3 Parasites You May Not Realize Your Pet Has

parasites BobBy Linda Cole

It’s not difficult to figure out if your pet has fleas. Left untreated, it doesn’t take long for a full blown flea infestation to invade your home and pet. It’s not always so easy, however, to tell when parasites are affecting your dog or cat. Here are three parasites you might not realize your pet has.

Cuterebra Parasite

The Cuterebra (Botfly) is a large, non-biting fly that lay eggs around openings of rabbit or rodent dens. Some eggs are deposited on plants and rocks in the area. Rabbits and rodents are the normal host for the fly, but dogs and cats can collect eggs on their coat when poking their head in and around burrow openings. Eggs exposed to the warmer body temperature of a pet hatch into larvae that crawl around looking for a way into their host, usually through the mouth or nasal passage during grooming, or through an open wound.
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How Long Does it Take for a Dog to Reach Maturity?

By Langley Cornwellpups grow mark peters

The reason many people tend to get puppies instead of full grown dogs is because puppies are so darn cute. Just like human babies, puppies are adorable. This single fact probably causes more problems for dog shelters than any other fact. This is because puppies only stay little and puppy-like for so long. So while most people fall in love with puppies and dream of an idyllic life together with this furry little bundle of fur, they may not actually be prepared to live with a full-grown dog. Sadly, that’s when many dogs are returned to shelters.

The fastest growing dog breeds are the smaller breeds. This is most likely due to the fact that small breeds tend to stay small, so it doesn’t take as long to reach full maturity. For people who are looking for the “puppy” look, the smaller breeds are definitely the way to go. Take a look at some of the smaller breeds that tend to retain the puppy-type look.
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“Dog Speak,” a Poem with Dog Related Phrases

dog speakBy Laurie Darroch

It’s amazing to see how much dogs have become interwoven in our speech. Even references related to their behavior and interactions with humans and other dogs make an occasional appearance in our vocabulary and conversations. These loyal companions influence us in every walk of life, ranging from day-to-day living all the way to the military and politics, and everything in between. Dog references appear in expressions about our strengths and weaknesses, in humorous anecdotes, in serious commentaries and light hearted bantering between friends.

Whether you are a dog lover or not, chances are that you have used expressions that harken back to our interactions with these beautiful creatures. This poem is in honor of the depth that dogs have touched our lives. It is written with a touch of humor using just a few of the words and expressions that have become part of our communication. “Dog speak” is a wonderful and colorful part of our spoken and written language.
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Are Dogs Hardwired to Listen to Us?

dogs hardwired dan lentzBy Linda Cole

We express ourselves every day in different ways, especially through verbal communication. You can usually tell if someone close to you is happy, angry or sad by the sound of their voice. As it turns out, human and canine brains are very similar when it comes to understanding the components of human speech. According to a 2014 study, dogs are hardwired to listen to us in much the same way we are hardwired to listen to others.

It’s no easy task sometimes to get a dog’s attention, which leaves one to wonder if he even heard what you said – let alone understood your words. However, dogs are very capable of understanding human speech as well as picking up on the tonal complexity in speech. If your dog doesn’t listen to you, it’s not because he isn’t paying attention. He can differentiate between human speech that has meaningful words and sounds with only emotional inflections. Scientists have known for some time that dogs “get” how we say things, but little is actually known on whether canines understand what we say to them.

The human brain processes important verbal information in speech in the left hemisphere, but the characteristic parts of speech are processed in the right hemisphere – e.g., the speaker is male or female, someone familiar to you, and emotional cues. When we listen to someone speaking, we hear the meaning of words in the right ear and emotional cues in the left ear. Most of us have a left-right cross link in our auditory organs; in other words, the right ear hears meaningful speech and is linked to the left hemisphere of the brain while the left ear hears emotional cues and is linked to the right hemisphere.
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8 Great Cat-Themed Coloring Books for Adults

By Julia Williams

Would it surprise you to learn that five of the top 25 bestsellers on Amazon today are adult coloring books? Or that the book credited with jump-starting the adult coloring book craze, Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide? If you read the news or spend any time on social media, those two factoids are probably not a revelation. Perhaps you’re even among the legions who enjoy this fun hobby that’s becoming more popular by the day.

Some say coloring – aka Art Therapy – is a wonderful way to relax and that it can reduce stress and anxiety, and even help with depression. Others say coloring provides an accessible creative outlet, a way to be “artsy” even if you can’t draw. I discovered adult coloring books in April, and coloring quickly became my go-to activity whenever I had a minute to spare. Because I love all things feline, my first adult coloring book was a cat-themed one. I’ve since branched out to other designs, but am also collecting the cat coloring books. I wanted to share a few of my favorites here today. (This is by no means a complete list of all the nice cat-themed adult coloring books out there! That would require a novel-length post).
coloring creative
Creative Haven: Creative Cats

Just about every cat person who colors has this enchanting book by artist Marjorie Sarnat. The images are quite detailed and challenging to color, featuring adorable felines amongst flowers, hearts, butterflies, owls, cityscapes and fantasy scenes.  There are over 30 illustrations printed on one side only, which means you can use any medium—even markers – to color them without worrying about bleed through. The pages are also perforated for easy removal.
coloring quilts
Cats & Quilts

Jason Hamilton is a software engineer who likes to draw to unwind after a busy workday. His charming adult coloring book contains 24 cozy illustrations of cats and kittens doing what they do best – napping! Aside from the really sweet images, one thing I especially like about this book is that each illustration appears in two sizes: full page and 4″ x 6″ which is perfect for framing or just trying out a different color scheme. The images are printed on one side only.

coloring fancyCreative Fancy Cats  

This book by artist Gina Trowler has 30 eclectic illustrations to color, including cats in sunglasses, a Puss In Boots-style character, cats chasing butterflies, befriending a bird and peeking out from baskets. Some of the images are intricately detailed with tiny spaces that require concentration and a steady hand (as well as fine tip markers!) while others offer a more relaxed approach. The images are printed on one side only.

coloring mindfulCats: Coloring for Mindfulness

I am totally in love with the playfully quirky style of this book by Paris illustrators Aurelie Castex and Claire Laude. You’ll find all sorts of detailed scenes featuring cats as Matryoshkas (Russian nesting dolls), cats playing, dancing, dressing up and just generally getting into mischief – just like a feline! The 60 whimsical illustrations are printed on both sides of the page; this creates some really cute double-page spreads, but it’s also a drawback if you like to color with markers, as they will bleed through the paper. The book’s cover is more luxurious than most, something between a hardback and a paperback with a nice feel and look.coloring mimi

Mimi Vang Olsen Cats Coloring Book

Renowned artist Mimi Vang Olsen travels the world meeting cats and creating folksy pet portraits that capture each feline’s unique purrsonality. This delightful coloring book features 22 reproductions of her original cat-themed works of art. On the inside front and back cover are small color photos of the artwork, so you can color the images to match Mimi’s or do them entirely different. The paper is nice and thick, and the icoloring chatsmages are printed on one side only.

Art Therapie: Chats

This adorable little cat coloring from France is smaller than most at approximately 5 ½” x 8″. But what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with 60 wonderful cat-inspired illustrations. It’s the perfect size book to take along to get your cat coloring fix while you wait in the doctor’s office etc.

coloring ruthDesigns for Coloring: Cats

Originally published in 1990 (long before the adult coloring book trend!), this book by artist Ruth Heller is geared more toward children. However, cat lovers of all ages will enjoy coloring the images which feature housecats as well as jungle cats like a lion and leopard. One downside is that many of the images appear more than once, either magnified into a super close-up shot or reduced to form a quartet on the page. Still, it’s really cute and the images are printed on only one side of the page, so I still give the book two paw’s up.

coloring grumpyGrumpy Cat

No list of cat coloring books would be complete without a mention of one of the most famous real-life felines, the surly but loveable Grumpy Cat. This book is also geared towards children, but hey – it’s Grumpy Cat! Which means it’s going to be funny as well as fun to color.

All of the above cat coloring books are available on Amazon, where you can get more detailed information as well as see some sample pages. And if you like to color kitty pics, you might want to join the Cat Colorings group on Facebook to share your colorings with other cat lovers!

Read more articles by Julia Williams

Can Dogs Get Warts?

warts wplynnBy Linda Cole

It’s not uncommon to find small lumps and bumps on your dog, and most aren’t anything to worry about. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to monitor any lump to make sure it doesn’t change in color or size. If it does, call your vet immediately. Warts are small growths that seem to pop up on the skin out of the blue, and like us, dogs can get warts. The question is, how concerned should you be if you find a wart on your dog?

Warts are caused by an extremely contagious virus that all dogs have probably already been exposed to. Also known as papilloma or fibropapillomas, the virus causes usually benign skin growths that can develop on the face, eyes, eyelids, mouth, genital area, lower legs, feet, on the footpads and between the toes. Dog warts look similar to the warts people get, and can grow in clusters or alone. Sometimes a wart can be smooth. The virus is passed from dog to dog, but because it’s species specific, it can’t be passed on to you or your feline friends. It’s unclear why some dogs develop warts while others don’t, but it’s likely due to a weak or immature immune system and age. The virus affects young dogs and older canines, as well as dogs with compromised immune systems.
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