Best Tips to Ensure Your Dog’s Dental Hygiene

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We’ve all heard of how a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s. Yes, dogs are at lesser risk of developing cavities than their owners. However, oral and dental complaints in a dog can spiral into much graver health risks which can impact the functioning of other vital organs like the heart, kidney and liver. No dog parent wants their son/daughter to go through that. So, what is the solution? Well, here are some dental tips for your doggy which will keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy –

  • Brush their teeth as often as you can – Dentists recommend brushing their teeth daily. It is understandable how this may not be possible. But do make sure that you brush your dog’s teeth as often as you can to prevent a buildup of food and bacteria which may cause infections, plaque or gum irritation.
  • Pick dry food over soft food – Soft food is prone to sticking to their teeth and leading to decay. Meat, fruits and vegetables are good whole food options which will not only make your dog’s teeth stronger but also much easier to clean.
  • Provide a soft chew toy for them – If you give them a hard bone, they may injure their teeth. A soft chew makes for a better alternative. It will clean away bits of food from their mouth and is healthier for their teeth and gums.
  • Choose the right tooth paste – Never use your toothpaste on your dog. It contains fluoride and is harmful for your dogs. They also produce froth which the dog may swallow. Pick a toothpaste i.e. specially formulated for your four-legged friend, from a good pet store.
  • Visit the vet – Atleast, make an annual appointment with the pet to have your dog’s teeth examined. You will be preventing any forthcoming risk of bacterial infection this way.
  • Chew bones made of starches are a strict no-no – Chew bones made of corn, potato or rice flours are much more stickier than the variants made from vegetables or dried meat. So stay away from commercial chew bones whenever possible.
  • Look out for warning signs – If you notice bad breath, excessive drooling, depression, misaligned teeth, bumps within the mouth, red/swollen gums, a change in their regular chewing habit, crust along their gum line – take your dog to the vet. It may be sign of a dental problem.

Dogs need dental health care as much as humans. While their oral hygiene may be better in comparison to humans, it cannot be denied that the implication of bad oral hygiene for them is much more dangerous. Follow the tips provided above to ensure your dog maintains good dental hygiene.

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Here’s how to have a safe and fun Thanksgiving with your dog

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Thanksgiving can be a stressful time, what with cooking the turkey just right to entertaining a more than usual number of house-guests. It can be easy to overlook your pet’s needs what with all of these other things demanding your attention. However, in order to prevent any untoward incident involving your pet, it is necessary that you keep an eye out for your dog. Make sure he/she doesn’t swallow any food i.e. harmful for them or get too worked up about all of these new people crowding your house. Here, we share some tips and suggestions on how to have a fun Thanksgiving with your dog –

  • Play with him – Take him out for a walk, play fetch, spend his energy somehow. A tired dog is calm and peaceful. He/she won’t be much trouble for your guests.
  • Keep his water bowl full – Make sure your dog is hydrated. Check the level of water in his bowl and refill it from time to time. If there are other dogs slated to come over, set up multiple hydrating stations so none of them run out of water to drink.
  • Don’t feed him Thanksgiving food – You may be tempted to share scraps from your plate with your four-legged buddy, don’t. Your dogs stomach is not equipped to digest your Thanksgiving turkey well. It will only lead to gastrointestinal complications for him/her.
  • Try to keep him relaxed – Dogs can develop constipation due to all the holiday stress. Travelling magnifies this. So if you don’t absolutely have to drive your dog with you to your relatives, leave them at home. If your dog is not fond of strangers, let him be by himself and don’t force him to interact with your guests. Also, keep your own stress level down. Your mood can affect your canine’s mood. If you’re stressed out, they will be too.
  • Keep your dog safe – With your guests constantly coming in and out the door, it might be a good idea to secure your dog in his space. He may decide to slip out unsuspected and get hit by traffic. Most dog-related incidents during Thanksgiving involve road accidents which occur when dogs escape their homes.
  • Keep your Thanksgiving meal refuse out of your trash bins – Your dog may reach it and find him/herself leftover turkey bone to chew on. It may splinter/puncture their digestive tract.

Conclusion

Sure, Thanksgiving is a busy time. However, don’t neglect your dog. Make sure he feels safe and comforted. Keep away food i.e. poisonous for him and allow him space to retreat to if he feels overwhelmed. Follow these steps and you’re sure to have a happy thanksgiving!

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Preparing your dog for a vet visit

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The prospect of a visit to the vet clinic can make your dog anxious, scared and even aggressive. It is possible to condition them to feeling positively about their vet check-ups, if you are successful in making their first ever visit to the vet a relaxing experience. A dog who hasn’t had a negative experience their first time to the vet’s is unlikely to feel anxious about revisiting. Keep in mind, that dogs are not comfortable with having their feet, nails, tail and belly touched and moved around. So find a time when they are calm and at ease to take them for their veterinary appointment.

Tips that will make your vet visit easier

These are some ways in which you can make your and your dog’s visit to the vet’s office much less painful –

  • Find a good vet – It is important to find a vet sensitive to the needs of your dog. The vet and staff at the clinic should be experienced in handling nervous and restless dogs.
  • Don’t be anxious – If you’re anxious at having to take your dog to the vet’s, your pet will pick up on your anxiety and feel anxious too. Pretend, if you have to but cloak your anxiety if it’s not possible to calm yourself down.
  • Give your dog a massage – Accustom your dog to a massage that soothes his nerves. Practice this at home and then try it at the vet’s clinic before you have to go in for the check-up. Your dog should be much more relaxed.
  • Add incentives – If you’re taking the dog to a vet, follow the vet visit with a pleasurable activity. So maybe give him a treat, walk him in the park or take him for a swim. If he/she knows that the visit to the vet will be followed by an activity they like, they will be less anxious at the vet’s.
  • Try aromatherapy – Dogs tend to think with their noses. Use the calming scent of lavender and other such stress-relieving scents to relax your dog before a trip to the vet’s office. Spray it in the car or light a candle at home before taking your dog to the vet’s.
  • Provide him with his favorite treats – A good way to distract an anxious dog is to feed him his favorite treats. He will be too occupied with the treats at hand to worry himself about the vet check-up. He is a dog afterall, you can’t expect him to multitask.

So, follow these handful of steps before your vet visit and you and your dog should be fine. Remember, an occasional visit to the vet is important for your dog’s health and should be skipped at no cost.

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Everything you need to know about catnip

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Catnip or Nepeta Cataria is a herb that belongs to the same plant family as mint. It releases a feline attractant oil, nepetalactone, the scent of which produces a mild euphoric effect on cats. Cats bite the leaves of the plant to release more of this oil. The effects last about fifteen minutes. The plant is found all over the Middle East, Europe, Central Asia and regions of China. It is a mid-sized green leafy plant with white flowers. A pet store visit could yield you “raw” catnip i.e. essentially a dried and processed version of the actual plant. It is often found as an ingredient in cat toys or infused into sprays. The plant’s effect on a cat can be likened to ours when introduced to a mind-altering drug.

History of catnip

Catnip has a long history. It is thought that Ancient Egyptians used it, as they domesticated cats. The Romans used it in medicines. It was introduced in America sometime around the 18th century.

Uses

Some lions, tigers and other members of the cat family are susceptible to the effects of catnip too. Then again, there are some cats that don’t register the same effects. Catnip affects different cats differently.
It is mostly used as a sedative or a training tool where catnip is given as reward to a well-behaved cat. It can be used as an alternative for a traditional food treat.

Catnip can be used to calm down cats when hyperactive, scared or overwhelmed.
Word of caution – only use catnip in sparing amounts as it can weaken or entirely kill your cat’s sensitivity to the chemical.

How safe is catnip?

Catnip is quite harmless and not addictive in nature, contrary to popular belief. However, excess usage can cause diarrhea and vomiting, Since catnip can work as an aphrodisiac, it has the ability to make male cats aggressive. Monitor your cat for any change in behavior and stop giving them catnip, if this happens. The best practice is to introduce a small amount of catnip to your cat, see how they react and then introduce more accordingly.

How to administer catnip?

Buy a refillable toy which you can fill yourself with catnip instead of sealed toys which use sharp stems which could injure your pet if bitten. You may also choose to buy loose leaves. You could choose to grow it yourself too.

Conclusion

Catnip only affects kittens over the age of six months. Cats use their extraordinary sense of smell to sniff in the reactive oil that sedates them/makes them euphoric. It can be used as a wonderful training tool but cat owners should be careful of using it in excess.

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What to keep in mind when taking your dog to work

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A day in the office is a lot better when you take your dog to work. It is a perk to take your puppy to your workplace. Many would-be employees even ask their prospective employer on whether the company is pet-friendly prior to taking any decision. When you take your dog to your workplace, it should be a successful trip for both of you.

Do check with your office admin

Keep in mind that not all of your office colleagues would be happy to see a pet near them. Some may be frightened of dogs or could be simply allergic to dog fur. If there is someone, be respectful of that person and plan an alternate celebration event.

Make your workplace dog proof

Decided to bring your puppy to the workplace? Ensure the office environment is deemed safe to do so. Take a survey of the office plants and if you find any plant that is deemed harmful to canines, remove it. There should be no pesticide bottle lying around. Hide all electrical cords. Secure all toxic items like permanent markers. If there is any office item which can harm the dog, keep it out of the canine’s reach.

Your puppy must be healthy

Like you, the dog also must make an excellent first impression. Before you take your puppy to the office, double check that the animal has taken all the needed vaccinations. Ensure that the dog is properly bathed and then groomed before you take it to work. Since it is your dog, you know and understand its behavior. It is logical that overly aggressive dogs best stay at home. Do consider its behavior with strangers before bringing the animal to the office. Your office is not a suitable place if the dog is hostile towards strangers, and exhibits aggression and irritability towards new people.

Get a doggie bag

Put food, leash, pet-safe disinfectant, toys, paper-towels and a leash inside a doggie bag. If you leave your dog alone at home when you work, it is a good idea to get a baby gate for the door. A portable kennel makes a suitable buy for the comfort of your canine.

Feeding times are important

Since you are employed, it will not be a good scenario if your puppy’s potty time coincides with an important meeting. Plan the dog’s feeding in such a way that it does not interfere with the work schedule. Make sure your office has a specific area where your dog can relieve itself.

Do not force co-workers to interact with the puppy. A dog lover will automatically pet the animal. People who do not like pets will stay away.

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Why does your dog hump?

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Owners get embarrassed when their dog’s hump. Humping, also known as mounting, is known as a dog’s sexual position. Veterinarians say that such action is done for other reasons too. For unspayed and unneutered dogs, humping is a sexual activity. In older dogs, such an action is a sign of dominance, an appropriate reaction to some event which has excited the canine. This may even be new visitors to your house. Humping dogs are those who are not trained properly.

Humping as play

Humping can also be a play gesture. Two dogs may mount each other in succession. This behavior is common both in puppies and also in older dogs. If it is done by dogs of the opposite sex, even if both of them were spayed or neutered, it is a play as no instruction has been given to them that such behavior is not acceptable. For both the participating dogs, this behavior is acceptable and enjoyable too. This is why the dogs continue doing it.

Many dogs hump other dogs at the park, although they will not hump other dogs at home. These dogs can be pretty aggressive and may embarrass the owner. If, as a dog owner, you are concerned about the behavior of your pet, then it is important that you train them while they are still puppies. This is the mistake many dog owners make. They do not stop puppies humping as the two looks cute while doing the activity. This is a wrong strategy. The owner must stop humping when the event takes place. One way to do this is to distract the puppies when you see them at the inception stage of humping. It is important to provide some alternate behavior. Give the puppy an interesting toy and also play with them as appropriately as possible.

Solution

Neutering the male dog will decrease the humping problem. This may not be the case with older dogs. Since humping has become a sort of habit with the older animals, owners have to take other measures. Obedience training makes for an excellent idea. This will make dogs much calmer during situations when a person other than their owner comes in. The animals will also be comparatively calmer when their owners take them to the dog park. This is as humping is proportional to excitement levels. Higher excitement means more humping and training can depress the excitement level.

There could be cases when the dog will not stop humping. This behavior can go to such extremes that the puppy doing that will not be adopted even as its compatriots continue to go to their new homes. Shouting instructions will stop the humping for a few minutes before resuming. If this happens, the owner has to grin and bear it.

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Signs of a lonely cat

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Contrary to popular perception, cats are not anti-social creatures. They like companionship and even seek it out, whether amongst their own species or with humans they like. Cats need friends to be happy and also to be an emotionally healthy animal. Of course, your kitty may need some occasional time off, but humans do too.

Cats with regular social interaction will not face depression, loneliness, and anxiety. If you have a single cat, then it will sleep more compared to multi-cat residences. A single cat tends to misbehave as it must do something to pass time. If you own a cat and have the inkling that your kitty is lonely, then you should look out for a number of signs. To rule out the physical angle, take your cat to the veterinarian. Loneliness is a possibility if no physical sickness gets discovered. A number of signs are there which point to the fact of the loneliness of your kitty.

Too much meowing

All kitties meow to their human family members. This is done for multiple reasons. Meowing is perfectly normal behavior in cats. A number of cat breeds like the Siamese love to meow and will do it all the time to entice you to respond. As an owner, it is important that you learn to differentiate between a cat who loves to meow and one whose meowing signifies unhappiness. The second one signifies the cat is in pain or hurt. Excessive meowing is actually crying. Your cat wants you to pick it up and give a long cuddle.

Too much attached

A majority of cats love to be near humans. They will happily relax on your lap when you watch TV or read your favorite book. They will search you out to get pets and cuddles. The problem signals start blinking when you see your cat becoming too much attached to you. It will follow you everywhere, from one room to another room. It hates to be alone. This behavior points to it being lonely.

Bad behavior

A lonely cat engages in bad behavior as it is boring. It wants to do something and the result is naughty behavior. The list of bad behaviors includes pushing things on to the floor. If you notice cat behavior, it is seen that the cat will not destroy things when its owner is at home. It engages in naughty behavior only when it is lonely.

Excessive grooming

Cats are naturally clean and like be groomed all the time. One sign of loneliness is excessive grooming and the lonely cat always lick fur. It will also chew feet or pull hair out. All of these means they want lots of attention.

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Injured dog tails

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A dog uses its tail to balance and to communicate. A tail relays information to other members of its species. It assists the dog to swim and functions as a rudder. The tail helps the dog’s owner to understand its moods. Dogs do suffer tail injuries, It is a pain to any dog and problems in the tail may mar communication with other dogs. If your dog injures its tail, it is your responsibility as an owner to treat it as swiftly as possible.

The tails of dogs do contain bones. The structure represents the dog’s spinal column in its terminal end. A standard dog tail may contain any number of bones between five and 23. The skin and fur covering the tailbone is identical to the rest of the body. A few muscles in the tail are involved in controlling the dog’s bowels and bladders. This is the reason many tail injuries result in incontinence in dogs.

Injuries and treatments

Your dog can injure its tail in a number of ways. Different injuries need different treatments. Cuts and scrapes are the most common tail injury. These could happen due to multiple reasons, like fights with other dogs or any other animal species, or running into thorny bushes. Injuries may even happen if the dog brushes up against any sharp object. Cuts occur when a dog bites its own tail. This happens as a response to fleas, A few dogs suffer when they scrape their tail across the asphalt or cement.

Simple first aid is sufficient for treating minor cuts. You wash the wound and apply triple-antibiotic ointment. Keep the area protected and clean until it heals. Major cuts are those where the blood flow will not stop. These are generally deep wounds or extend more than one inch. You must take your dog to a veterinarian if such an incidence occurs. These wounds need stitches and complex bandage arrangements.

Skin infections

The skin covering the dog’s tail could be infected and it is treated in the same manner the skin in other parts of the body get treated. The afflicted area gets cleaned and the appropriate medications get applied.

Sprains and strains

The tendons, muscles, and ligaments in the tail of your dog could be sprained or strained like any other comparable muscle. This occurs due to overuse and may happen after some trauma. A number of dogs develop tail sprains if they swim too much. Hunting dogs are generally known to suffer tail strains after working the whole day. Most of these injuries heal by themselves after some days of rest. It is, however, important to take your dog to the veterinarian if such kinds of problems persist.

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Why Pet Care Is One Of The Best Recession-Proof Industries?

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Come rain or shine, we love our pets, don’t we? In spite of the recession, the pet care industry continues to grow and is one of the strongest performers in the stock market today. In fact, this is one of the first industries that marked a new high soon after the Great Recession. Even though the recession hit all areas of consumer behavior, it did not affect the upward trend in pet care and pet spending.

While the overall consumer spending fell by 3% during the recession, spending on pets kept increasing at a 5% annual rate. This is enough to prove that pet stocks are recession-proof. This trend is expected to continue for a long time to come due to the change in attitudes.

People’s growing willingness to spend on pet health care has opened doors of new opportunities as many companies are now involved in developing pet medicines and pet health care products.

Here are 3 reasons to prove that pet care is one of the best recession-proof industries:

Most Pet Spending Comes From the Millennial

People’s attitudes towards pets are changing, and that change is driven by millennial and baby boomers as they are commonly known! Millennial are getting more pets than the previous generations.

Forty percent of customers who seem most interested and involved in pets and pet care are those in the age group of 30-49.

Research firm Mintel has found that while three-fourths of Americans in their 30s have dogs, more than half of Americans in their 30s are proud owners of cats.

Millennial are also known to use technology to buy services and products for their pets, thus giving ventures new growth opportunities.

Growth in Pet Care and Pet Spending

Spending on pets in the US has increased by 4.6% annually in the last 10 years. Boarding revenue and pet grooming were at $8 billion in the U.S. back in 2016. At the time, IBIS Word predicted a 7 percent annual growth until the year 2021. Between 2012 and 2016, $486 million was reportedly invested in the global pet tech sector across 170+ venture capital deals, as per CB Insights.

Market research firm IDTechEx has predicted that by 2019, the worldwide pet wearables market will be a $2.6 billion market.

The American Pet Products Association has estimated our expenses on pets this year (2018) to be approximately $72.1 billion. That is an increase of 30% from five years ago. This change is seen not just in the US, but across the globe.

You can easily see why investing in the pet care industry is such a great investment opportunity.

Pet Care – Best Recession-Proof Industry

There is no doubt that more and more people are beginning to raise pets. Spending huge amounts of money on pets is becoming increasingly common, especially in the US. Considering the fact that pet spending has grown rapidly during the three recessions goes to prove that pet care is none of the best recession-proof industries.

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The Best Ways To Invest In The Growing Pet Care Industry

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The global pet care industry is now computed to be $100 billion and increasing. It is a fact that people spend as much on pets as they do on their own kids. For many people, their pets constitute their children. Millennials show this trend, with delayed marriages and fewer, if any, kids. Since pet owners humanize their pets, they are quite happy to spend sumptuous amounts of money on pet food products and pet care. It is also observed that the quantum of spends does not get less even if the pet owner’s finances are tight.

All of the above means the industry will prosper even in the event of a softening of the economy. This does not mean the industry is totally insulated from financial problems, but the downturns will be much milder and if they happen, of much shorter duration. Large investors have realized this long before. This is the reason venture capitalists have poured almost $500 million into developing and marketing pet technology during the 2012 to 2016 period. Long-term investors tend to gravitate towards pet care. The problem in this particular industry segment is the absence of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This means you have to select your own stocks.

Pet care stock selection

The selection is similar to that of any other stock pick. The company must be stable and enjoy a robust track record. Its products should be distributed over a wider geographical area as owners of pets shop for pet care products not only online but at physical stores as well, The company should have a minimum of 10 percent profit margin and enjoy manageable debt levels. An ideal company should be administered by animal lovers. Pet care business does well when owners regard the company as a passion and not simply as a business.

Pet food is lucrative

About 40 percent of total per spends go towards purchasing pet food. There are multiple pet food flavors in any supermarket. In fact, more people are found near the pet food aisle than the aisle where human foods are stocked. With the growth of wellness, the demand for organic pet food also went up. Good food trends have how percolated down to the pet market. No wonder many human food companies have also ventured into pet food manufacturing. Pet health has also seen substantial investments in recent times.

One of the biggest companies in the business has made its mark to make sure the food your pet eats is safe. Pet edibles are tested for toxins, drug residue, bacteria, and allergens. These help to combat the increasing food-borne illness problem. A number of pet care companies manufacture disinfectants and wound care.

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