Be Responsible – Pet Ownership & Pet Care Tips For Cats and Dogs

Responsible pet ownership requires a lot of dependability, knowledge, and consideration; unfortunately, some new pet owners take this responsibility very lightly.

So, before you take home your new dog or cat, consider the following pet care tips to ensure that you are providing your new friend with the right amount of care and just the right amount of love! Your new companion is relying on you to provide it.

Dogs

Whether your new pet is just a puppy or an adult dog, you have a challenge ahead of you to practice responsible pet ownership and awareness. Your home is new territory, and you are now your pet’s primary caregiver. Both kindness and a firm yet reassuring approach to your new dog will go a long way. Ensure that he knows you’re ready to give him the love he deserves by creating a canine-friendly atmosphere and integrating these pet care tips into his routine.

  • Crate training and housebreaking: Two very important stages in your dog’s life. Crate training, should you choose this method, gives your pet a quiet, safe place to retreat to at bedtime or whenever you leave the house. If you want to prevent chewing or scratching, crate training might be necessary in the beginning. Housebreaking is just a matter of routine – think of a word you want your dog to associate with going to the bathroom outside and use it repeatedly. Take your dog outside multiple times, normally after meals or water breaks, and he’ll soon make the connection.
  • Flea and tick prevention: Without preventative measures and an ounce of responsible pet ownership, your home could become infested or your dog could become extremely ill. Most vets can provide you with products that eliminate fleas and ticks on your dog. Available orally or in a liquid form placed on the back just once a month, your dog will be able to repel fleas, ticks, and parasites regularly.
  • Shots and preventative vaccines: Dogs suffer from many terrible diseases that are often fatal if not treated or prevented at the outset. Vaccination is one of the most important pet care tips that can be provided – and one that should be heeded. Rabies, distemper, heartworms, and parvovirus are some of the worst viruses that can afflict your dog – your vet will discuss which shots your pet receives at each yearly check-up to prevent these agonizing diseases.
  • Spaying or neutering: Similar to yearly vaccinations, highlighting the need for spaying or neutering play into vital pet care tips. Gone unmonitored, two dogs can produce over 4,000 offspring in seven years. Sadly, a large number of these dogs will be euthanized or left to fend for themselves on the street. Spaying or neutering, a major part of responsible pet ownership, ensures your pet will be healthier in the long run, and you will have prevented the birth of more unwanted puppies.
  • Obedience training: Your dog desires structure. Teaching him the basic commands yourself or enrolling him in an obedience or training course gives him a level of organization in his life. Furthermore, teaching him certain commands also ensures that he will be a well-behaved, functioning member of your family within your home. Purchase a book offering pet behavior and pet care tips, such as My Smart Puppy by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson or Dog Talk by John Ross. These two books will give you a better idea of responsible pet ownership and how to approach certain situations with your new dog.

Cats

Unlike dogs, cats are much more independent, needing perhaps less of your attention. Cats, however, rely on you for the same necessities that a dog expects. If problematic behaviors pop up, contact your local animal shelter or animal welfare organization for more pet care tips. Most likely, literature on both dog and cat care will be provided upon request.

In any case, to help your cat be a happier, better-behaved feline, consider the following more important pet care tips:

  • A clean litter box: If your cat lives inside, you will need to clean and/or empty his litter box at least twice a day. Every week or so, you’ll also need to dump the litter out entirely and wash his box with hot, soapy water to reduce the spread of bacterial growth. This task can be easy to forget, but cats are clean animals. For a cat, this is one of the more important pet care tips – ensuring his area is always clean. The location of his box is important – keep it out of high-traffic areas and away from his food. To help him learn to use his litter box, show him where it is four to five times a day and encourage him to use it, praising him when he uses it or even just digs.
  • Flea and tick prevention: Fleas and ticks can make your new pet very sick and can introduce parasites into the bloodstream. Practice responsible pet ownership! Prevent this from occurring by purchasing flea and tick preventative products from your vet. Flea powder and a quick sweep of the vacuum through your house is also an excellent guard against fleas or ticks. However, if you do opt to buy products online or at the store, be cautious and practice responsible pet ownership by checking the labels and warnings if any – some preventative measures are harmful to cats.
  • Spaying or neutering: As important for cats as it is for dogs! Responsible pet ownership dictates that you have your cat spayed or neutered when s/he is between six and eight weeks old if possible. Not only will you help prevent pet “overpopulation,” but you will reduce the potential for other cancers and diseases that may occur if your cat is not surgically altered.
  • Shots and preventative vaccines: Cats are susceptible to a variety of fatal and painful diseases. Without vaccinations and a nod to responsible pet ownership, they will likely die or have medical issues throughout their lives. Much like the recommendation for dogs, vaccination for cats is one of the most important pet care tips. Rabies, FeLV (Feline Leukemia), FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), and distemper are some of the worst – however, with a regular check-up and shots from your vet and just a bit of responsible pet ownership, you have nothing to worry about!

Be a Knowledgeable Pet Owner

You now have a big responsibility on your hands. Your new cat or dog ultimately relies on you to provide him with the necessities of life, and it is your job as a responsible, knowledgeable pet owner to ensure that he has a happy, healthy life by incorporating a routine into his life and following the pet care tips that have been outlined above.

Do your research and talk to other pet owners to get other helpful pet care tips! Your pet has basic needs that must be fulfilled by you. Of course, he needs a ready supply of cool drinking water, healthy dog or cat food, shade or shelter, and grooming on a regular basis, but he also expects you to create a loving home and warm environment and to keep him healthy and happy.

With just a little awareness of what to expect coupled with responsible pet ownership, you’ll be ready to give your new companion lots of love and a happy home!

Keeping Your Pet Healthy With Natural Pet Care

The way pet-owners are caring for their pets is rapidly changing. Many pet owners are choosing to go with natural pet care. These individuals are using medicines, treats and herbal supplements that are all natural. Therefore, why the change to natural pet items? Most owners seem to think that these items provide nutrients that will keep them healthier and happier over the long run.

We as pet-owners realize that pet manufacturers are concerned with making money and spending as little money as possible doing it. Pet food regulations are currently allowing these companies to have ingredients that most pet owners would never give their pets. If you knew what went in your favorite pet food you would probably be in shock.

Many of foods on the market today are made of sugars, preservatives and artificial flavorings. These ingredients are hard for pets to digest and are also low in protein. Animals and humans are no different when we are talking about eating healthy and nutritious food. Natural products can be used to guarantee your pet is receiving vegetables, meat, fruits, and grains that they need.

Natural pet-care is increasing in popularity due to owners realizing the benefits of natural products. The change in their pet’s behavior, energy levels, whiter teeth and shinier coats are just some of the benefits. The long-term benefits have shown that animals that eat natural products have fewer health issues and live longer.

Researchers have found that animals that are given low quality products have a tendency to have diabetes, heart trouble, allergies, dry skin, hypertension, weight problems, and nervousness, along with many other conditions that can be prevented. Many pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of these findings and are turning to natural pet care.

Pet owners that use natural products have noticed changes in their pets. These pets have less for fleas and worms, little or no body or mouth odor, little or no shedding, glossy eyes and most importantly fewer veterinary visits. Using these products is not only cost effective in the long run but a superior way to take care of your pet.

The internet provides many resources to find out about natural pet care products and supplements. Natural products are becoming more popular for there long term benefits and longer life expectancy for your pet. Natural products have long been thought to be better for humans, why not use natural products for the pets you love.

Importance of Complete Vitamin B’s in Supplements

Feeding a supplement that’s missing key ingredients is like trying to drive down the road without air in the tires of the vehicle. Why do so many people feed supplements that only contain a few vitamins/minerals and then expect to attain peak performance from their 4 legged partner?. My life is very busy and full and I want things to be as easy as possible – thus I want all the ingredients in one container and I expect them to do their job. It seems very time consuming to have 3-5 containers of ‘supplements’ that I must feed daily and still be missing important nutrients. Also, that means I have more waste products that I must get rid of and each product is a different size with a different suggested feeding. KISS Keep it Simple ***** That is my motto and I try to follow it.

Vitamins are essential to life – they regulate metabolism and assist the biochemical processes that release energy from digested food and are the foundation of body functions. Some are water soluble which cannot be stored in the body so therefore they must be taken into the body daily – includes Vitamin C and B-complexes. In most supplements there are only some of the B vitamins included in the ration. It is important to have all the vitamin B’s present in a ration as each one has a job to do and if one or more is missing then the ‘jobs’ are not done to the extent they should be. Sure, you will see some improvement, but if you are going to doing something do it to the best of your ability.

I am going to emphasize the B vitamins which help to maintain the health of nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver, and mouth as well as healthy muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and proper brain function. They act as coenzymes, helping enzymes to react chemically with other substances and are involved in energy production. They may be useful for alleviating depression or anxiety and it has been found that hyperactivity and aggressiveness in animals can sometimes be remedied by B-complexes. Other indications for giving extra vitamins are during highly stressful situations such as traveling, separation anxiety, the show ring, during pregnancy and being a stressed mother. Sulfa drugs, hormone therapy, cortisone and drugs for high blood pressure rob you animal of some of the B-complex vitamins. These vitamins are very important for older horses because these nutrients are not as well absorbed as they age. Because B vitamins work together, a deficiency in one often indicates a deficiency in another.

1. Vitamin B1 ( Thiamine)

Thiamine enhances circulation and assists in blood formation, carbohydrate metabolism and production of hydrochloric acid which is important for proper digestion. It has a positive effect on energy, growth, normal appetite and learning capacity and is needed for proper muscle tone of the intestines, stomach and heart. Also, acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body from degenerative effects.

Symptoms that can result from thiamine deficiency include constipation, edema, enlarged liver, fatigue, heart changes, irritability, labored breathing, loss of appetite, muscle atrophy, nervousness, poor coordination, weak and sore muscles and severe weight loss. Antibiotics, phenytoin (Dilantin- drug used to prevent seizures), sulfa drugs, antibiotics may decrease thiamine levels in the body and a high carbohydrate diet increases the need for thiamine.

2. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin is necessary for red blood cell formation, anti-body production, cell respiration, and growth. It alleviates eye fatigue and is important in the prevention and treatment of cataracts. It aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, Together with vitamin A it maintains and improves the mucous membranes in the digestive tract. Riboflavin also facilitates the used of oxygen by the tissues of the skin, nails, and hair, eliminates dandruff, and helps the absorption of iron and vitamin B6. Consumption of adequate amounts or riboflavin is important during pregnancy because a lack of this vitamin can damage a developing fetus, it is needed for the metabolism of the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted into niacin in the body.

Deficiency symptoms include cracks and sores at the corners of the mouth, eye disorders, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, skin lesions, dermatitis, dizziness, hair loss, insomnia, light sensitivity, poor digestion, retarded growth, and slowed mental response and stool eating. Strenuous exercise requires an increase in the need for riboflavin.

3. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin is needed for proper circulation and healthy skin. It aids in the functioning of the nervous system, in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and in the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system. It is involved in the normal secretion of bile an stomach fluids and in the synthesis of sex hormones. Other symptoms of niacin deficiency include canker sores, depression, diarrhea, fatigue, limb pain, loss of appetite, muscular weakness, skin eruptions and inflammation.

4. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Pantothenic Acid is known as “the anti-stress vitamin” – Pantothenic acid plays a role in the production of the adrenal hormones and the formation of antibodies, aids in vitamin utilization and helps to covert fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy. It is required by all cells in the body and is concentrated in the organs. It is also involved in the production of neurotransmitters. This vitamin is an essential element of coenzyme A, a vital body chemical involved in many necessary metabolic functions. Pantothenic acid is also a stamina enhancer and prevents certain forms of anemia. It is needed for normal function of the gastrointestinal tract and may be helpful in treating depression and anxiety.

5. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Pyridoxine is involved in more body functions than almost any other single nutrient affecting both physical and mental health. It is necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid and the absorption of fats and protein. It also aids in maintaining sodium and potassium balance and promotes red blood cell formations. it is required by the nervous system and is needed for normal brain function and for the synthesis of the nuclei acids, RNA and DNA, which contain the genetic instructions for the reproduction of all cells and for normal cellular growth. It activates many enzymes and aids in the absorption of vitamin B12, the immune system functions and in antibody production. Vitamin B6 plays a role cancer immunity and aids in the prevention of arteriosclerosis, acts as a mild diuretic and useful in preventing oxalate kidney stones and in the treatment of allergies, arthritis and asthma.

A deficiency of can result in anemia, convulsions, impaired wound healing, inflammation of the mouth and gums, hearing problems, stunted growth, brain damage, heart and liver disease.

6. Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

Cyanocobalamin is needed to prevent anemia, it aids folic acid in regulating the formation of red blood cells and help in utilization of iron. It is required for proper digestion, absorption of foods, the synthesis of protein, and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It aids in cell formation and cellular longevity. Vitamin B12 prevents nerve damage, maintains fertility and promotes normal growth and development by maintaining the fatty sheaths that cover and protect nerve endings.

A deficiency can be caused by mal-absorption, which is most common in the elderly and in those with digestive disorders. Deficiency can cause abnormal gait, bone loss, constipation, depression, digestive disorders, enlargement of the liver, eye disorders, and inflammation of the tongue, irritability, labored breathing, moodiness, nervousness, neurological damage, palpitations, pernicious anemia, and spinal cord degeneration.

Biotin

Biotin aids in cell growth, fatty acid production, in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and in the utilization of other B-complex vitamins. Sufficient quantities are needed for healthy hair and skin. It promotes healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow and helps to relieve muscle pain. Biotin strengthens hoof structure by reducing irregularities in the hoof wall that compromise the integrity of the hoof strength.

Fats and oils that have been subjected to heat or exposed to the air for any length of time inhibit biotin absorption as do antibiotics, sulfa drugs. A deficiency can result in anemia, skin disorders, hair loss, heart disease and weak muscles

Each vitamin B has important functions in the horse’s body and if some are lacking then optimal health is not obtained. The body needs ALL the B vitamins as they work together. Thus, it is very important to read the label and know what you are feeding. Feed for heath.