Category Archives: pet care

Overcoming Pet Winter Woes

Dog and grey cat on the windowLike humans, pets can experience winder doldrums. Even those living in warmer weather regions are still affected by seasonal changes, which can be especially tough on dogs and cats–particularly those that are used to spending time outdoors.

Beyond the obvious challenge of pets getting less exercise during the winter months, dogs and cats often experience less emotional stimulation during this period and can suffer a variety of adversities, including excessive weight gain, irritability, anxiety and even clinical depression. This can lead to a variety of unsavory behaviors and dissatisfaction for all involved. The more outdoor-oriented the pet, the higher probability that these and other problems will present and persist through the season.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things pet owners can do to physically engage and psychologically stimulate their pets and make everyone happier during the long, cold winter months. FETCH! Pet Care CEO, Paul Mann, offers these suggestions:

Indoor & Outdoor Exercise

Most dog breeds need to go outside 2-3 times a day, not only to relieve themselves, but also to get some form of exercise and sensory stimulation.  Dogs are more likely to go outside in nearly any kind of weather and often love a romp in the snow.  Taking your dog outdoors will trigger its natural play instincts. Running, jumping and chasing are natural ways to energize your pet, burn calories and boost metabolism.  If you’re not up to the task amid Mother Nature, consider hiring a professional dog walker to happily take on the duty.  Indoors, tried-and-true games like fetch, tug-of-war and wrestling can also serve as a great workout that also stimulates a pet’s appetite.

Cats also love to pounce and play, and if they’re stuck in the house you can easily brighten their day with 10-15 minutes of play each day. String, laser pointers, objects on strings and other enticing toys dragged around get your cat into chase mode, keep her busy and burning energy. Find or install a perch by a window where your cat can watch the birds. For those cats that pine to be outdoors, the marketplace has an abundance of outdoor enclosures that also allows cats to run, roam and prance freely in the invigorating fresh air. Of course, moderate the time spent in these enclosures based on the winter weather conditions.

For both dogs and cats, keep a set of toys and laser pointer handy for an energized and sustained play session, either indoors or out, at least once daily. When outdoor play just isn’t an option, there are a number of motorized animal treadmills on the market today that are entirely enjoyable and effective for exercising both Fido and Felix.

Counting Calories

If your dog or cat doesn’t get outdoors as much in the winter as they normally do, it likely doesn’t need to eat as much food. Reducing food and calorie intake generally means less weight gain and more energy.  If you often give your pets treats, consider hiding them inside toys, such as freezing kibble inside a “Kong,” to give them prolonged busy work.

As with humans, weight maintenance is all about portion control. Feed your pet using a designated measuring cup so that you know exactly how much food they’re consuming each day. If you still aren’t getting the desired results, call the pet food company for dietary recommendations to ensure you aren’t over-feeding—especially as seasonal dietary requirements change when a pet becomes less active. Automated pet feeding systems are also helpful. These tech tools utilize a wireless tag attached to a pet’s collar to regulate and monitor one or more pet’s food intake to ensure the pet isn’t eating too much or too little at once or throughout the day—also keeping multiple pets away from each other’s food.

Let There Be Light

Pets react to illumination just like humans do.  Their energy level increases when the light is brighter. According to Animal Behavior College, “The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals found that approximately 40 percent of dog owners saw a considerable downturn in their pet’s moods during the winter months” and that related symptoms in pets “typically manifest as behavioral changes such as inappropriate soiling, aggression, lethargy and separation anxiety.” The report notes that “Light is intimately tied to the functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands, and can stimulate the body to release hormones that have an uplifting effect on mood.” If it’s too cold to go out, simply open the drapes and let the natural light in, turn up your indoor lights, and consider replacing bulbs with the full spectrum or daylight variety to better simulate a daytime environment. A company called Pawsitive Lighting, has even developed a light box to help conquer those wintertime blues.

Animal-Rousing Aromas

Scented toys can really engage an animal’s interests and natural stalking instincts, also keeping them occupied and mentally focused as they try to find the source of the smell.  Luckily dogs respond to a variety of smells and there are seemingly infinite availability of toys that engage canine olfaction—alone and in combination with other senses that can be concurrently engaged.  A game of hide and seek can go a long way with your pooch!

For cats that respond well to catnip, there are catnip and other “play sprays” that can be squirted onto indoor climbing structures, cardboard boxes, and scratching posts.  A multi-story cat climber or “tree” with strategically placed low-cal treats or scented play toys can readily get kitty jumping from level to level and its heart pumping in kind.

With just a little planning, you can help ensure your pet’s winter season remains happy and healthy, with a great quality of life for everyone in the household.

Paul Mann is the Founder and CEO of Fetch! Pet Care—the nation’s largest and most trusted franchisor for professional pet sitting, dog walking, and pet fitness/exercise services—serving thousands of pets and pet parents throughout the United States from coast to coast. He may be reached online at: www.FetchPetCare.com.

Source:
http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/blog/does-wintertime-blues-effect-your-pet/

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#DogProblems giveaway!

Farted And I Cant Blame Anyone

The team at Purina Veterinary Diets is igniting a conversation around common #DogProblems, like gas (oh, dog gas can be almost deadly, can’t it?!).  The hope is to get concerned owners to talk to their vet about pet food allergies – they even created a Symptom Checker for people to learn more about the topic. They are also taking a humorous approach, creating some funny dog memes about common dog problems.

So This Is Great But I Really Gotta GoAlso, they have created a new hypoallergenic diet, Purina Veterinary Diets® HA Hydrolyzed™ Canine Chicken Flavor Formula. You can find out more about it here.

We want to see your meme! Create a funny dog meme staring your dog, and email it to us. We will post all the entries here, and pick a random winner after the giveaway ends.  The winner will get: Purina-branded medium Wash’n Zip pet bed (the Oatmeal Sherpa) and Purina pet water bowl – an approximate value of over $70. USA only.

The giveaway will end on December 7th, 2014! We can’t wait to see your memes!

This giveaway is now over. Thanks to all who entered. Congrats to lucky number 3!

Screen shot 2014-12-09 at 12.04.17 PMezxug

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Why a #RichellPet pet gate is the perfect fit.

This post is sponsored by RichellUSA and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Richell Products, but 4 the Love of Animals only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. RichellUSA /Richell is not responsible for the content of this article.

RL logo_GREEN BLKWith the holidays right around the corner, the kitchen is bound to be even busier than usual. In our house, the kitchen is always the hub of activity. And with so many people visiting, and cooking, it’s not always the safest place for a dog!

However, Baby always wants to be right in the middle of it all. I can’t tell you all the close calls that have happened in the kitchen. From almost stepping on her, to dangerous things dropping next to her (chocolate, knives, etc), it is not the place we want her to be. For a long time we have wanted an attractive way to keep her out of the kitchen, luckily the Premium Plus Freestanding Pet Gate with Door exists!

We were really excited when the gate arrived. We couldn’t wait to get it set up and put it to use. Baby had other ideas though, she must have known somehow that this gate was going to keep her out of the kitchen. She made sure it wasn’t easy to open that box!

Baby on the Richell Pet Gate Box

Of course, once she got off the box, she had to snoop around a bit. It was VERY easy to get set up, all that needed to be done was to add the legs (just a screwdriver did the trick)!

This gate is recommended for dogs between about 6 and 33 pounds. What we love about the gate is that you can configure it in different ways. The side panels of the gate lock into place, so you can easily adjust it to fit into different parts of your home.

Another awesome feature of the gate is that it has a door, making it easy for the humans (and dog if you want) to go in and out of the gate. We love this because there are times when nothing is happening in the kitchen other than visiting with people, so Baby can still easily be a part of that.

Richell Pet GateIt looks so sharp in our kitchen too! I will note, this is a VERY nice gate. It is made of eco-friendly, sustainable rubberwood, and is a great color. The feet have rubber feet to help protect your floors, and add stability to the gate.

babygate

Baby isn’t in love with it, as you can see she likes to give us sad eyes when she has to be on the other side of the gate. We on the other hand can’t imagine life without it! It’s been so wonderful to have the peace of mind that comes from being able to keep Baby out of places we don’t want her to be. There are so many uses for a gate like this too, and the kitchen is just one of them.

Be sure to check them out on Facebook and  see the full line of pet products on the Richell website.

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Spread the Word About Halloween Safety for Cats #AAFPHalloweenSafety

Today is Halloween and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) is using this as an opportunity to educate cat owners on Halloween safety.

Halloween Cat Safety

Halloween is a fun-filled holiday for children and adults, however, for a cat it can be a stressful and dangerous holiday. Your cat depends on you for protection, so taking a few extra precautions outlined in our infographic can keep your furry friend safe and calm this Halloween season.

Please help spread the word! Share on FB or Twitter, let’s help keep the kitties safe on Halloween!

Posted in cats, holidays, pet care | Leave a comment