Holiday foods can be harmful
Many holiday foods can be harmful to canines, causing symptoms as mild as an upset stomach or as severe as vomiting and diarrhea.Avoid giving your dog fatty or spicy foods, bread dough, fresh herbs, alcohol beverages, caffeine and sweets of all kinds-especially those with chocolate or xylitol, a natural sweetener.
Particularly dangerous are cooked poultry bones. Cooked bones easily splinter, and the bone shards can cause choking, get stuck in your dog’s gums or possibly damage his intestines. Instead, treat your dog to “dog bones” specifically designed for him to chew.Ask your veterinarian for suggestions.
• Discourage your dog from foraging in the garbage-secure lids on all trashcans.
• It’s natural that you’d want to share holiday treats with your dog. While a little taste of turkey or sweet potatoes can make your dog happy, don’t overdo it-too much of a good thing can make him sick.
Decorations are not playthings
• Keep your pet away from holiday plants, many of which are poisonous, such as holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and amaryllis (a type of lily).Aiso be sure all potpourri is out of your pet’s reach.
• Snow globes can contain antifreeze, which is toxic to dogs. Whether in the garage or in a snow globe, keep antifreeze products away from your happy, tail-wagging dog. If there is an antifreeze spill, keep your dog out of the room while you clean up the liquid. Dilute the spot with water and floor cleaner to ensure your dog does not lick the area later.
• Keep electrical wires and batteries out of your pet’s reach. Chewing or biting anything electrical can cause him shock or burns.
• Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. A lit candle knocked over by a swinging tail can burn your pet or cause a fire.
Christmas trees can be hazardous
• Anchor the tree to the ceiling or wall to prevent it from tipping over.
• Hang non-breakable ornaments near the bottom of the tree.
• Avoid putting tinsel on your tree. If ingested, tinsel can twist in your dog’s intestines and be deadly.
• Don’t let your dog drink the Christmas tree water. The water may contain preservative chemicals, which can trigger severe indigestion in dogs. Stagnant plain water can breed bacteria and cause nausea or diarrhea to the pet that imbibes.
• Regularly sweep up fallen pine needles, as they can puncture holes in a dog’s intestines if ingested.
Help your dog feel safe and relaxed
• Most dogs get very excited when guests arrive. To help your dog be calmer, exercise him prior to the festivities. After 30 minutes of walking or playtime, your dog will more likely be relaxed or want to nap.
• As a general rule, don’t allow the family dog to greet unfamiliar guests since unusual activities and commotion can cause him extra stress.
• Give your dog a break from the hubbub by putting him in his crate or in a quiet room with his doggie bed. Allow him to rejoin the festivities after guests have arrived.
• Pets stressed by unfamiliar events typically pant more, so keep your dog’s water bowl filled with fresh water.
Pets like presents too!
• Help your dog stay busy and out of the holiday trimmings by giving him fun, safe gifts.
• The Buster® Cube and KONG® are virtually indestructible puzzle toys that reward your dog with treats and keep him well entertained.
A final note:
Please don’t give a pet as a surprise gift! A cute puppy might seem like the perfect gift choice, but many of these holiday presents end up at animal shelters. Owning a dog takes a genuine commitment of time and responsibility, and adoptive owners must be ready to participate in training and other activities. If someone you know seriously wants a dog, consider giving a leash and collar, or a dog training certificate from Bark Busters along with a note saying a dog of the recipient’s choice comes with it. This helps ensure the lucky person gets just the right pet to bring into the family.
To learn more about Bark Busters or to review their business, please visit http://www.tucsonpetconnect.com/bark-busters-home-dog-training.html
Creating a beautiful space that provides a place for you, your family and your pets to play, relax and enjoy nature is probably part of your back yard vision. If you are a dog owner, making your back yard dog-friendly not only benefits your canine friend, it can save you money and trouble. Because bored dogs, like bored children, can be destructive and mischievous, keeping your dog in mind when you plan your back yard can save you hundreds of dollars in landscaping repairs and vet bills.
Dogs kept in a bland back yard for extended periods are far more likely to chew, dig, bark excessively, tunnel under the fence or jump it. Adapting your yard to make it more comfortable and appealing to your dog will go a long way toward making for a more contented and relaxed canine companion and keeping a well-maintained yard. Although there is no substitute for supervision and attention, providing high-quality puzzle toys that reward your dog with treats, such as the Buster Cube® and KONG® will help keep him entertained. Every few days, rotate what toys are available to him, so that he has something new and fun to hold his interest. Or hide treats in the yard under small rocks or behind a tree – dogs love to forage for food.
Dogs that are bored or hungry will be tempted to eat anything they find in your yard, including plants or flowers. This not only undoes your gardening efforts, but it may cost you dearly in vet bills. To help prevent this, don’t garden with your dog present; if “playing” with plants and digging are acceptable activities for you, he will think they are for him. Many dogs think they are “helping” by gnawing on plants they have seen you pruning. If the chosen plant is toxic, a costly visit to the vet may be in store. For a printable list of dog-toxic plants, log onto http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/plant-list-dogs.html?print=t.
Munching on mulch can also be poisonous to your dog, especially cocoa bean mulch. Large-size wood mulch can harm your dog if he chews on it, creating wood splinters that could lodge in his mouth or stomach. And obviously, don’t leave toxic products, such as fertilizers, weed killers, pesticides or even outdoor grilling supplies like charcoal and lighter fluid, where your dog can get into them.
Dogs chew for various reasons, such as stress, boredom, teething or diet deficiency. The easiest way to stop your dog from chewing is to have the item itself give the correction by applying a foul-tasting product such as Bitter Apple spray, citronella or hot chili sauce to it. However, since dogs’ tastes vary, you’ll need to experiment to see what works best.
If instead of a water bowl, your dog opts to lap from your water feature, such as a small pond, make sure the feature circulates water to avoid the need for chemical additives to kill mosquito larvae. If you have a swimming pool with no fence or barrier, teach your dog to swim and show him where to exit the pool.
Digging is a normal behavior for dogs, and they prefer digging in loose, worked soil rather than hard packed cliché or large size gravel (although turning over river rocks unearths bug or lizard treasures). Worked soil with a drip system is enormous naughty fun for a water-loving digger. Dogs dig for a variety of reasons – in search of food, to investigate sounds and smells, to improve their shelter or to escape. Digging can be triggered by boredom, separation anxiety, chasing lizards or bugs, creating a cool place to lie or a nutritional deficiency. The reason for the digging must be determined before a possible training solution can be tried. If you cannot uncover the motivation and correct the problem yourself, a qualified dog behavioral therapist can help you with this sometimes tricky behavioral issue.
Walls, Fences and Gates
If your yard has a wall or fence, make sure it is sunk down into the ground by six inches and is high enough to keep your dog from jumping it. Be sure any gates latch correctly. A typical “view fence” (2-3 feet of masonry on the bottom and iron bars above) will preserve your view while confining your dog and helping to keep reptiles at bay. If there are holes or other gaps, seal or block them tightly. The last thing you need is to lose a pet or gain a rattlesnake. If there are gaps under gates, improvising an inflexible sweep or gate-bottom guard will keep your pet in and keep unwanted critters out. To control scorpions, try spraying problem areas with a solution of lavender oil and water. Non-toxic and fragrant, lavender is repellent to scorpions and some say to fleas as well.
Maintaining the Yard
Maintain the yard’s cleanliness by regularly picking up after your dog. Most dogs prefer to use one area for toileting, and since most Tucson yards have no grass, your pet will probably choose a shady area to keep from burning his paws on gravel and other hardscaping. To prevent soiling off-limit areas, “scatter feed” your dog in that part of the yard, tossing a couple of carrots and broccoli florets daily (or a little bit of kibble if you don’t mind ants). Dogs will avoid soiling in areas where they eat and sleep.
If you do have grass, the nitrogen in dog urine can leave discolored spots, but watering the area immediately can help to minimize damage. Keep your dog off the lawn after yard treatments with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides until the chemicals have dried completely. And try to avoid using metal lawn edging, as it can cause serious injury if your dog steps on it.
To Save Your Yard, Train Your Dog
Training your dog correctly and regularly will keep him mentally stimulated and help reduce his stress levels, which can cause destructive behavior. Remember, you can correct your dog for digging, barking, scratching at the door, etc., only if you catch him in the act; correcting after the event is pointless. While letting your dog have a free romp in your yard keeps him exercised, active and happy, the yard should be used only as a temporary retreat. Nothing can replace the time you spend with your furry pal to enhance your relationship and seal your special bond. We all know that barking is also a spring issue. The windows are all open, people are walking around and our dogs are in the yard. Barking is, in many cases, a sign of a bored dog; other times it’s a territorial issues. No matter what the issue, your leadership must be in place to turn this behavior around. In some cases its an easy fix, while in other cases it can take longer. It is not normal for dogs to bark continuously. When dogs are in the wild, they don’t bark at all. Finding the best way to correct and redirect your dog is the key. It is not the kind of issue that’s solved the same for every dog. Fearful dogs must be trained differently than dominate dogs. Knowing your dog’s temperament is a good start. Other times it’s just good old management of yard time, It is ok to close the doggie door.
Gerard Raneri is a dog behavior therapist and master trainer with Bark Busters, the world’s largest and most trusted home dog training company. Call him at (520) 440-8848, or visit him online at http://www.dogtrainingtucsonaz.com/ when you visit, be sure you sign up for the monthly newsletter and Tips & Tails
Bathing a dog needs to be given more emphasis. This is because of the fact that if you are careless in bathing, the animal may end up having some infections. For example, if you don’t close the ears with large cotton ball, the water may enter into ear canals and may cause some ear infections with signs like constant discharge from the ears and shaking of head.
Frequency of bathing actually depends on the breed of the dog. If the dog is of a hairy type like the cocker spaniel, then the bathing is to be carried out once in six to eight weeks. If these breeds are bathed too frequently, then the skin and coat loose the protective characters. However, when the dog has defecated on the skin due to the frequent digestive upsets leading to diarrhea, to avoid the bad smell, the dog may be subjected to frequent bathing some times by the owners. Take more care in avoiding some irritant soaps or human soaps. The soap materials used for human beings are not suitable for dogs. Similarly, many human shampoo products are having some ingredients that are not suitable in the proportions that are to be used in case of dogs. Hence, always try to use the shampoo products that are mentioned mainly for use in dogs. Take more care in using any new product.
Always have good time and patience for products required for bathing in one place with availability of water source. Dogs love the sprinkling of water, river, and oceans. Even when you are using bathtub, have everything in one place and then start bathing of the dog. Try to have a leash, conditioner, towel, and shampoo in the bath place.
Conditioner is of helpful to make the combing activity easier later. Bathing should be a convenient activity to both the dog and the owner. This should not be a burden.
Allergies no longer have to prevent pet ownership. By taking a few simple precautionary steps, it is possible to comfortably live with both pets and allergies. Here are a few helpful tips:
* Shut the door.
Keep cats or dogs from your bedroom – and not just when you are sleeping. If you keep the door closed, it will prevent cat or dog hair from drifting in during the day. This also applies to a guest room if you are hosting a guest with allergies.
* Keep pets off the furniture.
You can do this by placing a plastic cover on the furniture or by placing pieces of aluminum foil on areas where pets settle. They find the noise disturbing. Or you can try orange peel; cats dislike the smell.
* Ditch the carpets.
Pet hair tends to stick to carpets, especially soft, shaggy carpet. Try area rugs on tile or wood floors. They are convenient because they are portable and usually machine washable.
* Bathe pets.
Use an allergen-reducing shampoo and clean dogs at least twice a week.
* Clean the air.
Remove irritants with an air cleaner that has a HEPA filter.
* Vacuum and dust frequently.
Use a vacuum designed especially for pet owners. These include features such as an odor-absorbing filter and powerful suction for pet hair, while still retaining the dust and dirt that can trigger allergies and asthma.
You may be giving your pets some toys to play with just because you enjoy watching them playing with these toys. However, giving your pet cats and dogs toys is, in fact, a crucial thing. Activities with a fun toy can be a good exercise for the animal, both physically and mentally. This will ensure that your pet cat or dog remains in good health all the time. You will learn about pet toys in this write-up and understand how such toys can be a crucial element in the health of your pet animals.
Sometimes you see your cat only when you are feeding him; he hides or sleeps somewhere all the other time. If you give your cat a fun toy, it will come out of its hiding place and want to play with the toy. You can use a simple toy such as a string with feathers on one end to get your kitty’s attention. Such plays will encourage the cat to interact more with the owner and it will strengthen the bond between the pet and the master.
If cats are left alone at home, they will feel bored. This becomes evident when you return to a house where your kitty has been alone all through the day; the carpet will be pulled up or eaten. If you give your cat a fun toy, it will distract the animal from doing such destructive things that can be harmful for its own stomach and your flooring. And, if you give the cat a kitty tower, it will provide the animal a scratching place rather than scratching your furniture and running them. Noisy toys that roll on its own like balls can amuse your pet kitty even if you are not around.
A lot of people complain that puppies chew almost all the things at home: internet cable, telephone lines, siding, molding, sofas, or table legs. It is true that puppies need a lot of time and attention to train them to become well behaved dogs. However, you can help them to remain happy and active by giving them toys that will keep them entertained rather than destroying your furniture.
Though the sound may irritate you, it is a good idea to give squeaky toys to dogs. Dogs will be happy to play with such toys and forget all about your precious furniture. The dog will be mentally stimulated when it hears the squeak of the toy; it also gives him the feeling that it is in control as it is responsible for making that squeaking sound. Dogs get bored easily when left alone at home; give them fun and safe toys to chew on instead of letting them ruin your things.
Retrievers can be taught to fetch. Frisbees and tennis balls can be used for this purpose. You can also use retrieval dummies used by professional dog trainers. They are more durable and will stand up to rough handling.
It is not possible for all of us to be with our beloved pets all the time. However, we can get rid of their boredom by providing them fun toys to play with while we are away.
Do you have plans to get a pet snake? While some people find snakes scary, some others find them very attractive and lovable. Most of such snake lovers keep snakes as pets. Though many people would love to keep snakes as pets, they have absolutely no idea about which types of snakes can be good for them. If you are a first time buyer of pet snakes, you must know a lot of things to understand which species will be the most suitable pet snake for you.
You need to consider a lot of things before buying your first pet snake. Find out how much space is there to keep them. Do you intend to handle them? Are you annoyed or upset by the eating habits of the snake? Do you want only one snake or do you like to have more population of snakes?
After you have decided all these, you should consider the different varieties of snakes that you can keep as pets. The following are five common types of pet snakes that you can buy. Though there are more types of snakes that can be kept as wonderful pets, it would be a good idea to start with these types as they will help you to get some idea about which will be suitable for a first timer like you.
Beginners can buy corn snakes as they make great pet snakes. They are smaller in size with about 3 to 5 feet long, and are also physically strong. They are not picky about what they eat and are easy to feed. You can give them frozen mice. You do not have to buy or build large enclosures to keep them. Corn snakes are really tough reptiles and can endure rough handling. For this very reason, they are excellent for first time pet snake owners who have not much experience in keeping snakes.
They are very friendly and calm snakes. Their small size makes them ideal for small areas. You can take care of them very easily and they are not bothered by handling. They eat mice or rats. You can give them frozen food if you do not like the sight of the ball pythons killing and eating live animals.
These are small sized snakes. Since these snakes like to escape from their enclosures, make sure that you cover their containers with secure wire tops. They are shy snakes and love to hide; so the enclosures must have places for them to retreat. Frozen mice are enough for milk snakes. They are easily scared and need time to get used to being handled.
They come in a variety of colors and patterns. These are calm snakes and are very easy to look after. You need only a small cage for them. King snakes are tough but they are also gentle to humans. Frozen mice or rats will be enough for them.
Even children can handle these snakes as they are hardy and do not mind rough handling. You can give them frozen mice as there is a chance of the live food biting the snake. In winter they may hibernate and stop eating.
Do a thorough research before you buy any of these pet snakes. Since they have a long lifespan, make extra care in selecting the species you want.
As you considering traveling with your pet dog and the joys of having your best friend with you, please consider some of these tips and notes about airlines that are dog (and pet) friendly!
Consider these airlines (you can click each link to view specific information about their pet policies:
As always, check with any airline you are considering flying with well in advance to make sure you fully understand their pet policies and possible restrictions.
1. Book your travel as far in advance as is possible as some airlines restrict the number of pets to be transported both in cargo and in the cabin. Don’t forget to confirm your flight reservations prior to your flight departure. If you are traveling outside of the US, be sure to ask your veterinarian for a health certificate for your dog and if your destination requires special vaccines.
2. If you dog will be traveling with you on-board that the carrying case complies with the airlines specifications.
3. Always consider the other passengers that you will be flying with if you are considering taking your pet on-board with you. Fellow passengers may not want to hear your dog or might be allergic to your dog. Always be considerate.
4. Choose a dog-friendly airport:
If you have a layover aim to stop at one of these dog friendly airports. Both you and your pooch can stretch your legs and paws before the flight. Make sure your dog has time to stop by the designated “relief station” before heading to the departure gate. As in every case, please pick up after your dog and provide fresh water.
Austin – located at the lower level, east of the terminal, this relief pit stop has a stretch of grass that you can walk your dog.
Houston – located outside Terminal B, there is a small relief station for your dog to stretch her paws
Charlotte – though there isn’t an official dog relief station, there is a fountain with trees and plants outside of baggage claims that may do the trick in reducing any travel anxiety your dog may have.
Cleveland – just outside the main terminal is a grassy area for your leashed dog to do zooms.
Phoenix – there are two fenced in spots for Spot to do his business at this airport! Head over to Terminal 3 for the Paw Pad and Terminal 4 for the Bone Yard.
Note: please always make sure you check with the above airports about the availability of these facilities.
When packing to travel with your dog, there are a few things to consider bringing:
- make certain your dog’s collar has updated contact info and rabies tag fastened to it
- pack your dog’s food (in clearly marked bags or containers) and bottled water to avoid an upset tummy while away from home
- keep a recent photo in your wallet or purse and store one on your cell phone or laptop (if you are bringing one)
- have your vet’s contact number
Parrots provide great entertainment as they can imitate the sounds made by humans, other animals and also any other sound they hear. They have great intelligence and love the company of humans; they sometimes love interacting with other animals as well. The environment in which they live can affect parrots. They are also very selective in their eating patterns. If you have plans to buy a parrot as your pet, you should have a basic understanding of how to take care of and feed them. No matter which species you select, you must make sure that you provide them a healthy diet, grooming, and proper care so that they remain happy with you.
Though almost all types of parrots are kept as pets, the most popular variety is the African Grey parrot. These parrots have a wide vocabulary and a great talent to imitate. Try to find out as much information as possible before you buy a parrot since you will be spending a long span of years with your pet. Parrots have a long lifespan and African Grey parrots usually live up to 80 years of age. However, long-term commitment is not enough; you must be able to give them plenty of love and attention, and you must have ample patience to take care of your talking buddy.
Diet for your pet parrot
You need to give your parrot a healthy and balanced diet. Parrots thrive on fresh nuts, vegetables, and fruits in their natural habitat. Hence, you must take care to include these in your parrot’s diet. There should also be sufficient protein pellets and seed mixes. This will help in establishing a healthy eating pattern. Also keep in mind that parrots love variety in their food. If you give them only one type of food, they will easily get bored. Other types of foods that parrots like include cooked beans, pasta, bread, peppers, and popcorn. Any food that is good for humans are also good for parrots. You must ensure that the food you give them will not hurt them.
Your pet parrots need proper grooming. You must take extra care of their beaks and claws so that you and your pet do not get hurt by them. If you do not take proper care of the claws and beaks, they will become excessively sharp. Trimming the claws and beaks regularly will avoid this problem.
You can give your pet parrot a daily bath. Take a spray bottle and mist them with it. Parrots also love spraying with a garden hose. Taking them into the shower with you where they can comfortable perch is also a good idea. The only thing to remember is that the water should not be too hot or too cold; the parrots must be able to dry off within a short time.
The perfect cage for your pet
Choose the right type of cage for your parrot. Select the ones with powder coat paint surfaces or stainless steel and ensure that they are made by professionals. Since parrots chew, avoid painted surfaces. The bars should be strong and closely placed so that the parrot does not stick its head out. Look for square cages with a lot of space for your pet to flap its wings. There must be enough rooms for toys and the parrots must be able to climb around. Secure the door properly since parrots are intelligent enough to find ways to open it. Place the cage in a safe and secure area where the parrot feels comfortable.
Give them enough love and attention, and show patience to understand its needs. They can become your lifelong buddies.
Pets are like children–they’re curious about everything! And just as a new parent would child-proof their home for a toddler’s safety, pet parents should be concerned with the safety of their four-footed children.
Consider this–most parents spend nine months preparing for the arrival of a new baby, taking classes on child safety and child proofing the home. But how many “pet parents” prepare the same way for the arrival of a new cat or dog?
An Ounce of Prevention
Whether you are thinking about getting a pet, or already have one, take the time to implement some safety precautions both in- and outdoors. A bit of forethought may save your pet from trouble, and can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in emergency veterinary costs.
With kids as well as pets, most injuries occur where you and your family feel safest–at home. While you can’t prevent any and every danger, you can minimize the possibility of your pet getting hurt or sick by always being aware of his in- and outdoor surroundings and regularly examining his body for injuries.
To truly pet proof your home, you should start by literally getting down on “all fours” and pawing your way through the house and yard, looking for possible pet hazards. If something looks interesting, a child will investigate–if it looks or smells vaguely interesting, a pet will investigate! By exploring your home from your pet’s perspective, you’ll be much more likely to spot dangerous conditions such as sharp branches or broken wire on fences.
Steps to Protect Your Pets
While kids remain inquisitive for many years, they eventually learn to avoid potential hazards like a hot stove or broken glass. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for our pets–they will remain childlike for all of their life! So be prepared to look for possible pet hazards on a regular basis.
Here are 10 simple pet proofing tips to get you started:
For more tips on safeguarding your pet at home, contact your veterinarian or visit www.aspca.org.
A lot of people are keeping iguanas as pets these days. You can get a lot of information from pet stores and the internet on how to keep iguanas as pets. You can find out about cages, iguana behavior, food pattern, and lifestyle from these sources. If you have plans to buy and keep an iguana as your pet or you have already bought one, the following information will be very useful to you.
These reptiles belong to the lizard family and are very popular as house pets. What makes them so popular are the facts that they are quite inexpensive to buy and are easy to take care of. But, the downside is that iguanas need a lot of maintenance and the owners must spend a lot of time in its upbringing and care.
If you have decided to buy an iguana, you must keep in mind aspects like feeding methods, diet, caging information, medicines, typical health problems, etc. Your pet iguanas will live longer if you are able to provide them a proper cage and good food. Since older iguanas are more aggressive than the younger ones, it would be easier to tame the latter. Another important fact about iguanas is that they are always on the lookout for chances to escape. If you can tame an iguana at a young age, it will benefit both the pet and its owner.
It is important that you give your pet lots of love and care. Since you cannot expect how they will react, be careful while you are handling them when children, older people or pregnant women are around. Maintaining the hygiene of the cage is also very essential and make sure that the cage is sanitized regularly.
The most common varieties of iguanas kept as pets are the rainforest iguanas or the green iguanas. They prefer shrubby areas and are herbivores. If you are planning to keep an iguana away from its natural habitat, make sure that the new home is almost the same as the environment it is used to. Since iguanas love to lie and rest on the top of trees to get sunlight, you must make all efforts to give them such an environment. You can give them branches for climbing and basking and this will help them in adapting easily to the new setting. If there is no way to get direct sunlight, try using other heat sources. Remember to keep these devices away from the pets to avoid possible hazards.
Another important factor to be kept in mind is the digestion process of the iguanas. Iguanas are Hind-Gut fermenters; water is re-absorbed through the lower intestinal tracts and fatty acids and vitamins are also produced here. This tract is vital in an iguana’s health and life. Lack of proper nutrients or hygiene can cause illness or death.
Iguanas are very sensitive to certain foods and tastes. Closely monitor their eating habits to find out what they like and what they avoid. This will help in increasing their lifespan.