26 May 2009

How to Stop Dog Jumping

Although your dog jumping up on you can be cute as a puppy, it can be quite a nuisance when he's full grown. This behavior should be dealt with in early puppyhood. It may seem mean to try to control a dog’s excitement when he sees someone, but on the other hand, you don’t want him to end up hurting someone. Your dog doesn’t know his own strength.

How to control dog jumping

Consistency is key. You must discipline your dog EVERY time he jumps up. You cannot pick and choose when you will allow your dog jumping and when you won’t.

Stop Dog Jumping: Option 1
One option is to teach your dog a “SIT” command whenever someone rings the bell or knocks on the door. You can get a friend to come ring the doorbell repeatedly in order to teach the command. You cannot teach this disciplinary measure on the rare occasion that someone happens to ring the bell, it is not often enough for him to remember from one instance to the next. It is better to recreate the situation over and over again consecutively. This way he is more likely to retain the information.

Every time your friend rings the bell, your dog will react with excitement, which involves jumping up and maybe barking. Tell him to “SIT” in a firm tone of voice. Keep a short leash on him to hold him back from jumping. Don’t open the door until you get him to sit. If he stands once you open the door, close it immediately. You shouldn’t pet him or show him any attention until he obeys the command. Only then can you give him a treat and say “good dog.” You may not notice much of a difference in his behavior on the first few tries, but after repeating this procedure 10 or 20 times, you will start to see a calmer reaction every time the bell rings. Once he obeys the command when the bell rings, then you can remove the leash and try it a few more times with no leash. Before you try to teach your dog to sit in an excited state, he should already be familiar with the command under normal conditions. When performing this training option, you don’t necessarily have to teach him to sit. You can teach him to “HEAL” where he will just remain on all fours.

It is very important to reward him for his good behavior. Remember, when you come home from work and your dog hasn’t seen you all day, his excitement level is extremely high. Avoid provoking this behavior further by talking to him in a high-pitched tone.

Stop Dog Jumping: Option 2
Another option for dealing with your dog jumping up is, every time your dog jumps up on you, hold him up by his paws, making him stand up on his hind legs. Keep him up until he gets uncomfortable. Do not praise him or make it seem like a game. This will demonstrate to him that this behavior will illicit a negative response from you. When trying this maneuver with a large dog, be careful not to place yourself in a compromising position where you will be face-to-face with your dog. If he is not already disciplined in other areas, he may try to bite you.

Dog jumping requires much patience. It is not a behavior that can be controlled very easily. With time and perserverance, together you can accomplish this goal.

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Dog Barking: Learn How to Control It

Barking is a dog's form of communication. Dog barking can be quite annoying but on the other hand, your dog's bark can also save your life. Your dog's bark should not always be acknowledged as a problem. If a dog barks incessantly, then this would require the help of a professional trainer. The average dog will bark for a specific reason. Some of these reasons could be:

"I need to relieve myself please."
If this is the case, do not allow your dog's barking to be his way of alerting you. You can try using a clicker to teach him a "Hush" command and then teach him an alternate alert signal such as pawing at the door. Every time he barks to go out, hush him, ask him if he has to "Go Potty" and then paw at the door with your hand. Repeat this process every time he barks to go out. Praise and treat every time he follows your lead.

"There's a stranger near the house."
This is a situation where dog barking can be a good thing. First off, teach him a "Heal" command then reward him for being alert. Show the stranger that you are investigating the situation by turning on a porch light if it is dark out. If someone hears your dog barking, it can keep a stranger from coming back.

"Can I go out and play."
Do not allow dog barking to be a signal to you that he wants to go out and play. You can try using a clicker to teach him a "Hush" command and then teach him an alternate alert signal such as pawing at the door or bringing the ball to you. Every time your dog barks to go out to play, hush him, then once he's quiet, paw at the door with your hand or grab the ball and ask if he wants to go out and play. Repeat this process every time your dog barks to go out. Praise and treat every time he follows procedure.

"I think I hear my friend, Fido, calling me."
Sometimes you'll find dogs barking to each other. This doesn't happen very often unless you have a dog next door that won't shut up. You can try to distract him by playing with him or starting a game of fetch but this won't solve the problem. Teaching him the "hush" command is the best way to eliminate this behavior.

"I heard a loud noise and I don't know what it is."
If you know that the noise does not pose a threat, stop the dog barking by playing with him or starting a game of fetch.

"I'm afraid."
Distract him by playing with him or starting a game of fetch.

"Who is this person that just entered my home."
Teach him the "Heal" command and slowly have him get used to the visitor by first smelling the visitor's jacket. If your visitor is not afraid, have him call the dog over while he is bent down at his level. Be careful if it is a large dog. This will reduce your dog's anxiety. There are some people that your dog will warm up to quickly and others that will take some time. Of course, there will also be one or two visitors that your dog will never warm up to.

"Don't leave me (again)."
If your dog barks from the minute you leave the house to the minute you come home, he may be letting the whole world know that he is lonely and he misses you. If this is the case, take an old shirt and put it in the hamper for an hour or two. This will make the shirt absorb the scents of everyone in the house. Then place the shirt next to your dog or have him lie down on it and this will keep him happy all day long. This will work 99% of the time. You can also try putting the radio on low and tune it in to easy listening. Music soothes the savage beast (so to speak).

"I'm thristy."
Try teaching him the "Hush" command by using a clicker, then when he has quieted down, fill his bowl with water. You can teach him to paw at his bowl by tapping on his bowl when he's alerting you to fill his bowl. He will pick up on this after a while.

"Don't you dare come near my food while I'm eating."
Do not allow him to respond this way whenever someone walks by him while he's eating. Next time its time to feed, place the bowl on your lap and feed him one morsel at a time. Do not allow him to reach the bowl. Show him that you are in control of his food. Do this until he get accustomed to having someone touch his food. Have different members of the household try it as well. This will help desensitize him and show him he can trust you. If you have an overly-aggressive dog, then I would not recommend this.

Dog barking can occur for any number of reasons. Don't be quick to assume that your dog's bark is a problem because many people have had their dogs to thank for warding off intruders. If your dog barks, rule out any potential threat to your family, then investigate the reason for his bark. Most of the time it is something trivial but if you don't find the problem and eliminate it, you will have a difficult time getting him to stop. If it is something that cannot be eliminated, then it would be best to desensitize your dog to the contributing factor by having him learn to deal with it. For example, if he barks every time the phone rings, have someone call the house all day long and teach him a "hush" command. When you are able to get him to obey the command, praise and treat. Repeat this procedure for as often as it takes to get him fully trained.

Make sure you spend enough time with your dog when you are at home in order to avoid having him feel neglected when you're gone.

Once again, it's important to always try to find out why your dog's barking so you can address the problem and establish tranquility in the household.

By : Nancy Settecasi

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Things to Think About Before Acquiring a Rabbit

Rabbits have been popularly kept as pets in Western nations since the 1800s. Rabbits can adjust well to indoor life, and can even be litter box trained. Like all pets, rabbits need a considerable amount of care and attention.

Often people purchase rabbits from a breeder. Many people prefer breeders under suspicion that some pet stores sell cross bred rabbits. Such a breeder who has a litter of young rabbits available for sale can be found in the newspaper classified ads listed under "Pets" or "Livestock." Some can be found through rabbit breeders' club publications or through rabbit-related magazines, which often include a breeder listing. With the advent of the Internet, many breeders advertise their stock online.

Finding a local rabbit breeder is generally preferred to shipping rabbits for long distances, as it can be stressful for the animal. Many pet shops nearly always carry smaller breeds of rabbit such as the Netherland dwarf, the Holland lop, and the Mini-Rex. These breeds, although smaller than 'normal' rabbits, still live long and healthy lives. A point to note is that often smaller breeds of rabbits are prone to tooth problems such as malocclusion.

Rabbit rescue organizations or a local humane society are increasingly common places to find adult rabbits, who may already be spayed or neutered and docile from handling. Though most rescued rabbits are healthy, some may require special care for health conditions or behavioral problems resulting from prior abuse.

Training and Play

Pet rabbits can be trained to urinate and defecate in a litter box or on a newspaper in a specific corner of a room. The litter box may also be placed inside the rabbit's cage or the rabbit can be trained to treat the cage itself as the litter box. Litter training becomes much easier once a rabbit is spayed or neutered.

Rabbits cannot learn voice commands like a dog, but can recognize different patterns of the voice. For instance, If a rabbit is disobeying, for example biting, simply make a high pitched noise, or an extremely bass noise and the message will be conveyed. Rabbits can be taught their names, although they recognize the pattern of the noises more then the words. Rabbits are intelligent, and enjoy games and toys.

It is possible to permit a rabbit to run loose in the home if rooms have been rabbit-proofed (i.e. dangerous chewable items such as electric cords are removed from the pet's reach). Rabbits have a tendency to chew on items in their space, particularly wires, although they can be trained not to chew.

It is important that if a rabbit is allowed to roam in a house that it be impossible for the rabbit to chew or get into dangerous or valuable items. They do not possess the same comprehension as a dog or a cat, and often don't understand if punished physically; rather they will become scared or confused if some kind of punishment is used, as they do not see the damage they have done. If all this is taken into consideration, rabbits make excellent house pets.

Companionship

Other rabbits

Unneutered rabbits frequently fight when paired with another rabbit of the same gender. Generally fighting is a result of sexual mounting, which is engaged in by rabbits of both sexes upon other rabbits of either sex; this behavior stresses the rabbit being mounted and can make it aggressive toward its cagemate. Unneutered rabbits of opposite sexes will breed rapidly, so a pet owner should not leave them together, even if they do not fight.

Because of these problems, it used to be preferred to keep rabbits caged individually. However, it is becoming common to spay and neuter pet rabbits allowing male and female rabbits to live together. Fighting can result even from pairing altered rabbits. Keeping rabbits in pairs can limit behavioral problems (such as general aggression, biting or withdrawal) which may arise if rabbits are kept single.

Pairs of bonded and desexed rabbits, usually one of each gender to a pair, can often be adopted from animal shelters. These have usually already had all their major expenses taken care of (desexing) and they will rarely fight or harass each other, taking the trouble out of bonding two separate rabbits.

Guinea pigs

Some books recommend keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together to meet their social needs. While some people have seen success with this technique, the current consensus is that rabbits should never be kept in the same cage with guinea pigs. A rabbit can easily harass or injure a guinea pig; this can lead to severe distress or even death for the guinea pig. It may be unintentional or due to being startled, since the rabbit is larger and stronger so can seriously injure a guinea pig. They also have differing nutritional requirements, so it is therefore preferable that rabbits and guinea pigs are fed separately. Guinea pigs require additional Vitamin C in their diets that rabbits don't. Lack of Vitamin C may lead to scurvy.

Additionally, guinea pigs typically show very little interest in social activities necessary for the rabbit's well-being, such as grooming; this limits the intended benefit of housing the guinea pig and rabbit together in the first place.

Dogs and cats

It is generally recommended that dogs should never be left alone with rabbits as their predatory instincts (or overenthusiastic play) can lead to the dog attacking the rabbit spontaneously. Cats, on the other hand, can become close and safe potential companions if properly introduced to the rabbit and they are of at least roughly equivalent size. In fact, when the cat is introduced in a home with a resident rabbit, the rabbit sometimes will act aggressively to establish his territory and the cat, which does not have such concerns, will typically cede the point to the resident.

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Rabbits Diet: Is your rabbit eating right?

The typical diet for a pet rabbit consists of water, hay, pellets, fresh vegetables, and its own caecal pellets. Fruit and other treats are given only in very limited quantities, as they can cause obesity in a rabbit. Rabbits require a constant water supply as they dehydrate quickly.

Most sources recommend 80% of the diet should be Timothy hay or another grass hay. Too many vegetables in a rabbit's diet typically leads to diarrhea and other digestive problems.

Pellets

Rabbits are generally fed a pelleted feed available from pet stores, supermarkets, and farm suppliers. Pellets were originally designed for rabbit breeders for the purpose of providing as much food energy and vitamins as inexpensively as possible. This is optimal when the rabbits are being bred for food or for experimentation.

Most sources recommend a minimum of 18% fiber, low protein (14?15%), and less than 1% calcium. Depending on the amount of vegetables available, an adult rabbit should be given between 20 ml to 40 ml per kilogram (? and ? cup of pellets per 6 pounds) body weight daily. Pre-adolescent and adolescent rabbits (7 months and younger) can be given as much pelleted diet as they can consume, although additional vegetables are preferable to additional pellets. An older rabbit (over six years) can be given more pellets if they are having difficulty maintaining a steady body weight. Timothy hay-based pellets are great for rabbits that have stopped growing and do not need to gain weight. Alfalfa-based pellets are best only for young, growing rabbits or older rabbits who are under-weight.

Hay

Hay is essential for the health of all rabbits. A steady supply of hay will help prevent gastrointestinal stasis and other digestive tract problems in rabbits. Additionally, it provides a number of necessary vitamins and minerals at a low food energy cost. Rabbits enjoy chewing on hay, and always having hay available for the rabbit may reduce its tendency to chew on other items. Timothy hay and other grass hays are considered the healthiest to provide the rabbit. As a persistently high blood calcium level can prove harmful to the rabbit, hays such as alfalfa and clover hay should be avoided. Alfalfa is also relatively high in food energy, and a constant diet of it can cause obesity in rabbits.

Treats

Treats are unhealthy in large quantities for rabbits, just as they are for humans. Most treats sold in pet stores are filled with sugar and high food energy carbohydrates. If an owner is determined to feed the rabbit treats, the best treat to provide it with is fruit.

Acceptable fruits (seeds and pits MUST be removed): Banana, Mango, Pineapple, Peach, Apple, Kiwi, Berries, Orange and other citrus fruits.

Pineapple, mango, and papaya all contain a natural enzyme which is thought to reduce hairballs.

Fruits or other treats must be given in moderation, as rabbits easily become overweight and suffer health problems. Their diet should consist of no more than half a tablespoon of fruits or treats per day.

However, fresh fruits should not be given to rabbits under the age of 4 months because their digestive systems are not always developed enough to handle the fruit. It can cause enteritis that causes death within 48 hours.

While a common myth that rabbits should be given lettuce, this is not a good idea because it contains little to no nutritional value for the rabbit and again can cause enteritis which leads to a quick death.

Caecal pellets

Do not be alarmed if you see your rabbit eat some of his feces. These are called cecal pellets, and are a vital part of his diet. Caecal pellets are soft, smelly, clumpy feces, and are a rabbit's only supply of Vitamin B12. Due to the design of the rabbit's digestive system, they cannot extract some vitamins and minerals directly from their food. At the end of their digestive system is an area called the caecum where cellulose and other plant fibers are broken down and ferment. After they have been broken down and passed, a rabbit's digestive system can finally extract the vitamins from them.

By : Hagar lagarto

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Dog Food Tips For Preventing Fussy Eaters

There is much to recommend feeding your dog homemade dog food if you have the time to prepare it, and make sure you have recipes that give the correct ratio of nutrients, as well as the vitamins and supplements you'll need to add. These can be mixed up in a bag, stored, and sprinkled in every meal.

Dogs should have a minimum of 18% protein for maintenance when they are adults, and 22% for reproduction and growth. Fat should be a minimum of 5% for adult dogs, and 8% for reproduction and growth. But the more fat that is in the diet, the more protein there should be. Fat makes dogs, as well as people, eat less by making them feel fuller. If they eat less, and there are less of other essential nutrients like protein and vitamins and minerals, the dog will not get the nourishment it needs.

Generally, commercial pet food is made according to the appropriate guidelines, but care should be taken if significant amounts of other food is added to the diet, and it is high in fat.

But whether you're feeding your dog commercial dog food, or home made dog food, there are a few things to keep in mind so you don't end up with a fussy dog:

* dogs should be fed once a day once they are no longer puppies, or two small meals, no more. Feeding your dog too frequently when he is older can turn him appear like a fussy eater, when he is actually full.

* feeding your dog too regularly can get him into the routine of expecting to eat at those times, too, and may lead to weight gain. Letting him get hungry, and feeding sensibly, will not harm him. In the wild, dogs would eat for once a day until they were completely full.

* Don't stand and stare at your dog waiting for him to eat. He will likely think something is wrong, or something else is coming, and won't eat.

* Don't give into your dog and give him something else straight away if he refuses his meal, as he's effectively training you and not the other way around!

* There's nothing wrong with feeding your dog a varied diet, but don't keep changing the food because he seems fussy and won't eat it. Make sure nothing is wrong with him physically first, then if he is healthy, take charge of the situation. Put his food down, leave him to it, and then 30 minutes later go and check to see whether it's been eaten. If it hasn't, take it away, then at the end of the day put down some fresh food. Repeat the process, and take it away 30 minutes later if it still isn't eaten. This way you'll train your dog to eat his food, and not reinforce his behaviour.

Brian Kilcommons has a very interesting method for teaching dogs to eat their food. When the above fails, he prepared the dog food in front of the dog, making lots of 'yummy' noises whilst he did it. He made it slowly, and when the dog still wasn't interested, he put it down in front of his face, then took it straight away and threw it out. He did this first at breakfast, then at dinner. At dinner, the dog in question was more interested, but he still threw it out after putting it in front of him. The next morning, the dog was jumping up and down whilst the food was being prepared. He put it down, pulled it away, then looked at him for about a minute, then left it for him to eat. That dog now eats anything put down for him.

* If your dog suddenly goes off his food, it could be because he has dental problems, or a stomach problem. Get him checked out by the vet.

* Some dogs do actually prefer a certain type of food, just as people do. Try your dog with a variety of foods, and if he only eats one type, and will starve himself if he doesn't get it, the best solution can simply be to feed him that type of food.

* Don't feed your dog a high fat diet, or junk food, including chocolate. It's not good for them.

By : Brian Kilcommons

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4 Things to Think About Before Declawing your Cat

Declawing is a major surgery known as onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, that removes the tip of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the cat's forepaws. There is a slight chance of death in the surgery, and a declawed cat may have an increased risk of infection and life-long discomfort in its paws. This surgery is not recommended for an adult animal and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some countries (see below).

People generally have cats declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Rarely, vicious cats are declawed. In the United States, some landlords require that tenants' cats be declawed.

Veterinarians are generally critical of the procedure and some refuse to perform it because the absence of claws in a cat:

1. Deprives it of its main defense abilities, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
2. Impairs its stretching and exercise habits, leading to muscle atrophy;
3. Compromises its ability to balance on thin surfaces such as railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falls;
4. Can cause insecurity and a subsequent tendency to bite.

This operation is rare outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, declawing is forbidden by the laws against cruelty to animals. In many other European countries, it is forbidden under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless "a veterinarian considers [such] non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of (the) animal". In Britain, animal shelters find it difficult to place imported cats that have been declawed and subsequently most are euthanized.

An alternative to declawing is the application of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are affixed to the claws with nontoxic glue, requiring periodic replacement when the cat sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). However, the cat will still experience difficulties because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.

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Caring for your Dog's Coat

There’s nothing like a shiny, healthy-looking dog coat. Taking care of your dog's coat can reduce future skin and fur problems.

The coat grows in 3 phases at different times which, in turn, causes a dog never to go bald. Your dog’s coat needs to be brushed once or twice a week.

For a healthy dog coat, add one teaspoon of soybean, corn or cottonseed oil to your dog’s food every day. This can also reduce shedding.

Long-haired dogs or dogs with a thick fur may need more brushing than dogs with short hair because their hair tends to mat. Matting can cause your dog to have skin irritations or possibly retain odor in the coat. Matting can easily be stripped away with a stripping knife. If your dog has a thick, heavy dog coat, the stripping knife may not do the trick, in which case you can use a pair of scissors to snip the mat off. Make sure you use scissors with a blunt tip to avoid puncturing the skin. You can also try to work the matting out between your fingers with some human hair conditioner.

For a dog coat that's short, it is best to use a uni-groom, which is a hand-held device made of rubber with very short bristles and lies flat on the palm of your hand. You can find this device at PETSMART. You slip your finger through a loop and pass your hand over the fur as if you were petting him. This should be done outdoors because there is an incredible amount of hair that comes off the dog coat and you don’t want it all over your house.

Shedding is a problem most people don’t care to deal with. Unfortunately, many of us dog owners have no choice. Shedding comes with the changing of the seasons. Some dogs shed a lot, some shed a little and some don’t shed at all. I wish I had done my homework before buying two cocker spaniels (whom I love to death). Having tumbleweeds of dog hair circling your kitchen is not a pretty sight. My solution to this problem is keeping a short skirt on them and having them groomed every 6-8 weeks.

Brushing your dog’s coat outdoors also helps the hairy situation in the house. Never brush your dog’s coat when it’s wet, it causes matting and loss of hair. You can try putting a no-shed solution in your dog’s food. Although this works most of the time, be prepared for very soft bowel movements.

Shedding can also be hell for people with allergies. Try not to have your dog lying on top of you while watching T.V. while he is going through a shedding phase. This could be torturous for you. Take your meds or shots and avoid too much physical contact with your dog until the shedding diminishes. Don’t be too hard on your dog, it’s not something he can control.

Taking care of your dog's coat is important for both you and your dog. It will keep him sporting a shiny, healthy dog coat and will reduce the chances of acquiring any fur or skin related disorders.

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Dog Worms: Identifying the Signs and Symptoms

There are 5 different types of dog worms (internal parasites), which your dog can fall prey to. These are: heartworm, hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm and whipworm. As a dog owner, we recommend that you educate yourself on these worms in order to be able to recognize the symptoms if they should become evident in your dog.

Early worm detection is important because each type of dog worm requires a different form of treatment. You should also be aware of the fact that roundworm and hookworm are zoonotic, which means that these worms can be transmitted to humans. Some worm infestations may show little to no symptoms, whereas others can demonstrate severe symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss. Some dog worms can be seen by the naked eye while some cannot, therefore it is a good idea to ask your vet to perform a stool test for dog worms once a year.

Below you can find a list of common telltale symptoms of dog worm infestation, but keep in mind that these symptoms can also be a sign of a more serious problem. Either way, always consult a veterinarian whenever your dog is not “his usual self.”

* Dull coat
* Weight loss
* Appetite loss
* Pot-bellied appearance
* Coughing
* Low energy level
* Diarrhea
* Vomiting

ROUNDWORMS (Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina)

There are two types of Roundworm: Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine. This is the most common type of dog worm, which affects the intestines and causes a pot-bellied appearance, mostly in puppies. There are a few ways puppies can become infected. Puppies are often infected before birth through the mother’s uterus or through her milk. Puppies can also contract these worms through the ingestion of an infected animal (such as a rodent) or infected soil. Roundworm eggs can live in soil for many years. Once a puppy has ingested the infected soil, the eggs will hatch in his intestines, allowing the worms to live there and grow to adulthood. These adults will then produce more eggs.

Roundworms may be found in your dog’s stool or vomit. They can grow to about 7 inches in length and have a spagetti-like appearance. If this type of infestation is not detected early and is allowed a chance to develop, a buildup of worms in the intestines can cause an obstruction which may result in death. The symptoms of a severe infestation are: pot-belly appearance, diarrhea, vomiting, dull coat and weight loss.

Puppies should be dewormed every 2 weeks between 2 and 12 weeks of age, then monthly until he is 6 months old. Once your puppy has reached 6 months of age, he is less susceptible to contracting these worms but should continue yearly exams (or more often if considered high-risk).

Because Roundworm can be transmitted to humans, it is important to promote good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly. Transmittion of this dog worm to humans is usually through infected soil, which may be in your backyard or front lawn. Because the eggs are sticky and can easily adher to hands or clothing, make sure children (and adults) wash their hands after playing outside (especially at a park or playground), after playing with the dog and before it’s time to eat.

Treatment generally involves administering oral medication (dewormer) with follow-up fecal exams and a monthly heartworm medication. Try 1-800-PetMeds - America's Pet Health Resource

Prevent your dog from contracting roundworms by cleaning up fecal matter from the backyard as often as possible. Also, administering a heartworm medication such as HeartGard - Prescription Heartworm medication for Dogs & Cats is a good preventive. Do not mix wormers and consult your vet before giving your dog any medication. And last, but not least, always remember annual exams.

HOOKWORMS (Ancylostoma caninium)

Like Roundworm, Hookworm harbors in the intestines and can also be transmitted to humans. Hookworms can affect a dog at any age. It is a small, thin worm that hooks on to the intestinal wall and sucks the blood from its victim, which cause anemia and perhaps death. Due to their sharp teeth, they also cause bleeding in the intestines. Hookworms are not visible by the naked eye, therefore should be diagnosed by a vet. As with roundworm, hookworms also live and grow to adulthood in the intestines. They can also be transmitted to pups while in the mother’s uterus or through her breast milk. A dog infected with hookworm would experience bloody stool, anemia, weight loss, pale gums, diarrhea and low energy level. Skin irritation can be a sign of a severe infestation.

Hookworms can be transmitted to humans by penetration of the skin, making it is possible for people to become infected simply by walking barefoot on infected soil. Hookworms, when transmitted to humans, can cause bleeding in the intestines along with abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Treatment usually consists of oral medications (dewormer), follow-up fecal exams, intravenous therapy and, if necessary, a blood transfusion. Hookworm infestation can kill your pup before the worm is ever detected. This is why it is so important to keep up with veterinary visits and exams.

TAPEWORMS (Dipylidium caninum)

The tapeworm gets its name from its long, flat, tape-like appearance. It is yet another parasite that affects the intestines, and like the roundworm, can be seen by the naked eye. Broke pieces of this dog worm would be found in the dog’s fecal matter, which give it a rice-like appearance. These pieces of worm, although broken, can be found (still moving) around the dog’s anus, in his stool or in his bed. Common symptoms of severe tapeworm infestation are abdominal pain, nervousness, severe itching around the anus, vomiting and weight loss.

Transmission to dogs is often caused by the ingestion of infected fleas. Although, humans are susceptible to being infected, a dog cannot transmit the dog worm to a human directly.

Regular over-the-counter deworming medication is not effective in eliminating this type of dog worm. A prescription dewormer is administered orally or by injection (praziquantel or epsiprantel). Consult your vet. Try 1-800-PetMeds - America's Pet Health Resource

WHIPWORMS (Trichuris vulpis)

Whipworms are long, thin (whip-shaped) dog worms that live in the dog's colon and are not visible by the naked eye. They attach themselves to the intestinal walls and feed off of them which, in turn, causes intestinal bleeding. Common symptoms of whipworm infestation are anemia, weight loss, flatulence, diarrhea with blood or mucus in the stool and lack of energy.

Although whipworms are the most difficult to eliminate among the families of dog worms, there is effective treatment available.

Whipworm is most effectively treated with fenbendazole (panacur), but febantel can also be used. Prescription medications are usually more effective. The treatment lasts for up to 5 days and is repeated after 3 weeks. After this treatment is finished, consult your vet about recommending a heartworm medication (containing milbemycin oxime) as a prophylactic to future infestation. Try 1-800-PetMeds - America's Pet Health Resource

Along with administering heartworm medication regularly, here are other ways to prevent reinfection:

* Remove feces from backyard every few days

* Clean yard with a safe cleaning agent (which kills worms)

* Have feces tested every 6 months (more often if previously infected)

HEARTWORMS (Dirofilaria immitis)

Heartworm, although highly preventable, has the potential to be fatal, if contracted and left untreated.

Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes, mostly during the warm months when mosquitoes are most active. The mosquito becomes infected from biting dogs that carry the disease. These dog worms destroy the muscle and tissue of the heart, which can cause congestive heart failure and result in death. At this advanced stage, your dog would experience the typical signs of worms, such as pot-belly, coughing, lack of energy and dull coat.

Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of this disease until it has progressed to an advanced stage. For this reason, it is important to start your dog on a heartworm preventative such as HeartGard - Prescription Heartworm medication for Dogs & Cats at 6 months of age (after the first stage deworming process is complete. Check with your vet). Prevention is the best medicine.

General guidelines for dog worm prevention

* When walking your dog in a park, picking up his feces as a standard practice not only prevents soil contamination, but also prevents the spread of many other dog diseases.

* Regular visits to the vet and stool testing is a great way to prevent dog worms, as well as other illnesses. Twice-yearly worm testing is recommended. Make sure your dog is tested for worms before starting a heartworm preventative.

* High-risk dogs should be screened more often (check with your vet).

* Flea control is important because fleas are responsible for the spread of tapeworms.

* Most puppies find feces quite appetizing. Keep your dog away from feces: his own as well as others. This is the most common form of worm infestation.

* When cleaning your dog’s area, such as his bed or crate, spray it with a strong saltwater solution and let dry. This aids in the prevention of worms.

* Before traveling with your dog to obscure destinations, consult your vet of the potential risks to your dog.

* Avoid exposing your dog to stray animals, birds and dead rodents, which often harbor immature tapeworms that can mature inside your dog.

* Contact your vet if your dog displays any symptoms after receiving worm medication.

Please be advised that the information provided on this site is offered for research purposes only. We are intent in raising awareness on the various medical conditions that exist in dogs.

This information is NOT intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian, dog trainer or pet care professional.

By Nancy Settecasi

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18 May 2009

Labrador Training Tips

Labrador Retriever is one of the favorite dog breed not only in the United States but also around the world. A good-natured dog, the Labrador's personality makes it a sought-after pet and popular addition to any family. And just like other dogs, Labs need to undergo Labrador training when they are still young and gullible.

The first thing to do during a Labrador training is to socialize him with other puppies. Make him get used to different people and different places. Play, exercise, and train your dog at least an hour everyday. Do not leave your pet alone for Lab puppies are balls of energy that can get into trouble .

Potty training at an early age is the best move to be done. Take him outside when he needs his potty time and praise him if he has done his potty session in the right location. Avoid yelling at your Lab if in case he has done it in the wrong way.

The basic commands like sit and play are the very first activities dogs usually learn. Repetition and consistency are the keys to successful training and use your dog's name and repeat commands. A Boxer dog training can become successful if positive reinforcement techniques are added up to it. Words of praise, petting and an occasional food treat make the bond between you and your Boxer fonder.

Teach "Sit" by holding a treat in your fist so that the dog can see it. Move the treat over his head from front to back while saying "Sit." When he sits, reward him with the treat in your hand by putting his bowl on the ground right before you.

Use the "Come" command often. Reward your dog when she comes to you with the word "Come" or a whistle. Again, be repetitive and give rewards for success. Start with frequent rewards and then decrease the frequency until he gets used to it. Saying NO should be taught in a gentle tone.

Early leash training on Labrador Retriever puppies is very necessary in order to break the hard-to-break habit of pulling on the leash. Give your Lab pup the chance to be a natural retriever by teaching him to "Fetch." Toss a tennis ball or small flying disk past your dog. Once the object is in his mouth, say "Come." Reward your pup when he brings it to you.

Labrador Retrievers need the Labrador training that they deserve in order to be more loved by people around the world. In doing so, the world will become a perfect place not only for Labs and other dog breeds but also for their owners who treat them as part of their families.

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Dog Treats To Encourage and Train Your Pet

Just like some dog owners like to go through tons of dog names to find the one that suits their dog the best, similarly, dog treats should be only selected after careful consideration of their nutritional and quality values.

The one name you choose out of the many dog names, speaks as much about you, the dog owner, as it does about your pooch. Not only do dog names depict your relationship with your, but they also convey how much the dog matters to you. If you care for your dog, then you will always be careful about his/her well-being and good health. Dog treats are an important part of your dog's diet. Though dispensed with only on special occasions, dog treats are a source of nutrition, taste, and pleasure for your dog.

Rewarding your dog with dog treats every time he/she does as told can have long-lasting and beneficial effect on the animal. An important aspect of dog training is to reward the dog with gourmet dog treats every time he obeys your orders. Many dog trainers also dispense with dog treats while teaching dogs how to respond to dog names, dog commands and similar things.

Nowadays, completely natural and gourmet dog treats are gaining popularity so much so that many dog owners even bake healthy and nutritious dog treats for their pooches right at home. More and more dog owners are finding that dog treats made from ingredients similar to those used in human food offer a satisfying choice from the commercial brands of dog treats available in stores. Moreover, if you believe your dog's health is mostly dependent on his diet, you will be quite satisfied with the latest all natural dog treats. These treats are not just delicious, but are nutritious and look great too. The minute your dog smells the treats in your hand he'll pretty much do anything you want him to!!

Dog treats are no longer limited to dog biscuits, just like dog names are no longer mean Maggie or Max. Today, you can take your dog to special bakeries that cater to only domestic pets such as dogs and cats. You with your dog can together browse through the range of dog treats that are on display. Dog treats here include hide, brownies, tarts, and of course, biscuits.

If you are not fortunate enough to have such gourmet bakeries for pets in your neighborhood, then you can hook on to the internet and browse the many online gourmet dog treat bakeries. These bakeries provide natural, free of preservatives, and tasty dog treats packaged in small plastic bags that even make excellent gifts if you have friends who have pet dogs. If your dog is overweight or suffering from diabetes, you can opt for low calories dog treats!

Finally, as with dog names, going overboard with dog treats can be detrimental to the health of your invaluable pet dog! So make sure you never give him more than 10% of his regular diet as dog treats per day.

by James Gosling

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How to Choose the Right Bed for your Dog

One of the most essential commodities for dogs that you can purchase when looking for pet supplies is the dogs bed. The dogs bed will not only provide comfort to your pet when they sleep but also provide them with the much needed rest especially when they are recovering from an illness or an injury.

One of the important things that you need to consider while buying a bed is the way your dog or cat or any other pet sleeps. A dog bed is mostly required for dogs and cats only, although you can buy them for rabbits and some of the other smaller dogs too.

The second most important thing to understand is that a dog bed will be different for a dog and different for a cat. Normally, what you use for your dog will not be used for your cat. You can find dog beds at various stores offering other pet supplies and also online. One of the good things is that you will find a lot of variety when it comes to dog beds including the very popular heated beds. The heated beds have grown in popularity because of the fact that they have a heating element that will keep the bed warm in the winters and will be comfortable and relaxing for your pet. You can choose from a heated orthopedic bed to a heated thermo dog bed. Most of the beds are available in three sizes, which are:

- Small: 19"x24" - The small dog bed can take weights of up to 20lbs
- Medium: 26"x29" - The medium dog bed can take weights of up to 40lbs
- Large: 36x38" - The large dog bed can take weights of up to 60lbs

Another type of popular dog bed found in pet supplies is the round bed. This is a perfect bed for dogs that like to cuddle up when they sleep and for cats that love to sleep with their legs thrown apart. This dog bed is available in three sizes for dogs and they are:

- Medium: 36 inches - The medium dog bed can take weights of up to 50lbs
- Large: 42 inches - The large dog bed can take weights of up to 80lbs
- Extra Large: 52 inches - The extra large dog bed can take weights of up to 140lbs

You can also get these beds in different combinations of colour and design like blue polyester suede that will look neat and even go with the overall d├ęcor of your home. The important aspects that needs to be considered while buying a dog bed include the size of your pet, the amount of space in the room, the number of pet you have, their weights, if you need separate pet beds or a single one, the colours, do you need a simple dog bed or a heated bed etc.
Many pet supplies stores, in the high street or online, now sell pet beds that are raised from the ground. These beds allow the dog or cat the comfort of support without cold from sleeping on the floor. Many owners now agree that their dog's mobility significantly improved after using a raised pet bed.

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How To Train Your Cat To Use Cat Scratching Posts

Cats are cute. Cats are loveable. Unfortunately, many cats love to scratch your furniture and carpets. If you do not want to replace your sofa every few months, you will need to train your cat to use cat scratching posts. Although this is not a difficult task, it can be time-consuming. It needs a lot of love, patience and understanding from you. If you cannot make this kind of commitment to your feline friend, you are better of giving him away.

Having said that, here is a shortcut which work for many cats. Catnip works wonders for training your cat to use the scratching post. For your convenience, modern science has created a catnip spray which you can use to spray the cat scratching post. You should place this post near the sofa or furniture where your cat likes to scratch. You should also get a cat repellant spray - to spray the places where he likes to scratch.

Many cats scratch furniture as a means of marking their territory. The scratching serves as a visible mark and also leaves behind a scent from the glands in his paws. This means your cat, or cats, probably have more than one favorite piece of furniture where they like to scratch. You will need to buy more than one scratching post.

Cats also scratch furniture as part of their exercise, as well as to shed the dead outer layers of their claws. You should not buy a cat scratching post just because it looks cool. You should buy a post which fits your cat best. One way is to find something which feels like your furniture or carpet. Do not limit your thoughts to just a scratching post. Cats which like to scratch carpets often respond well to something flat laid down flat on the ground. If your cat is like this, it may take longer to train him to use a vertical scratching post.

Given this fact, it is better if you only buy cat scratching posts from your local shops - where you can see and feel the material of the post. If it looks or feels different from the furniture which your cat is scratching now, he is unlikely to switch to the new post. This factor makes buying cat furniture online a bit chancy.

Cat scratching posts bought from the store can be expensive for some cat owners. Here are some ideas for cheap, homemade cat furniture:


* Cheap, square pieces of carpet which you can buy from WalMart, etc. Should cost you under $10. You may also be able to get some free from your local carpet shop.

* Cardboard cartons and boxes - you should be able to get these free from your local grocery shop.

* Wooden logs.

* Old furniture, or parts of old furniture. If you have some handy wood-working skills, you can turn a small cabinet into a cat house.

* Rough wooden planks.



Here is another shortcut to prevent your cat from damaging your furniture - regularly take him to the vet to get his nails clipped, either once or twice a month. The vet will clip the hooked part of the claw. This is the part which causes the most damage to your furniture and carpet. You may want the vet to teach you how to do it yourself. Please note that this is different from declawing your cat, which is cruel and inhumane. Declawing actually involves chopping off the tips of your cats toes. How would you feel if someone cut off the tips of your fingers?

Some cats appear intransigent, and refuse to use the cat scratching post. The fact is, you may just need to understand him better. And also use a different way of training him. You have to remember that shortcuts do not always work.

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Cat Scratch Disease: My Cat Just Scratched Me, What Do I Do?

Cat scratch disease is also known as cat scratch fever. This disease strikes people who are infected by the Bartonella henselae bacteria. In almost all cases, cat scratch disease occurs when the person was scratched or bitten by his cat. The cat itself does not catch cat scratch disease. It is just a carrier. Now, before you panic and send your cat to the pound, the National Center for Infectious Diseases (CDC) estimates that 40% of all cats carry this disease at some time in their lives. Considering how many cat owners exist in the world, clearly, this disease is not very infectious or dangerous.

But how do you know whether you were infected by cat scratch disease? The first thing you want to look at is the place your cat bit or scratched you. Is the wound infected? (Note: If you cannot find the wound, then you do not have cat scratch disease.) Then you want to check your lymph nodes. Are the nodes around your head, neck and upper limbs swollen? Do you also have fever, headache, fatigue, and a poor appetite? These are the typical cat scratch fever symptoms.

What can you do? The first step is always preventative. If you own a cat, or play with cats, you will definitely get bitten or scratched. What you should do every time you get scratched is simply to clean the wound with soap and running water. Then clean it with an antiseptic like peroxide and apply an antibiotic cream (neosporin works pretty well). Just applying these basic hygiene practises will prevent most cases of infection from cat bites or scratches, not just cat scratch disease.

What if you have already been infected - your wound is swollen and reddish, your lymph nodes are swollen and you have a fever? Then just go to your doctor. He will probably give you an antibiotic, and maybe drain the wound if necessary. You should also send your cats to the vet. Let him make sure they are not still carrying the bacteria. Otherwise they may infect you again, or infect other people.

In the long run, you need to train your cats not to bite or scratch too hard. Your cats need to learn how to show affection without drawing blood from you. And you need to learn not to provoke or over-excite your cats.

Provided that you are not the one who provoked the cat scratch, you can spray kitty with water every time it bites or scratches you. This means you will need to carry around a spray bottle with you at home. Spray kitty consistently when it bites you, and it will learn to stop biting you. Remember to spray when it bites - not 30 seconds later, or 1 minute later, or 5 minutes later. It will only learn if your response is immediate. Too many people spray only after the cat scratched or bit, then they complain that the technique does not work.

If your cat tends to bite or scratch you during playtime, then you need a different approach. Play with your cat normally. When he bites or scratches you, stop playing and ignore him. Too many people just continue playing - unfortunately, this teaches kitty that biting or scratching is good.

As you can see, cat scratch disease is not a big deal. As long as you practice basic hygiene, and train your cat not to bite or scratch too much, everything should be alright.

by Katherin Towers

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15 May 2009

Teaching Basic Obedience Skills To Your Dog

It is really challenging as well as exciting to teach the basic obedience skills to your dog when teaching is avoid of any type of punishment or humiliation. Your endurance will surely make you a good teacher and your dog a good learner.

Dogs generally get distracted pretty easily because of their short attention spans. Therefore select of a place that is free of other distractions such as other pets, children or loud noises for training is important. Remember not to exceed your training period more than 30 minutes because the dog gets restless and easily distracted. Paying attention to your commands will be the beginning of your first lesson in obedience. Start calling your dog by his name and then follow using a keyword like “watch” or “look” after your dog gets acquainted with his name. Once you find your dog going well with your commands you get the signal to step forward for the next step of your teaching. Doing some attention exercises for a short length of time will help your dog to be able to pay attention to your commands. For this you need to hold a toy or dog treat in near your mouth and then give him the keyword command. Praise him, for each time he takes the time to watch because this will encourage him to increase the time of paying attention to you. Try getting him to watch for at least a minute. Let him know that he is doing a good job by rewarding him. Dogs learn best this way.

To make your dog pleasant to be around you need to teach him the basic obedience commands that begins with the word “sit”. Help him to understand your command by gently pushing his backside down. Next basic obedience command will be “down.” this command will stop them from pouncing or jumping which they usually do to express their excitement which may be not liked by some people around. Help him to understand your command by placing their legs down if required. Next is the command of “stay” which is especially over-ruly dog. Putting something desirable on the ground and commanding to “Stay’ when you see your dog approaching toward it. Once he begins to become obedient in this area, do the same exercise by moving farther away from him and if he tries to breach the rules then tell him “stay” which will convey that even though you are moving away you expect him to continue to obey.

Frustration can lead you to cause pain to your dog if you find your dog not learning properly but remember animals are like children. They also need time, love and care to learn.

By : peter john

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14 May 2009

13 ways to save your furniture from cat scratching

The cats are great pets. They love to play, they love to cuddle when you are watching TV or sleeping, and they purr for no reason other than being near you. But they also love to scratch. Unfortunately, the things they love to scratch are often the legs of your antique table, your upholstered sofa, or your expensive carpet.

Although many humans do not appreciate when their cats scratching, you have to know that kittens and cats do not scratch to make us angry, they just need to scratch. Scratching is a natural hardwired behavior in cats, just like breathing and purring, and every cat owner must know WHY THE CATS SCRATCH.

In the wild, cats scratch around their immediate environment to signal their presence to other cats and to claim the area in question. The marking takes two forms: visual and olfactory. The visual is in the form of clawing marks and is so obvious that even we humans can recognise it. The olfactory mark is subtler, involving the release of pheromones. These are substances secreted from the body to be picked up by the number of the same species, causing them to alter their behavior.

Scratching has additional function too. It removes the nail sheaths, outer layer of dead cells from the claw. You might thing your cat scratches to sharpen her claws, but it more likely it provides her with a form of physical therapy for the muscles and tendons of her paws.

There are two groups of target for every cat. The first one is when your cat target one or two areas in the home, usually near important territorial areas such as: sleeping area, litter tray, hunting or play areas. The second one is your cat undertake more widespread and destructive scratching in highly visible sites such as: doorways, windows, prominent furnishings - like sofas.

WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOUR CAT SCRATCHING YOUR FURNITURE?

1. The easiest but the most painful method for cat is declawing. Faced with cat scratching problems, many people consider declawing surgery. But many veterinarians believe declawing is a painful and unnecessary surgery and refuse to do it for humane reasons. Instead, they advocate training your cat to use a scratching post.

2. Make sure there are multiple scratching opportunities. Cats often like to scratch after eating and sleeping, so be sure there is something to scratch near where they eat and sleep. A scratching post is an excellent investment for your cat. It will allow her to scratch, stretch and exercise all at once. If you want to provide your cat not only with scratching surface, but and places where she can climb, perch and sleep you should consider cat tree.

3. Cover the furniture with something your cat does not like: double sided tape, some plastic or aluminium foil. Some cats dislike the feeling and sound of foil, and most cats hate things that stick to their fur. Double-sided sticky tape used in carpet installation works well, but be sure the tape won’t harm your cat or furniture.

4. Keep your cat mentally stimulated and offers her plenty of opportunity for exercise, and she will has less opportunity to be destructive in your home. If your cat is frustrated and bored, she may scratch your furniture or tear your drapes. Give her enough play time. Cats are motivated by smell, sound, texture and movement. The toys you use should aim to cover all these aspects. Discover your cat’s preferences by presenting a variety different sized toy made from different materials and watch her reaction to gauge her preferences.

5. Cutting the nails regularly may help keep a cat from scratching the furniture, or at least reduce the damage done by its scratching. Get your kitten used to having its nails clipped while it is young, praise her while you clip the nail and reward her with a treat.

6. Booby trap the furniture with a soda can with some pennies in it, so that if cat scratches, it makes a noise.

7. Use a doorknob alarm on your curtains. When pinned to the drapes, the alarm will sound every time your cat tries to use curtains as a ladder.

8. Consider a window perch for your feline friend. It will give your cat hours of entertainment - especially if you place a bird or squirrel feeder in the garden outside the window. Be sure the window is closed so your pet won’t fall out.

9. When you catch your cat scratching furniture, try squirting her with a water pistol or squirt bottle and use a firm ‘no’. Of course, this won’t stop your cat when you are not around.

10. If your cat is gaining access to a high bookcase by leaping from a nearby chair, move the chair. Without her launchpad, your cat will no longer be able to reach her perch.

11. You can also try taping inflated balloons to the problem areas. When your cat pops one with her claws, she will avoid scratching there again. However, try this only when you are at home, so you can pick up the balloon pieces before your cat tries to eat them.

12. There are training devices that keep cats off forbidden areas by making annoying sounds. They are available at pet supply stores, catalogs and websites.

13. If your cat still scratches in appropriate places, use some sprays like bitter apple or actual orange peels, which are good deterrents.

All forms of physical punishment should be avoided since they can cause fear or aggression toward the owner, and at best, the cat will only learn to stop the scratching while the owner is around.

It does not matter which method you will choose to prevent your furniture destroying, every cat owner mush know that it is impractical and unfair to expect cats to stop scratching entirely.

by PETAR PETROV

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Pet Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

'Tis the season for friends and family, eggnog and other treats, and good times! During this busy time it can be a challenge to juggle everything that needs to be done -- including caring for your four-legged friends. Here are a few tips to help keep your furry friends safe for the holidays:

__No Chocolate, Please

Although Fido and Fluffy may be attracted to the smell and taste of chocolate, in sufficient quantities, chocolate can make her very sick. The result? Vomiting, diarrhea, and a lovely holiday spent at the emergency vet clinic.

Be sure to store chocolate well away from pets. Open counters or ledges are not good places -- some dogs may 'counter-surf', and cats easily reach counters (what's worse, they can knock chocolate off the countertop and straight into the path of enthusiastic dogs!).

__Tinsel's Pretty, But...

Although it's a popular decoration for trees, it can pose a danger if your pet swallows it. It's possible for it to cause an intestinal blockage -- and again, no one (least of all your pet!) wants to spend the holidays undergoing surgery!

__What's That? Who's There?

Holidays are often filled with friends and family going in and out of the house. If your pet is excitable or tends to get stressed with noise and crowds, consider placing her safely in a crate or a room that's "out-of- bounds" to guests. Give her blankets, food, water, toys ... and check in with her regularly to make sure she's okay. This will help to ensure your pet stays safely with her family, rather than accidentally slipping out the door.

__Mmm mmm! Extension cords!

With all the pretty lights during the holiday season, you probably have a variety of extension cords running every which way. Some pets have a real 'taste' for extension cords -- keep an eye on them to prevent chewing, or they could be in for a real 'shock'! Where possible, tie cords out of the way. Some hardware stores also sell a plastic tubing into which you insert cords to keep your gnawing little pet from hurting herself.

Happy Holidays to you and your family -- both two-legged and four-legged!

by PETFRIENDLY .CA

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Walking Your Dog with a Harness

There are several benefits that you can get out of a dog collar. First of all, you can have something to hold your dog tag, which is essential just in case your small one starts to wander somewhere without your notice.

However, dog collars can be potentially dangerous to the health of your pet. Thus, instead of using it, go for a dog harness.

1. You can basically cut off the supply of oxygen of dogs. Dogs, just like humans, have trachea. It’s almost like a hose of a vacuum cleaner, where air can pass through. When you’re going to pull the collar, you are actually restricting the proper flow of air into the lungs of your dog. Subsequently, he may pass out because of the collapse of his trachea, or worse, die because of lack of oxygen.

2. You can injure their neck. Small dogs have extremely delicate necks. When your dog is wearing a collar and starts to pull away, the entire weight of the dog will be on his neck. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if he gets more than just bruises on this body part, potentially suffering from serious back injury.

The Option You Have

That’s why you need a dog harness. For one, the soft harness can distribute the overall weight of your dog across his shoulders; thus, each time he pulls away, his neck doesn’t suffer from any strain, which prevents any injury from occurring. It also comes with a chest belt, which you can easily adjust depending on the size of the dog. Moreover, since the harness doesn’t have to be tied around his neck, there’s no way that you can obstruct the passage of air.

If you’re worrying of losing control over your dog, you can just buy a dog harness that comes together with a leash or a lead. There are plenty of beautiful designs to choose from.

Get rid of your dog collars and go for a qualitydog harness instead. Puppia is currently the leader in the market with their famous soft harness, made of the finest materials around, such as fine cotton mesh and suede. They don’t only protect, your dog’s neck but they provide your dog with complete comfort throughout your walk. What’s more, there are a variety of patterns to pick - from hip to single colored ones.

by BEI MANIAGO

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