My Dog Is Eating Cat Food: Should I Be Concerned?

Dogs are known for being able to digest almost anything. From watermelon bites to socks, nothing passes by a hungry drooling canine. Similarly, if you’re also a cat owner, you’ve probably noticed that your pooch sometimes likes to munch cat food more than its own. On top of that, many owners give cat treats to their dogs believing there isn’t much of a difference between the two.

But what is so great about cat food, anyway? More importantly – is it in any way harmful?

Although it’s not an alarming issue, there is a reason why these two animals eat different types of food. Differences in nutritive and calorie value can potentially lead to some digestive or weight problems in dogs. Don’t panic if it happens as a one-time occasion, but make sure it doesn’t turn into a regular habit.

Here are some main reasons why it’s best not to keep cat food around dogs and tips on how to prevent them from eating it.

WHAT’S SO TEMPTING ABOUT CAT FOOD?

Physically, dog and cat food appear very similar. They both come in the form of dry kibble or canned goods, cookie treats and snacks of similar shape and size, with even similar smell. Yet, when it comes to the ingredients, they are quite different.

|Few pet owners know that cats and dogs have different dietary requirements. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their primary source of energy is meat-based food.  Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores, animals that eat both meat and vegetables, so their nutritional requirements include a diet richer in vitamins, fiber and minerals.

In fact, dogs have similar nutritional needs to humans. It’s made with some of the same proteins, carbs, fruits, veggies, and supplements that comprise your daily diet. Some owners prefer feeding their dogs with their food leftovers, or preparing home-made meals for dogs that consist of the same stuff that people eat, like rice, meat, cooked vegetables, corn, bread and more. Although essentially non-problematic, make sure to be properly informed about your dog’s nutritional needs if you make his meals on your own. Depending on their size, age and breed, dogs will need different ingredients for proper growth and healthy functioning.

Cat food is predominantly meat, or processed food rich in protein and fat. Simply put, fatty and meaty food is very tasty, it smells tempting and appealing, which is probably why dogs prefer their fellow kitty’s bowl more.

On top of that, when you have a dog looking for something to eat even though his bowl is full, you may question the type and quality of what you’ve been feeding him so far. Different dog breeds may enjoy different flavor, while puppies need food richer in protein than adult dogs. Sometimes it’s about the food brand, so try out different things until you see your four-legged friend satisfied. Luckily, there’s an array of resources online, for example Totally Goldens and similar, providing useful information on pet feeding and supplements to help you decide on what’s best for your dog.

WHY CAN’T I JUST LET MY DOG EAT IT?

Although your pooch won’t end up in the emergency room, if fed cat food frequently, he or she may suffer from some digestive problems, nutrient deficiency and weight problems.

The lack of fruits and vegetables may lead to some gastrointestinal problems in dogs, such as pancreatitis or acute gastroenteritis. Even if there aren’t any strong symptoms of illness, in the long run the high level of protein may do some damage to your dog’s kidneys and liver.

 WEIGHT GAIN

Animal obesity is something to be blamed on the owner. The less is presented in front of a dog, the less they’ll have a chance of gaining unnecessary weight. Apart from having different ingredients, cat food is much heavier in calories than dog food. While an occasional odd mouthful won’t do any harm, if fed regularly with cat kibble, dogs will definitely gain weight fast. An overweight dog has less chance of living a healthy and quality life.

NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCY

Since food for cats isn’t designed to meet dog’s dietary needs, it is not advisable feeding canines with it in order to avoid nutritional deficiency.

Dog and cat bodies function differently. Sometimes dogs need several supplements in their food that cats don’t, and vice-versa. For instance, dogs have the ability to convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, so foods rich in it, such as carrots, are common in dog kibble. Cats, on the other hand, need to be given vitamin A supplements, since they don’t have the same ability, so carrots are not put in cat food. Similarly, dogs produce taurine on their own, while cats need to obtain it in their diet in the form of supplements.

These and similar differences in metabolism functioning are the main reason why there are specific rules for making pet food. Mineral, fiber and vitamin deficiency can lead to some long-term health issues.

Pancreatitis (inflammation and infection of  the pancreas) is one of the nasty side effects of eating foods high in fats. Although this is not only specific for cat food, it may lead to intestinal problems if not put under control.

Finally, we forget that dogs can be like children – if they like something, they’ll find their way to get it. Pickiness is not rare in dogs, so make sure to be a strict parent when you discover your furry friend is sneaking on forbidden food.  Try to look at it as junk food for dogs – it’s delicious and addictive, but definitely not healthy. The good thing is, you are the one to control the situation.

MY DOG ATE CAT FOOD – WHAT DO I DO?

Again, apart from a little vomiting or diarrhea, there’s nothing to be worried about. After you’ve discovered your dog has access to cat food, think about feeding the animals in separate rooms.

Also, try feeding them at the same time to avoid any possible intruding into one’s lunch. This way, your cat will make sure the dog isn’t touching her bowl and the pooch will have to satisfy himself with the low-calorie kibble.

Another neat solution is considering automated feeders that can be programmed to react to specific triggers, like a cat’s collar, or to make food available at a specific time. While you go for a long walk with Rover, Fluffy can have her meal in peace.

Cats are nimble climbers, so use that to their advantage. Simply put a cat’s bowl or a feeder in an elevated place (on a table or a shelf) that is out of dog’s reach.

All in all, you shouldn’t be worried about your dog favouring cat food. It’s a common phenomenon and it happens for a reason. When you understand how your pets’ diet works and what they need to be healthy and well, it’s easy to know when to react and what steps to take. By following these tips, your dog will be back on track with his eating habits, so your beloved furry friends can live in peace, safe and sound.

 

About: Simon Dupree has loved dogs since he was a boy. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with his two-year-old golden retriever. If he is not writing for Totally Goldens he is probably out exploring the world with his pawsome friend

Dog Communication: What Does a Dog’s Body Language Mean?

Dogs are greatly loved by men, but this does not take out the fact that there are sometimes that it gets pretty hard to explain certain behaviors by your dog. Sometimes, it is just really difficult to decipher what your dog is trying to say. However, these animals actually communicate greatly. It is left to humans to understand their body language and the messages they are trying to pass across by behaving in certain ways.

Here are some common signs to look out for while trying to understand the meaning of your dog’s body language:

Relaxed and Friendly

In this case, what you get a very loose stance. Here, the dog is typically on all fours with head high, an indication that the dog doesn’t mind being approached.

In a relaxed state, the dog’s ears would also be up and the tail would hang loosely.

Aggressive

The common forms of aggression used by behaviorists to describe this include defensive aggression and offensive aggression.

For offensive aggression, the dog will have a tall and stiff posture with raised hackles and a highly-raised tail. The ears of the dog will also be pricked forward and could angle differently from each other in a “V”. The mouth and nose is wrinkled and features like bared teeth and curled lips of the dog become obvious. This is a behavior that presents the dog as larger and intimidating. As for defensive aggression, it comes when a threat is perceived. Here, the dog feels fearful or protective. Your dog would show this behavior by staying low to the ground and keeping his tail down. The ears and also flattened and eye contact is avoided. This may draw your attention to the need to groom your dog properly and one item you may need for this task is the very best brush for golden retrievers.

Curious and Alert

For a dog to get curious and alert, it could be that it has heard other dogs barking in the distance or it has smelt grilling hot dogs. This makes the dog wonder if danger is lurking. Thus, the dog gets curious and stays alert. In this case, your dog may have a generally stiffer body with tensing muscle and the dog’s weight will now be resting on its front paws.

The dog’s tail may thus move in side-to-side manner, although parallel to the body, but not bristled or puffed up. The ears will also forward and have the ability to twitch or rotate, as they angle to catch the sound. Your dog’s mouth will be closed if it is in this state.

Submissive

This is a common behavior that you would have noticed when two dogs come in contact with each other. Usually, one dog will go lower to the ground and flatten out ears and raise a paw as if to shake hands. This is usually the less confident dog showing some sort of humility and submission. This dog may even try to lick the more confident one. The dog may also roll on their back; while exposing their tummy with their eyes squinted, ears flattened and tail tucked.

Stressed Out

Dogs also get stressed out. Environmental and social stressors are common causes and they can be obvious in several ways. The dog lays low with flat ears and has its tail pointing down. You may also note some lip licking or quick panting. Slow-paced motions, yawning or some form of discomfort may also be noted.

Playful

You would definitely know when a dog is giving off a playful vibe. The trademark for this mode is a play bow where their butt is in the air, and head close to the floor. This is indicative of a mood where a carefree dog is calling on to others to play, with ears up, a raised wagging tail and a panting mouth.

 

Most Popular Dog-Friendly Places in the World

If you are a pet owner choosing a place to live or for a short holiday can be a challenge, as you need to consider a location that offers a lifestyle that is suitable for your patron too. Fortunately, there are innumerable localities to visit and discover the world with your 4-legged ally. This article lists the top 15 famous dog-friendly metropolises worldwide.

To any passionate pet owner, getting dog-friendly place goes beyond a city with restaurants where you can eat with your pup, pet-friendly patios or big dog parks. It a location where your dog can enjoy a happy and healthy life, where people treat it like a king or queen. Moreover, the location should offer a variety of fun/adventurers activities for you too.

Here are a few elements to consider when choosing a dog-friendly destination.

  • Pet Budget – Basing the options on availability of pet-related cost in the place including pet insurance, costs of vet visits, dog food and so on.
  • Pet Health and Comfort – Think about the ease of access of vet services, pet-care and pet-friendly facilities such as stores, shops, restaurants, hotels and offices.
  • Pet Outdoor Activities – Take into accounts elements like the weather and availability of outdoor fun or social facilities/activities for the dog.

Putting all these factors together, we have prepared a list of the most popular global locations, suitable for you and your charming companion.

15 Most Cool Dog-Friendly Places

  1. Rome, Italy

Essentially, the Romans accommodate dogs unreservedly but if you are looking for the best city to be with your pooch, then Rome is always a great choice. Most of the holiday homes and some Roman hotels allow dogs, so finding pooch-friendly housing is not a challenge. With a large resident dog population, you can also find dog-friendly rentals if you are planning to stay in the city.

<Rome, Italy. Source: Montecristo Travels>

Moreover, Roman dog policies are lenient when it comes to eating out alongside dogs. Majority of the eating-places and bars in Rome open their doors for dogs with some offering adequate out-door space, while the weather is favourable. There exist plenty of fun stuffs for dog lovers including striking dog gardens in the city centre and the strategic Bau Beach.

Romans also allow dogs to travel on public transport, but there are rules regarding how and where to board. Dogs need their own tickets and owners should leash and muzzle their dogs on public transport.

  1. Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv has 1:17 dog to people ratio, the world’s largest dogs per capita, according to a Booking.com survey. Besides, there is a lot for pooches to explore including over 75 dog parks (at least one dog park per square kilometre), 4 canine-friendly beaches and an annual dog festival. This makes Tel Aviv is among most comfortable capitals for hounds in the world.

<Tel Aviv, Israel. Source: The Times of Israel>

Additionally, most restaurants and social joints embrace dogs and you can easily find a temporary holiday home that accommodates dogs, as well as stable dog-friendly residential domiciles. You can also freely travel with your dog on city buses, trains and taxi. Majority of the taxi operators allow passengers to travel with their pups at no extra fee. However, you may need a dog car seat for large dogs to ensure their comfort and safety when travelling.

  1. Toronto, Canada

The Canadian city of Toronto is another great destination for dogs, especially during the warm months. Dogs are allowed on most of the patios and several cafeterias and eating-joints owners are happy to host your 4-legged friend whole-heartedly. Toronto is also the home to over 60 tether-free grounds, plus the Cherry Shoreline where your pooch can cool down on the hot days. Your pooch will enjoy a trip with Toronto Cruises though it should be leashed and maintain good manners.

Getting dog-friendly rentals will require more efforts in Toronto, but many property owners welcome tenants with dogs. You can also benefit from a variety of websites that list pup-friendly residential and hotels. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on public transport during the peak hours but you with affordable taxis, you can always get around this.

  1. Paris, France

France is known to have the best dog policy all over the world. Cafes in Paris, not only allows dogs in, but also offer them chairs at the table. Recently, the city Metro service lowered the fare tickets for larger dogs and small dogs travel free. For the small breeds, they must be caged or in a bag while bigger breeds should be leashed and muzzles on public transport.

<Paris, France source: Bringfido.com>

Additionally, there are countless of dog-friendly apartments in Paris though hunting for one can be a challenge. In terms of walkies, Paris has very strict rules as dogs are not allowed on green spaces and should be on-lead on the city patios.

  1. Geneva, Switzerland

As a regulatory requirement, pup owners in Switzerland should undergo specialized education and acquire a license, meaning only those who are serious about their pet have the opportunity to have one. After you obtain the license, life with your best friend will be easy and fun. Nearly every restaurant in Geneva opens the door for pups, and even have a special menu for them. It is not a surprise to have water offered to your pooch shortly after it takes its seat at the counter.

Moreover, the metropolis has plenty of mutt parks. Parc Bertrand is the largest fenced-off dog park in Geneva, where you will find benches in open space, as well as trees and paths, giving pet owners and their dogs the space to enjoy the fresh air outdoors. Besides, Geneva has over 50 pet-friendly hotel so you can be sure to find accommodation for you and your 4-legged companion.

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  1. Keswick, UK

The Lake District of Keswick is a perfect destination for you and your patron when you need some life away from the city. With numerous places to explore and swim as well as an adventurous hike at Skiddaw, Keswick is a paradise for your pup. After a long day in nature, you can find a countless pub to take a rest, most of which offer exceptional dog treats.

  1. London, UK

The city of London plays host to a number of large parks including the HydePark and Holland Park where your dog gets ample space to play off-leash. Further, public buses and trains are welcoming to pooches. Though most cafeterias and stores have strict dog policies, the majority of the pubs allow dogs, with roomy alcohol gardens where your pup can relax in comfort.

<Greenwich Park, London. Source: The Dog People>

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Holland capital allows pups in most of the properties with exception of most the arts centres. All dogs whether small or large can enjoy free rides on public carriages, but you may have to pay a small fee for your dog’s day pass when travelling on a train.

Unfortunately, the city is cold for the better part of the year, but when it is warmer, your dog will get to enjoy moments in the city’s canine parks, swimming in the Flevopark pools and other outdoor terraces.

  1. Berlin, Germany

In Berlin, people treat hounds respectfully like any other household member. When exploring this German municipal, you can freely explore the numerous historical sites, walk alongside your adorable patron or take a boat to a refreshing voyage trip. Countless hotels, restaurants and cafés warmly welcome pooches with some offering a bowl and a bed for the dog. Moreover, Berlin’s public transport is dog friendly so you can get around the city with your little friend more easily.

  1. Krakow, Poland

The city of Krakow is one of the best dwellings to enjoy both in-house and outdoors involvement. “Galicia Museum and the “ Aviation Museum are two of the few dog-inviting exhibitions in the planet. You may also enjoy a nightfall with your canine pal at the “Kino Baraniecinema and host of other pup-friendly diners and pubs in the city.

  1. Brussels, Belgium

Located just an hour’s drive from the city centre, Sonian Forest is one of the best places to have a long walk with your furry companion when in Brussels. There are also several dog zones for pups can run unleashed and plenty of doggie diners all over the city. Interestingly, the Mexican eatery ChezWaWa offers discounts to Chihuahua owners.

<Sonian Forest, Belgium. Source: The Dog Nanny>

Additionally, most of the hotels and holiday lets in Brussels open their doors for the pet parent who would like to hang around with their patrons.

  1. Carmel, California, USA

Spending time in the Californian’s beautiful beaches, parks and trails is great but it is even greater when you do it with your playful friend. In Carmel, dogs are allowed to go together with their handlers and they are even offered biodegradable waste bags at the park entries, paths and beaches.

Furthermore, several hotels treat dogs like kings and queens, providing a number of dog treats like dog room service menus, outdoor showers, turn down and happy hour.

  1. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town will soon play host to the prime dog-hotel in the world, with Frits planning to open a second branch that will feature a salon, spa and bar area. Additionally, many cafes in the town welcome you dine freely with your doggie; certain eateries even have a special hound menu.

<Dog-Hotel in Cape Town. Source: @frits.com>

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark

You can get around the city with your small pup for free on buses and trains, but you need a child’s ticket for your larger breed. The city is also the host to the Dog’s Day, an annual event held at Tivoli Park, one of the Copenhagen’s magical attractions. However, for most parks in Copenhagen, dogs must be on lead and most restaurants have strict dog policy.

  1. Barcelona, Spain

The most interesting place in Barcelona is the Park Guell, one of the city’s most popular sites that give you the opportunity to explore a blend of green space and architecture. Along with many other parks in the city, Park Guell welcomes owners accompanied by their 4-legged companions. Besides, several parks have a dog-fenced area with benches and spring fountains. There is also a beach that entertains canines all year through.

If you are looking for a place to live or visit without the worry of leaving your companion behind, the above places give you an option of the top most popular dog-welcoming places throughout the world.

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.