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Cat and Dog Friendly Pose

If you are a fairly new pet owner it can be difficult to understand all the required steps to take to ensure that your pet’s health is up to standards. Like humans pets are prone to certain illnesses and need to be vaccinated for them.

When it comes to vaccinations a trustworthy veterinarian is always the best to consult. For instance your veterinarian’s suggestions will categorize the vaccinations into “core” (recommended for every pet) and “non-core” (specific to your pet’s lifestyle) vaccinations. Many pets can be vaccinated as soon as they are six weeks old and from then on it is always a good idea to set up a vaccination schedule with your veterinarian.

Here is an additional guide to some of the diseases that pets can be vaccinated for:

Rabies in Cats and Dogs

A rabies vaccination is considered a core vaccination, meaning each animal is required to get these shots. These immunizations are vital to your pet’s health and they should receive them on a regular basis. For dogs many vaccinations come where they are able to protect your dog for up to three years and others are available which need to be taken annually.

Rabies is now becoming a huge concern for cat owners as well, because statistics have shown that rabies occurrences in cats are highest among other domesticated animals.

Distemper in Cats and Dogs

Since distemper is another fatal disease it is absolutely essential that your dog receive these vaccinations. This disease has the ultimate power to impact your dog’s nervous, digestive, gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. This disease is also contagious among canines and it is vital that your dogs are immunized routinely.

Due to the life threatening nature of this illness, this vaccination is highly recommended for cats as well. The effects of this disease are somewhat similar and it used to be the leading killer disease for domesticated cats.

Other Vaccinations for Dogs

Alongside Rabies and Distemper there are a few other vaccines that a pet owner should be aware of. For instance Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease among dogs and is life threatening to dogs with weak immune systems. It has become a common occurrence in animal shelters in the past and can be harmful to all canines if the right treatment is not available.

There are two other non-core vaccines that can are recommended for dogs include Leptospirosis and bordetella.

Leptospirosis which is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted amongst dogs, humans and other animals. The bacteria associated with this disease which are called Leptospires spread through the infected host’s body, reproducing in organs, urine and kidneys.

Other Vaccinations for Cats

A common virus responsible for a majority of the respiratory infections in felines is herpes virus and feline circovirus. According to studies most cats are usually exposed to these viruses one time or another in their lifetime. Getting vaccinated against these diseases is absolutely essential as they are helpful in reducing the symptoms should the cat be infected.

In addition to that feline leukemia is another disease responsible for reducing the cat population. Since it is easily spread amongst cats it is vital that your cat should be vaccinated for this disease.

When looked at collectively considering these vaccinations are a step forward to responsible pet ownership and should be a part in providing a healthy environment for your pets.

Family and pet dog

Your pets easily become a member of your family and you begin to treat them like that’s as well. It is important to remember that there are certain foods, medications that may be harmless to you; but harmful or in some cases fatal to the pet. This is the reason why pet owners should not hesitate to call poison control or your vet if your pet does come in contact with anything poisonous.

Our first instinct is usually to keep them away from household cleaners. This is a good idea, but what pet owners may not realize is that the list does not stop there.

Here are some things that one should know are poisonous to a pet:

1. Onions, Garlic, Shallots and Leeks

Although there are many benefits of using garlic topically for some pets (for getting rid of fleas) it is a risky ingredient to work with. It is believed that substances from the allium family are deemed harmful for household pets. In many cases they can potentially cause anemia, kidney damage and red blood cells to burst. An upset stomach is usually a symptom if your pet has ingested one of these substances raw. Lastly it is important to remember that these substances are okay to be ingested in powder forms in store bought items but never raw.

2. Chocolate

The important thing to note about chocolate is that milk chocolate is a lot less toxic and is okay to give as a treat once in a while. However the danger lies in baking chocolate or high quality dark chocolate. The cocoa beans in chocolate contain theobromine, a chemical that’s toxic in small animals. It can cause an increased respiratory rate, central nervous system disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, cardiac failure and even death.

3. Raisins and Grapes

Although the ideology behind grapes and raisins are still not determine but they have been known to cause kidney failure in dogs. Cats do not typically tend to eat sweeter foods so they naturally stay away from chocolate. Vomiting and diarrhea will begin four to six hours after ingesting (for dogs).

4. Macadamia Nuts

These nuts are quite dangerous for a dog because they have been known to cause a fatality by just ingesting five or six of them. The immediate reaction is the dog starts having seizures, vomits and starts to lose control of his rear legs. Although this condition can be treated in some cases (in the duration of 2-3 Days) pet owners should take extra precaution.

5. Sugarless Chewing Gum

A common artificial sweetener found in sugarless gum is xylitol. This substance cannot be processed by a cat or dog as the same way a human does. It affects their glucose levels and causes their blood sugar to drop so quickly that they die. The interesting feature is that dogs have a strong sense of smell and can easily sniff out gum. This tempts them to eat their entire packaging; so it is best kept away from your pets.

6. Fruit Pits

Not only fruit pits are a choking hazard but have been known to contain a cyanide like substance that makes them poisonous. This substance leads to difficulty breathing, excess salivation, shock, seizures, and coma in both cats and dogs.

7. Moldy Food

It is always a good idea to keep your dogs away from a garbage can so they avoid the temptation to eat out of it. It has been proven that neurological problems yield from your dog eating moldy food. It also puts your pets at risk for toxicity, due to the tremor genic mycotoxins found in moldy bread, pasta, cheese, nuts, and other foods.

8. Coffee

Caffeine contains methylated xanthine can cause the heart to be overstimulated and lead to fatalities. Essentially these xanthine stimulate the central nervous system which cause these severe results.

9. Avocados

Avocados are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which is a very healthy fat for a human to have in its diet. Although for you pets is quite the reverse. This fat causes an upset stomach, vomiting, and eventually pancreatitis which is inflammation of the pancreas.

There are numerous ways to effectively apply avoiding these foods to your daily routine. A strategy for grocery shopping is to highlight all items on your list that you want to keep away from your pet. So when you bring them home you are extra cautious while handling these items. Overall, you can easily get rid of these potential dangers for your pet and be a step closer to providing them safe environment.

Kitten on Samos

Indoor plants are a great final touch to your décor and add life to any room you choose to place them in. They have proven to lighten your mood and add a certain character that cannot be replicated with artificial greenery. The dilemma with decorating your room with these additions is if they are safe for your furry companions.

Sometimes certain plants contain toxins that are not beneficial to your pet. If the pet tends to chew on one of these plants, which is a common instinct for them it can sometimes cause intestinal problems and in worst case scenarios death.

Usually there is a way to keep these plants out of reach and they are not a problem. But, when that is not possible there are some options that are absolutely safe:

  1. African violet: Usually has purple, pale blue or white flowers and this flowering plant can be a great addition both indoors and outdoors.
  2. Lady slipper: Is a type of orchid that has tanning oils. These oils have been known to have no effect on pets that are in contact with it.
  3. Catnip: As per the name you may want to keep this plant out of reach from your cat because if it “nips” on it too much it can cause an aggressive effect. Although this is a mosquito repellent and has no harmful effects, a large amount may not be beneficial to your cat.
  4. Bamboo: Its great essence and beautiful natural outlook adds a beautiful touch to your room while providing a safe environment for your pets.
  5. Golden Palm: Makes a great plant to put in the corner of a hallway or living room. It adds a light touch and keeps the room green.
  6. Christmas cactus: This is a plant that your pet will not be inclined to go near and it can serve its purpose without any harm.
  7. Spider Plant: Is a great plant that promises to reduce your indoor air pollution and is a great addition to your shelf!
  8. Money Tree: Always a good plant to keep when you need a little luck. It is said that the five growing branches of this tree are to bring good fortune while being a safe addition for your pet.
  9. Cast Iron Plant: This plant does need a little care from you but not too much; so this is always a great addition for those who wish to keep indoor plants but do not really have the green thumbs!
  10. Ponytail Plant: Needs to be kept in bright light and be watered every one to two weeks; otherwise this is another plant that does not need much care.

It has been a proven fact that greenery or viewing natural things indoors has an amazing impact on human’s brains. This fact begs the question why pets don’t feel the same way, and the answer is that they actually tend to do so. By placing the above mentioned plants indoors they receive the positive impacts brought by these plants and are absolutely safe for their health.

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Children who have autism are well known for their inability to deal with social situations. While the level of autism may vary, this is one trait that they all share and for some, it may be more severe than others.

Recent studies have shown that children with autism who have a pet are more apt to adapt their social skills to that of mainstream society. These children learn how pets give love and affection and over the course of time as they are exposed to such interactions they learn how to interact with people as well as animals.

While many people automatically assume it’s only dogs that can help, studies have shown that any pet can be very helpful in helping these children to develop their social skills. For some children it was a farm animal that the child was close to. For other children it was a cat or in one study, a spider. Regardless of the type of pet, the child was learning social skills.

It’s a challenge for any child with autism to interact with another person. However, according to study results, if the person inquires about the pet the child is much more likely to interact with the person and thus improve their social skills. The child feels comfortable around their pet and they love sharing important details about their beloved pet with others.

Helping a child with autism to break out of their shell has been a challenge to parents and doctors since the diagnoses. According to this study having a pet helps the child to breach the gap of their autistic tendency to avoid socialization and socializing.

The study went on to state that it appears that smaller sized pets, those that the child can hold in their arms for example, tend to help the child bridge that gap better than larger sized animals. While the study was unsure of why this is it is believed that when the child holds the pet they are developing a closer bond with said pet.

When compared to children with autism that didn’t have pets the children with autism that have pets tended to score higher socially than their counterparts. As the children without pets received pets their social skills appeared to climb up to match that of their counterparts fairly quickly.

Pets can greatly improve the socialization of a child with autism and as more and more parents and doctors are discovering this these children are finding a new lease on life. It’s as if a door has been suddenly opened and the child has a new method of coping with their otherwise challenged socialization skills. 

tropical fish

Through research and many studies it has been proven that watching fish kept in an aquarium is beneficial to our health. After watching these fish glide serenely through the water they have a significant impact on our stress and blood pressure levels.

Researchers have performed studies where they compare the effects of fishless vs. fish filled aquariums. They have observed that the people who viewed the fish filled aquariums had a greater reduction in their stress and blood pressure levels. Interestingly, it was proven that the beautifully colored pebbles and the gently waving plants in an aquarium have some effect but not enough to overpower the captivating fish.  It’s  interesting to see how this form of therapy works for all age groups and the reasons behind its progress.

How Children Respond to Watching Fish Swim

For children in particular, watching these fish circle around in an aquarium is not only enjoyable but a very soothing experience. Viewing these fish causes their adrenaline filled minds to relax for a moment and experience how calming nature can be. Research has also proven this calming effect to be evident for children who suffer from hyperactivity disorders.

Also, putting a fish tank in your child’s bedroom may help them sleep better. The light from the aquarium is helpful for keeping away the fear of darkness and creates a sense of companionship that someone is by their side as they fall asleep.

How Adults React to Having A Fish Aquarium

In adults when their pulse rate drops, skin temperature increases and muscle temperature decreases they are showing signs of being in a very relaxed state. This charismatic effect can be extremely beneficial when they are coping with pain. This may be the reason why many dentists and doctors choose to have a fish aquariums in their waiting rooms. This allows for the patients to view these fish for a prolonged period of time and have a moment to vent their anxiety before seeing the doctor.  Aside from the pain relieving aspect, these fish are extremely beneficial in providing a moment of relaxation where adults are able to set all their problems aside and enjoy the beauty of a fish aquarium.

How Seniors Improve Their Mental Health When They Keep A Fish As A Pet

Fish aquariums have also proven their effect on seniors with Alzheimer’s. In previous studies it has been seen that keeping a fish aquarium in their room boosts their food intake by 17%. This has to be the hypnotic effect provided by the fish swimming lazily back and forth in a beautifully decorated aquarium. These patients did not have to take as many nutritional supplements and were able to demonstrate less physical aggression.
When all of these benefits are looked at collectively one of the most important things to acknowledge is that this form of therapy is 100% natural and has numerous positive effects. This is music to the ears of many people because they are able to afford pet fish and at the same time can contribute to improving the health of their family.

Collage of pets and animals in English in front of white background, studio shot

We’ve all heard someone say, “I’m a dog person” or “I’m a cat person”.  Have you ever thought about what your choice of pets says about you?  Researchers have found that the kind of pet that we prefer says a lot about our personality and lifestyle.

Dog people

Even “dog” people and “cat” people have preferences.  I personally am a “dachshund” person.  Research has found that people who prefer dogs are generally more religious, more conscientious and more honest in their relationships.   Those who prefer cats are more socially conscious, happier in their jobs and tend to be more independent.  We can break it down even further than that, though.  If you own a Golden Retriever, you’re probably a social butterfly who loves people.  Beagle owners are loyal and stubborn, and those who prefer Cocker Spaniels are affectionate, gentle and nurturing. 

Chosen professions for people who are dog lovers often include the military, the entertainment industry, nursing, IT careers and professorships.  Many CEO’s are dog owners as well.

Cat lovers

Cat people also have their preferences.  Siamese cat owners are said to be great communicators, and if you own a calico or tortoiseshell cat, your home is probably beautifully decorated and the envy of all your friends.  Abyssinian owners (in addition to being great spellers) are endowed with flexibility and creativity, while those who prefer Persian cats are homebodies.  If you are a cat person, your preferred career fields tend to gravitate toward real estate, machine operators, doctors, lab technicians and personal caretakers. 

Fish, reptiles and birds

We don’t often hear anyone say “I’m a fish person”, but if that’s you, congratulations.  You are optimistic, introverted and non-materialistic.  Fish owners tend to prefer farming, fishing and forestry careers, the financial industry, human resources and jobs in transportation. 

Law enforcement officers, writers, PR people, social workers, engineers and editors tend to be reptile people, preferring to own snakes, lizards, bearded dragons and the like, while bird owners are most likely to be satisfied in their jobs, which can include advertising, sales, construction and administrative positions. 

Of course none of these stereotypes apply to everyone.  Factors such as living situation, allergies and travel can have a direct influence on what kind of pet you choose to keep.  You don’t have to be an introvert to love fish, and there are extroverted people who don’t want to own a Golden Retriever.  There are atheist dog owners and cat people who don’t really worry too much about the environment.

The purpose of the study was not to categorize people, but rather to show that there is often a direct link between our choice of pets and our personality.  The important thing to remember is that no matter what kind of pet we’ve chosen to own, there is often an unbreakable bond between us and our furry, yappy, meowy, scaly, slithery friends…a bond that can be just as strong as the one between us and our fellow humans.

 

 

Group of pets,Group of pets - Dog, cat, bird, reptile, rabbit, isolated on white

Falling in love with a floppy-eared puppy or fluffy bunny is pretty easy for most of us.  One look into those big brown eyes and we’re hooked.  And while there is no denying that growing up with a pet is good for children, there are some factors to consider before signing the papers and bringing little Rover home.

Reasons for wanting a pet

Before you head off to the local humane society, you need to sit down as a family and discuss the reasons why you want a pet.  Pets provide companionship and unconditional love, but they also require a great deal of attention.  Discuss your reasons for wanting a pet as a family, before you make the decision to bring one home.

Time

One of the biggest factors to consider is your family’s lifestyle.  Pets, especially baby pets, require a time commitment, and cannot be ignored simply because you are too busy or too tired to give them the love and attention that they deserve. It is unfair to bring home a puppy that you don’t have time to love and care for.

Cost

Pets have the same basic needs as human beings—food, water and shelter.  Before you bring home a pet, you need to do some research and figure out what it will cost to own one, and then look realistically at your own budget.  Factoring in the cost of food, supplies, health care such as vaccinations and preventative visits, licensing and grooming can significantly increase your household budget.  And older pets require more care than younger ones, so if you are looking to adopt an older dog or cat, factor in more visits to the vet, special food, etc. 

Your living situation

Take into consideration what type of living situation you are currently in, and where you see yourself in a few years.  If you are renting, does your landlord allow pets?  Do you have a yard or other outdoor space where you can take your pet for exercise?  If you see yourself moving in the next few years are you willing to make the necessary preparations to move your pet along with you, and possibly have to restrict your choice of housing to situations that allow a pet?  These are just some of the factors to consider when thinking about how a pet can affect your living arrangements.

Are you looking at the right kind of pet?

If you are worried about your furniture or rugs, then a pet that could potentially have an accident and ruin those things is probably not a good idea.  If you like things quiet, you might want to consider a kitten instead of a puppy.  Try to see things realistically before you bring home your new pet, to ensure that you will both be happy with the arrangement.

In conclusion

While owning a pet can be a joyful and rewarding experience for both of you, it is important to consider all of the factors involved before you bring one home, and make a wise and informed decision.

photodune-11548548-cat-xs

Owning a cat can be a joyful and rewarding experience.  Cats are generally docile, friendly and quiet and can be good companions.  It’s important to take good care of your cat in order to ensure that he lives a long and healthy life.  One of the most important things that you can do is to make sure that your cat receives a yearly physical and exam, to make sure that he is healthy.  There are several reasons why this is important.

Vaccinations

Your cat, whether he is indoor or outdoor, needs to be vaccinated against potential health problems.  Even indoor cats can escape and be exposed to disease, and vaccinations will help to keep him healthy and protected.  Cats need to be vaccinated against feline leukemia, rabies, ringworm, feline calici virus and feline viral rhinotracheitis, as well as protected against heartworm and intestinal parasites.  While indoor cats often require fewer vaccines than outdoor cats, only your veterinarian can determine what is best for your particular situation.

Spaying/neutering

Although this is a one-time event, all pets should be spayed/neutered unless you are planning to breed.  While kittens are cute and cuddly and lovable, overpopulation is a real problem and it’s important to be responsible and make sure that you are not contributing to the issue.

Routine questions

Your vet will ask some routine questions at your appointment, including:

  • Behavior.  Have you noticed any unusual changes in behavior since your last visit?  Is your cat becoming aggressive, eliminating outside of his litter box or behaving listlessly?  These could all be signs of an illness or disease.
  • Food.  What type of food does your cat eat, how often is he fed, and have you made any recent changes to his diet?
  • Exercise.  How much exercise does your cat get?  Is he active or sedate in his temperament?  Have you noticed any recent changes in his exercise patterns?
  • Physical condition.  Any changes in skin, coat, eyes, ears, etc. should be reported to your vet as they can signal a potential health problem.
  • Dental health.  Any potential oral issues can be discussed with your dentist, including foul odors (can signal an infection in the mouth or gut), missing teeth or decaying teeth, and pain.
  • Breathing.  Is your cat coughing, sneezing, wheezing or otherwise exhibiting signs of distress when breathing?

Senior screening

Many vets are now recommending that older cats receive a “geriatric” or “senior” screening.  Older animals are prone to many of the same infirmities that older adult humans are, including arthritis, eye and ear problems, diabetes and kidney issues and diseases such as cancer.  Routine visits to your veterinarian can help to detect problems early. 

In conclusion

Routine veterinary care is part of owning a pet, and it is important to make sure that your cat is healthy by making sure that he has his shots, is neutered and is well cared for.  With proper care, cats can live well into their late teens, providing a loving companion for many years.

Have you ever heard of a Himalayan rabbit? This particular breed of rabbit has a mysterious history, as even experts are not sure whether it evolved from the Himalayas or the Far East. However, rabbit lovers agree that the Himalayan is one of the best breeds to have as a pet, due to its calm demeanor and the fact that it is easy to care for. Himalayan rabbits are distinguished by their cylindrical bodies and black markings on white fur. The fur of a Himalayan rabbit is short and silky. Most Himalayans have red or pink eyes, although some have blue eyes.

Here are a few unusual facts about Himalayan rabbits:

  • In most cases, Himalayan rabbits are born with totally white or gray fur, and their markings develop as they age. The fur of a Himalayan rabbit is white with black markings on the tail, feet, ears, and nose. The black nose mark is a distinctive egg-like shape, and the other markings appear as if a white rabbit’s ears and feet have been dipped in black paint. Although black is the typical color of a Himalayan’s markings, some Himalayan rabbits have been specially bred to have white fur with differently colored markings. The different varieties are called blue, chocolate, and lilac.
  • Although most Himalayans have white fur, Himalayan rabbits that are raised in colder climates can have all-black fur. Some sources even claim that a Himalayan rabbit can develop a dark spot on its fur overnight if the fur has extended contact with a cold object during a winter night. Living in a very warm climate can cause a Himalayan’s dark markings to fade and can even lend a yellowish tint to its white fur.
  •  The Himalayan rabbit is found in homes throughout the world, and it goes by many different names. For example, in some parts of the world, this breed is known as the Black Nose rabbit. In the U.S., breeders often refer to this type of rabbit as a “Himmie.” Himalayans are among the oldest rabbit breeds but were not brought to the United States until the early 1900s. Although these rabbits were once valued primarily for their fur, they are now appreciated as pets and in competitive shows held by breeders.
  •  Himalayans are considered one of the best breeds for pets, especially in homes with children. These rabbits are typically very mellow in temperament. They appear to enjoy interacting with humans and do not mind being handled. In fact, it is said that Himalayans typically do not scratch or bite humans. The Himalayan’s unusually slender body shape and small size, ranging from 2 to 4 pounds, makes it easier to pick up and hold than other types of rabbits. In fact, only dwarf rabbits are smaller than Himalayans.
  • This type of rabbit is sometimes compared to a cat because of its slender body type. Like cats, Himalayan rabbits are intelligent enough that they can learn to recognize their names and to use a litter pan. In another connection with cats, it is said that some individual Himalayans enjoy resting on their owner’s laps. Himalayans also typically engage in play with standard rabbit toys and may play hiding games with their owners. Himalayan rabbits often live at least 5 years.

Geckos as pets are an ideal choice for individuals who are allergic to animals with feathers or fur, as well as reptile enthusiasts. When you are learning how to take care of a gecko, the most important fact to understand is that your gecko’s needs will depend on its breed as well as its unique characteristics as an individual. For example, the specific needs of a leopard gecko will be different from those of a crested gecko, house gecko, or leopard gecko. However, there are a few key aspects of care that are common to any type of pet gecko. Here are the basics of gecko care to get you started.

1. Choose your pet gecko carefully.

When shopping for a pet gecko, look for captive-bred specimens that are in good health. Healthy geckos have plump tails and bright eyes, with vivid coloring and apparent alertness. Avoid any geckos that look dull or inactive, and don’t buy a gecko that has been kept in the same cage with any sick reptile.

2. Know how to handle your gecko.

As with any reptile, your gecko is safely handled with a firm but gentle grip, preventing it from escaping your hand while avoiding any injury to the gecko. It’s important to know that you should never grab your gecko’s tail. As a natural defense to allow geckos to escape from predators, they will lose their tails if they feel threatened. Although the tail will eventually grow back, it will not look exactly the same as before. A gecko that has lost its tail is also more vulnerable until the tail is fully regrown.

When handling your gecko, you should also keep in mind that these creatures do not have eyelids, only a transparent membrane covering the eyes. They clean this membrane by licking it with their long tongues. Consequently, avoid injuring your gecko’s eyes.

3. Arrange your gecko’s home based on the needs of its breed.

Your gecko will need a reasonably sized enclosed tank for its home. The tank will need to include a heat source, such as a heat mat or lamp, because geckos are cold-blooded creatures that require external heat from their environment. Depending on its specific breed, your gecko may like to have a plant inside its tank where it can hide and rest. Give your gecko a shallow water dish where it can fill its hydration needs. Provide a walking surface within the tank using sand or tree bark that is approved for use with geckos.

Many kinds of Geckos have special grips on their toes that allow them to climb easily, including upside down. Although this climbing ability can make your gecko fun to watch, it can also mean that you’ll need to ensure that your gecko cannot escape its cage. Geckos are primarily nocturnal animals, being most active at night when you are less able to monitor its activities.

4. Understand how to feed your pet gecko.

Your gecko will most likely eat primarily crickets or mealworms, which you can purchase at a pet store. You can also offer waxworms as a special treat. Typically, geckos eat only one or two crickets or a few mealworms each day. Before feeding the crickets or mealworms to your gecko, you can dip them into a vitamin powder made for geckos. In the wild, geckos have a more varied diet, and the vitamin powder helps to fill in the nutritional gaps.