Many household objects can be dangerous to cats, dogs, and even children.
Kittens and puppies are probably at the biggest risk, since they are so curious.
Dogs are physically able to eat and digest many types of food.
Some cats and dogs get an upset tummy when changing foods, but a gradual change helps prevent problems.
Unless you have or are getting a prescription diet and your veterinarian says otherwise, the following schedule is a good help to transition your pet to a new type of food without problems:
Days 1 and 2 – mix 3/4 of the old food with 1/4 of the new food
Days 3 and 4 – mix old and new food half–and–half
Days 5 and 6 – mix 1/4 old food with 3/4 new food
Day 7 – give 100% new food
If you see signs of problems during the week, slow down the transition.
A pet door can help get chewing problems under control, but it depends on why the pet chews.
Many cats and dogs are great friends, but reaching that point can take some patience.
If your dog isn't used to cats, start with considering the dog's personality.
Most pets take to their new cat door or dog door quickly – they want to get to the other side – but others need some training. Many get it in a few seconds, others might need a week or two.
Allergies are fairly common among dogs, and just like a human, a dog can develop a new allergy at any age.
The most common dog allergy is flea bites, and a couple of bites can trigger a reaction that will last for weeks.
Puppies grow fast; get the size pet door you will need for the dog as an adult.
It may seem logical to start with a smaller door when the dog is small and gradually increase the size, but you will have to buy several doors – and install several doors.
Puppies are adorable and watching them grow up is a rewarding experience – but there are many positives about adopting an adult dog as well.
Puppies have a lot of energy, they're learning about the world, and they can be a lot of work.
Dogs may have developed in many different parts of the world, but the DNA of modern dogs has most similarities to DNA from modern day European wolves.
Dogs are thought to have instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and obedience intelligence.
Instinctive intelligence is what a breed is created to do – and does naturally without extra training.
Some older dogs develop cognitive issues, as well as problems with vision and sight, but they can still live full and happy lives.
Aging dogs have different needs than puppies, and there are some things to consider when choosing a pet door for an older dog.
Antifreeze is very toxic to pets and leads to many deaths every year.
The problem for pet owners is, it's not just the antifreeze in one's own car – there can be puddles on the road and in parking lots.
The most common mistake people do when bringing a new dog home is not giving enough time to acclimatize to the new environment.
A new furry friend will bring a lifetime of joy and love, but many are still returned to shelters and rescues within the first 24 hours of adoption.
Socializing a puppy means exposing them to many different people, environments, and situations – this helps them to get used to the world so they can be well adjusted adults.
Encountering new things is important through a dog's life, but probably never more important than between 8 and 16 weeks of age.
If an older dog stops using the pet door, the problem is usually related to aches and pains.
Dogs and cats have a much better sense of hearing than the average human, and sounds that are acceptable to us may be extremely loud to them.
Dogs can pick up sounds that are four times as far away than something a human can hear, and they hear a wider range of sounds than we do.
No pet door can guarantee that the cats don't go outside with the dog.
The cat may not have a key to open the PlexiDor Electronic, but cats are fast and smart, and if they want to go outside, they'll figure out that they can use the door with the dog.
An average size Labrador will need a large PlexiDor dog door.
Labradors come in a variety of sizes and there's a difference between English labs and American labs.
No matter what you want to teach your dog, the training process is easier with some basic knowledge.
The PlexiDor Extra Large is constructed for dogs up to 220 pounds and will accommodate very large breeds such as Irish Wolfhounds, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundlands, and Great Danes.
Dog doors for pets this size face some unique challenges; a traditional flap door can't stand up to the power produced by a 220 pound dog hitting it at full speed.
Physical and mental exercise are the best ways to keep a dog stimulated and occupied – and relaxed in between – but to a certain extent, you can train a more relaxed behavior.
Some dogs are extremely energetic and might not get tired no matter how much physical exercise they get.
An average size Beagle will need a medium PlexiDor.
An average size Chihuahua will need a small PlexiDor.
The Newfoundland is a very large, strong, and energetic breed, and the PlexiDor Extra Large will be the best choice – this door is constructed for having dogs this size running through it.
The average German Shepherd weighs between 75 and 95 pounds.
There are several reasons dogs lick people – and each other.
Dogs in the wild curl up to keep themselves warm, and to protect their soft undersides from predators. For extra protection and warmth, they often dig out a nest to sleep in and the instinct to curl up remains in our domesticated dogs.
Many believe dogs eat grass because they're missing something in their diet, or to throw up, but there is no scientific evidence for this.
Dogs tilt their heads to pick up sounds better – it re–positions their ears to pick up sounds from a certain direction.
Besides the obvious physical differences between dog breeds, they have been bred to perform specific tasks – for instance, most herding dogs are instinctively good at herding – so the breed matters.
A dry and warm nose doesn't necessarily mean a dog – or cat – is sick.
A dog's nose can be cool and wet one moment and dry and warm a few minutes later.
Many puppies and young dogs chase their tails for entertainment – it's a built–in toy that can alleviate boredom.
If your dog chases its tail compulsively, you might want to seek a vet to make sure there isn't an underlying health problem.
To humans the butt-sniffing ritual can seem awkward, but it gives a dog access to a lot of information about a new acquaintance, such as gender, health, and diet. Dogs remember scents too, and the smell can help determine if they've met another dog before.
Dogs breathe in through the nostrils and out through the slits on the nose. This allows them to always bring new air past their olfactory receptors – and they can breathe in and out at the same time.
A small Irish Wolfhound may be able to use an electronic PlexiDor, but large individuals will not be able to get through the opening.
Many dogs love car rides, but others associate the car with something negative. The remedy to fear of car rides is practice and positive reinforcement.
There are several reasons to why dogs become afraid of children. The dog might not have gotten an opportunity to socialize with children as a puppy, or it may have had negative experiences with children.
Dogs occasionally develop fears of certain objects – such as the vacuum cleaner.
Dogs often stare at humans to make sure they don't miss anything, to try to read our emotions, or to try to get something. “Something” is often a snack, but can also be attention, play time, or a walk.
Arthritis is common in both cats and dogs. Pets are experts at hiding discomfort and disease, but early diagnosis can help manage the pain as well as prevent further damage.
Asphalt can get very hot in the sun and burn your pet's paws.
Dogs seem so sturdy and it's easy to assume they're more resistant to the elements than we humans are.
If your dog is stung by a bee or a wasp, go inside and call your veterinarian. Placing an ice pack on the sting can help, but not all dogs respond well to that.
Dogs can eat peanut butter as long as it doesn't contain xylitol or other artificial sweeteners.
Xylitol is toxic to dogs and even small amounts can cause seizures and death.
Just a few years ago, Xylitol wasn't a big problem to dog owners.
Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, even in cookies, and even if the dog says it's okay.
Dogs should not eat avocado – both fruit and plant contain a substance called persin that is toxic to many animals.
Even very small dog breeds can use dog doors. Pick a door that opens easily, like the small PlexiDor, and make sure you install it at an appropriate height.
There are several reasons dogs start chewing on their paws, such as allergies, dry skin, and nail problems. If you think the behavior is compulsive, it's a good idea to consult a veterinarian.
Dogs like to dig, and understanding why they do it may help manage the instinct. Some dogs never dig, and others love to do it.
There are several reasons dogs like to chew. Puppies use their mouths to explore and learn about the world – and chewing relieves pain from teething.
Some dogs seem to think everything belongs in their mouth, and eating rocks is more common than one might think. Though, it isn't a healthy or safe behavior.
Aging dogs get physical changes just like humans. If your dog's eyes are changing, see a veterinarian to determine if it's a condition that should be treated.
Most dogs love to roll in stinky substances that repulse humans. It is a natural behavior to them, and usually a way to mask their own scent.
Never give a dog a human pain killer.
While these are lovable traits, new owners are often surprised by the trouble their new pet can cause.
Many common items in a home can be a danger to puppies.
Puppies usually have all their baby teeth at an age of five to six weeks, and they have around 28 baby teeth. By six months of age, all the permanent teeth should have grown in.
Toys are important to both cats and dogs, one may even say necessary. Toys keep boredom at bay, provide comfort, and help the pet burn off energy, which in turn prevents behavioral problems.
Tinsel, string, and ribbons can be deadly to cats and dogs, and should be kept away from pets.
Cartoon kittens are often seen frolicking with a ball of yarn, but in reality all forms of string – even shoe laces – pose a potentially lethal danger to cats and dogs.
Some dogs seem to love the camera. They look at it and wait for the “click” before turning their heads. Others seem to squirm and just refuse to sit still for a photo.
When you take your cat, dog, or other pet for a check–up, the veterinarian wants to make sure there aren't any new or hidden illnesses.
It is a good idea to keep track of a pet's weight. How often they should be weighed depends on age and overall health.
Pet food bowls often don't make it to the dishwasher, but they should be cleaned regularly. The FDA recommends washing pet food bowls, food dishes, and utensils used to scoop food after each use.
Cats are masters at hiding illness, and it's often easier to note a change in their behavior than the illness itself. Here are some changes to watch for.
Change in appetite
Cats need to eat regularly.
Dogs are individuals and every dog of a certain breed will be different, but the breeds have been created to enhance or suppress certain aspects. For instance, herding dogs have been bred to enhance the herding instinct, hunting breeds to have a strong hunting instinct, and so on.
Most pets push their dog door or cat door open with their heads, but the doors open so easily they won't get headaches.
If a pet door were to cause a pet pain, they would be unlikely to use it.
Dogs mainly use their tails to communicate.
Dogs react to music, and just like humans, different kinds of music give different responses.
Slower tempos and simpler patterns can help dogs relax while faster tempos with a multitude of instruments can make them stressed.
Size and breed play roles in how long dogs live, and how quickly they mature. For most dogs, the first year of life is an equivalent of about 15 human years, but after that it slows down.
Skunks are intelligent and adorable, but the smell they can leave is not – and getting rid of it can seem impossible.
Particularly toy breeds have more problems with their teeth and mouths than larger dogs. It's because their mouths are tiny while their teeth remain relatively large, so there's less room between the teeth.
Dogs can learn to recognize printed words and associate them with a meaning. They don't read full sentences like humans do, but they can learn to recognize letters.
Bell peppers are rich in vitamins and antioxidants and are good for dogs in moderate amounts. Dogs shouldn't eat spicy peppers.
Red bell peppers are the best, because they are the ripest and contain the most nutrients.
Many chewing gums contain xylitol as a sweetener, and xylitol is toxic to dogs. If you suspect your dog ingested something that may contain xylitol, contact a veterinarian for advice.
Never give beer or anything else with alcohol to your pet. A dog's liver is not equipped to handle alcohol and even small amounts can be fatal.
Neurological issues usually means something disrupts the signals between the brain and the body. The three main areas affected in dogs are the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerves.
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