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Archive | Pet Health

Signs Your Dog Has Worms

Dogs pick up worms in various ways.  You may not notice if your dog has a parasite right away so be sure to look for some signs your dog has worms.  

The most common types of worms that can affect your dog are tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, heartworms, and whipworms. Depending on the type of worm, your dog will show different symptoms.

 Signs Your Dog Has Worms

 Signs Your Dog Has Worms

 

If you aren’t sure if your dog has a parasite, here are some possible signs your dog has worms.

White like rice bits visible in stool or around anus area

You may notice little moving bits that resemble rice in your dog’s poo. These are tapeworms.  Your dog will get tapeworms if they ingest an infected flea.  

Scooting

Scooting is another sign your dog may possibly have worms.  Worms cause your dog irritation and scooting is a way for your dog to help relieve themselves.

Spaghetti like worms in vomit or feces

Roundworms look like long, spaghetti found in a dog’s vomit or feces.  Roundworms are common in puppies. Mothers can pass roundworms to their puppies during birth or through nursing.  Roundworms can grow up to 7 inches long.  Dogs come in contact with roundworms through the mother, infected soil, contaminated feces, or eating infected rodents.  

Bloody Stool, Diarrhea, Weight loss, Pale Gums

Hookworms and whipworms aren’t going to be visible in your dog’s stool.  Some possible signs though are bloody stool or darkened black like stool, diarrhea, weight loss. and pale gums.  If your dog is showing these signs take them to your veterinarian for a check up.

Congestive heart failure

Sometimes dogs with heartworms will develop congestive heart failure.  This is due to the weakening of the muscles and tissues around the heart. Often times though symptoms of heartworm doesn’t show up until there is advanced infection.  Heartworm is contacted by an infected mosquito bite.  Heartworm is deadly but preventable.  Have your dog tested and keep on a monthly heartworm preventative. 

If you suspect your dog has worms or are showing any of the signs above, please go to your veterinarian for a check up.  

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Improve Your Dog’s Wellbeing With One Daily Habit!

As pet guardians we know the importance of providing our pets with good food, a nice home, lots of love, and veterinary care.  These things are necessary for your dog’s health and happiness but there is something more you can and should do. You can improve your dog’s wellbeing with one daily habit, dog walking.

Dog's Wellbeing

Improve Your Dog’s Wellbeing With One Daily Habit!

Taking your dog out for a daily walk has significant benefits.  Although it might not seem that important or necessary, your dog needs and wants the stimulation. Providing your dog with daily mental and physical stimulation improves behavior, increases happiness, and keeps your dog healthy.

How to easily make dog walking a daily habit

Start today

All you need to do is start.  Start today! Leash up your dog and just do it.  Maybe you only have time to stroll out the front door and that is okay. Getting out even for a short time is better than not at all.  

Keep it simple

Start out small by committing to 1-5 minutes.  Everyone can spare 5 minutes a day.  If you think you have to walk your dog for 20-30 minutes daily then most likely you will not succeed in making this a daily habit. You will think of all the other things you need to do and put this one important activity aside.

All you need to do is start.  Start with 1-2 minutes if that is all you have time for. You may find that once you get started you keep going.  

Be consistent

Make it a priority to take your dog out everyday.  If you can only make it down the street one day, that is fine.  Some days may be a short trip around the block, others a nice hike.  the important thing is not how long you get your dog out but to do it daily.  Dogs take in the world thru scents so it is necessary for them to be able to explore by sniffing out their environment.

Make it fun

Daily dog walks should not be a chore that has to be done.  It should be fun for you and your dog.  Letting your dog sniff around is important for their mental stimulation.   Walking your dog this is a great way to bond.  Your dog views walks as fun and exciting.  If you are taking them for a walk, then you too are fun and exciting.  

If your dog is horrible walking on a leash, don’t let this discourage you.  Your dog is just over excited to experience the outside world.  You can improve your dog’s leash walking by using an easy walk harness or no-pull freedom harness, hire a dog trainer, or watch some videos.

Improve your dog’s wellbeing with one daily habit, a dog walk! This one simple activity has such significant benefits. Your dog will be so happy!

 

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Do Cats Need Baths?

If you are a cat owner then you know that bathing the cat is not a pleasant experience. You may be wondering if it’s even necessary to bathe a cat.  Do cats need baths?  Aren’t they capable of grooming themselves?

Do cats need baths?

Do Cats Need Baths

Bathing the cat is a dreaded task for sure. It can be quite the challenge! Although very stressful, cats do need baths once in awhile to ensure their coat and skin stay healthy and clean.

Most cats are great groomers and take care of keeping clean, especially short haired cats.  There are a few, however that aren’t very good at it. These cats become matted and may develop a slick, greasy coat.

To keep your cat’s coat and skin clean and healthy requires regular grooming. It also requires occasional baths.

How often should I bathe my cat

The frequency on how often to bathe your cat will depend on several differing factors.

Cats who need more frequent bathing

  • Obese cats have trouble reaching certain areas and will need your help with grooming.
  • Cats not in good health will need baths more frequently to keep them clean. Certain health issues affect the cats skin and coat.
  • Cats lacking good hygiene skills need assistance in making sure their coat and skin stays clean and health.
  • Outdoor cats find themselves in dirty environments and can be quite smelly.  A good bath will keep them smelling fresh.
  • Long haired cats require more grooming than short haired cats.  Daily brushing is a must but these cats also need additional bathing to keep their coat looking and feeling good.

Be careful not to bath your cat excessively.  This can irritate the skin causing dry flakes, itchiness, and a dull coat.  Try using natural shampoos and soaps rather than those with harsh chemicals.

Bathing a cat can be quite scary and a very stressful event.  If you do not feel comfortable bathing your cat, contact a groomer especially one specializing in cat care and save yourself the aggravation.

Have you ever bathed your cat?  How did it go?

 

Read more:

How To Bathe A Cat ~ Dr. Becker

Should I Bathe My Cat? ~ Banfield Pet Hospital

(photo courtesy of Pixabay)

 

 

 

 

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How Much Water Do Cats Need Daily?

It seems lately my 3 cats have been going thru more water than usual. Some days they barely touch it, however these past few days their dish has needed refilling more frequently.  Hopefully, it’s because of the cold weather.  The dry house air from the furnace running making them thirsty and not a sign of illness.

Any change in eating, drinking, or behavior may be caused by illness. Certainly this is something to keep an eye on but how much water exactly should cats be taking in?

How much water do cats need daily?

 

How Much Water Do Cats Need Daily

On average, an 8lb cat will need to consume approximately 1 cup of water daily, however daily water consumption will depend on many factors.

  • Weather Cats will drink more during the hot days of summer
  • Diet Cats who are also fed a canned diet will not need to drink as much water.  Canned food contains about 80% moisture whereas dry only 10%
  • Illness Cats will drink more water with  diseases such as Diabetes, Urinary Tract Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, and Hyperthyroidism
  • Size of Cat

Monitoring the daily water intake may be difficult especially if there are multiple cats in the household.  To ensure your cat is fully hydrated it is important to know what signs to watch for.

Signs your cat is fully hydrated

  • Your cat is acting normally and does not appear lethargic.
  • The coat of your cat appears shiny.  Dry, flakey patches may indicate your pet needs more water.
  • Test your cat’s skin for elasticity.  Gently pull back the skin at your cat’s scruff.  It should bounce back when released.
  • Check your cat’s litter box for medium sized clumps.  Your cat should be urinating 2-3 times per day.

It is important to recognize any change in your cat’s drinking habits.  if your cat is drinking less or more water than usual, it may be a sign to visit your veterinarian for a full examination to rule out serious medical problems.

What is your cat’s favorite way to drink water, cat bowls, fountains, or running faucet?

 

Related readings:

How Much Should Cats Drink ~ PetMD

Why Does My Cat Drink So Much Water ~ VetStreet

How Much Water Should My Cat Drink Everyday ~ Catster

 

 

 

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7 Tips For Eliminating Litter Box Odor

Cats are great at keeping themselves clean but the litter box is a different story. No one wants a smelly house because of foul litter box odor.

Follow these 7 tips for eliminating litter box odor.

7 Tips For Eliminating LItter Box Odor

1.  Scoop the litter box daily

This is the first step in making sure your litter box stays odor free.  The litter box should be scooped out once to twice per day. Every week, completely wash out the litter box with a mild soap or a bleach mixture of 1 part bleach to 20 parts water.  Rinse and dry well and refill with fresh litter. If you are using a clumping litter, the litter box can be washed completely every other week.

2.  Place litter box in an open location

Litter boxes should be placed at different places throughout the home and in a well ventilated area. This will help minimize odor.  Litter box odor is more concentrated in small enclosed areas like bathrooms and closets.

3.  Make sure there are enough litter boxes

The rule of thumb is to have one litter box per cat plus one.  If you have one cat, two litter boxes. Two cats equal 3 litter boxes and so on. This provides plenty of bathroom space for your kitty without boxes becoming full fast.

4.  Choose the right litter type

Not all litter types are good at masking odors.  Newspapers types are not as effective while clay litter does a better job but is harder to scoop out daily.  There are plenty of litters on the market that contain perfumes and scents that help to mask the odor but cats often times do not like these types of litter.  Clumping litter allows for easy cleaning and waste removal while minimalizing odor.

5.  Eliminate closed litter boxes

Not only do most cats hate the small space of a closed litter box, these types of boxes also trap in odors.  A large open box is best for cats.

6.  Use carbon filters or liners

Carbon filters systems can be found built in some boxes or carbon liners can be purchased to place in the bottom of the box. The carbon helps to combat litter box odor.

7.  Change your cat’s diet

If you have tried all of the tips and your pet’s litter box is smelling really foul, then it could be a medical or diet issue with your cat.  A vet visit may be needed to determine if there is a medical issue or your ca’t diet may need adjusted.
Keep your home smelling fresh and clean by following the 7 tips for eliminating litter box odor.

Which of these tips would make your cat happier?

 

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