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Funniest Pet Moments: Be Prepared to Laugh

We have been doing quite a bit of talking. This week we just want to make you laugh. Grab your tissues because you’ll be laughing so hard you may cry. 

Enjoy!

Click here for extreme laughter. 

Keep Worms Out of Your Pet’s Heart

April is Heartworm Awareness Month for our pets. We had considered writing an article for you about heartworm, but then thought about the overwhelming amount of information about heartworms in dogs and cats.

As such, we have decided to include a couple of videos for you to watch. The first video is relatively scientific, but explains the process of how your dog ‘catches’ heartworms right down to how it affects her body.

The second video explains heartworm in a less scientific manner.

We feel sharing both is necessary to emphasize how you can prevent heartworm in your pet. Also, if your dog were to develop the condition, we want you to be able to see the signs as early as possible.

Video 1:


Video 2: 

We hope these videos help your furry family. If you have any questions, contact your veterinarian. They’re more than happy to share information with you to prevent your dog or cat from developing this horrible condition. 

Give Your Pet a Job!

Putting Your Pet to Work

Cats and dogs are genetically wired to spend time on activities that increase their likelihood of survival. They still have those instincts today. The opportunity to play. The opportunity to socialize. The opportunity to eat. The opportunity to explore.

Food is the main necessities of life, so we’ll focus on this one. Each species is programmed with a method to acquire food. Generally… hunting.

Finding food requires both mental and physical exercises. They spend their time and their energy on locating and hunting down their meal.

Enriching their Environment

In order to provide our pet (cat or dog) with a stimulating environment, this is a need we can assist them in meeting. We want them to have time to relax and sleep of course, but we also want them to have time to get their ‘frustrations’ out.

DIY Food Puzzles

We have included a video with a few different do-it-yourself dog food puzzles you can create quickly. Pick one and see what your dog thinks. If she loves it, great. If she isn’t a huge fan, try another! And, most importantly, have fun!

What Takes My Dog So Long to Poop?!

Regardless of the weather, our dogs still have to go outside to use the bathroom.

Sometimes this can be an excruciatingly painful task… especially when there’s two feet of snow on the ground during the winter.

Why do our dogs take SO LONG to decide where to go poop? Seriously?!

Some dogs have to sniff literally everything before they pick the perfect spot to use the bathroom. If you have a dog who does this, join the club of those dog lovers who will be spending their lifetime outside waiting for their dog to find their place of choice.

Research suggests there are four main reasons for this:

·        Other dogs’ scent

·        Distraction

·        Anxiety

·        Magnetic poles

Pooping for Communication

Our dogs communicate by smelling other dogs’ business (AKA poop and pee).

With a sniff or two, your dog can find out where a dog has been and what she’s been doing.

The smells your dog senses can tell her how many dogs have been in that area and how long ago they were there as well.

The Anxiety

If your dog is generally anxious in her day-to-day activities, there’s a high probability she’s nervous about where she should use the bathroom too.

Dogs with anxiety might only poop in one certain area that’s a bit hidden. Or, she might find an area where she feels comfortable and stick with it using only that one spot. Never straying away.

The surface your dog uses the bathroom on also matters to some dogs. If your dog has a surface preference, he probably developed it at a young age for some reason.

Some dogs want soft, grassy areas to do their business. Others want a completely ‘free of debris’ surface.

Magnetic Poles

Does your dog spin around in a circle before going poop?

If so, it’s generally because some dogs prefer to align their body with the North-South axis.

Interesting…

Distractions and Procrastination

To be honest, some dogs just might be stalling. They just plain out don’t want to go back inside the house. Not at all. They want to be outside enjoying the weather.

If your dog only goes outside or spends most of the time outside only to go potty, she might take her good old sweet time walking around and enjoying her outdoor time to stay out longer.

Weird, right? If you have any questions, get ahold of us on Facebook by typing in Petkey Pets in your search bar or clicking here.

Should We Build a Dog Shower?

Our dogs get dirty. Maybe not all the time, but there are quite a few times where they will go out to play in the mud or roll in that old smelly dead skunk in the woods. We’re hesitant to even bring them in the house like that. Then, we have to put them in our bathtub. This can be an absolute nightmare. Next step… clean out our bathtub.

Since it’s such a hassle to give dogs a bath at home, dog lovers have now started building doggy showers. They’re basically a mini shower for our pups.

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Their very own shower. Their very own space.

The majority of dog showers have a raised platform so we aren’t in that uncomfortable position while we’re trying to sud them up. And, you could probably already guess dog lovers add in a detachable shower head to get the dog squeaky clean.

Where Do Dog Showers Go?

Well, some dog lovers like the dog shower to be in the same room as the regular shower. Others prefer to install a dog shower in the mud room so their dog can go straight from outside to the bath if necessary. This is all about your preference.

You Can See the Benefits

We’re sure you can already see the benefits of installing a dog shower in your home. There’s no more hurting your body while you’re trying to get those hard to reach spots with your dog in the bathtub.

They’re much easier on your dog’s body because they don’t have to jump over the bathtub wall (this is particularly good for disabled or senior dogs).

Your dog won’t be tracking mud, guck, and pieces of animal through your home. Their mess is contained to one easy-to-clean area.

Looking at Designs

There are SO many designs to choose from. Just to give you an idea, we have included a few links below to help you brainstorm (click the links below):

Watch the Video

To sum it up, we want to show you a very brief video of what a dog shower looks like. Of course, you can design the dog shower any way you like but this gives you a rough idea of what we’re talking about today.

Why Do Some Dogs Fear Men?

Your dog may be just fine without any behavior problems around women and children, but when a man approaches (even if it’s just one man he or she knows) he may immediately become a different dog. 

If you’re a man and have experienced this then this article is a must-read. 

Some dogs may try to hide from a man, cower, or show some type of submissive behavior. You may also notice a shake or even unexpected urination due to anxiety.

Other dogs who are afraid of men may show signs of aggression (growling/showing of teeth). If the man gets too close she may even snap or lunge at you.

A Fear of Men is Common

You might be surprised, but a fear of men is actually a relatively common phobia in dogs, and even dogs who have been extremely socialized can share the fear.

Why the Fear of Only Men?

When someone finds out a dog is afraid of men, he or she often immediately connects the fear to a negative past experience. But, there are a variety of reasons why your dog may fear men in general or even one particular man including:

  • If your dog has been abused by a man, or anyone for that matter, prior to being brought into your family. This may cause a lifelong fear of a ‘sturdy’ or ‘firm’ voice.
  • A lack of socialization or lack of mental/physical stimulation. 
  • Men appear to be more dominant than women in many cases. This dominance may result in fear.

Time to Ease Your Dog’s Fear

This could be easy as 1-2-3. Or, it can be extremely difficult. It all depends on the reason for your dog’s fear and the level of severity.

Regardless of the 1-10 scale, be sure to be patient with your furry companion. 

Don’t Force Any Interaction, Ever

Don’t try to force your dog out of her comfort zone to correct the behavior. This could make matters significantly worse. And, usually results in some sort of ‘backfire.’

Worst-case scenario…. your good intentions here could lead the dog to bite and increase her fear of you.

Let Him Come to You: Not the Other Way Around

Let your dog to approach you on his own. This may be difficult since you’re sharing a home with your dog, but the best bet is often to ignore your dog. This will allow her to feel more comfortable with you and not forced to interact. 

Of course you want to be near your dog to increase the bond, but this just isn’t the right time. By ignoring your dog, you’re essentially providing her with the opportunity to come to you. It’s on her own terms.

Encourage with Treats

When you’re trying to break your dog of her fear of you, be sure to keep a handful of treats handy. When she starts to come near you, throw a few her way as if you weren’t paying attention. Gently.

This process may take a while. It might take time for your dog to take treats from you but once she does, she will connect you with something positive.

For some dogs, this can take a week or two. For others, a month or even longer. Patience is key.

Don’t Forget Obedience Training

If your dog is obedience trained, there’s a higher chance of her or him being able to focus in stressful situations.

If there is someone in the home (a woman), she should make obedience training part of their daily routine. Continuous obedience training with a fearful dog may speed up the process.

Again, don’t forget to be patient. Patience is critical.

How a Microchip Saved a Dog’s Life

There’s no surprise why microchips are recommended by pet professionals. Microchips are extremely helpful in returning a beloved pet to his or her family. We have found this video for you this week of a dog whose pet parent had been searching for her for days. Luckily, someone found her and called for help. When help arrived, the microchip identified her family.

P.S.- Grab some tissues before watching this heartwarming video.

P.S. #2- For more heartwarming stories, refer to our testimonials here at PetKey.org! 

The 6 Most Awkward Dog Questions Answered

Hello again, everyone! Happy Monday! It’s the start of a new week and we thought it would be neat to begin the week answering some of those questions you may have floating in your head but are afraid to ask. You know, the awkward kind? If you have any other questions, feel free to send them in to us. We’re happy to help!

Question 1: Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

This is an extremely common question and you’d be surprised how many people are pondering this. To be honest, some dogs eat poop simply out of boredom. But there could be some underlying issues that you might want to take her to the veterinarian for. Scientifically, this is known as coprophagy.

If eating poop is common for your dog, there could be some type of deficiency in his or her diet. Check with your veterinarian or your canine nutritionist.

Question 2: Do Dogs See in Black and White?

There’s a myth floating around out there that dogs can only see in black and white. This isn’t the case. Dogs don’t see the same way we do, but they still see in color.

A dog’s vision is similar to a person who has red-green colorblindness. They’re essentially viewing the world in blue, greenish-yellow, yellow, and grey.

Question 3: Can Tug-of-War Make My Dog Mean?

Tug-of-War is often a dog’s favorite game. There has been some question as to if tug-of-war increases predatory behaviors (the desire to go after prey like squirrels) in dogs. There has also been a theory floating around that tug-of-war makes dogs more aggressive.

Research has not confirmed this.

In fact, research has encouraged the game of tug-of-war because it gets the instinct to hunt prey ‘out’ of your dogs in many cases. Plus, it’s a great way to spend some good bonding time with your dog.

This doesn’t go for all dogs of course. Every dog is unique and has different ‘triggers,’ or different things that make them upset. If you notice your dog becomes upset of frustrated with any game, not only tug-of-war, choose a different game to play with her.

Question 4: Why is My Dog Scooting Her Butt Across the Livingroom Floor?

If you have had a dog for a long time, or have had multiple dogs, there’s a good chance you have been sitting there watching a movie only to glance over and see your dog scooting her butt across the floor awkwardly.

It’s odd, right?

This is an issue that’s common in small and mid-size dogs, but it can be seen in larger breeds too.

Dogs have an anal sac (cats have them too) that can become ‘full,’ impacted, or infected if it isn’t emptying properly.

That’s where the scooting comes in.

The symptoms of a ‘bothered’ anal gland:

  • Scooting
  • Bad odor
  • Pain (in some cases)

If you get your dog groomed, the groomer usually empties the anal sac as part of their grooming process.

Question 5: How Do I Get That Terrible Skunk Smell Off?

You would be surprised how many dogs get sprayed by skunks. They’re curious. Your dog might want to get a close up to see what kind of animal they’re looking at or he might just want to use that prey instinct of his.

Either way, we don’t want a skunky dog in bed with us or lounging on our nice sofa.

Here’s a DIY recipe to get rid of that yucky smell:

  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tsp of liquid dawn dish soap
  1. Mix all this up. Be sure to wear gloves while you’re washing your smelly buddy.
  2. Grab your pup and put her in the tub.
  3. Start rubbing the solution into her fur and be sure to wash thoroughly.

P.S.- Don’t leave this solution on her fur too long as it will bleach her fur.

P.S. 2- You might have to repeat this process more than once depending on how good the skunk got her.

Question 6: Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers?

We all know cats have whiskers. That’s obvious.

Why do dogs need them, though?

Surprisingly, your dog’s whiskers provide her with tons of information.

A dog’s whiskers can sense air currents. You’re probably thinking “okay, what does that mean?”

This means your dog can understand the shape, size, and speed of things nearby which helps them in detecting danger to better protect their pack AKA you and your family.

More Awkward Questions?

If you have more awkward questions and would like another article written answering them, send them in to us via our Facebook page! Simply search PetKey Pets, click our page, and comment/message. Don’t forget to ‘like’ our page to follow our future articles!

The 5 Most Affectionate Kitties in the World

If you’re searching for a cat, there’s a high chance you’re searching for one who is affectionate and ready to be loved at any time. There are those cat lovers who would rather a cat be more on the independent side, but if you’re searching for a loving kitty, this is a must-read.

Just as with dogs, every cat is unique and even cats within the same breed may have varied temperaments. But, we have done our best to put together a list for kitties to look into.

Cat Breed 1: Birman

·        Long-haired

·        Blue eyes

·        Silky smooth

·        Share their love with humans and other pets (even the family dog)

Click here for the full breed profile for the Birman Cat.

Cat Breed 2: Burmese

·        Loves to snuggle

·        Loves to play

·        Athletic

·        Sable-colored

Click here for a full breed profile for the Burmese Cat

Cat Breed 3: Cornish Rex

·        Attention hogs

·        Can never get enough love

·        Commonly used as therapy cats

Click here for a full breed profile for the Cornish Rex.

Cat Breed 4: Persian

·        Lap lover

·        Relaxed

·        Long coat

·        Cute, smushed faces

Click here for a full breed profile for the Persian Cat.

Cat Breed 5: Ragdoll

·        Blue eyes

·        Love to be held as long as you like

·        Extremely tolerant

·        Excellent family cats

Click here for a full breed profile for the Ragdoll Cat.

Which Dog Breed is Best for You?

You’re thinking about adopting a dog. Choosing and adopting a dog is both an exciting and a nerve-wracking time for your family. You’re taking on quite a large responsibility. You are choosing to take responsibility for another life for many years to come.

When choosing a new dog, there are tons of questions roaming through your mind. Most commonly, the first question is, “what breed of dog is best for me?”

Which dog will be best suited for my lifestyle? Which dog will be best suited for my family?

The first step in being a responsible pet parent is choosing a dog you can commit to for his or her lifetime. Be sure to do your research. Once you adopt her, she will count on you for the rest of her life.

Make a thoughtful, well-planned decision.

To assist you in making this huge decision, we have found a survey you can take to review your options by clicking here.

Let’s Check Out the Video! 

We’ve also included the video below to help you search for your new best friend!

Can DogTV Help Dogs with Separation Anxiety?

This week we want to highlight DogTV. Have you ever heard of it? DogTV is the first television channel designed specifically for dogs and is created with the intent to reduce your dog’s separation anxiety and increase her well-being.

Separation anxiety has been found to be the number one behavioral problem of dogs in the United States. Dogs are social animals and often find it difficult to be away from his or her family.

DogTV is a 24/7 service so you’re able to turn it on any time you feel necessary.

How Does DogTV Work?

DogTV has been created using scientific evidence pertaining to canine separation anxiety. Years of research has gone into the development of this special television broadcast. It’s been created by the world’s top experts.

When watching DogTV, a dog’s sense of vision and hearing are targeted. This increases your pup’s mental stimulation and assists in preventing boredom.

My Dog?

Now, you might ask, “do you really think my dog will watch this?” That’s a great question. And, a common one. Dogs have been found to respond to what they see on television especially when it involves other dogs or other animals of any kind actually.

If you do a quick search on YouTube, you’ll see there are thousands of videos of dogs watching television. Yes, it’s a real thing.

How Do I Get DogTV?

If you live in the United States, DogTV is available via Comcast Xfininity, DirectTV Nationwide, Dish, RCN, and Cox.

If you have a computer, it’s also available via Mac and PC.

There’s a DogTV app on AppleTV, Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, iOS, and Android.

There are many options for you to grab DogTV and see if it works for your dog to reduce separation anxiety while you’re gone. Or, if you dog commonly experiences anxiety when you’re home, it’s still worth a try.

And, for those dog lovers who just want to grab their dog something to do while they’re busy this is the perfect gift.

If you do subscribe to DogTV, you might be thinking ‘this doesn’t look right.’ Keep in mind, this wasn’t designed for us as humans. There are colors on the screen, contrast, and camera angles that may appear to be ‘off’ to the human eye but they’re designed to maximize your dog’s attention.

The Categories: Relaxation, Stimulation, Exposure

There are three different categories available when you subscribe to DogTV. You might be wondering which one you should choose; relaxation, stimulation, or exposure.

The relaxation category is designed to assist dogs with stress and anxiety relief using soothing music and visuals.

If your dog needs to be mentally stimulated while home alone, this is where the ‘stimulation’ category comes in handy. The stimulation channel offers your dog plenty of moving images, other dogs and animals to keep her attention, and sounds to encourage your dog to be playful even while you’re gone.

Finally, the third and last category, is exposure. The exposure channel is designed to expose your dog to different stimuli. If your dog needs to be more comfortable in his or her environment, this category is designed to assist with that.

Thoughts?

If anyone has used DogTV or is currently using DogTV, we would love to hear from you. Have you noticed a significant improvement in your dog’s behavior? Have you noticed her stress and/or anxiety decreasing?

If you haven’t tried it and your dog is a ‘separation anxiety’ pup, it’s worth a try! And, they even offer a risk-free trial to make sure it’s a good fit for your individual dog.

We’ve included a clip below so you can get a feel of what DogTV is like… take a look! 


Tips to Encourage a Pawshake

We’ve all seen those dogs who love to shake paws with their human counterpart. The command, ‘shake,’ is a fun trick to teach your dog. And, it’s generally quite simple to teach.

Introducing the “Shake” Command

First step? Reach into that treat back and grab a handful of treats for your pocket. Treats are an excellent reward to encourage your dog to complete the task you’re asking her to.

Have your dog sit down. If she doesn’t know how to sit yet, you’ll need to master that command before starting this one.

Next: Hold a treat in one hand (only one hand) and show the treat to your dog. Then close your fist. Say “shake” and let her get a sniff of that tasty treat as she’s listening to the command.

Then, shake her paw and give her the treat. She will begin to correlate delicious treats with the command you’re providing (low-calorie treats may be necessary here for some dogs).

Don’t get discouraged too easily. Some dogs catch on immediately whereas others take time. Every dog is unique.

Get Rid of the Treat

Eventually, we don’t want to give our dog a treat every time he does a trick or he’s going to one fat ball of fluff. Once your dog has mastered the ‘shake’ command, you can slowly ease off of the treats by not providing a treat every single time he follows your command. Reward him in other ways like praising- “good boy, Rover!” with some love.

Different Methods

As you can imagine, there are different methods which can be used to teach your dog a desired trick. We’ve found the perfect video for you. This is a must-watch.

The video we have chosen for you shows a different method to try with your furry family member- the clicker! You know your dog best; which way would she prefer to learn? Enjoy!


Top 5 Tips for Puppy Training

Yay! Your puppy is finally home! But, oh uh. Now what?

Training needs to begin immediately. Whether your train your pup yourself, enroll her in puppy training classes, or hire a private trainer, there are some basic training tips we can discuss today to get you started on the road to success.

Training Tip 1: Your Pup’s Name

Think long and hard about what you want your puppy’s name should be. Once you pick out a name, it shouldn’t be changed. Changing a name could result in extreme confusion and knock everything out of balance.

For training purposes, it’s best to consider a name with more than one syllable. This will help the training process go much smoother and your dog will understand that’s his name much quicker with repetition.

Side note: If you chose an older shelter dog rather than a puppy, he or she already knows what her name is (or at least there’s a good chance). Changing her name is completely out of the realm of possibility but try the name out you choose first and see how she or he reacts to it. With repetition here too, your new shelter doggy may easily adapt.

Tip 2: Set Ground Rules

Before you bring your new puppy home, you need to set some ground rules. What is she allowed to do? What is she not allowed to do? Once those ground rules are set, stick to them and don’t falter. If you don’t want her jumping on the counters and she is scolded for doing so but then one time you allow her to, she will easily become confused and all that work you have done to keep her from jumping up there will be gone.

Tip 3: Dogs Need Privacy Too

Dogs are den animals and they do enjoy having a place to call their own. Usually, this is a crate. But, it can also be a special room or area in the house that’s generally quiet.

If she’s feeling overwhelmed, this is the area she will feel comfortable walking into in an effort to escape and have some calm down time.

This area can also become extremely helpful with house training because pups don’t like to go potty in their sleep zone.

Tip 4: Teach Him to Come When Called

This is a critical point here. We want our pups to come when we call them. Not only is it a sign of respect to us, but it prevents them from getting into trouble or getting hurt.

“Come Rover!” in an excited voice. Good boy! Good boy! Teaching your pup this command the moment he arrives home is important. Of course, he may not understand immediately but he’ll get the hang of it. Start out by practicing inside. Then, find a fenced-in area outdoors you can practice. With continued effort, your dog will come to you whenever you ask her to.

Tip 5: Reward the Good

Positive reinforcement is extremely important. We want to ignore bad behaviors and reward all good behaviors in this stage of puppyhood.

Not only can you use treats for positive reinforcement; you can also use toys, a little bit of kibble, praise, and love. Let him know when he’s done something you’re happy with. He will be happy you’re happy and continue to do his best in keeping you proud.

All in all, make sure all training is positive. Punishment should never be utilized as this could severely damage the bond you have with your dog for the rest of his life. We don’t want that. We want our bond to be as close as possible. Our dogs are an important part of our family.

Plus, if you keep all training positive, he’ll always be ready to learn more from his very best friend, you.

Fun Winter Adventures for Max!

Got Snow? Let’s Go!

Here at PetKey we all know how overwhelming the winter season can be with nothing to do. But there are some benefits to winter. Many people who live in places of snow galore enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and sledding.

Did you know there’s an activity you can include your dog in, though? You heard that right. A winter activity you can enjoy with your doggies.

Snowshoeing!

At first this might not sound like the most glamourous activity, but you’d be surprised at how peaceful and enjoyable it is once you’re out there.

What’s the Human Need?

If you don’t know much about snowshoeing (don’t worry- most don’t), you’ll need a few things to prepare. Don’t fret, it’s not expensive.

Here’s what you’ll need: Cozy winter clothes, insulated hiking boots (or boots that stay warm), and snowshoes. If you want added balance, grab yourself some poles too.

You can rent or buy snowshoes. 

When you’re looking at snowshoes, you’ll see there are a few different types to choose from. 

You might want snowshoes tailored for walking on the frozen lake nearby or you may simply want to hike up your favorite mountain. Or, take it easy and walk down a regular snow trail.

Before you go out, make sure the weather won’t be too bad especially if it’s your first time.

A Dog’s Snowshoeing Accessories

Before you and your dog hike into the great outdoors, be certain to check the rules and regulations of place you’re choosing. 

There are some places that aren’t dog-friendly, and you don’t want to get in trouble. That won’t make for a fun experience.

You should consider your dog’s health and fitness level before choosing your destination. 

Pick somewhere both you and your dog will feel comfortable. And, don’t choose anything too strenuous if you and/or your dog have never done this before.

Even though it’s cold outside, your dog (and you) will still need to remain hydrated. Don’t forget the water.

Does your dog need a coat, too? Remember, if you’re cold there’s a good chance he’s cold. An insulated dog jacket could make a significant difference in your trip.

As we talked about earlier in the year, those dog booties also come in handy. We don’t want our dog’s paw pads to freeze. Grab those winter boots for your pup.

Stay Safe while Snowshoeing: Dog and Human

As with any hiking excursion, always let someone know where you’re going. 

There are many people who go out wandering without letting people know where they’re going and end up lost somewhere. 

If you are gone too long, and happen to get lost, people will know where to find you (approximately) and you’ll have help on the way much quicker.

Stay aware of your surroundings. The wilderness is beautiful, but you should remain alert for yourself and your furry companion.

Finally, prepare for the unexpected. 

You can’t never be ‘overprepared’ when going on a hiking trip. 

Don’t worry so much your trip is stressful. Just be sure you have packed all the essentials: extra food, extra water, an emergency kit, a compass, and a GPS if you have one.

Let’s Go Snowshoeing!

We highly recommend you dig deeper into this if you’re interested in this activity with your dog. 

We want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible and don’t want you to take on any activity you or your dog are not ready for.

As long as you’re prepared and ready for your adventure, you’ll have a wonderful time together snowshoeing and exploring the beauty of Earth with your furry companion.

Most importantly- have fun!

Happy New Year from PetKey!

Happy New Year from all of us here at PetKey! 

What Gifts Did Santa Paws Bring?

Hello, everyone! This week we waited to post this week’s blog post to find out what your furry friends received from Santa Paws! Do you have any videos you would like to share? If so, please send them to our Facebook page by clicking here. 

Happy Holidays from all of us here at PetKey!


27 Cat Facts That Will Leave You Speechless!

Since this month is Cat Lover’s Month, we thought we should give you another list of some neat cat facts before we dive into our Christmas blog post next week! We can’t ever have enough of those, right?

Let’s get to it.

1.      Did you know your cat is 95.6% tiger? That’s right. And, they share many behaviors with their wild ancestors. This comes from cat behavior expert, Layla Morgan Wilde. The behaviors they share include (but aren’t limited to) prey stalking, prey play, pouncing, and urine marking.

2.      Cats can jump up to six times their length. That’s not shocking though, right? We’ve seen cats jump pretty far to get that piece of chicken from the counter.

3.      You remember seeing fireman going to ‘fetch the cat’ from the top of a tree? She climbed up there, why can’t she get down? Cats’ claws all curve downward, which means they can’t climb down trees head first, but if they’re daring, they can back down the trunk of the tree.

4.      Ever wonder why your cat is searching around with her mouth open? Cats have an extra organ that allows them to taste scents in the air. When she’s looking around with her mouth open, she’s likely showing something known as the ‘flehman response.’

5.      Your cat’s tongue alone has enough ‘scruff’ on it to clean any shred of meat.

6.      Cats use their whiskers to determine where they’re able to fit into. A cat’s whiskers are generally the same width as their body, so before entering a small space, they can check with their whiskers to make sure they’re able to fit.

7.      On average, cats sleep from 12-16 hours per day. Sleepy kitty.

8.      Do you ever wake up or fall asleep to your cat running around playing? Why is she so determined to prevent you from sleeping? It’s because cats are most active at dawn and dusk.

9.      Cats live longer when they are indoor-only cats.

10.   If you have a female kitten, she can get pregnant as young as 4 months old. Beware!

11.   Scientists believe catnip produces an effect similar to LSD or marijuana. The chemical effect in catnip wears off within 15 minutes.

12.   Spaying or neutering your cat can extend his or her life.

13.   Cats have over 100 different vocalizations! He has many ways of communicating with you.

14.   When your cat is rubbing his face and/or body against yours, he is actually marking you as his territory with scent glands in those areas.

15.   Hissing is known to be more defensive than aggressive, according to Wilde (mentioned earlier in this post).

16.   When you are sitting down, and your cat is kneading you with her paws, she is letting you know she is content and happy.

17.   Cats can learn how to use the toilet. Yes, you read that correctly. Your cat can use the potty.

 For 10 more cat facts, watch the video below! 

That’s it for now! If you have any other cat facts, we’d love to hear from you! 

December is Cat Lovers’ Month. Many people say cats don’t get enough attention. Everything is all about dogs. So, cat lovers, this is your month.

Over 36 million households in the United States share their homes with over 74 million cats. That’s an incredible number of purring kitties.

To help you share your love for cats, we have compiled a list of a few ways to celebrate. And, we’d like to share a little bit of history with you.

The Gift of Time

It’s no shock this comes in to our discussion before anything else. There’s no gift that replaces the gift of time. The difficulties of every day life have us running around like crazy people. So much so that it’s difficult to spend time with our families (our human and furry family).

For the month of December, make an extra effort to carve out some spare time or all members of your family.

Volunteer Your Time

If you don’t have any cats of your own, but you’re still a cat lover, there is still a way to dedicate your time. Nearly every humane society has a shortage of volunteers. Whether you’re comfortable helping cleaning up their mess or just want to socialize, the gift of time to your local shelter is incredibly appreciated.

Get Her Painted

Every proud pet parent has something they have done to memorialize their pet whether it’s a framed photograph, a Christmas ornament, or a bumper sticker that says, “I love my cat.”

Did you know you could hire someone to paint you a portrait, though? This is becoming increasingly more popular, but we have found there are still many pet lovers who aren’t aware of this special gift.

Simply choose your favorite photo of your cat and visit Etsy.com. There are many artists to choose from to create the perfect painting you can hang on your wall for years to come.

The History of Cats

To give you a deeper appreciation of that furry kitty wandering around your home, we thought it would be a good idea to explain where she came from.

The Smithsonian Institute shares a popular quite in their article regarding cat history. And, that is, “As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat” and “A dog is a man’s best friend. A cat is a cat’s best friend.” If you have a cat, there is a high chance you know exactly what these quotes are meaning.

The domestication of cats has been quite puzzling to scientists. Wild cats and domesticated cats are more similar than one would think.

A revelation came in 2004, when a scientist found a cat who had been purposely buried with a human, in Cyprus. This led scientists to guess cats were first domesticated about 12,000 years ago.

The Use of Cats?

When discussing domestication, there’s no surprise the domestication of dogs would have been beneficial in many ways including hunting and protection. But, what could cats have to offer so long ago?

One guess. What are kitties good at still to this day?

Mice!

When people began to settle down, and there started to be extra crops, grain stores began to open. With the opening of grain stores came the mice. Scientists believe the wild cats wandered into town and found a ton of mice hiding in these stores.

The cats thought they were in heaven and the people were happy with the pest control.

The rest is history!

How Does Doga Improve Mental, Physical, and Emotional Well-Being?

Hello, everyone! This week we’re switching it up and talking about something that’s fairly new to the dog world. Although it’s fairly new, it can be extremely beneficial to both you and your dog.

Doga. Yes, you heard right. Doga. Dog yoga. We hadn’t heard of it either until recently when a professional trainer had approached us to give us some details.

Read on to find out more!

Instead of doing yoga with your friend (or you can include him or her if your dog is comfortable), start implementing yoga into your dog’s daily routine.

The meditation involved in yoga is calming to everyone, dogs included. That’s not really shocking though, is it? We discovered quite long-ago meditation helps relieve our dog’s stress and anxiety. But, we hadn’t exactly thought about teaching our dogs to do yoga with us.

The music involved also helps our dog relax (and ourselves).

Note: Starting this at home is probably the best idea. Your dog might not be ready to enter your regular yoga session with an overwhelming number of people and distractions in the room.

The Benefits of Doga

There are quite a few benefits to implementing doga into your daily routine with your pup. We’ll talk about a few of them today, but we highly encourage you to do some research for yourself if this is something you’re interested in.

Understanding Your Dog Even Better Than Before

Dr. Danni Shemanski, a leading influencer in dog yoga, has discussed how feelings of importance increase when you include your dog in your yoga experience. The love and the bond shared between the two of you is also likely to increase when this is implemented into your daily schedule.

While performing doga with your dog, you’re spending quality time with your dog. And, as you know, time is all your dog asks for. If your dog has been craving attention, this could very well be the solution.

If your dog suffers from anxiety, you may see a decrease in the anxiety she is feeling after a few doga sessions. The meditation, the physical exercise, the mental stimulation. All those factors assist in preventing anxiety.

The mind exercises involved in yoga may also increase the connection your dog has with you. This will help you understand your dog like you may never have before.

Improved Behavior

When researching Doga, scientists have found doggy yoga improves the focus of dogs as well. And, it can greatly improve their obedience.

Patience is another area you may see improvement. Your dog is likely to be more patient… as are you. Why not, right? With all this relaxation, physical, and mental stimulation, it’s not shocking that you’ll feel more patient and be able to stress less.

Reduced Anxiety Levels

Yes, we did already talk about doga reducing anxiety levels. But this is an area which needs emphasized heavily. The majority of clients taken by canine behaviorists experience some type of anxiety.  

Between the yoga, the music, and the time spent with you, your dog is likely to find her mind, body, and soul freed during each doga session.

Weight Loss

Whether you’re healthy and fit or have a little work to do (same with your dog), both of are you are going to benefit from your session’s calorie burning benefits.

You’re going to be stretching. You’re going to feel muscles you didn’t even know you had. You’re really going to be working at this.

Those who have never tried yoga will say, ‘that’s way too easy for me.’ It looks simple, but there’s much more to it than you think. And, it truly works your body.

Doga is Fun… and Funny

Many dogs will try to imitate you. You can count on her looking a little silly. That’s part of the fun of it.

Among all the fun and exercise, you will forget how much time has passed. You’ll notice each session seeming shorter and shorter as your mind and body become accustomed to the sessions. Yet another reason to implement yoga into your routine.

Social Skills for Your Pup

Once you’re both ready, you might want to start looking for other people and their dogs to join you. You may even consider offering your own doga class.

Dog parks provide a huge opportunity for you to meet other dog lovers and socialize. This could be the perfect opportunity to ask around, share what you have learned, and see if anyone would like to join you in this activity. There are many who don’t believe in the benefits of yoga or doga, but you would be surprised how many people do believe.

Once other dogs and people are involved with your doga class, your dog will enjoy the benefits of socialization. Your dog will not only have the opportunity to bond with other people but other dogs as well. And, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new friends, too.

The Bottom Line on Doga

Doga can be the perfect opportunity for both yourself and your dog to get fit while spending some good quality time together. There’s not a significant amount of information out there about doga yet, but there’s definitely enough to get you started.

Use Your Leftover Turkey for Your Dog: Doggy Meatball Recipe

Homemade Turkey Meatballs Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Makes 24 pieces

Are you wondering what to do with all that leftover turkey? Why not make your dog a healthy, delicious treat! Or, add these meatballs to their regular meal (be sure to reduce the amount of kibble if you choose to do this). These meatballs are good for about five days in the refrigerator or you can freeze them for future snacks.

Meatball Ingredients:

·        1 pound of leftover turkey (skinless, boneless)

·        2 eggs

·        ½ cup of rolled oats

·        1 cup of mixed veggies

·        2 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt

·        ¼ cup of fresh parsley

Cooking Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400º

Step 2: Place leftover turkey into the food processor and pulse to break up the meat

Step 3: Add the rolled oats to the mix and pulse into there are no longer any large pieces

Step 4: Add the egg and yogurt pulsing until the mixture holds together

Step 5: Transfer mixture from food processor to a large bowl

Step 6: Add the cup of mixed veggies and parsley; mix with your hands

Step 7: Roll into 1” balls

Step 8: Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet

Step 9: Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown

Step 10: Wait to cook and serve (or refrigerate/freeze)

You may think it’s good to add seasonings to this mix, but seasonings could result in stomach upset or illness. Your dog will love these treats just as they are.

Enjoy!