Your cat is great a keeping itself clean. It seems like it spends half of its waking hours licking each and every inch of its furry little body. Unfortunately, there is one place that it can’t clean: its teeth. Here are 10 tips you can follow to keep your cat’s teeth clean and healthy. Continue reading 5 Ways to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Clean
Your cat enjoys being able to spend time outside, and you want to make sure she gets the opportunity to do this. However, it can be difficult for her to understand what to do when extreme temperatures hit. This is where you come in to make sure she is well cared for and able to stay cool. Continue reading Can It Be Too Hot For My Cat?
While it has become common to watch out for the signs of life-threatening food allergies in young children, it still comes as a surprise to some dog parents that their four-legged companions can also suffer from food allergies.
Just like in humans, a food allergy occurs when a dog’s immune system mistakenly believes a specific food is harmful. The dog’s immune system responds with antibodies, which triggers a series of dangerous symptoms.
Many seemingly random symptoms can be signs of a food allergy in a dog. These include:
- Chronic ear inflammation
- Paw biting
- Poor coat quality
- Obsessive licking
Other symptoms more closely mimic symptoms seen in humans with food allergies, such as:
- Skin rash
- Chronic diarrhea
- Itchy rear end
- Chronic gas
The more the dog is exposed to the allergen, the more severe the reaction will become. Even if your dog is only irritated by the symptoms initially, they could be life-threatening the next time they eat the problem food.
Kinds of foods to watch out for
Dogs can be allergic to nearly any specific food ingredient. However, there are certain meats and grains that are more likely to cause an allergic reaction in your dog. These include:
If your dog is allergic to one ingredient, she’s likely allergic to other ingredients as well.
To isolate which foods your dog is reacting to, your vet will likely put your dog on an elimination diet, followed by a food challenge. This is done by solely feeding your dog one or two foods, such as ground turkey and sweet potatoes. Once you’ve established that your dog doesn’t have a reaction to these two foods, you can start the food challenges.
Gradually, more items are added in, until you notice that your dog has an allergic reaction. This will clearly identify which allergens your dog is reacting to, and you can then create a diet avoiding any triggers.
If you find that your dog is still suffering from an allergic response, no matter what combination of food you give, then it’s likely your dog is not allergic to a particular food but may suffer an allergy to something else present in the environment, such as pollen, dander, a specific fabric, or a medication.
While it may seem overwhelming to care for a dog with food allergies, it is much simpler today than it was in the past. Many more foods are available, offering a wide variety of protein and grains that your dog may not react to, such as kangaroo, venison, potatoes, or oatmeal. With a little care and education, you can keep your dog safe, happy, healthy, and well fed.
Most Pack Leaders have experienced this before: You’re watching TV to unwind after a long day when suddenly you hear whimpering and scratching. What’s going on? Is your dog okay? You race to check on him only to discover that he’s fast asleep — he must have been having a dream!
But is that really what’s happening when dogs move and make noises in their sleep? After all, it’s not like the dog can confirm this by waking up and telling us what he or she was dreaming about. Though we may never get an absolute confirmation like this, there is plenty of scientific evidence to point to the fact that dogs do, in fact, have dreams.
How so? Let’s take a look.
Our brains are similar
While there are obviously a great many differences between human and dog brains, they’re quite alike on a structural level. Because of this, there is a high likelihood that dogs can and probably are dreaming.
We sleep in comparable ways
Like people, dogs enter into a “deep sleep” stage that is accompanied by rapid eye movements and irregular breathing. This is the stage where people are known to have dreams. It’s also the stage where you’re likely to see Fido pawing the air or hear him growling at nothing.
Other animals do it… we think
Just like dogs, rats have been shown to have electrical activity in their brains during sleep that is similar to humans — and their brains are far more different from ours than dog brains. The real surprise would actually be learning definitively that dogs do not dream.
What do we know about dog dreams?
While we might not have 100 percent confirmation that dogs dream, there are several things that we do know — assuming, of course, that dreaming really is happening.
Small dogs do it more
While no one is really sure why, smaller dogs tend to have more dreams than larger ones. Toy poodles and Chihuahuas might experience new dreams every 10 minutes, for example, while a typical golden retriever will only dream once every 90 minutes.
It’s normal and natural
Though it may be surprising and sometimes even frightening to witness your dog acting out in his or her sleep, the behavior is completely normal, natural, and healthy.
They’re dreaming of “dog” things
Humans have a specific part of the brain, the pons, which keeps us from acting out our dreams. When scientists inactivated this part in dogs, they started doing things like digging imaginary holes, fighting with pretend burglars, and chasing dream birds or cats.
How do you know if your dog is having a dream? Simple. Watch him or her after they fall asleep. If you notice odd movements or sounds around 20 minutes in, you can bet that your dog is probably having some kind of adventure.
Source: Do dogs dream?
Paw injuries in dogs can be very painful. With a swollen or injured paw, a dog is unable to engage in or enjoy activities that he loves to do such as running, jumping, digging, or walking. Continue reading Tips To Protect Your Dog’s Paws
The simple answer to this question of how often to bathe a dog is: how often do you want to bathe your dog? Unless a dog has skin problems, there is no specific need to bathe the dog except to make him a more enjoyable companion.
Cats in the wild obtain most of the water they need from the animals they hunt and therefore cats have very little inherent motivation to drink as a separate behaviour.
They also naturally tend to avoid water sources that may have a certain smell or that are not clearly visible.
In our homes cats often eat food low in moisture content and even though owners provide them with water bowls, it is not uncommon for a cat to be in a constant state of mild dehydration. Due to their nature, they sometimes just don’t drink enough and this can be a serious risk factor to develop conditions such as feline cystitis. This is why it’s a good idea to encourage your cat to drink more!
Here are a few tips that might help:
- Make sure there is fresh water available every day;
- If possible feed them wet food;
- Offer multiple drinking stations with different options and see which ones are preferred: some cats prefer to drink tap water while others prefer bottled water; some cats enjoy drinking from puddles or from bowls while others may prefer flowing water;
- Location might also be a factor so it’s a good idea to provide water in different spots to find the cat’s preference;
- Many cats prefer ceramic and metal bowls because these do not retain odors (unlike plastic) and the shape of the water bowl may also important. Usually cats prefer wide, shallow containers because they don’t like to get their whiskers wet when they drink.
There’s no doubt in my mind that dogs have emotions. They feel joy after a job well done. They feel sad when a pack member passes away. And they feel love for their family members – their pack. Continue reading Puppy love: Do dogs have emotions?
Dogs, both big and small, are notorious for checking out things with their mouth. They lick them, chew them, and sometimes eat them. Continue reading My Sheltie Ate a Crayon
Being pack animals, dogs enjoy social interactions and activities. Some prefer being around other animals, while some choose to interact with humans. If your pet seems to be anxious in the company of other dogs, he won’t be happy being in a dog park or being enrolled in doggy day care. However, if your dog adores people, make sure to ask human members of the pack to spend time with your pooch.
If your dog is left alone during the day, it may be a good idea to add another dog to the household so they can keep each other company. However, make sure that introductions are properly carried out. The initial encounter should be in a place that is neutral because many resident dogs won’t take too well to the presence of an unfamiliar dog in their established territories.