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How To Check And Clean Your Cat's Ears

An important part of keeping your cat healthly and happy is checking and cleaning their ears. Because the ears are one of the few parts that cats can not reach themselves they need a little help from a loving owner. Keeping your cats ears clean is extremely important because any unremoved dirt, debris, or wax can clog the ears and cause infections. Regular ear cleaning at home augment's your cats own natural grooming habits.

1. How to check the ears

During petting, casually check your cats ears for discharge, redness, unpleasant smell, swelling, and even lumps. Also observe your cat's behaviour, if he often scratches or paws at his ears (and sometimes even shakes his head often), then he might be feeling discomfort in the ear area.

If you notice that your cats ears are becoming painful or inflamed, visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian has the equipment to look deep into your cat's ear canal and give an accurate diagnosis. The veterinarian will determine if allergies, skin conditions, ear mites, bacteria, yeasts, and fungi are causing ear diseases. Seek early treatment, or your cat's ear condition may become too late to heal.

2. How to clean the ears

Ask your veterinarian for gentle ear cleaning solutions you can use to keep your cats ears clean. These special solutions are effective in removing excess wax, moisture, and debris from your cat's outer ear canal. Be sure to use only solutions that are specifically formulated for cats. Avoid medicated solutions, unless your veterinarian advises you to use it.

Different solutions are administered differently, but most of them require you to follow these steps.

* You typically only need a few drops of the ear solution. Squeeze the bottle and let a few drops fall on into your cat's ear canal.

* Start massaging the base of your cats ear gently. You should hear a 'squelch' while you do this. Repeat the same procedure with the other ear. After both ears have been cleaned, let your cat shake its head, this loosens the waxes.

NOTE: Stop massaging immediately if your cat feels pain, and then take your cat to the veterinarian if you haven't already done so.

* Wipe the solution by wrapping your forefinger with cotton wool, this should clean off wax and debris. Do this gently though and do not poke in too deep, or you might hurt your cats eardrum.

It is recommended not to use cotton buds, which can injure the ear canals' sensitive lining.

Proper Grooming Of Your Pet Dogs And Cats

Do you have a pet dog or cat in your house?

We treat them as part of the household; we are obliged to give proper care and attention for them to make them look good and healthy, just like what we are doing to other family members.

There are different pet parlors where you can bring your pet dogs and cats to have them groomed properly. Pet parlor owners also give some basic home pet grooming tips and advices for pet owners to follow so that they can personally attend to their pets' grooming needs.

Have your Dog the Best Look

Pet dogs are one of the most adventurous pet animals. They tend to explore— different parts of the house, backyard, and even in the streets. Because of this, they acquire different smell (a stinky one, for instance), their furs are stained, and different parasites sticks to their body and make them itchy.

Proper hygiene practices that are similar to human beings are one of the basics in dog grooming. It is important that you give your dog the best bath. Below are the tips to help you bathe your dog successfully.

• Prepare the bathtub and the bath supplies that you will use in bathing your pet dog. Make the bathroom comfortably warm so that you can encourage your dog to have it bathe. Gather all the pet bath supplies such as dog shampoo, bucket, towel, and hair dryer that will be used before bringing them into the bathroom.

• After you have gathered these bath supplies, bring your dog to the bathroom. Pet them and make them comfortable while you are waiting for the water to reach a soothing temperature ideal for them.

• Bathe them in the tub by using a bucket to splash water on their body. You can also use a hose with a sprayer on the end.

• Use medicated dog shampoos against fleas and ticks. You can also have shampoos of sweet scent and good for your dog's sensitive skin.

• Just a reminder: Never use dish soaps or your own shampoo because it will plague your dog with painful skin irritations. If you are not sure of what dog shampoos and soaps are fit for them, consult your veterinarian first.

• Once you have splashed their body with water, apply now their shampoo. Be sure that you will not let the shampoo reach their eyes. Massage their body carefully. Rinse it with water once again.

• Dry them using a towel first. Wipe their paws gently. Give extra attention to their ears, for any moisture cam lead to wax and bacteria build up that can lead to ear infections.

• Then use a hair dryer. Set the dryer to its medium setting and place it at least six inches from your dog's fur so that it will not burn. Continue drying until their furs are dry, but not completely. Then brush through their hair as you dry it to give it style.

Hydrophobic Cat Grooming Tips

It is a well-known fact that cats are really afraid of water. It is a challenge for you to lure your pet cat to take a bathe. Here are some pointers that you can consider in bathing your pet:

• Make the water warm. Cats have high body temperature than ours, so it will make them comfortable if you will bathe them in warm water. Nevertheless, it must not be too hot for them.

• Have them bathe in a flat surface. You can also place it in a rubber mat so that they will not slip.

• Splash a little amount of water on their body. Use a hose with sprayer if necessary.

• Apply a little amount of cat shampoo in their furs. Be sure it will not get into their eyes or else it will irritate them. Use shampoos specifically intended for them.

• After rinsing, dry them by using a towel and then later on a hair dryer in medium setting. Be sure you will not dry their furs completely. Use a brush to style their furs.

So there you have the basic tips in grooming your pet dogs and cats. Make them the most-groomed pets you ever had.

Flea Control With Cats and Dogs

Fleas are the most common external parasite of pets in North America. Fleas are small wingless insects that use their specialized mouth to pierce the skin and siphon blood from their host. When a flea bites, it injects a small amount of saliva into the skin to prevent the blood from coagulating. Some animals become sensitized to flea saliva and animals that are allergic can have severe itching and scratching from a single bite. Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common disease among dogs.

Current flea control products are primarily either oral or topical systemic treatments. Most of the products may be used for prevention as well as to treat existing flea problems. One group of products control fleas by interrupting their development by killing or stopping the maturation of flea larvae and eggs. These drugs are called Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs). One common oral product used is lufenuron which is found in the Program® line of products which are administered orally in tablet or liquid form. Methoprene and pyriproxifen are also IGRs that are available as sprays or collars. The FDA shares regulation of these products with the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because even the same products from other countries have not been approved by these agencies, it is illegal to purchase or import these products for use in the United States.

Currently the most popular flea control products kill adult fleas (adulticide), are applied topically and work rapidly. Popular topical products utilize fipronil which is the key ingredient in Frontline® Top Spot and imidacloprid which is in Advantage®. The most popular product on the market, Frontline Plus®, utilizes both an adulticide and an IGR. An oral adulticide that is also available is nitenpyram which is in Capstar® and begins to kill fleas in 30 minutes. Frontline Plus also kills ticks which makes it the most popular product where ongoing tick protection is required.

Consult with your veterinarian to determine which flea and tick control products are best for you. The choice of flea control will depend on your climate, environment, your pet's activities, and potential for exposure. However, with consistent use, it is almost always possible to control your flea problem. Using these products throughout the year typically will eliminate the need for regular insecticidal use. The following provide additional summary information on selected popular products.

Program from Novartis®

Program is available as a once a month pill or oral liquid suspension to be given with a full meal. Adult fleas that ingest Program's key ingredient, lufenuron, produce sterile eggs. Program does not kill adult fleas so pets remain susceptible to fleas hatching and maturing pupa already present in the environment. Therefore, some time may pass before the all fleas are killed in an environment. In order to stop the life cycle, every animal in the environment must receive lufenuron. Pets should also be sprayed with an adulticide during the first week or two of starting Program.

Advantage from Bayer®

Advantage is applied topically on both dogs and cats and seems to be very well-tolerated by sensitive cats. Advantage kills fleas within 24 hours and 100% protection can be maintained for cats for 21 days and 90% protection can be maintained for dogs for 28 days. Advantage is susceptible to washing off so dogs that are active outdoors and dogs that swim or must be bathed frequently should be re-treated frequently. Up to weekly re-treatment is allowed. The imidacloprid in Advantage does not effect ticks, but K-9Advantix, with permethrin does. K9 Advantix is only labeled for once a month K9 Advantix is ONLY FOR USE WITH DOGS and MUST NOT BE ADMINISTERED TO CATS.

Frontline Spray, Frontline Plus And Frontline Top Spot from Merial®

Frontline Spray, Frontline Plus, and Frontline Top Spot comprise the market leading Frontline flea control product line. The fipronil in Frontline products is a broad spectrum insecticide available as a spray or topical. Fipronil works by binding chemically to the pet's hair and is absorbed through the follicle by the sebaceous glands. As a spray, fipronil kills fleas at 95% for over 80 days after application on dogs and for 1 month with biweekly bathing. Frontline is labeled for puppies and kittens as young as 8 weeks (10 weeks for Top Spot) and it is not washed off by bathing. Frontline is also affective against ticks. Some cats may show minor adverse reactions with high volume use of the alcohol based spray product which should be applied no more than once a month. Frontline Plus also contains the IGR, S-methoprene which inhibits the growth of immature fleas.

Capstar from Novartis®

Capstar is an oral tablet for dogs and cats that may be administered as young as 4 weeks of age. It offers extremely rapid and complete killing of adult fleas and is safe enough that the tablets may be used whenever fleas are seen on your pet as often as once per day. Capstar may be used in combination with an IGR to kill fleas immediately to compliment the long-term control of an IGR such as Program.

Seven Habits of Highly-Effective Owners of Elderly Dogs

Man's best friend is living longer than ever. This is due to our beloved canines' increased status as family member and families becoming conscientious about providing their dogs' appropriate veterinary care. As a result, we are faced with a variety of health care issues as they age. No matter which health issue you and your elderly dog may be dealing with, there are several components of good pet care you may wish keep in mind.

•The first is to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and is not overweight. Much like humans, an overweight elderly dog will not cope as well with conditions common in older pets such as arthritis.

•The second is to provide proper nutrition for the elderly dog. Older dogs do not need the same amount of calories as a younger dog. The older dog slows down a bit and, therefore, should consume fewer calories per day. Depending upon the specific issues facing your elderly dog, you may need to add some supplements to your dog's meals. Supplements such as glucosamine can be very helpful for elderly dogs with sore joints.

•Third, be aware of changes in your dog's behavior. These may include variations in food and water intake and elimination, as well as emotional changes such as lethargy. You are the expert on your pet and know best how (s)he behaves when (s)he is feeling good. Make note of subtle events as such as walking into a room and realizing Spanky doesn't seem to hear you as well as she did; this could be the start of hearing loss. This is common for dogs, as is some diminished sight capacity. Your challenge as the dog owner is to figure out how to best accommodate your dog's reduced sensory capabilities. Do you need to change your environment to make sure your dog is safe? For the sight impaired dog, a baby gate over a stairway would prevent an accident. For the hearing impaired dog, many simple commands such as "sit," "stay," and "stop" have sign language equivalents which will be helpful for them to learn.

•Fourth, note that old dogs can and should learn new tricks! Keeping your elderly dog engaged mentally stimulates them and provides another outlet for their spirit as their physical abilities decline. As a dog owner, you are most familiar with your dog's strengths. You are able to create games and tricks which help them use their strengths and challenge them in areas where they are not as strong. For ideas, the internet is a vast resource!

•Fifth, veterinarians now recommend that elderly dogs receive checkups every six months. Keep rigorously to this schedule and you will be better able to handle any health issues which may arise. If you do suspect something is wrong with your pet, do not delay in acting. No matter what the health issue, the earlier your pet is seen by the vet, the better chance of proper diagnosis and treatment.

•Sixth, be resourceful. Be aware of not only traditional veterinary solutions for your pet, but also investigate possible holistic alternatives such as acupuncture and herbal medicine. Do make sure any professional practicing these techniques has been appropriately licensed and accredited. If you choose to combine traditional veterinary solutions and holistic solutions for treatment of your pet, make sure each veterinarian with whom you are working understands what the other is doing. Traditional medicine and holistic medicine treatments may not always complement each other. Full disclosure with each vet is very important.

•Seventh, make sure your pet as comfortable as possible. As the aging pet has become a new demographic among pet supply stores, there are more products available to help owners keep their pets comfortable. Items range from ramps for those dogs not able to use stairs to special orthopedic beds for dogs with arthritis.

Ultimately, there will come a time when your pet is no longer comfortable. It is the final responsibility of the owner to decide when your pet's quality of life has declined to a point where pet euthanasia is absolutely the right thing to do. This decision is difficult and it is the time our pets need us the most. This is not an easy decision to make, but owners should be comforted by the fact they are acting humanely and in the best interest of their pet.

3 Essential Tips To Successfully House Train Older Dogs

House training older dogs is a more delicate process than with younger dogs. If you are looking to adopt an older dog that was not previously exposed to any house training at a young age, it is going to bring along its bad habits such as chewing, excessive barking, making holes in the yard or "marking" the territory.

Furthermore, you will also experience more difficulties in house training older dogs as they tend to respond and progress much slower to most training methods and commands than younger dogs.

Here are 3 useful tips that can help you in house training older dogs successfully.

* First and foremost, a complete check-up at the vet is necessary in order to eliminate any existing health problems or complications such as urinary tract or flea infections. Older dogs may also experience some form of diarrhea if there is a sudden change from their previous dietary habits. Do not punish him for these "mistakes". Instead be patient and allow your dog a week to adapt to the changes gradually. If conditions did not improve, consult your vet.

* Always establish a routine schedule for eating and drinking for your dog. This helps you to easily monitor your dog's toilet habits and decide when to bring your pet out for a walk every time he or she finishes its meals. Most adult dogs tend to eliminate 30 - 45 minutes after eating or drinking. Learn the signs and watch out for clues of circling and sniffing the floor.

* Older dogs have shorter attention spans therefore more repetitions are needed during the house training process to reinforce the desired habits. Never use violence on them if they make a mess in the house. Scolding the dog is pointless unless you actually see it eliminating indoors. Use a firm voice command "No" and guide the dog to its designated spot. Praise or reward your dog when it relieves itself outdoors.

Therefore, house training an older dog successfully depend a lot on your consistency, discipline and perseverance. Treating the dog with patience and understanding, using the appropriate house training methods are the main ingredients to developing a well behaved adult dog with good toilet habits.

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