Studies suggest that up to 40% of our pet dogs are overweight or obese. The statistics are similar for cats, and in both species, the effects of excess weight can be debilitating. Arthritis can make their daily walk uncomfortable, and they may find it hard to jump onto the couch for a cuddle. Overweight dogs and cats are more likely to develop diabetes, and they can suffer from infections in the folds of excess skin. Overweight dogs have a shorter lifespan than than their leaner counterparts so they don’t share their owners’ lives for as long as they could.
Causes of Obesity
There are some medical conditions that can cause weight gain in dogs, such as hyperthyroidism or Cushing’s Disease. However, an Australian study found that only 3% of dogs had such a reason for their generous waistlines. Most of them were overfed and/or under-exercised.
Cats are carnivores, and a high carbohydrate diet will lead to weight gain. It’s not easy to encourage a cat to exercise; after all, you can’t put a leash on them and take them for a run. Weight loss in cats is therefore more of a challenge than in dogs.
So you keep seeing posts on Facebook and Twitter for BarkWorld, but you have no idea what it is and how to get involved. BarkWorld Expo is a Pet Social Media Conference in its sophomore year of existence. This conference was founded by Denise Quashie, an award-winning event producer and public speaker.
BarkWorld is the perfect conference for people who tweet or blog about their pet (or AS their pet) to pet related business owners and all pet people in-between. Topics on the agenda at BarkWorld include how to brand your business, which social media platforms are best for your business and how to use them, and creative tips and tricks to grow your business. Representatives from big names in the pet world including Petco, Dogster and Catster are usually in attendance, as well as internet moguls like Yahoo and Bing, with a handful of TV stars thrown in for good measure.
Although BarkWorld is a pet friendly event in which dogs are welcomed to take part in the workshops as much as their pet parents, the information learned can be used across a wide variety of non-pet based businesses or hobbies. For instance, one of this year’s workshops was called “Pawtography On All Fours: How to Take Great Photos of Your Pets”, presented by Nina Parker. We learned how to take great photos without expensive photo equipment. We learned what some of the settings on a ‘point and shoot camera’ mean and some great tips about framing and lighting your subject. Guess What! I’ve taken all the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the weekend and used it on my human subjects! (Shhh! don’t tell anyone!) Most of the BarkWorld workshops and presentations can transcend species and industries.
For those people who enjoy writing or blogging, BarkWorld is wonderful for networking. Most attendees are happy to help a newbie get started on their newest project. Not to mention rubbing elbows with representatives from Yahoo or Bing is pretty nice as well!
For more information or if you are ready to pack your bags and come to Atlanta for the next BarkWorld, check back with www.barkworldexpo.com frequently for updates on BarkWorld 2012. As of now, it will take place in the fall of next year. Follow @BarkWorldExpo on Twitter for more information throughout the year.
It’s the talk of the town. On October 1, 2011 after a 6 month world-wind romance, Stedman married his love, Phoenix. The wedding was a beautiful engagement on the terrace at Loews Hotel in Atlanta, GA. Twinkle lights casted a soft glow over the bride and groom as they took their vows on the altar. The guests were well-groomed and well-dressed. As the ceremony progressed, photographers and videographers took plenty of snapshots and footage of the couple, a Beagle and a Papitese.
After a fabulous weekend of learning about social media and how it relates to pets, the conclusion to Barkworld 2011 was a dog wedding for Stedman, the Beagle and his now wife Phoenix, the Papitese. The pet parents spared no expense to lavish their beloved dogs with a ceremony that tops many human weddings. For their human guests, there were appetizers, a pasta bar, a cash bar, and parting “doggie” gift bags. The band played elegant background music for both 2 and 4 legged friends to greet and intermingle with one another.
Since the parents of the groom were Jewish, the groom and the best man wore a Kippah, the traditional head cover of Orthodox Jewish men. After the joining of paws and the exchanging of rings, the Rabbi blessed and broke a Kiddush cup shaped doggie treat. At the end of the ceremony, the bride and groom ate the wedding cake together.
This was an amazing event. I don’t think I will ever see another doggie wedding and if so, not to this extent. It was a beautiful and memorable day. Congratulations to Stedman and Phoenix and Mazel Tov!
Your pet’s skin is the largest organ of their body, and has many important functions. It acts as a barrier, shielding their insides from infection and dehydration. Temperature and pressure sensors in the skin give them information about the world around them. The hairs that grow from its hair follicles keep them warm.
There are a number of medical conditions that affect the skin of both dogs and cats. What can you do to keep your pet’s skin in good health, and reduce the chances of them needing veterinary care for a skin disorder?
Here are four things that you can do, that will keep your pet’s skin and coat looking and feeling good.
Read More on “Skin & Hair Care for Your Pets” »
Our dogs and cats are carnivorous, and their teeth are designed for the raw meat diet of the wild canine and feline. Their sharp canine teeth grab at their prey, while their premolars tear it into bite sized pieces. The large molars in the back of the mouth are very effective at crushing hard food such as bones or dog biscuits.
As adults, dogs have 42 teeth. Cats only have 30 permanent teeth. Even though pets eat processed pet foods and their teeth are less critical to their survival, a healthy mouth is still very important to their well being.
Most veterinarians would agree that allergies are being diagnosed more frequently in their four legged patients. These conditions make life miserable for dogs and cats, and their constant scratching eventually becomes annoying to their owners too. Who likes to cuddle up on the couch with an itchy, fidgeting companion?
Your dog’s immune system is designed to protect him from bacteria and other invaders, and it does this very well. However, sometimes it gets it wrong and over-reacts to substances that are harmless, such as pollen, or an ingredient in his kibble. The result is an allergic reaction.
The main allergies in our dogs and cats are flea allergy, food allergy and atopy.
Summer is almost over, but this doesn’t mean we can become relaxed about our flea control regime. With our warm and cozy centrally heated homes, fleas have become a year-round problem. Our toasty warm homes allow flea eggs to survive in carpet, and then hatch when their time has come.
Fleas are the bane of every pet owner’s existence. These tiny parasites love to live on your pet, often hiding out in his coat. And in addition to causing him to itch and self-traumatize his skin, they can also jump onto you and bite your skin too (although they don’t actually live on people). These reasons alone are enough to motivate you to start a flea control regime as soon as possible!
How to get rid of fleas
Since the flea’s life cycle involves time spent on and off the animal’s body, it’s important to remember that both your pet and his surroundings must be treated in order to gain control. Both cases tend to involve a two-sided approach.
The chaos of relocation can be very traumatic for cats and dogs – the whole process of packing, moving boxes, and suddenly arriving somewhere new can leave them confused and anxious. Some forward planning, however, can greatly reduce their stress levels, as well as yours!
Before The Move
- If possible, take your dog to your new home a few times before you move in – bring some of his toys and treats too, and allow him time to play and acclimate to the new place.
- If your new home needs to be made pet-proof, make the changes before moving. It’s also a good idea to investigate the local area in advance for a new veterinarian. Order new pet identity tags at this time too.
- If your pet needs to be transported in a crate, order it a few weeks before moving. This way you can introduce him to it so that it isn’t new on the day of the move. Leave it in the living room and allow him to wander in – place his favorite blankets, toys, and treats inside to entice him in. This will prevent it being yet another stress for him on moving day.
As Fall nears, Football gatherings and Holiday meals with family are just around the corner. As you prepare for these events, keep in mind your dog may want to sample the special treat you are preparing for your loved ones, which may not always good for him. Here is a printable list of Foods to Avoid that could be dangerous for your dog.
Although the arrival of a new puppy is an exciting time for any family, the training process isn’t always fun and games! Puppyhood isn’t just a cute phase in your dog’s life – it’s a key time in his development during which you can help to influence his character and temperament. Regardless of the specific area of training – whether socialization, toilet-training, preventing destructive behaviors – the key is to start as soon as possible, and preferably as soon as he arrives home. In general, most puppies leave their mother to go to new homes at approximately 8 weeks of age, and this is an ideal age to gradually start training them.
These five general puppy training tips will help to reduce the stress for all concerned:
1. Be Consistent
It is important that all members of the family are on the same page when it comes to the training process – this is will reduce your frustration, as well as your puppy’s confusion. If possible, discuss expectations as a group before he arrives. List a clear set of rules for your puppy, and be sure that everyone addresses the same situations, and also uses the same command words.