White dog with brown spots looking confused

Thinking of desexing your dog?

The decision, if you are going to have your dog desexed or not, is I think one of the most difficult choices you have to make as a pet owner. These days though social media and educational documentaries has made it easy for us to do this due to it gaining popularity. I personally am not against desexing or am I for it, but I’d rather, before I make a decision for the life and well-being of my dog, I would want to be educated first of the pros and cons of the process. I think we need to further understand what it is and how it is done in order to make a sound decision.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

If it was 100 years ago, this act would be considered inhumane and would be named illegal. But due to the issues on animal population control, desexing was given leeway in the 1930’s. This gained popularity due to the boom in the pet population during the mentioned year, so they had to find a way to control it. Sadly at that time one of the ways they also devised was euthanasia.

IT ROSE TO FAME

It started to gain track when the cities started to grow and people started to bring more animals in urban areas. Dogs and cats started to reproduce until the number of stray pets increased that even the city can’t handle. At that time shelters were already being filled up and the health and safety of the residents and pet owners alike were already being compromised. They could not control the numbers anymore, and as much as they wanted to find humane ways for population control, the stray pets were reproducing faster than they could find a way to fix the issue. This all came down to animal welfare vs. human convenience.

THIS WAS NOT JUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF HUMANS

Unknown to all of us, well maybe a few dog owners most probably. Desexing has its advantages towards pet dogs. Like human beings, dogs who have a promiscuous and active sex life can also contract harmful diseases and viruses that are fatal for them and for humans alike. The health issues that come, go both ways. For male dogs, they become more prone to testicular cancer, prostate cancer, prostate enlargement, hormone related tumors and infections. For female dogs, they can easily get infections in the uterus, pyometra and breast cancers.

DOGS HAVE DIFFERENT SEXUAL APPETITES

As they are animals, man’s best friend is not a man himself, and he is an animal by nature. So, naturally he has a very unique sexual appetite. They have a tendency to stress, not eat and even go crazy when they feel a female dog is in heat. Their body temperatures seem to call upon each other when this time of the month comes around. A friend of mine told me that he has seen dogs when desexed, develop faster and get stronger. Maybe because all the vitamins and minerals get retained and the animals are able to rest properly.

As I have said, I am neither pro or anti desexing pets. Each to her own pet owner, I cannot impose my personal opinions on the subject because there is yet so much more to learn about the issue. For now, let’s leave it at that.

Black dog and brown dog lying on a white bed - thumbnail size

5 Things A Pet Motel Must Have

In the event of travel or illness, being faced with the need to find a temporary home for your pet can feel a bit daunting for devoted pet owners. But it does not need to be a worry if you do adequate research to ensure that you have chosen the right place. Visiting a few different motels and checking to make sure that they have all the essential elements will assist you in feeling happy as you hand over your furry companion.

Adequate Staff

Adequate staff to look after the amount of animals that are being housed there is the first thing you will want to ask about. This is important because you will want to know that your pet is being supervised while it is in their care.

Adequate Sanitation

How clean the place looks (and smells) will give you a very good idea about how good their sanitation routine is. There should not be any fecal matter in the kennel and it needs to have adequate sanitation procedures in place to prevent the spread of the intestinal disease canine parvovirus, which is spread through contact with a contaminated surface.

Secure Housings

Because pets have been known to try and pull the Houdini act and attempt to go off to find their owner, secure housings for your pet are a must. When checking the place, make sure to look at the fences, gates and runs to ensure that they will be able to accommodate your pets, and keep them safe from running off. If your pet is a typical Houdini type, be sure to let the kennel carers know so that they can take extra precautions.

Safety Procedures

All kennels and housings need to be free from sharp objects, damaged wires and any other elements that your pet may find to cause it harm. Ensure that your pet will have its own private place to sleep and live, and that it is adequately divided from other boarding residents, so that it can relax and enjoy its time.

Health Care

Your pet’s health care is one of the key elements that you will need to ask about, to get an idea about what life will be like for your pet. Be sure to ask about water and feeding procedures, as well as what veterinary services are available if your pet does become ill during its stay. Reputable kennels will have specific requirements for vaccinations, so be sure to check what your pet will need to have up-to-date, as well as asking what parasite control the kennel has in place.

 

Two dogs walking on the grass

Training Your Pup? 4 Things You Need to Know First

Dogs are definitely trainable but there is a degree of patience and knowledge that you need to have in order to get to your goals. There are several kinds of studies and techniques nowadays being published online that claim they can easily train your dogs. But for me there is no easy way or a standard 1, 2 step that can do this for you than just being a good and patient teacher.

MY NAME IS PROFESSOR….?

Remember, among all other things in this classroom, you are the teacher and your dog is a kindergarten kid. You are here to teach them things they need to learn in order for them to apply it to their daily lives. You are training them so they can easily be a part of the family and they can co-relate properly with their fellow dogs and their owners as well. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself what your goal is and why you are training your dog. The lessons are for him generally with a bit of bonus for you.

COMMON SENSE IS NOT THAT COMMON

That’s what my dad always says, which is actually very evident sometimes. It’s forgivable though because sometimes the owners lose their patience in the process of training their dogs, they forget that these dogs are still “dogs”. This means they are trainable but they require a different kind of training tactic. One big thing you should understand that dogs, don’t know the meaning of “No” so there is really no use in using it towards them.

BE NICE

Dogs feel too, they get hurt when you shout or call them names that they don’t even understand. Spend time with them and reward whatever good thing your doggy has done. This should not just be a one shot deal, you have to be consistent with rewarding them for their good and right behavior. This way they will understand that when they do certain things, you get happy, and that makes them happy to. Remember dogs can sense energy, bad and good. Sometime their attitude for that day will be affected by the energy you give out to them. So it really does pay to be nice.

BE REALISTIC

He is a dog, so be realistic with your expectations. Don’t expect him to understand every little word you say, especially if you use a lot of words to command him. Stick to one word that may connote him to sit or stand. Don’t confuse him by yelling at him and saying different commands. This will just lengthen the process and training even more. Know the limitations of your dog and don’t blame it on him if he can’t meet your expectations. Remember, you are the teacher and he is the student, if he can’t get it, there is something wrong with how you teach.

All in all, training your dog just requires your patience, understanding and a lot of love.

Cat lying on a dog

Best Outdoor Activities For Cats and Dogs

A key element for taking your dogs and cats outdoors is going to be how well you trained them to use a leash in the early days. Cats and dogs that are leash trained will be easier to manage during outdoor activities, and increase the number of activities that are an option for you to enjoy together.

If your cat is primarily an indoor cat, it will benefit hugely from having access to an outdoor run that comes from your home, but leash training it will certainly increase your options for other activities that you can do with it. Also, be mindful of taking cats outdoors as they tend to kill a lot of birds, this being their natural instinct. Dogs are usually trained to use a leash early on as a matter of their basic training, and if this is done well then you should have no problem bringing it along to participate in any of the outdoor activities that you are doing yourself.

Bicycling Riding

While this would probably not be an activity suited to cats on leashes, they may enjoy sitting in a basket while you ride. However, if you have a dog and also love riding your bike, this is a must-do activity that you can enjoy together. Dogs have loads of energy that needs to be expended, so running alongside your bike will give them great pleasure and give them a chance to exercise their strong muscles, as well as feeling the wind in their coat.

Dog Parks

As the name suggests, dog parks are a suburban oasis for owners and their dogs to meet up with other dogs (and their owners), to run about, sniff each other, and do doggy things. At present there is no such thing as a cat park in Australia, most likely because cats are very self-contained creatures and do not often socialise with other cats, unless they are in the same household.

Swimming

While cats would not enjoy swimming at all, dogs love getting into the water and chasing a ball, or exploring ponds, pools or coastal areas. They will gladly swim along with you, or jump into the water to take part in whatever activity you are doing, and it is another activity that is excellent for keeping their muscles strong. At Durack Pet Motel, we encourage owners to do lots of outdoor activities with their pets to socialise them with other animals to make their transition to staying with us as comfortable as possible.

 

Importance Of Walking Your Dog

If you force a human to remain trapped in one area for too long they end up not feeling very happy, and start to climb up the walls with boredom and lack of stimulation. The same applies to man’s best friends – dogs. A dog needs the stimulation of regular walks outside of its yard domain for various reasons in order to maintain optimal health, fitness and emotional wellbeing.

Exercise

As you can imagine, exercise is a big part of why it is so important to walk your dog. You may not be aware that dogs are descended originally from wolves. If you think about how much energy a wolf has to hunt and wander long distances, it is easy to understand why a dog would have a lot of energy that needs to be expended somehow. Walking your dogs allows them to use up some of this latent energy, which keeps them happier and healthier.

Socialisation

As the saying suggests, man’s best friends are very sociable animals and they not only need the stimulation of social interactions with people, but also with other dogs. You may have noticed that when you go for a walk, your dog will be sniffing poles and peeing on as many spots as they can. This is a part of how dogs socialise with each other; they leave their scent.

Training

One key way that you can train your dog is through repetition of different activities. Going for a daily walk is an excellent opportunity for training your dog how to stay close to you and walking alongside without running off on its own. Any sort of discipline will assist with your training of the dog in other areas, so it is definitely worth including the daily walk.

Emotional Wellbeing

Like people, dogs want to do fun things, too! An unhappy dog will start to display ‘acting out’ behaviours, which could mean that it damages your property, or jumps all over you with the desire to connect with you on some level. Regular walks assist the dog to have time to socialise and do its doggy thing with other dogs, as well as get enough exercise to keep it feeling happy and relaxed. At Durack Pet Motel, we recognise that happy dogs make the best companions, so we encourage people to walk their dogs regularly and get into this habit before they come to visit us.

Cat being feed

Ways to Satisfy Your Pet’s Physical and Psychological Needs

Animals are as varied in their individual needs as they are in their species. A dog will have vastly different dietary needs from a guinea pig, as well as social and emotional requirements. Because every animal is different, we cannot list all the various methods for each one here, but we can break it down into areas that need to be taken into consideration. Having a happy relationship with your pets includes you getting to know them as individuals and understanding the particular things that they really enjoy with the foods that they relish, as well as the social activities that really make them feel good, and providing adequate medical care for their species.

Healthy Diet

Diet is a really important part of ensuring our physical well being. The types of foods that we need to eat for good health for our particular body and lifestyle will vary depending on who we are. Different animals will have differing dietary needs as well as personal likes and dislikes, similar to humans. Ensure that you do adequate research to become informed about the foods that your animal needs to be healthy, and, by all means, join an online forum where you can obtain specialised information specific to your own pet.

Social Activities and Psychological Needs

Again, different animals will require various social interactions to maintain a state of happiness within themselves. Guinea pigs will not require you to interact with them too frequently but they would definitely benefit from having another guinea pig to share their cage, which is the same for birds. A dog does not need another dog to live with it in its home area but it will need to go for outings where it can sniff out the scent of other dogs as well as having the opportunity to socialise regularly. Be present with your animals and this will give you an excellent gauge as to their psychological state. Become their friend, and you will be able to provide companionship and distraction during the times that they are not happy, the same way that you would do with a human friend.

Adequate Medical Care

Vaccinations and medical care to prevent diseases and infestations of parasites are important for different animals. Animals build up natural internal defences to some diseases and parasites in the wild but, when domesticated, they can find themselves susceptible to a variety of different ones. Ensuring that your animal has adequate medical care throughout its life is important as its guardian and owner; therefore, research what is needed for your specific animal and build a relationship with your vet.

Dog with twig in mouth - playing with owner

Benefits and Ways of Improving Your Pet’s Interest in Play

Not unlike humans, pets need physical stimulation to keep them happy, in good health and to prevent boredom. As many who work with children can attest, through play, we not only stimulate our minds, but we also learn a lot of valuable information about ourselves, as well as about the world in which we are immersed. If you aren’t sure how to play with your dog or cat, here’s a clue – do whatever feels fun and light hearted for both of you!

Start Early

The best time to start playing is right now! From the minute you take ownership of your new member of the family, get to know them, and see what they like and don’t like – stretch their imagination with new games and interests. This will also alleviate them from the opportunity of picking up bad habits to self soothe and alleviate their own boredom (which can lead to destruction of property). This will assist in bonding between the two of you.

Increase Brain Activity for Good Health

Playing with your pet is an important part of fostering your relationship and physical dexterity, while, at the same time, building on their brain function in the areas of memory and motor function, as well as staving off old age. Similar to humans, pets can also tend to start ‘winding down’ if they do not get enough stimulation to keep their minds and bodies active, which can then lead to other physical ailments and diseases.

Stretch Their Senses

Through play, you have the opportunity to expand your pet’s world and stretch all of its senses. If in doubt, join a forum, or use your imagination, and visit a pet or toy store for ideas. Different games will excite different animals. For cats, the old bell on a piece of string is a great way of stretching a few of their senses – sight as well as hearing. Hunting for treasure is a great way of stretching your dog’s sense of smell.

Training and Development

For both dogs and cats, training and developing their skills through play will assist in making your relationship more pleasant, especially if there are tasks or commands that would make your relationship more harmonious. The use of treats is encouraged as a means of inspiring their interest in learning new behaviours as well as in learning new tricks. There is a variety of different clicking games that will assist you in training your dog through play, so check out an online forum or do some extra reading.

At Durack Pet Motel, we encourage owners to make the time to spend some quality play time with their pet prior to bringing them for a stay, as this often assists them to feel more secure in your absence.

How Grooming Is Beneficial For The Health Of Your Pet

Anyone who says they can resist hugging a freshly groomed animal is either lying or is simply not an animal person. Either way, grooming serves many functions for pets, and it isn’t just about lifting their self-esteem, although it can definitely contribute to making them feel good. Regular pet grooming is not just for keeping up appearances, it also serves a very important function in maintaining your pet’s optimal health and wellness. During the grooming you also have an opportunity to check for health issues such as skin problems, or signs of inflammation; therefore, at Durack Pet Motel we encourage regular grooming for good health.

Cutting Hair

Unlike humans, dogs do not sweat from all areas of their body. They only sweat through the places where there is no fur, so cutting their hair will allow for better air circulation and assist them with maintaining an optimal temperature, especially on a hot day.

Cleaning

As many of us are aware, dogs are descended from wolves, which is probably a big part of why they love exploring and don’t mind getting dirty in the process. Regular cleaning is an important part of your pets’ grooming, not only to remove any of the debris that they have picked up on their fur, but also to be able to see what is going on underneath the fur. Additionally, dogs usually get a build-up of crust around their eyes, which is often only revealed during cleaning, but can cause problems if it is not cleared out regularly.

Brushing

Regular brushing of your pet also contributes to a healthier state, by removing dead fur, dandruff and dirt. An added benefit of brushing is that it spreads the natural oils around an animal’s fur, leaving a healthy, shiny coat. Regular brushing of your pet is best begun while it is still a puppy, so that it can get used to standing still for the duration of the brushing. If you do not start at an early age, an older animal is a lot more challenging to train to appreciate the experience. A helpful tip is to make sure you brush your dog’s hair before shampooing; otherwise, the hair will become matted and it will cause pain when you try to brush it after it has been washed.

Clipping of Nails

Clipping of the nails will prevent health issues later such as arthritis or infections. If a dog’s nails are too long, they will start to accommodate this by walking on the sides of their pads, which can lead to arthritis later in life, causing them a lot of pain.

Feeding and Lifestyle Changes for Older Pets

As pets age, they require mindfulness from their owner in ensuring that all of their requirements are still being met as their needs will change as they get older. Not unlike humans, pets are living to much older ages these days than previously. This is largely in part to better vaccines and treatments for diseases, as well as better information about caring for pets that allows owners to be more aware and to seek treatment during the early stages of disease.

Cognitive Changes

Some of the cognitive changes that may occur in older pets could cause behavioural changes, which can cause anxiety for owners if they are not aware of what is happening. These can include a loss of vision and hearing, which can make them less tolerant of small children. Loss of hearing can contribute to them becoming startled more easily, which may lead to anxiety that could be evident in how they approach people.

Feeding Adjustments

Similar to humans, when pets age they still need a balanced diet, but they will require more fibre to ensure healthy bowel movements and prevent them feeling physically uncomfortable. They will most likely eat smaller portions and their diet needs to take into account any of the current health issues that your pet may be experiencing. Foods are chosen specifically to alleviate stress on the kidneys and other organs if they are suffering with kidney diseases, amongst others. Most pet foods take into account the dietary changes of older pets, providing fewer calories with more protein. There are also a lot of supplements on the market to accommodate the changing dietary needs of ageing pets, so be sure to consult your vet about what your pets may need to increase in their diets.

Lifestyle Changes

Some of the lifestyle changes that an older pet will experience include weight gain, due to less exercise, adjustments to their sleeping routine as well as accidents due to incontinence. This means that owners might need to provide extra comfortable sleeping quarters for their pets; they should also allow them to have more toilet visits outside in order to do their business.
Because older pets are less energetic they will need frequent light exercise to prevent obesity and other health issues. At Durack Pet Motel, we encourage regular vet checks to ensure that as pets age they are getting everything they need, and live out the rest of their days as happily as possible.

Why Potty and Behavioural Training Are Recommended for Pets

When we begin a relationship with a human, we set clear boundaries about what will work for us in the relationship; we also provide the person with skills to understand the way that we do things. When beginning a relationship with a pet, it is recommended to do the same thing, only in the context of what you desire from the relationship with your pet. Two areas that are important for your pet to learn about are toilet training and behavioural training to assist in a harmonious and smooth relationship. The best time to train your pets is from when they are very young, so that they learn what is appropriate and what you will expect from them during the relationship.

Set Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries are as important as freedom, for both pets and people. Knowing what we can and cannot do allows us to feel secure, and consistency is an important part of this. Teaching pets where they need to go to the toilet from an early age not only assists you in maintaining a hygienic home, but also helps when you are out in public places. Knowing where they are allowed to sit, what they are allowed to chew and where they sleep allows pets to feel more relaxed and secure.

Prevent Damage to Property

During the younger years, we can often expect some property to be damaged by our pets as they ‘learn the ropes’ and gain valuable experience about what they can and cannot do. As pets grow older, if they are trained appropriately and understand what their owner likes or does not like, then there are (hopefully) going to be less damages and a more harmonious relationship for everyone.

Prepare Your Pet for Social Outings

People who have ever witnessed a child throwing a crazed tantrum in public will be able to appreciate the embarrassment and horror for the parent of the child, and understand how an unruly pet can cause similar embarrassment. Owning a pet that will not listen to your commands or do its business in the appropriate places can be extremely embarrassing as a pet owner, often causing the owner to avoid public outings or social visits. It is for this reason that putting in a little effort to train your pet can go a long way for a happier life together, and at Durack Pet Motel, we encourage this type of training for your pet while it is young.