Here are Dog Care Tips to Follow to Beat the Summer Heat

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Our dogs deserve the ultimate care package. They love us, protect us, and are loyal to the teeth. The least we can do for them is take good care of them. Most dog owners are already following this principle quite religiously. But did you know that the good old summer can also pose some dangers to your beloved pet? So here are some tips you can add to your pet care handbook to help your dog beat the heat this summer and stay safe.

  1. Never choose noon or midday as a time to exercise your dog.
    When you’re exercising your dog, do it either early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is not as brutal. As humans, the summer can be a pretty brutal time for us. Now imagine if you had fur all over your body. Dogs also don’t have as many sweat glands as we do so keeping them cool is a challenge. The best thing we can do in terms of exercise is to just do it either in the morning or at night. Also back of on the intensity. Your dog might not be able to take the heat.
  2. Carefully monitor your dog for sings that he might be dehydrated.
    Dehydration is no joke. Dogs cool themselves by panting. If your dog is overheated, you’ll notice that he’s drooling excessively. This is a sign that he’s dehydrated. He might even become lethargic, and develop bloodshot eyes.
  3. Always make sure you keep him hydrated.
    The summer can just suck up any and all moisture present in your body. Similar to how dark colors absorb more heat than light colors do in clothing, the color of your dog’s coat also matters. If your dog has a dark coat, there’s a good chance that he’s feeling constantly overheated. When you take your dog for a walk, remember to take a bottle along with you. Obese and overweight dogs are also at a higher risk of getting easily dehydrated.
  4. Let him roam free with his digging habits.
    It’s understandably frustrating when your dog digs up your carefully planted garden. To prevent hits happening, find a shady place for him to go wild in and get him digging. Different dogs dig for different purposes. They dig to give birth, to find food, to hide, and of course, to keep themselves cool. Allow them this by allocating a spot especially for this purpose.
  5. Take him swimming.
    Most dogs love the water. If you want to get a quick work out in, instead of taking him for a walk or playing a game of fetch, take him for a good swim. Not only will he thoroughly enjoy the whole activity, but it could also serve as an excellent bonding experience.

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Here’s How the Belief That Cats Have Nine Lives Came About

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All myths have some kind of fact behind them. Cats usually keep to themselves and seem pretty content with their isolated and unbothered lives. Saying that it’s difficult to get a read on them would be the understatement of the century. There’s a very famous myth that says that our beloved feline friends have nine lives. While this is a far cry from the truth, the story behind the myth is actually pretty interesting.

Cats are admittedly one of the cutest creatures out there. But at what point do they go from being cute, to having nine lives? Although the cool myth is very much false, it is based on a rather spectacular ability that cats have.

They can jump and land on all four legs – with absolute grace. They’re like ninja acrobats in that sense. They can climb really high trees, jump off of really high places for kicks, and even run in front of cars and come out of that unscathed. So an oldwife’s tale came up with the theory that cats don’t just miraculously escape from every dangerous situation, but they simply die and come back to life!

How do cats actually escape from dangerous situations?
There are cats that are known for their ability to jump off of tall buildings, even skyscrapers during earthquakes, and come out of the whole thing without a scratch. Cats always land on their feet because they have righting reflex.

What is righting reflex?
Righting reflex is actually a very interesting concept. It’s your cat’s ability to twist herself very quickly if she’s dropped from a high place, so she can land neatly on all her feet. Cats have even more vertebrae than humans, which makes them extremely flexible. It also, in part, accounts for their incredible reflexes and balance.

What with the number?
The old proverb goes, “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.” And if you’re going to give a cat magic lives, nine is as good a number to start with as any. Although this proverb is not factual, it’s based on general feline behavior. They love to play with their prey and although they do come back most of the time, they do also run away whenever given the chance. Cats are tricky that way.

The Greek also used to believe that the number nine represents the trinity of all trinities – a holy number that has remained mystical to all. The number is said to invoke religion and tradition. Magical indeed! While we can’t count on our cats having nine lives, we can always count on them landing safely. They’ll be around for a long while.

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Why Do Cats Knock Stuff Over?

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Cats are one of the most popular and loved pets all over the world. People love cats for the companionship they provide and their general goofiness. They are playful, loving, and highly independent and intelligent animals. However, some of the things these beloved pets do are confounding. One of the biggest questions cat owners have is, why does my cat knock stuff over all the time?

Why cats knock things over, according to cat researchers

Are you tired of cleaning up after your cat? Does your cat knock things over all the time? Are you wondering why your cat does this and how you can stop it? Many cat owners want to understand their kitty’s behavior better so they know what their pet might want. Is knocking things over a behavior you should be worried about? Although there is no definitive research yet on this subject, cat researchers do have a few answers for you.

One reason, researchers believe, is that cats knock things over out of instinct. Cats have padded paws, and these pads have a lot of nerve endings in them. Touching things with these pads tells cats their texture, weight, and other characteristics. In the wild, they test out their prey the same way, by touching and swatting them. Knocking things over is an expression of this instinct that cats retain from the time they were wild animals.

Another reason is simpler and easier to control, one that shows you how smart your kitty actually is. Cats at times knock stuff over to get your attention. If you lead a busy life and are not able to spend a lot of time with your cat, your cat may get bored, miss your company, or have to constantly remind to feed your beloved pet. One way cats do all this is to draw your attention to themselves by knocking stuff over. Bad attention trumps no attention, and that is what your kitty is aiming for with this behavior.

Tips to get your cat to avoid knocking stuff over

  • Ensure you feed your cat on time every day without fail.
  • Take time out every day to play with and engage your cat.
  • Get a lot of toys for your cat and keep rotating the toys around to keep things interesting for your cat.
  • Keep all breakable valuable items locked away and out of reach of your cat.
  • Ignore your cat when it knocks things over, so your cat knows it is not a behavior that you encourage.

Now you know that your cat might simply be telling you it is hungry, bored, or missing you when it starts knocking stuff over. Pay attention to your beloved kitty, and you might just learn a lot about what your cat wants to tell you.

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Why Does Your Dog Follow You Everywhere?

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Dogs are mischievous, loyal, and lovable little balls of fur. They keep us feeling young with their playful and energetic ways. We all love our dogs because they are wonderful creatures. But sometimes, they can come off as a little bit of a shadow.

If you have a dog, you’ll notice that it’s very rare that he leaves your side. No matter the activity you’re doing, you can count on him to always be there. Much like a shadow. Even while you’re showering! You can find your dog sitting at the foot of the bath, just calmly waiting for you to finish your shower. You can find him cozily curled up on his favorite kitchen chair while you’re cooking. While many people find this behavior adorable, it could also come off as irritating. Here are a few reasons why your dog is trailing you all the time.

  1. He has separation anxiety
    This is the kind of anxiety that your dog might experience every time you’re out of sight. Symptoms that suggest your dog has separation anxiety include excessive salivation, barking, scratching, destroying furniture, or simply whining when he’s separated from you. If this, in fact, is the reason why your dog follows you around everywhere, you might want to look into different training options to fix this problem.
  2. He has imprinted on you.
    If you’re the first person your dog saw after he was born, there’s a good chance that he imprinted on you. He sees you as somewhat of a mother. If you’re overly caring or friendly with a puppy of 3 to 12 weeks, there’s a good chance that he has imprinted on you. Once he has imprinted on you, he comes to rely on your quite heavily. He will see you as a source of companionship and security.
  3. He enjoys your company.
    Dogs also have the same feel good hormones as humans do. Your dog’s brain releases oxytocin when he is with you. We all know that dogs are evolved from wolves. They have become domesticated but they still have their ancestral instincts intact. Similar to how wolves prefer the company of their pack, your dog prefers your company. In his mind, you’re part of his pack.
  4. He’s curious.
    Dogs are generally curious creatures. If you own a dog, chances are you’ve found him in places he shouldn’t be on more than one occasion. Even if you’re just leaving the bed or couch for a second, he still wonders about where you’re wandering off to and whether you’ll return with treats. If he’s curious enough, he’ll come after you just to find out where you’re going.

If you think your dog might be experiencing separation anxiety, then you should make an appointment with your vet to talk about your options. If anxiety is not the issue here, then your dog is perfectly fine. He just loves you too much.

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Can Dogs Understand the Concept of Time?

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Dogs are undoubtedly intelligent creature. But are they as intelligent as to have grasped the concept of time? Most dogs are aware of when it is dinner time, time for their walks, or time for their parents to get home. You’ll find them waiting on the threshold with tails wagging and hearts full. To expect you to return at the exact same time every day, your dog must know about the concept of time to some extent. Most animal species have a general sense of time.

In fact, most pets are sensitive to time. As you know, cats are really organized creatures who love routines and schedules. They’re creatures that experience a mini panic attack every time there’s even the smallest change in their routine. Dogs have come to expect walks and their food at certain times.

How can dogs keep track of their time?
Unlike humans, dogs don’t have day planers or watches that can keep track of time. So they rely on other methods. Animals have a built-in internal clock that tells them when they can expect certain things like the arrival of their owners and daily walks will happen. They also keep track of time using the day and night cycles. They watch as it gets light and then dark. These intelligent creatures obviously know that something is going on at some point when the light changes from bright, to dim, to none at all. That’s why when it’s a certain time in a day, they’ve come to associate it with dinner or a walk.

The reason behind why your dog is overly alert when you’re about to feed him might not be because he can actually keep track of time. It can just as easily be because he follows and understands social cues to some extent. Your dog is always waiting and watching so as soon as he sees you going into the kitchen, he’ll know that there’ll be treats coming his way.

Some people also believe that in a way, dogs can also smell time. Smells come and go during the day. Dogs have really strong olfactory senses and they can tell when something is going to happen or whether something has already happened through the absence and presence of different smells in the air throughout the day. They know when you’re coming back home based on the remnants of your smell from the time you left for work, and they know when food is coming because of how his food bowl smells when you’re about to feed him again.

While dogs are pretty good at associating different things to different times, they’re not as good with remembering important events that have happened on different days. That would take the help of technology we don’t have yet.

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Why It Is a Good Idea to Trim Your Indoor Cat’s Claws

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Do you have an indoor cat who never goes out except on a leash or in a crate with you? If yes, you might have been wondering if trimming your cat’s claws is a good idea. There are a lot of conflicting articles online about trimming claws, and it can get quite confusing to make a decision. Here’s the how and why of cat claw trimming.

Why trim your cat’s claws at all

  • Avoid cuts and infections: If your cat plays a lot with you ends up swiping your arms, legs or other body parts while playing, it might be a good idea to trim your kitty’s claws. If your cat has a habit of kneading you, it is possible that its claws are out frequently and causing you pain. It is best to trim your cat’s claws every few weeks in such cases to avoid getting hurt playing or snuggling with your cat.
  • Avoid ingrown claws: Some indoor cats do not have a lot of surfaces to scratch, which leads to ingrown claws at times. Ingrown claws refers to claws that turn inward and grow into the pads in your cat’s paws. This can be extremely painful and can cause infections and wounds on the paws. If your cat has ingrown claws, it is best to let your vet trim the claws and show you how to avoid it going forward.
  • Avoid damage to furniture: If your cat has a habit of scratching your furniture and has sharp claws, it can cause a lot of damage to all your household furniture. It can also cause your clothes to have pulled threads when your cat kneads you or plays with you. To avoid such damage, you can clip the sharp ends of your cat’s claws every few weeks.

How to trim your cat’s claws

  • Do it quick. Most cats do not have the patience to be held down and sit in one spot while you trim their claws. It is important to get it done as quickly as you can before your cat starts squirming and trying to get away.
  • Use proper nail clippers to trim claws. This ensures there are no injuries or awkward cuts. Your nail clippers will work perfectly fine on cats if you do not want to buy clippers meant specifically for claws.
  • Ensure your kitty is relaxed. A squirming, annoyed cat means you risk injury while trimming claws. Get your cat comfortable before you start clipping.

Trimming claws is a good idea only if your cat stay exclusively indoors. If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, it is best to leave the claws as is as they need sharp claws for climbing and self-defense. Outdoor cats should never have trimmed claws as they need it for survival.

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Can Your Cat Cause You to Behave Strangely?

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Cats are adorable creatures. They bring us so much comfort and joy by just being themselves. Unlike dogs, cats aren’t as friendly or even playful. Most of the time, they may even seem closed off and distant. But we know they love us all the same.

A recent study has shown that the term ‘crazy cat lady,’ might actually have some truth behind it. According to science, it’s not the owners’ fault at all. It all has to do with the cat in the picture. Apparently, cats can cause strange human behavior. Posting pictures of your cat on Instagram doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat is influencing your actions. However, there is a protozoan which can be found in your cat’s stool, known as Toxoplasma gondii, which can influence your actions.

Not all cats have this ‘Toxo’ in their stool. If you have a cat that doesn’t venture outside for much, you have virtually nothing to worry about. Your indoor cat has no way of picking up the toxo. If you have a curious outdoor cat, then she might dig in the garden and chase her own prey, all of which can expose her to toxo.

How does your cat pass on the toxo to you?
As you know, cats are clean creatures. They won’t go anywhere near the litter box if it’s not up to their standard. If you clean the litter box and forget to wash your hands, there is a good chance that you’ve acquired the toxo from your cat’s stool. You could also get the toxo from handling and eating uncooked meat. The symptoms are usually too mild to detect until severe.

How does your cat have control over your brain?
The toxo found in cat stools can actually make your brain loopy. It’s not as though these cats are deliberately controlling your mind. Toxo contains an enzyme which is responsible for creating dopamine. People who have an increased level of dopamine in their system are at risk of being overly impulsive. Some are even reported to have schizophrenic episodes. While posting pictures of your cats on Instagram and Facebook is not seen as crazy, hoarding hundreds of cats might be. There have been cases where every time a cat is taken away from a cat hoarder, they just go out and get more to replace those that have been taken away.

Although all cat ladies are not crazy, enough of them are to have created a blatant stereotype. Unmarried women have always been associated with cats, from back in the 1700s. The unmarried women were not allowed to work during those times so they stayed with their relatives, becoming dependent on them. They were seen as lonely women who just had themselves and their cats for company, hence the stereotype.

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5 Diseases That Pets Can Get from People

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The Internet is flooded with infections and diseases that pets can give humans and how you can avoid contracting these infections. There are vaccinations and other medications available to protect you and keep you healthy while you care for your pet. However, did you know that you can also make your pet seriously ill?

Diseases and infections your pet can get from you and your friends

  • Ringworm: This is a misnomer, as the infection is caused by a fungus and not a worm. It is a skin infection that is common in both animals and humans. This is one of the few infections that can be passed both ways; you can get ringworm infections from your pet and can also infect your pet with this fungal infection. When you are being treated for ringworm, it is best to stay away from your pet to avoid such a situation.
  • Tuberculosis: Although the transmission is difficult and relatively rare, your pet can be infected with tuberculosis if you have the infection. Often, when a pet shows signs of tuberculosis, the owners are checked for undiagnosed tuberculosis infections.
  • Salmonella: Animals, including pets, usually contract this infection from food. Salmonella is the most common cause of food poisoning and related symptoms. However, pets can also get this infection from being in contact with humans who are infected. If you suspect food poisoning or salmonella infection it is best to keep stay away from your pet till your recover to avoid passing on the infection.
  • Mumps: This is a viral infection that most people today are vaccinated against. However, if you ever come down with mumps, which causes headache, fever, and swelling of salivary glands, ensure that you stay away from your pet. This is probably the most recent discovery of transmission of diseases from humans to animals. The United Kingdom had over 200 cases of such infections among pets, mainly dogs, in the beginning of 2017.
  • Flu or influenza: This is a relatively recent discovery, most types of flu cannot be transmitted by humans to their pets. However, in 2009, doctors diagnosed a pet cat with H1N1 virus. The lady who owned the cat was admitted with an H1N1 infection and, while doctors were treating her, her cat died of pneumonia caused by the same virus. Since then, other pets such as ferrets and dogs have been infected with this virus through contact with humans. Pets display symptoms similar to humans from this virus and may not survive if not treated in time. If you suspect you have the flu, it is best to isolate yourself from your pet till you recover completely.

These are some of the infections that are known to infect animals in contact with infected humans. If you are unwell with anything contagious, it is best to stay away from your pet till your recover.

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4 Lessons Every Pet Parent Should Learn to Help Give Their Dog a Healthy Life

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If you have a dog at home, you probably have a loving relationship with your canine friend. Many people consider their pets to be part of the family and look after them the way they would care for family. However, you may unknowingly be reducing your pooch’s lifespan or causing avoidable health problems. Want to know more? Read on!

4 life lessons to keep your dog healthy

  • Daily exercise and weight watch: Dogs are energetic animals and need physical activity to stay healthy. It is, therefore, important to ensure regular exercise for your dog. Exercise can include running around off-leash, playing with other dogs, taking long walks or runs with you, or playing with Frisbees and other toys. A note of caution here is that different breeds of dogs need different amount and intensity of exercise, so understand your dog’s requirements to ensure you do not over-exert your dog. Regular exercise also ensures that your dog stays at a healthy weight and avoids obesity and related problems.
  • Balanced diet fit for a dog: A balanced dirt for a dog looks a lot different from a human balanced dirt understand that your dog requires a different kind of nutrition and plan your pooch’s meals accordingly. Dog diets should be heavy on proteins and light on carbohydrates, while ensuring there is a good amount of vitamins and other micro-nutrients in the daily food. Avoid feeding your dog scraps from your plate or any food meant for humans. Consuming human food can lead to a variety of health problems in dogs.
  • Regular de-worming and check-ups: Dogs need to be checked regularly to spot hidden health issues so that they can be treated and cured on time. Dogs are also susceptible to worms, fleas, and ticks, all of which need to be treated in tie to avoid complications. Skipping vet visits or not vaccinating your dog against known and preventable infections can cause a lot of health problems and even early death of your pooch.
  • No secondhand smoke exposure: Just like humans, cigarettes are bad for dogs, inhaling secondhand cigarette smoke while you smoke can cause a multitude of health problems in your dog, including respiratory issues and cancer. The ideal solution is to quit smoking altogether. If this is not a viable option, ensure that you avoid smoking around your dog to ensure there is no secondhand smoke to affect your dog.

Remember these basics about caring for your dog. Loving them is one thing, but ensuring that love does not interfere with keeping them healthy is another. Keep your dog’s health and well-being in mind at all times, so you do all that is required to keep your pooch healthy and happy for a long time.

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All You Need to Know about Parvovirus Combination Vaccine for Dogs

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When you get a new dog, especially if it is a puppy, your vet will tell you about all the vaccination shots your dog will need. If you’ve had a dog for a few years, you will be familiar with the yearly and other vaccination shots that your vet gives your dog. Are you confused with some of the names of vaccinations given to your dogs? Are you wondering what the parvovirus combination vaccine, a very common shot given to dogs, is?

What is the parvovirus combination vaccine for dogs?

The parvovirus combination vaccine is a single vaccination shot given to your dog that contains a mixture of various vaccines. The combination vaccine is known by many acronyms—DHPPV, DA2PPV, DHPP, DA2PP, among others.

This is what the letters in the acronyms stand for and the infection against which they protect your dog:

  • D or canine distemper: This is a viral infection with a kill ate of almost 50 percent, which means almost 50 percent of the dogs that get infected with this virus do not survive. The infection causes problems with the brain and nervous system, digestive system, and respiratory system in dogs.
  • H or hepatitis: The combination vaccine protects your dog against two kinds of hepatitis infections, adenovirus-1 and canine adenovirus-2. The H is, therefore, replaced by A2 in some of the acronyms for the two kinds of adenovirus. Adenovirus-1 causes a highly infectious strain of hepatitis in dogs and severely affects the functioning of the liver. Canine adenovirus-2 causes respiratory issues in dogs, and is commonly known as kennel cough. It is highly infectious.
  • P or parvovirus: A parvovirus infection is deadly for dogs, with over 90 percent of infected dogs not surviving if not treated in time. There is no known cure for this infection, and vaccination is the only way to avoid the infection. Parvovirus attacks the immune system and digestive system in dogs that are not vaccinated against parvovirus.
  • P or parainfluenza: This is a viral infection seen in dogs that are not vaccinated. It is a mild infection that affects breathing.

Some combination vaccines may also include or be combined with vaccines against other infections such as rabies, leptospirosis, and bordotella. You can check with your vet about the kind of vaccination shots being given to your dog.

Why you should vaccinate your dog with the parvovirus combination vaccine

The infections for which a combination vaccine is used are avoidable infections that have no cure. If your dog contracts any of these infections, there is only treatment and supportive care available. Therefore, these combination vaccine shots are crucial for your dog to remain healthy and avoid deadly infections at every age.

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