Picking the right breed of cat for you


Before deciding which furry friend is going to be your next family member, you need to consider a few important things. Something to realize is cats are living beings and will need you throughout their whole life. Next, Kittens grow up and become cats. Kittens grow up and live anywhere from 12 to 20 years. Kittens, like any baby animal, require training, attention and patience. If you do not have time to train a kitten to use a litter box, to not climb on the curtains and hide in certain places, you may want to adopt a full grown cat. Many full grown cats need homes and aren’t as popular in shelters or from breeders as kittens, but need love as well.


Now that you have thought about the responsibility of owning a cat or kitten, you need to decide if you’d like a long-haired, medium-haired or short-haired cat. The reason this is important is the cost of maintaining the cat’s coat and the look of the cat. Some long-haired cats should not be shaved down due to sensitive skin. Cat’s hair will protect the skin from allergies and from the sun. Maintaining a cat with longer hair will require more frequent brushing and bathing. Here, at Fit ‘N’ Furry, we have wonderful groomers who are aware of the time it takes to bathe a cat and keep up with the flea treatments. You may want to find a groomer to assist you with the upkeep.

Once you have looked into the cost and responsibility of owning a certain cat, you must look into the cat’s personality. If you are looking into a pure bred, call a breeder and be sure that the cat has the personality you desire. If you would like a shelter or rescue cat, then be sure you talk with the staff and hold the cat to gauge how much of a lap cat or an active cat he or she may be. If you have kids, make sure the cat isn’t too afraid of people or had too much of a traumatic past. If you are a nurturing person who needs company, you may be the right person to rehabilitate a cat with special needs.

Once you know exactly the cat that is right for you, make sure you pick a vet and keep up with your new cat’s health. If you already have pets at home, be sure to keep hamsters, rats, birds or any smaller pet away from your cat. The new cat is not only adorable, but a hunter by nature. With larger pets, be sure to read up on introducing the cat into their new environment. Cats can get along with dogs and other cats, but are a bit territorial. Making sure your home is the right home takes time, but with love, anything is possible.

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Fit N Furry likes to keep warm in the cold, How about you?


Now that the weather is getting colder and some of us are heading up to the snow, we here at Fit N Furry have a couple of tips to help keep your pets happy, healthy, and warm during the winter. There are many key elements that can help keep your pets safe that are easy to do.

One of these elements is having proper housing if your pet stays outside for long periods of time. Having dog houses with sloped roofs with insulation will help keep rain, snow, and wind out as well as keeping the heat in. Putting blankets in with your pet is ideal, it doesn’t necessarily matter if they are new blankets or old clothes, even straw is great for insulating body heat. Very young dogs and elderly dog should not be kept outside for long in order keep them healthy. Remember that wind chill will make your pet colder than the actual temperature outside.

Another great way to keep your pets warm is clothing. Pet stores today have everything from sweaters, shoes, beanies, or pajamas in all types of material and sizes. Sweaters and shirt will insulate your pets’ body temperature while shoes or booties are ideal when walking your pet during the cold or in the snow; salt, magnesium, and snow can all get in between your pets toes causing irritation.


We all know exercise is important but during the cold weather it is better to have limited time outside.  Shorter walks and time outside helps prevent hypothermia and frostbite which can be fatal if not treated in time.

We all know that humans can get hypothermia and frostbite in the cold but did you know animals can too?  Not everyone knows the symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite so to help keep everyone safe here are the signs and treatment methods for both.

 Hypothermia is when the body’s temperature falls below normal levels, so it’s sort of like the opposite of a fever. A dog’s normal body temperaturshould be 100-101 degrees and cat’s normal body temperature should be 100.5 to 102.5 degrees. The most obvious symptom is low body temperature or shivering, others you might not be aware of are lethargy, muscle stiffness, dilated pupils, slow reactions, slow movements, lack of co-ordination, shallow breathing, and unconsciousness. Use thick warm blankets and warm water bottles (Place on abdomen) to help raise your pets body temperature. If you don’t have any blankets or warm water bottles available, you can use jackets. Remember to immediately call your vet or an emergency clinic.


 Frostbite is tissue damage that is caused by exposure to extreme cold conditions. Symptoms for frostbitten tissue usually will appear pale or gray and as the area thaws it will turn red. In severe cases the tissue will eventually turn black and may disconnect from the rest of the body. The important thing to remember if your pet gets frostbite is to never massage the injured areas for it is extremely painful and can make the injury worse. The frostbitten areas need to quickly warmed and to seek immediate vet attention.


We hope these tip will help keep everyone happy, safe, and warm this winter!

Fit ‘N’ Furry wants you to find what leash and collar works best for you and your dog….

There are many different types of collars and leashes and it can be
hard to choose what is right for you and your pet. Since each dog is unique, there are a few products that we love to recommend here at Fit N Furry! Before going out the choosing a new collar from the pet store, the best way to be sure if something is going to safe for your pet is to consult your veterinarian first.

One of our favorite collars to use at Fit ‘N’ Furry is a Martingale collar. Once originally used for greyhounds, the martingales popularity has grown in the past few years as a great alternative to chain collars or pinch collars. Once property sized and adjusted, you can take the collar on and off with ease without worrying about making sure the buckle is properly latched. While walking your pet on a martingale, if your pet is not pulling, the collar with remain loose around your pets’ neck. If your pet pulls, the collar instantly becomes tight and prevents your dog from backing out of the collar.

Another great item we use is a front lead harness. This type of harness is perfect for dogs with trachea problems or dogs that pull. There is a ring that sits on the front of your dogs’ chest and when properly used can help redirect the pulling motion without choking. These harnesses are the ones our trainer prefers to use.

If you’re having issues with a pet that is pulling and nothing has seemed to help stop the problem, you may want to look into a Gentle Leader or a Halti.Both of these sit on the bridge of your dogs’ nose and wrap around the back of the head helping guide your dog in the direction you want to go in. In a sense, it works exactly the same as a halter for a horse, keeping the pet close and under control.

There are many different leashes available, ranging from material type to length. Leashes between 4 and 6 feet in length are the most common and ideal for keeping your dog safe and keeping you in control. The majority of leashes can be found in Nylon, Cotton or Leather. Most recently we’ve noticed some pet parents starting to lean towards a bungee or shock absorbing leash. This helps take the strain off of the walker. Any leash is a good leash as long as it’s well made and has a strong clasp.

These are just some of the helpful tools you can use with your pet, but there is much more out there in the pet industry worth exploring.

What’s Up With Wade? Guest Post by Devan of Fit ‘n’ Furry: Week 2 With Wade

Here I am in my second week of puppy ownership.

Wade has been getting better about his social skills. I’ve been physically presenting dogs to him, booty-first, in an attempt to teach him how he should properly greet another dog. So far, so good. He definitely prefers big dogs, and tries to play with little dogs, (unfortunately, the little dogs are usually older and don’t want to play anymore).

IMG_1969We’re working on some trick training, along with his basic obedience. He knows sit VERY well, he’s got a down, shake, high-five, drop it, and “hup!” over a broom handle. Detailed post to follow.

Wade’s new favorite things are his toys. We cracked and bought him some stuffed animal toys… He LOVES them!

Using the toys as rewards is perfect as well. That’s how he learned “hup!”

Mostly, I just wanted to post this adorable picture of him…

What’s Up With Wade? Guest Post by Devan of Fit ‘N’ Furry: “Wade’s First Day at Work (& a Surprising Realization)

Wade in the grassI work at a “Pet Resort.” They do daycare, lodging, training, and grooming. One of the biggest selling points for me getting a puppy was that I could take him to work with me every day.

So that happened.

Now, not everyone at a doggie daycare is polite 100% of the time… I wanted Wade to learn that, and instead I learned that my pup might have some social issues right out of the gate.

Impossible. He’s a puppy. He was raised with his litter. There’s no way he’s got social issues already.

But unfortunately, it’s true.

I only say this because I can fix this.

I don’t mean I’m some crazy expert in behavioral issues. This is just something we have to work with, and FAST.

And by social issues, I mean exactly that. Wade can be very rude when greeting other dogs. He can also play too rough and over-step his boundaries.

This all could very well just be normal puppy behavior. Solved by more interactions with dogs.

We will see.

So, expect to be seeing quite a bit of posts regarding how to overcome social problems in dogs.

The solution is NOT to avoid other dogs.

Chewing, Bite Inhibition, and Play-Biting

We have a guest blog post from one of our trainers, Devan Amundsen, who is writing about life with his new puppy! Check out ‘The Pup Blog!’

Well Wade is out cold! He naps so much, it’s almost easy to forget he’s in my life now!

But, when he isn’t napping, he’s biting.

He chews on absolutely everything.

So how do you manage it?

Obviously, it’s an extremely normal puppy behavior. Their teeth are growing, their gums hurt, and chewing is a fantastic way to pass the time!

Great. Just don’t chew on my shoes… Or the carpet… Spit out that rock! DON’T EAT THAT!!

Photo 2013-05-30 12.22.35 PMSo far, I’ve coated all power chords he can get to with some bitter “yuck” spray. It tastes incredibly bitter, and Wade hates it. You can even just use white vinegar diluted with water.

This stuff works great. Every time I catch him chewing on something that I can’t move out of his reach, I just spray some of this on there.

Corners of rugs, edges of furniture, power cords, baseboards, everything and anything my pup can chew on that I don’t want him to has a small amount of this on there.

So far, it’s working really well. He learned immediately that power cords taste disgusting, and why would he want to chew on something disgusting?t

But it’s mean and non-sensical to just walk around and tell him what he can’t chew on.

That’s where this little group of indispensable items comes in handy.

Photo 2013-05-30 12.22.27 PMI’ve been using these constantly with Wade.

Every time I catch him chewing on something, I take it away from him, say “no,” (Calmly and neutrally,) and hand him one of these things to occupy his time.

He immediately forgets all about what he was doing, and happily gnaws away at something good for him!

The rope is great for his teeth, massaging his gums and providing something soft, but firm to chew on.

The bully sticks are STINKY! They smell awful! But he loves them. C’est la vie. My only warning with these is not to leave him unattended for too long with one. Wade did chew on one for basically a whole day, and it turned into a soggy mess that he ended up half-swallowing. Thankfully, I was there to take it from him.

That’s another thing. Take things from your puppy. A lot. Take it, praise him, maybe give him a treat, and then give it back. That way, your puppy knows, “Whenever someone takes something from me, it’s okay! I get a treat and I get it back eventually anyway!”  Possessive issues solved.

I almost forgot about my favorite toy of all… The Kong. Wade absolutely loves his Kong. I have two, and I have one stuffed at all times. I stuff it almost entirely with food, but layer it with Kong stuffing so it stays interesting and challenging all the way through. Wade LOVES IT! He gets all of his meals through a Kong or hand-fed to him.

I almost forgot… Play-biting.

Photo 2013-05-30 01.55.59 PM

This picture was probably counter-productive, because it took 2 straight minutes of him biting my hands before I could get an acceptable picture… But he looks VICIOUS!

Wade is being such a little butt-head about biting! He likes to nip at fingers, clothes, and even faces when he’s playing! AHHH!!

This is normal puppy behavior as well, and as much as I’d like to teach him never to bite anyone ever, it’s too early for that.

Why?

Let’s say you taught your puppy to never bite anyone ever. Extremely reasonable, and your puppy should be doing that soon.

But not yet.

First, we need to teach him bite inhibition. Teach him that his mouth is a tool he can use sometimes, especially when playing with other dogs, but that he needs to be GENTLE! We’re teaching a “soft-mouth.” That way, one day when a small child scares the heck outta your dog by running up and jumping on him, the dog won’t turn around and bite with all of the immense power possible.

Basically, bite inhibition keeps a dog from doing actual damage if there was ever a need to use his/her mouth.

Teaching bite inhibition:

  1. Play with your pup. Be rough.
  2. When the pup uses any bite force whatsoever, yelp and pull your hand away.
  3. If your pup bites you three times in a row, stop the play session immediately, but calmly. Call him/her a bully, and walk away.
  4. Your puppy is going to be like, “What!? I was playing with thaaaaat!”
  5. When you come back into the room, make your pup sit calmly before initiating another play session.

It’s that easy.

Once your pup has a nice soft mouth, (about the time he gets his grown-up teeth,) We can teach him that with these new grown-up teeth, he is not allowed to bite. Ever.

Teaching Not to Bite:

  1. Any time your pup puts teeth on you, yelp, and walk away.

That’s it. End of story. Biting is restricted exclusively to toys… And maybe other dogs…

A fantastic way to reinforce bite lessons is to just let your puppy play with other puppies! There’s options everywhere, just search around. What you’re looking for is for your puppy to get some experience playing with other puppies. Other puppies instinctively know what’s appropriate, and what isn’t.

Your puppy should be playing with other puppies as SOON AS POSSIBLE!

So there you have it. Your quick guide to chewing, bite inhibition, and play biting.

Fit ‘N’ Furry’s Paw-by-Paw Guide: How to Paint Paw-Print Nails!

We all love our furry friends, and we all show it in different ways; some more prominently than others! If you are one of those that prefers to display your love of the four-legged variety (like we are!), then read ahead on how to paint some puppy or kitty paw prints on your nails.

Supplies:

  • Clear base & top coat polish
  • 2 or 3 colored nail polishes (it is best to use a lighter color on the base, and darker color for the paw prints)
  • Nail kit including: nail trimmers, emery board, & cuticle nipper (if desired)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-tips
  • Manicure stick, nail art brush, nail art dotter, or toothpick
  • Tinfoil

Instructions:

Gather all of your supplies and choose your desired nail polish colors. As noted above, the paw prints will show better if you select a lighter color for the bottom coat and a darker color for the paw prints, but choose whatever fits your mood at the time and play around with it!

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Start by prepping your nails; remove any previous polish, trim and file nails, soak if wanted and trim cuticles. I decided to paint my toenails since this was my first time trying this out and wanted to make sure I had my dominant hand to do the art with! For you more adventurous or steady-handed types, you can obviously apply all these same techniques to your hands.

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Once clean and pretty, apply clear base coat to all nails.

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Paint nails your chosen color for the background. I would recommend doing 2 coats, especially, if like me, you chose a super light nude color. I also went with a design for the background on my toes, just to try out my nail-art-applying skills. These, as you can see, are not really up to par just yet.

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 I used a piece of tinfoil as my palate. Just place a couple drops of the nail polish you will be using for the paw prints on this and use a toothpick, wooden stick, or more professional nail art device to apply.

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 Start with the the largest part of the paw first – the pad. Paint one larger circle in your chosen color for the paws.

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Next, I painted 3 smaller circles arching around the top of the ‘pad’ circle. Technically dogs (and most cats) have 4 toes, but I went with 3 for simplicity’s sake.

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Paint remaining paw prints on other nails and, Voila! You have pet-inspired, and oh-so-cute, paw print nails to show off to all your two-legged friends!

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See? Not too difficult at all! Switch up the designs to what suits you; multiple tiny paws, one on each nail, etc. Nail art can also be done on the tolerant dog, and could look something like this: Image

 Happy painting!