The Best Dog Breeds to Fit Your Lifestyle

Dog Breeds to Fit Your Lifestyle
If you're reading this, then you've probably made one of the best decisions of your life: you're finally getting a paw some baby! Deciding to get a dog is an amazing, selfless commitment in itself...that just means you're willing to spend your time, money, and energy into making your fur baby happy. Now, let's move on to the biggest question we're sure you're asking: what dog breed should you get?

With over 150 dog breeds, different shapes, and several styles, you've got one heck of a decision ahead of you. Let us help you make trim down your choices. By answering these questions, you will surely find a dog that fits your lifestyle.

What will you need your new dog for?

We already know you want a dog as a best friend, but what other purposes will having a dog serve you? Some owners are looking for a companion for their hunting adventures. Others want a guard dog to protect their home from outside threats. There are also parents who just want a playmate and 'sibling' for their children.

If you want a dog that will move around all day and hunt for birds, you might want to get an English Pointer or an English Pringer Spaniel. If the dog will guard your home by barking at intruders, a Bichon Frise or a Poodle would surely be nice. Dogs like Doberman Pincher and Rottweiler look formidable and are physically capable of tackling down opponents.

Do you live a busy lifestyle?

You love dogs, but you're not sure if there's a breed that can keep up with your busy lifestyle. Don't worry: there's a dog that will get along with you just great, because they're independent and don't mind being alone. Chinese shar-pies, Alaskan malamutes, and Russian wolfhounds (borzoi) would be able to live a happy life even when you're busy all the time.

What size are you considering?

Size does matter, because larger breeds generally means that you will spend more in terms of your dog's appetite, crate, toys, and medicine. They also have shorter lifespans than smaller dogs. Still, some people prefer bigger dogs than smaller dogs for various reasons. Big dogs like Rottweilers can weigh as heavy as 100 pounds, while Yorkshire terriers can be as light as 15 pounds.

Do you have space for your dog?

You also need to make sure there's enough space for your paw-some baby. Of course that won't be a problem if you have acres and acres of land. But a 180-pound Great Dane will definitely be a problem if you live in a two-bedroom apartment unit. Also keep in mind that most pet owners--90% of them in fact--tend to keep their dogs as house dogs. You'll most likely fall under the vast majority who will have their dog stay at home most of the time. That means you should carefully assess if you have enough space to accommodate your dog.

Do you want dogs that will get along with your kids?

Don't you just love how some dogs just seem to go along great with kids? Unfortunately, not all dogs are like that. Some dog types are known for how much they love and care for children. Dachshunds are great for older kids that are well-behaved, while beagles and boxers can keep up with little kids who love playing all the time. But if you get a Saint Bernard or a Labrador Retriever, you can't go wrong. They simply love bonding with kids of all ages!

Do you want an active or a passive dog?

Dog size is important not only when considering the space your dog will move around in. It will also determine the activity level of your dog. For instance, large dogs like the Saint Bernard sleep for as long as 16 to 18 hours a day, while the Yorkshire Terrier will never fail to surprise you with how much energy they have.

Are you willing to groom your dog?

Some pet owners consider grooming as the most fun part of having a dog, while others just don't care for it. Figure out what kind of pet owner you are, as it is an important aspect of how to choose the right type of dog. For instance, long-haired dog breeds usually have their coats easily matted and will require constant frequent brushing and baths. This applies to the Shih Tzu.

Do you like the outdoors?

If you want a travel companion, or a dog that loves to get out as much as you do, there are certain breeds that will certainly be able to keep up. A Labrador retriever, Doberman pincher, Weimaraners, or Dalmatian would certainly be up for long walks and vigorous exercises.

As you can see, choosing the right dog doesn't have to be difficult. Whatever your lifestyle may be, there's a dog breed that will fill all your days with love and happiness!!

Unraveling The Different Reasons Why Most Cats Hate Water So Much

Different Reasons Why Most Cats Hate Water
We all know that cats are scrupulous groomers. They love licking themselves to clean their paws and their coat almost every single time. However, your critter’s passion for grooming seems to be gone away very quickly when trying to give her a bath using water. Indeed, cat’s aversion towards water seems very ironic for her extreme love of cleanliness.

Since the beginning, cat’s repugnance over water has been the subject of many debates, some of them even heated. By unraveling facts about cat’s behavior towards water, we will try to decipher if cats really generally “hate” water, and the several reasons why they hate it so much.

Fact # 1: Not all cats hate water

There are some cats whose lineage belongs to fierce water hunters. South and Southeast Asian fishing cats, for instance, are known to have webbed feet adept in grabbing their prey under water. The leopard cat, a small wild cat in South and East Asia, is also known to dwell along mangrove swamps, rivers, and streams to hunt.

Some cats want to play with water due to extremely high temperature. Turkish Vans, for instance, are called swimming cats because of their love of swimming. This type of cats originated from the hot and arid regions of Turkey, where they were known to take a dip in Lake Van to cool themselves down. Other cat breeds that are known to be water lovers are Bengal, Turkish Angora, Maine Coon, American Bobtail, and American Short hair.

Fact # 2: Some cats stay away from water for safety reasons

Long before the era of domestication, cats in the wild oftentimes choose habitations that are relatively farther from the water sources. For cats, water sources are home to many different water dwelling predators, and it will be safer for them to stay away from water. Cats are also known to be jumpy and skittish. Their lack of experience towards water, for instance, can agitate them, making them fearful and defensively aggressive at times.

Fact # 3: Water makes them heavy

This is especially true among cats with relatively longer coats. When a cat’s coat is submerged in water, its drenched fur would weigh her down, making her feel ‘heavy’ and uncomfortable. That’s why cats get so frantic to dry herself up immediately after taking even just a quick dip.

Fact # 4: Your cat senses something in the water that she doesn't like

Your cat is equipped with an excellent sense of smell. However, this sensory power also provides her the ability to detect substances and contaminants that might be present on your tap water. Maybe the reason why you cannot put her to bath is the presence of certain contaminants in your tap.

Fact #5: She simply does not need to take a bath

Cats are known to be conscientious cleaners. Whenever they have chance, they will groom themselves by licking their paws and fur. This habit would make it quite unnecessary for you to actually submerge your cat into the water for a bathe regularly, unless the dirt is too large, sticky and thick that it becomes unmanageable for her.

Need to bathe your cat? Here’s what you need to know

Cats rarely need help when it comes to bathing, as they can do it all by themselves without the help of water and a pet parent. However, there are instances when cats need the helping hand of their owners especially when dealing with sticky and large dirt. If you really need to go through this process that is equally challenging for both you and your critter, here are some tips that you may want to consider:

  • Your cat can become super aggressive when soaked with water. For your safety, trim her nails first several hours before putting her in bath. You may also consider wearing long sleeved shirt or gloves for protection against possible bites and scratches.
  • Convince your kitty to take a bath by training her as early as her kitten-hood. Making her familiar with water would make every bathing time a blissful and safe encounter.
  • You do not have to submerge your cat completely with water. A gentle cloth or sponge bath can do the trick of cleaning off that dirt or mud. Just remember to use warm water and to rub the dirt in the direction where the fur naturally flows.
  • Do not use any chemicals and additives in the water, as it might irritate your cat’s skin and might also be ingested during her normal grooming sessions. Remember to rinse the fur well with water to get rid of any unwanted shampoo.
Your cat’s distaste towards water might be rooted in her genetic imprint, her environment, her personal experience, or the lack of. As pet parents, getting to know even the most trivial things about our pets can contribute towards a deeper, better understanding of them.

Top 10 Dog Behaviors and What You Can Do

10 Dog Behaviors and What You Can Do
Whether you're a long-time doggie owner or a newbie when it comes to raising pups, it's always important to know and understand what the most common dog behavioral problems are. There are reasons why your buddy is acting in a particular way, and it's crucial that you get to the bottom of it before things get out of hand. Besides, knowing what these common dog behavior problems are is the first, most crucial step to solving them. It will also help lay the foundation of an obedience training that can help you control these dog-related problems.

10. Aggression

Does your dog growl, snarl, show his teeth, and lunge forward at times? Some dogs, even the small breeds, have the potential to be aggressive. Aggressive behavior in your dogs doesn't always mean he's about to attack, as there may be subtle signs that you have to pay attention to. Generally, dogs that have aggressive tendencies were raised in an equally aggressive environment or may have serious medical issues.

What you should do: If it happens persistently, you may want to check any stimuli that's causing the aggression. Because of the potential harm that it might cause, you should also consult a professional vet.

9. Biting

One of the natural instincts dogs have is biting, especially when they're trying to explore and learn about their surroundings. It can also be caused by their need to assert their dominance or defend themselves.

What you should do: You can teach your dogs bite inhibition or proper dog training to stop your dog from biting around too much. 

8. Chewing

Chewing on objects is  a natural instinct dogs have, especially when they're curious about their surroundings. It can, however,  be a problem when your dog has chews on your personal stuff.

What you should do: You can't stop your dog from chewing, but you can give him chew toys for dogs that he surely will love. When you catch your dog chewing on an important item, you can also quickly reprimand him.  

7. Barking

Barking is a natural instinct that many dogs quite enjoy. There are several reasons why a dog barks: they want to protect their property, they want to explore their environment, they want to assert their dominance, or they are feeling defensive. 

What you should do: Reprimanding your dog with a high voice will only send the message to your dog that barking is okay and that you should bark louder. Proper dog training, however, can stop your dog from barking incessantly.

6. Jumping Up

Some dogs just love to jump up as a form of greeting. They also do this to exert their dominance. And while it can be cute, it can be dangerous for both the dog and the person being jumped on. 

What you should do: There's a specific dog training technique you can perform to stop your dog from being too excited and jumping around so much. The most effective method, so far, is not to pay attention to your dog. Don't look, speak, or touch your dog. When he doesn't respond, that means he got the message. You can reward him with a dog treat for doing so. 

5. Chasing

Dogs naturally feel the need to run around and chase animals, cars, and even you! It may look cute, but it can be pretty dangerous as well. Your dog may end up getting hit by an incoming vehicle or get lost along the chase.

What you should do: You may not be able to stop your dog from trying to chase people and things around, but you can take certain steps to make sure he doesn't run around. You can have a silent dog whistle to get your dog's attention. You can also train your dog to only come when he's called. You should also keep your dog on a dog leash, preferable an extra long dog leash, except when he's under your supervision. 

4. Begging

Does your dog make that irresistible puppy face whenever you're having dinner or a snack? Unfortunately, a lot of dog owners encourage begging for their dogs. Begging is a bad habit that will lead to digestive problems or obesity.  When you give in to your begging dog, you will encourage the mindset that table scraps are treats, when they should not be.

What you should do: Before sitting down to eat, you should command your dog to stay and sit in a corner where he will not be able to see you. You can only give a special treat once everyone in the family is finished eating.

3. Inappropriate Elimination

Your dog defecating or urinating has got to be one of the most embarrassing dog behavior problems any pet owner has to deal with. It's a reult of lack of housebreaking, excitement, anxiety, or marking of territorial boundaries.

What you should do: If your dog is rather young--around 12 weeks of age--inappropriate urination or defecation in dogs cannot be helped. Otherwise, you can try to find out if your dog is suffering from a health problem. If not, you might have to train your dog in behavior modification training, to make sure he only poops and pees in the right places. 

A problem many dog owners have is when their dog goes crazy when left alone: they destroy their surroundings, bark like crazy, and cause havoc for the first 10 to 15 minutes after you leave. It's lovely that your dog misses you so much--if only he doesn't cause too much chaos!

What you should do: Try not to make a big deal when you leave, and make the experience a positive one. When leaving the house, you can simply put your dog in a crate or give him his favorite chew toy, before simply leaving out of the room. Walk around your house, and spy on your dog. Did your dog get upset? If yes, you should give him time to settle down. If not, come back and give your dog a dog treat for a job well done!

1. Digging

Another natural instinct for dogs is digging. There are certain breeds, like Terriers, that would just about dig at anything they can. You can't blame them--they come from a long line of dogs that dig to hunt, to hide possessions, or to seek comfort by nesting.

What you should do: It can get pretty frustrating when your dog keeps digging in your yard, but you can solve this problem by giving him extra dog training. You can also allocate a particular spot where your dog can dig out to his heart's content, like a sandbox. Hide something in that spot for as many times as necessary until your dog realizes that it's the only spot where he is allowed to dog. Don't forget to praise him for doing the right job when he does!

Let's Talk about Dog Vaccinations That Your Pet Needs

 Dog Vaccinations
Humans and dogs have a lot in common, and in case you’re wondering, yes, pet vaccinations are one of them. Many canine diseases and illnesses are preventable, and pet vaccinations will help you give your pet the protection it needs from harm. The best choice for you would be to follow a vaccination schedule for dogs, which will be recommended by a dog vet that you can trust.

Have a vaccination schedule for dogs

Timing is everything, and that’s precisely what your dog veterinarian knows all too well. It’s always best to have a veterinarian who knows the complete history of your dog to handle the dog vaccine schedule and determine the vaccines that will be most effective for your pet. Usually, the vet will recommend that your pet starts at four to six weeks old, and will continue on until reaching 16 weeks of age. There are also dog vaccines that can be given together, such as the DHLPP vaccine. Other vaccines, like those for rabies and leptospirosis, will need annual boosters during your yearly checkup.

Take your pet health Seriously  Some illnesses that can be prevented with dog vaccines

You need to know the importance of dog vaccines, and you can determine that by understanding what diseases dog vaccines aim to prevent.

Rabies. One of the most highly contagious and deadliest diseases associated with dogs is rabies. Dog rabies vaccination can address both diseases to humans and dogs. And while rabies infections are rare in North America, there are still many wild mammals that roam in the wild and can viciously infect your dog. You will therefore still need a dog vaccination when your pet is around three to four months old, with regular annual boosters every so often. Rabies shots for dogs are quite inexpensive, and you shouldn’t have problem with the price of it.

Canine distemper. One of the major diseases that can kill dogs is canine distemper. While it’s no longer as common now, it’s still a problem in many pet stores and rescue shelters, and continues to be a risk. A fatal virus that can harm your dog’s nervous system, canine distemper occurs at an early age among dogs. This can be solved by DHLPP, as the D stands for distemper.

Canine leptospirosis. Caused by a bacterium called spirochete, leptospirosis can affect both humans and dogs. In its full power, it can lead to chronic kidney and liver breakdown, and in some cases even death. This is what the L in the DHLPP means. Once administered, it will require annual boosters, and, in places where the risk is particularly high, six months.

Canine parvovirus. One of the most common and most vicious viruses in the world, canine parvovirus is 80% fatal, and can kill dogs in just a few days. Maternal antibodies present in a young puppy can easily kill the vaccine, so only a vet can determine when is the best time to administer it to your dog.

Canine hepatitis. The H in DHLPP is a blood disease that can will affect the tonsils, larynx, and ultimately, the liver. Once it enters the bloodstream, the symptoms will include a bluish tint in your dog’s eyes, known as “hepatitis blue eye”. It’s a particularly alarming disease, although it’s not transmissible to humans and should not be confused with human hepatitis.

Canine parainfluenza. Transmitted via nasal secretions of other dogs, parainfluenza is an illness that attacks the respiratory tract and can be highly contagious. It leads to persistent coughing, or even bronchitis. While it’s not the most dangerous disease, it can weaken the immune system and lead to other respiratory problems and infections. This is the P in the DHLPP vaccination.

Canine coronavirus. Known to be as dangerous and prevalent as the parvovirus, the coronavirus has a variety of effects, from a really bad flu to a terminal illness. It is often included by some vets in the DHLPP + C dog vaccine.

Tracheobronchitis. Known as kennel cough, this is characterized by harsh coughing in your dog, which often sounds like that in humans. This happens often in kennels, and happens for dogs who are either very young, very old, or has a compromised immune system.

Visiting the vet

Now that you know the different diseases that you need dog vaccinations for, the next step is to visit the vet. You may be tempted to buy one of those do-it-yourself vaccination kits, but there’s a reason why you should hold back: only a regular vet knows exactly what vaccination schedule is best for your dog. Furthermore, there are a number of low cost pet vaccinations that your vet can surely help you with.
With a dog vet, someone can take a full medical history of your dog, along with a full medical exam before the injections. You will also be given recommendations based on your dog’s specific concerns.

Side effects of dog vaccinations

An altogether different debate is whether vaccine are safe. There may be side effects, such as lethargy, joint muscle soreness, and mild fever. However, this shouldn’t be a problem as your dog is still healthy, and can generally go back to his day to day activities like dog collar training after a while.

There’s also a question regarding how safe annual shots are. Some advocates feel that it is no longer necessary and can even cause an allergic reaction, while many veterinarians feel strongly that annual boosters are necessary. Whatever side you choose, one thing’s for sure: there are some dog vaccinations you simply shouldn’t ignore.

Learn How to do DOG CPR: It could Save your Pet’s Life!

Learn How To do Dog CPR
When the going gets tough for your fur baby, do you know what you need to do? You don’t have to be a veterinarian to know what to do in case your dog experiences cardiopulmonary arrest or cardiac arrest, which is characterized by abrupt end of your dog’s heart functioning. You can’t always get vet help for dogs right away, and it almost always happens when you least expect it. It’s absolutely important for you to know how to give a dog CPR, because you may very well hold the key to saving your pet’s life.

How important is Canine CPR?

But first things first: how important do you need to perform CPR on your dog? The Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society estimates that around 6% of cats and dogs experience cardiopulmonary arrest survive until they are brought to the hospital. As a responsible pet parent, you seriously need to understand how to do pet CPR.

What are the basics of CPR on a dog?

What you will perform on your dog is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), while artificial respiration is part of CPR (AR). AR is about breathing air into your dog’s lungs through his nose. CPR is compressing the dog’s chest while the dog lays on the right side. AR is a first step in doing dog CPR.

How do you do CPR on a dog?

How to do CPR on a dog involves a number of steps that you must follow carefully. Here are the steps on how to give a dog a dog CPR:

Step 1: Clear the airway of your dog.

Before anything else, make sure that the airway of your dog’s mouth has been cleared. The dog might be choking on something, in which case you will have to remove it with your fingers. Be extremely careful when doing this. You need to be quick when doing this, as your dog might suddenly panic and bite you.

You will need to pull your dog’s tongue out, and check if he is breathing. Gently straighten out the head and the neck of your dog, careful not to over-extend it as it may cause further injury. If you are sure that the dog is not breathing, be prepared to do CPR.

Quick tip: Pick up anything that is obstructing your dog’s airway with an upward motion. Only when you are 100% sure that there’s nothing blocking the throat should you proceed to assisted breathing.

Step 2: Do assisted breathing.

Make sure that your dog is on his right side, then start doing artificial respiration. Firmly hold the mouth area, and blow around four to give rescue breaths through the nose of your dog. The amount of air should just be enough for your dog’s chest to rise up and down.

Quick tip: The procedure is quite different for smaller animals, as your mouth will go around both the nose and the mouth. Your breaths should therefore be smaller.

Step 3: Check the heartbeat of your dog.

Once you’re done with the artificial respiration, do not proceed to the next step if you’re dog is already breathing. Again, dog CPR does not have to go through all steps. Next, check out if your dog has a heartbeat or pulse in the femoral artery.

Quick tip: You can simply lay your hand on the upper left side of your dog’s chest to feel the heartbeat. If nothing seems to be happening, get someone to call the vet immediately. In the meanwhile, be prepared to do chest compressions.

Step 4: Perform chest compressions.

The most important step is the chest compressions. You can start by placing the left elbow back to the chest of your dog, and placing the heel of your palm right above the heart. Then, lock your arms together and gently intertwine your fingers. For small dogs around 16 pounds or less, give a quick squeeze too compress their chest.

You will need to give regular-sized dogs around 30 chest compressions succeeded by two rescue breaths to compress the chest by two to three inches for larger dogs that are more than 16 pounds, and by one-half to a an inch for small dogs that are less than 16 pounds. As you do this, you need to check the pulse every few minutes.

Quick tip: Perform this procedure for up to 20 minutes, and get an emergency dog vet while you’re at it.

Learning how to give a dog CPR is among the vital skills you need to know as a responsible pet owner. You may never get to put it to good use, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You might also want to be prepared with your dog’s emergency first aid kit, containing necessities from canine food to dog collars and leashes. It’s always best to be prepared when it comes to your dog’s life—you might thank us one day for it!

What to do if Your Dog Steals Food

if Your Dog Steals Food
Your dog a thief? Surely not! It’s true – many much loved family dogs are opportunists and will steal food from the kitchen bench or the dinner table. However, is “thief” the right word for him?

Your dog doesn't do this to be naughty. When a dog steals food, he is doing it because it is instinctive. Whatever his breed, your furry family member is descended from wolves who are scavengers. They ate what they could find or kill, and because they had no idea when their next meal would arrive, they’d take any opportunity to get some food. We both know your dog doesn't need to scavenge for his meals when he has them regularly given to him, but he still has that inner instinct to grab food when he can.

Given that your dog is only acting on instinct when he pinches food, it can be said that this is a normal dog behavior. The problem is that it is a behavior that isn't appreciated by his human family. There needs to be a way of preventing him from doing this.

Here are some suggestions to protect your food from your enthusiastic canine scavenger.

Keep Food Away

A logical solution is to keep any food well away from your pooch’s reach. This means move plates and foodstuffs away from the edge of benches and tables. Even better, don’t leave food on open surfaces, but instead put it somewhere your dog can’t even see it.

Feed The Dog Before Yourself

If you give your dog his meal before you start to prepare yours, he may be less likely to pinch what he can reach in the kitchen. A full belly may mean he won’t be in a scavenger frame of mind.

Control Access to Food

If you feed your dog just from his bowl and at regular times of the day, it’s possible he’ll learn the routine and know that a meal is coming. This may discourage him from stealing food that is within reach.

Another idea is to train him to eat only if he is given a particular command. Ideally, he’ll understand that he can’t eat unless you give the command so he may be disinclined to steal.

Set Up a Booby Trap

Dogs learn from negative consequences so one option is set up a booby trap for when he steals. One option is to leave food within reach but have it flavored with a foul tasting substance (make sure it is harmless though). When your pooch steals the food, it will taste horrible. He may associate the taste with stealing and be reluctant to do that again. Another type of booby trap is a noisy one – set up some tins or other noise making items so if your dog steals food, they come crashing noisily down on the floor. Again, make sure that there is no risk of harm to your pup.

Training and booby traps can help reduce the chances of your dog stealing food; however it’s not easy to train a dog to overcome years of instinct. These solutions can work but nothing is as effective as keeping food well out of your dog’s reach. This is the only way you can guarantee he won’t give into those inherent urges and help himself to his next meal.

Here's Everything You've Ever Wanted About Brushing Your Dog's Coat

 Brushing Your Dog's Coat
Your dog may have that amazing ability to keep their coats clean, but that doesn't mean they don't need any help with brushing. It's absolutely important to include brushing your dog's fur as part of his daily habit. By regularly brushing your dog's coat, his natural oil will be distributed better to make his coat clean and healthy. Brushing will also remove your dog's dead hair and dry skin. You can also tell if your dog has health issues by their coat, whether it's matted, dry, tangled, or oily. You might even find fleas, ticks, cuts, or anything unusual with your dog if you brush him regularly. Besides, don't you want to see less of your dog's hair from your favorite couch or black pants?

However, brushing your dog's coat isn't as simple as it sounds. That's why we put together some common questions and answers to get you started with brushing your dog's coat.

How often should you brush your dog's fur?

You already know that you're supposed to brush your dog's coat regularly, but exactly how often should you do it? No matter the length of your dog's coat, you should be able to brush your dog's coat often, around twice a week. You can ramp it up to thrice a week if you have a specific purpose, like removing hair mats of helping them shed their seasonal coat.

Does the breed of my dog matter?

All dogs need to be brushed, no matter what their breed is, some more often than others. For instance, breeds with long hair, like Tibetan Terriers and Collie, have to at least be brushed weekly, especially if their coat easily gets tangled. For long-haired breeds, you might want to use a pin brush, with bent-wire bristles that grip the undercoat and painlessly removes loose hairs.

On the other hand, dogs with short coats, like Greyhounds or Labrador Retrievers, don't need to be brushed as frequently as short-coated dogs. Brushing them once a week with a hound glove or a rubber brush, should be sufficient to remove loose hair and dirt. You can also use the usual brushes, as long as they have natural bristles or bent metal pins on them. You can use a soft-bristle brush after to distribute their natural oils.

Lastly, breeds with short, wiry hair will need a slicker brush, and then a metal comb. You can also use a stripping knife to remove the dead hair. When in doubt, it's always best to consult a specialist who is an expert in brushing Dachshunds and Terriers, among other short-haired breeds.

How do you start brushing your dog's fur?

Perhaps what you're wondering most about is how to brush your dog. The steps are rather simple, yet many people don't know how to brush their dogs and often hurt them. To take care of your dog, here are the steps you can take:

1. Always go with the flow. Remember to brush in the direction of the coat, and never against. Brushing backwards will hurt and irritate your dog.
2. Don't go rough on your dog. Another mistake you don't want to make is to rabidly brush your dog's coat too eagerly and roughly, causing them to tangle even more.
3. Solve tangles and mats with a coat conditioners or a mat spray. A brush isn't the solution to your dog's tangled coat. Instead, you should apply a mat spray or a coat condition, leaving it on after several minutes. Then you can use a wide-toothed comb or a mat-splitting tool to work your way through the tangle. If, however, the mats are too close to your dog's skin, you can cut them out very carefully scissors. We cannot emphasize how important it is for you to be very carefully, lest you bring your dog to the vet for stitches.

At the end of the day, taking care of your dog should be a fun bonding activity for you and your dog. As for indulging in these activities, from combing your dog’s fur to exercising together with your dog, the fun starts with getting the right grooming supplies for dogs.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start the fun!

Dangerous Food for Dogs

Dangerous Food for DogsWe humans love to indulge in foods – chocolates, fresh fruits, sweets, chips, sugary drinks, coffee. Sometimes, we may also be so eager to share that profound happiness in eating with our four-legged buddy by sharing some to them. However, some people foods that we extremely love might not only be unhealthy for your dog but might also put his health in great danger. As such, knowing what foods you can and can’t share with your buddy is important in keeping him healthy and safe.

Certain fruits and nuts
You might be enjoying that creamy, healthy and tasty guacamole treat, and you might also assume that this would also be a perfect fit for your dog. However, because of a substance called persin present in avocados, dogs may experience mild to moderate stomach upset if ingested in high amount. 

Grapes and raisins, on the other hand, may cause renal failure among canines. Although yet to be backed up by studies, it is the best to let your dog stay away from such delightful fruits for them to keep safe.

A few pieces of macadamia nuts could mean life-threatening complications for your dogs. Symptoms of food poisoning because of macadamia include vomiting, increased heart rate, paralysis and muscle tremors. Although the mechanism of poisoning is yet to be discovered by scientists, your dog only needs 2g of macadamia nuts before the life-threatening symptoms manifest.

Plums, peaches, persimmons, or any fruits with pits or small seeds are considered harmful for your dogs. These seeds may obstruct your buddy’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract, making him more prone to GI inflammation. The seeds or pits of plums and peaches also contain cyanide, which is harmful for both humans and animals when ingested.

Onions and garlic
Onions and garlic in whatever form may pose dangers among dogs when taken in toxic amounts. Because onions and garlic are known to destroy haemoglobin-carrying red blood cells, these ingredients have been associated with dog anemia, a condition commonly accompanied with vomiting, lack of appetite, weakness, dullness and difficulty in breathing.

Gums, candies and certain baked products
Any stuff sweetened by xyliol, such as gums, baked products, candies and diet products can adversely affect dogs. Xylitol is an alcohol sugar known to increase the level of insulin in your dog’s body, which in turn causes a drop of glucose level in the bloodstream. Loss of coordination, lethargy, and vomiting are just some of the first signs of xylitol toxicity. If left untreated, liver failure may occur. 

All kinds of chocolates, including the white ones, contain theobromine, an alkaloid of the cacao plant known to be toxic for dogs. Even at a very small amount, chocolates may cause your buddy to experience tremor, vomiting, seizures, abnormal heart rate, and even death.

If you just saw that your dog has eaten chocolates, or if you believe your dog has ingested some, contact your vet as soon as possible for theobromine poisoning treatment. You should also learn about the type of chocolate he ingested, its amount, and when your dog had eaten it. With these information at hand, it will be easier for your vet to take the necessary precautions during this possibly fatal medical emergency.

Raw eggs, meats, fish
Just like humans, eating a raw food source may increase the risk of poisoning from bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. Raw eggs may also obstruct the absorption of vitamin B among your dogs, making him more prone to skin diseases. Meanwhile, making him eat raw fish may increase his risk of fish disease, a fatal toxicity manifested by swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, and fever.

Sugary and salty foods and drinks
Too much of anything is bad. Too much sugar or salt in your dog’s diet, for instance, may lead to diabetes, obesity, and dental disorders. Learn to limit his intake of sugar and salt to ensure that only the needed amount will be eaten, digested, and absorbed by your buddy.

Kitchen items
There are many items in the kitchen pantry shelves that are considered toxic to dogs, especially when ingested in high amounts. Spices such as nutmegs, and leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda, for instance, are just some of the many ingredients commonly found in the kitchen that can cause toxicity among dogs. Signs of poisoning may include muscle spasms, congestive heart failure, tremors, and seizures.

Being a smart pet parent is being able to understand that humans and dogs are still different, no matter how strong their bonds are with each other. That way, you will not assume that what is delightful and safe for you will also be delightful and safe for your dogs. 

Understanding Gum Disease in Dogs, What Might be Causing it, and How it Should be Treated

Gum Disease in DogsOver the years, gum disease has been the most common dental disorder affecting adult dogs. Although entirely preventable, diseases affecting the dog’s gums affect close to 80% of canines ages two and above due to poor oral hygiene, older age, and poor nutrition. Unfortunately, untreated gum disease may lead to more severe health complications, such as malnutrition and infection. 
To effectively address gum disease, it is important for pet parents like you to learn about it, its stages, causes, symptoms, how it is diagnosed, and the treatment options available. 

How does it start?

When eating, bacteria may attach to the dog’s teeth and form plaque, a colorless thin film at the surface of the dog’s teeth. Minerals present in his saliva and mouth will then harden this plaque to form tartar (dental calculus). Tartars at the surface of the dog’s teeth are easier to remove and can hardly cause dental and gum problems. However, any tartar just beneath the gum line may trigger a gum disease.

The formation of tartar under the gum line triggers the immune system to send off antibodies to fight against the bacterial infection. This in turn would cause inflammation and swelling, which may damage the supporting structures of the affected tooth and ultimately lead to loss of tooth, gum tissues and bones.

Although gum disease may affect any dog, dogs of older age and smaller breeds are considered at higher risk as compared to their counterparts. 

Symptoms and severity

Gum disease, sometimes referred to as periodontal disease, is a condition characterized with the swelling of the affected gums. To fully understand the symptoms of periodontal disease, it is best to categorize its symptoms based on its stages

I.Gingivitis – Gingivitis is considered the first stage of periodontal disease. It is characterized with the swelling or reddening of the gums. During this stage, no separation or loss of tooth is present
II.Periodontitis – Periodontitis refers to the inflammation of the periodontium, or the space between the gums and the tooth. Some dog experts further categorize periodontitis based on its severity

A. Stage 1 periodontitis – There is a 25% attachment loss of tooth, meaning, the tooth are 25% ‘less attached’ to the gum
B. Stage 2 periodontitis – There is 25% to 30% attachment loss
C. Stage 3 – Also called advanced periodontitis, there is more than 50% attachment loss. Also, during this stage, the gum line may recede and the roots of the teeth may become exposed

Other symptoms commonly associated with periodontal disease are difficulty eating, loss of interest towards food, bad breath, and dribbling.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from periodontal disease, do not hesitate to speak with your vet for immediate diagnosis and medical intervention.

Diagnosing periodontal disease
To determine the possibility of periodontal disease, your vet may check if the gap between the gum line and the affected tooth is more than 2 millimeters. If so, your vet may look into other signs and symptoms of the disease to rule out the possibility of other dental disorders. One sure way to detect periodontal disease is through X-rays. Dog care experts suggest 60% of periodontal disease symptoms are hidden beneath the gums. During X-ray examinations, your vet can see how much bone support around the affected tooth was lost, providing him with enough knowledge about its severity and on how to treat it.

Periodontal disease treatment
Treating periodontal disease is largely dependent on its severity. For earlier stages of the disease, vets may recommend professional dental cleaning, which may include scaling and polishing. Your vet may also prescribe specialized dog toothpaste to deal with the condition.

Aside from professional dental cleaning, your vet may also advise you to start an oral hygiene regimen at home with your dog. Brushing your dog’s teeth may help treat periodontal disease while preventing the possible formation of tartar. However, brushing your dog’s teeth is never an easy task. 

To introduce a brushing regimen to your dog, the American Animal Hospital Association recommended these simple steps:

  1. Dip a finger into beef bouillon and gently massage your dog’s gums, teeth, and gum lines. Make this session short and sweet
  2. After your dog has been used to gum and teeth touching, you may introduce a gauze in rubbing your dog’s teeth and gum line
  3. If you think he can handle gauze pretty well, you may gradually introduce a toothbrush specifically designed for dogs. Remember to use toothpastes that are intended for dogs, as other types may cause his stomach to be upset.

For more advanced periodontal disease, topical antibiotic gels and cleaning of the periodontium might be required. In some severe cases, invasive procedures, such as bone replacement, guided tissue regeneration, and periodontal splinting might be required.

Prevention is always better than cure. To protect your dog from debilitating dental disorders, such as periodontal disease, it is best to ensure that he is getting the right nutrition that he needs while implementing oral hygiene strategies at home, such as oral brushing. 

Caring for Old Cats

Caring for Old Cats
Cats are known to live a long time and many of them survive well into their teens. Just like with people, they undergo physical changes as they age. To keep them happy in their later years, we need to accommodate these changes.


Many pet food companies are formulating diets specifically for old cats. This takes into account their reduced activity level which means they don’t need as many calories. Senior diets often also have added fiber to keep their bowels moving. As they age, cats may start to prefer canned food over dry food, especially if they have lost a few teeth. Canned food usually also smells stronger and this may tempt the appetite of fussier eaters. Some old cats benefit from a prescription diet which is designed to help manage medical conditions such as kidney failure or osteoarthritis.


Most cats enjoy sitting up high, surveying their surroundings. As cats age, they become less agile and can’t jump as high as they used to. If possible, arrange your furnishings to give him some steps to his favourite vantage point. That way he can still get up to where he wants to be without having to jump there.

You’ll also find that your feline senior citizen sleeps a lot. It’s a good idea to provide a number of soft beds in different locations for him to choose from. He might like to lie in the shade of the couch during the day, but snooze in a sunbeam near the window in the afternoon.

Failure to groom effectively can lead to a rough matted coat which is uncomfortable for your cat. This can be caused by arthritis in the back which makes it difficult to twist around. You’ll need to take on this role, brushing him frequently to keep his coat free of mats. Another thing to watch for is his toenails. Because he is likely to be less active, there’s less opportunity for his nails to wear down naturally. You’ll need to give him a manicure regularly to keep his nails trim and stop him getting caught in the carpet or soft furniture.


Old cats can suffer from a couple of specific health conditions. Like people and dogs, they develop arthritis. Unfortunately, there are very few drugs that are safe for cats with arthritis so you need to rely on weight loss and more natural therapies such as green lipped mussel extract.

Kidney disease is relatively common in senior felines. Early symptoms are drinking more water than usual and weight loss. It can be managed with medication and a very well controlled diet.

If your elderly cat is eating constantly but still losing weight, he may have hyperthyroidism. This condition is caused by an overactive thyroid gland which increases his metabolic rate so he loses weight in spite of a good appetite. It also increases his heart rate, and may lead to behavioral changes such as going to the toilet in odd spots.

All of these conditions can be managed with help from your veterinarian, and the modifications to your home and your cat’s diet can be easily done. This will make your cat’s twilight years most enjoyable for him.

Is Your Cat Losing Her Shine? Here are Some Tips to Help Keep your Cat’s Coat Shiny

Cat Losing Her Shine?Know to be meticulous groomers, cats have their own way of maintaining their shiny, silky, and healthy looking coat. There are some instances, however, where you might have noticed that your cat is slowly losing the shine of her fur. It might be because of an underlying health condition, or an inappropriate diet. Whatever the reasons are, pet parents like you should take steps in ensuring that your four-legged fur friend is healthy not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.

You should understand that a dull coat is more than just an aesthetic issue. Dullness of the fur may be a manifestation of these underlying conditions:

Skin disease

Hair dullness, accompanied with alopecia and lumps in the skin can be a sign that your critter is suffering from a health condition. Visit a veterinarian to determine what causes her skin disease. For conditions caused by fleas, ticks, and mites, your veterinarian may suggest different natural and non-natural ways of getting rid of the bugs.

For severe skin diseases caused by infectious agents, such as virus, bacteria and fungi, your veterinarian may prescribe topical and oral treatments to deal with the skin condition. After treating the skin ailment, your fur friend’s coat should be back to its shiny, healthy look.

Poor nutrition

Your cat’s skin is nothing but a reflection of how healthy she is. If you think that your cat’s coat lacks the shine, chances are she is not getting the adequate nutrition that she needs in order to be healthy inside and out. A cat’s lack of lustre might be an indication that her diet lacks omega-3, a type of fatty acid found mostly in oily fishes, such as salmon and tuna. 

To ensure your cat is getting the nutrition she needs, check if her food contains ingredient that are low in proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. If so, consider switching to a healthier, higher quality cat food.

But if you feel that you are already providing cat food with highest quality, it might be that your cat needs to have another type of premium cat food with different ingredients. Remember, not all cat foods share the same ingredients, and so some products may not be as effective as the other.

Extra pounds

We all know that obesity in cats pose severe health risks that may significantly affect her quality of life, such as heart disease, osteoarthritis, hypertension, and cancer. But did you know that a plus-size cat may have more difficult time grooming hard to reach spots of her body, such as the base area around her tail and the middle portion of her back. These areas may then lack luster because of accumulated dirt, dandruff, and matt.

Because obesity can cause serious harm to your fur friend, it is best to visit a veterinarian to know a wide range of options available in addressing your cat’s weight issues. A veterinarian will be able to evaluate carefully the amount of nutrients needed by your cat’s body, and will be able to come up with a weight loss diet plan tailor-fitted just for your pet. Never attempt to make her lose weight abruptly by dramatically decreasing her calorie intake, as it may lead to more serious health conditions.

Playing with your cat more often may also increase her physical activity, thus allowing her to utilize unused energy and prevent it from turning into extra weight. Exercise toys and equipment can also be used to keep cats busy and physically active during their play period, allowing them to exercise more.

Older age

Older cats have greater difficulties grooming their coats. As such, they literally need the helping hand of their pet parents to assist them in grooming. There are cat combs and brushes available to help your cat get rid of any loose hair and dirt lodged in her fur. Just always be sure to gently brush in the direction where the cat’s fur flows naturally to avoid harming your pet.

Too much bathing

There are times, however, when cat owners tend to overdo their roles as pet parents by excessively grooming their pet’s coat. Remember that cats are natural groomers. Healthy and able cats usually need little to no help when it comes to keeping their hair healthy and shiny. 

It is highly advised to bathe your cat only when there is thick dirt on her coat that could be difficult or nearly impossible for her to clean. If you are bathing your cat more often to save yourself from allergy, try cleaning the house instead, as it was found to be a more effective way in dealing with dander allergies than directly bathing your cat. If you are bathing your cat too much because of fleas, try the different natural and synthetic ways of getting rid of them.

Your cat’s coat is an indication of how healthy she is on the inside. By ensuring that your buddy’s coat is as silky and shiny as it can possibly be, you can be confident that your cat is getting the best nutrition and care a pet parent like you can give.

How You Can Recognize Subtle Signs of Dog Illnesses

If your dog is very unwell, you’ll notice it quickly. He’s likely to have quite obvious symptoms such as vomiting, coughing or diarrhea. Sometimes, however, it’s harder to tell that he’s not feeling good. It’s important that you do learn to recognize it though, because earlier treatment usually means a faster recovery.
Subtle Signs of Dog Illnesses
Here are some more subtle symptoms that you may notice but not know that they can indicate a number of dog illnesses.

Toileting Accidents

Should your dog start to forget all his toilet training and leave a mess or two on your carpet, don’t get cross at him.  He may be starting to come down with an illness or there may be some other medical reason for what he’s doing.

Bladder stones and infections can result in frequent urination, often without much warning. Some medical conditions cause increased thirst and with this comes increased urination. Elderly animals may lose control of their bladder or bowels, or their stiff old joints might not allow them to get outside in time.

All of these conditions can be managed successfully.

Drinking Lots of Water

If you are topping up your dog’s water dish more than usual, it means he’s drinking more. It’s certainly possible that this may be because it’s been very hot recently, or you’re exercising him more. However, it can be because he is developing diabetes, kidney disease or some hormonal disorders. 

It’s a good idea to have some blood tests done to find out exactly what’s going on.


If your dog is usually cheerful with a wagging tail and he starts getting grumpy and even a little aggressive, something is definitely not right. It can mean he is hurting somewhere, or is feeling nauseous and unwell. Your first port of call is to your veterinarian to check for medical issues. If all is well, then you may want to seek advice from a behaviorist. Aggression can be an indicator of anxiety in dogs and it can be managed with the right treatment.

Staring into Space

Have you noticed your dog just sitting and staring at nothing?  In some dogs, this is considered to be a form of epilepsy. Whether treatment is needed depends on the severity of the episodes. Some dogs may progress to grand mal seizures so speak to your vet about whether treatment is necessary.

Nail Biting

Many people bite their nails but it’s not a usual behavior in dogs. Licking and biting at the paws can suggest an allergy, either to food or to dusts and pollens in the environment. It’s not comfortable for your dog so don’t overlook this symptom; go along to your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment.


You may be familiar with the play bow, when your dog goes down on his elbows with his tail in the air. This is an invitation to play. It can also be an indicator that your dog has a tummy ache so if he’s doing this but doesn't look enthusiastic about a game, get him checked out by your vet.

Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether a hardly noticeable symptom is really worth following up.  Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it will stop by itself. That might be the case but it’s a good idea to visit your vet sooner rather than later. Many medical conditions are easier to manage if diagnosed earlier, which is much better for both your dog and your budget.