“I know, I know – this is a blog for dog people. No worries. We can all show a little love to the cat people.” – Blue Belle the DogBlog Canine Contributor
This guest post was contributed by Brandon Butler. Thanks Brandon for your contribution.
Preparedness is key when bringing any new pet home, especially if you’ve never owned a pet before. While cats are relatively easy to care for, understanding the basics makes life with a feline a lot easier. If you’re planning to adopt your first cat, here’s everything you need to know.
Cat Care 101: The Basics
Are Cats Really Low-Maintenance?
Cats have a reputation as a low-maintenance pet. And compared to high-energy dog breeds, that’s true. Cats don’t require long walks and can be left alone for most of the day. However, cats aren’t a no-maintenance pet. Just like dogs, cats bond with their owners and enjoy interaction. Cats can also be finicky when their living environment isn’t kept to their standards.
Most importantly, cats are a lifetime commitment. And that can be a long time: Cats live for 14 to 16 years on average, and many indoor cats live 20 or more years! In addition to the daily responsibilities, make sure you’re ready for a long-term commitment when you adopt a cat.
Litter Box Rules for Cats
One cat equals one litter box, right? Not so fast. Even with daily scooping, one litter box may not be enough. According to feline behavior expert Jackson Galaxy, the rule of thumb is one litter box per cat plus one extra. Instead of hiding litter boxes in the garage or basement, put them where your cat spends most of its time.
Feeding Your Cat a Balanced Diet
Maintaining a healthy weight is critical for cats. Just a few extra pounds can push cats into obesity, where they’re at increased risk of arthritis, hip dysplasia, and diabetes. In addition to choosing a high-quality, vet-approved food and controlling portion sizes, cat owners should pay attention to their pet’s digestive health. Digestive problems can manifest in vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and poor coat quality. While some digestive problems are caused by underlying health conditions, in many cases a cat’s digestive health can be improved with high-quality, well-balanced wet food, though it’s important to do a little research before you dive in.
Guest Blog Post by: Kaytie Elizabeth Pascale, Writer
Thinking about adopting your first dog?
Congratulations are in order—it’s an adventure and a relationship with an
animal that will provide a companionship that’s unmatched. However, making the
decision to adopt a dog is a huge life decision, and before you finalize it,
there are numerous things to consider and understand before committing to this
Before you make the decision to adopt your first dog, you need to determine a few of the basic costs, including the expenses of properly caring for a dog. One of the basic needs of any animal is food. Calculate the cost of food and research how much you’ll need to feed your dog as it gets older and bigger. Many people can overfeed their dog, which may lead to health problems in the future.
Vet bills and medical care are another expense
you need to account for. You may want to look at the option and price out pet
insurance, but make sure you budget for annual check-ups and vaccines,
potential injuries and illness, and an increase in medical care as your dog
ages and needs additional care.
In addition to the cost of basic needs, dogs
need mental stimulation to keep them happy and
prevent undesirable behavior. Be prepared to invest in toys that will keep them
mentally stimulated and engaged during the day. You may also want to think
about hiring a pet sitter to come to the house to play with them or take them
on walks during the day if you work long hours. Another option to check out
could be doggie day camp to give them the physical and mental stimulation and
outlet they need, while also promoting social interaction.
The prospect of adopting your first dog is incredibly exciting. Regardless of if you’re considering taking home an older dog, or a puppy, you’re in for an adventure. If you treat a dog well, they will be with you through thick and thin no matter what. With a new dog, there is a lot to be excited about! But there’s also a lot you need to know sooner rather than later.
First off, thank you for doing research before simply diving into dog ownership. Many people skip this part and end up becoming overwhelmed, irresponsible pet parents.
Owning a dog is a long-term commitment that comes with more responsibility than most people realize. This little animal now depends on you to be the sole provider of care, nutrition, entertainment, and love for the rest of its life. Although there’s a lot of work that goes into your potential new role as a pet parent, the advantages will far outweigh any possible drawbacks.
Here are a few basics you need to know about dog ownership.
1. Look at food costs, and how much you’ll need to feed your dog
Not all dog food is created equal, and not all dogs are grazers. In fact, many of them are gluttons. They will eat everything you give them. Many people make the easy mistake of not paying attention to how much you’re feeding your dog or just eyeballing what you feel looks right. This can lead to overfeeding or underfeeding your dog.
To guarantee that you’re feeding your pet the proper quantity each day, do a little bit of research online. You can look at things like the type of food you’re giving your dog, how old they are, how much they currently weigh, and what a healthy weight range should be. This way, you’ll be able to accurately gauge where your dog falls in terms of weight standards and feed accordingly.
2. Be ready to potty train ASAP
Although it might be tempting to get a bit lax in your potty training schedule as your new pet dog gets familiarized with your house, it is necessary that you put together a potty training regime and stick to it– particularly in the developmental phases of your dog’s relationship with you and your home.
If you have not potty trained a pet previously, you’ll want to do some research into this as well. There are plenty of techniques for making the process easier. You can also learn what warning signs to look for to indicate your dog may have to go outside. If you tackle this challenge sooner rather than later, you’ll save yourself on cleaning and headaches in the future.
3. If you’re not prepared to clean, don’t adopt a heavy shedding breed
Unless you have a hairless dog, you can expect to have a new chore on your hands, regular vacuuming sessions to help control pet hair. With some breeds, you may even need to buy a certain vacuum that doesn’t clog or get tangled as easily with large amounts of thick fur/hair. If you let your pet go on the couch, make sure you have a vacuum with upholstery attachments to help keep your couches clean.
It is also a good idea to start your dog on a regular grooming schedule to stay ahead. If you have a heavy shedder on your hands, daily brushing can help cut down on the amount of fur that ends up around your home.
Most dogs need to be bathed at a minimum, once every three months. However, many pet owners choose to wash their dogs as often as every other week, as long as a gentle shampoo is used.
4. See if your friends will help you socialize your dog
Socializing your dog early on will pay off significantly in the long run. By introducing your dog to new individuals and animals now, you substantially increase their ability to have healthy interactions with other people and dogs later.
Many pet owners choose to jump right into socializing their dog right away. However, professionals suggest developing a socializing strategy to make the procedure safer and more effective.
Dogs that are not properly socialized can be defensive and aggressive. A properly socialized dog is a happy dog.
5. Recognize there are leash laws
There are few things more enjoyable than watching your dog run around having a great time. Although it’s okay to let your pet run around a leashless dog park or in your back yard, complying with the leash laws where they are in place is very important when it comes to keeping you, your dog, and others safe.
It is a good rule of thumb to keep your dog on a leash by default unless you know the area allows dogs to run free. Even if you have a well-trained angel of a dog, you never know when they might see a squirrel and go sprinting across the street. Some things are out of your control, and keeping your dog on a leash can help prevent a slew of issues.
Now that you’ve got the basic guidelines down, you’re ready to start the search for your perfect new canine companion. Remember, adopting a dog is not a short-term endeavor. A good pet owner (under most circumstances) should be ready to commit to a dog for the rest of it’s life.
When I was contacted by this guest blogger and given some suggestions for blog post article titles, my heart was touched and I thought of our dog, Scout, who lived into her mid teens. She was such a loyal dog. What if for some reason we were not able to care for her any longer and she needed to be adopted. I would hope that some caring person would adopt our precious Scout, even though she was a senior. I agree with you, John. These wonderful older dogs deserve a loving home to enjoy their twilight years.
Guest Blogger: John Devlin
Owner – Dogsbarn.com Husband, father and avid dog lover. Currently the proud owner of George a pedigree Golden Retriever who barely leaves my side. However cute this sounds a little break from the dog hairs every now and then would be nice!
Why Rescue an Older Dog?
Is there anything cuter than puppies? Probably not, which is why they never stay at shelters long. However, while you are walking towards the puppy section at your local rescue center, spare a thought for the oldies languishing in their kennels.
Many are there through no fault of their own, perhaps their owner has passed away or can no longer care for them, maybe there is a new baby in the family or their owner has moved somewhere that doesn’t allow dogs or has developed allergies. Whatever the reason, imagine the confusion they feel having spent years in a loving home and when they should be enjoying their twilight years suddenly they find themselves desperate for a second chance.
The sad fact is; Senior dogs are often overlooked and can wait up to four times longer for a home than their younger counterparts resulting in many being euthanized. So, if you are considering adopting a dog it’s worth thinking about the benefits of adopting a golden oldie.
Fetch is a discovery natural dog treat subscription box that is launching in August. We ship 4 all natural treats right to your doorstep every month for you and your favorite pooch. For dogs, the Fetch dog subscription box is like the great happiness of jumping into a giant ball pit! Watch their eyes light up and their tails wag uncontrollably as they see the subscription box full of tasty treats arrive to the door every month.
Your Personality and the Adoptable Canine
Much like attempting to locate your future spouse or wife, finding a solid match for your K-9 partner is crucial. Consider it, will be with this lovable animal for 10-15 years, so we here at FETCH believes it makes sense that picking a pooch whose demeanor, vitality level, and identity work well with your own is a savvy move. That being said, read on to find the kind of pooch that may suit you best.
The Eccentric, Carefree, and Softly Dynamic House Inhabitant
Not searching for a pooch to trek up mountains or train for a marathon with, yet at the same time need one that is vigorous and cherishing? Consider a pug. This upbeat breed will joyfully go on strolls and to the pooch park with you, regularly mingles well with different canines, and are the best little snugglers on the planet. Since they are so social, you might need to consider getting them in sets so they will have a companion to play with when you’re away.Continue reading →