Cats are wonderful companions, pets and friends. They give us so much joy, love to nap, eat, nap and eat. And, of course, they all have their quirks. However, unlike dogs, most of us don’t take our cats on walks. And, as a cat gets older, we need to make sure they get enough exercise so they can live for a very long time.
Outdoor cats do more running around than indoor cats; however, even outdoor cats can become fat and happy. As in humans, exercise or at least some physical activity for your cat is essential for your cat’s well being. Not only does exercise burn calories, improve muscle tone, and reduce a cat’s appetite, but daily physical activity will also help protect your cat from becoming overweight or obese, extending her lifespan and improving her quality of life.
Some cats are inherently active and don’t need much convincing to play or run around. I know that my Sammy runs laps around the house when he is hyper. However if you have a sedentary cat, it might take a little more effort on your part.
Below are some suggestions to get your cat moving and/or on a regular exercise regimen.
1. Cats love bags. If you leave out a paper bag and/or a box, your cats will most likely be inspired to play hide and seek in them or rip them apart. I have yet to meet a cat who doesn’t like boxes or bags.
2. Throw a mouse around and play fetch. Cats do love to fetch items whether it is a fake mouse or even a bottle top. You can toss it around and play a round of catch with it. Or have your kitty chase toys, balls, sticks with feathers, or laser toys. Cats love chasing light. And, always reward and praise your cat after he or she fetches the mouse or toy.
3. Catnip! Some cats love catnip and if you put a little on a scratcher, they will not only scratch that but will also invariably run around the room after. Of course, you don’t want to do this daily, but it is good for a lazy cat to get them started.
4. Buy a cat tree or kitty condo and put catnip on it. Many cats love climbing on their own. However, a little catnip might be a good way to get them interested and started. It might just be the trick to become their new exercise equipment. We can call it a kitty climber!
5. Adopt a second cat. If you have one cat and he is lethargic, you might consider adopting another cat. This is not only great for your older cat as it will give him a playmate to run around with, but you are also saving another cat’s life!
6. Teach your pet some new tricks. You can train your cat to run around, jump on his cat tree or even just jump up when your clap your hands. If your cat performs his new trick, then give him a low calorie treat. He will most likely do it again.
Time for a Visit to the Vet
If your cat doesn’t respond to any of the above, it might be time to visit your vet. Your kitty might be ill or have an injury that you might not be aware of or noticed causing him to be lethargic.
Just remember, the more physical activity a cat gets, the better it is for your kitty’s overall health.
All dog owners and lovers know how their dogs do the adorable ‘shake’ when they are excited. They do their little dance when you come home, when they shift positions or just to get rid of some pent-up energy. It’s just like we humans yawn or stretch out or shake out our limbs to get blood flowing through our bodies.
But, what if your dog is shaking and he or she doesn’t stop. Then, it’s time for a visit to your veterinarian right away.
Below are some reasons why your dog might be shaking.
Canine Distemper is caused by a virus and it usually occurs in puppies and adolescent dogs that haven’t received all their vaccinations. Canine distemper is a very common cause of shaking and or tremors in dogs. Other signs of distemper can include discharge in the eyes and nose discharge, fever and coughing.
Treating distemper usually includes medications that help build your puppy’s immune system while he or she fights the virus. Treatment will include some type of antibiotics, physical therapy, and fluids to help with dehydration. This is a serious condition, but it is treatable. Make sure that your young pups get all their vaccinations so they never have to go through this.
As in human, dogs can also get nauseous and in turn, they start shaking. This shaking can happen even from something as simple as motion sickness, medication, eating too much, or eating the wrong thing. Dogs also can get nausea from kidney or liver disease as well as other diseases. Shaking is one sign that your dog is nauseous. Other signs include listlessness, lip smacking, swallowing or salivating more than usual, hiding, yawning, and vomiting. If this occurs for more than 24 hours, take your pup to the vet.
Old Age and/or Pain
As our dogs get older, some of our poor pups will develop tremors in their hind legs or front paws. Sometimes the tremors may be in the front legs as well. These tremors usually don't affect how your dog moves or walks but it can be a nuisance and scare both you and them.
Don’t always assume that just because your dog is getting older that this trembling is normal. It could be a sign of some other pain that might be fixable or at least make your dog more comfortable. So, again, make sure to talk to your vet if your dog develops tremors.
Several toxic items and poisons can cause tremors or shaking in dogs. Some of these are harmless to people but toxic to your pet. Most of us know the poisonous items for dogs, such as chocolate, cigarettes or any kind of fertilizer and/or toxic plant.
If your dog has been poisoned, the symptoms usually include tremors, weakness, disorientation, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. If you think your dog has swallowed anything potentially toxic, call your vet right away or your local poison control center if you think this is the case. If he has been poisoned, get your dog to the vet or nearest animal hospital as soon as possible.
I hope that your dog never develops tremors beyond the ‘happy shake’ and if he or she does, it is very short lived.
If you are a dog owner that has just brought a new dog home, it can sometimes be a rough adjustment on your ‘older’ dog. After all, he or she has been getting all the attention for some time. However, some dogs adjust instantly to new dogs and have no trouble at all, while others need some encouragement and training to do so.
Below are some tips for dogs that don’t get along.
Start by having separate areas for your dogs
The best way to introduce new dogs to each other is slowly and with caution. As I mentioned above, sometimes it will be love at first sight! While, at other times, it will be a sniffing party and a cautionary meet. Therefore, it is best to have separate areas for your dogs in case they don’t get along. You can use a dog gate to separate them, dog crates or put your dogs in separate rooms. And, make sure that they know, on command, when you say ‘stop’ or ‘leave’ that they will go to their separate areas.
Introduce them in a neutral territory
If you can introduce your dogs in a spot that hasn’t been occupied by your first dog, this is advantageous as it is common ground. You might need some help with this (another family friend or neighbor) and should always have both dogs on leashes. You can slowly bring them together and see how they respond to each other. If they seem antagonistic, give them a break and try again later. If they both react well with each other, praise them and give them treats.
Watch the dog’s body language
Make sure to pay close to both of the dog’s body language, especially those reactions or positions that shows a defensive response. Defensive body postures usually include teeth-baring, deep growls, or a prolonged stare. If a dog reacts with any of these postures, immediately go into positive reinforcement mode and get your dog to follow your commands mentioned above. Have your dogs go to their separate areas, calm down and try again another time. Do not punish or reprimand them; just separate them.
Positive Reinforcement works
As mentioned above, you want to reward the good behavior when your dogs get along. Let them know that you appreciate their good behavior! You can give them positive reinforcement through verbal praise and treats. After letting them play for a while, have both dogs “sit” and “stay” and take them off their leash. If this goes well, then you can bring them on walks together and or let them play in your yard, dog park or whatever your pleasure.
Try a dog trainer if the above does not work
If your dogs are still not getting along, don’t be upset with your dogs. These efforts can take some time. If you contact a local dog trainer, he or she should be able to help you. You can get recommendations from friends or other dog owners at the dog park for a good dog trainer. Dog Trainers are great because they train you and the dog with tips and commands to help your dogs get along. They will give you invaluable insight and sills that you probably never thought to try.
With time and effort, your dogs will get along and they will be friends forever!
If you have just brought a kitten home and have never had a cat or kitten before, you are probably overwhelmed. There are so many things to learn from nutrition, vet care and what to feed your new kids. However, not to worry, you will learn quickly from your vet and other cat owners about how to take care of your new feline family member. Below are some tips that can help you get started.
A kitten has different dietary needs from an adult cat, because it is in its infancy and growing rapidly. Make sure to choose a high-quality brand of food that is formulated especially for kittens that are less than one year old. Very young kittens need to eat a few times a day. By the time a kitten is six months old, you can adjust to a twice a day feeding schedule. As with adult cats, always make sure to have plenty of water available.
Your new kitten has probably already received his or her first round of shots if you adopted it from a shelter. Vaccinations are extremely important to cat and kitten health. Kittens generally require three rounds of vaccinations and your vet can advise you on the timing of these. And, then after your kitty is one years old, the visits can become annual, just as in humans.
Kittens are delicate and the presence of fleas, ear mites, or intestinal worms can be serious. Keep an eye out for fleas or ear mites, and bloated belly in the case of worms. Check with your vet before using any type of flea product on a young kitten as many are for adult cats.
If you adopted a kitten from a shelter, make sure to find out if he or she was tested for infectious diseases like feline leukemia. If not, you should keep the new kitten separated from other cats in the household until you can have your kitten tested as this disease is infectious.
Clip Your Kitties Nails
Kittens have sharp little claws that need to be trimmed regularly, so they don’t hurt you or your furniture! You can easily purchase a special clipper that is designed for cats at your local pet store. Be careful when you clip their claws. The easiest way to clip them is to extend the claw, and then nip off the sharp, curved tip of each claw. Make sure to just cut the tips and not any further where the blood vessels and nerves are located.
Kittens need their sleep
A healthy kitten is very active and plays all the time. Kittens, like infants, need many hours of sleep. You can provide a soft, warm bed for your kitty that you can find at any pet store. Or you can even use a comfortable blanket or a make-shift bed for your kitten’s comfort. And, don’t be alarmed if kittens sleep a lot – they need it!
Spaying and Neutering
Make sure to have your kittens spayed or neutered by the time they are four to five months old. It is very important to spay or neuter your cats to avoid bringing more kittens into a world that doesn't have enough homes for them. Spaying and neutering is also good for general cat health.
And, of course, the most important thing you need to give your kitten is a lot of love! And, then everything else will fall into place.
If your dog is filled with an abundant amount of energy, he or she is probably an overactive dog. An overactive dog typically has endless energy, loves to walk for hours and never seems to get tired. As a dog owner, there is no need for alarm with an overactive dog; just make sure that an overactive dog gets enough exercise and training.
A hyperactive dog is more problematic as he or she is similar to a child that is hyperactive… his activity is almost frantic. A hyperactive dog will pant constantly and has a heart rate that is elevated. And, this behavior continues until he or she is so tired, that the poor pup passes out. This can be dangerous in dogs and should be monitored.
Take your dog to the Vet
The first thing you should do if you think that you have a hyperactive dog is take him or her to the vet to see if there is a medical issue. Make sure to properly document why or how you think your dog is hyperactive. If your dog truly is hyperactive, he most likely will demonstrate this behavior while you are with your vet.
Based on a full medical examination of your seemingly hyper dog, your vet can come to a conclusion about the reason for his excess activity levels. She may prescribe medication to treat any medical causes of his behavior. There are some medications that you can try to see if it helps the issue.
Make sure your dog gets enough exercise
Even if your vet does describe medication, you should first try exercising your dog more and see if this helps his over-activity. If you take him or her on runs and teach him after to sit down on a mat and rest, this could help. Remember, that behavioral changes take time so don’t expect results overnight. With time and effort, you might be able to calm your dog merely by working him out more.
Your dog might be hyperactive due to lack of training
Some hyperactive dogs become this way due to lack of training. Maybe you adopted a dog that won’t settle down. Or maybe you have given your dog too much attention even when they are barking, jumping or biting your furniture and he likes the attention. Your dog will need to learn the basics of dog training and if you think he is hyperactive, you should hire a dog trainer. A trainer will be more skilled to teach youhow to work with your dog.
Some dogs are not hyperactive but suffer from anxiety
Some dogs suffer from anxiety and are constantly stressed out. This usually manifests itself by dogs that pace the floor and pant heavily. These dogs might have a compulsive disorder and as in humans can repeat the same behavior over and. These dogs aren't hyperactive; they just need help to settle down. A vet will know if your dog has a compulsive disorder and will prescribe medication or it could be time to see an animal behavior specialist.
If your dog is seemingly hyperactive, make sure to give him plenty of time, love, attention and exercise and that might just be the cure.