Pet News

8 Tips to Keep Your Costs Down for Your Pets!

There is nothing better than having a dog, cat or even hamster to come home to everyday.  We love how pets bring so much joy to our lives, unconditional love and become integral members of our family.  While we don’t have to put them through pre-school or college, our pets can get expensive!  Below are eight tips that can help reduce the costs of pet ownership:

1.  Spaying and Neutering Your Pet
Spaying and neutering your pet will have a dramatic impact on your pet’s health.  Spaying and/or neutering can dramatically reduce the potential for breast and ovarian cancer in cats and uterine cancer can almost disappear in most male dogs.  It also helps potential behavioral issues in both cats and dogs.


2.  Keep up with regular vet visits

Veterinary exams can catch potential health crises early on and can save you a lot of time and money. Some of the treatment usually includes heartworm treatment, flea and tick control, and a thorough check-up of your pet’s gums, teeth, heart, lungs and internal organs. If it’s been a year or more since your pet has seen a vet, make an appointment soon!

3.  Learn how to give your pets a weekly check up!

Weekly home checkups are a great way to check for potential health problems.  Check under your pet’s fur for lumps, bumps, flakes or scabs. Check your pet’s ears and eyes for signs of redness or discharge. Brush your pets’ teeth for dental hygeine. Make note of any changes in her eating or drinking habits. If something seems off, call your vet right away.

4.  Vaccinate carefully

Before subjecting your cat or dog to the general vaccinations, ask your veterinarian which vaccines he or she recommends.  An indoor cat might not need the same vaccinations as an outdoor dog. If you have a good vet, they will be up front about the necessary vaccinations and/or shots and then you can determine if they are necessary.

5.  Pet Insurance helps!

Unforseen accidents or medical conditions can be costly for our pets. Pet insurance is one way to take some sting out of the bill. The cost of a typical pet insurance policy runs about $250-$400 per year and many cover both regular and emergency visits. Get a free quote from a reliable insurance carrier and compare the different plans and options. 

6.  Buy high- quaility pet food

If you spend a little more money on a good, healthy dog or cat food, that can help your pet’s overall health.  A high quality pet food has less digestible filler material and artificial colors that offer no nutrients and can contribute to allergies and digestive problems. A high-quality, age-appropriate food results in a healthy, slimmer pet! 

7.  Buy pet supplies online or in bulk

Buy supplies online or in large supply. Keep in mind that it’s wise to get product recommendations from your vet first. Online or store-bought products that you know nothing about could prove to be harmful or of poor quality.  There are sites like that offer great prices and no sales tax.

8.  Use items around the house for toys

While toys for both dogs and cats are very imporant for training and exercise, they can get costly.  Cats love string, boxes, even paper bags or a $2 toy mouse.  Give a dog a tennis ball and he will munch and play with that for days. Or even a kong will keep him occupied.  Toys don’t need to be expensive for our pets to enjoy them.


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Do Dogs Have Nightmares?

If your dog is fast asleep and you see him or her twitching or whining, your dog could be having a bad dream or possibly a nightmare. There have been many studies done to see if dogs actually dream and scientists believe that dogs both dream and have nightmares.  But, no need to panic every time your dog whines when sleeping! This could be merely a sign of excitement.

Is there a reason why dogs have nightmares?

As we know, no one can really know what goes on inside the mind of a dog. It is also not known why nightmares occur.  There is no real correlation as to why some dogs have nightmares.  Traumatized dogs, who are most likely to have nightmares, actually dream less frequently than other dogs; so, nightmares probably start on a random basis.



However, if you think your dog is having a bad dream, below are some things you can do to comfort them:

If you notice your dog whimpering, don’t wake him up

If you notice your dog dreaming and possibly having a nightmare with twitching eyelids, paws flailing, yelping or whimpering, it's best to let your dog continue to sleep--since deep rest is important--plus, waking him may cause confusion.   

If your dog does wake up on his or her own, make sure to speak in a soft, loving voice. Don’t stroke or pet your dog immediately because he might bite you simply out of fear.

Give your dog his favorite toy or a blanket

Try giving your dog his favorite toy or a blanket and put it next to him as he sleeps.  This will give him a calm feeling when resting and could help him dream happily.  Even a shirt with your scent on it can be helpful to soothe your dog.

If your dog is having regular nightmares, try to find what could be causing them

•    Try to figure out the timing of the nightmares and how often they occur.

•    Did your dog eat something different or unusual?

•    Did something happen that scared your dog, including any random visitors?

If you think your dog seems too distressed, call out his name

If you're worried that your dog is having a seizure or your dog seems too distressed, then call out his or her name. It's best not to touch a sleeping dog since they may snap or bite as a reflex. If it is a seizure, you will probably be able to tell right away. And if isn’t as seizure, you'll know when you try to wake your dog. You'll be able to wake your dog if it is a dream, but not if it's a seizure.

Write down the frequency of the bad dreams and videotape your pup

If your dog's sleeping behavior seems unusual and he or she has continual nightmares, keep a diary or account of when the dreams occur and how long before going to sleep.  Do the dreams happen frequently, a few hours after your pup goes to bed?  This information can be valuable to a vet (or pet behavior specialist) in determining the cause.  If you can videotape your dog, even better as your vet might be able to figure out what is going on with your pup.

Don’t give your dog sleeping medication without consulting a vet

Also, never give your dog any medicine that is not prescribed by a veterinarian. It would be best to leave the dog to deal with the nightmares and have a normal sleep, especially if your dog seems rested and energetic when he or she wakes up.



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Halloween Can Be Frightening For Your Pets – Keep Them in Mind!

Halloween is a favorite holiday for kids and parents to dress up and have a fun time.  And, as parents know, they need to be mindful of their kids as this can also be a scary time for them.  It is also our responsibility as pet parents to look after our pets so they don’t get too frightened or run out.  With all the noise and excitement, it’s important to keep an eye on them and plan ahead.

Halloween candy can be dangerous for your pets

As most pet parents know, chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. And, candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems for your pets.  Even pumpkin, if ingested in large amounts, can cause you dog or cat to have stomach problems.  It’s important to make sure the candy is out of your pet’s reach (or paw). 

Watch out for all the wires and cords and lit pumpkins!

Christmas isn’t the only time we have exposed wires.  With all the Halloween decorations, the cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your dog or cat could suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

Not all pets like to get dressed up!

There are so many adorable costumes for Halloween, but please don't dress your dog or cat in a costume if they are uncomfortable in them (some pets don’t mind it, while others hate it). For pets who don’t like it, it is unfair and stressful for them.  Think of how they feel, not you!



Keep An Eye on Me!

If you decide to dress up your pet, make sure the costume doesn’t inhibit your dog or cat’s movement, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, costumes that have dangling or easily chewed-off pieces can easily be eaten by your pet and he or she could choke. If your dog or cat seems distressed, allergic or shows any abnormal behavior in a costume, put a fun bandana or something festive that doesn’t bother him or her.  That can be just as cute!

Keep your dogs and cats away from the door and in a separate room.

Keep your dogs and cats confined in another room and away from the door. Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, can be very frightening for our furry friends.  Dogs (reasonably) may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters, scaring everyone.   By putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door, it will lessen the chance of their running outside when no one wants to be searching for a lost furry family member.

Your pets need to have proper identification tags on Halloween

Make sure that your dog or cats have their proper identification which is especially important on Halloween. If for any reason your pet escapes, a collar, tag and/or microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.  A hanging id tag such as those from are even better so your pets can be returned to you right away.

If you remember the necessary precautions, it can make Halloween a much less frightening time for your pets and everyone can have a great time!



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The Dachshund – Loyal, Playful and Long!

Who doesn’t recognize the adorable dachshund with its’ low-slung body that has been affectionately known as the weiner dog. The dachshund is confident and a born hunter. The dachshund has an energetic, pleasant expression. Dachshunds have three different coat varieties: the smooth is short and shining, imparting some protection against the elements; the longhair is sleek, sometimes slightly wavy, providing somewhat more protection; the wire has tight, thick and hard hair with a finer undercoat, providing maximal protection.

The Dachshund is an adventurous dog

The dachshund is bold, curious and always up for adventure.  He or she likes to hunt and dig, tracking by scent and going to ground after a game. It is independent but will join in its family's activities whenever given a chance.  They are good with children in its own family, but some may snap at strange, new children. Most are reserved with strangers. Some bark. The longhaired variety may be quieter and less terrier-like; the wires may be more outgoing. Some miniatures are more prone to be timid.


Dachshunds are also very playful and lively

The Dachshund's playful nature comes out around your home. He or she loves to be close to you and partner with you in tasks like tying your shoes. Because of his intelligence, he often has his own ideas about what the rules are when it comes to playtime-and those rules may not be the same as yours or even other breeds of dogs. Dachshunds are known for being lively and enjoy chasing other small animals, birds, and toys.

Those little Dachshunds have a big, loud bark

Dachshunds’ lungs are large for a dog this size and they have a barrel-like chest. Because of these physical attributes, Dachshunds have a loud, deep bark that sounds as though it comes from a much larger dog. And they do like to bark, which is something you might consider if you have neighbors who could be annoyed rather than amused by the antics of your brave little Dachshund.  But, they are trainable so you can help teach them to stop barking.

Dachshunds are a great choice if you live in an apartment

Dachshunds are a good choice for pet owners who live in an apartment and don't have a backyard. They are popular for owners who live in the city because of their small size and ease of care. They generally are active indoors and also enjoy going on walks. Just be careful not to let them get too fat or allow them to injure their backs by jumping off furniture. Also, be sure to support their backs when you are holding them. Because of their long backs, they are susceptible to slipped or ruptured (herniated) disks in their backs, which can result in partial or full paralysis.

Dachshunds will often bond closely with a single person. They may even become jealous of their owner's attention and can, if not properly trained and socialized, become snappy. 

Dachshunds like other dogs should be socialized and crate trained

Dachshunds can be stubborn and difficult to housebreak. Crate-training is recommended.

Dachshunds can be mischievous. Be patient, firm, and consistent when training them.  This little dog needs an owner who understands how to be his pack leader or he will take over the house, and begin to try and tell the owner what to do. If the dog is allowed to take over, many behavior problems will arise, such as, but not limited to, guarding furniture, separation anxiety, guarding food, toys or other objects, snapping, biting and obsessive barking.

They were bred to not only hunt but kill their prey; in your household, their choice prey most likely will be your Dachshund's toys and he will effectively hunt them one after the other.  Leave lots of toys out for them!

Dachshunds should be walked daily

These are active dogs with surprising stamina; they need to be walked daily. They will also enjoy sessions of play in the park or other safe, open areas. Be careful, however, when pedestrians are about because Dachshunds are more likely to be stepped on than more visible dogs. They should be discouraged from jumping, as they are prone to spinal damage.

When properly trained, Dachshunds can be severely loyal, fun pets who are as happy with toys or just sitting right next to you watching television.  Their ease with apartment living makes them especially helpful for those who don’t have a yard.


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How to Combat Allergies When You Have Pets

If you already have a dog or cat, it is most likely that you will already know if you are allergic.  However, what happens if one of your children, new boyfriend, husband or roommate are allergic?  Or you think you are suddenly allergic to a new pet that you have brought home.  Well, if you are a true pet lover, you will find a way to make everyone happy. And, sometimes we blame our allergies on the cat or dog, where it could be completely something different.

Below are some tips to help you or your loved ones if they are allergic to pets

Understand your pet allergies by seeing a doctor

It is important to see a doctor and be tested to determine what allergies you actually have. You may find that you're allergic to something else and not allergic to your pet! For example, you may assume that you are allergic to your beloved dog, only to find out through an allergy test that you're actually allergic to a specific some pollen that might have got on his fur during a walk together and that's actually what's bothering you.

Combat Allergies when you have pets

You aren’t allergic to me?!

If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your dog or cat, it is important to understand what causes your allergic reaction to them. There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal's dry skin, or dander, and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.

Create an allergy free zone in your home

Create an allergy –free zone in your home, usually the bedroom is a good place, and don’t let your dog or cat have access to it.  Try using a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner in the bedroom. Consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows because allergen particles brought into the room on clothes and other objects can accumulate in them.

Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the rest of the home and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors.  Make sure to clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander by washing couch covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds. Use a micro-filter bag in the vacuum cleaner to effectively catch all the allergens and to keep that area dander free.

Bathe your pet on a weekly basis

Bathing your pet on a weekly basis can help significantly reduce the level of allergens on your dog or cat’s fur.  There are products that are available that help reduce pet allergens when sprayed on your dog or cat’s fur, but weekly baths are far more effective. Even cats can become accustomed to being bathed with practice or at least wash down your cat with a cloth and some shampoo.

Allergy shots can usually improve the allergic symptoms

Immunotherapy (allergy shots) can improve allergy symptoms but cannot eliminate them entirely. They work by gradually desensitizing your immune system to the pet allergens. Allergy-causing proteins are injected under the person’s skin, triggering the body to produce antibodies (protective proteins) which block the pet allergen from causing a reaction. These shots re usually given one dose per week for a few weeks to months (depending on the severity of the allergy) and then can often manage with one injection per month.

Smaller pets are usually a better fit for those who have allergies

A smaller dog, cat or even hamster is a better fit for those who are allergic.   They have less fur and therefore are less likely to set off an allergic reaction.  The lesser the volume of allergens, the easier is it for your system to support.

Time with the pets will help

Just like allergy shots, some people find that living with a pet can reduce their allergic reaction to that particular pet as you become immune!  A rescue group or shelter will probably let you foster a pet to make sure that the two of you are compatible.  Some allergies can become muted over time as your system accepts this new smell and/or dander.

Of course, if you don’t currently have a pet and  know you are pet-allergic, be sure to consider carefully whether you can live with the allergy before you bring a new pet home. Except in the case of children, who sometimes outgrow allergies, few allergy sufferers become accustomed to pets to when they are truly allergic.  Too many allergic owners adopt pets without thinking through the difficulties of living with them. And too often, they end up getting rid of the pets which, of course, is hard on the owner and can be life-threatening for the pet.


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