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How to clean pet stains & the best stain and odor removers

The Litter BoxAn alarming number of pets are surrendered every day because of behavioral problems. Many times these problems involve inappropriate elimination, in other words the pet is peeing or pooping outside of appropriate places (like the litter box or the yard). Inappropriate elimination in cats is particularly alarming because a cat is most likely to pee outside of the litter box when they are ill, and they usually have some sort of urinary tract infection as the root cause. The moral here being, if your cat is peeing outside of the litter box, take a trip to the vet, not the shelter!

Pets can pee or poop inside the house for other reasons too, for example if they were never properly house trained or if they are very young. If there is one thing that all pet owners can agree on, it is that nothing stinks up a house quite like pet urine.

So if you have a pet that is going to the bathroom outside of the litter box or the yard, Step 1 is to clean the affected areas so that your home stays fresh and your pets are less likely to eliminate there again. step 2 is to visit the vet to rule out any potential health problems related to this bad behavior. Step 3 is to train, or re-train, your pets where they’re supposed to do their business.

This article is focusing on what I consider to be the hardest step.. Step 1: Cleaning pet urine stains and odors. Cleaning cat or dog pee off of your carpets and floors can be challenging if you don’t have the right products. What are the best products to use? Well, this pet owner has tried her fair share of pet cleaning products and some do work better than others.
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Pet Identification Types – Helping Lost Pets Find Their Way Home to You

Have you ever lost a pet? Maybe your cat or dog slipped out an open door or through an open gate in your back yard? If you’ve ever experienced the panic and stress of a lost pet, then you may already know the importance of having some form of pet identification on your pet to help them find their way home to you! Accidents happen. Sometimes pets are scared, sometimes they’re curious, sometimes they just like to run. I used to have a “runner”. The Jack Russell would, upon seeing even a small chance to escape the house would seize the opportunity, running for miles through yards, across streets without a destination in mind, simply running to run and without desire to be captured or return. On more than one occasion I was able to  pursue and capture my wiley pet, but there were one or two times when I returned to my home distraught after losing sight of him, thinking the worst that I might never see him again. Fortunately, he never went on a joy run without his collar, which not only held his license, but also a simple ID tag, etched with his name and my phone number…perhaps the best couple of bucks I spent since it was that little tag that brought my dog back to me.

Just a few minutes of your time and a few dollars from your wallet can mean the difference between losing a pet forever and having them home safe with you. Here are several methods of pet identification you can employ for the safety and security of your pet. You can use a single method, or better yet a combination of ID’s.

IMG_2373ID Tags and Collars

Perhaps the simplest and easiest method of ID is an etched or printed ID tag or collar. You can purchase a personalized tag or collar from any variety of retail or online sources. Many tags can be printed with several lines of text, so you can choose the info you would like to have displayed. Personalized accessories like these not only allow you to personalize your pet’s style, but also to supply them with a quickly visible and accessible means of identifying your pet and contacting you.

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Get Ready for Spring with a New Weight Loss Program for Pets

we all have some weight to shed, even our petsWe’ve written on numerous occasions about America’s pet obesity epidemic and have provided tips on how to slim and trim your pet. We’re honored to welcome Rainier Fuclan as a guest blogger with a new canine or feline weight loss plan to help our pets lose weight safely.  Rainier Fuclan is a marketing strategist, freelance writer and pet lover! When he’s not busy working you can find him at home playing with his dog Peanut and cat Anya.

Anya

Rainier’s cat Anya, perfectly slim and trim.

Spring is almost upon us, and with the warmer weather comes the realization that some of us will need to take off a few pounds we’ve gained over the winter months. While you’re taking a critical eye to your waistline, now might be a good time to see whether your four-legged friends could afford to shed a few pounds as well. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 50 percent of cats and dogs are currently overweight, and one-third of those pets are considered obese, or weighing more than 30 percent over what is considered a healthy weight for them.

Having an overweight or obese pet can be more problematic than just having a few extra pounds of pet to love. Pet owners spend millions of dollars annually to treat obesity-related conditions, and aside from the financial strain on a pet owner’s pocketbook, the pets themselves can suffer from conditions such as kidney failure, diabetes, and cancer. Read More »

Pet Compatibility – Helping to Ensure Successful Cohabitation Between Pets and People

Boxer & CatBringing a new pet into the family or combining households each coming with their own pets can pose some interesting problems. It’s important to consider the logistics of forming relationships between pets and between people and pets before rushing them into a situation that may be strenuous for all involved. There are some easy ways to minimize or even eliminate problems during these transitions if you are willing to take take the steps necessary.

Adopting a New Friend

Whether you may be looking into adopting your first pet or bringing a new one into the family, it’s important to meet lots of candidates before deciding on the one who will fit best in your family. While you may be attracted to a specific breed or look, it is ultimately a pet’s personality that will make integration a success.

Doggie kissIf you already have a dog or cat or have previous experience in living with one (or more), you probably already have an idea what you’re looking for in your next companion. You probably already know what works for you as far as pet behavior and personality and what animals may be the best fit for your situation. First time pet people may have more difficulty in making the right choice and getting past the first impression they may have from a photo or first glance. Pet seekers may think that they know what they want, but may fail to understand the tendancies and potential issues that may come along with specific types of pets, and it may be hard to muster patience and understanding to get through if you’re a first-timer. As a result return rates to shelters can be as high as 20 percent, failed connections and sad endings that may have been avoided with a little more time or planning.

The ASPCA has developed a simple and effective method for helping those ready for their next friend to find a good fit. Their Meet Your Match program begins with a personality assessment of each pet they bring in to determine each individual’s dominant traits and characteristics including friendliness, playfulness, energy level, ect. The animals are then categorized into one of nine color-coded personality types including laid-back “Couch Potatoes,” or “Go-Getter” types.  The personalities are not assigned on preconceived breed notions, but on the individual.  These classifications help you as a potential adopter, to meet cats or dogs with personalities who might suit you best. While you are not restricted to choose pets in your category, representatives encourage you to meet and interact with these pets first in hopes of creating a forever situation.

Be sure to consider how any current pets may feel or adapt to a new pet in the house as well.

Pulling Pets Together

Cats GroomingPerhaps you are adopting a second pet or maybe you’ve reached a point in your life where you will be combining households, whether through a new marriage, relationship or some other situation. Now both sides have to consider how your pet(s) will adjust to new surroundings or new entities that haven’t been in a shared space before. Some pets venture through these transitions with ease, while others can become stressed or exhibit undesireable “acting-out” behaviors you may not expect or appreciate. Take steps to ensure a smooth move and adjustment, but stay prepared for issues that may arise that could require extra attention, patience, time from the humans in the house.

One of the most important first steps is to let potential housemates meet and interact in a neutral location. This helps to seed relationships without as many complications with territoriality and/or possessiveness.  Dogs may be a little easier to socialize than other pets. Take the pups and the whole family to the dog park or a similar locale to meet and play, and do it several times so everybody gets to know each other. If you’re adopting, ask the shelter if you can bring your current pet(s) to meet the potential adoptee–many shelters will ask that you do othis anyway, and they often have dog runs or contained areas where the animals can interact before you bring the new pet home. Keep open communication about your pets, making sure (specifically with children) that you all know what pets like and don’t like. If your dog doesn’t like his ears touched, for example, be sure the new crew knows it to prevent any misunderstanding.

Once things seem kosher on neutral ground, give the new home a visit. It may help to remove familiar items like toys, bowls and treats from the area which may bring out some territoriality in established animals. Be watchful during these initial visits to deal with any problem behaviors. Dogs are pretty good at communicating and setting up a natural order.  After a few visits the pecking order should be established and the permanent move should be pretty smooth. Be consistant in training and attention to all pets involved so the natural order isn’t upset by jealousy or competition.

Cats and other pets may not be quite as easy. Try slow introductions and be sure to give them some space to avoid each other if they want to. Remember, even if you take all the precursory steps, matches aren’t always ensured and sometimes a relationsip may never form between pets (or pets and people for that matter). Just be prepared to accommodate if they choose not to like each other, possibly even dedicating seperate spaces where they can avoid each other.

 

Cats Grooming image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Jessica Deily
Doggie Kiss image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Mike Baird

Kitty Cuisine – Choosing the Best Cat Food for Your Pet

Ocicat Eating WoodpeckerSometimes in looking at our sweet, lazy house cats we can forget that they are skilled predators under all that fluff. Before we embraced them as constant companions they were used for their prowess at ridding food stores of rodents that would otherwise decimate and contaminate the surplus. But while today’s domesticated felines may catch and consume the occasional bird or mouse, the majority of their diet and nutritional needs are in our hands. What foods offer the best nutrition for cats and how do you choose/supplement thier diet to ensure the best for your pet? Read More »

Home Remedies for Minor Pet Ailments

You’ve all heard the old addage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Maybe you eat garlic to kill a cold, or gargle salt water to heal a sore throat. We’ve all tried home remedies to cure a minor ailment. I think I may have tried them all! There are also home remedies available for us to help our pets. Here are some simple home remedies you can use to help your pet cope with minor ailments like for skin irritations, coat issues, and digestive upset in the comfort of your own home.

Caution: Use your best judgment, if your pet is bleeding, having difficulty walking, is lethargic, or has been vomiting/experiencing diarrhea for a prolonged period of time get your pet to the vet right away! These remedies are only intended for minor irritations. Read More »

Choosing the Best Toys for Your Cat

Kitten PlayingVisit any pet store and you’ll be faced with hundeds of toys for cats and kittens. From simple fur mice to elaborate cat trees adorned with bobbers, danglers, catnip and carpet, these products are designed to satisfy the natural predatory and sensory desires every cat has. Cats are also curious and athletic by nature, and choosing toys to keep them stimulated and active can prevent problem behaviors and keep your pet happy and healthy, especially when they are confined in your home. Let’s get to know cat toys so you can pick the best variety for your favorite feline. Read More »

Black Cats – Harrowing History of a Halloween Icon

Black cats have served as negative icons of superstition and sorcery for centuries. In many cultures the stigma that follows these animals is so deeply engrained that even today they may be shunned, abused and hated by some for what they supposedly represent. Black Cats face more discrimination and danger than the average tabby, particularly during the month of October as Halloween approaches. Contemporary rescue organizations and animal lovers may even take protective measures in October to protect the interests and well-being of these “unlucky” pets.

A Dark History

Domestic cats, as a species, have a long presence in folklore and superstition in cultures around the globe. Black coloration carries other connotations, so black cats such as pure bred Bombays, are hit with a “double whammy” in regards to how they may be percieved or treated.  Perhaps the most prevalent negative association of cats is that to witches, devilry and black magic in the western world. These beliefs began largely in the middle ages when disease and death were rampant and people were looking for reasons for their dire circumstances.  Actively hunting and exploring by the dark of night, shadowy feline figures unknowingly gained a reputation as being tools of evil practices, supernatural omens of misfortune and death. Some even believed cats could change shape and assume human form to carry out mischief or evil deeds. Read More »

Breast Cancer in Pets

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought I’d research a topic that many people don’t know a lot about; breast cancer in pets. Most people are aware that pets can get many different types of cancer, as it is the leading cause of death in older pets. lazy cat

Among pets, dogs appear to have the greatest prevalence of breast cancer; it is estimated that 1 in 4 unspayed female dogs will develop a form of breast cancer. Other animals, such as cats, rats and other small mammals can also suffer from breast cancer, known as mammary cancer. About half of dogs who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a malignant form of cancer, but if caught early enough both types of cancer can be treated through removal of the tumor and chemotherapy. Breast cancer can be prevented in most pets simply by having them spayed (and that helps with pet overpopulation too!). Read More »

LOST – Tips for finding lost pets

Lost pet rewards: def more lucrative in Studio City than Oakland.No one wants to lose a pet, but sometimes in the hustle and bustle of daily life, a dog or cat can slip through the front door and vanish in seconds. It is a heart-wrenching situation, but there are some steps you can take to help your pet return home quickly and safely. I’ve only lost a pet once, my cat Bella many years ago, but I learned a lot from the situation.

If you saw your pet escape, grab a leash, your cell phone, and some tasty treats then head in the last direction you saw your pet running. I know my dogs love a good game of chase, so even though it is tempting in this stressful situation, don’t run towards your pet when you see him. I’ve found that I have the most success if I sit down on the ground, get in the ‘play bow’ position, or even start running in the opposite direction. They may become curious about your behavior and come to investigate. If you run the other way they may think that you are playing a fun game of chase.  Don’t scold your dog if/when they come back to you.  They won’t understand that you are scolding for running away, they will think they’re being punished for coming back! Read More »

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