Wouldn’t it make a great Christmas card for next year: Bowser in front of the fireplace wearing a Santa Claus hat?
Most pet owners, be they kitty fanciers, canine lovers or both will have great opportunities for pet photos during the holidays.
You can set up the photo just where you want it. Declutter the area so the background isn’t confused. Catch your pooch in a calm mood. Ask someone else to hold a toy or a treat in order to get that special glint in your pet’s eyes.
But the glint you don’t want is the dreaded green eye.
The green eye is like red-eye in human photos. With humans, light strikes the retina’s blood vessels, reflecting red. But many animals have an eye membrane called tapetum lucidum that lets animals see better in the dark. When light strikes an animal’s eye, the membrane can reflect green, blue, white, or yellow, depending on the animal. Most dogs and cats reflect green or blue. Blue-eyed cats are the exception and they reflect red. Raccoon and deer eyes glow yellow.
You get green eyes when your pet’s pupils are dilated at night, or a built-in camera flash shines directly into the pet’s eye.
To avoid green eyes, distract the pet to look slightly away from the camera. You can also change your shooting angle to a slightly higher or lower position than the pet’s eyes. If you are using a traditional camera with a separate flash, tilt the flash to bounce light from the ceiling or wall.
What you should know about osteopathy for animals
Did you know that animals can receive osteopathic treatments? Although osteopathy isn’t a replacement for traditional veterinary medicine, it can be used as a complementary treatment if your pet experiences certain health problems.
Osteopathy looks at the way the body functions as a whole. If one part is out of balance, it can lead to pain and discomfort in another part. Consequently, an osteopath’s job is to help release pain in the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tissues using gentle, hands-on palpations and manipulations.
When to consult an osteopath
You may want to seek osteopathic treatment for your pet to help soothe lameness, digestive problems, osteoarthritis, muscle injuries, back pain, and other issues. If you have a senior pet, osteopathy may help restore some of their strength and in some cases prevent the need for surgery.
Although you can often see results after one session, the entire treatment may require several appointments, depending on the nature and severity of the problem.
If you want to find a veterinarian offering osteopathic treatments in your area, you can use the online Holistic Integrative Vet Directory at civtedu.org.
Osteopathy sessions take place in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. The adjustments and manipulations are so gentle that it’s not unusual for the patient to fall asleep during treatment.
3 advantages of crate training your dog
A crate can become a refuge for your canine companion, and teaching your dog to use one has a number of benefits. Here are three reasons to consider crate training your dog.
1. Your dog can be conditioned to see its crate as a den to retreat to in stressful situations. With the right training, this snug space can become a place where your dog feels happy and safe.
2. To prevent your pooch from becoming overexcited and jumping on guests when they visit your home, you can place your dog in their crate. Once your pet is calm, they can rejoin you and your visitors.
3. If you have an overly curious pup that tends to make a mess and put itself in dangerous situations when you’re absent, teaching them to stay in their crate is a good idea. This way, you can prevent them from getting into trouble when you leave the house.
To find a sturdy crate for your dog, visit a pet store in your area.
Does my pet need a passport to travel?
If you’re planning to travel internationally and you want to bring your pet with you, you’ll need to make sure you have specific documentation. Here’s what you need to know about pet passports.
Requirements by country
The documentation that’s required varies depending on the country you visit. You may also be asked to provide an international health certificate from your country of origin, or you may be asked to obtain a health certificate when you arrive at your destination. Other common requirements include:
• Proof of vaccination
• Microchip details
• Proof of ownership
• Treatment records
• A description of the animal
A pet passport contains most or all of the required information listed above. A pet passport is needed to travel through Europe and several other countries. If you travel frequently with your pet, you’ll want to consider getting one.
Each country has different requirements depending on the type of pet you have (e.g. dog, cat, parrot, snake, etc.). Some exotic species require a specific permit from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in order to travel.
Talk to your veterinarian about your travel plans as soon as possible. And don’t forget to check your airline’s pet policy before you book your flight.
How to choose the right dog shampoo
Dogs are notorious for getting dirty, and once in a while, they need a good bath. While you might be tempted to use whatever products you keep in your shower, human soaps and shampoos can irritate a dog’s sensitive skin. Luckily, there are hundreds of pet-friendly shampoos on the market. Here’s how to choose the right one for your dog.
If your dog has dry, sensitive skin, look for shampoos with soothing and moisturizing agents like oatmeal and honey. Opt for products that are labeled hypoallergenic, and avoid anything with fragrance.
Is your dog’s coat smooth and silky or coarse and curly? Many dog shampoos are tailored to different types of coats. If your dog’s fur is prone to mats and tangles, opt for a detangling shampoo. If your canine companion has white fur, choose a product with whiteners that will brighten their fur and reduce discoloration.
If your dog has fleas, ticks, or dandruff, they’ll most likely need a medicated shampoo with active ingredients (such as sulfur, hydrocortisone, or coal tar) that work to treat the root cause of the issue. A vet can prescribe the proper shampoo for your dog’s condition.
To help keep your dog’s coat healthy and shining, follow the shampoo with a quality conditioner and a thorough brushing.
When in doubt about bathing your pet, reach out to a veterinarian or professional groomer for advice.
9 fun facts about pets
Domesticated animals are more interesting than you might realize. Whether you have a dog, cat, hamster, reptile, or rabbit, these nine fun facts about pets are sure to surprise and delight you.
1. Hamsters are most active at night. While you’re asleep, they can run more than five miles on their rodent wheel.
2. Most cats don’t have eyelashes, but they do have an extra eyelid that lubricates and protects their eyes.
3. Geckos don’t have eyelids. Instead, they have a transparent membrane that covers and protects their eyeballs.
4. Rabbits can see behind their head. The lateral placement of their eyes gives them a nearly 360-degree field of vision.
5. Chameleons’ tongues are nearly twice as long as their bodies. That’s why they’re so good at catching their prey.
6. Greyhounds are the fastest breed of dog. They can reach speeds of up to 18 miles per hour.
7. Horses can drink an average of eight gallons of water per day. This amount increases with activity.
8. Rats laugh when tickled. However, the frequency of their laughter is too low (50 kHz) to be heard by the human ear.
9. Like a snowflake or fingerprint, no two dog noses are the same. They all have unique patterns and creases.
Now, go give your pet a treat or snuggle to reward them for being so interesting.
Why do cats like high places?
Is your cat constantly trying to climb your furniture? If so, this behavior isn’t surprising. After all, felines like to perch in high places. Here are some things to know about your cat’s fondness for heights.
Reasons cats like heights
Animals need to adapt to their surroundings to survive in the wild. They develop instincts to help keep them safe. These instincts persist even when they’re domesticated. Seeking high places is part of a cat’s natural behavior. Being up high gives your pet a good vantage point to observe what’s going on around them, target their prey and spot any potential danger. This makes them feel safe and secure. It also gives them a place to retreat when they don’t want to be part of the action below.
Creating vertical spaces
Providing cat-friendly vertical areas will help keep your feline friend off your furniture. Here are some simple and affordable ways to create vertical space for your cat:
• Purchase or build a cat tree or climbing post.
• Mount shelves for your cat to climb.
• Add a window perch to your cat’s favorite window.
To help keep your cat safe at all times, make sure that any perches you build or buy are secured and mounted with the necessary anchors.