All cat and dog parents know how painful it can be to watch your favorite sofa being shredded to pieces by your kitty or to discover a large chunk of your new coffee table missing because your dog decided that it was bought for him to have something significant to chew on. While it is half-expected from a kitten or a puppy who are still learning good manners and how to tell right from wrong, when your adult furry family members destroy your furniture, shoes, and fittings, it can be really expensive and upsetting. Therefore, below, we put together some tips for you for the two most common issues: cat scratching and dog chewing.

However, please bear in mind that, very often, pets damage your items to draw your attention to an underlying issue that they are unable to communicate to you otherwise. For instance, your cat may be eating your house plants because she needs vitamin supplements, and your dog may be chewing your favorite shoes while you are away because he suffers from separation anxiety. Therefore, we recommend that you monitor when these ‘accidents’ happen to see if there is a pattern and mention the issue to your vet next time you see him/her.

Until then, consider using calming collars, hemp oil, and room diffusers to help your pet relax. And if everything else fails, hire a cat or dog behavior coach – you will need only a couple of sessions for them to meet your furry baby, analyze why they are destroying your home, and come up with effective strategies to help you and your pet. Their services are more affordable than most people think, and definitely more affordable than buying new furniture!

Cat Scratching

It is no secret that cats just love finding the most expensive piece of furniture in the house and using it to sharpen their claws. They often do it to get your attention because you will immediately focus on them once they get their claws into it, and often do it when they are bored or feel that you should be spending more time showing them your love. There are several tricks that can help:

  • Spray that piece of furniture with lemon juice mixed with water – cats hate citrus smells and will avoid coming anywhere near that item for as long as they can smell the lemon;
  • Buy some scratchboards, cat condos, cat trees, and scratch posts, place them around the house, and spray them with catnip or Feliway FeliScratch to encourage your kitty to use them;
  • Buy anti-scratch furniture covers, or cover your furniture with tin foil – your cat will learn that it is pointless to scratch them very quickly, and you will be able to remove the covers after a couple of weeks;
  • Make sure that there are many items in the room that have your cat’s scent on them because cats often scratch furniture to leave their scent on it, to assert their ownership of the room – putting out their toys and blankets can help enormously;
  • Clip your cat’s claws regularly to make sure they are not destroying your furniture because their claws are too long and they are trying to “file them down” or trying to peel off the outer layer of their claw to keep them healthy;
  • Play with your cat every day so that they feel loved and don’t feel like they have to seek your attention; this will also help you build a great bond between you and your kitty;
  • If you catch your kitty scratching your furniture, hiss at them. They will know immediately that this is not acceptable and that this is not the way to get your positive attention and love;
  • Get cat scratch deterrent tape like Sticky Paws and cover the furniture item in it for a couple of weeks – cats hate it when their paws get stuck on the tape and learn quickly not to touch that item after getting their paws sticky a couple of times.

Please don’t buy silicone anti-scratch cat boots or cat nail caps, and don’t consider declawing your cat – this is animal cruelty. If you don’t love your furry baby enough to accept them unconditionally, claws and all, you should find a loving new home for them. Also, many people try spraying their cats with water when they start sharpening their claws in unsuitable places, and we recommend that you never do this, please, because it destroys your kitty’s trust and will damage your relationship with your cat.

Dog Chewing

While cats pick the most expensive piece of furniture to sharpen their claws, your dog will probably find the most expensive pair of shoes or an exclusive antique wood statue in the house to chew on it. The good news is that it is usually much easier to stop your dog from chewing your valuables than your cat from scratching your furniture, as dogs are happy to learn and follow your lead. Here is what to do if your dog loves chewing everything he can find:

  • Buy a variety of different chewables for your dog to try out so that you can find their favorite and restock it for them: Bones, pig and buffalo ears, antlers, kongs, twists, pressed rawhide sticks and chews, and chew toys; they will keep your dog happy and entertained, clean their teeth, and reduce their urge to ruin your furniture and shoes;
  • Spray your furniture and shoe cabinet with a chewing deterrent; you can even make your own chewing deterrent at home using lemon juice or apple cider vinegar; please don’t use hot sauces, perfume, deodorants, or other stupid popular life hacks that can put your dog at risk and even kill him;
  • Play with your dog actively every day and show them your love – many dogs chew on things to get your undivided attention even though you might be scolding them when you discover the damage;
  • Dogs also chew because they are bored and have nothing to do, so getting a variety of different new toys for your dog gives them one less reason to ruin your house;
  • Take your dog for a long walk on a daily basis, and play fetch outside with them with a stick to help them divert their energy into running, playing, and getting fit rather than sitting around indoors and chewing furniture;
  • Chew-proof your house for the training period – put away any items that your dog loves to chew, and lock up any rooms with furniture that they tend to chew on when you are away;
  • Start training your dog by saying “no” very firmly (but without raising your voice!) whenever you see him start chewing forbidden items; please don’t punish or chase your dog when the chewing starts – instead, offer him treats, pats, or praises when he stops.

Another way of getting your dog out of their bad habit is to install a pet monitor camera and watch what they are doing on your mobile app while you are away. Once you see your dog getting his teeth into something inappropriate, you can use the vocal command function to tell them off. This will teach your dog that you know what he is doing, even when you are not at home, and make him much less likely to chew your shoes and furniture while you are away. Please also bear in mind that it is crucial to stay consistent at all times – if you allow your dog to chew your old shoes but don’t want him to touch your new Adidas trainers, he will not understand the difference and will continue to consider your shoes to be his chew toys.

One of the biggest challenges most pet parents face is grooming their furry baby. While with dogs, it’s usually a bit easier to bathe them, clean their teeth, and clip their nails, cat parents are often pretty desperate and tempted to give up because cats strongly believe that they are well-groomed as it is, they know better what they need, and being shampooed is beneath their dignity. Therefore, we decided to share our tips and tricks with you to make bathing your pet if not easy, then at least a lot easier for you.

In general, whenever you are planning to bathe your pet, it’s advisable to pre-plan it in advance to make the process as stress-free for you and your baby as possible:

#1 TIMING
Choose the time of the day when they tend to be at their calmest – for instance, when your cat tends to sleep, or your dog has just come from a long walk and is very tired;

#2 REWARDING
Make sure it is a positive experience for them as give them their favorite treat afterward to associate the process with something yummy at the end;

#3 CALMING
Consider giving them hemp oil half an hour before you plan to groom them – it is a very effective natural anti-anxiety ingredient that’s available on Amazon and in pet stores.

Please always remember to use a pet shampoo because human shampoos are not designed for pet PH and can cause strong allergic reactions and worsen your pet’s pre-existing conditions. If your pet has a long coat, we recommend that you also use a conditioner so that it’s much easier to brush them afterward. Pre-brush your pet before bathing them to remove any tangles from their coat. Always use lukewarm water, never warm, hot, or cold water.

BATHING CATS:

Prepare your kitty’s shampoo, conditioner, and towels in advance. Talk to them in a calming, reassuring voice throughout the process. Prepare their favorite treats to reward them immediately after they got through the process. Stay calm at all times – cats can feel your stress, fear, and anxiety, which is why most of them hate being bathed because they get infected by your anxiety about it. This is also the reason why many cats allow professional groomers to wash them without any protest – the groomers do it as a matter-of-fact, which reassures the cat that it’s a normal thing to do and is not something to be feared. Please don’t use anti-scratch silicone boots or grooming bags. Cats hate them and will start resenting you, which will damage your relationship with your kitty.

Most cat parents think for some reason that cats hate water, which is not true. They hate being forced into anything, including bathing, and this is the main reason why they refuse to participate willingly. Please bear in mind that cats do not need to be bathed as they are grooming themselves, and there is no reason to shampoo your kitty unless they are an outdoor cat and came home smelling and looking like hell. We tried about 20 different methods with our cats, and here is the easiest way to bathe your kitty:

Get your beachwear on, gently take your kitty, walk with him/her into your shower cabin, close the door, and let them go. Because they are not being contained and can roam free in the shower cabin, they don’t mind being washed that much. Use your shower head to soak them while they are walking around, then shampoo them pretending that you are petting them, and then rinse them while they are pacing around the cabin. Wrap them into a pre-warmed tower (ask a friend or a family member to put it in the microwave for 2 minutes) and hug them for 30 seconds to allow the towel to absorb water. Give them a treat and let them go. Sorted!

BATHING DOGS:

Remember to prepare towels, shampoo, and conditioner in advance so that you don’t get caught out missing something once you get your dog into the bathroom. Spread out the largest towel you can find on your carpet because this is where your dog will be heading as soon as they are released from the bathroom. It’s much easier to wash your dog in a shower cabin or a bathtub with a shower curtain because they tend to shake off the water and the shampoo in-between and the shower curtain/shower cabin wall will help you to contain ‘the damage.’ Use an attachment hose and sprayer to avoid using a pitcher if you don’t have a handheld shower head with a long hose where you are bathing your dog.

Put an old towel at the bottom of the shower cabin or bathtub to give your dog some grip because when they start to slip, many dogs begin to panic. Start washing your dog from the neck down, and wash their head last because they are most sensitive around their head and are unlikely to be willing to cooperate if you start with their head. Make sure you don’t get any water in their ears. If your dog hates being bathed, use a Lick Lick Pad to distract them while they are being washed – most dogs love them and over time grow to associate bath time with being able to enjoy their Lick Lick Pad, which really helps! Alternatively, use the peanut butter life hack (but make sure that your dog is not allergic to nuts first).

Towel dry your dog, give them their favorite treat. Let them enjoy rubbing themselves against your carpet, furniture, and the towel you prepared before washing them, and then play with them to reinforce the idea that bathing is a fun thing to do and comes with many perks. We do not recommend blow-drying your dog’s coat – heat damages not only human hair but also your dog’s coat, and most dogs don’t like being blow-dried.

Ever considered walking your cat on a leash? Unless your kitty is absolutely wild and fierce, you absolutely should! Outdoor cats live on average 2-5 years less than indoor cats, for a number of reasons: They are run over, get attacked by another animal or cruel humans, eat grass that’s sprayed with poisonous pest control chemicals or toxic plants that are dangerous for them, and have incidents including being trapped somewhere and starving to death or accidentally hanging themselves on their collars. However, many cats, especially when they are still young, really enjoy being outdoors – watching birds, listening to rustling leaves, and smelling plants. It is an exciting experience for them to be outside, and active cats just love it!

So, how do you keep your kitty safe and alive while allowing them to enjoy their life and being part of the bigger world? As strange as it sounds, get your cat a leash, and explore the world with them! The idea that it’s only dogs who can get used to walking on a leash is wrong and keeps many people from trying walking their cats. Actually, any cat can be trained to walk on a leash – you just need to convince yourself that it’s possible! Cats are really adaptable, and we know quite a few people who hike with their cats, ride bikes with their cats, and train their cats to come sailing with them.

We love this YouTube channel, for example, where a Japanese-American couple Rachel and June, have a few cats and break many stereotypes by just doing things with their cats, including walking them and riding a bicycle with them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5530I_pYjbo

Please bear in mind, however, that being outdoors is not for everyone, and this applies to cats too. Like people, there are curious, active cats who are always trying to escape when you open the door, and these kitties are most likely to enjoy the experience. If you have a shy, inactive, introverted cat who gets scared easily and hates everything new, please don’t force them to hike with you. But if you know deep down that your cat loves an adventure, here’s what you should consider before starting their training:

  • Please make sure that your cat has a reliable collar with a name tag and your contact details so that they can be returned to you if they escape when you are outdoors. Remember to use a quick-release collar to make sure that your kitty doesn’t hang themselves if trapped by their collar.
  • We strongly recommend using a harness instead of a collar because they are safer, you won’t pull your cat by their neck (which is not very humane and dignified in general, for cats or dogs), and kitties seem to prefer them (probably thinking they are a cool new outfit).
  • First, get your kitty used to wearing the harness. Put the harness on your cat every day, gradually increasing the length of time they are wearing it until you reach half an hour, and they feel comfortable with it.
  • In the beginning, many cats scream and roll on their backs to get rid of the harness. This is normal, don’t get discouraged. Give them a treat, stay calm, and carry on. Please also make sure that the harness is the right size and well fitted – cats are escape artists and able to get out of anything!
  • Start walking them somewhere safe, where they won’t get scared seeing many unfamiliar people, dogs, cars, and other objects, as it is likely that they will freak out and try to break loose or jump right into your arms and scratch you. Your backyard is the perfect training place.
  • Once you decide to go to a more public place, after your cats feel comfortable walking in your garden or backyard, start small – go to a very remote forest or park where you won’t encounter many people or dogs.
  • Always use a carrier to transport your cat there (we use cat backpacks, and they like them). Leave the carrier open in a safe place where your cat can see it and easily access it – if your kitty gets scared, they will run to their ‘safe haven’(or not!).
  • Please always remember that it’s your cat who is walking you, not the other way around! While your dog will follow you gladly wherever you want to go, your kitty has their own mind and will just head in their preferred direction, expecting you to follow. Don’t pull them, they will just break loose and escape – just follow them.

Once the initial training period is over, you will really enjoy sharing the garden with your cat and seeing your furry baby really enjoy it. We love watching Simba ad Shasta hunting birds and chipmunks in our garden (they never catch anything), smelling the grass, and being excited about being outdoors. They always look so happy when they are in the garden!

Walking your cats has many benefits:

  • It allows you to bond with your cat;
  • It stimulates their imagination and makes them happy;
  • It’s a great exercise for your cat and helps them to stay active;
  • Walking and playing outdoors helps them manage their weight;
  • It appeals to their natural instincts and is great for their wellbeing.

There is a growing community of cat walkers in the US and many other countries, and quite a few of our friends and customers are walking their cats, inspired by Simba and Shasta’s great example. We wish you the best of luck with this new adventure, and please always remember to keep an eye on your kitty and stay agile – they are very slinky and can suddenly try to escape when they see a mouse or decide to explore a new area without you! Stay safe and give our best regards to your kitty!

All pet owners treat their furry family members to new toys, treats, collars, food, beds, and dental sticks on a regular basis, but not many of us know that some of these products get recalled just a few days or weeks after we get them for our darlings. These items get recalled because further tests or customer and vet feedback show that they are dangerous, and some of them can seriously harm or even kill your pet.

We care deeply about our and your pets and therefore, will publish a list of recalled products in our blog every few months; below is the list of products that were officially recalled this year. To keep up to date with pet product recalls, please visit and bookmark: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/safety-health/recalls-withdrawals

Please also remember to check where the product you are buying was produced. In the US, the FDA regulates the pet market and ensures that all products are properly tested before they can be sold. There are no or only very basic pet safety regulations in many other countries, and products imported from outside of the US can be toxic, poisonous, and harmful in many ways. For a list of toxic ingredients that should be avoided, please visit: https://www.rover.com/blog/toxic-pet-toys-beds-safety-guide/

MEDICATIONS, OILS, AND SUPPLEMENTS

  • Cat and dog hemp oil tinctures and all products containing hemp oil due to excess of lead;
  • Dexmedetomidine hydrochloride injection (two lots) recalled by Fresenius Kabi due to cross-contamination with lidocaine;
  • Champion Meat Goat Pellets R20, medicated feed (510 x 50 lbs bags), recalled by CHS Nutrition due to elevated level of Rumensin (monensin);
  • Ranitidine products (Zantac) recalled by the FDA due to contamination with N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA);
  • Taro Pharmaceuticals phenytoin oral suspension USP, 125 mg/5ml recalled due to possible under- or overdosing;
  • Nutrebeef® Transition Pellet (one lot) recalled by Cargill due to elevated levels of monesin;
  • Mylan Pharmaceuticals recalled nizatidine capsules due to potential NDMA (Nitrosodimethylamine) impurity;
  • Mirtazapine tablets recalled by Aurobindo Pharma USA Inc. due to a label error on declared strength.

CAT FOOD & TREATS

  • Natural Balance® Ultra Premium Chicken & Liver Paté Formula (one lot);
  • Carnivora fresh frozen patties due to a potential E. coli contamination;
  • IcelandicPlus LLC whole capelin fish pet treats recalled because the product exceeds FDA size regulations.

CAT COLLARS

For cat parents, we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the dangers of cat collars as there is a growing number of cases where kitties are either seriously injuring themselves or die by hanging because their parents put non-releasable collars on them. Please check out this Petmate post on the importance of quick-release collars for cats: https://www.petmate.com/the-importance-of-quick-release-cat-collars/article/a90060 and read the I Heart Cats article on what to avoid when buying a kitty collar: https://iheartcats.com/surprising-dangers-cat-collars/

DOG FOOD & TREATS

  • Carnivora fresh frozen patties due to a potential E. coli contamination;
  • IcelandicPlus LLC whole capelin fish pet treats recalled because the product exceeds FDA size regulations.

Products recalled because they may contain aflatoxin:

  • Hunter’s Special® Maintenance Formula;
  • Champ® Mini Chunk Beef & Chicken Flavor;
  • Hunter’s Special® Hi-Energy Formula;
  • Good Dog Hi-Energy Formula;
  • Field Trial® Complete Nutrition Premium;
  • Paws Happy Life® Nutritionally Complete;
  • Pet Expert Always Fit Formula;
  • Principle Super Premium Natural Dog Food Breeder Pack;
  • Retriever® Bites & Bones Adult Complete Nutrition Savory Chicken;
  • River Bend Basic Nutrition;
  • River Bend Select; 
  • Sportsman’s Pride® Maintenance Adult Formula;
  • Sprout® Bites & Bones;
  • Sprout® Hi-Protein;
  • Sprout® Maintenance;
  • Sprout® Puppy;
  • Thrifty® Adult;
  • Top Runner® Premium;
  • Whiskers & Tails Adult Recipe Complete;
  • Family Pet® Meaty Cuts Beef Chicken & Cheese Flavors Premium Dog Food;
  • Heartland Farms® Grilled Favorites Beef Chicken & Cheese Flavor;
  • Paws Happy Life® Butcher’s Choice Dog Food. 

Products recalled because may contain Salmonella:

  • Paws Up! brand pig ear treats;
  • Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food; 
  • Western Family Pig Ear Treats brand pig ear treats;
  • Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe;
  • Nature’s Menu® Super Premium with a Blend of Real Chicken & Quail.

Thank you for caring about your pet enough to read through this post, you are a great pet parent! We wish you a safe and healthy rest of the year, and hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!

It has been a very tough year for everyone, and with most borders still closed and international travel off the cards at the moment, more and more people are now traveling by car within the US. While it is a bit easier to travel with a dog because they tend to be used to being in a car, even if it’s only for a short trip to a local park, many cat owners don’t even consider traveling with their cat because it sounds like a crazy idea. However, it’s all in our heads, and traveling with your pet, whoever they are, is not only possible but also can be stress-free and enjoyable!

Simba and Shasta, for example, have been to England, Korea, and Hong Kong, and have just returned from a 12-day car trip to North Carolina. They are now preparing for their upcoming 18-day car trip to Florida.

In this post, we pooled our experience of traveling long-distance with cats and dogs and created a checklist for you to make it easier for you to plan your upcoming trip. We personally tried all products mentioned in this post and liked or loved them. This doesn’t mean that there are no better options out there though! None of these brands have contacted us, paid us, or incentivized us in any way to mention their products. If you have any recommendations from your own experience, please send us a message, and we will consider updating the post to include your tips!

Simba and Shasta heading to North Carolina

#1 Pre-Order & Packing Checklist

Here is our ‘should-have” list of items that you should order 2 weeks in advance to ensure they get delivered before your departure:

  • Calming anti-stress collars (see below)
  • Anti-anxiety spray for you (see below)
  • Anti-anxiety spray for your pet (see below)
  • Mobile/foldable cat litter tray
  • Car protection for dogs (see below)
  • Mobile enclosure for cats (see below)
  • Cat backpack or carrier bag for transportation to/from your car
  • Small trash bags and poo bags
  • Bones and other chewies
  • Collapsible water bowl
  • Hot water bottle with cover
  • Favorite toys, blankets, and treats
  • Pet food, pet bowls
  • Medications (if your pet is taking any)
  • Cats: Cat litter, cat litter box, litter box scoop
  • Dogs (and trained cats): Lead, harness, poo bag dispenser

Product Recommendations:
Anti-stress collars for cats (seen on Simba and Shasta in the photo)
Anti-stress collars for dogs
Car seat protection for dogs
Car barrier for dogs
Car enclosure for cats (is secured by seat belts, includes mobile cat litter tray & collapsable water bowl)
Anti-anxiety spray for pets
Anti-stress spray for you

#2 Prepare Your Pet

Out of all actions below, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of pet tags with your contact details, because if your pet accidentally escapes while you are away from home, you need to ensure that people who find them are able to contact you immediately.

  • Check that all vaccinations of your pet are up-to-date
  • Find and enter in your phone emergency pet hospital numbers for all key locations
  • Clip their nails a day in advance so that they can’t injure themselves/wreck your car
  • Ensure that your pet has a collar with a tag that has your phone number on it
  • Check that your pet insurance covers travel and is still valid (if any)
  • If your pet has a long coat, brush them thoroughly on the morning of departure
  • Check your car and remove any car air fresheners, they can really irritate your pet as they have very sensitive noses (and cats really hate all citrusy smells!)

#3 Transport Your Pet to the Car

For cat owners: Don’t underestimate the importance of a hot water bottle for cats – they feel more relaxed when there’s something warm next to them to reassure them. Put it in a special cover to avoid scalding and wrap it in your old t-shirt or jumper, your cat will really appreciate the gesture.

  • Ideally, plan to depart at the time when your pet tends to be inactive/sleep
  • For cats, put their carrier/backpack in a visible place a few days in advance
  • Transport all bags and other items to the car the day before
  • Put the anti-anxiety collar on your pet an hour before departure
  • Take your dog for an extended walk/play with your cat to wear them out
  • Install the car protection covers/cat enclosure and blankets in the car
  • Put the heater/AC on in winter/summer to prepare the car for your pet
  • Prepare the hot water bottle, put it in its cover to avoid scalding, take it to the car
  • Spray the area where your pet will be traveling with anti-stress spray
  • Don’t be nervous and behave as normal – your pet will only get stressed if they see that you are! If you behave as if it is business-as-usual, they will calm down quickly

#4 Driving with Your Pet

The most important point here is to use your car’s child safety locks’ feature because sometimes dogs and cats can accidentally open a window or even a door and fall out.

Moreover, never ever let your pet roam free in the car, even if they are well behaved. There have been many cases where a dog sees another dog or a cat hears a sudden noise while you are on the road. Out of fear or excitement they may jump on the steering wheel or crawl under the gas/brakes’ pedals, causing a serious accident.

For dog owners: Please never ever drive your dog in the back of your truck. A friend’s Labrador who was used to being transported in the back of the truck saw another dog and jumped out while she was driving at full speed, breaking his back. She had to take him to the vet and put him down, which was really heartbreaking.

  • Use car child safety locks to ensure your pet does not open a door or a window
  • Make sure that your pet has access to clean water at all times
  • For dogs, make regular stops to walk your dog so that they can stretch their legs
  • For cats, they are more likely to use their mobile litter box when you are driving than when you stop, because they get used to the car being in motion after a while
  • For cats who are trained to walk on a leash: We don’t recommend that you walk your cat during rest stops. They are much more likely to escape in a place that’s not familiar to them, and trust us, every cat can get out of their harness if they really want to!

#5 Hotel Stays with Pets

  • There are many hotels, motels, and B&B that will allow you to stay the night with your pet, but you need to check this in advance to avoid disappointment
  • When you are searching for a suitable hotel or travel accommodation, apply the “pets allowed” filter for a list of pet-friendly options
  • IMPORTANT FOR CATS More often than not, “pets allowed” or “pet friendly” means “dog friendly” and they won’t check in cats; call the place you are planning to book to double check if your cat will be welcome (the same applies to Airbnb rentals!)
  • Pack a separate bag with ‘pet hotel stay’ items to make their hotel stays as comfortable as possible and avoid unpacking fully every night: Food and water bowls, favorite toys, pet bed or blanket, treats, and a mobile litter box + cat litter for cats.
  • For cat owners: If you have a cat pheromone plug-in room diffuser, take it to your hotel room with you and plug it in, it will help your cat to relax

We wish you an amazing trip with your pets! Let us know how it goes, and if you have any tips you would like to share with our pet parent community, please CONTACT US and we will update the post accordingly!

While you are thinking about how to survive COVID and what are you going to do for Thanksgiving this year, your furry babies are dreaming about their birthday and Christmas gifts, and have sent us their wish lists – we have compiled a separate list for cats and dogs each for you:

Happy Kitty Top 10 Gift List

#1 A great-looking cactus cat scratcher for cats who value good design – Neuxioty:
https://neuxioty.com/products/2020-new-cute-cactus-cat-climbing-frame?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping

#2 A relaxation sonic system for cats who are stressed or anxious – RelaxoPet Cat:
https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/relaxopet-pro-cat-relaxation-device

#3 A lovely cat perch system for adventurous cats – Wayfair:
https://www.wayfair.com/furniture/pdp/archie-oscar-gabby-cat-perch-aosc1610.html

#4 A great cat backpack so that your kitty can accompany you – Your Cat Backpack:
https://yourcatbackpack.com/

#5 A cute handmade felt cat cocoon made of natural wool for cozy evenings – Etsy:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/214363820/pets-bed-cat-bed-cat-cave-cat-house

#6 An interactive laser toy for bored kitties who love action – The Purr Shop:
https://thepurrshop.com/products/cat-laser-pointer-training-toy

#7 A gorgeous cat litter enclosure box for kitties who value their privacy – Houzz:
https://www.houzz.com/products/designer-cat-washroom-storage-bench-cat-litter-box-enclosure-furniture-box-house-prvw-vr~104509758

#8 A stylish outdoor cat house for when you are running late from work – Chewy:
https://www.chewy.com/trixie-3-story-outdoor-wooden-cat/dp/134681

#9 A cat exercise wheel for super active kitties – Ultra Modern Pet:
https://ultramodernpet.com/pet-exercise-equipment/gocatwheel

#10 An engaging play kit for curious and playful kitties – Catit:
https://usa.catit.com/shop/catit-play-kit/

Happy Doggy Top 10 Wish List

#1 A fantastic automatic ball launcher for active dogs – Chewy:
https://www.chewy.com/ifetch-too-automatic-ball-launcher/dp/142436

#2 A fun and engaging exercise robot for your pooch – Wickedbone:
https://store.cheerble.com/products/wickedbone?_pos=1&_sid=2427cfee9&_ss=r

#3 A treadmill for active dogs full of energy – Ultra Modern Pet:
https://ultramodernpet.com/pet-exercise-equipment/dogpacer-dog-treadmill

#4 An interactive treat dispensing puzzle for curious dogs – Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Trixie-Poker-Box-Level-2/dp/B003TOKTEG

#5 A heating and cooling collapsible dog house for outdoor explorers – Houzz:
https://www.houzz.com/products/pet-life-hush-puppy-heating-and-cooling-collapsible-pet-house-gray-small-prvw-vr~156853090

#6 An orthopaedic memory foam faux fur dog bed for the evenings – PupRug:
https://www.paw.com/products/puprug-faux-fur-orthopedic-dog-bed-bed-curve-charcoal-grey?variant=31635837780017

#7 A wireless sonic tranquillizer for loving but anxious dogs – RelaxoDog:
https://www.inthecompanyofdogs.com/itemdy00.aspx?T1=D14583

#8 A stylish dog stroller for lovely senior and special needs dogs – Wayfair:
https://www.wayfair.com/pet/pdp/paws-pals-jogger-stroller-oxgo1034.html

#9 A comfortable padded dog harness that releases kinetic energy – Kurgo:
https://www.kurgo.com/dog-harnesses/tru-fit-smart-dog-walking-harness/

#10 A smart bell for your dog to ring when they need to go for a walk – Mighty Paw:
https://mightypaw.com/collections/training/products/mighty-paw-smart-bell-2-0



Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any of these brands in any way, commercial or non-commercial.  

A few months ago, after watching a video by Jackson Galaxy on the subject, we started brushing Simba and Shasta’s teeth, which was quite a challenge in the first few weeks. They are still not embracing it, but are enduring the procedure quite patiently now and accepting it as part of their grooming routine.

It is interesting, however, how many pet parents are surprised to hear that we are regularly brushing our cats’ teeth, and it would appear that many people are still not aware of the importance of teeth hygiene for their pets. So, this post is dedicated to all pet owners who are still unsure if they should brush their pet’s teeth.

Why Brush Your Pet’s Teeth?

Your pet’s teeth are pretty much the same as human teeth, as plaque builds up on canine and feline teeth just like it does on human teeth. Imagine not brushing your teeth for a few years, and what it would do to your health and wellbeing.

It is estimated that over 60% of dogs and cats over the age of three have periodontal disease, a painful inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth. Periodontitis can cause destruction to the connective tissues surrounding the tooth and can also damage the bone. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to painful tooth loss. Most concerning, however, is the detrimental effects periodontitis can have on your cat’s or dog’s heart, kidneys, and liver.

Your pet will be in a lot of pain, and some pets with teeth and gum issues even refuse to eat because it is painful for them, and get depressed, losing their joy in life. It is really heartbreaking to see cats and dogs withdrawing themselves and changing their personality because of the issues that could be easily avoided.

Not to mention how much it will cost you to get the issue treated if left unattended. Dental cleanings at the vet cost between $300 and $1,200, while tooth extractions cost from $500 to $1,300. Both procedures require anaesthesia, which is also harmful to your pet’s health. And these are the simplest and least cost-intensive procedures your pet may need of they suffer from periodontitis.

Half-Way Substitute Alternatives

For some cats and dogs, brushing their teeth is just not feasible. It is often the case with adult rescue pets who have different related phobias, and with pets with special needs. While they are not a substitute for brushing and regular cleanings, chew toys can help keep your cat or dog’s teeth clean. Please avoid extra hard toys, like bones or antlers, as these can lead to dental fractures.

Also, look into trying out different chewy dental treats, dental water additives, and additional preventative measures. Introducing dry food to supplement their wet food diet is also a great help because your pet’s teeth get cleaned when they eat their food, and there are even some pet food brands that incorporate ingredients related to good dental hygiene in their dry food.  

Get Your Pet to Love Their Toothbrush

Ideally, you would brush your pet’s teeth every day for 1-2 minutes and have a professional dental cleaning once a year at your veterinarian. Brushing three times a week for about 30-60 seconds is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation, and this is probably the more realistic option for most pet parents.

It is important to you don’t use your own toothpaste, or even worse, baking soda, on your pet please. Human toothpastes contain ingredients that are harmful to pets and should not be swallowed. Some human toothpastes contain high levels of sodium, which may even make your pet very ill, while others may contain xylitol which is toxic for cats and dogs. Pet toothpaste is available in a number of different flavors that are appetizing to pets, including poultry, beef, and malt.

Simba and Shasta seem to like their malt flavor toothpaste by Sentry Petrodex, for example – we buy it from amazon, it’s only $5.99 and lasts for about 2 months for 2 cats (we brush their teeth about three times a week, and no we are not associated with Sentry or other brands in any way). While the beginning was a bit of a challenge – it is clearly much easier to train a puppy or a kitten to enjoy the teeth brushing routine than two strong-minded adult rescue cats – we didn’t give up, and now they are ok with it.

If you decided to give it a go (and we really hope that you do), here are some helpful resources to get you started:

Resources for Dog Parents:

https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-brushing-dog-teeth

Resources for Cat Parents:

https://icatcare.org/advice/how-to-brush-your-cats-teeth/

We wish you the best of luck, and look forward to hearing your fun pet toothbrush training stories!

Top 10 Dog Blogs by Tiffany

Woof woof Simba and Shasta shared their favorite cat blogs a couple of days ago, and I decided to survey my barrrrrking amazing friends to create our own top 10 of blogs for and about dogs! There are so many great blogs to choose from, but these ten blogs and website really stood out, and we hope that you find them helpful:

#1 Dog Shaming
www.dogshaming.com

This website is just absolutely hilarious, and you should bookmark it for your ’off days’ because it will lift your mood in no time with super funny, light-hearted dog shaming photos. Don’t forget to submit your own photo too!

#2 The Dog Training Secret
www.thesogtrainingsecret.com/blog

This website does exactly what it promises – helping dog owners to train their pups, with tips on everything from potty training to socializing your little one, and dealing with challenges like fear of fireworks and jealousy.

#3 The Canine Chef
www.thecaninechefcookbook.com

This is a fantastic home cooking for dogs’ blog created by an adorable Yorkie mix pup called Kirbie, who offers delicious and safe recipes for making your own dog food and dog treats.

#4 Puppy Leaks
www.puppyleaks.com

This blog is a great source of ideas that will work wonders for your dog’s wellbeing, from different active play ideas to making your own frozen treats for your best friend.

#5 Heads Up for Tails
https://blogs.headsupfortails.com/

This website has a blog that offers practical help with regard to a range of grooming challenges, from bathing your dog to cleaning their teeth without making them hate you.

#6 Dog Owner
www.dogowner.co.uk

This website offers great recommendations for everything related to your dog’s and your wellbeing, ranging from managing your dog’s anxiety when you move to how to make Christmas dog-proof.

#7 Django Dog Blog
www.djangobrand.com/blogs/news

The blog is named after a long-haired dachshund called Django, who is a modern dog and through his human Steph offers useful and informative articles on travel, adventure, dog health, and high-quality product finds.

#8 Good Dogs Company
www.gooddogsco.com/blog

On this website, you can find great guidance on what foods and plants could give your dog a food poisoning, lists top dog foods by breed, and has a good number of posts dedicated to dog product reviews.

#9 I Heart Dogs
www.iheartdogs.com

This is a great website that clearly cares about dogs and supports dogs in need. They have a great blog that offers helpful tips on how to keep your dog healthy and happy and covers a broad range of issues, from dental problems to allergies, anxiety, and behavioral issues.

#10 Cesar Millan’s Website
www.cesarsway.com

No list is complete without Cesar Millan’s website, as he is the best-known dog whisperer on both sides of the Atlantic! Cesar taps into dog psychology and provides tips on how to train your dog and direct their behavior.

Have a great afternoon and dog forget to be kind to your dog, they love your attention and really appreciate you spending time with them. Woof woof, yourrrr Tiffany X

We have received many follow up questions after the first post on COVID-19, and therefore decided to consult a number of experts to examine how our working from home affects our pets, and what we should be mindful of.

The Risks and Challenges

Talking to pet owners in our community, many of them report that their darlings show stress-related behaviors like chewing on your favorite shoes and furniture, excessive meowing, whining, and barking, growing clingy, overgrooming, and shedding. Here are the four main reasons that explain these behaviors:

Routine Changes: In general, pets love routine and don’t like any changes to their established routine. With the current coronavirus epidemic, many humans are working from home, which disrupts all established routines and can upset your furry family members.

Emotional Anxiety: Even though pets don’t understand what coronavirus is and how it affects the world in general, pets are internalizing some of the anxious signals their humans – concerned about their health, their jobs, their loved ones, their rent payments – are transmitting.

Lack of Personal Space: Although our lovely pets may enjoy getting to spend more time with us, most of them need some distance from time to time. The sudden lack of personal space at home, with children especially being all over them, can really stress your pet out.

Boredom: Have you considered that your pet may be bored? Maybe they used to accompany you to a market or brewery, or they were used to hanging out with their pet pals in the park. While they are happy that you are home more, not that not much is happening, their boredom can manifest itself in clinginess and anxiety.

What Can You Do to Help?

There are a number of things you can do to help your pet through these challenging times:

  • To address the undesired behaviors, consider using a dog or cat trainer online; while most trainers have canceled home visits, many of them are offering online consultations and courses;
  • Ensure that your pets have a safe place where they can escape to for a break, be undisturbed and where they can spend some “alone time”;
  • Maintain your pet’s typical routine. Vets are recommending that pet owners try to maintain consistent feeding times to give pets as much structure as possible;
  • Keep an eye on how your own emotional state affects your pets. To help your pets to de-stress when they are anxious, play classical music to them, as research studies show that it helps pets to relax. Catnip also works miracles for some cats;
  • If you used to depart for work at a certain hour, go through the motions of gathering your bag, putting on your shoes and briefly leaving the house at that time;
  • When your pets show signs of boredom, engage them in stimulating activities;
  • Thinking ahead, to prepare your pet for the time when you start leaving the house more and more again, don’t set attention and activity levels that won’t be maintained when working from home ends;
  • To avoid separation anxiety when you go back to work and spend increasingly more time out of the house, make something really good happen when you leave; for example, leave their favorite food out for them;
  • Use puzzle toys, interactive toys, and toys that can keep your pets preoccupied for mental stimulation while you are gone;
  • Please keep in mind that it is important to avoid returning to work for an eight-hour period, because it can be extremely hard on your pet, who is used to having you at home. Gradually increasing the time away from home and make more visits home or get your pet sitter come more frequently throughout the day;

This is a lot to take in, and to make you smile, we would like to share this super cute blog with you where people working from home with their cats, dogs, and bunnies supporting them have posted great photos of how it is working out for them: https://www.boredpanda.com/pet-coworkers-quarantine/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

We’ve been receiving many questions from humans who live with cats and dogs about how COVID affects their fluffy family members, what the potential risks are to their health and mental wellbeing, and what they can do to support their loved ones. So, we have compiled a list of FAQs below for you, to reassure you and your humans:

Can pets contract and spread COVID-19?

While COVID-19 mostly spreads from person to person, it can also spread from people to animals. According to CDC, a small number of pet cats and dogs have been reported to be infected with the virus in several countries, including the United States, and most of them became sick after contact with people with COVID-19. However, there is no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19, and therefore the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.

How can you protect your pet from the virus?

CDC recommends that you should treat your fluffy family members as you would other human family members and do not let them interact with people outside the household. Also, if a person inside the household becomes sick, please isolate that person from everyone else, including your kitty and dogs. Keep your kitty indoors when possible, and walk your dog on a leash at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others.

What COVID-19 related things could put my pet at risk?

Please do not put a mask on your dog (cats are unlikely to allow you to do that anyway), because masks could seriously harm your dog. Please also do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products not approved for animal use.

What if humans in your family get infected with COVID-19?

In case you or your human family members get the virus, Mayo Clinic recommends taking the following precautions to protect your pet:

  • Isolate yourself from everyone else, including your pet. If possible, have another person in your household care for your pet.
  • Avoid petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding with your pet.
  • If you care for your pet or are around animals while you’re sick, wear a cloth face covering. Wash your hands before and after handling animals and their food, waste and supplies. Also, make sure you clean up after your pet.

Thank you for caring about your pets during these challenging times! We love you!