Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network


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256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

You & Your Pet

How to Puppy Proof Your Home

Puppies are an amazing addition to your home but they come with a lot of maintenance. This includes making sure that your property is safe for the puppy. When it comes to making your house safe, think of your puppy like they are a toddler. They’ll go where they shouldn’t go, they’ll eat what they shouldn’t eat, they’ll scratch what they shouldn’t scratch. It is your responsibility to protect not only your house from your puppy but your puppy from your house.

 

Dangerous Items

Unfortunately, these come in abundance. The best way to avoid a problem is to educate yourself on everything that can be dangerous and take preventative measures.

 

  • Medications. Any type of medications are dangerous for a puppy if they get their paws on them. You need to keep these locked away in closed cabinets that are off the ground and out of reach. Puppies are incredibly agile, which makes even leaving medication out on a high counter dangerous and even plastic containers may not keep them out.
  • Cleaning Supplies. Laundry detergent, dish soap, Clorox, it’s all dangerous for puppies. Like with medicine, this should be kept high and shut away where a puppy can’t even see it. They are naturally curious creatures and so even seeing something on a remotely accessible surface makes them that much more likely to get to it.
  • Electrical Cords. The number of injuries a puppy can sustain from electrical cords alone could be enough to make you want to pack them all away permanently. Chewing on one can result in burns, shock, and electrocution. Make sure you keep them wrapped up, out of the way, and unplugged when you aren’t using them and consider getting covers for the cords to protect your puppy from them.
  • Plants. They may be pretty, but a number of houseplants are actually poisonous to animals. DO some research on the plants that you have to find out if they could be harmful to your puppy and either move them to high places or replace them with safe plants.
  • Sharp Objects. Look around carefully at everything in your house and assess whether or not it is sharp. Pencils, scissors, fishing hooks, toothpicks, paper clips, anything. Make sure you keep all of that as far out of reach as you can from your puppy and be careful not to leave them unattended in areas where you may have these types of things stored.
  • Drapery Cords. In looking around at what in your house might be dangerous, it is likely that these never crossed your mind. But puppies are energetic and unpredictable and these cords are thin. If your puppy gets tangled up in them, it could result in strangulation. Before to keep them tied up off of the ground where your puppy can’t reach even if they jump.
  • Small Objects. Coins, pins, floss, jewelry, elastics, anything is fair game. Your house will never be as clean as right before you get a puppy because just about anything that a puppy could potentially fit into his mouth needs to be kept out of sight and out of reach.
  • Trash Cans. Everything you put in a trash can is potentially hazardous to a puppy whether it be people food or face wipes. There are dozens of dangers in what you put in the trash can from used razors to sanitary products to plastic wrap. Keep your trash cans in cabinets or up high, just keep them away from your pup.
  • People Food. While certain types of food are fine and even healthy for a dog to eat, a number of things that we think are harmless to a puppy actually aren’t. Chocolate is only one of the most known ones but things like onion, meat trimmings, even chicken bones can all be incredibly harmful to your puppy. Unless you know for sure that what you are feeding them is safe, avoid leaving any food out anywhere in your house. They will find it.
  • Do you have a cat? Cat litter boxes are unfortunately a gold mine to a puppy. Keep them in a room that the puppy doesn’t have access to or keep them where the pup can’t reach but the cat can because they will eat anything in there.

 

 

Dangerous Areas

On top of the items you need to keep away from your puppy, there are also places and scenarios in your house to avoid.

 

  • Fire. Anywhere there is fire is hazardous. Never leave your puppy unattended near fireplaces and keep candles as far out of reach as possible. Even stoves and ovens whether they are wood burning or otherwise can be hazardous to your puppy.
  • Furniture. Your living room is full of it. If you have reclining chairs or rocking chairs, both can be dangerous to your puppy.  A rocking chair can injure their paws or tail and puppies can be prone to crawling underneath recliners.
  • Bathroom. On top of the dozens of hazardous items in your bathrooms, sinks, bathtubs, and toilets can all be dangerous for a puppy if they are full. Make sure to keep the door to the toilet closed off and to always drain your sinks and bathtubs so that if your puppy gets curious they won’t drown.
  • Doorways. Young puppies are followers and so for the first year or so, whenever you close a door, you should always be checking behind you to see if your little follower is there. Doors can easily damage their paws and their tails.
  • Any House Openings. This includes doors, windows, and maybe even cat doors. Keep all of these closed and screened off at all times to avoid your puppy falling through or escaping.
  • Use Gates. The easiest way to keep a puppy out of trouble is to keep them confined. Maybe confine them to the kitchen for the first little while with gates to keep them from running away. This will make it easy to keep an eye on them and give them a chance to grow up a bit before they get exposed to the dangers of the rest of the house. But this isn’t a license to keep your puppy locked up in one room at all times. Bring them around the house with you, let them sleep in their crate in your bedroom, and most importantly bring them outside to let them run around and get all of that puppy energy out.

 

 

Outside

Puppies need to go outside. They need to do their business, run and play. Before they do, you need to make sure not only that the inside of your house is safe, but that the outside is too.

 

  • Plants. Whether you want to replace them, dig them up, or close them off, you need to keep your puppy from eating anything that could be dangerous to them.
  • Pools. Of all the outside dangers, if you have a pool, that may be the biggest. Make sure that you keep your pool or hot tub closed off or covered whenever you have your puppy outside. If you have a gate make sure it is never left unlocked and if you don’t your eye should always be on your pup.
  • Garbage Cans. You have them. Your neighbors have them. Keep them closed at all times and make sure that you keep your puppy away.
  • Fire. Whether you have a fire pit or a grill outside you need to keep your puppy away so that they don’t get burned.
  • Take a walk. Your yard can have anything in it from broken glass or old plastic. Any of it can be dangerous to your puppy. Make sure to do a thorough sweep of your property before getting a dog and take a walk around whenever you take your puppy outside to make sure that they are safe.
  • Confine the area. Whether you are going to use an electric fence or an actual gate, finding a way to confine your puppy’s access is one of the most effective ways to keep them safe outside.

 

Never leave them unsupervised. This is the biggest thing when it comes to a pup. They are like a small child but faster. You should always have an eye on your puppy outside for at least the first half a year that they are with you and even after that part of your attention should always be on your pup.

 

Contact us!

Call to schedule an appointment today at one of our four convenient Toronto locations. Ashbridges Bay Animal Hospital at (416) 915-7387, Beaches Animal Hospital at (416) 690-4040, Bloor Animal Hospital at (416) 767-5817, Downtown Animal Hospital at (416) 966-5122.

Why Does My Dog Chase His Tail?

Everyone gets a kick out of their dog obsessively chasing their tail. But, did you ever wonder why they do it?

 

Boredom/Confinement

A dog chasing their tail can stem from a lack of exercise. If they haven’t been on a good walk recently or no one is playing with them, they need to entertain themselves. Chasing their tail is a way to both get exercise and have fun. If a dog is cramped in a small space for a while, they may try to get exercise such that they fit in the small space. Chasing one’s tail doesn’t take up a lot of room. In this case, it is a harmless behavior that can be stopped if you give them more exercise and attention.

 

They’re Puppies

Puppies are new to the world. They don’t fully understand how things relate and tend to be a little clueless. For this reason, they catch a glimpse of their tail out of the corner of their eye and think it’s a toy. From there, it’s a fruitless mission to catch the mysterious fluffball that’s always just out of their reach. As pups get older, they usually grow out of this when they realize this fuzzy toy is attached to them.

 

Attention

Dogs are attention snobs. They like to make you laugh and smile and they even do things to get a negative reaction out of you. So, when you crack up at your dog’s determined mission to catch their tail, this prompts them to keep going. It may start to become a habit just to get a reaction out of you, good or bad.

 

Irritation

If you notice that your dog is trying to nip at or bite their tail, there may be something else at play. If they have recently injured their tail, this can be a reaction to get it to stop itching. Another possibility is that your dog has fleas or worms on their tail that are causing this irritation. You may want to get them to a vet if their tail chasing becomes frequent and aggressive.

 

Hereditary

For some dogs, tail chasing is genetic. Although there is no real explanation for it, certain breeds, like German Shepherds or cattle dogs, are prone to tail chasing. In this case, the cause is mainly habit but, if you take them to a vet or trainer, you may be able to stop the behavior.

 

Canine Compulsive Disorder

This is a very rare condition and is seldom the culprit behind your dog’s tail chasing. Still, if you’re worried that the tail chasing has become too frequent, you can get your dog checked for Canine Compulsive Disorder. This disorder can be treated with anti compulsory medication as prescribed by a vet.

 

Note: If your dog is chasing their tail due to boredom, attention, or irritation, the behavior can turn into a habit that will be difficult for your dog to break. You may want to interject if you think that is becoming too common. If the dog is chasing their tail because they injured it, it can become a learned behavior for whenever they are scared or upset making it a psychological issue. This may require a vets help to remedy.

Contact us! 

Call to schedule an appointment today at one of our four convenient Toronto locations. Ashbridges Bay Animal Hospital at (416) 915-7387, Beaches Animal Hospital at (416) 690-4040, Bloor Animal Hospital at (416) 767-5817, Downtown Animal Hospital at (416) 966-5122.

What to Expect on Your Puppy’s First Visit to the Vet

Getting a puppy is both exciting and stressful. Now you have another mouth to feed and another family member to take care of. The best way to ensure that your new friend stays happy and healthy with little stress is taking them to a veterinarian to get their health needs taken care of. But this can also be nerve-racking if you don’t know what to expect.

 

Here are some things you can do to make your first visit easy on you and your pup as well as what to expect during the visit:

 

Before the Puppy

Many breeders will list an immediate vet check, yearly physicals, and necessary vaccinations as conditions for adoption. To keep your puppy safe and healthy whether the breeder does or doesn’t require these three things, you should do them anyway. Puppies are much more susceptible to diseases and illness as the protective antibodies in their mother’s milk wear off at around six or seven weeks.

It is a good idea to visit your perspective veterinary clinic ahead of time. You want to be comfortable with the environment and the people there before you bring in your dog. When making the decision about a veterinarian, make sure they are familiar with your breed of dog. This is because some medical conditions are common in specific breeds, and you will want your vet to be aware of and understand these conditions. To ensure that you are perfectly comfortable putting your pup into their hands, ask about their credentials and experience. Check on their emergency availability if you need to rush to the clinic at any hour of the day and how emergency transportation will work.

Be prepared. Don’t wait until the last minute to book your visit. Veterinary clinics can be very busy so, to get the day you want, you should schedule it early. You can schedule the appointment before you have the dog.

 

Before the Visit

Make sure you and your dog are prepared going into the visit. You’ll want your puppy to be comfortable in the car to reduce anxiety before and after the visit. It is also a good idea to take your puppy to the visit the clinic before the appointment, so they can become familiar with the environment and the veterinarian. This will make them considerably more comfortable during the visit.

Be sure that you remember any medical documents your dog may have if they visited a vet with the breeder before you got them. Your vet will want to be aware of any checkups, treatments, or vaccines they may have received. Vets will need to check the dog feces for worms, as most pups are born with roundworms. Call ahead to ask if you need to bring a sample and check any medical documents to see if they have been treated for worms already.

Right before the visit, take your pup on a run or a long walk. You’ll want to wear them out so that they are calmer during the appointment.

 

During the Visit

You should have your pup on a short leash when you go to the appointment. This will keep them in check in the waiting room. It will also be easier when moving them to the checkup room.

Once the appointment begins, the veterinarian will do a general physical exam. They will weigh your puppy, listen to their heart and lungs, and examine their body, eyes, nose, and ears. They will also inspect your dog’s skin, coat, and teeth. If there are any initial vaccines or worms that needed to be treated, they will talk to you about the best way to proceed. They can be administered there or scheduled for in another appointment.

There are four core vaccines recommended for all puppies: distemper, canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus, and rabies, which is a required vaccination in many states. This is why your doctor will want to check any medical records to see if these have already been administered.

Finally, you will discuss future visits, whether they are for vaccination, microchipping, neutering, or physicals. This is a good time to ask the vet any and all questions you have about your dog. They can be questions about treatments and medications or feeding and behavioral. Anything goes.

 

After the Visit

Reward your puppy! They made it through their first veterinary visit. Give them a treat and take them to do something fun. Go on a hike, head to the park or even just run around with them in your yard. You want them to associate vet visits with something fun instead of anxiety.

 

Contact us! 

Call to schedule an appointment today at one of our four convenient Toronto locations. Ashbridges Bay Animal Hospital at (416) 915-7387, Beaches Animal Hospital at (416) 690-4040, Bloor Animal Hospital at (416) 767-5817, Downtown Animal Hospital at (416) 966-5122.

Dogs Should Eat These People Foods

Every dog owner has that moment of panic about feeding people food to their dog. After first adopting a puppy, you are often told that it’s a bad idea to feed your dog anything that isn’t specifically made for dogs. That’s not true! There are actually a number of people foods that your dog can not only eat but benefit from eating. Your veterinarian will be happy to discuss healthy treats and people food you can share with your pup during your dog’s next vet check-up.

 

Meats

All dogs love meat. It’s their favorite thing to snag from the dinner table. They’re not supposed to do that, but a little bit of cooked meat every now and then is perfectly okay for your dog. It’s a tasty source of protein and cooked chicken can even be used as a meal replacement if you realize last minute you’re out of dog food.

When it comes to bones, raw chicken bones do not pose the same threat to dogs that cooked bones do. When bones are cooked, they are more likely to splinter which can be hazardous for your pup. Dogs can usually chew through raw bones with ease, but be sure to monitor dogs that eat in large gulps, such as a rottweiler, as a chicken wing can still pose a choking hazard.

 

Salmon

Salmon is actually quite good for dogs. It contains omega 3 fatty acids, which a dog needs to keep their coat shiny and healthy. On top of that, salmon is good for their immune system so adding a little to their bowl every now and then is a healthy treat.

 

Eggs

Eggs are a great low-calorie snack for your pup. They give a good high protein boost and can be fed to your cooked. Avoid any seasoning if you decide to scramble some eggs for your dog.

 

Cheese

Cheese is often used with puppies to teach them new tricks and it’s actually good for them. You may want to watch your dog’s reaction the first time you give them a little as a small percentage of dogs are lactose intolerant. Since cheese contains a lot of fat, it is a good idea to get low or reduced fat and give a little to them at a time. Slip your dog a spoonful of cottage cheese and they’ll love you for it.

 

Yogurt

Yogurt is high in calcium and a good source of protein. Both healthy for your dogs and a nice way to liven up their meals, feeding your pup a little yogurt from time to time won’t hurt. Be sure that the yogurt you are using does not have any added sugars or artificial sweeteners as those can be harmful.

 

Peanut Butter

It’s no secret that dogs love peanut butter. It’s a great healthy snack for them and can keep them occupied for a long time. For a good source of protein, heart-healthy fats, and vitamins, try stuffing a Kong dog toy with peanut butter and they’ll entertain themselves for a little while.

Be careful about what peanut butter you feed them. Unsalted peanut butter is a good idea because too much salt can be bad for dogs. Make sure you read the ingredients label and avoid feeding them sugar-free or lite peanut butter, as it often contains the artificial sweetener, xylitol, which is harmful to dogs.

 

Grains

The grains of oatmeal can be found in some dogs foods, but oatmeal itself is good for dogs as well. Oatmeal is a good source of fiber that is helpful for older dogs with digestive issues. Don’t add any sugars or artificial flavors as they aren’t good for dogs. Pasta and rice is also good for them on occasion. Brown rice is an excellent source of grain that can be added to a meal for a little something different.

 

Vegetables

Many vegetables are good for dogs as they contain fiber and are low in calories, but a few stick out as being quite healthy for them. Carrots and pumpkin are a great source of fiber as well as having other benefits for a dog’s body. Carrots are healthy for a dog’s teeth while pumpkin keeps their GI tract moving and is good for digestive issues.

 

Fruit

Just like apples are good for our teeth, they are also good for cleaning dog’s teeth. They help keeps their breath smelling fresh while also being a source of fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Cut up some apple slices and feed them to your dog to give them something sweet and different as a snack.

Contact us! 

Call to schedule an appointment today at one of our four convenient Toronto locations. Ashbridges Bay Animal Hospital at (416) 915-7387, Beaches Animal Hospital at (416) 690-4040, Bloor Animal Hospital at (416) 767-5817, Downtown Animal Hospital at (416) 966-5122.

 

Advantages of Adopting an Adult Dog

When most people go into a shelter, they are immediately drawn to those adorable little puppies. You know, the ones who will chew up your entire house, pee on every carpet, but still have just the cutest faces. Well, here’s a secret: when a dog looks up at you with those big eyes, they’re adorable no matter what age they are.

So, here are some reasons you should be adopting an adult dog instead:

 

You’ll Know Their Personality

Every dog has their own personality just like we do. The difference between a puppy and an adult though is that their personality isn’t a surprise with an adult dog. If they’re playful, you know it. If they’re relaxed, you know it. If they’re really smart, you’ll know it. You can get the dog that is perfect for you with no guessing games involved and be just as happy if not more.

 

They’ll be More Well Behaved

An adult dog has had a chance to grow up. They won’t run maniacally around your house, barking at every twitch of a leaf outside, or growl at the people walking across the TV screen. They’ll likely be a lot calmer and won’t disturb you with their pent up puppy energy that only seems cute for the first minute. If they do have any behavioral problems, you can learn that at the shelter ahead of time and be prepared for it.

 

Less Supervision

When a dog is a puppy, they need to be watched constantly, like a baby. They have a smaller bladder so you need to make sure to watch for the signal that they need to go outside. Puppy’s also frequently have more heightened separation anxiety that makes it difficult to leave them alone for any extended period of time. You can trust your adult dog to spend their time alone in the best way possible: not chewing up everything in your house.

 

You Can Take a Long Walk Right Off the Bat

While most puppies need to build up their stamina, your adult pup will already have the stamina to beat yours. No need to worry about them wearing out at the farthest point from your house or trying to sniff absolutely everything in sight. An older dog also learns much easier. If they are not already trained to run beside you off leash, it shouldn’t be too difficult to teach them. With an adult dog, you can take them out to exercise with you almost immediately and have some quality bonding time with your new best friend.

 

No Puppy Problems

Everyone knows that when you first get a puppy, they can be a real nuisance. You spend your time constantly worried that they’ll pee in the house or chew up your furniture. Well, most adult dogs have already been house trained and are well out of the chewing on everything in the house stage. Even if your new dog isn’t house trained, as an adult they pick up on things much faster and it shouldn’t be a challenge to perfect a system.

You won’t have to worry about those nippy sharp little puppy teeth that latch on your fingers without knowing their strength. Plus, older dogs only have to eat twice a day, whereas puppies need breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This means less money spent on food and fewer things you need to do to take care of your dog in a day. Not to mention you get to skip the socializing aspect of getting a puppy. Believe me, your adult dog is an expert at this point. Ashbridge’s Bay Animal Hospital offers vet services to pets of any age.

 

No Early Puppy Expenses

Let’s be real. Dogs cost money, but puppies cost more. You have to pay for new toys after they destroy theirs. You have to pay for those early visits to the vet to make sure your little pup is healthy. You have to pay for that extra food to compensate for all three meals of the day and that carpet you have to replace because your pup peed all over it. You have to replace all those pillows that have been torn to shreds and you have to go find yourself some more patience because that adorable dog has spent all of it. But with an adult dog, you don’t have to spend all that money. Really this should be enough to convince you but if it’s not …

 

You Can Be a Hero

Almost everyone goes for the energetic little puppy bouncing around the shelter when they go to adopt a dog. Almost everyone overlooks those well behaved and kid-friendly dogs that are just a desperate for love and a family. In choosing this mature and sociable dog, you are not just adopting a dog. You are saving them. You are giving you and them a new best friend and they will be forever grateful. Plus, owning a pet is known to reduce stress!

Here’s Why Senior Citizens Live Longer With Pets

No matter what age we are, most of us crave some type of companionship. This need only tends to intensify as people age. Oddly enough, company isn’t the only thing that owning a pet can offer as one gets deeper into their senior years. In fact, there are many impressive benefits to owning a pet as a senior:

 

Pets Stimulate Brain Activity

The entire process of adopting a pet allows for mental stimulation. Searching for the most fitting animal breed and reading through their tendencies and behaviors helps get the mind moving. There have also been cases where elders with some memory loss can regain access to old memories after adopting and interacting with their new pet. Pets provide the responsibility of caring for another creature, which keeps the mind fresh.

 

Increasing Social Interaction

Having an animal, especially a dog, can result in more social interaction with people while out and about, including an excuse to talk to neighbors. A leashed dog gives people something to talk about when they pass on the street. A pet even helps to get the conversation going when visitors come over the house. A cat or dog gives off a more friendly atmosphere that stimulates conversation.

 

Routine

As people age and retire, it’s easy to lose focus and structure for day to day life. Having an animal helps seniors implement more of a routine into their day. Pets require responsibility and keep people active and moving, both mentally and physical.

 

Physical Activity

Whether it’s a dog, cat, or even a bird or reptile, a pet provides the chance to get up and do something. It may be taking the dog out on a walk to get some exercise for pet and owner alike. It may be getting a toy and playing a bit with the cat. Or, it may just be getting up to feed the petor clean up their cage or bedding. No matter what age a person is, staying healthy requires regular physical activity and pets provide the opportunity and the obligation for it.

 

Pets Give a Sense of Now

The more health issues a person accumulates, the more upsetting, or even scary, the prospect the future can be. Animals, especially dogs, live very much in the now. They play now, they eat now, they bark now, and they have no worries about what tomorrow will bring. This helps pet owners with health concerns live in the moment and enjoy what life still has to offer them.

 

Reduce Stress

Studies show that owning a pet reduces stress overall. Researchers believe that pet owners have lower blood pressure and healthier pulse rates. Animals also help to reduce anxiety. The carefree attitude of a happy animal has a calming affect on those around them, and even just touching a pet is said to make some people relax.

 

Love and Acceptance

Pets offer undying love, affection and companionship. Their loyalty and and attachment comes easily from the beginning, and it doesn’t fade the way some human relationships can. As pets are dependent on their owners, their human families understand they are needed. Pets provide all this love readily and easily, allowing people to make a strong bond without fear of upsetting them.

 

Mood Improvement

The vast majority of pet owners say their animal companions makes them feel better when they are said or upset. In some cases, they can help when people feel physically ill or sick. Animals eliminate some feelings of  loneliness and can reduce feelings of depression. They provide an outlet for interaction when someone feels stressed or upset.

Security

Many seniors feel far more secure with a pet. Sometimes it’s just the idea of having another creature in the house with them. A dog actually does improve the security of a house, even if they are not physically imposing. Thieves do not want to deal with a barking a dog, even if the dog is a foot tall.

Pets keep people healthy

As a whole, pet owners are healthier than the rest of the population. This can cut back on medical needs and doctors visits, and dog owners will live longer after they suffer a heart attack. Pets aren’t just cute; they’re also good medicine.

How to Prevent Wet Dog Smell and What Causes It

What’s more fun that splashing in the water with your favorite furry companion on a hot day? Nothing, yes, that is correct. Although, there is one thing that tends to put a bit of a damper on the day. We’ve all experienced that horrid odor that fills that house after a fun day at the beach or swimming in the pool. It’s that awful smell that snakes its way from your dog’s fur to your nose.

 

So, why does your pup smell so bad?

Some dogs, typically hounds and retrievers, have a certain oil on their coat called Sebum. This oil collects on the hair shaft and follicles in order to protect your dog’s skin from dehydration. However, when the dog gets wet, the oil and the water combine to form a foul smelling bacteria. For most dogs though, the cause of the smell are tiny microorganisms that live on their skin and fur. Well, not the microorganisms themselves. The smell is actually the result of their excrement. When dry, the microscopic pieces do not emit any odor but, once you pup gets wet, the water breaks apart the the chemical bonds holding the excrement together, releasing the foul smelling molecules into the air.

Wet Labrador dog in towel lying on gray carpet, closeup

How to mask or prevent this smell?

One key to preventing this awful smell is drying your dog thoroughly however, just using a towel won’t do it. Blow drying can get past your pup’s thick coat down to their skin where the real problem is. If you have a jumpy or nervous dog, then you can even get low power, quieter blow dryers so that they stay calm. Brush through your dog’s fur as you dry them to make sure that you get down to the skin. If you are worried about the smell after bathing your dog, you can also consider purchasing a grooming spray to help make your dog smell better.

Little baby boy with boxer dog on a couch at home

The smell may also linger around your dog’s living environment or be stinking up the couches. One natural cleaning product you can use a white vinegar. Mix one part vinegar with two parts water and spray it over your furniture or floor. It’s a fantastic disinfectant that isn’t harmful to animals.

Another pet-safe household product you could use for your carpet is baking soda. But don’t just go tossing around the white powder like it’s confetti. The way to go about this is to first vacuum your carpet and then sprinkle the baking soda over it. After you let it sit for a few minutes you can vacuum again and leave your carpet finally free of wet dog smell!

Your cat will love these exercises

Let’s face it, modern house cats have a weight problem. Cats are natural hunters who once roamed across a variety of terrain, stalking their prey. Today their food comes to them and they tend to live in safe, sheltered places that gives them long stretches of uninterrupted sleep. This problem is especially true for indoor cats, who are more likely to be overweight and get even less exercise.

We can design a superior diet for your cat’s individual needs, but your feline friend will still need regular exercise to keep his or her weight under control. Cats are predators and the best way to get them to exercise is to take inspiration from their nature and provide them with a form of play that will let them hunt, chase or stalk. Aim for 10 to 15 minutes of active play each day, but don’t stop there if you can get them to do even more.

1) Place a bird feeder outside a large window

The sight of a moving bird stirs a cats instincts, moving it into a hunting mode. You will find your cat pacing by the window, stalking its intended prey, as birds congregate at the bird feeder, blissfully unaware of the lurking predator nearby. It may seem like a tease to your pet, but the ongoing activity and movement will be good for them.

2) Use a wand toy

Toys with mice, feathers of fluffy sacks on the end of a string held by a wand are great ways to get your cat to exercise. It’s fun for you to flick the toy back and forth while your cat swipes, leaps and bites at it. Allow them to catch the toy now and then, but don’t let them keep it for too long or they make get bored and lose interest.

3) Place a cat tower in your living room

Cats love to climb, and a carpeted cat tower gives them a comfortable surface they can travel up and down throughout the day. As an added bonus, they may decide to scratch the cat tower and not your sofa.

4) Ping pong balls

College students aren’t the only ones to rediscover the joy of ping pong balls. Cats love to chase them, and their ultralight weight will send the balls pretty far if the cat strikes them, leading to more exercise. For a fun twist drop one in a dry bathtub and see how long your cat will run in circles to catch it.

5) Use a laser pointer

Cats will interpret a bright red dot moving across the floor as a bug and try to chase it down. This is an extremely resilient cat toy that won’t get threadbare or stolen by a dog and is a lot of fun to use. For added fun, make the laser go up furniture and boxes to get your cat to climb.

6) Provide them with traditional cat toys

Cats love to chase little balls, bells, fluffy mice, jax, pebbles and other assorted shapes. These are cheap and easy to find at any pet store and your cat will love rolling around on the carpet with them. Every so often you should check under the couch or easy chair, as you may have a small collection of cat toys located underneath.

7) Dangle some string in front of them

Cats love to tug at string, yarn, ribbon, and shoelaces. It’s fun for them and it’s one of the most adorable things a cat owner can witness. Some cats outgrow their love of string, but steady play from a young age will help keep them interested. Make sure you don’t leave the string out where they can get at it unsupervised, as cats are at risk of intestinal blockage if they try to eat it.

8) Exercise wheel

There are several models of exercise wheels for cats on the market. Picture a cat running at a high speed on a large hamster wheel. These are compact items that can easily be stored and they allow cats to run for miles without leaving the living room.

Whatever form, or forms, of cat exercise you decide on, make sure you get them to engage in it daily. It will help keep your pet’s weight down to a safe level and keep them healthy so they can live a long, happy life with you.

Why you should brush your pet’s fur twice a week

Grooming Dogs, Brushing Dogs, Toronto VeterinariansBrushing isn’t just about removing tangles and matted fur from your pet’s coat. It also promotes good health and overall wellness in your dog or cat and will help strengthen the bond between pet and owner.

Brushing needs to start early and often. Puppies will need to be introduced to the brush slowly, so let them sniff it before your first few brushing sessions. They may try to chew on it so be ready to pull it away if they try.

Let your first few brushing sessions be light and brief. Make sure it feels like a positive experience for your pet, and not a chore or an unpleasant task. Stop if you find yourself getting frustrated to avoid making it unpleasant.

Reward your pet with praise and gentle strokes to reinforce good behavior during brushing and gradually make the grooming sessions longer. Brush every few days and consider setting up a regular brushing schedule, like every Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening.

Not only will routine brushing help you and your pet grow closer, but the activity is beneficial for your pet’s fur and skin. It pulls off dead fur and skin cells, spreads the pet’s natural oils around its coat to improve the shine and luster and it stimulates the blood supply to the skin.

With a firm but gentle stroke your dog or cat will grow to love your regular brushing sessions.

5 tips for naming a pet

A pet’s name says a lot more about its owner than it does about the pet itself. Names allow pet owners to express themselves, but like all forms of creative expressions there are some common mistakes to avoid and guidelines to follow.

 

#1 Make it short and sweet

The best pet names are one or two syllables in length, like “Max,” “Baxter” or “Princess.” This is both easier for the pet to recognize, and it makes it easier to scream the pet’s name when it chews up a favorite pair of shoes.

 

#2 Involve the kids

Any kids in the family will likely have some name ideas of their own to contribute. Just be prepared to veto ill-chosen names. Imagine what it’ll be like 10 years from now if you name the family pet after a character from a kids TV show and little “Pikachu” is still part of the family. An easy compromise is for the kids to draft a short list of names and let the kids chose one from the list.

 

#3 Take names from history, pop culture or mythology

There is a rich world out there to draw pet names from, such as historical names like “Poe” and “Caesar,” entertainment tie-ins like “Ozzy” or “Homer,” and a whole world of mythological figures. Here are links to lists for inspiration of mythological dogs, such as Cereberus, and mythological felines, such as Barong.

 

#4 Attributes or behavior

Classic pet names like “Spot” and “Mittens” come from basic observations about the pet’s appearance. This is a time-tested approach, along with names based on animal behaviors and personalities, like “Sir Barksalot,” “Dash,” and “Pounce.”

 

#5 Remember your pet will grow

Pets will physically change over time. It may sound cute to name your chocolate lab “Olive” while it’s little, round and black, but one day that dog will be an adult and the name won’t make as much sense. Light fur may darken, skinny animals may become fleshed out and big eyes may become more proportional. Hamsters, on the other hand, will remain little puffs of fur forever. Plan accordingly.

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