Category Archives: Pet Parents

The Loss Of A Dog(Pet)

Hello Everyone,
I hope everyone is having a blessed new year. I haven’t been able to write like I used to because I have a corporate job and running this business at the same time.  Although my year has been okay, one issue I’m mourning is the loss of one my pets.  People who know me, knows I’m energetic and generallly a happy disposition. Right now, I don’t feel that way I never show my depressed to them.  Writing this blog helps me to release my feelings and gain more closure.  Yesterday I read about a cat that had been kidnapped, beaten and tortured. He walked home on broken paws to get home and then died.   Even writing this my heart is so broken over what this cat experienced  as well as the owners. I won’t go into much detail because it’s extremely painful to read about. Today I ran across a blog written by unknown , that helps people understand the feelings people go through when their pets die. I want to share it with this community whose love of animals are even stronger than mine.

LoLa Bella (2011 – 2016)

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The Loss Of A Dog🐾 by : Unknown
Recently, my husband & I went through one of the more excruciating experiences of our lives—the euthanasia of our beloved Shih-Tzu, Theodore. I remember making eye contact with him before he took his last breath—he flashed me a look that was an endearing blend of confusion and the reassurance that everyone was ok because we were both by his side. 
The Conversation when people who have never had a dog see their dog-owning friends mourn the loss of a pet, they probably think it’s all a bit of an overreaction; after all, it’s “just a dog.” However, those who have loved a dog know the truth: Your own pet is never “just a dog.”
Research has confirmed that for most people, the loss of a dog is, in almost every way, comparable to the loss of a human loved one. Unfortunately, there’s little in our cultural playbook—no grief rituals, no obituary in the local newspaper, no religious service—to help us get through the loss of a pet, which can make us feel more than a bit embarrassed to show too much public grief over our dead dogs.
Perhaps if people realized just how strong and intense the bond is between people and their dogs, such grief would become more widely accepted. This would greatly help dog owners to integrate the death into their lives and help them move forward.

It’s Still Not Too Late to Sign Up For 4th of July Pet Sitting W/ HWHD!!

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      Meanwhile   Check Ot These  Saftey Tips For Your Pets Around The 4th!!



More WTF Moments With Pet Parents and Their Kids

1) I’m Sure this Schnauzer is just as worried as us about her plans with This BIG SQUASH!!

  

2). Who Are The REAL Parents , CHEWBACCA?!

  

3) This Prince And His Majestic Steed

  

4). Garfield & His Buddy Chillin’ On The Street Corner

  

5). Ummm Yeah….No Comment😇😇😇


  

6). Ass -Drop Twerker !!

  

7). This Poor Kitty! Don’t Worry, Kitty, They Grow Fast!!


  

8). As Pet Parents, Sometimes We Do Go Too Far!

  

9). We All Need A Friend!!


  

Last But Not Least…..

10). Thug Selfie !!

  

Now It’s Time For WTF Moments In DogDome….

This Doggy Do!!!…….” I don’t know what Mommy was Thinking….”


 

The Morning After….

 

TransvestDog?!?!

 

Next Time..Doggy Language..And I’ll Stiil Do What I Want🐾🐾🐾🐾


 

Dude..Dog..Crotches Off Limits….

 

It’s Been A Hard Doggie Night…


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Hey I Gotta Work Hard For My Money Too!

 

Ummm…Yeah We Don’t Know What’s Going On….. 

 

Who’s Trying To Be Who?!…


 

Desperate Times Calls For Desperate Measures…Doggie is My Prom Date <sigh>

10 Signs Your Cat is Your Boss – Yeah That’s Right!!  

We think that we are in charge of our beloved kitty furballs, but no, believe me when  I tell that the little cuties rule the roost and have you all worked out.  Here are some images that just go to prove that your cat is more than likely your boss, I have long accepted that I am employed by two cute girly cats for their every want, need and desire (“treats yes I know, I’m coming now!!)  continue to the next page for cats in charge.

 

 

1.  “You want to wear something out of here, sorry I’m sitting find something else”

 

2.   “huh hmmm, human I have made this mess, please come and tidy it up”

 

  

3.  “Hey We have finished this one, bring some more”

 

 

4.  “Emergency 911, we have a empty bowl about to go down, get back up to refill it now”

 

5.  “We need to talk!!  It’s either me or the internet- now choose me already”

 

 

6.  “When I said it’s dinner time, I mean’t it, or I’ll eat your shirt”

 

 

7.  “So you’ve been petting another cat!  we need to talk about your priorities”

 

8.  “How many times, this is my chair, not yours, MINE!!”

 

 

9.  “This is my not impressed face, I suggest you fix it immediately”

 

 

10.  “That’s right, I’m monitoring your performance covertly, I’m so in charge here”

 

 

Here Are A Few Brilliant Ways Cats Are Secretly Helping Their Owners Live Healthier Lives

This is an article  found The Huffington Post that I thought Cat Lovers might enjoy!! Happy Easter Everyone!!

 

 

 Here are a few brilliant ways cats are secretly helping their owners live healthier lives

Curator : Kit Sudol

Cats.

The Internet loves ’em. You probably have a family member that has at least 20 of them and maybe sends you cat photos every day. If you don’t have that family member, then you probably are that family member (just a heads up).

Anyway, most folks agree that cats are pretty amazing. But here’s the thing: There’s more to cats than videos of them hanging out in boxes or memes about having a cheeseburger. In fact, cats can do so much more than entertain the Internet.

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(“I’m just a kitten on the Internet tryna have a good time.”)

FACT: Cats can help you live longer.

It’s true! And before you go off to your local shelter to adopt a zillion of them in hopes of becoming some kind of immortal cat-themed super-villain, let’s put our protective safety goggles on and dig into some science facts. (And then we can talk about adopting cats and/or villainy!)

 

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(I mean, we were all thinking about Catwoman here, right?)

How does this work? Well, cat purrs actually promote healing.
We all know what cat purrs are, although veterinarians aren’t entirely sure what the deal is them — and no, that’s not a setup for a Jerry Seinfeld-style joke

 

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(I am so, so sorry.)

They really aren’t sure why cats purr. Some suggest cats do it when they’re content, which makes sense. But they also purr when they’re injured or scared, which probably means they aren’t content. Like, at all.
But … what’s the science?

FACT: It turns out that those cute cat purrs exist in a super-special vibration range that has the potential to be medically therapeutic.

Your average house cat’s purr has a frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. That’s interesting because that’s also the frequency at which muscles and bones are able to best repair themselves. So cats might be self-healing.
But that’s not all: Those super-special, super-adorable cat purr vibrations also exist at a frequency that’s good for humans too. The Fauna Communications Research Institute found that every single cat in their study had purr vibrations well within the “medically therapeutic” range (20-140 Hertz).

What does this mean?

Uh, well, that your purring cat can help with bone and muscle repair, pain relief, dyspnea (shortness of breath), and so. Much. More.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
FACT: Owning a cat may mean less stress in your life.

Well, unless your cat likes to jump out and scare you (like mine)

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(Pictured: My cat hiding in a paper bag. Because why not?)

But science says that in studies about pet owners versus non-pet owners, folks who owned cats had significantly fewer stress symptoms. Dog owners were #2 in low stress. And in last place? People without any pets.
And here’s the kicker: Owning a pet (cats and dogs) in general reduced stress-related blood pressure more than medication designed specifically to do that (aka ACE inhibitors).

Now, having way lower stress because of an adorable little fuzzball in your life is actually a really big deal health-wise because…

FACT: Cats can reduce the likelihood of having a heart attack! By 40%!

The University of Minnesota found that owning a cat might actually be good for your heart, and not just in an, “Oh my gosh, I am just so overwhelmed with love for this animal!” kind of heart stuff way.
In their study, they found that folks who did not own a cat were 40% more likely to have a heart attack and had a 30% higher chance of dying from heart disease than cat owners did. Which is just like … what?!
So, why is this? Well, researchers at the University of Minnesota said this:
“If we assume that cat ownership is directly responsible for the benefits, then the most logical explanation may be that cat ownership may relieve stress and anxiety and subsequently reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.”
See? Less stress, less anxiety = fewer heart and blood pressure issues. Also, probably more tripping over cat toys at two in the morning, but I couldn’t find anything about that in the study. Oops.

FACT: Correlation doesn’t always equal causation…

… as my former stats professor used to say.
Yes, studies have found that cats can reduce stress, the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, and even potentially give you some purr therapy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should quit your job and hang out in a cave with some cats to live forever.
In fact, these findings could say more about the lifestyles of the average cat owner than the mystical powers cats have over the human body.
But, still, these studies are pretty compelling, and hey, if that means I can go around telling people that cats are actually magic, then I’m totally down, y’all.

(That cat is performing magic behind me, obviously.)

So, yeah. Cats? Adorable little monsters who just want your love and they also can heal you (maybe). And now for the infographic to prove it, just in case all this wordsmithin’ isn’t enough and you need some fun visuals to really get the point across.

  

Aww, yes, that information looks even better in infographic form.

But you know what’s better than infographics? 

Adopting a cat from your local shelter!

According to the ASPCA, 7.6 million animals are put in shelters every year, and of those, 3.4 million are cats. It gets worse because an astonishing 1.4 million cats are euthanized. That means around 37% of cats in shelters are adopted … while 41% are put down.

So there are wonderful adoptable cats out there, just waiting for your love and time and attention. Actually, there are a ton of them, so if you can, you should totally adopt. And in return? They’ll possibly use their magical healing powers on you … and love you. A lot. And there’s nothing better than that.

If you can’t adopt right now, you can always foster a cat. Or volunteer some of your time at your local animal shelter. Who knows, if you stay there long enough, maybe you too will become immortal.

Hey, it’s worth a shot, right?

 

ABOUT:

Infographic found on Visual.ly, originally created by the talented Gemma BusquetsCatwoman GIF via Giphy. The Jerry Seinfeld meme created with Meme Generator. Thumbnail via Thinkstock. All photos of my cat Scout were lovingly taken by me. No Scouts were harmed in the writing of this article.

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Training Your New Puppy

I am so excited, overwhelmed, overworked yet very happy!  This is the new edition to our family, an all black Shih Tzu named Prince Nino.  My Nino is smart, affectionate , very energetic and a quick learner and he is only 8 weeks old.   It hasn’t been hard to train him because of several reasons. He listens well and is growing up with three other Shih Tzus in the house . He knows when to eat, and how to ask to go outside to potty.  He even knows to pee on the pee pad. We have had only one accident and that happened on the first day.

Yes, we are lucky but you can be lucky , knowledgable and an expert too with training your new pup. I just want to give some of my tips as well as a professional dog trainers advice.  There are some things that professional trainers believe you should do that I don’t do such as crate training. I am including it because every dog breed is different. So where I don’t believe in it for my shih tzus, it doesn’t mean it is not appropriate for let’s say a German Shepard.

 

EASY PUPPY POTTY TRAINING

It’s normal for a young puppy to be a little ‘input-output’ machine. Since they are growing and developing rapidly at this stage, they eat more food, burn up more energy and seem to need to eliminate constantly! Puppies have not yet developed bowel and bladder control, so they can’t ‘hold it’ as long as adult dogs.

Puppies need time to developed a “den” instinct to cause them to want to ‘hold it’ and not soil the den, i.e., your entire house. In their litter, puppies just go whenever and wherever they happen to be! Successful house training depends upon your diligent supervision so you can be there to show your pup where to eliminate.

Just so you know, a puppy is never completely housetrained until they are 6 months old. For some breeds, even later. This means that though you may be making tremendous progress housetraining, there will be “mistakes”. Sometimes for reasons you can’t figure out! Don’t fret about it. Stay focused on the progress you are making. Your confidence in the techniques you are using to house train your puppy will ensure your success.

Your Five Rules for House Training

• Give your puppy frequent access to his toilet area – prevent soiling in the house.
• Reward the pup for peeing or pooping in the right place – use a special treat.
• Never punish the pup for housetraining “mistakes” – scolding has dire consequences.
• Put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule – in/out clockwork.

• Know when your puppy last eliminated – keep a diary.

How often do puppies have to potty?

Most puppies have to eliminate about every 30-45 minutes except, of course, when sleeping. Their elimination schedule will depend upon when they last ate or drank water; rambunctious physical activity; and the big unknown – personal preference! That’s right – every pup has their own inherent elimination schedule. The good news is, puppies sleep alot!

The section below on “HouseTraining Taxi Service” will tell you WHEN to give your pup immediate access to her toilet area. For now – keep reading.

If your puppy is not sleeping in her crate or pen, and is out in the house, you must follow her around to know what she is doing: chewing a bone, running circles, getting a drink of water, etc. In fact, don’t take your eye off of her! If you cannot watch her continuously, you must put her back into her pen or crate to prevent potty training “mistakes”.

Regular feedings will house train a puppy faster

It’s very important to put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule; What goes in on a regular schedule will come out on a regular schedule. Every pup is different; some poop immediately after eating; with others it may be 30 minutes to an hour after eating. Unless advised by your vet for some medical reason, do not free-feed. That is, do not leave food out all the time. For two reasons: First, your pup’s elimination schedule will be random at best. And second, she will not necessarily associate you as the provider of her food (see our article on being a pack leader and winning a puppy’s respect and trust).

Always leave water out for your puppy. Check the water bowl frequently to note how much she is drinking and to make sure the water bowl is full.

The best way to potty train a puppy

Confinement to a small area such as a bathroom or an enclosed exercise pen in combination with confinement to a crate works best.

This method is the most effective and flexible. Your pup needs to develop his natural “den instinct” and learn where to eliminate – and where not to. To potty train our puppy we must condition a desire in the pup to avoid soiling the “den” – your house. Confinement and your due diligence in providing access outside the “den” to potty and poop will develop this instinct and eventual desire. When and how to use confinement is described in detail below.

Choose a designated toilet area for House Training

So, where do you want to train your puppy to always potty and poop? The puppy toilet area needs to be accessible very quickly. 

• If you live in a high rise apartment, or a street level apartment or home with DIFFICULT outdoor access, use a bathroom or pen in the home for housetraining. 

• If, however, you live in a street level apartment or home with EASY outdoor access, use a specific, very close outdoor location and use “Housetraining Taxi Service.” You will still use an indoor pen for housetraining purposes, but outdoors will be your puppy’s primary toilet area.

Get the items you need for housetraining and set up the household:

• A few bottles of Nature’s Miracle or similar product to remove urine and fecal stains and odor. Place these in a central or multiple locations in your house with paper towels.
• A crate that will fit next to your bed but only large enough to accomodate your puppy when full grown. I prefer the wire type for a full view of the puppy. Get one that also collapses for easy transporting.
• An exercise pen that your puppy cannot jump out of. Put the exercise pen in a central location where you spend most of your time at home. You may want to put a tarp down first then set the pen on top of it.
• Special housetraining treats (rewards) – something small and special, reserved and used only for a housetraining reward. These treats should be kept close to the designated toilet area.

• An uplifting, cheery, excited tone of voice to carry with you at all times ( do they have that at the pet store? ).

“HouseTraining Taxi Service”

What ? To house train my puppy I have to call a cab? Well, not exactly, here’s the scoop. Puppies will decide to potty or poop instantly, giving you no warning. So many times when housetraining, a puppy is led to the door and on the way they just stop and do their business. This usually happens because the puppy has not developed enough bladder or bowel control yet to “hold it” until they get to the toilet area or they simply don’t know where the toilet area is yet. Not only has the pup made “a mistake,” but you have lost a chance to reward for going in the right place.

The key to house training is preventing “mistakes” and rewarding the puppy for going in your chosen spot.

“HouseTraining Taxi Service” is simply picking the puppy up into your arms, taking them to the designated toilet area, setting them down and praising them for going where you want. If you are going outside, put a collar and leash on the pup immediately after picking them up, unless the toilet area is safely enclosed and escape proof.

When should you provide “HouseTraining Taxi Service”
• Immediately upon your puppy waking up (morning, noon or night).
• Immediately after they finish eating, get a big drink of water, and after excited play
• When you think they might have to go – about every 45 minutes.
Better too often than too late! 
• When your puppy whines in the crate in the middle of the night or whines in their pen during the day. Take them out to potty, reward for going and put them right back. If they continue to whine, see our article on whining and crying.
• When your puppy is standing at the door to the outside. Why not just let them out, you say? Well, he may not make it all the way to the toilet area, potty or poop in the “wrong” place and you have missed a housetraining opportunity!

For how long should you provide “HouseTraining Taxi Service” ? 
Taxi your pup for about one month (until the pup is about 3 months old as this should give the pup enough time to develop some bladder and bowel control). By doing so, you will prevent many mistakes. At the same time you will train a stong preference in your pup to eliminate in your chosen spot. The pup will also learn that being picked up gets – kisses ! 

If you have a large breed puppy and can’t pick them up, slip on a leash quickly and “rush” them to the potty area, do not stop until you are there !

House Training Warnings – “I’m gonna go!”

Guess what, you get no warning before a young puppy is about to potty! They just squat and do it… in an instant. So, if they potty in the wrong place, you didn’t take them to their potty area soon enough – plain and simple.

However, with a poop you might get some warning – sometimes sniffing; usually circling by the puppy. By paying close attention to your puppy when they are out and about in the house, you may get a heads-up.

What to do if you catch your puppy in the act of a potty training “mistake”…

If pup is peeing in the wrong place… you may be able to stop him. Move quickly towards him when he begins to pee and pick him up. Urgency is key here – you want to startle the pup just a little as you move towards them to pick them up, but you DO NOT want to scare the pup. You are redirecting your puppy to the right spot – not disciplining him. Immediately after picking him up, take him to the potty area and patiently wait. Most pups will finish there. Reward your pup with exuberance!

If the pup is pooping… let them finish. Puppies are not able to shut off a poop like they can shut off a pee. More likely than not, you’ll just create a huge mess by trying to interupt a poop.

As always, never make a big deal about cleaning up after your puppy when an accident occurs.

Housetraining at your bedtime and when you wake up

Just before you go to bed and turn out the lights, go get your puppy, no matter where she may be, asleep or not, and taxi her to the potty area. Reward and praise as always for eliminating. Put her in the crate next to your bed and retire for the night. 

First thing in the morning, take her out of the crate and taxi her to the potty area. Return her to the crate or pen unless you are able to supervise her without distraction. Feeding is usually next up. Feed your pup breakfast around the same time each morning and in the same location.

House Training When you are NOT Home

Confine your puppy to his, ‘puppy-proofed’ bathroom or an exercise pen and paper (or wee-wee pad) the entire floor. Put his bed, toys and food/water bowls there. At first there will be no rhyme or reason to where your pup eliminates. He will go every where and any where. He will also probably play with the papers, chew on them, and drag them around his little den. Most puppies do this and you just have to live with it. Don’t get upset; just accept it as life with a young puppy. The important thing is that when you get home, clean up the mess and lay down fresh papers.

While your puppy is confined to the bathroom or his pen, he is developing a habit of eliminating on paper because no matter where he goes, it will be on paper. As time goes on, he will start to show a preferred place to do his business. When this place is well established and the rest of the papers remain clean all day, then gradually reduce the area that is papered. Start removing the paper that is furthest away from his chosen location. Eventually you will only need to leave a few sheets down in that place only. If he ever misses the paper, then you’ve reduced the area too soon. Go back to papering a larger area.

Once your puppy is reliably going only on the papers you’ve left, then you can slowly and gradually move his papers to a location of your choice. Move the papers a little bit each day. If puppy misses the paper, then you’re moving too fast. Go back a few steps and start over. Don’t be discouraged if your puppy seems to be making remarkable progress and then suddenly you have to return to papering the entire area. This is normal. There will always be minor set-backs. If you stick with this procedure, your puppy will be paper trained.

House Training When You ARE Home

When you are home but can’t attend to your puppy, follow the same procedures described above. However, the more time you spend with your puppy, the quicker he will be house trained. Your objective is to take your puppy to his toilet area every time he needs to eliminate. This should be about once every 30-45 minutes; just upon waking; just after eating or drinking; and just after a play session. Provide house training taxi service to avoid unnecessary “mistakes”.

When your pup does eliminate in his toilet area, praise and reward him profusely and enthusiastically! Don’t use any type of reprimand or punishment for mistakes or accidents. Your puppy is too young to understand and it can set the house training process back drastically.

Don’t allow your puppy freedom outside of his room or pen unless you know absolutely for sure that his bladder and bowels are completely empty. When you do let him out, don’t let him out of your sight. It is a good idea to have him on leash when he is exploring your home. He can’t get into trouble if you are attached to the other end of the leash. Never, ever tie the puppy’s leash to something and leave the puppy unattended.

As your puppy becomes more reliable about using his toilet area and his bowel and bladder control develops, he can begin to spend more time outside his room or pen with you in the rest of your home. Begin by giving him access to one room at a time. Let him eat, sleep and play in this room but only when he can be supervised. When you cannot supervise him, put him back in his room or pen.

Active House Training

The most important thing you can do to make house training happen as quickly as possible is to reward and praise your puppy every time he goes in the right place. The more times he is rewarded, the quicker he will learn. Therefore it’s important that you spend as much time as possible with your puppy and give him regular and frequent access to his toilet area.

The Key To Successful House Training

Consistency and Patience. Never scold or punish your puppy for mistakes and accidents. The older your pup gets, the more he will be able to control his bladder and bowels. Eventually your pup will have enough control that he will be able to “hold it” for longer and longer periods of time. Let your puppy do this on his own time. When training is rushed, problems usually develop. Don’t forget, most puppies are not completely house trained until they are 6 months old.

Last But Not Least

Recommend this blog for Pet Tips and Happy Walk Happy Dog For Pet Sitting & Other Pet Care Services

Want To Know The Best Things About Men Who Love Cats? Chime In!

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I remember when I was 12 years old and how my love for animals started growing more. I wanted a cat. My Dad didn’t want cats in the house. And my mother is really not fond of animals. So do you know what they told me to dissuade me from wanting a cat ? They said ,” Real Men don’t like cats! “And that I would run the risk of becoming the old lady with a bunch of cats that no man would want. What a cruel thing to say to an adolescent! I LOVE animals with no regret . I’m different from my parents. Well do you know what I told them? I said , ” Any man that judges a woman negatively because her heart is more than big enough to love other species, is no real man. And definitely not one I would want!” Yes, I’ve been called eccentric because I never back down from what I believe in. I adore men that love animals . I love men that love cats. Check out , what is great about these manly men and chime in yourself!!

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There is a trend that celebrates confident men who adore and appreciate their feline friends for what they are: wonderful, caring little companions. We’re taking our turn to share what we consider the best things about fellas who care for kitties.

They Respect Moods

Even the friendliest cats sometimes don’t feel very amiable. Cat guys understand how quickly the tables can turn during a belly rub bonding session and are cool with a sudden “don’t touch me” attitude. Those mature men know when to lay off and when to welcome their cats back into their lap for snuggles.

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They’re Responsible

Although some people believe that cats are easy to care for, cat men know that, while a cat may not need to be walked or let out several times a day, felines need attention, companionship and love. Plus, cat guys scoop the litterbox. Need we say more?

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They Appreciate Multi-Dimensional Personalities

Cats are sweet, standoffish, lazy, active, boring, funny and so much more all rolled into one. Men who love cats obviously appreciate the complexity of the feline personality. The accepting and flexible nature of such men likely spills over into their human relationships, as well.

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They Have a Sense of Humor

You have to have a sense of humor if you own a cat. Men who love cats appreciate the funny things cats do, even if the cat doesn’t mean to be funny. Cat guys laugh at the middle-of-the-night races to nowhere. They giggle at the stalking and pouncing on invisible prey. They chuckle at the 4 a.m. wake-up calls. They get a kick out of the cat lounging on the morning newspaper (or keyboard or anything else taking dad’s attention away from kitty). Guys with a good sense of humor are always more fun to be around — especially if they have a cat on their lap!

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They’re Good Guys

Bottom line: A cat guy is a guy who loves animals, and what’s not to love about that? P.S. : I have a family of my own now. We have two cats. And guess who is madly in love with both? That’s right my parents :))  it’s really hard not to.

The Importance Of Cleaning and Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

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Dental disease is a common problem in our pets and can lead to a variety of health issues. It is estimated that 70% of cats over the age of 3 years suffer from some degree of periodontal disease. Every time a cat with periodontal disease chews, bacteria are showered into the bloodstream, which then lodges in the kidneys, liver, and heart causing damage and disease. Additionally, fractured teeth, feline resorptive lesions, and tooth root abscesses are painful and can act as a constant source of discomfort for your cat. Here are a few steps you can take to help maintain the dental health of your cat.

1. Start Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth Early

Start brushing your cat’s teeth when they are still young as part of a routine grooming protocol. This acclimates kittens to the strange sensation of having their teeth brushed so they learn it is nothing to be afraid of. This is also a great way to spend time with your cat while improving his or her health. However, don’t despair if you and your older cat have yet to establish a tooth brushing routine…

2. Make Cat Tooth Brushing a Regular Affair

Every day is best, but if that isn’t possible aim for multiple times a week. Schedule the brushing sessions at the same time and place every day, and make it fun. This way your cat won’t consider it a chore; she may even start reminding you when it’s time to whip out the cat tooth brush.

You’ll want to start with baby steps, regardless of your cat’s age. Start by letting your cat lick a flavored toothpaste made specifically for pets from your finger or the toothbrush, and then brush a few teeth. (Ed. note: Never use human toothpaste, as it can be toxic to your pet if allowed to ingest too much.) When you are finished with the tooth brushing session, use a cat treat as a reward for tolerating the experience. With time and practice, your cat will eventually allow you to brush her whole mouth. However, do keep in mind that you only have to brush the outside surfaces of the cat teeth. The tongue will keep the inside surfaces clean.

3. Buy Products with VOHC Seal

There are many products to help supplement your cat brushing routine such as treats, chews and oral rinses. With all oral hygiene products including cat toothpaste, look for the VOHC seal. This indicates that the Veterinary Oral Health Council certifies the product will be effective in reducing plaque and tartar when used as directed. The most effective products have a VOHC seal that says, “Controls plaque.”

4. Use Dental Cat Food Between Brushings

Diets formulated to address dental heath are a great option to control plaque and tartar between dog/cat dental cleanings. These products are larger than a normal kibble and have a fibrous texture that act like little sponges to wrap around the teeth and help remove plaque bacteria, which can cause gum disease and tartar, from the teeth. There are over the counter as well as prescription options to choose from. However, discuss a diet change with your veterinarian to ensure you are choosing a cat food that is complete and balanced to include all the necessary nutrients your cat needs.

5. Schedule Regular Dental Checkups with Your Vet

You should schedule an annual exam for your cat every year with your veterinarian to assess your pet’s overall health status. During this visit you can discuss any concerns and determine if your cat needs a dental cleaning. Just like people, even with daily brushing our pets will need a more thorough teeth cleaning at some point. Rather than wait for a problem to develop, it is best to perform a cat teeth dental cleaning when only mild gingivitis and/or tartar are present. This will maintain good dental health and prevent disease before it becomes a problem … which in turn helps you save money and keep your pet healthy!

Choosing A Pet Sitter

 

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Choosing a Pet Sitter

Pet sitters do much more than provide your pet with food and water while you’re away

Pet sitters do much more than provide a pet with food and water while their guardian is away from home.

A good pet sitter also spends quality time with the animal, gives him exercise and knows how to tell if he needs veterinary attention. What’s more, pet sitters typically offer additional services, such as taking in mail and newspapers and watering plants.
But just because someone calls herself a pet sitter doesn’t mean she’s qualified to do the job.

Why hire a pet sitter?

A pet sitter—a professional, qualified individual paid to care for your pet—offers both you and your pet many benefits.

Your pet gets:

The environment he knows best.
His regular diet and routine.
Relief from traveling to and staying in an unfamiliar place with other animals (such as a boarding kennel).
Attention while you’re away.

You get:

Happier friends and neighbors, who aren’t burdened with caring for your pet.
The peace of mind that comes from knowing that your pet is being cared for by a professional.
Someone to bring in your newspaper and mail so potential burglars don’t know you’re away.
Someone who will come to your home so you don’t have to drive your pet to a boarding kennel.
Other services provided by most pet sitters, such as plant watering and pet grooming.

Where do I find a pet sitter?

Start with a recommendation from a friend, neighbor, veterinarian, humane society or dog trainer. Check online or in the Yellow Pages under “Pet Sitting Services.” You can also contact the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (856-439-0324) or Pet Sitters International (336-983-9222).

What should I look for?

It’s important to learn all you can about a prospective pet sitters’ qualifications and services. Before selecting a pet sitter, interview the candidates over the phone or at your home. Find out the following:
Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)?
What training has the pet sitter completed?
Will the pet sitter record notes about your pet—such as his likes, dislikes, fears, habits, medical conditions, medications, and routines?
Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?
What will happen if the pet sitter experiences car trouble or becomes ill? Does she have a backup?
Will the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog walking, dog training and play time?
Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?
If the pet sitter provides live-in services, what are the specific times she agrees to be with your pet? Is this detailed in the contract?
How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home?
Will the pet sitter provide you with the phone numbers of other clients who have agreed to serve as references?
Even if you like what you hear from the pet sitter and from her references, it’s important to have the prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your pet before actually hiring her for a pet-sitting job. Watch how she interacts with your pet—does your pet seem comfortable with the person? If this visit goes well, start by hiring the pet sitter to care for your pet during a short trip, such as a weekend excursion. That way, you can work out any problems before leaving your beloved pet in the pet sitter’s care for longer periods.

Helping the pet sitter and your pet

Of course, even the most trustworthy, experienced pet sitter will have trouble if you haven’t also kept your end of the bargain. Here are your responsibilities:
Make reservations with your pet sitter early, especially during holidays.
Ensure your pet is well socialized and allows strangers to handle him.
Affix current identification tags to your pet’s collar.
Maintain current vaccinations for your pet.
Leave clear instructions detailing specific pet-care responsibilities and emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your veterinarian.
Leave pet food and supplies in one place.
Buy extra pet supplies in case you’re away longer than planned.
Leave a key with a trustworthy neighbor as a backup, and give him and your pet sitter each other’s phone numbers. Be sure those extra keys work before giving them out.
Show the pet sitter your home’s important safety features such as the circuit breaker and security system.

Finally, have a safe and fun trip. And remember to bring your pet sitter’s phone number in case your plans change—or you just want to find out how Fluffy and Fido are doing.