Pet Care Tips Most Owners Completely Ignore

 

Even the most loving pet owners can drop the ball when it comes to certain aspects of pet care tips. It’s easy to forget sometimes, because our pets can’t remind us all the thing they need from us so they can be taken care of properly. If you love your pets, read over these commonly overlooked pet care tips to ensure your animal companion enjoys the best health possible.

Pet Care Tips: Practice Dental Hygiene

Animals can fall prey to dental disease just as humans can. Food can get caught in their teeth and cause decay in the same way it does in our mouths. The danger is that your pet can’t tell you when decay is rotting their teeth or preventing them from eating properly. A cavity that is left untreated can keep your pet from being able to get all the food nutrients they need.

A gentle brushing of your pet’s teeth once a week is all that’s needed. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and warm water. The first time you do this, your pet may resist, but over time the routine will make it easier for both of you. Use this opportunity to examine the teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy.

Pet Care Tips: Examine Poop

Pets are susceptible to parasites that can cause mild to severe symptoms. In some cases, these parasites can be fatal. Other warning signs that something is amiss can also appear in your pet’s droppings.

Every now and then, examine your pet’s poop. Look for worms, insects, blood, or foreign objects. If you see anything out of the ordinary, consult with your veterinarian for next steps.

Pet Care Tips: Check for Ear Mites

Ear mites are pesky little insects that can take up residence in your pet’s ears. They can cause nuisance itching, but they can also nest and cause real damage to your pet’s ears or hearing.

If you notice your pet chronically scratching his ear, he could have an ear mite infestation. You can visually inspect his ear with a flashlight. Wipe the outer interior of the ear and see if there are black spots. If so, they could be fleas or mites. Smell the ear area. If it smells bad, there is likely already an ear infection. A vet’s visit is in order.

Pet Care Tips: Brush Frequently

Brushing is something that most pets won’t squabble about, but it’s also part of good pet care. Brushing helps the undercoat to shed off in warmer months, helps distribute skin oil throughout the fur, and helps to keep fur mats from taking hold.

Brushing is also a good time to examine your pet for injuries. Many dogs and cats in particular have thick skin, and they can incur bites, cuts and scrapes with little notice. However, you need to be aware of such injuries in order to prevent infection. As you brush, spread the fur apart so you can visually inspect the skin. This will help you to find signs of fleas, psoriasis, injuries and anything else that may require professional attention.

Your pet gives you unconditional love and companionship. Return the favor by going the extra mile to care for his well being.

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Common Pet Food Ingredients That Are Really Bad For Your Fur Babies

When it comes to pet food, you can’t necessarily take everything on the front of the package at face value. We dug a little deeper and found some alarming information about some pet food ingredients.

Pet Food Doesn’t Have to Be Pre-Approved by the FDA

Unlike human food that comes to market shelves, pet food manufacturers don’t need prior FDA approval. Pet food is regulated with the same rules that govern animal feed. The FDA does its best to make sure that pet food ingredients are generally recognized as safe and that the ingredients have an appropriate use in the formulation. Basically, there’s a lot of trust that’s placed in the hands of pet food makers to comply with the FDA rules.

The Ingredients to Avoid:

Most high quality pet food manufacturers do place a high priority on pleasing both owners and their pets, but not all. Here is a list of pet food ingredients that should be avoided, should you find them listed on the next package of pet food you’re thinking of buying.

Phosphoric Acid: Phosphoric acid is a colorless, odorless mineral acid that is used in various forms as a food acidifier, a leavening agent, a rust remover and—in dentistry—as an etching agent. Sounds delicious, right?

Cats need their food to be within a certain pH range between 6.3 and 6.7. Since phosphoric acid works as a food acidifier, it is used in some cat foods to achieve that balance.

You might find phosphoric acid in some dog foods as well, since it has been used to enhance flavor. The most common place you’ll find phosphoric acid is in Coca Cola. Some studies have indicated that phosphoric acid can contribute to bone loss in humans.

Since pH can be adjusted with other natural ingredients, and since there is some evidence to show it can be harmful, it’s probably not something you want to risk giving to your pet in their food.

Fluoride: Fluoride is a byproduct of the manufacturing process of the phosphate fertilizer industry. It’s very convenient for fertilizer makers to have such a huge market for what would have been a useless waste product. Towns across the nation pay thousands of dollars to have fluoride added to the drinking water, supposedly so we can all have better teeth.

Unfortunately, the dangers of fluoride are becoming increasingly well-known by medical professionals. Fluoride has been linked to increased lead absorption, thyroid disease, dementia, arthritis, bone fractures, and a compromised immune system, as well as many other things.

Fluoride is added to many pet food formulas for the same reason that it’s added to our toothpaste and drinking water. Supposedly it helps your pet’s teeth be stronger and healthier. The reality is that nations that add fluoride to the water do not have healthier teeth and gums than nations that don’t.

The scientifically proven health risks of fluoride far outweigh any anecdotal dental benefits. Just as you’re better off without fluoride, so too is your pet. If you see this ingredient on your package of pet food, keep looking elsewhere for a healthy formulation.

Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is an organic compound that is commonly added to dry pet food to inhibit bacteria growth and reduce moisture. Now, you obviously don’t want your dry pet food to be wet and moldy, but this is one ingredient your pet will live better without.

Inside your pet’s intestines, propylene glycol upsets the delicate balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria. Propylene glycol doesn’t discriminate between the different kinds of bacteria; it just kills everything in its wake, so your pet’s immune system could be compromised. If you see this ingredient on your pet’s food label, you might want to pass on it.

Pets do best with natural foods and natural ingredients, just as we do. Basically, if you wouldn’t want to see an ingredient in your food, it’s probably not the greatest choice for your pet’s diet, either.

 

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How to Properly Socialize Your Dog

No matter if you recently brought home a new puppy or adopted an older rescue dog, your overall training plan should include socializing your dog. Socializing your dog includes getting him accustomed to being around other humans as well as other animals.

According to dog trainers, instilling good socialization in your dog helps to ensure that your dog will behave in a predictable manner in almost any situation. This is important because otherwise, you or your dog could experience unwanted behavior leading to negative consequences.

Teaching Socialization With Other Humans

Dogs may not understand that the common things we wear and use are not to be feared. After your dog has become settled in with your family, give your new pet opportunities to get used to a variety of items within the comfortable environment of his or her own territory—your home. Ask your friends and family members to help you with socializing your dog in the following ways:

  • Have friends visit you in your home wearing various head attire. A wide-brimmed sunhat, head scarf, baseball hat, motorcycle helmet and batting or bicycle helmet are all good ideas to try.
  • Ask a friend to come over wearing dark sunglasses that completely hide their eyes.
  • Have a friend come inside the house with an open umbrella. Ask them to close and open it a few times in a gentle, slow manner.
  • Get a few people over in the yard to kick a large ball around, such as a soccer ball.

By now you get the picture. Things that are ordinary to us may spook your dog if they aren’t used to it. You don’t want your dog to chase kids wearing bicycle helmets or walking home from school in bright yellow galoshes. If you make sure your dog sees these things in the safe haven of your home, you help ensure calm behavior when you come upon them unexpectedly at parks or walking along the street.

Teaching Socialization With Sounds

Socialization has to do with getting used to the sounds we encounter at home, too. When you bring your dog home and they have grown comfortable in the home, continue to use things as you did before. Make sure your dog hears the sound of the stand mixer on weekends, the coffee grinder in the mornings and the sound of the telephone ringing. Encourage your kids to laugh heartily in the dog’s presence. Chew some gum and blow a bubble and pop it. Blow up a balloon and let the air go out while the balloon flies around the room. These things aren’t meant to be a game to startle your dog, but to make sure they don’t startle him into negative, unpredictable behavior in the future.

After each encounter or introduction to a new sound, praise your dog and pet him to let him know that everything is okay. Offer a few tiny treats to let him know that new experiences can be rewarding.

Teaching Socialization With Other Animals

As soon as you feel comfortable, expose your dog to other animals. You might bring him to a dog park, for long walks on the street where others walk their dogs, to a pet store where animals are welcome, or to a beach where pets are permitted.  These encounters will help your dog feel safe and comfortable around other animals, and give him the opportunity to make friends with other dogs and animals.

Be sure to keep your dog on a leash, at least in the beginning. Dog parks and beaches that allow animals to run freely are terrific, but in the beginning, you want to retain control over your dog’s movements. Over time, once you have completed command training, you can consider letting your dog roam off-leash within safe confines.

Why Socialization is Important

When your dog is well socialized, you help prevent unwanted behavior such as:

  • Barking whenever someone rings your doorbell
  • Chasing children or cars
  • Snarling at your friends when they visit
  • Biting or snapping when they hear a sudden noise

Give your dog all the help you can to ensure he becomes a well-adjusted, behaved member of your family. When you do, your family and friends will be able to enjoy the company of your dog to the fullest.

 

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How Long Is Too Long For Pets To Be Outside in Summer?

Your pets enjoy spending more time outdoors in the summer. There’s no snow or wind to contend with, and there are plenty of interesting new smells to enjoy. But with summer comes a different set of conditions that can be hazardous to your pet. Even if you’re with your pets outside, things like high humidity, intense sun and a lack of water can become dangerous for your pets. Here are some things to watch out for, and how to prevent harm from coming to your pets in summer.

High Humidity

You may be aware of the high temperatures in your region, but you also need to watch for high humidity days. Just as seniors and those with respiratory issues can have trouble breathing on days with high humidity, so can your pets.

On high humidity days (anything over 60%), try to keep your pets indoors as much as possible. When they do go out, don’t run your dog on a leash or push them to exercise in the yard. Consider allowing your pets to stay inside on such a day, especially if you typically leave them outside while you are at work.

Intense Sun

In summer, the sun sits higher in the sky than the rest of the year. Exposure to intense sun can cause heat sickness and heat stroke in your pet just as it can with you. If heat exhaustion does occur, water may not be enough to get your pet back to normal. The remedy is to get into the shade or a chilled environment as soon as possible.

On hot summer days, make sure your pets have access to a cool, shady environment where they can get out of the sun. Consider positioning the doghouse under a shady tree, or leaving the garage door open a little while you’re at work. If the temperatures are really predicted to soar, keep your pet indoors in the air conditioning. If you don’t have air conditioning in your house, let your pets stay inside the house with a breeze blowing via an open window or a box fan.

Lack of Water

On hot days, a shallow bowl of water can evaporate quickly, leaving your pets lacking in hydration, and exposed to the outdoor elements.

To make sure your pets have plenty of water outside in your absence, invest in a weighted bucket or very deep water bowl that won’t tip over. Check it daily, and keep it accessible, and filled with clean water for your pet. When you’re home with your pet on hot days, you can throw a few ice chips in the water to cool your pet from the inside out.

Remember, your pets are prone to the same problems with heat that humans have. If you feel it’s time for you to go inside, it’s probably time for your pets to go indoors, too.

Where to Buy Natural Pet Food For Your Cat in Lake Worth

Are you careful about what you feed your cat? In the U.S., nearly 30% of cats are overweight or obese, which makes weight control and nutrition a top priority for many devoted cat owners. In Lake Worth, Florida, there are several pet stores that support your efforts to feed your cat nourishing, holistic food.

Paws on the Avenue
561-588-6533
Since 1999, the friendly and knowledgeable owners of Paws on the Avenue in Lake Worth, Florida have dedicated themselves to helping pet owners find natural, holistic and organic food for their cats. Located on vibrant Lake Worth Avenue, the independently owned and well stocked, Paws on the Avenue pet store is open seven days a week. Brands you’ll find here include Earthborn, Precise, Natural Balance, and Acana, as well as a wide variety of grain-free cat food and freeze-dried raw cat food. If you need supplies or advice about supplements, you’ll find that here, too.

Pet Supplies Plus
561-968-5775
Pet Supplies Plus has several locations, and one of them is in Lake Worth, Florida.
This franchise store has natural pet food brands for your cat like Merrick, IAMS, Goodlife and Royal Canin. Bulk packages are available, but you can also buy single serving sizes that will allow your cat to sample different flavors and textures. Pet Supplies Plus is open from Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Pet Calls Animal Hospital
561-443-2097
If you’re doing your grocery shopping at Winn-Dixie in this strip mall in Lake Worth and want to pick up some high-quality natural cat food, stop in at Pet Calls Animal Hospital. Though it’s technically a veterinary hospital, they also carry a modest range of dry and canned natural cat food. You’ll pay premium prices, but if you’re in a time crunch or need professional help choosing the best brand for your cat, it’s a convenient place to get your cat’s supper.

 

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Best Pet-Friendly, Oceanside Hotels in Palm Beach, Florida

If you’re like many happy pet owners, you like to bring along Fido or Mittens when you travel. Unfortunately, some so-called pet-friendly hotels are situated in less than ideal locations that are unappealing or downright gloomy.

The next time you visit upscale Palm Beach, Florida, however, your pet can enjoy the same royal treatment as you when you stay at one of these best pet-friendly hotels with an ocean view. Each of these have been chosen for their luxurious and comfortable accommodations in the friendly, yet sophisticated atmosphere of one of the most beautiful spots on the East Coast of the United States: Palm Beach, Florida.

Palm Beach Historic Inn
‪365 South County Road
Palm Beach, FL
(561) 832-4009

The Palm Beach Historic Inn is a gorgeous, white-washed, 2-story stone and stucco building on the corner of South County Road and Chilean Avenue. Its Spanish-style architecture consists of multiple arches around the facade, Spanish roof tiles, a romantic faux bell tower, and wrought-iron railings. Just seconds away from the Atlantic Ocean on foot, the staff at this cozy inn is happy to welcome you and your family pet to stay in one of their pet-designated suites.

Room rates vary depending on the season when you book, but expect to pay in the range of $150 to $250, plus tax and charges. Discounts are sometimes available when you book and pay in advance. You’ll also need to phone ahead to discuss the pet deposit fee, which is adjustable depending on the size and breed of your pet. If you require any extras such as water bowls or pet snacks, the always-courteous staff is happy to help out whenever possible.

The Palm Beach Historic Inn in Palm Beach, Florida, offers many amenities that include a 24/7 business center with computer and printer accessibility, high-speed WIFI, complimentary local calls, complimentary continental breakfast, Keurig coffee makers in every room, bicycle rentals, in-room spa treatments, local fitness center privileges, personal concierge services, and beach gear rentals such as towels, umbrellas, and chairs. At the Palm Beach Historic Inntideline, you and your pet will feel right at home while you enjoy exploring the unique beauty of Palm Beach.

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Pet Depression: Is It Real And What Are The Signs?

As a pet owner, you know that your pet has moods just like you do. Try cuddling up to your cat after leaving him alone at home for a week and you know the reception will be less than warm and fuzzy. Or see how different your dog treats you when you decide all his toys need to be replaced with freshly bought ones with that brand new smell. But when Fido is down in the dumps for a long time, or Sprinkles has lost interest in her catnip mouse, you might be wondering if it’s possible for your pet to get depressed in a similar way that humans do.

According to the North Shore Animal League, the world’s largest no-kill animal shelter and adoption organization, pet depression is a clinical, medical condition that exists. Though some of the causes of pet depression are different that what might cause depression in humans, many of them are the same.

LONELINESS

Pets can fall into depression from being left alone for hours at a time. If you have a pet that stays at home all day by itself, he may start to feel lonely. If you go out straight after work, or don’t pay attention to your pet when you do get home, the feeling of loneliness can be exacerbated.

If you think your pet may be lonely, there are a few options:

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Here’s Why You Should Double Down On Your Pets

Why get one pet when you can get two? Lots of people do, and if you have the space and the financial resources, sheltering two animals is the best way to be a pet owner. Here are ten reasons why you should double down on your pets.

TWO PETS ARE LIKELY TO BE MORE ACTIVE THAN ONE BY ITSELF

Two ways that veterinarians gauge the health of an animal is by its level of activity and its weight. Being overweight is one of the biggest health concerns for pets, just as it is for us humans. When you visit your veterinarian, they probably always ask about how active little Fido is, in addition to weighing him. Activity helps to keep joints and muscles in good working order. Pets also need a certain level of activity for happiness sake, too.

When you have two pets, they are both likely to be more active. They may tussle with each other, play little games of hide and seek or even chase one another around the yard or house. It’s good for them and fun for you to watch.

THEY CAN COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE

Of course, we aren’t sure how animals communicate with each other. Maybe it’s telepathy or body language, but it’s likely a combination of the two. The point is, two animals of the same species are certain to be able to talk to each other in some way. When you have two pets, you’re giving each of your animals the joy of having another creature that they can communicate with. Can you imagine if you lived in a house where no one could understand anything you said? That’s how a lone pet feels.

THEY WON’T BE LONELY WHEN YOU’RE NOT HOME

Whether you’re just at work for the day or out for a long weekend, your pet has no idea when you’re getting back. It can be traumatic and lonely for your lone pet to be at home all day long or all weekend. But if you have two pets, they can comfort and keep each other company. They may play a little while you’re gone, snuggle up or just know that they aren’t all by themselves. Isn’t that a feeling that you can relate to?

 

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