Cat Vs Dog – Which Is Right for You?

Choosing between a cat and a dog isn’t always a straightforward process. In short, cats are generally cheaper to own and easier to care for because of their independent nature, while dogs are more social creatures, but require a lot more money, attention and time. Here are a few things to consider before introducing a cat or a dog to your home:

Cats

Cats are a perfect choice for people in search of an independent pet or those with a busy lifestyle and limited indoor space. Most cats are able to entertain themselves and will be happy to be left alone to sleep. The ability to venture outside and explore by themselves means there is no need for walking. This is certain to benefit the pet owner that is less active. However, cats do enjoy being played with and like social interaction so shouldn’t simply be left to their own devices at all times. A certain degree of care is required for cats, especially long-haired breeds. Some need daily grooming to avoid issues with matted coats.

Cat owners do not need a lot of space inside the home. However, a safe garden or similar area is certain to be appreciated. A cat can stay content even if kept in the home provided it is given a clean litter box and fed an appropriate diet. Also, they are easier for a neighbor or friend to look after when you are away for a few days. Overall, cats can make the entertaining, relaxing, affectionate and loving pets.

Dogs

Dogs are a practical choice for the active and energetic person or simply those that love to spend a lot of time outdoors. A dog needs regular walks, fresh air and stimulation. Any home with a safe and secure garden is certain to be ideal, although easy access to open spaces like local parks it just as well. Also, dogs are great when travelling and on days out. But, it is important to give appropriate training. This should include being comfortable when travelling in a vehicle if needed. Dogs are a solitary animal, so cannot be left alone all day like cats. They need a lot more attention, so this can impact those with the long and demanding jobs. A further time related issue is putting in the effort to provide proper training and grooming.

Also, individual differences in dog breeds must be considered. Dogs vary in relation to size, hairiness, temperament and shape, so careful consideration is needed to identify the perfect companion.



Source by Leo Eigenberg

Caring For a Pregnant Akita

Caring for an Akita bitch during pregnancy is basically commonsense. She should be watched carefully and made as comfortable and happy as possible. You should ensure that she has a dry bed, ample clean drinking water and regular feeds of good quality. For the first five weeks she will probably behave quite normally. She may have her “off” days. She may be extra hungry. She may display a slight change in temperament and be more careful how she carries herself, but so long as she is obviously healthy and happy, that is all that matters.

As soon as you suspect that she is pregnant, it is a good idea to contact your vet so he can enter the date of the expected birth in his diary and monitor the bitch’s progress. Akitas do not carry much water with their puppies, nevertheless a considerable amount of weight will have to be carried as the weeks progress. It is generally not advisable to give lots of extra food in the early weeks. Experience has taught us that overloading a bitch with food will put weight on her puppies, and she will also put on extra weight. This causes two problems. Firstly, she will not exercise so well, and so she will not be keeping her muscles toned up. Secondly, the puppies will be fat, which means they will be larger and will experience a more difficult passage down the birth canal. And when they are born, they will be fat and lazy.

It is far better to have an active mother and lean, vigorous puppies, who will fight to get to the teats to fill themselves with that all-important mother’s first milk. We have found the best policy is to feed a balanced diet with an increase in food after about five weeks. Naturally the future mum will be hungrier, but rest assured that whatever food you give to her she will pass on to her unborn babies before she takes it herself. She is a natural in parental care. Additives in the form of calcium and perhaps iron are a good idea, again after the five-week deadline. These days most foods are carefully balanced and numerous additives should not be needed. Indeed, the general view is that they can do more harm than good. But if the bitch suggests that she may have a deficiency, you should take her to the vet so that proper tests and analysis can be undertaken.

Akita bitches “hide” their puppies very well until at least five weeks, more often six. They may show no signs at all that they are pregnant, and this can be extremely annoying to the owners, who obviously want to know if they are to expect a litter so they can make the necessary preparations. Probably the best indication is a swelling of the bitch’s teats. From as early as three weeks these can “pop”, or enlarge slightly and become pinker in appearance. In our experience this is the only “sure” sign. Ultra-sound scanning can also give a definite diagnosis, but this is costly and sometimes the hair on the bitch’s side or underside has to be removed.

Your bitch may show signs of thickening in the rib or loin earlier, but it is most unlikely. Akita Inu bitches do not generally carry their babies across their loin like most breeds. They hide them under their ribs and then later “drop” them and carry them in the belly, rather like a cow carries its calf. Whether you observe positive signs or not, it is wise to contact your vet and book the expected date of birth into his diary so he will be available if necessary.

Seven weeks into the pregnancy, introduce the bitch to her whelping place. A suitably sized box should be prepared and the absolute minimum measurements for this would be about 4ft 6ins by 3ft. This will allow the bitch to lie fully stretched on her side. The box can certainly be larger, but not so big as to allow the puppies to crawl away from their mother and so get lost. Make sure the bitch is happy with the box and its position. After a few days she will welcome the peace, quiet and solitude of this area and so will accept it as the natural place when the time comes to give birth. If she is at all unhappy you must give in to her and make other arrangements. She probably has a good reason for not wanting things the way you do. So listen to her and adjust. She may accept the box, and then on the day of whelping, she changes her mind and wants to go somewhere else. Again, you must give in to her request. She may return to the box after she has had her first puppy, but let her decide. It is worth all the upheaval to have a happy, contented bitch who comes through her pregnancy successfully and delivers her puppies safely, without causing you – – or herself – – any undue anxiety.



Source by Amy S Morin

Dog Food for Various Needs

Different dogs require different nutrition. Adult dogs have a totally different set of nutrients that they need compared to puppies. Generally, the amount of food that you pet needs to take in is estimated by its size and activity level. Overfeeding will leave you with a sickly dog. Same fate awaits an underfed dog. Pet nutrition brands like Royal Canin, Eukanuba and others have special formulations of food for adult dogs of various breeds and health conditions.

There are dogs that are like humans who work to earn their keep and the food that they eat. Working dogs like the Akita, Doberman, and Siberian Husky should be fed depending on what they do everyday. These dogs are born to do certain jobs daily. Unfortunately, when they’re taken in as a pet at home these days, they aren’t usually made to work as they should be. For these dogs, regular dry food would do.

But if they’re performing workload that’s quite high, of course, their energy should be replenished to meet that level of workload. Highly active, working, and sporting dogs can get proper nutrition from special formulas you can get from brands like Advance and Purina Pro Plan. Brands like these even have products for busy show dogs that need to be on a strictly balanced diet to keep their overall health condition and physical appearance at their best all the time.

If there are active performers in the canine world, there are also lap dogs. These pets do no more than just walk leisurely only if their masters tell them so and exert most of their energies in being cute. Since the risk of these pets being overweight is quite high, dog food manufacturers also have products made for them and those who are prone to obesity.

Advance dog food brand has complete pet nutrition in dry and canned variations for those who are less active than most and those that are prone to gain excessive weight or obesity. You can simply follow the instructions specified in the product label or ask your pet’s veterinarian for suggestions. This goes especially if your pet still continues to gain much weight even after switching foods. The problem may be with your feeding schedule.

The characteristics, conditions and needs of dogs also vary according to their breed. These factors also affect their feeding requirements. Aside from this, they also vary in size. The Royal Canin selection of products is known for specializing in having a formulation for particular breeds and size – mini, large, Pug, Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler, Poodle, etc. The kibbles do not only have different energy, protein, and other nutritional contents, but also in texture and size to make sure that however big or small the dog is, it won’t have any difficulty consuming the food.

Make sure that you take note of the special conditions and requirements your dog may have. With all the formulas the various brands are making now, you’ll surely find one that’s perfect for your pet.



Source by Frances Roy

Doggin’ Northern Virginia: The 10 Best Places To Hike With Your Dog In NOVA

Have you ever considered how far you walk with your dog? If you walk just 15 minutes a day you will have walked far enough in your dog’s lifetime to cross the United States. With all that walking ahead of you, aren’t you ready for a new place to take a hike with your dog in northern Virginia? Here are NOVA’s best trails to hike with your best friend…

1. Sky Meadows State Forest

When you place your park on the Blue Ridge Mountain mountain slopes far removed from eight-lane roads clogged with traffic you have to work hard not to be the best place to hike with your dog in Northern Virginia and Sky Meadows does not disappoint. The real star here are the meadows – your dog can’t hike through any better.

2. Mason Neck State Park

A half-dozen canine hiking options through an attractive oak/holly forest on paw-friendly soft dirt are pretty enough you will want to complete them all with your dog. If you have time after lingering on the best beach for your dog in Northern Virginia.

3. Prince William Forest Park

The many miles of wooded trails in the largest swath of protected land in the Washington DC metropolitan area are refreshingly uncrowded – always an attraction for canine hikers. The trails are wide enough for a pack of dogs to travel easily over and well-marked.

4. Great Falls Park

You may come for the spectacular views of the Falls of the Potomac but you’ll stay for the canine hiking on wide trails that take your dog through a variety of habitats and the ruins of a Colonial canal town. Hold the swimming for someplace else, however.

5. The Battlefields of Manassas

Two five-mile interpretive hikes examine the year-apart clashes of the North and South across this Civil War battlefield. For your dog these hikes offer the best mixture of open field and wooded trail hiking in Northern Virginia.

6. Claude Moore Park

This eastern Loudoun oasis serves up a pastiche of a dozen short trails that add up to more than ten miles of canine hiking. You get your choice of two trails that circle the park, both of which visit Little Stoney Mountain for long views at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland.

7. Fountainhead Regional Park

Fountainhead is a trail user’s park. there are trails set aside for horses and for bikes and the white-blazed pedestrian trail is a snaking, two-mile excursion around wide ravines and through airy woods. For real canine adventures you can set out on the 18-mile Bull Run-Occoquan Trail.

8. Leesylvania State Park

There are three loops to enjoy with your dog in Leesylvania – the star being the Lee’s Woods Trail. This canine hike packs history aplenty into its two sporty miles atop the bluffs overlooking the Potomac River. For easy hiking with your dog take the Potomac Trail as it weaves through the former waterside amusement park that was part of the gambling gambit. Plenty of beach and swimming time for your dog here too.

9. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

Few places in America pack as much scenic wonder and historical importance into such a small area as Harpers Ferry National Historic Park where the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers join forces. Your dog can sample hikes in three states here – up the mountain at Maryland Heights, through the town in West Virginia and across the Appalachian Trail in Virignia.

10. Mount Vernon

America’s most-visited home is dog-friendly to the core – the gate attendants provide a bowl of water for canine visitors. George Washingtn would have it no other way. The Father of Our Country is also the Father of the American Foxhound. He bred a new type of fox hunter with dogs from his friend Marquis de Lafayette and English hounds. The President favored silly names for his beloved dogs: Drunkard, Tipler, Tipsy.



Source by Doug Gelbert

How to Understand Ferret Colors and Patterns

All ferrets derive from one of eight various colors and five assorted patterns. Through the years the more those breeders have cross bred the ferrets the more the ferret colors and patterns have changed. So to understand exactly, color refers to the overall shade or color of the ferret while the pattern is determined by his markings.

Your ferret will come from one of the following color groups:

· Sable

· Black sable

· Albino

· Champagne

· Chocolate

· Cinnamon

· Silver

· Dark eyes white

Keep in mind that each ferret can be a lighter or darker shade but it is still in the same color group. Another interesting fact is that Dark eyed while ferrets are not Albino. Albinos will always have red or pink eyes. The Dark eyed ferrets will be white or cream colored but will have the very darkened eyes.

The sable ferret is likely the most widely recognized ferret and can include colors that range from a deep brown color to black. These are not the chocolate ferrets though since they resemble the color of milk chocolate. Silver ferrets can be silver or range from colors that are gray. The cinnamon colored ferret can range from many colors that could be reddish to blonde with a hint of red.

The patterns of ferrets are distinctly named including:

· Roan

· Siamese

· Solid

· Panda

· Blaze

· Point

· Mitts

Roans are usually an equal mix of white and guard hairs but it is the guard hairs that ascertain the distinction of roan. Both the Siamese and the Point ferrets will have a dark shade coloring their tails or legs. Solid ferrets will obviously be one solid color but it is acceptable to classify them as solids even if they have diverse colors on their faces.

Mitts look like they are wearing white mittens, hence the name. Blaze ferrets have an actual streak of an entirely different color running from their head to the shoulders. Panda ferrets are true to the name and have the markings of a panda around their eyes that are white in color.

It is likely that your ferret will not be the same color when he is very young as when he gets older as most ferrets do change colors. Many ferret owners have purchased a ferret based on color only to discover that in a year the color has changed entirely. Sometimes ferrets will change colors seasonally.

The one thing that usually never changes is the personality of the ferret so it is a good idea to get to know your ferret before making a decision on which one will be your pet. Basing this choice on color really is not such a good idea since as you can see the color of ferrets is not something that is set in stone.

Mainly, the patterns and colors of a ferret will only matter if you plan to breed your ferret. Each breeder will have a preference to which markings and colors they are interested in.



Source by Chaim Packer

Dog DNA Test – How Does the Dog Breed DNA Test Work?

You might be wondering, how does this DNA testing tool able to identify your dog’s breed? In the sampling process, cheek cells are obtained by cheek swabbing before sending it to the lab for breed analysis. Many people have mistakenly collected saliva from their dogs for further analysis. The swabbing process is completely painless and non-invasive. It is done easily by the dog owner without the presence of veterinarian.

If you choose Canine Heritage Breed XL Kit for your mixed breed dog DNA breed test, simply read the instructions, included with the Canine Heritage(TM) kit, and place the swab in the packaging tube, and finally reverse the tube liner so that the pre-paid mailing label can be seen through the tube and drop in a mail box for DNA breed analysis.

Therefore, cheek cells samples will be analyzed via the advanced SNP-based DNA Technology Process in which able to identify over 100 major breeds (as compared with US dog breed population). This process normally takes 4-6 weeks to complete and the results will be displayed in the form of a frame quality Certificate of DNA Breed Analysis along with your dog’s picture in which also included on the certificate at no extra charge.

Dog owners have to know that this particular test is not designed for use as a purebred or paternity verification test and is not an established legal tool. It was developed and validated using United States dog breed populations. Therefore breeds outside the United States and Canada may not be represented or identified by this particular breed identification tool.



Source by J.J. Yong

Dog DNA Test – How Does the Dog Breed DNA Test Work?

You might be wondering, how does this DNA testing tool able to identify your dog’s breed? In the sampling process, cheek cells are obtained by cheek swabbing before sending it to the lab for breed analysis. Many people have mistakenly collected saliva from their dogs for further analysis. The swabbing process is completely painless and non-invasive. It is done easily by the dog owner without the presence of veterinarian.

If you choose Canine Heritage Breed XL Kit for your mixed breed dog DNA breed test, simply read the instructions, included with the Canine Heritage(TM) kit, and place the swab in the packaging tube, and finally reverse the tube liner so that the pre-paid mailing label can be seen through the tube and drop in a mail box for DNA breed analysis.

Therefore, cheek cells samples will be analyzed via the advanced SNP-based DNA Technology Process in which able to identify over 100 major breeds (as compared with US dog breed population). This process normally takes 4-6 weeks to complete and the results will be displayed in the form of a frame quality Certificate of DNA Breed Analysis along with your dog’s picture in which also included on the certificate at no extra charge.

Dog owners have to know that this particular test is not designed for use as a purebred or paternity verification test and is not an established legal tool. It was developed and validated using United States dog breed populations. Therefore breeds outside the United States and Canada may not be represented or identified by this particular breed identification tool.



Source by J.J. Yong

Dog DNA Test – How Does the Dog Breed DNA Test Work?

You might be wondering, how does this DNA testing tool able to identify your dog’s breed? In the sampling process, cheek cells are obtained by cheek swabbing before sending it to the lab for breed analysis. Many people have mistakenly collected saliva from their dogs for further analysis. The swabbing process is completely painless and non-invasive. It is done easily by the dog owner without the presence of veterinarian.

If you choose Canine Heritage Breed XL Kit for your mixed breed dog DNA breed test, simply read the instructions, included with the Canine Heritage(TM) kit, and place the swab in the packaging tube, and finally reverse the tube liner so that the pre-paid mailing label can be seen through the tube and drop in a mail box for DNA breed analysis.

Therefore, cheek cells samples will be analyzed via the advanced SNP-based DNA Technology Process in which able to identify over 100 major breeds (as compared with US dog breed population). This process normally takes 4-6 weeks to complete and the results will be displayed in the form of a frame quality Certificate of DNA Breed Analysis along with your dog’s picture in which also included on the certificate at no extra charge.

Dog owners have to know that this particular test is not designed for use as a purebred or paternity verification test and is not an established legal tool. It was developed and validated using United States dog breed populations. Therefore breeds outside the United States and Canada may not be represented or identified by this particular breed identification tool.



Source by J.J. Yong

Dog DNA Test – How Does the Dog Breed DNA Test Work?

You might be wondering, how does this DNA testing tool able to identify your dog’s breed? In the sampling process, cheek cells are obtained by cheek swabbing before sending it to the lab for breed analysis. Many people have mistakenly collected saliva from their dogs for further analysis. The swabbing process is completely painless and non-invasive. It is done easily by the dog owner without the presence of veterinarian.

If you choose Canine Heritage Breed XL Kit for your mixed breed dog DNA breed test, simply read the instructions, included with the Canine Heritage(TM) kit, and place the swab in the packaging tube, and finally reverse the tube liner so that the pre-paid mailing label can be seen through the tube and drop in a mail box for DNA breed analysis.

Therefore, cheek cells samples will be analyzed via the advanced SNP-based DNA Technology Process in which able to identify over 100 major breeds (as compared with US dog breed population). This process normally takes 4-6 weeks to complete and the results will be displayed in the form of a frame quality Certificate of DNA Breed Analysis along with your dog’s picture in which also included on the certificate at no extra charge.

Dog owners have to know that this particular test is not designed for use as a purebred or paternity verification test and is not an established legal tool. It was developed and validated using United States dog breed populations. Therefore breeds outside the United States and Canada may not be represented or identified by this particular breed identification tool.



Source by J.J. Yong

Dog DNA Test – How Does the Dog Breed DNA Test Work?

You might be wondering, how does this DNA testing tool able to identify your dog’s breed? In the sampling process, cheek cells are obtained by cheek swabbing before sending it to the lab for breed analysis. Many people have mistakenly collected saliva from their dogs for further analysis. The swabbing process is completely painless and non-invasive. It is done easily by the dog owner without the presence of veterinarian.

If you choose Canine Heritage Breed XL Kit for your mixed breed dog DNA breed test, simply read the instructions, included with the Canine Heritage(TM) kit, and place the swab in the packaging tube, and finally reverse the tube liner so that the pre-paid mailing label can be seen through the tube and drop in a mail box for DNA breed analysis.

Therefore, cheek cells samples will be analyzed via the advanced SNP-based DNA Technology Process in which able to identify over 100 major breeds (as compared with US dog breed population). This process normally takes 4-6 weeks to complete and the results will be displayed in the form of a frame quality Certificate of DNA Breed Analysis along with your dog’s picture in which also included on the certificate at no extra charge.

Dog owners have to know that this particular test is not designed for use as a purebred or paternity verification test and is not an established legal tool. It was developed and validated using United States dog breed populations. Therefore breeds outside the United States and Canada may not be represented or identified by this particular breed identification tool.



Source by J.J. Yong