February 2014 archive

Bringing A New Cat Home


Don’t be intimidated at the prospect of bringing a new cat home. As long as you are prepared and willing to take the time to introduce them to their new surroundings, you should do just fine. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Other Animals Should Be Introduced Gradually

This depends on your pets, of course. Some animals hit it off right away, others not so much. To avoid territorial disputes right off the bat, it may be wise to leave your dog at a friend’s house until your new kitty is familiar with their new home.

  • Set Aside Some Space

Cats love high places, spots to nap, and a little bit of space to themselves. Leaving a shelf empty for them, getting a new cat bed or just placing their food in one of the low-traffic areas of the home can be a big help.

  • Be There For Them

As they explore their new home, they’ll want a comforting presence so they don’t get spooked. You don’t want to drop the cat off and then take off for work. Wait until you have time to show them around before bringing them home.

  • Cat-Proofing

Make sure that your favorite vase isn’t sitting precariously on the edge of a shelf. Some homes are like a house of cards to a cat, and you need to ensure that you’re not leaving them with a playground of fun things to break. Give them their own scratching post and toys to keep them from wanting to scratch up your curtains.

More than anything, it simply takes time for a cat to get comfortable in new surroundings. Be patient with your new feline friend and they’ll grow accustomed to their new home.

How to Find a Pet Friendly Place to Stay When Traveling


Finding a place is tough. Finding a place when you have pets that you’re not willing to part with is even tougher. If you want to ensure that you and your furry friend have a place to hang your respective hats, keep these points in mind:

  • Look Off the Beaten Path

You can apply to every apartment complex in town, pay their hefty application fees, and wind up without a place to stay after all. If you use services like Craigslist to find people subleasing or renting out small apartments, on the other hand, then you may be surprised at how flexible people can be.

  • Talk to Friends

Friends with pets? Ask them to keep you in mind in case anyone moves out of their neighborhood any time soon. A recommendation from a current tenant can go a long way with a landlord, and you can get your name in there before someone else can swoop in and take the place.

  • Get Rural

Do you really need to live in the city? Living just outside of town, renting a small home in the country not only helps to ensure greater chances of finding a place that allows pets, you’re also going to be saving money, as rural property tend to be less expensive, and taking a load off, as rural life tends to be less stressful. This isn’t an option for everyone, but if you telecommute, or if you drive a long distance to work regardless, country living can be a great way to facilitate the animal lover in you.

An animal is a responsibility, but it’s a responsibility that few of us would ever want to neglect. If you’re patient, then it shouldn’t be difficult to land a great pet-friendly place.

Establishing Positive Reinforcement with Your Dog


At one time, dogs were trained through methods that involved dominance and punishment. Over the years, however, studies have shown that positive reinforcement methods tend to be far more effective. Let’s look at five simple steps for training your dog through positive reinforcement.

  • 1) Start off by creating one-word commands for your dog. They can be any words of your choosing; however, you must be consistent. For example, if you want your dog to sit and your command word is ‘down,’ you can’t switch it the next time to the word ‘sit.’
  • 2) When your dog follows your commands, give him or her a treat as well as verbal praise. Even if you’re handing out treats all day long, for the first few weeks, your dog needs to be rewarded for every good thing that he or she does.
  • 3) Don’t be mean when your dog doesn’t follow commands and directions just as you expect him or her to. Training will take several weeks, perhaps even months. It’s always important that you keep your training sessions short as well as fun.
  • 4) After a few weeks have passed and your dog is consistently following commands, begin backing off a bit on number of treats you give. After a couple of months, there shouldn’t be a need to give out treats, but giving your dog verbal praise is something that should always be given.
  • 5) For every new command that you want your dog to learn, remember that positive reinforcement is the best training method to carry out. Not only does it help to teach your dog certain behaviors, but in addition it will help strengthen the bond between the two of you.

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