Category: Blog

4 Things You Must Know About Your Cat Behavior

Knowing your cat is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a cat owner. This ensures that you know when your cat is sick. Once their behavior changes, this could indicate a sign of illness and you should take them to the vet. Cats won’t often let their owners know when they are hurt or feeling ill, so you must take note of their behaviors to ensure that you absolutely know when the vet needs to be called. Here are four things you should know about your cat:

  1. Eating Habits: If you have a feeding schedule for your cat, you should know what their reaction is when you feed them. Do they eat the whole bowl right away or does it take an hour or two? If you leave food out for them all day, you will want to know how often you have to fill it back up again. If you notice that there is a change in your cat’s appetite, it’s a sign that you should take your cat to the vet.
  2. Their Feces: Knowing what your cat’s feces looks like is not pleasant, but it’s important. If your cat is an outdoor cat, you should still check their feces whenever you can so you have an idea as to when their normal size, shape, and color changes. This is important because any changes can indicate a lack of proper nutrition or some other kind of internal illness that is causing it. If your cat uses a litter box, you should also be wary if they start urinating outside of it. This could indicate a urinary tract infection, which should be treated right away.
  3. Grooming Habits: Cats spend a good amount of their time grooming themselves. If they suddenly stop grooming and it becomes noticeable due to greasy and unkept fur, it’s a sign that your cat could be suffering from arthritis or other injury. You should also take note if your cat is grooming too much in a certain area, this could indicate fleas, ticks, or skin irritation.
  4. ​Sociability: Most cats are highly sociable with both their owners and other pets in the house. If you notice that your cat is withdrawn or not to be seen during a larger part of the day, you should take them to the vet. If you have a female cat, this could be a sign of pregnancy.

By knowing these four things about your cat, you can be sure that you definitely know when a trip to the vet is a must. Find out more here.

Three Tips When You Have To Leave A New Puppy Home Alone All Day

Owning a dog and working full-time isn’t mutually exclusive. The key is being able to get through the puppy stage in a way that sets both you and your new best friend up for a successful and happy life together. The following are a few tips to get your started.

Tip #1: Get a crate and a pen.

You may have heard that crate training is the key to a well-adjusted and happy dog that doesn’t make messes indoors. While this is true, puppies don’t come crate trained. Crate training works because most dogs refuse to mess in their dens.

The crate, which usually contains bedding and sometimes food, becomes the den. The problem is a puppy doesn’t have the bladder capacity to last all day in a crate, so messes will occur in the confined space. The answer is to pen off an area with a portable pet pen.

Place the open crate in one end of the pen and put your pup’s bedding and food bowls inside. Line the rest of the pen with puppy pads and provide a few toys. Your puppy will go “outside” to relieve themselves on the pads. You can remove the pads and pen when you get home and then practice regular crate and potty training.

Tip #2: Manage loneliness when you are away.

It’s wonderful if you have a job where you can come home for a little while at lunch, but this may not be enough time for a puppy. It’s a good idea to invest in a dog walker during these early days with your pup. Not only will a quality dog walker play with and exercise your puppy, they will also help your dog learn to socialize with other people and dogs. Choose a skilled dog walker that can help you enforce crate training and potty training skills. They should also have the same obedience training philosophy so your dog won’t get mixed signals.

Tip #3: Consider a monitoring system.

A simple monitoring system that has a camera that delivers real time images to your phone or computer can help you keep tabs on your new dog throughout the day. Since your puppy is in a pen, a single camera is probably enough. The camera can help you track your pup’s progress and recognize any issues. For example, is your dog spilling their water which causes them distress for several hours until the walker gets there? If so, you may need to invest in a weighted bowl. If your puppy becomes very distressed, you can even call your dog walker to see if they can get an extra visit in.

Nipping Your Puppy’s Bad Biting Habit In The Bud

Puppies are notorious for biting and nipping while exploring new toys and objects around the home. This is a natural way for them to investigate objects they come into contact with and it is their harmless way of playing. Puppies will also bite their owner’s hands when playing. This can quickly become an annoyance and may hurt as the puppy grows and gains strength. It is best to stop a puppy from this behavior at a very young age to avoid injury. If you have just acquired a puppy of your own, follow these steps to stop them from nipping people when playing.

Give A Reaction After Each Nip

Puppies need to be taught to control how much force they use when they are playing with a person. This process is called bite inhibition. If you display a reaction that will capture the attention of the puppy after it bites too hard at your skin, it will soon associate your pain with the reaction. This reaction should be something that startles the puppy such as a shrill whistle or a loud cry. This should stop the puppy from biting momentarily. Do this every time the puppy bites too rough for your liking.

Ignore The Puppy After A Bite

In conjunction with the startling method, ignore the puppy if it does not stop biting when you yelp or whistle. Get up from the play area and walk away from the puppy for several seconds. Go back and play with it again and continue using the startling and ignoring method with each nip you receive. In time, your puppy will realize you will walk away and stop playing with them if they bite you too hard. Their mouthing will become less forceful as a result. You can continue altering the amount of force they are allowed to use on your hand until they are barely touching your skin at all.

Ease Toward Other Play Toys

When you puppy finally learns to stop biting and nipping your hands with force, you will want to stop them from doing the same with your feet or legs.This can be done by giving them a chew toy or bone when they start trying to put their mouth on one of your limbs. If they try nipping at your feet as you walk, freeze in place and hand them a chew toy or bone that you keep in your pocket for this occasion. Pet them with one of your hands as they bite on the chew toy or bone so they get used to physical contact without the need to bite.

Start the same process when your puppy puts its mouth on your hand during playtime. Make sure your puppy gets plenty of exercise outdoors with a variety of toys they can bite or chew. Your goal will be to stop it from biting at your skin altogether. For further assistance, contact local puppy care professionals, such as those from Spring Hill Veterinary Clinic.

Does Your Furry Friend Need A Doggy Dentist?

Dogs have dental problems just like humans. In fact, serious dental issues in dogs might even require the services of a dental specialist rather than those of your regular vet. But when is a visit to a pet dental specialist warranted? This article looks at four conditions that could prompt a visit to a doggy dentist.

CUPS  

Chronic Ulcerative Paradental Stomatitis, commonly known as CUPS, is a serious problem that produces lesions in your dog’s mouth. The lesions are typically found around the animal’s canine teeth and premolars. The condition is painful and causes noticeable bad breath. Treatment involves removing plaque in the dog’s gum tissue and on their teeth. Antibiotics and corticosteroids may also be necessary to bring the condition under control. The dental specialist might recommend a diet change as well.

Malocclusion  

If your dog has an abnormal bite, or malocclusion, the condition might be relatively harmless or it might require treatment. If the malocclusion is causing pain or interferes with your pet’s ability to properly chew his or her food, then treatment is indicated. The type of treatment will vary depending on your pet’s specific circumstances. Oral surgery may be necessary in some cases. In others, the use of a dental appliance will correct the problem.

Endodontic Disease 

This condition occurs when the pulp of your dog’s tooth, which is the area inside the tooth that holds nerves and blood vessels, becomes damaged. The most common cause of an endodontic disease is a tooth fracture. The fracture allows bacteria to enter the pulp of the tooth and cause an infection. A course of antibiotics can relieve your pet’s discomfort, but does not resolve the underlying problem. In the most serious cases, extracting the tooth might be necessary. In other instances, the pet dentist can save the tooth by performing a root canal.

Oral Tumors 

An oral tumor will either be benign or malignant. A biopsy will be needed to confirm the diagnosis. Typically, removal of the tumor is necessary. Other treatments, such as radiation, may also be required. If the tumor is malignant, then the best chance for recovery occurs when the tumor is treated in its early stages.

Dogs that have serious oral or dental problems will benefit from the skills of a veterinarian who specializes in dental treatment. If you suspect that your dog has one of these conditions, consult with your regular vet immediately to determine if your pet needs a doggy dentist. For more information, contact a professional like those at Kenmore Veterinary Hospital.

What To Do About Your Dog’s Vomiting

Though vomiting in dogs could be a sign of a serious health problem, the most common reason why dogs vomit is because they simply ate something that did not settle well. Depending on the nature of the vomiting, you can take the steps to prevent any more incidents.

Identifying Normal Vomiting

Vomiting is normal for dogs to some extent. Many dogs will eat much too quickly, and they then vomit the food back up. Your dog will then eat the regurgitated food again, at a much slower speed this time. If you want to reduce the incidence of this, you may want to get an elevated dog bowl. Dogs are less likely to eat quickly from elevated bowls because they usually claim food by placing it in front of them and in-between their front paws.

Keeping Your Dog Hydrated

After your dog vomits, you should make sure it has something to drink because vomiting can lead to a dog becoming dehydrated. Also, if your dog already has water, empty out the bowl and get a fresh bowl of water in case something in the original bowl caused the vomiting.

Keeping Food From your Dog

Your dog might have consumed rancid food, a poisonous plant or a piece of trash. Do not give your dog any food and move it to a place where it cannot find something to eat. The digestive system will need time to rest. Educate yourself about the foods that dogs are not allowed to eat, such as grapes and chocolate. Your dog might be getting into something in your house that keeps making it sick. Also, if your dog is exposed to stress in the environment, such as when there are fireworks, this may trigger your dog to vomit.

Home Vomiting Treatments

There are some treatments for vomiting, though you will want to consult with a vet to find the best treatment. For example, a professional vet, like those at Negola’s Ark, might recommend that you give your dog Pepto Bismal with an oral syringe.

When to Go to the Vet

While occasional vomiting is not something serious, persistent vomiting is often a sign that your dog has a serious medical problem. Because there are so many potential underlying causes of vomiting, you will need assistance from a vet. Your dog might suffer from:

  • Dietary imbalances
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Liver or kidney disease

If your dog frequently vomits partially digested food for more than a 12-hour period, this can indicate that your dog is not properly emptying out the digestive tract. Seek medical care.

What To Do For Fearful Or Aggressive Cats

In some circles cats have a bad reputation for being either aloof or hostile when the vast majority of felines are affectionate. Indeed sudden fear or aggression is typically a sign that something is wrong with the cat. There can be an underlying medical problem or a social situation that causes the change in behavior. Watch for the signs in your cat, and modify the behavior accordingly.

Causes of Aggression and Fear

Petting-induced and play aggression are the types of behaviors you have probably seen all along if your cat is prone to them. However, sudden-onset aggression is usually a response to fear. If you have introduced a new animal or human into the household, this is a likely trigger. However, cats are very territorial animals, so the sight of another animal outside is often enough to trigger aggression as well. In addition to the above, fear in cats can be caused by a loud noise or by a stressful event.

Behavior Modification

If your cat suddenly starts acting aggressive or fearful and displays problematic behavior, a trip to a local veterinarian, such as Cats Only Veterinary Hospital, is the first step. There may be an underlying medical problem.

If your cat is prone to petting-induced aggression, it’s a matter of paying attention to her warning signals. When she stops purring or starts twitching her tail, stop petting her. For play aggression, never allow your hands to be toys. If she attacks playfully, redirect her to an appropriate toy.

Once you’ve ruled out medical conditions, look to changing your cat’s behavior. If your cats suddenly start fighting, separate them temporarily. Hopefully once the agitated cat calms down, she’ll stop attacking her companion.

Once the cats are calmed down, introduce them back to each other slowly, and make the experience pleasant. Feed them, play with them and pet them both when they first get back together. Both cats will learn to associate pleasant feelings with the presence of the other cat. This procedure also works with the introduction of a new pet, or even a new human.

Medication

If your cat is prone to sudden aggression or anxiety, it may be helpful to have medication on hand. Talk to your veterinarian about getting a prescription for benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Xanax or Librium. These medications work by interfering with the activation of fear networks in the brain, according to the ASPCA. Such intervention can be very helpful for cats who seem to be seriously struggling with their reaction to external stimuli. For maximum effectiveness, though, the medication should be combined with behavior modification.

Some cats are more prone to anxiety than others and look to their pet parents for guidance. Keep your cat healthy and secure, and she’ll reward you with her natural affectionate behavior.

5 Ways To Prepare Yourself And Your Cat For Cat Boarding

If you plan on boarding your cat while you go away on vacation, there are many things that you will need to do to prepare for this. Being well prepared will guarantee less stress for yourself, which also means less stress for your cat, which is important when they are being taken away from the comfort of their own home for this time. Here are five ways to prepare for cat boarding:

  1. Reserve a Spot Early: It is important that you find a boarding facility you are happy with as soon as possible so that you can reserve a spot early. This is especially important if you are going on vacation during the holidays or during popular vacation times, such as summer break. Plus, by reserving a spot early, you guarantee that you are going to be placing your cat in the hands of a boarding facility that you trust. If you wait too long, you can be left with very limited boarding options.
  2. Know the Requirements: Every boarding facility is going to have different rules and requirements. Be sure that you ask about these ahead of time, such as when you make your reservation. There is a chance that you will have to get your cat some special immunizations, for example. By preparing for this, you save yourself some hassle when you go to drop your cat off.
  3. Verify Drop-Off and Pick-Up Times:  It is important to know the drop-off and pick-up times of the cat boarding facility to ensure that you schedule all your travel reservations around this. This is also going to help you avoid fees either for picking up late or dropping off too early.
  4. Ask About Your Cat’s Special Needs: If your cat requires certain medications or you want to bring a special toy along with them while they are staying in the boarding facility, be sure that you ask about this. If your cat has special medications, you want to be sure that the facility has trained staff that is able to administer these medications. You also want to be sure that you are actually allowed to bring in outside items if you want to bring something from home to stay with your cat.
  5. Ask About Grooming: Be sure that you sign up for grooming, which may cost extra on top of the boarding fee. However, this is well worth it in the end since you will come home to a clean and happy cat.

Items That Will Help Your Child Care For Their New Pet Frog

If your kid is fascinated by frogs and you recently purchased him or her one for an upcoming birthday, the following additions to the gift will help your child provide the care that his or her new pet needs. On the big day, your kid will have everything they need to help the frog live a healthy and happy life.

Gift Certificate For Pet Supplies

Amphibians eat daily, so having a steady supply of food on hand will be greatly appreciated by both your child and their new pet. Purchase a gift certificate that is redeemable at a pet store or retail center that stocks some food items that frogs enjoy eating. Your child can also purchase some decorations for the frog so that their pet’s habitat is visually appealing. Your child might also decide to buy a new bowl or food dish with the gift certificate.

Book Of Frog Facts

Instead of spending money on new books, create your own book of frog facts to give to your child on their birthday. View several websites that contain information about the frog variety that you have purchased. Print pages of information that you feel will be helpful to your child. Place each page in a clear protector.

Line the pages up and use a hole puncher to create holes along one side of them that will match up with the metal rings inside of a binder. Insert the pages inside of the binder. Place a blank label on the front of the binder and create a title for the book. Your kid will appreciate being able to easily find information about their pet when they want to.

Portable Humidifier For Pets

Frogs are found in humid climates and will benefit by having a mist sprayed on them throughout the day so that their skin doesn’t dry out. Although frogs enjoy soaking in a container of water, this will not be practical when your child’s pet is tired or eating. A humidifier can be adjusted to spray a specific amount of water at regular intervals.

Pet humidifiers are portable and easy to set up. Read about the amount of water that will benefit the pet that you have bought for your child. Fill the dispenser with water, plug in the humidifier, and it will provide your child’s pet with a healthy, humid environment.

Wrap each additional item up in paper before you give your child their new pet frog. Your kid will be anxious to set up the frog in its habitat and will appreciate the additional items that you have given him or her to assist with caring for his or her pet. If you haven’t yet bought a frog, check out a site that offers amphibians for sale.