Summer Shedding

Summer heat means, your dogs and cats are shedding. While you might be annoyed at the extra hairball tumble weeds on your floor, remember that all that loose hair isn’t good for your pet. Dogs and cats require a minimum of weekly brushing year round, even if they are indoors. Long haired cats and dogs may require daily brushing.

The best products I’ve found to help me manage my dog and cats’ shedding are the Furminator products.

Furminator makes stainless steel blade brushes in many varieties to fit every coat length and type. The brushes are very effective at removing not only the top coat, but also the loose undercoat that can cause matting if left on your pet. The brush blades are well made and don’t scratch your pets skin or pull on their fur. I’ve found that brushing my dog and cats with the Furminator brush twice a week really controls my pets’ shedding.

Furminator also makes many waterless sprays that aid in the effectiveness of brushing.. I’m going to tell you my two favorites.

The first one is for cats. I’ve been using Furminator Hairball Prevention spray on my cats for years. It helps reduce shedding and prevents hairballs in cats without having to bathe them. The spray contains Omega 3 Fatty Acids and other natural ingredients that help keep my cats fur shiny and healthy looking.

The second spray is for dogs. I use Furminator detangling waterless spray. My Shih-Tzu has curly fur that gets easily tangled between grooming appointments. This spray is very effective in loosening the tangles, so I can brush through it without pulling his fur. Like the Hairball Prevention spray, the detangling spray is made with Omega 3 Fatty Acids and other natural ingredients to promote healthy fur.

Furminator products will help you keep the excess hair off your dogs and cats so they can enjoy the summer with you. Happy brushing!!

Dog Rearing: The Essentials

Attention, Exercise, and Mental Stimulation

Dogs need social interaction, physical exercise, and mental stimulation – just like children do – in order to grow up to be healthy and well adjusted.  When these needs are not met, many behaviour problems can develop. 

Attention:

How much daily social time does a dog need? A good rule of thumb is that a dog should spend at least half his waking hours each day interacting with other dogs and people.  Like humans, most dogs enjoy a mix of old friends and new encounters – so make sure your pup meets at least one new dog or person each day.   While dogs do need to learn to spend time alone, too much isolation will make them antisocial, anxious or depressed.  Allowing your dog regular access to his familiar doggie buddies as well as the chance to meet new dogs will increase the chances of him being socially content and well adjusted. 

Physical Exercise & Mental Stimulation:

Your dog’s brain and body BOTH need lots of exercise. Swimming, playing tug & fetch, and playing with other dogs are good brain AND body work-outs.  Walks on leash are not always physically exerting, but they do provide a lot of mental stimulation: all the outdoor smells, sights and sounds are very interesting!  Working on obedience skills requires lots of doggy concentration, and your dog will love the mental challenge of figuring out new things.   Make sure you exercise your dog’s brain AND body each day.

5 Things Pets can Teach Children

Many children start asking for a pet at a very early age.  Parents play an important role in teaching children the correct way to interact and care for pets.  If introduced to the care of a pet in the proper way, pets can teach children a number of valuable skills.  Today, I’m going to cover the top five skills: responsibility, patience, trust/respect, compassion, and self-esteem.

Responsibility:  Parents can use a pet to teach children of any age responsibility.  Pets require daily feeding, exercise, attention, and cleaning up after.  Depending on the pet, they may also require regular brushing.  No matter the age of the child, they can learn responsibility from the pet.  Younger children can learn through one task such as feeding or playtime. Older children can learn how to care for a pet by performing multiple tasks daily.   The tasks that are required to care for a pet are a small price to pay for such a loyal companion.

Patience:  It takes patience to bond with a new pet. While the family is getting used to having a pet in the house; the new pet is becoming comfortable with its new surroundings.  At this pivotal point in the new relationship, it is important that a child is taught the correct way to interact with the pet.  A child will learn patience while the new pet becomes comfortable with the family. 

Trust/RespectThe biggest part of this bonding time is building trust and respect between the family and the new pet.  Children must be taught how to touch the pet gently, tend to its needs, and learn not to disturb the pet when it’s eating or sleeping.  Once this relationship has been made, pets make wonderful trusted companions.    

Compassion:  The work that goes into building a relationship with a pet teaches children compassion.  Caring for a pet requires compassion and understanding.  The new pet can’t communicate with words what it needs.  A child needs to be taught to understand the subtle body language that pets use to convey their desires.  A pet needs a compassionate caretaker who can understand the pet’s required care. 

Self-esteem:  Pets show unconditional love to the family that cares for it.  This love can be a great boost to a child’s self-esteem.  A pet can be a constant companion for the child.  The pet’s nonjudgmental love makes it easy for the child to confide in the pet.  The skills used to build this relationship with a pet will also give the child the confidence to use these skills with others in their life.   

Owning a pet teaches children how to respect others and build trusting relationships using patience and compassion.  All this being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all children are ready for pet ownership. Parents should first make sure they are able to help their child with the pet. Together, the family should decide what type of pet is best. Moreover, don’t assume a child will take care of the pet without assistance from the first day. The ultimate responsibility usually falls on the parents, not the child, to make sure the pet is cared for properly.  But allowing a pet to become a member of your family will benefit everyone involved.