What’s With All That Scratching!

Have you noticed your dog or cat scratching their ears, chewing at their tail or licking their paws more than they normally do lately? Yep, it is allergy season and for some pets, this is the start of the season of misery. All climates have allergens and they are usually harmless to most pets, but for dogs with allergies, their bodies have a severe reaction to them.

Humans’ allergies typically engage the respiratory system, but dogs and cats allergies normally present as skin irritations or inflammations, otherwise known as allergic dermatitis. The skin can become dry and itchy. Hot spots can develop when an uncomfortable pet continues to scratch and bite at their skin. They become red, sensitive to touch, the hair can become very thin or fall out all together and open soars can develop. Allergens can be problematic when ingested, inhaled or contact a dog’s skin. Dogs and cats can sometimes cough, sneeze, and have watery eyes and a runny nose very much like a small child with a cold.

Does your dog or cat scratch at their ears, shake their head a lot of have hair thinning around the ears? Well there is usually a reason. The ears can become problematic for a pet with allergies. The ear canal (more often in dogs than cats) can become itchy, inflamed or develop a yeast or bacterial infection. Some pet owners complain that their pet/s have generalized redness around the eyes, nose, chin and paws.

Dogs and cats share many of the same allergy symptoms:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy back or base of tail
  • Paw chewing/swollen paws
  • Itchy, sometimes infected ears
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/06/22/pets-seasonal-allergies.aspx
http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/allergies-dogs#1
http://pets.webmd.com/cats/cat-allergy-symptoms-triggers#1

Classic Signs Your Pet Is Depressed

Do you have a dog that’s depressed, or has been in the past? Or have you had a pet that has or had been depressed and didn’t know about it for quite some time? We have several notable physical signs to monitor your pet’s behavior and to detect if they may be depressed. Here is a list of observations that could help you determine whether or not your fur baby is depressed or not:

  • Usually the first and obvious sign is less or altogether stopping of eating or drinking. This will affect your pet’s health overall, if not treated as soon as possible or accurately.
  • Chewing and Destroying Items- This behavior not only affects your pet, but your household, along coveted and cherished items/pieces in your home. Boredom and depression play large factors in chewing and destroying things.
  • Using the Bathroom in the House or Outside of the Litter Box- While many times pets do this is because of their mad or angry, they can also be expressing sadness.
  • Zero of Loss of Interest in Activities- This signals low feelings and sadness in pets. Maybe they may use to love to walk, run or play ball, or chase their feather toy and now they have no interest in those things anymore. Be alert to your pet’s behavior, especially when they go from doing the things they love to having no real desire to do them at all.
  • Less Tail Wagging- If your dog is no longer tail-wagging, be aware that something’s up. A happy tail wagging usually means a happy dog, and the same is meant for the opposite of he or she being sad or depressed.
  • Hiding- If your pet is hiding more often than usual, and rarely coming out for cat scratches, belly rubs, or petting, your pet is probably depressed. 
  • Needs Constant Companionship- If your pet is craving constantly pet-human bonding at all times, beware that your pet is probably upset that you’re not around. When you are around and you begin to leave, they start crying, whimpering or become anxious. This is also a form of separation anxiety.
  • Too Much or Not Enough Grooming- Of course it’s normal for your pet to groom themselves, yet excessive grooming is not normal, and is an indication of physical and/or emotional issues. Too much grooming can cause skin infections and an upset stomach from ingesting excess hair. Animals who won’t groom shed excessively and also have hair issues.
  • Increased Vocalization-Since pet’s can’t talk about how they feel or what bothers or hurts them, they bark, whine, growl, hiss, or meow, and moan with increasing measure in order to express themselves. This is their way of telling you something is wrong.
  • Do you notice any other signs in your pet’s decrease in activity level? Have you experienced more or less symptoms with your pet?  We want to hear from you. Let us know in a comment on this post! 

Article Source:

https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/problem-behaviors/warning-signs-of-dog-depression
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/pet-advice/dog-cat-depression#slide-9

The Best Health Tips for Dogs

These suggestions are great for creating and maintaining a healthy routine for your dog.

Food and Nutrition– Let’s face it. It’s hard not to give your dog treats from the table when they are staring at you with those big, sad eyes begging for food. But feeding your dog table scraps can be a bad habit. Too many foods that humans eat are dangerous for dogs causing upset stomach, gas, diarrhea and possibly a costly trip to the vet. Always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog human food. It is important to maintain a solid nutritional regiment. Some human foods can actually be healthy.

Exercise– Pets can be very active, especially puppies, and we should take the initiative to become actively involved with the exercise maintenance of our pet. Especially for larger and more active breeds, exercise is almost a necessity or your pet will become bored, get separation anxiety and possibly begin destructive behaviors. With any outdoor activity, such as walking or running, always make sure your pet is on a leash. Eventually, you may possibly want to mix up walking/running with hikes or bike rides. Playing fetch or ball is also a great bonding technique.

Train Your Dog! – Come on folks, spend the money. It is worth its weight in gold to get a trainer for potty training proper behavior and socialization. Far too many pet owners end up wanting to find a new home for their pets because they failed to get proper training to break habits like:

  • Jumping
  • Tearing up furniture
  • Licking or biting
  • Excessive barking
  • Digging
  • Humping on guests
  • Stealing food
  • Aggression

Techniques learned during training can be reinforced by playing games and teaching new tricks. Having a well-mannered dog can significantly increase the happiness of your home.

Visit the Vet– Taking your pet to the vet ensures the longevity of your pet’s health and life. Your veterinarian also provides routine tests, vaccinations, and a physical exam that your pet needs. Always maintain monthly or yearly check-ups with your pets and don’t ignore new lumps and bumps that might appear as your dog ages.

Don’t Forget the Pearly Whites– Just like we have to brush regularly, so does your dog. Brushing your dog’s teeth, gums and tongue can insure that your dog does not get a case of ‘yuck mouth’. Plaque and tarter build up can make your dog’s breathe smell like death, not to mention cause gum disease and other very serious issues. Use an old toothbrush to combat bad breath. A regular soft adult toothbrush for large dogs and a baby toothbrush for smaller dogs will work. You may also use a finger brush (although they do not work as well); dental chews and water supplements to make your dog’s dental care easier. Start slow and build up. Brush in a circular motion. Try brushing the top teeth one day and the bottom the next. Be sure to use toothpaste intended for dogs and fluoride free since fluoride is toxic to dogs.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/18/healthy-pet-tips-cat-dog-puppy-kitten_n_2503145.html slides 2 and 3

Litter Box Tips & Tricks

Do you ever wonder why you cat poops in places other than their litter box? Or maybe your cat digs around but never actually goes in the litter box? Do they void the box like the plague? If this is the case, here are some tips that might inspire your cat to use their own litter box rather than your hardwood, tile or favorite carpet.

  • Make sure the litter box is clean! Felines are incredibly fussy about their living space being clean. If there are two cats in the home, there should be two litter boxes. The litter should be scooped daily and the their entire box cleaned out at least once a week.
  • Privacy please! While you want your cat to have easy access to their box, definitely keep it away from their food and water in a low traffic area in the house.
  • Use your nose! It seems like today you can buy everything scented. Just because that wild berry scent smells good to you doesn’t mean your cat is going to like it. Try an unscented clumping litter.
  • Many of the fancy new boxes are now covered, but your cat might find it to be scary, especially if you own another cat or dog that sneaks up behind them. A covered litter box could make them feel trapped because there is only one way in and one way out. A covered box could also contribute to the consolidation of strong odors.
  • Size does matter. A standard litter box is perfect for a kitten, but it might not be suitable for a large tabby cat or Maine Coon. Larger cats need extra large litter boxes. And, you might have to think outside the box (literally). According to Arden Moore, author of Fit Cat: Tips & Tricks to Give Your Pet a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life, giant cats need larger litter boxes more comparable to a sweater storage box with higher sides. Conversely, a kitten, senior or special needs cat might need a box with lower sides.

These are basic tips to improve your cat’s litter box culture, but if it doesn’t, seek out a veterinarian. There could be a hidden medical condition that needs attention.

http://www.fireflybooks.com/index.php/catalogue/adult-books/nature-and-scie…

Moore, Arden: Fit Cat: Tips & Tricks to Give Your Pet a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life