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You’ll often hear pet owners say, “I’m a dog person” or “I’m a cat person”, but the reality is that both make great pets, and while the virtues of owning a dog are widely acknowledged, cats sometimes get a bum rap.

 

Cats – the laugh-a-minute pets

Cats often don’t get the credit they deserve as being loyal and loving pets. They’re sometimes seen as being aloof and solitary, but cats are actually quite social creatures. They can enjoy being in the company of a human family, and love to joke around. In fact, images and videos of cats are some of the most viewed content on the web, particularly those showing cats “acting the goat”. Cat owners know, that if you want a video to go viral, film a cat!

 

People are sometimes surprised to discover that cats can learn tricks, and in some cases, are even better at them than dogs. They’re naturally athletic and agile, and while a dog will run and jump to catch a ball, a cat will too, but also throw in some skilful acrobatics...

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, and it’s estimated that approximately 70% of Australian households have at least one pet. We are therefore a nation that really appreciates our companion animals. Unfortunately, native animals don’t always get the same attention as domestic species – a permit to keep them is only required under certain circumstances - and in order to protect these important and highly valued species, there are some simple things we can do.

Having to check after your pet has been to the toilet, is one of the less pleasant aspects of pet ownership, but it can help you identify when something’s wrong. If you find diarrhoea where your dog or cat goes to the toilet, or worse still, somewhere in your home if they’ve been “caught short”, then it’s something that requires your attention.

Diarrhoea is a common ailment in pets and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly as it can often be a sign of a variety underlying health issues. It’s therefore important to be aware of some of the main causes of diarrhoea in pets, what to do when it occurs, how to treat it, and ways to prevent it in the future. 

In Australia, when we think of dog sleds we usually think of snow, however many of us are surprised to discover that sled dogs exist in many parts of the world including here, and are used for a variety of purposes. They have been around for generations, and it’s thought that in the world’s artic regions sled dogs were used tens of thousands of years ago, and that the Eskimos bred them with various breeds of dogs and wolves. Consequently, their offspring were conditioned to the snow and freezing temperatures. It is unknown when they started to be used to pull sleds, but it is thought to be several thousand years ago. Today, dog sleds are used for transportation and for racing.

Dog breeds used for sledding

Many breeds of dogs are used to pulls sleds, and traditionally they were Huskies, Samoyeds, and Malamutes. There is also a number of mixed breed dogs used, and many would have bloodlines that originate from wolves. Breeds are chosen for their strength, endurance, and speed. Leadership qualities are also important with sled dogs. In cold climates their big thick coats are important in helping to protect them from the cold, and wide flat feet help them to gain traction when traversing it. In the snow you’ll see them sleep curled up with their tails covering their noses to keep them warm, but in Australia’s hot climate they’re more likely to be spread out to help control their temperature.

Australians love swimming and water sports and we’re renowned for the “bronzing” of our outdoors lifestyles. We have some of the most magnificent beaches in the world and the highest per capita rate of pool ownership, so we know that waterside is a great place to spend long hot summers. It’s great to be able to include our pets in the fun, but there are some things to keep in mind when exposing them to water, whether it’s a back-yard pool, lake, river, or the ocean.

Being afraid of the noise of thunder, fireworks and the like, is common in dogs, but less so it cats.  It can become an entrenched pattern, and depending on the severity, can lead to the development of a noise phobia. Phobias are excessive and irrational fear reactions, which are excessive and persistent. If your pet reacts nervously to noise, keep an eye on them in order to avoid it becoming a major issue.

 

In the case of thunderstorms, pets may also be fearful of not only the noise, but also the associated events such as lightening, barometric pressure changes, and even the smell of storms. Research suggests that certain breeds are more at risk of developing noise phobias, and the sporting breeds such as Bassett Hounds, Beagles, Collies, and German Shepherds, may be more susceptible.

Christmas is just around the corner, and while for us that mean holidays, good times, and festive treats, it’s not without its fair share of risks to our pets’ safety. Not only does Christmas have 12 days, but it also has (at least), 12 hazards

Summer’s here! The year’s drawing to an end, and our focus is turning to Christmas... the celebrations, the holidays, the time spent with our near-and-dear and of course the shopping! Preparation for Christmas can last for weeks; there are decorations to hang, cards to write, and detailed plans to make, and that meticulous yuletide planning also needs to include our very special family members - our pets. Let’s take a look at five important considerations for your Christmas planning checklist:

1. Need to board your pet?

2. Preparing for travel with pets

3. Microchipping for fast and accurate identification

4. Grooming for comfort and good health

5. Keeping pets safe in hot weather.

Summer’s here… and along with all the good times it brings, there are a few not-so-fun things, such as mozzies, sunburn, and sleepless nights.  As South Australians, we take for granted our familiar and entrenched summer survival techniques, but we need to remember that our pets depend on us to make their summers comfortable and safe. While we’re enjoying trips to the beach, barbecues and spending time outdoors, summer heralds the start of many hot weather hazards for our pets, and two key sources are what they’re on and what they’re in.

We all acknowledge the importance of water, as it affects all facets of life. Without it, there would be no vegetation, no oxygen, and it wouldn’t be possible for us to survive. But how much of this valued and precious resource should our pets drink and what are the signs of dehydration? In this week’s blog, we provide some advice to help dog and cats owners get the balance right for their pets.

 

Why is water important?

Water is an important part of your pet’s daily dietary requirements and overall nutrition, and a particular balance is required in order to keep your pet healthy. Water is the primary component of the body’s healthy living cells and without it, neither we nor ours pets, would be able to function properly. One of the reasons a balanced diet is important to hydration is that is food also provides some moisture.

 

Water’s role is to carry and transport important nutrients into and out of the body’s cells. Water helps digestion and assists the body to absorb nutrients, and is also important in maintaining normal body temperature as it helps to cool the body. Water aids movement by lubricating and cushioning joints, and internal tissues and the spinal cord are also cushioned by moisture. The removal of waste from the body through urination and bowel movements, is also dependant on water.

 

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