There’s a reason security questions often ask for your first pet’s name. Everyone will always remember their first pet – not just their name, but how they kept you company while you were sick, and always knew to come to you for treats and table scraps. Not only has it been proven that having a pet improves motor skill development in children, it increases exercise, boosts self-esteem, fosters social interactions and can even help kids excel in school. Here are our top 4 tips for raising kids with furry friends…
Cats get the bad rep for being the less affectionate of our four-legged pets, but if you’re a cat owner, you know it’s far from the truth. In fact, cats can be the most loving and loyal companions you can have, and new research is here to back it up….
In a new study conducted by Oregon State University, researchers presented 50 felines with four stimuli: human interaction, food, toy, and scent. This study was done in conjunction with dogs, but it was the behavior of the felines that peeked researcher’s interest: across the board, cats were drawn to the social interaction first, even after being deprived of all four for a few hours. It even rang true for shelter cats, too.
So why it is such common belief that cats are not very personable? “This disconnect may be due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for,” states the author of the study. We have the tendency, as pet owners, to compare our felines to canines, but maybe that’s where we’re getting it wrong – after all, they couldn’t be any more different (their ways of communicating love and affection are vastly different, too!). While it comes as no surprise that kitties do, actually, seek human contact, we love the attention this study is bringing to the media.
And just for fun, here are some wonderful photos of cats, because we couldn’t love the creatures any more than we already do.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by the young age of 3. While certainly troublesome, there’s good news, because dental disease is entirely preventable. The key is to start right away (like today). Here are 4 tips for keeping your kitty’s teeth clean.
Picture this: you’re settling in to bed after a long day. The cat is curled up at your feet and you can’t wait to catch up on some sleep. You dose off — only to be awoken in the middle of the night to loud meowing. Your cat sounds distressed and anxious as he paces about the room. You throw a pillow over your head, but your furry companion’s sounds can still be heard. Sound familiar?
This behavior, while common, can be disruptive and, we’ll admit, very annoying. Cats are nocturnal animals, which means (unfortunately) that they’re somewhat hardwired to stir come nightfall. Still, there are a few ways to make it bearable…
Today, we’ve rounded up our 8 favorite books for both dog and cat owners — from a coffee table book guests will love flipping through – to the ultimate guide on owning a cat, there’s something for everyone.
Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. This might not be the most exciting read, and we’d be crazy to tell you to read it cover to cover, but it’s a great resource to have around – especially in those moments when your dog has eaten something from the kitchen, or can’t stop biting his tail, or has a weird bump on his ear. It doesn’t replace a veterinarian visit, but it’s a great place to start for those unpredictable moments (plus, it’s less frightening than looking up a symptom on Google!).
Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. This bestselling book takes everything that you think you know about your furry pooch and knocks it on its head. If you ever wonder what your dog is thinking, or how he knows you’ve picked up dog treats even though they’re in a sealed bag, this is your book. Just warn your family members: you won’t be able to stop talking about it. This interview with the writer is fascinating.
Underwater Dogs. While not necessarily an informative book, this coffee table read is a must have for any dog lover. With a perfect 5 star rating on Amazon, it’ll bring a little bit of joy into your life every time you pick it up. Bonus: it makes a great gift, too.
How Dogs Love Us.” A great read for anyone fascinated by the unconditional love shared between owner and pet, this book delves deep into the relationships shared between humans and dogs. Without giving too much away, this Ted Talk is a great introduction by the author.
Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. The feline’s version of the veterinary handbook listed above, and just as useful.
Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat. Even the most devoted cat lovers can learn from this book, which covers all of cat parent’s “most pressing concerns.” And even though it’s packed with useful information and tips, author Pam Johnson-Bennett keeps it light, funny, and entertaining – you’ll be sad when you reach the last chapter.
The Big New Yorker Book of Cats. Because we couldn’t include a coffee table book for dogs and not cats – this one is jam packed full of illustrations, photographs, articles, poems, cartoons, and more.
Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet. As described by the Guardian: “Bradshaw’s book mixes pellets of cat lore with accounts of feline evolution, anatomy, genetics, and development from newborn kittens to adulthood, plus descriptions of cat-psychology experiments in the laboratory, many of which he has conducted himself…”
Read anything good recently about our four-legged friends? Please share in the comments!
Cats are often considered the more independent of our four-legged pets; they like to keep to themselves, they’ll spend hours in hiding, and they are often royally unimpressed by us humans. So, it may come as a surprise that cats actually suffer from separation anxiety just as much as dogs. In fact, it’s common for a kitty to become distressed when left alone, and days spent separated from their owners can be quite hard on them. Here are 5 ways to ease your furry pal’s separation anxiety…
How do you detect it? There are a few tell-tale signs. Misuse of the litter box, excessive scratching, and hair pulling are all red flags that your cat might be suffering from separation anxiety. Does your neighbor hear him crying while you’re gone? Vocalizing their distress is also quite common for felines. Luckily, there are several ways to manage your kitties anxiety, and it starts before you leave the house.
First, practice: cats that aren’t used to their owners leaving have a harder time adjusting to their absence. Plan several short errands and leave the house for 15 or 30 minutes. While it seems counter productive, the more you leave, the more your cat will begin to understand that you always return!
Keep departure cues at a miminum. Cats (and dogs) pay attention to your every move. Picking up your keys or putting on your shoes are all indications that you’re heading out. Keep your departure as brief and uncomplicated as possible, and don’t prolong a goodbye. In fact, some cat experts recommend briefly ignoring your furry feline before you leave, and once you return.
Leave them toys and distractions. If you have time, setting up a scavenger hunt will keep your furry pal occupied while you’re gone, and he may even begin to associate your absence with a fun game. Try hiding treats or his favorite toys around the house.
Consider a cat sitter for peace of mind, especially if you plan on being gone for most of the day. Our cat sitters are well-versed in all things feline, and will keep your furry pal happy and stimulated while you’re away.
If your cat’s anxiety worsens, consider a trip to the veterinarian. It may take some time (and patience), but stay hopeful!
With the colder, slower days setting in, indoor pets can start to feel a little restless – and bored. If Shadow seems less than thrilled by her toys, considering treating her to something new and exciting. Here are five great options on the market…
In the season of giving, we like to think of all the shelters that open their arms to stray and lost animals all year long, and especially of the amazing people who dedicate their time and energy to keeping them safe (let’s not forget that many of those people are volunteers!). While all animal shelters need money, there are other ways to donate as well – almost every shelter could use a helping hand when it comes to daily upkeep.
Below, we’ve rounded up items to donate to your local shelter. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’ll give you an idea of what shelters need most. We especially love no-kill shelters like Best Friends, which has several locations around the country.
Cleaning Supplies: It takes a lot for a shelter to maintain cleanliness, and they are always in need of supplies. We recommend Nature’s Miracle, paper towels, newspaper, disinfectant, hand sanitizer and soap, laundry detergent, bleach, sponges, large trash bags, and wipes.
Pet food: Shelters go through LOTS of food on a daily basis. Everything from dry cat and dog food, to canned wet food, and of course lots of treats! Most shelters will have peanut butter and canned tuna in water on hand for extra special treats, and pill pockets are always useful for administering medication. One tip: call your shelter to find out what type of food they buy in bulk.
For keeping the animals comfortable: pet beds, towels or blankets, nursing bottles (for itty bitty kittens and puppies!), and heating pads.
Everyday Supplies: Folding kennels or crates, clumping cat litter, baggies for dog waste, leashes, harnesses, collars, brushes, food bowls, flea and tick treatment, pet shampoo, and nail clippers.
Lastly, donate your time! Shelters are always, always looking for volunteers, or for a family to foster.
Think of anything else? We’d love to hear! And Happy Holidays from Pampered Pets!
Last week, we shared our 4 favorite ways to include our furry friends in all the holiday fun. This week, we’re shifting gears to the nitty gritty: how to keep them safe. Because while it’s important they’re included in the festivities, it’s even more important they stay out of harm’s way!
It’s an exciting season: the holidays are upon us! While pets are not as keen to dress up for the holiday photos as we would hope, they still love to be included in the fun – after all, they’re family! Here are four stress-free ways to include your pet in the festivities, starting with…