Rover Company would consider itself to be a lover of all animals, but I would definitely classify myself as a cat person. I’m sure this stems from the fact that my childhood pet was a cat that lived a long and loving 17 years. It just seemed natural that I would look towards the felines once I was ready to have pets of my own in adulthood.
One of the guys brought along his two furry ones that I had come to know and love: Göst, an all-white male Scottish Fold, and Cali, a female Calico. It was great having these four-legged critters sharing space with us, but they naturally gravitated towards their master’s bedroom. Since we had so much space in our house, I decided to get a kitten of my own and introduced Betty (a female with tortoise shell coloring) to the mix. In a four-bedroom home, there was plenty of space for the elders to escape the psycho kitten when necessary, so Betty’s assimilation into the household was (mostly) smooth sailing.
As with most roommate situations, there came a time for us to move on with our lives. Göst and Cali’sowner was the first to depart, but the cats weren’t going with him. He moved out with his girlfriend and claimed he could not have pets at his new place, but I knew that was just a cover-up story for his mate’s desire not to have them. So, I gladly volunteered to take over kitty care, which wasn’t that big a stretch since I did most of the cat maintenance in the first place.
Rover Companyknows anxiety in dogs can be caused by any number of things – illness, travel, thunderstorms, death in the family, separation, or they may develop unexplained phobic or neurotic behavior, or barking or other antisocial behavior.
If you can identify the cause of the anxiety, then the best solution to the problem is to remove the cause.
Roverpet knows if your dog is experiencing separation anxiety every time you leave the house, and you work full time outside the home, you’ve got a problem! I suppose you could give up work and stay home with your dog, but sometimes we need to be a little realistic!
For this particular problem there are a number of things you can do to alleviate your dog’s anxiety when you leave – many people have found that playing soothing music while they’re out works wonders.
Another wonderful idea I read about recently is making a tape recording of your own voice and playing that on a continuous play while you’re gone.
And there are certain homeopathic and herbal remedies which really do calm your dog. So those may well assist with your dog’s separation anxiety.
But what about dogs who are afraid of loud noises – dogs have an irrational fear of thunderstorms, and fear of fireworks, and, well, actually, they are scared of just about any loud noises. Many dogs are like this.
Rover Vinyl Techhas found that peppermint oil applied to the pads of her paws has some calming effect. And a natural stress remedy also works very nicely.
They prescribed an anti-anxiety medication. This made the dog quite dopey, and seemed to take some of their personality away somehow. In other words, I suppose she appeared drugged. I didn’t like it at all.
Rover Company knows all pet owners must regular monitor and “examine” your pet this will give you a better idea of the animal’s overall health and prove as good “quality” time for both you and your pet. Also, this may help you catch a problem in the early phases and certainly before it becomes life threatening. The list of things you can do during this time could be long but below we’ve taken the time to list a few of the most basic and easy to read signs of being “off color”. In addition to the usual, these steps may help you in deciding your pet’s actual state of health.
1) Build up in the tooth area. Also bad breath- which may suggest gingivitis or other tooth/gum problems.
2) Clean ears. Is there wax build up, ticks, mites or other parasites inside? Is a bad odor present?
3) Are the eyes discolored or irritated? Is extensive matter present? 4) A ‘greasy” coat? Is the skin gray white or red and irritated? Do you find evidence of fleas or other parasites? Is the smell of the animals coat on your hands, after checking it with your fingers, fishy, rank or offensive?
Rover Vinyl Tech believes that a doggy odor, while common, is still a sign of a low level of health. If your answers to many of the above areas are “YES”, then you should plan some type of action to discontinue this cycle of bad health. First and foremost, diet is the best place to start. Consult with your vet and/or check into possible alternative therapies. In the end, your pet’s overall health is up to you, so these early warning signs should not be overlooked. A clean bill of health is the most valuable gift you can present to your pets- next to your love and attention.
Rover Company believes it is essential that you take the time to really consider whether or not you should neuter your cat. Because there are so many strays and so few homes for them, it is wise to really take the time to make sure that if you are going to keep your pet natural that you should keep him from reproducing.
Many of the feral cats out there are those that pet owners released simply because they could no longer care for them. A colony of them can easily spread diseases to pet cats and even dogs. Even when they are healthy they are often infested with fleas. Females that are in heat the colony of cats can cause quite a disturbance with all the crying and even fighting. Cats that are hungry can get into trash cans, ruin furniture on your patio and dig in soil in your flower beds.
Roverpet knows cats in heat often cause a lot of trouble and noise. Neutering or spraying cats can help to prevent many things including this. Female house cat in heat can pitifully mew at the door and then cats throughout the neighborhood will soon chime in. Cats that are not neutered have a tendency to ram far from home and they are likely to spray everything in their path.
These cats are also likely to get certain types of cancers as well. The cancers of the reproductive organs are very rare in cats that have been fixed. Unaltered cats can also develop several contagious reproductive diseases.
But, if you do have your cat altered, there are some down notes to take note of. For example, cats that are altered can compete in the show ring but even if he wins the championship he can not reproduce for you.
The humane society will alter kittens as young as eight weeks of age. Most vets will agree that it is healthier to do this to kittens at five to six months, though. If they are feral kittens how are trapped to be altered and then released back they can be done earlier.
Female kittens have a harder time with neutering than males do. Males can handle it at a younger age, then and you can wait until they are six months old to neuter your females.
Most cats have no problems with neutering but sometimes they can develop an infection for the incision. It is important to check the cat daily to insure that it is doing well with it. If the cat licks and chews at the stitches you’ll need to have the vet put on a surgery collar to keep the cat from reaching them. Female cats need to be confined indoors for up to five days after having the surgery.
Rover Vinyl Tech believes neutering your cat can keep the pet population under control. It will not necessary do anything to the cat’s temperament and it will not be a cruel event to the animal. It can be the responsible thing to do.
Rover Company is going to try to give some advice on how to teach a dog how to swim and some general safety issues. As always check with your vet on any medical questions.
I would suggest starting your dog out in a pool or shallow lake where you can enter the water with your dog. Many dogs will be more confident if you are standing with them if they are nervous about venturing out on their own. So by walking out, you can build their confidence before letting them go on their own. Bring a favorite toy with you and encourage them out further by tossing the toy short distances and swimming over to it.
Roverpetbelieves you should bring another dog who knows how to swim along to help encourage your pet to try.
There are life vests (life jackets) you can purchase to aide in teaching your dog. These usually have handles that you can hold onto easily and are helpful for getting a dog back into a boat.
Here is a common problem. Your pup goes off and won’t come back. You have two choices, swim out and get them, or wait until they get tired and come back. Never let them off leash and away from you until you know for a fact they will return or start in shallow water where you can go get them should you need to.
I would use a two toy approach to retrieving and swimming. I always keep one close by so I can toss it near me. Try to make a lot of noise to get their attention and toss it into the shallow water. Tennis balls are not the best choice as they can get lodged in the throat blocking the airway. I really like kong retrieving toys or retrieving bumpers.
Rover Vinyl Tech believes afterwords, make sure you RINSE your dog with fresh water to get out any bacteria or chemicals. You can also rinse your dog before hand to help the water not absorb into the coat hair.
Rover Company knows showing off your pet in front of friends and family is something that everyone loves to do. Having an obedient, happy slab of lab is like having an obedient happy child. Have you ever been in a supermarket only to come across a screaming baby and a blushing parent? I know I have, and my first reaction is to get as far away from the disturbing scene as possible. I have also been in the undesirable situation of being in public with an unobedient dog and I can say, I feel the pain of the frantic parent!
Roverpet knows the term, “A happy pet is an obedient pet” is one that I really believe holds a lot of merit due to its simplicity. If you have a relatively well behaved dog, that interacts well with the family, it is fair to say that rarely will you or anyone else in that family be angry or even worse abusive towards your pet. On the other hand if your dog is not obedient to a satisfactory level, and does not interact well with the family, one can say that members of that family will have a hard time coping with the pet and this trend can only escalate only leading to the eventual departure of the pet from the family.
Rover Vinyl Techknows when teaching your dog basic pet obedience, it is wise to make sure that you first have an understanding of the art yourself. Like people, dogs have unique personalities none of which are the same, and it is a good trainer that will take the time to figure out the dog before trying to figure out how to best approach introducing basic obedience. Furthermore, there are many external resources out there for you to take advantage of in order to help you understand the art of training. Books, articles, Obedience Instructors, and the internet, are all viable sources that you should take advantage of when seeking advice, or just experiences from others in your situation important to keep in mind as they will only aid you in bonding, understanding, and interacting positively with your four-legged friend:
Rover Company knows kittens are born blind and they are completely dependent on their mother. The first stages will involve learning to eat and then growing. The kitten’s eyes will open and he will want to explore. At four weeks old, he is romping around shakily with his siblings. At this time he can begin to learn to use the litter box and should start to become a social animal. In the wild, the kitten’s mother will start to supplement his diet with dead mice and other small pretty. But, you may want to give him some soft kitten food or some dry food that is softened a little with water.
Roverpet knows at six weeks old they are more than ready to explore the home. If he’s indoors, he will move from room to room. A feral kitten will follow his mother when she goes to hang out with the other cats. These cats will still receive mice from their mother, but they aren’t dead anymore. Instead, the kitten has to learn to hunt the animal. Those who are eight weeks old will be completely weaned from their mother and are ready to go to a new home.
Through the next several months, the cats will grow really fast. You’ll need to get them in to be vaccinated at this time so that they are healthy and strong. They will begin to learn what they have to do to live with their families and learn which behaviors are okay. You can teach your kitten his name as well as a few simple commands now. If the cat has long hair, make sure to get him used to allowing you to groom him, although the cat’s coat doesn’t need to be brushed just yet.
Sometimes, cats will suddenly develop a bad attitude. Believe it or not this is an adolescent stage for them. This happens when the cat goes from being a kitten into being a mature cat. Sounds just like children, right? This will happen around the fifth to six month and may last until the cat reaches a year old. They will still be playful but may get carried away to play too aggressively. If your cat is not neutered at six months of age, he will be mature enough to reproduce now. Neutering the cat will help this stage of his development go more smoothly. At six months, the cat looks the way he will look as an adult even though he may still become larger.
Rover Vinyl Tech knows just like humans, adult cats will continue to go through stages. But, these stages can be dealt with quite easily. And, unlike that mid life crisis you may have, the cat isn’t likely to go out to purchase a sports car at this age!
If you take care of your kitten’s health as he grows into an adult cat you will have a fulfilling relationship that will bring both you and the cat great satisfaction.
Rover Company believes once you’ve determined that your dog has definitely left your residence, don’t pack up the whole family in an effort to search for the dog. Often dogs will return soon after their departure. You’ll want someone at home to contact the others in the event that your dog wanders back home soon after the search party leaves.
Dogs usually don’t go far. They’re curious animals that like to look and sniff around. It’s more likely for a dog to be a few blocks away than a few miles away. So stick close to home for the first part of your search. Be sure to check all the streets in your neighborhood. Talking to other dog owners you see is a good idea as either their dog or the owner himself might have seen your dog. It’s more likely that a dog owner will notice a wandering dog than someone who is not a dog lover.
Roverpet knows when searching the neighborhood, be sure to call your dog’s name. Your dog can hear you from a great distance. Your dog might be in between houses or behind bushes. Don’t rely on just your eyes for finding your dog. If you own a dog whistle or any device that makes a loud noise, it can be used to attract your dog’s attention. If you own other dogs, they might be helpful in finding your lost dog. Bring them along for the search so they can alert you if they smell or see something of interest.
Once you’ve exhausted your physical search, it’s time to post lost dog posters, which you can print from our web site. Don’t just put the posters on your street; post them at the entrance of your neighborhood and in places people frequent. Community mailboxes are also a good place to post your lost dog poster. People often recognize a lost dog poster when they see one. Although it’s important for your poster to be marked with “LOST DOG,” it could be more important to emphasize your dog’s breed and color. Keep the information simple. Someone who might have found your dog doesn’t need to know your dog’s favorite food or whether it is spayed or neutered. Name, breed and color are really the only things that someone needs to know when looking for a lost dog. Provide your contact information on the poster; provide your phone number, but not your name or address.
Be sure to call your local veterinary offices and animal emergency clinics to see if anyone has brought in a lost dog. Give them information about your lost dog and take them a poster if you can.
Rover Vinyl Tech believes you should sure visit your local animal control, humane societies, and animal shelters to look for your lost dog. It’s quite possible that your pet could end up there and describing your dog over the phone isn’t enough to find out of he has been taken in. Again, leave a lost dog poster at these locations so employees can contact you should your dog show up.
Rover Company knows pets come in all colors and sizes. If your dog is dark, you will need to make sure that he doesn’t get lost in your photo due to a dark background. Dark animals photograph best with light colored or neutral backgrounds. You can use white, grey, or creamy beige backdrops. You should never take a photo of a Black Lab, or a German Shepherd, against a dark background. It conceals the true color of your dog, and the dark background can also conceal the true size, shape and proportions of your pet.
The same rules apply with pets that have light coats. If you have an apricot or white puppy, you would not place her in front of a white wall for a picture. Photographs of animals need to capture the color and texture of their coats. If you have a white toy poodle, you would want to place her on, or in front of, a black, blue or brown backdrop. This will assure that the poodle’s springy white curls are the focus of the picture. It is important that you choose a background that compliments your dog, and doesn’t hide its beauty.
Roverpet knows the hardest thing to do is to get your pet to sit still for a photo. The best time to arrange a photo session with your pet is when they are tired, or sleepy. One trick is to lay the correct color of sheet or blanket over your couch or chair. Allow your pet to lie there after he has had a good half hour of vigorous play. Once your dog appears to start dozing off, get its attention by a low whistle, a squeak from a squeaky toy, or the sight of a treat. The animal will perk up immediately and appear to be wide awake. It is important that you are ready to snap the shots immediately. For a larger dog you can drape its bed with the correct color of sheet or blanket. It is also best to take your pet’s picture when they are well fed. That way they are not distracted by wanting food while they are modelling for you. The treats you hold up will be more a curiosity item to them, instead of a hopeful dinner.
In professional animal pictures, usually the full body of the animal is shown. This allows the viewer to get a general idea of the size and proportions of the animal. It also will allow the viewer to get an idea of the animal’s general health and appearance. You wouldn’t want to have just a head shot of your pet if it had unique colorings that made it cute. Some animals appear to be wearing little white socks on their paws, or the ends of their tails may appear to have been dipped in a paint bucket. Be sure that your picture captures all of the unique things about your entire dog. However, if your dog just has an irresistible face, you can take head shots. Some pets will appear to smile when they are very happy. Nothing says “love me” like an innocent puppy face. You need to be conscious of the background. Even if the color is right, if it’s cluttered it will be distracting and take away from the pet. It is also important to make sure that your pet is in the center of the shot, and that it is not cropped off just before the tip of the ears, or tail.
When you are taking photos of your pets, it is important that you are at least at the animals eye level, or below. This gives the picture the sense of being from the dog’s viewpoint. You can accomplish this by elevating your dog to a higher position, like the staircase, or furniture. Or, you can lie on your stomach to achieve the same results. You need to zoom in as close as possible, while still capturing the entire body of your dog. You can edit out any red eye, later.
Rover Vinyl Tech believes it is best to use a digital camera when you are photographing animals. With digital cameras you are not out any extra money for the photos that didn’t take because Spot looked away. With a digital camera you are free to take as many pictures of your animal as you like, so snap away. You can choose the best ones later, and delete the rest. You have more freedom with a digital camera. You are not constrained to just a set number of pictures, and you do not have to sit and wonder if they worked while they are getting developed.
Rover Company believes when a cat grooms himself, he removes loose hair from throughout his body and it ends up in his stomach. Sometimes, the hair comes together and forms a ball in there. If he can not pass it, it is likely it won’t break down but will come up instead.
Most cats have trouble with removing hairballs. If the cat can not get them up, it can get into the intestines and cause a blockage. This is life threatening to the pet. If your cat seems to be constipated it may be a sign of a blockage. If the cat is lethargic and his coat is dull and unhealthy looking, this too may be a sign. Watch that he eats as he normally does. If not, you should call and take him to see the vet who will then find out if it is a hairball and then he’ll remove it.
Roverpet believes you can prevent this type of problem yourself though. One of the best ways to do this is to groom the pet. The long haired cat need to be combed and brushed each day to remove excess hair. If you start to groom him when he is still young, he will learn to tolerate it. He may even look forward to being groomed. Some cats will bring their combs to their owners even. If he doesn’t like to be groomed, use a grooming glove instead.
If the cat still seems to have trouble with hairballs, you can add dietary aids to his diet. One of these is a dry cat food that can help to prevent hairballs. Don’t just buy the first bag of the formula that you find. Make sure it is still a good quality food for your pet, one that is high in protein and other nutrients. If your cat has a hairball, you can shop for the gel that can be added to the food which will help the hairball to pass. Make sure to talk to your vet before using one of these hairball remedies for long periods of time though.
Rover Vinyl Tech knows you can try some of the more natural remedies as well but you should insure they are okay with your vet first. Some will actually cause your pet discomfort or will remove important nutrients from his body. These include such things as pumpkin, mineral oils and even butter. If your cat continues to have trouble with hairballs, talk to your vet about what you should do to improve this.