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Preparing Your Pet for the 4th of July!

The 4th of July brings about fond memories for many people; barbecues, summer fun by the pool, enjoying the nice weather with friends and family, and of course, fireworks. While many of us humans will rejoice in the unwavering sounds of American Independence, many of our canine and feline counterparts will be freaking out!

Therefore, today I wanted to talk to you about preparing for the 4th of July. The inspiration for this post comes from the below infographic from K9ofMine.com.

Here are some steps to get ready for the big day:

  1. Make sure all of your pet’s tags and microchips are up to date with the correct information.
  2. Make sure your pets have had plenty of exercise leading up to the 4th of July.
  3. Don’t forget to keep them cool & hydrated in the hot temperatures.
  4. Purchase a Rein Coat that reduces stress and anxiety during firework shows.
  5. Don’t forget to have fun! Make some awesome summer treats for your dog! Here are some of my favorites from our friend Sugar the Golden Retriever:
    1. Layered Strawberry Frosty Paws
    2. Frosty Yogurt Berries Bone Parfait
    3. Watermelon Banana Honey Popsicle
    4. Banana Berry Appsicle
    5. Red, White & Blue PAWsicle

If this is your first summer with your dog and you aren’t sure how they feel about fireworks, I have 8 safety Tips for Your Dog’s First 4th of July here.

Please share your plan for keeping your dog safe & happy this 4th of July!

Preparing Your Pet for the 4th of July

Please include attribution to K9 of Mine with this graphic.’Dog

 

Rescuing & Caring For Senior Pets

May is National Pet Month. National Pet Month is described in so many different ways, but mostly it is a time when we celebrate the joy and love that pets bring to our lives.

For today’s post, I would like to focus specifically on the joy that senior pets can bring to our lives and what you can do as a first time senior pet parent.

In the years I spent at the veterinary hospital, there were never more precious hours than the ones I spent caring for senior pets. Their sweet demeanor and eyes full of wisdom filled my heart with love and joy. Yet, so many senior pets remain in the shelters and rescues. If you are looking for a dog or cat to just love you. One that will save their energy for the special occasions like walks and playtime, one that will always be ready for a nap or snuggles, then you are looking for a senior pet.

If you are bringing home a senior pet for the first time, Petcurean and I want to share with you some tips on caring for these amazing creatures.

Exercise is Essential

Exercise is essential to the health of both pets and people. Particularly senior pets. When you are bringing a senior pet home for the first time, take a few weeks to see what their comfort level is for exercise. For example, a senior Border Collie might enjoy a 45-minute walk every day whereas a senior Bernese Mountain Dog might prefer two 20-minute walks each day. Once you discover their preference, provide them with regular and consistent exercise to maintain their weight and their muscle structure.

Exercise helps senior pets maintain a healthy body weight, and it helps slow the degeneration of joints from arthritis. Walking is excellent exercise. Swimming in a heated pool is also an excellent way to maintain joint mobility. – Petcurean

Proper Food is Essential

Making sure that your senior pet is receiving the appropriate amount of calories and supplements is crucial to keeping them healthy and mobile. A properly formed diet with the right mixture of protein and other nutrients is critical for longevity.

As older pets are less active, they need fewer calories. A high quality, limited ingredient diet is a great way to maintain weight in older pets, while addressing and sensitivities and ensuring they get the nutrition they need, like Petcurean’s Go! Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe for dogs. Dogs with joint problems may benefit from supplementation with glucosamine or fish oils. – Petcurean

Keep Those Teeth Clean

There is an entire month dedicated to Pet Dental Health and stressing the importance of that research and knowledge for pet parents. Make sure that your senior pet is visiting their veterinarian bi-annually for their oral health exam.

Dental care is just as important for pets as it is for humans. Dental disease is painful and may make eating difficult for your senior pet. If your dog won’t tolerate you brushing its teeth, consider dental treats, or dental toys designed to help keep the teeth clean and healthy. Teeth cleaning by your veterinarian will also help to maintain oral health.- Petcurean

Sorry, couch is full…

A photo posted by @petcurean on

Keep Your Home Senior Friendly

Making sure that your home is designed with your senior pet in mind is imperative. Your home should be easily accessible and complete with beds that support their joints. Recently, I discussed how we rearranged our furniture to protect Rooney’s back. While Rooney is not yet a senior, I always want to make sure he has access to comfortable spots in the house.

Older dogs may develop arthritis or other joint problems, which can make it harder for them to get around. You can help by providing ramps to help them navigate around the house, get up on the bed, or get outside. Orthopedic pet beds may help keep your pet comfortable and relieve pressure on the joints. – Petcurean

Show Them Love

Quality time comes in all shapes and sizes. Each pet likes to spend their days doing different things. Make sure that your senior pet gets that quality time from you. Don’t waste a minute!

Nothing tells your pet that you love them like a good belly rub or ear scratch. As your pet ages, physical contact is more important than ever. Every moment you have together is precious, and increasing the physical connection between you will strengthen your bond immeasurably. Maximize every opportunity for bonding with your pet – you will both be glad you did. – Petcurean

I want to thank Petcurean for putting together these points for senior pet care! Additionally, they put together this very cute video which is all about pet rescue. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I am a Petcurean Blogger Advocate. I have been compensated in exchange for providing my opinion. However, My Kid Has Paws only discusses products I truly believe in. In fact, I feed Petcurean to Rooney every day.

What Should You Do When Your Pet Has A Seizure?

It can happen so quickly.

You look over, and your pet is shaking violently. They have lost control of their bowels, they don’t know where they are, and you feel helpless.

While I was in college, I was visiting home when my mom came upstairs in tears and said that she was pretty sure Maui was having a seizure. I came downstairs to find Maui staring blankly. She was drooling and clearly disoriented. When we took her to the vet, we found out Maui was suffering from acute (focal) seizures brought on by idiopathic epilepsy (meaning, we don’t know what caused her seizures). Maui would go on to live 6 more years after being diagnosed. Sadly, our family lost Maui a few months ago.

What Should You Do When Your Pet Has a Seizure?

When you are at that moment, and you see your pet have a seizure for the first time, it’s terrifying. You don’t know what to do; you don’t know if its the first of several seizures to come, or an isolated incident. There is so much you don’t know. Today, I hope to provide you with a few action items you can take when your pet has a seizure.

  1. Try your absolute best not to panic. I know that this is easier said than done, but if you have children or other pets in the house, realize that your reaction can provoke a reaction from them, which can make the situation more stressful. Take deep breaths, seizures usually last a few minutes, but you can get through this.
  2. Keep Your Hands Away From Their Mouth. Because your animal is essentially unconscious, they can’t see you and they have no control over the muscles including the ones in their jaw. It is very likely that you, or another member of your family, can get bit during a seizure.
  3. Use Your Voice. Full disclosure; I don’t know if your pet can hear you during a seizure. I think it depends on the severity of the seizure and the areas of the brain that are affected. However, it made me feel better to comfort Maui by speaking softly and telling her I was there and that I loved her. If nothing else, it makes you feel like you are doing something in an otherwise helpless situation.
  4. Move Them to a Safe Location. Again, keep your hands away from their mouth, and only move them if you feel they might hurt themselves on the stairs or nearby furniture.
  5. Take Them to the Vet When The Seizure Stops. Typically, the seizures only last a few minutes. Therefore, you won’t have enough time to get them in the car and to the vet before the seizure stops (PetMD). Therefore, wait a few minutes, give them a chance after the seizure to orient themselves, and then take them to the veterinarian.
  6. If The Seizures Don’t Stop after a few minutes, take them to your vet or the emergency vet right away. They may be having cluster seizures, and this can do irreparable damage to their brain if left to continue.

Once you can get your pet to the veterinarian, they will be able to stop the seizures if they haven’t already stopped. Then, they will help you move forward with a treatment plan. Maui responded very well to her medications and her seizures stopped immediately and didn’t occur again for several years. When they did reoccur, we were able to adjust the medications and were able to get her epilepsy in control again.

While you are monitoring your pet for further seizures, you may notice that there are warning signs before a seizure. For example, Maui would come and sit very close to someone before her seizures. She would also seem very stressed before having her seizures. This type of behavior is typical, and you want to keep your eyes open for signs (PetMD).

A special warning for those who have pools or hot tubs: I hate to have to mention this, but I have seen too many pets drown in pools and hot tubs not to. When your dog is suffering from epilepsy, you never know when a seizure will occur, and you don’t want them to be by an uncovered pool or hot tub when it happens. Although pool and hot tub safety is important no matter your dog’s health conditions, it is especially important when your dog suffers from seizures. Therefore, please keep your pets away from pools or hot tubs with fences, or research appropriate covers.


 

Swimming Pool Safety For Pets


 

 

Have your pets suffered from seizures? Do you have any suggestions for pet parents?

Common Cat Feeding Mistakes to Avoid

I am really excited to welcome Jordan Walker back for another Guest Post. If you missed Jordan’s first guest post, please click here to read Common Carcinogens Found in Low-Quality Kibble.

Jordan Walker is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages and other pet-related blog sites. His passion for animals is reflected in his published articles. In this post, he gives pieces of advice on how to avert from committing the feeding errors that most cat owners are guilty of doing.

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Aside from the sweetness and cuddliness of a cat, its being an “easy” animal is what makes it one of the most common pets. Take for instance the fact that when you’re feeding your feline friend, everything comes so smoothly. You basically just give them their favorite food, and that’s about it. But if you’re one who’s still thriving to be a responsible cat owner, there are certain feeding mistakes you need to avoid to ensure that your furry companion lives a healthy, happy, and long life.

Overfeeding

Who doesn’t find a fat cat very adorable and cute? Yes, we all get that awww moment when we see our cat being so fat and looking like a walking ball of fur. However, this is not healthy at all. In fact, an obese cat may not only have trouble cleaning itself but will also be prone to other problems like skin disorders and diabetes.

Generally, a cat only needs about 250–300 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight. Two separate meals a day is better than letting them eat a whole full bowl of food. It would be best to ask your veterinarian for some help to come up with a proper feeding plan, which is usually based on its weight and current state of health.

Vegan Diet

Cats are obligate carnivores. Meaning, they need to eat meat to gain the essential nutrients—vitamin A and B12, arachidonic acid, and taurine—to survive and stay healthy–. Additionally, your furry friend’s body is not capable of digesting plant materials well. When their diet lacks the proper amount of meat, they become nutritionally deficient, which may lead to death, something that is certainly difficult to cope with. 

Over-Supplementation

As long as you’re giving your cat a healthy and balanced diet, there is no need for supplementation. Unless advised by your vet, do not give animal supplements because you might go beyond the recommended dosage, which can lead to toxicity. Also, when you are making a homemade cat food, make sure to consult your vet to guarantee that the right amount of nutrients is present in the food.

Feeding with Dog Food

Cats eating dog food is a pretty common scenario in a household with multiple pets. Sometimes, when owners run out of cat food, they resort to giving their feline friends a bowl of dog food instead. While there is nothing wrong with this if done once in a blue moon, it is a completely different story if it becomes a regular practice. Dog food is made for dogs, and so, it doesn’t contain adequate amount of protein that is required for cats. Moreover, taurine, which is essential for cats, is not found in dog foods. Keeping your cat on a dog food diet will lead to nutritional deficiency and serious health complications.

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Raw Fish

Consuming raw fish can expose your cat to bacteria (salmonella and listeria) and parasites. Additionally, this type of food contains thiaminase, an enzyme that destroys thiamine (vitamin B1). Consequentially, lack of thiamine may lead to depression, anorexia, and certain neurological symptoms such as seizures, which can lead to death. Additionally, even though the enzyme is destroyed when cooked, a steady fish diet will not provide the essential vitamins and minerals that cats need.

Speaking of fish, tuna, on the other hand, is a good treat for your feline companion, but it is not advisable to put your cat on a regular tuna diet because it can cause malnutrition. This is also low in vitamin E, and deficiency in this vitamin may lead to steatitis, also known as yellow fat disease. Also, if your cat gets hooked on tuna, it may refuse to eat other food.

Too Little Water

Naturally, cats have very low thirst drive. Their water intake is mostly through the food they eat, especially when they are on a moist diet. However, if your cat is usually on a dry food diet, then he is more at risk of underhydration. Underhydration has serious repercussions that may lead to illness or death. Water is as essential to cats as it is to humans. This accounts for about 70 percent of a cat’s body, so always make sure that your pet is given an ample amount of fresh and clean water.

Additionally, do not replace water with milk. Once weaned, most cats become lactose intolerant. Although some cats have no problem with an occasional milk treat, a regular offering of milk may lead to diarrhea and dehydration.

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Ignoring Veterinary Checks

Although most of us do take care of our cats very dearly, sometimes, we miss out on some signs of a problem like food allergies. If your cat always looks uncomfortable and is constantly scratching itself, then you should take him to the vet. Also, regular veterinary visits will help you as the owner make sure that problems are avoided or are addressed properly as soon as possible. If you do not have a veterinarian now, make sure to hire one now and choose wisely.

These are some of the feeding mistakes that every cat owner should avoid. If you think it is quite difficult to adhere to all these recommendations, it is understandable. But avoiding these mistakes and being a responsible pet owner will surely give your furry friend a healthier, happier, and longer life.

Image Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Author: Jordan Walker

jordanwalker

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as a couple of other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can by visiting his Twitter account, @JordanWalker82.

Thank you Jordan for your insightful article.

Cat parents, have you run into these challenges with your cats?

Cat Naps & Doggie Snorts + An End of Summer Giveaway

Not too long ago we celebrated Dog Sleep and I shared with you some pictures of Rooney sleeping all over the house. But I am not the only one who finds dog sleep fascinating. Francine Brevetti author of Cat Naps & Doggie Snorts put together a beautiful book that includes excerpts of how we as humans integrate pets into our daily lives.
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The human-dog relationship is at least 10,000 years old (depending on which scientist you ask). Their integration in our lives has been increasing overtime as our bond strengthens. I personally think that the biggest proof of their integration in our lives is their spot on our bed. These days, so many pet parents love to share naps and slumber with their pets and that is truly a testament to the evolution of our relationship.
Cat Naps & Doggie Snorts is a compilation of 75 stories of ways we as people integrate pets into our lives. Whether we share our furniture, or share our experiences, our daily lives wouldn’t be complete without the love of our animals.
Many of the stories in this book take place in the San Francisco Bay Area. My familiarity with many of these places only made these short stories more fun to read. Here is one of my favorite excerpts:
“Cassandra [a black cat] usually sleeps snuggled against Elaine’s bed. Come breakfast time, if there’s no other way of rousing Elaine, this little girl thrusts her paw into Elaine Santeangelo’s mouth just to make the point.
Ick, is Elaine’s reaction.
But the black cat has an endearing and protective quality. During the night, Cassandra goes on patrol in the house checking out different corners and crannies. 
Elaine cares for her father who suffers from dementia. The elderly gentleman, occasionally confused, leaves the house at night and goes searching for Elaine in the belief that she is at work in her office at the Manchester Boston Regional Airport. If Cassandra doesn’t find the elderly gentleman in his room, she alert Elaine with a good poke.” – A NEW SWEETHEART AND ANIMALS DISPLACED
Some stories are about recovery from trauma and how the love of a pet can help you heal. Other stories are from celebrities and their bond with their loving animals. The best part is that these stories are from real people who love their pets. To purchase your very own copy of Cat Naps & Dog Snorts please click here.
P.S. On a related note, my husband recently sent this article to me from Geekologie about this couple who designed their own Megabed to make room for their 5 cats and 2 dogs.
Check out the article here.
Tell me, would you make the same accommodations for your pets?
P.P.S On an unrelated note, I was featured on our local news station recently talking about Canine Companions for Independence!
I am a volunteer for this wonderful organization, and we have our largest fundraising event of the year coming up on October 3rd. If you live in the Bay Area, I would greatly appreciate you attending our event. You can register for Rooney’s team or donate to the event at this link.

As an aside I was REALLY nervous 🙂
P.P.P.S Since today is the first official day of the Fall Season, I thought I would do an end of Summer Giveaway!
Summer might be over, but there are still some warm temperatures to be enjoyed!
Two lucky winners will receive one of these two Outward Hound Items:
SplashPool
Doggy Drencher
Outward Hound 3
Outward Hound 2
Outward Hound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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