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Março 2013

Doenças comuns dos gatos e seus sintomas

 Por zack em 31 Mar 2013 |
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Despite great interest, there is a lack of common knowledge about cat healthcare.  Oftentimes, we’re at a loss when our sick cats seem out of sorts. It can make you feel helpless. Spotting symptoms early will lead to quick treatment, and less overall stress for your pet. Remember that only your veterinarian can properly diagnose and treat a sick cat's illnesses, but in the name of preparedness: here’s a short list of common illnesses, the symptoms, and the general treatment a veterinarian might offer.   Urinary Tract Infection Cats can get urinary tract infections just like people. Signs of this in cats will vary depending on circumstance. Many cats will whine when using the litter box, and you might find blood in their urine. They may also have accidents even if they are otherwise housetrained. You may notice your cat making frequent trips to the box but they seem to have trouble doing their business. UTI’s will range significantly in severity and you may not even know that there is a problem. These extremely mild cases will most often clear up before you become aware of an issue. If however, you do notice something’s wrong, it’s probably time to visit your veterinarian. Antibiotics are the common first step in treating UTI’s and will most likely clear up the problem so long as it’s diagnosed early. Your veterinarian should do a series of tests to determine the origin of the problem. In some cases, the infection may spread to the kidney and the situation becomes more complicated. Your kitty could be in a lot of pain. If you see any of these symptoms, make an appointment as soon as possible. Because any blockage that prevents your cat from urinating can become life threatening very quickly. Upper Respiratory Infection This is much like a human cold. The good news is that it’s rare for an indoor pet to contract this infection. This illness is contagious and one cat must come in contact with another to catch it. If your cats stay inside and you don't go around petting every sick kitty you see then you probably don’t have to worry about it. Cats that do go outside however, are significantly more at risk. A cat with a respiratory infection will sneeze, cough, have a runny nose, or even develop a fever. You may also notice watery eyes and a raspy meow. In many cases, this is only a minor annoyance to the cat and veterinarian’s visits won’t be needed. If you notice your cat is not eating or drinking or seems lethargic, they may be very sick so schedule a visit ASAP. URI’s are generally caused by viruses. Antibiotics are generally administered not to treat the virus but to hold off any secondary bacterial problems that can pop up while your cat is sick. Your veterinarian may also give your cat medications to break up mucus so your cat can breathe easier. In severe cases your cat may become dehydrated and will require a fluid drip. That’s all for now, Check back tomorrow for part 2 of this list!

Algumas dicas de senso comum para começar com animais de estimação em casa

 Por zack em 29 Mar 2013 |
Sem comentários
We all want to have some furry and lovable pets at home. But the question is: are we ready to have one?  It’s not exactly a walk in the park, (at least not all the time). Because having a pet entails so much responsibility and commitment, first time pet owners may find it a little difficult and eventually end up getting stressed out. Which is no good for them or their prospective pets.   Pets are living creatures with deep feelings and poignant emotions. We need to keep that in mind and endeavor to maintain a good relationship with them.  Too often, pet owners resort to punishment for minor infractions. Punishment is a poor tool for shaping a pet’s behavior in most situations. Physical punishment and harsh scolding are likely to bruise your relationship and can often lead to more serious problems down the line, such as aggression or anxiety.  Never swat, spank, thump shake or yell at your puppy or kitten.  Avoid doing anything that makes your pet act frightened or reluctant to approach you. We need to train dogs and cats to have good behavior. Teaching them tricks is a positive way to gain respect. Building a sense of trust is key to letting your pet know you’re there to take care of it.  Teaching them tricks should start at the very beginning. The day you bring it home needs to be the first day of obedience school. Praise and appreciate the good behavior with food or affection. If the pet gets positive reinforcement for their actions, they begin to associate the actions with the rewards. Even if the rewards are something as simple as petting and praise, the investment in positive reinforcement will pay big dividends in the long run. They will learn to repeat their appreciated actions to get the same positive reinforcement from you. This also helps develop a sense of communication.  Establish a different tone or hand gesture for positive and negative reinforcement in order to help your pet differentiate whether its actions were good or bad. Spend quality time with your dog by taking it on long daily walks, going to the park, or throwing a ball. The standard puppy stuff isn’t that complicated. Part of why we love them is that they’re so easy to please.  Set up a routine with your dog that he or she can look forward to, that way it’ll know and be comfortable with whatever comes next. And always remember that simple petting helps your dog to feel comfortable and strengthens the bond between the two of you. It also serves as one-on-one attention upon which dogs thrive. At the end of the day, whether or not we’re ready to have a pet at home is a big decision requiring a lot of serious thought.  We need to be prepared for the ups and the downs, but most importantly we need to show that we love them, and that means going the extra mile to put in the time.  

Top 3 Cães Heróicos

 Por zack em 26 Mar 2013 |
2 Comentário (s)
We’ve all heard stories of animal bravery. It’s no wonder we refer to dogs as “man’s best friend,” when on numerous occasions we see examples of unbelievable animal valor. Even though we give our pets their due, you can’t ever say or hear enough about a heroic pet. So to commemorate the random acts of heroism performed by pets around the world, here is a short list of the top 3 most heroic dogs in history! Trakr the German shepherd- Trakr is an animal so famous that they cloned him. This heroic animal was the one to discover the final survivor buried beneath the wreckage at Ground Zero of the 9/11 attacks. The brave pooch and his handler, a Canadian police officer, spent all day September 12 2001 searching the rubble for signs of life. He eventually collapsed due to exhaustion, smoke inhalation, and burns. He recovered the day after, but eventually died due to a neurological disease that he may have contracted during the search. Trakr actually had already accrued quite a history of heroism prior to his most famous exploit. He was a police dog in Halifax, Nova Scotia, responsible for the retrieval of over one million dollars’ worth of contraband, and instrumental in the capture of dozens of criminal suspects. Trakr is truly the definition of a heroic hound. Seargent Stubby- Seargent Stubby was the most decorated war dog of WWI. The dog was a stray of unknown breeding, adopted by the 26th division of the 102nd infantry division. Stubby was initially a mascot for the division, but became adept at predicting mustard gas attacks after being exposed to the dastardly substance himself. In addition to sniffing out gas attacks, the courageous canine located wounded soldiers throughout the battlefield, and warned of incoming artillery fire due to the high pitched whine that would signal an approaching shell. After the war, Stubby enjoyed celebrity status, often leading parades. He also became the official mascot of the Georgetown University football team. Tog the Siberian Huskee- Togo is truly the unsung hero of rescue dogs. During a dreadful cold Alaskan winter, an outbreak of deadly diphtheria swept through Nome. The only way to retrieve the medicine that would save dozens of children’s lives was by dog sled. If the story sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the plot to Balto. An animated feature film that told the story of the dog that led the sled during the last leg of the relay. However, most historians consider Togo to be the real hero of the journey. At the ripe old age of 12 years, he led the team over 365 miles round trip through subzero temperatures that reached as low as -65 degrees Celsius.   The snow and wind was so heavy that the musher, Leonhard Seppala,  couldn’t even see the path. Togo had to navigate the storm on his own, and led the team to safety several times throughout the perilous journey. Check back for more tales of heroic pets!

Stinky Mutts necessidade chuveiros: Como lavar o seu cão

 Por zack em 23 Mar 2013 |
Sem comentários
So you’ve spent all week wearing your dog out. You’ve been to the park, on long walks, and capped it all off with a muddy trip to a lake.  You two have been on the go and keeping active, which is all well and good, but now it’s time to get cleaned up. That’s right the dreaded day on every doggy’s schedule. It’s… Bath Day! Dun Dun Dunnnnn! A puppy bath can be nightmare for many canines, but a little preparation and a positive mindset can go a long way in preventing unwanted stress. Bathing your dog doesn’t have to be a big pain if you use a no-nonsense approach. Here are a few pointers to get you started in the right direction: Don’t wash your dog too often! So how often should you bathe your dog? It depends on the breed; you’ll need to look up the specific information. Some dogs such as Shiba Inu’s have a waterproof coat that has natural oils which can be stripped if the dog is bathed too frequently. Choose a good shampoo! Those natural oils I was just talking about? They’re actually on every dog in varying amounts. So when a shampoo that isn’t specifically suited to animal fur is used, it will strip your pup’s skin in a second. Look for dog shampoos labeled: “Formulated for veterinary use.” Give your dog plenty of exercise beforehand! You have a choice. Bathe a tired dog or a fresh and frisky one. Which seems like it might be easier? It’s best to let your dogs expend a lot of energy before bathing. That way they won’t be as vigorous in their resistance. Make it fun! Try using bubbles. It doesn’t always work, but if your dog can have fun in a lake it’s not like they associate all water with a bad time. So if you bring some bubbles into the mix, you might just convince the canine that bath time is actually fun.  Stay positive! Remember that dogs feed off of your emotions. If you think this is going to be fun, and choose to see it as a bonding experience with your dog then chances are they’ll follow suit. You’re the pack leader, so make your pup fall in line. These are just some basic tips that should allow you and your dog to have a very positive experience at bath time. A lot of dogs hate being cleaned. After all, they worked hard to acquire all of those bad smells. Which, by the way, they think are pretty awesome.  So you’ll have to expect that there is some resistance, but if you follow these simple steps and come at the chore with a "can do" attitude, then you shouldn’t have much trouble bathing your dog. And if all else fails you can always try a mobile grooming service.  Make sure to keep informed with more informative articles and advice from your friends here at Petbucket!

Fora das opções: Encontrando um profissional Pet Sitter Parte 2

 Por zack em 17 Mar 2013 |
Sem comentários
We’ll jump right in where we left off in our last post: with the interview process. After you’ve narrowed the field of applicants and checked your potential professional pet sitter’s credentials with a phone screening, reference check, and possibly a background check,  it’s time to go to the final stage. You’ll be interviewing your pet sitter in person. This is the most exciting part of the process because you get to finally meet the caretaker your dog or cat will most closely associate with outside of your own sweet self. So here are a few things to look for in the face to face: Insurance- this is a big one. You want to make sure that your pet sitter is a pro. To do that you’ve got to find out if he or she is insured against negligence and accidents. If they aren’t then they’ll be opening themselves up to potential trouble, and if they aren’t careful enough to protect themselves, then it doesn’t give you much confidence in their determination to care for your pet, does it? What sort of related services come with the pet sitting? Will she be able to groom, walk, train, and play with the dog or cat? Or is this an exclusive “feed and let out” sort of situation? You want to get the absolute maximum amount of service for your dollar here. What sort of training or experience do they have? This could probably be taken care of in the phone screening process, but you want to reinforce what you know about the sitter. So be sure to ask again, and be aware that plenty of personal life experience with dogs and cats can translate pretty well in these situations. We take it seriously, but it’s not rocket science. Look for a written contract. Whenever dealing with a service professional in your home it’s nice to have terms written out on paper that can easily be referred back to. Find out what emergency procedures the sitter will take. Say your pet gets  injured? What steps will you’re the sitter take to insure they will be taken care of? Better to find out ahead of time just in case. These are some basic tips to gear your mind toward the important stuff. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and you should definitely come up with your own questions according to your own priorities. Once you’ve chosen your professional pet sitter the difficult part is over! You can head back to the coal mine with the peace of mind that your cat or dog is well attended while you’re away. Not only that, but they’ll be better behaved, have more exercise, and be much better tempered from the human contact that you’ve provided for them in your absence. Pat yourself on the back, and scratch them behind the ears because you two make an awesome team! Stay tuned for more pet tips from your friends here at Petbucket, and have a happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Fora das opções: Encontrando um profissional Pet Sitter Parte 1.

 Por zack em 14 Mar 2013 |
Sem comentários
Sometimes keeping a steady job can be difficult. Especially if you have a pet at home who’s attention starved and lonely. Those ten hour shifts won’t work themselves and if you happen to be living the bachelor(ette) lifestyle it can be an easy thing to let your animal companions fall into neglect. Pets feed on human attention at almost the same rate they feed on their kibbles and bits, but you’ve got to work, so what’s to be done? Well, luckily for you there is a whole section of professionals dedicated to helping your provide your pet with the care that they deserve. Professional pet sitters are common, affordable, and flexible enough to mesh with almost any schedule.  However, seeing as you care so much for your dog or cat that you feel the need to provide for them while you’re away, it’s probably pretty important to you to make sure that you’re hiring someone with credentials, character, and enough experience to get the job done right. So how do you pick the perfect pet professional? There are a few important steps to take whenever letting anyone have access to your home and beloved dog or cat. First off you need to determine exactly what you’re going to require. Does your pet need more than one daily visit? How long do they need to spend with your pet? Are there other services you’ll require, like getting the mail, watering the plants, etc.? All these factors and more will affect the price of your pet sitter. Just make certain you have track of all the variables involved. Next you need to go through the screening, interviewing, and hiring processes. Those of you with managerial experience will find this to be a familiar task. First, you need to find a reliable set of sitters from which to peruse. Used to be you’d have to consult your Yellow pages. That’s technically still an option if you’re feeling old school, but with the world wide web network to browse, paper and ink might be more of a time waster than anything else.  Care.com or Craigslist are good places to start. The aforementioned yellow pages do have a website as well. There’s also a couple of national pet sitter hotlines: Pet Sitters International (336-983-9222) or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (856-439-0324). You’ll also need to get through an interview process. Don’t just stick with your first inquiry. Build a list of potential pet sitters, and screen them all by phone. They’ll give you a list of references which you should look into individually to confirm that they aren’t just scammers or unqualified. If you’re feeling extra cautious you can pay to have a background check performed as well. Although that’s pushing the line of paranoia, still you can’t be too careful when it comes to home security. There’s plenty more to cover on such a complex subject , So this post will have to be concluded tomorrow.  Stay tuned for more advice on picking professional pet sitters!                        

Benefícios para a saúde da propriedade de animais de estimação

 Por zack em 09 Mar 2013 |
Sem comentários
Everyone hears about how owning a pet can improve their quality of life. However, it’s easy to take such claims with a grain of salt. Perhaps if people knew to a greater degree the benefits of pets, they may just go out and adopt a litter all to themselves! With the aim of education in mind, let’s take a look at some of the incredible ways our animal companions can have a significant effect on our health. For starters, pets increase serotonin and decrease cortisol. These two chemicals are associated with pleasure and stress, respectively. So the first health benefit of pet ownership is quite literally, medicinal-quality mood enhancement. Their very presence can alter human body chemistry! That alone is incredible, but the pet ownership perks don’t stop there. It’s also been shown that a lower resting blood pressure rate is one of the benefits of pets. They’ve even been attributed with the ability to relieve hypertension in children to a small degree.  Pet owners on average are usually less prone to high cholesterol and triglyceride counts, although no direct link between the animal and these health benefits have been established. It may be that people who own pets are predisposed to having a healthier lifestyle in which they go on daily walks, engage in more activity, and are less sedentary by default. Dogs and cats both actually have significant statistical impacts on heart disease as well, with cat owners  being far less susceptible to cardiac problems than their fellow folk who are rocking it feline free . Similarly, dog owners who did suffer heart attacks and survived are far more likely to make full recoveries within one year after their attacks take place, as compared to people without dogs that is. While pet ownership is a handful no matter what kind of animal you keep, dogs in particular have a habit of keeping you on your feet and moving. Because of their constant need for walks, outdoor play, and physical interaction, dog owners tend to have a far less prevalent occurrence of obesity and associated weight problems.  Combine these pet benefits with an Atkins diet and you’ll be beach ready in no time! Although dogs have an advantage in the physical fitness category, cats have a corner on the market of creepy intangible pet benefits. For some unknown and unquantifiable reason, cat owners are far less likely to suffer a stroke. The debilitating blood clots to the brain that can doom a person to a lifetime of paralyzed facial features can be prevented by having an odd furry roommate you’ve taught to poop in a box. Life certainly has its mysteries. Perhaps that’s why the Egyptians worshiped them. Regardless of whether you prefer a precious purring pussycat or a dutiful and delightful doggy, you can rest assured that owning either puts you ahead of the game in the health department. These are actually only a few of the incredible health benefits that pet ownership can provide. So remember to give your animal companion an extra treat for all that they do to protect their families!   Image via 55 weeks of photography blog

Gatos gordos e filhotes de cachorro Pudgy: Como impedir a obesidade do animal de estimação

 Por zack em 06 Mar 2013 |
2 Comentário (s)
Obesity is a big problem for people. It’s an even bigger problem for pets. At least people occasionally have the wherewithal to go see a doctor and make lifestyle changes. Dogs and cats rarely have that luxury. Unfortunately, a lot of folks will tolerate an obese animal with quite a bit more humor than they will when their own waistline starts increasing. In the U.S. the obesity capital of the world, it’s estimated that a whopping fifty four percent of dogs and cats are either overweight or obese! So there’s a huge problem, people feed their fat dogs and cats too much. What can be done about it? Dogs are very much like humans in that a healthy diet and exercise are always the best way to achieve weight loss in a relatively short amount of time.  We’ve discussed the importance of proper exercise and diet for your dogs on this blog before, but as it turns out this information needs to be applied to your kitty cats as well.  It’s pretty easy to exercise your dog. Just take it outside, run around the block a few times, walk it on a leash for a while, or even visit your local dog park and let it go nuts with its friends and neighbors. Cats are as usual, slightly more complicated. Cats need constant stimulation, the trusty laser pointer works really well for a lot of folks. There are tons of other toys designed specifically with your cat in mind. If your cat hasn’t been declawed you might also consider letting it outside daily. Though coyotes can be a major threat in suburban areas depending on where you live, so be careful! Dog dietary needs are discussed in detail in this previous post, but cat’s need similar treatment. Every cat is different so you may need to do some independent research to figure out what the best diet for your pet is. However there are certain universal guidelines that you can start with. Always consult a vet before putting your cat on a diet. That’s the quickest way to determine proper portion size and dietary content. Look first at nutrients! The nutritional value of cat food is of supreme importance When trying a new dish poor a spoonful of chicken or beef broth over the food. It’ll go a long way in helping the cat accept the new taste and texture. Go for gradual weight loss. Fat cats aren’t going to take to “crash dieting” all that well. If you can use that as a start then follow your vet’s instructions to a “T” then you shouldn’t have any trouble turning your tubby tabby into a lean mean mouse catching machine. No matter whether you’ve got a dog or cat you want to ensure the best lifestyle possible for your animal companion. They only have you to depend on. So really consider what your best course of action is to tame your pet’s appetite and contain its waistline.

Animais de Estimação e Bebês: Uma Partida feita em Céu Adorável!

 Por zack em 03 Mar 2013 |
Sem comentários
Most pet owners know that having a dog or cat around the house can enrich their lives immeasurably. What they might not have heard is that it can be a boon for a bouncing baby as well. Acoording to recent studies, a dog or cat can have a significant impact on an infant child’s respiratory health. What are the chances? The study comes out of Finland, a country renowned for its excellent education system and a hard line against financial corruption. They seem to be going for the feel-good hat trick with this fascinating news. This exhaustive study was undertaken by pediatricians monitoring nearly 400 children under a year old. The pediatricians looked for any health problems, defects, etc. and cross referenced that data with a weekly questionnaire presented by parents that examined their infant’s daily health and as many outlying factors as possible. Things such as siblings, daycare attendance, low weight at birth, or presence of cigarette smoke in their daily lives. The results? Pets that spent in excess of 6 hours inside the home usually meant healthier kids. 73% of the time to be exact. Children without pets were still fairly healthy, about 65% of the time. Still a majority, but what a statistical difference! If you were wondering whether or not to get a pet when you’re expecting, just know that dogs and cats give your baby a 7% head start on healthy living. As to what it breaks down to between cats and dogs, both showed a big statistical difference in infant health, but the stronger showing goes to canines. After all, cats infrequently have a pesky habit of sleeping on top of children to keep warm, that’s not all that good for a newborn. There were a range of individual health benefits, but the infants benefited most from their pets by contracting less ear infections and requiring less antibiotics. There was also a marked difference in the amount of fevers experienced by infants with dogs that spent time outside. But the question remains: why do dogs and cats prevent health issues in babies? The answer is pretty simple. Infants who are exposed to more bacteria, tracked inside along with dirt from the pet’s footsteps, develop stronger immune systems with which to fight off infections. So having a dog or cat serves as environmental training wheels for your baby to practice dealing with the elements. This research confirms what common sense has been telling parents for years. Interaction with a fluffy fun loving critter is just plain good for kids and adults alike.  The study can be read in its entirety here. It’s a fascinating read, and one more check in the pro column for pet lovers everywhere. So the moral of the story is don’t be afraid to expose your child to the outdoors or any pet on all fours, both can benefit your baby a great deal. So give your pet an extra treat for their life saving potential today!
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