Protect Dogs In Winter
Winter can be a challenging time for pet owners that want dogs to get exercise outside but want them to stay protected from the elements. Don't be fooled by the fur coat. Dogs that stay outside under 32 degrees Fahrenheit risk health complications including frostbite and hypothermia. Here are tips for letting your dog play outside in the winter.
- Shorten outdoor playtime to 15-20 minutes instead of 30. On a good day, dogs need at least 30 minutes of daily activity; but dogs that stay outside in the snow risk injury to foot pads and cold nips. Buy dog boots and coats for dogs if the plan is to keep dogs outside for longer than 15 minutes each day.
- Let dogs play outside while the sun is shining. The sun will make dogs feel warm and are less likely to shiver from cold temperatures and chilly wind gusts.
- Give dogs an escape plan from the cold. Let them come inside or provide them with a dog house for shelter.
Large dogs such as mastiff, rottweilers and Siberian huskies, can handle the cold better than medium and smaller dogs; however, these dogs are still at risk of dog winter health problems.
Christmas and Cats
Christmas is a favorite holiday for many, especially bakers. Some cat owners may be tempted to feed small amounts of holiday treats to their feline friends; but be advised, sugar can make cats very sick and cause complications.
Let's look at chocolate, for example. Cats eating chocolate can cause abnormal heart rhythms because of the high dose of sugar; tremors and seizures. Chocolate can even be lethal to cats.
Most TV programs show people giving milk saucers to cats; but this is actually a bad idea for cats. Most cats are lactose-intolerant and their digestive systems cannot handle the dairy in milk or processed foods (like chocolate). It can lead to upset stomachs or diarrhea.
This should go without saying, but keep alcoholic beverages away from cats at all times.
When you are making tiramisu, keep cats away from coffee or any other caffeine products. Caffeine, from the cocoa bean, can speed up heart rates and cause muscle tremors. The stimulant is too much for a kitten.
When baking for Christmas, keep these items away from cats to have a safe holiday for pets.
Exercise With Your Cats
Cats need exercise, too; and pet owners leaving cats inside all day are doing a disservice to their kitties. Dogs need at least 30 minutes of daily exercise to maintain healthy bones and joints; but cats really only need at least 10-15 minutes each day. Here are a few ideas to play with cats outside.
- To treat cats, owners can add cat nip to the tip of toys and allow cats to chase after the toy. They can also stretch or leap for the toy to get the catnip as a reward (positive reinforcement).
- Cat Towers are inexpensive and are easy to make for the do-it-yourself-er. These towers let cats pounce from level to level and help maintain strong bones.
- Make a scratching post for cats.
- Make cats chase balls, string or laser pointers.
- Let them play with other domestic animals from inside a secure cat fence.
In the meantime, ditch low-quality food and stop over-feeding cats!
Car Hits Large Cat
A large cat believed to be a mountain lion was hit and killed in Minnesota by an unknown driver. The photo of the dead large cat went viral by Jesse Koskiniemi, a Minnesota resident.
This is a friendly reminder to drive slowly this fall into winter as wildlife are jumping into traffic. White-tailed deer are the number one causes of vehicular accidents in the fall and winter seasons as they cross lanes of traffic in their quest to find a suitable mate. In December, into January, coyotes will be out-and-about for breeding season.
When driving, proceed with caution in dark areas. White-tailed deer and other wildlife will be attracted to headlights and will be quick to jump out of nowhere. If an animal crosses in front of cars, slow down and do not swerve. Swerving can lead to injury or fatalities.
Holiday Gifts For Pets
It's the holiday season; and pet owners need to find the perfect gift for pets. Here are a few holiday gift ideas for dogs and cats:
- Homemade dog treats with all-natural ingredients;
- Dog Treat Launcher or cat nip toys
- Yoga Mat For a Cat
- Dog Pools
- Squeaky, chew toys
- Dog and cat sweaters
- Stitch a dog or cat pillow
- Buy a dog bed
- Fence in pets
- Engrave a dog leash
For Christmas 2018, surprise pets with one of these holiday gift ideas!
Cats Wants Outdoor Time
There is much debate over allowing cats the freedom to explore the great outdoors; but we feel that cats need time outside to play, exercise and get in touch with their roots. After all, domestic cats are part of a larger, nomadic race of carnivores - hunting mice, birds and whatever they can find to eat.
Some cat owners are not only taking cats for walks, but they are transforming their yards by fencing in cats.
"In the past two decades, there has been a growing movement to confine our feline friends indoors. Veterinarians argue that this significantly extends their life spans, protecting them from disease, cars and predators. Wildlife advocates contend that outdoor cats are a blight on ecosystems, killing countless birds and small mammals every year. Increasingly, it seems, no one wants to cross paths with an outdoor cat." (Yes, You Should Walk Your Cat, The New York Times)
Cats need fresh air, too; and while they can interact with other domestic breeds, having a cat fence in the yard will stop them from interfacing with wildlife and will keep them secure.