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Your Dog and Heat
SPCAs across Canada receive hundreds of reports of pets being left in cars every year.
• Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open.
• Dogs have a limited ability to sweat; even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening. A dog's normal body temperature is about 39°C and a temperature of 41°C can be withstood only for a very short time before irreparable brain damage or even death can occur.
• If you can’t take your pet with you when you leave your car, leave them at home where they are safe.
• It’s imperative that each of us as animal owners is responsible in providing the proper care for our pets. As such, leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle is one of the most irresponsible things a pet owner can do.
• Owners who choose to leave pets unattended in vehicles, may face charges under the Ontario SPCA Act or the Criminal Code of Canada.
• If heat stroke is suspected (excessive panting and drooling, listlessness or unconsciousness) prompt veterinary medical attention is vital. In the meantime, wet the fur immediately with lukewarm to cool water, not cold water. Bring the pet into the shade and offer drinking water
Ears - More than a dozen muscles in the ear are used to precisely control movement, including the ability to independently rotate each ear to listen for prey or danger.
Nose - A cat's sense of smell is their main way of identifying objects (or people). There are 200 million odor-sensitive cells in a cat nose, compared to 5 million in a human nose.
Eyes - Cat's can see in one-sixth of the amount of light a human requires. Cat pupils can dilate to 90 per cent of the eye area, and also close almost entirely in bright light. The eyes protrude to give a cat superior peripheral vision, but their overall sense of vision is 10 times less than a human's.
Whiskers - Whiskers act like a personal radar system for cats, and are extremely sensitive to air movement. Cat's use whiskers to measure the distance to an object or determine the size of an object or opening. From tip to tip, cat's whiskers determine the smallest gap he can comfortably get through. Since they are such a finely-tuned sensory system, whiskers should never be cut or trimmed.
Land on its Feet - Probably the most widely known feline attribute is the "righting reflex" - the ability of a cat to right itself during a fall so that it always lands on its feet. It's an automatic sequence of movements that take only a moment: first the cat adjusts its head to an upright position and its body follows by twisting or rotating to match the head. The cat's tail is the final 'rudder' to ensure balance and a perfect landing are attained.
Purring - We often associate purring with a happy, healthy cat, but cats also purr when they are in pain, distress or scared. According to ScientificAmerican.com, "Cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. Various investigators have shown that sound frequencies in this range can improve bone density and promote healing." So perhaps a cat's purr is actually their secret weapon for health and healing.
Kneading - That back and forth motion of your cat's paws on your lap usually indicates a happy, content cat. This is likely a return to a kitten's comfort needs, kneading their mother while suckling to stimulate milk flow.
Eating off the floor - One unusual cat behavior is removing food from the bowl to eat off the floor. The most common explanation for this behavior is that cats don't like their whiskers to touch the sides of the bowl. A wider, shallower bowl may eliminate the behavior, unless your cat has gotten into a firmly established habit.
Head butts - It's not uncommon for a cat to head butt their human caregivers with a lot of force. This is a greeting that stems from the way cats greet each other (rubbing faces) and show affection. It's likely your cat is also marking you with the scent glands on his face when he greets you this way. Some people believe that when a cat stretches up your leg on its hind legs, it is simply trying to reach your face for their natural greeting.
Caring for your Bearded Dragon
Dogs and Protein
Proteins : Provide amino acids for healthy muscle development and growth
Fresh Lamb: Meat of human-grade, hormone-free, such as free-range Australian or New Zealand lamb. Choosing fresh meat means less processing, so the lamb is packed with natural flavor and essential amino acids.
Fresh Chicken: For a highly digestible protein to promote muscle development, use chicken raised on an all-vegetable diet, without antibiotics, hormones, or steroids.
Menhaden Fish Meal: Menhaden fish (a member of the herring family) is a high-quality source of protein and Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3s are associated with coronary and immune response health as well as healthy joints.
Eggs : All-natural egg yolks and whites provide an excellent balance of the essential amino acids required for growth and muscle development. They are also good sources of fat energy and naturally occurring vitamin E. The Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids in eggs are associated with the maintenance of a healthy skin and coat. To satisfy labeling laws, this ingredient is listed on the bag as "Dried Egg Product" to confirm that no shells are included.
Skim Milk: Skim milk is an excellent source of amino-acid protein and minerals - especially calcium.
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables: Are superb natural sources of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fiber.
Fresh Whole Sweet Potatoes & Carrots: These fresh whole vegetables provide phytochemicals and carotenoids - antioxidants that provide protection against potential cancer-causing free radicals. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of potassium and B vitamins. Carrots are high in Vitamin A and soluble fiber.
Peas : Peas are an all-natural source of B vitamins (especially niacin), potassium and soluble fiber.
Housing: Young Beardies under 10 inches in length can be housed in a 20gal long aquarium.
Adult Dragons should be housed in nothing smaller than a 40gal breeder tank. A 55gal aquarium is a good choice due to the extra length it gives them to run and exercise.
Screen lids should be used for the top of any aquarium style cages you use. Screen tops allow air flow, allow your lighting and heat sources to work correctly and also allow humidity to escape.
Lighting: Bearded Dragons require full spectrum lighting for 12-14 hours a day. Reptisun 10.0 or Arcadia 12% tubes are known to provide some of the best full UVB for your dragons. Fluorescent bulbs should stretch the length of your Beardies enclosure and your B.D. should be able to come within 6-8 inches of the light. The UVB should be mounted inside the tank to allow your dragon 100% of the UVB. On top of the tank can filter out up to 50% of the UVB rays your dragon needs. Mercury vapour bulbs are also a good heat & UVB source, but to allow your dragon full use of the UVB it is best to not use the mesh tank tops. Mounting them on a lampstand with a dome without using a top will allow full use of the UVB. Having the correct type of UVB light is also important to help their bones develop strong and healthy.
Heating and temps: To produce heat and a basking spot in your enclosure you can use any type of bright white light or just a plain household lightbulb that will give the proper basking temperatures. The best fixture for any of these choices is a porcelain dome light fixture. The temperature for this basking spot you created should be around 105f to 110f for babies, 105f for juvenites and can be around 95f to 102f for adults. The cool side of the enclosure should be around 80f-85f during the day.
The heat from the basking light is to help them digest their food. Night time temperatures can fall as low as 65f. It is fairly easy to keep your night temps above this even in the winter. If you maintaining temperature is difficult, consider buying a ceramic heat emitter, which gives off heat & no light.
Coloured heat lights are not recommended as they interrupt beardies sleep patterns. DO NOT use heat rocks as these can cause serious burns on your animals underside. A digital thermometer with a probe or a temp gun are the best to use to measure temperatures to ensure the proper basking temperatures area achieved.
Substrate: For baby to juvenile Bearded Dragons use either newspaper, paper towels, butcher paper or reptile carpet. These choices are cheap, easy to clean and hold no health risks to your animal. If using reptile carpet the stuff that looks and feels like grass is the best. The felt kind has little loops of fabric that may catch the nails of your Dragon and cause injury.
DO NOT use sand, shavings or any other loose substrate for baby to juvenile beardies. They can be very clumsy eaters and they are also very curious and like to taste everything.
Feeding and diet: Bearded Dragons are omnivorous: they eat both animal and plant matter. Any and items that your Bearded Dragons eat should be no bigger than the space between their eyes. If the food items are bigger than the space between their eyes it can cause impaction and/or hind leg paralysis.
Baby and juvenile Beardies should be offered appropriately sized crickets two-three times a day. Offer as many as your Beardie will eat in a 5-10 minute time frame. When your Beardie stops eating, stop feeding.
Young Bearded Dragons can eat anywhere from 20-60 small crickets a day. Your Beardie should also be given fresh greens daily. Spraying the greens with water will help them last longer and will also help keep your Beardie hydrated.
Sub-adult to adult Beardies only need to eat prey items once a day along with fresh greens. Once they are this age you can also offer them Locusts, Cockroaches, Zophobas, Waxworms (treats only), Silkworms, and Butterworms.
DO NOT feed your Beardie insects that you have caught in your backyard. These bugs could have parasites that could be passed on to your Beardie or they could have been exposed to poisons that could kill your Beardie. Lightning bugs can also kill your Beardie so it is much safer to stay away from wild caught insects. For babies and juvies, bugs should be dusted once a day with a calcium/vitamin D3 supplement for reptiles, such as the one made by Rep-cal, 5 times per week. All bugs should be dusted twice a week with a multivitamin supplement such as Herptivite, also made by Rep-cal. Flukers and other brands also makes a good multi-vit/mineral supplement. For adults, reduce the calcium to 3 times a week and the vitamin/mineral once a week. Any uneaten prey items should be removed from the Bearded Dragons enclosure.
There is a wide variety of greens that are available that are good for your Beardie. Dandelion greens, Collard greens, Mustard greens, Bok choy, Turnip greens, and Escarole are among the easiest to find and the best to use. If the greens you are wondering about say Lettuce anywhere in the name avoid them. Most types of lettuce are composed mostly of water and hold little or no nutritional value. With the wide variety of other greens out there it is better and easier to just avoid any type of lettuce.
Spinach and Kale should also be avoided as calcium binds to it and will not be digested by your animal. A wide variety of vegetables can also be offered to your Beardie. Butternut squash, Yellow squash, Spaghetti squash, Acorn squash, all other varieties of squash, Green beans, Parsnips, Sweet potato, Snow peas and Carrots. Carrots should only be used as a treat though due to the high amounts of vitamin A. Any food with high amounts of vitamin A should be avoided as reptiles do not absorb alot of vitamin A. Feeding your Beardie alot foods such as Carrots will end up in a condition called Vitamin A toxicity wich is deadly. Squashes can be cooked before hand, but it's not necessary. Fruits can also be used, just avoid any citrus fruit such as oranges and grape fruit.
Water: Fresh water should be offered daily. Beardies will often not drink from a water bowl, but are more inclined to drink from their bath. Leaving water in the enclosure all day may increase the humidity and risk lung illnesses. If you live in a very low humidity area or in a home with regularly running air conditioning, then a water bowl would do some good in raising the humidity in your beardie's tank. Humidity levels should be higher than 25%, at least.
Bathing: Bathing your Beardie three or more times a week will help keep them hydrated and will also aid in shedding. Bath water should be warm on your wrist and not hot. Make the water only as deep as your Beardies chest or half way up their front arms. Fill the tub about 1 - 1 1/2 inches depending the the size and age of the bearded dragon.
Never leave your Beardie unattended in the bath and disinfect your tub when the bath is over because Beardies will often defecate in the water.
The recommended time for a soak is 15-20 min. If a beardie is dehydrated for whatever reason, a daily bath is recommended to assist the re-hydration of the beardie quickily.
The most common cause of cannine constipation is dehydration. Constipation makes your pet uncomfortable and the straining can cause canine hemorrhoids. There are many dog constipation remedies (DIY) that work well, but please use just ONE method. Combining remedies can cause severe diarrhea resulting in dehydration.
Pets that are only accustomed to eating dry food should be fed canned wet food for two days. The moisture content in the wet food will usually help the dog have an easier bowel movement within 12 hours.
Feeding a constipated dog some canned pumpkin will help increase water content and high fiber will help the puppy move its bowels. However, do not use pumpkin pie filling, as it contains sugars and spices.
Milk is an effective canine laxative that is readily available in most homes. A small bowl of milk will usually relieve the constipation problem in a matter of hours.
Canned or jarred gravy added to the regular diet is also useful, but do not overdo it! A few tablespoons will usually do the trick.
Olive oil or mineral oil added to the pet bowl will usually allow the dog to move his bowels the next morning. Use with restraint when adding any oil to the food as it could potentially cause diarrhea.
Mixing ¼ teaspoon ginger with ½ cup of chicken or beef broth and offering it to your pup is another home cure. Ginger is known to not only aid in digestive health but to assist in a more effective bowel movement. The fats in the broth also help move things along.
Offer your dog green beans. If the dog won’t eat them from the bowl, try using them as a treat. They will almost certainly help your dog evacuate when he has bowel trouble.
Be sure that your pet is getting enough water.
If your doggie is experiencing constipation for longer than 24 hours or it is accompanied by vomiting, get to the veterinarian right away. This is a sign of serious problems, such as a blockage in the intestines, and it is certainly no time for “do-it-yourself” dog constipati
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