Rehoming Your Cat

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Many families want to rehome their cats due to several reasons. The list of reasons vary from one member of the family being allergic to cats, or one member is pregnant and thus unable to scoop the cat’s litter box. Many give up when they relocate to a new address, or the cat does not like a new addition to the household like a boyfriend or husband. These families then call the nearest animal shelter so that the cat can be taken away and rehomed. The cat is found a new home where it spends an enjoyable life.

Cat overpopulation is a problem

If you want to rehome your cat and hope to find it a good and loving home then keep in mind that too many cats are roaming free nowadays. Cat overpopulation is a reality. No wonder, two cats out of three get euthanized. Kittens are put to sleep too if good homes are not located for them. If these facts make you sad and helpless, then hope is at hand. Many organizations help to rehome kitties. Most organizations which pick up unwanted cats and stray ones want them to be adopted by families. These rehome specialist organizations do not see their activities as “rescue.” What they do is to take cats and neuter the animals so that the adoption process of that specific cat becomes much easier. Stray cats are trapped, neutered, and then released in the wild.

Sending the kitty to a loving home

A rehoming organization will give you excellent advice on how to make sure that your cat gets the loving home it deserves. Sterilizing the kitty helps to achieve this end. If your cat is not sterilized, you can take it to the veterinarian yourself or the rehoming organization can do that for you. The procedure is, and many clinics do the process cheaply and efficiently. Do not give your cat to the first person who requests it. A few unscrupulous individuals make a profit from selling cats and other animals for scientific purposes. Kitties are also sold as food for other predators. Such cruel individuals trawl some popular Internet lists. Do the due homework about the potential taker or buyer before you transfer your kitty to them. The best way to find a loving home for your cat is through social media. It means that if you want peace of mind on the subject of rehoming your cat, then you have to do the deed yourself.

In case you have no option but to surrender your kitty, then contact your nearest humane society. Schedule an appointment, take your cat, and drop it there. The humane society generally has a list of telephone numbers of families who would love to adopt your cat.

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Prevent Tear Stains

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Dogs with white coats at some point in their lives develop ugly red-brownish stains below their eyes. These tear stains are not only unsightly, but they also distract from the handsome nature of the animal. Tear stains are also found in-between toes and around the muzzles. There could be multiple causes for this phenomenon, including health issues, eye shape, puppy teething, allergies, blocked tear-ducts, and ear infection. If you see your dog suffering from tear stains, consult your veterinarian and possibly a veterinary ophthalmologist. The correct cause can only be ascertained with an expert eye.

Premium foods

It is important to prevent tear stains rather than curing them. Good quality food is essential to prevent tear stains. Most experts agree that you should give your dog premium quality, grain free meals. Inferior cheap dog meals have corn and wheat as fillers. These may cause allergic reactions, leading to excess tearing along with other problems. The quality of water intake is also essential. Dogs should drink reverse-osmosis or purified or distilled water. Bottled water suitable for human consumption is not ideal for canines.

Proper grooming

Do not forget to face groom your dog every day. It can be a quick affair, but essential. Use the correct dog eye-wash to flush the eyes. These could eye drops or eye-wash solutions. To do this, moisten any clean cotton ball with a contact lens solution or appropriate eyewash and rub around or below the area of the eye. You can make the cleaning solution at home, or you can buy a readymade one from the veterinarian. If you want to concoct the solution yourself, take one tablespoon of boric acid powder an boil it in a cup filled with distilled water. Refrigerate the solution and make a fresh batch every week. Wash your dog’s muzzle hair with waterless shampoo or dry shampoo. Use a wet washcloth. A good alternative is to use a three percent hydrogen peroxide solution on paper towel. Comb the hair and blow dry it after the procedure. Do trim the hair around the eyes so that the eye is not irritated resulting in tear stains.

You can keep the “moist” areas of the dog dry. Give water in glass water bottles instead of bowls or use a sufficient number of paper towels to absorb excess water which wets the area around the canine’s mouth after it drinks from a water bowl. You can also dust cornstarch below the eye and around the muzzle. It can also be applied in-between the toes. Food additives can surprisingly be of help in such matters. You can add buttermilk powder or organic apple cider vinegar to meals to stop the occurrence of tear stains.

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Handling and Training a Doberman

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Safety should be paramount when you train a Doberman. These dogs are big and powerful. They are bred to protect. Dobermans are intelligent and fearless. If given proper training at an early age, these dogs can be social and confidently and at ease, among others. The dogs make ideal family members.

Martingale collar

Dobermans are known to escape from their collars. Use a good martingale collar to prevent such an incident from happening. This particular collar is made of two conjoined nylon loops. It is known to be unslippable and also called a “greyhound collar.” The restricted slip action tightens the circumference to the exact size of your dog’s collar but does not choke or restrict it in any way. No damage is caused. If you prevent the Doberman from escaping, you not only keep the animal safe but also protect yourself from any future liability. It will also not fall into any trouble.

The Doberman should be on a leash at all times when outside the house. If you are not present in the house, the dog should be on a leash even inside the home. In short, a lonely Doberman must be secured in even safe, enclosed areas. The dog must not be allowed to put itself in any position where it can find and cause trouble. It is important that the dog be recalled without much difficulty. The lead must be a well-crafted and sturdy one. Leather is strong and easy on the hands. It is sold in most pet shops.

Wearing a muzzle

You must condition your Doberman to wear a basket muzzle. This is a must even if your dog is not of an aggressive nature. Assist the dog to become comfortable wearing a muzzle. The first time may induce panic and unease in the animal. Wrap muzzle in plastic wrap, so the food does not drop off and feed the Doberman twice a week after wearing the muzzle. Extend the muzzle wearing time from a few minutes to a couple of hours after a few days. Do this in increments. Feed the dog food through the wires so that your Doberman makes a positive association with the muzzle.  To sum it up, you need four things to train your Doberman: martingale collar, leash, treats, and basket muzzle.

It is a good idea to include your Doberman in a dog group class. Start with an obedience class and then progress to tricks, agility, weight pull, rally, or preparing for a competition. Dobermans like the company of humans and they work hard to gain favor from us. Enrolling your Doberman in a group class also makes you more confident of your dog handling skills. You and your dog both will swiftly learn how to keep both mentally and physically active.

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How to Stop Your Dog From Jumping

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It is essential to train your dog not to jump on you or your family members, friends, and other guests who drop by at your home or greet you on the street when you are walking with the canine. It is not enough to physically restrain the animal when they tried to do it and then forget the incident until it gets repeated. It is crucial to train the canine so that such incidences stop permanently.

Do not punish

Whatever you do, it is advisable not to punish the dog. Doing this can result in the dog getting anti-social. It may shy away from visitors and even hide when it sees or hears someone new coming in its field of vision. Instead, when your dog jumps on you, turn around and do not pay attention. If you have multiple dogs, pay attention to the one whose all four paws are touching the floor. This four paws touching the floor is an essential lesson for the canine. A dog jumps up to get attention. When it understands that attention will not be given if it jumps, the dog will automatically cease to do so.

If you want to train your dog this way, you should get a minimum of 10 people to practice the same behavior. Your dog should understand that no human likes to be jumped upon, and there are no exceptions to the rule. Repeating the “ignoring” attitude will force your dog to mend its ways. It also helps to desensitize the dog when someone presses the doorbell. An excellent way to teach the dog not to jump is to enter the room from outside, and when the dog jumps on you, exit the room. Let everyone in the family adopt the same mannerism. Conversely, pay more attention to the dog when it sits.

While taking a walk

The problem starts when you do not want your dog to jump on others when you two are taking a walk in the park. The easy way-but temporary solution- is to use a crack, leash, tie-back, or gate. It is essential that the dog must not be hurt during the time of restraining. Take the help of friends to practice the dog not to jump on strangers. Once your dog jumps on your friend, the person must go away and not look back. Do not walk the dog without the leash. The canine must be attached to you with a rope at all times.

If it is the matter for guests, then tie the dog to something immovable. The length of the leash must be shorter than the distance between the dog and the guest. Give the dog treats if it remains calm from start to end.

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How to Improve Your Doberman’s Skin

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A number of Doberman dog owners face the problem of coat and skin issues with their dog. The coats become thin and dull. A few animals are observed to be constantly scratching their skin or even biting it. Take your Doberman dog to your veterinarian and there is a chance that the medical professional will give your canine an Omega supplement. Many dog owners know this, and they do a preemptive strike on their dogs: they give dog food supposedly enriched with Omega 3.

Biologically available supplements

The reality is different. Most dog foods, although they claim to have Omega-3 as a component, rarely have any kind of fatty acid which are biologically available to canines. The term “biologically available” needs a bit of explanation. When any dog food gets processed, it gets exposed to heat. The Omega fatty acids are quite sensitive when it comes to high heat. It means when you finally pour the food into your Doberman’s bowl; the all-important fatty acids are long gone. Other than dry and itchy skin, a diet deficient in Omega-3 also leads to several other problems. The list includes increased time to heal wounds and allergic reaction effects. The immune system function will be decreased, and the dog will suffer painful joints. There will be hair loss and excessive inflammation. Ear infections are common. Excessive itching and hot spots will arise.

Even if your vet suggests an Omega-3 supplement, be sure to know the exact name of the medicine you have to buy, This is as not all Omega-3 supplements are the same. The ingredients which drive fatty acids are essential. One excellent example is that salmon fish is rich in Omega-3s, but the fish is also toxin-rich. This is as salmon is a bigger fish and it eats the smaller fish. If the smaller fish ate from a toxin-rich source, it follows the big predator fish is also rich in toxins (as it eats the smaller fish). Since bigger fish live longer, the amount of toxicity is even more.

The smaller, the merrier

It is thus essential to start with the smaller fishes in the food chain like anchovies. The ideal Omega-3 source should be a smaller fish with short lifespan. The theory is correct in the proof that anchovies are rich in Omega -3 but has a negligible quantity of toxins. Alternatively, you can give your Doberman artificial chewable supplements. These are made from small fishes and provide your Doberman with perfect essential oils balance. These tablets are sold in both small and large, and you can buy them as you please. You will soon observe your Doberman getting its shiny coat back once it chews on the supplements.

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Health Issues Affecting Maine Coon Cats

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If you own a Maine Coon cat, be assured that this particular breed is a hardy and healthy one. However, this cat breed is vulnerable to a few diseases. One of them is hip dysplasia. This disease is generally common in dogs but not so much in cats. Since the Maine Coon is a large cat, it suffers from hip dysplasia. The males are more susceptible compared to females as they are bigger in size. The ligaments suffer from increased stress, and so do the muscles. This disease may result in arthritis, and in some extreme cases, paralysis may also happen.

HCM and SMA

Although hip dysplasia could be painful to your kitty, it is not considered a threat to life like the feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM. This is a typical kind of heart disease in felines. It is frequently observed in Maine Coons, and typical senior cats or middle-aged felines. The good news is that the gene which triggers this condition is isolated and it was discovered that not almost every cat which carries this gene would be affected. As the name hints, the HCM disease is a fatal one. This is a complex heart disease where fluid builds up around the animal’s heart and its lungs. A blood flow constricts the blood flow to the affected cat’s hind legs, resukting in paralysis. Another notable disease is the Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA. This is also observed in many Maine Coon cats. The SMA if present in the animal is observed early in life. You will know it when the kitten reaches three to four months of age. The SMA is not a fatal one but results in weakened muscle development.

Other diseases

Maine Coon cats can also suffer from many other diseases like PKD. These are found not only in Maine Coons but also among the Persian cat breed. A minority of the Maine Coon cats are found to suffer from PKD. It does not matter whether your Maine Coon is a full bred or enjoys a mixed heritage. The animals could either show the disease or be carriers of those particular genes which cause the disease. Many tests are available to find the problematic genetic code. Remember the presence of the gene does not automatically imply the condition will befall your cat. It is always an excellent idea to know so that the necessary preventive steps could be taken. One good aspect of owning a Maine Coon breed of cat is that it belongs to one of the healthier breeds in the feline family. If you ensure that you get your kitty from a healthy breeder, then the genetic anomaly risk is much reduced.

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Grooming a Maine Coon Cat

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The principal reason people love Maine Coon cats is their beautiful luscious fur. These kitties are large sized, and the thick fur only compounds their royal appearance. Looking at a Maine Coon makes the observer believe the kitty is wearing an expensive and luxurious winter coat. The reality is that coat actually protects those animals from the harsh climate of their native New England habitat. The bulk of fur is required to survive in those harsh conditions.

Grooming

The regal appearance of Maine Coon kitties has made them a sought after breed by cat lovers. The appearance of this cat breed could only be described as stunning. Do not be afraid if you are thinking about the upkeep of such cats. Even with such a thick fur coat, the Maine Coon is much easier to groom when compared to other similar breeds. It is, however, necessary to groom a Maine Coon cat. Only with grooming can the coat health could be maintained. If a cat possesses an unhealthy fur coat, then many other problems could arise like loss of hair or excessive shedding. The best case scenario is a daily groom. If this is not possible, then a weekly routine is a must. Remember you may love to beautify your cat, but your kitty may hate it. The only way to do fuss-free grooming is if you start the process when your cat is still a puppy. The furball will get used to it and allow you to groom its coat without much fuss.

Grooming equipment and bath

If you wish to do the grooming yourself, and not entrust the task to a professional cat groomer, then remember that the fur of the Maine Coon cat, like its brethren in other cat breeds, is susceptible to matting. To avoid such a jam, a daily brush is of great help. Get a soft, bristle brush to do the job. A hard one may scratch the skin of the cat. If this happens twice or more, the cat may get turned off by your enforced beauty regimen. You will find it harder to make your Maine Coon cat sit still so that you can complete the grooming action. If you see the fur growing on the toes being too long, use clippers to cut the same so that they will be kept at their proper length.

It is an excellent idea to bath your Maine Coon cat. Although cats like to keep themselves clean, the presence of thick fur means you can bath the cat! Some Maine Coon cats not only tolerate water but loves to bath too. As usual, the easiest way to make a cat acclimatize to such activity is to begin the process when the animal is at its puppy stage.

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Cropping Dogs’ Ears

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Ear cropping or ear trimming describes a surgical procedure which involves cutting the ear pinna of a dog and shaping it so that the ears stand erect. The pinna is the floppy part of the dog’s ear. This is a cosmetic surgical procedure done to get a particular appearance which goes with the image desired in specific dog breeds.

Skilled procedure

The ear cropping procedure is a skilled one and needs precision from the surgeon. The ears must appear to stand up after the part gets completely healed. The dog must be put under general anesthesia before undergoing this procedure. Puppies aged between eight weeks to 12 weeks are put under the scalpel. Post surgery, the ears get propped and bandaged, and they heal in an erect position. This is termed “posting”. A few veterinarians prefer to wait for the incisions to heal before they post the ears. The bandages are generally changed once every week. The ears continue to remain taped until they could stand by their own. This recovery process takes anytime between four weeks to eight weeks

Any breed of dog can be subjected to this procedure. A few dog breeds get the ear trimmed as per breed standards. The Doberman breed is one of the more popular breeds of dogs to get their ear cropped. Other breeds subjected to this procedure include Schnauzers, Pinschers, and Great Danes. These breed standards were developed on the basis of the historical use of such breeds. Canines with cropped ears were one time used only as working dogs. The ears were trimmed to prevent issues which could result from possessing a floppy ear and improve hearing. Only in rare cases did ear trimming were deemed necessary medical procedures due to health conditions. The breeder or the dog owner generally make the decision to cut ears.

Debate on the procedure

When it comes to whether you would crop your dogs’ ears or not, the subject remains a controversial one, and many think this action to be excessive if not cruel. Others regard the procedure as a harmless one. Most veterinarians will decline to do the procedure solely for aesthetic reasons. However, many medical professionals hold the view that ear cropping in certain select breeds could be an acceptable procedure to define the breed character and preserve it. Good health is also enhanced. It is to be remembered that dogs both with natural ears and cropped ones can participate in dog shows. Many European countries forbid ear cropping. Animal rights activists want the ear cropping procedure to deemed illegal in North America. Crop your dog’s ears only for medical reasons and not aesthetic. The ear cropping affects the dog’s quality of life too.

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Characteristics of Ragdoll Cats

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Cats of the Ragdoll breed are big and gentle canines. The name comes from the event of the cats going entirely limp when you pick them up. These cats are friendly and serene. They are especially affectionate when it comes to their owners. Unlike other cat breeds, Ragdolls are one of the relatively new breeds. Stray cats come into their genetic line.

Indoor pets

The first Ragdoll cat was created in California during the swinging 1960s.  A Riverside, California woman, Ann Baker, bred a white female cat she found as a stray with mostly other strays to get the gentle and calm temperament of present-day Ragdoll cats. These cats have an easy-going and relaxed personality. They make excellent family pets due to their soft and sweet nature. It is okay to keep children around Ragdolls, but care must be taken to cover their claws as these cats may scratch.

Most Ragdoll owners keep these cats as indoor pets. Most cats of this breed are incredibly docile, and it is not a good idea to allow this cat to go outside the house. Ragdolls are incapable of hunting and cannot defend themselves if attacked by predators. A mature four-year-old Ragdoll may weigh any weight between 10 to 15 pounds in case of females and any weight from 15 to 20 pounds when it comes to males. The cats come with semi-long hair and have plush, silky coats. The cats have a broad range of fur colors, including chocolate, blue, seal, cream, and lilac. Such colors also come with many different patterns.

Patterns and health issues

The Van pattern is of a darker coloring compared to the body. It is restricted to the top of the ears and the head and also on the tail. There is also an occasional color spot on the solid cat body. The Mitted design sees the front legs of the cat having white feet, which provides the show of wearing mittens. This white on back legs also extends up from feet to around hocks. The foreheads have a white marking, and white is also observed on the noses, chin, and on the foreheads. Ragdoll cats are susceptible to a few health issues. Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Feline Mucopolysaccharidosis are relatively the most common. In Cardiomyopathy, the heart muscles thicken, and it interferes with the ability of the organ to contract properly. When it comes to Mucopolysaccharidosis, the condition may result in mobility and vision problems. Contrary to the popular myth, Ragdolls are not hypoallergenic. However, it is one of the few cat breeds which brings fewer problems for all allergy sufferers. This is as Ragdoll cats do not possess an undercoat and shed much less compared to other breeds.

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Cat Sweating

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Cats do sweat. Yes, their popular image is that of a fluffy ball either always sleeping or jumping here and there. However, felines do sweat but not in the way humans do. When your cats sweat, it does not do so through the armpits, but from their paws. The paw pads of the cat have sweat glands, unlike humans whose glands lie all over the body. This is the reason cats leave wet prints during extremely hot weather. If this happens, your cat is sweating buckets. Cats sweat not only due to high temperatures but also if they suffer from anxiety or stress. Now you know why your cat leaves patches of wetness at the vet. Those are not pee, but sweat.

Cooling down

Scientists also hold the opinion that the function of the cat paws is more than keeping the body temperature of the cat down. A number of theories proclaim that the cat paws deposit pheromones. These are cat-specific signals which the felines use to communicate with each other.

The function of cat sweat is the same as humans and other animals. The process helps to regulate the body temperature of the animal. There is one problem though: since cats have only four small paws to sweat, the area of sweating may be insufficient. The felines then seek out other methods to cool themselves. You will see your cat seek out a shady place to sleep. Lying down and sleeping means less energy is expended and thus, the body temperature does not move up. It is, therefore, a smart move for cats to sleep all day long.

Panting

Dogs pant in hot weather. Cats, however, do not slack. If you see a cat panting, it is an abnormal sign. A feline pants only when it is in pain or extremely afraid. A panting cat signifies a respiratory or a metabolic problem. When a cat pants, it is blowing extra carbon dioxide to maintain its body’s acid-base balance. A typical, healthy cat does not pant in hot weather. Instead of only relying on her paws for internal temperature regulation, the feline also grooms itself. Many think the cat is vain, but it is not so. Your cat grooms itself by licking, and as the saliva evaporates, the heat is taken away, and the body temperature of the animal is kept at acceptable levels. This is yet another heat management tactic adopted by kitties to keep themselves cool in blazing hot weather. Do keep in mind that scientists continue to study the weird habits of cats and there are many things which continue to puzzle them. One of them is why cats like to lick the sweat off humans. There is apparently nothing to be gained by this action.

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