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The Omlet Blog Archives: May 2021

5 Ways To Figure Out What Dog Breed Is for You

David is a long time lover of dogs since he was young. He loves most dogs but his favorite are golden retrievers. He also runs his own blog at dogdesires.co.uk where he helps other dog owners with advice and dog product reviews. In this article David gives 5 considerations for finding the right dog breed for you.

There are several things you need to consider in order to choose the right dog breed for you. Depending on your lifestyle, certain breeds are more suited for you because of their size, maintenance, activity level, and more.

Read on for more detail and by the end of this article, you will have the insight needed in order to choose the ideal dog breed for you.

Size

Some people already have their hearts set on whether they would like a huge dog or a tiny one. Those who aren’t sure or that bothered about it tend to go for medium-sized dogs.

One thing that is an important deciding factor regarding what size breed is best for you is your living conditions. Naturally, large dogs need a lot of space so if you’re living in a relatively small and cozy apartment you would not want to get a Great Dane. They especially need more room because of their tails, so that they can wag without injuring anyone or damaging anything.

That being said, living in an apartment does not automatically mean you must get a toy dog. Some dog breeds are known for being adaptable to living in apartments, such as the Sheepadoodle. If you’d like to read more about this breed, you should check out this breed guide here – Sheepadoodle.

Keep in mind that small dogs are more vulnerable, in the sense that you need to get used to always looking down to not step on them. Smaller dogs also tend to be more sensitive to the cold so they need a little help staying warm.

Maintenance

With maintenance comes many things. Firstly, some breeds have fur that needs a lot of maintenance to stay healthy. Dogs with short fur are easy to take care of, such as Springadors, as they just need brushing every now and then. However, dogs with longer fur, curly or otherwise, need to be brushed more frequently as well as trimmed and more. So, you will need to dedicate more time to these dogs.

Another factor is the expense. The larger the dog, the more food you need to buy and larger dog beds, etc.

Lastly, there’s training. This is very important, as some dog breeds are known for being more well-behaved and thus easier to train. Smaller dogs tend to have something that is referred to as ‘small dog syndrome’, which is when a small dog thinks that they are bigger than they actually are and therefore have more of an attitude. This can cause them to be more stubborn when it comes to training. For example, pugs are known for being naughty and for being stubborn.

Another good thing to remember is that if you let a large dog breed behave as a lap dog from a young age, they will continue to try and walk all over you when they become adults – and I mean that literally, not figuratively.

Also, dogs with long and floppy ears need frequent and thorough cleaning as they are more prone to ear infections. Moreover, certain dogs are more likely to drool than others such as Bloodhounds and Mastiffs.

Activity Level

If you get a hunting dog breed, such as a Labrador, Beagle, Foxhound, etc., then you can expect this dog to have a high activity level. Even crossbreeds with a hunting dog parent tend to inherit the genes and have a lot of energy.

Most dogs do not destroy things and dig up holes in your yard without a reason; energetic dogs, in particular, need much more exercise and become bored and destructive without it. Mental exercise, as well as physical, is a must for larger breeds.

No matter the breed or size though, all dogs need routine exercise. You will need to commit to going for walks twice a day and if you’re looking for a dog that you can jog with then a Weimaraner or German Shepherd are great choices.

Personality

This one goes without saying for some people, but seeing as certain breeds are known for having certain personalities, we can use this to our advantage. For those of you who are looking for a cuddly and loving dog, Retrievers, Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Old English Sheepdogs, Pitbull Terrier, and King Charles Spaniels are known to be some of the most affectionate dog breeds.

Restrictions

Unfortunately, depending on the country and state you’re in, some breeds may be banned or under certain regulations.

To give an example I would like to name Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. Both of these dog breeds are sadly discriminated against and are subject to BSL’s or breed specific laws in some towns and states throughout the US. The main reason for these regulations being that they face stigmas of being ‘dangerous’ and ‘aggressive’.

There are BSL laws that are active in the states below:

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

For more information on Breed specific laws and regulations please refer to the BSL Census

Personally, I would like to note that I have had several dogs of both of these breeds and none of them ever showed any signs of being aggressive or dangerous in any way. They were sweet, kind, and several of the Rottweilers were protective over me.

I do not believe for a second that aggression can be inherited in genes, but rather it comes about when a dog is being raised in a neglectful way.

 

 

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This entry was posted in Dogs on May 31st, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Pride of Omlet: Brave Bunnies

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

It’s hard to describe how frightened Pixie the rabbit was when the RSPCA relocated her with an experienced rabbit owner. Eighteen months on, cheeky little Pixie lives in the lap of luxury and is learning to be loved by her adoring human, Wendy.

Wendy had two beautiful rabbits, which she adored. A jet black male Rex rabbit called Jensen and his chocolate brown partner, Havana. But in 2019, Havana died suddenly of pneumonia, and Jensen grieved so severely that he wouldn’t leave his bed. He was the most miserable, unhappy rabbit.

Wendy wanted him to bond with another rabbit, so she went to the RSPCA Canterbury and found Pixie, who had been severely neglected. Pixie was rescued with her partner, but sadly, this rabbit didn’t survive. Pixie was close to starvation, she was skin and bones and had to be fattened up before she was ready to be relocated to a new home. Wendy wanted to give her the loving home she deserved.

Thinking she would be a perfect match for Jensen, Wendy took Pixie home. She had divided the rabbit house so that she could slowly introduce them. After about a month, they were lying next to each other, separated only by the wire, so Wendy decided it was time. However, Pixie was traumatized and her fear presented in aggressive behavior. She couldn’t handle it and bit Jensen. She was agitated and frightened of everything. For a while, even putting food down for her was tricky. She would lunge at the hands that fed her. It was a terribly sad time for Wendy to see Pixie so distressed.

Wendy kept Pixie on her own, and slowly slowly, Pixie began to trust her. Now, 18 months on, she puts her nose up to be stroked, and she’ll hop alongside Jensen. Their Omlet runs, run parallel, so she’s got her space, and he’s got his. They also have a shed divided in two with three levels, windows, balconies, and a flap to their outside Omlet runs, which are connected with tunnels to the conservatory. The gate system on the Omlet runs means Wendy can let them both have time in the house. What was once Wendy’s dining room is now a rabbit playroom with a box, some steps and tunnels so they can just mess around and do bunny stuff. They take turns to come in, and Wendy leaves the door open, so they don’t get too warm.

Before she starts work in the morning, she makes the rabbits a little salad. Kale, Cavalo Nero or Spring Greens are the staples, mixed with herbs like parsley, mint and basil. And in the Summer, she’ll pick fresh leaves and rose petals. They have 3 or 4 different kinds of hay to choose from in their runs, and for a treat, Wendy likes to give them bunny biscuits, or strawberries which they absolutely love.

From her sad beginnings, Pixie has blossomed with a loving owner who understands her past, builds up her confidence and feeds her a delicious diet. Jensen has a new partner, Tinker-bell, a blue-eyed white mini Rex. Wendy simply adores all three of her beautiful rabbits, but especially Pixie. She’s a survivor.

“Almost every day, she could reduce me to tears. She’s so loving and responsive. I’m just absolutely amazed that this little rabbit found it in her heart to actually forgive humans.”

 

 

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This entry was posted in Pets on May 25th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Happy National Rescue Dog Day!

Happy National Rescue Dog Day!

05/20/21. – National Rescue Dog Day! We would like to use this special date to address animal welfare, shelters, the hard work they have to face every day and of course everything about the topic of adoption.

Every year, approximately 3.3 million dogs enter animal shelters nationwide in the US and are in dire need of being adopted. With this warning number, it’s important we consider our local pet shelters when welcoming a new family member. We’ve interviewed an animal shelter which has a tough job to do. Let’s find out more about this work and the process!

The “Einfach Tierschutz e.V.” is a German non-profit animal welfare association founded in 2016 with the aim of helping street dogs where the need is greatest. This is particularly the case in Eastern and Southern European countries, where street dogs have no rights and face harsh times. Einfach Tierschutz stands up for those animals in need, in areas such as Romania.

“Everyone has a purpose in its life, a reason for being in the world. My purpose is to save dogs.”


Jens Waldinger, Head of Einfach Tierschutz

1. Omlet: Can you please tell us a bit about the company: how many pets do you care for? What does the work at an animal shelter involve and what does a typical day at your shelter look like?

Einfach Tierschutz: Einfach Tierschutz e.V. is the owner and operator of two animal shelters in Braila, Romania. In our “Phoenix Shelter”, where we take care of about 400 street dogs, just recently also cats, and try to find them a new home. They get medically treated and socialized every day in our spacious sanctuary.

Since spring 2020, we have been running our second shelter specifically for puppies, the “Phoenix Puppy Shelter”, where up to 50 puppies and young dogs are fostered, cared for and prepared for placement in a family on an area of 2,000 m≤. In addition, we were able to move forward with a long-time wish in 2020 with the construction of the cat house on our premises. With this project complete,  we can also provide our cats with safe and species-appropriate accommodations.

We have employed an average of 6 staff members in the shelters of Romania, who work in shifts so that someone is present at all times. Additionally, we have a driver and an office worker as well as the shelter manager on site. The tasks of the staff are mainly the support and maintenance of the dogs as well as night watch and administrative activities.

Our team consists of trained and certified dog trainers, professionals, and experienced fosters. We are also in contact with vets/veterinary assistants. In addition, we work closely with the local veterinary office, registering both our transports and our foster homes at this office, and can provide proof of the correct written documentation on transports, dogs and adopters at any time.

Our office is located in Germany, from where we coordinate all of the association’s activities. Various volunteer teams work under our guidance in the areas of social media, pre- and post-inspections, placements, adoptions, flea market and planning of the shelter travels.

           

                           Jens Waldinger                                                       Sarah Goetschel                                             Carmen Salcedo

                   Head and Manager of the shelter                                      Head and Manager in DE of the placement                            Dog Management in Braila

 

A primary goal of our work is to relocate and find new homes for as many dogs as possible and place them into loving and safe families. We also provide a licensed transporter in order to transport our dogs and cats in our own equipped vehicles from Romania to their future families in Germany, Austria or Switzerland.

We provide dogs, which are not suitable for a life as a family dog or for any other owner, a permanent safe refuge in our shelter. Here, they will have a better life without hunger and diseases, and are not exposed to the bad and cold weather conditions in Romania, especially during the winter season – just a stable and stress-free life.

Another goal for us is to make an important contribution by helping to control the reproduction of street dogs and cats through regular spay/neutering campaigns at our expense, and to bring about a change in the way the local population thinks about handling this issue. Due to the uncontrolled multiplication of street as well as house and yard dogs of the inhabitants, thousands of unwanted puppies end up on the streets or in the municipal animal shelters every year, which are allowed to euthanize these dogs after a period of two weeks if they are overcrowded. We also intervene here and are happy if we can take some of these dogs with us.

 

2. Omlet: What differs Einfach Tierschutz from other animal rescue organizations?

Einfach Tierschutz: First of all, the Einfach Tierschutz is a German association which is not only active abroad, but also runs its own animal shelter abroad. We do not solely relocate our dogs in Germany, but also in Switzerland and Austria. Mostly, we stand out because of our size: since we have started this organization, we now have over 8,000 members who support us. We have succeeded in convincing many people of our projects and know-how in just a few years, and with their support through donations, memberships, sponsorships, etc. we have been able to invest wisely.

We also offer our members the experience of traveling to our Phoenix Shelter in Romania. Our members then get to see first-hand what our team’s workload is on a daily basis. They also get to see what we have achieved in this short period of time with all the donations and membership fees we receive from them.

     

 

“There is a before and an after in my life: Before the trip to the Phoenix Shelter and after the trip, because since then I know what it is worth living and fighting for every day: “my” dogs there in the shelter. I may be back in Germany, but my heart has stayed there with the dogs.”
– Association member a few weeks after returning from a shelter trip

We offer our members the opportunity to follow our work on a daily basis via our Facebook members’ group. We provide pictures and video material from our shelter and thus allow every member to participate in current events. We also offer the opportunity to network with other members at more than 40 regulars’ tables and to plan joint activities such as information booths or fundraising campaigns.

We recently had our first big fundraiser where our members purchased lots from us in order to have the chance to win many great prizes from generous donors. The proceeds went directly to the shelter.

We are constantly working to improve our standards and ourselves professionally, in line with our ideas of good, sustainable animal welfare so that we can continue to grow and help as many animals as possible. In this way, we are always trying to maintain a balance between possible improvements and new projects or extension of our activities. We are very motivated and hungry to go further, to achieve even more.

 

3. Omlet: What do you like about your work? What is most rewarding?

Einfach Tierschutz: Every little success reminds us why we do all this. For example, the rescued dogs that we are able to bring into the safety of our shelter or animals that are brought back to life by our team after serious illness or injury make the work that much more rewarding! Also, seeing fearful and shy dogs that we have been able to socialize to such an extent that they can now enjoy their lives in a family makes the work worthwhile for us. All of these animals that are given a chance for a better life through our work is what makes the work priceless for us!

 

4. Omlet: Adoption vs. Purchase: what is the biggest challenge?

Einfach Tierschutz: From our point of view, the biggest problems are the mass breeding of pedigree dogs, while thousands of dogs are waiting for a loving home in the animal shelters. In particular, the illegal breeding and illegal transfer of puppies from abroad, which are then sold cheaply via various online portals by professional traffickers posing as private individuals, is a thorn in the flesh. As humans, we have a responsibility towards our fellow creatures and as long as the streets are full of unwanted animals that reproduce uncontrollably, suffering from hunger and diseases, we believe it is irresponsible to continue with breeding dogs.

Unfortunately, many people lack a sense of responsibility and foresight. Many hardly think about what it means to give an animal a home for the next 10 to 20 years and also give up far too quickly when the animal becomes “uncomfortable” for whatever reason. The decision to give up an animal is taken ever more quickly and lightly these days…

 

5. Omlet: Speaking of adoption – What is important to you when looking for the right adopters, what should a potential adopter fulfil? What challenges or difficulties can you face when a shelter dog moves into its new home?

Einfach Tierschutz: It is very important to us that the family and the dog are well matched, which is why we work with the dogs on site to get to know them better and assess them as well as possible. Our employees in Romania also help with socializing the dogs when we are not around. Nevertheless, though we try our best here, we cannot predict what the dogs’ behavior will be like when they arrive at their new homes. Several factors will play a role. With the new environment, new people and maybe other companions it is hard to make a binding statement about it but so far, we mostly received positive feedback from the adopters.

A dog from another country is always a bit of a “surprise package”. They are not familiar with our everyday lives and need time to get used to it. Through plenty of interaction with volunteers, outdoor runs and play sessions as well as walks, we try to keep the dogs as busy as possible and introduce them to new things. However, there is no comparison with the life they will experience with their future families. Some of them have never seen a leash or worn a collar or harness before, they are often unfamiliar with stairs, cars, bicycles, pedestrians etc. Some dogs are already house-trained when they move in, others need days, weeks or even months to train. Domestic or human smells and noises are often unfamiliar to them, and while one dog may be happy and react inquisitively, another may still feel anxious and need more time to realize that all of these changes are leading to a better quality of life.

The sensory overload, especially while settling in, can lead to dogs initially acting differently – often more timidly – than in the familiar environment of our shelter. This is why it is very important to us that we educate and prepare our adopters well before receiving the dog. We offer them thorough advice about dogs that are suited to their circumstances and lifestyle. We carry out pre-checks (and post-checks) and we discuss general aspects of adopting a dog from another country with the prospective adopters.

We have useful tips for them on how to deal with newly arrived dogs, with common behavior patterns during the settling  in period and safeguarding during walks. Also, we talk about illnesses that cannot be ruled out based on incubation times. This information is constantly updated and further refined.

However, in those cases where, for whatever reason, things do not work out in the new home, we take care of finding a new place for the dog, and even provide emergency foster homes. Under no circumstances will we allow a dog that was placed by us to end up in another shelter.

Up to now, we have been able to offer a swift solution in each of the few individual cases, where contrary to expectations, the adopters had to return a dog. Thus, we have been able to make the best of the situation in the interest of the dog.

In case of problems, we assist our adopters with help and advice and we are always available after an adoption and happy to help! On our Facebook page you can find some great stories and photos of “happy endings” posted by the families and owners that have adopted these dogs .

 

6. Omlet: As an NGO, how do you raise money for your animals, shelters, sterilization projects, etc.? How are you compensated?

Einfach Tierschutz: In order to be able to cover the high project costs, we had to invest a lot of time in advertising and generating new supporting members to bring in enough donations. As an association that is mainly active via the fast-moving social media channels and also promotes the dogs through them, we depend on a well-functioning technical infrastructure.

The commitment of our local board is particularly important too, as it generates a lot of attention. Our local experts also have to regularly assess the socialization of the dogs, as we place them very responsibly to ensure that dog and family get on well together later on. We invest in our social media presence, promotion via billboards, newspaper advertisements, flyers, info sheets, stickers. As a result, we have been able to maintain our high level of popularity and success, – which of course goes hand in hand with a further increase in administrative expenses.

 

7. Omlet: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Einfach Tierschutz: We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the interview and the interest in our association and invite everyone to get an idea of our work and visit our homepage or follow our social media activities. We – and especially the animals – would be very happy about a small donation, which we would like to invest in food, vet visits/surgeries/medications, spay/neutering or in the shelter itself, e.g. for the expansion or the cat enclosure.

We would also more than welcome new fellow members who would like to get involved in our activities (e.g. shelter travels), gladly from anywhere. You can find all information on our homepage: www.einfachtierschutz.de

Phoenix-Shelter: https://phoenix-shelter.com/

Facebook: einfachtierschutzvermittlungen

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/einfachtierschutz/

(You can also set up the pages in your desired language.)

 

Yours,

Omlet would like to thank Einfach Tierschutz e.V. for the interview and wishes them all the best for the future and that all dogs will find a great and safe new home.

 

 

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This entry was posted in Dogs on May 20th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Pride of Omlet: Buster’s Beard

 

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

Buster was destined to chase balls on the beaches of Barry Island. He’s a lovable labradoodle with big brown eyes and a long beard. A thinker with a playful nature, he’s co-authored a children’s book with his human Natalie to bring Autism Awareness to all.

Buster 1Ethan, Natalie’s son, was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD at the age of four. Natalie gave up her job as a teacher to become Ethan’s full-time carer. She always had dogs as a child and, naturally, wanted Ethan to experience the same positive companionship. They went to a local farm and had the pick of three puppies. One was fast and furious, one was quiet and sleepy, and one was in-between. They picked the “in-betweener” and called him Buster.

After a few weeks at home, it was clear that Ethan wasn’t taking to Buster. He just wasn’t interested in him. So he became Natalie’s companion instead, being a full-time carer isn’t easy and Buster’s a great source of comfort on difficult days. He motivates Natalie to keep going and gives her much-needed breaks, with long walks on the beach.

A couple of years after Ethan’s diagnosis, baby Isobelle was born. Isobelle’s afraid of the dark, so Buster sleeps in her room and helps her feel safe. In the daytime, Buster is Isobelle’s playmate. They love playing dress-up together, and at the end of the day, she’ll read him a story and brush his hair.

As Buster grew, the hair on his chin got longer and longer and longer! Until he developed a fully grown, 7-inch beard. It’s not a thing you see every day, a dog with a beard. People started staring. Natalie’s used to people staring, sadly many people don’t understand Autism, and when Ethan has meltdowns, Natalie and her family have experienced staring and unkind remarks, which have been devastating.

She realized that staring at Buster was something different. When walking on the beach, Natalie was approached by people asking, “Is it real? Have you stuck it on?!” It was curious and fun and got people talking in a good way. So what does a positive ex-primary school teacher do with that? She writes a children’s book, of course! Natalie wrote a story starring Buster called ‘That Dog Has Got a Beard’.

It’s a story about being special and unique. Natalie and Buster have toured schools and libraries all over Wales and even appeared on ITV Wales, opening conversations that celebrate differences and spreading Autism Awareness through the story of Buster’s Beard.

“A lot of children don’t see disabled children, and there’s a lot of negativity around it. You want people to be accepting, and a lovable labradoodle is an excellent way to open a conversation. He looks different. He’s got a beard. But that’s wonderful, you know? “

Buster 3

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This entry was posted in Dogs on May 19th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Can you feed pets a vegan diet?

 

Some animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, are herbivores. Others, like hamsters, are omnivorous. Finally, there are also carnivores like cats that cannot survive without meat.

All animals need to have their nutritional needs satisfied. However, this does not mean you can’t have a vegan dog. Vegan cats, though, are a lot trickier.

Can my dog have a vegan diet?

If you were to meet a species of animal for the first time and had to make an accurate guess about its diet, you would get lots of clues by looking at its teeth. The teeth of a dog, like the teeth of a bear, proclaim loud and clear that this animal is an omnivore – that is, one that eats both meat and vegetables. If you think of your dog as a domesticated wolf, you get a good idea of its natural diet.

However, as the panda proves, a supposed meat-eater can sometimes get by perfectly well on a vegan diet. A panda’s teeth are similar to any other bear’s – long canines for meat-eating and molars for grinding vegetation. And yet pandas don’t eat anything other than bamboo. So, if a bear can be vegan, does that mean you can have a vegan dog?

The answer is yes – but it’s a yes with lots of small print! A dog requires a diet that contains the fats and proteins it would get from meat. It is dangerous to ignore this basic need and simply feed your pet with whatever you please. Some dogs have delicate stomachs. Also, a low-fat/high-fibre diet can cause potentially life-threatening problems. A diet that excludes meat should never be fed to a dog without the advice of a professional pet dietician.

The collagen, elastin and keratin found in meat diets are not easily replaced by veggie equivalents. Your dog will also need the ‘long chain’ omega-3 fats found in animal products such as egg, fish and some meats. Vegan omega-3 fats are not the same as animal-derived ones.

All of which presents a headache for the vegan dog owner. There are, however, products available that claim to let your dog live a healthy, meat-free life. Before you take the plunge, it is essential to seek professional, scientific advice and guidance. Compromise is usually the best choice here – a vegan diet supplemented by some of the animal-derived essentials. Crickets, for example, can provide lots of the amino acids and keratin a vegan diet lacks, and they’re 65% protein.

Can my cat have a vegan diet?

The compromise approach is even more important for cats. These are amongst the planet’s true carnivores, obtaining all their dietary requirements from other animals.

The main challenge with minimizing the meat in a cat’s diet is that, unlike many mammals (including dogs), cats cannot produce certain proteins. They have to absorb these from the meat and fish in their diet. Amino acids are another issue – cats deficient in the animal-derived amino acid taurine, for example, usually succumb to a specific type of heart problem.

Even a fortified vegan cat food cannot be confidently recommended. Turn the situation on its head, and try to imagine weaning a rabbit onto a meat-only diet, and you will get some idea of the challenge – and the ethics – involved.

There are some lab-grown ‘meat’ products in development, with vegan and vegetarian cat owners in mind. However, whether these will arrive – and remain – on the market any time soon is hard to guess.

For many vegan pet owners, there is a huge ethical issue involved in feeding the animals they share a space with. Ethics, however, include the animal’s needs too, and it’s an almost impossible issue to resolve when it comes to cats. If you are able to reduce but not eliminate the meat in your cat’s diet, that’s the safer option.

Top 10 pets for vegan households

There are, of course, plenty of other pets that don’t eat meat, or that eat some meat but can still thrive on a meat-free diet. Here are our ten favorites.

1. Rabbits. No problems here – rabbits are happy vegans, with diets based on hay and vegetables. You could argue that the soft pellets they eject and then eat are animal products of a sort, but they are simply semi-digested vegetation.

2. Guinea pigs. Like rabbits, these wonderful little characters thrive on a 100% vegan diet.

3. Hamsters. Most hamster owners give them store food, you don’t always know what’s in it. However, hamsters, like rats and mice, can do without meat.

4. Gerbils. Like hamsters, gerbils are omnivorous. They have sensitive stomachs and need a quality pellet mixture. Too much fresh produce can harm their digestive system.

5. Mice. Although they will eat pretty much anything in the wild, mice can thrive on vegan diets; but it is still best to use a food mix prepared specifically for them. This ensures that they will not be deficient in any of the vitamins and minerals they need.

6. Rats. These are the most omnivorous of rodents, but as long as you feed them a vegan mix that has been fortified with all the nutrients they need, they will thrive. Be careful, rats who eat too much animal fat tend to become fat and die prematurely.

7. Chickens. If you watch a free-range hen, it soon becomes clear that she will eat anything – grass, beetles, worms, and everything in your vegetable patch if you’re not careful! Most chicken feed emulates this mix of plant and animal products. However, it is possible to buy vegan chicken feed, and circumstantial evidence suggests that hens can thrive on it. However, they are likely to produce fewer eggs, and you will not be able to stop them scratching for worms and bugs, no matter how vegan the layers pellets are!

8. Parakeets and parrots. Vegans will have no obstacles to face with budgies and parrots, unless the birds are being bred. Egg-brooding female birds need a protein boost, normally delivered via an egg-based food or cooked meat. Vegan alternatives are available, though.

9. Finches. Many finch species enjoy bugs and mealworms as treats, but these are not an essential part of an adult finch’s diet. These birds thrive on a mixture of seeds and fresh vegetables.

10. One for reptile fans. When you think of pet snakes and lizards, you probably have an image of dead mice or doomed crickets. However, there are a few commonly kept pet reptiles that eat a 100% vegan diet, the most popular being the Green iguana. Getting the balance of vegetables just right is very important for the animal’s health, but meat is certainly something you won’t have to worry about.

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to vegan pets. Keeping a vegan cat or dog is a much trickier proposition, though. And with all these animals, a balanced diet that matches the pet’s nutritional requirements should be your primary goal.

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This entry was posted in Birds on May 19th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


How To Train Your Cat To Walk on a Leash

Bhim Solomon is Omlet’s junior guest writer, currently exploring fun activities to try with her two kittens Moonpie and Shadow Weaver, and introducing easy tricks you can try with your feline friends! In this article, Bhim talks through the simple steps to training a kitten to walk on a leash and the benefits of safe outdoor adventures for cats.


My kittens are 11 weeks old. They are Scottish Folds and their names are Moonpie and Shadow-Weaver. Moonpie is a girl and Shadow is a boy, they are brother and sister. They live indoors because they are quite small still but we want them to know what the outside world is like so we decided to buy a harness and leash for them so we could take them for walks.

Not many people know that you can take your cat for a walk, just like a dog, but one day I was in London in the Conran Shop and I spotted a beautiful, big soft grey cat on a leash! I asked the lady on the other end of the leash if I could stroke it. She was very friendly and said of course, she told me his name was Moonpie. Then she said would you like to see a trick? She got some treats out and said “paw” Moonpie lifted his paw into her hand, it was so cool. Then, the owner said “Hi Five” and Moonpie did a Hi Five! I’d wanted a kitten since I was 4 and now I knew I wanted a Scottish Fold and I decided to call my kitten Moonpie too.

I couldn’t get the kittens straight away but little did I know that as a surprise for my 10th birthday my parents gave me two little Scottish folds. When I first got them they were eight weeks old, my brother wanted to call the boy Shadow-Weaver because half his face is grey and the other is a kind of apricot color. At the beginning, they both slept a lot and we kept them in one room so that they could get used to us little by little. Then one day we let them adventure around the house, then the next day they wanted to go outside. I asked my dad if we could get a leash and harness for them. He agreed and we got two for the kittens. I thought it would be good to get them used to being on a leash when they are young. I thought I would write a description about how to put it on, and use the harness to take your cat\kitten for walks to help other people who would like to take their indoor cats outside safely.

 


How to Fit a Harness

  1. First, you adjust your strap so it fits your kitten.
  2. After you have adjusted your strap, you do up one of the side clips. Slip the front over their head, put one foot in the gap that’s shown in the photo and do up the other clip.

  3. Check that the harness isn’t too tight and all the clips are done up, you might have to adjust the size a bit now, you should be able to get a finger under comfortably but if it’s too loose your cat might slip out by accident. If your kitten is still too small for the harness to adjust small enough then you can get them used to wearing it in the house as if they slip out it won’t matter too much.
  4. Once you are satisfied that the harness fits securely and your cat is happy then all that is left is to clip the leash on the hook and take them for a walk.
  5. Your kitten is now ready!

First, to make sure Moonpie was happy with walking and running in her new leash I took her for a walk around the house which she was used to, with the back door shut. I did this for three days in a row before we went outside.

I chose a nice sunny day for taking her outside on the lead. As I took her outside she was a little bit unsure and stayed still for a moment. Suddenly she went to some catmint that we have close to the door and put her whiskers in it.

Then she ran across the lawn at maximum speed, I had to sprint to keep up! She wanted to explore an old small tree. Moonpie can run really fast! Moonpie climbed up onto the tree and stayed still so she could balance. She was having lots and lots of fun exploring!

Next she started to explore the concrete part of the garden and looked behind the metal bucket, she inspected the wheelbarrow wheel and legs (she hadn’t seen one before).

Then I think she knew where the house was as she ran back towards it.

We had stayed outside for about ten minutes and as she ran towards the house I guessed she was tired, she went straight to the back door and as I let her into the house she went to the ‘Kitten Room.’ As I looked she got into her bed and after she had licked herself clean she went straight to sleep, a little fluffy ball.

I really like taking the kittens for walks because you get your exercise and have lots of fun seeing what the kittens like best in the garden. I think the kittens really like it because they get to smell fresh air and see the wildlife including our chickens. I try to take them into the garden when it is nice weather, so about twice a week after school and on the weekends. After school every day I try to put them on the harness so they can get really used to it.

As they get bigger and bigger we will take the kittens on longer walks. It’s a really safe and fun way for them to explore the world around them. If you live in the city and you want your cat to have fresh air, exercise and to stimulate their senses but are worried about your cat then you can take them out on a leash and they can safely explore outside with your supervision, they can even learn to take the bus or the train!

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This entry was posted in Cats on May 18th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


How To Prevent Dog Theft & What To Do if Your Dog Is Stolen

Dogtor Adem, founder and owner of Dog-Ease, is a dog behaviorist and trainer with over 15 years experience working with dog owners and their canine best friends. In this blog post, Adem provides us with helpful tips on preventing dog theft, and what to do if you experience dog theft yourself.

With dog theft on the rise, it’s only natural that we might feel worried about taking our furry family members out and about at the moment. I think most of us can agree that if anything should happen to them, we would feel devastated. So, I have put together my top tips for keeping your dog safe from theft when both at home and out and about. Following on from this, I’ve also put together some tips on what to do should you find yourself in the awful position of your dog having been stolen. I hope you never have to refer to them, but they might just help you be reunited should you find yourself in this unfortunate position.

 

MY TOP TIPS FOR PREVENTING YOUR DOG THEFT

 

START AT HOME

By this I mean you should review your current security measures at home. Start by ensuring gates and fences are secure and avoid leaving your dog in the backyard unattended. You may also want to ensure your dog cannot be seen by people passing by when you are out of the home. You can do this by making them a base in a room away from any windows that can be easily looked into or even by closing the curtains on these windows when you are out.

 

MAKE SURE YOUR DOG IS MICROCHIPPED

It is not only law to have your dog microchipped, but it is also best practice. If your dog is ever separated from you a simple scan of their chip in their neck area should reunite you pretty quickly. Keep your dog’s microchip details up to date. It’s usually really easy to do this over the phone or online.

 

ADD AN ID TAG TO YOUR DOG’S COLLAR AND CONSIDER A GPS TAG ALSO

By law, your dog should have an identification tag attached to their collar when outside of your home. This makes it really easy for you both to be reunited without needing your dog’s microchip to be scanned. You could also consider attaching a trackable GPS tag to your dog’s collar. There are many on the market to choose from and these can be purchased online, if not from your local pet shop. Some also have fun features to use on a daily basis such as tracking your dog’s activity levels.

 

TEACH YOUR DOG THE RECALL COMMAND

Teach your dog the recall command and make coming back to you a fun game that you can play throughout your walks together. Offer a tasty treat or engagement in a game such as fetch each time they return to you. This makes them more likely to want to return to you, seeing the recall as a fun part of your walk. Head over to the Blog page of my website www.dog-ease.co.uk/blog/ to watch a tutorial on how to begin this training if you haven’t already had a chance to.

 

KEEP YOUR DOG’S ATTENTION

Make it fun for your dog to stay close to you on your walk if you are letting them off leash. For example, you could practice off leash heel work as you walk, offering a tasty treat as a reward for their focus, or play recall games. Taking a special toy such as a ball can also help to keep your dog’s attention and focus with them chasing and retrieving during your walk.

 

KEEP YOUR DOG IN SIGHT

Following on from keeping your dog’s attention, avoid letting your dog go out of your sight on a walk or leaving them unattended outside a shop, school, or even in your car. The less opportunity for them to come into contact with strangers without you also present, the better.

WALK WITH OTHERS

If possible, walk with a family member or socially distanced with a friend. You could also try to walk in public areas where other people are walking and present too. Pick times of the day where other people are likely to be around and walk in daylight if possible. If this is not possible, try to walk in well-lit areas. Safety is often found in numbers and the more people that are around the less likely you may be to be targeted.

 

CONSIDER TAKING ANTI THEFT DEVICES WITH YOU

Consider taking an anti-theft alarm or another similar device on your walk with you, even a whistle is better than nothing to be able to attract attention with. You could also try to keep your mobile phone handy to use if necessary, although it’s best to not allow your cell phone to distract you from what is going on around you as you walk. See the next tip!

 

STAY ALERT

Following on from the tip above, stay alert and be vigilant on your walks. Watch out for any unusual activity or people in the areas you might typically walk. It is best to limit your use of any electronic devices such as your cell phone, even to listen to music. The more aware of your surroundings you are, the more likely you will be to spot anything not quite right.

 

AVOID CLOSE CONTACT WITH STRANGERS

Avoid letting people you don’t know pet your dog or telling people you don’t know any details about you and your dog. It’s nice to be friendly but be vigilant about the information you share.

 

BE LESS PREDICTABLE

If you’re particularly concerned, change up your routine frequently. This makes it harder for anyone ‘watching and waiting’ to predict and plan to ‘bump into you’ on a walk.

 

PREP OTHERS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WALKING YOUR DOG

If you use a dog walker, ensure you ask them what steps they are taking to avoid your dog from being stolen. You can also ask that they remain vigilant in securing your property when returning your dog to your home and ask that they look out for and alert you to any unusual activity.

 

USE SOCIAL MEDIA AND LOCAL NEWS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

Check local social media pages and local news for up-to-date information on what is going on in your area. Often any worrying incidents are reported by residents with details of suspicious people and even sometimes vehicles too look out for.

 

BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU SHARE ONLINE

Sharing your location and details of your pet on non-private forums such as on non-private social media pages can alert potential thieves about your destination. Make sure you are mindful of what you share and where you ‘check in’, with or without your dog.

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOUR DOG IS STOLEN?

In the awful event that your dog is stolen, here are some tips to help you find and be reunited with them.

 

REPORT THE THEFT IMMEDIATELY

Report the theft immediately to the police and ensure it is recorded as a crime rather than as a lost pet. You should receive a crime reference number for your records.

 

CHECK CCTV

Check all available CCTV footage in the area your dog was stolen from to gain evidence of any people needing to be identified or vehicles that may have been involved. You might also want to check in with neighbors and those in the local area to see if anyone has any footage from their own security systems – from Ring Doorbell footage to Dash Cam footage. Anything is worth a shot and could lead to identifying something or someone.

 

CONTACT YOUR MICROCHIP COMPANY

Contact the company your dog’s microchip is recorded with and register your dog as stolen. If your dog is scanned by a vet elsewhere, they should then be alerted to this and your dog returned to you.

 

CONTACT LOCAL VETS

Contact all vets in the local area to let them know of the theft. Provide a photo of your dog if possible and include details of any markings or particular features that they have so they can identify them more easily.

 

MAKE THE PUBLIC AWARE

Make other people aware of the theft by putting up posters stating your dog has been stolen, with your contact details on them. You should also post a copy of such posters, or an equivalent, on social media sites. If you ensure that the settings of your post are set to ‘public’ you can ask others to share your post and reach a much wider community. The further your dog’s details are shared, the more chance you have of your dog being identified and returned to you!

 

DON’T GIVE UP

Don’t give up hope! Keep sharing your dog’s details far and wide. Someone somewhere might know something and help you to be reunited.

 

I hope you found the above tips useful. Stay alert and keep safe!

 

Dogtor(tm) Adem

Owner of Dog-ease Training & Behaviour

www.dog-ease.co.uk

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This entry was posted in Dogs on May 17th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Pride of Omlet: Saving Sophia’s Life

 

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

Harry on the sofa

When you’ve grown up with animals, a home isn’t a home without a pet. Bringing Harry home was life-changing for both him and his humans, Sarah and daughter Sophia. Harry has a special gift. Harry has a unique epilepsy monitor, and he’s saved Sophia’s life countless times.

In March 2017, Harry, a beautiful black kitten, was only a few months old and was trapped in a cupboard, clinging to life. He wasn’t allowed out. He was overfed, caked in dirt, attacked by a dog and discarded as ‘the runt of the litter’.

Sarah heard about the cat in the cupboard through a colleague at work and couldn’t let a kitten suffer. She approached his owner via Facebook and asked, “Can I have him, please.” Harry’s neglectful owner gladly gave him up, and Harry began his recovery.

At first, he would cower in corners. The sound of footsteps petrified him. However, within a week, he was a different cat, running to greet his humans at the door. “The first time he purred with us, he looked around in a panic, thinking, What’s this? but he blossomed from there.”

It’s four years later, 3 pm on a Monday and Harry’s sitting on the window sill of his loving home waiting for his human, Sophia.

Sophia has autism and epilepsy, and Harry’s unique talent has saved her life more times than Sarah, her mom, can tell me.

Before getting Harry, every aspect of Sophia’s life was about cats. She loved going to the shops and looking at things for cats, researching about them online and looking at pictures of cats. So when Harry came into her life, Sophia was overjoyed. Harry became Sophia’s shadow instantly. He follows her wherever she goes in the house. When she eats, he sits next to her. If she’s in bed, he’s sleeping with her. When Sophia gets home from school, Harrys always there, watching, waiting on the windowsill for her. He never wants to be separated from her for too long.

As the bond between Harry and Sophia grew, so did Harry’s voice. Generally a calm cat, he became quite vocal, meowing to be let in or out. Bizarrely he also started to meow at the loft hatch. It can go on for 20 minutes or more. Sarah’s taken him up to have a look, but it’s still something that spooks him. Harry’s sensitive nature and vocal talents became the gift that saved Sophia’s life.

Six months after Harry came to live with them, Sophia started having epileptic seizures. They became more and more severe and frequent. At the same time, Harry began screaming in the night. Sarah went running and found that Sophia was having a seizure in her sleep.

There’s no monitor for the kind of epilepsy Sophia has, nothing you can put on your wrist or bed to sound an alert when a seizure happens. For Sophia, SUDEP (sudden unexpected death of someone with epilepsy) is a real threat. For her parent, Sarah, it’s the worst nightmare she has to live with twenty fours hours a day.

Harry began calling the alert, not just at night but in the daytime too. It’s different from a normal caterwaul, Sarah says. It’s a panicked alert call – a scream mixed with a howl. Whenever Sophia’s up in her room and starts having a seizure, Harry howls and screams until Sarah gets there, he sits, often on her chest, nudging her, rubbing his face on her, trying to get her to wake up.

Before Harry came into their lives, Sophia couldn’t have any independence. She needed to be with Sarah all the time, in case a seizure happened. But now Sophia and Sarah can have more time for themselves, knowing that if somethings wrong, Harry will call.

Harry was the missing member of Sarah and Sophia’s family. With Harry at home, Sophia and Sarah feel safe. “He’s a sweetheart. A lifesaver. A sense of security that very few people can appreciate,” says Sarah. “He means the world to me. I love him,” says Sophia.

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This entry was posted in Cats on May 11th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Dos and Don’ts of Owning Guinea Pigs

There are lots of things you can do to make your guinea pigs’ lives safer and more engaging. In this article, we cover the different dos and don’ts that all guinea pig owners should be aware of, to make sure you create a happy home for your pet.

For starters, did you know that it’s illegal to own just one guinea pig in Switzerland? This may be surprising, but it’s one of many laws that protect our furry friends from mistreatment – in this case, loneliness. Guinea pigs, just like us, need a companion if they are to live a happy and fulfilled life, and Switzerland has made sure that no guinea pig ever has to live its life alone!

Guinea pigs bedding dos and don’ts

Do use a bedding material with good absorbency, as this will reduce smell and create a more hygienic and comfortable environment for your guinea pigs.

Don’t use dusty or sandy bedding, as guinea pigs have delicate lungs and will suffer if they breathe in wood or sand dust. In their natural habitat, guinea pigs create their homes from larger pieces of wood and debris. Your pets will enjoy constructing complicated nests using larger bedding materials.

Do choose kiln-dried wood shavings, as the drying process removes any toxins and oils from the wood.

Don’t choose color over comfort! If you want to use a multi-colored paper-based bedding, consider mixing it in with a more natural tone that replicates the wood-and-grass colors of the guinea pig’s natural habitat.

Do use an aubiose-based bedding if possible, as this is naturally less dusty, more absorbent and made from a natural, sustainable material.

Guinea pigs food dos and don’ts

Do give your guinea pigs natural treats such as spinach or broccoli, as this is an essential source of vitamin C in their diets! If your guinea pigs refuse to eat leafy greens, it may be necessary to purchase a vitamin C solution that can be added to your pet’s water.

Don’t overfeed your guinea pigs – if they are leaving bits of food in their bowl each day, feed them a little less.

Do regularly clean out your guinea pigs’ food bowl, as their bedding, fur and general mess will quickly soil the bowl. Consider cleaning your pets’ bowls after each feeding with a wipe or spray.

Don’t give your guinea pig any type of meat or fish, as this could lead to illness. If your guinea pig has accidentally eaten meat, it’s best to take them to the vet immediately.

Do change your guinea pigs’ water every few days, not only once the bowl is empty. This ensures a clean water supply.

Don’t give your guinea pigs too many treats if you are attempting to train them – the treats will go further in training if your pet sees them as something special!

Guinea pig toys dos and don’ts

Do regularly change the toys in your guinea pigs’ run. Your guinea pig’s play will remain stimulating if you often swap the toys around. Your guinea pig may let you know if it’s bored of a toy by chewing or even eating it!

Don’t give your guinea pigs your leftover toilet paper roll as a treat, as the chemicals used to treat them could be bad for your pets’ health. Instead, invest in a small tunnel system such as Zippi tunnels, which not only last longer but are safer too.

Do provide plenty of chew toys for your guinea pigs. Your pets will naturally nibble and bite any objects in their cage to maintain the length of their teeth. This can be dangerous if all they have to bite on is the metal cage, so having plenty of different things to chew on is essential.

Don’t put your guinea pig into a wheel or ball toy. Although these are great for our smaller furry friends, the guinea pig’s body is not designed to fit into such a small space. Your guinea pigs will be much happier getting their exercise in a large run or enclosure.

Do change the layout of any tunnels or playground you have for your guinea pigs. Many of the play sets available are modular and can be changed to keep the experience fresh for your pets.

Guinea pig cohabitation dos and don’ts

Do make sure that your guinea pigs have plenty of space in their enclosure. If you are keeping a small family of guinea pigs, then it’s important that they have enough room to play and establish their own space within the cage or hutch.

Don’t punish your guinea pigs by putting them into isolation. If your guinea pigs are being naughty, separating them from the others will only create further problems and is widely thought to be unhealthy and distressing for them.

Do keep your guinea pigs in pairs of sisters or neutered brothers. This will reduce aggression between the animals, as it reduces their mating urges. It is also possible to keep a neutered male with females, but you will need to wait six weeks after the neutering before introducing them, as males can still successfully mate in those early weeks.

Don’t keep just one guinea pig. Switzerland has the right idea when it comes to animal laws, as your guinea pig will get very lonely when left alone for long periods. This loneliness can actually shorten their lifespan. Your guinea pig will live a longer and happier life with a friend, so it’s a great idea to get a pair if you are considering becoming a guinea pig owner.

 

Keeping guinea pigs is simple and highly satisfying. By providing them with a stimulating environment and healthy diet and observing these few dos and don’ts, your pets will have long and happy lives.

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This entry was posted in Guinea Pigs on May 5th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Pride of Omlet: Perfect Peaky

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

At the tender age of one, Peaky is already a retired filmstar. He had lived in a cage his whole life, released only to perform. When Joana and Fergus took him home, he was a fluffy, yellow bundle of nerves. However, they were determined to help Peaky, their cute little canary companion, to come out of his shell.

When Joana met Fergus, she didn’t know she was falling in love with a human and his pet cockatiel. It had been his best friend for 22 years. Together they grew the flock with a mischievous bird. “He was like a dog; he wanted to sleep with us. You could hold him and kiss him!” But tragically, within a short space of time, the cockatiel died of old age, and then the bird became terminally ill. The house fell silent.

Lockdown 1 without birds was quiet and sad for Joana and Fergus. To cheer themselves up, they decided to get their home ready for another bird and after plenty of research, they agreed on the Omlet Geo as the beautiful new bird home. All they needed now was a bird to live with them.

Fergus works in TV, and if anyone offered an animal, Fergus was known to take it. One day a ray of sunshine arrived on set-a bright little canary owned by a person who supplies animals for TV shows. Fergus struck up a conversation with the owner and learned that this little bird had a feisty character and had to be separated from the other birds, which meant he lived alone, probably in a smaller cage. Seeing Fergus’s enthusiasm, the owner asked, “Do you want this one?”

Ecstatic, Fergus called Joana, “We can get a canary!” When the clapper board shut, Fergus drove Peaky home to Edinburgh. Unfortunately, they got stranded en route in a massive snow blizzard and were stuck in the car for hours before being rescued by locals who took them in for the night. The next day, Peaky and Fergus continued their journey home, and when they finally arrived, the house instantly came alive.

Peaky sings beautifully and chirps up when he hears a running tap, the kettle, the hairdryer, and he even provides backing vocals to Joana’s zoom calls. However, unlike their previous birds, he’s a scared soul that feels safer inside his Omlet Geo.

He doesn’t want to come out. Joana understood it would take time to get to know him.

She has a deep empathy with birds and is slowly, patiently, gently, working with Peaky to get him to trust his new human family. When she was younger, she made magazines written from a birds point of view called The Birds Club. Joana is now a professional writer, currently working on a series of children’s novels where birds play the main characters. Peaky even has a little cameo.

He’s getting braver, occasionally eating treats from Joana’s hand, enjoying honey seeds, millet and spinach. Joana makes sure he has space to escape if he’s not comfortable. She doesn’t want him to perform, she just wants to prove to Peaky that he can trust her.

 

“I’m doing a lot of research to work on rewriting his ideas about us. He came into our lives after being birdless for a year. He has no idea how happy he makes me.”

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This entry was posted in Birds on May 4th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


The Seven Fascinating Senses of Cats

 

We all know that cats have excellent hearing and fantastic night vision. But there are many other senses at work in your pet cat too, including taste, touch, smell, internal clock, and an incredible sense of balance.

1. The Cat’s Sense of Sight

To see why cats have such fantastic eyesight, look no further than their larger and more dangerous cousins. Many big cats choose to hunt at night, and the average pet cat is prepared to pursue prey at any time of day, whether noon or the dead of night. It has even been suggested that cats can see in wavelengths of light that we cannot, giving them an enhanced ability to detect even the smallest motions. This allows cats to stay one jump ahead of their prey.

Cats also have a slightly wider field of visions than humans, meaning they can keep an eye on more of their territory from one spot. Cats’ vision, however, is not actually better than ours overall, and their peripheral vision is less focused than a human’s. This feline form of ‘tunnel vision’ allows them to better track fast-moving targets.

2. The Cat’s Sense of Taste

Taste is one of the cat’s weaker senses, due to its relatively small number of taste buds compared to other mammals. Cats also miss out on whole types of taste, lacking the tongue proteins required to taste sweet foods. It’s not just our pet cats that lack a sweet tooth – all cats lack the ability to produce these proteins. It’s thought that this could be a by-product of their largely carnivorous, ‘savory’ diet, as evolution has led cats to hunt for nutrient-rich meat instead of foraging for sweet fruits or berries.

It’s not all bad news for the cat’s dinner plate, though, as it’s also been revealed that cats have taste receptors that can detect chemicals and bacteria in meat. This could be a form of protection against potential food poisoning from meat that’s just starting to turn a bit green at the edges.

3. The Cat’s Sense of Hearing

Did you know cats not only have better hearing than humans, but also dogs? They can hear a very wide bandwidth of sound frequencies, and their hearing sensitivity is high too, allowing them to listen from a much greater distance. Cats’ ears are full of clever and fascinating mechanisms, such as the ability to clean themselves. Cats also avoid ear infections in the first weeks of their life by being born with sealed ear canals.

Although cats’ hearing appears to be such an important part of their lives, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if a cat is deaf. This is due to their other senses being so sensitive. A deaf cat can live a life very similar to a cat with full hearing, simply by relying heavily on the other senses.

If you have a pet cat, you will have seen their wonderfully clever ability to rotate their outer ears independently from each other – almost like a satellite dish turning for a better signal!

4. The Cat’s Sense of Balance

They say a cat always lands on its feet, and while this is technically not true, they do have a couple of tricks up their furry sleeves when it comes to landing gracefully. Cats have an inbuilt instinct called the righting reflex – they rotate their body in mid-air by detecting their orientation with their inner ear, performing a swift, complex series of motions in order to land on their feet.

The cat’s balance, fast reflexes and unique physiology allow it to pull off this famous and intriguing feat. Cats have even been known to use the righting reflex to survive falls of more than nine stories! They develop this amazing sense of balance at just four weeks old – and as soon as they do, they like to seek out high places to put it to the test.

5. The Cat’s Sense of Touch

Cats have more organs for touch than humans don’t have. Whiskers are most famous for giving cats a regal and sophisticated look, but they are in fact a secret weapon that gives them a highly enhanced sense of touch.

Cats actually have whiskers on many parts of their body, including their front legs, jaw and ears. Cats’ whiskers allow them to touch objects and understand texture without the danger of directly touching it with their skin. This is a sophisticated way of avoiding obstacles at any time of day while simultaneously safeguarding themselves from sharp objects or other animals.

Cats also use touch to find their place in the social hierarchy. Cats will often gently rub noses with each other when first meeting, and it’s thought that their noses have an enhanced sense of touch for this very reason.

6. The Cat’s Sense of Smell

In a cat’s social life, smell is perhaps the most crucial sense. Smell allows a cat to identify the territories of other local cats, and to recognize whether they are in heat. Cats can even use their sense of smell to identify the emotional state of other animals, and they can ‘smell’ the chemicals produced by human sweat.

Cats each produce a unique scent using at least seven different scent glands across their body. They will obsessively mark their home and owners with these glands by rubbing against them. It is not known whether this is a way of making themselves feel more comfortable, or whether they are asserting some kind of ownership on people and place. Most of us just look at it as a sweet sign of affection!

7. The Cat’s Internal Clock

Just like people, cats have a highly intuitive internal clock that guarantees they always know if it’s time to rest, play or hunt. Cats are infamous for waking up their owners at the same time every day, sometimes much earlier than you might like! This could be due to their natural behavior of having an active morning, followed by an afternoon nap (the famous ‘cat nap’) and a hunting session at dusk.

You may also see your cats’ internal clocks in action through their uncanny ability to tell when it’s food time. Most cats are fed twice a day, and studies have shown that cats start producing digestive chemicals shortly before their regular meal-time.

Other studies have shown that a cat’s sense of time is largely governed by light and the sun, as cats who are subjected to constant darkness or constant light begin to lose their routines and become more erratic.

All in all, cats are creatures endowed with a super selection of senses. They may look impassive and chilled on the outside, but on the inside they’re receiving all kinds of signals from the busy world around them.

 

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This entry was posted in Cats on May 4th, 2021 by alisa.deluca