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5 Ways To Take Care Of Easily Scared Cats
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ The sense of fear is co...
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ The sense of fear is common in animals and everyone including us use it as a defense mechanism. Fear is a way of surviving in the wild and it is often used to keep one alive. It is especially common in stray cats and dogs who are daily exposed to many stress factors around them. If you’re the owner of a stray cat who gets scared easily, then you know how tough it can be to gain their trust. Here are 5 ways in which you can easily take care of your scared cat. #1. Keep distance More than often, you’ll find your cat running away from you. Even though you’re the one who might have given him a space to live and food to eat, she will still have trust issues. Months and years of psychological stress creates a deep sense of fear in such animals. Keep your distance and never get too close to the cat especially from behind. Never make sudden moves as it might scare your cat. #2 Try games It will be a while since your cat gets adjusted to the new routine. One of the best of doing it is through games. Hang a piece of cloth on a stick and try playing with your cat. She will show shyness and fear at first but in a few days, she is bound to get back to her playing mood. #3 Give good food Stray cats are expected to be malnourished and it is your duty to look after the proper nourishment of your cat. Provide food that is rich in vitamins and minerals and allow your cat to regain her strength. Often, weakness in animals leads to a sense of fear. #4 Offer treats Treats don’t work as well with cats as it does with dogs but it is a good shot. Use treats to congratulate your cat on good behavior or every time he she comes near you. It can be used to make initial contact with your cat. Keep a handful of treats ready and use it whenever you feel it is required. #5 Visit a psychologist You won’t always know the reason of psychological stress in your cat. Take her to an animal psychologist and have her checked. Conclusion Take care of scared cats takes time and patience. In the first few days after you adopt a cat, especially one that has been a stray, it will show signs of fear due to stress. Avoid contact and maintain a distance with the cat. Also, provide good food and give treats whenever necessary. Take her to an animal psychologist and have her checked for the cause of psychological stress.
Teach Your Dog To Behave Properly In Front Of Others
Image source: Wikimedia.org/ Be it humans or anima...
Image source: Wikimedia.org/ Be it humans or animals, discipline is a must for everyone. Dogs, especially must be taught how to behave when they are in the presence of someone else. Remember that movie ‘Marley and Me’? It’s cute but you wouldn’t want your dog to jump over people and bother them all the time. If you don’t want your dog to become another Marley, then here are some tips that should help you with the behavior training. Be in charge We know that you love your pet very much. But that does not mean you should let him decide what’s good and what’s bad. Make your dog understand that you’re the owner and you are in charge. Teach him do’s and don’ts when he meets someone who dislikes dogs. Sometimes, it is important for you to show who’s the boss in the house. Of course, that does not mean you should use extreme measures. It should be enough to let you have control of the situation. Greeting visitors Some dogs have an irritating habit of sniffing about an unknown person. From the dog’s point of view, it is the obvious thing to do. However, most people won’t enjoy having a big dog sniffing at them. The next time someone pays you a visit, teach your dog to sit at a distance from the door. Open the door only when your dog is sitting comfortably. Don’t allow your dog to come too close to the visitor unless they know each other. Play safe If you’re playing with your dog in the presence of a third person, then make sure you do it safely. Don’t throw the ball near the visitor so that your dog has to make contact with him/her. Maintain distance and teach your dog to do the same. Use treats and praises to teach your dog to behave nicely in front of others. Also, try playing games that don’t require running around too much. Some people are sacred of dogs running around them. Conclusion Training is an important part in a dog’s life and every owner must ensure that it gets the best training possible. People like dogs who know how to behave themselves, especially in front of others. It’s not difficult to train a dog to be on its best behavior. There are some simple rules that owners must follow. Owners can use treats to teach their dogs to stay away from the visitor. It can also be used to keep the dogs from barking unnecessarily whenever they see a new person. Teach your dog to sit down at a distance and let him take as much as time as he wants before he learns how to behave properly.
Qualities You Need To Become A Full-Time Pet Trainer
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Image Source: Staticflickr.com/ A pet trainer’s job may sound easy especially if you love animals but it takes more than just interest to become a qualified pet trainer. It takes time, patience and skill to become a good pet trainer and even then, not everyone can become one. Also, pet trainers are required to work hard for very little pay for the first few years. It is a struggle but in about 5 years or so, you can reach a good position and make a substantial amount of money for yourself. Not to mention, the experience you gain will help you reach new heights in life. If you’re planning on becoming a full-time pet trainer, then here are five qualities that you must possess. #1 Patience Often, you’ll have to handle pets who won’t listen to you no matter how hard you try. You may get frustrated but remember that hard work always pays off. On top of dealing with disobedient pets, you’ll have to deal with low wages as well. Things can get under your skin but you need to focus on the bigger picture and do your duty. #2 Creativity What your trainers will teach you will make you good at your job but how you apply the knowledge will set you apart from other trainers. In any profession, having a separate image always works. People tend to hire people who know to do the same job creatively. Pets will also enjoy your presence as much as their owners. #3 Confidence Do you make mistakes often? Don’t worry. Everyone does when they are new to a profession. What’s important is that no matter what you do, you do it with confidence. Of course, that does not mean you keep repeating your mistakes. Be confident and don’t be afraid to try new things. #4 Personality You may be tired and frustrated on the inside but never show it on the outside. Your personality matters a lot. Keep a smiling face and talk with humility. Present yourself as a genuine human being before you present yourself as a good trainer. #5 Understanding Be understanding. Some pets act abnormally because they may be suffering from some internal problem which hasn’t been detected. Try and understand the psyche of the pet you’re taking care of and adjust accordingly. Every pet is not going to behave in the same way. Conclusion For those who love animals, the job of a pet trainer is perfect for them. However, the job requires qualities like skill, patience, creativity along with a good personality. Pet trainers should also understand the psychology of the pet they are handling. The job may not be lucrative at first but hard work can take them a long way.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Sleeping Well Or Not?
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Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Sleep is an important part of an animal’s life. It is often regarded as a health indicator and a lifestyle factor as well. Sleep disorders are common and affects millions of people worldwide. If you are not sleeping well, then you can see how it impacts your life. However, how will you know if your dog is sleeping well or not? Puppies and older dogs will have mixed sleeping schedules but adult dogs should be able to follow your sleeping pattern. Here are some indicators which will indicate whether your dog is getting a good night’s rest or not.
  1. Tiredness Dogs sleep for about 14 hours a day and it is normal for them to lie around the house from time to time. But if your dog sleeps for long hours during day time without waking up, then it could be due to lack of sleep. Fatigue could also arise from other problems as well and you should consider taking him to a vet.
  2. Waking you up early Dogs are excellent alarm clocks but only if they function correctly. Some dogs have the habit of waking their owners very early in the morning which is a good thing. But then there are some dogs who wake up their owners even before sunrise. If your dog does that, then it could be due to lack of sleep. Sometimes dogs who don’t sleep well wake up in the middle of the night. This might happen to your dog too.
  3. Irregular potty hours Usually, the first thing that owners do after waking up in the morning is take their dog outside for the morning walk and potty of course. As an owner, you must be aware of the routine. However, if you find that your dog wants to go outside at odd hours during the night or in the day, then you should realize that something’s wrong. And that something might very well be lack of sleep.
Conclusion Sleep is an important health indicator and must be taken seriously. Sleep acts as a rejuvenation factor and getting a good night’s rest is crucial for the proper functioning of the body. Sleep disorders are common and dogs too can experience it. The most common indicator of improper sleep is the irregular sleep patterns. Dogs who don’t sleep well at night will sleep at odd hours throughout the day. Also, they will show signs of tiredness and an unusual routine like potty and food timings. If you realize that your dog shows these type of signs, then take him to a vet because sleep disorders can indicate the presence of other problems as well.
Improve Your Pet’s Intelligence With These 5 Games
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ A training session for ...
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ A training session for pets should not only include physical activity but also brain activity as well. A pet’s development partly depends on its ability to think and handle situations on its own. It can be achieved through training and must include brain games. However, brain games can be boring and it is therefore the owners job to ensure that the activity is interesting. Here are 5 games through which owners can improve their pet’s intelligence.
  1. Memory games  One of the best ways to improve intelligence is through memory games. Take a muffin tin and cover it with balls. In some of the muffin tins, keep treats. Let your pet decide which tin contains the treat and which doesn’t. If you have a smaller pet like a bird, then use smaller trays or balls. You can even do it with cards.
  2. Shell GameThe shell game is a favorite game among people who like to bet for fun. You can use the same game to train your pet. Start by putting a treat under an opaque plastic cup and exchanging its position continuously with one or two other similar looking empty cups. You can also increase the number of cups and treats as the game proceeds. The game requires observation and thinking in tandem. Your pet is bound to love the game because treats are involved.
  3. Cagey cubeTake a cube of some kind and punch a few holes of different sizes in the cube. Insert a ball which can come out of only one of the holes. Watch your pet figure out which hole is the correct one by rotating it.
  4. Puzzle toysThere are literally hundreds of puzzle toys which you can create from your household items. You can take one cloth bag with treats and hide it inside another cloth bag. Have your pet figure out a way to reach the treats.
  5. The classic hiding gameHide and seek is a great game and almost every owner enjoys playing it with their pet. You can modify the game a bit by hiding treats in different parts of the house. Have your pet figure out where the treats are and how they can get them. Additionally, you can keep small obstacles in the way to make it more interesting.
Conclusion Intelligence is important for growth and every animal requires certain amount of brain training. As an owner, it is your duty to make sure that the games are fun and interesting. Your house is littered with hundreds of games. You just need to figure out a way to use them and create the five types of games mentioned.
5 Tips To Make Your Dog’s Training Sessions More Engaging
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Image Source: http://bit.ly/2nBCSfy Training one’s dog should be the primary goal of every owner. Because, first, no one likes a dog that misbehaves and second, you won’t have to run behind your dog wondering if he’s up to any mischief or not. Training should start from an early age and should continue well until adulthood. However, owners often make training sessions boring due to which, dogs don’t enjoy learning new things the way they should. There are ways to make the training more engaging and here are 5 ways to do it. #1 Treats, treats and more treats! Using treats is the most common way to train a dog and every owner uses this strategy to successfully train their dog. You can improvise the technique by giving more treats for activities that are more important than the rest for ex., potty training, eating habits and behaving around other people. #2 Use games Don’t make your dog feel like he’s in military training or something although even that’s a good training method. Make the atmosphere more casual and make your dog feel that trainings are fun. Use different games to train your dog. He’ll get some physical exercise and some training as well. #3 Don’t do it for too long Long training sessions can be tiring for both you and your dog. And besides, who wants to spend the entire day on the training. Everyday keep a separate time for about 15-20 mins and no matter what make sure that the training time stays the same every day. #4 Encourage them It’s useless to expect your dog to do everything perfectly on the first day of training. It will take time and you need to be patient. But what’s more important is that you encourage him even if he performs badly. Just like a human child, discouraging them will not only lead to negative results but it will also effect their psyche. #5 Train with other dogs It is not always possible to get another dog during the training session but if you do manage to get one then don’t hesitate to do so. Especially, if it’s an adult dog with good training skills. Often, only a dog can teach other dogs what owners can’t. Conclusion Training should be a fun-filled activity and your dog should not feel bored during training sessions. Follow the five tips to make training sessions for your dog more engaging.
Worried About Your Pet’s Health and Safety? Consider These Five Gadgets
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Image Source: Staticflickr.com/ Introduction More often than not, pets like to enjoy having their own space. You just have to let them be at times. But what if it runs out to the road and comes under a vehicle? The thought of it only jolts you from inside. Moreover, it is often difficult to balance work, home and pet care at the same time. All you need is some extra help to strike a balance. The gadgets that can help you If you are amongst the many concerned pet owners, you can relax a bit because there are amazing gadgets that can take care of your canine or feline chump. Here are a few of them: Fit Bark: Similar to fitness-tracking wristbands used by humans, Fit Bark tracks your dog's activity once it is strapped around your dog's collar. Connect it with your smartphone or a Fit Bark station and view your dog's vital information on your phone in real time. The gadget has daily health goals for your dog, and it charts its progress and keeps informing you about it. Dart Automatic Pet Laser Toy: If you want your little kittens to exercise, this is perhaps the best thing to have. This laser toy comes with a rotating laser head from which the laser dot emanates. You simply have to place the gadget on a high plane to aim the laser dot at the cat. It comes with 16 different speed combinations and has automatic settings to switch off after 10, 15 and 20 minutes. It is extremely useful to keep your pampered and protected pet at home. Whistle: Measuring up to its name, the gadget “whistles” when your pet leaves the zone demarcated as safe. Not only this, the gadget helps you to even track your pet when it gets lost. If you are visiting a crowded place, where there are chances of your pet getting lost, Whistle comes in as a handy device. Moreover, it has additional features which allow you to track your pet's sleep pattern and exercise routine. Pintoofeed: Pintoofeed is a unique pet food dispenser, which is supported by Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms. The gadget connects to your home's internet and dispenses food wirelessly. If you won't be able to make it home before your pet's dinner time, you can use this gadget to dispense food your pet at scheduled feeding times and get notified about the same. Tagg Pet Tracker: This GPS system works only in the United States. It is a collar working with a docking station, which acts as a safe, virtual fence for your pet. You get notified as soon as your pet crosses this fence. You can get a monthly subscription for this service and ensure your pet's safety at all times.
5 Ways To Reduce Social Anxiety In Your Pet Dog
Image source: Pixabay.com/ Social anxiety not only...
Image source: Pixabay.com/ Social anxiety not only affects humans but it also affects pets too. The fear of meeting new companions or animals of their kind can be a terrifying experience for some. Some of the symptoms of social anxiety that animals show is withdrawal, loss of appetite, desire to stay indoors all the time and restlessness in the presence of a fellow animal. The best treatment option is a visit to the vet or in this case having the vet visit your house. It is not uncommon for dogs to show anxious behavior in social circles. Social anxiety may not always happen due to fear of social gatherings. It could even start from a clap of thunder or the sound of the vacuum cleaner. Fear is a feeling that spreads with time and experience and slowly it creeps into other lifestyle factors. If you feel that your dog is suffering from social anxiety, then here are 5 ways to reduce it.
  1. Avoid large crowdsDon’t bring too many people at once when your dog is around. It goes for humans and animals as well. Try introducing one animal at a time. If you have a close friend who has a dog or a cat, then ask him/her to come over frequently with his/her pet. That way you’ll be giving ample amount of time to your dog to cope with the new company.
  2. Find out what keeps your dog happyIt could be a toy or a particular game that he enjoys playing. Identify what your dog loves doing the most and use it to help him overcome social anxiety.
  3. Focus on dietIf your dog is stressed out, he/she will show a lack of appetite. Try making the meals more interesting and find out new recipes to ensure that your dog does not miss out on the essential nutrients. Additionally, take your dog to a vet for regular check-ups.
  4. Try short walksIt will be tough at first but try taking your dog out for short walks. You can start with the periphery of the house and then move on to the street once your dog gets comfortable going out in the open. By going out, your dog will see other animals and slowly, the social anxiety will decrease.
  5. Take it easyDon’t lose your temper around your dog. The last thing you would want is your dog to have additional stress. Relax and take it easy. In time, things will fall into place.
Conclusion Social anxiety affects dogs in the same way it affects us. The tips listed above should come in handy if your dog is facing similar issues.
How To Re-Arrange Your Home’s Furniture For Your Special-Needs Pets
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Image source: Staticflickr.com/ The challenges that people with special needs face in their everyday lives are difficult for us to understand. What is easy for us like using stairs, wearing a shirt or even moving around becomes a challenge for people with special needs. There are separate arrangements for such people in public places and the place where they live. But what about animals? Is there any special arrangement for such pets? Maybe not so much as there are for people but owners who have pets with special needs can make arrangements inside the house to make their lives more comfortable. Here’s how:
  1. Build a special room The concept of dog rooms is not a new one and if are the owner of a dog that needs special care then you should definitely build one. Make it inside your house and ensure that its big enough for your dog or pet to sleep in it.
  2. Make things easily accessible Keep things around your house at a convenient place so that your pet might be able to reach it without much effort. Things like toys and other random stuff in the house that your pet loves fetching for you can be kept at low heights.
  3. Make the house accessible Even though your pet will feel the pains of disability, you should make him/her feel that the entire house is still accessible to her. Make staircases wheelchair accessible or make arrangements so that your pet won’t think twice before going from one part of the house to the other.
  4. Don’t change the position of furniture Pets who have vision problems often rely on the other sense to locate the position of furniture in the house. When you start changing the position of furniture in the house or start getting new ones, it confuses them. They might get stressed because of this and psychological problems like social anxiety might occur.
  5. Reduce the amount of furniture Pets with special needs will have trouble moving around the house if there are too many things in the way. Clear up the space and remove furniture and other items which you don’t require. Your pet will thank you for it.
Conclusion Pets with special needs need special care too. As an owner, there’s not much you can do about the disability itself but you can help re-arranging things in the house. Make the space more accessible and remove furniture which you don’t need. By clearing up the space, you’ll be making enough room for your pet to move around without any hindrance. Also, build a separate space for your pet so that they won’t have to move about the house a lot.
5 Signs That Will Tell You If Your Cat Has A Heart Problem Or Not
Image credits - Pixabay Animals are prone to diffe...
Image credits - Pixabay Animals are prone to different kinds of disease in the same way humans are. Similarly, they also show signs when they are faced with illness. As owners, it is your duty to read these signs before it becomes too serious. Heart disease presents itself in dogs and cats and the signs are similar. However, cats are expert when it comes to masking their feelings. It can be difficult to gauge what your cat is feeling. But there are some signs which even cats can’t hide and reading them should tell you a lot about their heart health.
  1. Vomiting Vomiting is a common sign for many diseases and while it is not alarming for cats to vomit, it can be a sign for a heart disease. If the vomiting persists and take your cat to the vet immediately.
  2. breathing difficulty Again, breathing difficulties is a sign of other diseases as well but it is a common sign in people who have heart attacks and therefore should be taken seriously. In conditions where the arteries get blocked, the oxygen is unable to reach the heart and causes the animal to gasp for breath.
  3. Depression Depression can present itself in various forms in animals. Sulking, loss of appetite and loss of activity are some of the major signs of depression. Depression can often arise due to psychological problems but it can also happen due to chest pains and other heart complications.
  4. Weight change Weight change is a sure-shot sign that your cat is going through certain health problems. Weight loss can arise due to chest complications and often leads to other problems in the body. It is easy for you to read this sign because if your cat misses his/her lunch, you’ll know. Take your cat to the vet or try changing the meal plan.
  5. Restlessness It’s normal for young cats to be restless because for most of the time, they will be in a playful mood. However, too much agitation or restlessness is not good and is a sign that something is not right. During chest complications, your cat will move around the house restlessly due to the pain. It is up to you to read the sign and take necessary action.
Conclusion Heart disease in cats is a common thing and happens all the time. But cats don’t always show what they are feeling and this makes it difficult for you as an owner to know whether your cat is suffering from a heart problem or not. From restlessness to weight change, there are some common signs which will tell you that your cat is suffering from a heart complication.
How Much Sleep Does My Dog Need?
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Never waste any time yo...
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Never waste any time you can spend sleeping, said Frank Knight and your dog might be only too aware of the wisdom! Unlike humans, dogs do not sleep all night, and tend to catch short naps throughout the day. The way dogs snooze is similar to the cat’s nap, unlike the deep sleep of humans. Even if they seem to snooze a lot, the pet canines have the ability to wake up in a jiffy and become alert instantaneously. The furry companions need anywhere between 12 to 14 hours every day and pups sleep for a little more than 20 hours. That’s a lot of snooze, and in fact dogs spend over 50% of the day is spent sleeping. Just 20 % of the time they are active, with the rest of the day spent just lying around doing nothing. Not surprisingly some breeds like St. Bernard and the Great Pyrenees have earned their nickname of “mat dogs.” Mastiffs and Great Danes are other breeds which tend to sleep a lot, close to 18 hours a day Here are some of the facts related to the sleep habits of dogs:
  • The reason why canines sleep during the day and stay awake in the night could just because of their habits as their ancestors were hunters and hunting was preferably done at night when stealth and camouflage were of essence. Besides, because of their acute sense of hearing, even minute sounds could disturb their sleep at night.
  • Dogs sleep when they are bored, or nothing else exciting is happening around them. Younger and older dogs also sleep more than middle aged dogs.
  • Working dogs such as shepherd dogs involved are active most of the day and may sleep less than 14 hours a day. Siberian huskies are known to sleep in very short bursts to stay alert and sharp as they work for long periods of time without resting.
  • Excess weight or other health conditions like heart disease or cancers may tire out the canines more, making them take longer naps.
  • Sometimes, checking your pet’s diet and nutrition may be worth the while. Insufficient quantity or diet devoid of nutrients that the pet needs, may contribute to the changed sleep pattern.
  • Seasons affect the sleeping habits of dogs too, according to vets. Dogs and cats are believed to sleep less in winters, which is the time when daylight is reduced.
If your dog is alert and energetic when awake, is eating and drinking normally, you could just let your sleeping dog lie. If you do notice any excessive lethargy and reduced intake of food and mood changes in your dog, it may be time for the appointment with the vet.
How To Spend Quality Time With Your Pets
Image Source: Wikimedia.org/ Peeved with the way y...
Image Source: Wikimedia.org/ Peeved with the way your busy schedule is coming in way of spending quality time with your pet? Your four (or two) legged pals deserve much more than an occasional pat on the back. By figuring out smart ways of sneaking in some quality time with your pets, you can yet have the best of both worlds. Involving close friends or family in the process can help on days when you simply do not have time to spare! Here are some ideas to bond smart with your pets:
  1. Walk in the park: If you have the man’s best friend as your pet, nothing is better than scheduling a brisk walk or a jog in the park together. Exercise is mandatory for everyone and while you sweat it out, why not give your pet the benefit of exercise too! Canines need plenty of aerobic activity to stay fit and ward off diseases. Experts believe they need at least 60 minutes of vigorous exercise and plenty of sunshine, every day. Breeds such as Labrador retrievers, hounds, and shepherds need this more than smaller dogs. The walk or run helps keep boredom away as well, as a bored dog does end up with behaviour issues.
  2. Go for a long drive! Many dogs love car rides. It could just be the best way to bond since there is nothing else between you and your pet dog. Maybe you could talk to your buddy and get some encouraging woofs in return! Alone time with your dog is the best therapy for depression and boredom! And the dog gets your undivided attention as well.
  3. Vacation with your dog: Plan your vacations to places which are dog friendly. Take your dog along with you for these fun trips. If it is a beach you are heading to, then nothing could be better for your dog! Playing fetch or just frolicking around in the sand is a treat for your pet, and you!
  4. Do errands together: If your neighbourhood has dog friendly departmental stores or shopping areas, take your dog with you whilst you shop. Picking up kids or driving to the dentist can seem less like a chore with your adorable pet accompanying you. You can get some downtime while you are at it.
  5. Wash dishes or clean with your pet: Your dog may be the best (and sometimes, the only!) living being with great listening skills. While you wash away or vacuum, talk up to your dog. The interaction helps you calm down and feel good too, no matter how hard your day was. Studies show that pets help lower blood pressure and levels of stress hormones.
5 Homemade Diy Toys For Your Dog
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ There are hundreds of s...
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ There are hundreds of shops out there selling different kinds of dog accessories and while most are inexpensive, there are some which have ridiculous pricing. Why should you spend $8 for a tennis ball when you can easily make something similar in your home? And besides, you can customize your toy in any way you want. There are simple things you can make from everyday household items and there are so brilliant even you’ll be surprised. You can create toys that not only provide physical exercise but also helps flex your dog’s brain muscles as well. Here are 5 such toys:
  1. A catapult fetch toy If you’re into handiwork, then start building a catapult that works as a fetch. You can easily make one with few pieces of wood, some strong rubber band and some plastic pieces. If you want to make something more advanced, then you can use a spring for the catapult action. Take it outside and enjoy while your dog plays the classic game of run and fetch.
  2. The sock ball If your dog enjoys chewing things, then the sock ball should be a hit. Take an old tennis ball and put it inside a sock. Wrap it tightly and throw it around for your dog to play with. Let your dog chew on that while you have a look at the next toy
  3. The swinging ball Tie a ball at the end of a string and hang it few feet above the ground. It’s as simple as that. Dogs like jumping and running around and what better toy than the homemade swinging ball. You can get creative and use a fishing rod to increase and decrease the height of the string. You can even swing it in any direction you want.
  4. The treat bottle Keep similar looking bottles in a row and insert a rod through all of them such that they swivel. Keep treats in some of them and watch your dog hunt for the hidden treats. It’s a great mental exercise for dogs and helps them sharpen their memory. You can change the type of treats in the bottle for making it more interesting
  5. Tug of war Take a tennis ball and cut out both ends. Either insert a strong rope such that the ball stays in the middle. Not only does it make an excellent tug-of-war toy but it also makes for a good fetching toy as well.
Conclusion There are literally hundreds of easy yet amazing do it yourself toys available for you dog. You just need to look around the house and pretty soon you’ll be busy creating amazing toys of your own.
Tips To Clean Your Kitten’s Fur And Avoid Foul Odor
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Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Poor health hygiene in animals attracts and spreads disease in the house. Animals should be kept clean and baths at regular intervals is necessary among other clean practices. Cats are fairly clean creatures and you can always find them grooming themselves. But even then, their fur can be all over the place and sometimes it releases a foul odor which can be very irritating. If you have a kitten and you don’t know how to take care of the fur problem, then here are few tips that will help you. #1 Clean using a wet and dry cloth Clean your kitten’s fur from time to time with a wet and dry cloth. Use lukewarm water and gently rub it up and down your kitten’s body. Use the dry cloth to wipe off excess water. Doing this will ensure that your kitten stays clean and does not leave fur wherever she goes. #2 Check eating habits Diet is an important part of fur growth and health, thus you have to make sure you are feeding your cat properly. Check for bad breath and foul smelling feces. If you find anything out of the ordinary, take her to a vet and change her diet accordingly. #3 Baths Cats usually keep themselves clean but if you feel your cat is too dirty then give her a bath. Use cat shampoo and other cleaning products specifically for cats. Use warm water because if the water is too cold or too hot your cat might get rashes on her skin. #4 Clean after every meal Sometimes, morsels that get stuck on your cat’s fur lead to different skin diseases and fur related problems. Check after meal to ensure that there aren’t any food bits stuck on her fur or whiskers. #5 Stop your cat from spraying All that awful smell in your house can be a result of your cat spraying. Spraying is a natural phenomenon and animals use it to mark their territory. Keep an eye on your kitten and if you find her spraying then train her so that she doesn’t spray around the house anymore. Conclusion Fur and odor problems are common with kittens and need to be taken care of by their owners. They can arise due to a number of problems. Diet is an important factor and a healthy kitten is less likely to lose fur than an unhealthy one. Keep your kitten clean by wiping with a wet and dry cloth. Give baths and use products like shampoo and face wash meant for cats only. Keep a watch over your kitten and stop her from spraying around the house. Spraying often leads to foul smells.
Tips To Select A Good Pet Sitter
Image source: Pixabay.com/ The main job of a pet s...
Image source: Pixabay.com/ The main job of a pet sitter is to look after your pet when you’re not at home. A qualified pet sitter should know the feeding, grooming and lifestyle habits of your pet and also what to do during an emergency. Selecting a good pet sitter should be important for you because animals don’t often show the same behavior towards strangers as humans do. If you’re looking for a good pet sitter, then you should consider the following tips before choosing the right one. #1 Friendly behavior A good pet sitter should be able to exhibit friendly behavior towards your pet. Your pet should also be comfortable around that person. Some pets are fussy and apart from their owner they don’t mix well with others. If you think someone is a good candidate for a pet sitter, then have your pet mix with that person in your presence. See how things work out and then you can decide. #2 Fun personality No one likes being around a dull person. Then why should your pet? Look for someone who is fun to be around with and someone who can have fun with your pet. Ardent animal lovers are usually the best candidate for the job because they enjoy being around animals and know how to have fun with them. #3 legal documents If you are planning to hire a pet sitter from a professional company, then make sure they have proper documents like insurance and bonding. Also, inquire around to confirm that the company is legit and have been in business for some time. #4 Reputation It’s a good idea to hire someone who has some amount of experience doing this job. Handling animals can be difficult and even irritating but true professionals know their job and they know when to do what. #5 Veterinary background Having a background in veterinary is not mandatory but is a plus. It comes in handy when your pet falls sick or when he requires emergency medical care. Of course, a good pet sitter will rush your pet to a vet if a medical emergency arises but it’s to know that your pet is constantly under the care of someone who knows how to handle pet health issues. Conclusion If you stay away from your pet for long hours, then finding a good pet sitter should be of importance. A good pet sitter should be friendly and should know your pet’s lifestyle like eating habits, playing time, pooping and sleeping. If you’re planning to hire a professional pet sitter, then make sure he/she is reputed and has done this before. Having a veterinary background is not must but it’s a good thing if the pet sitter has one.
How To Plan A Road Trip With Your Cat
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Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Road trips are awesome and everyone should try it at least once during their lifetime. However, road trips with pets is an entirely different ball game. Even if you understand your pet you never know what they might end up doing during the trip. Sometimes pets get lost or they run off and it can be a scary experience for you as an owner. Cats are mysterious creatures and sometimes it’s impossible to tell what’s going on in their mind. Here are some tips to follow while travelling with a cat. #1 Carry identification Identification is a must for your cat since it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take a picture of you and your cat and write down your phone number and address at the back. This is the best identification you’ll ever need and it’s easy for people who find your cat to contact you. #2 Keep plenty of food and water A road trip without food! You must be kidding, right? This is what your cat will tell you if you forget to pack his food. Also, make sure your cat is well fed and hydrated enough for the road trip. Carry plenty of food and water and your kitty will thank you for it. #3 Familiarize your cat with the vehicle Cats are choosy creatures and are extremely cautious about their environment. Make sure you familiarize your cat with the vehicle you’ll be travelling in. If you don’t want your cat to throw a tantrum in the middle of your trip, take some time out and help your cat get used to the vehicle. #4 Carry an emergency kit An emergency kit should contain all important items that might be needed for your cat along the way. Things like identification document, leash, food, water, medicines, toys and poop trays are some of the important items that should be included in the emergency kit. #5 Don’t keep your locked up all the time While it’s understandable that you don’t want your cat to wander away here and there, you should also realize that not letting your cat could also result in his running away. Cats like to explore and so, give him the opportunity to look around the place when you make a pit stop. Of course, keep him on a leash all the time. Conclusion Road trips with pets are different from road trips with people because it’s not always easy to gauge what an animal might be thinking. For cats, it becomes difficult because they can be fussy and throw a tantrum during a road trip can be dangerous. However, the above tips should help you get the best out of a road trip with your cat.
Tips To Crate Train Your Dog
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Puppies have a habit of...
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Puppies have a habit of biting and chewing off things when left to themselves. That is why crates were built. Crate training should begin early and should be taught along with other things like eating, doing potty and playing. Crate training makes a puppy realize that there are things that he can and cannot do. It creates boundaries and will help you keep the house clean and organized. Tip #1 Do it casually Don’t make your puppy feel that crate training is being imposed upon him because he has been up to some mischief. Like kids, puppies should be trained in a casual way. Don’t shout or scold them for not learning it properly. Have patience and everything will fall into place. Teach your dog that crate training is part of a game and soon you’ll see how well he learns. Tip #2 Treat them for learning correctly Treats always work when your teaching your dog new habits. Keep them ready and award them every time they do it properly. Dogs learn best when they are awarded for doing a good job. Treat your dog often and he’ll learn how to use a crate in no time. Tip #3 Make the crate a fun place Most owners don’t realize that dogs don’t like crates because it’s not a fun place to be in. They rather stay on the floor than be in the crate. Making the crate a fun place will make your dog use it even when you’re not teaching him anything. Decorate it with lots of color and keep toys and other stuff which your dog likes playing with. Tip #4 Create specific times Don’t make your dog feel like he’s going to spend the rest of his dog years inside a crate. Create strict timings and stick to them no matter what. On weekends when you are around, reduce the crate time so that he can be with you for a longer period of time. Creating specific times will also help your dog adjust to the new routine with ease. Tip #5 Keep the crate in a specific place Unlike us, animals often get confused when minor changes are made around the house. Don’t relocate the crate frequently. In fact, keep it in one single place and teach your dog to go that specific place during crate hours. Conclusion Crate training should be learned by every dog and it is the owner’s duty to make sure his/her dog learns it in the proper way. Keep a specific timing and use treats to teach them the importance of crates. Keep the crate in a specific place and don’t force it on them. Do it casually and soon your dog will become better behaved.
You Would Never Believe That This Goes Into Your Pet’s Emergency Kit!
Images: Wikimedia.org/ An emergency kit contains t...
Images: Wikimedia.org/ An emergency kit contains the essential items that provide basic help to individuals during an emergency. In case of pets, emergency kits have the same function and come in handy when they get lost or face an emergency situation. A pet’s emergency kit mainly consists of items like food, water, first-aid, leash, identification and vaccination documents. The kit should not contain unnecessary items which provide weight. Even food bowls and toys are important and should be included in the kit. However, there is one other thing that comes in handy during an emergency and that is a photo of you and your pet. Best identification document Instead of putting documents that talk about ownership, put a picture of you and your pet in the kit instead. Scribble down your address and phone number at the back for more information. If your pet gets lost or is found during a mishap, people will know where to search for his/her owner. Every year, hundreds of pets get lost and never make their way back to their owner. To avoid such an incident, make sure you keep enough photographs of you and your pet in the emergency kit. Establishes ownership There have been cases where people who found animals on the street refused to give them back to the original owners due to lack of ownership proof. Pictures of you and your pet along with a copy of your identification document and ownership proof will help establish a link that you are the rightful owner of your pet. Helps declare the animal as a pet Often, pets that don’t have an identification on them are declared to be street animals when in reality they are not. A picture can help declare the animal as a pet and especially if you mention it on your picture. It will easy for people who find your pet to send them back to you. Shelter homes receive animals who get lost and who do not have proof of ownership on them. Conclusion An emergency kit for pets is very important and should contain the essential things that is required for survival. Along with food, water and clothes, an identification document is also important. The best type of document is a picture with you and your pet. Having your address and phone number at the back of the picture is even more helpful. Plus, having it declared that the animal belongs to you makes things easier for the person who finds your pet. It helps establish ownership and declares the animal as a pet. Pictures are wonderful identification documents and should be included in every emergency kit for pets.
Dog Vaccination For Kennel Cough
Kennel cough is a persistent cough in dogs who hav...
Kennel cough is a persistent cough in dogs who have stayed in kennels or have come in contact with a dog who has stayed in one. Kennel coughs are not life-threatening but they can be irritating for both the dog and his owner. Usually, the disease subsides on its own after a few days. If a kennel cough lasts for more than two weeks, the dog should receive proper treatment from a vet. There are home remedies available for soothing the discomfort or even curing the disease. Vaccinations are also available and can protect dogs for up to 3 years. However, some studies have shown that vaccination does not necessarily protect a dog against diseases like kennel cough. Time and dosage Vaccinations are available against disease causing agents like adenovirus, parainfluenza and Bordetella. These vaccinations are administered through the intranasal route and are usually given at least 10-14 days prior to dogs who are exposed to unknown environments. The dose levels are decided after consulting with an experienced vet. Effect of vaccination Most vaccination provides partial immunity in the first few days after administration. Although vaccines are expected to provide long-term protection, some don’t and dogs with vaccinations still contract kennel cough. There are many reasons due to which vaccinations may not work in every dog but most commonly it happens due to the immune buildup of the dog. Some have a weak immune system and are prone to diseases more than other dogs. Protection against kennel cough Despite its drawbacks, vaccinations happen to be one of the most effective treatment methods for kennel coughs. They are effective and provide protection for a longer period of time. Most treatment methods are done after the dog suffers from the disease. In case of a vaccination, it is given prior to the disease. In most cases, vaccinations along with a healthy diet is the best way to make sure the dog is protected from diseases like kennel cough. Conclusion Kennel coughs are dry, persistent coughs that sound irritating and cause great discomfort to the dog. Although they are not life threatening, a persistent cough which takes place for more than two weeks is a sign of serious illness. If your dog mixes with other dogs too frequently, it’s best to have him vaccinated with kennel cough vaccines. There are many available in the market but they should only be given after due consultation with the vet. The vaccines are effective and in some cases, it protects the dog for up to 3 years. The intranasal route is the most common route of administration. If the cough persists even after the vaccination, the dog may have a weaker immune system and should be taken to the vet.
Understanding Changing Behavior In Your Aging Cat
Image source: Wikimedia.org/ Animal behaviors chan...
Image source: Wikimedia.org/ Animal behaviors change with age and it is the same across every species. A young cat will have more energy and will engage in more physical activity than an older cat. It is important to understand the changing behavior in your pet cat because they may show signs of being sick when in reality they are not. But again, they can be sick and yet you won’t get to know because cats are brilliant when it comes to masking their feelings. Here are some behaviors in cats which are normal as they grow older. However, if the behaviors become too drastic, take your cat to a vet immediately because it could be because of serious health conditions.
  1. More sleep, less activity While it is not surprising that the entire feline community prefer sleeping over everything else, older cats will sleep more than younger ones. Also, they will be less active. If your cat likes playing with woolen balls, then that might change as he/she becomes older. Even if the behavior stays the same, the intensity is bound to decrease. Plus, older cats will sleep most of the time.
  2. Decrease in cognitive ability As cats age, their cognitive ability starts decreasing and they become less responsive than they were as young cats. You will find that it’s easier to teach a young animal to do something than it is to an older animal. Memory loss is also associated with aging. If your cat is looking for his food bowl and litter box in the wrong place, then it is a sure sign of memory loss which happens due to aging.
  3. Vision and hearing loss A common problem in old people is the loss of vision and hearing. The problem occurs in older cats too. If your cat suddenly shows signs of being lost or being afraid of dark spaces, it can be due to vision loss. If your cat does not respond as it used to, it is a sign of hearing loss. In any case, you should visit a vet if the signs persist.
  4. Littering around the house Don’t blame your cat for littering here and there around the house. Like old people, as your cat grows older, it has less control over its bladder. If you see such behavior, then it’s better to take him to a vet because urinary problems can be signs of serious health conditions.
Conclusion Like humans, a cat changes its behaviors as it grows older. It becomes less active and spends most of its time sleeping. An aging cat also shows signs of cognitive failure, hearing and vision loss. If the behaviors become too serious take him/her to a vet.
5 Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Your Dog
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Images Sources : Wikimedia.org/ Dogs are a bundle of joy. They are always happy to see you, even if the last time they saw you was 5 minutes ago. They are a man’s best friend. True to the saying, dogs are the best companion a human can have as they show unconditional love to their owners. At times, you wish you could have a better relationship with your dog. You want to understand them better. Bonding with dogs is about spending time with them and showing them you love them as much as they love you. Here are 5 ways to improve your relationship with your dog
  • Pay attention to what your dog likes and dislikes Every dog has a unique personality, just like humans. Some dogs love playing fetch, some like lazing around the house, some like cuddling with their owners while others prefer their space. If you want to have a deeper connection with your dog, pay attention to its preferences. Find out kind of social situations it is comfortable with, games it enjoys, food it likes and become the source that only brings happiness to them. Your dog will begin to believe that it can trust you completely.
  • Play with your dog All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! You wouldn’t want that happening to your dog, right? Set aside some time to play with your dog. It will stimulate their mind and body, strengthening the bond between you guys. It is also been observed that dogs are closer to those who play with them regularly. Go out with your dog and play a game of fetch or anything they like playing.
  • Spend time with your dog Spend time with your dog every day. This means giving them your undivided attention for at least 30 minutes. A relationship will work only if you spend quality time. The same applies to your dog. Groom them, go on long walks, or just sit outside and hang out with your dog. It may not seem like much to you, but to them, it means the world.
  • Train your dog Dogs with their almost limitless energy love having things to do. Train with them every day and provide positive feedback when they finish a task. Dogs learn from you even when you aren’t trying to teach them anything. Make the most out of this by making a conscious effort. A trained dog will have more freedom. If they are obedient, they have more time off the leash, if they don’t steal food from the table, they are welcome to stay nearby when the family is eating.
  • Keep it cool Dogs can understand body language and they can pick up your feelings. When you get angry and start yelling, even when it isn’t directed towards them can make them feel uneasy. Stay calm so that your dog can count on you.
Giving importance to the relationship between you and your dog is a healthy aspect. Your dog will be healthier as it will be happy all the time. We love keeping dogs around because they become a part of your family. Even if you have a wonderful relationship, working to improve it the life of your dog and yours subsequently.
Importance Of Socialization For Your Adult Dog
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Image Source: Staticflickr.com/ Socializing is as important for dogs as it is important for us. Socializing for dogs involves exposing them to a variety of places, situation, objects and people. Dog trainers have long pointed out that exposing puppies from a young age to different things helps in the growth and development of the dog. When the dog becomes an adult, it becomes easier for him to accurately differentiate between people and situations. A dog that has been exposed to people and situations is less dangerous as compared to a dog that has never been exposed to strangers. Importance of socialization It has often been observed that dogs that don’t socialize too much, show erratic behavior towards people whom they consider a stranger. That means that if your dog does not socialize and if he sees your aunt for the first time, it is likely that he will growl at your aunt. The behavior of a dog that does not socialize and that of a person in the same situation is almost similar. People who do not socialize a lot find it hard to interact with strangers. On the other hand, dogs that socialize do not behave violently when they see a stranger for the first time. For them it’s common to have strangers around and they are used to the situation. Socialization from a young age allows dogs to read situation and people well. They won’t do anything unless they are provoked or if they realize the life of one of their loved ones is in danger. How to increase socialization Take your puppy out for walks in the park every day and allow it to interact with people and other animals. You can also have friends at your place interact with the puppy. Take him to different places around the neighborhood and allow him to explore. Also, get different toys and train him to recognize different objects around the house. This will ensure that the puppy is comfortable around you, the objects and the neighborhood. Additionally, there are socializing clubs for dogs where dogs and their owners are taught tricks to improve socializing skills. You can attend a few sessions and see if it helps. Conclusion Socialization is important for both humans and animals in today’s world. It improves mental health and directs the individual towards growth. In dogs, socialization should start from an early age and should involve exposure to a variety of place, people and situation. The more a puppy explores, the more comfortable it becomes and the more comfortable it becomes, the less erratic behavior it shows. Socialization also helps the dog develop skills that distinguishes the right from the wrong, which is very important if you have a lot of people coming over to your house.
5 Tips To Host A Dog Party!
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Image Source: Freegreatpicture.com/ Your dog’s birthday is around the corner and you want to show him how much his best friend loves him by throwing a party? Not a problem! There are many ways in which you could throw an awesome party and make your dog and his pals have the best time ever. Here are 5 awesome ways in which you can do host the best birthday party for your dog ever:
  1. Plan early Early planning is the key and making plans way before the birthday will not only ensure that the party is a success but will also allow you to avoid unnecessary complications. Mark the date on your calendar. If you have adopted a dog and don’t know the date, then make one up and every year celebrate your dog’s birthday on that day.
  2. Send Invitations in advance Invite guests in advance so that you have plenty of time to consider whom you need to invite and whom you don’t. Inviting people who don’t have dogs is pointless because it is your dog’s birthday bash after all.
  3. Create a list of fun activities No birthday party is complete without fun activities and for your dog’s birthday you need to do the same. It’s best to host it outside, either in your backyard or on your lawn. If you’re hosting the party during the summer, make sure you do it by the pool. If you don’t have access to a pool, keep some inflatable bath pools at hand.
  4. Make sure you have a cake Ah, yes! What is a birthday party without the cake cutting ceremony? Make sure you have enough cake for everyone and also make sure that the cake suits everyone’s diet. You can confirm this easily by talking with the owners.
  5. Have a theme Having a themed birthday party is fun and there are literally hundreds of themes to choose from for ex., it could be a Game of Thrones or a Star Wars themed party. You can additionally create games centered around the theme. Fill the place with toys and other fun stuff that the dogs can play around with.
Conclusion Birthday parties are fun but if it is for your dog, then you must make plenty of preparations first. You have to start by creating a list of whom you would invite for the party. Then you need to create a list of the activities you want to have at the party and how it can be done. Make sure the party is themed and you have a cake ready. You need to start at least a month ahead of the actual date in order to ensure that the party is a success.
5 Things You Need To Know About Dog Grooming
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ There was a time when d...
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ There was a time when dogs were taken care by only their owners. But not anymore. Professional dog grooming has become popular and many individuals are grooming dogs to earn their daily bread. The profession of dog grooming is interesting for people who love animals and want to take care of them. Whether you’re picking dog grooming as a profession or you want to know how it’s done, the following 5 things about dog grooming are import and might come in handy if you’re handling dogs.
  1. Dogs tend to bite You might have seen videos of dog grooming where the dog looks relaxed while the groomer does his job. You might have also thought that every dog behaves the same way when it gets groomed. But it’s not! There are many cases where dogs try to bite or scratch the one handling them.
  2. Creativity works While handling dogs, you have to be creative. If you wish to be a dog groomer, then you should focus a lot on creativity. Creativity will help you develop handling skills and improvisation that are very important in grooming professions.
  3. Expect dogs to be fussy Handling animals is not an easy task and most of them can be fussy. It is the same with dogs and understand their needs should be one of your talents. Some dogs can be trained with treats while others need a different approach.
  4. Don’t lose your calm According to experts, dog grooming is one of the dirtiest jobs in the world. Remember to keep your calm and treat them as you would treat a child. It may not be fun dealing with dogs all the time. Sometimes you can even expect a bit of dog poop or vomit on your hands. But that should not keep you off from doing your job.
  5. Groom them from a young age One of the reasons why you need to start early at the grooming process is to train them. Puppies are easier to handle and train than older dogs. Grooming will also allow them to trust you when you are doing your job. If you want to be a professional groomer, then tell your clients to do the same so that it becomes easier for you to handle dogs.
Dog grooming is a fun profession if you understand the job requirements and the kind of temperament you require to do the job. Be creative at your dog and find out new and interesting ways to groom. Teach your clients simple grooming tricks that they can do at home. That way the dogs get adjusted to the grooming process and they won’t create a fuss. Keep calm and groom!
Canned food vs. fresh food: What to feed your pet?
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Being unsure about what...
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Being unsure about what to feed your pet can be quite a confusing choice to tackle. With numerous options available in the market, let alone the many options available with raw or cooked food, what makes the best meal for your pet? Read on to learn about nutritional facts about canned and cooked food, and which type would suit your pet better. Canned Food Canned foods can be a great source of water for those pets that aren’t in the habit of keeping hydrated during the day. A more palatable option, canned food works great for older pets and those with a diminished sense of smell, being both high in scent and rich in flavor. Always a good option for a sick pet, canned food gets their appetite going and helps boost healing being packed full of nutrients. Your pet is certain to receive a meal full of vitamins, essential proteins, minerals and oils needed for a healthy body and glossy coat. Though canned food can have its downfalls too, its soft nature causes an easy build up of plaque and tartar. The shelf life of canned food once opened is quite short it should be consumed within the day to avoid spoiling. Canned food is expensive and can start to bore a hole through your pocket, if you begin to use it as a daily option for your pet. Fresh Food Fresh, either raw or cooked, food is a healthy option for your pet. The process takes a lot more planning and organization than just chopping up a chicken or some beef and chucking it into a bowl. You should first decide if you’d want your pet to eat raw or cooked food. Some pets might not be able to digest raw meats due to the poor gastrointestinal system or if suffering from intestinal problems. Decide on the type of protein you would like for your pet, you could even alternate proteins and keep an eye out for the ones your pet prefers. Cut the meat up into bite sized pieces, use organs or spare parts too if you like. Avoid using chicken bones as far as possible, since they are sharp when they splinter and can cut or scrape your pet’s intestines. Beef or larger bones are okay for your pet to gnaw on after they’ve finished their meal. Add a bunch of nonstarchy vegetables like carrots, spinach, turnip, chard, etc. that add healthy nutrients and provide roughage and fiber.
How Much Exercise Do Senior Dogs Need?
Image credits - Pixabay As an animal grows older, ...
Image credits - Pixabay As an animal grows older, the enthusiasm to run and jump or have fun starts declining. Compared to a puppy or a 2 or 3year-old dog, an older dog will have less interest in doing fun activities. As an owner, it becomes your duty to understand your dog’s limit and create an exercise routine that will keep them active and healthy. Indoor exercises Exercise for dogs does not necessarily mean they have to go out of the house. There are plenty of ways in which they can stay indoors and still get the right amount of exercise. For ex., make your dog move around the house. The stairs are a great place to get some physical exercise and have your dog move up and down. Additionally, you can set up ramps and small roadblocks around the house that your dog must cross before they can move from one place to the other. Outdoor exercises Taking your dog for short walks is the best way to ensure that they get the right amount of exercise. However, don’t overdo it because your dog might end up having a strain in the muscles. Swimming is another great way to exercise the muscles and the chances of getting a cramp or joint pain is reduced. Other exercises include catching Frisbees, fetching balls and running. Other measures Weight management is also an important part of staying healthy and along with exercise you must make sure that your dog is fed the right amount of food. The diet should consist of vital nutrients that help with bone growth, immunity, stamina and reduces the chance of contracting diseases. Apart from a healthy diet, adequate amount of sleep is also important for a healthy growth. Make sure your dog gets the required amount of sleep as it grows older. Proper sleep-wake cycles also ensure that your dog stays fit and is able to do at least the minimum amount of exercise that it should do for its age. Conclusion The exercise pattern for senior dogs is different than younger dogs because as dogs grow older their strength and stamina keeps decreasing and they get tired easily. There are many indoor and outdoor exercises available for your dog and most of them can be easily done. From brisk walking to catching Frisbees, exercises for senior dogs should include the maximum workout with the least amount of effort. Along with exercise, diet and sleep are also important.
Tips to Make A Feeding Schedule For Your Kitten
Image credits - Pixabay Like all animals, the grow...
Image credits - Pixabay Like all animals, the growth of a cat depends on its eating habits as a kitten. If you have a kitten, then feeding the right amount of food will ensure that it grows into a healthy cat. However, cats are fussy and moody creatures and will tend to eat whatever they feel like eating. Creating a schedule for the first six months of growth should be your main aim. A good schedule that covers all the necessary nutrition requirements for your kitten is enough to ensure your cat eats well. Additionally, stick to the schedule and train your kitten to follow it no matter what. What to feed your kitten? The nutritional needs of kittens are different from adult cats. There are plenty of cat food available in the market but buy those that have the age group specified on their label. Feeding a kitten food that is meant for adults may have adverse effects. Take extra care while feeding your kitten because only food that has been approved by a food trial should be given. This information too will be available on the label. Feeding schedule Morning meal After your kitten wakes up, give some fresh water in a bowl. Follow that with half a can of cat food. You can refrigerate the rest of the food. Additionally, give some kitten kibble and observe its eating habits. You can also give some cat food that is high in protein content. It is expected that your kitten will play throughout the day so giving high protein will be beneficial. Afternoon meal Refill the water bowl with fresh water and follow it with about a quarter cup of kitten kibble. You can use either homemade or store bought treats to exercise your kitten. Train your cat to respond to its name through the use of treats. It will make it easier for you to give it treat. Evening meals For the evening meal change the water if required and give about half a can of kitten food from the morning meal. Also, keep about a quarter cup of kitten kibble for your kitten to eat whenever it feels hungry. Make sure your kitten gets enough exercise after each meal so that the calories get burned. Taking care of your kitten’s eating habit is the best you can help your kitten grow into a healthy cat. Prepare a schedule that contains the essential elements required for growth. Also, keep a tab on the amount of water and food consumed because quantity is very important for proper development. Follow the schedule for six months and soon you will see the difference in your kitten’s growth.
How To Keep Your Pets Away From Garbage
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Some pets have a keen a...
Image Source: Pixabay.com/ Some pets have a keen affinity towards the garbage and are always curious to find out what’s kept inside the trash can. It’s a horrible sight when you come home and find out the mess your pet has made while you were away. As a pet owner, you obviously love your pet a lot but somewhere you know you need to draw the line. And you also know that if your pet eats something that they are not supposed to, they can fall sick. So, how do you go about making the changes? Here are five changes you can make in and around your house to make sure your pet stays away from the trash.
  1. Buy a trash can with a tight lid Ditch your old trash can for one with a tight lid. It will keep your garbage secure and even if your pet drops the bin on the floor, it won’t come off easily. You can choose one with a lock function. Your pets may be smart but they’re not that smart to open the lock by themselves and take out the garbage.
  2. Limit the access to the trash can Change the position of your trash can and put it somewhere which is out of your pet’s reach. You can try by putting it in the closet, in the garage, in the bathroom or even under the kitchen sink when you leave the house. That way, your pet won’t find the trash can so easily. Additionally, keep changing the position from time to time.
  3. Keep your pets well-fed Your pet may be rummaging through your garbage because he is hungry. If it is so then it is clearly your fault. Make sure that they are well-fed and well taken care of. Feed them small meals throughout the day. It will ensure that they don’t ever stay hungry.
  4. Keep them engaged One of the reasons why your pet is so interested in the trash can is because he is bored. Your dog or cat might feel that there is something interesting that you keep inside the can and thus the curiosity. Keep chew toys and other games in the house to keep your pets engaged and away from the garbage.
  5. Train them Training your pets to keep away from the trash can is probably the best way to keep them away from it. Teach them that your trash can is off-limits and soon you won’t be needing any other precaution.
Conclusion A messy floor with garbage scattered all over the house is every pet owner’s nightmare. If you wish to avoid such a sight, take care of your garbage and train your pets to keep away from it.
Dealing With Common Potty Training Problems With Dogs
Image Source: Wikimedia.org/ Dogs, especially pupp...
Image Source: Wikimedia.org/ Dogs, especially puppies, sometimes don’t have control over their bladder. It is common for puppies to urinate in the wrong places. But that does not mean they are misbehaving or they are doing it on purpose. Often, they do it by “accident”. It is therefore your duty to train them from a young age so that they learn about proper potty habits. Here are some of the common potty training problems and solutions which might be useful for you the next time you take your dog for potty.
  1. Inconsistent potty timings Inconsistent potty timings is a big problem dog owners face when they deal with puppies. The main reason for this is improper food timings. Don’t feed the puppy throughout the day. That way you will lose track of the time it takes for the puppy to digest the food. Usually, puppies feel a need to urinate as soon as their food gets digested.
  2. Lack of communication Another reason why your dog needs potty training is because it helps bridge the communication gap between you as an owner and your dog. You must learn to read your dog’s body language. It will help you understand what you’re trying to say and your dog too will learn to trust you more. Moreover, it creates a friendly environment which is very important.
  3. Doing it indoors Many puppies have the habit of doing it inside the house. Part of it may be because you can’t understand your dog when he’s trying to talk to you or he is suffering from a problem. For the first you can use training as a means of communicating more with your dog. For the latter, if you don’t see any other symptom then don’t worry because puppies have a small bladder and it is natural that they can’t hold it for too long.
  4. Lack of training Training is the best way to ensure that your dog develops proper potty timings and behavior. It increases communication and helps you both understand each other. Every morning take your dog out for a walk and adhere to the timing. Keep fixed timings for food and water. That way you’ll be able to understand when your dog goes for potty. Adhere to the routine and create a separate one for days when you’re not at home.
Conclusion Giving dogs proper potty training is one of the toughest jobs for dog owners. There are common problems that every owner has to face but through proper training, the problems can be solved. Creating a routine that includes eating, drinking water and potty time and teaching dogs to follow that routine is one of the best ways to make things work.
5 Brain Games To Play With Your Dog
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Image Source: Pixabay.com/ It is important for dog owners to train their pets and stimulate their brains through new and challenging activities. A dog grows when he is exposed to different situations that makes him use his brain. Also, it helps develop a strong bond between the owner and the dog. Usually, learning for any pet happens through games and play. Below is a list of 5 games that you can play with your dog for better brain development.
  1. Hide & Seek A dog uses his sense of smell to seek out different things in his vicinity. One of the simplest games to play is hide and seek and the best way to do it is with treats. Build obstacle courses and hide treats in boxes. Additionally, rub the scent from the treat in different places. It helps your dog become a natural problem solver and helps him get some exercise as well.
  2. Ring Stackers Ring stackers is a great game to teach dogs the eye-paw or eye-mouth combination. Don’t expect your dog to be perfect with it even as he grows because a dog’s brain development and a child’s brain development is not the same. It will take some time but it is a fun game and will keep your dog engaged.
  3. Shell Game The shell game is favorite among people who like to bet and it helps increase observation skills. You can do the same with your dog by putting a treat under an opaque plastic cup and exchanging its position continuously with one or two other similar looking empty cups. The game requires observation and thinking in tandem. Your dog is bound to love the game because treats are involved.
  4. The chase game The best way to teach a pet anything and help them grow is through play and what better than the classic chase game. Tie a string or a stuffed animal at the end of a stick and watch your dog jump and run around as it tries to catch it.
  5. Hot and Cold The hot and cold game is a great way to shape new behavior in your dog. Teach your dog to respond to “hot” or “cold” with a specific trick that you have taught him. If he does it correctly, he gets a treat. It’s a simple game but very effective when it comes to brain development. It will increase memory and help dogs learn discipline through a fun-filled activity. Conclusion It’s important for dog owners to train their dogs and help them grow both mentally or physically. By engaging them in a variety of fun games, owners can help their dogs become more responsive and more disciplined.
Feeding Habits In Older Cats V. Younger Cats
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Image Source: Maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/ Our eating habits and lifestyle change according to our age. As we grow older, we become more conscious of what we eat. The overall nutrition depends on our health and certain restrictions must be followed. Cats may not look old after a certain period of time but they do grow old and their feeding habit changes accordingly. Food digestion As opposed to dogs or human beings, a cat’s metabolism does not decrease as they age. Till the age of 11, their energy needs decrease but after that it continues to increase. As a result, older cats eat more but do less physical activity and it leads to obesity. Studies have shown that older cats don’t digest their food and therefore absorb the protein and fat. The same is the case with younger cats as well. It means that senior cats must consume more protein and fat to get the same level of energy as younger cats. The adjustment in their diet leads to greater consumption of food. It is interesting to note that cats require more proteins than most animals. Therefore, the amount of protein in a cat’s diet should be adjusted according to its age. Water Like other animals, cats don’t like drinking water unless it is needed. Both older and younger cats can show signs of dehydration if they have kidney problems. One way to help cats increase the consumption of water is by flavoring it. Another way is to keep small bowls in places where the cat likes staying. Dietary needs A cat’s dietary needs change according to its health. Cats who suffer from diseases like diabetes or bowel inflammation find it difficult to digest food that is rich in fiber. There are specific diets available in pet stores for cats who suffer from heart or stomach diseases. Again, cats with oral and dental disease have separate diets. So, a cat’s diet, irrespective of age, depends entirely on its health. Supplements Animals need supplements in food for growth and development. As cats grow older, the level of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals keeps decreasing in their body. When cats eat less food, the required level of supplements don’t get absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys and must be supplied separately. Supplements can be added in cat food but it is better to consult a doctor first before giving the supplements. Conclusion Feeding habits in cats are quite different from other animals in that they don’t necessarily eat less when they grow older. In fact, older cats consume more food than their younger counterparts. The water intake and dietary requirements doesn’t differ much for young and old cats. Food supplements are usually needed by older cats who lack them in their body.
5 Tips For Traveling With Your Pet
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Image source: Staticflickr.com/ Pet owners are often in dilemma regarding their pets when they go for a vacation. Most owners don’t like leaving their pets behind. But they know that traveling with a pet and traveling with a person are completely different things. If you are one such traveler, then here are 5 tips that will make your traveling easy.
  1. Identification is a must ID cards and documents are important and in your pet’s case, ID tags. Before leaving the house, make sure that the Id tag on your pet has important information like name, address and phone number. Some tags are also fitted with microchips for better identification. Also, carry multiple copies of your pet’s photo in case he gets lost.
  2. Pack plenty of food and water Pack plenty of food and water for your pet when you’re traveling because you never know whether you’ll be able to make frequent stops or not. And you also don’t know whether there will be an availability of pet stores on the way. If you are traveling during the summer, then pack foods that are rich in fat or that has added fish oils in it. Make sure your pets are hydrated because dehydration often causes strokes in animals.
  3. Keep them cool during summers During summers animals are prone to heatstroke in the same way that humans are. If the car gets heated up too much, you can pull over to a place that provides shade. It takes time for dogs and cats to cool down.
  4. Make pit stops at pet friendly places One of the challenges that you will face when you’re traveling with pets is that unlike you, your pets won’t be allowed everywhere. So, before leaving the house, make a list of all the places that allow pets to stay with their owners. If you’re heading over to your family or friends place, make sure they know you are bringing a pet with you. If you’re traveling by air, go through the guidelines for owners who travel with pets. Also, avoid extreme weather changes if you can.
  5. Learn first-aid techniques for pets You never know what situation you might end up in when you’re traveling. One of the most useful things you can learn while traveling with pets is first-aid techniques. Keep a small kit for your pet if you can. Also, carry your vets phone number in case an emergency arises. Conclusion Traveling with pets is a fun and enjoyable experience. However, it can be a nightmare if you don’t take measures to protect them. Carry food and water and protect them from the heat. Choose pet-friendly places to stay and learn first-aid techniques that might come in handy.
How To Get An Emotional Support Animal Certification?
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Image source : Pixabay.com/ Overview Over 40 million Americans have a mental health condition today. In fact, statistics show staggering figures of worsening mental health condition of Americans. As such, mental health experts worry that the country will be plunged into a dark hole of depression. Despite several efforts both at state and national levels, little has been achieved to alleviate the situation of people. Clinical counseling and therapies are good in their place, but a lot more needs to be done to achieve a high happiness index. Emotional Support Animals If you are one of the many Americans who is going through mental distress, you must have heard the therapeutic benefits of animals, especially dogs and cats. Such animals are called Emotional Support Animals (ESA), which are designated specifically to help individuals with psychological or emotional disabilities. These animal-companions include several animals and may be the individual's current pet. They differ from service animals in the sense that they are untrained to perform chores and identify diseases. They are a symbol of strong companionship and emotional bond between the owner and the animal. Emotional Support Animal Certification The Federal Law guides the ownership of Emotional Support Animals. Disabled individuals who feel they would benefit from such animals must have a psychological evaluation to be termed disabled by a licensed professional. In order to own such animals, one has to get the emotional support animals certification. The common psychological disabilities covered under the law are as follows:
  • Depressive disorders
  • Stress disorders
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety/Panic disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Phobias
Though ESAs become like family members, they are quite different from general house pets. These animals provide emotional support and are governed by strict laws. The Air Carrier Access Act and the Fair Housing Act are the two main federal laws applicable to Emotional Support Animals and their owners. The former act, passed in 1990, restricts airlines from refusing transportation or charging fees from disable individuals, while the latter act, passed in 1998, requires housing and apartment communities to make reasonable accommodation for ESAs. How to qualify for Emotional Support Animals? If you have an emotional disability, which is certified by a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapists or other licensed mental health professional, you can own an ESA. The ESA certification is a formal letter, which contains the following details of the patient:
  • Proof of mental or emotional disability described in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) by a mental health professional
  • Proof of being under the treatment and care of the mental health professional
  • Proof of prescription of ESA as an integral part of treatment
  • Date of issue, which should be less than a year from the date of departure
How to Care for Disabled Pets?
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Image Source: Publicdomainpictures.net/ Charles, an owner of a German Shepherd named Brandy, was extremely excited to welcome the dog as a member of the family. The dog filled the first few years of their lives with immense joy and happiness. His family, comprising his wife and two sons, doted on Brandy like a friend. But after a few days, things changed. They made several attempts to make the dog walk, but they failed. Nothing seems to make the dog move, not even his favorite plastic bone. After several failed attempts, they finally consulted a vet who identified the issue as dog paralysis. This is one of the many cases where pet owners are faced by an intimidating and helpless situation with their beloved pet. Disability is painful, both for the animal and the owner, because nothing much can be done about it. Most of such disabilities are age-related, but they strike when they have to. Signs of disability in pets As a dog owner, you can look for the following signs of disability:
  • Inability to stand up without helpless
  • Difficulty in climbing stairs, running and walking
  • Accidental or uncontrolled urination
  • Unusual growths on your pet's body
  • Mood and appetite changes
Living with a disabled pet Living with a disabled pet is challenging but rewarding. Even if your pet is born disabled, or suffered an injury that made him so, you can still give your pet the best life. You don't have to make your pet realize that he is different. You only have to motivate him to live life normally. Here are a few coping strategies that you can adopt for giving your disabled pet the best life: When your pet is blind Dogs rely more on their sense of smell than sight, while cats rely more on their vision to acquaint themselves to their surroundings. You can take the following steps to deal with your pet's blindness:
  • Talk to your pet in a comforting tone
  • Keep them distracted with toys that have distinctive smells
  • Help your pet orient themselves to the new setup in case you have moved your furniture
  • Keep passageways and floors clear for preventing accidents with your pet
  • Keep your pet indoors and do not leave it alone.
When your pet is deaf
  • Make eye contact or touch them gently to get their attention
  • Always keep it leashed
  • Use a flashlight to alert them
  • Consider a tag that informs others about your dog's deafness
When your pet is immobile Harnesses, carts and slings help immobile or paralyzed pets to navigate with assistance. Some dogs respond well to acupuncture, chiropractic and massages. Such therapies in conjunction with veterinarian help can help you achieve specific goals.
Cat’s Purr: The Healing Power Nobody Knows About
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Image Source: Pexels.com/ Introduction Cats, with their tiny noses and fluffy bodies, can touch the heart of anyone. Their docile and solitary nature makes them adorable creatures. Merely looking at your fluffy friend running around in the house allays a lot of distress. But there is more than just emotional support that your feline friend gives you. Have you ever heard your cat purr? If yes, then you will be surprised to know that your cat's purr can heal you in a number of ways. Besides being relaxing and stress-busting, your cat's purr is physically beneficial for you. The fact is backed by science which focuses more on the vibration than the sound produced by your cat's purr. The healing power of cat purrs Cat's purr produces a vibration in the range of 20 to 140 Hertz, which is considered medically therapeutic. Scientists have dived deeper into the subject of frequency-based healing process, and found that cat's purring frequency brings healing changes in the body. Sound frequencies that range from 20 to 140 Hertz induce bone growth and speeds up the healing process. Besides this, cat's purr is linked to various other health benefits, which are as follows:
  • Reducing stress Petting your purring cat immediately has a calming effect on your nerves and de-stresses your body. Since stress is the underlying cause of many heart and neurological diseases, cat's purr is seen to alleviate it to prevent the onset of such diseases.
  • Reducing dyspnoea Shortness of breath or dyspnoea is a common problem faced by people, and also animals. Dyspnoea is the symptom of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is surprising to see that cat's purr can reduce the symptoms associated with dyspnoea. The sound frequency of 100 Hertz, which falls under the range of cat purrs, is seen to reduce dyspnoea to a great extent.
  • Reducing blood pressure High blood pressure, or hypertension is a direct result of stressful lives of people. Since the sound frequency of cat purrs reduce stress, you can also experience a fall in your blood pressure because of the calming effects induced by the purring cat.
  • Healing injuries The frequency is seen to heal muscle, tendon and ligament injuries in humans. The low frequency heals fractures, and relieves pain and achy muscles. The frequency of 20-50 Hertz is seen to increase bone density, an interesting fact to consider about cat purrs.
  • Reduces chances of heart attacks Purring cats are believed to reduce chances of heart attacks by 40 percent. Everything is very prominently related to reduced stress levels when exposed to the cat's purring frequency.
The Common Problem of Excitement Urination in Dogs
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Image credits - Pixabay The best thing about dogs is their friendly nature. The way they jump and pounce on you when you come back home makes them even more adorable. They are super-excited creatures that love to love and be loved. But their excitement sometimes comes with a problem- excitement urination- that may irritate you at times. What exactly is excitement urination? Excitement urination occurs mostly in puppies and young dogs during playtime and greeting and doesn't have signs of submissive urination. It happens when dogs are yet to develop full control over their bladder. With age, the problem usually resolves itself, but in some cases, it continues to persist if the dog is ill-treated by pet owners. However, it also seen that dogs get excited and urinate when pet owners talk to them in a soothing tone. Over-excitement or fear may cause puppies and young dogs to briefly lose control over the muscles in the urinary bladder, which causes smart squirts of urine to pass out. Excitement urination is a physiological response to the feeling of excitement it gets on seeing known people such as you, your friend or your children. Your dog may not even realize it until it feels some wetness. How to deal with excitement urination in dogs? Cleaning up puddles of urine can be frustrating for you, but scolding the dog for it will not solve the problem. Excitement urination is beyond the control of your dog, and scolding or beating it would be cruel. However, there are better ways to deal with the problem than projecting your frustration on it.
  • Decrease initial excitement Although you may feel like cuddling your dog as soon as you enter the house, you have decrease the initial excitement of the dog. Try avoiding greeting your dog as soon as you come home. Keep your shopping bags or purse or do something else for a few minutes before you greet your canine friend.
  • Keep greeting a little low Just because your dog urinates when you greet doesn't mean you abandon it completely. Greet it calmly and quietly, and avoid looming over it. Put you hand out to her so that she can come and reach you. Pet it under the chin instead of the head, and teach your visitors to do the same.
  • Go outdoors If you see that your dog urinates on being greeted, then you should greet it outdoor, where you don't have to mop puddles of urine. This will spare you from the frustration and anxiety of mopping floors.
  • Consider health checks If your dog urinates even after attaining adulthood, then you should consider visiting a vet because it may be a sign of other health issues such as urinary track infections.
How to Convince Your Boss To Allow Your Dog at Work?
Image credits - Pixabay If you love your dog, you ...
Image credits - Pixabay If you love your dog, you would hate to leave it alone at home. After all who likes to think of a lonely creature locked up inside the house, while you go through the day's drudgery? The only solution for this is to get your pooch to work. But will your boss allow you to get him to work? Sadly, most bosses blatantly say a piercing no. Many workplaces have considered keeping pets as a stress-buster for employees, but if you are unfortunately not a part of such a workplace, then perhaps you can try convincing your boss about this good idea. As a matter of fact, there is no reason why having a friendly and well-behaved dog in your workplace a bad idea. You should however train your dogs and run a trial before making it a full-fledged part of your work culture. Arguments for the decision You can try the following arguments to convince your boss for allowing your dog at work:
  • Your dog will increase business Having a dog at your workplace, for example a store, can attract a number of customers. Businesses that work directly with consumers can find it advantageous when their employees bring their pooch to work because customers come to pet and play with the dog and likely to stay longer there longer to shop.
  • Your dog will be a stress-buster Work piles increase employee stress. Playing with the dog as a brief break from work can greatly reduce stress levels of employees. Relaxed brain think and work better, as a result of which employee productivity and efficiency increases. This is perhaps the best argument you can present to your boss.
  • Your dog will nurture healthy habits at work First and foremost, having a dog at work will reduce the number of smoke breaks you take during the day. Instead of flying into the smoking room or office basement, you can walk your dog around the office. This will stretch your legs and snap you out of your sedentary work-life, thus making you a healthier employee.
  • Your dog can identify personality traits Dogs are loyal animals that follow their master. A trustworthy and amiable dog reflects the same personality traits of the master. Thus it becomes a strong argument for allowing dogs at work because it can identify the traits of employees.
  • Your dog can popularize the company on social media Instead of uploading a selfie of yourself with a hackneyed hashtags, you can try the same with your dog in your office. This can popularize the company on social media, and make it count among few workplaces that allow pets for employee well-being.
How to Choose the Best Toys for Your Pooch
Image credits - Pixabay Your pooch is like your be...
Image credits - Pixabay Your pooch is like your best friend; it accompanies you on evening walks, plays and stays with you through thick and thin. The sweet sight of it in the morning prepares you for any conundrum that the day may present to you. However, have you ever thought what your dog likes to play with? A dry, artificial bone is good, but is that all you can give your dog for pleasure? No. Dog toys may sound like an old hat means of entertaining your dogs, but they are an important part of your pooch's wellbeing. Choosing the right toys for your dog If you are considering to give your dog some nice toys to play with, you should make a careful decision. You need to consider the following factors before making a purchase:
  • Age Age of your dog is an important factor to consider. A three-week old puppies still have baby teeth, for which the toy should be soft and snug. If your dog is between three and nine months, don't worry if you see it chewing on your loafers. This is the teething phase and you should consider chew toys for your pooch. After the teething phase, your dog will develop strong jaws. Now you can consider giving it harder toys. However, on attaining seniority, your dog needs to be switched back to soft toys because their jaws lose their strength.
  • Size All dog toys should correspond to the current size of the dog. A big dog will need a bigger toy lest they may crush it with their teeth. The right size of the toy is also important to consider because a very small toy may be ingested by it and block gastrointestinal tracks. Make sure that you choose a toy that does not fit behind your pooch's rear molars.
What dog toys are available? Now that you are careful about the factors associated with dog toys, you can consider the following toys:
  • Active toys Hard rubber toys come in various sizes and shapes and are great for chewing. If you dog likes tug-of-war and chewing on different textures, then you can consider woven and rope toys which are generally available in the shape of a bone with done up ends.
  • Distraction toys Feeder or busy box toys, which come in rubber shapes can be filled with treats to distract dogs. By moving the cube around the dog's nose, paws and mouth, it gets to the goodies. This is great for dogs that tend to eat quickly.
  • Comfort toys Soft stuffed toys are good if your dog likes to carry it around or wants to shake or “crush” their toys. These toys are usually sturdy that prevents accidental swallowing.
Do You Need Multiple Litter Boxes If You Have More Than One Cat?
Image Source: Staticflickr.com/ Cats are mysteriou...
Image Source: Staticflickr.com/ Cats are mysterious creatures, they are particular, observant, intelligent, and unlike dogs they demand your time, and enjoy their personal space. Cat psychology is complex; they’re selective about certain things like sharing toys, sleeping spots, and especially the litter tray. While keeping a cat is fun, finding a compatible companion for your cat is wonderful. It’s lovely and comforting to know that your cats have each other when you’re not around. Along with the perks of a multi cat household, comes the literal obstacle of the litter question. Freedom to Litter Cats aren’t pack animals, even in the wild, they’re usually solitary creatures. The hierarchies they form, along with their characteristics and personalities govern the way they maintain their space and express their feelings. Several multi-cat houses might face issues with a single litter box. To each one, plus one Cats like their space, especially when going through private processes like evacuating. Sharing the same litter box can get your cat all stressed out, especially if being dominated by another, or simply if they think the box to dirty for them to ‘go’ right then. All cats no matter how close they are otherwise prefer to have their own special box to go when nature calls. Even if you have siblings living together, they would not necessarily be comfortable sharing the same litter box. Ideally households with more than one cat should have a designated litter box for each cat, plus one litter box on the float. For instance, if you have 3 cats, you should have at least 4 boxes. It’s all about location, location, location When adding extra litter boxes in your home; pick and choose your spots carefully. Lining several boxes together doesn’t quite work. Try looking at things from a cat’s perspective. Many boxes lined together makes one big litter box, which might lead to the same stressful situations for your cats. Eliminate the possibility of a cat stalking or being territorial about a box. Spread the boxes across your living space. Sure it might not be convenient, though it helps reduce anxious and potentially harmful situations. If you have a house with more than one level then keep boxes on each level. Keep it Clean Rule of thumb bids a clean litter box at all times. A seemingly impossible task, especially if you aren’t in the vicinity to make sure the boxes are clean every single time your cat goes to the toilet. Alpha cats tend to claim a litter box for themselves, one other cats wouldn’t frequent. Keeping multiple boxes prevents overcrowding, and helps keep things cleaner in the house. Multiple boxes encourages your cats to behave better toward each other and leaves them free to get their business done without ruffling anyone’s fur.
How to Become a Dog Trainer
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Image Source: Pixabay.com/ There is no denying the fact that dogs can be excellent companions for people of all ages. If you’re a dog lover, then you could seriously think about making your passion a rewarding profession. Yes, you could become a ‘dog trainer’! This could be the ideal way for you to enjoy and make some money, all at the same time. Of course, there are some necessary skills that you need to acquire in order to become a dog trainer. Here is a brief overview of the training process. Do you need to attend a ‘dog training school’? Dog training does not really mimic other professional training programs. In fact, a large percentage of the dog trainers may not actually have ‘certification’ from a dog training school. These people have simply read up a lot on dog ethology and behavior modification. They may have also attended certain workshops, conventions and seminars and received guidance from seasoned trainers. But this does not mean that there aren’t any dog training schools. A dog training program will typically enlighten you on the following subjects:
  • Dog-training history: This would be an overview of the complete dog-history training, starting from the end of the 19th century to the present. It will give you information about the dog training methods used over the years and how they differ from various other animal training programs.
  • Learning about animals: In this subject, you will get introduced to operant and classical conditioning, negative and positive punishment, negative and positive reinforcement, discrimination, motivation, habituation, sensitization/desensitization, conditioned emotional responses and other similar areas.
  • Dog behavior: This subject would throw light on dog ethology and development, fixed patterns of action, behavior genetics, social development, hormonal factors, breed-specific characteristics, body language, social signs etc.
Finally, upon completion of the course, you will also learn how to design classes and courses and become acquainted with the different ways of counseling individuals and motivating owners or caretakers. Quick tips on becoming a dog trainer
  • Read extensively on the science of animal behavior science, especially animal learning.
  • Work as a volunteer at any local dog shelter. This will help you build and/or improve upon your existing dog handling skills.
  • Try and find a trainer who is willing to make you his/her apprentice.
One of the first things to understand about dog training is that this profession is a lot about engaging with people. This means that as a prospective trainer, you must enjoy not only dog but also human interaction because you would have to ultimately train the dog owners to handle their dogs and not really handle them yourself. Use these guidelines to kick-start your career as a dog trainer now!
How Do Ticks and Fleas Survive The Winter?
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Image source: Freegreatpicture.com/ cat or dog is at a lesser risk of falling prey to a flea infestation during winters if it is living in the natural environment. This is because fleas tend to lay dormant in very cold weather conditions. However, pets are mostly kept indoors during winter months where there is central heating. And this warm artificial environment can allow the breeding of fleas throughout the year. Let’s put it like this. It may be a myth that fleas do not survive during winter months. They can very much live through the winter, particularly in the indoor environment which is warmer and more humid. As a pet owner, you would have to take certain important steps for ridding your home and pets from these parasites. Otherwise, they will continue to breed even in the extreme winter months. No hibernation for fleas It is true that no flea (egg, pupae, larvae or adult flea) is capable of surviving in a near-freeze temperature environment for a very long time. But fleas are quite innovative and opportunistic creatures and find their way into warm-bodies hosts such as opossums, raccoons, cats and dogs. They may also survive in warm shelters like your home, garage or a shed. This way, they are able to live throughout the year. Further, fleas do not hibernate in the way other animals and birds do during winter. It is possible for an adult flea to stay in an inactive state inside its cocoon for 5 to 9 months. However, temperatures falling below 37.4°F (3°C) have the potential to kill pre-emerged fleas. Hence, adult fleas try and seek insulated or warm areas for laying eggs. The flea larvae come out of these eggs during spring time when the weather conditions are more suitable. Winter survival for ticks It is true that ticks will be more active during selected months of the year and this largely depends on the region and the species. While summer is known to be a suitable time for breeding of ticks, the might survive the winter months too. Surprised? Let’s find out how ticks are able to live through the winter. They may latch onto a host or go dormant. Ticks often tend to hide leaf litter that is commonly present in bushy or wooded areas. With snowfall, these dormant ticks stay protected under the debris layer and manage to survive. Soft-shell ticks are able to survive since they stay underground in dens or burrows. Generally speaking, a lot of the tick species may be harmless as far as your pet’s safety is concerned. However, some precaution definitely needs to be taken to avoid infestation even during winter time. It’s best to tick control done throughout the year, including the winter season.
Debunking Dog Myths
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Image Source: Pexels.com/ Welcome to the world of pet-care! It is so much fun to have a dog, but it also brings with it a great deal of responsibility and knowledge. There are some common myths associated with pet dogs. Let’s debunk some of them here! Myth#1: Dog saliva is an antiseptic This old wives tale is definitely untrue. In the ancient times, dog’s saliva was thought to have antiseptic properties. Some people continue to believe that it can heal wounds. This belief was built upon the assumption that dogs commonly lick the wounds on their body and these wounds hardly ever get infected. This implies that the mouth of a dog must definitely be ‘clean’ and may even have a healing effect on wounds. However, this is actually false. When a dog licks its wound, it basically removes the dead tissue and this can help counter infection. Basically, a dog’s salvia isn’t really an antiseptic and may not ever be truly clean. Myth#2: Your dog can eat anything Dogs have the ability to identify sweet, sour, salty and bitter tastes. But the way humans perceive taste and dogs perceive taste is different. Dogs can possibly gain enough information about the food in front of them just by smelling it. Even though they are often attracted by smelly foods, this does not mean that you should feed them takeout or curry leftovers. This is definitely not good for them and can make them sick. Instead, prepare fresh and nutritionally-balanced meals for your pet at home. Myth#3: A warm or dry nose implies that the dog is unwell The actual signs of illness in a dog are loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing and other similar distresses; not a warm or dry nose. If you dog’s nose is warm, it may just be that he’s been out in the sun for a long time. If you want to check your pet for fever, simply put your hand on his head. The normal temperature for a dog is in the range 101-101.5 degrees and therefore he may feel a bit warm to the human touch without any fever. Myth#4: It’s safe to kiss your pet dog According to vets, the dog’s natural mouth bacteria may not be harmful for human beings, but the tongue which has been in several unclean environments, could definitely be a cause of worry. Pet owners have complained of salmonella poisoning after they have been licked by the dog on their face. It’s true that a lot of dog owners still don’t deter from cuddling face-to-face with their friendly four-legged companion, but it is advisable for people with unsteady or weak immune systems to avoid such exposure.
How Do You Get Rid Of The Dog Smell?
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Image source: Pixabay.com/ Introduction Your love for your dog is indisputable. Your dog is perhaps your best friend who accompanies you on evening walks, plays with you and your kids, and behaves like a family member. But that stench! It can be a huge turn off for you. Some dogs tend to have a natural smell, which may be pleasant, but some dogs, especially the ones with a thicker coat, carry a lifelong smell that you have to deal with every day. How to get rid of the dog smell? Giving your dog a deep-soaking bath every day is not possible, given your busy lifestyle. But there are a few simple ways in which you can get rid of that smell without disrupting your daily schedule, which are as follows:
  • Use baby wipes to wipe your dog's fur Baby wipes are gentler than the dog wipes available at pet stores. You can use them to wipe your dog's fur, but make sure to keep away from the eyes. Baby wipes are pre-moistened with conditioners, cleansers and deodorants, and they work wonders in removing the unpleasant stench of dogs. You can even use baby wipes to clean your dog's soiled paws.
  • Take care of your dog's ears Surprisingly, the smell emanates from your dog's ears, for which you need to clean its ears. You can consider using three to four drops of baby or mineral oil on a cotton ball to clean its your dog's ears. However, you have to be careful otherwise you might hurt the eardrum.
  • Use cornstarch or baking soda as a dog shampoo Cornstarch and baking soda are considered good for addressing a number of dog-related issues. It can help in stopping the blood your dog's toenails if you cut them too short, or reducing itching from dry skin and hot spots. But the best part is both cornstarch and baking soda can help in reducing dog smell. You can sprinkle some baking soda or cornstarch directly on your dog's coat and gently message it with a soft towel. It acts as a great dry shampoo.
  • Brush it regularly Brushing your dog regularly helps in removing dirt and allergens from its coat. It prevents allergens and dirt from accumulating in your dog's coat and significantly reduces the smell.
  • Wash its bedding If your dog's bed, where it spends most of its time smells, the you should considering washing its bedding. Washing the bedding prevents germs and dirt, which may have accumulated over a lot days, to latch on to your dog's fur and cause it to smell. You should also consider cleaning your furniture and carpet if you dog sits on it.
Is It Safe To Switch Your Pet’s Food?
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Image Source: Mlapp.org/ Introduction If you have a dog at home, then you may be aware of their exacting nutritional requirements. In order to meet them, many pet food companies have emerged these days. The variety of pet foods available in the market is overwhelmingly large as each pet food brand offers different selling propositions. However, it is a long-held notion that changing your pet food would alter your pet's eating habits, which makes many pet owners bound to the same food forever. It is therefore important to understand that your pet's dietary requirements change over time due to several factors such as age, health condition, and activity level. Signs that call for food change You don't have to keep your pet on the set diet for its entire life. You will have to change its diet for some reason or the other. The following signs show that its time for you to consider switching your pet's food:
  • Flaky and dull coat
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Seniority attained by the pet
  • Increase in weight
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Onset of allergies
How to change your pet's food safely? Regardless of your pet's age, you can change its food gradually over a period of at least a week. Care should be taken while switching your puppies' food because they have a sensitive stomach and a change may upset it. A gradual change is possible by mixing the new food with the old food for allowing the pet's body to adapt well to the change. The directions mentioned below lays down the proportion that could help you change your pet's food safely:
  • Day 1: Use 80% of old food and 20% of new food.
  • Day 2: Use 60% of old food and 40% of new food.
  • Day 3: Use 40% of old food and 60% of new food.
  • Day 4: Use 20% of old food and 80% of new food.
  • Day 5: Feed the pet with 100% of the new food
Additionally, you must ensure that the new food closely matches with the old food. A sudden change in ingredients may cause vomiting or diarrhea in your pet. To ensure that your choice is appropriate, read the list of ingredients on the package thoroughly. If the first few ingredients match, then you are safe to go ahead with the change. Pro-biotic supplements can help in reducing diarrhea on changing the diet. It is also recommended that you should avoid huge changes in the quantities of fat, fiber and protein as much as possible. If the diet change has caused unwanted diarrhea and vomiting in your pet, then you must consult a vet immediately to avoid further complications.
The Lowdown On Pet Insurance
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Image source: Pixabay.com/ If you feel that owning a pet just means taking it out on a walk or playing with it in your spare time, then perhaps you need to rethink. Owning a pet is similar to having a kid; there are so many things you need to take care of – diet, exercise, health, and not to forget, insurance. If you are wondering whether pets can be insured like humans, then the simple answer is yes. Pet insurance is gaining popularity in the United States in the recent times, which is seen by the proliferation of pet insurance companies that help pet owners in covering the cost of veterinary treatment. Why do you need pet insurance? Animals are never far from health issues. They may counter different conditions at different times, which can be extremely overwhelming in terms of vet bills. Some health conditions of pets are so acute that immediate veterinary treatment is required. However, there is much debate on the worthiness of pet insurance because it brings an additional cost for pet owners in terms of premium payments. But opinions are skewed much in favor of having an insurance and paying regular premiums than incurring heavy veterinary expenses at one go when they arise. Moreover, pet insurance policies cover a wide range of pet-related health issues, which ultimately relieves a lot of trouble for pet owners. What is covered under pet insurance? Pet insurance policies provide coverage for simple accidents to surgeries and treatments for illnesses, as well as routine vaccinations and check-ups. The following items are usually covered under a pet insurance policy:
  • Theft or loss of pet, where pet owners can get the purchase price of their pet. Some insurance companies also cover the cost of advertising the lost pet and reward for its recovery.
  • Treatment for behavioral disorders in pets, which requires owners to treat it in a professional set up or under the guidance of a veterinarian.
  • The death of pet by injury or illness, where pet owners can get the purchase price. Some companies cover the cost of euthanasia if the pet shows no sign of recovery.
  • Veterinary bills, which include costs incurred on general veterinary professionals, treating congenital diseases, dental care and certain alternative treatments.
Types of pet insurance policies You can avail for the following types of pet insurance policies:
  • Accident-only policy, which is a low-cost policy covering accidental injuries within a fixed time limit and fee.
  • Per condition policy with time limit, which covers accidents and illnesses within a set maximum fee for 12 months.
  • Per condition policy with no time limit, a comprehensive insurance policy that covers accidents and illnesses throughout the pet's life for a maximum fee set for a year. The policy, however, requires periodic renewal.
Are You Having Trouble With a Hyperactive Kitty? Here’s What You Can Do
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Image source: Wikimedia.org/ With their tiny noses, little whiskers, and incisive teeth, kittens can allure anybody. However, these lovely fluff balls can wreak havoc in homes by sprinting all around, jumping on tables and chairs, and climbing up closets and curtains. If you own a kitten who behaves this way, then perhaps it is a little hypersensitive but normal. A little knowledge of hyperactive kitten behavior can help you tackle the problem easily. Why do kittens become hyperactive? Much of the hyperactive behavior in kittens is caused by their playful and predatory nature. Cats are nocturnal animals. So it's normal for it to run around in the middle of the night or in the early hours of the morning when their energy level is at its peak. Usually kittens are brought home when they are 8 weeks old. But you cannot expect your kitten to differentiate between meat and furniture that it has been scratching and biting at such a tiny age. Hyperactivity is usually seen in bored and lonely kittens that are brimming with energy, but no outlet to channelize it. Similar to all young mammals, your kitten's frantic behavior is its own way of transitioning towards adulthood. Kittens explore new areas because they have a predatory nature. They try to get accustomed to their environment by following their natural tendencies such as jumping, biting and running after things. It is simply not their fault at all. How to calm a hyperactive kitten down? It may seem impossible to calm your hyperactive kitten down, but some fun-filled playtime can help you achieve this easily. Consider the following tips to calm your hypersensitive kitten down:
  • Provide ample space to your kitten Create a space for your kitten which it can call its own. This private space will let your kitten unwind and keep distractions and people away. The space should allow your kitten to play own its own and channelize the stored energy productively.
  • Play sessions  Spending quality playtime with your kitten helps in strengthening the bond between you both, and also releasing the stored energy from the kitten's body. You can imitate the kitten's hunting activity to attract its attention and inspire its natural predatory tendencies.
  • Consider adopting another kitten  Hyperactivity is often caused by boredom in kittens. Bringing another kitten home can give your existing kitten some good company, and will encourage it to play and release energy.
  • Cat trees and scratching posts  Consider giving your kitten a cat tree or scratching post to perch itself on so that it can release its energy by climbing up to get.
These tips can divert the attention of your cat from destructive activities and help you to calm its hyperactiveness down in a big way.
All You Need To Know About Lure Coursing
Image Source: Pixabay.com What is lure coursing? L...
Image Source: Pixabay.com What is lure coursing? Lure coursing is a sort of sport for dogs that involves chasing a mechanical lure. It gives dogs the chance to chase, jump, and sniff the ground- everything that dogs love doing. Modern lure courses utilize an artificial lure which is attached to a pulley for the dogs to chase. Competition in lure coursing was usually limited to purebred sight-hound breeds of dogs. However, the sport is now open for all dogs irrespective of their breed. Why is lure coursing so special? The best part of lure coursing is it allows dogs to participate in an activity that comes naturally to them. They are able to enjoy themselves in a controlled and safe environment without the danger of obstacles. Lure coursing is the best way to exercise your dog as it involves chasing, running and jumping. Dogs are thrilled by the chase and makes them active in a big way. How is lure coursing done? Lure coursing uses a simple equipment consisting of 300 meters of fishing line looped around many pulleys that are set to form a course. A plastic bag is attached to the fishing line and a battery-operated motor is used to power the pulleys. The motor can stop the lure or change its direction at any time. A system of tin pipes, in which the lure goes through and stops inside, is developed for regular dogs. The system causes dogs to search for the lure either by sniffing the ground or looking in or under the pipe. The lure is fun because it can either make its way through the pipe or reverse to trick the dog by emerging out from the opposite side. Which dogs can participate in lure coursing? The American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) are two groups that sanction the sport in the United States. Participation in lure coursing is usually open to purebred sight-hounds, but the ASFA has made some exceptions by opening the sport for all kinds of breeds. However, dogs must be at least a year old to be able to participate in the sport. Spayed and emasculated dogs are also allowed to participate in lure coursing, but dogs with retained testicles do not qualify for the competition. Health concerns associated with lure coursing Although lure coursing is an appealing sport for dogs, it is not free from health concerns. Dogs exert their joints to a great extent; thinner dogs exert less pressure compared to fatter and larger dogs. Dogs having short noses such as pugs must be taken care of because their bodies tend to overheat. Lure coursing is a great sport for dogs because it does not require rigorous training. The sport allows dogs to follow their natural instincts and make a huge difference in their overall behavior.
Oral Tick and Flea Treatment For Your Dog
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Image Credit - Pexels.com/ Common pests like ticks and fleas are easy to prevent, but the damage they can do once they latch on to your dog's skin and hair are not so easy to fix. That makes it vitally important to keep your dog on an effective preventative, if you want to keep bug problems like flea infestations, Lyme disease and other skin infections at bay. Up until now, topical preventatives were the standard option for preventing ticks and fleas, but the advances in pharmacology have flooded the market with oral preventatives that are slowly gaining popularity. Are oral medications more effective? Oral medication can effectively kill up to 99.9 % of the adult fleas in your dog's body. Topical treatments on the other hand have a success rate of 88.5% The difference is huge, especially if your goal is to keep you dog healthy and flea-free. The convenience of oral medication is another big factor that tips the scales in its favor. Unlike topical preventatives, they are much more easy to administer and don't leave behind a sticky mess. Most of the oral medication come as soft chews or beef flavored pills. Your dog will just eat the medicine like a treat, and stay protected from ticks and fleas for up to 3 months. If you are a dog owner, we are sure you been in a situation where you have had to get separate preventatives for ticks, fleas, heartworms, and intestinal parasites. We all know that this can be quite expensive and inconvenient, especially if you have more than one dog in your household. Fortunately, most of the oral flea medications are also effective in preventing other pests. You have tablets that need to be administered just once a month to prevent hookworms, heartworms, whipworms and roundworms. How to choose the right oral preventative for your dog? You need to consider your dog's lifestyle into account when choosing an oral preventative. If your pet does not stand the risk of getting exposed to ticks and you want to stick to an easy regimen, you can go for chewable tablet that has o be administered just once every month. If you are concerned about a possible tick infestation, then there are targeted medications in the market that guard against both ticks and fleas. You will still have to give your dog heartworm medicine separately, but you get to avoid the sticky mess of topical treatments. Bear in mind that most of these medications are given on a prescription-only basis. So, you need to check with your dog's vet to figure out your options. He/she will help you choose a product that is tailored to your dog's needs and lifestyle. If your dog still has fleas after the treatment, then you need to clean your home to get rid of the pesky little eggs and larvae.
What Should You Do if Your Dog is Suffering From Pancreatic Insufficiency?
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Image Source : Pixabay.com/ What is Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)? Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) is a condition where the gastrointestinal system of dogs is affected by the lack of digestive enzymes produced in the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for the production of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels and digestive enzymes to digest starches, proteins and fats from the diet. When the pancreas does not produce sufficient digestive enzymes, the dog is unable to digest the food. Many dog owners fail to realize the effects of the disease, as a result of which, dogs with EPI starve to death without getting proper treatment. There have been many cases where EPI took a toll on the lives of dogs such as German Shepherd and Shiloh Shepherd. However, the incidence of EPI, albeit rare, does not depend on the breed, and this life-threatening dog disease has affected dogs across the globe. What are the symptoms of EPI? As mentioned earlier, many dog owners fail to identify the disease and give appropriate veterinary care to their dogs. Unfortunately, many vets also fail to understand the disease because of its uncommon nature. However, an understanding of the symptoms may help in giving proper veterinary care to your dogs before it becomes too late. The following are few of the symptoms seen in dogs with EPI:
  • Orange, yellow, gray or pale-colored stool.
  • Uncontrollable diarrhea that doesn't go away.
  • Rapid and excessive weight loss.
  • Polyphagia, which is caused due to increase in appetite.
  • Abnormal stool.
  • Burping as a result of gas.
  • Dry and dull coat.
  • Vomiting
  • Intake of non-food items.
  • Changes in mood and temperament.
Diagnosis and treatment of EPI Diagnosis of EPI in dogs include the following:
  • Determining the levels of digestive enzymes in the blood
  • Measuring chymotrypsin activity
  • Determining the levels of digestive enzymes in fecal matter
  • Stool examination under a microscope.
The treatment of EPI in dogs can be an expensive and lengthy process, but it can be accomplished easily. The process involves replacing the pancreatic enzymes of the dog with EPI with enzymes from other sources, such as freeze-dried, ground-up pancreatic tissue from a hog or cow. Although an expensive process, enzyme replacement is a large part of the treatment, and the dog begins to improve rapidly once the supplementation begins. The supplement powders are usually mixed with the dog's food, while tablets are given half an hour before meal. The supplement powder should be mixed properly with the food and hydrated with water. It is recommended that the enzyme replacement is allowed to incubate for a few minutes prior to eating. The treatment is seen to provide beneficial results by restoring the dog's ability to produce digestive enzymes, but the number of successful cases has been less.
The Best Way to Care For a Feral Cat
Image Credit - Wikimedia.org/ Feral cats stir up a...
Image Credit - Wikimedia.org/ Feral cats stir up a lot of positive and negative emotions across communities. A large number of animal activists work everyday to protect and control the stray cat population. Individuals and organizations offer them food and healthcare to ensure that they stay healthy. If you are interested in caring for the feral cats in your neighborhood, don't just go out to the pet store and buy a bag of cat food. You might want to think it through first. A primer on feral cat care As you might have guessed, caring for the feral cat in your community involves a significant amount of time and money. You need to provide the following:
  • Daily water and food
  • Get them in a trap-neuter-return program where cats are trapped, sterilized and medically treated.
  • Shelter them from the elements
  • Monitor their health concerns by arranging vet care when available
  • Keep them up-to-date on Rabies vaccinations
If you want to be more ambitious, you can also provide:
  • Parasite prevention medication
  • Vaccines (apart from Rabies, to prevent cat-specific diseases like the feline leukemia virus)
  • Care for the litter of kittens born to pregnant cats who weren't altered or trapped in time
  • Find indoor homes for the more social cats. If you come across a cat that has strayed away from its home, report it to the local shelter immediately.
What about medical care? Medical care for stray cats can be overwhelming, both in terms of time and money. But there are certain basic steps you can take to make sure that they stay healthy. For starters, get them neutered or spayed. Not only is that the right thing to do it will also help you control the population of feral cats in your neighborhood. Your colony might have just six or seven stray cats at the moment, but if you don't spay/neuter them, you will end up with fifty or sixty. If it ever gets there, then you can kiss your dreams of caring for them goodbye. If you need assistance with medical care, find an animal rescue service and ask for their help. They have a working relationship with most of the veterinarians, and they can get the cats neutered and spayed at a much cheaper price than you will ever be able to on your own. Enlist the help of your neighbors as well. And most importantly, don't start something that you cannot finish. Don't ever welcome a cat into your home one day only to turn your back on him the next day. The financials are secondary to your commitment. Don't forget that feral cats are no different from domestic cats. Once you welcome them into your life, they become dependent on you. If you suddenly stop feeding them, they will wait on you for weeks before they give up, even if it means starvation.
Choosing The Right Food For Your Kitten
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Image Credit - Staticflickr.com/ Kittens need certain key nutrients to grow strong muscle and bones, to build immunity, and to aid the proper development of their brains. The market is chock full of cat food designed for specific life stages. Just a cursory glance at the packaging should give you a fair idea of where to start. You need to make sure that you choose food that meets all the nutritional needs of your kitten if you want to avoid paying for vet visits, special diets and medication later on. Protein and carbohydrates Cats are obligate carnivores. They cannot subsist on carbohydrates or vegetables. So, it is crucial to have a meat source as a main component of your kitten's daily diet. If kitty does not receive the correct quantity of meat proteins, the body will start breaking down the muscle to get the nutrients you don't provide. Animal protein is absolutely necessary for the healthy growth of tissue and muscle. They supply amino acids, which are the building blocks of all the tissues in the body. Having said that, some of the amino acids are more important than the others. For instance, kittens need taurine for a healthy heart and vision. Without it, your cat will suffer from heart problems and grow blind eventually. And it can be found only in meat sources. A lot of the cat foods in the market are made with grains and carbohydrates. So, it is hard to avoid them completely. But you need to take care to ensure that they constitute a very small percentage of the food. Excess carbohydrates in the diet can lead to intestinal problems and weight gain. Fats Fats are a very important part of every kitten's diet. They help absorb the important vitamins, like vitamin K, A, D and E, and add flavor to the food as well. They are also a very good source of energy and contain oils that maintain healthy hair coats and skin. If the diet is low in fat, it can lead to scaly, dry skin and increase the chances of your cat contracting a skin infection. Arachidonic fatty acids are essential for skin growth and blood clotting. Vitamins and minerals Vitamins and minerals like phosphorous, calcium and vitamin D are needed for the development of teeth and bones. The amount and ratio of these nutrients is important for maximizing skeletal stability and density. Lack of mineral and vitamin balance will result in joint and bone problems when your kitten grows up. What to avoid You need to stick to a formula that is tailor made for kittens. Under no circumstances should you share your food with your kitten. Try to avoid canned fish as much as possible as a prolonged diet of canned food can lead to a thiamine deficiency. Also, avoid raw eggs as they can lead to a biotin deficiency and are a common source of salmonella.
How to Train a Fearful Cat?
Image Credits: Pixabay A number of reasons can cau...
Image Credits: Pixabay A number of reasons can cause a cat to develop anxiety and fear. Limited socialization during the early period in a cat's life is one of the main reasons. A bad experience with a human being or another animal in the past is another. Genetics play a part in the fear factor as well. For instance, some cats are fearful and timid by nature. Poor maternal care or a lack of nutritional food while young can affect the emotional development of a cat. Training a fearful cat can be difficult, however, with proper methods and patience, it can be done. The first thing to do is to learn the cat's body language in order to determine the current mood of the cat. The signs that show that your cat is scared includes dilated pupils, hissing, crouching (as if to pounce), growling, eyes going wide, keeping the ears flat and raising the hackles. Most of the cats tend to hide when afraid. The following are some ways how you can train a fearful cat. Offer rewards Just like training a normal cat by offering rewards, you can train a fearful cat the same way as well. At first, he/she may refuse to take the treat from your hand, so just toss it near them. Slowly, decrease the distance between you and the cat. Eventually, your cat will take the treat from your hand. You may resort to clicker training as well. Take it slow A great deal of patience is required to train a fearful cat. Do not set a pace, go with your cat's pace. If you are trying to get your cat to interact with your family members, do not forcibly take him/her to them. Let the cat approach them on his/her own terms. If you force your cat, he/she will lose their trust in you, and they will refuse to come to you as well. Play with your cat using interactive toys Your fearful cat may be afraid to play with you in close proximity. So, keep your distance and play with him/her using interactive toys. For instance, you can use a fishing pole toy to play with your cat. Your cat can stay in his/her comfort zone. Eventually, he/she will warm up to you and play with you more freely. Training your cat to play with other cats/pets in your home Place your fearful cat's cage next to the other cat's cage. Do not lock the cage, let him/her be free. However, place the feeding dishes inside the cages during the feeding time. Eventually, your fearful cat will feed while the other cat is also feeding. Then, you can place both the feeding bowls in one cage. Slowly, your fearful cat will bond with the other cat/pet. Create hidden paths to resources In case your cat ventures out from under the bed only when you are not home or when you are sleeping, create hidden paths to his/her litter box, to the scratching post, and so on, with paper bags or cardboard boxes. He/she will come out since they are hidden from you. Eventually, your cat will get used to your presence and stop using the hidden ways. There will be many setbacks while training your fearful cat, however, it is imperative that you do not get discouraged and stay consistent in your training process. The pride and joy that you will experience after successfully training your fearful cat will be well worth the effort.
The Fundamentals of Dog Nutrition
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Image Source: Wikimedia.org/ When it comes to dog nutrition, it is not much different from that of us humans. Dogs require the same kind of nutrition as we do. It is important for dogs to eat the right kind of food to be healthy and safe from contracting any kind of disease. Although they need the same kind of nutrition, does not mean that they should eat our kind of food. Dogs should have their very own diet plan, which while takes care of their nutrition needs also abides by the kind of food they are allowed to eat. Like humans, dogs are also susceptible to gaining weight or contracting cancer. Eating the wrong kind of food which is rich in acid and irritate their abdominal tract can lead to many kinds of diseases as well. Therefore, good knowledge of what kind of food and diet is good for your dog can help in ensuring a long and healthy life for them. Diet rich in protein Your dog’s diet should provide it with good amounts of protein in the forms of meat, fish and eggs. Puppy chow offers good amount of protein for puppies but it is not enough protein for grown up dogs. Poultry should be included in their diets in the right amounts. Soybeans and cornmeal are not healthy for both humans and dogs. Hence, both these protein sources should be avoided. If you are buying dog biscuits, make sure they do not contain cornmeal or soybean. No cookies policy Cookies can do a lot of harm to a dog’s health. You can feed your dog cookies sparingly, but in excess it can cause major health issues. You can give them sweet treats as they are absolutely fine. Make sure that the sweets you give them are rich in dietary fiber which helps the dog have a balanced diet. Oatmeal cookies are the one type of cookie that is great for dogs. Limited treating Too many treats is not a healthy feeding pattern. You should restrict treating your dog with dog biscuits as much as possible. Use them as a reward or when you are out but not as a substitute to proper dog food. No over feeding Each dog should be fed according to their size. There are packaged foods available in the markets that specify the amount of food each type of dog should be fed. Study the labels well to ensure you are not over-feeding your dog. Don’t feed leftovers Food leftovers should not be given to dogs as our food is not necessarily good for them. For example, giving your dog sloppy joe sandwiches and broccoli is not a good idea as these are not healthy for them. The fat from steak is fine as it is good for them.
How to Trim Your Cat’s Nails?
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Image Source: Pixabay.com/ If scratch marks on the furniture is not your idea of fetching décor, then you should seriously consider trimming the nails of your cat on a regular basis. Granted, taking your cat to the groomer can to the groomer can be the more glamorous option, but it's also the more expensive one. If you are among those people who like to take care of things themselves, then trimming your cat's claws at home is your best bet. The simplest way to get your cat acclimatized to the process is to start when he is young. So, how exactly do you trim Felix's nails without throwing him into a tizzy? That depends on your cat. Some cats take to it more easily than others. But most of them suffer through it. Here is a step by step guide to help you do it right. Before you begin, inspect your cat's claws under the lights. Squeeze his paw gently to make the nails jut out. You should be able to see pink tissue in the middle of his nail. Make sure you cut below that to avoid pain and bleeding. When you start out, it's better to cut a small part of his nail instead of getting overzealous and cutting it too close. It is very important that you don't associate the process of nail clipping with discomfort. As for the clippers, you will be able to find ones that are specially designed for cats. You will also need treats and a styptic powder in case you accidentally cut into the connective tissue that underlies the nail. Let's get started:
  • Pick a comfortable spot and make sure that it is well lit. Make sure you have everything you need by your side. Also, have treats ready for after the trimming.
  • Firmly hold your cat between your knees, or in a position that is best for both of you. The idea is to ensure that your cat is secure. Grab his front paw and squeeze it gently. This will make the claw stick out.
  • Once you have a good hold and view, position the nail clipper at a comfortable distance from the connective tissue.
  • Clip the nail vertically. This will prevent it from splitting. Make sure you do it in a single stroke.
  • Once you are done, reward your cat with a treat. This is a very important step as it will associate the act with a positive outcome. Repeat this with the other claws once your cat allows.
Don't worry if your cat does not allow you to do more than one claw. Just try doing it again after a while. If you are facing difficulty doing it on your own, have a friend or a family member assist you.
The Dangers Faced By Search and Rescue Dogs
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Image source: Wikimedia.org/ More often than not, when tragedy strikes, emergency and rescue service personnel take the help of four-legged rescuers in disaster recovery. These dogs have been an important part of every recovery plan, from tragedies like the Oklahoma city bombing and 9/11 to man-made catastrophes like Katrina. Search and rescue dogs undergo intense training and have an incredible instinct to go to places that are out of the reach of human rescuers. With their extraordinary sense of hearing and smell, these life savers often find victims that human rescuers can't see, hear or reach. Immediate adverse effects It goes without saying that these dogs face a lot of immediate danger on a regular basis. In many cases, the immediate danger can turn into chronic, long-term health conditions. The immediate health concerns for search and rescue dogs include pad damage, dehydration, abrasions and cuts. Their human partners take all the necessary care, including baths and frequent eyewashes, to make sure that they are healthy and fit. Such decontamination procedures are generally meant for visible wounds on the body. Risk of accidental exposure However, as is the case with any disaster, there are a lot of health hazards that humans cannot see, taste, touch or even smell. This can lead to chronic, long term health conditions not only for the rescuers but also their canine companions. Human rescuers have access to protective gear when they work at a disaster site, including gloves, helmets, boots, clothing ad masks. Some dogs have protective covering for their feet depending on the type of disaster. While humans can use masks to prevent the inhalation of toxins at the disaster site, dogs don't have any such protection. Dogs use their keen sense of smell to explore the world around them. Constantly sniffing the ground and air, and licking their noses leaves them at a much higher risk of inhaling toxins compared to their human partners. Uneven surfaces, broken glass, fires and damaged buildings are not the only dangers to worry about. For instance, during the 9/11 tragedy, the collapsing buildings and the explosions released an incredible amount of toxins that both the humans and rescue dogs were exposed to. At Pentagon and Ground Zero, the dogs were practically walking through puddles of gasoline, fuel, oils, cleaning products, glass, asbestos, metal and acids, among other materials. Potential health risks Dogs can develop mesothelioma by inhaling harmful particles. A lot of equally deadly diseases can develop in rescue dogs depending on the lethality of toxic exposure at the disaster site. These include, but are not limited to, gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses. The gestation period for these illnesses is much quicker in dogs than it is in human beings and the symptoms might present themselves almost immediately.
Herbs to Help Relieve Your Cat Of Stress
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Image Source : Pixabay.com/ Some cat have a naturally anxious demeanor while others freak out during vet visits and car trips. This leaves a lot of pet owners in a fix as they try to look for ways to calm their cat down. Fortunately, there are a lot of natural remedies to help with stress relief, and the best part is that they are easy to administer. Try these flower essences and herbs the next time your cat gets stressed:
  1. Catnip – We know what you're thinking. Giving a substance that riles up Felix in an effort to calm him down seems counterintuitive. But they key to effectively use catnip for stress relief is to give it to your cat 15 minutes before the stressful event, like the much dreaded vet trip. After he hangs from your ceiling and bolts around the living room at lightning speed, he will tire himself out and remain unusually calm.
  2. Valerian – This herb mimics the effects of catnip, but with one major difference. After your cat comes down from the high, not only will he be calm, he'll most likely go to sleep. In fact, this herb is used as a remedy for people suffering from insomnia and it tends to have the same effect on cats. The herb will induce euphoria and chill your cat out, making him more docile in the process.
  3. Chamomile – Chamomile tea has a calming effect on people, and the dried flowers of the plant have the same anti-anxiety properties on felines as well. Animal studies have demonstrated that chamomile contains compounds that act on the same parts of the nervous system and the brain as anti-anxiety medication. They promote relaxation by reducing stress.
  4. Rescue remedy – Bach flower remedies are known to relieve anxiety and stress in humans. However, they can also be used on cats and dogs. Though it is technically not a herb, it is an excellent stress buster. The immediate effectiveness of the remedy is what makes it stand out from the other treatments. If you want to calm down your kitty pronto, this is a great choice. Make sure that you buy the alcohol free version for Felix.
How to administer herbs to your cat Most of these herbs come in many forms – dried leaves or flowers, tinctures, teas and essential oils, to name a few. However, you cannot administer essential oils to cats as their liver cannot break down the compounds. Dried herbs are the safest. To prevent your cat from eating the flowers and leaves, put them in a tube collar. That way, your cat will benefit from the relaxing qualities of the herbs without over-ingesting them. If you prefer to go the tincture route, make sure you buy the product from a reputable pet company.
How to Clean Your Cat’s Ears?
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Image Credit - https://c1.staticflickr.com/ Most pet owners believe that cats are self-sufficient and are capable of taking care of themselves, thanks to all the meticulous grooming they do. However, that is only partly true. If your cat has ear problems, then he has to rely on you for a safe cleaning. If, for some reason, you aren't able to take your cat to the vet for an ear cleaning session, then you should know how to do it yourself. Why should you clean the ears? Cat have a built-in cleaning mechanism where the wax migrates towards external ear canal. However, if your cat has an ear issue, like blood blisters, ear mites or an ear infection, then you need to clean it thoroughly before you apply any topical medication. Make sure that you regularly check your cat's ears for any abnormalities. How often should you clean the ears? If your cat has healthy ears, then check them once a month for any odor and debris. If you notice any abnormalities, you need to take him to the vet for a thorough evaluation. However, if your cat has ear inflammation, then you need to clean them once a week after treating the inflammation. How do you clean your cat's ears? If you have never cleaned Felix's ears before, then it might take a little practice to get it right. Fortunately, it is a fairly straightforward process and once you get a hang of it, you're all set. Perform the following steps with a gauze and cleaning solution nearby:
  • Pull back the earflap delicately and fill the ear canal with a cleaning solution recommended by the veterinarian.
  • Gently massage the base of the ear for ten seconds, and allow your cat to shake the solution out of his ear.
  • Wrap a gauze around your little finger and clean out any excess liquid from the ear canal. Your finger cannot go far enough inside to cause any real damage.
  • Repeat the same process with the other ear.
Tips to help you clean your cat's ears effectively Even if you are convinced that your cat needs to have his ears cleaned, there is a good chance that he might not share your position. Here are a few tips to make the cleaning process easy:
  • Have a friend/family member hold your cat while you clean his ears.
  • Don't use a Q-tip as it can damage the eardrum and push the debris deeper into the ear. You can use the Q-tip on the earlap folds.
  • Before you start cleaning, wrap your cat in a towel so that he remains still.
  • Make sure that you close your mouth and eyes before you let your cat shake his head.
Everything You Need to Know About Designer Dogs
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Image Credit - Pixabay.com/ The term “designer dog” is used to refer to dogs that are a hybrid of two purebreds. While the term is fairly new, the concept is not. Avid dog breeders have been crossing purebreds for hundreds of years. The only difference is that the early hybrids were meant for work purposes – to breed better shepherding or hunting dogs, in most cases. The Australian Shepherd is an excellent example, though not the only one. One of the sticking points with hybrids is that they are not officially recognized by breed clubs. This may lead some people to wonder as to why anyone would pay hefty price for a hybrid, but that has done nothing to slow down the burgeoning movement. The kennel club for designer dogs currently recognizes over 500 designer dog breeds, and some of the top breeders take hybrid breeding very seriously. Breed qualities Most of the designer dogs in the world today are meant to be companion dogs rather than work mates. They are selectively bred for their temperament, appearance and hypoallergenic qualities. The Labradoodle, one of the most popular designer dog breeds in Australia, originated in the 70s as a working dog. The Labrador was chosen for its superlative guiding abilities and the Poodle was chosen for its trainability, intelligence and low shedding. Together, they made the perfect guide dog for disabled people who were allergic to dander. The Labradoodle has still not been recognized as a pure-breed, but it's only a matter of time before it joins the ranks of other purebreds. The hypoallergenic quality of the Poodle makes it one of the most popular dogs for crossbreeding. It is the progenitor of the Yorkie-Poo, Cocka-Poo, Saint Berdoodle and the Pug-a-Poo. How to choose a responsible breeder? Just like tech enthusiasts are willing to hand over all their hard earned cash for the latest gadget in the market, dog lovers are willing to fork over heavy sums for the cutest and the newest puppy breed. However, we highly recommend that you resist the temptation to buy from the first breeder you can find. While ethical breeders take their job very seriously, the high demand in the market has also given rise to a lot of opportunists who are only interested in making money. It takes a lot of dedication to bring a hybrid dog to its full potential. Makes sure that the breeder has given serious thought to the compatibility of both the dog pairs, has proof of both the parents' health, along with test results that rule out genetic disorders like hip dysplasia and eye problems. Lastly, you will be able to find a lot of designer dogs at your local shelter. So, adoption is a viable option as well. You'll help save a life and get a wonderful companion in return.
Pet Care Guide For First Time Owners
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Image Credit - Pixabay.com/ Are you thinking of getting a pet for the first time? Are you worried you wouldn't know how to provide proper care? Don't worry – we have put together a handy list of things every new pet parent must know about:
  • Pet proofing your home – Pets love to explore their surroundings in a number of ways – licking, smelling, jumping, eating and scratching. A lot of pet owners don't factor in the amount of pet work they need to do before they pick out an animal. As a pet parent, you need to ensure that items like cleaning agents, chemicals, shoes and clothes are either out of your house or out of reach from your furry friend. Keep the floor and countertops clear, lock the cabinets and tuck away the electrical cords out of reach. If you are getting a dog, buy chew toys and if it's a cat, get a bunch of scratching posts.
  • Creating a schedule – Routines are the best way to encourage good behavior in your pet. They are not very different from children in this regard. For starters, potty train your pet. Kittens and puppies tend to urinate quite often on account of their small bladders. If this happens with your pet, don't fret. Clean it up and show your pet where the potty should go (litter box for the cat and outdoors for the dog). A daily exercise schedule is equally important. You should encourage your pet to participate in it at least 15 minutes a day. Last, but not the least, come up with a feeding schedule and make sure that you stick to it. Use high quality pet food and measure out the portions so that your pet learns portion control early on.
  • Watch out for behavioral problems and practice positive training – Ensure that you are consistent with the training regimen from the very beginning. Make it clear to your pet that you are the pack leader and insist on good behavior even when doing the simplest of daily activities, like eating dinner or preparing to go outdoors. If you encounter any behavioral issues, consult with the vet. He/she can help you determine whether the behavioral problems are caused by an underlying health issue. Also, find a way to deal with the problem of separation anxiety early on. Many pet parents unknowingly encourage this behavior by spending every moment of their weekends with their pets and leave them alone for the major part of the day during weekdays. Avoid this by leaving your pet alone with toys for a few minutes each day and gradually increase the alone time. Start doing this the very first day you bring your pet home.
How to Tell Skin Allergies From Bug Bites?
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Image Credit - Staticflickr.com/ Itching is one of the most common reasons pet owners take their dogs to the veterinarian. It goes without saying that, just like humans, there are a number of reasons behind why canines lick, chew and scratch themselves. Why does your dog scratch himself? Inflammation is also referred to as dermatitis. This condition causes intense itching in dogs. Parasitic and allergic dermatitis are the to most common types of dermatitis. The allergic variant is caused by food allergies, seasonal allergies and non-seasonal allergies. Parasitic dermatitis is caused due to insect bites and stings. Both these conditions have similarities in their clinical signs. How can you tell the difference between the two? If your dog is suffering from an acute case of allergic dermatitis, then he may have allergies due to one of the three aforementioned causes. Seasonal allergies are prevalent during summer, spring, and fall. If you live in a region that has predominantly warm/humid weather, then the allergy can persist all year long. Blooming flowers, plants, weeds, grasses and trees are the most common culprits behind seasonal allergies. Non-seasonal allergies can be caused due to molds, dust, environmental materials, chemicals and other factors. Some dogs are allergic to certain protein sources (beef, chicken, dairy) or grains (corn, wheat, rice). If your dog is suffering from allergic dermatitis, then you will see signs of the condition all over his body, but most commonly on the ears, feet, armpits, legs, groin, muzzle, and around the anus. Redness, hair loss, oozing, crusting, hyperpigmentation and skin thickening can occur at the itchy locations. Ticks, fleas and other stinging insects can cause inflammation and discomfort to varying degrees. Some dogs are sensitive to insect bites and some of them are even allergic to the saliva. Your dog will lick, chew or scratch himself on the affected site. The itching pattern will vary depending on where your dog has been stung or bitten, as well as on how sensitive he is to the saliva or venom of the insect. Fleas tend to congregate around the neck, head, tail base, inguinal area and the perineum. The most common sign of a flea infestation is the appearance of black pepper like deposits on the infested site. If your dog has flea dirt, then use a moist cloth and gently wipe the area. If you see an orange or pink tinged reside, then it is a sure fire sign of a flea infestation. Mites, on the other hand, are microscopic insects that dig deep into the skin layers to feed and survive. As they chew their way through your dog's skin, they cause inflammation and secondary infections (yeast, bacteria and so on). Redness, swelling, crusting, oozing, hair loss are the most common signs of mange in dogs.
Herbal Remedies for Inflammation and Joint Pain in Pets
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Image Credit - Pixabay.com/ If your pet has joint pain, then medical supplements like glucosamine and fish oil are the best course of treatment. However, using botanicals along with pharmaceuticals can highly benefit some animals suffering from osteoarthritis. Multi modal therapy is extremely effective at combating pain at many different levels. It goes without saying that you need to check with your pet's vet before you start botanical therapy. After all, botanicals are drugs that are waiting to be refined into a purer pharmaceutical form.
  • Turmeric – This is quite possibly the most widely used medicinal herb for treating inflammation and joint pain. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant. They neutralize the free radicals responsible causing painful inflammation and joint damage. A high dose of turmeric acts as a blood thinner and can lead to an upset stomach. So, you need to consult with a veterinarian before you start administering turmeric to your pet. As a rule of thumb, the suggested dosage is 15mg per pound of body weight.
  • Boswellia serrata – The resin of this herb has been used in traditional medicines for centuries. Recent lab research has demonstrated that Boswellia serrata inhibits the production of a particular leukotriene, which is responsible for modulating the immune response of the body to inflammation. Although more clinical research needs to be done on this herb, preliminary in vitro studies clearly show that the herb has a positive effect on the body as a whole. The best part is that there are no known side effect to the compound. So, you can treat your dog with a formulation made for humans, as long as it is free from other compounds. The typical dosage is 6mg per pound of body weight.
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon is known to help with a wide variety of disease conditions like IBD, diarrhea, stomach cramps as well as joint pain and inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of the herb will slow down joint tissue degeneration. If your dog weighs 50 pounds, then add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon to his food daily for a couple of weeks. If it shows beneficial results by relieving arthritic pain, then you can continue the regimen. However, if your dog is about to undergo surgery, then you need to discontinue the treatment at least two weeks before the surgery as cinnamon thins the blood and causes increased bleeding.
  • Hawthorn – Hawthorn helps to stabilize collagen, the protein in the joints that's destroyed by inflammatory processes. Hawthorn also helps to increase circulation, thereby ridding the body of toxin build up in the joints. Please note that Hawthorn can interact with drugs that are designed to treat heart disease. So, speak to your vet before you start administering Hawthorn to your pet.
Is Your Dog an Optimist or a Pessimist?
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Image Credit - Wikimedia.org/ According to a recent study, dogs show signs of being optimistic or pessimistic. The researchers who performed the study trained the dogs to touch a target that would spurt out either milk or water. They also assigned specific tones to each of the stimuli, one coinciding with milk and the other with water. Once the dogs learned t tell the difference between both the tones, the real experiment began. What happened next? Following this, the researchers gave the dogs new tones that lay in between the two they were already familiar with. So, basically they gave the dogs ambiguous signals that said “this one sounds a bit like the milk tone, but isn't exactly that”. If the dogs thought that it was closer to the milk tone, they touched the target. If they thought that it was closer to the water tone, they didn't go anywhere near it. Based on the way a dog responded to the ambiguous tone, the researchers were able to tell whether the dog was an optimist or a pessimist. What is even more interesting is the point at which they decided whether the unclear tone meant milk or water. Some of the dogs kept on hitting the target hoping for milk even after it spurt out water, while others gave up quite early. The experiment started out with 40 dogs and gradually pared the number down to 20. Some dogs did not like milk while others were not persistent enough to learn the difference between both the tones. The study was evenly spread out over a period of two weeks. At the end of it, the researchers concluded that six dogs were optimists, six of them were pessimists and the rest were evenly spread out across the spectrum. Does environment dictate your dog's mental outlook? The researchers postulate that the personality ranking of a dog has a lot to do with his respective background. For instance, a lot of the optimistic dogs were the pets of professional dog trainers. They probably get a lot of physical and mental stimulation at home with clicker training, reinforcement and a lot more. Mot of the pessimistic dogs were recruited from a training program for service dogs. It is not all that surprising that environment should play such a key role in your dog's mental outlook. If you are a dog who has spent his entire life in a puppy mill, then you have probably had a very tough life. That might make you express a more pessimistic world view. However, that does not mean that you are a pessimistic individual. If you are moved to a different environment, then you begin to understand that people are enjoyable and safe.
How Do Cats Trick Their Human Companions With the Frequency Of Their Mewing?
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Image Credit - Wikimedia.org/ Although the soliciting purr of a cat might not be as jolting as the morning alarm, it can still work wonders in prying cat owners from their sleep. And if it gets sufficiently annoying, it can drive them from the comfort of their beds to go fill kitty's food bowl. Scientists conducted a simple study and discovered that this particular kind of cat meow – embedding a high frequency cry with a low-frequency purr is designed to wake people up. This is very different from the plain old meow which is much more likely to get them ejected from the room. What did the study entail? To study how cats expertly manipulate their owners, the researchers involved in the study recorded the purrs of 10 different cats. Some of the purrs were recorded when the cats actively solicited food and the others when they were not. The sounds were played to 50 different people at the same volume. All the participants in the study judged the pleading purrs as the more urgent ones compared to the normal ones. Following this, the researchers re-synthesized the purrs to exclude any trace of the hungry cry and played it back to the participants. This time around, almost all of them thought that the cries were not urgent. What do the results indicate? These results seem to point to the fact that cats do a very good job of cashing in on our nurturing response to the cry of a baby. We're sure that there are many among you who have heard what sounds like the plaintive cry of a baby and went looking for the source of the sound only to discover that it is a cat crying for help. It helps to know that it is an evolutionary trait that they have developed over time to survive better. Jut like kids, domestic cats completely depend on their owners for survival. It is only natural that over time they understood that the sound of a baby's cry is something that almost every human being responds to. What is remarkable though is the fact that their vocal cords have evolved in such a way that they are able to mimic this sound with uncanny precision. This is not the case with dogs. While the soliciting whining of a dog does work on humans as well, it is not engineered with such calculating precision. Considering the fact that cats have specific frequencies at which they communicate specific things, there are many potential applications to this discovery. It can be used to train veterinarians, animal behaviorists and pet owners to decipher what cats are experiencing and attend to it better. This study has opened the doors to further research in that direction.
Does Your Dog Prefer a Belly Rub Over a Treat?
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Image Credit - Pixabay.com/ When humans started the process of domesticating dogs, they practically laid the groundwork for a strong and enduring cross species social bond that would only get stronger over time. Wherever humans go, dogs are wont to follow. If it has ever occurred to you that dogs are more interested in you than the treat in your hand, you'd be glad to know that it is not entirely in your imagination. Animal researchers at Emory University just discovered that dogs value affection more than food. Animal trainers who have successfully trained dog to perform tasks to food rewards might find this a little hard to believe. But science seems to disagree. The results of the study were published in a paper that explored the subject of treats versus praise in detail, and they incontrovertibly point to the fact that dogs do find human affection more intrinsically rewarding. Apart from reminding us of the social origins of dogs as a species, this discovery could also provide a lot of valuable tools for training working dogs. It bears mentioning that this is not the first study of its kind, but it does certainly add a lot to our understanding of dog behavior. Three experiments The researchers involved in the study used functional magnetic resonance imaging in 15 wide awake dogs to explore the neural basis behind their preferences for food reward and social interaction. In the first experiment, they used readings of the ventral caudate as a statistical measure of intrinsic reward and compared the region's activation to conditioned stimuli like praise, food or nothing. Compared to the control stimulus, it was observed that the caudate was much more active to rewards and even more so when it came to praise. This was uniformly the case in 13 of the 15 participating dogs. The second experiment was done to confirm the results of the first. To make sure that the differences in the readings was driven by the intrinsic value of praise, they withheld the praise on a subsection of trials. They noticed that there were considerable differences in the degree of caudate activation relative to withholding praise and the results had a very strong correlation to the differential activation in response to the conditioned stimuli in the first experiment. In a final experiment, they had the participating dogs complete a Y-shaped maze in which they had to choose a treat or their owner. The results of the MRI scans correctly predicted their response here as well, thereby demonstrating that this trait has deep-seated biological routes. The testing was done over a number of sessions to make sure that the dogs get a break in between and do not get tired of being handled or frustrated of the food. Since the responses were consistent across the sessions, it is not just an afternoon whim that drove the dogs to prefer praise to treats. This study conclusively proves that early socialization and positive enforcement is much more important than the food we dole out to our dogs during meal time.
Were Dogs Domesticated More Than Once?
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Image Credit - Auggie.com.au/ Where exactly dig dogs come from? For decades, scientists have tried to find a definitive answer to this question. Did wolves forge their first human relationships in Asia or Europe? According to a new study, the answer is “yes” for both. Scientist conducted a genetic analysis of over 500 canines and found that dogs were domesticated more than once – in Europe and in Asia – although their European ancestry has vanished with time. The findings are a big step towards resolving a rift that has been roiling the scientific community for years on end. However, the case is not definitively closed yet. The study A unique specimen was a part of the study: the ear bone of a 4500 year old dog that was unearthed from a football field in Ireland. Researchers sequenced the entire genome of this canine and compared it to the DNA of over 600 modern dogs. They proceeded to create a family tree and found that there was a deep divide between Asian dogs and European dogs. This was hitherto unknown owing to the lack of samples. To understand when the divide occurred, the unearthed specimen was critical. The researchers used it along with the modern dog genomes to calculate the canine genetic mutation rate. The numbers suggest that the split between the East and West happened over 13,000 years ago. This analysis also shed light on a key genetic bottleneck that has been observed in Western dogs – a lack of genetic diversity that was tied to a decline in population numbers, which usually happens when a small band splits off from the main group. Taken together, these findings suggest that dogs were domesticated first in Asia before a small subset of them migrated through Eurasia to the West with their owners. This means that almost all of the modern dogs have Asian ancestry. However, there's a twist – archaeologists previously discovered the remains of a 16,000 year old dog in Germany, which goes to show that dogs were domesticated there even before the Asian dogs set foot there. Although it is not possible to say whether the dogs that evolved in Europe are an evolutionary dead end, it is safe to say that their legacy has been erased. Going forward However, even if the mutation rate is a bit off, it could mean that the European dogs have ancient roots as well. Moreover, interbreeding between wolves and dogs could muddy the picture. We need more samples of both ancient wolves and dogs before we solve this mystery once and for all. Hundreds of scientists from across the globe are now pooling their resources and gathering samples from all over. As of now, dual origin seems like an intriguing possibility, especially since research has indicated multiple domestication for pigs and cats as well.
How Does the Dog Brain Process Language?
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Image Credit - Pexels.com/ Language grew out of evolutionary convenience. In the course of our daily conversations with out fellow human beings, the way we say things matters jut as much as what we say. A recent study has established that dogs tend to pick up on these details as well. This study adds to our growing knowledge of how dogs process human language, and raises important questions concerning the differences between processing speech and understanding it. The Hungarian team behind this study is one of the few across the world that has been training dogs to voluntarily get into an fMRI machine. Once they were in, the researchers presented the dogs with a number of different stimuli while observing their brains under the figurative microscope. In the most recent study, dogs were presented with both neutral words and praise words. The researchers discovered that just like humans, dogs separated the vocabulary from the intonation in their auditory regions. They came to the conclusion that dogs understand both the words and their intonation. What does this mean? Before you go ahead and tell your dog “I knew all this while you could understand what I was saying”, you need to understand that word processing is not the same thing as understanding. Understanding is more complicated. FMRI studies are not enough to conclusively establish that activation of a brain region necessarily entails understanding. Sure, the dogs that took part in the study reacted to meaningful words, but it must be noted that these words were often used by their owners when they wanted to attract the attention of their dog or provide positive feedback. So, in a sense, it could be argued that the dogs recognized familiar words and knew that it meant something good. Can dogs understand words as we intend them at least? Well, of course. The Border Collie, Chaser is famous for being familiar with the names of close to 1000 objects and her prowess has been documented in two separate scientific journals. She knows the difference between the objects and toys in her life. She knows that slug is not acorn, and that Tie Face is different from Crybaby. She has also proven herself capable of performing actions like tease, fetch, and tug in response to different words. In other words, her left hemisphere is in a class of its own. Another important discovery made in the study was that the left hemisphere of dogs' brains processed the meaning of the words independently of how it was intoned. This means that their brains can recognize the phrase 'good boy' irrespective of how it is said. However, it is advised that owners learn to praise their dog and use the expression in a similar way the next time. Consistency is very important when it comes to praise and communication.
Does Gene Deletion Hold The Key to Your Dog’s Obesity?
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Image Credit - Wikimedia.org/ Dog owners, there is no need for you to body shame your Labs anymore. Recent research has revealed that close to 23 percent of the breed's population has a missing region in the gene that is responsible for controlling hunger. The gene deletion in the POMC region is responsible for signaling your dog's body when it feels full. Dogs that have this mutation tend to weigh 2 kilograms more on an average and are much more likely to fish for food scraps, according to a survey. This discovery would go a long way in explaining why Labradors tend to be the most overweight dog breeds. Labs are the most popular breed because their motivation for food makes it easy to train them. As a matter of fact, over 75 percent of the service Labradors wee missing regions in their POMC gene. This would explain their motivation to get trained for treats. Lab report The researchers involved in the study started with 18 lean and 15 obese Labrador retrievers. After assembling the sample set, they examined three genes that cause obesity in humans. The first analysis revealed that all of the obese dogs had a scrambled up POMC gene end. This deletion hinders the ability of the dog's body to churn out the neuropeptides Beta-Endorphin and Beta-MSH, which play a key role in turning off hunger pangs after a satisfying meal. In human beings, POMC variants have long been linked to unaccountable differences in body weight. In fact, some obese people lack the same portion of the POMC gene as their canine counterparts. To substantiate their initial theory, the researchers expanded the sample set to 310 dogs, only to discover that there are a whole host of behavioral patterns that are associated with the gene deletion in the POMC region. Not all dogs that had a DNA variation were obese, but in general the missing chunk had a correlation to excess weight, and from a survey of pet owners, the affected dogs begged their pack leaders for food much more frequently, were highly attentive at mealtimes and rummaged for leftover scraps more often. In conclusion, if you want to keep a dog with a POMC mutation slim, you have to be on your guard. You have to be mercilessly rigorous when it comes to portion control, and not to mention, steel yourself better from the big, brown, beseeching eyes. If you manage to keep a Labrador with a gene deletion slim, then you deserve a pat on the back. And in spite of your best efforts, if you are not able to control your dog's weight gain, you need to understand that it is not entirely your fault. If your friends ask, just tell them that your dog isn't fat, he is just a little husky.
How to Select Cat Friendly Flora for Your Garden
Image credits: Pixabay There are so many programme...
Image credits: Pixabay There are so many programmes on television these days demonstrating how to create a perfect garden for your home. But very few people have actually ever thought about designing a ‘cat-friendly’ garden. So what is a cat-friendly garden? In simple terms, it is an outside area where your cat can freely roam about without endangering its life. It is typically fenced and blooms with flora that is non-toxic for cats. With such a garden, you will be able to enjoy complete peace of mind while your cat runs around, plays in the garden or even chews on the plant species. It is observed that cats primarily like nibbling on grass and avoid touching anything else in a garden area. But it is vital to be aware that there are certain garden plants which could be poisonous for cats. Foxgloves and lilies could be quite dangerous to plant in a garden with your cats running around. This is because the pollen present in these flowers has the effect of damaging kidneys. But the good news is that there are plenty of non-toxic plants that you can choose from in order to keep your cats safe and also add color to your garden! Here are a few excellent tips on selecting cat-friendly flora for your garden: Tip#1: Plant tall climbing structures It is important to remember that cats are curious animals and love exploring almost all the time. You can keep your cat/s happy by designating a space in the backyard exclusively for them. These animals love hiding, climbing and pouncing. This means that it would be a good idea to plant climbing structures like trees. Bamboo in fact is an excellent choice of plant to have in a cat-friendly garden. The bamboo plant looks very exotic and adds a lot of height to your garden. Above all, it can serve as the perfect hideout for your cat! Tip#2: Make room for cat grass Despite being carnivores, cats strangely love nibbling on garden grass. But not all kinds of grass are non-toxic for your cat. Cat grass is a special variety of grass which can be purchased in seed form. The good news is that it is very easy to grow cat grass. You simply need to sow the seeds in pots or borders and the grass will grow within 3 to 5 days. Cat grass is known for its medicinal properties and also aids digestion. Tip#3: Add a beautiful catnip Catnip is considered to be quite an obvious choice when it comes to planting a cat-friendly garden. Cats find this plant to be extremely attractive and feel very happy to see it around them! And of course, this plant is absolutely safe for your cat.
How to Deal With Petting Induced Aggression in Your Cat?
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Image source: Wikimedia.org/ Aggressive cat behavior can be a hurtful and a difficult situation for cat-owners. You love your cat but somehow you are unable to figure out when your sweet cat turns hostile and bites like it means it. It is not only a behavioral matter but is also a dangerous situation, particularly if you have children around. Children may not know how to react in case the cat turns aggressive which can quickly turn into an ugly situation. Apart from the pain and scratches the risk of transmitting diseases in inevitable in such scenarios. What causes this behavior? Cats by nature are not close-contact animals. They are not very accustomed to human contact and stroking. Some cats have a lower threshold than other cats which defines how much touches they would tolerate before they lash out at the kind human who was stroking them. One of the most important factors to consider here is the feline body language. You will need to read it well and understand if you are over-stimulating your cat. By understanding your cat’s body language well, you can ensure a pleasant and peaceful relationship with your feline friend. Handle cat aggression purr-fectly!
  • Watch out for the warning signs – Beware of the warning signs your cat might be giving you in the way of tail thumping and lashing, twitching the skin, direct looks straight into your eye, or shifting body position. These are indications that the cat is done with petting, at least for then.
  • Lashing tail – This is one of the first signs that you should watch out for. If you see your cat lashing her tail, stop any kind of interaction, right away.
  • Know when to stop – Don’t make your cat think that the only way she can make you understand when to stop petting is by lashing out at you. Know when is a good time to stop petting it.
  • Don’t rub your cat’s belly – While some cats enjoy belly rubs, most don’t. For cats, an exposed belly means defensive aggression, which can lead it to use its four claws and teeth at the same time. Even if your cat is relaxing with belly face-up, avoid giving belly rubs. A relaxed cat can become an aggressive cat.
  • If you have kids at home then you should pay particular attention to supervise all child-cat interactions. Ensure the children aren’t chasing, grabbing, or picking up the cat. Younger children often do not understand that cats are living things and not playthings. This can lead to serious injury. Let the cat sit on their lap and if none of the warning signs are visible they can slowly pet the cat.
By being mindful of your feline friend’s body language and respecting their wishes of not being stroked and touched, you can reduce petting related aggression in your cat.
Why Should You Consider Adopting a Senior Cat
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Image source: Wikimedia.org/ Are you looking to adopt a cat? Before you head out to get a cute little kitten, pause and consider some of the reasons why a mature feline (above the age of 7 years) might be a good companion for you. #1: They have steady, predictable personalities Here is the thing: with a kitten, you never know what his/her personality would be like by the time she grows up to be an adult cat. But with a senior cat, the risk of unpredictability with regards to personality is nearly absent. What you take is what you get. So if you’re adopting a senior cat that behaves sweetly, she is most likely a loving, sweet cat. She has already developed his/her personality over the years and is not going to surprise you with his/her erratic moods and behaviors. #2: They don’t chew on things as much as kittens “Chewy” cats can sometimes create a lot of nuisance by biting on all your precious things: books, shoes, carpet tassels, plants, electrical cords and much more! This happens especially when they are teething and are at a very young age. Cats are curious animals and love to go around exploring everything in and around the house. Senior cats however, have a lesser tendency to chew on things. They like to conserve their energies for various other important tasks. So you will have a more relaxed time with a senior cat as a pet as opposed to a hyper-active kitten. #3: Senior cats are better at self-grooming Kittens aren’t very good at licking themselves, which is basically a self-grooming exercise. On the other hand, a senior cat may end up spending nearly half of its waking time licking fur. Unlike kittens, they avoid running around too much, doing tricks or playing and hence have sufficient time to clean themselves. Also, unlike senior cats, kittens usually lack adequate litter box etiquette. #4: They usually have standard appetites With senior cats, you do not have to think too much about changing food portions or weight/size monitoring. Irrespective of whether you’ve adopted a 16-pound or 8-pound adult cat, you would the exact amount of food that needs to be bought for them. Lastly, senior cats are excellent napping buddies! They love to curl up and take nice long naps several times during the day. They are much calmer as compared to kittens and are unlikely to disturb your night sleep.
Cool Cat Whisker Facts
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Image source: Pixabay.com/ Have you ever looked at your cat’s whiskers and gone “whiskers are so cool!” Well, we’re sure most cat owners have felt that at some point in time. But, here’s the thing, cat whiskers really are that cool. That’s not just something people think. Your cat’s whiskers serve a wide range of purposes that are essential to h