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July 4th Fun & Fireworks – Pet Anxiety & Safety Tips

The July 4th Holiday is upon us, and unfortunately it is one of the busiest times for animal shelters due to the overwhelming amount of dogs lost during the fireworks & festivities. The fireworks may be fun for us, for some of our canine friends it can be downright terrifying.

During fireworks displays, or even while setting off fireworks in your backyard and neighborhood, your usually calm family pet may become extremely stressed. The stress overload can cause some pets to try to escape the house or yard. By following a few simple tips for this holiday weekend you can avoid coming home to an empty house and the anxiety of a missing beloved family pet.

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  • Avoid bringing your pet to fireworks displays, even if they are not usually startled by loud noises or thunder.
  • Keep your pet indoors in a quiet, safe, sheltered area. Keep doors and windows closed and locked (I’ve heard stories of dogs opening slider doors or even jumping through windows to escape). Leave the TV on or play soothing music at a normal level to distract him from the noise outside
  • Prepare a safe “den” for your pet. If they choose to hide under the bed, in their crate or somewhere else in the house, allow them to. If your dog is not crate trained, and you would like him to be please visit our comprehensive crate training guide.
  • Feed your pet before the displays begin and keep a special chew treat on hand as a distraction.
  • Nervous or stressed dogs may chew to ease anxiety. Make sure to provide proper chew toys and make sure all cords and other dangerous objects are out of reach
  • Try a calming aid to help calm anxiety, or ask your vet for medication to help with your pet’s noise phobia.
  • Do not leave your pet outside during the festivities. Even with a fence or a tie-out a dog can go to great lengths to escape the source of their anxiety.
  • Always make sure your pet is wearing a properly fitted dog collar with up-to-date ID tags. Consider having your pet microchipped for extra security.
  • Try not to reward anxiety with extra attention. It may be hard not to cuddle or fawn over your pet when he is scared, but do your best to ignore axious behavior or practice distraction techniques to turn their focus away from commotions.

Follow these simple steps to enjoy a worry free Independence Day. The knowledge that your family pets are safe and sound will make your holiday all the more fun. Have a great holiday weekend!

Severe Weather can also be very stressful on our pets. Check out this post for tips on keeping you pets calm during severe weather.

How To Tell If Kittens Are Abandoned

Hello, my name is Tricia K. I currently own 3 cats, Bubba is 5, Firefly (aka Bug) is 3, and Scrappy is 7/8 months old. I have been volunteering for a rescue called “Lost Paws of Lancaster” for about 3 years, fostering for about 2 years. I have worked at That Fish Place – That Pet Place for almost 2 years as a cashier. I enjoy learning new things about all animals and applying what I learn to help others.image

When you volunteer for a cat rescue, the season of spring is more commonly known as “Kitten Season”. This is the time of year that we begin getting phone calls asking us to take in pregnant or nursing moms and their litters of kittens. The more common call, however, is for “abandoned kittens.” I put quotes around it because more often than not the kittens aren’t really abandoned.

Unlike human children, who are rarely without a parent in sight, kittens can be left alone for hours at a time and the mom usually isn’t far off. In fact, mom may even be watching you. People often don’t realize this and tend to automatically assume that mom has left the litter to starve. They then decide to take things into their own hands and “help” which isn’t always in the best interest of the kittens.

 

How To Tell If Kittens Are Abandoned & Need Your Help

  • Unless the kittens are in immediate danger, don’t move them. Mom may just be out getting some dinner, or taking a break. (You’d need to take a breather too if you had so many babies at once!). If you have to move them, make sure it is nearby where mom can see or hear them calling for her.
  • Keep an eye on the nest from a distance for 12 to 18 hours to determine if they’re truly abandoned. Depending on how old the kittens are, moms can stay away for hours at a time. It can be hard to tell if mom slips in and out when you aren’t looking. A way to help tell if the mom has returned is to sprinkle flour around the area. If mom comes back she will leave paw prints in the powder.
  • Don’t be alarmed if some of the kittens go missing. This is probably a good sign. Active Moms will move their kittens from place to place if they feel they are in danger.
  • If hours pass and the babies are dirty, fussy and loud, it is safe to consider them abandoned. It’s important to remember to wait an appropriate amount of time and to stay calm. A lot of people panic and want to scoop the kittens up and care for them right away. However, caring for kittens, especially young ones that don’t eat solid food, is a lot of work that most people aren’t prepared to take on. It is also more dangerous for kittens growing up without a mom and the comfort and milk she provides. Whenever possible, keep mom in the picture.

What if Mom Doesn’t Return? What now?20150502_220009

  • If you have truly abandoned kittens, and you are not prepared to take on the responsibilities of motherhood, feel free to call your local rescues. Please keep in mind that kitten season is a very busy time of year. Rescues exhaust their resources very quickly and you may be declined. Fosters for bottle babies (kittens without mommas that cannot eat solid food yet) are always in short supply because they are a lot of work.
  • If you are able to foster the litter the rescues may have a waiting list that you can be put on to help your kittens and lighten your load.

Even if the rescues can’t take in your litter they may have tips and tricks to make your go at being a momma cat much easier.

This Kitten season, Please be patient and do what you can to help appropriately. While it’s hard to resist a pile of adorable, cuddly kittens, letting Mom handle their care is sometimes the best option.

 

Low Cost or Do It Yourself Pet Portraits and Dog Paintings

If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen those ads on Etsy or Pinterest where you can purchase a painting of your pet for hundreds of dollars. You may have even been tempted, like I have been, to buy one or check further into it, only to be deterred by the cost of the artist’s work. As an artist myself, I know that their time is valuable and their work is worth it if you have the money to spare. Many of us don’t have that kind of cash lying around for a treasured piece of art.

Painted in WaterlogueIf you’re a little cash strapped and you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative for some custom pet artwork, either as a gift or for décor for your own home, look no further. This is the blog post you’re looking for! I have 3 low-cost options that every pet-enthusiast will love!

Waterlouge App

(Available on iTunes – $2.99)

This is my favorite app for watercolor dog paintings and cat paintings. It produces high quality watercolor-like images that you can save and email to yourself, then print at an enlarged size without losing the quality. I’ve used this app for framed pictures of my dog paintings, screensavers of my dogs, photo collages, and even custom greeting cards. At $2.99 you’ll be shocked at how much use you can get out of this app. It’s currently only available on iTunes for iPhone or iPad.
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Jump Into Spring With These Flea Prevention Tips

Hi Pet Blog Readers,

We’ve made it to the middle of the week.  If you are having trouble battling Hump Day, we’ve got a great guest blog from Hartz that should help you get through the day and also gain some valuable knowledge on flea prevention.  Fleas can be troublesome and expensive to treat, so it’s a good idea to get ahead of the game and try to stop them before they start.  Hartz has some great information and tips that will help.  If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section below.  Thanks!

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The weather is finally turning and that means it’s a great time to think about springtime flea prevention for your dog or cat. It may come as a surprise, but fleas are active year-round, which means those pests that survive the winter are just as ready for the spring as your four-legged friend.

Before your dog or cat stands at the door, ready to get back to enjoying the warm air and fresh grass of the outside world, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure that your pet is safe from those bloodsucking pests.

Examine your pet
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It is not uncommon for dogs or cats to pick up fleas during the winter, so you should inspect your furry friend for any signs of fleas or their eggs. Use a fine-toothed flea comb to check your pet for flea droppings, which are small black or dark brown specks that generally clump together at the base of your pet’s fur, or tiny white dots. If your pet has this residue clinging to his coat, then he has been infested with fleas and will need treatment before venturing outside. Fortunately, there are a few ways to instantly eliminate fleas. Your pet’s health care provider can prescribe a pill that will kill all the adult fleas present on your pet within 24 hours. In addition to medication, a bath using special flea shampoo can clean your dog or cat of any flea eggs or larvae.

Consider your pet’s lifestyle

There are so many flea-repelling products on the market that choosing just one can overwhelm pet owners. To get a better idea of what type of flea prevention care your furry friend needs, you need to take into account his outdoor surroundings and activities. For example: Does your dog like to explore wooden areas? Does your cat have a habit of climbing trees? Are there streams and other sources of water nearby? Do you and your pet live by the beach? All of these factors can increase your four-legged friend’s likelihood of contracting fleas, so you’ll need to answer these questions to better determine which flea prevention treatment is right for your pet.

Weigh the options

Once you’ve considered your pet’s lifestyle, it’s time to choose the best flea treatment for your furry friend. Most pet owners narrow the options down to the flea collar versus flea drops. Flea collars are worn around the neck and work in two ways: some emit a gas that repels fleas, while others release medication that’s absorbed into your dog’s or cat’s subcutaneous fat layer. Once absorbed, it repels and eliminates adult fleas and larvae from infesting your animal’s coat. Flea collars can typically work for several months, with some newer designs lasting for up to eight months, making it a great option for pets that are always on the go or living in high-risk areas. Meanwhile, flea drops are a topical treatment that is applied between the shoulder blades of your dog or cat. These treatments attack fleas and their eggs, immobilizing and eventually eliminating them. However, flea drops only last for one month, so they require diligence and consistency from pet owners.

Don’t forget the indoors

Flea prevention isn’t just for the outdoors. Fleas can hide in the nooks and crannies of your home, while flea eggs can lie dormant in your carpets or upholstered furniture for months on end. To ensure that your four-legged friend is safe from fleas, vacuum your home at least once a week, including your furniture, tough-to-reach corners and any bedding your pet touches. Studies have shown that vacuuming eliminates 96 percent of adult fleas and nearly 100 percent of young fleas.

Cat Health – Keeping Them Purr-fect

Hi Pet Blog Readers,

Please welcome guest blogger Lilly Sheperd!  Today she has a post that asks us to be proactive in regard to the health of our friendly felines.  She covers how important preventative maintenance can be for your cat and how crucial it is for them to engage in exercise and activity while also enjoying a good diet.  If you have any questions, comments or tips of your own for keeping your cats healthy please let us know in the comments section.  Thanks!

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Cats are extremely agile and active pets known for their curiosity. For this reason, many humans find they are easily humored by the feline species’ innate sense of independence, and enjoy spending time with these furry little beholders of big personalities.

 

It is no wonder, then, that cat owners want to do whatever it takes to help their animal companions live long and healthy lives. Promoting longevity in your pet is not achieved by any miracle cure, but rather results from consistent effort throughout an entire cat’s life. By combining a well-rounded preventative care regimen, an increase in the amount of exercise your pet experiences, and a boost to the nutritional value of your cat’s diet, you may be able to carry your pet through over a decade of play, laughter, and fun.

 

Preventative Care Starts Early: Preparing Your Pet for a Long and Healthy Life

One of the most important aspects of health maintenance for your cat is preventative medicine – and prevention begins the moment that a cat is born. Staying up-to-date on regular vaccinations, anti-parasitic medications, and other preventative treatments can severely reduce the risk of your beloved pet developing illnesses and diseases. Since regulations regarding what medicines are required of domesticated animals often change, consultation with your veterinarian on an annual basis is necessary to help you ensure that you stay in compliance with policy.

 

Picture uploaded to Flickr by Zabby Allen.

Another key facet of preventative care for cats is maintenence of your pet’s dental hygiene – though it is often overlooked by pet owners. The process of taking care of your cat’s teeth and gums is relatively simple: with a small toothbrush and a pea-sized drop of toothpaste that is specially formulated for your cat’s mouth, gently massage the teeth and gum areas to remove plaque and any other buildup. Cats that are more finicky about the process of having their teeth brushed often can substitute crunchy dental health treats, designed to remove plaque as cats eat, for their brushing routine. Frequently serving crunchy dry food to your cat can also reduce the risk of buildup forming inside its mouth.

 

Achieving Regular Activity: Both Play and Exercise Are Critical to Cat Health

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It is very important for cats to have access to toys and enough space for adequate play each day. Surely, stereotypes tell us that cats are fat, lazy, and lounge around all day – and veterinarians agree that it is healthy for cats to have relaxation time as well. However, play can help build the strength of your pet’s muscles, and staying active can prevent troubles with your cat’s joints and ligaments over time. It is far easier for active cats to maintain a healthy weight through engagement in exercise than simply through calorie restriction.

 

A Nutritious Diet: A Central Part of a Cat’s Healthy Lifestyle

Perhaps the most important part of a pet’s preventative care routine is the maintenance of a healthy, balanced diet. A cat should have a daily diet of healthy cat food. The ideal cat food brand has a high level of animal proteins, and is chock-full of vitamins and minerals that promote your cat’s health. Look for trusted brands that, unlike generic brands, have certification stamps of their safety, and use meats, carbohydrates, and other ingredients that are natural and of high quality. Access to a fresh bowl of clean water is also a key part of maintaining bodily health for a cat.

 

Did you know that over 54% of the cat population in the United States is overweight? Veterinarians warn that extra weight is an early indicator of disease, and can lead to kidney failures, heart disease, and other kitty illnesses over time. Weight management is based in part on portion control, but also depends upon the food’s nutritional quality. For more information about what your pet’s particular dietary needs are, consult your veterinarian.

 

 

This is a guest post by Lilly Sheperd. She is freelance writer, occasional guest blogger and pet lover.

Be Responsible – Pet Ownership & Pet Care Tips for Cats and Dogs

Hi Pet Blog Readers,

Today we have a post from guest blogger Mike Warner.  He takes a look at what it means to be a responsible pet owner and why our furry friends depend on us for love, companionship and proper care.  If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section below.  Thanks!

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Handling and dealing with pets is not an easy task as it might appear. Do you know how sensitive cats and dogs are when they are left unattended? It is absolutely not possible for you to render the care and attention to your four-legged friend 24*7, right? What should you do in such a situation? Have you thought about it?

How to offer high standard pet care?

Don’t let your canine friend suffer from anxiety, depression or behavioral changes. Work, business trips, and personal reasons often cause us to be away from home. It is during such occasions when you seriously require the advice of professional experts and you have to be extremely cautious and careful with the selection.

The market is full of such service providers claiming to provide the best performances. But in reality there are very few who can actually accomplish your desires and requirements. It is your responsibility to evaluate and inspect, only then investing money by hiring any one particular professional.

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Why is pet care so important?

Just because they are animals does not mean they are without emotions or feelings. They are, in fact, similar to human beings and many are considered as close as your own child or friend. Don’t you think he or she must get the best care and treatment regardless of any situation?

Moreover, it has been found that if these creatures are left alone on their own they show visible signs of depression, anxiety and some weird behavioral patterns. Therefore, it becomes mandatory that they are addressed with the best and optimal treatment. Let your canine companion enjoy and have a good time.

Don’t take pet care lightly

Being a responsible pet owner, you need to have the knowledge and the sincerity to take the complete responsibility of the animal in the best possible manner. It is advisable not to take things lightly but rather consider them seriously.

Therefore, before you take your new friend home, make sure you understand how you should treat him/her and the amount of love they require. Check these highlighting points:

  • Give proper housebreaking and crate training.
  • Make sure you visit the veterinarian so that shots and preventive vaccinations are given to your dog or cat.
  • Obedience training is one of the most important tips that must be followed by every pet owner.

These are some of the tips that you need to execute before you plan to bring your pet home.  Allow him or her to mix and adjust in the new environment with you and your family members.

How should you render the complete and proper tender?

  • He or she shouldn’t be handled roughly. Instead they should be given the complete attention in a very tender manner.
  • There should be a regular routine for the food time, play time and the sleeping time. Even these animals enjoy the daily maintenance of routine in life.
  • Proper and nutritional food must be provided to the animals.
  • Make sure the pet is not left unattended for long hours. If such a situation arises, hire a sitter or you can even leave them in a boarding care center.
  • Spend quality time with your four legged friend if you want to see him/her happy and healthy.
  • Try to render him/her comfort in every possible manner at optimal level.

Caring for pets is not as easy as it might appear. The animals like cats and dogs are extremely sensitive creatures and require extensive tending and attention. If you fail to do so, he or she might suffer from depression, anxiety and other behavioral changes and fall sick. Thus, it is very important that proper pet care and attention is rendered.

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Act responsibly with your pet dog or cat

Often you have to be away from your home for a variety of reasons. How do you handle and tender the canine in such a situation? Who will attend to them when you are away home? This is a serious issue because they cannot stay alone as they require constant care and attention.

Is there any solution to the problem? Don’t get distressed, rather give a big smile because there is an amazing solution and it lies with the pet sitters or the boarding care centers. Depending upon your tastes and preferences you can choose either of the one for proper guardianship of the animals in your absence.

You have to be a knowledgeable owner

Don’t forget that your new cat or dog relies or depends on you with all the necessities and requirements of life. This is a huge responsibility and you have to act in such a manner that you always render a happy, healthy and comfortable life to the canine friends.

It is important that you execute your research work and get in touch with other pet owners so that you can render some useful tips of handling such animals. With awareness and acting responsibly you can provide love and a happy home to your new companion.

Don’t let too many restrictions on your new companion

Animals like cats and dogs are similar to human beings in terms of emotional behavior. They too value freedom and enjoy spending their time moving around and playing. They are extremely energetic and enthusiastic and thereby it is advised not to restrict them to a small room or cage. Rather you should allow them complete freedom and independence.

Taking care of their diet is a part of the responsibility too

If you want to ensure that your friend is healthy and in the best of fitness, you have to ensure that he or she is given the proper diet that is full of nutrition values. There are certain kinds of items that are not advisable for pet animals like cats and dogs as they are dangerous and can be fatal too.

Author Bio:

This post has been contributed by Mike Warner. He loves to write about pet care. He recommends John’s Pampered Pooch for providing you the best dog and cat boarding services.

Proper Pet Care 101: The Basic Necessities

Happy puppy

Hi Pet Blog Readers,

Please welcome Jordan with this comprehensive guide on pet care: its everything a new pet owner should know and research before bringing home your very first pet. Our pets are family and living creatures. They should be given the best care and attentiveness you have to offer. Good luck on your pet owning adventures and be sure to add anything you think needs to be added to this guide in the comments section!

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Owning a pet is a huge responsibility, especially if you think about pet health. However, this responsibility also comes with a huge reward in the form of the adoration and love that your pet will show towards you. Wouldn’t you see yourself smiling foolishly whenever you see your dogs wagging their tails at you or your cats dozing off on your lap peacefully? It is like the best feeling in the world that you have made such animals feel safe and happy even if they can only express it in their cute gestures.

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit ContentsOne of the first things that you need to do in order to ensure the safety of your pets is to have a pet first aid kit at home. You never know when your clever yet naughty animals will get into trouble so you better be ready to handle any crisis that will come your way. The kit should have the following things:

  • Cotton swabs and balls
  • Bandages and sterile gauze pads
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • First aid tape
  • Scissors
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Leash
  • Muzzle
  • Splint
  • Gloves
  • Eye wash
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Mineral oil
  • Ice pack and hot pack
  • Buffered aspirin
  • Thermometer
  • A bottle of water
  • Veterinary documents
  • Book on pet first aid
  • Other drugs

Cleaning Up After Pets

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Some cat grooming may be best left to the professionals

Hi Pet Blog Readers! I’m pleased to introduce a guest post by Rick Jacobsen in Phoenix, AZ. Rick has three grooming tasks in mind that might just be better left to the professionals. If you’re in the Lancaster, PA area, stop by grooming center, That Groom Room, for a consultation and meet our resident groomers who will pamper your pets with a day at the “spa”!
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Cat in lapEven cat lovers acknowledge that they can be fussy creatures and depending on the breed, it can take a lot of effort to properly groom your cat. For example, trying to groom a Persian feline can be a real challenge and in most cases, it is best to leave unwilling participants in the hands of experts! Many cat owners are guilty of delaying the grooming process and this only serves to make things worse, as their pets can suffer from matted hair and it may also be the case where certain medical conditions go unnoticed, because you did not recognize the symptoms. Below, we take a quick look at what a professional cat grooming service can do for you and your beloved pet. Here are my top 3 grooming tasks that should be left to the professionals.
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Brace Yourselves (and your pets) for Record-Breaking Low Temperatures!

 

Brace yourself… Winter is coming!

Winter Tips for PetsI heard on the news this morning that by tonight, here in Central PA, we’ll be experiencing record-breaking low temperatures well below zero. The wind chill will be below 20 degrees fahrenheit! Brrr!

It seems like an opportune time to go over some basic safety tips for pets when we’re dealing with drastic temperatures. Pets, even those bred for winter weather (like Huskies) are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia if not given adequate shelter in frigid temperatures.

My Top 10 Tips for Pets During Cold Weather

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5 Things You Give Up In Exchange for Pet Parenthood

FUR-nitureLots of people I know don’t have pets because they’re afraid that a pet might destroy their belongings or otherwise cause destruction and mayhem. While this is definitely the case with some pets, there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage and take on a furry family member. The love that you receive from a cat or a dog in the house is unlike any other kind of love you’ll ever experience.  It is an experience to cherish and hold dear, though I heartily admit pet ownership isn’t right for everyone.

Without further ado, here are my top 5 picks for what pet parents sacrifice:

1. Clothes or furniture free of dog hair or cat hair

This one is tough to avoid at all costs, unless you decide on a hairless breed of cat or dog, but trust me; a house full of pets is a house full of loose fur! I have 3 dogs and 2 cats and I sweep and vacuum twice a week, which is probably less than half of what I should do. When you share your home with this many animals you learn to ignore the hair as much as possible. Some tips for tackling that hair problem?

  • Soft leather furniture. I’ve had 2 cloth sofas and I now have a soft leather couch. By far, there is much less hair on the leather couch than on the previous sofas. You’ll have to mindful of claws and get high quality leather, but leather is much easier to clean than a cloth sofa.
  • Regular grooming. The more hair you can remove with regular brushing and dog grooming means fewer hairs on your clothes! I groom weekly, but should do it more often.
  • Use the hair as a condiment or garnish. My mother in law always said “Nothing tastes quite right without a Husky hair in it, or two!” I’m sure from an outsider this sounds gross, but fellow pet lovers can probably attest, there is no way you’re going to be completely hair free in your house.

Did I do that?2. Nice belongings.

Especially the case with young dogs, they will love to chew and they will inevitably find your favorite pair of expensive heels to chew on! My opinion is that every dog is different, some dogs I’ve had went after personal belongings, others chewed on furniture. There are ways to keep your pet from taking everything you love:

  • Keep nice things (handbags, shoes, baskets, electronics) out of reach and behind closed doors.
  • Use bitter apple spray on your furniture
  • Adopt an older pet who is less likely to damage your belongings. Be sure to find out from the shelter staff if there are any known “chewing” incidents.
  • Create a pets-only room: A room where you pet can roam unsupervised with plenty of toys, beds and chews to occupy their minds while you’re away.

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