Tag: pet tips

Diabetes and Your Pet – Know the Dangers!

Did you know that diabetes isn’t just a threat to humans? Thousands of pet are diagnosed every year. November is Diabetes Pet Awareness month so read on to find out about your pet’s risk factors and what to do!

Diabetes Risk Factors

Weight is likely the largest factor for both pets and humans. An overweight pet is far more likely to develop diabetes as they age than a fit pet is. A great incentive to measure your pets daily food and limit treats. Animals that eat a high carbohydrate diet are also at greater risk. Did you know that dogs don’t actually need carbohydrates? Yet most pet foods are primarily composed of corn or wheat. When buying pet food choose the option with the highest protein & fat content, and lowest carb content.

Two other genetic risk factors show that female dogs and male cats both have higher rates of diabetes than their opposites.

Symptoms of diabetes in pets

    • Weightloss
    • Vomiting and Dehydration
  • Excessive drinking & urination
  • Loss of Appetite

Pretty generic symptoms that are applicable to lots of different issues. If these are combined with any of the risk factors we already listed, be sure to ask your vet.

Living with a diabetic pet

Unfortunately once diabetes has been diagnosed, daily insulin injections become part of the routine. Your vet should be able to direct you on how to give the daily shot and store the insulin. It may be necessary for you to track your pet’s glucose levels throughout the day to help better understand when they rise and fall so you can adjust their insulin dosage accordingly. Sometimes you only need to do so until you’ve established a routine, while some pets may always need this service. Dietary changes will need to be made too. Since each animal is different your vet will need to direct you on these. Frequently you will need to feed your pet more often, but in smaller quantities.

Be sure to share your pets specialty needs with your pet nanny, pet sitter, or any other person who may care for them in your absence.

 

Struggling? See if you can find a diabetic pet support group nearby or online to help support you and your pet!

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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Pokemon Go With Your Dog? You Bet!

With the new Pokemon Go craze sweeping the nation, more people than ever are wandering around outdoors! That’s a good thing! An even better thing if you take the new game as an opportunity to let your pet tag along. Here are some tips to get you and your fuzzy friend started!

Tips For Hunting Pokemon with Your Dog

  • Caution! – The essence of Pokemon Go means you’re likely to have your phone in front of your face which can be hazardous walking around outside. Doubly hazardous if you have a pet in tow. It may be a fun game, but don’t let it take priority over your safety and that of your pet. What for traffic, snakes, and steps!
  • Follow Leash Laws (even if there aren’t any) – Make sure your pet is on a leash and comfortable with it. Pokemon Go has become so popular, you and your dog are likely to encounter a lot of fellow hunters – and maybe their pets too!
  • Watch the Weather – Just like a normal walk, be mindful of when you go and if there are any storms in the area. With the summer heat, grab the sunblock and aim for early morning or evening. Take water for you and your pet, and be sure to check the radar so you’re not caught in a lightening storm!
  • Mind Your Pets Stamina – Maybe you’re okay with walking a couple miles, zig-zagging around, but your dog may not be. If you’ve acclimatized them to shorter walks be sure to not over-stress them. Take frequent breaks and stay in-tune to the signals your pet’s giving you!

As a bonus, some animal shelters are asking hunters to swing by and pick up a dog to take along. This increase in volunteering helps the shelters and helps leash-trained dogs get some exercise! Ask at your local shelter if they have “Pokemon Dogs”!

Wedding Bells & Furry Tails – Including Your Dog!

With everything in bloom and the beautiful weather, late Spring and early Summer are peak season for outdoor weddings! Pet-friendly venues give an opportunity for the wedding party and guests to include their furry companions. The hustle and bustle of the big day can make it easy to overlook some considerations if you intend on having your dog in (or attending) your wedding. Read through these tips to make it a great day for you AND your pet!

Wedding Tips for Dogs

  • Consider the outfit – Not yours silly, your dogs! Whether it’s an actual outfit or just a festive collar its super important to make sure that your pet is comfortable. You don’t want to wait till the wedding day to find out that they hate it and tear and pull at it constantly. Pick something that fits them well and isn’t too hot, then have them wear it around the house in the days leading up to the event. This will help them feel comfortable and prevent and “faux paws”.
  • Have a Pet Nanny – Make sure that you have either hired or that someone in your wedding party is acting as the “Pet Nanny”. You’re going to be far too busy and distracted to keep up with your pet and make sure they are taken care of. Someone will need to dress them, pick up after them, and make sure they are fed and watered!
  • Keep them in their comfort zone – If your pet is anti-social, has anxiety, can be territorial reconsider including them. A wedding is often an occasion of high activity, with lots of loud and unfamiliar sounds and faces. If your pet isn’t a social butterfly, think twice before subjecting them to so much stimulation.
  • Know the dangers – Be sure to keep your pet out of the reception area where they may end up snacking on dropped foods. Keep your pets safety in mind when choosing your flowers and decorations as some plants are poisonous and some decorations can be choking hazards, if you got yourself a chewer!
  • Be mindful of guests – Make it known that your pooch will be part of the wedding party. Some guests with allergies may need to make special arrangments.

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Aggression – Causes of Your Dogs Behavior

Dog aggression isn’t something that’s fun to talk about. It’s also something that can’t be ignored if you expect to have a happy and healthy relationship with your pet. Aggression can be treated with medical care, proper training, and working alongside a behavioral expert. First, you need to understand the root cause:

Causes of Aggression

  • Pain or sickness – this is the most common form of aggression and can be one of the easiest ones to deal with. Remove the source and you remove the aggression. If your pet is suddenly asking aggressive for no apparent reason, be sure to call your vet ASAP. Some medical conditions can cause aggressive behavior too; if your pet is in pain, they are likely to be irritable and act out.
  • Fear – If your pet perceives a threat to themselves, you, or their puppies aggression will frequently be apparent. It is important to socialize your pet and yourself when they are young so they are not afraid of strangers approaching or touching them or you. Dogs frequently read our signals too. If you’re acting intimidated or threatened, don’t be surprised if your pet acts aggressively toward the perceived threat.
  • Genetics – A much-debated topic, the simple fact is that some breeds of dogs are far more likley to behave aggressively than others. Some varieties have been genetically engineered for fighting or protection. Make sure you understand your dog’s breed as well as any adopted pets history before bringing them home. It is especially important to focus on training and control with dogs who are genetically predisposed toward it.
  • Learned aggression – Sadly, some dogs are not only bred to be aggressive but taught as well. While it’s not impossible to re-train a dog, it does take time, dedication, and caution to remove triggers. Before taking on such a task, be sure to consult a veterinarian or training professionals.

Spoiled Rotten Dog: Are You Guilty?

Dogs are just like to children to many people, and like children, they can be at risk for being spoiled… “What’s the harm?”, you may ask yourself. Extra treats, lots of toys, and lax rules are just how you show your love right? The problem is, just like with children, a spoiled dog can lead to problems as they get older. They can be aggressive toward you or others who try to impose rules on them, a nuisance to neighbors or company, and difficult for veterinarians to provide proper care for. So, what are some of the common errors and signs of a spoiled dog?

Spoiled Dog Syndrome

  • Does your dog routinely ignore commands they were once prompt to obey?
    Do they sneak around to do things they know are no-no’s? (i.e stealing food, chewing on shoes, etc.) Are they rude to your company by growling or jumping up on them?
  • Make time for your pet instead of buying extra toys. Time in your company as your companion is the best “toy” you can give. Walks, trips to the park, or even a movie and a snuggle will help enhance your bond and make your pet desire your approval.
  • Alternatively, consider crate training to teach your pet how to spend time alone too. Most people can’t spoil their pets (or themselves) to the extent of being “attached at the hip” and you will be required to leave your pet alone at times. To ensure they don’t either suffer anxiety or see these as moments to partake in all the no-no’s of life, make sure they are comfortable spending time alone.
  • Don’t send mixed signals. We know puppy dog eyes are pretty hard to resist, but it’s important that you send a consistent and clear message about what’s okay and what’s not, AT ALL TIMES. This means no exceptions for being too tired to shoo them off the bed for the tenth time, or as “okay on special occasions”. A no-no is a no-no. The better your pet sees this, the less likely they should be to beg.
  • Keep treats for good behavior, but not ALL good behavior. Overfeeding your pet treats isn’t just bad for their behavior, it’s bad for their waistlines too! While treats can be a great way to help train a dog for all sorts of behaviors, they shouldn’t become a permanent reward. This doesn’t mean that you can’t treat them for coming when called, or sitting when told too, just do it less than 50% of the time.

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Poison Prevention and Your Pet

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month – a cause that needs regular awareness. Carelessness and over-confidence on many pet owners parts lead to pet poisonings every year. While many animals have natural instincts that help them avoid unhealthy things in nature, they are less keen when it comes to man-made things left accessible in their territory. As pet owners, it’s up to us to make sure our animal’s homes are safe and poison-free at all times! See our tips below to stay on your toes and keep your pet safe!

Keeping Your Pet Away From Poison

  • Household cleaners – As Spring cleaning gets underway it’s easy to get careless with your cleaning products and leave them within a pet’s reach. If you can’t banish your pet from the area you are working in until you’re done, it’s important to always stay aware and not become distracted. If your pet has a problem with drinking out of the toilet, make sure to never leave toilet cleaner unflushed. Unattended mop buckets with cleaners in them can also pose a threat to a thirsty pet.
  • Mouse, Rat, or Insect poison –  These are three types of poison people tend to tuck away into areas pets can’t get to – the backs of cupboards, closets, shelves, etc.  These carefully concealed poisons can become a threat to your pet when you forget about them and then drag things out of a closet or cupboard, potentially bringing the poison with it. Always be mindful this! Especially if you have recently rented or moved into a new place. There may be poisons left in nooks and crannies that you’re not aware of!
  • Fertilizers & Herbicides – Don’t think your home is the only place you have to be worried about poisoning your pet! Newly fertilized lawns can harm pets too. In addition to storing lawn and garden poisons well away from your pet, be sure not to let them spend time in newly treated areas. Remember you can track poisons too, so keep your shoes out of reach!

Keep your pets away

from areas herbicides

have been used!

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Traveling With Your Pet In Tow!

Spring Break is right around the corner and so is traveling! Whether you’ve got a road trip planned or are waiting for summer, there are a lot of awesome pet-accommodating services out there ready to make your trip with pet in tow a breeze! But how will you know how to find them? Which hotels allow pets? What about vet offices if your pet gets sick while traveling? Fortunately, for the traveling pet owner of the future (being now) there are websites dedicated to nothing more than letting you know about all these wonderful things and more!

Websites To Ease Traveling With Your Pet

Petfriendlytravel.com – Aptly named, this website allows you to pick a state and city, then shows you all the pet-friendly accommodations you have to choose from!

Pettravel.com – For the international pet, this website takes traveling seriously. They share airline policies for flying with pets, information on pet passports, checklists, hotels, insurance. They also offer tips about pet safety, a travel store, and so, so much more! A great resource!

Gopetfriendly.com – Here you can choose the state your traveling to or through and see top pet-friendly destinations. They are just listed here though, Each location includes a description of the area and experience by the curators of the site! If you’re not happy just trusting the term “pet-friendly” on a listing, hearing actual experiences at Gopetfriendly.com is the place for you!

bringfido.com – This site is also a good location for international traveling or even temporary relocation. They help you find pet-friendly apartments, condos, pet sitters, kennels, grooming, restaurants, attractions, shopping and more! What a list!

Petswelcome.com – This site lets you search both in specific cities, but also within a radius of it. If your traveling to Denver, CO, but aren’t looking for in-the-city accommodations, Petswelcome.com is a great option! They also offer a collection of informative articles to help you and your pet traverse the globe worry free!

Tell us about your favorite resources for vacationing with your pet, share pictures, and help us grow the pet-friendly world! Check out these helpful tips for flying with your pet too!

Pet Odor Tacklers – Tough Stuff!

There’s no having a pet without eventual pet odor. Even the cleanest pets can offend our senses from time to time. Tackling pet odor is an age old past time (I bet even the Egyptians tried!). Methods, formulas, and tricks vary from pet to pet and different owners styles. Check out our list of awesome tips for the battle!

Pet Odor Be Gone!

Prevention – The most effective step is to nix pet odor before it begins! If you’ve got a kitty be sure to scoop frequently! Like, as soon as there is something to scoop if you can. Change the litter weekly and each time you do, give it a wash with some hot water and soap. It’s a good idea to replace the box annually to as plastics can retain odors… Rabbit litter boxes don’t need scooped multiple times a day, but you should change their woodchips our daily and give the box a rinse! They key to prevention is making the pet maintenance a daily habit. For some pets, like dogs though frequently do their bathroom habits outside, odor sort of finds them regardless. If you think your dog doesn’t smell, just send them out into the rain for a bit! Regular baths are a big help, but in some situations, even the most diligent pet owners are going to end up with pet odor. So, let’s see how to fight it!

 

Natural Products – If you’re a pet parent who likes to take a natural approach to those pesky smells in the carpet or on the furniture, you’re in luck! The product lines for natural pet care have grown exponentially over the last decade! Most of these products use natural enzymes to break down the source of the odor, getting rid of it entirely!  Products like Odormute  and Sunny & Honey  are two great options!

DIY – There are tons of do-it-yourself methods out there for pet odor removal. Most of them contain varying amounts of vinegar (no, the vinegar smell usually doesn’t linger), baking soda, hydrogen peroxide (don’t let your pets get into a bottle of this!), and citrus. This site here as three recipes for pet odor eliminators made out of common household items!

Top In Its Class – Angry Orange Pet Odor Neutralizer. This stuff is industrial strength and it means business! If you’ve got multiple pets this might be the stuff for you. It was designed for the farm industry and is a favorite for kennels.

Have your own fool-proof product or recipe? Share it with us!

photo credit: the latest in kitty television via photopin (license)

Gardening For Your Pet – Grow Your Own Treats!

As March creeps closer one can’t help but feel Spring fever take hold and the pull to do a little gardening! Whether you live in the city or out in the sticks there is a gardening style to suit both you and your pet! Each pet has their own personality so try a few options from your grocery store to find out their preferences and then get busy planting!

Gardening for your Pet

The Urban Gardner: Here you may be restrained to window or balcony boxes and indoor planters. That doesn’t mean you can’t grow pet-friendly treats and snacks! Catnip is a given. It’s easy to cultivate, pretty and green, and drives kitties crazy! Bunnies also like to give it a nibble. Lemongrass and any variety of mint are also favorites for cats, rabbits, and even some dogs! Trays of wheat grass are an attractive multi-pet friendly option for indoor gardening and can be found at most pet supply shops!

Gardening for your pets!

The Backyard Gardener: If you’ve got a little space like a fenced in courtyard or a full backyard garden your options expand a lot! Many of the indoor varieties listed above are also great options for outdoor gardening. Lavender is a lovely fragrant plant that some dogs enjoy chewing. Other common vegetable garden plants dogs enjoy include spinach, pumpkins, green beans, melons, carrots, blueberries, and even sweet potatoes!  Cats often love to nibble thyme and it’s a great culinary herb for cooking! Try broccoli and zucchini as well (just don’t place a cucumber behind them)! Got a bunny hopping around? Plant a nice patch of parsley and kale – two rabbit favorites!

Some precautions: If your pet is going to be playing in your potted or outdoor plants, make sure that the plant leaves and soil are free from pesticides or fertilizers Be sure to always do your research before you introduce your pet to vegetation. Lots of house and garden plants can be poisonous!

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