Do you prefer dogs' outgoing personalities to cats' independence? Are you partial to your cat's silly antics and think that dogs are too rambunctious? Turns out, your answers to these questions may reveal more than you think.
It’s estimated that 39 percent of U.S. households own dogs and 33 percent own cats. But since dog owners tend to have just one pooch and people who have cats often have more than one, the pet cat population in the United States of 93.6 million is larger than the pet dog population of 77.5 million.
So, what makes someone a "dog person" or a "cat person"? Emerging research suggests that your background, environment, personality, and stage of life help determine whether you are more likely to own a dog or a cat.
Dog People vs. Cat People: What’s the Difference?
If you love animals in general, there’s a good chance that you naturally lean towards either dogs or cats. In a recent study from the University of Texas at Austin, 46 percent of respondents described themselves as "dog people," and just 12 percent were self-described "cat people." Of the remaining respondents, 28 percent described themselves as lovers of both dogs and cats, while 15 percent said that they were neither.
Whatever you think your reasons are for being a dog person or a cat person, you might be surprised to learn just how many factors actually play a part in your preference — and what your dog-loving or cat-adoring tendencies say about you.
The Austin study also surveyed volunteers to find out what types of personality traits were more common in self-proclaimed dog people and cat people. The results found that people who say that they are dog people tend to have more extroverted, agreeable, and conscientious personalities than those who consider themselves cat people. The analysis also revealed that while respondents who described themselves as cat people tended to be more neurotic than dog people, they also tended to be more open to experiencing new things.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom polled households to find out more about cat and dog owners. The researchers found that people who have more education are more likely to own cats and less likely to own dogs. They also found that older people and people who ever lived in a household with a dog were significantly less likely to own a cat. Households with young children were more likely to include cats, while larger households tended to include dogs.
What Your Pet Preference Says About You
As this new evidence emerges, it seems that a person's answer to the question "Are you a dog person or a cat person?" may say a lot about his or her background and personality. Researchers believe it may be that some people naturally mesh better with the characteristics of a dog, and others mesh better with a cat.
If you are a dog person, you may share or be drawn to characteristics common in dogs. Dogs tend to be:
RECALL (6/2/14): Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. Recalls Bags of Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food due to Salmonella (#pets #dogs #recall #pet_food_recall #family)
June 2, 2014 - Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. of Topeka, KS is voluntarily recalling 62 bags of Science Diet® Adult Small & Toy Breed™ dry dog food as they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The suspect product, part of a single production run, was distributed to 17 veterinary clinic and pet store customers in California, Hawaii and Nevada between April 24 and May 13, 2014. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
This voluntary recall is limited to 62 15.5 lb. bags of Science Diet® Adult Small & Toy Breed™ dry dog food with the Stock-Keeping Unit (SKU) code, “Best before” date and production code shown below. This product was accidentally released, as revealed during a routine inventory reconciliation. All 17 affected customers have been contacted by Hill’s and there have been no reported illnesses related to this product to date.
Product Name: Science Diet® Adult Small & Toy Breed
Bag Size: 15.5 lbs
SKU #: 9097
Best Before Date/ Production Code: 08 2015 M094
Consumers who may have purchased any of these specific 62 15.5 lb bags of Science Diet® Adult Small & Toy Breed™ dry dog food should discontinue use of the product and immediately call Hill’s Pet Nutrition at 1-800-445-5777 Monday-Friday during the hours of 7am-7pm (CT). Hill’s will arrange to collect the unused portion of the product at its own expense at a time convenient for the consumer and will provide a full refund.
This voluntary recall does not impact any Science Diet® Adult Small and Toy Breed™ products with different “best before” dates or any other Science Diet products.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition is dedicated to providing high-quality, safe products and regrets the need for this voluntary recall. For further information, please contact Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. at 1-800-445-5777 Monday-Friday during the hours of 7am-7pm (CT).
About Hill's Pet Nutrition
Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. manufactures Hill’s® Prescription Diet® brand pet foods, therapeutic pet foods available only through veterinarians, and Science Diet® and Ideal Balance™ brand wellness pet foods sold through veterinarians and pet specialty retailers. Founded more than 70 years ago with an unparalleled commitment to pet well-being, Hill's’ mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. For more information about Hill's, our products and our nutritional philosophy visit HillsPet.com, or visit us on Facebook, keywords "Hill’s Pet Nutrition."
Although June 21 technically marks the beginning of summer, Memorial Day is summer’s traditional start, and as the tempteratures increase, pet owners must prepare for the numerous hazards and stressors associated with temperature changes, sun exposure, holiday food consumption, and festive gatherings.
To ensure your pet has a safe and fun summer, take proactive steps to prevent potentially life-threatening illness and injury. Here are my Top 5 Summertime Pet Safety Tips.
1. Keep Your Pet’s Environment Climate Controlled
Increased temperatures associated with summer create a variety of health risks for pets. Cats and dogs rid their bodies of heat primarily through their respiratory tracts (trachea and lungs). Some heat is lost through the skin, but pets lack the ability to sweat like people. Therefore, most pets can’t easily acclimate themselves to hot or humid climates.
Summertime heat increases the risk for pet hyperthermia (elevation in body temperature above the normal 100-102.5 ºF range). Prolonged or severe hyperthermia can cause lethargy, vomit, diarrhea, multi-system organ failure, prolonged blood clotting times, seizures, coma, and death.
Brachycephalic (short faced, like the English Bulldog and Pug), geriatric, juvenile, sick, and overweight or obese pets have an increased challenge during warm seasons.
In warmer temperatures, always provide air conditioning and circulation to keep your pet cool both indoors and during vehicular travel.
2. Prepare Your Pet’s Coat and Skin for Summer
Proper coat care is another essential component to maintaining a pet’s normal body temperature regardless of season. A well-groomed coat permits air circulation at the skin's surface and allows heat to transfer out of the body.
Although most cats and dogs have a thick hair coat covering their body surfaces, sunburn is a risk during sunny months or for those living in balmy climates. Pink-skinned, light-colored, and thin-coated pets are especially susceptible to sunburn.
The nose, ears, and areas of exposed skin can be covered with pet-appropriate clothing or sun screen lacking salicylates and zinc oxide (which are toxic if ingested). Epi-Pet Sun Protector Sunscreen is the only product currently available that meets the Food & Drug Administration's safety standards for dogs. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends sunscreen application at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure.
Of course, confining a pet to the shade is always a safe strategy.
3. Schedule Your Pet’s Activity During Cooler Times of the Day
Never exercise your pet in an excessively hot or humid environment. Dawn, dusk, and evening hours have the coolest temperatures, but such times should be avoided in areas with a heavy mosquito or other biting-insect population.
Provide rest, shade, and hydration at least every 15 minutes during exercise to ward off hyperthermia and dehydration. If your pooch refuses to run or walk, never force him to continue and schedule an examination with your veterinarian to explore for underlying health problems.
4. Prevent Your Pet’s Access to the Barbecue and Festive Foods and Drinks
Although barbecues provide festive fun for people, pets are at risk of trauma and illness.
Grilling should only occur from a height elevated above that which pets can reach. Hibachi-style grills placed on the ground or in other areas of reasonable access put your pet in the direct line of danger. First, second, or third degree burns can occur, depending on the type and duration of thermal exposure.
Aromas emanating from barbecued foods create an instinctual attraction for curious canine and feline noses and mouths homing in for a smell or taste. Foods left out for preparation or serving also create easy targets for pets. Keep food elevated to a height out of your pet’s reach. Use sealed containers to prevent “counter surfing” and gorging on festive treats.
Consumption of food and beverages found at summertime gatherings can cause digestive upset. Meats, bones, fat (cheese, animal skin, desserts, nuts, etc), fruit (grapes, raisins, etc), vegetables (onion, chives, etc), salt, sugar, spices, chocolate, alcohol, and other ingredients all harbor health risks for pets.
Digestive tract clinical signs include vomit, diarrhea, deceased appetite, lethargy, and others. Pets that are fed or binge on barbecue foods may suffer from pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), liver or kidney damage, electrolyte imbalances, anemia, and other ailments.
Establish pet-safety guidelines for your barbecue and make sure all guests are well informed of and adhere to your instructions.
5. Leave Your Pet Out of Your Firework Watching Plans
Fireworks are a source of stress and life-threatening injury for pets.
Pets should never accompany their owners to areas where fireworks are being set off. Indoor, quiet, cool, and isolated parts of the home provide a safer and more suitable space. If needed, use a crate to confine your pet and prevent destructive tendencies or escape attempts through open doors or windows. The loud sounds from fireworks can be masked by television programs or music.
Adequately fatigued pets have a greater physiologic need to rest and are less prone to exhibit anxious behaviors (vocalizing, panting, pacing, hiding, salivating, inappropriately urinating or defecating, etc.). Exercise your pet in the hours leading up to a 4th of July event to exhaust your pet into better behavior.
Veterinary prescribed sedatives (Acepromazine, Alprazolam, etc.), over the counter medications (Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride = Benadryl Allergy), or natural products (Rescue Remedy Pet, Spirit Essences, etc.) can relieve firework and confinement associated stress on an as-needed basis. Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate use of such products for your pet.
June has been designated as Adopt A Shelter Cat Month. Needless to say, a whole month dedicated to raising awareness about shelter cats that are in need is a great thing. But, if you are thinking of adopting a cat, there are some things you should consider before you actually bring that furry feline friend home with you.
Are you prepared to take responsibility for your new cat for his (or her) entire life time?
Cats can live up to 20 years or longer. When you adopt a cat, you should be prepared to house, feed, and care for that cat for that entire time. That requires both a time and financial commitment. Litter boxes need to be scooped daily. Food and water dishes need to be washed daily, and cats need to be provided with fresh food and water daily as well. Your cat will also require attention and exercise (through interactive play) on a daily basis.
There are financial responsibilities that come with adopting a cat also. Your new cat will require not only food, litter, toys, scratching surfaces, bedding, and other needs, but regular veterinary care as well.
Consider your living situation
Do you rent or own your home? If you rent, be certain your landlord allows cats before you make the commitment. Bringing a new cat home only to find out that you have to return the cat to the shelter can be stressful for the cat and heartbreaking for you and your family.
What type of cat do you prefer to adopt?
Of course, all cats require frequent grooming and other care. But some people have a breed preference, prefer a certain coat color or pattern, or like short-haired or long-haired cats better. Still others would prefer to make the decision based on personality, which is what I would recommend.
Do you want to adopt a kitten, an adult cat, or a senior?
What age do you prefer? This time of the year, kittens abound. Most shelters and rescues will have no shortage of babies and many people prefer to adopt a kitten so that they can watch the kitten grow into an adult.
However, adopting an adult cat has some advantages that you may not have considered. Adult cats are sometimes a bit more sedate than kittens and finding a home for an adult cat is often more difficult than placing a kitten in a forever home. Adult cats may also require less veterinary care than a young kitten. While kittens require a series of vaccinations, worming, and other veterinary services in their first few months of life, an adult cat will have already gone through these procedures. Adult cats are likely to have already been spayed or neutered as well, whereas a young kitten may or may not be.
Adopting a senior cat is another option. Depending on the individual cat, many seniors can still have many years to spend with you. Seniors are usually quite difficult for a shelter or rescue to place, so you will likely be saving a life and giving your senior a comfortable and dignified place to live out his final years.
While I encourage you to consider adopting a shelter cat, adopting any animal is not something to be taken lightly. It is tempting, when faced with an adorable ball of fluff, not to resist the impulse. But an impulse purchase or adoption of a pet, which is after all a living being with specific needs, is never a good idea.
Don’t despair if adoption is not right for you currently. There are many other ways you can help. Shelters and rescues are always in need of supplies. Cash donations are welcome but a donation of food or other supplies will likely be appreciated also. If in doubt, ask the personnel at your local shelter what would be most useful.
If you have more time than money, consider volunteering at your local shelter. Whether cleaning cages, socializing cats, bathing and/or grooming, or performing some other function, you’ll still be helping.
If you can’t make a long-term commitment to a pet but can keep a pet in the short-term, consider fostering. Shelters and rescues often find themselves in need of foster homes to house cats temporarily until a forever home can be located. Many cats do better in a home environment than in a shelter situation.
Another way you can help is by passing the message on to your friends and family members. Do you know someone who could benefit from a cat in their life?
The media has been following the saga of pet illnesses associated with jerky treats made in China for years now, and the latest U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) update is the most concerning yet. It states, in part:
As of May 1, 2014, we have received in total more than 4,800 complaints of illness in pets that ate chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all of which are imported from China. The reports involve more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, three people, and include more than 1,000 canine deaths. The breakdown of symptoms associated with the cases is similar to that of earlier reports: approximately 60 percent of the cases report gastrointestinal/liver disease, 30 percent kidney or urinary disease, with the remaining 10 percent of complaints including various other signs such as neurologic, dermatologic, and immunologic symptoms. About 15 percent of the kidney or urinary cases also tested positive for Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disease that has been associated with this investigation.
According to NBC News:
The humans who consumed the treats included two toddlers who ingested them accidentally and an adult who may have been snacking on the questionable products….
One of the children was diagnosed with a salmonella infection, which can be spread by touching contaminated pet food and treats. The other child developed gastrointestinal illness and fever that mirrored the symptoms of dogs in the house that also ate the treats. The adult reported nausea and headache, said Siobhan DeLancey, an FDA spokeswoman.
Unfortunately, we don’t seem any closer in determining the cause(s) of all of these illnesses and deaths. The FDA has had the opportunity to perform necropsies (the animal equivalent of autopsies) on 26 dogs who were thought to have died as a result of exposure to jerky treats. Thirteen of these dogs died of unrelated health problems, including “widespread cancer, Cushing’s disease, mushroom toxicity, abscess, or internal bleeding secondary to trauma.” However, eleven dogs had “indications of kidney disease and two involved gastrointestinal disease” that could have been be associated with eating jerky treats.
You may have also heard that laboratory testing recently revealed the presence of the drug amantadine in some suspect jerky treats. Amantadine is an antiviral drug that also has pain relieving properties. It has been safely used for years in many species, including dogs, so I doubt that it has had anything to do with these illnesses, but its presence in pet treats raises further questions about the quality control measures employed by Chinese manufacturers.
Within days of the FDA’s most recent announcement, two major pet retailers announced that over the course of the next few months, they would join others and stop selling jerky treats made in China. This is good news, as a surprising percentage of pet owners are still unaware of the illnesses and deaths that have been linked to these products. For the sake of all our dogs, cats, and toddlers, please spread the word.
This type of Corgi was first used by farmers in South Wales to skillfully herd cattle, sheep, and ponies. A friendly and beautiful dog, it is still used today as a farm herder -- nipping at heels and bending under hooves -- but is more often kept as a house pet.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, an agile cattle and sheep herder, has a smooth and free gait, with good drive and reach. Low to the ground and long, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi differs from its cousin, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, in that it is not as long bodied or as heavy-boned. One of the immediately recognizable differences is the tail, which is short in the Pembroke and long in the Cardigan. The short tail is a natural trait, but it may be docked for a more pleasing appearance, as well.
Although the dog’s expression is interested, intelligent, and foxy, it is not sly. Its longish, coarse outer coat is red, sable, fawn, black, or tan in color, and its undercoat is weather-resistant.
PERSONALITY AND TEMPERAMENT
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is fun, friendly, devoted, and willing to please. It behaves well with children, but it may nip at heels during play. Many Pembroke Welsh Corgis are shy around strangers and some bark incessantly. This quick-witted dog not only has an active body but an active mind.
As the Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to herd, a regular herding session is an ideal form of exercise. If it is unable to herd, take it out for a moderate leash-led walk or play session.
The Pembroke is suited to live outdoors in temperate weather, but temperamentally it prefers to share its owner's home, while having access to the yard. Coat care comprises of a weekly brushing routine to ride the dog's coat of any dead hair.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which has an average lifespan of about 11 to 13 years, is prone to serious health concerns such as intervertebral disc disease and canine hip dysplasia (CHD), as well as minor issues like epilepsy and degenerative myelopathy. Lens luxation, von Willebrand's Disease (vWD), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and urinary stones are also noticed in the breed on occasion. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend hip, eye, and DNA tests for the dog.
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
Although many believe the Pembroke Welsh Corgi to be an ancient breed, outlining its origins is difficult. A book dating back to the 11th century, however, does mention a Welsh cattle dog.
The Pembroke shares its background with the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, but this Corgi was bred separately in Pembrokeshire. As it was a hard-working dog, the Corgi occupied the farms when many early dog shows were taking place. In the 1920s many dog show owners began entering their Corgis into these competitions, and in 1926, the Cardigan Club formed.
As breeders attempted to improve the breed's natural good looks, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi became more popular. However, noticeable differences between the Cardigan and the Pembroke were difficult to judge. The Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis were eventually classified as separate breeds in 1934.
Although they can be seen in farms around the world, it is more popular as a house dog, especially in Britain.
As we are on the cusp of summer, the majority of the country is preparing for warmer temperatures that can potentially have adverse effects on the health of our pets.
Of course, some of us live in a climate that tends to be balmy on a year-round basis, like my native Los Angeles. Therefore, we warm-weather dwellers must always consider the health implications that frequent hot and sunny weather has for our pets.
Although May 23rd was National Heat Awareness Day, it's important to stress the need for heat-related pet safety on a year-round basis.
Why are Pets Prone to Heat-Related Illness?
Unlike humans, cats and dogs can’t clear heat in a manner that permits body cooling to a safe level when exposed to indoor or outdoor temperatures above room temperature (68-77 ºF).
The respiratory tract is their primary means of losing heat, so pets do so less efficiently than humans, who sweat through less-haired skin surfaces. This is why cats and dogs pant in response to exposure to warmer climates.
Pets lose some heat through their paw pads and skin surface, but not in the broad sense like we humans. Additionally, the hair coat adorning most dogs and cats is thicker and more generally distributed as compared to people. So, heat gets trapped inside pets’ bodies and can lead to hyperthermia (elevated core body temperature).
Brachycephalic (short faced) dog and cat breeds are especially prone to suffering from heat-related illnesses. These breeds and their mixes don’t move air as well through their respiratory tract as their longer-faced (dolichocephalic) counterparts. Juvenile, geriatric, sick, overweight, obese, and mobility-compromised dogs are also more prone to heat-induced health problems.
How Hot Is Too Hot for Pets?
The range of normal body temperatures for cats and dogs typically is from 100 to 102.5 ºF. Of course, there can be normally expected mild increases and decreases associated with activity, stress, or illness. Hyperthermia becomes dangerous when body temperatures rise above 104 ºF, as normal mechanisms of thermoregulation are overwhelmed.
As 106 ºF is reached, heat stroke occurs and causes vomit, diarrhea, collapse, seizure activity, multi-system organ failure, coma, and death.
What Should Owners Do to Keep Their Pets Safe from the Heat?
Many owners bring their companion canines out from the safe confines of their well-ventilated and/or air-conditioned homes and along for outdoor excursions that put them at risk for exposure to sun, heat, and a variety of environmental stressors. Most cats tend to stay at home and inside, and are therefore less prone to heat-associated health issues.
Yet, any time we take our pets outside of a climate-controlled environment we put them in harm’s way. Here are my top five tips to keep your pet safe despite the heat.
1. Never Leave Your Pet in a Non-Climate Controlled Car
One of the deadliest heat hazards for pets is elevated temperature experienced inside our cars.
Never leave your pet in a non-climate controlled car, even on what feels to be a cool day. A Stanford University Medical Center study (published in Pediatricsmagazine) determined that the temperature inside a vehicle can increase by an average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit within 60 minutes (over half of a degree per minute), regardless of the outside temperature.
The hotter your car becomes, the more likely your pet will also experience a commensurate increase in body temperature.
You may only plan to be away from the car for a few minutes, but unforeseeable circumstances can keep you away for longer. As a result, your pet will broil and potentially die inside the “glass coffin” (as cars are commonly referred to in the veterinary community).
2. Promote Your Pet’s Hydration
70-80 percent of a dog or cat’s body mass is made of water. Remarkably, losing only 10 percent of the body’s total fluids can cause serious illness.
Panting causes water to be expelled from the body through insensible body water loss. Further body fluid will be lost through the skin, digestive tract, and other organ system functioning during times of activity, illness, and when exposed to heat.
Keep your pets as hydrated as possible by always having fresh water available in the places your pets spends time and frequently offering small sips of water during activity.
You can even pre-hydrate your pet on a continuous basis by feeding fresh, moist, and whole-food diets instead of kibble.
3. Avoid Exercise During the Hottest Parts of the Day
Instead of venturing out for your daily activity between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., exercise during cooler early morning or evening times that are typically less sunny. Humidity exacerbates a pet’s inability to efficiently clear heat, so avoid exercising during warmer and more humid times.
4. Seek Shade and Take Frequent Breaks
Find locations for walking and exercise that are primarily shaded instead of those constantly exposed to the sun.
Even if you and your pooch feel fully capable of taking on challenging intensity and lengths of activity, stop and rest on a frequent basis. At least every 15 minutes is my general recommendation, but less physically fit pets and people exercising in hotter and more humid climates should stop as often as needed.
5. Schedule a Pre-Exercise Veterinary Exam
The ideal scenario would find us owners keeping our pets healthy enough for physical activity year-round. Yet, seasonal deterrents and other impedances to regular activity can cause unhealthy weight gain and loss of fitness. Before engaging in outdoor activities, especially during hotter months, schedule an examination with your veterinarian.
Especially with geriatric and less-physically fit pets, underlying illness or injury could make your companion canine or feline less able to exercise or evacuate heat from its body. Arthritis, degenerative joint disease (the progression of arthritis), cancer, metabolic illnesses (kidney and liver disease, hypothyroidism, etc.), and others could have a negative impact.
If you plan to to expose your pets to any hot environments or activity, always prioritize safety to ensure that potentially catastrophic health hazards do not occur.
If your pet accompanies you for car travel, only bring him along when going to dog and cat friendly destinations that permit pets to enter and remain in a comfortable, plentifully shaded, and low-stress environment.
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