When you hear organic, most people realize it’s probably the best choice. But do you know why your pet’s food should be organic? Here’s just a few of many reasons.
Helps Keep Your Pet Healthy
Organic pet food generally contains higher-quality proteins that your pet needs to thrive. Instead of additives and growth hormones, they are more likely to have only the healthy nutrients your pet should be eating regularly. Keeping your pet healthy means he or she will probably live a much longer, happier life.
It Tastes Better
In order to be effective, your pet’s food has to taste good or they won’t eat it. Many pets enjoy the taste of organic foods much better than the alternative, as it’s closer to what they would eat in the wild.
It’s More Cost-Effective
Buying organic food now can save you money later. Healthier pets are more likely to have less vet visits and not as many health issues.
You Should Know What Your Pet is Eating
Organic pet food labels are often simpler to read with only all-natural ingredients. This means you can tell what your pet is getting by reading the label and avoiding hard-to-pronounce (and digest) unhealthy additives.
You're perusing a magazine or website and notice they are holding a contest. Should you enter your pet in a free photo contest? As a pet parent, I've seen these offered many times. Recently, on the advice of a friend, I was reminded to read the fine print and dig deeper before entering my pets into any contests. How do you know if the contest is really the best thing for you and your pet?
Consider the source. Does the company pass a scam test? How long have they been around? What is the company's purpose? While contests from smaller companies could certainly be legitimate, if you can find no information on the company, that could be a red flag. Do you really want your pet's photo in the hands of a company who has no visible track record?
Look over the rules. Is it clearly laid out what will happen to the photos during and after the contest? Make sure you are comfortable with what's stated. If there are no rules posted, it's probably a better idea not to risk it. You have no idea what they have planned for your pet's photo. The rules need to be clear and they need to be in easy-to-find location. If I can't agree with the rules or even fond them, you can guarantee that my pet's photo is not getting sent to anyone.
What is the prize? Check out all of the prize offerings and make sure it is something you and your pet will benefit from. For instance, your pet will not gain anything from a prize consisting of food that he does not eat. If the prize offers stardom for your pet, will it be compensated? Starring in ads, commercials, or magazines should always be compensated. If that is the only prize your pet will receive in the photo contest, think about the company's motives. They may simply be using the contest as a way to avoid paying for pet models and actors. If our pets are photo contest winners, I would want them to reap the most benefits, not me or the contest host.
Does your pet like posing? If your pet is not comfortable posing for pictures, don't stress him out just to enter a contest. However, if your pet enjoys the practice, let her soak up the attention of the camera. Remember to have plenty of water, nourishment, and entertainment available if the photo shoot will take a considerable amount of time. Make posing for the photo contest a fun event for your pet. If you just have fun with your pet and don't force it, the experience will be more enjoyable for your both. The hamsters in our family enjoy posing for the camera. That's probably due to the fact that we just let them do their thing and snap away, instead of trying to force them into posing a particular way.
Is it something your pet should be paid for? This can be a huge deal-breaker. As mentioned above, some companies hold pet photo contests simply to create PR buzz. If the company is trying to cut down modeling and acting costs by having a contest, is this really a company you'd want your pet working for? If my pet is going to star in a commercial, on a website, in a magazine, or anywhere else, I want them to be compensated fairly. Just like humans should not work for free, neither should animals. They should be fairly rewarded for their efforts.
How many photos will 'win'? If you are entering a contest, the number of winners should be much lower than the number of entrants. If everyone who enters is a winner, the contest is likely not very legitimate. Also, watch for companies who ask you to purchase the items your pet is featured in once they win the contest. If your pet is a contest winner, you should not have to pay any money for any reason. Government taxes on a prize are legitimate. But if you are asked to pay anything other than that, you may be the victim of a pet photo contest scam.
When entering your pet into a photo contest, it's always important to check all the facts first. While it can be exciting and you want to see your pet's name up in lights, there are many factors to consider first. Choose wisely and your pet has a better chance of something worthwhile should she end up a winner. Jump in and you may end up dealing with more than you bargained for.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
Well, after addressing happy dogs, I must say that I totally forgot about those of you who have cats. I must beg your forgiveness and with that said, let me relay some information I have gathered about the feline of the family. Believe it or not, I myself had a total of 6 cats, mostly because my ex-wife insisted on it so most of the knowledge I have about cats comes from personal experience.
Cats are very finicky, and to keep their attention, you had better bring your “A” game to the table. When my cats were kittens, they use to love chasing a ball of cellophane. I would ball it up and throw it, the kitten would chase it, and then become amazed when it slowly begin to expand. I spent hours playing that game, and the kitten never seemed to get bored. Also, I would get out a ball of yarn, roll it across the floor, and watch the fun when, as it began to unravel, it would turn into the toy that kept on giving. The real fun is when you have a toy that moves around while the kitten intensely watches it, and then it stops. That’s when the feline would turn on the “stalking mode” and try to sneak up on the toy. Then the toy would move, and the kitten would jump a mile in the air. Now that same type of toy works with adult cats also. All cats are predators, and that type of toy allows them to use the same instincts that they would use in the wild to stalk prey. I have a bird feeder in my backyard, and many a time I have seen cats sneaking up on the birds that are on the ground eating spilled seed.
Cats appreciate an interesting toy just as much as dogs do, and just about every cat loves a “kitty condo”, which often has several elevations and platforms to climb and sit on. Vertical hiding places and sanctuaries are very important to cats since this is what they look for in the wild. Try to find a condo that’s upholstered in a kneadable fabric, or carpet remnant. And if your cat still has his or her claws, you may want to invest in a good “scratching post,” if you want to save your furniture. If you’re handy with some minor tools and material, you can make these things at home. Especially since some of the condo’s that they sell in pet stores could cost you as much as $100 on up.
Now some other toys you can get is a feline version of the mouse exercise wheel which you can get at Catwheelcompany.com. Some other “homemade toys” you can make includes toilet paper rolls filled with catnip or treats, and wands made out of rulers, rubber bands, and feathers. There are countless thing you can get to entertain the feline in you home, or outside if you let your cat roam the wilds of the outside, and as I said for dogs, a playful cat is a healthy happy cat. Have fun.
Cat photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Do Cats Think?
by Richard Rowell, Staff Writer
Back in junior high school, a dear friend of mine wanted to base her Science Fair project around the question "Do Cats Think?" The teachers thought it was a ridiculous idea, and because the topic for the Science Fair was due, they made her do something more traditional and boring. I can't remember what subject they had her do instead, but it stuck with me for a long time that they were incredibly unfair to her for not letting her research what actually is a pretty interesting question.
My love of cats has grown much over the years. Everything I have learned about them over the years would seem to prove that cats indeed do think. They don't think like humans, of course, but there is definitely a thought process to what they do. They are highly intelligent animals, and they always seem to know how to get what they want. That's what makes them such fascinating creatures. They truly have minds of their own. Whether they have any sort of actual sentience - well, sometimes I'd like to believe so, and thus I have had feline characters in my creative projects that actually are!
But back to answering the question, I seem to remember one of the excuses for not letting her choose that topic was that "Cat's don't talk." First of all, that's an incredibly stupid argument. Actually, the teacher who made it wasn't even the science teacher - she was the math teacher, and she was a piece of work. The fact that the science teacher, who I actually liked before this debacle, didn't stand up for her really disgusted me. You don't have to talk to be able to think. Thinking is an internal process, of course. Cats do seem to have their own language, in fact. Oftentimes, cats will communicate with their owners with the same sounds they made as kittens, but with other cats their sounds are quite different. After a while, owners pretty much know what their cats are saying. And the way that they try (and often succeed) in manipulating owners to do what they want, it's clear that they have secret little plots going on in their head.
I know that the question "do cats think" gets some people to be incredibly rude and dismissive of the whole idea that it's possible. But I read something today that scientists have found that cats have the same sort of brain activity when in a deep sleep as humans have. So I think there's a lot we still don't understand about the feline mind. Maybe one day they'll take over - probably not, but it's funny to think about. Besides, cats have a great life right now. They get everything they want, so why not act content?
If you have a cat, be mindful of the fact that he or she's probably plotting right now!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
July 4th Pet Safety Tips
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
You may like the booming and flashing and excitement on the Fourth of July. However, for a pet, some of those sights and sounds can be terrifying and have life-threatening consequences. Help keep your pet safe, calm, and happy on July 4th by following important pet safety tips.
Give your pet extra exercise before the loudest time
Dog parents can take their furry friend on an extended walk before the festivities begin. This helps ensure there will be very little chance of potty breaks during the noisiest times. It also will keep your pet more relaxed because he or she will be ready to sleep, instead of play. For other pets, provide their normal exercise routine for a longer period of time. For instance, have your cat play with kitty toys, put small animals in their exercise ball, or take your horse for a long run/ride.
Keep your pet indoors as much as possible
Dogs may need to go out to use the bathroom. But try to avoid taking your animals outside, especially during the loudest times. You might even consider using training pads instead of taking your pet outdoors for bathroom breaks. Many animals get lost during the Independence Day festivities because they run away, scared of the noises, looking for a safe place to hide. To avoid problems with your pet getting frightened or running away, please keep them inside.
Keep your pet's ID tags on at all times
Your pet's ID tags should be securely placed on the collar and up to date at all times. This is especially important on a day when it's more likely for him or her to run off. Even if your pet is micro-chipped, some people don't know to take them to get scanned. The ID tag is one more measure of safety -- and an important one if someone finds your pet. The phone number and address should always be accurate, so that your pet has a better recovery chance if lost.
Keep your pet in the quietest place of your home
Whichever room takes in the least noise from outdoors would be the best room to house your pet in during the Fourth of July celebration. Close all windows and doors and keep your pet's supplies in there, such as fresh food, water, favorite toys, and a litter box or puppy pads.
Give your pet a busy toy
For dogs, a chew toy or bone may keep them so busy, that it distracts them from the noise. Cats like catnip and things they can chase or bob around, such as toys that are attached to a heavy object. Small animals, like rats or guinea pigs may like flavored chew sticks made especially for them.
Play soothing music
Not only will music help to drown out the outdoor noise, but if you choose the right sounds, it can also keep your pet calm. Just like people, animals respond well to various types of music and can find it comforting and a source of pleasure. You may want to test out different sounds beforehand to ensure you've made selections your pet will respond favorably to.
Give your pet some love
This is hopefully obvious. But when pets are stressed -- and even when they aren't, they want lots of love from their human families. There's nothing more comforting and reassuring than a hug and soothing words from someone you love. You may need to give extra attention to your pets, especially on this day.
Happy Fourth! Stay safe!
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