Can Dogs Suffer Depression?

dog-1563594_640Most animals do feel happiness and to some extent sadness. On the other hand, mammals, specially the ones who are domesticated feel a lot of similar emotions to humans. They feel joy, love, grief, excitement and even depression.

Dogs can suffer depression. Doggie depression is characterized by loss of energy, change in temperament and lack of appetite. Dogs can be depressed due to a number of things. Life situations, change in location, the loss of a friend, quarreling in the home and many others can trigger depression in dogs.

What is Doggie Depression

Although there are not a lot of studies regarding dogs suffering from depression, this cases do exist. Depression can be caused by physical or psychological issues. Usually in physical issues, the dog feels sad because he is sick or feels too much pain.

Physical issues – Dogs who have severe illnesses or severe pain can suffer the most. Dogs with cancer, tooth and gum problems, kidney and bladder problems can be withdrawn and feel unattached.

Psychological issues – On the other there are also that suffer from thoughts that cripple them from living well. Dogs who have been rescued from a shelter can be traumatized. Also if a dog’s friend or companion dog dies, he or she will or may suffer from depression.

Another issue is when the dog is always told off, he or she may construe this as disapproval from his owner and may become depressed. Having a new dog can make him also feel jealous. Another issue is if you moved to a new place and he finds this place too scary.

Symptoms of Depression in Dogs

Dogs may show various symptoms when they are depressed. They revert from being happy and active to sad and withdrawn.

1. Loss of Appetite – Dogs tend to eat less when they are unhappy. Dogs normally relate food to feelings of fulfillment and joy. When they are sad, they may lose interest in food.

2. Being withdrawn – Your once happy and bouncing dog may suddenly be drifting apart from you. He or she may lack the energy to play or go for walks.

3. Becoming lethargic and sleeping all the time – A depressed dog usually does not want to do anything else besides sleep and be quiet. He or she will not want to engage with other dogs or humans.

4. Becoming easily agitate or angry – Some dogs express their pain and sadness through aggression. They will bark a lot and try to destroy things. They will bite shoes and destroy furniture. Dogs like this may also try to attack other dogs or humans.

Addressing This Issue

Doggie depression’s symptoms are normally associated with other ailments so it is best to consult a vet to rule them out. Issues such as dental decay or kidney problems or even tick and flea issues can lead to these symptoms so it is best to know what is truly bothering your dog.

Once you have found out what is causing his issues and found that it is not something physical, you need to engage your dog and make time for him. You need to treat him like a wounded child. He or she needs your love and support.

1. Giving him enough play time – try to lead your dog and show him that he can still have fun.

2. If you have moved to a new place, try to let him warm up to this area.

3. If you have a new dog, make sure that you show that you still love the former dog as much as the new one.

4. Try giving him doggy treats and giving him delicious food.

5. Make sure he is getting enough exercise – not enough exercise can lead to frustration and temperament issues.

With proper love and support, your dog can regain his happiness and energy. He can be active until he grows old.

The Loyal Spirit of a Horse

horse loyaltyI have many horses in my stable. I also have some ponies born to my mares. They are very cute, smart, loving and of course VERY LOYAL. Horses are known to exhibit loyalty and show love to their human friends even if there is a separation for a long time. Horses have been known in history as loyal friends of man that has aided him in battles and even tilling the ground. For me and my family horses are our cheerful and witty friends that we can ride to the nearest town or even play with.

Why are Horses Loyal?

Horses are known to be loyal to their owners even if at times the owner can be harsh and hurtful to his horse. Sometimes even if the horse is overworked, this lovely animal still stays with his master. Horses are known to be loyal because in the wild they are essentially protective of the members of their herd. The females tend to their young and would defend them at all costs. On the other hand, males will try to kick off any intruder who try to harm a member of their group. When animals like wolves try to attack them, horses uses their strong hooves to kick the enemy away. They would group around their young in a circle and use their hind legs to kick as hard as they can. A horse kick is so deadly, that one hit can send you as far as fifty meters away.

Horses become loyal to their owner because they consider them part of their herd or even their only family. This is why even if they do get hurt with a whip, they would still be loyal to the owner. Horses though would show more loyalty to owners who are loving and kind. Much like dogs, horses develop a better sense of loyalty through providing rewards after following a series of commands from their owners.

Healing Horses

I recently discovered that the army has a program that helps injured veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan to recover better through riding horse. They ride horses to help develop their muscles and regain the strength in their lower limbs. Many of these soldier have regained confidence by communing with the horses.


On the other hand children with disabilities such as having down syndrome or autism join riding camps where they meet, play with and ride horses. After the camp the children show a lot of positive energy and self-confidence. This only shows that horses can work not only with adults and children but also with kids who have special needs.

Personally I can attest with horses loyalty. When I go to travel abroad and leave the horses for a month or so, they can still recognize me when I go back and greet me lovingly. They play well with my children and have always been sweet and kind to them. My cats play with them too. When they were ponies and kitten, they play with each other and not that the horses are much bigger they still allow my cats to play with them. The dogs and horses get along well too. I know horses can be very good pets and friends to anyone!

Why Do Dogs and Cats Hate Each Other?

For thousands of years many people have wondered why do dogs and cats hate each other so much. Over the years, scientists have studied dogs and cats to find out more why they are so keen on clawing and biting each other out. Seeing dogs chasing cats and cats fighting back has been part of my day to day life, although my pets rarely fight each other since they have all grown up together and I never let them really hurt each other.

So I tried to find out why dogs chase cats and why they try to hurt each other. Well I did watch a few videos too here and there and this video shows a very good and clear explanation why dogs and cats fight.

Here is a bit of a breakdown why they do hate each other

1. Dogs and cats are carnivores – Basically in their DNA, dogs and cats are inherently competing against eating the same kind of food

2. Dogs and cats tend to be defensive about other animals in the wild – Dogs and cats are of different species. They practically don’t speak the same language so the dog would get upset with another animal just being there. Cats feel the same. Cats feel animosity towards other moving creatures who they do not know too.

3. Cats try to observe then avoid then dogs chase them – Well cats are animals who like to observe their surroundings and know if there is something that can harm them. Now if they see this, they will run away. Unfortunately, dogs see that if an object is running or moving fast that it needs to be chased. Dogs are hardwired to chase and hence when the cats run, they run after them. On the other hand, cats really dislike being chased even if the dog is just being playful about it and so the fight arises.

4. Cats and dogs behave differently – I think that this is the most important reason why they hate each other. They cannot understand one another. The cat normally wags its tail and makes its tail bigger as a sign of aggression why the dog does that as a friendly gesture. This causes them to misunderstand each other and fight.

Well I hope I gave you a bit of an insight on why dogs and cats hate each other. Well I think these animals can co-exist and live with each other in harmony if they are both shown enough love and attention. My furbabies all live in the same roof and all are happy with each other.

Are Cats Also Smart (as Dogs)?

cats-796437_640Having four cats and seven dogs and ten horses has given me to opportunity to look at cats’, dogs’ and horses’ intelligence. Many people often say that dogs are more intelligent than cats and horses but in my own experience it may not really be so. Cats are pretty smart animals that have a totally different temperament than dogs. While dogs seek attention and acceptance from us and the other dogs and animals, my cats and on the other hand seek personal happiness and fulfillment. But unlike most belief cats are not as selfish as what others perceive. They can show much love and care not to mention a decent amount of smartness.

Cats and Dogs are Different

A lot of people think that cats are not as smart as dogs simply because they operate in a totally different manner as dogs. Cats are normally independent and have their own thoughts and feelings about playing and cuddling with humans. Dogs on the other hand are very needy and want to the approval of their Alpha (in this case the owner). They normally perform poorly in tests of intelligence because these tests are made in the lab which cats normally spot as unrealistic. Dog will perform well in these experiments because they know that they will receive a reward at the end of the challenge. Cats would only cooperate with humans if they feel that the event is beneficial to them. They often get bored and start washing themselves to demonstrate aloofness.

Signs of cat Intelligence

Dogs are studied much more than cats. Through thousands of years of domestication and training for the purposes of guarding human life and property, hunting, guiding and so on, dogs have acquired the skills needed by man so that he can seen as intelligent. On the other hand, cats were mainly kept for decorative and appearance purposes in the ancient times. Their aloof and mysterious demeanor have often enthralled royalty and lay men alike.

Personally I have many accounts of cats being smart. There is this outdoor cat who I named Unkie who I often feed daily when I go out to buy some supplies. He is a very smart cat. When I call out his name, even from afar, he would come running and galloping towards me. When he sees me, he would give me a head bump to show that he recognizes me. He lives with other cats such as his mother and some other cats their and they do have a harmonious relationship. I have trained him that I would go and put his food on the bench and he would then climb it to get some food. He would then normally do the same behavior to get food.

In my research I have found out some traits that show that cats are as smart as dogs or even smarter than dogs in few instances. Although dogs are more social and have larger brains, cats adapt to situations at times better than dogs. They are not motivated as much by food unlike dogs.

  • Cats have problem solving skills
  • Cats can also be trained (though this is difficult).
  • Cats can be affectionate and also live in groups and be social. They can even show loyalty!
  • Cats are very independent and cunning.
  • Cats communicate with humans and other cats too.

Cats Have Problem Solving Skills

Cats think about day to day life and survival differently than dogs do. They known as wise and expedient hunters. They do not want to waste time and energy in hunting and tiring a prey unlike dogs. Cats prefer for the instant and quick kill. Cats are also very investigative. They want to know what is in very box, nook and cranny. They also meow and cry when they want their furparent humans to feed them. Cats also cover their poop and wary of the smell it has. They don’t normally poop anywhere.

Cats Can Be Trained

I know some people will disagree with this but cats can really be trained. Cats many only acknowledge a person training them if they deem that person worthy to be followed and loved. Kittens normally learn to use the litter box from their momma cat but they may also learn it from the humans who teach them to poop and pee in specific place. Some cats have been trained to sit, stand or even roll over by their owners. Cats may be difficult to train because they think these actions are unnecessary to their life and survival but would only follow if they think it is something fun for them. To train a cat, you must show him that this activity is enjoyable.

Cats Can Be Affectionate and Loyal

Cats are often misunderstood because they have a changing temperament. Unlike dogs who show constant love and devotion, a cat is normally compared with a hormonal girlfriend. Cats likes lions normally are loving and affectionate to their young. Females normally live together to support one another in raising kittens. Males are dominant and sometimes do not want to be tied in groups but some males prefer to stay with their mothers and family as they grow up. In my personal experience with the stray cats, they normally show love and respect by not taking a food that is already in another cat’s claws or mouth. These cats also give me head bumps and rub on my legs when I see them to show their acceptance of me. The best part of all is that they even send me home as I walk and stop when they reach a certain place to return to their living area near the store.

Cats Are Independent and Cunning

cat-233367_640Cats normally theorize about trapping their prays and think about to quickly resolve issues. They have quick responses to stimulus. They are sometimes seen as fearful and wary but this is just a sign of self preservation. Cats don’t need a constant attention and would only cry when they need something from their owner such being allowed to go to the litter box or getting food. They dislike being put on a leash (but I have friends who have done this). Some cats can even open doors and cages!

Cats also have very excellent survival skills and body intelligence. They are able to move their bodies in certain ways that allow them to live and survive better than dogs. They can learn how to jump heights, survive a fall and so on in order for them to live well.

Cats Can Also Communicate

Cats normally never meow in the wild. They do this to communicate with their human owners. Some cats who know that their owners know them well barely meow at all. They can do paw signals and eye messages too. Cats can communicate with one another through body language.

I know that cats and dogs have often been compared and that dogs are normally seen as the smarter animal but we may need to change our view on this theory. There are more scientists dedicated in learning about dogs than cats. A similar comparison between cats and dogs may not be so easy because of their different social endeavors and temperaments.

Tips on Finding the Best Rescue Dog

tips on finding the best rescue dogGetting a rescue dog is noble act. Many dogs are abused or left behind by their owners for some reason. They long for love and companionship. Taking them home and caring for them would be a noble act of pure kindness. On the other hand, getting a rescue dog is also a big responsibility.  It is much like choosing if you’d like to have kids or not. Dogs are live sentient beings that have feelings and do get hurt when their masters leave them. Being able to choose the best possible dog is important to have a happy household both for you and for the rescued pooch.

Living in a big household and having children, I have taken a lot of consideration when I have adopted Kyra into our hold. She is a big golden retriever whose owner moved to a different country and really had to give her up. She was active and playful. She like to run a lot and play with the other animals. Kyra and my horses are good friends. She also plays with the kids and the cats well.

I know lots about animals but Kyra was our first adoption and I had to read lots of stuff before I decided that she was going to be a new member in our family. And of course I asked my kids and my husband. Once everyone agreed it was time to bring Kyra home. Now since I found my beloved Kyra with some consideration, I’d like to share with you a few tips into finding a great rescue dog.

What kind of person are you? – Dogs have different temperaments and attitudes. Your personality greatly determines what sort of dog you can live with. If you will be the primary caregiver for the dog, you must fully assess the things you do and the things you expect your dog to be. Are you the type of person who cannot tolerate noise and barking? Are you the sort who likes to watch TV or read books all day even on a bright sunny day? Or are you the type who likes the outdoors and wouldn’t mind breaking into a sweat to have an adventure? You must match your future dog’s temperament to yours. If you pick a dog who is highly active, say German Shepherd and you’re the type who hates going out then the dog would resent being always inside your house and would be restless.

Consider your family members – Everybody has to be on board in getting a rescue dog. Rescue dogs can sometimes be nervous or shy around other people. They can be scared to live among many kids and can get a bit jumpy. Picking a dog who is mildly tempered can be a great way for families with kids. This was what I did when I chose Kyra for my kids. You need to also consult all the members of your family. What kind of dog can they live with? Does anyone have allergies to fur? Is anyone annoyed with noise

Check the dog breeds that suit your personality – You must find a dog who suits your personality well. Some dogs are active and love to play outside. Other dogs can just chill and relax with you at home all day much like a British Bulldog or a Pug. Active dogs such as Collies and Labradors can be great for playing outside. Labradors are great for kids too as well as Beagles. Knowing dog breeds can actually be helpful in your search for that rescue dog.

Meet the dog – Try to check if the dog is nice and friendly. He should not be aggressive towards you. If the dog actually likes you at first instance this can be good sign. But always remember the golden rule of having a personality match. The dog should be happy to see you at least. He would show signs such as wagging his tail, smiling and try to be close to you by going to the door of the cage. Some dogs though may be intimidated or scared in meeting you, try asking the personnel of the shelter if the dog is great around people or if he can be with other pets. Kyra and I was love at first sight. But I did not let my emotions get to me. I thought first if she was really for us. My children loved her. The shelter said she was a happy and active dog.

Consider the time, effort and money you are willing to invest – Dogs are like kids, they have different personalities. They can be high maintenance or they can be pretty low key. They may need training. Teaching them to go potty is one thing you may consider. You need to think if you’re willing to spend for a trainer or do it yourself. You may think about the clean up too. Hairy dogs need to be groomed a lot, short coated dogs can be easily showered. What kind of dog food can you afford? Even if they are rescues they required quality food and care. You need to deworm them and check if they have fleas or had fleas previously. Proper hygiene is an important thing to consider because the pet will live in your house. While many people use branded chemical wormers such as Panacur or Drontal, its important to know that these tablets and creams can be harmful for dogs and especially puppies, and so its worth reading this useful article about natural dewormer for dogs and puppies.  Do read it as you will find out that in certain extreme cases, dewormers cause death to dogs.

Rescuing a dog is a kind and wonderful gesture. It gives that dog a new home, a new family and a new life. You must consider his needs too when picking the right dog. You and your new pet can have a happy home as long as you put enough thought into choosing the right one to a part of your life and your family.

If you are wondering where to find a rescue dog, a great place to start if you are in the USA is Hope for Paws  –

I hope this helps you in finding your new friend and family member! See you again soon!



Jackie 🙂  <3 <3 <3

3 Surprising Cat Care Tips Every Owner Should Know

caring for your catsIf you own a cat of course you want to ensure that you’re taking the best care of it and providing it with everything it needs to be happy and healthy. Many cat owners assume that some food and water, a clean litter box and a few toys are all that’s needed to keep their cats content and in good health, but this thinking may be shortsighted. Consider 3 surprising cat care tips every owner should know to keep their pet as happy and as healthy as can be.

Invest in a cat water fountain.

Running water is very enticing to cats; this is a natural reaction to them as running water is bound to be cleaner than water sitting in a puddle. This is why cats often like to jump on counters and drink from the tap, as the motion of the running water is what they love.

A good cat fountain can encourage cats to drink more water and this is important as many cats are dehydrated and don’t drink enough when they are only provided a bowl of water. Invest in a small cat fountain and you’ll have a healthier cat.

Bonus Tip

Cats can be very mysterious at times. Perhaps this is why cats are traditionally shown as the companions of witches and are associated to halloween, good luck and bad luck.  If you already have a cat you probably wonder what she is thinking sometimes and why her behavior can be erratic at times, one minute happy to be with you, the next lashing out.  I know this may be a bit contraversial for some but I believe that cats are very sensitive to energy and forces around, and perhaps spirits too. I once saw a thing where a cat would not respond to its name and a pet psychic spoke to it (after the owners could not think what else to do) and found out that it did not like its name!  After they changed it’s name it responded fully to its name and was much happier and more engaged with the family.

If you’re finding that your cat is showing signs of strange behaviour and you’ve checked all the normal things, if you are spiritually inclined, I recommend you try a pet psychic. You can find out who are the highest rated psychics here.  Yes I know that it sounds kind of zany but believe me, cats sometimes need this kind of thing!

Feed your cat canned food regularly.

Canned cat food usually contains a higher concentration of protein which is healthier for cats, and because it is more moist it’s better for their coat and their skin. Dry kibble also typically doesn’t appeal to a cat’s finicky palate, so a cat may not get enough food and nutrition if this is all you serve it. Mix some moist, canned cat food with the dry every day if you cannot afford only canned food, and your cat will get the nutrition it needs and will ensure it eats enough as well.

Only use natural, clumping litter.

Avoid litters that have certain perfumes added to them and anything other than natural, clumping litter. Those additives put into litters to cut down on odors are usually irritating to cats and may cause him or her to try to avoid using the litter box. If possible, avoid liners in the box and if you do use a liner, make sure the litter is very thick so the cat doesn’t touch it. They find these liners also to be very unnatural and upsetting. Keep the box filled with clean, natural clumping litter and your cat will feel more relaxed every time it uses the box and in turn will be healthier overall.


Important Tips on Caring for Your Dog at Home

terrier-487964_1280Having a dog is a responsibility, as dogs need certain care in order to be healthy and happy. It’s not enough to simply put some food and water in a bowl and occasionally let your dog out to relieve itself, as dogs also need emotional care and specific care for their physical wellbeing.

If you or your family keep a dog at home, consider some important tips on caring for it. This will ensure your dog is not only healthy but also happy.

Recognize that dogs are social creatures.

Dogs travel in packs because they are social creatures who need to be around other animals of some sort. It’s not healthy for dogs to be on their own for long periods of time. If you must go to work every day, consider looking into a type of doggie daycare or kennel service where your dog can be around other animals and people instead.

It’s also good to think about getting more than one dog if you need to leave the home often. When you have two dogs together they can keep each other company and both will be more emotionally content.

Invest in a good dog bed.

Never should a dog be forced to sleep on a kitchen floor or even on a carpeted floor. In the wild, dogs will find softer ground and even clumps of leaves and other materials on which to sleep, and a cold hard floor is not a good place for any dog! Being right on the floor can also mean being in a draft that can irritate your dog’s sinuses just as it might do to humans.

A dog bed doesn’t need to be expensive but it should be comfortable for a dog and appropriate for its size. If you live in a colder climate, invest in one made of a warmer material such as wool or fleece. Put the dog bed away from cold drafts and ensure that the dog responds to it so you know it’s comfortable.

Read food ingredient labels.

When you buy dog food, price alone shouldn’t determine the best brand to buy. As with your own food, you want quality choices that are high in nutritional value. The ingredients that are listed first on a nutritional label are the most prominent in that food. For your dog, you want to look for protein including chicken or beef or another meat along with cheese or eggs, and then that should be followed by grains such as rice or meal.

Avoid foods that have grains listed first or ones that have protein sources listed near the bottom. This will be what’s called a filler food, or one that has little nutritional value for your dog. Your pet’s health may suffer and it may also have more digestive issues including gas and loose stools.

Invest in moist food.

Your dog needs dry food to fill up but moist, canned food will be high in protein and will also help to moisturize your dog’s coat and skin. Experts say that wet, canned dog food is better for your furry friend’s overall health. Feed your dog moist food at least once per day; you can mix it with dry kibble and you’ll see that your dog probably loves the taste even more and will also be healthier overall.


Keep these tips in mind when caring for your family pet. It isn’t always difficult to take care of your dog but you do need to remember what is needed for it to be healthy and happy. These tips, along with regular trips to the vet, will ensure your dog is cared for properly.


4 Ways to Save Money When You Own a Horse

saving a money when owning a horse

Owning a horse can be a great experience for anyone and especially for children who may love to ride and play with them. Caring for a horse can help children learn about animals and develop a love of nature, and it can be a good way to spend time outdoors. However, horses can be expensive to own and maintain, so consider four ways you can save money when you own a horse.

Buy hay in season.

Summer is the best time for hay and you can save money if you buy hay in bulk during this time, either bundling your own or having it delivered. Avoid buying hay in wintertime as you’ll pay top dollar to have it bundled and delivered to you. Make sure you stock up during the warmer months and you’ll save money all year. You also opt to make your own hay in the summer time to save a lot more money! You can choose from different types of grass and legumes that you can use to make your own hay right in your own barn. There are many tips and good resources to help you along in creating the food and making a good life for your horse.

Buy grain in bulk.

It can be good to have a way to store loose grain near or in your barn so you can buy grain in bulk rather than by the bag. Check with a local farmer’s co-op or small farm who may offer better prices on bulk grain, and purchase as much as you can store. This too will save you money all year long.

Repair rather than replace equipment.

Many pieces of equipment can be sewn by hand if you don’t have access to a sewing machine that can handle leather and other thick materials. You might also see about investing in fabric glues that can help to repair items so they don’t need to be replaced.

Blankets and rugs can also be cleaned and repaired rather than replaced. Invest in a brush you would use to clean a car along with some horse soap, and take the time to really clean your blankets and rugs rather than simply buying them new when they get worn down.

Check out farms for equipment rather than equipment stores.

Very often farms will sell their used equipment for horses for much cheaper than what you would pay at any equipment store. When you need forks, brooms, halters, buckets, and everything else for the care of your horse, look for local farms who have these pieces for sale. Buying them used will be cheaper while still getting the items you need specifically for caring for a horse.

Remember these four simple tips for saving money when you own or care for your own horse.