Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Gross! Why is My Dog Eating Poop?

It’s 2 a.m. You’re making your way to the kitchen for a glass of water when you pass by the litter box to find your dog munching away on the…contents. Or maybe you’re out enjoying your favorite park when – to your dismay – Fido decides to snarf up another pet’s poo before you can even blink your eyes. As disgusting (and shocking) as this behavior may seem, seeing a dog eating poop is not uncommon.

While this scene may not be a favorite among pet owners, it’s important to understand why your potty-mouth pooch may be feasting on fecal matter.

Coprophagia

Coprophagia isn’t exactly a word that rolls off the tongue, but it is the scientific term for ingesting feces. When it comes to dogs who are omnivores and natural scavengers, the tendency to eat a wide variety of things may perplex us, but seem perfectly OK to them. For this reason, we must take great care to keep our canine companions from eating something toxic or something that carries disease, such as a dead rodent or bird.

When it comes to feces, however, there are a number of different reasons that have been widely debated for some time. Theories include:

  • Hunger or adjustment to a restrictive diet (if your pet is on a strict diet, he or she may decide poop is what’s on the menu)
  • Malnutrition or certain vitamin or mineral deficiencies
  • Underlying illness
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Boredom or lack of enrichment
  • Malabsorption
  • Parasites

While it’s best to rule out any health issues that may be causing your pet to eat feces, in most cases, it’s simply because your dog likes to do it.

As you may have witnessed in your dog’s day-to-day behavior, canines tend to explore the world with their noses and mouths. It’s understandable that a pet owner would wish for more discerning taste buds in their pooch pals, but the behaviors that repulse us may be exactly what your dog needs to navigate life.

When it Becomes a Problem

Obviously, ingesting the poop of other animals isn’t always safe for your dog. Fecal matter contains several viruses, bacteria, and parasites that can make your pet ill. Your safest bet is to ensure your pet is on all of the needed vaccines and parasite prevention medications. Annual screening is also highly recommended, as intestinal worms in animals are quite common.

To discourage fecal ingestion, practice the following safety measures:

  • Clean up immediately after your dog defecates.
  • Keep a watchful eye while at the park or on a walk; use a shorter leash for more control.
  • Place your cat’s litter box in an area that’s inaccessible to your canine.
  • Keep house rabbits and pocket pets in a separate area; remove their waste frequently.
  • Teach your dog the “leave it” command if he or she doesn’t already respond to it.

It may be that your dog needs adjustments to his or her diet, or perhaps there’s a health condition that requires medical attention. If your dog is ingesting poop, please schedule an appointment so we can verify it’s just your dog “being a dog” rather than anything more serious.

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Protect Your Pets From the West Nile Virus Naturally

AllNaturalPetCare.com Protect Your Pets From the West Nile Virus Naturally

  Like humans, pets may contract the West Nile Virus from a mosquito bite. Ticks are currently being studied as carriers, and may be infectious (at least to birds). Animals that eat live food, like hunting cats, may contract the virus through their prey. We’ve provided species-specific details for you below. If you suspect your […]

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

How to Buy a Healthy Rabbit: A Checklist For Choosing a Physically Fit Bunny

Vet Examining a Rabbit

If you’re buying a pet bunny from a pet store or a backyard breeder, you need to make sure it is absolutely healthy before bringing it home to your family. Some diseases, including some forms of mange and most parasites can be contagious to humans, especially small children. Consider adopting a bunny from an animal rescue organization, or at the very least, know what to look for when shopping for your rabbit.

Check Out The Bunny’s Head

The first things to look at when shopping for a healthy bunny are the eyes—they should be clear and not runny or congested with a watery discharge. A healthy bunny’s nose should be pink inside and relatively dry. Its nostrils should expand and contract in a steady, even manner unless it is extremely hot, in which case the respiration will be more rapid. If you notice blue discoloration or rapid breathing under mild weather conditions, you may suspect potential heart and lung problems or some sort of infection. If the bunny is sneezing a lot, he may have a contagious disease called “snuffles.” You should avoid a bunny that is sick.

The inside of your bunny’s ears should be soft and clean, with no ear mites or scabs. His teeth should be clean and straight, not bent into a horn shape. If a bunny’s teeth grow too long or are malformed, he may not be able to properly eat solid foods and might have to have his teeth clipped—a terribly painful procedure that only helps the rabbit for a short amount of time, as the teeth continue to grow.

Coat, Belly And Bottom

One of the best indications of a rabbit’s overall health is the shape of its coat. It should be shiny, soft and smooth, with no rough patches, bald spots or standing ends. A bunny’s belly should be fat and round, but if it is hard or bloated, it might be sick or pregnant. Unless you are prepared to take care of a litter, avoid purchasing a pregnant bunny.

The bunny’s bottom should be clean, as rabbits, like cats, are constant groomers. If you see fecal matter on this bottom or in the fur, the bunny might be suffering from diarrhea.

Checking Bunny’s Limbs

Because rabbits are so very fragile, it is extremely easy for them to get fractures or broken bones if dropped or mishandled. Before buying a bunny, watch how it moves across the floor. If you notice that the rabbit seems to be favoring one paw over another, or if it is dragging a leg when it moves, the bunny may have been seriously injured and require expensive medical care.

Whether purchasing your rabbit from a breeder or a pet store or adopting it from a private owner or rescue organization, with a little observation and insight, you can choose a healthy bunny that can remain in your family for years to come.

Image source: Bigstock.com

The post How to Buy a Healthy Rabbit: A Checklist For Choosing a Physically Fit Bunny appeared first on Rabbit Expert.


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Monday, 10 July 2017

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Cat Sitter

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Cat Sitter

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Cat Sitter | Distinctive Pet CareYour cat prefers the quiet comfort and the familiar smells and sound of home. If Fluffy had it her way, she would never have to leave the house unless of course, you let her outside to catch that Cardinal at the bird feeder. Hiring a professional cat sitter is perfect for Fluffy. She still gets all the comforts of home while still having someone wait on her hand and foot. Here is a list of reasons why you should hire a professional cat sitter for your cat’s next staycation.

They Provide Peace of Mind

Professional cat sitters pride themselves on taking excellent care of your home and your cat. They are bonded, insured, and should be trained in emergency first aid & Pet CPR. Many professionals have completed continuing education and received certifications to ensure your home and your beloved pet is well taken care of. Dawn Olson, the founder of Distinctive Pet Care, is a not only a Veterinary Technician, she is also a Certified Professional Pet Sitter and Master Pet Tech CPR Instructor! In addition to checking in on your precious kitty, a professional will also check on your home to ensure everything is in working order. They will also collect the mail, the newspaper, & packages. Professional cat sitters also take the security of your home very seriously. They will give your house that “at home appearance” while you are gone by placing out trash & recycle for pick up, rotating lights, as well as opening & closing curtains. Hiring a professional cat sitter like Distinctive Pet Care will leave you at ease knowing your home and your feline friend are well taken care of.

They Help Keep Fluffy Happy & Safe

We all know cats can be pretty self-sufficient, but no matter how well Fluffy thinks she can take care of herself, she needs daily human interaction and mental stimulation to keep her happy. Cats are curious and can often find themselves in tricky situations. Your cat sitter already knows all the fun games and activities your cat enjoys playing. They know what situations Fluffy might get into when left home alone and take precautions to prevent injuries. At Distinctive Pet Care, your cat’s well-being and safety are our top priority!

They Care About Your Cat, Just As Much As You Do!

We may care for a lot of cats, but you can bet we know each of those cats by name! Your feline friend is a part of your cat sitter’s extended furry family. Professional cat sitters take the care and wellbeing of your cat just as serious as you do. This is not just a hobby to a professional cat sitter, it is a profession.

Let the team at Distinctive Pet Care treat your cat like royalty while you are enjoying your next vacation! Click here to check out our services page to find out more about our services. We also offer cat grooming services via our sister company, Ken Caryl Pet Spa.

Remember, when hiring a professional cat sitter, be sure to check all their credentials! Professional cat sitters are bonded & insured, CPR First Aid Trained, have a clear background check, and hold other professional certifications and training certificates.

Written by Julie Gajewski, CPPS. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats. You can find out more about Julie here.

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