Sunday, September 15, 2019

Life-Threatening Bugs to Be Aware of (A Guest Post)

It's been quite a while since we've had someone do a guest post for us. And we're truly sorry for not visiting you guys. Don't worry! Them goggies are in SUPER condition. 

We've had a few bumps in the road-- Chooey's eye surgery, Baby Girl's spaying and surgery, Asti's corneal ulcer due to old age... and Cheetos (don't get me starting with Cheetos). I got battle scars: attempted bites, scratch marks, and nail punctures.


Thousands of dangerous insects and bugs present today could harm you, your family, and even your pets. They could be living in your home right now. To prevent any life-threatening events, you need to be aware of some of the common dangerous bugs. Once you know more about them, you can avoid interacting with them and do whatever it takes to exterminate them.

Black Widow

A black widow is highly poisonous and has a venom that is 14 times even more potent than that of a rattlesnake. Though the death rate when bitten by this spider is 5%, they do cause several symptoms that may kill you if not addressed quickly. Here are some effects of getting bitten by a black widow:
  • muscle aches
  • nausea
  • difficulty in breathing
The good news is, they will not try to bite you unless they feel threatened. Also, you will not feel any pain. However, you might not notice it because of the same reason. Children who weigh under 15 kilograms and the elderly need to avoid interacting with a black widow at all costs since they are most vulnerable. People with heart conditions are also at higher risk of suffering from severe symptoms.

Fire Ants

As the name suggests, these ants are red and attack people with both a sting and bite. You will need to avoid fire ant mounds as these mounds will contain more than 100,000 of these bugs. Once they've latched on people, they will continuously inject histamine, which is their venom, into the body. They will only stop once you brush them off or kill them. Its sting may not be life-threatening, but the infections that may occur because of it may be unsafe. If you get bitten, you may experience one or a couple of these:
  • pain, swelling, itching, and redness of the puncture site
  • excessive sweating
  • slurred speech
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
Kissing Bug

You can find this bug mostly in the southern part of the United States. The kissing bug carries with it Chaga's diseases. You may suffer from this condition when the insect delivers its feces into your bloodstream. Chaga's disease will cause severe symptoms, like:
  • body aches
  • swelling and redness at the bite site
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • nausea and vomiting
  • liver enlargement
  • edema around the eye
  • heart failure and other conditions

Ticks

Ticks bring with them various kinds of infections. The most common ones that people know of are Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. However, they could also infect you with other viruses and bacteria like Heartland virus, Possawan virus, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. All of these infections can be life-threatening not only to you, humans but also to your pet companions.

Asian Giant Hornets

This strain of hornet is the biggest and deadliest one in the world yet. You can find these scary bugs, mostly in Southeast and East Asia. However, you may also encounter them in Virginia and Illinois. The Asian Giant Hornet has such a potent venom that can damage your blood cells, which could lead to kidney failure. If you do not get it treated swiftly and correctly, you may die. These giant hornets are attracted to your sweat and the taste and smell of alcohol and sweets.

Arizona Bark Scorpions

Not all scorpions have potent venom, but those that do can kill a person. The Arizona Bark Scorpions are one of the most dangerous scorpions that you can find in the United States. You can search for them in the Sonoran Desert, which is in Arizona and California. These scorpions don't have the best vision, and they rely mostly on their sense of smell and the vibrations they feel. If you get stung by this scorpion, you may experience:
  • painful swelling at the sting site
  • difficulty in breathing
  • muscle spasms

Puss Caterpillar
If you see something that looks cute in the wild, try to restrain yourself from touching it. It could be a puss caterpillar, which has strands of hair coming out from all sides. These hairs are toxic that will stick on your body and can cause a very painful reaction. It is known to be the most dangerous caterpillar in the U.S. Once you get stung, you will feel immediate pain not only on the infection site but even in your bones. Also, the sensation will rapidly worsen. Looks really can be deceiving!

Africanized Honey Bees

The other name for these species is a killer bee. This strain was the result of the accidental cross-breeding of African honey bees and European honey bees many years ago. You can now encounter these deadly bees in southern Texas and San Francisco. The problem with this hybrid is that they react much faster when disturbed. They could attack any living creature that creates colony disturbance at a much more aggressive way compared to other species. Once you remove the bee's stinger and venom from its body, it will immediately die.

Brown Recluse Spider

For those of you living in the Southeastern and Midwestern states, be cautious of these spiders. They look different from other species as they don't have eight eyes, and has a violin pattern on their backs. Good news for you is, they will not attack you if you do not aggravate them in any way. They hide in warm and dark environments, so there is a possibility that they could be living in your closets.

Precautionary Measures

To avoid any life-threatening events, you will need to be more careful and be more aware of your environment. Your home could be harboring some insects, arachnids, bugs, etc. that may be harmful to your health. Try to have an exterminator come and check out all parts of your house regularly.

Also, you need to know more about what kinds of insects are in your state. You need to be aware of these pieces of information to discover what you need to do to avoid them and when you get bitten by them.

For your pets, take a step further by buying them the best flea and tick shampoo. If they use this shampoo, both you and your animal companion will benefit from it.
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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Helping an Adult Dog Adapt After Moving (A Guest Post)

Recently, we've been busy with offline life. One of my friends asked if I could help him find a dog for his kids. To my luck and surprise, I was able to find a juvenile dog from a good breeder. Unlike puppies, they're a little more challenging to transport from one place to another. We've had obstacles like ship travel cancellations, pet embargo issues with plane (Shih Tzus are no longer allowed to ride the plane, by the way), and other hiccups like the pup's absence of anti-rabies vaccination. Since Benjie, the Shih Tzu, was registered here in our city, anti-rabies shots are free. However, the sticker for the Rabisin vaccine was not given to us by the City Veterinary Officer. We had to go back and ask for it, so Benjie (along with his quarantine papers) is given a shipping permit and can travel along with other doggies.

Just relaxing with his new owner on the bunk bed...
Moving house is never easy, not for humans and not for dogs either. If you've got a pet pooch and are planning to take him – and everything else – to some place new, then we’ve got the low down on how to help him adjust to his new environment in the most painless way possible. Read on to find out more.

Plan Ahead

To ensure your dog adapts to moving house, there are a number of things you should do before the big move. Plan ahead, and you will avoid unwelcome surprises later on down the line. Check the local laws in your new area: if there are any breed bans, different leash laws, what licenses you need to own and so on. Also make sure your landlord or neighborhood associations will accept your breed of dog. Make sure your dog has I.D and is microchipped, in case he runs away from (his new) home. Organize a new vet, and do your research into whether your dog will need any new vaccinations or preventative medication.

Shih Tzu Travelling by Ship in the Philippines
Prepare your beloved canine for the big move by crate training him in advance! You can easily do that by first utilizing a puppy playpen to get your dog used to crating and then moving on to using an actual crate. Because your pup won't be too keen if he's forced to go in a crate for the very first time on moving day. Also start packing and putting boxes out ahead of time, so that by the time the big day arrives he is used to it. Again, you don't want to put your dog in a tizz by packing up the whole house right before you go. If you are down-sizing to a smaller home or apartment (or doing the opposite), your dog will probably have to play by a different set of rules once you move. For example, you might be living closer to neighbors now, in which case your dog won't be allowed to make as much noise. So you should start training him for that well in advance.

Also check with your vet to see if he can give your dog any anti-anxiety medications during the big move: you will probably want to trial one or several of these beforehand.

On moving day

Once moving day itself comes round, it may be a good idea to have your pet absent from proceedings. Boarding your dog with a good pet sitter is a good way of shielding him from the chaos of the move. He will have to be packed eventually though, and when doing that, try to make the experience as painless and as comfortable as possible for him. Pack plenty of towels, treats, bedding and his favorite toys. A good idea is to bring the smell of the old, familiar house with him using these items. Make sure your dog's cage or container is properly ventilated and secure, in order to prevent the possibility of any escapes. Try to feed your dog lightly on the big day so that he doesn't get sick during the journey.

Adjusting to the new home

Phew! Moving to a new home made some doggy so tired.
Immediately after arriving at your new home - this is the time that a dog is most likely to escape. So make sure escape is impossible, first by locking all the gates and ensuring the fences surrounding your home are secure, and by keeping your dog on a leash when exploring his new territory. Re-create as much as you can the set-up at your old house, so that the new living space is still somewhat familiar to your pet. Retain the old walking and feeding schedules. When getting to know the new neighborhood, broaden your dog's horizons very gradually, so that he is not overwhelmed. And make your dog's new life fun! Be sure to reward him with plenty of treats, snacks and games: before long he will not miss his old life at all, because the new one is so enjoyable.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Benefits of Grooming your Dog

Many dog owners work hard to make sure that their pets enjoy a treat at a professional groomers’ salon.

Some even prefer to do this at home by investing heavily in the best shears for dog grooming as well as other tools that help to do the job in the proper manner.

For many people, grooming is just a process that makes their canine glow. What you may not know is that there are numerous other perks that come with the process as outlined below.

Health Check

Your furry friend gets a good health check when it goes through the grooming process. As you are brushing its coat, you can notice any suspicious lumps or bumps that may be hidden by the fur. This will also help you to identify any mats that may be making the mutt feel pain or great discomfort.

The crucial process can prevent the infestations of ticks and flees. As soon as you spot them remove them safely from the pet as you take further action to make sure they do not become a nuisance anymore.

As you brush the dogs’ teeth regularly, it becomes easier to note if there are any bleeding or sore gums as well as bad breathe that may be as a result of health issues. Trimming nails can assist the groomer to know if there is anything that is caught in between the paw pads or whether there are any sensitive spots.

From today, you can think of grooming as a regular health check as well. Discovering health issues sooner can save your furry friend from a lot of agony as the vet will be able to quickly take care of it.

Socialization

Grooming your canine can help the pup or the adult dog to get used to being touched. You and your four-legged buddy will get more acquitted as you lavish it with lots of love and attention going through the grooming process.

Photo by Александр Гросс on Unsplash 
This works whether you opt for DIY or taking it to the expert groomer. At the groomers, you can also help to keep your companion calm as the professional does the magic. This is something that is bound to strengthen the bond between you and your pet to enjoy a more fulfilling relationship.

Keep Your House and Surroundings Clean

When your pet is well-groomed, it will also contribute to the general cleanliness of your abode. Your pet will not have a chance to spread dirt and debris all over the house because it will always be clean.

Dirty nose

Grooming well helps to control shedding, so that you do not have to keep dealing with annoying hairs all the time.

Prevents Costly Procedures

Everyone is looking to save a coin in different aspects of their lives. Should you embark on the journey of making sure that you groom your dog often, you can end up saving loads of cash.

When you notice that there is something wrong with your pet, alerting the vet as soon as possible. This can help to solve the issue fast as you do not have to spend a lot of money on the problem. For instance, if you neglect the anal glands of your pet, they may fill up and end up bursting. This causes unnecessary pain and demands costly surgery procedures to treat.

Allows the Pet to Cool Off Well


Dogs typically cool off by panting as well as air circulation through and around their pads. Extra-long hairs can impair this ability. When you trim the hairs every now and then it can also prevent the pet from slipping on wood or tile floors injuring themselves.

Relaxation

The same way you crave and enjoy spa days is the same way your pet will enjoy a relaxing grooming experience. The pets get to kick back and bask in the pampering they deserve.



You cannot fault your pet for loving you a little bit more should you decide to allow them to experience this often. You can even find that they will try and remind you it is grooming time.

Dog treats, endless cuddles, bones, and runs across the parks are just some of the ways you can keep your canine pal happy and healthy. Throw in frequent grooming sessions and you will easily earn the award of best mum/dad or friend.
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

How to Secure a Dog Door from Intruders

Although a dog door is beneficial for the movement of your pets, it can also be a source of burglary and theft. A big doggy door can be a convenient way for thieves to enter your house.

Poppy 1991-2006
Just the right size to fit your dog...

Even if the burglars can’t fit through the pet door, it can let them open the main door of your house. However, the good news is that you can take some preventive measures to limit intruders from breaking into your place.

Fortunately, the manufacturers of these doors recognize the numerous potential risks associated with a dog door. So, let’s explore how you can prevent your dog door from becoming a source of liability.

Do Not Use a Door to Install a Doggy Door

If it is possible, you can try installing the dog door in a wall instead of in a door. This move will help in limiting the intruders from reaching a door’s interior lock.

Moreover don’t opt for a large dog door. Just choose the smallest size possible that easily fits your pet. In this way, it will become even more difficult for the burglar to enter your house.

Installing Advanced Dog Doors

Use technology to gain an upper hand on intruders by installing dog doors with electronic locks. An RFID chip can be installed on your animal’s collar to open the pet door’s lock.

The doggy door will only unlock when your pet approaches. It will stay locked in case someone (an intruder) does not have RFID access.

Although these types of door flaps are more expensive than normal ones, they can prevent theft which can cost you a larger amount of money.

A Security Alarm

Another way of using technology to your advantage is by getting a security alarm for your dog door. The alarm will sound when the weight sensors trip due to an unusual pressure on these sensors.

First, weight your dog and then set a limit for the weight sensors to trip and sound the alarm. This method is also effective for keeping out other stray animals from entering in your house.

Security Cameras

Security cameras have always been a good way of identifying thieves even after they have escaped. Moreover, they also make the burglars think twice before entering your house as they know they are being watched!

You can also make use of fake security cameras to trick the intruders into thinking that they can be caught due to the footage. These types of devices are similar in shape and size of actual cameras but they are just dummy objects.

cctv


No one would know that you are using fake cameras unless you tell them about it. So, make sure that you don’t inform anyone about your clever trick.

By making use of these precautionary measures you can keep even the most dedicated burglar out of your house.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

How to go camping with your dog (a guest post)

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash
Dogs are friendly, energetic animals that love nothing more than the call of the wilderness. Much like us humans, they enjoy being around nature (some dogs more than others, such as the Blue Nose Pitbull), jumping and running around, enjoying the freedom a forest or a waterfall gives you. This is why going outside the city for a while is great, not only for your furry best friend, but for yourself as well. It helps you connect with nature, bond with your dog, and get rid of daily life’s stress.

But, before picking up your camping gear and your dog and going on a great adventure, there are some things that you need to know first. They mostly have to do with your dog’s safety and well-being, so keep on reading to know more!

Photo by Savs on Unsplash

1.    Assess your dog’s personality

In the end, some dogs are just not made for camping. They’re either not great in the outdoors or are too aggressive to be around other pets and children. So, before going on a camping vacation with your best friend, make a honest assessment of his personality, and decide for yourself if camping suits him!

2.    Look for dog-friendly campsites

Not all campsites welcome dogs (even though they should, honestly), so make sure to do your research first before choosing a place. There is nothing worse than arriving to the site you’ve chosen and spotting a giant “No dogs allowed” sign at the entrance. So, do your homework, and look around camping forums to know where to go. 

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash
BringFido is a website where you can research dog-friendly campsites all around the world. Knowledge is only one click away, so make sure to use it!

3.    Make sure your dog is trained correctly

You might think your dog is well-trained, but is he “camp-trained”? This might come as a surprise, but just because your pooch is behaving at home, it does not mean he will do the same as soon as you arrive to the wilderness. Dogs are curious creatures, and yours will want to go around and discover his surroundings. They will go out of their way to satisfy their curiosity, which is why your dog should know campsite etiquette.

Your dog should be able to come as soon as you call him, either using his name or a dog whistle, and that, even if there are distractions around. The best place to train him to do that is at the dog park. In the end, when it comes to training your dog on campsite etiquette, the best thing is positive reinforcement. If you make your dog actually want to listen to you, then you’ve made it all!

4.    Take him to the vet before your trip

Taking a short trip to the vet never hurts, especially before a camping trip. Your best friend’s doctor will let you know if there are any special precautions you would have to take and will make sure that all your dog’s vaccines are up to date. The veterinarian can also help you make a list of what to take in your pet’s first aid kit instead of emergencies, which takes us to the next point.

5.    Always be ready for emergencies

You can do that by making a card that has important information on it, such as your address, your dog’s health history etc… You will also need to make sure that your dog’s tags are up to date, as well as his microchip. And finally, don’t forget to purchase a pet’s first aid kit, or make your own.

6.    Choose the right water and food bowls

Collapsible bowls are all the rage right now, and it’s understandable why. They’re practical, light, and easy to use. So, make sure to bring a couple for your dog’s food and water. Carrying them won’t be a problem, as they tend not to be heavy at all. Have some water on you at all time as well, since dogs need to be hydrated frequently, especially if you’re camping on hot summer days.

7.    Finally, don’t forget to have fun

Photo by Wyatt Ryan on Unsplash
Whether you’re the proud parent of a Great Dane or of a Husky Lab mix, camping with your dog will not always be an easy task, but it will be an enjoyable one. So, make sure to have a blast during your camping trip, and always take care of your dog!


Writer’s photo


Writer’s bio:

Hi, I'm Houda, a fulltime writer, traveler, and self-proclaimed dog person. I also make lame jokes, write poetry, and love eating weird food in faraway countries. Did I mention that I was a dog person? Yeah, give me all the puppies please.

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Be an Animal's Lifeline (a Special Guest Post)

Would you like to have a fuzzy, funny Chihuahua to sit in your lap and look at you with adoring eyes? Or maybe you're a cat person who wants to dangle a bit of yarn for a frisky Maine coon cat. Dogs and cats are both marvelous animals with a lot of love to give. If you would like to nurture a deserving animal, please adopt one from your local animal shelter.

Because shelter animals are well behaved

It's rarely ever that a dog or cat is ever given to a shelter because something was "wrong" with it. Sometimes, an owner might request that a pet be re-homed due to a change in living conditions, illness in the family or sudden change in the budget. At any rate, it doesn't matter why the animal is in a shelter. It's never their fault. There's still a lot of love in these beautiful animals. The shelter volunteers will work on an individual level with the new animals to learn what difficulties they have, if any, and figure out the best solutions.

Because you don't want to support mills

The mills that breed purebred dogs and cats care more about lining their pockets than lining their cages, resulting in abused, unsociable animals and unhealthy puppies and kittens. Please don't support these reprobates. Adopting is not only the most merciful choice, it's less expensive. It's a common misconception that purebreds are superior to mixed-breeds. The truth is, cats and dogs of mixed heritage tend to be hardier and healthier than purebreds. These hybrids have the best of every breed they're related to!

Because shelter animals are healthy

You can know this for sure; cats and dogs are healthier in shelters than they'd be on the street! The primary thing a shelter does for an animal they've taken responsibility for is to screen for health problems and do what must be done to cure the ailment. The cats and dogs at these shelters receive round the clock veterinary care plus volunteers to make sure they're free of parasites, groomed well and socialized to get along with people. Many shelters will provide assistance and information as a public service. What they want is a healthy animal in a happy home.

Because there's just so many of them

One of the best things about being a pet owner is watching them grow from a minute puppy or kitten and training them yourself. If you want this then shelters are not exactly short on puppies and kittens. If left to breed freely, one cat and her offspring could produce 420,000 kittens in seven years! A dog and her offspring likewise could have 67,000 puppies in six years! However, realize that senior animals need homes too. If you'd prefer a pet who's already been trained and is ready to enjoy the golden years with you, maybe the older dog is best.

If you think you need more reasons, please take a few minutes to read the following infographic.

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