Posts for the Taking Care Category

How to Buy the Right House for Your Dog

House hunting when you own a dog can be a challenge. Your home must accommodate your dog’s needs as well as your own. You’ll also need to keep him safe while you move and help him adjust to relocating. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make sure that your dog is as happy as you are in your new home.

Selecting the Right Home with Your Dog in Mind

It all begins with choosing the right house that fits your family, your budget, and your dog. Here’s what you should consider:

Find the Right Realtor

From the very first step, you want to make sure your realtor has plenty of experience with selling homes to dog owners. Better yet, find one who has a dog. Of course, even that might not be enough. Rhona Sutter, president of Pet Protect, says a realtor should be knowledgeable about local pet ordinances and other rules that apply to your dog. “Also, when out looking at homes, listen for mentions of local pet amenities instead of just, ‘Great home, great price, must move quickly,'” she says.

Pick the Location Carefully

Make that you can comply with all homeowners association, apartment, or other rules and local ordinances regarding dogs. Conveniences can be important too. A nearby veterinarian can be crucial in emergencies, and pet stores and grooming shops will be helpful. While it might not be at the top of your mind, a nearby dog park can be an enticing feature too!

However, be aware that your dog can be in danger if he gets loose around a busy street. Always keep his safety in mind, and invest in things that have safety in mind. While a good fence can keep him from escaping, look into getting a GPS pet tracker just in case he manages to get free.

The Living Space Your Dog Needs

Every dog loves a backyard, but what size yard does yours need? Do you need a fence? Is the house itself big enough? If you have a puppy, you’ll need to consider how big he’ll grow – or not, depending on the breed. Michelle Christie, corporate affairs manager for Royal Canin South Africa says certain medium to large dogs, like bulldogs, can do well in smaller spaces.

Think About The Future

It’s also wise to consider future needs. What if his leg is injured? What will we do when he is elderly? You can buy a two-story home, but you should map out what you’ll do for your pet if he can no longer climb the stairs.

Other Pets

Local animals and pets can also play a key factor. Are there predators living nearby? Also, find out if the previous owner had a pet. Pets can leave behind dander, bacteria, fleas, and ticks, so clean and exterminate beforehand.

Helping Your Dog Adjust To His New Home

There are a few things you can do to make sure your dog is comfortable and happy with his new home.

  • Packing and relocating will stress out your pet. Take time to prepare him by getting him used to packed boxes and your new area, little by little.
  • Moving day is difficult for any pet. Make sure he is safe. You may want to leave him with a friend to ensure he does not get lost with all the open doors. Make sure to tire out your dog before the big move with a long walk.
  • Create a space just for your dog. Load it with his toys, blankets, and bed.
  • Give him a special treat and show him love — even after a tiring moving day. After all, you are his best source of comfort.
  • Help him acclimate by keeping the food and water bowls in a similar area as the previous house.
  • Don’t wash any of his blankets, beds, or toys as the old smells are comforting.

Your dog is more than just a companion — he’s a member of the family. Put his needs next to yours when buying a new home.

Common Pet Emergencies and What to Do about Them

We all love our pets. They are family, just like all other members and we want to care for them the same way. Pets don’t come with a handbook on how to take care of them, and we often need some help with getting used to all of their needs. But on the top of the list will always be their safety. However, emergencies do happen, and we need to be prepared in hopes to prevent those and know how to react if something does happen. So here are the most common pet emergencies and how to deal with them to ensure the safety of your pet:

Food poisoning

Pets tend to eat some weird things. Whether it’s the things that we happen to drop or throw away, or something they find on the street, eating something contaminated is the easiest way for your pet to get sick. As for inside the house, you should always be aware of where you throw your food and tie up your trash bags as well as have a lid on the trash cans. If your pets go outside in the street, keep a watchful eye and teach them when they are still young not to eat anything off the street because you never know if it might be contaminated. Next, you should know how to spot the symptoms: usually, you can’t miss them because they include vomiting or diarrhea. If you do notice anything wrong, take your pet to the vet immediately. Also, keep in mind that there are some food items that might make them sick, and if you notice a pattern, stop giving them those foods.

Environmental hazards

Pets don’t find it natural to live in small, enclosed spaces such as our homes, which is why they have to be trained or otherwise adjusted to the living environment. But you also have to make sure that the things that aren’t a danger to you also aren’t a danger to them, especially while they are small and still getting used to them. I had to call a local Sydney electrician to come and tuck away all of the cables above ground and within plastic guards so that my little pup doesn’t get to them and chew on them. This is a real danger, especially for younger, smaller animals, because an electrical shock could kill them. If they do get to the cables and get shocked, call your veterinarian immediately and closely follow what they say. Chewing on objects is a way for puppies to deal with teething, so to prevent them from chewing on things you don’t want them to, buy them plenty of interesting toys they can chew on.

Trauma

Any kind of injury caused by external blows is called trauma, and it’s very common in all animals. Any time they bump into a wall, break their paw or unfortunately get hit by a vehicle, it’s called trauma. The best thing you can do to prevent this is to constantly keep an eye on your pet when they are outside, never letting them off the leash unless they are in a secured, dog-friendly area. If something does happen, the only thing you should do is rush them to the nearest vet or animal hospital and have them checked out.

Having a pet is not a small responsibility and you need to take it as seriously as you would raising a child. Pets aren’t toys nor accessories, they are living creatures deserving of love, attention and care. Remember that they depend on us for everything, so if you do take a pet in, make sure you are giving it the best possible life it can get, including protecting them from dangers.

Top 3 Cars for Dog Owners

For someone who owns neither a car nor a pet, the topic of best cars for dog owners might seem like a useless discussion, as your dog can theoretically ride in whatever vehicle you have at hand. However, if you’re a passionate dog owner, especially if you own several fur babies, and looking to buy a new car anyway, why not include the needs of your four-legged family members into consideration. The cars listed here are all currently available models that share certain attributes. You’re welcome to purchase an older used model, but make sure you take a note of particularly desirable features that these cars share.

The criteria

Dog-friendly cars have a separate cargo area with plenty of space, and it’s particularly important that this area can be air-conditioned. At least, the rear windows should be electronically operated from the driver’s seat to provide much-needed ventilation for your pet during long rides. The cargo area should have flat sides, with no protrusions. Ideally, the area shouldn’t be carpeted, so it doesn’t trap hair. A rubberized floor liner should solve the problem. The entrance to this area should be as low to the ground as possible, which is especially important for aging pets. Cargo hooks in the back area are immensely useful for fixing dog safety harnesses or carriers.

Third generation Hyundai Tucson 2016 – present

This small five-passenger SUV has seen a total makeover, which made it a perfect budget-friendly option. Buyers can now choose among several engines, which reflects the price point. The cargo area is substantial for its class but might be too small for larger dogs and carriers. The interior cargo capacity is supported by an optional hands-free liftgate which makes loading and unloading easier. Its privacy glass option helps protect your dog from excessive heat and sun rays. If you’d like to purchase a two-year-old car like this, chances are you’d need to sell yours first. After a series of unsuccessful listings in classified ads, I decided to sell my car online at Carbiz, and haven’t regretted since. Those people have developed a simple and hassle-free way for busy people to buy and sell their car for an unbelievable price.

Fifth generation Honda Odyssey 2013 – present

This class-leading minivan is a perfect option for both people and pets, as it seats up to eight passengers and still provides plenty of cargo space. With enough smart features to keep kids occupied, even at day-long road trips, its sliding door makes loading a pet crate into the passenger compartment a breeze, but you can also use the back hatch. The car’s low step-in height is also convenient for leading a dog inside and out. As a special pet-friendly feature, this Honda offers the HondaVAC built-in vacuum cleaner, which makes it easier for you to keep the van clean.

Facelifted Ford Flex 2013 – present

Featuring a huge cargo compartment, rear seats on this Ford fold flat, and the car has an optional refrigerator large enough to hold cool water and fresh treats for both you and your pup. Often called a Mini on steroids, the rear hatch on Ford Flex opens wide, with the floor close to the ground. Its big glass surfaces will give your pet a good view of the surroundings, while its many comfort and convenience features make it a perfect ride for two-legged family members as well. Since its introduction in 2009, Flex has undergone only a few changes, which means you could find a great used one for a reasonable price.

While keeping your pup safe and comfortable during rides is most important, when choosing a perfect car for you and your pet, you also need to consider features like low entry height, floor material, the ease of access, and air-conditioning or ventilation.

Is CBD Oil Safe For Pets?

Many pet owners have found the benefits of “weed” treats for their pets, especially when they suffer from different kinds of ailments. However, these are not marijuana that is used for medical treatments but treats that are infused with CBD oil.

Many might wonder what the difference is. The medical field includes several legitimate uses of medical marijuana, which are used for treating different diseases and chronic illnesses. More states are authorizing use of medical marijuana for different situations across the US. When it comes to pets the American Veterinary Medical Association is yet to take an official stance. In most cases, veterinarians cannot prescribe medical marijuana legally even if the situation demanded it. This remains as a Scheduled 1 Controlled Substance as per Drug Enforcement Agency. There is, however an alternative available that is made viable by the industry as noted with these Simply Pets CBD guides.

Hemp is part of the same plant family as marijuana. The difference lies in marijuana providing an intoxicating substance found in its resinous glands while hemp is used for making textiles and rope.

Among the key differences between these two plants, CBD produced from hemp is known to contain only trace elements of THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol which is known to create psychological effects. This however has several medical benefits, the main being it binding to the endocannabinoid system of the body through CB1 as well as CB2 receptors in the body. This system connects with the brain as well as nervous and the peripheral systems that are responsible for emotions, pain, memory, neural activity, carcinogenesis as well as development of the embryo. CBD can help in managing these conditions, from pain to seizures as well as controlling diabetes as well as cancer. Dogs are known to have high concentrations of CB receptors among mammals and hence the effects of CBD as well as THC are profound on these animals.

Hemp is legal which is another key difference to note. CDB is added in topical creams, oils, capsules and treats that can be given to pets. Industrial grade hemp is used to extract such CBD and many brands dedicated to pet welfare produce such products to help different chronic conditions and also offer CBD oil-based products derived from organic hemp.

Toxicity is another concern. Live hemp or marijuana plants can be toxic for dogs or cats, but products made from CBD derived from hemp plants are deemed safe. Dosing needs to be done as per the weight of a pet. Medical marijuana usually contains concentration of THC that might be dangerous for pet health. It could accelerate the heart rate of your pet to dangerous levels or the pet could have allergic responses; it could also go into a shock. Such effects could be due to over dosage of medical marijuana. In case of CBD oil or CBD supplements these effects need not be feared.

It is also important to keep medical marijuana away from pets; those who use such substances at home need to keep these away from their pets.

Common Senior Dog Diseases Every Owner Should Know About

Owning a dog and spending time with it as both of you age is truly a gift that needs to be cherished. Of course, the joy and fulfillment that dog brings to the owner’s life are only some of the reasons to care for your furry pal most deeply. They need constant care and love, and they will return the favor numerous times over. Therefore, when your dog starts getting older, to the point when it’s considered a senior, it’s essential that you pay attention to different signs and symptoms that may point to a certain disease. After all, just like humans, dogs are more susceptible to certain illnesses and conditions when they’re older.

Arthritis

The older your dog gets, the more prone it becomes to suffering from arthritis. In general, this condition is more common among larger and heavier breeds, but, in the end, it can affect a dog of any size. As they grow older, the cartilage between the joints gets thinner, which then can cause wearing of the bones. If you notice that your dog is getting slower than usual, has difficulty sitting down and getting up, shows no enthusiasm for favorite activities such as running, walking and jumping, or limps as it walks, you should take it to the vet because arthritis is a very probable cause.

Dementia

Unfortunately, dogs are not immune to dementia. What’s more, almost half of the dogs that are more than 11 years old suffer from some form of dementia. There are currently no solid explanations when it comes to the question why some dogs develop dementia, but it’s believed that the reason is mainly in the genetic predisposition. The disease is progressive and the first signs can be very mild only to gradually worsen. In general, disregarding previous training and self-grooming habits are very common, together with increased anxious behavior, excessive licking and general distress, sleep changes and unwillingness to play.

Cancer

As you all probably know, cancer is a devastating disease that leads to the overgrowth of cancer cells, which than prevents normal body functions. If not discovered and treated in time, it can end up in death. Unfortunately, the biggest cause of canine deaths for dogs over 10 years of age is precisely cancer. It’s essential that you keep a close look on your dog. Symptoms such as abnormal swelling, slow-healing sores, excessive lethargy, bleeding from the eyes/nose and sudden weight and appetite loss are major reasons for concern.

Heart disease

As your dog gets older, the risk of a heart disease gets bigger, too. Unfortunately, various types of heart issues are very common for senior dogs and generally tend to progress with time. In order to keep your dog and its heart strongest and healthiest as possible for as long as possible, you need to take really good care of it all the time, from its first days as a puppy. Responsible and serious dog owners will provide all the essentials for their dog; grooming, feeding and comfort necessities included. Moreover, with the ability to order pet supplies online, one can easily get multivitamins and other essentials for their dog. The risk of a heart disease can be minimized with constant care. But, be on the lookout for symptoms such as persistent coughing, moving and breathing difficulties, collapsing, no appetite and swelling.

Kidney disease

Another very common cause of death in senior dogs is kidney failure. When the kidneys fail to get rid of the toxins, they spread into the bloodstream. Kidney disease can progress gradually for a long time, which gives the owner time to react accordingly as soon as possible. Therefore, pay attention to the way your dog behaves. Strange breath odor, excessive thirst, vomiting, pale gums, blood in urine and sudden weight loss all point to kidney issues.

Your dog is your best friend. Therefore, treat it with love, respect and kindness it deserves. The owner’s actions and behavior are the only things that can make the dog’s life better, happier, healthier and longer.