Bird Care Basics

Are you thinking about getting a bird but aren’t sure if it’s the right choice for you? Or do you already have a bird and want to be sure you are taking care of the essentials?

Having a pet bird may seem daunting, but it’s nothing to be afraid of. In fact, birds are delightful little creatures to share your space with and if you make the decision to adopt one, chances are you won’t be disappointed. There are a few basic ground rules of having a pet bird, though, so read on to be sure you are providing your flying friend with everything he or she needs to be content.

It’s crucial to do your research before adopting any kind of pet, whether it’s a dog, cat, bird, or ferret. This will help you know what to expect when it comes to their care and ensures there aren’t any surprises in terms of breed behavior or what they require in their environment. If possible, it’s always better to rescue or adopt a pet than it is to buy it from a pet store (more on that here).

When it comes to birds, there are a couple of birds that are considered good starter birds, meaning they are suitable for individuals who have no previous experience with birds and are looking for a pet that is easy to manage. Finches and canaries are two such birds: they are easy to care for, don’t require as much human interaction as some other birds, and they don’t need as much free flying time as other birds, either. For these reasons, a finch or a canary is a great choice for your first bird.

One of the most important things you can do for your bird gets it a cage big enough to spread its wings and move around a bit. The bigger the cage, the better. Make sure the cage includes at least one perch that the bird can sit on and put it in an easily accessible spot in the cage. Place food and water bowls for your bird in the cage, but ensure they are in a spot where they won’t be tainted by excrement or any other messes your bird might make in its cage. The food and water should remain clean at all times.

Some people get birds thinking they don’t need any attention at all and can just be left in their cage at all times. That’s not the case. Birds, like almost all other animals, crave interaction and need human bonding time in order to remain happy in their environment. Leaving your bird alone too much can make it lonely and depressed. Give your bird toys in its cage, so it can entertain itself when you are not around. Mirrors, climbing structures, and a biting stick are great additions to a bird’s cage. The biting stick can also help redirect any aggressive energy away from your fingers.

Even if your bird has toys, though, you still need to take it out and play with it whenever you get the chance. Shower your bird with love and attention. If you want, you can train your bird to do certain things like sitting on your finger and even perform tricks. It might sound difficult, but it’s actually not as hard as you might think and it’s quite rewarding for both you and the bird. In the meantime, though, you can make sure your bird remains happy and healthy by providing it with all the basics listed so far. Birds are beautiful beings that need loving and caring owners, so be sure you are up for the commitment before you adopt!

Running With Your Dog: When and How to Do It

If you enjoy running and you have a dog, chances are you’d like to take your dog along with you for a run every now and then. If you’ve just up and tried it, chances are it hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would. Running with a dog isn’t as easy as some make it seem, but it can be done if you put in the time and effort.

Distance Runs Not For All Dogs

Before you decide to start taking your dog for a run, make sure your dog can handle it. If you have a small dog, running far distances probably isn’t a good idea. It doesn’t take much to tire out a small dog and you don’t want to overwork your dog to the point of illness or danger. In case you didn’t know already, most dogs will continue to run even after they are exhausted simply to please you.

Make sure you understand the signs of a tired and over-exhausted dog and you stop before you do any damage. If your dog is overweight, it’s also not a good idea to run very far. It might seem counterintuitive because exercise can help dogs lose weight, but running with extra weight is bad for dogs’ joints and can put them at risk of injury. Instead of running with your overweight dog, try walking regularly. Once they have lost some weight and are back to a more normal weight, you can begin running with them.

If you have a medium sized or big dog with a lot of energy, it’s probably running with doga great idea to take your dog for a long run. Shepherds, pit bulls, border collies, and other high energy dogs make great running partners once you have trained them properly. Not only does it help you get in your daily exercise, but it can help keep your dog fit and healthy while also ridding them of any excess energy that may result in destructive behavior.

How to Begin

An important part of training your dog to run is to start slow. Don’t expect your canine companion to immediately be able to run in a perfect line or keep up with your ten minute mile. At the beginning, only run for short distances and if your dog is sniffing along the way, don’t jerk on his or her leash. Instead, try to redirect their attention back to running using verbal commands. Jerking on their leash, especially if they are wearing just a collar, can cause serious neck damage and is similar to whiplash for people. Always do your best to avoid that.

It might take awhile for your dog to understand what they are supposed to do. Because dogs are so sensitive to smells, it is in their nature to want to stop and investigate. If you reward them with a treat or verbal praise when they ignore distractions and continue to run, you will be able to teach and encourage them to keep running rather than stopping. Over time, you can build up the distance that you run with your dog. Again, start slow at the beginning.

Incremental Training

Run half a mile several times before moving up to a mile, and so on. It really can’t be emphasized enough that you pay attention to your dog’s body language to ensure you don’t over-exhaust them. If your dog starts dragging behind or is panting and breathing abnormally, stop running immediately and take them home to have some water. Make sure your dog is keeping pace with you and doesn’t seem like he is struggling to keep up.

Running with your dog is a wonderful, exciting experience. It is rewarding knowing that you are improving both your health and your dog’s health just by spending time together. Make sure you are always aware of your dog’s body language so you know when enough is enough. Besides that, enjoy the training aspect of it. Though it might feel tedious, teaching your dog to run with you will also help you both form a closer bond. Once you’ve got the running straight part down, enjoy building up the distance and soon you and your dog will be thriving together!

What to Do When You Adopt a Cat

You’ve done it! You just adopted a feline companion. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of saving an innocent creature from the shelter and bringing it back to your home to receive love for the rest of its life.

It’s an exciting time for both you and your new pet, but before you invite all your friends over and let your cat out into the house, know that there are some precautions to take with your new cat. Whether your new pet be a tiny little kitten or an adult cat, there are a few things you need to do to help ensure the health of your new pet.  You may also adopt a pet for your grandparents to give them some companionship and keep them from needing long term care.

1)    Take a trip to the vet

Depending on where you adopted your cat from, he or she may have been vaccinated. Some pounds administer the basic vaccines like rabies and FLIV, but not others. Even if your cat has been fully vaccinated, it’s still crucial to take your cat to the veterinary office in the first couple days of adoption. It’s important to get a full physical exam, check up to see if your cat has any problems like fleas, heartworms, or any other health conditions, and get any vaccinations still needed. Upper respiratory conditions and eye infections are very common in cats adopted from the shelter, and treatment is simple and fairly inexpensive. Just do your best to get your cat into the vet as soon as possible to make sure his or her health is in tip top shape!

2)    Introduce wisely adopt a cat

If you have other pets in your house, don’t just let your new cat free into their surroundings. First of all, your new cat should be quarantined for about 2 weeks before being introduced to any other animals. A bathroom or laundry room will work nicely. Set up a bed, a food bowl, water bowl, and litter box (as far away from the food as possible) so your new cat has its own miniature home for the time being. Quarantine is necessary to ensure your new pet doesn’t pass on any lingering illnesses to your other pets. Put a towel with each of your pets and after a day, switch them so the pets get accustomed to the new animals’ scent. Allow the pets to smell each other through the door of the bathroom or laundry room, but don’t let them get face to face just yet. Once the quarantine period is over, you can introduce them, but make sure you do it slowly and cautiously. It’s best to put pets together for only a short period of time at first to gauge their reactions and make sure no conflict occurs. Over time, you can let them be together for longer and hopefully they will be friends before you know it!

3)    Don’t force it

If your new cat is scared coming out of the shelter, as many are, don’t try to force him to be friendly with you or your other pets. If he wants to hide under the bed for weeks, let him do just that. Forcing it will only scare your new cat more. Give him or her time to get used to all the new sights, sounds, and smells in your home and over time and let your cat come out on their own schedule and he or she will be more comfortable with their new surroundings.

Adopting a cat is such a joyful experience and it can bring about years of fun and companionship. Following these three tips can help you make the best of your cat’s new situation and help make sure he or she is happy, comfortable, and healthy in their new home!

4) Pets Help Seniors Age Gracefully

Take your cat to grandma’s house… it just my keep her from using her hybrid long term care insurance policy.  It’s well know that seniors who have pets are happier and healthier so bring your new friend around grandma as much as you can.  Grandma might have planned ahead and bought a hybrid long term care plan but does not mean she needs to use it!  In fact if your furry new friend keeps her out of the nursing home you and she never uses her hybrid long term care insurance policy you may get a tax free life insurance benefits!

Searching for a Purebred Dog? Try a Rescue First.

If you talk to any dog lover, chances are they will be able to tell your their favorite breed of dog. Even if they don’t have one themselves, most people have a certain kind of dog that they think is the most attractive or most desirable, for any number of reasons. Be it a Husky, a German Shepherd, a Chihuahua, a Pug, or an Australian Shepherd, there are hundreds of various dog breeds and each one has a different temperament.

Some people are extremely particular about the breed of dog that they want for a companion animal and many of those people turn to breeders to fill their need. The truth is, though, if you are searching for a purebred dog, a great place to start is your local rescue organization.

Rescue a Purebred

You may be surprised to hear me say that. A rescue organization? Don’t they typically adopt out pound dogs and mutts? Well, yes. But if you think about it, a dog who ends up at the pound had to start somewhere. As nice as it would be if things were this way, not all dog owners are responsible, whether they have a shelter dog or a purebred dog. All dogs are vulnerable to being taken to the pound and the chances that you can find a purebred dog at the shelter are actually much higher than you might think.

According to the Humane Society, approximately 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred dogs. Compound that fact with the fact that many rescue organizations focus on rescuing a specific breed of dog and the chances of you finding the specific breed you are looking for without going to a breeder or a pet shop go up drastically.

More and more dog rescue organizations are being started and many are breed-specific rescues, meaning they only take in a certain breed of dog. Border Collie rescues, Rat Terrier rescues, Husky rescues, they all exist. It’s just a matter of locating them. If you live in a big city or a highly populated state, it will likely be fairly easy to find the type of dog you are looking for in a rescue. All it takes is a little online research and some scouting around and you might find exactly the dog you envisioned.

Purebreds and Health

There’s no guarantee the dog you find will be 100% purebred. If the dog purebred dogis adoptable from a rescue organization, the likelihood of having accompanying bloodline paperwork and information is quite low (but not nonexistent!). This is when the factor of health comes into play. Many purebred dogs have serious health problems, either as a result of breed genetics or repeated inbreeding. Purebred dogs with a strict lineage may have just the look you want, but the health aspect can often be devastating to both the pet and your wallet.

Larger dogs are more prone to hip and leg problems, pugs are prone to breathing and hip problems, and other breeds are prone to brain, spine, or heart conditions. According to Scientific American, “half of all Cavalier King Charles spaniels will develop mitral valve disease, a serious heart condition that leaves the dogs susceptible to premature death. By the same age, up to 70 percent will suffer from canine syringomyelia, a debilitating neurological disorder in which the brain is too large for the skull, causing severe pain in the neck and shoulders, along with damage to parts of the dog’s spinal cord.” These spaniels aren’t alone in their health woes.

Cost of Buying a Purebred

Many purebred dogs will experience similar health problems as they age, putting them at risk of dying much younger than their mixed-breed counterparts. So unless you are adopting a dog to be a show dog or a breeding dog, 100% breed purity shouldn’t be a concern. In fact, adopting a dog who has a little bit of mixed blood might actually be a better idea. Veterinary costs for these types of conditions can be astronomical, often up in the thousands of dollars. If the dog has frequent problems, those bills can add up quickly.

Besides the health problems of truly purebred dogs, buying one from a breeder or a pet store is also much more expensive than adopting one from a rescue. Buying from a breeder or pet store can cost thousands of dollars, and you often don’t get the same benefits that you will from adopting from a rescue. Nearly all rescue organizations require that their dogs be spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated before being adopted out, which means tied into the few hundred dollars you pay is the cost of expensive health bills that you no longer have to worry about. With dogs from pet stores or breeders, that is often not the case. You are typically responsible for vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery on your own.

It’s understandable that people want certain kinds of dogs. Personalities, looks, and skills are often dependent upon the breed, but before you race off to spend thousands of dollars on a purebred dog, look around at your local shelter and rescue organizations first. You might just be surprised at what you find.

Taking Your Pet for a Car Ride

If you have a dog or cat, chances are you have had to take them for a ride in the car at least once. Whether it was for a trip to the vet, a vacation road trip, or just running errands, driving our pets in the car is an inevitable part of life. Fortunately for some people, their pets love going for rides. For others, though, the task is not as enjoyable.

Driving in the Car with Your Pet pet car ride

Some animals absolutely hate riding in the car. A foster dog I once had would vomit every time he took a ride in the car, whether it was for five minutes or five hours. Some dogs like my former foster experience serious anxiety during car rides, that is either caused by previous problems in their life or simply a fear of the unknown, which a ride in the car certainly is for pets.

Riding in the car involves a lot of noises, sights, and smells that are both unfamiliar and overwhelming to dogs and cats. It’s easy to forget that our pets can detect a lot of information that we can’t, but it’s important to remember in order to understand your pet and why they are acting the way they are. Before you take your pet on a car ride, consider these questions to determine if it’s the best idea.

1) Is it enjoyable?

If your pet loves riding in the car, which many do, taking them on a trip to the store or on vacation with you likely isn’t a big deal. Many dogs relish in the ability to observe all the passing people and sights and enjoy spending time with their owner, be it in their home or in the car. If your dog or cat seems to like his or her time in the car, there isn’t any need for concern. Just make sure your pet is properly secured so in case of an accident, your furry friend will be safe from being a projectile in a crash.

2) Is it a long ride? 

There is a big difference between an hour long ride and a six hour long ride. Before you bring your pet with you in the car, think about the length of the trip and your pet’s needs during that period of time. Will they need to stop to use the bathroom? Will they become stressed out halfway through? A trip to the vet down the road, while stressful, isn’t even comparable to a trip to the next state to visit family. Think about the duration of the trip and whether or not your pet will experience any distress before having him or her tag along.

3) Is it necessary? 

Again, driving to the vet is a whole different story than driving to a vacation spot. If your pet tends to get nervous, anxious, or carsick during rides, ask yourself whether or not it is imperative that your pet join you in the car. If you are taking your cat or dog to the vet, obviously there is no question of necessity. Vet visits are unavoidable and typically only involve a short car ride. If you simply want to bring your pet to the beach house with you because you think they will enjoy it, consider whether or not they will enjoy the car ride, too, because that is the first leg of the trip and may set the tone for the entire vacation if they are uncomfortable in the car.

If your pet isn’t happy during car rides, opt to leave them at home with a pet-sitter instead. You can see them when you get home and not only will you be glad you didn’t have to deal with a stressed out pet, your pet will be glad they didn’t have to endure a scary car ride.

Consider Your Options

Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid a long car ride with a pet. If you are moving, for example, you have no choice but to bring your pet with you and a car ride is often the least traumatizing option, especially when compared to being packed with cargo in a plane, which one can only assume is a terrifying pet car rideexperience.

If your pet dislikes car rides but needs to be included in a long one, you might want to speak with your vet about some medication to help make them drowsy and less anxious. Pets react differently to this type of medication, so be sure you are aware of any potential allergic reactions or side effects ahead of time and have done your research before giving your pet any drugs. Sometimes, though, they can be a big help to both the owner and the pet and help to reduce any stress from the ride.

If the trip is simply a leisurely activity, review the questions and decide whether or not bringing your pet is really the best idea. Many of us love to have our pets by our side at all times, but sometimes we have to think of their perception of the experience, too. If it’s likely to be a negative one, find a great petsitter and go off by yourself. If your pet enjoys car rides, have him hop in the car and off you go! Whatever you do, be sure to take into consideration your pet’s wants and needs, too, before taking a ride in the car.

Does Your Pet Have Allergies?

When Spring rolls around, many people across the country are once again faced with the problem of Spring allergies. A runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and a scratchy throat are just a few of the not-so-lovely symptoms of seasonal allergies. Fortunately for us humans, we can feel when our allergies are coming on and can treat them, either by means of natural and holistic methods or by taking allergy medication.

Spotting Allergies in Your Pet

For our pets, though, it might not be as easy to tell if or when they have allergies and unfortunately, they can’t tell us themselves. It’s important to keep a close eye on your pet when allergy season comes around, though, because he or she might be struggling with symptoms of allergies without you even knowing it. To help ensure your pet stays in tip-top health all year long, watch out for these three symptoms of seasonal allergies in your pets:

1) Frequent sneezing or coughing: If your pet is sneezing or coughing more than normal, it may be time to take a trip to the vet. Environmental irritants could be infiltrating your pet’s nose and throat and bothering their sinuses or natural breathing patterns. If it’s just a couple sneezes, it’s probably normal. If it persists, go in for a check up.

2) Red eyes, teary eyes, or eye discharge: Pollen and other pet health allergiespesky environmental allergens can easily make their way into your pet’s eyes and cause serious discomfort or an eye infection. If you notice any discharge in your pet’s eyes or see that they are especially teary or red, you may want to get him or her checked our for allergies.

3) Scratching and/or licking certain spots compulsively: For some pets, allergens actually cause skin reactions, which can lead to seriously obsessive scratching or licking. Those actions, if not stopped, can lead to hot spots on your pet’s body, which are essentially bald, red spots from which the hair or fur has been worn away. If you ever see your pet bothering a hot spot, do your best to stop them and prevent them from continuing until you can get to a vet.

Don’t Wait for Treatment

Just like in humans, allergies in dogs, cats, or other animals can come on quickly, so if you notice your pet is exhibiting any symptoms of allergies, don’t delay in taking them to the vet. The quicker you are to catch the issues, the easier (and cheaper!) they will be to treat.

As always, keep a watchful eye on your pet and if you notice anything out of the norm, a trip to the vet never hurts.

The Pet Overpopulation Problem

When it comes to spaying and neutering dogs and cats, some animal lovers are staunchly adamant about the need for the procedures and some even go so far as to believe that every single dog and cat should be spayed or neutered. It may seem like an unnecessary practice, but in fact, most of these people want it that way with good reason. The overpopulation of pets in the United States results in the unnecessary death of millions of animals every year, which is why it needs to be addressed as quickly as possible by all means available.

The Problem

Here in the United States, we are in love with our pets. More so than people in almost any other country on the planet, Americans love to love their pets. We love to spoil them with food, overfeed them treats, dress them up in miniature clothing, take them out to run all our errands with us, and even exercise with them. Some people will do just about anything for their pets and some people include their pets as family. If we love pets so much, why then are we not doing our best to manage the severe pet overpopulation problem that is currently plaguing our nation?

6-8 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters pet overpopulationacross the US every year and only 3-4 million make it out, according to data from the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy. The rest are euthanized by one of a number of procedures. That means every year across the country, just as many dogs and cats are killed as they are adopted. That reveals a serious problem within our nation that needs to be addressed before it continues to worsen, which brings me to the solution: spaying and neutering.

Fixing Your Pet

Spaying and neutering our dogs and cats is the easiest and most effective solution to helping curb pet overpopulation and reduce the number of innocent animals killed every year in shelters. There are only so many animal shelters in the country, around 3,500 to be exact, and they can only take in so many animals at a time. Once most shelters are full, they begin euthanizing for space.

Many times, a person’s dog or cat will become pregnant without the owner’s initial knowledge and will give birth to babies that the owner doesn’t want. Oftentimes, the owner will drop off both the mother and the babies at the animal shelter, not wanting to deal with the hassle of trying to adopt out the puppies. Outdoor cats who remain unfixed give birth to litters quite often. One female cat and her offspring will produce 100 cats in seven years, assuming that all adult cats remain alive for all seven years, according to the Feral Cat Project

Need for Change

According to the APPA information, 83.3 million dogs are owned in the United States, along with 95.6 million cats. A great majority of these, 83% of dogs and 91% of cats, are spayed or neutered. Regardless of these high numbers, breeding continues to happen due to breeding operations, both licensed and unlicensed, and unaware owners.

Without a change in policy regarding the breeding of pets, the perpetual euthanasia in animal shelters across the United States cannot and will not change. It’s imperative that we as pet owners step up and take responsibility for our pets and their actions. Getting them spayed and neutered is an excellent way to help prevent an unwanted burden and keep extra animals out of the shelter.

Next time you decide to adopt a pet, think about committing yourself to getting that pet spayed or neutered, as well. Spaying and neutering pets can not only prevent health problems (which will be discussed in an upcoming post), but can help save lives, too.

Why There is Blood in Your Cat’s Urine

Good pet owners work hard to make sure their pets remain healthy and happy, and sometimes that can include some not so pleasant tasks. Sifting through the litter box on occasion, for example, isn’t exactly enjoyable but can provide you with vital information that indicates whether or not your cat is having any health problems. If you’ve noticed that there is blood in your cat’s urine, it’s important that you don’t overlook that information and instead use it to help figure out exactly what is going on with your feline friend.


The condition of having blood in the urine is called hematuria cat healthand can be a sign of a serious health problem with your cat.  If you have seen blood in any urine excreted by your cat, make sure you don’t wait to start looking into the problem. Blood in cat urine can be one of the last manifestations of certain health issues that can pose a severe threat to your cat’s health, so as soon as you observe it, take action.

Besides the obvious symptom of blood in the urine, other related symptoms include urine that is slightly tinged red or a cat that has trouble urinating or displays distress while trying to urinate.

One possible cause of hematuria is familial hematuria, which means blood in urine runs in the family and is often passed down through the family line. This condition may show up in cats when they are younger. If your cat is older, blood in the urine could potentially indicate cancer, but there are many other conditions that could cause urine to have blood in it, so don’t worry too much until you have ruled out all possible causes.

Possible Causes

Some of the most common causes of hematuria include blood clotting, a low platelet count, or an infectious disease, whether viral, bacterial, or fungal. Hematuria can also be caused by urinary tract disease, which can exist either in the upper or lower tracts and can include infection, inflammatory kidney disease, or stones. Trauma and cancer can also cause hematuria.

If you ever notice blood in your cat’s urine, it’s crucial to bring your cat to a veterinary’s office immediately. If it isn’t your regular vet, be prepared to give the health history of the cat and provide any medical records. Describe any symptoms in as much detail as possible to give the vet as much information as is available. Depending on the situation, various tests may need to be administered to determine what is wrong with your cat. Your vet may want to test using ultrasonography, radiography, or it may be necessary to conduct a biopsy for a diagnosis.

Much like testing, treatment will depend on the situation. The condition may mandate something as simple as antibiotics or require something more serious like a blood transfusion or surgery. Whatever needs to be done, know that taking your cat to the vet in the early stages is always the most helpful thing you can do. If you ever suspect something is wrong with your cat based on its behavior or a more blatant sign like blood in the urine, don’t hesitate to take a trip to the vet.

6 Foods That Are Dangerous for Cats

Oftentimes as owners, we humans like to spoil our pets. That is evident in the fact that somewhere between one-quarter and one-half of cats in the United States is overweight or obese. In addition to feeding them too much, sometimes we may accidentally feed them something that seems harmful to us but can actually be harmful to them.

Just like there are some foods that are toxic for dogs (all of which are also toxic for cats), there are several more human foods that are unsafe for cats to consume. Next time you think to give your cat some food, make sure it doesn’t include any of these six components.

6 Foods That Can Be Harmful to Cats

1)    Raw meat and fish – Because cats are carnivores, some owners want to feed their cats raw meats such as beef, poultry, or fish. Raw meat isn’t safe for cats, though, because they run the risk of consuming bacteria that can cause food poisoning and severe illness. Raw fish is especially dangerous because it contains the enzyme thiaminase, which destroys the essential B vitamin thiamine, or vitamin B1, in cats. Thiamine is vital to carbohydrate metabolism and without it, vomiting and gastrointestinal problems can occur in cats. Severe neurological problems often follow.

2)    Liver – Because cats require taurine, which comes from organ meat,food dangerous cats many people may think to feed their cats liver. Cats fed too much liver are in danger of Vitamin A toxicity, though, which leads to extreme bone problems like deformed bones, bone growths, osteoporosis, and can even be fatal.

3)    Milk and dairy – Despite all the sweet scenes in movies or cute photos that depict cats drinking from a bowl of milk, dairy, especially in the form of milk and ice cream, is not safe for cats to ingest. Most cats are lactose intolerant and because they lack the ability to digest dairy, they experience bad digestive problems including diarrhea when they eat it. Some cats can eat yogurt without any problem, but it depends on the cat.

4)    Fat and bones – Though cats need to eat meat to survive, there are certain parts that they shouldn’t eat because they can cause serious problems. Animal bones and animal fat can be extremely dangerous if eaten by a cat. Animal fat causes gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Bones are not only a choking hazard, but pose the threat of breaking or splintering during digestion and injuring or tearing the gastrointestinal tract.

5)    Raw eggs – Raw eggs are not recommended for cats food dangerous catsfor the same reason raw meat is not recommended for cats: it presents the possibility of food poisoning from a bacteria that causes salmonella or E. coli. Raw eggs also contain a protein called avidin, which hinders the absorption of biotin, a B vitamin, in cats. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that cats fed a diet with egg whites developed biotin deficiency. Biotin deficiency can cause problems with both the skin and the coats of cats.

6)    Tuna – Tuna that has been specifically processed for cat food is safe for cats to eat fairly regularly, but tuna produced for human consumption can actually be harmful to cats if over consumed. Regular canned tuna is okay as a treat every now and then, but too much can cause mercury poisoning in cats, so don’t overdo it.

Treating Your Cat Right

Cats are certainly carnivores and should be eating meat and a diet high in protein and fats, but raw animal products are not healthy for cats to consume and can cause serious illness. We all want to give our cats treats, but it’s important that we give them the right treats.

Appropriate treats for cats include vegetables, a small portion of cooked eggs, cooked meat, or homemade treats. Just be sure any treats are free of foods that may pose a threat to your cat’s health and keep treats to a minimum. If you’ve given your cat a few too many treats and he is looking a little plump, read these tips on how to help your pet maintain and remain at a healthy weight.

Top 5 Foods that are Toxic to Dogs

If you have ever had a dog, chances are you know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. But do you know why? Do you know other foods that can be dangerous for dogs to consume?

Preventing Poisoning in Dogs

Dogs can manage to get into all kinds of things when humans aren’t looking, so you might not even see it happen if your dog decides to eat something forbidden, but often there are consequences.

Because dogs can become extremely ill or even die if they ingest certain foods that are otherwise harmless for humans, it’s important to understand the symptoms of food toxicity and familiarize yourself with foods that can be harmful to your pup. Becoming aware of which foods pose a threat is an important part of being a responsible dog owner, so if you ever eat any of these 5 foods, make sure to keep them sealed up and away from your dog.

Top 5 Foods that are Toxic to Dogs

1) Chocolate – Most people are aware that chocolate can betoxic food dogs toxic for dogs;  it’s just a matter of keeping it away from them. The compounds in chocolate that cause a reaction in dogs are both caffeine and theobromine. A general rule to guide the effect of chocolate on dogs is the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Symptoms of poisoning include a high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.

2) Onions – Though some people love adding shallots and garlic to every dish they cook, both foods are poisonous to dogs. Compounds in onions and garlic cause the destruction of red blood cells within the dog. The effect on red blood cells can lead to anemia, though symptoms can take between 3 to 5 days to manifest. If you think your dog has ingested either onion or garlic, keep an eye out and bring your dog to a vet if he or she seems unnaturally tired, weak, or has very dark urine.

3) Xylitol – This is an ingredient that many people are unaware of in the first place, let one cognizant of its harmful effect on dogs. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in candy and baked goods, but most commonly in sugar-free gum. It can cause liver damage in dogs and has the potential to cause an extreme drop in blood sugar, depending on how much was consumed. Symptoms of toxicity poisoning from xylitol include low blood sugar, vomiting, and loss of coordination. If you do choose to chew sugar-free gum, make sure you don’t leave any packs lying around that your dog can reach.

4) Grapes – Delicious and healthy snacks for humans, both grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Scientists haven’t figured out just how they cause that reaction, but they are sure of the connection. Lethargy, dehydration including increased thirst and urination, and vomiting are all signs of kidney failure in dogs.

5) Alcohol – Not surprisingly, alcohol is poisonous to dogs. toxic food dogsBeverages like beer, wine, and cocktails can cause severe medical reactions in dogs, but those aren’t the only source of alcohol to monitor. Yeast dough can also cause alcohol intoxication in dogs. Because their stomachs are the perfect environmental host for yeast, the yeast multiplies rapidly, expanding within the dog’s stomach and increasing the production of alcohol, which leads to poisoning. If you work with yeast dough, never leave it out on the counter during the baking or cooking process.

Watch for Symptoms

These foods can be extraordinarily dangerous to dogs, so keep careful watch of the foods that you keep out around your canine companion. It’s not always possible to keep an eye on our faithful friends every second of every day, so if your dog seems to be acting strange or exhibiting any of the symptoms mentioned, take him or her to a veterinary immediately. Better safe than sorry.