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.
If you have a cat, rabbit, or other small critter like a hamster you purchase pet litter regularly. Maybe at the time you got your pet you didn’t look into it that much. Litter is litter, right? Well, sort of. Would you love to improve the process of cleaning up after your pet? Is your litter choice healthy? Read on while we break down the types and help you improve your pets bathroom experience!
Pet Litter – The Cat Edition
Did you know that before WWII people filled their cats litter boxes with sand, dirt, or ashes? Not the cleanest options to be honest. At the time, the military was using absorbent clay to clean up oil spills in factories and a former sailor had an idea – thus pet litter was born!
Clay litter was a big improvement over sand or dirt. It didn’t stick to the cats paws and get tracked around as much. It also helped with odor control. We’ve come a long way since the technology of WWII though! Clumping cat litter was later developed allowing pet owners to simply remove the soiled clay instead of replacing it all.
Now clay pet litters even come in scented varieties. While this may be nice for us, most pets don’t care for it. Be sure to gauge your pets reaction before you stock up on it.
Other natural pet litter options include litter made from recycled paper pellets, pine pulp, and even corn cobs! Many of these options don’t combat odor the way clay does, and will have to be changed more frequently too.
Small Animal Bedding and Litter
While clay based pet litter may be the best option for cats, it’s usually the worst choice for other critters. Many small animals like hamsters or gerbils live and sleep in the same material they use for litter. Wood chips like pine or aspen are most often used for these small creatures, though a paper option like the CareFresh bedding/litter is also a popular, though more expensive choice. These creatures will often have a designated area of their cage where they do most of their bathroom business. Regardless of litter choice, it’s important to regularly refresh this area.
Paper fiber litter is an ideal choice for a rabbits litter box, as it tracks very little and absorbs well. Aspen pellets are a great choice for absorption, though some pets enjoy fluffier material. Aspen chips or fiber over the pellets can be a great combination. Avoid pine chips for rabbit litter however. Pine, when soaked in rabbit urine can create unhealthy fumes for your pet.
Whatever litter choice works best for you and your pet, be sure that you keep their bathroom area clean. Many pets won’t use poorly kept litter boxes!
In 2016, 11.2 percent of the American population moved to a new home. Many of these households have at least one pet. Data gathered by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation in 2012 shows that over 80 million Americans have pets. With an approximate of 40 million households moving to a new home each year against the total US population of over 323 million, it is safe to say that many households moving house have at least one dog, cat, bird, or horse. This is why professional pet sitters are called pre-move and during the move itself.
The Moving Process
A good number of homeowners also seek to move house while re-mortgaging their old property. Buy to let mortgages to family members, such as siblings and parents is increasingly becoming popular in the US. This can be due to a son or daughter still working or going to school in the area or other family members wanting to stay in the old home for other reasons.
If you are leaving your old home for a new one, and looking into buy to let mortgages, one thing is for sure – you and your pets will be very stressed out by the move. Whatever the circumstances, moving house with your pets will prove to be challenging.
Stress on Your Dogs or Cats
Moving to a new home is one of life’s most stressful events and this is true even if you are moving from an old house to a palace or when you are moving to a new state or just down the street. There will be so many things on your plate and your pets will know something’s up. After all, they’d keep seeing strangers visiting your house.
By the time that you are already inundated with things that need to get done, your pets’ meal times will vary and they won’t get the attention that you usually give them. Apart from too many strangers visiting your home, a disruption in their schedule will contribute to the stress that they are experiencing..
How to Keep Your Pets at Ease Pre-Move
There are ways for you to reduce your pets’ stress pre-move.One of the most helpful is to stick to their feeding schedule.
For dog owners, it is imperative that you make time for play time because nothing stresses your furry friends more than suddenly being neglected or ignored. You can also take them out of the house whenever you can so that you and your dogs can get away from all that stress even for a bit.
How to Reduce Your Pets’ Stress Levels During the Move
Put their IDs on them and keep their favorite toys and other possessions such as their beds with them. Make sure that you call a pet nanny beforehand so that a professional can take care of your pets while you are busy. This is ideal because the nanny will get them away from the craziness when the movers start getting all of your household items out of the house.
When you are finally in your new home, make sure that you take care of your pets’ needs. Go right back to their routine and play with them even if you have lots of boxes to unpack. Their beds, toys, and other items must be taken out of the box so that they can be reunited with familiar items. It is also advisable to give your pets time to get comfortable in their new home before inviting people over.
Was your new puppy a well thought out addition to your family? An incident of fate? No matter how you came to have a delightful little furry critter, what you do now that they’re home is important! Don’t set your puppy up for failure by failing to cultivate an environment they can learn and grow in. If you puppy-proof your house, you can prevent future mishaps and frustrating moments in the future. What does it mean to “puppy-proof”? Let us make offer you some great tips that will get you well on your way!
Puppy-proof Your Home!
Pick-up and block access to all toxic substances. Even if they aren’t in an area your puppy will frequent. It’s not unusual for these little beasts to escape or travel out of our preferred territory for them. Make sure if they do, no hazardous accidents await them!
Get a trashcan with a puppy proof lid. The trash may smell bad to us, but it can be super enticing for a pet. Puppy-proof your trash by adding a secure lid, or getting a sturdy one with a foot mechanism.
Tie up those drape cords. Don’t let your puppy get dangerously entangled in drape or blind cords. Tie these up out of reach to avoid buying new window treatments or an injured pet.
Keep plants out of reach. This can prevent poisoning and keeps them from digging in the pots!
Keep power cords out of reach. This is a must if your new puppy is a chewer (and most are). You can also make sure they have plenty of chew toys so they can get this impulse out without causing damage.
Ditto ^^ for shoes, throw pillows, or anything else you really care about or can be dangerous!
Keep your nightstand clear. Puppy-proof your bedroom by making sure nightstands or tables they can access by jumping up on things are free from things they can break. Also make sure to keep medicines in the medicine cabinet, out of reach!
Keep the toilet lid down. Don’t let a bad habit start!
Got some additional tips to help puppy-proof homes? Share them with us!
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!
Dogs are well known for their heroic behavior. Their valor is sung by everyday pet owners all the way to those on the battlefield! Cats on the other hand have an established reputation for being self-consumed and having little genuine interest in anything beyond getting fed and petted. It turns out though that while cats may not have the strength to drag someone to safety, they do some pretty heroic things too! Cats are very attune to medical emergencies and on multiple occasions have alerted their owners to internal threats that they themselves didn’t know where occurring! Take a look at our list of five kitties due some recognition!
Heroic Cats to the Rescue!
Schnautize and the Gas Leak – A Montana couple fast asleep, were awakened by Schnautzie’s persistent paw tapping on their sleeping faces. Once awake they became aware of the sound of gas hissing! Upon evacuating the home and calling the fire department they were told their basement had been filling with gas from a leak while they slept! One spark from their furnace igniting would have sent the house to pieces!
Pudding and the Diabetic – Pudding was a shelter kitty who hadn’t even been in her new home for 24 hours when the woman who adopted her began to fall into a diabetic coma while asleep. Pudding, sensing something was wrong, tried to keep her new owner awake. When that failed she ran to the woman’s son’s room, waking and alerting him to action.
Leo and the Burglar – A robber breaking into a home one night encountered a cat named Leo. Leo was so upset by the burglars presence he began yowling and making such a racket that the surprised crook abandoned his pursuit.
Baby and the Fire – A grey tabby named Baby sprung into action when a fire broke out in his owners apartment and their fire alarm failed to notify them. Baby awoke the couple in time to get to safety, saving the couple and their unborn baby!
Masha and the Baby in the Box – An infant who had been left on a street in a box in Russia owes his life to a passing cat named Masha. Masha hopped in the box with the baby and laid on top of him to keep him from freezing. Not only did she keep him warm, she yowled at passerby’s to attract attention until the baby was discovered and taken into care.
Cats might be small in stature but their gestures and efforts are certainly heroic. Do you have a story about you cat alerting you to danger? Share it with us!
So you’re going to adopt a puppy. Congratulations! He can grow up to be the best friend you’ve ever had. No animal is more lovable, or more loving, than the dog. He is a gentle protector and playmate for children, a superb companion for adults. He is an incomparable pet. But there are some enormous ‘ifs’ in dog ownership and choosing the right match. Let’s look at a few of them before you take the plunge.
Your dog will be with you for a very long time (the average dog lives to be 12 years old, and many live much longer).
Your dog will become an intimate part of your family household (or he will not be a good pet).
Your dog will require constant care, companionship, and training (or you should not own a dog).
Not all dogs are suited to all people or all places (and vice versa).
Choosing a pet can be a highly emotional affair. All puppies are appealing, and it’s easy to fall for the first set of liquid brown eyes and winning ways you meet. But if you act on impulse, you might regret it later. And so might your dog, if he could only talk.
The German Shepherds, St. Bernard’s and Great Danes confined to city apartments, the delicate Chihuahua who cowers under the bed to avoid well-meant manhandling by the children, the feisty little terrier whose owner thought she was getting a lap dog – these and many more mismatched pets should have their own liberation movement.
The point is that pet ownership is a genuine responsibility, and before you accept this responsibility you should give time and thought to choosing the right pet for you.
Before Choosing, Ask Yourself Some of the Following Questions:
Why do you want a dog? As a companion for children, a solace for loneliness, a household guard, a hunter or a status symbol?
Do you have room for him? If you live in an apartment you should choose a breed that does not require a great deal of exercise. If you live in the suburbs, you should choose a dog that will accept backyard confinement. If you live in the country, your choice is almost unlimited.
Do you have time for him? All dogs need some companionship and play, but the young puppy requires lots of attention. If you’re not willing to give it to him and to put up with a certain amount of puppy mischief, you should consider adopting an older dog.
Will he be an outdoor or indoor dog? Some breeds can carpet a house with dog hairs. Others, such as Poodles, Dachshunds, Bulldogs and most of the wire-haired breeds, shed very little.
Do you have small children? You have a wide choice because most dogs patiently endure the trauma of children. To be fair to both children and dog, however, avoid breeds that tend to be fragile, temperamental or high-strung.
What kind of people do you Like? Lively, animated, aggressive, or quiet, relaxed and low-keyed? Dogs have dispositions, too. Remember when choosing that you’re matchmaking, and select a dog that will suit your own temperament.
The answers to these questions will give you an approximate profile of yourself as a pet owner and make choosing easier.
Let’s say you’re a suburban family with two small boys who are long on roughhousing and short on patience. Then you probably should choose one of the sturdy working dogs, hounds or sporting breeds with even dispositions and physical stamina to take rough-and-tumble play.
If you’re looking for a burglar alarm, you can’t do much better than choosing one of the terriers. These lively, alert, aggressive dogs will take on all comers. Terriers adapt well to apartment living, and so do the delightful and decorative toy breeds.
Toy dogs make superb companions for adults, but most are too fragile to be suitable pets for young children.
Mongrel or Purebred:
There is a right dog for you, and probably many right choices among the approximately 120 breeds currently recognized by the American Kennel Club. And there are, of course, the mixed breeds – the mutts or mongrels that for many years have been America’s favorites. They seem to be on the decline now, perhaps for good reason.
Mongrels can make superb pets, as their loyal owners will testify. But many mongrels grow up to be unattractive, unhealthy and unreliable indisposition. These are the dogs that end up in city pounds and animal shelters by the millions. Unwanted and unloved, most of them must be destroyed.
A mongrel may be a risky choice unless you know something about his ancestry. This is not difficult to trace with a crossbreed (a puppy whose dame and sire were different purebreds), but the true mutt bears a motley mixture of genes.
Of course, you may be lucky and get the smartest and most lovable dog in the world. But you do have a better chance of getting a pet of predictable size, appearance and temperament by buying a purebred animal.
Purebred dogs are listed by the American Kennel Club under six general groups-sporting dogs, working dogs, hounds, terriers, toys and nonsporting or companion dogs. While there are exceptions in every category, the animals in each of the six groups do share certain general personality traits to help you make your selection.
Visit dog shows and breeding kennels in your area. And as you narrow your choice down, do some further reading on the breeds you are considering. You’ll find ample material at your local library. A little homework on the fascinating subject of dogs can be a lot of fun and very rewarding in making the right choice.
For further information on purebreds, write to the American Kennel Club, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. l0010. This organization, which exists to promote fine breed standards will not recommend a specific kind of dog but will put you in touch with reliable breeders in your area.
There are many fine purebred dogs not recognized by the AKC. Some of the great hunting hounds, such as the Bluetick, Redbone and Plott hounds, are listed under a separate registry. England’s Cavalier King Charles – Spaniel, a court favorite as long as, 300 years ago, is not on the AKC list. Nor is Scotland’s famous herding dog, the Border Collie.
These and many others (authorities estimate that there are as many as 400 separate breeds throughout the world) are fine blooded animals that have long been recognized in their homelands and are gradually gaining popularity in America. Two of the most recent breeds to be recognized is the Tibetan Terrier and the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
Male or Female?
Generalities about the personalities of the male vs. female are tricky and always subject to exceptions. As a rule, the female is little more tractable, easier to handle and train, and more of a homebody than the male.
Unless you’re going into the business of raising dogs, however, the female should be spayed, an operation that should be performed at between 7 to 10 months of age.
Spaying, incidentally, will not greatly alter your pet’s personality or necessarily lead to obesity, all legends to the contrary. It is part of the dog owner’s obligation in these days when the pet population explosion has become a matter of national concern.
If you choose a female, do not have her bred unless you can guarantee homes for all her puppies.
The male dog is usually more aggressive than the female, more inclined to roam, and tends to make strong one-man attachments. Both make fine pets. Because male dogs are more in demand, they usually cost a little more than females.
Authorities disagree on the ideal age for adopting a puppy, though they all do agree that the puppy should not be younger than 6 weeks old. Two months is probably about right for puppy’s own health and personality development; he’s ready by then to leave the litter and join the world of people.
If you are investing in a very expensive animal, it might be wise to wait until 4 to 6 months, when he will have received his inoculations and survived the ailments that can attack the very young. But then, no doubt about it, you will have missed a lot of the fun (and hard work) of puppy’s first year of life.
Where to Buy:
Don’t buy, adopt if you can! Shelters are full of beautiful loving dogs that need homes first. Always check your local shelters for a good family match before you look elsewhere.
If you are going to buy, by far the most reliable source is an established breeder or kennel recommended by the AKC or your veterinarian.
You can get good dogs from private owners, too, but be sure to investigate both sides of the dog’s family tree. The pet shop adds one extra step for a puppy, sometimes a traumatic one, between the comfort of his litter and the adventure of his new home. It is much better to choose a puppy directly from his own litter. This is not always possible for city dwellers, however. If you buy from a pet shop, make very sure it is a clean, reliable, long-established operation; and take special pains to check out your prospective pet’s health and disposition. You can never be too careful when choosing your companion.
This is no time for bargain-hunting. A puppy is one purchase that. you won’t turn in for next year’s model, and your initial investment can assure you of a healthy specimen.
Wherever you get your dog, he should be examined by a veterinarian before final purchase.
= = = = =
AUTHOR BIO: Imad LB is the founder of a dog blog called Howpup.com. 37-year-old, entrepreneur, dog lover and passionate blogger. He loves to write about dog training, health issues, dog tips, and advice.
Did you try out last weeks tips but felt like you needed a couple more? We’ve got you covered! Here are two more tips for helping you groom your overexcited dog!
Burn Off Excess Energy Before Grooming Your Dog
Some dogs are naturally more energetic than others. For example, Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers have a go-all-day stamina and, if bored, can turn to destructive behavior. Spinning in circles, jumping up and down and excessive, unreasonable barking are all signs the are overexcited. The only way to lower your dog’s excitement is to have them spend its energy physically.
A well-exercised dog is much more easily groomed than a well-rested dog. It is a good idea to exercise your dog 1-2 hours before you want to groom them. Running with your dog can be a great way to burn off any excess energy, and we also recommend you introduce other physically and mentally demanding activities like a game of fetch or a playdate with other dogs.
Reward Your Dog for Good Behavior
The good news about overexcited dogs is that they are overly excited about food too. Use this to your advantage by offering your dog several small treats during the grooming session, and one big treat at the end of the session. This will teach your dog that if it obeys you, it will get rewarded.
If you don’t always want to reward your dog with food you can also use other positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise and play, whatever your dog enjoys doing. The aim is to help your dog associate the grooming session with a positive experience.
These strategies may not work for all dogs. Some dogs need professional training for keeping calm while being groomed and pampered. However, before seeking professional guidance, try implementing the previously described tips.
To round up:
Make the grooming session a routine. Let your dog get used to the idea of being frequently handled and groomed.
To establish this activity as routine, introduce grooming when your dog is a young and easily adaptable puppy.
Be calm and serious. How you feel reflects and transfers to your dog.
Never yell nor use physical punishment during the grooming process. This is not only abusive but counterproductive too.
We hope the tips included throughout this post will help you groom your overexcited pup more effectively.
Just remember to take things slow and be patient with your dog. In time, they will learn that grooming and play are two separate things and the whole experience will become a lot more enjoyable for both you and your pet.
Some dogs are laid-back and calm, while others are energetic and overly excited about everything. The problem is that no matter their character, at one time or another you will need to groom your dog and there is no doubt that handling energetic and overly excited dogs is much more challenging and overwhelming. For many dog owners, we’re sure it won’t take a lot to imagine grooming an energetic dog. In fact, it’s no doubt something you may have experienced firsthand already. If this is the case, then this post might be able to offer some help.
There are specific methods that can help you keep your dog’s grooming session as straightforward as possible, helping your pet to remain calm and relaxed throughout.
Here are this weeks top two tips for grooming overexcited and boisterous dogs:
Have a Strategy in Place
The first step towards a smooth and comfortable grooming session is having a good strategy. A grooming strategy should include keeping the session short – long sessions only exacerbate your dog’s energetic state of mind. Keep them, preferably, no longer than 10-15 minutes. Some dogs may even need short breaks to calm down.
Prevent your dog from wanting to escape. This is especially important if your dog is an escape artist! Energetic dogs think that grooming is a game and by escaping they are actively participating in it. So, unless you are in an enclosed area, chances are your dog will find a way to make a run for it.
Have a firm hold of your dog. If you have to work alone, it is best to restrain your dog by looping one arm around your dog’s midsection. It is essential to be firm enough to hold your dog, but gentle enough to avoid hurting them. Avoid using sympathetic or baby voice during the grooming. By being calm and serious you discourage excitement.
Carry out the grooming process in a calm environment. Overstimulation induces energy rushes in overly excited dogs. The calmer the situation is, the easier it will be to keep you your dog relaxed. We recommend finding a quiet corner of your home and making that your go-to grooming spot. Ideally, you should look to avoid grooming over playful pets outdoors as this only increases the number of distractions nearby.
Think outside the box
For this tip, we suggest trying to get in the mind of your dog. Now we know this is a lot easier said than done but with a bit of practice you should hopefully be able to master this trick!
For example, if your dog does not respond well to being lifted on to the grooming table, try to do the grooming on the floor. If they don’t like the slippery surface of your bathtub, cover it with soft towels, or look into purchasing a specialized dog tub. If your dog doesn’t like getting their face wet, avoid washing this area entirely and use wet dog wipes to clean their face instead.
Any of these tiny details could be the reason your dog doesn’t enjoy being groomed and decides to play up instead. By trying to get in the head of your pet and thinking about what they like and dislike you will create a grooming routine that they enjoy instead of loath!
Come back next week for two more of our top grooming tips!
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.