7 Great Ways To Keep Your Dog Healthy The Natural Way

It’s a dog’s life but why should that idiom have to mean a miserably unhappy existence? A dog’s life is awesome because you get to sleep a lot, chase wildly after small creatures, and get endless cuddles. Being a dog is great . . . that is if their owner it taking care of their health.

So let’s talk about how you can give your pup a healthy life the natural way because who doesn’t love natural remedies to improve health? Often they are cheaper, safer, and in many cases a necessity.

Stopping Bad Behavior

Bad behavior is the root of many harms and dangers that can come your pup’s way, so let’s find out how to prevent it.

Follow this one easy rule. Never yell and certainly don’t hit, only give food as a reward for the first two years, and if they are little whiners that just want your attention, just stay silent and ignore them. Yelling, and even telling them no” when they are pitching a fit only tells them that’s it working. I know the food one is tricky, but it helps reinforce training and discipline because they only get food then. Stick to it for the first year and just watch how great it works.

Summer Time Heat

When temperatures start rising, it’s important we take steps to keep our pups safe. First, their feet are sensitive and can easily burn on hot pavement — always place your hand and hold it down for 20 seconds on any surface that you think would burn your skin if it touched. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pup’s paws.

If they out in the yard, make sure they have a shady place they can take cover because they can get sunburn and overheat just like us.

Last, make sure your dog always has constant access to water, especially on those hot summer days. Dry mouth, panting, and loose skin is early signs of dehydration. If you see this, you need to get them water fast. You can pour Pedialyte into their water to replenish their electrolytes faster.

15 Tips For Building a Custom Dog House


If you haven’t heard about CBD yet, it’s an extracted oil taken from hemp plants that have a lot of people raving about its health advantages. You frequently see pet owners giving their pups CBD oil for separation anxiety, seizures, arthritis, and even cancer.

CBD is able to help with all these different medical conditions because it simply promotes and boosts a person’s or animal’s natural defense systems. These defense systems control everything from anxiety to preventing bad inflammation to ensuring that cells are dying after dividing so many times to prevent them from mutating and causing cancer. CBD popularity is growing quickly and if you’re interested in giving your dog CBD vets are are a great people to talk to.

Regular Grooming

It’s always a good idea to stay on top and groom regularly, but don’t worry, you don’t need to give them a bath every week, in fact, that would dry their skin out too much. Instead, bathe them every month or so.

Brushing is more important, and don’t think that just because you have a short hair pet that they won’t shed like crazy — try and brush your pup every 2-6 weeks depending on breed and time of the year.

Last, remember to keep their nails trimmed as well as they can splinter if they get too long. You’ll want to cut just above the quick (blood vessel) which can actually grow to the tip of the nail if it gets too long — this requires slowly cutting back the nail reducing the quick to normal over time.

Keeping Teeth Clean

It’s time to throw away the toothbrush! Well, your dog’s toothbrush not your own. Bones are nature’s toothbrushes, and it awesome to see your dog freak out and fall in love with something that’s cleaning their teeth.

Bones are also a great source of calcium, protein, and rich in other essential nutrients.

Bully sticks are great because they aren’t even technically bones, so they don’t splinter and aren’t hard enough to crack a tooth, but they are durable enough that they scrape tartar off their teeth without cutting their gums in the process.

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Ear Infections

Time for one of the more pleasant topics on our list. Kidding aside, ear infections suck for both you and your dog. They smell terrible, will drive your fur nugget up the wall, and can cause inflammation and yeast infections.

Breeds with floppy ears are notorious for dirty ears and you really want to monitor it weekly. Infections take a lot of time and work to get rid of so cleanings can happen frequently (up to every other day), but that’s if you can get them to stay still long enough. And of course, the big breeds have to have the floppier ears.

The easiest and safest way if using a silicone syringe along with natural ear cleaner to break up waxy build-up deep in the ear canal.

You should also consider a medical insurance for your pet in case of situations like this.

Balance Diet

Above we talked about bones being a great source of calcium and protein, so how about we throw some healthy fats into the mix. Doing this will create a balanced diet and make sure we aren’t missing any areas of their nutrition.

To do this, we can supplement in fish oil or hemp oil. Both are high in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, hemp oil has omega 9s as well — 9s aren’t essential like the other two, but they provide health benefits to cardiovascular health. These healthy fatty oils are great for improving skin conditions, reducing inflammation, and lowering cholesterol.

Hemp oil can actually be used as a carrier oil in CBD oil instead of coconut and other MCT oils. If you end up purchasing CBD oil for your dog, look to see if it has hemp oil for added health benefits.

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15 Tips For Building a Custom Dog House [Guide]

Does your dog have personality and a unique attitude? You should be looking at plans for a custom dog house to match their personality and style. When your pet is special, their refuge should be special, too.

Custom Dog House Planning

Custom dog houses can start off by matching the size of the dog house to your pet. If you have an extremely small dog or a very large dog, they will feel safer and more comfortable in a dog house which fits their size closely. If your dog is an outdoor dog it is even more important. The primary heat for your pet comes from their body heating the interior of the dog house.

french bulldog

For Summer Season: Remember To Add Cooling

The opposite can be true in the summer months. While is it very uncommon to air condition even custom dog houses, just the addition of adding a fan to vent away from the heat, and to circulate air can help your pet maintain their body temperature. While you are planning for the cooling of the dog house, make sure to consider how you would like to add a good method to provide consistent water for your pet during the hot summer months. You may choose to mount a watering unit on the side of the dog house, instead of requiring another structure.

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Make easy cleaning possible

One of the factors to consider when building custom dog houses is creating an easy way for you to open the dog house for cleaning. Why should you build a dog house, and then still be stuck trying to clean it out through a tiny door in the front? Adding an extra large hinged door to give you easy access will simplify the process. The most important item? Make sure your designs are going to give your dog a comfortable place to live and enjoy. Everything else is just extras.

Build a Unique Look

Many pet owners build custom dog houses with unique looks. You can build a miniature version of your own home, or at least use the same siding and highlights. You can build a fancy dog house and paint pictures of cartoon dogs on the sides to give your yard a touch of doggy humor. Maybe your dog is totally out of this world, and you will choose to build a custom dog house like Astro for the Jetson’s cartoon. Getting a little outlandish with your ideas can be fun for yourself and your children.

Before you get started and choose your dog house designs you need to make a choice. Do you want a simple functional dog house? Are you looking for plans for a fabulously fantastic, but still functional dog house?

As you start to evaluate your choices always keep one thing at the front of your mind. Is the dog house going to be comfortable for your dog? All of the fancy exterior designs to look great in your yard mean nothing to your dog. Your dog only wants a few things from the dog house. They want a comfortable and dry place to lay down. They want good ventilation for the hot summer days and protection from the wind on the coldest days. Examine the features of every dog house plan with those thoughts in mind, and you will have a good idea if your dog will actually use the dog house.

After you take care of your dog’s needs, then you can let your mind go wild. If you want to go the fabulous route you can find plans to build a dog house which looks much like your own home. You can have small windows, window planters, shutters, and all the accessories to make it look like a tiny human house. If your dog is a real king or queen, you can choose dog house designs to build them a castle.

dog house designs

Make a Good Plan Before You Begin

Since you are planning to build the dog house with your own two hands, take the time commitments to build the dog house into consideration. If you are needing a dog house built quickly then it is best to stick with very simple dog house designs. Many of these plans can be built in an afternoon, and have it ready for your pet to move into once the paint dries. When you are considering one of the more fantastic and outlandish ideas it may take you several weekends to complete the project. If your dog already has a dog house to use, and this is just the replacement, then time is not as big of an issue.

The Cost of a Custom Dog House

Cost is a concern for most dog owners. The more extreme and fancy the dog house designs, the higher the cost. One thing which helps with cost is the small size of a dog house. Often you can use scraps from other projects for many portions of building a dog house. Just make sure you use good quality materials, which are rated for outdoor use.

Building a dog house can be either very easy with simple dog house designs, or extremely complex for a fancy home. Evaluate your plans carefully, and never forget the comfort of your pet.

Remember To Install a Heater

Are you worried about your dog in the winter months? You want to make sure their dog house provides enough heat and protection to keep your pet safe during the harshest winter nights. A dog house heater is the best method to keep your pet warm. These heaters come in many different styles from extremely simple to very high tech. Here are some of the choices you want to consider.

custom dog houses

Heating Light

The simplest and least expensive options are to add a simple incandescent light to the dog house. The light will provide plenty of heat for your dog, but does add two distinct disadvantages. The first problem comes from the heat of the light. It is not a thermostatically controlled heat source. The heat may become too hot, or bump the light could burn your pet. The second disadvantage is light. Your dog appreciates dark for sleeping, too. By having a bright light on in the doghouse to keep them warm, they may have more problems sleeping at night.

Dog House Heating Bed

The second choice for dog house heaters is also the most common. This is the mid-priced item and is likely to be your best choice, the dog heating beds or pads. They are designed to lay on the bottom of the dog house and do have a thermostat to control the level of heat. This product is designed to be moisture and weather resistant and will keep the home warm while giving your dog plenty of comforts, with almost no risk of burns.

Electric Heating Pad

Some people opt to use an electric blanket or electric heating pad for humans in place of the dog house heater. This is extremely dangerous. The blankets and pad are not designed to be waterproof, or to stand up to your dog’s scratching, shuffling, and dragging the blanket around. Stay away from this option.

Wifi-enabled Heating

The final and most expensive option is the entire dog house heater, cooler, and WiFi center. Yes, it includes WiFi capability so you can hook up a webcam and watch your pet online using MSN. During the winter months, it can warm the dog house to a very comfortable temperature. In the summer it provides air conditioning. The amazing thing is how little electricity it actually uses. The manufacturer claims it can be run on 50 cents of electricity per day. It is an amazing value on energy usage, but the initial cost is many times higher than the other methods.

No matter what method you choose for a dog house heater, your dog will appreciate it. You will keep them warm through the worst winter nights. You will be able to sleep through the night knowing your pet is safe and warm. It is a good investment in your pet’s safety and your peace of mind. Don’t wait until winter’s cold nights start up, go ahead and get your heater today, and be prepared.

The Pros of Building a Dog House Outside

You have a great dog who needs a safe place to be outside. You hate the idea of ropes or chains and dislike the idea of building a fence around your entire yard even more. Choosing one of the great outdoor dog kennels may be your best choice.

bernese mountain dog

Build a Correctly Sized Dog House

Outdoor dog kennels come in many different sizes and materials. The most common of the dog kennels is made from a steel mesh fencing, along with a steel frame. A dog kennel needs to be very strong to stand up to an excited dog jumping up against the gate or sides when they see you coming out to play.

You will want to size your kennel to match the size and ability of your dog. A large dog is going to need a larger kennel to give them room to run and exercise. You can find easy to assemble kennels in a wide range of sizes. Some readily available kennels are over 10 feet wide and 20 feet long. It is not only the width and length you need to be concerned about. With a small dog having a 6-foot high kennel is plenty high, but what about when you have a large dog. Some of the larger breeds can jump and climb over the top of a six-foot fence in a moment. You will find kennels in a wide range of heights to help contain your dog safely inside.

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Is Your Dog a Climber?

If your dog is a persistent climber, you may want to consider a kennel which also encloses the top with the same steel mesh. Even if they are not climbers, you should consider an outdoor dog kennels with a protective roof. This can help keep the sun and rain off of your dog, making them more comfortable and safe during even the hottest or wettest days.

Many times it is not only over the top you need to be concerned with when setting up your kennel. Are you planning to put the kennel on the ground, on a concrete slab, or a concrete footing? Once you have determined the location the kennel will stay in, you should consider at least a concrete footing for the kennel. You will want the footing to go deep enough into the ground to make sure it prevents your dog from digging out of the kennel. Without using either a concrete slab or footing, you can be sure your dog is going to escape at some point. They will see that soft grass and ground as an easy method of making their way out of captivity.

If you absolutely hate the idea and appearance of the steel outdoor dog kennels there are options for wood kennels, too. They will not replace all of the steel but can give you more options for a better looking outdoor kennel. Be aware that dogs are notorious for scratching or biting their way through the wood. The steel kennel is the safest kennel for your pet and the one which will last the lifetime of your dog.

Wireless Pet Fence Around The Dog House

One of the challenges facing every pet owner is keeping their pet in their own yard. You may have a big fence in back, but what about out front? Using a wireless pet fence you can train your dog or cat to stay in the yard without ropes, chains, or destroying your yard with ugly fences.

A wireless pet fence is a two-part solution. It requires putting a collar on your pet which reacts to the wireless fence. The second part is the wireless fence itself. Depending on the system you can get either a well defined rectangular fence or a circular fence.

The systems which provide a circular fence are based upon a centralized transmitter which communicates constantly with the collar. Once the collar strays too far from the transmitter a shock will occur. The level of shock is usually adjustable to allow training dogs of different pain tolerances. Most dogs can be trained on the lower settings and will respond quickly to the mild irritation. Other dogs are more stubborn and determined and require a slightly stronger safe shock to convince them to learn.


How a Wireless Pet Fence Works

The rectangular fences are going to use a perimeter of transmitters instead of a centralized transmitter. This allows them to create the rectangular fence line, and can more closely match the perimeter of your yard. This combination allows you to visualize the safe area and the defined boundaries. With multiple transmitters, these systems are not very portable.

If you have both your home and a favorite vacation spot, you may want to go with the circular fence. Many of them allow for easy transportation since you only need to carry the one transmitter.

A word of caution, these are training devices and not true fences. Your dog learns over time to stay within the confines of the fence. With a true physical fence, it is a real barrier and requires no training. When you start using a wireless pet fence you need to stay with your animal, observe, and adjust until your pet is trained. It is not a put in place and walks away fence. This is one area where some pet owners become discouraged. They envisioned buying the fence and being done. It does not work that way.

Not all dogs take to a wireless fence easily. They are willing to tolerate the minor pain to escape the confines of the yard. You will not know until you have tested a fence with your own pet. The only real indicator you can use to judge is how easily you have been able to train your pet other commands. If they respond well to training, this will just be one more training device and they will take it with ease. When reinforced with an understanding and guiding owner they will have a new freedom in their own yard, which they will love.

Using a wireless pet fence is a great investment when you go into the project with your eyes wide open. Plan on working with your pet and you will both have great success in enjoying more freedom in the yard.


We hope that you got some great ideas for building a custom dog house. Feel free to post a comment below if you liked this article. :)

Dog Health Issues

Has your dog started having seizures? Epilepsy in dogs most commonly starts in dogs between the ages of 2 to 3 years old. Some puppies start experiencing seizures as young as 6 months old. Luckily epileptic seizures are not highly common, and most times are not life-threatening.

Symptoms Of Seizure

The first time you see your dog has a seizure it can really frighten you. Your dog was excitedly jumping around because you had visitors, then suddenly they came over to you and seemed upset. The next thing you see is your dog lying down, shaking, and unresponsive to your voice. The seizure may have lasted up to five minutes, and had you in a complete panic. Then your dog seemed to start to come out of the seizure but appeared very confused about the surroundings and what was going on.

These symptoms are very common with epilepsy in dogs. Where in humans an epileptic seizure may be triggered by flashing lights, repetitive patterns, and other stimuli, one of the most common causes to trigger a seizure in epileptic dogs is excitement. When they become agitated due to other animals, guests, or other excitement, their brain may respond by going into a seizure.

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Consult Your Veterinarian

When you start seeing these types of seizures you need to consult with your veterinarian. They cannot cure epilepsy in dogs, but they can give you advice and medication which can help reduce and control the seizures. It is best to keep yourself and the vet fully informed.

When you visit the veterinarian plan on hearing a long series of questions. They are going to want to know about the lead up to the seizures, if your pet has been sick recently, and possibly about the dog’s parents. Epilepsy is often inherited, if there is evidence either the mother or father had seizures, there is a high likelihood it is epilepsy. For this same reason if your dog is epileptic it would be wise to have them neutered to avoid passing the condition down to another generation. Your vet will be asking about how your dog reacts after seizures, also. All of these are clues to help make a diagnosis since there is no test to conclusively determine the presence of epilepsy.

What To Do If Your Dog Is Having An Epileptic Seizure

Whenever you find your dog in an epileptic seizure there is not much you can do. Your best course of action is to stay near the dog, so when they begin to recover they have your calming presence nearby. Coming out of the seizure your dog may even experience temporary blindness which passes in just a few moments.

Just because your dog has been diagnosed does not make him less important or desirable as a pet. Epilepsy in dogs may only cause seizures on rare occurrences and your dog will still be the perfect pet your family loves. If everyone in the family is informed and knows how to patiently wait for their friend to recover, you will have a long and happy life together.

Heart Murmur

Has your veterinarian recently given you a diagnosis which has your worried? A heart murmur in dogs is a very common diagnosis, and one you need to take seriously, but do you really need to worry?

First, you need to be aware a heart murmur in dogs is often found in dogs as young as a year or two old. These dogs often live to full maturity, never experiencing any additional heart conditions. It is possible the heart murmur is a precursor to future problems, but in most cases, it is not necessary to start any treatment in younger dogs.

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Evaluate Your Dog At The Veterinarian

The only person who can give you a good evaluation of your particular dog is your veterinarian. Ask him very specific questions about their suspicions and if they are recommending any treatment. You should discuss the incidence of heart murmurs in your particular breed of dog, and how common heart-related problems are with the breed.

The heart murmur is basically indicating a slight leak in blood during the different cycles of the heart. Your vet may recommend having an ultrasound of your canine patient to determine the source of the murmur and to give a clearer indication if there are any other issues involved.

How To Treat Heart Murmur

As in humans, many heart murmurs can be treated with medication and do not require any kind of surgical intervention. Only in extreme situations is a surgical option needed. If this is the case, you will need to make the decision based on the age of your pet, your families attachment, and your budget, on whether you want to pursue a surgical solution. You can allow your pet to continue on with the heart murmur if it is not creating any other conditions currently. Your pet could have many more years of healthy, lively life without the surgery before any further decisions are required.

Do you need to worry? You should keep an active interest in your dog’s heart health, but the worry is really not going to solve anything. Most likely your pet will be fine and continue to be a healthy part of your life throughout a normal lifespan. Just use the information to make sure you keep your dog lean, well exercised, and they have regular check-ups with the vet.

Anytime you hear any diagnosis of heart problems your mind instantly jumps to the worst conclusion. This is one time where the most common outcome is good, and you can relax. A heart murmur in dogs is not a death sentence and is not promising an endless chain of vet bills. You are going to have a good long life with your treasured friend, just with a new air of caution, and attention to health details. You can even choose to never tell your dog he is ill. He will probably just go ahead and play, chase the ball, bark at the cats, and jump on the couch as if everything is normal because, for him, it is.

Bloat In Dogs

Did you know bloat in dogs is one of the biggest killers of dogs? It is a symptom most pet owners are not even aware of until it is too late. You need to know the symptoms, so if the condition strikes you can take rapid action. Time is your enemy since this health affliction can kill in only a few hours.

Some breeds of dogs are much more susceptible to bloat. Large dogs seem to have the highest incidence of problems. Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and Weimaraners top the list of the most vulnerable dogs. Interestingly the large and powerful Rottweiler is low on the list of breeds having bloat.

Symptoms Of Bloat

The symptoms of bloat in dogs can sometimes be very obvious. One of the signs is, exactly as the name sounds, a distended or bloated stomach. Bloat is actually caused by the stomach filling with air, much like a balloon. The air becomes trapped and starts pinching off arteries, compressing other organs, and can actually cause the stomach to flip twisting shut the blood supply killing the stomach. Other symptoms include an unproductive vomit response, retching, and fast short shallow breathing. The breathing problems are caused by the pressure being exerted on the lungs and diaphragm, making it very difficult to breathe.

As you can see by the dangers posed by bloat it is extremely serious. Bloat can cause death in dogs very rapidly and is only treatable by your veterinarian. If you have any suspicions your dog has bloat take action immediately. Do not hesitate, just load them in the car and go. Even with treatment, almost 30 percent of all dogs do not survive. Many times this is due to the slow response, and lack of knowledge on the part of dog owners. What appears to be a form of dog flu suddenly becomes a major problem the owner had not anticipated. If you see the non-productive retching or the distended stomach do not start guessing at a diagnosis, take action.

How To Reduce The Risk Of Bloat

One way you can reduce the risk of bloat in dogs is to feed your dog less, and feed them twice per day, instead of once. Make sure your pet does not become overly active immediately the following eating. These two items have been shown to cause a higher incidence of bloat. The risk of bloat becomes higher as your dog gets older, with the incidence doubling with dogs over seven years old.

Just because you happen to have a smaller dog, or one not listed at high risk does not eliminate the possibility, it just reduces it. As a dog owner it is important to know about bloat in dogs, then you are ready to take action if the condition appears. With prompt action, the chances of your dog surviving and remaining healthy are much higher. Now you know the basics and are prepared. If you want to know the risks for your particular breed, it is a great question to ask your veterinarian on your next regular visit.

Cheap Dog Insurance

What is the biggest complaint most pet owners have over the life of their pets? It is not the cost of food. Occasionally it is the wear and tears they put on their homes. Most times the biggest complaint is the cost of Veterinarian care for their pet. Once the pet starts getting older the costs start rising rapidly. Cheap dog insurance can help change your biggest complaint.

Stop and think about your breed of dog. What particular healthcare concerns does the breed bring with it? Some breeds experience high rates of arthritis, or hip problems. Imagine the cost of needing arthritis injections for your pet for several years. Many times these costs are what brings a family to make the decision to have their pet put to sleep. It is not the issue of the animals happiness, but the extremely high cost. If you could eliminate the high expenses, and instead be making small monthly premium payments, your pet would stay with the family for a longer period of time.

We always think about having health insurance for ourselves. We cannot imagine covering all of our own health care needs without insurance. It is amazing we don’t consider the option for our pets, too. Cheap dog insurance allows you to pay a very low monthly premium which lowers your medication and veterinarian bills dramatically. You will not be hesitant to take your pet to the animal clinic for care when you know the costs are under control.

How important is your pet to your family? Is it a treasured and loved part of the family? Imagine how you would feel if you did not think you could afford health care for your kids. It is the same feeling you will have when you know the costs are becoming too high for your pet. You will want to give them the medications, have the surgery, and treat their problems. When you have dog insurance, you will not give it a second thought, you will just have the procedure done.

It is not uncommon to have pet care costs jump into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars if there are severe problems. Are you prepared to make these large out of pocket payments? It is much wiser to pay a small monthly amount and be prepared than to be caught off guard and unprepared.

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Cheap dog insurance is so inexpensive it is amazing all pet owners do not have it. One of the biggest reasons is they have never heard of dog health insurance. Now that you understand the importance of insurance for your pet, you do not have an excuse to deny your pet the health care they deserve. Your pet provides you years of love, play, and enjoyment. It is your turn to return the favor for your dog and make sure you are prepared for any health issues which may occur. You will no longer dread the visits to the vet clinic, they are just another way of showing your love to your pet.

The Best Tips For Eliminating Bad Cat Behavior

Do you have a misbehaving cat? Inappropriate cat behavior can normally be lumped into just a few categories, and then dealt with. One rule you must remember, never try to train your cat multiple new behaviors at one time. Choose the one behavior which is either most dangerous to your cat, or is most annoying to you, and then work to eliminate it before moving on to another behavioral problem.

Bad cat behaviors and what they mean

Attention seeking behavior is one of the most common problems with cats. This can be in the form of constant irritating meowing, rubbing against you, or scratching at your legs. We love the fact our cats want our attention, but not constantly. You need to identify what is missing in your cat’s life which is causing them to crave so much attention. Are they being mistreated or left alone too often? Are they begging for food? By identifying the lack of their life you can begin to correct this problem quickly.

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The best way to discipline your aggressive cat

Aggressive cat behavior is the trait which ends with many cats heading to a pet shelter or being given away. The sad news is the owner was probably the one who started this trait. When your cat was a kitten did you play with it allowing biting and scratching to be a part of the normal play? While it was fun then, your cat still thinks it is fun. You will need to learn to discipline your cat using the scruffing technique to break the habit. When your cat scratches or bites, grab them by the scruff of the neck, gently, but firmly push them downward and tell them NO in a very firm voice. Hold them down for just a couple seconds and then release them. Do not apologize to your cat when they go hiding for a while. They are learning their lesson.



How to solve the biting problem

Another common bad cat behavior is destructively chewing on items. This one is often not only destructive but can be dangerous to the cat. Many cats have been seriously injured while chewing on electrical cords. Your best options for this behavior is to make the object inaccessible to your cat or to make them taste horrible. In the example of the electrical cords using a commercially available spray, like hot peppers, or bitter apples, will quickly discourage their interest.

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Stop your cat from scratching furniture

Clawing furniture is the one behavior which often results in terrible damage to both pieces of furniture, and too often to cats. Your cat has a need and strong desire to claw. You will not eliminate this behavior, so your best choice is to redirect it. Get a good quality scratching post and use catnip or other attractants to make it your cats favorite spot for clawing. Never have your cat declawed unless you really understand the damaging aspects of this operation. It not only leaves your cat defenseless, it leaves them injured.

Cat behavior can be frustrating at times, but with a little effort and by focusing on one problem at a time the bad behavior can be reduced and eliminated. The biggest training problem may be getting yourself to take the time to learn and apply the lessons in modifying your cat’s behavior.


Soft Paws For Cats

With Soft Paws for Cats, you can stop worrying about declawing your cat. Many cat owners want to protect themselves, children, and guests from being scratched by their cats. They want to protect their furniture from being shredded to pieces from their cats sharpening their claws.

When you declaw your cat you are removing an important part if their personality, and their primary defense system. Having your cat declawed can be very expensive, too. There is a better alternative, which is safe, lower cost, and fun.

Instead of having a cat with no claws, you can have a cat with beautifully decorated feet. Soft Paws for Cats are small covers for your cat’s claws which are securely adhered to each of their claws. The soft covering prevents your cat from damaging your furniture or scratching you. The fun part of Soft Paws is the colors. You can give your cat the appearance of having been to a fine manicurist. You can have all their claws decorated in identical colors, or you can be unique and have each toe in a separate color.

Most cats have no problems with their owners gently examining their feet and claws. You will need to hold your cat’s feet and put a cover on each claw. You are going to be using the included adhesive to make sure the Soft Paws covers stay on the claws. If your cat is not calm enough for you to hold in this manner and put the covers on the claws, you may need to seek professional assistance.

Many pet groomers and veterinarian’s offices work with pet owners on applying Soft Paws for Cats. They consider it to be a very safe and effective alternative to declawing cats. In most ways it is preferable. Soft Paws are not permanent. If you later decide your cat is not a good candidate for living indoors, the Soft Paws can be removed and your cat is ready for climbing and defending themselves in the great outdoors. Once a cat is declawed they cannot be released outside. They are not able to defend themselves or seek the protection of a tree.

What will your cat think of wearing Soft Paws? Most cats do not even notice they are there. They go about business as normal and try to do all their normal activities. They will still try to scratch the furniture, but with the soft protective covers, they cannot cause damage. With the low-cost investment for buying Soft Paws for Cats you avoid the cost of declawing, and you save your investment in furniture. Just saving the cost of recovering one piece of furniture will more than pay for the Soft Paws. The lack of scratches on your hands and arms will pay for the cost of greater enjoyment of your cat. You will be willing to play with your cat, knowing it cannot inflict a painful scratch.


Cat Scratching Post

Can you quickly describe what a good cat scratching post looks like? The normal guess is going to include a nice tall post wrapped in carpet. If this was your guess, you just discovered the wrong answer.

A scratching post covered in carpet is likely to end up with one very unhappy cat at some point in time. Many cats have ended up with a claw deeply wrapped up in the nylon fibers of a carpet, with some finding themselves hanging from one paw trying to break loose. The picture in our minds might appear a bit humorous, but imagine your cat trapped this way for hours waiting for you to arrive back home. Suddenly the image in your mind feels a little more panicked and worried for your cat.

While your selection of carpet for the cat scratching post may have been all wrong, do not feel bad, it is the most commonly found type of scratching post, but not the one your cat really wants and needs.

Sisal is the preferred material to use for your cat’s post. It is a material which stands up to the harsh abuse it will receive. The texture is one your cat will enjoy under their feet. It does not have the same tendencies as carpet which gets tangled in their claws.

One of the biggest mistakes you could make with your scratching post is to use materials which look and feel like any of your furniture. The cat could easily believe they are at the right place, while they tear your furniture to shreds. There would be no one to blame but yourself.

The next important factor is the strength. The post must be very sturdy. If the post is wobbly, your cat will go on the hunt for a more stable scratching surface. The post must be strong enough when they stand on their hind legs to scratch and are furiously ripping at the post, it never moves.

If you are attempting to break your cat of the habit of scratching other surfaces you may need to add some new enticing aromas. One of the best ways to get a cat to start using the cat scratching post is to add catnip to the post. Your cat will smell their delicious catnip and start hunting for it, which leads them right to the scratching post.

You can buy pre-made posts if you do not feel inclined to build one yourself. They are available at many pet stores and online locations. Check the scratching material carefully to make sure it fills your needs. Making your own post is very easy, too. If you are a little bit handy with tools you can build one with some easy supplies from the local lumber yard.

If you really want to build a fun area for your cat do not just give them just a scratching post, but either build or buy a scratching post and cat climb which are combined. By having both a fun place to climb and find a quiet perch away from everyone and the scratching post, it will become one of the favorite places for your cat.

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Declawing Cats

Has your cat begun tearing up the furniture in your home? You are frustrated and ready for the damage to stop. You love your cat and want to take care of this problem before it damages your relationship. Declawing cats are one option many owners turn to but is it the right option? Do you know the facts about declawing?

Declawing is a much more aggressive and invasive surgery than most cat owners realize. It is not just a simple process of removing a claw, a portion of the cat’s foot is actually amputated. When the vet performs the declawing procedure he must cut away a section of the last bone in each of your cat’s toes. This is the area where the claw grows from.

One procedure utilizes a large clipper, very similar to the nail clipper, and actually clips away this section of the bone. This procedure has one major problem, it is not always successful. If the vet does not trim back far enough into the bone the claw will still grow, potentially creating an infection. The surgery may need to be repeated.

The second procedure is a more intensive surgery requiring actually severing the ligaments at the final joint in the toe and removing the entire last bone.

Were you aware many European countries have actually banned the process of declawing, feeling it is inhumane to your cats? When you stop and think about what you are actually doing you may agree. Imagine your own toes having the last bone removed. The pain which would be involved. The relearning to walk properly. Your cat experiences the same trauma. This is why some owners have reported major changes in their cats after the surgery.

There is one other large danger in declawing your cat. You have now removed their only defensive protection. If they get outside they are easy prey to any dogs or aggressive cats. They cannot defend themselves. They cannot even climb a tree to seek protection.

It is highly recommended before you go to the extreme of declawing cats you exhaust all other alternatives. Train your cat to use a scratching post. Work to discourage scratching on the furniture.

If those measures fail there are claw covers you can place on your cat to keep them from damaging the furniture or scratching you. These claw covers are fairly inexpensive but will need to be replaced often. As the claw grows the cover will extend out with it, and eventually wear off.

Some owners have chosen to use small boots on their cats when they are indoors to protect the furniture and themselves. This can be a bit challenging since not all cats will adapt to wearing the boots.

While declawing cats is an effective solution to protecting your furniture and yourself, it is a very extreme answer. You are changing your cat permanently and irreversibly. Make sure you have thought through this decision carefully before proceeding to have your cats claws removed. You may end up with results you did not want.

Cat Food – The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need

Do you ever wonder how much nutrition is really in those bags of dry cat food? At the price, you pay you would expect the nutritional value to be very high. While the labels will tell you your cat is getting great nutrition, much of it is added in supplements, not for the actual food itself. Homemade cat food can be much healthier and save you money at the same time.

As you start thinking about using homemade cat food you may begin to panic thinking about all the added preparation time which is going to be required. You will be surprised how easy it really is to make great high-quality cat food. Instead of cooking up batches of homemade cat food on a daily basis, plan to make it once or twice per week and then serve it to your cat.

You are not limited to only making soft cooked cat foods, but there are great recipes for making your own dry cat foods, too. If you elect to make the dry variety you can cook up a couple weeks worth of food at one time and bag it up for use over those two weeks.

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There are two very interesting theories in making homemade cat food. One camp uses recipes which require cooking a preparation. Your cat food will include proteins from chicken, pork, beef, or fish. You then add in chopped carrots, peas, or other vegetables to round out your cats diet.

The second camp will tell you to completely forget about the cooking. Your cat would never eat cooked food in a natural environment. They love raw foods. They point to studies showing cat health improves when fed higher percentages of raw foods. Once again this can include chicken, beef, pork, or fish. Chicken and fish would be the two more highly recommended choices. They are more nearly related to the natural foods of your cat. You can supplement their diet with eggs, also.

Which way should you go with your homemade cat food? It is totally up to you. Whether you want to try your cat on raw foods or use recipes to cook up their food is a personal choice. You will discover your cat’s health will improve either way due to the higher quality of their food. Their food is no longer based on fillers and indigestible material but is made from high-quality meats and vegetables. It will be easier on their stomachs and give them more nutrition.

Choosing to start using homemade cat food is not for everyone. It does take more time than buying canned cat food or dry cat food. Most cats thrive on purchased food with no problems. If you choose to make your own cat food you will improve their diet and their health. You are likely to save money producing your own cat food. The real joy is in knowing your cat is eating food which was prepared with love, not just stamped out in a factory.

Vegetarian Cat Food

Are you a vegan or vegetarian and would like to change your cat from eating meats to eating a vegetarian diet? Vegetarian cat food is readily available to help you make the transition, but before you buy you need to understand the potential consequences.

Your cat is a predator. A cat’s body and digestive system has developed through centuries to process the proteins and flesh of other animals. While this sounds cruel, it is a simple fact of nature. Cats have developed certain dietary needs which are met by eating high levels of protein including important components like taurine.

Here is where the big dilemma begins. Vegetarian cat food producers have developed formulations which offer high amounts of vegetable protein and have added the important amino acids, taurine, and other essential nutritional items. They swear by their formulations and can point to hundreds of satisfied customers.

Animal researchers and veterinarians are much more skeptical about these claims. They question the ability of the cat’s digestive system to properly digest this high level of vegetable protein, vegetable fillers, and additives. Their fear is the cat may easily become undernourished.

Cooking your own vegetarian cat food would just amplify the issues even further. While your foods may be delicious, they will not contain high enough amounts of protein, and certainly will not contain the taurine and other elements your cat requires.

Why are these other trace nutritional items so important? A cat not receiving enough taurine can become blind or deaf. This is a scary proposition for any pet owner.

Does this mean you must allow your cat to continue eating meat? There is not a definitive answer to this question today. If you wish to try a vegetarian cat food then buy one which is supplemented with the proper nutrition. Make sure to observe your cat closely watching for changes in their coat, their eyes, their energy levels, and even their bowel movements. If you detect any negative changes it is advisable to switch them back to their previous animal protein based food and then consult with your veterinarian.

The vet may be able to recommend other formulations they have seen successfully used. They may give you a strong lecture on the difference in human and cat anatomy and dietary needs, too.

While it is possible to use vegetarian cat food for many pets do not become dead set in your decision to change your cat. It is not a streak of cruelty in cats or a sign of weakness on their willpower. Eating meat is their natural food and has been since the existence of cats. If you are really wanting to preserve nature in the most natural sense, then why would you try to change how nature has designed your cat?

By all means, go ahead and try a vegetarian cat food, but make sure you are ready to reverse course. Your cat is precious to you, and you want to make sure it stays healthy and happy. They are likely to thrive on the vegetarian food, but you are the one who needs to make sure they do.

Raw Cat Food

Quick question, what kind of food does your cat love the most? If they had their choice do you think they would choose a can of Fancy Feast cat food or a live bird? What about a choice between a bowl full of hard dry cat food and a mouse? Your cat is a predator and a carnivore. They crave meat, and they crave it raw. Raw cat food does not only satisfy their instinctive desires but may be the healthiest choice you can offer them.

From a human perspective, it is hard to imagine wanting to eat our meat raw. We may like our steak a little on the rare side, but most of us have no desire to eat our meat raw. From a cat’s perspective, the opposite is almost certainly true. They cannot imagine why we would ever want to burn our meat. It tastes perfect in the natural raw state. From a cat’s viewpoint, the flavor is just the beginning of the benefits.

Were you aware most cat foods must be fortified with taurine and other essential amino acids for your cat to stay healthy? If these essential nutritional elements were not added to their processed foods our cats would develop serious illnesses, which can lead to blindness, deafness, and other serious physical problems.

This is where raw cat food excels for a cat. The reason most foods must be fortified is two-fold. First, when the meat is cooked it destroys a large percentage of the amino acids. The second reason, most of these foods are packed with fillers, not real meat. Raw cat food, on the other hand, is rich in all the natural amino acids and does not have fillers.

Do not start worrying you are going to need to start buying mice and birds for your cat. You can buy raw cat food which is packaged and ready for you to feed, just like other commercial foods. The shelf-life of these foods is reduced over traditional foods, so you will need to plan your purchases a little more carefully.

Some good examples of available raw foods would be from companies like Paw Naturaw or Nature’s Variety. Many of these foods come frozen, shipped to you frozen. You simply get the food out of the freezer long enough before feeding time to allow it to thaw and reach room temperature and then feed your cat.

How much difference can raw cat food make for your cat? Several studies have shown rapid improvements in health and energy in cats fed raw foods. Cats which were overweight came down to a normal weight for their breed. Their coats improved in softness and shine. Eyes became brighter. Many problems associated to food allergies suddenly cleared up. What you are seeing is what happens when your cat is fed what nature intended. You should give serious consideration to trying raw cat food for your pet.

Gourmet Cat Food

Is your cat a princess, the king of the house, or just a finicky eater? Gourmet cat food allows us to treat our cat with the style, class, and dignity our cats believe they deserve.

Gourmet cat food will help make sure you establish your cat’s rightful place in your home. We already know they are the supreme ruler. We were born to be their servants, and bringing them their gourmet dishes is only appropriate.

On a more serious note, you will find many foods on the market listed as gourmet. What does this really mean as far as quality and taste for your cat? Depending on brands it can mean next to nothing. Many brands of cat food have simply thrown the word gourmet on their labels as part of their marketing scheme. The recipe inside the can is virtually identical to any other cat food they produce.

On higher quality brands it can mean a world of difference. Gourmet cat food from companies like Fancy Feast and other quality brands are filled with exactly what your cat craves. Instead of discovering fillers listed first or second on the list of ingredients you find fish, beef, liver, pork, and chicken listed as the primary ingredients. Your cat is a carnivore and wants high-quality meat.

This is where learning to read labels on your cat food selections is highly important. While you may feel like you are doing your cat a favor buying gourmet or other special selections unless you check the labels closely you will not really know.

What you need to look for on the label is what the first several ingredients are. Usually checking the first 3 to 4 items will give you a good idea of the quality of the cat food. If those positions are filled with high-quality food, and not referencing the word meal, you are probably buying a high-quality food. Pay attention to what the producer is telling you is in the food by their packaging, also. If they are claiming it is a chicken flavored cat food and when you turn over to look at the ingredients it lists chicken by-product, chicken meal, and corn meal as the first three items you need to wonder. This means nothing is high-quality chicken, it is all low quality.

What about flavor? We often start putting our own taste buds into our decision making for our pets. Gravy sounds like something which should be good. Think in terms of your cat. What do they crave? They are meat eaters by nature. They are seeking out high-quality meat and do not care about gravy, salt, and spices. While they will lick the gravy up with excitement, it is not the primary fuel for their bodies, and not what they really need.

You are more likely to get higher quality foods when the label reads premium, special blend, or gourmet cat food since the company is charging more for the product. Just do not trust their advertising as the deciding factor. Take the time to check the labels to make sure your cat is really getting the quality food you want them to have.

Hills Prescription Diet Cat Food

Not all cat foods are made equally. When your pet has unique dietary needs due to allergies or a health condition your veterinarian may tell you Hill’s Prescription Diet Cat Food is what you need. Hill’s Pet is the pet food company veterinarians turn to when solving difficult dietary issues.

Hill’s provides specialized blends and formulations for treating bladder problems, skin issues, and to eliminate causes of allergies. Many of their products are created to give additional supplementation, vitamins, and minerals to treat a wide variety of cat health issues. Here are a few of the mixtures you may be encountering.

One of the challenges pet owners face when their cat has food allergies is not being able to find treats to give their pet. They may have always rewarded their pet, and suddenly they have a very unhappy pet. No treats seem to be allowed. Hills Prescription Diet Cat Food line includes a group of Hypoallergenic Cat Treats. You can start rewarding your cat for all the love they give you.

After surgery or a major illness, your cat needs added nutrition to aid in the healing process. Added energy, nutrients, and easy to digest proteins are critical for wound recovery. The extra calories are required since your pet’s body is working overtime trying to heal the wounds, and to recover. A/D Feline Canned Cat food is a great option in these cases. It is easily digested and provides all the nutrients your cat needs for fast recovery. This is one of the foods your vet is likely to recommend you take home after a surgical procedure.

Hills Prescription Diet Cat Food is only available from your veterinary offices. While Hill produces a full line of non-prescription foods, these varieties are not filled with the same additives used in the prescription formulations.

If your cat has been diagnosed with bladder problems, your vet will usually start your cat on a gentle cat food from your grocery store. If these over the counter varieties do not alleviate your pet’s problems your vet will want you to consider using Hills Prescription Diet cat food designed for bladder problems. The formulation is even gentler and includes supporting additives for your cat’s bladder problems. Bladder problems are one of the most disconcerting issues for pet owners. When your pet lacks bladder control you become very frustrated.

When your cat is facing major dietary problems Hills Prescription Diet cat food is the choice of veterinarians everywhere. You may be faced with higher cost foods for a short period of time, but most commonly these higher costs may be offset with faster recoveries, less veterinary visits, and lower costs for medications. Your vet will only recommend and prescribe these high-quality foods when they are necessary. The good news is these high-quality products are available to support your cat’s health and recovery. Without products of this type the recovery of our pets would be much slower, and sometimes recovery may not occur.

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Solid Gold Cat Food

Is your cat the star of your home? They strut around, nose in the air, just waiting for you to notice their superiority. Your cat is a star and deserves to be fed Solid Gold cat food, not some inferior brand.

It is not just the name which makes Solid Gold the food for preferred pets. It is the care and ingredients poured into every creation of the company. One of their favorite foods for our finicky felines is the blended tuna could cat food. This Solid Gold cat food is made with a selection of the best available tuna, a touch of water for processing and some tapioca to give it a little more stickiness. Your cat is going to come running when they hear this can crack open, and smell the delicious tuna. They are going to assume they have just won an Emmy, and are being served their congratulations dinner.

Even if your star has a sensitive stomach Solid Gold cat food is exactly what they need and want. It is completely wheat, corn, and soy free. Some cats have allergies and other sensitivities to these grains which cause them discomfort with many varieties of cat food. Solid Gold always keeps their ears and eyes open watching and listening for the latest news and research on cat and dog nutrition. When there is solid proof of an ingredient causing problems, or giving great benefits, they adjust their recipes to enhance or protect your pet.

If you feed your cat a lot of dry cat food, you will be interested in how Solid Gold cat food is packaged. They use a foil inner liner to keep out harmful bacteria, moisture, and other contaminants. This added layer of protection is one of the reasons they are able to eliminate the preservatives, and flavor enhancers most pet food companies use. This makes the food safer, and more delicious for your cat. Instead of flavor enhancers providing the taste, it is the real goodness of the fresh food. As we all know, cat stars demand only the freshest food possible.

Solid Gold works on the holistic outlook for your pet. Instead of trying to see your cat as only an eating machine, it looks at your cat in a dynamically complete look. They create their pet foods to satisfy the taste buds of the pet, and to provide the proper nutrition. They look at all the ingredients with an outlook to the long-term health of your pet, and not just a short-term vision.

Solid Gold cat food is created using the best ingredients, best processes, and by people who love their pets just as much as we love our little feline stars. If you want to make sure your Award Winning Cat continues their daily performances for an extended showing, then Solid Gold cat food provides everything required, great nutrition and great taste your star is going to love.

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Low Protein Cat Food

That mighty hiss and meow from your cat are the smaller version of a lion’s roar. Your cat is a meat-eating predator, only on a smaller scale. They are designed to hunt down bugs, birds, mice, and other small prey for their food. Their diet in the wild would be almost completely protein. Is there ever a case where a low protein cat food makes sense?

About the only time, you may want to consider a low protein cat food is on the advice of your veterinarian. If your cat is suffering from kidney or renal problems they may recommend reducing the protein in their diet. Protein is one of the hardest items for the kidneys and renal system to process, and by removing some of the protein it can give them a chance to rest and potentially enhance recovery.

If you suspect your cat is having these types of problems, do not start using low protein cat food on a wish and a prayer. You must have your suspicions confirmed by a vet, and get their recommendations. Your decision could be completely wrong. Your vet may discover a different underlying cause which is easily treated with a simple prescription. Always enlist the aid of your veterinarian when making major decisions about your pet’s health.

Choosing to use low protein cat food for other purposes, such as weight loss, does not make sense. While it can be an effective strategy for a human or any other animals, a cat is primarily a meat-eating animal. By trying to dramatically change their diet you could be reducing the intake of critical nutrients and putting unnecessary stress on their body. This comes back to the reason it is important to check.

When you have a diagnosis from your veterinarian of potential problems with the kidneys and he is recommending a lower protein diet, then it is time to explore your options. You can find a few varieties of low protein cat food which is produced specifically for these situations. Your animal clinic may be your best source of buying the food. Otherwise, you will probably need to look online. This is not a food which is commonly kept in most grocery stores or even large pet stores. There are not enough cats requiring the low protein diets for many stores to carry it.

Some pet owners elect to make their own pet foods in these situations. You could combine regular canned diet or dry cat food with additional vegetables and starchy foods to provide enough calories. Your veterinarian will probably be giving you some recipes to consider or can advise you what items to blend.

The best news, it is not likely your cat will require low protein cat food, but if they do it is available. Until your vet makes the recommendation, don’t worry about it. If he does, start off with mixing up your own blend for a few days while you check at your local store. You may discover buying the food online will be your cheapest alternative, so make sure to compare your prices. With a little loving care your pet may be back to normal soon.

Diabetic Cat Food

Diabetes is not a disease we expect to hear proclaimed for our pets. Sadly, they suffer from many of the same diseases we do, and diabetes is one of them. Once you have heard the diagnosis you must make changes to your cat’s diet and start feeding the diabetic cat food to help preserve their health.

In many ways, you and your cat are lucky to be alive today. Not too many years ago you would have no choice except to make your own cat food once the diagnosis was handed down. None of the major pet food manufacturers were creating blends designed for a diabetic cat. Today you can pick from a variety of food manufacturers to get the proper nutrition for your feline, or you can still choose to make the food yourself.

One thing you may discover as you start seeking out diabetic cat food is many of the formulations are available only as a prescription food through your veterinarian. We all know this means one thing, a little higher cost to feed our cat. There is a benefit behind this added cost, though. You will have higher quality food than you can purchase at any grocery or pet store. These blends are made to the highest standards possible. They are being created with your veterinarian’s demands in mind, not the desires of an average pet owner. The second advantage, you are not going to be wasting all of your time in the kitchen cutting, cooking, and grinding food for your cat. How much is your time worth to you?

Just because you have started feeding your cat a formulation designed for a diabetic cat does not mean anything is cured, or your responsibility diminished. With this diagnosis, you are taking on a much higher level of care for your cat. Your veterinarian may be asking you to do occasional blood glucose checks on your pet. This is not an easy task. You may need to draw blood or collect urine samples. Neither of these is going to excite your cat. Make sure you ask your vet for the best ways to accomplish the task. Listen closely to all of their suggestions. They handle cats and dogs of all temperaments every day and know the best ways to keep from getting scratch, bitten, or upsetting your pet.

If you and your cat their condition is a very mild form of diabetes and will respond to just the simple change in diet. If just changing to diabetic cat food solves your problems you can feel very blessed. You may spend a little more on feeding your cat, but at least you are not needing additional medications, excessive trips to the veterinary clinic, and still watching your cat deteriorate.

Cat diabetes is a severe disease and carries with it many of the same threats seen in humans. It can cause circulatory problems, blindness, organ failure, and a myriad of other conditions. When your cat’s doctor recommends a diabetic cat food take their advice with complete seriousness and change your cat’s diet immediately. In the long run, you will save money, have less stress, and your cat will remain healthier.

Cat Food Allergies

Did you know that over 50% of cat itching problems are caused by cat food allergies? Most of us assume it would be fleas or other environmental problems. If your cat is having an itching problem you need to know what are the common foods which cats are allergic to, and correct their diet to stop the itching.

The most common food ingredients which cause cat food allergies are beef, lamb, seafood, wheat gluten, corn, soy, and dairy products. Do you see the big problem? Since those are also the most common ingredients in cat foods, it will take a little detective work, and some testing to determine which ingredients are causing your cat’s reactions.

You will probably want to work in combination with your veterinarian. They will recommend you switch your cat to a unique formulation of cat food to limit the number of ingredients. You will be feeding your cat this one type of food for about 12 weeks, to allow their body time to adjust. If the symptoms clear up, then your vet will have you test your cat on their original diet again. If the problem restarts, then you have helped to determine the possible culprit.

The biggest challenge to this type of testing will be your sticking to it. You must only feed the agreed upon food, and not give your cat any other treats, foods, or drinks other than water. You must limit their diet strictly for this method of diagnosis to work. If the symptoms are not improving while trying the new food, then your veterinarian will recommend another variety of food, which changes up the protein mix again. Finding the cause of cat food allergies can be a lengthy process. There is not another effective means of determining which foods your cat is intolerant to. You will need to keep up your efforts until you find the culprit.

Once you have determined the likely cause of your cat’s allergies, then you can start expanding their diet. You will just need to learn to read labels very carefully and avoid all contact with the ingredients which cause the cat food allergies to attack your pet. Hopefully your pet will have a common allergy source, and you will be able to buy commercial cat food varieties created to eliminate allergic reactions. Many of the major cat food brands have formulated blends which remove wheat, soy, corn, and limit the types of proteins. Some of the specialty brands have even come up with blends like Trout and Sweet Potato, Duck and Potato, and other interesting mixes which are designed to give you unique mixtures your cat will enjoy, while removing the common allergens.

In some cases cat owners have needed to start making their own cat foods at home. Sometimes this is due to cost, other times because there is not an easily available commercial mixture which eliminates the ingredients causing cat food allergies for their pet. This method obviously takes more of your personal time, but if you love your cat, it is a great investment in their comfort. By determining the causes of your cat’s allergies, you can make a plan to give them a happier, itch-free life.

Facts About The Canary

It sounds so simple, breeding canaries. Before you jump to the conclusion it will be easy to just jump into becoming one of the canary breeders you need to look a little deeper.

How To Know If Your Canary Is a Male Or Female?

The starting point to all challenges for canary breeders starts with discovering which birds are male and female. If someone tries to tell you they can tell simply by looking they are full of hot air. A male and female canary look identical. The only items which will help you separate your birds are watching which ones lay eggs, and which ones sing. The males are the prolific singers, which is the trait most breeders use to help determine sex.

female canary

What Kind Of Canary To Breed?

You are going to need to make a decision very early, too. What kind of canaries do you intend to breed? Are you wanting to raise show birds, color bred canaries, song bred canaries or just common canaries? Yes, there are many different ways to breed canaries all with their own challenges.

If you choose to start breeding show birds you are going to enter the wild and wonderful world of seeking perfection. As an example, a breeder of Yorkshire Canaries is required to aim for the perfect colors, length of feathers, the proper stance, and even the proper size. Think about the challenges of breeding birds attempting to hit 6.75 inches all the time.

To hit this level of perfection canary breeders must become meticulous about culling out birds. If a bird does not meet the standards it is removed from the breeding stock. If the infants of a bird do not meet the standards, then the breeder must be removed from the breeding stock. Many times it takes years to establish good breeding stock, and then to keep tweaking the mix to keep your lineage going.

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How To Meet Show Standards

Color bred canaries present interesting challenges for canary breeders, too. Instead of trying to meet show standards they are seeking to hit beautiful color standards and mixes. Their birds demand higher prices in pet stores because the colors are unique and stand out from the crowd.

The canaries bred for singing are equally challenging. These canary breeders choose the birds with the most beautiful voices and greatest range of songs and then breed them to keep enhancing the singing capability. They remove birds from their breeding stock who are not excellent singers. This is another trait which increases the value of their birds.

Even if you choose to breed common canaries, you still face the fun of setting up the cages, caring for the eggs, making sure to provide the right mix of foods to ensure the healthiest offspring. Canary breeders can have a lot of fun, but they work diligently to make sure they care for their birds and work to produce the highest quality for their customers. Their knowledge of their birds, their traits, and their lineage is often exhaustive. They know by being highly informed they can produce extraordinary birds. Are you ready to begin the adventure in breeding canaries?

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Canary Food

Are you just starting out with your first canary? You bought a nice cage, you have the water bottle, you bought a box of bird seed. You are ready to bring the bird home, right? Not even close, you are just getting started with the proper canary food for your bird.

canary seed

Choosing The Right Type Of Food

Did the person in the pet supply shop tell you the bird seed contained everything your canary would need? While many types of canary food contain a mixture of ingredients it still is not everything you will need for your new canary.

Take a look at the back of the box for the ingredient list. Is there a wide variety of seeds or just one? Your canary food should include many types of seeds including rapeseed, canary grass seed, niger seed, and may include many other kinds. A high level of variety is healthy for your canary, providing them a wider nutritional profile, and a more interesting diet.

While looking at the box of canary food look to see what else is included. Some products include dried eggs, wheat, corn, and other items. Larger grains will need to have been ground to make them small enough for your bird to consume.

Even though some varieties of food include dried green vegetables and fruit, make sure to provide your canary with fresh foods every day, too. The fresh greens, like lettuce, provide them with added moisture and fiber to help their digestive systems to keep working properly. Leaving out the fresh foods will end up giving your bird constipation and unwanted problems.

Keep Their Beak In Top Condition

One other item to add to your list of canary food is the cuttlebone. Your canary needs the cuttlebone to keep their beak in top condition, for the added calcium, iron, and other trace minerals.

You will discover some canary food mixtures include added oils. Some owners and breeders feel the added oils are healthy for their birds, others feel the birds are getting plenty of natural oils from the seeds they have in their diet.

Always Give Fresh Water To Your Bird

While technically not food, water is one of the most critical elements in your canary’s diet. You must remove the bottle and give you canary completely fresh water daily. The quality of the canary food and water plays an immense role in the health of your bird. If you do not give them high quality food, and plenty of fresh water, they will suffer and become ill.

The best news about canary food is the price. Canary food is very inexpensive, and buying a variety is a good idea. While one food may be lacking in one area, another food may cover those needs. Vary your birds diet occasionally just as they would in the wild. Not every day would be filled with the same menu as the seasons go by.

Once you have taken care of getting these few other items on hand, and making sure your canary food is complete, then you are ready to bring home a canary. You will be prepared to care for them, and enjoy all the great benefits of becoming a canary owner.

Canary Seed

How would you like your canary to act? Are you wanting a happy energetic, singing canary? Canary seed can make the difference between having a bird you enjoy watching and hearing, to one who sits in their cage sulking all day.

Do you not believe their food can make so much difference? Then try this, for the next week eat only oatmeal. See what your mood is like at the end of one week. You can eat plenty of oatmeal to have adequate calories, but your nutritional mix is weak, and so is your enjoyment of your food. Variety makes a major difference in our happiness and health, just like it does for your canary.

What should you look for in your choice of canary seed? One of the biggest factors is to make sure it includes a wide variety of seeds. You may discover your canary is a picky eater and eats high amounts of a few kinds of seeds and ignores others at first. Then if you watch carefully, they often switch which seeds they are eating, and ignore others. They are listening to their own body’s demands, and their desire for variety and eating appropriately.

What Type Of Seeds Should You Use

What are some of the seeds which should be in your canary food? Look for rape seed, niger seed, canary grass seed, flax seed, oat groats, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, anise seeds and others.

Often canary seed does not only contain seeds. Some varieties carry small pieces of fruit, eggs mixtures, soybean meal, and other additives to increase the nutritional level. Your bird may like all these added items or may choose to ignore them.

Why You Should Use Fresh Greens

One item you must consistently add to your canary’s diet is fresh greens. Add another feeding tray to hold the lettuce, cucumber, or other vegetable greens for your canary to eat. This helps to balance their diet and keeps them from becoming constipated. Seed formulations which claim to have vegetable greens included doesn’t count. Those are dried ingredients, not fresh.

The only way you are going to discover the perfect canary food for your bird is to do a bit of experimentation. Do not limit yourself to trying one variety and sticking with it forever. Vary your purchases occasionally to increase the variety. Make sure to check the listed ingredients to verify you are really making a change and not just changing brand names. You will quickly learn what your canary truly loves, and what they tend to ignore. You can then buy mixtures to meet their desires instead of cleaning up all the extra discarded seeds constantly.

By taking the time to learn your canary’s needs and choosing the proper canary seed you will be given great rewards. Your home will be filled with the music of a happy, content singing canary. Let you canary be your guide to getting the best value in seed, do not just look at the fancy labels and prices.

Tips Regarding Canary Cages

Do you believe all canary cages are created equal? If they can keep the bird caged inside they are adequate? It might be true for you, but for your canary, it makes a big difference on what type of cage you select.

When you watch television you often see birds in round cages. The cages are decorative and look like the perfect idea for displaying your bird. It is not the perfect idea to your canary. They are not wanting to fly around in circles. They prefer a rectangular or square cage and will thrive in them.

canary cages

How To Choose The Size Of A Cage

You often find small cages in pet stores and pet supply centers. These cages look great for keeping everything out of the way. They present a big problem for your canary. Canary cages should be large. A good starting size is a 16-inch square larger, for one bird. They need plenty of room to fly around the cage. The Canaries are not well suited for a free flight around your home, so all of their exercises occurs within the cage.

Another mistake many new canary owners make is buying a cage with only one perch. Your canary needs multiple perches of different sizes inside their cage. This allows them to hop from location to location and to vary the grip size of their feet. This leads to healthier feet and a happier bird.

Choose a Separate Cage For Males And Females

If you are considering having both a male and female canary you may wish to consider a split cage. These large over-sized cages can have a divider in the center. This allows you to give each bird a separate area to keep them happy. When it approaches time for breeding you remove the divider allowing the two to start interacting. This type of cage is ideal if you have plenty of room for the large cage. If not, consider having two normal sized cages you can move closer together before breeding season begins.

Other items you must take into consideration as you are buying canary cages should include ease of cleaning, ease of access to add food, and accessories. Make sure your cage has a removable tray to take out for cleaning on a regular basis. Your bird will produce plenty of waste, and a removable tray makes cleanup very easy. Your main accessories for a canary include the water bottle, added perches, and proper food bowls. Make sure to have at least two food trays. One for their bird seed, and one for fresh green vegetables. You need to add a cuttlebone to the cage, too. One final accessory which is not in the cage full-time is the bird bath. Your canary desires frequent bathing, as often as daily in the warm summer months.

Your selection of canary cages is one of the most important items in having a happy singing canary. If they have a clean, large, safe place to live, they will sing with joy. If they are cramped, and their cage is dirty, they will sulk and be silent. Choose the largest cage you can for your planned area and you will be well on the way to having a very happy canary.

Singing Canaries

There is no sound quite like singing canaries. They have a large range of notes, learn new songs readily, and fill your home with beautiful music. Before you run to the pet store and buy just any canary, you need to make sure you are going to buy the right one.

Walking into a pet store and hearing all the singing canaries you are going to believe every one of them is adding to the noise. Make sure you watch the birds closely and visit with the store owner carefully before making your selection. If you want to hear beautiful singing in your home you must buy a male canary. The female is likely to only fill your home with chirps.

The challenge comes from the fact there are no visible clues to whether a bird is male or female. The biggest indicator is when a female lays eggs. The only other relatively safe clue is watching the birds and determining which ones are actually singing. If you know a bird is singing, it is probably a male and a safe purchase.

Looking at all the canaries in a pet store can be a bit dizzying. There are many different varieties ranging from show birds like the Yorkshire to the simple common canary. If your desire is to have an easy to care for a pet, who provides you with beautiful music stay away from the show birds and choose a common canary. They are hardier, often sing more beautifully, and are less expensive.

One of the common problems canary owners run into is when their male stops singing. They become worried something is wrong with their bird. Most commonly this is an indication molting has started. You will begin noticing feathers falling away to be replaced by new feathers. During this time your male will quit singing.

The Canaries will also quit singing when they are unhappy. Make sure you are always providing them with plenty of fresh bird seed, fresh water, and a cuttlebone. Along with those standard items, make sure to offer your canary fresh greens like lettuce and cucumber in another food dish.

Make sure you give you canary water bowl every day or two for bathing. They love to bathe, and if this is missed they will become irritated and possibly quit singing.

An added reason your canary may be unhappy is if you are keeping them in a smaller cage. A cage of approximately 16 inches square is ideal for one bird.

One other thing to help your bird feel happy and to start singing again is to have recordings of other canaries singing. They will hear the added sounds and join in with the others. Having two canaries in cages near each other can help, also.

Singing Canaries are a joy to add to any home. They are very simple to care for, provide great beauty, and add wonderful music to your home. Your canary will provide you with many years of enjoyment and song.

singing canaries

American Singer Canary

The American Singer Canary is prized as one of the finest singing canaries you can own. They have been specially bred to enhance their ability to sing. If you want to fill your home with a variety of beautiful sounds, this is the canary to choose.

The American Singer Canary is considered to be the canary with the widest range of notes, and the easiest to teach new songs. Their desire to learn a song is bred so strongly they begin learning songs almost immediately upon hatching. The drive is so intensely bred into the Singer even young hens may sing, which is very rare in the canary world.

Your American Singer canary learns new songs by hearing other canaries sing. This is especially true for a new chick. Since the father may not be singing if he is still with the female, you will need to be prepared to supply them with the songs you wish them to learn. You have two easy methods to take care of the situation. The first is to have another male which is not currently caged with a female. Put the bird in the vicinity of the young chicks, and soon they will begin to learn his songs. Make sure the male is a high quality singer, or your chicks will learn to sing songs you would prefer not to hear.

The second method is to provide the chicks with a recording of other American Singers. Make sure you choose the highest quality recording possible, with the highest quality songs you would like your chicks to learn. This method is effective for about 4 to 6 weeks. After this time you must have a singing male nearby to continue their education.

One big warning to American Singers. Do not put them on birds you do not want them to imitate. This includes other Singers or any other canaries with low-quality songs. Your American Singer canary will just as easily learn bad sounds as good sounds.

If you are not planning to show the bird, then you can have even more fun. Your canary can begin to learn tunes you repetitively whistle around them. You can have them learning the opening songs to movies, TV shows, and other fun songs.

You would believe by the emphasis being placed on singing, this canary may have no other great values. This would be far from the truth. They are a beautiful bird, decorated in bright yellow feathers, often highlighted with other colors such as black or white. They are a lively fun bird to have in your home. You will discover them joyfully singing, flying, and proudly displaying their beauty to you.

Other than being careful about what your American Singer canary hears, you care for them in an identical fashion to any other canary. The advantage to having the Singers is in the beautiful music which will bless your home. The American singer is unmatched for the quality of song by any other bird in the canary family.

Female Canary

Did you buy a couple canaries because you hope to breed them? Do you have any idea which is the female canary and which is the male? Are you sure you have one of both?

The canaries present a major challenge for most owners. You can go to a pet shop, buy from a long-term canary owner, and even good breeders and still end up with the wrong birds. The Canaries are very difficult for anyone to determine their sex except for a trained veterinary. Even then it is not by looking at the Canaries, it would require a minor surgical procedure, or testing of the bird’s feces.

If it is this difficult how are you ever going to make sure you have a male and female canary? One of the easiest, but not fool-proof methods, of identifying the gender is by listening to them sing. Most females only chirp, or have lower quality singing. A male canary will sing beautifully. Their voice is one of their attraction methods to call females for mating. This is going to be one of the best methods to attempt to tell them apart.

There is one big problem with using singing as your method. Some females can sing. Females with higher testosterone levels, whether naturally, or induced, will sing very similar to a male. A high level would be extremely rare, and since most pet stores and breeders are very upstanding you are unlikely to run into this issue.

The only way you are going to finally be sure is when your pair of birds start mating. Before you reach this stage, you need to do a little preparation.

As you are preparing for mating your birds, do not keep them caged together. Have them in separate cages beside each other. The two birds will become accustomed to each other, without the temptations to fight.

Another important lead up to mating is in their diet. Make sure to give them the highest quality seeds and feed as you prepare your birds. This helps trigger mating and produces the highest quality eggs and offspring.

Your female canary may surprise you. You are likely to see anywhere from two to six eggs. She will lay one egg each day. Some breeders highly recommend removing the male after all the eggs have been laid. Other breeders are just as adamant you should leave the male, since often they help care for the female while she is brooding the eggs.

The eggs take approximately 14 days to hatch. If you removed the male, then return him to the cage after the eggs hatch. He will assist the female canary in caring and feeding for all their young chirping babies.

Once you have seen your female canary lay eggs, you can finally with certainty know you have identified the sex of your two canaries. Mother Nature knew the answer all along, she just wanted you to play along with the game.

Yorkshire Canary

A Yorkshire canary is one of the most prized birds to add to your home. It is one of the favorite birds in shows, and for display around the world. What makes the Yorkshire so special?

Breeding is the secret to this exciting bird. The Yorkshire canary is not a naturally occurring bird. This breed was developed over many years around the mid-1800’s. This canary was bred to take the best aspects of the Norwich, Lancashire, and Belgian canaries creating an exciting new breed. The name Yorkshire comes from the location of the first showing of this important breed, Yorkshire, England.

To meet the standards of a Yorkshire requires careful breeding and planning. If you want to raise show birds you will need to work diligently at culling off birds who do not meet the high standards. The feathers need to be soft and consistent. The color must meet the bright golden yellow coloring. If your stock includes birds with less than perfect feathers, you would need to remove them from breeding. The desired size of a Yorkshire canary is 6.75 inches long. Breeding birds are normally a bit larger, around 7.25 to 7.50 inches long. Show birds are not penalized or eliminated for being slightly oversize but need to stay near the standard.

Another trait which stands out about the Yorkshire is their stance. When standing this canary looks almost rigid. Their tail feathers should be pointing downwards toward 7 o’clock, while their head points at five minutes past the hour. This very upright, straight appearance is one of the more prized traits of the Yorkshire.

One feature you will notice quickly on any top of the line Yorkshire is their very thin waist. The bird has a powerful looking head and chest but narrows to a very slender, tiny stomach.

The Yorkshire canary will require you to use a larger cage, and if you are providing a nest, a larger nest. At approximately 7 inches, they are the longest of all the canary breeds. Make sure you give them plenty of room to move around their cage.

As with any other canary, it is important you provide your bird with high-quality food and plenty of fresh water. A Yorkshire can be a little more demanding on food quality and requirements. Being a slightly larger bird expect them to consume a little more food and water.

You can treat your Yorkshire in identical fashion to other varieties of canaries. The males can provide you with great singing to brighten your home. Their beautiful colors, feathers, and stance make a very enjoyable and prized display in your home.

While you may never have any intentions on breeding, or taking your bird to shows, having a bird which meets the standards set for a Yorkshire canary will give you the most beautiful bird you can imagine. If you are only going to add one or two canaries to your home, consider the Yorkshire, it stands apart as one of the most beautiful birds you will ever find.

yorkshire canary

Red Canary

The red canary has become one of the most popular breeds. With their bright red-orange coloration, beauty in flight, and pleasant songs they are great for both shows and for your home.

The red canary is not a natural canary. This is a bird which has been specially bred to have this unique coloration. You will not find any red-colored canaries in the wild.

The history of the red canary starts back in the 1920’s with a geneticist, Han Duncker, who only theorized you could create a red colored canary by interbreeding a canary with the Venezuelan Black Hooded Red Siskin, and type of finch. Shortly after his theory was published canary breeders decided to put the theory to the test. They were able to successfully breed the red factor into their breeding canaries, successfully starting a completely new breed.

This successful introduction of red into the canary family began an entire series of new genetic experiments which led to the formation of the Canary Colour Breeders Association. They endeavored to create new exciting colors of canaries and to bring their new breeds onto the show tours.

It quickly became apparent breeders were often mixing ingredients into their bird feed to increase the level of coloration after molting, which led to changes in many rules in the show tours. The naturally bred coloration or the red canary has remained highly desirable and is a favorite on the show tours.

One challenge to owning a red canary is if you intend to do any breeding. Since this is not a naturally occurring genetic make-up it takes special care and efforts to successfully breed red canaries. If you are just starting out breeding, you may wish to get started on an easier variety and then move into the red canaries after you are more experienced.

Red canaries are great fun to have in your home. They are a very lively bird who happily fly and hop around their cage. They have pretty voices but are not specifically bred to have outstanding singing qualities.

The red canary will grow to approximately 5.5 inches long, making them an easily manageable size. Make sure to provide them plenty of room in their cage. As with most varieties of canaries, the cage should be rectangular and at least 16” deep.

If you have made the decision you wish to own a red canary you may need to do a little extra looking. Not every pet store will carry these specially bred birds. Most of them will have the ability to order the bird for you. You may wish to ask at the pet store or check online, for local canary breeders. They will be able to get you in contact with a breeder who specializes in the red canary.

Having a red canary will give you a more interesting, unique bird in your home. A bird you which is easy to take care of, and very resistant to disease. It is worth your time to do a little searching to find a quality breeder and get one of these beautiful canaries.

red canary

Orange Canary

Would you love to see a flaming orange fire flitting through your bird cage? This is exactly what you will have with an orange canary. They are a beautiful sight, and almost as pleasant to hear.

The orange canary is another of the specially bred varieties of canaries. Their solid orange color was first captured in the early 1600’s by monks. They were very careful to protect their rare birds by only selling the males. Eventually, a group of Italians began breeding the orange canary, which then quickly spread to England and worldwide. The orange canary was a prized bird, often only owned by the most influential people.

Luckily for all of us, the orange canary is no longer such a rare commodity. It is a variety of bird you can add to your home with ease through many different breeders, pet stores, or other owners.

As you start looking to add an orange canary make sure you keep in mind only the males are going to sing. If you want to fill your home with beautiful music, then get a boy.

A common mistake many canary owners make is putting their male and a female together all the time. Then they start pulling their hair out trying to figure out why he is not singing. Why would he sing? He has what he was singing for. He wanted to find a mate. He is finished attracting a female, she is right in the cage beside him. They are alone with no competition.

You will have greater success and happier birds if you keep them in separate cages with a little distance between them. Your male will know a female is around and will work diligently to attract her. She will enjoy the social communication. You may even end up with the two birds becoming mates and producing chicks. The best way to let them reproduce is to move the cages together for a few weeks prior to the mating season, then put them in the same cage until the hen lays eggs. You may wish to remove the male for a while at this time until the eggs are hatched in about two weeks. Then reintroduce the male orange canary to help the female in feeding their family.

What else should you expect from your orange canary? They are a very active breed. Make sure the cage is as large as possible for your area. They love to fly around the cage and get exercise. Have a minimum of two perches of different sizes, preferably more. You will enjoy watching the antics of your orange ball of flame leaping around the cage playfully.

Feeding an orange canary is identical to any other canary. Make sure you provide them with canary food which contains a wide variety of seeds. Add in a good cuttlestone for maintaining their beak. In a second food, dish adds fresh vegetables, lettuce, mustard greens, and other green leafy foods are ideal. This helps your canary stay healthy. The other critical factor is keeping fresh water, replacing it daily.

Your orange canary will be very hardy, active, and fun to have in your home. It is one of the most beautiful breeds of canary and should be on your short list of canary choices.


All You Need To Know About The Parakeets

Do you love seeing the energy in flight? The colorful little parakeet birds we contain in those tiny cages in our homes are some of the most energetic and beautiful creatures to take flight.

If you have any doubts, wait until the one day you leave the cage door open a moment too long. Your parakeet will be flying through the house with complete abandon. Rapidly going from room to room, landing spot to landing spot. Trying to catch them is an extreme challenge. If your parakeet is well trained it will probably return to its own cage, or if you move slowly you can probably ask it to step onto your finger and carry it back to the cage. It is going to want some time to blow the steam of being kept captive.

Most likely your parakeet is from Australia. The Budgie is the most common bird sold in most pet stores. These parakeet birds are usually bright green and yellow in coloration. You can find parakeets of many other color combinations from around the world.

The parakeet is a small variety of parrot and has many of the same abilities. Some parakeets are even able to learn to say simple words. Parakeets are highly intelligent and are very trainable. If you want a pet who can learn simple tricks, be highly entertaining, and a delight to listen to, you have found your perfect pet.

There is another big advantage to keeping parakeets compared to many other pets. When you want to go on vacation the parakeets are already caged and ready to go visiting friends or relatives home for the week. Just make sure they understand the challenges of taking care of a parakeet. You do not want them to be surprised the need to change the cage liners, or in the necessary precautions of closing windows and doors before opening the bird’s cage. They may even want to make sure they close doors to the room before they open the cage so they are not chasing your parakeet around their house.

If you want to keep your parakeet birds bursting with the energy you must give them plenty of food, and the proper foods. Making sure they are getting plentiful and high-quality nutrition is the key component in extending their lives and keeping them healthy. A well-nourished bird will be flitting about their cage with energy.

If you are wanting to have the happiest parakeets it is a good idea to keep more than a single girl. Parakeet birds enjoy the company of their own type. While your company may be enjoyed, you are not talking the same language. Having more than one parakeet will increase the singing, chirping, and noise as your two birds enjoy the company. With proper nutrition, plentiful clean water, and companionship you parakeets will keep you happy for many years. You will discover the joys of watching these magnificent birds and their amazing energy. You may be watching the parakeets more than your television.

Parakeet, Parrot, and Cockatiel – Do You Want a Bird Who Sings, Talks, Or Both?

5 Quick Facts About Parakeets

Sharing parakeet information is a little like sharing apple information. There are many different varieties of apples and many different varieties of parakeets. You can find varieties of parakeets from South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Most commonly, the ones most people in the western world are familiar with as parakeets are the varieties from Australia.

The most common cage pet

Parakeets have been one of the favorite cage birds throughout history. Their colorful feathers, beautiful singing, and with some varieties being able to learn to speak, they have been a treasured addition to many homes. Even the USA at one point had a population of parakeets, the Carolina Parakeet. This was a larger parakeet reaching almost twelve inches long. The bird was hunted and destroyed to extinction because of the desire to have the birds for cage pets, and the belief they destroyed too many crops. It was a tragic loss for the USA.

Reptile Cages – Providing A Quality Home For Your Reptiles

Why you need to understand their needs

An important part of parakeet information of pet owners is understanding their needs. The common pet parakeet, the Budgie for Australia, requires a cage larger than you would expect. These birds like to be very active and if contained in too small of a cage will become depressed, which could lead to failure to eat, and possible death. Choose the largest cage which will fit in your chosen area to allow plenty of play room for your parakeet. You will get added joy watching them fly and play in the cage making it a great investment.

What does a parakeet eat?

Feeding your pet parakeet is one of the easiest parts of your parakeet information. Parakeets eat a combination of fruits, seeds, whole grains, flowers, and grasses. It may sound difficult until you consider there is a wide range of premixed parakeet foods available. If you buy from a reputable pet food company you will have decades of experience in feeding parakeets, and provide them with all their essential nutrients.

The behavior of the parakeet

Any parakeet information would be lacking if it did not warn you about the mess. Parakeets are notorious for being a very messy bird. This includes tossing food around, and plentiful droppings. As a parakeet owner, you must be prepared for your regular cage cleanings. This is an essential portion of parakeet ownership, and should not be put off. Your parakeet’s health and your family’s health can be risked if you do not keep a clean cage.

Keep their water bottle clean

Your pet parakeet requires you provide them with a good fresh supply of water. The easiest way is to use a small watering bottle designed specifically for your parakeet’s cage. Make sure you replace the water in the bottle, not just continually adding to the existing water. Wash the bottle on a regular basis. If you only refill the bottle you are inviting bacteria to take hold, and potentially risk your parakeet’s life. For more the parakeet’s health, read our article about parakeet illnesses.

This is just the beginning of the parakeet information you are going to want for training and taking care of your bird. Adding a good Parakeet care guide to your home library is a great choice. It will give you added information and a quick reference when questions occur. You are going to love having a parakeet in your home.

Parakeet Beak

When you see a parakeet and notice their beak you probably just take it for granted. The parakeet beak can tell you many things about your pet. It can be an indicator of good health or an illness your parakeet is battling.

You probably picture your parakeet’s beak as being a constant. Did you realize a parakeet beak grows up to 3 inches every year? If the beak is not regularly worn away through activity it would become tremendously long, and a major impediment to your bird. This is why you need to supply your parakeet with chew toys and cuttlebone. The hard chewing helps to keep the beak worn down to a normal size.

While parakeets appear to only have two feet, your parakeet would argue against you. Their beak serves as a third foot or hand. You will see the parakeet using their beak to help balance themselves, move items, and to swing between locations. In many ways, their beak is possibly their most useful hand.

Consider the overall importance of your parakeet’s beak. It is a hand. It is their voice. It is their method of getting nutrition. If the parakeet beak is damaged you can expect the parakeet to die within only a couple days. They cannot survive long without proper nutrition. While this article is about beaks, you need to understand the importance of nutrition to your parakeet. Most parakeets live only 5 to 6 years in most homes. This is a tragedy. A parakeet which is properly cared for and given the proper nutrition can live to 15 years old or longer. The biggest fault of most owners is in the area of nutrition. You need to provide a well rounded diet, and make sure to consult with your veterinarian to make sure you are not overlooking anything.

Many people believe their parakeet’s beak is going to help them determine the sex of the bird. A blue bump on the beak is believed to indicate the bird is a male. It does increase the chance it is a male, but it is not guaranteed. The only known guarantee to determine the sex of a parakeet is the moment they lay an egg. The female parakeet beak develops brown or pink ceres. This is the bumper area around the nostrils of your parakeet.

Observing the parakeet beak is important. If you start to notice different changes in coloration or texture you need to start paying close attention. This could be indicating health problems beginning in your parakeet. Lack of nutrition can cause changes to your bird’s beak. If for any reason the beak becomes damaged it is an emergency. You need to rush your parakeet to the vet. Without their beak is in good condition they cannot eat. The importance of the beak should never be overlooked. By understanding the importance you can take better care of your beautiful small friend, and give them a long, healthy life.

Parakeet Behavior

What should you expect in parakeet behavior in your home? Maybe we should try to predict the behavior of a 3-year-old child. Parakeets all have their own unique personalities and little behavior quirks, but just like 3-year-olds, they do have some traits which are similar.

One of the most prevalent parakeet behavior is playfulness, just like a 3-year-old child. They want to explore, play, holler, and have fun. Make sure you give them some toys in their cage. You are bringing home a parakeet to enjoy their presence, and one of the greatest parts is all the antics they can get into. You are going to have a great time watching your parakeet.

There is a very important reason to consider getting more than one parakeet. They enjoy flocking behavior. They enjoy the social interaction of more birds being with them. It can lead to colorful rounds of singing contests going on between your birds. Even if you cage them separately they will be calling out to each other. If you want to see parakeets in their full level of joy keep them caged together so they can enjoy the camaraderie during play.

In distinct contrast to most 3-year-old children, your parakeet loves to keep themselves neat and clean. You will discover your parakeet busy preening their feathers on a regular basis. They must keep them clean in order to maintain good flight condition and their own health. Not only will they preen, but they love to bathe, too. You will want to provide them with a place to get a little water action going.

One of the most fun parakeet behaviors to watch is the poofing and tail wagging. Suddenly your parakeet will puff up their feathers making themselves look much fatter. This is often accompanied by a wagging tail. The behavior can be very funny to watch.

Ever watched your 3-year-old waking up, or battling sleep? The big, luxurious, exaggerated stretches are shared by your birds. This parakeet behavior helps keep them limber and ready for action. It often is following with bouncing, moving, and getting their blood moving a little. Just like your 3-year-old, they just want to get back into motion.

When the stretching, preening, bathing, and playing have all been finished, it is time for the cutest parakeet behavior. Your parakeet is going to bury their beak into a quiet place near their wing, tucking down their neck, and start their nap. Napping is very common for parakeets. With all of their other activities they run out of energy, and when that magic moment arrives they head off to dreamland, just like an exhausted 3-year-old. While your parakeet may be more mature than your three years old, parakeet behavior can be very similar, and they are both lovable. The biggest advantage to the 3-year-old, you can hug them. The biggest advantage to the parakeet, they are less demanding. The happiest homes often have both.

Parakeet Life

In the wild, the parakeet life is filled with the flashing flight as they dash from tree to tree. Their life is filled with interaction with a community of birds, with social interaction going on all the time. They enjoy a wide variety of natural seeds, fruits, and other treats they find in all corners of their world. Filled with joy the entire community of birds can be caught in outbursts of the song telling the world of their joy, and announcing to the opposite sex their desire to breed.

Imagine going from all the excitement of the wild and suddenly being constrained to a small cage. This is one of the key reasons you should always choose your parakeet from a breeder, and not a wild captured bird. At least the birds from a breeder will not feel the loss of their former life, or will they? Animal instincts are powerful, and even these birds born and raised in captivity feel the call of freedom. You need to offer them a life of as much freedom and joy possible.

The starting point to them having a great parakeet life in captivity is the cage itself. You need a large cage. You need to give your parakeet plenty of space to move around in their cage. The need to be able to stretch their wings and explore. The ideal area would be a large enclosure and not a standard cage.

As we are talking about cages, consider your parakeet’s need for social interaction. You may be a great companion, but you are not another parakeet. If you want to increase the quality of your parakeet’s life in one easy step, give them a companion. Add one or two more parakeets to your home and you will give your bird something it desperately desires, interaction with other parakeets. This is one more reason to make sure any cage or enclosure you select is large.

You will never be able to offer your parakeet the variety of foods they could find in the wild in their natural settings, but you can come close. Check closely at your pet store or supply center and buy a variety of foods. You want your parakeet to be able to pick and choose from a variety of food as they would do in the wild. Their body will give them feedback on what nutrients they need and they will eat the proper foods if they are available. Your job in maintaining your parakeet’s health is making sure they are given plenty of nutrition, fresh water, and watch for any signs of illness.

While the parakeet life in a cage is never going to match the unbridled joy of the wild, it can come close. If you provide quality food, plenty of space, and companion parakeets, you will find your birds chirping, chattering, and singing together. You will see them playfully enjoying each others company playing with the toys you provide them. You are the number one factor in determining the level of your parakeet’s happiness in captivity. If you provide them with all the essentials they will find provide exactly what you were hoping for, a joyful, beautiful, acrobatic singer dancing around their cage.

Parakeet Tricks

Before you begin teaching parakeet tricks there is one thing you must always keep in mind. Did you check every window and door in the house? You need to make sure the house is safely closed, and if you own other pets, that they are safely put away. Your parakeet is very vulnerable.

Now, since you are prepared, the first trick every parakeet owner needs to work on is sitting on your finger. It may sound like the most boring trick in the world, but if you cannot teach your parakeet to sit on your finger, and return to you, then all other tricks will be almost impossible to train.

The easiest way to start training is to use a thin stick, about the diameter of your finger. You want to place the stick just in front of, and slightly above your bird’s feet. This is to prompt them to step up onto the stick. You will probably need to practice using a stick for many sessions, and once your parakeet is stepping confidently, you can start substituting your finger. At this point, you are still working within the confines of the cage.

After you parakeet becomes very confident stepping onto your finger, then it is time to slowly bring your hand out of the cage, while the parakeet is perched on your finger. Teaching parakeet tricks takes patience and determination.

The next trick to start working on is climbing the ladder. You can do this by rotating hands to the front of your parakeet prompting them to step up with each new finger presented to them. Teaching this trick helps to continue the bond and confidence between you and your parakeet. This confidence will be needed as you continue teaching your parakeet more tricks.

When you start thinking about parakeet tricks always keep in mind what they are able to do as natural feats in the wild. By leveraging those talents it is easy to train your parakeet. You are simply asking them to mimic their natural behavior in a new environment. Climbing, tossing rings, making unique sounds, are all things which are based up talents their wild cousins do all the time. If you want to create more ideas for yourself, watch videos of parakeets in the wild and see what they are doing naturally, then let your imagination work from there.

Another of the early parakeet tricks people usually start working on is teaching their parakeets to mimic new sounds. This again comes back to persistence, practice, and rewards. Your parakeet will love to learn new things to give pleasure to their over grown slave. Sometimes training a parakeet is just as much about you learning to work with the habits of your parakeet, as the parakeet learning what you want. Enjoy the experience, always work with pleasure. If you feel frustrated or upset, do not even begin a training session. Your parakeet will not learn, because you will not be a good trainer.

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Parakeet Bird Cage

How often have you seen the silly little bird cages some people try to keep birds in? You see them with birds in their home, then a few months later you are back in their home and the cage is missing, and you hear no sounds of birds. Choosing the best parakeet bird cages can be a matter of life and death for your parakeet.

Parakeet bird cages come in a variety of sizes. When you are selecting a cage for your bird, do not just look at the price tag. The smallest cheapest cages are going to potentially be your worst investment. You may pay half the price, but if your parakeet dies in a few weeks or months, you have wasted the money. You want to buy a larger cage to allow your parakeet lots of room for flight, and movement. When they feel trapped in a tiny place they will eat less, using less, and be less energetic. Take a look at the area you are wanting to use in your home and start envisioning the largest cage which will fit in the spot and within your budget.

Your parakeet bird cage must have very secure doors and latches. You do not want to find your bird out flying around when you believed it was safely caged. Next, check the ease of cleaning. Does it have a drop out the bottom pan to make cleaning up the parakeet droppings easier?

Just getting the proper bird cage is not enough. You need to have accessories. You are going to want to have a parakeet watering system to keep a plentiful supply of water for your birds. You need to add feeding accessories to hold their food and make it easy for them to eat. You want to make sure to include accessories for entertainment. Your parakeets love to go from place to place in the cage. They want activity, exploration, and fun. You need to provide them the proper toys for their amusement.

Your parakeet loves to have several levels to perch on. Instead of having a small cage with only one landing spot, a larger cage with two or three landing locations gives them more freedom. This is even more important if you have multiple parakeets. Your parakeet bird cage will need to provide enough space for them to enjoy the company of their partners, but enough room for them to find a little privacy.

Your parakeet bird cage does not need to be fancifully adorned or elaborate. Your parakeets will be happy with a fairly simple cage, as long as it has plenty of room, places to rest, and all the accessories for their food, water, and enjoyment. Your biggest deciding factor for you should be the comfort of your birds, followed closely by the ease of cleaning. When you have those two necessities on the place, everything else is just a luxury. If you want a fancy cage, go ahead. Your parakeets are just as happy to make a mess of fancy cages as the simple ones. They just want a place to have fun.

Parakeet Illness

When you own a parakeet you need to familiarize yourself with the signs of parakeet illness. As with most pets, it is unlikely your parakeet will go through their entire life without an illness. Here are some of the symptoms which you should watch for.

If your parakeet starts sleeping excessively, having trouble staying up on a perch, or you discover them resting on the floor of the cage, it is time for concern. Take a few moments to think through the other symptoms and then give your vet a call.

Puffing or poofing up of their feathers is a normal behavior for parakeets, but it is abnormal for them to remain that way. Normally if you find them staying with their feathers puffed up they are trying to get warm. If the home is in a normal temperature range it is highly possible they are running a fever.

It is very rare to see anything coming out of your parakeet’s eyes or nose. If you starting seeing any kind of discharge assume a parakeet illness has struck and given your vet a call. They will want to take a closer look at your bird to decide what actions might help.

Even though it may seem your bird is constantly making a mess of the cage with droppings, keep a close eye on this important indicator. Noticing their stools are happening more often, are not staying consistent, could indicate an illness with accompanying diarrhea. If you notice your bird is not making their normal mess, this should produce just as much alarm. If your parakeet is eating normally, they should be producing plenty of waste.

One important indicator can come directly from your parakeet. If you parakeet is normally very calm, or quiets down easily, but is now constantly squawking and making a racket, they are probably trying to tell you something. Sometimes this is their way of reporting a problem to us. They are making their discomforts and demands known. If the behavior is abnormal you should always try to discover the root cause. It could be as simple as being annoyed at the family cat, or it could be a complaint of needing help. Listen, check it out, and then decide what actions your bird is needing.

Your local veterinarian may have a good understanding of bird illness, or may not. Ask them before committing to their clinic is your choice. In larger cities, there are often veterinarians specializing in avian medicine. These vets know all the signs of parakeet illness, know the proper blood tests, and are up to date on the latest treatments.

Do not take any parakeet illness lightly. Some diseases which afflict a parakeet can be transferred to humans. Take care to wash your hands carefully after handling a sick parakeet, using a good antibacterial soap. By learning to be observant and taking prompt action, you can have a healthy parakeet which lives up to 15 years.

Dog Health Tips

One of the most common problems dogs is taken to the veterinarian for is dog skin conditions. There is a wide range of skin conditions which afflict dogs, and as a dog owner, you need to be aware of some of the most common.

The one almost every dog owner fears and suspects is mange. Mange is not an individual disease but actually a complete category of skin conditions which predominantly only occur in domesticated animals. This family of skin conditions includes bacterial infections and parasitic mites. If you suspect your dog has mange, do not try to battle it on your own. This is condition best diagnosed by your dog’s vet. They will then be given the proper skin treatments or medications to clear up the condition.

When you hear about dermatitis you always assume it is primarily a human condition, but it is actually present in many species of animals. Dermatitis will cause your dog to become itchy around the eyes, mouth, and ears. This condition is very common in certain breeds, with the Golden Retriever being very susceptible. Usually, dermatitis can be traced to an allergic reaction. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend items you should limit the dog’s exposure to, and offer medications or shampoos to aid in the relief.

Have you ever noticed how a dog can sometimes be their own worst enemy? A common skin problem is lick granulomas. These sore spots usually found around their ankles of joints are caused and irritated by only one thing, the dogs licking. You are going to need to try to disrupt your dog’s pattern or excessive licking. This will be more difficult than it sounds since the moment your head is turned they will head back to licking. Your veterinarian may recommend putting a cone on your dogs head for a few days to limit their ability to lick.

The first thing you should always check for with dogs who are starting to scratch too much is fleas. You need to get these little parasites under control quickly, before your pet starts to create additional dog skin conditions with their excessive scratching, nibbling, and licking. There are many highly effective over the counter solutions, plus even stronger remedies you can purchase at your local animal clinic.

There are various canine infectious diseases which your pet could contract from other dogs. If you have noticed any dogs with skin problems around your dog, this is a very likely candidate for their dog skin conditions. This will take a visit to the animal clinic for a proper evaluation, and the proper medications to get it under control.

The best news about dog skin conditions, they are all very treatable, and dogs recover quickly. Make sure you keep your dog clean and have regular visits to the vet, and your pet is likely to avoid most of these conditions. If they happen to start having problems, do not delay, get it under control quickly. Both you and your pet will be happy to have the scratching stop.

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Skin Diseases

Has your dog started driving you completely crazy with all of their lickings, chewing, and scratching? Every time you look at them they are busy attacking their own skin. This behavior should be your clue to have your pet checked for dog skin diseases.

If you ask your veterinarian what the number one cause of dogs being brought to his clinic, his instant answer will be dog skin diseases. Dogs are particularly prone to contracting various skin conditions which cause the high levels of discomfort. Here are a few of the common causes of the skin problems:

1. Allergies – Dogs are just as susceptible to allergies as humans. They have one distinct disadvantage when it comes to skin allergies. Their fur helps to keep the allergens trapped against their skin. Also, dogs are not bathed as often as humans shower, and the allergens are not washed away. When checking with your vet, he may recommend more frequent baths, using an antihistamine, or even special shampoos to help reduce your dog’s allergic reactions.

2. Fleas – While not technically a disease, fleas are one of the most persistent problems dogs encounter. These tiny insects make a feast of your dog’s skin causing immense discomfort, which leads to creating additional skin problems from all of the biting, scratching and licking. Fleas can easily be controlled with the proper use of flea collars, powders, and shampoos. Your vet can even recommend other solutions which are even more effective. Take care of this problem as quickly as possible before the skin problems multiply.

3. Bacterial Infections – Like every other living creature, dogs are very susceptible to bacterial infections. Often they compound the issue through their scratching and biting at any skin irritations. This is one reason it is very important to take your dog for a check-up as soon as you notice skin problems. The earlier you can attack the problem with antibiotics, the faster this form of dog skin diseases can be cured and your pet back to normal.

4. Lick Dermatitis – This is one case where a dog really is his own enemy. What may have started as a minor skin irritation is now a major lesion or irritation due to the incessant licking of your pet. This is not a form of dog skin disease because it is really not caused by any external problem. It is necessary for you to find a way to disrupt your pets pattern of habit, and allow the skin to heal.

This is just a sampling of the different kinds of dog skin diseases. As you can see they can be caused by a wide variety of sources, and have a wide range of different treatments. If the cause is not immediately obvious to you, then seek the advice of your veterinarian. Do not wait for the problems to become severe before seeking assistance. Your pet deserves the best care you can give them.

Skin Conditions

One of the most common problems dogs is taken to the veterinarian for is dog skin conditions. There is a wide range of skin conditions which afflict dogs, and as a dog owner, you need to be aware of some of the most common.

The one almost every dog owner fears and suspects is mange. Mange is not an individual disease but actually a complete category of skin conditions which predominantly only occur in domesticated animals. This family of skin conditions includes bacterial infections and parasitic mites. If you suspect your dog has mange, do not try to battle it on your own. This is condition best diagnosed by your dog’s vet. They will then be given the proper skin treatments or medications to clear up the condition.

When you hear about dermatitis you always assume it is primarily a human condition, but it is actually present in many species of animals. Dermatitis will cause your dog to become itchy around the eyes, mouth, and ears. This condition is very common in certain breeds, with the Golden Retriever being very susceptible. Usually, dermatitis can be traced to an allergic reaction. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend items you should limit the dog’s exposure to, and offer medications or shampoos to aid in the relief.

Have you ever noticed how a dog can sometimes be their own worst enemy? A common skin problem is lick granulomas. These sore spots usually found around their ankles of joints are caused and irritated by only one thing, the dogs licking. You are going to need to try to disrupt your dog’s pattern or excessive licking. This will be more difficult than it sounds since the moment your head is turned they will head back to licking. Your veterinarian may recommend putting a cone on your dogs head for a few days to limit their ability to lick.

The first thing you should always check for with dogs who are starting to scratch too much is fleas. You need to get these little parasites under control quickly, before your pet starts to create additional dog skin conditions with their excessive scratching, nibbling, and licking. There are many highly effective over the counter solutions, plus even stronger remedies you can purchase at your local animal clinic.

There are various canine infectious diseases which your pet could contract from other dogs. If you have noticed any dogs with skin problems around your dog, this is a very likely candidate for their dog skin conditions. This will take a visit to the animal clinic for a proper evaluation, and the proper medications to get it under control.

The best news about dog skin conditions, they are all very treatable, and dogs recover quickly. Make sure you keep your dog clean and have regular visits to the vet, and your pet is likely to avoid most of these conditions. If they happen to start having problems, do not delay, get it under control quickly. Both you and your pet will be happy to have the scratching stop.

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Dog Dandruff

Your little black dog jumps up in your lap and you start to pet them, scratching behind their ears. You look down and notice their fur is filled with white flakes which have sprinkled down on to your lap and chair, too. Dog dandruff is common, but not necessary.

A dog gets dandruff for exactly the same reason we do. Our skin is always in the process of replacing itself, and when the dead skin releases with do get flakes. The biggest difference between a dog with visible dandruff and one you never notice is the size and frequency of the flakes.

Think about the skin on your own legs or arms for a moment. When your skin is moisturized and well cared for it looks smooth and feels soft. When it becomes to dry it begin to look whitish, sometimes looks a little bit scary, and leaves behind white marks if you lightly scratch it.

Your dog’s skin is very similar. When their skin becomes too dry it begins to flake in larger sizes, it is easier to rub off, and suddenly your dog is causing a snow storm on your lap.

There are many ways to treat dog dandruff and the most effective way may not be running to the store for a dog dandruff shampoo.

The first thing should consider is your dog’s diet. It is primarily filled with dry dog food and water, he is probably not getting enough fats in his diet. His skin is flaky because it can not produce enough natural moisturizer. Try adding some canned dog food to his diet and see if the problem begins to clear up. You may want to consider using a vitamin E oil in their diet, also.

While a dog dandruff shampoo can be very effective, it may not be needed. Start off by shampooing your dog more frequently. Start off by trying twice a week and see if the problem clears up. You can bathe your dog more often if necessary, using a gentle shampoo. Often after only a few weeks, the condition corrects itself and you can go back to a normal bathing schedule.

If you choose to use a dandruff shampoo pay very careful attention to the directions. Most dandruff shampoos are limited on how often you should use them. Some only recommend once a week, some are a little more frequent. Dandruff shampoos often contain medications to help dandruff, and if used too often can be irritating instead of helpful.

Avoid trying your own shampoos to attempt to remedy dog dandruff. While dandruff is similar, the dog’s fur and your hair are quite different. Use only shampoos designed to keep their fur clean without overly stripping it, or damaging their underlying skin.

If the dandruff is persistent, then it is time to visit with your vet. It may be the root cause is caused by mites, a skin disease, or other underlying cause. Your vet will be able to give you the proper advice. You may always see a little dog dandruff, but when your pet is producing high amounts of dandruff get busy and take care of your pet’s skin. They will appreciate less need for scratching, and you will enjoy less cleanup.

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Symptoms of Worms in Dogs

Learning about worms in dogs takes a little more research than just the advice of a good buddy. They often have experienced only one kind of worm in their animals and may have no idea about all the other kinds of worms. Symptoms of worms in dogs vary greatly among the different kinds, and you must know what to watch out for.

One type of worm which dog owners run into more commonly is the tapeworm. Tapeworms infest the bowel and may be seen hanging out of the dog’s anus after they have a bowel movement. You may notice your dog dragging his rear on the ground trying to get relief from tapeworms.

Hookworms are another common type of infestation. Hookworms suck the energy right out of your dog. They are bloodsuckers and you will discover your dog becoming listless, lacking their normal energy. This can be even more pronounced in puppies. Hookworms can cause fatalities in younger puppies which do not have fully developed blood reproduction systems.

Roundworms are usually considered the easiest to detect since you can actually see the worms in the dog’s feces. Roundworms can cause diarrhea, loss of appetite, and great reductions in your dog’s energy levels.

Heartworms are the most commonly talked about worms in dogs. The symptoms of worms in dogs who have heartworms mimic coronary disease. The dog will become winded easily while playing. They may appear to be without energy. Heartworms are not normal for outdoor dogs who live in areas with freezing winters.

If your dog begins having a very dark, tar looking diarrhea it could be an indication they have been infected with whipworms. This is one of the harder worms to detect since they do not show up in the feces and the symptoms are very limited.

All types of worms are parasitic in nature and can have very severe consequences for your dog. If you start seeing any symptoms of worms in dogs, of any type of worm, you need to schedule a visit to the veterinarian. While there are many different over the counter solutions, most of them are intended to be used during early stages, or as a preventive measure.

Unless you are very confident in your self-diagnosis, any home remedies or over the counter medications could be exactly the wrong choice.

The good news with almost every kind of worm infestation, they are almost always treatable and reversible. The important thing is to make sure you take action as soon as you have suspicions your dog may have trouble. If you continue to wait for the worms have more opportunity to cause more severe problems, and in some cases can actually be fatal.

Taking the time to know symptoms of worms in dogs gives you a fighting chance of early detection and quick proper treatment. You owe it to your dog to keep your eyes open, make sure you take the proper preventive measures and get them to the vet quickly when you have any suspicion.

What You Should Know About The Bernice Mountain Dog

The Bernice Mountain Dog, more commonly known as the Bernese Mountain Dog, is a very large breed. Often large breeds of dogs do not have the colors and beauty of many of the smaller breeds, but this is one case where nature decided big is beautiful. With their three colored coat of hair in black, white, and golden brown, they have a beautiful rich thick coat of fur.

The Bernese Mountain Dog can grow to almost 28″ tall at the shoulders, making it one of the larger breeds in the world. Due to its large size, it was used as a working dog and even used to pull small carts in the mountains. A large male Bernice Mountain Dog can weigh almost 120 pounds, as much as many human females.

This large breed of dog is a descendant of the wolf, which made it a perfect candidate for defending and protecting farmers property. The Bernese is an excellent dog for working with cattle and other farm animals. They have the natural instincts to herd the animals, and with a little training become very efficient assistants.

One negative aspect of the large breed is their life expectancy. While most large breeds average 10 to 12 years of longevity, the Bernice Mountain Dog averages only 7 to 9 years. Make sure you keep this fact in mind when considering this breed for a family pet. If you have young children the dogs shorter lifespan may cause some difficult feelings. We all expect our pets to grow old and pass away, but the shorter lifespan can be difficult for our children.

The Bernese is an excellent breed to have around your family. They are good-natured, docile, and self-assured. With their genetic background of being used as a guard dog, and for work, they make great playmates for your children. In situations of the danger, they can be expected to stand by their owners, and be protective. In most situations they are very calm and friendly towards strangers, making them perfect for a household pet.

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If you want to have a dog which stands out on the block as the most beautiful dog, this could be your perfect choice. The Bernice Mountain Dog was actually voted the most beautiful breed by a group of American TV watchers. You will not need to worry about the neighbors referring to your dog as that ugly mutt from down the road. They most likely will be talking about the big beautiful dog. If it runs away, everyone will be helping to look for it, because it is the friendly good looking dog everyone in the neighborhood enjoys.

As with any large breed of dog, you will need to plan your budget for a little higher feeding bill than selecting a small breed. This added cost is offset by the great personality, affection, and beauty found in the Bernice Mountain Dog. It is a great choice to add to your home.

Bernese Mountain Dog Breeders

Bernese Mountain Dogs are one of the most beautiful breeds available. If you looking to add a Bernese to your family you need to choose your Bernese Mountain Dog breeders carefully. You want to choose a quality breeder to make sure you get a healthy puppy. If you already own a Bernese and are looking for a breeder so you can breed your own dog, you need to be equally careful.

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What should you look for in your Bernese Mountain Dog breeders? Here are a few questions you need to ask to make sure they are a reputable breeder.

Where are your puppies from? Are they bred on your own property? If the breeder does not give you an immediate positive answer and is not willing to share with you about their breeding program it is best to walk away. You will not have any knowledge about the truth of your puppy’s start to life.

Will you let me tour your breeding facility and grounds? Reputable Bernese Mountain Dog breeders are going to be excited to show you around their operation. This is the source of their pride. They love working with dogs and take great care of the grounds. On your tour look to make sure the kennels and area are clean. Look to see how the handlers are working with the dogs, and if they adult Bernese dogs are getting plenty of activity.

Can you show me health records for both of the parents? Your breeder should be able to produce a background, and the records for any dogs they own. By checking the records, and making sure both parents have been healthy gives you a higher chance of having a healthy puppy which grows into a healthy adult Bernese Mountain Dog.

Will you give me references so I can call other owners who have purchased from you? Any Bernese Mountain Dog breeders who have been successful and are running a good business will have plenty of happy and satisfied clients. They should be happy to have you call a few of their customers because they know they are going to get good reviews. If they are hesitant to give you references, you may want to consider your other options.

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One way to tell if Bernese Mountain Dog breeders are serious about their dogs, they will be asking you just as many questions. They are going to be concerned about the welfare of their puppies. They will want to know where the puppy will be located, and will probably want to keep in contact with you about future breeding opportunities. They are going to be passionate about the breed, and want to keep their prized lineages going. Listen closely to how they are talking to you, and you will quickly know if they are just in the business for money, or are in it for the love of the dogs. It is very obvious which one you will get the best Bernese from. Taking a little extra time to evaluate your breeders are going to make sure you get the best dog and have the best opportunities for future breeding.

How To Choose The Best Dog Food

Do you know what to look for in your dog food? Were you under the impression all dog food was just about the same, except for the differences in the pretty packaging and the crazy differences in prices? By doing a dog food comparison you will discover some very large differences in how the foods are made.

One of the first things you must watch for when doing a dog food comparison is how much of the mixture is good quality food and how much is fillers like corn. To give you a good idea, let us take a look at a few popular brands and see how their ingredients compare:

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A very popular, and often considered higher end, dog food is Eukanuba Adult dog food. The first item listed is chicken, which is great for dogs, but then we take an immediate slide into mediocrity. The next three ingredients are chicken byproducts meal, cornmeal, and ground whole grain sorghum. The worst of the ingredients is cornmeal, which is very hard for your dog to digest.

Purina Dog Chow is one of the best-known brands of dog food on the market. Everyone has heard of it with their prolific advertising campaigns. The shocking thing is when you examine their ingredient list. The first item on the list is ground yellow corn. The next three ingredients are equally curious, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, and soybean meal. The biggest problem with the chicken by-product meal is it does not indicate the amount of ground bone included. Ground bone is a useless filler for your dog.

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A less known brand can show you the vast difference found in ingredients. Bil-Jac Select’s first ingredient is fresh chicken by-products organ meat only. This is high-quality protein and nutrition for your dog. The next three ingredients are fresh chicken, corn, and chicken by-product meal. As you notice corn comes in number three putting it in a much lower concentration than the other foods.

To continue the comparison of why lesser known high-quality brands are beginning to make an impact, here are the ingredients for Flint River Ranch. The first item is a chicken meal. This is followed up with whole wheat flour, ground rice, and lamb meal. Do you notice what is missing in this dog food? It is corn. This is an easily digestible, high-quality food.

When you are doing a dog food comparison you must stop looking at the price and the advertising. You need to flip the bag around and check the ingredients. When you see the main ingredients are corn, you know it is not as high of quality as possible. Never settle for a food where corn is the number one ingredient.

Your dog food comparison should include checking how much protein your dog will receive while reducing the amount of corn. Your dog will enjoy the food and will have less digestive trouble. It is worth the small cost difference to buy quality.

Human Grade Dog Food

Dogs have the ability to take on almost human-like traits. They play, joke, get grouchy, and many other personality traits. Since they act almost human, you may want to start feeding this valuable part of your family Human Grade Dog Food.

What exactly is human grade dog food? It is dog food manufactured to higher standards, and higher quality, than your standard dog foods. This dog food meets or exceeds the requirements the FDA sets forth for the production of food for human consumption. Pet food is normally allowed to have a much higher percentage of byproducts, chemicals, and more leniency in production methods.

Think of it this way. When food for humans is manufactured, every step of the process must be running on FDA approved equipment, conveyor belts, cooking systems, and packaging machines. They have all been tested and certified to meet the highest standards. The ingredients used in the products must also meet all the high standards set forth by the FDA. Food manufacturers and packages can have a drop in inspection at any moment to check on their cleanliness, and the quality of ingredients they use.

When you buy human grade dog food it is of high enough quality you could safely feed it to every member of your family. The ingredients are of equal quality to the foods you buy in the grocery store for yourself and your children. The processes used are safe and clean enough to guarantee a human will not become ill eating the food. Do not be tempted to try it. Where your pet will love the food, your family will probably call the insane asylum to have you admitted. They do not want human grade food, they want human food.

If you value your pet and feel they are a true member of your family, you may want to try upgrading their dog food to the highest quality possible. As you are probably already guessing, these varieties of dog foods are going to be more expensive. It will be up to you to decide if they are worth it for your pet.

One other area where human grade dog food is very valuable is with finicky eating dogs. You will discover this level of dog food is made with more natural ingredients, carefully blended to satisfy almost any dog. The flavors are what your dog’s instincts tell them they should love. They will devour this food while leaving many of the other brands of dog foods sitting in their bowls. When you have been throwing away food, testing different brands, and wasting money, you may discover the higher cost of the human grade is actually cheaper. If your dog eats every bite, and there is no waste, it could be the true bargain.

When your dog starts acting like a human and wants to join you at the table, it is a sure sign it is time to upgrade their diet. They are notifying you of their new status as nearly human and demanding the high quality of human grade dog food.

Vegetarian Dog Food

There is two reason vegetarian dog food has been increasing in popularity. The first reason is the health benefits to dogs with certain health conditions. The second reason is the owner who is living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and would like their pet to join them.

Before you jump up and go running out the door to the grocery store or to the superstore, realize they are not going to have the vegetarian dog food on their shelves. It is a very rare store which has this variety in stock.

Where you will need to look is at large pet supply centers, your veterinarian’s office, or do your shopping online. Were you surprised about the veterinarian’s office? Since some dogs become either allergic or sensitive to certain animal proteins vets have learned is important to have a healthy substitute. This allows them to remove the ingredients which may be causing the dog problems.

A vegetarian dog food will use natural plant protein to replace the animal protein. Your dog needs protein to satisfy his physical needs. The most common source for the plant protein comes from soybeans.

Your veterinarian may caution you to be careful when buying vegetarian foods. Many of them have high amounts of wheat gluten, which can cause problems with dogs sensitive to gluten. This does not eliminate the possibility of feeding your dog vegetarian meals. A few producers of vegetarian dog food have come out with wheat free products to make sure your pet does not experience any issues.

The first worry you may have with switching to vegetarian foods is whether your pet will even eat them. Were you aware many of the top dog’s foods already use a high percentage of corn, wheat, and rice? Your dog devours these foods ravenously. Take out the small percentage of animal by-products and replacing them with high quality, flavored vegetarian selections could go completely unnoticed by your pet.

What you will probably notice, as a pet owner, is your dog will still have great energy with less dietary distress. You may notice their bowel movements become more regular with less frequent bouts of diarrhea or constipation.

Reading the ingredient list on a high-quality vegetarian dog food like Natural Balance may leave you drooling and jealous of your dog. The ingredients include brown rice, potatoes, green peas, and oatmeal. All the needed protein comes from this mix of vegetables and grain. Natural Balance uses no dairy or other animal proteins to give your pet the nutrition they need.

If you are considering vegetarian dog food for your pet’s health then check with the vet first. If your dog is sensitive to their current food it could be caused by the grains and vegetables in their current food. Your vet will help you make the right choice. If you are choosing to have your pet join you in your vegetarian lifestyle go ahead and buy a high-quality vegetarian food. Your pets will love the food.

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Hills Pet Food

You already know your pet needs the finest nutrition possible to stay healthy. When your pet has special nutritional needs you need experts who have created nutritional products for veterinarians, breeders, and pet owners for years. You need Hills Pet Food.

Hills Pet Food comprises several different lines. They have their normal line-up of dog and cat food to take care of the everyday needs of pets, this line is called the Hills Science Diet. This not the normal off the shelf variety of pet foods you find in the stores. This is exceptionally high-quality food made to exceed your pets nutritional needs, not to just match a minimum requirement. The Hills Pet company knows only with exceptional nutrition do your pets have exceptional health, and greater energy.

Hills Pet does not stop with just the Science Diet line. They have a complete line of foods specifically designed for the demanding needs of veterinarians. When a vet needs to find a food to take care of pet allergies, a sensitive digestive system, or for animals with bladder problems, they turn to the Hills Pet Prescription Diet line. This line of products is what your veterinarian will feed your pet in their clinic to nurse them back to health, and what they often recommend you use at home to aid in your pet’s recovery.

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Pet food is not a one solution item. Dogs of different breeds, different sizes, and different ages need different formulations. Hills Pet Food is designed with all of those criteria in mind. They create products specifically for puppies, small dogs, large dogs, older dogs, and even overweight dogs. They give the same detail and variety in their line of cat foods. You need to match the food you provide your pet to meet their exact nutritional needs or you can face health issues or lethargic pets. No one enjoys a pet who is always laying around with no energy. We want our pets to be fun and energetic.

You can find many pet food companies which have started to follow in Hill’s steps with a wider range of foods for different situations, but most of them stop with just one variety and neglect another important aspect of your pet’s happiness. Hills Pet Food has variety in flavors for your animals and then makes sure to take care of one of the most important bonding items between owners and their pets. Even when your dog or cat has nutritional challenges you need to have treats. Hills Pet recognizes the importance of creating healthy treats you can share with your pets and which still aids in giving them the proper nutrition. You will love knowing the treats you give your pet are healthy, and not just empty calories making them even fatter.

The Hills Pet Food company has been around since 1939, and with their continued development of the highest quality foods they will be around for many more decades. This is the company to turn to when you want the highest nutrition for your pet.

Pinnacle Dog Food

One of the first things which will catch your attention about Pinnacle Dog Food is the packaging. They use amazingly beautiful portraits of dogs in natural scenery to adorn their packages. Many times we discover great packaging is just the hype to make us ignore what is inside, but Pinnacle has nothing to hide.

The second thing you will notice about Pinnacle Dog Food is the unusual flavors. You may start scratching your head wondering why your dog would like that combination. One of their flavors is Trout and Sweet Potato. It sounds like a great picnic lunch beside a cold mountain stream, but not something you expect in your dog’s food bowl. Once you put the food in their bowl, you will discover the Pinnacle company has not lost their minds. They have done great research and found combination dogs love. Your dog might even be begging for seconds.

If Trout and Sweet Potato were not strange enough, then you need to head out to the hunting grounds. Their next highly popular flavor is Duck and Potato. This one actually makes a little more sense. Imagine the delight of a hunting dog who has spent years assisting you on the hunt. They have swum out and retrieved ducks off the pond for you, but never been given a chance to enjoy the rewards. Today you can give them the proper reward, and treat them to their own meal of duck and potato.

It is not just the unusual flavors which make the Pinnacle Dog Food so good. It is the high quality and the high nutrition. This food is optimized for nutrition for the canine body. It will give your dog a great looking coat, support their health, and give them boundless energy. The food is blended with the proper vitamins and probiotics to make sure your dog stays at peak health.

What about a little more common flavor for your dogs? Pinnacle offers a Chicken and Oat dried dog food variety. This is more in line with the offering of other manufacturers. The best way to keep your dog satisfied is to give them a little variety in flavor while maintaining the same high quality and nutrition. By rotating the different flavors you can take care of keeping their diet well balanced and easy on their digestive system, while still giving them the variety of flavors.

If your dog is having trouble with food allergies, the Pinnacle Dog Food line offers these same great flavors in an Allergy-Free variety. The food is manufactured to keep the nutrition high while eliminating the ingredients which have been shown to cause higher amounts of allergic reaction in sensitive dogs. Your dog can still have the great flavor, the best quality, and fewer allergy symptoms. The price is just slightly higher but is a great value for your pet.

Choosing Pinnacle Dog Food is a great choice for value, flavor, and nutrition. Your dog may believe you have taken them to the best gourmet restaurant in town.

Wellness Pet Food

Does the name Wellness Pet Food tell the entire story of this company? The fact they chose to take on the name Wellness should give you a quick clue to the passion of this company. They have only one mission in their business, to provide pets the highest quality, natural, holistic pet foods on the market. They know this is the proper way to enhance our pet’s wellness.

When shopping for high-quality pet foods we run across a wide variety of brands. Many of the brands come from the big name pet food manufacturers and are made in almost the identical method of all their standard foods. With Wellness Pet Food there are no other options. They produce one kind of quality and only one kind of quality. They only produce the finest quality possible, with recipes designed by pet nutritionists and veterinarians who specialize in the health of our pets.


What Wellness has discovered is pets thrive at their highest levels when they are fed natural ingredients. Not just any natural ingredients, but high-quality food. A pet food company can make a completely natural pet food which is filled with low-quality droppings from the slaughterhouse. Their claims of creating natural foods would still be justified. Wellness chooses to produce all of their pet foods using high-quality cuts. They know providing protein to our pets is not enough, it must be high-quality protein if it is going to help them maintain a healthy, strong, energetic body.

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The same theories are used in all of the other ingredients used in Wellness Pet Food. When they choose grain products to include in their recipes they only select high-quality whole grains. Some pet food companies cut corners and buy lower quality grains. Wellness recognizes not all dogs and cats can consume grain due to allergies. They create a line-up of grain free, and allergen free products for our pets with more sensitive systems. Sometimes allergy free products have less flavor and our pets do not enjoy them. Wellness creates unique, flavorful blends like Rice and Salmon or Rice and Duck to give your pet an allergen-free food which is still full of flavor. They will feel like they are back on a normal diet, and their eating habits and energy will show the difference.

From your pets standpoint, there is another important part of the Wellness Pet Food. When you use only the highest quality fresh meats and grains you have a pet food which tastes great. Leaving out all of the preservatives which kill the flavor in some pet foods enhances the taste even more. Your pet will be enjoying their food again, and getting all the nutrition they really need. What you will quickly discover the Wellness difference shows up in your pet’s level of energy. If your pet has been lethargic due to low-quality nutrition, they will return to their youthful energy levels. You will once again have an excited playful pet.

Pet Food Container

Do you understand all the reasons you should be using a pet food container? Most pet owners tear open the bag of dry cat food or dog food and just start serving it. Sometimes that bag stands open for more than two weeks as they continue to feed their pet from it. Ask yourself a simple question, how long would you eat from a bag of open bread or open bag of potato chips?

Your pet’s food is just as vulnerable to damage from the moisture in the air, bacteria, mold, and other contaminants as your food. Think how quickly bread goes dry if you leave the bag open. You probably are complaining that you roll down the corner of the dog food bag. Did you really seal it? Your pet food may be dry when you open the bag, but if you live in a humid environment it is not going to remain dry in the bag. It may still look dry to you, but the bacteria know differently.

The best way to store dry pet food is in large plastic pet food container. These containers are designed to be sealed tightly helping to control the damage from outside elements. One element which loves on open pet food bag is one of your most disliked guests.

Mice are going to delight at finding an open bag. Once they smell the delicious aroma they will not worry about climbing to the opening, they will start making their own by chewing new openings in the bottom of the bag. You go to pick up the bag and the food will go pouring out. If you store the pet food in a container the mice are going to stay away. They cannot chew through the plastic, and the smell which was tempting them before is now removed.

It is not only mice which love your open pet food bags, so do the insects. Many kinds of insects find dog and cat food to be a great treasure. Sometimes these microscopic insects can go undetected by your eyes and are ingested by your pets. Then you begin to wonder why your pet is ill. A well-sealed pet food container will solve this issue, too.

It is not only for preserving the food you should choose to use a container. Many of the containers offer you an easy way to dispense the food. They offer an easy to use dispenser towards the bottom of the container. You put the bowl down, open the dispenser and allow the food to drop into the bowl. No more needing to pick up a 50-pound bag of dog food to pour out a bowl of food.

If you have both cats and dogs you may want to get a stacking pet food container on wheels. You can put the cat food in the upper smaller container and keep the dog food in the lower, bigger container. Then when you need to do the feeding you just wheel the container out to their bowls. Fill the bowls, and then wheel all the food back into storage out of the way. Instead of battling multiple bags of food you have one convenient pet food storage system. The food is safe from the air, pests, and ready for you to serve. Once you try using the containers you will never want to go back to leaving the food in bags again.