Can Probiotics Supplements Help Your Cat?

The rising popularity of probiotics in the past two decades has raised a question, can your cat or other pets get benefits from it? You may have seen so many varieties of probiotic supplement jars in the mart stacked one over the other in the mart shelves. That clearly indicates there are so many people across the world that use probiotics for better health and well-being. 

 

We always want to think about our cats perceiving human habits. That being said, it is rational to think cats being mammals also might be benefitted from probiotics. The short answer is, yes, probiotics can help cats. But probiotics for cats are different than that for humans. I’ll tell you everything you will need to know about cat probiotic supplements. 

What Are Cat Probiotics?

Like humans, cats have a bacterial environment in intestines, also known as, flora. This environment has a good balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria. This balance is crucial for your cat to remain healthy. 

 

When there’s an imbalance, your cat might suffer from diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues and also alleviate the immunity. That said, it is important to maintain the balance of flora. 

 

Probiotics are a combination of one or more strains of bacteria present in the guts which when ingested creates a favorable environment for good bacteria and benefits the host. This microorganism can treat a variety of diseases, especially gastrointestinal ones.

 

Generally, choosing the right supplement for your cat is important while there are too many available. Well, scientists suggest that the probiotics containing the strain of the bacteria that reside in a cat’s intestine are good ones. You can always check the label of the product and check the strains present in the supplement. In any case of confusion, you can seek your vet’s help.

Benefits of Probiotics

There’s been some research done on human probiotics that proves the benefits of probiotics. But for cats, there are some studies which suggest, probiotics also work for cats.

 

Probiotics improve digestive health which often eases up some clinical signs like low appetite, stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, and it makes bowel movements consistent. As we all know, better gut health keeps away many other diseases, probiotics, in general, give your cat’s immune system a boost. All in all, probiotics contribute massively to your cat’s health and well-being.

 

One of the diseases, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), is caused if the balance of flora is thrown out. Probiotics can maintain a healthy balance of bacteria and can save your kitty form IBD. The disease is common in cats and can be seen in adult and senior cats often.

 

However, sometimes the cause of IBD becomes a mystery for us. We feed kibbles to our cats and in fact, kibbles are the form of food that’s unnatural. Eating kibbles for a long period of time may cause certain gastrointestinal problems, including IBD. That said, probiotics also may help to keep away some other GI diseases. 

 

One veterinarian has also claimed that probiotics can reduce the duration or shorten the reoccurrence of gastroenteritis.

Can You Give Your Cat Human Probiotics?

Veterinarians and feline nutritional experts suggest going with probiotics specially tailored for cats. As I said, good probiotics for cats contain the strains of bacteria present in the guts of a cat. So when you consider human probiotics, that won’t contain those strains. 

 

Moreover, there is no research available that proves how human probiotics can affect a cat. It may be beneficial but also can be dangerous. In a nutshell, only use probiotics available for cats. 

Risks Associated With Cat Probiotics

There are no evident side effects of probiotics in cats. Also, it’s rare to see any adverse effects in felines. But you should always be selective when choosing the right probiotic supplement for cats. Most supplements or food industries work on meager regulations. So it is important that you know how to read the label of the product.

 

Moreover, there are no institutions that require manufacturers to prove the presence of the amount of CFUs (Colony Forming Units) of bacteria and their strain as mentioned on the label. Considering this, there is one institution that has oversight on cat probiotics, National Animal Supplement Council. So always prefer to buy the product which has the NASC label.

 

Nevertheless, there is not enough research available to see how exactly probiotics can improve the flora environment. So it is better to go with ‘common sense’. Not all probiotics work for all cats. If you see significant improvement in your cat’s overall health, that’s the right probiotic for your kitty.

The EndNote

Like human probiotics, there’s a rise in popularity and trend to provide your cat with probiotic supplements. As we have discussed, probiotics in humans are different than those for cats. There are many benefits of probiotics but in a nutshell, they boost immunity and make health better. Studies have shown that probiotics are helping your cat but there is a lot of research yet to be done that can say how exactly it works.

Our New Additions To The Family

So, as any followers on Instagram my have noticed, we have added to the family. We recently added two adorable pups to the pack. We went for one, but ended up with two. You know how that goes. We just couldn’t stop thinking about that adorable little face, so we had to go back.

Welcome home, Shayna and Kofi!

#DontShopAdopt #RescueMe

rescue puppy

And tiny Shayna, my first “little dog” ever (foster or personal pet).

 

rescue chiweenie

We are so excited to have new bundles of love around here. They have made the pandemic more adventurous, that’s for sure!

I post a lot of photos on Twitter and Instagram, so if you aren’t following and like to see puppy photos, link up 🙂

Happy Monday, all.

How to Travel with a Bird

One of the most difficult tasks one has to do as a bird owner is taking his/her pet on a family outing or a trip. To avoid causing any discomfort to the bird, you must prepare ahead of time. So, there is a list of steps you should take.

 

Get your pet used to traveling by car

The first thing you have to do to ensure that your pet is ready for traveling is to get it used to the car. Fellow bird owners recommend that you gradually introduce the pet to the actual vehicle that you are using. The best place that you can put its cage is the backseat. This is a safe space, as the pet will be protected in case of an accident

Once you get your pet in the car, you have to remember to secure the cage with a seatbelt. This step is essential as it will help keep your beloved bird safe in transit. Plus, if the cage is stable, your feathered companion will feel more comfortable. If you want to invest in new large cages, there are many online models you can check out.

 

Control the irritating factors

If you are traveling during the summer, make sure that the air conditioning is not blowing directly into the cage, as this might cause discomfort to the pet. Also, during the colder seasons, you should control the heat inside the car so that the bird is not too cold, nor too hot.

There are also a couple of extra factors you should take into account. For instance, the bird might feel a certain level of discomfort if the music is too loud or if the air fresheners that you are using are too powerful.

 

Flying with a pet bird

As expected, not all pet birds are allowed on flights. The good thing is that each airline has a list of internal rules that you can read to see what types of pets they allow onboard. In general, airlines allow owners to travel with pet birds that are odorless and harmless. Wild birds are often not permitted on flights.

Some of these airlines also allow birds to fly in the cabin, provided that their cages fit in the space in front of the owner’s seat. However, keep in mind that most companies only accept these pets as checked baggage. 

Also, you might not be able to travel with your pet bird when temperatures are above 85 and below 45 degrees. Because of overcrowding, many airlines do not allow pets to be transported during the holidays. 

 

Supplies

Before you leave the house, you have to pack all the supplies that you might need on the trip, such as bird food, water, and toys. To avoid making a mess in the backseat of your car, you should provide the bird with a sufficient amount of food and water. 

Packing its favorite toy or your pet’s favorite treats might also help make the trip more bearable for the bird as it will make it feel more secure.

 

Accommodation

Not all hotels allow pets on their premises. So, a smart thing that you can do before you leave for your trip is checking to make sure that the accommodation that you have selected allows for pet birds. 

 

Traveling to another country

If you plan on going on a trip outside of the US, you have to take the time to do some research on whether or not you can bring your pet bird with you on your trip.

Once again, if you travel by plane, you have to go on the web page of the air company that you are using and search for additional information on the topic. To be allowed to enter a country with a bird, you have to be able to provide a list of documents

Five Reasons to Not Buy Turtles or Tortoises As Gifts

American Tortoise Rescue, the international nonprofit for turtle and tortoise protection, is asking consumers to not buy live animals, especially turtles and tortoises as gifts this holiday season. Adopt don’t shop.

According to Susan Tellem, co-founder of the sanctuary, while these wonderful reptiles have outlived the dinosaurs, wide spread illegal smuggling and the commercial pet trade in turtles and tortoises has devastated wild populations worldwide. Many once thriving species are now threatened or endangered. Worse, some are now extinct.

“The pet industry thrives on small, adorable exotic animals with a big price tag,” Tellem says. “What we are recommending is to avoid impulse buys. We understand the appeal of an adorable two inch baby turtle!” Tellem adds, “But most animal rescues have many turtles and tortoises ready for adoption to good homes.”

Tellem gives five reasons why people shouldn’t buy a turtle or tortoise.

  1. Reptiles are boring. Parents shouldn’t expect their kids to find everlasting enjoyment in an animal that basically sits still most of the day sunning itself. Many kids tire of a turtle in a tank and don’t want to clean the habitat and change the water daily. Turtles and tortoises poop, Tellem reminds everyone.
  2. Most turtles and many tortoises hibernate during fall and winter. It’s unnatural for them to be awake and available for sale when they should be sleeping from about October through April. It’s cruel to sell wild animals that need to hibernate to stay healthy.
  3. Turtles and tortoises confined in tanks are miserable. It’s like a human spending their entire life in a bathtub Tellem says. The only proper habitat for these reptiles is outside. Natural sun exposure helps maintain a healthy shell and is necessary for the animal to grow and thrive. During hibernation, most reptiles can stay outside in shelters that are dry and predator proof.
  4. Adoption is the ideal option, Tellem says. During the spring and summer, when the animals are awake, rescues help place them in good “forever homes” with proper habitats. In many cases, there is no charge to adopt, only the promise that the animal will be given exceptional care for the rest of its life.
  5. Turtles can easily live 25 years or more and tortoises can top 100 years. An impulse buy without a thought to the future is not in the best interest of the animal, Tellem says. Plans need to be made in wills and with family members since the animals can outlive their owners. Most people don’t think about that when they buy an animal.

Tellem, who founded the nonprofit 27 years ago with her husband, Marshall Thompson, says, “Many owners assume that when the tortoise becomes a problem, zoos will take them. This is simply not true. Zoos are not interested in cast-off pets.”

She adds that a domesticated pet cannot be put back into the wild. It will die or introduce disease into an already precarious wild ecosystem. In many states, it is also illegal.

Tellem says that the option of placing the animal with a rescue is not always the answer, as her rescue is full as are most others. The best solution is to find a compassionate adopter who is willing to give a proper “forever home” to the pet. There are many national rescue organizations listed on www.tortoise.com which can facilitate adoptions if people are interested in getting an animal.

One way to enjoy a turtle or tortoise without harming them is to make a donation to a nonprofit like American Tortoise Rescue. “This allows us to educate people and care for the ones that are ill in our sanctuary. If a donor makes a $100 donation or more, we send them an adoption certificate featuring one of our permanent residents, and it’s good for one year. People enjoy that because they can care for the animal vicariously,” Tellem says.

American Tortoise Rescue, Malibu, Calif., is a nonprofit founded in 1990 to provide for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle.  For more information, contact:  American Tortoise Rescue at www.tortoise.com ; or email [email protected] . Follow on Twitter @tortoiserescue and on Facebook. Tellem started World Turtle Day® 17 years ago which is now celebrated globally (and is trademarked). Find out more at www.worldturtleday.org and on Facebook and twitter. Here’s a list of rescues in the U.S and elsewhere http://www.tortoise.com/need-a-rescue.html.

Dog friendly places in San Francisco

In a city that ranks in the top 10 for ‘outdoor pet friendliness,’ you should have no problem finding things to do and places to stay with your pet. Here are some of them. 

If you like your dog to be off-leash, head to this park close to Mission District. Dolores Park is great for pets and their owners. Picnics happen in the main space of the park regularly too. If you’re looking for some more exercise, get to Skyline Boulevard and enjoy a whole day of exploration at Fort Funston. There are beach spaces and nature trails to explore here. By far the most popular park in the city is the Golden Gate Park. It is also the biggest pet-friendly park here. Sit on a bench and watch life pass by, or get up and play a game with your pet in any of the four off leash areas the park has. If your dog loves the water (and which dog does not) go to Crissy Field. This is an off-leash beach and your four-legged friend can have a wonderful time chasing the waves here. 

If your young dog and you have a lot of energy to burn, you should certainly head to the many hiking parks in San Francisco. For example, the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. Put your dog on a leash for this hike and explore to your heart’s content. Many birds call this space home, making their dwellings in a forest that’s over a century old. You may be able to spot some wildlife too. The Bernal Heights Park is another joyful space that is known for its spectacular views. Take a picture of your dog against the San Francisco Bay or the Golden Gate and make a great memory. A very popular hike with the locals is Grandview Park. There are wooden stairs here and the trail is soft and sandy, so watch out for that. The trails are small, and the plants along the dunes are a pleasure to see. Another park that’s talked about often is Lands End Trail. Check that out for some spectacular coastline and gorgeous flowers. San Francisco also has a host of bars and restaurants that welcome dogs and their people. 

The city also has a host of hotels that are happy to accept your dogs. Close to Crissy Field is the Inn at the Presidio. This hotel is a bread and breakfast and has a bowling alley to book, too. The architecture is simple and the property has some lovely eucalyptus groves to meander through. The Inn is happy to host your pet for a fee. On Post Street, look for Hotel Adagio. It takes its dog-friendly tag seriously and offers the visitor rooms on pet-specific floors. What’s more, bowls for food and water and doggie treats are also part of the service. Check with the hotel for the closest dog park or store and you’ll get good directions. Other choices are the Argonaut Hotel, Hotel Emblem, Kimpton Buchanan and Triton, among many others. Do check the hotel policy (fee, size of dog, on leash, etc.) and then plan your stay. Additionally you can also check the Top 15 pet-friendly hotels in San Francisco by clicking the link.

Top Tips for Traveling With Your Dog

Here are some top tips to consider when traveling with your dog 

Did you know that 85 million Americans own some type of pet? While there are all different kinds of pets out there, undoubtedly, the most popular pet is the dog. 

 

In fact, over 60 million households in the US have a dog. And it’s no wonder why so many people own dogs – they can be absolutely life-changing. 

 

However, with all the benefits that come with owning a dog, there are some drawbacks. For example, figuring out what to do with your dog when you’re on vacation can be a huge hassle. 

 

But we’ve got some good news for you. 

 

You no longer need to leave your pup behind and make accommodations for it. Instead, you can take your dog on vacation with you. But, before you travel with your dog, there are some things you need to know. 

 

Check out this guide to learn the top tips for traveling with your dog. 

1. Choose Dog-Friendly Locations 

First things first, you want to plan for traveling with your dog ahead of time by picking a location to travel to that is dog-friendly, starting with the country. 

 

It may come as a surprise to you, but many destinations around the world are not suitable for domesticated dogs. So, be sure to check the US travel site about your country of choice to find out how pet-friendly the location is, if your dog will need any shots, and any other precautions you need to take. 

 

In addition to the country, you should also make sure you choose a dog-friendly accommodation. Luckily, dog-friendly accommodations are wildly popular. For example, check out these dog-friendly cottages

 

Lastly, you want to make sure the airline or form of transportation you take is also dog-friendly. And, keep in mind that some airlines require your dog to sit below with the cargo. If you’re not comfortable with this, you’ll want to choose a different airline. 

2. Pack for Your Pet 

Just like humans, dogs also like to have some creature comforts with them when they travel.

 

Dogs love routine, so try to keep everything as close to their routine as possible by bringing all of their creature comforts from home. This includes food, treats, bowls, leashes, brushes, and medications. 

 

It’s also usually a good idea to bring your own water from home. While this may sound excessive, dogs can have major sensitivities to different water systems, so it’s best not to tempt it. 

With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to have a great vacation with your pooch

3. Be Prepared for Emergencies 

No matter how careful you are when traveling with your dog, emergencies can happen. For example, you can lose your dog or your dog can get sick. 

 

If you’re traveling in a country where you don’t speak the language, then make sure you can say some “dog-friendly” phrases in the local language. For example, “I lost my dog”, “Have you seen my dog?”, or “Is this place dog-friendly”?

 

Also, you want to be prepared in the event your dog gets sick. Talk to your veterinarian, and see if they can recommend a local vet in the area that you are traveling to. 

 

With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to have a great vacation with your pooch. Comment below if you have any questions about these dog-friendly travel tips.

How to Set up a Cat Litter Box

Does your kitty spray and do her business outside of the box? You have been setting her litter box up all wrong! Cats are our family and like other members, they need their stuff to be perfectly placed. Yes, for instance, their litter box shouldn’t be under the car in a garage just because you won’t have to look at her poop.

 

There are many other things to consider while setting up a litter box. So it’s always better to focus on the correct way to set up a litter box rather than only researching and testing automatic cat litter boxes in order to solve litter problems.

How Many Litter Boxes Do You Need?

Have at least one litter box per cat, plus an extra one. That means you’ll need 2 of them if you have a cat, 11 for 10 cats, and 5 for 4 cats. Keep in mind that all the litter boxes are not in the same room placed side by side.

 

The ideal no. of litter boxes is no. of cats + 1 and all of them should be placed separately in different rooms at ‘socially important places’. So that your cat will have enough litter boxes to spray and poop in to mark her territories.

 

In a nutshell, it is important where you place them. If your cats are doing fine otherwise, never spray or poop outside the box, you have limited space in the house, and your cat litter problems are solved then there’s no need to put extra ones out there.

Place Litter Boxes at Socially Important Places

Some of you believe, your cat needs privacy to do their business. They need a box which has a hood over it or the litter box which is disguised as a cabinet in your drawing room. But that’s ridiculous because if your cat had her way, she would poop and pee in your yard in front of the door. It’s us who don’t like to see her litter box open.

 

People would put litter boxes where they don’t have to look at her poop often such as behind the washing machine, in the mudroom, under the car in a garage, or in the bathroom etc. I too resent it but the truth is you should do the exact opposite. Put the litter box in a drawing room or in the bedroom. Socially important places are important for ‘catification’.

 

Well, “Catification is the art of making changes and adjustments to your home that meet the needs of both you and your cat (aesthetically and spatially).”, according to Jackson Galaxy, aka Cat Daddy.

 

Moreover, if your cat is feeling insecure and marks territory in some places, place the litter box on that spot. That will help you solve litter problems.

No Deodorizers Around

Cats have aversion to  some scents and that includes the scents of deodorants. That said, you should not use any plug-in or sprinkle-on deodorizers around their poop box. I don’t believe in using scented litter because a cat always like a clean litter box and a clean one never stinks.

 

All you need to do is scoop litter regularly and wash the box every week. This will keep the litter box fresh and it won’t stink. Deodorizers and scents may lead to an aversion to the area and the litter box which will add to litter problems.

Provide Multiple Exits to the Litter Box While Catifying the Setup

As we discussed, catifying is the process of environmental enrichment for you and your cat without precluding your aesthetic sense. So when you catify the litter box arrangement, you might want to put the whole box in a corner or the way one of its exits/entrances facing too close to a wall making it only open from one side.

 

When another cat, dog, or a human comes behind them while kitty is doing her business inside, she won’t have any option left but to feel being ambushed. This situation can trigger fear, stress, and anxiety in a cat.

 

So make sure the covered cat litter box has multiple (most commonly 2) doors so that cat can leave the box whenever they sense danger from other pets or humans.

Try Different Litter Boxes of Litter Problems Are Not Solved

It is possible that you have tried everything but still, your kitty sprays and mark territories in the house. Some of the adopted cats might have a bad memory with their litter box in their previous parents’ home. When they are confronted by the similar litter box in your home, that might trigger fear and anxiety as a result of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

 

To litter train your cat, use litter boxes of different, color, shape, size, and depth. There’ll be at least one box which will be the most suitable to her.

Final Thoughts

Setting up a litter box for a cat is not difficult but there are certain points to keep in mind. Wrongly set up boxes can lead to cat litter problems which are harmful to you and your cats. Keep these points in your mind and that will be all to easily set up the litter box. However, cat litter problems won’t disappear if you do not clean it properly. If you have to share something with us, drop a comment in a comment section below.

 

Author Bio:

Clara Lou is Co-founder and the Head of Marketing at Petlovesbest.com. Petlovesbest is a one-stop solution for all your pet supplies shopping and pet-related queries.

5 Best Dog Friendly Cities in Europe

Europe is a dream travel destination for many people. While the same sentiment is expressed by people who love traveling with their dogs, they have to be a little more discerning when it comes to choosing specific countries in Europe that will be more welcoming of their pet. Here, we reveal five of the best cities in Europe where you and your dog will surely have the best time together.

Prepping for Your Trip

Before anything else, you have to plan very well for traveling with your pet. Wherever you’re coming from, it is likely that the best way to travel with a large dog or a small dog is by taking a plane. Research on the procedures and requirements of taking your pooch with you and you will have resolved a big chunk of the whole “travelling with a dog” challenge!

Dog-Friendly Cities to Visit

In no particular order, here are five European cities that are known for being very dog friendly:

  1. Berlin. A popular travel destination for art and culture, this German city is also one that is very friendly towards dogs. One of the best ways to get around with your dog is by joining a walking tour of the city’s top historical sites. Alternatively, a steamer cruise ship is a more relaxing way to get around – and one that welcomes dogs as well. The highlight of Berlin as a dog-friendly European country is the pet-friendly nature of its public transportation system. For as long as you get the right ticket, you’ll have no problem exploring around with your pet. The city also has many cafes and apartments that welcome dogs and go the extra mile to make them feel right at home.
  2. Amsterdam. You’ll immediately know that Amsterdam is pet-friendly once you realize that the city is practically teeming with dogs! The reason for this is probably because Amsterdam has so many beautiful parks that are perfect for sightseeing with a dog or two. Except for galleries and museums, dogs are pretty much allowed all over the city. Places that have no choice but to decline dogs as visitors have a sign that says ‘no dogs allowed’ for your information. They are also allowed to travel for free on public transportations, with the exception of trains that have a dog surcharge of 3 euros.
  3. Prague. The capital city of the Czech Republic has made a lot of effort to become a more dog-friendly city, which likely contributes to its increase in tourists. Most restaurants welcome dogs, and many proprietors even offer small meals for your hungry, four-footed co-traveler. Prague also has a lot of parks which you can explore with your dogs, and pet-friendly beer gardens are aplenty as well. As for getting around with your dog, the basic rule is that they need to be muzzled before they hop aboard. While the city still needs to work on increasing pet-friendly accommodations, a bit of research will yield several that are very accommodating to pooches such as Pod Vezi. In Prague, make sure to catch a flick at The Aero – the continent’s lone dog-friendly cinema! An annual dog film festival, Aero Pes Fest, is also a must-attend event for all dog lovers.
  4. Barcelona. Barcelona locals truly love their dogs, which is why they warmly welcome yours as well. In fact, the locals are very showy of their affection towards pets compared to other European cities. If you’re looking forward to the tapas experience, you’ll be happy to know that many notable places are also dog-friendly and even offer water should your pooch be parched.
  5. Paris. Dogs are an omnipresent feature of Paris, and you’ll instantly see how much the locals love their leashed pooches. They accompany them to the hottest restaurants, the most luxurious boutiques, inside taxicabs – everywhere! While there are some established rules about where dogs can and cannot go, Parisians basically ignore these or try to circumvent them. Dog friendly hotels are also plentiful, and some are even known to provide a welcome basket for both the tourist and his trusty, four-legged side kick!

Excited for your great European adventure with your dog? These tips will surely make it a lot more enjoyable – for both you and your pet!