Friday, December 11, 2009

Canine History

Miacis, is described as a weasel sized small carnivore that lived 40 million years back in the Eocene period. This animal is believed to be the oldest ancestor of present day dogs. They were forest dwellers, smaller in size with long tail and short limbs.

Cynidictus was the next to evolve and the evolution of Hesperocyan is thought to be next stage. There are two views on the development of Miocene period was followed by Tomarectus of Pliocene period and then the present day canids. But there is another view that Hesperocyan and then Leptocyan may be the ancestors of dogs or even Tomarectus. The immediate wild ancestors of the dogs are more or less accepted as wolves (Canis lupus). But there are other views like the possibility of mixing of jackal and wolves, which lacks fossil evidence. The production of fertile offspring from the mating of wolf and dogs supports wolfian ancestry for dogs. Moreover the dog breed Alsatian has lot of similarities with wolf. Dogs belong to the class Mammalia, sub class Metatheria, Order Carnivora, Family Canidae, Genus Canis and species familaris.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dog Dental Health

Dental health is very important for the general health of the dog. The health of the dog depends very much on what it eats. The eating nutritious food is possible only when the dog dental health is at its peak.

Plaques are the one that gets formed in the teeth between the brushings. Plaque is nothing but the mixture of saliva, food particles and bacteria. The plaque will be very soft at the beginning and it slowly gets hardened. The color too changes to brown when it has hardened. The hardened plaque is called tartar. As more and more plaques are formed, they spread to the gum, thus carrying the infection to gum.

Tooth brushing is the easy and simply the best in removing the plaque and also in preventing the formation of the plaque. The dog’s teeth must be brushed regularly. There are special tooth brushes available for the dogs. The veterinarian will guide you how to brush the dog. In case brushing the dog’s teeth is not possible, then you can think of using the chews that rubs the sides of the dog’s teeth.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Old Soul

Cats are now living longer than ever with the average age being between 11 and 15 years (may be shorter for pedigrees). It is no longer unusual to find cats in their 20’s and even some reaching their 30’s. In human terms a cat ages 24 human years in its first 2 years and then 4 years every year thereafter. Therefore a 15 year old cat would be 24 + 52 (13x4) = 76 years in human terms. Old age cats, suffer various illnesses. Old age can also bring along aching bones, arthritis, kidney and liver failure, thyroid problems and cancer. An elderly cat should be blood tested once a year as many medical issues can be managed in the older cat if they are found in the early stages. Unfortunately, for example in the case of kidney failure - the kidneys can be 80% damaged before the owner notices anything is wrong. His teeth will also need checking!

If you have an older cat, you must make allowances, as you would for a human. It may feel warm enough to you, but for an old thin cat he may well seek out the heat of your lap.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Timid Tomcat Continued…

If you have a particularly timid cat, or if there are other pets in the house try putting one room aside to work with the timid cat. Set this up with its own bed, toys, litter tray, food, and a cardboard box as a safe haven. Do not place the litter tray near the bed or food. The cat is likely to be in here for a while, maybe even a few weeks, so make it comfortable. Leave the cat carrier in the same room as the cat. Place the box in a quiet corner, facing the opening into the wall. Cats feel more secure in a small dark environment. Also if you leave the carrier out the cat will not be as fearful of it should you need to take it to the vet. It is quite normal that when you get a shy timid cat back home it will become even more introvert. It is important at this stage to allow the cat to come to terms with its new environment at its own pace. Never attempt to drag the cat out from wherever it has taken refuge.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Timid Tomcat

We all hope that our cat will be the loveable little soul that will want to sit on our lap for hours and have endless cuddles, but some of them are just not like that. The most important time in a cat’s life is the first 8 weeks. Any experiences in these first few weeks will form their characters. Bare this in mind if you want to ensure a loveable pet: Hand feeding is the quickest and easiest way to gain a cats trust. If proving particularly difficult use tuna, ham or prawns to get started with and then feed her normal cat food. As she becomes more confident move the food further away so she has to come towards you to get her reward. This method can also be used with cats that will not sit on your lap. Sitting on the floor at her level, offer her the food - then bit by bit start to move the food a little further over each time, so she has to put one paw on your leg.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Agro Kitty

Pain Related Aggression - First and foremost you must see a vet. If your cat has suddenly become aggressive for what appears to be no reason at all then you must first rule out any medical problems. An abscess or wound from a fight may not be visible to us but can cause the cat extreme pain. There could be any number of reasons why a cat is in pain so you MUST get the cat checked by a vet first to rule out any medical reason before looking at the situation from a behavioural point of view.
Fear Related Aggression - the period from 2- 8 weeks of age in a kitten’s life is very important. They should be handled for at least one hour a day and should see at least 8 different people during this period. They should then grow up to be comfortable with being handled by humans. Kittens that are not well socialised learn to fear humans and will be defensively aggressive towards us. Kittens soon learn that if they hiss and spit then we back off - in the end the behaviour is done automatically as soon as a human approaches.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ingredients to look for/avoid in canned cat food

A cat needs several ingredients for their basic health. Cats need protein from an animal source, preferably chicken or fish or lean beef. A canned cat food should also have taurine, an essential amino acid. Cats also need a balance of vitamins, enzymes, fatty acids, minerals and enzymes. A canned food should not have corn, soy, colorings or artificial flavors. It also should have only 5- to 8% ash and a low grain content. Avoid foods with ingredients such as "bone-meal", added sugars or any kind of corn meal. Chemical preservatives such as ethoxyquin, propyl gallate, BHA and BHT or more than 8% grain are definitely bad for your cat. The best cat food contains at least 78% moisture. This helps your cat get the hydration it needs because a cat ingests moisture through the intestine. Some preservatives are necessary in canned cat food. However, the more natural the preservative, the better. Many natural cat food formulas use vitamin E as a preservative. Canned cat food should still be refrigerated and used within 3 days.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NO-Bark Collars

A safer method than a barking problem in a dog is training. Most dogs bark because they are anxious, especially small dogs. Shocking them when they bark is not going to resolve the anxiety. In fact, it will make it worse. Thus, you may eventually stop the barking, but you have not helped the underlying problem. Those anxious feelings will show themselves in other ways such as chewing, inappropriate elimination or even aggression.

If your dog is barking at a window or in the yard etc, do not give them access to that area when you are gone. Give them a quiet room with a comfortable bed, treats and bones. Don't let your dog practice the behavior all day. When you are home, teach a no bark command. Play with him in a way that will make him bark. Then say "quiet" when he stops. Reward with good treats. Practice this until he responds every time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Say ‘bye’ to Ring worm

Ringworm can be spread by simple contact, so it's important to know with who your dog is in contact. At the dog park or other heavily trafficked area, it is impossible to know if your dog is coming in contact with ringworm or not. Ringworm survive in dark, damp places, so make sure to regularly clean areas where your dog spends a lot of time. Frequently wash bedding and clean water bowls, especially in outdoor areas. Groom your dog every two to four weeks, more frequently for long-haired breeds. If you handle a strange dog, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before handling your own dog since ringworm can be transmitted between species. Ringworm is more likely to infect puppies or undernourished dog, so providing your dog with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise will help prevent any type of disease. Check your dog food label and make sure the first three ingredients are high-quality protein (not meat by-products). The food should not contain any corn or wheat as dogs cannot digest this. It is cheap filler that provides no nutritional value. A higher value food may cost more, but you can feed less.