Determining the Calorie Intake Of Your Pet Based On Its Activity Level

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You have to put in a lot of work to properly care of your pet. The amount of time that they exercise and the amount of food that they eat have a large impact on how they develop as they grow. We can all agree that we love our pets dearly and would only want the best for them. So feeding them right and exercising them properly is a big part of the care that you have to give them.

So how do you figure out how many calories your pet’s ingesting?

It depends on a number of factors. The calories that your pet gets from its food is needed to perform certain actions like digestion, circulatory and nervous system control, respiration, among others. In addition to the functions that their bodies have to perform, their calorie intake can also be determined by their age, activity level, sex, and overall body condition.

Dogs that require more calories than others:

Young dogs
Dogs who have not yet been neutered or spayed
Working dogs
Active dogs
Underweight dogs
Sick dogs

Dogs that require less calories than others:

Older dogs
Dogs who have been neutered or spayed
Immobile dogs
Inactive dogs
Overweight dogs

Feeding your dog too little can have a dangerous impact on his overall health. Feeding him too much however, can end up resulting in obesity. This is how you can determine how much calories your dog should be eating per day:

  1. Use a calorie calculator. Measure his RER or Resting Energy Requirements.
  2. Pick a factor wholly based on his energy needs throughout a day. Multiply this factor by the RER. This will give you an estimate number of calories that your dog should be eating during the day.
  3. You can find out how many calories are in your dog’s food by simply looking at the back of the package. From there it will be easy to dish out the necessary amount to keep him healthy.
  4. If you feed your dog two meals a day, then subtract the calories in the treats that you give him and divide the remainder by two. This will determine how many calories you should give your dog per meal.

Everything comes down to his Resting Energy Requirements. The RER and knowing approximately how many calories your dog burns in a day is what ultimately determines his calorie intake. If your dog requires around 400 calories per day and her burns 200, they an additional 200 calories added to his diet will be sufficient to keep his health and energy levels up. Just like in humans, if we eat within our calorie requirement, we stay the same weight. If we eat less and burn more, we lose weight.

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Why You Should Write Longform Guides on Your Blog

Part of the struggle of being a blogger is getting traffic to your site. Ideally, you want to drive traffic in the long term. Sharing a post on all your social media accounts might get you some traffic today and tomorrow, but it’s not going to send people to your blog a year from now.

One of the best strategies for generating traffic is longform content creation. Generally, the term longform refers to content that’s over 1,500 words, so we’re talking about really long, in-depth articles and guides.

Why You Should Write Longform Guides on Your Blog

For reference, this guide is the third result for the search term “how to take care of a frog.” It’s a bit over 1,500 words, which makes it longform content.

Why is longform content so good? Simply put, search engines prefer it. This graph displays the average length of the top 10 results on Google.

Average content length of top 10 results

Notice how all of the results are over 2,000 words. This means that on any given search, the results on the first page will likely be over 2,000 words.

Search engines prefer longer content because it provides more value and information to readers. Longer content can also answer several questions that readers may have, making it even more valuable. This is why search engines will almost always rank longer content higher than shorter content.

Longform content also typically keeps its search engine ranking. In other words, it doesn’t move too much in search engines. If your blog is on page one of Google as result five, it likely won’t move too far either way. This makes your blog visible over a long period of time, which will drive even more traffic.

As a pet blogger, you can benefit greatly from longform guides. By all means, you can make all of your blog posts over 1,500 words, but creating a few really long guides will give you a unique advantage because you’ll have longform evergreen content. It’s also an easier way to start if you’re intimidated by longform content. Read more: How to Make Your Blog More Evergreen.

These guides should answer your readers’ burning questions. Of course, they have to be extremely relevant. If your blog is all about dogs, your guides should cover some aspect of dog care or lifestyle.

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing longform guides.

First, length isn’t enough.

Your content also needs to be deep and comprehensive. Go into extreme detail about everything, and explore the nuances of your topic. If you write 3,000 words of filler, it’s not going to benefit you or your readers.

Second, make it readable.

No one wants to read huge blocks of text, so keep your paragraphs fairly short, about three to five lines or so. You should also use headings, subheadings, and images to break up the content. Read more: Formatting Your Blog Content for SEO.

Third, make sure your content has good on-page SEO.

You want it to be as search engine friendly as possible. Read more: SEO Should Not Make Your Fur Fall Out.

This is a great opportunity to drive tons of traffic to your blog, so if you’ve been struggling to get new readers, try this out. And, longform content is good for more than getting more traffic. It allows you to provide a ton of value to your readers and position yourself as an authority.

Your turn!

Have you published any longform content on your blog? If so, how was it received? And feel free to drop a link in the comments so we can all get inspired by your work! Conversely, if you haven’t, what’s holding you back? What questions do you still have? 

Ian Chandler is a freelance writer who’s been published on sites like The Penny Hoarder and SitePoint. You can view his portfolio here.

Image: ArthurStock/Shutterstock.com

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Winter Pet-Walking Tips You Should Know

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Winter is a very cold time of the year – some would even go as far as to say brutally cold. It could have an effect on all of us, dogs included. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your dog’s exercise and physical well-being. Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind while walking your dog this winter.

  1. Keep his toe hair clipped
    Ice tends to accumulate around the hair on his toes, so make it a point to keep it clipped while you’re out walking.
  2. Try some booties.
    Boots can be hugely beneficial to dogs during the harsh winter months. The snow and the ice tends to dry out your dog’s paws faster and chill him. Dog booties will also keep your dog’s delicate paws from drying out from all the chemicals and salt that people put on the street in order to clear out the snow. Something else you can try, and is just as effective as wearing booties, is paw wax. Some dogs are overly uncomfortable wearing booties and you can try was for those cases.
  3. Wipe down his paws after a walk.
    You never know what he picks up on the street or stuck to the snow. That’s why it’s so important to wipe his paws, every time you get back form a walk. Make sure you wipe them before he licks them.
  4. Moisturize
    After you’ve wiped down his paws, moisturize! This is a very important step in caring for his paws, especially during winter. It prevents the paws from drying. If you want to opt for a more natural moisturizer, try coconut oil. When your pet licks his paws, and he will, coconut oil would be the safest choice because it’s enriched with healthy fats and vitamins.
  5. Keep your walks short.
    Your dog’s already burning enough energy already through keeping warm. If he’s tired, go back home. He may be freezing! Better to warm him up quick than unnecessarily lengthening the walk.
  6. Stick to the part where there’s sidewalk.
    Try keeping him out of the places where there’s deep snow. Walking in the deep snow could be fun for a short period of time, but in the long run, it’s likely to get your dog colder, faster. Leave the heavy snow walking for shorter walks like when you’re just out playing in the backyard, and home is close by.
  7. Plan your walks
    Don’t let a blizzard catch you with your pants down. Better to check the weather and know the trail before taking your dog out for a walk.
  8. Walk during the day.
    Although the chances of the sun being out are slim, it’s comparatively warmer during the day than in the evening.

The post Winter Pet-Walking Tips You Should Know appeared first on PetPlus Blog.

5 Productivity Hacks for Nomadic Pet Bloggers

One of the perks of being a nomadic pet blogger is that you can dictate where, how and when you write. However, therein lies the problem—coffee breaks can last for hours, tasks get put off until “tomorrow,” and nothing gets done.

So, before you bundle your cat/dog/fish into the car, hook up the trailer and take off, read over these five tried and tested productivity hacks for nomadic pet bloggers.

5 Productivity Hacks For Nomadic Pet Bloggers

Work with Your Concentration Span

There comes a point when your brain just won’t ‘play ball’ anymore. Pushing past this point will not only result in poor-quality work, but you will probably take twice as long to produce it.

Next time you sit down to write, instead of planning to be at the computer for four hours straight, try breaking your work up into smaller, bite-sized chunks. One way to do this, known as the Pomorodo technique, has been covered in one of our previous BlogPaws blogs. In a nutshell, it involves taking five minute breaks every 25 minutes.

Plan Out Your Tasks For the Week

At the end of your working week, take a few minutes to plan out the next. Take into consideration deadlines, meetings, and other tasks you need to accomplish in order to get your posts ready to publish.

Using some kind of organizational tool will also help. You could take a traditional approach such as a paper diary, or you could use an app, like Trello, to keep track of your work.

Find a Creative Space

If you’re on the road, your space may be limited, or constantly changing. So I’m not talking about commissioning a designer studio. But it definitely helps if you have a designated spot that is not only comfortable, but also ensures you have “gone to work” mentally. A local park, cafe or shared workspace may be the ideal spot for you.

Have a WiFi Contingency Plan

Dodgy internet will affect the speed at which you can work, and will jeopardize your ability to submit or publish on time. If WiFi is sketchy where you happen to be, save yourself a huge headache, and devise a plan B.

If you are based in a city, you may be able to find a shared workspace. Alternatively, find a nearby cafe that offers free WiFi (and great coffee), or have an emergency stash of mobile data on your phone, just in case there is a drop out right when you need to submit.

Schedule In Down Time

Don’t forget the reason you embarked on your pet blogging journey! If you don’t pencil in some time out to relax with your friends, human or animal, your writing will become a drag, and you will be less productive.

The beauty of blogging is that you can create a schedule that is just right for you. You might like to work shorter days and take afternoons off. Or you might prefer to schedule in a day or two each week when you promise not to touch your laptop. Others prefer to plan for a longer break each year.

Your Turn

Do you have any productivity tips you would like to share? Be sure to comment below. And if you found this article helpful, please share!

Penny writes with the aim of educating and empowering pet parents to make decisions that benefit both their own health, and that of their four legged family members. Penny has a career background in mental health and aged care. Throughout her career she has seen first hand that a healthy relationship between humans and animals can hold great benefits for both parties. She hopes she can foster such healthy bonds through her writing. You can check out more of Penny’s work, or contact her by visiting her at www.healthfulcontent.blogspot.com.

Image: welcomia/Shutterstock.com

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Cat Breeds with the Highest Risk of Disease

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Cat breeds have just as many health concerns as dog breeds do. However, you still need to take some things into consideration when you’re looking to adopt a new cat. Some breeds are more susceptible to health problems than others. That’s why it’s important that you do research into this before adopting a cat. It will help you choose the right cat for you and your living environment. If you already own one of these breeds, then it’s also important to know the medical conditions that they’re more prone to so you can take better care of them and start looking for symptoms before it’s too late.

  1. Persian
    AS with dogs, cats can also be brachycephalic. This means that the cat would have a widened, yet shortened skull, giving it the flat faced appearance that we all love. Because of its very small head, it’s more susceptible to upper respiratory infections as well as difficulties with breathing. This breed can also have an overproduction of tears due to the malformed tear ducts found in some Persian cats. There might also be some issues with the hair growing into the eyes and the nose. They also have hereditary diseases which include cardiac, renal, and kidney diseases. They are also more susceptible to neurological, reproductive, and skin disorders.
  2. Siamese
    Although they’re much sought after because of their exotic nature, they are prone to some pretty serious conditions. They have a higher mortality rate in comparison to other cats. They are more at risk of cancers and mammary tumors. They are also more prone to developing gastrointestinal issues. They may also go blind with time.
  3. Abyssinian
    These cats are the most likely to go blind as they grow older. They suffer from a hereditary condition which causes their retinas to degenerate. This breed is of otherwise good overall health. Abyssinian cats also have a higher chance of getting gingivitis.
  4. Himalayan
    Himalayans were created from heavily breeding Persian cats. Because of this, they also have most of the same genetic ailments that Persians suffer from. They are more susceptible to polycystic kidney disease or PKD, which can be life threatening for a cat. Sometimes, PKD also affects the pancreas as well as the liver.
  5. Exotic Shorthair
    Another much sought after cat. They were also created by over-breeding Persians and therefore suffer from the same ailments. They are also at risk of developing PKD.
  6. Sphynx
    The breeders of this cat tend to keep them for weeks longer than what they’re supposed to. That’s why they’re more at risk of developing upper respiratory infections when compared to other cat breeds. The fact that they have no fur to protect their skin also makes them more prone to skin diseases like sun burns and even skin cancer.

The post Cat Breeds with the Highest Risk of Disease appeared first on PetPlus Blog.

Newsletter Services Comparison Blog Hop

So you want to start sending a newsletter to subscribers or you are considering switching to a new service. This week’s blog hop is dedicated to newsletter services comparison.

Bloggers and newsletter services

As bloggers and influencers, we consider ourselves to be small businesses, and for many of us, we have that legal entity on paper (LLC, S Corp, etc.). Over at WPBeginner, they’ve outlined the  Seven Best Email Marketing Services for Small Businesses, 2018 edition.  In their post, they turn the spotlight on:

  1. Constant Contact
  2. Drip
  3. ConvertKit
  4. AWeber
  5. GetResponse
  6. MailChimp
  7. Active Campaign

There are other email newsletter services, but the ones mentioned above are geared toward lead magnets and growing an email list with such online marketing techniques. When asked recently in the BlogPaws Facebook News and Boost Group about email newsletter services, here are some of the comments we received:

Laurren Darr says, “I switched last year from InfusionSoft to ActiveCampaign. It’s been less than half the cost and it’s worked great. One thing I like is that I can make ‘blocks’ that can be used in different newsletters – think an ad for a vendor, etc. that I can just move over in the graphical newsletter generator. I have forms on the websites that automatically add people to the list like most mail programs offer, etc.”

“I use MailChimp free version – I am honestly not very good at it so I just send out my RSS feed. It’s something I hope to focus on more in the future and improve,” says Joely Smith.

Read the entire conversation in the  BlogPaws Facebook News and Boost Group.


The Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

BlogPaws offers year-round interaction, activity, community and more to learn, earn, and connect. Visit and leave comments on other blogs to make some new buddies and maybe some new followers. You can add the button to your post and/or to your blog sidebar, either by cutting and pasting the image or using the HTML code below. Need help? Here it is:

How to Join a Blog Hop – BlogPaws Tutorial Video: Step by step help to get you started:




Image Credit: PEPPERSMINT/Shutterstock

 

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Can A Change In Routine Trigger Stress In Cats?

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Simply put, yes, it can. Cats have many stressors. The stressor they hate the most however, is change. They hate when something disrupts their daily routine so they might even act out when this happens. Even a simple change like when you move the furniture around or forget to clean her litter-box can have a large impact on her psyche.

For humans, stress can damage our health, well-being, and productivity. Stress can have just as bad an effect on cats.

So What Is Stress?

Stress can basically be defined as a state of tension that results from something. Although stress is an emotion and most human emotions are not reciprocated by other animals, stress is one that is. In fact, all animals are able to experience stress. Although stress is a very real problem, it doesn’t always have to be bad. Stress can also act as a driving force. If your cat is hungry, she might get stressed and in order to relieve the stress she’s experiencing, she’ll go hunting for food. Although stress is good in small doses, once it becomes too much, it’s very unhealthy and even potentially dangerous. Stress can very much affect your cat’s health as well as her mind.

What Exactly Happens When Your Cat Is Experiencing Stress?

  • Her breathing will become more rapid.
  • Her blood pressure will climb.
  • Her digestion will slow down.
  • Her heart rate will increase.
  • Her immune system starts being less effective.

All these factors can contribute to medical conditions which, in turn, can shorten your cat’s life.

Here Are Some Signs That Your Cat Is Stressed:

  • Urine spraying
  • Aggression
  • Hair loss due to an excess of self-grooming
  • Loud vocalization
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in overall activity and interactions

Play it safe and visit a vet as soon as you notice any of these signs. As much as it could be stress, any of these signs can also point to other underlying medical conditions.

How Can You Calm Down Your Stressed Cat?

Spend time with her for one. Also she may act aloof and all, she needs human interaction in order to be happy. She values the time that you spend with her. Not only will it get her mind off of things, but it also strengthen the bond that you have with her. Maybe there was a change in the house that triggered the stress. Try to change it back if you can. If it’s something out of your control, then build her a safe space where she can retreat to when she wants to be alone to mull things over. Finding out what caused the stress is an important factor in relieving the stress.

The post Can A Change In Routine Trigger Stress In Cats? appeared first on PetPlus Blog.

How to Use Lead Magnets to Grow an Email List

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These are examples of lead magnets: You promise the reader something in exchange for a piece of information (their email address, for example). High-converting lead magnets are those that you can incorporate into blog posts and social media content, and that provide a valuable, tangible ROI (return on investment) for both you and your subscriber.

Last week we talked about how to clean up an email list, and this week we will dive into the do’s and don’ts on how to use lead magnets in order to grow an email list.

How to grow an email list

Getting Started on Lead Magnets

You need an email list service in order to entice subscribers with your lead magnet so that your email list will grow. When I decided to go from blogger to entrepreneur, email strategy was and remains one of the key components to do so. With the recent changes in Facebook’s news feed targeting businesses, growing an email list is more important than ever.

Over at WP Beginner, they’ve outlined the 2018 edition of the best email services for professional bloggers. Which one is best for you depends on your goals, budget, plans, and needs. I’ve been a Mailchimp girl for a long time, but my 2018 blog plans include switching to something more in tune with my goals, so a change is coming for me.

Why Do I Need Lead Magnets

A solid email list is a must have in every professional blogger’s toolbox. Even if you are a hobby blogger or someone who plans to monetize a blog, an email list is comprised of your loyalists. In offering a valuable product via download and delivering on that promise with quality, your email subscribers are the ones who will promote you, return to visit, and spread the word about your awesomeness.

Sponsored posts, ad revenue, and affiliate-related posts rely heavily on pageviews and click throughs. Give your loyalists what they want and it returns to you tenfold. This statement is hard to apply in a day and age of less and less pageviews on Facebook and pay to play on most social media networks.

Asking someone to subscribe to your email list works for friends and family, but this is not a viable long-term sustainability plan for your blog’s success. Lead magnets ensure someone gets a quality product or service in exchange for giving up the holy grail of online marketing: their trusted email address.

Lead Magnets That Deliver

In order to get that highly coveted click through with email address freely given, the lead magnet you offer (“incentive”) needs to deliver. Gone are the days of “get 5 free tips”–100 words later, the person unsubscribes, potentially never to return.

It’s a new generation and everyone is vying for email addresses. Deliver quality that solves a problem or one of these other lead magnets that deliver:

  1. Checklists: 25 Conversations to Have With Your Cat’s Veterinarian or Checklist of Emergency Numbers for Pet Parents.
  2. Cheat Sheets: Everyone loves a hack, so consider delivering a ‘cheat sheet’ to make life easier. For example, Discover Insider Tips to Nail Your Next Job Interview or How to Find a Work From Home Job You Love.
  3. Free Ebooks: I’ve seen authors offer a small chapter from a book and offer it out for free as a lead magnet. You can embed a link into your freebie to entice the reader to purchase your entire book.
  4. Coupon: This is perfect for any professional blogger who sells products or services. “Get 10 percent off your next purchase” – and the means to obtain the code or discount is a name and email address.
  5. Printables: Everyone loves a freebie to hang on their bulletin board or refrigerator. Printables can be an effective tool especially if you offer a series of them. Be certain the printables are in line with your blog mission.

Promoting Lead Magnets

Once you’ve landed on an newsletter/email service and build out your lead magnet(s), the next step is to promote it.

  1. Place the lead magnet as a non-intrusive pop-up on your blog’s homepage. Most lead magnet programs include the option for the pop up not to appear if the visitor is already a subscriber. In doing so, the subscriber is not annoyed every time they visit your blog.
  2. Include the lead magnet in your email signature line. I use the professional version of Wisestamp, which allows me to customize my email signature’s content.
  3. Squeeze it in with a squeeze page.  Wordstream.com defines a squeeze page as, “A landing page designed to capture opt-in email addresses from potential subscribers. The goal of a squeeze page is to convince, cajole, or otherwise ”squeeze” a visitor into providing one of their most sought-after and coveted pieces of personal data: the email address.”
  4. Call to Action in Blog Post: Use your Calls to Action wisely by including a relevant one at the bottom of a blog post that beckons to your link magnet.
  5. Use the sign up button on Facebook and direct readers to your lead magnet in the cover photo.
  6. Make LinkedIn work for you: Add a lead magnet link to your personal profile in the summary area.
  7. Tweet with a purpose using your lead magnet. Experiment with text and images to see which one(s) work best and receive the most engagement and click throughs to actual sign ups.
  8. Business cards with a URL or a QR code on the back are great ways to include lead magnets at networking events and conferences, such as the BlogPaws Conference.

Advanced Lead Magnets

Here are a few more ideas if you’ve been working with lead magnets for a while or want some unique ideas to collect emails without annoying your visitors:

  1. Hold a Contest: Yes, there are folks who unsubscribe afterwards, but you can monitor this with a high quality email service.
  2. Create a Facebook Group and share quality content via lead magnets in the group weekly or monthly.
  3. High Quality Infographics make for a tempting printable. Provide one in exchange for an email address.
  4. Conduct a Free Webinar: Host a 20 minute webinar and collect emails to sign up. You can upsell in the webinar by referring folks to another piece of saleable content that you promote at the end of your webinar. You can also give something away during your free webinar to anyone who signs up for your email list.
  5. Atomize Your Awesomeness: Jay Baer shared that quip at last year’s BlogPaws Conference and it stuck. Develop a video and/or audio version of your content, perhaps with a podcast. Some people like to listen, as evidenced by the present popularity of podcasts. Provide this content as a lead magnet.

How to grow an email list

Lead Magnet Mega Important Tip

Once you acquire a fan, you want to keep them. It might sound like common sense, but keeping a fan is probably harder than acquiring them. If you promise a standout piece of content as a lead magnet, overdeliver. Be certain you do not abuse the emails you are collecting, and most importantly, that you deliver amazingly awesome future content with a plan and purpose.

The worst feeling a professional blogger experiences is that of an unsubscribe pang in the pit of their stomach. I know, I’ve been there. Watch your open rates, unsubscribe rates, and never spam or overshare content to the point that you annoy subscribers. People will always remember how you make them feel, so spread the good vibes.

Don’t Stop Now

Keep the knowledge flowing and make email magic with these blog posts:

How to Clean Up an Email List

How to Grow an Email List

Go Face to Face with the Pros

Learn more! BlogPaws has always been and will always be about and for the bloggers and influencers: Those who want to learn, grow, network, and take their blog to the “next level.” BlogPaws connects brands to bloggers and influencers and those who want to monetize, form relationships, and turn a passion for pets into a way to make money.Get your tickets to BlogPaws’ 10th Conference before they sell out.

Your Turn

Are you using lead magnets? If not, how can we help? If yes, are you successful with them?  Let us know in the comments below. We respond to all comments.

Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®

Images:  Floral Deco  / Jacob Lund  /Shutterstock.com

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