Sundowning: Here’s What to Expect in Your Aging Pet

sweet old dog, snoozing on a sofa

www.marthastewart.com

Amy Shojai and her pets By Amy Shojai February 06, 2020

These are the behavioral changes to look for and what you can do to help, according to veterinary experts.

Today, advances in veterinary care mean our cats and dogs live longer, healthier lives than ever before. And just like in people, aging brains means some memory loss. But a percentage of old dogs and senior cats develop more severe signs of dementia, or cognitive dysfunction. These pets suffer from a condition that mirrors some aspects of human Alzheimer’s disease, including behaviors described as “sundowning.”

Signs of Sundowning

Signs of cat and dog cognitive dysfunction can be vague and confusing, and many of these symptoms mimic other disease conditions. Common issues fall under five broad categories listed in the acronym “DISHA.” Look for the following: disorientation, interaction changes, sleep changes, housetraining issues, and anxiety or compulsive behaviors. Disorientation means your pet wanders aimlessly, acts lost and confused, may not recognize family members or other familiar people and places, and gets “stuck” in corners or lost in the house. Interaction changes refers to behaviors such as your pet no longer greeting family members, dislikes or avoids petting, is not as interested in getting attention, and displays interaction changes with other pets. In terms of sleep changes, look for signs such as your pet being awake and active at night, meaning that sleep cycles are disrupted or reversed. Another sign is that housetraining has been forgotten—dogs forget to ask to go out and cats can’t find their litter box. Last, looking for anxiety or compulsive behaviors. Your pet may show tremors, howling, repetitive pacing, licking the floor or other objects, circling, or tail chasing.

When a Pet Might Develop Sundowning

Dr. Benjamin Hart, a veterinary behaviorist and Professor Emeritus at University of California-Davis, says that canine cognitive disorder has long been recognized. He explains that dogs, similarly to people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, develop a beta amyloid pathology in the brain. This is a starch-like protein that becomes waxy once deposited in the tissues. Thirty percent of dogs aged 11 to 12 had one or more symptom. Sixty-eight percent of the 15 to 16-year-old dogs had one or more symptom.

More recently, the condition has also been recognized in cats. “You’re more likely to see it in 15-year-old and older cats,” says Gary Landsberg, DVM, a veterinary behaviorist in Thornhill, Ontario. He authored one of the first research papers on cats that concluded, in part, that as many as 80 percent of cats he sees that are over the age of 16 show signs of senility. Like affected humans and dogs, cats with cognitive dysfunction also have deposits of amyloid material in the brain.

Diagnosing Cognitive Dysfunction

It’s important to diagnose cognitive dysfunction correctly. Behavior changes in your aging pet often have other causes. A break in housetraining might be due to kidney disease or diabetes. An old cat’s yowls could be due to age-related deafness, or hypertension. Disorientation and personality changes could also point to a brain tumor or neurological disruptions from liver disease. Diagnosis relies on eliminating other causes. According to a report by Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, veterinarians believe as many as 85 percent of pets suffering with age-related senility are never diagnosed. Sadly, many are euthanized when behaviors become unacceptable.

How You Can Help Your Sundowning Pet

There are veterinary prescriptions, over-the-counter diets, and pet supplements that may offer a reprieve. Memory games also help, as well as maintaining routine, reducing stress, and enriching the environment perhaps with a special bed for your aging dog. The human medicine selegiline hydrochloride (Anipryl) has been FDA-approved to treat canine cognitive disorder. Anipryl may work to prevent ongoing damage to the brain. It acts on one of the neurotransmitters responsible for nerve-to-nerve communication and slows the natural destruction of the chemical compound dopamine in the brain. Dr. Landsberg says the medicine works very well in about one third of cases, nominally well in another one third, and not at all in the final percentage of dogs. Although not FDA-approved for cats, it has been used off-label with some success in aging felines, too. Pets need to be on the drug for about four weeks before any results can be expected.

A natural component of some foods—called phospholipids—can help reverse signs of cognitive disorders by helping brain cells send and receive nerve impulses more effectively. Choline and phosphatidylcholine, two common message-sending compounds, are found in a dietary supplement called Cholodin, which is a less expensive alternative to Anipryl. The products are available through your veterinarian and come in a pill form or powder to be mixed into the food.

Some specialized therapeutic diets are now available that also help temporarily reverse brain aging changes. Diets containing alternative energy sources such as fatty acids from medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) may prove beneficial in offsetting cognitive decline. Hemp supplement products also may help dogs—however, they must avoid the potential toxic components of the herb found in some human products. Hemp can be used to aid in decreasing the severity of dementia. Ask your veterinarian if this supplement may benefit your pet.

As with humans, it’s important to keep dogs active and mentally engaged. That can help slow or even prevent some of the “brain rust” that slows down cognitive abilities. Teach tricks and practice obedience drills and offer interactive puzzle toys. That exercises not only his body, but his mind, and preserves the bond of love you’ve developed together. The old saying, “use it or lose it!” applies equally to cat brains. Offer stimulating views such as bird feeders outside windows. Teach your cat tricks, or to walk on a leash. And offer puzzle toys that reward the cat’s interest by dispensing food. This can mimic feline hunting behaviors and keep the cat entertained and mentally sharp. These options work best in combination, but still offer only a temporary fix, not a cure. Reversing the signs for months or a year or more is priceless when it extends your beloved pet’s life.

https://www.marthastewart.com/7615674/sundown-syndrome-in-pets?utm_campaign=marthastewartliving&utm_content=bestofevergreen&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_term=62be47376dc5730001a4b7b5

Five Clever Ways To Encourage Your Cat To Drink More Water, According To A Veterinarian

cat drinking water

Credit: Taalulla / Getty Images

Martha’s Blog

By Madeline Buiano June 20, 2022

Since cats descended from desert wildcats, their thirst drive is naturally low, meaning they typically don’t drink enough water. These clever tips will get your furry friend hydrated in no time.

Just as your body needs enough water to function properly, so too do your four-legged companions. While dogs typically stay well hydrated, most cats don’t drink enough. “Our domestic cats evolved from Middle Eastern desert wildcats, so it’s likely their thirst drive is naturally low,” says Carly Fox, DVM, senior veterinarian at Schwarzman Animal Medical Center. She adds that cats are also very particular, and can sometimes be turned off to certain water sources, or even where the water is placed. Despite having low thirst requirements, it’s important for your feline to stay hydrated.

“Cats are prone to kidney disease, constipation, and urinary tract disease,” says Dr. Fox. “Keeping our feline friends hydrated can prevent the onset of these diseases.” Since cats don’t typically drink enough water on their own, Dr. Fox highlights a few clever ways to get your furry pal to stay hydrated. 

Related: Six Secret Cues That Cats Use to Communicate with Each Other

Offer standing and running water.

If your cat isn’t drinking from their designated dish, try diversifying the way in which you’re providing them water. For example, perhaps one dish is filled with standing water and the other option is a fountain. “Offering cats running water can sometimes turn their water drinking habits around,” Dr. Fox says. “Even if your cat is not immediately interested, keep the fountain around so your cat can acclimate.” Pro tip: If they already have an affinity for your shower or running faucet, your furry friend will likely enjoy a fountain to drink from.

Place a bowl away from their food.

It’s possible your feline may not be drinking its water because he isn’t fond of its location in your home. “Some cats are turned off by water adjacent to food, since their instinct tells them that it may be contaminated,” Dr. Fox says. “Keeping another option in a different location gives them a ‘clean’ choice.” 

Add food into their diet.

Have you ever wondered if you should be feeding your cat a mixture of dry and wet food? One reason feline owners do this is to increase their cat’s water intake. “Wet food is made up of about 70 percent water as opposed to dry food, which is only 10 percent,” Dr. Fox says. “This alone allows your pet to get a large part of their daily water needs through their food.”

In addition to giving them a can of tuna or salmon here and there, you can also add more water to their food—whether it is wet or dry. Additionally, Dr. Fox says you can make your cat’s water more palatable by adding a small amount of tuna water or chicken broth to it.

Keep their water dish clean.

You wouldn’t want to drink out of a dirty cup of water, and neither does your cat. Like people, cats are very discerning creatures, Dr. Fox notes. Hair or soaked kibble in their dish can easily turn your feline off—so keep it pristine. “The water should be changed daily, and more often if noticeably soiled. The water bowl should be properly cleaned one to two times a week,” she says. 

Try a new bowl.

Some cats are particular when it comes to the type of water dish they drink out of. “I recommend a stainless or ceramic bowl. These are less prone to bacterial contamination,” Dr. Fox says. “Plastic dishes have also been linked to feline acne—a non-contagious skin condition—so they should be avoided, if possible.” Your four-legged friend may also not like their water dish if it’s too small and shallow, as drinking from it may constantly stimulate their whiskers and cause sensory overload. “If your cat seems reluctant to certain shaped bowls, you can try whisker-friendly bowls, which tend to be wider and shallower.”


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Spring’s hidden dangers that could be deadly to your pets

www.foxweather.com

Chris Oberholtz

Spring’s hidden pet dangers

March is National Pet Poison Prevention Month and also offers a good way to help educate pet owners on the dangers of accidental pet poisonings and how to prevent them. 

Spring is in the air, and so are some hidden dangers lurking in your yard that could be deadly to your four-legged family members.

You know when warmer weather is approaching by the constant puppy-eye look begging for more time outside. And with thrills of chasing squirrels and warding off the mail carrier comes more danger from the ground they guard.

March is National Pet Poison Prevention Month and also offers an excellent way to help educate pet owners on the dangers of accidental pet poisonings and how to prevent them.

Every year the Animal Poison Control Center with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals compiles its data from the calls received about pets exposed to toxins and releases the top 10 categories of potential poisons.

One-tenth of those calls were related to indoor and outdoor plant ingestion. Rodenticides, insecticides and garden products were also most frequent.

Avoid toxic plants

Many common plants can be harmful to pets like azaleas, rhododendrons, yews, English Ivy, daffodils and tulips. 

“Bulbs of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths can cause all sorts of issues from gastric upset to heart problems for our dogs,” said Lindsey Wolko, founder of the Center for Pet Safety.

If your dog likes to dig, you should keep bulbs out of the landscape. 

Easter lilies are exceptionally toxic to cats. Their leaves, flowers, pollen and stems can cause kidney failure.

(Linda Davidson/The Washington Post  / Getty Images)

Lilies will also start growing soon, and they are exceptionally toxic to cats. 

“Their leaves, flowers, pollen and stems can cause kidney failure,” Wolko said. “Easter lilies will also be available at your local stores for those that celebrate the holiday. If you have cats, you won’t want to bring lilies home.”

Mulches and landscape invaders

“Some wild mushrooms are toxic, and yet somehow our dogs are attracted to dangerous fungi,” Wolko said.

If you see mushrooms growing in your yard, remove them promptly. Plants with thorns can also harm paw pads and result in eye issues.

Horticulture agent Dennis Patton of the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension recommends using natural wood mulches and avoiding cocoa mulches. Dyes can also cause issues depending on the pet.

Fertilizers, pesticides and compost

Springtime fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides used to boost blooming for flowers or lawn applications can be harmful to pets. 

The chemicals can irritate your pet’s paws or nasal passages, or if ingested, they can be toxic. 

“In some cases, when you’re not certain, it’s best to rinse and dry their paws at the end of the walk. The company that manufactures or applies these chemicals to your lawn should have material safety data sheets and guidance for those that have pets,” Wolko said.

You might consider avoiding using such chemicals if possible or using alternative controls.

You know when warmer weather is approaching by the constant puppy-eye look begging for more time outside.

(Paul Zinken / Getty Images)

“Make sure you secure the lid to any compost bins around your yard to keep pets out and potentially consuming materials in the bin,” Patton said.

Spring is also the time of year when neighbors may put out poisons for rodents.

“If your pet consumes a poisoned rodent, they too ingest the toxic substance. Be vigilant and inspect your surrounding yard and walking path frequently,” Wolko said.

Contact your veterinarian or emergency vet if you suspect that your pet has ingested a poison or toxic plant. 

Ticks, misquotes and fleas

As spring arrives, keep the grass mown and remove any weedy growth and leaf litter around the yard. These conditions can increase tick and flea populations. You should also avoid any standing water which breeds misquotes. 

Petscaping design

Besides the obvious in providing plenty of fresh water and shade, you need to establish boundaries with pets and adequately train them to respect the landscape.

Patton suggests shielding or protecting any prized or toxic plants from pets and providing a safe space for play and exercise.

“Create pathways in the garden for pets, and you are a must,” Patton said.

Another area worth creating is an outdoor potty area using pea gravel which acts as kitty litter for your dog. It drains well and won’t wash away in the rain or blow away in heavy winds. 

https://www.foxweather.com/lifestyle/toxic-plants-deadly-cats-dogs

Free road transport for Ukrainian family pets from Poland

www.animalcouriers.com

Animalcouriers

Animalcouriers is offering free road transport for Ukrainian family pets from Poland to the UK (or to other selected locations on the route, such as Frankfurt, Brussels and Paris).

Our idea is to transport pets for owners who’ve had to leave Ukraine and are making their own way to the UK (or to other destinations on the route).

For all pets, we need to know what veterinary records are available. For dogs, cats and ferrets, we need to know if they have microchips and current rabies vaccinations.

UK entry requirements

To enter the UK, dogs, cats and ferrets will need microchips, current rabies vaccinations and EU pet passports. We can help organise all these steps. Once an EU pet passport is issued, the pet has to wait three weeks before it can enter the UK. We can organise boarding at Calais for those pets, and collect them once their passports become valid for UK entry.

Eurostar doesn’t take pets

Pet owners should be aware that pets aren’t allowed on Eurostar trains. For Ukrainian owners planning to use Eurostar to travel to London, we can offer collection of their pets at continental European locations for onward travel by road to the UK.

Make an enquiry

To enquire about this service, please email courier@animalcouriers.com and put ‘Ukrainian pet travel from Poland’ in the subject line of your email.

https://www.animalcouriers.com/2022/03/04/free-road-transport-for-ukrainian-family-pets-from-poland/

Information for people leaving Ukraine with their pets

www.animalcouriers.com

Animalcouriers

Information for people leaving Ukraine with their pets

The situation for people leaving Ukraine with their pets is evolving. Poland, for example, is allowing all pets into the country, whether or not they have microchips, rabies vaccinations or any form of pet passport.

Other EU countries are accepting pets at border crossings and many are taking the same approach as Poland. They’re making exceptions to their usual rules about dogs, cats and ferrets needing microchips, rabies vaccinations and pet passports. In some cases, the arrival country is microchipping and vaccinating such pets on arrival.

IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, is responding to the situation in Ukraine by providing emergency animal aid to the country. It’s also gathering and verifying resources for pet owners fleeing Ukraine.

Access the IFAW resources page here: https://www.ifaw.org/eu/news/resources-flee-ukraine-pets

Check back regularly as the situation is dynamic and resources may be changed or added.

UK entry requirements

Owners of dogs, cats and ferrets travelling from Ukraine should bear in mind that, to enter the UK, their pets will need microchips, current rabies vaccinations, successful rabies titre tests, and EU pet passports.

Eurostar doesn’t take pets

Pet owners travelling from Ukraine should be aware that Eurostar trains don’t allow any animals on board.

Ask if we can help

Animalcouriers is here to help. Families leaving Ukraine (or their representatives) can contact us for advice about their individual situation and to see whether our road transport services within the EU might be appropriate for their pets.

Please courier@animalcouriers.com and put ‘Ukrainian pet travel’ in the subject line of your email.

https://www.animalcouriers.com/2022/03/06/information-for-people-leaving-ukraine-with-their-pets/

Xylitol: Popular Sweetener That Can Be Deadly to Your Dog

www.dogfoodadvisor.com

Xylitol is a popular artificial sweetener that can be deadly to your dog.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the accidental consumption of xylitol by a dog can cause a sudden and life-threatening drop in blood sugar, seizures, liver failure and… death

To help warn dog owners, the FDA has created the following video:

What Products Contain Xylitol?

Food products that may contain xylitol include certain brands of peanut butter… which can sometimes be used as a tasty “stuffing” for Kongs® and other chewable dog toys.

Other products that may contain xylitol include:

  • Chewing gum
  • Peanut butter
  • Breath mints
  • Mouthwash
  • Candies
  • Toothpaste
  • Baked goods
  • Tooth whiteners
  • Chewable vitamins
  • Sugar-free desserts (like “skinny” ice cream)

Brands with a Prior History of Xylitol Content

The following brands have previously been known to contain xylitol. Some of these products may no longer contain the toxic sweetener. So, be sure to check the ingredients of each item listed.

  • Orbit®
  • Trident®
  • Icebreakers®
  • Stride®
  • Pure®
  • Mentos®
  • Spry®
  • Go Nuts1
  • Nuts ‘N More2
  • Hank’s Protein Plus3
  • P28 Foods High Protein Spread4
  • Krush Nutrition Nutty by Nature5
  • Xylimax
  • Xylishield
  • Spry Mints
  • Spry Chewing Gum
  • Xlear Nasal Spray
  • Nicorette Gum
  • Xylichew Gum
  • Ricochet

This list is not complete. Consumers are cautioned to read the labels of all products before bringing them into any environment shared with dogs.

https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/red-flag-ingredients/xylitol-dog/

Footnotes… Products That Contain Xylitol Go Here For A Complete List! 👇

https://www.preventivevet.com/xylitol-products-toxic-for-dogs

Keeping Cats Safe: Christmas Safety

katzenworld.co.uk

Keeping Cats Safe: Christmas Safety

sarahicatcare 9 – 11 minutes


Most of us look forward to the festive period, however, for cats Christmas may be a time of stress and risk of injury.

As a species cats enjoy routine and are sensitive to changes in their environment, making the celebrations challenging. In addition, the season means certain toxic plants and food may be accessible to curious cats. At International Cat Care we have consulted veterinary members to ask them what injuries they see at this time of year. Based on this information and with the input of the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) this article offers advice on what to keep out of reach and what to do to minimise the disruption to keep our cats happy this Christmas.

Christmas plants

Poinsettia (Figure 1) is often mentioned as a potentially poisonous plant but its reputation is perhaps unfair. The Veterinary Poisons Information Service inform us that in over half the cases of pets eating Poinsettia plants reported to them, the cat or dog shows no signs of illness. Nevertheless it is still a good idea to keep the plant out of reach. In addition, Mistletoe, Holly, Ivy and Christmas Cherry can cause a tummy upset and should be kept away from inquisitive cats.

Figure 1: Poinsettia

Christmas trees

Many cat owners have had the experience of their cat climbing the Christmas tree and it falling over. Usually both are unharmed but it is worth considering securing the tree to avoid this. Injuries are reported from falling from Christmas trees and from the resulting smashed baubles, with glass ones particularly sharp when broken. Ingestion of Christmas tree needles and the fake snow applied to them can cause stomach upset and other decorations can be ingested resulting in a ‘foreign body’ (see later – abnormal material that can get stuck in the cat’s digestive system). Chewing of lights and wires can be a problem, especially for nosy kittens and it is not uncommon for cats to pass urine just where you don’t want them to i.e. the tree, potentially a problem if electric plugs and wires are exposed.  This can be a sign of stress so read on for techniques to reduce the anxiety cats may suffer at this time of year.

Christmas food

At this time of celebration food may be left out with left-overs within reach. We traditionally worry about dogs and chocolate toxicity, but what about cats? Chocolate is also toxic to cats, although the amount a cat needs to eat to make them ill is a lot higher than for dogs. Signs of chocolate poisoning including being sick and passing diarrhoea, drinking a lot, appearing drunk, trembling or even having a fit. Hopefully a cat’s lesser interest in sweet treats means this risk is small.

Similarly, grapes and raisins, known for causing kidney damage in dogs, may affect cats but poisoning is much less common. The VPIS would however advise treatment of cats known to have eaten these foods, and suggest that for example mince pies are not left out. If you think your cat has eaten such food, contact your vet and encourage them to call the VPIS for advice. On the subject of food it may be tempting to treat your cat this Christmas, perhaps extra cat treats or some scraps from the Christmas dinner. While a little left-over turkey will be enjoyed by the majority of cats without harm, excessive treats and human food could make a cat poorly so do try and stick to their normal feeding routine at this time of year; they won’t know they are missing out! Another hazard can be cooked poultry bones – they are hard for cats to digest and can get stuck in the digestive system so make sure your cats can’t raid the bin after the Christmas lunch.

Seasonal candles

One of our vets reported seeing a cat with a singed tail from Hannukkah menorah candles and certainly exposed candles can be a hazard to cats who tend to jump onto windowsills and mantelpieces where candles are placed. As elevated locations are still accessible to most cats, candles should be kept where you can keep an eye on them or left off the Christmas list.

Festive foreign bodies

‘Foreign bodies’ is the term used to describe non-food items that have become lodged in a cat’s body, often the digestive tract, and we have looked at them in a previous topic in our Keeping Cats Safe campaign. They are less common in cats than in dogs, but we were surprised by the number reported by our veterinary members. When we asked them about Christmas hazards this was the most commonly reported medical issue linked to the season. ‘Linear foreign bodies’, those string or string-like materials causing a problem, appear to be the most common and so tinsel, lametta (the long decorative strips of tinsel) and string (around meat or used to hang decorations) were common culprits. One of our vet members reported removing a sticky mass of sellotape from a cat’s intestine in June that had been there since Christmas, evidenced by the adhered Holly leaves visible in places! As mentioned above, cooked poultry bones may also result in injury. If your cat is seen chewing the tinsel or any other string like material, prevent their access if possible and keep an eye on your pet for signs of illness. These signs can be subtle in cats and include simply sleeping more, hiding away and being sick or refusing food. Consult your vet if you are worried about your pet and do mention any non-food material you have seen your cat chewing.

How to make Christmas less stressful for cats

This time of year means lots of changes to a home, and for cats who often thrive on predictability, routine and the perceived safety of their territory (their home and garden), this can be distressing. The furniture is often moved around, the tree is brought in, lights and decorations are put up, music is played, all making their home look, sound and smell different.  In addition, unfamiliar people, and worse still unfamiliar dogs, may visit the house or even stay, again at variable times, interrupting the normal routine. In order to minimise distress during this season consider the following:

  • Ensure your cat has several safe and comfortable places to hide and get away from the noise and hustle and bustle. A cardboard box or igloo bed above the wardrobe or under the bed can provide security. If new beds are added to the home at this time, make them smell familiar by adding bedding already used by your cat.
  • Advise visitors not to approach the cat if it is in its bed, but only to stroke the cat if it initiates contact. Visiting children may be keen to see and cuddle the cat but gentle stroking on the cat’s initiation must be insisted upon.
  • Guests can be given cat treats and toys to help teach the cat positive associations with the new people.
  • Ensure there is always an open door to allow the cat to get away from any noisy parties or dinners to a quieter part of the home.
  • Consider plugging in a ‘Feliway’ diffuser into the room the cat spends most time in, several days before the festivities begin. This product (available from your vet) contains feline pheromones which can help the cat feel more secure. Ensure it is switched on continually throughout the festive season.
  • If visitors are sleeping in one of the rooms the cat usually uses, for example, for sleeping, eating or toileting, be sure to provide the required resources (beds, food or litter tray) in other, quieter parts of the house and, ideally, before the visitors arrive so that changes occur gradually and the cat is comfortable with the new location.
  • If the cat’s litter tray is positioned in a place that will mean more people traffic or noise during the Christmas period, it is good practice to provide an additional litter tray in a quieter part of the home.
  • If the cat is particularly sound sensitive, avoid crackers and party poppers.
  • If a dog is visiting it may be helpful to restrict its access to the cats retreat areas using, for example, baby gates on the stairs.

Conclusion

The Christmas season is a time for celebration but don’t forget your cat this year. Simple changes can keep them safe and make them feel more secure during the festive period.


References

  1. Volmer PA. 2002 How dangerous are winter and spring holiday plants to pets?Vet Med 97 (12):879-884.
  2. Marhold J. 1986 Prehled Prumyslove Toxikologie; Organicke Latky. Prague, Czechoslovakia, Avicenum, pp1372.  Cited in: Theobromine. RTECS®: Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. From MDL Information Systems, Inc. (electronic version). Thomson Micromedex, Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA.
  3. Gwaltney-Brant S. 2001 Chocolate intoxication. Vet Med96 (2):108-111.

Catch up with our past Keeping Cats Safe topics here.

I am the feline behaviour specialist at feline charity ‘International Cat Care’. We are about engaging, educating and empowering people throughout the world to improve the health and welfare of cats by sharing advice, training and passion.

https://katzenworld.co.uk/2021/12/08/keeping-cats-safe-christmas-safety-2/

Holidays and Companions

 

And don’t trust the cat either 😺

Guardians Of Life

With the holidays coming upon us once again, and as such, I think it is necessary to remind guardians of their responsibility to keep their companions safe. With Thanksgiving meals, it’s wise not to give your companion any “turkey or chicken” bones. These items can splinter off and cause lacerations in your companion’s throat and stomach. Or will not pass through their intestine tract, causing severe blockages.

When it comes to Pumpkin pie, no companion animal should have any because it’s filled with sugar, which can cause stomach issues. However, if you want your companion to enjoy the holidays with you, there are plenty of safe food recipes for your companions to try.

Companion Safe Recipe links:
https://www.rover.com/blog/diy-pumpkin-pie-dogs-recipe-video-in/
https://www.dogster.com/dog-food/easy-dog-friendly-recipes
https://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/resources/3-simple-homemade-cat-treat-recipes/

Firework safety, like with July 4th, you need to be prepared to handle the noise and anxiety your pet may be dealing with at the time. New Year’s Eve does…

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Is your microwave causing stress for your dog? Probably, say scientists – FIREPAW, Inc.

firepaw.org

Researchers have discovered that people may not recognize that their dog is stressed when exposed to common household noises. While it’s well-established that sudden loud noises, such as fireworks or thunderstorms, commonly trigger a dog’s anxiety, scientists now know that even common noises, such as a vacuum or microwave can be a trigger. Additionally, the research found that high-frequency, intermittent noises such as the battery warning of a smoke detector are more likely to cause a dog anxiety, rather than low-frequency, continuous noise.

Study overview

Researchers conducted a survey of 386 dog owners about their dogs’ responses to household sounds and examined recorded dog behaviors and human reactions from 62 videos available online. The study found that owners not only underestimated their dogs’ fearfulness, but the majority of people in videos responded with amusement rather than concern over their dog’s welfare.

Some sounds painful for dogs

Because dogs have a wider range of hearing, some noises could also be potentially painful to a dog’s ears, such as very loud or high-frequency sounds. Minimizing exposure may be as simple as changing batteries more frequently in smoke detectors or removing a dog from a room where loud noises might occur.

Signs of anxiety

Some common signs of a dog’s anxiety include cringing, trembling, or retreating, but owners may be less able to identify signs of fear or anxiety when behaviors are more subtle. For example, stressed dogs could pant, lick their lips, turn their head away or even stiffen their body. Sometimes their ears will turn back, and their head will lower below their shoulders.

Solutions

Families with dogs need to start paying attention to the subtle responses listed above to prevent their dogs from getting stressed out by household noises.  Strategies include encouraging your dog to stay in a different part of the house while vacuuming and microwaving is going on; changing batteries in smoke alarms at the first signs of beeping; discouraging your dog from staying in small rooms where sounds from the television or music system may be loud; taking your dog to a quiet area when outdoor power tools are running or trash/recycling or other large trucks (especially with backup beeping noises) are nearby; keeping your dog in a quiet area during times you expect visitors who will ringing the doorbell; make a mental note of all the household products–like coffeemakers–that set off high-pitched beeping noises and encourage your dog to go to other rooms or outside when they are in use.


Journal Reference: Emma K. Grigg, Juliann Chou, Emily Parker, Anwyn Gatesy-Davis, Sara T. Clarkson, Lynette A. Hart. Stress-Related Behaviors in Companion Dogs Exposed to Common Household Noises, and Owners’ Interpretations of Their Dogs’ Behaviors. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 2021; 8 DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2021.760845


KW

https://firepaw.org/2021/11/12/is-your-microwave-causing-stress-for-your-dog-probably-say-scientists/

Preparing for an emergency if you have pets

Help! My Cat Hates Her Carrier!

www.thedodo.com

Help! My Cat Hates Her Carrier!

By Sam Howell

How to get her in without getting mangled 😬

Traveling with your cat can be a total pain, especially if she refuses to get inside her carrier.

All you want to do is make your cat comfortable in the very thing she needs for a safe ride in the car.

But how?

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Vanessa Spano, a veterinarian at Behavior Vets in New York City, to find out how to get your cat to actually enjoy her carrier.

Why your cat hates her carrier

The main reason your cat might dislike being in her carrier is because she associates it with things that aren’t exactly pleasant.

“Many times, it is because the only time they are placed in it [or] taken out of the house is to go to the vet’s, which is not always a fun experience for them,” Dr. Spano told The Dodo.

These negative associations could also include physical ailments, like car sickness.

“Additionally, if they are moved around a lot in the carrier or associate it with, for example, a car ride, and they experience motion sickness, they may associate being in there with not feeling well,” Dr. Spano explained.

It’s also possible that the carrier you have makes your cat physically uncomfortable.

So when you’re looking for a case, make sure you’re getting the right size.

“It should be large enough for your kitty to get up and turn around, or at least 1.5 [times] the length of the kitty from tip of the nose to their tail,” Dr. Spano said.

You also want to make sure your carrier will make your cat feel nice and secure.

Try this airline-approved carrier from Chewy for $35.39

Or this two-door top load carrier from Chewy for $41.95

How to get your cat in her carrier

According to Dr. Spano, the trick is to start with a clean slate.

“Get a brand-new, comfortable carrier, so that there are no pre-formed negative associations,” she said. “Associate this new carrier with only positive things, such as her favorite treats, toys, bedding, etc. This is to encourage her to investigate it on her own without being forced.”

Try these treats from Chewy for $5.94

It’s important that you don’t ever force your cat into her carrier, because that will cause negative associations.

Instead, leave the carrier out every day, and make sure to praise your BFF when she goes over to check it out.

“Anytime you catch your kitty investigating her carrier, reward her immediately,” Dr. Spano said. “Then, she may connect the dots that this is a happy place and hang around it more often.”

And if you even see her sitting or lying in the carrier on her own you should definitely reward her, because that’s a huge step, and a sign that she’s getting comfortable.

We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.

https://www.thedodo.com/dodowell/how-to-get-a-cat-in-a-carrier

Pet Owners Beware: Popular Flea Control Products Contain Toxic PFAS Chemicals

chemical-free-life.org

Leading flea-control products have been found to be filled with toxic PFAS ‘forever chemicals’*. This, according to new laboratory test results posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. More specifically, the report found that popular pet flea collars and treatments contain high levels of toxic PFAS chemicals.

The Findings

Popular flea and tick products were sent to a certified lab, which found that:

  • Frontline Plus for Dogs, a popular topical flea and tick product, contains 2,390 parts per trillion (ppt) of four different PFAS, including GenX. Frontline is a liquid pesticide applied between the pets’ shoulder blades once a month; it spreads throughout the skin and fur.
  • Seresto flea and tick collars contain 250 ppt of a long-chain PFAS. Seresto is a plastic band impregnated with insecticides and other ingredients that are released over time and coat an animal’s fur.

Why this is a problem

“One major concern is that people can be exposed to these products though their skin by petting and playing with their pets. And children face even greater risk through their frequent hand-to-mouth behavior.

A recent study found dogs and cats are highly exposed to PFAS and often exposed to concentrations well above the minimum risk level identified for humans.

The troubling findings regarding PFAS in flea-control products comes after documents obtained from the EPA revealed the agency has received more than 75,000 complaints linking the Seresto flea collar to harms ranging from skin irritation to nearly 1,700 pet deaths. Yet the agency has taken no action in response to the reports such as recalling the product or issuing a nationwide warning to the public of its potential dangers.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal legal petition last month urging the EPA to cancel the registration of the Seresto collar, which is also linked to nearly 1,000 incidents of harm to humans.” (source)

_

*PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down and can accumulate in the human body, animals and the environment. They are associated with a variety of ailments, including suppressed immune function, altered gut microbiome, thyroid disease, testicular and kidney cancers, and liver damage. In addition to groundwater and drinking water, PFAS chemicals can be found in a wide variety of products including food packaging, nonstick cookware, bake ware and other products, cleaning products, firefighting foams, electronics, including laptop computers and smartphones, sporting equipment, waterproof and stain-proof items including carpets and upholstery, and much more. (source)

https://chemical-free-life.org/2021/06/12/pet-owners-beware-popular-flea-control-products-contain-toxic-pfas-chemicals/#like-11786

Top Tips to Prevent Cat Separation Anxiety After the Pandemic – Katzenworld

katzenworld.co.uk

As time has gone on throughout the pandemic, the chances are that your cat will have grown very close to you. This is because the transition towards working from home and the various periods of lockdown will have given you the opportunity to spend a lot more time together.

As such, now that more and more employers are starting to invite their employees back to the office, cat separation anxiety is a growing issue that many owners around the globe are likely to face over the coming months.

Whether you’re needing to leave them on their own for a few hours or over a much longer timeframe, separation anxiety can be a trying time for both you and your cat so we thought we’d try and help.

Join us as we run through some of the best ways to prevent your cat from feeling confused and disorientated after the pandemic, highlighting a few hints to keep separation anxiety at bay.

What is separation anxiety?

Before we get into the ins and outs of how to reduce cat separation anxiety, it’s important to first understand what exactly it is.

In simple terms, separation anxiety refers to the stress felt by pets when an animal is kept away from its owner. While it may bot rarer in cats than in other types of domestic animals, certain breeds – like Siamese, Burmese and house cats – are particularly prone to it.

What’s more, in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, approximately 49% of cat owners are said to be concerned about separation anxiety becoming more and more of an issue moving forward.

This, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 on veterinary practices, is largely because of how overly attached and dependent their cats have become during the past few months, with many kittens bought during the pandemic unlikely to have encountered large periods of time without their owner before.

The key signs

Signs of separation anxiety can differ from cat to cat but, generally speaking, there are a few key ones to look out for. These include:

· Spraying. If your cat starts to feel stressed, they are more likely to start spraying – ejecting urine while having a rigid, yet slightly quivering tail.

· Constant meowing. If your cat is suddenly wanting a lot of attention and meowing more often than usual, this can be a sign of over-dependence, highlighting that they feel stressed when you aren’t at home.

· Grooming changes. When cats feel stressed, they will often change their grooming routine – either grooming themselves excessively or not much at all.

If you notice any of these changes in your cat’s behaviour, you should initially consult your vet for their advice. Then, using the tips below, you will be able to reduce the likelihood of separation anxiety becoming an issue moving forward.

1. Keep boredom at bay

While it may sound fairly obvious, the less bored your cat is, the less likely it will be to turn to its owner for stimulation. So, why not invest in a few ways to keep them entertained in your absence?

If your cat enjoys spending time outside, for example, encourage them to venture outdoors while you’re not there by investing in a cat flap.

Likewise, consider purchasing a scratching post and a few toys to keep your cat entertained. That way, you’ll be able to provide them with a few sources of entertainment while you’re not at home.

2. Create a relaxing setting

When you think about it, how would you calm yourself down if you were stressed? Many of us would start by trying to create as relaxing an atmosphere as possible, so why not do the same for your cat?

In the same way lavender relaxes us, pheromone sprays and plug-ins are a great way of relaxing your pet. These devices use a man-made version of the substance that cats deposit when they rub their cheek on you or your furniture, helping them to feel more relaxed when they are surrounded by it.

3. Avoid getting another cat

While you may think that getting another cat will solve the problem of your cat feeling lonely without you around, it could actually make things worse.

This is because it can be difficult to confuse separation anxiety with loneliness – the reason for their stress is due to an over-attachment with their owner, rather than feeling lonely.

Therefore, regardless of whether there is another cat in the house or not, this feeling is unlikely to change. Plus, since cats are very territorial animals, they could become even more stressed with a new addition in their space.

Final thoughts…

While separation anxiety may be rare in cats, it’s important to be aware of the issue – especially now that the lockdown restrictions are being loosened.

However, as the points above should now prove, spotting the signs in advance and preventing the issue from manifesting into a bigger problem can be a lot easier than you might think.

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https://katzenworld.co.uk/2021/06/12/top-tips-to-prevent-cat-separation-anxiety-after-the-pandemic/

Fear Triggers Aggressive Dog Behavior, say researchers

firepaw.org

New research studying the behavior of 9,000 dogs demonstrated that fearfulness, age, breed, the company of other members of the same species and the owner’s previous experience of dogs were all associated with dogs’ aggressive behavior towards humans. These findings can potentially provide important tools for understanding and preventing aggressive behavior.

Backstory

Aggressive behavior in dogs can include growling, barking, snapping and biting. These gestures are part of normal canine communication, and they also occur in non-aggressive situations, such as during play. However, aggressive behavior can be excessive, making the dog a health threat to both humans and other animals.

Study overview

The canine gene research group active at the University of Helsinki surveyed connections between aggressive behavior and several potential risk factors with the help of a dataset encompassing more than 9,000 dogs, a sample from a larger dataset from a behavioral survey dataset of nearly 14,000 dogs. The study investigated aggressiveness towards both dog owners and unfamiliar human beings. Dogs were classified as aggressive if they growled often and/or had attempted to snap at or bite a human at least occasionally in the situations described in the survey.

Results overview

Dogs’ fearfulness had a strong link to aggressive behavior, with fearful dogs many times more likely to behave aggressively. Moreover, older dogs were more likely to behave aggressively than younger ones. One of the potential reasons behind this can be pain caused by a disease. Impairment of the senses can contribute to making it more difficult to notice people approaching, and dogs’ responses to sudden situations can be aggressive.”

-Salla Mikkola, doctoral researcher University of Helsinki

Small dogs are more likely to behave aggressively than mid-sized and large dogs, but their aggressive behavior is not necessarily considered as threatening as that of large dogs. Consequently, their behavior is not addressed. In addition, the study found that male dogs were more aggressive than females. However, sterilization had no effect on aggressive behavior.

The first dogs of dog owners were more likely to behave aggressively compared to dogs whose owners had previous experience of dogs. The study also indicated that dogs that spend time in the company of other dogs behave less aggressively than dogs that live without other dogs in the household.

Significant differences in aggressive behavior between breeds

Differences in the aggressiveness of various dog breeds can point to a genetic cause.

“In our dataset, the Long-Haired Collie, Poodle (Toy, Miniature and Medium) and Miniature Schnauzer were the most aggressive breeds. Previous studies have shown fearfulness in Long-Haired Collies, while the other two breeds have been found to express aggressive behavior towards unfamiliar people. As expected, the popular breeds of Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever were at the other extreme. People who are considering getting a dog should familiarize themselves with the background and needs of the breed. As for breeders, they should also pay attention to the character of dam candidates, since both fearfulness and aggressive behavior are inherited.”

-Professor Hannes Lohi, University of Helsinki.

black and white animal dog fur

At-a-Glance Summary of Research Findings:

Factors Associated with Dog Aggressiveness towards Humans

-Dog Fearfulness

-Older dogs encountering sudden moves/situations

-Smaller dogs

-Male dogs

-Dogs of first-time dog owners

-Solitary dogs: Dogs that have no other dogs in the household

-Most aggressive breeds: Long-Haired Collie, Poodle (Toy, Miniature and Medium) and Miniature Schnauzer breeds


Journal reference: Salla Mikkola, Milla Salonen, Jenni Puurunen, Emma Hakanen, Sini Sulkama, César Araujo, Hannes Lohi. Aggressive behaviour is affected by demographic, environmental and behavioural factors in purebred dogs. Scientific Reports, 2021; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-88793-5

https://firepaw.org/2021/05/06/fear-triggers-aggressive-dog-behavior-say-researchers/

Live Facebook Event… Have questions about your pet, they can give answers

A Little Trick Pet Owners Are Using To Save BIG on Pet Prescriptions at Regular Pharmacies

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iHeartDogs.com

by Justin Palmer

If you’ve ever purchased a prescription for your dog at a regular people pharmacy, you might be in for a BIG surprise!

Many pet owners don’t realize that there are ways to save on pet prescriptions. Yes, and I mean WITHOUT insurance! You’ve probably realized that even if you have a good pet insurance policy, it’s unlikely to cover costly pet meds. This means that if you’re buying your dog’s prescription at a regular pharmacy, you’re likely paying a hefty price, since no insurance co-pays are involved. The iHeartDogs Rx Savings Card might just be a HUGE help!

What kind of medications are eligible for discounts?

Now let’s be upfront. The iHeartDogs Rx Savings Card will not help you if you’re buying a pet only medication (like flea or heartworm prevention) through an online only pharmacy or through your vet. However, a large percentage of pet drugs are available at your local pharmacy. If this is in fact the case, you may receive a substantial discount by using this card.

But wait, what’s the catch? Nothing is really free right?

Yes and no. The reality is local pharmacies want your business. (In fact, they make most of their money from other products people buy when they come in to fill prescriptions!) For this reason, pharmacies will pay a small fee in order to drive business into their stores. Because we can bring a large volume of customers to them, discounts are negotiated on your behalf, and you benefit from bulk discount pricing. This allows you to receive a price that in most cases is much lower than the usual and customary price your pharmacy charges when you are buying a pet prescription using no insurance.

Our Card Is Accepted by Nearly Every Pharmacy!

That’s right. Below you’ll see a sampling of the pharmacies that accept the card. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose, simply present the card to see if the pricing we offer is better than what you’re normally charged.

Will the card ALWAYS save me money?

In most cases, our negotiated pricing will be cheaper than what your pharmacy’s cash price is. In some cases however, certain pharmacy chains will already have the lowest price available. If you present the card, you can be assured that you will ALWAYS pay the lowest price available. In some cases, your pharmacy already has a lower price in which case that is the price you pay. In other words, you lose nothing by at least printing the card and presenting it to your pharmacy.

How Much of a Discount Will The Card Provide?

The largest savings are realized on generic brand drugs and can be up to 80% off. The average savings is around 30%, with brand name drugs in the 5-15% range. You can use the price search tool on our program page here to lookup your pet’s drug price. Please be aware that savings do vary based on pharmacy location.

Get Your Free Card

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Halloween Safety Tips For Pets

Because Halloween shouldn’t be too spooky 🎃👻

By Danielle Esposito

dog holding pumpkin

Halloween comes with all kinds of fun, and it’s natural to want to get your pet in on the excitement — especially if it involves an adorable (or very, very scary) costume.

But with all that spooky fun comes its own set of dangers for pets — like the horror of your pet getting too curious about those flaming jack-o’-lanterns.

Fortunately, all of these dangers can be avoided by a little planning and some strategic placement.

“Whether it’s cats or dogs or even smaller creatures, hazards such as electrical cords, candles or other open flames pose a risk,” Dr. Paul Cunningham, senior emergency clinician at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Michigan, told The Dodo. 

Here are some tips for keeping your pets safe on Halloween, according to Dr. Cunningham:

1. Conceal electrical cables when possible

You can do this by hiding them under carpets, behind furniture or in cord wraps. “This helps to prevent chewing or tripping,” which are common causes of household injuries in pets, Dr. Cunningham said.

2. Avoid the use of open flame candles in spaces where your pets will have access

Their curiosity may lead to a waxy mess or, worse, a house fire, so Dr. Cunningham recommends keeping any sort of open flame away from areas where your pets will be — especially if the flames will be left unattended.

3. Keep Halloween candy out of reach

Since candy toxicity spikes around Halloween due to stealthy pets sneaking into your candy stash, it’s best to completely avoid this by hiding candy bowls and bags.

4. Keep pets in separate areas when needed

“And truthfully, the best advice of all is to keep pets in separate areas of the house if they cannot be supervised at all times,” Dr. Cunningham said. “No one wants to end a holiday with a vet visit or home damage.”

This is especially true if your pet is scared of costumes or strangers, and isn’t likely to react well to trick-or-treaters.

With these simple safety steps and precautions, you can rest easy knowing your pets are safe this Halloween — which gives you more time to hunt down the perfect matching costume (for pets who don’t mind dressing up)!nullnullnull

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The Truth About Betta Fish: Read This Before You Buy One

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Audrey EnjoliSTAFF WRITER | LOS ANGELES, CA | CONTACTABLE VIA: AUDREY@LIVEKINDLY.COM 6-8 minutes

Colorful, iridescent betta fish are popular starter pets. Pet stores often market the vibrant swimmers as being easy to care for because they’re small—so they take up minimal space—and are inexpensive to care for. 

But proper betta care is a bit more specialized than some pet stores lead on. And although they’re appearance may make them popular for display, they are actually one of the most exploited fish in the aquarium trade.There are more than 70 different species of betta fish.

What Is A Betta Fish?

Betta fish are small, freshwater fish. They are members of the Osphronemidae family and are native to Southeast Asia. They are relatively small, ranging anywhere from six to eight centimeters long. 

There are more than 70 different species of betta fish in the wild. The fish live in shallow water, including ponds, flood plains, slow-moving streams, and marshes. They are carnivorous by nature. They have a wide-ranging diet that consists of small crustaceans, insects—including mosquito larvae, worms, and even smaller fish.

Store-bought betta splendens—also known as Siamese fighting fish—are one of the more popular species of betta fish because of their vibrant coloring.

However, these ray-finned fish look nothing like their wild counterparts. Wild betta fish typically have short fins and sport a dull grey coloring. The betta fish sold in pet stores are a product of selective breeding—the process of breeding animals to develop more desirable characteristics and traits, such as a particular color or size.

Store-bought betta fish have been bred to display a wide variety of colors. Betta fish sold in stores have also been bred to have different types of fins, such as a double tail, crowntail, delta, halfmoon, and more.Male bettas are highly territorial.

Why Do Betta Fish Fight?

Male betta fish are highly territorial, compared to their female counterparts. As such, they can become aggressive toward other male bettas when defending their territory. Male bettas will also attack similar-looking fish of other species of fish with flowing fins. When disturbed or threatened, they will often flare their fins in order to show aggression.

Male bettas are also fiercely protective of their offspring. They build bubble nests, which are formed by air bubbles that are coated with saliva in order to make them stronger, for their young. So they can also become aggressive when predators or other fish breach their territory.Betta fish are commonly kept in tiny containers in pet stores.

What’s Wrong With Buying Betta Fish?

A quick glance down the fish aisle at your local pet store will likely and you’ll likely see rows of small plastic containers filled with immobile bettas.

Some of these fish that are sold in U.S. pet stores are captured in the wild. But the vast majority are bred in countries like Thailand in Southeast Asia.

An investigation by the Asian branch of animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Asia exposed the ways in which bettas suffer in the global fish trade. The exposé highlighted Thailand’s betta fish industry. A video released with the investigation shows betta fish confined to small containers that were not filled with an adequate amount of water to cover their bodies.

PETA Asia’s undercover investigator visited ten different betta breeding factories and packing operations. Dead bettas were seen on the floor; some were seen left out of water for extended amounts of time while they were prepared for shipping.

Once shipped, it can take days for bettas to reach their destination. The investigation found tranquilizers are sometimes added to the bettas’ water to keep the fish from consuming their own tails out of distress. Some bettas are dead upon arrival. A company that supplies betta fish to Petco told the investigator that of the 100,000 bettas shipped per week to the U.S., up to 1,000 of them die before reaching distributors.Bettas require specialized care if kept in captivity.

What’s Wrong With Home Aquariums?

Bettas, and other fish, that are held in captivity in home aquariums can suffer from inadequate environments and lack of proper care.

Unlike some other types of fish, bettas require warm water and supple filtration. They must be fed and have their tanks cleaned on a regular basis. They also need environmental enrichment. This can be in the form of caves and plants that they can spend their time traversing. Too-small of a tank and poor water quality can impact bettas’ overall well-being.

Studies show captive bettas can suffer from a host of physical ailments. These include loss of color or appetite, listlessness, cloudy eyes, frayed fins, bloating, weight loss, labored reservations, and erratic swimming. They can also suffer from a number of other health issues like fin rot, bacterial infections, and fungus.

Similar to humans and other animals, bettas can suffer emotionally. They can experience boredom, depression, and stress due to being held in captivity. A 2017 study into the potential welfare issues impacting captive bettas found that most captive environments lack the complexities common to their natural habitat. This negatively impacts bettas’ wellbeing.

“We do know obviously that fish, in general, are more than what we thought they were, in a sense that their cognition is more developed than we previously thought and that they may even experience emotions, for example when in pain,” the study’s author, Christel P.H. Moons told the National Geographic.Bettas can suffer emotional and physical ailments in captivity.

Should You Have Pet Fish?

Although bettas may be regarded as easy to care for by some, they need highly specialized care. They also require an enriched environment similar to their natural habitats. This is in order to promote good health, both physically and emotionally.

Regardless—whether it be a dog, cat, rabbit, or fish—adding a pet to the family should be a decision that entails much consideration and deliberation.  If you are dead set on keeping a pet fish, and already have an adequately-sized aquarium with a stimulating environment, see if anyone in your area is offering fish for adoption to avoid supporting the fish trade.

https://www.livekindly.co/truth-about-betta-fish/?goal=0_8051ea5750-41b2aeb1d2-136082747&mc_cid=41b2aeb1d2&mc_eid=5db4ddecf5

Your furry friends are relying on you to keep them safe

Summer Safety for Dogs and Cats

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pawboost.com

This article is contributed by guest writer, Emily G. (Author of Cattail Gardens).

Temperatures are on the rise signifying the start of summer. While the hot weather gives you a chance to go out and enjoy some sun, be aware that the hot temperatures can be dangerous for your pet.

While humans sweat to remain cool in hot weather, cats and dogs sweat glands provide them with traction to protect their paws while they’re walking rather than thermoregulation. Thus, during this hot weather, your pet will rely on you to keep them cool. Here’s how you can help your furry friend cope with summer heat.

Photo Credit: Pauline Loroy via Unsplash

Summer safety tips for dogs

Dogs pant to keep themselves cool. Unfortunately, during hot months the air they are taking in is often too hot, which means panting may be less effective in keeping them cool. Here are a few things you can do to keep your pup cool during this weather.

1. Don’t leave your dog in your car

Every summer, many pets die due to heat exposure in vehicles. Between 2009 and 2018, the RSPCA received 64,443 cases of pet’s heat exposure in England and Wales, and 90% of these cases involved dogs in vehicles. You should never leave your dog in the car even with windows open. On a hot day, a car is like a furnace, and it takes just six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car.

2. Provide your dog with lots of water and shade

Drinking lots of water is one of the ways dogs keep cool in summer. If you are going for a walk, ensure you carry a bottle of clean, fresh water for your dog. If you must leave your pet in the house, provide several bowls of clean, fresh water just in case one of the containers gets knocked over. You can also give your dog more wet food during the hot months to protect them from dehydration. If you have to take your dog for a walk, ensure you do so in the early mornings or late evenings when the temperature is cooler. Further, walk them in shady areas to protect them from the direct heat. Always ensure they are on a leash as they might get lost while running after a rabbit or another dog. Let your dog soak in a shallow swimming pool during scorching hot weather but ensure this is done under supervision to protect them from drowning.

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Photo Credit: Anna Stampfli via Unsplash

3. Keep your dog’s paws cool

Your pup’s sensitive paws shouldn’t walk on hot pavement, asphalt, or metal. Such hot surfaces will not only burn their paws, but the heat will also increase their body temperature. Even riding with your dog on an open pickup truck is extremely dangerous. The hot dark truck metal surface can result in overheating.

4. Apply sunscreen on your dog’s light-colored nose and ears

Dogs and cats, just like humans, can get sunburn and skin cancer. Apply a dog recommended sunscreen on your pet’s light-colored coat, ears, and nose to protect them from the heat.

dimitri-houtteman-mQquoOszMRM-unsplash-1024x682

Summer safety tips for cats

Cats enjoy sunbathing and lazing around in hot weather. But they still need to keep cool, and this is possible with a little help from their pet parents.

1. Ensure your cat isn’t confined in hot areas

Although cats like to bask in the sun during a hot day, they can also suffer from a heatstroke. This often occurs when they’re trapped in hot areas such as a greenhouse, a car, an apartment, or a conservatory. Ensure your pet isn’t confined in such areas. 

If your furry friend is indoors, ensure you have a fan or air conditioning that keeps the house cool. You can also keep the curtains drawn, and the blinds closed to keep the house cool.

If your cat is outdoors ensure you keep a watchful eye on them. There are many temptations during summer and it takes just a second for your cat to get lost or get injured while running on the street.

Photo Credit: Dimitri Houtteman via Unsplash

2. Don’t shave your cat’s hair

Your cat’s coat helps to keep them cool during hot weather and warm during the cold months.

You can trim your cat’s fur, but don’t shave it. You’ll note that your cat will regularly groom themselves during hot days. This is nothing to worry about as it’s a cooling mechanism, just like sweating in humans.

3. Check your cat’s paws

Cat’s sweat glands are found on their paws. Wet paws are a sign that your cat needs to cool off. Dipping the paws in water helps to cool your cat’s body temperature. Don’t forget to provide your cat with plenty of fresh, clean water even when they’re outdoors.

Give special attention

Some pets need special treatment during the summer months. Such pets include:

  • Pet breeds with flat faces
  • Elderly pets
  • Pets that are overweight
  • Muscular dogs
  • Pets with unkempt hair
  • Pets with lung and heart diseases

Such animals are more susceptible to overheating. You’ll need to give them extra attention and ensure they’re comfortable during the hot months.

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Photo Credit: Amy Humphries via Unsplash

Be aware of heatstroke signs in your pet

Knowing the heatstroke signs to watch out for in your pet can save their life.

According to the RSPCA checklist, such signs include:

  • Heavy panting that doesn’t resolve even after a rest
  • A dark red tongue
  • Over drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Inability or reluctance to rise after collapsing
  • Heavy breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • A rapid pulse

If your pet exhibits any of these signs, take them to a shaded area. You can also apply cool water on their foot pads, abdomen, or ears. You also need to take them to a vet once they have stabilized as a heatstroke can be fatal.

https://www.pawboost.com/blog/summer-safety-for-dogs-and-cats/

Fireworks & Lost Pets: How To Prepare For July 4th

pawboost.com

Katy K. 5-7 minutes

Fireworks & Lost Pets: How To Prepare For July 4th

As you prepare for the biggest celebration of the summer, you may not know that shelters across the nation are preparing for their busiest time of the year.

The number of missing pets skyrockets (no pun intended) in the days following July 4th. PawBoost can attest to this. On July 5th 2019, the number of lost pets reported to PawBoost was 117% higher than the daily average for the previous three weeks!

What is it about July 4th that has such an impact on the lost pet problem in the U.S.? Maybe unsurprisingly, it’s all about the fireworks.

Although the light shows are incredible for us to watch and see, for our furry friends the fireworks demonstrations can be a terrifying experience.

The resounding blasts and flashing lights can feel like a kind of attack on our pet’s senses – and such intense sounds and sights may be disorienting to dogs and cats, causing them to run off as they attempt to escape the noise and lights.

 Photo Credit: Pexels

Photo Credit: john paul tyrone fernandez via Pexels

How To Prepare:

Before July 4th

  • Tag – You’re It: Use the week or so in advance of the holiday festivities to check that your pet has securely fastened and up-to-date identification tags and is microchipped with a functioning implant. It’s always a good idea to do these things, but it is extra important around Independence Day because of the high risk posed to your pet.
 Photo Credit: Maialisa via Pixabay

Photo Credit: Maialisa via Pixabay

  • Snap To It: Double check that you have access to an up-to-date, high resolution photo of your pet. The odds are good that your phone’s photo gallery is already filled with hundreds of adorable photos of your fur baby, but in the event that it isn’t, we recommend using a high-quality camera to snap several up-close and full body shots prior to the start of the holiday celebrations.

On July 4th

  • Give Your Pet the Run Around Before the Blasts: PetFinder recommends taking your pets for an extra-long walk or throw the ball around a bit longer than you normally would the morning of any holiday celebrations. A tired, de-stressed pet is more likely to sleep throughout the day rather than become overly excited by all the new stimuli in their environments.
 Photo Credit: Pexels

Photo Credit: Pixabay via Pexels

  • Keep Your Pets Indoors During the Fireworks Shows: Going to a fireworks display? Keep your pets in the house and safely indoors, ideally in an escape-proof part of your home. The closer the pet is to the resounding booms of fireworks, the more likely they are to run off away from the direction of the noise if they become frightened.
  • Securely Fasten all Doors, Gates and Windows: Before heading out for any July 4 celebrations or evening shows, check to ensure that all windows, doors and gates are securely closed and locked. Turn on fans or the air conditioning to help keep pets cool while you are out – you want to avoid creating any accidental escape routes by leaving windows or doors open.
 Photo Credit: Pexels

Photo Credit: stiv xyz via Pexels

  • Create A Pet Safety Space: Create a small space inside your home where your pet can go if he/she becomes frightened. When pets are unable to orient loud and unfamiliar sounds, they may want to retreat to small, enclosed areas. So before any fireworks displays begin, move your pet’s crate or carrier into a central room of your house away from the windows. Closing all blinds and placing a curtain or towel over the crate can also help to reduce your furry loved one’s overexposure to unfamiliar stimuli during the fireworks event.
  • Keep Your Pet Calm by Using White Noise: You can create a “white noise” environment in your house by playing music or other sounds designed to calm your pet’s nervous system throughout the fireworks displays and up until bedtime.
  • Treat Yo’ Pet: While you are out enjoying the annual fireworks show, plan to leave something for your pet to enjoy (and stay distracted!) as well. Perhaps a frozen toy filled with your pup’s tasty treats or a toy with the preferred catnip for your favorite feline.
 Photo Credit: Lydia89 via Pixabay

Photo Credit: Lydia89 via Pixabay

  • Consider Staying Home: If you have a particularly skittish pet, it may be best to opt for spending this year cuddling with your favorite four-legged friend on the couch instead of attending this year’s fireworks show in person. Your pet will feel more comfortable with the familiarity of your presence in the house and you can get some precious best paw pal time in – it’s really a win-win!
 Photo credit: Pexels

Photo Credit: StockSnap via Pixabay

What To Do If Your Pet Becomes Lost

Despite careful preparation and planning, accidents can still happen. With all the overwhelming stimuli from the July 4th celebrations, you may come back from a day trip or fireworks display to discover that your pet is nowhere to be found.

If you find yourself in this situation, follow the steps found in this article on spreading the word about your lost pet. And of course, make sure you file a missing pet report with PawBoost!

 Photo Credit: Mixed Pet

Photo Credit: wagwalking.com

For more information on how to best practice pet safety this July 4th holiday, be sure to check out these sites for additional tips and resources:

https://www.pawboost.com/blog/2017-6-27-be-prepared-this-fourth-of-july/

Pet Pantry veterinarian offers advice on keeping pets calm during Fourth of July fireworks

fox43.com

Dr. Bryan Langlois, medical director of the Lancaster County-based Pet Pantry, said the days leading up to July 4 can be a stressful time for pet owners

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — The Fourth of July weekend is a time of celebration for many Americans, but it can be a stressful time for pet owners who struggle to keep their furry friends calm as more and more fireworks displays happen in the runup to the holiday.

Dr. Bryan Langlois, Medical Director of the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County and past president of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, recently offered some advice on what pet owners can do.

“This is always a difficult time of year for many pet owners,” Langlois said in a press release. “In fact, the July 4th Holiday is one of the biggest times when pets go missing or get lost from their homes because they are so frightened by the fireworks displays.

“While some pets seem to adapt just fine, many others will suffer mild to extreme stress and anxiety over it. That can translate into pets causing harm to themselves and your homes trying to escape the noise of fireworks. Fortunately, over the years veterinarians have been able to obtain new medications and methods to help control this anxiety to make the holiday enjoyable for everyone.”

Langlois said some of the things pet owners can do to help reduce anxiety because of fireworks include:

  • Set them up in a room that has distractions such as an air conditioner going or a TV or radio playing in the background. Many cable and online platforms even have dedicated channels now that are geared towards cats and dogs to keep them entertained. Just providing this type of distraction (sometimes with you spending time in the room with them) helps to keep their focus on what is going on inside, and not outside.
  • Offering treat puzzles, treat balls, catnip toys, or kongs filled with things like peanut butter can all help act as a distraction for dogs and cats as well.
  • If your pet is one that gets extremely frightened or anxious to the point of being destructive or harming themselves, then you definitely want to discuss with your veterinarian about getting some anti-anxiety medications for your pet. These medications make can make a world of difference for your pet in being able to remain calm.

Langlois also said that now, and not the day of July 4th, is the time to discuss with your veterinarian about these issues and develop a plan of action.

“It used to be that vets would give a straight sedative for these animals,” he said. “Over the years it became known that, while they were sedating the animal, they were really not taking the anxiety away. Veterinarians now will look to prescribe a true anti-anxiety medication for your pet, and there are many to chose from. 

“That is why it is important to talk to your vet about which one is best for your pet, as all pets react differently. Talking with your vet now allows for you to decide which medication is best and provide time for you to get it from your vet or a pharmacy.”

Improvements in the way medications are made is also an important advancement making administration a lot easier, Langlois said.

“Probably the biggest hurdle we have faced in being able to medicate pets properly has been in owners being able to give these medications to their pets without difficulty,” he said. “As we all know many pets, especially cats, can be exceedingly difficult to medicate even if we try to hide the medication in food or treats. 

“Fortunately, the world of compounded medications now allows us to create these medications in various forms that can be flavored and therefore become quite easy to give to your pets. It is important that you talk with your vet about this opportunity as well since many compounded medications do take a few days to produce.”

Langlois offered this final piece of advice for anyone with questions.

“As we always say, if you have any questions at all about the health and well being of your pet and how to help keep them stress free this holiday, the only place you should go to is your local and trusted veterinarian.”

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/life/animals/pet-pantry-veterinarian-offers-advice-on-keeping-pets-calm-during-fourth-of-july-fireworks/521-04ade2bf-9cd8-40b0-be28-c0fc6070bb7e?__twitter_impression=true

The right diet and exercise make a world of difference for this dog

Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? Here Are Seven Ways To Help Him

thedodo.com

By Danielle Esposito 6-8 minutes

dog has bad breath
DodoWell

Because doggy kisses don’t have to be stinky.

We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.

While doggy kisses are one of life’s greatest pleasures, getting close to a pup with bad breath is not.

And believe it or not, bad dog breath isn’t as normal as you’d think.

In fact, if your dog suffers from obnoxiously stinky breath, it’s a good idea to get him checked out by your vet for any underlying health issues.

Why does my dog have bad breath?

“A dog’s bad breath is not normal and may be a clue to underlying oral disease — such as periodontal disease or a tumor in the mouth,” Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian with Animal Medical Center in New York City, told The Dodo. 

  A serious case of bad breath should send you and your dog to the veterinarian’s office ASAP, she said.

While the issue could be a simple plaque buildup, it’s always better to make sure.

Your vet might check your dog for a variety of issues including:

– Poor oral hygiene
– Dental disease
– Diabetes
– Gross dietary habits (like eating poop)
– Kidney disease
– Liver disease

How do I help my dog’s stinky breath?

If you’ve gone to the vet and your dog has been cleared of any serious underlying health issues, there are other ways that you can help get his breath a bit more tolerable. 1. Brush his teeth regularly  “Veterinarians recommend daily brushing,” Dr. Hohenhaus said. 

  Just like with people, brushing your dog’s teeth will help to combat his breath. Find a toothpaste flavor that your dog will love to make it a better experience for you both.

  We recommend: Virbac CET Vanilla/Mint Toothpaste. Buy it now from Amazon for $9.99.
  2. Get some dental chews Dental chews are a great way to help your dog’s breath — and they can be mistaken for treats!

  “Chewing helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup and assists in boredom relief,” Dr. Stephanie Austin, a veterinarian at Bond Vet in New York City, told The Dodo. While there are a lot of dental chews on the market, make sure to look for ones that contain breath-freshening chlorophyll or delmopinol for the best results. 

  We recommend: OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Dogs. Buy them now from Amazon for $14.99+.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon on your dog’s food Believe it or not, cinnamon is actually a great trick for freshening breath!

  We recommend: McCormick Ground Cinnamon. Buy it now from Amazon for $5.78.
  4. When in doubt: coconut oil Coconut oil isn’t just beneficial for humans — it can also help your dog’s breath! You can drizzle some over your dog’s food in the mornings, or even use it in combination with his toothpaste and brush his teeth with it. 

  “Just be careful of the fat content in any oil supplement!” Dr. Austin said.

  We recommend: Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Buy it now from Amazon for $13.22
  5. Add probiotics to his diet Probiotics work by introducing good bacteria into your dog’s mouth, helping to combat the ones that cause bad breath. Get a probiotic specifically made for dogs, and you’ll likely see (or smell) an improvement. 

  We recommend: Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites. Buy them now from Amazon for $25.97. 
  6. Give your dog some wheatgrass A great source of chlorophyll, wheatgrass helps to neutralize odors to fight off bad breath. You can chop up some fresh wheatgrass to sprinkle on his food, or try a shelf-stable powder. You can even freeze some into ice cubes to use as a treat.

  We recommend: Amazing Grass Organic Wheat Grass Powder. Buy it now for $19.99.

  While bad breath is something to look into with your vet, once your dog is given a clean bill of health, these tips will help you get your sweet-smelling pup back!

https://www.thedodo.com/amphtml/dodowell/does-your-dog-have-bad-breath?__twitter_impression=true

New Guidelines for Pet Owners from CDC

onegreenplanet.org

By Eliza Erskine 4-5 minutes


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released new guidelines for pet owners and coronavirus. After two cats tested positive for the coronavirus in different parts of New York, the new guidelines are out to share with pet owners how to care for pets in the pandemic and how to keep them safe.

Public health officials stated that there is “no evidence” that pets are part of spreading the virus. The CDC stressed the importance of the need for additional information and testing to be able to provide specific guidelines for pet owners. The CDC recommends treating pets like family members and to practice social distancing for animals too.  In the meantime, the CDC has reocmmended:

  • “Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.”

If you’re sick with coronavirus, suspected or confirmed, follow the CDC guidelines and let someone else care for your pet while you’re sick, avoid contact until you’re well and use face coverings and hand washing if you must care for your animal during your illness.

IDEXX Laboratories said it would be providing a COVID-19 test to veterinarians. The agency also said it would continue to provide updates as more information was available.

Learn more about pets and coronavirus, including transmitting the virus to pets, how to keep pets healthy during coronavirus,  how to adopt a pet during social distancing, shelters struggling during coronavirus, and the man that fostered 100 dogs in the pandemic.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

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Tick season is here, make sure you check every spot on your pet!

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URGENT Advisory: Coronavirus and Companion Animals – Katzenworld

katzenworld.co.uk URGENT Advisory: Coronavirus and Companion Animals – Katzenworld Marc-André 3 minutes PETA Offers Tips on Caring for Cats and Dogs During COVID-19 Quarantines London – Although experts from the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and elsewhere agree that cats and dogs are not at risk of getting COVID­-19 nor transmitting it to humans, PETA is offering information about the best ways to keep animal companions and their guardians safe and healthy during this unprecedented outbreak. Never put face masks on animals, as they can cause breathing difficulties. Allow animals to move about your home normally – don’t cage or crate them. People who are sick or under medical attention for COVID-19 should avoid close contact with animals and have another member of their household care for animals so as not to get the virus on their fur. The coronavirus can be left on animals’ fur, just as it can remain on a doorknob, a handrail, another human hand, or any other surface that an infected person has touched.

Don’t stockpile unnecessarily – as this could result in shortages for others – but do plan ahead and ensure you have adequate food and medicine, if needed, for your companion animals (approximately two to three weeks’ worth). Assist neighbours who may not be able to shop for their companion animals and donate companion-animal food to food banks. “Our dogs and cats rely on us to take care of them year-round, and especially during times of crisis,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA is asking everyone to ensure that their animals are still getting healthy food, plenty of exercise, and lots of love.” PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk Don’t miss out! Subscribe To Newsletter Receive top cat news, competitions, tips and more! Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time. Click to purchase the sleepypod mobile pet bed. We regularly write about all things relating to cats on our Blog Katzenworld! My partner and I are owned by four cheeky cats that get up to all kind of mischief that of course, you’ll also be able to find out more about on our Blog If you are interested in joining us by becoming a regular contributor/guest author do drop me a message.

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Unfortunately we have to bring up the current coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)

We had a number of local vets and even some globally contact us asked if we can once again spread the word that there is no confirmed risk of catching (COVID-19) from our beloved pet companions.

 

via COVID-19 and Pets? – Katzenworld

COVID-19 and Pets? – Katzenworld

A dog friendly car 🐕