Tag: cat

Up-to-Date Food Recalls – Keeping Your Pet Safe

As pet parents, we all try our hardest to keep our fur babies safe and healthy! Sometimes that delicious food or those tasty treats aren’t so safe though… Most of us don’t have a real-time option for pet food recalls. This leaves us relying on social media or the news to find out and by then it could be too late!
Fret no more! Bookmark this page for your #1 resource for current pet food recalls courtesy of PawDiet.com.

Recalls By PawDiet.com

 What causes a food recalls?

Pet food recalls happen when the food company because aware that a batch that has left the factory may have become tainted. Sometimes they are alerted to potential issues internally, other times recalls don’t happen until the company is alerted by a concerned pet owner who has had an issue.

Sometimes these recalls occur due to contaminants – some that could be deadly. Other times because of plastic, metal, or other foreign bits could be contained in it. Sometimes it could be simply that the food was mislabeled.

 

Wedding Season: How To Include Your Pet!

June is one of the most popular months for weddings! Whether you have a wedding planned this month, or next year, we’ve got some great tips for your celebrations As a pet parent, it’s only natural to include your furry friend in the nuptials. Here are some fun and creative ways how to do so!

Your Pet + Your Wedding

  • Engagement and Wedding Photos – Be sure to find yourself a photographer that is comfortable working with pets. Pinterest is a great place for photo ideas! Find poses your pet will be comfortable with and practice them a few days before the shoot.
  • Decor – Use some pictures from that awesome photo shoot in your wedding decor! Pets look adorable on name cards for the tables at the reception, as cake toppers, or on invitations.
  • In the Ceremony – An honor reserved for only the best of behaved pets! They can walk down the aisle with you, stand to the side as a “best man” or “maid of honor”, be the ring bearer, or even accompany the flower girl! Just be sure they are well rehearsed before the wedding to avoid any mishaps!
  • Dress them up! –  Everyone else at the wedding will be looking their best, why not your pet too? Flower’s tucked around their collar, ankle cuffs, and even flower crowns! Check with your local groomer to see if they offer any extra services for making your pet shine!
  • Get a Pet Nanny – This might be the most important piece of advice for pets in a wedding. It’s your big day, but your future spouse deserves your full attention, as do your many guests! Be sure to have a trusted Pet Nanny looking out for your pet’s needs and keeping them out of trouble!

photo credit: IQRemix Shiba Inu all Dressed up via photopin (license)

Cookout Pet Safety For Your Summer Vacation

Most schools have let out for the year by now – that means summer is about to get into full swing! A favorite family and community pass time for ages have been the summer cookout. Lawn chairs, cool drinks, colorful dresses, and lots of grilling! Do you know how to keep your pet safe?

Cookout Pet Threats

  • Hot grills and fire pits – Most cats and dogs know better than to sniff around too closely to something that’s on fire, but sometimes the smell of those unattended burgers can be too much for them to bear! All reason goes out the window as they decide it’s worth the risk. Make sure someone is keeping a close eye on the food at all times!
  • Hazardous foods – While most foods found at a cookout might not kill your pet, they could cause some serious stomach upset, especially if they aren’t used to such foods. Onions and avocados are two bellyachers as well as all those preservatives and salt found in chips and hot dogs. Let guests know you’d rather they not feed your pet, or better yet, keep your pets sequestered elsewhere while the bulk of the food is going around!
  • Lawn games – Sometimes cookouts include horseshoes, volleyball, badminton, or other yard sport. An over anxious pet can easily get in the way of participants injuring both them and the guests. Chewing on abandoned lawn toys can pose a choking hazard too.
  • Candles and torches – Keep your pets away from tables with candles or tiki torches to prevent a fire hazard.
  • Strange people – Pets that aren’t used to large groups can become over excited or nervous during cookouts. Especially if there are loud noises like music or fireworks involved too. If your pet is familiar with most of the guests or easily excitable leave them at home or put them inside somewhere with some water, food, and toys of their own. DO NOT LEAVE THEM IN A CAR.

photo credit: frankieleon Dogs and Cats via photopin (license)

Pet Damage to Your Home? Learn How To Stop/Prevent It!

There is a reason why landlords require extra pet deposits! Pet damage to homes and their content is a given. It may be given but it doesn’t mean you should give up! There are lots of ways you can minimize or even prevent any real damage from occurring.  Pets are a responsibility. Part of that responsibility is properly training them for their environment and helping them channel their animal instincts in a non-destructive ways. Let’s take a look at what you can do to…

Prevent Pet Damage To Your Home

  • Know Your Pet – Are they a chewer? A digger? A pee’er? A scratcher? All the above? Identify what your pet’s damage of choice is. You also need to understand that many of these issues will be harder to control the younger your pet is. Be prepared for this and nip bad habits in the bud!
  • Stimulate Them – Pets get bored. Especially young ones. It’s important that you invest a lot of time in playing with them.  It’s also important that you give them toys and an environment they can entertain themselves in. If you don’t provide one, they’ll create one themselves. Chew toys, scratch posts, digging boxes – all these can help your pet burn their energy up and stay stimulated!
  • Do They Have Separation Anxiety? – Dog trainer Allison Cipolli says,”When the owner leaves, the dog goes through a stress-panic and to comfort themselves they will grab the owner’s belongings and chew, chew, chew.”To determine if that’s the problem, Cipolli recommends putting out a special treat that your dog rarely gets, then leaving the house for a few minutes before returning.”If the dog didn’t eat what they normally would while you there,” she said, “that’s usually a telltale sign that they’re going through separation anxiety.”So what can you do about pet damage caused by anxiety? Try leaving your pet for small, yet increasing, increments of time. This allows them to adjust to the seperation. She also suggests not greeting your pet when you get home if they overly excited and have behaved poorly in your absence. Doing so just rewards them for their poor behavoir. Instead ignore them until they have calmed down, then great them and give them attention. They will learn that calm and good behavoir gets the results they want.
  • The Pee Bandit – All young pets will have issues with this until you have had time to properly train them for a litter box, puppy pad, or to go outside. Until you’ve achieved this, limit their roaming and keep a close eye on them so you can catch them before the act and redirect them. If your pet is older and exhibiting this behavior it may be territorial and can often be corrected by getting them spayed/neutered.

Pet Insurance – What You Need To Know!

It’s no secret that vet bills can be costly. When deciding to get a pet many pet parents only consider the basics – spaying/neutering, shots, annual check-ups. What if your pet it injured though? Or if has special needs? Becomes elderly? All these examples can cause those vet bills to soar out of control and leave owners feeling like they are compromising the quality care a loved one needs. Enter pet insurance. We’ve dug up some of the quick facts about pet insurance to help you learn a little more about ensuring your pet’s health and keeping those medical bills at bay!

Pet Insurance 101

  • Why? – Everyone needs this. If you’re serious about your pet it’s your responsibility to be serious about their health. Even pet parent’s blessed with healthy pets run the risk of accidents (snake bite? accidental poisoning?) and the inevitability of aging. It’s the best way to protect yourself financially and make sure your pet always has the care they need!
  • How Does It Work? – Most Pet Insurance reimburses you. If you don’t feel like you can pay the upfront cost with savings, credit card, or other emergency funds, talk with your veterinarian first about payment plan options that will work with your insurance.
  • Cost? – Pet Insurance can cost anywhere from around $10/month up to $40/month. Just like with health insurance for yourself, be sure to look at how much is covered, deductibles, and if there are any add-on options you may need like dental. Check out this site for a nice comprehensive comparison between some of the leading pet insurance companies.

Be sure to ask your vet what their experiences are with insurance and if they think it would be a good idea for you and your pet!

photo credit: GregHounslow Puppy with Cast via photopin (license)

Gut Bacteria – Keeping Your Pet In Balance!

Do you know what “gut bacteria” is and how important of a role it plays in your pet’s health? Recent studies on the topic have pointed to the conclusion that maintaining a healthy level of good gut bacteria is a key factor for good overall health in both humans and their pets! So, what is gut bacteria and what does it do? What happens without it? What can you do to help your pet maintain the right levels? Let us teach you!

Bacteria? Good? Yup!

While stomach acid helps break down the foods you eat, thousands of tiny little microbes do the real work! These helpful little buggers neutralize toxins, kill off bad bacteria and yeasts that try to overgrow, and assist in vitamin absorption!

 “The gut is the largest immune organ in the body,” says Susan G. Wynn, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist in Atlanta

Low Population?

Several factors can affect your pet’s level of the good bacteria. The balance is frequently upset by consuming things they shouldn’t and/or picking up parasites from things they eat. Taking antibiotics can also upset the flora & fauna of their bellies. Be sure to talk to your vet about gut bacteria levels if your pet is prescribed an antibiotic. Some signs of an improper balance include vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation – though your pet can have moderately low levels for an extended period of time that will affect them in other ways like malnutrition, or low immunity.

Growing & Maintaining Your Pet’s Gut Bacteria

Maintaining your pet’s gut bacteria is the best option! You can do this by ensuring they aren’t eating a lot of human foods (especially processed ones!) and aren’t given the opportunity to consume things in the wild that may have parasites. If you’re laughing at the latter option there though, talk to your vet about temporarily introducing a probiotic specifically for your pet and breed. Probiotics can be given in the form of pills, powders, or a liquid that can be added to food. They work two ways – lowering the pH of the gut creating a healthier environment for good bacteria to flourish, and by replenishing said bacteria!
photo credit: ynaka29 Happy Laika on Bed at Taconic, Kimpton Hotel via photopin (license)

Warm Days Equal Hot Cars – Don’t Leave Pets Unattended!

Warmer temperatures are on the way and as the weather starts to warm up, many pet owners start to bring their pets out while running errands. Often times pet owners think they are doing the right thing by getting their pet out of the house, but it can be extremely harmful for the pets. Pet owners need to think twice before taking their pets on car rides, because of how dangerously hot the inside of a car gets. Within minutes, the heat inside the car can reach hazardous levels – even when it’s relatively cool outside. The following infographic displays information on keeping your pet safe during the warmer weather.

If your pet can’t come in with you on your errands, it’s best to leave them at home!

Pet Safety and Rising Temperatures created by FIGO Pet Insurance

Hairball Prevention – Because No One Wants To Clean Them Up!

Don’t be caught off-guard by an unwanted hairball being coughed up around your house this shedding season! Hairballs are likely just as unpleasant for your cat to hack up as they are for you to find. Hairball prevention day is just around the corner (April 24). Do you both a favor and prevent them before they form!

Hairball Prevention 101

  • Brush, Brush, and Brush – Cats tend to do a pretty good job of grooming themselves. We don’t think much about brushing them. While they’re shedding though a good daily brushing is a must! The more of that fur you remove with a brush, the less they ingest to hack up later! Once you’ve given them a good brushing, wipe them down with a moist cloth to pick up any extra loose fur! Heck, we’ve even used a lint roller before!
  • Medicines & Supplements – If you think your cat may already have a hairball brewing, pick up an over-the-counter “medicine” to help them pass it. These medicines are often mild laxatives and can help hair pass through your cat’s system normally. Adding extra fiber to your pet’s diet, through food or supplement, is a great preventative change you can make too!
  • Add some Olive Oil – Mix a small amount of olive oil in your cat’s food! The oil helps to lubricate their digestive system naturally. Consumption of it can also make their coat shiny! This is a short-term treatment though. Feed olive oil in moderation over short periods of time.

Hairball issues can be normal while shedding, but they shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If you cat continually suffers from issues associated with vomiting, see your vet. There may be a more serious issue at play. Left untreated and attended too hairballs can form intestinal blockages that are very dangerous for a kitty!

photo credit: vanaddie Cats, 2003 via photopin (license)

Tips Caring For A Pregnant Pet

Congratulations! It’s a boy and a girl and a boy and a girl and… If you’ve got a furry expectant mother on your hands you’re likely to see some different and new behavior. A cat’s gestation period is between 64-67 days, a dog’s is 58-68 days, and a rabbit’s is only 31 days!  You might be wondering what your role is as a standby expectant pet parent? Are there steps you can take to help your pregnant pet? You bet!

Pregnant Pet Tips

  • Lower the Litter Box – If your cat or rabbit is expecting kittens (yup, baby bunnies are called kittens too!) you might need to amend their litter box. High litter boxes can be difficult to get in and out of with a big belly! Consider getting a plastic litter box and cutting one side out of it so they can simply step in and step out. Be sure to place it on a large mat to help with clean-up!
  • Gotta Dog? More Frequent Walks – If you have a dog that you take outside to use the bathroom you may need to make these trips more frequently. Especially if you can’t adapt them to using puppy pads. To maximize your pet’s comfort, you may even need to let them out in the middle of the night too. Unless you want to clean up accidents in the morning!
  • Increased Nutrition – Just like humans, pregnant and nursing pets will have increased nutritional needs. Do your research and talk to your vet about how you may need to change your specific pets food and feeding times to meet their new needs.
  • Provide Nest Material and a Safe Spot – Ultimately your pet will choose where their babies will be born, but you can “offer suggestions” by ensuring they have a comfy out-of-the-way spot with all the things they need to nest.
  • Know Your Pets Behavior – The better you know your pet, the better you’ll be able to address their specific needs and tell when their behavior might be signaling the time is near!

Be sure to find good homes for your new critters and get them fixed as soon as you can! Puppy’s  & kittens can be fixed at about 8 weeks, and rabbits are usually around 6 months.
photo credit: Sukanto Debnath One day old Mongrel pups via photopin (license)

Earth Day 2017 – Green Pet Tips for Wallet & Planet!

Happy April! Stuck inside due to April showers? Take some time to evaluate you and your pets carbon footprint. April 22nd is Earth Day – a great reminder to keep the planet in good shape for all the fuzzy (and not so fuzzy…) critters, including you! So what steps can you take in preparation for Earth Day? Find out below!

 Green Pet Tips in Honor of Earth Day

  • Spay & Neuter – Every new critter your critter produces is four more little carbon footprints! Prevent accidental litters by making sure your pet is spayed or neutered. Got that taken care of? Consider donating to a local animal shelter or charity that offers free or discounted spay & neuter clinics for shelter animals.
  • Buy Reusable – Often times it can be a bigger upfront investment, but over time reusable pet items not only help the environment, but they save you money too! Here are some often overlooked reusable options for pets:
    Replace cat litter with a Cat Genie!
    Instead of use-once puppy pads, consider switching to a washable version
    Get a pet bed with a removable cover that can be washed, or replaced
  • DIY Toys – While the toy aisle may be tempting, don’t waste your money! Most pets are happy with bags, boxes, or other household items! This awesome list from Barkpost will help you recycle your old clothes and water bottles into eco-friendly toys your pets will love! Make up several and gift them to friends for Earth Day!

Avoid Clay-based Litters – Clay-based cat litters are created by strip mining sodium bentonite out of the ground. Its acquisition leaves long-term damage to the environment. Grist.com has a great list of reviews for some of the top non-clay based cat litters out there. Find one that suits your needs and try it out!

  • Avoid Vinyl, Phthalates, and BPA – These are all potentially toxic and/or petroleum based products. Most plastics (food/water bowls) and leashes are made out of these materials. Consider investing in metal dishes and buy collars and leashes made from cotton or hemp!
  • Be A Minimalist – Every year we’re informed about the booming pet industry – 62 billion dollars in 2016. Our pets are frequently a lot lower maintenance than we make them out to be. Instead of doling out money on things they don’t need – be a minimalist. Take that money and invest it in services, training, a savings account, or pet charity!

photopin (license)photo credit: N’Grid Snif Snif via

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