How Do You Crate Train a Puppy?

Crate training relies on your puppy’s natural instinct as a den animal. It is a safe place for them to escape and sleep. The caution with crate training a puppy is that they shouldn’t be left in it for too long. A puppy can only hold their bladder for so long before an accident is inevitable. The main purpose behind crate training is for housebreaking your puppy. Meaning that you want to train them to not relieve themselves in the house or destroy your home while you are gone. A crate will not solve all of your puppy problems. Use it in conjunction with other training methods. Here are the steps to crate train your puppy.
Pound Puppy
  1. Select a crate that is of the correct size for your puppy. Your puppy should be able to stand up and turn around inside the crate. You may want to purchase a crate that will accommodate the size that your puppy will be as an adult. Many people choose to purchase a smaller crate in the beginning and then upgrade to a larger one later on. There are different types of crates available. Determine if you are planning on using the crate long-term or just for training. This will dictate the type of crate that you purchase.

  1. Introduce your puppy to the crate in a place where you spend a lot of time. Put comfortable bedding material inside the crate. You want to create a welcoming environment that your puppy can explore. Either remove the door or secure it in the open position. If your puppy if hesitant to enter the crate, try putting a treat inside or their favorite toy. Be positive when encouraging your puppy into the crate. Don’t force your puppy into the crate. You want your puppy to associate the crate with good things. Allow your puppy to go in and out as they choose. The point of this exercise is to familiarize your puppy with their new den.
  1. Serve your puppy their meals in the crate. This allows them to associate the crate with a place of safety and somewhere that they want to spend some time. Leave the door open in the beginning. As your puppy becomes more comfortable with the crate, try closing the door. Once they have finished eating, allow them to come out. With each meal that they have in the crate, leave the door closed for a few minutes longer. If your puppy starts to whine, don’t open the door immediately. Train them that they have to stop whining to be let out. If you let them out every time that they whine, you are teaching your puppy that whining is the key to the door being opened.

Further Reading:

  1. Once your puppy is comfortable with the crate, try putting them in it when it is not meal time. Teach them the command to go to their kennel or even their bed. Give them a treat when they willing enter the crate. Give them excessive praise as you close the door. Sit near the crate for about ten minutes without saying anything. Your puppy may whine in the beginning. Once they have calmed down, leave the room. You only want to be gone for five minutes the first time. Come back into the room and sit next to the crate for a few minutes. Let your puppy out of the crate once they have stopped whining. Repeat this process until your puppy is able to stay in the crate calmly for thirty minutes without you being in the room. In the beginning, only leave your puppy in the crate for short intervals of time.

  1. Once your puppy has mastered the ability to stay in the crate for thirty minutes, it is safe to leave them in the crate while you are out of the house. Use the same training method each time. Let your puppy know that you are leaving and then go. Don’t draw out this process. Make sure that your puppy will not be left alone for more than a couple of hours. They are still young and can only hold it for so long. You can now start to crate train your puppy at night. Move their crate near your bed and put them in it at night. This is so you can get up with your puppy at night to let them relieve themselves. Once they are sleeping through the night, you can move the crate to another location if you wish.

A crate should never be used for punishment. This will cause your puppy to associate their crate with negative emotions. Another thing to remember is that your puppy may be whining because they need to relieve themselves. Say the phrase that they associate with going outside. If they get excited, take them outside. Crate training will take time and patience.

Why Is My Cat Peeing Outside of the Litter Box?

One of the great conveniences of owning a cat is the fact that they’re litter box trained. No getting up in the middle of the night to take the pet out to relieve itself. No unpleasant surprises left to be found in hidden corners. But sometimes a cat that uses a litter box without issue for years begins “missing” the box or relieving itself in a part of the house far from the litter box. The reasons as to why could be as minor as the introduction of a new puppy or renovating the kitchen. However, litter box issues can also indicate that a cat is suffering from a potentially serious health problem.

Health concerns aside, the longer a cat relieves itself indoors away from its litter box, the more ingrained the behavior becomes. To protect both the cat and its owner’s property and belongings, this behavior should be investigated quickly and thoroughly. Below are some tips to help you and your feline friend resolve its litter box issues.

Start Simple

While you would prefer a text message, your pets occasionally use their urine as a means of communication. Abnormal urination or defecation in cats and dogs can be a way of relieving or expressing stress. It also can be a way of marking territory perimeters. Domestic cats have territories that are comprised of surprisingly small amounts of area, even ones that go out of doors. As a result, they’re very attuned to changes in their environment. You may not be happy if another member of the household makes changes to a furniture arrangement, invites unexpected guests, or moves your belongings without warning. You might be really unhappy if that member unexpectedly adopted another family member without your permission or knowledge.

So as you ponder your cat’s litter box issues, ask yourself:

  • Have you made any recent or notable changes to the interior of your home?
  • Have you had recent workers or house guests?
  • Has the cat’s litter box been moved to another part of the house?
  • Have you recently adopted another pet, such as a cat or a dog?
  • Have you recently lost a household member, perhaps to illness or death?
  • Have you recently moved?

Sometimes a litter box problem can be as simple as the litter box itself. A surprising number of cat owners seem to think that cat litter boxes are “one size fits all”. But a cat that has outgrown its litter box may be peeing outside of its box because it simply has no room to normally and comfortably relieve itself. Cats reach their adult sizes at wildly varying rates, but in general, if there isn’t a couple of inches between kitty’s posterior and the litter box wall, then the litter box is too small.

Changing litter brands or buying a new litter box can be deal breakers for a cat when it comes to using a litter box. And how often is that litter getting changed? Cats don’t like dirty litter either, and if they find it in their boxes on too regular a basis, they’ll stop using the box altogether.


Humans aren’t the only ones who develop bladder issues as they enter old age. And just as with humans, the reasons for “accidents” are often the same. They can be caused by:

  • Dementia
  • Incontinence
  • Kidney infections
  • Cancer


If you’ve eliminated behavioral issues and aging as a reason for litter box accidents, then (sorry, kitty) it’s time for a trip to the vet. Sudden incontinence can be a red flag for a number of serious medical conditions in domestic cats, including:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Bladder scarring
  • Bladder stones
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney infections
  • Kidney stones
  • Feline diabetes
  • Feline leukemia

Other unusual “bathroom” behavior like “dribbling” urine across rooms or non food related diarrhea may be disease related.


When It’s Directly Related To The Box Or Litter

Waste should be removed from boxes on a daily basis. Boxes should be washed and litter completely replaced every two to three weeks. Kittens, indoor cats, and ill ones may need box cleanings twice daily. For cats in love with a particular box, you may have to tolerate it until the cat literally wears it out. Sorry, but if kitty loves that stinky and non clumping litter, you might just have to grin and bear it. Once you and kitty have agreed on a location, try to move its box as little as possible. And in multiple cat households, each “sibling” should have his or her own box.

When It’s Caused By Stress

It can help to resolve “stressor” (new people, pets, locations, or territory changes) issues by avoiding, limiting, or introducing them as slowly as possible. Some very distraught cats are soothed by confining them alone along with dishes and litter box to a small room until the stressor is removed or slowly introduced.

When It’s Caused By A Medical Or Aging Issue

In both cases, medical attention should be sought as quickly as possible. Even in non serious medical or age related situations, rapid intervention can keep cats comfortable and avoid escalating medical problems.

vet care

Cleaning Up After An Incontinent Cat

Is it revenge? Is it because the pet thinks your shag carpet resembles your lawn? Whether it’s dog,cat, or rabbit, smelly “accidents” seem to happen more often on textiles than on bare floors. In order to remove both odor and cat urine from them:

  • Blot urine with dry paper towels
  • Apply a enzyme containing cleaner, such as laundry detergent
  • Combine one part vinegar with two parts water, and scrub solution into soiled area
  • Allow area to fully dry

If urine is being cleaned from a hard surface, disinfect after washing.

To Avoid Repeat Performances

Often, medical treatment or resolving litter box issues will correct “outside the box” problems. Some pets however, will continue to relieve themselves in undesirable locations either because of new learned behavior, or because they’re attracted to remaining urine residue. Never squirt water, strike, yell at, or scold an offending animal. This will only confuse it, and probably intensify the offending behavior. Instead, make the carpeted area unattractive by temporarily flipping it or placing double sided tape around its edges. Placing the cat’s litter box directly over the “pee spot” and moving the box back an inch a day until the box is returned to its original location can also help. And play with the cat more frequently near the box in its desired location,and leave toys nearby. This causes the cat to associate the box with pleasant experiences, making kitty more inclined to use it for the function for which it is intended.

If you have proven methods for getting a cat to stop peeing outside of its litter box, please share those with our readers

7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Own a Pet Parrot

Birds are beautiful in the wild, and they’re incredibly cute, but they are not good pets because they require so much care. Parrots taken from the wild aren’t meant to be kept in cages. Birds that are born to caged birds are still only one or two generations from being tamed. They’re not domesticated pets. The practices that are used to catch birds and bring them to your home are abusive and cruel too.
why not to own a parrot
Why Not to Own a Parrot

  1. It’s a big responsibility
  2. The inhumane shipping and handling practices
  3. They need a lot of space to be happy
  4. Captivity can lead to mental health problems
  5. A parrot needs a mate to be happy
  6. They are very messy creatures
  7. They live for a very long time

1: The Responsibility of Owning a Parrot

Parrots are a huge responsibility. They require even more care than other pets like cats and dogs. They are more complex creatures than dogs or cats too. Scientists have explained that parrots have the emotional maturity of 4 year old human children. They feel emotions and have emotional demands that people don’t often understand. Since we humans don’t understand their emotional needs, we’re not able to meet them, which makes for parrots with emotional problems.

2: Inhumane Treatment and Shipping

The wild bird trade is worth billions of dollars, and the people who poach birds from the wild don’t do so humanely. Many birds are traumatized or killed during the process. They’re ripped from their homes, mates and flock with little regard for their emotional well-being. Birds fly together, share their homes and raise their young together. When one bird is taken, the life of that bird changes as well as the entire flock that had been living together.

3: Parrots Need a Lot of Space

Birds that are already caged can’t be released into the wild, but they are not getting the space they need to thrive. Birds are meant to fly long distances, and they will never have enough space in the home even if they are not caged at all times. While cages in the home don’t provide nearly enough space for the bird, that’s also true of aviaries in places like a zoo. The wild is the only place where they’d have enough natural space to live. They spend much of their time flying around looking for food or to enjoy the act of flight. It can be devastating to leave that behind.

4: Being Confined Creates Emotional Problems

Humans don’t always properly understand the emotional needs of a parrot. They’re complex creatures on par with humans and monkeys. They can become bored, upset, depressed or sad. If they are without a mate, they could have bonded with the owner. When they see an owner touching or hugging someone else, they feel betrayal, sadness and anger as a human would. This can lead to screaming and agitation. Birds that are bored or upset can pluck their feathers. Emotions can lead to serious mental illness in birds.

5: A Parrot Needs a Mate

Birds are often better when they have a mate, but only if they get to choose that mate for themselves. It can’t be a forced situation. This can be tough for owners who might buy another bird hoping for a match that neither bird feels. It would be like your parents setting you up on a blind date that has to turn into marriage. It’s unlikely to go well. When you add more birds to the home, you’re also adding more responsibility. The birds will have to be entertained and mentally stimulated to ensure that they’re not losing their minds from depression and boredom.

6: They Are Messy Creatures

When they’re in the wild, they will take a piece of fruit from a tree, eat a few bites and drop the rest to the ground. Food is abundant to them, and they will take a new piece instead of finishing the first down to the core. The seeds of the fruit littering the forest floor is how new plants and trees are created. Parrots will do the same in the home, so it’ll be littered with half-eaten items. They will preen and clean themselves for hours per day too. This translates to a ton of fine dust and feathers all over the home. Between sweeping and dusting, owners spend hours keeping the home clean each day. It’s not something many potential owners know about owning a parrot.

7: They Live a Very Long Time

Most people buy a parrot on a whim with no idea what they’ll do as they get older. Parrots live to be around 90 years old. They might have to be passed down to a younger generation when the owner passes away, but that doesn’t always work. Parrots are a huge amount of work, and not everyone wants to experience the ownership of a pet parrot. There are plenty of birds that are abandoned each year. They feel the loss more keenly than other animals too.

Social Parrots

Parrots feel all the emotions of a small toddler, which can be tough when the bird with a human mentality is caged for its entire life. Birds who are bred and raised in captivity still need constant mental stimulation, or they can become so bored that they start exhibiting nervous gestures and mannerisms. They can peck people, pluck their own feathers, scream constantly or pace incessantly.

How to Get Your Dog Service Certified

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as “a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.” It also says that the tasks must be directly related to the person’s disability. This means that a service dog is trained to help with specific things that the individual is unable to do because of their disability. For example, a blind person may need the dog to lead them, or a person with seizures may have a dog trained to alert them when a seizure is about to happen.
service dog for the blind

For those with service dogs, these dogs must be available to them at all times. This includes when they go out to various public facilities and stores. All facilities are required to allow service dogs, regardless of the type of business. This includes restaurants and medical facilities, as these dogs are necessary for the disabled person to function in their daily lives.

Some service dogs are certified by the facility that trained them to help the individual. There are many groups that offer service certification for these types of dogs, as well. Services, such as The United States Service Dog Registry, offers a free registry for service dogs. This allows a person to conveniently add their service dog to a registry where they can be looked up by anyone to verify their validity. Vests and cards can also be purchased for the pet to make them more easily identified when entering a business.

Is there an official certification or recognized governing body?

No, there is not an official certification or recognized governing body for the certification of service dogs. It is not required by federal law to have a dog service certified. It is also not required to have a dog trained by a specific trainer or company. As long as the dog is trained to perform its task and is able to behave in a public setting, they are permitted to be in any area the disabled person is in.

There is no current requirement to have a service dog certified due to the further complications it could bring to a disabled person. It is believed that a disabled person faces enough challenges in their daily life that a required certification could bring undo hardships to those with a disability that requires a service dog. They could be limited in their ability to perform their daily tasks due to a lengthy registration process, as well as open them up to more questions and complications when taking their service dog to various facilities.

What is the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal?

Service animals perform a specific task for the disabled person. Emotional support animals provide comfort being with a person. Emotional support animals are not given the same protection to be in public areas. Some state and local governments do allow people to take emotional support animals into public areas, however, they are not federally required to do so. There are requirements, however, that allow emotional support animals to be allowed in homes, even no pet rental units. They are also allowed on planes and other travel accommodations, as well as hotels and other lodgings.

Where can you take a service animal?

You can take a service animal anywhere. This includes any public area, school, restaurant, grocery store, and even medical facilities, such as hospitals. However, the handler is responsible for all care and supervision of the service animal. The only limitation is when there are two service animals and the facility cannot safely accommodate both. For example, a small restaurant may limit the guest to one service animal, only if, only one dog can safely sit under the table and the other would have to remain in the walkway. Even hospitals are required to allow service animals for patients as long as the dog is cared for during the stay.

According to the ADA, these facilities are only allowed to ask two questions concerning the service dog.

  • Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
flying with a dog

The staff is not allowed to ask any questions pertaining to the disability, nor are they allowed to request documentation or a demonstration of that task.

Can I get my dog certified if I do not have a disability?

No. Service dogs are specifically for those with a disability. They provide a specific task to help lessen the burden of their disability on their daily activities. Although it is possible to get the certification at some less than legitimate sites, it would require lying about such disability and fraudulently taking advantage of laws established to protect the disabled.

Does abusing the system harm those that truly need a service animal?

Yes. First and foremost, these service animals provide a method for disabled people to do things they would otherwise be unable to do. The laws surrounding service animals were put into effect to minimize the complications a disabled person faces on a daily basis. By abusing the system, it dismisses the fact that those in need of service dogs have a legitimate disability that those abusing the system do not have. It can often feel like they and their disability are not taken seriously.

Secondly, it can make things more complicated for the disabled person and their service dog to enter various facilities and businesses. If a person abusing the system takes their pet into these establishments and their pet is not trained to behave, it can create complications for the business. This can lead to the business trying to weed out offenders and often causing more complications for the disabled.

It could also create a need to create a real registry for service animals. This can increase costs and accessibility for the disabled to get and utilize a service animal. It can also create more complications and embarrassment at establishments when they are required to go into detail about their disability and service animal.

Service dogs are not a “perk” for the disabled. They are necessary helpers to allow an individual to perform many of the tasks they may not be able to do without the service animal. Many of the things most people take for granted are limited in those with disabilities. A disabled person cannot do many of the things those without disabilities can do. A service dog helps to provide a bridge for them to be more independent and able to enjoy their life.

Further Reading

Should I Declaw My Cat – Are There Safer Alternatives?

If you own a cat, then you probably experienced an incident that showed you the light about how sharp their claws are. You may be considering the declawing option because someone told you that you could do that and prevent yourself from ever having to be cut by your cat again. There’s a little more to the declawing process than meets the eye, however. The following is some information on the process as well as some alternatives that you may want to consider before you go that route. Ultimately, it’s up to you, but you should have the information so that you can make an educated decision:
Kitten scratching furniture

What Is Declawing a Cat?

The clinical name for declawing a cat is an onychectomy. It is a full-blown operation in which the specialist amputates part of the cat’s bones to cut the claw off from the toes. Unfortunately, that’s the only way that they can get the entire claw off. The full recovery time for the procedure is about two to three weeks, so the procedure is a major one. Many pet owners and organizations do not allow declawing because of how extensive the surgery is. If the procedure were performed on a human being, it would be similar to having his or her finger amputated at the knuckle. For that reason, many people think twice before they order this procedure for their cats. Laser declawing is available as well as traditional declawing, but there is a debate ongoing about whether or not it is a pain-free experience.

How Is Declawing Done?

The first thing that some specialists do before they even begin the process is give the kitty a sedative and anesthetic. This stops the cat from feeling pain while it is going through the declawing procedure. However, when the sedative wears off, the cat may suffer extreme pain if the vet doesn’t provide the owner with some pain management medication.

kitty cat after trip to the vet

The specialist uses a tourniquet to stop the blood flow from being excessive. The specialist then quickly pulls each claw bone away from the rest of the paw. When each claw is out, the specialist then uses medical glue to close the cat’s skin. The last step in the procedure is bandaging the kitty up so that it can recover from what just happened. The pet owner then has to try to care for the cat as it heals from such traumatic surgery.

Are Cats Different After the Procedure

There are quite a few issues that can occur in a cat that has been stripped of its claws. Cats have claws to protect themselves, to climb and to hunt. Therefore, a declawing experience can be very traumatic for a cat. It could cause the cat to feel some of the symptoms of depression because it may feel hopeless and lost without that part of its natural body. On the other side of the coin, the cat could become angry once it realizes what happened. Anxiety is something else that could rear its ugly head. Just imagine how a person would feel if he or she woke up with no fingertips. A typist or writer would suddenly have no way to do what that person does instinctually. The cat may take the declawing procedure the same way a person would take a random fingertip amputation.

Physical repercussions may occur because of the declawing, as well. One thing that a few pet owners have reported is increased biting. Cats may increase their biting because of the loss that they feel from not having their claws. Another issue that they may have is the chronic pain because of the severity of the procedure. The pain from it may never cease. Litter box issues may occur, as well. The cat may stop using the litter box because it’s upset, or it may feel pain when it tries to move the litter around in the box.

Further Reading

Is It legal in the US?

Cat declawing is now illegal in a few states. California, for example, has banned the practice, and violators can experience severe punishment and fines. Denver and New York have outlawed the practice, as well. If you are thinking about taking your cat through this procedure, you must find out the regulation not only in your state but in whatever county in which you live.

Are There Safer Alternatives?

You can try a number of alternatives before you go ahead and declaw your cat. One alternative is buying clippers and taking the time to patiently cut your cat’s claws. Your cat will put up a bit of a fight, but it comes from more of a fear of the unknown than actual pain. The process of cutting a cat’s claws down is not painful for the cat at all unless you go too far down. You won’t do that because you’ll have a professional show you how to do it first.

Exotic Cat Breed
You could also put some caps on the tips of the cat’s claws. The pet stores have a vast assortment of caps that you can find in fun colors and designs that you can your cat will love. This, too, takes patience. you will have to put some glue on the tips of the cat’s claws and then put the cap on top of them. You may have a little bit of a struggling doing it, but it will be well worth it because you can avoid getting scratched for weeks. Just keep up with the grooming, and you won’t have to declaw the cat.

Buying a scratching post for your cat can stop her from scratching the upholstery, but it won’t stop her from her self-defense scratches or her playful cuts. You can find one for less than $20 and then graduate to higher quality posts after your cat rips them to shreds. An other options to deter a cat from scratching furniture is to place double sided tape onto the furniture. A cat may see those sticky spots as not a suitable place to scratch and thus move along. Eventually you may be able to remove the tape if the habit is broken.

Hopefully, you will make the right decision for yourself and your cat. You do have other options besides declawing, and you will probably feel good that you made one of those choices or at least tried them first.

If you have other alternatives and proven methods for dealing with you cat’s claws, please share them with our readers.

Coloring Book Pages of Pet Animals

Here are some coloring pages for your amusement. Feel free to download, print and color any of them as you see fit.


Download the PDF
For non-commercial use only. No attribution required if used on the web


Download the PDF
For non-commercial use only. No attribution required if used on the web


Download the PDF
For non-commercial use only. No attribution required if used on the web


Download the PDF
For non-commercial use only. No attribution required if used on the web

Posted in Fun

Hamster Mazes

Maze Building Tips

You can build a hamster maze out of hamster tubes, cardboard tubes or any other random materials you might have laying around the house. Just make sure that your mazes are safe. Be careful not to use any building materials that can injury your little pet. Avoid any materials that have sharp edges that can cut your little pet, objects that can collapse and crush them or any materials that will make them sick if they decide to gnaw on them. Don’t let any nails stick out if you decide to build your maze out of wood. Likewise, don’t use toxic glues to glue pieces together. If you build a maze that is three dimensional, make sure it’s sound and secure so it doesn’t collapse which can lead to injury or death. Even a small fall can break your hamster’s bones. Lastly, never leave your hamster unattended while in its maze and make sure it doesn’t go without water for an extended period of time.

Don’t be put off by all these precautions though; your pet hamsters will love the challenge of this game. A maze is a good way to give you and your pet an activity to fight off boredom as well as allowing it to get plenty of exercise.

Maze Puzzle

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Author: Tim Winter

Posted in Fun

Hamster Pictures

While the purpose of our site is to provide all the information needed for proper pet care, it doesn’t mean our posts don’t have to be entertaining as well. Who doesn’t love to look at pictures of cute fury little animals. If you like hamster pictures, you’ve come to the right place. We have pictures of hamsters of all kinds; doing all sorts of things hamsters do.

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Hamster Eating a Grape Picture
Syrian Hamster Pictures
Picture of a Hamster Being Held
Two Robo Hamsters in a Wheel Picture
Picture of a Dwarf Hamster in an Orange
Russian Dwarf Hamster Picture
Picture of a Hamster Cuddle Pile
Picture of Hamster Standing
White Hamster Pictures

Submit Your Hamster Pictures

If you would like to share your hamster pictures with us, send and email attachment. Feel free to give us a short description about your pics and don’t forget to tell us your hamster’s name. Likewise, if one of these pictures of a hamster belongs to you and don’t wish to have it posted on our site, send us an email and we will gladly remove the pic.

Submitted by Our Users

Cerebro The Syrian Hamster
Cerebro – Syrian Hamster

Hi my name is David, the one in he attached picture is our sweet Cerebro, it’s a Syrian hamster. We have had it for now three months, and his the sweetest pet we’ve ever had. I came across your website and found it very useful for tips and advice. Thank you for sharing it.
He’s got used to us and very tamed now, we won’t shy away from us and he loves sleeping wherever we put him, at night he’s very active, and sleeps all day.
We love Cerebro.

Thank you.

David and Birtan

Photos By: 95129912@N00, Marinaavila, 23516192@N08, xeranas, 23516192@N08, 95129912@N00, zixi
Author: Tim Winter