I’d like to start by saying that I am 21 years old. I have never given birth, though many women my age have. But I do have a child. I adopted one. Four, actually. And they are all my children.
Another Photo Challenge!
Since I don’t have as much time today–due to typical American celebrations of independence including, but not limited to grilled foods, alcohol, and explosives– I’m just going to go ahead and post my photo challenge.
I wasn’t sure what I would to do for this one. I was thinking about trying to capture some natural occurrence of opposites, but I thought a lot of people may do that. I decided to go for a more simple idea; black and white.
I always think I have plenty of time to do these, then I realize that It’s Thursday already.
Sorry I”m always posting these at the last minute!
As most of my friends are a bit camera shy, especially in PDA situations, here’s my dog lovin’ the pool last summer.
The pool is, no doubt, her favorite part of summer.
Have a refreshing day and I’ll see you soon!
Noun Challenge: July 25, 2014
Today’s noun: Behavior
Behavioral enrichment, also called environmental enrichment, is a term referring to the stimulation of animals in captivity. Before I go on about behavioral enrichment, let’s talk about animals in captivity. You’re probably thinking about a zoo or aquarium, right? Well, you are correct, but did you think of your own pet? An animal living in captivity is any animal that is not living in the wild. The cat in your lap, or the dog under the desk is living in captivity.
Now that that is all cleared up, let’s get back to behavioral enrichment. What is it and why is it important? Well, put in the simplest terms, its playing with, and caring for your pets; making sure they are fed, groomed, and not bored. You need to make sure you stimulate each of their five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Some of these take care of themselves. Smell and hearing are going to take care of themselves as long as you keep up with the rest. Sight is pretty simple, make sure your pet doesn’t spend all of its time in one place. As long as your animal can move, this will be okay. Taste is also easy; switch the flavors of their food, and make sure they get different textures. Giving treats works well. Last, touch. Literally, just touch your pet. You can stroke their fur, or scratch behind their ears. Yes, it’s that simple. Another part of behavioral enrichment is entertaining your pet.
For a cat, this means playing with him or her. Playing could be as simple as putting a ball of yarn on the floor for them to play with. If your cats are anything like mine, that’s not good enough. Mine like to chase moving things. If i wanted to use string, I would need to continuously swing it in front of them, and that does get tiring after a while. So, what do I do? Well, I put a towel, a regular bath towel, on my bed and slide my hand under it. The cat loves it. I only need to do it for a few minutes at a time, and it keeps her occupied for a good twenty minutes. Just do that a few times a day, and you’re golden.
For dogs, this means having a piece of rope to play tug-of-war, or a chew toy for them to bite on. It could also mean chasing them around the yard. You really just need to find the activity that your dog enjoys. If you have more than one dog, don’t assume they will all like the same things. For my dogs, one loves to play chase, or tug-of-war. The other likes to wrestle on the floor, and swim in the summer. If you’re not sure what your dog likes, just try a bunch of different things until you find what they enjoy.
The last part of behavioral enrichment that I’m going to talk about is making sure the environment is appropriate. For dogs, this means making sure they have somewhere to go to the bathroom, a place to run, things to chew on, a place to sleep, etc. For cats, it means having a clean litter box, a scratching post (or something to scratch), somewhere they can be up high (most cats like to jump up to higher places), and providing a place to sleep. Cats and dogs are fairly simple to accommodate. More exotic animals are a bit more difficult. This is why most places prevent private ownership of tigers, zebras, owls, giraffes, and other “zoo” animals.
Why is behavioral enrichment so important? Well, you want your pet to be happy and healthy, right? That’s why we spend so much money at the vet. If your pet is not properly stimulated, they will start to show signs of neurotic behavior. This could be over grooming themselves, strange movements, being overly aggressive, biting or scratching at themselves, pacing, or repetitive vocalization. Now, I know you’re all thinking “My pet does one of those!” Yes, probably, but that doesn’t mean they are under-stimulated, or that you aren’t doing enough. One of my dogs loves to talk. The other is very clean and always licks his paws when he comes inside. The only time you should worry about any of these behaviors is if they are not normal for your pet. Of course, if something about your pet’s behavior changes, it doesn’t mean you have failed, they may be sick, or have allergies. If you are concerned, take them to a vet. Do not assume it will be fixed if you play with them more.
Well, this post was much longer than I intended. Sorry. But I hope you learned something, and take care of your furry friends!
As always, I apologize for any grammatical errors. Have a furry day, and I’ll see you tomorrow!
I’ve gone back to look at my old photo challenges. I used to actually type more than a sentence. Let’s try that again!
Here’s my post for this week’s challenge.
The theme was “Carefree.” How many people nowadays can say that they are truly carefree? Most people have work or school to worry about. But there are small children who haven’t started school. You might say that they are carefree. After all, what concerns could they have? Compared to your concerns, theirs are so tiny that they don’t even matter, right? But if you look from a different perspective, to a child, everything seems big, so their worry about that fight they had with a friend over a cookie is huge. To us, we know that a fight over a cookie is nothing. And anyone who holds a grudge over a cookie, well, you probably don’t want to spend too much time with them anyway. But for children, that’s big.
Anywho, after saying all that, who is carefree? Anyone? Old people? No, they worry about their health, their children, and their grandchildren. They have plenty to worry about. So, who?
Well, I say pets. They are taken care of (most of the time), they have a place to sleep, and a place to eat. Their only worry is when you will be coming home to feed them and let them out. Other than that, their pretty carefree, as far as we know.
I did not forget! I was just putting it off… Really. At first I was thinking, “Fresh. How to I capture Fresh?” So I looked at some other people’s posts. Most of them were food but I just wasn’t feeling food. Not that it isn’t a great idea, it just wasn’t working for me.
So while I was at the pool with my dog I figured, why not? I can make this work some how!
There we go! Fresh out of the water! Isn’t she cute?
Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day. But I figure, why keep it national? People in other countries have pets, and a risk of fire, so let’s share!
Lots of people have pets that they really care about. But sometimes, their houses catch on fire and it can be hard to make sure everyone gets out unharmed, especially small children and pets.
Here are some tips to help you keep your pets safe:
- Make sure that your pet can’t knock something over that could start a fire while your gone. A hot lamp that falls onto a carpet could catch the carpet on fire. If you want to leave a light on, make sure it is one that can’t be knocked over.
- If you have small animals, like cats or smaller dogs, make sure there is no where that they can become trapped, or somewhere that you can’t get to them in case of an emergency.
- More obviously, extinguish open flames when you leave them. Pets are naturally curious, don’t leave your candles burning while you are not home. And make sure your fireplace it completely extinguished before you leave.
- Get a pet alert window sticker here, here, or here. Firefighters are familiar with these stickers. You should keep a list of the pets in your home so rescuers know how many pets they need to find if no one is home to tell them.
- Since pets can’t open doors by themselves (unless you have a genius pet, or a dog door that you leave open while your gone), pets can’t get out if they are home alone. Consider having a monitored smoke alarm that connects to an emergency response center, that can contact a fire department should your house catch fire.
It is very important for you to take all steps necessary to ensure your pet’s safety because the priority for firefighters is: People, firefighters, pets. Your pet’s safety comes last to firefighters. I feel that a pet is a member of the family and should therefore be treated with the same priority as people, but maybe that’s just me.
Keep your pets safe!