Animals that Get Drunk or High in Nature

Millions of humans around the planet abuse alcohol and drugs, including opiates, marijuana, cocaine, and hallucinogens. It often seems like one of the unique, if troubling and disruptive, features of people, compared to wild animals; humans seek out intoxicating substances for fun while animals eat just for nutrition, whenever they’re hungry, or food is available. However, this assumption is not always true.

As it turns out, animals will seek out intoxicating and addictive substances, too. They also display compulsive behaviors around substances, putting themselves at physical risk to get high or drunk. They will behave like they are intoxicated or hungover, and go back for more later.

While all animals may accidentally run across fermenting fruits or eat a hallucinogenic plant, some animals are more prone to repeatedly consuming these substances than others. Here are the top five animals that exhibit behaviors associated with substance abuse.

  1. Elephants and alcohol: The Marula tree in Africa is known to produce fruit prized by many local animals, including pachyderms. However, the fruit is not just sought out while it is fully ripe, but also after it begins to ferment. Elephants in particular are known to seek out Marula trees and consume fermenting fruits, leading to aggressive behavior, loss of coordination, trampling local human settlements, and other odd behaviors. Elephants in India are also known to seek out human settlements, because where humans are, there is alcohol.
  2. Drunk parrots: Some species of parrot in the northern area of Australia are known to consume fermenting fruit at specific times of year, leading to birds literally falling out of the sky because they pass out due to alcohol intoxication. This occurs in other bird species in other parts of the world, but the Australian lorikeets are among the most notorious.
  3. Reindeer and shrooms: Eastern European reindeer do not consume the same magic mushrooms that humans pursue, but they do seek out toxic red-capped Amanita muscaria mushrooms. In humans, these mushrooms are known to cause dizziness and hallucinations. In reindeer, staring into space and exhibiting behaviors like altered consciousness are common after they eat the fungus.
  4. Cats and catnip: Certainly, some of the most famous instances of animals becoming intoxicated involve cats with catnip. This plant is a relative of mint and chamomile, and it can cause mild relaxation in humans; in cats, however, catnip produces a range of effects, including high energy and excitement, pleasure in touch, and drowsiness. The chemical that leads to feline intoxication is nepetalactone, and it has a much more drastic effect in house-cats.
  5. Dolphins high on pufferfish: The pufferfish is known to produce toxic venom, which can kill a person. The chemical can also kill dolphins if they ingest a large enough amount; however, like many other toxins, the drug can cause mind-altering effects in small amounts. A documentary produced by the BBC discovered the ocean mammals passing a pufferfish between them, chewing the fish to force it to release a little of the toxin, then passing the fish to the next dolphin. After consuming pufferfish venom, dolphins were observed to hang with their noses near the surface, appearing to gaze into their reflections.

Many other animals have been found to appear intoxicated on drugs or alcohol at various points. Reports of drunk moose, deer, birds, and other animals become online sensations almost overnight. Most animals do not intend to consume intoxicants in the same way that many humans seek out drugs for social or recreational reasons; however, some animals do display behaviors that indicate they intentionally consume fermented fruits or psychedelic drugs.

How to Poison Proof Your Home From Hidden Hazards & Keep Your Pets Safe

Are you sure that your house is poison-proof and that your pet can walk around the house freely and taste everything that comes across?

If you are not sure, then it’s a perfect time for you to re-think and re-organize your pet surrounding, as the Poison Prevention Week is still on!

Getting a new pet to your family is always a glorious moment celebrated with ecstatic YAY! What after it? This is the moment where people usually don’t know what they were supposed to do, and they struggle along the way with their pets habits, surrounding, and safety. Not being well informed is usually #1 reason for most pet-accidents.

vet visit dog ate plant

Better Safe Than Sorry

Our world is the most interesting thing for our pets. So many places and different creatures to sniff around, explore and taste. Therefore, our house is like their personal castle with a bunch of items to be explored.
However, with a large area of new things just waiting to be explored, a number of potentially dangerous things is significant.

And your house should be nothing less but a safe haven for your car or a dog. Sadly, common household products and their items can pose a less or bigger safety hazard. Places within the house, around the household or garden, are full of hidden dangers, that you may or may not be well aware of.

Fortunately, with some time and strict planning, you can protect your furry friends from hazards.

Spare some time, and work on keeping the main areas in your house, like the kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom free of potential hazards. So, poison-proof your home with this simple 5-step guide.

1. Electrical Safety

Kittens and puppies are curious as they are cute. Sometimes, the cute part can get them out of the trouble, like when they rip apart your favorite pillow. But, this cute part cant help when they start chewing something they shouldn’t – like electrical equipment.

Doing so, they risk their lives. The best case scenario, it can lead to a fire hazard in the home. Spend a few minutes to cover electrical outlets. Walk to your local department store and purchase outlet covers that are safe and easy to install.

dog in the yard

2. Garden Dangers

Having a garden where your pet can spend some time and sunbath is great. It keeps your dog from getting bored and gives you a safe and controlled surrounding.
However, this open area is perfect for uncontrolled hazards, in and outside the garden.

Check your garden on a daily basis for busted glass, small fractures of split wood, small hazardous objects, string related products, toys or even candy from the next door neighbor. Furthermore, make sure that you keep poisonous plants away from your dog’s reach.

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3. Holiday Hazards

Nothing says Christmas like holiday decoration. Nothing says danger better than holiday decoration, as well. Pay extra attention around holidays for your pet’s safety. Put heavier decorations in a secure area.

Be careful with holiday lights because they pose a strong risk of choking, so try to keep them out of reach of a canine and feline friend. In addition, be careful if your dog is scared of fireworks.

Train your dog during the year to get used to the sound of firework so you can avoid any uncomfortable situation.

4. Toys

Not every toy in the world is meant to be chewed. Having your kids around your pets creates a lovable and trust-worthy relationship, but you need to make sure that you don’t leave any small hazardous objects near your pet, as they are in reality choking hazards.

Keep your children’s toys in a safe place. You think that your pet won’t eat it, but the chances are that your pet will probably eat it. Keep also buttons, small batteries, and rubber bands away.

5. Dangerous Drinks

Pets have a tendency to show interest in everything that we eat and drink. Let’s be honest, most of the time you will let your pet bite something or have a sip.

However, you need to draw the line in some cases. There are certain drinks and foods that are harmful to your pets, and some that are dangerously toxic. Pay attention to where you keep poisonous foods and drinks, especially if your dog spends a significant amount of time alone at home unattended.

Why? Certain drinks can cause breathing difficulty, vomiting, or even nervous system depression. The most dangerous drinks for your pets are:

  • Caffeine, Coffee, and Chocolate – these products contain methylxanthines, a substance that once ingested by pets can cause diarrhea, urination, seizures and even death
  • Citrus – citric acid irritates pets central nervous system. Avoid any form of citrus oils and plants
  • Milk and Dairy Products – pets do not tolerate lactose in milk. Keep milk and dairy-based products away from them as it may cause them strong diarrhea
  • Alcohol – alcoholic beverages, as well as food based on alcohol, can cause smaller problems like vomiting, or a bigger one like coma and even death. Don’t let your pet get its paws to alcohol cabinet

Always bear in mind that with a great pet comes greater responsibility and it’s our duty to protect them the best way possible.

How to Take a Scared Cat to the Vet Stress-free

Many cat owners have had negative experiences when taking their cats to the vets. It’s no secret that cats hate being put in unfamiliar situations so it is no surprise that visiting the vet, even for a routine check-up, can be problematic.

Fortunately, with some simple preparation and reassurance you will be able to take even the most scared cat to the vet with minimal stress.

cat after vet

What Causes the Stress?

Before we look at how you can make each vet visit a calm and stress-free experience, it is important to first understand why your cat may find the situation stressful.

When you visit the vet, your cat is often put through a series of stressful and unfamiliar scenarios before they even reach the veterinary clinic.

Some key reasons your cat may be anxious include:

  • Previous negative experiences at the vet
  • Unfamiliar places and handling
  • Being in close proximity to unfamiliar animals
  • Lack of control and inability to escape
  • Change in routine
  • Being in a car/ traveling

Use a Suitable Carrier That Your Cat is Familiar With

Many cats only see a carrier when it’s time to visit the vet. This means they associate it with negative experiences and are uncomfortable being in or around it. In order to combat this, make sure you have a carrier that is the right size for your cat and get them used to be in and around it. If you don’t want to have the carrier out all the time, bring it out a few days prior to the vet visit.

This gives your cat a chance to go in and out of the carrier and get used to it. Also, placing one of your cat’s blankets into the carrier will help to make it more familiar and less scary.

As pet carriers tend to be quite bulky and awkward to carry, you may want to invest in a cat backpack (find out more about what a cat backpack is at Tuxedo Cat) these allow you to carry your cat with ease while keeping your hands free to open doors and fill out paperwork.

It also means your cat is kept far from the ground and far from the other animals at the vets.

Using a cat backpack may also offer a suitable solution for cats who have had bad experiences with traditional carriers and as a result, refuse to go near them.

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Allow Your Cat Time in The Car

If going to the vets involves driving, it is best to get your cat used to being in the car prior to the visit. You can do this by putting your cat in the carrier in the car (without going anywhere) for a few minutes, then give them a treat and take them back into the house. Do this a few times to help your cat get used to being in the car.

Before long, going in the car will no longer cause stress, then you can do it again but this time turn the car on and get your cat used to the engine.

Once this has been normalized you can drive short distances. All the while reassuring and rewarding your cat.

Taking it step by step in this way allows your cat to get used to the situation without feeling afraid or overwhelmed. Then when the time comes to go to the vet, they will know that going in the car is nothing to worry about.

Now that we have taken the stress out of going into the carrier and the journey to the vets, let’s look at the vet visit itself.

foster a cat

Minimize Waiting Time

A veterinary waiting area will be full of strange sounds and smells and this can be a nightmare for cats – cats are territorial and love their own space so imagine their dread when they are suddenly in an unknown room with various animals, lots of strangers and no way to escape.

This situation can be very stressful, particularly when the cat carrier is placed on the ground in close proximity to other animals. It’s something you may not have even thought about before but placing the carrier on the floor as dogs pass by on leads is very scary and intimidating for your cat.

If possible, limit the amount of time you spend in the waiting room.

If there is a cat-only waiting area, take advantage of this but generally the less time spent waiting the better. If you’re early, you may want to sit in the car for a few extra minutes until the appointment is due.

If you are in the waiting area, choose a quiet spot and have the carrier on your lap, continue to reassure your cat in a calm voice to let them know everything is ok.

Some vets are more cat friendly than others so it may be worth having a look around to find the best suited practice for your cat.

Offer Reassurance and Praise

It’s important to reassure your cat throughout the entire journey and vet visit.

If your cat likes treats, offer treats at key points such as; when they go into the carrier, at the end of the car journey and in the waiting room.

When it is time to be seen by the vet, let the vet know how your cat generally acts during these visits.

This allows the vet to decide the best route to take when it comes to physically handling your cat.

When the vet or vet nurse handles your cat, talk softly so they know you are still there and everything is ok.

You won’t need to worry about trying to hold your cat as the vet or vet nurse will do the handling during the examination and will place your cat back into the carrier when the examination is completed.

When the examination is complete and your cat is back in the carrier, offer them a treat and continue to reassure them that everything is ok.

Now you will be able to take your cat to the vet without all the stress, scratching and hiding. Be patient with your cat and remember why they are reacting the way they are (fear). If your cat is particularly anxious, here’s a couple of extra tips to help you solve the problem:

take cat to vet

Make Social Visits to the Vet

By visiting the vet every now and then with your cat without having any of the handling and procedures it will help to show your cat that not every visit is a negative experience.

When you’ve got some spare time, simply pop in to the vets with your cat and give them treats and praise before leaving and going back home.

Maybe the receptionist will say hello and give your cat some positive attention too. All of this can help to combat the negative association your cat may have developed around vet visits in the past.

Use Calming Spray

If your cat is particularly prone to stress and anxiety, you may find it helpful to use a calming spray such as Feliway to relax your cat prior to a vet visit.

You simply spray it inside your cat’s carrier before you leave to go to the vets and it helps to calm your cat. The spray mimics pheromones that cats release when they feel calm so the spray helps to relieve stress.

Many people are a bit hesitant when it comes to using sprays but this has been tried and tested and is widely recommended. The Anti-Cruelty Society mentions the use of Feliway when acclimating your pet to the car and state that spraying it onto a towel in the car can help reduce anxiety.

Veterinarian Dr. Metcalf also mentions during a radio interview that spraying Feliway onto a towel that you will put into the carrier can help reduce your cat’s anxiety.

4 Road Trip Dog Medications and Supplies You Need When Traveling with Pets

Most dogs go absolutely berserk with joy when they realize they are going on a road trip. However, their very excitement is a cause of concern as it can lead to anxiety and exhaustion during long road trips. Dogs are also susceptible to motion sickness, especially if you plan on going off roading.

road trip bring dog

As a responsible pet parent, you need to prepare a medical kit just for your dog. These kits should include all the essential vet supplies for dogs necessary for a long road trip. This not only helps you treat common health issues but also gives you the peace of mind when nothing goes wrong.  Without further ado, the following are 4 pet medications and supplies you need to have around when going on a road trip with your dog.

Pet First-Aid Kit

There is a good chance you already have a first-aid kit in your car. However, that kit contains medical supplies to treat wounds and injuries in humans. If you are traveling with your pet, it makes sense to prepare or buy a first-aid kit for dogs. Apart from the usual items such as pain-free pet bandages and antiseptics lotion, there are a few critical supplies most pet parents tend to forget. Barring the usual, following are 3 medical supplies that should be part of your dog first-aid kit.

  • Styptic Gel: Stops Bleeding Immediately
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: To Induce Vomiting to Treat Poisoning
  • Emergency Blanket: To Prevent Heat Loss

Anti-Anxiety Medication

As mentioned earlier, dogs tend to get excited when riding a car. While for most dogs the excitement lasts only a few minutes and they usually calm down. However, some dogs face a difficult time settling down and they continue to pant and move around for a long time. This is not only unhealthy for the dog but can also be distracting for the driver. Anti-anxiety pills for dogs work really well in these circumstances. Right from antihistamines and sedatives to anxiolytics, there are several different types of anti-anxiety pet meds that can help in these situations. Speak to a vet to learn about the best anti-anxiety medication for your dog and the appropriate dosage.  It’s also a good idea to get your dog familiarized with the car before a long trip. Take short drives with your dog before going on a long road trip.

Medication for Motion Sickness

Much like children, dogs are susceptible to motion sickness when riding a car. There are a few pet-safe homeopathic remedies for motion sickness such as cocculus and aconitum. Speak to a vet to understand if they are right for your pet. Warm peppermint tea offers a natural remedy for nauseated dogs. However, be sure to consult a vet before administering it as some dogs can get stomach upsets following a peppermint overdose.

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Pet Diapers

While it’s not a medication, pet diapers help your pet to relieve themselves and frees you from the worry of “accidents”. It’s unhealthy and unfair for dogs who are forced to hold their pee for extended periods of time. The solution is to take frequent pee breaks and carry enough diapers. Diaper training might be necessary to let dogs know that it’s safe to relieve themselves when wearing a diaper.

Is Sharing Your Bed with Your Pet Right for You?

If you’re thinking about sharing your bed with your pet, you’re not alone. A 2010 survey found that 56 percent of dog owners slept with their dogs in or on their bed. Cats have it even better with 62 percent sleeping in or on their owner’s bed.

If you’re undecided here are a few pros and cons to think about.

Sleeping in bed with pets

Pros

1. Safety

Safety is one of the number one reasons people share their bed with a dog. Many people assume their dog will let them know of danger like an intruder or fire. People who live alone often rest easier knowing they have someone else to watch their back while they sleep.

2. Better Mental Health

Stress, anxiety, and depression are common causes of insomnia. A study conducted at Miami University found that pets can fulfill social needs without competing with your human relationships. Your feelings towards your pet may rival those you have for a best friend, making them a part of your social support system. It’s also been found that touching your pet can cause the release of oxytocin, a hormone that stimulates feelings of love and compassion. Together, these effects can help improve your mental health so you can sleep easier.

3. Comfort

Did you sleep with a stuffed animal as a child? Pets are like the ultimate security/comfort blanket. For those who live alone or who’s spouse frequently travels, another body in the bed adds warmth and companionship at night. To sleep comfortably, you might need to order a larger mattress to accommodate you and a pet, especially if your Great Dane really wants to snuggle.

French bulldog puppy sleeping with teddy bear

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Cons

4. Germs and Bacteria

Pets are going to bring extra germs and bacteria into your bed. Now, you’ll also have to consider that if your pet is inside anyway, those germs and bacteria are already in your home. However, pets that spend any time outside could bring in extra debris and fecal matter. You have to decide if you’re okay with that. For your health, you should also make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations as well as flea and tick treatments.

5. Allergies

Many people successfully keep pets even though they have allergies. However, prolonged nighttime exposure to allergens can aggravate your symptoms. Breathing problems can reduce the quality of your sleep, leaving you tired the next day. Fur and dander can get attached to almost everything from the bed frame to the curtains. If your allergies get triggered at night, it can make them worse during the day too.

6. Sleep Deprivation

Pets dream and change positions during the night like humans do.  If you’re trying to share a bed with a partner and a pet, you all might end up running into each other far too often. Both you and your pet need sleep for optimal health. Of course, you might be able to come up with a solution to bed sharing problems. Your pet could have a designated space at the foot of the bed or a pet bed kept on the floor. Your pet will still be nearby, but everyone will have their own space.

After you’ve weighed the pros and cons, it’s time to jump in with your decision. You’ll know you’ve made the right choice when you and your pet are both happy and well rested. Whether that’s sharing a bed, bedroom, or staying separate, you can still have a strong bond with your pet.

Why Should You Have Cats At Home? Here Are Purrrrfect Reasons!

When it comes to home pets, the most typical animals we see are cats and dogs. Between the two, a great portion of animal lovers prefer dogs over cats. However, times have a changed as the latter has become as popular as the man’s best friend, don’t you think?

Reasons to Own Cats

No arguments intended here; everyone is entitled to their own choices. But according to Statista, the recent number of dog ownership in the U.S. is 89.7 million, while the number of households with pet cats is around 95.6 million, having a significant difference of 6 million American households. It goes to show how feline pets are dominating the households in the U.S. in terms of the ownership count.

But more than just getting on top of surveys, the love for cats has become more and more evident nowadays. Just like taking care of dogs or other types of pets, owning a feline pet does come with preferences; people take care of cats because it’s their choice. And did you know that having a feline companion at home has its perks?

If you have thought of bringing a cat home, then it’s a sound decision. Why? There are many purrrfect reasons why. From economical, physical, health to spiritual benefits, cats can be your greatest furry home companion.

Benefits your home and the economy

One of the best things about having cats at home is their ability to sense and exterminate pests. Pesky rodents and insects don’t stand a chance against the aggressiveness of a feline hunter. And as a proof of their work, cats oftentimes show their dead prey to the owners, which can be nasty.

cat ownership economy

Aside from being efficient pest exterminators, cats are friendly to your budget and to the environment. How? Because of their relatively smaller size, they don’t need so much food, you get to save some money. Their small food intake results in a lower production of carbon footprint. In return, pet food manufacturers, who depend on fuel for their production, emit lesser amounts of carbon dioxide, a Purring Pal article reveals . And we all know how toxic CO2 is for us.

Taking advantage of their small physique, cats are good companions, especially when you live in apartments. They don’t need so much space to run around. They are also low-maintenance pets that are contented with staying at home and just lazing whenever they feel like it. More than 80 percent of their existence is spent on sleeping, so they can be apathetic most of the time. They don’t care if you leave them inside the house.

If you live in the countryside, cats are not only good house companions, but they can also get along with large farm animals like cows, horses, and sheep. Because of their playful nature, cats help in keeping these meek, barn giants relaxed.

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Good for the children

Generally speaking, getting a pet encourages children to be responsible individuals. But there are many other advantages when kids take care of pet cats.

children and cats good together

For one, petting a furry kitten enhances a child’s mental focus. Considering the kids’ short attention span, teachers use animals in their lessons to foster the interest in learning. And cats are perfect animals to be part of every subject and discussion. It also goes the same when kids are at home. Cats help improve the mental sharpness in children since these furry animals don’t move around very much. They prefer to sleep, making it easier for the little ones to concentrate on their homework.

Having pets at home is also a good way to protect kids from getting allergies and to decrease the chances of coughs. Many researchers think that exposing kids to pet dander and outdoor microbes, which pets bring into the house, could develop the immune systems of growing children. The presence of these common allergens at an early age could train the body to fight the microbes and build better defenses to fend off disease-causing bacteria and virus.

Spiritual Advantages

Yes, you have read the right. Having a pet cat at home does bring spiritual benefits. According to Awareness Act, feline companions can sense when our auras are all over the place. They also have the ability to get into our aura and put it back to its proper place.

spiritually kitten

But wait, there’s more. Cats are not only effective in exterminating pests, but they can also repel bad spirits and negative energies around your home. Have you noticed why your cat suddenly hisses? It means that they sense something that we can’t perceive. And have you noticed why most witch movies have cats? It’s because these feline creatures are known to deflect evil spells or curses from toxic guests. They shield you from unperceivable danger without you knowing it.

Have nightmares been haunting you lately? Then you’d probably get a cat. When they sense that you’re having bad dreams, cats wake you up by tapping their paws or rubbing their faces. Many psychics also believe that the feline astral energy can expel unwanted guests from your unconscious state.

Healthy for the Body

Although you won’t have to take them out for walking or jogging, taking care of kittens or adult cats has health benefits that have been proven by scientific studies. One of these benefits is decreasing the chances of cardiovascular diseases. Medical researches revealed that cat ownership lowers stress levels, veering you from experiencing heart problems such as stroke and heart attack.

emotional pros felines

physical benefits kitty

This may seem unbelievable, but a cat’s purr has therapeutic benefits that can heal bone and muscle problems. According to studies, frequencies within the range of 18-35 HZ have positive effects on injured joints, and a cat’s purring has a vibration of 20-140 HZ. Perhaps, a cat is a good pet choice for the elderly, don’t you think?

The other health benefits of having a feline pet include the improvement of reflexes, a much better sleep at night, an effective anxiety reliever, and a therapeutic companion when you’re coping with trauma.

sources

Should You Install a Dog Door?

One of the many problems homeowners have with their pets is assisting them through the door whenever they want to get in and out of the house. The best solution to ease the owners’ task and allow the pets to move about freely, is to install a pet door that leads to the front or backyard towards a fenced area where they can play or do their needs.

Installing a dog door can cause safety issues for the home sometimes but with proper guidance, the benefits of pet-proofing a home outweigh the obstacles by far.

Installing a secure dog door can give you peace of mind as the newer versions are designed to keep intruders away. Dog owners will also have more time to relax as the dog will be able to relieve itself or go out to explore and play around and re-enter the house whenever it wants.

head through doggie door

Some of the different kinds of pet door installation that you can choose depending on your lifestyle are:

  1. Electronic/ microchip doggie door for keeping other animals out

Technology has upgraded even classic flap doors. There are pet door installations equipped with electronics or microchips that allow only your pet to enter and exit which prevents critters such as mice, raccoons from entering the house by identifying your dog through the key-collar.

  1. Weather-tight pet doors

These kinds of doors stop drafts to prevent air conditioning and heat loss as effectively as a dual pane glass. They are made to withstand extreme heat and insulated enough to prevent cold wind and rain from seeping in.

  1. Sturdy pet doors for energetic dogs

These designs are for durability and heavy duty. The frames of the door are usually sturdy aluminum frames, and the flaps are built to withstand damages from continuous use.

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To install an efficient dog door at your home, some of the crucial things worth considering are:

Location

Choosing the right place requires you to ensure a safe roaming area for the dog. Depending on your choice of whether you want the dog door on the wall or the door, and after considering the convenience of your house appliances, decors, and settings, take the size of the dog into account.

Patio door differs from a wall door in construction material, installation and depth. So before buying a pet door, decide on the location that is most convenient to your home settings.

Dog At Home Wanting Outside

Weather

Depending on the amount of snowfall, rainfalls, and the climate of your house location, consider installing a dog door. If you live in snow or rain prone area, there are chances of it getting into your house during the summers or winters. It might be a good option if the door does have moving parts that allow proper insulation during extreme weather to prevent a messy house or to strand the dog outside.

Size and age of the dog

Dogs vary in sizes so if you have multiple dogs you should consider an installation that can be easily accessible for both small and larger pets.

An extended narrow door usually works better than a broad one as most pets generally adjust their shapes to fit through tiny areas as long as they have proper leg space. It is vital especially when the dogs get older as they might not be as enthusiastic about bending and crawling through small openings.

Is your home rented or privately owned?

Some landlord might not want you cutting through the wall or the door. By choosing a sliding door or window, you can train your pets to get in and out through them.

Now that you have a clue about what to consider before getting the type of pet door, some tips to remember with the installation are:

  • Make sure you have an accurate measurement of the dog to cut out the door before you purchase it. Even if they are puppies, consider the maximum size that they are expected to grow. Also read the instructions thoroughly and be informed about the installation process, sealing, type of door and maintenance required.
  • You should also examine the material of the exterior door to fix the doggy door. Whether it is made of wood, fiberglass, or metal, knowing the physical condition of the door can help you pick the right door for your pet.
  • Once you have decided to go through the process of installation, it is usually required to unhinge the door for more accurate measurement and to fit in your workstation.
  • Fix the dog door at an appropriate height of about 3 inches from the bottom edge of the door. This method not only keeps the integrity of the door intact but it is also comfortable for the dog to enter and exit quickly.
  • Most DIY dog door kit comes with a measurement template. Use it to mark the right places to cut the door and place the screws, or you could hire an expert to install it.

Tips For Caring For An Older Dog

Your dog will always be a key part of your family, no matter how old he gets. However, when your furry friend is getting on in years you might need to adjust your lifestyle a little to accommodate your older dog.

Whether your dog is a senior or not will depend on its breed. A small dog like a terrier or chihuahua won’t be considered to be a pensioner until they reach the age of ten or twelve, however bigger breeds like Great Danes could be seniors at just 5 or 6. Not only does breed and size have an impact on your pup’s life expectancy, their genetics, environment and diet all have a role to play.

aged senior dog care

The good news is that modern medicine hasn’t only extended human lives, it can also help your dog to live a long, happy life too. As long as you give your fur baby the right preventative care and attention, your aging dog will have the longest and best life possible.

With that in mind, here are some tips for caring for your older dog.

Don’t Forget Your Pup’s Teeth

Caring for your dog’s dental hygiene couldn’t be more important at all stages of your dog’s life but particularly when they get old. Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth and getting them cleaned professional can guard against painful decay and dental disease. It’ll also help to avoid chewing problems that can lead to poor nutrition. If your pet isn’t keen on having his teeth brushed, you should consider toys that are designed for this purpose instead or dental treats which will keep your pet happy while also getting his teeth plaque free.

Caring For Your Dog’s Skin

As your dog ages they may develop more sensitivities. Their skin may be more easily damaged so switching to a hypoallergenic shampoo is good for your pets as they get older.

Eating Healthily

Just as humans have to watch what they eat, particularly as they get older, elderly dogs also often have problems with food. Some may struggle to chew, others lack appetite and some have digestive problems or may even be obese. Talk to your vet about how to choose the right exercise and diet plan for your older dog. You may need to adopt some dietary changes such as adding extra fiber into his diet to help improve digestion, or you may need to reduce carbohydrates so your pet can maintain a healthy bodyweight. You may also need to add supplements like glucosamine or fish oils into his diet to treat joint pain.

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Exercise For Mind And Body

As humans age, they struggle to perform physical activities. It’s the same with dogs. As they get older they may experience pain or find it hard to do the things they used to love. Exercise, however, is still vital to your dog’s well-being and health. Take your pet on gentle, short walks but take care to monitor his gait and breathing to ensure that everything is ok. Your dog’s mind also needs exercise. Food puzzles and other stimulating toys will help to keep your pet sharp.

Schedule Regular Vet Visits

You should take your older dog to the vet for a check up every six months. In the same way as older people have to take care with their health and see their doctor more frequently, older pets also benefit from more frequent vet visits. Old pets often need more examinations, dental treatment and blood tests. Some breeds are also more predisposed to developing certain conditions like diabetes, cancer, hip dysplasia and arthritis. Detecting these problems at an early stage will help to prevent them from becoming serious concerns.
older dog vet care

Make Your Home Suitable For An Older Dog

When you first brought your puppy home, you probably puppy-proofed it. Now your pet is older you’ll need to seniorize it. If your pet has joint problems or hip dysplasia you may need to put in some steps or a ramp so he can get into the car or onto the bed. Keep his water and food in an area that can easily be reached, particularly if they have sight problems. A heated bed could soothe their aching joints, particularly if you’re living in colder regions. Also, non-slip surfaces could protect against falls, helping your elderly dog to keep traction when getting up.

Pay Closer Attention

Always monitor any change in appetite, weight, behavior and dental problems as well as lesions, bumps or lumps which appear. Any changes you note should be reported to your vet.

Although it’s harder to care for your older dog, your lifelong companion will be by your side for the rest of his life, so it’s worth making a few small changes.

Dog Safety & Pet Containment Systems

Our dogs are our family and most of us treat them like our children.  Guilty!  In loving them as much as we do, we want to protect them and keep them safe from harm.  Whether it is on the home front, throughout the daily routine, or out and about traveling, we want to ensure their safety.

There are plenty of pet containment systems available to aid in providing safety.  Ranging from wireless fences to traditional fences and all things in between, you will most likely be able to find something to best suit you and your family.

dog behind fence

Electronic Wired Fencing

One of the most popular pet containment systems is the electronic fence.  With installation, cables are buried underground and run the edge of the perimeter in any shape, forming an invisible boundary for your pet.  The cables also allow you to exclude areas of the property, to keep your dog away from certain things such as a pool or pond.

A base unit for the system operates electronically and can be placed anywhere on the property, as it has rugged characteristics and does not have to be kept indoors.  The unit uses a digital radio frequency signal to travel along the cable wires and works with your dog’s collar receiver.

Training flags are placed along the boundary to assist in training for your dog.  They are visible cues to let your dog know where the boundaries are.  If the dog goes beyond the boundary, he will receive a corrective stimulation on his collar.  The corrective stimulation is adjustable depending on the size and type of dog you have.

As far as safety for your dog when using this type of containment, it is not one hundred percent secure.  While it may provide a decreased chance of your dog getting out, there is still a chance that your pup can run through and disregard the electronic correction.  Other pests or predators cannot be kept out, which could potentially pose a threat.

Electronic Wireless Fencing

These types of fences allow owners to monitor their dog through a GPS (Global Positioning Systems) collar, by placing a transmitter in a central location, connected to the GPS.  The transmitter then gives off a signal that provides an invisible boundary for the dog.  Unlike the base for the wired fencing, this transmitter must be in an indoor location.

Shih Tzu In Yard Invisible Fence

Similar wireless systems do not need a transmitter, rather can create a boundary or invisible fence connected directly to the GPS collar.  Your dog can then learn the boundary areas, through training.  If he wanders outside of the boundary, he will receive a corrective stimulation through the collar.

There are several different types of GPS fence systems on the market.  Most of them only provide a circular boundary, covering only a certain amount of feet.  Some may see this as a negative if you are looking for more space for your dog to roam free.

Many of the GPS systems are designed to be completely portable so that you can easily travel with your pup.  This may be a nice alternative to the wired systems, for that reason.

Along with the wired electronic fencing, the wireless fencing cannot guarantee to keep your dog in the boundary; and will not be able to keep others out.

The wireless system may be prone to more outages as well, in comparison to the wired fencing.

Indoor Systems

Needing to keep your pup contained to a certain room, or away from the trash can?  The electronic GPS systems can work for this inside.  Some systems allow for the GPS collar to work with a boundary transmitter, marking off certain areas to keep your pet away from, or confined to, ranging from eight to ten feet.

Using this type of system would provide a good alternative to those child or pet gates that may be going up all over the house.   Although, the system is still operating like the outdoor ones in which the dog’s collar is connected to the frequency transmitter.  The dog could still find a way to disregard the corrective stimulation and go after what he wants.

Traditional Fencing

Wooden, wrought iron, vinyl, aluminum, and the list goes on.  Many options are available when you are looking at fencing in your yard the traditional way.  While fully fencing in your yard will be a more expensive route than others, it is going to create a little more security in the long run.

Most dogs adapt well to a fenced in yard.  If the fencing is high enough, you will not have to worry about them jumping over.  If digging is an issue, there are products designed to work in conjunction with your fence to prevent digging.  The products are steel rods which run down into the ground, protecting your pup from digging a way out or other pests from digging their way in.

A traditional fence is also going to keep predators such as coyotes, mountain lions, or other wildlife out.  However, in my case, this has not been full proof.  There is a snake that manages to sneak his way into my fenced in backyard.  Fortunately, he is not poisonous, so he gets a free pass.

Other Safety Factors

Regardless of the pet containment system you are thinking of, or currently using, keep in mind nothing is full proof.  Our dogs are instinctive animals, and simply put, animals.  Some of them can find their way out of any containment.

Certain precautions should be taken in addition to using pet containment systems.  Visually monitoring your pup even when he is outdoors in any type of fencing, is recommended.  Make sure your dog always has his ID tags on and visible.

Having a microchip can also be a lifesaver.  Our neighbors found a dog without any tags or ID and drove her to a local pet store where the store looked up her microchip.  They were able to contact the family and they were reunited within a few hours.  A happy ending that may not have happened otherwise.

9 Tips for Anyone to Help Save the Ocean

According to reports from NOAA, more than 40 percent of Earth’s oceans have been negatively impacted by humans. What some people do not realize though is that there are things we can do to change that.

Tips on Protecting the Oceans

  1. Recycle, reduce, and reuse

    The reported volume of plastic waste floating in our oceans is shocking. Recycling is helpful. It is also a good idea to reduce the number of disposable products and packaging. Use reusable grocery bags, and reusable containers as well. Finally, stop using such things as plastic utensils and straws.

  2. Reduce energy use and be aware of your carbon footprint

    Be aware of your energy use to help reduce the impact of climate change. Walk or ride a bicycle whenever possible. Use the stairs instead of an elevator. Use energy-efficient light bulbs and fixtures and unplug any appliances you do not use daily.

  3. Eat only sustainable seafood

    The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) states that 75 percent of Earth’s fisheries are fully exploited, overexploited, recovering from overexploitation, or significantly depleted. So eat sustainable fish. The popular Monterey Bay Aquarium even offers a free app called Seafood Watch which can find restaurants and markets that offer sustainable fish to make it easy.

  4. Buy products that are ocean-friendly

    Some cleaning and cosmetic products are made via environmentally harmful and unsustainable methods. Select non-toxic cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals and bleach. Numerous chores can be handled using such things as baking soda, lemon juice, or vinegar. Choose cosmetic products that consist of organic materials.

  5. Be responsible when traveling the oceans

    Be responsible when you engage in such watersports as boating, diving, jet-skiing, kayaking, parasailing, swimming, and water-skiing. Don’t throw anything into the water. Be certain to know about marine life in the surrounding water. If you choose to take a cruise for a vacation trip, choose the option that is the most eco-friendly.

  6. Don’t purchase products made from sea life

    As a tourist in any particular coastal community, you ’ll come across souvenirs built from sea life. Avoid buying coral jewelry, sea turtle shells, shark fins or teeth, and any kind of cosmetics that include ingredients from whales. These things are connected to unsustainable fishing and even the destruction of undersea ecosystems.

  7. Clean up garbage at the beach

    Beach litter is a major portion of the plastic that’s in the ocean. A fun day at the beach shouldn’t endanger the oceans. When you go to the beach take a bag for your litter. Join a beach clean-up group. Divers can join special dives and clean the ocean’s floor.

  8. Support groups that work to protect the oceans

    Several organizations and institutes are working to protect marine life and ocean habitats. You can donate money or even join one or more of said groups. Additionally, you can volunteer to help educate others about this issue.

  9. Tell others

    Tell your friends, family, and neighbors too. Visit your local grocery store and urge them to sell only ocean-friendly and sustainable products. If you notice any threatened species at their seafood counter or dine out and see one on the menu, encourage them to make changes. Prior to voting, learn where the candidates stand on ocean policies and vote accordingly.

Protect the Oceans