How To Care For a Disabled Dog?

Caring for a disabled dog is a huge responsibility and requires commitment and compassion. From practicing patience to investing in practical tools that mitigate your dog’s pain and facilitate easy movement, there are numerous ways to prepare yourself to look after a disabled dog. Keep reading to learn more about caring for a disabled dog.

There are numerous reasons that may cause health issues and disabilities in your dog. It could be an accident, a genetic disability, age-related health concerns, or developing spinal cord issues like degenerative myelopathy that can compromise your dog’s mobility. 

As a pet parent to a disabled dog, it is inevitable to think about how can I help my disabled dog and provide them with the most appropriate care. 

This comprehensive guide offers some of the best tips on how you can help your dog live a good quality of life as happily and comfortably as any other able-bodied pet. 

Whether you have an aging dog who is facing mobility issues or an injured pet who needs looking after, as a responsible parent, there is one question on your mind — How can I help my disabled dog? 

Based on the cause and severity of the disability, every dog will require a different level of care. 

However, there are a few tips that can be universally applied to every handicapped dog or disabled pet and make your caregiving journey easy, too. 

Establish a Routine

Prepare a timetable and stick to it; it will help make taking care of your dog and yourself more manageable. For example, get up at a scheduled time to check on your pet and to see if they require any assistance, have an established time for meals, be regular with the necessary medications and exercises, etc. Be consistent with the routine so that your pet gets used to it. An established routine will also relieve some stress that comes with aiding your dog to express themselves after every few hours. 

ALSO READ: The 3 Most Important Things To Do To Keep Your Dog Healthy

Join a Support Group or a Discussion Forum

While taking care of your dog, don’t ignore your own health. Providing long-term support and assistance to your dog can take quite a toll on your physical and mental wellbeing. You may also have to compromise on your social life. So, joining support groups and discussing problems with fellow pet parents can give you some much-needed recourse. Other members can also give you tips on taking care of your pet and lend an ear whenever you need a pick-me-up. 

Invest In Good Mobility Tools

Dog harnesses and wheelchairs are imperative purchases to help your dog get back on his feet and resume mobility. An inactive dog can develop various other issues related to the digestive system, nervous system, and cardiovascular system, too. Mobility tools will help them get the required amount of physical movement on a daily basis. 

Hygiene and Nutrition 

Hygiene and a good diet are important when you have a dog, and they become all the more crucial with a disabled dog. Make sure to remain up to date on your dog’s vaccinations, regular grooming, brushing teeth, clipping nails, etc. Your dog’s nutritional and diet requirements may also change because of the illnesses, so make sure you keep an eye on any new food sensitivities. 

You should also be more careful about what your dog consumes, such as keeping him away from toxic substances like grapes and chocolate. Make sure to prepare yourself beforehand on how to induce vomiting in a dog

Motivate your Dog to Exercise

With most disabled dogs, resorting to indoor exercises to remain healthy and active becomes inevitable so that their incapacity does not affect their quality of life. Different exercises that you can practice with your dog include indoor ball games, massaging their core muscles, a casual game of hide and seek or fetch, or taking them for a session of hydrotherapy. 

However, while regular exercising is necessary, make sure you don’t overexert your dog as that can be detrimental to his progress. Make sure to also schedule regular appointments with the vet in order to consult and keep track of your dog’s overall health and progress.

Living With a Handicapped Dog: What You Should Know

Disabled and handicapped dogs are rarely adopted as pets because bringing them up requires a higher level of commitment, energy, money, and patience. 

So, if you are thinking of adopting a disabled pet, make sure you have the right tools and resources and are willing to provide quality care to your dog. You need to have the will to bring him up in a warm, affectionate environment where your dog will be looked after with respect and love. 

Looking after a disabled dog creates a strong bond between you and the dog. Your dog will be reliant on you for the simplest of things, be it feeding, helping him urinate, or motivating him to exercise. 

But, you must also be prepared to meet the ever-changing requirements of your dogs. From making your house more dog-friendly to being prepared for heavy medical bills, living with a handicapped dog has its fair share of ups and downs. 

How Long Do Handicapped Dogs Live?

Dogs that are handicapped as a result of degenerative myelopathy can live anywhere from six months to three years. This depends entirely on your dog’s lifestyle. If your dog lives a healthy and active lifestyle, engaging in plenty of exercises, and having all his needs met, it can add years to your dog’s lifespan. 

On the other hand, an old dog with an inactive lifestyle, an irregular routine, and exacerbated health complications may have a shorter lifespan. 

Degenerative myelopathy results from a gene mutation that causes dogs to lose their ability to move or have control and coordination over their limbs. Because there are no cures available for this illness yet, it can severely hamper a handicapped dog’s lifespan. 

Dogs that are paralyzed or handicapped due to a traumatic accident, old age, or because of any hereditary conditions do not have their lifespan affected by their inability to move. They can live long, happy years with consistent treatments, care, and support. 

ALSO READ: 9 Tips for Choosing a Trustworthy Vet

How To Help a Paralyzed Dog Pee? 

One of the most common difficulties that come with caring for a paralyzed dog is his inability to urinate independently. 

If your dog has undergone a spinal injury or trauma, chances are his urinary bladder will have trouble expressing or emptying itself. Your dog would thus require manual assistance in peeing.

Helping your dog pee requires serious commitment from your end, as any shortcomings in doing so may lead to severe consequences. Although it may look like a daunting task, aiding your dog to pee involves just a few simple steps that can help you take care of your pet with ease. 

Here is how you can help a paralyzed dog pee easily: 

  • Consult a vet before you attempt this yourself as you will need to learn the ideal amount of pressure that you should apply to your dog’s bladder to help him relieve himself. 
  • Make sure to express your dog at least after every 5-6 hours throughout the day. 
  • Find a position that is comfortable for both you and the pet when you are expressing them. Your fingers should be able to employ the required strength without causing too much discomfort to your dog. 
  • Your dog should be placed in a position where his spine is horizontally aligned. 
  • You can help your dog lie down on the toilet seat and allow him to slightly lean on your thigh to attain a desirable position.
  • To identify the dog’s bladder, make sure their tummy region is completely relaxed. The dog’s bladder is present behind the rib cage and in front of the hind legs. 
  • When you find the bladder, apply an adequate amount of pressure to help your dog express himself. 
  • If your dog is not able to pee, apply pressure on his bladder. But, make sure to give a 15 seconds interval between each pressure application. 
  • Once the bladder is completely empty, you will feel it flat while applying any more pressure. 
  • If your dog whines or shows signs of discomfort, stop the process and seek medical help immediately.

You should also consider getting a wheelchair or an express station as these tools can help make the process much easier on both you and your dog. 

However challenging it may be to care for a disabled dog, the outcome is worth every effort. Some disabled dogs require more attention and love compared to others, so you need to take into consideration your dog’s specific needs and requirements before drawing up a care plan.

Make sure to schedule frequent trips to your dog’s vet to determine the best care that you can extend to your dog. Follow the recommended course of action and you will be able to look after your disabled dog efficiently and with love and care.

The 3 Most Important Things To Do To Keep Your Dog Healthy

A dog is like a part of the family. An owner feels more like a parent and will do anything to keep their dog healthy and happy. The problem is that owning a dog is complicated. It isn’t always clear what needs to be done to keep them healthy. You’ll need to figure out the best ways to make sure they are healthy and also when you need to bring them to the vet.

Prevention is the best medicine so if you take care of your dog the right way, then you can avoid having to go to the vet in an emergency because they got sick. It takes some research and a plan to keep your dog happy and healthy. In this article, we will give you a few ideas on how to keep your dog healthy and live a long life. 

  1. Get insurance

Many people avoid going to the vet unless it is a clear emergency like the dog has an injury or is very sick. The best way to go, however, is to try to go to the vet before the dog gets very sick. Taking the dog to the vet for routine checkups can prevent a major illness later on if they spot something that isn’t right. Or, they can give you tips on their food or other preventative measures.

Since vet visits like this can be costly, it is worth having pet insurance coverage so you don’t have to worry about the cost. You can go to the vet regularly and save lots of money. Without the cost being a barrier, you will see the vet more often and be able to keep your dog healthy as a result. 

  1. Keep them active

Dogs have a lot of energy to burn and when they don’t get enough exercise they can get obese very quickly. Obese dogs are far more susceptible to medical issues such as diabetes and heart disease. It is important to keep them active even into their senior years to keep them from getting sick. 

Have a routine that gives them enough exercise for their age and breed. Some dogs need more than others, but they all need to have a regular exercise schedule. 

  1. Up to date food

A dog’s nutritional needs change over the course of its life. There are dog foods that are specifically formulated for the various stages of its life. It is very important to gradually change their diet as they pass from one stage to the next to make sure they are getting the vitamins and minerals that they need. 

Do some research online or talk to your vet about the most appropriate dog food to be used for the breed and age of your dog. Then, gradually switch the food to the one most suited for him. This will make a big difference in its health. The key is also to not feed him too much to avoid other problems. 

How To Prepare Your Home For A New Cat

Cats can make great companionship. Therefore, the idea of bringing your new cat into your home is quite exciting. However, beyond the excitement is a lot of change that your home will undergo to make it a safe and friendly environment for cats.

The better your home is prepared to host a cat, the easier the transition will be for both you and your new furry ball. You have to organize your home to ensure and guarantee your cat’s safety despite its endless exploration of its new home.

If you’re wondering how to prepare your home for a new cat or kitten, here’s a step-step guide.  

  1. Start By Cat-Proofing Your Home 

Cat-proofing your home means making sure your home is safe for cats while at the same time ensuring the cats won’t damage your property. The best way to cat-proof your home is to look at it from the eyes of a cat. Ask yourself what in your home poses a threat to the life of the cat? Similarly, what in your home could be damaged by the cat? What can you do to avoid both situations? For instance, you can decide to buy an organic cat bed so that your new furry doesn’t have to sleep on the couch. This helps to avoid damage by scratching your couch. 

Here are more cat-proofing measures you should consider doing in your home: 

  • Check Your Floors 

Checking your floor doesn’t necessarily mean renovating it, say, tiles to wooden floors. Checking your floors means reviewing what normally lies around. For example, if your carpeted floor has loose threads, you may want to cut away the loose ends and tape them. This is because your new cat may end up unraveling the threads, chewing and swallowing them, therefore causing health complications

That said, in case your floor is too slick, and you’re looking to bring in a kitten home, you can install a rug. The rug helps the kitten have a better grip which helps them walk with ease until they’re big enough to walk on your floor.  

Away from carpeted floors, it’s recommended that you pick up all your electric wires that may be lying on the floor and pin them on your wall or cover them. It helps to ensure that your cat doesn’t nibble on the cables and ends up electrocuted. Additionally, make a habit of plugging off any cables that aren’t in use. 

It would also be best to consider moving any toxic houseplants away from the cat’s reach. This is to avert the risk of the cat chewing the plant and compromising its health. Last but not least, now that you’ll be having a cat, make a habit of picking after your kids if you have any. Pick their toys, food remnants, and even candy that they may leave around. Human food may pose a health risk to cats when they consume it. If you’re dealing with kids and not toddlers, the best approach is to teach the kids to pick after themselves.  

  • Look Out For All Possible Hiding Areas 

One thing you’ll notice about cats is that they aren’t social when you’re still new to them. Cats prefer living in small spaces. As a result, they tend to look for hideouts whenever they’re in a new environment. Therefore, you want to make sure that you close off all potential holes and hideouts within your home. 

These hideouts could be vents, holes in your ceilings or ductwork, closets, shelves, kitchen counters, to mention but a few. Think of anywhere your cat would hide. If it’s a place you would rather not pull your pet from, then cover it up as you prepare to bring your fluff home.  

  • Review All Elevated Surfaces 

One thing about cats is they’ll climb, and when a cat is in your home, it’ll climb on the elevated surfaces, including your tables, kitchen counters, curtains, and shelves. While there’s nothing wrong with your cat climbing, the problem comes when the climbing ends up breaking your collectibles, kitchenware, and other valuable items.  

The human reaction to a cat breaking your items is scolding it. However, that’s not a good way to start a companionship with your newly found pet. You want to allow your cat to explore its new space. It’s therefore upon you to get rid of any breakables and store them safely until you and your cat know each other better.  As the two of you bond, you may start introducing and establishing rules. For example, you can teach your cat that the kitchen shelves and counters are a no-go zone. 

Besides putting away your breakables, note that cats also like climbing on curtains. Therefore, consider tying them down if you have one of those long curtains. Also, for the first few months, you want to make sure that your cat doesn’t go outside because it could easily get lost. Therefore, always make sure that your windows are closed. It would help if you also considered placing a tag on your cat so that it can quickly be returned to you if it runs off. 

  1. Secure One Room As The Cat Room 

Now that you have made your entire home cat-proof, it’s time to focus on the cat’s room. Yes, that’s right, your cat will need a space of its own. 

To start, cats love their own space. They need places where they can retreat after they explore the new space. Secondly, you’ll probably get your cat from a shelter where it was used to its own small space. Therefore, when you bring the cat home and expose it to large spaces, it can be overwhelming and cause stress. You, therefore, want to make sure the cat is as comfortable as possible by giving it its space. 

Note that the size of the room where you place your cat doesn’t matter as long as it’s a quiet place. Additionally, if you don’t have an extra room for your new pet, you can always place it in a quiet bedroom, bathroom, or your home office. The point is to make the cat feel like it has its territory before you gradually introduce it to the rest of the house.

 As your new cat gets used to the scents and sounds of its new home, you can slowly introduce it to the entire house. This can also be a good opportunity to establish the no-go zone areas such as the kitchen. You can install cat gates on areas you want the cat not to go. 

In preparing your cat’s room, ensure that the door and ceilings are secure. Additionally, place a litter box where the cat will excrete privately. You should also have a feeding station away from the litter box where the cat will get food and water. 

The feeding station is also the best way to introduce the cat to the rest of the house. You can do so by gradually moving the feeding station to the living room, where you can monitor the cat. As the cat feeds, it’ll slowly get used to the entire house.

  1. Install A Scratching Post 

The very last step of preparing your home is installing a scratching post. Cats need to scratch for several reasons, including: 

  • It helps them remove the dead part of their nails 
  • They may scratch when stretching 
  • Scratching is also a way for cats to express emotions like stress or excitement 
  • Cats scratch to mark objects with their scents. 

Ideally, they should scratch outside on trees or other hard surfaces. However, since your cat is still new to your home it shouldn’t be allowed to go out. It’s best to believe the cat will use whatever object is around to scratch. Unfortunately, that object could be your expensive leather sofa, and nobody wants that. 

You can install a scratching post in your home to avoid such scenarios. Place the scratching post in the cat’s room but consider moving it with time. Consider sprinkling some catnip on it to guide the cat to the scratching post.

Wrapping It Up Preparing your home for your new cat is important to make your cat feel right at home. If you have been wondering how to prepare your home for your new cat, the three steps will guide you. All the best as you start your petting journey.

9 Tips for Choosing a Trustworthy Vet

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, as of 2020, nearly 100,000 vets were practicing in the United States. Choosing who to care for your four-legged friend is no easy task with so many options. Having the right person to go to for recommendations about the best dog supplements or to ask questions about stinky breath are just a couple of reasons you need to find a great vet in your area. This article will provide information on what to look for when choosing a vet, from their office location and environment to their staff and more.

What Is a Veterinarian?

A veterinarian is a licensed professional who has graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine. To earn this, they attend a school that includes extensive training in animal care and health, where they learn how to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries in animals. 

Yes, You Need a Vet

Some people wonder if it’s necessary to have a vet to bring their dog to. It’s essential to have a good relationship with a vet for several reasons. 

  1. First, by seeing the same vet regularly, your dog will learn to trust them. Then, if you bring your dog in when they’re ill, this trust will help them relax and allow the vet to examine them. 
  2. Second, it’s crucial to establish a good rapport with your vet because they will be able to diagnose any problems before they become serious as they’ll be more familiar with your dog, existing conditions, and what is typical for your dog’s behavior. 
  3. Third, it will make emergencies easier because the vet will be familiar with your dog and its history and know what to do.

Finding the Right Vet

Here are nine great tips for choosing a trustworthy veterinarian:

  1. Ask Your Friends, Family, and Neighbors

One of the best ways to find a vet is through word of mouth. When you ask a veterinarian’s clients about their experiences, the chances of getting an accurate description of the doctor and all they offer are increased. In addition, it is important to ask your family and friends for recommendations, especially if you feel they understand what good animal care looks like.

  1. Look For Veterinarians with the Right Educational Background

A veterinarian should have advanced training in animal care and health. This means they must have completed an accredited, four-year college veterinary program that included clinical rotations. However, it should be noted there are other jobs in the veterinary bubble that do not require folks to complete these degrees because their jobs are only associated with the care of animals. For example, veterinary technicians undergo extensive education, but they are not doctors. For this reason, it is important to find out what type of education the person you intended to see has completed before deciding which to choose.

  1. Make Sure the Veterinarian Is an Approved Member of a Veterinary Medical Association

A veterinarian should be a member of a veterinary association by choice. The doctor must have gone through a review process and met specific standards to be accepted as a member. As a result, the veterinarian is more likely to have ethical business practices. The primary veterinary association in the U.S. is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), which is also the designated accrediting body for schools of veterinary medicine and publishes the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

  1. Location, Location, Location

An important factor in choosing a vet is where they’re located. You should find a veterinarian who is conveniently located near your home and work, so you’ll be able to reach them quickly if you need them. Whether you have a car or not, the closer the better when it comes to everything from making regular appointments to rushing in for an emergency. 

  1. What Services Do They Offer?

When looking for a veterinarian, try to find out what services they offer. These could include general services like vaccinations, deworming, and regular checkups. In addition, some clinics provide special treatments like laser therapy, acupuncture for pets, or pet rehabilitation. You can also ask about boarding and grooming services.

  1. How Busy Are They?

Choosing a vet with a strong practice and a respectable client list is obviously good. It shows they’re experienced and trusted by the community around them to care for pets. However, if they’re so busy that you can’t get an appointment without booking months in advance, you may want to consider finding another vet. After all, injured or sick dogs do not have the luxury of waiting around for appointments.

  1. How Much Does the Vet Cost?

A few simple steps will help you figure out how much the veterinarian charges for their services. First, ask your veterinarian how much standard services like vaccinations and checkups cost. This will give you a good idea of what to expect during a routine visit. Second, if the veterinarian offers any extra services, ask for a quote before you have treatments done so you can plan accordingly.

  1. Operating Hours

Similar to travel distance, hours of operation are another significant consideration. This is especially true if you work a job where it’s challenging to get away during regular business hours. Many vet clinics have staggered hours with one or two days off weekly. You might want to find one that stays open late a couple of nights a week or which has accommodating weekend hours.

  1. What’s the Vibe?

Visit the clinic with your pet to get a feel for the place. This might cost you a fee for the vet to see your pet. However, it can be worth it in the long run. How does the staff treat you? How attentive is the vet? What is your pet’s body language and behavior telling you? Of course, some animals like nervous dogs will need to be coaxed and rewarded with some delicious natural dog treats. However, it might be a red flag if a usually happy-go-lucky dog won’t stop whimpering or trembling.

Keep Calm and Carry On

If you go through all these steps only to find out a year later that the vet you picked isn’t really for you, or you end up moving to a new part of the city, don’t worry. Just keep calm and review this list again. There are tons of fantastic vets out there. You just need to find them.

5 Questions To Ask Before Getting A Dog

They’re excellent companions, they’re huge amounts of fun, and they love you unconditionally…. Life can truly be a whole lot better with a dog by your side. And on top of all that, there are even some proven health benefits of ownership –– some of which may surprise you! According to a scientific article from The American Kennel Club, time with our canine friends can reduce stress and lower blood pressure; even just looking at your dog can raise oxytocin levels.

For all of these reasons and more, it’s thrilling to adopt a dog into your home. With that said however, there’s also a lot to consider. So before making the firm decision to add a furry friend to your family, give some thought to the following questions to ensure you’re making the right choice for you and your family (and most importantly, the dog!).

Is this the right time?

It’s imperative first and foremost to ensure that it’s the right time to introduce a dog into your home. The dog will require time to settle in and adjust to new surroundings and people, regardless of how old or young they may be. So, if you have any significant events coming up –– such as a house move, a major vacation, or a new baby on the way –– it’s best to delay your decision. Owning a dog takes a lot of commitment, and it’s important for you to be fully present for the settling-in period.

Are you choosing the most suitable breed?

With so many choices, it’s important to do your research and find a suitable breed for you and your lifestyle. In a previous article we outlined how important ‘Choosing the Right Dog Breed’ is, and discussed the importance of considering factors like what space you have available, how often the dog will need exercise, and how the dog will fit into your routine. Think about grooming needs as well, and what you’re willing to do to keep up with all the hair.

Research into breeds as you consider these factors is essential, particularly given that there are a lot of common misconceptions out there –– such as that smaller dogs need less exercise, when in fact larger dogs are more likely to tire easily.

What will it cost?

You should always consider the cost when weighing commitment to a new dog, because it is often higher than people expect. Although precise figures vary depending on breed and other factors, overall, Sound Dollar estimates that the annual cost of owning a dog is between $1,000 and $1,500. Aside from the initial cost (or donation), it’s important to take into account a dog’s needs throughout their life.

This means food, vaccinations and vet bills, toys and treats, and plenty of miscellaneous costs associated with things like the occasional overnight stay at sleepover camp, or the need to replace the dog’s… shall we say, favorite slippers. It may also mean pet insurance payments, or professional grooming and training services. As you consider all of this, it may be useful to create a sort of dog-only budget through which you can comprehensively assess the costs.

Where should you find your dog?

Dogs should always be sought through reputable breeders or rescue centers, and never purchased online. Should you choose a breeder, always ask to see the mother; any mixed litters and breeds or evidence of illness is a warning sign, and should be reported. A reputable breeder should have no issues with allowing the mother to be seen interacting with the puppies.

Should you choose to adopt a rescue dog, the process is a little bit different. The Pet Cube blog recommends you be prepared for a home check, an interview, and for a gradual process of meeting available dogs and finding the right match for you and your lifestyle.

Can you commit to a dog?

As mentioned, a dog represents a huge commitment –– so we want to reiterate that it’s incredibly important to ask yourself if you are willing to go all in for your new friend. They require a lot of love, patience, and an enormous amount of attention. Be prepared to walk your dog in all kinds of weather, accept puppy mistakes, put in the hard work, and clear up after them. They are completely dependent on you to keep them safe and happy, so it’s imperative to be honest with yourself about what you’re able to handle.

Getting a dog is a decision that should be carefully considered. We hope the questions we’ve outlined above help you to make the right choice, and that you find the perfect canine companion as soon as you’re fully ready to take the leap!

Benefits Of Horse Rugs

Horse rugs are a popular accessory to keep your horse comfortable, all year around. Whether it’s summer or winter, you should take good care of your horse to avoid injury or illness in the future. It doesn’t matter if you have a horse for leisure or competition, either way, a horse rug will be a suitable way to protect your horse. There are many options online to find the right horse rug for your particular horse, so it’s worth researching.

A rug is the best way to make sure your horse stays dry and clean. Horse rugs can be heavy due to the size of the horse, but luckily you can order horse rugs online and get them delivered to your door. Here are some of the main benefits of investing in a horse rug…

Firstly, are there different types of horse rugs in the UK?

Fly, cooler and fleece are the main rugs in the horse rug world and they are all beneficial for different purposes. You should go for a fly horse rug if you want something lightweight for the summer months, these rugs are usually made from mesh and will protect your horse from insect bites and irritation. They will also benefit your horse in the sunshine as they act as protection, preventing overheating, and promoting breathability. If you want something that doesn’t limit your horses movement in any way, this could be the rug to go for.

A cooler rug is the one to pick if you want to put something on your horse’s back after you’ve cleaned and washed him or her. It helps the horse cool down by using evaporation. The horse won’t become cold or overheated, therefore it’s the perfect option to help your horse dry naturally or to help its muscles cool down. The last option is a fleece rug, and the advantages of this one are also keeping your horse’s muscles warm and avoiding body temperature lowering too quickly.

The main overall benefits

There are some overall benefits that most horse rugs have and these are reasons to invest in one as soon as possible. The main benefits are:

  • Helping to maintain a short coat, horses usually grow these in winter
  • Protection from insects
  • Stopping dirt and debris from irritating the horse
  • No inserts will bite or aggravate your horse
  • Protection from the rain and cold weather in the winter months

The horse rug will provide this huge range of benefits and will possibly save you money in the long term as it will prevent your horse getting cold and unwell. If it’s a racehorse, it’s especially important to keep it in tip-top condition so it can perform well during races.

Now that you know all the advantages a horse rug will have, it could be the right time to invest to help your horse be as comfortable as possible. Whether you have only just bought your horse, or have had him or her for a while, it’s never too late to invest in a rug.

6 Common Parasites And How To Prevent Them

Parasites are organisms that thrive on feeding off animals and people. There are many different types of parasites affecting humans and creatures alike, but this article focuses on some of the most common ones. 

Here are parasites you may encounter if you’re not careful as well as a few simple yet effective ways you can steer clear of them:

1. Lice

Lice are tiny insects that feed on human and animal blood. They spread by crawling from one person or animal to another. There are three common types of lice: body lice, head lice, and pubic lice. Of the three, head lice are disease-causing, while the other two will just suck your blood and cause uncomfortable itching.

As suggested by their names, head lice normally target the head, while body lice roam around your body. And yes, pubic lice target the pubic areas. Since human lice are different from dog and cat lice, being in close contact with a person infested with lice could lead you to catch them. However, you can’t get lice from your pets and vice versa.

How To Prevent Lice

The easiest way to prevent lice is by practicing good hygiene. Using shampoos and other over-the-counter medicines could also help reduce the biting and itching. If you own pets, you have to keep them clean to avoid lice attacks. Other ways of preventing lice are as follows:

  • Avoid head-to-head contact.
  • Avoid sharing clothes.
  • Don’t share combs, hairbrushes, and towels.
  • Regularly vacuum your home.

2. Fleas

Fleas are common parasites that feed on blood. Like lice, they’re common on animals like cats and dogs. The fur in animals provides the perfect habitat for fleas, but they can also be a nuisance to humans. Unlike lice that only crawl, fleas can spring from one victim to another. They say lice can only live for one day without a host, but fleas can go up to 100 days. 

The most common flea species in America is said to be the cat flea. Although they normally attack cats, they could affect humans too. Their bites on humans usually leave red, itchy spots that are clustered in threes. The bites may also cause hives, rash, or swelling around the bite area.

How To Prevent Fleas 

To prevent fleas from infecting you, you could try the following:

  • Keep your pet clean and hygienic.
  • Limit your pet’s outdoor time.
  • Bathe your pet frequently.
  • Inspect and examine your pets for fleas regularly.
  • Take measures like putting a check it out here on your cats.

3. Bedbugs

Bedbugs are small, flat insects that love to live with people and pets. They find furniture, mattresses, and wallpaper cozy as hiding and nesting spots. These repulsive parasites typically come out and feed while you’re asleep at night. They feast on human and animal blood.

Bedbugs normally don’t cause or carry disease, but they can lead to unpleasant irritations like itchiness and allergic reactions when they bite.

How To Prevent Bedbugs

These are a few easy ways to prevent bedbugs:

  • Check any secondhand furniture for any signs of infestation.
  • Use protective bedcovers to reduce the chance of mattress infestation.
  • Avoid clutter in your home to reduce possible hiding places.
  • Vacuum your home every now and then.
  • Always be vigilant when you check into hotels or sleep in new places. Bedbugs are great hitchhikers.

4. Mites

Scabies is caused by a mite that bites and lays eggs into your skin. The scabies parasite is transmitted through skin contact with an infected person. It commonly causes itching at night, crusty patches on the skin, rash, and skin sores. Scabies can be treated with scabicide, a prescription medication.

How To Prevent Scabies

Scabies is said to also be a result of poor personal hygiene, so the best way to avoid it is by practicing cleanliness. You can try these tips as well:

  • Avoid skin contact with infected people.
  • Avoid wearing clothes belonging to an infected person.
  • Do your laundry on time.
  • Regularly change your bedding.

5. Pork Tapeworms

These are parasites found in pigs and people. If you eat raw or undercooked pork, you risk ingesting this pesky parasite. Pork tapeworms are said to mainly infect the intestines and the brain. They normally lay eggs that can be transmitted to others through feces and or ingestion of uncooked meat.

Tapeworms can feed on the food you eat, thereby stealing some of the nutrients you’re meant to benefit from it. These parasites can also cause massive headaches and seizures when they infect the brain. They can be treated through medication in some cases, but your body usually resolves the infestation on its own. In worst-case scenarios, surgery might be required to get rid of them. 

How To Prevent Tapeworms

The best way to prevent pork tapeworms is by cooking or freezing meat to kill the parasite’s eggs. Here are a few tips on keeping safe:

  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat.
  • Freeze meat for at least a week in the freezer before cooking it.
  • Freeze fish for at least a day before cooking it.
  • Practice good hygiene.

6. Roundworms

Roundworms are small parasites that like to live in the digestive system of humans and animals. They thrive in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation. There are many different types of roundworms, but the common ones that infect humans are pinworms and ascariasis.

Roundworms can be harmful, causing problems like fever and diarrhea. They require a body to live in so they can mature into egg-laying adults. When they lay eggs in your body, the eggs are said to live in the stool, so when you poop, the eggs can end up in the soil, where they pose a risk of infecting other people or animals.

How To Prevent Roundworms

Although there are many types of roundworms, you can prevent them by doing the following:

  • Clean up your pet poop.
  • Take your pet to the vet for deworming.
  • Make sure your children don’t ingest soil or play near poop.
  • Exercise proper hygiene such as handwashing.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
  • Avoid eating raw meat.
  • In areas with poor sanitation, drink only bottled water.

To Sum It Up

Parasites are organisms that cause many different problems for their hosts, including discomfort and diseases. As mentioned, the best way to prevent parasitic infection is by practicing good personal hygiene. If you have pets around the house, see to it that they’re always clean and well groomed. Use things like DEWELPRO and other similar products to keep parasites at bay.

How Do You Stop A Cat From Having Seizures? Tips to Reduce Cat Seizures At Home

If your cat is suffering from seizures, it is not a condition to be taken lightly. While it is a given that you cannot treat seizures at home, by yourself, you can make the process of recovery more comfortable and secure at home. Along with the medications that the vet prescribes for your cat.

So, first and foremost, taking your cat to the vet is the #1 priority. Next is making sure that your cat is safe and feels at ease at home each time he or she is in the throes of a seizure.

There is no home remedy to stop a cat from having seizures. Only proper medical treatment can ease the severe symptoms of a seizure. But what is possible is avoiding any serious injury to your cat during a seizure. So you can stop a cat from hurting itself during and after a seizure.

How Do You Stop A Cat From Having Seizures?

As soon as you take your cat to the vet, they will let you know about the duration of a seizure. The vet will also inform you when to get your cat to the emergency ward after a seizure attack. It’s not necessary to bring your cat to the vet every time they have a seizure.

According to this website, if your cat suffers from a seizure attack non-stop, back-to-back, or if they have one and it takes a really long time to go away, then you should take the cat to the vet immediately.

But if your cat has a seizure for about 60 to 120 seconds (1-2 minutes), you do not have to take your cat in a hurry. You can talk to the vet on the phone and arrange an appointment as soon as possible.

The vet will prepare you for a medical emergency based on your cat’s medical history. This includes the past record of the length and intensity and frequency of the seizures.

What To Do When Your Cat Has A Seizure?

The first thing to do when you’re at home with your cat and your cat has a seizure is to make sure that your cat is out of harm’s way. To do this, you must always remember that you’re not supposed to touch or hold your cat during a seizure. There is a risk of your cat seriously biting or scratching you, unknowingly.

Unless your cat is like to hurt himself by falling off a high desk or is close to some sharp object that may hurt him, only then you can gently move your cat out of harm’s way. Use a blanket or a pillow to cushion your hands while doing so.

Your cat may bite you without realizing it because, during the duration of a seizure, an animal does not have any awareness of its spatial surroundings.

You can also take a video of your cat’s seizure to show to your vet for the next appointment. The vet will give you some really helpful tips on how to deal with the situation in a way that’s best for your cat. This website also advises you to keep a written record of your cat’s seizures. Including the duration of each seizure, when it happened, what were the symptoms, and other behavior changes before or after the seizure occurred.

Understanding cat seizures to handle them well is the best thing you can do that comes close to you stop a cat from having seizures. Maintaining a record of all this information will give you and the vet a good approach to reducing the intensity and frequency of the seizures with the right medication.

What Do Cat Seizures Look Like?

Your cat may experience a combination of cat seizure signs that may not be the same for any other cat suffering from seizures. But these are the common signs of a cat seizure according to professionals:

  • Eyelid or facial twitching
  • Drooling
  • Making loud yowls or any other vocalization as if in pain
  • Dizziness, looking confused and disoriented
  • Unusual and sudden neck movements
  • Whining very loudly
  • Hiding under furniture and looking very scared and nervous
  • Falling over to the side as if losing consciousness
  • Involuntary passing of stools or urine or both
  • Compulsively shaking of the leg (kicking the air)

Some signs such as losing consciousness, yelping uncontrollably, pacing, and aggressive behavior such as scratching or biting or jumping off and on tall objects. When you see such behavior during a seizure, consult with a vet immediately. Take a video to show the vet how your cat reacts to the seizure.

Medical treatments such as anti-seizure medications, an MRI scan, fluid analysis, and CAT scan are essential when treating cat seizures. They help reduce the extreme symptoms of a cat seizure. Further delay or ignorance, on the part of the cat owner, can also lead to sudden death, trauma injury, and other life-threatening illnesses.

Final Thoughts

If your cat has seizures, after conducting a thorough examination, the vet will prescribe the best treatment plan. The main focus of any cat parent should be to keep their cat as comfortable and safe as possible before, during, and after a seizure.

When it comes to understanding how cat seizures work, how you can stop them, and how to reduce their intensity – all this is a professional vet’s responsibility.

You have to make sure that your cat is given the proper medications on time, they drink plenty of water, and get the right nutrition to stay healthy and strong.

The bottom line is that making regular appointments with the vet and addressing any other underlying condition that may cause cat seizures is the only thing you can do to prevent cat seizures for your pet.

How Clean Is A Cat’s Mouth? How to Clean A Cat’s Mouth?

There are myths about how clean is a cat’s mouth. Many cat parents want to know about the risks of “kissing” their cat on the mouth. Whether there are any risks of infection, itchiness, etc. from kissing their cat.

If you’re one of those people who want to know, keep reading to find out how clean is a cat’s mouth. And how you can keep a cat’s mouth clean using simple home practices that are not as uncommon as you think!

How Clean Is A Cat’s Mouth?

While it is not dangerous or harmful to kiss your cat’s mouth, you are not likely to catch any infectious disease or flu from kissing your cat’s mouth.

But this is what you should be aware of about the common infections that can be passed on to humans:

1. Bacterial Infections

Your cat may pass on to you certain common bacterial strains such as Salmonella, E-coli, Staphylococcus, and Pasteurella. Salmonella, for example, is because specific cat food contains uncooked pieces of chicken which is okay for cats to consume but not for humans as it causes Salmonella.

But a cat can transfer such bacterial strains only if you were to kiss them on the inside of their mouth! Kissing a cat’s mouth means giving your cat a quick peck on the lips which is not harmful at all.

2. Cat Scratch Fever

This is caused by the strain Bartonella and a cat may pass this to humans but in very rare conditions.

3. Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal infection that is contagious for both cats and humans. It can spread from cats to cats and from cats to humans through contact.

According to studies, I’ve found that ringworms are very common among kittens. And for humans, it is prevalent among children. But it is a very rare disease and harmless among humans.

Busting A Myth About Your Cat’s Mouth!

That It Is Cleaner Than A Human Mouth

It’s true that over 600 different types of bacteria live in a pet’s mouth. But this is true for humans as well. Oral hygiene and diet influence the different types of bacteria present. Though there aren’t any concrete statistics on the number of bacteria present in a cat’s mouth.

The only time your cat’s mouth is almost as clean as a human mouth is if you brush your cat’s teeth and gums every morning. This reduces the bacteria in your cat’s mouth. But even then, considering the type of raw food that cats eat, it will never be cleaner than or as clean as human mouths.

How to Keep A Cat’s Mouth Clean? Some Essential Oral Hygiene Tips

red cat playing with toothbrush in white bath tub, cute kitten

The routine of brushing your cat’s teeth is a good practice to maintain oral hygiene. Cleaning your pet’s mouth to get rid of bacteria and parasites and reduce the risk of infection or inflammation is essential.

Lack of proper oral hygiene can also cause tooth decay, bad breath, and dental diseases in cats. You can consult the vet about the correct cat-friendly toothpaste and brush with softer bristles so you don’t end up hurting your cat’s gum or tongue while brushing.

Here are some tips for you to keep in mind when brushing your cat’s teeth:

1. Keep a cotton swab in handy

Your cat may feel agitated or nervous when you use a toothbrush. In that case, you can also clean your cat’s teeth using a cotton swab. With cat-friendly toothpaste, you can get rid of plaque off the teeth effectively.

2. Prepare your cat beforehand

It’s important to keep your cat comfortable before, during, and after brushing its teeth. Set up a good area for your cat to sit and relax in. Use your fingers to touch your cat’s mouth, teeth, and lips so that they are used to your fingers and touch.

Easing the process of brushing your cat’s teeth is very important. This also ensures that you can regularly clean your cat’s teeth or lips or gums without making them feel nervous.

Some cats enjoy cuddling inside blankets or towels. Try different techniques to see what works for your cat.

3. Do not force your cat

If your cat is resisting a lot, do not force them in a way that may hurt them. You can try gently at first holding your cat’s paws to keep them steady. But if they are still resisting, you can try again after they have calmed down a bit.

You can also try bribing your cat with some of their delicious treats such as tuna treats, chicken bits, etc.

This should motivate your cat to remain calm with the process. Especially since you want to create a routine/habit of keeping their teeth and gums teeth.

4. Opt for professional grooming

Say you’re alone and are unable to keep your cat steady while brushing their teeth. If that is the case, the best thing to do is visit the vet to take care of your cat’s dental health. The vet will perform certain teeth cleanings and prescribe any important medication if necessary to maintain good oral hygiene.

A home and clinic routine is essential to keeping your cat’s dental health in check. Yearly visits to the clinic are a must. The vet will let you know exactly how dirty your cat’s mouth is and what products to use to reduce inflammation and bad breath.

Final Thoughts

So go right ahead and give your cat a kiss when you feel like it! With proper dental care, your cat’s mouth is not filled with harmful or contagious bacteria or parasites! It’s true that cats lick their own bodies and eat foods that contain raw meat. So bacterial strains such as fecal bacteria, raw meat, etc. are common among cats.

That’s why maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine for your cat is essential. It’s safer, then, for you to kiss your cat’s mouth without wondering how clean it is.

Important Things To Consider Before Getting A Hamster

Hamsters can make great pets for people of all ages, but there are some things you should consider before bringing one home. They require a lot of attention and care, and if you’re not prepared to commit to taking care of a hamster, it’s best not to get one at all. In this article, you will learn about the most important things you need to know before getting a hamster!

Diet 

The main concern of all new hamster owners is what they can feed them, and what foods they can never get their paws onto. A very common question in the community is can hamsters eat apples and people usually worry about any other type of fruit. As with any food it is best to give them a small piece first and see how they react before giving them more.

Do your homework on what hamsters eat and what nutrients they need in their diet, so you can ensure your hammy is getting everything they need to stay healthy and happy.

A diet that consists of hay, fresh vegetables, a small number of pellets, and the occasional treat is best for hamsters. They also need water available at all times. Make sure to do your research on what foods are poisonous to hamsters as well, so you can avoid offering them anything that could make them sick.

Living Space 

The cage in which you’ll be keeping your hamster should be at least 24″ by 12″ and no taller than 18″. The bar spacing on the cage should be no more than ¼ inch to prevent your hamster from escaping. You’ll also need a water bottle, food dish, hiding place, wheel (optional), and bedding. Bedding can be made of paper products, aspen shavings, or refresh. Avoid using pine or cedar shavings as they can cause respiratory problems for your hamster.

The temperature in your hamster’s living space should be between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll also need to make sure the living space is free of drafts and out of direct sunlight. Lastly, you’ll want to place the cage in an area where your family spends a lot of time so your hamster doesn’t feel isolated. 

It’s also essential to know how to clean your hamster’s living space. You’ll need to do a full cleaning of the cage and all of its accessories at least once a week. This means removing your hamster from the cage, washing everything down with hot water and vinegar, and letting it all air dry before putting your hamster back in. 

Health 

Unfortunately, there are some health issues you need to keep an eye on if you own a pet hamster. These are the following things:

  • Tumors: You should keep an eye out for any lumps or bumps on your hamster’s body. 
  • Dental health: Hamsters have a lot of teeth and they grow quickly. This can cause problems with their teeth if they’re not properly cared for.
  • Hamsters are prone to respiratory problems due to their small size.
  • Eye problems: If you notice your hamster’s eyes are red or swollen, take them to the vet.
  • Diarrhea: If your hamster has it, take them to the vet to make sure it’s not something serious.
  • Wet tail: A condition that can be fatal to hamsters. 

As you can see, there are some health issues you need to be aware of if you own a pet hamster. However, as long as you keep an eye on these things and take your hamster to the vet regularly, they should be healthy and happy! 

Hygiene 

You have to keep your hands clean when handling a hamster. This also means that you have to keep their home clean as well. If you don’t, your hamster can get sick very easily. 

Make sure to change their bedding often and clean their cage regularly. You also shouldn’t put anything in their cage that could make them sick.

When giving them a bath, use special hamster shampoo. Don’t use soap, because it can dry out their skin. Hamsters are very clean animals and they groom themselves often. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything. You still have to take care of them and make sure they’re healthy and happy. 

Reproduction 

Never keep a male and female hamster together unless you want babies. If you do, get ready for baby hamsters, as a female can have litters of up to 12! Hamsters reach sexual maturity at around six weeks old. That means if you got your hamster when she was four weeks old, she could already be pregnant. Litters are usually born 21 days after conception. 

So, if you’re not planning on breeding your hamster, it’s best to get a same-sex pair or have your pet spayed or neutered. Your vet can do this as early as four months old (before the first heat cycle in females). This is also a good idea if you don’t want your hamster to become aggressive or territorial.

Behavior 

It’s important to keep your hamster tame as they can develop a behavior where they become aggressive and bite. Doing this is easy, just handle them every day so they get used to you. Once your hamster is tame, you can play with them and even teach them tricks!

Remember, every hamster is different so it’s important to get to know yours. Some may never want to be held while others love cuddles. Just take the time to get to know your furry friend and you’ll have a great relationship in no time! 

Do some research on what type of behavior is common for the breed of hamster you are getting. 

They’re Nocturnal 

Don’t get spooked when you start hearing noises in the middle of the night. Hamsters are nocturnal, so they’re most active after sundown. If you want a pet you can cuddle during movie night, this isn’t the animal for you. Consider getting a hamster if you’re prepared to handle being woken up in the wee hours of the morning. 

Do some research on whether or not being nocturnal is something that would work with your lifestyle before getting a hamster. They’re lovely creatures, but it’s important to be aware of their needs before making any commitments.

Hamsters are awesome and cute pets, but you do need to take proper care of them. Make sure to research their diet and set up the living space properly, after which you’ll keep it clean. It’s essential to keep an eye on their health and hygiene and never put males and females together as they reproduce quickly. Their behavior depends on how you act towards them and don’t be scared once they start doing some nighttime activities. Have fun with your new pet!

What You Need to Know Before Getting a Betta Fish

Also known as Siamese fighting fish, betta fish is a beautiful fish with colored tails. Bettas are the most popular fish in aquariums globally, perhaps due to their pleasant color. 

Pet fish require less work as it is confined in the aquarium. If you wish to keep a betta fish, here is a guide to help you.

Invest in a Big Aquarium 

These fish species swim a lot and hence need ample space. Experts recommend a tank that holds a minimum of 5 gallons. If you decide to add more pets from the same family, get a bigger space for them.  

Though the fish size varies, the average length of a grown betta is around 2.5 – 3 inches without the tail. Vibrant, healthy fish have big, long tails that are open wide and flow smoothly. 

Note that the fish love to jump. Keep the aquarium covered, or if you wish to leave it open, provide enough space between the top of the tank and the water.  

Unlike the widespread misinformation, you cannot keep betta fish in small bowls. Bettas need more than bowls.

Do Betta Fish Love Company?

One rule of thumb is never put two male betta fish together! Bettas are also known as Siamese fighting fish for this reason. 

Betta fish have poor social skills and prefer their own space. Both male and female betta fish can accommodate snails, cory catfish, feeder guppies, and shrimp and coexist peacefully. However, two Siamese cannot stay in the same aquarium.

If you find non-aggressive female bettas, you can place two of them in one container with enough water. 

What to Put in the Aquarium

Bettas hide when nervous or fearful and swim around decorations or plants to stimulate their brains. You need to provide ‘hiding spots’ for the betta fish

Though the choice of aquarium décor is personal, avoid pointed or sharp items in the aquarium as they can hurt the fish when swimming. 

Also, remember these types of fish need plenty of space to swim around. Hence if you love lots of decorations, invest in a bigger tank. You can have artificial or natural plants as they all work with the fish. 

Add Plants in the Aquarium

Aquatic plants keep the water oxygenated and clean, enrich your pet and make the environment attractive. Adding some live plants to the tank hosting the fish is a great plus. 

When choosing plants, ensure you settle for those that do not grow too large or tall. Betta loves plants with dense and long leaves like Java Ferns, Marimo Moss Balls, Amazon Sword, and Anubias Nana. 

Water Temperature

Tropical fish like betta thrive in warm waters. Since it is impossible to consistently maintain a temperature above 75 degrees, buy a heater to keep the water temperature at 78 – 80 degrees. 

You will need a safe aquarium thermometer to ensure constant water temperature. When the surrounding temperatures drop, betta fish become lethargic and withdrawn as they are sensitive to changes in water parameters.

Betta Fish Diet

Living things thrive when fed on their most natural diet. Larvae and small insects are the best for betta fish due to their carnivorous nature. Frozen food like bloodworms and brine shrimp will also work. Betta fish need foods rich in protein and varied for their healthy development. 

The stomach size of a betta fish is the size of its eyeball, so one feed a day is enough. Once the betta stops actively feeding, do not give more food. If there is uneaten food that builds at the tank bottom, it will pollute the water.  

Conclusion

You are now qualified to adopt a betta fish! The above tips are essential to help you start your journey of fish keeping. 

Top Signs Of Anxiety In Dogs And How To Deal With Them

Dogs are prone to experiencing anxiety just like humans. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, around 15% of all dogs in the United States suffer from some form of anxiety. And while it may seem like a small number, it still means a lot of anxious pups out there!

There are many different types of anxiety that can affect dogs, but the most common ones include separation anxiety, social anxiety, and noise phobias. Regardless of the type of anxiety your dog may have, it’s important to be aware of the signs so you can help them cope.

Know the General Symptoms of Canine Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all feel from time to time. It’s what helps us humans stay alert and safe in potentially dangerous situations. But when anxiety becomes excessive, it can be debilitating and have a serious impact on our quality of life. The same is true for dogs.

While some amount of anxiety is normal and even beneficial for dogs, when it becomes excessive it can lead to serious behavioral problems. That’s why it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of anxiety in dogs so you can help your furry friend through tough times.

Below are other general symptoms of canine anxiety to watch out for.

1. Excessive Barking or Howling

Dogs that are anxious may bark or howl excessively. This may be in response to something that is troubling them or simply out of boredom and frustration. If your dog is exhibiting this behavior, it’s important to try to figure out the source of their anxiety and address it accordingly. As a dog owner, it’s important to take action to help ease their anxiety. One way to do this is by giving them melatonin for dogs. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep and is often used as a natural remedy for anxiety. It can be given to dogs in the form of a supplement and is typically safe for most dogs with no known side effects. However, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any supplements.

2. Pacing or Shaking

Another common sign of anxiety in dogs is pacing back and forth or shaking uncontrollably. This is often a result of stress and can make your dog very uncomfortable. If you notice your dog doing this, it’s important to provide them with a calm environment and try to ease their anxiety.

3. Destructive Behavior

Dogs that are anxious may also exhibit destructive behavior, such as chewing on furniture or ripping up carpet. This is often a way for them to release their energy and relieve stress. If your dog is exhibiting this behavior, it’s important to provide them with appropriate chew toys and redirect their attention when they start to exhibit destructive behavior.

4. Excessive Shedding

Another common sign of anxiety in dogs is excessive shedding. This is often caused by stress and can be a result of your dog’s coat not being properly groomed. If you notice your dog shedding excessively, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any medical conditions and to get them on a proper grooming schedule.

5. Loss of Appetite

Dogs that are anxious may also lose their appetite. This is often due to stress and can make your dog very uncomfortable. If you notice your dog is not eating, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any medical conditions and to help them regain their appetite.

Know the Types of Canine Anxiety

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take your dog to the vet to rule out any medical conditions. Once you’ve ruled out any medical conditions, you can start working on treating your dog’s anxiety. There are several types of anxiety and many different ways to treat anxiety in dogs, so it’s important to talk to your vet about what would be best for your dog.

1. Separation Anxiety

One of the most common types of anxiety in dogs is separation anxiety. This is when a dog becomes anxious or stressed when they’re away from its owner.

Signs of separation anxiety in dogs include:

  • Pacing
  • Whining
  • Barking
  • Chewing on furniture or other objects
  • Escape attempts (jumping fences, digging holes, etc.)

If your dog is displaying any of these signs, it’s important to seek professional help. A certified animal behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist can help you create a treatment plan for your dog. Treatment may include desensitization training (teaching your dog to be okay with being away from you), medication, and/or anxiety wraps.

2. Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is another type of anxiety that affects dogs. This is when a dog is afraid of other people or animals.

Signs of social anxiety in dogs include:

  • Panting
  • Trembling
  • Hiding from people or animals
  • Aggression towards people or animals

Again, if your dog is displaying any of these signs, it’s important to seek professional help. A certified animal behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist can help you create a treatment plan for your dog. Treatment may include desensitization training (teaching your dog to be okay around people or animals), medication, and/or anxiety wraps.

3. Noise Phobias

Noise phobias are another type of anxiety that affects dogs. This is when a dog is afraid of loud noises, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or construction noise.

Signs of noise phobias in dogs include:

  • Panting
  • Trembling
  • Hiding
  • Barking
  • Chewing on furniture or other objects

If your dog is displaying any of these signs, it’s important to seek professional help. A certified animal behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist can help you create a treatment plan for your dog. Treatment may include desensitization training (teaching your dog to be okay with loud noises), medication, and/or anxiety wraps.

Treatment Options for Canine Anxiety

One way to treat anxiety in dogs is through behavior modification. This involves teaching your dog new behaviors that will help them cope with their anxiety. This can be done through positive reinforcement training or by using anti-anxiety medication.

Another way to treat anxiety in dogs is through desensitization and counterconditioning. This involves slowly exposing your dog to the things that trigger their anxiety and teaching them to associate these things with positive experiences. This can be a long and difficult process, but it’s often very effective in treating anxiety in dogs.

Anxiety is a common problem in dogs, but it’s important to be aware of the signs so you can help your dog cope. If your dog is displaying any signs of anxiety, seek professional help. A certified animal behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist can help you create a treatment plan for your dog. Treatment may include desensitization training, medication, and/or anxiety wraps.

Dog Breeding 101

Breeding your dog is a big responsibility. There are many factors to consider, as you will have to ensure the wellbeing of the mother and her puppies, as well as fulfil the expectations of the future owners. Your dog will need long-term care before breeding so that the puppies turn out healthy. The most successful dog breeders have spent a lot of time studying how to breed their dog before even planning on a litter of puppies.

Educating yourself about the process of dog breeding is one of the most important things to do before actually breeding your dog. For those who want to breed dogs as a business, you likely have local resources if you are interested in learning how to become a registered dog breeder. Breeding your dog ethically and responsibly is going to be paramount when you sell your dogs. You will have clients who are expecting that the dogs they get from you are free from health and behavioural problems. 

Your Dog’s Reproductive Cycle

Female dogs have a reproductive cycle that goes through four phases. Unspayed female dogs typically have two periods of “heat” called estrus cycles per year. These cycles last around two to three weeks. However, the interval between these cycles may be different for your specific dog. A female dog’s first heat generally happens between 6 months and 15 months of age, but can happen later if for large dog breeds. It is generally advised that dogs be 12 months of age before their first mating. 

Estrus cycle

  • Proestrus – This is the first phase of the estrus cycle lasting around a week. The female dog’s vulva will become swollen, and they will start attracting males. 
  • Estrus – This is the active mating period, where the female dog will allow males to mount her. Ovulation will occur around two to three days after mating. 
  • Diestrus – This is the resting period ten to 140 days after the female dog’s heat. 
  • Anestrus – This is the period of downtime between the two estrus cycles, which lasts around six months. 

Male dogs have no such cycle, and will respond to female dogs whenever they are in heat. 

Vet Visits

Before deciding to breed your dog, a trip to a trustworthy veterinarian is in order. They should be able to give your dog a thorough health check to see whether the dog is fit to breed. The veterinarian will have to consider the dog’s age, breed, and overall well being before approving the dog for breeding. Female dogs will have to head to the vet several weeks or months before the estrus cycle when you plan to breed the dog. 

A female dog should be in good health, have up-to-date vaccinations, and be free from parasites. The standard wellness checks will be performed, such as a stool test and heartworm test. It is also recommended that the dog be tested for brucellosis, which is a type of bacterial sexually transmitted disease. To ensure that the dog is clear of problems, one or more of the following tests may be conducted:

  • Hip and elbow scoring
  • Eye testing
  • Hearing tests
  • Inherited disease/DNA testing 
  • Respiratory function

Your vet will know more about the specific tests that need to be performed on your dog. Your vet should also evaluate your dog’s temperament, as nervous, anxious or fearful dogs tend to pass these characteristics down to their puppies. 

Determining if Your Dog is Pregnant

For dogs, the gestation period is normally around 63 days from conception. However, it’s not exactly easy to tell when to begin counting these days. The male dog’s sperm is able to live for several days inside the female, and the female’s eggs are fertile for up to two days. The day of mating may not be the conception date. It is likely that you will have to visit your veterinarian to determine whether your dog is pregnant. Let your vet know when the mating occurred, or at least an approximate timeframe if you did not witness the mating happen. 

There are four methods that can be used to tell if your dog is pregnant:

  1. Hormone test
  2. X-ray
  3. Ultrasound
  4. Palpation

Your vet will be better able to determine which test to perform on your dog.

Whelping

Once you have determined that the dog is pregnant, you can begin preparing for the puppies. This also involves prenatal care as directed by your veterinarian, as your female dog’s health will determine the health of the puppies. A couple of weeks before the expected due date of your litter, you should prepare a whelping box where your female dog can have her puppies, ideally located somewhere your dog feels safe. You can either construct a whelping box yourself, or purchase a ready-made whelping box. What matters is that it is safe, comfortable and, most importantly, easy to clean, because you’ll be cleaning it out almost daily. 

The day before your female dog gives birth, they will likely lose their appetite and start to become restless. They may start looking for a place to give birth, often shown by digging or hiding under furniture. Direct your dog to their whelping box so that they don’t need to be moved later on, which is more difficult for both you and the dog. Make sure you know where the nearest emergency vet hospital is, as well as have on hand the number for your veterinarian. 

Take your dog’s rectal temperature periodically – the normal range is 38.3C to 39.8C. Once it drops around one degree to between approximately 37.0C and 37.5C, they should give birth within 24 hours.

Post-Pregnancy Care

Once your dog has given birth, bring her and her puppies to your veterinarian within the first 24 hours to make sure that they’re all healthy. If they’re all clear, you can ask your vet about how to care for your female dog while they’re nursing their puppies. You’ll likely have to make dietary changes to keep up with your female dog’s nutritional needs while they raise their pups. 

Your dog will likely be very protective of their puppies for the next couple of weeks, so avoid bringing any strangers over during this period. Also limit handling of the puppies until they are a few weeks old. Daily changes for the whelping box bedding are a good idea, and the whelping box itself will need to be disinfected weekly. 

How Can I Get My Cat to Gain Some Weight? Best Tips to Deal With A Skinny Cat

Are you worried that your cat looks weak and weighs below the normal weight for her age? While it’s true that a skinny cat is not necessarily weak or undernourished. You can always take a few steps to figure out yourself how to get your cat to gain some weight.

So if you’ve ever wondered: how can I get my cat to gain some weight? You’ve come to the right place to get the right answers.

Before We Begin…

Before we get to the answers, first, it’s important to figure out whether and if your cat is actually too skinny or underweight. You can go about this in two ways.

Take your cat to the vet (this is what I strongly recommend you do) and have the vet evaluate the ‘body condition score’ of your cat. The ‘body condition score’ is just like the ‘body mass index’ evaluation for humans.

Second, you can perform a simple test yourself by using your hands to feel your cat’s body. Most specifically, her ribcage and the area behind her front legs. If you can easily feel your cat’s rib without pressing down on her coat, then it suggests that your cat is skinny and needs to put on some weight.

But this is not always an effective way to determine whether your cat is skinny or overweight. Because if your cat is skinny and it’s a result of some medical condition, the vet will let you know asap how to treat it. 

How Can I Get My Cat to Gain Weight?

Switching a cat’s diet is not as simple. I don’t know about your cats but mine are very squeamish about what food they eat. It takes a few days before my cats start enjoying the new food that I give them.

Once any medical condition is ruled out with regards to why your cat is skinny, you can follow these simple steps to get on top of your cat gaining some healthy weight…

1. Diet

This is the first thing you need “fixing.” Cat food that is supposed to help cats gain weight has more calories. You don’t necessarily have to feed your cat more food in order for her to gain weight. Even a small quantity of food that is calorie-dense is enough for weight gain.

Such specific types of diet cat foods are higher in fat than carbohydrates and proteins. After consulting with a vet, you can adjust the portion size to allow your cat to gain weight in a healthy manner without the risk of becoming overweight.

Studies show that canned cat food, made with meat and extra moisture, is a good alternative to dry food that is usually high in carbs. Canned foods contain more fats. And since they also retain a raw, enticing, and meal odor for your cat – a cat is more likely to gobble up wet food because of the extra water and strong smell than dry food.

If your cat is still not enticed by the smell and sight of canned food, you can heat the food up slightly to make it more palatable. 

2. Feeding Tube

This is a medical procedure that only vets should perform. If your cat is reluctant to eat high-fatty foods on her own, you can resort to a temporary feeding tube that will make sure your cat gets all the food she needs to gain weight.

This type of feeding is very helpful for difficult and stubborn cats. This also reduces stress on both the cat owner and the cat about finishing the food. And if you also need to provide your cat with some important health medications, a feeding tube is the most effective route. Provided that you take your cat to a vet to perform this minor procedure carefully and gently.

3. Try Supplements  

Female Pet Owner Giving Her Cat CBD Oil Drops as Alternative Therapy.

Cat supplements like fish oil increase the calorie intake of your cat on top of their diet. It’s also a good natural supplement for improving your cat’s coat, making it look fuller, shinier, and less prone to shedding.

Fish oil supplements (for cats) are rich in omega fatty acids. Make sure you buy the right product for your cat and consult with a vet for any possible allergens that the supplement may have that will affect your cat.

There are made vet-approved lickable treats and supplements for your cat to get excited about. If your cat is fussy, a lickable treat made from meat is the perfect way to increase your cat’s calorie intake without going through a lot of trouble. Treats are also good for increasing your cat’s appetite if they do not like to eat the prepared cat food.

This brings to another interesting trick to get your cat to gain weight naturally…

4. Incorporate Homemade Treats

Contrary to popular trends, you can offer your cat treats the way one would to a dog! You can feed your cat some shredded chicken and/or boiled egg. Not in large quantities. Just bite-sized treats for your cat to nibble on to increase her calorie intake per day.

You can use treats to reward your cat after she’s done something good. Like finishing her meal, drinking water from a bowl, potty training, etc. Some cat parents also leash train their cats and offer treats. It’s a great way to spend more time with your cat and for them to trust you completely.

Final Thoughts

These steps should not be carried out long term because it may lead to weight gain. It’s best to consult with a vet before you take anything long-term. Calorie-dense cat food can cause weight gain fairly quickly.

In comparison to the natural diet trends of a feline, kitten foods are higher in fats and calories than adult foods. A kitten needs more fats to grow into an adult cat. Once there, you need a protein-rich diet to maintain your cat’s ideal weight.

It’s important to remember that taking matters into your own hands when fattening up a cat can lead to a lot of misinformation. So talk to a vet to figure out the best possible food, product, supplement, treats, etc. to help your cat to gain weight without putting her health at risk.

7 Things You’ll Need When You Start With Puppy Training

Bringing home your new furry bundle of joy is all fun and games until baby Fido starts chewing through every piece of furniture you own. Puppy training is no joke, and it’s crucial that you start their training at a young age so they learn the ropes and don’t develop ad habits. 

If you’re serious about your training, you want your doggo to be in shows or even if you just have a particularly unruly pup, investing in some equipment will certainly help make the process a little easier.

Here are seven things you’ll need when you start training your puppy. 

Harnesses

Harnesses are great for dogs. They’re safe and comfortable for all dogs and puppies and can be a much better option than a collar and leash for these reasons. When your puppy is comfortable, he will be much easier to train, since he’s less likely to be tripping over his leash and straining at his collar. 

You can find the best dog harnesses online or even at your local pet store. Investing in a high-quality harness (and the right type) will make all the difference for your dog. 

Collar and Leash

Of course, there is still the option of the good old collar. While a harness works better for many dog trainers and owners, some digs and their humans simply prefer a collar when it comes to attaching a leash. 

Having a good quality, strong leash is important too. For training purposes, a longer leash is always the better option as this will allow our dog space to move around, but you’ll also want to be able to train your puppy to walk closer to you – for this, an adjustable leash is a great investment. 

Treats

No matter what age, breed or type of personality your dog has, you’ll need to reward them during training sessions, and there is no better way to do this than with dog treats. It’s a good idea to wean them off treats eventually as they progress in their training, but they’re important in the early stages.

Any type of treat that your dog loves will do the trick. You can even purchase CBD dog treats which have loads of health benefits for your pupper. 

Treat Pouch or Bag

Having somewhere to keep the treats will simply make your training sessions quicker and easier. A treat pouch or a bag will be a great way to store them and even keep them fresh. You could keep this tied around your waist for easy access too.

A larger bag might be a good idea too, to keep all your dog training supplies including your treats, leash, harness, training sticks, balls and any other items you use on a regular basis. This could double as a bag you take along with you on walks – just include some poop bags and a doggie water bottle.  

Training Stick

A training stick is a great addition to your puppy training regime. These are usually long and lightweight and can be folded up to store easily. These are most commonly used for a particular type of training known as target training, where you train your dog to touch a target with their nose or paw. 

Teaching your dog to follow your target is also a great way to train them to follow you without coaxing or fighting – into the car, into the bathtub, you name it!

These are crucial for dog owners who wish to enter their dogs into shows, but useful for anyone who wants to teach obedience and discipline to a puppy. 

Resources

Of course, you could grab your treat bag and simply start training your pup with the basics. However, reading some resources and getting some professional training advice can be a great help.

Investing in a top-rated dog training book might be helpful for you to understand classic, tried and tested methods of training your dog. If you don’t want to spend any money, there are plenty of free resources online that can help you through the process. Taking your dog to a training school will be your best bet as you’ll be working with a professional. 

Patience

Finally, you’ll need to have patience with your dog. Being stern is important, but try to not let your frustration turn into anger as you could frighten your puppy or turn them against the idea of what you’re trying to teach them.

Consider training time as fun and playful, and when your dog sees you enjoying the process, they’ll be more likely to comply.

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