Pet Care

Ideas to Help Cure Your Dogs Biting Habits

Appropriately named man's best friend our dogs bring their owners loyalty, companionship & unconditional love. It can be a headache for us owners, with dogs that have a tendency to bite. Canine's that bite can be a safety problem for people & other dogs, as well as exposing their owners to lawsuit liabilities. With some proper training & rehabilitation, the good news is that biting habits can in most cases, be cured.

Possessiveness

The protection of territory & property is often a reason why dogs bite. Dogs can snap when they feel they are being threatened in some way, such as they think that their food, or toys are at risk of being taken. Some early training can help to reduce this behavior. Teach your canine to wait while you put his food before him. Train him to either sit or lie down, then remove the food bowl & put it back again.  On occasions approach the bowl while he is eating & place treats inside. This method will help your dog to understand, he doesn't need to feel threatened when you approach his food bowl. 

Socialization

Dogs who are afraid or unsure of their surroundings can commonly project that fear by reacting with biting. This fear is usually directed at strangers, visitors or neighbours. By exposing your dog to different people, animals & situations at an early age, it will help to significantly reduce their anxiety. As an example, make a trip to the vet clinic with your canine to meet the vet & get a feel for the place. Ask visitors to give your pooch some treats. This way, the dog learns that strangers are not an enemy or a reason to feel negative.

Proper Training

It's important that behavioural training starts as soon as your canine is adopted. Join a local dog training class, or do some research of good training practices at home. Set boundaries on appropriate behaviour. Never teach your dog to chase people or show aggression towards others, even when playing. Dog's don't understand the difference between playing & real-life situations. Seek professional assistance from veterinarians, qualified dog trainers & animal behaviourists, if your canine's biting habits don't improve. 

Spaying And Neutering

Spaying or neutering a dog will reduce aggressive tendencies towards humans. A spayed or neutered dog is less likely to bite. This  procedure will also minimize a canine's desire to roam & create fights with other dogs.  Consult your vet about the best age or time to spay or neuter your pet.

Spring Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe While Gardening

With the warm sunshine & temperatures increasing, it is time to get your hands dirty in the garden. Did you know that some flowers & plants & mulch can be toxic to your pets & make them feel sick when ingested? Here are some tips to help make your spring garden as safe as possible for your pets this year:

  1. Read Labels.
    Lots of pesticides have chemicals that can be harmful to your fur babies if ingested. While in most cases, this may cause some minor stomach upsets, it pays to be careful. Before you purchase, read the packaging details on possible irritants & usage around pets.
  2. Consider Going Organic.
    Organic planting is not only good for you, but for the environment too. While composting is an excellent addition to the garden's soil, be aware of its contents. As an example: certain fruits & vegies, coffee grounds & moldy food can be harmful to your pets. To be on the safe side, keep these types of items out of your compost mix.
  3. Research For Non-Toxic Flowers & Plants.
    Before planting each spring, click on this website link which provides information on non/toxic plants & flowers for both cats & dogs.
  4. Be Mindful Of The Type Of Mulch To Use.
    Mulch is another aspect of your garden you need to be extra careful with. As an example: cocoa mulch, if ingested by pets, can cause seizures & tremors. While it's sweet smell can be attractive to your pets, it can cause serious problems when consumed. Compost like woodchips & straw are much better choices as they are less toxic.
  5. Build A Fence.
    As dogs are curious creatures & may try to dig up your flower bed to sample any goodies, a fence will keep your dog away from your garden. If a fence is not an option, try to plant away from their reach. Place flowers & plants that might seem attractive to your curious pup in flower boxes or on high plant stands.

 

Health Benefits Of Grooming Your Cat

We know that cats groom themselves regularly, but there is only so much that your feline can do to help keep themselves healthy. The rest is up to us humans.

Long haired cats usually need daily grooming. As the coats of long haired cats mat & tangle easily, frequent grooming is necessary.
Even if your cat is short haired cat, regular grooming is also needed to help maintain good health. Brushing will cut down on shedding & the amount of hair being ingested with self grooming.
Make grooming part of your feline's routine. Most cats get used to grooming & enjoy it.

Benefits Of Grooming

  1. Brushing distributes the natural oils that helps to maintain skin & coat health.
  2. Frequent brushing helps prevent tangles, before they develop in to mats.
  3. Grooming allows you to check for any parasites such as ticks or fleas.
  4. Quality time spent with your cat deepens the bond between you.
  5. Grooming not only stimulates circulation & improves muscle tone, but reduces hairballs in the stomach by removing loose hairs. The more you brush, the less hair your cat will swallow.
  6. When grooming, it's the perfect opportunity to examine your cats physical condition & check for any skin abnormalities or ear problems.
  7. Frequent grooming wil also help desensitize your feline to being handled. This can be helpful when your cat visits the vet, or interacts with other people.

 

Safety Tips for Travelling Pets

Travelling with Dogs

  1. Put your canine into a Petxcite harness & attach with a dog seatbelt restrainer, to prevent them from moving around freely.
  2. Pack a bag of goodies and a portable water bowl on a road trip. Take your Petxcite chew toys along for the ride too.
  3. Let your dog out for a run around or a good stretch & for a toilet break.
  4. Try to keep the car cool by having the window partially down & to let in some fresh air. Air conditioning is an effective way to regulate the car temperature too.
  5. To avoid your pup from feeling car sick during the ride, feed them a few hours prior to setting off. See your vet for appropriate remedies if your dog is prone to car sickness.

Travelling with Cats

  1. Travel with your cat in a carrier at all times, as a car is not the place for your feline to be roaming about. Place some comfy bedding, treats & toys to help make their carrier a happy & safe place.
  2. Never let your cat outside for a break. Make sure they have gone to the toilet prior to leaving.
  3. Ensure that the carrier is secure and well fastened to help prevent your cat from getting car sick.
  4. Avoid leaving your feline in the hot car, so make your breaks short.

Please email us to share any other helpful pet travel hints with the Petxcite Team.

Dogs In Hot Cars

With the summer months upon us and the mercury rising every day, temperatures are set to get hotter. It’s hot enough for those of us on two legs. Imagine what having a fur coat on, in this heat feels like, for our 4 legged buddies? Leaving your fur babies in a car, can be extremely dangerous as our dogs can suffer from heat stroke, in as little as 15 minutes. The temperature can rise from 25 degrees to 43 degrees celsius in just TEN MINUTES. You would never put your dog in an oven, so please don’t leave them in cars.

Keeping Our Furry Friends Cool

Other than ensuring our fur babies have fresh clean water & shade here are a couple of extra tips to keeping them cool. How about ice cubes in water bowls? My dog Fibi loves bobbing for ice in her water bowl – NOT only does it provide mentally stimulation, but the ice acts as a cooling agent  and encourages her to drink. I also make ice cubes or ice bones, as I like to call them, which I give to Fibi to chew. There is no mess & it aids hydration.

You can soak a towel in water, wring it out and lay it flat for your dog to lie on. Sometimes it takes a little encouragement, but when they get the hang of it, it’s a sure way to cool them down!

Staying Hydrated

As you know our canine buddies don’t sweat like humans, but rather they pant & sweat via their paws, so keeping our dogs hydrated, is a huge part of keeping them healthy.

When walking your dog always remember to take water with you. A quick stop and refuel in the shade will keep you both hydrated. The best times to walk your dog is early in the morning or later at night. If possible try to avoid hot pavements. The side walk gets hot during the day and humans have shoes. Imagine how hot the pavement is, on dogs pads?

Having Fun & Keeping Cool

With making sure our fur children are cool & hydrated, we can’t forget to have some summer fun with them. A sprinkler is a great way to keep yourself & your dog cool. Fibi loves chasing the jets of water & at the same time she also gets a good cool down while having fun. A doggy paddling pool for a quick dip is also another great idea. Find a dog friendly beach where your dog can socialise, swim & have a good run around.

Soldiers Bay in Birkenhead & St Leonard’s in Takapuna are excellent off leash dog beaches. Check your local council website for more Dog Parks or off leash Dog exercise areas.

The Sun

Although our Doggie friends are covered mostly by fur some dogs have pink skin exposed to our harsh sun everyday.  Like humans, over exposure can lead to health issues.  Keep an eye out for Doggie Sunscreen. It is  a worthwhile investment to help prevent your furry friends from suffering the ill effects of the sun.