Indoor Cats

If you like indoor pets, chances are that you will be considering a kitty. Cats are usually associated with being able to stay indoors, and I would consider that true. Cats can get the exercise they need, stay away from danger,  and keep their natural instincts in check inside.

Cats need their exercise. Most cats enjoy companionship and get along well with other cats, and sometimes dogs! They enjoy playing with their companions too, and that can help fill their need for exercise. Their owners can also help, with things like laser toys and kitty fishing poles. Spending time playing with them helps them get more exercise, so they do not need to go outside as much.

When let outside, cats hunt birds. They are carnivores, and it’s their instinct. Cats being let outside by their owners actually can cause a major decline in bird population, and native birds, who have other predators in the area, cannot handle the extra hunters as well as their non-native counterparts. One cat might not seem like that much, but in the big picture, they have a huge impact. Cats that are let outside are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of birds a year, and birds only make up 20% of a cat’s prey(1). Cats can be very dangerous to the wild bird population of your area.

Cats also face many dangers when being let outside. First, they are in danger of catching a disease or parasite that was transmitted by the many feral cats wandering the streets. They can also get into fights with those feral cats, and could be injured or even killed. Also, despite what many people think, cats face other predators that are higher up on the food chain. Loose dogs, coyotes, raccoons, foxes, and maybe even alligators, depending on the area, are just some of the animals that endanger your cat. Another danger they face is climbing trees. Cats are known for climbing trees and not being able to get down. They could be up there for days, and not be found. Cats that aren’t found end up falling because they get dehydrated. Their falls can result in deadly injuries. Yet another danger is that cats can be poisoned by the toxins meant for rodents or sometimes not even for animals. They ingest these for the pleasant taste, but it could have serious health consequences for your cat.

As you can see, the outdoors is a dangerous place for your cat, and those that share it with your cat. Keeping your cat indoors can keep them from harm, and your cat will thank you for that.

Thank you for reading! I hope to post every two weeks starting from now, and I hope that you all will keep reading my blog

My Sources:

http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/caring-for-your-pet/indoor-cats-vs-outdoor-cats.html

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Report Animal Cruelty

While 911 is a helpline for humans, did you know that you can also use it as a helpline for animal abuse? You can, an you should. Here are some things that you should know:


Indicators of Animal Cruelty:

  1. Open wounds that have no signs of treatment
    1. If you see this you should always tell the owner first, it could be a misunderstanding and the owner couldn’t notice it
    2. But if they are big wounds that are impossible to miss, try finding other indicators
  2. Harmful objects on or in the animal’s fur
  3. Obvious difference in the health of the animal (illness that hasn’t been treated)
    1. Discharge from the nose or eyes
    2. Rashes
    3. Bumpy skin
    4. Missing hair
  4. Neglect of grooming
    1. Matted hair
    2. Overgrown nails
  5. Extreme aggression or timid attitude

 

When reporting:

  1. Report any worsening indicators
  2. Ask what will be done to help the animal

 

Sources:

https://www.paws.org/get-involved/animal-cruelty/

 

 

Dog Aggression

Dogs are very complex creatures, wolves tamed by humans thousands of years ago. Aggression is one of the more dangerous and harder to understand nature of dogs. A little territorial behavior from a dog is natural, but knowing how to identify a dog’s types of aggression can help keep you and the dog save and happy.

There are three types of aggression, fear-induced aggression, protective aggression, and redirected aggression. A dog can also have an individual type of aggression. In any case however, you should ask an expert for help, don’t try to fix the problem yourself.

Fear-Induced Aggression

Fear-induced aggression is defined as “A defensive reaction which occurs when a dog fears that he/she is in danger of being harmed.” This means that in the dog’s perception of the situation, he/she could be harmed by the action that immediately follows your current one. If you are raising your arm to throw a ball your dog might perceive that as an arm raising to hit him/her. If your dog reacts badly to one of your actions, it might be because your dog has reason to believe the action that follows could potentially harm them.

Protective, Territorial, or Possessive Aggression

These three types of aggression are very closely related. Protective aggression occurs when the dog believes his ‘pack’, most likely you and your family, are in danger. The dog might feel that he/she has to move to protect his/her pack, resulting in violence on the dog’s part. Territorial aggression occurs when the dog is allowed to regularly scent-mark (urinate) in particular places, most obviously your backyard or while on walks around the neighborhood. Territorial actions could be as simple as barking at the mailman, or as serious are jumping on house guests. This type of aggression can be strongly ingrained in your dog. Possessive aggression might happen when a dog protects its favorite toys, food bowl, or objects in your backyard. Dogs can become very defensive of things that wouldn’t really matter to you, but remember, aggression comes from perception.

Redirected Aggression

Redirected aggression is a difficult type of aggression to identify because behavior might be caused by any number of other things, depending on the dog’s environment. This kind of aggression is caused by the dog being unable to act upon another kind of aggression that he/she feels. A dog unable to chase another dog off their territory might turn and instead become aggressive to a family member or a dog within reach. I think that it most relates to human frustration, since we tend to be snappish toward our friends and family members when something else, maybe work or academics, is responsible for frustrating us.

Dog aggression can be tricky to identify and deal with, but when a dog is being aggressive consistently, and you cannot identify the reason, always find an expert to help before the aggressive behavior escalates to violence. Nobody wants to be hurt by their dog, and dogs certainly don’t need to be made to feel aggressive toward humans or other dogs. Do your dog a favor and help them feel comfortable in their environment.

Source: Dog Aggression from Shelter Animal Cruelty

Disease Prevention (Dog Parks)

You can often tell if a shelter is good if it provides all animals with proper vaccinations, but did you know that diseases can come in everyday places that your pet ventures?


Have you ever brought your dog to a dog park? If you have, you probably have seen how some dogs are the opposite of friendly. If your dog has gotten into a dog fight, here are some things you should know:

  1. Always bring your dogs medical records.
  2. Ask for the other dogs’ shot records to make sure that the dog is fully vaccinated.
  3. Check your dog for wounds.
    1. If there are wounds, bring your dog to the veterinarian.

If you follow these steps, you can make sure that your dog is safe. The last thing that you want is for your dog to be infected by a disease.

 

Sources:

Podcast:

AVMA Animal Tracks (Dog Park Safety)

Picture Sources:

http://ocmomblog.com/guide-to-the-laguna-beach-dog-park/

The Mountaintop School for Dogs

If you are looking for a great read on animal shelters and helping abused animals, I suggest The Mountaintop School for Dogs and other second chances by Ellen Cooney. While it is fictional, it is more realistic than one would suspect. I truly enjoyed this novel. It was very descriptive, and it constantly gave you a sense of what was happening.

My Summary:

A 24 year old girl named Evie leaves her hometown to become a dog trainer helping abused dogs. Meeting the dogs and working with them for the first time helps her learn more about herself and how animal abuse can have a bigger negative impact on animals than she would imagine.

Notes for Parents:

There is a small amount of profanity.

Novel:

The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances by Ellen Cooney

Picture Source:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mountaintop-school-for-dogs-and-other-second-chances-ellen-cooney/1116226375?ean=9780544483934

Make Sure Your Dogs are Happy

Earlier we posted one of these for cats, but we soon realized that dog owners might need one too. Especially if you are looking to adopt a dog. If you have dogs (or are thinking of getting one), here’s one for you!


Dogs are generally happy animals, but even so, they can get stressed easily. Training, no doubt is a really hard, confusing, and important task for you and your dogs, but even so a more important task is to make sure that you are treating your dogs correctly. Here are some tips:

  1. When they are puppies, it is important to train them to be able to be away from you. But take it at moderation. Once your dogs are potty-trained, have them come upstairs and stay with you and your family while you eat supper(or dinner)/lunch/breakfast.
    1. If you don’t want them running around, tie their leash to a leg of the table AS LOW AS POSSIBLE! This is important! By tying the leash to high the dog can choke.
  2. DO NOT LET THEM EAT CHOCOLATE!! I know that people say this all the time, but SERIOUSLY!! If you give you dog chocolate your dog may die due to ingestion and/or poisoning
  3. A good way to potty train and/or walk a dog is to have it do it’s “business” in a certain place. Wherever your dog goes when you first take ownership of it, you should go to that place every time you take your dog on a walk, it will feel more comfortable going to the bathroom this way
  4. You want to stay away from dog foods that contain:
    1. meat by-products
    2. meat meal
    3. wheat
    4. corn
    5. artificial preservatives
    6. sugars
    7. additives
  5. Avoid any of the following foods:
    1. Chocolate
    2. onions
    3. too much garlic
    4. greasy foods
    5. cooked bones

 

 

Sources:

The Puppy Whisperer (A Compassionate, Nonviolent Guide to Early Training and Care by Paul Owens and Terence Cranendonk

Pictures:

http://s.s-bol.com/imgbase0/imagebase3/large/FC/9/1/3/4/1001004005624319.jpg

 

Make Sure Your Cats are Happy

To prevent your cats from being stressed, make sure that they get a necessary amount of their time outside and/or being active. Many shelters forget this need for cats and leave them in cages. Cats need to be active and happy so that they feel content and are able to function properly.

If it’s cold outside, or your cat is an indoor cat, here are some tips that you can try:

  1. As weird as it may sound, walking your cat on a leash can help them get the necessary exercise that they need. Make sure to start leash-training them when they are younger
  2. Buy a kitty condo (also known as cat trees). These cool contraptions help cats get out energy and also relax
  3. Play with your cat. If you need to get some cat toys and play with your cats. You bond with them and they get exercise
  4. CLEAN THE LITTER BOX

If you need more ideas please click on the link here: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/cat_happy_indoors.html

Used sources: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/cat_happy_indoors.html

Picture Sources:

http://www.pet360.com/Content/Images/Cms/Articles/Happy_Cat_Smiling.jpg