When you bring a new (adopted) cat home, there are five basics that you should know to take care of you new feline friend. If you are already a cat owner, you will invariably know these basics, but sometimes a little reinforcement can’t hurt.
Below are the five essentials for any cat owner to follow:
Meal Times should be Consistent
Breakfast and all meals for your kitty should be served at the same time everyday. Always give your cat the same amount of either wet or dry food or both! Your cat will probably wake up before you and let you know he or she is ready to eat. It is important to be consistent with food amount and times of day. It will help you and your cat as he or she will let you sleep longer and your kitty will know when he or she is going to eat.
Water is essential. Fresh water means replacing the water from your cat’s water bowl on a daily basis. If the water has become stale, refresh it when you get home. Some cats will go as far as to dig in the water bowl and empty all the old water out and spill it all over the floor. So make sure that your cat is always hydrated and the bowl is filled. There are also fun fountains and/or water displays that constantly refill the water bowl while you are at work or away so you don’t have to worry about it.
Great tips for kitties and cats!
Litter Box Maintenance
Always clean out the litter box on a daily basis. I, personally, clean out the litter box twice a day, but it depends on you and your cat’s needs. You should also do a full cleaning of the litter box once a week. Simply dump all the old litter and clean out the entire litter box with a liquid soap and water. Then refill the box with fresh litter and you will have a nice clean litter box for your cat!
If you can brush your cat on a regular basis, it will help you get rid of you cat’s hairballs or knots in their fur. Hairballs can be a hazard as they are uncomfortable for your cat and can land in his or her food. Not good for your cat or his digestion. This is very important as summer is upon us and cats shed even more so you can prevent the excessive shedding by brushing your cat often.
Cats Require Attention and Love too
New cat owners might not realize that cats, like dogs, need love, attention and nurturing. While dogs are seemingly more social, you would be surprised at just how loving cats can be. They have big personalities and will win your heart instantly. Therefore, make sure to play with your cats, give them toys, lots of love and they will thrive!
The above are just the fundamentals for you and your feline friend. As you get to know your new cat, you will be able to judge all of the above according to your cat’s specific needs.
Come and join, Sammy, the site administrator for petpav.com, and he will be your first friend!
My sister has an adorable Labrador named Chase who always begs for food at the dinner table. And she is not alone! Many dogs beg for food and some cats (including my Sammy) do the same. However, this behavior can be stopped if you are consistent and diligent!
As we know, most dogs get very excited even about the mere prospect of food so it takes time and training to control them when food is available. Below are some tips to help minimize the unwanted behavior.
Go back to the basics of sit and stay and you can train your dog not to beg. As hard as it is, try to ignore your dog during meals and don’t give him or her tablescraps. This will only lead to your dog begging for your food or taking it right from you or your dinner companion’s plates. Use the "sit" and "stay" commands during meals if your dog won't leave you alone. After you are done eating, you can reward a well-behaved dog with his or her own dinner.
Have a Designated “Go To” Spot for Your Dog During Meals
Teach your dog to go to a designated spot, usually a bed or a mat, and stay there. Walk her over and make sure she stays there. Give your dog a bone and make this the spot and time for her or him to chew the bone. When your dinner is finished, walk over and pet your dog and reward the good behavior.
I’m Chase and I have learned to mind my own business during dinner!
This skill can be useful in a variety of other situations. If you’re watching a movie with friends and you’d like your dog to occupy him or herself for a while, you can ask your dog to go to the spot and chew a bone. If your dog jumps up on people when they come to the door, you can ask her to go to her spot whenever the doorbell rings and wait there to greet visitors. This will be your ‘go to’ spot and can be consistently reinforced.
Distract Your Dog during meal time
Before sitting down to eat, give your dog a toy or something to chew on such as a stuffed KONG. After you finish your meal, you can call your dog and/or just let her or him continue to play with the toy. Make meal time the designated “play-with -your-toy” time.
As a Last Resort, Put your Dog in another Room or Crate
If your dog keeps acting up and you are crate training, put your dog in his or her crate while you eat. If you are not crate training, let the dog outside or put him or her in another room while you eat. While this seems like a punishment, it can hopefully deter the unwanted behavior and you can eventually allow your dog back in the room while you eat. Dogs are smart enough to know what they are doing and why they are being sent ‘away’.
I hope these tips help and remember that if you have stopped your dog from begging, you need to be consistent. Don’t give your dog tidbits from your plate under any circumstances or he or she will diligently try those tactics AGAIN whenever you sit down for a meal and you will have to start the whole process over. Good luck!
While we love to take our dogs to the groomers and let them do their great work, it can become expensive and time consuming. Maybe it’s time to give it a try at home! While not all dogs will allow you to groom them at home, some dogs actually like it. If you try to make it a fun and positive experience, it could be a great bonding experience for you and your pup.
Below are some tips on how to groom your dog at home.
Brush your dog first
Always brush your dog first and do it thoroughly. Start brushing his coat and then onto his or her neck and move down his body, under his belly, and on his tail. You can even use a human comb or hair brush. Stroke his coat gently with the brush to make the hairs lie flat. After, praise your dog and give him a treat for being a good sport.
Get your dog into the tub
Getting your dog into the tub can be a challenge, but first fill the tub with water and then try to get your dog into the tub. Call your pup in a sweet voice and pick him up and place him in the tub. Always be sure that your dog’s collar is off and try not to replace it until later that day.
Thoroughly wet down your dog. If you have a medium or large dog, or one with a double coat, a water pressure device or hose attachment can help you clean all parts of your dog's body with ease. Just don't force it on your pup if he seems to be sensitive to the sound of it.
Start shampooing at the neck and move downward. Shampoos will always be easier to apply and rinse off if they are first diluted in water. When you are shampooing a certain area, give it a few squirts and use your hand to spread the shampoo. Save the head for last and don't actually use soap around the ears and eyes. Be careful around the nose and mouth too. Try to make it like a full body massage and your dog will love it!
Thoroughly rinse your dog until all the dirt and shampoo is gone. Shampoo left in his or her coat can cause hot spots, an irritating spot of bald, itchy, red skin.
The Drying Process
Grab a towel and dry your dog’s fur the best that you can. If your dog has a very short coat or you prefer to let your dog's coat dry naturally, you're done. Your dog might wrestle you a bit with the towel, but try to make it fun for him or her.
For dogs with long hair, try to blow dry his or her fur without completely drying him out. If you have a dog with especially long hair, you might need to blow dry his or her coat while brushing him. (Always make sure the blow dryer is on a cool setting). Make sure to praise and reward your dog after grooming him or her for being a good sport. Give your dog a treat and his favorite toy to make the experience a positive one. Happy Grooming!
As the temperatures are now sizzling around the nation, it is important for dog owners to recognize that dogs, like humans, can get heat stroke. Dog owners should educate themselves so they will know when their dogs are overheated and what to do about it.
Taking walks with dogs
If you take your dog on a walk or a hike in the heat, make sure you bring plenty of water and even some ice and a towel to help cool off the dog's undersides if he or she starts showing signs of heat exhaustion. If your dog starts to walk really slowly or pants excessively, it is time to stop, give him some water and bring your overheated dog home.
Make sure to go easy on your pup by taking water breaks in the shade every fifteen minutes for at least five minutes on hot days when you are hiking. When you are walking on hot sand or asphalt, your dog's feet can blister too. And always watch out for the metal manhole covers on sidewalks. Be aware of your dog's behavior and know what is abnormal for your dog. Excessive panting is always a sign that he or she is overheated.
Never, ever leave your dog in the car in the heat
Most of us have heard that leaving a dog in a car, even with the windows rolled down while you run into a store for something can be fatal. The inside car temperature can jump quickly on warm days as well as overcast days due to the concentration of UV rays penetrating the car's windows.
Be careful if you leave your dog outside in the heat
If you choose to leave your dog outside at home, make sure that the dog has plenty of cool fresh water to drink and plenty of shade. Dog runs and tie downs for dogs can be dangerous to your dogs when the sun changes position and the shade moves or disappears completely. You may have to provide a shade umbrella, small wading pool, or extra bins of water for your dog. I do recommend, if possible, that your dogs remain inside during the hot summer months. Less worry for you and your dog!
Signs of heat exhaustion
Some signs to recognize that your dog is becoming overheated include, whining, fidgeting, and excessive panting. If you can cool them off at this point, you can avoid the harsher condition of heat stroke which is very serious and can be fatal.
Bring your dog to the veterinarian if you think your dog is overheated
Always have your vet's contact information available in case your dog suffers from heat stroke. You also might want to know the closest hospitals and/or emergency rooms in case your dog gets affected (and it is always good to have these contacts readily available for any illness or emergency).
If you keep your dog out of the heat during the really hot times of day, keep him or her hydrated, you should have no problem during the hot summer months.
My friend, Denise, tends to feed her dog table scraps on a daily basis. When I was over at her house last week, I told her that the occasional piece of chicken is OK for her dog, but that overall, it is best not to get in the habit of feeding her dog ‘people’ food.
There are some negative effects and/or consequences to feeding a dog human food. Like everything else, moderation is the key to a healthy and happy dog. Below explains why it is best to avoid table scraps or human food on a daily basis.
People food needs to be given to dogs with extreme caution because many foods are dangerous for or pups. While many of these foods are very healthy for humans to eat, some can be toxic and possibly lethal for dogs. Some examples of these foods include grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, walnuts, chocolate, and caffeine. Further, sharp bones can puncture organs or cause problems with digestion.
People Food Can Add Weight to your Dog
Feeding your dog too many human food scraps can lead to obesity in some dogs. This is especially true if you feed table scraps to your dog(s) that are high in fat or carbohydrates. A dog that carries too much extra weight can develop problems with its joints or heart. Most commercial dog foods are designed with a dog's dietary needs in mind. While portion control and regular exercise are still necessary, these foods are usually a better fit for a dog’s diet.
Feeding table scraps can lead to behavioral problems such as begging. If a dog begs for people food and you constantly give in (I know how hard this one is), this only reinforces the begging. It can also make the dog more likely to steal food from your dinner plate or try to get food out of the garbage. Feeding our people food to our pups can also make them more selective about what he or she eats, so they will be less likely to want to eat the dog food you leave out for him or her.
There are other problems that could arise from feeding people food to your dog. Human food could cause a dog to have stomach problems, such as diarrhea, and even to develop food allergies. An improper diet can cause a dog's coat and skin to become dry. Digestive disorders can result from feeding different types of people food and the dog may experience bad breath or gas.\
Good People Food
There are some good sources of people food that are OK for dogs. Some foods, such as carrots, sliced apples, green beans, lean meats, and plain cooked rice, can be fed to most dogs safely and are even good for them. These foods should still be fed with care; discuss your dog's diet with your veterinarian to see how these extras can fit into your dog’s diet.
As always, moderation is the key to your dog’s livelihood. If you balance your dog’s diet, make sure he or she gets some exercise on a daily basis, your dog will be happy, healthy and thin!