Simple Ways To Care For Your Dogs and Cats

Nov 17, 2020 | Personal Insurance

Being a dog and cat owner brings joy and an instant best friend for many. Deciding to have an additional responsibility is not that easy. Hence knowing proper knowledge on how to take care of your pets is a must. 

These lovely creatures need more than just food and shelter. Just like humans, they are also in need of love, attention, time, proper nurture, and companions who can play with them and communicate with them. They also have feelings and needs as humans do. That being said, aside from cuddling, talking, and playing with your pets. Here are some simple ways to take care of your bundle of joy: 

  • Provide a safe, protected, and clean environment for your pets. Keeping your pet safe is just like taking care of your child. You must ensure that everything is safe and secured. Your house must be clean and organized enough for your pet not to accidentally hit just everything he touches. Here are the things you have at home that you must consider getting pet-proof ready: 
  • Your fragile stuff must be secured in a higher area– We all know how goofy and playful pets can get. That being the case, all fragile and easily-broken things must be out of your pet’s reach like vases, figurines, television sets, jars, appliances, and other delicate things inside your house. 
  • Secure your yard by putting high fences- Playtime is a must for your pets to ensure they have exercise and breathe time. Letting them run around your backyard is a good outlet for your dog and cat. And you can only do that if your fence is secure enough for your pet not to escape. For sure you don’t want to run outside the neighborhood just to chase your pet right? Hence putting an escape-proof fence is a must. A six-foot-fence is the ideal height with a secured lock. 
  • Don’t leave any leftover food outside your backyard that is within your pet’s reach – Leaving food outside can lead to many problems such as, spoiled food that might get eaten by your dog or cat and may cause food poisoning, leftovers that can attract stray animals or wild animals that can harm you, your family and your pet, and leftover can also attract insects that can affect you and your pet as well. 
  • Remove any sharp edges, thorny plants, stagnant water, and wasp nests- Any hazards that can harm anyone whether your family or pets must be eliminated. Your backyard must be a safe area where anyone can run around without worrying that anytime someone might get stung by bees, stuck by thorns from a plant, or might ingest things that they shouldn’t have. 

Things to Consider When You Have A Dog 

  • Let your dog play and breathe fresh air. This one of course depends on your location, but daily outdoor activity when the weather is fine is good for your pet. It is a great exercise that can prevent obesity. Dogs that spend most of their time inside the house tend to gain more weight than those who have regular playtime outside. Obesity is dangerous for the health of your pet. Some breeds of dogs need regular exercises such as huskies, collies, and beagles. In addition to that, playing outside can give mental stimulation for your pet and can prevent them from depression. Your dog needs activities to release their physical energy, because if not, by nature dogs will be aggressive and irritable. 
  • Getting Vitamin D from sunlight is always a good idea. Almost all living things need the right amount of sunlight to grow and stay healthy. It is true, sunlight is a great source of energy and calcium that can strengthen bones in the body. Just make sure that you do not let your pet stay under the sun for too long because too much exposure to heat can be dangerous to your pet. Remember, anything that is too much is not good. Dogs, especially those who are light-colored and have pink noses or thin coats, are more prone to have skin cancer. 
  • Have your dog regularly check-up by a Veterinarian. Just like how we take care of our kids, taking care of your pet is like the same thing. Having a pet is truly a huge responsibility. And making sure that their health is always good is a must. Your vet will provide you the proper knowledge you need regarding which vaccine your dog must take, deworming your pet, as well as preventing your doggy from parasites. 
  • Grooming your dog is important. Us humans know how important self cleanliness is. Being all groomed is such a nice fresh feeling right? How much more to your dog who walks, plays, and runs around on their bare feet? Dirt means bacteria, and staying dirty can cause many problems like sickness, fleas, and other parasites that are gained through uncleanliness. Long coated dogs are more prone to have ice balls in their hair. Their nails must be regularly trimmed as well for it can cause them not to walk properly. Moreover, long nails can break anytime which is painful for your dog. Aside from that, you and your loved ones are prone to be scratched anytime you play with your pet. Too much problem just because of untrimmed nails right? Another thing is, bathing your dog. We all love that feeling of calmness, freshness, and relaxed after taking a bath for sure. You must make the same effort for your dog which is your co-habitant. The same goes for your dog’s teeth, eyes, and ears, all of those must be clean too. 
  • Give your dog proper food and enough water to hydrate them – Eating right is a must in every kind of mammal. Just always make sure that your pet is eating proper food to ensure that they have the right source of nutrients that they need. Also, giving them the right amount of water every day. There must be a water dispenser where they can get water at any time of the day to keep them hydrated. On the other hand, avoid giving your dog treats or human food. Aside from the fact that human food might have some ingredients that can harm your dog, giving treats can also make your dog gain too much weight which is not good for its health. 
  • Consider putting your dog an ID Chip – ID Chip is a small microchip that is injected under the skin over the shoulder blades. Each chip has a unique number that is registered under a database with your contact details on it. So in any case that your dog has been stolen or lost, the chip will set as an identification that will match your dog and you as the owner.

What Are The Plants That Can Be Poisonous To Your Dog? 

During this time of the pandemic season when most of us just want to stay at home to keep safe, growing plants inside our house and backyards are more popular than ever. We are all thinking of ways to keep ourselves healthy, and having some fresh air to breathe is one of those ways. However, not all plants are safe for your dog. Hence, choosing only safe house-plants is a must. If you are a plant lover and you want to have some plants at home, or you already have one, you must know first what are the plants that are safe for pets. Some plants happen to be poisonous for dogs; and believe it or not few of them are very common and are usually seen in our kitchen or backyard. Here are the examples of plants that can harm your dogs: 

  • Garlic – This is one of our basic spices that can be found in our kitchen. Who would have guessed that this can be dangerous to our dog? But garlic is unfortunately not safe for your dog to ingest. It can be poisonous if your dog eats it, it can lead to a breakdown of red blood cells that can cause your pet to have anemia, general weakness, and can even affect your pet’s heart rate and can be fatal. 
  • Aloe Vera – We all know that this amazing medical plant can do wonders. It is famous for its healing capacity, hence it is known for its topical uses worldwide. On the contrary, ingesting the plant’s leaves and roots by your dog can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Aloe vera contains saponins that can cause your dog to get sick. 
  • Apple Tree – Yes, apple tree meaning the tree and parts of it. The leaves, stem, trunk, roots, and the seeds inside the apple fruit contain cyanide that can cause your dog to dilate its pupils, have difficulty breathing, and panting. That being said, in case you have an apple tree in your backyard or have a troll with your pet during the fall season, be cautious with falling leaves that your pet might eat. 
  • Amaryllis – Is a traditional Easter Flower. Who would have thought that this harmless looking flower can be poisonous to your pet? Amaryllis can make your dog salivate too much and can cause stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. 
  • Grapes – This delicious fruit that we enjoy in its many forms is unfortunately poisonous to dogs. Fresh grapes, raisins, and currants are all toxic to your pet. Though the toxicity varies depending on the breed of each dog and as well as the dog itself. Once ingested, your dog may vomit and become lethargic, and even may have liver failure if your pet happens to eat too much. If your pet accidentally ate any kind of grapes, make sure to bring your dog immediately to the vet. Because after 24 to 48 hours, your dog will begin to have kidney failure, that is why urgent help is needed if this happens. 
  • Tomato – Really, we can never tell what exactly is safe and what is not! This one is as common as garlic. We can find this in most dishes that we have. But don’t fret, tomato fruit is safe. You can breathe now in case you once shared your favorite pasta to your pet. For it is the plant’s leaves and stem that are toxic to dogs and even humans. Therefore, if you happen to grow tomatoes in your backyard, you must be very cautious. Ingesting its leaves and body parts can cause severe abdominal pain, dilated pupils, slow heart rate, depression, and too much salivation. 
  • American Holly / Winterberry / Inkberry – This holiday plant happens to be dangerous. It contains saponins which can cause diarrhea and vomiting for dogs and even humans when ingested. 
  • Autumn Crocus – This plant has two kinds, spring and autumn crocuses. These two kinds of crocuses are both poisonous. Though the autumn crocus has a higher level of toxicity compared to the spring crocus. Autumn crocus causes your dog to have liver damage, seizures, and burning sensation inside the mouth. On the other hand, spring crocus can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, and too much drooling. 
  • Azaleas – It is one of the plants that can be fatal to your dog. Its leaves are highly toxic and just eating a few of it can cause a quick reaction to your dogs like vomiting and diarrhea. You can also easily notice if your dog ingested it because it will immediately irritate your dog’s mouth once eaten. In case this happens, you must bring your dog immediately to a vet. 
  • Bay Laurel – Bay is a known houseplant and food seasoning. This tasty plant is unfortunately dangerous to your dog. It contains eugenol that causes dogs to vomit and have diarrhea as well as kidney failure, and drooling. 
  • Begonia – Every part of this plant is toxic to dogs, but the roots are the most toxic among the parts. It has a very high level of calcium oxalates, it is a substance that can cause vomiting and diarrhea for dogs. 
  • Calla Lily – It is also known as trumpet lily. It contains calcium oxalates which can cause drooling, irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty swallowing. 
  • Cherry – Though this plant is extremely popular and delicious, the toxicity of its tree is extreme as well. Farmers who grow this tree are surely aware of this knowledge. Cherry leaves and branches contain cyanogenic glycosides which are harmful to humans and animals. If your dog eats parts of the cherry tree, it can cause your pet to have difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, and can even go into shock. 
  • Cyclamen – This plant is also known as sowbread. It can be fatal for your dogs when this was ingested. It can also cause seizures, vomiting, and diarrhea. 
  • Daffodil and Tulips – The whole part of daffodil and tulips are toxic to dogs, especially the bulb part. Ingesting it can cause your dog to have abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, seizure, and even a decrease in your pet’s blood pressure. 
  • Daisy – Daisies are known for their beauty and just like roses they are pretty common flowers that you can see in every flower shop. Who would have thought that this lovely flower contains sesquiterpene which can cause excessive salivation, uncoordinated movement, diarrhea, and vomiting when eaten by your dog. 
  • Dieffenbachia – Is a popular plant for plant lovers. It is also known as Dumb Cane for some. This plant can cause swelling of your dog’s mouth and throat, as well as too much drooling and stinging. 
  • English Ivy – Is also a pretty common plant that you can find just anywhere. Hence, this is one of the reasons why the more common a toxic plant is, the more it is dangerous for your dog. It has saponins that when ingested, your dog can have abdominal problems such as stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive salivation. 
  • Fleabane – Is a medicinal plant that is known as a great help as a tea for urinary tract infection for humans. This plant is also good at keeping fleas away, hence its name can attest to that. But despite the big help this plant can give to many, it is, unfortunately, a toxin to your dog. Although its toxicity is not that high, it is still enough to make your pet feel sick, upset its stomach, and can cause indigestion. 
  • Mistletoe – This romantic plant during the Christmas season is surprisingly deadly to your pet. There are two types of mistletoe plants, American and European and they are both poisonous if ingested in large portions. It can cause ataxia, seizures, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, and if not treated immediately it can lead to death. 
  • Foxglove – Is one of the classic garden plants. Foxgloves are native to Europe, the Mediterranean region, and the Canary Islands. Some species of this plant are being cultivated due to its attractive flower spikes. However, even though this plant is yet beautiful, its toxicity level is high because all of its parts contain cardiac glycosides and are considered toxic to humans and animals when ingested. It can make your heartbeat slow and can cause irregular heartbeat rhythm. 
  • Hops – Also known as seed cones or strobiles. It is the flowers of the hop plant. It is commonly used as bittering, stability agent in beer, flavoring for its fruity, and citrus flavor and aroma. But this tasty plant can cause your dog to pant and increase its body temperature that may lead to seizures and even death. 
  • Hosta – Is cultivated in many parts of the world as shade-tolerant foliage plants. Hostas contain saponins that are poisonous to dogs for it can cause your pet to have abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and bloating. 
  • Hydrangea – Hydrangeas are beautiful, but they’re also poisonous for dogs. They contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can cause lethargy, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and an increase in heart rate and body temperature. 
  • Iris – This purple plant that is native to North American Eastern United States, and Eastern Canada can be an irritant to your dog skin and stomach. It can cause your dog to drool, vomit, have diarrhea, and lethargy. 
  • Jade Plant – Is also known as a rubber plant. It is included in the Crassulaceae family, and unfortunately, all plants that are included in this family are poisonous to dogs no matter what breed. When ingested, your dog may have vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, weakness, depression, convulsion, and even a slow heart rate that can be fatal for your pet. 
  • Juniper – Blue star juniper plant is poisonous to dogs because its fruit ( berries ) needles and parts of its body contain compounds that can make your pet sick. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea when eaten. 
  • Kalanchoe – Has different varieties and they look different, some are pink, yellow, and purple. These cute and pleasant looking plants can be one of your choices if you happen to love planting. But eating it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abnormal heart rhythm for your pet. 
  • Lilies – Like kalanchoe, lilies have many types, but each type of plant has different levels of toxicity each. Some are less poisonous and others are extremely toxic. Calla, Peruvian, and Peace are all in the same group of lilies. All of these lilies have the same effect when eaten, drooling, mouth irritation and redness may occur to your pet. On the other hand, there is a group of lilies that can be deadly when the leaves are ingested, it can lead to kidney failure for your dog. These lilies are Tiger Lily, Asiatic Lily, Day Lily, and Easter Lily that is the favorite of many during the spring season. 
  • Locust – This tree is also called “ weed tree “ because of its reputation of being flexible that it can grow just everywhere and it is hard to maintain due to its messy nature. Its branches, leaves, and seed pods usually all fall to the ground. And if ever that your dog eats any part of this tree, it can lead to diarrhea with blood, vomiting, and difficulty breathing that can be fatal. 
  • Morning Glory – The flower of morning glory can be white or purple depending on the species. Ipomoea is native to the United States and it grows every year. This vine that can be a great decor in your backyard happens to be poisonous as well for your doggy. Eating can cause diarrhea, vomiting, incoordination, and agitation. 
  • Oleander – This plant with pretty flowers seems to be harmless but it is one of the most poisonous plants for humans and animals. It contains the substance called cardiac glycosides that can cause heart irregularity, vomiting, muscle tremor, and diarrhea. 
  • Pacific Yew – Ingesting the leaves of pacific yew can cause seizures, tremors, vomiting, respiratory distress, and even heart failure that can lead to certain death. In other words, Pacific yew has very high toxins and one of those severely dangerous plants for your dog. 

It is important to know what can be harmful to your dog to prevent any accidents that shouldn’t have happened if only you have the proper knowledge in the first place. That being said, knowing how your dog’s basic digestive system is a lifesaver for you and your pet. 

The human digestive system and the dog’s digestive system are almost the same. The only differences are, how we digest our food, what is the food that we can have and they can’t have, and the difference in humans’ and dogs’ metabolism. For example, Garlic is one of the humans’ 

most basic ingredients in the kitchen, but if your dog eats garlic the dog’s get sick. Another example is how they eat their food. Dog’s teeth are made to chew large portions of food, especially meat. They can swallow in large bites, their stomach can handle more food than humans, but their metabolism is way slower than us. The food that they eat stays inside their stomach for eight hours. While us humans can digest our food in half an hour. But what’s odd is that even though the food stays inside their body for a long period of time, it is being broken down into nutrients quickly. As a result, if in any case that your dog accidentally eats poisonous food, plant, or things, it will take a short time for it to fully spread in its body. 

Catty Behavior 

This fur baby can be cuddly and moody at the same time. Cats have distinguished behavioral characteristics, and most cat owners already know that. But in case you haven’t noticed yet. Here are some behavioral traits cats have: 

  1. Unlike dogs, cats don’t have hierarchies. – Cats don’t have alphas and betas. They just mingle with each other. They don’t have well defined social status. They even share common space with other cats that live inside the same house with them. 
  2. Cats are quite sensitive about their personal space – Talking about distinctive characteristics, though cats don’t have a hierarchy, they also want to have their personal space separate from their territory. This is pretty common during the introduction with a new member of the family or new cat. You will notice them change their behavior during those times. 
  3. When threatened, cats can be such a handful. – Professional vets and pet sitters are usually aware of this behavior. This is a common thing that happens many times when newcomers are introduced or simply they can’t go along well. You will perceive that the cat will be quite stubborn and hard to handle for a couple of hours. Yes, you heard it right, for hours cats can be a brat. They need time to calm themselves first before going back to normal. I think many human girls can relate to this!
  4. They have a classy way of showing affection. – This one is very noticeable. Compared to dogs who jump, run, and bark out loud once they see their owner; cats just simply meow, rub against their owner’s legs, and circle around in a graceful way. 

Ways To Take Care Of Your Cat 

Now that you know the characteristics of a cat, the next thing you need to know is how to take care of them. Here are the things to know for you to be a great cat owner: 

  • Feed them nutritious food. – Just like any other pets, proper feeding is essential to have a healthy pet. This is one of the most basic parts of having a pet in your house. 
  • Always make sure to leave some food in your cat’s bowl so your pet can eat anytime they want even when you are no at home. It depends on whether you will feed your cat homemade food or store-bought cat food. You better ask your vet as well what food is best for the breed of your pet. Of course, you don’t want to feed your pet just anything, because, like dogs, certain foods will be harmful to cats. 
  • Proper grooming for your fur baby. – Cats are clean animals compared to other pets. 

However, they still need the same grooming effort that you give to other pets. Bathe your cats. Though cats can clean themselves, it is still best for them to be washed. Fleas are very attracted to cats and dogs or simply the furry ones. Bathing them will not just wash off any unwelcome parasites but also will help them feel fresh and relaxed. But, in case you are too busy to groom your pet, you can also bring them to a pet station for grooming services. They will do all the grooming for you like, trimming their nails, furs, and cleaning their eyes and ears.

  • Make sure that your home and backyard are cat-proofed. – Just like having dogs, cats can be very clumsy as well. Hence making sure that all the fragile stuff is placed in a high area where your cat can’t reach it is a must. Remove or keep any stuff that can be harmful to your cat like yarns that can lead to your cat to accidentally be choked or strangled. Moreover, cats love playing and eating plants inside and outside the house. Therefore here are the examples of plants that are poisonous and harmful to cats. 

Ten Plants That Are Most Poisonous To Cats 

  • Sago Palm 
  • Hyacinth 
  • Lilies 
  • Rhododendrons 
  • Azaleas 
  • Tulips 
  • Oleander 
  • Kalanchoe 
  • Cyclamen 
  • Dieffenbachia 

What Should You Do In Case Your Dog or Cat Was Poisoned? 

Do Not induce vomiting. Making them vomit more doesn’t always mean that they can spit the poison out. Sometimes it can even make the situation worse. Remember, if this accident happens, it is always best to bring your pet immediately to the nearest vet. Make sure to collect any leftovers of what your dog or cat ate that caused its sickness so that the vet would know. 

For any emergency, you can also call the Animal Poison Control Center or APCC. They have a 24-hour emergency hotline number- 1-888-426-4435. 

What Can You Do To Prepare For Any Kinds Of Inevitable Accidents? 

  • Secure your pet as well as your savings by purchasing Pet InsuranceAccording to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, there are 179 million pets in North America that Totaled to $58.5 billion in annual spending for vet care. Vet care is the third largest expenditure, it costs pet owners for about $15 billion annually. That being the case, it can only show how it can affect your savings dramatically. Purchasing a Pet Insurance can be your best option to save money in the future. Here is why you must get Insurance for your pet: 
  • Premiums for Pet Insurance are cheap. – On average, you can pay for as low as $14 per month for your pet’s insurance. Although the same rule applies, each state has its policies and ways of calculating their rates. It also depends on your pet’s breed, age, and yes your location. You may think that you don’t need another monthly bill to pay. But if you calculate it, having Insurance for your pet can save you a fortune once an incident happens. You will never know when accidents can occur hence, being prepared is the best defense that you can do. 
  • Pet Insurance has simple policies that are easy to understand. – Most of the companies have simple and few tiers to choose from that is why it is easier to comprehend. For more information, you can contact us! Our professional agents will be happy to assist you with all of your concerns. 
  • You can choose your vet. – Most pet lovers already have a vet of their choosing. If you happen to have your vet, don’t worry because as long as your vet is licensed, there will be no problem. Most pet insurers allow their clients to choose their vets. 

You can also contact our team for further information about Pet Insurance. We will be happy to provide you all the necessary knowledge that you need for the safety and care of your pets.