Subscribe to Your Pets UniverseNews Feed

Are You Really Ready to Adopt a Pet?

It always happens. Every time you see the picture of a cute little pup or furry little kitten, you ‘awww’ and ‘oooh’ and you just want one! You can’t help but pet each dog that comes your way while walking on the street and you bring tasty treats for your friend’s pets when you go visiting.

Every time a pup licks you or a cat rubs against your leg, you think it’s a sign telling you to get your own. But hold your horses! (or doggies, or kitties, as you might prefer). Adopting a pet is about a lot more than signs or gut feelings or even desires.

We’re not discounting desire as a factor in bringing home a pet – it is important – but there are other factors that are much more important. Many owners have fallen prey to the misconception that the ‘I-just-saw-him-and-fell-head-over-heels-in-love’ feeling will see them through the 15 odd years they will spend with their pets. Adopting a pet is quite a happy thought. However, it needs to be turned into reality. You need to give owning a pet a lot of thought.

The following points make it easier for you to judge if your decision is really sound, read it through and answer each point honestly to reach a conclusion.

What's your reason for adopting?

Adopt for a reason that will last, since that will determine how healthy and enjoyable your relationship will be. Reasons like momentary loneliness, boredom, or curiosity might not be ideal, since these conditions will pass. You need a reason that will keep for many, many years to come.

Do you have time?

Having a pet in your house requires a good investment of time, and it can't be put on a schedule of maybe one hour a day. When your pup is young, you will have to spend a lot of time with him, training him and getting him used to your home. When he falls sick, you’ll have to be by his side. And, you should give them this time gladly, not just out of obligation.

Adorable KittenCan you afford it?

Adopting doesn't just involve the cost of adoption fees. Taking care of a pet comes along with a series of expenses – good food, grooming, hygiene, toys, changes to your house, regular vet visits, medication, and what not.

What is you lifestyle?

Do you live in a place where you can share space comfortably with a pet? If you live in a condo you might feel cramped and your neighbors or landlord might object. Also, if you work late nights, have a baby, travel a lot or have an erratic schedule, a pet might not fit well into your scheme of things.

What happens if something goes wrong?

Feathers DelightWhat if you get sick or you have to leave the pet alone? Do you have someone you can count on to help you out? Becoming solely responsible for another life is a big decision. You will need some kind of help (friends, relatives, friendly neighbors) or at least the financial means to hire such help.

Will you commit?

The most important question: Do you think you can love, cherish and take care of your pet for as long as he lives? I repeat – as long as he lives. This is quite a responsibility. If you’re going to adopt a pet, you will need to promise yourself that you will take care of him to the best of your ability. And taking care of a pet is quite a task.

If most of these questions make you reconsider your decision, don’t lose heart. It’s all for the best. Visit any animal shelter and you will notice that most of the animals are there because their owners didn’t think of all these questions, got carried away by their feelings and took the animal home, only to realize a year later that they couldn’t handle it. It is a highly insensitive act – to willingly welcome someone into your home and then turn them out – especially someone as helpless and innocent as a poor little dog or cat.

All these factors are just as important if not more as what ‘kind’ of a pet you want to have. For instance, dogs require exercise, some, at least an hour every day. If you live in an apartment in the city and you don't like to walk, this becomes unfeasible. Even a tiny and active little terrier is more suited with owners who have the time to give it exercise and play with it.  But don't think a cat is any easier... well it is, since you don't have to walk them, but they do need play time, and attention, and although they have this reputation of being independent, they crave company and they need it to be healthy and happy.

Welcoming a pet into your house and your life can be one of the most enriching experiences you ever have. However, thinking it through is very important. When you bring a pet home, it's just as having a baby – every decision you make thereon affects you and your pet in equal measure. It's a living being who you will share a good part of your life with... but oh, what a fulfilling life it will be.

Control Your Dog’s Excited Urination

Who has not come across a dog that pees on cue as soon as you approach him or her to greet them?  This is what is called submissive or excited urination

What is submissive or excited urination and why does it happen?

A submissive urinator is a dog that cannot help urinating in situations of extreme excitement or stress - he'll go on the floor, on himself on you, on your furniture or on your guests!

Puppies are a perfect example of submissive urinators. They'll pee whenever they're excited to see you or when they meet a stranger. But sometimes very timid or sensitive adult dogs can have the problem too. It's very typical of a dog that has been abused to exhibit this behavior.

This problem can happen in many situations:

-When they meet you after a prolonged absence
-When they're playing
-When your guests arrive
-When there's a stressful situation at home
-When you scold him or correct him
-Loud noises like a thunderstorm or fireworks

But don't despair. It is really not difficult to fix this problem of submissive/excited urination.

First of all, take him to the veterinarian to make sure there’s no medical reason for the issue. Diabetes or a bladder infection can have the same effect.

Then you can follow some simple steps:



-Limit his intake of water. This doesn't mean that you should restrict his water intake, but if, for example, you are expecting guests, or you will soon have a play session, take his water bowl away for a little while before the event happens.

-Don't make your coming home a big event. When you come in the door, ignore him, go about your business and don't get him worked up. The more excited he is, the harder it will be for him to control his bladder. I know I have a hard time not saying a warm hello to my baby, but you can always ignore him for the first few seconds and then crouch down and greet him calmly.

-Keep in mind the importance of NOT punishing or yelling at your dog when he has his "accident". Remember he cannot control it and above all, he's not doing it on purpose. When you catch him in the act, interrupt him with a firm “No!”, and praise him when he stops, but never punish him. Keep calm and be understanding: he doesn’t mean to do it.

-When he urinates out of fear (submissiveness) when you are scolding him for another reason, try to maintain an authoritative and firm tone, but don't get angry. Keep in mind that in all probability, you are dealing with a sensitive, highly-strung dog, so, if you get angry or worry him further, the problem will definitely get worse.

-When the problem happens with loud noises like fireworks, if you show a reaction yourself and pet him for being scared, you will only be rewarding the behavior and training him to repeat it, and you don't want that. You can try and make it a game. When you hear a loud bang, say, "what was that!" Make it a search game and give him a treat or a toy. You can also make no reaction whatsoever, or fuss or comfort him. Give him the down and stay commands, give him a treat and tell him he's a good boy.

Always remember that when you have a dog, you must treat him with respect and understanding. Almost every "problem" has a solution, and with a little patience, you can do it without the need of expensive training. A few hours working on a problem, can give you many years of enjoyment with your best friend.

Vaccinating Your New Kitten

March 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Vaccinating Your New Kitten

Your veterinarian will recommend that your kitten come back in two to four weeks for a second dose of FVRCPC and a second FIP and FLV vaccine. If he was wormed at his first visit, he will receive a second treatment. If your kitten is at least 12 weeks old, he will also get his first rabies shot at this visit.

Your kitten needs to come back a third time between the ages of ten to sixteen weeks. He will get a third FVRCPC shot at this time. If your kitten was too young to get a rabies vaccine at the last visit, he will get one this time.

When your kitten has gotten his third set of FVRCPC inoculations, he is home free until he reaches a year of age. At one year old, he will need another FVRCPC vaccination and another rabies. If he gets his second rabies shot within a year of the first, he will then be safe for three years. The FVRCPC needs to be given every year, however. If your kitten got vaccinations for FIP and Feline Leukemia, he will get booster shots for them at his one year visit to the veterinarian.

Vaccinating your new kitten is safe, but some cats do have side effects on occasion. Feline Leukemia vaccinations can sometimes be the cause of a form of cancer that may develop at the site of the injection.



This is the main reason many veterinarians do not recommend the vaccine if cats are not at risk of contracting it. Some vaccines may create tumors at the injection site. Most of the time, these tumors can be surgically removed before they spread through the cat's system. This is a very rare side effect; the risk of your cat catching the disease the vaccine prevents is much higher than this side effect. If you notice a small lump forming at the injection site, let your vet know. These lumps are usually a sign of a simple reaction to the vaccine, but in rare instances, they can develop into a tumor.

Vaccinating your new kitten will help keep him or her healthy by preventing many diseases that may be debilitating at best or fatal at worst. It is easy to protect your cat against these dangers to their health with a few short trips to the vet. Do yourself and your cats a favor and protect them with vaccinations.