Posts Categorized: Pet Care

choosing the right food for your cat

How to Choose the Right Food for Your Cat

choosing the right food for your cat

Is it important to learn how to choose the right food for your cat? The answer is a resounding yes! It is important for your cat’s health and overall well-being and happiness. So, how do you go about choosing the right food for your cat? There are a lot of factors to consider.

Consider the Needs of Your Cat When Choosing Food

#1 Age

How old is your cat? Depending on his age, his nutritional needs will be different.

Kittens are more active than adult or older cats and therefore need more calories in their diet. Also, they are developing and growing so they need a diet that is high in protein and fat so they can build healthy bones and teeth.

As cats grow into adults, their caloric needs will change since they aren’t as active and are no longer growing and developing. You will want to monitor the caloric intake so that your cat does not become overweight as an adult.

Older cats will need proteins that are easier to digest, and because they are more sedentary, their diet should be lower in fat as well.

#2 Nutritional Requirements

Cats are different from dogs in that they need much more protein than dogs do. Their food should be high in animal-based protein and low on plant-based ingredients. Cats do not tolerate grains as dogs do, so their diet needs to be grain free. Also, cats do best with a diet low in carbohydrates.

According to the catsite.com, a cat’s natural diet contains the following:

  • 72-78% moisture content
  • 63% protein
  • 23% fat
  • 2.8% carbohydrates

Different Types of Food Choices for Your Cat

There are many choices of food available for your cat and all of them have their pros and cons.

#1 Dry Food

Dry food is easy to use and typically costs less than all other forms of cat food. However, there are a lot of cons to using strictly dry food for your cat. Sometimes, the savings in food may translate into higher costs in health care for your cat later on in life.

Some of the cons of dry food are

  • It is highly processed and typically very high in carbohydrates
  • Dry food oftentimes has non-meat sources of protein which cats do not tolerate well
  • Kibble is very dehydrating for your cat because of the low moisture content

#2 Wet Food

Wet foods have a lot more moisture in them and this helps to keep cats from getting dehydrated. Cats often do not drink enough water and end up developing kidney and urinary tract issues. Therefore, having a food high in moisture content helps to alleviate that problem.

Canned foods also have a lower level of carbohydrates.

Some of the disadvantages of using canned food are

  • It is typically more expensive than dry food
  • It can go bad if left out for more than a few hours
  • Some cats do not enjoy the refrigerated leftovers

#3 Raw Frozen or Freeze Dried Food

Raw food is the closest to a species-appropriate diet for your cat and has many advantages. It is minimally processed and contains natural ingredients. Cats eat less and therefore maintain better weight control. It can also be cheaper than canned food, but, like canned food, it provides a high moisture content. It also contains less carbohydrates than both canned and dry food.

One of the disadvantages of raw food is that it has to be thawed before eating and it cannot be left out for long periods of time. However, with good planning and scheduled feedings, it can be easily adapted to the cat’s lifestyle (and yours!)

 

How to Choose the Right Food for Your Cat

The best way to choose the right food for your cat is to put all of the information above together.

  • Consider your cat’s age
  • Evaluate your cat’s nutritional needs based on his age and based on a ca’ts nutritional requirements
  • Weight the cost  – remember to consider both present costs (how much the actual food costs) but also future costs (costs you will incur caring for your cat’s health and well-being)

What do you feed your cat?

 

 

 


caring for an aging pet

Caring for an Aging Pet

caring for an aging pet

You may wonder, how exactly do I go about caring for an aging pet? Our pets bring us so much joy and love when they are young. As they begin to get older, though, it is time for us to repay all of the unconditional love and devotion they have given us throughout their life. It is important to give your aging pet the best possible care, so he can age with dignity, surrounded by love.

When Is a Pet Considered Older?

This can vary from pet to pet, but, typically, cats and smaller dogs are considered older when they reach the age of 7. Larger dogs, who tend to have a shorter lifespan, are considered older when they reach the age of 6. It is crucial to know this because we don’t typically think of a 7-year-old dog or cat as old. But this is the time to be on the lookout for health problems. Being prepared can help your pet age with dignity and continue to have a good quality of life well on to his later years.

Consider the tables below for an approximate estimate in human years of your pet’s age as it gets older:

what is my cat's age in human years

Common Signs of Disease in Older Pets

As pets age, diseases are more likely to increase, so it is important to keep a close eye on your pet’s overall health and well-being during this time in his life. Be on the lookout for things such as:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Decreased or no urination
  • Straining to urinate
  • Blood in urine
  • Poor health coat
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Decreased tolerance of exercise

If you see any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your vet.

caring for an older cat

Caring for an Aging Pet

So, how should you go about caring for your older pet? The first thing to do is remember that your pet needs you now more than ever! You are your pet’s voice; you are his ally. Your pet has given you a lifetime of joy and unconditional love. And now, he needs your help to get through a difficult time in his life with dignity and love.

Start healthy habits NOW!

Age is, in fact, not considered an illness. The care you give your pet now will determine, to a great extent, how well he ages. So don’t wait until your pet gets older. Start healthy habits now.

Schedule regular visits to the vet

Even if your pet appears healthy, you will want to do check-ups to ensure that there is nothing lurking unseen.

Feed your dog a high-quality diet

This is imperative throughout the dog’s life to maintain health. Now, as your pet ages, it is even more crucial. You may also need to decrease the portions but increase the number of times you feed your pet each day.

See more information on making your own dog food here.

For information on the advantages of a raw food diet for your dog, click here.

Keep your pet at his ideal weight

Do not allow your pet to become overweight because overweight dogs are more prone to developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and so on.

Continue to give your pet appropriate exercise

Even though our pets slow down as they age, this does not mean they do not need exercise anymore. Adjust the amount and intensity of the exercise to suit your pet’s age and health.

Provide toys to keep your senior pet engaged

Even though our pets are aging, they are still young at heart. Provide your pet with toys to stimulate his mind and keep his playful spirit alive.

Sunlight and fresh air

Pets also need sunlight and fresh air. While cats live longer when kept indoors, if you have a screened in porch where your cat can get some sunlight and fresh air, it is a good idea to let your cat go out there each day. Also, many people put a window seat for their cats and these can quickly become your kitty’s favorite spot.  Sunlight and fresh air for dogs can easily be supplied by providing walks each day. Make sure you keep your dog on a leash to avoid any problems!

Ensure your pet has any special accommodations he needs

You may need to provide ramps, special bedding, foot pads or booties to keep your pet from slipping on hard flooring, and so on.

What special things have you done to care for your older pet?


turdlebag poop bag holder

Review of Turdlebag

review of turdlebag

 

As dog walkers, we deal with poop on a daily basis. Actually, forget daily, we deal with it on an hourly basis. Or even every 20 to 30 minutes. While walking dogs is tons of fun, handling their poop bags… not so much. I remember walking a couple of large dogs, having hands full with leashes and poop bags and thinking, there has to be a better way. Heaven forbid they poop more than once and I am left holding 3 or 4 bags in addition to the dogs and their leashes. So, I did a little research and found a product that I absolutely love: the Turdlebag! Here is my review of Turdlebag.

turdlebag poop bag holderWhat is the Turdlebag?

The Turdlebag is a combination of poop bag dispenser and a convenient dog poop bag container. It allows you to carry multiple poop-filled bags so that your hands can be used for a more noble purpose, such as holding the leash or swinging freely at your side.

turdlebag attached to leashHow does it work?

The Turdlebag attaches easily to your dog’s leash, harness, a backpack, a bag, etc. I actually attach mine to the fanny pack I use while working. You can roll it shut while it is empty and when you have added poop bags to it. This keeps the odor level down while you are walking those poops around.

Find out more about how it works here. 

Pros of the Turdlebag

Strong and Sturdy

I love everything about the Turdlebag. I have been using my Turdlebag for a year and a half now and it gets a lot of use almost every day. It is strong and sturdy. It is big enough to hold quite a few poop-filled bags, but, at the same time, does not get in my way.

It Also Holds Poop Bag Rolls

The Turdlebag also holds two rolls of poop bags and has a handy dispenser through which to feed the bags.

It is Machine-Washable

The Turdlebag can also be put in the washing machine (just be sure to air dry it!) to keep it clean and fresh.

turdlebag
Additional Small Pocket

The new version of the Turdlebag also has a small pocket where you can put money, ID, or keys. Since I use a fanny pack, I don’t use that small pocket. The pocket is not large enough for a cell phone and can’t hold too much.

Cons of the Turdlebag

The only con that I can think of for the Turdlebag is that you can sometimes still smell a bit of the poop. However, when I keep it closed, I do not typically smell the poop. It is not 100% odor free, but then again, it would be much worse if you were carrying the bag in your hand. Besides, if you are carrying poop, it kind of comes with the territory.

The Turdlebag is currently 80% odor free and they are working on making it 100% odor free.

Who Should Use the Turdlebag?

If you have a dog (or especially if you have more than one dog), and you take your dog for long walks, you will love the Turdlebag! It allows you to keep your hands free for more important things. I highly recommend it!

Have you used the Turdlebag before? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.


outdoor exercise for your cat

How to Get Your Cat to Exercise

how to get your cat to exercise

When people have dogs, they will typically walk them every day or have them engage in play time in order to keep them healthy. However, when it comes to cats, because many are indoor-only, they end up leading a sedentary life, which can lead to a cat becoming overweight and even getting sick. So, you may be wondering how you can get your cat to exercise. First, let us consider some of the benefits of exercise for your cat.

Benefits of Exercise for Your Cat

Exercise helps your cat to keep physically fit. Just as with humans, cats need proper exercise to maintain optimum physical health.

It releases anxiety. Excercise helps to release anxiety and tension. If a cat has no way to release stress and anxiety, it can build up and cause damage to the cat’s health and well-being.

Exercise alleviates boredom. Cats are hunters by nature. They are also very curious creatures. Exercise helps to fulfill a cat’s hunting desire and keeps the cat stimulated mentally. Mental stimulation and well-being, in turn, translate into a healthy and happy cat.

It makes your cat feel good. Who doesn’t like to play? Cats are no different. They enjoy playtime because it’s a break from the ordinary and make them feel good.

It promotes bonding time. Playing promotes bonding between cat and human. This builds up a strong and loving relationship.

How Can I Get My Cat to Exercise?

Getting Your Cat to Exercise Indoors

Getting a cat to exercise may involve patience and creativity, but it is well worth the effort.

Cat toys. For inside playtime, you can use cat toys that you purchase or those you make yourselfBe sure to supervise your cat during play and be careful of which toys you decide to use for your cat.

Lasers. You can also use lasers to play with your cat, but be sure to follow it up with a real, tangible toy. If you use only the cat laser, your cat can develop frustration and fixation because he is unable to physically catch or touch the laser. The advantage of the laser is that you can have your cat running quite a bit trying to catch it.

Cat trees or window perches. Cats love being high up and this gets them moving. Give them plenty of perching options throughout the house.

Catnip. You can also use catnip to provide enrichment and stimulation for an indoor cat. Make your own catnip toy by adding some catnip to an old sock and knotting it. Or, you can add some catnip to a paper bag and crush it into a ball. Another option is to rub it on your cat’s scratching post.

outdoor exercise for your cat

Getting Your Cat to Exercise Outdoors

It may be a little trickier to get your cat to exercise outdoors, but here are some suggestions:

Let your cat out on the porch. If you have a covered porch, this is a great option for your cat because it provides options for exercise as well as allowing your cat to get some fresh air and sunshine, which are also crucial to his good health. Your cat will get exercise chasing lizards and bugs. He will also get stimulation observing the birds, squirrels, and other animals that may be out and about.

Use a harness and leash. This is the one that may be a bit tricky. It will take quite a bit of patience to get your cat used to using a leash but they payoff of doing so is great. Your cat will have the opportunity of exploring the outdoors, which is something cats love to do, but at the same time, he can remain safe.

What is your cat’s favorite form of exercise?

 


dog groomers in windermere

Dog Groomers in Windermere

dog groomers in windermere

Trying to find out who are the best dog groomers in Windermere? Finding the right groomer for your pet is important because you want your pet to be happy and you also want it to fit your needs.

This to Consider When Choosing a Dog Groomer in Windermere

You will want to take several things into account when deciding on a groomer for your pet.

Find Out How Experienced the Dog Groomer Is

How much experience does the groomer have? You will want to find someone with the experience level with which you are comfortable. Find out if the groomer has gone to grooming school or apprenticed with another groomer. In addition, you will want to learn if the groomer has experience grooming your particular breed (or even size) of dog.

Check Out the Reviews of Dog Groomers in Windermere

What do others have to say about the groomer, either online or in person? Often, a good way to find a great dog groomer is to ask others who have pets to find out who they use to groom their pets. If you don’t know anyone who has a pet and uses a groomer, the next best thing to do is to go online and do some research. Do a search for reviews of dog groomers in Windermere and see what you can find. Read the reviews, but always remember to take negative reviews with a grain of salt if they are few and far-between.

Check Out the Facility

You will want to check out the facility to make sure that it is clean and that the animals are treated properly. Some things you will want to check for are

  • Does everything smell clean?
  • Do they sweep up and clean up frequently?
  • How are the staff handling the pets?
  • Do the pets seem relaxed?
  • Are the groomers giving the pets their full attention?
  • Is there a lot of barking and stress?
  • How do they handle more difficult dogs?
  • Does the groomer ask you questions about your dog?

What Does Dog Grooming Include?

Grooming may include some (or all) of the following:

  • Brushing
  • Clipping
  • Bathing
  • Drying
  • Nail clipping/grinding
  • Sanitary clip
  • Feet and pad trimming
  • Ear cleaning
  • Face and eye trim
  • Anal gland expressing
  • Tick removal
  • Dematting

Dog Groomers in Windermere

Looking for a dog groomer in the Windermere area? Here are some of the groomers we found on Google. Please note that we haven’t tried these groomers ourselves, so use the tips above to choose the perfect groomer for you and your pup.

Windermere Mobile Pet Grooming

Aussie Pet Mobile Windermere

The Spaw Groom

Which dog groomer do you use in the Windermere area?

 


things to consider when adopting a cat

Things to Consider When Adopting a Cat

things to consider when adopting a cat

Thinking of adding a cat to your life? Here are some things to consider when adopting a cat.

Is Owning a Cat a Big Commitment?

Having a pet is a big commitment of time, expense, and energy. It is not something that a person should get on impulse. It is vital to consider if you are able to commit to this pet for the rest of his life.

How Much Time Does Owning a Cat Require?

Consider: do I have enough time to take care of a cat? How much time is involved in caring for a cat?

Many people think that a cat is a low-maintenance pet. That may be true to a small extent, but no pet is truly low-maintenance unless you get a pet rock.

#1 Cats Need Attention

Cats need attention and exercise just as much as dogs do. Even though they express themselves differently in terms of their need for affection, they enjoy having human companionship and interaction. Will you have the necessary time day in and day out to devote to your cat?

#2 Cats Need Feeding and Grooming

Cats require feeding and possibly daily grooming, depending on the fur. You can make feeding easier and quicker by using automatic feeders on timers. However, it is still important to do research when deciding the best diet to feed your cat to ensure optimum health.

Cats with long fur will need consistent brushing to prevent matting of the hair. Cats do not enjoy having mats in their fur.

#3 Cats Like Clean Litter Boxes

You will also need to budget time for cleaning litter boxes. Cats love to use a clean litter box, so it is important to clean the litter box often, at least once or twice per day. An option that will save time for this is to use a self-cleaning litter box. Do your research, though. Not all self-cleaning litter boxes are created equal! As a pet sitter, I have seen a lot of self-cleaning litter boxes, and some can be a huge hassle to maintain and sometimes clog easily.

#4 Cats Need Daily Exercise

You will want to exercise your cat daily as well. Cats need exercise, even if they are indoors only, in order to maintain good health. In addition, exercise can alleviate boredom and stress for your cat.

how to choose the right cat for you

Is It Expensive to Own a Cat?

It is important to also consider the expense of owning a cat. You must be willing to foot the expense of the cat for his entire lifetime. It is not simply a matter of having fun with a kitten and then abandoning him once he grows old. A person wanting to get a cat must consider if he/she is willing to commit to the expenses that will occur as the cat ages.

#1 Vet Bills

Usually, when pets are younger, the vet bills are lower because they are generally healthier and only need their routine vet check-ups. However, as pets age, they may develop different health problems and, addressing these problems will involve an added expense. It is the saddest thing to see pets abandoned by their owners when they need them most, as they get older.

#2 Travel Arrangements

An added expense that you need to consider is what you will do with your cat if you need to travel. Sometimes people feel that cats are self-sufficient and can stay for long periods of time while their owners travel. But, even if the cat has food and water, he still needs companionship and interaction. You will want someone to check in on your cat daily to make sure that all is well. It is a good idea to set up a pet sitting service once you get your cat. You will want to have someone you trust to take care of your cat when you travel.

What Kind of Cat Should I Adopt?

Another thing you will want to consider is what kind of cat to adopt. How can you go about deciding?

#1 Analyze your lifestyle

You will want to analyze your lifestyle to decide whether you want to go with a kitten, an adult cat, or a senior cat.

For instance, a kitten is going to require much more attention and playtime than an adult or senior cat will. A kitten will also need a lot more exercise and playtime. Kittens are fun, adorable, and a source of lots of laughs, but do you have the necessary time to keep your kitten happy and healthy so that he can grow into a stable adult?

A senior cat will need less time than a kitten but the expense may be greater depending on health issues. Senior cats are less likely to be adopted, so if you don’t have enough time for a kitten but have weighed the expenses carefully and can make room for a senior cat in your life, he will be forever grateful to you.

On the other hand, an adult cat may just strike the balance you need at the moment between time and finances. There are many wonderful adult cats that need good homes.

#2 Analyze your personality

You will want to find a cat that works with your personality. You and your cat should complement each other. For instance, if you are a quiet and lower energy person, you will most likely not be too thrilled with a cat that is bouncing off of the walls and demanding a lot of attention. You may enjoy it for a while, but it could get old. Also, you may not be inclined to provide the cat with the attention and exercise he needs to be happy.

On the other hand, if you want to spend a lot of time playing with your cat, you will want to look for a very playful and active cat.

What tips do you have for someone who wants to adopt a cat?


Best Pet Boarding Places in Windermere

This article will discuss some of the different options for pet care available to you, how you can go about choosing the right options for you, and some of the best pet boarding in Windermere.

Many times, when people are planning to go out of town, they are unsure as to what options they have for pet care. Many people rely on friends, relatives, or neighbors to help out when they have to be away, but some have found that this is not always the best option for them. Some feel that they do not want to bother their friends and put a strain on the relationship. These people may be at a loss as to what to do. Sometimes, clients tell us that, before they found out about our pet sitting services, they would never go out of town because they just could not leave their pet.

Pet Care Options in Windermere

There are many pet care options available to pet parents in the Windermere area. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Pet Sitting in Windermere

One of the options many people use when they go out of town is pet sitting.

How do you decide if pet sitting is a good option for you? Consider a few questions you can ask yourself:

Does my pet prefer to stay at home?

Pet sitting is an excellent option for pets who prefer to stay at home. Many pets are shy by nature and all pets are creatures of habit. Therefore, for a lot of pets, staying at home is a preferred choice. They enjoy the comfort and security of being in their home environment and of keeping up with their favorite daily routines. Cats, especially, typically hate to leave home and do very well with daily visits for feeding, love, and attention.

Do I have time to plan pick-up and drop-off at a boarding facility?

If your schedule is tight and you do not want to add drop-off and pick-up times to your already busy schedule, pet sitting is also a good option because all you have to do is schedule the visits (once you have registered with a company), and your pet sitting can begin. No need to pack supplies and transport your pet. If you do prefer to have your pet boarded but do not have time for pick-up and drop-off, contact us for more information on our pet taxi services.

Do I have someone to check on my house, pick up mail, newspaper, etc?

If you do not already have someone who can come over and do those things for you, pet sitting may be a good option for you. In addition to caring for your pet, a pet sitting service will pick up mail, rotate lights, open and close blinds, and give the house an appearance of being occupied while you are away. Having someone come daily or even several times per day can be a crime deterrent.

Pet Boarding in Windermere

Another option for pet care in the Windermere area is pet boarding. How do you decide if pet boarding is a good option for you and your pet? Consider some questions you can ask yourself:

Does my dog come to the boarding facility for daycare on a consistent basis?

If your dog is used to coming to the boarding facility for daycare on a consistent basis, using pet boarding is very likely a great option for your dog. He is already familiar with the environment and associates it with playtime and fun. He knows that, once he is dropped off there, he will be picked up again, so it is not traumatic for him. It gets to be his vacation while you are on vacation.

Does my pet need veterinary care while I am away?

While a lot of pet sitting companies and boarding facilities can and do administer medications with client instruction while clients are away, sometimes it is best to board your pet under the supervision of a vet, at a veterinary clinic boarding facility.

Best Pet Boarding Places in Windermere

As a pet sitting service in the Windermere area, we know that we, unfortunately, cannot be a fit for everyone. However, our ultimate goal is to help all pet parents, be it through our services, or by helping with the process of finding the perfect place to care for their pets.

With that in mind, we have done a Google search and compiled a list of pet boarding places in the Windermere area. The Google ratings are as of the writing of this article.

Pawsh Pet Resort and Spa

(I have personally taken client’s pets here as part of our pet taxi service and can testify that the staff was always very friendly and the dogs were always very happy to go there for doggie daycare)

300 Countyline Ct, Oakland, FL 34787

(407) 654-7297

They have a 4.8 Star rating on Google

Best Friends Pet Care

2510 Bonnet Creek Pkwy, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

(407) 209-3126

They have a 4.3 Star rating on Google

Paws and Play

11790 W Colonial Dr, Ocoee, FL 34761

(407) 656-7529

They have a 4.5 Star rating on Google

Fur and Feathers Pet Resort

1230 Winter Garden Vineland Rd, Winter Garden, FL 34787

(407) 905-6088

They have a 3.9 Star rating on Google

Best Vet Boarding Places in Windermere

If you have a pet that is ill and needs medical supervision by a vet, boarding at a vet clinic is probably your best option. Here is a list of vet clinic boarding places in the Windermere area:

Luv-n-Care Animal Hospital of Windermere

8940 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, FL 32835

(407) 217-7700

They have a 5 Star rating on Google

Windermere Vet Services

Lake Burden Shops, 7315 Winter Garden Vineland Rd #109, Windermere, FL 34786

(407) 217-7635

They have a 4.8 Star rating on Google

Windermere Animal Clinic

1909 Maguire Rd, Windermere, FL 34786

(407) 876-3676

They have a 4.7 Star rating on Google

How Can We Help You?

Do you have questions about the difference between pet sitting and pet boarding? Want to learn more about the pet sitting services we offer and get a tailor-made service for your pet? Contact us now! We would love to help!

Whom do you rely on for pet care when you go out of town?


The Orlando Cat Cafe

The Orlando area has its very own cat café, the Orlando Cat Café! It is the only cat café in all of the state of Florida as of the writing of this blog. Cats and coffee, along with a dash of caring, can you get any better than that?

I contacted the founder of the Orlando Cat Café, Sandra Cagan, to get more details on how the whole thing started. Read on to learn the story of this charming café.

What is a Cat Café?

First off, you may be wondering what a cat café is.

A cat café is the fusion of a coffee bar and a place where you can go to get your kitty fix. In addition, in the case of the Orlando Cat Café, the cats that you see there are all available for adoption. This is a wonderful way to find a perfect cat to adopt.

What is the Orlando Cat Cafe?

“The Orlando Cat Café is a collaborative project between The Animal League, Axum Coffee, and Cagan Management Group,” says Cagan. “It is a cozy coffeehouse with comfortable furniture, premium coffee, delicious sandwiches, and pastries where you can enjoy the company of cats and kittens all of which are available for adoption.  This concept comes from Japan where it is very popular.  Like all good things, it spread throughout Europe before eventually coming to the United States.  The Orlando Cat Café is the first and only Cat Café in the state of Florida!”

I just love the idea that these cats in need are getting help and a chance at adoption.

According to the ASPCA1.4 million cats are euthanized each year. Forty-one percent of cats that enter shelters are euthanized. It is a staggering number and a very sad statistic. A place like the Orlando Cat Café can do a lot to help cats in need. They give cats a chance at adoption and help to save them from euthanasia.

“We are really blessed to have such good partners in this venture,” says Cagan. “Axum Coffee not only provides delicious coffee, sandwiches, and food, but they are extremely philanthropic in their own right.  They were the perfect match and we could not have done this without them.  The Animal League has also been nothing short of fantastic.  It is a pleasure dealing with such a professional organization that also wants to do good in the world.”

Cagan with two of the kittens from the Orlando Cat Café

How the Orlando Cat Café Got Its Start

Cagan tells the story or the start of the idea for the Orlando Cat Café:

“On December 31, 2014, NBC Nightly News did a story on a Cat Café that opened in New York City.  The story stayed with me for several days and a few days into the New Year I sent an email to Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks outlining my idea to start a Cat Café.  I started my email with the words “you’re going to think I am crazy…”  Commissioner Parks responded within the hour and thought it was a great idea and helped get the ball (of yarn) rolling by introducing me to Doreen Barker, Executive Director and Jessica Whitehouse, Director of Development for the Animal League (formerly the Southlake Animal League).  2015 was an important year for me as I was turning 50 (gasp!) and looking for a way to “give back” to the community.  I can’t do anything about the situation in Syria or Darfur or stop global warming, but with my lifelong love of cats and my 20+ years in property management, helping homeless cats was something that I could do.”

Cats, cats, and more cats!

About Cat Adoption

I asked Cagan what the most important things someone should consider when choosing a cat to adopt. She mentioned that it is vital to remember that, when adopting, you are making a commitment for the life of the cat.

“Kittens are very cute, but kittens eventually become cats and as cats become older there are sometimes medical issues that arise,” says Cagan. She continues, “Pets are a wonderful addition to a family but a long and sometimes costly commitment.”

Adopting a cat (or any other pet, for that matter), is not something that should be done on impulse. It is a serious decision and the proper amount of time and thought must go into making it. That is the beauty of a place like the Orlando Cat Café. You are able to interact with different cats several times, as often as you wish. This will allow you to have the time to think through the decision. In that way, you can make sure it is the right decision for you.

Another plus of the Orlando Cat Café is that all of the cats and kittens are spayed/neutered, microchipped and up to date on all vaccinations.

Since the Café opened on September 8th, 2016, 47 cats have been adopted! Two of the cats even traveled out of state – one to New York and one to Minnesota.

For those kitties, life has forever been changed for the better! “Every time I see that one of our cats has found their “forever” home, it makes me want to cry (tears of joy),” says Cagan. “I have had the pleasure of seeing many families find their perfect cat or in some cases, the cat chooses the perfect family and it is really a joy to behold.  I have had cats for 37 of my 51 years on the planet and so I know firsthand how much joy a cat brings a family.  It is a privilege to play a tiny role in that process.”

One of the cuties at the Orlando Cat Café

The adoption process at the Orlando Cat Café

The Animal League handles the adoptions at the Orlando Cat Café. I love their mantra for adopting out cats: “Our adoptions are NOT first come, but FIRST BEST MATCH.” The goal is to create the perfect match by pairing the cat’s personality and needs with the adopter’s needs and lifestyle.  Doing so goes a long way to ensuring a strong bond between the cat and its new family, thus fostering a wonderful, lifetime relationship.

The safety and well-being of the cats are of primary concern at the Orlando Cat Café. Therefore, there is an application process and reference check, among other things. You can read more about the adoption process here: http://orlandocatcafe.com/adopt-a-cat/

Volunteer Opportunities at the Orlando Cat Café

“We are always looking for volunteers,” says Cagan. “Simply go to www.theanimalleague.org  and  click on “Help” on the top of the page, and then Volunteer and then check the box for Cat Café.”

What is your favorite thing about the Orlando Cat Café?


Top Dog and Cat Names in 2016

Wondering what were the top dog and cat names in 2016? Scroll down to find out; but first, a little about how to find the perfect name for YOUR pet.

Finding the Perfect Name for Your Pet

It can sometimes be difficult to find the perfect name for your pet. I remember when we rescued a dog that was being called Saturn. My husband works with different car dealerships in Orlando and Saturn was found wandering around a – you guessed it! – Saturn dealership. They were not able to keep him so my husband brought him home as a gift to me. He was the first of many rescues in the past 13 years of our marriage.

However, when we brought “Saturn” home, we tried calling him by his then given name and he would not answer to it. So, I searched for a list of dog names on the Internet and started trying the ones I liked, one by one. He did not respond to any of them until I tried the name Bogart. His ears perked right up and he looked at me as if to say, “Finally, you figured it out!”

Bogart answered to his name for the next 9 years, tail wagging, eyes bright and alert. He loved his name. With his help, we had found the perfect name for him.

Factors You Can Take into Consideration When Picking a Name for Your Pet

In our case, Bogart let us know what name he wanted us to use, so we knew that, for him, that was the perfect name. However, the search may not always be so clear-cut.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when deciding what to call your pet:

  • Keep it simple

You want a name that is easy to say, especially if you have children.

  • Don’t rush into it

Don’t rush into naming your dog as soon as you get him. These things can take time and you want to select a name that suits your pet. You will want to study his personality to find the perfect name for him. Once you have named your pet, it will be difficult to change his name after too much time has passed. Our pets get attached to their names.

  • Proceed carefully if using a human name

If you decide to use a human name for your pet, make sure none of your relatives or good friends have the same name. They may be offended if you use their name for your pet.

  • Avoid confusion

If choosing a name for a dog, you will want to avoid confusion with a command that your dog will be learning. Also, if you already have another pet, avoid names that sound similar so that you do not confuse them because they cannot tell the difference. For instance, don’t have a Mike and a Spike in the same household as it may lead to both coming to you when you call either one.

  • Keep in mind that you may be shouting this name while running down the street

Be aware of what name you choose for your pet because, on occasion, you may have to shout this name as you run down the street in your pajamas.

What Were the Top Dog and Cat Names in 2016?

Here are the top dog and cat names in 2016, separated by gender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your pet’s name on the list?


What is pancreatitis in dogs?


what is pancreatitis in dogs

What is pancreatitis in dogs? Do you know what symptoms to look for?

What is Pancreatitis?

Simply put, pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas.

The pancreas is an organ in the body that performs two main functions:

  • Regulation of blood sugar level through the production of insulin
  • Digestion of nutrients through the production of pancreatic enzymes which include amylase, lipase, and protease.

An inflammation of the pancreas causes it to cease to perform these functions as it should. Also, certain digestive enzymes that should only be active in the small intestine, become active in the pancreas. This causes swelling and pain.

There can be pain as a result of the pancreas beginning to digest itself slowly.

A sudden and rapid onset of inflammation is termed Acute Pancreatitis while Chronic Pancreatitis results when the symptoms of pancreatitis worsens increasingly over time.

Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs

There are no exact known causes for the irritation and subsequent inflammation of the pancreas. However, there are a few possible causes including:

  • Genetics: some species of dogs appear to be more prone to pancreatitis than others. For example, some breeds that are more susceptible to the condition are Dachshunds, Silky terriers and Skye terriers, Yorkshire terriers and Schnauzers
  • Metabolic disorders such as high amounts of calcium and lipids in the blood can also lead to inflammation of the pancreas.
  • As dogs get older, they are more predisposed to the condition. Also, overweight and obese dogs are more at risk.
  • Acute pancreatitis can occur as a result of reactions to a drug or after abdominal surgery, and this is usually triggered by the intake of greasy or fatty food.
  • Previous pancreatitis. In most cases, it has been observed that dogs that have had pancreatitis once usually have it again.

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs

For Acute pancreatitis, the commonly observed symptoms include

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue and sluggishness
  • Mild to severe abdominal pain (may become more sever after eating)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty in breathing

Chronic pancreatitis often appears with no symptoms. The only sign of it is usually a slight elevation of pancreatic enzymes especially the amylase, lipase, and protease.

How to Diagnose Pancreatitis in Dogs

If you observe any of the above symptoms in your dog, it is best that you visit your veterinarian who will perform a thorough physical exam. Your vet will perform diagnostic tests to ascertain if your dog has acute pancreatitis. Some of such tests may include:

  • Chemical tests to assess kidney, liver, and pancreatic disease or dysfunction, as well as blood sugar levels
  • A total blood count to investigate for infection, inflammation, or anemia and other blood-related conditions.
  • Electrolyte tests to make sure your dog is not dehydrated or experiencing pain due to an electrolyte imbalance
  • Pancreas-specific tests (testing for enzyme levels) to help diagnose or rule out the disease itself
  • Radiography (x-rays) and ultrasound can also be used to make the right diagnosis.
  • A biopsy can be carried out in order to get a conclusive diagnosis, but is not commonly performed. 

Taking your dog for regular veterinary examinations is the best way to ensure early detection and treatment of other predisposing illnesses as well as the prevention of secondary pancreatitis. Don’t take any chances; your canine friend is counting on you.

Has your dog had pancreatitis?