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Archive for the ‘Pet Care’ Category.

Indoor Pee Pads for Dogs

cvh The first time I saw one I wondered about their effectiveness, but then I figured there must be something to it or there wouldn’t be a market for this product. In my research I have learned a few things, some products are superior and come highly recommended, but these pads aren’t for all dogs.

Nothing beats the great outdoors, that goes for dogs and people! These pads shouldn’t become a a solution to not going on walks, your dog needs their exercise, so if you can’t provide that for your pooch, you should pay someone to walk the dog for you or place your dog into doggy daycare.

Here are the advised uses for these pads, only use with small breed pets, elderly pets that can’t make it outside, or in winter when going outside is difficult or too cold. Having said that there are a few disclaimers about using these products. It might take a few days and accidents before the dog understands what the pee pad is for. With larger breeds, you must recognize that some dogs traditionally lift their legs to pee are probably not going to aim for the pad, meaning you will find pee possibly on your walls and around the sides of the pad.

Some dogs are messy with their business kicking up grass after they have finished peeing outside, so your dog might kick pee off the pad and onto furniture or other surfaces. Not to mention that these pads can cause confusion when training a puppy,causing the puppy to pee on carpeted areas. Our advice is just don’t lean too heavily on the pad for training purposes.

Now that number one is out of the way, have you considered what’s going to happen with number two? Unlike cats, dogs don’t tidily do their business in the same place they pee, some dogs just go where they please, and with this pee pad, they might just start pooping where ever they please in the house because you have introduced peeing in the house.

The above are just considerations to take before running out and trying a pee pad. If you still think you should buy one, do your homework, don’t just buy a generic brand form the pet store, find one that comes highly recommended. This pee pad from Doctors Foster and Smith is highly recommended amongst its users. It has an 88% approval rating. But you should find something that’s right for your dog, Amazon has an array of peed pads and fake grass to choose from, just be sure to read the reviews before making your final selection.

Pet Mice

CVH Mice make great entertaining pets, they are curious, energetic and adventurous. Is a pet mouse right for everyone? No, mice need a lot of attention and care to ensure that their short lives are healthy and well lived. Some one who is afraid of mice, or who has small children will not make great owners.

Mice are delicate animals that require a clean environment, lots of stimulation and an abundance of available food and water. You can purchase mice form a pet store, but these mice have most likely been bred in a rodent mill, resulting in sickly or disease prone animals. You should research a mouse breeder in your area. Mice have been bred for hundreds of years. There are many different colors and sizes, but the white mouse is probably the most common.

If you have decided on a pet mouse, there are a number of things you should consider. Are you going to own a female or a male? Females do better when they have company, so it’s suggested that you purchase three females at the same time to keep together in the same enclosure. Males on the other hand must be kept separate because they will fight, often to the death. There have been successful cases of males co-habitating, but they were introduced at a very early age, around 4 weeks. It’s also unadvised that you keep a male and a female together. Mice breed extremely rapidly, so you don’t want to keep them together, birth is really hard on the females, and they can become pregnant as early as 4 weeks. Mice litters also tend to be numerous, so unless you know what you are doing, do not place a male and a female in the same cage.

Before you bring your mouse home you should prepare the cage at home for an easy transition. Moving from home to home can be stressful, by having the mouse’s new home ready for him helps in making their new life smoother. The size of cage depends on how many mice you intend to keep and how big the mice are. A mouse can squeeze through an opening as big as 1/2 inches. The rule of thumb is if a mouse can fit their head through an opening, they can fit their whole body through. So is you choose a wire cage, the bars should be spaced 1/4inches apart to safely and securely hold you pet. You may also choose to keep them in an aquarium, but this comes with its own disadvantages.

In order to keep your mouse healthy you must spot clean your cage twice a week and clean the entire cage once a week. If you have an aquarium, you might be cleaning the enclosure more often because the glass will make the ammonia more potent and harmful because the odors are trapped, where a wire cage allows air through, not to mention climbing possibilities for the mouse.

On the side of the cage you should attach a large water bottle, or two small ones for your mouse to drink from. Mice might be tiny, but they need frequent hydration and food. You can buy mouse food from the pet store, but you can also give you mouse some treats form around the house. Mice enjoy dog treats, carrots, apples, bananas, and more fruits and vegetables. You can research what domesticated mice like to eat and find what your pet likes best.

You should change the water bottles and food dishes once a week, giving everything a proper cleaning. Use soap to clean the dishes and cage, but be sure to rinse well with water. You can even clean the cage with vinegar and water solution. This helps to kill odors and keep the enclosure fresh. Males tend to have a muskier odor than females, which means you may need to clean a male’s cage more often.

You can buy wood chip bedding for the enclosure, but you can use shredded paper as well, not news print though, the ink is harmful to mice. If you purchase wooden bedding make sure the chips are not made from pine or cedar. These types of wood can cause breathing problems for your mice.

You should also place toys and hidey holes for your mouse inside the cage. These can be household products, or store bought. Mice love climbing through flower pots or tubes from paper towel or toilet paper. You can also give them kleenex or cotton pods for them to shred and use for a nest. you can tie a string in a wire cage and enjoy watching your mouse hang from it. You can give them chew toys to help them grind their teeth down as well. You can find great wooden toys from your local pet shop, or give untreated wood pieces from an art store.

If you suspect that your mouse is sick, take it to the vet right away. Illnesses that affect mice include, lice, breathing difficulty, and colds. If your mouse is kept in an area too hot, it can suffer from heat stroke and die, to keep you mouse cool you can place ice cubes in the cage to help them fight the heat. Alternately, you should not keep you mouse close to an air conditioning vent, your mouse could catch hypothermia.

To find the right vet for you mouse, make sure that the vet specializes in treating small exotic animals. Now that you’re well informed about mice, we hope you find the perfect one to keep as your pet!

What Are the Spots On Your Cat’s Iris?

CVH If you’re like me and you have an older cat, you know that your little ball of fur will possibly start to show signs of his age through illnesses, or just lack of energy. What you may not know, is that older cat’s with yellow eyes are more likely than other types to contract Melanocytoma, the spotting of the iris. The iris is the colored portion of the cat’s eye.

These spots can be brown or black and be of any size and not cause immediate harm to your pet. However, if these spots begin to change shape, grow or multiply in number, you will have to bring your cat in to see a vet immediately.

Melanocytoma is the growth of abnormal tissue in or around your act’s eye, resulting in brown or black spots. Melanosis usually affects cats 12-14 years or older, but in rare cases can affect cats as young as 6 years. Cats can live comfortably for years with this condition without ever developing more serious symptoms or complications, but you should still keep an eye on the spots and take your cat in for regular check ups with the vet. As long as these spots stay flat on the iris they are benign.

Luckily, most cases of iris melanosis do not undergo malignant change to melanoma. In fact, a cat with progressive iris melanosis is more likely to develop glaucoma from infiltration and obstruction of the drainage angle (the area in the eye where the intraocular fluid drains) than he is to develop distant metastasis.

In the event that the spots increase in number or size, or change from their flat position and begin to appear bumpy, the disease has progressed to the next stage and have most likely become malignant. That means that they have become Melanoma and are cancerous and in need of immediate treatment. If left untreated, the cancer cells from the eye can detach and become lodged elsewhere in the body, spreading the cancer to another organ.

When Melanoma is caught early the treatment can successfully remove the cancerous cells. This is accomplished through the use of a laser by a veterinary surgeon. However, in some cases complete extraction of the eye may be necessary to stop the disease form progressing (removal of the eye).

Melanosis can also be caused by corneal ulcers or trauma. It is also possible for erosion to cause dark spots in the clear portion of cat’s eyes, according to Animal Eye Care. If your cat has been engaging in play or combat with another cat, it is possible for a scratch to the eye to become infected resulting in the dark spots. It is also possible for something to become lodged underneath the eyelid slicing the cornea and resulting in this sort of infection as well.

Should you notice something under your cat’s eyelid, do not try to remove it yourself, bring your cat to a vet immediately for treatment. You can further damage your cat’s eye trying to remove particles from under their eyelids.

Infections such as conjunctivitus can also cause spots in your cat’s eye. These are defined by squinting, discharge, and local inflammation. Treatment for these viruses depend on the type of infection or bacteria, most likely though your vet will prescribe eye drops or ointment to clear up any virus your cat may have caught. Remember when administering the medicine to give the complete dosage for the entire time, even if the eye heals. You need to keep giving your kitty the medicine until it is all gone.

Beating the Summer Heat

ID-10076706 Recently we’ve been asked about the safety of putting ice cubes in a pet’s water dish. This is perfectly fine, there is no danger to your pet if you put ice cubes in their water dish. Because of the misinformation we believe that more information needs to get out for our pet’s health and safety.

Hot days are hard on people and animals alike. Becoming overheated can be dangerous for pets because they are covered in fur and don’t ventilate the same way that humans do. This makes them susceptible to heat stroke and hyperthermia.

Living in a tropical climate like we do in Florida means that you need to take precautions for your pet all year round. The following are tips for keeping pets cool on those especially hot days.

1. Do not lock your pet in your vehicle. If you have to take your pet with you in the car, whatever you do, do not leave them in the car. The vehicle’s inside temperature will double in the heat of the sun. So if it’s 80° outside, then the inside temperature of the car will be 160°.

Every year pet’s die in their owner’s vehicles because they were left inside the car while their owner was out running errands. This is 100% avoidable, so if you have to take your pet with you, that means they need to get out of the car and brought along the entire time your out.

It’s better to clean up any potential mess you might find at home versus bringing your pet along and locking them in your vehicle only to suffer in the heat.

2. Reduce exercise during extreme heat. From 10am-2pm is the hottest part of the day, during a heat wave this time can be even longer. During these intensely hot days you should limit outdoor exposure, or just wait for another day to walk your dog or let your pet out.

Dog’s paws are sensitive to heat, which is another reason you may want to hold off on those walks. The hot pavement can hurt your dog’s paws, so if you need to go for a walk try to stay off side walks and roads.

If you have to go for a walk with your pet make sure to take frequent breaks in the shade, and bring plenty of water for yourself and your pet. You might even consider going for a shorter walk than normal.

There are a variety of accessories you can buy to help keep your dog cool, such as hats, bandanas, and special sun screen to stop sun burns on dog’s with shorter hair.

3. Give your pet plenty of water. During those hot days make sure your pet is well hydrated. You can even give them water with ice cubes in it. There is no danger of bloat as you may have heard. Bloat only occurs when an animal drinks too much water, with or without ice.

In the extreme heat your pet needs to be well hydrated, so they will need more water than usual, and if you can keep their water cool, even better! You might even want to freeze some treats to help them beat the heat. Cats enjoy chasing and eating ice cubes on hot days.

You can even cool your pet down by wrapping them in towels or light blankets that have been soaked in cold water. If your pet doesn’t find a bath stressful, you should give them a cool bath. You can even mist your pet with cool water to help keep the heat at bay.

4. Have your pet groomed. Having their excess hair brushed away, or having their hair cut will help keep your pet cool. You can even take a cloth soaked in cold water and rubbing alcohol and rub it over their ears to help cool their body down.

5. Provide a cool place for your pet inside and outside. If you have central air in you home then that’s the best place for your pet to be. If you don’t have central air then make sure your pet has a cool dark place to relax.

You pet needs a break from the heat, whether it’s in the shade outside, or in the house. Make your pet a comfortable place to relax where it’s cool. You can even dig a hole for your dog to lay in and keep cool.

During the heat do what you can to keep your pet cool. These suggestions are your best ways to keep your pet refreshed. Don’t rely on a fan to keep your pet cool, because a fan might work for you, but it won’t for your pet. Always keep an eye on your pet in the heat to make sure that they have plenty of water, are resting and relaxing, and generally staying cool.

Pure Breed Cats

Most people research breeds of dogs when thinking about getting a dog, but barely anybody thinks about pure breed cats when selecting a family pet. The most commonly chosen pure breed cats are Persians and Siamese, with the Rex family closing in because of their allergy friendly disposition.

When choosing a pure breed you should inquire with the breeder as to the animal’s nature and predisposition to diseases. This information will let you know about the potential compatibility and possible health issues with the cat you choose. Here are some uncommon breeds to consider if you’re a cat person or think you might be.

Large Domestic Breeds
ce Highlander
Highlander cats are bred to look like the Highland Lynx, but no worries, there is no wild cat genes in these animals. Highlanders are extremely loving, gentle and playful. Highlanders love attention and playing, their playful nature helps to give them a muscular looking body.

Highlanders ears can be curled or or not, and the tail may be bobbed or long. The feet of a Highlander may be normal or polydactyl, meaning there are more toes than normal on the foot. The Highlander can grow to weigh between 12-20 lbs, and these cats don’t reach maturity until 3-4 years old. Highlanders can have long or short hair and come in a variety of colors.

Like dogs, the Highlander breeds can be trained to perform tricks, walk on leashes and get along well with children and other dogs and cats.

Maine Coon
ce These are native to North America and have been bred in the last century to be household pets. Maine Coons are known to be friendly, outgoing, playful–but not hyper, smart, and easily trained. Maine Coons are people oriented, they usually do well even with young children and dogs. They’re also known for the odd, almost chirping sound they make.

Maine Coons have longish hair and tufted ears.This breed can grow to be as large as 20lbs.Maine Coon’s come in a wide variety of colours including Brown, Red, Cream, Silver, Blue, Smoke, Black, White and dilutions of all these colours. They also come in different patterns like Tabby, Tortie, Torbie, Mackerel, Patch, Solid. These colours and patterns can be either with or without White. Eye colour also varies but green is most common with the occasional gold and odd eye colour sometimes showing up.

These cats are intelligent and can be trained to walk on a leash, and uncharacterstic of cats, this breed loves water, don’t be surprised to find this cat trying to get in the tub with you.

ce Norwegian Forest Cat
Norwegian Forest Cats have a triangular face with a straight profile nose. Their feet and ears have long tuts of hair and they hold their long fluffy tail up as if it were a beacon of light from a lighthouse. Because of their long hair they do require some grooming, but not as much as other long haired cats.

Norwegian Forest Cats love company and are excellent companions for children and other pets. They are inquisitive and and patient, and can be trained to do simple tricks. One thing that is an absolute necessity if you own a Norwegian Forest cat is some kind of climbing device. They have a strong natural instinct to be up high to survey their home. A climbing tree is perfect, these cats will spend endless amounts of energy going up and down doing all they can to impress you with their athletic abilities.

When deciding on any pet it’s best to research that pet so you know what kind of care is needed and if the needs of the animal fit into your lifestyle. Most cats are independent, but there are those that like companionship as well, so always make sure that you give love and affection to an animal that needs it, and have someone looking after it when you can’t.

How to Prepare for Puppies

ID-10087220 If you’ve got a female dog who you are planning to breed, or who has become unexpectedly pregnant we have tips to help you through your pet’s labour and birthing period. As with all major health issues, you should bring you dog into see your vet to make sure she’s in good health. Your vet might even suggest giving your dog vaccinations so she can pass her antibodies onto her pups.

Meanwhile at home you should be preparing your dog a safe place to have her puppies. Find a box with 7″ sides and line it with old towels and baby blankets to make your dog comfortable. Once the box is ready you should place it in a dark space like a cupboard or a closet, and make sure your dog knows where the box is placed and rests there from time to time. Dog’s naturally seek dark, private spaces when they are preparing to give birth, which is why a closet or cupboard that your dog can access easily is the best place for the birthing box.

If you can calculate the birth date of the puppies you will be ready to check for the signs of labour. The gestation of puppies is 60-64 days from the last date of the mother’s heat. This is not an exact due date, but it gives you a rough estimate of the birth date. Around this date you’ll want to watch your dog for signs of labour. Around the due date you might notice your dog dragging towels or clothing to a dark place away from traffic and noise. Respect your dog’s need for this quiet safe space if you need to move her to the birthing box. On an interesting note, most doggy births occur at night time.

Once your dog reaches 7-8 weeks of pregnancy you should start taking your dog’s temperature rectally. When your dog’s temperature drops below 100 degrees (usually closer to 99), labor will start within the next eight to twelve hours. About 24 hours before labor begins the puppies’ milk is produced, the external genitalia become enlarged and soft, and a thick mucous discharge appears. At this time the dog will refuse food and become quite restless. Since birth is imminent, this is a good time to allow the dog some brief exercise, as well as one last chance for urination and bowel movements.

Dogs’ labour can last between 2-6 hours, however, if the labour lasts longer than 8 hours you should contact your vet immediately. Labour is imminent when your dog becomes ceaselessly restless. You’ll know the puppies are coming when you see a distinct discharge coming from the vulva (she will likely work hard at licking this away) and regular contractions. Contractions in dogs are not as noticeable in dogs as it is in humans, but her belly will feel solid in your hand when you feel it.

Your dog’s natural instincts will take over when she begins the birthing process. During this time you should allow her to do her own thing unless she starts panicking or something seems to be going wrong. The one thing you can do during the birthing process is clear the puppies away form the mother as she gives birth because she will be moving around and possibly trample the new born puppies. Make sure your wearing gloves if you’re going to handle the puppies. You can even use this time to clean the puppies off if the mother hasn’t done it already with a clean towel that has been kept separate.

The birthing process usually involves pups being birthed inside the amniotic sac, then being followed by a placenta. Occasionally the placenta of one pup will come out with the next, it’s natural and necessary for the mother dog to consume the amniotic sacs and placenta after (and during) the birth – this replenishes a lot of the nutrients and energy she looses during birth. After the first puppy, you should expect a puppy every 15 to 20 minutes. If a puppy is stuck and needs help to get out, pull gently, but make sure you wear gloves.

The umbilicus of each puppy will have to be cut with sterile scissors. Some dogs will cut the cord with the teeth, but if your dog doesn’t do this, use the scissors. Tie the cords with floss, making a strong knot just 1 inch above the abdominal area of the puppy. Tie a second floss and cut between the 2 ties of floss. The remaining floss can be removed after 10 minutes, after the blood has clotted.

Neonatal mortality (stillbirths and lifespans of only a few hours or days) are relatively normal for most littered mammals, so be prepared for this eventuality. In some cases you can help your pups live by giving them a gentle massage if you see them having problems breathing or moving around. You should also have a little store-bought puppy milk on hand in case the mother does not produce enough milk.

It is a good idea to have the mother examined by a veterinarian within 24 hours after whelping concludes to ensure that no puppies or placentas remain in the uterus. An injection to reduce the size of the uterus help prevent infections and other complications.

The mother will need more food once her appetite returns, and it should be divided into at least three daily feedings. Dietary supplements can assist milk production. Ask your veterinarian for specific formulations best suited to your dog. Fresh water should be available at all times. If dried milk accumulates, clean the mother’s nipples carefully with warm water.

Just remember that you dog’s instincts will do most of the work, that you are there to give encouragement to your dog and help if necessary. This is an important time for your dog and you, so stay calm and everything will be okay.

Pet Turtles

ID-10017525 Turtles are fascinating animals and can make great pets for someone who is willing and able to spend a tremendous amount of time and care on this docile species. These wonderful creatures have roamed the earth for more than 200 million years, meaning turtle ancestors lived amongst the dinosaurs. When given the right amount of care, turtles can even outlive human beings, so if you think you want to get a pet turtle, here is some important information you should know first.

In the USA it is illegal to sell a turtle that is less than 4 inches long. If you are buying a baby turtle because it looks cute, know that you will be doing so illegally. Turtles are classified as an exotic animal, which means you will have to check with your local and state regulations on what kind of turtle you can own and how it is to be kept in your home.

Because turtles carry salmonella you should not own one if you have children in the house younger than 5 years old, there is someone whose health is compromised due to illness, or if there is an elderly person living with you. These people are the most at risk for salmonella related illness that can cause severe illness and even death. Salmonella is dangerous because it sticks to surfaces, therefore when cleaning the turtles environment you will need to take care to ensure that you as well as the turtle are protected from cross contamination.

Still interested in getting a turtle? Here are some tips to choosing a turtle. First step is knowing the difference between a turtle and a tortoise. Turtles spend most of their time in the water, have webbed feet and tend to be omnivores. Tortoises live on land have stumpy feet like those of an elephant and are herbivores. There are many different kinds of turtles and tortoises available for purchase, but finding the right one depends on your ability to create an environment inside a tank or in your backyard that has all the elements a turtle or tortoise needs to be healthy and live long. This means you must research the breed you are interested in and decide if you are able to properly care for that type of turtle.

Common turtle environments include a pond with a log or rocks for sun bathing, a sun lamp, and a dry area where the turtle can come out of the water to get some exercise. It is suggested that prospective turtle owners buy a tank that is no smaller than 40 gallons. When putting bedding in the tank you should not use wood chips or bedding because the turtle can eat them and become ill, not to mention that the bedding is hard to clean and can encourage bacteria to grow inside the tank. Many turtle owners try to recreate the exact environment that the turtle would live in if it were wild. If you’re keeping your turtle in a tank make sure that the tank is kept at 80 degrees fahrenheit during the day and no colder than 70 degrees fahrenheit at night.

When adding water to the tank or the pond make sure to conduct a Ph balance test to ensure that the turtle isn’t being exposed to acidic water or water fused with fluoride and chlorine. However, you can clean tap water by using chlorine, but you must let the water and chlorine sit for 24 hours before it will be safe to use inside the turtle tank. It is recommended that you add partial new water to the tank every week and clean the tank thoroughly every 2-3 weeks. When preparing to clean the tank ensure that you have a safe place to hold your turtle while you clean, this environment should not be used for anything else other than holding your turtle. To clean the water in the tank in-between tank cleanings take a fish net and scoop out any uneaten food or waste to stop the water from becoming contaminated. You may need to do this daily as turtles eat in the water. A water filter can help you to keep the water clean and healthy.

You should feed your turtle a mixture of vegetables, fruits, bugs, and mosquito larvae. This mixture ensures that your turtle is getting all the nutrients he requires form his diet. Juvenile turtles require a strict diet of bugs and larvae until they mature into omnivores. Also make sure that any plants you place inside the tank are turtle friendly, because the turtles will munch on them and anything poisonous will kill you pet.

For more information about turtles you can consult the Humane Society website, or find a group of turtle enthusiasts to learn from. If you have a pet turtle and decide you don’t want to keep it anymore, do not release it into the wild, instead list it for sale and make sure it goes to a good owner. Releasing turtles into the wild is illegal and dangerous. Before purchasing a turtle make sure that you are able to make the commitment that a turtle needs.

Common Feline Health Problems

ID-10022760 Cats are independent animals that make great pets for those who have busy day schedules. But there are a few health problems that if you don’t spot them, they can wreak havoc on your cat’s health.

Some of the most common problems which are easily treated include: fleas, nutrition and tape worms. In order to control these issues you need to be proactive, by using methods to control fleas (use flea collars, bath your cat and rid your house of fleas), ensure you’re feeding the best food to your feline and these should take care of the tapeworms, or prevent your cat from getting them. If you have an outdoor cat, doing these will prevent tapeworms in the house, but you don’t control what your cat eats and drinks outside, so you’ll have to be vigilant and watch your cats litter box for spaghetti shaped strings. Tape worms can cause your cat to vomit as well, so if your cat is throwing up, check for tape worms in the consistency of the vomit as well.

Vomiting is another common health issue among cats, simply because they are self cleaning animals. This self cleaning results in hairballs, but if your cat is vomiting more than just hair you should be concerned. Especially if the kitty becomes dehydrated, lethargic, or changes their behavior or meow. In these cases the vomiting may be signs of an infection, urinary tract disease, ingestion of poison or an inedible object, or possibly even diabetes. A quick visit to your vet can get your kitty the help he or she needs.

Gingivitis is commonly associated with health problems.Cats whose teeth aren’t cleaned regularly are at risk of developing gingivitis and complications from untreated plaque growth.The bacteria that grow from the build up of tartar can spread to other organs through the bloodstream and cause kidney damage. So you should have you cats teeth cleaned if you’re unable to do it yourself, and be sure to give you cat toys that promote healthy teeth and gums.

Upper respiratory problems are caused by feline calicivirus and feline herpes virus. Cats are more susceptible to these illnesses when they are in a multi-cat home, kept in close quarters with other cats, and share litter box and food with other cats. Symptoms include: runny nose, congestion, nasal discharge, fever, loss of appetite and rapid breathing. Regular vet check ups and keeping your cat indoors can eliminate some of the root causes of URI’s. Make sure your cats vaccines are up to date, and get your cat vaccinated when their vaccinations run out.

Urinary tract infections are just like the kind humans get, they’re painful, cause urinary crystals, blood in the urine, block urine flow, and increase the size of the bladder wall. Cats with this health issue will strain when relieving themselves and may even meow in pain. Your vet will need urine samples to be sure that your cat is suffering from a UTI, but once given the medication, your cat will be pain free in 10 days. You can prevent A UTI by keeping your cat in a stress-free environment and ensure their nutritional needs are being met.

Kidney failure is another common health problem for cats. This is caused by the aging process. Because this happens gradually, you may not know your cat is sick until they are truly sick and suffering from chronic renal failure. Extreme thirst and frequent urination are among the signs of CRF, along with drooling, dehydration, weight loss and bad breath. Although a cat can’t be cured of CRF, they can be kept comfortable with dietary changes and medication from a vet. If a CRF goes untreated it can lead to acute renal failure, which is deadly when left untreated.

These are the most common types of illnesses, but your feline could be exposed to a range of diseases when roaming outdoors. If your cat suddenly changes their eating or sleeping habits, loses or gains weight rapidly, changes their meow or behavior you should take your cat to the vet immediately. When caught early most illnesses are treatable with minimal health risks to your cat. So don’t wait to see if it gets better, if you’re worried about your cat, listen to your gut feelings and go see a vet, at least to put your mind at ease.

Choosing a Pet Bird


Before you buy that cage you might want to consider what owning a bird looks like. Birds aren’t just something pretty to look at like a painting, these are social animals that need high levels of care like that of a dog. So before you purchase a feathered friend, you should find out what type of bird best suits your current lifestyle.

Your time availability , economic situation, and current environment are all factors when deciding which bird species is best for you. These factors will determine how big of a bird you should get and what type. Bigger birds need more socializing, food and space. Smaller birds require socializing on a smaller scale, eat less food and take up less space. This might seem elementary, but you should still consider the bird’s natural habits and vocalization before bringing one home.

Here are ten things you should consider before buying a bird.

NoiseBirds make a lot of noise. The bigger the bird the larger the noise. Not all birds have pretty voices, and some vocalizations can be ear splitting. Make sure that the noise of the bird is not going to rattle your cage. If you’re not sure you can cope with a loud squawk, then you should consider a different type of bird or animal altogether.

TimeIn order for a bird to be tame you need time and patience. If you buy a bird already tame then you need to continue the level of care to ensure the bird stays that way. You”l need to handle and interact with the bird everyday. Try to make it fit into your schedule so the bird knows when to expect you. However, don’t expect your bird to socialize with everyone.

SocializingIf you want your bird to be more accepting of the people in your home, make sure that the responsibilities that come with bird ownership aren’t laid on one person. When multiple people interact with the bird they will be more accepting of those people, but don’t expect that circle to widen and include people outside of the care givers.

Feeding TimeWhen birds eat it is a messy affair. This is a natural occurrence, in the wild this eating behavior feeds other animals below the trees. So be ready to clean everyday underneath the bird’s cage. You can buy cage catchers, but it won’t catch everything, so be prepared to get out the vacuum or broom daily.

DietBird seed only gives a bird a bit of the nutrients they need everyday. You can feed your bird fresh fruit and veggies to ensure that your bird is getting all the daily recommended amount of nutrition they require.

Beak HealthBirds need to wear down their beaks because they grow constantly. Also they need to work their jaw muscles which means they need stimulation for their beaks. You’ll have to supply your bird with toys that help them to wear down their beak, and be vigilant watching the bird when it’s out of its cage, otherwise your furniture and plants will be attacked by the bird.

House PlantsMany house plants are poisonous to birds, so you’ll have to throw out any plant that poses a health risk to your feathered friend. Here’s a link that lists house plants toxic to birds.

In Your HouseAfter you’re done reading about the plants that are hazardous to birds, the next thing you’ll need to do is get rid of your teflon non-stick cookware. These pots and pans give off an odorless fume that can kill a bird within minutes of exposure. You’ll also have to get rid of scented candles, air fresheners and oils. These all contain chemicals that can harm a bird’s sensitive respiratory system. This includes smoking, the second hand smoke from you cigarette can kill your bird, so if you’re a smoker, a bird may not be the pet for you unless you can be diligent about smoking outside away from you pet.

WakingBirds awake with the sun, so be prepared to wake up very early. You can buy cage covers that block the sun and keep you bird sleeping longer, but bird’s are naturally early risers. They expect you to get up when they do and to be fed shortly after waking. You may have to adjust your schedule if you purchase a bird.

What You WearBirds are attracted to shiny objects, if you’ve got jewelry or sequin shirts, best not to wear them around your bird when they’re out of their cage. Or take them off before handling your bird. Buttons are particular targets for birds. Keep extra buttons and a sewing kit handy, because you may find that you need it.

How Often Should I Bath My Pet?

ID-10087733 Every pet owner knows their animal needs a good bath every now and then, but how often do our pets really need to be scrubbed? If you’re not sure whether you’re over bathing your pet here are some simple tips to help you bath your little critter properly. Dogs only need to be bathed once a month, any more than that and you run the risk of drying your fury friend’s skin and possibly causing problems. Cats are self grooming animals, but if your feline gets into something smelly or sticky you’ll need to give them a bath.

When buying shampoo, make sure that you’re buying the right kind for your pet. You can speak to your vet about which kind is best for your animal. To stop the shampoo from irritating your pet you can dilute it with some water before applying it to your pet’s fur. You can even use a facecloth or small sponge to help lather up your fury friend. You might even consider putting toys in the bath with your pet to turn bath time into play time.


Before placing your animal in the tub make sure that you’ve brushed their hair to remove any tangles and tats. If you’re bathing a cat, we recommend you cut their nails first to avoid getting badly scratched. Next get all your bathing gear ready so you don’t have to leave your pet unattended while you search for the shampoo. Make sure you’re wearing the appropriate clothing for bathing your animal to avoid being bitten and scratched. When running the water make sure it’s slightly more than lukewarm. Cats can catch pneumonia if the water’s too cold, and an animal’s skin can scald if the water is too hot. To stop your pet from slipping in the tub you can use rubber mats or place a towel on the bottom of the tub to make their paws comfortable.

If you’re going to bath your animal in the bathroom be sure to remove the bath mat so it won’t get soaked, in the case of bathing a cat, you might want to consider bathing them in a shower. Large dogs can be done outside in a large plastic pool or tub. Once you’ve got the water and supplies ready bring you animal into the room and close the door behind you. Now you can place your animal in the water. Make sure you do not get your cat’s head wet. Cat’s hate that, but it also lessens the possibility that you might accidentally get soap in the cat’s eyes. Put the shampoo in the fur and work it into a rich lather.

After you have lathered up your pet rinse them thoroughly to ensure that no shampoo is left in their fur. To dry your pet wrap them in a towel and carry them out of the bathroom where you can begin to blot dry their fur. If you have some help, get someone to put the towels in the dryer so that you have warm towels to dry your pet with. Some pets will dry themselves by shaking the water out of their fur. Cats prefer to be wrapped in towels and let out again after a short time.

After the bath make sure to reward your pet no matter how they behaved. The reward tells the animal that you appreciate them even if bath time isn’t fun for everyone.