5 Fun Exercise Tips To Keep Your Pet Healthy This Summer 0
Ensuring your pet receives regular exercise and activity is super important to maintaining a healthy and happy pet. We compiled some great ideas for both of you to have some fun and get your sweat on this summer.
Movement and exercise help cats and dogs produce those feel-good hormones that support a strong immune system. Just like us, our pets need this regular exercise, maybe even more so considering the amount of energy they possess. It's important to fit in exercise sessions and playtime each day for your pet. We manage to fit our own workout routines into our busy agendas, so we shouldn't slack on our pets health gains either! Discover some helpful tips for how to ensure your dog or cat stays healthy through the right exposure to play and exercise.
Ideas For Dogs
Your pup may love their daily walk, but remember dogs can get bored of the same old route or routine. Spice up your exercise sessions and make them more fun with these challenging, expert-recommended ideas.
Walk This Way!
Walking, running, and jogging are pretty much go-to's when it comes to exercising dogs. Consistent aerobic and cardiac activity strengthens their muscles and their heart which helps lead to longer lifespans. We recommend going 30 minutes a day of aerobic activity, depending on the age and breed of your pet.
Don't let a rainy day keep you and your pet from getting your exercise. Research your local pet-friendly stores like The Home Depot, PetSmart, or The Pet Supermarket. Getting out with your pet does them a lot of good and introduces them to exciting new smells, environments, and challenges.
At home, play intelligence games to keep their mind active too. Playing a game where they have to sniff out their treats, or training them to stay while you hide the treats is good for both training and keeping active.
Consider Doggy Gyms, Clubs, or Parks
There are numerous fitness clubs and dog-sitting groups for canines across the country. This is a good way to house your pet during times that you're away but also serves as a way to log exercise, play, and socialization time for your pet too. Of course, make sure that the facility is run by knowledgeable staff who are using reward-based training methods.
Ideas For Cats
Food is one of the ultimate motivators for cats, but so are games and activities that encourage exploration and curiosity. We have a few that you and your feline can try out!
Utilize Their Hunting Instincts
Bringing out your cat's natural instincts to stalk, pounce, and the hunt is a bright to way motivate them to exercise. Using toys like 'feather dancers' and toys that require movement to interact are some of the best lures for this. We suggest trying to play for 3 to 5 minutes three times a day to get them the best exercise daily.
Make Feeding Fitness-Oriented
Rather than putting your cat's food at their level each day, we suggest putting one meal in a low location, and one in a high location, on a shelf for instance. They'll be able to sniff out their food and it will be more fun for them to search for it.
Enrich Their Environments
Look around your house from your cat’s perspective and think about how to make it more interactive. Try a cat perch or cat tree (try or a vertical scratching post that they stand to use. Cats love exploring small spaces. Got an empty box? Put it out and move it every few days to give your cat someplace new to jump in and out of.
As a part of your family, your pets deserve a ton of care and concern when it comes to their health and wellbeing. Make sure you're taking all the steps to keep them as happy as can be through play and exercise.
Tips To Stop Your Cat From Scratching 0
If your cat has got in the habit of shredding your furniture and belongings and is showing no signs of stopping, it may be time to put an end to this bad habit once and for all. It starts with understanding why your cat is scratching to correcting the behavior and finding safe alternatives to satisfy their need to flex those claws. We have a line-up of surefire solutions for you and your frisky feline to try out.
Of course, we all love our feisty little fur babies to pieces but those razor-sharp claws can add up to a lot of frayed furniture, clothing, and other items. Your cat isn't scratching to be bad or naughty, in fact, cat's scratch for multiple reasons. This can be anything from the need to remove the worn-out layer of their claws, the instinctual need to mark their territory, or to simply stretch out their paws.
You might see that your cat prefers to scratch a stable, vertical surface so they can fully stand and arch their backs. This is what makes that furniture of yours such as tables and couches, so appealing to them as a scratching post. Yet they only choose to scratch the couch because they don't have many other options. If given the right choices and deterrents in place, your cat is more likely to avoid scratching the places that you wish they wouldn't simply because it's less entertaining and doesn't suit their needs as well.
We suggest 3 main elements to stop your kittie's destructive scratching. You can provide alternative scratching surfaces, make your furniture a less appealing scratching surface, and maintain and care for their claws. Once you've addressed all three of these areas, you and your cat should be much more content.
1. Provide Alternative Scratching Surfaces
Now that you have a little more background as to why they scratch, it's pretty understandable why they want to. It's part of their instinctual nature, and c'mon, everybody likes to stretch. It's simply about having the right surfaces available for scratching, that's when the furniture seems like a fine spot to them.
Try A Scratching Post
Scratching posts are definitely one of the most common and popular solutions for cat-owners looking to keep their pet's from attacking their belongings and furniture. The best posts are made of thick, rug-like material like rope or burlap. You'll see how fast your cat moves over to these fun-to-scratch materials instead of the soft, cushy sofa seats they might be used to from tearing up your furniture. Most cats prefer that vertical position that allows them to stretch while kneading their claws into the rugged surface so make sure it's a tall enough post for your cat to fully extend. Ensure your post is sturdy and won't tip over when leaned on b your cat. Encourage your kitty to investigate the post by hanging toys and treats from the top or scenting it with catnip.
Try A Scratching Pad
Scratching posts may be the most widely recognized but they certainly aren't the only option to satisfy that need to scratch. If your cat prefers a horizontal or angled scratching surface, consider a cat-scratching pad instead. There are often an abundance of different types, shapes, and sizes but they all basically contain a pad made of a rugged, cat-friendly material such as sisal or durable cardboard. Some pads do dobule as beds so your kitty can also stretch out for a cozy nap when they're ready too.
Once you've decided on the most appropriate post for your cat, pick out several and place them throughout your home so your cat always has an option to scratch wherever they may be in your home. We recommend stationing them near the furniture they're tempted to damage to directly nab their attention away from it.
2. Teaching Your Cat
There are several clever and low-cost DIY solutions for keeping cats from scratching your furniture and making them less interested in it. You may need to try a few to find the ones that work best for you and your cat.
It's a pretty common characteristic among cats, they hate aluminum foil. Whether it's the strange sound it makes, the smooth feel, or shocking shine, felines abhor when you unroll a sheet of the stuff. You can use this distaste for aluminum to your advantage. Try wrapping it around one of the legs of the furniture that your cat is into scratching or tape a sheet to the surface. Before long you will be able to remove the foil and your cat will be trained to avoid this area for good. Keep the aluminum foil place for as long as it takes for your cat to consistently using one of their appropriate scratching posts.
Imagine how surprised you would be if you went to grab a regular item and you got stuck to it? Image how your cat would feel? That's the exact surprise and shock you instill by putting tape onto furniture and items that your cat frequently scratches. Your cat will be surprised by the stickiness and will want to get their paws off it immediately. The tape will prevent them from scratching the furniture so it serves both as a training tool and a protective barrier. After a few unsuccessful scratching attempts from your, it's likely they'll be turned off from it and learn that scratching in that place only lands them in a sticky situation they don't want to deal with.
There is a variety of pet-safe anti-scratch sprays available that keep cats away from the furniture and don't ruin your furniture either. While the odor is pleasant to us, cats aren't a fan and it replaces their territorial markers. This makes it so they avoid those areas. You can continuously spray as long as your cat continues to go after the furniture but after a while, they will learn the places they are allowed to scratch and the places that they aren't.
3. Practice Quality Claw Maintenance
Even though our cats are pretty well-renowned for being the best self-groomers, they do need some assistance from time to time. One of the grooming chores you can help them out with is their claws. If your cat isn't adjusted to having their claws clipped, you should approach this process very slowly. You may only be able to clip a few of their nails at first but easing into it is just fine, and the best way to do it.
Once you implement cat behavioral training to curb the clawing, you can feel confident they will no longer long for your furniture. Declawing your cat is never the answer as it's unnecessary and can cause other medical issues or make the cat more likely to bite. Instead, with a few rounds of repetitive training techniques and some well-deserved treats for good behavior, your cat will likely finally leave your things alone and regain his stature as your household's most well-behaved furry friend.
Do Dog's Enjoy Baby Talk - How To Talk To Your Dog 0
Who's such a good boy? Yes, you are! Yes, that's you! Ever wonder if your pup really has any clue has to what you're really saying or what you mean? If you're one of us million dog owners who talk to their pet like this, you definitely aren't the only one. How effective is this form of communication though and do you want to have a real conversation with your dog?
At times, it can seem embarrassing to talk to your pet in that squeaky, high-pitched baby voice but don't be! Talking to your pets as if they're a human is a sign of high intelligence. It's known as 'anthropomorphizing' which is when you consider something that isn't human to possess human characteristics. So even if you're talking to your golden doodle like you may talk to a baby, don't feel stupid - in reality, this is a sign you're smart!
Surprisingly, even if we wanted to stop using the cliche baby voice, it would harder than you think. A 2017 study asked 30 women to record their voice while reading phrases you might say to a dog-like, "Hi cutie, who's a good girl?'" They performed these recordings when looking at an image of a dog, and then another time when looking at an image of a human. You can image when they said the phrase while looking at the human, their voice was normal but when they looked at the picture of the dog, their voice got high-pitched and more baby-like.
It isn't just a dog's cuteness that makes using this voice so natural for us. I mean, obviously, that's a pretty big part of it still but it is also because talking to them like this is one of the best ways for them to understand us, through tone of voice. Dogs are hugely attentive animals. Have you ever noticed when you talk to them, a lot of the time they look at you as if they're listening? You typically don't get that behavior from other pets such as cats, hamsters, or guinea pigs. Even other animals that are closer to humans genetically like monkeys, don't look at humans when they speak.
Have you ever seen your pet look at you when you're talking, tilt their heads and perk up their ears? That's not just for the oh-so-cute effect, but it also shows they're trying to understand what you're communicating. Now just because they're making an effort to understand doesn't mean that they're actually interested in discussing in-depth topics with you or anything. A 2018 Emory University study discovered that dogs are most likely listening and responding to us in hopes to make us happy or getting food and treats.
This doesn't mean they don't understand or don't have their own language that they like to be spoken to in, though. It means you should use the tones and phrases that they're familiar with to remain on their level. A study from the University of York in England discovered that talking to your dog with dog-directed speech a dog-related syntax is the best way to speak to them. Which basically means things like 'wanna go for a walk buddy' is a lot more appealing and understandable to them than 'I just got some groceries.'
You can't trick your pet by using unfamiliar phrases and jargon in a high-pitched, baby-like voice. This won't work to get them excited or attentive. You must use both dog speech and dog-related words for it to fully work. Using the high-pitched voice, paired with building on your familiar phrases can also strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
So, overall if you’re someone who talks to your dog as if you’re talking to a baby, you’re doing it right! And if you don’t, you should probably give it a try.
Another tip for all you dog owners out there: listen to your dog. The length, strength, and pitch of your dog’s barking can tell you so many things about your little buddy, and help the two of you communicate better.
What Pet Owners Need To Know This Hurricane Season 2019 0
Climate change has been a rapidly popularized topic in the last few years and when it comes to dealing with the effects of climate change - you can't take storms too lightly, especially as a pet owner. Hurricane's, particularly in certain parts of the United States have grown stronger as the oceans have warmed and provided more fuel for them to form. It's wise for everyone to be prepared during a storm with necessary food, water, and supplies. Dog and cat owners have more than enough reason to thoroughly prepare for hurricane season this year, and here's what you need to know!
When is Hurricane Season?
Hurricane season kicks off around the start of summer on June 1st and lasts for the following six months, with hurricane's varying in frequency throughout this time. We always suggest preparing you and your pet's emergency food, water, and energy supplies prior to this date.
How To Prepare You & Your Pet
Get a pet disaster bag ready for events where you have to lock down the house or leave a situation with your pet. Leave the disaster bag ready to go by the door for if and when you need it. Inside we suggest keeping the following items:
- Any papers that prove ownership, breed and sex, medical history, and vaccinations.
- A printed photo of your pet. Remember, you might not be able to access digital photos if your dog goes missing.
- A three-day supply of food, water, treats, medications, puppy pads, and poop bags.
- Restraints and comforts: collars, leashes, kennels, toys, blankets, bowls, and bedding.
What To Do When A Storm Has Been Predicted
So you've discovered there is a severe in-bounding storm or hurricane. First you need to assess whether you have been asked or think it's best for you to evacuate. If you plan on riding out the storm at home instead, make sure you have all of your disaster bag items including toys and treats to help with boredom and anxiety. Use puppy pads during this time to keep your pet safe from the outside elements but able to relieve themselves in a contained manner.
Ensure whatever room you've prepared for yourself to stay in is large enough for your furry companions. If your cat or dog is anxious about being confined in the room or about storms and weather in general, ask your vet about safety medications or precautions you can take to ease your pet. Keep leashes and kennels close by along with battery-powered radios and lights in case of an emergency evacuation order by your community officials.
In an instance where you have to evacuate it's helpful to research shelters or hotels that accept dogs in advance and be aware of the recommended route to the location. Sometimes storms can change the path they're on and cause unimaginable situations so even if you don't believe you will have to evacuate, this can always change. We highly suggest micro-chipping and registering your dog with your vet as a collar and tag can slip off easily. So many families have been able to reunite with their pet when using a microchip or pet tracking device, after storms.
What To Do After A Hurricane
If you and your cat or dog become separated during a hurricane, always begin your search at the nearest local animal shelter. Emergency responders often loop in pet-friendly shelters where you can go and be notified about the pets they have rescued. Local media and organizations are some of the best resources for that kind of information.
If you and your pet were safely evacuated or waited it out in your home, ensure that it is safe to move about your location and leave if necessary to travel.
Expectations For 2019
It may be a little too early to predict our hurricane season for 2019 but it's possible for El Nino conditions to be present, which tends to suppress Atlantic hurricanes. Does that mean we can all settle in with our bets for a bad weather-free summer? Not necessarily. We recommend always being prepared even when the forecast is clear.
Vacationing This Summer? Here's Our Guide For Dog-Friendly Hotels In The USA. 0
Summer vacations, although designed for relaxation and peace of mind can still have a tendency to be a bit hectic, especially when you're bringing your pet along for the adventure! Planning and research goes a long way in making your vacation go smoothly and allows for you to have as much relaxation or fun as you want as efficiently and hassle-free as possible. Having knowledge of the best pet hotels, what supplies to bring, and who to contact in an emergency are a few great items to get you started, and we're here to help!
We'll provide you with details on some of the well-known pet friendly hotels as well as some helpful travel tips for roaming with your dog this summer!
Prepare Your Pet Travel Checklist
When getting ready for your upcoming vacation, you can't only pack for yourself - you have to make sure your dog has everything they need to be away from home, too! We recommend including a few of these items to ensure they have anything and everything they might need while traveling.
- Bring along a comforting blanket for your pet to sleep with that possesses some of the normal scents of your home. This helps your dog feel more relaxed and at ease as many of us enjoy familiar smells.
- Always bring a leash even if your dog is used to walking themselves or being carried. Walking on a leash with your dog will help a lot when you're on the road especially when having to transport luggage or run an errand.
- We're a huge fan of travel food and water bowls. Collapsible bowls are super handy and convenient and make it easy to keep track of when your pet has eaten/drank, and need to use the restroom. We recommend bringing their traditional food and treats that they eat at home as this is also familiar and will aid them in feeling comfortable. Introducing new bowls or food can sometimes cause them to feel otherwise.
- Bring along one of their favorite toys or chews to ease and entertain them. This can be especially helpful in calming them during stressful situations and pass the time in long car, ferry, train, or plane rides.
- If you're traveling by a mode other than your car such as an airplane or train be sure to bring an airplane-approved pet carrier with you. We suggest practicing sitting and lying down with your pet inside the carrier prior to your travel date so they can get adjusted and comfortable to those confines. Try to get them to the point where they can sleep in it normally. This will pay off big in the future when traveling.
- Potty bags forever! Nature calls and we must be there to answer!
Pet Friendly Hotel Chains & Sources
Below you'll find a list we've put together of hotel chains where dogs are welcome. We always recommend calling ahead to make sure there is availability for a pet-friendly room before arriving or booking online. We've also listed a few good sources you can check to look for pet friendly vacation rental abode's for traveling this summer.
- Best Western: There are more than 1,500 Best Western locations spread throughout the United States as well as parts of Canad and the Caribbean. Their pet friendly locations allow for up to two dogs with a max size of 80 pounds each, in each room. Some locations may attach an extra fee of 30 dollars a day, or a refundable damage deposit for up to 150 dollars.
- Choice Hotels: There are more than 2,500 Choice Hotels - this includes Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Main Stay Suites, Suburban, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, and Quality Inn. There are numerous dog-friendly locations, particularly in dog-friendly cities across the United States.
- DoubleTree by Hilton: About 120 DoubleTree locations allow for dogs with a max non-refundable fee of 75 dollars per room. The chain recommends calling ahead to ensure the pet-friendly rooms are available as they are limited per hotel that accommodates.
- Extended Stay America: Pets are welcome at all Extended Stay America locations but can be no longer than 36 inches from nose to tail and can be no taller than 36 inches. Larger dogs may require the property manager's approval. Two pets are allowed per room with a 25 dollar fee per day. There is also a non-refundable cleaning fee for the first month, charged at check-in. Of course, this is dependent on how long you stay as well.
- Four Seasons: A lot of Four Seasons locations allow for dogs with no additional charge. Los Angeles, New York, Beverly Hills are great examples of locations that provide in-room amenities including treats, bowls filled with specialty bottled water, and luxurious pet beds. Many properties have particular dining menu just for dogs and have grooming and walking services available for an additional fee.
- Hampton Inn: Most Hampton Inn locations allow dogs but have limitations on the number of pets, the size of the pets allowed, and may attach additional feels may vary from hotel to hotel.
- Home2Suites By Hilton: This branch of the Hilton hotel line is overall pet-friendly but does limit the amount to two pets per suite with a maximum weight that varies by hotel. Check with your desire location first to see size limits and any pet fees applied. Dogs are required to be kept on a leash or within a carrier in public parts of the hotel.
- Marriott: Marriott has more than 1,500 dog-friendly locations across the United States through a number of hotel brands such as Renaissance Hotels, Delta Hotels, Courtyard Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, TownPlace Suites, and more! Check directly with the property that you're interested in staying at to discover their pet policies, and if any fees apply or if there are any weight or breed restrictions. Each hotel provides it's own line-up of unique pet amenities.
- The Peninsula Hotels: A handful of Peninsula Hotel locations allow travelers to bring along their pets. Some properties allow a max of two pets for a fee of 35 to 75 dollars per pet. Some also provide food and water bowls as well as a cozy dog bed for your furry travel companion. Each property provides it's own pet policy.
- The Ritz-Carlton: The Ritz Carlton is one of the mack-daddy mecca's for luxury travel with your pet. There are size requirements and fees but certain locations offer particular dog menus, plush dog beds, and healthy all-natural treats. Often times your pet still must remain leashed in the common areas of the hotel resort but there are a number of fun amenities supplied for you and your pet's stay.
- Staypineapple: All Staypineapple locations are dog-friendly and feature awesome for both you and your pets. Each room comes with a treat tin, water bowl, walk-friendly waste bags, and a dog bed. There are no height or weight restrictions but there is a 25 dollars nightly fee. Dogs are allowed to be left unattended in the room provided they do not bark or howl in which case, other charged may be incurred.
- Westin: Westin boasts 165 dog-friendly properties within the Westin brand but terms vary from hotel to hotel. This includes weight and breed restrictions and fee charges. Guests normally receive a welcome kit which includes food and water bowls, and a dog bed.
Additional Sources When Looking For Pet-Friendly Accommodations
If you want to stay off the grid a bit, maybe do some camping or try out a farm-stay, here are a few helpful websites that help you hone in on the right location for you and your pet this summer. Or maybe you want to dive right into deep city life, try Airbnb with a pet-friendly filter and grab the perfect city abode for adventures with your dog.
5 Grooming Tips For Cleaning Your Cat's Ears 0
Cat's routinely clean themselves from top to bottom and aren't shy about it, and even their ear wax moves toward the external area of their ears so they're pretty effective in that area as well. Because cat's are such consistent self-groomers, it can be easy for us owners to overlook some aspects of their hygiene but it's best to check with your vet to find out if you should be helping your cat with ear cleaning.
This could be due to a developed ear infection, allergies, unusual odor, or some kind of mite or tick infestation. The effects of aging or illness can also limit cat's cleaning abilities so when the needed arises, it's best to be prepared and know the simple, straightforward ways to keep your cat's ears healthy and clean.
Start 'Em Young
Try to get in the routine of checking your cat's ears as early as possible so you can both get acquainted and become more comfortable with the process. Even if your cat doesn't need your help to keep their ears clean all the time, the routine will get your cat used to the practice of you touching and attending to their ears. Be sure to provide them with positive reinforcement around the process with small treats for good behavior like remaining still and calm. The same goes for you, remaining still and relaxed throughout the process is important for your cat feeling that way too. Too much tension or hyperactivity will only aggravate them and make it a much more difficult action when you have to repeat it later. Educating your kitten from the start is the easiest way to have them get used to the process. If you're having difficulty with your kitten or cat in this area, consult with your vet and they can likely provide you with some helpful tools for handling your cat during the ear-cleaning process.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Be prepared with additional items that might make the ear-cleaning process easier for you and your cat. If your cat is not as cooperative and holding them securely doesn't do the trick, keep a soft blanket or towel around to use to swaddle them. This can be helpful in making them feel safe while preventing them from biting, scratching, or running away.
You can also have a friend or partner help you by having them hold the cat while you perform the ear cleaning. Doing it while seated allows you more control and making sure you put your cat in a position that allows you to more easily look into their ears while holding them is best. On your lap or on an elevated surface is usually a good spot.
Make It An Enjoyable Process
Your cat is a brilliant when it comes to picking up on vibes and moods so they probably know when you're about to something, especially if it's something unpleasant like administering medicine or performing a cleaning routine. They might find a place to hide away if they feel threatened by this behavior. We recommend try to play with your cat first or clean their ears when they're already in a tranquil and relaxed state. Of course cushion the entire process with treats, before and after especially so they can associate the task with a positive outcome.
The Process Itself
Before diving into your ear cleansing routine, give your cat's ear a solid look-through inspection. Keep an eye out for an unusual swelling or redness, dry skin, debris, extra ear wax, or strange odors. These can be an indication of other medical issues and should be brought to your vet's attention. We recommend always conducting a small sniff test each time you clean their ears so you can detect when their ears smell different. You can use a small flash light to examine their ear canal.
Sometimes it's best to start the ear-cleaning check-up with a little grooming, especially if you have an outdoor cat that is more dirty or matted around their ear. This can cause decreased airflow into their ear canal and wax or other particles can build up and lead to infection. Be careful to remove any dirt or clumps of matted hair around the ear and ear flap prior to cleaning.
Clean Their Ears Like You Would Clean Your Own, Gently.
Just like we humans have been warned to not go crazy with our Q-tips and ear cleaning, the same goes for our furry cat friends. Vets normally say that you can use cotton swabs to clean away debris from the outer ear flap folds but never use inside the ear.
For a deeper, more thorough ear cleaning you can get supplies and recommendations from your vet. This includes items such as safe liquid solutions to apply within their ear. Best practices include holding the tip of their ear back so you can see all the way inside and you can be as precise and effective as possible. Apply the solution according to the directions provided and gently rub the base of the ear to guide it downward into the ear canal. As you can probably image, your cat will likely shake their head to remove the residue and that is perfectly fine. You can also clear away the excess by wrapping medical gauze around your fingertip and wiping it off gently. A cotton ball or pad will work just as effectively. Repeat on the other ear.