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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Winter Pet-Walking Tips You Should Know

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How Technology is Changing the Face of Pet-Sitting

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Technology is making pet-sitting really easy. Although we hate leaving our pets, we sometimes have to go on long trips to places where pets are not allowed or business trips where pets are not welcome. That means we have to find someone qualified and willing to come and take care of our furry friends. This is usually a tedious task. There are some agencies that deal with these cases but most of them tend to be really costly and not really worth it in the end.

Technology has drastically changed the face of pet sitting and made it easier for both the sitter and the pet parents. Here are a few apps that are highly recommended by pet sitters.

  1. MilelQ – This app comes with a lot of perks like the provision to track your mileage and classify whether your travel or business etc.
  2. Triplog – Another app that allows you to track your mileage.
  3. Rover – This app probably has the largest network of dog walkers and pet sitters in America. It also includes dog boarding services as well as doggie day care. It connects pet parents to dog walkers, dog sitters, house sites, and pet boarders. It even has a provision where your pet sitter can update you with a photo anytime!
  4. Pawshake – Pawshake is an app that’s not exclusive to the U.S. It operates in 19 countries and can be used in 19 different languages. The services offered range from home dog boarding, doggie day care, dog walking, pet sitting, home sitting, as well as home visits. As an added bonus, the app is free for users!

These aren’t the only pet sitting apps available on the market right now. There are multiple others but a lot of them are just talk. Make sure you look at the pet sitter’s qualifications before you blindly trust an app to do the job. Our dogs are part of the family by now, so treat them with the same luxury and care as with which you would treat your children.

You would never keep your children locked in your house while you’re working late or away on an unavoidable business trip. The same principle should also apply to your pets. You should never leave them just cooped up in the house alone while you’re away. The new apps and technology makes owning a pet way more convenient for you. Use this convenience to be a better parent to your pooch. If you’re working too late and don’t have enough time to walk your dog yourself, don’t sacrifice his physical health because you’re not free. Hire a dog walker instead! It’s easier now with all the apps available to you.

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The Most Affectionate Cat Breeds That You Should Know About

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Cats are mainly known to be aloof and disinterested. But that’s not entirely true. Yes, certain cats like their own space and the luxury of solidarity. But a lot of cats crave attention and are really affectionate towards their owners. If you’re wondering where you can find one of those cats, here are a few of the most affectionate breeds. These cats love to snuggle (yes, I said snuggle), cozy up to you and even sleep next to you. Cats can be affectionate if you give them a chance.

  1. Scottish straight/ Scottish fold
    These adorable cats are as snuggly as a stuffed animal. Many of these cats are so mellow that many of them will even go as far as letting your kids dress them up in their Barbie clothes! More than that, they love to be where you are. They are loyal to the core and will follow you into the ocean. They have such sweet facial expressions that you can’t help but be in awe of. These cats will love you as much as you love them and then some.
  2. Ragdoll
    These cats are called ragdolls because they just go limp in your arms. This breed is not only really loving, but they also tend to have a very laid back and quiet nature. They are soft although they tend to be muscular, they are the ultimate indoor cats because they just want to spend more time with the family. They even have an adorable chirp for a meow that will make you feel blessed if you live with one of these.
  3. Tonkinese
    They are as affectionate as they are adorable. These cats are everything but aloof. They have amazing social skills and thrive on attention. They extend their love to all the members of their family. Nothing holds more value to them than being with their owners.
  4. Birman
    These cats may be able to sense your mood! As soon as they see you happy, they’re there in a jiffy, all hyped up and ready to be played with. If they see you sad, they become the comforters. They’ll be there to console and comfort you through whatever it is that you’re going through. They provide entertainment, as well as a shoulder to cry on when you need it.
  5. Siamese
    They are loving cats who are also outspoken and lively. These cats can also sense your mood and be what you want, when you want. Nothing can be compared to the love expressed in their eyes as they look at their owners. They are the best playmates during the day and the best bed partners during the night.

There are a few other cat breeds which are also overly affectionate. These include the Kurilian Bobtail, Burmese/ Bombay, Main Coon, Sphynx etc.

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Thinking Of Gifting Your Kid A Pet? Here’s What You Should Know Before Doing So

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Kids may seem crazy about pets. Who wouldn’t love a brand new puppy for Christmas after all? An important factor to consider when thinking about gifting your child a pet is, is she ready for it? Be ready to take care of the puppy yourself. Rest assured, she will love her new pet, but the excitement will wear off as soon as she has to be responsible. Some kids would love to train their own pets. Some will see it through till the end and you will not even have to lift a finger other than pay for the pet food and other expenses. But most kids haven’t reached that age where caring for a pet seems natural.

Pets have the ability to teach children valuable life lessons. Here are a few reasons why you should consider getting her a pet.

Pros Of Getting Your Child A Pet:

Exercise
When your child has a pet, her activity levels will automatically be boosted. In this technological age where children love staying inside playing digital games rather than go outside, a pet will be motivation enough for your child to spend some time in the great outdoors.

Learning
Your child will become responsible for a whole new living thing. There are lots of things that she could learn through that experience. Young readers can even practice their developing reading skills when they read to their pets.

Respect
Pets help children have a more refined respect for nature. In today’s world, littering has become the norm and there are very few people left who truly respect Mother Nature.

Impulse control
Children who take care of pets have a greater control over their impulses. They are more confident and appear to be better adjusted.

Stress Reduction
This is probably one of the most important pros of owning a pet. Pets have the ability to calm us down on even the worst of days. If your kid sleeps with her pet, she will experience an even higher sense of calm.

Although there are pretty striking pros to owning a pet, there are also cons.

Cons Of Getting Your Child A Pet:

Allergies
It might not be expected, but it happens. One of the saddest things that could happen is realizing that your child is actually allergic to the pet you bring home. If your child sees that she’s allergic to the new pet, it might be a little much for her to deal with.

Expense
Quality pet foods are expensive. And that’s just food. There are other things you’ll need like beds, shampoos, and vet care when you own a vet. All these things tend to be pretty expensive.

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The Best Pet Vacuum Cleaners You Should Buy

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Pet hair can be a disaster to get rid of. Especially when you’re living in a household that has more than just one pet contributing to the mess. Normal vacuum cleaners don’t always do the job right. With the added mess of hair, whiffs, and dirt, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner with extra strong brush action and suction to get the job done. You’ll need a vacuum cleaner with mechanisms that are guaranteed to lock in even the finest particles. Good filters are also a must. On top of all this, you’ll also need to consider the flooring of your house when you’re buying a vacuum cleaner.

Simple as it may seem, a vacuum cleaner needs to be able to do a variety of tasks. It shouldn’t be too heavy if the stairway is one of your pets’ favorite spots to hang out. If your pet enjoys lounging on the furniture, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner that’s able to tackle upholstery too. Here are some of the best vacuum cleaners that you can go for – especially if you’re a pet parent.

  1. Dyson DC41 Mk2 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner
    The only drawback of this virtually perfect vacuum cleaner is that it’s quite loud. Besides the fact that it’s bag-less and upright, it was also made specifically for households with pets. It works great on hardwood and carpeted floors alike. It can reach ceilings and hard-to-reach corners and works pretty well on upholstery.
  2. Vax Air Steerable U88-AM-Pe Upright Vacuum
    This upright, bagless, energy-efficient machine works well on all kinds of floors. It also gives you excellent value for your money. It is surprisingly light and as such nimble to move from place to place. It comes with an impressive six year guarantee so you can count on the fact that it’s durable.
  3. Sebo Automatic X4 Pet Boost Upright Vacuum Cleaner
    Another great choice as far as household with pets are concerned. Although they have a more antique look, their capabilities are quite something. There are some quite nifty features like a boost button you can push to remove engrained dirt and pet hair and a filter that has been embedded with charcoal to remove any all bad smells. It also has a remarkably long hose which works great for the stairs, a wand which you can easily clean the ceilings with, and a turbo brush which you can use on the upholstery.
  4. Bosch BCH6PETGB Athlet Animal Upright Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
    There won’t be anything left on the floor after this vacuum cleaner has made its way through. It’s very thorough and well worth your money. It’s so light that you can even hand it around your shoulder!

    There are some pretty great pet vacuum cleaners out there but these are the nest of the best. Although some of these are a bit pricey, they tend to pay for themselves in the long run.

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How To Keep Your Pet’s Food Fresh For Longer

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Food is a very necessary part of keeping our pets healthy. We all know that no matter the type of pet food, there will always be an expiry date. The first step is to pay attention to this little date. Make sure that you purchase a can or bag of pet food that has expiry dates far in the future. When you do this, not only are you buying the packet that lasts the longest, you’re also buying the freshest product on the shelves. Although there are clear expiry dates, these tend to be mutable according to storage conditions.

Make sure to examine the packaging carefully before you make the purchase. Make sure the cans are intact and unopened and the bags aren’t torn anywhere. Here are a few tips you can use to store your dog food so that it remains healthier for longer.

How Should You Store Dry Dog Foods?
Once you get back from the store, how you manage the dog food from here on out can have a large impact on how long it lasts. The rate at which food degrades is based on exposure to light, air, humidity speeds and hot temperatures. To better limit exposure to these factors, keep the dog food in its original packet. You can either reseal the top in between each use, or just roll it back and use a clip to hold the top closed.

Rats and insects are also a threat to the freshness of the pet food. So you could use a plastic or glass bin to store the packet of pet food in, in order to keep it protected from vermin. Keep in mind that in an ideal scenario, dry pet foods should be consumed within six weeks from opening the bag. Make sure your buy packages accordingly or else it will be difficult to keep track of the food.

How Should You Store Canned Foods?
A can that’s left unopened can remain fresh for at least a few years. Just make sure you look at the expiry date beforehand. Once you’ve opened the canned food, store it in the refrigerator and make sure you finish it within seven days of opening. If a can contains more than you can use up in seven days, freeze single portion sizes and thaw them as needed. If you opt to leave your opened can in room temperature, it should be finished within four hours of opening. Take care to clean your pet’s bowl carefully before you pour in the pet food.

Good quality dog foods are often expensive. Don’t let storage mishaps ruin the quality of your very expensive pet food.

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How Do Pets React To The Death Of A Family Member?

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Pets are often confused by little changes in their lives and disruptions to their schedule. So imagine how they must feel when they stop seeing a loved one all of a sudden. Different pets have different reactions to the death of a close family member. Just like how different humans have different stages and methods for grieving.

How do dogs deal with grief?
The first thing you need to know is that although they will get over the grieving phase, they will only do that in their own time. Just be there for them and don’t rush them. Dogs tend to mourn in different ways than cats. There will be a change in his eating and sleeping habits, he will be less inclined to partake in activities without his favorite human, he might even start howling to express his grief. Although it breaks our hearts to see our animal companions so sad, make sure that you don’t accidentally reward his mourning with treats. Try engaging him activities that he enjoys so that you can take his mind off of things.

Give him more attention so that he knows that he’s not going through this alone. However, take care not to badger him. Most animals in this situation wouldn’t want to be coddled. Just let him know that you’re there for him with your presence.

How do cats grieve?
Cats are just as affected by the death of a loved one as dogs are. Although they may seem distant and aloof, they still get attached to their caregivers. Change is especially hard for cats. Some grieving cats tend to lose all sense of routine when a loved one dies. They take to spraying pungent urine all over the house instead of using the litter box. Although not all cats do this, it’s a very likely possibility. If there is a change in her eating habits, then that’s also a sign that she’s grieving. Cats love their daily schedules and even a mild change in that should indicate to you that there is something wrong.

She might also be vocal about her emotions. Although cats can’t talk, they tend to vocalize their feelings through yowling and meowing. Especially during the night when it’s dark out. They could also start suffering from a form of OCD. They wither start grooming themselves excessively or they stop. Over-grooming leads to a significant loss of fur and sometimes even skin irritations when she overdoes it.

Cats are also likely to change their sleeping patterns. When something big is missing from their everyday lives, it’s a big change for them – and one that takes time to get used to. Make sure you don’t rush the process. Give her as much time as she needs to mourn.

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