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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Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Treat Pets as Gifts

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Are you considering giving a pet as a gift this holiday season? Well, think again. Your so-called act of kindness may not turn out to be very kind for the animal. Here are a few reasons why animals shouldn’t be treated as gifts.

They’re Likely to End up in a Shelter
Statistically speaking, a lot of cats and dogs that are given as gifts tend to end up in shelters. You see, taking care and raising a pet isn’t child’s play. In fact, it’s as hard as raising an actual child. Only this time, the “child” cannot communicate with you, making it much harder.

So, the person receiving the pet as a gift might be excited, but if they don’t truly understand the value of a pet, then it’s the animal that’s going to get hurt.

More importantly, as the one giving the gift, you need to be more aware of the fact that you’re handing over a living, breathing, sentient creature over to someone as if it were a toy. Don’t make that mistake.

Possible Cruelty
Giving pets as gifts to children can look adorable when you shoot the whole thing and put up the video on social media. But things aren’t that perfect in the real world. In fact, not all children like or know how to handle pets.

The charm eventually wears off and children can lose interest. What’s worse is that they can, knowingly or unknowingly, be cruel to the pet. There are plenty of cases where children have tormented and caused physical harm.

In some cases, it might just boil down to indifference, which leads to the animal being left in the shelter or just outright abandoned.

There’s Rarely a Happy Ending
Animal shelters already face a hard time trying to accommodate the many abandoned animals out there. If you’re wondering where most of those animals come from, take a wild guess? If you guessed “former pets”, you’d be a 100% right.

Of course, the reasons for abandonment can vary. However, pets that turned out to be unwanted gifts make up a fair portion of that group.

Once again, animals are not novelty items. These are beings that are capable of experiencing emotional distress just like humans, especially when they are abandoned. So, be kind and think twice or even thrice about giving a pet as a gift.

Having said that, it may not always be a wrong idea. If the gift is to your own spouse, partner, children and more importantly, if it’s something that has been discussed and agreed upon, a pet as a gift might not be a bad idea.

But, to be on the safer and kinder side, just avoid the whole “pets as gifts” concept.

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Do Cats Need Attention?

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At first glance, it may seem that cats have no need for attention. This is not at all accurate. The kitties do not belong to those animal species which you only have to feed to keep them healthy. They actually require more attention than comparable mammals like mice, rabbits, and hamsters. As a cat owner, you must do more than filling up its food and water bowls. Cats require stimulation, like exercise and a chance to refresh their hunting instincts every day. In short, cats need to socialize.

Do not be misled if your cat is not compatible with your other pets. Sometimes, a cat may not gel with other cats too. This does not mean your cat dislikes the company. Since each cat is unique, it depends on a specific cat as whether it craves for attention or a slight pat on the head will do.

Indoor cats

You will not be surprised to listen that indoor cats need more attention than those felines who roam around everywhere. This is as outdoor cats automatically get more attention than indoor ones. The attention can come from neighbors or other humans who love cats. Your outdoor cat may also get its attention from other cats. Your indoor cat, in contrast, can only get attention from you. It is your responsibility to give it maximum attention.

If you are not present at home, then things could get quite lonely for your indoor cat. If you travel a lot, get a second cat for companionship. If you do not want to spend more on kitty maintenance, then be prepared to pay more attention to your cat.

Need for attention

Before you jump in to give your cat attention, try to comprehend whether your kitty needs your love at that time or not. The meaning of cat behavior depends on the context. To give an example, your cat will purr when it is happy and it will purr when it is injured or anxious as well. It is possible to understand whether your cat seeks attention if you carefully follow its behavior.

A number of reasons exist when it comes to your cat seeking attention. The feline may feel sick and trying to tell you it is not well. It will meow constantly if it is hungry and it wants you to give it food. The list of other reasons includes of it being bored and you are the only entertainment source available. It may also be possible that your kitty has excess energy and wants to play with you. Another reason is that your cat could simply be an attention seeker. If you feel tired at the end of the day, consider investing in a few cat toys.

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Curious Facts About Cats’ Legs

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The paw of your cat is not like your feet. Yes, in some ways they are similar. Like your feet, the paws of your cat helps it to stand. The difference between you and your cat in terms of this appendage is that the paws of your cat are engineered for predatory functions. The proportion of cat’s legs is much larger than humans. If human legs were built as our kitties’ the feet would be as long as the shins. Cat paws are also much cuter to look at.

Digitrade

Do understand that your cat, like all other cats, walk on its tiptoe. The feline is a digitigrade walker. It means your car does not walk on the balls and heels as you do. It walks on the feet balls and on fingertips. Since its paws are small, and her pads soft, your cat can move soundlessly on any terrain. The paw pads are both tender and tough. The cat’s skin pads are adequately robust to provide protection from punctures when it walks on hard terrain. The problem is that the pads are no protection against the extreme temperatures. The paws are made for hunting and come with touch receptors which permit it to evaluate location, liveliness, and texture of prey. Acute sensitivity present in paw pads mean it can swiftly detect how hot the surface or how cold it is. Cat claws are not like fingernails. The claw actually grows out of bones.

Oil secretion and sweat

The cat paws contain glands between the paw pads. These secrete oil. The latter has a scent which can be detected only by felines. The scent gets deposited when the cat scratches any surface like a tree or a couch or a scratching post, a few tiny drops of her scent gets deposited. This is the cat equivalent of a human scratching a name on furniture like “Bill was here!”. Do remember that cats sweat via their paws. This is more pronounced if your cat is nervous. The sweat becomes so much that marks are made on the surface. The function of the sweat glands is to regulate the body temperature of the cat and keep it balanced. These glands sweat maximum when the cat becomes extremely nervous.

Paw pads come in a number of colors. The pigment of the cat pad is the same as its skin. Black pads are observed in black cats. Graying pads are seen in gray cats and orange pads are to be found in the orange case. The cat pads could take any color when it comes to multicolored cats. Many cat owners have found to their amusement that their multi-colored cat has different colored pads on each of the four paws.

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Caring For A Chihuahua: Basic Tips

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If there’s one breed that can be described as “fragile”, “microscopic” or “dainty”, it’s the chihuahua. Don’t get us wrong, these feisty little munchkins should not be underestimated. They’re known to have quite the temper and at times, even a nasty attitude.

However, like all dogs, they do have needs that are specific to their breed. So, if you’re planning on getting a chihuahua, here are a few basic care tips that you should be aware of.

Grooming
Now, chihuahua’s come with two types of coats. Some have the long coat while others have the short coat. The latter is smooth and shiny while the former is curly and soft. The short coat requires some brushing every now and then. The long coat, on the other hand, needs to be brushed more often – around thrice a week. This is done to remove all the loose hair.

Similarly, chihuahuas need to have their ears cleaned regularly. Due to the larger size, their ears tend to accumulate more debris and foreign bodies. The nails need to be trimmed quite often too because chihuahua’s have fast growing nails.

Baths don’t have to be regular. Chihuahuas tend to stay clean if they’re indoors all the time.

Lastly, make sure your brush your little friend’s teeth to avoid dental issues.

Health
Chihuahuas can live up to the age of 18. They need very little exercise. In fact, they don’t need to step out at all for exercise. These are extremely small dogs and moving around the house is enough activity for them. To make things a little more intense and enjoyable, you can throw in a toy or two. You can also take them out for walks if you feel its necessary.

Now, chihuahuas are susceptible to certain health conditions more than others. This includes patellar luxation, hydrocephalus, keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS, and hypoglycemia. They’re also prone to Molera, which is a condition characterized by a hole in the skull.

So, to keep your little chihuahua hale and hearty, make sure you carry out regular visits to the vet and are updated on vaccinations.

As for dietary needs, talk to your vet for a clearer idea.

No Collar Leashes!
As stated in the introduction, chihuahuas look fragile and the truth is, they are. This is exactly why collar leashes need to be avoided for this particular breed. Collar leashes can lead to a collapsed trachea, which can cause breathlessness and severe discomfort.

You see, collar leashes can end up creating focused pressure on the windpipe when tightened, which is what happens when the dog pounces or pulls on the leash. The focused and concentrated pressure can end up causing the trachea to collapse.

However, a body harness distributes the pressure across the chest, back, and shoulders. This is a much safer and more convenient option.

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Can Dogs Eat Fish?

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You may have noticed your dog looking longingly at the fish you eat. Since fish makes an excellent protein source, you may wonder whether you will offer it fish. The answer is yes, dogs can eat fish and it is perfectly okay to provide your canine with a bowl of fish. The species can be the center point of your dog’s nutritious and healthy diet. You can serve cooked fish to your dog.

Fish is good for your dog

A wide number of fishes are perfectly safe for dogs. The list of commonly available fishes which you can unhesitatingly feed your dog includes herring, flounder, salmon pike, and ocean whitefish. You can steam, grill, or bake the fish before you give these to the dog. Do not include extras like seasoning. Your dog has no taste sensation for pepper and salt and there is no compulsion to make the fish tastier for the canine’s consumption. Do not add greasing options like oil sprays, butter, and oil. Keep the fishes simple and plain. Always buy boneless fillets. No bones must be present in the fish which will be presented to your dog.

Long-lived fishes like swordfish and tuna fish have heavy metals accumulated in their bodies. These could lead to health concerns due to the specific presence of mercury. It is a wise decision not to give your dog any long-lived fish species. Provide only fishes having shorter life-spans. If you are undecided as to whether you will give your dog raw fish or cooked ones, opt for the latter. There is a chance of parasites getting entry into the dog’s body through eating raw fish. Other than the dog, such germs may negatively affect your health and other humans’ health too.

Healthy and balanced meal choice

Fish can be an excellent sustaining healthy meal and nutrition source for your dog. The corollary in this respect that it must be cooked properly. The species makes for a superb protein-rich source, having abundant quantities of omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of fish will decrease inflammation. It is excellent for dogs suffering from food allergies.

Fish is not a common staple in standard canine food. It is an excellent alternative source of protein to turkey, chicken, and beef. Give your dogfish it suffers from nutritional allergies. In case your veterinarian prescribes a fish diet, follow it exactly to the letter. Not doing so will result in multiple nutritional deficiencies. In case you cook the food yourself, make sure the recipe is in accordance with a board-certified nutritionist. Allow your dog to eat as much fish as it wants to consume. The fish makes a balanced and complete diet. Other than protein, you must also include ingredients having antioxidants and vitamins. This is why a balanced diet is needed.

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Ways To Get Rid Of Cat Hair And Furballs

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Unless pet owners have a leather sofa, there are chances that their furniture will end up with pet hair and fir deposits. It’s not just furniture, but any kind of fabric such as curtains and tablecloths are sites for cat fur to get stuck. Leather furniture can be quite expensive and thus cat owners need to have efficient ways of getting rid of their pet hair. One of the first things that pet owners can do is to ensure that there is enough ventilation in the room and the humidity levels are not significantly low.

Removing cat hair from furniture
Removing cat hair from various kinds of furniture such as sofas and upholstery is best done with a pair of damp rubber gloves. By simply running the gloved hand over various surfaces, hair can be easily collected. Once the glove is covered with hair, one needs to simply rinse it off and repeat the process. In case rubber gloves are not available one can also use a wet sponge in its place. Another easy tactic is to spray a combination of water and fabric softener on the furniture and fabric and then start wiping it off.

In order to remove cat hair from wooden furniture, a soft cloth with furniture polish can be easily used. Alternately one can also use an anti-static dusting spray. Using such anti-static sprays eliminates static charge and the fur comes off the surface easily.

Removing Cat Hair from Carpets and Floors
One of the best ways to clean those tough to dig fur and hair deposits from the carpets is to use a pumice stone. Using a pumice stone is advantageous as it not only collects the hair efficiently but also doesn’t damage the surface of the carpet. For wooden or laminated floors one can use electrostatic mobs or one of those microfiber wipes. Using a vacuum is not very effective in these cases as it loops the hair around instead of sucking it in. If the cat owner wishes to vacuum the carpet, then it is advised to go twice over hair-infested areas in alternate directions. This will ensure that the hair is properly disengaged from the carpet fabric. There are special vacuums available which especially cater to pet hair, these come equipped with filters and powerful suction which pulls off hair effectively.

Throwing floor mats and tablecloths in the dryer along with a dryer sheet or a spiky dryer ball is an effective way of automatically removing fur from them. Brushing and grooming cats with long hairs every day and those with short hair once a week, is a preventive measure against fur deposit. Timely grooming leads to a fur-free house.

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