3 Things You Can Do To Prepare Your Pet For Boarding

Pets are a wonderful addition to any family. Many people find joy in having a pet in their home and enjoy the fact that they have the company of a furry friend. However, if you want to travel you may find that you are worried about boarding your pet while you are gone. This is normal to worry about your pet being cared for. Luckily there are some simple things that you can do before you take your pet to a boarding house to make sure that their stay is positive. Here are some suggestions.

1. Don’t Make Any Major Changes To The Diet Before The Stay

The goal is to keep everything as comfortable for your pet as possible. Your pet may feel a little anxiety and apprehension about being left. This can affect their appetite and they may even have a hard time eating. This problem can be exasperated by them being introduced to new foods at the same time. This is why it is important that when you bring food for your pet that you bring things that they are already acclimated too. Don’t even change brands of food; keep everything as consistent as possible. This will ensure that they eat properly while you are gone.

2. Bring An Object From Home

Before you drop your pet off for boarding you should bring an object from home that brings them comfort. If they have a special blanket or bed that they sleep in, you should bring that along. Some pets even find it helpful to have a piece of clothing from their owner to snuggle up to.

As a side note, you should always clean and wash all of their items before you drop them off. In consideration for the other pets that are boarding at the same house, every item should be clean.

3. Bring Information About Shots, Vaccinations, and Vet

Lastly, you should bring all of the information about your pet’s health with you. This way if something happens, such as an allergic reaction, an injury or a health issue, the caretaker of the pet will know who to call and how to handle the problem. In fact, some places may not even take your pet unless they are sure that they are up to date on all of their vaccinations. This is why it is good to always have those documents on hand.

By doing these simple things you can be sure that your pet is prepared for a positive cat boarding experience. 

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5 Ways To Prepare Your Dog For Dog Grooming

As a dog owner, keeping your dog well-groomed is extremely important. Healthy and clean fur will keep your dog happier and ensure that they are enjoying a higher quality of life. On top of this, they are less likely to stink up your home and be unpleasant for your guests to be around. Here are five ways to prepare your dog for their visit to a dog groomer:

  1. Brush Regularly: First thing’s first, you should be brushing your dog regularly to ensure that their fur continuously stays healthy and strong. If you are not brushing your dog regularly, your dog’s hair will become knotted, which makes a dog groomer’s job more difficult. They will either have to brush or cut these knots off before they can begin with the shampoo and wash. You should be brushing your dog’s fur every day if they are long-haired and less often if they have short hair. 
  2. Don’t be Anxious to Drop Off Your Dog: If you are worried about leaving your dog during their first time with a dog groomer, you should try not to show signs of being anxious, which could make your dog feel scared and unsure about the experience. This can make things harder for the groomer because they will have to ensure that your dog stays calm during the process. 
  3. Provide Specific Details: When you drop your dog off with the groomer, it’s important that you provide specific details. If you want your dog’s nails trimmed, for example, you will need to let your dog groomer know. This ensures that they handle the tasks that you need, even if they aren’t part of the standard wash and brush routine.
  4. Bathe Your Dog: Washing your dog regularly is important to prevent matting. Although your dog groomer will wash your dog for you if it’s requested, you should still be sure that you are doing it on your own as well. This is going to prevent matting. Matted fur is uncomfortable for dogs because it sticks to the skin and can be itchy. It can also cause irritation of the skin. If you have trouble with washing your dog because they do not corporate, ask for some advice from your dog groomer.

By knowing these ways to prepare your dog for dog grooming, you can be sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible, which will keep your dog comfortable every visit. For more tips, talk to a groomer like Hickman Creek Kennel.

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4 Tips For Transitioning Cats From Dry Food To A Wet Food Diet

As a cat owner, it is important that you provide it with the most nutritious diet possible so that it can have a long and healthy life. While you may have tried several dry food brands and formulas in the past, none of them can compare to the benefits that come with a wet food diet.

Transitioning your cats from dry food to wet if they have been eating dry their whole life can be a challenge, making the following tips very helpful.

Start Slow When Introducing Wet Food

The easiest way to help your cat start eating more wet food is by offering it along with their typical bowl of dry food. Some cats may try the wet food out of curiosity, leading to them eating more over time. The next step involves mixing together some wet food and dry food and slowly increasing the ratio of wet to dry until all that is left is wet.

If your cat has refused to eat, remember to take it slow and consider going back a few steps so that they are getting some food in their system every day.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Different Flavors

One of the reasons that your cat may not be tempted to eat their wet food is that the flavor is not their favorite. Even if your cat is used to eating a similar flavor for their dry food, consider switching up different flavors until you find a good fit for them. An easy way to do this is by providing a bowl of each flavor and checking to see what they eat the most of.

Be Prepared to Refrigerate Leftovers

Once you start leaving wet food out for your cat, you need to be prepared to pick it up and store in the refrigerator after a few hours due to bacteria growth that can happen. Since your cat may not be interested in the new wet food right away, you have to get used to refrigerating plenty of leftovers until they begin finishing off their bowls.

Focus on the End Result to Avoid Giving In

Many cat owners fail at switching their cats to a wet food diet due to their cat begging for more food. To avoid failing at this transition, keep in mind the health benefits that come with an all wet food diet. A lower risk of diabetes, avoiding feline lower urinary tract disease, and reducing calories so that they are in a healthy way can all be achieved by remaining firm with the transition to wet food.

As you begin collecting food for transitioning your cat to a wet food diet, you need to remember to take it slow and consider some of the other tips mentioned above. In some cases, you may even want to get help from a veterinarian, like one at Ashworth Road Animal Hospital PC, for recommendations of formulas or advice regarding their weight and calorie intake.

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Three Helpful Dog Socialization Tips

As a pet owner, taking good care of your dog is your number one priority. Make sure you don’t overlook the fact that this also involves socializing your dog. A well-socialized dog can engage non-aggressively with other dogs and can be well-behaved around other humans. Good socialization helps your dog be more relaxed in places like dog parks, dog daycare and veterinary offices. Here are just some of the tips you can apply to help socialize your dog.

Start Early

It’s best to start the socializing process in the younger years, especially if you had the luxury of getting your dog as a new puppy. While this doesn’t mean you can’t socialize an older dog, the younger the dog, the easier the process often is.

The period between 8 weeks and 16 weeks is the most critical time for performing this process. Younger than 8 weeks can put the health of the puppy at risk and after 16 weeks the animal will be somewhat set in its ways, making the process more challenging.

Invite Guests

One of the simpler ways to begin the socialization process is to invite guests over to your home. Simply being in the presence of other humans can help raise the dog’s comfort level around people. When guests come over, encourage them to engage with the dog, whether it be giving the dog a treat, playing with the dog or cuddling.

After a certain point, when the dog seems to run to different guests eagerly, you can start taking your dog to different people’s homes and to parks to further help ease their comfort of other humans.

Choose Dog Parks Wisely

If you don’t have a friend or relative with a dog for your pet to engage with, dog parks will be the next best thing. Just make sure you are choosing your park wisely. If most of the people in your neighborhood have large dogs and they all frequent the dog park, if you have a smaller breed, you probably want to look elsewhere.

If the dog is intimidated by the larger animals, this will only hinder your efforts and make the dog more fearful. Although it might take some trial and error, look for a dog park where similar-sized breeds as your dog frequent.

When it comes to socializing your furry friend, make sure you have your patience hat on. This can sometimes be a long and tedious process for some owners, but the result is well worth the effort put forth. For more information, talk to a professional like Pet Peeves LLC.

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Common Myths About Pot Bellied Pigs As Pets

Although pot bellied pigs are intelligent, playful, and affectionate, they can also be obstinate and destructive. They are fine pets in a rural setting, with plenty of space to root around for small morsels that can be detected by their magnificent sense of smell.

However, in an urban space, pot bellied pigs can cause so much destruction and unpleasantness that owners may wish to give them to a shelter. This is wishful thinking, as pot bellied pig shelters are usually filled to capacity from owners who were misinformed by breeders or by popular movies that portray pot bellied pigs as the pet equivalent of dogs.

So if you’re considering a pot bellied pig as a Christmas gift, here are some myths that may need debunking.

Pot bellied pigs stay small

Any living thing stays small if it is not fed enough. Deceptive breeders may convince potential buyers that their pet can be kept small by feeding it less than required. This caused the same health problems as malnourished humans.

 A healthy pot bellied pig may weigh hundreds of pounds as an adult, but because their bodies are very compact, their weight is deceptive.

Pot bellied pigs can eat anything

Pot bellied pigs need a structured diet of vegetables and specially formulated pellets, with occasional treats. These pellets can often only be found in rural feed stores, and require handling and transporting forty pound bags. 

Pot bellied pigs will eat anything, including drywall, soiled cat litter, and ashes from a fireplace or wood stove. However, an overweight pig will suffer the same health problems as an obese human, such as heart disease and joint issues.

Some urban veterinarians will treat pot bellied pigs. However, you must get the pig to the veterinarian. Transporting an overweight pot bellied pig, or any pig, may be filled with difficulties.

They are not climbers, and most do not care for heights. While some pot bellied pigs will walk up and down a ramp to a waiting vehicle, it depends upon the individual temperament. Some may have no problem going into a vehicle, but balk at leaving it because of a fear of falling. They are not the most graceful of creatures.

Pot bellied pigs can be trained like a dog

Because they are very intelligent, pot bellied pigs can be taught simple commands. Some pigs will even agree to be walked on a leash and specially designed harness. However, many pigs will refuse to be harnessed, because of their instinctive fear of being trapped and eaten by a predator. 

However, although pigs are as intelligent as dogs, they lack the subservient nature of a dog. Although pigs are herd animals, they are hierarchical, each battling for a dominant position in the herd. 

If a pig is part of a human family, they will challenge fellow family members for position in the family. This is especially true for new family members such as children or spouses.

Pot bellied pigs also have long memories, and may react to a perceived slight long after the incident occurred. So although they are actually clean and easily litter trained (with a really large litter box), they may decide to retaliate by urinating and/or defecating in copious quantity in an inappropriate area.

Unfortunately, their worst habit is not formed from malice. With a keen sense of smell guiding a massive neck on a low slung compact body, they are natural rooters and diggers, and they will uproot an entire urban backyard in a short time. If they are kept indoors, pot bellied pigs will uproot floor tiles or chew through drywall out of boredom or because they believe some small morsel of food might be found.

Although there are many negative aspects to owning a pot bellied pig in the city, it can be done if local zoning permits ownership. However, because pot bellied pig ownership has special issues, and shelter space is limited if you change your mind, consider all facets of ownership of these playful, affectionate, and potentially destructive pets. 

The first thing to consider is the location of the nearest veterinarian that treats pot bellied pigs. With proper care, they can live as long or longer than most dogs, and will need increasingly more care as they age. For more information, contact a company like Animal Care Center of Forest Park.

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Can’t Breathe: 5 Steps To Help Alleviate Your Cat’s Asthma Symptoms

Does a few minutes of play send your cat into uncontrollable coughing? If it does, your cat may be suffering from asthma. A trip to the veterinarian will help diagnose the problem. In addition to the medications and medical treatment your veterinarian may provide, here are four steps you can take to keep your cat symptom-free.

Increase the Humidity

Like humans, dry air can make asthma worse. Install a humidifier in your home and increase the moisture. Moist air will help your cat breathe easier. If your cat spends most of its time in one specific room, simple place humidifier in that room. However, if your cat tends to roam throughout the house, you may want to consider placing a humidifier at each end of the house.

Kick the Habit

Second-hand smoke is bad for cats too. If your cat has been diagnosed with asthma, you should consider kicking the habit. In addition to increasing asthma symptoms, second-hand smoke also increases your cats’ risk of developing certain kinds of cancer, including mouth cancer and squamous cell carcinoma. The cigarette smoke accumulates on your cats’ fur. When your cat grooms itself, it takes those carcinogens into its mouth through its tongue, increasing its cancer risk with each lick.

Change Litter

Pour some kitty litter in the litter box. If you see dust, you should change the litter that you’re using. That dust can irritate your cats’ lungs and make the asthma symptoms worse. If your cat has asthma or allergies, its best to use dust-free clumping litter.

Bring It Inside

If seasonal allergies are making your cats asthma symptoms worse, you may want to reduce the amount of time it spends outdoors. This is particularly true if your cat spends the majority of its time outside during the early morning or late afternoon hours. That’s when pollen levels are at their highest.

Wipe It Down

Whenever your cat grooms itself, it ingests allergens. Those allergens can cause asthma flare-ups. Keep the allergens off your cat by wiping it down with a moist cloth several times a day. To make sure your cat sits still long enough to be wiped down, wait until it’s resting before you begin.

If your cat has asthma, ordinary activities can make it difficult to breathe. You can help relieve the symptoms by following the simple steps provided above. If your cat continues to have difficulty breathing, be sure to speak to your veterinarian. 

For professional veterinary care, contact an office such as Coble Animal Hospital.

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Teaching Your Dog To Enjoy Their Boarding Facility Stays

If you have a new dog and your job tends to have you work away from home for a few days at a time, you may wish to prepare your dog for staying in a boarding facility, like Crossroads Pet Resort. There are several steps you can take to train your dog to accept staying in a location other than your home. Here are a few ways to prepare your dog to become accustomed to time apart from you on a regular basis.

Visit Other Dogs Regularly

To help prepare your dog for staying in an area with several other dogs, bring them to areas where dogs are present so they will learn how to socialize. Make sure the encounters are in a fun atmosphere so your dog does not associate other dogs as threats. Take your dog to the park and for walks around town with friends who have dogs themselves. Make sure to praise your dog when they play with another pet so they are reassured they are doing something you find positive.

Enroll In Obedience Classes

It is a good idea to train your dog basics in obedient behavior so they may listen to commands given in a dog boarding facility. The best way to carry out this task is to see if the boarding facility itself has classes available. This will allow your dog to get used to some of the staff before they will be having extended stays. They will become familiar with the specific commands used at the facility, making the transition much easier.

Have Some Grooming Done

Many boarding facilities will offer grooming on the premises so your dog looks nice when you arrive to pick them up. Consider having your dog go to a groomer to be pampered before they stay at a boarding facility so they become accustomed to the pampering they will receive. If you find your dog enjoys being combed or brushed, you can pass along this information to the boarding facility grooming center so they can do the same procedures when your dog stays.

Bring Comforts From Home

To help your dog from becoming depressed in a boarding facility, make sure to pack some of their favorite treats so they will have them available during your absence. A soft blanket or desirable chew toy may make your dog feel secure when in an area other than their home. Bring along food they are used to eating at home so they do not need to eat something unfamiliar, possibly causing gastrointestinal problems and depression as a result.

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