Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Anxiety May Give Your Dog This....

My curiosity was piqued recently when I came across a study stating that anxiety may prematurely give dogs grey hair. Interested to know why some of our canine friends tended to go grey around the muzzle area earlier than others I was keen to know more.

The study was carried out amongst 400 dog owners in Colorado USA who were each given a 42 item questionnaire that required them to fill in details about their dog's age, health and behaviour.

The researchers took 2 photographs of each dog and used the criteria that the dogs had to be below 4 years of age as older dogs would should show greyness due to simply natural ageing. Dogs with light coloured fur were also excluded as greyness in lighter coloured dogs may be more difficult to ascertain.

To help ascertain the dog's anxiety levels the researchers then went on to ask questions regarding the dog's behaviour (destroying things when left alone, nervous around people etc) and impulsivity (jumping up at people, hyperactivity, ability to stay calm/focus etc).

After the photo's of the dogs were independently analysed and the behavioural information was studied the findings proved interesting and included:
  • Dogs that showed nervousness around loud noises, unfamiliar animals and people tended to show increased levels of greyness.
  • Female dogs tended to have higher levels of greyness than their male counterparts.
  • The size, medical condition and whether the dog had been spayed/neutered had no significance in affecting premature greyness in the dogs studied.
It was noted that the study may well prove to have practical implications for dog welfare. People working with young dogs that notice premature greyness could alert owners to potential anxiety issues in their pets.

The full study was published in the December 2016 issue of the Journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

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Monday, 19 December 2016

Why Male Cats Are Called 'Toms'....

Ever wondered why we call male cats 'Tomcats'? It hasn't always been so and I thought I would share with you how the name Tom evolved when referring to our male feline friends.

Although the term Tom is believed to have been attributed to young male kittens as far back as 1300, the commonly used term Tomcat became more widely recognised in 1760 after the publication of an anonymous book 'The Life And Adventures Of A Cat'. Prior to the book's publication male cats were actually commonly referred to as 'Rams' and 'Boars'!

The main character of the aforementioned book is a male cat called Tom and the popularity of the book ensured the term Tom became synonymous with male cats.

The popular cartoon 'Tom and Jerry' created in 1940 and starring the animated cat 'villain', Tom, served to popularise even further the name and term in male cats by both name and attribution.

The paperback version of the book 'The Life And Adventures Of A Cat' was reprinted in 2010 and is available online.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Pet Owners Are Becoming Increasingly Interested In This.....

Some time ago I was interested to read an article showing that natural pet product sales in the United States grew an amazing 15.2% between 2010 and 2014.

The report from Packaged Facts in October 2014 came to mind when I was asked to review a website in the UK, (I am UK based), that promotes natural pet products.

*I will at this point disclose that I get paid a small amount for my time to write a review as I don't review many products and I am not an affiliate of the following business or product*

The lady who runs the site, Jackie Plant, explained to me that she had become interested in natural pet products after seeking out more natural products for her own health related issues. The benefits of these natural products on Jackie's own health lead her to becoming increasingly interested in the toxicity of the products that many people use on their pets.

Jackie's website is currently aimed at pet owners and businesses that are looking for -
  • A natural chemical-free way to to keep their pets free of parasites such as fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
  • A natural calming solution for their pets.
  • An additional income opportunity promoting natural pet products.
I liked the website, operated by a woman who is evidently passionate about pet health. There is a lot of information about the core products that Jackie promotes.

Pet Protector
A natural alternative to chemical treatments, Pet Protector claims to keep pets parasite-free for 4 years and is backed up by some impressive studies such as this one here. More information about the product and how it can be purchased can be found on Jackie's website here

The Pet Protector Business Opportunity
I was impressed to find that this product has a business opportunity that can be operated worldwide and has a FREE trial. This could be an ideal add-on for pet businesses or for people that just wanting to make an extra income by starting their own natural pet product business. Take a look here

Pet Remedy
Pet Remedy is a calming aid that is now widely used by pet owners and professionals worldwide. Working alongside a pet's own calming pathways, Pet Remedy is a natural alternative option for owners of stressed or anxious pets.

I enjoyed reading the information on Jackie's site and I know that many pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of and interested in seeking out more natural ways of treating the issues of parasite prevention and stress/anxiety in their pets.

Add to this the potential of starting a worldwide chemical-free pet business and I think Jackie's site is well worth a visit - www.essexpetprotector.co.uk

Saturday, 10 December 2016

A FREE Way To Easily Teach Your Dog Some Cool Tricks And Commands...

Many dog owners may be confused as to the best way of teaching their dog new tricks or commands and it's no surprise considering the vast array of resources out there.

The most common commands and tricks I get asked about involve an owner wanting to teach their dog to sit, stay, fetch, roll over etc. and many owners  are surprised when I inform them that their dog is capable of much, much more.

Some resources available fail to address the basic questions that a dog owner may have such as -

"Can I teach an old dog new tricks?" - Yes, you can teach any dog new tricks or commands if you persevere.

"Can I teach my dog to eliminate on command?" - Yes you can!

One thing that I particularly like about the excellent resource that I am about to disclose to you is  that it stresses the importance of keeping training commands to one or two syllables, keeping training sessions short and ending any training sessions on a high note - first class advice.

If you are looking for a great, easy to understand FREE resource that shows any owner how they can not only teach their dog some great commands and tricks but is broken down into level of difficulty, prerequisites, items needed etc then click here

Worldwidecertificated and low-cost online Pet First Aid courses at www.Propetfirstaid.co.uk use our discount code UK-PFA for 10% discount- we do receive a tiny commission for recommending this course but the course is an excellent one for pet owners and pet professionals alike (I am an ex Pet First Aid instructor) and the tiny commission is not loaded on to the very low price you pay and the discount code above will take 10% off the price offered to the general public.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Things About Cat Litter That You May Not Know...

I decided to write down a few lesser-known things about cat litter that the average owner may not know which I hope you will find both interesting and educational.

Clumping/Non - Clumping Clay Litter 

Many owners favour the commonly available clay litters and may be interested to know the difference between clumping and non-clumping.

Clumping clay litter is generally made from a substance known as bentonite a highly absorbent clay that literally clumps together as your cat urinates into it. Clumping litter was introduced in the 1980's.

Non clumping litter is made from other clays and as the name suggests, it doesn't clump together.

Non clumping is often cheaper than the clumping variety and many owners that use it will find that litter box cleaning is a little harder as it tends to be more difficult to scoop up quickly. Litter trays/boxes tend to smell a little more quickly and require changing a little more often than if using the clumping variety of litter.

Silica Gel Litter

Silica gel is highly absorbent and very commonly used across various industries to keep many products dry. More expensive than it's clay counterparts, many owners prefer silica gel as it has the benefits of lasting a little longer before changes, being pretty much dust-free and tends to control odours really well.
Introduced in the 1990's, it has been documented that some cats don't get along with silica gel litter as they don't like getting the crystals on their paws.

Cat Scents

It has consistently been found that cats have an aversion to both citrus and floral based scented litters and a study here actually showed that cats enjoyed increased litter box interaction with an activated carbon additive. As activated carbon is known to be a pretty good odour absorbent, it may be fair to say that cats prefer a clean smelling litter tray!

Who 'Invented' Cat Litter?

The 'invention' of  modern day cat litter has been credited to a man called Edward Lowe. The discovery was an accidental one, Lowe's business sold sand, sawdust and granulated clay to factories to absorb grease and oil and one day a lady named Kaye Draper was given a bag of granulated clay to 'try' as an alternative to her cat tracking ashes from it's litter box all over the house.

The granulated clay proved to be a success for Kaye Draper and when she asked Edward Lowe for another bag a couple of weeks later Mr Lowe decided to market the clay as Kitty Litter!

Offering cat owners the opportunity of a cleaner and more odour-free home Edward Lowe's Kitty Litter went from strength to strength and the company was sold 5 years prior to Mr Lowe's death in 1995 for the sum of $200 million plus stock! It is now part of the Ralston Purina company.