Monday, April 23, 2018

Here's Why Your Dog Snores

Tired of trying to block out your dogs snoring? Like people, dogs sometimes snore and just like people, it can be quite annoying having to listen to it. Through this article we explain the main reasons your fur-friend is probably snoring along with some tips to help decrease their snoring efforts.

5 Common Causes of Snoring

Sleeping Position
Does your dog sleep on their back? If so they are more likely to end up snoring. Approximately 5-10% of dogs sleep with their bellies up, and it’s a position that’s associated with snoring in dogs and humans alike. When dogs lie on their back to sleep the base of their tongue can fall back into their throat, blocking air from getting into their passageways.

Their Breed
Any amount of restricted airflow can cause snoring in dogs, and some breeds are more susceptible than others. Dogs with short noses (brachycephalic breeds) such as Pugs, Bulldogs & Boston Terriers are more prone to snoring than other dogs due to their short air passage. Their upper respiratory anatomy is abnormally short, which can frequently lead to airway obstructions.

Being overweight is one of the common causes for snoring in humans, and it’s true for dogs too. Extra weight leads to extra tissue, and any extra tissue around the nose and throat can narrow their airway, leading to restricted air flow and snoring.

Dogs that have allergies may be more prone to snoring due to airway restriction and congestion. If you have allergies you know how bad congestion can get, and how breathing through your nose itself can become difficult. Allergens can cause mucus buildup and airway restriction, both of which increase the likelihood of snoring.

Secondhand Smoke
Need another reason to stop smoking? Just like with humans, secondhand smoke can cause respiratory issues and snoring in dogs by irritating the lungs and airways. Secondhand smoke can damage your dog’s respiratory system, leading to bronchitis, asthma and snoring.

Tips for Minimizing Snoring

For dogs that aren’t pre-dispositioned to snoring (i.e. breed type) there are a few helpful, yet sometimes obvious, tips available to decrease their snoring
  • Attempt to alter your dog’s sleeping posture or their bed or bedding. An elevated head might reduce snoring, so giving your dog a pillow might help.
  • Keep your dog on a regular exercise regimen so they’ll maintain proper weight. If your fur-friend is already overweight it’s a good idea to watch how much you feed them and to ensure enough exercise, not just for snoring sake.
  • If your dog’s snoring is caused by allergens, clean their bedding daily. Time outdoor walks for when the pollen levels and auto traffic is low. Run the vacuum cleaner on a regular basis and eliminate dust in rugs and curtains. It could also be beneficial to find out what it is that your pup is allergic to.
  • A tad bit obvious but, don’t smoke around your dog. Try, where possible, to maintain a smoke-free household and ensure your fur-friend isn’t around when you need to take a smoke break.
Just remember that snoring is a symptom, not an illness. If your dog has only suddenly started snoring, or if they’re experiencing interrupted sleep have them checked out by your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues. However, if your pup is just the snoring type, we hope this article has helped you out!

Monday, April 9, 2018

How to Own a Cat when You Have Allergies

Have you always wanted to have a cat of your own but your allergies are stopping you?

It’s not nice when your nose starts to run, your eyes begin to itch and you cannot help but sneeze whenever you are around a cat.

You may even have more serious allergies, and not ever be able to overcome them. 

However, if you find you have only a mild allergy to cats, there may be ways you can help to control your allergies.

Let us give you some tips on how you could minimise and/or overcome your allergies so that you can own that kitty you have always wanted!

(Please note: This article is only for educational purposes only and should not be followed as a substitute for personal care. If you have serious allergies, information from this article should not be taken into account. Be sure to check with a doctor before coming in contact with cats if you have serious allergies or asthma.)

hand patting cat

Rid Other Allergens in Your Home

If you are wanting to get a cat of your own, you should first try to get rid of as many allergens in your home as possible. This includes, mites, dust and mould.  Cleaning spots in your home regularly that are prone to quick dust build up will help you to minimise allergies. In addition to this, trading out some furniture and decor in your home maybe just be the solution to helping you with your allergies. 

Airborne allergies including cat dander will cling to soft materials, such as rugs, fabric covered furniture and curtains. If possible, try to eliminate or replace soft materials in your home.

Scented candles and air fresheners can also make your allergies play up, so consider replacing these too.

lounge room cat sitting on window

Allergy Treatment

There are treatments and natural remedies that can help control allergies. Animal hair and dander allergy relief is available to help with, sneezing, watery eyes, itching and congestion if these are some of the allergy symptoms you have when around cats.

If you are serious about getting a kitty companion, look into allergy reliefs to help you get used to having a cat around all the time.

woman sitting on couch blowing nose

Visit Friends with Cats

If you have friends with cats, then ask them if you are allowed to come around to meet and play with them. This will allow you to get up and personal with a cat, however only on a limited basis. 

Ask your friend what time their cat is fed so that you can meet them after when they are in a relaxed mindset. Greet the cat with your hand and wait until they have sniffed you so that you can pat them. 

Start with just some petting and just being in the environment. Eventually, if you think your allergies will let you, allow the kitty to sit on your lap if they want too. If needed, take allergy reliefs before and or after seeing the cat.

cat sitting on table

Visit your Local Animal Shelter

If you have followed all the above steps and think you have built up your resistance through gradual exposure, then it’s time to visit your local animal shelter. 

Take your time in finding the right cat for you. It may even take a few trips to the shelter. If needed, you may also need to take allergy relief remedies before visiting the shelter.

cat at shelter

Cleaning and Care

Once you finally have your kitty, there are some procedures you should keep in mind to help you further with your allergies. One of the biggest recommendations is to keep your cat out of your bedroom and off your bed. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary from all allergens. You don’t want to be having restless nights due to allergens in your room caused by your cats. 

As said above, it is also good to keep dust collector areas clean. Regularly cleaning these areas can help to minimise your allergies. Vacuuming rugs, dusty corners, window sills and furniture is a must. 

You may also want to keep other areas of your home and cat free zone. Keep your cat to specific areas may be hard but can help you control which areas you need to clean more regularly and allows you to have more allergy free areas if it is needed.

Wash your hands immediately after, playing with or patting your cat. This will ensure you do not accidentally rub cat hair into sensitive allergy areas such as your eyes and nose.

Finally, keep you new kitty clean! Cleaning your cat, via brushing or bathing them regularly can help eliminate the amount of cat allergen that is released into the air.

cat sleeping on bed