Keeping Your Pet Safe In The Warm Weather Months
The hot summer months can pose a real threat to pets. Cats and dogs simply cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. As a responsible pet owner, you need to make sure that your pet is safe during these warm weather months. Here are some tips to help you and your pet.
Never leave an animal in a car: All pet owners should know the dangers of leaving any pet in a hot car, even if it is just for a few minutes. This especially applies to dog owners. Dogs love riding in the car and it is very tempting to let your dog ride to the grocery store with you. However, pet owners should never leave cats or dogs inside a car during hot weather. Even with the windows open, a car parked in the hot sun can reach sweltering temperatures. Pets left in hot cars can die within minutes or can suffer from severe dehydration. The best rule of thumb is the leave your pet at home in the cool air conditioner during the hot weather. You should also know that if you are a dog owner that allowing your dog a ride the bed of a truck could be very dangerous for a dog at any time of the year. One jolt can send your dog flying out of the bed of the truck, resulting in injury or worse. Even putting your dog unsupervised in the bed of a truck in a public place can be a recipe for disaster. Be extra careful with your pet during traveling. If you must travel with your dog or cat, secure your pet in the car and leave the air conditioning on at all times. Let your pets take frequent breaks on long trips and give them a chance to get a drink of water.
Be Careful Walking the Dog: There are many areas where the temperatures soar in the warm months. In places where the temperatures reach an all-time high, it is a good idea to walk your dog either in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower. During the summer, temperatures will be at the highest during midday. You should refrain from walking your dog during this time. Not only will you and your dog become hot and dehydrated, the hot concrete can burn your dog’s sensitive paws. When you do walk in hot weather, take along the water for your dog and stop frequently to let your dog drink. Your dog will thank you for this.
Practice Proper Pet Grooming: It is always a good idea to keep your pet properly groomed, but it is especially important during the summer months. If your dog has very long fur, it is like wearing a fur coat in 95-degree weather. It is not comfortable for your pet. Also, keep an eye out for pets that have much of their fur trimmed off, such as poodles. Longhaired dogs can quickly overheat in the high temperatures. Poodles and other breeds with shortcuts can get sunburned. Sunscreen does not protect dogs. With long haired dogs, regular brushing also helps remove the winter undercoat and can help your dog better regulate body temperatures during hot weather. Regular clipping of long hair can also help keep your dog cool. Even longhaired cats can benefit from a summer clipping. Longhaired cats are easily overheated, even if they do stay indoors.
Watch for Insects: Insects can be bothersome to your pet during the warm, summer months. Spring and summer are when fleas and ticks are the highest. Mosquitoes are also out during this time of year. It is always a good idea to make sure your dog and cat are getting their monthly flea and tick preventative. Your dog also needs to stay current on heartworm preventative, as mosquito bites can cause heartworms. Also, keep a first aid kit on hand for bee or wasp stings.
Outdoor safety: Summer is often when people spend a lot of times outdoors. Whether it is working in the yard, visiting the lake or swimming in the pool, you need to take extra caution when your pets are with you outside. If you mow your yard or put chemicals on the grass, be sure your pets are indoors and away from the dangers. Also, if your dog enjoys the water, keep a close eye on your pet. Most pets can swim instinctively, but it is always a good idea to watch. If you enjoy taking your dog out boating, you can buy life preserver vests for your dog to wear. You can never be too safe when it comes to your beloved furry friend.
Picking The Right Food For Your Pet
Pets are wonderful creatures to share our lives with, and they need just as much care as humans. All pets need to be fed properly, though we always have the question of what that might be. There are individuals who give their pet’s human food, while others strictly give pet food. We will concentrate on dogs, cats, and rabbits for proper feeding.
How many times have you heard that rabbits like their vegetables? This is true. Most rabbits need a steady diet of rabbit food that includes lettuce and carrots. Most of the time we raise our rabbits on pellets, however, this may not be fibrous enough and can cause obesity. A steady diet of hay, vegetables, and pellets will lead to a healthy rabbit.
Is it wise to feed your dog human food? Most dogs are related to the wolf family a very carnivorous bunch, which means they need to have meat in their diet. This does not mean that human food is the correct food for them. It is best to find a dog food product where the first ingredient is meat. Make sure it is real meat and not some processed substitute. Feeding your dog human food is a bad idea because it can be too greasy for them and block their arteries. Dogs have very sensitive digestive tracks so they are susceptible to diarrhea and upset stomachs if you change their food. It is best to find a dog food you prefer and that is healthy for them. You also want to keep them on the same food. Changing food can cause problems. If you feel you need to change food, you should slowly integrate the new food with the old until you have fully replaced the old. This should take two weeks or a little more. Dogs when full grown should be fed once a day at the same time.
Cats are great hunters if you let them explore the outdoor world. They will often find mice, birds, and other animals to gain protein. Like a dog, your cat needs a consistent diet. You should find a cat food that has the proper amounts of protein. Cats can also have a very sensitive digestive system. Finding the right food may be difficult and take a few tries. If they have a smelly litter box, you will need to change their food. This is a sure sign they are not receiving a proper diet. When you change their food you will want to integrate it slowly over two weeks. Cats also need the vitamins from milk, though our processed milk can be too rich for them, they do sell milk for cats in the pet stores. Another idea is occasionally giving them a small piece of cheese to help with their dietary needs, however, you should try and find the pet food that fits all of their needs. The grass is also available for indoor cats and may be needed to get rid of hairballs. Cats eat grass when they have an upset stomach. The grass will allow the cats to rid themselves of the problem and can help them cough up hairballs.
Picking the right food for your pet will often mean not feeding them human food, but checking the ingredients of pet food found in the stores. You want to keep your pet just as healthy as you would want to keep yourself. Proper nutrition for any animal is important to have your pet around for many years. Some types of pets are more susceptible to disease, like dogs with heart problems, but they can be monitored through proper care.
Rabbit Care and Tips
Pets complete a home for single people and families. Children often desire pets more than adults do as they think animals are cute and fun to have. Adults, of course, know the work required. Like any pet, rabbits need care. They need to go to the vet, get feed daily, and have their domain cleaned. When you decide to purchase a rabbit, you will need to know exactly what is required of you.
Before we get into your rabbits’ needs, you will want to know a few of the species available. Most common are cottontails, dwarf, and lop-eared rabbits for pets. The dwarf rabbit is small and best kept indoors, while the cottontails are not as sensitive to the weather and can be housed outside in moderate climates. The lop-eared rabbits like the cottontails grow to be a good size and have long floppy ears. The type of rabbit you wish to have for a pet will in part decide on the care.
First, like cats and dogs, rabbits require shots from the vet to keep them in good health. People carry diseases that can harm animals if we do not wash before and after we handle our pet. Rabbits can be susceptible to worms and other dietary parasites so it is important to take your rabbit for its vet visit when needed. Speak with a vet about your rabbit’s care and any questions you may have before you complete your purchase.
Rabbits eat pellets, hay and vegetables. Most rabbits like to munch on carrots or lettuce. You want to feed your rabbit every day to ensure they are receiving the proper amount of food. Unlike cats that eat when they are hungry, a rabbit can overeat and become overweight. Some commercial feeds for rabbits contain nuts; however, these are typically not good, as they are high in fiber. You can feed your rabbit fruit as a treat, but you should not do so daily.
Housing for a rabbit can be in your home or if you wish to keep them outside a wooden cage will work. Most outside cages are designed to let the waste fall through so they are not sitting on it or laying on it. The cage should be built large enough to house an adult rabbit with bedding spread out to make a nice little home. They should be given plenty of water and have it changed out daily. Having a backyard for your pet rabbit is a great idea. They can roam for a little exercise, which all pets need.
You will want to clean their cages out at least once a week or more depending on how messy or smelly it becomes. Your rabbit needs a clean environment just like you to eliminate the possibilities of disease. An important factor in having a long living rabbit is their environment. Most rabbits live 5 to 10 years.
Rabbits with their fuzzy cottontails or floppy ears are just some of the cutest pets you can own. They are a medium maintenance pet with proper feeding and environment care you can have your rabbit for years. Your children will enjoy showing off their pet rabbit to all their friends and beg you to take him to show and tell. Pets are needed to complete a family and provide enjoyment for everyone.
Reptilian Pets: The Snake Every Boys Dream Pet
Most girls and moms have an adverse reaction to having a snake or any other dangerous animal as a pet, however, with proper care and the correct selection, even those with aversions can become quite fascinated by the snake as a pet. The key is to do a lot of research when buying a snake. Most pet shops will sell the harmless snakes and teach you how to feed them. If you always wanted a snake as a pet when you were a boy, you might choose something a little more exotic. Tips to finding the right snake for you or your child can come in handy when you are faced with the task.
First, you will want to research snakes in general. You have your garden-variety snake that is very common and not dangerous. Then there are pythons, kings, and boa constrictor snakes. Keep in mind if this is for a child you probably want a harmless snake that will not grow to large. The larger snakes mentioned above take more care and larger aquariums and are not suited for smaller children.
The species of snake you chose will have a special diet. Most species have different diets. You may have seen a pet snake in the pet store eating mice while other snakes do not. It is important to choose a snake you can provide proper food for at all times. You also do not want to keep a wild snake, as they tend to carry diseases and stress with the change in environment. It is best to shop at a trustworthy pet shop or snake breeder.
Most king snakes and gopher snakes tend to eat mice and need to have plenty of water to drink. You may have a little pond in your aquarium with tree branches, rocks, and dirt for your snake. Like food, most snakes require a special environment. You will want to research that snake before choosing the environmental accessories. Snakes are often tropical in nature so they require heat as well as moderate temperatures in the evening. You have heard of the desert being cold at night. Snakes are proliferating in the desert areas and rainforests. Being able to provide the proper environment will ensure a long life for your new pet.
Touching on food again you also need to have a feeding schedule. Some snakes do not have to eat every day. In fact, gopher snakes will not eat every day. If you are getting a pet snake for you child you will want to make sure they understand the feeding schedule. Most young adults can handle having a pet snake while little children will need you to take care of the snake.
Handling the snake is also important. The more a snake is used to human contact the more contact the more domicile they tend to be. This means those that are dangerous can be held given proper training and handling. I recommend staying away from these snakes when you first have a pet snake. It is important to take small steps when you have a pet snake to get used to their special needs.
Snakes can make great pets if you take proper care of them. Many young boys and even girls are fascinated with snakes. They have pretty colors and just the lure of a little danger can add to the interest. Make sure you are prepared for the requirements needed from you to have a pet snake before giving in to a child’s demand.
Teaching Kids And Pets To Co-Exist Peacefully
It is possible for children and pets to coexist in the same household, peacefully. Many people mistakenly think that as soon as they start having children that their pet needs to head to the local shelter. They fear that the cat or dog will not get along with the new child and it will result in biting or scratching. This is not always the case and if you take the time to introduce your pets to your children properly, your kids and pets can live in harmony.
One of the biggest concerns that new parents have when it comes to pets in the home is how it will react to a baby. Many of the old wives tales such as cats sucking the breath out of babies simply are not true. In fact, many cats and dogs readily accept a new child into the home and become fiercely loyal and protective over the baby.
When you bring your baby home from the hospital, you should introduce your pet to your new baby. Of course, these introductions need supervision. Allow your cat or dog time to sniff your child at his or her own pace. Make the introduction pleasant for your cat or dog. In most cases, your cat or dog will not give your baby a second thought. Allow your pet to adjust to the new situation on his or her own terms. When a baby comes to the house, it is an adjustment for everybody.
The other thing that you might want to consider doing when you bring a baby into the home is to make sure that your cat or dog is properly groomed. This includes trimming your dog or cat nails. Your dog may want to put a paw on your baby. If his or her nails are long and sharp, your dog may accidentally scratch your infant. While you can never eliminate pet hair from your home if your dog or cat clipped and brushed it will certainly help your home stay a little cleaner. Many new parents also worry about allergies. The fact is, many studies have shown that children who are exposed to pets from a very young age, actually have fewer pet allergies than children who are not exposed to pets.
Another good idea is to make sure that your pets do not have access to your baby’s room during naptime or at night without supervision. While your pet probably means no harm to your child, pets are naturally curious. A cat may jump into your infant crib, or in large dogs could easily a knock bassinet or cradle over. You should always supervise your pet when it is around your new baby at all times. Most of all, you should try to make sure that you are still spending quality time with your pet when possible. This especially pertains to dogs, which are used to playing in the backyard and going for walks.
As your child grows, you need to begin teaching your child proper pet etiquette. If your dog or cat has learned to respect your child, then your child also needs to learn to respect your pet. Teach your child from a young age that they should never pull or yank a cat or dog’s tail or ears. Your child can learn proper pet etiquette even at a very young age. You will also want to teach your child to respect your pet’s space. This includes making sure that your child understands that he or she should never wake a sleeping pet. This could cause your pet to become startled and could result in biting or scratching.
In addition, you will want to make sure that your child understands to stay out of your pet’s food, water, and litter box. Your child will be naturally curious, so it is always best to give your pet some private space away from your child.
There are many things you can do to make sure that children and pets coexist peacefully. Your children and pets need to learn to respect each other from the very beginning. There is no reason to get rid of your cat or dog just because you have a child in the home.
The Advantages Of The Microchip For Your Pets
Every pet owner wants to keep his or her beloved cat or dog as safe as possible. You do everything you can do make sure your pet is well cared for and healthy. If you have an indoor pet, you may not think that keeping identification tags is important, but it is. What if your fuzzy feline accidentally slips out of the door at night and you search to no avail? What do you do, especially if your dog or cat has no identification? Placing a collar with an identification tag is important, but collars sometimes become lost. When you consider the fact that many animal shelters only keep dogs and cats for seven days, you want to make sure that your pet is properly identified. That is where the microchip comes in handy. The microchip is the newest way to identify lost pets and helps ensure that your lost pooch or feline finds his or her way back home.
The technology of the microchip has become so popular that most animal clinics and animal shelters have the ability to scan a cat or dog for microchip identification. If you opt for the microchip, you should know that it is a painless procedure for your pet. Your vet will insert a tiny microchip about the size of a grain of rice directly under your pet’s skin using a hypodermic needle. The microchip is usually placed behind the neck. The microchip contains a special digital number that has been entered on a national microchip database. That information will give the person your contact information. When you pet is lost, a veterinarian or animal shelter can use a special scanner to retrieve the microchip information. It is that easy.
Pet owners love the idea of the microchip because it is permanent. You cannot remove the microchip and unlike a collar or tags, it cannot be lost or destroyed. This is one of the best features of the pet microchip, especially for cats. If you place a collar on a cat, more than likely it will be a breakaway collar. If your cat climbs a tree or is caught on something, the collar breaks off. If your cat does not have a microchip, it will be very difficult to identify your cat if it is found.
There are a few important things to remember about pet microchips. First, if your pet gets lost, you should never just sit back and wait for a call, even if your pet has a microchip. Not all veterinarians and shelters are equipped with this technology. You need to take the time to call around and place “lost pet” flyers around your neighborhood. In addition, you need to make sure you take the time to update your contact information should you move. It does little to no good to have your pet implanted with the microchip if the information on the national database is incorrect. Your veterinarian can give you information on how to update this information.
It is important to get your pet implanted with the microchip at a young age. Puppies can have the microchip at age six weeks. Even small breeds of dogs can handle this procedure. Kittens can also undergo this procedure at six weeks. The insertion of the microchip is not painful and feels like a regular vaccination shot. You can have your pet implanted with the microchip at your veterinarian office and can expect to pay between $30 and $50 for this service.
The Importance of Pet Vaccinations
When you were a child you had to have vaccinations at certain points in your life such as measles, tetanus, and other shots. This is important for your pets as well. We will specifically look at dog vaccinations, as they are a very common pet to have. Keep in mind during some of these shots are required for cats as well.
Dogs need to have vaccinations to guard against disease. When your dog is a puppy they will need a distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and corona combination between six to eight, nine to eleven, twelve to fourteen, and sixteen to seventeen weeks. They will also need these shots again every twelve months. The next vaccination is a bordetella administered at fourteen weeks and every six months. Rabies must be given at sixteen weeks and again every twelve to thirty- six months.
Vaccinations protect your dog and other pets from human diseases as well as other problems that could arise. Make sure you visit your pet on a regular schedule. A few more vaccinations are the giardia at fourteen and seventeen weeks, with a yearly dose. Lyme is another type administered at fourteen and seventeen weeks as well as yearly.
Occasionally state regulations will require a different administering chart. It is best to speak with your vet to gain the proper knowledge for your breed of dog as well as the correct vaccinations. Dogs are “man’s best friend” and thus it is important to give proper care that includes treatments.
Other care besides vaccinations can be proper baths, toenail clipping, and feeding your dog properly. Most health problems arise in a dog that is either genetically susceptible or environmentally exposed to human food. Human food because of its greasy qualities can block a dog’s artery. So proper nutrition is often found in dog food or cooking meals for your pet per vet guidelines if your dog has health issues.
Dogs also require a lot of attention and exercise. Breeds such as the Huskies or golden retrievers require special care. Huskies are bred as working dogs. They need to have a lot of exercises as well as play time with their owners. Golden retrievers are social animals, will feel lonely, and rejected if left alone for too long. Other breeds though social may not react in the same manners of the latter two. Other breeds can be content with a large yard and runner as long as they can play and eat.
Part of owning a pet, especially a dog is to provide it with love and attention just like you need. Proper care is very important on a day-to-day basis like having a routine feeding time or visiting the vet for the proper vaccinations. Vaccinations can determine the longevity of your dog just like a proper diet and exercise. While your vet has spent a lot of time, going to school for the proper care of animals it is always a great idea to be knowledgeable about your pets care. Vaccinations, when not administered properly, can harm the animal. I would stay away from ordering medications and vaccinations online if you are not familiar with the products and how to give them to your dog, this may cause some medical problems. Any pet deserves the care we would give ourselves and with today’s world, we are finding better ways to make going to a vet easier.
The Toys Cats Will Love
Do you walk through the pet store, see the many toys available for your cat, and wonder if the expense will be worth it? Cats can be fickle creatures, but a good time can be found with almost any toy. Cats are like children they go through stages and sometimes need age-appropriate toys and can get bored very easily. Some suggestions for toys include the cat towers, stuffed mice, small amounts of catnip, stuffed animals, ribbons, and plastic balls.
From an early age, kittens learn to pick up things in their mouths. It is an instinct, just like using their claws. When a cat plays, they like to grab and bit their toys. Let us look at the toys listed above. A cat tower is a great way to teach you cat where it is appropriate to climb. It will keep them off the blinds or curtains while giving them hours of fun. There are many styles of cat towers from the two-story towers to the ones rising to the ceiling. The answer to your question is, the more levels they have the more fun and enjoyment they will receive out of a cat tower. A cat will use the tower for play as well as sleep. They like to bat at ropes and other items dangling off the tower as well as going through little tunnels up to the next level. If you have two cats you will have fun watching them give chase to the top often trying to knock the other off. A cat tower can be practical because they will scratch at it rather than your couch.
Stuffed mice are also important to any kitty’s playtime. Not all mice are the same; most cats prefer the small leather mice with the multi-colored fur and long tails. These mice come in twelve packs or three packs and believe me if they are anything like my kitty they will tear them apart. Cloth mice are typically second during playtime. If you find your kitty to be uninterested in mice you might want to check the type of mouse you have bought them.
Catnip toys are very popular. Catnip will cause your cat to be more rowdy, which can be a plus because they wear down faster. Catnip before bedtime is a great way to get your cat to sleep for quite a while and leave you to slumber. Catnip should be given out sparingly. You do not want to give your cat catnip every day because it can have adverse effects to their behavior. They can start to depend on it and have mood swings.
I have found the best toy may just be your old stuffed animal lying around the house. My kitty, Spooky, will bring me a stuffed animal when she is ready to play and she has stuffed animals in her toy basket. There is nothing more amusing than watching my kitty brings me a stuffed animal bigger than she is and proceeds to toss it in the air and pounce. Cats like the feel of certain things in their mouths that is why they chew on paper, plastic and even your blankets. The feel of the material in their mouths allows them to clean their teeth or when they are teething help reduce the pain. The stuffed animal can work in much the same way and keep them away from harmful products.
To answer my above question you do not have to go to great expense to entertain your cat, however, when you spend a little on toys you keep your kitty from getting bored. You may even decide to hide a few toys and reintroduce them after a few months to keep from purchasing new ones all the time. Just make sure it is not the favorite toy of your pet or they may find other ways to entertain themselves that you do not find amusing.