Insurance for Pets

Almost every family has an insurance policy, maybe life insurance, insurance on property or other things. Among the list of things that can be insured, there is one more add on to the list in the recent years. The add on being pet insurance which is in fact a new concept even though it was first used  in the year 1982 to Lassie, which was a renowned canine star of the TV and the Veterinary Pet Insurance also known as VPI has grown ever science. It has become popular in the recent times which com4es close to the heels of the new development s in the field of veterinary sciences and also the availability of various complex instruments and devices for the diagnosis and the treatment of the pets. The usage of these sophisticated instruments was confined only for human health and treatment until made accessible to the veterinarians. The usage of these devices has made animal healthcare more efficient and also there is a peak increase in the veterinary bills. It is surprising that few veterinary procedures cost more than 5000 USD.

Even though getting a veterinary pet insurance policy seems to be a unnecessary expense for many of the pet owners  it is found that more than 25 billion USD was spent by the Americans on pet healthcare in the year 2006 alone and it is gradually increasing according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.  The average veterinary pet insurance costs for a dog per month will be roughly around 340 USD. Getting an insurance cover for the pet does not mean that all the medical expenses are taken care of by the insurance as one still has to pay for the deductibles.

Are commercial pet foods safe?

The health standards and the average life span of the pets are falling gradually in the recent years and it is noticed that a fair percentage of pets suffer from various health problems which includes physical as well as behavioral problems . Upon analysis, the pet nutritionists seem to agree that this is mainly due to the poor nutrition which is the root cause for all these problems among the pets. It is also found out the pet foods available in the market are not really as nutritious or healthy as it is being claimed.  The vets believe that the chemical additives used in these commercial pet foods are responsible for the deteriorating health of the pets.

It is found that the pet food contains huge amounts of BHTs, BHAs and Ethoxyquin which are responsible for producing the odor and also release certain gases which in turn make the packed pet food unfit for human and even animal consumption.

Even these pet foods sometimes contain traces of animal wastes and pathogens from the diseased meat. The Ethoxyquin used in these animal foods as preservative is in fact a potent herbicide and which is capable of causing damage to the liver and kidneys in the humans who are in prolonged contact with it. It is also found to be carcinogenic in humans. This chemical also has a range of harmful effects on the animals which include immunodeficiency syndromes, cancer of stomach, spleen and liver and many more which answers the rise in health issues in pets which are fed commercial pet foods.  Also the use of sweetening agents like sucrose and cornstarch causes a lot of stress on the pancreas which can cause diabetes and other ailments. Choosing the right food for the pets, preferably natural will help it lead a healthy life in these conditions homemade pet foods seems to be the safest bet.

Homemade pet foods

There are a lot of different brands of pet foods available in the market. With so many options popping up on the supermarket shelves with a wide range of prices and not to mention the claims made by the manufacturers one cannot be so sure about what they are feeding their pets with and how safe or nutritious are these foods really. Adding on to the confusion is the frequent recalls of the products by the manufacturers. There is only one way to overcome this and that is by preparing our own pet food which is safer for the pets and also comforting to the owners as they will know what goes into their pets.  One can feed some of the nutritious food which they eat to the pets as well as they will be safe, wholesome and nutritious for the pets and also cost effective as well. The main ingredients of the pet food are meat, vegetables and starch. One can prepare large batches of the home made pet food and store in the freezer and use it as and when required.   Meat is one of the main ingredient and it supplies adequate proteins required by the pet.  The ideal pet food can be prepared by adding 40% of meat and 30% each of vegetables and starch. While switching the diet of the pets from commercial foods to homemade foods, it is preferable for the owners to do it under the guidance of the vet until the complete transition is done and the pet gets used to the homemade foods.

Feeding the pets with healthy homemade foods will reduce their exposure to various unhealthy preservatives, chemicals and additives which may affect their health.  The homemade pet foods helps the pets have a healthy and a long life and reduces the frequency of visits to the vet as well.

Introducing Your Cat to His Cats

When people meet through online dating, they sometimes fall in love and marry or move in together. Children learn to live with new people in their parents’ lives, but it isn’t always a smooth transition. The same goes for pets. Moving your pets in with his pets, or visa versa can be a stressful time.

When introducing strange pets, one must introduce them slowly. Cats surely will not like each other at first and they’ll show it by hissing and growling. No matter how nice or mild-mannered a cat might be with its owner, putting it with a strange cat is like adding oil to water; they won’t readily mix, especially if both animals are adults.

Bring the strange cat in and, while not putting them near each other, put the animal down in the room. Make sure they see each other and watch them closely. Do not leave the room. At first, they may just sniff or look at each other, but it won’t be uncommon for one of them to lay its ears back and begin growling.

Keep the door to a ‘safe’ room open so the strange cat can run somewhere to hide. It will venture out, slowly at first, and check out everything in the home, keeping an eye on the other cat.

If either of the cats begin growling or show a desire to fight, remove the one that’s aggressive, and be consistent to do this every time it happens. Cats are smart. It will eventually learn to avoid the behavior that gets it tossed out, since it likely wants to be around you.

The cats may never like each other, but they will learn to get along in the house, eventually. One cat will learn the other is the alpha cat and act accordingly. Give it time – they’ll be okay. Just don’t try to rush the process.

Basic Cat Care

Taking care of a cat is not a hard task, but there are many things you have to do that you may not think of when you first think about cat care. These tasks won’t take up too much of your time, but they are chores that must be done if you want to be a good cat owner.

Feeding your cat will likely be easy. You will more than likely be purchasing a premade cat food that simply needs to be scooped into a clean bowl daily or twice daily depending on your feeding schedule. For a special treat you may consider a moist food a couple of times a week for your cat. Other than the food all you have to do is make sure your cat has clean water readily available.

Another chore is keeping your cat’s litter box clean and fresh. You will have to change the litter frequently and keep it scooped out in between changes. From time to time you may want to completely empty it and then wash the litter pan out.

Brushing your cat may be a difficult job, or it may be easy. This all depends on the length of hair that your cat has. Cats do not often need a bath, but they may if they get into something messy or start to smell bad. You may also have to bathe them if they wind up with a flea problem.

As you can see, it’s not a difficult job to take care of your cat, but it will take some time and care. Following these easy steps will help your cat to be healthy and happy and live a long and wonderful life with you and your family.

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.

Dye Allergies in Cats

One problem that is very common among cats is sensitivity to food dyes and food coloring. This is a major problem for cats because so many of the cat foods have dye in them. For some cats it can cause occasional minor stomach upset, and in others it can be a major problem.

No matter how serious the case is, you will likely want to get your sensitive cat on a diet that won’t upset her stomach. Even in the minor cases it is likely not comfortable for the cat to feel an upset stomach on a regular basis.

One of the options for helping your cat with this is to change her over to an all natural dye free food. These are often sold at vet’s offices or at pet supply stores. These are very similar to other foods that you would buy for your cat, but they don’t have the artificial colors and other additives in them. This is a great choice because it is easy for you as an owner. This may cost a bit more than buying regular grocery store cat food, but the overall savings in time and headaches is well worth it for you and your feline friend.

Another option is to start making your cat’s food at home. You can look online to find many great recipes for foods that you can cook for your cat. Some of these may take some time and effort to prepare, but you can create a diet for your cat that will be unmatched by any prepackaged food you can buy at the store.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you do something and quickly. You don’t want your cat to suffer from the pain and discomfort of an upset stomach, and you want to save yourself from having to clean up additional messes that can be caused by the cat vomiting or having loose stools from her stomach issues.

Animals and Healing

There’s a wonderful connection between humans and animals. Many people seem to bond with animals – a bond that lasts for a lifetime. When it comes to treating addictions, these bonds that are created with animals can help in the healing process. In fact, it’s been proven that animals can help human beings reconnect with their normal life after addiction and get back to the person they were before the addiction took over. You can find more information about pets and healing from an addiction at

Below are some of the ways animals help with healing.

Building Relationships

When someone becomes addicted to a substance or gaming, often the first thing to go is their relationships with others. Addicts become withdrawn and only need the “love” of their addiction. During the healing process, an addict needs to discover how to nurture relationships again. This is where the help of a pet comes in. Pets can help a human to learn how to nurture and provide unconditional love. Pets tend to give a lot of love, so introducing a pet into rehab is very comforting to an addict. The pet is always around, which helps the addict to remember there are people who love and care about him outside of rehab.

Assuming Adult Responsibility

Another basic human function that is gone when an addict chooses the addiction is adult responsibility. Again, a job, family, or school are not nearly as important to an addict as their addiction. Pets in rehab help the addict re-discover how to care for something else. This is a great way to reintroduce responsibility and overcoming the selfishness that was introduced with addiction.

Pets have a wonderful way of helping addicts heal and recover their lives. Many rehabilitation programs actually recommend pets be a part of the recovery process.

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.