend. A dull coat can indicate skin issues, which can impact your dog’s appearance and overall health. To help keep your dog healthy and happy, we, in this post, impart a few tips to maintain their coat. Take a look.

  1. Check the ingredients of your dog’s food
    Not all dog foods are made equal. Some are not properly balanced and are deficient in essential components such as Omega-6. Omega-6 deficiency in dogs can result in a rough and coarse coat. Before starting to feed your canine dog food by a particular brand , check out its ingredients to make sure it includes Omega-6. Steer clear of genetically modified grains.
    Watch out for low-fat formulas that may exclude certain essential nutrients. Add fish oil supplements that are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids to the canine’s diet.
  2. Follow a bathing routine
    To help your furry friend get rid of ticks, flies, and other pathogens hiding in their coat, bathe them regularly. When deciding how frequent to bathe your dog, consider their breed and type, activity level, and skin conditions. While short -haired dogs can go without a bath for months, dogs with long hair need a bath more frequently. Whatever be the case, make sure the gap between two baths does not exceed three months.
  3. Use the correct shampoo
    Opt for shampoos with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, oatmeal, herbal proteins, and citrus extracts. If you furry friend has a light- colored coat, prefer using shampoos with brighteners and whiteners that boost luster. Shampoos packed with essential minerals, vitamins, and proteins can work wonders for dogs with dull coats.
    If your dog has too many tangles, condition their coat after shampooing it. Steer clear of products with artificial ingredients. Most importantly, never use shampoos for humans on your dog, as they can wash off essential oils, often resulting in a dull and lustreless coat.
  4. Brush your dog’s coat regularly
    Shedding is a normal process and you shouldn’t be much concerned about it, however, excessive shedding can rob your handsome pooch of their enviable looks. To address this problem, brush your dog’s coat regularly. Brushing not only helps get rid of dead fur, but also distributes natural oil throughout the animal’s coat, promoting healthy hair growth.
  5. Give your furry friend herbal supplements
    Give your dogs herbal supplements such as horsetail and spirulina. While horsetail is a rich source of silica that promotes fur and bone health, spirulina contains vitamin-B and carotenoids that help maintain skin health. Before starting to give these or any other herbal supplements to your furry friend, consult your vet regarding the dosage.

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Reasons Why Your Cat Won’t Stop Hissing

The enigmatic aura of cats has been fascinating humans for centuries. Though we have domesticated the feline, many of their behavioral traits still baffle us. One of the most misunderstood behavioral traits of cats is hissing. Many people think that cats hiss to express aggression. While hissing can be a sign of aggression, it is not the only reason why cats exhibit this behavior. In many cases, cats hiss when they are experiencing pain or are fearful of someone or something. To help understand your feline friend better, we, in this post, take a look at some common causes of hissing.

  1. They feel threatened by other animals or people
    When confronted by another animal or a person whom they consider an external aggressor, every animal produces some kind of a sound warning them to keep their distance. Your cat is no different. While hissing, cats often show their teeth to intimidate the other animal or the person.

    Contrary to popular belief, this behavior can be more of a defensive mechanism than an aggressive attitude. If you find your cat hissing at another animal, it’s best to separate them before the tension escalates. In case the feline is apprehensive of you or a family member approaching them, reconsider the way you are handling them. Give the animal some space. If your cat hisses at you, slowly remove yourself from the tense situation, giving them some time to cool off.
  2. Motherly instincts
    Just like other mammals, cats are extremely protective of their babies. When a cat becomes a mother, her motherly instinct kicks in. Mother cats hiss at unfamiliar people or animals approaching their babies. Even sociable cats can exhibit this behavior. If your feline friend has become a mother recently, consider giving her some extra space, which will help them feel secure.
  3. Apprehensiveness of the unfamiliar
    Just like humans and other animals, cats too are wary of change. Many cats hiss when exposed to a new environment or approached by unfamiliar people. In many cases, cats hiss when a new toy is introduced to them.

    To address this problem, practice what doctors call systematic desensitization with counter-conditioning. The method involves introducing low levels of things that your cat fears. During the activity, pet your cat or offer treats that will encourage them to approach the thing.
  4. Physical discomfort
    Though physical pain is not one of the most common reasons why cats hiss, it isn’t unheard of. Cats suffering from arthritis often hiss when someone touches them in a way that causes the pain to flare up. To address this problem, study your cat’s behavior and make a note of areas that your cat doesn’t like to be touched. Use your findings to alter your behavior accordingly.
  5. Annoyance
    Some cats hiss at people who annoy them. Others may exhibit the behavior to express displeasure. To calm your cat, ask the person to stop the annoying behavior.

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Is your pet facing the “dry eye” issue? Here’s what you need to do

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Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or dry eye syndrome is defined as aqueous tear film deficiency over the eye surface. This is also seen in the lid lining. The result is inflammation and severe drying of cornea and conjunctiva. Dry eye is quite common in canines, especially cocker spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, Shih-Tzus, bulldogs, and West Highland white terriers. It is a widely kept belief that females are susceptible to dry eyes than males of the species.

Symptoms

That your dog suffers from dry eye syndrome is a possibility when it blinks excessively and the conjunctival blood vessels get swollen. There could also be a prominent nictitans or third eyelid or chemosis. The eye could discharge pus or mucus and there may be changes in the cornea. This is a chronic disease in the blood cells. There could be ulceration and pigmentation. The incidence of severe disease may lead to complete vision loss, or at best an impaired one.

Causes

KCS may occur due to immune-mediated adenitis. This is the most common and it is frequently linked with a number of other immune-mediated diseases. The dry eye syndrome is a congenital defect in Yorkshire Terriers and Pugs. It is also occasionally observed in a number of other breeds. The disease is also observed if the pet suffers traumatic proptosis, a condition which the eyes are displaced from sockets. This happens to post a neurologic disease which interrupts the tear gland nerves.

It is frequently observed that a dry nose is seen on the same side as dry eyes. The condition could be drug induced like the application of atropine and general anesthesia. Toxicity of drugs could also be a cause. A few drugs containing sulfa or etodolac may cause a transient or permanent condition. KCS may also be induced by the physician if the third eyelid is removed. The chances of this occurring rise in the case of susceptible breeds.

Any X-ray machine may also cause dry eye in pets. This happens if the eye comes in close contact with any primary beam that has its origination from a radiology device. Canine distemper virus or chlamydia conjunctivitis due to bacteria could also lead to KCS. The incidence of chronic blepharoconjunctivitis or breed linked predisposition could also be the cause.

Diagnosis

The veterinarian will conduct a complete ophthalmological and physical examination on the dog. The doctor will include the background symptoms history and the possible incidents which may have led to such a condition. A non-invasive dye like the fluorescent stain could be used to analyze your pet’s eye for ulcerations and abrasions.

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How to keep your senior dog active

Age not just catches up with humans, but also dogs. Just like several humans, in their twilight years, many dogs trade their active lifestyle with a lethargic behavior. It’s not that senior dogs don’t want to have fun, however, the pressure that running around and exercising exerts on their joints is too much for them to bear. It’d be unreasonable to expect your senior dog to have energy bursts like a puppy. While high intensity training is out of question for your senior dog, you can follow some simple tips to keep them active and healthy.

  1. Go swimming
    Unlike many physically demanding exercises, swimming is easy on joints and muscles. Additionally, swimming helps improve flexibility and is good for your furry friend’s mental health. Instead of taking your pooch to an ocean, go to a pool or a secluded lake. In case your dog has trouble walking, install a ramp.
  2. Use platforms for training
    Platform training helps improve flexibility, joint strength, and can do your dog’s mental health a world of good. You can either buy a ramp or build one. When building a ramp, use non-skid material. Make sure it is wider than your furry friend’s stance. To train your pooch to perform exercises, use positive reinforcements such as rewarding them with treats.
  3. Go on short walks
    Though your senior dog may no longer be able to run for long distances at a high speed, it doesn’t mean they have lost their love for running. To keep your ageing furry friend active, take them on short runs. If this is out of question, consider going on short walks. During your walks together, stay close to your dog and watch out for signs of fatigue such as breathlessness, frequent halts, and a slower than usual pace.
  4. Introduce new toys and tricks
    Do you believe in the saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Think again! Remember, age is just a number. Your dog maybe slowing down due to their increasing age, however, they will always remain a puppy at heart. If you adopt the right approach, your senior dog will be willing to learn new tricks. Train your ageing friend to perform simple tricks such as speaking, rolling over, and playing dead. To stimulate their brain, introduce treat-dispensing toys.
  5. Play fetch 
    Playing fetch with your dog apart from helping them stay fit also strengthens the bond that you two share. To help your furry friend avoid stress, use senior dog toys such as soft frisbees. Look for toys made of soft rubber that don’t stress your dog’s teeth. To provide mental stimulation, use toys that make noise. If your furry friend loves playing hide and seek, hide their favorite soft toy in an accessible area in your home and encourage them to use their senses to find it.

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Cat behavior changes

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You should know the normal behavior of your cat to recognize any kind of behavioral change. If you know this, you can find out which behavior will compel you to take your kitty to the veterinarian.

Aggressive behavior

A few cats have stronger prey drives. This will show in their greater aggressiveness towards toys and children. It may show aggressiveness towards other pets and animals too. Such aggression is normal and is an outlet for the animal’s innate predatory nature. The problem exists only if a naturally calm cat suddenly begins to behave in an aggressive manner. If your cat does this, then it becomes a matter of concern.

If a normally calm cat suddenly becomes to hiss and bite, then the animal is trying to communicate something. Fear and pain are the common reasons behind such behavior, A cat could be fearful due to a number of reasons including an imminent visit to a veterinary center. It could also be afraid if it spies a new animal in the house or sees one outside. Pain could be had from any trauma inducing incident or recent surgery. It could also come from older surgeries like declawing or dental disease.

It is important to resolve this aggressive behavior at the earliest. Your veterinarian would find and then eliminate the basic reason for this fear or pain. Your cat should be reassured at this stage. Discipline cannot be a solution for such cats.

Variation in eating behavior

The household cat is a creature of habit. It will quickly decipher when it is meal time and will wait for you to give it. The existence of a problem begins when your cat eats considerably lesser amounts of food or consumes large volumes of it. If the cat eats more but still does not gain weight, then there is a chance of hyperthyroidism. This problem is common in senior cats and stops them from gaining weight. People having cats afflicted with hyperthyroidism report of their pets having a ravenous appetite but no weight gain.

On the other hand, if your cat eats less or stops its consumption of food, it indicates that the animal is not well. It could be stressed or have dental disease. Cats may not eat if hairballs are stuck in the gastrointestinal tract. A presence of the tumor may result in digestive issues and if coupled with other diseases, the cat may stop eating.

A few cats could be more sociable than others and have an open personality. It should be a matter of concern when a normally playful cat suddenly becomes reserved. Take it to a veterinarian as a cat in pain will not want to jump around.

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Is your cat old? Here’s the best diet for it.

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An older or senior cat will be less active and spend a longer part of the day within the house. It will have a slower metabolism thus making it fat. Illness and taste reduction will affect appetites, impacting their body condition. The nutritional needs of senior cats are different than their younger counterparts. As a cat owner, it is your responsibility to give your cat the correct food so that it remains in excellent shape. Your kitty must eat a tasty and high-quality diet with carefully balanced key nutrients and easily digestible protein. A diet rich in minerals will support aging joints. The immune system will be boosted by supplying the correct proportion of proteins and vitamins.

Special diet

Senior cats should be fed specially formulated food keeping in mind any underlying medical problems. Ask your veterinarian to create a special diet. Cat food composed especially for older animals has added Vitamin E to strengthen the natural defenses of your pet. This food has fewer calories, assisting your cat to maintain the optimum body weight. It means the cat continues to enjoy its meals without compromising on the essentials.

Senior cats may lose their chewing ability. You should give your cat softer and smaller pieces. This is a must if your cat has lost a few of its teeth. The food should have greater meat content as the addition of meat improves the flavor and smell of food. If you wish to change its diet, do it in a phased manner. Start by feeding the new food in small amounts along with the normal intake. Slowly increase the amount until the senior cat eats only the new diet. In case your senior cat does not eat the new food, ask your vet as there could be a medical reason underlying this behavior. The vet will give you alternative formulas.

Small food quantities

Feed your senior cat often and in little amounts as they feel overwhelmed when they see food in larger amounts. You can give them the occasional treat as long as there is no underlying medical condition. Serve the food in a clean saucer or low bowl. Do not permit wet food to become dry in that bowl as cats are extremely particular when it comes to freshness. Serve the food at room temperature so that the cat can both smell and taste it in a proper manner. In case you will feed it wet food, remove the opened pouches or the cans from the refrigerator two hours prior to feeding time. If you microwave the food, ensure it should not be too hot. As cats are creatures of habit, give your kitty food at the same time and at the same place every day.

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Natural ways to keep your dog’s teeth clean

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Your dog’s teeth are prone to getting plaque and tartar just like human beings. But unlike a human being, dogs aren’t concerned about it. Smelly dog breath and discoloured teeth are a direct result neglecting dental hygiene. Luckily enough, there natural ways to keep your dog’s teeth clean

  1. Use natural dental sprays
    You can spray this dental spray by picking up their lips on either side of their mouth as it will help reduce and prevent dental plaque and tartar build-up as well as control the bacteria that causes bad breath. If you spray the product directly onto your dog’s most-affected teeth efficiently, it gives your dog minty-fresh breath.
  2. Enzymes
    You can opt for Prozyme, which is an inexpensive digestive enzyme that is readily available in pet stores. There is a lot of dog toothpaste that contains enzymes that kill bacteria and help remove tartar. Zymox and Virbac are companies that make enzymatic tubes of toothpaste for dogs.
  3. Use herbal extracts and essential oils
    Grape seed extract, grapefruit seed extract, thyme oil, neem oil and peppermint oil combined in a safe preparation works very effectively in dissolving and preventing tartar build up, as well as heals the gums.
  4. Ensure that your dog has a healthy and natural diet
    You cannot rely on kibble alone to clean your dog’s teeth. Feeding your dog with fresher foods and healthier ingredients helps to improve your dog’s overall health and well-being, along with their dental health.
  5. Feed your dog raw bones
    They taste good and are fun to chew. It helps in exercising the jawbone as your dog will gnaw on them which also stimulates the gums and removes tartar from the teeth. An excellent raw bone provides your dog with hours of pleasure and helps keep its teeth healthy. You need to make sure that you give your dog the right kind of bone. The large femur and knucklebones from a cow, are ideal as they are impossible to swallow or chip.
  6. Coconut Oil
    Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that promote dental health. You can make holes in a carrot and fill it up with coconut oil and leave it in the freezer for a couple of minutes. You can give it to your dog after it solidifies. Your dog is going will have the best time gnawing on the carrot, and it will also clean your dog’s teeth safely and effectively.
  7. Try a Homeopathic treatment
    If your dog’s teeth seem to have a tartar build up that is difficult to remove, you should try a homoeopathic remedy called Fragaria which could help solve the problem. You can purchase it and administer one or two pellets twice a day for a month. It is necessarily an energy medicine that melts in the mouth.

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Pros and cons of cat claw covers

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Cat owners are familiar with a situation where they rub the belly of their happy cat hoping the same cat will not scratch them to death a few moments later. Your kitty will make you look stupid every single time and you will fall for it even though you know the outcome. Good news, however, is here. There are now a number of ways you can control their dangerous claws. This way you can protect not only yourself but also the furniture. One excellent method is to use claw covers. If you wish to buy them, you should also know that every solution comes with its pros and cons.

Claw covers are simply caps which you can stick on to your cat’s natural claws. These are designed to reduce damage which your cat can do with its claws. The material is extremely durable and could be used for about six weeks. A claw cover generally falls off due to the natural growth of the claw. These claws are shaped in tandem with the natural claw shape of the cat and are sold in multiple sizes. Claw covers do not trouble the cat in any way and your kitty will happily wear them. The natural growth of the claw will not be affected as well. However, you must glue them in a proper manner.

Pros or advantages

As these covers are dull, your kitty cannot hurt you or damage any furniture by scratching. Buying a cat claw is compulsory if you own pricey furniture or you have small children. The latter will not get hurt when they play with the cat. Do understand that the claw covers should never be your first option. For cats, scratching is perfectly normal. Give them an adequate number of toys to scratch and they will not touch your furniture. On the other hand, there is a distinct possibility that your kitty likes the exact same piece of furniture you like to sit and the only solution is to make it wear cat claw covers.

If you travel often for short periods, then putting cat claws on your kitty will protect the people who will look after it in your absence. Cat claw covers are much more preferable than declawing. It does not change the cat’s anatomy yet provides you peace of mind.

Cons or disadvantages

A number of cat owners have complained of claw covers becoming fashion statements and not a practical pet equipment piece. A few owners were not hesitant to brag about the nail job they gave to their pet. Some even matched the claw color of their cats with their own nails. These overshadowed the actual use of the claws. Another big con is that these pieces make your kitty defenseless against other natural predators. You should always take them off before your kitty goes out of the house.

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Why do dogs come running when you whistle?

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Your dog always comes over when you whistle. This is as the puppy is trained to do that. The dog is habituated to run towards you when you make that sound. Since a dog’s hearing range is much more than the human hearing range, a “silent” whistle can also be sounded to make your canine come running to you.

Evoking curiosity

To a dog, the sound of a whistle evokes curiosity at first, and this is the reason it comes running to you in the first place. Doing the same action repeatedly makes it a matter of habit. You simply need to train your dog so that it comes to you without the need of the whistle at specific times and when certain events occur.

Training a dog needs creating proper conditions. The latter should be such that the animal repeats the same behavior. You will have to give it rewards or treats which it should expect when you whistle. This is especially important if your dog helps you in your profession.

For many dog owners, purchasing an ultrasonic dog whistle makes sense as it is a much more effective and reliable way to call the animal compared to a verbal call. Ultrasonic whistles are usually taken up during the training’s penultimate stages for certain dogs employed in specific tasks like hunting or shepherding. Since ultrasonic whistles carry over longer distances, law enforcement authorities like the police regularly use them.

Judicious whistle use

In case you and your dog do not like to venture outdoors, it is important to train your dog indoors. Use the audible whistle sparingly in such cases. Excessive whistling will disturb family members and your neighbors. If you train your dog well, a whistle could even stop it from barking. Training is vital in such habit forming in animals. The whistle device plays no part at all. Do not whistle too much if you want your dog to react positively to the whistle. In case your dog barks whenever it hears the whistle, then something is wrong with either the whistle or the animal itself. In case of the second reason, it is important to give the animal specialized training.

If the dog does not respond to your call, then it is the result of an incomplete training process. If, as a dog owner, you feel that you are unable to train your dog, then it is a good idea to hire a professional to train the dog for you. The person will come and train your best friend in all the phases of training. Whatever option you choose, the dog whistle must be used in a judicious manner. It must not be overused.

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Emotions experienced by dogs

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For most pet owners, reading their dogs’ emotions come easily. If your dog wags its tail, you automatically assume it is happy to see you. If your dog growls at another person, or another dog, it is apparent that she is angry towards that person or the other canine. The emotions which can be deduced from such behavior could be wrong. Whether it is possible for humans to decode emotions in dogs remains a matter of controversy.

Older thoughts

In the distant past, it was assumed that dogs lived rich mental lives and have feelings like humans and even possess the capability to comprehend human language. The steady progress of science proved this assumption to be a mistaken one. It is understood that both humans and dogs are complex machines which followed due chemical processes and mechanical rules. Researchers now do not assert any existence of higher level mental functioning in dogs. If a dog could think, the religious concept of animals surviving without souls will not hold water and as a consequence, there would be multiple problems.

Dog emotions and a human child

That dogs have emotions are beyond any doubt. Any dog will get angry if you challenge it. The canine snaps or snarls at you. It could also be afraid and run away with a whimper. Many behavioral theorists say the animal is simply acting and doing what it is programmed to do. Proponents of this theory say dogs are programmed to run away if they see something which they cannot tackle or charge if it sees someone or something which it feels can be conquered.

Science has shown dogs to have similar brain structures like humans. It means they can produce the same emotions as humans. Canines have the oxytocin hormone which in humans is involved with affection and love. It should not be assumed that dogs have emotions too.

Researchers have discovered that the emotional level of a dog is approximately equivalent to a two-year-old human child. This is applicable to both emotions and mental abilities. Like two-year-olds, the emotions of dogs are the same as humans, but not all of them are present. For a human infant, excitement is the sole emotion. The outward show of this emotion could be on a wide scale, from near calm to a frenzy. Other then excitement, dogs also have anger, fear, and disgust, Love may also occur in dogs but like human babies, it comes when both the species grow older. Pride and shame take much longer to appear. Guilt comes much late. This sequence of development must be understood when it comes to the matter of understanding dogs. It means that only a mature dog can have emotions like shame, guilt, and pride.

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