Category: Health and Safety

Sleep and Your Pet – How Much Is Just Right?

In case you didn’t notice, sleep plays a big role in your pets life! It may seem like your pet just sleeps all day. Do you really know how much your pet needs though? Or how much they are actually getting? It can be hard to tell when they doze in lots of short increments, taking “cat naps” throughout the day.

Just like with humans, sleep is an important time for pets to bodies to replenish themselves. It’s important they get plenty of undisturbed rest. Let’s find out how much and how to ensure it happens!

 

How much sleep does your pet need?

DOGS
Your average pooch will need about twelve to fourteen hours of sleep. Thats about four more hours than us! This amount will vary based on your dogs size, breed, and age too. New born pups will sleep A LOT more than a rambunctious puppy of a couple months old. They can clock in at about twenty hours in one day! Likewise, older dogs will tend to sleep more too. They tire more easily and need more time to replenish their bodies and energy levels.

Fun Fact – Wild dogs and wolves will sleep more than their domesticated counterparts. They expend more energy in the pursuit of food and need more time to rest – especially if food is scarce.

CATS
Cats can actually teach dogs a thing or two about some shut-eye. Your average cat will clock in about twelve to sixteen hours in one day! Now it’s just a shame they can’t get most of that in while we’re trying to sleep too… Just like puppies, new born kittens will spend around twenty hours sleeping.

Many people believe that cats are nocturnal, which isn’t entirely true. They are actually most active at dawn and dusk – when most prey animals are active too. Though, they are more prone to doze away more daytime hours than those during the night.

Make their sleep better

Both cats and dogs do better when they have private places, out the way of your daily life, to catch some zzzz’s. Even if your pet “sleeps” with you at night, make sure they have a place to go during the day too. Cats will also rest better after a feast, so if you’re wanting a quiet night, try feeding your cat at night. This will equate to a “dusk feeding” for them. Both pets will also benefit from lots of options for activity, exercise and playtime. Don’t skimp on it! Consider a dog walker or Pet Nanny if you can’t meet their needs.

For even more amazing helpful tips and fun information about your pets sleep habits check out Tuck!

 

9 Ways Pets Help Raise Good, Healthy Kids

As kids get older, they find themselves having friends who own pets. From dogs and cats to birds and hamsters, its inevitable they will be asking their parents if they, too, can become pet owners. With pet ownership being a big responsibility, some parents hesitate on giving their blessing. However, as scientists have done research on the benefits of pet ownership as it pertains to children, you might find yourself more eager than ever to drive to the local pet store or animal shelter. There are numerous ways pets help children!

If you have found that your children have had more than their share of ailments, owning a pet could change all that. Based on research published in the Journal of Pediatrics, kids who had pets in their home while they were infants were found to have 31 percent fewer respiratory infections and 44 percent fewer ear infections. When looking for a reason to explain this, scientists determined that being pets help expose them to dirt, dander, and pollen made the children’s immune systems much stronger at an early age, making it a bit easier to clean up after Fido or Fluffy.

And speaking of cleaning up after pets, kids who own pets have also been found to grow up to become very responsible adults. According to researchers, owning pets that they are responsible for feeding, grooming, playing with, and cleaning up after on a daily basis shows children the importance of responsibility, organizational skills, and maintaining a regular daily schedule.

But if you’re more interested in having a child who’s a great student, you’ll be happy to know pets help contribute to this as well. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, kids who own pets are much more self-confident, have higher self-esteem, and are better able to make friends and perform better in school, particularly in literacy. By having pets who willingly sit and listen to them read while not criticizing them for an occasional mistake, children’s confidence levels go sky high.

If you need even more reasons why its great for kids to own pets, pay a visit to www.catological.com/9-ways-pets-help-raise-kids/

9 Ways Pets Help Raise Good, Healthy Kids

Vaccine Boosters – What Your Pet Needs and When

You may think the time for vaccines has passed once your pet is all grown up. Not so! If you want to keep your pet in peak health it’s important to get regular check-ups and a booster vaccine from time to time. How do you keep this straight though? What does your pet need and when? These questions become even more complex if you are taking on a new pet that is already an adult.

Most pets that come from shelters will have had a vaccine or two. It’s super important when there are so many animals in such a close environment as a shelter. Before you adopt, be sure to ask about your potential new pets medical history. Their known vaccine history should be included. Get a copy and be sure to take it to vet for the first check up. This will help them know what your pet needs and what it doesn’t.

Some vaccines may not be important for pet, depending on their lifestyle. Shots for things like the dog flue and kennel cough are super important for dogs that come into regular contact with other dogs. If your pets don’t frequent dog parks or socialize on a large scale, these may be less important. A vaccine for Lyme’s disease can be super important for dogs that spend time outside. If you have a delicate dog or a house cat though, chances of them contracting it are pretty slim (it’ comes from tick bites).

Save these two great infographics that detail your dog or cats vaccination needs from the start of their life on. It includes the boosters they will need to get after so many years and annually. Be sure to ask your vet about the need for seasonal vaccines too – such as the dog flu!

 

Pet Vaccine Schedules

 

 

 

 

Bunny Rabbits – Resist the Temptation!

Easter arrives this coming Sunday and with it all those things that signal spring is truly here to stay. From daffodils and blooming trees and shrubs to pastel colors and sun bathing. Something else that’s also prominent in the springtime are baby bunny rabbits! These little balls of cuddly fur with perfect little ears make their appearance every spring – especially around Easter.

While in some places the admiration of baby bunnies, and chicks, and ducks are part of the Easter festivities, they are also encountered in the wild too. Do you or your children really know how to handle bunny rabbits though? They are A LOT more complex than they seem. We wanted to hit on a couple high points as you encounter these lovely creatures this season.

Bunny Rabbits 101

  • Don’t take one home as a pet on a whim. We can’t stress this enough. They require so much consideration and specialized care and can live up to ten years or more. If you plan on getting a bunny rabbit as a pet, it is so important you do your research. They are not a cat or dog and have very different needs.
  • Don’t let your children pick them up without adult training and supervision. If a rabbit has been handled enough that you can pick it up, you must do so in a specific way. Many bunny rabbit deaths occur from improper handling that result in broken backs.
  • NEVER pick a rabbit up by it’s ears.
  • If you find a nest in the wild, leave it alone. The babies have not been abandoned. Rabbit mothers spend most of their time away from the nest to keep from attracting predators. Leave the babies be or the mother may reject them.
  • If you find a lost baby bunny rabbit outside the nest, or your cat or dog bring one in, it’s important that you know how hard it can be for them to thrive. If it still has the little white mark on its head, it is likely still far too young to survive without its mother. If it doesn’t have the star, call your local vet to ask if there is a wild animal rehabilitation center or similar organization you can hand it over to.

This season, we really can’t stress enough how important it is that wild bunnies be left to be wild bunnies and tame bunnies are well thought out and planned for before they come home with you!

photo credit: -Porsupah- Between worlds via photopin (license)

Backyard Safety with Your Pet – The 101

How Pet Safe is Your Backyard?

Pennsylvania has always been a pet loving state, with statistics indicating that over half a million of us seek the companionship of a dog, cat, or other furry, spiny, or ‘slimy but friendly’ creature in our homes. Around 400,000 households have at least one dog vs 244,000 households with at least one kitty. Statistics also show that we love our yards; even city dwelling millennials dream of having a large home in the suburbs with a backyard lawn on which to have barbecues, socialize with friends, and play fetch with Fido.

If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful, spacious backyard, are you sure it is safe for your dog or cat? If you already know how to puppy proof your home, why not ensure the yard is just as safe?

Picking the Right Plants

Many pet owners are surprised to find out that common flowers such as azaleas, rhododendrons, many types of lily or daffodils, are toxic to cats and dogs, so much so that ingestion of just a small amount can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, and sometimes, even death. If you have bought a new house and are not sure about which plants are in the yard, help from a trusted gardener will enable you to weed out potential culprits.

Fencing Fido In

Dogs have a natural digging instinct and some might try to escape to the Great Outdoors if they are bored or alone in the yard or backyard. To stop this from happening make sure your fence is sturdy and that it reaches all the way down; flexible dogs are often able to worm their way out of even the smallest gap.

Bury chicken wire deep into the soil beneath the fence or better yet, consider building a stone or paved path between the fence and the grass, so your dog has no soil to dig up when escape is on his mind.

Another unsuspected danger for dogs in the yard is a gate that is easy to open. A self-closing system will ensure your pooch can’t just slide the latch to the side and escape. If you prefer a manual latch, make sure it is too difficult for your dog to manoeuvre.

If your dog is a digger, build him a little play area in your yard by digging up soil and filling it with sand. Place his favorite toys under the sand and watch him go!

Also, ensure that your dog isn’t digging because of boredom. Make sure he is physically and mentally challenged through exercise and Kong style toys and puzzles, which will keep him interested in more useful pursuits. Walk him regularly, even if he is a yard dog, to ensure mental stimulation and exploration! Hire a pet nanny if you can’t find time regularly! 

Ticks, Fleas, Insects (and Snakes!)

Dogs and cats love to roll around in the grass, which means they can be bitten by insects or infested by ticks and fleas. The first priority is to keep the grass shortly mowed and clear of clutter.

Make sure your pets are protected with a pet-friendly flea and tick repellent that is free of harsh toxins such as pyrethoids, which have sadly caused too many pet deaths. Go with what your vet recommends and talk to them about natural possibilities.

Many dog and cat owners use diluted essential oils such as eucalyptus or peppermint to repel parasites, but be very careful, since some essential oils can cause harm. For instance, geranium and citrus oils can be dangerous for  cats, while some oils (such as cedar, citronella or pennyroyal) should never be used on pregnant animals.

The one oil cats seem to be okay with is neem oil, which can be added to shampoo (one teaspoon of oil per cup of pet shampoo is usually okay, according to passhealthfoods.com).

For dogs, typical solutions contain around five drops of essential oils like geranium, lemon, or lavender, with one teaspoon of carrier oil. When rubbing the oils onto your pets, avoid the eyes, nose, mouth, genitals and anal area.

Neem juice and citrus essential oils are also excellent to spray on plants to repel insects, but if you have cats, avoid anything but neem in most cases.

Beware of the Sun

Dogs can suffer from heatstroke if let out in the sun too long. Unless your backyard has tall trees that can provide plenty of shade, build your dog a wooden dog house where he can hide from the burning UV rays during peak hours of sun.

Make sure there is a fresh bowl of water out and place his house far away from his ‘potty spot’.

For most Americans, a pet is as much a member of the family as humans are. Make sure their favorite place to lounge contains no toxins that can harm their health, and keep them inside to avoid the risk of loss or injury. Finally, adapt your yard to the seasons, making sure Fido or Kitty always have a cool spot to chill out in.

Photo by The Poodle Gang on Unsplash

Flood Tips To Protect Your Pet This Spring

While the saying is “April showers bring May flowers,” sometimes those rains get here a little sooner than expected. Melting snow and ice from winter mixed with heavy spring rains make this time of year a flood risk for most. Whether its spring rains or you live in an area effected by hurricane season, you need a flood plan for you and your pet. Every time this kind of disaster strikes shelters are filled with abandoned or lost pets. Don’t let this happen to you and your pet – have an action plan!

Flood Tips For You & Your Pet

  • Evacuation Plans – Have an evacuation plan. That means both knowing how to get out and where you are going. Ensure that the “where” is pet friendly, as are your travel accommodations. This is the best way to ensure you and your pet’s safety. Expect evacuation to move slowly and be chaotic. Don’t wait till the last minute to get to safety.
  • Watch Weather Reports – Many areas will be in a flash flood watch for several days before a flood. This usually means that the ground is already saturated and heavy rains are predicted. If you stay aware of the weather reports and know how water builds around your home, you should have a good radar about when you need to take action.
  • Have An Emergency Pet Kit – Keep an emergency bag packed for your pet. This should include things like leashes, food, water, medicine, comfort items or treats, and anything else your specific pet may require. First aid kits are always a good idea too!
  • Ask Kennels About Emergency Plans – If you’re traveling out of town and have to board your pet be sure to ask about emergency plans. Good pet borders should have reasonable plans for protecting your pets in case of a natural disaster.
  • Tag Your Pet – If you and your pet do become separated speed up your reunion by making sure they have a collar with your contact information on it. Microchips are also a great idea in case they end up in a shelter.

The best plan is to have a plan and stay aware of your conditions!

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

New Puppy Diet Tips – Feeding Them Right!

 

 

Got A New Puppy? Learn All About Feeding Your New Pet! 

One of the most exciting times in life is when a new member joins the family, be it a human or a pet. Puppies have a special place in our hearts and can send our loving instincts into overdrive, so how to make sure your new puppy gets the nutrition that’s scientifically right for them?

Firstly, it’s important to remind ourselves that human food isn’t suitable for dogs, and may even be harmful – especially for puppies. So while there are some safe foods to share with your dog, try to resist those puppy dog eyes, and don’t be tempted to feed from the table as it will only encourage bad habits and can lead to health problems.

How often?

Guidelines say that just weaned puppies can safely have puppy food they can access throughout the day left out because they are unlikely to overeat at a young age. Just make sure that wet food is replaced before it can go off – dry food tends to be OK. And please don’t forget the water! Pups can dehydrate quickly in warm temperatures, so a clean source of water is as important as nutritious food. Alternatively, consider feeding your new pet four times a day, and switch to three times a day when they reach 4 months of age.

How much?

How much to feed your dog will depend on the breed and the weight they are likely to reach as an adult – females tend to be lighter than males. Overfeeding your dog can lead to dangerous complications, as can the wrong combination of food and supplements. Best to stick to a breed specific puppy food brand, and check out some expert guidelines on feeding your new puppy. If you can monitor their weight with a reliable set of scales, this will be enormously helpful at this stage.

Growing up fast

By the time your dog turns 6 to 12 months, you can feed them twice a day and some puppies will start to switch to adult dog food. Again – check their breed, as larger breeds take longer to reach their full adult size and you’ll still wish to control your pup’s calcium intake to avoid bone problems later on. As dogs grow, you’ll want to start training them and they’ll burn off much energy through walks and exercise, but bear in mind safe levels for feeding and ensure they get dog treats that are right for their breed and age.

Emotional eating isn’t good for humans or dogs

There are plenty of ways you can show your love and praise to your dog that don’t involve food treats, which may be unsuitable or lead to weight problems. Praising your new puppy with cuddles, petting, an enthusiastic voice or simply giving them your full attention is just as effective, if not more, than stuffing them with useless calories.

Keeping those simple rules in mind should give your dog the best start in life, and help you enjoy a long and healthy bond with your beloved pet.

Travel Safety With Your Pet – Top Tips!

With March comes Spring and after Spring comes summer! All this good news means you and your pets will be out and about shaking off some cabin fever. Travel safety is second nature for you. You always buckle your seat belt and check your mirrors. If you’re traveling with your pet it’s important you check for their travel safety too!A small, low speed collision can still send your light-weight pet from the front to the rear of your vehicle (or vice versa), causing serious injury.

Pet Travel Safety

Minimize and Secure –  Objects can become dangerous projectiles in an accident. While it may be tempting to just let stuff pile up in your vehicle, this is a safety hazard. Try to minimize what you keep in the front cargo area of your vehicle. Especially heavy or sharp objects that could be dangerous if thrown. If your vehicle has an open trunk area like most SUV’s use straps to secure luggage and other items.

Get a Car Seat or Travel Crate – Yup, they exist. Smaller pets do great in little pet care seats like this one. They are padded and attach to a body harness (be sure you use a body harness and don’t attach to their collar). This keeps them from being tossed around and increases travel safety by keeping them from becoming a distraction for the driver. Travel crates for large pets are also great, but be sure they are properly secured.

Pet Seat Belts – If you’ve got a well behaved pet, consider investing in a pet seat belt. These are secured using the same seat belt hookups already installed in your vehicle and fit around your pet like a body harness. They keep your pet secured in case of accidents or sudden braking and turns.

photo credit: Hanafan Car driver via photopin (license)

Dog Flu Season- What You Need To Know!

When we hear the flu season is upon us we stock up on hand sanitizer and vitamin C. Did you know that there is an equally dangerous strain of the flu that effects dogs and cats? Would you know how to detect it? Let us help you out with a little dog flu 101 to get you through the rest of this trying season!

Dog Flu 101

  • Get the shot – Even if you aren’t big on getting the flu shot for yourself, ask your vet about getting a flu shot for your pet!
  • Know the symptoms – Think your pet’s having an off day? Notice lethargy and sneezing? Check your pet’s temperature. If it’s high and pointing toward a fever call to discuss options with your vet.
  • Limit their exposure – Pet Nanny’s sure can come in handy during the dog flu season. We save you from having to board your pet and can help supplement dog park time with extra walks. Try to keep your pet around animals you know.
  • Quarantine – If you have multiple pets (this includes cats too!) and one starts to exhibit symptoms, try to keep them away from your other critters to keep it from spreading and increasing that vet bill!

Most importantly, don’t stress too much. Most likely your pet will be fine, and dog flu is not communicable to humans (and vice versa) so feel free to give them some extra love and make sure they get rest and you keep their temperature down. Once you know the steps for prevention, how to spot it, and what to do then you’ve already conquered most of the danger! Spring will be here before you know it!

photo credit: Anne Davis 773 via photopin (license)

Mental Health & Wellbeing of Pet Ownership!

The Benefits of Pets for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Our pets are often some of our best friends and very much a part of our families – in fact, 90% of owners think of their pets as family members! They offer us love and affection when we need it the most, so it’s perhaps no surprise that spending time with them can really benefit your mental health. With 1 in 4 people now experiencing mental health problems like anxiety and depression each and every year, pets can be a brilliant source of comfort and emotional support.

There are plenty of reasons why this is the case:

  • Pet owners, especially those with dogs, get on average far more exercise than those without pets. Going outside and getting exercise has been proven to elevate mental health!
  • Pets help you be more social! Whether it’s at training classes, during a trip to the vet’s or even just when walking your dog, pet-owners find they meet lots of people they already have something in common with.
  • Perhaps most importantly, pets are amazing companions and are always there when we need them. There’s nothing better than a much needed cuddle when you’re down!

If you’d like to learn more about the ways that pets can improve your mental health, take a look at this infographic created by the Animal Health Company

 

About the author Sasha Quinn is a content writer for Animal Health Company, a supplier of canine and equine health, hygiene and grooming products.

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