For Dogs, Cats & Other Pets And The People Who Love Them!

9 Ways To Protect Your Bird From Illness

Written By: Teri Champigny - May• 23•13

Like any pet you may have protecting your pet from illness is very important and for birds it is no exception. Would you even begin to recognize if your bird is ill? Would you be able to recoginze the signs if your bird is ill? Here is just a few things to look for.

Pet Birds

1. Good hygiene – regularly clean the bird cage and the appliances in it. The cleaning must be accomplished minimum twice a week . Check the color of your birds droppings. you should watch out for droppings that are yellow, rusty brown, or tarry black. This could indicate internal bleeding or other serious problems. Also check for consistency – too runny or too firm.

2. We mustn’t let our birds have contacts with wild or free – living birds, who are the main carriers of diseases and infections .

3. Do not put the bird cage exposed to draughts – the birds can catch a cold , and they should be exposed to the sun no more than 1 – 2 hours , because they can get overheated and can suffer from hypothermia .

4. If you have other pet animals – a dog , a cat, first get sure that they are not aggressive towards the birds and only then you can leave them in the same room together.

5. Examine the bird cage for protruding parts and objects that can hurt the birds .

6. A very important factor for the good health of the birds is the proper and balanced feeding . Except for grain mixture, they should get enough quantity of fruit and vegetables, from which they will supply themselves with necessary vitamins .
Also, with great importance for the health of birds is the proper supply with minerals . You can buy them from the zoo or a good pet supply store in combined forms.

Watch out for:
Ruffled Feathers – sitting for too long with feathers fluffed out can show signs of respiratory problem or other disorders, it can also hide weight loss.

Red, Inflamed or Runny Cere – a cere is what we think of as the birds ‘nose’ – this could show that your bird may be seriously ill.

Cloudy Eyes – if they are cloudy or have a discharge, this could indicate a respiratory, nervous or muscular disorder.

Reduced Appetite – birds need to eat a lot of nutritious food every day as the have very high metabolisms. If they are losing weight they may have an intestinal blockage or is impacted — the best way to address this is to make sure its cage is cleaned every day before feeding.

8. It is also necessary that your birds get small stones and sand in a separate container , which contributes to the good digestion and food – assimilation.

9. Overfeeding the birds with proteins of animal origin is very dangerous for them and it can cause podagra and lead to abnormal appetite .

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Dog Gifts

Written By: Teri Champigny - Apr• 15•13

If you absolutely adore your dog then purchasing a dog gift can be an exhilarating experience for you. No matter what your budget constraints there are an awful lot of dog gifts to choose from. In fact, the sheer variety of gift ideas can often be inundating. Since there is no dearth of dog gifts, you must narrow down to that perfect dog gift, which also meets your budget.

Puppy Play Toys

Dog owners, when buying a dog gift, think in terms of buying something (may be a stuffed toy) for a human baby. However, the two ideologies are better not to be intermingled. Dogs cannot comprehend cuteness, and would appreciate receiving a gift, which is fun to play with rather than being overly cute. Hence, ensure that the gift is fun for the pet, practical, durable and safe.

An important consideration while buying a dog gift is size. Dog toys must be small enough for the dog to carry them or chew them. But, they must not be as diminutive so as to inadvertently get stuck in the dog’s throat. For the very same reason, durability is also a major concern.

You don’t want a cheap soft toy that breaks apart due to vigorous chewing. However, your choice of a toy depends much on the dog type. A docile dog may be well-contented with a soft toy, while an aggressive one may need a more durable and hard toy for chewing. The Christmas season always promises to be a big spending spree when scads of pet owners splurge on toys, treats, and other accessories for their pets.

You will be surprised to know that even dog gifts have got a technological boost. PetCell, which was launched years ago, is a bone-shaped, scratch-resistant and waterproof cell for your pet. Inundating! Isn’t it? It is designed for workaholics to stay in touch with stay-at-home pets. Moreover, it enables easy retrieval of a lost dog, since a concerned citizen will be able to callback the owner. A rather luxurious gift for your adorable dog but he’s worth it to most dog owners.

Another popular dog gift would be a nice jewelry item for your dog. Your dog could flaunt different colored strands of pearls worn as necklaces, anklets and collar charms. These glittering items are the latest canine fashion statement. They can cost you anywhere between $50 and $100. Apart from the extravaganza, an essentially useful dog gift could be a pet carrier or crate.

Dog crates are trendy and practical for dog lovers that are always on the move. If you truly adore your dog and are not anxious about the expense, you could buy the dog its own dining table and dinnerware. No matter how much you spend on a dog gift, the crucial thing is to remember your pet during the festive season and to assure it that you love it with all your heart.

You can get almost anything for your four legged baby. The choice is yours with a great range to choose from. As always, like with baby toys, remember saftey first, you want him/her around for a long time.

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A Happy Indoor Cat And Leash Training

Written By: Teri Champigny - Mar• 12•13

Keeping Your Indoor Cat Happy

We all know that a cat that spends most of his time indoors is healthier. Studies show that indoor cats live nearly twice as long as outdoor cats. The risk of accidents and disease are reduced, or eliminated. Your cat doesn’t know this, however, so how do you keep him happy about staying inside and not roaming the neighborhood.

House Cat

First of all, spending time playing with your cat will make him feel loved. It will give him exercise and help work off any excess energy he may be experiencing.

Cats like to eat green things. Plant some cat grass in pots around the house and allow him to nibble from them. This will help take care of his need to eat greenery.

Opening a window that has a secure screen will allow your cat to have fresh air. If you hang a bird feeder within sight of this window, you will find your cat staying entertained for hours on end as he watches the birds come and go.

If you have a porch, tying your cat out on a leash will allow him to lie in the sunshine and breath fresh air. The leash will keep him safely secure so he does not roam and get lost or hurt. This is one instance when it is important to make sure he is up to date on his shots. This will make sure he does not catch any airborne diseases.

Following the above suggestions will help insure your indoor cat stays both happy and healthy—and all those who share their home with a cat know that a happy cat makes for a happy home.

Leash Training Your Cat

If your cat is an indoor cat but you would like to be able to take him out for a walk to give him exercise you can train your cat to walk on a leash. It will require a lot of patience and a few simple rules.

Cat Harnesses & Leashes

A harness is best for a cat. Cat’s won’t respond well to jerking their collar so a harness is really best and should be loose and comfortable for the cat.

First, allow your cat to play with the new items so she gets used to them. Try putting the harness on her and see how she reacts. This step is very important, if you force the cat to wear the harness, they are not going to be happy at all with the harness or with you. Take your time with all the steps. If your cat balks at any step, go back to the previous one. It is a lot harder getting a cat to cooperate than it is for a dog.

After the cat is wearing the harness loose, then it is the time to tighten the harness up until it is the right fit for the cat. At this point, you will want to give the cat time to wear the harness. Next attach the leash. Then you will want to start walking the cat inside, until the cat is doing well. Once the cat is comfortable with the leash then it is time to go outside for a walk.

When walking with the cat make sure there is not too much loose leash or they will be running in all random directions. There are many distractions for a cat outdoors – birds, squirrels and the neighbor’s pets might cause your cat to want to run around, but you must keep a tight leash so that your cat walks with you and is not dragging you all over the place. You will soon be enjoying your outings.

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Learn Why And How To Crate Train Your Puppy

Written By: Teri Champigny - Nov• 06•12

Dogs are den-dwelling animals. With that being the case, you can understand why a dog would find comfort and safety in a crate or small kennel. Puppies and dogs enjoy having a place to themselves where they know nothing can get at them, or is expected of them. Let’s take a look at the following information to find out why you would want to consider crate training your puppy, and how you would proceed.

Dog Crates

What is Crate Training?

Crate training is the process of getting a puppy comfortable with staying in a crate as a means of security and a safe retreat. That’s why crate training is not cruel, but is quite the opposite, providing comfort and safety. Crate training may also be used to potty train a small puppy.

Some experts say that crate training is the basis for all further training. It sets the stage for good puppy behavior and gives them a level of confidence they may miss without crate training. Another advantage of being crate trained early on is it can help reduce anxiety in the event puppy needs to be crated, such as at an overnight stay at your veterinarian’s clinic or hospital.

Choosing the Crate

When buying a crate for puppy, you’ll want to consider their size. The crate needs to be big enough for puppy to be comfortable but not too big that puppy no longer sees it as a den. If you get a crate that is small enough, puppy will greatly resist using part of it as a potty place, as they see their crate as their den and want to keep it clean. If you get a crate too large, puppy may use one side as their den, and the other for a potty.

Resist the temptation to save money by buying one crate for the life of the puppy. The crate you use to train your puppy should fit your puppy’s size. Then, if you choose to have a crate for your full-grown dog, buy a new one to fit your puppy’s adult size later. Some crates and kennels take this into consideration and offer a divider so you can section off a larger crate into a smaller den for your puppy.

There are many types of crates, some designed for stationary use and some designed for travel. Some crates are designed to be mini-kennels, with features like quick breakdown and folding easily for transporting. You’ll find wire crates and plastic crates. Decide where you will be putting the crate and how you will be using it before you choose one.

Crate Training Basics

Once you have a crate that is the proper size, you’ll need to begin to get your puppy used to going in it. Here are a few tips for getting puppy to explore and enjoy the new crate:

Leave the Door Open – Place the crate in a central location where you spend time and are close by. Then tie the door back so it’s open and your puppy can go in and out. This will allow puppy to explore without feeling separated from you or trapped. Puppy won’t understand at first that the door opens as well as closes, but will after further exploration and training.

Drop in a Few Treats – As puppy explores, the little treats you’ve left inside the crate will delight and encourage more exploration. This will allow puppy to associate happy feelings with the crate and become attached to using it quickly.

Make Crate Comfy – Add some comfortable bedding or towels for puppy to lie on. You can also put puppy’s favorite toys in there. Give puppy all the comforts of home in the little den.

Short Intervals Only – Once you start closing the door, be sure to keep puppy’s time in the crate short. Younger puppies cannot hold their bladder for very long so don’t leave them in the crate too long or your crate training will backfire. Over time you can increase the intervals. Try crating puppy after a potty break for about 15 or 20 minutes. Set a timer and release your puppy when the time is up. And don’t forget to praise puppy for the good work.

Crate Train Only While Home – When you leave for a few hours at a time, section off a safe area of the house for puppy to stay while you are away. Set the crate in the safe area with the door propped securely open so puppy can use it as a resting area within the play area. Closing a puppy in a crate while you are gone for a long period of time may cause puppy to form an aversion to the crate if associated with you being gone.

Crate Use For Potty Training – Once puppy is familiar with the crate, you can start potty training with the crate for short periods of time. As soon as you take puppy out of the crate, go right outside to the potty spot. If puppy goes potty, make sure you praise, offer treats, and play. If puppy doesn’t go potty, then back to the crate for another short interval. Repeat this routine several times a day and puppy will soon understand and get to know his crate and his potty spot. Remember to be consistent if you choose this method.

If you stay the course with crate training you’ll find the rewards are great. Puppy will love the comfort of ‘home’ and become more and more capable of controlling the urges to potty wherever and whenever. Puppy will also appreciate you for being such a determined and solid puppy parent when guidance is needed most.

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Aging Cats: Nutritional Needs Change After Age 11

Written By: Teri Champigny - Jul• 24•12

Aging cats need special nutritional needs after age 11. America’s most popular pet, the cat, lives more than half of its life in the senior years. Although advances in veterinary care, better nutrition and better educated owners have helped improve the quantity and quality of these years. Studies reveal that senior cats continue to struggle with weight as the result of reduced activity levels and a steady decline in senses, nutrient absorption and fat digestion.

“One of the most important goals when feeding senior cats is maintaining an ideal weight and keeping that weight stable,” said Dr. Arnold Plotnick, who developed a senior wellness program to address the special needs of aging cats at his veterinary clinic, Manhattan Cat Specialists in New York City.

Owners of senior cats can help their aging felines maintain an ideal body weight throughout the senior lifestage by feeding a diet that addresses their unique nutritional needs.

Purina Pro Plan, for instance, has reformulated its entire line of senior cat foods to address the changing nutritional needs of aging cats in two different phases of the senior lifestage: ages 7 to 11 (mature) and 11 and up (senior or geriatric).

As cats age, there’s a gradual decline in the body’s ability to repair itself, maintain normal body functions and adapt to stresses in the environment. Disease and weight changes are common throughout the senior lifestage.

Cats are more likely to face weight gain during the mature years when activity level declines and metabolism slows. But around age 11, weight loss becomes a greater concern.

The 11-plus years are particularly problematic for cats because their sense of smell and taste often diminish at this time, which affects their interest in food. The ability to absorb key nutrients and digest fat declines, making eating itself less efficient.

The undesirable result is that more food passes through as waste and less is used for energy, causing a drop in lean muscle mass and body fat that leads to potentially harmful weight loss.

In addition to providing the proper diet, owners of senior cats should pay close attention to their cats’ activity levels, weight, and eating, grooming and elimination habits and report anything new or different to their veterinarian.

Though many of these changes are a normal part of aging, others may signal a more serious problem. Scheduling veterinary visits at least twice a year is good practice during the senior years as many potentially serious conditions are treatable if caught early.

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