Caring For Cats The Easy Way Looking After Your Dog Part Five Dog Food How To Care For Your Puppy Feeding And Keeping Your Dog Healthy How To Train Your Dog Not To Chew

You will need a great deal of commitment in order to own a cat as they do require some care (although not as much as dogs!) and can live as old as 15 years (or even longer in some cases).

Cats require feeding (daily), care and ‘play time’ on a regular basis. You will also have to take into consideration, before getting your cat, that you will have vets’ bills to pay for annual vaccines, worming and if treatment is required for any illnesses.

These bills can sometimes be very costly, but you can purchase insurance for pets – it may be a good idea to ‘shop around’ to get the best deal.

Before getting your cat, you should purchase bowls for food and water, a collar (if you want the cat to wear one), a bed (or pet quilt), a few suitable toys, and some food.

A kitten should be fed throughout the day 4 times with a small amount of food each meal, reducing to 3 times a day at 3 months old, then at 6-8 months 2 meals per day. Older cats (over 12 months) should only be fed twice in the day (usually morning and early evening).

Cats groom themselves, but using a soft brush on the cat, especially the long haired variety, will help to cut down the number of hairballs in the cat’s stomach, which are caused by them licking / grooming themselves.

If you decide to have a cat-flap fitted to your door in order that the cat can come and go as it pleases, you will have to train it to use the flap. You can use tit-bits to entice the cat to go through the flap, when it is fully open. Start by opening the flap fully, just showing the tit-bit, then next time close the flap a little bit and keep on doing so until the cat realises that the flap will open with a small push of the head.

Cats like to sharpen their claws on most household furniture! Suites, corners of walls (thick paper), carpets. Invest in a scratch post – there are many to choose from. When the cat starts to scratch, lift the cat and place him/her next to the scratch post, they will soon get the message and use the post instead of the furniture.

If you are concerned about your cat going missing, or it being involved in an accident, you can have a micro-chip (approximately the size of a grain of rice) inserted into the back of the cat’s neck. The chip contains information, which can help to identify the cat as belonging to you.

It is often said that ‘a cat looks after itself’. This is obviously not really true, but they do have a more independent nature than some other domesticated pets. That said, they still make ideal companions when they ‘allow’ you to be their friend.

A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for your dog’s health. Though dogs have an inherent liking for meat-based foods, they can very well survive on a vegetarian diet, provided it’s complete with all the required nutrients. With an enormous variety of dog foods available, deciding what’s best for your dog can often be confusing.

Water is an essential component of a dog’s body, and your pet should have access to it at all times – this could prevent dehydration and overheating. As far as the number of feedings is concerned, for an adult dog, one or two feedings a day would suffice. However, puppies need to eat more frequently than an adult dog. Up to fifty percent of an adult dog’s diet may comprise of carbohydrates.

As for the food type, you could feed your dog with homemade food or commercial dog food. In general, commercial dog foods are available in three forms – dry, semi-moist and canned; with the most prevalent being dry dog foods. The dry form has a meager 10% of water content and should be supplemented by a healthy supply of fluids (water). Canned dog foods contain around 65% of water with the rest being dry stuff. Veterinarians don’t recommend the semi-moist variety, since it contains an awful lot of additives in the form of preservatives.

Dry dog foods are a proportionate blend of grains, meat-based products, fats, mineral and vitamins – all that a dog needs. However, relative to the dry variety, canned dog foods appear more delectable and aromatic to your dog. Therefore, when presented with a choice, your dog would certainly prefer canned dog foods. But there is a caveat – dogs that are fed a strict canned food diet are more likely to develop gum and teeth problems.

Conclusion – No matter what the variety of commercial dog food that you purchase, it is imperative that your dog’s diet adheres to the National Research Council’s guidelines on canine nutrition. It would be better still if the dog food is certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

A Puppy Story

My grandmother had the sweetest little white dog when I was growing up. He was half-poodle, half-maltese, and I loved him dearly. But no matter how much I cared for that dog, he was her baby. She got him quite by accident one day. She was returning from work and he was being mistreated, on the sidewalk where she walked. She gave the harried woman who was being mean to the little puppy ten dollars and immediately took him home. My grandmother, having no pets up to that point, got home with her new puppy and realized she had no food for him. So, she fried up some bacon and eggs and gave the puppy some of what she was about to eat.

That dog was for ever unable to consume dog food for the remainder of its life. Spoiled and pampered, he ate bacon and eggs from then on at least three times a week. Baloney, hot dogs, and other dog-friendly foods rounded out his diet. He was, without a doubt, one of the most spoiled pets ever to live on this Earth.

The moral of this story is that if you feed your puppy people food, that puppy will always want people food. Don’t think that even a puppy won’t turn its nose straight up in the air if given food that it doesn’t want to eat – it will. Dogs will eat grass, sniff their own messes, and lick themselves in front of your company. But if you put some less-than-savory dog food in front of them, the dog suddenly becomes a connoisseur of cuisine – and nothing you can do will make it eat something it thinks it should not eat.

How to Prepare

If you unexpectedly find yourself with a puppy on your hands, you might be forced to throw something together in a pinch. It’s okay to give your pet special treats once in a while. And let’s be honest, you’re probably going to end up giving your puppy treats. While bacon and eggs might not be a good idea, it’s okay to give your dog some baloney or pieces of hot dog if you like. If you give the puppy real bacon, however, the puppy will never eat the fake bacon treats that you can purchase for your pet.

It’s best if you get prepared before you ever bring your puppy home. First things first, the puppy needs a little space to call its own. Perhaps a doggie bed with some toys, a food dish, and a water dish must all be laid out and made ready for the newest addition to your household. If your puppy isn’t housebroken (and in almost every case, it will not be), put down a liberal amount of newspaper in the puppy’s area. An untrained puppy is going to mess on the floor and there’s nothing you can do about that. By preparing for the worst and putting down plenty of newspaper, you might be able to save your flooring.

Have a place for your puppy to sleep. True, most puppies will grow into doggies that will sleep in bed with you, but in the beginning your puppy may not be big enough to jump into bed. You’ll have to put the puppy in your bed if that’s where you want your pet to sleep, but there is a note of caution with this. Animals that learn at a young age to sleep in your bed are always going to sleep in your bed. So you may want to have a special little bed just for your puppy.

Bringing Your Puppy Home

Your puppy won’t know that your home is its home right away. Probably the first few weeks of life have been confusing for that puppy, anyway. By the time your puppy comes home with you, it’s already been separated from its mother, brothers and sisters, and might be coming into a home where no other animals live. It’s a very traumatic experience for your puppy, and keep in mind that the puppy doesn’t quite know who you are yet.

A healthy puppy should be clear-eyed, somewhat roly-poly, loose-skinned, free from any skin trouble, hungry for its meals, and lively. It should not be timid or shy.

If the puppy seems warm or sleepy most of the time, ask one of your parents to take its temperature. A dog’s temperature normally is between 38 and 39 degrees Celsius. If its temperature rises above 39 degrees, call your veterinarian.

When you buy your puppy, ask what shots it has received and when it got them. If it has not received shots to prevent distemper, infectious hepatitis, leptospirosis, and rabies. take it immediately to a veterinarian to have them. Then get yearly boosters.You should also find out whether your puppy has been wormed. Most puppies have worms at some time.

For the first few days, you should feed your puppy the same diet as the owners did. If you wish to change the diet, do so gradually. Each day, feed a little of the new food mixed with the old.

Puppies 6 to 10 weeks old maybe fed 4 times a day. From 10 weeks to 6 months, 3 times a day should be enough. After 6 months, twice daily will serve. And after 1 year, once a day
Chewing is something that comes naturally to every dog. Every dog feels the instinctual need to sharpen its teeth and hone his biting skills. Chewing on the right things, like specially designed chew toys for instance, can even help the dog clean his teeth and remove plaque.

Even though chewing is natural and healthy, that does not mean that the dog should be given carte blanche and allowed to chew everything in sight. It is vital for every dog to learn the difference between the things it is OK to chew on, like toys and ropes, and the things that are off limits, such as carpets, shoes and other items.

When working with a new puppy, it is advisable to keep the puppy in a small, puppy proofed room for at least a few weeks. This is important not only to prevent chewing but to properly house train the puppy as well.

Older dogs should also be confined to a small area at first. Doing this allows the dog to slowly acquaint him or herself to the smells and sights of the new household.

When you set up this small, confined area, be sure to provide the puppy or dog with a few good quality chew toys to keep him entertained while you are not able to supervise him. Of course the dog should also be provided with a warm place to sleep and plenty of fresh clean water.

As the dog is slowly moved to larger and larger portions of the home, there may be more opportunities to chew inappropriate items. As the dog is given freer access to the home, it is important to keep any items that the dog or puppy should not chew, things like throw rugs, shoes, etc. up off of the floor. If you forget to move something and come home to find that the dog has chewed it, resist the urge to punish or yell at the dog. Instead, distract the dog with one of its favorite toys and remove the inappropriate item from its mouth.

The dog should then be provided with one of its favorite toys. Praise the dog extensively when it picks up and begins to chew its toy. This will help to teach the dog that it gets rewarded when it chews certain items, but not when it chews other items.

Teaching the dog what is appropriate to chew is very important, not only for the safety of your expensive furniture and rugs, but for the safety of the dog as well. Many dogs have chewed through dangerous items like extension cords and the like. This of course can injure the dog severely or even spark a fire.

Most dogs learn what to chew and what not to chew fairly quickly, but others are obviously going to be faster learners than others. Some dogs chew because they are bored, so providing the dog with lots of toys and solo activities is very important.

It is also a good idea to schedule several play times every day, with one taking place right before you leave every day. If the dog is thoroughly tired after his or her play session, chances are he or she will sleep the day away.

Other dogs chew to exhibit separation anxiety. Many dogs become very nervous when their owners leave, and some dogs become concerned each time that the owner may never come back. This stress can cause the dog to exhibit all manners of destructive behavior, including chewing soiling the house. If separation anxiety is the root of the problem, the reasons for it must be addressed, and the dog assured that you will return.

This is best done by scheduling several trips in and out of the home every day, and staggering the times of those trips in and out. At first the trips can be only a few minutes, with the length slowly being extended as the dog’s separation anxiety issues improve.

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