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5 Steps to Take When Adopting a Kitten

Adopting a kitten is a great way to expand your family and cultivate another beautiful and loving relationship. People who have welcomed cats into their family have been shown to be happier and live longer. In fact, science says that even petting a cat can have lingering effects, such as boosting your mood. After all, who doesn’t feel that their day can’t get any better after meeting a friendly feline? Let’s take a look at some of the top things to keep in mind when you begin the process of adopting your next furry family member.

Preparing Your Home 

We all know you have the love in your heart ready and waiting to shower them, but there are other key things to keep in mind for getting your home ready for it’s newest resident and ruler.

  • Secure Your Breakables: Cats are natural explorers. You will want to make sure that there are no loose items that could easily be knocked over to break – risking harm to them or anyone else in your house. This can include items that are on ledges, shelves, or small tables. Keeping them out of the little explorer’s path until they’re more aware and have established their boundaries is a great way to keep them safe.
  • Checking for Dangerous Toxins: Did you know that lilies are extremely toxic to cats? What about onions and garlic? Consulting the humane society’s guide on toxic plants, or enlisting the help of a trusted veterinarian will be a surefire way to ensure that your home is going to be free of hidden dangers. Make sure all chemicals and pest traps are kept secure, where curious kitties won’t be able to find them.
  • Getting the Basics: We all need our creature comforts, but these critters have some requirements you want to have one hand before they come over. Make sure that you have an appropriate litter box, as well as a cat tree for them to feel safe in.

Understanding the Introductions

Next we will need to take the time to learn about acclimating them to your home. That would be simply too much to cover in this brief little guide, but there are countless resources out there to help – that’s because each home is different. Some may have children or other pets in the home and that would change a few key factors.

Additionally, you will want to make sure that you can set aside the time needed to slowly introduce them to the house. Those who may live with you will also need to be briefed on the rules that will be set to help the newest guest adjust to their home. This may mean instructing them to leave certain doors shut, and a reminder to not put too much pressure on the kitten to socialize if they aren’t comfortable yet.

Review their Individual Needs

Just like us, no two cats are exactly alike. You will want to make sure that their needs can mesh up with what you can provide them. Let’s take a look at some things you will need to consider.

  • Breed Specifics: Knowing what the different breeds need is a great way of making sure that you’ll be able to take the best care of your new companion. This includes grooming requirements as well what their biology dictates their energy and stimulation needs to be.
  • Home Requirements: Some kitties just don’t get along well with others of their kind. Others may, not with dogs or children. It’s important to review the listed needs of each kitten to make sure that they will be happy and comfortable with you.

Make Contingency Plans

You never know when something might make you leave urgently. Making sure that you are aware of your local boarding facilities, their costs, and their requirements for staying is vital to ensuring that your kitten will always be able to receive the care they need. Alternatively, you may also check in with trusted people who can serve as a pet sitter – either in-home or away.

You will also want to know your nearest emergency veterinary hospital. Do keep in mind, while emergency vets are hard-working professionals, they are not a substitute for routine care and can sometimes offer large fees. That brings us to our next topic.

Prepare For Health Needs

Finding a veterinary professional that you feel works well for you can typically be done by checking online reviews or seeking word of mouth. Pay special attention to the notes regarding their personality to ensure that your needs – whether you want someone who will tell you how it is, or someone very tactful – will be met.

When it comes to the many costs – those foreseen and unplanned – comprehensive kitten insurance can help you save a lot of money in upfront fees. These can include spay or neuter, routine care, or even covering emergencies.

It’s important to be able to give your kitten the best and prepare them for a long life together. That’s why you’re reading this article after all! Just remember to take things one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll have one of the best friends you can ever make.

Things You Should Consider While Looking For A Cat Sitter

Here are the qualities you need to check in the person you will leave your precious pet with while you are not home.

We all know there are two types of people when it comes to pet animals – cat people and dog people. Additionally, cats and dogs need very different skill sets to care for them, which is why each needs a unique range of skills. So you will need to hire a professional who has a lot of experience to take care of your beloved feline while you are out for work or on vacation. If you live in the busiest city in the world, NYC, it’s a no-brainer that, more often than not, you don’t have enough time for your beloved feline buddy. Therefore,  you just keep looking for a reliable NYC Cat Sitting service to make sure that when you’re busy with your life, your beloved feline buddy is taken care of. Because from their feeding habits to exercise and play, cats have a  totally different way of living with their owners than dogs, and that’s why you should get such a cat sitter who will understand these differences and act accordingly. So scroll down until the end to find out how to find a suitable new buddy-cum-sitter for your beloved cat.

Dogs are people pleasers, but Cats are not 

Cats tend to have an introverted nature, but that obviously doesn’t mean that they don’t crave affection or that they don’t feel lonely. Yes, they need daily care, which is almost effortlessly simple, but they also like to be cared for. They also love quality cuddling, playtime, and a watchful eye by the master or the sitter.

Dogs need constant care, whereas cats are low maintenance

Generally, cats have a litter box which they need to take care of their bathroom needs, and then throughout the day, they will just keep having food (unless they are put on a special diet, or they have to take some sort of medication with their food). They exercise according to their mood. Most of the day, they sleep throughout the day; the average will be 17 hours a day! Most of the cats will be really happy and satisfied if someone just stops by for 30-40 minutes once a day and spends some quality time snuggling, cuddling, or playing with them, but sometimes a cat needs a little more human contact than the typical amount we assume is fine. When you are gone for a longer period for work or travel, your feline buddy might get anxious or feel lonely without you. In that case, just one visit a day will not be enough. Therefore, you can hire a pet sitter who is capable of reading all of these signals and communicating to you what you ought to do to calm your cat’s nerves.

Dogs generally like to play with people, but   cats would rather observe and play by themselves  

Dogs, in general, enjoy chasing objects, puzzles, and sticks and returning them to their human partner for one-on-one play. Cats, on the other side, are not like us, since they often engage in their own sports. Cats are skilled hunters, and hunting is meant to be done alone. Cats will often pretend that they are hunting and will try to catch their toys without you. That doesn’t mean that a cat doesn’t want or enjoy playing with humans. And if they don’t play with humans who are going to their favorite things like dragging a long stick toy with wire and catnip attached to them or who will operate the infamous laser beam flashlight, which they love to run after? So, the key to finding a suitable cat sitter for your cat would be to look for someone who can read your pet’s way of playing and who will participate accordingly. 

CHARACTERISTICS YOUR  CAT SITTER SHOULD HAVE 

  • Has to be patient: Generally, cats take a while to open up to someone new who is a complete stranger to them or watching them. So, your potential sitter must be willing to hang around with your cat without anyone else or show some affection during their first couple visits to become close with your cat and win its trust. Moreover, the greatest reward for any sitter is when a cat finally crawls into their lap.
  • Has to be observant: Cats tend to hide their pain really well, so a sitter must keep an eye out for stuff that cats can’t control. So you should hire a sitter who will keep an eye on cats’ every little detail and habits, such as whether their stool consistency is okay, is their urine amount fine, and whether or not they are doing their bowel business in the litter box! They should also watch out for vomiting because while vomiting is actually a “cat thing”, more often than not, it’s nothing more than a hairball issue.
  • Has to be experienced: An experienced cat sitter is better because they can help with cats that are more demanding and need more care. Because if they know the tricks about how to feed them, also how to get more comfortable with a  new cat faster than the non-experienced ones.
  • Has to be flexible: Every cat has a different and unique personality, so every one of them requires different types of care. For example, some cats are really close to their owners, so when their owners go out of the town or country for a long time, they start to feel left out, making them anxious. So to tackle this situation, more than one visit a day is definitely required. Also, to cheer them up, the sitter should take them out for a walk to a park or to some place where there are more furry buddies to play with. Also, your furry buddy might fall sick while you are away, so your sitter should be someone who will know all the good vets in the case of an emergency. Because only playing, feeding, helping them with their bowel movement, and taking them to the park won’t keep them healthy. So you should try and find someone willing to work with you to create such a care schedule that is perfectly compatible with the specific needs of your cat.
  • Has to be communicative: All the qualities I have mentioned until now will be useless if you get a  cat sitter who isn’t willing or able to communicate with you on a regular basis. Because you would want such a sitter who will give you post-visit reports, pictures, and videos while you are away for work or on vacation, and you would want to be able to reach your sitter at reasonable hours or the time of an emergency or sometimes if you just miss your feline buddy a lot. This might seem too much to ask for some people, but it’s actually not. It is your right to ask for such a  communicative cat sitter who will give you an ample number of messages and pics rather than someone who won’t even respond to your texts! 

Why Is Pet-Sitting Better Than Pet Boarding? 

Boarding is considered to be a great option for dogs because we all know dogs are more of a social animal, so they love to socialize more. But when it comes to cats, they prefer to stay in the safety of their own homes. They’re such creatures whose behavior can be disrupted immensely if small changes happen in their habits or environment, so if you don’t want to make them stressed and lonely, then you should keep them at your home in familiar surroundings. Generally, boarding is recommended for such cats who need round-the-clock supervision and care, and if that is the case, veterinary boarding is the best choice. 

If you feel like daily visits aren’t enough for your cat, then you should consider overnight pet sitting as an option. This is a great option because this is when a pro sitter will stay overnight at your home, which will allow them to give even more supervision and care to your feline buddy. And before you hire someone to be your overnight sitter make sure that they have their own insurance and also try to find out what benefits you will get from their overnight services and what their rates will be. Some pet sitters charge separately for day and night visits. 

Lastly, I would say you should always remember that all animals are different and so they all need different types of care. So you should make sure that you should get such a  pet sitter who is experienced and is willing to give all the love, care, and affection your fur-baby requires.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Stares At You – Why They Stare, You Need to Know

When your cat is looking at you, nay, staring at you, I’m sure you’ve wondered what he or she is thinking. Direct eye contact in the world of cats can mean one thing only.

When two cats stare at each other, it’s because they consider each other a threat. Are you a threat to your cat when she gives you the “death” stare? When your cat stares at you, it’s probably nothing.

But if you’re still curious as to what it could mean, here’s how you can tell why your cat is staring at you. And in order to do this, you have to take into consideration your cat’s body language. This will tell you exactly what your cat feels when she stares at you.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Stares At You

In the human world, staring is thought of as rude between strangers in a bus, train, or restaurant. It can make one feel uncomfortable. But between a human and a cat, it can mean different things.

Cats communicate through body language and behavior. So your cat staring at you, coupled with a few body cues, can mean something. Such as…

1. Your cat needs to be fed

When was the last time you gave your cat something to eat?

When your cat gets hungry, they will show you that they need food. If you stick to a feeding schedule, your cat will stare at you when it’s getting close to feeding time. And if you’re a few minutes late to the party, they will stare at you as if to remind you in case you’ve forgotten.

A cat will stare at you for many reasons. But mostly to get your attention.

2. Your cat is scared

Check to see if your cat’s eyes have dilated pupils or if her tail is stuck between her legs. If so, then your cat is scared. Not necessarily of you, but of something around the cat.

This posture is also indicative of distress. And that could mean many things. That your cat needs to be left alone wherever she wants to sleep in the corner or under the bed. That your cat is feeling pain or discomfort of some kind so that you might need to take her to the vet.

If this happens very often, you can do a few things to evaluate the situation. Recognize any new sound or change in your home that could be scaring your cat. Is it a new toy you bought for her? Or new furniture that may look intimidating to your cat?

Try distracting your cat with one of her favorite toys. Encourage your cat to chase something around the room to lighten up the mood. This should get your cat to calm down.

Oftentimes, cats get jumpy and scared when something heavy drops on the floor. The sound of a pot falling or a kitchen pan or a book. This emits a loud noise which your cat might get scared of immediately.

When that happens, do not chase your cat to get her attention. Allow her to come to you once she’s calm and gently pat her head to comfort her.

3. Your cat loves you

If your cat is staring at you while she purrs, it means she’s relaxed, happy, and showing you affection. This is a cat’s way of letting you know they love you. The loose and relaxed body language is indicative of a happy and loving cat.

Another great way a cat shows affection is by blinking at you. That’s right. If your cat blinks and stares at you in a cute, loving manner, it’s safe to assume your cat’s happy. Couple that with the purring noise they make and you’re golden!

Some cats walk up to you if you stare back at them long enough. A cat that comes really close to your face and purrs, that’s a loving and friendly cat.

4. Your cat is angry at you

When your cat is upset, not anything else but at you, they will exhibit obvious signs. Pupil dilation, a stiff and upright posture, tail swinging from side to side. And when your cat is staring at you while doing all these things, it’s you she’s angry at.

The best thing to do in such a sticky situation is slowly to walk away from your cat. Leave her alone because that’s her way of being territorial and wary. Just give your cat some space and come back to pet her after a few minutes once she is calm.

If that is not possible, throw a crumpled paper ball on the floor to distract her. Once your cat breaks eye contact, it’s easier to keep her distracted and engage her tension elsewhere.

Playing with a new toy or running around to chase something is a great way to release all that pent-up energy.

Final Thoughts

Cats are incredibly clever and sharp. When it comes to communication, they are best in the way they share their feelings. Only that you, as a responsible and caring cat parent, need to be aware of your cat’s body language and behavior.

Some cats learn new tricks to communicate with their owners. While you can teach your cat to do the same, there are a few tricks that cats learn on their own.

Such as sitting in front of you when they want something from you. They will lick your hands or feet when they want to play or when they’re hungry. Some cats even wake their owners up early in the morning the way dogs do. Although a cat’s reason is more selfish because they’re probably hungry and want to be fed!

So you see, learning to bond with your cat is essential. Now you know what does it mean when a cat stares at you. It’s not a threat but it’s simply your cat’s way of letting you know her feelings.

How to Calm A Hyper Cat – 5 Most Effective Tips for A Healthy Life

If you’re looking for effective ways to calm down a hyper cat, you’ve come to the right place. There’s much you can do at home to make sure your cat feels safe and calm. And there are even a few things you’re not supposed to.

For a cat parent, sometimes your cat’s behavior can be unpredictable. He or she may be purring calmly by your side. But suddenly, you see that your cat’s running around everywhere, jumping on top of furniture dropping things down, perhaps even fighting with other pets in the house.

A hyper cat may turn into a “crazy” and uncontrollable feline. And at the time, what you can do to calm your hyper cat are the following things.

Ways for Calming Your Hyper Cat

1. Do not force the cat to stay calm

Cat experts note that if your cat suddenly starts to jump on tall furniture and run around the house like crazy, do not attempt to stop them. The best thing to do would be to allow the behavior. Because, and chances are that, your cat will eventually stop after a few minutes.

It is not necessary to stop your cat or put her in a crate to calm her down.

What you can do, however, is distract the cat with one of her favorite toys. You can try to lure the cat into an empty cardboard box with a ball and a string. Or let your cat chase a toy around the house.

These are all helpful tips to calm a hyper cat without force. According to one expert, cats tend to run around until they get tired and slow down. It is very natural for cats to release all that pent-up energy by running and playing.

2. Keep a quiet, positive household

Look around you; does your cat live in a chaotic and noisy home? If that is so, that is most likely why you have a hyper cat. Pets reflect the energy of the home. When there are any sudden changes in your home, especially new pets, new family members, or construction work.

Prolonged noise and chaos can also affect the mental health of a feline. Causing your cat to suddenly experience a burst of energy.

The best thing to do would be to keep your home calm and quiet. If you live with a lot of family members, this can get difficult to do. So instead what you can do is keep your cat in the quietest room in the house.

If it’s something specific that your cat is bothered by, like a new piece of furniture or toy, take it out of your cat’s sight immediately.

3. Take your cat for a walk

It’s not always the dog that needs regular walks outdoors. Keeping your cat indoors all day and night might have negative consequences. Especially when you have a hyperactive cat.

Even though it’s a slow process, getting your cat used to a cat leash is not a big thing. You can look up fun and effective cat training videos on YouTube to walk your cat with a proper leash.

If you have a backyard, allow your cat to go in and out at their comfort during daylight. Chances are your cat is suffering from boredom. Going out to play and run around is the only way to cure that. This will also put a stop to the hyper-activity around the house.

Make sure your backyard is properly fenced for your cat’s safety. Creating a safe outdoor experience for your cat should be your priority. A harness or a leash is the best way to talk your cat out for a walk outdoors if you don’t have a backyard.

4. Do a full health check-up

Treating any underlying health condition in your cat with a few blood tests. Hyperactivity in cats is also a sign of some physical or mental illness. Aged cats suffer from hyperthyroidism which is their primary cause of unusual, hyperactivity.

 An overactive thyroid can increase energy levels in cats. If your cat doesn’t sleep much and experiences sudden bursts of energy and over-eating, consult with a vet immediately.

Proper medication and a change in diet can make a huge difference.

5. Encourage mentally stimulating toys

If there’s not enough mental stimulation for your cat, they may “lash out” with off-the-wall behavior. A good way to keep your cat mentally stimulated is by pursuing fun and exciting games.

You can teach your cat new tricks using treats. Adopt a new pet for your cat to play and bond with. Make sure you play with your cat daily. You can buy a tall cat tree for your cat to climb on. Empty cardboard boxes, tunnels, paper bags, etc. Your cat will love these as hiding spots for a chasing game.

Once a cat understands certain games and tricks, make them slightly more difficult. Never underestimate how clever a feline is. They have hunting instincts that can get them through the stickiest of situations.

All these tips are enough to keep your cat happy, satisfied, and calm. Proper mental stimulation with the help of games, toys, and outdoor walks can even extend your cat’s lifespan.  Keeping the bad effects of old age at bay.

Final Thoughts

Buying a scratchpad, cat tree, and other exciting toys is a great way to learn how to calm a hyper cat. And if you feel that things are getting out of control, take your cat to a vet for professional consultation.

Cats are interactive and playful pets. They need a proper outlet for all the pent-up energy for at least 10-15 minutes each day. This also applies to kittens who are perhaps jumpier and more playful than adult cats.

Helping your cat stay active, mentally calm, and healthy is essential. Cats need proper mental stimulation and exercise daily. And if you start to notice any sudden, unusual behavior in your cat, make sure you recognize any changes around the house as well. Household conflicts, construction work, or a new pet can cause your cat to feel uncomfortable which causes hyperactivity.

How to Stop a Dog from Being Aggressive Towards Cats

There is no doubt that dogs are one of the most wonderful pets as far as human beings are concerned. However, we need to bear a few things in mind while keeping dogs along with cats. There are many homes where both dogs and cats are reared as pets. However, there is a common problem that could be bugging many pet owners who have both dogs and cats in their homes. Dogs and cats have been known to be at loggerheads for thousands of years. It also is a fact that dogs are bigger in build and stronger and therefore they tend to be aggressive and even bullying in their behavior towards cats.

Hence, in this article we will try and answer the question as to how to stop a dog from being aggressive towards cats. The next few tips could also come in handy for all those who also are finding it tough to handle their pet dogs while taking them out for a stroll. It is likely that dogs may often exhibit aggressive behavior towards other cats and this could often become a big problem. However, we firmly believe that the few tips that are being mentioned below could be helpful in stopping dogs from being aggressive towards pet cats or even cats of strangers.

Identify the Symptoms

Before offering treatment to the patients, it is important to identify the symptoms. This is what all doctors believe. The same thing also applies to dogs that tend to be aggressive towards cats. Dogs do not suddenly start becoming aggressive towards cats. They exhibit some common symptoms. There could be many such symptoms and we are happening to list down a few of them for the benefit of our readers.

Dogs often stop eating when he or she sees a cat near its vicinity.

Dogs refuse to share sleep territory with pet cats

They often get between the master and the cat.

They often barge through the door whenever they come across a cat.

Excessive barking when a cat is around is another symptom to look out for.

Growling and staring continuously at the cat.

Chasing cats and other moving objects could also be a symptom worth being careful about.

First steps to defuse the situation

The first step is to find out ways and means to defuse the situation. You should not allow the initial symptoms to develop into a full-fledged fight between the dog and the cat. Look for the first signs of a dog that may be aggressive towards a pet cat. Instead of trying to handle the task on your own, it would always be better to contact a professional as soon as possible.

They are equipped with the right skill and experience to find out the reasons for the dominant behavior of the dogs and take remedial action accordingly. Look for confirmation from a professional because this will allow you, as a pet owner, to start training a dog that is overly aggressive towards cats.

Some ways to treat aggressive behaviours towards dogs

It is the duty of the pet owners to take complete responsibility for their pets. This becomes even more critical when pet dogs start behaving aggressively with cats and perhaps even with other members of the family. If you find that your dog does not stop chasing your pet cat, the following few steps could be useful in finding a solution to the problem.

Introduce them to one another

Quite a few times dogs tend to become aggressive towards their cat because the pet owners did not give them both the right introduction. You can bring peace between these two endemically hostile pets. Dogs have strong smell sense and they find a new scent from a cat, they often consider it to be an intruder. This is all the more true when you bring a new pet cat home. Proper introduction helps the dog to get some time to adjust to the new reality.

Create Tall Barriers

Initially, it would be a good idea to create a tall barrier between the dogs and cats. Ensure that the barrier is tall enough so that the cats do not climb over it easily. Gates can be used for separating the two pets. It will allow the dog to see the cat and also get used to its scent. This may reduce the chance of fighting between the two. Let this happen for a few days so that their animosity levels come down.

Identify the cause of aggression

Changing the behavior pattern of pet cats and dogs is much easier said than done. The best way to reduce friction between these two pets is to find out the reason for aggression. In most cases, the dogs could be at fault but at times, cats are also known to be quite aggressive when they see dogs. While some dogs prefer a defensive approach, dominant dogs are known to be aggressive to pet cats if they are sharing the same home and the same territories.

Both of them believe that their territories could be under threat. Some dogs could be simply jealous because they are not getting the right attention from their owners. Identify those classic symptoms that often leads to aggression. Be aware of the simple fact that dogs and cats have never been friends. Having said this, dogs certainly will have a reason for being aggressive in their behavior towards cats.

Be alert for those warning signs

At times cats and dogs could be seen playing together. However, as a pet owner, never take their bonhomie for granted, especially when you have a dominant dog. Be alert and all eyes and ears. Look for those classic signs and symptoms. We have listed down the most important ones above.

This will prevent the dog from suddenly pouncing on the cat and hurting the feline. There have been instances where small kittens have been brutally killed by dominant dogs. Being aware of the classic symptoms and signs could prevent a disaster from happening.

Conclusion

Apart from the above tips, also understand the importance of training your dog properly. It would be better to start the training when the dog arrives in your home as a puppy. Training young puppies is always a much easier job compared to training adult dogs. Also train your pet cat and teach them a few lessons. This will help him or her to understand that the dog is not her enemy but a friend.

Why Your Cat Needs the HappyFriendy Happy Box

Cats are simple creatures, but sometimes, they can be pretty hard to please. In addition to requiring sleep, cats also need plenty of exercise, love, and even some snacks. With the HappyFriendy Happy Box, your cat will have all they need and more. 

Cat Toys

With the Happyfriendy™ cat subscription box , your cat will have a monthly dose of new toys. New toys can be beneficial for your cat, not only for playtime and exercise, but cats also need a good amount of mental stimulation. Having new toys will make sure that your cat isn’t bored with the same toys they’ve been playing with for a while.

The Happy Box will provide your kitty with basic toys that, while they are simple, can still stimulate your cat’s natural instinct to hunt. Just throwing one down the hall or across the room will excite your kitty. Other toys may be more interactive or have catnip, which will entertain your cat even more. 

Cat Treats

Whether you like to spoil your cat or use treats as a reward while training, the Happy Box will supply you and your cat with healthy and tasty treats. The benefit of getting a new type of treat every month is that your kitty can try out new treats and really find the ones that they like. You’ll know what kind of treats your cat likes best, so you won’t waste money on treats your cat won’t eat. 

The Box

Cats love boxes, and the Happy Box was designed with your cat in mind. Boxes not only provide your cat a place to explore (and trust us, they’ll be happy to do so), but they can offer your cat a warm space for your cat to nap. Cats love boxes because they offer all around protection, meaning that they don’t have to worry about their cat siblings giving them a surprise attack while they try to doze. In addition, the cardboard material holds heat, which means it’s also a warm spot to take a nap. 

Why You Deserve the Happy Box

Imagine spoiling your kitty every month without trying to guess what to get next. With the Happy Box, you won’t have to worry about compiling the best items and treats to make your cat happy. Both you and your cat will love the HappyFriendy Happy Box.

Can Pets Sneeze like a Human?

It is so fascinating to observe how many things we, as humans, have in common with animals and how many habits or reflexes we share with them. For example, seahorses once a day intertwine their tails for a couple of minutes as a sign of loyalty and love, meaning they can cuddle too! But what about more prosaic similarities?

Pets’ owners well know that cats and dogs sneeze, but are there any reasons to be worried about it? When your dog is coughing or sneezing, forced exhalation occurs to remove the irritant from the respiratory tract. In both humans and dogs, it appears in the same way. Does it mean you should immediately take your dog to a veterinarian? Not always. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why animals sneeze and when you should interact.

Why Dogs Sneeze

Dogs begin to sneeze because an irritant gets into the nasal area – an object that the body is trying to get rid of by a rapid exhalation through the nose. Sneezing is a protective, unconditional reflex that removes dust, mucus, or irritating substances from the nasal cavity.

If your dog sneezes after looking for a toy under the bed or running through the bushes chasing the cat, in this situation sneezing should be considered as a protective mechanism, and it is a normal response. Hairsprays, deodorants, air fresheners, and other household chemicals can also irritate the mucous membranes of your pet’s nasal cavity.

You may also be familiar with the “dog reverse sneezing” term, which is mostly caused by irritation or inflammation of the nasal cavities (for example, dust or pollen) and is a lot like regular sneezing, but accompanied with frequent inhalations instead of exhalation. Provoking factors of reverse sneezing include:

  • strong odors and dust, as well as cigarette smoke and fumes of household chemicals;
  • allergic substances;
  • nervous excitement;
  • eating and drinking in a rush;
  • tight collar and too short leash;
  • sudden change in temperature (for example, after walking your dog in winter).

You can recognize reverse sneezing when the dog’s head is thrown back (and not forward and down, as in usual sneezing), and the dog’s mouth is open, and as it swallows, it gasps and chokes. Usually, everything happens noisily and lasts up to 60 seconds, and when reverse sneeze passes, breathing is restored.

There are dog breeds with a predisposition to respiratory problems, including reverse sneezing. Those are animals with the brachycephalic structure of the head, such as pugs, bulldogs, Pekingese, and other breeds with a characteristic skull shape.

When to See a Vet

But sneezing can also be a consequence of infectious or cold disease, as well as a body’s malfunction. How will you know that this time sneezing is a symptom of some disease? It is easy to distinguish, as, with the disease, sneezing is more frequent and usually accompanied by nasal discharge.

Sneezing can be a symptom of the following cases:

  • allergies (other symptoms are rash, flaking, and redness of the skin, itching of the body, lacrimation, nausea, and loss of appetite);
  • viral infections, adenovirus infection, and canine distemper (dog plague);
  • severe diseases of the teeth due to bacterial infection (therefore, it is essential not to ignore the plaque, especially in dog breeds that are susceptible to teeth problems);
  • a foreign body (discharge may be unilateral), neoplasms, fungal infections in the nasal cavity;
  • nasal mites infestation.

Sometimes, helminths living in the animal’s nasopharynx can also provoke frequent sneezing (for example, Ascaris). In this situation, signs will be frequent sneezing, coughing, mucus from the sinuses, shortness of breath, heavy breathing, a slight increase in temperature, nausea, and vomiting (or the urge to vomit).

Of course, with the disease, sneezing will not be the only symptom, and you can often observe changes in the pet’s overall state: apathy, fever, refusal of food, etc. Nevertheless, sneezing can be the first signal for the pet’s owner that the dog will be sick or is already ill. So it is crucial not just to observe the development of the clinical situation but to take action – it is best to contact a veterinary clinic for examination, diagnosis, and, possibly, treatment.

Conclusion

We have in common with animals so much more than we could think of. Sneezing is one of those things, and you may be surprised, but even elephants and marine iguanas can sneeze! When it comes to pets, for them sneezing means the same as for humans, meaning it can be an immediate reaction (exhalation) to some irritation, as well as a symptom of a disease. Thus, it is important to observe not only your dog sneezing but also take into consideration its overall health.

Dog reverse sneezing is another thing to pay attention to, as it shows up as the reverse process – your dog starts frequently inhaling what may look like it is running out of air to breathe. There is no reason to be worried about it in most cases, but it can also be one of the symptoms of allergies or a signal of other diseases like sinonasal tumors or infection.

Before taking your dog to the veterinarian after a single sneeze, it is essential to notice some more changes in its behavior. Most frequently, pet sneezes get rid of the smallest irritating objects like dust or household chemicals’ fumes.

Don’t make these six silly pet owners’ mistakes

“A man’s perfect companion never has fewer than four feet!” is a universal truth which no one can deny. Having a canine companion can be one of the best life experiences if the owner knows how to be a good pet parent in the first place. You have to understand that the pet isn’t just a recreational object you brought home for “fun” and that being responsible while looking after your furr-iend is of utmost importance. 

While getting home a beloved pet, you should take care of a few basic affairs in order to give your newest family member a happy and fulfilling life. It is your responsibility to get the best of everything the pet requires. Pets are considered amongst the most precious possessions, so getting insurance for your pet which covers the medical care it needs should seem as important as getting your diamond necklace insured. You can easily check pet insurance cost on the internet and choose the deal which suits you best. While a lot of new pet owners end up making few mistakes while raising their pets due to lack of knowledge, it is understandable that the mistakes were unintentional. Here’s a list of silly mistakes you should avoid if you’re about to get home a pawed member: 

  1. Visiting the vet only when your pet is having an ailment – You need to understand that your dog or cat cannot talk, hence it will not be able to tell you if it feels under the weather one fine morning. Just like us, pets too need regular check-ups. Only visiting the vet when your pet is ill can cause a lot of health related troubles. Always remember, prevention is better than cure. 
  1. Feeding the pet more than it can digest – We understand that you love your pet, but that doesn’t mean you’ll cause trouble to its health! A lot of time, pet owners don’t know where to draw the line and over-feed the pet out of “love”. A responsible pet owner should not be tempted by the idea of treats every now and then, just like the pet. Maintaining a healthy diet is important because you don’t want your pet to suffer from obesity and other health issues. 
  1. Neglecting vaccination and ligation – Vaccines play the key role in ensuring a long pet life. Pet owners often underestimate the requirement of vaccination and that only ends up reducing the lifespan of the pet. They are prone to various bacteria, viruses, etc and vaccines help prevent them from contracting such disease causing germs. Similarly, neutering the pet is also important because it reduces the chance of genital cancer. If you don’t want to become a pet grandparent, get your pawed buddy neutered ASAP! 
  1. Not going out on walks – It isn’t only you who needs to be in good shape, your pet needs it too. Not taking out your pet for regular walks only end up causing a lot of health problems. The pet becomes fat, the hind-legs get affected, and it gradually becomes difficult for the pet to even move around in the house if it doesn’t go on regular walks. Further, it also leads to mood swings and bad temper because staying indoor all day long can make the pet feel claustrophobic.
  1. Not having a set of rules – Who doesn’t love a well-behaved pet? Someone who won’t shout at guests, someone who would know where to pee, someone who would not go around tearing all the slippers around the house! Having a set of rules and training/disciplining your dog in a home environment is as easy as it sounds. No, you won’t need a professional trainer for this. Since domestic pets are fast learners, they can easily pick up the set of rules if you are patient enough to train them by luring them with small treats. It will not only help you earn a good reputation as a pet parent, your house will also seem welcoming and friendly to visitors. 
  1. Neglecting pet-proof housing – A household preparing for a new pet should also know how to make the pet feel safe in it. Forgetting to pet-proof the house before getting a tailed member can wreak havoc. Many first time pet owners forget to take precautionary steps like keeping small, easily swallowed objects out of reach, having a proper lock in the front door, removing objects like shoe-polish, detergents, etc. from easily accessible places. Neglecting the process of pet-proofing can lead to poisoning, choking, etc. and even destruction of household items. 

These are few of the most common mistakes made by pet owners, causing a lot of health issues to the pet and you definitely don’t want to commit one. In the end, a pet owner should always remember what will be best for the pet and give them a happy and wholesome life.

5 Ways To Take Great Selfies With Your Pets

Every year, the average person takes hundreds of selfies on their phones. They are taken with friends, with family members and even with pets. With the USA being home to tens of millions of pets, there is no shortage of pet selfies being taken and shared throughout the internet.

There are even online sites that can help you turn these pet selfies into great pieces of art. For example, Instapainting might be a great choice to consider. Of course, before any of that, you need to capture the photo. Unfortunately, getting them to sit still for a photo is never simple, so getting the perfect photo is easier said than done.

Thankfully, there are some ways to ensure they turn out good. With that in mind, here are 5 great ways to take awesome selfies with your pets.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Treats

When in doubt, using treats to get a pet to do what you want is a tried and true method. While it shouldn’t be solely relied on (as proper training is often preferred), it can work in a pinch, especially when you want to get some selfies. Simply showing your pet that you have a treat should get them to come right to you and do what you want.

In addition to treats, you could also consider using toys. For example, if you (or someone else) holds up a toy behind the camera, you can often better control the gaze of your pet. This can be a double-edged sword, however, as they also might want to go and play instead of sit and take pictures. Either way, it is worth a try if you are struggling to keep the focus of your pet.

Do it When They Are Calm or Tired

We have all been around calm pets, and we have all been around ones that are going a little wild. There is a good chance that 10 out of 10 times you will choose trying to take a picture with the calm one. A pet that is all over the place and full of energy will be next to impossible to get a good selfie with.

If your pet is hardly ever calm or relaxed, consider tiring it out first. A nice little bit of playing or a long walk is often the perfect recipe for a tired dog. When the dog is tired out, it will generally be more willing to work with you on taking a few pictures. Of course, be sure to do it quickly to ensure they can get back to resting after all of the playing they just did.

Make Sure They Are Comfortable

When taking pictures with your pet, it will be far easier to do it when they are comfortable. If you try and force them into a certain pose or position, it could make them less than excited and could agitate them. In addition to being simply a good thing to do, if your pet is comfortable, they will likely put up less resistance to getting their picture taken.

If you do what the pet does, instead of forcing it to do what you do, it becomes much easier to get the best photo possible. If they are laying down, go take a picture with them there rather than picking them up and trying to get one of your holding them. Make it as easy as possible for them, and you will often be rewarded with a fantastic selfie.

Be Patient

Patience is important when trying to get a good photo. It takes time to focus the camera and to make sure both you and the pet are in the frame. Also, ensuring your pet is looking at the camera and looking presentable can be a journey in and of itself. Patience isn’t always easy, but it is a key when it comes to getting that perfect shot.

The attention span of your dog or cat is likely much less than you, so they will be unable to focus as long as you will. Because of this, you need to be patient. Don’t get upset or frustrated at your pet simply because they want to play. Of course, if your pet simply isn’t in the mood and isn’t willing to work with you even after trying for some time, it’s best to simply try again in a few hours or another day.

Consider Using Natural Light

One of the most important things of taking a great selfie, whether with your pet or not, is the lighting. You want lighting that is flattering, but still bright enough to illuminate the subjects of the photo. While artificial light has gotten pretty good, nothing beats natural light. It is soft, not distracting and can often make you look much better.

In addition to making sure the photo looks good, using natural light is better for your pet. If you use a ton of artificial lighting, or a bright and jarring flash, it can hurt your pet’s eyes, as well as scare or startle them.

In conclusion, the tips included in this blog post will help make sure that the selfies you take with your pet are high-quality and come out just the way you want them.

How To Become A Veterinarian

Becoming a vet requires a passion for animals and the determination to see it through. The process of becoming a vet is quite simple as long as you take some research to know how to go about it effortlessly.

In this article, we’ve compiled a simple guide on how you can become a vet.

  1. Research

Just as you would research any project that you wish to begin, you must research what it entails to become a vet. Researching a field of interest entails knowing the processes and passing expectations required.

By researching, you can also read widely about the different career paths that a vet can venture into. For example, food animal vets tackle illnesses in animals, while companion animal vets work to keep animals healthy in a private hospital setting. Food safety and inspection vets research to find animal diseases and prevention between humans and animals. Equine vets specialize in the medical treatment of horses, while research vets theoretically work to find new diagnoses and surgical techniques that can be operated on animals.

Researching these different paths will guide you regarding the steps you’ll need to become a vet.

  1. Obtain The Necessary Education

The path to education is neither uniform nor set. There are different educational paths you can take to becoming a vet such as veterinary continuing education. Such education provides the relevant courses that you need to pass and the practical assessments required.

For you to become a qualified vet, you need to pass the necessary academic courses. To help you out, find study methods that’ll increase your chances of passing, such as test and exam revision papers, extra classes enrolment, tutoring platforms, forming study groups with your colleagues, downloading study apps, and being attentive in your courses.

  1. Seek Additional Certifications

One can never get to a point where one believes that they learned all there is about a certain field. Fortunately, with information at our digital fingertips, you can find e-learning certifications to complement the necessary and additional education. By enrolling in these, you become more knowledgeable about animal care.

E-learning has the convenience of being able to choose courses that’ll fit into your schedule, and you can also learn at your own pace. Thus, you can choose courses that focus on the type of vet you wish to become.

  1. Interact With A Vet

Interacting with professionals can give you first-hand information about the field. While you obtain your education, you can discuss what you learn with a practicing vet. This way, you get to understand how the theory you’ve learned applies in real life.

You can write questions that you may ask and schedule a session with a vet. A professional can also provide information that isn’t found in the theoretic aspect of becoming a vet. For one, you can take into consideration the positive guidance that you may receive from a professional and include this in your journey to becoming a vet.

  1. Shadow A Vet

Having interacted with a vet, you can request a day that you can shadow them. Shadowing entails spending some time observing how the vet handles their animal patients.

This is important since practical observation can complement the theory and insight that you received, giving you an all-around take of what becoming a vet entails.

  1. Study Animals around You

If you keep animals in your home or have people who do, you can observe them and put what you’ve learned to practice. For example, if an animal is not feeling well, you can try diagnosing and measure what a professional vet would’ve diagnosed.

The advantage of having information at the tips of your fingers is that even if you don’t have animals around you to study, you can study them online. You simply have to search on a particular animal or breed, discover the various illnesses that they experience, the symptoms, and ways to diagnose these. You can also take animal quizzes that indicate the different types of animal behavior and its corresponding explanation.

  1. Enroll In Public Speaking Classes

Public speaking classes may help you flourish your career as a vet. The field entails having to interact with pet owners in an efficient, professional, and friendly manner. You also have to communicate with the animals in question since you have to calm them down and make them feel at ease as you tend to them.

Public speaking classes will help you sharpen skills of relaying appropriate messages in set tones and linguistic gesture. If you display characteristics of someone lacking in confidence when interacting with your clients, they may doubt your expertise regardless of how qualified and skilled you may be.

  1. Study a Business and Management Course

If you decide to take the path of becoming a private vet, you may need to understand how to run your business. You may be a skilled and qualified vet, but this doesn’t automatically mean you have the expertise to successfully run a business. You have to develop an interest in figuring out how a vet system efficiently works for quality services.

  1. Volunteer At An Animal Shelter

Volunteering at an animal shelter may give you the exposure you need to become comfortable with different types of animals. Spending an ample amount of time with animals may help you practice communicating with them and identifying a health issue.

Also, you should try to volunteer at different shelters rather than stick to a shelter that houses animals you’re already familiar with. For example, if you’re comfortable and knowledgeable about dogs, you should spend time with cats or reptiles. This is because, as a vet, you won’t only interact with animals that you’re used to and prefer. Thus, this pre-exposure may help your confidence when dealing with clients and their different pets.

Conclusion

Becoming a vet requires creativity and dedication. Other than obtaining the education and specifications required, you can read widely about the field, register for further certification with online-based courses, interact and shadow vets, as well as study animals around you.

Taking public speaking courses may also help you in terms of communicating with clients, and business management courses will be handy if you decide to start your own clinic.