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Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Your Dog’s Bad Breath

Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Your Dog’s Bad Breath

Bad breath in dogs may seem inevitable, but when your furry companion suffers from it, the urgency to solve it tends to set in. It’s a good thing that this problem comes with multiple solutions. Vets almost universally agree that the best way to prevent bad breath in your dogs is to ensure that you maintain their dental health. Yearly check-ups, proper brushing, good chew toys, and feeding them with appropriate dry food is all essential when it comes to preventing bad breath.

But what if your dog already has bad breath? Here are a few more tips you can utilise to turn this situation around:

1. Brush their teeth well

Like humans, dogs require constant and vigilant tooth brushing. Twice a day for at least 30 seconds each time, to be specific. It’s also important to use specialised dog toothpaste for it to be considered safe. There are plenty of high-quality toothpaste available on the market today. aPetMart carries multiple safe and credible brands in our stock for you to choose from.

2. Strategically utilise chew toys

You can find many chew toys that discreetly allow you to hide cleaning agents or toothpaste in them. With this, their breath improves exponentially every time your dog plays with it. That’s what you call functionality!

3. Go see a vet

Research shows that most pets will have contracted a dental disease by age three. If your dog exhibits signs of inflammation, you might want to bring them to a vet to get it checked. In fact, it’s recommended that your dog visits a vet annually.

4. Try yoghurt

Surprisingly, yoghurt is an excellent home remedy for rancid breath. It’s important that the yoghurt you give them is plain and doesn’t contain sugar substitutes or any fruits, as some of them can be fatal to dogs. Ensure your dogs are not lactose intolerant before giving them 1-2 teaspoons of yoghurt.

5. Give them some herbs

Certain herbs like parsley and dill can be beneficial for cleaning up dog breath. They kill off bacteria and are nature’s breath fresheners.

6. Research dental sealants

Some dogs are especially prone to dental decay. As such, it’s essential to look for suitable dental sealants. They do a great job at keeping their teeth and gums spick and span, helping to ensure decay and plaque build-up are stalled.

7. Let them drink tea

Bad breath in dogs can often occur due to indigestion issues or stomach problems. Like people, dogs find tea helpful in easing this type of problem. Ginger tea is the go-to tea solution for indigestion. Just add two slices of ginger to some hot water. Remember to let the temperature go down before your dog drinks a few teaspoons.

Conclusion

Bad breath in dogs is often a minor issue that can be easily remedied by following the tips mentioned above and buying the necessary dog accessories. aPetMart is the premiere destination for all your pet supplies needs. Other than accessories, we also offer a variety of premium pet food brands, including Wellness dog treats. Find exactly what you need amid our vast range of pet essentials. Contact us today to learn more!

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Things To Note Before Getting Your Child A Hamster

things to note before getting your child a hamster

The number one question kids start to ask their parents once they reach a certain age is whether they can get a pet. Parents often give in with the caveat that they’ll only buy their children what they assume would be a low-maintenance pet. More often than not, the chosen pet is a hamster.

Hamsters are the go-to first pet for most people because they’re relatively easy to take care of, affordable, and adorable! But that doesn’t mean that they don’t require thorough care or they don’t come with their share of challenges. Since they’re such small creatures, you must handle them gently, or they might retaliate by biting! As such, younger children will almost certainly have issues with them as they’re not fully in control of their faculties yet. There are other things parents should note before getting their child a hamster as a starter pet. Here are just some of them:

  • They require a lot of exercise

Animals are generally not used to captivity – and hamsters are no exception. Hamsters may be tiny, but they still require exercise. They need to do so to receive their share of freedom and for them to maintain their health and well-being. You can do so by installing an appropriately sized hamster wheel in their cage. You can even let them roam free outside their enclosures for a few minutes, as long as you carefully watch them. It’s also vital to ensure their cage is big enough for them to run about as much as they please.

  • They are nocturnal animals

Not many people are aware of the fact that hamsters are nocturnal. That means they sleep most of the day and are only active at night. If you’re worried about your hamster seeming too sedate, keep in mind that they’re simply tired from their night-time exploits.

  • Male and females should not be kept together

Male and female hamsters should not be housed together, or there would be disastrous consequences. There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule. Hamsters tend to breed at unbelievable speeds. Once the babies are born, the father will likely attempt to attack his young. The mother will then retaliate in kind to protect her children. Not the sort of thing you want to expose your child to. If you have purchased two hamsters of the opposite sex, remember to keep them in separate cages.

  • They’re sensitive to loud noises

Hamsters are animals that mainly utilise their hearing and sense of smell to get around. That’s why loud noises like shouting, vacuuming, or banging can scare them. When deciding where to place them, consider the quiet areas of your house. If your children are particularly loud, you may want to reconsider your decision to get a hamster.

Conclusion

Hamsters may seem like low-maintenance pets, but that doesn’t mean no maintenance is necessary. If you’re thinking of getting one, ensure you’ve put enough thought into the idea. Remember, hamsters are still beings with feelings and, when given the right amount of care, can make great friends with you and your little ones. Just ensure that they’re well taken care of!

And for all your hamster-related essentials, visit us at aPetMart. We are the one-stop shop for all your online pet supplies in Singapore. Contact us today to learn more about our well-curated and quality stock.

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4 Cat Cafés in Singapore You’ll Absolutely Want to Visit

4 Cat Cafés in Singapore You’ll Absolutely Want to Visit

Love cats? Can’t get enough of cafés? Well then, you’re in luck. Singapore is a haven of cat cafés suited for cat lovers of all persuasions.

People love their pets on our sunny little island. We have dog cafés, pet-friendly restaurants, pet hotels, and a variety of other establishments for our furry companions to enjoy. However, perhaps the most popular iteration of this is the cat café. It’s a place where people can freely sit back, relax, and enjoy some adorable feline company.

With the abundance of options available, how would you know where to start? Well, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of some of the best cat cafés in the country!

1. The Cat Café

The Cat Café has two branches you won’t be able to get enough of. Bugis space houses 15 wonderful cats for you to befriend, while the Rail Mall outlet has 14 of them. The best part? All the cats are adopted or strays! Visit these cats at their new home and see them for yourselves. And while you’re there, give their delicious desserts a try!

2. Cats Safari

Cats Safari Singapore is a unique one on this list. It isn’t just a cat café; it’s also a cat therapy centre. If you’re a caretaker for your very own feline friend, you can bring them over for a bit of cat therapy. If you don’t have one, you can still go and hang out with all the other cats and relax with them.

3. The Company of Cats

What was once just a place for cats to commune and hang out has become a full-fledged cat café. The Company of Cats is now filled with books and a variety of delectable dishes for you to enjoy while you bask in, well, the company of cats! With a grand total of 11 rescued felines, you can take the time to get to know each of these individual personalities properly.

4. Catopia Café

Finally, we’ll end with the ambitious Catopia Café. Once an illustrious boarding house for cats, now this café is a safe haven for cats and people alike. People looking to relax and unwind can find a safe space in this 2-storey shophouse filled with 22 cats of various breeds. What’s more, if you find yourself craving companionship, they hold weekly adoption drives so you can make one of these cats your own.

Conclusion

Cat cafés may be becoming a dime a dozen in Singapore, but they’re some of the best places for people to unwind and befriend a few furry companions. So make your way down to explore the cat cafés in Singapore and enjoy an unparalleled you’ll keep going back to.

If you already have a friend of the feline persuasion at home and you’re looking for the best and most reliable pet food online store, check us out at aPetMart. If you still have any burning questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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Benefits of Bringing Your Pets To Work

woman-laptop-dog-smiling

We all have our own ways to de-stress from work. Some of us listen to music, eat nutritious snacks or create an ergonomic workspace. However, did you know that pets at the workplace can also serve the same purpose? More companies are allowing employees to bring their pets to work. 

There are many ways bringing your pets to work can increase productivity for everyone. With that said, how do their presence provide us benefits and what do you need to take note when bringing pets to your workplace?

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Physically & Mentally Positive

The presence of pets can bring positive benefits to your health physically and mentally.

For instance, a study showed that employees who took their dogs to work experienced lower stress levels throughout the work day and had a more positive perception of their employer, along with higher levels of job satisfaction. Another found that a pet-friendly workplace helps boost productivity and encourages interaction between people.

It’s interesting how these benefits can also lead to a better quality of life. Take it this way: When you are less stressed, there is a decrease in blood pressure. With less stress-related ailments, you will save on healthcare expenses as well. With a boost in morale through interaction with pets, you would find yourself being more proactive at work.

Employers and employees from Inverse-Square have stated how having pets around has helped them pass long work hours happily, and the pets remind them to take necessary breaks. This essentially shows the positive impact pets can have by just being around people who need them the most.

Business Positive

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On the business side, did you also know that you can be rewarded for bringing your pets to work? In the U.S, companies such as Amazon and Google have pet-friendly policies, similar to a number of other companies such as Nestle Purina and Ticketmaster. A notable company, BrewDog, a craft brewer in Columbus, Ohio, is offering up to a week of paid time off for new pet owners, known as “pawternity leave”.

A survey conducted by LiveCareer highlighted employees using pet-friendly policies as criteria for taking a job, including their level of commitment to it:

  • 52% of respondents said that they would consider an employer that offers pet-friendly benefits and policies
  • 49% of respondents are convinced to take up a job offer if they offer a pet-friendly work environment
  • 41% of respondents would have a better sense of satisfaction if they had pets in the office
  • 49% of respondents would have recommend their employer to a friend if they allowed pets in the workplace

With this in mind, it is safe to say that the popularity of pet-friendly workplaces is only increasing, and it is a “paw-some” sight to see!

Precautions for Employers & Employees

Having pets around can be fun. However, precautions must be taken to ensure everyone’s safety at the workplace. There are many factors to be considered since you are bringing your pet to a different environment. As a result, they may not be very comfortable at the beginning.

A very important factor is to ensure that your pet is well-trained and behaved. As they are heading to a new environment, they will meet new people and animals. The unintended stress can lead to unusual and destructive behaviour.

So with that said, how do we exercise responsibility when our pets are in our workplace?

Employers

As employers, your responsibility is to ensure everyone is in a healthy work environment. These include:

  • Creation of Pet-related Policies
  • Potential Sensitivities within Workplace
  • Extra Considerations

Creation of Pet-related Policies

Employers need to create policies to ensure that everyone is treated equally in the event that something goes wrong. For example, an employee’s pet may possibly injure someone else or injure themselves. To prevent further conflicts and possible charges, creation of policies are needed.

For instance, employers may state a policy in place that sets out clear responsibility for any damage or injury. In addition, they may also provide rules stating the number of pets you can bring, the kind of pets allowed, and so on.

For example, Hootsuite, a social media management platform, assumes no responsibility for pets on the premises and has guidelines specifically stating that “employees are financially responsible for any damage or cleaning to facilities; including damage from accidents, excessive pet hair and odour removal as required.” They also mentioned that the dog must be six months and older, properly licensed, insured, vaccinated and potty trained. They must also be kept on a leash, to stay off the furniture, use a pet-designated elevator and play in one of the outdoor spaces nearby.

Potential Sensitivities Within Workplace

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The well-being of your employees is always your first priority. Understanding their feelings towards having pets within the workplace allows you to have ideas to accommodate them. 

For instance, it is good to know if anyone has an allergy history to pets. Common ways to accommodate employees who are allergic is to essentially have the pets be kept in certain areas of the building away from the allergic employees. 

Extra Considerations

As pet lovers, let’s not forget the price we have to pay to take care of these adorable creatures. There can be additional costs for pet care, pet-proofing office. These costs range from $500-$1500 a year for one pet per year. 

Including pets in the workplace requires employers to take on some of these costs, such as the toys, treats and any miscellaneous accidental damage that naturally occurs when caring for pets.

Employees

As employees, you must also be aware of your surroundings when it comes to bringing your pet. 

Ensure that your pet has been:

  • Potty-trained
  • Well-trained and behaved
  • Vaccinated and licenced (most important for dogs)
  • Keep it on a leash
  • Well-fed

It is your responsibility to take good care of your pet, avoid it from having conflicts with other animals and humans when possible, and always provide them with meals.

Apart from that, do not forget about the well-being of your co-workers. Ask if they have any allergies to certain pets, and respect their space if they do. It is advisable to be patient with the process if your pet feels nervous attempting to interact with new people and animals. They can also be like us, taking their time to warm up to everyone else. Once your pet gets used to the environment, it would be a pleasing sight.

Of course, you shouldn’t force them to adjust to a certain environment. There are some pets that prefer to stay within the comforts of their home, and it is understandable as to why they would. From my personal experience, I’ve tried walking my cats out years back, and they ended up just crawling like turtles! So I believe they are okay with it if you leave them resting at home, they’ll appreciate you just as much once you make your way home safely.

A Purrific Trend

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It is an amazing sight to see how pets have been integrated into our society. They may not be working the jobs we do, but to have them present by our side, makes things all the more wholesome!

It is only a matter of time until we see more and more companies adopting their own pet-policies. Until then, keep appreciating the pets you have, and remind them how much you love them.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Taking Care of Your Pet Birds

A Beginner’s Guide to Taking Care of Your Pet Birds

If you ask anybody who’s ever taken care of a bird, they’d tell you they’re delightful pets. Birds are creatures with noteworthy personalities and lifespans that can rival even humans! Because of this, they make great lifelong companions and wonderful pets.

On the flip side, caring for them is a whole different ballpark. Luckily, keeping your birds safe, happy, and healthy with the right tools and know-how is within your capabilities. We’ve taken the liberty to compile everything you’d need to know in this comprehensive guide to bird care.

General information

Your pet birds may be unique, but their needs are more or less universal. They require clean enclosures, fresh food, water, fun and safe toys, plenty of exercise, and some of your attention. Ensure that their cages have enough space for them to move around and a grate so you can keep your bird away from the substrate.

Feeding them

The first thing all bird caretakers have to know is how and what to feed them. In general, their diets are made up of bird seed – a food that provides them with all the necessary vitamins. However, only feeding your bird pre-packaged, dry seeds will not suffice. They also need to be fed vegetables, the greener, the better. These can include spinach, parsley, or even celery. For additional strength, milk and fruit can significantly benefit their health.

Their upkeep

Here are some things you can do to ensure that your bird will thrive with you:

  • Shower them! Unlike other pets, birds love playing in the water. It goes a long way in ensuring their sanitation as well.
  • Let them bask in the sunlight during the daytime, but they enjoy complete darkness at night. You can use a blackout cover to achieve this effect.
  • Make sure they get enough exercise! Toys are great for keeping them up and flying around in their cages. You can even let them out of the cage weekly for a bit of supervised exercise. Just pick a safe place and let them soar.

Socialisation

Learning about the behaviour of birds in the wild is essential to learning how they’d act as pets. For example, birds like undomesticated parrots are quite sociable. They are used to doing everything in their flock. When you keep them as pets, your parrot considers you and your family their flock and longs to be included in your activities. If you’ve ever wondered why your parrot screeches when it is away from your family, it’s probably just trying to get the “flock’s” attention. It’s also good to note that parrots, like many birds, mate for life. If your parrot already has a companion, it will most likely be unfriendly towards other birds in an attempt to protect their “mate.”

Conclusion

Taking care of a pet bird is a huge commitment, but it is ultimately worth it. Birds are exceptionally intelligent, compassionate, and fascinating animals. If you take care of them, they will pay you back in kind, trying their best to be great companions to you. For the tools and accessories needed to provide them with the care they deserve, turn to aPetMart. We reliably provide high-quality online pet supplies in Singapore. Contact us today to learn more!

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Guide to Owning Dogs & Other Pets in HDBs

woman hugging dog

There comes a point in time when animal lovers consider owning the pet of their dreams. However, it doesn’t mean that they are allowed to keep any pets that they wish for if they were to live in a HDB flat.

On a brighter note, with recent changes made to allow bigger sized dogs to be rehomed, it makes the process of adoption far more convenient for those whose criteria expands beyond owning small dogs.

In this blog, we will be highlighting the dog breeds allowed for adoption, as well as rules and regulations to owning pets within HDBs.

Dog Regulations and Good Practices

elderly-dog-happy-together

To own a pet, you must understand what it means to be a responsible owner. To prevent conflicts with your housing estate and neighbours, there are rules by HDB you must abide by.

Flouting HDB rules will result in hefty fines up to $4,000.

The table below summarises regulations pet owners must follow to adopt a dog:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)Answer
How many dogs can I own?1 per HDB Flat
Is there a restriction as to how big my dog can be?– Maximum height up to 40 cm
– Weight of 10 kg and below
– Singapore Special with a shoulder
height up to 55cm under Project ADORE
Must I register my dog?Yes, dog owners must have their pet licensed by the NParks Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) via PALS.
Is there a cost to licence my dog?$15, refer to NParks’ Page for terms and conditions.

It is also important that you exercise good practice when it comes to creating a safe and comfortable environment for your dog:

  • Ensure it doesn’t bark excessively
  • Pick up and dispose their waste promptly
  • Keep them safe and secured in your home
  • Ensure your dog socialises with your neighbours when possible to avoid future conflicts

HDB Approved Dog Breeds

The infographic below shows the 62 dog breeds approved by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

We have also provided a short description of the dog breeds regarding their traits. This is to ensure that you have what it takes to care for that specific breed once you have made up your mind!

aPetMart HDB Dog Breeds Infographic 1/5 by Osman Samsuri
aPetMart HDB Dog Breeds Infographic 2/5 by Osman Samsuri
aPetMart HDB Dog Breeds Infographic 3/5 by Osman Samsuri
aPetMart HDB Dog Breeds Infographic 4/5 by Osman Samsuri
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If you wish to adopt a dog that’s not listed on the HDB list, you will need to live in a private property unit.

HDB Approved Dogs under Project ADORE

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If you stay in HDB but love bigger dogs, Project ADORE is for you. Despite the dog size limits, Project ADORE (ADOption and REhoming of Dogs) aims to look past the restrictions. Introduced in April 2012, Project ADORE was implemented to assess the acceptance of mixed-breed dogs in HDB estates if proper safeguards were in place. 

Only dogs adopted from these 5 participating dog shelters are qualified for the scheme:

  1. SPCA
  2. Action for Singapore Dogs
  3. Save Our Street Dogs
  4. Exclusively Mongrels
  5. Causes for Animals

1335 of these mixed breed dogs, also known as Singapore Specials, had been successfully rehomed as of 31 December 2019.

In March 2020, the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) announced a revised criterion for Project ADORE, with the hope to allow 20% more local mixed-breed dogs to be adopted each year.

Pet lovers interested in adopting Singapore Specials may refer to this table:

Size of Singapore Special– Shoulder height up to 55 cm
No weight restrictions
Must the dog be sterilised, vaccinated and microchipped?Yes
Must the dog complete training?The dog must have undergone basic obedience training by AVA-accredited trainers

In addition, under this schedule, you must do the following:

  • Understand that only 1 registered dog is allowed per HDB household
  • Check that your immediate neighbours are open to you having a dog
  • Sign a declaration that you’ll observe the Code of Responsible Behaviour (CORB)
  • Apply for an AVA licence.

There are many benefits to adopting a Singapore Special. They tend to be intelligent, which makes them easily trainable. Additionally, their longer lifespans of up to 15 years make them the perfect choice for family pets. Sadly, they are often overlooked due to their tendency to be difficult at times.

However, if you give yourself enough time and effort, they will start to warm up to you and understand what it is like to feel loved. So trust the process!

Are Cats Allowed to Live in HDB Flats?

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Unfortunately, due to housing laws, cats are not allowed in flats. The reason stated is due to being “difficult to contain within the “flat”. When they are not kept indoors, their fur, urine and faeces may pose health and hygiene risks to the public. In addition, it is cited that caterwauling may also cause inconvenience to neighbours. 

However, this rule has not stopped cat lovers from having the felines in HDB flats.. As long as you manage to keep them well-behaved and your neighbours happy, it does not seem that the rule was strictly enforced. 

As felines have won the hearts of many, the authority has been experimenting to lift the rules under a pilot scheme known as Love Cats. About 120 households in HDB flats in Chong Pang at Yishun have been permitted to raise one feline each under this scheme which was launched in October 2021, as long as the cats are microchipped, sterilised and kept indoor.

This pilot scheme is run by the Cat Welfare Society with support from government agencies such as the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the Ministry of National Development (MND).

They are also supported by Law Minister K. Shanmugam and Louis Ng, who is the Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRCand the founder of ACRES Group (Animal Concerns Research and Education Society).

Pets That Can Be Adopted Aside From Dogs

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Keeping small pets is permitted within HDB flats, so long as they don’t cause inconvenience to neighbours or mess up common areas.

These pets include:

  1. Birds (except house crow, white-vented or Javan myna, common myna, feral pigeon, birds that are protected wildlife species)
  2. Chinchillas
  3. Fish (except piranhas and fish that are protected wildlife)
  4. Gerbils
  5. Green tree frogs
  6. Guinea Pigs
  7. Hamsters
  8. Land Hermit crabs
  9. Malayan box turtles
  10. Mice
  11. Rabbits

For birds and fishes, please note that those listed in the CITES Appendices must be imported with CITES permits or Certificates of Origin. The NParks website of the Animal and Veterinary Service provides more info on what other pets can be raised in Singapore.

Licensing for Other Pets

As far as research goes, there isn’t a stated fact that you must register your pets if it is not a dog. However, AVS encourages that you observe the Code of Animal Welfare, which specifies the minimum standards for animal housing, management, and care which pet owners are expected to comply with. 
It is written in the form of a booklet and infographic, both of which you should take a look at by clicking on the respective words.

Other Banned Pets

In addition to cats, there are also other animals that are not allowed to be kept as HDB pets, such as:

  1. Hedgehogs
  2. Bearded dragons
  3. Star tortoises
  4. Sugar Gliders
  5. Snakes
  6. Crocodilian Reptiles

The reasoning for these animals is mainly due to safety concerns.

To All Pet Owners, Stay Responsible

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Before getting a pet, ensure that you have done your research and are fully prepared to commit to the life of a pet owner. If you already have owned one, always research ways to make their quality of living even better!
Don’t buy a pet just because you can. You should always consider if it is something that you feel a special connection to. It’s a whole new adventure once you become a pet owner, but it’s an exciting one!

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How To Adopt Singapore Specials

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While the homeless dogs wandering in concrete jungles are known as strays, mutts and mongrels in other countries, they hold a special place in many Singaporeans’ hearts. Affectionately known as Singapore Specials, many of these street dogs have been successfully rehomed in Singapore. 

The love for Singapore Special dogs has been steadily growing over the years. The possibility of adopting a Singapore Special is good news if you are a big dog lover who stays in HDB flats.

Are you familiar with  the process of adoption, and how Singapore Special’s traits may be different from the popular dog breeds in Singapore? Read on to find more.

What You Should Know

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Singapore Specials have traits not easily distinguishable compared to purebred dogs. They are mixed-breed dogs. That means not all of them behave the same way despite being categorised as a Singapore Special. Some may be aggressive, others passive. Some may be shy, others sociable.

The life of caring for a Singapore Special dog isn’t always an easy breeze. There are a lot of considerations to be taken if you are looking to adopt one.

Prior to being rescued by animal shelters, it has always been a dog eat dog world in their eyes. These poor creatures had to live in the streets of Singapore feeding off whatever they could find in order to survive. As a result of their experience, it can be very difficult for them to easily trust someone who is willing to take care of them. 

Those who display aggressive behaviours towards their new owners tend to be sent back to their shelters, seeking for another better home.

Hence, it is important that in order to be a responsible owner of these dogs, you must be patient with your development with your companion. It might take some time for them to open up their trust to you, but it is a process that is deemed worthwhile!

Why You Should Adopt Singapore Specials

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We believe that if you have what it takes to care for a  Singapore Special, you should still go for it!

Adopting Singapore Specials has its benefits:

  1. Healthier – Most dogs in Singapore come from puppy mills. They have a known reputation for having atrocious conditions breeding dogs with serious health issues.
  2. Longer Lifespans – Mixed breed dogs tend to live a long life of up to 15 years or more as they have fewer health
  3. Intelligent and Trainable – They tend to pick things up fast and adapt to living conditions well. 
  4. Affordability – Compared to buying a puppy, adoption incurs much less cost. In addition, as Singapore Specials have fewer health issues, it means you don’t have to keep visiting the vet apart from bringing your Singapore Specials to routine checkups.

Adoption Requirements

To adopt a dog, you are to comply with the rules instilled by the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS). Failure to do so may result in hefty fines.

Owners are required to:

  • Sign a Code of Responsible Behaviour (CORB) which mandates that your dog doesn’t cause nuisances to your neighbours
  • Have undergone basic obedience training by AVA-accredited trainers at point of adoption
  • Ensure that your dog has been sterilised, microchipped and brought for routine vaccinations.
  • Have their pet licensed by the NParks Animal & Veterinary Services (AVS) via PALS.

Dog lovers that live in HDBs have the privilege of undergoing Project ADORE. However, while you are to observe the rules previously mentioned, take note of the restrictions below on Singapore Specials living in HDB flats.

  • There is no weight restriction.
  • Their Shoulder height cannot exceed 55 cm.
  • They have to be at least 6 months old.

How To Adopt a Singapore Special if You Live in HDB Flats

If you have dreamed of having a big dog in your HDB flats, Singapore Special is for you! Singapore Special is one of the dog breeds allowed in HDB flats. As of now, you can adopt Singapore Special from the  6 participating dog shelters below under Project ADORE:

  1. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
  2. Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD)
  3. Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)
  4. Exclusively Mongrels (EM)
  5. Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS)
  6. Mercylight Animal Rescue & Sanctuary Limited (MARS)

Visit the shelters’ official websites for more information on how you can adopt one of these dogs for yourselves.

We recommend that you visit the dog shelter if it is allowed, so that you can get a chance to understand the behaviour of the various dogs and bond with them at the shelter. Furthermore, the shelter staff may help you clear up your doubts.

#1 Society for the Prevention of Cruelty  to Animals (SPCA)

SPCA Logo

Founded in 1947, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is a registered, non-governmental animal welfare charity. They provide 24-hour emergency rescues, cruelty and welfare investigations and are Singapore’s only community animal clinic. 

They also include adoption programmes, education programmes, sterilisations for community animals, and a shelter for over 200 unwanted, abused or abandoned animals every month.

#2 Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD)

ASD Logo

Established in December 2000, Action for Singapore Dogs strives to improve the welfare of stray and abandoned dogs in Singapore. They strictly operate on a no-kill policy.

ASD has conducted various activities and programs. These include rescuing, fostering and re-homing of stray and abandoned dogs, advocating sterilisation to control the stray population, responsible pet ownership and highlighting the virtues of the local dogs, the Singapore Specials. 

To date, they have rehomed over 3000 dogs and have about 150 dogs in their care, which are housed at their Adoption & Rescue Centre and in foster homes.
ASD’s adoption page features images and descriptions of the dogs, as well as if it is HDB Approved. Dog lovers who are interested in adopting such dogs are to fill in an adoption form with their particulars.

#3 Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

SOSD Logo

Founded in July 2011, Save Our Street Dogs’ mission is simple: To eliminate cruelty and abandonment of animals, enhancing their welfare, and improve the lives of animals and humans, through rescue, education and advocacy.

They have these 3 key areas of focus to help save the street dogs of Singapore:

  1. Advocate & Educate
  2. Rescue & Rehome
  3. Sterilisation for Humane Population Control

#4 Exclusively Mongrels

EM Logo

The name speaks for itself! Exclusively Mongrels is a group that solely focuses on changing the life of mongrel dogs for the better. From time to time, they would also host various events. One recent event held was “Adoption Drive 2022”, where families may look to adopt the various dogs and puppies available. 

Similar to Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), they have adoption forms that’s sorted from HDB to non-HDB approved. Adding on, they also have a separate category dedicated to puppies!

#5 Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS)

CAS Logo

Causes for Animals Limited is an animal welfare charity set up to support the needs of local animal welfare in Singapore. They employ programs and policies to promote best practice, ethical, sustainable and compassionate treatment of the animals.

Putting together a team with over 30 years of combined experience in Animal Welfare Work, they have managed a rescue and adoption program that has helped achieve a success rate of 98% in adoptions.

#6 Mercylight Animal Rescue & Sanctuary Limited (MARS)

Mercylight Logo

Mercylight started off in 2009 as a handful of volunteers who fed stray dogs every evening in the eastern side of Singapore. In January 2015, it was incorporated as a non-profit organisation with the aim to promote compassion for animals through the provision of animal welfare services and prevention of cruelty to animals.

By May 2020, they were then conferred the charity status and was henceforth known as Mercylight Animal Rescue & Sanctuary Limited.

To date, they have over 100 committed people volunteering as kennel volunteers, stray feeders, packers, fosterers and sponsors.

Be Nice & Kind

volunteers-care-for-mongrels

We hope that our article has been helpful in allowing you to have a clear mind of what you wish to achieve in adopting a Singapore Special.  Do remember to adopt responsibly. Adopting a pet is a long-term commitment. 

These dogs are undoubtedly unique creatures often misunderstood by the general public, but are finally beginning to receive more love as time passes on. They deserve a second chance to be rehomed in a safe environment, and feel the love of a family.

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Challenges Pet Caretakers May Face and How to Tackle Them

Challenges Pet Caretakers May Face and How to Tackle Them

Pets add an indescribable quality to your home. As any pet caretaker would attest, having one makes your lives sparkle much brighter. However, there are some challenges along the way every pet caretaker ought to face. The best you can do is find ways to manage these situations before they get too overwhelming.

It might not always be easy, but it’s a relatively small price to pay for your pet’s unconditional love and affection. With the proper guidance, you’ll be able to overcome the challenges presented in no time.

1. The runaway instinct

A new pet may have an inherent instinct to run away from unfamiliar situations. This is because they haven’t familiarised themselves with you well enough. The bond between you and your pet is untested, so there is no scope for attachment yet.

If they’ve made attempts to escape, don’t worry too much about your competency as a pet caretaker. Most of the time, this tendency has nothing to do with you. Try and anticipate the subsequent attempts instead, and block them.

Be sure to take their safety into extra consideration as well. Runaway pets could end up getting lost or worse. Have safety aids ready if your pet gets hurt or sustains an injury.

2. Separation anxiety

Have you ever felt guilty leaving your pets behind when you go to work because of how genuinely afraid they seem? Just like children, your pets can also get anxious when separated from their caretaker.

If you take the appropriate course of action, you can help your pets overcome their separation anxiety over time. For example, taking your dog out for a walk right before you leave will allow them to be relaxed when you set off. You’ll be able to go with the peace of mind, knowing your pet is content. Finding toys to keep them distracted is also an effective strategy when trying to stave off separation anxiety.

3. Destructive behaviors

Your pet often feels like your best friend, so it’s all the more jarring when you’re not in sync anymore. Sometimes, this leads to chaos. Destructive behaviours, such as furniture chewing, can be attributed to the lack of quality time you’re spending with them.

However, as a working adult, it’s not feasible to drop everything and indulge your pets whenever they want. Your furry friends might not be able to understand this and can create a nuisance when they feel slighted. To prevent this, you’ll want to create games or activities that will divert their attention when you’re away. Sometimes, all they need is a treat, or a food puzzle to keep them from bothering you. With time and patience, you can anticipate their needs and respond accordingly.

4. Medical issues

Being responsible for a living being means that you have to be prepared for any sudden medical emergency they might have. It’s of the utmost importance that you refrain from panicking. Instead, you have to get ready to handle these situations with a steady hand.

To avoid these situations, certain preventative measures should be taken. For example, getting all the required vaccinations and regular veterinary checks can significantly improve their overall health and well-being.

It’s also essential that you get pet insurance to protect yourself and your pets when these issues inevitably crop up. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Conclusion

While these challenges may seem daunting, any pet caretaker will tell you that the benefits outweigh the potential costs. Having a pet is never going to be an easy endeavour, but it is a worthwhile one. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to weather any difficulty that comes your way. In the meantime, purchase all your online pet supplies in Singapore from aPetMart, one of the leading pet retailers with every pet essential under the sun. Contact us today to learn more!

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Busting Some of the Most Common Myths about Fish as Pets

Busting Some of the Most Common Myths about Fish as Pets

Fish tend to be a lower maintenance pet to have, but they’re, by no means, a cakewalk! Proper care and consideration must be put into fish care to ensure that your pet fish are healthy and content.

In that vein, many misconstructions and untruths regarding having fish as pets have been perpetuated for far too long. In this article, we attempt to bust some of these myths and help you better understand fishkeeping.

Myth 1: Fish don’t have long lifespans

People tend to be shocked when knowing that a fish has lived for more than a few years. But in reality, most species of fish should be able to live up to five years. Goldfish even have lifespans of 10 – 25 years.

If you are planning on obtaining some pet fish, don’t be complacent while doing research. Every type of fish has its own varying requirements and care instructions. The reason why so many fish perish before their time is because the people who buy them are unaware of how to care for them in the long run. So, before you make a purchase, ensure you know exactly what you’re in for to prepare accordingly.

Myth 2: Fish aren’t intelligent animals

You’ve probably heard of people comparing their memories to goldfish to describe forgetfulness. The idea that fish have incredibly short memory spans isn’t technically accurate. Fish can remember the time for their feeding by making associations between food and people. When they see you approaching, chances are, they’re aware that they’re about to be fed. Research has shown that some fish can even recognise their caretakers by their faces. If they do have terrible memories, as often posited, they wouldn’t be able to do any of that.

Myth 3: Fish will grow to fill out their tank

Have you ever heard someone say that fish will grow to whatever size their tank is? Well, you’ll want to forget that completely. A fish’s size and its tank are not correlated. Fish come in a broad range of shapes and sizes depending on their species. However, if their tank is too small, it will not be able to reach its true potential, size-wise. There’s also the possibility that their stunted growth could lead to various health problems. Again, the importance of research can’t be overstated. Before you decide what kind of fish to get, make sure you read up on them and buy them a tank that will allow for their proper development.

Myth 4: Fish don’t require filters

The idea that fish don’t need filters to survive is patently untrue. A filter is what keeps your fish’s homes clean. It aids in the removal of all waste, particles, leftover foods, and other harmful chemicals. If these elements are left to fester in the aquarium, the toxins can lead to ammonia build-up; this can cause ammonia poisoning, effectively killing the tank’s inhabitants. To prevent this fate, get a high-quality filter for it.

Conclusion

Even though each of these myths is pervasive, it doesn’t make it any less untrue. If you are planning to become a caretaker for fish, it’s vital that you do the necessary research to ensure a safe and healthy life for them. Find all the required online pet supplies in Singapore at aPetMart. Here, we have all the high-quality fish essentials you could possibly need. Contact us today to learn more!

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The Many Advantages of Becoming a Pet Caretaker

The Many Advantages of Becoming a Pet Caretaker

Pets are unparalleled in their ability to bring a smile to our faces. It’s not surprising that a sizeable percentage of Singaporean families own pets. Through thick and thin, rain or shine, your pet will remain a companion like no other.

Still, many people are unaware of the powerful impact being a pet caretaker can have on a person. Here are a few benefits of having your own animal friend:

1. You’ll never be alone

Depending on your living situation, being at home can get a bit lonely. With a pet, there’s no more chance of feeling like that. Your chosen pet can be a great confidante, even if they don’t speak the same language you do. In fact, that quality is exactly what makes them great listeners. If you’ve ever craved a non-judgemental ear for all your woes and complaints, consider getting a pal of the animal variety.

2. They ease your stress

Life in this day and age can be wrought with anxiety and a boatload of other issues. Often, this stress can manifest in mental health issues and other physical health problems.

Pets are a naturally calming presence. Whether you’re playing with your dog, petting your cat, or even just watching your fish swim around, you’ll notice yourself feeling at ease quicker. Research has shown that people who have pets are less likely to have high blood pressure or cholesterol. In that regard, your pet can literally be a lifesaver.

3. You’ll exercise more than ever

If you’re getting a dog, chances are, you’re going to have to be the one taking them on daily walks. The walks are for them to remain healthy, but it also benefits you in the same way. Sometimes, without any motivation, people have the tendency to become sedated. With a dog, there’s no scope for that. You’ll be doing more running around than ever before, trying to keep up with your energetic pup. Who needs a gym membership anyway?

4. They’ll help you feel safer

Some of us are more susceptible than others to the fear of being alone. For these people, a pet can go a long way in easing these trepidations and helping you feel safer in your own home. Additionally, your house is less likely to be a target of burglary if you have a dog living with you. Certain breeds of dogs even make excellent guard animals, with their every instinct geared towards your protection.

5. You’ll be able to make more friends

People who have pets tend to be friendlier – especially with other pet caretakers. If you’ve ever taken your pet out in public, you’re probably aware that you’re more likely to be spoken to. A pet is a social shortcut since they’re so universally adored. Hence, if you’ve ever felt awkward around others, they’re a great way to undercut all that tension and help you make friends instantaneously.

Conclusion

All in all, taking care of a pet is a serious commitment. However, all the hardships and potential problems pale in comparison to the many advantages of having one. At the end of the day, a loyal companion is worth everything.

On top of the above mentioned benefits, check out the psychological benefits of having a cat.

If you’re looking for online pet supplies in Singapore to facilitate your newest furry friend, aPetMart is precisely the place for you. With a broad range of premium pet food, accessories, and everything in between, you can be sure that we’ll have everything your pet could ever need. So what are you waiting for? Contact our team today to learn more!

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Advice for People Who Are Considering Dog Adoption

Advice for People Who Are Considering Dog Adoption

Whoever said that a dog is a man’s best friend wasn’t being hyperbolic. Just like making a best friend in real life, adopting a dog also begins with choosing someone you feel that special connection with. A dog is renowned for its ability to form close and profound relationships with people that can span lifetimes. The best thing you can do for an intelligent, loving animal like that is to give them a second chance at life through adoption. 

While adopting is ultimately extremely rewarding and one of the best decisions you can make, adjusting to these changes is not without its challenges – for either party. This transitory period can last anywhere from weeks to months. Still, it is guaranteed to be worth it with the proper amount of patience, understanding, and an unwavering willingness to try.

1. Exercise patience 

Patience is a quality that is essential when one is considering dog adoption. Depending on the disposition and past experiences of the dog, they will take some time to get used to their new environment and the people around them. In fact, you may not even be able to gauge a dog’s true personality for a while after adopting them. 

It’s vital that you go into this experience with practicality and the necessary foresight. Some dogs may seem hyperactive, some lazy, and others may make messes. You must build a foundation of trust with your dog first; like any other relationship, it takes time.

2. Create a routine

Creating an environment where there is consistency is paramount when adopting a dog. This means that if you live with multiple people, everyone has to get on the same page about the dog’s routine and the rules they must abide by. If everyone in your house has a different idea of how to train your dog, or if they have a chaotic schedule, your dog will naturally feel increasingly nervous and find it difficult to settle. 

If you want your home to feel like a safe space for your dog, you’ll want to establish a routine for them. For example, having set timings to feed and walk your dog allows them to orient themselves and, eventually, feel more secure in their new home.

3. House-train your dog

Once again, patience and practicality are qualities that must be emphasised when attempting to house-train your adopted dog. Some of these dogs have received the proper training, but as they adapt to a new environment, it could still lead to accidents. 

To prevent these accidents from taking place, bring them to the bathroom frequently. Offer them positive reinforcement by way of praise and treats when they relieve themselves in the correct places.

4. Guide them into good behaviour 

Dogs are quick to develop their habits and behavioural patterns. This can be both a good and bad thing. As such, early intervention is critical. When your dog attempts to repeat bad behaviour like jumping on visitors, and it goes unchecked, you’re making it likely that they’ll do it again. As a pet caretaker, you now have to deduce what causes this behaviour and how you can prevent it from happening again. 

For example, dog-proof everything if your dog is prone to chewing on items around the house. Cover things that are likely to be chewed on, like furniture or cords, with Bitter Apple. It is an easy-to-find, harmless substance whose bad taste discourages your pets from putting it in their mouth. It would help if you also reward your dog with treats and the like when they refrain from engaging in destructive behaviour. 

Conclusion

There are myriad factors to consider before adopting a dog. While you’re gaining a best friend for life, you’re also gaining the responsibility for their life. You want to be able to give these pets the care and attention they deserve. If you’re worried about being ill-prepared, following this article’s advice is a great start. 

And for all your dog essentials, visit us at aPetMart, where you’ll find all the online pet supplies in Singapore you could ever need. As animal lovers ourselves, we’re sure to provide you with only the best of what your beloved furry companion deserves. Contact us today to find out more!

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How to Properly Store Your Pet Food

dog staring food

We are what we eat. The same is true for our pets. While selecting quality pet food is important, storing pet food properly plays a vital role in maintaining the quality and freshness of the food your pet is eating.

In this article, we will offer you some tips on how to properly store your pet food.

Storage of Dry Food

Store at Optimal Temperature

According to the US Food & Drug Administration, pet food should be kept indoors at a cool temperature not more than 26.7°C with low humidity. When exposed to high temperatures or humidity, the fats in pet food may become rancid and the vitamins in the food may break down. In addition, high temperature and humidity would allow mold and bacteria to spread easily.

Moreover, freezing your pet food is not recommended as the moisture in the freezer may lead to mold growth.

Seal Pet Food Tightly

pet food container

Like all other food, pet food is prone to oxidation. The presence of oxygen deteriorates the quality of food, making it go rancid and ruining the flavor. It speeds up the chemical reactions in food, which results in browning and foul odors. If you are not attentive to the visual change of the kibbles, your pet may fall sick after eating it in the worst case.

Hence, after opening the package, you should try to squeeze out the air and seal it up to minimize the food’s contact with air.

Keep in Its Original Packaging

food packaging

One mistake a lot of pet parents make is to pour dry food out of its original packaging into a re-sealable plastic bag or an air-tight container for storage. Studies have shown that plastic bags or containers may pass on an odor to the kibbles that alters its taste.

Many dry food packaging comes with an oil-resistant liner that acts as a fat-barrier to retain the integrity of the food. On the contrary, plastic bags and containers may not be able to retain the fats inside the food. After a while, a yellow color stain is often observed in the plastic materials used to store pet food.

Another advantage of keeping pet food in its original packaging is that the UPC code, lot number, & best-by date are readily available in rare cases of a product recall.

If you prefer to keep your pet food in a container, put the entire bag into the container instead of pouring the content directly into it. The main purpose of the pet food storage containers are to keep the food securely from your pets, pests and adverse environmental conditions.

Clean the Container Regularly

If you keep your pet food in a container, clean it regularly. Constantly topping up the food by mixing the new batch with the old ones is not recommended. This is because failure to remove the leftover crumbs might lead to the build-up of bacteria and mold which may contaminate the food.

Furthermore, mixing food of different batches may lead to confusion over the expiry date.

Storage of Wet Food

Keeping It Cool

woman checking fridge

Before it is opened, canned food can be stored at a room temperature with low humidity. Once opened, it is recommended to keep the canned food inside the fridge. This preserves its moisture and reduces the transfer of odors to other food. Do not place canned food inside the freezer as it could change the texture and taste of the food.

Wrap It Up

wrapping food plastic

Once the can has been opened, it is recommended to wrap it up with a cling wrap or cover it with a lid before storing it in the fridge. This will help to minimize the exposure of the food to oxygen.

Always Double Check

As a final reminder, it is always important to check the condition of your pet food before feeding it to your pet. A change in color, texture, or smell of the food may be a telling sign that the food has gone bad.

Good pet food storage practice will help to retain the freshness and the nutrients of your pet’s every meal.

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The Psychological Benefits of Having a Cat

Have you ever wondered if cats can heal humans? While the independent nature of cats may not make them suitable for rescue missions, cats with loving personalities are great candidates to offer emotional support to humans.

With the increasing popularity of cat therapy, more cats are being trained to visit public places to help humans in need. The psychological benefits of having a cat are backed by science. As the “purr-fect” companion for humans, cats can be your personal form of emotional support.

1. Keep You Company & Reduce Your Loneliness

cat playing toy

Nothing beats returning home after a long day to see your cats waiting for you within the comforts of your home, hinting at you to give them the attention they needed while you were away.

This feeling of comfort gives people a sense of purpose, knowing that there is a living soul waiting at home yearning for their love and attention. Being accompanied by cats simply keeps the feeling of loneliness away.

2. Improve Mental Health

Recent studies have shown that cats could help people with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

woman holding cat

Having cats around you also boosts your serotonin level. Serotonin is a chemical present within our bodies, which acts as a neurotransmitter. It serves as an important function by regulating our mood. With the boost, it essentially makes you feel much happier and less anxious.

Have you ever petted your cat and felt that sensational feeling in wanting to hug them a lot more? That is the serotonin boost effect working on your body.

As you get to understand your cat better, the bond that you have between each other becomes stronger. You may also get to pick up on your cat’s body language overtime, and make up tricks that only you and your cat understands.

In your spare time, you may want to play along with them. Making use of toys that they often chase or cuddle with is a great way to further that bond.

3. Reduce Stress Levels

Cats tend to purr because they feel happy and comfortable in their environment, a norm agreed upon by many. However, they may also do the same when experiencing pain or illness. When a cat purrs, they release endorphins, hormones that block out nerve cells from receiving the pain signals. In fact, cat purring shows the same effect on humans. The presence of cats simply helps humans deal with rejections and other negative emotions.

In nature, natural sounds at a low pitch have a calming effect as it is recognized by our brains as non-threatening noises. Cat purring, as a low-humming noise, tends to make people feel relaxed, reducing the fight-or-flight responses.

man bonding with cat

On top of that, the independent nature of cats enables them to care for themselves well. As low maintenance pets, cats usually have no problem keeping themselves well groomed. This simply means living with cats is simply less stressful as compared to caring for other animals.

4. Lower Risk In Heart Diseases

cat sleeping

In addition, the presence of cats helps reduce the risk of heart diseases. According to a study by researches from the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis, persons with cats have a lower risk of mortality caused by cardiovascular diseases. This may be due to the fact that cats help humans cope with stress and encourage the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone.

5. Promote Physical Healing

man playing with cat

On top of healing you mentally, cat purr can heal you physically as well. The frequency of cat purring is approximately between 25Hz and 140Hz. The same frequency has been used in vibration therapy to aid the healing of broken bones, wound, joint and tendon issues in humans.

6. Encourage a Healthier Lifestyle

Living with a pet means a list of pet-related chores has inevitably been added to your daily routine. While taking care of your cat, you must have subconsciously structured your timetable in such a way to ensure that your cat is well-fed and groomed. These routine activities help you to maintain an active and stable lifestyle.

Cats are wonderful feline creatures with a lot to offer. They may be hard to understand at times. However, if there’s anything that they really truly care about: it is you.

cat sleeping peacefully
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How to Choose the Right Fish Tank

A new aquarium may be an enjoyable and delightful experience. However, a normal aquarium is usually purchased on the spur of the moment, filled with water and fake plants, and then stuffed with fish the next day. As a result, there is disappointment, remorse, and dead fish. 

Choosing the ideal tank and devoting the time to proper setup can assure a great experience. The more research you can conduct ahead of time, the better your chances of success. There are a few factors that you should consider before putting your fish in the aquarium.

Tank Size

If you just plan on keeping a few fishes, a basic 37 litre aquarium would most likely be enough. Choose the largest tank that will accommodate both your money and your space. The larger the aquarium, the better for its inhabitants. A higher water volume dilutes pollutants more effectively. Furthermore, it is more resistant to abrupt changes in water chemistry, which can harm fish and living plants. Larger tanks develop a steady nitrogen cycle faster, which makes fish less stressed. 

Tanks can usually be divided into three categories – standard, long, and display tanks. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The sort of tank you buy is usually determined by the type of fish and the amount of space available. 

  • Regular tanks are the standard tanks that you see on store shelves or online. Depending on their size, they can hold huge or tiny schools of fish. 
  • A basic 37 litre tank makes an excellent isolation or hospital tank for ill fish. 
  • Long tanks are, as the name implies, longer and shallower than standard tanks. These take up more room and are usually utilised for breeding and schooling fish. 
  • Tall and narrow show tanks and are strictly for displaying a small population of fish.

Location

Tank choices will be heavily influenced by the location. A tank should be installed on a flat surface, away from air vents or heaters, and away from direct sunlight. There should be an outlet nearby to supply electricity for lighting, warmth, and filtration. 

When deciding where to put a tank, keep the weight of the final setup in mind. Larger tanks are much heavier, thus the flooring or tank stand must be strong enough to hold such weight. The tank should be next to a water source to allow water changes and tank cleanings. Allow extra space around the tank for cleaning and other maintenance procedures.

Tank Material

Choosing between glass and acrylic tanks can be mind boggling. However, choosing the right tank for you can save you from a lot of hassle. Glass aquariums are more costly than acrylic aquariums and are more scratch resistant. They can support more weight than acrylic and can be placed on a stand that is open on top. 

Acrylic tanks are more prone to scratches, but they can be fixed if necessary. They are less prone to crack or shatter than glass tanks because they are more flexible. These tanks are lighter, they may be a good alternative if you move frequently or modify your décor.  However, they do require placement on a flat, continuous surface.  Acrylic tanks can fog with time, while glass will keep its purity longer.

Shape

Once upon a time, the only alternatives were a rectangle tank or a fish bowl. Tanks may now assume many shapes thanks to advances in technology and new materials. 

There are squares, hexagons, cylindrical tanks, bow fronted tanks, and even coffee table tanks. Tanks with rectangular and hexagonal forms are now the most common. When selecting a shape, make sure it will fit in the space and will not obstruct traffic flow.  

Rectangular fish tanks are ideal for improved water quality and fish health. This is because the surface area of air and water is bigger, allowing for more effective gas exchange. 

An untraditional tank may perform well and look just as great. However, you may have to spend more time monitoring and maintaining water quality. When choosing a shape, keep the residents in mind. Due to fishes’ morphology and natural activity, they require adequate room. 

Taller fish, such as freshwater angelfish, will thrive in higher-than-long tanks. They need height to avoid cramping in a smaller environment and probable fin damage. Long, fast-swimming species, such as zebrafish, or schooling fish, such as tetras thrive in longer tanks. Compared to tall tanks, longer tanks have more horizontal room to swim in.

Not sure what tanks to get? Check out aPetMart’s Tanks!

Temperament of Your Fish

Learn about the fish you wish to keep in your aquarium. Different personalities may not get along. Some fish are aggressive, and they may injure or even kill other, more docile species. Fish with semi-aggressive and aggressive attitudes can coexist if your fish tank is large enough for them to avoid colliding. 

How Much Time You Have For Your Fish

Fish are low-maintenance pets, but they still require time and attention. Begin each day by inspecting all of the fish in your aquarium. Remove any dead fish as soon as possible using a net. You will need to check the water temperature on a regular basis. Additionally, make sure the filters are operating correctly, and clean the tank.

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Allergies in Pets: What You Can Do

Cat Lying Down

Does your pet itch, scratch or lick themselves excessively? It can mean that your furbaby may have allergies. While humans often outgrow allergies, allergies in pets tend to worsen as they age. How do you know whether your pet suffers from allergies?

Common Allergies in Pets

To know if your pet suffers from allergies, you have to understand the common types of allergies in pets. There are skin allergies, food allergies, and environmental-caused allergies. To make things more complicated, the symptoms of all these allergies often overlap. 

#1 Flea Allergies

Flea allergies are the most frequent skin illness in your pets. A single or two flea bites each week are enough to make affected pets itchy. The allergen that causes the itching is the flea saliva.

Signs of Flea Allergies
  • Itchy skin and irritation (especially at the base of the tail)

You can consider purchasing fleas and ticks relief sprays such as the TropiClean OxyMed Medicated Treatment Rinse for Cats & Dogs and Absolute Plus + Neem Flea & Tick Control For Dogs & Cats for your furry buddy!

#2 Food Allergies

Your pets can develop food allergies, also known as adverse food responses, at any time in their lives. The allergy is most commonly triggered by the protein component of the food. For instance, beef, pig, chicken, or turkey. Food allergies can also be caused by vegetable proteins. For example, those found in maize or wheat, as well as food additives and preservatives. Itching, intestinal problems, and respiratory discomfort are some of the symptoms.

Signs of Food Allergies
  • Gastrointestinal signs, such as diarrhoea
  • Vomiting, or an increased number of bowel movements per day

You can consider putting your furry friend on Wellness Simple Diet or Taste of the Wild Prey range

#3 Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies, also known as atopy,  compounds found in your house or wherever else your pet spends time can trigger.

These allergens are ingested or absorbed through the skin when your pet comes into contact with them. Some common allergens include:

  • Pollens
  • Plant or animal fibres
  • Dust mites
  • Mould spores
Signs of Environmental Allergies
  • Scratching/itchy skin, licking (especially the paws), and face rubbing.
  • Red skin
  • Loss of fur, and recurrent skin
  • Ear infections

Common Signs of Allergies in Pets

  • Itchy skin
  • Scratching
  • Licking
  • Face rubbing
  • Red skin
  • Loss of fur
  • Recurrent skin and ear infections
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) signs
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Paw chewing or swollen, sensitive paws

Allergies in Pet Treatment By Type

#1 Flea Allergies

The goal of flea allergy dermatitis treatment is to alleviate itching skin and irritation until the fleas are gone. Flea management is necessary to reduce allergy symptoms in a flea-allergic dog.

There are several flea control solutions and drugs on the market. Some come in the form of a liquid that you press into your dog’s skin. Others, such as NexGard are chewable tablets are oral medications. Consult your veterinarian to identify the best course of action.

#2 Environmental Allergies

If allergy testing is not done, the therapy will be symptomatic. It will try to minimise or eliminate your dog’s symptoms. Some treatments include:

  • Oral medicines such as antihistamines
  • Injectable medicines
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Steroids
  • Bathing often

Steroids should not be a long-term usage in the management of allergies. It can cause serious adverse effects.

#3 Food Allergies

Treatment for food allergies can include feeding a hypoallergenic diet for 8-12 weeks. By doing so can you tell if your dog has a food allergy.

Hypoallergenic diets feature fewer components and employ an unusual protein source. They are processed differently (hydrolyzed) to reduce allergic symptoms. The idea is that a pet cannot be allergic to something it has never eaten before.

To determine the right diet, consult your veterinarian. Additionally, over-the-counter foods are not recommended for a proper food trial. During the trial time avoid, treats, flavoured medication, and human meals. Other allergy treatments which seek to ease symptoms may be carried out by veterinarians while they wait to see whether a diet change may help.

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Dog Grooming Tips: Guide To Grooming at Home

Regular grooming is essential for dogs of all breeds. Grooming keeps their coat lustrous and tangle-free. Furthermore, it allows you to check for parasite infestations and skin problems. Plus, grooming can serve as a bonding opportunity for you and your pooch. 

Find an Appropriate Grooming Environment

Before grooming your dog, you must first find a safe and suitable grooming setting. This can assist in any possible unfortunate accidents that may occur. There are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • When it comes to pet grooming, good lighting is critical.
  • You’ll want to choose a peaceful and secure location. A non-slip surface should be present to prevent slipping.
  • Choose a suitable time to groom your dog. This will ensure minimal disturbance. 

Stay Calm and Patient At All Times

Your pets can sense your emotions. As a result, it is critical that you remain calm throughout the grooming process. If you are nervous, you should not try to groom your dog. 

Some dogs may become agitated, for instance, when getting their nails trimmed. If this is the case, wait until your dog has calmed down. Trim a few nails each time, try not to rush to prevent accidents. When using nail clippers, trimmers, or scissors, make sure to be extra cautious.

Make sure to praise your dog and give them additional pets and treats throughout the process. It will be easier for both of you and your dog if they see grooming as a joyful experience.

Understanding Your Canine’s Limits

Your dog may not be able to stay still and remain calm long enough for you to groom them properly. To fix this, you could chat with your veterinarian about natural therapies that can help them relax. 

If you insist on grooming your pouch at home, enlist the help of a trusted friend. This is because some pets may need a two-person grooming ritual. Additionally, it is recommended that you do not attempt to groom your dog if you do not feel comfortable doing so.

Establish a Routine

Establishing a schedule for your dog would be a good idea. Each time, use the same equipment, the same location, and the same sequence of actions. By doing so, your dog will know what to anticipate, reducing their fear. Make sure you have all of your tools before you begin so there would be no unnecessary interruptions. 

Make Sure To Use Proper Grooming Equipment

If you decide to groom your pet yourself, be sure you have the right grooming supplies. You’ll need the appropriate scissors, nail trimmers, brushes, and other tools. Proper grooming equipment may work better and last longer. It’s crucial to clean and sharpen your tools after each usage and store them properly.

Choose the Right Shampoo

There are many shampoo options out in the market. However, not every shampoo option will be suitable for your dog. Thus, you may want to choose the right one for your dog. Find the perfect shampoo for your canine at aPetMart. 

Use Correct Clippers

It is a good idea to keep a few sets of dog clipper blades on hand. Dog clipper blades have different sizes. For example, numbers 5, 7, 9, or 10 should be used for a shorter cut, while blades like numbers 8, 3 or 4 should be used for a longer cut. Use number 10 blade for delicate and hard-to-reach regions such intimate areas, around the eyes, and arm/leg pits. 

Remember to always go with the flow of their hair development while using clippers. Make sure to hold the rear of the blade at an angle and the tip against your flesh. Pull the skin tight as you glide the trimmer along to prevent cutting it. Furthermore, it will ensure safe grooming and give them a smooth and even coat. 

Preparation

Before any grooming processes, use a dog slicker brush or comb to carefully go through your dog’s coat while washing them. This is to untangle any mats and get rid of any excess loose hair so that the grooming process is quicker.

Additionally, make sure they are fully dry. This is due to the fact that their fur curls up when wet. By drying them thoroughly, it will save you from having clogged clippers.

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How To Prevent Heatstroke in Pets

Cat Under the Sun

As a responsible pet parent, it is your duty to stay vigilant when it comes to your pet’s health. As the weather is warm all year round in tropical countries, pets are more prone to develop heat stroke. 

Dogs and cats are unable to respond to heat as well as humans do. We have sweat glands all over our bodies helping us regulate temperature. However, dogs and cats only have a few in their feet and around their noses. Thus, they rely on panting and external cooling sources to lose heat. 

Since they are unable to cool themselves as quickly as us, we must take extra precautions. Provide them with a cool, well-ventilated and shaded surroundings. Additionally, giving them access to clean, fresh drinking water is crucial. Heat stroke is fairly common in pets, and it can develop much faster than you think.

YouTube video

What is Heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a state of hyperthermia resulting in heat injury to tissues. Heatstroke occurs when heat generation exceeds the body’s ability to lose heat. 

What are the Primary Causes of Heatstroke in Pets?

  • A warm, humid environment with inadequate ventilation.
  • Inadequate shade
  • Inadequate fresh drinking water
  • Excessive exercise

Heatstroke is a serious and life-threatening condition! It can cause damage to your pet’s internal organs and sometimes to the point where they stop functioning. It can be rapidly fatal which requires immediate treatment.

Signs of Heatstroke in Pets

Signs of Heatstroke in Pets
  • Signs of mental confusion, delirium 
  • Dizziness, staggering 
  • Weakness and lethargy 
  • Muscle tremors 
  • Seizures Collapsing and lying down 
  • Little to no urine production Coma
  • Panting, which increases as heat stroke progresses
  • Drooling, salivating
  • Agitation, restlessness
  • Bright red tongue
  • Very red or pale gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing distress
  • Vomiting, diarrheas (possibly with blood)

If you see any of the symptoms in your pet or suspect heatstroke, administer Emergency First Aid at home. Then, immediately take your pet to the doctor.

Emergency First Aid

#1 Immediately remove your pet from the hot environment.

#2 Apply cool water onto their fur and skin. Then, fan them to maximise heat loss.

#3 Wetting down the area around them helps too.

#4 Take your pet to the nearest Veterinarian immediately. 

*Take note: 

  • Do not use ice-water as it may worsen the situation.
  • Heatstroke is an emergency. Always see a vet. Even if your pet looks like they may be recovering, they should still always be checked by a vet.

Watch this video by California Veterinary Specialists to learn more about Pet Emergency First Aid Heat Stroke. 

How Do Vets Help Pets with Heatstroke?

Vets are trained to diagnose the degree of heatstroke. If necessary, administer emergency medical care. They will take your pet’s temperature and vital signs before starting emergency treatment which may include:

  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Medication as required
  • Blood tests to check organ function
  • Cooling treatments e.g. cooling enemas
  • Putting your pet on a drip (intravenous fluids)
  • Ongoing monitoring and treatment as required 

Some Other Causes of Heatstroke in Pets

** IMPORTANT ** All pets are susceptible to heatstroke, owners must take proactive measures to avoid it. However, some additional known risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Neurological disease
  • Breathing difficulties/respiratory disease (laryngeal paralysis, collapsing trachea)
  • Excessive exercise
  • Thick/long hair coat (e.g. long haired breeds)
  • Dehydration
  • Brachycephalic anatomy (flat-faced breeds) such as Pugs, English bulldogs, French bulldogs, Persian and Himalayan cats, among others
  • Heart problems/Cardiovascular disease
  • Age extremes (young or old)
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How To Clean Your Pet’s Toys Properly

Nothing beats seeing our pets play with their favourite toys. However, your four-legged friend’s favourite toys will soon begin to show signs of wear. Toys which are often used retain countless germs and filth. Additionally, these toys would not be as aesthetically beautiful as they were before. Thus, it is important for you to clean their toys, but how should you do it?

How To Clean Different Toys

To start off, refrain from using harsh chemicals. Keep in mind that your pet plays with toys by carrying them in their mouths. Instead, rinse in hot water and squeeze dry. Avoid using scented detergents on their toys. Your pet may not enjoy their toys if they smell like a flower meadow. 

Next, it is important to follow cleaning instructions on the toy’s packaging. Different toys have different specific sets of steps to follow when cleaning them. With that, make sure that the toys are thoroughly rinsed and dried before giving them back to your pet.

Plush Toys

When washing soft toys, use a pet-safe detergent or avoid using detergent altogether. The washing machine is safe for your pet’s favourite plush animal or blanket. To preserve stuffed animals from being harmed by the spin motion of a washing machine, place them in mesh garment bags or pillow covers. Your pet will be able to reclaim their companion once the plush animal has been washed and dried. You may also hand-wash soft toys with the half-water, half-vinegar solution. After that, either air-dry the toys or place them in the dryer (without using dryer sheets). To minimise mould growth, ensure plush toys are thoroughly dry.

Chew Toys

When cleaning chew toys, cover any holes with tape to prevent cleaning agents from going inside. It should be noted that with certain chew toys, the object may become too worn for your dog to use properly. To avoid your pet consuming plastic or fabric, discard a toy as soon as it begins to break or develop holes.

Rope Toys

Rope toys not only retain your pet’s drool, but they also carry many pathogens. To destroy bacteria, mould, and yeast, moisten the toys and microwave them for at least a minute. Another way to clean these toys is to run them through a hot washing machine cycle without detergent.

When is it Time to Toss the Toy?

Checking and evaluating your pet’s toys on a regular basis is crucial. In certain circumstances, tossing and replacing them is preferable to cleaning or repairing them.

Signs to Toss a Toy:
  • been too heavily chewed and chomped to be adequately cleaned
  • torn or tattered to the point where the stuffing is falling out
  • has parts and pieces that are just starting to fall or break off. It could become a choking hazard or intestinal blockage if swallowed.

If all your pet’s toys are worn out, check out aPetMart’s toy collections for new ones. 

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Types of Hay for Small Animals

Hay is an essential component of a small animal’s diet. Feeding hay can be beneficial in many ways. These include preventing dental problems and preserving digestive health. Most importantly, supplying the appropriate quantity of vitamins and minerals. However, with so many hay options available, you may be stumped as to which is ideal for your small furry buddy. 

#1 Timothy Hay

Timothy Hay is a type of hay that is a staple meal for domestic adult rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas. It is high in fibre while being low in protein and calcium and provides a variety of healthy nutrients. All these elements contribute to keeping their teeth in good health and the digestive system working properly. 

Pros: 

  • Ideal for adults
  • Provides protein and fibre
  • Less calcium preventing urinary stones

Cons:

  • Not suitable for young small animals as there is not enough nutrients for them. 

#2 Orchard Grass Hay

Orchard Grass hay is an alternative to timothy hay if your small animal is a picky eater. It is high in fibre and low in protein. Even though Orchard Grass contains slightly more protein than Timothy Hay, it is still low enough in protein to be offered to them freely.

Pros: 

  • Soft texture
  • Low in protein
  • High in fibre

Cons: 

  • May be high in sugar

#3 Meadow Hay

Meadow hay is a blend that provides small animals with a range of texture and flavours. However, other plants, as well as detritus and stone, may be present in the mixture. If you buy this type of hay, you should know where it originated from and what it contains. Otherwise, you won’t know what you’re feeding your small furry friend. As a result, the protein and calcium level in meadow hay varies. 

Pros: 

  • Variety of texture

Cons: 

  • May include other plants and detritus
  • Varies in mineral and fibre content

#4 Oat Hay

Oat hay may contain oat, wheat and barley. It is high in vitamins, fibre and minerals but low in protein. Many small animals may appreciate the crunchiness of the seed husks. Unless purchased in a blend, it is more expensive than other hays.

Pros: 

  • Low in protein
  • Crunchy seed heads
  • Great to blend with other hays
  • Rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre

Cons: 

  • Pricier if not blended

#5 Alfalfa Hay

Alfalfa is a legume in the pea family that is rich in nutrients and strong in energy. It is harvested in the spring or early summer, and one field can produce many cuttings per season. This hay is ideal for young animals’ first six months of life. It contains large quantities of calcium and protein, both of which are necessary for development. However, if fed to an adult, the high calcium content might produce urinary stones.

Pros:

  • High in protein
  • High in minerals
  • Ideal for young small animals
  • Essential for growth

Cons:

  • Too rich for adult small animals
  • High calcium content which can cause urinary stones
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What Cut of Hay Is Best For Small Animals?

Buying hay for your small animal can feel complicated. There are a variety of hay to choose from, 1st cut, 2nd cut and 3rd cut. However, which one is the more suitable for your small furry ones?

1st Cut

First cut hay is the first growth off of the season before the field blossoms. It usually has thinner stems and is not as leafy because it is not mature to the point where the stem becomes larger. This hay is higher in fibre content and lower in protein and fat content. The colour of the hay is much lighter with more yellow and brown parts. 

Additionally, first cut hay has many seed heads which small animals love. If the first cut is cut too late, it can be hard and crunchy, which is not appreciated by small animals. First cut hay is usually suitable for small furry ones that are overweight as it is lower in protein. 

2nd Cut 

Second cut hay is the second crop taken off the field that has been harvested once. This cut of hay is usually recommended for small animals. The reason is that it has a larger percentage of leaves to stems, and a finer and softer stem which gives a pleasant texture for nibbling. The colour of the hay is greener and it is less stemy compared to the first cut. Protein and fat content is a tad higher compared to the first vut and fibre level is a little lower. 

3rd Cut

Third cut hay is usually very soft and heavy leafy. This hay should be given as a treat or mixed sparingly with 1st or 2nd cut hay if your small animal is picky. If you have a small animal that is underweight or elderly, this would be the ideal hay for them. Protein and fats are higher which can help them gain weight. However, it will be important to watch the poos, since the third cut is low in fibre. 

Hay is an important part of small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits diet. Get quality hay from aPetMart for your furry friends here!

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How to Live with Pets When You Are Allergic to Them

Do you want a pet but are allergic to them? Many people with pet allergies are distraught over the prospect of losing their furry buddies. However, there are ways to control these allergies while keeping your furry friends. 

Is It A Pet Allergy?

The first step in combating any allergy is determining the source. Rule out any other possible causes of your allergies, such as dust, pollen, food, medicine, and so on. Cats and dogs with thick, dense coats may hold environmental allergens in their hair. These allergens could be the ones triggering your allergic reaction instead.

Symptoms of Pet Allergies

  • Itchy, red skin.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Coughing, sneezing, and wheezing.
  • Rash across the face, neck, and upper chest.
  • Eyes and nose swelling, itching, and/or running.
  • Asthma flare-ups (if you have pre-existing asthma).

Why Do Pet Allergies Make You Sneeze?

If you have pet allergies, it would be ideal to understand what causes your allergies to flare up. The cause of the allergy is the protein found in pets’ saliva, urine, and excrement. These proteins may get onto their fur and skin and accelerate the spreading to humans, while dog dander usually linger for a shorter period of time.

These proteins can linger in your homes. Certain proteins linger longer than others, which is why some pets may affect you more than others. For instance, cat protein can stay up to four months in your home environment. They can get attached to couches, and any sort of cloth surfaces.

Tips for Living with Pets When You are Allergic

#1 Wash Yourself regularly

Cleaning your hands after giving your pet a good belly rub would prevent allergy flare-ups. It can protect you from accidentally rubbing the irritating, burning unpleasant things into your eyes. When you’re outside, pollen and dust settle on your hair, skin, and clothing. Wash yourself and your clothes on a regular basis to remove allergies.

#2 Invest in an Air Purifier

Anyone in your home that suffers from allergies or respiratory problems will benefit from an air purifier. To add on, you should consider purchasing a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifier. HEPA filters are intended to remove airborne contaminants from your home’s air. Remember to clean the filter to keep your home’s air quality healthy for both you and your pets. Alternatively, you can change the purifier once in a while. 

#3 Ensure Cleanliness in Your Home

Keep your floors clean, especially in the bedroom. Ensuring cleanliness will significantly minimise dust, pollen, dander and other allergens. To add on, you should wash linens such as clothes and bedding regularly. 

Not sure which kind of house cleaning tools are suitable for you and your pet? aPetMart got you covered! Check out these house cleaning tools

#4 Set Boundaries

It is tempting to sleep on your bed with your pets. Despite that, allowing them to snuggle up on your pillow can cause spreading of pollen on your face. Dander will easily rub into your eyes, can be inhaled, and will wreak havoc on your system. Thus, you and your pet will have separate bedrooms. Be sure to wash their bedding on a regular basis as well.

Medical Treatment

Over-the-counter medications are another option for dealing with pet allergies. Nasal steroids are usually the first-line treatment for allergies. They assist with nasal congestion, leaking, and draining. 

Other than that, antihistamines are an option too. They are great for alleviating itching and sneezing. Similarly, allergy shots are another helpful option. However, these are not effective for everyone. 

Serious allergies could develop which can cause an increase in sinus infections. Moreover, it can aggravate asthma leading to additional upper respiratory infections. Therefore, if you have severe allergic reactions to pets, avoiding contact with any cats or dogs would be recommended. 

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What To Do If Your Pet Swallowed A Foreign Object

Dogs and cats love to eat things they shouldn’t. Ingesting foreign objects can be extremely dangerous. Thus, as responsible pet parents, it is our job to know what to do if it happens. 

Common Foreign Objects Pets Swallow

Generally any household item within reach of your pet can be easily swallowed. This is especially true if your cat or dog is highly curious or enjoys gnawing on objects.

Dogs are the most likely to consume non-food items in most cases. Cats, on the other hand, have a proclivity to ingest string-like items. This is due to their fascination with ribbons, strings, and other dangly objects.

The following are some of the most common items that pets swallow:

  • Food waste
  • Bones
  • Plastic items
  • Small toys
  • Paper 
  • String-like objects
  • Fabric

Foreign Object Ingestion Symptoms

What happens if your pet ingests a foreign object? Foreign objects frequently obstruct your cat or dog’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. As a result, if you suspect your cat or dog has swallowed a foreign object, look for the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive drooling
  • Choking or gagging
  • Straining to defecate
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Decrease in appetite as well as a refusal to eat

If your pet does not exhibit any of the following symptoms in the next few hours and has not consumed anything dangerous or harmful, they should be fine. However, it is still advisable to contact your veterinarian.

What Happens If My Pet Consumes a Foreign Object?

Different foreign objects can cause different potential effects on their gastrointestinal tract. 

#1 Small Objects 

Items such as a small piece of plastic from a plastic bag, a small pebble from gravel, or a scrap of paper fall into this category. These items can usually pass through your pet’s GI tract without causing major problems. However, keep in mind that this is dependent on the size of the object in comparison to the size of your pet. 

#2 Large Objects

In general, large items are unsafe when swallowed. Either they choke your pet or that they become lodged elsewhere below the GI tract. This prevents food from passing through, resulting in intestinal blockage. Some examples of large items are tennis balls, dog toys, and corn cobs. Additionally, large amounts of toilet paper and silica gel packets can cause dehydration. 

#3 Toxic Objects

Batteries and cigarettes are easily lodged and are highly toxic when swallowed. If a battery is chewed or punctured, it can leak caustic substances that can corrode and burn the GI tract. Cigarette consumption can also result in nicotine poisoning in cats and dogs.

#4 String-Like Objects

String-like objects can clog the small intestine. This is because one end of the string can become lodged in the stomach and the other end in the small intestine. When it bunches up, the string can cut into the small intestine, resulting in gastrointestinal perforation.

Here are the most common string-like items ingested: 

  • Rope toys
  • Hair ties
  • Ribbons
  • Dental floss
  • Socks
  • Linen
  • Bedding
  • Feminine products
#5 Sharp Objects

When ingested, sharper objects are extremely dangerous. They may cut into your pet’s mouth or damage organs as they pass through the GI tract. This can result in gastrointestinal perforation. A hole in the intestines or stomach can cause fatal conditions such as sepsis or peritonitis.

As a result, we must exercise extra caution to keep our pets away from sharp objects including aluminium, sticks, broken pieces of hard plastic toys, rocks, or jewellery. It is also critical not to feed your dog cooked bones, as they can easily splinter. 

How Can You Prevent It?

Prevention is always better than treatment. Thus, as a responsible pet owner, you must assist in preventing your pet from ingesting something they should not.

1. Keep rubbish bins out of your pet’s reach.

2. Keep them out of craft rooms, tool boxes or workspaces. 

3. Store all strings and yarns in a pet proof container.

4. Clean up all your rubbish immediately.

5. Do not leave your pet unsupervised with their toys/chews.

6. Throw broken toys away immediately.

7. Remove non-pet toys from the floor.

8. For dogs: do not give them cooked bones. 

Things to Keep in Mind

Even if you can see something stuck deep in your pet’s throat, do not pull it out (or cut it if it is a string). It is also dangerous to try to induce vomiting in your cat or dog on your own, as this can exacerbate the situation. In such cases, please take your pet to the veterinarian.

However, if your cat or dog is choking, it is critical that you act quickly. If possible, try to remove the object that has become lodged in your mouth or throat. If not, take your pet to an emergency veterinarian right away. Else, you can perform the Heimlich manoeuvre if you know how.

Heimlich Manoeuvre for Cats

  1. Place your cat on the side.
  2. Support your cat’s back with one hand.
  3. Use the other hand to push upwards and inwards just below the ribs.
  4. Finally, look inside their mouth for the displaced object.

Heimlich Manoeuvre for Small Dogs

  1. Place  your dog on their back.
  2. Use your palm to apply pressure just below the rib cage, pushing inwards and upwards.
  3. Finally, look inside their mouth for the object that they were choking on.

Learn more about the heimlich manoeuvre for cats and small dogs by ExpertVillage Leaf Group here!

Heimlich Manoeuvre for Large Dogs

If your dog is standing:

  1. Put your arms around the belly so your hands clasp at the abdomen.
  2. Make a fist and push firmly inwards and upwards right beneath the rib cage.
  3. Look inside their mouth for the displaced object.
  4. Finally, lay your dog on their side to rest.

If your dog is lying down:

  1. Place one hand on your dog’s back for support.
  2. Use the other hand to push upwards and forwards (towards the spine) right below the ribcage.
  3. Finally, look inside their mouth for the displaced object.

Learn more about the heimlich manoeuvre for large dogs by HighTechPet here!

Check for a pulse if your pet is still not breathing after it has been removed. If no pulse is detected, begin CPR or artificial respiration immediately while seeking veterinary assistance. The object might have damaged your pet’s throat or mouth in the process. Hence, it is recommended to contact a vet even if the object is removed. 

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How To Prevent Dental Disease In Your Dog

Dog Dental

Dental care for dogs is important in keeping them in good health. Thus, it is crucial to keep your dog’s teeth sparkling and disease free. To achieve that, experts recommend a daily cleaning regime with a dog toothbrush and annual professional dental exams. 

Looking into A Dog’s Mouth

Just like humans, dogs have bacteria in their mouths. Almost immediately after your dog eats, the combination of bacteria, food and saliva begin forming a sticky film called plaque over their teeth. If we don’t clean it properly, it can develop into a gum disease and cause harm to their health. 

Signs of Canine Dental Concerns

  1. Plaque
  2. Red gums
  3. Bad breath
  4. Thick saliva
  5. Facial swelling
  6. Bleeding gums
  7. Dropping food while eating
  8. Blood in water or food bowls
  9. Favouring one side of the mouth
  10. Talking or making noises when a dog eats or yawns
  11. Rubbing the face with the paws or on the floor

How to Help Prevent Dental Disease

A dog’s teeth should be brushed twice to minimise bacteria. There are four steps in preventing painful gum disease in your dog. 

  1. Taking your dog to a vet for regular oral exams and cleanings.
  2. Brush your dog’s teeth every day.
  3. Feeding your dog a balanced diet.
  4. Offering safe toys and treats for daily chewing. 

Take Your Dog for Regular Oral Exams

During the first dental check up, your vet will do a physical examination of your dog’s mouth. This allows them to understand the condition of the teeth and jaw. Here is what they are looking for:

  • How the teeth fit together and jaw alignment
  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Plaque buildup on the teeth
  • Gingivitis or periodontal disease 
  • Tartar buildup on the teeth and along the gum-line
  • Abscesses or signs of tooth resorption
  • Bumps or lesions that may indicate a tumour 
  • Any facial swelling

Depending on the results, your veterinarian will develop a plan for your dog. If your dog shows signs of a dental disease, a physical exam may not be enough to tell the extent of the situation. Thus, your canine  may be put under general anaesthesia to allow them to perform a complete dental exam which includes x-rays. 

Overall, it would be ideal to bring your canine to the dental regularly. Depending on your dog’s age, genetics, diet, and overall health, your vet may advise annual, or twice-yearly dental examinations.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Everyday

Brushing your dog’s teeth is important because it cleans away plaque and prevents serious dental problems. Here are a few steps you can follow to make the brushing a calm experience!

#1 Choose a calm time for brushing. Select a time when the environment is quiet and relaxing. Your dog will be able to stay calm and feel less anxious. 

#2 Buy a dog toothbrush. Dog toothbrushes are longer and curved which makes it easier to reach their back teeth. Additionally, use toothpaste for dogs because human toothpaste is toxic to canines. You can purchase toothbrush sets from aPetMart!

#3 Touch their teeth or gums with your fingers. Lift up their top lip and hold it while you touch their teeth. Try touching both the top and bottom teeth before moving on.

#4 Introduce the toothpaste to the dog. After your dog is comfortable with you touching their teeth with your fingers, you can introduce toothpaste. Start by showing them the toothpaste and then let them lick it. 

#5 Introduce the toothbrush with toothpaste. Once your dog is used to toothpaste, you can try introducing the toothbrush into their mouth. Gently rub against the outside of the teeth in small, slow circles. Make sure to massage the gums as well! The process should be calm and relaxing to avoid anxiety in both you and your canine. 

#6 Reward! You can give them a treat after brushing their teeth to make it a positive experience. 

Still unsure how to brush your canine’s teeth? Watch this video by the American Veterinary Medical Association to learn more!

Feeding Your Dog a Balanced Diet

Diet plays a part in combating dental disease. A well-balanced and healthy dog food can protect your canine’s whole health, giving it the ability to fight off diseases and aid in healing. 

Offer Safe Toys and Treats for Daily Chewing

Chewing on tooth-friendly treats every day can help prevent gum disease in dogs. You can give them chews such as Whimzees Natural Dog Chews to make dental care fun and interactive! Browse on aPetMart for more dental care treats and chews for your canine.

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How To Help Prevent Dental Disease In Your Cat

Dental Cat

Dental disease affects 50% to 90% of cats over the age of four. Brushing your cat’s teeth regularly is essential to prevent dental diseases. As a responsible feline parent, it is your job to make sure that your kitty receives proper dental care. 

Looking into A Cat’s Mouth

Cats are obligate carnivores. Their digestive system is designed to process a high amount of protein. As a result, they have a unique set of teeth designed for ripping and tearing. The unique shape of their teeth allows food to get caught between the teeth and sit along the gum-line. The combination of saliva, food and bacteria creates plaque which can lead to gingivitis. 

Signs of Feline Dental Concerns

#1 Ulcers on the gums. 

#2 Bleeding or dark red line along the gums.

#3 Excessive drooling or pawing at mouth area. 

#4 Difficulty chewing food or refusal to eat.   

#5 Bad breath: An unusually strong odour may suggest digestive problems or a dental condition.  

#6 Gum inflammation: Swollen gums can lead to gum diseases, tooth loss, inability to eat. Additionally, it can be a sign of kidney disease or feline immunodeficiency virus. 

Take your cat to the vet immediately if you notice any of these warning signs!

How to Help Prevent Dental Disease

Regular and consistent dental care is crucial to help prevent dental disease. Here are three important factors in supporting dental health: 

  1. Balanced nutrition and diet 
  2. Regular professional dental checkups
  3. Correct home dental care routine

Nutrition and Diet

Diet plays a part in combating dental disease. A well-balanced and healthy cat food can protect your feline’s whole health, giving it the ability to fight off diseases and aid in healing. 

Dental Checkups

During the first dental check up, your vet will do a physical examination of your cat’s mouth. This allows them to understand the condition of the teeth and jaw. Here is what they are looking for:

  • How the teeth fit together and jaw alignment
  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Plaque build up on the teeth
  • Gingivitis or periodontal disease 
  • Tartar buildup on the teeth and along the gumline
  • Abscesses or signs of tooth resorption
  • Bumps or lesions that may indicate a tumour 
  • Any facial swelling

Depending on the results, your veterinarian will develop a plan for your cat. If your cat shows signs of a dental disease, a physical exam may not be enough to tell the extent of the situation. Thus, your feline may be put under general anaesthesia to allow them to perform a complete dental exam which includes x-rays. 

Overall, it would be ideal to bring your feline to the dental regularly. Depending on your cat’s age, genetics, diet, and overall health, your vet may advise annual, or twice-yearly dental examinations.

A Home Dental Care Routine

To prevent your kitty from developing dental diseases, it is advisable to have a dental care routine which includes brushing their teeth and providing them with dental treats.

Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

Brushing your cat’s teeth is the most crucial preventative oral care step. You should brush their teeth at least three times per week. It is important to start young as it makes it easier as they grow older. 

  1. Proper Tools: Use a cat toothbrush and toothpaste such as the Absolute Plus Dental Kit For Pets and Tropiclean: Fresh Breath Oral Care Kit. Do not use human toothpaste! The fluoride is toxic to your cat. 
  2. Start Slow: You can start by getting your cat used to you messing with their face and mouth. Start with gently rubbing around their mouth. If your cat is comfortable with it, try slipping your finger in between their lips and massage or touch their gums. Once your cat is comfortable with it, you can try rubbing over their teeth as well. 
  3. Add Flavour: Cat’s toothpaste comes with different flavours like chicken or fish. Add a bit on your finger or toothbrush to allow your cat to smell and lick it. If they like it, you can rub it gently on the outside of the teeth. 
  4. Using the Brush: Cats like to chew on bristles, so offer it with or without the toothpaste to let your cat get used to the texture. The act of chewing the bristles can actually scrape some plaque off the teeth. Once your cat is used to it, you can try introducing the toothbrush into their mouth. Gently rub against the outside of the teeth in small, slow circles. Make sure to massage the gums as well! The process should be calm and relaxing to avoid anxiety in both you and your cat. 

Still unsure how to brush your feline’s teeth? Watch this video by the American Veterinary Medical Association to learn more!

Dental Products for Cats

If your cat does not enjoy the tooth brush, alternative dental products can meet their dental care needs between dental cleanings. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) provides a comprehensive list of approved dental products for your cat.
You can consider treats such as Catwant Matatabi Stick Cat Treats to help improve dental hygiene while keeping them engaged.

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Is a Raw Food Diet Good for Your Dog?

Raw Food Diet

Raw food diets for dogs are becoming increasingly popular. People who choose to feed a raw diet believe that it is more natural than most commercial canine diets. However, is a raw food diet actually good for your dog?

Racing hounds and sled dogs have been feeding on raw diets since decades ago. The concept of Bones and Raw food, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF diet) for companion pets has been introduced and popularised by Australian veterinarian Ian BIllinghurst in the 1990s. 

To start off, dogs are omnivores who need to consume a balanced diet of plants and meat to stay healthy. Thus, a raw dog food diet should consist of a combination of raw meat, bones, raw eggs, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. 

What are The Benefits Of A Raw Dog Food Diet?

Strengthened Immune System

BARF diet largely mimics what canine ancestors would feed on in the wild environment. A complete and balanced diet is important to help your dog’s immune system to thrive. A raw dog food diet can often fulfil this if prepared and fed properly. 

Improved Skin and Shiner Coat

Raw diets usually contain many ingredients that support skin and coat health. One of the most significant ingredients is omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy omega-3 fatty acids play a huge role in supporting healthy skin. Additionally, it provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Perfect for dogs with inflammatory skin diseases or allergies. 

Predominant Bone and Joint Health

Real bone is a natural source of calcium which is good for maintaining great joint and bone health for your dogs. On top of that, it can promote health growth in puppies. 

Improve Dental Health

Poor dental hygiene can be caused by a poor diet, especially one with high carbohydrates or is heavily processed. Raw, meaty bones are nature’s toothbrush for your canine. It can help get into tricky areas between their teeth and assist with the removal of plaque. 

Reduced Stool Volume and Odour

Raw food diet is highly digestible as it does not contain ingredients that are difficult for dogs to digest. Hence, more is absorbed and less comes out of the other end. Without carbohydrates such as soy and potato, stool produced by your canine will be a smaller amount with lighter odour. 

When is A Raw Diet Not Suitable?

#1 If your dog has kidney or liver failure. As raw diets are usually higher in protein, it is not advisable for pups with kidney or liver failure.

#2 If your dog has pancreatitis or other digestive issues. You can start them with a cooked and homemade diet to clear those problems before switching to raw.

#3 Dogs with cancer or immunosuppressive diseases. Dogs with cancer are at higher risk for food-borne illnesses, and may not digest raw vegetables.

#4 When you are unable to prepare complete, balanced and safe meals for your dog, a homemade raw diet is not for your dog. A raw food diet is not just feeding canines with a wide variety of raw meats. You have to take calorie, fat, protein and nutrition content into consideration. An incomplete diet can lead to serious health problems for a pup.

What are The Potential Risks of A Raw Dog Food Diet?

#1 If a pup is not fed properly, they can be in danger of an unbalanced diet. An unbalanced diet may damage the health of dogs if given for an extended period. 

#2 Receiving too much Vitamin A by eating too much liver which can lead to Vitamin A toxicity. 

#3 Chance for whole bones to choke the dog, break teeth, or cause an internal puncture. 

#4 The biggest risk of a raw food diet for cats is bacteria. However, you can limit this risk by following safe meat handling procedures. Learn proper meat handling procedures here! Purchase raw meat only from reputable sources like the supermarket. If you are not using the raw meat immediately, freeze it in meal-sized portions. 

No time to prepare, but still wanna try a raw diet for your dog?

If you have no time to prepare a complete & balanced raw diet at home for your dog, but still want to provide your dogs with the benefits from raw food, consider the freeze-dried raw dog food from aPetMart. Raw food at your fingertips by just adding water or broth. In addition, freeze dried or air dried raw treats are great snacks to introduce raw food to your dog.

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Is Raw Food Diet Good for Your Cat?

In recent years, there has been a rise in raw food diets for cats and dogs. Some cat parents choose to prepare raw food for cats at home so that they don’t have to worry about undesirable ingredients found in commercial products, while others opt for off-the-shelf raw food for the convenience. However, is raw food good for cats? 

What is a Raw Diet for Cats?

A raw diet includes feeding your cat uncooked animal products such as muscle meat and organ meat. Raw food diets are also known as the “BARF” diet, which stands for “bones and raw food” or “biologically-appropriate raw food”. 

Felines that consume an imbalanced diet are at risk of a variety of health issues. If you choose to prepare your cat a raw diet at home, it is recommended to consult a veterinary nutritionist for a complete and balanced menu for your cat. 

What are the Benefits of Raw Food Diets?

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To start off, cats are obligate carnivores. Felines solely rely on nutrients found in animal meats to survive. In fact, they can only tolerate a small amount of plant matter in their diet. A high-protein & moistrous diet that mimics that is found in small prey in the wild is beneficial to cats.

Biologically-appropriate Diet

Advocates of raw diets believe that the cooking process denatures most of the crucial proteins in the food. Hence, cooked food including kibbles and canned food, deviates from what cats are feeding in the wild. On the contrary, raw food is favoured by supporters for a biologically-appropriate diet as it more closely mimics what a cat would find in nature. 

Raw Food Diets Makes Cats Less Hungry

The protein in raw meat can be very filling for your cat. Thus, making your felines more satisfied with their meals. This is great as it can prevent obesity in your cat

Improved Digestion

Cat’s digestive system does not have the enzyme to digest carbohydrates. Therefore, it is harder for cats to digest plant-based diets. A raw food diet only contains meat which means it would be easier for them to break down the food. 

Increases Energy

Many people who switched to raw cat food have noticed a higher level of energy in their cats. Felines utilise protein for their energy requirements. Through a well-balanced and appropriate raw food diet, they are getting more energy from their food. 

Better Dental Health

When your cat chews on raw foods, it helps keep their teeth clean. Additionally, carbohydrates create a starchy film which can cause plaque buildup. Hence, eliminating it can prevent your cat from having gum diseases.

Better Urinary Health

Carbohydrate laden foods can cause alkaline urine and chronic dehydration in cats. This can cause urinary tract inflammation. A raw cat food diet contains more moisture which can prevent urinary tract problems. 

When is A Raw Diet Not Suitable?

#1 When you are unable to prepare complete, balanced and safe meals for your cat, a homemade raw diet is not for your cat. A raw food diet is not just feeding cats with a wide variety of raw meats. You have to take calorie, fat, protein and nutrition content into consideration. An incomplete diet can lead to serious health problems for a feline. 

#2 If your cat is a picky eater, it may be difficult to introduce raw foods to them. Some felines have strict preferences for certain food textures and smells. For these cats, transitioning to a raw food diet can take a lot of effort. 

What are the Risks of Raw Food Diets?

The biggest risk of a raw food diet for cats is bacteria. However, you can limit this risk by following safe meat handling procedures. Learn proper meat handling procedures here! Purchase raw meat only from reputable sources like the supermarket. If you are not using the raw meat immediately, freeze it in meal-sized portions. 

No time to prepare, but still wanna try a raw diet for your cat?

If you have no time to prepare a complete & balanced raw diet at home for your cat, but still want to provide your cats with the benefits from raw food, consider the freeze-dried raw cat food from aPetMart. Raw food at your fingertips by just adding water or broth. In addition, freeze dried or air dried raw treats are great snacks to introduce raw food to your cat.

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Is a Grain-Free Diet Good for Your Dog?

Dog Grain-Free Food

Grain-free dog food has become widely available in the market. Some believe that a grain-free diet is healthier than traditional dog food, while some state that it could cause potential harm than good. If you have ever wondered if a grain-free diet is for your dog, this blog post is for you.  

Many people are under the impression that dogs are carnivores. However, in fact, dogs are omnivores who need to consume a balanced diet of plants and meat to stay healthy. 

Advantages of Grain-free Dog Food

Easily Digestible

Dogs are unable to digest some grains, such as corn if they lack amylase enzymes. Amylase is crucial when it comes to breaking down starch and carbohydrates. Thus, they might suffer from gastrointestinal problems if they do not have adequate amylase enzymes. In this case, you might want to consider feeding your dog grain-free foods. 

It is Less Allergenic

Some dogs can be allergic to grains. Thus, a grain-free diet can prevent food allergies. Food allergies can cause intestinal problems to dogs. If your dog is known for food intolerance, you can try to start them on a grain-free diet. 

Beneficial for Dogs with Diabetes and Cancer

Carbohydrates lead to increased blood sugar levels. Among other things, this can lead to weight issues which can put their lives at risk. A grain-free diet which is lower in carbohydrates is ideal for dogs with diabetes and cancer.

It Supports a Healthy Coat and Skin

The natural oils that a dog’s skin produces are essential to keep their fur healthy. These oils spread from the skin up to the rest of the follicle. It protects the hair and strengthens it. Their skin needs aid to produce the best oils. Getting the right kinds of oils in their diet can help them produce the best oils. For instance, Omega-3 fatty acids are perfect. It is available in greater supply in grain-free food which usually contains more animal fats. 

When a Grain-Food Diet is Not for Your Dog

Not Ideal for Less Active Dogs

Grain-free dog food can help boost activity levels of a canine. If your dog is a senior, it is not recommended to put them on a grain-free diet because they do not require that kind of energy provided. Grain-free diets which contain significant amounts of proteins can make older or less active dogs overweight. Alternatively, you can select the healthy weight version or senior version of a grain-free diet

Challenging for Picky Eaters

Sometimes your dog may not like grain-free foods. Therefore, if your dog has been on a grain-based diet, they might take some time to get used to grain-free foods. Do take note that, if they keep avoiding it, then you should consider feeding them the foods they enjoy. 

Do you want to learn more about grain-free dog food? Watch this informative video by The Tattooed Dog Trainer to learn more!

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Is a Grain-Free Diet Good for Your Cat?

Cat Grain-Free Header

Grain-free diet is among the many options that cat owners have when it comes to selecting their pets’ meals. In recent times, the benefits of grain-free pet food has become prominent. What are the benefits of providing a grain-free diet to your pet?

To start off, cats are obligate carnivores. Thus, they must have meat in their diet as they need proteins. 

One of the main health benefits of a grain-free diet is the reliance on protein. Cats benefit from a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. In fact, high consumption of carbohydrates can be harmful to your feline’s health. 

It can be tricky when buying healthy grain-free pet food. Not all grain-free pet food meets the needs of our cat. A good grain-free food must check these factors. It should provide all the nutrition your feline needs such as:

  • High Protein Levels
  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Absolutely no carb replacement added

Advantages of a Grain-Free Diet

Grain-free Diet is Closer to What They Eat in the Wild

In grain-free food for cats, the amount of protein is similar to foods like fish and meat. Some manufacturers substitute it with carbohydrates like potato and tapioca. This maintains the carbohydrate level in the food but removes harmful effects caused by grains. Generally, the formula is healthier for your feline.

Limit Allergies

Some cats can develop an allergy to grains. Thus, having a grain-free diet can eliminate sensitivity to those ingredients. 

Below symptoms in your feline may indicate an allergic reaction.

  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Excessive gas
  • Skin rash
  • Frequent infections
  • Vomiting

Shiny and Lustrous Looking Coat

A grain-free diet can help your cat produce better oils on their skin.  In grain-free foods, they are higher in fatty acids such as Omega-3. These fatty acids are crucial in producing oils to make their fur shiny and lustrous.

Settled and Easier Digestion

Cats are obligate carnivores which means that they are unable to digest vegetation. Their digestive enzymes are designed to break down meat. Thus, a grain-free diet will be easier for them to digest. 

When a Grain-free Diet is Not for Your Cat

When Your Cat is Overweight

Some grain-free foods are higher in fat and/or calories. Thus, they may not be suitable for a cat that is overweight. If you do want to have your cat on a grain-free diet, you have to make sure to feed them the appropriate portion size, and choose the indoor/healthy weight version if possible.

Grain-free Foods are More Expensive

As grain-free foods contain more protein, they are likely more expensive. However, you will likely be feeding your feline a smaller portion because of the high protein, so this might make up for the price difference. 

Do you want to learn more about grain-free pet food? Watch this informative video by  Rodney Habib to learn more!

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10 Odd Cat Behaviours Explained!

Cat Licking Paw

Has your cat behaved in a way that is beyond your comprehension, such as sitting in a box, or eating non-food items? Read the post below to understand your cat better. 

Sitting on Anything that Fits

The ability of a cat being able to fit themselves into tight spaces will never cease to amaze us. Why would they choose to do that when there are comfy places they could rest instead? Well, small spaces make them feel safe and secure. If they were out in the wild, they would not want to be unprotected in an open area because it would make them more vulnerable to predators. 

Additionally, cats have a natural instinct to ambush. Hiding in small tiny spaces allow them to watch and observe their surroundings from a distance.

Rubbing

Southern Living

Rubbing is more than just showing affection and saying hello. Your kitty is actually doing something called “bunting”. Pheromones are being released from your feline’s head. It is their way of showing ownership over you, just like them rubbing on furniture to leave their scent to mark territory. Basically, your kitty is showing pride in that you are theirs.

Eating Non-Food Items

The Spruce Pets

If your cat enjoys chewing on non-food items like wood, cloth, plastic, metal or plants, this could be a sign of pica. Pica is a rare condition in cats that could be caused by mineral deficiencies, anaemia, genetics, boredom and stress. 

Bringing You “Gifts”

Daily Paws

Although this behaviour may seem like a gross one, your cat is actually acknowledging you as a member of their group. They are sharing their hunting success with you and could be thanking you for taking care of them. 

Midnight Cat Calls

Catwatch Newsletter

Have you ever been woken up by the sound of your cat barreling down the hallway in the middle of the night? Most domestic cats have a huge amount of energy pent up during the day which needs to be released. Combining this with their nocturnal instincts to hunt during the night may cause you plenty of sleepless nights. 

We suggest regular exercise for your cat during the day to avoid random sprints in the middle of the night. Besides that, you can try providing them with food puzzles, to restrict their desire to hunt at night.

Do take note that if your excessively vocal cat is a senior, it could denote a serious but treatable condition. Book an appointment with a vet if this is the case.

Urinating Outside of the Litter Box

Gadget Flow

Commonly known as inappropriate elimination. Understanding the underlying causes of this condition can help ease the frustration. Inappropriate elimination can be caused by medical or behavioural issues. 

Medical causes: 

  • Bladder and urinary tract conditions
    • Cystitis
    • Infection
    • Bladder stones
    • Urethral obstruction 
  • Colitis, constipation or anal sac disease
  • Pain or discomfort, including arthritis, or other conditions affecting the nerves, muscles or joints

Behavioural causes:

  • Stress or anxiety due to other pets or changes in the household such as 
    • Moving
    • The birth of a child
    • Visitors
  • Box, litter, location and maintenance preferences

If your cat is urinating outside of the litter box, visit a veterinarian to find the cause.

Chattering

Have you heard your cat emit a fast and intense teeth chatter? Chattering is especially let out when they spot a bird while gazing out of a window. Animal behaviourists say that this is caused by your cat being frustrated that they cannot go outside to hunt prey. Some may say that it allows your kitty’s muscles to prepare for the act of killing a prey. Nevertheless, chattering is a completely normal behaviour for your feline.

Kneading

AAHA

Kneading is when your cat presses his paws and massages back and forth. The reason why they do this traces back to their earliest day of nursing. By pressing their paws on the mother’s mammary glands, it encourages better milk production. If your adult cat does this, it can mean two things. One, he is content and showing that he is happy. Two, he is trying to alleviate stress and this calms him down. 

Ear Twitching

Senior Cat Wellness

Do you see your kitty’s ears twitching back and forth? This is one way that they express anxiety or agitation. Although if their ears are slightly pointed upright, this means that they are alert and listening to their surroundings. 

Cat Eyes

One moment your cat’s eyes are glued on you, the next they seem like they want nothing to do with you. Why?

When your cat is staring them down. They are trying to get your attention. However, if their stare is intense, this could mean that they are on high alert about someone or a situation. It would be best to not look them directly in the eyes because they see this as an act of aggression. 

Do you notice your cat slowly blinking at you? Animal behaviourists call this act “kitty kisses.” This is their way of showing affection and telling you that they trust you. If you blink slowly back at them, they will most likely continue to blow “kitty kisses” your way!

Sometimes if you cannot get them to look at you, it could mean that they want some alone time. When that happens, give them space and this will strengthen their respect for you. 
Feel intrigued by what your cat does? Read our editorial on feline body language to understand your cat better.

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Guinea Pig Sounds and Body Language

Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs make lots of different noises and they can mean different things. They communicate by using sounds and posture just like capybaras. You may not understand all these noises, but their body language can help you interpret them. 

Different Guinea Pig Sounds 

Guinea pigs make a variety of sounds. Some sounds are to express their contentment while some are to show aggression. As a piggy parent, it is important for us to identify their sounds and understand what they are trying to tell us. 

Wheeking 

A distinctive and common vocalisation made by piggies. Wheeking sounds like a long and loud whistle. It is often used to communicate excitement or anticipation. For instance, when you open the fridge or get out the food container. Guinea pigs frequently wheek when they are being made when they are about to be fed. Additionally, wheeking can serve as a call for attention. 

Purring

When a guinea pig purr, they can mean different things. Look at their body language and pitch of the sound. If they let out a deep purring sound along with a relaxed and calm posture, they feel contented and comfortable. However, if the purr is high pitched, it means that they are expressing annoyance. When making this sound they may appear tense and even vibrate. In addition, a short purr can indicate fear or uncertainty. It is usually accompanied by them remaining motionless.

Whining

When guinea pigs make a whining or moaning type of squeak, it means that they dislike something you or another piggy is doing. 

Rumbling

Rumbling, also known as “motorboating” or “rumble strutting”. A rumble is deeper than a purring sound. You can hear it when a male romances a female. This is frequently accompanied by a sort of “mating dance”. 

Teeth Chattering

Teeth chattering is an aggressive vocalisation which is a sign of an angry piggy. In many instances, it is accompanied by the guinea pig showing their teeth which means “back off” or “stay away”. 

Hissing

Similar to teeth chattering, hissing is a sign of agitation. It sounds like the hissing noise that a cat makes. 

Chirping 

This sounds like a bird chirping! It is the least heard noise by a guinea pig, so it is the least understood. They may appear in a trance-like state. Although it is unclear why guinea pigs make this sound, it is thought that it indicates fear. 

Are you still unsure about the sounds made by guinea pigs? Check out this video by Little Adventures to learn more! 

Guinea Pig Noises & What They Mean

Different Guinea Pig Body Language

Guinea pigs can communicate via their body language. Thus, it is good to understand what are the normal movements made by them so that you can identify changes in them. 

Popcorning:

Reddit

The reason why it is called popcorn is because it looks similar to popcorn when it is popping. Popcorning consists of hopping straight up in the air, sometimes repeatedly. It is frequently seen in young guinea pigs who are especially happy, excited or feeling playful. Older piggies do popcorn as well, but they don’t jump as high as younger piggies. 

Freezing:

Burgess Pet Care

Guinea pigs usually exhibit this body posture when they are startled or uncertain. They will stand motionless as there is something in its environment that scares them. 

Touching Noses:

Guinea Pig 101

It is a friendly greeting between guinea pigs. 

Licking:

YouTube
Devjit Paul

Licking can be a sign of affection. Although, it is possible that they like the taste of the salt on your skin.

Fidgeting while being held:

It can often mean that they need to use the bathroom or that they are tired of being held. Try to return your guinea pig to their cage for a bit. 

Aggressive Actions:

Here are some aggressive actions that your piggy can display:

  • Raising their heads 
  • Rising up on their hind ends with stiff legs
  • Shuffling side to side on stiff legs 
  • Fluffing out their fur
  • Showing their teeth

These actions are usually accompanied by hissing or teeth chattering. If your guinea pigs do this with each other, they could be starting a fight. 

Strutting:

Strutting around another piggy while rumbling is a typical mating dance. 

Tossing Head in the Air:

When a guinea pig is annoyed with being petted, they will toss their head back. It is a way of them asking you to stop. 

Mounting:

Mounting can be a sexual behaviour from males to females or a behaviour to show dominance, especially between females.  

Sniffing:

Sniffing is a guinea pig’s way to check out what is going on around them and to get to know others. They usually like to sniff each other around the nose, chin and ears. 

Scent Marking:

Piggies will rub their chins, cheeks and hind ends on items they want to mark as theirs. Additionally, they might urinate on things or other piggies to show their dominance. 

Running Away From Being Picked Up:

Guinea pigs tend to be timid and running away from you is a natural defence mechanism. Given time and patience, almost all guinea pigs will come to accept being picked up. They will also come to enjoy cuddles and playtime outside of the cage.

Do you want to learn more about Guinea Pigs?

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What To Do When Your Cat Has a Fever

Sick Cat

When your cat is under the weather, it can’t exactly ask for a pain reliever to help them feel better. If your cat is running a fever, it may indicate an underlying health problem that may require urgent treatment. Hence, it is important for us to identify the symptoms and the treatment related to your cat’s fever. 

How do you know if they have a fever?

The normal temperature in cats ranges from 38.3 to 39.2°C.  Any temperature above 39.2°C can be considered as a fever in cats. Even though fevers can be helpful in fighting infections, a fever above 40°C can be damaging to organs. 

Here are some methods you can use to check your cat’s temperature without a thermometer.

#1 Examine Their Nose

Your pet’s nose should be the first area to examine when checking whether they have a fever. Cats, like dogs, should have a moist nose all the time. However, if your cat is sick, their nose will be dry and warm. 

#2 Check Whether They Have Hot Ears

Using your fingertips, feel their ears. It will be significantly hotter if they have a fever. To be more precise, place your lips on the tip of your cat’s ears. Gently place the top 1/2 inch of their ear between your lips. Your lips are more sensitive compared to your hands so they will be able to detect temperature variation more easily. 

#3 Check Their Breathing

Pay attention to your cat’s respiration. Cats may pant or breathe faster when they have a higher temperature. You might notice heightened heartbeats and accelerated breathing when they have a temperature.  

#4 Changes in the frequency of them ‘Speaking’

Some cats may be naturally quiet while some are ‘noisy’. Nevertheless, cats like to express themselves through various sounds. However, when they have a fever, they may become extremely silent. Conversely, some may spend hours meowing and shouting continuously. If you notice any changes in your cat’s ‘speaking’ behaviours, they may have a fever. 

#5 They have a Lower Activity Level

Although cats enjoy sleeping for several hours each day, they are generally awake at specific times of the day. Nonetheless, if they have a fever, they will remain in bed with no desire to move a single muscle. You can test them by showing their favourite toy or treats. If they do not make an effort to capture it, they might have a fever. 

#6 Hiding

In general, cats prefer to stay in quiet locations such as behind a bed or a table. If they have a fever they would want to visit those areas more. If you notice your cat hiding in places and avoiding human interactions persistently, they may have a fever. 

#7 They Do Not Want to Eat Anything

Observing the amount of food left in their dish throughout the day, you can detect whether they lost their appetite. A sick cat will reject even their favourite food. Importantly, check whether they are drinking water. They must be hydrated, even more so if they have a fever. If you notice that they are not drinking water, make an effort to encourage them to drink some. 

If you are still confused as to how to check whether your cat has a fever, you can watch this video by Dr. Jones from Veterinary Secrets to understand better.

How To Tell If Your Dog or Cat Has A Fever

Causes of a Fever in Cats

An increase in body temperature above normal is known as hyperthermia. It develops when the set point is increased in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that acts as the body’s thermostat. A fever usually results when the immune system is activated by circumstances like 

  • Viral illnesses
  • Bacteria illnesses
  • Tumours
  • Fungal illnesses
  • Injury from trauma 
  • Certain medications

How to Care for a Cat with a Fever

If you have discovered that your cat has a fever, you should take care of them right away and look for a remedy. Here are some important things to take note when caring for your cat with a fever. 

  • Your cat may get dehydrated. Hence, offer them some water. They might not want to drink it but it is important to make sure they get hydrated. 
  • Allow your cat to relax so that they have energy to tackle whatever that is making them sick. 
  • Self-medicating is never a good idea. Do not feed human medicine to your cats. Not all medication can help your cat and can even be harmful to them. If you want to treat the fever with medication, it is best to bring them to a vet. 
  • If your cat has a temperature of more than 40°C or has had a fever for more than 24 hours, you should see a veterinarian right away.
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Top 10 Most Toxic Plants to Avoid for Your Dogs

Dog Eating Plant

There are plants that are extremely poisonous and can cause serious problems to your dog. Some common houseplants that seem to be harmless to you can lead to life threatening conditions in your dogs. 

Sago Palm

HGTV

A sago palm looks like a miniature palm tree that can live indoors or outdoors. Sago palms are not only dangerous to dogs, it can be harmful to all pets. Those symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, liver failure and potentially death.  The whole plant is toxic to pups, but the seeds contain the largest amount of toxins. 

If you like sago palms, try a Boston fern instead. Known as the sword fern, it has similar aesthetics as the sago palm. 

Tulips

Many people like having tulips in their home as they come in different colours. If your dog nibbles on the leaves, they could get an upset stomach. However, if your dog digs up and eats the newly-planted bulbs, there could be real danger. Newly-planted bulbs have the most toxins which can cause intense stomach upset, depression and loss of appetite. 

If you like tulips, you can opt for peonies! They are colourful and vibrant just like tulips. 

Lily of the Valley

Lilies are sweet-smelling and adorable. However, do not be fooled by their cute and harmless exterior, they are extremely poisonous to dogs.  A small exposure to any part of the plant can cause heart problems for dogs. Eating a few leaves or bulbs can make your pup throw up. Additionally, it can cause low blood pressure, disorientation, seizure or even a coma. 

If you like lilies, try a Christmas cactus instead. Christmas cactus enjoy humid conditions and are adorable like lilies!

Oleander

Every inch of this plant is poisonous to dogs. Similar to lilies, oleander can cause irregular heart rate and heart rhythm. You may see other symptoms like diarrhoea, stomach pain, drooling and it can be fatal. 

If you like oleander, you may want to consider lemon bottlebrush. They provide a similar colour aesthetic!

Philodendrons

Philodendrons have heart-shaped leaves and long vines. They are dangerous and can irritate your dog’s mouth and lips. If your dog ingested some of these leaves, they probably will be pawing their mouths or drooling and retching. 

If you like philodendrons, you might want to consider a million heart plants. They are pet friendly and shaped like a heart as well!

Rhododendron

myGarden.com

They are also known as Azaleas. All parts of these pink beauties are poisonous to your pup. Depending on how much they have eaten, the most common sign would be an upset stomach. However, they can have a range of symptoms including feeling weak, tremors, suffer from low blood pressure and irregular heart rate. 

If you like rhododendrons, you can consider pink orchids! They provide the same pop of pink without harming our precious pup.

Dieffenbachia

As known as the Dumb Cane, they are poisonous to dogs. If your dogs nibble on the leaves, they will feel a burning sensation on their mouth, tongue and lips. In a worse-case scenario, your dog may drool a lot and vomit, or even have a hard time breathing. 

If you like the dieffenbachia, you can consider the prayer plant. Prayer plants look similar and are not toxic to your dog. 

Japanese Yews

The Spruce

They are also known as Buddhist pine or Southern yew. Although the berries are not toxic to dogs, the leaves, seeds and bark are! Ingesting them can cause vomiting, lethargy, wobbly gait, heart and blood pressure changes. An early warning sign could be seizures and muscle tremors. 

Cyclamen

Cyclamen is a popular houseplant due to their intense pink shade. Your pup is likely to experience drooling, vomiting and have diarrhoea, if cyclamen is ingested. Additionally, if they dig up the plant and gobble up the root, it can affect their heart rate and can even cause death. 

If you like cyclamen, you can consider roses! Pink roses can provide the same pop of pink and are safe for pups.

Autumn Crocus

If your dog ingest even a small bit of an Autumn Crocus, they may start to vomit and have diarrhoea. Toxins found in Autumn crocus can have long-lasting effects such as suppressing bone marrow and causing liver failure. 

If you like Autumn Crocuses, you can consider African Violets. They provide the same purple hue and are pet friendly!

What should you do if your pup nibbles on a dangerous plant?

If you think that your dog has ingested a potentially toxic plant, you should take a photo of the plant and head down to a veterinarian. It is important to get them checked early to prevent any further damage done to them!

Do you have a cat? Read this to find out plants that are toxic to cats.

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How To Care for a Bird

Majestic Parrot

Birds are sociable little creatures. They thrive on company and frequent interaction. Many species of birds are fun and engaging as pets. If you are considering getting a bird, you will need to prepare basic care items such as good housing and nutritious food. 

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Northern Parrots

Birds thrive in large cages, so try to purchase the largest cage your house can accommodate. A general rule is that the width of the cage should be at least twice the wingspan of the bird. 

Here are some standard requirements:

  • Cage bars should not be too small. Your bird’s talons may get caught on them. Correspondingly, the bars should not be too large. Your bird’s cage may get trapped or they can squeeze through and escape. 
  • The larger the cage the better. Larger bird cages may be harder to clean and are more expensive. However, if you are not in the house often or do not have the time to take your bird out for exercise, a bigger cage is essential. It is important to note that small cages can lead to behaviour problems. 

Choosing the Right Cage Shape

Try to opt for a rectangular cage for your bird. Circle cages can be bad for your bird as there is barely any space for the bird. Furthermore, there are no corners for them to feel safe in. Circle cages tend to cause the bird to twist their head which can cause behavioural problems. 

Ensuring Enough Space is Provided

If you are housing more than one bird, ensure that they have adequate space. Never house more than one bird in a small cage. They need space to retreat, fly and to be apart from other birds. Thus, the more birds being kept, the larger the cage must be. 

Placing the Cage in the Right Location

Your bird’s cage should be kept indoors and in a room with frequent traffic. Birds are social animals and will become depressed if isolated. 

  • Hanging cages can be transported outdoors and hung at bird-singing corners.  It is important to remember to bring the bird back before cool evening breezes and night air arrive.
  • Location of your bird’s cage will be affected by their personalities. A very scalable bird might love being the centre of attention, so you might want to place them in an area with constant human traffic. However, a nervous bird might be happier in a quieter area such as in the corner of a room. 
  • Refrain from placing your bird in front of a window permanently. Your bird will constantly be on the lookout for ‘enemies’ which can cause them to feel nervous. Putting their cage against a wall can give them a break from worrying about it. 

Cleaning of the Cage

Clean your bird’s cage on a daily basis as it can reduce the risks of bacterial, fungal or viral infections. A bird that lives in a clean environment tends to be more active and happy. 

  • Change the bedding daily.
  • Remove uneaten food at the end of the day.
  • Clean with basic and non-toxic cleaning supplies. Ensure that a product is safe for birds before usage as birds are easily poisoned.

Bird Cage Bedding

Place some old newspapers or magazine papers on the bottom of the cage. These papers can be disposed of with ease which makes cleaning easier. If you prefer other bedding, you can line the bottom of the cage with wood chips, kitty litter or sand. 

Diet

You should provide your bird with a variety of food on a daily basis. A healthy diet for most bird breeds consists of 75% pellets and 25% human food. Precise dietary requirements are dependent on the species. 

You can consult with an avian veterinarian to understand more about the types of food your breed needs. An amazing veterinary for avian and exotic animals would be Beecroft. Ensure that you are providing the correct feed for the species of bird. Some birds can be picky and others have a very strict dietary requirement. Thus, it is important to get the correct feed

Feed your bird regularly at about the same time each day so that your bird knows when to expect its food. Smaller birds with higher metabolism may need to be fed more frequently. In addition to that, you can make feed more interesting and enjoyable. For instance, you can ask your bird to sing or talk for its food. 

Providing Vegetables and Fruits

Give them fresh fruits and vegetables every day as it adds variety to their diet. A mixture of foods is both fun and healthy for birds. You can provide them with a variety of fruits and veggies such as oranges, berries, spinach and celery. 

Fresh Water

There should be fresh water provided constantly. Fill the water dish with average temperature water. Remember to give your bird a large and shallow dish as they can struggle drinking out of deep dishes. 

  • You can put the water dish at the opposite end of the bird’s cage from the food dish. Allowing them to move around and be active while eating and drinking.
  • Dehydration can occur in birds within one to two days without access to water.

Keep the Food and Water Sanitary

Food and water dishes should be located up high to avoid bird faeces from dropping into their food. Remember to clean your bird’s food and water dishes daily. 

Toys and Socialising

Pet Keen

You need to provide at least four toys that are varied and interesting. Place their toys in multiple places around the cage as it will allow them to move around and help satisfy your bird’s foraging instinct. Ensure that these toys are bird-safe. For instance, bells are great bird toys. Here are a list of toys that can be unsafe for birds:

  • Frayed ropes
  • Wire
  • “Jingle-bell” types of bells

Hold and pet your bird regularly as they crave socialisation with humans. They can become bored, lonely and unhealthy if they are left in their cage all day. Play with your bird every day to ensure that they get their daily exercise. 

Taking Care of Your Bird’s Health

It is important to bring your bird to the vet for a regular checkup to ensure that your bird is healthy. 

Additionally, you should provide a large container for self-cleansing. Birds are capable of handling their own grooming and will clean themselves in the container. In Singapore, the weather is usually warm. You can squirt your bird with water from a spray bottle as they love the cooling sensation.

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Top 10 Most Popular Cat Breeds in Singapore

Cat

Cats are becoming very popular as domestic pets. The best thing about owning a cat is that they are low maintenance. On top of that, they are adorable and amusing to watch. So what are the popular cat breeds in Singapore? 

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#10 British Shorthair 

The British Shorthair likes to be around people, so they like to be near their owners. They tend to be couch potatoes but can be playful at times. For that reason, they are the perfect cat for people who enjoy a chill afternoon on the couch watching Netflix! 

Here are some interesting facts about the British Shorthair!

1. They descended from the cats of ancient Rome. The British Shorthair cat is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. 

2. British Shorthair nearly went extinct! During World Wars I and II, cat fanciers stopped breeding them and they nearly went extinct.

3. Not all British Shorthairs are GREY. Those with silvery grey coats and copper eyes are British Blues. British Shorthairs come in many different colours such as white, black. red, gold and silver. There are some British Shorthairs with colour-point, tortoiseshell, bicolour and patterns. 

#9 Russian Blue

The Russian Blue may appear to be quiet and reserved, but they are quite playful after gaining their trust. They are one of the first cats to appear in cat shows. 

Here are some interesting facts about the Russian Blue!

1. Russian Blue cats appear to have sparkly coats. They have short, double-layered coats. The under coat is soft and feathery while the outer coat is more dense and is flecked with shiny silver hairs. 

2. These cats are born with yellow eyes, but will have emerald green eyes once fully grown. Most cats are born with light blue eyes which will darken as they age, but Russian Blues are born with yellow eyes! Around four months old, they will develop gorgeous emerald eyes. 

3. They are known for their loving nature. Russian Blue cats are one-person cats, meaning they will only be deeply bonded to one person. However, this does not mean that they are only suitable to live with one person. They do enjoy living with families and can even be happy with other pets. 

#8 Siberian 

Siberian cats have long, lustrous, thick coats. Not only are they intelligent and strong, but also gentle and affectionate. They are also big in size, and can weigh up to 12 kilograms. 

Here are some interesting facts about the Siberian!

1. Siberian is the first Russian breed. They were officially recognized as a breed in the 1980s in the Soviet Union. Recognized internationally in 1992, becoming the first Russian breed registered by international organisations. 

2. They weigh as much as two normal cats. A Siberian cat will need more space for their enormous paws and tails. A female adult Siberians weighs about five to six kg while males can weigh from 10 to 12 kg. 

3. They like kids! Siberian cats do understand family ties. Siberian father cats will take care of the kittens like a mother does. They like human children and will protect them as their own. 

#7 Munchkin

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Munchkins have short legs and are sometimes known as the cat equivalent of a Corgi. They are especially popular among Japanese people due to its ”  可愛い チビ  (kawaii chibi)” appearance. These cats are generally playful, friendly and fond of human interactions. 

Here are some interesting facts about the “Kawaii Chibi”!

1. They are fast and furious despite their short legs. Munchkins have a lot of energy which increases their speed and agility. These cats can turn corners like a furry race car. 

2. Munchkins are sociable and love cuddles. Munchkins crave company from anyone. They will never refuse a warm lap for cuddling. They enjoy cuddling up next to someone who can protect them and make them feel warm and safe while sleeping. 

3. These cats are curious creatures. Munchkin cats are known to be very social and have lots of curiosity. Unlike other cat breeds, they do not creep in so quickly to satisfy their curiosity. Instead they will sit on their hind legs and stretch up to see what caught their attention. 

#6 Siamese 

Siamese cats are one of the oldest and most popular breeds of cats. They are intelligent, talkative and gentle. Their coat colouring is determined by their genetics and the temperature of the surroundings. 

Here are some interesting facts about the Siamese!

1. Siamese cats had crossed eyes and crooked tails. Many Siamese cats once had kinked tails and crossed eyes. Cat fanciers viewed these traits as undesirable. Thus, they gradually eliminated them through selective breeding. 

2. Their tips also vary in colour. Those colours can range from blue, chocolate to lilac. 

3. They are social butterflies. Siamese cats are a people-loving breed who will bond closely to their humans. They also enjoy the company of other cats, children and even strangers. 

#5 Bengal 

Bengals are known for their cunning personalities and high energy levels. They are bred to look exotic like jungle cats. Hence, they are perfect for an active household with lots of time to devote to them.

1. They like water. Bengals like playing in the water. Hence, it is not unusual for them to join their owner in the shower. If you own a Siamese cat, you may want to consider installing a pet fountain so he can drink whenever he pleases.

2. Two is better than one. Bengals thrive on consistent interaction. Thus, it would be better to keep them in twos. 

3. Bengals are natural hunters. Their predatory instincts run deep. These cats are avid and skilled hunters, just like their leopard ancestors. 

#4 Maine Coon 

These cats are the largest cat breed, and can weigh up to 8 kilograms! They are a loyal, affectionate and playful breed. 

Here are some interesting facts about Maine Coons!

1. Not all Maine Coon cats are brown. Maine Coons are commonly seen with brown coats. However, they actually come in all kinds of colours and patterns. Those include smoke, cream, cameo, mackerel and tortoiseshell. 

2. They are ‘gentle giants’. These cats are huge but they are also affectionate and sociable. 

3. Maine Coons are a playful breed. Playtime is important for these cats as they love to play with people. Be prepared to provide them with lots of interaction and play!

#3 Ragdoll

Ragdolls are loving and affectionate which makes them a great addition. They are relatively a new breed and are not yet century old. They were bred in California in the US in the 1960s and are one of the largest cat breeds. 

Here are some interesting facts about Ragdolls!

1. They all have beautiful blue eyes. Ragdoll eyes come in different shapes and shades of blue. Importantly, all purebred ragdolls have blue eyes. 

2. These cats have dog-like personalities. Ragdolls exhibit traits like loyalty and playfulness like a dog. They love being near their humans and will even wait outside a door for them. 

3. Ragdolls are quiet by nature. This breed is generally quiet. Sometimes they are so quiet to a point where they do not show distress or pain. 

#2 Persian

Persian cats are perfect for people who want a calm, affectionate pet. They like to be held and enjoy sitting on your lap. These cats have short muzzles and round faces. 

Here are some interesting facts about Persians!

1. Their coats are a rainbow of cat colours. There are seven different categories of Persians: solid, silver and golden, smoke and shaded, tabby, particolor, bicolor and Himalayan.

2. Persian cats are not compatible with kids. If you have kids at home, you might want to reconsider your decision. Persian cats do not like loud noise and constant disturbance. 

3. They are good companions. Persian cats are the perfect breed for anyone who is concerned that their cat will destroy their homes. They are not curious or adventurous by nature.

#1 Singapura Cat

Excited Cats

The Singapura Cat is believed to have originated from the streets of Singapore. Singapura cats were not recognised as an official breed until the 1970s. In Singapore, they are recognised as a national treasure. 

Here are some interesting facts about the Singapura Cat!

1. They are very extroverted! A great addition to households with other cats, well-mannered children and cat-friendly canines. 

2. Mischievous and curious. They love to get into things and will need a lot of interactive toys to keep them entertained. 

3. Known as mini heating pads. The Singapura Cat’s bodies give off a surprising amount of heat and are perfect for snuggling on the cold rainy night!

Unsure of what breed your cat is? — Check out this post!

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Why Do Dogs Shed?

Sad Dog

Shedding is a normal part of a dog’s life. Some dog breeds shed more than others. However, if you notice your dog shedding more than usual, it could be a serious problem. 

What Causes Dogs to Shed? 

The dog fur helps control their body temperature. Additionally, it protects their skin from the sun and other environmental elements. Shedding helps the dog remove hair that stopped growing. The frequency and amount of shedding will depend on a few factors. 

  • Breed 
  • Environment 
  • Health conditions
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Breed

Some breeds shed more than others and it is totally natural. For example, Shepherds usually shed a lot. A dog’s fur grows in cycles, there are three main periods: growth, not growing, and shedding. In some dogs, the cycle happens yearly but some may repeat every month.

Environment

In some places of the world, dogs experience seasonal shedding. As such, they tend to shed around fall and spring. However, in Singapore, dogs may experience more shedding to help regulate body temperature in the heat. 

Skin Issues 

Some skin disorders cause hair loss and bald patches. For instance, infestation of parasites like fleas, lice or mites can cause excessive hair loss. Ringworm, dermatitis, some types of fungal infections, immune disease and cancer can lead to hair loss as well. 

Contact a veterinarian immediately if you notice these on your dog:

  • Skin Irritations
  • Bumps
  • Scabs
  • Rash

Allergies 

Certain foods, medications, household cleaners and grooming supplies may trigger an allergic reaction. These allergies could be causing your dog to shed. 

Allergies can be categorised into four types: 

1. Atopy (genetic)

2. Environmental allergies 

3. Flea allergies 

4. Food allergies 

Contact a veterinarian and they will pinpoint the allergen and find the most effective treatment. 

Stressed-Induced Shedding

Dogs can shed when they are stressed or anxious. Changes in the environment can cause your dog to shed more. Additionally, stressful situations like going to the vet can cause them to shed more. 

If you think your dog is experiencing stress or anxiety and it is causing them to shed, talk to a veterinarian. They will be able to refer you to a qualified veterinary behaviourist. 

A veterinary behaviourist is specialised in treatment of behavioural issues. They will be able to help you find solutions such as anti-anxiety medications.  

What is a Normal Amount of Shedding?

There are many variables that can change and affect the amount of shedding in dogs. Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint the ‘normal’ amount of shedding. However, you can look out for symptoms that indicate abnormal shedding. 

  • Balding spots
  • Poor coat quality 
  • Clumpy hair loss 
  • Tenderness

The best way to find out if your dog is shedding due to health issues is to make a vet appointment and consult with them. 

How To Manage Your Dog’s Shedding?

PetMD

Although you cannot prevent normal shedding, you can manage it. There are products that can manage their shedding and prevent you from being covered in pet hair. 
The best way to manage shedding is to use a deshedding glove, or a grooming brush like the Furminator Dual Grooming Brush. It is important to brush your dog every day and twice a day for heavy-shedders. You can also use deshedding shampoos and conditioners such as Tropiclean Deshedding Lime & Coconut Pet Shampoo.

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How to Take Care of a Rabbit

Rabbit

 

Rabbits are becoming more common as domestic pets. However, not many people are aware of how to care for rabbits properly. Improper care of pet rabbits can cause them various health issues. If you are a new rabbit parent, this post will help you take better care of your rabbit. 

Here are some basic rabbit facts: 

Life Span: 8 years on average 

Size: 8 to 20 inches 

Diet: Vegetables, fruits, hay 

Cage 

When choosing a cage, you need to choose one which can allow them to stand on their hind legs without hitting their heads on the top of the cage. Make sure the cage has space for a litter box and a resting area. Choose a cage that is made out of metal or any indestructible material. Place the cage in a cool and well-ventilated area. If the place is too hot, your rabbit can potentially suffer from fatal heat stroke. 

Exercise

Do note that your rabbit should not be kept in the cage at all times. Rabbits need their daily exercise to stay healthy. Thus, they need to be let out into a larger exercise area to run, jump and move around for at least a few hours every day. You can either let your rabbit have free access to the home or you can buy a pen. The pen should be at least 3 feet tall so as to keep them from potential dangerous materials at home. Additionally, you can put the pen outside to allow your bunny access to grassy areas but never leave them unsupervised. 

If you decide to let your rabbit roam your house freely, you will need to rabbit-proof the area. Remember to block all escape routes and block all electrical cords. Furthermore, you can cover your furniture to protect it from teeth and claws. Importantly, remove all toxic plants, insecticides, rodenticides and other toxins. 

Litter Box

Rabbits can be litter box trained.

1. Restrict your bunny to a small area

2. Place the litter box in the corner. 

3. Choose somewhere which your rabbit had already chosen to go to the bathroom

4. The sides of the litter box should be low enough so the rabbit can get in and out without difficulty.

5. Place some droppings and hay in the litter box to encourage your rabbit to use it. 

Side note: there should be one more litter box provided than the number of bunnies in the home. 

Consider using pellet litter in the litter box. Pelleted litter is not toxic and digestible if ingested. Additionally, it draws moisture away from the surface which keeps it dry and odour-free. Avoid clay or clumping kitty litter as your bunny may ingest it which can cause fatal intestinal blockage. 

Resting Area

Some bunnies prefer an enclosed box to hide in. You can use a straw woven house, litter pan, or a cardboard box with an entrance hole. If their cage has a wire floor, you should provide a solid area for them to rest. Make sure that the material is washable or disposable. Try not to use carpet squares because they are not absorbent. Furthermore, they are abrasive to their feet and cannot be cleaned. 

Toys

Bunnies should be provided with plenty of toys for mental stimulation. Additionally, the toys can help wear down the teeth. You can purchase dry branches from untreated trees, wooden chew toys or straw baskets, like Oxbow Enriched Small Animal Toys and Momi Grass Woven Balls. Bunnies like things that can move, so you can use toilet paper rolls, small empty cardboard cartons or air filled balls.  

Rabbit’s Diet 

Rabbits are herbivores, and their daily diet should consist mostly of hay. The illustration above shows the amount of food that should be given to your bunny. Importantly, rabbits should always have access to fresh water. Use a water bottle attached to the side of the cage and refresh the water daily. 

Rabbit’s Behaviour & Temperament

Rabbits are social creatures. They are quite tame, playful, and entertaining to watch. Many bunnies can learn to respond to their name. They often have close bonds with their owners and like to be around them. Additionally, they enjoy being on their feet on the ground and cuddling up next to their owners for petting. If improperly handled, they might scratch. Rabbits require gentle care which means they are not typically a good match for children who don’t understand gentle handling. 

Common Health Problems 

Rabbits are prone to certain medical problems and those are:

  • Digestive issues 
  • Eye problems
  • Respiratory infections 
  • Skin issues 

Some bunnies may experience overgrown teeth which can be worn down by chew toys. If your bunny has overgrown teeth, it can make it difficult for them to eat or drink. Thus, you will need to bring them to the vet to get it trimmed. 

Grooming Rabbits

Rabbits groom themselves. You can brush their fur to help remove loose fur and hairball prevention. For short-hair rabbits, you can brush them roughly once a week. Long-hair rabbits require brushing daily to prevent tangles. 

Baths are not necessary but you can spot clean dirty parts of your rabbit’s coat by gently rubbing it with a damp cloth. 

They need nail trims because they do not naturally wear down. If you are unsure how to trim them, your vet can show you how to do it properly. 

Similar Exotic Pets to Rabbit 

If you are interested in rabbits, you might also be interested in these other exotic pets:

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Toxic Plants to Avoid for Your Cat

cat with plant

Indoor plants can be a good way to freshen up your room and create a calming environment. However, if you are a cat parent, it is crucial to check if the plants you are bringing home or already have are toxic to cats. If not, it can cause serious problems, such as organ failure, seizures or even death, to your feline. 

Your feline may nibble on your plants to get extra nutrients and fibre. Unfortunately, they would not know whether the plant is good or bad for them. Thus, as a responsible pet parent, it is your duty to ensure that your feline is not exposed to any toxic houseplants. Here we have identified some toxic plants for cats. 

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Toxic Components: Insoluble Calcium Oxalates 

If your cat consumes lilies, your veterinarian may have to perform lab work such as blood and urine tests. Depending on the test results, there would be discussions on a monitoring plan for kidney function. 

Make a Switch: Change your lilies to white orchids. They are not toxic to cats, beautiful and quite easy to take care of! 

Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae) 

Toxic Components: Eucalyptol

If your cat consumes eucalyptus, they exhibit signs like drooling, vomiting, lower appetite and diarrhoea. These symptoms are minor and should go away without specific treatment in 24 hours. 

Make a Switch: Change to Rosemary! They are known for its amazing scent and it repels mosquitoes. It is an excellent replacement for eucalyptus. 

Jade (Crassula) 

They are also known as rubber plants, money plants or lucky plants.  Jade can cause serious issues such as vomiting, neurological symptoms such as incoordination. Additionally, it can cause depression in some felines. It is crucial to seek immediate veterinary care when you suspect your cat has eaten this plant. If your feline is not neurologically impaired, treatment will cause them to vomit. Helping your feline remove the toxin rapidly from the body. Further monitoring and symptomatic support will be needed to ensure your feline returns to good health. 

Make a Switch: Switch your jades to haworthia retusas. They offer the same thick and juicy leaf structure and they are not toxic to your cat. 

Aloe Vera (Liliaceae) 

Toxic Components: Saponins, Anthraquinones

The thick plant material surrounding the gel can cause gastric upset, lethargy and diarrhoea in cats. 

Make a Switch: Try swapping your aloe vera for haworthia zebra succulent. It is smaller but it offers the same aesthetics. Plus, they are succulents so it is easy to care for. 

Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum) 

Mr. Plant Geek

Toxic Components:  Insoluble calcium oxalates 

Known as the pothos, golden pothos and taro vine. Insoluble calcium oxalates can cause mouth, throat, tongue and lip irritation. Additionally, it can cause intense burning, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing. 

Make a Switch: Chinese money plants are a great substitute as they provide the same dropping aesthetic. As a bonus, they may bring good feng shui to your home. 😉

Hydrangea

Toxic Components: Cyanogenic glycoside 

When your cat ingests enough hydrangea to get sick, symptoms such as being nauseated, drooling and vomiting may start to show. Usually these symptoms are followed by diarrhoea, and the diarrhoea may be very bloody. 

Make a Switch: Zinnias make an excellent alternative to hydrangeas. Zinnias are available in a broad range of colours which can definitely brighten your room. 

Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia) 

The Spruce

Toxic Components: Insoluble calcium oxalates, Proteolytic enzymes

Ingesting dumbcane can cause oral irritation, intense burning of the mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. Call the poison control hotline or your veterinarian for assistance immediately if your cat has consumed dumbcane.

Make a Switch: You can swap your dumbcane for a prayer plant as it is cat-safe and vet-approved. 

Snake plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) 

The Spruce

Toxic Components: Saponins

Snake plant contains saponins which can result in nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea if consumed. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your feline has consumed a snake plant. 

Make a Switch: Swapping your snake plant for a caeroba would be good as it is a non-toxic plant. Additionally, it closely resembles a snake plant. 

Amaryllis

FloraQueen

Toxic Components: Lycorine

When cats nibble on this type of lily, they can experience stomach pain, excess drooling, tremors, diarrhoea, vomiting and decrease in appetite. 

Make a Switch: Instead of amaryllis, you can get orchids. They offer a burst of colour to your room and are not toxic to cats. 

Azalea 

Toxic Components: Grayanotoxin

If your feline eats any part of the azalea, they can experience vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness and potentially cardiac failure. 

Make a Switch: Choose red camellia instead. They have a similar splash of red colour and are not toxic for your cats. 

Tulip 

Toxic Components: Tulipalin A and B 

The entire tulip is poisonous and can cause serious issues in your cat. Those include vomiting, depression, diarrhoea and hypersalivation. Call your vet immediately if your feline has ingested tulips. 

Make a Switch: Opt for peonies instead of tulips. They are vibrant and beautiful. 

What can you do if your cat nibbles or eats toxic plants? 


If you suspect that your feline has chewed on or eaten a potentially toxic plant, it is recommended to take a picture of the plant and head down to the veterinarian immediately. Cats are very skilled at hiding their symptoms as it is a defence mechanism. Thus, it is important to take your cat to the vet even if they are not acting overly sick.

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How to Care for a Chinchilla

Chinchilla

Chinchillas are not a very common domestic pet in Singapore. Thus, many people do not know how to care for chinchillas properly. These small, furry pets make wonderful companions for both adults and children. Before getting one, you have to make sure they are suitable for you. Read more to find out more about how to care for a chinchilla. 

Here are some basic chinchilla facts:

Life Span:  up to 10+ years

Size: 12 inches long 

Diet: Herbivore

Minimum Habitat Size: 24 inches x 24 inches 

Getting the Right Habitat 

Chinchillas love to jump, climb and play. Therefore, a large, multi-tiered habitat is recommended. A minimum of 2 inches x 2 inches floor space must be provided.  

Wire habitats can provide optimal ventilation, choose one with a solid bottom to protect their feet. Plastic habitats are not recommended because they can chew through with their sharp teeth. 

Preparation of their Habitat

After choosing a suitable habitat, we need to add some items to make it homey. 

Bedding: 1 to 2 inches of bedding should be placed in their habitat. Choose paper-based bedding as it is digestible (if ingested). Try to avoid wood shavings as it can cause serious harm when eaten such as intestinal blockage. Also, avoid cedar-based products as they can cause skin and respiratory tract inflammation.

Decor: Chinchillas love to hide. You should provide hiding places in their habitats to make them feel secure. 

Toys: An exersaucer or solid wheel should be provided in their habitat for them to get their exercise. Exercise wheels should be solid inside to prevent their toes and legs from being trapped. 

Dust Bath: Allow your chinchilla to have dust baths a couple of times per week to help keep their fur clean. Purchase a dust bathhouse and add some dust inside to allow them to clean themselves. 

Cleaning of your Chinchilla’s Habitat 

Daily spot cleaning of your chinchilla’s habitat is needed. Remember to remove soiled bedding and leftover food as it can lead to foot sores and inflammation. 

Weekly cleaning and disinfecting of their habitat is required. 

1. Move your Chinchilla to a separate, secure location. 

2. Wash their habitat with a small animal habitat cleaner. 

3. Allow the solution to remain for the instructed amount of time before rinsing off. 

4. Rinse and allow the habitat to dry completely before placing new bedding in. 

Chinchilla Diet

  • Clean and fresh water should always be available 
  • Timothy hay or low-calcium grass hay should always be available as it forms the majority of a chinchilla’s diet 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of chinchilla pellets should be offered daily
  • Fresh vegetables like the ones below, together with small amounts of fruits can be given daily but should not exceed 10% of their total diet. Vegetables and fruits not eaten within 24 hours should be discarded, as they are likely to spoil.
  • Small amounts of high-fibre treats (occasionally) 

For Young Chinchillas: 

  • Alfalfa hay 

Do not feed these: 

  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Dried fruits
  • Raisins 
  • Nuts 
  • Seeds

Health 

A healthy chinchilla will show these signs:

  • Eating and drinking regularly
  • Active, alert and sociable 
  • Clear eyes 
  • Breathing is easy 
  • Walking normally 
  • Fur around mouth and chin is clean and dry 
  • No nose discharge

If you notice these following in your chinchilla, you might want to visit a vet.

  • Weight loss
  • Abnormal hair loss
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Lacking faecal pellets 
  • Distressed breathing 
  • Eye or nasal discharge
  • Skin lesions 
  • Overgrown teeth 
  • Drooling 
  • Wet fur on chin 
  • Limping
  • Loss of fur 
  • Bloated 
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How to Groom Your Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig Shower

Grooming your guinea pig is important as it keeps them clean and healthy. Different types of guinea pigs have different grooming needs. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to groom your guinea pigs to ensure that they are always clean!

Hair

#1 Short-haired: they do not need much brushing. You can brush them once a week to remove some loose hairs. 

#2 Long-haired: they need daily brushing and occasional trim. 

Nails 

All guinea pigs should have their nails trimmed twice a month. Remember to remove just the sharp tips. 

How to Trim Your Guinea Pig’s Nails 

It is important to start trimming your piggy’s nails when they are young so they are familiarised with the procedure.  

#1 Human nail clippers or clippers made for cats or small pets are suitable. 

#2 Buy some styptic powder. It will come in handy if you accidentally cut the quick which causes bleeding. Styptic powder will prevent them from bleeding continuously.

#3 If you have never trimmed any pet’s nails before, you need to learn where their quick is to avoid cutting it. The quick is the pink part of the nail that contains the blood supply. It is easy to cut clear nails as it is easy to identify their quick. However, if your piggy has dark nails, you have to be careful. Try to cut tiny amounts off the ends to prevent cutting their quick.

#4 Have your piggy sit on your lap on something soft such as a towel. Your piggy should be sitting on your lap with its back towards you. 

#5 “Burrito” method can be helpful. Have your piggy wrapped snugly in a towel with its feet sticking out. 

#6 If your piggy fidgets a lot, providing them with something to chew on can be helpful. You can give them some apple slices to chew on while you trim their nails.

#7 Hold one foot and gently trim each nail. Remember to start with a tiny amount if you are new at this! 

#8 If you are really unsure, you can ask your veterinarian to demonstrate to you. Your veterinarian will be happy to show you how to do it! 

Bath

All guinea pigs occasionally need to have their backs bathed. Long-haired guinea pigs will need bathing more often. 

How to Bathe a Guinea Pig 

Your piggy does not need regular baths. However, it would be good to bathe them a few times a year or when they are particularly dirty. It would be great to start bathing them when they are young. Additionally, you can provide them with veggie or fruit as a treat so that they would not be as stressed. 

#1 You need guinea pig safe shampoo. 

#2 You can either bathe your piggy in your sink or use a large bucket or tub. If the sink or tub has a slippery surface, you can place a cloth at the bottom so that they don’t slip and get scared. This method is quieter and can be less stressful for your pig. 

#3 Put warm water in another bucket, slowly pour a small amount of water on your piggy. Remember to stay away from their face. 

#4 Remember to avoid their faces when you are bathing them. Use your hands to move the water around their body to make it wet. 

#5 Put a tiny amount of shampoo in your hands. Slowly work it into your piggy’s fur. 

#6 Rinse your piggy gently until the water is clear. Make sure all the shampoo is rinsed out before moving on.

#7 Take a towel and carefully dry as much excess water as you can. For longer haired piggies, you should have a comb with you to comb their hair to prevent tangling. 

#8 Placing your piggy on a secure surface, use a blow dryer to dry them. Use the lowest setting available. Use your fingers to help dry their fur quicker. To prevent tangling, use a comb to brush through their fur. 

#9 Make sure your guinea pig is 100% dry before placing them back into their cage.

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How to Take Care of Your Hamster

Hamster

Hamsters are quite common as a starter household pet. They are easier to take care of compared to pets like dogs and cats. Thus, making them popular amongst people with children. There are many different breeds of hamsters and they differ in size. It is important to know your hamster breed to take care of them better. 

Here are some basic hamster facts: 

Life Span: 1.5 to 2 years

Size: 5 to 35 cm 

Diet: Grain, seed and nuts 

Before purchasing a hamster, you’ll need to prepare some essential items. By providing these items, you can minimise their stress when adjusting to a new home. Here are the essential items: 

1. Cage

2. Bedding

3. Food

4. Food Bowl

5. Water Bottle 

6. Hamster Wheel 

7. Hideout 

8. Toys

9. Sand Bath

Getting the Right Cage 

Buy a cage that is escape-proof, easy to clean and big enough for your hamster. Cages with tubes can be fun for your hamster but they are hard to clean and have poor ventilation. Hamsters are extremely small and can fit through small spaces. Thus, find a cage that will not allow your hamster to escape. Remember to clean your hamster’s cage weekly! 

As mentioned, hamsters come in different sizes. Thus, make sure to buy a cage that is large enough for your hamster. For instance, for a Syrian hamster, it is best to buy a larger cage. Here is an example: 

Hamster Society Singapore

For a Dwarf hamster, they can often squeeze through the bars of average-sized hamster cages. Therefore, it will be better to get a cage with smaller bars. Here is an example: 


Prevue Pet Products

Bedding 

There are different types of beddings for hamster cages. You need to choose the correct bedding as some can cause harm to your hamster. 

Good Hamster Beddings

  • Aspen: safe bedding choice, provides odour control.
  • Paper-based bedding: good for odour control (stick to non-scented options! 

Avoid cedar and pine-wood chips as they produce an odour that can irritate your hamster’s respiratory system. 

Hamster Food 

Choose good quality food for your hamster. Pelleted foods are a better option than loose food mixes. With loose food mixes, your hamster may pick out what they like and leave those that they dislike, resulting in dietary imbalance or causing them to be overweight. You can feed your hamster with fresh vegetables as well. They should be fed once a day. Remember to remove those fresh foods that have not been consumed within a few hours. 

Food Bowls & Water Bottle

Pick a food bowl that is small and shallow which doesn’t tip over easily. A great option would be ceramic or porcelain bowls as they are sturdy and not easily chewable. Choose a water bottle with stainless steel sprout and ball, as it keeps the cage clean and the water fresh. 

Sand Bath

Sand baths can help deter skin parasites and remove grease from your hamster’s fur. You can provide your hamster with a sand bath to keep their fur clean and odourless. Purchase a container shallow enough for your hamster to go in and out and large enough to roll around. Pour the sand bath into the container and your hamster will go in to roll around! 

Exercise

Hamsters enjoy running and they need their daily exercise. Thus, it is best to purchase an exercise wheel. The exercise wheel should have a solid surface for running. Avoid cross supports as they might get their legs caught. Choose a wheel that is quiet as they like to run at night. 

Additionally, you can get toys for them to chew on or climb on. They can become bored without stimulation and exercise. When they are bored, they will chew on random things which can lead to them escaping. 

Hideout

Hamsters would want a hideout. You can get them a half coconut shell or small clay plant pot to prevent them from chewing it up. Make sure their hideout does not have rough or sharp edges that can hurt them. 

Healthcare 

As hamsters are so small, if there is an issue, it can affect them quickly. Here are some symptoms to take note:

  • Inactivity 
  • Not eating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Hair loss
  • Sneezing
  • Pneumonia 

If you notice these symptoms, you might want to visit a vet

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How to Take Care of Guinea Pigs?

Guinea Pigs Eating

To ensure your piggie lives a healthy and long life, it is important to provide them with the ideal diet. Guinea pigs have specific nutritional needs and they could develop significant health problems if these needs are not met. 

Diet

#1 Vitamin C

Guinea pigs are unable to synthesise vitamin C. Therefore, it is important for them to get it from the food they eat. Pet supply stores such as ours sell vitamin C supplements for your piggies. 

#2 Pellets

Guinea pig pellets are formulated with vitamin C. Some other small animals such as rabbit pellets look similar but they do not contain vitamin C. Thus, it is important to feed your piggies the correct pellets

#3 Hay 

Pellets generally contain more protein and calcium. The average adult guinea pigs do not need it as much as young guinea pigs. Hay is the perfect source of fibre and nutrients which should make up the most of your piggy’s diet. Chewing the long strands of hay will help keep your guinea pig’s teeth from overgrowing. Thus, there should be an ample amount of hay in your piggy’s cage. 

#4 Veggies and Fruits 

Fresh veggies and fruits contain ample amounts of vitamin C which is good for your guinea pigs. Here are some great vegetable and fruit options for your piggies:

A. Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale.

B. Bell peppers

C. Carrots

D. Strawberries 

E. Oranges (Not too much as it it acidic) 

F. Apples 

Remember to feed FRESH fruits and veggies instead of cooked ones so that the vitamin C is preserved. Additionally, make sure to wash the veggies and fruits thoroughly. Divide the food into several smaller servings and feed them a little throughout the day. 

What foods should guinea pigs avoid? 

Here is a list of items that can cause guinea pigs to have digestive issues or even be toxic to them. Do not feed your piggy these food: 

  • Potatoes, including sprouts, peels, and parts of a potato plant
  • Beans, including bean plants
  • Dill
  • Flowers or any part of a flower including stems and leaves
  • Rhubarb including the plant
  • Tomato plants (although you can feed your pig tomatoes)
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Onions
  • Chives
  • Leeks
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Thawed frozen foods
  • Weeds you find in the wild and in your garden
  • Common houseplants
  • Seeds, pits and cores of any type of fruit
  • Meat and dairy products

Mental and Physical Care

Guinea pigs are social animals. They need to socialise daily to ensure they stay healthy and happy. Thus, it is important to take note that you need to keep guinea pigs in groups. 

Socialising 

You might want to consider keeping two guinea pigs together to prevent loneliness. Make sure they are the same gender if you do not want a population problem. 

If you only have one guinea pig, it is best to spend time with your piggy. Spend at least 15 minutes at several points throughout the day with it. 

Exercise 

Adequate space for your piggy to run around should be provided. Additionally, you can get them an exercise/chew ball to let them work off some extra energy.

Veterinary Care 

If you provide your piggy with the proper diet and cage conditions, they should have minimal health problems.  Additionally, they do not need any vaccinations. However, if you notice these symptoms you should consult a veterinarian:

  • Overgrown teeth that don’t align neatly together
  • Open sores, poor coat or other skin problems may be a sign of scurvy
  • Unusual lumps or growths can be a sign of cancer
  • Sores on their feet which is a sign of a common condition known as bumblefoot
  • Trouble breathing which can indicate a respiratory infection
  • Diarrhoea is common and can be due to parasites or bacterial infections
  • Lack of appetite

Here is a blog about vets in Singapore which may be helpful if you need to bring your guinea pig to the vet! 

In addition, setting up the perfect enclosure is an important step to help your piggies to thrive. 

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How to Set Up a Guinea Pig Enclosure

guinea pig

Before bringing your new guinea pig home, you need to make sure you have set up a suitable habitat for them. Having a suitable habitat for your guinea pigs will ensure that they stay healthy and happy. Are you unsure of what enclosure is suitable for your piggy? This is the blog post for you!

Basic Guinea Pig Facts

Life Span: 5 to 9 years

Size: up to 25cm 

Diet: Hay, veggies and pellets

House Size (Minimum): 7.5 square feet

Cage Size 

Cage size is the most important thing to take note of as a new piggy parent. Most piggy parents would get these cages for their piggy. 

However, it is not big enough. Guinea pigs need a lot of space to move around as they are active animals. Therefore, the bigger the cage, the better. Here are some suitable cages for guinea pigs: 

Care of their Cage

Daily: Remove droppings, soiled bedding and stale food from their cage.

Weekly: Replace all bedding and rinse out the bottom of the tub with warm water. Dry it out then put new bedding in. 

Temperature Needs

Guinea pigs cannot tolerate extreme temperatures well. Hence, it is important to put their cage in an area with proper temperature care. They do the best in temperatures ranging from 20 degree celsius to 22 degree celsius. Since Singapore is warm all the time, you can place them in an area with a fan or air conditioner. 

Flooring 

To keep your guinea pig’s feet healthy, make sure to use a plastic tub or fleece blanket instead of wire lining.

Here are some beddings that you can consider for your guinea pig’s cage: 

  • Shredded or recycled newspaper bedding
  • Carefresh Shavings
  • Hay
  • Hemp
  • Ground corn cob
  • Cotton towels or cloths
  • Fleece liners

Cage Accessories

Here are some basic items that your piggies need in their cage! 

Water Bottle

Food Dish

Hay Rack

A Hideout

A Bed

DIY Cages

There are other ways to provide your piggies a comfortable hut. Instead of purchasing an already built cage, you can make one yourself. 

One fun and inexpensive way to make a living space for your piggies is using Cubes and Coroplast (C&C). These C&C panels can be arranged in any pattern and can be easily connected with zip ties. 

Another way would be to use your old dresser and some drain pipes. Using this method, you can create a multi-level home for your pig. 

As long as the materials are safe for your piggies, and the living space is secured. You can be creative and use different items to make a cage for them! 

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Signs that Your Dog is Stressed.

Stressed Dog

Our dogs are always there whenever we need them. They cheer us up when we are upset or stressed. Thus, we must care for them whenever they are stressed. Dogs primarily communicate using their body language. By understanding how they communicate, you can minimise stress triggers for them.

What are the indicators of stress in dogs? 

#1 Pacing/Shaking

When your dog is pacing back and forth, it means that they cannot settle down. If this happens for a short period, it is normal. It is important to notice what is triggering this behaviour in your canine. 

Do take note that in older dogs, pacing could be a sign of dementia. Talk to your veterinarian immediately, if you notice this behaviour in your senior canine. 

#2 Whining/Barking 

Vocalisation may intensify when your pooch is stressed. Many canines cannot control their whining or barking when stressed. You may notice your dog whining or barking to get your attention or self-soothe. 

#3 Changes in Body Posture 

Stress causes dogs to exhibit changes in body posture. There are more than 30 ways that your pooch may try to calm themselves. Some signs includes:

  1. Whale eye: when dogs reveal the whites of their eyes
  2. Tucking their tail
  3. Tucking their ears
  4. Raising their hackles 
  5. Yawning
  6. Licking 
  7. Panting 

#4 Changes in Body Functions

Similar to humans, dogs can feel the sudden urge to go to the toilet when stressed. Additionally, refusing food or loss of bowel movements can be stress indicators. 

#5 Avoiding Behaviour

When your dog faces an unwelcoming situation, they might try to ‘escape’ by avoiding it. Shifting their focus onto something else such  as sniffing the ground. If your dog starts to avoid interaction with people or other dogs, do not force them to. 

Sometimes your dog may need space immediately. Thus, it is important to understand some signs they show when that happens. 

#1 Crouched and growling with their ears back and tail under.

#2 Rolling onto their side or back. Tail tucked, ears back and one or both back legs raised.

#3 Tense looking, leaning forward, tail pointing up and growling.

How can you help your dog when they are stressed?

IMPORTANT

Do remember that stress can be triggered by an injury or illness. So, if you think that your dog is stressed, it is advisable to book an appointment with your vet. Making sure to rule out any underlying health issues is important for the next steps. 

#1 Remove your dog from situations that they find difficult.

#2 Teach your dog to enjoy chilling out. Teaching them to settle or making your dog their own snuffle mat. 

#3 Notice your dog’s routine. Are there any particular places or people that causes your pooch to struggle with? If there are any, you can try to limit these triggers or avoid them. 

#4 Have a predictable routine. Dogs enjoy being able to predict their day as they will be able to feel in control, safe and secure. 

#5 Provide your dog with their own space in your home. Having a space to themselves will allow them to relax and calm down in that area. 

#6 Try to avoid telling your dog off as it can increase stress. 

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Is Your Cat Too Fat?

Fat Cat

Did you notice your cat looking a little pudgier? Your cat could be overweight. Obesity in cats can be a real problem which can lead to many other health problems. Thus, as a loving owner, it is your job to make sure your feline is healthy!

Let’s begin with four physical ways to tell if your cat is overweight. 

#1 Ribs

Run your hands along your cat’s side. If the ribs are easily felt along with a little covering of fat, your cat is healthy! However, if you cannot feel the ribs easily, it can be a sign that your cat is overweight. 

#2 Abdomen 

If you see a layer of low hanging fat on your cat’s side, it could be a sign that your cat is overweight.

#3 Spine 

Run your hands down your cat’s back, can you feel the bones below a layer of fat? If not, your cat is overweight.

#4 Waist

Look at your cat from the top, can you see their waist? There should be a space between their ribs and hips protrudes. If not, your cat is overweight.

So, if your cat checks most or all of the boxes. What should you do? Here are some ways to help your cat lose weight.

#1 Control Food Intake

When putting your cat on a diet, you must be extremely careful. Drastically cutting back on the amount of food can be dangerous to your cat’s heath. 

According to an article from Pet Health Network, for a fat cat to not eat for a few days can cause serious liver issues. Therefore, it is safer for your cat to gradually lose weight. You can start by feeding her weight control cat food. 

If your cat is very obese, prescribed therapeutic weight loss food may be recommended by the vet. It would be best to discuss your cat’s needs with the vet before placing her on any kind of diet. 

#2 Take Your Cat to the Vet

As mentioned from the previous point, it is best to bring your cat to the vet. The vet will come up with the best weight loss regimen for your cat. Furthermore, they will also identify any underlying issues that your cat might have. 

#3 Increase Her Activity Level 

Cats are not programmed to go out for a walk like dogs. Hence, it is not easy to get cats to exercise. The good news is that cats do not need much exercise to stay healthy. 

Cat Behaviour Associates recommends two fifteen-minute sessions of interactive play everyday. You should engage her in activities such as chasing or leaping after her favourite teasers or other toys

Investing in an indoor cat tree would increase the opportunity for your cat to climb and jump. Play time with a cat tree combined with the two sessions, you are basically providing your kitty a home gym!

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How to deal with my dog’s separation anxiety?

Sad Dog

Dogs that are overly attached or dependent on family members have separation anxiety. They display extreme anxiety or distress behaviours when separated from their owner. Dogs are social animals which makes them prone to separation anxiety.

What causes separation anxiety? 

Dogs can experience separation anxiety when there is an abrupt change in schedule. One prominent factor in triggering separation anxiety is the amount of time a dog is left alone. Other factors can include being abandoned, surrendered to a shelter or given to a new family. 

What are some signs of separation anxiety? 

The most common signs of separation anxiety are vocalisation, destructive behaviour and not eating while the owner is away. 

Here are some signs of separation anxiety in dogs.

When left alone, they might:

  • Howl, bark, or whine excessively 
  • Chew things up, dig holes, scratch at windows and doors
  • Drool, pant, or salivate way more than usual
  • Pace, often in an obsessive pattern
  • Houdini Syndrome (trying to escape) 
  • Psychogenic anorexia (not eating when you are gone) 

When with you they might:

  • Follow you around
  • Pre-departure anxiety

What can you do if your dog has separation anxiety? 

Here are some steps you can follow:

Establish a routine

Since your dog is anxious, it is important to try to make him calmer. Establish a daily routine which can allow your dog to predict when he can expect attention. 

Activities such as exercise, feeding, training and play should be included in this daily routine. Furthermore, this can help him prepare for inattention activities such as napping. 

Meet your dog’s needs 

When interacting with your dog, make sure you are meeting all his needs. You should initiate enough interactive sessions and provide your dog with enough play and attention. When those sessions are over, your dog will be prepared to settle down and relax. 

During this time, you can give your dog chew toys to allow them to focus on settling down. You can replace your standard food bowls with feeding toys so that it requires more mental and physical effort during feeding time. 

Give rewards appropriately

Dogs with separation anxiety will likely favour rewards that come from attention and play. Each treat given to your dog should be well thought out. You need to reinforce your dog for settling down, relaxing or showing independence. 

During training, you should focus on relaxed down, going on a bed or mat command. If your dog seeks attention, you should ignore him entirely until he settles, or have him do a down-stay.

After some time in the down-stay, give attention as a reward. Gradually, increase the time periods of inattention, then give attention as a reward. Take note that you should be ignoring attention-seeking behaviours and not your dog. This method will allow your dog to learn that calm and quiet behaviour is the only way to get your attention. 

Train “settle”.

The objective of this training is to ensure that your dog settles down on cue. Before giving any rewards, your dog should be settled down or lying on his bed. For a few weeks, casual interactions and attention seeking behaviours should be ignored. Ensuring that only calm behaviours will be rewarded. 

Create an area for relaxation

Create a space where your dog can be taught to rest, nap, and play with his toys. By doing so, it can be a secure place where your dog settles when you are not home. 

Start by training your dog to go to the area. Gradually, increase the time. You can consider having a barricade or crate to ensure that your dog stays in that area for the allocated time for each session. However, do take note of your dog’s limits. To prevent crying or barking behaviour from being reinforced, it is important that your dog is calm and settled when released.

You can give your dogs some of his rewards only in this area. You can include audible cues such as TV, or odours such as candles, or your clothing with your scent to help your dog relax in that area. 

Work on responses to commands. 

Having your dog earning all rewards can be useful. Before receiving anything your dog wants, you can have your dog respond to a command such as “sit”. 

If your dog’s situation is more serious, it would be best to consider these following methods: 

  1. Consult a veterinarian.

Symptoms shown can be an indication of other issues. Further understand and confirm your dog’s symptoms by getting an official diagnosis. 

  1. Consult with an animal behavioural specialist.

If your dog has been diagnosed with separation anxiety by the veterinarian, you should consult with an animal behavioural specialist. They would have a consultation based on the specifics of your dog’s lifestyle and behaviour. They can help come up with a plan to help your dog ease their separation anxiety. 

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How to determine the breed of my cat?

Cat

According to The International Cat Association, there are 71 officially recognized cat breeds. However, not every cat is a purebred. Some felines could be a mix of two or more of these official breeds. Therefore, making it difficult to identify cats whose breed is unknown. Fortunately, you will have this guide to help you identify what breed of cat you have! 

In order to determine your feline’s breed, you need to identify some characteristics. Finding out these traits can help you narrow it down to a few possible breeds. 

Mixed Breed vs Purebred

One important step is to identify whether your cat is a mixed breed or a purebred. Purebreds are easier to identify as they portray specific characteristics. If you can figure out what breed matches all traits portrayed by your cat, you’ll know what breed your cat is.  

Mixed-breed cats are an amalgamation. There are no standard characteristics portrayed. Making it difficult for you to accurately identify the breed. To make it easier, we can identify specific traits to come up with an educated guess on what breed your cat is. These traits include:

  1. Size and Weight
  2. Face Shape
  3. Ears
  4. Eyes
  5. Coat 
  6. Colour, Patterns and Markings
  7. Points
  8. Tails

#1 Size and Weight

Cats come in various sizes, ranging from tiny dwarf cats that might weigh about 1.8kg to Maine Coons which can weigh up to 10.8kg. Size and weight can often tell you a lot about your cat’s breed. Let’s take a look at different sizes of cats and their breed. 

Large Cats 

Cats weighing over 6.8kg are classified as large cats, on rare occasions they can weigh as heavy as 13.6kg. However, some large cats can be as light as 5.4kg which makes it easy to confuse them with medium-sized cats. 

Large cats are only heavy, but also very long and tall. Usually standing more than 8 inches tall and can reach heights of 16 inches easily. Their bodies can range from 30 inches to 48 inches. If your cat meets these requirements, it can be considered as a large cat! 

Not a lot of breeds reach this size. Thus, it should be easy for you to identify if your cat meets these measurements. 

Here are some common large cat breeds: 

  • Bengal Cat 
  • Burmese Cat 
  • Egyptian Mau 
  • Maine Coon
  • Norwegian Forest Cat 
  • Ragdoll
  • Savannah Cat

Medium-Sized Cats 

Most cats fall under the medium-sized category. These cats usually weigh between 4kg to 6.8kg. Since most cats are under this category, it will not help a lot with breed identification. Moreover, it can still be a contributing factor after identifying other traits. 

Some medium-sized cat breeds includes: 

  • American Shorthair
  • American Wirehair
  • Birman
  • Bombay
  • Burmese
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Himalayan
  • Manx
  • Ocicat
  • Persian
  • Russian Blue
  • Scottish Fold
  • Selkirk Rex
  • Siamese
  • Snowshoe
  • Somali
  • Sphynx
  • Tonkinese

Small or Dwarf Cats

If your cat weighs lower than 4kg despite it being full grown, you likely have a dwarf cat! Small cats are rather easy to identify because there aren’t many of them. 

Here are some small cat breeds: 

  • Devon Rex
  • Munchkin
  • Cornish Rex
  • American Curl
  • Singapura
  • Bambino
  • Kinkalow

#2 Face Shape 

There are cats that display certain face shapes which can narrow down the list. Hence, if you think that your cat has a certain face shape, this section is for you! 

Flat-Faced Cats 

Flat-faced cat breeds are known as brachycephalic breeds. They have shorter skulls compared to other typical cat breeds. In some breeds, like Persians, it is considered desirable to have this trait as it makes them unique. 

Unfortunately, they can be vulnerable to a plethora of health problems. Here are some common problems that they can face:

  • Birthing complications
  • Vision problems
  • Dental health problems
  • Respiratory infections
  • Breathing difficulties

Here are some common flat-faced cat breeds: 

  • Bombay
  • British Shorthair
  • Burmese
  • Burmilla
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Munchkin
  • Persian
  • Scottish Fold
  • Selkirk Rex

Narrow-Faced Cats 

Narrow-faced cats have triangular faces. There are even fewer narrow-faced cat breeds compared to flat-faced ones. 

Here are some common narrow-faced cat breeds: 

  • Siamese
  • Cornish Rex
  • Abyssinian
  • Sphynx

#3 Ears

Your cat’s ears can be a giveaway to its breed if it displays certain traits. For example, only a few breeds have folded or curled ears. These ear shapes are often caused by genetic mutations. 

Curled Ears 

Curled ears are like arch-shaped. It curls backwards and sticks up high. It almost looks like a set of small horns. Here are the few breeds that display this trait: 

  • American Curl
  • Highlander

Folded Ears

Cats with folded ears are a result of genetic mutation which can cause some health issues. These health issues include deformities, arthritis, deafness and infections. The gene that causes their ears to fold affects their cartilage throughout their bodies. Scottish Folds are the only breed that displays this trait. So, if your cat displays this trait, it has some Scottish Fold in its genetic makeup. 

Tufted Ears

Ear tufts or lynx tips are tufts of fur growing from the tips of a cat’s ears. Similarly, ear furnishings are hairs that grow inside a cat’s ears. There are quite a few cat breeds that display this characteristic. 

  • Birman
  • Highlander
  • LaPerm
  • Maine Coon
  • Nebelung
  • Norwegian Forest Cat
  • Persian
  • Ragdoll
  • Siberian
  • Turkish Angora
  • Turkish Van

#4 Eyes 

Cats have a wide range of eye colours. Here are some common eye colours for cats: 

  • Brown
  • Hazel
  • Gold
  • Green
  • Blue

There are some cats which have two different eye colours, known as heterochromia. Only a few breeds can display it, as it is a genetic anomaly. 

Here are some breeds that portrays this trait: 

  • Russian White
  • Ragdoll
  • Van Kedisi
  • Oriental Shorthair
  • Persians
  • Turkish Van
  • Turkish Angora
  • Himalayan
  • Cornish Rex
  • Persian
  • Japanese Bobtail

#5 Coat 

Cats have many different coat types. Many breeds are known for having a specific type of coat. Determining your cat’s coat type can make it much easier for you to identify its breed.

Long Haired Cats

Long Haired cats have long and fluffy coats, making them appear much larger than they are. They shed quite a bit due to their thick fur. Some longhaired cat breeds include:

  • American Longhair
  • Balinese
  • Birman
  • British Longhair
  • Domestic Longhair
  • Himalayan
  • Long-Haired Siamese
  • Maine Coon
  • Norwegian Forest Cat
  • Persian
  • Turkish Angora

Short Haired Cats

Short Haired Cats have short fur which need less grooming compared to longhaired cats. Here are some common breeds with shorthair:

  • Abyssinian
  • American Curl
  • American Shorthair
  • Bengal
  • British Shorthair
  • Egyptian Mau
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Havana Brown
  • Korat
  • Manx
  • Ocicat
  • Oriental Shorthair
  • Russian Blue
  • Tonkinese

Curly-haired Cats

Curly-haired cats have curly coats which are more difficult to maintain. They tend to tangle more compared to straight coats. Depending on its length, curly-haired cats can be classified as short haired or longhaired cats. Here are some common curly-haired cats: 

  • American Wirehair
  • Cornish Rex
  • Devon Rex
  • LaPerm
  • Selkirk Rex

Hairless Cats

These cats are easy to identify due to their unique looks. Hairless cats lack fur coats and they are popular with people who suffer from cat allergies. There aren’t many of these hairless cat breeds, so here are the breeds: 

  • Bambino
  • Donskoy
  • Elf Cat
  • Peterbald
  • Sphynx
  • Ukrainian Levkoy

#6 Colour, Patterns and Markings

Certain colours, patterns and markings are specific to certain breeds. Adding this clue to the list can help you better determine your cat’s breed.

Solid Colour

Cats that display one colour are solid-colored cats. 

Bi-Colour

As the word suggests, bi-colour cats display two colours on their bodies. One of their colours is their main base colour, and the second is white. Some of the bi-coloured coats cats include: 

  • Maine Coon
  • Manx
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Cornish Rex

Tortoiseshell 

Similar to bi-coloured cats, they have two colours on their bodies. Instead of white in their coats, they have a secondary colour mixed into the base colour. 

Callico

These cats are rare, with only one in 1,000 cats being calico. They have three colours in their coats and one of the colours is white. Most of the calico cats are females and not all breeds can produce calico cats. Here are the breeds that can: 

  • Manx
  • American Shorthair
  • Maine Coon
  • British Shorthair
  • Persian
  • Arabian Mau
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Siberian
  • Turkish Van
  • Turkish Angora
  • Norwegian Forest Cat

#7 Points

These cats have coloured points, meaning its face, feet, ears and tail display dark coloration. The points and the base coat colour can come in any colour. Not every breed can display coloured points. Here are some breeds that can: 

  • Balinese
  • Birman
  • British Shorthair
  • Exotic
  • Highlander
  • Himalayan
  • Javanese
  • Ragamuffin
  • Ragdoll
  • Siberian
  • Tonkinese

#8 Tail

Cat’s tails wouldn’t offer you much insight as most cats have pretty standard tails. However, there is a type of tail that can be a big clue to help identify your cat’s breed. Short tails. Few breeds display short tails. Here are some breeds that have this trait: 

  • American Bobtail
  • Cymric
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Kurilian Bobtail
  • Manx
  • Pixiebob

Trying to guess your cat’s breed is a difficult task. Using the traits covered in this blog, it can help give you some clues and simplify the process. Try your best to identify its breed using this blog. However, if you are still unsure, you can always take your cat to the vet for genetic testing, which will give you a far more accurate answer than you could determine on your own. We love cats of all breeds! We hope you do as well!

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Top 10 Dog Breeds in Singapore

popular dog

Dogs are the most common pet in the world. They are usually known as ‘man’s best friend’ as they offer great friendship to people. Thus, it is not a surprise that many Singaporeans have dogs as pets. However, do you know what are the top dog breeds in Singapore? 

Find out why these 10 dog breeds are popular in Singapore!