pets

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In our later years, many of us begin simplifying our lives; getting rid of things we don’t use or need any more and scaling back our possessions including smaller houses, smaller cars, maybe even smaller pets.  Downsizing can make things easier for us in many ways, but there are certain items that it is better not to reduce in size. One of those, new research tells us, is your cat’s litter box. There is a temptation to go to a smaller litter box when we move to a smaller home, but don’t do it!
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Pets have been shown to be good for seniors.  Over the past 20 years or so numerous studies have shown the benefits sharing life with a pet can have for a variety of populations, including seniors.  Pets provide constant companionship and social support that family members sometimes can’t.  They also serve as “social lubricants”, making it easier to connect with other people.  Studies have shown that people are more likely to start a conversation or approach a person with a pet, compared to a non-pet owner.  And dog owners have been shown to walk more and be more active than non-dog owners, which is a big health benefit.
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So far this spring, the weather has been rough here in Colorado with tornados, thunderstorms, hail and lightning.  As we write this, yet another hailstorm is in progress.  All of this is stressful for us to endure, but it can also be hard on our canine companions.  Fear of thunderstorms is a common problem for dogs.  It’s clear many dogs are afraid of the sound of thunder, but others seem to be distressed by other elements such as wind, rain, and even cloudy skies.
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How well does your cat ride in the car?  Does your cat hide when the doorbell rings, or does she want to sit in visitors’ laps within the first 10 minutes of their arrival?  Does your cat enjoy being brushed and groomed, or does she have a “don’t touch me” attitude about any kind of body handling?
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So I’m leaving one of my favorite neighborhood garden stores, and once again, for about the third year in a row, (no pun intended,) I think about planting a garden. Not a big garden, but something that would yield me some of the summer harvest I so enjoy. I think about my grandmother having a garden and so did my mother. I remember collard and turnip greens, squash, red, yellow and green peppers, and my favorite, cabbage. At Sunday dinner, if we ran out of tomatoes, someone would volunteer to make a trip to the grocery store and my grandmother would say, “No need to do that, just go out back to the garden and pick two or three, and while you are at it, pull up some onions too…”
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You’re walking your dog on a fine spring day, enjoying the exercise and the warmer weather, when your dog spots another dog walking straight toward you.  Your dog begins to bark, pulls at the leash, lunges for the other dog, acting as though he’s ready for a fight.  What do you do?
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The most common cat behavior problem reported to pet behaviorists is cats not using their litter boxes consistently.  To prevent this common but very serious problem, it’s good to review from time to time what makes a good cat litter box.  Use this check sheet to evaluate your cat’s litter box(es) to see if you are meeting all your cat’s needs.
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It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about what we want to do in 2014 to accomplish our goals and make our lives better.  We have a protocol for pet parents that we know from our years of experience, both as professionals and as pet owners, will make your life with your pet better for both of you.  We’ve used our Seven Step Positive Proaction Plan © for almost 20 years to help prevent and resolve behavior problems in dogs and cats.  Suzanne’s best-selling “Pet Behavior Protocols” book is based on these seven steps, and we think our Plan is the perfect one to follow to improve your pet’s behavior and your relationship with your four-legged best friend in 2014.  This article is a bit longer than usual, but we think it’s worth it to share our exclusive Seven Step Plan© with you.
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We recently presented a webinar on “Creating and Maintaining Healthy Relationships among Family Dogs”. According to a Gallup Poll and statistics from the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 40% of dog owners have more than one dog. . Yet the quality of these relationships and the frequency of fighting or conflict among family dogs are not known.
Happy Attractive Senior Woman with Puppy Isolated on a White Background.
Colorado is a state filled with pet lovers.  According to Forbes Magazine, Colorado Springs ranks in the Top 20 communities of pet owners and a walk through any Colorado Farmer’s Market provides plenty of anecdotal confirmation!  Another bit of interesting trivia, according to a pet calculator provided by the American Veterinarian Medicine Association there are approximately 1.3 million pets in Colorado. When one looks at this data under the lens of a recently released AARP Foundation report that found 8.8 million Americans 50 and older are at risk of hunger, including 4.9 million 50- to 59-year-olds, one can see a correlation between a pet owner’s food insecurity and issues with attaining their pet supplies.
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