Did you know that despite doing all we can to keep our animals safe, approximately one in three pets in the United States will become lost at some point during their lifetime? This is a scenario that no caring and the committed owner wants to think about, but by understanding that it is something that could happen, we can take prepare for the eventuality. One of the best ways of doing this is by microchipping your pet.
Many owners are quite content with using collars and tags as identification for their beloved animal. While microchipping isn’t intended to replace this traditional and highly successful practice, it can complement it. Microchips are placed under your pet’s skin and, at the same size as a grain of rice, they are impossible to locate precisely once they have been inserted. This makes them tamper-proof and accident-proof. While conventional tags and collars can be removed by thieves or can fall off, microchipping is permanent.
Studies have shown that microchipping is also a much more effective and efficient way of reuniting pets with their owners and animals who are microchipped are significantly more likely to make it back home. Since many animals look alike, ownership disputes are a fairly common occurrence in neighborhoods where there are a number of pets of the same type and breed. However, microchipping can also prove invaluable when it comes to proving who the rightful owner of your pet is. Although having your details on the chip is not proof of ownership, disputes nearly always go the way of the person who registered with the microchip provider.
Letting children, especially young children, and pets, especially new ones, play can be a little nerve-wracking. The foremost worry is for the safety of the children, of course — it's more likely that an animal would physically hurt a child than the other way around. Unfortunately, kids can hurt pets too, and what's more, they can antagonize a pet to the point the animal will act out.
This is mostly due to two factors. First, children are still growing, learning, and testing boundaries, coupled with still learning how to verbalize their thoughts and needs. Second, pets can't verbalize at all, making it more difficult for them to communicate when they don't like something, want certain behaviors to stop, or are hurting. As a parent, you need to step in and fill this fundamental gap and help them understand each other.
Keep in mind that some animals simply aren't comfortable around children, and that's okay. When adopting a new pet, especially if it's older, make sure to talk to the shelter or rescue organization staff to make sure the animal is safe to live with kids. Similarly, if you already have kids and kid-friendly pets but are ready to adopt a new pet, make sure to ask if the animal is also comfortable with other animals. Bringing a pet into a home where it's uncomfortable will only make them more and more stressed, and thus more likely to hurt someone.
One of the most important parts of responsible equine ownership is caring for their teeth and ensuring they are strong, clean and healthy. This is because oral health can have a significant impact on the overall wellbeing of your animal. Left untreated, dental problems can cause problems with the function of the nervous system, muscular balance, cardiovascular health, imbalance of chemicals in the body, digestive system and the structural stability of the head, neck, and tongue. Most equine dental problems begin as mild and treatable occurrences. However, they can rapidly increase in severity if left untreated. Regular check-ups by an experienced and qualified equine dentist are vital.
One of the reasons that regularly scheduled check-ups are important is because many horses don’t display any clear symptoms of dental issues until they develop into major problems or begin to cause them pain. However, many responsible equine owners can tell when their horse isn’t feeling quite right. If they are unable to establish what is wrong, then there is a good chance that dental problems may be to blame.
Some of the signs and symptoms of equine dental problems that you can look out for include:
Tilting the head when not eating
Head tossing or shaking
Stiffness on one side
Napping, bucking or rearing
Unexplained weight loss
Grass packing in cheeks
Slow to eat or dips feed or hay in drinking water
Nervousness or a dislike of being handled
In some cases, behavior changes can also be a sign of dental problems. These could be mouthing or chewing the bit, unexplained subtle lameness, resisting bridling or even rearing or bolting.
It turns out that owning a pet is more than just adorable cuddles and trips to the dog park. Owning a pet can also improve your overall health and wellness.
On a psychological level, pets are shown to decrease levels of depression and anxiety. On an overall health level, owning a pet can decrease your blood pressure, increase your immune system, making you less likely to suffer from a heart attack and stroke, and more.
A study in 2002 by the State University of New York at Buffalo found that having your pet around during difficult tasks can decrease stress. They found that having pets helped participants stay calm and focus on the task at hand. Pets were even more beneficial than having a close friend or family member nearby.
Promises Treatment Centers, which help to recover drug addicts allows pets into their rehab facilities. The CEO of the facility recommends that having your pet around makes the recovery process less stressful, making drug addicts less likely to reach for substances as a way to decompress.
So, the next time you’re going through a tough time at home or work, try taking a breather to hang out with your pets.
A study by the CDC suggests that having a dog can lower your blood pressure, especially for high-risk hypertensive patients. Oftentimes, stress can cause high blood pressure. When life throws you stressful curveballs, having a dog (or cat) that loves you unconditionally can help you feel at ease. It’s also thought that owning a pet gives you more opportunities to go outside and exercise, which strengthens your heart and lowers your blood pressure.
The CDC suggests that another healthy component of owning a pet is lowering your cholesterol. Research found that people who own pets (particularly men) have lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides than those without pets. Who needs Cheerios, when you can get a dog. Like lower blood pressure, it’s not known if the pet’s presence is specifically lowering cholesterol, or if it’s caused by the lifestyle that comes with owning a pet.
Chewing is a natural part of life for any dog. It helps to keep their teeth healthy and is a way for them to play and explore. Some dogs also chew when they are particularly anxious or lonely. However natural it is, there is no escaping the frustration that accompanies returning home from work to find your favorite slippers, remote control or some other household object chewed beyond all recognition. Some breeds of dogs are more aggressive than others when it comes to getting their teeth into things, and even specially designed chew toys can be turned to rubber mulch in just a few days. To save you from spending heaps on toys that just won’t stand up to your dog’s teeth, we have put together this list of the best virtually indestructible dog toys for aggressive chewers.
This ultra-durable ball has a tug-o-war rope at each end too, making an extremely versatile play as well as a chew toy. Its clever design means that the
ball floats even when it has a puncture, so it is perfect for water-based fun.
The Romp-n-Roll ball is available in three sizes based on the weight of your dog and ranging from 4.5” to 8” diameter, there is really is one for every
chewing champion out there.
Check out their website to find your nearest local stockist.
The Goughnut ring is an extremely strong rubber chew toy that was designed with safety in mind by means of a ‘chew toy safety indicator’. The concept behind the Goughnut is that when your dog chews through to the inner red layer, the toy should be and will be replaced under the Goughnuts guarantee.
There are three sizes of ring available, starting at 3.75 inches and going up to 6.25 inches’ diameter. There are no weak points and despite its durability, it even floats!
Find out more about the Goughnut by visiting their website.
While for many people the concept of grooming your pet conjures up notions of brushes and bows, it is in fact a vital element to their overall health and wellbeing. Regularly grooming your animal allows you to catch any underlying diseases or conditions early, meaning that they will be able to be treated quicker and more efficiently and will, therefore, be less likely to have any lasting effect on your pet.
However, not all animals enjoy the grooming process and many owners find that it is easier to send their pet to a professional groomer on a regular basis instead. If you have a puppy or a kitten then training them to ensure the grooming process is an important part of their learning and will be beneficial to them as they reach maturity.
This is especially true of nail clipping and ear cleaning which require them sitting completely still for the process. Good breeders will often begin grooming their litters as soon as they are old enough to help get them used to the process. Even if you do opt to use a professional pet groomer, there are still a number of regular grooming techniques that you can do at home with your pet to strengthen your bond.
Here are some of the important benefits of pet grooming.
Just like humans, pets can have days where they feel a little lethargic and under the weather, but it is the natural instinct of an animal to try and disguise any signs of illness. They do this in the wild as showing weakness leaves them vulnerable to predators and open to attack. Unfortunately, this can make it tricky to determine if your pet is feeling a little unwell or if they are suffering from a more serious illness.
There are a number of symptoms and changes in your pets’ appearance, behavior and physical condition that you can look out for. These include but are not limited to:
Abnormal vocal noises
Bloating of the abdomen
Blood in the stools or urine
Decreased energy or activity levels
Diarrhea and/or vomiting
Discharge from the nose or eyes
Excessive scratching or licking of the body
Foul odor from ears, mouth or skin
Increased shedding or bald patches
Lumps or tumors
Reluctance to use stairs
Straining or an inability to pass urine or stools
Any of the above symptoms should be checked out by a veterinarian within 24/48 hours.
Symptoms that require immediate veterinary treatment include:
Bloated or hardened abdomen
Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
Inability to stand up or urinate
Whilst a sick pet may require inpatient treatment in care in your veterinary surgery for days or even weeks, you will need to continue providing them with care and compassion to aid their recovery when they come home. This can include administering medication, supporting physical rehabilitation, emotional care, and fulfilling any special dietary requirements.
Sadly thousands of pets every year suffer from the accidental ingestion of harmful substances, many of them household poisons. Poisoning can cause extreme health problems and even death, but these can be prevented by understanding which common household toxins may harm your pet and how to poison-proof your home. This guide will also explain some of the symptoms you should look out for and what you should do if you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic substance.
We have taken information from the Pet Poison Helpline website to bring you information on some of the most common for cats and dogs. Please be aware that these lists are in no specific order and the toxicity levels for these poisons are variable.
Top Ten most commonly reported cat poisons:
1. Topical spot-on insecticides
2. Household cleaners
5. Insoluble oxalate plants
6. Human and veterinary NSAIDS
7. Cold and flu medication (e.g. Tylenol)
8. Glow sticks
9. ADHD/ADD medications and amphetamines
10. Mouse and rat poison
Top Ten most commonly reported dog poisons:
Plants that are poisonous to pets Although there are thousands of species of plants, there are a few that are highly toxic to pets. This list represents some of the most poisonous plants to pets.
Equine castration is the most common surgical procedure performed on horses. Not only does it prevent unwanted breeding, but it can also dramatically improve the behavior and management of your horse.
Equine castration usually takes place in either the spring or autumn months in order to avoid bacteria-carrying flies in the summer and the mud of winter. Traditionally, castration is carried out in a horse’s yearling year, but there is no reason why the procedure cannot be undertaken at other times. However, both testicles must have descended into the scrotum before the castration takes place. If one testicle is undescended, then waiting to castrate is usually the most viable option. However, it is possible to carry out a full castration via laparoscopy to find the retained testicle, although this requires much more surgical intervention and therefore a longer recovery period.
Your equine veterinarian will obtain the medical history and conduct a thorough examination of your horse before performing castration, to ensure that he is in good condition, has been wormed regularly, his vaccinations are up to date and he has not suffered any recent respiratory infection.