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Category: Pet tip of the Week

Have You Ever Wondered Why Your Dog Stares?

Dogs stare for a variety of reasons. I was always taught by my folks to never stare at a dog as that is a sign of aggression, and will lead a dog to pursue you, and not in a good way. While this is partially true, especially for a dog that is not a pet, your dog is usually staring at you for the following reasons:

  • They think they’re going to get a “treat.” 
  • They might want to play fetch.
  • Or, go for a car ride.
  • They might be yearning for affection; i.e., petting, belly rub, etc.

While sometimes it can be intimidating when your dog stares, if you’re a loving pet owner who dotes on their pet, then your pet staring is obviously a good thing. On the other hand, it is noted that your dog staring is directly mutual and done out of respect; not a form of aggression or anger.

Does your dog stare at you? If so, does it bother or please you? Let us know!

Pet Care Mistakes to Avoid, Continued…

There are many ways that we have mishaps while caring for our pets, including habits and routines that we fall into as owners and our pets only learn from our behavior towards them. Start today to make new habits and to encourage yourself and pet to make positive choices that emulate reasoning and meaning, not irresponsibility and errors. The following tips and suggestions are continued from our original post on Tuesday (January 21).

  • Not exercising your pet– Just like you, your pet needs moderate exercise to stay active and healthy. Also, pets who are not exercised can demonstrate aggressive behavior. 
  • Not keeping your pet mentally active– A bored pet can be a troublesome pet. They can get into things they aren’t supposed to because they are bored. If you’re training your pet, use treats as a training mechanism that triggers responses from their brain. Play ball with your dog and if you have a cat, play mouse and string (toy mouse dangling from a string) with them.
  • Leaving a pet alone for too long– A pet who’s home alone too often becomes neglected, can demonstrate separation anxiety and start to produce destructive behaviors; i.e., chewing on shoes, soiling carpet, and shredding bedsheets, pillows, etc. Hire a pet-sitter to walk your pet or visit with he or she if you’re gone longer than eight hours. Crate-train your pet if you’re away for several hours during the day, but train he or she gradually, then eventually increase crate time.
  • Not having a pet-friendly home– Many folks fall into this routine and I have been there myself. Not having a dog bed can have your pet on the couch (where you might not want them), and not having a litter box for your cat, can have them soiling your well-taken care of carpet. Always have a litter box that’s easily accessible for your pet, and have a doggy bed or crate for your pet within a close distance, and let that area alone be your pet’s time of peace and relaxation.
  • Punishing your pet– We’re not talking about the occasional stern voice when reprimanding your pet while caught in the act of doing something they’re not supposed to do, but physically harming them is animal abuse and considered neglectful. Be stern with them while telling them No, but don’t go beyond that.

Did you find these tips helpful? Have any more tips to share with our readers? Leave them in a comment below!


Pet Care Mistakes Owners Make and How to Avoid Them

Pets are great companions and become such an inherent part of our lives. They give love unconditionally to their “pack” and often want to please their owners, and we enjoy rewarding them. These are all positive and good attributes, except for when they get out of hand or lack in other areas and we become slightly irresponsible pet owners. The following are ten ways we make mistakes with pets:

  • Buying a pet spontaneously– One should never buy a pet at the spur of the moment. Sometimes, and rarely it works out for the best, but often times it does not. Why? Pets can be expensive, and factors need to be made into account; i.e, food and vet costs,  material necessities, chew toys, treats, training materials, and other item you may need or want to invest in. 
  • No obedience training– Every pet needs obedience training, regardless of any age because bad habits form at an early age, and it’s definitely more difficult to teach a “dog new tricks.”
  • Being lax with rules– If you don’t allow your pet to eat from the table, yet your spouse or child feeds them from the table,  or sleeping on another members bed when your pet isn’t allowed to. Your pet doesn’t understand that they are not allowed to do something when not everyone in the household is consistent and firm with the rules.
  • Treats are good, but only in moderation– We often love to spoil our pets with treats, sometimes with overzealous amount of treats, and then our pets want treats all the time, or don’t want to eat their food. They are a good training tool, but training gets lost when they get them at any given time.
  • Not socializing your pet– Sadly, I’ve seen this too many times, and it’s not the dog’s fault. Dogs have to be socialized at a young age because when they are not socialized around other dogs or people, they are aggressive. Usually, their aggressiveness is out of fear.

To Be Continued…



Have Fun Walking Your Pet

Do you enjoy walking your pet? You do?! Well good, because they enjoy it too. Not only is it great exercise for your pet, keeps them active, and provides them fresh air, it’s just as good for you. However, walking your pet can be difficult if your pet pulls on a leash, or the leash is harsh on your hands. There is also traffic you have to look out for, as well as deciding when and where to walk your dog. We have provided several tips on how, what, when and where to walk your pet:


  • Leather leashes are the easiest.
  • Nylon leashes hold up well in cold and warm weather, but are not the best for the hands.
  • Chain leashes are hard on the hands, but are very good while walking your pet, especially those who like to tug or bite.
  • Flexi-leads are best while walking your pets in the park, but not in a high-traffic area.

Pulling on the Leash:

  • If you have a pet that’s pretty active while on the leash, attempt to walk he or she in the middle of the day, if possible.
  • Attempt to walk when other animals or wildlife are likely not to be out. 
  • A head halter is useful for those pets excited on the leash.

Keep Out of Grass and Flower Beds:

  • Spring plants like daffodils and tulips cause stomach problems, so keep the leash short while letting your pooch sniff the pretty flowers.
  • Keep your pets off lawns during warmer months, because of insecticides, and other toxic lawn products.

To Be Continued…


House Hazards and Pets During the Holiday Season

During the holidays, there are always extra knick-knacks around, including objects such as collectibles made of ceramics, mistletoe, Christmas tree (fake or real), wreaths, and much more. We tend to become abundantly festive this time of year, and become in the holiday spirit mood. However, there are items that pets become endangered around. Check them out and remember to keep your pets safe:

  • Aromatic candles/potpourri– Candles can be knocked over, starting a fire, and birds can die from inhaling scents from candles and/or potpourri.
  • Chocolate and nuts– Always keep chocolate away from pets and should never be left out (even if it’s for Santa), and inhaling nuts can cause paralysis and other detriment’s to your pet’s body.
  • Holiday plants– Poinsettia’s are not likely to be harmful to your pet, but lilies can be deadly, along with mistletoe (keep both very far away from your pet).
  • Baubles and/or ribbon– Cats and kittens love to play with string, such as ribbon, tinsel, and any other material thing that’s dangling and piques their curiosity. However, this type of curiosity can really be deadly, so please keep all loose items on the tree away from their reach.
  • Tree needles– Pick out a pet-friendly tee, such as a white pine or Douglas fir, because their needles won’t stick in your pet’s paws, and tree needles that fall off of trees can be easily ingested and very harmful, especially to puppies.


Read these Tips For Traveling with Pets During the Holidays

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to try and get things scheduled and planned as fast and easiest as possible. If you plan to include your pet(s) in your travels, it’s best to acknowledge their comfort and safety for their and your benefit. In my family, we travel with our pets, and during these cold months, we have to leave the windows down on our truck for our German Shepherd, Lucy, who’s loving the cold weather while looking at the pretty scenery and watching the traffic drive by too. We, on the other hand, are bundled up in several layers of clothing because we love our girl!

While you may not have or want to travel this way, there are several helpful tips and suggestions  to consider while traveling with your pet, whether it be by plane or car. Read on:

Traveling with Dogs:

  • Secure your dog in the backseat with a seat-belt, crate or open area, and DO NOT let them roam about, as that is a hazard to passengers and driver. 
  • Keep blankets or dog beds on the floor to keep pets comfortable.
  • You can even have a dog gate built specifically for your dog to defer them from running freely throughout the vehicle.

Traveling with Cats:

  • Cats HATE traveling, and I speak from experience. They’re more comfortable in their usual home, in their same comfortable spot on the couch, lounge area, etc. 
  • If your cat likes to travel, or your pet has to travel with you during this holiday season, keep your cat in an animal carrier, secured with a seat-belt that’s placed around the carrier’s front.

By plane:

  • Make sure the plane accommodates pets.
  • Check to see what the weight limits are.
  • Bring less food and water because you can get more and what you need at your destination.


  • Let your cat or dog ride shotgun. It’s dangerous and can cause harm to your pet.
  • Let them stick their head out of the window; this is common among many pet owners and see this happen often, and have been guilty of this myself, but am more conscious now.
  • Sticking their head out the window can be very harmful because of flying debris, and other hazards.

Are you planning to travel with your pets this year, or have you traveled with your pets every year, and you have some helpful tips to share with our readers. Let us know!


Helpful Tips to Keep Your Pets Warm During Cold, Winter Months

Did you know that when you’re cold, your pet is more than likely cold as well? They crave warmth just like we do during cold, frigid months of possible ice, wintery and blustery air, and other uncomfortable cold elements. There are also machine and object dangers that can be hazardous to your pet if kept outside, or happen to escape from their warmth surroundings. Follow these simple tips to keep your pets warm and safe during the cold winter:

  • Always keep your pets indoors– If taken outside for exercise, always supervise your pet. Smaller or older dogs would probably benefit from a small sweater.
  • If your dog prefers or wants to spend time outside– Make sure they are protected by adequate shelter with enough shavings, straw and that there is enough room to sit and lie down, and should be faced away from the wind. There should also be plastic or waterproof burlap covering the doorway.
  • During winter months, there are a lot of outdoor cats (stray or feral), and other wildlife– When you start your engine in your car in the morning, tap the hood before you do so, because many cats crawl up on tires to seek warmth, so make sure they are safe from being injured.
  • Provide plenty of water– Always maintain fresh water for your pet, and keep your pet hydrated as keeping warm causes your pets to lose energy. Use plastic, as your pet’s tongue can stick to metal during very cold weather.
  • Protect paws from salt– Salt and chemicals used to melt snow irritate pet’s paws, so wipe them clean before they lick them, to keep from further irritation around the mouth, etc.
  • Avoid antifreeze– Antifreeze is a major culprit in the winter months because it’s a necessity for cars, yet deadly for our pets. It is a poison with a sweet taste, so keep it and other cleaning supplies and chemicals out of reach or stored away not easily accessible.


Save Money with your Pets by Reducing Pet Care Myths Cost

Are you subjected to purchasing items you don’t need for your pet because you’ve heard certain stigmas attached to it that you think are true? Well, you’re not alone. We all do it, but many myths are just heresay, passed down from generation to generation, and often become distorted or “old wives tales” that bear no alliance of truth whatsoever. Recently, a local news station in Kansas City provided a brief summary of those pet care myths that are the most common to believe among pet owners. They are as follows:

  • Do you really need to purchase hypoallergenic shampoos and other pet products? These shampoos might reduce the amount of shedding (but nothing eliminates it), because all dogs and cats shed, although different breeds shed more than others.


  • Are baths not needed for pets? Baths are needed at least weekly to reduce shedding and help them smell better. Plus, it’s good for their hygiene, like it’s good for the owner too. 


  • Do you really need a specific pet shampoo? Yes, human shampoo is not good for your pet’s coat, as you will more than likely end up at your vet’s office asking them how to relieve your pet’s skin rash and dander. Pet shampoo is specifically made for their fur. Quite simple: human shampoo damages their fur. 


  • Can cats really clean their own teeth? No, because their teeth can rot down the road, and relieving rotting teeth can be much more expensive than providing proper dental care for your pet. 


Listen to your vet and their recommendations. They know what’s best for your pet in the long run, and can save you thousands of dollars, along with time.

Do you know of any other pet care myths that you’ve believed or know others have before? Share with our network so they can save additional time and money!


How Are Your 2013 Pet Resolutions Coming Along?

At the start of a new year, it’s always great to have resolutions for each year; have you accomplished yours for you and your pet? With the year coming to an end soon, and crisp weather happening upon us, have you included your pets through your year resolutions?  Since many people use losing weight and exercise as yearly resolutions, why not involve your pet. Most pets love to receive exercise as much as possible and need it just as much as we do. I know with my pets, they love the cold weather, although I don’t really care for it. They have much thicker coats than we imagine, so that sometimes cool and frigid air feels glorious to them. However, there are pets who dislike the cold weather as much as we do, especially little dogs who do not have as much coating as bigger dogs; i.e., Chihuahua, Toy Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, etc.


Linda Wilson Fuoco of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests several tips on how pets can brace colder weather:


  •  Dog or coat sweater helps keep them warm. They can be used for big or tiny dogs.


  •  Their feet can get cold too! Did you know that snow can clump and form ice balls between their toes and feet of their pads, which results in walking painful for them. There’s a cure for that too, with Musher’s Secret Wax, which also provides a solution for sidewalk salt and de-icers, which burn and sting your furry pal’s paws.


Linda also suggests what vets and other responsible pet owners express often, and I believe that we can’t suggest it enough. Regular monthly and yearly exams are vital and crucial to the well-being of your pet. Don’t overlook their health needs because often times they won’t show any symptoms, as many pets, especially cats, are very good at hiding their ailments. She also notes that it was suggested to her by an animal clinic that it is great to have “yearly or twice yearly blood and urine testing. Blood and urine tests can spot diseases or problems before there are any symptoms.” In addition to the importance of blood and urine work, these tests can “uncover a wide range of problems including anemia, infection or organ disease, as well as bacteria, blood and evidence of infection.”


I would have never thought to have my pets tested for blood or urine work in the past, until my cat of almost 15 years took a quick turn for the worse, and came to find out he more than likely had a severe case of heartworms. Although my cat was vaccinated and checked regularly for heartworms, they are much more difficult to detect in cats, as they show no symptoms of distress from heartworms, and the attack of heartworms happen very quickly.

Vow to make the end of 2013 a year of health, vitality and happiness for you and your pet, as you countdown to 2014!


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Medications Your Pet Should Never Consume

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the number one reason owner’s call the ASPCA Poison Control Center is due to pets consuming their owner’s meds. The reason for this is that owners give their pets medications without first seeking counsel. They also may drop pills or accidentally leave them in an accessible location.

The most common pills that are consumed by pets are:

  •  Ibuprofen causes stomach ulcers and kidney failure.
  • Tramadol (known as Ultram) is not always hazardous, but has to be injected with strict, recommended dose. Over-dosage induces vomiting, disorientation and tremors, among several others.
  • Alprazolam (also known as Xanax) can cause extreme lethargy or agitation.
  • Adderal causes hyperactivity, tremors and seizures.
  • Zolpidem (also known as Ambien) in cats, makes them drunk-like and sleepy, along with agitation and increased heart rate.
  • Clonazepam (also known as Klonopin) causes low blood pressure, fatigue, and collapsing in pets.
  • Acetaminophen causes liver or red blood cell damage.
  • Naproxen causes ulcers or kidney failure.
  • Duloxetine (also known as Cymbalta) causes agitation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

Want to know the best way to keep your pet from ever having the possibility to consume these hazardous pills?

Keep your medications in an airtight cabinet, desk, etc., or keep them with you. If, for any reason, your pet happens to consume any medications, call your veterinarian as soon as possible.