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What You Should Know Before Adopting Your Next Pet

Written by Indiana Lee

A new pet can be a great addition to your family. They bring joy into your home and parents often find them a useful tool for helping teach their children about responsibility. Not to mention that animal interactions can help reduce stress in ways that are good for mental and physical well being. 

If you’re thinking of adopting a pet, such benefits are likely to be at the forefront of your mind. Nevertheless, there are challenges and responsibilities you must consider before taking the leap. Although adoption gives animals in need homes and can enrich your family, rushing in can have negative consequences for everyone. 

Home and Surroundings

If you have space in your house, creating a dedicated room for your pet can be a practical and wise consideration. Not only does it keep their various accessories stored in a single place, it can also help address the changing needs your pet has throughout their lives. This could include setting up specific furniture, such as beds that are easy to keep clean. You can also place their toy storage in this area. This doesn’t have to be an entire room, though. Even just dedicating a corner of the living room or an entryway can be effective.  

Whether or not you have a dedicated space, remember that much of your home still needs to be safe and accessible for a pet. As such, before adopting you need to assess your home for this. Are the rooms of your house big enough to accommodate a large dog with a lot of energy? If you live in an apartment with a balcony, will you need to put up fencing to prevent falls?

Look around at your home’s fixtures and fittings, too. Dogs and cats will occasionally get rambunctious. If you have heavy and tall furniture like bookshelves and cabinets, you may need to secure them to the wall. Breakables on surfaces that get knocked may not just damage the objects but injure your pet. Even certain plants can be poisonous. Taking your time to assess here allows you to plan adjustments and make more informed choices.

Health and Wellbeing

When you adopt a pet you’re also taking responsibility for keeping them healthy and well. This isn’t just a case of keeping them fed and watered. Pets have complex wellness needs and you need to make sure your family is in a good position to provide this. You have to be committed for their entire life; the good and the bad.

Again, this should begin with some health considerations at home. There may be elements of the environment you need to adjust to make sure it’s healthy for your pet. This must include an examination of any household chemicals you use for cleaning. Consider whether you can substitute these for safe and green items. You also need to think about allergens. Dogs and cats can suffer from respiratory issues here just like humans. Examine how regularly you vacuum and dust your home and perhaps invest in pollen and pollution filters. Noises, lights, and excessive heat may also cause stress, so review the potential exposure to these, too. 

Finally, but certainly not least important, here, you should get pet insurance. Nobody likes having another bill to pay each month. But vet bills can be extremely expensive and owners often have to make decisions about treatment based on affordability. Insurance can mitigate the impact here and make sure your pet gets the care they need and deserve. If you can’t afford pet insurance yet, it may be worth reconsidering adoption at this time.

Time and Attention

Adopting a pet isn’t just a fresh experience for your family. It’s also new for the pet itself. You’re bringing them into a new environment with people they don’t know. Not to mention that they may have experienced some trauma at other times in their lives. As such you must expect a transition period. Part of your consideration here is whether you have the time and attention an adopted pet requires of you.

Sometimes this will be relatively easy, particularly with cats. But some animals can experience separation anxiety initially. Not to mention that younger animals will need a certain amount of training and guidance to get used to their surroundings. If you don’t work from home, it can be worth considering taking some vacation time to help an adopted pet settle in. It can help them to get used to the surroundings and ease into your routines.

Similarly, it’s important to think about how often you’re away from home for long periods of time. If you find you travel a lot with work, the idea of coming home to a welcoming pet can be comforting. Some technologies can help make sure your pet is fed and even allow you to monitor them remotely. But this isn’t always the most appropriate approach for your pet too often.

They need to spend time with you, play with you, and most importantly bond with you. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever go on a vacation. But they do need regular and meaningful time with you. If necessary, you should consider where you can adjust your usual schedule to give quality time and attention to your pet. You’ll also find this makes the experience most positive for you both.

Conclusion

A pet can undoubtedly be a key part of your family. However, before you commit to adoption, it’s important to look at whether you’re ready for it. Review your home and any adjustments that might need to be made. Consider how an animal’s health and wellbeing can be incorporated into your lifestyle and finances. Seriously assess how your schedule might impact transition and bonding. With some commitment and planning, you and a new pet will get the most out of your relationship.

About the writer: Indiana Lee is a freelance writer and journalist with a wealth of experience in blogging, content marketing, and journalism.

Core vs. Non-Core Vaccines for Your Dog

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

As dog owners, we want to make sure that we are prioritizing the safety and health of our furry friends. When it comes to the various vaccines that dogs need, it can be tricky to ensure that you have your bases covered. However, it is important to stay updated on your dog’s vaccination schedule

Core Vaccines

Download this puppy vaccine schedule to stay up to date on your pup’s shots!

DAP/DHP

The DAP/DHP vaccine is usually given in one shot and protects against three different viruses. This vaccine protects against canine distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), and parvovirus, which are all highly contagious and dangerous for dogs’ gastrointestinal systems, nervous systems, and more. Young dogs are at the highest risk to contract these illnesses, so it is essential to inquire about this shot with your veterinarian. 

Rabies

If you are unfamiliar with rabies, it is a viral disease that harms the nervous system of animals who become inflicted. Severe symptoms can range from fever, excessive drooling, and even paralysis. As dogs can pass rabies to one another and even to humans through saliva, usually from a bite, vaccinating your dog against this disease will protect them and protect you. 

Non-Core Vaccines

Download this new puppy vaccination tracker to check off each appointment and shot!

Bordetella

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a contagious respiratory disease that is passed through bacteria. It often presents itself through kennel cough and the inflammation of the bronchi and trachea. If your dog spends time around other dogs at the dog park or a boarding kennel, it is a good idea to get your dog vaccinated.

Canine parainfluenza

Believe it not, canine parainfluenza is a very common cause of kennel cough which is highly transmissible between dogs that spend time near one another and in close quarters. If you happen to travel or take your pup on doggie play dates, you may want to vaccinate them against this disease. 

Canine influenza

Also known as dog flu, canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that dogs can get from being around other infected dogs. Symptoms include cough, fever, runny nose, or lethargy. In severe cases, dogs can develop pneumonia and even die. Luckily, vaccinating your dog against canine influenza will prevent this from happening!

Leptospirosis

While it is not extremely common due to high rates of vaccination, leptospirosis is a disease that occurs from Leptospira bacterial infections. Symptoms can greatly vary based on severity but liver failure, fever, vomiting, and other side effects are likely. Dogs contract this through infected tissues, urine, or even drinking from a contaminated lake or stream. 

Lyme disease

If your dog spends time outside in tall grasses or bushes, you should be wary of ticks and diseases they carry. Lyme disease occurs from infection with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes and joints, fatigue, and lack of appetite. There are risks associated with Lyme, and therefore, it is important to protect your dog against this. 

Making these optional vaccines part of your adult dog’s routine will ensure his or her safety into their older dog years! Download this adult dog vaccine tracker. 

Protecting our dogs means giving them the best chance they have against potential risks, dangers, and diseases. There are tons of ways to keep your dog safe and prioritize their wellbeing. Looking to take the first step and learn more about vaccinating your dog? Use the printables included in this post courtesy of The Zebra for more information on each vaccine and how to best manage your dog’s immunization timeline.

Your 2022 Pet Health Checklist – Start the Year Right

As we’re keeping our resolutions and making plans for 2022, here’s a checklist to make sure your pet starts the year happy and healthy.

  1. Wellness Check

Is your furry friend healthy? Good, let’s keep that up. Did your furry friend have any changes in diet or exercise? OK, let’s get that checked out. A wellness check, either performed once or twice a year, can maintain your pet’s health. Checkups are also great to identify future conditions or ailments that will need attention in the future.

– Does Eusoh reimburse for wellness checks? Yes

– Does Eusoh offer free virtual wellness checks that can be done on mobile devices? Yes

Eusoh community members have complimentary 24/7 access to FirstVet. And with veterinary consultations and other services going virtual, FirstVet’s 30-minute Health Pet Checkup with licensed veterinarians will provide peace of mind and the knowledge and foresight on the health of our pets.

Log in to your Eusoh dashboard and click on the FirstVet option to get started. Click here to learn more about FirstVet’s 30-minute Pet Checkup.

2. ID Tagging

ID tagging is important for the worst case scenarios. But now with apps and QR codes, ID tagging is taking the next step. Did you know there are apps that connect with your pet’s ID tag? And did you know these apps can also be a library of your pet’s health records?

Here’s Animal-ID, a one-stop solution for pet owners to identify and register their pets within a global pet database.

Here’s what Animal-ID can do:

  • Returns lost pets to their homes
  • Organizes travel
  • Stores pet documents
  • Maintains health records
  • Schedules visits to the visitMakes pet food orders

3. Assist Your Local Shelter

We know you love your pet and that you give them the best care. We know that our community shares in that care. But did you know there are so many pets without homes? These pets full of love looking for “fur-ever homes”.

Here’s what you can do to help:

Volunteer at your local animal shelter. There are pets that need walking, exercise, and attention.

 – Foster a rescue or two. Check with your local rescue to see if you can house a pup or kitty before a home is ready for them.

– Donate. Shelters and always in need of financial support or even supplies. Some even have Amazon wishlists where you can help by purchasing supplies for them.

Here’s an Amazon wishlist from our friends at Wags & Walks – Link
Donate to Wags & Walks – Link

4. There’s More

Here’s a shortlist of more health-related things you can do for your pet.

1. Consult with a trainer for boarding or obediance.

2.Create a workout program. See your vet before doing this.

3. Make travel plans that visit pet-friendly destinations. 

4. Add supplements to your pet’s diet. Check with your vet first.

5. Go to a pet expo or convention and find new pet products.

6. Join an online pet enthusiast group on Facebook or Reddit

Now that you have our checklist, let’s start 2022 on the right foot or paw.

Now that you have our checklist,
let’s start 2022 on the right foot or paw.

Leptospirosis Outbreak in Los Angeles – The More You Know

Los Angeles County is currently seeing an unprecedented rise of Leptospirosis – with 51 confirmed cases so far. This is the largest outbreak since 2017 and is a leading cause of death and prolonged healthcare issues in dogs at this time. 

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that spreads through skin contact into the bloodstream. Leptospirosis in dogs can cause symptoms like: 

  • Sudden fevers, 
  • Reluctance to move, 
  • Stiffness, 
  • Shivering,
  • Weakness,
  • Lack of appetite, 
  • Rapid dehydration, 
  • Vomiting, 
  • Diarrhea, and 
  • (in some cases) Death. 

Leptospirosis can spread throughout a dog’s entire body – where it can rest in the kidneys, liver, nervous system, eyes and reproductive organs. 

How is Leptospirosis diagnosed? 

It takes a urine and blood test to determine if a dog has leptospirosis, as well as a number of other testing methods. This can cost upwards of $250 to conduct in an office, and even more if it is an emergency visit. 

How can I protect my pet? 

Ask your veterinarian about getting your dog vaccinated against Leptospirosis! Dogs can receive the vaccination against Leptospirosis beginning as young as 6-8 weeks old and up. 

Additionally, research any kennels or day-boarding locations prior to boarding your dog. As leptospirosis spreads easily, any locations that potentially have rat droppings or where dogs are interacting with each other (skin, saliva or urine spread) may pose a risk for your pet – especially if they are not vaccinated! 

Can leptospirosis spread to humans? 

YES. Be sure to protect yourself and wear gloves when handling a dog that has leptospirosis! If there is urine, vomit or any other type of fluid or waste that comes from your pet, handle it with care and keep children and other pets away from the area. 

Photo by Mike Burke on Unsplash

Interesting Sports That You Can Enjoy with Your Pet

Who said that you couldn’t stay active with your pet?

Today, more and more sports are becoming inclusive. Doing sports with your dog not only boosts overall wellness but strengthens your bond as well. Whether you have a hyperactive canine or a playful feline, there are plenty of activities that both of you can enjoy keeping their tails wagging.

To help you create lasting memories outside, here are some fun sports that you can enjoy with your four-legged companion:

Golf

Who would have thought that you can hit some golf balls with your dog cheering on you?

Just in case you missed it, there are a lot of dog-friendly golf courses today. In fact, our canine companions have been joining humans on the greens for decades already. So, if you’re a dog parent who loves playing golf, then what’s stopping you from bringing along your canine caddie?

While you’re busy practicing your swings, let your dog watch you or toss a tennis ball before you hit a golf shot. If you’ve finally decided to bring your dog with you, your driver or club would no longer be the most essential item in your golf bag—now, it’s your dog leash, dog treats, and tennis ball. These items will surely save you a lot of headaches on the golf course.

So, put your golf shoes on and seek a beautiful adventure with your pooch in a dog-friendly golf course near you!

Hiking

We all know that dogs make excellent trail companions. However, not a lot of us appreciate that hiking is for cats too.

With more and more cat parents training their feline friends on leashes, it’s becoming common to see a courageous cat braving the trails in the woods.

If you have an outdoorsy dog, hiking is a great way to appreciate nature, be active, and have fun together.

If you have an active feline companion, this is the purr-fect moment for you to indulge in a new outdoor activity. Hiking can also reduce boredom-related behavior problems and fight obesity.

Remember: Hiking isn’t for all dogs and cats. Your pet needs to be comfortable in the outdoors, on a leash, and with strangers. Your pet should be in good physical condition as well.

Walking

Nothing beats the classic leash walking. If the two aforementioned sports require too much effort on you and your pet’s end, then regular walking sessions would suffice. Leash walking gives you control of where and when your pet is going, which will help hone their obedience.

For cat parents, it may be challenging to train your cat to walk on a leash at first. Stop forcing your pet the moment you observe that they don’t like being on a leash.

Frisbee

Accommodate your pet’s flair for fetch through a frisbee game. There are many great things to love about frisbee. For instance, you don’t have to go to a secluded area as you can easily play it in your backyard or local park. It’s also fun to throw a frisbee, plus your pet will love—and stay active and healthy—fetching it for you.

All the running and catching will keep you and your pet physically and mentally stimulated. Not only that, you can have fun watching your dog run, jump, bite the disc in mid-air, and return it to you!

Conclusion

If ever you’re feeling lazy to stay active, may this article remind you there are ways you can make it fun and fulfilling with your pet. So whether you’ve decided to hit some golf balls or hike with your pet, now’s the perfect time to do it.

Dog Park Tips to Help You and Your Best Friend Have Fun

Taking your canine companions to the dog park has plenty of benefits. The physical benefits of visiting such places and exercising will definitely keep their weight down and muscle tone up. While socializing with other dogs is considerably beneficial to their mental health, it can become a disaster if precautions are not taken beforehand.

So, how can you make your trip enjoyable for both you and your pet? Here are a few things to help you along:

Before Going to the Park

  • Avoid taking puppies to the dog park right away. Yes, it is tempting to do so, but not recommended because they need to learn how to properly socialize with other canines in a more controlled environment. Aside from that, they are hyper, which can become a problem as older dogs may look at them as a nuance. Lastly, they are not fully vaccinated thus have a high chance of contacting a disease.
  • Take into consideration if your dog knows how to behave even when they’re off-leash. Most dog parks require pets to have their leash taken off to minimize injuries, interfere with their natural body language, and avoid getting tangled up with each other. Proper training to ensure that they will follow your command despite having the leash taken off is necessary beforehand.
  • Know the rules of your local dog park, and find out if there are fees that need to get paid. Every place has regulations that must be followed, and they vary from one another. Some might not allow you to bring treats or toys while some permit it.

While at the Park

  • Take time to pause and survey the situation in the park before fully entering. Keep your dog within their leash on while entering so they can get used to the environment. If there is a scuffle or too many canines in the park, it is best not to barge in.
  • Keep your full attention on your pet once the leash is removed. Always make sure to know where your furry companion is and what they are up to. Keep an eye out for any sign of trouble; if there is a brawl brewing nearby or how your dog is behaving around others. Play fights are different from real ones.
  • Clean up after your canine– and yourself as well. Dog parks, just like regular ones, are public places thus you must pick up after both you and your pet. Pick up any pet waste immediately and dispose them in the designated trash cans. Do not leave food wrappers, plastic bottles, or any type of litter lying around the vicinity.
  • Be knowledgeable about how to break off fights. Even with the best efforts to avoid such problems, there is still the off-chance for it to happen. Once a fight starts, do not step in with your hands or body; try to use a long stick to push them apart. If the fighting continues, you and the other owner need to intervene by approaching them from behind and lifting them by their back legs.
  • Your canine’s safety comes first. If you notice that they are scared, feel threatened, being a disturbance, acting differently, a brawl is starting, or got involved in a fight, the best course of action is to remove them from the dog park. It is not only a polite thing to do for other patrons but also a way to protect your furry friend.

After Visiting the Park

  • Give your dog a treat after a fun and successful day in the park. Praise them for their good behavior and provide them with comfort through head pats or neck scratching. Hydrate them, but be mindful about how much water you give them so they won’t overdrink.
  • Do not make going to the dog park their only form of exercise. Find other opportunities for them to be outside without the high-energy environment. Take them out for a walk or play with them in an area that is not near the dog park.

Going to a dog park with your favorite furball is a fun way to bond with them.  Each trip will not always be a success, but all you need is practice. Take your time in getting used to the environment and let your pet enjoy park visits as much as they can.

How To Keep Your Dog Healthy This Spring

Here comes the sun! After such a tedious and cold winter, it can be exciting to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and plot your outdoor activities. But don’t get too overwhelmed with excitement just yet! As the temperature rises and the days go longer, maintaining your dog’s health should be on your list of priorities aside from going to the beach.

Spring with your four-legged companion means more time outdoors and more flocks of birds to watch outside, but it’s also the time when parasites increase in number and dogs are at higher risk of contracting illnesses.

However, there’s no need to worry and panic! Follow these tips to maintain your dog’s health this spring.

Prevent seasonal allergies

Does your dog usually itch as soon as the sun comes up? If yes, you should consult your local veterinarian to find out if the root cause is seasonal flu. If that’s the case, then you can help your dog relieve symptoms by feeding him foods that contain high nutritional value. You can start by feeding your pet premium fresh dog food since it typically contains fewer additives and giving him dog treats for sensitive stomachs. Consequently, if you have a Maltese dog that is prone to tear stains, what you can do is provide him with premium dog food that helps boost the immune system.


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Protect your dog from long exposure to the sun

Given the beautiful weather this season, it can be tempting to spend a lot of time outdoors. However, keep in mind that not only humans, but dogs are also prone to sunburn and heatstroke this season due to stronger UV rays emitted by the sun. Therefore, don’t let your dog bask in the sun for long periods of time!

Provide proper grooming

Unfortunately, spring doesn’t only mean longer days—it also means more mosquitoes, bugs, ticks, and fleas! These insects proliferate rapidly during this season and they can breed on your pup’s skin or in his gut. Ensure your fur baby is protected by providing proper grooming—long-haired dogs should be brushed daily, whereas smooth-haired dog breeds should be brushed at least once a week. Also, use a natural insect repellant as a safer alternative to chemical spot-on treatments.

Some dog breeds like Siberian Husky, Shiba Inu, and Bichon Frise are fastidious about self-grooming but their efforts may be inadequate in keeping them clean and healthy this summer. Make sure to bathe your pooch using a dog shampoo that contains naturally-derived ingredients to keep his coat nourished and shiny.

In addition to these grooming habits, you should also remove stagnant water sources from your property because they serve as bug breeding grounds.

Give proper exercise

Summer’s the perfect time to exercise with your four-legged best friend! Go on longer morning walks with your dog and allow him to play around! Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps lower the risk of diseases like arthritis and diabetes.Aside from enjoying long strolls with your pooch, you can also enjoy a fun, interactive playtime outside. If you have a chew-happy pet, make sure to buy indestructible toys that can withstand a mischievous destroyer’s intensive chewing.

Photo by Jodie Louise from Pexels

Pet Health Checklist

Pets are the best friends to us humans. They probably understand human emotions than our fellow humans would. Also, pets, to a high degree, blindly trust their owners. Although, they cannot talk to us, they definitely know how to communicate with us. We have the privilege to watch our pets grow; We get to play with them, pamper them, and most of all, care for them. Our pets may seem completely fine and healthy to us from outside. However, the real question remains – are they really healthy from within? 

If you are wondering how to figure out what a healthy pet looks like, here are some appropriate signs to look for:

  • Ears: Start with the ears and check if they are clean. Healthy ears will not have a bad odor, and they won’t show redness, and will be devoid of excessive wax.
  • Eyes: The next thing to check out are the eyes. Much like humans, clear and bright eyes are a good sign, this means they are well maintained. Look out for redness and watery eyes; These are signs of unhealthy vision.
  • Mouth: A healthy mouth may or may not have bad breath. Consult your veterinarian regarding this. But you can check out is red and swollen gums. Discolored teeth and gums also mean possible problems surfacing in the mouth. This could lead to gum disease and loss of teeth.
  • Coat & Skin: A healthy-looking coat will always be devoid of redness. It will not be flaky. Also, the skin won’t be excessively dry and won’t have any scabs or lumps.
  • Joints & Bones: You can figure this out by keeping a close watch on how your dog or cat is moving around. Healthy bones and joints will facilitate normal activities with ease. Concerns will arise if they are limping or having trouble while standing up. If they do not hesitate to walk or use the stairs then the pets have no problems with their bones or joint movement.
  • Weight: To check on whether the pets weigh right, look out for a slight tuck in behind the ribs or a visible “waist”. Signs of pets maintaining their weight are that their ribs can be felt easily but not seen.
  • Lungs & Heart: Signs of a healthy cardiovascular system include no sneezing, wheezing, labored breath, and coughing. Check if the pets are refraining from playing and exercising and if they are getting tired too easily.
  • Digestive System: A healthy digestive system paves the way to a normal appetite. Vomiting, diarrhea, swollen abdomen, passing gas, burping more than usual, and having trouble passing stool are signs of a malfunctioning digestive system.
  • Urinary System: Pets that are home-trained won’t cause accidents in the house. Check if the urine of your pet smells and looks different than usual. See if they are having trouble urinating or are completely unable to urinate. Such a case demands immediate medical attention. They could be facing life-threatening blockage.

It is time to take a pet’s health seriously, and all of this starts with you. It is your responsibility to schedule regular welfare sessions for your pets with the vet. Also, keep the vaccinations up-to-date. This helps in staying on top to prevent parasite manifestation. Make a perfectly nutritional and complete diet for the pet. Training the pets and helping them get adequate exercise works like magic for their health. Take good care of them. Help them stay strong, happy, healthy, and lively. Start today!          

Rising Health Costs Are Coming Your Way

*This article concerning health costs came from the New York Times. It was written by David Leonhart and it was published on July 19, 2019. Link

My health care is a benefit. Your health care is a cost.

That widespread attitude has long hurt political efforts to hold down medical costs. When people hear that the government (or an insurance company or a hospital) is taking steps to reduce health care spending, they get nervous about being denied medical care.

You can probably see the problem: Someone has to pay for medical care. And to some extent, we all pay for each other’s care, through both taxes and private insurance. Ultimately, an unwillingness to say no to health care spending leads to higher costs for everyone.

That’s one reason that Americans have the world’s highest medical costs. (Another reason is that doctors, drug companies and other parts of the American health care industry make a lot of money.) We struggle to say no even to health care that doesn’t make us healthier. Cardiologyprostate care and obstetrics are three examples, among many, of fields where high-cost care often brings no benefit.

All of which brings me to the sad story of the Cadillac tax.

During the long debate over the Affordable Care Act a decade ago, the Obama administration was one of the only forces for fiscal conservatism — that is, trying to hold down health care spending. Congressional Republicans could have pushed for cost-saving measures, but instead they just opposed any effort to insure the uninsured. Many congressional Democrats, especially in the House, had no interest in policies to hold down spending.

Now that the Obama administration is gone, an important part of the health care law seems likely to die: the Cadillac tax. Had it gone into effect, the tax would have applied to expensive insurance plans — that is, those with relatively few restrictions — as a way of encouraging companies and workers to use more efficient plans. A few years ago, though, Congress delayed it, and on Wednesday the House voted to repeal it. The Senate seems likely to follow. Being in favor of unconstrained health spending is politically easy, even though it’s bad policy.

Labor unions are probably the best example of the perverse politics of medical spending. Unions have always opposed the Cadillac tax, out of fear that it will deny needed medical care to their members. As a result, the unions have ended up effectively pushing for expensive health care plans that quietly pinch their members’ paychecks.

The sharp rise of health spending in recent decades is one reason that wage increases have been so weak. As Paul N. Van de Water, a health care expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told Abby Goodnough of The Times, the tax was “one of the A.C.A.’s most important cost-containment measures” and could have led to pay increases.

For more …

“Rather than killing or delaying the Cadillac tax, Democrats should be trying to make it operational. The tax would raise revenue, lower costs, increase the efficiency of the tax code and give the Obamacare individual market its best chance at success,” Karl W. Smith wrote for Bloomberg Opinion. “Instead, Democrats have set up that market for more turmoil.”

Sarah Kliff, then of Vox, explained in 2015 how the threat of the Cadillac tax was already holding down health costs. “Opposition is getting fiercer because the tax is working,” she wrote.

The Urban Institute has published a research paper with suggestions for improving the Cadillac tax rather than abolishing it.

For the other side of the argument, see Janet Trautwein, who works at an insurance industry trade group, or Stan Dorn, a consumer advocate. Core to the case against the tax is the idea that wasteful health care is not a meaningful contributor to overall costs.

7 Common Cat Behavior Problems and How to Fix Them

Here’s another article from our friends at Healthcare for Pets, a blog dedicated to your pet’s health. It covers seven bad habits cats have and how to deal with them. It could be said that bad cats existsbecause they were bad kittens. But there are behaviors that can developed in the best of conditions.

Original article: https://www.healthcareforpets.com/article/7-common-cat-behavior-problems-and-how-to-fix-them/

Does your cat have some bad habits, such as destroying the furniture or meowing at all hours of the night? Have you tried the usual “cat deterrents” such as messy essential oils, sprinkling cayenne pepper or outright yelling at your cat to no avail? Don’t despair: a combination of accommodating your cat’s natural instincts and changing the environment can help with common cat behavior problems and restore peace in your household.

stray cats sitting on street near house
Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com


What Doesn’t Work: Punishment

Confrontations with your cat will never end well. Even when you win, the negative feelings generated can come back to bite you even if your cat doesn’t. The problem with punishment is that unless you get the timing exactly right (during the unwanted behavior), your cat will associate the punishment with you. This is almost impossible to get right, so most of the time, punishment is a lost cause. You may have some success with clapping your hands loudly the instant you catch them doing something wrong, but unless you manage to catch them 90% of the time, the association will still be weak.

1. Litter Box Issues

Has your cat suddenly started having litter box accidents — outside the litter box — after years of being tidy and fastidious? They could be experiencing pain while relieving themselves, and avoiding the litter box as a result. Cat logic: it hurts to pee here, so I’m going to pee somewhere else! Make sure what you’re dealing with is not bladders stones, crystals in the urine or a UTI. Your vet can handle these.

Perhaps your cat is letting you know that the litter box needs a cleaning, or if you have more than one cat sharing a box, maybe it’s time to think about individual boxes. Somebody could be feeling crowded and wanting some personal space.

Sometimes cats are drawn to mark certain objects with their scent by spraying: the bed, shoes, and laundry are common targets. Wash these items with an enzyme cleaner and remove your cat’s access to these items.

2. Scratching

There are a few possible reasons for this behavior. She may be sharpening her claws, playing or working off some excess energy. Just buying the first scratching post you see at the store is unlikely to solve this problem.

Wondering how to stop cats from scratching? Start with spraying the scratched areas thoroughly with an enzyme cleaner to remove the scent that encourages your cat to keep scratching the area. Once dry, take steps to protect the area from your cat. A spray of cat deterrent or a little bit of sticky paper is unlikely to do the trick. A quick method to stop cats from scratching the furniture would be to cover it entirely in a throw blanket or if it’s possible, moving it to a room your cat cannot get into. For carpeted stairs, clear packing tape regularly reapplied to the edges can help.

Keep your cat’s claws trimmed. If you’re hesitant to trim them yourself, you can ask your vet.

Provide a stable scratching post covered in a texture you know your cat will enjoy, in an area of the house they prefer, and with enough height for them to fully stretch while scratching. Entice them with catnip and praise to reinforce the new behavior of using the post.

3. Aggression

Wondering how to calm an aggressive cat? Is this a new behavior? The first step is to check for any physical causes. If you get a clean bill of health from the vet, think about other possibilities.

Aggression can result for a number of different reasons. Maybe your cat is sick or feeling crowded by other pets in the house. Perhaps your mama cat feels like she must protect her kittens from real or imagined dangers.

An unneutered male can get pretty aggressive. The solution here is simple: get him fixed.

Make sure your cat’s needs are being met. If you have multiple pets, make sure everyone has enough space, enough food, comfortable sleeping spots.

To break up a cat attack, use a spray bottle to squirt them both with, or make a loud sudden noise. Don’t get physically involved.

4. Interrupting Your Sleep

Is your cat meowing at night? If you can tire your cat out before bedtime this might help. Often, your cat is just plain bored and looking for stimulation. Providing them with an enriched environment and taking time to play with them before bedtime can go a long way to curbing this behavior. It might sound strange, but cats are reassured by routine. Playing with them at the same time each evening (perhaps after dinner) will help soothe a demanding cat.

A timed feeder will also help to keep your cat’s attention on the food bowl and away from you during the night. Many couples report that their cats will only bother one of them to be fed in the morning, and leave the heavier sleeper alone because they know their efforts won’t work. Once your cat figures out that the food comes from the feeder and not from you, they will stop bothering you for food.

5. Cat Playing Rough

This is almost always caused by how the cat was raised as a kitten. Kittens need to be taught that human hands are not playthings, but older cats can also learn this as well. When playing with your cat, use a toy as an intermediary: wiggle a stick, not your finger, under a crinkle mat, or dangle a feather toy from a string rather than holding it. When your cat attacks, scratches or bites you, playtime is immediately over. Withdrawing attention will teach your cat the rules for keeping the fun going longer.

6. Caterwauling Kitty

Is your cat noisier than usual?

If she’s in heat, there are only two ways of stopping the noise. One is another cat, and the other is a trip for spaying at the vet’s office.

Other reasons for a cat to be complaining a lot include problems/unmet needs such as flea bites, empty food/water bowls or dirty litter boxes.

Is your cat howling at night? Elderly cats may begin to cry at night as they become confused and their senses decline. Other cats may yowl to express loneliness or anxiety. They often respond well to a Feliway diffuser which you plug into an electrical socket and it has a pheromone that it heats up and aerosolizes in your home. It has a calming effect on cats. If the behavior is well ingrained and they don’t respond to this, your vet may suggest a trial of anti-anxiety medication.

7. Destroying Houseplants

Interested in how to stop a cat from eating plants? Everyone will have their own suggestions: citrus peels on the soil, cayenne pepper, or bitter apple sprays from the pet store. The real bitter truth is, many cats will barely take notice of these so-called deterrents and happily continue to chew on your plants or dig through the soil. The only effective solutions are to put appealing plants out of reach, to select plants that are unappealing to chew on, and to cover the exposed soil if they like to dig. Your mileage may vary, but plants with leathery leaves such as mother in law’s tongue, succulents or cacti are the least likely to attract your cat’s attention.