Read tips, guidelines and advice about caring for and training your pets, plus all the latest news from Very Important Pets

Top Ways to Keep Your Indoor Cat Entertained

9th June 2019Cat CareLeave a comment

Cats are cute and playful. It can be a challenge to keep them entertained especially if they are indoors. Life can be monotonous for an indoor cat. A bored cat gets stressed. Cats need to be kept active. Interactive playtime will keep them healthy and stimulated.

cat sleeping on bed

Here are the top ways to keep the indoor car entertained.

  • Cardboard Boxes

Cats love playing with cardboard boxes. Whether it is playing hide and seek or bounding in and out, cardboard boxes are a fun way to keep the cat entertained. A cardboard box poses little risk to the cat and can be easily replaced if damaged.

Cats love hunting for things. Hide their favourite toy in a box. They will start hunting for these toys by flipping the boxes. This engages their natural instincts and they will keep playing for hours.

  • Toys and Food Puzzles

If your car is motivated by food, you can use food-based puzzles to keep them occupied. The puzzle toys are stuffed with small pieces of cat food. The treats are released only when the cat figures out the right method. This stimulates both their mind and body.

Keep cat toys hidden around your home. Rotate the place where you hide the toys so that the cat’s interest is maintained throughout the day. Toys resembling prey are popular with cats. Move the toys away and forward so that the cat tries to catch them.

  • Cat Furniture

Cats love to scratch at things. Scratch posts and benches keep the cat happy and engaged for hours. Cat furniture will also protect the other furniture at home. Train your cat to take out their natural instincts on the scratch posts instead of chairs and couches in your home.

  • Create A Special Space

Create a designated play space for your cat. The play zone can contain different activities to keep the cat entertained. It is important that you set boundaries to the play area. This will help contain the play area to the special space.

  • Paper Bags

Paper bags are an engaging piece of material that cats love. They are similar to cardboard boxes and cats like to pounce in and out of them. Even when the paper bags are torn, you can turn them into different shapes to engage the cat. To make it extra fun, place catnip inside the bag to engage your cat with fun, engaging smells.

  • Provide an Outside View

Cats love watching the outside world go by. Leave the window blinds open so that they can watch the outside world and get entertained. Create a place near the window so that the cat can stroll and lounge and get a clear view of the outside world.

Everything you need for your new cat-grey kitten

Fun Enrichment for Hamsters and Other Small Furries

7th June 2019Pet CareLeave a comment

Hamsters and other small furries (guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, rats, degus, mice, and chinchillas) are popular pets. They can be a lot of fun if you provide the right enrichment for them. There are many things that you can do to keep these pets happy and stimulated.

Hamsters

Most hamsters snooze through the day. At night they are ready for action. Hamsters need plenty of exercises. They love running merrily on wheels. Get a wide solid wheel without spokes. Wheels with spokes can cause injuries.

Cardboard tubes are fun to run through. Apart from running through them, hamsters love to climb and chew the wooden ledges. They also like rolling in the sand. Special sand is available in pet shops for this purpose.

Rabbits

A happy bunny displays its natural behaviour by hopping and playing with other rabbits. Rabbits love climbing, digging, and tunnelling. Their natural instinct is to run and have fun. Ensure that there is plenty of space so that they can run and play around. Provide cardboard tubes, so that they can run through them and hide.

Fill a cardboard box with shredded paper. An entrance and exit on the box will help the bunny hop in and out. Rabbits love to chew on things. Give them safe things to chew like willow or apple wood. Hang vegetables on a string so that they can nibble on it.

Rats

Rats love being busy. They like exploring new things and playing every day. Rats are sociable and like playing with toys and cardboard boxes. They also enjoy running on a wheel like hamsters.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are curious pets and love watching things around them. A roomy hutch with an entrance and exit will help them get in and out without difficulty. These furry pets are shy and the roomy hutch provides them a perfect place to hide when they are scared.

Cardboard boxes, pipes, and tubes are toys that help them have a lot of fun. They love running free. Supervise them when playing so that they don’t escape through holes. Hide small amounts of food. Guinea pigs love searching for them. This will keep them entertained.

Gerbils

Gerbils love hanging out in tunnels. Ensure there is plenty of material to dig and tunnel. Dried peat moss or bedding will help them dig to their heart’s content. Cardboard tubes will help create a tunnel-like environment. They will have a great time running through it.

Gerbils like climbing on fruit tree branches. They often use it as a lookout point. Apart from this they also love to roll around in the sand.

Degus

Degus are active pets. They need lots of play to keep them enriched and happy. Exercise wheels will help them get their daily dose of exercise. Fill a box with hay so that they can forage through it. Degus also love playing in the sand.

One of the best ways to keep the hamster and other furry pets enriched is to set up a shared home environment. They get along well and love playing with each other.

The New Puppy Owner’s Guide

7th June 2019Dog CareLeave a comment

Bringing a new puppy home is often exhilarating. The prospect of adding a new puppy to the family is incredibly exciting. Having a puppy is a huge commitment. It is a decision that you will have to think through.

Raising a puppy is both rewarding and frustrating. Don’t worry. The new puppy owner’s guide will help you get off to a great start.

Puppy training classes

How to Choose A Puppy?

Always choose a breed that is best suited to your lifestyle. The factors that you should consider include your family, working hours, and energy levels. Avoid bringing a big breed of dog into a small apartment. Take time to research the ideal characteristics of the dog you want to bring home. This will help you find a pup you can fall in love with.

New Puppy Owner’s Guide

  • Prepare for the Puppy’s Arrival

Before you bring the new pup home, it is best to puppy proof your home. This will help protect the puppy and save your home belongings.

Remove all small chewable objects that can be swallowed. Cover electrical cables so that the pup doesn’t tug on it. Block access to rooms where pee and poop of puppy can cause damage.

  • Find a Local Vet

Find a local vet you are comfortable with. A good vet will walk you through the process of deworming, puppy shot schedule, and parasite control. It is also advisable to check the nearest vet emergency clinic in case you need it. Check if the vet clinic has modern facilities.

You may also find useful: How to choose the right Vet for your pet

  • Prepare a New Puppy Shopping List

The things that a puppy needs include dog bed (get two beds so that you can use one when the other is to be washed), cleaning supplies (disinfectant, disposable papers, and household gloves, and crate (for potty training).

The other things on the shopping list should include food bowls (ceramic or stainless steel) and water bowls, puppy food, brush, and comb (for grooming), and collar and lead.

  • Gain Knowledge About Puppy Care

You need to learn and understand how to truly care for a new puppy. Good puppy manners don’t come naturally. You must teach the puppy how to behave.

Potty train the puppy so that they know the right place to go for the toilet. You can do this by offering the pup lots of toilet breaks. Praise and reward the puppy when they go to the toilet in the right place.

Crate train the puppy by buying a crate that is large enough for the breed of pup you have chosen. Avoid choosing a very large crate. If the crate is really big, the puppy will start using a corner of the crate as a toilet.

Learn what to feed and how often to feed a puppy. The choice of puppy food is dry or wet. Both are balanced diets and you can make the choice as per the preference of your puppy.

Remember that each breed of a puppy has different food, exercise, and care requirements. Read on the breed you want to raise. Learning how to care for your new puppy will be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of your life.

new-dog-puppy

Fun And Interactive Games To Play With Your Dog

16th May 2019Dog CareLeave a comment

Dogs need playtime to relieve boredom and burn off energy. Interactive and fun games are the best way to keep your dog entertained and are a great way to keep your pet active, busy, and out of trouble.

  • Puzzle Challenges

A large selection of interactive puzzle toys are available to buy for your pet dog. These fun games will challenge the pet as they try to retrieve the treat that is inside. Active movement or rolling is required for the pet to get the treat from the toy. There are also puzzle toys for stationary play.

The hidden treat entices and lures your dog to spend time to retrieve the treasure. This takes focus and concentration. The fun games will keep your dog entertained and offers a tasty reward to the pet when the task is accomplished.

  • Hide and Seek

Dogs love to hunt. They have great fun when they search for things. All that you need to do is to hide their favourite toy or treat under a pillow or blanket. See how long it takes for your pet to find it.

Make the game challenging by wrapping the object in a cloth or newspaper. This will make the object harder to find. You can also choose to alter the hiding place.

  • Obstacle Course

Create an obstacle course for your pet dog. You can do this even if you don’t have a big house. Use items around the house to build a challenging course. Boxes, chairs, and pillows can be used to create a simple obstacle course around the house.

Make use of treats to motivate your pet dog to jump over an obstacle. An obstacle course is a fun way to keep the dog moving around. Be creative to keep it interesting for your pet.

  • Tug of War

Play a game of tug of war with your pet dog. A tug of war is a great way to physically and mentally exercise your dog. You can play this game indoors too. Playing tug will not make your pet dog aggressive.

Let your dog win to make it more interesting for them however, Do not pull too hard as this can hurt the dog.

Interactive and fun games can be played both indoors and outdoors. Dogs tend to get bored easily. The games will add an element of fun to their daily lives. The interactive games are an easy way to give your pet lots of mental stimulation.

It is best to tailor the games as per the physical ability of your dog. You will be able to keep your pet dog happy and busy with interactive games. The games will keep the dog mentally active and physically healthy.

Keeping the dog active and entertained is not just good for their brain but is also a good physical exercise. It is also a great way to bond with your pet. The fun and interactive games will make your time together educational, fun, and healthy.

Toxic Summer Plants For Cats

16th May 2019Cat CareLeave a comment

Summer plants and flowers look appealing and beautiful, however, there are some plants which can be potentially deadly for your pet cat if they come in contact with them. If you are planning to put plants in the garden or have them inside your house, you should ensure that they are not toxic to your pets.

Most pet owners are completely unaware of the plants and flowers that are toxic to their pets. Gaining knowledge about the different species of plants that are toxic to your pet will help avoid unnecessary complications.

A tortoiseshell cat sitting in a pile of autumn leaves

Toxic Plants for Cats

  • Lilies

All parts of the lily plant are toxic for cats. Lilies, in particular, are extremely toxic for cats. Even though your pet cat might not be interested in eating this plant, it is always a risk if they come in contact with it.

There are several types of lilies that are considered toxic to cats. These include the tiger lily, Easter lily and other species of the lily family. If ingested even small parts of the lily plant can be extremely toxic. It can result in severe poisoning.

  • Spring Crocus

All parts of this plant are toxic. If ingested or eaten, it causes diarrhoea, vomiting, kidney damage, and even death in some cases.

  • Tulips

Tulips are members of the lily family and are toxic to cats. Tulipalin A and Tulipalin B are toxins found in tulip bulbs. See immediate vet assistance if you suspect your pet to have eaten any part of the plant.

  • Sago Palm

This ornamental house plant is toxic to cats. The entire plant is dangerous but the nuts are most toxic. 

  • Castor Beans

Ricin is poisonous and is found in the bean of the castor oil plant. All parts of the plant are toxic to pets. Even tiny amounts will poison your cat. If your cat eats even a small part of the plant it can cause tremors, twitching, coma, seizures, and death.

  • Daffodil

The whole plant is poisonous to cats. The bulb of the plant is the most dangerous part of the plant. The outer layer of the bulb contains small crystals of toxins. It can trigger diarrhoea, vomiting, breathing problems, and abdominal pain.

  • Hyacinths

The plant is popular in the UK for its bright colours. The leaves, flowers, and bulbs are harmful even in small quantities. Vomiting and irritation are common in pets that have ingested the plant.

  • Oleander

The ornamental shrub is harmful to your pets. The entire plant is poisonous. If your pet had eaten the plant, the reactions can be sudden and severe.

  • Cyclamen

Even though the entire plant is poisonous to cats, the roots are most dangerous. Some cats have the habit of digging, If they dig and eat even a small part of the root, it can be fatal for your pet cat.

Cats are often careful about what they eat. If your pet cat is young and inquisitive, it can choose to nibble on toxic plants. If you suspect your pet to have eaten a poisonous plant or flower, you should take it to the vet immediately.