Top Ways to Keep Your Dogs and Cats Entertained

People often believe that if their pet has lots of love, water, food and proper medical care then they are set for life. Two items we often forget about are:

Giving them adequate physical exercise, and,

Plenty of mental challenges to stimulate their brains.

These two factors can increase their quality of life by leaps and bounds. ASPCA Animal Trainer, Kristen Collins, touts that “Pets need jobs.” Both dogs and cats have a need to be engaged and stay busy. Keep in mind that animals were created to take care of themselves by foraging or hunting for food and shelter. Although our pets have been domesticated, their energy levels and natural instincts still exist. More often than not our pets are bored and spend the day laying around waiting for us to return home from work. This is why animals get into mischief while we are away. They need simulation to deal with the overwhelming restless feeling. Much like children, dogs and cats that are left to their own devices must find new ways to entertain themselves. When you find your cat or dog gnawing or scratching on furniture or shoes, eating houseplants, tipping over the garbage can or spending excessive amounts of time barking or meowing, then it is time to take action (or, consider taking action before these behaviors occur). Several different workouts are recommended:

For Dogs:

Get moving — Healthy dogs need a minimum of one hour of aerobic exercise per day. Kristen recommends breaking this into 2 separate 30 minute sessions. Great ways to burn off that energy are jogging, playing at the dog park and swimming.

Games — Combine exercise with a lesson by involving your pet in structured games. These can be games such as tug-of war or fetch. These types of games teach your dog about impulse control and creates a closer relationship between the two of you. Great items for the game of fetch include items such as an Air KONG squeaker tennis ball, a plain tennis ball, flexible Frisbee for dogs, Flying Squirrel fetch toy, or maybe just a … Read the rest

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4 Tips for Your First Vet Visit

So you just got a pet and you’re preparing for your first vet visit! For many pets, a trip to the vet can be an extremely traumatic experience causing lots of anxiety; unfortunately the reason for this is often unknown other than simple fear of the unknown.   As a caring pet owner, you can’t just avoid the vet as that would put your pet’s health in jeopardy!  But there are some helpful steps you can take to ease your pet’s stress and make the appointment go as smoothly as possible.

1)    Avoid peak hours

Peak hours can vary depending on the day and clinic, however; most veterinary clinics are the busiest early in the morning and in the late afternoon-evening and on weekends.  You may be tempted to schedule your pet’s appointments during these times because they’re convenient.  But this can increase an animal’s stress level due to the crowdedness and other animals that will be around.    If possible, arrange your appointments for a less popular time.  You can even ask an employee at the clinic to figure out a day when there aren’t very many appointments booked!

2)    Bring treats

Dogs and cats love their treats and they are more likely to be obedient towards you if you have a reward.  You can guide your pet’s interest away from whatever chaos is going on around them by offering them treats.  You don’t have to bring treats every time, but consider it for the first vet visit, make it a special trip for your pet!

3)    Familiarize your pet

If you go to a local clinic that is within walking or quick driving distance, it is possible for you to drop by the office casually to get your pet acquainted with the area.  You should first explain your situation to the staff, though, so they know what you are doing when you come in.  By doing this, the next check-up your pet has will go much more smoothly.

4)    Stay calm

Pets can often sense their owner’s emotions.  If you are feeling anxious, fearful or sad, it is … Read the rest

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Improving Animal Health Through Vets For Pets

Most individuals place a significant amount of focus on the health and well-being of their family pet. If this is a concern for you, then it is important to take advantage of as many resources as possible, in order to improve the health and happiness of your animal friend. The utilisation of vets for pets is a necessary investment that every pet owner must make to avoid many potentially catastrophic health risks, which animals can fall victim to. Two of the most important veterinary services that a pet owner can take advantage of are the utilisation of vaccines and neutering.

Most individuals understand the incredible importance associated with taking advantage of vaccines during a person’s youth. These vaccines represent sources of defence for your body and help to encourage a strong immune system. Vaccinations for dogs act in the same way, as they help to prevent several important diseases from being transmitted to your pet. These diseases could otherwise prove to be catastrophic to your pet’s health. By taking advantage of the knowledge of a trained veterinarian, you will be able to identify the appropriate time periods in which vaccinations should be pursued to maximize the health of your pet.

In addition to the advantages that exist with vaccinations, another important health factor to take advantage of is found with desexing dogs and cats. Unless you have the intention of breeding your pet, it is vital that you take advantage of the opportunities that are available with neutering. There are a tremendous number of animals who are abandoned each year, as a result of uncontrolled breeding. When you take the time to have your pet desexed, you will discover a wide number of advantages that will prove beneficial to both the pet and the pet owner.

For your pet, there are many health advantages associated with this procedure. In dog desexing for male dogs, the testicles are removed, which represent a common source of health problems such as prostate diseases and testicular cancer. Another advantage that is created with desexing dogs is found with the behavioural alterations you … Read the rest

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Purebred Dogs, Mixed Breed Dogs, and Hybrid Dogs

There have long been mixed breed dogs that vary quite a bit in looks, size and temperament. They are often referred to as “mutts” and they tend to have strong health and they make great pets. You can usually find a wonderful mutt to adopt at the local shelter.

A mixed breed dog is a dog that is not a purebred and it may not be known if the parents of the dog are purebreds. They are basically dogs from an unknown ancestry and a questionable genetic line. They are usually smart and wonderful and they make great pets but their lineage is unknown.

A purebred on the other hand is a dog that has two parents that are both of the same breed. Many times there are long records of the genetics of these dogs and breeders are very careful in their breeding techniques to make sure that they produce the strongest genetic tendencies.

While some people may prefer a purebred dog for a pet and others are just happier to have a mutt for a pet, there is also another choice that a pet owner may want to consider. You can get a hybrid dog or as they are sometimes called a “designer dog”.

A hybrid or designer dog is a dog that has two purebred parents from two different breeds. They are different from a mutt in that their lineage is known. The parents of the dog have a distinct genetic line that can be confirmed.

Designer dogs are becoming quite popular these days and rightly so. They tend to have the best characteristics of two distinct breeds and oftentimes they are the best of both breeds. They can take on the characteristics of either breed or sometimes both breeds.

These hybrid dogs often have really fun names such as a cockapoo for a cocker and poodle mix, a puggle, which is a pug and beagle mix, or a goldendoodle, which is a golden retriever and poodle mix and of course, many other fun mixtures of the two purebred names.

A hybrid dog can be … Read the rest

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Do All Dog Breeds Need the Same Amount of Exercise?

All breeds of dogs do need some exercise to be healthy. Without physical exercise canines cannot have strong bones and muscles. They would not have as much energy either. But do all breeds require the same amount of exercise each day? The answer is simply no.

There are some breeds that only need a moderate amount of physical activity to be healthy and happy. Others need quite a bit of activity though. So choose a breed based on your lifestyle.

If you come a go a lot to where a dog would have to be cooped up in the house for long periods of time, do not get a highly active breed. Same goes for if you live in apartments where the dog would have limited space to roam. The active breeds do better when they can have a good outdoor space to run in and that their owners are home enough to allow it.

Now there are other breeds that only need moderate exercise or room to run. These are ideal for the households where the dog is left alone in a house for periods of time or have a limited area to roam in. How do you know which breeds are what though? Let’s look into this question to see the answer.

Dog Breeds that Need Moderate Exercise

The list below shows some breeds and their characteristics that only have a moderate need for exercise:

Bichon Frise – This breed likes to be walked once a day and some play. It is not hard to give this breed its needed exercise.

Chihuahua – Even these dogs are small enough to be carried easily they still need a walk every day. Playing is fine too, to provide their exercise.

Pug – This loves to go on a walk but loves to try to lead the way. The owner should make the dog walk even with him instead of ahead of him.

The list below is a sample of the breeds that need a lot of exercise to be happy and healthy.

Border Collie – This is a … Read the rest

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