October 27, 2008

Elderly Cat Care

by: David Beart

Our cats become a part of the family over time. But unlike humans, who are considered elderly at 60 or 65, cats are considered "senior citizens" at the ripe old age of 10. It is important to understand the proper care of cats at all stages of life. A kitten cannot be fed, groomed, medicated, and treated the same way as an elderly cat. Here is a guide to proper Elderly Cat Care.

Feeding Time

Most pet supply stores sell specially formulated cat foods that are designed to provide proper health and nutrition to elderly cats. Some formulas assist with proper digestion, since this can often be a problem with older cats. Senior cats cannot assimilate their food in their digestive tracts in the same way that they did when they were youngsters.

Older cats can also have problems with their teeth that cause them to eat less. This is why it is important to maintain good dental hygiene in cats at a young age by either brushing, taking them to the veterinarian for a cleaning, or feeding them snacks that clean their teeth. If your elderly cat eats less, it may be due to a toothache, thus it is sometimes ideal to feed them softer foods, mostly wet, canned foods, so that chewing their dinner won't be as much of an obstacle.

Many cat owners find that their cat's coat becomes dull with age. This is due to poor nutrition. Feed your older cat a diet rich in essential fatty acids to fix this problem. When organisms, including cats, get older, they have an increased production of free radicals in the body. Free radicals contribute to the degeneration of cells in the body. Help build up the immune system of your beloved cat by increasing his or her intake of vitamin C and E.

Finally, you want your cat to remain active in old age. The more energetic activities your cat participates in the better health it will remain in. If you allow your cat to become obese it will lay around the house and have reduced quality of life, as well as a decrease in general health. Watch your pet's eating habits and assure that it is not overeating, or eating as a recreation as some cats do.

Grooming Elderly Cats

Another element of proper Elderly Cat Care is grooming. When cats age, they sometimes stop grooming themselves with the same frequency as they did when they were younger. This can create a matted fur coat that is dirty and smells bad. Bad hygiene will eventually lead to bad health. Because of this, it is important that you groom your eldery cat yourself. Purchase a good cat brush that doesn't just brush the outer coat, but one with bristles that reach down to the skin to pull up old hair.

It sometimes helps to give your cat a bath, even though most cats hate them with a passion. The best way to wash a cat is to place them in the tub and gradually introduce water. You certainly don't want to throw them into the tub with hot water running inside! You may get a deep claw mark in the arm that will never heal and remind you to never do that again. If you apply water gradually to the cat's coat until they are completely wet and then work in some shampoo quickly, you should be able to accomplish that goal.

Vet Visits and Medication

When your cat grows into old age, it may have health complications that require regular medication. You should schedule a regular vet appointment for your elderly cat to assure that you are keeping up with all details of its health regimen. In older age, cats may seem fine but still have complications. Ask your veterinarian to give your cat a blood and urine test to find out if there is anything to be concerned about to head off any future problems. Going back to dental care, most older cats develop gum disease which can lead to health problems down the line. Gum disease can be treated by your veterinarian.

Just as with a human who has to take daily medication, if your cat has been prescribed to take medications on a daily basis it is helpful to keep everything in one place as a reminder. You do not want to miss a day of any crucial medication as the system of your older cat is much more delicate than those of younger cats.

Pet Insurance

Insurance companies are coming to recognize the love that people have for their pets. Thus, there are many new pet insurance products popping up on the market. It is best to enroll your pet into an insurance program at a younger age to assure a more reasonable premium, but you may still be able to enroll your elderly cat into an insurance program where his or medical bills will be partly covered in the case of a medical emergency. Some pet insurance companies will charge anywhere from $20-$50 per month per cat, depending on their particular situation.

The costs of pet surgeries and treatments can be way out of the budget of most households, so having a pet insurance plan to back you up can be a great asset. It will also give you peace of mind about your cat as it ages.

Activities of the Elderly Cat

The activity level of elderly cats vary. Some cats become inactive and spend most of their day sleeping or sitting. But other cats can be just as active in old age as they were in their younger days. These cats may still like to play with you, run, and chase the other cats around the house, but you just need to be understanding that they may not be able to participate in these games for as long as they used to. For example, a game cats love to play is "chase their owner." Instead of letting them chase you up and down the stairs as you did when they were young, maybe you could keep the activity to one level of the house. That way you will not overexert your cat and help prolong his time spent active.

Most cat experts agree tht a cat is generally healthy and happy when they are "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed." Another indication of a healthy cat is a lustrous, shiny coat, and a tail that sticks straight up in the air when the cat is walking. Proper elderly cat care is dire if you love your senior cat and want to keep it in good physical health.

About The Author

David Beart is owner of the http://www.professorshouse.com Professors House, a site dedicated to family, relationships, http://www.professorshouse.com/pets/cats/cats.aspx cat information, and household issues.

How Do I Get Newts In My Pond?

by: Derek Rogers

Newts are a type of amphibian that look a lot like salamanders. However, unlike salamanders, newts spend most or all of their life in the water. They are descended from salamanders, but branched off around sixty million years ago. Now, they're found in many temperate parts of the world, including Asia, Northern Africa, Europe, and North America.

Some types have a terrestrial form (referred to as an eft), that lives on land to find a new home, then come back to the water when mature. Newts are popular among pond owners. They're charming, cute little creatures in their own right. However, having a population of newts also means that your pond is very healthy, since these creatures have somewhat specific living requirements. If you're thinking about colonizing your pond with newts, or setting it up to attract these little creatures, here's some information that might help.

Newts are often food for other creatures. This means that having newts might draw some impressive looking birds to your pond, but it also means you'll have to pay attention to what's living in and around it if you want to keep your newt population alive. Carnivorous fish often pick off these little lizard-like creatures, making it hard to keep the population up. As well, if there are any ducks frequenting your pond, they may eat the vegetation your newts are laying their eggs in, giving them no place to breed. This doesn't mean you have to chase off all predatory birds or remove newt-eating fish from your pond. It does mean that it's a good idea to try to provide habitat and other conditions that encourage a thriving population that won't be damaged by predation.

Another danger that can kill stocked or native newts is the pump of a small pond. If you have a smaller pond which requires a pump for circulation, newts can be sucked into the pump and killed. Even if you use wire mesh, these pumps can kill very small newts. You can solve this problem by using an ultra fine mesh, or by placing your pump underneath a weighted upside down pot with a hole cut in it. Remember to use mesh over this hole as well. These methods will cut down on the number of newts you lose, and on unpleasant filter cleaning.

Newts can live in fairly shallow ponds, and prefer slopes with lots of plants. High density weeds will encourage them. A good environment for newts will help you develop a breeding population that will stand up to even predatory fish and birds. While tadpoles and young newts may fall prey, a pond that can support them will encourage their numbers to increase. Expect to see baby newts around April and May, if your animals are breeding. You can either make your pond suitable for the local species of newt that you'd like to attract (specific conditions vary by species) or purchase newts and stock your pond. The second is more expensive, but also gives you a better chance of seeing these animals live and grow in your waters.

About The Author

Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For pond maintenance, he recommends Seapets, one of the UK's of http://www.seapets.co.uk/view-subcategories/category/8.html pond supplier specialists.

Essential Guide to Choose And Buy A Pet Parrot !!

by: Jimmy Lee

4 Essential Parrot Buying Tips to choose the right parrot !!

All bird lovers listen up!! Do you know how many bird species are there in the world? Answer: Over 9000 species. And out of which the parrot group itself consists of about 330 species and are particularly popular with pet owners.

If you are also thinking of keeping a pet parrot, read below for the tips I am going to provide for selecting the suitable parrot for yourself and the family.

Parrot Buying Tip (1) -- Buy a young parrot

Rearing a new parrot from young helps to facilitate taming. An older parrot can also be tamed just that it takes more time and patience. However, the tricky part is in determing the age of the bird. However, some basic things to look out for are the scales on its legs, color of the eye and the color of the body. A young parrot often has a dark gray iris that becomes white or brown when it grows up. The scales of young parrots are also much smoother than that of mature birds. Their body color also appears initially to be much duller than when they are matured.

The best option is to buy one which is newly born which is independent of its parent.

Parrot Buying Tip (2) -- Choose the right species of parrot

Do you know the characteristics of the parrot you are interested in buying?

Do they
-make tremendously loud voices which can cause huge disturbance to the neighbours?
-have powerful beaks that can damage your personal belongings if let free in the house?
-need special accomodation, which will potentially incur higher costs for you. Bigger birds would require bigger cages made of metal so that the parrot cannot damage it.
-need special nutritional foods? Some birds such as the lorikeets need special foods since they feed on nectar. This also relates to cost.

Parrot Buying Tip (3) -- Check the condition of the parrot

If possible, ask for a certified health certificate by the veterinary so that you have assurance of buying a healthy parrot home. If that is not available, dont worry, you can check out the below factors for some tell-tale signs on the conditions of the bird.

i) Inspect the living conditions of the bird. Dirty or poorly maintained perches, food and water containers, excess fecal wastes in the cage, all show poor management of the birds leading to bad health. The eyes should also be clear and not showing any discharge. Also look out for any swelling signs which will indicate rising health problems.

ii) The bird feathers should be tidy and clean. Any bald areas on the parrot body could indicate an infection which is very unsightly and may not be able to cure, or it may also be due to the parrot being a feather plucker which means it is getting very bored. This activity may stop when you start to show it more attention. Then again, it is better to stay clear of such birds, since they could be carrying diseases on their bodies which you dont want it to spread to your family members.

iii) Support the bird on its back and check the vent for cleanliness. Also check for any crusty appearance on and around the beak which could indicate a mite issue subjecting from unclean environments.

iv) Also feel the flesh on both sides of the breastbone, and ensure it is solid and not hollowed. If protruding, it also indicates a nutritional deficiency, and should be avoided.

v) Ensures all claws are there. There should be 2 toes pointing forward, 2 facing backwards. Check for any protruding leg scales as they could be potential sources for leg mites.

vi) Beware of birds that act aggressively towards you when you try to approach it. Symptoms include fluffing up feathers and eyes dilating when you try to move your hand close to it. These birds are probably not young birds, and they will likely bite you if you cross its safety zone.

Parrot Buying Tip (4) -- Buy from reputable, reliable sources

Buying from well-established and reputable pet shops assures you the best quality services, and often the pets you are buying through them have been certified to be in good health before they release it out for sale.

Avoid open markets, and buying through mail order. It is always good to see and feel what you are buying so that you dont regret your buying decisions later. If you dont, how do you implement parrot buying tip 3?


To summarize, it is great to have parrots as pets, as they can be good source of fun and companionship. However, it is important to know some essential tips on selecting and buying the right parrot, and this can be categorized into 4 great tips namely to buy a young parrot, choose the desired parrot species, check condition of the parrot, and always buy from reputable pet shops.

Hope you enjoy this article !!

Orginally Written Article @ http://parrotalk.blogspot.com/

About The Author

Jimmy Lee

He is involved in article writing, publishing, and website design on a freelance basis amid a daytime job as an electrical engineer. His favourite works can be found @ http://flashgor.blogspot.com/ and http://diypc.wordpress.com/

Lonely Dogs and How to Handle Them

by: Kristi Carter

Dogs belong in packs and when they are domesticated, they still look at their families as their 'packs.' They need to be social and they need attention. The way dogs have been domesticated has created a bit of a problem. Allowing your dog to spend time with other dogs is not satisfactory. They need time with their human friends. Sure, we have lives that are extremely busy, so it can be difficult to give our dogs as much attention as we need. As we rush around like maniacs trying to get important things done, trying to spend time with our dogs can feel like a burden.

When you're feeling like this, spending time with your dog sure can seem like more of a chore than having a relaxing, fun time with your four legged friend. Taking him or her for a walk can feel like a chore among a million chores that you have to accomplish. This definitely lessens the quality of the time you spend with your dog. It shouldn't be this way but sometimes it seems like life has you by the collar!

The way that we live really does affect our dogs. For instance, if we are stressed out all the time, what kind of personal time we have, our general demeanors really have a lot to do with our dogs' temperament. The dogs sometimes take on their human companions' moods and feelings - to the point that if you're depressed or stressed out all the time, your dog can be anxious and depressed as well. Also, if we are busy with certain things, walking the dog or spending time with him can be pushed to the back burner and your dog will truly suffer because of this. There are a few things that you can do to make time for your dog so that he or she is not lonely!

* Take your dog with you when you are out doing the normal daily tasks. Whether you have to go pay bills, drive your children here or there or even going out for a drive, take your dog. He or she will love going, even if she has to sit in the car. Getting out of the house and having something different to look at is a great thing for your dog to get a chance to do. If you will have other people in the car, for instance if you will be driving your kids around or picking up friends, this is a great way for your furry friend to socialize. One thing you should be sure of is to never leave your dog for more than a half an hour in the car and you should NEVER leave your dog in the car on a hot day. This could result in fatal injuries due to the heat.

* Let your pooch sleep in the bedroom with you at night. He or she doesn't have to sleep on the bed - they can have a cozy spot in the corner. Still, just the time together with you is enough to put him or her at ease. Neither one of you have to do anything but you're spending time together anyway. This is a great thing to do. If you've noticed how dogs lie together when they are puppies, you will understand that dogs have an instinct to be close to the pack during times when they are vulnerable, like sleeping. This helps them to feel secure and safe. So, for an easy way to keep your dog happy and healthy, allow them to sleep in the bedroom with you at night. * Try exploring different areas with your dog. Becoming accustomed to the same old route can also become boring. Although dogs like familiar surroundings, they also appreciate exploring new areas and seeing new things. Taking your dog through the woods or down a new path or even to the beach would be a great idea. You could even take your dog on a hike. The key is for you to enjoy the time you spend together as well because then you will want to do it more often and that will help the relationship between you and your dog!

* Spend time with your dog while you're doing other things. You can multi-task and you won't have to feel guilty that you're not spending time with your dog. For instance, while you are watching television, you can brush and groom your dog. Or, if you're ready for a relaxing nap, allow your pooch to hop up on the couch and snooze along with you (unless of course he or she is a large breed dog - then you might get pushed off onto the floor!) Doing simple things like this can be very enjoyable for your dog and doesn't take much extra effort and no extra time from you!

* Encourage the other members of your household to play with your dog and spend time with him or her. If you live alone, you could hire a dog walker a few times a week (someone that you fully trust with your pet) and allow your dog the chance to interact with others and have a good time. If the dog lives in a house with children, this is great because children usually have tons of time and energy. Make sure that your dog understands that he or she is not dominant over the children and that the dog will obey the children's commands before you allow the child to play with the dog alone. Not only will this help keep your dog happy and well-adjusted, but it takes some of the responsibility off of your shoulders as well.

While you still need to spend a good amount of time with your dog, giving him or her attention, making sure that he or she is healthy and happy, you can make your life easier in some ways using the tips and tricks above.

About The Author

Kristi Carter

Is your dog traumatized when you leave him alone? Don't get mad or frustrated. He may be suffering from dog separation anxiety. Learn proven and humane tips to help him overcome dog separation anxiety once and for all! Visit http://www.dogseparationanxiety.net today!

Tips On Buying The Right Food For Your Pet

by: Derek Rogers

Food is one of the most important necessities in your pet’s life. It provides the nutrients they need in order to grow and develop into mature animals as well as giving them the energy they need each day to enjoy life by your side. There is a vast array of manufacturers that provide food for all animals and it can be a confusing task to decipher all the ingredients, proteins and benefits of each one in order to choose the very best one for your pet.

Depending on the type of pet you have, you will still have to do some research to find out exactly what you should be providing them for their main meals as well as any snacks or treats on the side. You can find a multitude of information on the Internet, from friends or family with similar animals, or even from sales representatives at your local pet shop. When it comes down to the final decision though, you are the responsible one who will choose what you feel is best for your pet, not your aunt or the guy in the pet store.

With the awareness of organic foods for the public in every supermarket and health food store, there has also grown the niche for organic pet food. There are many painstaking efforts that go into providing a balanced meal for your pet that is free of many additives that are not necessary for your pet’s nutritional health and yet are included in many other manufactured pet foods.

Organic pet foods are not always available at every pet store or grocery store where other popular brands are sold, thus making it harder to find for some pet owners. With the increased awareness, organic meals are being produced more than ever, but due to the nature of the process, these types of foods for your pet are generally more expensive than a store-brand bag of dry food that you could pick up at any local corner store. As with any food for your pets, there are positives and negatives to each.

Price is not always an indication of the quality of food, but it tends to be a good guide for the market shopper. If you examine the store-brand plain dry food, you may find the ingredients to list not as many proteins or pure foods like some other popular brands. Additives may be more abundant in cheaper brands, but they can still be apparent in many higher-priced brand name pet foods. Just like you shop for your own health and wellness, be sure to read the labels and shop for your pet’s health and wellness.

There can be side effects to supplying the low-cost alternative food for your pets in some cases. Your pet can develop anywhere from mild to severe health issues that are directly related to the type of food provided. With some cats, liver problems and kidney stones can develop rapidly if not provided with a good quality food each day. You will want to be sure that you are doing everything you can in order to maintain your pet’s health and wellness for years to come.

About The Author

Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For advice on pet food, he recommends Seapets, one of the UK's leading suppliers of http://www.seapets.co.uk/ pet supplies.

Pet Checklist - 12 Points To Consider When Buying A Pet

by: Derek Rogers

When you and your family are making the decision to purchase a pet, you will want to go through a checklist in order to make sure that it is the right decision for everyone involved. It is a major life event when bringing a pet into the home and the decision should not be taken lightly.

With a set guideline or checklist ahead of time, you will ensure that you are making the correct choice and there will be no anxiety once your pet comes home to meet his new family. Nothing can be more gratifying than having a family pet grow and thrive with you and your family over the years.

1- Room: Is there space for a pet in your home? Larger animals need space for exercise each day while smaller caged animals need just a small desk or counter-top. Depending on the type of ample space you have will portray what type of pet you will be able to house.

2 – Lifestyle: Does a pet fit your lifestyle? For many busy families a pet will not fit into their schedule. You will need to be sure that there is time for a new companion in your home that may need walking each day, or just a few minutes of simple contact in order to thrive in your home.

3 – Cost: How much are you willing to spend on a pet? Are you financially able to maintain that pet if such things as vet bills become high? Determining your budget will show if you can really afford the maintenance such as yearly exams, periodic vet bills in the event of illness, etc.

4 – Regulations: Are you able to legally own a pet? Some families who rent are not able to have animals in various apartment buildings or condominiums, while some town homes and condominium associations have stipulations on what size of animal is allowed on the premises. Checking out all the necessary rules before purchasing your new family member.

5 – Pet Supplier: Will you be choosing a pet shop or local breeder for your pet? Some people decide on animals that are at local animal shelters. Be sure to do extensive checks on where your pet comes from, especially if they claim to be purebred.

6 – Traveling: Do you travel a lot? Are you able to travel with your pet or would you have to find alternative arrangements for your pet while you are gone.

7 – Veterinarians: Do you have a vet close by that you can consult in times of need? If you do not have a licensed animal care provider it may discourage you from choosing an animal that needs regular care.

8 – Activities: What type of activities do you enjoy doing as a family? Are these activities the type that you will be taking your pet with you? A pet is a member of your family and should not be left at home if you are enjoying time outside where they could be as well.

9 – Allergies: Do you know anyone with pet allergies? This can have a direct result on the type of pet you decide on if you get one at all. Some may find that it is not feasible since their mother visits each year for 2 weeks in the summer and is highly allergic to animals.

10 – Other pets: Do you have other pets that need to adapt to a new member? If so, this can be a very touchy situation when bringing in other animals into a ‘1 pet home’.

11 – Previous Pet Experience: Do you have any experience with owning a pet? If not, are you willing to do the necessary research in order to know how to take care of your pet properly?

12 – Responsibility: Is the responsibility of this new pet yours alone or will it be a shared family task? Be sure to set ground rules with everyone in the family so that it is a decision everyone is happy with.

If you are still considering a family pet even after going through this simple checklist and finding out that what you are looking for is a companion and a friend then you are ready to go out and purchase your new pet. After going through this list you will be well equipped with some basic knowledge about what you need to know when purchasing a new animal for your home.

About The Author

Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For advice on buying a pet, he recommends Seapets, one of the UK's leading suppliers of http://www.seapets.co.uk/ pet supplies.

Pet Care - Your Essential Checklist To Caring For Your Pet

by: Derek Rogers

The decision to bring a pet into your home for you and your family should not be taken lightly. A pet will become a member of your family and not just a fixture in your home. Pets are not meant to come and go, but to remain as part of your home for years to come. Unfortunately for some, pets are disposable items that will be moved if they are an inconvenience. This should be avoided since unstable homes can make unstable pets.

A checklist for pet care can be an essential tool when you first bring home your new pet. For many people, a new pet is their first experience at being a full-time pet parent, and for those this list will be most useful. Preparing yourself, your home, and your pet for those first few months in a new environment will make the change go gracefully and help everyone adjust easily.

1. The first thing you want to be sure of is that your pet has all of their vaccinations up to date. It is important that your new pet is protected from such outside irritants as fleas, tics, ringworm, or many other ailments such as distemper or rabies. The health of your pet is one of the most important aspects of ongoing care. Wellness exams each year are important for your pet. A veterinarian will perform a thorough exam on your pet looking at such things as their vital signs, ears, eyes, mouth, the heart and lungs, as well as the reproductive organs and their skin. This step is a very important preventative measure for your pet each year.

2. Getting your home ready for your new pet can be a big task, but one that is essential for the big day that your new friend comes home. If it is a small caged animal, a small space that is quiet is fine for them to be used to their surroundings. You will not want to take your new friend out just yet, but let them get used to the sounds and smells of their new home before you start introducing them outside of their immediate surroundings. If it is a larger, self-sufficient animal such as a cat or dog, you will want to make sure that they have their own space, a blanket or pet bed for retreating to, out of the way in case they are too overwhelmed at the beginning.

3. Regular physical routine is essential for any pet. This is their exercise routine since they are not like us and do activity regularly without the help of us. Larger pets such as dogs must be walked every day, smaller animals like cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, and birds can be trained to play with anyone in the family. Toys such as balls, bells, tubes, or even apparatuses are useful in helping your pet achieve physical activity during the day while you are away or even you interacting with them while they are exploring.

If you follow some simple guidelines, your new pet is sure to adapt to his new family in no time at all. Regular checkups, physical activity and preventative measures can not only make your pet more comfortable, but also extend the life of your pet. A pet is an investment so you will want to be sure to take care of him for the benefit of everyone.