Counting Calories: A Simple Way To Keep Your Pet Healthy

We know that obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States. Thirty percent of American adults – that's 60 million people – are obese. But there's another statistic that is even more startling and concerning to pet owners and veterinarians: according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, approximately half of all dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. That's 84 million animals that weigh more than they should for optimal health. Just as with people, obesity in pets is associated with many health risks, including osteoarthritis, Type 2 diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, and many forms of cancer.

What causes obesity in pets? It generally comes down to consuming more calories than the pet needs. According to veterinarian Susan Nelson, assistant professor of clinical sciences at Kansas State University, “Pets are overeating and under-exercising, and they're eating too many high-fat foods and treats.” Dr. Nelson suggests a number of factors to consider when feeding your pet, including paying attention to the nutritional information and calorie content of what your pet eats. While we often think to at least glance at the nutritional information and calorie content marked on our own food, we may not think to do the same for our pets.

Is my pet overweight?

It's relatively easy to determine yourself if your dog or cat is overweight. First, take a look at your pet's ribs. If your animal is a healthy weight, the ribs shouldn't be seen but should be easy to feel. They should be covered with a thin layer of fat – if they are difficult to feel under a large layer of fat, that is a sign your pet is overweight. Next, take a look at the animal's stomach. A sagging stomach, where you can grab a handful of fat, is also a sign of excess weight. Finally, take a look at your pet's general body shape. When looking at the animal from above, you should be able to easily make out a waistline. A dog should be an hourglass shape – broader at the shoulders and hips and narrow at the waist. A broad, flat back is a sign your pet is overweight.

How much should I be feeding my pet?

Figuring out how much you should be feeding your pet is not as straightforward as it may initially seem. Amounts vary based on the type of food, your pet's metabolism, and the amount of exercise it gets. If your pet is a healthy weight, a good place to start is with the amount suggested by the guidelines on the pet food packaging. If your pet is just a bit overweight, look at the guidelines and feed it the amount suggested for its ideal weight, rather than the weight it currently is.

The typical domestic cat should weigh about 10 pounds, and needs about 275 calories per day. Unlike cats, the caloric needs of dogs vary greatly depending on breed – a variance expected when dogs can range in weight from under 5 pounds to over 100. A 10-pound dog needs about 300 calories per day, while a 50-pound dog needs 1,200. Feeding guidelines on your pet's food bag will take into account approximate caloric needs, but it's important to realize that food amounts may change if you change the type of food you're feeding your dog or cat. Since pet foods can vary greatly in fat and calorie content, one cup of Type A food will not necessarily equal one cup of Type B food.

What about treats?

Just as we sometimes don't realize (or don't want to realize!) how many calories snack foods can contribute to our diet, it's easy to forget to consider the number of calories contained in the treats we give our pets. Luckily, it is becoming more common for pet food manufacturers to list nutritional information, including calorie content, on packaged pet treats. Nutrition and calorie information is also often available online, so try visiting the company's website if you can't find what you're looking for on the packaging. It is fine to include treats in your pet's diet, but calories from treats should account for 10% or less of your pet's overall caloric intake.

Hidden Calories

Pets, particularly dogs, can be scavengers. While some dogs are very well-behaved, others go through the trash, beg at the table, and try to help themselves to anything that looks particularly tasty. In households with small children, often one of the first things a pet realizes is that children are an excellent source of table scraps. Everything the child drops – and children drop a lot! - will be devoured by a waiting animal. And it usually doesn't take long for children to discover that feeding their pet is a fun game, leading to even more shared calories. Adults are not completely innocent either – many people feed their pets table scraps, or allow them to eat food that drops on the floor. Rarely do we consider how many extra calories human food is adding to our pet's diet.

A Family Affair

As Dr. Nelson says, “It's important to count calories if your pet is overweight.” If you have a dog or cat that needs to lose a few pounds, counting calories can help you achieve that goal and help your pet stay healthy. But everyone in the family needs to be involved in this process, not just one person. No matter how careful you are about feeding your pet an appropriate diet, it won't be successful if other family members are slipping their beloved pet treats and table scraps. It's important that the entire family realizes the importance of helping their pet maintain a heathy weight. Giving food is a way to show love, but an even better way is to help your pet stay healthy and live a long life as a member of your family.

Matt Papa is a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University School of Medicine. Dog lover and owner of a beautiful German shepherd named Hera, Matt is concerned about problems with obesity in both animals and humans. His medical research interests include obesity treatments and the ways in which humans and animals can work together to maintain a healthy weight. Matt owns a website devoted to best weight loss programs reviews and the latest scientific findings on obesity. He often gives away a Medfast coupon.

Benefits Of Dog Agility Training

Aside from entertainment purposes, dog agility training makes your dog vigorous and alert. This fun-filled activity even sharpens his mind and teaches him to make his own strategy on how to finish the course efficiently.

Agility training will also allow your dogs to perform obstacles. With this kind of training, dogs can improve coordination through the basic training exercises used to teach jumping and ramp work.

More importantly, you and your dog will build a better bond. This training teamwork nurtures a good communication between the pet owner and the dog which improves their working relationship.

In line with that, there are different kinds of dog agility equipment such as dog training crates and dog exercise pens that will complete your dog's obstacle training course. Every piece of equipment provides excellent improvement to your dog's whole being and attitude.

Below is a list of benefits that you and your dog can get from agility training.

Benefits to Dogs:
º Keep your dog healthy.
º Allow your dog to perform his needed exercise.
º Establishes trust and confidence to you as their friend and owner
º Learning to follow basic obedience and instructions
º Develop flexibility
º Sharpens your dog's mind
º Increases your dog's endurance and confidence
º Develops your dog's speed and accuracy
º Improves his communication skills
º Allows your dog to form his own strategies

Benefits to Pet Owners:
º Keep you in shape, healthy and alert
º Develop flexibility
º Helps to lose unwanted fats and gain muscle
º Increase your perseverance

Indeed, agility training gives your dog a great and exciting bonding time with you and other members of the family. Including it in your daily or weekly activities will surely strengthen your relationship with your dogs.

Review a Boarding Kennel and Get Rewarded!

Have you and your pet dog or cat found a great boarding kennel or cattery? Have you been wowed by the caring and friendly staff? Blown away from the cleanliness and cool extras of a boarding facility? Then we want to hear from you!

Why not share your experience with other pet owners to help them choose the best accommodations for their pets? Now you can with KennelSeek.com! KennelSeek.com has thousands of boarding kennels and catteries for you to review throughout Canada and the United States. Once you submit your review, as a thank you to our Canadian pet owners, each Canadian will receive 2 Airmiles® Reward Miles!

What is KennelSeek.com? KennelSeek helps you find and book boarding kennels and catteries anywhere in the USA and Canada online for your dogs, cats and other pets. You can quickly check availability, pictures, rates, requirements, and reviews of any kennel or cattery! KennelSeek.com truly allows you to be confident that you are choosing the highest quality of care for your dog, cat or other pet.

Founded in 2008, KennelSeek.com enables boarding kennel & cattery operators to grow their business by accepting real-time reservations and reservation requests from millions of pet owners online.

Holiday Tips for Pet Owners

The holiday season is often the most joyous time of the year. However, joy can turn to tragedy if simple precautions are not taken to ensure the safety of your pets.

“Pets are curious by nature,” said Dr. Steve Hansen, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist and senior vice president of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Hansen, whose department also includes the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, asks pet parents to be mindful of their pets this holiday season.

“Thinking about your home from your pet’s point of view will help ensure everyone has happy and safe holidays,” Hansen said. “Pets have the ability to get into everything, especially during the holidays when there is more to see and do.”

Simple holiday traditions, such as trimming the tree and decorating the house, can pose potential problems to pets if not monitored carefully.

Dr. Leon Robbins, doctor of veterinary medicine at Grandview Animal Hospital near Winston-Salem, NC, warned that much like toddlers, pets are attracted to bright lights, shining ornaments and dangling tinsel.

“Many holiday decorations are hazardous to pets,” said Robbins. “Try to use big, pet-friendly ornaments and keep the ornaments, as well as the lights, out of a pet’s reach.”

The most common pet-related emergency that occurs over the holidays is the consumption of human pharmaceuticals. Dr. Hansen said that many people keep their medications in daily pill minders, their luggage or even leave it lying out when staying with family or friends.

“All prescription and non-prescription drugs should be safely stored,” Hansen said. “Even in small doses, human medications can be potentially lethal to pets.”

Food is the culprit for the second most common holiday pet emergency. According to Dr. Robbins, pets should be kept on a normal diet, as it will alleviate digestive problems.

“If there is food left over, don’t give it to your pet as a holiday treat,” said Robbins. “Instead give baby carrots, green beans or broccoli as treats.”

To ensure a happy and safe holiday season for you and your pets, (Your Company’s Name) recommends that pet owners be cautious of the following:

Dark and baker’s chocolate. While milk chocolate is not poisonous, it will cause your pet to have an upset stomach. On the other hand, dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate contain high levels of theobromine and caffeine. Animals are extremely sensitive to both and ingesting either type of chocolate could be fatal.

Xylitol. This sugar substitute causes a dog’s blood sugar to drop quickly. This poisoning can be treated, but causes liver failure if not treated properly.

Macadamia nuts. Dogs experience severe weakness in their back legs, appearing paralyzed, after ingesting macadamia nuts. Dogs usually recover from this condition within three days.

Avocados. Avocados pose a serious threat to birds. Avocados cause respiratory distress in birds, causing fluid to build up in their lungs.

Bread Dough. When bread dough is ingested it continues to rise, causing an intestinal blockage.

If your pet ingests any potentially harmful product, call your vet or a local emergency animal hospital immediately.

At Home Pet Sitters offers pet owners these helpful hints to keep pets out of danger, while still enjoying the food, fun and festivities that accompany the holidays.

At Home Pet Sitters offers pet sitting, dog walking, overnight pet sitting, pet taxi and more. Bonded and insured pet sitters in Savannah, GA. Accredited members of Pet Sitters International. For more information, please visit our website: www.athomepetsitters.net

New Dry Paws™ Training and Floor Protection Pads

Dry Paws is now available at Mid West Homes for Pets, the leading provider of pet training products in the industry. For pet owners who are very meticulous in caring for their pets, Dry Paws is the perfect product to have. It can lock away bacteria and moisture quickly because of its absorbent polymer and quilted design. While training pets to make them completely housebroken, it is important to keep them clean and healthy.

The training pads of Dry Paws are a great help to house break a new pet. It is designed to be a pet's comfort zone, a place where he can eliminate during times when the pet owner cannot be available to let them out. This product is not also just for the newly introduced pets in the house. It can also be a perfect alternative for older pets that already are having a hard time eliminating outside or are unable to hold off eliminating long enough to go outside.

The product is also a great help for pet owners who live in apartments or homes that has limited outdoor areas to train their pets properly.

Dry Paws training and floor protection pads can be available in 7 count, 14 count large, 14 count, 30 count, and 50 count with different master pack dimensions and essentially the same sizes except for 14 count large.

Here are the different sizes of Dry Paws for shopping reference:

7 Count- Dry Paws™ Training and Floor Protection Pads
Model Number: PP07
1-30 lbs.
Size: 23 5/8 x 17 3/4
Weight: 1 lb.
Master UPC: 10027773009525
UPC: 02777300952
Master Pack Dimensions- 16 1/8L x 12 1/4W x 8H

14 Count Large- Dry Paws™ Training and Floor Protection Pads
Model Number: PPL14
1-160 lbs.
Size: 29.5 x 23 5/8
Weight: 1 lb.
Master UPC: 10027773009563
UPC: 027773009566
Master Pack Dimensions- 18 1/8L x 11 1/4W x 10 5/8H

14 Count- Dry Paws™ Training and Floor Protection Pads
Model Number: PPS14
1-30 lbs.
Size: 23 5/8 x 17 3/4
Weight: 1 lb.
Master UPC: 10027773009532
UPC: 02777300953
Master Pack Dimensions- 18 1/8L x 8 1/4W x 10 5/8H

30 Count- Dry Paws™ Training and Floor Protection Pads
Model Number: PPS30
1-30 lbs.
Size: 23 5/8 x 17 3/4
Weight: 1 lb.
Master UPC: 10027773009549
UPC: 027773009542
Master Pack Dimensions- 18 1/8L x 10 5/8W x 16 1/8H

50 Count- Dry Paws™ Training and Floor Protection Pads
Model Number: PPS50
1-30 lbs.
Size: 23 5/8 x 17 3/4
Weight: 1 lb.
Master UPC: 10027773009556
UPC: 027773009559
Master Pack Dimensions- 24L x 12W x 18 1/8H

Pet owners who are interested can go to www.midwesthomes4pets.com for more information about the prices and how to shop online for this product. They can also check their local Pet Stores or feel free to use the online store locator to find a Midwest Homes for Pets Retailer nearest their area. Please visit www.midwesthomes4pets.com for more information regarding training and housebreaking pets.

MidWest Homes 4 Pets, a division of MidWest Metal Company since 1921
Address: 4211 East Jackson Street, Muncie, Indiana 47303
Phone: 765-289-3355
Fax: 765-289-6524
Website: http://www.midwesthomes4pets.com

Did You Know Pharaohs Had Pet Dogs?

If you ask a cat (or a dedicated cat person), you're likely to be summarily informed there's nothing at all mysterious about dogs. Cats have, however, been known to prevaricate for reasons known only to cats. That's not to say that cat people share the same proclivity.

Dogs do have their mysteries -- some of the more interesting ones revolve around the origins of different breeds. With the science of DNA now available, those questions are beginning to be answered, and more found to be asked, but DNA identification is still a relatively infantile technology and the databases available for reference have not yet become broad enough to arrive at definitive answers to many of our questions about where our dogs' true origins lie. In 2004, when researchers announced the determination of the “14 ancient breeds” they were working with DNA from only 85 of the more common breeds -- out of all the hundreds of known breeds.

One of the most intriguing mysteries revolves around the Pharaoh Hound, an elegant hunting hound that closely resembles the Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis. Ironically, the breed has often been characterized as being “as clean as a cat.”

For generations, it has been believed that the Pharaoh Hound is an ancient breed dating back to the time of the pharaohs. Images of dogs closely resembling the modern Pharaoh Hound found in Egyptian tombs and glyphs have seemed to support this belief. Egyptian artisans depicted dogs with the characteristic long, narrow nose, the large, pointed ears, the attentive stance, narrow waist and deep chest of the modern Pharaoh Hound. The tomb of Antefa II, dated at about 2300 BC is graced with a particularly striking drawing.

But now we have evidence that changes this supposition. And Anubis wasn't known as the “hound god,” but as the jackal god.

The dog images from ancient Egypt are now believed to be of a truly ancient and now extinct breed, the Tesem. Our Pharaoh Hound appears to be a comparatively modern breed whose origins can be traced back to Malta and the Ibizan Hound, whose origins are ancient, most likely descended from the Tesem, brought by the Phoenicians around 645 BC to the island of Eivissa (that's EIvissa, not ELvissa, home of the Ibizan sighthound, not Elvis sightings).

In spite of significant evidence to the contrary some breed clubs, breeders, registries and commentators at the most prestigious dog shows in the world continue to claim the Pharaoh Hound that we know today is one and the same breed portrayed thousands of years ago as a companion and hunting partner to the pharaohs. It is not unusual to read or hear the breed described as tracing its origins back to 5,000 BC, becoming known to the Mediterranean world after the Romans invaded Egypt two millennia ago and the Phoenician traders transported them to Malta and the Balearic Isles where they were prized for hunting small game.

We even “know” that the boy pharaoh, Tutenkhamen, owned one named Abuwitiyuw. Maybe that's why we call them Pharaoh Hounds? Problem is, the evidence now points to the Ibizan being the older breed with the Pharaoh Hound being a later offshoot of the Ibizan rather than the other way around.

In Malta, the breed is known by the name Kelb tal-Fenek and is considered an indigenous breed to the island, the national dog of Malta. The first recorded mention of the hunting dog of Malta was written in 1647 by the Vice Chancellor of the Order of St. John (more familiar as the Knights of Malta): “There are dogs called 'Cernechi' esteemed for the hunting of rabbits , and as far as France are in demand primarily for stony, mountainous and steep locations.” “Cernechi” or “Cirnechi” translates literally to “Rabbit Dog.” Ironically, the Kelb tal-Fenek -- the Cernechi -- didn't become known as the Pharaoh Hound until the mid 20th century, when Dr. Eugen Seiferle dubbed the group of similar dogs “pharaonenhunde.” This designation further confuses the question as to whether the original rabbit dog of Malta was what we now call the Pharaoh Hound or better fit the standard of the Ibizan. Or perhaps another variant breed.

And the mystery and romance of the Pharaoh Hound continues. Which to choose to believe? Glyphs and drawings, myths and legends from ages past or hypothesis supported by fairly compelling although admittedly incomplete scientific evidence.

Provided by Tom Figler of www.pet-super-store.com: find great deals on GPS Tracking Collars such as Garmin Tracking Collars.

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Dog Sweaters - Warm And Cozy

Just as winters can be harsh for us, in the same manner winters can be severe and chilly for pets as well. Even if they are at home or in their dog kennels , and to make them feel warm dog sweaters are available, making them feel cozy and warm. Dog apparels are available for all seasons, right from cool, light summer wear to floral prints and even thick warm jackets and woolen wears to beat the cold. These sweaters are so cute and comfortable for dogs and are easily available as pets are now found in almost every house these days.

Dog sweaters are needed to protect them from cold and any kind of winter diseases; if your pet is taken care of properly he will never fall sick during winter. Not only sweaters but other accessories are also available like socks, caps, shoes, ponchos, scarves, etc. to make your dog look more beautiful and even help them to be warm and fit during the winters.

It is necessary to protect your puppy with more care because they are more immune to cold and can fall sick very fast. Dog sweaters for puppies are a must and they should also be covered with other accessories as well. These sweaters are available in abundance in various sizes and colors. The colors range from whites, black, blue, pinks lovely mauves and the list goes on and on. The sizes of the dog sweaters are no issue at all since they are readily available in all sizes and can be easily stitched if there is a mismatch of size. A popular model is the Princess Sweater with Organza Ribbon.

Sweaters are also available in various patterns and designs like dotted, striped, textured, multicolor, single color and even have pockets in them that really make them look very smart and cute. The designs and patterns on the sweaters do match with the occasion or festival also, like the sweater might have a Christmas tree or Santa Claus, Halloween, etc. The All American Handmade Patriotic Sweater has design to depict patriotism and various other designs to grace the festivity occasion. Even for family functions there are dog sweaters available, these sweaters range from all prices to suit all classes of people. It is fun to see the pups dress up in sweaters of various designs and colors to match and grace each and every occasion.

Dog sweaters are available for extreme cold season to early winters. These sweaters are available as machine made or hand knitted. Some of the dog sweaters, such as the Marabou Glamour Sweater are also made of fur to make the dog look more cozy and fluffy. For your female dog, sweaters are also made of lace and frills to make them look more fancy and trendy. They are designed in such a way with matching colors and fabrics that make the sweaters look really cute and just appropriate.

To make the dog look more attractive they can have matching socks, shoes or scarves that are easily available in the market. Some sweaters have attached hoods and some have separate hats or caps.

Ways to Care For Your Pet For Free

Having a pet can be one of the most enjoyable experiences in life. They all have their own unique personalities and qualities that make them special. However, there are so many responsibilities that you have to consider when owning a pet. For one, caring for your pet is a large responsibility and can be quite expensive, especially if you own a dog or a cat. You have to pay for things like food, immunizations, grooming, and the list continues. To minimize the costs that you pay for your pet, have you considered obtaining free pet samples of your favorite products?

Pet samples are a great way for you to help save on the cost of owning a pet. You will find nutritious samples available online that can really help you to provide for your pet. These samples are provided by the leading pet manufacturers, so you know that they are especially safe.

Many of the samples available will include products like pet food. Many times the samples provided can easily allow you to provide enough food for your pet for an entire week. The sample size may actual be the same bag as what you would have gotten at the store. So, this is a great way for you to help minimize the cost of owning your pet.

There are so many people who are looking for ways to reduce expenses as much as they can. This is one way that you can cut back on costs while still providing the same level of care for your pet. It only involves you thinking outside of the box to explore the possibilities available online. Just by simply filling out a form, your pet can enjoy a delicious treat.

Free Pet Samples offers a wide variety of completely free samples that you can get for FREE. Check out top product samples and learn how you can get more for less.

Helping Your Cat Express Its Creativity Through Scratching

Most cats enjoy scratching, there's no question about it.

And indoor cats are no different. Just because a tree is not available, it does not decrease their desire to "leave a mark on the world" by scratching. From a cat's point of view, chairs, sofas, and even the woodwork can serve as a good substitute. But cat owners often take a different view. They see scratching as a destructive behavior, and seek to redirect or stop it. In many cases, a scratching post can be a good compromise.

But even better, why not help your feline pal create original pieces of art you will be proud to display in your home or office?

Ever since he was a kitten, my cat Henry has always loved to scratch. He soon grew tired of the scratching post I bought him and went on tocreate interesting textures on the living room sofa and chair. I was determined not to have him declawed. So what was the answer?

I remembered hearing that a friend's cat liked to scratch a piece of carpet she had nailed onto the wall. So I went to the surplus store and bought a few pieces of carpet remnants.

It did not take Henry long to catch on. Almost as soon as I nailed the carpet up on the wall, he discovered that he really enjoyed scratching it. He was very pleased that it didn't turn over with him like his old scratching post sometimes did, and he enjoyed working with the
texture.

A few months later, when Henry had nearly scratched the carpet remnant to pieces, I decided to replace it with another strip of carpet. But instead of throwing the scratched carpet away, I decided to put a hanger on it and display it. After all, it looked like a modern piece of fiber art. It had long, fluffy loops of all lengths, and it looked like someone had spent a great deal of time creating it. (Actually they did -- only the "someone" happened to be feline!)

Last summer when I was exhibiting some of my own fiber art at the Bangor Public Library in Bangor, Maine, I decided to include a few pieces of Henry's work. The library patrons enjoyed viewing it, and were surprised to learn that a cat had created it! Within a few
months, Henry and his work were also featured in the Bangor Daily News.

If you would like to help your feline friend express their creativity, all you need are a few nails or screws and a strip of carpet that's at least 5-6 inches across and at least a foot long. Make sure that the carpet does not have loops that are cut, or your cat will only be able
to pull out clumps of fiber, and cannot make the beautiful loop-covered wall hangings he or she would like to create. Nail it securely to the wall, and watch what happens! If your cat needs a little encouragement, you can always rub the carpet remnant with catnip, or spray it with catnip spray.

Who knows what wonderful masterpiece your cat might create!

Anita Louise McCormick is a writer, editor, artist, and Reiki Master. She is also the agent and personal assistant of a very creative cat, Henry the Feline Fiber Artist! You can visit the website Anita created for Henry at http://henrythefelinefiberartist.wordpress.com to read his story, see a few of the wall hangings he created, and view a short video documentary about his work. Anita also has a website about her writing at http://www.angelfire.com/biz/AnitaMcCormick

Cat Playpens
Kitten Playpens

Dog Containment System Importance

Looking after your beloved dog at all times is your responsibility, and in cases when your canine’s behavior becomes uncontrollable, the use of dog containment system can be very useful. Leaving your dog unattended might cause troubles inside or outside your house. You can crate train your dog or put him in dog crates but it will not give him the freedom to roam around.

Besides pampering your dog, it is equally important to give him the necessary freedom and space where he can play and enjoy the beauty of the outside world while ensuring his safety.

Here are some of benefits of using dog containment devices:

With the help of pet containment systems such as dog exercise pens and dog kennels, leaving your canine alone will no longer be an issue! Dog containment devices can either be wireless, electronic or motorized that are installed in traditional fences or under the ground. They are generally portable and can be set up in a few minutes. Many pet containment systems available in the market these days are battery-operated and comes with a training collar that is placed around the dog’s neck. The collar has a receiver that detects when the dog is getting near the wire. Within this boundary, the collar will give a signal to your canine by discharging static stimulation.

Other systems are wireless and have constant radio signal to create a “safe zone” for your pet. Having said that, the primary benefit of using dog containments is that they have the ability to teach your dog to behave properly and stay only within specific locations. Electronic dog containment is also a lot cheaper than setting up traditional metal or wooden dog fences.

You can also prevent your dog from running away or stepping outside the house if you install dog containment devices. This can be particularly effective for controlling aggressive dogs that can destroy your neighbor’s property or attack passersby. You can also keep you dog away from valued properties and causing damage to the flowers, shrubs and other things in your garden or backyard. Dogs, especially puppies, are highly prone to getting lost when they venture out. In order to avoid such incidents from happening, dog owners must install dog containment devices.

Different Types of Cat Barrier

Cats, similar to dogs, are physically active domesticated animals and letting them roam around inside your house without supervision could cause damage and scratches to your beddings and furniture. If you want to prevent that from happening, the use of cat barriers such as cat doors, enclosure or playpen is very helpful to keep your feline friend in a safe and contained area. Such pet containment systems are also a great way to keep your cat away from aggressive dogs and other dangerous stray animals in the neighborhood.

Here are a few types of cat barriers and the many good benefits they can bring to you and your beloved cat:

Cat Doors
Cat barrier, in the form of a cat door, will allow your kitty to enter and exit the house in a safe manner. As you all know, cats are naturally territorial and they immensely enjoy playing inside and outside the house. If you have a small cat door installed specifically for her, it can make the life of your cat easier and convenient. Hence, there’s no more need to exert effort to open the main door at all times to let her out or in.

Cat Flaps
This unique feline door design will let your cat to enter and exit a house on their own without needing you to open the main door from time to time, while providing protection against wind, rain and other harsh elements.

Cat Enclosures
For outdoor use, cat enclosures are very functional to contain your cat in the backyard or the park. More than being a cage, this spacious cat containment system can serve as an outdoor feline barrier where your furry friend can play, run, exercise and rest safely while enjoying the beauty of the outside world.

Cat Playpens
For indoor use, on the other hand, cat playpens and kitten playpens are a great solution. This type of cat barrier provides a comfortable space for your feline pet to stretch out, move around and play inside the house, while preventing her to get in touch with fragile objects such as furniture and other precious decorations. Cat playpen is also ideal to use if you leave your cat home alone.

How to Solve Your Dog's Excessive Barking

If you are a dog owner, chances are you might be aware how frustrating it is to control your dog’s behavior. Some dogs get too aggressive to the point that they become disturbing and irritating to your family and your neighborhood, while others bark excessively for some weird reasons. Many dog owners find themselves clueless and unsure as to what must be done to solve this behavior.

Here are a few tips to help you solve your bestfriend’s nuisance barking:

The primary thing you need to check is if you’re giving your k9 all the things and necessities he needs. Barking is a natural behavior among dogs and they usually bark to communicate something with you. If their needs are not being met, the barking might be a cry or signal that he longs for your care and assistance. Always ensure that you give them the right amount of food and water everyday. You also have to clean after your dog.

Dogs could be barking because of irritation. Flea or tick infestations and skin allergies can cause your dog to make excessive noise. Taking your dog to a veterinarian can help you determine whether or not he is healthy and free from any canine diseases.

If your beloved pet barks a great deal, you might observe that they are either bored or energetic. Don’t let your dog be confined inside your house, instead, take him outside where he can play and interact with other dogs as often as you can. You can also train him using tools such as dog training crates and dog exercise pens. A dog that is properly trained to socialize with people and other animals will not bark excessively. Training your dog is a great way to improve his physical and mental stimulation. Dogs naturally enjoy the outdoor and like to experience new things. The barking problem may be solved when the dog is taken on regular walks.

By and large, dogs bark for they beg for a little attention. So don’t be rude. Never yell, hit or scold your dog when they are barking. These kinds of reaction can aggravate your k9’s anxiety. If your dog barks because he is stressed or lonely then your yelling is just going to confuse and hurt him.

Along with these behavior modification methods, you may also try using some gadgets that are designed to address the barking. You can buy bark control collar and other training collar equipment that will quickly train your canine to stop his nuisance barking.

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Dog Leash Training

Dogs walk faster than humans can. Naturally, if you put them on a leash, they'll start pulling to get to whatever they're looking at faster. A dog, having what is called an opposition reflex, would lean on a pressure it feels on its neck and chest. Understanding this makes it clear that if you want to have a leisurely walk with your dog on a leash, you must begin dog leash training while your pet is still a few weeks-old puppy.

Begin by allowing your dog time to get used to the collar around his neck. When you put it on for the first time, your puppy will scratch, roll around or try to get it off. Make sure you fasten the collar securely and don't remove it when the dog is trying to. When he finally calmed down and shows signs of being comfortable with it, you can remove the collar for a short while. This teaches the dog two important things: first, that the collar won't come off when he wants it so he'd best get used to it and second, the collar is not a permanent attachment. Check the collar regularly to make sure it isn't too tight. Your dog grows in size and you need to adjust the collar regularly.

When the dog is ready, attach a leash to the collar and allow the dog time to adjust to the leash. Allot a few minutes every day to for leash training with your puppy and have some treats handy. Your goal is to be able to walk around with your dog on a leash without him pulling at the other end. This means you should be able to stand still with your dog and walk around at your pace, not his.

To get started, fasten the collar securely around your pup's neck and attach the leash. Hold the other end securely. Try and have the dog stand still beside you. When he starts to wander too far and pulls on the leash, call the dog back to your side and reward him with a treat when he does. When he finally is able to stand still beside you for the time you wish to, you can begin walking him around. When he wanders too far to the point of pulling on the leash, call him back to your side. Pull on the leash if needed. When the dog returns to a comfortable distance - walks beside you without pulling on the leash, reward him with a treat.

Do these training exercises with a reward system for several days or weeks or until your dog learns to consistently respect the leash. When your dog is finally able to stand still beside you or walk around your house or backyard with a loose leash, reward your dog with a lot of praise, hugs or pats and some treats. He is ready to be taken out for a walk.

Remember that to condition your dog to respect the leash, focus on allowing your dog to progress forward when the leash is loose. If you allow your pet to proceed forward when the leash is tight, you're teaching him to pull.

Pet Safety for Traveling in the Car

1. Preparation: Don't wait for the last minute! When you put it all together at the last minute that creates more anxiety and tension for your dog as well as you! When you are prepared your dog will have a more normal experience. If you planning to make hotel reservations there many pet-friendly hotels to choose from.

2. Car Safety: Items to consider having depending on your pet's size and ability to ride in the car staying safe for both them, passengers and you: Pet Carriers, Car Barriers, Car Seats, Car Seat Belts. If you need to order any item on line, make sure you do it in plenty of time. If you are planning on going to a local pet store, again do it in plenty of time...for if they don't have it and your pressing the clock, the anxiety is already high and you haven't even left for your trip!

3. Take a long walk before driving off! A recently exercised dog will be in a more relaxed state during any long trip.

4. If your pet needs extra calming, instead of drugs from your pet's vet, you may want to consider Lavender Scent. Any health food store has that and will not make him/her disoriented or feel uncertain during the trip.

5. Make sure your dog has access to water – enough to keep hydrated but not full. Bottled water is perfect. If you need feeders there are many to choose from that are effective and very low cost.

6. Don't forget to bring your dog's food, favorite toy and blanket to keep them happy and balanced.

7. Make sure your dog has clear and effective identification. Be sure that the identification has your contact information while you are still away from home.

8. Put together a doggy first aid kit for the trip. If you are not sure what that may include it's best to call your vet for he or she knows your dog!

9. Always use a leash and stay with your pet at all times. Dogs are very curious and in new places may try to run off and explore. If you have trouble walking your dog any time you may want to consider mastering how to control your dog. If you need help in this area of controlling your dog in public feel free to email TravelinPaws and we can give you additional information.

10. Never ever leave your dog or any other pet or child in a hot car even if you roll the windows down. A car in the sun can reach temperatures of near 200 degrees causing heat stroke and even death to pets & humans left in them.

11. Never leave your dog alone and unattended in his or her carrier. Unfortunately kidnapping of your dog is a very real possibility. You may want to consider a GPS system to ensure your pet's safety.

12. Ensure your dog has the chance to potty every few hours. We have noticed when the owner is calm and relaxed throughout the trip (and that includes the preparation!) the dog will also maintain a calmness. It is common in unfamiliar places like this your dog's regular potty schedule will be interrupted and you don't want any embarrassing issues. If traveling to a theme park check with employees about places setup for your dog to potty in. Most will have areas around the park for you to use.

13. Take a break every hour. This will allow them to not only relieve themselves but keep the circulation on all vital organs. Plus, they will learn by smell that they are going to a different environment. It is important for a dog to experience the different temperatures, smells, and feelings that come with a new environment. This will help make them feel that they are part of the process of moving to a new area. Once the sun goes down, you can go eight hours non-stop!

14. Once you arrive at your hotel, or family/friends home, take your dog for a walk! If you are not sure where to go, ask the pet friendly hotel.

If you are driving to the beach:

1. Know the local laws. Not all beaches allow dogs! If they do, make sure you know if you have to keep them on a leash at all times or not.

2. Sunscreen: it's not just for people. Pups need protection too! Talk with your veterinarian about protective goggles and canine sunblock.

3. Protect your dog from fleas. Sand fleas are abundant!

4. Get a Condition Check on the weather and ocean tides, undercurrents and Sea lice, jellyfish. All of these factors can pose just as much of a threat to dogs as they do to humans. Before you let your dog roam, verify with a lifeguard that the environment is safe.

5. Never let your dog drink the ocean Salt /bay / or lake water! Keep your dog hydrated with fresh water. Salt water can make them sick. Please watch for signs of dehydration. You may be use to being out in the sun and water, but your dog may not. Watch for signs. Sand and heat can make a normal exercise routine more strenuous. Trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, call your dog back to rest in a shady spot.

6. Watch them at all times, for you don't want them to eat things that wash ashore, like dead fish, fishing lines, plant life.

7. Be prepard to pick up after your dog! Keep the water and beach area clean for others. Respect goes both ways and it is noticed.

8. When you and your dog are done for the day give him/her a bath with fresh water. Find out if the beach has an area to do exactly that before going back to the car or hotel. If not, find out from the hotel where the best place is. The chemicals and sea water can be harmful to your dogs coat and general well being.

These pet safety tips will help you and your best friend in having a safer, happy and balanced trip. Just remember to stay calm and positive with your dog and everyone will benefit. Stay safe and have an awesome trip!

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