Here’s How To Make Cat Boarding Easier On You, Your Cat And The Boarding Facility

Since felines care to be confined as little as any other animal, if you plan on owning a cat and also plan on travelling, you need to prepare your cat for boarding. Cat boarding is an inexpensive way to ensure that your pet stays safe and well fed while you are away. However, if your cat is unfamiliar with confinement, it can make the boarding more difficult. Here are some ways that you can help your cat adjust to boarding beforehand.

Start Early

When you first get your cat as a little kitten, use a pet taxi or crate on a regular basis. Put soft bedding and toys into the crate to ensure your kitten finds it a safe and welcoming place. Place the kitten in their crate during the night and leave them free access to their open crate during the day. This will help encourage the cat to view their crate as their home and thus make it far easier to board the cat or travel with it in a crate.

It’s best to start from the time the cat is a young kitten, as adult cats do not adjust to crate training and boarding as well. The sooner you can begin to implement crate training, the easier it will be.

Regular Maintenance Checks

Most boarding facilities offer more than just boarding; you can also find clinical services such as vaccinations, de-worming and grooming. This ensures that your cat gets their health needs met as well as their temporary boarding needs.

You can do your part by familiarizing your kitten with being handled by a vet or boarder. Regularly handle the cat’s feet, look into their ears, nose and mouth and get the cat used to being handled for regular maintenance. This will make the transition to boarding easier on you, your cat and the boarding facility workers.

Most certified boarding facilities will actually require that your pet have current vaccinations, so be sure to keep the cat’s shots current and keep the records.

During The Stay

Prepare, too, for the possibility of the boarding facility having questions or an issue with your cat. Always leave your contact information and even itinerary with the boarder.

If need be, sign a waiver so that a boarding facility, like Academy Of Canine Behavior, can provide emergency medical treatment for your cat should you be unavailable.

By taking these preparatory steps, you can make cat boarding non-traumatic to you and your feline friend. 

How To Prevent Your Child From Getting Bitten By Your Dog

Many people who have dogs worry that their children may one day be at the receiving end of a canine’s sharp teeth. While tiny dogs may not be able to do any real damage, it only takes a second for something to go wrong with a larger dog and for your child to end up with a vicious bite, leading to an emergency situation. According to research, an average of one million dog bites occur in America each year alone– with 60-70% of those bites occurring in attacks involving children. Continue reading to learn more about how to protect your children and train your dog before the emergency occurs:

Teaching Your Child to Respect Your Dog

While some training can be given to dogs to help reduce the risk of bites (some details can be found below), it is also equally important to teach your children about respecting your pet. It’s certainly never okay for your child to be injured from your dog, but understanding that there are certain times that the dog may react differently will help your child to understand what’s safe and what’s not. The following gives you an idea of potential times when your dog may be more alert and on guard:

  • If a dog is feeding or helping her puppies in any way, she could give into a natural instinct of protecting her babies and lash out at anyone who makes advances towards them. While your child certainly doesn’t have negative intents with their approach, the dog may see a small child and react with fear, causing the outburst.
  • If the dog doesn’t belong to you, always get permission from the owner before allowing your child to pet it–while it’s nice to give the dog the benefit of the doubt, unfamiliar people can frighten some canines into behaving strangely. The owner will have a much better idea of their pet’s history and if it’s safe to pet.

Training Your Puppy Not to Bite

While a tiny puppy may not be able to do much damage (and may even seem cute while gnawing gently on your fingers), it’s best to teach him not to bite when he’s young. Since energetic puppies often roll around and bite each other as a friendly way to play together, some experts believe that it’s best to learn from nature itself.

If you watch puppies playing, you’ll notice that if one bites too hard, the puppy on the receiving end of the bite will bark painfully– leading the other to step back and feel sorry about the situation. After a moment of exchanging glances, they can begin playing gently again. In the same way, yelp loudly or make a loud sound with your voice when you believe the puppy is biting too aggressively. In the same way it happens in nature, the puppy should back up– reevaluating how rough to be with you in the future. (For dog training services, contact a company such as The Pet Spot Pet Resort)

Caring And Preparing For A Pet Desert Tortoise

A desert tortoise can be a great alternative to having a dog, cat, or rabbit. They have long lifespans and don’t require a cage. however, just like any animals, they do require some specific care. 

Providing For Special Tortoise Needs

1. Warmth. Tortoises are reptiles, and therefore cold-blooded, which means they need a warm environment to survive. They do best outdoors during the summer months, in a prepared enclosure. Your entire backyard, if fenced, can be an excellent enclosure for a desert tortoise.

During the winter, tortoises hibernate in a shelter. You should make sure the temperature in the shelter never drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In desert climates, like Arizona and New Mexico, this is often not a problem, but be sure to heed warnings about cold snaps and insulate the shelter, just in case. 

2. Food. Feeding a tortoise a poor diet can result in illness and early death, so it’s important to make sure that your tortoise gets only food that it is meant to eat. The best foods for a desert tortoise include:

  • grass. Tortoises are natural grazers, and they will eat grass at their leisure when they are hungry. You should provide ample lawn for them to eat– at least 36 square feet. 
  • flowers. If you want, you can plant a patch of wildflowers for your tortoise to add some variety to his or her diet. 
  • other green plants. Tortoises also enjoy eating dandelion greens and mulberry leaves.

If you have a hard time getting green things to grow in your yard, you can supplement a tortoise’s wild diet with produce such as kale, spinach, beet and turnip greens, wheatgrass, and lettuce. 

Tortoises are herbivores, and should never be fed anything that has meat, dairy, or eggs. They also should not eat foods high in fat or sugar–even if the sugar comes from fruit. Wild mushrooms and tobacco are poisonous to these animals, so try to keep your backyard free of them at all times

3. Space. Even though tortoises move slowly, they still need a lot of room for a habitat. Some experts recommend an area of about 324 square feet. They will not do well locked up in a cage, but are much happier if left to roam a habitat that has:

  • a fence. You can create a fence if you backyard is not already fences.
  • water. A small pond or water dish allow your tortoise to get what he needs.
  • shade and sun. A tortoise uses shade and sun to help regulate his or her temperature.

For more information, contact Cannon Valley Veterinary Clinic or a similar location.

4 Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe from Urban Wildlife

As more and more construction is being built on former wildlife habitat, animals such as raccoons and coyotes are becoming common in residential neighborhoods. In some areas, urban wildlife populations have risen to the extent that they pose a significant thread to household pets. Here are 4 ways to keep your furry friends safe from marauding wildlife.

Feed Your Pet Indoors

Feeding your domestic animals indoors will prevent pet food from attracting urban wildlife. Pet food should be stored inside as well. Outdoor water bowls can also attract urban wildlife, so empty these or move them indoors at sunset to avoid tempting thirsty wildlife.

Keep Pets Indoors at Night

Wildlife such as coyotes, raccoons, and black bears are primarily nocturnal animals, so sheltering your pet indoors at night will provide them with substantial protection against these creatures. Large, healthy adult dogs may be able to fend off the average coyote, but it’s really best not to take chances.

Keep in mind even if you don’t notice visual signs of urban wildlife, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t present in your neighborhood. Coyotes in particular are extremely adept at concealing their existence from humans.

Keep Your Yard and Garden Neat and Tidy

Messy yards with plenty of leaf piles and brush provide nesting areas for urban wildlife, so be sure to practice good hygiene in your yard and garden area:

  • Keep leaves raked and brush cut back
  • Keep compost bins closed up tight
  • Keep fallen fruit picked up—coyotes, raccoons, and bears are all attracted by apples, plums, pears, peaches, and cherries.
  • Pick your vegetables as soon as they ripen.
  • Clean your outdoor cooking area thoroughly after each use—bleach-based products will kill the cooking odors that attract hungry wildlife.

Establish Escape Routes for Cats

There are always exceptions to the rule, and even though most urban wildlife is nocturnal, coyotes, raccoons, and bears have all been known to prowl during the daytime. If you’ve got cats in your household who spend time outdoors, make certain that there are several different ways in your yard for them to access an escape route, such as:

  • A cat door that provides them with a way to get inside your home
  • A ladder propped up beside the house that allows them to access the roof
  • A cat pole designed especially for use as an escape route for felines fleeing predators. These can be purchased from pet supply retailers as well as from companies that sell home and garden products.

You should also never set up feeding stations for raccoons or other wildlife in your yard and garden area. Many people do so thinking that they are helping the wild creatures, but in reality, they are only endangering themselves and other household occupants, including domestic pets.

If your pet experiences any trauma or injuries due to the local wildlife, be sure to take them in to see a vet through resources like Andrew’s Square Pet Clinic. They can help ensure that your pet will heal and avoid contracting any diseases.

Keeping Your Pet Pest-Free Without Harmful Chemicals

Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors or live outside run the risk of getting several parasites. Unless you live with horses or livestock in your house, typically you are safe. However, dogs are the most prone to bringing home fleas, ticks, heart worms and round worms. Because some of these parasites, such as tapeworms, are not particular about who or what their host is, you could accidentally contract these same pests. Most internal pests must be treated with pharmaceuticals, but external pests, like ticks, you can treat or prevent without chemicals. If your veterinarian has not shared this information with you already, here are the best tick prevention solutions.

Keep Your Pet’s Fur Short

Long hair or fur is a favorite of ticks because they can burrow deep and remain undiscovered for several hours into their gorging. You can simply cut your hair short, put on a hat, tie back long hair and wear long clothes to cover your body. Your dog or cat is not so lucky. To discourage tick attraction, shave your pet’s fur really short. This also helps you spot ticks before they become too swollen with blood.

Keep Your Pet out of High Grass and Weeds and away from Evergreens

Ticks love evergreen trees, especially pines. They tend to lay eggs in these trees because evergreens often have easy prey for the tick’s offspring. They are also fond of hiding out in tall grass or weeds where rabbits and other wild creatures try to hide from predators. When your pet wanders through these areas, the ticks latch on and begin to burrow under the skin. To reduce the possibility of contracting ticks this way, keep your dog on a short leash and/or carry your cat. Better yet, just keep your pet away from these popular tick hideouts.

Green Solutions

There are several products on the market now that you can use on your cats and dogs. They contain no dangerous poisons or pharmaceuticals, but rather they work against the tick’s own nature. Some you can wipe, rub or spray onto your pet, while others are sonic radiators or electric bug repellers.

Other Ways to Keep Your Pet Pest-Free

Keep your lawn mowed very short. Trim the bushes on your property and fence off evergreens. Create a play space away from the favorite hangouts of ticks and use wildlife repellents to keep infected animals off your property. Also ask your veterinarian, such as someone at St Francis Animal Clinic PA, for any other preventive measures and treatments to keep ticks off your pet. It is a lot of hard work, but most pet owners feel more comfortable about these chemical-free approaches than they would applying a pesticide to their furry friends.