happy dog lying on a sofa with the owner while wearing headphones and looking into a camera

How To Make A Playlist Your Dog Can Enjoy When You’re Not Home

Turning on your dog’s favorite playlist when you leave can help soothe them while you’re away. According to animal behaviorist, Deborah Wells, dogs find specific types of music to be relaxing, and even have their own preferences in what they like to listen to. Leaving on your dog’s favorite playlist when you go to work can prevent unwanted behaviors such as chewing and barking. It can also improve your dog’s health and wellness by promoting sleep.

happy dog lying on a sofa with the owner while wearing headphones and looking into a camera

You can use your dog’s playlist during car rides if they have travel anxiety, when you leave for work if they have separation anxiety, during thunderstorms if they are afraid of lightning, or in any potentially stressful situation for your dog.

Dogs all have different tastes, like people. Different songs with different frequencies, pitches, and rhythms have different effects on dogs. Dr. Sands, animal behaviorist, has done studies to find which variables in music (like beats per minute and frequency) affect dogs the most, and in what way. He found that the more BPM’s a song has, the more energizing it is for your dog, and the less BPM’s, the more calming it is.

The size of your dog may also have an effect on their taste in music. Smaller dogs may be partial to melodies with higher frequencies, and larger dogs may respond more positively to tunes with lower frequencies. This has to do with the kind of sounds they are used to making and hearing, as smaller dogs make higher pitched sounds and larger dogs make lower pitched ones.

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Try listening to your music with your dog in the room, and watch their reaction. If your dog can sleep through or falls asleep to certain songs, they would be a good choice for your doggy playlist. If your dog paces, barks, or acts agitated during certain tunes, then leave them out.

Classical Music For Your Dog:

Dr. Wells’ research has shown that classical music tends to incite behaviors that suggest relaxation in dogs. Listening to classical music can prevent damaging behaviors and soothe severe anxiety. Characteristics such as instrumental solos and slow tempos in a piece increase the chances of it having a calming effect. The fewer the instruments and simpler the melody, the better. Try making a playlist for your pooch featuring composers who use calming melodies and homophonic textures. Classical composers your dog may enjoy listening to include:

  • Haydn
  • Brahms
  • Clementi
  • Bach
  • Beethoven
  • Tchaikovsky
  • Schubert
  • Wagner
  • Chapin
  • Liszt

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Modern Music For Your Dog:

Many people don’t have the complete works of Chopin or Liszt on their ipod. If you want to make a playlist for your pooch but don’t want to download additional music to your listening device, don’t worry. Modern music can have a positive effect on your dog as well, as long as it has certain characteristics that your dog enjoys.

Some modern artists that my dog enjoys are:

  • Hozier
  • Sara Bareilles
  • John Mayer
  • Jason Mraz
  • Christina Perri
  • Jack Johnson

However, different songs vary for each artist. In general though, I’ve found that these artists have many songs with calming melodies and slow tempos.

dog listening to music

Bad Songs For Dogs:

Music such as heavy metal can be very unnerving to your dog. This kind of music has extreme pitches and frequencies that can be harmful to your dog’s hearing. It can also aggravate your dog and incite barking, chewing, or other harmful behaviors.

There are plenty of albums out there that have been specifically recorded for dogs. These may be the best option for you and your dog, however, it is likely that you can create an enjoyable, calming playlist for your dog with songs that you already have and listen to. After all, you want to enjoy the songs on your dog’s playlist too!

About The Author: Eliza Jessee lives in apartment 3 with her dog, Johann Sebastian, and her husband, Chris. She enjoys hiking, knitting, blogging, and playing saxophone. Visit her blog, The Pup in Apartment 3, at thepupinapartment3.com.

10 Tips and Tricks For Keeping Your Horse Happy All Winter

Healthy horses can enjoy their holiday season just as much as you do! If your pony’s barn is kept in good repair, and a little time is spent taking care of them, your horse can be back on the trails once the snow melts. Get in your spring rides sooner with these tips and tricks to keep your horse happy all winter.

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1. Repair the barn
Uneven floors, poor circulation, and a drippy roof all mean a rough winter for your horse. Beginning with a basic inspection will help you know where to start. Looking at load bearing structures, making sure they can hold the snow might be a headache, but it’s better than a heart-attack mid-January. This also includes draining external pipes, putting in drainage ditches so you can spray down your barn later in the season, checking wiring, and anything else you can think of. Repairing your barn before terrible weather hits is way better waiting until mid-blizzard.

2. Get rid of pests

Vermin need a place to stay during the winter too, but not your barn. And not around your horses. But you also can’t poison every rodent who crosses your path, because your horses or a neighbor’s house cat might eat it accidentally. There are a variety of traps you can use, from live traps that can save your barn from vermin to basic mouse traps, or even just getting a cat to do your dirty work. Either way, pests are important to get rid of, especially if your horses eat inside during the winter. Since rat feces can give horses salmonellosis, leptospirosis, and more!

3. Take care of Their Toes

If your horse has shoes on for therapeutic reasons, or if you’re going to continue riding throughout the winter months, you should keep their shoes on and avoid icy or snowy ground. If you’re not going to use your horse during the winter months, consider giving their hoof some time to breath. A natural hoof will save you cost during the winter months, can help a proper shoeing in the spring, and make it safer for your horse on icy ground. It’s helpful if you do this before the winter hits so your horse can have time to get used to the barefoot life.

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4. Clean and tidy

Cleaning out the barn is one of the most important steps of the gigantic process that is winterizing your horse. Before winter comes, it helps to get out bacteria that multiplies in a stuffy barn during the winter. That also means cleaning and storing any tack away from rodents and bugs that might gnaw on them during the winter months. Blasting the stalls, water buckets, mats, and feeders to ensure that there isn’t a bacterial explosion during the mid-winter thaw, while you don’t have to worry about ice is highly recommended.

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5. Get ready to Feed Them More

Horses need more food during the winter to deal with the elements. Even a minor change, like going from 18F to 0F outside, means your horse needs 2 additional pounds of forage every day. A fluffy winter coat can  hide weight change, so body scoring often is encouraged, especially for weanlings, old, or injured horses who might need more food.

6. Keep Water Accessible

An optimal water temperature for your horse is between 45 to 65 degrees F. They will drink even more water in the winter season, as hay and grain typically contain less than 15 percent water and pasture can contain anywhere from 60 to 80 percent. You can encourage your horse to drink water by keeping salt readily available, and either keeping water in a warm place or using a tank heater.

If you are using a tank heater and your horses aren’t drinking, make sure the water isn’t too hot, that the water isn’t shocking them, and that there aren’t any loose wires. Ice and snow are not an adequate sources of water for domesticated horses. Not only does it takes time for a horse to acclimate to consuming snow, but there are also digestive issues associated with inadequate hydration from snow consumption.

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7. Keep them fit (and don’t over-ride an unfit horse when it thaws)

Getting your horse out and about during the winter months is a little bit of a chore. Start them out slow, with small walks to get their cold muscles warmed up. A horse needs about 15-25 minutes, 5 days a week just to maintain baseline health, says Kaneps, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, co-editor of Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery. This could also be a great time to work on control work, like jumps, and directions. If your horse does get a little out of shape during the winter months, it’s also important to give them time before accidentally over riding them in the spring. Your horse might have lost some of their cardiovascular health over the frigid months, so give them a little time to get back up to fighting-shape.

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8. Blanketing

Depending on the horse, where they are from and their size, your horse may or may not need to be blanketed for the winter. Before you chuck a blanket on your horse, you should remember that their winter coat doesn’t fully come in until right before Christmas. Blanketing your horse too soon can make their coat not as full. If your horse is old, sick, or just clipped, consider blanketing them this year. Blankets can be uncomfortable, so check the straps regularly, and look for any places the blanket might be rubbing them. It’s also important that your horse be dry before the blanket is put on to avoid a chill.

If your horse is damp and cold, you can put a wool or straw layer on before the blanket to ‘thatch’ underneath the blanket. Just check up on them later to make sure the moisture has wicked away.

9. Ventilation

The easiest ventilation solution is to add an open front shed facing south. If your barn isn’t naturally ventilated with eave openings and chimneys, then you should have several mechanical systems to deal with the excessive moisture. Just all the horses breathing can make the barn moist, let alone the water and horse leavings that add to the problem. Making sure you can keep the barn warm is basic, but keeping it ventilated is even more important.

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10. Check Their Medication

If you’ve got an old horse who takes medication, it might need to be brought inside, or the tack room may need to be temperature controlled. Fall is also a great time to throw out expired products and check with the vet about stocking up on de-wormers and other necessities before your horses they start staying in close quarters.

About The Author: Mary Grace is a horse lover based out of the beautiful Boise, Idaho. She loves all things in nature, hiking, and long rides. Comment down below or tweet her @marmygrace if you have any questions.

10 Tips To Keep Your Pet And Home Clean When The Rain Starts

Rainy season is already upon us. Do you dread the rainy days? Do you fear that your house would become a puddle? If you have a dog that needs walking, your worries are rational. However, you can always find simple solutions to help you. Your home and your pet will be clean. All you need to do is to listen to the tips provided:

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1. Don’t keep your pet at home all the time!

It may seem not logical. However, if you isolate them, they may become restless. As a result, you will not be able to control them when outside. Moreover, your pet will transform into a lump of mud. Go outside as frequently as possible. Make short walks even in the bad weather.

2. Provide indoor activities.

It may contradict the previous statement. However, you may want to eliminate your pet’s exposure to bad weather. Think of the activities you can do inside the house. Spend as much time as possible with your pets. They will appreciate it. New exciting toys may help too 😉

3. Close exit and entrance.

Make sure that pet door is closed. You may need to block it or provide isolation. Secure the regular door as well. This way your pet will not go out without permission. It is essential when it is raining. It will also keep warm air inside your home. And it is going to avert frosty air from sneaking in.

4. Make boundaries.

Wondering how to walk a dog in the rain? There is one simple rule. Always use a leash when going outside. You will be able to control your dog. You will prevent his or hers jumps and strolls into puddles. Take your pet on the arms if she or he is very small.

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5. Rainproof yourselves.

It is crucial to use protective clothes. Various raincoats for small dogs as well as big breeds are available nowadays. Do not forget to use one yourself. Rainproof shoes and paw protectors worth your consideration too. Protectors may also prevent from wounds on paws. Pay special attention to your dog’s ears. Cover them when going for a walk.

6. Cleaners.

There are various types of paw cleaners. You may find numerous doormats, towels, and fiber rags or mittens. We suggest trying dog paw cleaner. It is cheap, efficient, and easy to use. It looks like a cup. You need to put each paw into the paw cleaner. It will clean your pet’s paws very quickly. It is portable and available in the UK.

7. Dry up.

Using towels and rags can help you a lot. Nonetheless, it is difficult to make your pet completely dry with a towel. Use a blow dryer to dry up the fur. It will also limit moist from spreading all over. It will also keep a pet warm. Especially, if it is not only rainy but also brisk. Be careful, though. Pets are afraid of blow dryers at first.

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8. Catch odors.

You have your dog dried an odor is still there. Pet towels and beds are sure to have a bad smell. Odor eliminators can be of the great help. Make sure to use those with natural ingredients. There should not be any covering fragrances or chemicals. Otherwise, your pet may get allergies and skin irritation.  

9. Cats are a bit easier to keep indoors.

Nonetheless, if your cat needs walking outside, you may use tips for dogs. If you worry about your little kitten, you do not have to. You can prep your home for fluffy cuteness.

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10. Mudroom.

The last but not least. If it is possible, organize a mudroom in your house. Think of it as of a purgatory 😉 Every member of your family has to purify himself or herself there. A few things you need to remember to create a mudroom:

  • Use easy to clean floor and wall protection. Vinyl flooring or linoleum are the best choices.
  • Raincoats and boots should always stay in a mudroom. Mud and moisture will not spread around the house.
  • Keep the means of cleaning and drying your pets only there. Towels, rags, and paw cleaners should stay in a mudroom.
  • Do clean and dry everyone in there. Letting your pet inside, as soon as the raincoat is off, is counterproductive. Mudroom was designed for mud to stay in 😉

Lisa Griffin is a blogger and freelance writer for Edubirdie whose lifestyle credo is “Perhaps the greatest gift an animal has to offer is a permanent reminder of who we really are.”. You can contact her via Twitter

How to Use Natural Oils for Pets

Aromatherapy is not just for humans, but for our furry friends too. The soothing and healing effects of natural oils will bring a multitude of quality benefits in your pet’s life. They too deserve some time for relaxation, and their exhilarated face will let you know that they appreciate your devotion to them. But first, let’s see what kind of natural oils are right for pets and how you can use them.

 

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1. Lavender

Lavender is a natural treatment for pets that suffer from allergies, burns, insomnia, and most importantly anxiety. Even though many people see them as an ever happy ball of puffy fur, pets can get easily stressed and live with this condition for a long time. Sources of anxiety can be the separation from their people (this source includes work commuting also), confinement, travel, and noise.

So, you can add six to eight drops of natural lavender oil in a bottle filled with water that has a spraying device. On the other hand, you can purchase an aromatherapy product with the right dosage of lavender oil on the market. Whenever there’s a stressful event coming up, like a visit to the vet or car traveling, you can spray the solution onto a piece of fabric and take it with you. Pets are very sensitive to scent, so the calming effects of lavender won’t take long to appear. You can associate the lavender fragrance with calming activities like massaging or brushing.

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2. Cardamom Oil

It takes up to three months to extract the essential oils from this plant, but the effort is worth it. Cardamom has effective healing properties that can ease digestion and protect the health of the gastrointestinal system, ameliorates respiratory health, and provides a boost of good mood. Use one drop to increase your pet’s appetite, eight drops for fresh breath, and four drops for good circulation. It will also treat a cough and soothe nausea. It is safe for dogs to take this natural oil internally, but you should be careful when using Cardamom for cats.

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Even though they enjoy quality nutrition and an active lifestyle, pets will sooner or later have problems at the level of their skin and toenails. Coconut oil is a natural substance that works as an excellent moisturizing. It penetrates deep into the skin to mend any damages to the tissues. You can treat your pets with coconut oil for skin rash, wounds or dry skin. Wrap the treated area with a piece of cloth to prevent them from licking the oil away.

You can also administrate coconut oil internally. The diet will fight against bacteria, viruses, yeasts, fungi, and parasites. It is important to start with small amounts, such as ¼ tablespoon for small dogs and one for large pets. Look out for eventual side effects. If your pet goes through unpleasant experiences like diarrhea, restrict the portion even further.

If the effects of coconut oil ingestion are favorable, increase the quantity a little bit after a few days. Gradually aim to attain one teaspoon for each 10 pounds of body weight on a daily basis.

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4. Eucalyptus Oil

The eucalyptus oil holds numerous benefits for our furry friends. First of all, it provides a good skin therapy for pets that present rashes, insect bites, and stings. It also has antiseptic properties that repel the parasites that can damage skin or the ones that hide in the bedding sheets. When the pets inhale eucalyptus oil vapors, they can get rid of respiratory infections such as bronchitis.

To keep fleas and ticks away from their coating, you can apply one drop of this natural oil to your pet’s neck, and another one at their tail.

However, you should start with smaller concentrations and resort to diluted mixtures. So, add 15 drops to a spray bottle filled with water of small size. Use the composition on your pet for skin healing, relaxation, and for parasite control. You can also add this to your dog’s bath water, spray it on bedding and furniture.

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a healthy addition to your dog’s diet and has some fantastic advantages. Dogs usually adore the taste of this natural oil, so besides being a source of vitamins, it is also a royal treat. It helps your pet to keep a slender silhouette due to the fact that is a substance rich in monounsaturated fats. Your dog should receive olive oil especially when the seasons start changing. Its antioxidants provide additional protection for your dog’s immune system.

The dosage should be calculated carefully. Administer a small portion to your dog and wait to see if there are any side effects. If there are not, it is safe to proceed with a daily dosage.

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6. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil is widely known for its strong repellent effect against fleas and other common parasites. It is also a good oil to soothe skin irritations in a natural, safe, and effective way.

You can prepare a solution by mixing ¼ cup of peppermint oil with 3 cups of rubbing alcohol. Leave the liquid a while to get settled. Then you can proceed and spray the areas affected by fleas, especially neck and back. You can also use the solution on bedding and your carpets.

8. Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil contains a type of chemicals that work wonders against bacteria and fungi, called terpenes. However, the same substance can be dangerous for your pets if they swallow it. It should be only applied to the skin in very small quantities.

Dilute the tea tree oil at 0.1% to 1% and test a small area before applying it to the whole body. If there are signs of irritation, you shouldn’t stop using it. However, if your pet accepts the oil in its system, you can start the treatment. So, use it carefully to eliminate bacteria, parasites, and you can also rely on tea tree oil to attend some minor wounds.

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So, these are the main natural oils for pets that work as antiseptics, antioxidants or aromatherapy. Always proceed with caution when introducing these to your pet for the first time. Once the good effects start showing, you can incorporate the natural oils in the daily routine.

 

About The Author: Kathy Hardess is a mother, a wife, and a pet owner. She loves nature and traveling. Kathy is a nutritionist and a crafty woman. Her passions merge everyday while trying to keep her kids healthy and get their attention. 

10 Things to Do with Your Dog This Weekend

Like any other relationship, the one you have with your pet requires time and energy. You’ll get as much as you are willing to invest. Do you want to see your dog happy and healthy? Then show your care. If during the week you only have time for the regular walk, do some extra activities with your furry friend at the weekend. Here are 10 things you could do together this weekend.

happy girl with her dog breed white terrier walking in a field in autumn1.

1. Play With Toys

People of all ages still love to fool around with toys. Dogs love them even more, so why not offer each other this mutual pleasure? Get your pet’s stuff and go out in the yard to have fun together. If you didn’t have time lately to refill the stock, rest assured, there are plenty shops selling dog’s toys. You can also order them online. Be careful to get toys that are suitable for your dog’s size, age, and habits.

2. Play Fetch

There’s nothing simpler and more energy consuming than a fetch game. This is the one thing most dogs never get enough of. It might not boost their brains or teach them new tricks, but fetching is fun and easy. You can teach your pet how to fetch anything from toys to sticks or old shoes.

It’s important to choose am object your pet is into and try to get him or her used to that particular item. Another advantage is that fetching is also a good exercise for pet owners. If you want to burn some of those extra calories, go out to the park and play this game.

dog funny playing with falling leaves in autumn park

3. Go Find It

This is another one of dog’s favorite activities. Go find It is similar to playing fetch, but it adds more spice to the game. You need to take an object, make your dog sniff it and recognize it. Then you’ll hide it somewhere around your house, in the backyard or park, wherever it is that you’re playing, and ask your pet to retrieve the missing object. This is an activity that sharpens your dog’s agility and concentration.

4. Get Out Of Town

If you have more free time and some money, go out of town this weekend with your pet. Dogs love to explore new places. This will also help you unwind and get out of your daily routine. If you want to spend the night over, you’ll need to make plans. You don’t want to get to your destination and find out that not both of you are welcomed. Make sure you choose a pet-friendly hotel that can also accommodate your friend.

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5. Go Shopping Together

This might sound a little bit odd, but we’re not implying you should spend the day at the mall with your pet. There are many open places where you can enjoy your dog’s company while you purchase necessary goods. You can have a 2-hour shopping session at the open market. You’ll definitely find plenty of these at the weekend.

6. Go to a Café Where Quadruped Friends Are Welcomed

You might need to do a little bit of research for this, but its’s time worth investing. Search for pet-friendly cafés in your area. These are cool places to hang out at the weekend together with your loyal companion. You’ll get to enjoy a nice coffee and a friendly talk. In the meanwhile, your pet might get the chance to play with other dogs.

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7. Train Your Pet

The end of the week is probably the only time when you get to learn new things. This should also apply to your dog. You’re the one who’s in charge of the education, so plan a training course for each weekend. Think about your needs and your dog’s abilities. What do you have to work on? You might want to teach your dog to be more obedient or learn some new tricks. Especially if you deal with behavior issues, search the web for extra resources and suggestions. If you want to improve your pet’s abilities, think about the most suitable games that can help you.

8. Play Frisbee

Frisbee is another efficient exercise that will make both of you move those muscles. It’s recommended to play it in a large open space like a park. Dogs love to run freely while they’re at it and your yard might be too small. Frisbee is also an opportunity to socialize. If you have friends who like this game, ask them to join. Dogs are sociable creatures, they’ll probably love it, especially if there’s more attention directed toward them.

9. Take Longer Walks

Your working schedule wore you out during the week?  It happens a lot, but this is no excuse to keep your dog trapped in the house all weekend. You need to do something less demanding that will help you calm. Just get dressed and go out for a long walk together. Pick the time of the day that is more convenient so that you won’t need to rush back at home too soon. You can roam around the city, go to the park or visit a friend who doesn’t live nearby. A two-hour walk will do wonders for your state of mind and give great pleasure to your beloved friend.

dog stands next to the hostess in the spring park.

10. Get Together with Other Pet Owners

Last but not the least, try to hang out with other people and dogs this weekend. If you have friends who are also dog lovers, invite them over. If you don’t want all that noise at home, ask them to take the dogs out for a walk together. Your pets will love to socialize and so will you.

To sum up everything we just discussed, it’s essential to spend more time with your dog and weekends are the best time to do it. No matter what activity you decide to opt for, take your time to truly enjoy it.

Author bio: Mark Fendelman is a passionate writer which loves to spend time with his three dogs. He believes that everybody should have at least one pet. “Animals should be loved, not hurt!”, says Mark. He is a regular contributor at Best10Anything.

10 Ways to Ensure Your Pet Fish is Happy & Healthy

When it comes to deciding which pet to keep, most of the starters opt for a pet fish under the assumption, it is easier to maintain than the rest. The animal practically lives in water how hard can it be? The good news is, maintaining a pet fish only requires one to keep it healthy and clean for its survival.

For those looking to keep a fish here are pointers on how to keep your fish comfortable and healthy.

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1. The first step will involve a lot of research on the type of fish you are about to purchase.

The information should be from a reliable internet source, or the expert at the pet fish store. Some of the vital information needed include the level of water pH suitable for the fish, temperature and the type of food they feed on. 

Understanding the type of fish enables a pet owner to know whether the kind of fish can coexist with others or is comfortable alone. More aggressive fish should be kept in their own tanks to prevent fish fights.

2. It is a common practice to get fish in an aquarium for decorative purposes rather than just as a pet.

A bigger aquarium as an eye-catching piece, or a smaller one to fit in the living the room, is usually a major consideration. Whichever the reasons are, the importance of a spacious room for the fish cannot be emphasized enough. Fish need sufficient space to move around, and enough water for their oxygen needs. 

When choosing the container size, consider the fish number and their size at maturation. Don’t estimate the size of your tank when your fish are young, because many can grow and need more room. It is recommended to have several gallons of water for a single fish. This amount of water will cater for the oxygen needs, but do your research to ensure this is adequate.

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3. Recreating the natural habitat of the fish is one way of making it happy.

Fish can be from salt or fresh water. For a freshwater fish, pebbles are added to the aquarium and some water movement introduced to create the feeling of a river. On the other hand, add sand to salt water aquariums to mimic the environment of an ocean. 

Substrates can be bought or obtained naturally from the environment. Other features such as blocks for hiding will also be necessary. Fish are typically shy and will want some cover when someone is too close to the aquarium. Fish need “me” time too!

4. Knowledge of the fish environment will come in handy when it comes to conditioning the water.

Different fish exist at various pH levels. A pH kit is a wise investment for a fish pet owner. It will have tools to measure pH levels, temperature and concentrate levels such as those of chlorine. 

Keeping the right pH levels is one way for the fish to fight diseases naturally. TA fish expert will recommend ways of adjusting alkalinity and acidity levels in water. Always take measures to reduce chlorine when tap water is in use. One way is it to leave out the water under the sun for 24hrs. There are also dechlorinating aquariums sold at an extra fee.

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5. Replace aquarium water at least once a month to keep it clean and clear.

It is also a way of controlling the concentrates in the water. Use a gravel vacuum to siphon the water and other unwanted material. If it is not available, transfer the fish to a temporary container and change the aquarium water. Rinse out the substrates to avoid transferring back the salts and other substances. Ensure the water is conditioned once again after the change.

6. Fish are cold-blooded animals, but still require constant temperature to exist.

One way of maintaining the temperature in an aquarium is the use of an aqua heater. Adjust the water temperature according to the type of fish. Salt water fish can withstand higher temperatures compared to freshwater fish. 

The point of an aqua heater is to keep the temperature constant which means avoid exposing the aquarium to extreme weather conditions by placing it close to a window or an AC vent. Observe fish movement to know whether the temperature is spread evenly in the water. The fish will tend to crowd on the side with the right temperature. 

7. Keep the fish environment clean by washing the sides of the tank and removing excess algae.

Not all fish feed on algae, contrary to popular belief. Such accumulation will deplete oxygen for the fish and create a dirty look on the aquarium. Removing the unwanted aquatic plants will also control the fluctuating pH levels. You can buy a long brush and an algae magnet for proper aquarium cleaning.

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8. It is important to keep the fish healthy from the onset.

Once you introduce the fish to the conditioned aquarium water, they should be floated for 30 minutes while still in the delivery bag to adapt to the new temperature. After, release them into the aquarium. Immediate immersion into the aquarium may cause temperature shock especially when the two environments are completely different.

9. A month may seem too long a wait to change the water if it keeps getting murky.

To avoid such a situation, change about 25% of the water every week. Begin by removing the water up to the required mark. Adding the entire amount at once will significantly affect the temperature. Use a container to add little amounts gradually as you give it time to go back to the optimum temperature. Always dechlorinate the new water before adding it to avoid poisoning the fish and altering the pH levels.

10. Keep checking the water filter to ensure it is still working, and that no filtrate is blocking the filter.

It should be big enough or proportionate to the number of fish. Once you buy a filter for the first fish, keep the number constant to maintain the system efficiency. 

BONUS TIP: There are a lot of resourceful materials on home foods to feed fish. Though they may be right, it is a gamble with the pet. Certain fish may not eat certain foods which could end up poisoning them. To avoid complications always buy the recommended and tested fish food

Author Bio: Emily Bean is a DIY’er, dog mom, homemaker and mother. She’s on the content team at www.itsafishthing.com, and other home & garden related sites. She’s also a yoga practitioner, foodie, and traveler when she’s not writing at her computer or taking care of the home.

 3 Things To Know About Crate Training Your Dog

Crate training a dog isn’t always easy – the whining, the crying, the fear of the unknown. And then there’s how the dog reacts. But, while it takes patience, dedication, and savvy, it’s not an impossible endeavor. Knowing what you’re getting into helps get your dog into their new room.

puppy at home. dog at white

Crate Training: Step One

The first step in crate training a dog is choosing the actual crate. Not all are created equal: there are some your dog adapts to more easily than others. So, as you walk the aisles of the local pet store, keep the following in mind:

  •    Mesh crates lack durability. Sometimes, dogs like them because they offer privacy, but they offer an escape route too. Which, frankly, makes dogs like them even more.
  •    Plastic crates provide a cave for your pet to hide from the outside world (or maybe just the cat). Some dogs prefer this as it makes them feel safe and secure.
  •    Wire crates allow for better ventilation than their plastic counterparts. They enable you to view your dog easily as well, which works for and against you. On one hand, you’ll see your dog and know when it needs to use the bathroom. On the other, your dog sees you and that promotes whining. Throwing a blanket or a towel on top fixes this issue. It also creates a den-like feel. Your dog appreciates this, as canines are inherently den animals.
  •    Wood crates are not very common, but they are more aesthetically pleasing. Some people buy them because they fit into a home’s décor. They’re something to consider if you’re interested in Feng Shui with Fido.
  •    Aluminum crates aren’t used as frequently as other types, but they are often easier to transport than wire crates. They’re an option if your dog’s living space is a bit of a mobile home.

Choosing a crate for dog training is only part of the process; you must make it homey too. There are a few ways to do this, including:

  •    Place the crate in the corner of a room where you spend a lot of time.
  •    Put a soft bed or a few blankets inside.
  •    Add something that smells like you – a t-shirt or a towel. If your dog’s a chewer, it’s better to use something old and tattered rather than your brand new cashmere sweater.

young woman playing with her border collie dog. concept aout animals and people

Crate Training: Step Two

The second step in crate training a dog is to think like one: speak in puppy prose. Your pet may find the crate scary at first; they might be intrigued, but they’ll be intimidated as well. You’ll ease their anxiety by employing these tips:

  •    Don’t ever use the crate as punishment: your dog must see it as a friend, not as a foe.
  •    Don’t keep your dog in too long. Some become depressed or anxious if they’re “on the inside” for long periods of time. Others are unable to hold their bladder. This is especially true for puppies: according to the Humane Society of the United States, dogs under six months should stay crated for a maximum of four hours at a time.
  •    Don’t physically force your dog into the crate. This scares them and causes them to view it as something bad instead of something safe.
  •    Only keep your dog crated until you trust them on their own. After that, the crate is still an option, but with an open-door policy.

Crate Training: Step Three

Now that you have your crate and you know what not to do with it, it’s time to show your pup to their temporary residence. This involves more than merely making introductions- “Fido, Crate, Crate, Fido” – it also involves something many living beings respond to: good old bribery!

The most important step in crate training your dog is teaching it to associate its crate with something positive, such as treats. The ways to do this include:  

  •    Leave the door to the crate open and toss in a few treats that your dog will discover on its own. Use treats they love, such as liver or chicken.
  •    At dinnertime, place your dog’s bowl inside the crate and leave the door open. Aim to place it as far back as possible so your dog gets a feel for standing all the way inside. If your pet refuses, start slow and place the bowl at the front of the crate.
  •    As your dog grows more comfortable, begin verbally cuing them to enter their crate. When they do, reward them with more treats. If they don’t respond to the cue, cue them again and allow them to watch you toss the treats into the crate. Repeat this process a minimum of twenty times (with a short break if needed) and praise your dog each time they enter. Don’t, however, praise them for exiting: they need to associate praise with going inside rather than leaving.
  •    When you think your dog is ready, cue them again to go into the crate, reward them with a treat, and then gently close the door. Give your dog a few more treats and offer more praise. Repeat this process until your dog understands that closing a metal door isn’t a sign of the apocalypse.
  •    If your dog panics during any step, it’s okay to break the process up a bit: rather than closing the door entirely, only close it halfway, for instance. Then continue to close it more and more until it’s fully shut.

care, animals, family, season and people concept - smiling couple with dog in autumn park

After your dog has gone into the crate willingly, you’ve won the battle. Now, it’s onto the war: the war of the Whine.

Most dogs whine and cry – perhaps act overtly dramatic – at the start of crate training, but you must tune them out. Responding to their whine teaches them that whining is effective. There are a couple tricks to stiffen the sobs.

These include:

  •    Get earplugs, or an MP3player, or your old Walkman out of storage.
  •    Lightly tap your dog’s crate each time they bark or whine and say something that lets them know they’ve done wrong. Then exit the room. Only come back when your dog’s been quiet for several seconds.
  •    As mentioned previously, a blanket to cover the crate also helps. If your dog can’t see you, they won’t whine as much, if at all.

In the end, crate training your dog isn’t always simple. Still, the majority of breeds take to a crate if you try hard enough. Dogs want to make their owners proud and happy. That’s why dogs are dogs instead of cats.

Author Bio:  At PawLife.com we have a warm heart for cold noses and we know you do too. So, our site is dedicated to helping pet parents care for their four-legged family members the best way possible.  

Four Things You Absolutely Must Know Before Adopting a Reptile

I adore cats, and I follow multiple dog rescues on Facebook. But allergies have kept me from having a fur baby of my own. Fortunately, I am still the loving mother of a bearded dragon.

Since adopting my “scaley princess,” I have learned how reptiles like bearded dragons, snakes, and leopard geckos can make wonderful pets. Unfortunately, some people treat reptiles as little more than trophies or disposable pets, or maybe a dog with scales. If you are thinking of adopting a reptile, there are four things that you must consider first!

iguana

1. Do Your Research

Not only do reptiles and mammals have different nutritional and environmental needs, but not all reptiles have the same needs. For example, bearded dragons and iguanas need UV lighting. Different snakes require different humidity levels. Leopard geckos eat only insects.

Whatever reptile you choose, make sure you understand its needs and are prepared to meet them in your home and budget–on their terms, not your own!

pet iguana

2. A Reptile Is Not A Dog

“Well, duh, isn’t that obvious?” you ask. It should be, but some people do treat their lizards like nothing more than dogs with scales! Many mammals have been shown to demonstrate affection and other social behaviors. Rats can even show compassion.

Less is known about the emotions of reptiles, but they are generally regarded as less social animals. Two lizards on top of each other are not cuddling like puppies–they are more likely competing for dominance and basking space. Mistaking behaviors like this can cause stress on the animals and reduce their quality of life. Don’t treat your pet like the animal it isn’t!

3. Reptiles Need Enrichment

“Enrichment” is a term that many vets and zoos use to describe activities that encourage natural behaviors. Cold-blooded reptiles do spend a lot of time sitting around and soaking up warmth, but they still benefit from mental stimulation! Try giving them lots of things to climb on, and rearrange their “furniture” periodically. Switch up the type of substrate you use–but make sure it’s still suitable to the species. Give them time out of their cage every day, take them outside if it’s warm, or feed them at a different time of day.

pet bearded dragon

4. Prepare To Learn A Lot!

With the appropriate care and attitude, a reptile can be a rewarding and even educational companion! My bearded dragon, Aravis, will sometimes hide in her cage for days, seemingly for no reason. To my disappointment, Google and other online sources were no help in figuring out why. Finally, I noticed that she tends to hide when the weather changes–she feels the barometric pressure drop and hides to escape the rain that follows. To quote Jurassic Park, “Clever girl.”

Keeping a reptile may not be the same as keeping a mammal, but this doesn’t mean that they are not fun, fascinating pets. With the proper knowledge and care, even the most cold-blooded critter will warm your heart!

Author Bio: Emily Jacobs is a freelance writer and content marketer living in Northwest Ohio with her bearded dragon, Aravis. When she’s not working for clients or writing for her website EmSpeaks.com, she enjoys cooking, road trips, jogging, and reading morbid history.

The Truth About Pet Skin Conditions

Pet parents spend a lot of time searching the internet when something is wrong with their pet. While the internet can be a great resource, some of the information is not always reliable and this is particularly the case when it comes to pet skin conditions.  Misinformation can prompt owners to think that their pets are dying of skin cancer or have skin issues that require exotic diets.  It turns out that both these situations are extremely rare.

Advanced Dermatology teamed up with Veterinarian Krista Magnificio to create a comprehensive guide for pet owners that clears up many common misconceptions regarding pet skin conditions. They wanted to try and dispel common myths regarding two of the most talked-about culprits of a pet’s skin (diet and cancer).  In the guide they cover the primary causes of pet skin conditions, the signs you need to look out for, and the things to discuss with your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has a skin condition that needs to be addressed.