4 Reasons Your Cat Isn’t Using The Litter Box And How To Fix It

Raising a cat or any pet for that matter is not a walk in the park. It´d be great if the pets just “did their business” in their designated areas, but it is often not the case. And, if your cat pees outside the litter box, you know exactly how difficult and arduous it is to clean after it. However, before putting the blame solely on your cat, it is necessary for you to understand why your cat dislikes using the litter box.

Here are 4 reasons why your cat is peeing outside of the litter box… and easy ways to fix the issues.

  1. Undesirable litter type

Cats tend to have a ¨litter type¨, a sort of personal preference they usually start developing by the time they turn a month old. Therefore, if your cat doesn’t use the litter box, it could perhaps be because of the change in the type of litter. Some of the common types of litter are non-clumping clay, clumping clay, silica gel crystals, and recycled paper etc. Hence, what one particular cat likes may not be preferred by another cat.

  1. Dirty litter box

Let’s be honest here — no one likes using a dirty and smelly toilet and the same goes for cats as well. Therefore, if your cat doesn’t use its litter box, it could be because it is dirty and unhygienic. Hence, it is imperative for you to clean the litter box thoroughly on a regular basis. You should know that compared to us humans, cats tend to have a heightened and enhanced sense of smell. Therefore, although the litter box may seem clean and fresh to you, it could still be dirty and smelly to your cat.

  1. Bullies

One of the primary reasons why your cat does not use the litter box could be because of a bully. Let us elaborate—if you have several cats at home, one of them could potentially be a bully, preventing the other cats from using the litter box. So, how do you take care of this situation? Well, during such times, it is necessary for you to install numerous litter boxes in your home. It is also not advisable for you to have covered litter boxes when you have several cats in your home.

  1. Health issues?

If your cat has health issues, it could be difficult for it to pee in the litter box. For instance, it can get extremely difficult for a cat suffering from arthritis to get into a litter box that boasts of a high cover and sides. And, according to vets, cats that suffer from diseases such as kidney problems, diabetes, and UTI, also tend to avoid using their litter boxes. If a cat feels unsafe or feels that its health and wellness is threatened, it is unlikely to use the litter box. Therefore, if your cat doesn’t use the litter box as often as you’d like or barely at all, you should perhaps take it to a vet clinic for a thorough check-up.

Have you ever experience this issue with your cat?

How did you go about resolving the problem?

How To Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs

* by Casey Dickson

Whether you’re watching someone else’s pup or on an adventure with your own, keeping canines cool in the heat of the summer is a top priority. In a season full of dog-friendly lakeside lounging and strenuous hikes, it’s best to stay afloat of these key tips to prevent heat stroke.

Preventing the signs before they happen

If your dog has any of the following traits, be extremely careful in hotter climes. Make sure they have plenty of water, access to shade, and time to rest.

  • Long and/or thick coat
  • Short-nosed, flat-faced breeds—brachycephalic breeds such as pugs, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Chow Chows, and Chihuahuas suffer from airway troubles that make panting less effective at cooling them down in more extreme temperatures
  • Extreme age: young puppies and older dogs are more vulnerable to high heat conditions
  • Obesity or prior case of heart trouble

And be extra-vigilant in extreme heat and humidity—and not just from outdoor adventures. Make sure your four-legged pals aren’t enclosed in unventilated conditions such as hot cars, rooms, or grooming dryer cages.

And if Fido starts to show signs of heat stroke…

Which is generally thought to be a body temperature above 106° F. If left untreated, heat stroke (also known as a non-fever form of hyperthermia) in dogs can cause multiple organ dysfunction. The symptoms are plenty, but the most common are along these lines:

  • The more obvious include excessive panting and drooling, and abnormally small quantities of urine
  • Other signs include reddened gums and rapid heart rate and an irregular beat
  • At the worst phases of heat stroke, your dog may vomit blood, produce black stool or have a wobbly gait, known as ataxia. In these scenarios, take your dog to the nearest vet right away.

And to move from the grim to the more fun tips…here’s some pup-friendly summer fun that will keep energetic pups happy and healthy!

  • Find a dog park that’s attached to a beach and add an extra splash to rousing rounds of fetch
  • Keep chopped pineapple in the freezer for a sweet and icy treat that will quench summer heat better than the everyday bone or pig’s ear
  • Fill a kiddie pool with water for your own makeshift puppy pool, or turn on the sprinkler during at-home games of tug or fetch

As long as you’re careful, prepared and vigilant, there’s no reason to worry about Buddy getting sick from heat stroke. So enjoy all that summertime has to offer, with these easy-to-remember tips in mind.

* About the author: Written by Casey Dickson, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

What To Do If Your Dog Suffers From Anxiety

Many people don’t know this but just like us, dogs have anxieties too. The most common form of canine anxiety is separation anxiety. It is important that you notice signs of stress early so that you can act on it quickly and efficiently. And, luckily for us as dogs communicate their emotional state through behaviour and body language you’ll be able to easily detect the signs once knowing exactly what you need to look out for.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Dog Anxiety?

  • Urinating and Defecating
  • Hiding
  • Destruction and Chewing
  • Escaping
  • Excessive Barking and Howling
  • Coprophagia
  • Pacing
  • Seeking Comfort
  • Aggression
  • Excessive Energy
  • Panic Attacks

What Causes Dog Anxiety?

Usually, an adult dog may show signs of anxiety due to all that extra attention and fuss they were once showered with as a pup decreasing. They are naturally trusting animals and love close companionship so when the 24/7 attention suddenly decreases to neglect, they become stressed which then leads to anxiety.

They may experience separation anxiety when the people whom the dog have become attached to leaves. They perceive the absence of their owner or guardian as a dangerous threat which causes them to wreck the household or even attempt to escape.

Fear is present in a lot of different animals. When responding to threats or even perceived ones this can instinctively flare up your dog. Fear is what signals the brain to get ready for trouble whether that being from a situation, thing, or person and in turn prompts a freeze or fight response and the fear they feel can cause them to feel stressed which in turn triggers anxiety.

More specific causes of anxiety of fear in dogs that you’ll no doubt encounter are;

  • Trauma/unfamiliar settings that may frighten your pet
  • Physical problems that cause pain or serious illness
  • Lack of exposure to healthy social influences
  • History of rehoming, abandonment, neglect, or even multiple owners
  • History of being trapped/crated
  • Changes that come with aging

Treating a Dog with Anxiety

Dog separation anxiety is most often unknowingly caused by dog owners, which is why you should never, ever punish an anxious or fearful dog. We make such a big fuss when we come and leave home, which in turn provokes their stress when we leave. By punishing a dog for being anxious you are only going to make them even more stressed and fearful which could potentially lead to even worse reactions.

If your dog’s anxiety is severe and you are looking for long-term ways to reduce anxiety in dogs, I would advise you to read up on professional advice from dog experts. If you want some short-term tips to soothe anxiety in dogs, here are 5:

  1. Exercise

Anxiety can create energy that isn’t easy to control. Just like humans, when told exercise helps to relieve stress, it can be the same for dogs too. By taking your dog for a run, walk or even some playtime on a park or in your garden you will find that it burns off some of that built up tension. It will not only tire them out, but can also calm them and they’ll really enjoy the time they have spent with you.

  1. Cuddling

Contact from others helps dogs and humans to relieve any stress, fear, and anxiety they feel. A dog’s anxiety begins to exceptionally increase when they feel cut off from their owner. So, ensuring you regularly cuddle and pet your dog rather than make them feel neglected will help to relieve them of their anxieties.

  1. Toys

A stressed dog especially if left home alone and dealing with separation anxiety can cause them to become destructive. The energy they have is not easy to channel, which is why a chew toy can be a great distraction and will hopefully stop them from causing destruction to your house and belongings.

  1. Keep a Calm Demeanour

It is always best to stay calm when your dog is feeling stressed, dogs can sense what is going on with their owners and if you begin to act tense when reacting to their anxiety they will feed of your anxiety, which then becomes a massive cycle. Have a calm demeanour and voice when dealing with your dog, if that means taking a break and having a few deep breaths first, then do it!

  1. Invest in an Thundershirt

Thundershirts are fairly new products that are useful for dogs with noise phobias, travel anxiety and separation anxiety. The effect of these pressure wraps has positive results in helping with relaxation and the reducing of anxiety as they are extremely comforting when the dog is alone.

 

What You Should Consider Before Getting Your First Dog

You shouldn’t fear the responsibilities that come with your first dog, but you do need to consider a few things before you get your new pet. Many people think it’s perfectly okay to go out and pick up a dog without any prior thought. That’s a mistake you should avoid, and here’s a few considerations that will help you to avoid it.

What You Should Consider Before Getting Your First Dog

Do You Know What You’re Getting Into? Did You Do Some Research?

Dogs aren’t all the same, not even a little bit. Different breeds come with different temperaments and methods of care. Some dogs are far more active than others. Some may grow to a size you’re uncomfortable with. It can help a lot if you do some research before you choose a new dog.

You’ll want a breed that can match how you live. If you’re not careful, you can end up with a dog that you struggle to understand and take care of. You’re not doing yourself or the dog any favours by choosing incorrectly.

Do You Have the Time and Money to Train It?

Doing that research should help you figure out a few things. It should let you know a little about what kind of money you may have to spend to take care of your new dog. Make no mistake, a new dog represents an expense. You will have to pay for vet visits, grooming, food, medication, and other expenses.

Research should also clue you in to what kind of time you will have to dedicate to taking care of the dog. This is especially important in the beginning when you need time to train and help your dog become more acclimated to its new surroundings. Dog training isn’t a process that happens automatically or immediately, so you will likely want to consider working with a dog trainer. This will come at a cost, but it will help you significantly. Research dog trainers in your area before bringing your pup home.

Are You Even Allowed to Have a Pet? Is Your Neighbourhood Dog-Friendly?

If you live in a flat, or lease your place in any way, you should find out if the property owner has any rules against you owning a dog. Equally, your home insurance may have stipulations concerning certain breeds of dog. Make sure you can own a dog with no issues before picking one.

Also, how will your neighbourhood treat your dog?

  • Are there other dogs in the neighbourhood?
  • Are there adequate areas for walking your dog?
  • Do you have neighbours that would mind you having a dog?
  • Is there a vet or animal hospital close by?

Your own household will factor into this as well. For example, is it just you? Who will primarily take responsibility for the dog?

If you’re not the only person who will interact with the dog at home, then you need to get everybody in the house on board. Take their thoughts on the choice into consideration. Your new dog should come into a welcoming home, not one that contains people that may not want it around.

Are You Ready to Become a Dog Owner?

Before you get your first dog, you have to give yourself a real evaluation. Are you ready? Are you the type of person that can truly take care of another living creature? Just like bringing a child into your home, you will have to consider how your new pet will fit into every single aspect of your life.

It’s not a decision you should take lightly. It will require time, sacrifice, and a lot of patience. Do you have a holiday coming up, or some obligation that will keep you away from home frequently? Then maybe it’s not the right time to become a dog owner.

It’s imperative that you think it all through before you commit to dog ownership. Remember your dog represents a living, breathing creature. It has wants and needs. It craves affection and love. That’s what you’re bringing home, and everything that comes with it.

What You Should Consider Before Getting Your First Dog

How To Choose The Best Food For Your Dog

Canines are the perfect domestic pets because they can adapt to living with humans very well. Many people prefer dogs over cats for many different reasons, but this decision should be considered carefully. Be sure to consider your needs, lifestyle and schedule, before inviting any puppy into your home. Start by doing some research on puppy care, feeding schedules, dog foods and housetraining. Once you have made up your mind that you are ready to make the transition, it will be time to start looking for that new puppy.

Getting a pup is just the beginning, now, you have to decide what to feed it and this choice can be very confusing. The right food is key to the good development of your new family member, so make it a wise choice. I know some of you were not overly keen on the raw diet I wrote about lately so let’s talk about shop bought feed for a change. In this article, you will discover several tips on how to choose the best dog food for your furry friend.
As a rule of thumb, in general, a dog’s food shouldn’t be changed too often as this will cause problems but as soon as your dogs’ circumstances change you should consider changing their diet too.

Dog’s Age

Dog food manufacturers often offer a variety of dog foods to us the consumer. The type of dog food will be determined by the pet’s age. For instance, puppies will require far more nutrition than a middle-aged or senior dog, because they are still growing. The manufacturer labels each of its dog foods, so we can easily find what we are looking for. Don’t be tempted to buy that bag of senior food for your 3-month-old pup just because it’s on special offer, the distinctions between foods were made for a reason.

Dog’s Activity

As well as the age, the dog’s activity levels will play a crucial role in picking the right food. An almost housebound dog, which rarely gets taken for a walk (yes, dogs like this exist all over, just look at some of your neighbors which proudly walk them only on a weekend, or the thousands of miniatures used as “accessories” that get carried everywhere in a handbag or under an arm) these dogs will have totally different needs than say a working breed, which runs around for most of the day. Mixing it up may well result in the dog becoming overweight or malnutrition.

Branded Food

A sad reality of modern life and shrinking budgets is that many pet owners will end up choosing a brand because it is more affordable. This can be a huge mistake, as some generic brands will not offer the same nutritional value as some named brands. Now, this is not to say that all generic brands are out of the question, far from it but I do recommend reading the labels and seeing for yourself what’s going into your dogs’ food. There is a reason some kibbles cost 3 times more than a superstore brand, for example.

Brand / Food Research

As mentioned above, named brand dog foods are deemed to be much safer and more nutritional than generic brands. However, this is just an opinion and not an actual fact. Instead of taking the advice of others, you should do your own research. You will find an array of websites that offer genuine customer reviews on many different dog food brands. Yes, I know that customer’s reviews are just an opinion but if you find a food with a majority of negative reviews it might be a good idea to stay clear of it.

Canned / Dry Food

When comparing the cost of canned dog food to dry, you will see a major difference. Canned foods come with a higher price tag, making them out of reach for some consumer pockets. This is generally the reason why dry kibble foods are so much more popular, plus many of the brands will actually provide the same nutritional benefits. If you have difficulty making a decision, you may want to consider mixing the two together. Many owners will utilize the dry food as a mixer to create a tasty feast just like we did for years, add a few spoonful’s of canned food into kibbles just to make food a bit more attractive (from a human’s perspective that is as the dogs didn’t really care about aesthetics)

And if everything looks too confusing, you know there is always the raw diet option… just saying 🙂