Let’s Celebrate National Dog Day This August 26th

With all the wonderful and amazing things dogs bring into our lives let’s look into some ways we can support them by choosing some of these options to celebrate on National Dog Day this coming August 26th.

My favorite is that if you’re thinking of adopting, this is the perfect day to take the plunge. Check out your local shelter or purebred rescue, to find your new friend and companion. Please be sure to check the breed you choose to make sure he/she will fit into your lifestyle.

If you are unable to adopt consider volunteering at your local shelter, you can choose to clean cages or help with walking the dogs or even just giving them some one on one time.

Another way to help is to donate to your local shelter or rescue, they always need blankets and toys for the dogs as well as dry and wet dog food. Cleaning supplies are also a constant needed supply.

A more fun way to celebrate on August 26th is have a party for your friends and their dogs. Choose a fun theme and have your guests dress for the theme. Include safe treats for all your guests both the 4 legged guests and their humans. Be sure to have plenty of water bowls available and that the dogs are properly supervised to avoid any altercations.

If you already have a companion, you can celebrate by buying your dog a new toy or two. Another idea is to give your dog a good thorough brushing to reduce loose hair and shedding. Most dogs would also love a good massage or holistic spa treatment.

An option that we are planning to enjoy this year is a trip to the beach or a local dog park for a day of play. Even with living close to the beach like we do, it’s amazing that we don’t make time to take our dog for a good day of running and playing in the surf and sand. Be sure to bring fresh drinking water for your dog and also a towel to brush off the sand.

Having a photo shoot of your dog either with a professional photographer or by doing your own photo shoot. You can even try entering the photos in photo contests. What better way to show off your best friend then with some great pictures and have your memories saved for years to come.

A Beagle On Steroids – The Harrier!

Harriers were bred as scent hounds for hunting. This means that they were bred for stamina, endurance, and independence. These traits are the most difficult parts to deal with as a dog owner. They have a strong prey drive and while they get along well with other pets, they can view them as prey, if not socialized properly. Because of the stamina built into the dog, it requires regular, prolonged exercise, so this is not for an apartment dweller. A large yard is helpful, however, Harrier’s may bay when bored, so the neighbors may complain. The endurance of the dog is legendary, a Harrier has been known to track a rabbit or a fox till the prey basically gives up and lies down! This independence and singlemindedness can be an issue when training the dog. The owner must also find a way to keep the Harrier occupied mentally as well as physically. The good news is that they enjoy playing, jogging, running along as you bike, or hiking.

A sturdy dog, the Harrier stands about 19 to 21 inches tall, weighs between 45 to 60 pounds, and has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years. They love children and have a sturdy bone structure that allow them to interact without fear of the dog being hurt. In fact, the only problem commonly reported is hip dysplasia and this is rare. As with all breeds, the dog should be socialized to interact with children and other pets. This is a pack dog, so the family become its pack. Harriers are comfortable being with you, but do not demand attention. They can tolerate hot and cold, if protection is provided, but they are much happier in the house with the family (pack). Due to the hunting nature of the dog, it should remain on a leash when in open areas to prevent it from chasing squirrels and rabbits. If you plan taking your Harrier jogging, start after they are a year old and gradually increase distances. this protects the developing bones and joints. Once done, you will have a happy companion on those jogs!

The Harrier coat is smooth and relatively short. They do shed, but not excessively. Taking care of the coat requires brushing and an occasional bath. As with all breeds nails may need to be clipped, if these are not worn down during activity. Teeth should be brushed a couple times a week. The ears should be checked for redness or foul smell on a regular basis. Because of the flop over hound ears, there is limited air circulation and this can lead to ear infections.

Harrier’s make good watch dogs, but poor guard dogs. Don’t expect to protect your valuables, but it will let you know someone is in the driveway. They are welcoming of strangers, children, and other pets. They will not demand attention, but love to play a good game of fetch or chase! You will need a good fence about 6 feet tall to keep the dog enclosed. The more time you spend with the dog, the more it will be a happy family member and not be destructive.

Top 5 Reasons The American Pit Bull Terrier Is Misunderstood

Many years ago the American Pit Bull Terriers were once one of America’s favorite dogs and considered to be “Nanny dogs” which earned them the title “America’s dog”. Unfortunately, like with many other things people quickly found ways to exploit them. Their behaviors and mindset for dog fighting, as well as their strong appearance soon became a symbol of violence, for criminals, drug cultures, and gangs.

Today, they are considered to be one of the most misunderstood dog breeds in the world mostly because of irresponsible breeders and owners, thrilling news stories, and the rapid spread of myths. As a result, Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) has come about in many cities across the U.S. as well as other countries around the world that either significantly restricts or completely bans the American Pit Bull Terriers as pets.

These stigmas has since contributed to their increase in shelters everywhere. One out of four animals that are brought into shelters are Pit Bulls. However, when given the chance these dogs can be and are very loving and loyal companions, that have become heroes in some communities by saving their owners and/or strangers from harm.

Discover the 5 Top Reasons The American Pit Bull Terrier Is Misunderstood below.

Myth #1: Pit Bull Is A Dog Breed

Fact: “Pit bull” is only a nonspecific term applied to different breeds which include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Blue Blood Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, and many other mixed breed dogs that have a similar appearance.

Therefore, the term “Pit bull” only tells us how a dog looks and nothing about the breed itself which often leads to a larger degree of obscured blame on these dogs. Not to mention, the fact that many people cannot even tell the difference between a real American Pit Bull Terrier from another dog breed.

In order for us to stomp out the cruelty and put an end to the many misconceptions of all sorts, Animal Advocacy Groups use the collective term “pit bull” to protect all dog breeds that are victimized based on their bully appearance.

Myth #2: Pit bulls Are Born Fighters

Fact: They are not born ready to tear into an animal. another dog, and/or human being. They are trained to fight with everything they have to the very end by people who want to make a profit and provide “entertainment” by fighting dogs.

As a matter of fact, in many cases they are actually forced to fight to the very death, because if they don’t they are usually abandoned, abused, and/or killed by electrocution, gunshot or other cruel and heartless ways. Which proves it’s not the dogs who are mean and vicious, but rather the people behind their training.

Myth #3: Pit Bulls Are Dangerous

Fact: They are not inherently dangerous as many would have you believe. As with any breed of dog, they too can become aggressive, mean, and sometimes even violent because of abuse, irresponsible breeders and ownership, lack of attention to their behavioral and health issues, lack of proper socialization and training, as well as neglect. However, if they’re loved, treated with respect, socialized, and trained properly they will show little to no negative tendencies at all. Just ask a caring, loving, responsible pit bull owner, yourself!)

As a matter of fact, according to the American Temperament Test Society, they have an extremely high

Play Is a Vital Activity for Many Animals!

Cats and dogs are athletic animals with astounding strength and agility. Nature made them into impeccable machines for jumping, bouncing and dashing. Just because they don’t have any genuine prey to pursue doesn’t mean they can’t showcase her internal predator.

Toys and customary recess are a part of furnishing them with a stimulating situation, which fulfills their happiness and health requirements. Play gives them an outlet for their vitality, mental and physical incitement, the chance to fulfill their instinctual chasing drive and an opportunity to bond with their caretaker.

Now, the main questions come about safety.

The safety of our loved ones is as important as fun is; and as is the case with our pets. They go through toys like a starving Velociraptor. So, felt toys are the best solution for this.

The felt equipment, are a sort of fabric that are made by rolling and squeezing wool or other reasonable material accompanied by the use of dampness or warmth, which causes the constituent strands to tangle together to make a smooth surface.

Cats and Dogs adore the scent of natural wool and the warm, and love the snugly feel of these all natural pet items that are biodegradable and have a long durability.

The best part is that, they are mostly made up of household items, which are completely safe and too adorable to play. Here is the list of a few used materials:

• Ping-pong balls, captive balls, and plastic practice golf balls with holes;
• Paper bags;
• Empty cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels;
• Cardboard boxes;
• Wool;
• Sponges and Socks

These things not only provide fun to play, but are safe too because of their natural essence. A few benefits are:

• Environmental Benefits: the quality used to craft them is made up of natural, biodegradable, recycled and recyclable materials, which are sustainable as well as certified organic and natural fibers such as wool and cotton.

• Health Benefits: They do not contain high levels of chemicals and toxins, so, if they takes it in their mouth, it will not harm them. These are mostly built by artisans and craftsmen, with non toxic paints, and oils.

How to get the most out of felt toys?

Another major issue that comes to pets are that they easily get bored with their toys. Hence, it is advisable to keep the varieties of them, which includes- one toy to carry, one toy to wrestle with, and one to roll, etc.

The another best part is that they comes in varieties of colors and eye catchy shapes,thus, can make the pets to play for hours, but, be assure that the pets love to play with these felted toys as they may go wild easily. But above all, People should also keep even interactive equipment and fun games to enhance their bond with their cats or dogs.

Dog Shows

Dog shows, breed shows or conformation shows are competitions where the judges examine dogs of a specific breed or sometimes dogs of all breeds, to see whether it meets the breed standards or not. Kennel clubs and breed clubs conduct such kinds of shows. Shows where only specific breeds are examined are known as specialty show.

The standards are set prior to the show by the judges of the show. During the show, they choose dogs, which match the set standards. This task is extremely difficult because the judgments made should be completely subjective. Not only is one dog compared with the other, but the comparison of the dog to the judge’s image of an ideal dog which meet the breed standard almost perfectly. The objective of each dog show is to select a winner dog, which matches the breed standards.

The breed standard is jotted down in a long list, which is called a conformation point. All the judges get together and frame the conformation point. Conformation point can vary from one competition to another, but there are certain requirements that are general. The fur is the most important factor. The pet’s color, pattern, length, type and quality are observed carefully. The distribution, quality and quantity of the markings are observed.

Healthy skin with no pigmentation is also one of the important criterions. The shape and color of the head is also taken into consideration. The general attitude and temperament is noted down for each breed of dogs. The jaw-line and the structure of the teeth and how they align when the jaw is closed are compared. Shape and color of the eyes and shape and set of the ears are observed. The sizes and the ratio of the length and height are also compared. The style of walking and gait is compared. The shape of the tail and feet are closely observed. The dogs, which enter such competition, should be well groomed. Some even check for skin wrinkles and measure the flews. The name of each participating dog should be registered. Every dog’s name is attached with the breeder’s kennel name. Every dog can have a registered name as well as a call name. The kennel club uses the registered name and the owner to refer to the pet uses the call name.

There are many dog shows conducted on various levels. There are local shows and national shows, which attract competitors from different parts of the country. Usually dog shows are hierarchical competitions. The winners earn certain points in each show and each level, which makes them eligible for the next show. And the dog which wins shows that are at the highest level is declared as a champion. ‘Ch.’, for example Ch. Tony, appends the dog’s name. Such shows are called as prestigious shows.

These shows allow pets, which have already won championship in other shows. These shows aim to choose the best in the breed. Such shows make the reputation of the dog, breeder and kennel higher. The price of the puppies of that particular dog is sold for a surprisingly high price. This is because other people want to buy a pet, which resembles the champion. The popularity of the breed increases rapidly. There are two such prestigious shows, The Crufts in the United Kingdom and the Westminster

Cat Signs

Cats have a reputation for being a bit mysterious, but devoted owners often come to love their kitten’s quirks and personality. Understanding their way of communicating with you is the best way to appreciate their love!

Cats communicate with each other using voice, smell, movements and pose. Their language is universal, just like love. A cat from China can easily understand a cat from Germany. So here are some ways of how they express their feelings to you.

Body Language

Active, quick, muscular, graceful, with athletic body – all these words can be said about healthy cats. They use their bodies in extremely expressive manner. Cats might be the experts at reticence. If a cat sprawls before you, that means she feels comfortable and confidently. If she turns over to the back. that, probably, means she is in good spirits and feels slack and playful.

Eyes meet eyes!

Eyes are the mirror of the soul and it is quite true for cats. Cats will never delude you. Each time you cat is looking at you to understand what you want. If your cat has been looking at you for some seconds, then blinks and turns away, that means it recognizes you but doesn’t invite you to communicate with it. Don’t worry it’s not rude! The pupils of the eye will say more. If they are dilated they seem to cry with fear. If you are not sure whether your cat is frightened or not, look at its pupils. Wide open eyes and dilated pupils mean that something awful is coming. If you cat acts aggressively, its pupil may turn to narrow slits.

Tail tells!

If you can read what the cat’s tail is telling you, you will know what is on its mind. The tail could stick straight up. In this case it is used to demonstrate self-confidence and a sense of pride. Cats that carry their tails this way walk very pompously. When your cat is frightened, its tail looks like a bottle brush. If the tail is fluffy and looks bigger that it is, it signifies the mixture of false courage and fear.

Quick swings of the tail is a joyous greeting, the cat rubs against your legs, purrs showing its joy about your coming home.

Sounds Purr-rrrfect!

Purring is the most mysterious process that you may imagine. Most cat owners think cats are purring when they’re satisfied. It’s true but not the only condition under which cats purr. However, It also happens when cats are feeling pain.

Purring means you are spending time together with harmony. That means to stretch your hand to your best friend at night. These are moments when your cat pushes its head and your chin when you are sad. Whatever it means, in such a way cats express bliss as well. There is no doubt that this is the most beautiful sound among those cats utter.

What Are the Longest Lasting Cat Litters?

Let’s face it: cleaning out cat litter boxes isn’t much fun. Almost equally dreaded is dealing with the pungent smells of a cat litter box that has run its course and needs fresh litter. We feel that these are the two most important criteria that most people look for when shopping for a cat litter: how long the litter will keep cat waste smells in check. In fact, we receive more questions about these attributes than any other. People want to know the simple answer: What are the longest lasting cat litters?

Before we get into our choices, let’s break down what make a cat litter long lasting. There can be great variation in litters, from the materials used to the clumping ability (or lack thereof) to the intended purpose (multi-cat, single cat, long-haired, kittens, etc.). So what is the common theme we have seen in the cat litters that last the longest?

What traits do long lasting cat litters typically have?

Ability to hold moisture

Moisture is litter’s worst enemy. Once the granules are fully saturated that is when they begin to break down, releasing all of the odor that they have stored and making for a huge mess during cleanup. This is why litter manufacturers do extensive research to find materials that can hold in a lot of moisture. Some of the best moisture retention materials are clay, wood pellets, and some crystals. Many of the natural offerings can struggle with absorption, and are rather intended to simply remove the sections that your cat uses as needed.

Clumping ability

Clumps are basically prisons for odor. A proper clump will form a physical seal around cat waste, holding in both the moisture and ultimately the smell. While this is somewhat related to moisture absorption, there is a great variance in the clumping ability from one product to another. Some products might retain a lot of moisture, but have very soft clumps that easily break apart while other examples might struggle with maximizing fluid retention but form super hard clumps.

That being said, there are a lot of non-clumping litters that still do a very good job of odor retention, but they will typically have an overall lower litter box life if you are doing your proper maintenance on the litter box in regards to removing clumps.

Scent masking

A good alert that it is time to replace the litter box is obviously when the smells start to creep out. Because what good does great clumping litter do if the litter box smells awful? Like the other parameters, there can be a huge fluctuation in how well a particular litter performs in the odor department. However, there tend to be some common trends on materials. Crystals, for instance, are oftentimes leading the pack in their ability to hold in smells. This is followed by crystal/clay hybrids, then clays, and finally the all-natural (wood, corn, etc.) usually come in at the bottom of the list.

This doesn’t mean that you should automatically throw out the idea of going with a corn or paper pellet litter. They can have their own benefits in regards to being more affordable, better for the environment, more comfortable for the cat’s paws, less tracking, etc.

There are some other minor metrics but those are the big three variables that seem to play the largest role.

Other Variations