Four Signs It's Time to Change Pet Food

Sometimes a pet displays signs of poor health that are not necessarily related to a disease or illness. When this happens, changing pet food may be a good way to ensure that they're getting the proper nutrients. Here are common indicators that it may be time for a change.

Flaky or Dull Coat

Just like fatty acids keep humans' skin healthy and hydrated, if a pet's food lacks the proper fatty acids, it may result in a dull or flaky coat. If a cat or dog usually boasts a silky and healthy looking coat, but it slowly becomes less vibrant or more knotted with time, it can be an indication that their diet is lacking in said fatty acids. If this indicator appears, keeping an eye out for a brand that includes high levels of Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids may help return the shininess to a pet's coat.

Fatigue or Lethargy

It's normal for animals to go through lethargy during certain stages of their lives, such as when they are pregnant or are growing older. However, if a young and otherwise healthy cat or dog begins showing signs of excessive sleep and lack of interest in play or other activities, it could be a bad sign. This may be the result of an underlying illness. In order to combat this, finding a pet food with high levels of antioxidants can help the animal's immune system and speed up their recovery time. However, it's a good idea to contact a vet before making such changes to ensure that the lethargy is not a sign of something more serious.


Even though humans' diets generally stay the same through all stages of their lives, the same is not true of animals. Luckily, pet food comes equipped with the right nutrients for all the stages of a cat or dog's life. Puppy or kitten chow is fortified with the vitamins and nutrients needed for higher levels of activity as well as for healthy growing. But the same is true for animals of older ages. When a pet is considered a "senior," which is around 5-7 years depending on the size of the animal, it's a good idea to find a food that will allow them to age comfortably. Older animals do not need the high levels of fat and nutrients in "all age" foods, and an excess of these can actually be harmful.

Excessive Itching

If a cat or dog is itching excessively, most of the time it's an indicator that fleas or other pests have made their home in its coat. However, just like humans, some animals are born with natural allergies. These allergies may manifest themselves in upset stomachs, but they may also result in an itch that will not go away. In this case, it's a good idea to take the pet to a veterinarian to determine if an allergy is present and to find a low-allergen food that can reduce its irritation.

Knowing what food is right can be hard, and it may take a few attempts to get it right. But the result will be a healthier and happier member of the family!

Source by Alfred Ardis

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs – Signs, Symptoms and Solutions

Unfortunately, hip dysplasia in dogs is a very common problem, especially among large breeds. But do not let that stop you from enjoying the companionship of a Golden Retriever or any other big buddy out of fear for what the future might hold. Here's what you need to know.

What is Hip Dysplasia?

The word "dysplasia" literally means abnormal development. It happens when looseness in a dog's hip joint keeps the ball at the top of the thighbone from fitting snugly into the socket in the hip. It may be in only one hip, or both of them.

The constant friction caused by this misfit historically damages the joint. This damage tends to get worse with time, and the dog often develops arthritis, as well. Old age just is not much fun for a dog suffering from this joint problem.

Signs and Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

How did this happen, anyway? If a dog is going to be afflicted with this problem, he's usually born with it – though it may not develop for several years. It can show up sooner if a large breed dog grows too quickly as a puppy, or if it does a lot of jumping and running on slick floors or concrete at an early age.

Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Having difficulty standing up after sitting or lying down
  • Having difficulty walking, jumping, or going up and down stairs
  • Preferring to sit with both legs together on one side of his body
  • Letting you know it hurts when you touch his rear legs and hips
  • Doing the "bunny hop" when he runs, by keeping both rear legs together

An x-ray is the only sure way to diagnose canine hip dysplasia. The best age for a definite diagnosis is between 12 and 18 months. Some affected dogs do not show any symptoms at all for several years. (They're the "tough guys," I guess.)

Solutions for Canine Hip Dysplasia

So can anything be done for these poor pooches? Well, that depends on how bad the problem is. If your dog has a mild case, you can keep him reliably comfortable with weight control, moderate exercise, and pain relievers (from your vet) when he needs them.

In more severe cases, the best treatment for hip dysplasia is surgery to repair some of the damage and lessen the pain. In fact, the hips can even be replaced with Teflon hips, although that's a more expensive route to go, as you can imagine.

Here are a few ways to help your dysplastic dog be more comfortable:

  • Work with your vet to monitor your puppy's growth
  • Keep your adult dog at a healthy weight
  • Help your dog get a moderate amount of exercise, either from gentle walks or easy swimming sessions
  • Dish out the pain relievers when you can see your dog is hurting

Work with your vet to make sure your canine companion is as comfortable as possible, no matter how mild or severe his symptoms might be. Hip dysplasia in dogs does not need to destroy your pooch's quality of life.

Source by Nancy Aingworth

Signs of Leukemia in Dogs – Seeing the Earlier Signs So You Can Help

Signs of Leukemia in Dogs – Seeing the Earlier Signs So You Can Help

If you wish to get a dog, you must be sure not to end up with one that is vulnerable to a fatal disease like leukemia. It is nice to have pets at home because they can be extremely good companions. However, it is always safe to check whether it is susceptible to a potentially fatal blood disorder, if you are adopting a dog. All dog breeds can get leukemia, but as owners who love their loyal pets you want to be able to catch the early signals so you can better help your dog.

Leukemia in dogs is a blood related cancer that is caused by cancerous blood cells multiplying in the bone marrow. Depending on how rapidly the cancer cells are multiplying will usually determine whether this is an acute or chronic form of leukemia. The acute form means the progression of the cancer is very rapid. In other words the mutation of the blood cells that have become cancerous begin to multiply rapidly and the body is unable to regulate the production of these cells and it also means that the cancer affects the blood cells at an early stage rather when they become mature. Conversely, the chronic form is exactly opposite of the acute form. It is diagnosed when the cancer cells multiple in a slower progression and it affects the cells when they are fully mature.

There are different types of leukemia depending on which blood cells they are affecting. Some types of leukemia include acute acute/chronic myelogenous leukemia (AML/CML) and acute/chronic lymphoctic leukemia (ALL/CLL). The differences are by the types of blood cells they affect and the other factor being development progression of the cells.

The form of leukemia that occurs most commonly in our pets is lymphocytic leukemia where it affects the lymphocytes or white blood cells that develop in your bone marrow. This disease in canines can affect any breed and it still remains a question as to what actually causes this form of cancer. Any kind of dog is prone to leukemia. Depending on the stages of the cancer your will determine the severity of your dog’s condition and prognosis.

As a responsible pet owner you want to watch for the obvious symptoms such as abnormal behavior, excessive bleeding, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, pale gums, thirsty, seizures (although not common), and any signs of poor health from your dog should all be taken into consideration. If you have a feeling that your dog is sick it is always a good idea to bring your pet to the veterinarian and get checked.

If you explain to the veterinarian all the symptoms you have observed then they will take a blood sample and send it into the lab for analysis. They will analyze the blood count, the reticulocyte count which is the immature blood cells, conduct a urine analysis, perform x-rays, perform a bone marrow biopsy, and several other tests to get a comprehensive outlook of your dog’s health in order to make an accurate diagnosis.

If your dog becomes diagnosed with leukemia there are a number of methods your pet’s veterinarian will discuss with you about on how to best treat your pet. There is the option to use chemotherapy drugs or radiation depending on the localization of the cancer. If the doctor has identified the dog as having a very low red cell blood count they will typically recommend a blood transfusion.

Your pet’s doctor will also be prescribing medication for home treatment. Due to the weakened state of your pet’s immune system they may be susceptible to other illnesses so you have to really limit the amount of contact your dog has to other outside animals. The safe way is to keep your dog in the house as much as you can.

These times can place great amounts of stress on your pet as well as you the owner. The best thing you can do for your pet is to follow up with your doctor once a week unless there is an emergency. Your doctor will want to monitor your dog’s blood cells count. You want to administer medication to your dog as directed by the doctor and speak with the doctor if you are having issues administering the drugs.

To ensure the pathway to stabilization for your pet it is going to require both veterinary care and following the doctor’s instructions on how to care for your pet when you are home. There is unfortunately no known cure for leukemia in dogs, but as a responsible pet owner you can do your best to keep your pet as comfortable as you can.

Source by Bernard Yao

Signs of an Unfaithful Husband – How to Know If Your Husband Has Cheated

Signs of an Unfaithful Husband – How to Know If Your Husband Has Cheated

Cheating is fast becoming as common as pizza. This is however not an invitation to put on your paranoid slippers and start imagining that every man in sight (perhaps even one who is bedridden and can’t get around without you) is cheating.

There are some fool-proof signs that will out a cheating spouse, and surprisingly, they are not the obvious ones you would be expecting. I mean, get real: how many husbands WOULD actually leave lipstick stains on their collars? So learn to look for the not-so-obvious like:

1. Incessant and Unjust complaints

If your husband suddenly starts finding fault with things he was perfectly okay with before, consider yourself put on notice because it means that there is now someone else in his life, new apparently, whose opinion he values enough to want to overturn all that was previously familiar and normal. Chances are, he will start wanting to change the little things like your shampoo, or your laundry detergent, or the way you arrange the scrambled eggs on the plate, or even the way you wax the floors and before you know it, he decides the little things are not enough, he wants to change his wife.

2. Instincts

For most of us, every time we ignore our instincts, we end up regretting it, and in truth, a woman’s instincts are usually more accurate than she gives them credit for. If you suddenly start getting that feeling in the pit of your stomach that he is ‘stepping out on you’, you may want to start being more alert.

3. Body Language

There is a lot to be said for body language no matter how people may underrate them. A cheating husband will, at some level, feel guilt (unless of course he is a sociopath) and invariably, if you are good, you can virtually smell and SEE the guilt coming out of his pores. Of course, every cheat is also a liar (whoever heard of an honest cheat), so if you suspect cheating, then you have to be on your toes to catch him out in a lie. Clue, body language. It may not always be about holes in his story; sometimes, it’s in the way he tells them. Studies have shown that not all liars avoid eye contact; in fact some go out of their way to make eye contact so you have to look for other clues.

4. Kissing

If your spouse has been lip-locked with someone else, invariably, his kissing style changes. It may be subtle or overt but once he has kissed the forbidden lips, the next time he touches lips with you, he unconsciously mimics the other woman’s technique. This does not however suggest that he wouldn’t kiss differently if say, he was punched on the lips by the friendly neighbourhood burglar while the latter was carting away family treasures, nor is this meant to suggest that 20 years down the line, he would kiss you the same way he did at your wedding ceremony. You can easily figure out where to draw the line being that you are a sensible woman.

5. Excessive explanations

Do you remember being a kid with an overeager imagination? When you were asked who had been in the cookie jar, you made up stories ranging from burglars to fairies in order to protect the real culprit, you; but when you were innocent of the ‘theft’, you simply said, “I don’t know”.

When a man has been unfaithful, a simple “How was work?” is likely to earn you incredible accounts of how he got delayed because his boss decided to do the rumba on the conference table.

6. Suspicion

An unfaithful spouse will suddenly, and for no obvious reason, become suspicious of you, accusing you of flirting with everyone from the mailman to the elderly gentleman next door. If he was previously not the unreasonably jealous type, then be alert because most cheats abide by the principle: an attack is the best defence. So while you are busy fending off his attacks, he may be quietly and happily cheating on the side.

7. He gives you unusually free rein with his gadgets

Most people check the phones and e-mails first if they suspect someone is cheating and so, most cheats have learnt to grow with the times. If he is being unusually non-possessive of his gadgets, then you may have cause for alarm because not only is he cheating, he is also consistently wiping off the evidence! It’s like premeditated cheating!

8. Follow the money

Every cheating man wants to do right by his lady love so naturally, he resorts to gifts and trips. If you can follow his spending habits, you may have a shot at catching him at it.

Please note that there are exceptions to every rule, but if four or more of these signs are present, you may want to keep a closer eye on your man.And yes, the signs in this articles are applicable not only to husbands, but also boyfriends. Indeed, where the ‘suspect’ is merely your boyfriend or fiance, a sign that works amazingly is: Watch where he spends time with you most. Studies have shown that if a man is juggling women, he rarely takes them to his house, preferring instead to spend more time at their place than his!

The worst thing you can do is confront a cheating husband before you have all the facts or evidence. Chances are, he will deny it and ‘up’ his cheating, daring you to catch him at his game – if you can!!!

Source by Sherina O Okoye

Home Security Signs and Guard Dogs – How Effective Are They?

Home Security Signs and Guard Dogs – How Effective Are They?

Dogs have been used as a main component of security from thousands of years ago and today they go hand in hand with home security signs. Chinese palaces have been protected by dogs. Greek mythology has Cerebus standing guard over the gates of Hades. Dog breeds have very distinct personality and behavioral traits. Some dogs are loyal, protective or have other characteristics that make them qualified for guard dog roles. Home security signs on the perimeter of your property that warn of guard dogs are a great first layer of home security for the simple fact that they make a criminal think and wonder about the difficulty of stealing from a home with dogs.

Most people have some familiarity with the pictures of Doberman Pinscher or German Shepherd breeds as guard dogs. These particular breeds do make superb guard dogs, especially when properly trained. They possess the physical size, and personality to protect anyone's property. Other breeds such as Bull Mastiffs and Rottweilers possess excellent guard dog capabilities as well.

I know from personal experience that German Shepherds and others can be taught to discriminate between those who are allowed in the home and those who are not. I house sat for some friends of mine one time and they had a huge German Shepard named Samson. When I first went to their house, my friend Ken took me out to meet Samson and told him, "Samson, this is our friend Tom." Samson and I were best friends from then on through the rest of the summer while his owners were away. These dogs operate by sight and smell. They will readily recognize not only family members but 'authorized' visitors as well. Family friends will be welcomed with a friendly tail wag; Strangers get a stare and a warning growl. If a stranger comes closer, especially to a family member watch out. A nasty bite or more will come about if they persist.

Even though dogs can be destroyed by a gun or poison, most criminals are not going to go that far. Most of the time, just having home security signs warning of guard dogs will make a burglar reconsider. They really want an easier target of which there are many. Dogs with the physical size and presence of the breeds mentioned are, at least psychologically, a threat most burglars do not want to deal with, which increases your property security.

Although larger dogs may be optimal, much smaller breeds can make excellent guard dogs too. They just need proper training.

Having a dog that constantly barks at everything is not the answer to any successful security issues. With the owner consistently ignoring all the warnings, the burglars will realize that they do not need to be nervous. Most breeds just need some good training to solve barking problems and false alarms.

It is best to have a dog that has both inside and outside access. Dogs that are allowed access to both will consistently cover the whole property. This can be accomplished with an appropriate sized doggie door. Not one so large that it makes home invasion easy though. The right sized doggie door will allow most dog's access to the outdoors for bathroom breaks and patrol duty. With a little thought, the door can be made big enough for the dog, but small enough so most men will not have access.

You should complete your guard dog program by placing home security signs warning about the guard dog in places that people can see day or night. These are considered clear advertising 'that your property has guard dog security. Criminals do not need to see the dog to reconsider there illegal activities in regards to your house. Proper signage will alert them to the fact that one encounter will be more than they want.

Source by Thomas Moody

Security Signs – Protect Your Property

There is something to be said about being direct and to the point. Say what you mean and, hopefully, people will respond quickly and decisively. Speaking directly and being precise in communication not only drives your point home, but leaves little room for uncertainty. Written communications should be direct and straightforward, as well. State your message clearly and concisely and people will respond. Security Signs are a great way to get your point across, whether that message is a directive, alert or warning.

You’ll find security signs throughout your neighborhood and town. Common places for these signs are warehouses, facilities, airports, municipal lots, retail areas, office parks and private property. Smart businesses will post various security signs around their parking lots, loading docks and additional areas to warn trespassers, vandals and other nefarious persons that this particular property is not a place for them. Various security system and alarm signs, security camera signs, security surveillance signs and security notice signs can be posted around your property to warn individuals who are there illegally that they are being monitored and/or videotaped. The presence of these type of signs are usually enough to deter would-be vandals or trespassers from committing any crimes on your property.

Well-placed security signs are also appropriate for homeowners who wish to protect their property from vandals or burglars. Having a clearly visible sign that warns of security cameras in use can certainly cause a criminal to skip your house in favor of a less potentially risky residence. The addition of a sign that describes the presence of guard dogs, alongside a security camera sign, can act as a two-pronged approach to the security of your property.

Security signs are available in a range of colors, shapes, sizes and materials. It is important to choose a sign that is large enough to be seen, while at the same time does not create an eyesore or detract from the esthetic of the property. Be sure to consider purchasing mounting brackets or a sign post to securely hold your security sign.

Source by Jessica Pear

Cat Labor Signs – 7 Ways To Tell That Your Cat is About to Give Birth

So your cat has been pregnant for awhile now and been getting rounder and rounder. Suddenly, her whole demeanour changes and you’re standing there, wondering if this is really it — is your cat in labour?

Are her kittens coming?

How can you tell?

Just what are the signs of labour you should be looking out for?

Cat lovers the world over do their very best to make sure that their beloved pets receive the best care possible.

But when our feline friends become ill — or in this case, are due to give birth to kittens — we begin to feel very anxious and out of control as we realise that we simply don’t know enough about the situation.

After all, we can’t all be vets! You need to know what to look out for and you need to know fast.

Your cat is due to go into labour around the 64th day of her pregnancy, although it is very unlikely that you will be able to be that accurate in your calculations. Instead, you will have to rely on your ability to read the signs of the stages of pregnancy and of her impending labour.

Firstly, you are likely to have noticed that your cat’s appetite will have almost doubled in the past few weeks and you will be able to see her kittens moving around in her abdomen quite clearly.

Also, she will have been displaying nesting behaviour — looking for a safe, warm and quiet place in which to give birth. Hopefully, you will have already provided a suitable nesting box for her to use, otherwise you may find that she has chosen to give birth in the middle of your bed!

Then, as your cat nears the start of her labour, her appetite will reduce dramatically. It may even disappear completely.

A further sign of your cat’s labour is that she may become particularly clingy and want to be around you constantly, seeking your affection.

As she gets closer to the time that her labour begins in earnest, you may find that your cat starts pacing about, appearing nervous or particularly excitable.

Another very distinct sign that your cat is very close to going into labour is that she will begin to ‘call’ to you. Even if you have never been present when a cat is giving birth, you won’t be able to mistake this particular sound!

As the time approaches, you will see your cat repeatedly licking her bottom as she reacts to changing sensations in her body as it prepares for the birth of her kittens.

And finally, when your soon–to–be mother cat starts to feel the first twinges of her labour, she will appear to be uneasy and will repeatedly go in and out of her nesting box, ‘treading’ on the nesting material that you have already provided.

When you see this last behaviour, you can be quite sure that your lovely cat is entering the first stage of the birth process — your cat’s labour has begun.

In conclusion then, when you find yourself faced with a heavily pregnant cat and are wondering just when things will start to get moving, the foregoing, seven signs will give you a good guide to follow.

But do yourself a favour, the hard work doesn’t stop there — for you or your cat. Learn just what you need to know to help her through the actual birth process and how you can best care for your cute, newborn kittens by visiting the link in the box below.

© Jane Tompsett 2007

Source by Jane Tompsett

Cat Kidney Infection – Signs, Symptoms, Treatment, and Recovery

The kidneys are important organs that perform many different functions including keeping our pets blood free from toxins and regulating fluid and acid base balance. When a cat kidney infection strikes kidney function can be impacted dramatically, thus impacting overall health both on a short and long term basis.

A cat kidney infection starts with bacteria gaining access either to the blood or the urinary tract. If the cause is blood borne chances are your pet ingested something that was filled with bacteria. If the bacterial gained access through the urinary tract, it was picked up through the urethra, then moved upwards to the bladder, and finally made its way to the kidneys. The most likely source of the bacteria was likely feces coming from a dirty litter box.

Since the condition generally gains access through the urethra female cats are much more likely to have this type of infection. Especially aging female cats whose immune system is weakening, or cat’s that may have some type of age related bladder incontinence or thickening.

What are the signs

*Acute cat kidney infection: You likely will begin to notice your pets behavior changing. For me at least, the most obvious initial sign was extreme fatigue. All of the sudden my cat didn’t want to sit in my lap while watching television. She no longer would come running when a can of food was opened. The conventional signs are fever, vomiting, and pain in the lower back. An odd stiff legged walk with a hunched over posture are other classic signs. Blood in the urine is not uncommon as well.

*Chronic cat kidney infection: Whether it is people or pets the word chronic should send a chill down your spine. This is indeed the case with chronic cat kidney infection. This is a terrible disease that could take half a year or more to eliminate possibly causing kidney damage in the meantime. It may or may not be curable depending on the type of bacteria, the extent of the infection, and your cats age and overall health. The classic signs are noticeable weight loss along with a myriad of symptoms normally associated with cat kidney failure; increased urination, increased fluid intake, urinating outside the litter box, dry coat and fur, loss of appetite, and discoloration on the surface of the tongue.

Treating cat kidney infection

If you start to notice your cat exhibiting signs of cat kidney infection call your veterinarian immediately to either confirm your suspicions or rule them out. The conventional form of treatment is antibiotics formulated to concentrate in the urine along with dietary adjustments. Intravenous fluid may also be required to keep your cat hydrated and flush the urinary tract.

On the road to recovery

Once the cat kidney infection has been eradicated there are a number of steps that can be taken to restore overall urinary system health and prevent this from happening again. A few idea that have worked well for me and my cat are adding cranberry juice or blueberry juice to her water to keep bacterial from attaching itself to the lining of the urinary tract, 5 minutes of daily play time, eliminating any excess stress, feeding her primarily wet food to protect against dehydration, cleaning the litter box at least twice a day, and implementing a natural urinary tract reconditioning supplement in an attempt to repair any damage incurred during the long fight to eliminate the cat kidney infection.

Source by Rob D. Hawkins