How to Care For Your Pet’s Teeth

Did you know that kittens receive their baby teeth at six month of age? Cats end up with a set of 30 permanent teeth. Dogs have 42 teeth that grow in after losing their initial set. Caring for these teeth is an integral part of keeping pets healthy.

Toothpaste

Every good cleaning begins with a good toothpaste. Human toothpaste can be harmful to your pet. Pet toothpaste is formulated with enzymes to help further remove food and plaque. Flavors like malt, vanilla-mint, and beef bring fun to brushing time. Your vet can help choose the right one.

Toothbrush

When choosing a toothbrush for your pet, consider the size of their teeth. Brushes come in double-ended, glove-styled, and varied angles to suit your pet’s needs. A few things to consider are comfort of style, ease of use, as well as the personality of your pet. A calm, careful approach, along with praise and reassurance goes a long way. Soon, brushing Fido or Fifi’s teeth will be as easy as looking up a pet store on Canada 411.

Washcloth

A wet washcloth is useful to wipe down teeth before brushing. Having a washcloth handy also helps wipe any excess toothpaste or saliva.

Finger Cot

A finger cot can also prove useful when a toothbrush just doesn’t seem to work. If your pet’s toothbrush doesn’t seem to be the ideal instrument for teeth cleaning, a plastic finger cot tipped with a brush surface might do the trick. By taking your pet in to the vet for the first dental cleaning, you will be able to see first hand the best approach to pet dental care at home.

Feeding Your Pets a Raw Food Diet: Is it a fad?

Public domain photograph of various meats. (Be... 

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The past few years has seen the emergence of feeding dogs and cats a raw food diet. It is also known as BARF, an acronym for bones and raw food. Advocates of the diet say that it is as close to a wild diet as a domesticated pet is going to receive. However, is a raw diet a good thing? Or is it a fad?

The first thing to look at with the raw diets is how closely they mimic the food found in the wild. Just because we have domesticated cats and dogs does not mean we have domesticated their digestive systems. So on first glance, a raw diet is beneficial. But each species needs to be fed a specific type of raw diet. Dogs are omnivorous, and cats are obligate carnivores.

Commercial pet foods, while not always having the best ingredients, still adhere to a set of guidelines and provide specific nutrients your pet needs. However, a cat is not designed to digest grains, whereas a dog can. Feeding a cat food that is laden with grains is the cause of a stinky litter box. It is a fact that raw diets eliminate smell almost entirely. Dogs also should be fed a diet that is higher in meat than grains, but they can still consume corn and rice.

Ultimately a raw diet is beneficial to pets and is not a fad, but there are nutrients that are lacking in a straight raw meat diet. Research before feeding, and ensure that the necessary vitamins and minerals are supplemented.

 

4 Exotic Pets That are Perfect for Apartments

Green iguanas (Iguana iguana), are popular exo... 

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Pet lovers renting apartments have to be careful to make sure, not only that the apartment they rent allows pets, but that their lifestyle is conducive to pet ownership. Some people simply don’t have enough time to care for a dog or cat. However, if you are a pet lover in this situation fear not, there are alternatives to these traditional pets.

Owning a more exotic pet, one that requires less day to day care could be the solution. There also are apartments for rent that allow exotic pets, but may not be as welcoming to domestic pets, such as cats and dogs. Let’s explore some of the choices.

COCKATIELS: This exotic and colorful bird requires little care, can stay in the cage while you are at work, and yet it can learn to talk. Following a healthy diet, having play time and interaction with people, a cockatiel can live more than 20 years.

IGUANAS: Iguanas require an aquarium with light and warmth. They like to climb on small branches, and eat iguana food, with a smattering of fresh fruits and vegetables.

SCORPIONS: A scorpion may be just the right choice. It requires little care, an aquarium, and it eats bugs. There are courses available to learn exotic pet care.

FERRETS: Playful and fun to watch, a ferret will sleep most of the day and is most active in the early evening, perhaps the perfect pet for an apartment owner with a full time job.

With so many types of exotic pets to choose from, having an apartment does not mean giving up one’s love for animals.

Adoption Considerations

A cat at the Seattle Animal Shelter

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Adopting a new pet can be a fun experience, but there are many things that you have to keep in mind during this process. The first thing you have to consider is where you are going to adopt your pet from. If you adopt from a rescue organization you will likely have more freedom over what procedures you have to have done on your pet. However if you adopt from an animal shelter you will more than likely be required to have your pet spayed or neutered.

Once you have decided where you are adopting from, you get to pick your pet. This can be fun, but also very hard because you will likely want to take all of the animals home with you. Spend plenty of time and make sure you choose a pet that will fit well in your household. Once you have chosen your pet, you will have to get your home ready for your pet.

If you are bringing home an indoor pet, you will want to make sure you have a litter box or toilet area set up for them, and if you are bringing home an outdoor pet you will need to set up a fence or other way of keeping your pet safe. You will also want to provide them with a house or shelter to keep them warm and dry.

There are so many other little things you have to consider too. You want to make sure you have plenty of food, toys and other things to make your pet’s first days at home comfortable for them. Before long, you and your pet will feel more comfortable with each other and you will find out what other items you need to help make their lives as rich as you can make them.

What to Avoid When Training a Dog

When a dog comes to live with you, it might have the best intentions of fitting in well, but the reality is that it’s an animal. It doesn’t play by the same rules as a human, and it needs to learn that your poker tables are not branches to gnaw on and your toilet paper wasn’t designed to use as a toy to string through the house. Fortunately for house owners, most dogs thrive on social structure. Once they learn the rules, they are happy to be part of the family and follow the family’s rules. Dogs are relatively easy to train once you put your mind to it. They can learn to sit and stay among other tricks. They just need regular attention and practice. There are also some actions you want to avoid when training a dog.

Barking can be a real issue with dogs. You want them to protect your house and family, but sometimes it gets to be too much. For example, your dog might bark when someone knocks at the door, but they refuse to stop barking even after you tell them to be quiet since the person is a friend. Avoid yelling at a dog when it barks. In the dog’s excited state, it could perceive that you are playing the barking game, too. This will just excite the dog more. Instead, train the dog to stop barking by praising the dog once it quiets, or shake coins in a metal can to distract the dog when it’s barking, then praise it immediately when it quiets.

If your dog is chewing something it shouldn’t, then slip it a doggy chew toy and praise the dog when it chews that rather than the original item. It won’t understand if you yell or hit, so avoid those actions. You want to reward the dog and teach it by using positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement.

Dealing with the Death of a Pet

Having to put a beloved pet to sleep can be one of the most heartbreaking things you and your family will ever experience. There is nothing that can be said or done that will completely erase the heartache that is bound to be felt in this moment. You want nothing more than to end your pet’s suffering and pain, but you hate to lose your friend and companion. There are a few things you can do to make things better for you and your family during this time of heartache however.

First, don’t try to hide from the pain. Many people rush out and try to get a new animal to fill the hole that their pet left behind. This will not work. You may learn to love another animal again, but you will never fill that empty gap that your old pet did. Spend some time mourning the loss of your dead pet before you consider bringing another one into the home.

When the procedure takes place, do not feel pressured to be there for it, or to be away from your pet during it. Some people want to be there for the last moments of their pet’s life, but others will be happier remembering their pet as the happy carefree animal they were, not the dying creature that sits before them now. Do what feels right in your own heart.

There are no words that can ease your pain, but talking about the procedure, and more importantly, talking about the great life your pet lived with your family and friends can help. If you have the chance to sit around and talk about the funny things your pet used to do, or the great memories you had with your pet, you and your family can begin the mourning process and will be able to think back on the life of your pet with happiness.

Going on Vacation? Why Not Take Your Dog?

For people who like dogs and also like to travel, there are plenty of options. It used to be much more difficult to travel with a dog, but it’s gotten easier in recent years, as more and more places have become dog friendly. These hotels and other establishments are seeing the benefits of being helpful to people who want to bring their dogs along on their trips. It actually brings more business into the hotel or other place of business, and it doesn’t really cause a lot of hardship or even any more money than not allowing dogs. Some businesses can even make more money, because they will be chosen over a place that isn’t dog friendly.

It’s not just places to stay with your dog, though. You’ll want things to do during the day, and you’ll want to be sure that you can get hold of a veterinarian if you need one. In addition, if your dog needs a special kind of food or medication, you’ll need to bring it with you but also make sure you can find it where you’re going to be, just in case you need it. There are so many options for animal friendly places and things to do anymore, and you can use Canada 411 to help you find them. Then, you and your dog can have all kinds of adventures.

There are trails to hike and streams to fish, and you’ll want to be sure to pack snacks for you and your dog, as well as plenty of water. Because animals are small, they can dehydrate very quickly. If you don’t bring enough water, you could put your dog (and yourself) in danger if you get lost or if you just take longer than expected to get back from your adventures. Being prepared is a great way to have fun with your pet.

Hosting a Pet Adoption Event

If you are someone who cares about animals, you may wonder how you can help with the pet population problem in our country. There are many things you can do; of course having your own pet spayed or neutered is one of the best. However, you may want to do something extra to help those pets out there already looking for a home. Helping launch an adoption campaign or event is a large undertaking, but one that can have great rewards. Not only will you be helping pets find homes, you will help individuals and families find the perfect companion for their lives.

Many humane societies and animal shelters would love to have more events to encourage adoption, however most are operating either on a meager governmental budget or strictly on donations. This means they may not have the staffing to get out in the community and encourage adoption.

If you are an interested volunteer, get in touch with the shelter in your community and see if they would be willing to let you host an adoption event.  In many cases they would be thrilled that someone is taking an interest in helping find homes for dogs and cats that may otherwise be put to sleep due to overcrowding.

Once you have their okay, you need to find a location. If there is a large local event like a fair or craft show, this can be a great place to hold it. You will already have a large number of people gathered, and by having the animals on hand, you will be able to help visitors find a pet that would enrich their lives.

This is a very low-cost way of helping with the pet population. You will only need to purchase a banner to attract potential owners to your selection of animals. At the end of the day, hopefully you found homes for many of these pets, and who knows, you may have met your new pet yourself.

The Joy of Cats

Many people don’t consider themselves to be “cat people.”  If you have never had a cat as a pet, you may not understand the enjoyment and life they can bring into your home. Cats are often thought of as being anti-social pets. This may be the case sometimes, but in others it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Many of the friendliest cats are mixed breeds. I have certainly met more friendly tabby cats than I have Persians or Himalayans. If you are considering bringing a cat into your home you want one that will mesh well with your lifestyle. If you have a family with children you want to be especially careful in choosing a cat that won’t hurt your children, but also one that will enrich your lives as well.

If you want more control over the type of pet you will end up with, you may consider adopting an adult cat. Many rescue organizations and no-kill shelters take time to get to know the cats they have, this helps prospective owners choose a cat that will work well with their family.

Kittens can be a lot of fun, but it is hard to know what that cute little kitten is going to be like when he or she becomes an adult. There are a few things you can do to help determine what an adult cat will be like. First, choose a kitten that is active, curious and playful. The shy little kitten may be sweet, but will be more likely to be a withdrawn, loner of an adult cat. When you get your kitten home, spend lots of time with it, and introduce it to many new people. If you cat gets used to new people as a kitten, she won’t be so scared of them when she grows up. Finally, play with your cat anytime you have the opportunity. Encouraging play will encourage the cat to be more social and seek out love and affection from others as well.

What to Know Before You Adopt a Dog

If you are ready to bring a pet into your home, chances are you’ve thought about getting a dog. Great choice! Dogs make wonderful companions and are great fun to have around. One place to consider getting a dog is through pet adoption. You can help save the life of a dog that may not have a chance otherwise. But before you jump into dog adoption, keep these tips in mind.

1.       Have you done your homework? You need to know which kind of dog you want before you go to any pet adoption agency. Decide if you want small and furry or big and playful. The kind of dog you want for your family is important to know beforehand.

2.        What about your working hours? If both parents work and the children are in school, then you may want to reconsider getting a dog. Dogs need lots of care and attention, especially in the beginning stages. You’ll need to be around for housetraining and getting the dog used to be in your home.

3.       Do you have young children? Let’s face it, getting a dog is like adding another child to your home. If you already have a couple of younger children, under the age of 12, you may want to wait a couple of years to get a dog. When the kids are better able to help care for the dog, it might be a little easier on your family.

4.       Do you have enough money? Make sure you plan for the new dog in your budget. You’re going to have to get the right food, visit the vet, get vaccinations, and get medical supplies when your dog is sick. All of these things can add up.

If you’ve thought about all that getting a dog involves, then it may be time to head to the pet adoption agency.