Be Responsible – Pet Ownership & Pet Care Tips For Cats and Dogs

Responsible pet ownership requires a lot of dependability, knowledge, and consideration; unfortunately, some new pet owners take this responsibility very lightly.

So, before you take home your new dog or cat, consider the following pet care tips to ensure that you are providing your new friend with the right amount of care and just the right amount of love! Your new companion is relying on you to provide it.

Dogs

Whether your new pet is just a puppy or an adult dog, you have a challenge ahead of you to practice responsible pet ownership and awareness. Your home is new territory, and you are now your pet’s primary caregiver. Both kindness and a firm yet reassuring approach to your new dog will go a long way. Ensure that he knows you’re ready to give him the love he deserves by creating a canine-friendly atmosphere and integrating these pet care tips into his routine.

  • Crate training and housebreaking: Two very important stages in your dog’s life. Crate training, should you choose this method, gives your pet a quiet, safe place to retreat to at bedtime or whenever you leave the house. If you want to prevent chewing or scratching, crate training might be necessary in the beginning. Housebreaking is just a matter of routine – think of a word you want your dog to associate with going to the bathroom outside and use it repeatedly. Take your dog outside multiple times, normally after meals or water breaks, and he’ll soon make the connection.
  • Flea and tick prevention: Without preventative measures and an ounce of responsible pet ownership, your home could become infested or your dog could become extremely ill. Most vets can provide you with products that eliminate fleas and ticks on your dog. Available orally or in a liquid form placed on the back just once a month, your dog will be able to repel fleas, ticks, and parasites regularly.
  • Shots and preventative vaccines: Dogs suffer from many terrible diseases that are often fatal if not treated or prevented at the outset. Vaccination is one of the most important pet care tips that can be provided – and one that should be heeded. Rabies, distemper, heartworms, and parvovirus are some of the worst viruses that can afflict your dog – your vet will discuss which shots your pet receives at each yearly check-up to prevent these agonizing diseases.
  • Spaying or neutering: Similar to yearly vaccinations, highlighting the need for spaying or neutering play into vital pet care tips. Gone unmonitored, two dogs can produce over 4,000 offspring in seven years. Sadly, a large number of these dogs will be euthanized or left to fend for themselves on the street. Spaying or neutering, a major part of responsible pet ownership, ensures your pet will be healthier in the long run, and you will have prevented the birth of more unwanted puppies.
  • Obedience training: Your dog desires structure. Teaching him the basic commands yourself or enrolling him in an obedience or training course gives him a level of organization in his life. Furthermore, teaching him certain commands also ensures that he will be a well-behaved, functioning member of your family within your home. Purchase a book offering pet behavior and pet care tips, such as My Smart Puppy by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson or Dog Talk by John Ross. These two books will give you a better idea of responsible pet ownership and how to approach certain situations with your new dog.

Cats

Unlike dogs, cats are much more independent, needing perhaps less of your attention. Cats, however, rely on you for the same necessities that a dog expects. If problematic behaviors pop up, contact your local animal shelter or animal welfare organization for more pet care tips. Most likely, literature on both dog and cat care will be provided upon request.

In any case, to help your cat be a happier, better-behaved feline, consider the following more important pet care tips:

  • A clean litter box: If your cat lives inside, you will need to clean and/or empty his litter box at least twice a day. Every week or so, you’ll also need to dump the litter out entirely and wash his box with hot, soapy water to reduce the spread of bacterial growth. This task can be easy to forget, but cats are clean animals. For a cat, this is one of the more important pet care tips – ensuring his area is always clean. The location of his box is important – keep it out of high-traffic areas and away from his food. To help him learn to use his litter box, show him where it is four to five times a day and encourage him to use it, praising him when he uses it or even just digs.
  • Flea and tick prevention: Fleas and ticks can make your new pet very sick and can introduce parasites into the bloodstream. Practice responsible pet ownership! Prevent this from occurring by purchasing flea and tick preventative products from your vet. Flea powder and a quick sweep of the vacuum through your house is also an excellent guard against fleas or ticks. However, if you do opt to buy products online or at the store, be cautious and practice responsible pet ownership by checking the labels and warnings if any – some preventative measures are harmful to cats.
  • Spaying or neutering: As important for cats as it is for dogs! Responsible pet ownership dictates that you have your cat spayed or neutered when s/he is between six and eight weeks old if possible. Not only will you help prevent pet “overpopulation,” but you will reduce the potential for other cancers and diseases that may occur if your cat is not surgically altered.
  • Shots and preventative vaccines: Cats are susceptible to a variety of fatal and painful diseases. Without vaccinations and a nod to responsible pet ownership, they will likely die or have medical issues throughout their lives. Much like the recommendation for dogs, vaccination for cats is one of the most important pet care tips. Rabies, FeLV (Feline Leukemia), FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), and distemper are some of the worst – however, with a regular check-up and shots from your vet and just a bit of responsible pet ownership, you have nothing to worry about!

Be a Knowledgeable Pet Owner

You now have a big responsibility on your hands. Your new cat or dog ultimately relies on you to provide him with the necessities of life, and it is your job as a responsible, knowledgeable pet owner to ensure that he has a happy, healthy life by incorporating a routine into his life and following the pet care tips that have been outlined above.

Do your research and talk to other pet owners to get other helpful pet care tips! Your pet has basic needs that must be fulfilled by you. Of course, he needs a ready supply of cool drinking water, healthy dog or cat food, shade or shelter, and grooming on a regular basis, but he also expects you to create a loving home and warm environment and to keep him healthy and happy.

With just a little awareness of what to expect coupled with responsible pet ownership, you’ll be ready to give your new companion lots of love and a happy home!

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Natural Pet Supplements

When it comes to natural pet supplements, everyone has their own opinion. Some say they are very essential for dogs, some say they are not, some say they only give short term results, and some say they give long term results. So, naturally, a lot of dog owners are confused. So, here is an attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about pet supplements.

What are pet natural supplements?
They are dietary supplements which can be helpful for your dog. Homeopathic veterinarians believe that natural herbs resemble many of the foods dogs would eat in the wild. There is a growing body of clinical support for this approach.

What do they contain?
Natural pet supplements, as the name clearly suggests, contain natural substances which have therapeutic effects and are essential for your dog’s health.

What do they do?
For dogs that respond, they have the potential to improve your dog’s immune system, strengthen its vital organs and improve their functioning, increase its disease resistance capacity, cleanse its body, neutralize the free radicals that damage its body, keep blood sugar and blood pressure under control, and prevent a number of health problems. In short – they help your dog live a long, healthy life.

Are they safe?
Yes, they are. High quality natural pet supplements usually contain substances that are approved by the FDA and so they are perfectly safe for your dog. The only thing you need to look for is that the product meets the guidelines set by the DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health Education Act).

But the market is filled with such supplements. How do I choose the right one?
It is a very good question. As you know, if you want the best results, you should choose the best product. When it comes to pet natural supplements, the quality of the product is directly proportional to the quality of its ingredients. So, you should look for a product that contains natural substances like Astragalus membranaceous (Huang Qi), Viscum album (mistletoe), Echinacea purpurea, Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng), Sylibum marianus (milk thistle), and Uncaria tormentosa (cat’s claw). A number of clinical studies have confirmed that these substances are highly potent and completely safe to use.

Should I make any changes to my dog’s diet?
It depends on what kind of diet your dog is on. As long as you are using a premium food that is AAFCO certified and the label says “nutritional adequacy was validated by animal feeding tests based on protocols from the American Association of Feed Control Officials.” Also, you should make sure your dog drinks plenty of clean water and urinates properly. Home made foods may not do as good a job of providing a dog with the nutrients needed, unless prepared under the guidance of a veterinary nutritionist.

How do I give these supplements to my dog?
Most of these natural pet supplements come in the form of capsules. Depending on your dog’s preference, you can either give these capsules directly or mix them with dog food. Since they do not have a repugnant odor or taste, they can be easily mixed with food and given to your dog.

Are these supplements meant for short-term use or long term use?
Without a doubt, they are meant for long-term use. Depending on your pet’s size, age, and health, you should give an appropriate dose of these pet natural supplements every day without fail. This will help your dog stay young, active, and healthy for a long time.

Are these supplements costly?
No, they are not. A month’s supply of these dietary supplements will only cost around $40. Considering their benefits, it can be worth the price for dogs that respond to their use.

Should I consult my vet before giving these natural pet supplements to my dog?
Yes, you should. Your vet is the person who knows your dog’s health condition better than anyone else. So, you should consult him before giving any dietary supplement to your dog. This way, he will be able to monitor the results over a period of time and advise accordingly.

The Reason Meat and Animal Products Can Negatively Impact Your Weight Loss and Diet Plan

In my previous articles I explained how we basically get our nutrition from 3 main “food” sources: plant (fruits and vegetables), animal (beef, cheese, chicken, eggs, etc.) and laboratory synthesized (high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, hydrogenated oils, etc). I then went on to explain how the fruit and vegetables of today are grossly lacking in the nutrition that they once possessed years ago.

Today, I want to talk about out meat based foods and explain that the problem with these is not with what they are lacking, but what is being added. You need to understand the reasons that meat and animal products can negatively impact your weight loss and diet plan.

Let’s look at beef as an example. Personally, a good steak or a slice of prime rib is one of my favourite meals. But where does beef come from?

Well duh! It comes from cows.

And who raises cows?

Well the answer to that should be a “no brainer” as well. Farmers raise cows. And that is the way it should be.

I live in rural Quebec. My neighbours are all farmers and they all raise cows. I see these cows out in the fields every day in the spring, summer and fall happily grazing on grass. In the winter, they have a huge barn which they have access to which is full of fresh hay for them to eat. These are the cows that I eat.

But are these the cows that you purchase in your local grocery store?

Sadly they are not. My neighbours barely make enough money from their herds to cover the expenses of these animals. First the calf has to purchased, then it has veterinary expenses, then it needs nutritional supplements (farmers know that the soil is missing certain elements and thus compensate for that. In our region, our soil is completely lacking in selenium.), then there is the electricity the barn uses for lights and to keep the water from freezing, and lastly there are tons of fuel expenses for cutting and transporting the hay.

Most small rural farmers raise cattle as a side income only. “Farmers” can’t make much money raising cattle because they have to compete with “industry” who are the primary cattle raisers in North America. Some of the largest cattle “ranches” in the USA are found in Arizona. In fact, they aren’t even called ranches or farms. They are called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO). 97% of all beef in the U.S. comes from CAFOs.

“So what is wrong with Arizona?” you may ask.

What do naturally eat? Grass.

What type of environment is Arizona? It’s a desert. So… no grass.

Cows have 4 stomachs. They evolved in this manner as they are a grazing animals that are meant to eat grass at a leisurely pace and slowly digest it in their stomachs. But since raising cows in these feed lots is not about producing food, it’s about producing money, CAFOs don’t have the time to fatten their cows naturally.

So in these feed lots cows are primarily fed a mixture of grain and corn, and in some cases rendered protein and even concrete dust! Rendered protein is the ground up carcasses of dead pigs (this is a problem because cows are herbivores, not carnivores). Concrete dust was found to increase the weight of cows at auction (heavier cows sell for more money!).

In the CAFOs, living conditions are not quite the same as here on my neighbouring farms and the cows are stressed. Stressed animals have weakened immune systems. Cows with weak immune systems are at greater risk for illness. Living in such high density corrals means that if one cow gets sick, they likely all will. So to reduce the risk of losing a cow, most cattle are fed prophylactic antibiotics to keep them “healthy”.

Don’t think of CAFOs as farms, they are cattle factories just like a car factory. Do you think Ford wants to spend a full month getting a car through the assembly line? No they want that car to be built and out of there as quickly as possible. It’s the same with the beef. The more cattle they can pump through in a year, the more money they make.

To encourage growth in these cows they are also administered growth hormones and steroids. So here you have cows that are taking regular injections of antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones, eating a diet that is completely unnatural to them, and packed into a super small living space. On top of that, the feed that they are fed is itself genetically modified and loaded with herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals.

These are the cows that are sent to slaughter and end up in your grocery stores! This is the beef you are eating. Pigs, chickens, lambs, and even fish are all raised in pretty much the same manner and experience the same outcome.

Just think about it. If your food is full of antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals, what makes you immune to them?

Have you noticed how big kids are these days? Have you noticed how early young girls start to physically mature? The kids today look a lot different now than when I went to public school just 30 short years ago. Do think this might have something to do with all the steroids and growth hormones they are getting second hand in their milk and meat products?

In the case of vegetables, your body is being placed under stress due to a lack of nutrition. In the case of meat, your body is being placed under stress due to the added chemicals and hormones. In an upcoming article, I’ll discuss how it is these stressors on the body, and not the number of calories that are primarily responsible for weight gain and excess body and visceral fat.