DogTime Blogs

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Exercise with your cat

Cats too need daily exercise. Setting aside 15-20 minutes a day will help keep your cat happy and healthy. Cats are nocturnal animals which means they are at their most active at night. Training them to exercise during the day will help you and your cat sleep at night. Cats enjoy exercise like stalking, pouncing, climbing and hiding that allows them to mimic the behavior of their wild counterparts.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cat Bad Habits

Examples of unwanted cat behavior:
• scratching,
• biting,
• climbing on benches,
• playing at night,
• talking

Cats need scratching posts to help renew their sharp claws. To prevent your cat from scratching at the carpet or furniture, keep tall, carpeted scratching posts near its favorite resting spots. Give positive reinforcement through praises and treats when your cat uses the scratching post. Place plastic covering over the areas you don’t want them to scratch. Eventually your cat will learn where the right places are to scratch.

Play biting is a bad habit that can continue onto adulthood if not fixed. As kittens learn what is right and wrong behavior, it is always a good idea to wear long-sleeve clothing to prevent yourself being scratched or bitten. Use pole-like toys and avoid your hands being used as toys. When your kitten plays well, praise it and give it treats. When your kitten plays roughly, stop playing and walk away. It’s always important to play gently and avoid any rough play like wrestling from the start.

As in the wild, cats tend to climb to the highest spots so that they can see everything that is going on. So, it is natural behavior for your cat to want to climb onto the kitchen benches and cupboards. This is not a good idea for cats – cats can transfer dirt and bugs onto the kitchen area, it is difficult to reach the cat if you need to, and you cannot observe its behavior at tall heights. To prevent your cats from climbing, provide it with tall, indoor scratching poles and cat trees and place catnip, treats or toys to encourage it to climb.

Cats, being nocturnal animals, are naturally more active at night. If cats don’t get enough exercise and play during the day, they can disturb you at night when everyone is asleep. So, remember to give your cat plenty of exercise of at least 20 minutes a day and playtime before bedtime, to prevent it from waking you at night.

Some cats are very talkative. Breeds such as Siamese and Burmese cats are very vocal. Cat cries can mean that they are lonely, hungry, anxious, or bored. If your cat talks a lot after you have been away for a while, it usually means that it has been lonely. Try giving your cat plenty of toys and climbing posts for it to play with during the day. It is best not to give praise or treats following excessive vocalization as this can encourage talkative behavior. Wait until your cat is relaxed and calm and then give them attention or food.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dog Bad Habits

Examples of unwanted dog behavior:
• playing biting,
• chewing,
• barking,
• tail chasing,
• licking,
• jumping up,
• digging.

Chewing can occur for a number of reasons – teething, boredom, or anxiety. Most dogs have all their adult teeth by 2 years of age. Teething should definitely stop by this age. If teething is a problem, give your pet ice cubes to help alleviate any discomfort that they may be experiencing. Bored dogs can also show bad habits such as chewing, barking, or digging. These pets need more exercise and toys to help entertain them throughout the day. If no one is home during the day, dogs that are left alone may benefit from a dog walker to help alleviate any boredom they may experience during the day. Anxious dogs can chew everything and anything when left alone. If a pet is to be left for long periods of time it is important that they are left with chew-proof toys. Exercise and training can help reduce anxiety. Making sure that you do not make a big fuss about leaving and returning will also help your pet to remain calm.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fun Games with Your Pet

Hide n Seek
In the same room, hide behind a door or furniture and call your cat’s name. When your cat finds you, reward them with a small treat or by petting them gently. Once your cat gets good at this, choose another room or a bigger area in the house.

Most dogs enjoy a game of fetch. Using a Frisbee, safely and gently throw it. When your dog returns, hold up a treat and command them to drop. If your pet drops the toy, give them the treat. Cats too can learn how to fetch. Using a small toy like a lightweight ball or stuffed toy, throw it gently across the floor and allow your cat to chase it. Once caught, call your cat back and see if it returns it. Practice makes perfect.

Flashlight fun
In a dark room, use the flashlight to create a beam of light. Without shining the light into your pet’s eyes, move the beam of light across the floor and watch your cat chase it.

Fishing pole toys
Wand type toys with dangling feathers or streamers are a lot of fun for your cat. Moving the pole in a snake-like or mouse-like movement can excite your cat to play.

Walking fun
It’s important for both cats and dogs to be comfortable on a leash.