As summer is upon us, most cat owners will notice that their cats start to shed more. While cats tend to groom themselves, we cat owners need to help them with a little home grooming, so they won’t swallow a fur ball or more. Cat owners can help our feline friends cut down on their hairballs, the dirt they might ingest, and keep their nail trims so they don’t tear something or rip a nail that gets caught in material.
Below are some tips to help you groom your cat.
Brush your cat with a comb or wooden brush
If your cat has short hair, you’ll probably only need to brush him or her once or twice a week. Depending on the thickness of the fur, the brush you use will make a difference. Combs work best on most short fur and brushes can help to remove the dead and loose fur.
If your cat has medium to long hair, you will probably need to brush her more frequently to prevent tangles and matting. Bristle brushes or rubber brushes seem to work best with fine, long fur. When brushing your cat’s legs, try to be gentle as most long haired cats tend to get knots there and it can hurt to have their fur tugged. When brushing the tail, make a part down the middle and brush the fur out on either side.
Make grooming fun and enjoyable
I know that my cat, Sammy, doesn’t like grooming or brushing, but I try to make it a fun experience. If he isn’t the mood for me to brush him, I wait until he’s a little more relaxed, usually after a nap. If your cat isn’t used to being groomed, keep the sessions short to start and extend the time a little more each time. Sometimes taking a small break and petting him or her instead of brushing helps keep your cat relaxed. Offer your cat a treat for good behavior.
Tips for clipping your cat’s nails
When I started clipping Sammy’s nails, he would run away from me. Now that I can clip his nails quickly, he’s pretty good at sitting still. I position myself next to him or put him on my lap and pet him. I then gently press the top of his foot and pad so it extends his nails. Then I quickly take the cat clippers and cut the tips off and it’s done. Remember that you only want to cut the tips so it doesn’t cause pain and bleeding.
Again, remember to praise your cat. It could take a few sessions or days to get all the nails trimmed. If your cat resists, let him or her go and try again later.
I hope these tips help and your cat is a happy, well-groomed one.
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My friend, Samantha, has a dog named Morris that constantly licks or bites his paws. She was worried about Morris, so I wanted to see what I could do to help her. Apparently, there are many dogs out there that lick or bite their paws for many different reasons. Below are some tips to help you decide how serious the condition is and what you can do to help your pup.
Allergies and itching are the most common cause of obsessive paw licking. One common cause of itching and paw licking is flea allergies on the foot. Food allergies are also common, as are environmental allergies. A skin infection or a healing wound could also cause licking.
If your dog is itching and licking his or her paws, the licking will provide only brief relief and will cause further itching in the long term. Therefore it is best to consult your vet to help you get to the bottom of the allergy issue.
Some dogs chew their paws out of boredom or a lack of exercise. This type of licking may progress to Canine Compulsive Disorder (yes, there is such a thing!), but in the beginning it is less severe than the behaviors associated with CCD. Dogs left home alone all day may lick their paws for this reason.
This can also happen when an owner stops walking his or her dog due to a schedule or life change. For example, if the owner switches jobs or brings another pet home, many dogs begin chewing their paws as a result of a sudden disruption in his or her exercise and socialization routines.
Treatment of obsessive foot chewing and paw licking should start with a physical evaluation. A veterinarian should identify any health problem that might be causing the paw chewing. The vet should also look for problems like skin infections caused by paw licking. If a health problem is found, it must be treated as soon as possible. Your vet will give you the proper medication.
If a health problem has been ruled out or if the licking continues after the underlying health problem has been treated, a professional animal behaviorist should be consulted. Behavior modification plans are designed based on each dog's individual personality. The behaviorist may recommend distracting the dog with increased exercise or treating the behavior with medication.
Prevention of paw chewing should be part of a complete approach to physical and behavioral health. To avoid allergies from the start, feed your dog a premium food and rotate protein sources with each bag. You should also make sure that your dogs get plenty of exercise and bonding time with you and your family. Try, if you can, to avoid frequent changes in the dog's daily routine. If a major change such as a move happens, try to make the event as stress-free for your dog as you can.
I hope these tips help. As always, first see your veterinarian if the chewing and/ or licking lasts for more than a few days.
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I am a stern believer that cats, like dogs, understand what we say to them. I know that my cat,
Cat language is a mix of facial expression, tail position and other forms of body language in addition to sound. Cats learn to make demands of us by observing which of their sounds cause which human responses. They are smarter than you think!
The tail: The tail indicates whether your cat is happy, excited or scared. The tail going back and forth usually indicates a happy cat, while the trail straight up means that he or she is in predatory, aggressive mode; the tail tucked under means that your feline friend is scared.
The eyes: If your cat’s eyes are dilated, he or she is usually excited and/or playful. The slow blinking eyes are a sign of affection.
Some cats are vocal and have extensive vocabularies, while other cats rarely speak at all. Whether your cat is vocal or not, he or she will use his or her body to communicate with you. Sometimes you will even need to ‘get down’ to their level to communicate with your cat.
Take a look at this great and helpful video on talking to your cat:
How to ‘talk’ to your at cat
As you talk to your cat, the words you use are less important than your tone and body language. If you say "”No” in the same tone you use for "Good cat," you will confuse your cat and he or she will misinterpret what you're saying.
If you are trying to correct your cat’s bad behavior, use a loud, firm, authoritative voice, and use this same tone consistently in conjunction with your body language. For example, when ordering your cat "down," make a stern face, and use one of your hands to point down.
For praise, or when calling your cat to dinner or offering treats, use a higher-pitched voice, smile, and make a gesture with your hand.
If your cat is begging for attention or crying for food when you are trying to accomplish some other task, you will need to say "NO!" firmly, and gently push your cat away without showing him or her your affection. Cats will repeatedly try to invade our personal space and it might take a few times before your cat really catches on and leaves you alone.
Therefore, if you consistently use the same voice, facial expressions and hand gestures, most cats will have no trouble understanding what you say. The more you communicate with your cat, the better the two of you will become at understanding each other.
Come and join, Sammy, the site administrator for petpav.com, and he will be your first friend!
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Dogs are inherently good eaters. Unlike cats, they are not as finicky and will usually eat whatever food is put in front of them. However, similar to people, the healthier the food that we feed our dogs, the longer our dogs will live and thrive. Yet, with so many different labels and types of food on the market, the choices can be overwhelming.
Below are some basics to help you choose the right food for your dog.
The Basic Dog Food Pyramid
An average dog should have a diet that is fifty percent vegetable, forty percent meat and ten percent grain. Grown dogs need a minimum of eighteen percent protein on a dry matter basis, whereas puppies require at least twenty two percent. All dogs also require some fat, amount dependent on their level of activity. Dogs also need approximately four percent of their diets to be fiber. These are all, again, on average. In doing a dog food comparison, it is best to start with the labels.
Reading the dog food labels
A good way to determine the quality of a food is the ingredient list. With a little practice, you can find a food that does not have unwanted products and is highly digestible. The ingredients are listed in order by weight.
The following must be included on dog food labels: Minimum crude protein, minimum crude fat, maximum crude fiber and maximum moisture.
I want to eat healthy!
One trick some manufacturers use is to break an ingredient into several different smaller ingredients and list them separately. For example, the ingredients might include chicken (first), ground corn, corn gluten, and corn bran (further down). You might think chicken is the main ingredient but, grouping the corn ingredients together, they would likely greatly outweigh the amount of chicken.
Some other things to look for in the dog food
Look for the first source of fat named on the label in order to determine the main ingredients. For example, if chicken fat is listed seventh, the ingredients prior to that are the major ingredients. Those after are secondary.
Clearly, calculating the real amount of each guaranteed analysis can tricky and take time. Manufacturers sometimes list high quality ingredients that contain a lot of water and therefore save them money. For more information on calculations, visit the FDA Site.
So Many choices, so little time
Luckily, healthy dog food choices are easy to find today. You really can’t go too wrong as long as you have all the required ingredients. Try to look for all the basics listed above and don’t always fall for the ‘natural’ brands. Your veterinarian can always give you a good recommendation based on your dog’s weight, size and breed.
I hope these tips help and your dog lives a long, thriving happy life!
Spring is here and warmer weather is upon us. Most dogs love to swim to cool off and get their daily exercise. While this if fun for us and our dogs, swimming pools and lakes can be dangerous unless we are prepared for it.
Swimming pools are dangerous for our dogs because, while our dogs are natural swimmers, they might not be able to get out of the pool due to the design of the steps or ladder. Lakes and beaches can be detrimental to our pups since they have debris that can get tangled around your dog’s legs and tails.
While cats aren’t big swimmers, they can swim. Therefore, they are tempted to and do play in the water at times. While most of the tips below apply to dogs, if you do own an outdoor cat, he or she should not be allowed outside unsupervised if you have a pool.
Below are some tips to make sure your pets stay safe in and out of the water:
Secure your pool with a gate
If you have a pool in your backyard, please make sure to secure it with a gate. Think of your dog as your little child who can fall in the water and might not be able to get out. Never leave your dog unsupervised or unattended when around the pool.
Swimming is fun!
Make sure your dog can get out of the pool
Make sure your dog can get out of the pool. If your dog jumps in and doesn’t have a way to get out of the pool, he or she (and then you) will panic. Ramps can be added to your pool to help your dog walk out of the pool if you have a ladder attachment.
If your pool has steps, make sure your dog knows where the steps are located and take the time to practice with him. Have your dog walk up and down the steps every time he or she wants to go into the water.
Introduce your dog to the water
If your dog is unsure of the water, introduce him or her gradually. Make sure to be there to monitor his or her reaction. Anxiety about diving into the water can cause pets to panic and sometimes drown.
And while your dog enjoys the swimming pool, make sure that he or she doesn’t drink the water. The cleaning chemicals and chlorine in the pool can upset your dog’s stomach.
Don’t let your dog go in lakes without you
Don’t let your pet explore lakes or streams without you. They may drink the water or eat something that is bad for them like another animal or algae. Or they might swim off and you won’t be able to find them.
While these tips are basic, it is always good to remind ourselves that our pets, similar to our kids, should not be left unsupervised around water.
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