July 30, 2012

8 Popular Domestic House Cat Breeds

Filed under: Cat Breed — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 10:30 am

house catsLuckily for the prospective cat owner, there are plenty of domestic house cat breeds out there. So, you won’t have to settle for a breed that does not suit your taste and lifestyle.

Your lifestyle should always be considered when choosing the right cat for your home.

Types of Domestic House Cats

Maine Coon cat

The Maine Coon is a large domestic cat breed that’s admired for its friendly personality. They are perfect for families with children. Maine Coon cats are ideal for owners who are looking for low maintenance and teachable pets.

Persian cat

The Persian cat is probably one of the most popular breeds of domestic cats today. This long-haired feline is loyal, affectionate, and not to mention adorable. This breed is best suited for individuals who are patient and have lots of free time to groom it.

Abyssinian cat

This ancient domestic house cat breed is best recognized for its M-shaped mark just above its eyes. It also has an eye-catching coat: smooth, thick, and medium in length. This is not for people who want a “lap cat.”—Abyssinians are too playful and active to stay in one place.

Javanese cat

If you are a senior, this cat is great choice for you! The Javanese cat needs lots of attention to ensure its happiness, but it can still be left alone for short times. The good thing about Javanese cat is that it requires minimal grooming because it lacks a fluffy undercoat.

Ragdoll cat

The Ragdoll cat has blue eyes and a light-colored coat with darker spots on the face, ears, tails, and legs. Ragdoll cats are harmless (which makes them vulnerable when they’re outdoors), gentle, and loving. Compared to others, the Ragdoll cat doesn’t hate dogs.

British Shorthair cat

The British Shorthair cat actually took a starring role in the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery. Don’t be scared, though. In real life, British Shorthair cats love people. In fact, they’re considered “lap cats.” They also get along well with other animals.

Savannah cat

The Savannah cat is the feline counterpart of dogs when it comes to their extreme loyalty. You can even train it to fetch. It loves people, animals, and even water! If you want an intelligent feline friend, choose a Savannah cat.

Manx cat

This breed of hunter domestic cat is the ideal partner of farmers. Its hunting skills are the perfect solutions for any rodent dilemmas. You can easily identify a Manx cat by its lack of a pronounced tail.

There are many other types of domestic house cats out there. Be sure to carefully explore your options, and find just the right cat for you.

July 9, 2012

How to Stop a Dog from Digging

Filed under: Dog Behavior — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 9:00 am

Dog DiggingMany dogs just have a natural urge to burrow and dig. Others do it for any number of reasons – from wanting attention to loving the smell of fresh fertilizer. Whatever the reason your dog insists upon trashing your yard, here are some steps to take to get it to stop.

1. Pinpoint the Reason

Knowing why your dog is digging is important to figure out how to stop it. Is he digging near the fence? He could be trying to escape and find a mate. Is he digging during the hot hours of the day? He could be looking for a way to cool down. Is he a terrier or Labrador? These breeds tend to dig out of instinct.

Some dogs are searching for rodents or a place to store their beloved chew toy. Some might be bored and acting out in order to get your attention. Others just love the smell of fresh dirt.

2. Keep him Exhausted

Making sure your dog gets enough exercise means he won’t have any extra energy left to dig up your yard!

Go for a morning stroll with him, give him plenty of toys to keep him active and bring him to the dog park after work. What better excuse to get yourself into shape too? Go running with your dog!

Mental exhaustion is important too. The Kong can be a great toy to keep your dog busy, mentally stimulated and active during the day.

3. Create a Negative Association with Digging

Supervise your dog in the yard. When he starts to dig, firmly yell “NO!” as you run toward him. Be consistent and ready to spend a few hours watching him, ready to discipline as soon as the behaviour starts again.

Bury something in their favourite digging spot.

  • A balloon will pop when a claw hits it and scare the dog,
  • Chicken wire a couple of inches below ground level will startle your dog. Since dogs usually don’t like the feeling of wire or metal on their paws, this can be a great deterrent.

4. Make it Even More Unappealing

You can also mix up some of your dog’s own “lawn presents” with some soil and bury it around where he likes to dig. Once he starts digging he will smell it and immediately stop. He will not want to dig that up.

5. Remove the Reasons

Remove all of the various reasons that might be encouraging your dog to dig! If your dog is tormented by rodents and digging to find them, call the exterminator. If he is digging because he is seeking comfort from the sun, bring him inside during the hot hours of the day. If he is digging because he is seeking a mate, consider getting him neutered.

It’s only natural!

If your dog is digging because it’s instinctual for him, it may be tougher to stop the behaviour. If you’ve tried all of the techniques to control digging and have failed, you may need to accept that the behaviour is here to stay.

Section off a designated digging area. Fill it with dirt and make it more appealing to dig. Place his favourite bone in it or bury a treat for him. Reward him for digging in this special spot.

Your dog doesn’t have bad intentions when he digs up your yard. He is, in many cases, just trying to satisfy an instinct or a need. Before getting upset with him, look into why he may be digging. You may find that the solution is much easier than you’d ever imagined.

July 4, 2012

Natural Flea Control

Filed under: Fleas on Cats,Fleas on Dogs — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 6:06 pm

Natural Flea ControlWhile most of us enjoy the hot summer heat, it can mean an influx of fleas in our homes and on our beloved pets. Many of us will head to the vet’s office in vain to relieve our pooch from flea irritation. But, remember that you can use non-toxic solutions to get rid of fleas without spending a fortune.

The easiest way to find fleas on your pet is like this. Start by standing them over a white towel. Give them a good brushing, then check the towel for brown flecks that look like dirt.

If you put the “dirt” in rubbing alcohol and it turns red, it’s flea feces.

The most common store-bought flea products are Frontline or Advantage. These contain chemicals like fipronil, permethrin and imidacloprid.

According to PETA, these chemicals are not safe for pets and have caused some adverse health problems in lab tests. The chemicals are absorbed by a pet’s skin and can cause everything from a rash to vomiting to seizures.

 

 

Here is a checklist for natural flea control

  • Brush your pet daily if you don’t do so already. This can often nip the problem in the bud before it even starts.
  • You should also be giving Grover regular baths. This drowns fleas and soothes skin.
  • Launder everything. Wash your pet’s bedding in hot water. Clean carpets, curtains and blankets near where your pet sleeps. Clean your own bedding too. Keep your dog’s kennel sanitized.
  • Set flea traps. An easy and natural flea trap is as simple as placing a bowl of soapy water near your pet’s bed. Keep a light on near the bed–preferably one that gets quite warm. Fleas are attracted to the warmth and will end up drowning in the water. This won’t be enough on its own, but it’s a start.
  • One of the best non-toxic methods of controlling the flea population in your home is by sprinkling Diatomaceous Earth throughout your dog’s sleeping area and in your carpet. Place it in his carrier kennel too. You can even sprinkle it right on your dog. The powder-like substance is actually razor sharp for small insects but harmless to dogs and humans.
  • Add a bit of brewer’s yeast to your dog’s food. Rhizo Garlic Extract Flea Relief also does the trick. Fleas won’t be as attracted to him.
  • Don’t make your yard a flea haven. Dogs pick up fleas outdoors, so take an extra step to prevent a flea infestation before it starts. Pick up some nematodes from your local garden store. Put them in the shady spots close to your home. The nematodes eat flea larvae. Nematodes don’t survive in the sun, so this method is not recommended for Florida residents.

Above all else, keep your dog healthy. The best flea prevention method is to give your dog good food, plenty of exercise and regular brushings. Fleas love to feast on unhealthy animals, so it benefits both you and your dog to keep him in tip-top shape.

Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.