Win an Arden book!
How? Easy. Simply email me (Arden@fourleggedlife.com) and tell me, in 100 words or fewer, how your dog or your cat has made your life better. And, if you like, attach a photo. Deadline to submit is March 18.
We will pick a cat and a dog winner and share the results in the April issue – no fooling!
By Arden Moore
Far too much focus has been placed on the ancestry of our dogs and cats when it comes to deciphering why our pets do what they do. In truth, our modern-day pets share far more similar wants and needs to us two-leggers than they do to wolves and lions who prowled the planet centuries ago when there was no electricity, no highways and certainly no pet-welcoming hotels.
Chances are high that the canines and felines under your roof are fully vested 21st-century pets enjoying plenty of perks. Admit it: Our pets influence us in what we buy, where we live and how we decorate our homes.
The cats in your grandparents’ day likely lived outdoors and slept in barns or trees and existed on a diet of mice. Today’s felines are apt to live exclusively indoors with access to lots of comfy napping spots, fortifying commercial food and regularly scooped litter boxes.
The dogs a few generations ago roamed the neighborhoods, rarely saw veterinarians for wellness care and most likely ate table scraps. Dogs in 2015 tend to sport personalized collars, engage in organized sports like agility or dock diving and head to a designated spot on your bed at night. I’m betting you even tolerate your dog’s snoring more than your partner’s!
As for me, I happily share my home with four rescues, a pair of dogs named Chipper and Cleo, and a tabby duo answering (sometimes) to the names Murphy and Casey. They inspired me to focus my newest pet books (No. 25 and 26, if you’re counting) on catering to today’s pets.
The books, published by Firefly, were just released and are aptly titled, Fit Cat: Tips & Tricks to Give Your Pet a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life, and Fit Dog (bearing the same subtitle). Think of these books as your customized guide to all things C.A.T. and D.O.G.
A few feline insights
Invest in litter box hideaways. Achieve a win-win for you and your cat by furnishing discreet litter boxes tucked inside decorative end tables or other pieces of furniture. Just remember to scoop daily.
Throw on the towel. Keep yourself safe — and your cat calm — by wrapping him in a thick bath towel when he is injured or sick and needs to be transported to the veterinary clinic. Do not attempt to scruff him by the neck to pick him up to place him in a pet carrier because the action is likely to escalate his anger and he can swat or bite you.
Save money by recycling everyday items as cat toys. Here’s a fun freebie most felines love: Toss a plastic bottle cap into an empty bathtub and watch your cat go after it like a feline hockey star.
Some dog tips and tricks
Do be down in the mouth. Check your dog’s gums weekly. Most dogs sport pink gums, a sure sign of health. However, the gums in ailing dogs can turn white, blue or bright red.
Speak your dog’s “language.” The best way to engage in a meaningful two-way “conversation” with your dog is to speak less and stop, look and listen to what your dog is trying to tell you. If your dog is tilting his head, he may be indicating that he is fully focused on you. But if he tilts excessively or for long durations, he may be suffering from an ear infection.
Jazz up obedience training sessions. Dogs, just like us, are eager to learn from teachers who make it fun.
So, expand from the basics like “sit” and “stay” and teach your dog some cool tricks like turning off the wall light, bringing you the tissue box or even tidying up his toys. I provide step-by-step instructions on how to do these tricks in this book and plenty more.
As author of these two books, I am honored to be your guide for you and your 21st-century pet. Our pets have us at meow and bark. They delight us. They fascinate us. They love us. And their physical, mental and emotional value is simply priceless.
Arden Moore, founder of FourLeggedLife.com, is an animal behavior consultant, editor, author, professional speaker and master certified pet first aid instructor. Each week, she hosts the popular Oh Behave! show on PetLifeRadio.com. Learn more by visitingFour LeggedLife.com.