Tag Archives: Pets’ Health

Who Ate The Cat Food, The Dog Or The Cat?

Happy New Year Everyone!  Anyone else out there has had panic attacks when they see their dog in the cat dish or the cat in the dog food ? I know I’m not the only who has worried if they have messed with their pets’ diet mistakenly. I am a worry wart when it comes to my kiddies. So I was excited when I read this article by Dr. Becker and it brought some relief. I wanted to share these words with you. Dr. Becker is a veterinarian with a wealth of knowledge and writes her own articles. so please enjoy!

 

Got Cats and Dogs? Do This in a Pinch, But Don’t Make a Habit of It
By Dr. Becker



Many pet parents – especially those with both a canine and feline in the family – wonder if there’s really a difference between dog and cat food. This question often comes up when a pet owner runs out of one type of food and wonders if there’s any harm in feeding Fido a little of Fluffy’s food, or vice versa.
Another time the question arises is when a particularly finicky dog turns up his nose at his own meal, but dives head first into the cat’s food bowl.

The answer? Generally speaking, a healthy dog or cat will not suffer one iota from eating a meal intended for the other species. If healthy Fido gobbles up a bowl of cat food while your back is turned, or you need to offer Fluffy some of Fido’s dog food in a pinch, there’s no need for concern.

Obligate Carnivore (Cat) versus Scavenging Carnivore (Dog)

The reason dog food differs from cat food is because each species requires its own nutrient profile for optimal health. Felines and canines are both carnivores (meat eaters), but with a very important distinction. Cats are obligate carnivores, whereas dogs are scavenging carnivores.

The definition of an obligate carnivore:



An obligate carnivore (or true carnivore) is an animal that must eat meat in order to thrive (Syufy 2008). They may eat other foods, such as fruits, honey, grains, and so forth, but meat must be included in their diet.

True carnivores lack the physiology required for the efficient digestion of vegetable matter, and, in fact, some carnivorous mammals eat vegetation specifically as an emetic.

The domestic cat is a prime example of an obligate carnivore, as are all of the other felids (Pierson 2008).1
Dogs are scavenging, or facultative carnivores, which in general terms means they are primarily meat-eaters, but can survive on plant material alone if necessary. The key word here is “survive.” To survive is not to thrive. To thrive is to grow vigorously. To survive means simply to stay alive.

One of the arguments for feeding dogs grain or plant-based or even vegetarian diets seems to be the distinction between obligate and scavenging carnivores. It’s assumed, since dogs aren’t strict carnivores like cats are, they can easily transition to a meatless diet. This is a dangerous misconception.

In fact, I often see dogs referred to as omnivores rather than carnivores. I strongly disagree with this assumption. Just because dogs fed plant-based diets are able to stay alive doesn’t make them omnivores. Taxonomically, dogs are in the Order Carnivora and the family Canidae along with other carnivorous mammals.

Cats Have a Unique Requirement for Animal Protein



Cats must eat animal meat and organs to meet their nutritional needs, and plant-based proteins (grains and vegetables) simply aren’t a good substitute. Cats lack the specific enzymes necessary to use plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins.

The proteins derived from animal tissue contain a complete amino acid profile. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Plant-based proteins don’t contain all the amino acids critical for the health of an obligate carnivore.

Humans, who are omnivores, have the physiological ability to turn plant proteins into the missing pieces needed for a complete amino acid profile. To a very limited extent dogs can do this, but a cat’s body isn’t equipped for it whatsoever.

Cats also need much more protein in their diet than other animals. Kittens require 1.5 times more protein than puppies. Adult cats need 2 to 3 times the amount adult dogs require.

One of the reasons for this is because while other mammal species use most of the protein they consume for growth and body maintenance, cats use protein for those purposes and also as a source of energy.

When other species of animals are fed a low-protein diet, their bodies make adjustments to conserve amino acids to manage the deficit. But a cat’s body must continue to use protein even when there’s not enough in the diet, which is why protein malnutrition happens quickly in sick or injured cats, and cats suffering from anorexia.

In addition to their increased need for protein, cats also have a higher requirement for certain specific amino acids found naturally in animal tissue.

One of the amino acids missing in plants is taurine, which is found in animal muscle meat, in particular the heart and liver. Taurine deficiency causes serious health problems in cats, including cardiovascular disease and blindness. Dogs can make their own taurine.

Cats Also Have a Unique Dietary Requirement for Certain Vitamins



Cats evolved hunting a different set of prey species than dogs did, so their dietary requirements are different than dogs. Cats have a special requirement for vitamin A, which is available naturally only in animal tissue. They lack the intestinal enzymes necessary to convert B-carotene in plants to the active form of vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for maintenance of vision, growth of bone and muscle, reproduction, and the health of epithelial tissues.

Cats also require 5 times more dietary thiamine (vitamin B1) than dogs do. A thiamine deficiency can result in a poor quality coat, loss of appetite, hunched posture, neurologic problems including seizures, and even death. Unfortunately, thiamine isn’t stable in commercial pet foods and levels drop significantly the longer the food is stored, so many cats may be deficient unless they are eating very fresh food.

Vitamin D is also essential in the diets of all mammals. Cats (and dogs) must consume vitamin D in their diet (they can’t synthesize it through their skin). The liver and fatty tissue of prey animals is rich in vitamin D.
Arachidonic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid that dogs can make themselves, but cats must get from their diet.

Cats Also Need a Moisture-Dense Diet
Another distinctive biological feature of cats is their need to get most of their water intake from the food they eat.

Domestic kitties — who evolved from desert-dwelling ancestors, after all — are not as responsive as other animals to sensations of thirst or dehydration. Unlike dogs who drink frequently from their water bowls, when fed a diet devoid of moisture (e.g., kibble), cats aren’t driven to search for another source of water to make up the difference between what their bodies require and what their diet provides.
This can result in chronic mild dehydration, a condition that will ultimately result in disease, especially of the feline lower urinary tract and kidneys.
Species-Appropriate Diets Are the Best Option for Both Dogs and Cats
Obviously, cats can’t thrive on a diet designed for dogs. And while dogs may be able to survive on cat food, it’s certainly not an optimal diet for them.

Diets designed for kitties are significantly higher in calories, protein, and fat than dogs require. A steady diet of cat food fed to even a very healthy dog may ultimately result in an overweight pet who suffers bouts of diarrhea and vomiting, and is at increased risk for pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening.

So as I said earlier, in a pinch, a healthy dog can eat a meal of cat food, or a healthy cat can eat a meal of dog food.

A better option, of course, is to offer your dog or cat species-appropriate safe human food until you can home prepare or purchase more of his regular food.

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Graphics For Emergency Veterinary Advice

This is a terrific graphic of advice , to help pet owners act proactively in case your dog or cat falls sick and get injured.    I printed this out and attached it  to  the bulletin board in my office.  I hope you make use of this info!
  

Everyday Items That Are Hazardous to Our Pets’ Health

It can happen to even the best pet owners. You turn around for one second and the dog is into the chocolate that was sitting on the counter, or the cat has discovered the Easter lily you thought was safely out of the way.

“We just don’t realize how determined our pets are to eat the things they shouldn’t,” Dr. Tina Wismer, DVM, medical director for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, says.

Of the more than 180,000 cases that the organization handled in 2013, most of them involved pets who’d ingested human prescriptions. “Many children with ADHD don’t want to take their medications, so they leave pills on their plates, where pets can get at them,” Dr. Wismer says. “Even nonprescription medications, such as ibuprofen, can be a problem, because many brands have a sweet coating, so it’s like candy for dogs.”

As part of National Poison Prevention Week (March 15-21), Vetstreet has compiled an A-to-Z photo gallery of common pet poisons that should be on your radar. This list is not all inclusive, so for more information on these and many other toxins, check out the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website and talk with your vet.
Acetaminophen
Acetaminophen, which is found in Tylenol and other medications, can cause liver damage in dogs. Cats are even more sensitive: Ingestion of a single 325 mg tablet by a 10-pound cat can cause red blood cell damage and even be fatal.
Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.

Batteries
Batteries can be toxic to both dogs and cats, leading to ulcers in the mouth, esophagus and stomach.
Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.

Chocolate
Chocolate can cause seizures and death in dogs and cats. Darker chocolate, such as unsweetened baker’s chocolate, is more toxic than milk or white chocolate. Even cocoa bean mulch, when eaten in large quantities, can be a problem.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to severe

Detergents
Detergents and fabric softener sheets can cause ulcers in the mouth, esophagus and stomach in dogs and cats. The newer laundry pods, which contain concentrated detergent packaged under pressure, may pose a greater risk. When pets bite into the pod, the contents can be forcibly expelled, then inhaled or swallowed in large amounts.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.

Ethylene Glycol
Ethylene glycol is found in antifreeze, windshield de-icing agents and motor oils. Dogs and cats are attracted to its sweet taste, but as little as a teaspoon in cats or a tablespoon in dogs can cause kidney failure. Recently, antifreeze and engine coolant manufacturers have agreed to voluntarily add bittering agents to reduce the products’ appeal to pets and children.
Toxicity Ranking: severe to fatal.

Fertilizers
Fertilizers can contain poisonous amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, herbicides and pesticides. Keep dogs and cats away from treated lawns until they are dry. Check the product packaging, though, since some products must be rinsed into the lawn before it is safe to walk on.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.

Grapes
Grapes, raisins and currants — even grape juice — in small amounts can cause kidney failure in dogs.
Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.

Household Cleaners
Household cleaners, such as bleach, drain cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners, can cause gastrointestinal ulcers and other problems in dogs and cats.
Toxicity Ranking: varies.

Insecticides
Insecticides in flea and tick products can cause problems if not used according to labels. Insecticides that are meant for dogs can cause severe toxicity in cats, leading to signs such as vomiting, seizures and difficulty breathing. Products intended for treating the yard or house should not be used on pets.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to severe.

Jimson Weed
Jimson weed, also known as devil’s trumpet, can cause restlessness, drunken walking and respiratory failure in dogs and cats.
Toxicity Ranking: moderate.

Kerosene
Kerosene, gasoline and tiki torch fluids can cause drooling, drunken walking and difficulty breathing in dogs and cats. If these products contain antifreeze, they are even more problematic.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to severe (potentially life threatening).

Lilies
Lilies — Easter, day, tiger, Japanese and Asiatic varieties — can cause kidney failure in cats. Lilies of the valley can cause heart rhythm problems and death in dogs and cats.
Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.

Mothballs
Mothballs, especially if they contain naphthalene, can be toxic to dogs and cats, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, increased drinking and urination, and seizures.
Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe (potentially life threatening).

Medications
Nonprescription medications, such as ibuprofen, can lead to severe ulcers and anemia, as well as liver and kidney failure in pets.
Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe (potentially life threatening).

Onions
Onions, garlic, leeks and chives can be toxic in dogs and cats. When chewed or swallowed, these ingredients can cause anemia and gastrointestinal upset.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.

Prescription Medications
Prescription medications, such as antidepressants and ADHD and cardiac drugs, are commonly ingested by pets when pills are dropped on the floor or left on counters. Even a small dose can cause problems.                                            Toxicity Ranking: varies.

Queensland Nuts
Queensland nuts, also known as macadamia nuts, can cause lethargy, vomiting and difficulty walking in dogs.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.

Rodenticides
Rodenticides, such as mouse and rat poisons, can contain a number of different toxins, which have different effects on dogs and cats. Several common ingredients, like warfarin and coumarin, can cause blood-clotting problems and hemorrhaging.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to severe.

Sago Palms
Sago palms are one of a number of toxic plants for dogs and cats. Ingestion can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and seizures, as well as liver failure in dogs.
Toxicity Ranking: severe

Tobacco
Tobacco can be toxic to both dogs and cats. Ingestion of nicotine in the tobacco plant or in cigarettes or patches can lead to vomiting, tremors, collapse and death.
Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.

Unbaked Bread Dough
Unbaked bread dough can expand in the stomach. If the stomach twists, cutting off the blood supply, emergency surgery is needed. The yeast in the dough can also produce alcohol, leading to seizures and respiratory failure.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to severe.
Veterinary Prescriptions
Veterinary prescriptions, such as arthritis medications, are often meat flavored, which can be enticing to dogs. Ingestion of large quantities can result in stomach ulcers, liver failure or kidney failure.
Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.

Windshield Wiper Fluid
Windshield wiper fluid can contain methanol or ethylene glycol. Ingestion of methanol can cause low blood sugar and drunken walking in dogs and cats.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.

Xylitol
Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener commonly found in chewing gum, breath mints and toothpaste. In dogs, it can lead to dangerous drops in blood sugar and liver failure.
Toxicity Ranking: mild to severe.

Yard Products
Yard products, including snail and slug bait, herbicides and fertilizers, are never good for pets. Signs will vary by the ingredient.
Toxicity Ranking: varies.

Zinc
Zinc toxicity can happen when dogs and cats eat metal or coins. Ingestion of pennies minted after 1982 can be more problematic. Zinc can cause anemia, as well as liver, kidney or heart failure.
Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.

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

Walking Your Dog : It’s Important, Do It Well

Most dog breeds were developed with a specific purpose in mind, for example, sporting, working, herding and so forth. Consequently, whether your pet is a purebred or mixed breed, chances are he carries genetic traits that drive him to pursue an activity.

Many modern day dogs don’t get opportunities to do what their breed instincts tell them to do. In addition, it’s a rare dog that exercises on his own, and your backyard doesn’t provide the variety of sensory stimulation most dogs need to ward off boredom.

Dogs need walks for both exercise and mental stimulation.

According to Clinician’s Brief:

Generally, people walk their dog for 4 reasons: elimination, mental stimulation, exercise, and training. Dogs like to go for walks to get outdoors, sniff and engage with their environment, exercise, and perhaps socialize with people and dogs outside the home. There is no reason that a walk cannot encompass and meet all the needs of both humans and dogs. Because time is often at a premium, it is useful to help owners understand and find creative ways to meet these needs.

Why and how to walk your dog may seem like a ‘no brainer’ topic to many of you, but the fact is there are lots of pet owners who:

  • Don’t walk their dogs at all, or don’t do it routinely
  • Don’t make the most of the activity
  • Dread walks because their pet actually walks them, or exhibits other bad leash manners


Before You Head Out the Door

The best way to develop a positive dog walking habit is when your pet is a puppy.As soon as her immune system is strong enough to protect her from communicable disease (discuss when it’s safe to take your pup outside with your vet) , she’s ready for walks with you or other family members.She should already have her own secure-fitting collar or harness and ID tag, and sheshould be used to wearing it before you attempt to take her for walks. Some puppies have no problem wearing a collar; others do. If your dog is fighting it, as long as you’re sure it isn’t too tight (youshould be able to easily slip your fingers under it) or uncomfortable for some other reason, distract her from fussing with her collar until she gets used to it. It shouldn’t take more thana couple days for your pup to forget she’s even wearing it.Don’t try to take your pup for a walk if she protests wearing a collar. Get her used to wearing her collar first.If you plan to use a head halter or harness for walks (which I recommend for any dog at risk of injury from pulling against a collar/leash combination), the next step is to get your puppy comfortable wearing it. As with the collar, this needs to happen before you attempt to attach a leash and head out the door.Once wearing her collar and a halter or harness (if you choose) is second nature to your dog, you’re ready for the next step. Attach about four feet of light line — cotton awning cord or light cotton rope will do – and let your puppy drag it around the house with her under your watchful eye, of course. She’ll get used to it being attached, as well as the tug of it when she steps on it.Once your pup is used to the four-foot line, swap it for a 10 to 15 foot line of the same material, and head outdoors.

Starting Off on the Right Foot

Initial walks should be short for most puppies – the main goal is to get your dog used to being attached to you by a lead.

Find a safe environment. Allow puppy to drag the line behind him for a bit, then pick up the opposite end. Let him lead you around for a few seconds while you hold the line just off the ground. Slow down so he’s forced to slow down, ultimately to a stop. Take a short break for praise and a little playtime.

Next, let him trail the line again, but when you pick up your end this time, call him and stand still. If he pulls, hold your ground without pulling him in your direction. The goal is to teach him to put slack in the line himself by moving toward you. When he puts slack in the line, praise him and call him to you.

If he comes all the way to you, more praise and a training treat are in order. If he stops on his way to you, tighten the line just enough to apply a tiny bit of pull to it. Immediately call him to come again. Give praise as he moves toward you and treats when he comes all the way back.

Two or three repetitions is all many puppies need to understand lack of tension in the line is what earns praise and treats.

When your pup has learned to come towards you to relieve tension on the line, you can begin backing up as he’s coming towards you to keep him moving. 

Next, turn and walk forward so he’s following you. If he passes you, head in another direction so he’s again behind you.

The goal is to teach him to follow on a loose lead. Once you’ve accomplished the goal, you can continue to use the light line or replace it with a leash.

Depending on your pet’s temperament, five to 15 minute sessions are sufficient in the beginning. Practice controlling your dog on the lead for 30 second intervals during each session. Exercise patience and don’t engage in a battle of wills with your pup. Don’t snap, yank or otherwise use the line for correction or punishment. Stop before either of you gets frazzled or tired. 

After each short session on the lead, liberally praise your dog and spend a few minutes playing ball or some other game he enjoys. Remember — you’re building the foundation for an activity both you and your dog will enjoy and look forward to throughout her life.

Problem Pullers

Some puppies stubbornly fight the pressure of the line rather than create slack.

If your puppy freezes on a tight line or routinely pulls against it, my first recommendation is to use a halter or harness rather than a collar attached to the lead. Your dog can create serious neck and cervical disk problems by pulling on a collar/leash combination.

Next, make sure it’s not you creating the problem. Our human instinct is to hold the leash taught, so you must also train yourself to keep slack in the line. Your dog’s natural response to a tight line is to pull against it. 

Next do the following when your puppy refuses to create slack or move toward you:

  • Maintain the tension on the line and turn your back on her. Allow time for it to occur to her she can’t win by pulling against you.
  • Remain still with your back to her holding the tension in the line – don’t jerk the line, don’t pull or yank her toward you, and don’t put slack in the line yourself, which will teach her the way to get slack is to pull at the line.

The message you want to send your pup is pulling on the lead doesn’t accomplish a thing. It doesn’t change the scenery and it doesn’t earn praise or treats. Eventually, your puppy will stop doing what doesn’t work – especially when she is consistently rewarded for desirable behavior.

The very first second you begin leash training, make sure your puppy accomplishes nothing by pulling on her line. It takes some dogs longer than others to learn to keep the leash loose, but with patience and persistence, any puppy can learn to follow on a loose lead.

Different Types of Dog Walks

Once your dog has been taught good leash manners, I recommend you vary the purpose of your walks with him.

If your habit is to walk him to his potty spot to relieve himself, that’s a purposeful walk – usually of short duration.
Then there are mentally stimulating walks during which your pup is allowed to stop, sniff, investigate, mark a spot and so forth. Most dogs on a leash don’t spend as much time sniffing and investigating as off-leash dogs. (This is probably because leashed dogs sense their owners aren’t really into the same things they are!)
Allowing your pet some time to sniff around and investigate is good for him mentally. Dogs gain knowledge of the world through their noses. You can train your dog with commands to know when he’s out for a mental stimulation walk, a training walk or an exercise session.

Regular exercise is a necessity for your dog, the natural athlete. Regardless of his size, breed, gender or even his age, he needs physical activity in order to be a balanced, healthy animal. Exercise will keep his frame strong, his weight in the healthy range, and it can also help prevent or alleviate arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases.
Exercise consistency is really important. Dogs need exercise every three days, minimum, in order to maintain muscle tone and prevent muscle wasting. In my opinion, consistent daily aerobic exercise should be the goal. It’s important to elevate your pet’s heart rate for 20 minutes during exercise sessions. If your dog is out of shape, you’ll need to start slow and build gradually to 20 minutes per session.

Ongoing training throughout your dog’s life is a great way to keep his faculties sharp and boredom at bay. It’s also a wonderful way to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Training walks can be about improving leash manners, learning basic or advanced obedience commands, ongoing socialization – just about anything you can think of that can be done on a leashed walk.

Your dog depends on you for her quality of life. Walking her every day or at least several times each week – taking advantage of different types of walks to stimulate her mentally and physically – will help your canine companion be balanced, healthy and happy for a lifetime.

 

 

Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Dry Dog Food Recall

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Tuffy’s Pet Foods, a Minnesota-based pet food manufacturer, has announced a voluntary recall of limited lots of Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria.
A routine sampling by the Ohio Department of Agriculture discovered the presence of Salmonella in one 4 lb. bag of the dog food. The manufacturer is issuing the recall action out of an abundance of caution, to safeguard customers, and is coordinating this voluntary recall with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The recalled products are specific to the 4 lb. bags of Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food. They can be identified by the first 5 digits of the affected Lot Codes, which can be found on the upper back of the bag, the Best By Dates on the upper back of the bag, and the UPC Code on the lower back of the bag. No other Nutrisca foods, treats, supplements, or other products are affected by this recall.

To determine whether your dog’s food is affected by this recall, look for this information on the package:

Nutrisca 4lb Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food

First five digits of Lot Codes: 4G29P, 4G31P, 4H01P, 4H04P, 4H05P, 4H06P

Best By Dates: Jul 28 16, Jul 30 16, Jul 31 16, Aug 03 16, Aug 04 16, Aug 05 16

UPC# 8 84244 12495 7

At the time of this article, no illnesses in animals or humans in relation to this product have been reported.

If you or your pet had contact with the recalled product, you are advised to watch for symptoms that may develop. Common symptoms associated with Salmonella poisoning include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. In some rare cases, Salmonella poisoning can result in more severe symptoms. Pets may also be infected without symptoms and may pass the infection to other pets or humans in the hosuehold. If you, your pet, or a family member is experiencing these symptoms, or if you suspect infection, you are urged to contact an appropriate medical professional.

Consumers who purchased the 4 lb. bags of the recalled dry dog food product should stop using it immediately and discard it in a secure trash container or return it to the place of purchase.

Those who wish to contact Nutrisca for information or to ask questions may do so at their toll free number, 1-888-559-8833.

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!

Wondering If Your Cat is Sick?….These 7 Signs Will Give You A Clue

 

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It happens all too often — by the time an owner realizes her cat is sick, the cat is very sick. Cats tend to hide their illnesses, and they even hide themselves when they’re ill. But many problems are best treated when they’re caught early, which means you are your cat’s most important health care provider. You’re the one who sees him every day and decides when he needs to see the veterinarian. Don’t ignore what he’s trying to tell you — or trying not to tell you. Here are just a few of the clues you should look for.

Is He Acting Differently?

The most common sign of illness in some cats is hiding in a quiet, out-of-the-way place. Sick cats often lie quietly in a hunched position.
They might neglect grooming. They may be purring, which cats do not only when they’re happy, but also when they’re sick or in pain. A cat with breathing difficulties may refuse to lie on his side and may keep his head raised. Cats with neurological problems may be confused, have seizures or press their heads into furniture or walls. This is not the head butting that cats do on your leg affectionately but rather prolonged pressing on a surface.

Is He Eating, Drinking, Urinating Or Defecating More Or Less Than Normal?

Cats who don’t feel well usually don’t want to eat. Some illnesses, however, can cause increased appetite, so don’t ignore your suddenly ravenous cat. Increased thirst and urination may indicate kidney disease, diabetes or other illness. Frequent, sudden attempts to urinate, especially if only small amounts are produced or if accompanied by signs of pain (including meowing or straining in the litterbox), may indicate a urinary tract infection or blockage. Inability to urinate is a life-threatening emergency that is all too common in cats, especially males.

Is He Regurgitating Or Vomiting?

If your cat regurgitates food soon after eating, he may have a problem. Vomiting food after it’s been in the stomach can indicate poisoning, blockage or a host of other problems. If your cat vomits for more than a few hours or vomits repeatedly for more than a day, she probably needs to see a vet. And if any vomiting episode is accompanied by lethargy, diarrhea or reluctance to move, you should seek medical attention. When in doubt, it is always better to call the vet instead of waiting to see what will happen.

Does He Have Diarrhea Or Constipation?

Diarrhea can result from nervousness, a change in diet or water, food sensitivities, intestinal parasites, infections, poisoning or many illnesses. Watery diarrhea, diarrhea with blood, or diarrhea accompanied by vomiting or other signs of illness warrants a call to the veterinarian. Cats commonly become constipated. They may strain to defecate; cry or meow in the litterbox; pass only small, hard feces; or pass small amounts of watery feces. Examine your cat’s litterbox to make sure he’s defecating as he should be.

Is He Coughing?

Coughing can be caused by a variety of conditions, including foreign bodies, hairballs, allergies, asthma, tumors, heart disease, lung disease or several contagious illnesses. If coughing persists for more than a day, don’t wait — contact your veterinarian. If your cat is coughing over and over, has difficulty breathing or has bluish gums, he needs to see his veterinarian immediately.

Is His Gum Color Off?

If you suspect a problem, check the gums. They should be a deep pink, and if you press with your thumb, they should return to pink within two seconds after you lift your thumb. Very pale gums or slow repinking may indicate anemia, shock or poor circulation. Bluish gums or tongue can mean a life-threatening lack of oxygen. Bright red gums may indicate overheating or carbon monoxide poisoning, and yellow gums are a symptom of jaundice. Tiny red splotches may indicate a blood-clotting problem. Tooth and gum problems often cause bad breath and pain, with redness around the gumline.

Is His Temperature Abnormal?

To take your cat’s temperature, lubricate a rectal thermometer (petroleum jelly or personal lubricant are both OK to use) and insert it 1 to 1.5 inches into the cat’s rectum. Depending on the thermometer, leave it there from 10 seconds to a minute. The normal temperature for a cat is 100 to 103 degrees, averaging 101 degrees. If the temperature is 104 degrees or above, or 99 degrees or below, call your veterinarian for advice; if it’s 105 degrees or above, or 96 degrees or below, go to your veterinarian.

When in doubt, call your veterinarian. A false alarm is better than ignoring the symptoms of a sick cat.

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February is National Pet Dental Health Month

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Don’t turn your nose to Fido’s or Fluffy’s bad breath! That odor might signify a serious health risk, with the potential to damage not only your pet’s teeth and gums but its internal organs as well.

Click on the links below to learn more about National Pet Dental Health Month, and how you can improve the dental (and overall) health of your pets.

Watch

Dr. Sheldon Rubin gives easy, step-by-step instructions on how to teach a dog or cat to accept a daily tooth brushing. He also describes healthy treats, and explains the true risks of periodontal disease in pets.

Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in cats and dogs even though it’s completely preventable. Dr. Cindy Charlier explains what periodontal disease is and how we can prevent our pets from getting it.

Listen

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Dr. Jan Bellows, president of the American Veterinary Dental College and owner of All Pets Dental in Weston, Fla., discussed the importance of dental health for our pets in an interview for Animal Tracks podcast series. Listen now.

Share

Show us your pets’ pearly whites! We’re looking for photos of your pets’ beautiful teeth — and we mean any kind of pets: dogs, cats, horses, bunnies, ferrets, goats, cows … fuzzy, furred or finned, you name it. After all, pets need dental care, too. View and submit photos on Flickr group: Pearly White Pets, on our Pet Dental Health Month Facebook event page, or tweet or Instagram your photos with the hashtag #pearlywhitepets.

Read

View the AVMA’s press release on National Pet Dental Health Month.

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Remember

While February is National Pet Dental Health Month, dental health should be a daily ritual for pet owners all year long.