Tips to Cheer up a Depressed Dog

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Just like humans, even your dogs can suffer from depression and sometimes, you need to cheer them up. Depression can affect your canine on a regular basis due to separation anxiety. While there is medicine to treat depression, it has a lot of side effects which can harm your canine even more. Instead, you can try different methods to uplift the mood of your canine friend.

How do you know if your dog is depressed?

To know if your canine is suffering from depression, check for the following symptoms.

  • Excessive sleeping
  • Zero interest in going for a walk
  • No interest in playing games or with toys
  • Abnormal eating habits
  • Defecating around the house
  • Unexpected aggressive behavior

How to cheer up a depressed dog?

If your canine is suffering from depression, here are 5 tips you can use to cheer it up.

  1. Stick to daily routines consistently

    Canines love to have a routine in their life as they know what to expect throughout the day. All daily routines such as going for walks, eating food, exercise, grooming, and bedtime should be on schedule every day. By doing this, your canine will always look forward to getting out its bed and going on with its day.

  2. Offer new food

    When your canine isn’t interested in eating food due to depression, try to spice up the menu. Although you should be feeding the same food every day, you can offer small snacks in between so that your canine will regain its interest in eating food. However, you shouldn’t offer unhealthy treats all the time as your canine can gain weight.

  3. Spend more time

    If your canine is up for it, take it for a long walk during morning to help it get through the day. When you are taking it for a walk, spend more time with your canine. You can talk to it, play with it, and feed it to uplift its mood. However, you shouldn’t be rewarding your canine when it is depressed as it will reinforce such behavior.

  4. Play music

    Canines are just like humans when it comes to music as it can have a positive effect on their mood. According to a study done by Scottish SPCA, classical music has a calming effect on canines. When your canine is feeling down or if you are planning on going out, play classical music to uplift its mood.

Don’t worry if your canine is suffering from depression as it is treatable. If you use the above tips to cheer up your depressed canine, you won’t have to use medication at all. If you have any queries about depression in canines, leave a comment below.

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How Can I Make My Baby and Dog Bond With Each Other?

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Having a baby is one of the best things that can happen to anyone’s life. However, if you have a canine around, you might be a little anxious to introduce your little one to it. Even though it can be challenging for your baby and canine to bond with each other, it is worth the effort. Canines or pets, in general, have a positive effect on your overall emotional and physical health. When you are bringing your baby back home, a new member is joining your pack.

How to introduce your baby to your dog?

Before you bring your baby home, you need to make your canine familiar with its smell. Take any article that has the baby’s scent on it such as its clothing or a blanket or even its soiled diaper. When your baby is about to come home, the mom should go in first and greet the dog. After your canine has settled down, you can begin introducing your newborn with these instructions.

  • Keep your dog away while the mom sits on a chair with the baby on her lap. By doing this, you are showing your canine that you are protective of the newborn. It will prevent your canine from nipping your baby.
  • You should never place your baby on the floor. You shouldn’t hold your newborn over the head of the canine as it encourages jumping.
  • Keep talking, stroking and petting your dog so that it feels calm and reassured.
  • If your canine doesn’t show any signs of aggression such as growling, tucking in the tail, or the ears point back, you can allow it to see and smell your newborn. However, do not let it lick your baby as it is unsanitary.
  • Keep your canine on a leash and be ready to pull it back if there are any hints of aggression. If your canine gets aggressive, you should say no and get it to back down. If it doesn’t do anything, give your dog a reward.
  • Even if everything went well, you have to keep your canine on a leash every time it is around the newborn for the first three weeks.

Forging the bond

If everything has gone well after three weeks, you can follow these instructions to form a strong bond between the newborn and the canine.

  • Include your four-legged friend in all the activities you do during the day. Allow your canine to follow your around the house and when you are taking care of the newborn.
  • Give your canine all the attention it wants when you are with your baby. When you are feeding your newborn, give a small treat to your canine.
  • Always keep an eye on your canine till it is completely comfortable with your newborn.

By following this advice, you will be able to forge a strong bond between the canine and the newborn. If you have any queries, leave a comment below.

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How Can I Introduce a New Dog to My Resident Dog?

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Introducing a new dog to your resident dog can be a challenging task as it is extremely stressful to your pet. But why exactly is it hard to do so? When a new canine enters your dog’s territory, the instinct of your dog will make it defend its home. To properly introduce two new dogs, you need to realize that canines use smells to familiarize with their surroundings. Therefore, this training bases itself on this premise. Before you introduce a new canine to your resident dog, you need to keep both of them away from visual contact.

Once you have established that, here are four simple steps to introduce both the canines.

  1. Place the cages in separate areas of the house

    You need to place your canines in cages that are in different parts of the room. The first step is to familiarize your canine’s nose to the new dog’s scent. To do this, you need to introduce a blanket, a toy, or anything else that will smell of the new canine to your resident dog. Keep swapping the items till your canines form a deeper connection with each other.

  2. Let your new canine roam the house
    To make sure your new canine is accustomed to its new house, you need to let it roam around your house. While the new canine is doing this activity, you need to keep your resident dog out of sight and under control. You need to send the new canine out on a regular basis till it becomes familiar with your house.
  3. Switch between your canines
    When you new canine has gone back to its cage, let your resident dog come out for a whiff. It will immediately sniff around as there is a new scent in its territory. Initially, your dog will be confused and overwhelmed. Comfort your dog till becomes okay with the new canine’s smell. To ensure your canine is completely familiar with your new canine’s scent, you need to let it out several times a day. You can proceed to the next step when your dog is no longer threatened by the new smell.
  4. Introduce outside your property for the first face-to-face meeting
    When your canines are going to meet for the first time, they need to have ample space around them to prevent them from being territorial. Let your new canine play in a new area on the field and then get your resident dog to do the same. Once your resident dog is okay with the new canine’s smell, they are ready to meet. Your canines will greet each other when they meet face-to-face for the first time without aggression.

By following these simple steps, you will be able to introduce a new dog to your resident dog. If you have any queries regarding this topic, leave a comment below.

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5 Warning Signs That Your Cat Might Be Depressed

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Just like human beings, cats are also sensitive creatures prone to a whole gamut of emotions. Cats are vulnerable to mood swings and sometimes they are so happy, they feel that they are on top of the world while at other times they may be down in the dumps! Hence, it is not rare for cats going through depressions. If you think your cat is going through a depression, do not feel that you are overreacting! But more than often, depression in cats tend to go unnoticed. If your cat is undergoing these patterns of behavior of late, it might be under depression.

Lethargy

Now, it is a known fact that cats have a permanent affair with laziness and they are supposed to be lazy. But healthy cats always feel the need to starch out and play sometimes. If you notice your cat to be too fatigued and less energetic throughout the day, it might be suffering from depression. If your cat is sleeping for longer hours and spending the rest of the day practically doing nothing, it is a sign of depression.

Appetite changes

For a cat, the most exciting part of the day is mealtime, especially if its fish being offered! Healthy cats often have the habit of roaming around your legs and purring softly the moment they notice food in your hands. However, depressed cats do not feel excitement even when food is offered. They have a general loss of appetite and can sometimes spend days without eating proper food. Sometimes, even a healthy cat can refuse meals when it is suffering from bowel disorder or for any other matter. But regular tendency to avoid food suggests your cat is depressed.

Changes in grooming

If your cat has changed its grooming habits recently, it may be under depression. Some cats undergoing depression tend to avoid grooming for days resulting in an oily coat or messy hair. Sometimes, depressed cats also have a tendency to over groom exposing bald patches and open wounds.

Aggression

A depressed cat is more prone to aggression than normal cats. Cats fighting depression will want to be left alone in their private space but will react hysterically if nagged on a continual basis. Aggression can also be in the form of loud hisses or even attacks.

Avoiding affection

Some cats are innately shy and avoid affection showered by their owners. However, if your cat is more social but tends to avoid the affection of late, take it as a danger sign. More often, depressed cats want to be left out and hide at dark corners in your house. It may shy and run away from you the moment you try to cuddle it.

So be aware and keep your ball of softness under watch always!

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5 Reasons Your Dog is Losing Weight

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Just like our body, your canine’s weight can change over the course of the year. Regardless of which breed you have, your four-legged friend will go through weight gain and loss. However, if your canine friend is continuing to lose weight, then there may be something wrong with it. Although it can be hard to narrow down on why your dog is losing weight, there are some problems which can be identified easily. Here are five reasons as to why your dog is losing weight.

  1. Anxiety
    Anxiety or stress in your canine friend is one of the main reasons why they don’t feel hungry. For dogs to eat food, they need to be in a safe and secure environment. It means that if they are not comfortable with the people or the environment around them, they won’t feel the need to eat on a daily basis. Anxiety can also have the following symptoms:
    • Unnecessary barking/howling
    • Defecating and urinating inside the house
    • Escaping
    • Digging/Destructive/Chewing tendencies
  2. Dental problems
    Dental problems are one of the simplest reasons as to why your canine is losing weight. If your canine has a dental abscess or any other issue related to its teeth and its gums, it will become extremely painful for your four-legged friend. As a result of this unhealthy eating habits, your canine will find it extremely painful to eat its food. To really know if your four-legged friend has dental problems, take it to the vet.
  3. Diabetes
    The problems related with diabetes are the same for both humans and dogs. If your canine has low insulin and its body doesn’t have the ability to absorb sugar from its blood, it can lead to an increase in appetite, even if your canine is losing weight. If your four-legged friend is on the heavier side or if it is a senior dog, it has higher chances of developing diabetes. Sometimes, diabetes can be genetic, just like it is with humans. If your canine is suddenly losing weight, in spite of eating large amounts of food, you should take it to the vet immediately.
  4. Liver disease
    Canines that suffer from liver disease don’t have adequate levels of sugar and carbs that are usually provided by the liver to the body. As a result of this, the body doesn’t get the necessary nutrients and it will start consuming fat deposits and muscle tissue. The body does this to make up for the lost nutrients.
  5. Thyroid problem
    Just like your body, the canine’s body is managed by its hormones. Any imbalance in the body of your four-legged friend can lead to thyroid problems. One condition which can arise from this situation is called hypothyroidism. It will increase your canine’s metabolism which can result in rapid loss of weight. Even if your canine eats a lot of food, it’s body will break it down immediately and the vital nutrients end up going out of the system without getting absorbed. It can be hard to detect if your canine has a thyroid problem, so the safest bet is to take it to the vet immediately.

You should keep in mind that over the course of the year, your canine’s weight will fluctuate. However, if there is a rapid loss of weight, you should take it to the vet immediately.

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5 Reasons Your Dog Hates Being Left Alone

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We have all seen and read stories about dogs who do crazy things when their owners are away. Although we find these videos adorable, we misinterpret why dogs behave this way when left alone. When you start to pack your lunch or when you wear your jeans or when you sling your bag or purse over your shoulder, you notice a change in the behavior of your canine friend. It will realize that you are getting ready to leave and it will begin to sulk. Even if the best option is to leave your canine friend at home because you are going to place that doesn’t allow dogs, your canine will feel bad. If you are wondering why your dog hates being left alone, here are five reasons:

  1. Separation anxiety and loneliness
    You may not realize it but your dog will be extremely upset that it is left alone. Remember, your canine friend has no idea when you will be back or if you are even coming back. Even though you have to go to work or any other place, your dog will feel left out and lonely. What may be five minutes to you will be hours to your canine friend. If you are planning on going out, either ensure it has things to do or make it extremely tired so that your canine friend only wants to take a nap. If all of this doesn’t work, you can play some classical music to alleviate separation anxiety and loneliness.
  2. No stimulation
    If your canine friend has nothing to do such as interacting with other living beings or it isn’t learning new things, it will feel like there isn’t anything around it to stimulate its brain. While you may meet new people or have new experiences when you go out, it isn’t the same for your canine friend as it’s environment remains the same. As a result of this, your canine friend will sulk around till you come back home. When you come back home, make it a point to spend quality time with your canine friend so that there is some form of excitement.
  3. Boredom
    When your canine friend is left alone, it will easily get bored and do things to gain your attention once you come back home. If you don’t keep it busy such as giving it a chew toy or a ball or anything to play with, you won’t like what your canine will do to keep itself entertained. It will defecate around the house, chew up furniture or bark continuously till it gets tired. If you are going out of your house for a long period of time, you need to make sure it has access to all its treats and toys so that it has something to do till you come back.
  4. Has to go to the loo
    Sometimes, your canine friend will feel like going to the loo to relieve itself. However, as it is inside your house, it doesn’t know what to do as it can’t go out to defecate and it can’t do it inside the house. As a result of this, your canine friend will hold it in and wait till you come back which can be harmful to its health. If you are planning on going out, take your canine friend for a walk so that it can finish its business. By doing this, your canine friend won’t feel the need to go to the loo when you are away.
  5. Age
    As your canine gets older, it will find it more difficult to stay separated from you. It will become more vocal as it continues to age, even if it is an occasional barker. It becomes a way of expressing itself when it is facing anxiety and separation issues. When you have a senior dog in your house, ensure that there is always someone with it at all times so that it doesn’t feel lonely.

Now that you are aware of why your dog hates being left alone, you should take measures to keep it happy. You can hire a dogsitter or you can leave your canine at the daycare so that it won’t feel anxious or separated while you are away!

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This is What Will Happen if Your Dog Eats Peanut Butter

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So, you opened a fresh jar of peanut butter and before you can even taste some yourself, your buddy with a wagging tail wants in on the action. Now, you might be tempted to give him/her a spoonful and we wouldn’t blame you, but, we’d ask you to not make that mistake. It’s because we don’t want you to make it a habit and we don’t want you to make it a habit for several reasons. Though peanut butter is fine in small quantities, it’s still a better bet to just avoid the practice in general.

We’ll tell you why.

Certain Peanut Butter Brands have Xylitol

Xylitol is a type of sweetener that some peanut butter manufacturers use as an alternative to sugar. Now, it’s generally safe for humans. But, for dogs, xylitol can cause a sudden increase in insulin and that leads to a sudden drop in sugar levels (also known as hypoglycemia). If the drop is big enough, it can be a threat to your dog’s life. So, if you want your dog to be safe, make sure you check the brand you’re buying for xylitol. The information will be provided on the label. However, if you’ve already fed your dog peanut butter with xylitol, watch out for symptoms such as weakness, lack of coordination, seizures, and collapse. If you do notice these symptoms rush your dog to a veterinarian right away. Do not waste any time.

Aflatoxins

Aflatoxins are mycotoxins which are naturally produced by a type of fungus known as Aspergillus. Now, aflatoxins aren’t included in peanut butter by the manufacturers. However, they end up in there if the peanuts used to make the peanut butter contain them. Aflatoxins are carcinogenic, which means, they can cause cancer. Other than that, they can also cause liver damage. So, it doesn’t matter what kind or what brand of peanut butter you buy because at the end of the day, there is a good chance that it might contain aflatoxins. Once again, your option here is either extreme moderation or complete elimination. We would suggest complete elimination as it’s the safer way to go.

Fat

Another problem with peanut butter is that it contains tremendous amounts of fat. The high amount of fat is a result of a process called hydrogenation which is done to increase the shelf life of the product. So, too much peanut butter is bad for, not just your dog, but, even for you. So, we suggest that you consume as little peanut butter as possible and as for your dog, we think it’s simply better to not give the little guy or gal even a taste. Just stick to small quantities of unsalted peanuts. It’s much safer.

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Are Nuts Bad for Your Dog?

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As a dog owner, there are several concerns you have about your dog’s health and needless to say, a lot of it has to do with what your dog is allowed to eat. You obviously cannot depend on your dog to make the right decisions because dogs love to eat anything they consider as food. Now, one of the more specific food items that bother pet owners is “nuts”. The standard question is “Can my dog eat nuts”?

Well, the answer to that is “Yes! Your dog can eat certain types of nuts”. Now the keyword here is “certain”, which simply means there are nuts out there that your dog shouldn’t be getting anywhere near. Some varieties of nuts can be extremely harmful and toxic to a dog’s body. They can cause anything from a simple stomach upset to toxicity or poisoning. You might have to rush your dog into surgery to save his/her life. So, to make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a basic guide on what nuts your dog can eat and what he/she cannot.

Unsafe Nuts

  • Almonds: Almonds are not toxic, but, they are hard to digest for dogs. As a result, they can cause gastrointestinal problems for your dog.
  • Macadamia Nuts: These nuts are known for their high fat content, which can lead to stomach problems and even pancreatitis. They also contain a toxin that could cause neurological problems.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts contain a toxin called “tremorgenic mycotoxin” which causes seizures and liver failure. In fact, walnut poisoning is one of the most common claims from dog owners.
  • Pecans: Pecans contain a toxin called juglone which leads to a condition called laminitis in horse. However, fortunately, in dogs, they only cause an upset stomach or at worst, an obstruction. On the whole, not a great option for dogs.
  • Pistachios: Pistachios are high in fat content, which can lead to an upset stomach or pancreatitis. • Hickory Nuts: Hickory nuts also contain juglone, which can lead to the same problems associated with pecans.

Safe Nuts

  • Peanuts: Peanuts, as long as they are unsalted and served without the shell, are safe for dogs. No peanut allergies have been reported for dogs so far. So, a small quantity of peanuts is fine every now and then.
  • Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts are safe for dogs, but, if you have a smaller breed, make sure you crush the nuts before serving them.
  • Cashew Nuts: In small quantities, cashew nuts are absolutely fine for your dog. However, too much can cause stomach problems. Cashews do contain a toxin, but, it can be eliminated via heating. So, yeah, stick to roasted cashews.

For more details, talk to your veterinarian.

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Best Airline Approved Travel Bags for Dogs

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It’s hard to imagine going for an overseas visit or a long vacation without taking your canine friends along. We always consider dogs to be a part of our family and we want to share our experiences with them. However, when you are planning on taking a flight, you need to think about how you will take your four-legged friends. Travel bags for dogs are one the best safe and secure ways to take them on a plane. Here is our list of top four best airlines approved travel bags for dogs.

  1. Sleepypod Air In-Cabin
    Are you looking for an in-cabin carrier for your canine friend that will leave it feeling comforted and refreshed? If your four-legged friend loves sleeping, there is no better choice than Sleepypod’s air in-cabin carrier. It is one of the highest rated travel bags for canines at the moment as you can compress it to make it fit in the cabin. On top of that, you can carry it comfortably as it has a padded shoulder strap and it is machine washable.
  2. Bergan Comfort Soft-Sided
    The Bergan Comfort Soft-Sided travel bag is made for dogs who weigh not more than 22 pounds. The travel bag is machine washable and has a unique design. One side of the travel bag can only be opened half way whereas you can fully open the other side. If you feel your canine friend is feeling left out, you can talk to it through an exclusive side zip. The travel bag is perfect for long journeys as it has maximum ventilation.
  3. Pawhut Deluxe Dog Travel Carrier Backpack
    If you are looking for a travel bag that can carry dogs weighing up to 20 pounds comfortably and in style, then you will love the Pawhut Deluxe Dog Travel Carrier Backpack. It comes with a pair of wheels and telescopic handles, making it one of the best travel bags for dogs. It has vents on the side for good ventilation and there are zipped mesh doors to protect your canine friend. It is waterproof and can be used for heavy-duty.
  4. Sherpa Original Deluxe
    The Sherpa Original Deluxe is one of the biggest travel bags in the market for your canine friend. It comes in three different sizes and can accommodate canines who weigh up to 22 pounds. It can be compressed easily and the ventilation is good. Sherpa Orignal Deluxe is approved by airlines throughout the world.These are the best airline approved travel bags you can find in the market for your canine friend. With these bags, you will find it easy to take your four-legged friend for you long vacation!

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4 Touching Adoption Stories of Dogs

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If you are a pet lover, the mere sight of a dog wagging its tail or the sound of a cat purring and rubbing its head on your feet is enough to make you go delirious with happiness. But even if you are terrified of touching an animal or you are allergic to pet fur, stories of animal rescue are bound to fill your heart with a gooey warmth that you have never felt before. For truly, these are stories of the power of unconditional love and the way it can transform both a pet and its owner.

A large number of pets are abandoned every day for various reasons – inability to provide care, relocation, medical issues and behavioral problems in the pet. The helpless animal loses it security, home, and most importantly, the bond that it had with its owner. While many of such animals lose their spark forever, here are 4 stories of miraculous recovery made by adopted dogs, thanks to the superhuman efforts of a few kind souls.

  1. Pacino – Brittany Elder met Pacino when the pit bull was brought to her hospital to be euthanized. He was dubbed to be extremely aggressive, after being used as a bait dog in Camden. Surprisingly, he was extremely sweet and even licked Brittany’s face on their very first meeting. That is when Brittany decided to adopt him! Pacino underwent extensive surgery that left him weak and broken. Within a year, however, he recovered and is now a handsome dog who Brittany calls her “pride and joy”.
  2. Phoenix – Phoenix’s name does justice to his rescue story that granted him a new lease of life. Surrendered by his owner to an animal shelter in Tennessee when he was 11 weeks old, Phoenix was about to be euthanized. Then, Danielle Baldwin met him. Baldwin could not let this innocent animal die and adopted him in spite of the dog having demodectic mange. Even before a year passed, Phoenix made a spectacular recovery. He loves his owner madly.
  3. Riley – Abandoned and left at an animal control facility in Georgia, Riley contracted mange at a very early stage in her life. That did not deter Jacki Loomis from rescuing Riley. In return, Riley showered kisses and rolled around for belly rubs the day she met her family. A year later, she transformed into a healthy and energetic dog. Her favorite pastime is playing in the snow.
  4. Wesson– Wesson was found by an animal rescue group in St. Louis, bleeding profusely and shaking with fear in an animal control cage. Medical examinations revealed that he had suffered a bullet injury. The bullet parts were still lodged in his back. Liz McKibben came to the hapless animal’s rescue and not only provided him with appropriate medical care but also a loving home.

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