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September 2012

How to Train Your Dog: Playful Puppy Potty Training Tips

 by zack on 29 Sep 2012 |
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Cats are no problem. You feed them, leave out some litter, and throw them in after they eat. Simple stuff. To Train your dog? That’s a lot more difficult. Puppies are quick learners, of habits both good and bad. So the first thing you want to be sure of is instilling the right behaviors in your dog, and keeping consistent throughout their first year. Habits learned during puppy-hood will stick in their minds during their entire lifetimes, making it of paramount importance to set your routine how you want it immediately. Everyone Hates Wet Socks First thing’s first: Potty training. There is nothing more irritating than coming home from a tough day’s work, taking off your shoes, and getting your socks wet and yellow as you stride over to your couch. It’s even worse if you’re walking on a Persian carpet at the moment of sock-soiling.  To avoid this you’ll have to be diligent at first and consistent thereafter. House training a puppy takes time and patience. You’ll more than likely be ready to throttle your pup after the third day, but resist the urge. Remember that any mistakes are part of the learning process. Get used to them. Be Consistent! Start to train your dog by getting on a schedule as soon as possible. Take the playful puppy out as soon as he wakes up, again after his morning meal, and frequently ever after. A good rule of thumb goes by age: for every month they’ve been alive, that’s an hour they can hold their bladder. So if you have a three month old puppy, then you should be able to wait three hours between potty breaks. It’s the Little Things that Count When you take your playful puppy out train your dog using a consistent buzz word to remind them what they are doing. Tell them to “Go potty,” or some other equivalent command.  The important thing is you use that same consistent command that they understand and associate with the action. After they’ve finished their business, you must praise them liberally so that they know they’ve pleased you. This method will work better with some breeds than others. You may want to go as far as giving them a treat whenever they’ve relieved themselves properly. Train Your Dog Forever! After a few successful runs, you will notice accidents becoming far less frequent. Dogs will pick up on what’s expected of them fairly quickly when the circumstances surrounding the rules remain constant. This is good, but don’t let up! Train your dog with regularity, because backsliding has been known to occur, and accidents are inevitable. Your Playful Puppy will make mistakes, and you must be patient. Tell them “no” When they piddle indoors, but don’t make a big deal out of it. They will start getting scared to make water in front of you and that will be a real problem come walky time. That’s the long and short of it. Remember consistency and vigilance are the key. Keep an eye out and a leash ready!

Bouncy Bulldog

 by brian on 24 Sep 2012 |
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A crazy British Bulldog who thinks he is a gymnast. Did someone train him or does it come naturally?

Flea Allergy Dermatitis: A Raw Deal

 by zack on 24 Sep 2012 |
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Welcome to yet another blurb on one of the many ways a tiny six legged organism can ruin your day. On tonight’s episode, you’ll learn about the most common cause of skin disease for dogs and cats: Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Don’t take this allergic reaction as lightly as the jovially toned jive you’re reading, flea dermatitis is most definitely a drag. Flea allergy dermatitis starts with a flea. The flea bites your pet repeatedly causing a stinging itch, the dog or cat responds by scratching or biting themselves raw, and eventually develops an allergy to the flea’s saliva. This allergy then takes the form of raw exposed skin replacing the lovely fur coat that your pet had been cultivating for the entirety of its existence. Unless you have one of those disarmingly adorable/creepy pets without any fur, but it’s pretty difficult for fleas to stick around on a hairless target. Doggy Dermatitis In dogs, flea allergy dermatitis will make itself known through redness, bumps, pus filled bumps (postules,) crusty scabs, and the aforementioned hair loss. These signs are most often found around the tail, back, and neck areas; though the back of the legs are common targets as well.  It’s basically the worst possible version of eczema that you can imagine, except it’s in canines. So don’t send your pooch to obedience school with flea allergy dermatitis, they’ll be just as embarrassed as the flaky skinned kid in high school. You don’t want an unpopular puppy, do you? Feline Flea Allergy   In cats, the flea dermatitis can be just as bad, if not worse. Feline flea allergy dermatitis carries all of the same symptoms as the canine model, but it can also lead to some fairly serious skin disorders. These disorders can include miliary dermatitis which is basically a series of unpatterned lesions on your cat’s skin, feline eosinophilic granuloma which causes highly unattractive ulcers, or alopecia which is a fancier way of saying hair loss. At this point you might be asking yourself: is there no end to the problems flea bites can cause? Well, fortunately for you, the answer is yes. The fleas have only a finite supply of methods to annoy or physically harm you and your pet. Not only are they limited in their approach, but you can actively combat the problem at the source of flea allergy dermatitis and all of its accompanying health conditions; namely, the fleas.   Pet Medications to the Rescue Your solution should be a fairly familiar one if you are a frequent browser of this blog. The answer is, of course, flea prevention through quality pet medications. No matter how bad your pet’s reaction to flea allergy dermatis is, their symptoms are bound to subside if you prevent the flea bites. Whether you’re a fan of spot on treatments or tablets, you’ll be glad you offered your pet this easy and affordable protection that enhances their quality of life, and saves you peace of mind. Pick up your pet meds today.  

Flea Disease If You Please

 by zack on 24 Sep 2012 |
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Fleas are a pestilence to mankind. Their blood feud has been going on for centuries. A certain variety of flea was actually responsible for the widespread death and devastation wrought throughout the Black Death’s reign of terror in the 1300s. These days, most people don’t worry too much about catching the plague, but fleas are still carriers of this and other terrible and debilitating flea diseases. For the sake of public health and safety, this public service announcement is here to inform you of the dangers that can result from unrestricted flea bites and flea disease. Cat Scratch Fever Despite the incredible guitar talents of Ted Nugent, this particular flea disease is no picnic. Better known in the medical community by the name of Bartonella henselae, (not quite as catchy as the common vernacular) Cat Scratch Fever is transmitted via flea bite, and it preys on weak immune system and can result in serious complications for the victims. It has little to no effect on cats that contract the infection, but it plays havoc with humans. Symptoms include but are not limited to: fatigue, headache, fever, swelling of the lymph nodes, weight loss, sore throat, and a lack of appetite. Someone with the infection should also see a blister or bump form at the site of the infection, which is usually caused by a scratch or bite from a cat, hence the well thought out name.   The Bubonic Plague   Believe it or not, people actually still catch this medieval epidemic, and it’s no ring around the rosy. Guess how it’s contracted. Pat yourself on the back if you answered flea bites. If you paid any attention in high school history, you probably remember the symptoms of the Black Death: gangrene, malaise, fever, grotesquely smooth bumps and boils, and oh yeah—Death. Luckily, medical science has come a ways since the dark ages, and there are antibiotic treatments that keep this flea disease in check. Flea Borne Typhus You know that any disease that sounds like a Greek god can’t be too much fun. Flea borne Typhus is caused by the bacteria Rickettsia typhi  is transmitted when a flea bites a rat then cats or possums and then on to human beings. It’s a nasty infection with some harsh symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes (a common trend, if you haven’t noticed,) severe headaches, stupor, chills, high fever, a skin rash, nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches. Antibiotic treatment is a must if you contract this flea disease. If left untreated, the infection can prove fatal. There are plenty of other pathogens that a flea can transmit with a single chomp, but these are the culprits to look out for.   While there are treatment options for most any flea disease, the real solution will always be preventative treatment. It’s far better to pay up front and not have to worry about the Black Death. So thank your lucky stars that such treatment is both affordable and conveniently available at your online pet supermarket

The Greedy Cat Flea

 by zack on 24 Sep 2012 |
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What is a flea? The answer is manifold. As you probably already know, there are plenty of different kinds of fleas. Many are named for the hosts that they prey upon: Rabbit, Dog,  and Deer Fleas, etc. However, as we’ve already learned, knowledge of your enemies is of paramount importance in the ongoing struggle against parasites. So it’s time to get down to specifics. If there is one sort that gives people and pets more trouble than any other, it is undoubtedly the Cat Flea. If you’ve ever had to deal with a pet parasite infestation, you’ve more than likely come up against this tiny terror. So what do fleas do? More than you might expect. The Cat flea is one of the most numerous creatures on the planet, thriving in any area inhabited by animals. Unlike many of their parasitic brethren with a predilection toward a single type of prey, these bloodsuckers have an undiscerning appetite for mammalian hemoglobin. They will feast on dogs, cats, birds, and even humans. Though humans can be infected, it’s difficult for a large colony to establish for any extended period of time.  Most human beings are quick to eliminate any pesky itching, but if a flea can feed on a human for 12 hours they will begin to lay eggs. While they are predominantly found on cats, there are actually more cat fleas infesting dog skins than any other variety, including the dog flea. In interesting name choice there. The scientists in charge of classification must have gotten lazy that day. Cat Flea Characteristics   Aside from being less finicky than the other types, the cat flea doesn’t really stand out. Their recognizable attributes only become visible when viewed under a microscope, which can be problematic considering how difficult they are to catch.  They share most of the major features with the others, like piercing/sucking mouth parts, three sets of legs, large and powerful hind legs well-suited to jumping, tiny spines on their legs used to grip the host’s hair, and a triple sectioned body. Their habits are very similar to the other varieties as well. They prefer warmer climates anywhere between 55 and 90° F. Cat fleas are most active before laying eggs and after emerging from their pupa stage. The major differences are in the whisker-like spines on and around their heads as well as a vertical compression, (in addition to the universally present lateral compression that allows all fleas to slip as they please through feathers and fur with equivalent ease). On an unrelated note, that last rhyme was entirely coincidental and unplanned, though whimsically pleasing to the ear. A certain amount of whimsy is a much-needed element when discussing a subject as disturbing as bloodsucking parasites, so it seems like a good spot to end the discussion. Remember that while fleas can differ greatly between species, treatment is nearly always the same. Prevention is the best policy and nothing beats high quality pet medications. Grab yours today!

So You Say You Want a Revolution?

 by zack on 23 Sep 2012 |
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Well, you know… we all want to change the world—to a simpler and safer place for pets that is! There is a veritable smorgasbord of preventatives on the pet medication buffet, but how do you tell which is the correct choice for your pet? Well, in the interest of pet revelations and the commonwealth of cats and dogs everywhere, here is a brief account of the advantages of two popular items on most every pet owner’s radar. Revolution and Frontline Plus. Both Revolution and Frontline Plus will treat the basic parasites: fleas and ticks. However, they differ in their methods and applicability. Both are spot-on medications applied to the back of your pet’s neck. This saves you the trouble of covering a tablet in peanut-butter and deceiving your trusting companions. These medications deserve their due diligence as fine and effective products. On the Frontlines Though Revolution and Frontline Plus both share a degree of notoriety, Frontline plus is probably the better known of the two. Though it suffers some criticism at the hands of sporadic posters on many pet forums, it maintains a merited respectable reputation. It is a multi-action parasite medication that attacks every stage of the flea life cycle, neutralizing flea eggs, inhibiting larval growth and killing adult fleas. While offering comprehensive protection against fleas, Frontline Plus also tackles those troublesome ticks and lice.   Revolution Revelations Revolution is also a multi-action parasite medication. Revolution will defend your dog or cat from fleas and ticks just like Frontline Plus. The flea protection offered by both products is identical as Revolution is no respecter of age when it comes to eliminating fleas, though it treats a much more limited variety of ticks as compared to Frontline Plus. Whereas Frontline protects against American Dog Ticks, Brown Ticks, Lone Star Ticks, and Deer Ticks too; Revolution only offers defense against the most prevalent of those listed above: The American Dog Tick. The main advantage of Revolution is that it also treats deadly heartworms, invasive Ear Mites, and even intestinal parasites in cats. Frontline Or Revolution? Heartworm prevention is pretty important to a pet owner, and not having to administer two separate medications for these parasites is a pretty big advantage for Revolution. However, if you live in an area proliferated by more than the run-of-the-mill tick population it might behoove you to stock up on Frontline Plus instead. Revolution and Frontline plus are both effective in the most common uses of pet medications, and each has its own standout characteristics making it more or less attractive according to consumer preferences. Whichever you choose you’re likely to be a powerfully satisfied return customer for years to come. The main thing to remember is that none of the medications you research are really “better” or “worse” than any other. They simply offer distinctly different advantages and disadvantages. Do your research and carefully consider the possibilities before deciding on the best course of treatment for your fuzziest family members.

Cat Breeds: More Than You Might Expect

 by zack on 18 Sep 2012 |
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It’s easy to forget how many specific types of cat there are. With the rising popularity of dog shows, and better exposure for canines in general, the fact of cat speciation has all but escaped public notice. The truth is that there are over 40 different recognized cat breeds. Each of these has its own traits and temperament. Some are small and furry, others large and hairless. You’ve got friendly attention seekers, and the lovably aloof. Whatever your preference may be there is a cat out there that comes prequalified to fit your specific companionship needs. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular kinds of cats. American Shorthair Ensnarement Arguably the most common of all cats, the terminology is often used to refer to alley cats everywhere. However, the American shorthair is a breed all its own despite being lumped in with the all too frequent mixed breeds. These American shorthairs are cuddly little balls of joy, known for being especially family friendly. This cat breed is a wonderful family pet. It makes a great companion for dogs and children alike. They are very affectionate, healthy, and quite beautiful. These precotious little purr-bags will have you oohing and aahing over every little misadventure they undertake. As an added bonus, these excellent hunters are very likely to keep your house pest free as well.   Much ado about Maine Coons Maine Coons are a large fluffy cat breed. They can usually be anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds, the males usually outweigh their female counterparts. Though as you can tell from the picture, they can grow beyond the standardized weight limit. These cats are enviable hunters, and were actually bred for that purpose in and around the farms of Maine. They have an amiable yet independent nature, making them emotionally available but happy in their solitude as well.  Their namesake stems from their large fluffy tails which spurred rumors that they were half raccoon. Siamese Dreams Certainly one of the most majestic breeds, this kind of cat exudes an element of grace wherever it goes. An especially playful kitty, the Siamese is often considered mischievous because of its high level of intelligence, and restless nature. Expect one of the comely kitties to be consistently underfoot and in need of affection.  Although very attached to their owners, the Siamese is known to be cautious and even downright hostile to strangers. This breed of cat is descended from Siamese royalty, so prepare to give it some regal treatment when you decide to bring one into the family. Purring Persians Finally the most popular cat breed in America: the Persian. These little longhaired lions hold sway as the top cat among pet enthusiasts and common cat owners alike. Persians have consistently been the most popular cat in America as far back as the 1800's when they were first introduced. This cat breed does exceedingly well in an apartment lifestyle due to its calm and unexcited demeanor. They are truly the kings and queens of the castle. They prefer a sedentary and unexciting lifestyle where everything revolves around their own majestic selves. They are viewed as the most loyal and among the friendliest breeds of cat in existence. They require due diligence around children, but are still exceptionally heads and tails above the competition in terms of human compatibility. Whichever type of cat you end up taking home they are sure to fill your life with hours of entertainment and humor.  Just remember to protect it from parasites, and shower it with the kind of attention that fits its particular temperament.

Travel Cat is Going With You!

 by zack on 17 Sep 2012 |
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Everyone knows that a dog loves travelling. They like the car rides, they love the destinations, and they enjoy virtually any outdoor activity that you’ll let them be involved with. But what about their feline counterparts? Many people don’t think to bring cats on outdoor adventures, because of the cat’s independent and solitary nature. Although traveling with cats is less common than doggy day-tripping, a tabby loves to get out of the house once in a while as well. Feline Family Outing Destinations So where is a proper pit stop for a pet stop? Cats enjoy a lot of the same places as dogs. A park is just as much fun for kitties. Even a beach visit can go over pretty well, so long as you make sure your travel cat stays well away from the surf. So grab a leash and take a stroll with your feline friend. If you trust him or her not to range too far, go ahead and set them loose. Try to keep them within eye shot, but don’t worry too much. Cats are awesome survivalists, and have excellent senses of direction. They’ve been known to find their way back home over vast distances. Of course, use your best judgment here. If your cat has a history of disappearing for days at a time, this might not be the best idea for you. Your travel cat will appreciate a trip to any outdoor area filled with birds, squirrels, or mice. But perhaps you are aching to go on vacation, and are loathe to leave your feline behind.  There are a lot of options for kitty’s vacation plans. There are plenty of pet friendly hotels with an assortment of pet related activities available on hotel grounds. Pet Friendly Hotels The Hilton hotel’s Pet Friendly program is particularly notable. This program includes a stain-, water- and microbial-resistant pet bed, food and water bowls with placemat, and a pet amenity kit containing waste clean-up bags and treats inside a pet owner’s room. The famous hotel chain even goes so far as to have pet concierge services to inform guests of local pet boutiques and veterinary offices. The fact that such a major hotel franchise is beginning to offer these pet friendly services just goes to show how popular pet travel is becoming. Cautions Curiosity Can Save a Travel Cat Speaking of the vet, make sure to have your cat’s veterinary and vaccination records handy whenever you travel together. You never know what might happen, and it’s better to have the paperwork handy. Also remember that while travelling your cat might be nervous and won’t eat as much. Try to make travel cat comfy by feeding it as soon as you arrive at your pet friendly hotel, and once again before bed time. Don’t’ worry if they don’t finish the meal, that’s normal. Just continue business as usual. Kitty will follow your lead and adjust accordingly. As always you never know what kind of tiny invasion force is awaiting the travel cat at any given destination. So before you head out be sure to stock up on any pet medications you might need.  

Beach Dogs: Bumming it With Your Bow Wow.

 by zack on 16 Sep 2012 |
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Let me paint you a picture. There’s a warm sandy shore in front of you, deep blue waves constantly crashing against the sands with all the predictability of a heartbeat. The sun sits lofty in the sky, midway through its daily journey, shining down on your well baked skin, warming you despite the soft yet steady breeze that slowly massages the stress right out of your body. When suddenly-- a big, goofy, fur covered face blots out the bright blazing of the sun's rays. After a violent fit of shaking, you are now covered in wet sand and salt water. Meanwhile, your bubbly beach dog has resumed panting and staring at you expectantly.  You look down annoyed, but bemused. How can you stay mad at that face?   Time to throw the ball again. Salty Dogs Can Cause Some Trouble! Sounds like fun, right? Most everybody loves a beach vacation, and your mutt is no exception. He’s dying to stretch his salty dog's sea legs at the first available opportunity. Unfortunately, because of a beach dog’s mischievous habits, many vacation spots have put down a blanket ban on canine gallivanting. Not every beach is a dog beach. Beach dogs are lovable creatures in a care-free setting, but they can play havoc with a beach’s ecosystem, and hassle its patrons.   Beach dogs chase resting birds, which can limit their ability to continue migrating. They can unearth nesting grounds of turtles and gulls alike. They will also occasionally badger other beach goers. Finally, if their waste is left unattended, it can lead to the spread of bacterial infections to both humans and other animals. On the bright side there are plenty of beaches all over the world that cater to aquatically inclined water dogs. These destinations are common enough, but they aren’t exactly free for all’s. The risks to the ecosystems for public beaches and dog beaches are identical. You still have to keep your beach dog within sight, clean up after it, and prevent it from digging above the shorelines.  Keep Your Water Dog Afloat! There are also some safety concerns to look out for.  After all, beaches are hot and dogs are hairy. Keep a close eye on your beach dog, provide plenty of fresh water, and make sure they don’t overdo it swimming. Even for humans, swimming is excellent exercise. Dogs aren’t any different. If a dog isn’t in the best shape, the chances of injury increase with extended periods of exercise. And as always, never forget to treat your dog for fleas before venturing outdoors. The Cat Will Be So Jealous. If you can follow these guidelines, keep your dog's flea and worm medications up to date, and observe leash laws wherever applicable, then you’re all set for a beach outing with your best friend. So set up an umbrella and bring a Frisbee, and see if you can’t wash your work week away with salty sea spray, and treat your beach dog to the time of its life.  

Flea Circus at the Dog Park

 by zack on 14 Sep 2012 |
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Everyone loves to take their dog to the Dog Park. The mutt burns some energy, socializes with other dogs, and you get to enjoy the sight of happy hounds frolicking. The only thing you have to worry about is picking up some unwanted guests, namely fleas or ticks, from the dog park grounds or the other dogs. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your dog’s wellbeing during his Dog Park visit. Vet recommended canine parasite medications are readily available, as well as home remedies, and protective chemical barriers that can boost your pet’s defenses to near impenetrable levels. All so you can keep the dog park from turning into a flea circus. The Preventative Strike The Dog Park is enemy territory, to make an incursion you’ve got to be prepared. The first step in an effective defense is prevention. There are effective medicines that can shield your pet from the malicious pests plaguing you both. Canine parasite medications like Frontline, Comfortis, and Revolution all meet the task admirably, and they are all available from your favorite online Pet Supermarket. The Castle Walls Once you’ve decided on a monthly treatment, it’s time to go the extra mile. If you’ve got a scheduled visit to your local dog park, then dress your dog appropriately with a flea/tick collar. These handy implements will spread a thin layer of parasite repellant across your pup’s body, and send any unwanted visitors packing with a poisonous rebuttal. Final Preparations As if these two precautions weren’t enough to deter even the boldest parasites lurking in your local dog park, there are some home remedies that can be effective in weeding out the mostresilient of your tiny foes. For example, mix a small amount of garlic into your dog’s meals. The garlic is absorbed into your pet’s bloodstream and the pungent flavor proves unpalatable for the picky flea. Just as a citronella candle will keep mosquitos at bay, the more earthbound bloodsucking flea tries to avoid the scent of citronella as well. To put this trick to good use, take a bandana or scarf and drop a few drops of citronella onto it. Wrap the small garment around your pet’s neck and give them a pretty new accessory as well as the assurance of an itch free afternoon. Home remedies like these can prove fairly, but shouldn’t be seen as substitutes for the overall protection of a proven canine parasite medication. However, they can fill in the gaps and help put one more barrier between your pet and his predators. Avoid the Flea Circus! Always remember to check your dog for fleas after a day at the dog park. When the pooches intermingle so closely it’s a safe bet that one of them has rolled in something they shouldn’t have, and it’s only a short hop for a single flea to start a new colony on your dog’s hide. Start defending your dog with an effective canine parasite medication today.
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