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How to Feed a Starving Dog Or Cat
What to Do with The New Pet You Adopted Over the Holidays
The Importance of Vaccinating Your Pet

How to Feed a Starving Dog Or Cat
Many people in the animal rescue world come upon dogs and cats who were rescued from truly bad conditions leaving the animals emaciated and starving. These people often know or learn about how to bring a dog or cat back to health and that includes not providing too much food.

According to the article, “Feeding the Starving Dog,” at, “When dogs that have essentially been starved suddenly have free access to large amounts of food, they can become very sick and even die.”

First try to get to a veterinarian so that the animal can be assessed and prescribed a feeding plan, the article said. If that’s not immediately possible, take the following into consideration if you are entrusted with a starving dog or cat.

It’s easy to want to overfeed the animal because he is starving, but don’t do it. “If an emaciated and starved dog is suddenly overfed serious consequences, such as refeeding syndrome, await,” according to the article, “Caring for an Emaciated Dog,” at “This is because a sudden load of carbohydrates in a large meal can create serious shifts in potassium and phosphorus concentrations in all body cells.”

The signs of refeeding syndrome include:

• Muscle weakness
• Muscle cramps
• Seizures
• Red blood cell rupture
• Heart muscle damage and rhythm irregularities
• Respiratory failure

Serve the dog small meals every six hours (four times a day) and the food “should have adequate mineral composition, especially phosphorous, potassium and magnesium,” the “Caring for an Emaciated Dog” article said. “By feeding a highly digestible, meat-based ‘Puppy’ or ‘Growth’ food, along with certain supplements, recovery and weight gain should be evident in a short period of time–that is, as long as the dog has a normal appetite.”

What to Do with The New Pet You Adopted Over the Holidays
After adopting and bringing home a new pet for the holidays, what do you do? First ensure that your pet has everything needed to fit in with your family.

“The key to adding a new pet to your life the right way, is by being prepared—not just on the day you bring your new animal home, but for every day after,” according to the article, “What to Consider Before Getting a Pet for the Holidays (or Ever)” at “A pet is truly the gift that keeps on giving.”

During the holidays, family members are either home from school or take time off. This makes it the perfect time to buy all the things your new pet needs while also spending time together.

According to the article, “10 Tips to Prepare for Adopting a Dog,” at, the following things can help you prepare for your new dog (and it can go for cats, too!):

• Buy everything needed, including collar, leash, food, bowls, bed, gate, treats, toys and grooming supplies.
• Make your home safe. Keep dangerous items out of reach or hide them. Decide who will walk, train and feed your pet.
• Designate a safe, private place.
• Give your pet the tour of the home to show him where everything is, including either the litter box or the yard.
• Introduce the family to your new pet. “The Animal Rescue League of Boston recommends bringing family members and other dogs outside one at a time to meet the new canine,” the Hillspet article said.
• Slowly switch your pet’s food.
• Start any training.
• Make sure you set up an appointment with your veterinarian for a checkup right away.

When you prepare your home and your family for the new pet, it will be an easier transition for everyone.

The Importance of Vaccinating Your Pet
There are many things to do for your pet to keep her healthy. It begins with veterinary checkups, healthy food, exercise, and lots of bonding and playtime, too. There are also important vaccinations that keep your dog protected against various diseases that can cause extreme harm to your pet and even death.

According to the article, “Vaccinations” at American Veterinary Medication Association (AVMA), “Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.”

The AVMA article points to five reasons to vaccinate your pet:

1. They prevent various pet illnesses.
2. For preventable diseases, vaccinations help avoid expensive treatments.
3. Not only do vaccinations prevent diseases that are passed among animals, they also prevent those they are passed from animals to humans.
4. Unvaccinated pets can be infected by diseases such as rabies and distemper that are often seen in wildlife.
5. There are many local or state ordinances that require some vaccinations, such as rabies.

Vaccinations help your pet from contracting contagious diseases when in a public place. “Many contagious diseases are airborne and your pet could easily be exposed through an open window,” according to the article, “Vaccinating Your Pet” at Unfortunately, your pet could get out the door and encounter a contagious animal. Additionally, your pet could be exposed at boarding facilities, dog parks or at the groomer.

It’s important to speak with your veterinarian before taking your pet to any place he could be exposed. “It is also important to keep in mind that vaccinations take a few days to a few weeks to become effective,” the American Humane article said.

So, speak to your veterinarian to ensure your pet is on track with vaccinations.

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The Benefits of Food Puzzles for Pets
Great Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Pets
How to Keep Your Cat Safe from Holiday Decorations

The Benefits of Food Puzzles for Pets
Food puzzles can be great ways to help dogs and cats have something to do when it comes to eating along with other great benefits.

Domesticated dogs and cats are like their wild counterparts in that they have a “need to forage for their food,” according to the article, “Food Puzzles for Pets,” at Best Friends. “Just like people, non-human animals need to have tasks that involve both mental and physical engagement in order to feel fulfilled, confident and happy.”

Food puzzles or foraging toys are an easy way to provide your pet with a job that helps with their physical and mental health. “Food puzzles are also great for pets who wolf down their meals because the animal must eat more slowly and, therefore, can savor the food a bit more,” the article said.

According to the article:

• Because animals aren’t born with foraging skills, you can guide and teach them.
• All animals are different and learn at varying speeds.
• Food puzzles are different just like your pet. Find the one your pet likes best.

There are a variety of reasons to buy a food puzzle for your dog because “they provide a wealth of benefits for both you and your pup,” according to the article, “Choosing the Best Interactive Toys and Food Puzzles For Your Dog” at Preventive Vet.

Some benefits include:

• Certain types are great for teething puppies.
• Some puzzles are perfect for fast eaters. Slowing your dog down can help prevent GDVBloat.
• Great for picky eaters who have a desire to hunt for food.
• You get a break because your dog is occupied.

Toy puzzles are also great for humans. You will get a chance to help your dog learn the puzzle and watch him enjoy hunting and foraging for his food.

Great Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Pets
December means it’s holiday season. Who doesn’t love the magic in the air, the twinkling of the holiday lights and beautiful decorations, and a great dog or cat sweater? Celebrating means family, and that means your pets, too.

There are so many great ways to celebrate with your pets to get everyone in the spirit.

According to the article, “Why Cats and Dogs Are Excited for Christmas,” at, our pets might just know it’s the holidays for the following reasons:

• Snow! Depending where you live or if you’re traveling to colder weather areas, certain dog breeds will love a chance to romp in the snow.
• Shipments of gifts mean boxes everywhere, making your cat very happy.
• The holidays mean more attention for your beloved pets.
• Gifts: Everyone loves them, even your pets.
• Family quality time, which makes the holiday extra special for pets.

There can be a lot of added stress during the holidays. “That’s why planning ahead with a few dog-friendly activities can be good for both you and your dog,” according to the article, “10 Ways To Celebrate Christmas With Your Fur Babies,” at

Check out some of these fun ideas for you and your pet:

• Take your dog along for a car ride to check out the beautiful holiday lights in the neighborhood.
• Bake pet-friendly holiday treats.
• Place a holiday-themed bow on your pet’s collar.
• Get the entire family together for a holiday photo shoot.

Always include your pet in the festivities. Remember to keep your pet away from electrical cords, foods that can be harmful, and too much noise. If your pet gets stressed, be sure your pet has a quiet place to take it easy and get away from the noise. Keep everyone happy and stress free during this time of year.

How to Keep Your Cat Safe from Holiday Decorations
Holiday time means decorations and lights. Many cats love to get into things, such as Christmas trees and tinsel. The last thing you want is for your cat to have an accident due to a safety hazard.

The most obvious potential hazard is the Christmas tree. Cats seems to love to get into them and sometimes like to mark them. According to the article, “How to Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree (Or At Least Try To)” at Pet Central, “You can’t change your cat’s instincts, but you can put safety measures in place to ensure their love affair with the Fir by the fireplace doesn’t end in tragedy.”

Here are some tips suggested in the article:

• Anchor the tree so it can’t fall over.
• Avoid glass and anything sharp, such as certain ornaments.
• Cover electrical cords.
• If your tree needs water, cover the base.
• Keep tinsel and ribbon out of reach as they can cause issues if swallowed.

There are other great ways to pet-proof your home during the holidays. According to the article, “8 Holiday Pet-Proofing Tips” at, “You also need to assess and prioritize the risks your household presents, identify your pets’ risk-taking tendencies and work to strategically minimize the most dangerous risks to individual pets.”

The Vetstreet article offers some tips of do’s and don’ts:

• Elevate the holiday tree by placing it in a tall pot or high on a pedestal.
• Make decorations inaccessible.
• Stay away from dangerous items such as real mistletoe: It’s “reportedly toxic.”
• Use silver duct tape instead of ribbon.

The holidays can be just as fun if you keep away the dangerous and toxic items so that your cat is safe. There’s nothing worse than having an accident, especially during the holidays. You and your cat can then have a stress-free holiday season.

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How to Teach Dogs Important Basic Commands
How to Socialize Your Dog with Other Dogs
There’s Much to be Thankful for When It Comes to Pets

How to Teach Dogs Important Basic Commands
When you bring a dog into your home, it’s a good idea to teach him some basic commands. It can help you both, especially in establishing some boundaries in as well as outside the home. It’s a great way to get in some bonding time, too.

Additionally, when your dog knows commands and is well-behaved, it can keep him safe. According to the article, “Tips on Training Your Dog,” at, for those dogs who may take off if a door is open, “it’s imperative that he comes back when called. Keeping your dog away from a speeding car or an aggressive animal could save his life.”

Good mannered dogs also help when you encounter neighbors so that your dog doesn’t jump on or scare anyone.

Start with the proper collar and leash as well as training treats. Training sessions should be brief, say a short word and your dog’s name with each command, train three to five times a day for basic commands, and praise a lot, the article said.

There are many dog commands including “watch me,” “sit,” “down,” “stay,” “heel,” “wait,” and “come,” among others, according to the article, “15 Essential Commands to teach Your Dog” at

Before you begin to teach your dog some of the commands, consider the following information, according to the Inside Dogs World article:

• Always be patient with your dog.
• Don’t push your dog too hard.
• Avoid distractions by finding a quiet place.
• Don’t punish your dog.
• “Practice at home or garden first before exercising commands publicly,” the Inside Dogs World article said.
• Make it fun.
• Be involved and engaging.

Ensure you are soft but firm and the leader of the pack. Before you know it, your dog will know his basic commands and you’ll both be better for it.

How to Socialize Your Dog with Other Dogs
Along with teaching basic commands, one of the most important things you can do for your dog is to socialize her.

According to the article, “The Loving Action Every Dog Needs but Too Few Receive” by Dr. Karen Shaw Becker at, “Veterinarians, animal shelter staffs and an ever-growing number of pet parents are learning the far-reaching consequences of unsocialized puppies who mature into unbalanced adult dogs.”

Ideally, socializing should begin at puppyhood, but sometimes there are adult dogs who have not been socialized, which can lead to issues. But there are things you can do to help.

Article tips include:

• Obedience classes are an opportunity for your dog to be around others. “Make sure classes are not fear-based dominance training, which will exacerbate anxiety,” the article said.
• Arrange a play date with a friend’s compatible dog.
• If your dog is right for agility, get him involved. If not, try flying disc, dock jumping, dock diving, and more.
• Daily walks for fresh air are a great way to get out and socialize.

There can be a variety of reasons for dogs who have behavior problems, from not being properly socialized to a genetic predisposition. While socialization techniques should be used throughout your dog’s life, there are some things that might not be right for your dog.

For instance dog parks may be great for some dogs, but not for others, according to the article, “Socializing the Adult Dog: Sorting Good Advice From Bad,” at “It may be overwhelming to meet numerous new dogs and strangers in an unfamiliar environment,” the article said.

Socialization done correctly helps your dog with other dogs and people. “Keep in mind it will take longer to socialize an adult dog than a puppy to this extent, so please be patient,” the Vetstreet article said.

There’s Much to be Thankful for When It Comes to Pets
Can you count the ways to be thankful for your pet? Start now because November is the month of giving thanks. You’re grateful all year long, but now you can shout it from the rooftops. Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit or whatever pet makes you thankful, this is the time to show your thanks.

Most everyone has their own reasons for being thankful for their companion animals. “After all, your cat or dog is a member of your family and deserves to be appreciated for all the love and companionship he offers you,” according to the article, “Reasons to Be Thankful for Pets,” at

Pets are:

• The best cuddle partners
• Always happy to see you
• Great for your own health
• All about the fun
• Funny and make you laugh
• In tune with you and know how to comfort you when you’re down

The list can go on. Our pets bring us so much joy that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin to list all the reasons. According to the article, “10 Reasons To Be Grateful For Pets This Thanksgiving” at, our pets provide a unique love and a variety of ways that enrich us, including:

• They keep us present.
• They are wonderful company.
• Our pets give us a purpose, especially when we adopt.
• “Pets allow us to learn as we go, to fail, and to be imperfect – and they love us anyway,” the Adopt-A-Pet article said. “We are indebted to animals for accepting us just as we are.”
• They keep us active by way of walks and play time.

Our pets do so much for us, so it’s important to thank them for bringing so much joy every day and letting us know how truly lucky we are.