An Introduction to Basic Dog Training

An Introduction to Basic Dog Training

Even if you don’t plan to take your dog to competitive sporting events, or to take him with you on hunting trips, you still need to give him basic dog training. Dog training teaches your dog to be comfortable around others, walk on a leash, listen to your commands, and obedience. These all help to keep him safe and ensure he always responds to you.

No doubt teaching your dog the basics will take time, but once he learns them, you and he can be safer in any type of situation.

Top Basic Dog Training Tips

  • Dog training should always be fun for both you and your dog.
  • It also helps to exercise his brain.
  • Training him yourself helps you build a great relationship between the two of you.
  • Always use positive reinforcement, and never punish your dog when training him.
  • Never physically force your dog to do something – always show him how.
  • Be consistent with your commands, keeping them to one word and your dog’s name.
  • Exercise patience and never frighten your dog. He just wants to please you, so offer plenty of praise.
  • Training sessions should be short because you want to keep them fun, not boring – 10 to 15 minutes is enough.
  • Never train in busy areas full of distractions – save going to these once he learns to listen completely to your commands.

What you will need for your dog’s introduction to dog training

  1. Your dog, a positive mindset, loads of praise, and realistic expectations!
  2. Initially, an area free of distractions, but this can change once he starts listening to your commands.
  3. Treats that are nibble-sized are one of the best rewards at the beginning, but you can also offer a toy. If the treats are too large, they will fill your dog up too quickly – you want to train him, not fatten him up!
  4. A short and long leash.

Best age for dog training

Simple training can start from as young as a few weeks, so the minute you bring your puppy home start with simple obedience training. The younger your puppy learns to listen to you, the faster you will be able to take him everywhere.

When you start to train your dog, it doesn’t understand what each word means. You need to make sure that he associates the word of the command with the action you want him to take by indicating the action. Therefore, one example is the word “sit”; saying it is not enough, you must indicate he has to place his rear end on the floor.

 What are the basic commands every dog must learn?

According to the Dogs Trust Organization in the UK, five basic commands are essential for every dog to learn. These are: sit, stay, down, come, and walking on a lead.

Even introduction to dog training takes time and patience, but every dog owner has a responsibility to make sure they offer their dog this fundamental training. Proper training and socializing a dog may be trying, but if you don’t have the time or patience, get expert assistance. Professional dog trainers can help you train your dog, and they can help you correct problem behavior if needed.

Have plenty of treats handy when teaching your dog these basic commands.

1. Teaching your dog to “sit”

  • Let your dog stand in front of you.
  • Have a treat in your hand, and show it to him.
  • Move your hand with the treat above and over his head towards his tail, and say the command “sit.”
  • Usually, his head will go up as he tries to reach the treat and his bottom down into the ‘sit’ position.
  • Don’t push his bottom to force him to sit because he may push up, something which can result in a back injury.
  • Be consistent and always use the same command, otherwise, you may confuse your dog. Remember: the command is always “sit” because “sit down” will end up confusing him when you try to teach him the “down” command.
  • Once he sits, give him the treat and offer praises.

2. Teaching your dog the “down” command

  • Get your dog to sit and show your hand and the treat.
  • Move your hand down slowly towards the ground just in front of his feet as you give the command “down.” Your dog will follow your hand with his nose and lay down as commanded.
  • Offer him the treat and praise.
  • If you are having some trouble getting him to lie down it helps to place a coffee table or a chair between you and him before trying again. Your dog will have to get down under the barrier to get the treat, showing him what you expect him to do. Once he gets the knack of what you are trying to teach him, remove the barrier.
  • Once again, never push or force your dog’s back down.

3. Teaching your dog to stay

  • Ask your dog to sit or lay down.
  • Move back one step as you command him to “stay,” and count to three silently.
  • Step toward him, give him the treat, and praise him.
  • If he gets up, get him to sit again and repeat the “stay” command.
  • Once he masters the ‘stay’ command, gradually increase the distance or time between you and him. If he gets up before he should, decrease the distance or time again before gradually increasing again until you are satisfied that he is listening to your command every time.

4. Teaching your dog to come

  • With your dog on the leash and in the down, sit or stay position, walk a short distance and say “come” while indicating with your hand.
  • Don’t pull on the lead.
  • If you see that your dog is hesitant to follow, get closer to his level when giving him the command. This makes him feel more comfortable.
  • When your dog reaches you, reward him with the treat.
  • Once your dog is doing this every time, practice doing it with you in the standing position.
  • As he gets better, start training him without the leash on in a fenced area. He might be hesitant to do this without the leash, you can use the long leash for a while until he is happy to do it without the leash.
  • Finally, you should never leave your dog without a leash anywhere until he has learned this command properly. Read up on the leash laws before having your dog off-leash in public areas.

5. Teaching your dog to walk on a leash without pulling

Leash walking is very important if you want to enjoy pleasant walks with your dog. First practice at home, where there are fewer distractions.

  • Choose the side that you prefer for your dog to walk on.
  • Always hold the lead in the opposite hand, keeping it loose, and have a treat in the hand closest to your dog.
  • Before walking forward, show your dog the treat.
  • As he follows your hand, say “heel” and give him the treat.
  • With another treat in your hand, keep going. After a short distance, as he keeps to your side, say “heel”, and give him the next treat without stopping.
  • If your dog doesn’t keep up with you or pulls in another direction, change direction suddenly to distract him and encourage him to come with you.
  • When he catches up, praise him, and give him a treat.
  • Keep this up until he understands what he’s supposed to do.

Dogs love to explore the area they are walking in. They do this by sniffing everything around them for the scent left by other dogs. When you are walking with him, allow your dog to sniff around. You can teach your dog to know when he is allowed to sniff around and when not by giving him a command.

Phasing out treats with secondary reinforcements

When you first start basic dog training, your dog needs to see the food in your hand. This allows you to capture his attention and to guide him to do what you are teaching him. But, as your dog is keener to comply, start hiding the food in your hand as you continue giving your training commands. Always reward his obedience with a treat and praise.

Your dog will soon come to expect a treat each time he completes a task, and you don’t want that. Gradually move on giving the food treat randomly during his training time, and only offering praise and an affectionate pat for each completed task.  Soon your dog will respond to all the rewards eagerly, including secondary reinforcement like kind words or affectionate pat. Secondary reinforcement is important because you won’t always have food around to get your pet to obey you, and you don’t want a dog that only obeys because it is getting a treat.

In the beginning, you will only be asking your dog to perform tasks during his training sessions, but with time, get him to practice the things he has learned randomly.

Final take on Dog Training

The introduction to dog training can be tough, and if you or your dog ever feel overawed, consider training classes. Additionally, if you are training a young puppy, you should know that sometimes they go through a period of anxiety and fear. This is at around 14 to 16 weeks. Under no circumstances must you overwhelm or push your puppy. Be gentle and supportive, and he will soon overcome this stage.

Like basic training, dog grooming is an essential part of your dog’s routine. A clean and well-groomed dog is happier when it is going through the routine of learning good behavior. Pet owners and pet groomers connect here at

Pets and Their Care as Owners Go Back to Work After Lock-down

Pets and Their Care as Owners Go Back to Work After Lock-down

Over a year has passed since the initial lock-down was implemented to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Most people across the globe had limited access to others during this time, and pet ownership and adoptions increased almost everywhere. Even for those that were already pet owners, the bond between pet owners and their pets increased during this difficult time. 

Vaccines are rolling out at a fast pace, meaning that restrictions are gradually being lifted. As we prepare to return to the office, we can’t help feeling concerned about how being away from home will affect our pets. 

Pets thrive on routine and theirs changed as dramatically as yours. They have gotten used to having you around at home all day. There is no doubt that initially, your pet will be shocked not to have you around. The adjustment curve will be bigger for any new pets you acquired or adopted over the last year. 

Here is a short guide to help you prepare your pets for your return to work. The earlier you prepare them the easier the transition is!

How to prepare your dog for your absence?

The best way to prepare your dog for your absence is to start making gradual changes to its routine for a few weeks before you return to work. Dogs adapt easily to changes, but when these are sprung on them at short notice, they can become anxious and suffer from separation related problems.

Often, working from home means a complete change of routine for you, and this also changes the routine of your beloved dog. Perhaps you were getting out of bed later in the morning because you didn’t have to worry about the commute or dropping the kids off at school. That means you have also probably adjusted your dog’s feeding, walking, and playing routine.

Without a doubt, your dog has probably enjoyed having you around all day. Dogs left alone for too long tend to struggle because they are social animals. Remember if you have been at home all this time, your dog will struggle with the changes your return to work will bring. 

1) Create a new routine

The whole idea is to get your dog used to the way things will be once you are back at work. This includes your dog’s feeding and walking time, especially if you changed these during the lockdown. To prevent frustration and anxiety, start with gradual changes to your dog’s daily schedule.  

  • Start well before it is time to return to work.
  • Make sure to slowly ease into the feeding and walking adjustments that will match your working hours. 
  • Changing your dog’s feeding place can help to alleviate separation anxiety. Start feeding your dog somewhere away from you. This is a trick to teach your dog that it can still enjoy his feed, even if he is separated from you. 
  • This new routine may appear strange for your dog at first, but if it was a routine from before the lockdown, your dog will soon re-adapt to it. Even a new dog will quickly learn to accept the new routine. 
  • Even if you did go out a bit during the lockdown, your dog probably got used to many more hours of interaction with you. Prepare him for less time together – decrease the attention you give him and increase the time he spends alone. 

2) Prepare your pet for longer alone time

Start preparing your dog by not playing with him every time he seeks attention. However, if you completely ignore your dog, you will confuse him. Instead, offer him something better to do while you carry on doing something else. This can be a little treat or a new toy. 

  • Give your dog clear signals that can help it understand when you are too busy to interact or when you have some time to play. Offer your dog interactive or chew toys during your “busy time.” 
  • Start easing your interaction time to the hours you will be available once you are back at work. 
  • Another thing you can do is to gradually start leaving the house for longer every day, gradually building up your absent time to the hours you will be away at work. Most dogs will ease well into your longer absences, but if you notice any signs of distress, consult a qualified dog behavior specialist.  

3) Getting used to a new walking routine

  • If you are going to rely on the services of a dog walker once again, you will need to reintroduce them. Your dog might initially be very apprehensive or super excited, so be prepared to join them the first few times to offer your dog support. 
  • If you adopted a dog during the lockdown, you will need to support him the first few times he goes out with the new dog walker, especially if you were the only person walking him during the lockdown. 

4) Do you need to retrain your dog?

Re-training your dog will make your departure less stressful. Start training your dog with gradual changes. Reward-based training gives the best results. Offer small treats and interesting pet toys to reduce stress and distract your pet while you are away. 

If you stopped crate training during the lockdown or have never tried it, start it gradually. Crate training is invaluable in teaching your dog to happily accept alone time. 

5) Relieve stress with exercise

Increase the amount of time you exercise your dog in the morning before leaving for work. This will rid your dog of excess energy, making him so tired that he will spend the rest of the day sleeping instead of being anxious. 

6) Daycare for your dog

Pet daycare may be the best solution for your dog if you work long hours. Here he can socialize and play in a safe environment, forgetting that you are now away from him for long hours. There are concerns about COVID-19 and pets, so make sure the daycare you choose is taking all the necessary safety precautions. 

How to prepare your cat for your absence?

Each cat has an individual personality. Unlike dogs, who thrive on attention from their owners, not all cats enjoy human companionship. Some cats may have enjoyed spending so much time with their owners during the lockdown, while others may have preferred finding a quiet spot.

Whichever kind of cat you have, you still need to know that they are sensitive to any changes in their routine which can lead to stress once you return to work. Therefore, it is important to make gradual changes to your cat’s routine to help it adjust. 

1) Interaction time

Start reducing the amount of interaction you have with your cat gradually. This will help prepare it for your long absence during the day. Reduced interaction time often causes frustration and stress in cats. If your cat is already happy with less interaction, adjust the hours you interact with it to match your working hours. 

2) Take note of your cat’s behavior

Watch your cat’s behavior before and once you return to work, this will help you learn a lot about what it likes and how it is feeling. Once you get back to work, your observations will help you understand any changes in your cat’s behavior. 

If your cat seeks more interaction and plays more roughly with you, it could be frustrated and bored. Offer it the playtime and interaction it wants. Then again, if it is quiet, withdrawn, or more irritable, your cat could be stressed and could want some quiet time in a quiet space. Leave your cat alone, it will come to you in its own time.

Once you do go back to work, make sure to spend quality time with your pet in the morning before leaving, and when you return. Play with it and take it through its favorite grooming routine. 

3) Gradually make the changes to your cat’s routine

There are various steps you can take to ensure you prepare your cat properly for your return to work.

  • All changes in your cat’s routine must be introduced gradually until they match your working hours – including your cat’s feeding and its playtime.  
  • Offer your cat interesting hiding places and some elevated resting places. These areas help your cat to relieve stress since they provide a safe place to hide when it’s feeling anxious. 
  • Don’t add to your cat’s stress by over handling it or trying to comfort it, especially if it doesn’t want to. If you pick your cat up or follow it when it’s already stressed, you make it more anxious. Let your cat choose when to come to you for comfort. 
  • While you are at work, help to alleviate boredom by providing your cat with interesting toys, puzzle feeders, and scratching posts. This is especially necessary if your cat is kept indoors. 
  • You will be a lot busier after the lockdown, but make sure you offer your cat some quality time every day. 

4) Following your cats’ cues

As we said earlier, dogs are a social species, whereas cats mostly thrive in small family groups, often not minding a solitary life. Therefore, cats sometimes seem standoffish and very independent, often ignoring their human owners.   

Even if your cat is an independent character, it can still get stressed once you return to work. Make the transition as stress-free and smooth as possible. Once you do go back to work, you’ll probably be very excited to return to your cat after a long day. 

Try to not get over-excited as you greet your cat after a day away. Keep calm, and wait for cues from it to see if it feels like playing or being alone. If your cat approaches you with its tail held up and pointed, then it feels like getting some attention. If your cat is hiding on your return home, it will come out when it’s ready to play. 

Final take

These are the simple steps to follow as you help your pets adjust to your longer absences. With both cats and dogs, it is vital to make gradual changes to their new routine. 

Grooming continues to play an important role in the lives of your pets, contributing to their well-being and health. If you were grooming your pets yourself during the lockdown, you may find that you don’t have the time to groom once you are back at work. 

Connect with a local pet groomer, and make an appointment for your pet’s grooming session today. Your pet will love you for it!

Importance of Cat Grooming for Your Cat

Importance of Cat Grooming for Your Cat

Our amazing feline friends are very clean by nature and they can spend hours grooming themselves daily. Despite the amount of time your cat spends daily to smooth down its coat, clean its paw pads, and wash its face, it still needs some cat grooming aid from you. 

Regularly grooming your cat is vital because of its well-being. It is the best way for you to observe any changes to its fur, skin, teeth, and nails that may indicate any health issues or the presence of parasites. 

Your cat’s grooming routine needs to be pleasant for both of you. Approach the whole process gently and slowly. Always stop if your cat appears uncomfortable, and just repeat the process later. The best way to start getting your cat accustomed to grooming is from when it is quite young. Offer rewards for good behavior until it becomes accustomed to your pampering. 

Benefits of brushing for Cat Grooming

Regular brushing, especially for longer-haired cats, helps remove dead hair and dirt from its coat. In turn, this ensures your cat’s fur doesn’t matt to the point where it becomes unmanageable. Brushing also helps prevent a buildup of hairballs in your cat’s digestive system. 

Hairballs are a result of your cat’s natural grooming habits. Their tongues are specially designed with tiny hook-like growths to remove the hair they are shedding. Normally, the hair passes through their digestive tract, but sometimes some hair stays behind in their stomachs. As the hair collects in the stomach, gradually a hairball is formed. This your cat will present to you by vomiting it out of its esophagus, leaving the cleaning up for you.

 Another benefit of brushing your cat regularly is a huge decrease in the number of hairs it sheds in your home. A final bonus – brushing allows you to have positive interactions with your cat, leading to better bonding between you. 

Brushing tips:

  • Brush your cat at least once a week if it is short-haired and more often for a long-haired breed. 
  • Get the right grooming tools for brushing your cat. Bristle brushes and grooming mitts are popular, but if in doubt ask a cat groomer or your veterinarian. 
  • Before using the brush, allow your cat to familiarize itself with it.  
  • Start by brushing gently, where she likes to be stroked. This is usually under the chin and along the back. 
  • As your cat grows accustomed to the brushing, it becomes more comfortable. Start introducing a gentle brushing of its abdomen, tail, and legs. 
  • If your cat may start to object when you introduce new areas, go back to brushing those areas it prefers.
  • Initially, your cat’s grooming sessions need to be short, work toward gradually increasing the time until it sits through a whole brushing session.  

Should you bathe your cat? 

Bathing is not typically necessary for your cat unless it has stubborn dirt that can’t easily be removed, your cat can’t groom itself, or has a skin condition that requires bathing. 

You can bathe your cat at home, but if you feel it will be difficult take it to a professional pet groomer. 

Home bathing tips:

  • Always use a mild shampoo for cats and warm water.
  • Only wash your cat’s body with shampoo.
  • Wipe its face with a damp washcloth. 
  • The whole process needs to be gentle and fast to reduce stress. 

Cat Shaving

Long-haired cats often suffer terribly during the hotter months. Shaving can help keep it cool and comfortable. Some people also shave their cats to keep their fur mat-free. Don’t undertake shaving on your own because you may accidentally nick your cat. A pet grooming salon or your veterinarian knows how to do it safely. 

Cats and Nail Trimming

You may notice that your cat’s nails are sometimes rough or prickly. The cause of this can be because it was caught on a mat or your furniture. Your cat should get used to having its nails trimmed regularly for its own comfort and to prevent it from scratching you when you play. But, before attempting to trim its nails, you must first get it used to having its paws touched. 

As always, start slowly by touching its paws. Do this by gently pressing on one of its paw pads when it is sitting calmly by you. You will notice that with a gentle push onto the paw pad, your cat’s nails extend. 

Once your cat gets used to this, you can attempt cutting its nails. Only trim the white tips of its nails. Avoid the quick, which is in the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves. If you do cut it, it causes discomfort and bleeding. 

Nail trimming tips: 

  • Place your cat on your lap, facing away from you. 
  • Hold your cat gently as you trim its nails. 
  • Press on each paw to extend its nails and gently trim the tips.
  • You can repeat this every two to three weeks. 
  • Your cat should get accustomed to nail trimming if you don’t take too long. It is a painless procedure. 
  • If you or your cat aren’t comfortable, a grooming professional is the best option. 

Paw Care 

 Clean paws are important for your cat’s overall health. Besides walking on them, your cat uses its paws for its grooming routine, and any dirt there will inevitably find its way into your cat’s mouth. Remove any thorns and wipe its paws with a damp cloth regularly. 

Importance of dental care as a part of Cat Grooming

Cats living in the wild have a different diet to your house cat. They keep their teeth clean by chewing on bones or grass. Remember, your cat can’t tell you if it is in pain, so preventative dental hygiene is the best way to ensure its ultimate health. Regularly check the state of your cat’s teeth and gums to ensure that there are no obvious issues.

Eight out of ten cats over the age of three have problems with their teeth and gums, caused by bacteria, plaque, and debris. Plaque forms on the outside of their teeth from the food they eat. With time, this coating of germs hardens to form tartar which starts to irritate their gums and leads to gingivitis. All this can eventually lead to tooth loss. If the tartar scale goes unnoticed, the condition is irreversible. 

Any inflammation in your cat’s mouth can make it difficult for it to eat or drink. In some cases, the bacteria can enter its bloodstream, damaging the kidneys or other vital organs.

Periodontal disease is the most common disease in cats, but it is preventable with good oral hygiene and an annual visit to the veterinarian. 

Check your cat’s mouth regularly for any signs of dental issues. Its teeth should be white, clean, and free of chips. Check for any foreign objects, like string, stuck between the teeth. Its gums and the rest of its mouth must have a healthy pink color with no signs of ulcers, bumps, redness, bleeding, or swelling.

Take note of your cat’s breath too. A bad odor usually indicates infection, either in the mouth or somewhere else in its body. A check-up is the best way to determine the cause. Other signs that could indicate dental disease include drooling, difficulty swallowing, changes in weight or eating patterns, and pawing at the face.

Keeping your cat’s teeth and gums healthy is not difficult with regular tooth brushing. This should be done at least twice a week, but you can also do it daily. It’s vital to get your cat used to this from when it’s a kitten, otherwise, it will resist. 

Teeth brushing tips: 

  • The sooner you start, the quicker your kitten will get used to having its teeth brushed. 
  • Use a piece of gauze covered in toothpaste specially made for cats. 
  • You can also use a rubber toothbrush or finger brush specially designed for cats. 
  • Never use your toothpaste on your cat because the fluoride is bad for them.
  • Never use dental floss on your cat because it may swallow it, causing intestinal damage. 
  • You can buy a complete dental care kit from a pet store, groomer, or veterinary clinic. 
  • Try covering your finger in some liquid from a can of tuna to make the experience more pleasant. 
  • Cradle your cat from behind and gently tilt its head back.
  • Lift its chin to open its mouth, making it easier for you to access its teeth.

Other cat grooming tips 

  • From the beginning, get your cat used to a daily paw massage. Do this by running your hand down each of its legs, and gently squeezing the center of the paws. This is the first step to getting your cat used to nail trims. 
  • It is easier to groom your cat on a countertop with it facing away from you. Otherwise, try sitting on the floor with your cat between your legs. Some cats feel most comfortable when you are sitting in a chair, holding them in your lap.
  • If your cat has severely matted hair, don’t cut it with a scissor. It’s best to let a pet groomer handle the situation.  
  • Your cat’s whiskers are critical to its safety. NEVER cut or trim them.  
  • Watch out for any signs indicating a health issue and call your veterinarian clinic. These include too much or too little grooming. Sometimes problems like obesity and arthritis make it difficult for your cat to reach certain areas of its body. If you notice your cat licking, biting, or scratching more than usual, it could have a skin or behavioral issue. 

Cat grooming plays a vital role in your cat’s well-being and is a great opportunity for you to bond. However, if you find it too traumatic to maintain your cat’s physical appearance, find a pet groomer near you:

Everything You Need to Know Before Deciding on Getting A Cat

Everything You Need to Know Before Deciding on Getting A Cat

Kittens are so cute, but so are older cats. Many people prefer cats to dogs, saying they are easier pets than dogs, but many people getting a cat for the first time don’t realize they are inquisitive and active. Cats require a lot of commitment and care. 

Here are some things you need to know before deciding on getting a cat. 

What to expect from a cat?

Kittens are very different from adult cats because they have unlimited energy and curiosity. This means they require far more time from you before they reach cat adulthood. 

Generally, cats love affection and playtime and are both important for socializing them properly as kittens. When young, cats need plenty of supervision to keep them out of trouble, so they are exhausting. 

Cats have an average lifespan of between 13 and 17 years, but many cats exceed this and live to over 20 years of age. 

The kitten stage passes very quickly, so enjoy it. This is the time to create that special bond that will last its entire life.

Choosing a kitten

  • A kitten should be at least 8 weeks old and should preferably still be with its mom when you get it. 
  • If you are adopting a cat or kitten from a shelter, find out as much as you can from the staff. If the kitten was hand-reared, it may have behavioral issues and lack confidence. 
  • Kittens born in a home environment rather than outdoors, adapt easier. 
  • Socialization from a young age is vital for a kitten’s development. 
  • Make sure the kitten and its mum are both healthy. 
  • If buying from a breeder, they must provide a health certificate, but adopting is always better
  • Learn about the different cat breeds.
  • If you have your heart set on a pedigree kitten, do some research and be aware of inherited problems. The kitten and its parents must be registered with the official body for their pedigree and be vaccinated. 

Things to consider before choosing your cat

Can you provide the right environment for a cat? Cats need to be in a safe environment, and preferably indoors. Cats will jump from balconies and can get injured, sometimes fatally, so you need to protect them. 

Does a cat fit into your lifestyle?  Cats are not as demanding as dogs and don’t need to exercise outdoors. However, they need attention and socializing. 

Can you meet the needs of a cat?

  • Care for its health
  • Provide companionship
  • Make sure it behaves
  • Lives in a good environment 
  • Feed it a healthy diet

Should you choose a kitten or an adult cat?  Kittens are both rewarding and demanding. Adult cats are more independent and mature. 

What about food? 

Kittens should remain with their mother until they are at least eight weeks old and fully weaned. This is the age they are also able to regulate their body temperature. 

In situations where you are caring for a kitten younger than eight weeks, you need to keep it warm and must bottle-feed with special kitten formula. Baby kittens need food every 2 hours. 

If you are taking home a weaned kitten, it is ready to eat solid food. Find out what the kitten was eating and if you decide to change its food, do it gradually. Slowly change from one brand to the other by gradually increasing the amount of the new feed into the old one. This is to prevent any digestive problems. 

Always make sure to feed your cat good quality food for each stage of its development. Kittens grow fast and need specially formulated food rich in calories and proteins. This assists their growth and is easier for your kitten to digest. Always feed the kitten at regular times and make sure to always leave a bowl of clean water next to its food. 

Feeding guide for cats:  

  • Until 6 months: A kitten needs to eat 3 to four times per day because of its rapid development. At this stage, the best is to leave a bowl of cat kibble and to let the kitten eat freely throughout the day. 
  • Between 6 and nine months: At this stage, your kitten is entering adolescence and its growth slows. It needs fewer calories and must eat twice a day. 
  • Between 9 and twelve months: By the time your cat reaches twelve months, it has reached adulthood. From nine months, start transitioning to adult food. From here on, you need to make sure it’s not overfed, otherwise, your cat may become overweight. 

Contrary to popular belief, cats must not drink milk or cream because they can’t digest these properly and they can cause diarrhea.  Other foods that can harm your cat include raw meat, avocados, grapes, and anything with yeast. Find out about other foods your cat shouldn’t eat.

Training a kitten

Training your kitten to use its litter box is the first training task to undertake. Kittens learn this by watching their mothers. When you bring a fully weaned kitten home, you will just have to show it where the litter box is and keep showing it, until it doesn’t require prompting anymore. 

Establishing and reinforcing boundaries is also part of its training, allowing your kitten to adapt to your household rules. Kittens are actually very smart, and with patience, can be trained to do many things. 

Always apply positive reinforcement for all training with treats and praise. Never speak harshly, hit, or shake a cat or kitten to punish it. If your cat behaves badly ignore it or redirect its attention elsewhere, and always praise good behavior. If everything else fails, confine your cat to its quiet area for a while. 

Socializing a kitten

Kittens usually have a curious nature and are quite fearless. However, they need socializing if they are to grow into well-balanced adult cats. Playing with a kitten and offering comfort is part of its socializing, but also take the time to introduce it to new smells, sounds, and other sensory requirements. 

Cats must learn to wear a collar, ride in a car, pet carrier, and be groomed from a young age. Sometimes all these new activities can cause your over stimulation or frighten your kitten, offer it lots of comfort and reassurance. 

Exercise and Play 

Besides socializing and training, cats need exercise. Playing is the best exercise because it helps keep your cat healthy allows you to bond. The more a kitten plays, the better it sleeps. Games cats like to play include chasing a light beam across the room and chasing a toy mouse on a string.

Cat’s and their sleeping habits

Kittens need between 16 and 20 hours of sleep daily. They need to feel safe, warm, and cozy. Make sure to provide yours with a comfortable bed to snuggle in. Kittens may wake up and meow during the night. Don’t be tempted to get up, otherwise, they will expect it. Ignore them, and they soon learn nighttime is sleep time. 

Your cat’s health

Whether you get a kitten or adult cat, you should take it for a health check to your veterinarian within the first few days. The vet will check for parasites, feline leukemia, and any other health issues, and administer any vaccinations your cat hasn’t had yet

This is the time to find out when booster shots are needed and to schedule them. Your vet will also advise you on a flea and parasite control regimen. 

Cats breed three times a year, and overpopulation is a serious problem leading to neglect and a growing number of cats end up in animal shelters. Discuss spaying or neutering your cat with your vet. The pros are that your cat will live a longer, healthier life. Also, female cats are prone to breast cancer and a uterus infection known as pyometra if not spayed. 

How to cat-proof your home?

Kittens are like babies, but even when fully grown, cats are very curious, loving to play and explore. When you decide to bring a cat home, you need to make sure your home is a safe environment for them. Remember that cats can climb everywhere so prepare your home accordingly. 

  • All dangerous objects like hair elastics, string, window blind cords, and power chords must be in drawers because they pose a choking and strangling hazard. 
  • Close vents, dangerous areas, and place screens on your windows. Cats face many dangers outdoors. 
  • Move sensitive electronic equipment out of reach. 
  • Some plants, like lilies, cyclamen, azaleas, etc., are toxic to cats. 
  • Store all household cleaners and chemicals in cupboards.
  • Get a comfortable bed and place it in a quiet, safe area.
  •  Some good toys will keep your cat entertained during its most active hours. 
  • Scratching is a natural behavior in cats, so provide a scratching post to prevent it from scratching your precious furniture. 
  • Have a litter tray ready for your cat’s arrival. 
  • Buy good quality food. 
  • Get bowls for food and water, and place them away from the litter box.
  • Cats cannot be transported easily in cars because they move all over. Buy a comfortable cat carrier to transport your new cat home, for traveling, and going to the veterinarian. 
  • Other things you can get for your new kitten are ID tags, a self-opening collar, cat brush, toothpaste, and toothbrush. 
  • Finally, make sure the family, especially the kids and other pets, are ready for the new arrival. Kittens are fragile and can feel overwhelmed. Explain the need to be gentle and establish rules for interaction and feeding times. 
  • Prepare an area where your new kitten will feel safe until it adjusts to the rest of the family. Only introduce your kitten to your other pets after it has been to the veterinarian for its shots and it has been given a clean bill of health. 

Cat Grooming

We all know that cats groom themselves, but they do need regular grooming too. Cats with longer fur need weekly brushing to prevent problems with hairballs. Cats must have regular nail clipping (about once every three weeks). Never have your cat declawed; this is a very painful procedure that amputates the end of its claws. 

Cats scratch their nails because they shed the outer nail, revealing the new nail underneath, and that’s why a tall scratching post is necessary. Sprinkling it with catnip a few times a month keeps your cat interested in it. 

Only clean your cat’s outer ears gently, and never clean the ear canal because it can lead to trauma. Tooth brushing is a difficult task with cats, but it’s important to prevent any mouth diseases and gingivitis. 

Your cat keeps itself clean, but you may need to bathe it once in a while. Use a hand-held shower spray, lukewarm water, and gentle cat shampoo. 

Pet groomers are well trained to undertake all your cats grooming tasks. If you need to find a groomer near you then look no further than:

What Cat Breed is Best for Me?

What Cat Breed is Best for Me?

North America is packed with pet lovers. However, before deciding on buying a pet, you need to make an informed decision about which pet best suits your lifestyle and family. Cats make wonderful pets, but many end up in animal shelters because their owners bought them on an impulse. Learn more about cats and the various breeds to help you decide what cat breed is best for me.

Do cats make good pets?

Feline lovers will tell you cats make the best pets, and we agree. Cats are cute, entertaining, affectionate, and wonderful companions. Most important, they are easy to house-train, don’t need to be taken for walks, and are quite low on maintenance. They are wonderful and adaptable indoor pets.

Popular Cat Breeds

According to the Cat Fancier’s Association, there are 45 distinct breeds of cats. Cats without a pedigree or lineage are called domestic cats and don’t fall into any of the distinct breeds. Other than purebred cats, some are crossbred with wild felines. These cats are called hybrids.

Some cat breeds are more popular than others because of their physical appearance and character traits. Some breeds are also popular because of their longer lifespans. Around the world, feline lovers are mostly attracted to these breeds:


  • Life expectancy: 12 years
  • Height and weight: Maximum height of 14 inches and weight is between 6 to 14 pounds.

This cat breed originates from Siam, the country now known as Thailand. Siamese cats usually have short hair, long slender bodies and legs, and a larger head. However, the Siamese can also have a chubbier body with an apple-like head.

Their distinctive features are the areas of coloration on their face, ears, feet, and tail. These are called “points.” Siamese cats have blue eyes and usually have chocolate, seal (dark brown), blue, or lilac coats. They are active, affectionate, intelligent, and vocal.


  • Life expectancy: 15 years
  • Height and weight: 11 to 13 inches in height and usually weigh between 10 and 20 pounds.

If you want a cat that will follow you around the house, then the Ragdoll is for you. Ragdolls have dog-like personalities. They also have docile temperaments and go limp when picked up, hence their name.

Looks-wise, Ragdolls resemble Siamese cats because they have similar color points. Their coat has medium-length hair in different colors and patterns. Ragdolls have distinctive blue eyes.


  • Life expectancy: 10 to 17 years
  • Height and Weight: Up to 18 inches and between 7 and 12 pounds.

For decades, Persians have been one of the most popular cat breeds. These beautiful creatures with their squashed-looking faces are affectionate, gentle, quiet, and calm. Persians are thought to originate from Persia (Iran) and evidence of their existence dates to at least one and a half thousand years B.C.

Persians have long fur coats in solid and bi-colors. They need regular grooming and occasional bathing. Being purebred, Persians are prone to some illnesses, including cardiac conditions.


  • Life expectancy: 10 and 16 years
  • Height and Weight: Maximum height of 16 inches and will weigh from 8 to 15 pounds.

These wild-looking cats may look like you took them out of the jungle, but are delightful pets. Bengals were originally bred with wildcat to give them their beautifully patterned coats. They get their name from the taxonomic name of the Asian Leopard.

They are a short-haired breed and Bengals can have many pattern variations including spots and rosettes. The patterns are in black, chocolate, and sometimes lighter colors like gray or silver. Their eyes are green or gold.

Maine Coon

  • Life expectancy: 9 to 15 years
  • Height and weight: Maximum 16 inches and between 9 and 17 pounds.

Maine Coons are known for their presence because they have a larger stature. They are the official cat of the state of Maine, where they hail from. Maine Coons were only recognized as a pure breed in the 1970s.

This popular breed is known for its great hunting skills but is actually a gentle giant. Their coat is double with long hair. Maine Coons have larger feet than most cat breeds, and many have extra toes. Their main color is tabby brown, but you can find them in 75 color combinations.


  • Life expectancy: 15 years
  • Height and weight: Maximum height of 10 inches and can weigh up to 12 pounds.

Originally from Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Abyssinians are elegant creatures. Even though they don’t prefer sitting on you, they are affectionate, curious, and playful. They love being around their “family” and are great explorers.

Abyssinians are short-haired with a red, orange, cinnamon, fawn, or blue agouti coat that has bands of darker or lighter coloring.


  • Life expectancy: 15 years
  • Height and weight: Up to 10 inches in height and 12 pounds in weight.

Birmans have color points like Siamese and Ragdoll cats, and Ragdolls were bred from them. Their marking and personalities are different from Ragdolls, even though they are similar in looks. They have deep blue eyes and a medium-long silky coat in a variety of colors, including tortoiseshell.

If you want a cat to love you exclusively, then a Birman is the best choice. These cats are social, fun, love attention, but prefer all this from just one person.


  • Life expectancy: Between 9 and 15 year
  • Height and weight: Up to 10 inches high and between 6 and 12 pounds heavy.

Sphynx is the ideal cat if you are looking for a breed that doesn’t shed. Don’t let their regal demeanor fool you; these gorgeous creatures are social, playful, active, and funny.

Even though they are hairless, they are available in a variety of colors, including black, red, lavender, calico, tortoiseshell, pointed, and tabby.

Oriental Shorthair

  • Life expectancy: 10 to 15 years
  • Height and weight: Up to 11 inches tall and can weigh up to 10 pounds.

Even though the Oriental Shorthair resembles a Siamese, it is a separate breed. Oriental Shorthairs have short smooth coats of hair in many colors and patterns. They mostly have green eyes, and you often see them wearing coats to protect them from the cold and sun. They are prone to skin cancers.

American Shorthair

  • Life expectancy: Up to 20 years
  • Height and weight: Maximum height of 10 inches and weigh a maximum of 15 pounds.

This all-American purebred cat has short ears and a round face. They have a gentle nature and are great companions. Above all, they also get along well with children and other pets. Their shorthaired coat comes in a wide variety of colors and color combinations.


  • Life expectancy: Approximately 15 years
  • Height and weight: Up to 12 inches tall and can weigh up to 12 pounds.

Himalayans are a cross between Persians and Siamese. They have dense undercoats and long overcoats with color points and patterns. These are usually grey-blue, lilac, cream, and chocolate in color.

They have sweet personalities, and people love them because they seek lots of attention and affection from their owners.

Devon Rex

  • Life expectancy: Up to 15 years
  • Height and weight: Maximum height is 12 inches and weighs up to 9 pounds.

These slender-bodied cats have enormous ears, and their hair is short, soft, and curly. Devon Rex cats are lively, cute, and very easy to train.

Mixed Breed

  • Life expectancy: 15 to 17 years
  • Weight and height: This varies because it depends on their breed mix.

If you are looking for a cat with unique features, intelligence, and friendly nature, then a mixed breed is perfect for you. These cats can be adopted from shelters or homes that are giving kittens away.  Even though mixed breeds don’t have a recognizable pedigree, they do have a rich and interesting history. Mixed breeds come in a variety of colors and sizes.

One thing is certain, domestic cats have been around for approximately 12, 000 years, They have served mankind well by protecting our stored grains, gardens, and homes from pests like mice and rats.

A few tips to choose what cat breed is best for me

A healthy and happy cat has few daily needs, no matter which breed you decide is best for you. Food and a place to eliminate are important, but cats also need social interaction, and space to exercise and play. Caring for a cat is relatively easy.

The ideal time to get a kitten is between 7 and nine weeks, but you can also adopt an older cat. If possible, meet the parents for any clues about its future behavioral and physical characteristics.

Be a responsible pet owner and have your cat neutered or spayed to prevent unwanted litters.

Cats are best kept indoors because they are very adventurous and to explore. This is the best way to protect them from getting injured or lost. Like this, you can increase your cat’s lifespan to double that of an outdoor cat exposed to predators, fights, and infections.

Always make sure to place a screen near open windows. High-rise syndrome is the name given to the severe injuries cats suffer when they jump from great heights. A cat can have serious injuries even from a second-floor jump.

These playful creatures love social interaction, so provide them with plenty of opportunities to do this indoors. Offer them toys, areas to climb, and a nice sunny spot to sleep in, and plenty of love and cuddles.

Social interaction is important, but remember, cats usually seek it on their own terms. Most people think cats are nocturnal, but they are crepuscular. That means they are most active at dawn and dusk with plenty of naps in between.

You must provide your cat with a litter box, and it must always be kept clean. If you have more than one cat, provide them with more than one litter box. It’s best to scatter these around your home.

Cats with long or thick coat hair require regular grooming to prevent matting and skin irritations, so give them a daily brushing. Breeds with short hair do groom themselves daily but need brushing at least once a week.

Grooming promotes a healthy, shiny coat, and helps prevent intestinal blockages from hairballs. Cats rarely need bathing, unless indicated by a veterinarian. All cats need to have their teeth brushed and nails trimmed routinely.

After you’ve decided what cat breed is best for me, grooming will play an essential part in its routine. If you need help selecting a groomer, read How do you find the right pet groomer. Maintain your cat’s physical appearance and ensure its best health by finding a groomer near you here at Pet Groomer Finder.



What Dog Breed is Best for Me?

What Dog Breed is Best for Me?

You have taken a major decision that the time is right to become the owner of a dog. Your dog will be part of your life for years to come. Unless you have owned a dog before or grew up with a specific breed, you may be unsure which breed is best for you. Commitment like this requires some major research on your part.

Every dog breed has essential needs, but you also need to take your lifestyle and home into consideration before making a final decision. This guide is for those of you who have asked yourself the question: “What dog breed is best for me?”

Responsible dog ownership requires the consideration of several factors before making a choice. In this article, you can read how to choose a dog breed according to your lifestyle and according to the dog’s needs.

Breed matters when asking What Dog Breed is Best for Me

Since prehistoric times, people have been breeding dogs to help them perform various tasks. According to the American Kennel Club, there are 340 dog breeds worldwide, and the club recognizes 197 of these.

You can expect each breed to have certain traits, but like people, each dog has its own unique personality. The American Kennel Club divides the breeds according to their occupation, but also according to their activity level, size, coat type, barking level, trainability, and how often they shed.

Let’s break this down a little further:

Finding the best dog breed is easier when they are divided into groups that match human needs.

High Activity

The pastoral group of dogs falls into this high activity breeds category. These dogs were bred to help humans as herders of all our domestic animals, including reindeer. Characteristics of this breed include their passion for herding and loyalty. They are happiest when they are helping their human owners.

  • Border Collie
  • German Shepherd
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Samoyed

Bred for Specific Tasks

These dogs are also known as non-sporting breeds because they don’t fit into other groups. Their breeding was intended for them to carry out specific jobs, so they have varied origins, individual skills, and temperaments.

Originally bred for bull-baiting, this gentle and cuddly breed is now suitable for families.
these truffle hunters are now an adorable and pampered breed.
a sought-after breed, originally bred to keep the road clear for horse-drawn carriages and fire engines.
Chow Chow
these loyal and loving companions were bred to hunt, guard, and pull sleds.

Loads of personality in a small parcel

Small but tough, these breeds have loads of personality, are usually overexcited, and very playful. They are the ideal companions for people who want a lively and active dog. Above all, they are affectionate companions.

  • Chihuahua
  • Pug
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Pekingese

Skilled hunters of the hound group

Within this group, you will find long-legged sleek-bodied hounds with wide vision and explosive speeds that can chase fast prey. There are also smaller hound dogs whose keen sense of smell never deceives them and reveals their quarry.

  • Greyhound
  • Dachshund
  • Beagle
  • Bloodhound
  • Basset

Trained to work

These dogs are strong, intelligent, and big-bodied. Bred to search, rescue, and guard, the group includes some of the most ancient breeds. Train them well, and you will have a loyal friend for life. Not always the best choice for families with young children.

  • Boxer
  • Rottweiler
  • Great Dane
  • St Bernard
  • Husky

Feisty terriers

This is a lively breed of dogs that were bred to go in search of vermin. The short-legged terriers went in after them underground, while the long-legged dug them out. These strong characters are affectionate, but also love to dig and chase. They mostly need plenty of space for their activities and their owners need to patiently put up with their spunky attitude.

  • Jack Russell
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Fox Terrier
  • Bull Terrier

Playing fetch

Bred to retrieve, these dogs are also excellent swimmers and love to play fetch, whether it’s with a ball or feathered game. Most of the breeds in this group can bear harsh outdoor conditions and have water-repellent coats. They love learning, are almost always eager to please, and are extremely loyal. If you don’t like to go for long walks and play endlessly, these dogs may be unsuitable because of their high-energy levels.

  • Labrador
  • Golden Retriever
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Cocker Spaniel

A few tips to answer the question, What Dog Breed is Best for Me

Now you know a few things about the various dog breed groupings and some of their traits. If you are still asking yourself “what dog breed is best for me?” then the next step is to consider the following:

Purebred or mixed breed

You may have your heart set on a specific dog breed because you are acquainted with their temperament. If you have decided on a breed because of what you have heard, take some time to do some research on any issues like health problems, temperament, or grooming needs. Always buy purebred dogs from responsible dog breeders and avoid breeding mills.

Mixed breeds combine more than one dog species. This helps balance out their physical characteristics and personalities. Mixed breeds have a lower chance of developing genetic health problems. Give a mutt some care, love, and training, and you will be rewarded with a loyal pet for years to come.

Adopting a mixed breed puppy or older purebred dog from a shelter allows you to be the human owner of a unique dog. Besides saving a doggy life, you can get your dog for a fraction of the price.

Deciding on size

There are many considerations you need to take here. Giant breed, medium-sized or small dog? They all have their pros and cons.

Giant breeds are less active than smaller dogs but will need a bigger space to move around in. Space is vital for their size because they can hurt their tails or break household items when they whip their tails with joy. The bigger the breed, the more expensive their maintenance is. They eat huge amounts of dog food, and medical treatment is also more expensive. Training is essential with bigger breeds – you don’t want an oversized dog walking all over you when fully grown.

Small breeds are cute but feisty and can go everywhere with you if you desire. They are also vulnerable because of their size and are prone to serious injury if they are mishandled or accidentally stepped on. Small dogs are sensitive to cold weather and need to be kept warm, especially when going outdoors. Obedience training is vital for them, and you need to be prepared for the possibility that they may turn into “tough” characters because they need to compensate for their size.

Match your energy levels

The energy levels of dog breeds vary, but you need to take into consideration that all of them need exercise, regardless of size. Choose a breed depending on how many times a day you are prepared to take your dog for a walk. The minimum is twice daily unless you have a huge garden. Remember, dogs also need to socialize.

If you cannot commit to more than two slow-paced walks a day, then look for a breed like a Basset Hound that has lower energy levels. If you are looking for a dog with high-energy levels and agility as a partner to your activities, then consider a Golden Retriever or a Border Collie.

Dogs need attention and to get rid of excess energy, otherwise, you may be faced with behavior problems. These behaviors can cause your dog to destroy household items, dig up your garden, bark incessantly, or even bite. Persistent behavioral problems in dogs often lead their owners to give them up or have them euthanized. Make sure you choose a breed you can give your utmost attention to.

Age may be important

Puppies are gorgeous and difficult to resist. However, for the first few months, be prepared to give them lots of attention and training. With dedication and patience, you should get housebreaking right within the first six months. Be prepared for some accidents along the way and some chewed-up items. Keep in mind that as your puppy grows, its temperament may be different than what you expected – especially if it is a mixed breed.

Adult dogs may require a little bit of training in the beginning, but most are trained. They tend to be adaptable to new environments. The advantages of getting an adult dog are that their attitude, energy levels, and temperament are established.

Senior dogs are not a popular choice, but make wonderful companions if you want a dog with lower energy levels. By adopting a senior dog, you offer it your compassion and are saving it from being euthanized or living its last days in a shelter. Senior dogs have the added responsibility of requiring special attention and regular medical checkups.

Physical appearance

Some dogs are shedders; others dogs hardly have hair, and then, there are those with long-haired coats that can get matted and untidy. Basic grooming is vital for all dogs, no matter what hair length they have.

Major shedders are usually dogs with smooth, short-haired coats. There are special grooming tools that can help reduce shedding, but you will need to vacuum more regularly. Some dogs have hair that grows, and they require routine hair cutting.

Other grooming needs include regular washing and nail cutting. Dogs with long ears are prone to ear infections and their ears need to be cleaned frequently.

Breeds like Mastiffs, Great Danes, and Bloodhounds are prone to drooling. You may need to carry a cloth to wipe them clean if you don’t want to constantly be covered in drool.

As you can see, whatever breed you decide on, grooming will be an essential part of your best friend’s routine. Help him maintain his physical appearance by finding a dog groomer near you at

Wondering how you find the right groomer?