If you are a cat owner, listen attentively. There are top three things that cat owners like you should never do:
Allow your Cat to Roam Around
This advice is the most controversial one on the list. In the US, many veterinarians and cat behavior experts believe that cats should be kept indoors. A large percentage of cat owners allow their cats to roam around (It is interesting to discover that in the UK, it is regarded as unusual to prevent cats from wandering and others would even go to the extent of saying it is abusive). Unfortunately, more than enough cats get poisoned, get hit by cars or they are attacked by dogs and coyotes, either by accident or on purpose. This means that you can possibly shorten the life of your cats when you allow them to roam freely.
The quality of a cat's indoor life can be complemented with enrichment tools when including toys, climbing trees and scratching walls in their indoor space or letting him play in areas that are protected with cat fencing as you watch out for potential predators.
Scare or Punish your Cat
The fastest way to destroy your relationship with your cat is by shouting at him, scaring him, hurting him or giving him a bad impression of you. In other words, punishment is not the solution to changing a cat's behavior, with the exception of one thing. You will be remembered as a horrible being he should stay away from. This just means that if you plan to get a cat, you can shape his behavior with the help of praises and treats. This is considered a health tip, since frightened cats are stressed, and stress is associated with a number of health problems. Cats like peaceful, predictable surroundings, with people who allow them to be cats. A happy, good-tempered cat is healthier and will make you happier as well.
Overfeed your Cat
You may think that veterinarians sound just like a broken record when they nag about the weight of their clients' pets. They admit it, and they are trying to convince their clients to stop overfeeding. When they give more food than required, this makes the lives of their pet miserable - and shortens them too. Vets have been trying hard to make pet owners understand this. They want to pull out their hair in frustration. Lots of overweight cats suffer from feline arthritis associated with their weight.
When cat owners cannot handle the care of their diabetes stricken pets, they ask their vet to perform euthanasia. They say they have tried everything, but the vets can help them find other solutions. The best way to counter this problem is to limit their food intake. Cats cannot open their canned foods, kibble bags or the refrigerator to get some leftovers. As a cat owner, you have the control over their food intake to maintain their good health. It is all up to you to use your authority.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Matt_McWilliam/55850
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9646353
Excessive scratching in dogs is an indication that there is a problem that needs dealing with. Dogs, just like humans, enjoy the odd scratch here and there, but when scratching becomes excessive there is usually a good reason. Dogs that keep scratching may have one of a variety of ailments, from fleas to an allergy, or a nervous condition such as a compulsive disorder.
Fleas, ticks, lice and mites are just some of the tiny creatures that can invade your dog’s fur and cause discomfort by biting and tickling. Even clean, healthy dogs are liable to catch fleas, and encounter other types of similar problems, after coming into contact with animals with an infestation, or by playing in long grass when mites and ticks are abundant.
The way to stop excessive scratching in such a case is to get rid of the cause of an itch. Veterinarians can provide treatments to rid dogs of creatures that make them scratch. There are also over-the-counter treatments available from pet stores, such as anti-flea shampoo that may help get rid of biting pests.
Like people, dogs can have allergies. Often it is pollen or the food they eat that causes excessive itching. Switching from mass-produced dog food, which has dubious content, to natural food may solve the problem. Alternatively, medication from a vet may help.
Stress, excitement, habitual behavior or a compulsive disorder may be to blame for excessive scratching. Much as parrots pull out their feathers when highly strung, dogs may chew, bite and scratch themselves in an effort to obtain relief from stress.
Providing a calming environment can help a nervous dog feel more relaxed. In addition, keeping them away from people that constantly argue or shout, other loud noises, and other pets they do not get on with, can help stop them from scratching and biting themselves.
A dog with an emotional condition may need help from a canine therapist that is recommended by a vet. Treating a compulsive disorder in a dog alone can be hard, especially for a pet owner who does not understand the complaint. Therefore, professional advice should be sought.
Dogs that will not stop scratching always have a reason for being itchy. They may find scratching a relief, but will find effective treatment more pleasurable.
Cats and dogs, like any person, can suffer from dehydration if they aren’t getting enough water. You have to be careful as there is always a potential for your pet to suffer from dehydration even in the event that it gets water every day.
You must especially be aware of the signs of dehydration in your pet. These concerns include the following problems:
These symptoms may come from a variety of issues:
You must get your pet enough water in the event that it is suffering from dehydration. Talk with your veterinarian to see if there are any medicines that your pet could benefit from as well.
Remember to take care of the dehydration that a pet might experience as soon as possible. This is to ensure that your pet will not be at risk of serious harm or danger for whatever reason.
Fish tanks need cleaning for the same reasons that any habitat does. You would not want to live in a filthy house with stale air and dust everywhere, and fish and other aquatic life do not want to live in a tank with debris and tainted water. The two major reasons why fish tanks need cleaning are for appearances and the health of your pet fish.
Fish Tank Cleaning - Make it Look Good
Fish waste falls to the bottom of the tank and lays on the gravel or festoons the plants and ornaments in your tank like some disgusting garland. Excess food is just as bad. It can moulder on the bottom of the tank and look horrible. Vacuuming of the substrate and gravel is the only way to get rid of this waste.
Algae is another culprit in the war to make your fish tank sparkle. Algae can grow on ornaments, plants and the glass, making your tank look dingy and dirty. It is especially important to scrape it off the glass with a specially made aquarium scraper or a razor blade. It is important to clean algae out of the fish tank because it can upset the healthy balance of the water.
Fish Tank Cleaning - Healthy Water, Healthy Fish
All of the waste and debris in your tank changes the water chemistry. As waste products, including fish waste and old food particles, break down, they release ammonia into the water. Ammonia should be fixed by beneficial bacteria into less volatile chemicals, but excess will build up and harm fish if you do not vacuum the waste and do partial water changes regularly.
Cleaning the filter in your fish tank is just as important. Some people mistakenly change the filter cartridge regularly, or wash it in steaming tap water to remove the gunk that builds up. Both of these methods of fish tank cleaning destroy bacteria colonies that help keep the water of the aquarium healthy. It is better to swish the filter vigorously through tank water that his been removed into a bucket to remove the bulk of the waste before replacing it in the filter.
If ornaments or fake plants become too covered with debris or algae, they can be removed and scrubbed with plain water. This is done merely to make the fish tank look better.
Fish tank cleaning, whether through vacuuming, filter cleaning or scrubbing of ornaments is important for both the look and health of your aquarium and its inhabitants.
For the past twenty years our sweet, furry friends have been brought indoors along with the family dog and cat, away from the hot, lonely backyard hutch (a bad word among house rabbit lovers). This wonderful phenomenon began when people in Great Britain discovered that not only were their pet rabbits smart enough to be trained to use a litter box, they were also fun to play with and to watch. But adopting a rabbit is not to be taken lightly; there are important considerations that must be addressed when preparing to live with a rabbit.
Firstly, a rabbit is a commitment. They can live for ten to twelve years and are difficult to care for if no prior research is done. Thus, there are now numerous adoptable rabbits in United States shelters who need good homes with adults that know how to properly care for them and understand how different these prey animals are from their domestic predator counterparts.
Secondly, rabbits are not like dogs and cats. They are naturally timid, high strung and gregarious. Their radar dish ears and strong legs allow them to sense danger and “run" as quick as a flash. As with all prey animals, there is strength in numbers; thus many domesticated rabbits enjoy, and even crave, living with other rabbits, friendly pets and humans. Like cats, though, rabbits tend to nap much of the day, are generally independent, and are very particular about attention and when they receive it.
Hence, rabbits have quirky and fun natures that make them excellent pets:
However, stemming from their prey mentality and herbivore physiology, rabbits have unique habits and needs:
Thirdly, potential owners should consider if they (and their family) are the right type to have a rabbit. If a household tends to be loud and crowded or if no one is often home, a rabbit would not be a happy addition. But if family members are reasonably available, well organized and loving, a rabbit might fit right in. Weighing the pros and cons of rabbit ownership, a family can decide if joining the house rabbit club is right for them. Bringing a rabbit home is a long-term commitment that can bring years of potential joy when the pet is treated as a member of the family.
If you’re a vegetarian, you may want to share your humane lifestyle with your four legged friends. Unfortunately, if you’re a cat owner, this may not be such a healthy proposition. A vegetarian diet for cats can be downright unhealthy for your favorite feline. Why might this be?
Cats are considered to be inherently carnivorous animals, requiring large amounts of an amino acid called taurine which is found only in meat products. Without this necessary amino acid, cats on a vegetarian diet can develop liver and heart problems as well as visual problems which can eventually kill them. In addition, cats also need a dietary source for essential fatty acids such as arachidonic acid which they’re unable to synthesize on their own. Meat is the only source for this critical fatty acid. Cats also need Vitamin B12 which is present only in animal products. To complicate matters even further, cats can’t use the Vitamin A found in vegetarian sources and can potentially develop complications of Vitamin A deficiency if not given meat. This can result in hearing loss as well as decreased function of vital organs. Most veterinarians agree that to maintain a healthy feline, it’s best to avoid a vegetarian diet for cats.
Not only is a vegetarian diet for cats not conducive to maintaining feline health, it also doesn’t titillate their taste buds. It seems that cats have an innate taste for meat products and can be particularly finicky when it comes to vegetables, often refusing to eat them. This makes it likely that your cat will hunt for carnivorous food when allowed outdoors which can contribute to the pain and suffering of innocent birds and mice.
Recently, vegetarian supplements for some of these missing nutrients have been developed with the names of Vegecat and Vegekit which can be added to a cat’s food. You may want to speak with your veterinarian about the possibility of using these supplements if you still want a vegetarian diet for your cat. If your veterinarian advocates the use of a vegetarian diet for your cat along with supplements, you’ll want to make a gradual transition to vegetarian foods. This can be done by mixing more vegetarian based foods in with his regular food and gradually decreasing the regular food as your cat accepts the vegetarian diet. This can be a protracted process since cats are not inherently tolerant of a vegetarian diet. You’ll want to watch your cat for signs of weight loss or any changes in bowel habits or behavior that might suggest he’s not tolerating his new diet.
Although a vegetarian diet for cats isn’t universally advocated by veterinarians with close monitoring and the use of supplements to provide essential nutrients, your cat may be able to successfully make the transition to a vegetarian diet. Be sure to check with your veterinarian first before making radical changes to your cat’s diet.
For most cat owners the need for bathing and coat care remains neglected as they are known for being cleaner than most domestic pets. However, if you have kids or prefer for your cat to be free to roam indoors and outdoors, you will quickly discover that care and upkeep are essential to keeping your feline friend healthy and beautiful.
It can be quite difficult to submit such an independent animal to regular care but it is well worth the task. Many health problems such as a sluggish liver, diabetes, food allergies, kidney and thyroid disorders manifest themselves in the coat and skin of a cat - not to mention parasites and fleas or ticks. If you have a young cat and begin a weekly grooming schedule it will be much easier to handle and they will adapt much better than more aged cats. I have provided some healthy tips that will assist you in taking that little bit of much-needed extra care and attention.
What To Look For
Seeing a beloved dog lose its fur can be a truly frightening experience even for the most experienced of dog owners. The good news is that most hair loss can be easily treated at home. However, before any treatment can begin, a cause for the hair loss must be determined. Each cause will require a slightly different approach when it comes to treating fur loss in a dog.
One of the most common causes of hair loss in dogs is mange mites. These tiny little insects live in the coat of the dog, burrowing into the skin and causing severe itching. The dog will scratch, bite, and lick continually in an effort to stop this itching, causing the fur loss. Mites can be treated with either prescription or over the counter medications. Be sure to follow the directions fully and carefully, and do not end treatment early or the mites could return.
Ringworm can also cause hair loss in canines. Ringworm is actually a fungal infection, and not a type of actual worm. It is named after the distinctive rash it causes, which does appear to be a little ring on the skin. Ringworm must be treated by a veterinarian as quickly as possible to ensure that the condition doesn’t worsen. Once ringworm has been successfully treated, the hair will grow back naturally. Keep in mind that ringworm can be passed to humans, so you should talk all necessary precautions when it comes to protecting your own family against this infection.
If the area of hair loss is hot to the touch, red, or inflamed, then the likely cause of fur loss is infection. Perhaps the dog was wounded, or the infection could be internal. The best treatment for this is to seek the advice of a veterinarian. A vet will be able to prescribe the appropriate antibiotics. Once the infection is cleared, normal hair growth can resume.
Allergies are another common cause of hair loss in dogs. While not particularly serious in most cases, the patchy hair loss associated with allergies can be disturbing. The only way to treat this is to remove the allergen. The allergen is probably in your home environment, such as mold, dirt, or pollen, so an effort should be taken to avoid these substances. The dog could also be allergic to something in its food. If this is the case, changing the dog’s diet would solve the problem and allow the hair to grow in naturally once more.
One of the more benign causes of hair loss is constant scratching. Some dogs just like to scratch, and if they do it often enough, they could cause their own fur loss. Unfortunately, the only way to stop this type of hair loss is to stop the scratching. This will involve behavior modification and training, and could be a long and difficult process. Consult a veterinarian or dog trainer for assistance if needed.
Most causes of hair loss in canines require the assistance of a veterinarian to diagnose and treat, so do not hesitate to contact a professional for advice if you are not absolutely sure of the reason for the hair loss. Once the cause of the fur loss is addressed, the hair will eventually grow back, and it will be as if nothing ever happened.
As the winter carries on resources become increasingly scarce for many local bird populations. However, there are still many birds that will stay local if they have some food and shelter to survive. You can still provide some supplemental food resources that will give local birds the ability to store fat and preserve body heat until spring! I have provided some healthy tips that may assist you in contributing to your environment by providing food for your local birds. Enjoy their continued presence the weather warms, providing vibrant life, color and protection for your garden.
What To Look For
Bird feeders and feed cages that suit birds native to your region
Seeds high in fat and protein that will protect birds during the cold winter months such as: black-oil sunflower seed, thistle seed, shelled peanuts, cracked corn, or white millet.
Consider purchasing an encyclopedia or book of birds native to your area so you can provide the kinds of feeders and seeds throughout the year
Keep your bird feeder well-stocked through the winter with seeds containing the fat and protein needed for the bird species native to your area.
You can also add a food supplement called suet (hardened beef fat mixed with nuts, seeds or fruit) to your feeders.
Avoid feeding birds breadcrumbs as it will fill them up but doesn’t have the nutrients birds will need to stay warm and survive the cold.
Keep your feeders in areas away from harsh winds and make sure the sunlight can reach their location.
Check your bird feeder more frequently than you would in warmer weather to make sure it does not get moldy and stagnant.
Consider investing in a squirrel-proof cage to place your bird seed in if you want to keep other wildlife away from the birds you are trying to attract.
You can also place nest boxes in various shrubs and trees around the garden to attract birds. Even if they do not stay there, birds will come back to use these protected areas as song posts.
Keep your bird feeders, tables and fountains cleaned, using a mild disinfectant, to prevent mold growth and disease.
If you move your feeders around from time to time, it also helps keep predatory animals such as squirrels, rats and mice away from the seed you intend for the birds.
Keep water in a tray or bird bath (check and break ice if it freezes during the day) as birds use it for insulating their feathers as well as for drinking. (Note: this is good even in areas with a lot of snow as birds who eat snow will need much more energy to bring their body temperatures back up from the cold.)
As you place seed in your feeder, sprinkle some cracked corn or white millet onto the ground for birds that look for their food closer to the ground to enjoy.
A small bulb can act as a light and source of warmth for birdbaths.
Keep the feeding stations you place in trees between 10 – 20 feet off the ground so birds can access their food while staying protected from cats and other predators.
Consider planting shrubs and evergreen plants in areas you wish to attract birds to as these areas provide the shelter necessary to make birds want to stay nearby.
Have you ever noticed that in the colder season your skin gets dry and itchy? It can be the same for your dog. You may have noticed that your dog itches more frequently. Often itching, irritated skin is a telling sign of dry skin. This condition should be looked at and once the cause of dryness is found, treated right away. Often times the treatments that may help you could also help your dog.
Your dog can suffer from dry skin because of a whole host of things. Usually, however, skin problems are the result of improper nutrition, harsh chemicals in dog shampoos, or more serious internal problems. Allergens in the home, fleas, parasites or fungal infections are also common reasons for dry, itchy skin. While it is very important to find out the reason for your pet's condition, I have included some healthy tips to assist you in addressing your dog's problems so that he/she and you can enjoy each other and the wonderful summer season without the irritation of dry skin.
What To Look For
Vitamin E is good for preventing those pesky age lines on your face, and it's also great for your dog's dry skin. You can give your pup a doggy massage by applying vitamin E oil directly to the skin, a soaking bath with vitamin E added to the water, or you can pop your dog a pill (of vitamin E, that is).
Sometimes, skin problems are indicative of a liver or thyroid disorder. Again, take your dog to his vet for an analysis.
Dogs and cats enjoy time outdoors even as the weather gets colder. And as we spend more time indoors, entertaining and providing different environments for our pets to move around in, it is good to make sure they are not susceptible to splinters caused by broken glass, unsealed wood, holiday foods and other things outside while they are exploring. If you notice your dog or cat limping or excessively licking the pads of their feet, they may be experiencing an uncomfortable splinter.
Small splinters can be easily and carefully removed in your home so I have provided some healthy tips below that will help you care for your pet if he/she experiences the discomfort of a splinter.
What To Look For
Please DO NOT give your dog cooked bones from meals prepared as the bones are more prone to cracking and can splinter in your dog’s mouth. Uncooked bones are always an exciting treat for your dog.
You can feed cats raw chicken from the kitchen but do not place a cooked chicken containing bones as they can also splinter, causing harm to your cat.
Do the legs of your furniture bear the claw marks of your cat? Is scratching the furniture abnormal? If so, you may want to consider trimming your cat’s claws. When cats scratch, it is a normal part of behavior that is hard-wired into their genes. Many cat owners are finding that their feline friend’s nails can become a danger to their furniture and sometimes to their skin! But instead of the painful process of declawing your cat, I recommend learning how to effectively and painlessly clip your cat’s nails so they remain happy and will not harm you or your household items. Please see the healthy tips I have provided below that may assist you in caring for your cat in this way.
What To Look For
Rushing into a full-scale claw trimming is a foolhardy move unless you're really into operatic drama and traumatic events. As you well know, cats hate to be restrained. And they don't like you fooling with their paws! After all, their claws are a major tool for survival, and Kitty may consider your motives suspect.
This is where preparation comes to the rescue. For approximately a week before her manicure, get Kitty accustomed to having her paws handled. While petting and soothing her, start massaging her paws, especially on the under side. Gently press on the individual pads at the base of her claws. You may want to give her treats to reward her for not protesting (or as in the case of my own cat, to distract her from doing so). The point of course, is to make the process reassuring so that she will eventually feel comfortable enough to let you handle her paws without protest. It can be very helpful if someone in the family, or perhaps a friend offers to gently cradle a wiggly cat while you are focused on this exercise. The best time to trim your cat's claws is when she is relaxed or sleepy.
Next, be patient. Don't attempt to trim all Kitty’s nails at once. Trim one or two at a time, reward her with affection or food, and then let her do as she wishes. Cats are not strong on patience or restraint.