Monthly Archives: April 2013

Tips For Taking Care of Your Pregnant Dog

There is nothing more beautiful than the joys of new birth. Puppies are tiny balls of softness, innocence and cuddly cuteness. There are many things you can do to help prepare for your female dog’s pregnancy.  Your dog should be over one year of age and have had its 2nd or 3rd heat.  Most dogs will have their cycle every 5-7 months. Be sure your female is in good shape prior to becoming pregnant. An overweight dog may run into more complications with pregnancy than a lean, healthy weight dog.

As with any pregnancy, your dog will likely go through emotional changes.  Give her lots of love and attention with gentle words and lots of strokes. She may not feel very well in the first few weeks so this extra love will be very soothing.

After the first 6 weeks of pregnancy, your pet will need to consume more food, as well as after the birth of the litter. You should increase her food intake by about 25%. She may need several small meals as the puppies growing inside of her  put pressure on her internal organs. Providing clean, fresh water is very important. The need for extra food and fluids increases at this time and helps your dog and her puppies have the nutrition they require.

Exercise is very important as well. Even though she is pregnant, she needs to run and play as she always did. Playtime makes your dog happy and gives her a boost towards a happy pregnancy. Walks alone won’t do it. You will need to walk her more, however, because she is increasing her fluid intake and the puppies put increased pressure on her bladder.

It is important to get her checkups with the vet. Prior to breeding she should test negative for heartworms and intestinal parasites which can be passed along to the pups. All of her immunizations should be up-to-date. The mother’s immunity to infectious diseases is given to her puppies during their nursing of her milk.

Be sure to set aside an area with an easy to clean surface where she can have her pups when the time comes. A low, shallow box lined with clean old blankets, sheets or old clothing will give her a soft and comfortable place to give birth. Get her used to it ahead of time, even offering treats there to get her to go to that spot. If she were to have the puppies outside of that area, move them right to the designated spot so she will follow. Since this will be her resting spot for several weeks with the puppies, it is important to keep it clean and comfortable.

The joys of motherhood will fill the air when the puppies are born. It is a wonderful experience that is best when you have taken the time to prepare for it. All of these suggestions will help to ensure a happy, healthy new litter of puppies!

Accidents Outside The Litter box; Spiteful?

One of the most frequently heard complaints from cat owners is “Why does my precious kitty cat go outside of the litterbox? Is she mad at me?”

There are many reasons pets can have accidents around the house. But spitefulness is not one of them. Pets do not hold grudges or try to get back at their owners. People, on the other hand…,but that would be a different article. Usually when a cat goes outside of the box, she is trying to tell you something. She is trying to communicate that something is wrong. You should not punish your pet for what you feel is spiteful behavior. Stress and fear only exacerbate the issue. Having accidents can start out as indicators of medical problems and then become behavioral problems. The following are possible issues that can lead to outside of the box elimination:

– anything causing pain that is then associated with the litter box such as;

*pain upon urination or bowel movement


*urinary tract infection or disease or bladder infection

*pelvic fractures


*obesity making movement difficult

-diseases such as kidney disease, diabetes, diarrhea, parasites

-changes in the environment including new people, routines, new pets, moving, renovations, etc.

-dirty litter boxes

-change in litter box style, size, type of litter, pan liner, location of litter box
It is important to rule out medical problems first then to make behavioral management changes. Once the medical aspect is fine, the following suggestions may be helpful:

-have a litter box for each cat you own in all levels of your home

-don’t put the box in a corner where your cat might feel too closed in

-scoop out the litter daily and regularly clean with warm water and soap

-avoid permeable plastic boxes which absorb odor or use a plastic liner

-if your cat has an accident, clean the area with enzymatic cleaner and cover the site for a few days to avoid recurrence

-use unscented, clumping sand type litter in a large low box. A liner makes for easier cleanup.


We love our cats and want to understand when they are trying to tell us something. At least we know they are not trying to get back at us for not remembering a card on their birthday!