We all know how winters can be unforeseeably long and brutal. And while you struggle with your cold, it can be even a bigger challenge keeping your pets (especially dogs) warm. Some breeds have thick fur while others don’t. For those dogs that don’t have thick fur, you can consider purchasing a winter coat for your dog from TO Dogswear in Canada, but if that’s not an option, these tips will help you keep your pet warm this winter.
The brutal conditions during winters can turn into life or death situations if your pet is kept outdoors for a few hours without any form of protection. Some breeds may well be better prepared for winter months than others, and the pups and senior or ill pets are at higher mortality risk. With that in mind, let’s look at how you can keep your pet warm during the winter.
Minimize Outdoor Playtime
Dogs love to play in the snow, but how would you draw the line and say it is enough. Depending on the breed, you can set playtimes at a minimum because of the extreme cold. That’s because some dogs can pass up the time and get caught in the freezing conditions, which would be catastrophic.
Get Your Dog a Winter Sweater or Jacket
Dogs with minimal fur on their coats can benefit from a winter sweater. And there are several winter dog clothing you can invest in to help insulate short-haired or diminutive dogs during the winter months.
Offer Your Dog Extra Food And Water
Like yourself, the winter months drain more from a dog’s body as it works extra hard to maintain a constant body temperature. This means that your dog would need more food and water to keep up with the surrounding temperature. Therefore, ensure you provide your pet sufficient food whether you are home or not.
Ensure Your Dog Sleeps Indoors
Whether your dog sleeps inside or not, there are those odd days it inadvertently sleeps outdoors. During winters, a dog should never be made to sleep outside the house. And apart from the freezing temperatures, it would be mentally damaging to your dog, it being a social animal.
Let Your Pup into Bed with You
I’m probably thinking that not all of you would entertain this idea, but I’ll say it anyway. While most curdle with their pets, they do not let them in the bedroom. Either way, winter temperatures can be extraordinary, or what better way to keep your dog warm than letting it lie close to you? The benefits to the dog go beyond keeping it warm, as research indicates that lying with your dog helps reduce anxiety and depression – for both of you.
Keeping Your Pets Warm This Winter
Your dog probably survived the previous winter, and you are thinking to yourself that it will automatically weather the storm this time around. It is crucial to prepare on how to protect your dog before the onset of the winter months. And we understand what some of these pets mean to some of you. So, if you use the tips mentioned herein, you will more than likely see your pet through winter unscathed and healthy.
Is Pet Insurance Costly? Is It Worth It?
Pet insurance seems like a great idea, but are the premiums and the deductibles worth it? If you’re on the fence about pet insurance, or if you currently have pet insurance, this article will help you make an informed decision about whether or not it’s worth it to have pet insurance and which company would be best to go with.
Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll feel more knowledgeable about whether or not pet insurance makes sense for your family!
Why are pet insurance plans so expensive?
Pet insurance is costly because it is a pet necessity. If you were in an accident or became very ill, there would be no way to pay for your treatment. Your bill may cost as much as $5000 and up, depending on how complicated your treatment is.
Having pet insurance will allow you to recoup at least some of that money so that you can continue to provide for your pets health and well-being without going into personal debt.
What should I be aware of before choosing a pet insurance plan?
Pet insurance can help relieve some of the financial burden of veterinary care, but you should be aware of a few things before choosing a plan.
First, while pet insurance may be worthwhile in some cases, it’s not always necessary and can increase your costs if you don’t have any major medical problems with your pet.
How do vet bills fit into my budget?
Pets can be some of our best friends and companions, and yet their health needs can drain our bank accounts in an instant.
Preventive care is key, but even with that you may need pet insurance to fill any gaps. How do vet bills fit into your budget, and how much are you willing to pay for pet insurance?
Even with pet insurance, pet owners may face very high costs if their pets have accidents that aren’t covered by their policy. For example, dental surgery and procedures are often excluded from pet health insurance policies.
If you have a purebred dog with expensive pedigree who develops dental issues, you could find yourself paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for veterinary care that isn’t covered by your plan.
- Pre-existing conditions
Many pet insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions. This means that if your pet has a condition before you purchase insurance, you will likely be responsible for any future treatment costs.
The good news is that many plans have an elimination period—if your pet was perfectly healthy when you purchased their policy, they may still be covered up to 14 days after you first enroll them in it.
How do I choose the right deductible, co-pay and reimbursement percentage for my situation?
There are lots of variables when it comes to pet insurance. The two most important questions pet owners should ask themselves before purchasing pet insurance are:
What is my budget, and how do I plan on using it? and Am I prepared to make regular payments without fail? Once you’ve answered these questions, it will be easier to determine what type of coverage you need.
Do all pet insurance companies offer coverage in all 50 states?
Pet insurance companies can and do cover pets in all 50 states. Some pet insurance companies are more widespread than others; it’s a good idea to check your provider’s map to see if they service your area.
Pet insurance is a very competitive industry, so you should also compare costs across providers to make sure you’re getting your pet coverage for an affordable price.
Are there other reasons why I should consider buying pet insurance besides financial reasons?
There are many reasons to consider purchasing pet insurance. Pet insurance can help protect your pet against life-threatening illnesses and injuries that may not be covered by your current pet plan.
Most importantly, pet insurance can provide financial protection to you as well as your pet should he or she become ill or injured in a way that could cost you thousands of dollars in care. Pet insurance can also help increase coverage for chronic conditions that may require long-term medication.
Can You Keep A Dog In An Apartment
Not everyone can afford a big house and yard with plenty of space for pooches to roam. Plenty of us live in apartments. In fact, in cities all around the world, you would be hard-pressed to find a house with loads of space for dogs to roam.
However, apartment dwellers rejoice! It isn’t about the size of the dog that matters when it comes to providing the appropriate space. In fact, many people who think that apartments are for small dogs clearly haven’t met a Jack Russell Terrier.
It all dwells down to the energy levels, which are based on the dog’s genetic predisposition, what the breed was meant to do, lifestyle, age, diet, and the individual dog.
For example, you might meet a hyperactive Terrier that just bounces off the walls in frustration at not being let loose, while you can just as easily have a Great Dane that is a couch potato and is content to lounge around all day after a daily walk.
Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that there can be a big difference in energy levels between different breeds. High-energy dogs are often described as being “full of life” and always ready to play. They may be bouncing off the walls or running circles around their owner.
Low-energy dogs, on the other hand, are more likely to take a nap than go for a run. They tend to be calm and quiet, even in situations that would excite a high-energy dog.
How To Keep A Dog Busy In An Apartment
The key to a happy dog is physical and mental stimulation. The physical stimulation part is easy. You know your dog best, and you know what it would take to have him sleep well during the night, tired out from the day’s activities.
Dogs are born to run, jump, and play. It’s in their nature, and you’ll need to exercise your apartment-dwelling dog to make sure that he stays in good shape.
And as any dog owner knows, a bored dog can be a destructive dog. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your furry friend gets plenty of exercise.
A daily walk is a great way to bond with your dog while also keeping them fit and healthy. But don’t stop there – try integrating some playtime and training into your dog’s exercise routine as well. Not only will this help to burn off excess energy, but it will also keep their mind active and engaged. And of course, a tired dog is a good dog.
An under-exercised dog can exhibit all kinds of annoying, and sometimes destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, excessive barking and all-around freaking out.
Without regular physical activity, dogs can become overweight and sluggish. They may also suffer from joint problems, respiratory difficulties, and behavior issues.
In extreme cases, a lack of exercise can even lead to health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
Not just their bodies need a workout, their brain does too. Keeping a dog mentally stimulated is an important part of being a dog owner. A bored dog can be destructive, anxious, and even depressed.
Fortunately, there are a number of easy ways to keep your furry friend’s mind active and engaged. One of the simplest things you can do is to vary your routine. Take a different route on your daily walk, or introduce new toys and play heaps of indoor games to keep them from getting bored.
You can also enroll them in obedience or agility classes, or even teach them some simple tricks. By providing mental stimulation, you’ll help your dog stay happy, healthy, and well-adjusted.
Breeds That Do Well In Apartments
What makes a dog suitable for smaller spaces is its size, genetics, and individual personality. While there isn’t a hard and fast rule to anything, certain dog breeds are typically suitable for apartment dwellers.
The littlest of all toy breeds, these little guys have loads of sassy energy in a small body. Although they are enthusiastic bundles of energy, they lack the stature to keep up with you on a fast walk or jog.
They will have modest exercise needs and are likely to be happy in apartments as long as they get a daily walk and loads of playtime and attention. However, be wary during the winter months. Chihuahuas are short-haired dogs that originate from the hot climates of Mexico and are particularly susceptible to cold. When the temperatures drop, tailor your Chi’s exercise and activity plan, and make sure you layer up your beloved pooch.
Toy and Companion Dogs
Popular companion dogs also have modest exercise needs and will do well in apartments. Examples of these dogs include the Havanese, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, and Toy and Miniature Poodles.
They’ll need plenty of attention and playtime, but they won’t be needing to run a half-marathon every day.
Small Brachycephalic Breeds
Brachycephalic breeds refer to dogs with flat faces and short muzzles like the Pug, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Shih Tzu, Boxer, Bullmastiff, and Chow Chow.
These breeds often have more respiratory challenges than the average dogs, and while they are enthusiastic and energetic, their stamina can be compromised.
While the bigger breeds like the Boxer and Chow Chow might need ample room to release that pent-up energy, other small breeds like the Boston Terrier and Pug will do well in apartments.
Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you should deny yourself the intense pleasure of having a canine companion. With some effort, you can have a happy, healthy dog in your space!
Beginner’s Guide to Reptiles as Pets
Reptiles make for quite unusual, fascinating, and exotic pets. But owners without experience get overwhelmed by the expenses and difficulties of caring for them. Many new owners leave pet stores with reptiles they didn’t get adequate information about. This usually leaves an unprepared and unequipped owner struggling and an unlucky reptile facing mortality.
Contrary to common thought, certain reptiles make for excellent pets. What is needed is good information and the right reptile supplies. So, here are some essential things about reptiles that will be very helpful for a first-time reptile owner to know.
Need-To-Know Information About Reptiles
There are some crucial things to note before or while owning a reptile for the first time. These things are pertinent to your satisfaction and safety and the pet’s.
1. Know About the Animal
You need to understand that every reptile is different, even if they belong to the same biological family. Some reptiles are not suitable for beginners to own and you should just accept that.
Pay attention to how much space the new pet will need. Take note of specific needs like temperature control and nutrition. Some reptiles may require live food, so think about that.
Determine whether you are willing and able to make the effort needed. Think about the financial implications too. If you are unprepared, don’t get the reptile. The scene won’t be pretty if you do.
2. Legal or Not
You need to know whether your reptile of choice is legal where you live. This is the first step to getting one as a pet. There are laws about keeping exotic reptiles in most areas. Some laws are general, and some are very specific. Any reptiles that can be dangerous are illegal to own in many places. If you’re caught with an illegal reptile in your house, the consequences might be dire.
3. What It Eats
The majority of reptiles eat live food. So, you may have to store mealworms, dubia roaches, or even mice alive. But some reptiles feed on fruits and vegetables. So if you can’t stand handing live food to your pet, go for the vegetarian or those that don’t mind lifeless snacks.
Ready-made products are available online, like turtle feed, iguana feed, canned grasshoppers, and worms.
Feeding is synonymous with proper care for a reptile pet. Ensure you have this well assessed.
4. Care for Reptiles
Just like dogs or cats, reptiles need space and quiet sometimes. You need to pay attention to that. It would be best if you took the time to understand their ideal habitat, habits, temperaments, and quirks. This is crucial to the success in caring for them.
Some reptiles like to dig and burrow. Others want to climb or swim. So get their living area correct, and most potential challenges will not be an issue.
5. Light and Heat
Providing proper heat and light for reptiles is essential to their health, but it can be expensive. In addition, many problems with reptiles can be linked to improper heating and lighting. For example, some require ultraviolet A light, and others ultraviolet B. So, find out exactly what your pet needs and make it available.
6. Caution With Handling
Some reptiles don’t enjoy being handled too long, but others don’t mind. Find out how best to handle a reptile before you get one. It’s good to know species that are friendly and easy to hold or play with.
No matter how tolerant your pet reptile is to being held or cuddled, it is important to know how to hold them and when not to. You also need to know where not to hold a reptile. For example, don’t hold any type of lizard by the tail. Some lizards will break off their tail if they feel threatened.
7. Be Sanitary
It’s a wise practice to wash your hands before handling your pet. Some reptiles have a powerful sense of smell which allows them to hunt at night in the wild. So if your hands smell like prey, your reptile might attack it like one.
It would help if you washed your hands before and after petting or playing with your reptile, so you don’t transmit germs.
8. Feeding Is Not Playing
Some reptiles, especially snakes, get feeding time and playing time mixed up. That’s because snakes bite to feed or defend themselves. So poke the nose or snout of your pet with an inanimate object if it tries to bite when it’s not feeding time. Also, keep food away when handling a snake. Moreso, ensure you have fed your reptile adequately before handling it.
9. No Head Restraints
Don’t use any form of head restraints on your reptile if it often bites. It’s counterproductive to do so because it will aggravate the animal’s predatory instincts. It can also change your pet’s mood and make it fearful. That will ruin your relationship with it.
Reptiles for Beginners
There are reptiles whose needs and characteristics make them unsuitable for a novice pet reptile owner. On the other hand, there are readily available reptiles that are excellent for beginners. These animals need little maintenance compared to the others. But carry out your research before you decide on one. Get the proper equipment and construct your enclosure beforehand.
There are a few types of lizards that are suitable for beginners. However, many species are far too complicated to care for. They need specific lighting, heating, and diet. While some get pretty big and hostile, others are too delicate.
Getting a tamable and hardy lizard for a start will do you well. Some examples are:
- Leopard Geckos: Although they need UVB light, they are easy to care for. They are relatively small, docile, and easy to handle. They eat insects, so feed them different types. A 15–20-gallon enclosure is sufficient for an adult leopard gecko.
- Bearded Dragons: These are more challenging to maintain. An adult bearded dragon needs a 50-gallon enclosure, and it costs a bit to get one. They thrive on high temperatures and need both UVA and UVB light. They eat a combination of insects when young and various fresh vegetables and fruits when adults.
Other selections include frill-necked lizards and blue-tongued skinks.
Although they are pretty popular as pet reptiles, avoid these:
- Iguanas and Monitors: These lizards require large enclosures as they grow very large. They sometimes become aggressive as adults. You may find them overwhelming to care for as a beginner.
- Chameleons: These reptiles require particular care and get easily stressed. They are challenging to care for.
Many species of snakes are great for people new to reptile pets. These beginner species are easy to care for, feed, and tame. Snakes don’t eat frequently – once in a week or two. But you must be ready to feed whole prey like mice and rats to your snake, and many times, pre-killed. They do not need special ultraviolet light and can be left unattended in their enclosure for days.
Good snakes for beginners include:
- Ball Pythons: This is a species of small constricting snakes which are often very docile and easy to maintain. They have a reputation for declining to eat, so ensure you find a healthy captive-bred ball python. Ask for a feeding demonstration to make sure they will accept killed mice. Ball pythons will live as long as 20-30 years.
- Corn Snakes: These snakes are easy to care for and docile. They grow between 3ft and 5ft and can live for ten years or more. However, corn snakes can easily escape if their enclosure is not tightly closed.
- Other snakes in this beginner group are king and milk snakes.
There are snakes a beginner should avoid at all costs, and they include:
- Boa constrictors are generally docile but very large and robust. You need some level of expertise in handling these kinds of snakes.
- Burmese pythons are generally docile but large and strong enough to pose a danger when mistakes are made in handling them.
- Most constrictors are not recommended because of difficulty providing the correct care and dangers posed because of size, strength, and temperament.
- Venomous snakes are a big no-no. They are just too risky to manage.
Now, turtles are not easy or cheap to maintain. They grow large, are messy, live long, and need ultraviolet light. But, if you can handle these factors, a turtle can be a good pet for you.
The essential aspect of having turtles as pets is knowing what they eat and where they thrive.
There is one specie of turtle that may be the best choice for a beginner:
- Eastern Box Turtles: These reptiles live very long but don’t get big. They do not have the aquatic needs of most turtles, so they are easier to maintain. They are very adaptable and eat both plants and insects.
Like mammals, reptiles have basic maintenance requirements as pets, like food and water. But there are many differences between reptiles and mammals regarding their handling, diet, and care. Research is vital, so take the time to do it if you are serious about keeping a reptile as a pet.
Start with one reptile first. Then, live with it for a year or two before getting another one. These interesting creatures need good attention for a successful pet experience.
How to Extend the Life of Your Betta
Now that we know how long these fish live in the wild and in captivity, we may begin to consider how to extend their lives. It’s actually fairly simple, and if you follow all of the suggestions below, you’ll increase their chances of living a longer and better life.
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Make Certain You Purchase a Healthy Betta:
When choosing your Betta, make sure it’s healthy (you don’t want to bring disease back into your tank). Purchase your fish from a well-known retailer. Avoid buying any fish with any of the following characteristics, as they may suggest that the fish hasn’t been properly cared for and is consequently agitated and unlikely to live long.
- The color is light.
- Fins that have been ripped or torn
- Drooping eyes
- Their bodies have been injured or scratched.
You should search for a fish that is:
- Colorful (particularly if the recipient is a man)
- Have bright eyes.
- When you put your hand on the tank, it reacts.
Given that these fish are usually adults by the time they are offered in pet stores, it is also worthwhile to inquire about their age.
Keep them in a Tank That Is Appropriately Sized:
Betta Fish require a tank with a minimum capacity of 5 gallons. Bettas are frequently offered in cups or small 1 gallon aquariums when purchased from a pet store. Males are kept in these containers in shops because if they are housed in the same tank, they will fight. However, just because they’re sold in these containers doesn’t guarantee they’re the right size. You may have heard that because Bettas dwell in extremely shallow waters in the nature, a small tank is sufficient for them. This is absolutely not the case. Keep in mind that the shallow bodies of water in which they inhabit (in the wild) stretch for miles and miles, so you should keep this fish in a 5 gallon tank at the very least. You’ll probably need a larger tank if you’re maintaining a female as part of a community. If you’re not sure what size tank you’ll need, consider how many fish you intend to keep and what each species requires.
Separate the Males:
They have a reputation for being fierce and territorial, as we described previously. Wild species were raised to generate aggressive fighting fish just before the nineteenth century, which is how they received their name: Siamese fighting fish. Bettas were utilized as a type of entertainment, similar to cockfighting, in which they fought it out in tanks. Unfortunately, in Thailand, this is still a frequent practice. When two males compete for space in the wild, they will fight for a few minutes before one of them gives up and moves on to another region. Because they have nowhere to flee in a small tank, the fish may fight till death. Female fish are less aggressive and can be maintained together with caution if they are kept together.
Make use of a filter as well as a heater:
It’s a popular misconception that Betta Fish can withstand unheated unclean water because they live in rice paddies in the wild. Because the waters in Thailand are naturally heated as a result of the country’s climate, it’s critical to have a heater in your tank. They’re used to temperatures of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also critical to employ a filter. They can’t survive in contaminated, unfiltered water. A filter cleans the water by converting ammonia and nitrite accumulation into less toxic molecules, as well as keeping it aerated.
Why do cats wag their tails?￼
The tail of cats and the movements it produces are so important that in antiquity the Greeks called them “colors”, which literally means “moving tail”. Cats’ control over their tails is not exactly the same as they have over the rest of their extremities. In many cases, a cat that moves its tail does so voluntarily, as it would with its other muscles; but in other cases, it may do so as an instinctual reflex, without being aware of how it is doing it. Either way, there are three main reasons why cats may wag their tails.
1. TO MAINTAIN BALANCE
Even if its position and its movements can be useful in any movement, the tail is particularly important to avoid falls when the catwalks on narrow and unstable surfaces. A sudden movement of the surface on which the catwalks produces a sudden movement of the tail in the opposite direction. Thus, the cat’s body, which moves its tail, balances itself again and remains upright.
2. DURING EMOTIONAL CONFLICTS
When in emotional conflict and undecided between two opposite and incompatible behaviors, it is common to observe how the cat wags its tail until it makes a decision. So a cat that wants to go out in the garden but realizes it’s raining may find itself in conflict: go out and get wet or stay home dry? When he has decided, the cat will venture into the rain or return to the sofa, and once he has passed the moment of doubt, his tail will no longer move.
3. TO COMMUNICATE
Through the movements of their tail, cats can convey their friendly or defensive intentions, so much so that even when the cat wagging its tail is unaware of how it is wagging, the tail ends up being a reliable indicator of the emotional state of the cat and its intentions. This type of movement, although also instinctive, has evolved with the domestication of cats, particularly intensifying gestures that demonstrate affection or friendship.
In a cat that moves its tail to communicate, the key aspects that help decode messages from the tail are position, shape, and movement as well as the appearance of the coat covering it.
- An upward tail: A vertical disclose to the rear part of the body, is salvation in the cat. They often raise their Feline Tails when their master comes home or to greet other pets in the house with whom they have a good relationship. In fact, it is the typical greeting that kittens dedicate to their mother. By adopting this posture, the kittens not only perform a greeting ritual, but also expose their hindquarters for the mother to observe or clean.
- Lifting the tail is often associated with other bodily signals that confirm the cat’s friendly intentions: the cat may rub its head and body against the other individual and use the tail to give a “friendly hug”. The sounds that accompany these bodily messages are usually squeaks, purrs, and soft meows.
- Tail Down: A frightened cat may lower its tail and tuck it against its body or between its paws. In this case, the tail may be bristly and with tense musculature. However, a relaxed and down tail suggests that the cat is quiet.
- A flapping tail: A sudden, rapid, and forceful jerk of the tail, from side to side or against the ground can indicate a state of irritation and is a warning that the cat could be fierce. If the tail movement is lighter, slower, or softer, it doesn’t have the same meaning and could simply indicate that the cat is focused on something that catches its attention or that it is undecided.
CATS WITHOUT A TAIL
Even if we are right when we observe the cat’s tail to know its intentions and emotions, we must not forget that cats use their whole body to communicate and the signals of the tail must always be interpreted with the other messages. Attention to the rest of the body signals beyond the tail is fundamental to understanding cats that do not have a tail. This is the case of cats of the Manx, Cymric, Japanese, and American Bobtail or Pixie-bob breeds, which are born without a tailor with a tail that is shorter than normal.
The tail and its “expressions” play an important role in communication between cats and humans. The next time you look at a cat, observe it but don’t forget the rest of the body signals: this will help you understand the cat’s emotions and intentions.
My cat attacks its tail to play
Kittens especially play with their tails and in some adult cats, this may still happen sometimes. They go around in circles trying to catch him. Do not worry because this is normal and also sometimes amuses the masters who see their companion going around in circles.
Beware of excessive attitudes in cats
But when an attitude becomes excessive, you have to worry. This is the case of scratching, and licking … When what seems to us to be a game becomes really too frequent and the cat ends up injuring itself and inflicting wounds more or less seriously, it is necessary to react and consult the veterinarian.
A sign of anxiety or the cause of an illness
This attitude can reflect a state of anxiety. The cat is a sensitive being, do not forget it. For some, a change of scenery in their daily environment, a move, a way of life that goes from the countryside to the city, a return from vacation, life in a closed or poorly adapted environment… can lead to anxiety. and explain this behavioral problem, which may not be the only demonstration of his problem.
The cat attacking its tail: one sign to take into account among others
These include, among other things, urinary markings, dirtiness, and even diarrhea … Anxiety, if the disorder in question and its consequences are not treated, can lead to depression.
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