5 Safe Pets to Keep at Home

Who doesn’t love keeping a pet? The adoration for innocent animals excite every person to own and care for a pet.

Over 70% of U.S. Households own pets of various kinds. Some of the most popular pets people love to keep are freshwater fish, cats, dogs, and birds.

Some of the most common and safe pets to around house are;

Freshwater Fish

Over 12.5 million households in the U.S. own freshwater fish as a pet. Undoubtedly, fish is the most beloved pet in the entire country. The exotic marine species are most loved for their innocence, vibrant color, agility, and decoration. Although it can be crucial to maintaining hygiene of the aquarium to ensure the safety of fish, people do often manage time to take care of their pet.

Keeping freshwater fish has been linked to health benefits such as reducing stress and lowering your blood pressure and heart rate.

Rabbit

Rabbits are one of the most beloved pets around the world. Many people choose the furry animal for their playfulness, innocence, and temper. Rabbits are also one of the frequent pets who are abandoned in the animal shelter. You can help save this innocent animal from landing in the shelter throughout their life. They are also home and children friendly.

Dog

Dogs are undoubtedly the most beloved pet around the world. There are over 65 million dogs in the U.S. household. Although they are loved and cared for, dogs can often be a victim of the disease, illness, and other ailments. You should provide necessary vaccines, keep their kennel clean, and house-train them.

Cat

Cats are another most popular pet around the world. In the U.S. alone, Cats exceed the number of house pet in comparison to dogs, mostly because a cat owner is likely to keep multiple cats as pets. Unfortunately, cats also account for one of the frequent pets who are found in animal shelters.

Birds

Birds often make great pets however they require special attention from their owners. They are most beloved for their gentleness, friendliness, and look. Budgies, Cockatiels, Cockatoos, Parrotlets, and Hyacinth Macaws are a few of the most kept bird pets in the U.S.

National Love Your Pet Day

Let us celebrate the existence of companion animals in our life. February 20 is celebrated as the National Love Your Pet Day throughout the U.S. The day is set aside to give extra attention to and pamper your pets.  This is a good day to focus on the special relationship that you have with your pets.

Either you’re a Dog mom, pet sitter, or a shelter volunteer — no matter what your interaction is with the animal, loving and caring for them is the best thing you can always do. And, it really doesn’t matter if your pet is a dog, cat, horse, birds, or even apes, you can always find the right opportunity to spend more time with them.

Consider enjoying this day with your pet by indulging in various fun activities.

Here are 5 things you can do with your pet

Take them for a long walk or hiking

Are you’re a dog owner, cat owner, or a horse owner? Consider taking your favorite companion for a long walk on this day. You can take them to their favorite place such as the park, by the river, and a beach.

If you’re an outdoor lover, you can consider taking them for the hiking to the woods, rocks, or even mountains. There can’t be anything better than enjoy outdoor and staying fit.

Shop for your Pet

Consider shopping for new toys, rugs, blanket, and shelter accessories for your pet. You can take them to pet stores to find their favorite new toy. Animals love choosing toys for themselves. Gifting them a new gift helps to combat animal depression.

Adopt a Pet or Visit Local Animal Shelter

About 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year.

Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats), simply because the pet shelters lack enough room for new pets and lesser pets are ever adopted.

It actually costs lesser to adopt a pet than buying a new one from the pet-farm or Puppy mills. Pet farms are the breeding center of pets that put profit above the welfare of dogs. The pets in farms are generally poorly housed.

Adopt a pet from your local shelter or rescue. There are more than just dogs and cats that need homes, pets such as bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, and farm animals need forever homes too.

Give them a special treat

There is no special time to treat your favorite companion. Whether it’s a homemade dog biscuit or some catnip for your favorite kitty, consider giving your pet a treat in honor of National Love Your Pet Day.

Do care not to offer something that can prove to be health-hazardous like chocolates, cakes, seasoned meat etc.

Share moments in the Social Media

To encourage others to adopt new pets and to treat them right, you can share your own story or photos in the social media using the hashtag #NationalLoveYourPetDay. You can consider sharing when you and your pet met for the first time, like what were the initial challenges, and other unforgettable story or experience you share with your pet.

Showing the positive impact your dog has had on your life is a great way to show others that a dog might be right for them, too.

Dog's Daily Nutritional Chart [Infographic]

Maintaining a dog's daily nutritional intake is essential to ensure they remain healthy and safe throughout their life. Malnutrition or excess intake of minerals is common among most dogs. This can be prevented with proper diet chart provided by your veterinarian.

Here's a general guide for a dog's daily nutrition.

Do Rabbits make Good Pets?

Who doesn’t love the cute furry animal hopping around the house? Most people keep pet rabbits at home, however, many wonders if they make a good indoor pet or are they safer to keep around small children.

DID YOU KNOW? Male rabbits are called bucks; females are called does.

Rabbits have long been kept pets beginning from middle ages. They were kept as livestock in Ancient Rome. Cottontail Rabbits are the most common form of pet rabbits found in homes today.

Pros of owning a rabbit

  • They are intelligent animals
  • They are clean
  • They can be potty trained
  • They have a good lifespan

Things to remember while keeping a Rabbit

Expenses

Owning a pet rabbit is similar to owning a dog or a cat. It comes with added financial responsibility. You must provide housing, food, and proofing along with ongoing costs for supplements, litter, spay/neuter, and vet bills.

Housing

Rabbits are social animals. You should consider keeping them within your home in a form of puppy pen, bunny condo, or a large cage. Rabbits need social interaction, plenty of exercises, and a lot of enrichment activities, hence a homely environment is important to keep them indulge.

Bunny Proofing

Bunnies are quite curious and persistent creatures. You must consider bunny proofing your house to keep your things safe from being chewed. They will nibble on almost everything they may find, like you most important documents.

Enrichment

They tend to find their own fun activities if they get bored which can range from breaking things to chewing papers, rugs, and upholstery. You must consider providing them with entertainment to keep them indulged. Keep empty toilet paper rolls, old phone books, and other paper products into their shelter, so they can nibble on it.

Litter Training

The great thing about rabbits is that they can be potty trained. Most rabbits are potty trained when you bring them from a shelter, however, some of them forget their good habit once they move into their new home. The drastic change in the environment can be very stressful. You should be persistent and consider potty training them.

Nutrition

A rabbit’s nutritional needs vastly vary from that of a dog or a cat. Proper nutrition and in the correct amount is vital for a rabbit’s well-being. Fiber is the most staple diet of rabbits hence they must have access to unlimited grass hays at all times.

Pet rabbits need a high-fiber (18% to 22% DM), low-protein (12% to 16% DM) diet for maintenance. Timothy grass hay pellets should be fed for maintenance because they are lower in protein, calcium, and calories than alfalfa pellets.

Traveling

Traveling can be really stressful for rabbits. You should consider hiring a bunny-sitter while you’re away from home. They aren’t considered a flight-friendly animal, hence you can save yourself from the hassle by keeping them as a pet if you do not move around a lot.

Children and Rabbits

Rabbits should be supervised when small children are around. The DSPCA advises that because rabbits are physically delicate and require specialized veterinary care, they are not appropriate for families with young children

February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

February is recognized as “Spay and Neuter Awareness Month” throughout the U.S.  The purpose of celebrating the day is to encourage pet owners to get their pets sterilized before the arrival of spring and summer months.

Spring and summer are associated with the rampant overproduction of puppies and kittens. The experience can get really unmanageable for most animal shelters, hence, spaying and neutering helps to prevent the problem.

Although neutering and spaying are associated with fixing male and female pets respectively, neutering can be used in the case of both male and female pets. Castration, sterilizing, and fixing is few of the contemporary terms used by most people.

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering your Pets

a. Female pets live a longer and healthier life

Spaying has major health benefits to female pets. It helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is rampant in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying female pets before their first heat prevent from these diseases.

b. Neutering provides major health benefits to male pets

Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering male dogs prevent testicular cancer and some prostate problems.

c. The spayed female won't go into heat

While cycles can vary, female cats usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. To attract males, they often yowl and urinate -sometimes all over the house! Spaying prevents female feline from going into heat.

d. The male dog won't want to roam away from home

An intact male often roams outside home to find a possible mate. Neutering your pet helps to keep them grounded and prevent unnecessary roaming outside the home.

e. Neutered males are well behaved

Neutered pets focus their attention on their human families. Unneutered dogs and cats generally mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house, and they tend to be aggressive. Neutering pets help to prevent aggression.

f. Spaying or neutering doesn’t make pets obese

Fixing your pets doesn’t invite obesity, lack of exercise and overfeeding does! Keeping your pet fit is more to do with daily diet, calorie intake, and exercise.

g. It is highly cost-effective.

Spaying and neutering pets cost lesser than you have imagined. It also prevents any unnecessary accidents, health issues which can cost more in the near future.

h. Good for Community!

Stray animals pose a real problem in a human settlement. They tend to prey on wildlife, invite car accidents, damage the local infrastructure, scratch or bite children etc. Spaying and neutering help to prevent aggression and overproduction of pups and kittens.

i. Education purpose

Millions of pets land in animal shelters every year, most of them are euthanized because only fewer pets ever get adopted. Fixing your pets helps to educate society including young children about the benefits of spay and neuter.

Control pet population

Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. To prevent animals from landing up in animal shelters or outright being assaulted on street, you can consider spaying and neutering them to control the unnecessary childbirth.

National Cat Health Month

DID YOU KNOW? February is designated as the National Cat Health Month.

Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association.

You will likely find more cats than dogs in the U.S., mainly because the Cat owners are likely to own more than one cat.

National Cat Health Month was founded to shed light into various health issues and treatment of cats in the country. Unlike dogs, cats are more wandering pets. A cat owner needs to be extra careful when it comes to caring a feline.

8 Tips to keep your Cat Happy

Annual Wellness Check

A wellness check or wellness examination is a periodic medical test of the pets to assess their overall health. A wellness examination may also be called a 'check-up' or a 'physical examination'.

The yearly checkup will allow you to catch any potential issues early, ensuring your furry friend stays in the best of health. A wellness check also includes prevention and treatment, so if it has any issues, the vet can clear it off.

Regular Vaccination

Most vaccinations are given during the wellness check, however, you should ensure to provide necessary vaccination to your cat at the right age. During the annual wellness check, your vet will review any necessary vaccinations to prevent your cat from contracting serious illnesses. Even indoor cats need protection against disease.

Spay or Neuter Your Cat

If you haven’t already done so, now’s a good time to do so. Spaying or neutering your cat prevents it from contacting many illness or diseases.  Along with ensuring population control, you can help prevent potential illnesses or conditions related to the reproductive organs.

Dental is Important!

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.

Some of the common risks from the dental problem in pets are;

  • 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 are 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.

You should consider brushing your cat's teeth twice every week and visit for dental check a couple of times a year.

Feed Your Pet a High-Quality Diet

Cats are an obligate carnivore and can’t survive on a vegetarian diet. To stay healthy, your cat needs a high-quality protein based diet. You must include meat in their daily meal and avoid feeding them milk or milk-based food. Cats tend to be lactose intolerant.

Keep Your Kitty Active

You need to keep your cat active. An obese cat can attract many health issues including diabetes. Let your furry friend play, interact, and enjoy outdoor.

Pay Attention to the Litterbox

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 make them leery of the box. Scoop the box at least once daily and periodically wash it with dish liquid and hot water.

Celebrate Your Furry Friends

Spend time with your pet and let them know that you care. Remain a true companion to your pets.

10 Marine Mammals You Should Know About!

Marine mammals are probably the most exotic animals that have excited and fascinated human imagination. Most of these animals can surprise us with their remarkable intelligence and artistic ability. Unfortunately, most marine mammals have landed up in a zoo and amusement centers to please the crowd.

Pizza, a three-year-old polar bear, was kept inside an aquarium in a Chinese Mall for 2 years until the activists and millions of supporters signed a petition against the Chinese mall. ~NatGeo

Marine mammals are the aquatic species that rely on the ocean and other marine ecosystems for survival. Unlike fish, marine mammals are obligate water dwellers.

They belong to Mammalia genus and share several similar characteristics with all other mammals, like;

  • They breathe air for Oxygen
  • They are Warm-blooded animal
  • They give a live birth
  • They possess mammary gland.

Some sea mammals are semi-aquatic such as walrus and seals who dwell on land for mating, breeding, and molting, while few others are complete-aquatic such as whales and dolphins.

23% of marine mammal species are currently threatened.


10 Marine Mammals

Polar Bear

The polar bear is the largest terrestrial predator in the Arctic that depends on the marine ecosystem for survival. Although they are birthed on land, they spend most of their time on the sea ice. It is closely related to the brown bear (Ursus arctos). Adult polar bears can weigh over 1500 pounds (700 kg). Due to habitat loss caused by climate change, polar bears are classified as vulnerable species.

Dolphin

Dolphins are one of the aquatic mammals that depend on the marine ecosystem for survival. They belong to the Cetacea genus. Dolphin sizes may range from 1.7m (5.6ft) to 9.5m (31ft) and can weigh up to 11 short tons. Most dolphins face threats from climate change, habitat loss, marine pollution, and capture.

Thousands of dolphins are hunted in Japan and served as delicacy despite being banned by animal welfare society. Bottlenose dolphins are the most common species which are kept in captivity.

Blue Whale

Blue Whale is the largest known animal and the largest mammal in the world. They can reach a length of at least 110m (33m) and weigh up to 209 tons. Blue Whales are the most hunted animal in the world. They were prized hunt for most hunters in the twentieth century.

A 2002 report estimated there were 5,000 to 12,000 blue whales left in the world.

Bearded Seal

The bearded seal, also known as square flipper seal, is one of four Arctic seals that reside in and around the Arctic Ocean, as well as the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas in Alaska. The largest northern phocid, they can weigh up to 300kg. They prey on clam, squid, and fish.  As members of the “true seal” family, the bearded seal is closely related to the gray seal and harp seal.

Narwhal

The Narwhals are probably the most majestic marine animals. They are a medium-sized toothed whale found mostly in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The tusk is actually one of two teeth in the upper jaw and only reaches full length (over 6 feet/2 m) in sexually mature males. It is used to attract females and to fight off other males.


Some of the other marine mammals include Walrus, Sperm Whale, Dugong, Humpback Whale, Marine Otter, and Hourglass Dolphins.

National Seeing Eye Dog Day

DID YOU KNOW? January 28 is celebrated as the National Seeing Eye Dog Day.

Seeing Eye Dog Day is commonly known as Seeing Eye dogs, guide dogs or assistance animals usually assigned to lead blind and visually impaired people.

It isn’t unusual for the disabled to use the assistance of pets for their everyday chores. Assistance animals are specially trained to service dogs who assist their human companion to navigate on streets, help reach destinations, and help with daily chores.

It takes a lot to become an assistance animal. Generally, they are trained by the organization, often by their professional trainer. It generally takes between 3 and 9 months to train a dog in a ‘puppy stage.’ An assistance animal can stay with the handler for 8-9 years.

The initial cost for acquiring a Seeing Eye dog could go up to $50,000 with the ongoing cost going up to $1200 a year.

A brief history of Seeing Eye Dogs

Although the reference to first Seeing Eye dogs go back to 16th Century, the popular use of Seeing Eye dogs took place in Germany during World War I to help the returning veterans who were blinded in combat. US Senator Thomas D Schall became the first American to use a Seeing Eye Dog.

Earlier, the German shepherd was widely used as Seeing Eye Dogs, however, they have been replaced with Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Golden Retriever/Labrador crosses for the handling ease.

Features of Seeing Eye Dogs

  • The dog must be specifically trained to mitigate the handler’s disability in some way, such as for example, opening doors, detecting allergens, and alerting to a ringing phone.
  • The dog must be trained to a high level not to be a nuisance in public, to be safe with members of the public and well behaved, as well as being healthy, and not posing a hygiene threat.
  • Some Assistance dogs wear vests, harnesses, lead sleeves or a patch but this is not required by law.

How are Seeing Dogs Trained?

Selection

The first process of training Seeing Dogs includes careful selection of pups. While selecting a pup the trainer will look into the health, temperament, breed, and characteristics of a dog. Most dogs are selected from reputable breeders, shelter homes, or those who are already are a part of a family.

Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Golden Retriever/Labrador crosses are the most chosen breed for Seeing Dogs mainly because they remain healthy, good-tempered, gentle, highly sensitive, and tolerant towards their handlers.

Socialization

The initial process focuses on socializing the pet rather than the formal training. The pets are kept in a familiar and happy environment and are toilet trained, clean, confident and happy.

Task Training

Once a pup is old enough the trainer will commence the special training focusing on tasks. These tasks make them distinct and specialized assistance dogs.

In the USA an assistance dog handler may be asked if they have a disability, and what tasks the dog does to mitigate that disability as the only 2 legal questions to ascertain that a dog is indeed an assistance dog.

Generally, the tasks done by the Seeing Eye dog depends on the handler’s disabilities, therefore there is almost no limitation on the types of tasks a dog can be trained to.

Obedience and Public Access

Seeing Eye dogs are allowed to accompany their handlers in public areas along with pet restricted areas such as public transport, restaurants, or hotels. Obedience training helps a dog to become polite, well behaved and acceptable in public. Public Access tests evaluate a dogs’ ability to behave appropriately in public.

5 Most Reliable Police Dog

Dogs are the most reliable being in case of human needs. From search and rescue to military espionage, dogs are the most dependable animals.

Every military working dog is an NCO (Non-commissioned officer). The custom was basically made to prevent handlers from mistreating their dogs; hence, a dog is stated as one rank higher than its handler.

Many search and rescue dogs were deployed after September 11, 2001 attack. Some of the heroic dogs who helped find survivors were Trakr (German shepherd), Bretagne (Golden retriever), Apollo (German shepherd), and Roselle (Labrador).

The working dogs are generally used for Illicit-substance detection, tracking human, Cadaver-sniffing, disability assistance, and search and rescue etc.


#5 Dutch Shepherds

Dutch Shepherd is one of most reliable dog breed used in Police K-9 unit. They are known for their versatility and fewer demands and can adapt to a harsh and meager existence. Also known as Hollandse Herder, they are a herding dog of Dutch origin.

The Dutch Shepherd can weigh between 50–70 pounds on average. The height varies between 55–63 cm. Depending on the coat type, the breed can be distinguished as short-hair, long-hair, or rough-hair.

#4 Labrador Retrievers

Labrador or Labrador retriever is a type of retriever-gun dog popular in United States, Canada, and U.K. They are a multi-purpose dog are used as

  • Disability assistance dog
  • Blind Aid and Autism therapy dog
  • Law enforcement dog

They are often prized as sporting and hunting dogs.

They are often categorized in one of two ways; English labs or American Labs. English Labs are recommended as non-professional pet owners, while American Labs are extensively used for police training.

They are generally found in yellow or similar shades and Chocolate shade.

#3 Bloodhounds

Bloodhound is a large scent hound dog originally bred for hunting and for tracking people. They are known for their ability to discern human scent over great distances, even days later. Their extraordinarily keen sense of smell combined with a strong and tenacious tracking instinct makes them a dependable search and tracking dog.

They generally have a short lifespan and can suffer from various ailments such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat), and a high incidence of eye, skin, and ear ailments.

#2 Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois is sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd dog rather than as a separate breed.

They are mostly used as a working dog for detection of odors such as explosives, accelerants (for arson investigation), and narcotics; tracking humans, and search and rescue missions. Due to their smaller size and versatility, they have replaced German Shepherd in many units.

Male Malinois are 61–66 cm and can weigh 25-30kg, while females are about 56–61 cm and can weight 20–25 kg.

#1 German shepherd Dogs

The German shepherd is a relatively new breed developed originally for herding. Originated in Germany, they range from medium to large size.

Because of their strength, agility, temperament, and obedience, they are primarily used as working dogs; disability assistance, search and rescue, K-9 unit and military dogs. Few German shepherds have successfully acted in movies too.

The standard height of German shepherd is 60-65cm for males and 55-60cm for female. A male German shepherd can weigh 3040kg while females can weigh 22-33 kg.

National Train Your Dog Month

January is the National Train Your Dog Month!

In 2010 the Association of Professional Dog Trainers began the National Train Your Dog Month campaign. The APDT believed it is time to dedicate a month to bringing awareness to the importance of socialization and training, and most of all, to inform the public that training your dog can be easy and fun! 

January is also the time when most people bring new pets home during the winter holidays.

How to best Train your dog

1. House Training

It is important if you're thinking about keeping your pet indoors. When pets stay inside, they require a housebreaking or potty training to relieve themselves at the right place.

A house training may include;

Crate training dogs and puppies

Crate training is a method of house training your puppy or dog. The crate is specifically used to keep your pup or adult dog confined in a space when you are unable to supervise. Since dogs do not generally urinate or defecate in the same place they sleep, they will most likely try to hold the urge to pee. Use positive enforcement while introducing crate to your pets.

House Train puppies

It requires patience while training the young pups. Set a schedule for everything; waking, eating, playing, and relieving. Check for signs when your pup needs to relieve. Use keywords repeatedly to make them understand the command.

Submissive/Excitement urination in Dogs

Most dogs tend to urinate when being submissive or in excitement. Also known as involuntary urination, it can be curbed by positive enforcement. Use the house training commands to make them understand that it isn’t right to pee inside the house.

2. Leash Training

Leash training is important when the pup starts growing into an adult dog. You will often take it outdoors, hence, keeping them in a leash is important to avoid any accidents or misbehavior.

Teach the dog how to walk properly with the leash. A loose leash walk may teach your dog not to pull or lunge when being leashed, making the experience more enjoyable.

3. Socializing

Socialization is basically the process of introducing a dog or pup to in the company of other animals, humans, places, and environment. Socialization should begin at a young age which helps them to adapt to social circle and behavior. The ideal age is between 3 and 14 weeks of age for puppies.

Socializing with Dogs

  • Take your dog out to observe other dogs
  • Resist tugging while walking
  • Go to dog training classes

Socializing with Humans

  • Ignore your dog's unwanted behavior
  • Act like everything is normal when he acts out
  • Introduce people slowly

Basic commands

Basic commands help to curb dog’s unwanted behavior and keep them safe. Every dog should be aware of basic commands.

Some of the basic commands are;

  • Look
  • Emergency recall
  • Come
  • With me
  • Leave it
  • Drop it
  • Sit
  • Lie Down
  • Stay
  • Wait

Proofing behavior

Proofing is the last step in training your dog to do any new behavior. Learn how to proof behaviors so your dog will be as obedient at the park or a friend's house is he is in your own living room.