As pets enter the age of senescence, it is the responsibility of pet parents to make the routine adjustments to match changes in the body and their immune system which make them prone to health problems in older age.
Some note-worthy tips to ensure the health and happiness of senior pets are –
Pet supplements such as probiotics, digestive enzymes and fish oil for dogs can be a great addition to your dog’s diet. They not only help to maintain dietary balance, but also promote healthy digestive and immune systems that increase the natural resistance of pets against diseases.
Fish oil for dogs contains Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids, two essential Omega-3 acids, produced in limited quantities in dogs.
Researches reveal that the deficiency of fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 in dogs can lead to severe disorders such as atopic dermatitis, auto-immune disorders and steatosis as well as heart and kidney problems.
Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA act as anti-inflammatory agents, reducing the impact of inflammatory enzymes produced by body fats. Reduction of inflammation prevents heart, kidney and skin inflammation conditions, promoting a shiny and healthier coat, while helping with weight loss in overweight dogs.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine revealed that overweight dogs fed on calorie-restricted diets lost a considerable amount of weight when fatty acids were supplemented.
Fish oil for dogs has also been found to influence growth and development of unborn puppies. Research suggests that mother dogs, fed on diets rich in marine-derived Omega-3 acids gave birth to puppies with significantly improved visual performance.
Regular Visits to Veterinarians
Regular visits to veterinary doctors can significantly improve the early diagnosis and treatment of issues which may impact the dog’s health.
Age-related diseases like cognitive dysfunction or dementia can have symptoms which are difficult to detect. A veterinary physician will undertake a thorough physical assessment of the dog to detect early signs of potentially serious illnesses. Moreover, regular checkups also provide pet owners the opportunity to consult physicians regarding behavioral issues affecting senior pets.
Providing the Best Diet
Feeding raw food or quality commercial food not only makes them feel better, but also reduces their susceptibility to illness and diseases. Adding human foods like carrots and oatmeal along with supplements like fish oil for dogs to meet the nutritional requirements of pets is a good option.
However, pet owners should be careful when introducing dietary changes to avoid stomach ailments and diarrhea.
Therefore, it is recommended to supplement new food with the dog’s current diet and gradually increase the quantity every week. Once the pet gets used to more variety, they can easily tolerate dietary changes.
Termed as man’s best friend, dogs have long been taken up as the member of the family who like anyone else needs all the attention and caring in the world. For those who have dogs as pets, the health of latter seems one of the most important things on the list. Animals have unique physiological structures, and therefore need specific food and nutrients to keep them in optimal health.
Science has advanced a lot when it comes to nutritional supplements for pets. But just providing expensive supplements is not enough. It is imperative to know the exact dosage, based on the diet, age and breed of the dog before providing them with pet supplements. Excess of anything is bad and the same applies to supplements that are given to dogs.
Here are some of the general supplements, and their right dosage:
Fish Oil: Loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, this supplement can be considered as one of the most important ones for the dogs as it helps in building the immune system, the nervous system, the heart, and help stop inflammation, such as in arthritis and allergies. They also support brain development of puppies and fetuses. Omega 3 is found primarily in fish oil. Most fish oil gel caps have 300 mg EPA and DHA combined large dog formula has 890 mg EPA/DHA in 1.5 grams of oil.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E also has a number of benefits for the dogs and should be given in the right dosage in order to have its actual intended effect on the dogs. Healthy dogs, particularly those eating a fresh food diet, 1-2 IUs per pound of body weight daily (or an equivalent amount less often) is likely plenty. Healthy dogs eating kibble, especially small dogs, might benefit from slightly higher amounts.
For dogs with a variety of health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, cataracts, allergies, skin problems, arthritis, and other diseases involving inflammation or the immune system, and for dogs receiving high doses of polyunsaturated oils (PUFAs) such as fish oil or vegetable oils, dosages up to 3-4 IUs per pound of body weight daily for large dogs, 3.5-4.5 IUs per pound of body weight for medium-sized dogs, and 5-7 IUs per pound of body weight for small dogs, may provide additional benefits.
Health is wealth
The current health of your cat or dog often determines his or her overall health in the long run. The sooner you ascertain the health of your pet, the easier it will be for you to predict what your pet might face in the future, health wise.
Declining health maybe of natural causes or accidents. Whatever the cause, you should be prepared beforehand just in case the unthinkable happens.
A tiny droplet does amount to something
Over time your pet becomes an integral part of the family that goes without saying and sometimes your best friend as well; money stowed away now will come in handy for their future. You just pay a premium amounting to a few notes out of your pocket each month which will benefit you and your pet in the long run. So, the next time you see the long bill and it is almost always a long one, you won’t be left floundering.
Costs for pet healthcare are on the rise
Technology is becoming better as time lapses, which is why healthcare services for your four pawed companion is becoming expensive. Besides this, some machines often require specially trained staff to operate them and it is you the pet owner who bears the brunt of this additional cost. So, it is always wise to apply for insurance beforehand.
How insurance helps you and your pet
The expenses incurred for obtaining healthcare expenses at one go can be a source of anxiety for some; you might not have money in hand right at that moment. In some cases insurance might be mandatory if the breed you own is the fragile kind; your vet might recommend one for your pet, if he doesn’t you can always discuss it with him.
Tackling emergencies made easier
Times of crisis seldom come knocking. It’s better to opt for insurance at the earliest so you are saved that frustrating moment of nail biting when the digits on the bill stare coldly at your face.
What should you do?
Consider doing some researching on your own to make sure you’ve got the right insurance plan for your cat or dog, else your pet’s vet is a good advisor. Also, everything ought to be clearly spelled out by the insurance provider; from what the insurance covers and the limitations of the insurance. In that manner you will be spared any last minute surprises when you are need.
Dog beds make a dog’s life easier by getting them off the floor and onto a comfy surface. Better yet, they help keep dogs off your furniture and your own bed.
Dog beds are a great way to offer comfort to your pets, giving them their own spot to relax and sleep in. You get the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve given your dog her own private spot to hang out on while keeping her off the cold floor. We offer a wide variety of dog beds, designing our selection so that you can find what you need for your pet.
Older dogs tend to get arthritis and other age-related aches and pains, which makes a dog bed a great idea for them. It gets them off the floor and onto a cushion that supports and cradles their joints, giving them instant relief. Heated versions are available, adding another layer of pain relief. Consider a bed with a rim around it to give the dog the option to rest itself against a surface so it can take some weight off while lying down.
Does your dog like to sleep on your bed because it’s soft and comfortable? There are dog beds made to mimic a human bed with a soft and plush material that envelops the dog when it lies down. You benefit by keeping your dog off the expensive covers, and your dog gets a wonderful bed to lie on.
There are mats and beds that are designed to fit into dog crates, too. You can leave for work, knowing that you’ve made your dog’s “cave” as comfortable as possible for the day. The dog gets to relax on top of a much more comfortable surface.
While there is no material made yet that can keep a dog from completely destroying its bed, whether with teeth or time, we do test out our products before offering them for sale to you. This is our way of providing quality products to our customers. If we don’t like it, we know you won’t.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine where tiny needles are placed into the body to promote healing, most people are aware of alternative medical intervention for humans, but most are not aware that this procedure can also be performed on animals. While Chinese veterinarians have used acupuncture to treat dogs and cats for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the 20th century that acupuncture, as a form of alternative intervention for humans gained popularity in Western Europe, Canada, the United States and Australia.
Different acupuncture points are located along an animal’s body (as in the human anatomy); each acupuncture point promotes healing when stimulated. Acupuncture can stimulate nerves, relieve muscle spasms, increase blood flow, and release endorphins and cortical, a natural steroid produced in the body.
Acupuncture can be used alone or in conjunction with other veterinary treatments (for example medication) for cats and dogs. Musculoskeletal problems, such as traumatic nerve injury, arthritis, and intervertebral disc disease, certain types of reproductive issues, allergic dermatitis, gastrointestinal problems, and respiratory problems, like feline asthma, may be treated with veterinary acupuncture.
Like humans, animals should not feel pain from the insertion of acupuncture needles, in fact, once the needles are in place, animals do not feel any pain. It has been observed that quite on the contrary, cats and dogs receiving acupuncture appear to become very relaxed during the treatment. However, occasionally cats and dogs experience some discomfort during acupuncture due to numbness, tingling, or cramps.
The length and frequency with which a cat or dog will need acupuncture treatments depends on the animal’s condition and the method of stimulation (e.g., aquacupuncture, electroacupuncture, etc). An acute, simple medical issue, such as a sprain, may be treated with a single acupuncture treatment while a more complex, chronic problem, such as arthritis, may take several sessions. In addition, the effectiveness of the treatments depends on the condition being treated, the skill of the veterinary acupuncturist, and the length and frequency of sessions.
In general, acupuncture is safe and does not have any side effects when treatment is performed by a properly trained veterinary acupuncturist. However, rarely side effects can occur. For instance, an animal’s condition may appear to worsen for up to two (2) days following an acupuncture session. Alternatively, a cat or dog may be lethargic for one day following a treatment. These side effects are temporary, and an animal’s condition typically improves within a couple of days.
Given the differences in human and animal anatomy and the potential for harm if performed incorrectly, dogs and cats should only receive acupuncture from a properly trained veterinary acupuncturist. Additionally, most states, providences, and countries consider acupuncture a surgical procedure in veterinary medicine, so animals should only receive treatments from a licensed veterinarian. A veterinarian is the best person to diagnose a cat or dog’s condition and determine if the animal could benefit from acupuncture.
Dogs and cats may benefit from acupuncture. If you are interested in seeking this type of treatment for your pet’s medical condition, extra care should be taken when searching for an acupuncture for you pet. One way to do this is to narrow your search to outline ‘acupuncturist for dogs/cats’ rather then searching for an ‘acupuncture clinics’, this will ensure that you are in contact with the right professionals to help your pet.
Positive reinforcement is a way to encourage a particular type of behavior by giving a reward. The principles of positive reinforcement are used in all types of animal training. If you want a particular behavior out of your pet, you simply give them a reward every time they behave in the way you want. Of course the ‘reward’ actually differs from animal to animal.
Positive reinforcement has been used as a training method for pet dogs, chickens, cats, rats – really all animals can be trained using these basic training principles. In psychology operant conditioning/ positive reinforcement is used as a way to help people overcome fears or phobias. Learning for reward is the basis of all learning. How does your pet fish fit in to the world of positive reinforcement? There is a common misconception that pet fish are not capable of being trained. Positive reinforcement has proven beyond a doubt that fish such as goldfish, bettas, oscars, cichlids and many more are more than capable of being trained. Not only can they be taught several kinds of tricks, they can interact with their owners in a way that was reserved only for other pets in the house.
The R2 Fish School kit includes a feeding wand device to deliver food rewards as part of the training of a fish. When this wand is first introduced to the fish the fish may swim away. It typically takes just the first 20 minute training session for the fish to realize that the feeding wand is delivering food – at the point the fish realizes that the wand is delivering a treat (the same way your dog responds to a tasty food treat) the fish will follow the wand. At this point of recognition the trainer can wave the wand around the water and the fish will actively follow the wand through the tank. Training has begun! There are many videos on the internet of trained fish doing a variety of agility type tricks.
Examples of tricks that you can train your pet fish to do with the help of positive reinforcement techniques are shooting hoops, playing soccer, limbo, playing fetch, slalom, football and a whole lot more. The important thing to understand however is that you need to use positive reinforcement techniques that are specific to your pet fish. These techniques are actually quite simple and you can get the hang of it fairly quickly. It will amaze you how fast your pet fish starts responding to various positive reinforcement training techniques.
Freshwater crayfish are beautiful and fascinating creatures to house in an aquarium. There are over 100 different species of crayfish which differ in color, from yellow to green and brown to red. Most of them live up to 3 years, though some may live longer. Nonetheless there is more to keeping crayfish than just throwing them in the tank. Even though they live in mud when in the wild, ensuring that the creature is both healthy and happy at all times is very important.
You must pay attention to a number of factors including, water chemistry and quality, whom they are sharing the tank with and diet. You must also understand that different species of the fish have slightly different needs, temperaments and behavior. Here is a comprehensive guide on freshwater crayfish care:
This is one of the most important factors associated with freshwater crayfish care. If the water conditions in the aquarium are not right, your fish may become uncomfortable or even die. So before you start keeping crayfish learn about cycling your fish tank. Here are some other great points to consider:
– Make sure you keep the water at a Ph. level between 7 and 8.
– Crayfish will do fine at room temperature water, but do not let the water get too hot, above (80 F/26 C).
– Crayfish thrive well in hard water. The minimum water hardness should be between (8-12 dGH and KH (140-210).
– Crayfish that are deficient in iodine usually experience problems when molting. The easiest way to make sure that they have enough iodine is to purchase marine iodine. A single bottle can last you several months.
– Just like any other fish tank, changing your filters monthly and 25 percent water of your water every two weeks is very important with freshwater crayfish care.
What do crayfish eat?
Crayfish are omnivores, meaning they feed on plants and animals; mainly fish. Usually pet crayfish are fed sinking pellets. In addition to that, vegetables like zucchini, spinach, frozen peas and collard greens are also great for crayfish. You can supplement their diet with feeder fish every now and then. Crayfish absolutely love fish. So don’t be surprised if one of your fish come up missing one day.
Also note that the fish require a lot of calcium to help them grow their exoskeleton. This basically means that in your aquarium, you should make sure that they are receiving enough calcium in their diet. Vegetables like spinach and collard greens are great sources of calcium. It is also acceptable to give them a supplement of brine shrimp or frozen krill once or twice a week.
How often do they eat?
Freshwater crayfish only need to be fed once a day. But plant food can be left in the aquarium indefinitely. If your crayfish eats a fish, and leaves pieces of the fish, make sure you remove the pieces quickly.
Can I keep crayfish in a tank with live plants?
Crayfish feed on anything they come across. Even though this may not be true for all crayfish, it is safe to assume that they will eat or destroy your plants. That is why it’s always a good idea to have artificial plants for your tank.
These rodents are found in a wide range of habitats, from northern Europe in a broad band across much of Asia, apart from the southeastern corner. Twenty-four species are known but, as in the gerbils, only one – the Golden, or Syrian, Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) – has become popular as a pet throughout the world.
The Golden, or Syrian, Hamster
The Golden Hamster was first discovered in 1839 and, forty years later, live specimens were brought to England from Syria by James Skene, who had been serving there in the diplomatic service. This group seems to have thrived for thirty years, with the final progeny dying in 1910.
Subsequently, there seems to have been none of these rodents in captivity until April, 1930. Indeed, it was suggested that the species was extinct, until Dr. Israel Aharoni discovered a nest of Syrian Hamsters on Mount Appo in Syria. The young hamsters were transferred to the Hebrew University at Jerusalem. The breeding program was not entirely successful at first, since four of the eight hamsters escaped, and then a female died as a result of a fight with the only surviving male. From this unpromising beginning, however, the male mated successfully with both the other females and, within a year, three hundred and sixty-four offspring had been reared.
Some of the progeny were sent to Dr. Edward Hindle in England and, possibly via breeding stock at the London Zoo, Golden Hamsters became available to the pet-owning public. It was not until the start of the Second World War that these hamsters were seen alive in North America. It is amazing to reflect that all such hamsters kept throughout the world today are believed to be the direct descendants from that nest found on Mount Appo more than half a century ago.
An unusual and often disconcerting habit of hamsters is their ability to hibernate if environmental conditions are unfavorable. This is a natural trait, which to some extent is now less apparent in domesticated stock. The hamster’s body temperature falls from the normal level of about 37 C (98.7 F) to a little above the environmental temperature. The respiratory rate is barely one breath a minute, whereas under normal circumstances the figure reaches up to one hundred or more. Since the heart beat can also be as low as four contractions per minute, compared with five hundred per minute in the active animal, to the casual observer a hibernating hamster appears dead. A fall in temperature, coupled with declining periods of light, will trigger hamsters to enter this torpid state.
Clearly, in a room in the home heated during cold weather, such behavior is less likely to occur. To encourage a hibernating hamster to wake from its sleep, transfer it to a warm position where it can awake gradually. A temperature in excess of 20 C (68 F) is ideal. Gradually the hamster’s breathing will become apparent, and its body will warm up as blood flow to the skin increases. If you discover a hamster apparently dead in the nest, treat it in this way to establish whether or not it has simply entered a torpid state.
Other factors also influence a hamster’s readiness to enter a state of dormancy. These include the provision of a very deep layer of bedding material and, significantly, an opportunity for the hamster to store food. Hoarding behavior is quite natural, with food being taken back in the cheek pouches and stored in the nest.
Cat owners dread the thought of having to bath their friendly felines. Most cats hate water and can become rather scary when doused with it. While there are a few cats that seem to love water, bathing one that doesn’t is not as hard as it seems. Bathing your cat can be easy if you have a little know-how and the right tools. Here are some tips to make it less stressful and some shampoos that work well.
Choosing the right shampoo can be tricky. Shampoo and conditioners used by people tend to dry out your cat’s hair and skin. Mild ingredients, like oatmeal, work well for pets. Check ingredient labels to make sure you shampoo designed for optimal bathing results. Here’s a few that are veterinarian approved with good reviews.
- Four Paws Magic Coat Cat Tearless Shampoo – water-based with aloe and lanolin
- Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo – all natural
- Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo – Ph balanced reduces itching and flaking
- Vet’s Best Dry Clean Waterless Cat Bath – leave in foam with aloe, neem oil, vitamin E and oatmeal
Bath time is stressful for cats. You want to make them as comfortable as you can. Start bathing your cat when they are a kitten periodically. This will help them adjust to process and make bathing easier as they age. Here are some steps to make it easier for you and your cat.
- Choose the right time of day. You want your cat to be relaxed and mellow. Kitty will be more receptive if you don’t interrupt their hunting hour.
- Keep their nails trimmed. Clipping the nails before bath time can prevent scratches during.
- Get everything ready before you start. You will need a towel, brush, a gentle spray hose or cup, and no-slip mats for you and your cat.
- Start by brushing out your cat’s coat. This will help remove dead hair, mats and debris. If you see matting in their fur, try to get out as much as you can before bathing as mats will shrink and thicken when wet.
- Be sure to use warm water. Too cold or too hot can be very uncomfortable for your pet. Sinks work well for small cats and kittens while bathtubs are better for larger cats. Use a gentle spray hose if available on you sink or tub. A plastic pitcher or cup is a good choice also.
- Don’t rush to get done. Moving slowly and speaking in gentle tones will help keep kitty calm and less stressed.
- Pour shampoo into your hand and lather as you work your way back to the tail. Always start at the neck and move in the direction of hair growth. Avoid washing your cat’s face and ears. Water can cause ear infections if poured on their head and shampoos can irritate their eyes. If you need to wash their face, use a warm moist cloth instead.
- Rinse off the shampoo with warm water. Remember to move slowly. Make sure you get all the shampoo out so your cat doesn’t lick any residue off later. Have a helper available in case your cat loses patience which is common at this step.
- Make sure you dry your kitty thoroughly. Gently pat and rub with a towel until dry. A hair dryer on the lowest setting can work if you cat tolerates it. Always avoid blowing directly in their face as this can dry out their eyes and nose. A wide tooth comb may be needed for additional brushing especially on long haired cats.
- Reward your special feline with treats and affection after bath time. This is usually a stressful time for them. Hopefully, the treats will be remembered next bath time.
Use the tips above and a good shampoo to make bath time less stressful. Keeping your cat clean is an important part of cat ownership. Start when they are young so your cat is prepared for bathing as they get older.
Most cat owners feel “in the dark” about their cats needs and desires. Here’s 5 things your feline friend wishes they could tell you!
It’s a common misconception that cats are a “set it and forget” type of pet. In actuality, cats need a lot more than full food and water dishes. Mental stimulation is necessary to keep your feline happy, as they’re naturally keen predators. Try making a kitty maze from discarded cardboard boxes, or DIY kitty toys made from common items like toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls.
“Scratching is natural and essential.”
If you didn’t know any better, you might think scratching furniture and carpets is naughty behavior. But did you know that scratching is essential to your kitty’s well-being? Scratching not only conditions your cat’s nails and nail bed, but also helps them stretch their muscles, and mark their territory. If Fluffy is destroying your furniture, get them a scratching post or two to meet their needs. For furniture scratchers, upright posts work great; for carpet scratchers, floor posts or mats do the trick. When purchasing scratchers, try to find one with a material similar to kitty’s favorite forbidden scratching areas.
“I get most of my moisture from my food.”
Domestic cats evolved from desert dwelling ancestors, and are naturally designed to get their water from food. Dry food contains 5-10% moisture, while wet food is as high as 75%. If your pet is showing signs of dehydration or urinary tract problems, try increasing the amount of moisture in their food. This often helps dry skin issues as well.
“I need dental care, too!”
85% of cats have periodontal disease before their 6th birthday! When you start to notice gunk building up on the surface of the teeth, or any redness/swelling near the gums, this is usually an indication that a cleaning is needed. Most veterinarians offer dental cleaning/teeth scaling services at their facility. In addition to regular cleanings, it is important to establish a regular teeth brushing routine at home. Poor oral health can lead to bigger problems, such as kidney issues, down the road.
“I can tell you A LOT with my body.”
Cats communicate a great deal of information without ever voicing a peep! Pay attention to your cat’s ears, eyes, and muscle tension. In addition to body language, your kitty’s meows may be deceiving you as well! Cats often vocalize when they’re hungry, and purr when they’re content. But like a human smile, purring could mean your cat is nervous, anxious, or thrilled. Purrs vibrate at 25-150HZ which is also the frequency that assists in physical healing and bone mending. So when kitty is purring during their nap, they’re actually working to keep their bones strong!