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Animal Shelters Near Me

Training Your Pet Rat

Rats may not be the most common pet but they can certainly be trained to do simple tricks like most other pets. With some patience and time you can teach your rat to come to the sound of his name, as well as, other things.
Using a clicker can immensely help in the training process. Clickers are designed for use in pet training and can be found in some pet stores or on pet supply websites. Because animals cannot understand our language, using a clicker eliminates some of the confusion that can come from our different vocal tones. Getting the clicker associated with positive reinforcement will help your rat understand what they are being asked to do. Just ignore the wrong behavior. Never use punishment during training.
There is a chance that your rate may be startled by the clicker at first. You will need to have some of your pet’s favorite treats, as well. Make sure they are small so your rat can eat them quickly. Once the rat starts to associate the clicking sound with treats everything else becomes much easier. You will, also, want to eliminate all distractions while trying to train your rat. Keep toys, other animals, people, and food away so you can keep your pet’s attention.
To begin the clicker training get some treats and go to a place that is a distance from your rat. Don’t vocalize anything and when your pet comes to you click the clicker and give him a treat – in that order. Move to the other side of the room and wait for him to move towards you again. When he shows up click your clicker and offer a treat. After doing this a few times you will want to give a longer wait between the click sound and the treat. Eventually, your rat will come to the sound of the clicker out of instinct.
After your rat has learned how to come on command, you can move onto begging. Training your pet rat to beg will be quite simple at this point. Make sure you have your clicker and some treats within reach. Take a snake and run it above his nose so he can smell it. Hold it above him and he should reach up to grab it without doing anything else. When he reaches for it, click the clicker. Do this several times and he will start to get the hang of it. Sometimes during training it is good to take a break. Even if you don’t get back to it for a day or two, it is better than trying to train a pet that has lost interest. Just like training your rat to come, once he starts to understand the beg for a click and a treat routine you will want to vary and lengthen the time between the click and the treat. Eventually you can move onto giving a treat every few times he begs but make sure you click every time.
Rats are very intelligent animals and can be trained with some basic techniques. They may not be the most popular pet today but they are great pets for the right people.…

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General Article

Is Pet Assurance Better Than Pet Insurance? How to Choose the Best One For Your Pet

Is Pet Assurance Better Than Pet Insurance? How to Choose the Best One For Your Pet

Even though insurance for pets has been in existence for more than two decades, most pet owners still do not understand the concept of pet health insurance. While it is encouraging that pet owners are presented with numerous coverage plans, the availability of such varied choice also makes the pet owners wonder whether these plans are capable of minimizing their pet care expenses. Recent studies on pet insurance show that most pet owners find it very hard to choose an insurance plan that is both economical and right for their needs. Lets take a brief look at pet assurance and insurance plans.

Pet Assurance

When compared to pet insurance, assurance plans offer a number of attractive features that include coverage for any pet, irrespective of its age or any pre-existing medical conditions. With assurance plans there is no necessity to fill any claim forms and the waiting period is usually very minimal. The best part of assurance plans is that it does not have any deductibles at all and it does not specify any limit for getting maximum coverage.

Assurance plans also offer a wide coverage for routine medical expenses including spays or neuter care. Pet assurance plans even cover specialty treatments for conditions like cancer. It also covers expenses for hospitalization without any additional charges. The major drawback of assurance plans is that the veterinarian you choose should be within the network area specified by the assurance company of your choice.

Pet Insurance

On the other hand, pet insurance plans are relatively expensive with several features like benefits, deductibles and claims that can vary significantly depending on your choice of coverage plan. With most insurance plans, the waiting period is about two weeks and about 80% of the eligible expenses have to be incurred by the pet owner only after filing a claim form. Generally, most insurances plans have deductibles, which is about $50 per incident.

As far as medical expenses are concerned, pet owners can claim their expenses only if they meet the eligibility criteria. Coverage for specialty cases like cancers is extremely limited in most insurance plans and most often an additional deposit of about $99 has to be made annually even for routine treatments. In case of spay or neuter routine, pet owners can claim reimbursement for about 65%, depending on their coverage plan. The maximum coverage limit varies depending on whether it is for lifetime, annual or per incident category. With most insurance plans you can choose any registered veterinarian.

How to Choose the Right Plan

When you compare pet health insurance plans with assurance plans, the latter will definitely look more favorable and a better choice of the two. However, if you take a closer look you will find that in general, no particular plan can be the right choice for all pet owners as the requirements of each pet and pet owner is unique. The best way to make the right choice is to compare various features of different coverage plans like benefits and actual cost. Comparison charts are available in most pet insurance websites for your convenience.

Whether your choice is insurance or an assurance plan, keep in mind that the right choice is the one that suits your particular needs.…

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General Article

When You Own More Than One Cat

When You Own More Than One Cat

How many cats is ideal for a home? For your house, you alone know the answer, but in most homes, the answer is more than one.

According to the American Humane Association*, most cat lovers choose to live with more than one cat. The average cat-loving family lives with 2.1 cats. What’s right for you? Are you considering introducing another cat to your resident cat? Is it possible for them to be the new BFF’s on the block?

The first thing to consider is that cats are territorial creatures. In the wild, submissive cats simply avoid dominant cats, but if two such cats live in your home and are confined to indoors, the submissive one doesn’t have too far to run. There’s no magic formula for combining more than one cat and making a happy home since cat personalities vary greatly, but here are a few pointers to ease the way:

1. Neutral Territory. The earlier you spay and neuter your pet, the better. You’re not guaranteed that your neutered tom cat will never spray urine on a freshly painted wall, but the odds are much better. A neutered cat isn’t likely to fight for a potential mate’s affections either.

2. Less Stress for Tess… or Chester… or Charlamaine. Since cats are territorial, separate feeding areas allow timid cats to eat too. While the more dominant cat is occupied, the submissive cat may surreptitiously slip away to the second food bowl, located in a nice quiet place. Separate litter boxes are recommended for similar reasoning. Always be sure your cat has an escape route from the litter box and does not feel trapped. Some cats don’t prefer a litter box with a cover for just that reason.

3. Gradual introductions. Keep the cats in separate areas in the beginning to get them used to the idea of a new roommate. Their keen senses of smell will alert them that some other kitty is on the other side of that door. Swap bedding around so that they can get used to the scent of the other. When you introduce them formally (Mr. Bojangles, may I please present you to his majesty, Maximillian.) short initial times of togetherness are good. 30 minutes is fine for a first time together.

4. Play every day. “Cats do not have to be shown how to have a good time, for they are unfailing ingenious in that respect.” James Mason. Truer words were never spoken, but you may want to coach a little, for your own sanity and for the preservation of things you like. Cat trees and perches by windows are great to give your cat an opportunity to climb and enjoy the view from her new vantage point. Separate happy spots make for separate happy cats. Cat-nip infused tiny stuffed mice are popular for hiding, chasing and chewing on.

5. Acceptance is enough. It will take time – you can expect a bit of hissing and arched backs from time to time. Transition may be from 2 weeks to 2 months, and some personalities may simply come to a begrudging acceptance of others.

* American Human Society…

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General Article

What Do Cat Insurance Policies Cover?

What Do Cat Insurance Policies Cover?

Taking your cat to the vet can be quite expensive, which is why more cat owners are taking out cat insurance policies to help with the costs. If you live in the UK then there are a number of options you can choose from, but be aware that around a third of all pet insurance plans only last for twelve months at a time.

Most pet insurance is capped, that is to say your cat will be covered for vets fees and treatments up to a certain amount. Whatever policy you take out there will probably be an excess, which means you pay a percentage of the costs usually around ten percent and the insurer pays the rest. In the UK there are three main types of cover that you can take out on your cat.

Life cover is probably one of the most comprehensive policies as this covers any vets bills and treatment on a yearly basis and stipulates the maximum amount that your cat is covered for in any given year. The policy may have a limit that covers all types of treatment or you may have a policy with a limit that is made up of several amounts for different things, e.g. accident treatment, annual checkups and vaccinations, medical conditions etc. If the cover does work for different treatments and your cat is ill then you can only claim up to the amount for that particular condition e.g. kidney problems.

Policies that are time limited, i.e. your cat is only covered for twelve months as mentioned above, may seem cheap to begin with but can become very expensive if your cat has a condition that is still ongoing at the end of that period – when you try to renew the policy that condition could be excluded as pre-existent or you may need to take out separate cover for that condition.

Many insurance policies carry excess, that is to say if your cat needs treatment that costs two hundred pounds and the excess is twenty percent then the policy will pay out 160y pounds and you will be responsible for paying the other 40. Co-insurance policies are similar to excess policies in that you would contract to pay a percentage of every bill either ten or twenty percent of whatever the full amount is, the insurance company will then pay the other 80 or 90 percent of the bill.

Your cat insurance should cover all surgery along with other treatments and medicines. Whilst the premiums and excess will cost you a fair amount, it is fair to assume that in a time of crisis or prolonged illness, adequate coverage can save you a great deal of money. The only thing it won’t cover in fact is a preexisting issue, or anything that you have inaccurately claimed on the initial quote request. So being honest and truthful from the outset is absolutely essential.

You need to read all of the small print of an insurance policy, especially one that carries an excess, very carefully before you sign. Some insurers will calculate excess on a total claim, others will calculate it annually or on certain conditions, whatever it is you need to be aware exactly what they will pay and what you will be responsible for if your cat is sick or injured. There may be a variety of ways of insuring your cat in the UK, and you need to find a policy that will cover what you want for your cat and that suits your budget.…

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Pet Adoption

What Dog Is Right for Me?

So, you have come to the conclusion that you would like to share and enhance your life with a dog and you would like to know what dog to get? Where do you begin now? There are numerous things to prepare for and research before bringing your new dog home.
Here are some factors to consider:
You don’t need to buy a dog. Remember, there are thousands of dogs in shelters and rescue groups that get euthanized every day because they don’t have a home. There are even pure breeds if that is what you are searching for. You can utilize which aggregates many shelters inventories of homeless dogs. It’s a wonderful tool that lets you see thousands of dogs from the comfort of your own home from all over the country. Of course this will not be a substitute for actually visiting the dog and spending time with them in order to experience their temperament, character and personality first hand, but it is a great starting place.
Have you done adequate research for a dog trainer, dog walker and pet sitter? Remember rescuing or buying a dog is just the first step in a long relationship. If you want this new relationship to thrive you must care for your dog adequately and love your dog as part of your family. Find a CPDT-KA trainer and interview them. Find a great dog walker and pet sitter and interview them if you will not be able to be home during the day to walk and care for your new dog. Remember, a mentally and physically balanced dog, a well exercised dog and a well-mannered and trained dog is a wonderful treat and a dream to live with! The converse is equally true and your relationship will go downhill just as fast if you ignore or just expect the dog to understand you. Remember dogs don’t know English or Swahili, they must be taught what you want from them. A qualified dog trainer with expertise in ethology (scientific knowledge of species-specific behavior), husbandry and dog training will help educate you and train your dog.
Have you researched breed types and energy levels adequately? The most important characteristic or trait you can look for when buying or rescuing a new dog is their energy level and temperament. Too many people use aesthetics as their predominant decision making factor that drives their decision. If you do not match up your energy levels you will not be happy and neither will the dog. Do not get a working breed dog with a high energy level if you want to just hang out on the couch and want a dog to cuddle with most of the time! A working dog is not a couch potato and will make your life miserable regardless of how cute or gorgeous they are.
Here are some important question to ask yourself before you get a dog:
Why do you want a dog and what role will they play in your life: motivator, guardian, companion, best friend, partner, dependent… etc?
What other animals share your space?
What are your sleeping patterns and habits?
Do you have an active, loud, predictable, energetic household or the opposite?
Do you live in a rural, suburban or urban environment?
What is your occupation? Are you a medical student in your residency and at the hospital 100 hours a week? Or are you self-employed and work from home?
Have you dog proofed you home?
What are average veterinarian and maintenance bills for this type of dog?
Does he/she eat a lot or not much at all?
Can I transport my dog if and when I need to?
How big will my dog get at maturity?
Do a behavioral and temperament test with your new dog to make sure there is a fit before bringing them home.
The more honest you are with yourself prior to getting a dog the more pleasant your relationship will be for years to come.…

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General Article

Grooming – For More Than Physical Appearance

Grooming – For More Than Physical Appearance

So, you take your dog to the groomers to be washed, trimmed, cut, etc. It’s a good thing to do, for many reasons. The question is, why do you do it?

Do you do it because they’re dirty, and you want to make a good impression on company? Because you know you should? Because they’re itchy? Because it’s hot outside,and you want to cool them off?

If you answered yes to any of these, you’re at least off to a good start with grooming your dog. If you don’t take your dog to the groomer, then you’re either a very lucky dog owner and don’t need to, or you may want to start taking them.

So what, other than those listed above, is a main reason for taking your dog to the groomer? The answer is your dog’s overall health and well-being.

A dog that gets a bath is aromatically friendly, but it’s also useful for the dog’s health by helping prevent matts, which can cause bleeding sores and pain. The same goes for brushing. Getting those tangles out early and regularly saves a lot of trouble and pain later.

Now, a lot of people bring this line up: “Dogs in the wild don’t get baths, and they’re fine.” Technically speaking, those people are right. However, there are things to consider about this line.

When you take your dog in for a bath, you’re using today’s culture and technology to compensate for the domestication of dogs. In the wild, wolves self-groom and groom each other socially, eliminating matts. They still likely don’t smell so good, but they’re at least groomed. Their coats can also get “brushed” by low branches in forests, so there’s some natural grooming going on.

Consider nail clipping. Many people clip their dog’s nails, and many people don’t, What you end up seeing is that some dogs have monstrously long nails on tile floors that don’t wear down their nails. In the wild, wolves have naturally controlled nail length because they walk around on rough surfaces all day. Wolves tend to be nomads unless they’re in breeding season, and all that walking wears down their nails to a reasonable length.

Dogs in a tiled house, however, don’t have as much natural wear and tear on their nails. They end up with very long nails that make it difficult to get around in their environment, and those nails have a higher chance of snapping off and becoming a serious health problem. Even dogs in a partially carpeted or fully carpeted house can have nails that are too long. One important purpose of grooming is to prevent a problem with their feet.

Grooming is often expensive, especially if you own a long haired, decent sized dog. Depending on where you go, a medium sized long haired dog will cost you anywhere from forty five to seventy dollars. There is a little hope, however, in the self-wash facilities spread out over the country. These facilities allow people to go in and use their equipment, which is usually better than anything you have at home, for about a third of the price.

No matter where you choose to go, and what type of dog you have, you should definitely be grooming them. Professionally done, or just you in your backyard with a kid pool, a hose, and a brush, it’s an important aspect of owning any dog.…

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Animal Control

Pet Food Manufacturers Are Pet Lovers Too

The average household has one or more pets that are kept as companions by people who love them and wish to provide the best for them. Whether that pet has feathers, scales, fins, fur, or hair it most likely holds a special place in the owner’ s heart. When it comes to pet food and what we feed our pets, we want to provide them with the best that we can afford but that is not always what’ s best for them.

Balance is the key to a healthy diet

A well balanced diet is desirable for each of us and our pets requirements are the same. Plenty of vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements given daily will insure our pets are healthy and live long happy lives. There are choices to be made when selecting high quality foods:

Dog food comes in dry (kibble), semi moist, or moist (canned) varieties

Cat food is available in dry (kibble), semi moist, or moist (canned) varieties

Bird food comes in seed form as well as dried greens, fruits, and vegetables

Hamster and other rodents eat an assortment of seeds and pellets manufactured for their dietary requirements

Snakes and other reptiles kept as pets generally eat insects and small mammals, depending on their size. This source of food typically comes from pet shops and storesEach type of pet food is made with quality and safety in mind (even those insects must be disease free). The dry kibble, semi moist, and canned foods have been researched for decades to find the healthiest combination of ingredients to keep our pets healthy throughout their lifetime. Those who supply this high quality food are usually pet lovers themselves and have dedicated their lives to providing the best for man’ s best friends.

Approved and guaranteed

The pet food industry is strictly regulated today, with rigid testing every step of the way. The dog and cat food industries do their own researching and continually perform tests involving quality of ingredients, taste, and appearance of each product they provide. While these pet foods must appear appetising to the pet owner, it is ultimately the pets themselves who determine what works and what does not appeal to them. The industry conducts taste tests with animals similar to those done for foods intended for human consumption. They actually have taste testers comprised of dogs, cats, birds, and other type pets who sample each food and through their reactions; help decide which flavour and what type of texture will be most appealing to the general pet population.

Stringent standards and sanitary conditions

Pet foods are held to high standards when it comes to the manufacturing process involved. We love our pets and want to provide them with the very best to eat. Feeding a dog or cat strictly meat would rapidly create problems because it would be unbalanced, leaving out many vital vitamins and minerals that animal requires (just as we do). A balanced pet food needs to contain:




Omega fatty acids


TaurineOther ingredients specific to the animal the food is intended for are also included to make this diet balanced with all our pet requires.…