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June 30, 2016

Posted in beach, Dog care


Keep Your Dog Safe at the Beach

Relaxing, sun, surf, sand, water...ah, the beach. What’s not to love? Well, if you’re a pet parent, taking your dog to the beach sounds like a good time. It can be fun for both you and you’re furry friend, but only if you take some precautions to make sure that your dogs has a great time enjoying the sand and surf.

Make sure your dog can swim - Not all dogs are natural swimmers. If you are not sure that your dog can swim, it’s best to think about using a life vest and make sure they are never unsupervised when near the water. You should also avoid choppy water and waves - even if your dog is a good swimmer. Instead go at low tide and steer your pet toward calm waters.

No salt water - Try to keep your dog from drinking salt water, which can lead to problems including vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. The water in lakes, ponds and streams can also be problematic and contain microorganisms that can lead to illness. Be sure to bring plenty of fresh, clean water to quench your dog’s thirst.

Provide plenty of shade - Being out in the sun makes it easy for canines to overheat. So be sure to provide a cool place in the shade for them to rest. Bring an umbrella for shade or consider packing a portable, pop-up carrier that offers protection from the sun and plenty of ventilation for your dog..

Remember the sunscreen - Like people, dogs can also get sunburns. Since human sunscreens can contain ingredients that shouldn’t be ingested by dogs, look for a fragrance-free pet sunscreen or a sunblock with broad spectrum UVA and UVB barriers. Apply the sunscreen to vulnerable areas, such as the nose, ear tips and belly — and try to keep your dog from licking it off before it fully soaks in. You might also consider having your pup wear a t-shirt to protect its belly area.

Be safe in the sand - Hot sand can burn tender paws. You can opt for booties to protect your dog’s feet. Also watch for hidden dangers in the sand such as broken glass, fish hooks and sea shells,  

Rinse at the end of the day - Before heading home, be sure to rinse off your dog thoroughly  with clean water to remove any sand or salt from their coat. Dry them off thoroughly to prevent and itching or dry skin later on.

IdealPetX.com is committed to the health and well-being of your pets by providing a range of dog care and cat care supplies.

June 29, 2016

Posted in anxiety, cats, Dog care, fireworks


Fireworks and Pet Safety

The Fourth of July is a celebration of all things America and the birth of independence in the good ole US of A typically marked with backyard barbecues, family get togethers, and spectacular fireworks. But for our four-legged furry friends,  the Fourth is  most often a terrifying time.

The thunderous sounds and flashing lights of fireworks and can be frightening, overwhelming and even hazardous for pets.

Trying to escape from the sights and sounds of fireworks, often results in a spike in lost and runaway pets during this national holiday.

However, there are some ways that you can ensure a safe holiday season for your pets:

Avoid all fireworks - Don’t bring your pets to the fireworks display. Instead, it’s best to keep your pets safely indoors during fireworks. Our furry friends are extremely sensitive to flashing lights, strong smells, and booming noises. To help drown out any fireworks and minimize anxiety, keep pets in an escape-proof room with a music playing or the TV turned on.

Be prepared - Keep in mind that some areas also allow individuals to purchase fireworks and your neighbors may decide to shoot some off without warning. If that’s the case have a safe space for your pet that you can go to immediately. Be sure to close the windows and curtains and turn on the radio or TV to drown out the noise. You can also ask your vet ahead of time for meds that will help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety. Also, many recommend purchasing a thundershirt for your dog to help relieve the stress.

Update IDs and tags - Make sure that all your pet’s ID tags have the most current contact information and that they are microchipped. And all pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should always wear collars with ID tags. Indoor-only pets often become so terrified during fireworks that they will break through a window or door screen to escape.  If your pet does become lost, contact your local animal control and surrounding shelters immediately.

IdealPetX.com is dedicated to the health and well-being of your pets and offers a wide range of dog care and cat care supplies.

June 25, 2016

Posted in Dog care


DNA Testing for Dogs

So many pet parents have adopted or rescued dogs. Congratulations on giving your pup a forever home. But often in these circumstance, the shelter agencies know very little about the history of your dog - including its exact genetic mix.

If you’ve ever wondered about your dog’s breed  - whether just out of curiosity or for medical reasons - you can find out by using one of the many online or pet store DNA kits. 

DNA kits are easy to use, usually cost between $60 to $90 and only require you to swab in your dog’s mouth and mail the sample in for testing.

Here’s what you need to know about doggie DNA testing:

Genetic health risks - Identifying a dog’s breed make-up with a DNA test may point to an increased likelihood of particular conditions (like hip dysplasia) developing in the future.

Reactions to meds - The tests can be important diagnostic tools for veterinarians. Many ailments and conditions stem from genetics passed down in the bloodlines of breeds and some sets of DNA complicate a dog’s reaction to medications.

Behavioral issues - Often specific behavioral traits are inherent in certain dog breeds. Knowing the genetic makeup of your dog may help in training or just recognizing behavioral issues (like herding or hyper activity) for everyday interactions with your dog.

Forensics - Some cities and towns (and even condo boards) are pushing to maintain a DNA library of dogs whose walkers don’t clean up after them and increase fines on repeat offenders.

IdealPetX.com is committed to the health and wellbeing of your pets by providing a variety of dog care supplies.

June 23, 2016

Posted in care, cats, custody, Dog care


Pet Custody Agreements

Our pets are an integral part of our family.  Often we get them with a loved one as we begin the journey together and they are the start to building a family. But what if things don’t work out between us humans? Who gets custody of the pets?

It’s hard to think about a failed a marriage or relationship ending.  It can get complex when dividing up money, property and untangling from a former loved one, but if you don’t have a plan in place for that possibility that includes your pets, you may also end up losing your beloved furry friend.

Here are some things you can do if you’re involved in a pet custody battle.

Get a lawyer - Seek  the counsel of an attorney who can advise you as to a strategic approach for a resolution that serves the best interests of the animal concerned.

Show proof of ownership - Since animals are considered property in the eyes of the law, it may be helpful to offer proof that you were the one who adopted the animal, or if the animal was purchased, that you were the one who purchased the animal.

Prove you're the caregiver - If you were not the one who originally brought the animal home, you can substantiate your claims of being primary caregiver of the animal by showing receipts for veterinary care, licensing records, receipts for grooming, dog training classes, food, and other items purchased for your pet..

Enlist help - If your neighbors saw that you were always the one who walked your dog or took him/her to the park, they may be useful witnesses who can confirm your consistent interaction with the animal and therefore be helpful to your case.

Over the course of the past few years, a handful of judges have begun contemplating the “best interests” of the pets when deciding a custody dispute. There are also a few state legislators floating the idea of changing the law to require consideration the pet's’ best interests when determining custody. Sweeping changes in the law, however, often take many years. In the meantime, it is up to responsible pet parents everywhere to work out custody issues ahead of time.

So before you find yourself in  situation where custody of your pet has to be determined by a judge, you can consider a pet agreement:

Legal Zoom

Law Depot

FindLegalForms.com


IdealPetX.com is comitted to the health and wellbeing of your pets and has a variety of dog care and cat care supplies to met all your pets needs.

June 14, 2016

Posted in anxiety, Dog care, grooming, sleep


Is Your Dog Having Trouble Sleeping?

Humans can often have trouble sleeping and experience insomnia for a variety of reasons. But did you know that your dog can also experience sleep problems like pacing, panting, pawing at objects or not being able to settle down? And just like humans, if your four-legged best friend is restless at night, it could be a sign of other health issues.

Insomnia in dogs is usually a short-lived problem that subsides once the underlying issues are addressed. Don’t try to ignore the problem in hopes that it goes away by itself; your dog’s insomnia may provide important clues about their health and emotional well-being.

If your dog is restless at night, here are some things you might want to look at:

Their diet - If you’ve changed the type or brand of food they eat recently, your dog might be experiencing an upset stomach or gas that is causing them gastrointestinal discomfort and causing them to be restless. If their stomach appears to be bloated, take them to the vet immediately.

Feeding them too late - Feeding your dog too late in the day or at night may be causing them some discomfort internally. Try feeding them earlier or just once a day in the morning.

They are scared or anxious - Your dog may have had a scare recently or something else is happening that is causing your dog anxiety (like noises from outside, critters under the house, an attack by another animal, etc.). Also consider if you’ve just moved into a new home can impact your dog’s routine and overwhelm them with new smells and sounds. Fear and anxiety  causes the release of hormones which trigger the fight or flight response and put your dog  in a heightened state of alertness. Try playing soothing music or an anxiety vest.

Wants to sleep near you - This situation may be as simple as your pup wanting to sleep in the same room with you. If your dog does not usually stay in the room with you, try letting them stay in the room with you so they will feel safer.

Aches and pains -  As dogs age, they are like humans and may have a harder time getting to sleep. An once they finally get to sleep, it’s actually less sleep than they used to get. Senior dogs also start to feel a little bit of joint and muscle soreness. If your dog is acting restless and is not really a puppy anymore, getting into their golden years may be the culprit. Try some joint relief supplements to see if that eases the soreness and helps them sleep. They might also has a hot spot and be scratching. Try a good shampoo and some itch relief products.

They need more exercise  - Your dog may be restless at night because they’re not getting a chance to burn off all that energy during the day. If you’re not taking your dog for walks, letting them run about outside, or engaging them enough when they are outside so that they’re actively running around, they may just have all this extra energy that is keeping them from sleeping.  Consider hiring a pet sitter or a dog walker to tire them out and provide companionship during the day. Doggy day care is another option.

IdealPetX is dedicated to the health and well being of your pets and provides a variety of dog care supplies to meet your needs for healthy, happy life.

How Dogs See the World

Taking your dog on a walk means encountering a world of colors and hues. That might be true for you, but not for your furry friend - since they only have just one-tenth the concentration of color-capturing cones in the back of their eyes that humans have.

 

So while we humans enjoy a range of  tinges and tones, dogs only see two colors: blue-violet and yellow, (and a blend of these colors).Dogs see colors the way people with red-green color blindness see colors, which impacts only males (and just 4 percent of the male population).

Dogs, like most mammals, are dichromats - possessing two types of cones in their retina for color perception and ability to see details. Humans, on the other-hand, are trichromatic. Their eyes contain three types of light-sensitive cones - blue, green and red-sensitive -  which allows enjoyment of all colors in the visible spectrum.

The canine visual system is inferior to humans in many ways including depth perception, range of color and visual acuity. However, dogs trump humans in other aspects, (having more rods in their eyes) which gives them better motion sensitivity, the ability to see in low lighting (night vision), and differentiating between shades of gray.

Not seeing a spectrum of colors doesn’t present a problem for dogs since they primarily rely on a heightened sense of smell, and haven’t evolved to forage for food that is brightly colored like apples and oranges.

Knowing about your dog’s vision limitations is helpful in training them and making them safer. So when buying items for your dog, think about choosing things that are in contrast to the environment they will be placed in.  From dog bowls to beds to toys, having them visually stand out to the dog will make them easier for the dog to identify and might make them more engaging to the dog.

IdealPetX.com is dedicated to helping your dog have the best possible life by providing a range of dog care supplies.

Curb Excessive Cat Meowing

When cats meow it’s their way of communicating with us humans. Adult cats don’t meow at each other. Rather this vocalization by a cat is their way of saying hello to you, letting you know they are hungry or cold,  wanting to be petted, or telling you something is wrong.

But meowing can sometimes become excessive. Here’s what you need to know about why they meow and how to curb this behavior if it seems  over the top.

Common reasons cats meow:

  • To greet people: Meowing is a cat’s way of saying hello. Expect your cat to meow to greet you  when you come home, when they meets up with you in the house and when you speak to them.
  • To get attention:.Cats can be very vocal in their requests for attention. The cat may want to be stroked, played with or simply talked to. Cats who are left alone for long periods of time each day may be more likely to meow for attention.
  • To get food: Cats can be quite demanding around mealtimes. Some cats learn to meow whenever anyone enters the kitchen. Others meow to wake you up to serve them breakfast. Cats also learn to beg for human food by meowing.
  • To be let in or out: If  they want to go outside, they will  likely learn to meow at the door.
  • To express confusion: Older cats suffering from mental confusion, or cognitive dysfunction, may meow if they become disoriented.

What to do

See a vet:  A cat who meows a lot should be checked thoroughly by a veterinarian to ensure a medical condition is not the cause of the cat’s distress. Numerous diseases can cause cats to feel unusually hungry, thirsty, restless or irritable.

Look for patterns: Look at the circumstances around the meowing and take note of what makes the meowing stop.

Curb the attention: If your cat is meowing for attention, teach them that you’ll only pay attention to when they’re quiet.

Consider a pet sitter: If you think your cat cries out of loneliness because you spend too much time out of the house, consider having a pet sitter come partway through the day to visit and play.

Try mealtime training: If your cat meows at you for food, stop feeding them when they cry. You can also try an  automatic feeder that you can schedule to open at specific times.

Get a cat door: If your cat is meowing to get you to let them  inside or to go outside, consider installing a cat door so you don’t have to service their desires to go in and out.

Neuter or spay your cat: If your female cat isn’t spayed and she periodically meows excessively, she may be in heat at those times.  If your male cat isn’t neutered and meows excessively, he may be hearing or smelling a female cat in heat.

Look for signs of aging: If your cat is elderly and has just started meowing excessively, make sure to have them evaluated by the vet for  medical conditions, sensory deficits and cognitive dysfunction.

Don’t punish your cat: While scolding or withholding something might  send your cat  scurrying at first and stop the meowing, these punishments don’t train the cat to do to what you want. Instead, your cat may simply become fearful of you.

IdealPetX.com is committed to the well being of your pets and has a variety of cat care supplies to help you and your furry friend live a healthy, happy life.
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