February 25, 2013

The Best Toys for Your Cat or Dog

Imagine this: You are sitting at home with your family. Your dog is at your feet, and your cat is in your lap. Everyone in your house is enjoying time together. You notice that your dog starts to get restless and goes over to the couch and starts sniffing around. Before you even know what’s happening your dog is chewing the corner and your cat has jumped off your lap and joined in.

What the heck is going on?! You have never seen this type of behavior from either of your pets, and you are disgusted, to say the least. You send your dog to the kennel but can’t find the cat. The next night the cat and the dog start chewing and scratching away at your dining room table and chairs.
Your pets have always been mild mannered until now, and you can’t figure out why the change in behavior. Take a look around your house. Have you purchased any pet toys to help give them sensory satisfaction?Toys for your pets are not just something that you get them to spoil them. They are also used to help with sensory satisfaction and to help keep them engaged. When any kind of animal isbored, they tend to find the first thing that peaks their interest and typically that spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e for them and anger for you.

So what type of toys is best for your pets? If you have a dog that is a little bit more hyperactive, you need to find a toy that allows them to fun and play as much as possible. Balls or any type of toy that they can chase is often a good idea. The same goes for a cat. Cats are natural predators. They love to pounce, chase, and run around just as much as a dog.

 The best toys you can purchase for your dog include
Chew toys 
• Plush Toys

The best toys you can purchase for your cat include:
Feeders 
Interactive toys 

No matter what type of toy you buy for your pets it is important that they have them. They are not just a tool to help them be more occupied, they also help to increase brain function. Always ensure that no matter what type of toy you get for your pet it is safe for them. Consult with you local pet store owner to find out what your best options are and what toys meet the highest safety standards. Remember, always keep your pet engaged; have fun with them. Sensory satisfaction is important for your pet’s happiness and your peace of mind.

 

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August 16, 2012

What Toys to Buy a New Puppy

Filed under: Behavior,Dog Behavior,dog biting,dog toys — Dr. Amber Reed @ 10:00 am

Let’s face it: puppies are adorable. They have little paws, soft fur, and a ton of energy. They will need plenty of toys to keep them busy and out of trouble.

Before you bring home your new puppy, make sure you have a few fun things for your puppy to play with. Here’s what to look for.

First, what he shouldn’t play with.

Puppy toys should not have attachments or points that can break off. If he swallows them he can get very sick, costing you a lot of money! Similarly he should not be playing with string, twist ties, or plastic baggies.

He cannot have your kids’ old toys that are made of rubber or sponge. Think about what toys you give your puppy and whether there is a potential for him to chew off small pieces and swallow them.

Consider a great chew toy.

There are all kinds of chew toys you can purchase for your new puppy. You may choose a harder one – such as a beef bone or a softer one – such as a soft rubber toy – depending on his size. Harder toys are best for older dogs. Younger dogs do enjoy a softer chew toy, but do not give them to older pups. Older, stronger dogs can chew off pieces and swallow them.

Or maybe a stuffed toy?

Puppies love soft, plush stuffed toys. They can easily sink their immature teeth into them and they love to throw them around and even cuddle them.

You may find yourself replacing a stuffed toy often. Throw them out as soon as they start to lose stuffing.

Balls. The old standard.

A ball is an inexpensive and easy way to keep your puppy active. Throw a tennis ball around and play a round of fetch with him. Assuming he knows fetch by then. A tennis ball is the perfect size as it poses no choking risk and is soft enough so he won’t damage any teeth.

Try a rope.

Ropes are great for playing tug-of-war with your puppy. Don’t pull to hard or you can hurt his jaw or neck. Ropes won’t damage sensitive puppy teeth, but they’re strong enough not to break off and cause a choking hazard.

Teething toys are sometimes necessary.

Soon enough your puppy will start teething. It’s uncomfortable for dogs and humans alike, so outfit him with some toys like these to keep him soothed.

  • The puppy Kong. Almost any dog owner can attest to how great the Kong is. The Puppy Kong is made of special rubber that makes it durable and satisfying to chew.
  • The Pet Stages Puppy Cool Teether is frozen to soothe irritated gums. Since it is a plush toy, it is popular for chewing.
  • Nylabone Detnal Dinosaur Flexible Chew. This toy comes in a flavoured dinosaur shape. The chewing action massages gums gently.
  • A frozen dishrag. Dip a clean dish cloth into water and twist it into a long thin shape. Freeze it and give it to your puppy when he needs to chew. It will work to numb is pain and it is very cost-effective.
  • An ice cube. Throw an ice cube into his food bowl and soothe his sore gums.

Keeping your puppy busy with plenty of playtime and toys is the best way to discourage him from chewing dangerous and expensive things like cords, shoes, and furniture. Proper toys that are physically and mentally stimulating save both you and your puppy from a lot of “bad dog” experiences!

April 19, 2012

What Type of Music Do Pets Prefer?

Filed under: Cat behavior,dog toys — Tags: , — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:35 am

dog listening to music Elvis sang about hound dogs and the Baha Men asked “Who Let the Dogs Out,” not that your dog cares; according to researchers, Fido would rather listen to pet music than humans singing about dogs or any other subject matter. Cats care even less. What is music to our ears is screeching and wailing to theirs. At best most pets are uninterested in human music, and at worse your pet may become distressed with your love of gangster rap. But while your dog, cat, or pet goldfish may never appreciate your favorite CD they might tune in if you play specialized pet music with tones and tempos made to suit their species.

According to Discovery News, Animal Psychologist Charles Snowdon has studied animal reactions to music and created songs based on a species’ frequency range and heart rate. On a music recording for animals, a lower frequency would lead to a lower pitch and tone, while reduced heart rates mean slower tempos. A cat’s vocal range and heart rate is higher than a human, making for pet music that sounds awful to us but like classical music to them. On the Music For Cats website, Snowden has teamed up with Music Composer David Teie to compile a series of “authentic music for cats.”

On the other hand, man’s best friend has proven harder to please with dedicated pet music. Discovery News notes that differences in dog breeds mean differences in frequency and heart beats per minute. This means that the vocal range and resting heart rate of a Chihuahua is different from that of a Bull Mastiff, and one size may not fit all when it comes to dog tunes. However, there are some songs for dogs available and if your dog doesn’t like your first selection, try to get a little more breed specific with the second one. Larger dogs, like Labradors, may even prefer human music, so don’t rule out your music collection for them yet.

And what about pet owners looking for the perfect little fish melody for your goldfish? Pet music for fish has yet to be researched, but fish heart rates vary widely and they communicate with both audible sounds and body movements. Since we tend to think of fish as relaxed quiet animals, classical music might be the answer for those looking for the best goldfish songs. Or perhaps the low, steady beats of reggae music would enhance their quality of life?

June 15, 2010

Best Toys for Your Dog

Filed under: Dog Behavior,dog biting,dog toys — Dr. Amber Reed @ 4:59 pm

Best dog toys. Best cat toys.While we all love our dogs, we don’t often give them the credit they deserve for being intelligent beings.  Eating and sleeping seem to be the main concerns of our beloved pets, and yet many dog experts argue that dogs show a range of intelligent behaviors.  For example, dogs can understand gestures, facial expressions, and even words (how else would they understand a “sit” command?).  As such, when choosing toys and treats for your dog, you need to consider the mental and physical health of your dog.  Toys can be fun and challenging and can even reduce inappropriate behaviors like chewing, digging, and excessive barking.

Smart dog toys are designed to keep your dog entertained while you are away and usually involve some kind of puzzle or task.  Take the Cagey Cube as an example.  The developers of this toy feel that the Cagey Cube can help to develop coordination skills and intelligence as your dog tries to get squeaky toys out of the cube.  Likewise, some dog toys are great for providing owners and dogs an opportunity to play together.  Owners can demonstrate how to play with a particular toy that may deliver a treat or some other reward.  These kinds of toys improve bonding and possibly even intelligence.

So, the next time you visit the pet store think carefully about what kind of toys are best for your dog.  A chew toy or plush toys provide limited entertainment and virtually no stimulation.  On the other hand, there are more and more dog toys available on the market that are designed to make your dog think.  Many veterinarians believe that such toys not only improve your dog’s quality of life but can also alleviate stress and anxiety when your dogs are alone.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.