Friday, March 28, 2008

Pamper your “Best Friend” with a Dog Bed Fit for a King - or Queen

A dog’s bed is its sanctuary. It is a place where he can go that is for rest, relaxation and to sometimes get away from the craziness of his little world, especially if that “little world” happens to include kids.

It is important to be sure to find a dog bed that is comfortable enough to curl up on and large enough to really stretch out. Some dogs curl up, some dogs stretch their entire bodies out, and some do both!

Questions to ask yourself before purchasing your dog’s dream bed!

There are so many amazing choices for dog beds! These questions will hopefully lead you in the right direction.
How old is our dog?
How big or small is your dog?
Where will you put the dog bed?
Will the bed be placed in a crate or dog house?
Will your dog be outside a lot?
Do you need a heated bed or a cooling bed?
Do you want a luxury or designer bed?
Does your dog need extra padding due to arthritis?

There is an amazing selection of luxury beds available. These selections range from couches to loungers to wrought iron and wooden beds. These beds can be full sized beds or small miniatures of these styles. It is simply unbelievable what you can get for your little king or queen!

If your dog is an outside and inside dog, you may consider having two dog beds. If your dog is outside only, you should consider purchasing a heated dog bed in the winter and a cooing bed for the heated summer days. Your dog gets cold and hot, too. Don’t make him suffer more than he has to in those cold or hot days!

If your dog has arthritis, orthopedic beds are designed to help with skeletal alignment. These beds do tend to cost a little more because of the technology involved in making them.

If you will be traveling, there are actually traveling dog beds available, too!

Dogs have a favorite blankie, too!

Even if you have not purchased a dog bed for your pooch, it would be wise and considerate to at least give your dog a blanket. Although blankets should not really take the place of a dog bed, they can be beneficial in helping to keep hair off of things like the couch or in your car. Blankets are easy to wash and will help with completing the dog bed!

Your dog will likely attach to his blanket as a child does to his blankie. It will give him a sense of security and ownership. Put his blankie with him in bed at night or bring it out during the day where he likes to lie down around the house. You can even get your little guy a pillow for his head. He would have a bed, blankie and pillow! Now, this would be a bed fit for a king – or queen!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Give Thanks to Your Cat for Your Healthy Heart

Those of you who have cats can relax a little when it comes to heart attacks. It has been discovered that people who own cats have a 40% lower risk of having a heart attack. Although dogs do not show such statistics, they do help with stress levels.

Recent study shows cat’s miraculous impact on the human heart.
Dr. Adnan Qureshi is a stroke expert at the University of Minnesota. He and a team of experts analyzed tests over a ten year period with almost 4,435 Americans. Out of these Americans, 2,435 owned a cat or had owned a cat in the past. The remaining 2,000 had never owned a cat. In this study, there were not as many participants recorded as dying from heart attacks.

Statistics on cats and dogs
According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, there are 90 million cats owned in the United States. 38.4 million U.S. households own at least one cat. 56 percent own more than one cat. There are 74.8 million dogs owned in the United States. 39 percent of U.S. households own at least one dog. Therefore, there are 36.4 million more cats out there performing their miracles.

All animals are important to reducing stress.
Animals in general are perceived to have a positive effect on people’s health if they consider their animals a part of the family. Animals tend to have a calming and relaxing effect on people, especially during times of stress.

If you are a dog owner, don’t feel left out. It is likely that there just hasn’t been a study done specifically for dogs.

Get the word out
With this study and studies done in the past on the health benefits animals have on people, researchers believe that pet ownership is a medical intervention that does not cost as much as drugs and tests and there are not as many risks involved as drugs and tests. Although this has been proven through studies, animals are sometimes not being allowed into apartment building and nursing homes. More needs to be done to make people more aware of the benefits animals have on the health of people.

Imagine all of those people who have died from stress related problems turning into strokes or heart problems that could have possibly been saved just by the love an animal.

Please help get the word out “animals are important in saving lives”. Medical facilities, apartment buildings and nursing homes need to step up and listen to the people. There are some nursing homes and apartment buildings that have recognized an animal’s importance to a patient’s health.

Get out the cat stroller and go for a walk.
Your cat obviously deserves some pampering after all that hard work of loving you! After all, just being himself could be the gift of life. Get him a favorite treat, grab the harness, put him in the cat stroller and take him out for a walk in the park. It will do you both some good to get out and get some fresh air and exercise, and he will enjoy getting out and hearing the birds! Just don’t let him run free! You don’t want him running away or getting that bird! After a long walk in the cat stroller, go home and relax with your cat. He will likely be ready for a nap in his pet bed or in your lap!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Purrfectly Amazing Cat Stories!

We have all heard of the amazing stories where dogs have been lost during vacation and have made it home years later from across the United States! Believe it or not, this is also true of some amazing cats. These courageous kitties have earned a cat bed fit for a queen or king, and forget about walking! They deserve to ride in a comfortable cat stroller for the rest of their lives! Not only that, they deserve the best kitty cocktail around!

I would like to share some of these purrfectly amazing stories with you.

Sugar traveled an amazing 2,004 kilometers from California to its home in Oklahoma.
Amazingly, Madonna, a seven year old tabby went missing within weeks of a move from Windsor, Ontario to Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She returned home FOUR years later! Imagine the sites she saw on her kitty adventure!

Ninja decided he didn’t like his owner’s new home in the state of Washington, so he decided to go on a road trip. He traveled 850 miles to his owner’s old home in Utah.

It is not only US cats that are purrfectly amazing! It seems France and Germany may have some courageous kitties, too! This cat walked 1,000 kilometers from Nievre, France to the owner’s new home in Stuttgart, South West Germany! I do believe this cat deserves the cat bed of his dreams!

Lucy, a five year old Calico went missing in the Inuvik territory of Canada, by the Arctic Ocean. Lucy traveled over 6,600 kilometers to Toronto in the back of a transport truck! Here someone called the number on her tag, and she was flown back to the Arctic region! This cat has many tales to tell!

The following story is an even more amazing story!

This is one remarkable kitty! A family from Adelaide, Australia dropped their Persian cat, Howie, with their parents that lived over one thousand miles away from Adelaide. The family was away for months overseas, and were devastated to find out that Howie had ran away just two weeks into his stay. The family had to return home empty handed with their worst fears confirmed in their minds. Howie could not possibly take care of himself. He had never even seen a dog, nor hunted anything other than bugs!

The family was sickened by the idea of never being able to hold their kitty again. And, even worse was the fact that they did not know what happened to him.

A year later, a straggly looking, longhaired cat showed up at their door step. He had a wounded paw and was filthy and starved. The second the daughter saw the cat, she knew. This was their beautiful Persian cat, Howie. It literally was a miracle! Their cat had traveled through forded rivers, crossed two tracts of harsh desert and literally fought his way through the wilderness of the Australian outback. AMAZING!

Howie knew where his heart belonged, and there was nothing that would stop him from getting back to his loved ones. With a lot of love, a trip to the vet in his cat stroller and a bath, he soon started to look like his same pampered Persian self! He took his role as King of the House, and took his throne on his luxurious cat bed!

A Cat’s Purr and Cat Clothing Go Paw –n- Paw!

Have you ever thought about a cat’s purr? Like maybe what makes him purr, and how does that purr come from inside? A cat’s purr truly brings a peace and serenity for cat owners. When your cat is lying on your lap in her cat pajamas, purring, she is content and in complete relaxation. This calmness truly can bring a sense of tranquility to us, even in our most tense moments.

But wait! It has been found that cats do not only purr when they are content, but when they are severely injured, frightened or giving birth. So, now it changes the meaning of the purr. The purr is a mechanism for survival. However, I truly believe that when my cat is sleeping on my lap, purring, without a care in the world, she is most definitely happy! But, it is interesting to learn that other cats do purr during these not so happy moments in their lives.

Did you know that a kitten can purr in his second day of life? He is not able to meow and nurse, but he can most certainly purr and nurse. You would think that the kitten is content because he is being nursed; however, he could be frightened coming into this strange new world! And, often you will find the mother cat purring back, to reassure the kitten.

Over the years, since the Egyptians started worshipping the cat, scientists, philosophers and cat owners alike have wondered, just where does that purr come from? There have been many theories and ideas that have been determined from studying cats. One particular study found that purring involves an activation of the nerves inside the voice box. These nerves will cause the vocal cords to vibrate as the diaphragm pushes air in and out of the vibrating cords. This is where the purring sound comes in.

I do have to say that when my cat is frightened, she does not purr. She literally growls! She gets very annoyed with my dogs. Cats have their own personality. They are so much fun to watch, especially when they are playing. But, when my cat jumps up into my lap and starts purring, it literally gives me a sense of serenity. I will take any opportunity I can get for a sense of peace in my hectic world!

Cats can do many things, and many things will make them content. Have you ever tried to put clothing on a cat? There are times that the cat absolutely does not go for clothing. And, he will let you know that he does not like it. Generally, by growling! But, there are many cats that do enjoy cat clothing, especially pajamas! And, I believe that you will know how much they enjoy their pajamas and cat bed by their purr! I cannot believe that a cat will sit there and purr, if he is absolutely uncomfortable with his pajamas; however, it is recommended that you start your cat off as early as possible, because they will learn that clothing is just a way of life, if it is started when they are kittens.

There are so many adorable outfits for cats! From cute little white frilly dresses to the well know “little black dress” to the Harley Davidson Leather Jacket, you have so many options available. It is a blast to dress them up, as long as they are happy. You can even organize your cat’s wardrobe by purchasing a wardrobe storage unit! A content cat is important. Be sure your cat is content with his wardrobe, a cat’s purr and its cat clothing must go paw – n- paw!

Playing With your Rambunctious Dog or Frisky Feline Makes for a Better Best Friend

Playing with your dog is essential to his growth and overall mannerism with people. Playing with your dog can actually help dogs keep their homes. There are many activities that provide better opportunities for your dog to learn good manners.

Believe it or not, your cat actually likes to play, too! Actually, your frisky feline loves a ball of yarn or any other kind of string or rubbery toy that he can flip around in the air or bat at! I actually have a friend whose cat will do summersaults in the air by trying to “fetch” a toy in mid air! It is unbelievable what some cats can actually do, and how acrobatic they can be! They are so much fun to watch. And, playing with them will sometimes bring them out of their “moods” long enough to actually get close to you. Of course, some cats do have attitude, but over time even those cats will attach to a member in the family.

Doing activities with your dog or cat will make living with them easier, and you will likely become more attached, than if you never played with them. The “fun activities” you can do with your pet have many benefits. It makes your pet healthier, and reduces boredom, which leads to bad behavior. A dog or cat that is in continual contact with his owner is less likely to have behavior problems. Of course, a cat does have its own sense of how he should behave, but physical contact will get your cat used to you being around.

There are so many different types of games for dogs and cats, it is amazing. Any game or physical contact will bring you and your pet closer.

Some sports or jobs you and your dog can participate in include: carting, coursing and racing, duck diving, dog scootering, fly ball, flying discs, herding, hunting, rollerblades
Imagine rollerblading with your dog? Two common activities are flying discs and fly ball. That is a blast! It is a very good idea to bring your pet stroller with you, as your dog WILL be worn out when that activity is done! Remember your dog will follow you where ever you go. Pay attention to his breathing, or if he is tired, he may need a break. You could put him in his pet stroller for shade and a quick nap!

Cat activities are a little different. They are predators by nature. They love to pounce on things and play hide and seek! Cats tend to like small spaces! However, they sure know how to put on a show! Just drag that piece of yarn across the room, in the air or on top of the table, and your cat is sure to follow! If you can get him used to a leash, you could take him on walks in the park, too! If you can’t get him used to a leash, you can still put him in a cat stroller, so he can see the world, too! They are curious and love to be outside, but some still like the security they feel in the pet stroller.

Have fun with your cat or dog. They are special and have their own personalities. However, you can help them along just with playing with them, and they can be the best friend you have ever had!

Take your Senior Dog for a Walk In the Park-Don’t Forget the Pet Stroller!

It is crucial for all dogs to have a regular exercise routine. This goes along with proper nutrition, grooming and vet visits. The best time to begin an exercise program is when they are puppies into their senior years.

As a dog ages, his tolerance and requirements for exercise will change. It is important to contact your vet if you plan to change an existing program or want to begin a new program for your elderly dog. A complete physical exam will need to be completed, as well as discussing what kinds of exercises are okay for your dog to do.

Benefits of exercise for your senior dog
Because your dog can only handle so much exercise, you should consider purchasing a pet stroller to allow him to ride to the park, so that he can get out and enjoy the grass at the park! Always bring your dog stroller along, even if you drive to the park, as your dog may very well get too tired during his walk, and may likely need a break.
Exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight. A dog that is overweight may suffer from a number of health problems. It causes extra stress on your pet’s heart and when the heart is not functioning correctly, than other organs could suffer, which includes the brain, lungs, liver and kidneys.

Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of the joints. It causes a lot of pain and discomfort. A dog that has an excess in weight may speed up the disease. Moderate exercise can slow down the process of this joint disease. So, after you have gone on your walk with his pet stroller, he will be definitely ready for a nap in his dog bed! It is important to purchase a dog bed that is thick and comfortable to help relieve some pain from those sore joints.

Exercise also has been known to help with your dog’s mental health. It keeps oxygen and other nutrients at optimum levels in the brain.

Be patient and be careful.

It is important not to take your dog into hot or humid weather. Heat stroke is an issue and other heat related health problems can arise. Remember to take the pet stroller along with you on walks. This is important, as your elderly dog can only handle so much exercise. He may get tired quicker than you expect. You don’t want to be stuck carrying your 80 pound dog across the park! Be sure to keep your eye out to see if he is getting tired. Your dog is loyal and will keep following you past his limits.

Have fun.
Exercising can be fun. You could take a Frisbee or ball with you. Just be sure to keep his exercise in moderation. With a little bit of moderate exercise, your pet could live a long a happy life! Your dog is your best friend. He deserves to have a little fun, while also being able to live a long healthy life with you.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Puppy Days or Dog Days – Pet Bed or Crate?

Your family is so excited that you will be bringing your new addition to the family home soon. Whether you are bringing home a brand new puppy or an older dog, your new family member needs to have a place to sleep!

The question is- bed or crate?
Every dog needs the security that a crate offers. Dogs love crates because they offer a sense of security. However, it is important that your dog does not view the crate as a place for punishment. You can use the crate as a preventative from mischief. Just don’t wait to throw him until he has actually gotten into trouble.

When should you stop using the crate?
This all depends on how far they have come with housetraining and whether they have stopped destructive behavior, such as chewing up things. My sister made the mistake of stopping use of the crate too soon, leaving her German Shepherd in the house when she left. She thought it was okay because most of the time, she would come home and things would be just fine. But then one day, she was gone most of the day. She was worried, but her dog did NOTHING wrong. She then had to leave for about fifteen minutes to pick up the kids from school, and wouldn’t you know it, that German Shepherd puppy literally ate the couch up! It is amazing what goes through a dog’s mind! Needless to say, she started using the crate again! Stopping use of the crate too soon is a very common mistake. It is far better for your own sanity and the safety of your dog to continue on with the crate, until you are absolutely sure your dog is ready!

Should you put a dog bed into a crate?
This will depend on the age of the dog. However, unless your dog is older and just simply likes the crate, you should refrain from putting bedding into the crate, as too much ingestion of bedding could pose as a choking or smothering threat. Just expect your dog is going to chew up whatever you put into that crate! Toys can also pose as a choking hazard.

When to transition from crate to bed?
Again, this will all depend on how your dog is behaving. If he is still chewing things up, likely, he will chew up his bed. But, if you find he is ready, than it may take some work to get him used to the freedom a dog bed allows!

How to transition from crate to bed?
The crate is an excellent way to start training your dog to use a dog bed – other than yours! Just put your new dog bed into the crate and shut the door at bed time or nap time. This will give your dog that sense of security he feels when in the crate, and start to get him familiar with his new dog bed. Remember to be sure your dog is past his destructive chewing days before you give him his brand new dog bed. Especially if it is one of those fancy dog beds that are available online! It is amazing the different types of dog beds that are available, from football beds to princess beds to flowers to full size luxury beds (just like yours!) Now, that would be a bed fit for a queen or king!

Once your dog has become familiar with his bed in the crate, it is time to open the door. Leave the bed in the crate, but allow him the freedom to come and go as he pleases during the day. At night, however, he should learn that when its lights out, its bed time!

Once you have been able to train him to stay in his bed in the crate all night, you can finally bring out the bed and put away the crate, until your next puppy or dog comes along!

With a lot of patience and consistency, you will be able to remove the dog bed from the crate!
Good luck on the transition time, and happy hunting for a pet bed! That is so much fun to do!

Pet Fashion – Dress your Pet in Style!

Pet fashion is in! You can make your “bundle of joy” even cuter than she already is, if you can believe that! It is so much fun to be able to make your dog or cat unique by being able to pick and choose from the thousands of pet fashion clothes and pet costumes available today.

Yes, it is fun to dress up your dog or cat in a pet Halloween costume; however, dressing your dog or cat isn’t just for Halloween or Christmas anymore. In fact, there are now designer pet clothes available from top clothing designers. You can even get leather pet clothing. Imagine your dog or cat in a Harley Davidson leather jacket. Now, that would be cool!

From pajamas to sweaters to life jackets, if your dog or cat can wear it, you can be sure it is available. Yes, I said pajamas. Help your dog get a good night’s sleep wearing that cozy pair of pajamas every night. This can get him settled down at bed time, and calm him down so he can get to sleep in his comfortable pet bed.

How about purchasing a pet bathrobe? This is the perfect replacement of that towel. As we all know, they jump out of the bathtub, only to shake the water all over the place. And, the towel just doesn’t do the trick. A good terry cloth bathrobe that has a front closure or top zipper or buttons for easier dressing is the way to go. Especially to help save you from getting a shower from your dog!

Do you go for outdoor adventures with your dog? This is the perfect time to pull out that dog stroller and venture out. Just be sure to bring your dog’s pet raincoat in case you run into wet weather. And how about packing the dog rain boots? Pretty unique!

Your dog has to go outside a few times a day, every day. He probably can’t stand being cold, as you wouldn’t be able to stand it. Slip on his parka or blanket coat, and help him stay warm while he is “doing his business”!

Dress your dog for success. There are fashion clothing companies that make pet fashion clothes. They will tend to be sold in sets containing a shirt, pants, hood and boots. Show off your baby girl with that cute pink dress or your baby boy with that tuxedo.

The pet life jackets and vests are truly an amazing product. They are not only adorable, but they will save your dog’s life, in the event he falls in and either can’t swim, or can swim and just gets tired All pet owners should consider owning one of these, especially if you are outdoors around any lakes or swimming pools.

Pet shirts are available in many styles and sizes. These shirts are what your dog would wear everyday. They are comfortable, and many come in t-shirt material. You have such a wide variety of selections, it is unbelievable. Picking out the pet shirts is so much fun!

No ensemble is complete without the bandanas or goggles! Don’t forget the accessories. Spice up their wardrobe with a bow or hairclip. How about sunglasses to help protect their eyes! There are even puppy diapers for those puppies that are potty training.

All I can say is to have fun with it. As long as your dog or cat is okay with getting dressed up, go ahead and dress her up in her pink dress and him in his tuxedo and take them out for a night on the town! And, don’t forget the pet stroller!

Keeping your Furry Friends Warm and Safe!

Spring is around the corner, yet it is still cold out there. Here are some tips to keep your dog warm and safe through the cold months.

Bring out the coats and boots for your furry friend!

Most dogs do have a coat of fur. However, this “coat” may not be sufficient enough to keep your “baby” warm and safe. When the weather changes, we are all affected, including our dogs. This is especially true when the ice and snow hit. How would you feel if you had to go out to go to the bathroom with only your clothes and no shoes? Likely, not very warm!

Consider getting your dog a warm winter coat and boots. Your dog will welcome the warmth, especially when the temperature hits zero or below. Yes, dogs can withstand temperature better than humans; however, they can only handle so much. Dogs, by nature, love the outdoors. They especially love it when it snows. I know my dogs just love to run around, and my sister’s big German Shepherd actually catches snowballs!

Getting your dog a coat and boots will allow her to be able to get the exercise she needs outside because she can stay out for longer periods of time. They get so cooped up in the cold months that they tend to cause trouble. So, when you are pulling out the coats, don’t forget your dog’s coat!

Remember to supply a shelter for your dog when he is outside.
Not only should dogs that spend most of their time outside have coats, at the very least, it is very important to supply a good, strong shelter to keep the wind off of them. Dogs can and will freeze to death, even if they have the thickest fur available. Be sure that the dog house is well insulated. And, although you would think a big dog house is nice to have, in the winter, it is simply not. Your dog’s house should only be big enough for him to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably, completely inside. This will keep his body heat contained and keep him warm. A dog house that is too big will not retain the heat from his body and he will be very cold. A nice warm dog bed and coat will help him keep warm.

How can eating snow be dangerous?
All animals need fresh water. Although it may SEEM that snow would be the answer for giving your dog fresh water, it is not a substitute and can pose to be dangerous to your dog. How? When your dog eats snow, it makes him even thirstier, and the snow will bring his body temperature down. This puts your dog at risk for hypothermia. Although it is a pain in the winter to keep a fresh supply of water, you must be sure your dog has access to fresh, not frozen water.

Antifreeze is a silent killer.
Unfortunately, most dogs love to eat or drink whatever is in their reach. Antifreeze is a dangerous “drink” your dog will actually like the taste of because it tastes sweet. It is a fast acting poison that can kill your dog. There are actually non-toxic antifreeze products available these days. Check around. It is worth your time!
Your dog will enjoy a warm and safe time during the cold months. Take the necessary precautions to keep him safe, and surprise your dog with a nice warm bed and coat for his shelter.

My Dog is not Spoiled, I am Just Well Trained!

Okay, many of us have heard it. Your dog is spoiled! However, if you were to ask my dog, she would probably tell you that she is NOT spoiled, but that I am just well trained.

Your dog is probably the most loyal friend you could possibly ask for. Who else will treat you as if you are royalty each time he sees you? The unconditional love and devotion you get from your dog is the best feeling in the world. So, why not “spoil” him a little? Ok, maybe some people do go overboard a little, but your dog truly deserves to be treated with respect and a lot of love. So, I say go for it! Spoil him rotten!

Here are some ideas on spoiling your dog – the right way! Is there such a thing? Yes!
Buy him a sweater or splurge for a pedicure. You can really have fun buying your dog “stuff”. It is amazing the styles of sweaters, coats, collars, bandanas, etc. available for your pooch. You can spend hundreds of dollars spoiling your dog or you can spend very little. Your dog will absolutely love you no matter how much you spend. In fact, a simple sweater or new dog bed along with a dog biscuit would do wonders for your dog’s self-esteem! Of course, don’t forget the snack. Their actual favorite part!

Go out and play! Spending time with your dog is actually the absolute best gift you can give. Buy him a new toy, venture out to the park in his dog stroller and new bandana or take him for a drive.

Just sit down with him and give him a massage. They absolutely love massages! And, they truly feel they are loved.

Make him a SPECIAL treat. Break away from the traditional dog food and dog snack. Your dog loves food. It is their purpose in life, other than just being there for you. Try making homemade treats and dog food that is packed with the vitamins and nutrients he needs? Find some recipes that are suitable for your dog’s digestive system. They cannot have chocolate. And there are certain fruits and vegetables that are toxic for your dog. Learn what these to keep him safe, but he will be in doggie heaven if you bake him a healthy dog food cake right from the kitchen! Happy baking!

Spoiling your dog also includes knowing what to do in case of emergencies. Learn the steps to help your choking dog or those cuts on his leg or what to do if he is bit by a raccoon. Your dog is just like your baby. He needs you to protect him, as he would protect you.

Buy him a brand new bed! This does not have to be expensive. His old bed may be fine, but sometimes they tend to get worn down. Have some fun with it. There are many different styles available for dogs of all sizes and shapes! You could buy a theme based bed, such as a baseball or princess bed, or you can buy a deluxe bed, or just a simple bed. The point is your dog will be very excited to get his new bed. You can use the old bed in a different room in the house. Have fun shopping for your dog bed.

Remember your dog IS your best friend. He will be there for you in times of happiness, sadness or fear. He will do anything for you. Show him how much you appreciate him. Spoil him Rotten!