Tag Archives: Pets

Tail Wagging Tips for Traveling Safe This Summer

In summer the temperatures rise, the days get longer, and what is more heartwarming than heading out on a sunny car ride with your furry best friend by your side?

*Note:  This article is a guest post by Kurgo writer Kaitlyn Manktelow.*

While this may trigger some fantasy of a trip with your dog happily slobbering along the side of the car; let’s take a paws on this daydream to make sure your perfect summer plan isn’t unsafe for both you and your pet.

Whether you are preparing for the ultimate cross country road trip or just planning a trip to your favorite ice cream stand, here are some tips on making this summer bark worthy for both you and your dog.

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DIY Outdoor Cat Shelter

cold-cat With the winter being tough on all pets, you might have a few strays wandering around. If you happen to have a cat that likes to be outside more than inside, or you just want a place for the neighborhood stray,  you want to make sure they have a warm place to go if they need to.

 

 

tubsSince the Christmas season is over, a lot of stores, including Rural King are having close out sales on storage tubs.
This is a great item to make your DIY out door cat shelter out of. You only need a few simple tools. First you need a Storage tub with lid, insulation (this can be straw, or pink instillation board, pink fiberglass insulation,or spray foam, cardboard, or any insulation you choose), a smaller storage tub with lid or Styrofoam cooler, straw for bedding, utility knife, and of course some duct tape. In the first photo they used a empty plastic flexible flower container to line the entrance. There are several different ways to may an outdoor house, this is just one of them.

 Step 1

1. You are going to outline a hole to cut out on the Larger tub. It does help if you warm up the plastic before trying to cut it but you do not have to. Rural King has multiple kinds of utility knives for you every need.

2. Place the smaller tub or foam container inside of the larger one and trace the circle you cut on the outside to the inside tub so that they align. Then Cut the hole out of the inside tub.

3.Place a small amount of insulation in the bottom of the big tub then put the smaller tub back in the larger tub, then place your insulation around all 4 sides of the smaller tub, packing it in tight if your insulation is loose. If you used the board insulation you will have to measure it and cut it to fit. If you used the spray foam you will want to make sure it dries before you close it up. (don’t forget to allow for expansion with the spray foam)

4. You will want to use the plastic flimsy flower container or this is where you use the duct tape to cover the hole between the two containers edges so that it makes a smooth opening. RuralKing has many options for colors and patterns for duct tape as well the regular old faithful silver. (reference picture 2 if needed)

Step 2

4. Once your opening is covered in duct tape to cover the edges where you cut out the circle. You will want to put some straw or bedding inside of the inner tub for the cats to lay in. Then put the lid on the smaller tub and close it tight. Then you will want to add a small amount of insulation on top of the smaller lid to create another barrier before putting the large lid on.

5.Your Done! Now you want to make sure you place this near the building and facing the entrance to the East or South since majority of Winter winds are out of the North and West. This will help cut down on the wind entering the domain.

If you don’t like that this looks like a DIY project then you can always paint it with some spray paint on the outside to make it all one color, Rural King carries many different kinds of spray paint, just make sure you choose one that is OK to use on plastic. Or if you are really feeling crafty, you can use spray or expanding foam on the outside (which adds extra insulation) then sculpt it how you want it to look, then spray paint it or add decorative shingles on the outside to make it look like an actual house! This is where you can get creative if you like.

 

 (3)

http://www.alleycat.org/ShelterGallery – reference picture 1

www.catster.com – reference picture 2

http://forum.horsetopia.com/cats/147447-diy-outdoor-cat-house.html – reference picture 3

How to Keep Your Dog Warm and Safe Outside in the Cold

dogThere are several things a pet needs to survive and stay warm in cold outside conditions.

First off, you need to make sure they have a shelter facing the East, southeast or south. There is less wind coming from these directions. It is best to place the dog house next to a shelter or your house to help avoid strong winds.

Secondly, choose a house that is appropriate to your dog’s size. It is better to have a larger house then one too small. If you live in a colder climate, try to find a house that has a flap over the door or longer entrance.

You can make a flap by cutting plastic or rubber to fit the doorway and attaching it just above the entrance if you have a flat entrance.

   

Next, you will want to make sure there is appropriate bedding in the shelter. You can use straw (mix in some cedar chips to keep bugs away), bedding, old blankets, any materials that can help the dog nestle in. Heated pet mats are a huge plus to keeping your pet warm. There are many types of heated pet mats; you will want to make sure the pet mat you have chose is suitable to the bedding you are using.

   

You will also want a heater water bowl or water heater to keep your pets bowl from freezing. Be sure not to use a metal heater in a plastic bowl!  Water is very important to a pet’s survival in the water; they need it just as much on a cold day as a hot one. You might want is a self feeder dog bowl or a covered feeding area to keep the food from freezing and getting wet. In the winter you might find that your pet is eating a little bit more. This is because since it is cold their bodies are shivering and burning more calories trying to keep warm. It is ok to feed them a little more in the winter!

The last few items you may want are clothing options such as a coat/hoodie for your pet when going for walks. Some short or fine haired dogs do not have the warmth from thick fur to be out in the cold for long periods of time. But make sure this is not left on your dog for days at a time, your dog’s skin does need to breath. Coats need to be cleaned as well since your dog will perspire just like we do. You might also consider foot booties. Yes, this might seem like a silly thing but your dog can get cracked paws and their skin can freeze just like ours can when they are out in the weather for too long or going for extended walks. Most of the booties available can also be used for walking on hot sidewalks in the summer to prevent blistering. (Double the use!)

   

One thing people tend to forget is that domesticated animals rely on their owners to take care of them in not only the cold but hot days as well.The humane society has a great article on keeping your pet warm. http://www.animalhumanesociety.org/training/sheltering-your-dog .As well as an article on https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx that explains the difference in dog sizes and hair/fur types and how winter effects them all differently.

Check back with us on keeping your horses and  live stock warm, as well as how to make an out door winter cat house!

Putting Your Cat/Dog on a Diet

As Spring begins to transition to Summer we all could benefit from losing some of those extra pounds we may have put on from not doing much over the long winter, and our pets are the same. Sometimes pets start to look a little pudgy around the tummy. Aesthetic issues aside, it could radically reduce their life span. Here are some things you can do.

Part 1:  Dogs

  1. Determine if your dog is truly overweight. You should be able to locate your dogs ribs and spine relatively easily—a healthy dog has only a thin layer of fat between the skin and bones
  2. Talk to your vet about portion size. Because it varies so drastically from dog breed to dog breed, it’s not possible to have a set portion size. Ask your vet how much your pet should be eating, and how often. Stick to his/her advice.
  3. Limit snacks and treats between meals. Even if you’re feeding your dog proper portions at meal time, extra treats and people food between meals can quickly lead to an overweight pet.
  4. Find healthy substitutes for fatty treats. Many dogs love carrots—consider giving those in lieu of fatty bones when you wish to reward your dog. Rice cakes are another healthy alternative.
  5. Stay strong against begging. It may break your heart to hear your dog whining, but remember that your dog is not starving—he’s probably learned that whining will result in a treat and is playing you to get one. Instead, it’s best to break this habit by ignoring begging and whining.
  6. Invest in a name-brand diet formula food for your dog. Newman’s Own and AvoDerm are both brands known to have positive effects on your dogs’ weight [2]. If your dog has a very serious weight issue, you may want to talk to your vet about a prescription food.
  7. Exercise your dog. Just like humans, dogs need exercise to stay fit. Make sure your dog gets at least one long walk a day. If you don’t feel up for a long walk, consider taking your dog to a park and throwing a ball or frisbee for 20 minutes or so. If you cannot take the time, consider paying some kids on your block or hiring a dog walker.
  8. Use medication as a last resort. If you’ve done everything and your dog is still not losing weight, consider an Rx like Slentrol. However, this should only be used as a last resort after talking with your vet.

Part 2: Cats

  1. Determine if your cat is overweight. You should be able to easily see your cat’s waist when looking at it from the top. You should be able to feel it when running your hands from your cat’s ribs to its hips (it should be indented). Finally, you should be able to feel your cats ribs
  2. Allow your cat to exercise. If your cat isn’t an outdoor cat, invest in toys and climbing structure to ensure that your cat has incentive to play.  Make your cat work for its food. Consider putting your cats food in a foraging device like a ball with holes, requiring it to play and work before it can eat.
  3. Realize that the specifications on the side of food bags are often well above what your cat actually needs. Those specifications are designed for a highly active, unspayed or non-neutered cat, whereas most house cats are relatively inactive and fixed.
  4. Transition slowly. For many cats, the food and food dish that they’re used to are signs of security. Place the new food in a bowl next to the old food for a while, then you can remove the old food all together.
  5. Talk to your vet. Consider other causes besides overeating for your cat’s obesity, such as diseases or side effects of a drug.

Recommended products:

Hills Science Diet Canine Adult Light 20 Lb Dog Food         SKU 15440082

Hills Science Diet

Hills Science Diet Feline Adult Light 4 Lb   SKU 15440163