What’s the Deal with Pet Travel Carriers?

If you have a smaller sized dog, it is now possible to take him or her with you wherever you go when you have a pet travel carrier. As a matter of fact, these days there are many different styles available, even those that can be used as a pet airline travel kennel. One thing is for certain, whether you are looking for something functional, fashionable, or both, you will be able to find the perfect pet travel products for you. The following will provide you with a few options that you have when in the market for a pet travel carrier.

When purchasing this pet supply item, one of the first things that you will have to determine is what you are going to use it for. Most importantly, you need to know whether you want something to simply carry your pooch around the park in or one that designed especially for long distance travel. These days the smaller sized carrier is like a small purse that has a sole function of carrying your dog along with you. This is a particularly fashionable model that is available in a wide range of styles for you to choose from. If this is what you are looking for, do not make your choice based on the size and color, but instead also take into consideration the different features that each offers.

A few features that are a must include a mesh window that your dog can look out of and that will provide the necessary ventilation. Also make sure that the entry area is large enough for your dog to get in and out of comfortably. Another feature that makes a nice addition is an entry flap that allows you to put your hand in and pet your dog when you wish. Finally, you will want one that has a safety hook that you can attach your dog’s leash to.

Of course, this is not going to be sufficient for travelling long distance or pet travel on airlines. When travelling by air you will have to find something that is airline approved. These bags are usually very soft and can easily be stored under your seat. Most airlines require that you keep your pet under your seat, unless you have one that is too large to fit there. If this is the case, you will have to invest in something larger such as shipping crates for large pets and they must be stored in the cargo hold. Since your pet will be away from you for a long time in cases such as this, you want to buy something that is large enough to give them plenty of room.

These are just a few examples of the many differ types of pet travel carriers that are currently available.


What’s the Deal with Synthetic Cat Pheromones?

If your cat is prone to anxiety and overstimulation, you may have come across the idea of using synthetic cat pheromones on your quest for a solution. Just like people, cats can become very stressed out. Changes like a new home, a new family member, or a loud neighbor can cause unwanted behaviors like destructiveness, urinating in the house, and excessive meowing. While anxiety medication does exist for cats, some owners would rather not use drugs to treat the problem. Pheromone-based products, first introduced in the United States in 2001, are a popular alternative. But what exactly do they do?

Let’s start with the basics. Pheromones are a type of chemical communication between members of a species. Pet pheromone products are said to mimic those produced naturally by the animal. By producing certain pheromones, such as those used to calm an animal, these products may reduce bad behavior. Most cat pheromone products are used to target general stress, separation anxiety, noise phobias, travel, and aggression.

Sounds like a miracle solution, right? It might be, but there’s a bit more to unpack. Much of the research that has been published or presented at veterinary conferences has been funded by product makers. Though these studies were found to help soothe stressed pets in some circumstances, the industry is in need of independent research to confirm the findings.

There are currently two popular synthetic pheromone products on the market—Feliway and Comfort Zone. If you’re struggling with a cat’s bad behavior and don’t know what to do, try one of these sprays. They’re odorless and have not been shown to have negative effects. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see an improvement, though. If your animal is exhibiting especially bad behavior, it is best to take them to a veterinarian.

What’s the Deal with Catnip?

Catnip is a popular and inexpensive cat toy. Our feline friends vary in reaction to the green stuff, but most will exhibit some type of abnormal behavior—they’ll likely roll around, paw at the material, or try to eat it. But what is catnip? What about it affects our pets?

Catnip contains the feline attractant nepetalactone. This attractant is known for its behavioral effect on the cat family—not only on domestic cats, but on leopards, cougars, servals, and lynxes, too. With domestic cats, nepetalactone is used as a recreational substance for enjoyment. Catnip and catnip-laced products are some of the most popular cat toys and supplies on the market, facilitating a sensation of euphoria in most felines. When exposed to the substance, cats may rub on, roll in, paw at, lick, and chew the toy. Consuming this plant is often followed by drooling, sleepiness, and purring.

However, some cats react negatively to the presence of catnip; many experience severe anxiety and overstimulation, which may lead to growling, meowing, scratching, and/or biting. If you’re unsure if your cat will demonstrate these behaviors, introduce a small amount of the plant at a time. The main response period after exposure is generally between five and fifteen minutes. If you don’t see any behavioral changes initially, wait a bit longer.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “but my cat doesn’t do anything with catnip,” you’re not alone. Actually, around one third of all cats are not affected by catnip. The behavior is hereditary. However, if you want to give your non-responsive cat a good time, there are other plants that may induce catnip-like reactions: valerian root and leaves, silver vine, and Tatarian honeysuckle wood are very popular.

So, if you haven’t exposed your cat to this plant yet, do so slowly and carefully observe their reaction. Don’t give them too much, and stop immediately if they start exhibiting symptoms of anxiety or overstimulation. With catnip, moderation is key.

What’s the Deal with Grain-Free?

Grain-Free is a strikingly popular pet food trend. It origins are like those of the Paleo Diet many people have assumed in recent years; according to its proponents, grain-free dog food most closely mimics a canine’s natural, or “ancestral” diet as a carnivore. It works to combat low-cost food fillers, such as corn, wheat, and barley, that were introduced to kibble as a way to create bulk and keep costs down. This food reports to increase pet energy, create a healthier skin and shinier coat, reduce shedding, reduce pet flatulence, and keep animals fuller for longer periods of time. Grain-Free pet food is expensive and popular, but is it worth it?

Put simply: No, it is not worth it. There is no data showing these diets have any health benefits for dogs and cats over more traditional, corn- and grain-inclusive diets. Nutritionally, the most important aspect of a pet food is whether it provides complete and balanced nutrition. If a food contains excesses or deficiencies of specific nutrients, the animal may suffer; this concept holds true regardless of whether the kibble contains grains.

Grain-Free foods appeared as a marketing tactic rather than a genuine concern for pet health. Many foods, including those made for human consumption, market themselves by highlighting what they don’t include. This implies that the excluded ingredient is bad or unhealthy when, in most cases, it is either beneficial or completely harmless. To that end, these foods often use other fillers, such as lettuce, celery, avocado, and chia to make the food bulkier. In a few cases, grain-free food does include a grain—barely is a popular ingredient for many of these trendy food brands.

If a friend or advertisement recommends switching your animal over to a grain-free diet, you may fall prey to this fad. Regardless, if you plan to make any significant changes to your animal’s diet, consult your veterinarian—only a professional can make sound recommendations to improve your pet’s health.