Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Warmer Weather, Thicker Coats: How to Groom Your Pets
Why Some Dogs are Leash Reactive and What to Do?
Introducing Baby to Your Fur Baby: The Dos and Don’ts

Warmer Weather, Thicker Coats: How to Groom Your Pets
Some people are not sure of how to groom their thick-coated pets in warmer weather. There are many things to take into consideration, including ensuring that your pet is comfortable because the heat is on its way.

Don’t Shave!

Some pet parents resort to shaving their dog or cat during the hotter months, but hold on!

“Our pets’ coats have several layers that are essential to their comfort in the heat,” according to the article, “Heat Wave Approaching! Should You Shave Your Pet?” at “Robbing your dog or cat of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort, overheating and other serious dangers like sunburn or skin cancer.”

Stick to a shorter “summer cut” or let them shed naturally. Also remember to provide shade and water when your pet is outside with you.

“Extreme heat can pose a real threat to cats and dogs, just as it can to humans,” according to the article, “Grooming Tips for Warm Weather” at “Cats and dogs simply cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. As a responsible pet owner, it’s up to you to make sure your pet is safe during warm weather conditions.”

Ensure your pet is groomed properly when it’s warmer. The PetAssure article advises to keep your dog’s coat free of mats and dirt. Other tips include:

• Regular brushing to remove undercoat
• Frequently brush to prevent matted fur
• Clip long hair on dogs and cats
• Don’t cut hair too short; pets can get sunburn plus you don’t want to damage the coat for the winter
• Trim hair around paws and hindquarters
• Check your pet’s coat for insects
• Bathe your pet especially if he likes to play in dirt

Groom accordingly for the hotter weather, but keep it up all year long as well. Your pets will thank you.

Why Some Dogs are Leash Reactive and What to Do?
It can be very frustrating and sometimes a little scary if you have a leash-reactive dog.

According to the article, “These Dog Training Tips Can Help Your Pup Overcome Leash Reactivity,” at, “Leash-reactive dogs are triggered by stimuli in the environment, responding with over-the-top behaviors that increase stress levels for the pet parent, the dog and everyone within barking distance.”

You may think that a leashed dog who barks, growls or lunges wants to start something with the “trigger.” However, “many dogs exhibit those types of reactions in an effort to increase their distance from the triggering stimulus,” the article said.

What may seem aggressive could be anxiety or fear – it’s defensive.

Causes of leash reactivity can include:

• No socialization as a puppy
• Bad experiences on a walk

Gentle training methods can help. The purpose is “changing your dog’s perception of the stressor.”

• Use high-value treats and a “marker” (clicker or verbal word).
• Determine your dog’s “buffer zone” and don’t get too close to the trigger.
• When your dog sees the trigger, mark that moment with a click or the verbal word then give the treat.
• Continue by marking and rewarding until trigger can’t be seen.

Your dog should start to realize the “trigger” means something good will occur. If all goes well, you can start decreasing “the distance between your dog and the trigger during walks, always making sure that your dog is relaxed and still able to eat treats as you get closer,” the article said.

“In an emergency, if your dog becomes overwhelmingly worked up at the sight of an approaching dog, you can distract him by tossing treats on the ground for him to pick up until the other dog is past,” according to the article, “Help! My Dog Lunges at Other Dogs,” at

Introducing Baby to Your Fur Baby: The Dos and Don’ts
If you’re getting ready to bring home a newborn baby, be sure you do the right things if you have existing fur babies at home.

Start preparing your family pet months in advance for the new arrival.

For dogs

If your dog hasn’t been around children, she may find things upsetting. Her schedule will change as will yours. Prepare and teach her skills to interact with baby and help adjust to the new changes, according to the article, “Dogs and Babies” at

“Teaching your dog some basic obedience skills will help you manage her behavior when the baby comes,” the article said.

The article offers some tips, including:

• Four months before baby, slowly introduce your dog to new sights, sounds, smells of the baby, and associate with rewards.
• One to two months before baby arrives, start making the changes that will affect your dog’s routine.
• Be calm during the introduction. Speak to your dog calmly and in a positive manner.
• “Never force your dog to interact with your baby,” the article said.
• Seek professional advice if you see any aggressive behavior.

For cats

There are stories that cats and babies don’t mix, but they are mainly tales. However, toxoplasmosis is real, so while you are pregnant, make sure your cat is kept indoors at all times.

Prepare your cat for the newborn throughout your pregnancy, according to the article, “Prepare Your Cat for Your New Baby,” at

• Play tapes of baby noises.
• Set up nursery furniture early but set limits to where your cat can go.
• Make surfaces unwelcoming using double-sided adhesive tape.
• Place a piece of the baby’s blanket or clothing in a quiet area for your cat to investigate.

Never leave your infant alone with any companion animal. Prepare ahead for a positive transition.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Spring Allergies in Pets and What You Can Do to Help
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Choosing the Right Pet Food
How to Care for Your Senior Family Pet

Spring Allergies in Pets and What You Can Do to Help
Although you might be happy that spring is approaching with some warmer weather, it also often means allergy season is not far behind. Those allergies might not just affect you, they could also affect your pet.

While human allergies usually are respiratory in nature, pet allergies typically affect the skin more often than not, such as skin irritation or inflammation, “a condition called allergic dermatitis,” according to the article, “If Your Dog is Itchy or Your Cat is Wheezy, You Need to Read This” at Healthy Pets.

Your pet’s allergies will cause itchy skin leading to excessive scratching. “As the itch-scratch cycle continues, her skin will become inflamed and tender to the touch,” the article said. “Other signs of allergic dermatitis include areas of hair loss, open sores on the skin, and scabbing.” Additionally, pets who have allergies often get ear problems, especially dogs. It is evident when the pet scratches her ears or shakes her head. An infection can bring about discharge and a bad smell as well.

The article said that other signs in pets with allergies include:
• Puffy red eyes
• Red oral tissue
• Red chin
• Red paws
• Red anus

And because allergies can easily become worse with time, seeing a veterinarian is important. “Your veterinarian may perform diagnostic tests to identify skin and ear infections and rule out diseases that mimic the symptoms of allergies,” according to the article, “It’s Spring and My Pet Itches! A Look at Seasonal Allergies” at American Veterinarian.

Treatments can vary but may include medicated shampoos and conditioners, antihistamines, antibiotics, and antifungal drugs, among others. According to the American Veterinarian article, your pet may do well to see a veterinary dermatologist.

Don’t let your pet’s allergies go without proper treatment. Seek out professional help to ensure your pet’s condition is managed properly.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Choosing the Right Pet Food
It’s not uncommon these days to see articles all over the Internet about pet food recalls, essentially scaring pet parents. What food should you choose? Dry food? Wet food? Store bought? Specialty store bought? Raw food? Home-cooked food? Natural food? How do you know?

First, begin reading labels and doing your own research. According to the Petful article, “A Quick Guide to Choosing the Best Pet Food for a Long, Healthy Life,” maybe your pet has been OK on a low-quality brand, but it might not be the best choice. “Even a claim of ‘human-grade meat’ is questionable,” the article said. “For example, meat that was once deemed safe for people may have spoiled and found its way into the pet food.”

The article states that if you’re searching for a commercial dog or cat food that is healthy as a base, when looking at labels, search for “high in protein and low in fillers.” Also, try to avoid the inexpensive fillers often found in lower-quality pet food.

Typically, many supermarket and chain store pet foods are low quality. Oftentimes “animal fat” is present, which can mean a variety of negative things. “Not to mention, the chemical additives and preservatives used to process animal fats may cause chronic allergies and skin problems,” the article said. “With a super premium food, you’ll get higher-quality fats — vegetable oils rather than highly processed animal fats.”

High-quality pet foods are free from by-products, fillers, and chemical preservatives and instead have ingredients that “include unrefined, minimally processed foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and proteins,” according to the article, “Why You Should Feed High-Quality Dog Food and Cat Food” at

While a lower-quality food may meet basic requirements, the higher quality foods are better for your pet’s health and wellness.

How to Care for Your Senior Family Pet
As your pet gets older and becomes a senior, it’s important to be aware of any of the physical and mental changes that occur. Caring for a senior pet is different than a younger one, and that can include changes in diet and exercise, and more trips to your veterinarian.

If you have a dog, keep your eyes open for anything that seems out of the ordinary, as dogs can hide health issues, according to the article, “Caring for Senior Dogs: What You Need to Know” at “Routine exams, preventive medicine and adjustments to your dog’s lifestyle can help your pooch stay healthy even as the years creep up,” the article said.

According to the article, here are some issues that may arise in your senior dog:
• Arthritis
• Cancer
• Cognitive disorders
• Intestinal problems
• Deafness
• Dental disease
• Vision problems

Just as in dogs, cats’ health requirements also change with age. “Like people, aging cats are often faced with a wide variety of age-related, life changes and basic healthy habits become even more important with passing time,” according to the article, “Caring for a Senior Cat: 7 Healthy Habits” at Pet Health Network.

The following are some things you can do for your senior feline:

• Keep senior cats indoors
• Ensure your senior cat doesn’t become overweight
• Keep up on regular veterinary visits for appropriate vaccinations to prevent infectious diseases
• Grooming and hygiene including dental cleanings
• Keep senior cats active

Just as in humans, your senior pets face a variety of age-related health changes both physically and mentally. Monitor them carefully, take note if any major changes occur, and keep your veterinarian abreast of any issues. By doing so, senior pets can continue to live healthy and happy lives.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

How Do You Love Your Pet? Great Ideas for Valentine’s Day
Cat Communications: What Is Your Feline Trying to Tell You?
The Importance of Exercising Your Dog

How Do You Love Your Pet? Great Ideas for Valentine’s Day
Love is in the air, especially during February when Valentine’s hearts and candy are everywhere. There are tons of ideas out there for humans, such as a romantic dinner date or a romantic weekend getaway.

However, if you have a pet, what’s the best way to show him your love on Valentine’s Day?

There are so many things you can do. According to the article, “Ten things you can do to show your pets you love them” at, there are things to do to make your pet feel very loved, including:

• Feed healthy foods. “Just like humans, pets thrive when they have a healthy diet,” the article said.
• Exercise your pet to enrich his life, and yours, too! Try walking, running and playing fetch for dogs; interactive play for cats.
• Learn your pet’s language and how he communicates through body language.
• Build a relationship through reward-based training classes.
• Ensure you take your pet for annual checkups. You can even visit the vet at other times to get your pet used to going there. Check with your vet’s office beforehand.

There also are other creative ways to treat your pet right on Valentine’s Day, according to the article, “8 Ways to Love Your Pet This Valentine’s Day” at They include:

• Specially made treats you can make at home.
• Get your pet a new toy. “Answer your pet’s pleas with a new toy, and indulge in a play session or three!”
• Give your pet an indulgent at-home grooming session, including “a quick bath, a loving comb-out, or just a brush massage.”

Although you have to keep the chocolate, wine and flowers away from your pet due to the danger they can cause him, there are many ways to show the love on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Cat Communications: What Is Your Feline Trying to Tell You?
Cats are amazing, loving, finicky, and sometimes hard to figure out. They seem to have their own language. What is the best way to figure out how your cat communicates with you?

“Cats use a variety of signals (body postures, facial expressions, and vocalizations) to convey their message and avoid unwelcome confrontations,” according to the article, “What Your Cat’s Body Language Is Saying,” at When humans learn how to “decipher these feline postures,” it is easier to figure out cats and have a better bond.

The article offers advice on interpreting cat lingo:

• When your cat rolls over to display her tummy, it can mean she is content or the pose “followed by fully extended claws and sharp teeth” can indicate her being defensive.
• Cats are not big on people staring at them, as they find it to be a threat.
• “Learn the nuances of your cat’s vocabulary so you can detect the difference between a plea for dinner and an urgent cry for help,” the article said.

When your cat wants to show you affection, she has a variety of ways to do that from kisses to chirps and mews. According to the article, “How Do Cats Show Affection? 7 Cat Affection Signs” at, “Because some signs of cat affection are subtle, they are often misinterpreted and sometimes overlooked.”

Some signs include:

• Using their tails, which convey their emotions “through how they are held and positioned, and the degrees of fur puffiness,” according to Catster.
• Cheek rubs, which is something some cats do to greet people they trust.
• Showing affection through head bunting.
• Hanging around their person.

Although different than dogs show affection and maybe not as obvious, cats show their affection to their humans in many ways, so be on the lookout.

The Importance of Exercising Your Dog
Exercise is as important for your dog as it is for you. When you have a dog, you literally have a reason to get up and move.

In order to get into shape physically and mentally, exercise is key. Obesity is becoming more prevalent in dogs and many are considered overweight by their veterinarians, according to the article, “Your Dog: Why Exercise Is Important” at “Obesity prevents dogs from enjoying many physical activities; it also decreases speed and stamina and makes it more difficult for dogs to deal with heat,” the article said. Obesity also can bring on a variety of medical issues from arthritic changes and torn ligaments to back issues and cardiac problems.

Before you start on an exercise plan, speak to your vet. The exercise you do should take the following into consideration regarding your dog:

• Age
• Breed
• Individual needs

If you walk or jog, ensure it’s not too hot and check hot pavement. Swimming is great, but make sure your dog can swim and that he wears a life vest.

“While some breeds have special needs that have to be taken into account, and dogs do slow down as they age, they still need to take part in some form of daily physical activity,” according to the article, “Exercising with Your Dog 101” at

Additionally, even dogs who are older, handicapped or blind can benefit and need exercise. Make sure not to push your dog. “Your dog should be happily tired, not exhausted, when you are done exercising her for the day,” the petMD article said.

It’s also great to mentally stimulate your dog, which you can do by changing up where you walk, and providing new and different play toys or games.