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August 2015

5 Startups for Cat Lovers

 by petbucket on 26 Aug 2015 |
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Starting your own business can be a creative and fulfilling way of earning some extra cash, and more people than ever before are turning their passions and hobbies into lucrative enterprises. While there are hundreds of resources online to help entrepreneurs build a startup company, it can sometimes be confusing which business you should invest your time and money in. Some people make the mistake of choosing a non-profitable business or one with an over-saturated market. Pet owners are a growing target market with a potential for high enjoyability while you earn, and for cat lovers, there are many options when it comes to starting a business.   1 Sitting Pet-sitters are always in demand, especially in middle class neighbourhoods and military towns where people vacation often. It is often the go-to startup for cat lovers, for good reason: it requires little equipment, maximises time with the animals, and pays well. There will likely be many pet-sitters in your area already, but the way to stand out is to deliver excellent service, charge competitive rates and set yourself up professionally with a business name and advertising. This will set you apart from that sector of competition made up by teenagers on summer vacation. Add that you will be happy to take care of plants, and be flexible - does the cat owner want someone to stay in the house full-time, daily visits, or are you able to take care of the cat in your own home?   2 Grooming Many breeds of cat have long, luxurious fur, which can be a source of joy and frustration for their owners. Lots of people love having long-haired cats for their appearance or temperament, but would rather not brush the animal twice a day. You can offer a mobile service or a salon in your own home, specialise in all-natural organic cleansers or speed of service. Be professional and gentle to the cat at all times. If done well, this type of business lends itself naturally to repeat customers.   3 Training Dog training springs to mind more readily than cat training, but therein lies a possibly lucrative niche. Many people abhor litter boxes, and it is possible to train a cat to use its owner's toilet, for example. Aside from this superficial training, cats are prone to many behavioural issues that, with loving attention and expert knowledge, can be resolved. Cat training can benefit multi-cat households where stress is an issue, or where there is significant upheaval taking place, e.g. a renovation. Educate yourself as much as you can, and if possible, get a recognised qualification to build trust. Treat the animal with the utmost care and have a limitless amount of patience. This is a very rewarding avenue, as you will be improving the animal's overall quality of life.   4 Education If you are very knowledgable about cats, turn that know-how into profit by releasing an ebook or instructional series of videos for pet owners. Lots of people want to know more about their pets and how to take care of them, and are willing to pay for instructional materials. It is completely free to create and upload an ebook to Amazon, and many people make a lot of money hosting short courses or webinars about their topic. Make connections to other professionals in the field and get known on sites such as Quora, which specialise in expert advice. Create a social media page and answer any questions promptly and without directing people first to your products: by building trust, you will create a quality word-of-mouth reputation as an expert.   5 Pet portraits If you are in any way artistically gifted, pet portraits can be a fun and rewarding startup for cat lovers. Owners' emotional bonds with their animals can be as strong as with any human being, and they often want to commemorate their relationship with an image or a painting. Also, if someone has lost a pet recently, they might want a meaningful way of remembering them. It is often easier to work from photographs rather from having a live animal sit for you, but it can be good to meet the animal in person at least once to get a feel for its character. The market is strong for professional, realistic work, but if you have an individual style let it shine. Draw a few pictures and give them away to friends and family as gifts to build your reputation, and build a website to showcase your work.   There are many more lucrative startups for cat owners, so use these ideas as a springboard to find your own venture. Remember: be professional and courteous at every stage, and respectful and gentle with the animals concerned. Never give medical advice unless you are a qualified veterinarian and let pet owners know exactly what to expect and what not to expect from your services. At the end of the day, honesty and customer service are key to a thriving business.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Pet Insurance

 by petbucket on 19 Aug 2015 |
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The field of veterinary medicine has advanced significantly in recent years. There are now veterinary cardiologists, veterinary neurologists and even veterinary cancer specialists. All that specialization has allowed many pets to live happier and longer lives, but it all comes at a cost.   The cost of veterinary care has risen almost as fast as the expertise of its practitioners. Many pet owners have found the cost of caring for their dogs and cats prohibitive, and some have even had to give up their beloved companions from lack of funds.   Pet insurance has attempted to fill the gap between financial means and veterinary costs. Buying a pet insurance policy can make a lot of sense, but it is important for shoppers to understand the pros and cons. These are some of the advantages pet insurance can provide:   .   Pet insurance provides you with peace of mind. The peace of mind alone can be enough reason to choose pet insurance. Many pet owners worry that they will not have the funds to care for their pets. Pet insurance can set their minds at ease.   .   Pet insurance lets you know your veterinary costs ahead of time. Budgeting for veterinary care can be difficult; you never know when your cat or dog will get sick or experience an accident. Pet insurance makes veterinary costs more predictable and easier to budget for.   .   Pet insurance could save the life of your pet. Many pet owners find themselves making the decision to euthanize based not on medical needs but financial costs. Having pet insurance could mean the difference between life and death for a beloved pet.   .   A growing number of vets now accept pet insurance. When pet insurance was first introduced, many old-school vets were reluctant to join the networks or accept the coverage. These days, however, a growing number of vets happily accept pet insurance and understand how it can help their clients.   Pet insurance may be useful, but it is certainly not a panacea. Here are some of the disadvantages of insuring your pet.   .   Pet insurance can be expensive. The cost of pet insurance can be quite high, especially in large cities where the cost of veterinary care is particularly high. Pet owners will need to determine if the peace of mind is worth the extra cost.   .   Some breeds may be difficult, or even impossible, to insure. It may be difficult to insure breeds with known genetic conditions and chronic conditions. Even if insurance is available, genetic defects are sometimes excluded from coverage.   .   You may have problems getting insurance for an older or ill pet. As your pet gets older, it may be harder to insure. The chance of illness rises with age, and that can make getting insurance more difficult. The same difficulty awaits pet owners whose cats and dogs are already ill.   .   The network of providers could be limited. Pet insurers work much the same as traditional health insurers. If the vet you normally use is not a network provider, you may face higher out-of-pocket costs or even claim denials.   .   Pet insurance may not cover routine care. Routine examinations and vaccinations may not be covered by pet insurance, so pet owners will need to budget for such items separately.   In the end, each pet owner will need to determine whether or not pet insurance is a good buy. Owners with sufficient financial resources may be willing to take the risk and go without insurance, while pet lovers with more limited bank accounts may be happier knowing the insurance is in place just in case.

Rescue Dogs and Kids Can Mix - Five Tips for Bonding

 by petbucket on 13 Aug 2015 |
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If your family is adopting a rescue dog, you may have some concerns about how your child and new dog will interact with one another. Involve your child in welcoming your new dog into your home and in taking part in pet care. This will ensure that your child will be able to build a strong relationship with the family dog for years to come. Here are five things you can do to help your child and rescue dog form a bond.   1. Picking Out a Dog Learning more about the dog adoption process and why adopting a rescue dog over other options can be rewarding. Involving your child in the process can teach them valuable life lessons. By seeing a shelter or adoption agency first hand, your child will learn compassion and become a lifelong supporter of animal care. Let them navigate through available dogs. The right dog might just approach your child and will set the tone for your child to be a great dog owner.   2. Feeding and Grooming Responsibilities If your child is tasked with the responsibility of the family dog's well-being, they will take this role seriously. Your rescue dog will in turn associate your child with rewarding activities such as feeding and playtime, which will strengthen their bond. Make sure your new dog is on a schedule for feeding, and supervise this activity at first.   3. Training Routine Having a rescue dog assessed and enrolled in obedience school is a must. If you only have an idea of your rescue dog's past, then one-on-one time with a trainer will be important for you, your child, and your dog. Assessing your dog's responsiveness will set the tone for how the dog responds to basic commands from your child.   4. Assisting in Vet Visits Your child should be a part of your dog's health-care needs as well. Taking your rescue dog in for an initial checkup is a good idea in case any physical problems need to be identified. Prep your child for the vet's office so they can bring questions regarding your dog's health care. Your child may be more inclined to listen to the vet's advice over yours, which can help the overall care for your dog.   5. Having Fun Together Make sure your child and your new dog have an opportunity to have fun together. If you can make exercise with the dog more fun for your child, your new dog will have more fun as well. They can always play a game of fetch, and if your child can start to teach your dog new tricks like catching a frisbee, rolling over or giving a high five, they will become inseparable.   Rescue dogs can come with a host of limitations, but if you involve your child in the process of acclimating your new dog, your child can learn a lot about pet care. Empower your child to be a caregiver for a rescue dog, even if this is challenging in the beginning. If your new pet can learn to bond with your child, your child and dog will both benefit.

Dog Flu - Tips for Protecting Your Dog From Illness

 by petbucket on 05 Aug 2015 |
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Canine influenza, popularly known as "dog flu," has become a growing concern among dog owners who haven't heard of the illness and aren't sure how to protect their pets. Some areas of the country have seen wide outbreaks of the illness, with some dogs becoming very ill from the disease. Here are a few facts you should know about "dog flu".    What Is Canine Influenza? Dog flu is a respiratory disease that is caused by virus transmission. Canine influenza is much like human influenza in that it can be transmitted from animal to animal and can cause serious complications. Two different pathogens transmit dog flu, the H3N8 virus and the H3N2 virus. The disease can cause severe respiratory illness and expensive veterinary bills to treat the animal.   What Are the Symptoms of Dog Flu? Dog flu symptoms are similar to human influenza symptoms. However, some dogs will not have any symptoms. The dog may exhibit:   · Runny nose   · Fever   · Loss of appetite   · Lethargy, fatigue   · Severe cough that can worsen and develop into pneumonia   How Is Dog Flu Spread? Any dog can get dog flu, but it is most common in environments where large numbers of dogs are together, such as in kennels or animal shelters. Doggie day care facilities and dog parks are other places where dogs can come into contact with infected animals. The dogs may come into contact with respiratory secretions spread by sneezing or coughing. Dogs can also get the disease from contaminated objects, such as water bowls or dog toys. You should keep your dog away from any dog that has a runny nose or cough to prevent contagion.   Can People the Flu From Their Dogs? No cases of transmission of this type of flu have made the leap from canine species to human species. However, influenza viruses are notoriously adaptive. The H3N2 virus has adapted from birds to dogs and has also infected cats. The H3N8 virus leapt from horses to dogs. If evidence of transmission is seen, public health agencies and veterinarians will alert pet owners to inform them about what new precautions should be taken.   Is There A Test For Dog Flu? A test for canine influenza virus is available to help owners determine if their dog has been exposed to the viruses.   How is Dog Flu Treated? Veterinary treatment for dog flu involves supportive care to relieve severe coughing and prevent secondary infection of the lungs. Dogs may require attention to fluid intake and may have difficulty eating.   Is There A Vaccine For Dog Flu? An approved vaccine against the H3N8 virus is available. However, it is not known whether this vaccine will protect against H3N2 virus infection. Ask your veterinarian if the vaccine will be helpful for dogs in your area of the country.   How Can I Protect My Dog From Getting Dog Flu? If an outbreak occurs in your community, stay away from dog parks and other areas where large groups of dogs make it easy to transmit the disease. If you encounter an animal that may be sick, take your dog away from the area. If you have multiple dogs, isolate sick individuals from the others until you are certain of the cause of the illness.   Common sense precautions can help to protect your dog in areas where canine influenza has become widespread. Talk to your veterinarian about further actions you can take to keep your dog well and thriving.
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