How To Protect Your Dog From Falling Down The Stairs

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In today’s day and age, finding a house that does not have any stairs is a rather difficult task. Although most dogs are able to navigate the stairs from a pretty young age, it’s still good to be cautious. And taking the stairs can be pretty risky. Injuries sustained from a fall down the stairs can include sprains, fractures, bruises, injuries to the head, and sometimes even death.

Animals would want to follow their owners from a very young age so, through determination and a willingness to master new and exciting things, they learn to successfully descend and ascend a staircase. They also tend to be naturally cautious around edges and that keeps them pretty safe. Although most dogs don’t have much of a problem taking the stairs, older dogs, basset hounds, corgis, dachshunds, puppies seem to have a difficult time around staircases. Follow these steps to keep your pooch safe from injuries sustained from a fall on the stairs.

  1. Supervise him.
    Monitor your dog use the stairs. This won’t necessarily prevent them from falling, but if you were watching you can always assess the extent of the injuries before calling the vet. Some dogs have a harder time getting up the stairs if they’re suffering from knee pain, elbow pain, shoulder pain, or back and neck problems. If you see him limping or hugging the wall in order to get up the stairway, make an appointment with our vet immediately.
  2. Improve his visibility.
    Install better lighting overhead. Better lighting can help your dog see where he’s going without any trouble and improve his natural consciousness around edges. Dark places are especially troublesome for dogs with a poor eyesight.
  3. Install a ramp.
    While they’re impractical if you have a long flight of stairs, ramps can be helpful when there are just a few steps involved like the steps between rooms or up your porch. After installing ramps, your dog may need a little training so he can successfully navigate around them in the future.
  4. Carry him.
    Some dogs are simply not able to get up the stairs. Especially smaller breeds, dogs that have recently undergone surgery or dogs with medications that have sedative effects. If it’s a safe option for both the owner and the dog, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

If you have a big dog who can’t really be carried all the time, try to avoid the stairs completely. Play with him downstairs where he’s more comfortable. Make sure that he won’t need to go up to get anything. All his favorite things and essential things should be placed downstairs for the time being that he’s not able to go up the stairs.

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How Much Sleep Is Your Dog Getting? And Is It Enough?

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Dogs are precious creatures. They are our furry best friends and one of the most loyal creatures you can find on earth. Sleep plays a very important role in overall health. Whether it’s for humans, dogs, cats, or any other animal, sleep is equally important. For humans to feel rested, it takes an average of about 8 hours. For dogs though, sleep is a completely different story.

Dogs can’t really be classified as either nocturnal or diurnal. The dogs that live with us, tend to sleep when we go to sleep. In a way, they can be seen as social sleepers. Just like how an average human needs at least 7 hours of sleep per day, an average dog would need 10. This varies with age as younger and older dogs tend to sleep for longer. Here are some things you should know about your canine’s sleeping patterns and what you can do to better them.

What Are The Signs That My Pooch Is Not Getting Enough Sleep?

There’s not a lot of research that has been done on the subject of sleep deprivation in dogs but the symptoms and signs of sleep deprivation are similar to those experienced in people. If your dog is behaving a little odd by being grumpy, disoriented, and forgetful, or if he has a hard time staying focused on everyday activities, then there’s a good chance that he’s sleep deprived. You should get him checked out by a vet as soon as you can as any of these symptoms could also be an indication of an underlying medical condition.

What Are The Things That Could Disrupt His Sleep?

Older dogs tend to have a harder time getting to sleep when compared to adult dogs and puppies. Dogs also have an equivalent to Alzheimer’s, it’s called canine cognitive dysfunction. Dogs who have been diagnosed with this condition often go through a state of confusion late at night. As night begins to fall, they grow more and more restless and confused. This makes it harder for them to drift off to sleep.

Dogs who have experienced or gone through a traumatic experience may be suffering from PTSD and that would make it harder for them to fall asleep. Sleep troubles are something all dog owners should know about. Especially when you’re planning on adopting a dog and don’t know much of his past.

How Can You Help Your Dog Get A Good Night’s Sleep?

AS sleep is very important for dogs, we should do everything we can to make sure that he’s getting enough of it. If you notice your dog having an especially difficult time getting to sleep and staying asleep, try regulating his exercise. Take him on a walk sometime during the day. Avoid doing anything engaging like playing an exciting game with him right before bedtime. All this does, is rile him up even more.

Just like people who work out, run, or go to the gym regularly get better sleep, tiring him out by doing physical activities and activities that require mental stimulation can help him get a good night’s sleep.

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Why Is My Pet Losing Weight?

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While a controlled, and well-thought-out weight loss plan conducted in conjunction with your vet, for an overweight pet is healthy, there are some types of weight loss in pets that can be quite dangerous. Weight loss that you’re not trying to purposefully achieve should always be investigated and looked into. Losing weight in an unplanned and rapid manner should be cause for some concern. Here are some reasons why your pet might be losing weight.

  1. Parasites
    Weight loss due to parasites is not as common as it used to be because pets nowadays are on heart-worm protection drugs which they receive on a monthly basis. But there’s a catch. Not all preventative drugs are equally effective to all the different kinds of parasites and worms that are in the environment.

    If your pet ingests contaminated water or food, he may be at risk of developing Whipworm. Weight loss is only one of the minor symptoms of having a parasite in your intestinal tract. Others symptoms include vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, and soft stool.

  2. Cancer
    Most people start freaking out every time this word comes up. Rest assured, this is only one of the possibilities and it’s not very likely that your dog has cancer in this situation. Intestinal cancer is cancer known to cause unwanted weight loss in all kinds of animals. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
  3. Kidney Disease
    Pets who have kidney disease won’t start losing weight right away. If they’re getting diagnosed with kidney disease only after you’ve discovered the rapid weight loss, chances are, your pet has been suffering from kidney disease for a while. Weight loss can also be caused by hyperthyroidism in cats.
  4. Advanced Heart Disease
    Pets who have this disease won’t start losing weight right away. Despite poor appetite, some dogs are known to gain weight because of bloating.

    The best way to recognize whether your pet’s weight loss is due to a serious condition or not is to monitor his calorie intake. If your pet lost a few pounds recently, increase his calorie intake. If he eats as he usually does and gains back what he lost, chances are that he’s just fine.

  5. Dental Disease
    Oral pain can cause your pet to start eating less or stop eating all of a sudden because of the pain it causes when they chew. Dental treatments should fix the diet problem too. Monitor him closely after the treatment to make sure they’re on the right track to recovery.
  6. Stress
    Although it’s not as common as the other medical conditions causing weight loss, stress is a factor that should not be overlooked. Changes in the household like a new family member or the addition of a new pet can cause stress and lead to weight loss.

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The Home Hacks That Will Keep Your Pet Safe

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With Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, the safety of your pet should be prioritized above any celebrations and dinner parties that you’re planning. It’s such a busy time of the year and it’s easy for your pet to get lost. There’s just so much chaos, noise, lights, and children running around, that it won’t always be easy to spot a missing dog or cat. And imagine what they must be feeling if they do manage to get lost? It must be truly devastating for them.

They are also at risk right at home! With the holiday season right around the corner, there’s more decorations and baking goods lying around. It is easy for your pets to get caught up in the Christmas lights or wander into the kitchen and chow down on some leftover baking chocolate. Here are some home hacks that you can use in order to keep your pet safe.

  1. Always store the water bowls in a plastic tray or container.
    Dogs aren’t the most careful creatures. They might knock over a water bowl every now and then. This is not just bothersome to you, the owner, but the slippery floors could also cause injury to both you and your pets. If there’s a plastic container under the water bowl, it might catch whatever spills when he knocks down the water bowl.
  2. Hang your purses on hooks.
    Bags and purses contain a lot of things that are useful to us. But most of these things can be harmful to dogs. Personal medications and sugar-free gum can be fatal for dogs. Keep them out of your curious pet’s reach by hanging them on hooks, where they can’t be reached.
  3. Keep all electrical cords neatly out of the way.
    Especially with Christmas coming up, there must be a lot of electrical cords around the house to power all the lights and decorations. Take special care to keep them out of your pet’s way. Consider gathering all the lose cords together and placing them into a PVC pipe.
  4. Childproof the cabinets.
    All animals are curious creatures. They might get into the cabinets if they smell something desirable, like chocolate in there. And chocolate doesn’t sit well with most animals. Cabinets are also containers of medicines, cleaning supplies, as well as garden equipment. All these things could be potentially dangerous to your pet. Consider getting a Child-proof lock to keep them out of potentially dangerous cabinets.
  5. Use baby gates.
    Use them to keep your pets in. During the holiday season, it is important that you always have an eye on them. For the time you don’t, consider isolating them to one room of the house where you use baby gates to keep them in. Also, place these gates on top of the stairs to avoid injuries on the staircase.

There are many ways your pets can get injured in your own home. Make sure you take care of them during this especially busy season. Better safe than sorry.

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5 Litter Box Behaviors Of Cats That Are Weird

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Out of all the species of pets in the world, cats are the most mysterious of them all. Unlike canines, it’s much harder to read the body language of felines because of its subtleness. On top of that, they also have cryptic behaviors when they have to use their litter box. Here are five litter box behaviors that are weird:

Avoiding The Litter Box Completely

Even though felines are known to be mischievous, there may be times when you cat starts to avoid the litter box completely. If your cat exhibits this behavior out of the blue, you should take it to the vet as soon as possible. One of the reasons why felines stop using their litter box is because of a medical condition. If your cat has a urinary tract infection, it will start associating the litter box with the pain it experiences while urinating. As a result of this, your cat will start searching for different areas to relieve itself.

Attending Nature’s Call Just Outside The Litter Box

As a cat owner, nothing is more annoying than finding your feline’s feces just outside the litter box. However, you shouldn’t get irritated with your feline because it is trying to tell you something important. When your cat exhibits this behavior, it is an indicator that it is unhappy with the litter box. If the litter box is dirty, your feline will prefer to attend nature’s call in another location. Also, if you changed the litter recently, your feline may be uncomfortable with it.

Safeguarding The Litterbox

If you have two or more cats at home, you might have seen them safeguarding their litterbox. Felines are protective about their litterbox and don’t like sharing with anyone else, including their species. To avoid fights, you should place a couple of litter boxes around your house. With an adequate number of litter boxes, your felines can relieve themselves in peace.

Leaving Its Poop Uncovered

Although felines are known to be extremely neat and tidy, there may be times when your cat leaves its poop uncovered. One reason why cats exhibit this behavior is that their parents wouldn’t have given them lessons to cover up their poop. Another reason why cats leave their poop uncovered is to assert their dominance. Try changing the litter to see if it is going to change your feline’s weird behavior.

Using The Litter Box Right After You Clean It

As soon as you clean the litter box, your cat will immediately go and relieve itself. While this can be irritating, you shouldn’t be harsh on your feline. When you clean the litter box, you remove most of its territorial markings. Your feline re-establishes its empire by using the litter box after you clean it.

These are the five litter box behaviors of cats that are weird. If you have any doubts regarding this topic, feel free to leave a comment below!

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The Facts You Didn’t Know About Catnip

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Catnip is a variety of herb. Its family is the same as mint. The herb has European connotations. It was mistakenly imported to the Americans. The herb became profligate and is now considered one of the most common herbs found in the United States. Catnips can be visually recognized by its oval and toothed shaped leaves. The plant has a faint minty smell. It bears small violet flowers.

Names and uses

Catnip is known by multiple names. The most common among them are catmint, Kitty crack, Cats’ plant, and cat cocaine. Among the many uses of the compound, the most common use is to calm a cat when it undertakes a journey trapped in a crate. The plant extract is also found in cats’ toys. This will increase the interest quotient of the cat. The feline will be excited to play with its toy. Catnip is also used on scratching posts to increase their use.

Catnip is not only used by cats. Humans have benefited from the compound as well. It has been mixed with teas and herbal cigarettes. The herb also finds frequent use in cooking. It is also somewhat hallucinogenic. Catnip, however, is not addictive. It is fully safe. Nepetalactone, the principal chemical is utilized as a mosquito repellent.

Contrary to popular perception, cats never want to eat it. They brush-and occasionally bite- the leaf. Biting this plant component releases the oils. Do note that catnip may not work for every cat. About an average of 33 percent of the cats remain unaffected after taking catnip. Some cats may behave opposite to the norm. These cats could actually turn out to be aggressive after taking the catnip. The cat must also be of sufficient age before this compound could be given to it. Only sexually active cats and six months or above of age will respond to Catnip.

Available in different forms

Catnip is also an excellent solution to make an overweight cats exercise more. Lazy cats become more active. The compound makes a superb training tool. Purchasers of this compound can buy it from the market in a number of forms: sprays, mixture, pellets, and dental chews or catnip filled toys. The sprays are composed of distilled water and essential oil. The mix is of flower and dried leaves. The pellets are made of flower buds and dry leaves.

It is an excellent decision to buy only fresh catnip. The fresh catnip is usually bright green in color. It also has a pungent smell. The old, in contrast are pale yellow. Stale ones have a faint smell. The herb can be kept inside a freezer to extend the shelf life. It is possible to grow catnip in the garden.

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How To Determine Your Cat’s Age

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In some cases, the cats we adopt have an anonymous history. The shelter you get your cat from may not know all her medical details. Unfortunately, without any medical records, determining the age of your cat is also next to impossible. However, there are quite a few methods that you and your vet could use make an educated guess about her age. Pinpointing your cat’s birthday after she reaches adulthood can become more and more difficult. Although her exact birth date is impossible to figure out, some of these techniques can help give you a general idea.

  1. Examine her teeth
    It can be very difficult to use this method to determine a cat’s age once all his adult teeth have erupted. Although it is difficult, it is not entirely impossible. The tar build up and the wear and tear of the teeth can also be used to successfully determine a cat’s age. Examine the teeth that are situated along the sides of her mouth. These teeth are also known as the cheek teeth. If you see a bit of tar buildup on these teeth, your cat is 1 to 2 years old. The more the tar build up, the older your cat.
  2. Look into her eyes.
    Just like how humans develop thicker lenses and cataracts around the age of 40, cats also develop denser lenses around the age of 6 or 7. A cat who is around 120 years old might have more cloudy eyes that can be easily noticed by her owners. This is something that only a vet should do. Only a vet has the proper tools to determine a cat’s age by looking at her eyes.
  3. Look at her grooming habits.
    Cats are meticulous creatures. They love to keep themselves clean and groom themselves almost all the time. The younger cats are the ones that do this regularly and make this a priority. As a cat gets older, she may lose some of her grooming abilities. This can be due to some dental problem that she may have that makes it painful for her to groom herself. It could also be because your cat might be suffering from arthritis. Another common reason is that sometimes, as your cat grows older, she may have gotten a little fat, which would make it difficult for her to reach certain places on her body.
  4. Look at her overall health.
    Older cats usually experience some or other kind of problems that can be easily discerned by vets. The chances of a younger cat suffering from diseases like kidney failure is slim in comparison to older cats. Older cats also sometimes lose their ability to process certain nutrients like proteins which leads to weight loss.

You can do all these things, get blood work, and even measure her fat and muscle. But through all this, there is nothing you can do to be exactly sure about her age. All you and your vet can really do, is make an educated guess.

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5 Ways To Appreciate Your Cat For Everything She Does

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Showing affection to a dog can be very different from showing affection to a cat. Dogs understand that we love and care for them easily. Way more easily than cats. Some people think that it might even be impossible to show your cat that you love and appreciate her. This is often not true, you are more likely just going about it the wrong way. Cats and dogs are very different creatures and just like how they show affection in different ways, they need to be appreciated in different ways.

Something we all know about cats are that they can be picky. This is also true when it comes to affection. Different cat breeds tend to prefer different methods of appreciation from their owners. Here are 5 things you could that you could do to show your cat that you love and appreciate her.

  1. Make time for her.
    In your busy daily schedule, it is easy to forget that you have to also spend time with your cat. But it is important to show appreciation. One way to build trust and bond with your cat, is by having interactive play sessions with her. If you’re doing it the right way, you might even be giving her an opportunity to do what she loves the most – hunt. You could use toys to simulate a hunting environment. These sessions don’t even have to be long. They could just be 5 – 10 minutes.
  2. Reciprocate the affection that they give you.
    Cat affection is harder to spot because they’re usually so subtle at it. But when they rub themselves on your feet or mark you with their scent, this is them showing that they love and value you as their human.
  3. Groom them
    Cats love grooming. Just pay attention to his body language to better understand what it is exactly that he prefers. By grooming them, you’re expressing your love for them by keeping their coat, teeth, nails, and ears on shape.
  4. Take time to learn what she likes.
    Some cats prefer being left alone while other love to cuddle. Watch how she reacts when you introduce her to something new to find out whether she likes it or not. Cats give more than one indication to tell us whether they like something or not. All we have to do is be observant.
  5. Reward them for their good behavior.
    Just like dogs, cats also love treats now and then. Try to stick to rewards that are not food like extended playtime or more mind stimulation toys. It is an excellent way to connect with your cat. She will really appreciate this time and you won’t regret it either!

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All You Need To Know About Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture In Dogs

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Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture or the torn knee ligament is a very serious condition in dogs. It can be painful as well as sad to watch. We usually hear about this kind of conditions in athletes but CCL injuries can just as well happen to our dogs. In fact, CCL injuries are the most common orthopedic injuries that are treated by veterinarians on a global basis.

Where Is The Cranial Cruciate Ligament?

It is one of the ligaments in your knee area that connects the shinbone to the thighbone, where they eventually meet at the knee. This particular joint is also known as the stifle joint when it comes to a dog’s anatomy. It helps in holding the joint stable.

What Causes Diseases To The CCL?

The injury to the CCL can either happen all of a sudden or over a long period of time. If left untreated, it won’t just be painful in the instant that it happens but also later when your dog starts developing degenerative joint diseases. Dogs are usually more prone to CCL diseases because of the following three reasons:

  1. They are out of shape and are asked to perform athletic activities all of a sudden without any preparation.
  2. They might be overweight.
  3. They land wrong after a jump, twist, or turn. Usually happens on slippery surfaces.

They are also more prone to CCL injuries if they’ve already experienced such injuries on the other leg. CCL can also happen as a result of chronic degeneration that has been happening over a long period of time.

What Are The Signs Of A CCL Rupture?

If you see the actual injury happening, your first sign that something might be wrong is a very loud yelp of pain. The more obvious sign if you happen to miss the yelp is if your dog is reluctant or hesitant to put wait on his rear leg. Another sign is if your dog stops using that limb all of a sudden. Like he might hold it up when he walks or even use it intermittently. A CCL injury can either be partial or full. If at any time your dog appears tired or reluctant to do exercises that he usually does without effort, contact your vet immediately.

Your vet will then check the knee to see whether it is a partial or a full injury, remove any excess fluid from the joint, and take X-rays and possibly MRIs to determine the extent of the damage to the CCL.

What you need to remember is to stay calm while this is happening to your dog. Remember that it is something that can be cured and your dog will be back to his active self before you know it.

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5 Genetic Anomalies That Are Seen In Cats

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Dogs are known for being all kinds of different. There are different breeds, sizes, colors, and shapes. There are huge dogs like Great Danes and then you get tiny dogs like Chihuahuas. It’s a little shocking to think that they are, after all, the same species. For cats though, there aren’t a lot of surprises when it comes to genetic anomalies. Most household cats are related in some or other way. That’s why when there is an anomaly, it is all the more surprising. Here are the most common anomalies that are seen in cats.

  1. Polydactyly
    This condition results in extra toes. A polydactyl cat may even have more than just a single extra toe. She may even have a whole set of them! There are many variations to this genetic condition. If you have a cat who is polydactyl, chances are, some of her offspring will be too. Don’t worry about your cat’s health though. Polydactyly is just a fun feature that doesn’t affect her health in any way. Cat owners with polydactyl cats just have to be a little extra careful when clipping their toe nails.
  2. Cats who have black and orange fur
    Also known as Male Tortoiseshell cats, they have the coloring of a tortoise shell which has a chromosomal abnormality. This rare cat color only occurs in 1 out of 50 000 animals. While there are no health problems linked to this anomaly, most male tortoiseshell cats are sterile and are unable to reproduce.
  3. Albinism, Spots, and Vitiligo
    Just like how humans have vitiligo, cats do too. Vitiligo can cause a loss of pigmentation in the skin, which results in lighter patches of skin throughout the body. In cats, it manifests itself in white spots that appear on the cat’s fur. It doesn’t have anything to do with the overall health of the cat. It doesn’t even hurt her, it just simply looks interesting. In certain cases, it might also confuse the color of the cat. For example, if you have a white cat who has black eyelids with green eyes, you might in fact be having a black cat with a giant white spot! Pretty interesting.
  4. Manx Cats
    These are cats who don’t have a tail. They are born with stubby, short tails or none at all. This anomaly requires some extensive medical records to properly identify. Like how would you know whether your cat was born without a tail or simply had it cut off in an incident after birth? There is usually some form of scar tissue if it is the latter.
  5. Extra Ears or Scottish Folds
    Scottish folds are ears that bend forward. This genetic trait has gained popularity in the past few years. Although there are no medical problems associated with these weird ears, you should only breed cats with folded ears, with cats who have unfolded ears. Two cats with folded ears can create a litter of kittens who have complications.

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