Author: Minnie Faith

Reasons why we Should not Declaw Cats

Most people believe that declawing cats is harmless. They think that it is a ‘quick fix’ to unwanted scratches. What they don’t know is declawing can make cats not want to use their litter box or are more likely to bite. Also, what they do not know is that when you declaw cats, it can bring about lasting problems for your cat.

Many countries have banned cat declawing unless it is necessary for medical reasons like removal of cancerous nail tumors. People with immunodeficiency or bleeding disorders may be advised that their health may be protected when they declaw their cats.

However, health specialists do not advice declawing on the dangers of declawing cats. The risk from scratches is not as fatal as that from bites or fleas carried around b their cats.

Is declawing a cat painful?

 

Too often, many people think that to declaw cats is to simply remove a cat’s nail -Just as trimming your fingernails. Sadly, that is not the truth. Declawing involves amputation of the last bone of the toe. If the procedure was to be performed on a human, it would be like cutting the last knuckle of each finger.

The procedure has no medical benefit to your cat. You should train your cat to use their claws in a manner that pleases everyone in your household. When you declaw cats, they feel pain in the paw; they are susceptible to infections, increased chances of lameness, and back pain.

Removing your cat’s claws changes the way their feet meets the ground, and causes similar pain to wearing uncomfortable shoes. Claws that are not properly removed can re-grow and cause nerve damage and bone spurs.

How long Does it Take for cat’s Paws to Heal after declawing?

The cat declaw healing process can be easy or slightly difficult depending on the age and the overall health of the cat. The recovery process may be smooth or take quite a while, and this depends on the cat. The average healing time takes two to six weeks on average.

After the procedure, it is advised to confine your cat in one area and replace their litter box with shredded newspaper to avoid further injury and infection.

It usually takes time for the cat to gain full energy after the declawing process. Some cats can walk the following day after the surgery while others take longer. If there are no complications, your cat will heal in two to three weeks.

But why should you put your cat under this? I have had stories of people regretting to have declawed their cats claiming it’s cruel and makes the cat even more aggressive.

Declaw Cats Considerations

 

Before agreeing to declaw your cat, you should research for proper scratching behaviors to help their cat to stop being destructive. Scratching in cats is normal and uses this behavior to mark their territory. If your cat has destructive scratching behavior, you should research for alternatives other than declawing them.

The procedure should be performed only on medical reasons and not for cosmetic reasons. Declawing will cause extreme pain a few days after surgery, and this will cause pain when the cat is walking, running, and jumping.

If you feel declawing your cat is necessary, it is best if it is performed when your cat is still young since kittens tend to recover faster than older cats.

Complications associated with declawing your cat include but are not limited to;

  • Inflammation and infection
  • Severe pain
  • Nerve paralysis
  • Regrowth of the claw brought by improper claw removal
  • Anesthetic death
What are alternatives to declawing a cat?

 

Declawing your cat is a cruel act and always considers it when it is the last option. Did you know that you can train your cat from not scratching and destroying your household? Yes indeed, cats too can be trained just like dogs. It is not as hard as it sounds; here are tips you can use to train your cat.

If you do not want your cat to damage your home with unwanted scratches, you can try out the below tips.

  • Keep your cat’s claws trimmed to help them not scratch your belongings.
  • Have stable scratching posts and boards in your home. You can use different materials on the posts and board. You can also use toys or catnip to entice your cat to use the boards.
  • Position the board or post near your cat’s sleeping spot, or near the furniture they like to scratch.
  • Always rewards your cat with treats every time they use the post or board.
  • Never hit your cat if they scratch your sofa. Just say ‘NO’ and relocate the cat to the appropriate scratching post, and reward them when they use it.
  • Use special tape on your seats and furniture to deter your cat from scratching them.
Do Cats personalities change after declawing?

Just take a moment and look through a cat’s world. Removing him from his safe environment and taking him to the vet where he gets poked with a needle, and wakes up with throbbing pain in his paws.

For the next few weeks, his feet are sore and unable to walk properly or use his paws. He may start to associate the pain he feels while using his litter box to the litter box itself. This will make him fear using the litter box.

The behavior of a cat changes after you declaw them. They may start biting and urinating outside the litter box. Also, they are likely not to trust how you handle them, and are prone to elimination disorder.

Our toes are important since they help us maintain our balance. It is not different for cats! Because of the impaired balance, declawed cats learn how to walk again, just as you would after losing your toes. Then, why should you subject this to your cat? If it is not medical wise, please never declaw your cat. It is the cruelest thing you could ever do to them!

How to Make a Pet First Aid Kit

A pet first aid kit is not only important in the event of a natural disaster, but also important when you are away from the comfort of your home. Just like you have your first aid kit at home; it is equally important to have a pet first aid kit. Don’t be caught off guard when an accident happens when it is least expected.

Sometimes, an accident may happen when camping, having your road trip across the country, or when a natural disaster strikes. A pet first aid kit is the first step of being ready in the occurrence of an accident. With a little education, pet parents can perform on the spot first aid before getting help from a vet.

What should be included in a pet first aid kit?

If you care about your pet’s health, a pet first aid kit is a must.  The kit should be in a durable and waterproof container that is easy to grab in case of an emergency. Fit everything in one container to help you carry everything you need without forgetting anything.

We have many pre-made tools, but building your own is the better option since you will not forget anything important. If you do not have the time to build one, you can buy a pre-made one and add whatever is missing.

Your pet aid kit should have information, equipment, medication, and nutrition. Keep in mind that anything that works for humans will not work on your pet. NEVER give your pet human drugs or prescriptions without checking with your vet.

What’s in a pet first aid kit?

It is essential to know what should be in your pet’s first aid kit and what exactly it does. Here are things that should always be included in your first aid kit.

    1.Information

A pet’s first aid manual– In an occurrence of an accident, it is easy to panic and get a little confused. Having a detailed manual to a familiar or unfamiliar ailment in your hand will help you face the situation boldly and confidently. Most guides have step by step instructions on how to use most items in the kit.

Emergency Contact Information-Your first aid kit should always have your vet’s contact information as well as directions to the clinic.

   2.Equipment

Tick remover tool – You should remove the tick on your animal as soon as you see it. Dogs too get Lyme disease. With specialized tweezers, you can remove the whole tick, including the head that breaks and stays in if not removed properly.

Guaze (Pad and Rolls) –   Guaze in a pet first aid kit is used to cover cuts to stop bleeding.
Muzzle
– When a dog is hurt or injured; they can show their real animal instincts. A muzzle is worn on the hands to prevent the dog from biting you when you are dressing their injury.

Non-stick Bandages – When covering wounds or wrapping sprained limbs, it is advisable to use non-stick bandages that will not stick on their fur.

Disinfectant – It is advisable to have non-sting disinfectant like betadine. However, you are not recommended to rub alcohol on open wounds.

Digital Thermometer – A digital thermometer will help to take the dog’s temperature. Human thermometers cannot be used since they don’t have a temperature scale.

Dog Boots – They are used to protect your dog’s foot in case of an injury

Medical Stapler– It is used to close large open wounds quickly and cleanly.

   3.Medication

Wound Spray –Wound spray is perfect for treating burns, wounds, and other irritations.

Antihistamine – Dogs too have allergies that come from bug bites, stings, foods, or even certain plants. Just like humans, they can take an antihistamine to reduce itching and swelling. The dosage depends on the dog’s size and usually makes them drowsy.

Hydrogen Peroxide – It can be used to induce vomiting in case of accidental poisoning. Always talk to your vet before inducing vomiting because not all circumstances are safe for your pet.

Skin and Paw Balm – This should be applied on cracked paws which are quite painful. It helps to heal minor rashes scrapes cuts and scrapes.

Activated Charcoal – It is used to absorb the ingested poison.

Pain Killers – They are essential in reducing the levels of pain. Most importantly, do not use over the counter medicine for your pet. Always consult your vet to prescribe the best for your dog to reduce chances of bleeding ulcers, kidney damage, or even death.

Eyewash – This will help to flash out any dirt, insects, or foreign objects in your pet’s eyes. It offers relief from the burning and stinging sensation caused by the foreign object.

   4.Nutrition

Electrolyte Replacement – Offering water to your pet is not the fastest way to help your pet recover from dehydration and exhaustion. It is not advisable to give human electrolyte since they have too much sugar.

Collapsible Bowl – This will help you serve food and water.

Dogs and Emergency Situations

Dogs do not speak and therefore, takes longer to diagnose a health issue. It advised to immediately receive your dog to the vet when you notice anything out of the normal.

To provide your vet with accurate information, here are some of the three pet emergencies.

 1.Ingestion Issues

I know you probably know that not all foods fit for human consumption are safe for your fur friend. Have you heard about how chocolate is bad for your dog and can kill your cat too? The theobromine in it makes the chocolate dangerous.

You should not also give your dog food that has artificial sweeteners, raisins, grapes, and nuts. You should never give your cat raw potatoes, raw tomatoes, or vegetables like onions since they are deadly to felines.

Also, your pet can accidentally ingest toxins like insecticides, rat poison, or even household cleaners. This is why you need always to have your pet first aid kit if you care about your pet’s health.

   2.Trauma

Your dog might get hit by a car or attacked by other dogs, and this is one of the reasons to make it into a pet’s emergency room. A blunt force trauma may not seem severe because of lack of bleeding, but you need to take your dog for a check-up for any internal injuries and bleeding.

Cuts, bites, or scrapes may cause tissue damage that makes your pet susceptible to infections.

   3.Respiratory Distress

Respiratory distress may be brought by viral or bacterial infections, allergic reactions to insect bites, reaction to the medicine, heart failure, or even chocking from food substances. Take your pet immediately to a vet when you notice heavy breathing to evaluate immediately.

Is your dog in need of emergency care?

Your dog may need immediate medical attention after severe trauma caused by an accident or a fall. You should not take any moment for granted, especially after choking, heatstroke, insect bite or sting, poisoning or any other life-threatening situation. Here are some emergency signs you should look for.

  • Pale gums
  • Raid and heavy breathing
  • Weak or a fast pulse
  • Change in body temperature –High or to low
  • Difficulty in standing
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Heavy bleeding

Injured pets are severely aggressive, and you should first protect yourself from injury. Approach your dog calmly and address them by their name. If they are aggressive, call for help. If they are passive, gently place them on a stretcher.

When you are comfortable and safe transporting your pet, take them to an emergency pet care facility. You can call the facility so that they can expect you before your arrival.

Your pet’s health is important, and you should be able to attend to emergencies right after they occur. This is why having a pet first aid kit is essential to offer first aid before consulting your vet. Always make sure to check expiry dates of any medicine in your kit before giving them. Replace medicine that expires in three month. And, always keep your pet first aid kit out of reach of children.

 

 

 

Dog Anxiety: What dog Owners Need to Know about an anxious dog

In the real sense, a dog should never have anything to worry about.  With humans who are dedicated to feed and take care of them, anxiety should be the last thing they should experience. We always believe anxiety is only experienced by humans where they have to worry about relationships, careers, and daily stress.

Believe it or not, dogs too become anxious. Even though they do not have to worry about paying bills or achieving specific goals in life, they can also experience some nervousness that greatly affects their behavior.

It is, therefore, important for dog owners to understand how anxiety affects their dogs because it can cause several problems for them and their dogs. A dog that is suffering from anxiety may have feeding problems, damaging the house when left home alone or even pick a fight with other dogs.

I am so certain no dog owner would want to deal with such behavioral issues. Therefore, it is essential to know the cause and how to prevent it exactly.

What causes dog anxiety?

Any behavioral change in your pet may be due to anxiety. Fear or old age-related conditions may cause it. For example, a dog can be anxious due to fear of unpleasant and unfamiliar location like a new home.

Separation anxiety is another major trigger of anxiety in dogs. Most dogs do not know how to cope with being left alone for an extended time.

Anxiety also occurs to older dogs that have congestive disorders leaving them confused and forgetful.

How do you know if your dog has anxiety?

Any sudden change in your dog’s behavior may be a result of anxiety. However, some signs will clearly show you that your dog needs some help.

Some signs may be obvious will others might not be noticeable right away. Below are some behavioral changes that show if your dog is suffering from anxiety.

  1. Destruction Behavior

An anxious dog may feel uncomfortable, especially if left alone at home. In the process, it may chew through a door trying to escape or even destroy the furniture.

  1. House Breaking issues

Housebreaking issues are commonly brought by separation anxiety. Your dog may urinate almost in every corner of the house or defecate inside the house when anxious.

  1. Repetitive Behavior

When you notice your dog pacing around the house or doing any repetitive behavior is a sign of dog anxiety. Your dog may also over groom the same body part as a result of anxiety.

  1. Aggression

You may find your dog snarling or snapping on other dogs or people when anxious. Growling and barking, with no apparent reason, is a sign of aggressive behavior.

What Natural Remedy can I Give my dog for anxiety?

When you have an anxious dog, it is possible to calm them down naturally without the use of medication or any other artificial ways. Naturally, dogs are happy when they are treated well, fed frequently, kept in a stress-free environment, and taken for walks regularly. Here are some natural remedies you could use to calm your dog.

  1. Create a safe environment for your dog

Always make sure your dog has a safe and quiet environment to retreat to. This could be a covered kennel, a closet, or a quiet bedroom. Place soft blankets or toys for them to chew to calm themselves down.

Make sure to check on your dog periodically to get to know how they are doing. The safe space will let your dog retreat and calm down whenever they are stressed.

  1. Take your dog for walks

When your dog will not settle down, and they are too anxious without a good reason, it could be a sign that your dog isn’t taken outside frequently or they are not receiving enough exercise. Puppies should at least be allowed to run about 3-4 times a day.

When you notice your dog is panting loudly or will not stop bothering you, they might be sick or need to go out. Until you get to know your dog’s behavior, any excitement behavior may indicate that your dog needs to go out or want to go to the bathroom. Unless you do not mind the messy floor, take your dog outside promptly.

  1. Socialize your dog regularly

It is normal for a dog to get excited when they meet new friends or new dogs. But, if your dog does not calm down around new faces, it means you need to increase your dog’s socialization.  Let your dog meet new people and dogs most frequently.

To successfully do this, take your dog for walks, ask permission for your dog to great other dogs they meet. When your dog behaves well, make sure to reward them with treats. Always use a clear verbal command to keep them in control.

  1. Pet and Message your dog

Petting and messaging your dog helps reduce stress and anxiety. This is a simple way of being affectionate to your dog. Message your dog gently and concentrate on pressure points like the feet, ears, and the top of the head. The messages will help soothe and calm your dog just as people do when messaged.

You need to know that dogs are social and always want contact and affection. Spend at least 30 minutes daily while petting or messaging them.

Another way you can help your dog reduce anxiety is to be calm when you around them. Make sure to speak in a soft, smooth, and calming voice as you pet them calmly and smoothly.

  1. Change your Dog’s Diet

Just like humans, dogs too need a balanced diet, and their moods can be affected by poor nutrition. Commercial dog treats have addictive ingredients, and most of the time overstimulates the dog’s system. You can choose to buy natural treats or make your own.

How do you calm a stressed dog?

 

Just like human beings, dogs too react to stress. Being clingy, acting up, or withdrawing are some of dog anxiety signs. Unlike us, dogs cannot express their anxiety verbally. Therefore, it is the responsibility of any pet owners to pay attention to their pet’s behavior and respond accordingly when they see any difference. Here are ways you can use to calm your anxious dog.

  1. Cuddling

Just like humans, pets too respond positively to touch. Cuddling is one way you can use to relieve stress, anxiety, and fear from your dog. When a dog feels like they are cut off from their human, their anxious level tends to increase. Petting and cuddling your dog may help take away some of the anxiety.

  1. Exercise

When a dog is anxious, it usually has a lot of energy that cannot be controlled. Humans are also advised to do exercises to help relieve stress. This also applies to dogs. When dogs take walks, run, or play in the park, they burn off some tension. Exercise makes the dog tired, and by the time they return home, they are calm.

Unless advised otherwise by a vet, exercise is good for you and your pet. Your dog will enjoy and appreciate the time you spend together.

  1. Calm Demeanor

Dogs always sense your emotions and feelings. If you are reacting towards their anxiety and bad behavior they show when stressed, they are going to absorb your behavior and make the situation even worse.

Take some few breaths before handling the acting out of your dog in a calm demeanor to help break the anxiety cycle between you and your dog. Just like a baby, your dog will act to the way you are behaving. Always take the lead and help them calm down slowly and patiently.

  1. Check with your Vet

When the dog’s anxiety level seems abnormal, it is essential to consult your vet. By ‘abnormal’ we mean if your dog cannot relax or calm down. Explain to the vet all the activities that showed that your dog was anxious. It does not matter if your dog does not have physical injury or illness; your vet might something that you cannot.

  1. Toys

Anxious dog training is easy, especially when you show them where to direct their negative energy. Toys are the best items to channel energy.  A good chew toy can keep your dog busy other than destroying your household and belongings.

We all know that anxiety alters the behavior of your dog. You are the best person to help your anxious dog to cope with something that is out of the norm. Your dog loves and trusts you, therefore, will want you to take the lead.