This is default featured post 1 title

This is default featured post 1 title

To set your featured posts, please go to your theme options page in wp-admin. You can also disable the featured posts slideshow from certain parts of your site if you don't wish to display them. »

This is default featured post 2 title

This is default featured post 2 title

To set your featured posts, please go to your theme options page in wp-admin. You can also disable the featured posts slideshow from certain parts of your site if you don't wish to display them. »

This is default featured post 3 title

This is default featured post 3 title

To set your featured posts, please go to your theme options page in wp-admin. You can also disable the featured posts slideshow from certain parts of your site if you don't wish to display them. »

This is default featured post 4 title

This is default featured post 4 title

To set your featured posts, please go to your theme options page in wp-admin. You can also disable the featured posts slideshow from certain parts of your site if you don't wish to display them. »

This is default featured post 5 title

This is default featured post 5 title

To set your featured posts, please go to your theme options page in wp-admin. You can also disable the featured posts slideshow from certain parts of your site if you don't wish to display them. »

Free Labrador Guide For Better Understanding Of Their Needs

Dogs happen to be the most beloved pet for humans. Humans keep dogs with a lot of love and care. Hundreds of people from around the world are known to take care of their dogs as if it’s a part of their family. Only a handful of dogs are lucky enough to receive the immaculate treatment from their owners. There are millions of dogs in this world that are not even provided with quality food and water.

If you happen to adopt a dog ever in your life do make sure that it is provided with the best of health and food care. Make sure that you are meeting all his requirements. Labrador happens to be one of the most adopted dogs from around the world. People love them because of their sharp instinct, physical strength and because of their outer beauty.

Cops from around the world for search purpose use Labradors, their sense of smelling is known to be very powerful.

Here we are going to provide you with a free Labrador guide. This free guide is going to help you understand and its requirements in a better manner.

Labrador Puppy Colors:

Labradors are found only in three colors, which are namely yellow, black and chocolate. Labradors with Dalmatians like spots are also found rarely on the face of this planet. When provided with good food the color of their skin is known to grow brighter.

Nowadays hybrids of Labradors are available in market for adoption. A lot of people are adopting these but they are known to be less strong and shorter in height.

Environment in which pup should be raised:
Maintaining a familiar environment is the utmost thing. You should treat your dog with love and provide him an environment that is suitable for humans. Providing Labradors with all the love and care is the best guide to follow. You will have to keep an eye on your puppy in order to notice any weird behavior that would lead to illness. Free Labrador guide has made it easier for people to understand a change in the behavior of their pups and act accordingly.

Minimum Age:

Labradors are born strong and they remain strong till their last breathe. The idol age of adopting or buying according to free Labrador guide is eight and above. You should check all the requisite certificates and make sure that you are taking in count health checkups before buying a pup.

Maximum Age:

If you have a desire of owning a dog who is already grownup and well groomed then look forward to acquire a dog in the age slot of 11-15. Pups of age between 11-15 are fully grownup and have all the requisite strength in their toes and other essential body parts. You can train your dogs accordingly and have a lot of fun with them.

Training and Health Insurance:

If you are exposing your dog to strenuous training then it is important that you are providing him with the best of food. Branded food like pedigree and sumptuous amount of milk and meat are known to do their task well. Acquiring dog health insurance is going to be of great help in the long run. You will be saved from bearing the cost of treatment if any damage occurs.

Labrador are simply the best dog you can own and befriend. They are going to listen to all your banter and respect your privacy. Use this free Labrador guide and provide your dog with the best care.

Perks of Being a Cat Owner

Cats are naturally mischievous animals and very adorable creatures. If you own a cat, you will have a cuddle buddy who most of the time will annoy you throughout the day. Their playful personality makes them even more charming than other pets. They have this naughty side where in they will just jump right in front of you out of nowhere and you will scream your lungs out of surprise. But you still love them anyway. You think they are just so irresistible.

They are amazingly fluffy. You even wonder why you like their smell. Every time they sit on your lap, you will never want to move an inch, so they won’t wake up. You just love pinching their body and playing with them like they are some stuffed toys you collect.

You will spend for cat stuff. Cat owners won’t let their cats roam around “naked”. Pet stores keep calling them out to check out some cute stuff for their cats. They love buying them pet supplies and go pet shopping for new accessories. For cat owners, it is more important to dress up their lovely cats today and just worry about expenses later.

They are weird but you think it’s cute. Cats tend to be really moody sometimes. They have a stand-offish attitude one second and then will get clingy after a while. They hate bath water but love getting wet in the sink. They even try to talk to you with just a meow, and you’ll try to answer back by saying a meow too. Then you laugh at yourself after realizing you’re even weirder than cats. They are also undeniably clever. You know how dogs sit on the corner and wait for its food, but cats don’t do that. They’ll surely jump at you and share on your meal. You love them anyway.

Cats are given nicknames. They’re very sweet animals and cat owners don’t just call them “my cat”. They actually treat their pets as their own children and even call them babies. They can even come up with nicknames from a – z but can’t even decide what to choose out of all those nicknames.

You love taking pictures with them. Who wouldn’t if all you can see are their cute little faces? Cat owners reserve a photo album for their cats’ pictures on their phone’s gallery. They even pose like a cat – sometimes.

You want to adopt every stray cat you see on the street. You have a bunch of cats at home, but you still want more. You even wish to build a shelter for stray cats because you know you can’t take them home with you. But then when you get home you’ll realize you could have taken them out to a rescue shelter instead.

You leave a space on your bed for your cat. You treat each other as pillows and you love waking up with a sweet meow in the morning.It is because for cat lovers, their cats are the best sleeping buddies.

Difference between Cat Grooming & Dog Grooming

Cats have been domesticated since the times of the Pharos of Egypt. They believed themselves to be the first enthusiasts to bathe cats. The grooming and domestication has not made the cats incapable of grooming themselves properly.

Pet grooming is very important for its fur as it aids in getting rid of the undercoat, prevents hairballs, prevents parasitic infection and improves circulation. Different breeds need different types of grooming. Some need combing and brushing daily some need it less often. Most cats groom themselves and spend the considerable amount of day grooming themselves. You need to check the ears, eyes, mouth, nails and feet when you groom your cat. It is the perfect opportunity to check it over for lumps and bumps. Part the hair and check the skin for any problem such as fleas, sore or inflamed areas that require serious attention. For any serious cat illness consult a vet.

Use a short toothed comb to remove the dead hair of your cat. Some cats with short hair have delicate coats and skin so you need to be cautious while you use these combs and brushes that you are not damaging the cat. You can loosen the dead hair with your hands before you resort to using a brush or a comb on your cat. Run along your fingers through the fur in the direction opposite to which the hair grows. This also stimulates the natural oil of the skin and this keeps the fur shining and healthy too. Then you can use the pet grooming equipments that are best suited for your cat’s fur. You do not need to bathe your cat if it has been groomed well and completely. The natural oils in the cat fur will make it gleam. Bathing the cat could result into knots and mats, making the fur extremely unmanageable. If your cat has a specific skin complaint or is suffering from fleas then use a shampoo that is suitable for its skin. The cat shampoos are easier to rinse out and make less lather. Wet the coat completely before you use the shampoo.

Let us look at how you need to groom a dog that will make the differences evident.

As the fur is the most important for cat grooming, for dog grooming nail clipping is the most important routine that has to be carried out a couple of times in a month. If you do not clip the nails the dog will start to suffer from infections that grow in the toe nails and these require expensive treatment.

Dog’s nails need to be long enough to reach the ground, but should not be so long that it makes a clicking sound when they walk. Trim a small piece from the end of the nail and keep trimming it until it is short enough. Dogs with dark nails have to be especially taken care of as the quick is difficult to see. Once the quick has been seen, you can use a nail file to smoothen the edges. Do not cut the quick as it leads to bleeding. Use some cotton to stop the flow.

How to Survive Giving Your Cat a Bath

How to Survive Giving Your Cat a Bath

ARTICLE PROVIDED BY CATSTER

In the wild, there are many big cats that actually enjoy being in the water. Tigers, leopards and lions all like to soak, most likely because their usual habitat is in a hot environment and it helps cool them off. Domestic cats may have evolved to dislike water because most breeds have coats that absorb rather than deflect moisture. It’s harder for them to get dry after they’re soaked.

So, Why Would a Cat Need a Bath?

In many cases, cats don’t need to be washed with water. They groom themselves naturally, so regular brushing is usually enough to keep your pet looking clean and comfortable. However there are occasions when a real bath is necessary. Kitty may have soiled himself in the litter box, for instance. Cats have been known to try to climb up the inside of a chimney.

Preparing Your Cat’s Bath
The best solution is to make sure that you have all the necessary supplies handy, so you can make your cat’s bath very quick:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Cat shampoo
  • A large pitcher for rinsing or (even better) a gentle spray nozzle
  • A large towel
  • Cotton balls to clean the ears
  • A small cloth to clean the face

 

It’s much easier to wash your cat in a kitchen or bathroom sink than bending over a tub. Following is a step-by-step procedure for the quick and painless cat bath:

  • Fill the sink with about 2 or 3 inches of warm (but not hot!) water
  • Wet the cat from the shoulders to the tail and apply shampoo.
  • Just like your own hair, lather and rinse thoroughly
  • Since most cats hate having water splashed on their faces, use a damp washcloth to gently clean your cat’s head.
  • Use a cotton ball to clean inside the cat’s ears. Never put any kind of object (not even a Q-Tip) in your cat’s ear.
  • After a thorough rinsing, lift your cat onto a large towel and fold it around him.
  • Rub as much water from their fur as possible
  • Long-haired cats may require the use of a blow dryer, but only if the noise does not terrify them. Set it on low and see if the cat will tolerate it.

It’s best if you have the time to purchase a shampoo specifically formulated for cats. If you don’t have any cat shampoo, a mild baby shampoo may be used. You don’t want to use any other kinds of human cleaning products, as it may sting your cat’s eyes or irritate their skin.

Are small dogs more trainable than large dogs?Are small dogs more trainable than large dogs?

are-small-dogs-more-trainable-than-big-dogs0

A well-behaved pooch is simply a pleasure to own. They eliminate in the right spot, “sit” when asked, “come” when called, and walk nicely on leash.

Dogs aren’t born knowing all of these things, of course. It’s up to you to teach them the right rules and appropriate boundaries so they’ll be a delight — not a demon — to live with.

“It’s very easy to forgive certain behaviors in a small dog simply because you can more easily remove them from a situation,” says Karen Wild, a veteran dog trainer in England. “Nevertheless I warn owners of little dogs to ignore training at their peril.”

When it comes to trainability size really doesn’t matter. All dogs from working breeds to toy ones learn the exact same way. Simply put, if a dog does something and it gets him what he wants, he’ll continue to do it. So, if your pup wants your attention, for example, he may jump up on you because he’s learned that you’ll pet him.

Diane Podolsky of The Cultured Canine, a small dog specialty training practice in New York, says physically and mentally sound dogs of any size are the easiest to teach because they’re motivated by a wider range of foods, toys and favorite activities.

“Motivation is the engine of learning,” explains Podolsky. “Without motivation very little, if any, learning will take place.”

By using positive training methods (i.e. methods that are pain-free and force-free) dogs quickly figure out that co-operating with people gets them all sorts of wonderful things — yummy food, long strolls, squeaky toys and lots of attention.

Clearly communicating what you want your dog to do is vital. That’s why it’s important to get some professional guidance, at least initially. A few group or private sessions with an experienced dog trainer can teach you the necessary skills.

How training small dogs differs

Training smaller breeds differs from larger ones in a few ways. For example, pint-sized pooches have teensy tummies so training sessions using food must be kept super short (five minutes or less) so they don’t get full, and then lose interest.

“When training a Maltese or Chihuahua, you must be careful not to waste even one kibble because some of these tiny dogs only eat a quarter of a cup of food per day!” says Podolsky.

Reaching down low to give treats might be physically difficult for some people so Wild, the British dog trainer, recommends placing toy breeds on a raised surface during training.

While teaching basic obedience commands is beneficial, it’s also highly important, she notes, to get small dogs used to being petted by strangers.

“After all, everyone stops to look at and pet a small dog — and usually without asking,” says Wild. “This can be perceived as highly threatening to a dog that’s not used to such behavior.”

Possible roadblocks

If training doesn’t go smoothly don’t assume your dog is being spiteful or stupid. An underlying medical condition or behavioral problem might be to blame.

Podolsky recalls a client’s Shih Tzu that struggled to retain information, even though he went through countless repetitions. Suspecting something was wrong, she suggested a visit to veterinarian, who diagnosed the dog with a tick-borne disease. After a few weeks of treatment, the little guy’s learning ability snapped back to normal.

Another possible roadblock in training that both Podolsky and Wild point out is lack of proper socialization before a puppy reaches 14 weeks of age. Socialization is simply introducing a pup to new people, places and things so he’s not fearful or anxious later on as an adult with new experiences.

“We can teach dogs to ‘sit’ when they’re 5 years old,” says Podolsky. “But if they don’t love people — if they weren’t correctly socialized when they were very, very little — I can’t fix that.”

A pet insurance: what for?

Mutual for your pet works on the same principle as your health mutual. It allows better control healthcare costs you incur for your dog by offering refund.

The pet insurance is defined as a health protection for your pet that includes reimbursement of veterinary fees if your pet were to fall ill or is injured.

There are various formulas for mutual dog that qualify for full or partial reimbursement of expenses:

-care: veterinary consultations in case of accident and / or illness, surgical procedures, medical examinations (imaging, blood tests or urine …)

-drugs,

-related to prevention vaccines, pesticides and hygiene, sterilization costs…

-related to euthanasia and cremation.

Subscribe mutual health for your pet is to ensure it can cure his dog without worrying -or almost- of veterinary fees amount. Your expenses are under control and no surprises!

Offices and veterinary clinics are increasingly better equipped in order to offer an optimal quality of care for their four-legged patients. They also follow closely the developments of veterinary medicine and constantly train their practitioners. These needs in equipment and training are expensive and these costs are naturally passed on to the invoice amount to be paid by the owner of the animal treated. Ensuring the repayment of all or part of the bill, a mutual dog allows you to reduce the amount of the bill and especially not to wait until the budget required treating your dog to the best veterinarians. Most illnesses can be treated more easily when treated quickly. Allow your pet to be examined and treated quickly, it’s also spared him the pain of time and thus ensures its well-being!

Dog insurance: why compare?

The multiplicity of offers and prices actor’s pet insurance is that it is not always easy to navigate. To find the offer that best suits your budget and your needs, it is natural to compare products.

On toutoupourlechien.com we simplify your research by making free use of a comparator in pet insurance online. Discover more useful pet insurance tips from VPI pet insurance reviews.

Operating a pet insurance

There are several mutual health plans for your dog, your cat or NAC offered at various prices. The principle is simple: you pay a monthly fee in exchange for which your pet healthcare costs are partially or fully reimbursed.

These veterinary costs are generally expensive. As proof, here are the average prices currently charged:

-Basic consultation: between 35 and 65 Euros,

-castration or sterilization depending on the animal: between 100 and 250 Euros,

-vaccination: between 35 and 90 Euros,

-radiography 1 st : an average of 40 Euros,

-ablation of breast tumors: up to 500 Euros.

Depending on the package chosen, refund guarantees are more or less widespread. The most comprehensive warranties reimburse not only the medical and surgical expenses in case of sickness and accident, medications but also the costs of prevention (de-worming, sterilization, vaccines …) as part of a prevention plan. There are smaller guarantees, available to smaller budgets, which provide for the reimbursement of care in case of accident or illness. Thus they can overcome the unexpected…

Reimbursement procedures are simple: just fill your veterinarian do a refund form sent by your dog insurance company, attach a copy of the invoice and send it to your mutual. Reimbursement is then made directly to your bank account within days. Some companies simplify to the maximum the refund procedure by not asking you to pass on the veterinarian’s bill.

In order to choose the best from your contract, ask about compensation limits under your policy. This is the maximum amount, usually annual, beyond which benefits are most refunded. There are limits to a particular pathology or a type of service supported by the contract. Also be sure when choosing your contract to verify the presence and amount of deductibles. These are sums that you pay in case of illness or accident of your dog. Learn about the waiting period stipulated in the insurance policy: it is the time to wait after the subscription of the contract before receiving the guarantee. Finally, ask about the warranty disclaimers. Generally, the care caused by inherited diseases that affect some dog breeds, such as hip dysplasia, for example, are not covered by health insurance.

Be sure to ask about the age of the animal after which the insurance company may refuse to insure your pet. If your pet is young and has no health problem that justifies the purchase of insurance, it will perhaps not always the case. Taking age, your dog may develop conditions that require examinations and expensive veterinary care. Talk before it is too late to make. More your pet is young, the easier it is to ensure the advantage. Some insurance companies even engage to ensure your animal life if you sign a contract for a while at home. In any case, please read the terms of subscription before you commit.

Choosing a pet insurance

Share your life with a pet involves a number of important responsibilities. If you choose a good insurance for your pet will have it covered against unforeseen accidents, illness, medical expenses, damage to third parties, etc. The case is to have insurance for your pet is an important, useful and in some cases, necessary decision. We will give you some tips to know how to choose a pet insurance, to facilitate the ultimate decision making.

1. To start is not always mandatory insurance for your pet. Insurance is required especially in cases of dog breeds considered potentially dangerous such as:

 

-Pit Bull Terrier
-Staffordshire Bull Terrier
-American Staffordshire Terrier
-Rottweiler
-Argentine Dogo
-Fila Brasileiro
-Tosa Inu
-Akita Inu

Thus, we recommend you consult our article on how to secure a dangerous dog race to be clear about the next steps. However, in some regions of Spain such as the Basque Country and Madrid-the law requires hiring liability insurance for all dogs regardless of breed or size. If you are looking for best pet insurance companies then the following information will be helpful.

2. In case you have a dog as a domestic partner, have an especially important is the question of civil liability for any damage that may lead to a third party insurance. Such problems can generate significant costs to be borne.

Anyway, have a safe for your pet whether it is dog, cat, it is always advisable. The truth is that life is full of unforeseen events such as theft, loss, accidents involving third parties, etc. and have covered your pet is certainly more responsible.

3. To make a correct decision on what insurance to choose for your pet, do not hurry and take the time to choose well. The first thing to consider is what type of policy you want or need, whether basic or want much more comprehensive in coverage. After this you must compare several insurance, get the facts and coverage of services, prices and cancellation insurance policy. Think as you choose policy, the cost of it very much, as you incorporate additional services.

4. You must take into account to choose insurance for your pet which is the different toppings to choose the ones that best suit your needs.

-With a relatively cheap and basic fee, around 50 Euros per year your pet may be covered to some extent by damage caused to third parties and legal advice.
-Another level of coverage for about 70 Euros per year, which would include theft, loss, hospitalization and even death of your pet.
-There is another even more comprehensive type of insurance, which for about 80 Euros per year, in addition to including all of the above, includes special veterinary treatment for your pet that surely will appeal against the unexpected.
-For about 200 Euros per year you can about insurance with even more complete coverage, where you can even choose the vet emergency hospital that interests you and incuse homes for pets.

5. We have already discussed what pets that can be insured are, but you should know more specifically that feasible to ensure animals must:

-Be between 3 months to 9 years
-Be domestic pets or for surveillance-not hunting or sports-
-be counted
-They are identified with their plate, tattoo or microchip
-Comply with all vaccines: dogs must be worn vaccines distemper, leptopospirosis, hepatitis and parvovirus.

6. And finally, to proceed with the whole process of insurance you need all the following documentation: immunization record daily or European passport for pets, if besides your dog or cat is a race you must justify their pedigree, purchase invoice, or adoption contract, won awards, certificate of special care, in short, any information that helps define and categorize your pet.

7. This article is for information only, in unComo.com have no power to prescribe any veterinary treatment or perform any diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet if present any kind of condition or discomfort.

4 Important Veterinary School Application Tips

If you want to get into a great veterinary school, you want to be sure that you take all the necessary steps during the application process. Indeed, the veterinary school admission process requires you to have a strong reason why you want to enter the field of animal medicine. This should be your core basis. From there, you can write a strong essay, nail your interview and pass your entrance exams. The truth of the matter is that veterinary schools want to accept students that have a passion for the field. Moreover, you should be able to prove that you were ambitious enough to pass all of your exams during your undergrad program and you should be able to show a high grade point average. When you do fill out your application, it can help to have a few tips. Here are four important veterinary school application tips.

1. Make Sure That Your Essay is Powerful and Spotless

Everyone knows that a high GPA and strong test scores are important if you wanted to get into vet school, but a powerful essay can really go a long way, especially if you don’t have the highest GPA or test scores. The key to writing a strong veterinary school admission essay is to really do your research on the school in question and get an idea of what they’re looking for in their students. Then you want to write from the heart about why you want to become a veterinarian and why you believe you are a strong fit for that school.

2. Be Prepared for the In-Person Meeting

It’s an age-old adage, but it’s true: failing to prepare is preparing to fail – and this couldn’t be more true whether you plan to apply to Syracuse University or USC Online. That’s why you want to make sure that you practice well in advance for your interview. Not only do you want to find a friend who can help you to practice mock interviews, but you also want to figure out what you’ll be wearing, what you’ll eat for breakfast and plan your route for the morning. You want to know how long it will take you to get dressed, eat breakfast and travel to your interview, because you don’t want to be battling Murphy’s law on such an important occasion.

3. Have a Good Reason Why You Want to Go to Veterinary School

During your interview you are most certainly going to be asked why you want to go to veterinary school. This is the type of answer that shouldn’t be too short. Ideally, you want to tell some kind of touching story that illustrates in no uncertain terms why you have been driven to veterinary science and what you want to do with your degree.

4. Pass All Necessary Entrance Exams

You never know whether or not you will pass your entrance exams the first time, so you want to make sure that you start studying early, and you want to make sure that you sign up for your exams as early as possible. If you don’t pass the first time, then you might have to postpone your application process.

Pet Supplies 101: Dog Grooming Tools You Absolutely Need

We consider our dogs part of the family, which is why we always want them to look and feel their best. Feeding them healthy meals and spending time with them are important but we should also not neglect their grooming needs. So, if you’re looking for pet supplies online, here are dog grooming tools that you must have at home:

  1. Brush

There are several kinds of dog brushes you can buy. The first one is the bristle brush, which is suitable for any breed. But if your pet has a wool coat, you’ll need a brush with wire pin bristles. For dogs with extra thick coats, a brush with slicker bristles is recommended.

  1. Comb

A comb is needed to untangle knotted hair. Get a fine-toothed comb if your dog has a soft coat; for heavy matted fur, a wide toothcomb is preferable.

  1. Clippers and Blades

When summer approaches, you’ll need to trim your dog’s coat using a clipper. Pick one with snap-on blades, which is easier to use.

  1. Clipper Vacuums

Trimming pet fur becomes easier when you have a vacuum that will suck up the hair as you clip/cut them. By doing so, there’s no need to vacuum the entire room for stray pet hair.

  1. Nail Clipper

I’m sure you know that your dog’s nails need to be trimmed regularly so they don’t end up scratching your furniture and floor, or worse, scratching your family. Pick a nail clipper that is appropriate for the size of your dog.

  1. Scissors

Some breeds require a special kind of dog scissors for a more precise grooming. You can choose from a variety of scissors including thinning shears, straight shears, curved shears and so on.

  1. Bathing Systems

This particular dog grooming paraphernalia may be expensive but if you budget allows, you may want to invest in one for your beloved pet. These systems come with easy spray nozzles, soap/shampoo dispensers, and a tub specially made for dogs.

8.De-Matting Tools

For dogs with unruly coats that are susceptible to matting, use a special de-matting tool, which can break up the matted area so you can comb or brush accordingly.

Grooming is a crucial aspect of pet care. It can be especially challenging for dog owners with pets that have thick or wool coats. You’ll need to bathe them weekly and dry them properly. Some dog owners use a hair dryer to ensure that their pet is completely dry before they go out and play. After drying, you’ll need to brush their coat using the right type of brush and then use a slicker brush for the finishing touches, if needed.

It’s definitely a big responsibility but it’s also very rewarding, as any dog owner can attest. If you own a dog, make sure you have these tools in your arsenal to ensure your furry friend is well cared for.

 

A Realistic Look at the Cost of Owning a Dog

The thought of bringing home a cute, playful, new puppy causes many people to neglect the cost of ownership. Would you be surprised to learn that it can cost thousands of dollars each year to properly care for a canine? Without planning a realistic budget, you may discover that you lack the necessary funds to provide for your dog’s basic needs. If you’re unable to meet his needs, his comfort, happiness, and health may suffer.

Below, we’ll explore the costs associated with owning a canine. We’ll take a look at the upfront investment as well as expenses related to food, veterinary care, various supplies, and professional training classes. By the end, you’ll have a much better grasp of the financial resources needed to care for your new pooch.

Tallying The Upfront Cost

The cost of a new puppy or adult canine can range from free to thousands of dollars. If you’re willing to adopt a mixed breed (and there are plenty of advantages to doing so), consider visiting a local animal shelter. Adopting a new pet from a shelter will usually cost less than $100.

You should immediately have a veterinarian examine your new pooch after adopting him from the shelter. He may need vaccinations and other medicines, which can cost $300 or more.

Also, plan to buy a crate, bed, a few toys, a leash, and a collar, and have them waiting at home for your new pet. Together, these items will cost approximately $300, bringing the upfront investment to $700.

Dog Food

The amount you’ll spend on food each year will depend on two things: your canine’s size and his activity level. Bigger dogs eat more than smaller ones, of course. For example, a German Shepherd will consume more food than a Yorkshire Terrier.

Some breeds are far more active than others. They burn more calories and need to refuel. That means they’ll need more food. American Foxhounds and Border Collies will burn more energy – and thus, eat more – than Basset Hounds and Shih Tzus.

The annual cost for a commercial brand dog food can range from $300 to $800. Add another $200 a year for high-quality dog treats.
Veterinary Care

Your canine will need regular trips to the veterinarian to maintain his health. Assuming he does not require special medications or treatment for a precondition, these routine visits will cost approximately $250 to $350 each year.

Supplies And Personal Belongings

Eventually, the bed, toys, leash, and collar you purchased as part of your upfront investment will need to be replaced. In fact, you should plan to replace these items multiple times throughout the year (with the exception of the bed, which should last a year).

Most owners spend $50 to $70 a year on leashes and collars. A comfortable bed will likely cost between $100 and $200. Also, your canine will go through his toys quickly. Plan to spend another $150 to $200 on replacements.

Professional Training

Professional training classes can cost up to $300 or more each year. Many new owners believe this is a one-time expense because they expect their dogs will learn everything during a single course. In reality, dogs need refresher courses throughout their lives. The alternative to enrolling your canine into obedience classes is training him at home. You’ll save money, but the results are unlikely to be as good as those produced by a professional trainer.

Grooming Expenses

Depending on the length of your dog’s hair, grooming costs can range from $50 a year to $400 and more. As you might expect, breeds with short hair require very little maintenance. By contrast, longer-haired canines will need frequent trips to the groomer in order to keep their coats in check.

As you can see from the numbers above, owning a dog can be expensive. If you’re planning to adopt a canine, make sure you have the financial resources to provide him with the care he needs to be comfortable, healthy, and happy.

Small Pets For Kids – RabbitsSmall Pets For Kids – Rabbits

Rabbits make good small pets for kids. They are cute and cuddly, and if you get one of the smaller breeds, just the right size for kids to handle.

There are a few small breeds that make great small pets for kids. My favorite is the Holland Lop, but there are others like; Netherland Dwarf, Mini Rex, Jersey Wooley, and Lion’s Mane. All of these smaller breeds are great. The rabbits are just big enough for children to cuddle, but not so big that they can’t pick them up.

Rabbits are also easy to find. You can access a ton of breeders “rabbitry”, online. They usually have pictures of the rabbits they have and which they are selling. You can usually find rabbits at a county fair too. Most times even if they don’t have any to sell themselves, breeders at the fair can usually tell you who does and how to get in touch with them.

Having a bunny at the fair might also be something you consider for your child. There are local 4H groups that allow children to show animals. This gives your child the chance to show off their pet even if they don’t win a ribbon.

Rabbits are also fairly easy to take care of once you know what they need. There are a number of rabbit guides out there that can help with this. This page has some great tips and a list of things your pet rabbit would need.

While I wouldn’t recommend a rabbit for a toddler, any child over the age of 5 would probably enjoy a bunny. I think bunnies make great small pets for kids, and if you like the idea; check out the page. Happy bunny shopping!

Pros and Cons of Ferret Adoption

Congratulations!

An option to adopt ferrets is the single as a rule fantastic way of bringing a little ferret in your life when it shoddily needs you the as a rule. There is a diversity between adoption and foster care. When you take a ferret for foster care, you can expect that the shelter will cover veterinary costs for you, and you be able to too expect to be returning the ferret to the shelter and providing information in relation to what you have practical of the ferret’s behavior that will improve its chances of discovery a appropriate stable home.

If this is your first time in caring/adopting a ferret –

Mingle with ferret owners, to the shelter operator, and to a recommended veterinarian. Look for books or on line articles on ferret care or look at a series of informational documents called the FERRET FAQ (for Frequently Asked Questions). The Ferret FAQ is a rich and incomparable source on all aspects of ferret care and character, and this resource is accessible free of charge via the Internet, and is certainly ample and more informative in its range. You can also check the the MaFF publication Your Ferret: A Lifetime’s Commitment of Care for more information regarding the costs of care you can expect over the animal’s lifetime.

If You Already Have Ferret(s)

Ferrets agree to their new owners as a rule of the time and it’s extraordinary if they are hostile. There are too resources noting how “introductions” are made to ferrets. Take into consideration the attitude of the ferret. If you already have one or more ferrets in your family, we recommend that you take their personalities into account.  Adult ferrets who have been ‘onlys’ for more than a year or so be able to have problems accepting a new ferret (whether that new ferret is a baby or an adult).  Though some people tag along their ferrets to the shelter to mingle with other potential new ferret.  Be convinced to call ahead and test with the shelter first about bringing your pets to the shelter to meet the others.

Adult or Baby? Male or Female? One or More?

Adopting an adult ferret be able to really get exciting. Adults are easier to take care of since they’re done with the early ‘baby-nippy’ stage, creation adults a good option if you’d rather not trouble yourself with this part of life. This is too a good alternative if you’ve never adopted a baby ferret in the past. Adult ferrets are regularly hard to find homes for, building it a great skill if you would like it to become a member of your family.  There are baby ferrets in shelter homes also, but you’d rather be careful in choosing the healthy ones. Try not to have principles of what you would like to adopt if you’re going to a shelter home. As long as you have an open intelligence and spirit, there is a ferret that will capture your heart but will not necessarily meet your hope. Sizes will differ if you decide on a male over a female. Males are bigger and are heavier eaters and propers than females. Each ferret has a special character so it cannot be generalized that there is one temperament in males than in females. Your improvement in taking a ferret from a shelter home is that, you be able to talk about a lot of options and pre-care tips on the shelter operator. You will recognize the strict the past of the ferret, how to take care of it properly, and what to expect on the animal’s behavior and to adopt basing it all from your discussions. This makes it a lot different from getting one from a pet store. With adoption, you stand a better chance of knowing more because of the shelter’s circumstance.

It is common that shelters receive a couple, a trio, or numerous  ferret groups from a single party granting them, so there are from time to time requests to keep them all together. More often than not it is best to honor such requests for the reason that ferrets bond together and separation can cause them stress. Plentiful ferrets be able to make a good “instant family”, so if there’s enough room in the house, it be able to really be a wonderful knowledge! Getting the entire bunch can mean that you won’t have to hurdle with official “introduction” phases.  Ferret coming in groups be able to be very sociable.

A Word about Our Tiny ‘Hard Luck’ Cases

There are some cases where shelters take ferrets who were maltreated, abused, or elderly, or are experiencing behavioral problems. This is where the real mind enters. If you are very much practiced with ferrets, or if you have sufficient confidence and knowledge with other orphaned or homeless pets, fostering a ferret be able to be very rewarding. Loving and caring for a poor ferret that needs it the nearly all can give many rewards though people willing to take this difficult task can come so rare. You be able to be the ferret’s last chance on life. Helping a poor creature in tough situations be able to be an eye-opener as it is emotionally rewarding.

Elegant Teacup Yorkie Puppies For Free Adoption

I have Lovely Tea Cup Yorkie Babies Ready For their new homes for free adoption they are very playful and loves to give kisses.They are akc registered, potty, paper & house trained and has all their shots , health and vet papers, they are very friendly to kids and other pets, very mellow and of good temperaments, they will be a good companion and playmate into your home, contact us for more details and pictures.so mail us via(myamsteld@gmail.com)is that ok by you I have Lovely Tea Cup Yorkie Babies Ready For their new homes for free adoption they are very playful and loves to give kisses.They are akc registered, potty, paper & house trained and has all their shots , health and vet papers, they are very friendly to kids and other pets, very mellow and of good temperaments, they will be a good companion and playmate into your home.

I have Lovely Tea Cup Yorkie Babies Ready For their new homes for free
adoption they are very playful and loves to give kisses.They are akc
registered, potty, paper & house trained and has all their shots ,
health and vet papers, they are very friendly to kids and other pets.

very mellow and of good temperaments, they will be a good companion
and playmate into your home,

I have Lovely Tea Cup Yorkie Babies Ready For their new homes for free
adoption they are very playful and loves to give kisses.They are akc
registered, potty, paper & house trained and has all their shots ,
health and vet papers, they are very friendly to kids and other pets,
very mellow and of good temperaments, they will be a good companion
and playmate into your home.

Adopt Virtual Pet

You no longer need to head down to the pound to adopt a pet because now you can adopt a virtual pet. Virtual pets are great to adopt and take care of. They have similar needs to real pets.
A virtual pet is simply a pet that exists only on your computer which you can create and then take care of. You can also download pre-made virtual pets from some websites. Virtual pets need to be fed, they need to sleep and drink and go to the toilet. Virtual pets need to be trained and they also need to go to the vet when they get sick.
By adopting a virtual pet you are accepting responsibility to take care of that pet. The best thing is with a virtual pet you do not have to take care of it 24 hours per day (though some virtual pets run 24 hours per day). You can take care of your virtual pet whenever you like.

When adopting a virtual pet you can choose whatever pet you want to have. You don’t even have to stick to the standard dog, cat and fish pets that you adopt in real life. You can adopt virtual elephants and dragons and even aliens. There is almost no limit to the amount of fascinating creatures you can create. You can also create a virtual baby with some programs.

Virtual pets are so much fun because they are so different to other computer games. There are no set goals, so you can just have fun raising and looking after your virtual pet.
A virtual pet makes the perfect companion for someone with a busy lifestyle or for someone who has a lot of spare time on their hands. Virtual pets are also great for kids because it can begin to teach them the joys of having a pet and the responsibilities of having a pet. Studies have shown that children who adopt virtual pets are better prepared for the responsibility of owning a real pet.
Adopting a virtual pet is very easy. There are many free virtual pet games available to download, although they generally have limited options.

Leaving pet dog helpless-Adopt betterways of abandoning your pet

Are these questions coming to your mind?

What is pet dog abandonment? Why people abandon their pet dog? What are the consequences of abandoning a pet dog?  I have no option other than to leave abandon my pet, is there any better alternatives or ways of doing it? Is there anyone who can adopt my pet or anyone who can help in this process? Is there any animal welfare societies, organizations associated with dog sheltering, dog adoption?

Abandonment means to leave something with no intention of returning. Dog abandonment means to leave your pet forever. Dogs are taken to a far place and left there so they cannot return back. Many a times they are left in some of the forests/jungles or to a roadside and left to the mercy of god where they have no food or shelter. These abandoned pet dogs have different way of living and cannot cope up with the harsh situations of the forest and cannot compete with the other animals. Moreover animals have the habit to make and live in their territory, so they don’t allow the newly abandoned dog to share their place leading to fight which might result into severe injuries and sometimes the dog may even die. Other times the dogs may run and come to some unknown surroundings or may get hit by some vehicle and met with some automobile accident. They may also eat something poisonous when hungry as their natural instincts are not so developed because of living in human vicinity and may even die. Some of the dogs survive and add to the so called stray dog population. The population of stray dogs in India is increasing alarmingly due to uncontrolled reproduction among stray dog population adding to which is increasing trend of dog abandonment. So animal birth control (ABC) programme has been instituted where females are spayed and males are castrated to curb over population of stray dogs. Dog owners should at least look for a new home or shelter for their pets so that they can at least live safely.

Reasons behind it

People give a variety of reasons to abandon their dogs some of them are like

  • The most common of them at least in India is being the economic reasons as people say they have poor living standards and cannot feed the dogs.
  • A member of the family may die and others don’t want to keep the dog.
  • Owners may shift from one place to the other and may not take pets with them because of long distance, lack of means of transport of the pet or they simply don’t want to.
  • A dog may get some health problem and unable to meet expenses associated, the owner think to abandon their dog or may even think to kill/ euthanize the dog.
  • Some owners complain of allergies with dog hair, problem with excessive barking and even some owners complain of hyperactivity which causes problem in living societies.
  • Sometimes dog breeders abandon such puppies which do not meet the breed standards thereby increasing breeders expense in rearing those pups which have no or very less sale value.
  • A pet purchased on the spur of the moment or as a gift for another person. Often the owner discovers that caring for the pet is much more work than expected, or requires more space or exercise than they are prepared to give.
  • Pet leaves home or cannot find its way back, and carries no identification tags or microchip. The owner does not succeed in finding it (or makes no attempt to do so).
  • People leave the country; quarantine laws in some countries can be traumatic to pets and owners, so to avoid the stress, the pet is surrendered to an animal shelter.

Consequences of dog abandonment

            The dogs are very emotionally attached to their owners and the family they are living in; to abandon them means to separate them of their family. Just think how a child will feel if left alone in unknown surroundings without food water and shelter!

The very first thing about dog abandonment is that it is unethical and against the law. It leads to increase in stray population of dogs. Municipality of our place will just collect the stray dogs and further handle the issue. It is illegal even for a municipality to round up stray dogs and abandon them outside city limits, as it places them in circumstances likely to cause their death from starvation and thirst. Therefore, you should not do this as it can be challenged in the court.

Previously, municipalities would kill these animals (mainly dogs) cruelly by electrocution, starvation and burying alive. After 1992, it became illegal for municipalities to kill stray dogs. The High Courts of Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Mumbai and several other states have specifically forbidden the killing of stray dogs and have directed the municipality to introduce a sensible sterilisation programme instead. 

Alternatives/ Better Ways

If you are thinking of separating your pet from you then there are better ways also. You should look for a shelter for your dog. There are a number of ways to do this if one wants. One of the methods is to look for another house for your pet among your neighbor or relatives. Other way is to send the pet to some shelter house where they can be kept. There are shelter houses for dogs which are helping for the dog adoption to the people who want to get a pet. So next time you are looking to bring a pet to your home, please go to a nearby shelter house and adopt a dog instead of buying the new one so that these speechless creatures can get a home to live and bond with.

It has several advantages that now you don’t have to spend the money to buy a new pet. The other thing is that now you can get a well trained dog. Above all you will get a mental satisfaction for giving home to a pet which no money can buy.

Societies/Organizations- A Helping Hand

            There are many societies and NGOs operating in India and abroad which can help you http://weforanimals.com Organizations like the BlueCross society are working throughout India to help give shelter to the animals and help in dog adoption. Pablo’s Dog Adoption Foundation India is a group that brings together all animals, mongrel lovers, adopters. There are no kill societies which will keep the dog but not kill them unlike the other shelter houses which were working earlier where dogs were euthanized after a particular period of time.

Problems Associated With Adoption

            Lack of awareness is the main reason. Many people don’t know if there is any such procedure where you can send your pet to shelter house and look for another home by dog adoption.

Lack of responsibility is the other main problem associated. Unless you feel your responsibility for these lovely creatures, you cannot do anything but to abandon them. One should at least think once before doing this cruelty!

Many people have this query if the adopted dog will go well in their house. Dogs are very intelligent and are very fast learners. If taught with love, they will follow you sincerely. Moreover, the shelter houses should observe a pet/dog/animal for at least a week and tell the prospective owner about behavior of the particular animal. 

Benefits behind Sheltering and adoption

    • First of all and most importantly it will control the population of stray dogs.
    • Secondly the cruelty against the dogs and a possible risk to a life can be averted.
    • You can save a life and get a chance to give home to a homeless dog, also called the Man’s best friend.
    • You can get the dog for free and don’t have to purchase it.
    • You can get well trained and grown up dogs and can escape with the initial training required when a small pup is first of all brought to the home.

Raise a Voice

            It is high time to stop this malpractice of dog abandonment among people of India as it is inhumane, cruel and leads to increase in stray dog population. The better measures like dog sheltering, dog adoption, ABC progamme should be instituted all over India. Apart from that, some awareness campaigns are required so that more people know about this and stop this. Be a part of it and try to save a life!

Pet Adoption After Losing a Pet

If your family has experienced the loss of a pet, or if your pet is getting older, one thing that often comes to mind is whether or not you are ready for another pet. Should we wait or get a new pet right away? Should we wait until the older pet dies and first have a pet memorial for the kids? Would getting a new dog traumatize the older pet? Should we buy or adopt a pet?

The most important thing to do is to access your situation. Often times, when one pet is getting old, it’s a good idea to go ahead and introduce a new pet. It may even help the older pet live longer.

It is often easier to introduce two pets when they are young, but with a little know-how, it is possible to introduce a new pet to your old one. If you have plenty of love for both of them and a lot of patience, you can do it.

You must first be sure that your new pet is disease-free and up-to-date on its shots because you don’t want your older pet to get sick. Make sure both pets are neutered, and that you’ll be able to afford your new pet. Here’s a chart for the average first year of expenses for pets:

A small dog is $780; a large dog is $1,500; a cat is $640, a rabbit is $885 and a small bird is around $185.

Adopting a pet is the best thing people can do nowadays, because there are so many. There is a viral email petition going around concerning the Obama family dog, asking Senator Obama and his family to adopt their first dog. He promised children they could get a dog no matter whether he wins the election or not.

Over four million unwanted pets are in the United States, many of which are up for adoption. Sadly, seven million dogs and cats are killed each year due to overpopulation. Did you know that 20 to 30 percent of the dogs up for adoption in shelters are purebreds? The other 70 to 75 percent are most often mixed breed animals.

In order to adopt a pet, you might want to start by visiting www.petfinder.com, a site that lists many shelters across the US. You can also search for specific breeds or breed mixes. Also just be aware that if all dogs on a particular shelter’s website are described the same way (sweet, loving, friendly, etc.) then that shelter probably doesn’t know the individual dogs’ personalities so you may want to avoid the shelter.

Be sure to contact the shelters in your area and ask about their return policy. Good shelters will accept any dog or cat they have adopted out in the past as a return during any time in his life. Check out the adoption procedures, so you can visit with your new pet outside of the shelter kennel. Good shelters also don’t promote dogs who have a prior history of bad tempers.

Always avoid any preconceptions about what kind of pet including its age, breed, color, sex or size – and be prepared to have an open mind.

Once you have chosen your new pet, the best way to introduce new pets in your family is to put the new pet in his or her own room for a week before allowing the younger pet to be around it. Spend plenty of time with each pet. Let the new pet out of its room, and let the older pet goes in the room where the new pet was staying, so it can get used to the new pet’s smell without being intimidated.

Be very loving to both pets and always respect them. Then let them see one another but do not allow any physical contact. Or you could separate the animals with a child gate. If you hear some hissing or growling, know that this is normal. Once they seem to be used to seeing one another, let them get together, but make sure that someone supervises them. Provide treats to each animal and feed them in separate bowls at opposite sides of the room so they won’t fight for the food. This should be done at the same time every day until the animals become used to the routine. Over time, move the dishes closer together – slowly. If either animal shows signs of aggression, move their dishes back to the original starting point. Wait a few more days and move the pans closer once again.

Never let your animals be together unsupervised until they are completely comfortable with one another, to avoid fights. This process may take anywhere from one to six weeks. However if done right, in the end, you will have a calm family and happy pets.

And as sad as it may be, when an older pet dies, make sure that you have planned for a pet memorial. Let your children help choose a pet urn for cremation, or a pet casket for their pet’s burial, along with a memorial keepsake box for photos. This along with adopting another pet, can help children through sad times.

Prize Wheels Enhance Your Pet Adoption Drive

Spin to win prize wheel game for pet adoption drive

In larger cities, homeless pets wander aimlessly, searching for their next meal. Helpless animals are suffering and dying at the hands of an indifferent society. Great minds have endeavored to find a cure for this insufferable injustice and, after years of searching, the answer has arrived. A spin to winprize wheelmay seem like an unlikely candidate in the war against animal homelessness but, thanks to the creativity and love of animal shows around the nation, it has earned a place as one of the most powerful tools anyone can use at an adoption drive. Each spin of the wheel brings an opportunity to take an animal off of the streets and place it into a loving home.

An animal show offers one of the best opportunities to hold a pet adoption drive. Thousands of loving pet parents assemble to display their treasured loved ones and watch the pride on other contestant’s faces. Many of these people are more than willing to open their hearts and homes to a needy pet, given the opportunity. By hosting a spin to win pet drive, an organizer can offer anyone willing to adopt a pet a chance to win luxury pet products, a day at the pet spa, or even a year supply of gourmet pet food. That is a lot of incentive to adopt a pet.

Amazingly, a spin to win prize wheel can do more than take needy pets off of the streets and offer pet parents a chance to win great prizes. Because they are so good at attracting attention, these wheels can even be used to draw in customers at a new pet salon, give a veterinarian’s office a shot in the arm, or even educate the public about the importance of flea control and vaccinations. A spin wheel is the ultimate tool for any passionate marketing strategist or nonprofit organizer. With an active imagination and a little drive, the possibilities are truly endless.

Spin to win prize wheel game for adoption driveIf you own a pet sanctuary or organize an annual animal show, this is your opportunity to help the animals you love. Buy a prize wheel, do some planning, and watch as those homeless animals find homes with each spin of the wheel. If the animals you care for are too feral to adopt, use that spin wheel to raise funds for pet food, veterinary care, and operating expenses. Incredibly, you can even use this amazing tool to reward hardworking volunteers and illustrate difficult points to key donors. With a spin wheel and a little hard work, you can do almost anything.

Gorgeous teacup yorkie puppies for free adoption

Gorgeous teacup yorkie puppies for free adoption

I got Two cute and adorable  puppies for adoption, male and female outstanding available all 12 weeks old, they have all their current shots up to date, they are vet checked,they are so friendly with kids,all other pets at home and deserves lots of attention.Both parents are tiny toy size. They are ready for your home, now! Don’t miss this chance to find the puppies of your dreams.They’re cute, playful, and simply steal your heart. All they need is a warm loving home and they’re friends for life.Adorable male and cuddly female puppies for a happy home. These puppies come from a strong line of puppies. They shall be coming along sites toys,cage,food and a year health insurance.

Gorgeous teacup yorkie puppies for free adoption

Raising Siamese Cats

Of all breeds of cats, the Siamese cat is the ideal cat for the owner who wants a demonstrative and loving cat. Known to be extroverts, Siamese cats are outgoing and sociable. They know who their owners are and are frequently seen shadowing their owner wherever they go.

Siamese cats depend on human beings for their survival since they do not possess several traits typically seen in cats. The color of their hair may be good to look at but not good as camouflage. They cannot roam around during the night because they cannot see clearly in low lighted areas. And their hearing sense is less sensitive than those of other breeds of cats.

Siamese cats thrive on company. They love to be around people, which is the reason why it is not advisable to have a Siamese cat if you live alone and are often out. If you do plan to have a Siamese cat as a pet, then make sure there is someone to be with the cat. Or better yet, get another Siamese cat to pair up with your pet cat.

If there is no other Siamese cat available, you can get another feline since it there are other breeds that can be matched with your Siamese cat. You can pair your Siamese cat with another cat breed as long as they will get along. You may need to consult your veterinarian or a cat expert on which breed can be put together with a Siamese.

Make sure to provide them with toys or any activity that can occupy their time. It can be a toy mouse, a ball of string, or even a post for scratching. This will provide some entertainment for your Siamese cats as well as prevent them from using and destroying your own furniture for their play.

A woman would probably envy the metabolism of a Siamese cat since they eat big sized portions of food and yet do not grow fat. It is probably because these cats eat just the right amount of food that will make them full. Anything beyond it, they leave on their plates. So if you notice that there is always a bit of food left on their plates, it may mean that you are giving too much food and must be lessened on the subsequent meals. On the other hand, if they seem to be searching for more to eat, they may still be hungry. Try adding another portion of food whenever you give your Siamese cat a meal until you notice that they are quite satiated. And when they are, take note of the portion you need to feed your cat for their every meal.
A Siamese cat matures faster and earlier than the others in the cat family, some even as young as five months. Since spaying of your cat is recommended on the sixth month, you have at least a month to ensure that your cat does not get into trouble and get itself pregnant since it is at this time of the month that they are actively looking for a mate. You have to keep her indoors and check on where she is and what she is doing. If she manages to get out and find a male cat, chances are that you are going to be a grandparent to their kittens.

Siamese cats often are healthy in general, with a life span reaching up to twenty years. However, they are also prone to having tartar problems on their teeth and even gingivitis. If these conditions are not given attention, it may affect the health of your pet Siamese. They should have regular checkups with their veterinarian to be able to get their teeth clean. You can also do the brushing if your cat allows you to do it.

A Siamese cat is the perfect companion cat for those people who know how to handle its character, since their personalities are the ideal complement to the Siamese cat.

How to Take Care of Ragdoll Cats

Have seen kittens of Ragdoll cats? They are so cute and gentle. You would feel overwhelmed after bringing them home. They will prove to be the most docile and friendly creatures for your home. Kittens of Ragdoll cats can be purchased from an experienced cat breeder. This species is the best among cats. It has traits of amiability and pretty looks. Ragdolls can be seen in many attractive colors. They are characterized by a soft fur coat. They are easy to bring up at homes. You will have to take a slight care in feeding them. Give them food having high calories and proteins. Such food stuff will help these cats to be in sound health. The fur of these cats is soft like that of a rabbit. It has a silky touch and can be combed with a steel comb. Ragdolls should be combed gently to avoid shedding of hairs. You can use special cat shampoos to keep their hair healthy. These cats live from 15 to 25 years. Their body weight ranges from 10 to 20 pounds.

You can keep Ragdoll cats in a healthy condition, through routine medical checkups. Vaccinations can help them to be safe from seasonal infections. But these cats have the advantage of being naturally immune to allergies. Regular care can keep these pets healthy for years and you can enjoy their company. Ragdoll cats are not fierce; they are so gentle that you would forget about keeping a dog at home. These species feel comfortable with kittens. For full protection these beautiful pets should be kept indoors, this would guard them from attack of other animals. When you take these cats outside, keep an eye on them. Take proper care so that they may not vanish. Consult a reputed Ragdoll breeder to know about effective caring tips of caring for these cats.

Interesting facts about Sand Cats

 

SAND CAT 

sandcat.jpg

Have you ever heard about Sand Cats? Why they were named like that? How they look like? Where and now they live and survive? In this article I am going to tell you some interesting facts about such creatures like sand cats.

At first glance the desert seems to be uninhabited. But nonetheless there is one of the most formidable cats in the world able to live its everyday life in such harsh climate. This cat is the sand cat.

The sand cat looks like an ordinary domestic cat. It has yellowish-red fur and it is no bigger than a large house cat. The resemblance is not a coincidence. In fact the sand cat is closely related to the African wildcat Felis silvestris libyca. It is believed to be the ancestor of all domestic cats.

Characteristics 

The sand cat is a small cat with short legs and relatively long tail. It has a distinct pattern of dark stripes through its fur that makes it similar to pet tabbies. In the wild, this distinct pattern helps  camouflage the sand cat among of desert rocks and sand.

sand_cat_2.jpg

The sand cat is also distinguished by its broad head and the wide space between its ears. Its paws equipped with thick cushions of fur that help it to move across deep sand without sinking. Also it helps to insulate the sand cat while moving over hot sand. The claws on its paws are short and not very sharp.

Habitat and lifestyle

The sand cats are found in both sandy and stony deserts. They prefer flat or undulating terrain avoiding bare sand dunes where there is relatively little food. As well as other desert cats, the sand cats dig burrows in soft sand dunes. The den is the place of refuge from the cold desert nights and also from the midday heat. The sand cats are mainly nocturnal animals. It is believed that they hunt in the early morning and after dusk, when temperatures are moderate.

These creatures have been spotted as far apart as Western Sahara, Israel and Pakistan. Those living in Pakistan are oficially endangered. However, these felines may survive precisely because they are known as very shy animals and they are are so careful to avoid humans.

Being excellent diggers, the sand cats make burrows for themselves to shelter from the scorching sun. Also, it helps them to catch prey. As mentioned before, the thick cushions of long hair prevent the cats from sinking into the sand.

sandcatkittens.jpg

Their mating period lasts for about a week. Two months later 3 cats are born on average. After five months they will reach most of their body mass. When they are six to eight months old they will become completely independent. By that age they are already able to eat some solid food. Then the sand cats become adult and in some time they will be ready to procreation.

Can Bladder Stones Kill Cats – Interesting Facts and Possible Solutions

Whether or not cat bladder stones kill cats is an important question that every cat owner should have the answer to. Can cat bladder stones kill cats? The answer is a resounding yes! Do they always? The answer is resounding no. So if you have a few minutes to dedicate to the riveting attention grabbing topic of can cat bladder stones kill cats why don’t we enthusiastically push on.

The first thing you should know is that all stones (also known as uroliths) are not the same. This fact matters since different types of bladder stones have different properties and tend to be found in different age groups and breeds. Of course just like with most things different doesn’t necessarily mean completely different since there is some overlap.

The two most common types of stones are struvite and calcium oxalate.

Struvite characteristics: Mainly found in female cats; have been found in kittens as young as 1 month and cats as old as 20 years; tend to form in cats whose urine contains a high concentration of magnesium; tend to form in cats whose alkaline pH is over 6.8; make up about half of all uroliths; and account for more than 85 percent of all urethral blockages.

Calcium Oxalate characteristics: Primarily found in neutered male cats; tend to occur in old animals for 10 to 15 years of age; occur more often in certain breed with the most notable being Persians, Himalayans, and Burmese; high pH levels increase the risk; account for about 39 percent of all uroliths; and only cause urethral blockage less than 15 percent of the time.

As you can plainly see we have a lot of generalizations to guide us but when it comes to bladder stones nothing seems to be 100 percent certain.

What happens when a fatal blockage occurs?

Female cats do not obstruct as often as males but pet parent can’t let their guard down since females can become obstructed by urethral stones.

Once the bladder stone has managed to either block urine flow, or severely restrict it, pressure will start to build in the upper urinary tract. As the pressure builds the kidney will start to shut down producing less and less urine until finally no urine is being produced at all. Once the kidneys quit filtering impurities out of the bloodstream toxins flood the bloodstream leading to toxic urea.

As all this is occurring there should be a number of fairly obvious signs that something is terribly wrong including loss of appetite, frequent visits to the litter box with no success, uncharacteristic self-imposed seclusion, lethargy, and vomiting. If the bladder stone obstruction is not rectified and normal kidney function restored within 48 hours (possibly less) irreversible kidney damage will have occurred resulting in death.

In conclusion, not only can cat bladder stones kill cats but often do when the obstruction is not recognized and treated in record time. The best advice is to take preventative steps to make sure this terrible conditions never get far enough to become fatal.

A few preventative measures worth considering are to make sure your cat drinks plenty of water; lean towards wet food instead of dry; keep urine pH levels neutral to slightly below normal; opt for pet food slightly lower in calcium and magnesium; add a few drops of cranberry or raspberry juice to their food; and consider implementing a homeopathic pet urinary tonic  containing Berberis and Cantharis to provide an extra bit of insurance against bladder stone formation.

Abyssinian Cat Breed Information – What you need to know before buying an Abyssinian Kitten or Cat!

All About Abyssinian Cats and Kittens

Abyssinian Cats are Kind and Loving!Abyssinian Cats are Kind and Loving!

All you need to know about the abyssinian cat breed before buying an abyssinian kitten or cat!

The Abyssinian cats are the most popular breeds of shorthair cats in the USA.
Read all about Abyssinian cats temperaments, abyssinian cat origins and all you need to know about abyssinian cats before buying an abyssinian kitten!

Abyssinians are medium sized cats, with a strong, lithe body, slender legs and a fine bone structure.
The Abyssinian cat has alert, relatively large pointed ears.
Abyssinians have  almond shaped eyes which vary between either gold, green, hazel or copper.
Their paws are small and oval shaped.
The Abyssinian cat’s tail is fairly long, being broad at the base and tapering to a point.

A m-shaped marking is often found in the fur on the forehead. The m-shaped marking, also called “frown lines”, appears above the Abyssinian’s eyes.
The abyssinian cat breed has aquiet, engaging voice.

Abyssinian Cat Coloring
Abys can be colored ruddy, sorrel (red, cinnamon), blue fawn or red.
The feet and the backs of the hind legs are always black.
Rare colours include the Tortoiseshell, Cream, Red, Chocolate and Lilac, which are all bred on a small scale in the Netherlands and UK.

Silver Abyssinians are a different story. Although this colour has been in existence for tens of years, it is not recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. In Silver Abyssinians, the undercoat is always a pure silvery white.
Purely Silver Abyssinian cats are harder to breed because they sometimes have undesirable tan patches in the coat. In addition to this, any spots in the coat show up more clearly on a silver coat.

The Abyssinian cats (also known as ‘abys’) have a very special coat which is not only dense and silky to the touch but also different than all other cats.
This is due to one dominant mutant gene known as Ta.
Each hair has a base color with three or four darker-colored bands; the hair is the lighter colour at the root, and the darker “ticking” color at the tip.

This ticking is found only in the Somali, Abyssinian and Singapura.

Abyssinian kittens are born with dark coats that gradually lighten as they mature. It usually takes several months for the final coat colour to be established.

Abyssinian Cat Breed Temperament
What are Abyssinian cats like?

Abyssinians are extroverted, extremely active, playful, willful and intelligent. They are usually not “lap cats”, being too preoccupied with exploring and playing.
They can be very successful show cats.
Some abyssinian cats however, are shy towards strangers and timid in public.

Abyssinian cats and kittens, need a great deal of love and interaction with the family to keep them happy and can get depressed without daily activity and attention.

They generally get along well with other cats, although they need their space and the females can sometimes be irritable around other cats.
Abyssinians are known to be curious and enjoy exploring their surroundings, including heights. Abyssinian cats are  formidable hunters.
They love playing with cat toys and can play for hours with a ball or mouse.
Some Abyssinian kittens have even been taught to play fetch.

Abyssinian Cats History and Origin

The name ‘Abyssinian’ refers to Ethiopia, although most of the stories about the origins of Abyssinians refer to Egypt.
Through genetic research it is thought that the breed originated near the coast of the Indian Ocean, where colonists may have purchased the cats from wild animal traders.
The breed was then developed in Egypt.

Abyssinians are sometimes believed to have originated from one Egyptian female kitten named Zula, who was taken from a port in Alexandria by a British soldier and brought to England in 1868.

Abyssinian breed is thought to be a few thousand years old and to come from Ancient Egypt, as the cats resemble those in ancient paintings.
Ancient Egyptians made sculptures of them.
There are also stories that wild ‘Abyssinians’ still live in parts of North Africa today.

Why Do Cats Always Go Towards People Who Ignore Them?

Cats always seem to sniff out the people who least want them around. We’ve all had company over where one person is allergic to cats, and that’s who the cat beelines towards. Why?

It’s not because cats are malicious and want people to cough and sneeze, although it’s amusing to think so. Cats are intimidated by eye contact. People staring at them makes them nervous.

In humans, eye contact is considered part of communication. Cats, on the other hand, view direct eye contact for extended periods of time as threatening. If you have a good relationship with your cat (and you should!) try getting your cats attention. It’ll glance at you, and then look at something else. It’s not because your cat is ignoring you, it’s because it trusts you enough to not have to stare.
Have you ever noticed that your cat pays the most attention to you when you’re busy, and the least when you actually want to play with it? It’s not because cats demand attention on their own time, it’s because you not looking at it makes the cat feel that you trust it.

How does this draw cats towards people who are allergic to them? The cat enters the room, and all the cat lovers stare at it, hoping that kitty will come play with them. The one allergic person, on the other hand, tries to ignore the cat in the hopes that it will ignore them as well.

Of course, the cat sees this person as the least threatening of all and goes right towards them, making their allergies go crazy.

Calico Cats – Tricolor Beauties

Calico cats are very easy to spot. Their colorful coat of three colors is hard to miss.  Some people believe that calico is a cat breed. Others think it is a color. However, calico refers to a unique tricolor pattern. A nondiluted calico has mostly white, which is the predominant color, with distinct patches of orange (or red) and black. Some cats will have chocolate instead of black, but this is quite rare.
By contrast, a diluted calico will have a coat of white, cream, blue (sort of like a bluish gray) or cinnamon. The washed out colors are caused by the dilution gene.

But what causes this unique pattern? It’s all about genetics. More specifically, the answer lies in the chromosome X, which contains the code responsible for fur coloring in cats. The Y chromosome, by contrast, contains no information associated with color. Now, a set of two X chromosomes are required to produce a calico. Male cats have a set of XY while female cats have a set of XX, so most calicos happen to be female. Though rare, you will find male calicos, which for the most part  happen to be sterile.

Interestingly, many people confuse calicos with tortoiseshell cats. At first glance, they may look similar, but upon closer examination they’re quite different. The main difference being that tortoiseshell cats have very little or no white fur. Some people confuse the two because some tortoiseshells display more white hair than usual, but this hair is mostly mixed in with the other colors. By the way, the two other colors are also blended. Calicos, on the other hand, have three distinct patches of color, white being the most prominent.
Another interesting fact is that not all tricolor cats are calico cats, some cat breeds like the Himalayan and Javanase have coats with tricolor points but these are not considered to be true calicos.

Can Cats Live Without Humans?

Self-Reliance in Cats

Unlike dogs that are pack animals, studies have shown that cats do not pine for their owners or suffer from anxiety when left alone. Naturally living alone, cats are not used to depending on anyone else. A study by animal behaviour experts at the University of Lincoln shows that cats prefer to look after themselves and will feel safe and secure even when separated from their owner.This however does not mean that cats do not love their owners, as many have the freedom to leave whenever they want. The simple fact that they stay in your home at all is a choice because they want to, even though they are independent animals.

Cats have become the most popular pet mostly due to their independence. For people that work long hours or travel often, they are the ideal pet as they do not need constant care and attention. Cats do recognise their owners with feelings for them and a strong bond, but the studies have shown that cats do not need their owners to feel secure, unlike dogs that need their owners to feel safe. A cat will attach itself to a home and owners, but will not rely on them completely.

Behaviour with Humans

In other studies, animal behaviour specialists have concluded that cats react very differently with humans compared to the way dogs do. When playing or interacting with humans, dogs change their attitudes and behaviours compared to when they are playing with other dogs.Cats however, act very much the same. Although they know we are different, and certainly much larger, they do not act any different as they would when socialising with another cat. Examples of this are rubbing their bodies against us, keeping their tail in the air, kneading their feet and grooming next to us. This proves that cats do not see us particularlydissimilar to other cats. Even in a wild environment cats do not look to others for help or protection, they are generally lone animals, so humans are therefore no different.

When feeling anxious, a cat will find a safer place such as under the bed or on top of a tree to hide, rather than looking for their owner for protection. There is no dependence on the owner so cats just feel like they need to look out for themselves. Stray cats all over the world live in a range of environments and manage to live just fine. The domesticated cats of today could still have this freedom if they wanted it, but they prefer to stay in a comfortable, happy home as they have a bond with their owner and life is much easier in a warm, safe place with constant food and cuddles.

If it came down to the question of whether cats actually need their owners to survive, the answer would most probably be no. Cats have before and do now, live without humans. Even the most spoiled felines could still live without us. They have much stronger souls than dogs and can carry on living life alone or alongside humans. Obviously life with humans is much easier and more enjoyable for them, but if they had to survive without us they could. Cats do not need stroking all day, bowls of milk, constant food and brushing; it is just a luxury that they have become accustomed to. In reality, who would say no to that.

All About Ragdoll cats

Ragdoll cats  are beautiful cats and you’re right, they are very placid, and docile and very lovable. They are a newer breed of the house cat family Taking good care of them is very important to their well being. They are a truly amazing and unique cat breed which have charmed many cat lovers. They are also one of the biggest house cat breeds. Ragdoll cats are docile and well balanced, calm and charming.

Ragdoll cats are sometime called lap cats, and this is therefore very true. They are low maintenance cats. They are one of the least aggressive cats and are always calm, loving and friendly. Rag doll cats are almost totally immune to allergies.

Ragdoll cats love to follow you around, like most other breed of cats. They are gentle and very beautiful and obedient pets. They are well-known by the majority of people who love felines, generally for numerous reasons. They are notoriously sociable creatures and usually require much more attention than other breeds. Ragdoll cats are considered the loveliest animals to have as pets.

Ragdoll cats are mostly always white with different shades of colors towards the extremities like the ears, tail and paws. As far as their health is concerned, They are prone to conditions like gum diseases. Ragdolls are large, big boned, alert, intelligent, and affectionate. Yet are extremely easy going, docile, non-aggressive cats, they love children. They are large, laid-back, semi longhaired cats with captivating blue eyes.

Ragdolls are exactly what you would picture them to be…loving and playful. They are slowmaturing, reaching full coat color at two years old, and reach their full size and weight at four. They are loving and patient cats, you can drape them over your arm like rag dolls, thats where they got their name from. They are incredibly docile, and as laconic as their name suggests. Ragdolls are adorable and beautifull pets to have at home and to include in your family albums. They seems proud and seem to know how cute they are by their royal look!

Ragdolls are famous for their personality, friendly to kids and strangers. They are not only sweet and loving, but also very smart. They are also incredibly easy to train, especially if you take your time and show them love. They will capture your heart and I hope you get to experience their love and devotion. Ragdolls are the cat for you if you want fun and loving cats with very distinct personalities.

Ragdolls aren’t a demanding breed and are not regarded as vocal cats like Siamese. They are a relatively new breed, developed in the early 1960s in North America. They were recognised as a new breed in the United States only in 1967 and in Australia only around 1990. Some are bicolored have colored fur on their upper bodies. Ragdolls are easy to take care of and even though they have lots of hair they shed very little.

Ragdolls are an excellent choice of family pets. They are also often referred to as ‘apartment cats’ and don’t require to go outdoor like other breeds of cats, the indoor life suit them just fine! Once every year they will moult heavily and during that short period will require grooming daily. Ragdolls are longhair and do need to be combed once or twice a week.

Ragdolls will acclimatise themselves fairly easily to a new place, even one that does have both children and other animals. Ragdoll kittens are slow-maturing, they are also very lovely and playfull. They are a favorite among many breeds of cats because of their timid temperament and beautifull fur and charming blue eyes. One of my close friend had a Ragdoll cat with one green eye and one blue eye. He loved that cat! They are best kept indoors to protect them from the outside dangers, for the simple reason that they are too docile and harmless.

They could get injured very easily by other animals, or adults who hate cats. They just thrust and love humans and other animals too much. That may render them defenseless in case of eminent dangers. But that’s the expert opinions. On our farm ragdoll cats were free, they went outside and they still remained cleaned and healthy, none were ever harmed by other animals. After all they are cats, and fairly big cats at that! I woudn’t worry too much about letting them out once in a while. But yes someone may be tempted to steal them! I would surely keep the kitten inside! Ragdoll Kittens Kittens are so adorable. They love to play and jog with kids and jump on each other for the shear joy of life

Epilepsy in Dogs and Cats

Epilepsy is a non progressive brain disorder that induces recurrent seizures. It is very important to understand that there are numerous disorders that can cause seizures, and in order to make a diagnosis of true epilepsy, many of these other causes must be ruled out.

What is a Seizure?

A seizure is the clinical manifestation of a cerebral disorder that can appear suddenly out of a background of normality, and then disappear with equal abruptness. The term fit is often used colloquially when referring to a seizure.

In humans, an epileptic seizure is a definable event that can be classified according to categories set by the International League Against Epilepsy. A formal classification system specifically for dogs and cats does not exist, but seizures can nevertheless be classified as either partial or generalized episodes.

Partial Seizures

These are seizures in which a localized onset may be determined. They usually have a congenital (present at birth) or an acquired (cancer, encephalitis) cause, and can sometimes evolve into a secondary generalized seizure.

Generalized Seizures

Generalized seizures are the most common type of seizures in dogs and cats. There are several variations of these seizures:

1. Absence seizures (petit mal): sudden brief loss of consciousness, rare in animals
2. Myoclonic seizures: muscle jerk of one or more muscles
3. Clonic seizures: rhythmic muscle contractions
4. Tonic seizures: increase in muscle tone in all skeletal muscles
5. Tonic Clonic seizures (grand mal): the most common form of seizure in pets

Tonic Clonic Seizures

Tonic Clonic (grand mal) seizures account for 60% of seizures in cats and 80% of seizures in dogs. They are usually accompanied by a loss of consciousness, and consist of a tonic phase, where the increased muscle tone causes the animal to fall on its side with its limbs extended, and a clonic phase, consisting of intense muscle jerking or paddling movements.

Causes of Seizures

In order to diagnose true epilepsy, other causes of seizures must be first ruled out. The questions a veterinarian must answer are:

Is the cause inside the brain or outside the brain?

If inside the brain, is the cause progressive (e.g. cancer, infection) or non progressive (epilepsy)?

If outside the brain, does the cause originate inside the body (e.g. low blood glucose, kidney failure, a liver problem) or outside the body (e.g. lead poisoning, organophosphate toxicity)?

Making a Diagnosis

If an animal has a solitary seizure, most veterinarians will advise against expensive and time consuming tests for something that may never happen again. If an animal has more than one seizure though, tests are indicated.

A veterinarian will start by taking a detailed case history, focusing on the description of the animals seizures, their frequency and duration, and the animals behavior between seizures. Ideally the seizure should be videotaped by the owner, and then shown to the veterinarian. It is important to differentiate a proper seizure from other causes of collapse such as an episode of syncope (where the heart misses several beats), narcolepsy or weakness due to another neurological problem (e.g. myasthenia gravis). Features of the description which indicate a seizure are:

1. Tonic (increased muscle tone) and clonic (jerky) muscle movements
2. Loss of consciousness (though not always)
3. Increased salivation
4. Spontaneous urination or defaecation

The veterinarian will then conduct a full clinical examination, followed by a more specific neurological examination. Blood will then be taken for full hematology and biochemistry profiles. A fasting blood glucose is useful to rule out hypoglycaemia, which is a frequent cause of seizures in dogs less than 6 months old and dogs with an insulinoma, an insulin secreting pancreatic tumor. If liver enzymes are raised, a further liver function test (bile acid stimulation) may be done. Blood lead levels should be measured in animals that may have had access to lead containing materials.

Xrays of the chest and abdomen are sometimes performed to check for any other significant disease, and fecal analysis is recommended in puppies with seizures as heavy parasite burdens have been implicated.

If all of the above tests are normal, and no disease outside the brain has been detected, many animals will be diagnosed with epilepsy as further tests are of the expensive variety. If further tests for intracranial (within the brain) disease are to be performed, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is the first step. CSF is tested for the presence of viral (e.g. Canine Distemper, Rabies), bacterial, fungal (e.g. Cryptococcus) and protozoal (e.g. Toxoplasmosis) infections. Electroencephalography (EEG) is useful for diagnosing malformations present since birth, such as hydrocephalus. Brain tumors are often only able to be diagnosed by advanced imaging techniques such as Computed Tomography (CT) Scanning or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). These must be done under general anesthesia as the animal must be completely motionless during the scan.

Treatment of Epilepsy

Once a tentative diagnosis of epilepsy has been made (by excluding all the other known causes of seizures), the animal can be prescribed anticonvulsant drugs. These drugs are not appropriate for animals with seizures caused by a problem outside the brain. The overall goal of anticonvulsant therapy is to eradicate all seizure activity, but this is rarely achieved. Most pets benefit from anticonvulsant drugs by reducing the frequency, severity and duration of their seizures. A more realistic goal is to reduce the frequency of the seizures to a level that is acceptable for the owner, without having negative side effects for the animal. A minority of animals require such high doses of anticonvulsant drugs to suppress their seizures that the adverse effects caused by it outweigh the benefits.

Since epilepsy is not curable, the owner must be prepared to give the medication for the rest of the animals life. However, if after being on anticonvulsant medication for over a year no seizures have occurred, a cautious slow reduction in dose can be attempted.

The three most commonly used drugs in the treatment of epilepsy in cats and dogs are:

1. Diazepam

Known to many by its trade name Valium, diazepam is used in emergency short term situations to treat animals in status epilepticus, i.e. during a seizure. It is best administered intravenously so that it is delivered to the brain quickly, though finding a vein or placing a catheter in a fitting animal can be a challenge. In those situations, it is sometimes given rectally, where it is fairly rapidly absorbed across the rectal wall. If status epilepticus continues despite the repeated administration of diazepam, phenobarbitone can be given intravenously.

2. Phenobarbitone

Phenobarbitone is the most commonly prescribed anticonvulsant drug for both canine and feline epilepsy, owing to its efficacy and its low cost. Over three quarters of epileptic dogs have their seizures controlled by phenobarbitone alone. Sometimes it can take several weeks for the level of phenobarbitone in the blood stream to reach a high enough level to work properly, so many vets favor using a higher loading dose initially, reducing it for the maintenance phase. However, care must be taken as high doses of phenobarbitone can cause liver damage, and liver enzymes should be periodically checked in animals on long term therapy. Annual blood tests are also advised to check serum concentration levels of the drug, to calibrate the dose effectively. High doses can also cause sedation.

3. Potassium Bromide

A proportion of dogs are resistant to phenobarbitone. In such dogs, the addition of potassium bromide, i.e. a second drug, can be tried. The potassium bromide may also be tried alone as an alternative to phenobarbitone, but generally only after phenobarbitone has been thoroughly investigated at various doses and found to be inadequate. Phenobarbitone is also deemed unsuitable if the dog has liver dysfunction of any kind, in these cases potassium bromide (often referred to simply as bromide as that is the therapeutic part) can be used. Potassium bromide is not used in cats, only diazepam and phenobarbitone are recommended in this species.

Common Preventative Pet Meds for Aging Dogs and Cats

Every pet owner experiences joy and companionship from their dogs and cats – from the moment they are born or brought home until the time they take their last breath. When pets are young, owners focus on feeding and training them properly. But in the later years of life, pets may develop certain medical conditions which cause them pain, lethargy, or discomfort. And no pet lover wants to see their dog or cat suffer.In the past, there wasn’t much that veterinarians could do about diseases in aging animals. Today, there are plenty of medications available that not only treat the conditions themselves, but also improve the quality of life for cats and dogs.Here are some common preventative pet medicines for elderly dogs and cats.DogsProblem: ArthritisMedication: Deramaxx Chewable TabletsCanine arthritis can substantially diminish the level of physical activity in your pet. But Deramaxx can decrease or eliminate arthritic pain in dogs by reducing the inflammation associated with this condition. This medicine is classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent.Problem: Potassium deficiencyMedication: RenaKareSometimes, elderly dogs can suffer from an absence of potassium, which is an essential element in optimal operation of your pet’s nerves, muscles and enzymes. This shortage of potassium often results from chronic diarrhea. RenaKare, which comes in a gel, powder, or tablet, can supplement your dog’s potassium intake.

Problem: ConstipationMedication: Hepatikin PowderHepatikin is a disaccharide sugar molecule that works to boost the amount of liquid that is present in your dog’s colon. This in turn will soften your pet’s stool and assist in relieving constipation. The powder can be given orally or mixed with your dog’s food.Problem: Congestive heart failureMedication: Vetmedin Chewable TabletsAs dogs age, their organs sometimes start to deteriorate and function inefficiently. When this happens to your pet’s heart, it can result in congestive heart failure. Vetmedin is designed to strengthen canine heart muscle contractions as well as dilate the blood vessels.Problem: SeizuresMedication: Levetiracetam TabletsIdiopathic epilepsy, the most common type of canine seizures, can be brought on by other health conditions such as brain tumors, kidney failure or liver disease. Though it acts to control these seizures, Levetiracetam can also be given in conjunction with other medications that are designed to treat the underlying ailment.  Problem: Cushing’s diseaseMedication: Lysodren TabletsCushing’s disease is caused by overproduction of hormones by your dog’s adrenal cortex. This condition often results from a tumor in your pet’s pituitary or adrenal gland or an excessive use of steroidal medications for other purposes. Lysodren acts to reduce the creation of these cortisone-like hormones.CatsProblem: DiabetesMedication: Humulin N InsulinIf your veterinarian recommends insulin injections for your diabetic cat, then this product will fulfill your needs. You’ll also need syringes to administer each dose under your pet’s skin. Humulin N will help keep your cat’s blood sugar levels up if it cannot produce enough insulin on its own.Problem: HyperthyroidismMedication: Methimazole TabletsAn overactive thyroid gland can lead to weight loss, appetite issues, and heart problems. Methimazole acts to reduce the amount of hormones produced by your cat’s thyroid gland. Often, this medicine can control hyperthyroidism so your cat won’t have to have surgery or undergo radioactive iodine treatments.Problem:  AsthmaMedication: Theophylline Extended-Release TabletsThis medication acts as a bronchodilator to help open up air passages in the lungs of cats who are suffering from asthma. It can also help eliminate mucus in the respiratory tract and strengthen the diaphragm’s contractions. Theophylline must be given to your cat on an empty stomach.Problem: Heart diseaseMedication: Atenolol Atenolol combats feline heart disease by lowering your pet’s blood pressure. More specifically, the medicine acts as a beta-blocker to assist in slowing the heart down and improving its efficiency. In addition to tablet form, Atenolol is available as a gel for added convenience for cat owners. Problem: Chronic painMedication: GabapentinOlder cats can suffer chronic pain for many different reasons, including arthritis, seizures, or post-surgery recovery. But when used as directed, Gabapentin can help improve the quality of your pet’s day-to-day life. The medicine comes in either capsule or tablet form.
Problem: Chronic constipationMedication: KristaloseUnfortunately, cats are susceptible to various types of gastrointestinal distress. If your pet is having recurring trouble with constipation, Kristalose can increase the number of bowel movements she can have. The medication comes in powder form and should be mixed with water.As with humans, the latter years of life can bring afflictions and diseases for your dog or cat. Sometimes, pet owners are forced to decide whether or not to take extraordinary measures to save their furry family members. But frequently, these conditions can be controlled simply by regularly administering a certain type of pet medication. With these medicines, dogs and cats can often live longer, happier lives.

Preventing Heatstroke In Dogs And Cats – Florida Vet Advises On Pet Health Care

Prevent Heatstroke In Dogs And Cats

Working up a good sweat in the hot summer is good for humans, but getting over heated can lead to heatstroke in dogs and cats and can be fatal to your pet.

Your pet does not sweat like a human and outdoor temperatures and humidity levels can rise quickly in the Spring and Summer. The normal body temperature for your pet ranges from 99.5 to 102.5 degrees. When your pet gets over heated and thire temperature rises several degrees above normal, your pet risks heat exhaustion. At over 107 degrees heatstroke can cause major permanent damage and can even be fatal.

Heatstroke can cause nervous system problems. Your pet can suffer from cramping, extreme weakness, total collapse or even go into a coma.

An abnormally high body temperature [hyperthermia] starts when increased muscular activity occurs and your pet has impaired ability to cool down due to high heat and high humidity environments. This condition can be avoided by taking the proper precautions to protect your pet.

“If your pet exhibits any of the following signs of heatstroke, treat it as an emergency and bring your pet to our vet clinic immediately,” said Dr. Kevin Adney, veterinarian at Day And Evening Pet Clinic in Palm Harbor, Florida. You can help by using cool water to wet down your pet and providing cool water for your pet to drink if the pet is conscious and their breathing is not impaired.

The Warning Signs Of Heatstroke In Your Pet

1 – Weakness
2 – Rapid Panting
3 – Dizziness
4 – Bright Red Tongue
5 – Vomiting / cramping
6 – Thick, sticky saliva
7 – Diarrhea
8 – Depression
9 – Shock
10 – Coma
Prevention Of Heatstroke In Your Dog or Cat Is Simple

1 – Be aware of outdoor temperatures and monitor / limit your pet’d outdoor activity on very hot, humid days. Make sure there is a shady area available that your pet can rest in.

2 – Limit the time your pet is exposed to direct sun during the hottest part of the day.

3 – Exercise your pet in the early morning or evening at least an hour before or after feeding your pet.

4 – Never leave your pet in a vehicle during the day, even with the windows open. A vehicle can heat up to fatal levels very quickly, and is the most common cause of heatstroke.

5 – Provide plenty of cool water and shade for your pet. Take extra precautions for outdoor dogs and cats.

6 – Allow your pet time to acclimate to warmer temperatures before rigorous exercise, especially if changing from a cooler climate or air conditioning.

Prevent Heatstroke In Your Dog
Your pet is dependent on you for their care and survival. Take your responsibility seriously, and if you have any concerns, call us at 727-785-7200 and bring your dog or cat to our animal hospital. We welcome your calls and your questions. When your pet is healthy and happy, we are happy.

Finding the Right Pet Meds for your Cats and Dogs

Responsible pet owners will do more than feed, exercise and love their dogs and cats. They will search out the best pet medications to enhance the life of their beloved pets.

On average, a cat will live 15 to 17 years. With dogs, it’s not that clear cut. Small dogs usually live longer than bigger dogs. But a really large dog – like a Great Dane or a dog weighing more than 100 pounds – will be physically old by 6 to 8 years old. But no matter how long your pet lives, you’ll want to ensure he has the best quality of life possible – and that means treating symptoms promptly and appropriately.

Of course, you’ll want to take your dog or cat to the veterinarian for proper evaluation. The vet may prescribe medication that you can purchase from the office or elsewhere. But not all illnesses require a trip to the vet.

Top-10 Illnesses for Dogs and Cats

Dogs
1.      Skin allergies
2.      Ear infections
3.      Stomach upsets
4.      Bladder infections
5.      Benign tumors
6.      Osteoarthritis
7.      Sprains
8.      Eye infections
9.      Enteritis
10.  Hypothyroidism

Cats
1.      Urinary tract infections
2.      Stomach upsets
3.      Kidney disease
4.      Skin allergies
5.      Respiratory infections
6.      Diabetes
7.      Ear infections
8.      Colitis
9.      Eye infections
10.  Wound infections

As you can see, many of these illnesses are ones that you can treat at home, once the proper diagnosis has been made. Some of the medications, however, will require a prescription from the veterinarian.
Common Problems

Ailments common to both cats and dogs include skin infections, ear infections, eye infections, and stomach ailments. Treated properly, these infections and reactions can be easily managed.

Skin Infections

If your dog or cat has developed a skin infection, or a “hot spot,” soothe the area with Dermacool HC Spray twice a day. Dermacool HC Spray is an anti-pruritic, anti-inflammatory therapeutic spray that contains 1 percent hydrocortisone in a cooling astringent. It offers prompt, but temporary relief of inflammation and pruritus.

Alternatively, your vet may prescribe Derma-Vet Ointment for your dog or cat, which contains nystatin, neomycin sulfate, thiostrepton and triamcinolone acetonide. These four ingredients offer the following therapeutic benefits: anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, antifungal and antibacterial. They help the skin heal and treat the infection.

Need to clean or disinfect the infected or inflamed skin area? Try Douxo Chlorhexidine 3 percent antiseptic cleaning pads. They are all cotton and do not contain alcohol, which can sting your dog’s or cat’s skin. Instead, the solution contains 3 percent chlorhexidine, 0.5 percent climbazole and 0.5 percent phytosphingosine-salicyloyl. You’ll get 30 pads in one jar.
Ear Infections

Most topical treatments for infected ears are flush solutions, ointments or powders.

MalAcetic Ultra Otic Flush can be used to clean the ears of dogs, cats and horses. This broad-spectrum cleanser contains active ingredients ketoconazole and hydrocortisone, as well as 1 percent acetic acid and 2 percent boric acid. It’s a both an antifungal and antibacterial flush. You squeeze it liberally in the ear and then massage it. Avoid all contact with the eyes.

MalOtic Ointment is indicated for use in dogs with acute and chronic ear infections with yeast, as well as any bacteria susceptible to gentamicin.

Neo-Predef with Tetracaine Powder has several uses for dogs, cats and horses. It can be used to treat ear and skin conditions caused by or associated with neomycin-susceptible organisms or allergies. It can also be used as a dressing for minor cuts, wounds or abrasions. It may also be used to reduce pain and inflammation after surgery on tails, claws, dew-claws, ears, or ovariohysterectomies.

Eye Conditions

Your pets can fall prey to many of the same eye conditions as humans – like glaucoma and conjunctivitis.

Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Ophthalmic Solution contains corticosteroids that are used to reduce inflammation in the eye as a result of conjunctivitis, episcleritis, scleritis, pannus and eosinophilic keratitis in cats. It contains prednisolone and dexamethasone.

Gentamicin Ophthalmic Solution is used to treat dogs and cats suffering from bacterial infections in the eye – most often conjunctival infections and infections on the cornea.

Stomach Ailments

If your dog or cat suffers from stomach upset, he may need some of the same stomach medications prescribed for humans.

With a prescription, Famotidine tablets come in 20mg and 40mg strengths for dogs and cats. There is also an over-the-counter 10mg version available. Originally, the brand name for products containing Famotidine included Mylanta AR and Pepcid. It was indicated to treat ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and injury to the esophagus. Famotidine works the same way in dogs and cats. It is a histamine-blocker that reduces the amount of gastric acid secreted in the stomach.

If you value and love your pets, you should work with your veterinarian to find the right medications to give your pet the best life possible.

Grains are Very, Very Bad for Your Obligate Carnivore Cats and Carnivore Dogs (and Humans…?)

Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM, does not mince words about the connection between grains in cat food and feline diabetes. On her fabulous web site she states, “Feline diabetes is not the natural fate of hundreds of thousands of pet cats world-wide. It is, rather, a human-created disease that is reaching epidemic proportions because of the highly artificial foods that we have been feeding our feline companions for the past few decades. Without the constant feeding of highly processed, high carbohydrate dry foods better suited to cattle than cats, adult-onset feline diabetes would be a rare disease, if it occurred at all.”

A highly processed, grain-based diet fed to an animal designed to thrive on a meat-based, fresh food diet is very likely to produce symptoms of ill health over time. Diets to address disease most frequently deal with the symptoms that are the result of a lifetime of inappropriate food, not the true cause of their symptoms.

cat-dog-hamburger5-e1330024757644.jpgThe optimum diet for a dog or a cat should closely resemble their natural diet.
A diet balanced heavily toward grain promotes insulin production and the production of inflammatory chemicals. Over-production of insulin makes it hard for the body to maintain its correct weight, and can lead to diabetes and other problems. An overabundance of inflammatory chemicals means more aches and pains. A link to Dr. Hodgkins’ web site can be accessed on the BCDN site.

What do farmers feed hogs and cattle to fatten them up for market? Carbohydrates!!! Grains and Corn. That is what most pet food consists of. Carbs just make you hungry because they all turn to sugar in our systems (and also in dogs and cats).

You’ve probably heard some veterinarian, pet food manufacturer or someone in conversation say that grains (rice, barley, oats, etc.) are very good ingredients in cat and dog foods, are easy to digest and will give your cats and dogs “energy & vitality”. I certainly have.

You also may have heard from those same sources that dogs are omnivores and not carnivores.

You’ll know different after reading on!

In the wild, the diet of a canine/feline consists of only meat. As pets, dogs may eat foods that contain some vegetables (cats should not) that are given to them by humans but not nearly enough to classify them as omnivores, and grains definitely have never been, are not now nor will they ever, ever be a part of a dog or cat`s natural diet. Humans are much more “omnivorous” than dogs will ever be.

Because cats are obligate carnivores, they shouldn’t eat anything but meat; no fruits, no vegetables and absolutely never, ever any grains!

Since the beginning of time, carnivores have eaten only meat.

You MUST ALWAYS keep in mind that to stay healthy and to live a long life (along with staying out of the vet’s office), carnivores (dogs) and obligate carnivores (cats) need to eat meat, meat and more meat!

cat-carnivore5.jpgCats are members of the family “felidae”, the strictest carnivores (obligate carnivores) of the sixteen mammal families in the order Carnivora.

The dog family is a group of intelligent, carnivorous mammals that includes domestic dogs and their relatives which include coyotes, wolves, foxes, jackals, dholes, raccoon dogs and bush dogs.

They’re known scientifically as Canidae, are definitely carnivores and its members are commonly called canids and are members of the order Carnivora.

Herbivores like goats, sheep, cows and horses eat grains (but only in captivity).

However, horses, cows, pigs, goats and rabbits only eat grains when they are fed to them by humans, usually to fatten them up. Normally, they would eat grasses and leaves from pastures and other vegetables. There are NO mammals who eat a significant amount of grain as part of their natural diet, including humans.

GRAINS NOT GREAT FOR HUMANS EITHER

That includes humans up until the last ten thousand years or so (the advent of agriculture) and that quantity was still much, much lower than it was after the industrial revolution. It then grew progressively worse as low fat diets that suggested more grains were promoted by U.S. and other governments, right in line with “the obesity crisis” and Type II Diabetes!

According to a growing number of experts including Dr. Loren Cordain, a professor at Colorado State University and an expert on Paleolithic lifestyles, humans are NOT designed to eat grains, and doing so may actually be damaging to your gut. Dr. Cordain explains: “There’s no human requirement for grains. That’s the problem with the USDA recommendations. They think we’re hardwired as a species to eat grains. You can get by just fine and meet every single nutrient requirement that humans have without eating grains. And grains are absolutely poor sources of vitamins and minerals compared to fruits, vegetables, meat and fish.” You can link to Dr. Cordain’s comments on the BCDN web site.

THE ANATOMY OF EATING

Carnivore means ‘meat eater’ (Latin carne meaning ‘flesh’ and vorare meaning ‘to devour’) and classifies animals whose diets consist mainly of meat – such as dogs and cats.

As a faithful companion to humans for some 10,000 years, the trend to humanize our companion dogs comes as no surprise. Yet despite his long and close association with humans, the dog remains closest genetically to the Gray wolf, with whom he shares 99.8% of his mitochondrial DNA. The close genetic relationship between dog and wolf led the Smithsonian Institution to reclassify the dog from its previous separate species designation of Canis familiaris to Canis lupus familiaris.

In other words, the Timber wolf, the Tundra wolf and our beloved companion dog all fall under the genetic umbrella of the Gray wolf, Canis lupus.

Just like wolves, all dogs are evolved as carnivores, with anatomical features that clearly adapt them for meat-based diets. Understanding the anatomical differences between carnivores, omnivores and herbivores will help you understand why dogs are classified as carnivores and cats as obligate carnivores, and what foods best match their anatomy.

In addition, cats and dogs have certain defenses that enable them to handle bacteria in a different way than humans do. A shorter digestive track and a more acidic PH in their stomachs create a very, very powerful mechanism of defense against harmful bacteria.

Here’s three reasons why grains have no business being fed to cats (obligate carnivores) and dogs (carnivores) and are the diet of herbivores (cows, horses, sheep, rabbits and goats) in captivity:

1) SHARP TEETH designed for slicing meat, not for grinding grains or plants!

Going back tens of thousands of years to the sabre-toothed tiger to today, carnivores (dogs) and obligate carnivores (cats) still have elongated teeth designed for tearing and killing prey. Their molars are still triangular with jagged edges that function like serrated-edged blades that give a smooth cutting motion like the blades on a pair of shears. These teeth are totally useless for chewing grains and kibble but perfectly made for biting into, ripping and swallowing meat.

Cats and dogs don’t chew, they chop their food. Like all carnivores going back to the tyrannosaurus rex, the jaws of dogs and cats operate vertically (unlike herbivores and omnivores that grind their food by side to side chewing) to provide a smooth cutting motion, and open widely to swallow large chunks of meat. It’s the perfect combination for cutting meat into smaller chunks and the absolute worst for chewing grains.

Herbivores (cows) on the other hand chew widely from side-to-side. They have broad, flat back teeth that are ideal for grinding grains and plant material into finer particles. That’s why a cow “chews its cud”.

2) The digestive anatomy of carnivores are totally different than those of herbivores and omnivores.

Because meat is easily digested (relative to plants and grains) the small intestines of carnivores are very short. Carnivores have a very short gastrointestinal (GI) tract (around three times their body length), with food often staying in a cat for only five to seven hours and nine to eleven hours in a dog. So it’s very, very important to give them a high protein, calorie-dense diet because they absorb the nutrients so fast. High fiber, carbohydrate laden foods with grains ignore this fact, providing an unnatural burden on the GI tract that results in excessive system bulk and reduced nutrient absorption.

What’s more, carnivores exhibit a much higher concentration of stomach acid which allows for faster digestion of animal protein. The stronger acid kills the disease-causing bacteria abundant in decaying meat. A high concentration of stomach acid helps quickly break down proteins (carnivores have a stomach acidity of about pH 1, compared to humans at pH 4 to 5).

In addition to the acid, dogs and cats also naturally produce a tremendous amount of bile. Bile is both anti-parasitic and anti-pathogenic. So if something potentially harmful isn’t entirely neutralized by stomach acid, the bile is a secondary defense. And your pet’s powerful pancreatic enzymes also help break down and digest food.

Dogs and cats are built to handle bacterial loads from food that would cause significant illness in you or me. Your pet’s body is well equipped to deal with heavy doses of familiar and strange bacteria because nature built them to catch, kill and immediately consume their prey.

So the next time you hear some “expert” say raw meat is dangerous to give to your cat or dog, shake your head at their ignorance and quickly walk (run) away from them…..after all, carnivores have only been eating raw meat for the last 60 millions years or so!

Herbivores have a gastrointestinal tract that’s unusually long, sometimes exceeding twelve times the animal’s body length. Longer systems like this are needed for consuming a grain and plant-based diet. Cows, for example have three stomachs.

3) Last but not least, herbivores and omnivores have one very powerful digestive weapon that dogs and cats do NOT have…Salivary amylase.

Salivary amylase is a special enzyme that grain and plant-eating animals (and humans) produce in their saliva. Because grains are so hard to digest (contrary to what some “experts” say), it’s a most critical enzyme that catalyses the breakdown of starch into sugars. In the saliva, amylase begins the chemical process of digestion needed to initiate the break down of starchy carbohydrates before they enter the stomach.

Dogs and cats do produce some amylase, but the enzyme is produced much further down the digestive tract (in the small intestine where they use amylase produced in the pancreas) where the food is closer to coming “out” rather than going “in”).

Without salivary amylase, a carnivore’s (dog’s) and obligate carnivore’s (cat’s) digestion of grains is decidedly more difficult, if not somewhat impossible.

The biochemical/physiological basis for problems directly related to the ingestion of grains relates to blood insulin levels in response to blood sugar levels. The ultimate effects of high carbohydrate diets include swings in blood sugar and insulin, insulin resistance and high blood sugar. This in turn results in pathological alterations in eicosanoid production which in turn leads to obesity, hypertension, fluid retention, musculoskeltal, vascular, renal, hepatic, CNS and cardiac disease, and finally in many instances cancer and death. That is, the ingestion of grains and other starchy foods (including simple sugars of course) produces or helps in a major way to produce most if not all of the degenerative diseases that pet owners pay vets thousands of dollars to cure……when all they have to do is change the food to a raw meat or commercial food diet that resembles what cats and dogs would eat in the wild…!

Feline diabetes and CRF (Cronic Renal Failure) are two of the main causes of death in our pets yet they both do NOT exist in the wild……they are caused by humans feeding commercial pet foods containing grains and other ingredients that have never been, are not now and will NEVER, EVER be part of the natural diet of cats and dogs!

So much for those “easy to digest” whole grains in cat and dog foods that you hear about!

Grains have never been, are not now and will never, ever be part of a carnivore’s diet. Put a bowl of raw meat and a bowl of rice, barley or oats side by side and see which one your cat or dog devours.

In many cases, grains are highly indigestible for cats and dogs and they may be highly allergic to them. They may cause severe allergies, lack of energy, weight gain (or loss), dull coats, joint problems, arthritis, poor behavior, seizures and skin problems such as itching and excessive shedding and cause irritable bowel problems along with diarrhea or constipation and eye and ear infections.

Grains may cause preventable diseases such as Feline Diabetes, Chronic Renal Failure (CRF), Urinary Crystals, Cystitis (bladder inflammation), Bladder/Kidney Stones, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Hepatic Lipidosis (Fatty Liver Disease), Diarrhea, Cancer, premature death and more.

Grains are SOLELY used as cheap fillers/ingredients to boost protein levels instead of using high quality, much more expensive, human grade meat.

Grains are carbohydrates and are useless to carnivores. Slick marketing ads and television commercials from pet food companies or from veterinarians who know absolutely nothing about animal nutrition will say that carbohydrates from “whole grains” are easy to digest, are good for your pets and give them “energy & vitality”.

Actually, carbohydrates do only one thing in cats and dogs: They only make your animal companions fat like they do in humans. But unlike humans, carnivores get their energy from proteins and fats, NOT from carbohydrates!

If grains are nutritionally useless to cats and dogs, then why are they in most pet foods? For one and only one reason – the huge profits for pet food companies and the veterinarians and retailers who sell these pet foods, because grains are so cheap compared to more expensive, human-grade meats!

Here’s another very, very important point to consider: If you think the grains and rice in pet foods are of the human-grade kind like “Uncle Ben’s”, think again! The feed values of these grains are similar to corn and are grown primarily as a feed grain for livestock, not for dogs and cats. Inexpensive feed-grade grains that used to go in landfills and are now in pet foods can include moldy grain or fungus which has caused death.

BARF (BIOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE RAW FOOD) WORLD COMMENTS ON THE QUESTION OF GRAINS

It would now appear that the apparently innocuous starch, widely regarded as a supremely safe and cheap source of energy, is not the sweet innocent food ingredient it appears to be! It is the emerging information on the role of starch in producing poor health that has put the last nail in the coffin holding the grain. Our dogs and cats, like ourselves should only eat those foods on which they evolved if they are to gain and maintain maximum health.

The biochemical/physiological basis for problems directly related to the ingestion of grains relates to blood insulin levels in response to blood sugar levels. The ultimate effects of high carbohydrate diets include swings in blood sugar and insulin, insulin resistance and high blood sugar.

This in turn results in pathological alterations in eicosanoid production which in turn leads to obesity, hypertension, fluid retention, musculoskeltal, vascular, renal, hepatic, CNS and cardiac disease, and finally in many instances cancer. That is, the ingestion of grain and other starchy foods (including simple sugars of course) produces or helps in a major way to produce most if not all of the degenerative diseases.

There are other factors which are involved, particularly when it comes to feeding commercial pet food, including a lack of protective factors, abysmally poor protein quality, the presence of toxins in abundance, and the almost complete absence of healthy fats.

In an evolutionary sense, a wild dog’s and cat’s diet contain almost no grains. They never eat cooked grain. In eating the intestinal contents of their prey they will eat some grain which is usually immature and green. Most certainly they do not eat a totally grain based diet like the modern dog and cat, subjected to a lifetime of dried cat and dog food. Even if their prey had been eating mature seed heads, by the time the grain is consumed, it has been ground to a paste and soaked in the juices of the herbivores intestines. A totally different product to the masses of cooked and processed grains fed to cats and dogs today. You can link to these comments and more on the BARF diet on the BCDN web site.

WHAT THE EXPERTS HAVE TO SAY

Dr. Joe Demers, D.V.M – “A reason for overweight pets is what we feed our pet friends. Commercial pet food is anywhere between 45 percent to 65 percent carbohydrates (grains). Grains are the least expensive part of pet food and can fill the animal quickly. Dogs and cats are more carnivores than we humans are, and we are feeding them almost as much grain (or more) than we humans eat. I feel that this high-carbohydrate commercial pet food is the worst food we can feed our pet friends. Our pet friends need fresh meats, not dehydrated meat by-products.” You can link to Dr. Demers’ comments and get more great info on cat and dog nutrition by going to the BCDN web site.

Dr. T.J. Dunn D.V.M. – “The biggest and most common misconception of all…..the promotion of some low priced, grain-based foods as being a “Complete and Balanced” diet for dogs and cats!  Having done physical exams on tens of thousands of dogs and cats and learning from their owners what these pets are being fed has taught me that dogs and cats look, feel, and perform better if they are fed a meat-based diet rather than if fed a corn, wheat, soy or rice-based diet.” You can read Dr. Dunn’s comments and get more great info on cat and dog nutrition on the BCDN web site.

Dr. Russell Swift, DVM says “they are NOT part of the natural diet of wild dogs and cats. In the true natural setting, grains hardly exist at all. Why have grains become so “ingrained” in pet feeding? To the best of my knowledge, grains were mainly introduced by the pet food industry. The high carbohydrate content provides CHEAP calories.” You can read more on Dr. Swift’s comments and get more great info on cat and dog nutrition on the BCDN web site.

STILL THINK GRAINS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR PET CARNIVORES???

ALWAYS buy grain-free food for your pets and make sure that ALL of the protein in the food is from human-grade MEAT!

cute-dog-and-cat3.jpgLike children, our pets rely on us as their guardians, to make safe and healthy choices for them. If your cat/dog is currently eating unhealthy treats and living on a “junk food” and potentially dangerous grocery store or veterinarian brand diet containing grains, corn, soy, wheat, by-products and more, let BCDN help you find a much more safe, healthy and natural choice!

Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats

The dogs vs. cats debate has raged on for all time and for all time the dog side has won! Dogs are man’s best friend and cats don’t even like us! So why should we like them?

Unlike cats, dogs are very faithful and give you unconditional love forever. Cats barely seem to know you are around most of the time. If there is any problem a dog will serve and even protect you really well, but what would a cat do? Nothing!

The dogs are very obedient creatures and will sit or lie down or heel on command unlike the cats who will just smirk and walk away. Cats cannot be trained as easily as dogs. In fact it can seem impossible to train a cat.

Whenever the owner talks, a dog will tilt their heads and listen but cats don’t really seem to have much interest in human speech. Dogs will come upon hearing their name called while cats either don’t recognize their name being called or don’t care that it’s been called! A dog’s obedience makes him even more lovable and that is the biggest reason many people prefer dogs over cats.

Dogs also serve as very good companions and will play Frisbee or other games with you in the afternoon while cats, being selfish and self-centered, would prefer to take their afternoon nap quite lazily. Dogs are not at all mischievous by nature and will bring you your slippers or your evening newspaper unlike cats who might bring you a dead mouse.

Dogs also serve as very good watch dogs. There’s a reason they call it a watch dog and not a watch cat! They will bark to wake you up if the house is on fire or if he finds anything suspicious going on like thieves or somebody else breaking in while cats will just quietly sneak out the back door.
Dogs are so obedient that they will let you give them a bath quite easily, while a cat will struggle the entire time.

Dogs also look much better at the end of a leash. A dog can be a great partner on daily walk or your daily run. You can’t take a cat with you on a run!

Another great advantage that dogs have over cats is that they are easier to co mingle with each other. Dogs tend to get along with other dogs much easier than cats tend to get along with other cats.

Possibly the best reason that dogs are better than cats? Dogs don’t use the bathroom inside of your house! They go outside! No matter how much the litter is supposed to keep the smell under control, it still stinks!

Dogs seem to understand your emotions and will try to comfort you whenever you are sad while the cats don’t really seem to notice this sort of thing. A cat is far more interested in his own life.

I’m sure there are many more reasons why dogs are better than cats but these are the ones I’ve thought of today. Dogs are the best friend a man (or woman) can have. Cats? Not so much.

Cat and Dog Boarding Winnipeg – For Better Care and Grooming

Seeing pet looks so wonderful but if you, in actual start having living with your pet it needs a lot of stamina, money and time. Having a pet doesn’t mean that your pet will easily take care of its own even it can also be done by the street animals too, but pets are different. They love having their owner’s attention and care all the time and if you leave them without any reason at home alone they will surely be very worried and will miss you all the day.

Handling pet is not at all an easy task hence if you are looking for the best help and care of your pet, you definitely look for the professional services. Gone are the days when you just do a little bit of things for your pets, but today it is completely different and you should take care of your pet just like your kids. Here is the list of the services which you may definitely need to opt for proper caring of your pet and if you are a genuine owner, you shouldn’t forget the same at all.

Pet medication and health check up : Alike humans, it is very necessary to take your pet to the vet, time to time for regular health checkups and proper care. Vet will do in-depth analysis of your pet’s health, will check out its whole body and will do various other things, so that it can report you accordingly. Doing this, your pet will be 100 percent safe and no disease or problems will be transferred to you and your family. Time to time injections for the safety of the other people is also very crucial.

Pet grooming at Waldenway : If you don’t have much time at home that you can professional groom or provide great bath to your pet, then you should take up professional help. Professionals after determination everything will offer you the best solutions and will treat your pet accordingly. You, as an owner guide the professionals what you are looking for and what kind of shampoo or other things you would like to implement on the same.

Pet accommodation : This is something very important you should definitely know about dog boarding Winnipeg services. If you are moving to any other place for temporary basis, this is something you will surely need to have. Going up with the same you can handover your pet for “n” number of days to them and they will care your pet just like you do at home. From the friendly and best staff, your pet can easily expect great care, proper food, recreational and amazing experience which you unable to provide them. Here, from grooming to various other activities your pet will do and for taking rest they will get separate and great room with perfect bed.

Moving to the suggested source, you can also get in touch with cat boarding Winnipeg and your cat will be protected over there all the time. So, what are you thinking you should go with all these procedures, if you really love your pet.

Dog Kennels and Cat Boarding Have Made Things Easier for Every Pet Owner

Are you thinking of going for a long journey but hunting for a suitable place for your pet dog? Well now you can think of the best dog kennel for your pet. This is very often with those pet owners who are probably very keen in searching for a dog kennel.

People are very crazy to have pets at home. Some love dogs, some love cats and they love them too much and become very possessive about the pets. Problem arises when the entire family has to go out for a vacation or on a long trip where they are unable to carry their pets. Placing their pets in a good boarding or kennel would be the right choice for them. It is very essential to search out for a good and genuine dog kennel to place their pet.

You need to search out for a genuine kennel which can be available from the past reviews, or friends. Dog kennels and cat boarding Winnipeg have made things easier for every pet owner. They give you complete assurance about the safety of the owner’s pets. Among the pets dogs have difficulty in staying away from their owners. So, owners should always find out the kennel or the boarding to be a friendly place for their pets. Some of the boarding provide pet beds and also give priorities to see that the pets given good bath besides giving them proper food.

See that the boarding is not over crowded or else it may make matters worse for the pets. You should fully ensure that the pets will be protected well by the cat boarding or dog kennels.

Try to ensure the following points before placing your pets in the boarding: –

  • See whether the kennel is licensed
  • Whether they have strict schedule to be followed by the pet
  • Whether they provide medical aide in case of emergency, or visit the vet doctor.
  • Find out whether they are reputable boarders.
  • See their assessment procedures, how they assess their dogs and cats.
  • Always take a tour to the kennel and only after thorough checking you should keep you pets there.

There are many cat boarding and dog kennels available nowadays, you can get their addresses and contact number from the yellow pages or from their site. It is always good to inquire about the facilities offered by them. How they treat the pets. This can be got from the friends or from the reviews given by the people who have already experienced keeping their pets.

The pet boarding is becoming popular day by day and is a blessing for all those pet owners who are not in a position to carry their pets along with them during any journey. Now the pet owners can be tension free and lay them in the boarding without any fear or tension.

Once you ensure about the safety of your pets then you can enjoy your vacation and be tension free.

Best Popular Ways of Promoting Your Online Cat and Dog Boarding Services

The internet is becoming the major source of everything and if you want to promote anything locally or even internationally then the internet could be just the perfect option for you because the internet will offer you highly cost worthy and affordable options for all your needs. Pet boarding services are highly in demand with the increase in pet owners all over the world. This offers high growth potential in the business and better profits in long run. And this is the reason why many people are getting attracted towards this business.

If you have pet boarding business then you should be focusing on promotion as much as you can so that more and more people can avail the benefit of your services. But the point of the promotion would be valid only if you are choosing the right methods of promotions which will actually give you good results according to your expectations. The old promotional methods for promoting cat or dog boarding Winnipeg business are now out dated and if you want to be successful in this business then you would need to understand the present strategies and requirements of promotions and marketing so that you can get what you expect from your investment.

First thing about the internet is that it can offer you so many free as well as paid ways of promotions which means that you have lots of promotional opportunities in less or even no investment requirement. This makes the promotion much more convenient and affordable for all the dog and cat boarding Winnipeg owners. So, if you are also the one of such pet boarding business owners then you should also focus on internet promotion strategies for the better marketing of your business and better profits. And when we talk about internet based promotion then you can give your preference to the free or paid classified or paid advertisements which are always best idea for promoting all kinds of business.

There are always options of paid and free of cost service available for you on the internet so if you just want to do the promotion at the beginning level then you can consider trying free of cost options of business promotion but if you want to be in the spotlight of your industry then you would need to consider free as well as paid promotional methods.

You can simply give your preference any of the online promotional or advertising strategy and this is really very beneficial for the business of dog or cat boarding so what are you waiting for? If you want to give an instant boost to your business then there is no better choice than the internet promotion for you so just go ahead and avail the benefits of the internet for your business and let it drag your business to the highest level that it deserve.

Benefits of Cat Massage

Benefits of Cat Massage

MARYJEAN BALLNER

AHHHHTHERES THE RUB

Lessons in the language of touch help owners and
shelter volunteers speak fluent bark and meow.

In 1983, when I graduated from the Swedish Institute of Massage Therapy in New York City, my final paper was entitled, Massage Therapy from a Feline Point of View. I compared human and feline anatomy and physiology and adapted traditional Swedish massage techniques for cats. During my research, I noticed a dramatic change in the behavior of Mr. Grey, a feral cat from the woods in upstate New York who was my pioneer in pet massage. As I paid more attention to how I was petting him, he paid more attention to me. He became affectionate, responsive and then downright demanding of my affection, and I knew it coincided with the massages.

Sixteen years later, at the Peninsula Humane Society outside San Francisco, where I go regularly to massage the cats, I met a terrified and timid four-year old male cat. Weighing slightly more than four and one-half pounds, he was one of 25 flea-bitten, under socialized and malnourished cats who had been rescued from the home of an animal collector. He hid so far back in his cage that he became almost invisible to the people who passed by him every day. The first time we met, it took a few minutes for me to gently pry his claws from the shelf.For the first week, he cowered and shook as I held him in a towel. I attempted massage, but even the slightest touch was too intense.

For the next few weeks, I patiently cradled this cat in my arms or held him securely on my lap and repeated gentle, soothing words. Gradually he began to accept being massaged with a soft bristle brush. Then, one quiet afternoon, I heard him purr for the first time.

Needless to say, I adopted him. Five months earlier, he was slated for euthanasia. Today, Bodacious luxuriates in every massage technique I try on him. Some of his old fears are still with him, but now he clearly desires affection and attention. What a tribute to the power of touch!

Medically speaking

To some, the idea of massage for animals may seem frivolous. But the benefits of massage are clear, whoever the recipient. Physiologically, massage stimulates the bodys nerves, muscles, circulatory system and lymphatic system. It enhances range of motion, increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells, relieves muscle spasms and helps to flush away toxic compounds, such as lactic acid, that cause pain. Massage has been used therapeutically to aid in healing after injury or surgery, ease chronic stiffness and reduce the heart rate.

At the University of Miami School of Medicine, Tiffany Field, Ph.D., established the first Touch Research Institute in 1992. Studies conducted at the Institute, which is devoted solely to the study of touch and its application in science and medicine, show that, among other benefits, massage can alleviate symptoms of depression and reduce stress hormones. Yet the benefits of massage are too often neglected in human psychology. It wasnt until years later that it was discovered that babies born in orphanages in the 1940s and 50s often died from not being held.

Touch experiences underlie our emotional states, says Steven Lindsay, M.A., a dog trainer and animal behaviorist based in Philadelphia. Lindsay explains that massage stimulates production of endorphins (or opioids), which are connected to feelings of pain, grief, fear, joy, etc.Touch is direct access to emotion, he says.

From people to pets

What all this means to animals in sheltersas well as your animals at homeis of enormous value. The relaxation response is the big issue, the ability of the dog just to settle down and relax. If massage can do that consistently, its a miracle, says Lindsay, who started using massage on dogs about 10 years ago to calm overzealous puppies.

He now sees it as a routine way to reduce stress in shelter animals, and he gives presentations to staff and volunteers in which massage is a component. Just three to five minutes of a systematic, quiet massage, he says, is extremely beneficial. Why? Because animals who get massaged regularly tend to get adopted quicker than those who dont receive the same TLC. At the Peninsula Humane Society, veterinarian Dr. Melissa Matthews notes that after receiving massages from volunteers, dogs are more personable during their interview sessions, and cats are often seen sitting at the front of their cages. Massage isnt a luxury for our animals, she adds, its a necessity.

But it isnt just the animals who benefit. Its a win-win situation for everyone, says Beth Ward, Director of Animal Care at the Peninsula Humane Society. Both sides love the attention and affection, and volunteers know theyve given a tremendous gift.

Tips on getting started

First, find a willing animal companion and practice. Massage is easy to learn and takes only a few minutes. In fact, you probably already know a lot of the motions. Remember, its the masseurs intent that makes massage different from just simple petting, and animals can sense a persons intent. Patience and persistence pay off. You may find some of these suggestions so subtle that youll be tempted to shortcut around them, but it is precisely these subtleties that make massage work.

1. Notice your own state of mind. Do you feel rushed? Frustrated? Angry? Take a few deep breaths and let outside concerns fall away. A few minutes of well-intentioned touch can replace a half-hour of petting, so focus on your companions needs.

2. Start with voice massage. Repeat an endearing phrase over and over again in a soothing tone (or tune) to capture your animals attention and prepare both of you for contact. The words arent importantthe tone of your voice is. I sing, Whos the best boy in the whole wide world? Its you, Champer Damper, its you. Have fun coming up with something of your own.

3. As a courtesy to your animal, allow adequate time for the cat or dog, even a faithful family pet, to sniff, recognize and accept your extended hand before you actually touch him or her. Then, always begin your approach from the shoulders. Even with a small dog or a cat whom you know, never make first contact with the top of the head or the face, because they may perceive this as a threat.

4. Dont rush. Of the four different massage speeds that can be used, most people dont use slow motion often enough. Stroke down your pets back and count how long it takes. Then repeat the stroke in double the amount of time, so that a four-count stroke will now take eight counts. It may feel strange, but what seems excruciatingly slow to you may feel very appropriate for your pet.

5. Use repetition. Repeat that same slow technique six times. It may seem boring to you, but it wont to your animal. Repetition establishes acceptance and familiarity, then relaxation.

6. If your dog refuses to relax, or wants to play, consider giving a few basic commands, such as sit and down, in a firm voice until your pet becomes receptive to the routine.

7. Massage is very intuitive. Trust that intuitive feeling. Feel your animals response. Youll be relaxed, and so will your pet.

8. Look for friendly feedback. For cats, that means blinking, purring (sometimes), drooling, sleeping, self grooming or a relaxed look in the eyes. For dogs, it could be licking the lips, a relaxed body posture or a calm look in the eyes.

9. Get a massage yourself! This is the best way for you to understand the different strokes and their cumulative benefits.

10. Once youve gotten the hang of massage, volunteer your gift to others. Remember, everything you learn at home with your own animals can be put to good use at your local shelter.

Pet an animal, and youve made a friend for a day. Massage an animal, and youve made a friend for life.

Bringing Home A New Cat

Bringing Home a New Cat

ELIZABETH TEAL, FORMER ASPCA ANIMAL BEHAVIOR COUNSELOR

Whether your new cat is coming from a shelter, a home, an urban street or a country barn, the first twenty-four hours in your home are special and critical. Before you bring a new cat into your life, it helps to understand a little bit about how cats relate to their world.

For the cat, territory is of paramount importance. A cat views his territory the way most of us view our clothes; without them, we feel naked and vulnerable. Place us naked in a room filled with strangers and most of us would try to hide! It is common for cats, regardless of whether they come from homes or streets, to hide in a new territory. Very sensitive or under-socialized cats often hide for a week or more! You know that this cat is now a member of the family, but the cat doesn’t.

You can help make the transition to a new home smoother and easier by providing some privacy for your new cat. If possible, start by preparing your home before you bring in the cat. Choose a room for the litter box; a bathroom works well. Set up the litter box with one to two inches of litter, and place it in a corner, if possible.

Now create a safe haven for the cat to hide in. You can buy a covered cat bed but a cardboard box turned upside down with two “doors” cut in it will work nicely. Why two “doors?” Many cats seem to feel more secure if they have a second “escape” route. Get a box big enough for the cat to stand up, turn around, stretch out and lie down in — but keep it cozy! Place the box next to the wall or in a corner where the cat can see the door to the room. You don’t want the cat to feel trapped. Place a sisal, cork or corrugated cardboard scratching post next to it. Finally, clear off a shelf for the cat to perch on to view his new world.

After you have prepared the bathroom, cat-proof every other room of your home. Are there raised surfaces for the cat? If the answer is “no,” make some! Cats need to be able to jump up and survey their territory.
Do you have valuable mementos that are easily broken? Put them away until your cat is happily moved in. Check out all the nooks and crannies. Are there places that could be dangerous for the cat to explore or hide in? If so, block them off. Finally, put a scratching post or pad in every room.

If circumstances require that you bring in the cat before your home is ready, keep him in his carrier until you have his room set up! He will be fine in there for a while longer. Opposite the litter box, place a bowl of fresh water. After the room is set up, place the carrier next to the “safe haven.” Close the bathroom door before opening the carrier. Do not pull the cat out. Allow him to come out on his own and begin to explore his new home. Now, leave the room. Yes, leave…remember you are giving him time to acclimate. Go and prepare a small amount of a premium quality cat food. Quietly place it next to the water bowl.

Do not reach for the cat! Let the cat come to you. If he doesn’t approach, come back in fifteen minutes. Do not be surprised if he doesn’t eat. It is common for re-homed cats to show no interest in eating, often for several days. Pick up the leftovers and leave. Come back in a couple of hours with a fresh meal of the same high-quality food. If the cat is openly soliciting affection, eating and not hiding, you can open the door and give him one more room. Do this slowly until you have introduced the cat to all the rooms in his new home.

Remember to let the cat set the pace. Be patient. It may take weeks for the cat to comprehend that this foreign turf is his new territory.

Living with Cat Allergies

Living with Cat Allergies

KAREN COMMINGS

Does interacting with your feline companion bring tears of agony instead of tears of joy? In addition to itchy, watery eyes, do you exhibit other symptoms such as runny nose, rash, hives, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, asthma or other breathing problems?

Like an estimated 2 percent of the U.S. population, you suffer from an allergy to cats and, like about one-third of those people, you’ve chosen to keep your cat companion. But at what cost?

Contrary to popular belief, cat hair itself is not allergenic. The cause of allergy to cats is a protein called Fel d 1 emanating from sebum found in the sebaceous glands of cats. The protein attaches itself to dried skin, called dander, that flakes off and floats through the air when cats wash themselves. Although you may never be able to eliminate all your allergy symptoms, following these suggestions can help make living with your cat a more enjoyable experience.

  1. Designate your bedroom as a cat-free zone. Begin your program of allergen reduction by washing bedding, drapes and pillows. Better yet, replace them. Use plastic covers that are designed to prevent allergens from penetrating on your mattress and pillows. Allergen-proof covers are available from medical supply outlets. Don’t expect results overnight. Cat allergens are one-sixth the size of pollens, and it may take months to reduce them significantly.
  2. Restrict your cat’s access to designated areas inside your home. If you have a safe outdoor enclosure, allow your cat some time outside where dander will waft away in the wind. Brush your cat in the fresh-air enclosure to prevent loose, allergen-carrying hair from dispersing through your home.
  3. Eliminate allergen traps such as upholstered furniture and rugs. Carpet can accumulate up to 100 times the amount of cat allergens as hardwood flooring, so replacing the wall-to-wall with wood will keep allergens from accumulating as much. If ripping up the carpet is not an option, have it steam cleaned as often as needed.
  4. Vacuuming blows as many allergens through the air as it removes, so when you vacuum, use an allergen-proof vacuum cleaner bag or a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filter.
  5. Get some fresh air. Highly insulated homes trap allergens as well as heat, so open the windows to increase the ventilation in your home, and run window fans on exhaust. (But remember to always screen windows so kitty stays safely indoors.) Also, clean the air inside your home. Although nothing will remove all of the allergens present, running an air cleaner with a HEPA filter will help.
  6. Wipe the dander away. Bathing a cat often is suggested as a way to reduce the dander, but experts disagree on its effectiveness. “Bathing a cat was once believed to be helpful,” say Dr. Robert Zuckerman, an allergy and asthma specialist in Harrisburg, PA, “but the cat would have to be washed almost daily.” Instead, daily use of products such as Pal’s Quick Cleansing Wipes™ will remove saliva and dander from your cat’s hair and are less stressful for felines who prefer not to be rubbed in the tub.
  7. Spray allergens away. Anti-allergen sprays are a convenient way to deactivate allergens, including those produced by pets. Allersearch ADS, made from plant-based, non-toxic substances, can be sprayed throughout the house to take the sting out of household dust by rendering allergens harmless.
  8. Clean the cat box. Cat allergen is found in urine and is left in the litter box when your cat makes a deposit. To help prevent allergic reactions to the litter box, use a brand of litter that is less dusty and have someone in the household who is not allergenic clean the box.
  9. Take your medicine. Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops and aerosol inhalers will help reduce the symptoms, although they do not eliminate the allergy. If you prefer to take a holistic approach, try Nettle tea, a bioflavinoid called quercetin or acupuncture. In recent studies antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E have demonstrated significant anti-allergen effects.
  10. Get tested. An allergy specialist can determine the exact source of your allergic reactions by a simple prick of the skin on your arm or back.
  11. Look at the whole picture. Because allergies rarely come individually wrapped, other culprits, such as dust mites and pollen, may be causing reactions, too. “An individual rarely has a single allergy,” says Zuckerman. “A cat owner may be able to tolerate contact with the cat in winter, but when spring arrives, all the allergies together may prove unbearable.”
  12. Build up resistance. There is no cure for allergy to cats, but immunotherapy may help increase your tolerance. Immunotherapy involves getting allergy shots once or twice weekly for up to six months, then monthly boosters for three to five years. Some individuals develop complete immunity, while others continue to need shots, and still others find no relief at all.

Coping with an allergy to cats is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a commitment. After all, shelters receive cats for this reason every day. Hopefully, following these tips will make a world of difference.

Karen Commings is the author of “Manx Cats” (Barron’s, 1999), “The Shorthaired Cat” and “Shelter Cats” (Howell Book House, 1996 and 1998, respectively).

Litter Box Training

Litter Box Training

AMY MARDER, V.M.D.

“Malachy,” a beautiful, three-year-old neutered Persian cat, was brought in to see me soon after our new Center for Behavioral Therapy opened. Quite a confident kitty, Malachy made himself comfortable on our consultation room couch shortly after Tish, his owner, let him out of the carrier. Tish had adopted Malachy “by happenstance” when she was at her groomer’s shop with her cat Cormick. The groomer had acquired Malachy from his previous owner, who could not keep him because he was fighting with the owner’s other cat.

Fortunately, Malachy and Cormick did not fight. In fact, the two cats became fast friends who loved to play with and chase each other. In his new household, however, Malachy’s toilet habits were far from perfect. Tish had her veterinarian check for medical problems that might explain Malachy’s frequent “mistakes,” but none were found.

Tish had put up with Malachy’s housesoiling for a year before she came in to see me. Recently, the problem had become so bad that Malachy was either urinating or defecating outside the litterbox once a day, and Tish decided she needed help.

Tish and her cats divided their time between an apartment in the city and a country home. Over the year, Tish had provided a variety of litterboxes: some with hoods, some without, some in bathrooms, others in bedrooms. At first Tish used plain clay litter, but most recently she had begun to use a clumpable form. Tish scooped the boxes several times a day and changed the boxes completely once a month, so the cleanliness of the boxes was not in question. Malachy used the boxes, but he also used Tish’s furniture as a toilet. Her chairs and guestroom bed were his favorites.

The Grass Is Always Greener?
After learning Malachy’s history, I felt the cat was just not happy with the present state of his litterboxes and was looking for alternatives. Like many Persians, he spent more time pawing the sides of the litterbox than scratching in the litter. (Longhaired cats in general have a higher incidence of litterbox problems. It may be that they don’t want to soil their long, flowing coats!)

With Tish’s help, I set up an experiment to find litterboxes that Malachy would prefer to his owner’s furniture. I asked Tish to provide three large, unhooded litterboxes in both the city and the country. I asked her to continue to use the clumpable litter in one, a section of newspaper in the second and old-fashioned coarse clay litter in the third. Tish was to praise Malachy and give him a treat every time she saw him use a box. Simultaneously, to break the furniture habit, I asked Tish to cover the chairs and bed with pieces of thick vinyl carpet runner, prickly side up.

After the first few weeks it became apparent that Malachy preferred the plain clay litter to the clumpable kind (most cats choose the clumpable litter). The newspaper he didn’t use at all. Cormick was not picky and reliably used any litter that was available. Then we gave Malachy three boxes of his chosen litter in each home. We did this because some cats prefer to urinate and defecate in different places; the third box would make sure there was no overcrowding at the boxes.

For three months there have been no accidents. Tish is ready to remove the protective covers from her chairs and bed. Now that Malachy is in the habit of using the new boxes, he shouldn’t go back to his old habits.

Excellent Prognosis
Urination and defecation outside the litterbox is the most common feline behavior problem. Many cats are given up because of house-soiling problems. Most of the time this is unnecessary. The prognosis for cats with problems like Malachy’s is excellent. Between 70 percent and 75 percent of litterbox problems are cured by simple treatments like the one Tish employed with Malachy. If your cat begins to urinate or defecate outside the box, see your veterinarian first. He or she will rule out medical causes. If the problem is considered to be a behavioral one, ask for a referral to a cat behavior specialist.

How to Survive Giving Your Cat a Bath

How to Survive Giving Your Cat a Bath

ARTICLE PROVIDED BY CATSTER

In the wild, there are many big cats that actually enjoy being in the water. Tigers, leopards and lions all like to soak, most likely because their usual habitat is in a hot environment and it helps cool them off. Domestic cats may have evolved to dislike water because most breeds have coats that absorb rather than deflect moisture. It’s harder for them to get dry after they’re soaked.

So, Why Would a Cat Need a Bath?

In many cases, cats don’t need to be washed with water. They groom themselves naturally, so regular brushing is usually enough to keep your pet looking clean and comfortable. However there are occasions when a real bath is necessary. Kitty may have soiled himself in the litter box, for instance. Cats have been known to try to climb up the inside of a chimney.

Preparing Your Cat’s Bath
The best solution is to make sure that you have all the necessary supplies handy, so you can make your cat’s bath very quick:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Cat shampoo
  • A large pitcher for rinsing or (even better) a gentle spray nozzle
  • A large towel
  • Cotton balls to clean the ears
  • A small cloth to clean the face

 

It’s much easier to wash your cat in a kitchen or bathroom sink than bending over a tub. Following is a step-by-step procedure for the quick and painless cat bath:

  • Fill the sink with about 2 or 3 inches of warm (but not hot!) water
  • Wet the cat from the shoulders to the tail and apply shampoo.
  • Just like your own hair, lather and rinse thoroughly
  • Since most cats hate having water splashed on their faces, use a damp washcloth to gently clean your cat’s head.
  • Use a cotton ball to clean inside the cat’s ears. Never put any kind of object (not even a Q-Tip) in your cat’s ear.
  • After a thorough rinsing, lift your cat onto a large towel and fold it around him.
  • Rub as much water from their fur as possible
  • Long-haired cats may require the use of a blow dryer, but only if the noise does not terrify them. Set it on low and see if the cat will tolerate it.

It’s best if you have the time to purchase a shampoo specifically formulated for cats. If you don’t have any cat shampoo, a mild baby shampoo may be used. You don’t want to use any other kinds of human cleaning products, as it may sting your cat’s eyes or irritate their skin.

Giving Up Your Pet

SUE STERNBERG

It is a huge decision to give away your pet, no matter how long or brief the period of time of ownership. Remember, for whatever reason you no longer are choosing to keep this pet, YOU are the person in this world who loves your pet more than anyone else and YOU no longer want your pet! First ask yourself if there is anything about your pet behaviorally or personality-wise that could be worked on in order for you to keep him. It is exceedingly difficult to find good, permanent homes for adolescent or adult animals (as you are finding out first-hand). There are a few things you need to do to be responsible and caring until the last possible moment:

  • Take your pet to the veterinarian for a check-up, vaccinations, and, most importantly spaying/neutering! If you were thinking that your pet might make a good breeding animal, STOP! Why breed from an animal that no-one wants anymore? Why make more unwanted animals in a world where even great pets dont remain very long in their first homes? You want someone to adopt your pet as a COMPANION, not because it might make a good or profitable breeding animal. You are much more apt to find a responsible, permanent home by placing an already sterilized pet. Get it done: its the least you can do, and the best thing you can do.
  • Spaying and neutering also reduces the risk your pet will run away from its next home, and helps to insure that your pet won’t urine mark his new home and thus become quickly unwanted again!
  • If your pet is already spayed or neutered, and has not bitten anyone,try to find a new home for your pet through advertising. Place a classified ad in your local newspaper, and screen any callers carefully. Be completely honest about all your pet’s behaviors, good and bad. No pet is perfect, and people are more likely to adopt a pet they know about, for better or worse. When screening callers, tell every caller that someone has already come to look at your pet, but you are still taking names and telephone numbers and references, in case, so you can call them back. This gives you an instant out if you think the caller is not right for your pet, and hurts no ones feelings.
  • Take a few good, color photos and make some posters. Include your pet’s name (it personalizes him…) and include his best traits, his most endearing qualities, and some guidelines for the best possible home: i.e., no small kids, someone whos home a lot, no other pets, good for experienced dog owner, etc.
  • Be careful in choosing an animal shelter. Visit the kennels, meet the staff, familiarize yourself with the shelter’s policies. A No Kill policy might look good at first, but not if your dog will end up living out his life in the kennels. Dogs can deteriorate emotionally and mentally very quickly in a shelter, even a good shelter, and no dog should suffer that kind of stress endlessly, month after month, living in a concrete kennel run, hoping for that magical, perfect home.
  • If your pet is aggressive, or has nipped or bitten someone, EVER, then please get a professional behavioral evaluation before giving away your pet. Check with state and local laws, too, about liability in re-homing a pet with prior knowledge of aggression. Do not try to find a new home for an aggressive animal without professional help.
  • If your pet has a behavior problem, he’ll take it with him to the next home. Many problems are workable, or at least manageable. Contact a trainer or behavior counselor and see if its not possible to work things out so you can keep your pet.

Why Does My Cat Scratch Everything?

BY DR. STEPHANIE JANECZKO, D.V.M., MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR ANIMAL CARE & CONTROL OF NEW YORK CITY

Scratching is a normal part of cat behavior and serves several functions, including conditioning of the claws, providing a means of stretching, and acting as a marker (both olfactory, or scent, and visual). Cats like to scratch! The act of scratching actually removes frayed and worn outer claws, exposing new, sharper ones. However, what is normal cat behavior can become frustrating to deal with for cat owners — particularly when the cat in question starts destroying furniture or even scratching members of the family.

Why Does My Cat Scratch Everything?

The vast majority of cats will live happy, non-furniture-destroying lives without being declawed, and a few extra steps taken by the caring pet parent can help to ensure this is the case. In most cases, problem scratching can be prevented with environmental and behavioral management.

Why does my cat scratch everything?
In some cases, keeping the cat away from the area that is being damaged is the simplest solution to the problem. Another variation is to allow the cat to have access to whatever is being scratched inappropriately, but to make that area unattractive to the cat while making a more appropriate area more attractive. Many cats scratch the couch because they simply do not have another option to exercise their scratching needs. All cats have a need to scratch and should be provided with appropriate posts to do so. Hopefully, your cat is not scratching but you are trying to pre-empt a problem.

Most cats prefer to scratch a vertical surface that is tall enough to allow them to fully arch their backs and really get into it, but also stable enough they don’t have to worry about toppling it. Cat trees or condos can be an excellent option if they are well-constructed of the appropriate materials, as they also provide cats with the ability to get above their surroundings — another very natural cat behavior!

Must-Do Tips for Finding a Lost Cat

Q: Are there specific places lost cats are likely to hide? What would you say is most important to do in the first hour when a cat’s disappeared? —Julie S.

A: Probably the most critical thing to do within the first few hours of losing a cat is to start getting permission from your neighbors to enter their yards to search for the missing cat.

Must-do Tops For Finding a Lost Cat

When Indoor Cats Get Lost:

  • Determine the escape point: When an indoor-only cat escapes outside, the best technique to use is to determine the escape point, like perhaps a door found cracked open.
  • Follow the edge of the house or building: A panicked cat will typically follow along the side of the house, rather than risk slinking or bolting out into the open. However, this depends on what happens the moment that cat escapes — if the mail man is walking up the sidewalk the cat could bolt and run directly across the street. But most times, indoor cats will either slink left or slink right following the edge of the house.
  • Look for the closest hiding spots: Following the edge of the house to the right, look for the first hiding place — deck, access under a house, shed with opening, open garage, etc. — and focus on that area. Then do the same to the left.
  • Place humane traps, cameras or food in those spots: If you don’t see or find the cat, you can put humane traps there, wildlife cameras, or even a plate of food at first to see if it vanishes.

The case of a lost cat is an investigation. The investigative question with displaced indoor-only cats that escape outside — or even outdoor-access cats that bolt in panic — is, “where is the cat hiding?”

When Indoor-Outdoor Cats Get Lost:

When an outdoor-access cat vanishes, it is very different. The investigative question for outdoor-access cats that are missing is “What happened to the cat?” It means something has happened to the cat to interrupt her customary behavior of coming home. The cat could be:

  • Trapped
  • Sick/injured
  • Transported out of the area
  • Taken by predators
  • Intentionally removed by a cat-hating neighbor.

Alternatives to Flying with Your Small Dog

alternative-to-flying-small-dogs0

Summertime and the livin’s easy. The weather’s getting warmer, school is out and your workload somehow is magically decreasing. Your thoughts are becoming less focused on reports and conference calls and more on where you, your family and your five-pound Maltese will “vacay.” You didn’t think you were going to leave him at home, did you?

The question is: How will you get your furry family member to the pet-friendly hotel at your vacation destination? Flying the friendly skies is the definitely the fastest way to go, and some airlines allow small pets in the cabin as long as certain restrictions are met (check with your carrier for specific regulations). However, riding on a plane is not the only way to get around, and flying is a stressful and sometimes scary experience for many little pups. Flying with your dog is can also be inconvenient or costly.

So, what else is a small dog lover to do? Fret not. Here are some other ways you and your furry family member can get from point A to point B.

Ride, Sally, Ride.

If you are the adventurous type and relish driving on the open road, pack your bag, pack some homemade dog treats and buckle up! Be prepared to stop to take potty and exercise breaks for your canine passenger and by all means, bring plenty of his food, water, treats and toys.

What else do you need? A pet carrier, a collapsible water dish, his collar and leash, toys, his clothes, and his flea and tick medicine will make the road trip complete. Don’t expect your miniature schnauzer to be ready to ride what might seem like endless hours in a car if he’s not used to long trips. Let him practice by bringing him along with you on short trips ahead of time to get comfortable with the idea of riding.

Since he is a small dog, you’ll also need to get him used to being restrained in a car for his own protection. The Trips with Pets Web site says scores of pets are injured and killed each year because they are allowed to roam around in a moving vehicle. Get educated about pet safety harnesses and pet carriers to keep both of you safe during the trip.

It bears repeating: Potty breaks are your friend. Even if he opts to slumber most of the trip, wake your dog up for frequent bathroom breaks. Stopping every couple of hours also gives your toy dog a chance to stretch his little legs.

Car and Driver.

Sometimes all a little dog needs is a good car and driver. Heck, if being chauffeured is good enough for the president of the United States, it’s good enough for your little rat terrier. If you can’t drive your small dog, hiring a private pet transport ground service just might be the way to go.

Pet transport ground services promise to bring your dog to his destination in a matter of days. They drive him during the day and sleep with him in pet-friendly motels at night. According to these companies’ Web sites, trained staff members travel with your little canine at all times to get him to you safely and in one piece. Some of these services will even let you ride along with your dog. Some pet owners find pet transport ground services to be cheaper and less stressful than flying.

One thing to remember: Your dog’s papers need to be in order before you confirm his reservation. Reputable pet transport ground service companies will require you to get a health certificate from your veterinarian (it’s required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) and current immunization records before your animal is allowed to board.

It’s also imperative to let the company know ahead of time if your furry friend is taking special medications or is on a special diet. Once again, maintaining a sense of normalcy during travel is key to ensuring a stress-free experience.

Ahoy, Mate!

Cruising is another substitute to flying for man’s best friend, but it’s not easy to book an ocean voyage for your dog. For the most part, cruise ships don’t allow pets to board due to strict quarantine requirements and health codes.

To date, the only ship that offers pets the opportunity to travel with their owners is the luxury ocean liner Queen Mary 2. The ship offers a kennel service on trips between New York and Southampton, England. A full-time kennel master ensures your dog is fed, walked and cared for. Although pets are not allowed to roam on the open deck, public areas, or in your stateroom, you may visit your dog in the kennel.

Once again, make sure all of your pet’s veterinary papers are in order if you want to bring your pug with you on this $800 million ship. That includes getting a certificate of good health stating that he is healthy enough for travel and is up to date on his shots.

You also will need to familiarize yourself with the UK’s Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Under these rules, you’re required to have your canine pal microchipped, vaccinated for rabies and blood tested to make sure that his rabies vaccination has made enough rabies antibodies. This is important if you’re a Queen Mary 2 passenger because you’ll be crossing international waters. Since this process can take a while, don’t wait until the last minute to take care of these requirements — you don’t want to lose the chance to set sail with your canine companion.

How to Prevent Car Sickness  

prevent-car-sickness-small-dogs0

How to Prevent Car Sickness in Small Dogs
Anne-Marie Weber/Corbis |
\

“There was some genuine worry about my traveling alone …For this reason I took one companion on my journey — an old French gentleman poodle known as Charley.”— John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

If the idea of jumping into a car with your dog as co-pilot makes your heart skip, but your traveling companion turn green, you’re not alone. Although extensive studies have not been conducted to find out how many dogs suffer from car or motion sickness, veterinarian Patty Khuly estimates from her experience that “up to 50 percent of dogs suffer from motion sickness one or more times in their lives.”

All dog breeds and sizes are equally predisposed to motion sickness, but puppies seem to be more susceptible. Because the inner workings of a puppy’s ears, where balance is regulated, are still underdeveloped, dogs commonly go through a period when cars are not their favorite form of locomotion. With time, many puppies grow into fine traveling companions.

But some dogs don’t outgrow the dreaded queezies. In cases like these, you need to know the symptoms of car sickness so that other causes of an upset stomach, such as stress, fear or food poisoning, can be ruled out. To identify motion sickness, look for these signs:

– Drooling

– Agitation

– Listlessness

– Yawning

– Whining – Vomiting One of the most important rules to remember when flying with your small pooch is that you won’t be able to take him outside once you pass through security. That’s why it’s essential that your pup does his “business” before the flight. The best approach is to cut off his food and water about two hours before heading to the airport. Once you’re there, be sure to take your dog out to the pet relief area — most airports will have one — before going through the security checkpoint. Follow these simple rules, and it’ll be a bon voyage for you and your best furry friend.

prevent-car-sickness-small-dogs1

Preventing Car Sickness
Anne-Marie Weber/Corbis |

After a few bad experiences, your pet may associate that metal box on wheels with a stomach doing flip-flops. Sitting with your dog in a car that isn’t moving, or taking short rides should break the mind-body connection. Be sure to take your dog to fun places — like the park — and not just to the vet or the groomer. Imagine how you would feel if a ride in a car always meant a visit to the dentist!

If after a number of practice runs, your dog doesn’t become acclimated, try having her sit or lay in different areas of the car. Most dogs, like people, prefer to see where they’re going so facing forward is a good place to start. Small dogs have the advantage since more spots in the automobile can accommodate a dog of diminutive size. However, don’t put your pup in the front seat; a deployed airbag can cause severe injury.

Specially designed dog seat belts can help keep your dog looking straight ahead instead of out the side or back windows. To make sure your small dog is able to see out the window purchase an elevated dog booster seat. This may help him to enjoy his ride more. Some dogs feel more secure and comfortable in a crate, so confinement may be another option.

If Spot is still not loving his outings, try these suggestions:

Less Food: Some dogs are more comfortable on an empty stomach while others prefer a small meal before the big ride. Experiment with the timing and amount of food. Your dog will let you know if he prefers to travel on empty or with a half-tank.

More Air: A slightly opened window allows fresh air to circulate which can help control nausea.

Pit Stops: Dogs, as well as people, need to take breaks on long hauls. With a dog prone to car sickness, it’s a good idea to make stops more frequently, giving your pet time to relax and stretch his legs on a steady surface.

Medication: Although some over-the-counter medications can be given to dogs to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness, it’s best to speak with your vet before administering. Directions on the packages of these drugs may not be specific enough to guarantee the safety of your small dog. Prescription drugs are also available.

All dogs are unique so by learning the particular signs which tell you something’s wrong — a strangely cocked ear or an unusual look in the eyes — you’ll also know when you’ve found the right solution. With time and patience there’s a good chance you and your dog will be traveling the open road, just like John Steinbeck and his gentleman friend, Charley.

Ways to Cuddle with Small Dogs  

how-to-cuddle-with-small-dog0

You’ve had a bad day. You’ve had a great day. You’ve had a so-so day. Whatever your mood, you’re looking forward to that special furry, wet-nosed cuddle. As you come through the door, does your dog dash into your arms faster than a speeding bullet or does he opt for a more restrained hello? Like people, dogs have different comfort levels in showing affection. Some dogs are like Velcro while others prefer to love from a distance. But if your small companion is a member of one of the following small breeds, chances are you’ve got a canine cuddler:

– Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

– English Toy Spaniel

– Japanese Chin

– Lhasa Apso

– Maltese

– Pomeranian

– Shih Tzu

– Toy poodle

– Pug

We know what a cuddle can do to elevate a mood, but it turns out a snuggling dog has important advantages over the more aloof. A dog that understands the comfort and security of being physically close to her owner will be more relaxed when touched by groomers, veterinarians, pet sitters or the neighbor next door — and will understand that there’s a time for activity and a time to be calm. Cuddling is also a great way to socialize your pup and to celebrate the special bond you share.

There are many ways to cuddle with a small pooch. Some dogs like to lick or sniff their owners’ faces; others want a belly rub or to lie in a lap or even snuggle behind their owners’ knees on a bed.

With all this going for cuddling, what do you do if your dog is a non- cuddler? Can he be trained to enjoy curling up in your lap? According to certified professional dog trainer, Joan Hunter Mayer, the answer is yes. But she cautions, “Don’t assume your small dog is a natural cuddler. Smaller dogs are more likely to be approached and picked up by strangers so they could become more anxious, resulting in less of a desire to be cuddled.” Mayer suggests the follow tips for teaching your dog the joys of cuddling:

Classical or Pavlovian conditioning: This training technique helps create positive associations between behaviors and outcomes. For example, whenever you touch or pick up your dog, reward him with a “high value” food like a juicy piece of chicken or steak. He will begin to associate touching with the good feelings of a special treat. Over time the rewards will not always be necessary to get a cuddle.

Reward spontaneity: It might be easy to miss, but you know those special moments when your dog gets the attacks of the snuggles and unexpectedly hops into your lap, if only for an instant. This is a good time to reward your developing cuddler with treats or a fun game.

Make it fun: A soothing massage, a gentle ear stroke or a tummy rub may be the only motivation your dog needs to find your lap the best place to spend an afternoon.

Even with these tips, it’s key to remember dogs have likes and dislikes just like people, so pay attention to your small dog’s behavior. Does he struggle to get loose or does he kiss your face and attempt to sit in your lap? You can train or condition your dog to enjoy cuddling, if you work at a pace that’s comfortable for him.

Are Small Dogs More Prone to Joint Issues?  

dog-joint-health0

Any dog could potentially have joint issues in their hips and knees, but sometimes small pups that were bred for certain qualities, like short legs, face more problems than other breeds. If you find your little canine limping, he may have a problem. Here are some of the joint issues veterinarians see most frequently.

One occurs in the hips of small-breed dogs when they’re 4 to 6 months old. It’s called avascular necrosis of the femoral head and occurs when the blood supply to part of the hipbone stops. Doctors don’t know exactly why this happens, but it’s often easy to diagnose because it only occurs in puppies. Watch for your puppy having trouble walking or getting up after lying down.

Two knee joint issues are common in small pooches, young and old. One is patellar luxation, a birth defect where the kneecap pops out of the groove in the thighbone where it normally rides, causing the knee to lock and the dog to skip or hop. The other iscranial cruciate ligament rupture (or disease), which is injury or gradual wear to the ligaments around the knee and will cause limping. For both, surgery is often required to prevent the joint’s condition from worsening over time.

Some dogs, like dachshunds, bulldogs and basset hounds, belong to a group calledchondrodystrophoid breeds, which means they’re genetically predisposed to some joint and cartilage disorders. They may develop elbow incongruity, which is when one leg bone stops growing before the other. The elbow won’t fit properly, and simply walking can cause pain and limping.

Can you help your dog avoid joint disease? Unfortunately, many joint issues are unavoidable since they are genetic, and some will require surgery, but preventative health and early intervention can help.

Number one is keeping your dog’s weight under control so that his joints are put under less stress. Your dog also needs to exercise, but in moderation. Walking and swimming are recommended — jumping after Frisbees or sticks may make a condition worse. Your vet may recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to soothe the joints, or over-the-counter supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin to prevent joint degeneration.

You can also take actions around your home, like keeping your dog away from slippery surfaces (a fall can exacerbate an already injured joint) or preventing her from jumping by keeping her away from taller furniture or helping her get up and down.

See your vet if you’re worried about your dog’s joints. If your dog limps or has trouble moving after strenuous exercise, he may just be a little sore, but he should improve after resting a few days. If he doesn’t want to get up at all, all four legs might hurt. If he can’t put any weight on his leg, make an appointment right away.

Although some small dog breeds are more prone to certain joint problems, not all small dogs will have them! Every breed has its issues, but an educated owner makes a great owner.

Small Dog Diets & Weight Loss

dog-diets-dog-weight-loss0

Sure, pudgy puppies are adorable. But if your small dog has bypassed pleasantly plump and become a candidate for the canine version of “The Biggest Loser,” it’s time to take action.

How can you tell if your dog is overweight? If you’re unable to feel her ribs because of a thick layer of fat, it’s a weighty sign — for both of you. According to a 2009 study published in Public Health Nutrition, overweight dogs tend to have overweight owners.

Lean dogs live longer and healthier lives, and are likely to be free of diabetes, joint stress and other maladies — many of the same benefits that humans experience when they stay trim. Chart your dog’s weight-loss course by first consulting her veterinarian, who can identify an ideal weight and uncover underlying health concerns. A simple blood test can reveal whether a metabolic problem, such as an under-functioning thyroid, is to blame. In many cases, your dog is probably just eating too many calories.

Record your pet’s weight to establish a baseline, then cut her daily food portions — including treats — by about one-third, advises the Shaker Veterinary Hospital in Latham, N.Y. Ask your veterinarian whether this reduction is right for your small dog. Make sure her food is nutritionally sound; the ingredients should be primarily meat, not legumes. Your veterinarian may suggest that you add vitamins or vegetables to your dog’s diet, too. The vet may also have you gradually switch to a low-calorie dog food designed for weight loss. This way, your dog will be able to eat about the same amount she’s accustomed to, but will still take in fewer calories.

Table scraps aren’t necessarily off-limits — as long as they’re healthy, too. The occasional raw carrot, piece of watermelon or ice cube serves as a treat without throwing your dog’s diet off-kilter. You could also bake and serve the occasional organic, low-calorie treat. Just remember to include their consumption in your dog’s daily calorie count and intersperse the treats with other affection, such as perky words and playful actions.

If you take a daily walk or romp in the backyard with your small dog, this in itself acts as a reward. Don’t be fooled into thinking free time in a fenced yard is all the exercise your dog needs. Your pet’s unlikely to launch into a Jane Fonda-worthy workout without your encouragement. Keep in mind that your furry friend may tire quickly, especially if she’s not accustomed to much more than lounging around the house. Signs of exertion include a slowed pace, panting and sitting or lying down — don’t push her after you see those signs.

With deliberate eating habits and daily exercise, your small dog should start losing weight in about two weeks’ time. The key, for canines or humans, is to boost nutrition, lower calories and increase movement. It’s as simple — and difficult — as that. The good news is that by working together, you can both enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

City Dog, Country Dog

city-small-dogs-versus-country-small-dogs0

Anyone who’s heard the catchy theme song to the ’60s television show “Green Acres” knows what a conundrum it can be when a couple has differing opinions about where to live. But what if it’s your dog with the attachment to a “penthouse view”? Or would your pooch tell you to “keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside”? Are petite pups better suited for city streets or green acres?

Canines and the City

Life in the city isn’t always easy for a four-legged friend. The hard sidewalks can hurt sensitive paws, and a height-challenged dog may get stepped on or tangled up on a busy street. Urbanites also have to contend with small living spaces, a lack of private yards and city pet ordinances. But many small dogs prosper in such a fast-paced environment. Your little city slicker can have the world at her paws with dog parks, spas, hotels and even restaurants that cater specifically to the furred set.

If you’re concerned about walking your dog on the hectic streets, consider purchasing a dog stroller — they keep little dogs safe and contained while providing fresh air during a nice stroll — or a pair of dog booties to protect her paw pads from injury while she’s taking care of business.

According to the American Kennel Club, most small breeds adapt well to apartment living as long as their owners give them plenty of attention and playtime. Breeds like the pug or Chihuahua make excellent roomies — they require little space and minimal exercise, but are big on companionship.

Rural Rovers

It’s probably a given that all dogs love the freedom of wide-open spaces, but some small dogs will have a better appreciation for the great outdoors than others. Natural herders like the Pembroke Welsh corgi or Shetland sheepdog will be in nirvana with lots of land to explore, but according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, many of the toy breeds — especially those under 20 lbs (9 kg) — might find the grand scale of it overwhelming.

Don’t forget that a country dog doesn’t necessarily mean an outside dog, especially with small canines that might appear tempting to a wild animal looking for a meal. So make sure you always know her whereabouts and that she’s safe indoors before nightfall. Other predators are tiny — it’s a good idea to regularly check your dog for parasites, like ticks, that are found in wooded areas. Train your dog to come when called and consider having her microchipped in case she ever roams too far — which is good advice for a city-dog owner, too.

Really, so long as your little one has a warm, loving place to settle into, the location isn’t all that important. Whether you live in SoHo or have your own Green Acres, daily exercise, a healthy diet and lots of affection are the perfect formula for any small dog to thrive.