Tag: Cats

Lessons From a Pet – What Can Your Child Learn?

Every step of life has its lessons that can be learned. Kids who often pine after a pet frequently see them as an interactive toy. If a parent takes note, however, pets can be a great opportunity for teaching children many life lessons. Check out our list of lessons below to see how getting your child that pet they’re after can work in your favor!

Lessons From A Pet

  • Respect & Control – It’s instinct to grab and cuddle anything small and furry. Small and furry creatures have feelings and preferences too! Many will recoil, runaway, or even act hostile if approached while they’re not in the mood. Teach your child how recognizing and respecting an animal’s mood and needs can be rewarded by a lasting bond.
  • Self-esteem – Pets simply don’t have the ability to judge you like fellow humans. If your child is self-conscious, spending time with a pet can help them come out of their shell. Kids frequently spend time reading to their pets or telling them secrets and stories. All these things help build your child’s skills for larger interactions.

  • Outdoor Fun – These days it can be hard to get children away from a screen. Ipads, T.V’s, and phones keep kids distracted all the time. A pet is a great way to inspire them to put the electronics down. Pets cultivate outdoor time and physical activity.
  • Coping – This is one of life’s hardest lessons. Your child will suffer grief at some point and losing a pet is a way that you can coach them through the process and help them develop coping skills.
  • Responsibility – Feedings, waterings, baths, walks, cleaning… the list goes on! With a pet comes lots of chores! Helping your child understand the connection between getting something they want, and then taking care of it is an important lesson. A word of caution though: just because it’s your child’s responsibility doesn’t mean it’s not yours too. As the parent, it’s important that you make sure the animal is being cared for properly.

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Accessories For Your Pet – Awesome Things You Need!

Pet accessories  cost American’s over $60 billion dollars in 2016. While we may feel a little ashamed, we still can’t help but want to spoil our furry little friends! It seems like every day some new, clever item is being introduced to the market. It can be a bit overwhelming… Below we’ve compiled (yet another) list of some great new products that are sure to make life with your pet better! Got a “must-have” item of your own? Tell us about it and share your find with others!

Pet Accessories to Have Now

  • Quilted Pet Cover – Got a problem with your pet getting on the couch leaving fur and damaging it? This awesome microfiber quilted pet cover should put an end to battles over the couch!

  • Retractable Pet Safety Gate – Tired of pet gates that don’t go as far as you need them to? Or are too big for your space? This accessory offers a solution for spaces up to 55 inches wide. That’s 4 1/2 feet!
  • Emergency Pet Cards – Do you live alone with your pet? Have you ever worried what would happen if you found yourself in an emergency and couldn’t get home in time to care for them? Invest in one of the Pet Care Cards. They notify emergency personnel that you have a pet at home alone and provide a contact for them to notify on your behalf!

  • They Gulpy Water Dispenser – The size of a water bottle, this little dispenser eliminates the need for you to carry around a bottle and a water bowl for drink breaks. Ideal for walks, hikes, and road trips!
  • The Bike Leash – Want to take your dog along on your bike ride with you? Check out this awesome Bike Tow Leash! Approved by the American Pet Association, this leash keeps your pet safely right  along with you!

Paws – Amazing Facts About Your Pet’s Paws!

Paws, what do we know about them? Aside from most pets having four of them, not much! Did you know that your pets paws are a big part of how they experience the world? Check out these awesome facts and cultivate a broader appreciation for your pets feet!

Facts About Pet Paws

  • The size and shape of your dog’s paw shows the type of climate they were made for. Large, wide paws are often found on breeds that come from cold climates with lots of snow. These large feet act like snowshoes!  Furthermore, water breeds like Retrievers have webbed toes!
  • Did you know that cat claws grow from the bones in their foot, not a nailbed like the human fingernail? This is why declawing is bad for cats!
  • Both dogs and cats walk on their “toes” instead of their heels like humans do
  • Some agile dog breeds have “cat-like” feet, with high arches and a narrow width. This allows them a better range of quick movements. Dobermans and Greyhounds are two breeds with “cat feet”.
  • Cats have unique fingerprints too! Cat paws have unique grooves that leave unique prints. Did you know you can use your cat’s paw to unlock your iPhone?!

  • The thick foot pads which make up the “paw” are actually made of fatty tissue deposits. This acts as an insulator allowing your pet to run around on snow or warm surfaces that would burn our sensitive feet. Please note though – while pet paws are better insulated they can still get frost bitten or burnt from hot asphalt!
  • These thick foot pads also act as cushions and shock absorbers in cats, and help keep their steps quiet while hunting!
  • People often say dogs don’t have sweat glands. Not true! Dogs have sweat glands on their noses and paws!

 

photo credit: Ifor’s baked bean paws via photopin (license)
photo credit: Mika Feet via photopin (license)

Hot Car + Pet: Do You Know What To Do?

No matter how many reminders, news stories, memes and infographics warn about the dangers of leaving pets locked in cars on hot, or even mild days, people continue to do it. On a moderate day with temperatures in the 70’s, the heat can rise to 100-110 degrees in a parked car. In the summer when outdoor it’s in the 90’s, it takes just 10 minutes to hit 160+ inside a car.  As a concerned pet lover, what should you do if you see a pet left in a hot car?

Helping A Pet In A Hot Car

  • Assess the situation – Don’t assume the worst. Look around and see if you can locate the owner nearby. Observe the animal to see if they are in heat distress or not. Visual symptoms of heat distress are excessive panting and lethargy.
  • Wait a minute – Unless you perceive the pet to be in severe distress wait a few minutes to see if the owner returns. You may spend this time taking note of the vehicles make and model, and pulling up the local sheriffs number.
  • Get help – If the dog is in severe distress enter the business  you believe the owner to be in and give the manager the vehicles make, model and color and ask that they be paged. If the pet is in clear distress, call the local law enforcement and let them know the pets condition in the hot car.
  • Know your risk – Many people will break windows to rescue animals in hot cars. Know your states laws regarding pets left in hot vehicles. If it is legal, always look for a corroborating witness who agrees it is an emergency situation. There is a chance that you may face charges. Always contact the local law enforcement agency or humane society before you take action.
  • Know how to cool a pet down – Make water available, and if possible wet the animal, but not with ice water! You want to cool them slowly and not shock their system.

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Summer Fun List For Your Pet!

Need some endless summer fun tips for your pet? Now’s the time to take advantage of the great outdoors (or backyard!) and get in some awesome activities with your pet. Check out our awesome list to brighten up the “dog days of summer”, increase the bond with your pet – while staying cool at the same time!

Summer Fun List

  • Kiddie pools are so versatile and fun! Fill one with some water for your pet to splash around in! If they seem a little apprehensive about taking the plunge, toss some of their favorite water friendly treats in!
  • Make pet popsicles! Cheap popsicle trays can be a great way to treat your pet and cool them off! Mix bouillon with water and freeze it for your cats and dogs, or use something fruity for a pet rabbit!
  • Sprinkler and/or slip-n-slides anyone? We think these are self explanatory!
  • Do a search for local geocaches and take your pet out hiking!
  • Explore new dog parks with your pet! Find ones in your area and hit a new park each day to meet new people and explore new spaces!
  • Make a trip to one of these Cat Cafe’s and see what all the rage is about!
  • Get creative! Make pet toys like scratching posts, backyard obstacle courses, or even a little tree house for your cat if you’re feeling ambitious.
  • Drop your pet off for a spa day, and head to one yourself!
  • Leash train your cat and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and exploring with them!
  • Plant pet friendly sprouts in containers for cats or rabbits to nibble on or dig in!
  • Take your pet out for a photo shoot! Consider bringing outfits and/or props?

Do you already have a summer fun list for you and your pet? Share it with us to help inspire others!

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photo credit: Delightful via photopin (license)

Summertime Quick-Reference Blog

Summertime officially kicks off on Monday, June 20th this year! Changing seasons herald in the need for unique pet care and pet dangers. Below is a quick-reference guide to some common summertime pet topics  with links to more details about each! Make this summer a paw-riffic summer!

Summertime Pet Care 101

  • Ticks, Fleas, and all the Woodland Buggers – Some pet owners let the flea and tick regimen lapse a little over the colder months. It’s important to get back on top of it as soon as possible once warm weather hits. Waiting too long puts you on the defense instead of the offense. Our former post here discusses extra steps you can take to keep the bug problem under control!
  • The Great Outdoors – Warm weather means more time outside in nature to many. Hiking, fishing, and camping are all summertime favorites. Each one can potentially put you and your pet in an environment you’re not used to. This means new threats that you need to know about! Check out our post on Wildlife Pet Threats!
  • Heat, heat, and more heat! – Yup, that means summer! Imagine you had to wear a fur coat all summer though?! That’s your pets reality! Find out about shaving them, tips for helping them beat the heat, and products that can help you out!
  • The car – I really hope we don’t have to go over the importance of NOT leaving your pet in the car during summer (or even some warm spring & fall) days. These tips will help you keep your pet safe while travelling!
  • Sun exposure, fireworks, water dangers and more – All these pose a  seasonal threat to your pet. Make summertime the greatest time ever by remembering and being attentive to your pets special needs!
  • Heat stroke – know the signs and know what to do!

Music for your pet? – You Bet!

 

 

How do you think your pet feels about your music? Have you ever left the radio playing when you’re away because you think they find it soothing in your absence? Charles Snowden, an animal psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, says your pet really couldn’t care less what you listen to – it’s just not relatable. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a tune for them though!

What Kind of Music DO They Enjoy?

Animals (people included) enjoy sounds with tones similar to their species vocal range, and tempos similar to their heart rate. It only makes sense that they would need a music of their own! And that’s just what researchers have been working on! Back in 2009, Mr. Snowden teamed up with composer, cellist, and clearly animal lover David Teie, to try their hand at music for animals. After some promising results when they composed songs for monkey’s, they decided to try their hand at pleasing cats. Curious what cat music sounds like? For $1.99 you can purchase cat songs online at Music For Cats. Check out the video below for a sampling, or order the full album from their website!

What about music for dogs? Turns out dogs are a bit trickier than cats to please, since there are so many breeds with varying tones and heart rates. It is suspected, however, that large dogs may respond to human tunes since their vocal ranges are closer to that of human males. Just don’t suspect your chihuahua to respond very favorably!

With advancements like this, maybe one day you’ll tune your radio into a special station just for your pet before you head out the door. It also may come in handy for pets scared of thunderstorms, or for use in vet’s offices to calm nerves. Something tells me, we won’t find it that relatable though!

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Licking – Why Does Your Pet Do It?

Whether you’ve got a cat, dog, or bunny, there is likely to be licking involved in their interaction with you. What does it mean, though? How about when they lick other things? You’re questions answered about all that pet slobber!

 

Busting the Licking Mystery

Rabbits

Aside from grooming themselves, the average rabbit does a whole lot of licking. Rabbits practice altruistic grooming when bonded with another rabbit – or an “FLR” (funny looking rabbit) = YOU! They are social and territorial animals with a defined hierarchy. There is always a dominant rabbit, and this dominant rabbit must be groomed by its subordinates (again, you…). However, once a rabbit has picked its partner, they will return the grooming and you may get a good bath once in a while! While rabbits typically only have one bonded partner, they will frequently lick objects around other rabbits to show they are fond of them, while maintaining their dominance. Rabbits often lick items that belong to their favorite people, and frequently explore the world with their little bunny tongues!

Cats

Cats too, lick to show affection. Their affection is always as limited as the rabbits though and they may have many people or other animals that they are fond of. Grooming solidifies bonding and is a great compliment.  Cats also really like salt and humans (especially after a sweaty day) will often taste salty. Unlike rabbits, cats will not frequently lick inanimate objects, unless they have something tasty on them! On rare occasions, a cat may lick/groom out of anxiety. If you notice them licking compulsively to the point of bald patches in their fur, they are likely trying to comfort themselves and it’s important that you talk to your vet about underlying problems.

Dogs

Dogs might be the kings of licking. They need few reasons to break the slobbery tongue out to show you, or sometimes anyone, a little affection. Like rabbits, they lick for affection. Like cats, they also lick for salt. Dogs will often lick to get your attention too, though you may not always realize it. If they start licking you for not other apparent reason, see if you can figure out if they need something. While not given the credit of a cat or rabbit, dogs will also groom themselves some with their tongues. Dog saliva also contains healing and antibacterial enzymes that make licking wounds a vital part of the healing process.
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Microchipping – Frequently Asked Questions

May is National Chip Your Pet Month! Microchipping your pet can sound scary. Whether your pet is chipped or not you may have lots of questions concerning this process. We’re here to help!

How Does Microchipping Work?

A small (think rice size) microchip is inserted into under your pet’s skin. This microchip has a unique identifying code that registers once scanned. If your pet is found and turned into a shelter or other authority, they can scan this chip, obtain the number, and enter it into the national database to find out who the owner is and how to contact them. This isn’t a “pet tracker” and it won’t find your pet lost in the woods, but it will help someone who does find them get them back to you!

Why?

Did you know that the chances of being reunited with an unchipped lost pet are about 1 in 5? That’s a pretty big risk and a lot of heartache. Lost pets often end up in shelters, and with overpopulation problems, some may be euthanized. Even if you have a collar that contains up to date information about contacting you, collars can fall off, or even be removed by thieves.

How Much Can I Expect To Pay?

Usually less than $50. Sometimes animals come from shelters with microchips already implanted. If this is the case it is VERY important that you consult the shelter for assistance in updating the microchip database ensuring that you and not the previous owner are listed as the contact. Always make sure to keep this information up to date every time your address or phone number changes!

Are there side-effects?

According to the AVMA:

Since the database was started in 1996, over 4 million animals have been microchipped and only 391 adverse reactions have been reported. Of these reactions, migration of the microchip from its original implantation site is the most common problem reported. Other problems, such as failure of the microchip, hair loss, infection, swelling, and tumor formation, were reported in much lower numbers.

These are pretty low odds, but it’s always good to monitor the injection site, especially if your pet is sensitive. Also, be sure to have your vet scan it regularly during check-ups to ensure it has not migrated and is working properly.

Pet Peeves – What Our Pets Do To Annoy Us

We may love their furry faces and are willing to do just about anything for them, but admit it – sometimes your pet gets on your nerves. In fact, the complaints about cats, dogs, and even rabbits, seem to be pretty consistent. Our pets might annoy us, but even these little pet peeves are endearing for how they show personality! If anyone out there is an ambassador to the pet world, here are some of the top “pet peeves” to please pass along!

  • Dear Cat… I was excited to see you when I got home and really wanted to cuddle on the couch but you were too busy taking a bath in a remote part of the house. Now that I need to focus on work/homework/anything really, you’re all purrs and cuddles right in my face.
  • Dear Dog… You are a creature of nature. We go on walks regularly, I’m pretty sure that a leaf/rock/stick has never attacked you nor I. Barking at it is pointless.
  • Dear Cat… I’m making a mental note that pouncing on your face while you’re in a deep sleep is considered a type of “fun”. Is this why you prefer to sleep out of reach?
  • Dear Bunny… That’s the same litter box it’s always been. It’s not a predator in disguise. Why you have to randomly tip-toe up to it before deciding not to trust it and peeing on the floor next to it I’ll never understand.
  • Dear Dog… Please stop dramatically requesting to go outside to potty, then just sitting down outside instead.
  • Dear Dog… It’s not polite to stare – especially at someone who is eating.
  • Dear Cat… Please relinquish your hidden stash of my pens/hair ties/socks.
  • Dear Bunny… Thumping the house awake at 3AM is no way to get nose rubs

Give us a snapshot of your pet’s personality by sharing your biggest “pet peeves” with us!

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