There is no arguing against the fact that cats make great pets. They are self-sufficient, affectionate and generally very clean critters. But what if Frisky stops using the litter box? That cuddly ball of fur is suddenly not so cute when your carpet and furniture are being used as a toilet! Inappropriate litter box behavior is one of the most common reasons for families to relinquish or re-home their cats.
Any cat that suddenly changes its litter box habits and starts to inappropriately urinate should always be evaluated by a veterinarian to ensure there isn’t an underlying medical problem. Once a medical issue has been ruled out and the problem is deemed behavioral, you might consider some tips and tricks to help with litter box aversion.
Dr. Fiona, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine blogs for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.
As far back as humans can remember, dogs have had a place in our hearts and homes. The domesticated canine is thought to have originated tens of thousands of years ago, most likely from grey wolves. It is theorized that early domesticated dogs likely originated from areas of Asia or the Middle East, but modern breeds of dogs have their origins from all over the world.
Here are the top ten truly “Made in the USA” breeds, with photos of each insured by Pets Best Insurance. With a little patriotism, these breeds might make their way up the popularity list!
1. Boston Terrier: Likely descended from a cross between Bulldogs and the White Terrier dog from New England. Boston Terriers have earned themselves the nickname “America’s Gentlemen” due to their black and white tuxedo look and sweet, easy-going manner. Photo: Simon and Colby
2. Alaskan Malamute: This northern breed was important during the Alaskan gold rush in the mid 1800s and was used to help transport sleds over snow. Its thick coat made it a breed well-suited to the cold! Photo: Keiko
3. Chesapeake Bay Retriever: This breed was developed in the 19th century and used primarily by hunters to retrieve water fowl. The Chessie is known for its love of water and excellent hunting ability. Photo: Hanna
4. American Staffordshire Terrier/American Pit bull Terrier: This breed has gotten a bad rap due in part to its origins in dog fighting. Often termed a “bully-breed”, this breed of dog is fiercely loyal to their humans and capable of being extremely loving and social. Photo: Piper
5. Carolina Dog: Also known as the American Dingo, this is one of the oldest breeds to have originated in the U.S. Early drawings made by Native Americans of dogs tend to resemble the Carolina Dog, which was first noted to be free roaming and wild. It now can be registered with the American Rare Breed Association. Photo: Jayda
6. Chinook Dog: A rare breed of sled dog originating from New England, the Chinook is the official dog of New Hampshire. It is known for an easy-going temperament and friendly nature. Photo: Genghis
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7. American Cocker Spaniel: The first Spaniel came across the Atlantic on the Mayflower, but the breed wasn’t recognized by the AKC until 1878. The Cocker Spaniel is a long time top ten AKC most popular dog breeds contender, with 18 total years in all, from the 1940s and 50s, and again in the 80s. Photo: Phoebe
8. Rat Terrier: An intelligent and active breed first used on American farms for pest control and companionship, the Rat Terrier shouldn’t be confused with the Jack Russell Terrier, its English counterpart. It became popular in the 1890s and is likely descended from a mix of terriers and possibly Whippets and Beagles. Photo: Brodie and Tucker
9. Blue Tick Coonhound: Bred for hunting, this breed has a knack for problem-solving and is happiest with a full time job and a lot of physical activity. The breed is very intelligent and athletic. Photo: Bella
10. American Bulldog: this breed is typically confident and social, but can be highly emotional and strongly bonded to their owners. Traits include a stocky, well built body with powerful muscles and a vertical leap of possibly exceeding seven feet! Photo: Thor
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The National Humane Society cites behavioral issues as the number one reason that dogs and cats are relinquished every year. Undoubtedly, a well-behaved dog will be a more accepted and productive member of the family. It’s best to start training pets as young as possible, but you CAN teach old dogs new tricks! Here are five common training mistakes to avoid.
Nothing is more confusing to a pet than inconsistency. Why is being on the couch okay with dad, but not okay with mom? Everyone in the family needs to be on board with the rules to help enforce them. Start by having a family meeting when a new pet is introduced to the family, or when a new training regimen is started. Lay down the ground rules and ensure everyone is willing to enforce them.
2. Always rewarding with a treat
This seems counter-intuitive, but over-praising can actually have the opposite effect. Consider this human example: when we’re “rewarded” for a behavior every time, like the light turning on when we flip a light switch, we don’t keep trying to flip the switch when that reward doesn’t happen – i.e. the light bulb is burned out. Dogs who always get treats will stop doing the behavior you are asking for if the treat doesn’t present itself right away.
Dr. Fiona, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, guest blogs for pet insurance provider Pets Best.
Puppy jumping, sloppy kisses and general ‘misbehaving’ is adorable when your puppy is less than 10 pounds, but this behavior can quickly become undesirable as your puppy becomes a full grown adult. Personalities are very individual in every dog, and some just seem to have more uncontainable energy! What should you do when simple uncontrollable joy becomes a little too much to handle? Dog training obedience classes are a great idea for all puppies, high energy or not, but there are some other things you can do to help a particularly overactive dog.
1. Exercise, exercise, exercise…then exercise some more!
A leash walk twice a week just is not enough activity for a high-strung dog. Spot might be better off going on runs with you. Not a runner? Teach your dog to fetch and use a “chuck-it” or other device that will maximize your throwing power and save time.
With the presidential race in full swing and November quickly approaching, the White House is on a lot of Americans’ minds. Regardless of who takes office for the next term, one thing will remain constant; dogs will continue to be a part of the White House and a part of politics. The current First Dog is Bo (pictured here), a Portuguese Water Dog owned by the Obamas. And who can forget Gov. Romney’s family dog, Seamus, who rode on the roof of their car during vacations? Historically, presidential pets have had a place in the White House, and have even been thought to influence voters.
When President Franklin D. Roosevelt was running for re-election in 1944, he had been criticized for misusing tax payers’ money following an incident where he sent a ship back from a family vacation to collect his dog, Fala. He is quoted as saying, “You can criticize me, my wife and my family, but you can’t criticize my little dog. He’s Scotch and all these allegations about spending all this money have just made his little soul furious.”1 This speech was credited for turning the election in Roosevelt’s favor!
They way presidents have treated their pets has historically been a topic for political discuss