Seven Harmful and Possibly Deadly Foods for Your Feline

A cat’s digestive system is vastly different from a human being’s digestive system. Humans can eat many things. However, a cat that eats certain human foods can actually become sick and die. If you have a cat, it’s vital to have a list of foods he or she should not have. There are seven kinds of food or spices that should not be given to a cat.

Baby Food – While baby food is a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals for a baby, a cat can become malnourished because of it. Baby food can have onion powder, which is also quite harmful to a cat. A cat’s needs for a healthy body varies from a baby.

Chocolate – You may already know that chocolate is harmful for dogs. However, it is just as bad for cats. Chocolate has the chemical thebromine, which isn’t bad for humans, but both cats and dogs have a hard time digesting it. Chocolate is deadly for cats and dogs.

Coffee – Never give your cat caffeine. Eight teaspoons of caffeine can kill your cat.

Grapes and Raisins – When a cat ingests too many grapes or raisins, studies have shown that they can experience kidney failure. However, there is no exact determination as to why grapes and/or raisins cause this problem in cats.

Onions and Garlic – In any form, uncooked, raw or powered, garlic and onions can cause anemia is cats. These spices/foods will cause damage to a cat’s red blood cells. Anemia will cause a cat to become lethargic and pale.

Spinach – Like grapes and raisins, it’s unclear why spinach has a negative effect on a cat’s health. Spinach has small quantities of calcium oxalates. It’s thought that it causes crystals in the cat’s urine. If your cat has urinary tract problems and they are eating spinach, cut it out.

Unripe Tomatoes – Tomatoes may sound good and taste good but they hold a poison called solanine. For humans to be hurt by it, they need to ingest huge amounts. However, for cats, just a small amount can be detrimental to a its health.

If you love your cat, be mindful of what they eat. If you want a cat, it’s best to learn basic cat care before you bring them home with you. Should you need more tips, can help you out further.


Secondhand Smoke: The Risks of Exposure for Pets

Most people understand that secondhand smoke is dangerous to anyone who inhales it. Yet, not as many people understand that secondhand smoke can be just as dangerous to their pets as it is to their health.

A Colorado State University study found dogs that had long snouts and whose owners smoked were being diagnosed with nasal cancer more often than those dogs that lived in a smoke free home. Most dogs diagnosed with this disease died within one year. Dogs that have short or medium sized noses and lived in smoking environments were found to have respiratory cancer. Respiratory cancer was also found in cats with flat faces.

Some cancers and smoke found in tobacco goods are linked to some cat cancers. Many cats diagnosed with mouth cancer were from homes where their owners smoked. Not as many cats that came from a smoke free environment were diagnosed with this kind of cancer. Cats, whose owners smoked more than five years, were more likely to develop oral cancer. Cats diagnosed with lymph nodes cancer came from owners who typically smoked. More than three-quarters of the cats with lymph nodes cancer died within a year after getting the disease.

Other animals that live in smoking homes are being diagnosed with smoking related illnesses. Birds are quite susceptible to smoke and may get pneumonia and respiratory cancer. Birds exposed to smoke may have problems with their reproductive organs as well as their eyes, skin and heart.

Secondhand smoke is not the only thing dangerous to your pets. There are the other parts of smoking that can be dangerous. These are:

Leaf tobacco
Cigarette butts
Cigar stubs

Pets/Animals that consume nicotine can die. If you smoke, throw out your ashtray and keep the butts off the ground. If your pet is curious about them and ingest them, it will lead to problems.

You already know that smoking is bad for you and those humans who live and work around you. However, keep in mind that your pets are also at risk for developing smoking related diseases. They are just as innocent as a baby.


Horse Stress – 6 Steps to Decrease the Anxiety

Stress in horses can cause numerous health problems. However, these problems can be spotted easily and be controlled. When a horse is stressed, their body releases a chemical called Cortisol. Coritsol gives the animal the “fight or flight” feeling which is good when predators scare it. However, constant stress exposure will release the Coritsol too often. When this is occurs, the horse’s immunity, behavior, digestion, reproduction and cardiovascular system is harmed. The horse may get colic, ulcers and diarrhea caused by the stress.

It would seem that horses would have nothing to stress over, right? They don’t have to worry with jobs, bumper-to-bumper traffic and deadlines. What are the stressors that affect a horse so badly?

When a horse is on a routine, a slight change can cause that chemical imbalance. What sort of changes can make this happen? They can be:

Different horses in the pasture.

Listed below are six common stressors that affect horses as well as tips to get past them.

Stressor – Wrong Feed

When a horse is in the wild, it moves about to eat. Nearly 70 percent of a horse’s time is spent on grazing. Should your horse not be in the pasture, feeding them four times a day can help out. Also, some feeds have quick release carbohydrates. That is not good for horses. Try another feed product.

Stressor – Not Enough or No Exercise

A horse is like a person in the sense that exercising can help in dealing with the stress. Make sure your horse can take a run or walk.

Stressor – Feeling Alone

Horses like to be with other horses because it gives them a sense of safety, emotional support, status and amusement. When horses have no other animals nearby, then it can get lonesome, leading them to feel stressed. A horse doesn’t just need another horse to feel happier. It can be any animal such as llamas, goats, sheep and donkeys. The important thing is to let the horse see these animals so they know they are not alone.

Stressor – Bored

Being bored can cause stress in horses. If this seems to be a culprit, get the horse some toys. Although it seems funny to do so, put a mirror in the stable. When horses are able to see themselves, it helps to relieve the stress they feel.

Stressor – No Confidence

Horses are also like people in that they are curious creatures. Instill confidence in the horse so you can expose it to new things in the environment. However, never force a horse to do anything it isn’t ready to do.

Stressor – Stress is Infectious

It can be difficult to stay calm when your horse is stressed. However, animals can sense stress on people. Make sure you stay in a calm manner when you speak to the horse.

It’s vital for a horse’s health to stay as stress free as possible. Most of these tips involve just the understanding of a horse and its needs. Make sure, as a horse owner, that you respect the instincts your horse has. When you do this your horse is likely to flourish.
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Hay: Why It’s Important To Get Quality Hay and How

For many horse owners, it’s not surprising that the price of hay has increased but the quality of it has decreased. A bale of hay used to cost around $2 to $3 so many horse owners did not think it was necessary to add nutrients to hay that were of low quality. However, a bale of hay today cost $8 to $10 with the same kind of product/nutrients that was sold before. Still, this is not the case.

It’s true that finding quality hay has been difficult and remains so. Due to modern farming practices that enhance the hay with continuous applications of herbicides and chemical fertilizers, producers are able to get more hay. However, the quality of that hay suffers.

These applications keep the fungi and bacteria from doing the job it needs to in the soil. When the soil is healthy, more minerals are available in the grass and water is held better. That means the grass can handle dry periods in the spring and summer should there be a problem.

The natural fertilizers maintain a hale and hearty soil environment. The environment can consist of:

Fish emulsion
Composted manure
Composted tea

The above items have the ability to repair soil that has been damaged. If the soil is fertile and mowed when it’s needed, it is not necessary for herbicides to be applied. If a farmer wants to get involved with organic farming, the costs to begin are rather expensive. As the years pass, the cost will decrease because the soil has been able to produce high amounts of nourishing crops.

If horse owners go ahead and pay the high dollar for hay that has poor quality, there’s no reason for a farmer to dabble in organic techniques. Cattle owners demand that their food be tested and horse owners should do the same. If so, then the high quality of hay can be made in higher increments. Should an owner not buy enough hay to warrant testing then they can appeal for a test from the grower. This usually costs about $75, maybe less.

Horse owners should never be afraid to compare hay suppliers. If you decide to do this, only you and your horse will come out the winners. If you suspect your hay isn’t giving your horse the nutrients it needs, then add a supplement.

Add probiotics and digestive enzymes to the horse’s diet. Some good brands include Essentials and APA from Simplexity.

Is Your Cat Sick?

Be very wary of your pet cat exhibiting sick cat symptoms; disregarding them is not a smart thing to do. Because you know your cat intimately, you can easily pick up any peculiar changes in the way it behaves; these may be the sign of an illness. For instance, the tell-tale signs your cat has diabetes are a significant and sudden increase in its intake of water and the loss of control of its bladder.

Coughing a Symptom?

For both animals and humans, coughing is normally an indication of something lodged in the throat; while there is no reason to be alarmed if your cat starts coughing, if it lasts longer than a week or so you should consider this a sick cat symptom and take your cat to a doctor. It may turn out to be just a blockage in the windpipe; or it may be pneumonia or bronchitis, conditions which are decidedly graver.

In fact, coughing is not the ‘harmless little thing’ it appears. Lung tumors and cardiac arrest are on the list of ailments along with bronchial disease which it might be pointing to. So coughing needs to be taken seriously and your cat needs to be examined by a veterinarian to rule out these conditions.


One of the more serious medical threats your cat can face is FIV or the feline immunodeficiency virus. It is a retrovirus; the feline equivalent of HIV which afflicts humans. It evades detection by the cat’s immune system until its numbers are large enough to overwhelm it. Then, the virus starts picking off antibodies, crippling the immune system and leaving the cat vulnerable to all sorts of diseases, any one of which could then kill it easily.

The signs of this battle between the virus and the cat’s immune system are very obvious. A sudden drop in weight, lethargy, an absence of hunger, swollen lymph nodes are all typical of this disease. To make things worse, FIV leaves the cat prone to leukemia. It is extremely important to get your cat screened for FIV the moment you see any matching indications.

You and Your Cat

You pay special attention to your children and care for them meticulously, striving to ensure their health and happiness. You should afford the same level of care and attention to your cat. A cat can’t tell you it’s sick. For your cat to live a healthy, happy life, you have to be alert to its condition and vigilant for any sick cat symptoms, providing them the necessary medical support when required.


Halloween: How Animals Can Be A Part Of The Holiday

Do you find Halloween an exciting time for you and your family to dress up? If you do and you have a pet, why not dress them up for the occasion? Shouldn’t every member of the family enjoy the festivities?

Your pet, whether it is a cat or dog, can have fun in a costume while you enjoy the fun of them being in it. It’s fun to go looking through animal costumes at the store and locate an outfit just right for your animal friend. Once you have the perfect outfit and take them along with you, you’ll be taking pictures of not only your kids but your animal too. Why is that? First, costumes made for pets are much more complex and second, look adorable on them.

When you begin shopping around, you’re probably going to be shocked by all the costumes there are. You can also shop online for your pet. There are all kinds of costumes for pets including comic book heroes and movie characters. There’s no doubt that you will find a costume that will match your pet’s individuality.

Don’t be alarmed if you put on the costume and your pet just do not move especially if this is the first time for them to have a costume on. Costumes can make them feel uneasy for a few moments. If you have bought a costume that covers their legs in any way, this is more likely to happen. Yet, they’ll begin to realize that the costume does not hinder their movements in any fashion. Thus, they return to normal.

If you allow your pet to go outside in their costume, do not be surprised if it gets dirty or frayed. If this happens, you’re liable to have to buy a new one every year. However, costumes for pets are inexpensive, costing $20 at most.

It may seem like a silly thing to do if you decide to dress up your pet. However, once you do, you’ll never want to stop. Photos that are taken can remind you of the fun and how everyone enjoyed seeing your cat and dog in their costume.


Five Important Steps In Training Your Puppy

When you get a new puppy, everything they do is cute. You may find it difficult to say no to him/her. This is especially true if they give you that sad “You have to love me” face. Yet, you need to stick to your guns and make them realize they need to obey.

When To Start Training

The worst time to start training your puppy is when they have been able to do everything they wanted. By then, you’ve already spoiled them to think one way and it can be tough to get them to think any other. Start training when they are eight to 10 weeks old. This is the age where most puppies want to learn.

How Long To Training

Like a baby, you can only hold a puppy’s attention for so long. Start with short lessons. While you train them, play with them so you keep them focused to get them trained. Doing this makes it easy on you.

What To Train

What good is having a puppy if you don’t give them a name and they know it? Start off training with teaching them their name. If you want to get into training any further, this is imperative to do first. Remember if they don’t know their name, how will they recognize it when you call them to train further? Make sure they understand their name before you proceed further.

The second thing you need to train your puppy for is to learn how to sit. How do you teach a puppy sit? You’ll have to say the word as you push on their bottom to get into the sit position. Be sure that as they grasp this concept and lesson, you reward your puppy. This encourages them to learn further commands.

Leash or No Leash

Many puppies do not understand they need a leash. You will need to teach them how they should act when they are attached to it. Don’t be surprised if this takes a bit of time for them to grasp.

Be Persistent and Consistent

You should remember that your puppy is still young. While you should be persistent in getting him or her trained, don’t expect them to grasp every command in a short amount of time. Be consistent with everything you do.

Most importantly, your puppy is a member of your family and should be loved as such. Make sure you show as much affection to them as you do all the other family members and reward him like you would a child when they do something good.


Ten Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pet(s)

Halloween can be an exciting time for people especially children. However, for pets, Halloween can be a dangerous holiday if precautions aren’t taken.

Some people like to dress up their pets so they can join in on the fun. Yet, pets can have an unpleasant reaction to all the “excitement”.

A pet can become scared by the events and costumes they see with the Halloween day/night. Remember there will be repeated doorbell ringing or knocking on the door. Those at the door will be dressed in cute or scary costumes. All these things can stress out pets. Aggression can occur as well as the need to escape.

If you have a pet and want to make them feel comfortable as well as safe on Halloween, read these 10 tips listed below.

Halloween Pet Safety Tip One – Make sure before all the festivities that you keep your pet in another room. Make sure the door is shut so the noise does not disrupt their peace and serenity.

Halloween Pet Safety Tip Two – If your pet requires walking outside, do so before it gets too dark. That way they won’t run into people with costumes on.

Halloween Pet Safety Tip Three – Make sure you keep pets inside before and during Halloween. Some people will try to hurt or steal pets just for fun.

Halloween Pet Safety Tip Four – Be sure your pets have the current information listed on their tag. When pets are scared, they can run. However, many of them don’t have tags that tell others where they live and get thrown into a pound.

Halloween Pet Safety Tip Five – Make sure your pets is not near those who dressed up. Bites on Halloween are not unheard of. Pets who don’t typically bite can become so stressed from the event that they’ll bite.

Halloween Pet Safety Tip Six – Make sure candy is away from a pet’s reach. Candy can be deadly to animals.

Halloween Pet Safety Tip Seven – Don’t send your pet out with the kids. There is too much at risk when this is done.

Halloween Pet Safety Tip Eight – Unless you know your pet loves it, don’t get them dressed up just to join the fun. If they do love it, be sure the costume you get isn’t unsafe in any way. You don’t want a costume that restricts their movements, hearing, vision, vocalization and most importantly, breathing.

Halloween Pet Safety Tip Nine – No pet costume should have small or dangling items. These can be choking hazards.

Halloween Pet Safety Tip Ten – Make sure your pet isn’t near decorations such as pumpkins with lit candles. Streamers can be deadly for cats.

As long as pet owners take and use precautions, every member of the family, from humans to animals, can enjoy Halloween.


Cat Care - Vaccinations

Before the wide-spread usage of vaccinations, many cats would fall victim to disease and illness, and die; from the panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper, to upper respiratory infections like herpesvirus and calvirus, cats were vulnerable to a range of ailments. It is clear how important vaccinations are to a cat’s health. Deaths due to these and a host of other diseases have been reduced with the emergence of vaccinations.

Get Protected

Progress in medical technology has made redundant the usage of injections for vaccinating cats; there are now other procedures on-hand including one which allows nasal administration of certain vaccines. With further advances in medical technology, more methods of vaccinating cats will probably emerge.

Inoculating Your Kitten

The majority of experts agree that all essential vaccinations to protect against feline panleukopeni and upper respiratory viruses be administered to a kitten between the ages of 4 and 20 weeks. The first vaccination should be given when the kitten is 6-8 weeks old; subsequent vaccinations should be delivered at regular intervals of 3 or 4 weeks till the end of the course, which usually occurs 14 to 16 weeks from the initial vaccination.

It is essential that a kitten which frequents the outdoors be vaccinated for the feline leukemia virus. The many kinds of vaccinations available necessitate that a veterinarian be consulted to come up with a suitable vaccination plan for your kitten.

About the Older Cats

‘Booster’ shots to renew immunity will have to be administered to a cat from week 20 onwards, all the way to when it is 2 years old. Beyond this age, booster shots, while still recommended, should be taken after discussing the pros and cons with your veterinarian. There is an on-going debate over how frequently booster shots should be administered and there is no national consensus. While some veterinarians advise a round of shots clumped together, others counsel that shots be administered annually. However, some shots have to be taken subservient to local laws, such as those for rabies.

It’s Not Over Yet

You should pay careful attention to your cat after getting it vaccinated. That way, even though it is accepted that vaccinations are harmless, if your cat gets sick or starts to act strangely you will get in touch with your veterinarian immediately.

Regardless of their views on booster shots, almost all experts hold that vaccinations are an essential element of adequate pet care. Not only do you keep your cat healthy by getting it vaccinated, you also prevent the spread of feline disease.


The Lizard – An Exotic Friend

Exotic pets have a strange allure. People want them for their strangeness and the oddly unique interaction they can have with these animals. There a lot them to choose from. If you are seriously thinking of getting one for your home, the lizard family might be a good place to start.

The Bearded Dragon

For people looking for a pet which is low-maintenance, a lizard might be the ideal choice. The Bearded Dragon is a good choice for a pet. It is very friendly and enjoys being held and stroked. Starting small in their infancy, Bearded Dragons can grow to almost 2 feet in length by the time they reach adulthood. Consider this when buying a cage. A big one will allow the lizard to grow into it as it becomes an adult .A glass aquarium might be nice if you want to observe the lizard in its natural habitat. Bearded Dragons are not fussy about what they eat; fruit, seeds, leaves, small mice and other lizards, all our fair game. Take care not to feed your lizard a live prey; there is the chance that it might hurt your pet.

The Chameleon

Chameleons are another popular choice among families looking for an exotic pet. The many different colors of a chameleon’s skin and its talent of blending in with its surroundings make the chameleons especially fascinating for many people. To simulate its natural habitat in the tank or cage you provide for it, place plenty of leafy branches and shoots; your chameleon will feel much more comfortable as its need for camouflage requires an environment to blend in to. Feeding a chameleon is simplicity itself. Chameleons are carnivorous and a steady diet of crickets is all it needs to stay in good shape. Somewhat problematic is its tendency to only drink water which condenses and drips off leaves. Humidifying their tank a few times everyday is one solution. A water canister designed to drip can be procured at your pet shop to do the job for you.
There are many other lizards suitable as family pets. Do remember to take your pet for regular checkups at your local veterinary clinic.


Exotic Pets and the Squirrel Monkey

Getting an exotic pet for your home can be a very exciting prospect. The choices are many but monkeys seem to be the pick of them. The squirrel monkey is the most popular pet right now. Don’t get swept away by how cute it looks; you take on a big responsibility by keep a squirrel monkey for your pet.


Squirrel monkeys are not indigenous to the USA. South America is their ancestral home; humans have brought them back to the States in their travels to the continent. Before keeping them as a pet there are a few considerations you should be aware of. First off, know that they are wild animals and will never be fully tamed; always remember this. This helps to keep everybody including the monkey safe. There is the very realistic possibility that you will get bitten by your pet at some point. If you get a squirrel monkey you should be mentally prepared for such an eventuality.


They are not like other domesticated pets and so their dietary requirements will be different. Depending on its age and weight, there are a number of methods to gradually transition your monkey from liquid foods to solid foods. Feeding the monkey baby milk for its first 2 years and then weaning it off is a practice adopted by some owners. For more developed monkeys, you can find dry food forms at pet shops. It is by no means the ideal nutrition; it is merely one way of ensuring that your monkey takes its vitamins. Fruits and vegetables are an easy method to supplement the nutritional value of your pet’s diet. These are just some of the things you can do to make your squirrel monkey happy and healthy.

Sexual Activity

Squirrel monkeys are highly excitable animals and you will have to keep them occupied everyday. Even then, getting your monkey spayed or neutered is something you might have to consider seriously. Monkeys can become very sexually active and hostile during certain periods of the month. Incidents of biting when this happens are not uncommon. Again, it helps to remember that your monkey is not a tamed, domesticated creature; it is a wild animal and caution is key when you deal with it.


Having a Pet Persian Cat

From the many kinds of cats, the luxurious fur and the majesty with which they carry themselves make Persian cats a popular choice for cat-lovers.

‘Persian’ History

Roman and Phoenician caravans traveling to Europe played home to the distant progenitors of today’s Persian. Europe saw them for the first time in late 1500s; they were brought from Turkey and Persia to its shores. These then evolved into the Persians and Angoras which are now so widely-known.

Persians made their debut in North America in the last 1800s and quickly became the hot favorite amongst cat enthusiasts. They were already widely admired in the British Isles; in the first London Crystal Palace cat-show they made the highest number of appearances from any breed.

Is Your Cat a Persian?

Their long, rich fur makes Persians easily stand out. Their fur is thick and lustrous; this enables it to stand erect and lends a nice rounded shape to their bodies. Contrary to the common misconception that Persians only have white fur, they can take on many different hues and colors.

Facial characteristics are another thing that sets Persians apart from other breeds. While there are two distinct facial types, petite, rounded ears – found quite low on either side of the cat’s head – are common to both. Large eyes, clear-cut chins and filled-out cheeks are some other dominating features of Persians. The overall impression of some face-types is of flatness. These will have the nose set almost in the middle of the cat’s eyes.

Knowing Your Cat

Persians are mild-mannered, gentle cats who prefer a nice, cozy lap, and love being coddled and played around with by their owners – at least for a little while. As compared to other cats, they are quite lazy. While they can be committed pets, they crave a lot of attention; this is hardly an issue for most pet owners. However, proper grooming is another matter entirely!

Caring For Your Persian Cat

Persian cats have long, beautiful fur which can grow to a length of 8 inches; if not handled in the right way, this can clump into knots and become quite a nuisance. To circumvent the fur forming tight mats and the need for these to be shaved off, grooming your Persian for about 15 minutes daily and performing a meticulous groom weekly is essential; the owner simply cannot afford to neglect the pet’s fur.

Guard Dogs – Getting Your Puppy to Get it Right

If you’ve just brought a little puppy into your home for the first time, chances are your entire family is utterly fascinated by the little ball of fur. And of course they would be; it’s literally an adorable new addition to the family and home. Keep in mind, though, that the puppy is going to need more than fascination, food and affection to keep it happy and fulfilled. And you’re going to need more than a happy-go-lucky, wild little fur-ball if it’s to be a real member of the household. Most members of the family contribute in one way or another – for a dog, the most constructive way is for it to ‘guard.’

You see, dogs are more than just pets, they are companions and this means a certain level of socialization into your way of life. This will of a necessity involve quite a bit of training, both house-training and command training. This is essential for your pup’s gradual and complete transition into your house and will initially require a certain time commitment from you daily. How long it takes depends both on the dog’s innate intelligence and emotional stability as well as your dedication, patience and regularity. You do not need to spend hours a day trying to teach it to sit, but a few minutes daily will go a long way to making that crucial difference.

If you can take out a few minutes maybe two or three times a day and teach the dog one command each time (sit, heel, stay, fetch etc) the dog will learn to expect you and, eventually, learn what is expected. From these basics you can move onto a more complicated program for, say, guarding a tree that will graduate to guarding the house etc. Remember, dogs do not come to you as puppies with no personality, spirit or tendencies of their own. They are not ‘blank sheets’ to be filled up. You have to understand your dog’s personality, its quirks and so on and work with them, not in spite of them.

Basic commands like the ones mentioned above can be taught to any dog. The more complicated ones then depend on the breed. For instance, German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Dobermans all have greater aggressive tendencies that can be harnessed to very effective guard habits. Even Labradors can be trained to guard very well, as they are one of the most intelligent breeds, besides making great companions for the whole family. For any dog you choose, however, it is important to always establish your authority so the dog understands the need to be obedient to you as its master. You are the one that feeds it, pets it, cleans it and takes it for walks. You are the one that trains it and, as such, your word is what goes. If you cannot establish your authority right from day one, the dog may not take you seriously and will not obey your commands.

For Rottweilers especially it is a good idea to have a rather more intensive training period. This is because they are very tough dogs, physically and mentally, and need that kind of intense exercise in order to fulfill their potential. The Rottweiler also has very well developed instincts for guarding and herding which, when harnessed properly, will make for an unsurpassed guard dog. Make sure you train any dog you have kept to distinguish between family and outsiders.