4 Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy on the Fourth of July

independence-day
The Fourth is right around the corner, and with it all the good times we have come to expect. Fireworks, barbecues, hanging out with friends and family — Independence Day is certainly a celebration of what it means to be free.

To most people, everything about the holiday seems like a great time, but to our furry friends, the Fourth can be a stress-filled occasion.

Here are a few tips to keep your dog happy this Independence Day.

1. Food and Alcohol

party-food

Odds are, your celebration is going to have some tasty treats and icy beverages. Food and drink are all well and good, but in terms of our pets, human foods are best  avoided. While a nibble off a hot dog or a burger probably won’t hurt them, anything with onions, garlic, chocolate, or alcohol should be kept well out of their reach.

RELATED ARTICLE: Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

2. Crowds

crowd

The Fourth is a big outdoor party day, and if your dog is in attendance, the stress of being around so many people could start to wear on them. If your dog doesn’t do well in crowds and you can’t leave them at home, first make sure everyone at the party knows to give your dog a break. Second, you should plan to stay by their side the entire time, so if things do get out of hand, you are there to offer cuddles and a calming treat (or two).

3. Heat

summer-dog

Staying outside all day in the sun is a perfect way to spend a holiday, but it is also a surefire way to dehydrate your dog. Imagine if you had to run around in a fur coat all day! To help your dog beat the heat, keep a steady supply of water on hand. And, if you can, try to find a shady spot for them to recharge their battery.

RELATED STORY: 7 Unsuspected Pet Dangers of Summer

4. Fireworks

fireworks

FIREWORKS! Everyone’s favorite part of the holiday — except for our pooches. The loud noises and dense crowds are essentially a perfect storm for an anxiety attack. The best way to avoid this is simple: leave your dog at home!

But if that is not possible, try to stay on the outskirts of the viewing area, making it possible to beat a quick retreat if it seems like Fido can’t take all the excitement. Stay by their side, pet them for reassurance, bring a toy to distract them — anything you can do to take their mind off the explosions. And, again, calming treats could be a life saver.

RELATED STORY: 4th of July Safety Kit for Pets

To keep your pet safe and healthy, sign up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.

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Why Do Cats Drool?

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When most people think of drool, they think of dogs with jowls, like Saint Bernards and Mastiffs. But dogs aren’t the only ones who can produce excess saliva; cats sometimes drool too, and you shouldn’t ignore it when it happens.

So why do cats drool, and when is it time to see the vet? Let’s take a look.

Happy Drooling

Some cats drool when they are happy, excited, or extremely relaxed. A cat who is getting a serious rubdown from a loving owner, for example, may feel so soothed and serene that they forget to swallow! For many cats, purring and drooling go hand in hand, but you should still mention it to your veterinarian at your cat’s annual check-up. They may want to check your cat out to ensure that the drooling is not related to a larger health issue.

RELATED STORY: Is My Cat Weird? 5 Freaky Feline Behaviors

Stress-Induced Drooling

Some cats produce excess saliva in response to stress or fear. For example, many cats drool in the car, at the vet’s office, before or after receiving an injection, or in response to a bad-tasting or toxic food or medication (or in anticipation of it, if they’ve had it before). Oftentimes, stress-induced drooling will be accompanied by stress-related purring; that’s right, purring isn’t always positive. Sometimes it signals fear or discomfort.

If your cat’s drooling is related to stress or fear, it should stop when the cat’s circumstances or environment changes. However, if the drooling continues or if you notice any other symptoms, contact your veterinarian; something more serious may be going on.

RELATED STORY: Diets to Treat Cat and Dog Stress

Medical Issue-Related Drooling

A cat may also produce excess saliva and drool as a result of certain medical issues, including:

If your cat’s drooling is continuous or accompanied by any other symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

Does your cat drool? Leave us a comment and let us know, and sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

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Is a Raw Pet Food Diet The Right Way to Go?

Raw Pet Food Diet

It seems like every few years a new dieting trend emerges, and the latest health craze has begun to spread out to our furry friends.

WHAT IS A RAW PET FOOD DIET?

Similar to the popular paleo diet, or the ancestral diet, the concept behind a raw only nutritional regimen is that you eat only the things that our prehistoric predecessors would have eaten. That means everything you eat is unprocessed, grain-free, and supposedly much cleaner burning than the crud we typically consume.

 

While a diet like this can be a great way to trim a lot of the hydrogenated oils and trans fats out of our diets, when it comes to our pets, is a raw food diet a good idea? Recent studies are starting to think that it isn’t.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

What might otherwise seem like a natural fit, a raw food only diet similar to what their wolven brothers and sisters consume might not satisfy our precious pooches dietary needs. However, as it would happen, our dogs have not been wolves, or anything close to wolves, for nearly 10,000 years. That means that their dietary needs are in no way the same as their more wild cousins.

 

Now, there are plenty of advocates out there for feeding your pet a raw diet, claiming that the unprocessed, fresh foods gives their pet:

  • an especially shiny coat
  • improved skin health
  • a boosted immune system
  • cleaner teeth
  • help controlling their weight

However, none of these claims have been tested, let alone proven, in any sort of scientific study.

RISKS OF THE RAW PET FOOD DIET

 

What has been proven, on the other hand, is the fact that a raw diet of this nature leaves our pets at a much greater risk of contracting a virus, such as

  • Salmonella
  • E. Coli
  • Listeria.

Moreover, by feeding your pet a raw food only diet, the onus is on you to make sure that they are getting all of their essential nutrients. Pet food is generally crafted to meet all of your dog or cat’s dietary needs. A raw diet, on the other hand, is entirely crafted by you, so you will need to carefully select the things you include to make sure that your pet is maintaining a healthy diet.

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR PET’S DIET

 

The CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital has the following recommendations when it comes to feeding our furry friends:

  • Make sure they are eating a well balanced diet
  • Ensure that the food they are eating is designed for their age and size (specifically, don’t feed a puppy or kitten food suited for “all ages”)
  • Make sure the brand of food you buy has strict quality control, and has a board nutritionist on staff.
  • IF YOU DO CHOOSE TO PREPARE FOOD – make sure the diet is discussed with a veterinary nutritionist to make sure that it suits your pet’s needs. Also, any meat used should be cooked to an internal temp of at least 165 degrees to ensure that any unwanted organisms are cooked off.
  • Make sure to employ a smooth transition when switching diets – generally ween your pet off their old food over the course of 5-7 days.
  • If you have any questions about your pet’s diet, consult with your vet

PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

Source:
Colorado State University News – Pet Health: Raw-food diets come with risks, and claims of nutritional benefits are unfounded
AVMA – Raw or Undercooked Source Protein in Cat and Dog Food

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Are Bones Safe For Dogs?

Bones Safe For Dogs

Are Bones Safe For Dogs?


Dogs are so often paired with bones that it might be hard to imagine that perhaps they aren’t meant for each other after all. In recent years, many veterinarians and even the FDA have cautioned against giving dogs bones because of the health risks they pose. So, are bones safe for dogs?

But just what is so dangerous about bones, does anyone disagree, and what are the alternatives? Let’s take a look.

Wait a Second… Don’t Wolves Eat Bones?

This is a common and understandable question. If dogs evolved from wolves and wolves consume bones, shouldn’t it be safe for your dog to do so as well?

The truth is that wolves usually don’t eat the large bones of their prey; they are often left behind with the animal’s hide, skull, and stomach contents.

Additionally, wild wolves have shorter lifespans on average than domesticated dogs due to disease, parasites, and injuries — which yes, can occur if a wolf swallows an unfriendly bone.

RELATED STORY: Why Using Dog Dental Chews Improves Tooth Health

Why Are Bones Dangerous?

The FDA published a report in 2010 outlining the dangers associated with feeding your dog bones.

“Some people think it’s safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast,” says Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration.

“Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death.”

The FDA goes on to list 10 reasons why it’s a bad idea to give your dog a bone:

Bones can break teeth

And fixing broken teeth can cost a pretty penny.

Bones can injure the mouth and tongue

These injuries can be very bloody and messy, as well as painful for your dog. They could also land you at the veterinarian’s office.

Bones can get stuck around your dog’s lower jaw

This usually occurs with round, hallow bones (like the end of a marrow bone). It can not only be a very frightening experience for a dog, it can also be painful and costly at the vet.

Bones can get trapped in the esophagus

Which is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. This can cause your dog to gag and in most cases you will need to head to the vet’s office.

Bones can get trapped in the windpipe

This can happen if a dog inhales a small piece of bone. This is an emergency situation, as your dog will be having a hard time breathing. Go to the vet’s office or an emergency clinic right away.

Bones can get stuck in the stomach

If the bone was small enough to swallow but not large enough to move from the stomach to the intestines, your dog will most likely require surgery to remove it.

Bones can get trapped in the intestines

If this happens, it can cause a gastrointestinal blockage, and surgery may be required.

Constipation

It can be difficult for a dog to squeeze out sharp, jagged bone fragments. This is a painful situation and requires a trip to the veterinarian.

Bleeding from the rectum

Those sharp, jagged fragments can cause injury to the rectum and severe bleeding. This can be very messy and you’ll need to see the veterinarian. Never attempt to pull out a bone fragment that is partially protruding from your dog’s rear end; this could cause further injury.

Bones can cause peritonitis

Peritonitis is a severe bacterial infection of the abdomen that can occur when bone fragments puncture your dog’s stomach or intestines. This infection can be deadly and requires emergency veterinary treatment.

Varying Opinions

Some veterinarians and raw food groups argue that while cooked bones are not safe for dogs, raw bones are because they are softer, less likely to splinter, and more easily digestible. Talk to you veterinarian to find out their opinion on the matter. The opinion on whether bones are safe dogs will vary based on their recommended diets.

RELATED STORY: Raw Food Dog Diet

Safe Alternatives

No one is saying to throw out chewing altogether. Indeed, the right kind of chewing can be good for your dog’s teeth and breath, soothe the painful gums of teething pups, and be an outlet for mental and physical energy.

Ask your veterinarian about bone alternatives and chews like Greenies and Kongs, and always supervise your dog whenever you give them a new chew.

What do you think? Should you give your dog bones? Leave a comment and let us know your opinion, and to keep your dog safe and healthy, consider signing up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.

For more information: No Bones About It: Bones Are Unsafe For Your Dog via the FDA

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The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs

fruits and vegetables for dogs


Fruits and vegetables provide many health benefits to humans, like helping us fight disease, maintain a healthy weight, and lengthen our lives. But can fruits and vegetables for dogs improve their health as well? Many veterinary nutritionists say yes, especially if you feed your dog the right kinds of produce.

Before giving your dog any new food — whether it’s fruits and vegetables or something else — it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.

Your vet will let you know the best way to feed your dog a new food to avoid digestive problems and nutrient imbalance.

So what are the right kinds of produce, and what are the wrong kinds? Let’s take a look.

Fruits and Vegetables For Dogs

Dogs Can Eat Carrots: Many dogs love carrots straight from the bag, and carrots placed in the freezer can make soothing and nutritious treats for teething pups. Carrots contain immune-boosting vitamin C as well as high levels of beta-carotene.

Dogs Can Eat Apples: Apples are an excellent source of vitamin C and pectin, a fiber that can improve your dog’s digestive health. In addition, the apple’s grainy texture will scrub your dog’s teeth while they chew (this doesn’t mean that you can stop brushing your dog’s teeth!) If you wish to feed your dog an apple, remove the seeds first. Apple seeds contain cyanide, which can be poisonous to dogs.

Dogs Can Eat Green Beans: Green beans are packed with vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a great source of calcium, fiber, copper, folic acid, niacin, iron, potassium, manganese, riboflavin and thiamin, and beta-carotene. Whew! You can feed your dog either fresh or frozen green beans; if you choose a frozen variety, make sure that it doesn’t contain salt, as salt is poisonous to dogs.

Dogs Can Eat Sweet Potatoes: Most dogs find sweet potatoes to be extremely tasty, so they can make a great addition to your dog’s dinner bowl. Slice them or dehydrate them to make a chewy treat. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber and they also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, beta-carotene, and magnesium.

Some other fruits and vegetables that are safe to feed your pup include: Asparagus, blueberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, lettuce, oranges, pumpkin (sugar-free; no pumpkin pie filling!), spinach, strawberries, squash, and watermelon (without seeds).

RELATED STORY: 8 Things Your Dog Begs for That Are OK to Share

Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid Giving Your Dog

Onions and Garlic: These vegetables — in all forms — can destroy red blood cells in dogs and lead to anemia.

Avocados: Avocados contain a harmful chemical called persin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and fluid buildup around your dog’s heart. This chemical is very concentrated in the avocado pit, which could be fatal if ingested.

Grapes and Raisins: While is not fully understood why grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs, these fruits can be fatal even if a dog consumes only a small amount.

RELATED STORY: The Most Poisonous Foods for Cats

Fruits with pits: Fruits with pits such as peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries can be toxic to a dog not because of the fruit, but because of the pit, which contains cyanide like apple and watermelon seeds. If you wish to feed your dog one of these fruits, remove the pit or seeds first.

Do you feed your dog fruits and vegetables? Leave a comment and let us know. And if you care about keeping your pet healthy, sign up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more and register at PetPlus.com.

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Blind Dog Duffy Can Finally See His Family Again

This is Duffy, the formerly-blind dog. Having lost his vision to diabetes, Duffy the Irish Terrier was blind for over a year. However, thanks to the miracle of modern science, he was recently given back his sight. And he could not have been happier.

RELATED STORY: What Causes Blindness in Dogs?

Watch as he sees his family for the first time in over a year!

THE VIDEO

 

Keep in mind that he knew nothing but darkness for over a year! In the video, Duffy is overcome with joy at seeing his people again. Just look at that tail go!

A BLIND DOG’S LIFE

When Duffy was adopted roughly 9 years ago, his family knew that he was a somewhat unhealthy pup. He had signs of liver disease and the onset of diabetes was looming on the horizon.

RELATED STORY: Causes of Diabetes in Your Cat or Dog

Duffy’s condition worsened due to complications with his medication. The most devastating blow came when Duffy lost his vision. “I can only imagine what went through his mind the day it all went black,” said the dog’s owner, Benjamin May, in the original Reddit post.

However, as frightening as it must have been for him to lose his sight, it must have been that much more exhilarating to have it come flooding back. You can see it in the video — he can barely contain himself!

Duffy’s insulin treatment cost his family approximately $350 a month, and the surgery cost $5,000. While some think that the amount of money spent is too high, the May family has a different view on it. “He’s happy and he makes us happy, he’s family to us, you can’t put a price on family,” (Reddit).

Sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

Source:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/06/17/the-beginning-of-this-dogs-story-broke-its-owners-heart-the-ending-brings-tears-of-joy-to-her-eyes/
http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/286it4/our_dog_duffy_went_blind_due_to_diabetes_after_a/

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How to Pet-Proof Your Yard

 

Bulbs are popping and seeds are starting to take root. For the green-thumbed among us, you know what this means: Gardening season is here! If you have an outdoor cat or a garden-loving dog, you might need to do some thinking about how you design your yard, what’s planted, and where you allow your pets to play. See below for some tips on pet-proofing your garden.

RELATED STORY: How Do Dogs Get Fleas?

Are the Plants OK for Pets to Eat?

Many of the very prettiest flowers, shrubs, and plants can be toxic to cats and dogs. Even non-toxic greenery, like grass, can cause pets to have an upset tummy. If you know your pets will be in the garden, take time before you plant to make certain you’re not introducing something potentially toxic to your pet’s environment.

RELATED STORY: What Plants Are Poisonous to Pets?

Is Your Fertilizer Toxic?

As well as killing mites and bugs and encouraging blooms from flowers, some fertilizers, pesticides, or insect repellants can contain ingredients that are toxic for pets. If you spray fertilizers or insect repellents on the grass, and your pet walks on the freshly treated area, it’s all too easy for some of the chemicals to wind up on your pet’s paws. Licking the paws later on can lead to your dog or cat ingesting some of the toxins. Aim to use pet-safe fertilizers, and keep your cat or dog off the lawn and away from the yard area just after applying chemicals.

RELATED STORY: 7 Unexpected Dangers to Pets in the Summer

Design With Your Cat or Dog in Mind

As you plot out your garden, think about your particular pet. Is it easy to train them to stay away from certain areas? If so, plant at will — but if your dog or cat has a tendency to go where they’re not wanted, or dig up herbs, shrubs, and flowers, you may want to establish boundaries. Here are a few ideas for how you can lay out your garden to accommodate your pet’s habits:

  • Create Pathways: Generally speaking, many pets will stay on pathways (and away from flower beds).
  • Establish Boundaries: Use materials like bricks, rocks, and leafy barrier plants to form boundaries around areas that should be kept pet-free. You can also put up a gate or fencing if you really want to make sure to keep pets away from vulnerable seedlings.
  • Try Containers: Raised beds, or containers, can be a good way to keep plants and flowers away from paws.

Stay prepared this flea and tick season with PetPlus, a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more. Does your pet love the garden? Tell us what tips and tricks you use to make your yard pet-friendly.

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Best Friends Forever: A Man and His Paralyzed Dog

 


If you caught a glimpse of Jack’s big, happy smile from a distance, you’d never guess that there was anything wrong. But getting closer, you’d see that his back legs are paralyzed. When Jack isn’t scooting around in his wheelchair, his unmoving legs drag behind him on the ground.

“Jack became paralyzed in 2007 as a result of jumping for a treat — something he’s done a million times,” says Bobby Kleinau, who adopted Jack in 2006 after hearing about a stray dog brought into the Andover Animal Hospital in Andover, MA. “He jumped, landed awkwardly, and let out a big ‘yelp.’ Later the next day he lost the use of his hind legs.”

The day that Jack became paralyzed, Bobby took him to three different animal hospitals.

“All of them laid out my options and strongly recommended that I put him down,” Bobby says.

In order for Jack to have a decent quality of life, he would need a $12,000 surgery and physical therapy. In addition, because Jack would no longer have the ability to urinate, Bobby would need to learn how to “express” his bladder for him. Jack would also lose control over his bowels.

“After all of this was laid out to me, I sat with Jack and asked him what he wanted me to do in a very emotional moment,” Bobby says. “He looked at me and thumped his head right in my chest. I knew he wanted to stay with me. That is when the decision was made to roll the dice and go through with the process. That was the best decision I have ever made.”
Bobby and Jack have a truly special relationship. Bobby says that it was “love at first sight” when he adopted Jack, and that the two have been inseparable ever since.

“When I first adopted Jack I was selfish and self-centered,” Bobby says. “I never had to care about anyone but myself. After losing 140 pounds, I was on the verge of becoming a complete ego maniac. Jack gave me perspective.”

And since his accident, Jack has continued to teach Bobby valuable lessons.

“He has been patient throughout the process and has been a blessing to my life in every way possible,” Bobby says. “I mean sure, he can’t jump and run the way he used to, but he still goes where he wants to go and does what he wants to do. If he can’t get somewhere, he just lets me know that he needs a ‘lift’.”

Lifting isn’t the only thing that Bobby does for his pal. He also expresses his bladder three to four times a day, stimulates his bowel movements, makes him a special high-quality diet, and because Jack can’t stand in one place for too long, carries his food bowl and follows him until he finds a comfortable place to eat.

“Dating has also been interesting and challenging,” says Bobby. “And I haven’t been able to really travel since he want paralyzed because of his dependence, and I won’t just drop him off at a kennel. Jack is 65 pounds and I’m very particular on who can lift him correctly and tend to his needs.”

 

Clearly, Bobby’s life has been transformed by Jack’s paralysis, but he says that’s a good thing.

“Everybody wants to give me credit for giving so much to Jack,” Bobby says. “But what they don’t quite see is how much he has given to me, and continues to do so.”

Inspired by Jack’s amazing spirit, Bobby and a friend decided to start a business selling t-shirts with an image of Jack’s likeness. Proceeds from the sale of Jacky Wheels t-shirts go to support The Sato Project, an organization that saves dogs from Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico then flies them to NY and Boston where they are either fostered or sheltered until they are adopted.

 

If you want to buy a t-shirt, head over to www.jackywheels.com. And if you want to learn more about Jack and see him and Bobby in action, check out the wonderful documentary “A Dog and His Boy” by Steven Schloss:

As a thanks to Bobby for all that he does for Jack and other dogs, we are giving him a free trial of PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding, and more. 

Have a story you’d like to share or know a pet-family deserving of a free trial of PetPlus? Contact the Pet Savvy editors at [email protected] or leave a note in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you. 

 

 

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5 Ways To Cure Your Cat’s Boredom

 


Many people assume that cats are independent creatures who have little need for stimulation. The reality is that cats are social and complex animals who can bore just as easily as dogs, and if left with nothing to zap their energy or exercise their minds, they may become anxious, aggressive, or destructive. Whether you are looking for ways to occupy your cat when you’re away from the house or activities that will reduce attention-seeking behaviors when you are home, check out these five cures for a bored cat.

1. Rotate Stimulating Toys

Has your cat’s fuzzy mouse been collecting dust in the corner for a week? Has their squeaky bird fallen silent under the sofa? The best way to keep your cat engaged with and stimulated by their toys is to switch them out regularly and introduce new toys when you can. In addition, you should save your cat’s favorite toys for times when you really want to keep them occupied; for example, if you have to be out of the house for several hours or need some uninterrupted time at home. Look for toys that will tap into your cat’s desire to hunt, and consider trying a puzzle toy that will require your cat to problem solve in order to catch their “prey.” You can even make your own puzzle toy at home out of a cardboard box — check out our DIY instructable!

RELATED STORY: 14 Essential Products For Every Cat Parent

2. Cat Scratchers and Condos

Cat scratchers and condos are two of the most popular products purchased by cat parents, and for good reason; they satisfy two of a cat’s natural instincts: their desire to scratch, and their desire for privacy and security. Cat scratchers keep your cat from shredding the sofa or drapes by giving them a surface especially designed for nail dragging, and cat condos offer your cat a cozy place to curl up. Try making your own scratchers and condos at home, and if your cat gets bored of those after a while, make new ones! After all, variety is the spice of life.

3. Captivating Critters

Cats love to watch animals, whether it’s other cats, dogs, squirrels, birds, or fish. Give your cat a show that will last for hours by setting up a bird or squirrel feeder outside of their favorite window. An aquarium filled with fish can also fascinate your cat; just make sure to set it up in a safe place where your cat won’t be able to go fishin’ or accidentally tumble in.

RELATED STORY: Crack The Cat Language Barrier: Learn To Understand Your Cat

4. Meow-Worthy Media

Have you ever caught your kitty peeking over your shoulder at the TV? Or maybe your feline’s furry ears perk up when the radio turns on? Just like people and dogs, cats are often amused by television and tunes, and if left alone, having some visual or auditory stimulation can ease their anxiety, too. There are even DVDs on the market made especially for cats that include videos of animals such as rodents, birds, and fish.

5. Wear Them Out With A Walk

A tired cat is less likely to be bored, and one way to wear your cat out is by taking them on a walk. Yes, that’s right; plenty of felines have learned the satisfaction that comes from taking a stroll, and yours can too. All you’ll need is a leash, a cat harness, and an ID tag. It may take a little practice to get your cat used to walking on a leash — and used to the great outdoors if they’ve always been an indoor cat — but with consistency and tasty treats, your cat will eventually hit their stride.

How do you cure your cat’s boredom? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more. 

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4 Safety Tips For Dressing Your Pet

Many pet parents like to dress their four-legged friends in clothes. Sometimes it’s for fashion (e.g., tutus and t-shirts), sometimes it’s for function (e.g., jackets, raincoats, safety vests, and protective boots), and sometimes it’s to celebrate (e.g., Halloween and Christmas costumes).

While dressing your pet up can be both fun and functional, it is important to do it safely. Follow these 4 tips to ensure that your pet won’t become a fashion victim.

1. Don’t Force Your Pet Into Clothes

Some pets love to wear clothes and become real hams when dressed-up. Other pets prefer the coat they already have, and may become stressed if forced into an outfit. If your pet looks uncomfortable, anxious, or like they are having an allergic reaction while wearing clothes, accept the fact they might not be cut-out for wearing a get-up.

2. Choose Clothes That Won’t Cause Harm

Make sure that any clothing you buy is made out of non-toxic materials, and that it doesn’t have embellishments (like buttons) that could be swallowed or pieces that could become tangled. Also beware of loosely woven knit garments that could snag a tooth or toenail and accessories that could block vision. When it comes to buying pet clothes, those with the fewest bells and whistles are usually the safest.

RELATED STORY: 5 Tips For Dog Safety Around The Home

3. Make Sure Your Pet’s Clothes Fit Properly

Is your cat’s coat constricting? Is your dog’s t-shirt too loose? You want to make sure that your pet has enough room to comfortably move around, but not enough room that the garment will cause chaffing or catch a leg in a loose opening. In addition, make sure that any clothing item can be easily removed should your pet ever become tangled or injured.

4. Don’t Leave Your Pet Alone In Clothes

Even if you buy the safest garment you can find, there is still a chance that your pet could get twisted up in it, catch it on a hook or fence, or get bored and decide to give it a chew, swallowing pieces that could cause intestinal obstruction. If you want your pet to wear clothes, make sure that you are around to supervise.

Does your pet wear clothes? Leave a comment and let us know what kind, and consider signing up for PetPlus to save on your pet’s medications, boarding, supplies, and more.

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