Making Life Comfortable For Your Pet

Four Safety Tips to Help Your Cat Enjoy The Backyard

While veterinarians tend to recommend keeping cats indoors, as summer heats up, your cat may be longing to sniff the grass and lay in the sun. If you can make your backyard an enclosed, safe environment for them, your cat might be able to enjoy the sunshine on a limited basis. Here are four safety tips when it comes to letting your cat enjoy your backyard. 1. Fencing That Keeps Cats Contained This first thing to invest in is a fully enclosed environment that your cat will feel safe in and won’t be able to escape. By adding screens or lattice work leaning inward on the top of your fence, your cat won’t be able to scale this and roam past your yard. If your cat is more adventurous, there are full enclosures made of netting that can still give your cat a taste of the outdoors while staying protected. 2. Watch out for Poisonous Plants If your cat loves to munch on grass and other plants, it is important to understand what specific plants that might be a danger for your cat. If you can use these sparingly in your yard or keep them in pots up high, your cat won’t be tempted to eat something they shouldn’t. Plants such as oleander, lilies, and tulips should be monitored around your cat as they could pose a danger. 3. Full Supervision If your cat has never been in your backyard before, make sure to keep an eye on them while they are exploring the outdoors. If your cat is skittish or might not let you pick them up when outside, a leash might be a good idea while your cat gets their bearings. Your cat might just enjoy the sun a foot away from the back door, but you should still be present so your cat knows this is a monitored activity. 4. Get a Clean Bill of Health Even if your cat is only going outside a few feet or on to a balcony, it is a good idea to let your veterinarian know your plans. They might recommend additional immunizations or give your cat a microchip as added insurance in case they do get lost. Veterinarians might have additional ideas on making your backyard safe for an otherwise indoor cat. Letting your cat out for a few minutes to get some sunshine can be rewarding to see and […]

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What Are Some Red Flags When Looking At Boarding Facilities?

Pet boarding facilities provide you the opportunity to leave your pet somewhere safe where they have access to everything they need. However, it is important that you choose wisely in the type of facility they go   to. Here are some red flags to look out for when touring nearby boarding facilities. Lack of Cleanliness As you take a tour of the pet boarding facility, make sure you look around closely. Look inside the kennel cages, in the outside area, and at the play room if there is one. You are looking for signs that the staff pays attention to upkeep of the facility, as well as keeping everything clean. The yard area should be clean of trash, and the kennels should be free of pet accidents. If anything you find during the tour makes you uncomfortable or like it is unclean, it is a sign that the staff is too busy to keep up with these simple tasks, which is a big red flag. Not Requiring Vaccinations A good boarding facility will be strict about only accepting pets that have been vaccinated and who have seen a veterinarian recently. If someone is a brand new pet owner, they should visit the vet and have their pet registered first before going to a boarding facility. You also want to ensure they require pets to be vaccinated. This is important because it keeps all of the pets, including yours, safe and healthy while at the facility. If they don’t ask for your pet’s paperwork or what vaccines they have had, move on to a different facility. The Animals Look Unhappy You should also pay attention to the animals themselves, as there are likely at least a few dogs, cats, or other pets when touring the facility. Do the cats seem content where they are or are they crying and whining? Are the dogs outside playing or are they stuck in a kennel, whimpering and looking upset? On the other hand, you might see dogs playing and having fun, or cats that are napping peacefully. If any pets look soiled, unhappy, or uncomfortable, it might not be the best facility for your pet. You Can’t Bring Your Pet’s Personal Items The boarding facility should be fine with you bringing along your pet’s personal items. This will help them feel more comfortable and safe while in the kennel. Ask if you can bring along […]

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3 Reasons To Leave Your Dog At A Kennel Instead Of Hiring A Pet Sitter

If you are planning a trip away from home and are trying to determine what to do with your dog, you have two main options. You could hire someone to come to your home several times a day to care for it, or you could take the dog to a kennel where it could stay the entire time you are gone. Here are three reasons choosing a dog kennel might be the better choice to make. Your dog will have constant company Most dogs prefer being around people and other animals, because they do not usually like being alone. At a dog kennel, your dog will never be alone. It might sleep in a cage by itself, but the cage will be in a room with a lot of other cages that contain dogs. If your dog is at home alone, it might feel lonely most of the time. The dog sitter may be scheduled to come three times a day to let the dog out and feed it; however, the dog will be alone most of the time while you are on vacation. It will give your dog more time to socialize and exercise Most dog kennels operate on schedules, and in the schedule is typically time for exercise and socialization. You can ask a kennel about this before lining up services, but you are likely to find out that the kennel spends time daily: Taking each of the dogs for a walk on a leash Letting the dogs play in fenced in areas with other dogs and toys Caring for its needs, if your dog has any special needs Your dog will spend its days doing things that are enjoyable, and it will not get as lonely because of this. With a dog sitter, your dog will have a very limited time allowed for socializing and exercising. You will have access to vet services if an emergency arises The final thing to consider is the way emergencies will be handled if something happens. If your dog is at a kennel, it will have constant supervision. If the dog gets injured or ill, the kennel owner will either take it to a vet or have a vet come to the kennel. Your dog will get immediate treatment if an emergency arises. The problem with hiring a dog sitter is that if the sitter finds a problem, it might not […]

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The Owner’s Guide To Grooming A Longhaired Cat

If you’ve never had a longhaired cat before, you may not be familiar with all of the grooming involved While shorthaired cats can typically be left to groom themselves for the most part, longhaired cats require a little more care. Here’s how to keep your longhaired kitty healthy and beautiful. Brushing the coat. If you do not brush your longhaired cat’s coat regularly, it can form mats, which are tight tangles of hair. These mats are painful for the cat and can cause intense itching and even raw, red skin. Look for a brush made specifically for cats. One with bristles of several different lengths is ideal, since it will reach down into the deeper layers of hair and also brush the outermost layers of hair at the same time. Try to brush your longhaired cat a couple of times per week, and ensure you reach every surface, including the back, belly and under the neck. Removing mats. If your cat’s coat does develop mats, it’s important to address them properly. If the mats are small and not too close to the skin, you can cut them out yourself with scissors. Be sure to use safety scissors so you don’t accidentally cut your cat. If the mats are right up against the skin or are too large to remove in a single clip, you’ll want to take your cat to a groomer or vet to have them removed. They’ll need to be shaved off carefully to avoid causing damage to the skin. If there is any underlying skin irritation (there often is), your vet will likely prescribe an antibacterial cream to prevent infection. Clipping the nails. Many owners of both long- and shorthaired cats choose to clip their cats’ nails in order to minimize furniture and carpet damage. Trimming the nails is harder with longhaired cats than with shorthaired ones since the hair tends to hide the nails. To make trimming easier, moisten the hair on your cat’s paw with a damp cloth before trimming. This way, you can push it out of the way more easily. It may take your cat a while to get used to having its paws dampened, but in time, this will become routine. Keeping the rear end clean. It sounds a bit gross, but longhaired cats can sometimes soil their coats in the litter box. Many are good about quickly cleaning themselves up after […]

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How to Ensure your Pet is Safe at the Groomer

Just like people enjoy being pampered occasionally, so do pets!  It’s not uncommon for people to send their pooch to the spa to get groomed.  Groomers do everything from trimming nails and giving baths to cutting and shaving your pet’s fur.  Groomers typically love and truly want to help pets.  They have the best interest of your pet in mind when performing their duties. Unfortunately, the grooming industry is unregulated and does not require groomers to be licensed.  Although these employees may have a love of animals, they may not have the training and expertise to properly care for your pet. There will always be some risk when you leave your pet in the hands of strangers.  You can significantly lower that risk by doing the following before choosing a groomer: Check out the background of the salon.  Find out how long they have been in business and what kind of reputation they have in the community. Speak to the groomers themselves.  Find out what their qualifications and backgrounds are.  Ask them what kind of training they have in grooming.  Make sure the groomer knows any special needs your pet may have.  They should have the name and number of your vet on file in case an emergency does happen. Visit the salon before you schedule your pet’s visit.  Look around and form your own opinions.  Is the facility clean?  Watch how the staff interacts with the pets.  Also watch how the staff responds to your presence.  While you are there, see if you can have a tour of the facility including any back areas. Ask any questions you have that are specific to your individual pet and your situation.  Don’t hold back just because you think a question might be silly.  There is no such thing as a stupid question, especially when it involves the safety of your best furry friend. Check out the equipment that the groomer uses.  One item that should raise concern with you is the heated dryer.  Heated dryers have been thought to have played a part in some pet deaths and are not considered safe.  Make sure that the groomer has an open door policy.  If you are not welcome to stop by at any time during your pet’s visit, start looking for another groomer. You should feel comfortable with your choice of groomer.  The majority of groomers are good people who run a […]

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Preventing Your Dog From Jumping On People At The Kennel

If you’re a new dog owner, you want your dog to know you love them and are going to care for them. However, along with love comes discipline. If you need to use a boarding facility, some discipline is required to train your furry friend the boundaries of what they can do and can’t do. For example, if your dog likes to jump on people when they go to the kennel, or on you when you pick them up, try these steps at home to train him or her to stop. Step 1: Tell Your Dog to Sit If your dog is jumping up on you, or anyone else, command it to sit. Don’t to acknowledge the dog until he or she is sitting with all four paws on the floor. Keep giving it the command to sit until the dog obeys you. Once this happens, acknowledge them with a loving pat on the head. This teaches the dog the best way to get attention is to remain seated on the ground. Step 2: Keep Your Homecoming Low-Key One of the biggest reasons dogs jump on people is sheer excitement. Raising the pitch or volume of your voice as you excitedly greet your dog only makes it even more excited and prone to jumping. Teach your dog to refrain from jumping by keep your greeting low-key when you come home and when you pick them up from the boarding facility, like ones at veteranirain hospitals like The Pets Place Animal Hospital. Controlling your excitement will teach the dog to control its excitement as well. Of course you are probably just as happy to see your dog and he or she is to see you. So, as difficult as it might be, come into the house, put anything you’re bringing with you away, and then take the dog outside. Once they have done their business, greet them and play. It might be hard to put business before enjoying the kisses, hugs and overall excitement from your dog when you get home, but if you want your dog to stop jumping on people at the kennel, it is important to do so. The more they see someone you coming through the door, or visiting the kennel as a normal occurrence, the less excited they’ll be. Step 3: Reward With Treats Sparingly Another reason dogs jump is they’re trying to snag a treat […]

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How To Get A Nervous Dog Used To Having Its Nails Clipped

Does your dog become scared or anxious when you try to clip its nails? This is a common issue in dogs who have been in abusive homes in the past, or in those whose claws were allowed to become badly overgrown before being clipped. Luckily, nail clipping does not have to remain an uncomfortable challenge for your dog forever. Follow these tips to get your dog used to having its nails clipped. Step 1: Playing with the paws. About one week before you actually plan on clipping your dog’s nails, start playing with its paws. Pick the paw up in your hand, press on various areas, and rub between the toes. While you’re doing this, talk to your dog in a soothing tone. Make sure you handle all four paws, and give your dog a treat when you’re finished. Repeat this exercise twice per day for one week. Step 2: Introducing the nail clippers. About three days before you plan on actually cutting your dog’s nails, introduce your pet to the nail clippers. You can do this right after your paw playing session. Take the clippers, and let your dog smell them. Rub them all over your dog’s body and paws to get it used to the idea of the clippers. You should notice that, by the third day you do this, your dog becomes less nervous around the clippers. Step 3: Clipping one nail. When the day to start clipping arrives, do your normal paw playing routine, and rub the clippers all over your dog’ body. Then, when the dog appears relaxed and comfortable,  take one paw gently in your hand, and clip one nail. Immediately afterwards, give your dog plenty of praise and a treat. Even if your dog does not appear nervous, only clip that one nail today. Step 4: Clipping the remaining nails. The next day, repeat your normal paw playing routine, and then clip a couple of more nails. Some dogs will be completely over the nervousness at this point and will now let you clip all of their nails without struggle. Others will still be a bit nervous, so you’ll want to clip just a couple more nails and come back again tomorrow (and maybe the next day) to slowly clip a few more. Again, give your dog praise and treats afterwards. By following the steps above, you slowly ease your dog into the […]

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4 Tips To Help Your Dog Handle A Long-Distance Moving Day

If you are planning on moving long-distance soon, make sure that you don’t forget to make a moving plan for your dog. Here are four tips to help make moving day less stressful on your dog: Tip #1: Arrange For Your Dog To Be Somewhere Else When The Movers Are Working Try to schedule a couple of days for your move. On the day that the movers will be coming to your house, see if a family friend can watch your dog. Or, if you have a local dog boarding business such as Daily Wag that you use when you go on long trips, see if your dog can stay there during moving day. Having so many strange people in and out of their house can be stressful on your dog. Your dog could also get in the way when people are trying to move boxes and furniture out of your house. Additionally, if you keep your dog at home on moving day, you’ll need to schedule in time to take care of your dog’s needs on top of everything else you have to keep track of. Getting your dog out of the house while the movers are present will reduce the stress of moving on both your dog and yourself. Tip #2: Pack Dog Road Trip Supplies After the movers have finished with your house, go and pick your dog up. Make sure that your car is equipped with all the supplies you need for a road trip with your dog. You will want to pack up these supplies before the day of your move. You will need some of the following items: Water Bowl Food Bowl Dog Food Leash Dog Carrier Dog Blanket Or Bedding At Least One Dog Toy Tip #3: Plan Dog Friendly Stops In Advance Make sure you also check out the map and decide before you start the drive to your new home where you can stop and let your dog out for a break. If you have a puppy who is not potty trained, you’ll want to make stops every hour. If you have an older dog that is potty trained and is used to being in your vehicle, you can stop every couple of hours instead. When you stop, make sure that you take your dog for a walk so they can stretch out and go to the bathroom. You should also provide […]

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Four Tips To Make Boarding Easier On Your Shy And Nervous Dog

If you’re going on vacation and cannot take your dog with you, boarding him at a respectable kennel is a good way to ensure your pet gets the proper care while you’re away. However, if your dog tends to be shy and nervous, boarding can be a little tough because of the separation and new environment. Follow these tips to make the boarding experience less stressful for a shy and nervous dog. Tip 1: Board your dog for a night at the kennel before your big trip arrives. Your dog will feel more comfortable at the kennel if it is at least somewhat familiar to him. Thus, it’s a good idea to arrange for a shorter stay at the kennel a couple of weeks before your trip. One night is all you need. Your dog will be comforted by the fact that, after spending time in the kennel, he does get to come home. When you leave him there as you depart for vacation, he’ll be less stressed out because he knows that he won’t be there permanently. Tip 2: Send your dog’s bed, toys, and food dishes with him to the kennel. Having his own familiar things will help your dog feel more at-ease at the unfamiliar place. Both on the practice night and when you go on your actual trip, bring as many personal items along as the kennel will permit. Tip 3: Maintain a positive attitude as you say goodbye to your dog. Dogs are remarkably skilled at picking up on human emotions. If you act sad and nervous when saying goodbye to your dog, these feelings may rub off on him and make matters worse. Instead, say goodbye cheerfully to your dog, maintaining a positive attitude. Smile and brightly say “Bye! You’re going to have such a good time staying here! Good boy!” Tip 4: Ask your vet about calming medications. If the kennel owners say your dog was nervous and anxious during the trial stay, you may want to talk to your vet about calming medications. These medications are generally just strong enough to take the edge off when your dog is in a stressful situation. You can give your dog a dose before dropping him off, and leave a couple of doses at the kennel for the owners to administer if your dog gets too nervous or agitated. Follow these tips, and your shy […]

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Persian Cat Grooming: 2 Hairstyles To Keep Your Kitty Cool This Summer

You may have fallen in love with your Persian cat’s long, lustrous fur, but remember that cats with long hair can become too warm during the summer, just like you would feel warm when wearing a fur coat. Persian cats are also more prone to hairballs than short-haired cats, and a short haircut can help minimize this potentially dangerous problem. Summer is a purr-fect time to have your Persian cat thoroughly groomed, and one of the following hairstyles can keep your kitty cool without sacrificing her unique beauty.  1. Persian Lion Cut The lion cut is a great cut for Persian cats, as it involves clipping much of their hair very short to keep them cool while keeping fur long in some areas to showcase that beautiful fur you love. It is a misconception that a tiger cut always involves shaving your pet. While the shorter sections of this cut can be fully shaved, they can instead just be trimmed very short.   A lion cut typically involves keeping the hair on the head, feet, and the tip of your cat’s tail longer, while cutting the hair on her back, belly, and legs short. It truly does make your cat resemble a fierce lion even when she is just a kitten at heart.  While you can attempt this cut at home if you are skilled with clippers and general cat grooming if you want to save cash, it is best to have a professional groomer perform the first cut, so you then only have to follow the lines the groomer created when giving kitty “touch-ups.”  2. Persian Kitten Clip Your cat does not have to be a kitten to get a Persian kitten clip, because this style is named a “kitten clip” only because it often makes adult Persian cats look like kittens in appearance. This cut is very simple, and it involves clipping kitty’s fur all-one-length at about one-inch long.  This cut is easy to maintain and may be best for cats that are prone to hairballs. Unlike with the lion cut, no hair is kept long, so no long hair can be swallowed while kitty is grooming herself. Of course she may still swallow a bit of her new shorter hair, but 10 short hairs swallowed leads to less hair in kitty’s belly than 10 very long hairs.  No matter what hairstyle you choose to keep your Persian […]

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