Christmas Safety Comes First During Holidays!
There’s nothing like an affectionate cuddle with your pet when you’re reunited after a long time apart. Your pet will be thrilled to have your attention. That warm, velvety soft fur is simply irresistible. But how safe is it to get close to your pet in this way? What are the risks of disease? Are some people more vulnerable than others? From planting a sloppy kiss on your pet’s head to inviting him to cozy-up at night on your bed, we investigate what’s safe and what to avoid in the pet cuddling department.
Generally, cuddling your pet is indeed safe. Many believe that the mental health benefits of cuddles far outweigh the risks of getting sick. A good cuddle with your pet creates feelings of security and well-being. It has also been proven to reduce stress levels by lowering blood pressure together with harmful anxiety-related hormones like cortisol. It also raises happiness-inducing hormones like oxytocin! The effects are comparable to eating chocolate. But this is nothing new; therapy dogs have been used to visit nursing homes, help ease the pain of hospital patients and calm autistic children since the 1970s. Their healing power is very much palpable.
The jury seems to be out when it comes to kisses. Some believe that letting your pet lick your face or kissing them on the snout is pretty harmless. The bacteria and viruses in a dog’s or cat’s mouth are similar to those in a person’s mouth. However, other pet owners reel at the prospect of slobbery kisses. Just think where your pet’s little nose has been! It’s likely that, through scratching and licking, germs will end up all over a pet’s coat. In fact, a report by the CDC highlights the risk of transmission of zoonotic agents by close contact between pets and their owners which has lead to cases of MRSA, chagas, roundworm, rabies and even the bubonic plague transferred from pets to humans. This is one of a number of issues for owners who bedshare with pets. Those that practice good pet hygiene are at a greatly reduced risk. Other things to consider if you bedshare include sleep disturbance and aggravation of allergies.
There are instances when you need to be cautious of getting close to your pet. If you are pregnant and own a cat, you need to be aware of the risks of toxoplasmosis. This is an infection caused by a parasite in cat feces which can be picked up by clearing cat litter or touching garden dirt where your cat has been. Cuddles with your cat are safe as long as your cat is clean. Others who should practice caution when cuddling animals include children. Many young children find it difficult to interpret the body language of a pet. Cuddles should be supervised and guided by an adult at all times to guard against any dangers presented by a child who may be overly keen to show their affection.
There’s no doubt about it, there are huge benefits to cuddling your cutie pie pet. The small risks to health shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying those soothing snuggles. As long as you are sensible and practice good pet hygiene, you can rest assured that your pet is the perfect snuggle bunny.
Photo by Andrew Spencer on Unsplash
The perfect cure for depression and one of the best stress busters are pets, and dogs are arguably the most perfect pets for people with these health problems. That is just one of the many reasons why some people adopt dogs, and how canines help people more than we help them. Considering the aforementioned, it is our responsibility to do our best in taking care of our companions, and that starts with a good diet. For a dog a good diet means quality meat!
Dogs love meat and dogs need meat. As pet parents we must ensure that it is of good quality and sourced from reputable places. There are different quality meats used in different brands of commercial dog food diets. For example, some fish have higher mercury levels than others and certain protein sources can be over or undercooked before they’re used in the formula. It’s essential for dog owners to familiarize themselves with the way meat is processed before it’s turned into dry kibble or put into a can, and other aspects of the process to ensure only good quality meats come our dogs’ way.
If you are confused what to feed your dog, you can ditch the packaged dog food and cook for them yourself. It’s the only way to exactly know what you are feeding it. Or you can check out these tips from Top Dog Tips – the perfect resource in the form of infographic on quality meat in dog food for more information and tips on feeding your dog:
Having a pet can be a great joy and blessing! …but it can also be a bit of a headache when it comes to your housing options. Finding a pet-friendly apartment can be a chore. While your pet may be a blessing to you, landlords see them as liabilities.
Padmapper.com has a great breakdown of tips for helping your get your dream apartment with your pet right alongside. For example, offer to pay renters insurance for pets. Knowing their property is protected can be a game changer with landlords. Good first impressions are also so important. Don’t show up covered in pet hair! If they want to meet your pet, ensure they are properly groomed and look well cared for (which they should be!).
Don’t underestimate the importance of finding the right pet-friendly apartment. Moving is rough on you and your pet(s). Take your time and research your options. Get to know your landlord a little too if you can. Do they seem like they might be uncomfortable with your pet? Don’t push the issue. All you’ve done is create a headache for you, your pet, and landlord if you have to move again in a few months!
Check out Pad Mapper and find you and your pet the apartment of your dreams!
Ahh, a change in the weather equals a change in clothes, sports, activities, décor—and pet messes, too. Whether the weather is moving from winter to spring or fall to winter—or any time in between—you’re likely seeing an uptick in moisture, dirt, and debris as your pets, particularly your dogs, go in and out and back again. And while it’s fun to enjoy the weather with your favorite four-legged family members, it’s no fun to try to clean up after them—again and again and again. Keeping a clean pet-friendly home is a chore! Instead of doing that, though, be strategic about your home and your pets with a few simple tips and tricks.
For example, it’s time to take a hard look at your entryway: How is it set up, and how can you make it a better dirt-keeper as your pet goes in and out? Having wipes handy to take care of muddy paws is one strategy. What else works? This graphic can help.
Did you know that the rabbit population in animal shelters grows every year? Rabbits can be complicated, yet very rewarding pets if you know a few basics beforehand. Before you let that round little rump and those fuzzy paws entice you into an impulse purchase/adoption let us guide you through some of the basics of rabbit ownership!
It’s important not to treat them as such. They are a very different creature and how you care for them and respect them can be vastly different. Here are a few of the key points you need to be aware of:
Picking a pet names is almost as hard and exciting as picking baby names! Just like baby names, each year there seem to be some that everyone is simply in love with. Months ago we released a list of what we anticipated to be the top pet names of 2017. Eager to see how our predictions stacked up we were all ears when we heard that My Dog’s Name had just announced the top picked names for the year. The list is clearly influenced by what’s raging in popular culture, with shout-outs to Star Wars having bumped a few names up in the rankings! It sure can be hard to knock some of the classic names out of the running though! So, without further adieu:
Hey, we managed to get a few right, even if we didn’t nail the top ten! In a few weeks we’ll release our top predictions for 2018. Leave a comment for us with your predictions for the most popular up-and-coming pet names! and be sure to let us know what your biggest influence was when naming your pet or pets!
By mid-October we’ve already felt that wintery chill in the air a few times, and so have our pets! Don’t wait till the first sub-zero night or snowstorm to get your pet ready for the coming season. Winter may only last a quarter of the year, but it sure can feel longer if you haven’t done your winter prepping. Here are some of our top tips for both indoor and outdoor pets.
Outdoor pets need extra care in the winter!
Winter prepping indoor pets is important too!
The holiday season is fast approaching! Between the pumpkin spice, pumpkin pie, and roast Christmas goose there are lots of opportunities for travel. Traveling with your family doesn’t always mean traveling with your pet. What do you do when you have to be away though? This separation can be hard on you, but even harder on your pet since they don’t understand. Here are some of our top options for pet care while your celebrating!
Ok, so we can all agree that Rudolph is a pretty cute reindeer, but your precious pooches definitely shouldn’t be sporting the ‘red nose’ look this fall/winter. It’s just not fetching! As it gets colder, and the bathing suits go back to the closet to collect dust, special care must be taken when keeping your canine warm. So grab something pumpkin spice related, put your feet up because we’re here to show you how you can keep your pup cozy by the fire and what to look out for to keep them out of harms way.
Never ever leave your dog in the car! This one is a given, but sometimes we need a reminder that, even though we’re in a rush to get Kristen’s birthday cake at the last minute, it’s never a good idea to leave your dog in the car in the meantime. And this applies in the winter too, as the car can get very cold, very quickly, and your poor pup could be exposed to hypothermia or frostbite. Also make sure that, apart from walks, your dog is not spending too much time outside and when they are inside, make sure the house is a comfortable temperature.
Dog sweaters! This one is a little controversial, but it’s generally harmless as long as the dog is not wearing them for too long, the material is comfortable and it fits well. If you’re on a budget, then knitting your dog jumpers is a great way to save the cash and add a personal touch. This is extra fun in the holiday season and they even make great gifts! There is a whole host of options available to you online, for all budgets. So get shopping if you don’t want to end up with a chilly canine.
Check your dog’s temperature when necessary and add more protein into their diet as it gets colder. As with yourself, maintaining normal body temperature is paramount to their health and safety – if it drops below 99 degrees Fahrenheit then they are at serious risk and you must take them to the vet immediately. You can buy digital thermometers to help keep track of this (make sure they do not contain mercury) but the main thing is to keep the house at a consistent, and safe, temperature. That’s why wall mounted fireplaces tick all the boxes. They are easy to use, easy on the eyes, and safer for your dogs. This is because you can control their temperature a lot easier than you could with a traditional fire. This way, your pup isn’t at risk of overexposure to the heat, or from getting too close to a flame. So why not keep it cosy, and stylish of course, with a fireplace this winter!
Don’t hesitate to hire yourself a Pet Nanny to check in on pets during the cold months too!
Hypothermia and painful frostbite. After a walk, make sure to brush off any ice or water left on your canine’s coat or you run the risk of them getting ill. If your poor pup has been outside too long or the house a little too cold, then look out for the following signs and act quickly:
Looks for warm places around the house
Stops moving or slows down dramatically
As long as you think of your dog’s well-being as you would your own, they’ll be happy as a pup!
Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash