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Aaron Dunn


Is your dog overly attached to you to the point where he or she is visibly miserable when you get ready to leave? Do you worry about them being lonely or scared while you’re away?

Many pet owners have dogs that fear being separated for long from their owners.

Here are some of the signs of separation anxiety in dogs:

  • You discover they’ve had accidents while you were gone that they never have when you’re home
  • When you walk out the door, even if you’re coming right back, your dog acts out
  • Chew marks or scratches on furniture, walls, and carpet
  • Drool stains on furniture and carpet
  • Pacing, whining, or trying to escape when you leave
  • Extreme excitement when you return, often howling and shivering

How to treat your dog’s separation anxiety

  • Keep a special toy that you only give your dog when you’re ready to leave
  • Don’t overly alert your dog when you get ready to leave
  • Keep your entrances quiet and calm after you return
  • Place an article of clothing you’ve recently worn in their bed or beside them when you leave for comfort
  • Consider calming supplements

Separation anxiety is most common in dogs who are unused to being left alone and in puppies. However, your dog may continue to suffer from separation anxiety as they age. Be attentive to your dog’s needs as often as possible, and make sure they have a peaceful, comfortable environment to wait for your return any time you leave.

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Many cats suffer from overly sensitive immune systems that cause them to react in a multitude of ways. While most cats rarely have extreme allergic reactions to substances in their everyday environment, you may notice your cat acting differently or suffering from certain skin conditions.

No one wants their cat to feel uncomfortable in their own homes. Today, let's discuss the signs and symptoms of allergies in cats, and how they can be treated.

Symptoms of allergies in cats

Scabs, thickened skin, flaky or scaly spots on skin

Bad odor from skin and fur

Excessive itching, scratching, and grooming

Loss of hair

Red spots and pimples

Causes of allergies in cats

  • Mites, fleas, and ticks
  • Bacterial infections
  • Mold, pollen, or excess dust
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Digestive conditions

How to treat allergies in cats

The very first step you should take if you believe your cat has allergies is to see your veterinarian. After a physical examination, your vet may be able to determine your cat's specific allergy. Otherwise, your vet may perform blood tests or recommend dietary changes. Beyond this, here are some other ways to treat your cat's allergies:

  • Regularly bathe and brush your cat
  • Switch them to foods with high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Use antihistamines like Benadryl
  • Apply flea and tick prevention products regularly
  • Ensure clean spots for them to sleep (no dust, debris, etc.)
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If you've ever been to a pet food store, you've probably encountered a lot of pet food products that claim they are the healthiest option for your pet. While some pet foods do include healthier nutrients for your pets, that does not make them the ideal option for your pet.

The truth is that every pet is different. If you have two dogs, one may end up with bloating and gas from a specific type of food that the other loves. You never really know until you try different diets with each of your pets.

One thing you should always watch out for is price. Some dog and cat foods are more expensive than others, but these do not necessarily make them healthier for your pet. The cheapest brand at your local grocery store may be more agreeable to your pet's health than the expensive brands.

For every claim you read about a specific type of diet's potential for increasing your pet's lifespan and activity, search for the sources. If there are no studies or research to back up their claims, ignore them.

The times when dietary changes are most important tend to be after serious life changes. When your dog is a puppy, you should feed them puppy food products that are better for their growth. Kittens should be fed kitten food up until one year of age. If your cat or dog has recently been spayed or neutered, the best practice is to reduce their food consumption until they have completely recovered. Then, slowly increase the amount you feed them until you reach a comfort point for both you and your pet.

Always do your research on diets for your pets before trying new products. You want your companions healthy and happily at your side for years to come!

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During these days of new and exciting fad diets for humans, it's all but expected that many new diets will appear to promote better health in pets. One of these that has become popular in some circles is the idea of an all-raw foods diet for your pets.

The argument goes something like this: Animals in the wild do not cook their food. Animals in the wild do not eat food with a laundry list of ingredients in every bite. Therefore, my pets should eat raw food as nature intended.

This argument does have some merit, but there is no evidence to prove that a raw food diet is actually superior to the normal diets household pets have consumed over the past several decades. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary showing that raw food diets may actually harm pets in more ways than one. Pets consuming raw diets may be contaminated with pathogens in foods that would not have been there if cooked. They may also suffer from parasitic infections, dental fractures, and other ailments.

Plus, a raw food diet for your pets may be dangerous for humans in the household, particularly those with weaker immune systems like young children and the elderly.

Until more evidence shows that specific raw foods are safe for your pets, you should feel comfortable feeding your pets traditional pet foods found in stores.

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It's a fact that many dogs are not too keen on being handled by strangers with even stranger tools in their hands. That's why many dogs become anxious when it's time for grooming.

You know the old cliche -- dogs hate bath time. While this may not always be true for your dog, you still want to be sure that no experiences your pup goes through are traumatic in any way.

One of the easiest methods for calming your dog during the bathing and grooming process is to get them used to the idea. If you plan on taking your dog to a professional groomer in the future but worry they may feel anxious or upset during their grooming, do it yourself a few times first. Slowly and calmly take your dog into the bathroom and ease them into warm water, petting them and talking in a low and gentle voice. Try techniques like scratching behind their ears while you do it, or whatever your dog likes most. Every time you try bathing them, cutting their hair, or brushing them, try the same calming technique on them.

That way, when it's time to see a professional groomer, you already know what will calm your dog during the process. Also, if you know the specific region that will be worked on – the face, belly, back, tail, etc., pet them frequently in those areas vigorously beforehand. When the groomer begins touching them in those areas, they'll already be accustomed to it and less likely to feel anxious.

Many animal experts suggest spending quality time with your dog, playing and petting, for up to an hour before they go in for grooming. This will put them in a far better mood and make the entire process go more smoothly.

Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your dog comfortable during the grooming process?

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Once you start taking your dog or cat to the groomer, it's normal to see a huge change in their happiness. Plus, because they often become even cuter after professional grooming, you'll get that much more joy out of being with them.

That's why many pet owners ask the question: how long should I wait between grooming sessions for my cat or dog?

The answer is not exactly clear-cut. In fact, it may differ for every single pet.

A lot of what determines how often you should have your pet groomed is their lifestyle and specific breed. Is your pet particularly active, spending a lot of time outside getting dirty or playing with other animals? Does your pet spend all their time indoors?

Do you have a Persian or a Great Pyrenees? These longer, thicker-haired breeds of cats and dogs may require more attention to keep their coats shiny, healthy, and clean. They also tend to shed a lot more than other pets, so you'll want to stay on top of grooming to keep their hair trimmed. It'll also help you tremendously if anyone in your household suffers from allergies!

As we discussed in another thread, grooming can also lead to some anxiety in pets. Because you know your pet better than anyone, you may notice that they become nervous or agitated before, during, and after grooming. If this is the case, and they don't seem to get used to the process after several attempts, you might want to handle some of the grooming yourself. Keep them as clean as possible, and try to use some of the methods we laid out in the previous grooming anxiety thread to help them handle their emotional states.

How often do you take your pet to the groomer?

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