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April 2015

6 Steps You Can Take to Care for Your Cat's Teeth

 by petbucket on 30 Apr 2015 |
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One of the most common problems that veterinarians report seeing in cats is poor dental hygiene. Since you probably don't get that many opportunities to see your kitty's teeth, it can be easy to forget that they need care, and many cat owners go for years without ever addressing their pets' dental health. Unfortunately, many cats struggle with tooth decay and gum disease, and you might not always know if your feline friend is one of them. Left untreated for too long, dental issues can lead to much more serious health problems including heart disease and cancer. Here is a look at six steps you can take to care for you cat's teeth and ensure that they don't cause discomfort or other complications. 1. Take a Whiff - Have you always written off Fluffy's terrible breath as something that's unavoidable? In reality, cats shouldn't have bad breath as long as their teeth and gums are healthy. Obviously, kitties' mouths aren't likely to smell great all the time (especially after eating), but if you've noticed an extremely strong, lingering odor, then it's time to consider a trip to the vet. 2. Look Closely - As you spend time with your cat, there are likely to be plenty of opportunities to peek inside his mouth. Try to take a good look the next time catch your kitty meowing or yawning, and keep an eye out for common indicators of dental or periodontal disease, including swollen gums, bleeding, discolored teeth, or pus. 3. Watch Out for Hints - Cats tend to be very stoic animals, and many of them won't show any obvious signs that they are in pain from dental problems. It's important, therefore, for you to be a good detective, and watch out for any hints from your kitty that she might be having problems with her mouth. Slow eating or a decrease in appetite could both be signs that your cat is suffering from pain. She might also paw at her mouth often or struggle with excessive drooling.  4. Brush Teeth Regularly - The simplest way to prevent dental issues for your cat is to brush his teeth regularly. You may be wary about how your cat will react to home brushings, but you are much more likely to be successful if you ease your pet into the idea. Begin by spending some time touching Kitty's teeth and gums with a finger or some gauze dipped in chicken broth or tuna juice. Next, let your cat lick some treats off the toothbrush before switching to kitty toothpaste with a tempting flavour. Finally, you can try brushing gently, paying the closest attention to your cat's canines and molars. If you repeat this routine weekly, you should see a noticeable decrease in tartar buildup before long.  5. Dry Food and Dental Treats - While wet cat food will just coat Tiger's teeth with plaque-causing particles, dry food is hard enough that it should scrape away some of the tartar if your cat eats it often. You can also find dedicated dental chews at your local pet store in order to help clean your kitty's teeth without too much effort on your part. 6. Regular Cleanings - Just as people are supposed to make routine visits to the dentist, you should occasionally have the vet give your kitty a more thorough teeth cleaning. These procedures are performed under general anaesthesia and they typically include plaque removal, scaling, and fluoride treatment. Most cats only need professional cleanings a few times in their lives, but you should ask your vet what she recommends. Putting a little extra effort into caring for your kitty's teeth might seem like a big ordeal, but you'll be amazed how much it can help. You owe it to your cat to do everything you can to be a good owner, and maintaining Fluffy's oral health is just one part of the commitment you make when you adopt a feline pal.

Tips for raising puppy for the fisrt time owners

 by petbucket on 23 Apr 2015 |
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Everyone knows that puppies are a lot of work. The good news is, raising a puppy  doesn't have to be exhausting or frustrating. Here are five tips for surviving puppyhood: Be choosy. To make raising a puppy the best experience it can be, begin at the beginning--with the right puppy. Take the time to research breeds and breeders. Poorly-bred puppies can be prone to mental and physical problems, just as certain breeds tend to have hyperactivity or aggression issues. It's a good idea to visit and observe several puppies before deciding on one. Of course, some of the best puppies come from rescue groups, so don't leave out this option when looking for a puppy. Crate train. Although crate training a puppy might be tedious, time consuming, and tiring in the beginning, the benefits of having a crate-trained dog will be worth the effort. The crate not only provides the puppy with a safe, secure place to unwind or nap, it gives you freedom--to leave the house or go about your business at home without worrying about the puppy's safety and antics. You will especially appreciate the crate at night, when both you and your puppy need restful time alone. Spoil your puppy. Puppies are a lot less tiring, attention seeking, and naughty when they have things to do. Offering your puppy a variety of toys will help eliminate boredom and bad behaviour. Good toy choices include puppy puzzles, which require strategy and brain work, and durable chew toys. Besides offering toys, consider enrolling your puppy in a class, like puppy kindergarten or puppy agility. Or, do something on your own, like teach your puppy tricks, play interactive games, or organize a puppy play group. Set up a routine. Most people have a well-established daily routine, so they know how important structure is to health and well-being. Providing a puppy with structure--from scheduled meal times to daily activities to a nightly bedtime routine--is good for the dog too because he will gain a better sense of trust and confidence when he knows what to expect day-to-day. Teaching a puppy structure early on will not only make your life easier, it will make his life better.   Take breaks. Raising a puppy shouldn't be a 24/7 job and you will want and need to take breaks from your puppy. Spending time away from your new dog is healthy and beneficial for both of you; your puppy will learn how to separate from you, and you will feel refreshed, reinvigorated, and ready to refocus on your puppy. There's no question, puppies can be exhausting, But with these tips, raising a puppy can be one of the best experiences--for both owner and dog.

Training Your Puppy to Fetch

 by petbucket on 16 Apr 2015 |
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Playing fetch with your dog is an activity that's immensely enjoyable for the entire family, but if your puppy tends to ignore the ball when you throw it, or won't bring the ball back to you, it can be exhausting!  Although the skill of fetching is instinctive for certain breeds of dog, such as retrievers, most dogs still need to be trained in the rules of the game, and taught what they are expected to do.  Luckily, it isn't difficult to train a dog how to fetch, and by following the steps below, your puppy will learn a new skill that will provide hours of entertainment for both you and your family friend. Make sure the ball you use when you're teaching your dog how to fetch is used only for that purpose.  This will lead to an association between that particular ball and playing fetch in your puppy's brain; whenever he sees that ball, he'll know it's time to play, and eventually he'll get excited just by seeing a glimpse of his special ball. With the dog by your side, throw the ball a very short distance away from yourself.  If your dog doesn't instinctively go chasing after the ball, chase after it yourself, and play with the ball, just as if you were a dog. He may not understand what he's expected to do for a few days, but if your dog sees that you're having fun with the ball, eventually he will want to join in and play with you. The moment your dog does start chasing after the ball when you throw it, give him as much verbal encouragement and praise as you can. Don't say your dog's name at this point, as it could be confusing, and the dog may think that you're calling him back to you before he reaches the ball.  When your dog plants his teeth around the ball, you're halfway there. Your dog has mastered the first step of fetch.  The next step is to teach him to bring the ball back to you. When your dog is walking with the ball in his mouth, call him by his name towards you, and clap your hands at the same time, to ensure you have his attention.  If your dog drops the ball before he makes it back to you, try throwing the ball again, but a shorter distance this time. When your dog eventually gets to where you're standing with the ball in his mouth, make a real fuss of him. He's almost an expert at the game by now. Getting your dog to let go of the ball once he has bought it back can be the most difficult part of the game. Try saying "drop", and give him a treat at the same time. Your dog should drop the ball in order to be able to eat the treat. After a while, when your dog makes it back to you with the ball in his mouth, say "drop" before offering the treat, and he will know what he's expected to do.

5 Surprising Dog Breeds Perfectly Suited for Apartment Living

 by petbucket on 08 Apr 2015 |
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By Maggie Park   Many people think that only toy dog breeds are well-suited for apartment living, but this assumption simply is not true. Some small dogs are great in an apartment situation, and some aren't. The best dogs for apartment dwellers are those that are fairly quiet, well mannered, and calm. If you are away from your apartment during the work day, you also need a dog that is comfortable with plenty of alone time. Here are some surprising dog breeds that are perfectly suited for apartment living.   1. Bulldogs. Bulldogs have very calm demeanor, making them great for apartment living. While a Bulldog will never be your jogging buddy, he does enjoy a short daily walk. Pay attention to the weather when you take your Bulldog for a walk, however, since Bulldogs aren't very tolerant of hot, muggy conditions. A 50-pound Bulldog may not seem like the perfect apartment companion, but this breed is actually an ideal choice.   2. Rat Terriers. Since Rat Terriers look so much like their hyper cousin, the Jack Russell Terrier, many people shy away from these busy little dogs. While they do have plenty of energy, Rat Terriers are calm and affectionate as long as they have an opportunity to exercise. If you are looking for a workout buddy, a Rat Terrier may be the perfect breed for you. As long as this little dog has about 40 minutes of exercise per day, he is calm, quiet, and loving.   4. Bull Mastiffs. These huge dogs are devoted to their owners, yet they can be left alone for significant periods of time. Bull Mastiffs were bred to be watchdogs for large English estates, but their size is more intimidating than their personality. Although they are very large dogs, Bull Mastiffs thrive with only moderate amounts of exercise. Be warned, however, the Bull Mastiff does drool.   5. Greyhounds. You may assume that the Greyhound's speed makes her inappropriate for apartment living, but Greyhounds are actually very lazy. Their sprinting speed is impressive, but don't choose a Greyhound to help you train for a marathon. A Rat Terrier is a far better running buddy. Greyhounds are quiet, calm, indoor dogs who cannot tolerate cold temperatures. This impressive dog is perfectly suited for an apartment.   Other Great Apartment Dogs While the breeds listed above are surprisingly well suited for apartment dwelling. You may prefer a more conventional apartment-dwelling breed. Some great choices include Pugs, Boston Terriers, Bichon Frises, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Shih Tzus.   When you choose your apartment companion, make sure to consider the behavioral markers of the breed. Is the breed known for constant barking? How much exercise does the breed require? Finally, if you are going to leave your pet home while you are at work, you must investigate the breed's propensity to get bored and look for trouble. When you choose carefully, both you and your canine companion will enjoy each other's company for many years.
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