A dog’s smell is more than 100,000 times stronger than that of a human’s, which they need because their eyesight is not as keen as a human’s. But, dogs’ sense of hearing is greater than ten times more acute than a human’s. Humans can detect sounds at 20,000 cycles per second, while dogs can sense frequencies of 30,000 cycles per second.
But, it is a myth that dogs are color blind. They can actually see in color, just not as vividly as humans. It is akin to our vision at dusk. Dogs DO have better low-light vision than humans because of a special light-reflecting layer behind their retinas.
Thinking of adding a new pet to your family? Before you run to the pet store or a breeder consider adoption from an animal shelter or rescue group first. There are lots of wonderful, loving, and needy pets in shelters all over the U.S. Adopting an animal from a shelter saves lives! Also when adopting take into consideration the benefits of adopting an older cat or dog. Not to mention when you adopt from a shelter your adoption fee covers the cost of the animal being sterilized and vaccinated. And your money goes to funding for the shelter so that other homeless animals have a safe place to stay and food to eat until they are adopted.
If you have never owned a pet or are looking for a companion animal, consider adopting an older animal from a shelter. Older animals need love too! Here is a little information on the benefits of adopting an older animal.
Everyone loves kittens and puppies because they’re cute and playful. And yet it seems like everyone who’s ever raised a kitten or puppy has at least one “horror story” to go along with it! Baby animals are adorable, but there are many loving older pets who need “retirement homes” to call their own. Reasons to adopt an older pet include:
- They’re more mellow and tend to have better house manners. While many are still active, they’re just as content to relax at home with you.
- Senior dogs are better focused and are easier to train - and they may already know some commands. You may have heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” Fortunately that’s not true. Puppies tend to have a short attention span, while older dogs learn quickly.
- Senior pets are often already house-trained. Dogs will know how to ask to be let outside when have need to go, and cats will know how to use their litter boxes.
- They’re past the “destructive” stage. Puppies will chew most anything while they’re in their teething stage, and kittens have yet to learn what’s appropriate to scratch and what’s not! Older pets tend to know what is “theirs”, and they’ve often been taught what “no” means.
- You’ll have more time for yourself and to enjoy your pet, instead of cleaning up after them, attending to frequent bathroom breaks, teaching them manners, and all the other stuff that’s necessary when you have a youngster.
- You know what you’re getting. You know how big your pet’s going to be, how he looks, how active he is, and so on. Puppies and kittens have a lot of growing to do and they may develop into an adult that is different from what you expected.
- Most importantly, senior pets have lots of love to give and they’ll form a steadfast bond with their new people. They just need someone to love them in return!
Check with your local SPCA or animal rescue group to find older pets in need of a home.
The Truth Behind the Benefits of Adopting an Older Pet
When deciding to adopt a pet, many people choose to adopt a kitten or puppy instead of an older dog or cat.
Besides being housebroken, older cats and dogs are sometimes better to adopt for a number of reasons. They can “fit” into your lifestyle a little easier, especially if this is your first pet. Older pets can usually be more trusted around the house than a puppy or kitten and don’t need to be crated when you leave the house. And in the case of dogs, they do not usually need to be taken outside every few hours. Other things to consider are that puppies cannot go to dog parks or to the beach until they are fully vaccinated. Lastly, with an older pet you know what you are getting and how big or small the animal will grow up to be. Read on to learn about common myths about older animals.
Myth: Older dogs and cats are at shelters and animal organizations because there is something wrong with them and they are not socialized.
Truth: Older pets are not at shelters and animal organizations because there is something wrong with them. There are a number of reasons why an older animal may have been surrendered to a shelter, including the family moved, their owner died or has no time for them, change in work schedule, new baby, or a change in “lifestyle” where a new spouse/partner does not feel the same way about the pet. Older animals often have had some degree of training, including obedience, and socialization.
Myth: It costs more to have an older pet.
Truth: It does not cost more to have an older pet. While older pets may need to have more consistent care to prevent certain conditions or diseases, puppies and kittens are actually more expensive to have. Don’t forget all of the shoes and furniture you may have to replace if you have a very active puppy or kitten!
Myth: Older pets are not as loving as puppies and kittens
Truth: Older pets are just as loving, if not more loving than puppies and kittens. They are more appreciative and loving and it is much easier for an older pet to adjust to your lifestyle than a younger pet.
So before you run out and buy a new puppy or kitten, give some thought about adopting an older cat or dog. Because who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!
Want to make some fun homemade treats for your favorite furry friends? Here are some recipes to try! Keep in mind this is not to be fed as a primary source of food. These are simply fun treats to give your pet. Great for training rewards!
Savory Dog Biscuits:
A healthy and tasty homemade dog treat to mix up for your favorite farm canine.
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup skimmed milk powder
- 1/2 cup corn meal
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 cup grated apples or grated carrots
- 1/4 cup melted fat (beef, lamb, or bacon)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup chilled low-sodium beef or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cold water
In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Drizzle with melted fat. Add egg and water and mix well; gather dough into a ball. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into treats (dog bone shape cookie cutters are available from specialty cooking supply catalogs, or just use a regular cookie cutter.) Bake on ungreased baking sheets at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes and you’ll have some savory treats for your favorite dogs!
Apple Cinnamon Dog Training Bits:
These apple cinnamon dog training bits will have your dog licking his lips for more!
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 egg
- 2 t. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 small apple, grated
- 1 1/3 cups water
- In a bowl combine all ingredients except the apple and water. Grate apple into mixture and add water. Mix until it starts forming a dough. Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead well. Roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Take a straight edge and score the dough horizontally then vertically to make a grid of 3/4-inch squares. Be careful not to cut through the dough completely. Place the dough on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with a nonstick spray. Bake a 325 degrees F for 1 hour. Break apart for storage.
Imbir’s Horse Treat Recipe:
Take these sweet treats to the stable and make your horses happy!
- 1 cup sweet feed for horses
- 2 cups bran
- 1 cup flax seed
- 4 large carrots
- 1 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup applesauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine molasses, brown sugar, carrots and applesauce in one bowl and dry ingredients in another one. Slowly combine molasses mixture with dry ingredients, adding only enough molasses mixture to form thick dough. Drop tablespoons of dough on a greased cookie sheet, spacing cookies 1 inch apart and flattening slightly to form portions about the size of a silver dollar. Bake for one hour; turn and bake approximately 45 minutes until crisp.
Tuna Cat Treats:
To most cats, tuna is almost as attractive as catnip. Try making this delicious tuna cat treat recipe for your cat!
- 1 3-ounce can albacore tuna in water or oil, undrained
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
- 1 T. vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, use a fork to shred the tuna into small pieces. Add the remaning ingredients, mixing well. The dough will be sticky. Flour or oil your hands so you can handle the dough and form the dough into small, marble-sized balls. Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet, and use your fingers to gently flatten them. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the bottoms of the treats are golden brown. Flip the treats and bake for another five to 10 minutes or until both sides of the treats are golden brown. Remove from the oven, let cool thoroughly, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes 55 to 65 marble-sized treats.
Its almost storm season! And as we saw here in the Arkansas area it got pretty nasty last year. The storms left a disaster in their wake such as Joplin, Arkansas. Have you stopped and thought about your pets if a natural disaster was to strike your area? Are you prepared for your family and your pet? Here are some helpful tips that can help you be more prepared if a disaster is to strike your area. Most of this will be aimed at tornado disasters, but most will apply for all types.
Also, just as a reminder if you live in the Greenwood or Fort Smith area. Pets are allowed into the public tornado shelters in airline approved carriers ONLY! No animals are permitted to roam free, be held, or on leashes. This ensure the safety of the public and the animal. Tornado shelters open when the sirens are first sounded, they will be open no sooner than that.
1. Keep emergency pet supplies in a tornado safe room or cellar. Or close to your ‘safe area.’
- Make sure you have an adequate amount of food and water.
- Have sanitary supplies such as a litter box and puppy pads. Also keep disposable baggies for clean up.
- Have a crate to provide a secure place to weather the storm.
- A pet first aid kit is always handy in-case of minor injury’s such as scrapes and wounds.
2. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and has proper identification.
- Your pets identification should include your name and a number you can be reached.
- Your pets name should also be included.
- An up to date and valid rabies tag with your Veterinarians information. Your animal can be identified by their Veterinarian with the rabies tag number.
- Having your pet micro-chipped will also help rescuers locate the animals owner in case your pet is lost.
3. Practice getting your pets into the tornado-safe area.
- Locate your pets favorite hiding areas and become familiar with them. Practice removing your pet from this area safely. Animals will go to their favorite hiding places when they are scared, knowing where they will most likely be will help you locate them and remove them safely and in a timely manner.
- Do your best to train your dog to go to the tornado-safe area on command or come to you even when there are distractions.
- Practice getting your pets to your safe area quickly and safely.
- Learn to quickly and safely secure your pets.
4. Make your tornado-safe area pet friendly.
- Close off or eliminate any nooks or crannies where cats may try to hide.
- Move dangerous items such as tools or toxic products that have been stored in that area.
5. If you have to evacuate, take your pets and their emergency supplies with you. Never leave your pets behind if you can help it.
- Its always a good idea to keep a record of your pets information in a waterproof keeper. Records can include rabies certificate, vaccination history, micro-chip number and company information, any medical information that might come in handy in the case of a disaster.
6. Take special care of your pets after a tornado has passed.
Your home may be a very different place after a disaster, which can be very distressing for your pets.
- Don’t allow your pets to roam loose. Familiar landmarks and smells might be gone, and your pet will probably be disoriented. Pets can easily get lost in such situations.
- While you assess the damage, keep dogs on leashes and keep cats in carriers inside the house. If your house is damaged, they could escape and become lost.
- Be patient with your pets after a disaster. Try to get them back into their normal routines as soon as possible, and be ready for behavioral problems that may result from the stress of the situation. If behavioral problems persist, or if your pet seems to be having any health problems, talk to your veterinarian.
Fires can be devastating to anyone. Fires are unpredictable and can happen at anytime anywhere. Here are some pointers on how to keep your pet safe in the case of a fire.
Take safe measures so that you are ready and prepared.
- Make sure all smoke detectors are working properly and check the batteries.
- Having a smoke detector that is wired into your houses security system is always helpful. In the case that you are not home this could help to save your pets life.
- Pet rescue window stickers are a great way to alert firefighters or rescuers that there are pets in the home, how many, what kind and where they like to hide. Since pet owners are not always home when a fire is started, a Pet Rescue Fire Safety window sticker will alert firefighters that there are pets in the home. This simple sticker could save your pets life!
- Locate your pets favorite hiding places in case of a fire. Knowing where they like to go to feel safe or when they are scared can help to save their life. Mapping out these places on paper and including them in your fire escape plan is essential.
- Keep outdoor pets away from danger. Clear any brush that could fuel a wildfire. This will give you extra time to remove them from cages or pens.
- Micro-chipping your pet and keeping a collar with identification tags is a must. If your pet escapes and runs away their chances of being located and returned to you are greatly increased as apposed to a pet with no identification.
- Prepare an emergency kit for each pet. The kit should contain some of your pet’s food, his veterinary paperwork, prescription medications, if any, and photo/description of your pet. You may have to board your pet at a kennel or other facility until you get settled after a fire, and they will require proof that your pet has current vaccinations.
- Always evacuate your pet on a leash or in a carrier. This will keep them from bolting and creating a risk of getting lost.
- Leave an outside door open. In the case you cannot find your pet and must evacuate leave a door open. Once you are safely outside call for your pet. With luck they will respond to your voice and come to you. Most animals will try to escape from a fire and will try to get outside.
With a little planning you can help increase your pets chance of survival during a house fire. Remember, do not go back into a burning house once you have made it outside. Notify the firefighters that you have pets inside your home if you could not safely remove your pets yourself. Time is crucial with fires, do your best to prepare.
Floods aren’t as likely to happen in our area but its always to be prepared.
- Having a suitable carrier on hand is one of the most basic, yet most important, steps you can take for protecting your pet in case of a flood. Often, families are forced to leave their pets behind because they do not have a carrier to transport them in. A carrier can be picked up at almost any pet supply store, as well as large retailers like WalMart or Target. They are relatively affordable and an incredibly important part of any pet disaster plan.
- In addition to a pet carrier, have a pet care kit ready if you think a flood evacuation may take place. Be sure to include a bowl, pet food and extra water, as well as any medications your pet may be dependent on. If necessary, have a leash and collar on hand as well. Keep in mind pets that may not normally run away could react differently under the stress and may need to be leashed.
- If water rises quickly, keep in mind flood safety tips. Flood water that is shallow enough for an adult to walk in may carry away children and pets. It is not safe to drive a car through deep water. If your area floods, get to higher ground as quickly as possible and try to get in touch with a local rescue service. Depending on the area you live in, there may be a pet rescue service that can help keep your pet safe. Additionally, there are stickers you can put near the entrance of your home to inform rescue workers of how many and what types of pets you have. If for some reason you and your family are forced to leave your pets behind, something like this could help save their lives.
- Since our pets can become such a special part of our families, having a pet disaster plan in place in case of a flood is important and can save your pet’s life. Always keep in mind the importance of keeping your family safe and complying with local authorities in any disaster situation.
Keep this information in mind this storm season. Always remember that your family needs to come first, but with proper planning you can save both your family and your pets lives! Contact your local Veterinarian and your local police department for disaster protocols in your area. For additional information check out these web pages.
The following is disaster plans for large animals.
- Small breed dogs tend to live longer than large breed dogs. Toy breed dogs can live up to 16 years or more. Larger dogs average is 7-12 years. Veterinary medicine have extended this estimate by about three years. However, some breeds, such as the Tibetan Terrier can live as long as 20 years!
- Once your pet has reached a geriatric stage in life which is considered 7 years of age or older, it is always good to see your Veterinarian every six months and have a blood profile run to make sure they are in good health. Watch for signs of arthritis such as trouble getting up, whining, or limping.
- Old age in animals can bring on some ailments just as old age would in us humans! Some animals may go deaf or blind but this doesn’t mean they can’t live a happy life. It will take some adjusting but animals learn to adapt fairly quickly, just be patient.
- Having your pet on a proper and healthy diet, routine visits to their Veterinarian, and lots of love will ensure a long and healthy life for your pet!