Clicker Training Your Cat - What It's All About 0
Clicker training has gained in popularity for dogs in recent years but people are beginning to realize it's also one of the most effective ways to train a cat, too. Cat's are smart and can easily create a connection between the command and the sound of a click, especially when they're rewarded with a tasty treat afterwards. With regular practice and consistent positive reinforcement of the desired command or behavior, you will be able to train and bond with your furry friend in no time at all. Here is how you can get started.
Why Train Your Cat?
Clicker training and training in general for your cat helps them feel secure and strengthens the bond the two of you share. This is because you're spending more time together in an engaging and rewarding way. Providing positive reinforcement and highlighting what they're doing right rather than what they're doing wrong makes a big difference. This is the best practice for getting repeat good behavior and overall strong and respectable relationship with your cat. Clicking especially provides a great outlet for mental stimulation which many cats do not get on a daily basis, especially indoor only cats.
Why Try Out The Clicker Method?
By using a clicker, pet parents are gifted a way to truly communicate with their feline companions. Instead of verbally encouraging or scolding your cat which your cat normally interprets as simple general attention and can't discern whether it's good or bad anyway, using a clicker indicates to your cat which of their actions will be rewarded and learn to repeat them.
Clickers have proven to be one of the most effective training devices for pets. The precise sound of the click is processed by pets more quickly than spoken word and the click is always consistent so it's easy for them to understand. Cats especially can be known to tune us humans out so the click can more effective in capturing their attention.
When Can I Start Clicker Training My Cat? What Age Is Best?
Traditionally kittens are easier to train with clickers, and train in general because they are a completely clean slate. Kittens are abuzz with energy and are usually eager to participate in training sessions. Older cats can be more finicky but can also be clicker trained, you may just have to shorten the sessions and put a higher value on the rewards so it's really worth their while.
Older cats might have some pretty built-in bad habits that can block the motivation needed to train them, even with a clicker so you want to slip it in when you're catching good behavior. This might mean having the clicker handy on you whenever you're at home and being ready with treats when you see your cat is doing something you like without being prompted.
What Are The Best Treats For Clicker Training?
We suggest cutting up treats into small pieces to prevent your cat getting full on them or over-feeding while you're training or rewarding positive behavior. We love grain-free, all-natural moist treats, they're perfect for training sessions. Work with what your pet prefers so if your cat is more of a kibble fan, use that. You can also clicker train during feeding times, especially when training cats that have allergies or food sensitivities.
What Commands Should I Start With For My Cat?
A lot of owners are interested in training their pets so they become more comfortable with designated spaces, learn a routine for traveling, and overall are more well behaved. Doing a combination of training tactics is usually the best way to approaching training. We recommend using 'target training' which consists of using a target stick - which you cake by using a wooden dowel with a small ball glued or attached to the end. The cat is taught to touch the end of the target stick with their nose.
You can begin doing this by presenting the target directly in front of the cat's nose. They'll likely learn forward to give it a sniff, when they do that you can click your clicker, remove the target behind your back and give them a reward. This is the first step in establishing what the clicker means and does. Keep doing this until your cat has made the connection and understands that touching the target earns a click and reward. Once the connection is made, you would slowly start moving the target further away from the cat, so they have to move to touch it.
Now that they're fully associated with the target, the click, and the treat you can begin working in other commands. Things such as 'sit', 'jump' 'come', etc. For 'sit', we start with the target near the cat's nose and then slowly lifting it up over their head, forcing them to tilt the top of their head backwards. This will usually cause them to sit, once they sit you can click and reward. Depending on the cat, it often takes between five and 20 repetitions for them to make the connection.
Is It Better To Focus On One Command At A Time?
We suggest working on a few tricks and commands at a time to keep both you and your keep entertained but again, this really depends on the cat and their capacity to retain actions and information. Teaching too many can be confusing, so we recommend sticking with two or three at a time. This gives variety to both owner and cat as well as helps prevent frustration on a certain trick if it isn’t going well.
10 Top Notch Dog Parent Hacks To Make Life A Little Easier 0
The life of a dog mom or dad can be hectic. There are always little things you could be or should be doing for your pet that sometimes you don't always have time for. That's why we've compiled this great list to make the day-to-day a little easier while preparing for future what-if problems that could pop up too!
1. Cool Down With Some Pool Time
Prepare for a fun-filled summer with your pet by introducing them to a kids swimming pool! Once your pet warms up to it, this is guaranteed for hours of nice and cool antics with your furry friend. We recommend using the blue plastic pools as they're less prone to damage by nails and teeth but are also super inexpensive still, just in case they get a little scuffed up when splashing around with your pup.
2. Turmeric Can Be A Helpful Cure-All
In recent studies turmeric has been shown to protect against cancer and detoxify by the body by reducing inflammation and can even alleviate pain. All of these human benefits are also true and effective for dogs, too! Keep in mind that turmeric is also a blood so it isn't recommend for dogs taking medications that it could possibly interfere negatively with. When in doubt though, ask your vet! If approved, you can normally feed 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.
3. Using Dryer Sheets To Calm Your Pet During Storms
If your pet is prone to getting upset before or during storms you may surprised to discover that it's the shift in the electric charges in the air and not the actual thunder or storm that upsets your pet during bad weather and of course some pets just don't like the noise. If you've noticed that your pet gets upset prior to and during storms, especially those that are quieter, try taking a dryer sheet and rubbing it over their face and body to comfort them.
4. Using A Wet Glove To Remove Excess Hair
Of course a lint roller can be just as effective but if you don't have one on you, dampening a rubber glove and gliding across the furniture can definitely do the job. You can easily pick up hair that seems stuck in the grooves of your couch or is idly occupying your entertainment center.
5. DIY Frozen Dog Toys
If you're looking for an inexpensive way to keep your pet entertained for a hot minute, try freezing their dog toys in water and watching them go to town. Our favorite hack is freezing them in chicken broth resulting in a super satisfied pet who is all the more overjoyed when they finally make it back to their toy!
6. Know How To Read Your Pet's Body Language
Just like with people, being able to understand what your pet is trying to tell you without them vocally telling you, is a major asset in a strong relationship. Dogs that bite usually only do so as an absolute last resort when their body language has been missed or ignored by someone for so long. Look up common body language signs for your dogs breed to keep an eye out for. Things like your dogs ears being pinned back against their head could be a sign of excitement, anxiety, or friendliness when paired with other postures and expressions.
7. Use Classical Music To Calm Your Pet
You may enjoy a concerto or two when you're winding down from a long day but did you know that studies have shown that classical music can also be soothing to animals? The study found that classical music was more soothing than "psychoacoustic" music or specially-made Pet CDs that were designed to calm animals. So when you're getting ready to relax for the night, turn on that Mozart with your pet and settle in for a cozy, musical night.
8. Watch Out For That Street Heat
Keep in mind that if asphalt, pavement, or any other material you walk on is too hot for your feet, it's definitely too hot for your dog's paws. Always be sure to walk your pet early in the morning or later on the evening if they normally walk on pavement. Try and steer them to walking on the edge of lawns to protect the pads of their paws from damage.
9. Skip The Brush & Use Breath Spray Or Add Parsley To Their Meals
We are fans of all natural ingredients and most pet toothpastes and routines come with a lot of unnatural substances and uncomfortable brushing methods. We suggest utilizing an all natural, pet friendly breath spray that you can easily apply to a bowl of water to ensure they're receiving proper cleansing and maintaining peak oral health. Gum disease is one of the major issues with pet health so utilizing breath freshening and teeth cleaning tactics early on is vital. Although it doesn't boast as many health benefits, adding parsley to their foot can be helpful for bets with especially bad breath.
10. DIY Dog Bed Creations
If you have an old TV cabinet, entertainment center, or vintage dresser, consider refurnishing it into the perfect dog bed for your pet. You can turn a lot of furniture items into a cozy pad for your pet simply by applying old pillows, cushions or sheets.
Can I Leave My Dog In The Car This Summer? 0
It's that time of year again and even though most owners are pretty familiar with the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car, we feel it's always important to revisit the facts. It makes sense that rising temperatures could result in heat stroke for your pet but owners often asking, is it okay if I leave the car on with the air conditioning? Or is it safer if I open a window a little bit? The answer is simply to never ever leave a dog alone in the car, even with the window cracked or air conditioning on. In some states, it's even illegal to do so now.
In some cases it may be too hot for your pet to even leave your home, check out more details on how to tell if it's too hot outside for your pet, here.
Car Safety For Dogs
It doesn't even have to be very hot in order for your car to begin heating up. On extremely hot days, temperatures inside a parked car can reach as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit in less than an hour. Studies have showing that cracking a window changes these figures very very little. A parked car with the windows cracked has shown to heat up at almost the exact same rate as a car with the windows rolled up, ruling that method pretty ineffective for dog safety.
All dog breeds are vulnerable to heat stroke, and some breeds are completely heat intolerant such as pugs and bulldogs. This means you have to be extra mindful that they could become overheated faster than other dogs. Traveling with another adult is an easy way to make sure someone is in the car with the dog at all times. This keeps them safe and reduces the risk of the dog jumping out of an open window.
An exorbitant amount of pets die from car-related heat stroke each year, and has become such an embroiled issue that 28 states have laws against owners leaving their pets alone in a vehicle. Some allow police officers or citizens to break into cars to help them and outlaws it altogether.
Proper training can also play a key role in care safety for your pet. Your dog should only exit the car after you do from the door nearest to the driver side. You should give them a clear command when it's time for them to exit. Instructing them in how to 'wait' is also helpful.
Other Risks for Dogs Riding in Vehicles
It's best to be prepared when traveling in a car with your pet. Some of the most recommended items to aid in this are a harness, crate, or carrier. You can find crash-tested equipment that has been certified for pet safety and met required standards. Without properly restraining your pet in the car, they can climb around and restrict your view of traffic ahead and behind you, or push the gear shift or buttons that could also put you both in danger.
Even though it is one of the most precious, token dog behaviors, even hanging their head out the window can put them in danger. Eye, ear, mouth, and other facial injuries from contaminants or debris in the air can occur. Unrestrained dogs are vulnerable to falling out if there is an abrupt stop, swerve, or turn. They could also simply jump out if they saw something they wanted to chase. The same issues go for pets riding in the bed of a pickup trucks.
So if you’re headed out to run errands that really don’t involve any fun activities for your dog, you might want to consider leaving them safely at home. When traveling, check out our awesome collection of gentle, easy-to-use leashes and collars.
Are You Having Kittens? Here Is What To Expect. 0
What to expect when you're expecting - the kitty cat guide. Congratulations on your fertile feline! This is an exciting time that can also be a little nerve-racking so we put together a few tips for keeping your mama cat comfortable and healthy during the time leading up to their due dates. Cats are such mysterious creatures, it can be hard to tell what they want or need when they aren't pregnant so we also lay out some helpful signs to look for when dealing with your precious pregnant cat.
Visit Your Vet First
Get the full run-down on the support system your cat will need during and after their pregnancy straight from the experts at your veterinary office and also to confirm they're pregnant in the first place. During the appointment, your cats overall health will be assessed and you'll be notified of a general due date estimate.
If there are any other unrelated existing conditions to treat such as fleas or ear mites should be addressed during this time as well. Make a plan with your vet and proceed with any recommended medications or vaccinations to keep your cat safe and healthy for the length of their pregnancy.
Amend Her Diet
Just like us human ladies, we crave some crazy things when we're pregnant and you can expect no different from your cat. Of course it's most important to maintain a healthy diet that supports both their overall health and their pregnancy. In fact, discuss any changes in her diet with your vet first as over or under feeding your cat can make their pregnancy more difficult.
During your first vet visit, create an appropriate feeding plan together and adjust it to your cat accordingly. Take note of their eating habits, whether they're consuming more or less. Your vet may suggest mixing in some higher-calorie kitten food with your cat’s regular food at this time—she’ll need the calories to produce milk.
Make Life A Little Easier For Her
There are a lot of little ways you can make things more convenient for your cat around the house. For example if your cat's litter box has high sides, a narrow entrance, or is located in high up location consider moving or replacing it with an open one. Choose a low, wide pan that’s more accommodating of her ever-expanding belly. This is a very important time to be on top of your litter-box-cleaning game. To keep her healthy, clean the litter at least twice a day and wash the box once a week.
Monitor Her Behavior
Cat's routinely give us little clues to their mood, we simply need to keep a keen eye out for them. Your cat won't act differently for the first few weeks of her pregnancy but she will begin to sleep more. In some cases, she may forgo meals to keep sleeping. You may want to encourage her to eat but waking her at a normal feeding time or showing her the food and water bowls as a reminder. The closer you get to your cat's due date you will start to notice her frequently licking her nipples which is very normal. When her teats fill with milk they can be come uncomfortable and the act of licking is a soothing measure that helps relieve pressure.
It's Baby Time - Do's & Don'ts For Delivery
Prepare a cozy and safe place for your cat to give birth - many use a large cardboard box with sides placed in a quiet and peaceful space. Ensure to never touch or press an ear to your cat's pregnant belly as this can harm her kittens. Allow her to make her way to the space or gently move her.
When your cat goes into labor, she'll pant and pace. If she's not in her box, do try to keep gently placing her there. Allow at least four hours for all of the kittens to be born. If more than eight hours pass and she’s still straining, do call the vet.
After the kittens are born, let the mother cat take care of them. Don't handle them yourself. Do give the cat and her new kittens plenty of alone time in their first week together. And don’t worry—you’ll get plenty of time with the kittens after that!
If you've dealt with a pregnant kitty or two and have more helpful tips or stories to share - reach out to us! We love to hear from you and your furry family!
5 Museums For Dog Lovers, Like Us. 0
So maybe not every activity is entirely dog-friendly, for instance going to an art museum or performance theater. This doesn't mean we can't incorporate our love of dogs into our appreciation for art and music, though! In fact, we've done some digging and found some of the best exhibits across the nation for dog lovers just like us to go enjoy. If you're an art lover and a dog lover - keep an eye out for these locations.
1. The American Kennel Club: Museum Of The Dog
If you're a dog owner, you've likely heard of the American Kennel Club. This is a lot of dog owner's number one source for pet resources such as articles on nutrition, food, grooming, illnesses, oral hygiene, digestion, and just about any other dog-related topic you can think of.
Located in New York, New York - you'll find more than 180 pieces of dog inspired art work alongside interactive digital exhibits that span two floors and three stories. They also feature a vast book collection and is one of the largest libraries in the world solely devoted to dogs.
2. Museum of Dog
This delightful little museum, located in the historic Quinn's Wallpaper & Paint Store, nestled in the Berkshires of North Adams, Massachusetts is a true tribute to dogs everywhere.
The museum was founded in 1989 by David York. A gentleman that followed his dreams to Atlanta after a successful career in fashion in New York City. There he founded Barking Hound Village, the largest, locally-owned dog daycare, boarding and grooming company. His passion came from his deep love for his own dog, Sophie. Now he resides fully in Massachusetts, bolstering his love of dogs by sharing the passion through Museum of Dog. Pay them a visit to admire the quirky museum that pairs so naturally with our furry friends character, it's simply meant to be.
3. San Diego Museum of Man: Living With Pets
A unique exhibit that highlights the history of human interaction with animals and their transcendence to becoming our pets. Walk through time as you witness your ancestors first share meals with wolves, and discover their other friendships be forged as they encounter more animal life.
You will also get to experience the world through not only the eyes of our beloved dogs, but also pigeons, and roaches, while learning how human kind created 'pests'. You can eat a virtual meal featuring food from 5 different countries over the last 100 years. This enchanting exhibit displays the true complexity of our relationship with our furry counter-parts and leaves you feeling more connected and complete for it.
4. Dogs! A Science Tail Exhibition
This massively fun and insightful traveling exhibition has been making it's way around the United States and educating people about their furry friend's true nature and habits. This immersive, seven to nine thousand square foot exhibit explores the bond between humans and dogs, noting that it's one of the most successful inter-species partnerships ever.
The feature is divided into four sections and a demonstration area. The exhibition dives into where dogs came from, how they experience the world, what makes our bond so special, and how to care for dogs. Immersive experiences invite guests to see, hear, smell, and think like a dog! With support from the California Science Center’s contacts and program handbook, host museums can schedule demonstrations by trained professionals and their amazing canines. Guests will have opportunities to see real dogs, pretend to be dogs, and share their favorite dog photos and videos in the exhibit.
5. Bouchard's International Dog Mushing Museum
You can probably guess that this museum is located in the natural sprawling beauty that is Alaska, downtown Fairbanks to be specific. The Bouchard collection is the largest international dog mushing and sled museum in the world that features over 1,000 historic iditarod sleds as well as trapping equipment, carvings, art, and early models.
At the museum you'll also be given the opportunity to meet 45 happy, fluffy huskies and witness one of their training sessions. Members of the Iditarod team will speak with you about the lifestyle as well as breeding, caring, feeding, training, and racing Alaskan huskies.
The Bouchard museum is open from May 1st to October 1st 7 Days a week from 10am to 6pm 7 days a week Winter hours are 11am to 5pm Monday thru Saturday, closed Sunday. Call for special, off hour tours and private engagements.
If you know of any additional fun Dog museums located in the United States, let us know! We always need more places to go visit and appreciate our lifetime companions, dogs.
How To Socialize Your New Pet Kitten 0
Congratulations on bringing home a beautifully mysterious addition to your family in the form a frisky, furry feline. You'll learn a lot as you adjust to life with a cat but we have a few tips and tricks for ensuring that your cat is trained to be adaptable to new situations, people, and other animals.
Although it's more commonly known that puppy's require socialization, the same is true for cats. They must learn appropriate behavior for playing with our cats, humans, and even dogs. They also need to learn to be comfortable with certain types of handling for when they go to the vet or groomer.
Cats learn best by being consistently exposed to experiences you want them to become familiar with. By playing with them routinely with toys, or among other kittens is a great way for them to become socialized and comfortable in social settings. Kittens and older cats also help teach your kitten how to moderate biting and scratching.
Playing with various humans also helps your cat become familiar with meeting new people and being around them. Inviting friends and family over to your home in routine intervals and having them interact with your cat also will encourage socialization and understanding of biting and scratching.
The ideal time for socializing cats is between 2 and 3 months of age as this is one of their primarily development phases and they're very impressionable. Unfortunately, this is also a time when many kittens are not yet fully vaccinated and may be more susceptible to infectious parasites, feline viruses, and bacterial infections. To navigate this, we recommend that you get your veterinarian's advice on whether your kitten is ready to play with a variety of other cats and people, and choose your kitten's playmates carefully. Be sure that your kitten is only playing with other cats and kittens that have been deemed healthy by their veterinarians, are fully vaccinated for their age, and have been tested for intestinal parasites. Make sure the space in which they play is clear and free of a lot of debris as well.
Planning play dates with your fellow cat owners is another great way of intermingling kittens and helping them to socialize and acquired learned behavior. We suggest always having toys available in case the cats play too roughly. Never intervene with your hands but instead make a loud noise to get their attention and then throw some toys in another direction to hopefully encourage them to separate.
You can also check with your local veterinary clinics and shelters, which sometimes host play events for cats in order to help with socialization.
If you've discovered some helpful methods for socializing your kitten or older cat, feel free to shoot us a line! We love to hear our fellow pet owners experiences and training techniques!