Kittens need Socialization too

A newborn or juvenile cat is known as a kitten. Alike most juvenile pets, kittens need constant attention and familiarity with the outside world. Most kittens are prone to loneliness and many ailments related to isolation.

After being born, kittens are totally dependent on the mother cat for survival. After two weeks of birth, kittens start exploring the outside world and starting eating after three to four weeks. The time between 2-8 weeks is considered the best time for introducing kittens to socialization skills. Domestic kittens are highly social animals and usually enjoy human companionship.


Why kittens should be socialized?

  • Socialization teaches a kitten how to be a cat.
  • Proper feline manners and how to communicate with other felines help in bonding with other pets
  • It also helps them to ascertain who their enemies are.

Three T's of Kitten Socialization

The most trainers focus on three T’s of socialization for cats. These are; Touching, Talking, and Timing.

Touching

Touching is the most essential part of any grooming or nurturing process. Mothers tend to care their newborn with their touch to provide the warmth and protection. Touching a kitten helps them realize that they shouldn’t fear humans. It offers them a chance to get close to their pet owners.

  • Touching kittens help them remember your scent which helps to them to associate the memories spent with you and bring closeness.
  • Petting is one of the first sensations newborns feel when they come in contact with mother cats. Petting gives them a wonderful safe experience.
  • Comforting touch helps to reduce blood pressure, and improve heart rate and brainwave.
  • While handling the kitten, be sure to touch its ears, tail, paws, and mouth so the experience is comforting and pleasing. Keep it as a routine.

Talking

Pets can very well interpret most basic words and gestures.

  • Talking to the kitten teaches them to listen and pay attention to your voice. It brings familiarity between you and your pet.
  • The often you speak to your cat, the better they will understand and react to you. This enhances and improves your relationship.

Timing

Timing is the third most important chapter on kitten grooming. Training them during the 2 weeks to 8 weeks of their life helps them grasp the skills better. Kittens won't know what's right and what's wrong unless you tell them at the right time.

Catching them during the act or mischief can help them disciplined. Timing also helps to offer rewards to kittens to follow the routine and become more dedicated.


Learn more about pet training and grooming.

Dental Problem in Pets

Dental problem in pets, both cats and dogs, is quite common than you think. By the age of 3, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of gum disease. The dental problem isn’t only persistent in senior pets.

Here are some of the common risks from dental problem.

  • If your pet remains uncured from dental disease, they are at a higher risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease
  • Bacteria under the gum can travel to different internal organs.
  • Dental disease can result in bad breath, painful chewing, and tooth loss.
  • Broken teeth is a major concern among pets. Chewing on hard surfaces or materials can render their teeth weak. A broken tooth can expose the nerve of the tooth which can be a painful experience for your pet.

What is Periodontal disease?

Periodontal is a dental disease common in pets. The disease starts when bacteria in the mouth combine with food particles to form plaque on the teeth. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with the plaque to form tartar (a hard substance). When tartar and plaque begin to start their way under the gum line, they produce toxins which lead to bone and tissue damage.

Periodontal disease includes conditions such as Gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums, and Periodontitis, loss of bone and soft tissue in the mouth. Both these diseases can be very painful and may affect the overall health of your pet.

What is Dental Cleaning?

You can check at home if your pet has any dental issue. Try this at home with your pet.

  • Do you see any redness or swelling of the gums? Do you see any brown plaque or tartar?
  • Does its breath smell bad sometimes or foul consistently?
  • Redness, swelling and bad breath are all signs of periodontal disease due to bacterial infection.

During a veterinary dental cleaning, unless unable due to a medical issue, veterinarians will put your pet under general anesthesia to protect both your pet and the veterinarian. The veterinarian will use dental tools to remove the plaque and tartar from the teeth. Then, the veterinarian will use a special polishing paste which smoothen any scratches in the enamel of the teeth. A fluoride treatment or barrier sealant will then be put on the teeth to help strengthen and desensitize the teeth, while also preventing more plaque from developing.

Preventive Measure

Some of the common ways to prevent dental disease in cats and dogs are;

Brush their teeth. You should brush your dog’s teeth at least 3x a week and to brush your cat’s teeth at least 2x a week.

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

The Halloween is near. And, so are the spooky pumpkin head figures, candles, eerie costumes and accidents. Pets are prone to get into accidents during Halloween. As a pet owner, ensuring a safer environment for your pets during all the hullabaloo can be difficult. However, to ensure the safety of their life, you must consider few facts in check.

Avoid Trick or Treats Candies

Be aware not to feed your pets the Halloween candies, especially if it contains chocolate or sugar (Xylitol, a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies and gum). Pets are prone to several ailments if fed chocolates. If your pet is inside the house, do keep trick or treat candies away from their reach.

Identifying your pets

There are many cases of missing pets around Halloween. Most pets who wander outside the house are easily lured or distracted. To ensure their safety, make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag)

Keep lit candles and Jack-o-lanterns away

The Halloween goodies, such as candles, and Jack-o-lanterns look exciting enough for your pets to mess with. The hot candle wax and fire can do severe damage. The damage can range from slight burn to major burns which may require extensive medical attention.

Be careful not to allow your pet to stay around lit candles and Jack-o-lanterns, or keep them away from it.

Halloween costume

If you plan to put a costume on your pet, make sure it fits properly and is comfortable, doesn't have any pieces that can easily be chewed off, and doesn't interfere with your pet's sight, hearing, breathing, opening its mouth, or moving. Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave your pet unsupervised while he/she is wearing a costume

Don't leave pets out in the yard

Harmful pranks are common during Halloween. Most pets who are left unattended tend to get involved in the pranks or are the outright victims most of the time. Vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Specific pets, black cats, are more prone to suffer from pranks and accidents during Halloween.

Keep glow sticks away

Keep glow sticks or jewelry which glows away from your pets. Although the liquid filled inside these products isn't likely toxic, it may taste bad and leave your pet salivate excessively or act strangely.

Keep your pet inside

If your pet has a tendency to bite, it’s better to put them on lease or inside the house for preventing them from biting the strangers. It’s better to keep them inside or in another room during trick-or-treating hours or provide them a safe hiding place.

Indoors is certainly better than outdoors on Halloween, but your door will be constantly be used. Seeing eerily costumed strangers can scare your pets which can lead to escape attempts or unexpected aggression. Putting them in a safer environment will reduce stress and prevent them from darting outside into the night.

Water Diabetes in Dogs

Diabetes Insipidus (DI) or Water Diabetes is a rare disorder in dogs that affects their water metabolism, preventing the body from conserving water and releasing too much of it. The condition is characterized by frequent or increased urination, dilute urine (Dull urine), and increase thirst for water.

Unlike Diabetes mellitus, this disease isn’t caused by deficiency of insulin.

There are two major DIs that affect dogs;

  • Neurogenic (Central diabetes insipidus)
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus

Neurogenic DI is caused by the lack of the hormone vasopressin, which regulates the body's retention of water. The hypothalamus in the brain controlled the production and regulation of vasopressin. A dysfunction in its release can be caused by a head injury or also a tumor in the brain. The dysfunction on the production of Vasopressin can also be due to failure in hypothalamus or in the pituitary gland.

Nephrogenic DI is caused by a deficiency of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which functions to stimulate the capillary muscles and reduce the flow of urine, effectively conserving water for the body's various functions. The cause of Nephrogenic DI is found in the kidneys and their inability to respond appropriately to ADH, allowing too much water from the body to escape into the urine.

This is typically an acquired condition, and may be due to amyloidosis of the kidney, cysts on the kidney, or an imbalance of electrolytes.

Other common symptoms seen in dogs with Diabetes Insipidus may include:

  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Increased drinking (polydipsia)
  • Decreased urination with dehydration
  • Houses oiling
  • Poor hair coat

Some of the common causes of DI are;

Inadequate secretion of antidiuretic hormone ADH

  • Congenital defect
  • Unknown causes
  • Trauma
  • Cancer

Renal insensitivity to ADH

  • Congenital
  • Secondary to drugs
  • Secondary to endocrine and metabolic disorders
  • Hyperadrenocorticism - overactive adrenal glands
  • Hypocalemia - low calcium levels in the blood
  • Pyometra - bacterial infection of the uterus
  • Hypercalemia - Increased levels of calcium in the blood

Secondary to renal disease or infection

  • Pyelonephritis - bacterial infection of the kidneys
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Pyometra - bacterial infection of the uterus

Sometimes, dogs can have a varying issues for urinary accidents at home. Some of these causes shouldn’t be confused with DI.

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urinary stones
  • Incontinence
  • Urinary Tract Cancer
  • Kidney disease

 You must contact your nearest Vet to for the diagnosis, and offer medications as required.

 

Tips for Traveling with Pets

Pets aren’t just animals you can take for granted. They are a part of your family, most of the times your companion. Leaving pets at home or at neighbor’s care while you travel can be difficult. Keeping constant touch while traveling can be difficult too. The best tip is to prepare yourself and your pet to travel along with least difficulties.


Types of Commute

By Car

Car is the most common form of transport throughout United States. Thanks for the good roads, you suffer the least from the bumps or off-road experience. The safest way for your dog to travel in the car is in a crate that has been anchored to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure means. Dog restraints or seat belts are useful for preventing your dog from roaming around the car to prevent any accidents.

By Plane

Traveling in a plane with a pet can be the most challenging experience as most airlines do not allow your pets to sit along with in a cabin. Most pets travel inside the pets’ carrier in a plane. You can check with the airline if they allow smaller canines or felines to sit beside the pet owner. Dogs with short nasals such as bull dogs, pugs and Persian cats may suffer from oxygen deprivation and heat stroke.

By Train

Most small U.S. railroad companies permit animals on board if the pet owners can take care of them.

By Ship

Pets are mostly welcome on cruise lines or long route ships. Some lines permit pets in private cabins, but most confine pets to kennels.

Here are 10 tips on how you can easily travel with pets

Bed

The first goal when traveling with your pet is to make sure they are comfortable. Pets need a comfortable or homely space to relax and to sleep. They are keen on following their daily routine, hence you should bring along a cozy bed or mattress for them.

Water/Food

Traveling inside the automobile can a fatiguing experience for most pets. The heat can result in dehydration too. You must keep enough water inside your car and provide easy access. Regular feeding is essential too. Make sure you carry enough dog food and you feed your pet regularly.

Puppy Pads

Puppy pads is essential to help you pet relieve while traveling. On long trips you can’t exactly pull over for a pit stop, hence puppy pads are the next best thing. While many airports now include a pet relief area, most do not. These pads also prove to be useful during a long layover between flights.

Games

Animals can get bored pretty quickly. Traveling for 8+ hr is a lengthy time, hence you must try occupying your pets’ attention by offering quick games on the road. Providing them to fidget with helps to keep them occupied and prevents any disturbances to the driver.

Blanket

Traveling during the night, long destination commute or to colder areas, all these pose problems for your pet’s health. Do not forget to bring warm blanket or covers for your pet to nap in on the road.

 

National Cat Day – Oct 29

National Cat Day was created in 2005 by Colleen Paige, a Pet and Family Lifestyle Expert, in effort to raise awareness for the cats that are mistreated, left in the street, abandoned or shelter home. The occasion encourages pet owners to not take their esteemed pets for granted and shower them with much affection and love to sustain their life. It is celebrated on October 29 every year.

As a pet owner, you must ensure;

  • Cats remain a part of your household
  • Adopt a cat instead of shopping for one
  • Regular medical check is performed to ensure their health
  • Cats are nourished and entertained

The National Cat Day was first celebrated in 2005 "to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year and also to encourage cat lovers to celebrate the cat(s) in their life for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us."

How to best treat your cat?

Keep them indoors

Cats have a tendency to stray outside the house often. This may lead to many problems for your cat. The best thing to do is to keep your cat safe by keeping them indoors. If you decide to take them outside, you can walk them on a harness or leash. Use a cat carrier when transporting your cat outside the house.

While inside the house, Make certain that all windows are securely screened. Care to keep the washer and dryer closed, and check inside before each use to avoid any accident.

Keeping them safe

Keeping an eye on your pet all the time is difficult. Being an agile animal, they can slip out of home anytime. By adding a breakaway collar and visible ID that includes your name, address, and telephone number can help located your cat in case of emergency. Your cat is more likely to get home safely if they have a collar and ID. Also, be a good citizen by complying with any local cat licensing laws.

Staying healthy

A cat can face several health and medical issues which left untreated can cause severe problem in the future. You must care to take your cat for regular check-up at the Veterinarian’s office. Do provide necessary vaccinations, flu-shots etc. Most of the times, the illness in pets are left untreated due to lack of information. Regular visit to the Vet can help address these issues.

A quick fix

Spaying and neutering your cat will keep them healthier and help decrease the number of cats euthanized every year because of cat overpopulation. If you can't afford the operation, look into low-cost options.

Healthy diet

A healthy diet is important for cat’s overall health. Unlike humans, cats do not find nourishment from vegetarian diet. It’s important that you offer enough protein and mineral rich food to your cat. Fish, low-cat meat can be good for cat’s daily diet. Never feed your pet from your own plate!

Keep litter clean

Cats are naturally clean, and most will instinctively use a litter box; you just have to show yours where it is. Don't place your cat in the box and make little scratching motions with their front paws. This will probably upset your cat and may make their leery of the box. Scoop the box at least once daily and periodically wash it with dish liquid and hot water. Because cats also value privacy, place the litter box in a convenient but quiet spot. We can help you get things off to a good start.

Grooming often

Like all other pets, cats require often grooming to stay clean and healthy. All cats, whether long- or short-haired, should be brushed regularly to keep their coats and skin healthy, prevent matting, and reduce shedding and hairballs. Grooming also includes clipping nails and paws, brushing, trimming hair, cleaning organs etc. This also helps to prevent any diseases or problems arising from matted hair or follicles.

National Pet Obesity Awareness Monthj

In the year 2016, obesity in pets accounted for more than 1.3 million of nationwide pet insurance claim. It was a sharp 23% rise from the previous years.

October 10 is celebrated as Pet obesity awareness day to bring the issue of rising obesity and diseases in pet into light.

With unhealthy diet and carelessness from pet owners, dogs and cats face large consequences from Obesity related conditions. Your pet’s meal requirements vastly differs from your dietary requirement.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s (APOP) 2016 clinical survey recently reported that nearly 54% of dogs and 59% of cats are clinically overweight or obese.

Obesity may cause severe diseases and condition in pets. Inflammation, diabetes, heart conditions, metabolic and endocrine disorders, are few of the common medical conditions. The strain to bone, joins and internal organs far exceed the consequences.


10 Obesity related conditions

Obesity causes various medical conditions in Dogs. Some of the common conditions are;

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). It refers to the progressive and permanent long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. It is more common in older dogs and cats. The bulging weight of the body can affect the joints in legs of pets, which can lead to Osteoarthritis.

Cystitis

Cystitis stands for inflammation of the bladder. It is also used as a general term for any disease that causes inflammation. The most common cause of cystitis in pets is an infection caused by bacteria. Other causes of Cystitis include bladder stones, tumors or polyps in the bladder, and abnormal anatomy (especially in female dogs).

Hypothyroidism

In pets, if their thyroid stops producing the needed amount of hormones, the metabolism slows causing many of the body's normal processes are disrupted. In dogs, thyroid disease is almost always hypothyroidism, whereas, overactive-thyroid hypothyroidism occurs mostly in cats.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is the case of liver inflammation. It can occur suddenly or can also be a long-standing process of liver decline (chronic). As liver is the first organ to come in contact with toxins and harmful products absorbed from food, it can get infected too quickly among pets.

Cruciate ligament injuries

The cruciate ligament is a major part of dog’s knee. Cruciate ligament is a common form of injury seen in dogs. Also called ACL or CCL tear, a ruptured cruciate is often a painful and immobilizing injury. It is more common among Overweight or obese dogs, as they are more prone to this type of injury mainly because of weaker joints or bones.

Diabetes

Diabetes insipidus is sometimes called "drinking diabetes" because it is a rare diabetes which often leads to failure in regulating body’s water content.

Diabetes mellitus or Diabetes in general is a common disease in middle-aged and older dogs. It’s a complex disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in dogs. It can be the result of a relative or absolute insulin deficiency or of peripheral cell insensitivity to insulin which is characterized by high blood glucose concentrations such that the renal threshold is exceeded.

Other common forms of obesity related conditions include intervertebral disc disease, chronic renal disease, Congestive heart failure and lipomas.

Common Vision Issues in Dogs

Visions are flawed in dogs too. Alike humans, dogs may face vision issues or blindness due to certain illness or disease. In case of mild blindness, many dogs tend to fool their owners in believing that they can see well. It is only when they lose over 80% of vision that the owners can find out about the problem.

There are other common vision issues in dogs, some of which are as follows;


SARDS

Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome or SARDS is most common in older animals. The median age for the condition in Dogs is 8.5 years. A study found that more than 60% of dogs diagnosed with SARDS are females. It is more common in Dachshunds and Miniature Schnauzers. Pugs, Brittany Spaniels, and Maltese are other breeds also have greater chances of being diagnosed with SARDS.

Cherry Eye

Dogs are gifted with three eyelids, where two are readily visible and third one is faintly visible. It consists tear producing glands in dogs. The gland remains hidden from outside until the dogs are affected with congenital weakness in ligaments which causes the glands to pot out of their place. It looks like a ‘cherry’ popping out of their eye.

Cornel Wounds

The surface of dog’s eyes is covered with a clear skin-like tissue called cornea which can be injured in many instances. Getting poked in the eye, poor tear production or abnormal anatomy are some of the cases of corneal damage in dogs. A dog with corneal damage often rubs at the affected eye and squint because of pain. The eye may also be red and have excessive drainage.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) or Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome or Keratoconjunctivities Sicca is very common among dogs. When they develop a dry eye, their tear glands start producing fewer tear. Tears in dogs is important for removing residue and potentially damaging elements from the surface of the eye and nourishing corneal tissues. A dry eye can cause corneal ulcers or chronic drainage of mucus from eyes.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

The conjunctiva is the mucus membranes which covers the inside of a dog’s eyelids and some parts of their eyeball. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, causes inflammation of the conjunctiva in dogs. The symptoms of conjunctivitis include reddened and swollen conjunctiva, eye drainage and discomfort.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when the balance of production and drainage of eye fluid is disrupted and pressure within the eye increases. The symptoms of Glaucoma may include pain, eye redness, increased tear production, a visible third eyelid, corneal cloudiness, dilated pupils and enlarged eye.

Cataracts

The Cataract blocks light from reaching the back of the eye resulting in poor vision or blindness. Sometimes the part or all of the lens may develop a cloudy, opaque cataract. It is commonly confused with a normal aging change that affects a dog’s lenses called Lenticular sclerosis. Cataract forms a white, grey, or milky appearance in eyes.

Entropion

Entropion causes hair to rub on the surface of the eye, resulting in pain, increased tear production and eventually damage to the cornea. Some dogs may have eyelids that roll inwards causing Entropion. They can be a congenital problem in some dogs or also develop overtime as a result of chronic squinting due to discomfort or eyelid scarring.


If you find anything wrong with your dog’s eye or suspect any problems, do consult your nearest vet.

How does Hydrotherapy works on Pets?

What is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy, also known as hydropathy, is the water therapy implemented to relive any joint pain, injury or for the treatment. A part of alternative medicine, it has multiple uses and benefits.

It originally began as a treatment for humans in ancient times, and later expanded to include animals too. The first instance of the therapy saw benefits among racehorses as well as racing Greyhounds.


How does it works on Dogs?

Hydrotherapy was recognized as a therapeutic option the pets, both dogs and cats, to improve their medical conditions and to aid their emotional states.

The therapy extensively uses the properties of water — buoyancy, viscosity, resistance, and hydrostatic pressure — to improve your pets joint movement. Water produces buoyancy when submerged, hence it easily supports the weight of the body by reducing gravity. It also helps to reduce stress on the joints and creates a safer environment for the quick recovery. It also helps for quick recovery after the surgery. The hydrotherapy gets your dog exercise its muscle and bones in a safer environment which can be a relaxing experience.

Some of the available forms of hydrotherapy for dogs include whirlpools, underwater treadmills, and dog pools

What are its benefits?

  • Hydrotherapy helps in relieving pain and for strengthen or re-training muscles. The dog is effectively weightless when swimming which helps to minimize pain and enforce strengthening of muscles or bones.
  • It encourages a full range of joint motion, thus improving muscle tone without imposing unnecessary stress on damaged tissues.
  • It also helps your dog lose unnecessary body weight by encouraging regular exercise.
  • It helps dogs to recover from the injury or surgery.
  • It can be beneficial for dogs who suffer from arthritis due to old age. The water buoyancy helps to reduce joint swelling, stress on muscles and bones etc.
  • The older dogs tend to experience sadness and fear, especially when their ailing health cause pain. The support of water and relief from pain promotes a sense of safety and well-being in them.

Learn more about pet therapy services to prevent major injury or illness.