Keeping Pets Safe In Summer Heat

Bonzer in the kiddie Pool
Even though the end of the summer is approaching, there are plenty of warm days left. In order to keep your pets healthy, you need to make sure they’re safe in the summer heat. Even if it the temperature feels okay to you, it might not feel okay to your pet! Read this guide for some advice on keeping them safe and sound.

Looking for Heatstroke in Pets

A high body temperature means your pet is in danger.  If it’s between 104 and 110 degrees (specifically for dogs and cats) you should seek veterinary help immediately. Often times, however, you won’t be able to tell what the body temperature is. Look out for other clues – like your pet walking differently, excessive panting, a very fast heartbeat, salivation, and more. When you cool down your pet, make sure you’re doing it properly. You never want to put ice water on your pet; it will make them more cold and potentially create more damage.

Never Leave Your Pet in the Car

No pet owner is an exception to this rule. Even if you intend to run into a store for a minute, it could take a lot longer than you planned. And heat rises rapidly in a car. Think about the times you’ve come back to your car in the summer. It’s always hot, right? Imagine your pet being in there. Rolling the windows down slightly won’t help either – the temperature in the car won’t drop significantly enough. Remember that animals can feel as hot as you do, so leave your pet at home, or make sure you’re going to places that are pet friendly.

Keep Water Stocked

It seems simple, but you’ll probably need more water for your pet than you think. Make sure it’s clean, fresh, and changed often. Like humans, pets lose water through sweating, but also through panting. If you need to install something to hook up to your outdoor faucet, by all means, do it!

Keep Your Pets in a Cool Area

When it’s really hot out, pets should be kept out of direct sunlight. Shade is a pet’s friend. Try getting your pet a kiddie pool if tget can swim. Just remember – pets can get sunburned. Just like for humans, sunburns aren’t healthy!

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Reasons to Adopt an Older Pet

When you’ve finally made the decision to adopt a dog, it can be a very long and tiring process trying to figure out what type of breed you’re interested in. One thing a lot of people overlook is adopting a dog that might be slightly older. Here are some of the top reasons you should consider adopting an older pet to be the newest addition to your family!

Size

When you find the puppy of your dreams, it’s a very exciting time in your life, but many people notice that the transition from puppy to adult dog is harder than they thought. Whether the dog doesn’t grow to what you anticipated or the behaviors they develop over time aren’t behaviors you expected, these are all things that can occur while they’re growing.

The benefits of finding an adult dog to adopt is that you never have to worry about these issues. This is clearly because the dog is already full grown and after the age of two, generally they’ve picked up all the behaviors they’re going to carry with them the rest of their dog lives. If you find an adult dog that you like, you’ll never have an issue with their size as they grow older.

Easy to train

Training might be one of the most difficult parts of having a dog, especially when you get them as a puppy. One of the greatest benefits of adopting an adult dog is that they’re usually 100% trained, and when they’re not already, they’re much easier to train than puppies. This is because they’re calmer and listen better to your commands.

Settle in quickly

Since older dogs have obviously been around longer and most likely have been around the block, they’ve already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. This means they’ll be more apt to become a member of the family and warm up to everyone quicker than say an adopted puppy.

Better behavior

When you have a puppy, you better be prepared with all of the cleaning supplies, because it will inevitably get messy. Getting up at 3am, cleaning up messes, etc, this process can get extremely tiring. However, if you find an adult dog that’s a little more mature, you don’t have to worry about this. Aside from them being potty trained, chances are they’ll also be able to be left alone without tearing up all of your furniture while you’re gone.

Easy to take care of

The older a dog is, the easier they are to take care of. It’s as simple as that. As a dog gets older, their energy levels generally decrease and because of that, you’re not constantly worrying about taking them for long walks or giving them as much exercise as possible. They’re much happier just sitting by your side or cuddling with you as they are going outside and running around.

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The Benefits of Raising Farm Animals

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O! We’ve all heard the nursery rhyme and recited it a time or two. However, old MacDonald had the right idea, raising animals on his farm. Just imagine feeding your family wholesome eggs, milk and meat produced in your own backyard. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Agriculture truly is the foundation of our society. If it weren’t for farmers, we wouldn’t have the nutritious food we eat day in and day out. Here are the benefits of raising farm animals:

Chemical free eggs

farm fresh eggs in basketNothing compares to fresh, great-tasting eggs for breakfast, seriously! Raising your own chickens will ensure you have chemical free, exceptionally clean and healthy eggs each morning. Whether it’s over easy or scrambled, you can make breakfast with the healthiest eggs on the market.

Fresh raw milk

There are many benefits to collecting fresh, raw milk. Because raw milk contains certain proteins and compounds, it has been known to cure allergies and even eczema. Milk is also extremely important for developing brains and nervous systems of infants and young children. Raising milk cows is a great way to give your kids the best milk available.

No artificial cheese

Many commercial cheeses contain GMOs (genetically modified organism). You will be happy to know that homemade cheese contains no artificial ingredients. Don’t even worry about the cooking process either. Some of the best cheeses were made entirely by mistake. You can raise goats or cows, either way your cheese will be absolutely delicious!

Grass-feed meat

A cow [15/365]Loaded with minerals and vitamins, grass-fed beef is naturally leaner than grain-fed beef. It’s also a great source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which is a fat that can reduce the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders. Whether you want to run a small backyard hobby farm or a large commercial ranch, your family can have grass-feed meat all year round.

In addition to fresh meat and dairy products, farming has many environmental benefits too. For example, farmers have an innate sense of loyalty and responsibility to the land on which they farm. Through sustainable agriculture, or the practice of farming ecologically, farmers can retain and protect their valuable farmland. They can also turn crop waste and animal manure into fertilizers. As a result, they can enrich the soil and reroute rainwater to fuel the irrigation system. Not only does sustainable agriculture save money, but it also conserves natural resources.

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Preparing Kids for the First Family Pet

Massachusetts Turtle CelebrationYour child is growing up. They’ve been campaigning for a pet, and you’re finally considering allowing it. There’s no better combo than kids and animals! By welcoming a pet to the family, your child will learn how to be caring and responsible. What do you have to know about pet ownership? What pet will you choose? How will you take care of it? Follow this guide so you can prepare!

Before anything else, determine if your child is fit for owning a pet. A child younger than Kindergarten-age probably won’t have the capacity to truly comprehend pet ownership. If your child is older than that, consider his/her behavior. Is your child out of control or well behaved? Are they quiet or loud? These factors have an impact on what pet your child is ready for. Make sure to teach your children that pets have emotions, need exercise, and need medical attention just like humans, but in different ways. If you feel your child is extremely responsible for their age, you could consider a dog or a cat.  Just know that some kids can have bad allergies around dogs and cats. For younger kids and parents who have never owned a pet, it’s probably better to start small. Consider a turtle, hamster, fish, etc. But remember – any pet takes responsibility, be it big or small.

Young boy with dog
Once you’ve decided on the pet you want, begin researching the best places to get it. You can adopt, or buy from a pet store. Both options have their advantages, but there is an excellent feeling that comes with adoption. You can ask family and friends where they got their pets. While in the pet buying process, develop a weekly care chart for your new pet. Make sure your child understands the consequences if they don’t follow through with the rules and care days you’ve set. If you’re in the market for a dog especially, it’s very important to clean your home! Having a pet will lower the air quality in the home, and children need quality air; pets do too! Have air filters ready, and be prepared with a schedule for home cleaning alongside of the care schedule.

When you welcome your pet to the home, make sure you are supervising your child with the pet until you feel comfortable with things going out of sight. Make sure the pet is getting fed properly, walked (if applicable), etc. If you plan on getting other pets in the future, make sure your pets can adapt. For instance, if you get a dog first, make sure you don’t leave it with a new kitten. This can be dangerous.

Above all, remember that owing a pet is fun! Adding a new member to the family is exciting.  Enjoy the process.

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Pets for Kids with Allergies

Every kid should be able to have a pet. Pets can play a huge role in teaching your child responsibility, while providing many years of love and great fun. Unfortunately, allergies can get in the way. Some studies show that 15% of Americans are allergic to animals. Even people who aren’t allergic to certain animals can develop symptoms over time. It’s very important to be careful when selecting the perfect pet for your allergy-prone child.

Just remember that when your child has a pet allergy, the best solution is for him/her to stay away from the pet whenever possible. Conversely, if you get a pet, your child will not be able to stay away. Make sure to keep all the areas clean, and assign designated pet areas.

Below you will find two categories containing potential pets!

Cold-blooded

Fish Tank
Cold-blooded animals are the safest choice for a child with allergies. Although they don’t provide the furriness and warmth that an ideal pet may have, they can still make for a interesting, fun pet. Some kids want them even more than common pets!

Most frogs, fish, and lizards are fairly easy to care for. Their maintenance and food costs are very low. And the less your child handles their choice of cold-blooded pet, the lower their chances of getting sick. Don’t worry, children can still form a bond with cold-blooded animals!

Warm-blooded

Hammy the New Year's miracle hamster
Warm-blooded animals are a trickier, riskier choice. For children with allergies, a choice of a hamster, guinea pig, or dog will fall into this category. Make sure to avoid cats! They’re allergy magnets.

Some children may experience allergic symptoms around hamsters and guinea pigs, but the reactions could be decreased greatly if the cage is cleaned often. As for dogs, there’s good news! You may have heard that some dogs are “hypoallergenic.” There is no solid research proving this term true, however, some dogs will work a lot better than others for your child’s allergies. Consider small and medium sized dogs, like a poodle or a maltese. Keep them and their areas clean, as well as air filters in your home, and you may be good to go. Remember, if you’re allergic to one dog, you’re allergic to them all. So be careful!

Remember to keep your home and air clean, and have fun with the pet of your choice! Please remember that there are no perfect animals to go hand-in-hand with kids who have allergies. Your child’s safety is the most important, and if it means not having a pet in the home, it will be much better than your child developing serious health issues.

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Exotic Animals: Not Your Average Pet

There are many types of exotic animals that can make great pets for those looking for a companion other than your typical dog or cat. Exotic pets can range from pocket pets like sugar gliders to endangered animals like wolves. By nature, these animals are wild and can be potentially dangerous to humans. Truth is, you’re keeping a wild animal as domestic pet. However, while some exotic animals can make good companions, they often require special care, housing, diet, and maintenance. Here’s a list of exotic animals that can make great pets:

Alpaca

AlpacaAlpacas can make very good pets if they are treated well and you have realistic expectations for the animal. Like any livestock, the more you interact with alpacas as babies the more comfortable they will become with humans as they mature. In time, many alpacas will eat comfortably out of the palm of your hand. You can also train them to lead by a halter. Alpaca fur is made of luxurious fiber, which is known for its fineness, lightweight and luster.

Chinchilla

Chinchillas are quick, happy little animals. As part of the rodent family, they are closely related to guinea pigs. Chinchillas have soft fur, clean living habits and lack of odor, which make them great pets! Nocturnal by nature, you can expect your chinchilla to be most active at nighttime. However, they can adapt to daytime activity too. Chinchillas come in a variety of colors, the most common color being silvery gray. For the most part, chinchillas are low maintenance, but they cannot tolerate hot weather well.

Gecko

Geckos come in all sizes and colors and make wonderful pets. There are over a thousand different species of gecko lizards available, with several of these species livingeckog in human homes. Geckos have many unique characteristics, including the chirping vocalizations they use for communication. They also have one of the longest lifespans of any lizard, living on average, 10-20 years. Geckos are widely available in pet stores. But, before you purchase a gecko, take the time to become knowledgeable of their care and breeding.

Sugar Glider

Also known as pocket-size pets, sugar gliders are cute, friendly and fun! They’re named due to their fondness of sweet food and their love of gliding from tree to tree. One reason why sugar gliders make great pets is because you can take these charming animals wherever you go. Sugar gliders love to they be carried in pockets or pouches. More importantly, sugar gliders are extremely lovable, outgoing and they enjoy being around people.

Wolfdog

WolfProbably the most exotic animal to make this list is the wolfdog, which is a crossover between a wolf and a dog. Because they are part wolf, they require more patience and care than a normal dog. Wolfdogs consider themselves as members of the family and are very loyal. Be prepared to own a wolfdog for a long time, as they can live up to 20 years. Wolfdogs prefer to be outdoors, with plenty of room to roam. Keep in mind, the legality of owning wolfdogs in your area. For example, U.S. law states that it’s legal to own a wolfdog if he or she is less than 75 percent wolf. Any percentage over that and you must have a “dangerous animal” permit, which is the same type needed to own a lion.

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July is National Blueberry Month

 

These tiny little berries are packed full of health benefits, and if you ask me, they are one of the best tasting fruits out there. They are so good in fact, that an entire month has been dedicated to them! There are so many recipes incorporating blueberries that you don’t have to look far to find one you will enjoy. However, research has shown that eating them raw provides the most nutritional benefit. We all know that blueberries are full of healthy antioxidants, but recently a study has shown that eating blueberries can actually help improve your memory. Blueberries have also been shown to improve cardiovascular health when consumed regularly, as well as helping to regulate blood sugar.

It would seem that the health benefits are endless when it comes to this sweet little fruit. Luckily for me, I live in an area where they readily grow. If you also live in an area that blueberries are common, check into your local farms and see if they offer a Pick-Your-Own type service. Many farms in my area of upstate New York will let you come out and pick your own sweet blues. However, this service is not limited to just blueberries; there are a variety of different fruits and veggies that you can go out and pick for yourself. The benefit of picking your own produce is that you can be as selective with the quality and quantity of each item you choose, and on top of that you get the rewarding experience of harvesting your own food. It gives us just a small taste of what our farmers are hard at work doing come harvest time! After spending an afternoon picking my own produce, I have a new level of respect for them.

Blueberries are ready for harvest from mid-July through late August, so you still have plenty of time to check your area for a blueberry farm. These delicious little berries also freeze well so they can be used later in the year for recipes. Let’s not forget our four-legged friends either. The health benefits of blueberries are not just limited to us humans! Our dogs can also benefit from the antioxidants found in blues, and just for them I have included a very simple, Martha Stewart recipe for homemade blueberry biscuits! I can assure you that my dogs will be getting some of these once I get my Pick-Your-Own blueberries from a local farm. I hope you and your wagging friends enjoy National Blueberry Month!

Homemade Blueberry Dog Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour

  • 2 1/2 cups quinoa flour

  • 3/4 cup flax meal

  • 1/2 cup frozen, organic, unsweetened blueberries

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients with 1 cup water to form a dough. Roll out mixture between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thick; remove plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with a 3 1/2-inch bone-shaped cookie cutter. Re-roll scraps and continue cutting out biscuits.

  3. Space biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely browned and firm.

  4. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack. Turn off oven and place biscuits on wire rack in oven overnight. Remove from oven and store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

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The Different Types of Service Dogs

www.army.milDogs play a very important role in a human’s life, especially service dogs. The term “service dog” is generally used for many different types of assistance dogs. These include guide dogs, mobility dogs, hearing dogs, medical alert dogs, and autism dogs.

There are also other types of dogs with jobs that help people, such as psychiatric therapy dogs and emotional support animals. The importance of service dogs is that they can do things that their disabled owners cannot.

Guide Dogs

Guide dogs are trained to lead blind and visually impaired people around everyday obstacles. These dogs can benefit their owner by allowing them to get around faster, with more accuracy and fewer accidents. Guide dogs can also make their owners feel safer at home and on the streets.

Mobility Dogs

Mobility dogs are trained to retrieve items, open doors, help a person dress or push buttons for its handler. These dogs most commonly assist people with disabilities with walking, balance and transferring from place to place. More importantly, mobility dogs can increase the independence of a person who uses a wheelchair or has trouble standing.

Hearing Dogs

Hearing DogThe purpose of a hearing dog is to alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing of general household sounds, like the telephone, doorbell, smoke alarm, and much more. Hearing dogs can provide sound awareness and companionship to their owners, while offering increased freedom and independence.

Medical Alert Dogs

A medical alert dog is trained to assist people with a medical disability. These dogs will “alert” their owners of oncoming medical conditions, including heart attack, stroke, diabetes, epilepsy, etc. In addition, medical alert dogs are taught how to respond to these symptoms, whether that means bringing their owners medication or the telephone.

Autism Dogs

Unlike a guide or mobility dog that helps with physical tasks, the autism dog is there for emotional support. These dogs can provide stability in a child’s life as well as offer a calming influence and improve focus. Research has shown that interacting with animals can help autistic children become more social and better interact with their peers.

Psychiatric Therapy Dogs

120523-D-BW835-286Dogs can also enrich the lives of people living with psychological, neurological and developmental disorders, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression and Anxiety. Psychiatric therapy dogs can provide their owners with relief from feelings of isolation and provide a sense of well-being. Having a dog has also shown to increase a person’s mood and optimism.

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How ID Tags Can Save a Pet’s Life

LostOne of the best items we can purchase for our pets is an identification tag. Let’s face it, accidents happen. If your pet wonders out of sight, pet ID tags can help to ensure their safe return. Even an up-to-date rabies tag on your pet will help in the returning process. Just be sure to register your pet with a veterinarian.

An ID tag is like your pet’s get-out-of-jail-free card, if ever it were to be picked up by up by Animal Control. According to The Humane Society of the U.S., pet owners reclaim 30 percent of shelter dogs each year. More shockingly, only two to five percent of cats are reclaimed yearly. While the vast majority of these stray animals have no identification, those who do often get to return home before heading to the shelter.

What should be on the tag?

At the very minimum, your phone number should be on the pet’s ID tag. This will provide the rescuer with a means to contact you. In our technologically advanced world, you may want to use your cell phone number, as you’ll likely be out looking for your pet and you’ll only be reachable by cell. Another piece of information you will want to include on your pet’s ID tag is your address. This way, if your pet were only to wander down the block, it will be more apt to be returned immediately.

Tags are cheap and accessible

Do not put your pet’s life at risk, purchase ID tags. They are super cheap and easily accessible. You can order them online or pick them up at your local veterinarian. At Ketchum, we specialize in pet identification tags. We produce all of our tags in your choice of materials, including aluminum, brass and stainless steel. We also offer a variety of shapes and sizes to match every pet identification need. More importantly, our tags are Taro models his new custom black twill collar from kninecouture.comcreated with your pet in mind. They are built to last and perfect for hanging on your pet’s collar, no matter where he or she might go.

Pet ID tags save lives; it’s as simple as that. While our country has come a long over the years increasing pet ownership and decreasing euthanasia, there are still an estimated 2.7 million healthy shelter pets not adopted each year. And with a good percentage of these pets strays, it’s more important than ever to use animal identification.

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How to Take Care of a Bird

Pet bird in a cageBirds are very interesting creatures, which is exactly why it’s important to give your new bird enough attention to feel loved but not smother him or her. As easy as it might seem to spoil your new bird, spoiled birds tend to become unhappy, uncooperative members of your family that will end up only causing ruckus in your home. In order to develop happy and healthy birds as family pets, here are some easy to follow tips.

Establish boundaries

Just like any other animal, you need to teach your new pet what the boundaries are now that they’re living with you. Birds are very quick to adapt to new environments, but you need to make sure you teach them right off the bat what’s acceptable and what’s not. For example, when taking your bird out of the cage, teach them the step up rule to avoid any biting or nipping at your hands. This will in turn teach the bird that they have to behave this way with not only you but everyone else as well.

Prevent single bonding

Unfortunately this rule is pretty backwards compared to how you’d teach a dog that you’re his master. With a bird, single person bonding does help to establish a bond between you and the bird and decreases any fears between the bird and any human handlers, but it shouldn’t just be taught with a single person. Each caregiver in the family should have the opportunity to help your bird feel secure with all family members in order for the bird to feel comfortable with each and every one of you.

Be realistic with attention

CockatielSo you’re excited about your new bird and you want to spend as much time with it as possible, but this isn’t exactly a good indication of the future relationship with your bird. If you initially show your bird this much attention, they’ll get used to it and think it’s the norm. You want to be realistic with the amount of time you’ll be spending paying attention to the bird and do this from the very beginning in order to avoid giving any false expectations.

Develop a healthy diet

If you’re new to being a bird owner, you’ll learn quickly that food is one of the most abused sources of comfort and appeasement for birds. In order to help your bird grow healthy and lean, you need to be aware of the type of food your bird is eating and how much he’s consuming. Avoid spoiling your bird with too many seeds and other treats and you’ll be in the clear.

Bird-proof your home

213..365 | Birds > CatsJust like you have to prepare for any other pet, preparing the home for a new bird is imperative to ensure that nothing can get damaged in the process. Birds go off of visual, audio, and olfactory stimulation, but birds tend to use their mouths to explore and like to give everything a taste at least once. Before bringing your new bird home, put away any plants, toxic substances or anything that could prove to be harmful to your bird. Also, if possible, try to cover any electrical sockets or chords.

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