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Finding the Right Pet and Giving Them a Home

Posted June 18th, 2018 by daniel

A spirited welcome from a furry friend warms the hearts of dedicated pet owners across the planet, who would find it hard to live without the love and affection they get from their four-legged companions. You are in for a bit of work, though, as taking care of a dog or cat is not all fun and games. That’s why it’s important to choose the right one to adopt and prepare yourself for what’s to come. Here’s a little guidance to get started.

Picking the Right Breed

It’s unfortunate, but there are some animals that are just off limits. That’s especially true if you have an allergy to either dogs or cats, so get tested now before you wind up sniffling and sneezing every time your new buddy comes looking for belly rubs. Other ailments such as asthma mean you may have to find a breed of either dog or cat that produces less dander, which can trigger an allergy attack.

Do you live in a small apartment in the city with limited access to large park? That’s not as big of a barrier to making an animal happy as you think. For the most part, cats are content passing their time indoors, while some dog breeds only need to be brought outside once a day for a bit of exercise and to do their business. Of course, you’ll also want to consider your own needs in choosing your pet, whether it’s a ragdoll to stroke or a Vizsla to jog with.

Adapting Your Home

Your interior may need a bit of a makeover before your new friend arrives, according to the home design gurus at Homedit, though nothing too extensive. As you already know, cats love to climb, and you can help them be themselves by installing specially designed platforms to reach the windowsills and cross-beams where they love to perch. It’s a bold and stylish design made even more elegant by your fancy feline.

As for the dogs, they may appreciate a little space of their own where they can relax and daydream about chasing cars and squirrels. One item they would love is a soft bed for stretching their limbs, complete with some old pillows and a few chewable toys to sink their teeth into. While you’re at the pet shop, don’t forget to pick up a leash, a crate, and even a stroller to keep them cozy.

Getting Them Settled In

Settling in will take some patience, as pets generally aren’t too excited about moving to new places, and rescue dogs require special attention. They often exhibit signs of fear and anxiety due to the hard-knock life they’ve lived in the shelters and on the streets. The key is to plan ahead, say the experts at Dog About Town, with the dog’s own private space ready on arrival. It’s also important to set aside time to play and begin some basic house training.

Cats need a helping hand just getting through the car ride home, which can be a traumatic experience. Be sure to keep them tucked inside their carrier until you’re safely inside, where you can introduce them to their own little nook complete with food, water, and a litter box. It may take a month for them to fully adapt, during which time they shouldn’t be let outside under any circumstances, so the keep the windows closed.

Bonding for the Long Term

It may have been love at first sight for you, but your pet might need a bit of time before it becomes truly yours. You’ll make it easier for both of you by keeping a positive attitude and staying calm rather than pressuring your new friend into an unwanted belly rub or game of fetch. Your dog will also appreciate a regular routine, which means feeding, potty breaks, and walks at the same time every day.

That done, you can now consider the critter a member of your family and take pride in the fact that you’ve given them a wonderful home to live in, love in, and play in. Enjoy your new life together!

Image via Pixabay

Furbabies and Your Newborn: Is it Safe?

Posted May 25th, 2018 by admin

Nearly every parent has heard the stories of children being attacked or injured by animals. This is not to say that every animal is dangerous and should be kept away from children, but it is enough to give one pause about the safety of introducing your child- especially an infant- to your furbaby. Thankfully, in the large majority of cases, having your infant around your animals is not anything to be overly concerned about – but it might mean you have to make some lifestyle changes.

Can Your Furbaby and Your Babies Safely Co-exist?

The simple answer is, yes. However, it is often necessary to make changes in order to promote the wellbeing of everyone. Here are some things to keep in mind.

• While your baby is small, it is best to keep them apart. Keep the pets out of the room your baby sleeps in and never let your furbaby sleep with your infant.
• Dogs are curious but consider holding them back-or on a leash- as you introduce them. Cats, don’t usually get jealous but are often attracted to an infant’s warmth and have been known to try to sleep with/on them.
• Be sure to talk to your vet and be up to date on pet shots, so that all risks of diseases is minimized! Always, be sure that flea and tick collars are used so you can keep your baby from being at risk.
• Keep your furbabies’ nails clipped back, so as to minimize risk of germ transfer should they accidently scratch your baby!
• Many families find that using a safety gate to separate their pets from their babies – especially once the baby starts crawling/walking – is a safe way to protect the baby from unwanted pet attention.
• During, if not before, pregnancy begin training your pets on places where the baby will be, or perhaps start introducing barriers to spaces where the pet will not be permitted. Consider setting up the furniture for the nursery sooner rather than later and teach your pets “etiquette” for the future.
• Be sure to continue giving your pet plenty of attention after the baby arrives, so that it has no cause to feel jealous and become aggressive. You might even consider getting a few new toys or treats for your pet or even consider bringing in a pet sitter for a few hours a day to help provide extra attention for your pet.
• Never force your pet and your baby to be “best friends”. Remember even the most docile pet can become aggressive when provoked; babies and toddlers don’t understand that they can instigated the issue.
• Don’t allow your cat or dog to “kiss” your baby or toddler. Dogs and cats often sniff or lick other animals, debris or other unsavory places and allowing them to kiss your baby exposes your infant to additional germs.
• NEVER leave your infant or small child in a room with just your pet as a “protector”. There are too many things that can go wrong!

So, what should you do when it comes to your children and your animals? It really comes down to the type of animals you have, their temperament and, most importantly, your child. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to talk to both your pediatrician and your vet. That way you can make an informed decision that benefits all those involved.

Most of us don’t hesitate to take our cats to the vet to get the assorted recommended shots. After all, it is our goal to see that they are healthy and happy. So, as per the schedule, we load up our fur babies and head to the vet – rarely giving any thought to potential side effects of the shots.

However, in some cases (studies vary from 1 in 1,000 to I in 30,000) a cancer known as fibrosarcoma can occur as a result of the feline rabies vaccine. This cancer is a quick moving strain that first appears at the injection site (usually near the right rear leg) in the way of excessive swelling or lump that forms along the soft or connective tissues.

While some swelling is considered common, it should go down within a month’s time. However, if the swelling or lump does not disappear in this time, then it is important to seek veterinary attention. Swelling is not the only indicator that the rabies shot has been administered; other symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, and mild fever.

How Can You Protect Your Cat Against Cancer as a Result of a Vaccination?

If you are not supportive of the traditional approach to vaccines, but want to protect your cat, know that there are often recombinant vaccination options – for instance, some vaccines can be administered via the nasal passage or topically – that can be used to ensure your cat stays healthy but without the need for a shot. Some of the considerations a vet might take when determining if a traditional approach is necessary include identifying your cat’s specific needs, considering local epidemiological factors and updating you on any manufacturer’s instructions (it should be noted that there have been no studies done that have connected genetics of the cat are a factor).  If you are considering an alternative to traditional vaccines, then consider talking to your vet to learn about the choices available.

One other factor to consider, is how frequently the shot is given in a specific body location. Studies have found these connections between the rabies vaccine and fibrosarcoma:

  • Risk of sarcoma formation following a single injectable vaccination in the neck-shoulder region is 50% higher than for cats not receiving a vaccination.
  • The more frequently the injection is given, the higher the risk of cancer.
  • In one study, cats given two injections at the same site were 127% likely to develop cancer; cats given the injection at the same spot 3 to 4 times were 175% more likely to do so.

The biggest thing you can do to minimize risks is to talk to your vet about the location and frequency of the shots, then pay attention to how your cat behaves after the shot. If you feel that there might be a concern, you can request tests such as a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel. Should these tests reveal that is cancer, or potential sickness, the sooner treatment (surgery, radiation, chemo, etc.) is began, the better your cat’s chances to have a normal life will be.

The fact that a rabies vaccination can potentially cause a disease, is not reason enough to avoid pet shots altogether. Rather, having the shots needs to be approached with the knowledge that risk is a part of living. Before deciding not to have your cat receive the vaccination, you need to talk to your vet and discuss the specific risks as well as the benefits for your cat.