The Science Of Purring

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Often assumed to be a sign of contentment in our feline friends, purring has been among mysterious cat behaviors for the longest time. Ranging from inaudible vibrations to loud motor sounds across hallways, every cat’s purr sounds unique. But why do our feline companions purr? How do they learn this behavior? And how do they even manage to purr? Over years, science has slowly uncovered the secrets of this typical kitty habit that even cheetahs and pumas display.

The first purr
Cats learn to purr when they are just a couple of days old. Since kittens are born blind and deaf, the mother uses vibrations of purrs to help her babies locate her. The little ones, in turn, purr to let her know where they are or if they need her. Purring in kittens is often accompanied with kneading, which helps them bond, and get the most of feeding on their mother’s milk. Often, these habits are retained by cats even once they reach adulthood.

A mind game
The question about how cats purr remained debatable for quite some time. Initially mused to have been produced from blood surging through the inferior vena-cava, the truth was rather astounding. A cat’s brain contains a unique structure, called the neural oscillator, which helps cats send a signal to their laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles to vibrate between the frequencies of 25 and 150Hertz.

Science/magic?
But if cats have mutated at a cephalic level to acquire this ability, it surely was purposed for something more than a what’s-up between the mother and her kittens. Most commonly, purrs are displayed in adult felines as a sign of happiness and safety. However, there is a flipside to this. Cats also tend to purr when anxious, aggravated or in pain; particularly when in pain. The frequency at which cats purr has long been linked to improved health (and healing) of muscles and bones, lending this tiny predator incredible durability. This ability is probably the source of the “nine lives” myth. It might also be the reason that the newer cat species bred by humans do not display many muscle or bone abnormalities found in the canine counterpart. Cats may also utilize purring as a low energy mechanism to stimulate their muscles and bones, as energy conservation is a top priority, with 60% of their schedule involving naps.

Science is looking to apply cat purrs to help astronauts, who experience low bone density and muscle atrophy upon spending extended periods in zero gravity environments. Humans with feline companions also experience faster healing when injured, and feel relaxed after spending some cuddle time with their furry friends.

So, the next time somebody calls you a crazy cat-lady, remember, old-age may bring you 99 problems, but osteoporosis won’t be one of them.

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How Can You Prevent Your Cat From Getting Diabetes?

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The statistic is surprising but real: an increasing number of cats now suffer from diabetes. One out of 400 cats now suffers from diabetes. In most cases, the fault is the same: the cats became diabetic as their owners fed them food rich in carbohydrates but have low amounts of protein. Admittedly, a few feline breeds are more susceptible to this disease. To give an example, the Burmese cat is about 3.7 times more prone to suffer from diabetes compared to other breeds.

Early signs of diabetes include frequent urination and excessive diet. Your cat will become obese and lethargic. The feline will eat more as its diabetic condition becomes acuter. This is as the body is not capable as before of processing food as it acquires from the diet into fuel. If you believe your cat suffers from diabetes, then it is crucial to treat it. If you do not, then it will lead to a wide range of mortal health conditions. Yes, it is possible to prevent diabetes.

Watch your cat’s weight

Similar to humans, obesity is a risk factor in Type 2 diabetes in felines too. About 58 percent of house cats are classified as obese or overweight. That’s a lot of ticking time bombs. You may like fat cats, but it may not be enjoyable for the cat. Feed it food as the instructions of your veterinarian. If you give it high-calorie treats, do not feed him dinner or give it less food that day.

Appropriate diet

Your cat is an obligate carnivore. The body is evolved to consume a low carbohydrate and high protein diet. Grains are not part of the cat’s diet plan. Canned food for cats is formulated in such a way that the best balance is maintained. If you give it cooked food, make sure it is richer in proteins. Consult your veterinarian.

Exercise is vital

An active cat will keep down its weight. It will also reduce the stress levels of the feline. Do play with your cat every day. Other than reducing the chance of obesity, this activity will also strengthen the bond between you and your cat. The feline will be de-stressed and will be much happier.

Regular checkups are a must

This is a hard thing to do as your cat will be unwilling to visit the veterinarian. This, however, must be done a minimum of twice every year. You will know whether the cat has gained weight or lost weight. These are important signs of any potential problem. The money you spent on regular checkups will help you to save large quantities of money later on. Cat illnesses can be expensive to treat.

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The Best Way To Groom Your Brussels Griffon

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Brussels Griffon comes in two types: the smooth and the Rough. The breed is available in a total of three colors: red, black and a mix of tan and black. As an owner, you will find grooming the Smooth coat variety much easier. You only require natural bristle brushes to brush. Employ curved scissors to remove hair present between toes. You must remove the curl which invariably forms at the tail end. It is necessary to use an extremely fine comb when the Smooth dog molts. This ratchets up the hair removal speed. The tail could also be trimmed around and underneath the anus area. This keeps the dog tidy. Detailed stripping is needed for Rough coat variety of Brussels Griffon dogs.

Required equipment

Grooming the Rough coated Brussels Griffon needs a medium-toothed comb, bristle brush, thinning scissors, tweezers. Small slicker, and a fine-toothed comb. The aim is to get a natural look and not a trimmed appearance. A few Griffons have no undercoat. They may appear somewhat bare for a couple of weeks after they get stripped.

Take the bristle brush and work through the Griffon’s coat. Use any medium toothed comb to comb through the fur. Use your finger to lift a few hairs between the finger and the thumb. Pull them in a gentle manner. The coat is okay to strip if the hair comes out without much effort. Start to strip the top coat at the neck base or at withers between shoulder blades. Continue to strip down back and also the side of the tail. When you strip, the hair growth must be towards you.

What to see

The long hairs from the Griffon’s thighs must be removed. Care must be taken to retain any balanced outline. The thick hair which grows on the hind legs’ back must be removed. Same goes for longest hairs from the front of the feet and the legs. Do not overstep. If you do so, the feet will appear long and not the catlike look that is the hallmark of this breed. The area from the shoulders to the chest should be stripped, and the long hairs snipped away from the leg.

You can use the number 10 clippers or scissors to snip around the genital area and below the stomach. Before you proceed any further, stand back and look carefully at the overall appearance of your canine. Remove all stray hair which detracts from the balanced and smart look. When it comes to the head, begin from behind the eyes. Be careful to strip a few hair strands at a single time. Go back to one ear at a time and over top of the head. The longer hairs over eyes can be left to form the eyebrows.

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Why Do Dogs Act Lame Sometimes?

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Dogs limp due to a number of reasons. If your dog has difficulty walking, consult your veterinarian immediately. As a dog owner, you should have a basic knowledge of why dogs limp.

Cause and immediate veterinary visit

Lameness in dogs is fairly common. The range of causes could include a wide swathe of causes, beginning from chronic conditions and ending in trauma. Limps can be classified into two kinds: sudden onset limp and gradual onset limp. The latter happens slowly over a course of time. The sudden onset limp happens swiftly, like after a trauma caused by injury. You should inform the veterinarian about whether your dog has started to limp all of a sudden or it was a gradual process. This knowledge will help the veterinarian reach the correct decision when it comes to treatment. The specialist can also figure out whether it is a kind of veterinary emergency.

Do understand that immediate care is a must for dislocated joints or broken bones. Damage in the nerves could conceal a spinal injury or a serious neurological condition. You must get your canine to the veterinary emergency room in-case the dog betrays signs like unnatural angle break, swelling, dislocation or dangling limb or hot limb.

Underlying chronic conditions result in gradual onset limps. These can be dysplasia or osteoarthritis. Do not delay the veterinarian’s appointment since your dog suffers from a gradual limp. The causes of this pain could be hip dysplasia or bone cancer. It is better to treat these diseases sooner than later.

Injuries and joint disease

Injuries to the paw are the most common cause of lameness. This may happen if any sharp object gets lodged in the foot. The list of detrimental objects includes foreign bodies like plant matter, glass, nails, and thorns. These not only make your dog’s walking an uncomfortable exercise, but also cause infection. Animal bites or insect stings could result in limping and tenderness. If your dog is hurt by a foreign object, then it will constantly lick the affected area. Trauma could cause lameness in canines. This may stem from causes like ligament tears, sprains, and dislocations. Things could be so bad the dog will be unable to put any weight on the affected limb.

A few causes like joint disease result in the gradual tear on the musculoskeletal and joints system. Limping is the result. The list of limping related causes includes elbow dysplasia, osteoarthritis, and hip dysplasia. Other underlying diseases include osteochondritis dissecans, patellar luxation, invertebral disk disease and ligament disease. Joint pain could also be caused by Lyme disease. The causal list may include bone diseases too. Younger animals, especially the bigger ones like large breed puppies could develop conditions like panosteitis, which make walking a torture for your pet.

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All you need to know about the Belgian Sheepdog

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The Belgian Sheepdog or Belgian Tervuren is a high maintenance canine, but they are worth the trouble. Their name comes from a village in Belgium where they first originated in the latter part of the 19th century. The Belgian Sheepdog is an intelligent and energetic animal. The Tervuren is medium sized and makes an excellent protector. They also bring superb obedience, flyball, herding, and agility traits to the owner. They can also work as therapy animals, along with search and rescue canines. They usually require a job so that they remain occupied in some task or the other.

War dogs and identification

The Belgian Teurhaven proved to be a vital resource during the First World War where Allied forces used the animal to transport messages under the line of fire. They also functioned as guard or sentry dogs. The sheepdog even pulled heavy guns through muddy fields along front lines.

The Belgian Sheepdog can be easily identified by its long black coat. The animal has lots of hair, especially in the area of the neck. This thick coat extends to the tail and to the back of the legs. Although the animal has huge quantities of fur, maintenance is easy. It is recommended that you brush the beautiful coat a minimum of two times every week. During seasonal shedding, the brush should be used for a maximum of three times every week. The body of the dog is a squarish body with the head like a wedge. Similar to other shepherd dogs, the Belgian Sheepdog moves in big circles and rarely in a straight line.

Active canines

As said before, the Belgian Sheepdog must be kept active. If not, these dogs become destructive as they are a hyperactive species. They are shy and nervous in the presence of strangers. Choose a Terhuven only if you have a big house and have enough time to practice the canine. These dogs are unsuitable for first-time owners or any owner who cannot offer adequate exercise or time. These animals need lots of mental simulation and long walks,

The plus point of owning such dogs that if the Belgian Sheepdog gets proper sleep or rest, they make superb companion animals and watchdogs. A Terhuven can form lifetime bonds with the family or could be loyal to its owner. They are clearly intelligent and could be easily trained. Like other dogs, these canines suffer health problems like progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia. The Belgian Sheepdog will be an excellent companion for kids. Remember that this breed has herding mentality, and if not properly trained can snap at humans. I. Conversely, he will fight hard to protect you from shady elements.

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How To Tell If You Can Pet A Berger Picard?

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The Berger Picard, although a wonderful breed, is not suitable for everyone. The breed was developed in France’s Picardie region to guard and herd sheep. These dogs are intelligent. They can also be stubborn. The breed can be sensitive and may not like to be corrected. If a Berger Picard is not socialized with other animals from its infancy, then it may quarrel and fight with other pets. Thanks to their herding mentality, they even try to herd children and cars.

Be sure

You should not buy a Berger Picard simply as you have seen it in a heart-warming movie. Do remember that movie animals are highly trained creatures and the stories are optimistic versions of real life. Before buying a specific dog, you must learn about the creature’s temperament, care, training requirements and actual purpose. Be doubly sure that this breed of dog is suitable for your requirements. If all are yes, then only purchase a Berger Picard

Berger Picards, like other species of dogs, shed hair. These animals come with a soft undercoat and crisp outer coat. One plus point of this breed that even the occasional grooming is sufficient. Shed furs can be quickly and easily cleaned up. These animals have negligible “dog odor”. You do not have to bathe them every day. This breed comes with a number of health issues like hip dysplasia, lymphosarcoma, and Hemangiosarcoma. There could also be a number of other issues like thyroid and cardiac problems.

Intelligent and family pet

Keep in mind that Berger Picards are intelligent canines. The problem is that they can be independent thinkers, a trait cultivated to herd sheep. It means these animals require substantial mental stimulation and exercise to avoid any possible bored and destructive behavior. Conversely, the same trait makes them playful and fun. You could play frisbee or a game of football with your pet. Contrary to popular notion, Berger Picards are not aggressive. Like other breeds, they can, however, be distrustful. Your guests, in case, if you are not around, must approach the pet with caution. These dogs are extremely territorial and bark continuously if their space is violated. This is why a Berger Picard must be socialized from an early age. The pup must be exposed to a plethora of surfaces, smells, people, sounds, and to all members of its human family. If these are done, this species of dog could be extremely fun to be around.

Berger Picards frequently bond with the children of the family. Their herding instinct remains strong and they will protect human children like their own. Then again, it needs a lot of practice to bring the dog to this stage-evidently not suitable for first-time dog owners.

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When do you think you should consider prescription dog food for your pooch?

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The best food for one dog may not be suitable for another. There is a good reason for this, You should consider age, unique requirements, and current weight before making the decision on which product to buy. These parameters are applicable both for wet and dry food. Following a few simple rules will make your best friend remain healthy. It is important to give your dog nutrient-rich foods.

Issues to consider

All dogs require healthy nutrients. The quantum of nutrients depends on the health issues, age, and lifestyle of the dog. If required, give your dog a few nutrients more so that it stays healthy. Consult your veterinarian on the best course of action to take if your canine has unique health considerations. All dogs need six kinds of nutrients: proteins, minerals carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, and fiber. Any quality dog food will have all these nutrients in balanced amounts. The formulations are done in such a manner that a dog can easily absorb the nutrients.

Keep the age of your dog in mind while feeding it. Like you, the dog also transitions through a number of life stages and requires a few particular nutrients and vitamins to stay healthy. To give an example, puppies must have B12 included in their nutrition, as this assists in development and growth. Calcium and Vitamin D are essential to healthy teeth and bones. Phosphorus is also a must in the growing phase. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian. The doctor will prescribe a certain nutrient more for a healthy pet. The veterinarian will go through the oral health and skin issues. Overweight problems, if any, will be solved. Ask your vet for an exhaustive set of nutrients.

Healthy foods and a warning

You should not go overboard while spending money. It is possible to purchase food anywhere- at a pet store, online, or even at the veterinarian’s office. Most quality dog food manufacturers retail their products at all the three places. The dog manufacturing company website will point you towards the right direction in this respect. A few company websites permit a narrow down search option which fits the health needs, activity level, and the age of the canine. Do not be afraid of the exorbitant cost of dog food. Healthy dogs come from eating healthy foods and not the most pricey ones. Most pet food companies provide coupons if you “Like” them on social media.

Do note that not all ingredients in dog food can be healthy for the canine. A few fly-by-night pet food manufacturers produce cheap food with misleading labels on them. The language is too obtuse for a layperson to understand what the dog will eat.

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Is overstimulation a stress-trigger for your cat?

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Cats rarely have any chance to be stimulated. Although cats are extremely social animals with families, they are also wary of strangers. These felines could be stressed out if you invite too many guests to your home. This stress can increase if you devote less time to your kitty. A number of reasons exist for cats to be overstimulated. If continued, these are recipes for disaster, in the long run, It is possible to understand whether your kitty is overstimulated by careful observation.

Sensory overload

You can figure out as to whether your cat is stressed or not. There will be marked changes in its behavior. The feline’s sleep pattern will be altered, along with its energy and appetite levels. If in-case the stress increases with time, then the cat may display signs like meowing, aggression, excessive grooming, and tremble. Urination could also be unpredictable. Do know that these signs of stress may hide any underlying medical problem. Consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

A hyperactive cat spells out overstimulation. Believe it or not, an overstimulated cat and a bored cat look nearly the same. Hyperactivity in any cat means the feline is suffering from sensory overload. A number of cats will begin to behave in a somewhat erratic manner. They will run around and bite things they are generally uninterested in. Do not mix this abnormal behavior with the cat getting happy and doing nearly the same thing. Consider toning down the stimuli if your cat’s behavior continues this way.

Hiding, biting, and scratching

A hyperactive cat may hide if it is overstimulated. It is more so if the cat is not social like other cats. This behavior will be seen when you have guests over in your house. Your cat could try to hide under the bed and not sit under the dining table as usual begging for scraps. Felines seek comfort when overstimulated. You must permit them to seek refuge away from the excitement. In case you notice your kitty hiding in a closet, do not coax it out.

An overstimulated cat may also bite and scratch. An overstimulated company could be fearful. It has nowhere to hide and turn to aggression to put off people. The cat may not normally be aggressive but they feel overwhelmed and find ways to search for comfort which will work with the natural defenses they have. Conversely, cats which are usually excited could become nippy and mouthy. Since cats play and bite with each other, it makes sense that they will do the same to humans. This is how they play. The problem is that it could be comfortable for the cat, but not for you. This is truer when your cat treats you like a huge cat tree.

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How Suitable Are Probiotics For Your Dog?

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The dog’s immune system is in its gut. The latter contains about 70 percent of all immune cells. It follows that the digestive system of the dog should be kept in tip-top condition for it to be healthy and active. In short, a good immune system equals a healthy and full life. To ensure this, the obvious and the easiest method is to provide your pet with daily probiotic supplements.

Better health

Veterinarians support the giving of probiotics to dogs. Providing your puppy a dose of healthy bacteria will positively impact a number of chronic GI abnormalities, behavior disorders, liver disorders, and its mood. Your dog will enjoy a better skin and coat appearance. There will be an improvement in the breath and a reduction of gas. The allergy symptoms will also be reduced. Bowel function will be much better and there will be minimal yeast-linked disorders.

The list of probiotics crafted especially for dogs come in a number of sizes and shapes. A few are suitable for multiple species and marketed that way. Some are suitable for both humans and dogs. The probiotics can come as pills, solutions, pastes, and powders. Every probiotic supplement contains multiple kinds of bacteria or yeast or a combination of both. A few particular strains inhibit the diarrhea duration in canines and boost overall immunity. Other strains help dogs to absorb nutrients. The digestive systems also get optimized.

No everything-fits-probiotics

Experts warn that there is no single probiotic supplement which is suitable for all dogs and for every health condition. A majority of veterinarians recommend a bouquet of multiple products manufactured by different companies. Many recommend trying on different products before zeroing on to a specific product. Most veterinarians agree that the list of effective probiotics includes Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Bifidobacterium animalis.

Although there is no rule set in stone which says that you cannot give your dogs probiotic supplements made for humans, it is recommended by veterinarians that a pet owner should go for a probiotic specially crafted for canines. This is as some specific strains are suitable for the needs of dogs. The biology of the two species is different. The stomach fluids have different acidity and the digestive enzymes are different as well.

You can give your dog probiotic supplements orally by packaging it inside a treat or in any dog food. It is vital that you follow the instructions printed on the product label. The instructions must be followed in a consistent manner. If any probiotic is improperly administered, or wrongly formulated, then it will be quickly destroyed inside the stomach. The products will not reach their desired target-the intestines where they perform their duties.

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