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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Five Ways to Celebrate National Cat Day

shutterstock_112778770Five Ways to Celebrate National Cat Day

1/ Adopt a cat or kitten from a local shelter or rescue – there’s always a beautiful kitty in need of a good home.

2/ Make a donation to a local shelter or rescue. Food, blankets, toys, litter and other items are always in demand.

3/ Volunteer at a local shelter or rescue where you can help by cleaning cages and litter boxes, play with the cats and kittens.

4/ Buy or plant some cat grass for your furry friends. It helps them get key nutrients and minerals into their diet, aids with digestion and helps prevent the build-up of hairballs.

5/ Take some time out to play with your cat/s. Try a cat-fishing pole with a toy or feather on the end of the line, a mirror to reflect light (careful- laser pointers can cause eye damage), crumpled paper or best of all – boxes. Cats adore boxes.

Top Tips for National Pet Wellness Month

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While we’re nearing the end of the National Pet Wellness Month, it’s never too late to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your pets happy and healthy, no matter what their age.

1/ Schedule a Wellness Exam: When is the last time your pet visited the vet? If you aren’t sure or can’t recall, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Regular health checks are important for animals – especially cats, who are often overlooked.

2/ Vaccinate, Spay and Neuter: Make sure your pets are current on all of their recommended vaccinations and are either spayed or neutered. Not sure? See point 1.

3/ Check your pet’s weight. Obesity is a bigger problem for pets than you might think and opens them up for a variety of health problems. Not sure how much your pet should weigh? Pet MD has a handy tool that can help you. http://www.petmd.com/healthyweight

4/ Brush your pet’s teeth regularly. Yes, it can be a pain, but not as much as a toothache or severe dental problem is going to feel for your pet and your bank account. Ask your vet to recommend an animal friendly flavored toothpaste. Use a special pet dental brush or your fingers.

5/ Feed them the best quality food you can formulated for the animal’s size and age. Most commercial pet foods are formulated to provide a balanced diet for different stages of life and activity levels. Not sure what to choose? Ask your vet for a recommendation.

Meet the Best Breeds for Living the Quiet Life

Getting a dog is a happy time – but try not to fall in love with the first furry little face that comes your way. Choosing the right canine companion depends on your lifestyle, and the dog’s temperament and primary breed characteristics. Size does matter, and cute puppies tend to make us forget the realities of full grown dogs. Keeping a Great Dane in a small apartment in the city would be sheer madness. Doing your homework in advance can save a lot of heartache and headaches.

Your lifestyle matters, too. If you’re really active, you’ll want to choose a dog that requires lots of exercise and stimulation. Older people and those with limited mobility will want to choose a quieter, more sedentary breed.

For those with little tolerance for noise, it’s best to choose breeds that don’t tend to bark excessively, if at all. Each breed’s activity level varies. Here are some of the best choices for those who prefer a quieter companion:

basenjiBasenjis – Known for their inability to bark, this hunting breed is of African origin. They’re high energy, and always watching. They have a boundless sense of curiosity and can be prone to taking off to explore on their own. Reward their quiet nature with frequent outings or suffer the consequences.

 

borzoiBorzoi – From a relatively ancient breed cultivated in Russia, these majestic creatures will quietly drape themselves on a sofa and blend in. They rarely opt to comment on anything, even intruders, and instead will sit, quietly judging you. Perfect for those who want a couch ornament.


shar-pei
Chinese Shar Pei
– Short, stout and wrinkled. Only a Shar Pei can carry it off this look! While bred for hunting, they rarely bark for no reason. If they’re feeling uneasy or threatened, they’ll certainly let you know, but otherwise, they’re happy to just sit (okay, lay down) and just be.

 

 

collieCollies – OK, this one is probably a surprise to anyone who remembers the TV series Lassie and the running joke about Timmy falling in the well. Actually, collies tend to be quiet unless they have something really important to tell you like “Timmy just fell into the well again!”. For those who care, Timmy never actually fell into the well on the show – each week, he simply acted as a human decoder ring for Lassie’s rather complex barked messages.

italian-greyhound

 

Italian Greyhounds – A smaller, nervous and somewhat delicate looking breed, Italian Greyhounds tend to be quiet in favor of showcasing their flair for the dramatic. They’re easily stressed, and prefer to rest quietly on comfy fainting couches.

 

newfoundlandNewfoundlands – These gentle giants tend to walk softly among us, cradling tennis balls in their mouths and drooling happily. They’re friendly, and rarely bark without good reason.

 

 

st-bernard

St. Bernards – Another breed of gentle giants. When properly socialized as puppies, they’ll grow up to love everyone and will rarely bark unless provoked.

 

whippetWhippets – Bred mainly for hunting and racing, these delicate wisps could be called the supermodels of the dog world, but they are really couch potatoes in disguise. Barking is a waste of energy.

 

 

 

Meet a Few of the BARK-IEST Breeds

Dogs bark. As dogs, it’s part of their job description. However, some breeds of dogs just can’t help but bark a lot, so it’s good to know in advance. Too late? You could buy earplugs in bulk packets, and hand them out liberally to family and neighbors. Better yet, take the time to work with your dog. It is possible to train your dog to better control this undesirable behavior.

Chihuahuas – If you had to quickly name one of the top barkers, this is the breed most likely to come to mind. These cute and tiny little terrors will cuddle up to you, then when you’re nice and relaxed, they’ll suddenly let loose with a string of brain shattering barks that could raise the dead. Try not to break something when you leap up faster than when you have a Charley horse.

yorkshire-terrierTerriers – (except for bull terriers, who are quiet in comparison): Terrier breeds are dogdom’s kings and queens of barking, with honorable mentions going to schnauzers and beagles, who during the contest were barking up the wrong tree. (Best of luck next time, guys!)

german-shepherdGerman Shepherds – The handsome and intelligent policeman of the dog world has a deep, throaty bark that could scare even the most scary of monsters. If you’re looking for a great guard dog that’s also loyal and affectionate, get a German Shepherd. Regular exercise and training can help them learn to control their instinct to bark.

min-schnauzer

 

Miniature Schnauzers – Maybe they are self conscious about their size.

 

 

bloodhound

Bloodhounds – Their distinctive braying bark is instantly recognizable, which is why they were bred for hunting. When a bloodhound is around, you’ll know it. So will everyone else.

 


husky

Huskies
– These dogs are quite vocal, and will provide endless rambling commentary on their day and everything around them if you allow it. They can be really passionate about sharing their opinions on every single thing in the world, so learning the “Quiet!” command is vital.

 

malamute


Alaskan Malamutes
– The name is a lie. There is no “mute” in the Alaskan Malamute. They’ll hold entire conversations with anyone who will listen, sing songs, howl, and bark. Then they’ll do it all over again in case you missed something the first time.

 


min-pinscher

 

Miniature Pinschers – Min Pins, as they are affectionately known, are actually willful little dictators that are determined to bend you to their wishes. Their bark will bite into your eardrums. Training, training, training.

 


pyrenees

Great Pyrenees – Bred to guard flocks of sheep and cattle, Pyrenees use their bark language to express alarm at everything from a light breeze blowing to actual predators afoot! Unfortunately, it’s the all points in between alerts that will really test everyone’s patience. Good, consistent training is a must to keep everyone’s sanity intact.

 
While we’ve poked fun at the topic, no matter what the breed, excessive barking can be a serious problem – especially when you have to leave your dog at home for extended periods to earn money to pay for their food, toys and treats. Good training can make everything better.

The American Humane Society: tips to curb excessive barking: http://bit.ly/2dx9KTh

 

The Trouble With Barking

Dogs are wonderful creatures, full of love, joy and unlimited potential for cuteness and destruction. While they may occasionally chew things from shoes and toilet rolls all the way up to full couches, sometimes it’s their vocal tendencies that rattle us most. Like barking.

blog-1It’s just what dogs do, you might say. True, but some dogs tend to bark more than others. Why?Oh, so many reasons. The barometer is falling. They heard a pin drop in the next county. The cat looked at them wrong. They’re sassy teenagers who will (hopefully) eventually grow out of it. Or like incessant talkers, they just like the sound of their own voice and have to comment on everything. All the time. So what’s a poor pup parent to do?

Obviously, there are times when barking is helpful, and other times when barking will take you and anyone within earshot to the brink of insanity at warp speed. When it’s in response to a knock on the door, that’s awesome and helpful. Your dog is saying, “Hey person who feeds and pets me, someone is here and we could be in danger but don’t worry, I’m on the job!”

It’s when they fail to quiet down despite your best efforts, bark for no reason at all or every possible reason (usually for extended periods of time) that you decide that your dog may be suffering from anxiety, is seeing a ghost, or is simply being a jerk. Often, your dog is barking away because of the rich reward. Your attention.

Good training can make all the difference and help restore peace in your world. It can also make your neighbors much happier. Do it for the greater good.

The American Humane Society has some great tips to curb excessive barking: http://bit.ly/2dx9KTh