Animals can learn tricks that will amaze humans. Using a clicker, people can teach “pocket pets” to do the tricks.
Clicker training involves marking a desired behavior with a sound – made by pressing down on the clicker and then rewarding the animal with a favorite treat, toy, or praise. Pets learn quickly that the sound of the clicker means they’ve done something you like and that a reward is forthcoming.
Source: Pet Connection: Clicks can make your pets do tricks
Dogs are considered at their senior age after 7 years old while cats are considered seniors after 9 years old. All Creatures Animal Hospital recommends senior pets to undergo medical examination at least twice a year.
It is estimated for pets to have one physical examination every one to seven human years due to pets aging faster than humans. During their later years, pets need to have their physical examination every six to twelve months. The more a pet ages, the more they are prone to health risks such as cancer, dental diseases, and even depression.
Pet owners should immediately bring their pets to their local veterinarian if they find any irregularities in their physical appearance or behavior.
Source: Is your dog or cat a senior?
According to the data provided by the American Pets Products Association, 83.3 million own dogs and 95.6 million own cats. People who own animals are reported to have been living happier lives. This and other positive effects can also be found in animal-assisted therapy for people diagnosed with autism.
Some animals who contribute for the cause are alpacas, horses, dolphins, and dogs. Autism programs that are assisted by animals have certain elements in common. Each program assists children with autism to learn to trust, de-stress, decrease inappropriate behavior, care for other living things, step out of their comfort zone, and most importantly to communicate.
There are some studies do not have clear evidence as to how these programs work their magic, but there are noticeable improvements for children with autism undergoing such programs.
Source: Autism and Animal-Assisted Therapy
The effects of harsh winds, snow, and freezing temperatures are an important reminder that cats and dogs feel them as much as we humans do. There are some tips that the ASPCA or The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to keep pets safe and sound during harsh, cold weathers.
First of all, cat owners should keep their feline friends indoors or else they may become lost in the snow (or worse, stolen). Cats can also sleep under the hood of vehicles since it can be warmer; cat owners should check the hood of their automobiles before starting up the engine to prevent any injuries for their cat.
When walking dogs, it is important to never let go of their leash. If the weather outside is too cold for comfort, make sure pet K9s will only go outside to relieve themselves.
Lastly, never leave your pets inside vehicles as it can act as a refrigerator.
Source: Dearborn Animal Shelter Offers Cold Weather Tips for Pets
The New Year is not just for us humans but also for our loving cats and dogs as well, as explained by Kim Campbell Thornton and Dr. Marty Becker from the Universal Uclick. These two people have stated some ideas on how to let your pooch or kitty enjoy the coming year.
First of all, the first step to a happy and healthy cat and/or dog is to keep their pearly whites clean and shiny. While pet owners are at it, it is also important to watch what their pets eat to avoid unhealthy lifestyles. If a pet is in need of a diet, pet owners need to watch the quantities of food they give to their pets.
It is also wise to have an exercise plan; who knows, both pet owner and pet may even enjoy it. Lastly, pet owners should always devote time for their furry friends.
Source: Pet Connection: Help your pet have a happy 2014
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes; even our furry four-legged friends can become heroes. For instance, when young Maya Delarosa and her sister heard hissing noises, they knew that a snake was nearby. Their 10-pound Chihuahua poodle mix then leapt into action to save its owners but was bitten in the eyelid in the process.
There are also other stories like when a guide dog in training saved two people from an out-of-control car in San Rafael, California. There is also a dog in South Carolina that saved a two-year old when the child went missing for four hours.
Another story comes from Connecticut when Duke the dog alerts his family that their child is not breathing. The child was then brought to paramedics who later revived the girl.
There are other stories of heroism that came from our furry four-legged friends.
Sherry Woodard, an animal consultant at the Best Friends Animal Society, shares some insights on how aspiring pet owners can choose for the right type of cat, or dog, for their household.
First, the animal consultant advises to bring the whole family when choosing for a pet. It is also important to do a bit of research prior to purchasing a pet. Most animal shelters post information and photos about their pets online.
After narrowing down options, interested families should set an appointment with the animal shelter to get a first-hand experience of taking care of their pet. Fostering can also be an option for people who want to own a cat or a dog.
For people who want to have dogs, they should know that puppies do not usually come with good manners. Families who have children should also get the young-ones involved in picking out a pet to teach them a good sense of responsibility.
Aspiring dog or cat owners should know that animal shelters usually have cheaper adoption prices as compared to pet stores.
Source: 10 tips on adopting the right cat or dog
Veterans gather at Menlo Park, California for VA Palo Alto Men’s Trauma Recovery Program. The program grants war veterans recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other stress related illnesses that these soldiers received from doing active duty.
When Sandro Navarro went to Menlo Park, Calif., a black Labrador retriever by the name of Jason knew that something was wrong. The dog would not stop licking the veteran’s face until a smile was formed. The man commented that the dog is perhaps telling him that he will make the veteran smile by doing something goofy.
Many veterans who participate in the program say that saying goodbye to their newfound furry four-legged friends is the hardest part of the treatment process.
Source: Dogs ease veterans’ trauma at VA center
Like humans, our pets can pack in the pounds especially during the holiday season. ChristieLyn Diller, director of marketing and communications for the Washington Humane Society (WHS), states that fat cats and overweight dogs rarely get the second glance in local animal shelters. One reason for their obesity is due to their past or present owners who would share Thanksgiving food with their furry family members.
The WHS states that pets who eat outside of their natural diet have a higher risk of acquiring obesity and other health problems. If an owner has an overweight pet, then the animal should be fed with the amount that is equal to its ideal weight.
The key to a healthy pet is balanced diet and daily exercise. To shed off the extra pounds, pets can be given treats but they have to work for it first.
Source: Keep your pet from gaining pounds during the holidays
Pets need constant care from their owners to avoid potential risks. There are many ways to take great care of your pets as what Cristiano von Simson, DVM, MBA, director of Veterinary Technical Services, Bayer HealthCare, Animal Health Division, reports.
According to the doctor, you should avoid letting your pet eat table scraps as it might cause digestive problems later on. It is also important to keep your pet clean at all times to avoid potential pest outbreaks.
Pets, especially dogs, also need to keep the pads on their feet protected by giving them appropriate footwear. Giving your pet lots of water to drink is also important. Lastly, a pet owner should not forget to take their pets on annual check-ups to the vet.
Our pets need us as much as we need them.
Source: Five simple steps to being a great pet owner