Aug. 9, 2018

A summer haircut may help you feel more comfortable during hot, humid summer weather, but it wont have the same effect on your pet. In fact, cutting or shaving your pets fur can actually compromise your furry friend's ability to remain cool.

Your Pet's Coat Provides Built-In Climate Control.

Although wearing a fur coat in the summer might increase your risk of heat stroke, the same isn't true for your pets. Their coats actually provide a built-in heating and cooling system. During the winter, your dog or cat's fur offers warmth when it lays flat against the body. When temperatures soar, the individual hairs in your pet's coat stand upright, maximizing air flow.

Some breeds, such as Chow Chows, Alaskan Huskies, Sheepdogs, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Scottish Terriers and Shih Tzus, have double coats that keep them comfortable weather it's warm or sunny or snowing and frigid outdoors. The undercoat, the layer of hair closest to the body, insulates your dog's body during the winter. During the summer, the undercoat prevents your pet from becoming too hot by keeping cooler air next to the skin.

Cutting Your Pet's Hair Isn't the Best Choice.

Cutting or shaving your pet's hair interferes with your dog or cat's ability to stay cool. Although you may have the best intentions when you turn on the clippers, Your pet may have more trouble regulation heat after a shave or haircut, Shaving can even affect your pet for years to come if hair doesn't grow back again after a shave or grows in an abnormal pattern. The problem is particularly harmful if your dog's undercoat doesn't grow back completely. Without that protective layer of hair, your dog will have trouble handling both hot and cold temperatures.

Sunburn isn't normally a concern when you have a furry pet - unless you shave or cut their hair. Hair protects their sensitive skin from the rays of the sun, preventing burns and reducing the skin cancer risk. Applying sunscreen before trips outdoors is a must if your dog has thin or shaved hair.

Fur also keeps all sorts of unpleasant things from coming in contact with your pet's skin, such as allergens, insects and lawn care products. Without the protection that hair provides, your pet may be more likely to develop painful rashes or bites after spending a little time in the yard.

Better Ways To Keep Your Dog Or Cat Cool.

The tips can help your pet stay cool during the dog ( and cat ) days of summer.

Find Shade, Make sure your yard offers plenty of shady spaces if your dog or cat will be spending time outdoors this summer. Although a doghouse may help keep your dog warm in the winter, the small space traps heat in the summer and isn't a good shade option. If you don't have any trees in your yard, a large deck umbrella or a tarp can be used to create a little shade. Offer an ample supply of water. Dog's and cat's need to drink more when it's hot. Replenish water bowls frequently when temperatures rise.

Limit Exercise During The Hottest Part Of The Day.

Take your dog for walks during the morning and evening when temperatures are a little cooler.

Know When To Bring Your Pet Indoors.

If it's too hot and humid for you to spend more than a few minutes outdoors, it's also too hot for your pet. Although panting can help cool your pet, panting isn't as effective during very humid days. Young pets, old pets, and pets with short noses, such as bulldogs, may react more intensely to heat and humidity and will benefit from spending more time indoors.

Don't Leave Your Pet In A Parked Car.

Every year local newspapers and TV stations run stories about pets that die after being left in hot cars. It only takes a few minutes for temperatures in a car to soar to unhealthy levels, even if you leave the windows cracked. If you can't take your pet to a store or restaurant, It's best to leave him or her at home.

Brush Your Pet Often.

Brushing removes loose hairs and allows air to circulate freely through your pet's coat. Allowing your pet's natural cooling system to do its job is the best way to keep your furry friend cool this summer.


Safe Bee: Should You Shave Your Dog For Summer? No Way, Vet Says.


Catster: Is Shaving Your Cat Okay?


Aug. 6, 2018

How to Tell Your Pet's Age From Its Teeth

Do you know your pet's age? If you adopted your furry friend, his or her age may be a mystery. Fortunately, a quick look in your pet's mouth can help you narrow down a general age range.

Puppies and Kittens

Incisors, the pointed teeth used to tear food into bite-size pieces, usually appear at two to four weeks of age for cats and four to six weeks for dogs. These teeth are only temporary and will be replaced with permanent incisors very soon. At three to four weeks, baby canine teeth appear in both dogs and cats. Canines are the fang-like teeth that appear in the top of the mouth. At four to six weeks, baby incisors and premolars will appear in dogs, and baby premolars will appear in cats. Premolars are located at the back of the upper and lower mouth and are used to grind food.

By the time your puppy or kitten is just two months old, all of his or her baby teeth will have erupted. During the next 10 months, the baby teeth will gradually be replaced with permanent incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Don't be surprised if you find some of these baby teeth around your home. At age one, most puppies and kittens have white teeth with no signs of wear.

Adult Dogs and Cats

From age one to two, your cat or dog may begin to look a little yellow, and tartar may appear. Plaque turns into tartar, a hard brown deposit, when it remains on the teeth too long. Daily tooth brushing reduces plaque and prevents it from becoming tartar. Regular dental cleanings at the veterinarian's office will rid your pet's mouth of both plaque and tartar and reduce the risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay.

Tartar may continue to build up during the next several years, and you may notice that your pet's teeth have begun to show a little wear. Wear and gum disease are more common when your dog or cat is between the ages of five and 10. Elderly pets may eventually lose teeth due to tooth decay or gum disease, and their teeth may show considerable wear.

Determining age by the condition of the teeth isn't an exact science. Some breeds - like pugs, Yorkshire terriers, greyhounds, poodles and Maltese dogs - are more likely to experience dental disease or may lose baby teeth later than normal.

Other Ways to Estimate Your Pet's Age

If you're not quite sure of your pet's age, paying attention to a few other signs may improve your estimate, such as:

Coat Color. Just like people, some pets turn gray as they age. Some dogs or cats may become gray as young as five years old, depending on the breed, while others will only have a few gray hairs at age 10 or older.
Physical Condition. Older dogs and cats are more likely to develop arthritis in their hips and legs as they get older. Although arthritis can also occur in younger pets, your cat or dog may be more likely to be a senior citizen if he or she walks stiffly (particularly first thing in the morning), limps, has difficulty jumping or managing stairs, no longer likes being touched or becomes tired easily.
Mental Function. Your pet's behavior may change if he or she develops dementia as a part of aging. Common symptoms include disorientation, a change in normal sleep/wake times, housetraining accidents, personality changes and increased fatigue.
Eye Changes. When your pet is middle-aged or older, you may notice that his or pupils are covered by a blue haze. The condition, called lenticular sclerosis, doesn't require treatment and doesn't interfere with your pet's vision. Age may also be a factor in cataracts, which occur when the lens in the center of the eye becomes clouded. Cataracts do interfere with vision and can be removed if they cause significant problems.
No matter what your pet's age, regular veterinary examinations are the key to ensuring your furry friend's good health. 


PetMD: How Old Is My Dog? 5 Tips for Determining Your Dog’s Age

Animal Sheltering Magazine: How to Determine a Cat’s or Dog’s Age

VetStreet: How Vets Determine a Puppy or Kitten’s Age, 9/14,16

Jun. 6, 2018

Can you guess the fastest land animal in the world? In the wild, speed is one of the most important means of survival. If you happen to be one of the slowest animals in the world, then you have to be smart enough to outwit your predators. As such, the fastest animals in the world have a distinct advantage. These include the fastest animals in water, the fastest animal in air and the fastest animals on land. Today’s list is going to focus on the 25 fastest land animals.

Number 25.  The Giraffe.


The giraffe is the tallest living mammal on land and the largest ruminant. They are easy to recognize due to their really long necks, the puzzle like prints on their pelt and their outrageously long legs. But don’t let their size and awkward shape fool you; these gentle giants can still reach speeds of up to 32 mph.


Number 24. The Grizzly Bear.

Bears are often romanticized as being gentle and cuddly, but bears like the grizzly are anything but that. In fact, they can be quite ferocious and downright deadly when protecting their cubs and/or pursuing their next meal. Despite their sheer size, bears on average can reach speeds of up to 34.8 mph (56 kph).


Number 23, The Jackal.

A popular canine predators in the wild specifically in some parts of Africa and south central Eurasia; the jackal is closely related to wolves, dogs and coyotes. Not surprising, they are capable of reaching speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph).


Number 22, The Mule Deer. 

These mammals are native to western North America but have been in later years introduced in Argentina. Their primary predators include mountain lions and bobcats, two exceptionally deadly hunters. It’s a good thing the Mule deer can reach speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph), a speed it uses to outrun its predators.


Number 21, The Whippet.

The Whippet (also known as English Whippet or Snap dog) is a descendant of the fastest dog on earth. Though its a smaller sight hound breed, It has the ability to zoom away at 35 mph (56 kph) using a double suspension gallop.

Number 20, The Mongolian Wild Ass.

This endangered member of the genus Equus is a native of East Asia, particularly Mongolia and Northern China and can run up to 40 mph (64 kph).

Number 19, The Zebra.

The black and white stripes on a Zebra’s pelt has inspired not only the fashion and art world but even the color of the seats of Mbombela Stadium; one of South Africa’s most eye catching infrastructures. As a member of the African equids, they can run as fast as 40 mph (64 kph) and can outrun most of their predators.

Number 18, The Hyena.

Hyenas have always been known for the their vocalizations; such as their chattering laugh, yells and giggles, earning them the nickname “laughing hyenas”. But the laughter and giggles are not synonymous to fun or comedy. Rather, the laughter is more of a nervous laugh and is indicative of agitation and alarm. You don’t want to alarm these guys for not only do they possess the strongest jaws in proportion to body size in the mammal kingdom, they can also run at 40 mph (64 kph)…that’s right, it can run faster than you.

Number 17, The Thomson's Gazelle.

Named after Joseph Thomson; a Scottish geologist and explorer, this gazelle is one of the most well known subspecies with a population that exceeds 500 thousand. Grazing in the Serengeti region of Kenya and Tanzania, it can evade predators at a speed of 40.4 mph (65 kph) and perhaps even faster.

Number 16, The Gray Fox.

There are only 2 living members of the genus Urocyon, the Channel Island fox and the gray fox. Because of man’s fervor for advancement, the gray fox (considered one of the most primitive of the living canids) has been outnumbered by the red fox. Grey foxes can run up to 42 mph (67.5 kph) and is able to climb trees to evade predators.

Number 15, The Greyhound.

The second domesticated animal on the list; the greyhound used to be primarily bred for racing, but is now more popular as a family pet. This sight-hound can reach speed of up to 43 mph (69 kph) within 30 m and bound at almost 20 mph for the race’s first 250 meters. This breed is second to the fastest animal on land, the cheetah in terms of accelerating over a short distance.

Number 14, The Onager.

A member of the genus Equus along with horses, donkeys, mule, etc., it can run at speeds up to 43 mph (69 kph).

Number 13, The Coyote.

Also known as the American jackal; the coyote can reach speeds of up to 43 mph (69 kph) and can devour almost anything from small mammals to insects to your pets.

Number 12, The Ostrich. 

The fastest bird on land clocking at 43.5 mph (70 kph) is also the largest living species of bird in the world and also lays the largest eggs.

Number 11, The Red Kangaroo. ( The Giant Red )

These guys can hop at speeds of up to 44 mph (71 kph) and maintain that speed for 1.2 miles (2 km). The faster it hops the lesser energy it consumes.

Number 10, The Cape Hunting Dog.

It looks like a hyena but it’s not. The Cape Hunting Dog is called by several other names like ornate wolf and painted dog and can reach speeds of up to 45 mph (72 kph).

Number 9, The Elk. 

Don’t let its size fool you, the second largest species of deer, the elk or wapiti can reach speeds of up to 45 mph (72 kph).

Number 8, The Jack Rabbit.

Remember that fable about the hare and the tortoise? Even though it’s just a fable, there’s truth to how fast a jackrabbit can run. These little guys can outrun their predators at 45 mph (72 kph) through a combination of leaps and zigzags. It can even leap an impressive 3 m (9.8 ft) in one bound.

Number 7, The Lion. 

These mighty felines are the second largest living cat and can reach maximum speeds of up to 50 mph (80 kph).

Number 6, The Black Buck.

Native to the Indian continent, this antelope has been classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is also the last of its species in the genus Antelope. Clocking at 50 mph (80 kph), these antelopes are hunted by feral cats and wolves.

Number 5. The Wildebeast. 

Wildebeast, also known as gnu, looks larger and slower than the usual antelope yet it can reach top speeds of up to 50 mph (80 kph).

Number 4. The Quarter Horse.

These guys have been clocked at 55 mph (88 kph).

Number 3. The Springbok.

The Springbok can reach speeds of up to 62 mph (100 kph).

Number 2. The Pronghorn Antelope.

There really isn’t an accurate measurement of the pronghorn antelope’s top speed but it has been clocked at 61 mph (98 kph) with indications that it can actually run faster. Being that it has larger vital organs such as the lungs and heart, it can sustain this lightning speed longer than the cheetah. However…

Number 1, The Cheetah.

The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world and is able to reach speeds of up to 70 mph. The cheetah can cover distances up to 500 meters and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in five seconds (better than most sports cars).