Bringing Up a Husky in Warm Weather: Tips

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The Siberian Husky is a breed of dog that was bred by the Chukchi people in Siberia. These dogs were the perfect companions to the Chukchi people, pulling their sleds across miles in sub-zero weather conditions. In fact, they’re still used as sled dogs to this day.

Now, anybody with an ounce of dog knowledge knows that huskies aren’t meant to live in hot weather. Ideally, they shouldn’t ever be living in such conditions. However, some of us love huskies way too much to not have them as pets and we’re probably going to have to bring them up in a hot or tropical climate.

At first, it may seem inhumane to bring up a husky in such an environment. However, the good news is that huskies are pretty tough and under the right conditions, it’s not hard to bring them up in a region with warmer weather.

Here are a few tips for those considering bringing a husky home.

Do Not Get Rid of the Coat
There’s a misconception among some people that huskies find warm weather more tolerable once their coat is shaved off. This is completely wrong. The hairy coat actually insulates their bodies from both, heat and cold.

A husky needs the coat in order to regulate its own body temperature. Removing the coat will only expose the dog’s skin to the heat and that’s when the troubles start. So, don’t get rid of the coat. In fact, make sure you maintain it by brushing it as often as possible.
This will clear out all the stray and dead hairs, keeping the coat healthy.

Exercise Away from the Sun
Huskies are an active bunch and they definitely need a lot of exercise. However, exercising under a hot sun isn’t good for them. So, make sure you have an exercise schedule that’s tuned to this requirement. Ideally, you should take them out for walks early in the morning or after sunset.

Also, try to regulate the intensity of the exercise, especially for puppies. Rather than one long walk, try to give two short walks a day.

Keep Her/Him Cool
Never leave your husky out in hot weather. They need to be indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned environment. Also, make sure they stay hydrated. Give them cold water straight from the fridge or drop a large chunk of ice and let it melt throughout the day. This will ensure that there’s a continued supply of cold water. You can also freeze some of the dog’s treats.

Watch Out for Signs of Dehydration and Overheating
Make sure you know what the symptoms for overheating and dehydration are. Symptoms of dehydration include sunken eyes, poor skin elasticity, dry gums, and dry nose. As for signs of overheating, look for excessive panting, noisy breathing, disorientation, collapse, discolored gums, and convulsions.
If you notice these signs, head to the vet ASAP.

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Why Your Dog Should Be Encouraged To Chew

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Dogs have an innate need to chew things. They’ll chew anything that they can get a hold of. This can be your shoes, a piece of plastic and pretty much anything that’s chewable. Now, there seems to be a misconception among people that dogs shouldn’t be chewing at all.

Well, this is obviously wrong. The need to chew is innate in dogs and it’s there for a reason. As long as they’re chewing the right things, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, here are a few reasons why your dog should be encouraged to chew.

Healthy Teeth
Make sure your dog has something to chew on, such as bones or chew toys. You see, chewing helps your dog develop and retain healthy teeth. When they chew on a toy or a bone, the action actually scrapes the plaque off their teeth.

Just as it is with humans, plaque buildup in dogs can cause a lot of trouble. Apart from giving them really bad breath, plaque can also cause severe dental problems. When plaque is left uncleaned, it can harden by mixing with the saliva. This leads to tartar, which further leads to periodontal disease.

But it won’t happen if your dog is chewing on something, especially hard bones. You’ll actually be saving your dog from developing major dental problems

Keeps Them Busy
Pups that are given the space and the time to chew on bones are likely to become more independent. They tend to learn how to occupy themselves and won’t develop separation anxiety. So, make sure your little pup gets her/his fair share of meaty bones or chew toys with food stuffed in them.

Stimulates the Growth of Teeth
Apart from keeping teeth clean, chewing on bones and bully sticks also stimulates the proper growth of teeth. While the action aids the whole growth process, chewing on a hard substance also reduces the discomfort a pup might experience when the teeth push through the gums during the growth phase.

Teething can actually cause some discomfort in pups. However, you can help by placing the chew toy in the freezer. The lowered temperature will minimize the pain that your pup is experiencing. The teething phase in pups can last up to 6 months.

Prevents Destructive Chewing
By encouraging your little one to chew on toys, bones, and other treats, you actually prevent destructive chewing. It’s simple really – if your pup/dog has something to chew on, it isn’t going to hunt for shoes and other objects around the house.

However, some training will be required. Start when they’re young; around 6 to 8 weeks old. Teach them what to chew and you won’t have to deal with problems later on.

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How to Make Sure Your Pets are Safe When You’re Not Home

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You wish you could take your pet with you everywhere, but unfortunately, that’s not how the world works. When you go to work for the day, you may have to leave your pet alone at home. The thought of leaving your furry friends all alone isn’t pleasing, but there are some steps you can take to help ensure their safety while you’re away. Following these steps to make sure your pets are safe when you’re not home will definitely put you more at ease:

  • Have enough food and water kept out for your pet
    Before you leave your home for work in the morning, make sure your pet’s food and water bowls are filled. Also, always make sure that they are kept in an easily accessible location. You don’t want to keep your pet hungry for the whole day. Not only is this unhealthy for them, they will become extremely anxious when they are hungry and left unfed. This often leads to them acting out in ways which are harmful for themselves and cause damage to your house as well.
  • Make sure your home temperature is moderate throughout the day
    If you often have to leave your pet alone, consider buying a thermostat for your home, if you don’t already have one. It’s important that your home doesn’t get too hot or too cold, especially if you live in an area with extreme temperatures during summers and winters. You need to make sure that your pet spends their day in a safe and comfortable environment.
  • Have security cameras installed at home
    Having a CCTV camera installed in your home is one of the best to ensure not just the safety and security of your pet, but your entire house as well. These are your eyes at home when you’re not around. They give you the peace of mind you deserve when you leave your canines and felines at home all alone. Plus, if anything goes wrong, you will be notified immediately so you can always call 911 or a neighbor for help.
  • Keep away items which may be dangerous for your pet
    Certain items in your house may not be safe for your pet. For instance, many human foods aren’t meant for pets, or sharp objects such as knives and blades. Make sure to keep these away from their reach. Also, make sure that you keep your bins in an enclosed space, such as under the sink inside a cabinet.
  • Attach a GPS device to your pet’s collar
    To make sure that you know where your pet is at all times, you can have a GPS device attached to their collar. This way, even if they wander off somewhere, you always know where you can find them.

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Everything You Need to Know About Canine Parainfluenza

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Canine Parainfluenza refers to a virus that is responsible for causing kennel cough in dogs. The infection is usually contracted from other infected dogs, especially at close quarters. It’s called a kennel cough because it’s commonly found in dogs that share kennels.
The condition isn’t a severe one and will clear up in a matter of days with the right kind of treatment.

Symptoms
The symptoms of canine parainfluenza can vary from dog to dog. However, there are a common set of symptoms that you can refer to. Also, there can be variations in the intensity and severity of the symptoms, especially with age.

On of the first symptoms you’ll notice is coughing, which can be described as dry or even moist, at times. There may also be some blood produced as a result of the constant and intense coughing.

Other than coughing, a low-grade fever, mucus discharge, and pus can be present. Look out for a decrease in energy and appetite as well.

Types
There is only one type of canine parainfluenza virus. However, the virus itself is a component of other infectious respiratory diseases that typically affect dogs. Apart from being part of the etiology for kennel cough or acute tracheobronchitis, the virus is often coupled with Bordetella bronchiseptica Canine adenovirus-2 (CAV-2)

Causes
The pathogen is viral in nature and is communicated through interaction with other infected hosts. As stated earlier, it receives its name due to the fact that the condition is common among dogs that share kennels, especially at shelters and canine race tracks.

Puppies and elderly dogs are at most risk due to their weaker immune systems. The infection can be transmitted via air 2 weeks after the infected host has healed.

Toy breeds and puppies can end up with complications, such as pneumonia, as a result of the thick secretions produced in the throat.

Treatment
If you suspect that your dog has contracted the canine parainfluenza virus, the first thing you need to do is take your dog to the vet. Though it might be a moderately-risky condition, there is no need to assume that immediate medical attention isn’t required.

Your vet will diagnose your dog to determine whether or not it is canine parainfluenza. If the diagnosis is positive, your vet will prescribe some medication (antibiotics) to get rid of the infection. To ease the symptoms, he/she will suggest steam inhalation or a warm shower. This will help reduce much of the discomfort.

The infected dog should be kept away from other animals and should not be exposed to any irritants.
As for prevention, there is a canine parainfluenza vaccine. If your dog isn’t infected already, get the vaccination done immediately.

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4 Common Winter Health Hazards for Pets

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Winter may look pretty, with everything covered in snow, but it’s not the best time for your health. We all know that winter means keeping yourself protected to avoid the flu and falling sick, and the same goes for your furry friends. They too can get sick easily during the colder weather if necessary steps to prevent these illnesses are not taken.
It’s important to keep your pet safe from certain health hazards which are extremely common during winter. But first, you need to know what these hazards are, what you are protecting your pet from. Below we talk about the 4 most common health hazards for your pets during winter:
Hypothermia
Hypothermia means extremely low body temperature which is a result of prolonged exposure to a cold environment. Winter is not just cold, but it can be wet too, which means that your pet’s fur tends to get wet. This wet fur can freeze, and cause hypothermia as well. If you pet has become lethargic and is constantly shivering, it may mean hypothermia. Keep them warm and protected whenever you are stepping out of the house with them by making them wear sweaters, coats and booties.
Frostbite
If you pet has frostbite due to spending too much time in the cold without necessary protection, it means their tissue shave been damaged. This results in their skin looking extremely pale and sometimes, even blueish in color. If your pet has hypothermia, there is a high chance they have frostbite too. Make sure to check their paws, ears and tail to see if there is any change in color. If so, make sure to keep them warm by covering them in blankets and take them to the vet.
Kennel cough
Kennel cough, despite its name, can affect both dogs and cats. It’s called so because it is more likely to be seen in pets which are often confined to small spaces with little ventilation and light. It is a viral infection that is most common during winter, and its most obvious symptom is a persistent cough. Sneezing constantly and having a runny nose are also other common symptoms. Make sure to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.
Anti-freeze poisoning
Anti-freeze contains ethylene glycol, a chemical which gives its sweet taste. As a result, pets often lick anti-freeze off of the street, sidewalk and even garage floors. However, this is harmful for your pet and not meant to be ingested. Signs of anti-freeze poisoning include not being able to walk properly, vomiting, seizures and even a coma. Make sure to keep this product out of your pet’s reach and thoroughly clean all spills.

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At What Age Should You Get a Pet for Your Child?

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If you were to Google “videos of children and pets”, you’d be met with a barrage of search results that highlight the special bond between animals and their younger masters. You could go all day watching those videos. Some of them are funny, while others just end up triggering a rush of emotions. The bond between pets and children is special and those videos can convince you to go out and get a pet right away.

However, that’s where you need to pause and think things out. Getting a pet for your children isn’t a joke. You’re talking about handing over a living, breathing creature to a child, who probably isn’t old enough to use the bathroom by himself/herself.

That brings up the question – at what age would it be okay to get your children a pet?

It All Depends on the Child
There isn’t an exact answer to this question. At the end of the day, it all depends on your child. However, there are guidelines and it is better to stick to them if you aren’t a 100% sure.

According to Veterinarian Dr. Butch Schroyer from The Lexington Humane Society and ASPCA, parents need to make sure their child is mature enough to handle a pet. In general, children over the age of 6 are considered mature enough to care for a pet, provided there is adult supervision.

A pet is an animal at the end of the day and Dr. Schroyer strongly believes that parents should observe caution when leaving their child with an animal. Children below the age of two shouldn’t ideally be left alone with pets.

If you already have a pet in the house, then a gradual introduction is in order. You need to make sure your pet can handle the child’s reaction. Toddlers are known for grabbing limbs and fur, which can be annoying to the pet. In fact, it can turn out to be downright dangerous if the animal is apprehensive about the baby. So, take things one step at a time.

Types of Pets
A dog or a cat may be too much of a responsibility for younger children. So, ASPCA advice getting a goldfish, gerbil, or guinea pig. They are easy to take care of because very little effort is required and that’s a good thing for young children.

As for children that are in middle-school or in their pre-teen years, dogs and cats are absolutely fine. In fact, pre-teen children should be given the responsibility of walking and cleaning after such pets.

However, do consider the size of the pet as well. Obviously, an 8 or 10-year-old will have issues with larger animals. So, it’s better to stick to smaller ones. If you have teenagers, a large pet shouldn’t be any trouble.

So, it all boils down to your child’s individual maturity and also, your involvement as a parent. Parents must supervise the interaction between pets and small children. An animal is an animal at the end of the day and children must be taught to respect their pet’s boundaries.

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How To Make Your Kitten Social?

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The history of cats is as old as that of us human beings. Cats have in the past and till date play an important role in different cultures. While the ancient Egyptians associated them with different Gods, Russians, for centuries, have believed that owing a cat or letting a feline enter a new house before its human occupants move in brings good luck. There is something enigmatic about cats that has always attracted humans. Many people believe that no two cats are the same. While some cats behave like lap dogs socializing with people around them, others may be reclusive, preferring to live in their own world. From little or no contact with humans during the first seven months after their birth to past physical or emotional traumas, there can be many reasons behind a cat’s reluctance to come out of its shell. So what to do if your pet kitten does not reciprocate the love you show to it? We have the answer. Read on to find out some ways to transform your favorite feline from a shy animal to a social creature.

  1. Spread your scent to places where your cat hangs out: Cats have a heightened sense of smell. They associate smells with different states of mind or feeling. To win over your cat, spread your smell over your purry friend’s bedding by rubbing a body part against it. If your cat likes to hang out at a particular furniture piece, spray hormone diffusers over it to calm the feline.
  2. Use food for positive reinforcement: Food is a major incentive for most cats. To bond with your cat, throw treats from a distance towards the feline. Keep on placing the treats closer to you till your cat reaches your hand. Position your hand near your lap in a way that your cat has to place its paw on your lap to get the treat. The purpose of the exercise is to help your cat associate lap cuddles with a positive experience.
  3. Learn to effectively communicate with your cat: Talk to your cat in a soft and reassuring tone. Call it by its name. When talking to your cat, look directly into the feline’s eye and blink slowly to communicate affection.
  4. Thwart your cat’s plans to hide: Shy cats seek refuge in isolated places such as under the bed or corners of a dark room. To encourage your cat to come out in the open, block all hiding places. Avoid feeding it when its hiding as it will encourage the reclusive behavior.
    Cats have so much love to give. Spunky cats liven up their homes with their antics, making everyone fall in love with them. If your cat is not a cuddle bug, don’t freak out! Just follow these tips and you will be amazed at the results. Most importantly, be patient and give your purry friend time to come out of its shell.

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How To Comfort Your Dog During Fireworks?

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Fireworks and loud booming sounds, often make dogs feel stressed and worried. It can be challenging to calm your dog down during holidays like the 4th of July, New Year’s Eve and so on. You have to continually ensure that your dog feels safe by keeping a keen eye on your dog during the commotion. It is quite instinctive for dogs to be afraid of loud noises. Loud sounds trigger their nervous systems, and it can make them feel anxious or fearful. When they run away from the noise, it is a survival instinct. Dogs experience the world through their senses, and the sound and smell of fireworks can be overwhelming to them.

These are a couple of tips put together to help keep your dog calm and secure during fireworks and loud booming noises.

  1. Be prepared
    Arrange a unique space in your home, where your dog won’t hear the full effect of the fireworks. Ensure that it is a space where your dog can hear muffled noises. Make it comfortable and cosy for him/her.
  2. Show your dog love and positive attention
    Your dog looks up to you to guide them and direct them, and knowing that the loud noise of a thunderstorm or booming fireworks celebration makes your dog anxious, ensure that you provide your dog with lots of love and affection in a calm, happy manner. It gives your dog a sense of trust and calmness. Connect with your dog by petting, cuddling, and even massaging him/her to keep him/her calm and content.
  3. Diffuse the fireworks with some music
    Help muffle the noise by to masking it with certain types of music that have been proven to calm the nerves of nervous or fearful dogs. Through a Dog’s Ear is a collection of music CDs that are created especially for dogs who deal with a variety of anxieties.
  4. Divert your dog’s attention.
    Keep your dog busy by pulling out some of his/her favourite toys and have a fun play session. It will help keep your dog distracted. You can use treats and snacks to encourage positive behaviour during this stressful time.
  5. Tire your dog out before the fireworks
    Take your dog out on a long walk to tire it out. Play a few games and make your dog run around for a good amount of time until he/she is tired. By spending your dog’s excess energy first, you will put her in a calm state of mind when the fireworks begin.

Your dog will be highly sensitive while fireworks are at its peak. Help your dog out by following some of these tips. He/she will highly benefit from a little more care during this time.

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Can A Cat Wear Diapers?

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Senior cats are unable to reach the litter box when nature calls. This situation requires diapers. As a cat owner, you must understand when to diaper your kitty. The process must be tolerable not only for your cat but also for you.

Other than senior cats, diapers are needed for sick cats who are recovering from a surgery. If the cat is extremely weak, confine it to small areas like bathrooms. If you own a cat suffering from impairments, then the diapers provide cats the freedom to walk around the place sans any property risk. Your furniture and flooring will remain cat urine or feces-free. A number of medical problems could result in cats having difficulty utilizing the litter box.

Consider buying your kitty a diaper if it has mobility issues due to arthritis, bowel incontinence, diabetes, blindness, dementia, or disabilities like neurological disorders or paralysis. A few healthy cats are also diapered if they excessively mark or spray. This should be the last resort if other measures of behavior modification have been proved ineffective.

Similar to diapers for babies, the cat diapers are also sold in multiple styles. A few are washable while others can be disposed of. A majority of diapers can be worn by both cats and dogs. They are available in multiple sizes.

Washable diapers

These kinds of diapers can be washed by machines and thus can be reused. If you love the environment, then these kind of cat diapers are ideal. The washable styles need disposable pads which are inserted into diaper lining. Although this category of diapers is initially more expensive compared to disposables, they make for much better values in the longer term.

Disposable diapers

These diapers come with absorbent padding built into diapers. There is no requirement for any extra pad.

Modifying human baby diapers

You can buy baby diapers and tweak them a little to craft pet diapers. Do keep in mind that a lot of trial and error are involved when it comes to locating the correct size to fit the cat. Modifications must be made to make sure the diaper is a perfect fit. Buy a newborn baby size for an average size cat. Stand cat on all its legs and position diaper flat over the hindquarters. Use a pen to mark that spot where the tail would come out. Once you have marked, cut a small sized hole at the marked spot. Cut smaller st first. You can make the hole bigger when you want it to. Change diapers every few hours. Replace the older with newer of the diaper is saturated with urine. To clean easily, shave the area of the cat which will cover the diaper.

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Grooming Tips For Your Cat

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While cats are famous for their effective self-grooming practices, domestic cats often do require human supervision and support. Grooming of cats takes planning and practice. Cats are fussy by nature and they require an educated touch. This means that the owner needs to be aware of what the cat is okay with what it is not. While planning to groom your cat, it is always a good idea to start early and develop the habit when they are still young kittens. Gradually the time spent in grooming is increased until the cat is able to accept it as a part of the daily routine. Any kind of restrain or force is to be avoided as any kind of stress associated with this experience will make it even more difficult next time.

There are different grooming techniques and routines for long and short haired cats. For shorthaired cats, grooming only once a week is enough whereas longhaired ones require grooming almost every day. For shorthaired cats a fine-tooth flea or tick comb is used along with a bristle brush, rubber mitten and grooming pad. Before beginning to groom or comb the cat, ensure that it is relaxed and stress free. The flea comb is used on shorthaired cats to check for flea dirt and fingers are used to loosen up dead hair. Once the dead hairs are disengaged, the brush is used to comb the cat from the head to the tail. This removes any remaining dead hair and stimulates the blood circulation in the body.

For longhaired cats, grooming products such as wide toothed comb, detangling sprays, rakes and other kinds of slickers are used. Longhaired cats require grooming almost regularly. The skin of the cats is massaged gently before combing. This is basically a check for flea excreta. A wide toothed comb takes care of the dead hair and is ideal for combing specific locations such as armpits and between the hind legs. A rubber glove or a damp cotton swab is used to collect and remove the dead hair.

Dematting is one of the most important grooming activities as far as cats are concerned. Matts or knots in the fur are extremely uncomfortable for cats. Such knots are difficult to negotiate at home and make it difficult for the cat to move around. The best way to deal with such knots is preventive action. By grooming according to a healthy routine, such knots can be avoided beforehand. Never use scissors to get rid of knots. Try untying them gently from the core causing as little discomfort to the cat as possible. Severe matts are usually shaved off and are typically performed at a vet’s office.

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