hairballs and cats

5 Facts About Hairballs and What’s Normal in a Cat

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Sometimes our pets can experience things that are completely normal and natural, and yet that alarm us as pet owners because we simply don’t understand them. On the flip side, there may be things that our pets experience that we assume are completely normal and natural because we have heard it is so when actually they are not entirely normal or natural. And so it is with cats and hairballs. Understanding Hairballs April 28th is National Hairball Awareness Day, a day that is expressly devoted to helping cat owners better understand this rather odd and unpleasant activity. Not only can learning more about hairballs help owners to better understand the normal and natural aspects of hairballs, it can help owners to better understand what isn’t normal or natural and therefore needs to be checked by a veterinarian. Following are five facts about hairballs: Some cats tend to have more hairballs…

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national pet day

National Pet Day: How Pets Became Part of the Family

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National Pet Day was first established in 2006 and is celebrated on April 11th each year with the purpose of both celebrating how pets enrich the lives of their owners and also raising general public awareness about just how many animals are sitting in shelters and rescue organizations across the country, waiting to find their forever homes. For many pet owners, it is impossible to imagine their family without their pet as part of it, and yet many individuals have yet to experience this amazing bond. Pets As Family Bringing a pet into your life means taking on a lot of extra responsibility, which can be a big adjustment for individuals who have never before owned a pet. However, the fact is that pets who are really well loved and cared for tend to repay their owners many times over, making the responsibilities of owning a pet very well worth…

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How Seasonal Changes Can Affect Your Pet’s Appetite

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Have you ever noticed that you tend to want and eat more food when it’s colder outside, and feel less interested in food when it’s hot outside? These appetite changes based on changing weather conditions are perfectly normal, and they can occur in our pets as well–you may have even noticed that your cat is far less interested in eating, or eating much when the weather is warmer. But why is this? Seasonal Changes and Appetites Many different studies on animals have determined that their appetites and food intake definitely change with the seasons, but there has actually been very little research specifically on how seasonal changes affect the appetites and food intake of dogs and cats. Not too long ago, a group of English and French researchers concluded a six-year study that investigated the eating habits of thirty-eight cats that were fed free choice. The study participants included twenty-two…

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Tips for Loving and Caring for a Disabled Pet

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Whatever the reason for the disability, most pet owners readily agree that confronting a disability in their beloved pet can be incredibly heartbreaking. However, the truth is that pet owners are usually more aware of and affected by their pet’s disability than their pet is, and with the right care, their pet can still live a very happy, active and fulfilling life. The fact that they are disabled doesn’t mean that we don’t still love them, and while we may have to adjust to different standards of care we can continue to benefit from our deep bond with our pet. Loving and Caring for a Disabled Pet When considering how best to love and care for your disabled pet, there are some very important things to bear in mind: Your pet doesn’t know he’s disabled. Your pet doesn’t feel sorry for himself. Your pet is very accepting of whatever life…

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Cuts and Scrapes in Pets: Signs You Need to See a Vet

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As much as pet owners hate to see their pets suffer from any sort of injury, it is even worse when they can’t determine the extent of the injury or what needs to be done to handle it. Taking your pet to the veterinarian for a minor cut or scrape that could be healed at home with minimal treatment can be equally as frustrating as failing to take your pet to the veterinarian for what appears to be a minor cut or scrape but is actually a more serious injury that needs deeper treatment or even surgery. So how can you tell which is which? When to Take Your Pet to the Vet Lacerations occur when sharp objects like glass, blades, metal edges or claws cut the skin. Depending on the object responsible for the laceration, these cuts can be shallow or deep and have either clean or jagged edges….

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Signs Your Cat May be Having Urinary Tract Problems

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It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether your beloved kitty is suffering from any sort of health problems, primarily because they are unable to communicate about any of the symptoms they are experiencing. Unfortunately, these health problems can be quite uncomfortable or even painful, and may sometimes lead to severe and even life-threatening health issues if left untreated. This is why regular veterinary physical exams are so important, and why an owner who recognizes that something just seems a little “off” about their cat should take action to determine whether their cat may be suffering a health issue–like a urinary tract problem. Understanding Feline Urinary Tract Problems Urinary tract problems are, unfortunately, somewhat common among domestic cats, especially when they are middle-aged, overweight, have limited or no outdoor access, and eat a dry food diet. A cat that has a urinary tract problem is not usually able to empty…

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5 Common Genetic Disorders that Affect Dogs

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It is an unfortunate fact that many dogs are affected by genetic disorders that can impact their overall health and lifestyle to varying degrees. However, this does not mean that one cannot enjoy a long and fruitful relationship with a dog who is prone to or suffering from one of these disorders. In fact, knowing the most common genetic disorders can allow one to take precautions that may help minimize the extent to which their dog may be affected. Common Genetic Disorders in Dogs Some purebred dogs tend to suffer from certain genetic diseases due to their basic genetic makeup, whereas some dog breeds just tend to be healthier and suffer fewer medical problems than others. However, this does not mean that all purebred dogs are automatically doomed to a life filled with medical problems and all mixed breed dogs are automatically immune to all medical problems. When considering the…

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How to Identify Dangerous Ingredients in Pet Treats

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One of the many joys of pet ownership is being able to spoil your pet with treats every now and again. Of course, we also care deeply about our pets and would never want to give them anything that could potentially harm their health. So how do we know if their treats are actually healthy? Identifying Dangerous Ingredients Just as you check the ingredient lists of the foods you eat, you should check the ingredient lists of your pet’s treats. Ingredients are listed by weight order, so the first few ingredients on the list should definitely be high-quality–as fresh, pure and minimally processed as possible. You should recognize every ingredient on the label and know exactly where it came from–chicken fat obviously comes from chickens, whereas animal fat is of indeterminate origin. You also want to look for whole food ingredients, as they are less processed and contain more nutrients…

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Guide to Preventing Heart Disease in Your Dog

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Sharing your life with a dog means that you are also willing and able to take full responsibility for ensuring the fulfillment of their every need. Since dogs are unable to easily communicate with their owners, owners must fully understand these needs. Even the most well-intentioned owners may err in failing to provide full, necessary care to their dog, usually only realizing their error after their dog receives a non-optimal health diagnosis. Considering that heart disease in dogs can cause extensive problems to a dog’s health and happiness, but that many forms of heart disease are entirely preventable if the dog leads a healthy lifestyle, it is important for owners to understand their role in preventing this disease. Preventing Heart Disease Effectively preventing heart disease begins with understanding the main types and their causes, as well as what one can do about it. Congenital heart disease occurs when a dog…

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5 Responsibilities That Come With Being a Pet Owner

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As pet owners, we consider our pets to be important members of our family and we try to do everything possible to keep them healthy and happy. We recognize that pet ownership is both a privilege and a responsibility, and we cannot simply tend to our pets when it’s convenient for us. We recognize that our pets need love, care, and devotion in order to survive well, and we are willing to provide these things to them, especially since they so willingly provide us with unconditional love in return. But what exactly does being a responsible pet owner mean? In honor of Responsible Pet Owner month, we have outlined five key responsibilities that come with being a pet owner: Make every effort to incorporate your pet into your family. Domesticated pets, and especially dogs, need human companionship in order to live happy, fulfilling lives. Many of our pets are traditionally…

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