My friend, Betsy, just adopted a cat named, Layla, and she fell in love with her on the spot. She brought her home a couple weeks ago and she is slowly warming up to her. However, she doesn’t feel like she is comfortable with her yet and wants to win her over. And, as any cat or even dog owner knows, not all cats or dogs are inherently gregarious, but in time you can make them a little more loveable.
Cats tend to reserve their emotions and express them in subtle ways. Understanding your cat's emotions can be difficult, and your attempts to be affectionate with your cat may seem pointless at first because your cat doesn't seem to notice. However, the key is to try to understand the body clues that your cat evokes and then responding to him or her with the appropriate and affectionate gesture.
Try to read your cat’s body language
You can read your cat's body language and determine what the appropriate response should be. For example, if your cat looks restless and keeps nudging you, then he or she might want to play with a toy. If your cat lies in your lap and looks relaxed, then he or she wants to be stroked. And, usually, the double eye wink means you have won your cat over! If you pay attention, your cat will tell you what he or she wants.
I’m Layla and I was a little scared at first but we’re all happy now!
Wait for your cat to relax
Try to look for signs that your cat is relaxed or happy when you approach him or her. Your cat probably doesn't want a lot of petting or affection when he or she is anxious or actively doing something. You should wait for your cat to relax his or her tail, look you in the eyes and/or slant his eyes. Try petting your cat when he or she first wakes up from a nap. They are usually more receptive and at their most relaxed state.
A head butt is a good thing!
Pay attention when your cat rubs up against you or headbutts you. Headbutting refers to the way in which a cat jerks his head into your leg or arm to get your attention. These signs are usually indicative of your cat's desire for affection. Some cats love to rub against your fist or even your shoes. Whatever it takes to get your cat’s to respond!
Figure out what makes your cat purr
Spend time with your cat doing what he or she wants to do as this will gain his trust and display affection. This may involve playing, petting, throwing a toy mouse or simply feeding your cat.
Watch for signs of what your cat likes and doesn’t like and obviously go for the behavior that he or she likes. For instance, if you cat doesn't seem to like being pet on the stomach, then try to pet his or her head in the future. If your cat doesn't like a certain toy or scratch pad, then you might want to buy a new toy for him or her.
The most important thing to remember is to be patient with your cat, show him or her a lot of love and affection, and your cat will come around.
As many dog owners know, it is important to keep our dogs happy and healthy. Similar to people, dogs need a good healthy diet, a lot of water and exercise. There are so many benefits to keeping your dog in good shape. The exercise will not only keep your dog healthy, but will strengthen his bones and minimize health issues related to obesity.
Exercise helps eliminate destructive behavior
When a dog does not get enough exercise, he takes all his energy out in other ways, most of which are unwelcome. If your dog is digging holes in your backyard, he or she is probably not exercising enough and has pent up energy to release. Does your dog act out by tearing up your couches or barking all the time? A daily dose of exercise should help combat most of these issues.
Try taking your dog for a run on the beach or on a new hiking trail. The exercise will help stimulate your dog’s mind and body, keeping him tired for most of the day. A tired dog is less likely to be aggressive or destructive.
How much should exercise does your dog need?
In general, most dogs need at least thirty minutes to an hour of good aerobic exercise daily. Of course, so much depends on your dog’s age, breed and condition. A puppy will need a lot more exercise than an older dog. But, then again, an energetic, older Labrador could easily need more exercise than a calmer three-year old Lab. It is important to remember that older dogs still need to go for walks--just shorter ones than they used to enjoy.
Indoor or small dogs need exercise too!
Even if you have a smaller, indoor dog, don’t think that just lying around the house is OK for them. They don’t need an aerobic power jog but a daily walk is important for their bodies and to release energy. Think how many overweight pugs there are and while some breeds are inherently chubbier, exercise can help keep their weight down.
Exercise can be fun for you and your dog
Similar to most people, dogs take to a little variety and different types of exercise. Make it fun for you and your dog (and you will get in better shape in the process).
Dog parks are great places for your dog tor run off some steam and meet other dogs to play with and form play dates. Not all dogs are gregarious, so if you feel as if your dog is a bit on the aggressive side, take him on a run with you. Go for a hike or meet the neighbors while you run the streets with your dog.
Dogs that don’t exercise have an increase in health risks
Inactive dogs are often overweight dogs which can bring many different health risks. An overweight dog is more likely to end up with diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease. Heavier dogs also can add stress to their joints, ligaments, and tendons.
There are so many benefits to keeping your dog exercising daily and in good shape. If you haven’t done so already, try implementing a daily exercise routine for your dog and you and your dog will reap the benefits!
My friend, Darlene, has a cat named Ginger whose eye just started tearing and she was a bit concerned. Eye infections are common in cats and there are many different variations and reasons why your cat might have something wrong with his or her eyes. If your cat’s eyes are simply tearing and it goes away in a few days, not to worry.
However, if your beloved feline has any discharge in his or her eyes or you think it might be more than just a case of dry cat eyes, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Below are some common eye ailments in cats:
Your cat’s eyes have discharge
The type or thickness of the discharge helps determine the condition. A clear discharge without redness and pain will usually have to do with a problem in the tear drainage system. A clear discharge with a reddened eye could be conjunctivitis which is sometimes a result of a viral infection. A thick, sticky, discharge, along with a red (inflamed) eye suggests possible conjunctivitis as well. Any discharge accompanied by a painful eye is usually associated with the possibility of cornea or inner eye involvement.
Pain in your cat’s eyes
If your cat seems to have excessive tearing, squinting (closing down one or both eyes), tenderness to the touch, and avoidance of light, he or she needs to go to the vet. Your cat will usually paw his or her eye or try to rub it. The usual causes of a painful eye are injuries to the cornea and diseases of the inner eye.
There are certain diseases that change the clearness of the eye, making it cloudy or as if the cat has a blind eye. This cloudiness can vary from a small, localized haziness to the pupil being almost invisible. Loss of clarity or transparency of the eye indicates an inner eye disorder.
This is usually associated with signs of pain. Cataracts are the most likely cause when the eye is not painful. If your cat has cloudy eyes, you should see your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Changes in your cat’s pupils
If you cats pupils are enlarged or dilated, it usually means that there is an issue with the inner eye. The pupil may become fixed and unable to dilate or constrict. A hard eye with a dilated pupil indicates glaucoma. A soft eye with a small pupil indicates inflammation of the inner eye.
Your cat’s eyes seem either bulging or sunken.
A bulging eye occurs with glaucoma, tumors, and abscesses behind the globe, and with an eye out of its socket. A sunken eye is accompanied by dehydration, weight loss and eye pain.
Abnormal eye movements
If your cat’s eyes start to shift or seem to focus in different directions or jerk back and forth, this could be a cause for alarm. Of course, the occasional abnormal eye movement is very normal in our felines.
Eye color changes to a yellowish tint
A change in the color of your kitty’s eyes may indicate a melanoma. If the eyes are yellow, it is indicative of jaundice. While I hope your cat never experiences any of the above eye pain or infection, this article can give you a barometer of what to expect. As always, go see your veterinarian if your cat’s eyes look abnormal or different in any way.
I know that a lot of pet owners are ambivalent about whether they should purchase pet insurance for their dog or cats. As with any insurance, there are many different types, plans and costs. Dog owners more frequently purchase pet insurance as dogs more often than cats are prone to more injuries and other health ailments. The costs vary with the type of dog and age, and similar to car insurance, you should price each policy out and determine what is best for your dog.
The purpose of pet insurance is to help cover the costs of unexpected accidents and illnesses that may occur in the future. Unfortunately, it will not cover any current conditions your pet may have which are known as pre-existing conditions. This means that the ideal time to insure your pet is as early as possible so that anything that happens in the future will be covered.
Health insurance for dogs is recommended
The main reason to have pet insurance for your dogs is to cover your vet’s bills if your dog is sick or injured in an accident. It is virtually impossible that your dog will go through his whole life without a single disease or injury and even one treatment can cost a lot of money. Dogpet insurance policiesvary enormously as to what levels of coverage they provide so you need to compare each carefully and see what best meets your needs.
Some breeds are more prone to injury or illness
You should also consider the breed of the dog or puppy that you own. For example, Labradors tend to have problems with their legs and in many cases, need surgery later in life. Talk to other pet owners or breeders to see if they have any thoughts or ideas whether it is mindful to purchase insurance for your particular breed. If you have adopted a pet, you might not know the exact breed of your dog but you can try to find out the origin of your pet or his or her medical history.
Pet Insurance can also be used for accidents
There are some other reasons to purchase pet insurance. For instance, if your dog runs out on the road and causes a car accident, you will need insurance to cover you forlegal adviceand compensation payment. You are responsible for your dog, so if the other party sues you, you will most likely be covered. If your dog bites another person or dog, pet insurance can help prevent the medical bills that can be caused by this.
Pet Insurance for cats?
If you are a cat owner, should you buy pet insurance? I have to admit, this is a tough one. I have not bought health insurance for my cat, Sammy, and have been lucky thus far. Most indoor cats are not prone to injury or as many health issues as outdoor cats or dogs. However, unforeseen incidents or health issues can occur, so it is probably a good idea to get a standard policy that can cover health issues, especially as our felines get older. I think of health insurance for cats as similar to home or rental insurance, better safe than sorry.
In summary, if you have a dog or cat, it really is a good idea to have pet insurance. It gives you the peace of mind that if something were to happen, it won’t break the bank. You’re putting money into your pet’s ‘health fund’ so you can assure that you are covered for almost any health issue or injury that might occur.
Our dogs tend to eat everything that is put in front of them and love all types of food. And some dogs have a propensity to eat other items besides their food that can be someone amusing at first, but, ultimately dangerous. I know my friend, John, had a dog that ate his socks and had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.
Usually, this is a rare occurrence, but some dogs tend to eat everything around them, including pens, paper or even coins on the ground. If you have a dog that does this, it might simply be because he is an explorer and loves to sniff and eat everything in front of him or her.
To change this behavior, you’ll need to tempt your dog with something more attractive than pens and random pieces of food found on the ground.
Below are some ways to get your dog to break this habit:
Teach your dog to leave the item
First and foremost, you should learn to teach your dog how to ‘leave it’ if he picks up or tries to eat an improper item. This might take some practice, but say it in a stern voice ‘leave it’ and if your dog follows the command, make sure to praise your dog for good behavior with treats and/or a big hug. Or both!
Oops.. I am not supposed to eat this!
If your dog picks up items on his walks, have treats handy
Bring treats with you on your walks and if your dog starts to steer you towards something on the ground that could be bad for her, tempt her with a treat instead and continue walking.
You can also bring along a toy. A squeaky toy or a ball may keep your dog distracted. When he or she’s about to dive for something, squeak the toy or if your dog wants to, let her carry it on her walk.
If there are certain streets or places that tend to have trash or unhealthy items, try your best to avoid them. Eventually, it won’t be an issue once you have trained your dog to drop or leave the items, but it will make the transition easier.
Try to recognize the pattern of when your dog goes after bad items
Make sure you recognize the signs when your dog is ready to grab something that is bad for him or her. Some dogs will lower their head and raise their butts, while others will keep their nose to the ground and not watch where you are walking, the guilty gesture. Try to break get your pups interested in the world around them and not the items along the way.
If this behavior continues, you might need to see a dog trainer or specialist.
It can be hard to figure out why a dog may find some of these items appealing. However, if you learn to distract your pups with food, treats, items and positive reinforcement, it will invariably help them drop the habit, so to speak. If this habit does continue, than it’s best to consult a dog trainer or dog behavioral specialist to see if they can help you change this pattern.