Friday, November 25, 2016

How to Deal with a Cat-Aggressive Pooch (Guest Post)

Do you have a dog who constantly attacks your cat, to the point that you’re afraid to leave them alone together? Does your home often feel more like a war-zone than a comfortable and inviting place? Dealing with an aggressive dog can be a stressful experience, especially if you have children in the house. Dogs can be aggressive in many different ways; if you have a cat or kitten and your dog is less-than-thrilled about it, here are some ways you can make your home a more peaceful environment.

Introducing your dog to your cat for the first time


If you’re just bringing a cat or kitten home to your resident dog, ease into the introductions. Leave your cat or kitten in its carrier and bring your dog over for a meet and greet. If your dog immediately shows signs of aggression, take him out of the room, and keep them separated for a day or so; then try the process again. It may take a few tries to get your dog used to the new addition.

Once they both have the run of the house, there may be territorial issues. After all, your dog was there first, and your cat will naturally want to rule over all of you, including the dog! Your cat’s instinct may be to run away when the dog is near, and that will encourage your dog to run after it, as they are natural predators. They may see the cat as prey and your pooch will go into predator mode.

Is your pooch just playing?

Most dogs, particularly puppies, are playful by nature. They may just be wanting to play with your cat, but don’t realize that they are being too rambunctious or aggressive. To help solve this, have your pets play together when you’ve taken your dog out for a walk, or when your dog’s energy level is not at its highest.

Show your animals plenty of love and affection


No matter how old your pets are, or how long you’ve had them, they will get along better if you show them plenty of love and affection. Try not to show favoritism – for instance, allow your cat on the couch, but not the dog; or ignore your cat while paying attention to your dog. They each need to feel loved and needed by you; yes, cats are much more independent and may not appear to like the extra attention, but in reality, they need to feel loved just as much as dogs.

Feeding Time

If your dog is showing signs of aggression, having their food dishes in the same room could exacerbate the problem. It’s best to keep their food in completely separate rooms. Investing in an automatic cat feeder, or dog feeder can provide timely meals as well as portion control.

When giving treats, never exclude on or the other if they’re both in the room. Always treat them equally. This will allow your dog to see the cat as less of a threat.

Is your dog a sociopath?

That may be an extreme diagnosis, but some dogs can suffer from anxiety, depression and anti-social behavior just like humans. The difference is that dogs don’t often have access to medication or therapy like humans do.

If your vet has diagnosed your dog with an extreme personality disorder, it may be best to keep them away from other pets, for the sake of all involved. There are sprays and plug-in pheromones that may help with the issue, but it’s best to talk to your vet before self-diagnosing.

Get your cat and dog at the same time


In a perfect world, you would get your cat and dog at the same time, preferably when they are about 6-8 weeks old. This way, they would grow up together and there wouldn’t be any territorial issues. They still may get aggressive with each other from time to time (think of sibling rivalry!) but generally, they would likely become the best of friends.

But of course, this is not a perfect world, and if you have a feline addition to your family, your dog may be less than impressed.

Always make sure that your pets are in a safe environment – i.e. fully supervised, while they get used to the new order of things. When you are away, put your cat in a separate room with a door that they can’t get out of, or crate your dog (although don’t start crating him just because of the cat, or he won’t understand why he’s being crated, and may end up being even more aggressive.)

The good news is, that once your dog gets used to his new ‘playmate’ things around the house should settle a bit. They may never be the best of friends, but they will tolerate each other and life won’t be a constant struggle.


Author Bio:

Annie is the founder of MeowKai, where she and her associates write about cat behavior, health issues, and tips and tricks on how to get your cat to behave! It concentrates on creating the best life for you and your cat so you can enjoy each other’s company and build that trust that is so important between pet and human.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How Dog Adoptions Work (Guest Post)

Tristeza
Everybody deserves a good home.
Dog adoption is a process that entails acquiring custody of a dog and taking responsibility for the animal that was abandoned by a former owner or surrendered to an animal shelter or a rescue organization.


The Dog Adoption Process


The procedure to adopt a dog may vary in some ways from one animal shelter or rescue group to another, but the general guidelines on how to go about with a dog adoption are as follows:

1. Prior to taking in a dog, an applicant will need to visit nearby pet shelters and inform the management of his or her intention to adopt a dog.

2. Once a dog is selected, an application requesting for the adoption of the dog will be submitted.

3. When the animal shelter management accepts the request, a staff will then be assigned to visit the applicant’s residence to make sure that it is comfortable and favorable for the pet. Home visits greatly vary from one shelter to another.

4. A background check and character interview are then conducted to further assess the applicant’s capability to care for the pet.

5. After the application is approved, the applicant is then required to fill out forms and pay the adoption fee. The new owner can then bring the dog home.

Note: There are some instances that the background check and interview comes first—before the home visit.

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees are a necessary expense when obtaining a dog from an animal shelter. When a dog is sent to the pet shelter, its basic needs are provided by the shelter until the animal finds a new home. Shelters and rescue groups often cover initial veterinary expenses while it is being set up for adoption. Routine expenses in animal shelters include food and shelter, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, veterinary health visits and exams, deworming, heartworm tests, parasite treatments, microchips, collar and an identification tag, treats, toys, and other necessities.

Adoption fees go towards the cost of care an adopted dog has received while staying at the shelter. It is typical to base the adoption fee on the age of the dog being adopted. Depending on the type of organization, adopting a dog may cost none or it can be several hundred dollars. In many shelters, the adoption fee ranges from $250 to $450. Pet shelters and rescue organizations usually offer reduced adoption fees to individuals who adopt an adult or senior pet. These groups also hold special events wherein adoption fees are waived.

Best Friends Adoption Faire
Just one of the many events we can all support to find homes for pets that deserve them.

Where to Find Potential Pets

Adoptable pets are typically found in thousands of animal shelters and rescue groups all over the United States. Interested individuals can personally visit these centers to find a potential pet. Adequate time should be spent in choosing a dog. The ideal time is during the middle of the week when shelters are usually less crowded. When possible, repeated visits must be made to the shelter to observe for variations in the behavior of a potential pet.

Pet shelters and rescue organizations also offer online pet adoption. They maintain databases of animals currently housed in various shelters and rescue groups in different parts of the country. Among the most commonly used sites are Petfinder.org, Adopt-a-Pet.com, and TheShelterPetProject.org.


About the Author:


Stephanie is a freelance writer who resides in Gilbert, Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking and with her family.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Truth About Hypoallergenic Dogs: FAQ's Answered & Myths Debunked (Guest Post)

For many of us who suffer from allergies, sometimes the concept of having a pet seems out of the question, but for some people with sensitivities, there are alternatives. There are a group of dogs who are on a long list of breeds that are hypoallergenic. Basically, these are canines who shed very little or not at all and can be much less of a threat for those with allergies.

Ironically enough, some dogs themselves can suffer from allergies and may require special diets, sensitivities to things like gluten or lactose. Grooming products such as hypoallergenic shampoos can be helpful for canines who have skin conditions or other problems with fleas and ticks.


But there are some myths and half-truths out there associated with hypoallergenic dogs and how they interact with humans. In this light, here are some popular questions that often come up with these types of canines:

I heard only little dogs were hypoallergenic, can’t I get a big one?

This myth may have been perpetuated by those that believe since bigger dogs have more hair and surface area, they are likely to be more problematic. While this may be partially true, there are many large breed dogs that make the hypoallergenic list:

● The Bouvier des Flandres, also known as the Flanders Cattle Dog, ranges between 65 to 110 pounds.

● The Giant Schnauzer, cousin to the miniature version, can also reach 100 pounds.

● The Irish Water Spaniel is more of a medium-sized breed that generally weighs in at around 45 to 65 pounds.

● The Labradoodle, a mixture of Labrador Retriever and Poodle, dependent upon the size of the parents, this breed comes in a variety of sizes.


These are a handful of dogs that bear the distinction of being hypoallergenic and also includes the Standard Poodle, that is often bred to reach larger sizes. As with any sized dog, regular bathing and grooming seem to assist those with allergies, regardless of breed.

Since I’m only allergic to dog hair, wouldn’t I be safer with a dog that has fine fur like the dachshund?

Actually, this one is a little bit deceptive and since I’ve had many different dogs in the course of my lifetime, including a dachshund I had many years ago, I know differently from personal experience. My current canine, who is a rescued purebred Cairn Terrier, has very long hair (also on the list of hypoallergenic dogs), but hardly sheds at all. Compared to my former dachshund, who had very fine, short hair, I’m sure I still have dog hair from that weiner dog somewhere in my house and automobile, since she seemed to shed constantly.

Some people are only allergic to canine hair and/or dander, are there other dog allergens to consider?

A dog’s saliva, skin and teeth can also trigger allergic reactions in some sensitive people along with scratches from their claws. Another reason that obedience training, regular grooming, including trimming their nails and brushing their teeth, is so important.

If I groom my dog regularly and get one from the list, I shouldn’t have any problems, right?

Again, not necessarily, since as many allergy suffers already know, their reactions can differ day-by-day and in various environments, and the same is true for dogs. The best thing to do before getting any dog, hypoallergenic or otherwise, is to spend some time with them before committing to purchase or adoption. Not only can you get a better idea of their temperament, you’ll also see if you have any type of reaction to them.

With a little homework, a fair amount of grooming and forethought, anyone, even those suffering from allergies, should be able to find the perfect pet. Just because someone has allergic reactions doesn’t mean they should lose out on the opportunity of finding a new, four-legged, best friend.

This amazing post was brought to us by Amber Kingsley. She's a writer, travel junkie, coffee addict and an animal lover as well.  And I owe her big time for reserving this informative article for us FOR MORE THAN A MONTH!
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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Potty Training a Puppy 101

This post, although sponsored, brings me to a time when I had to teach each and every pack member the ways of the potty-trained warrior. 

As pup-parents, although not as difficult as child parenting, we have our ups and down when it comes to housebreaking, sticking to a routine, and ensuring that our dogs grow into good citizens. 

I do hope new pawrents get to read this post or our ancient post on the 5 "S" of Potty Training.

The Poop Position by Chuck D, CC-BY-2.0 
House training a young pup can be relatively easy, or a complete and utter nightmare, depending on the individual dog. Some puppies seem to “get it” fairly quickly while others can leave you tearing your hair out! How well you, as owner, are trained in potty training techniques is another factor determining how quickly your dog learns. Make life easier for you and your pooch by reading up on these potty training essentials.

Set a regular feeding routine

Feed your pup the same amount of food at the same times of the day and have him eat it in the same place. Whatever you do, don't leave food out for a puppy to eat when he feels like it. A puppy processes food really quickly and will usually need to defecate anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes after eating. So sticking to a routine is obviously going to help you lots when it comes to anticipating when he needs to go.


Puppies eat (like all other living things)... Use this to your advantage to anticipate their "potty" move.

Set up a safe toilet area

If you live somewhere with easy access to outside, then this area should definitely be outdoors. If not, then it may be a bathroom or laundry. During at least the first month of potty training be prepared to pick up your puppy and carry them to the designated toilet area to go potty following every meal. You should also do this immediately upon your pup waking up from a nap, immediately following a big drink of water, after they've been playing hard, if they whine during the night or in their pen during the day, as well as if they stand by the door to outside. Remember, a pup usually “goes” about every 45 minutes, so make sure you're around to anticipate this and prevent mistakes. 

Reward the pup for success

When he goes in the right place, a reward should be in store. This doesn't have to be anything over the top, just a positive reaction and perhaps a small treat will do.

Don't punish a pup

Don't ever punish a pup for a “mistake”. Remember, puppies are never fully potty trained until they are at least six months old. Mistakes will happen. Just clean up, without displaying any negative reaction. 

Interrupting a wee

If your pup begins a wee and you spot him doing so, you can sometimes interrupt it by moving towards him quickly, and startling him – but definitely not scaring him! Sweep him up into your arms and rush outside to the designated spot, and he will hopefully finish the wee there. NB. Don't try this with a poop, as puppies cannot stop themselves mid-poop - you will simply end up with a much worse mess to clean up!

At bedtime

Just prior to your going to bed, ALWAYS go get your pup and take him to the potty area. Doesn't matter if he's asleep or not, make sure to take him to the designated spot every single night. Same goes for first thing in the morning.

Tips from the team at Spoiltrottendogs.com.au, specialist dog carers.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What Cat Parents Can Learn From Dog Parents

Im the textbook cat lady everyone talks about. I interact with cats more than I do with people! So why am I here on a blog dedicated to dogs?

To humbly submit that cat owners can learn a LOT of things from dog owners.

In the world of four-legged companions, it seems that youre either a dog person or a cat person. Sure, there are those who love both, but there does seem to be a divide between the two pet worlds. In fact, many studies have shown that dog and cat owners tend to have different personality types. Dog people tend to be more outgoing, and cat people fit the cat lady bill by being introverted.

Of course, everyone is different (and I have had both dogs and cats throughout my life, so what kind of person does that make me?), but the general statistics make sense.

The consensus seems to be that Fido is outgoing and needs lots of attention and love from his owners, while Fluffy does her own thing while giving her owners a judgmental stare. An outgoing person would love to own a pet they can bring outdoors and interact with other pet owners, while an introvert wants a low-maintenance pet they can interact with whenever they feel like it.

No, I don't want to play with that dangly thing, your camera is much more interesting

However, if you think cats dont need any social attention, youre wrong! Cats still need plenty of attention, and can get separation anxiety just like their canine opposites. Think of it this way: antisocial people dont like attention as much, but they still do need some social interaction occasionally. Cats are the same way!

With that in mind, many things dog owners do should be done by cat owners as well, such as:

Playtime!

Cats are never going to catch a Frisbee if you throw it, but they still need playtime.  Just like you, a cat needs some entertainment to relieve stress and cure boredom. Cat toys are the perfect solution for many cat owners. Catnip, scratching poles, a fake mouse, and other toys tend to keep kitty busy for hours.


Peach garde sa souris (6)

But sometimes, a cat needs you to play with it. Cats are born predators, and they usually want something to chase and catch, which most toys cant provide. Thats where a human comes in! You can attach a toy to a string and wave it in front of your kitty until they catch it. A simple playtime activity like this will keep your cat physically and mentally stimulated.

foster_kitten0066

Dog owners are going, “duh, of course you play with them. What kind of monster are you?” I know! And that’s why I’m here because you guys can back me up in the hopes that my fellow cat parents get something out of this and start loving their kitties better!

Dogs often demand playtime and make sure they get their way, but the personality of many cats leave it up to the cat parent to remember. While forgetting is no excuse, it happens! And if we’re more conscious of their need to play by reading articles like this, then we’ll be more likely to remember.

Exercise!

Just like a dog, a cat needs daily exercise. For some, the idea of a fat, lazy cat is funny, but its no joke when the cat is faced with serious health issues. Cat obesity can cause diabetes, deteriorate cartilage, and shorten its lifespan quite a bit. Sometimes, playtime isnt enough.

Thats where cat owners should look at dog owners. Most dog owners take their pup out for a walk daily in order to give it a good workout. Walking your cat isnt as strange as it sounds, and many cat owners are giving it a shot.

yig-follow

If you do want to go for a “W-A-L-K”, as we used to spell so our dog wouldn’t go mental when she heard the word “walk”, make sure your cat is trained for the outdoors, buy her a collar or a harness designed for a feline, and start small. Take Mittens out for a walk around your yard. If she likes it, work your way up. Go to a park, or take kitty around the city. If she seems anxious and doesnt like the walk, dont force it on her. But you may find that your cat loves being walked, just like a dog.
But not all cats want to go for a walk, and that’s OK - the principle holds true.

Finding indoor games to play to give your cat the run around she needs is super important, and if only we could take the obvious cue from our dog-owning neighbours, we’d all be happier and healthier.

Petting!

Every dog owner cant keep their hands off their pup, and the dog seems to love it regardless of whats going on.

Cat owners, on the other hand, usually let the cat come up to them, or make it rub its head against their legs. There was one study misinterpreted by the media that said cats hated being pet, and that has caused some cat owners to be hesitant when petting Fluffy.

Dont be. Many cats see petting as a sign of affection, and if theyre purring as youre stroking their fur, then youre doing something right!

With that said, petting your cat is an art. There are some spots your cat loves being pat on, such as the head, and others it hates, such as the tail. Cats are different, so your kitty may have its own preferred spot, but this is the general rule. Pet it and see what it likes.

You can look...Also, if your cat doesnt want to be pet, dont force it. Some cats just dont like that much interaction, or they get in moods, just like you, where they dont want any attention. Study your cats behavior and see when its a good time to pet and when its not.


I can only imagine the happiness and general wellbeing improvement for cats across the nation if their cat parents would just smarten up and take a page out of the dog owner book. And why shouldn’t we be petting our cats? Studies even show that interaction and petting can relieve stress and be good for lower our blood pressure!

As I said before, cats need a lot less attention than dogs do, but like any creature, a kitty will get lonely if its owner ignores it. If youre owning a pet and not giving it any love, why own one at all? I make sure to give my kitties equal attention!



So while some cat owners may not be too fond of dogs, you better believe they can learn learn a few lessons from the pet owners on the opposite side. If youre not giving your cat enough love, make like a dog owner and get playing, exercising, and petting!
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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Haopee and the Pack Pupdates

Dear Friends, 

Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! We miss you soooo much and hope to visit every single one this week.

Suffice it to say, our offline life has been eating up so much of our day. Terms like non-taxable incentives, government deductions, and gross taxable income used to be foreign to me. Now, I have to entertain the idea of it like it's my long-time best friend. 

Accounting is really hard...
On the bright side, the dogs are always by my side when I exercise every other morning. And when I say "by my side", we're literally face-to-face as I proceed with my routine--them being my fitness coaches.

Please give time to get back to all of you. I know it's been such a hectic 2015. 2016 is no different. I still hope that I could catch up with everyone even with my long absence.

Regards,

Haopee and the Pack 
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