Why You Should Consider Getting Pet Insurance Tuesday 18 July 2017 @ 15:12

Introducing a pet into your family can be one of the most joyful events in your lifetime. 66% of families originally acquired pets as companions but once acquired, 64% of families considered pets to be an integral part of the family.i

Pets are also being part of families longer as their lifespan has greatly improved over the past 25 years. The average lifespan for dogs increased by 1.5 times to 11.9 years and cats by 2.5 times to 13.1 years. The increased lifespan has been a contribution of pet owners providing greater care to their furry friend, improvement in food quality, medical treatment, vaccinations and many pets being kept indoors.ii

In 2016, Australians spend close to $2.4 billion per annum of veterinary services, however, only 19% of pet dogs and 9% of pet cats have insurance cover. When you consider 1 in 3 pets require urgent veterinary attention each year and the cost of a common claim such as fractures from a fall or a snake bite from running around the garden can cost on average $2,000 each.iii Veterinary bills can add up and sometimes cause families into financial distress.

As such, pet owners should consider taking up pet insurance where the monthly outlay can range from little as $15 for basic cover up to $150 for a comprehensive plan. In Australia, there are more than 18 pet insurers offering similar products so it’s important to spend time researching which policy suits your pet.

During the research phase, reading pet insurance reviews could improve your understanding of the different types of insurers/policies available and feedback from existing policy holders. All of which will allow you to make an inform decision on which insurer is suitable.

An example of relevant insurance reviews could be, Woolworths Pet Insurance Reviews, where you can easily compare the different level of coverage from Woolworths. In addition, you can see the benefits and downsides of each plan saving yourself time. If the price and coverage meet your expectations, then you will need to read the product disclosure statements carefully for specific inclusions and exclusion on the policy. For example, Woolworths do not offer coverage for working dogs whereas the Guild Dogs of Australia do.

Other inclusions that might be important to you could be coverage for finding your lost pet. PetPlan Pet Insurance offers coverage of up to $2,000 in advertising & reward if your pet gets lost. Adverting your pet in local papers and providing a reward would enhance the chances of your pet being found or returned. In the worse scenario, if your loyal companion could not be found, PetPlan also provides up to $2,000 back.

Choosing the right pet insurance can be a difficult task, however, if you have spent the time researching and also asking the pet insurer questions you are unsure about before signing up, could prove to be one of the best financial decisions you have made. Finally, it also provides your pet with the best possible care they deserve and limiting the financial impact it could have for your family.

i http://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/AMA_Pet-Ownership-in-Australia-2016-Report_sml.pdf

ii https://www.banfield.com/state-of-pet-health

iii https://www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au/dog-insurance

Blog provided by petplans.com.au

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Species-Specific Diets: Fundamentals of Feeding Your Feline Sunday 16 July 2017 @ 10:46

Mother cat feeding kittensIn our last post, we talked about how you might go about beginning to socialise your shy cat. We explained how you can use tasty snacks to encourage her to play with you, but to make sure they’re healthy: Loading your feline friend up with unhealthy treats won’t help anyone, and will just give you and your pet a whole new problem to deal with. Always make sure you’re feeding your pet a diet appropriate to their species and full of nutrients and fresh foods.

One of the key ingredients for your cat’s health is her diet. Today, we’re going to discuss some of the most important aspects of feline nutrition. Putting some time and thought into the food you give your cats can save them from suffering unnecessarily from malnutrition-related illnesses, as well as saving you from unnecessary vet bills. Our main takeaway point? Do not feed your cat on a diet of only dry food.

CatCats may be cute and fluffy, but they still have many of the skills and structures inherited from their larger ancestors. As a result, they need a diet that gives them all of the necessary nutrients that will let them run, pounce and play and keep them healthy. Your furry friend is an obligate carnivore, meaning she has evolved to have her nutritional needs met by consuming animal-based proteins from the meat and organs of other animals. It also means she is able to get significantly less nutritional value from the plant-based proteins in vegetables and grains than we can, as she lacks the appropriate enzymes.

Not all proteins are created equal. Animal proteins - the ones your cat needs - have a full complement of amino acids, the building blocks that make up a protein. Plant proteins, meanwhile, do not have all of these amino acids. Dogs and humans can take plant proteins and process them to replace the missing pieces, allowing them to enjoy their full nutritional value. This is why humans are able to happily live as vegetarians. Cats, however, do not have the wherewithal to do this.

Black and White Kitten on Brown TextileWe know you aren’t stupid: we aren’t functioning under the belief that our readers are lovingly force-feeding their cats broccoli, encouraging them to chase carrots and parsnips across the floor. We know that you know your cat needs meat. What you may not know, however, is that the protein in dry cat food is often heavily plant-based, despite being advertised as a balanced and nutritious meal for your cat. Meanwhile, the protein in wet, canned cat food is more likely to be meat-based.

One of the most vital nutrients that your cat can get from meat, taurine, is missing from plants. A lack of this nutrient in your cat’s diet has the potential to cause heart problems and blindness. But plant proteins are cheaper to attain than meat proteins, so pet food companies are going to continue using wheat, rice, soy and corn in their foods because it’ll increase their profit margin.

White Cat Beside Brown Wooden Door in White RoomAlong with protein, the other main consideration you need to take into account in your cat’s diet is water. Water is vital to the survival of every living thing, from cats to caterpillars, but cats do not have a very high thirst drive compared to other animals like humans and dogs. This is why it’s very important that your cat takes in a certain amount of water as part of their diet through wet canned or homemade foods. Without this, your cat risks dehydration and urinary tract diseases, especially if she has any issues with her kidneys.

N.B.: Many people choose to feed their cat dried foods for financial reasons. If this is the case, it’s recommended you try to feed your friend a combination of wet and dry food, if you can afford it. Advice given on this blog is not to be taken over that given by your vet.

Reunions

Above all else, our aim is to make sure as many pets as possible get to be with families who will love them and give them all the care they need no matter what, and this includes reuniting wandering animals with their worried parents. Here are just a few of our recent success stories!

LillyLilly
“Lilly is home!!!
THANK YOU so much for the advice and encouragement, and the help of everyone who shared the post and sent support.
We searched for her late at night and in the early morning, put litter and food outside and left a handful of litter on the corners nearby hoping she'd pick up the scent.
We don't know where she was or what might have helped – she just turned up at the window meowing frantically. She has lost a bit of weight but otherwise fine. We’re very happy and relieved.”

KevinKevin
“Fantastic news!!
Kev has been found and is now in solitary confinement, with all lock picks confiscated!
Thanks to the neighbour 4 houses down, who contacted me this afternoon after seeing one of the Pet Alert Flyers from the LPF site.
His favourite treats were his downfall (but enabled me to catch him.)
Cat door removed entirely.”

TiggerTigger
“Thank you for the comfort of this listing Tigger returned 10-7-2017.. Very thin, hungry and please to see us”

CharlieCharlie
“Thankyou to the call service that went out to homes... it was the second alert that I placed that had a lady able to track him down to a neighbour that had found charlie in his yard 2 days ago.... he was a little bit smelly and hungry but after a bath and some food he is home safe and sound


ChinkiChinki
“The service is great. Our chinki has just returned home- she has a wound on her face which will heal in time but she is very very skinny and bony and been eating only since she came. I think she has escaped from someone because it is not normal for her wander so she was trapped and not fed by someone cruel. She is very normal now and we are very happy this is happening. Today is a very good day. Thankyou are your help. Hopefully my other cat will return just like this”

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Socialise Your Shy Cat Monday 03 July 2017 @ 11:26

White Cat Beside Brown Wooden Door in White RoomIn our last post, we talked about some of the problems (and unexpected joys) of living with a shy cat. We explored the spectrum of shyness a cat might experience, with some only having a certain amount of anxiety while settling into new places, and others who constantly feel the need to hide, can’t build trust with their family and are generally just on edge. Today, we’re going to talk about how you might begin to socialise your shy cat and hopefully take away some of the anxiety she might be living with.

First of all, like many humans, cats tend to thrive the most when they have a daily routine they can count on, and this is no less true for shy felines. A simple way to put your furry friend at ease is to interact with her and feed her at roughly the same time every day. If you find that food is the way to your cat’s heart, this is a wonderful way of positive reinforcement. Use tasty snacks to encourage her to play with you, but make sure they’re healthy. Loading your feline friend up with unhealthy treats won’t help anyone, and will just give you and your pet a whole new problem to deal with. Always make sure you’re feeding your pet a diet appropriate to their species and full of nutrients and fresh foods.

White Brown Short Fur Cat Walking Near Boy in Brown Black Short Sleeve Shirt Riding White Red Toy It’s also a good idea to try and keep her living space at a similar level of cleanliness, and remember to clean her litter tray every day. Caring for your cat’s basic needs in a routine that lets her know she can rely on you will help her feel more comfortable and allow you to build up trust.

While it may not always be possible to avoid making a noise, it’s a good idea to try and keep things as quiet and calm around the house as you can. This applies to when you’re interacting with your cat: try to be encouraging, gentle and quiet, and never force contact when touching her. Don’t stare at her, as this can be interpreted as a threatening action to shy cats, and try to speak and move as softly and slowly as you possibly can. Similarly, never try to pet your cat by moving your hand directly towards her face. Instead, try petting her from one side around her ears, face and head.

CatWhen it comes to unavoidably noisy activities such as construction work, social gatherings and vacuuming, it can also be helpful to restrict your cat to a more quiet area of the house.

If she has a habit of running away whenever you walk close to her, try holding your back towards her as you pass her. This will create a dynamic where you are the vulnerable party, so your cat will feel less threatened. Never force your shy cat to do anything she isn’t ready and willing to do. Unless it’s entirely unavoidable (as in an emergency situation), never pull her out of a hiding place or hold her when she doesn’t want to be held. This will only encourage her to fear you and will destroy any trust you have built with her.

Black and White Kitten on Brown TextileCats are independent characters who are most comfortable when they feel as though they are in control of their actions and surroundings. While failing to acknowledge this can cause any feline to get irritable, it’s especially important in shy cats who can get incredibly anxious. Rather than chasing your her, encourage your cat to come to you. Rather than dragging her out of her hiding place, figure out a way of bonding with your cat while she’s in her favourite spot.

Above all else, be patient. Just like people, cats are individuals and will grow and change at different speeds. As a general rule, kittens can be successfully socialised far more quickly than older cats, as this is the age at which they would naturally learn most of their skills. All the same, it is entirely possible for you to improve your adult cat’s sociability if you give her time to learn.

Need more information on caring for a pet with anxiety issues? Check out our posts on identifying (Post) and rehabilitating (Post 1 | Post 2) a previously abused dog.

Reunions

Above all else, our aim is to make sure as many pets as possible get to be with families who will love them and give them all the care they need no matter what, and this includes reuniting wandering animals with their worried parents. Here are just a few of our recent success stories!

Mi MiMi Mi
“Someone gave me a ring and provided some information through your list. Although it was not the cat but at the time her phone call gave me hope and sense of community help and a lot of comforts. Thank you very much. Your service is very fast and reach a lot of places. It helps me ease my worry a lot. It is much appreciated.”

KevinKevin
“Fantastic news!!
Kev has been found and is now in solitary confinement, with all lock picks confiscated!
Thanks to the neighbour 4 houses down, who contacted me this afternoon after seeing one of the Pet Alert Flyers from the LPF site.
His favourite treats were his downfall (but enabled me to catch him.)
Cat door removed entirely.”

HugoHugo
“After 11 gruelling days missing, our Hugo was returned to us at 7:30pm 4/6/17. A neighbour had him for a week and we think he had no intention of handing him over to authorities. It was through perserverence of posters supplied by LPF, and flyers we made ourselves for door knocking - that we got the call. Our community was well aware of Hugo missing, and through spreading the word we got a lead to target a certain street in our area and within hours of doing so Hugo was reunited! Thank you LPF for all of your ongoing support - your checklist, and emails to keep us going and not give up.”

Max


Max
“Service is great - he was found nearby the apartment.”



RoxyRoxy
“It was reassuring to feel others a part of the search. Thanks to Bec for her sighting....which turned out not be Roxy. After 5 anxious days Rox came home overnight. She is so timid her disappearance was unusual and distressing. I will now be vigilant and regularly check with LPF to support others.”

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Living with a Shy Cat Thursday 15 June 2017 @ 09:41

MistyIf there’s one thing that gets our tails in a twist, it’s hearing the term “scaredy cat” used as an insult! There’s nothing wrong with being a little shy every now and then, and a cat’s survival instinct is one of the things that makes them the unique little creatures we have come to love. Take Misty, for example. Misty is our current sponsored pet with Hunter Animal Rescue, and she’s a deeply affectionate little girl who can be a little shy from time to time. It’s one of the (many) things we love about her!

For Misty, being shy just means she can take a little while to settle into a new home, and that’s fine. It’s when your cat seems constantly on-edge, feels the need to hide and is unable to build trust with its family that you may need to worry. Most of us will have come across a cat with this level of shyness before, either as a pet of a friend or part of our own family. These special cats are often particularly common in pet shelters, either having been abandoned in frustration or converted into a shy cat through the stressful experience of living in an animal shelter.

White Brown Short Fur Cat Walking Near Boy in Brown Black Short Sleeve Shirt Riding White Red Toy If you’re thinking about adding a new furry friend to your family, it is vital that you put a great deal of thought into the type of cat you choose. Some cats are fearless and full of beans, and will fit in perfectly to a home with dogs, action, noise and children. Some cats, however, can be a little more sensitive.

A cat can be shy for any number of different reasons. Perhaps she was abused by a previous owner, or experienced a traumatic event. Maybe she wasn’t properly socialised in the first few weeks of her life. Some cats even have a genetic predisposition towards being particularly timid.

Unsurprisingly, shy cats tend to thrive in fairly calm, quiet homes more often than they do in rowdy households full of parties, shouting, children and dominant pets. If you know you’re dealing with a timid cat, it’s best to avoid sudden movements and loud noises, and it’s definitely important that the family dog doesn’t try to chase or roughhouse even if he is only playing!

Black and White Kitten on Brown TextileNever leave a new cat on her own with other pets until you’re absolutely certain the pets are comfortable with - and no threat to - each other.

Importantly, if your cat is prone to running away and hiding, you mustn’t ignore these behaviours. This most likely is not a behaviour that will go away over time, and your cat doesn’t simply need to “get used to” the things she fears. The more times it happens, the more time she’ll spend hiding, and the more difficult it will be to calm her down.

Whether or not they’re particularly shy, cats are generally sensitive to new experiences such as new sounds, smells, routines, tastes and environments. These are all things that you’ll need to take into consideration when you bring home a new cat, or if you need to send your current cat to live with someone else for a short while.

CatOften, you can make these changes a little easier for your cat to handle by setting up a special living space, even if it’s only for the first week-or-so. Try arranging her litterbox, toys, food and bedding in a spare bedroom or other unused (or at least lesser used) space, and don’t let guests bother her too much. This method will let her get used to her new conditions in her own way, at her own pace. As your cat gets used to her surroundings, you can introduce her to all of your family members one by one, making sure to keep these meetings quiet and calm.

Just like you and me, every cat is an individual and will grow and learn at its own unique speed. If it feels like it’s taking too long for your cat to overcome its shyness, don’t be discouraged! Just keep working together and your cat will be your best bud in no time at all.

Reunions

Above all else, our aim is to make sure as many pets as possible get to be with families who will love them and give them all the care they need no matter what, and this includes reuniting wandering animals with their worried parents. Here are just a few of our recent success stories!

CarlosCarlos
“was contacted on the site.”

Billy


Billy
“Billy jumped onto a person's arm in the area. His sister looked for lost parrots in Lane Cove and saw the listing. We just picked Billy up and couldn't be happier.”


NalaNala
“**UPDATE - NALA IS FOUND **

Nala was hiding in a shed.
She was too scared to make a sound for 6 days!

Thank you to the couple that saw my post and checked their house and shed.
It took me a few times calling her name for her to come out of hiding.
Please remember to check your houses and sheds for missing pets. This is a success story

Thank you to the whole community for helping me in my search for my fur baby.
She is so happy to be home. She hasn't stopped meowing!”

Simba


Simba
“his dady spent six hours roaming the streets to find him, 8 cats and one bunnie rabbit later he found him :) but the comfort of knowning a service like this exisits and the tips it gave on locating a cat were really valued”


RoxyRoxy
“It was reassuring to feel others a part of the search. Thanks to Bec for her sighting....which turned out not be Roxy. After 5 anxious days Rox came home overnight. She is so timid her disappearance was unusual and distressing. I will now be vigilant and regularly check with LPF to support others.”

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Pet of the Month: Misty Monday 05 June 2017 @ 10:36

MistyOver the past few months, our main points of discussion on the blog have been caring for rescue pets with abusive previous owners and how to properly care for long-haired cats. These topics were chosen in honour of two pets we have sponsored, Russia and Lucy.

Russia and Lucy were pets we got the chance to sponsor with Hunter Animal Rescue, a not-for-profit organisation which aims to find new forever-homes for pets who have been abandoned and are now facing euthanasia. This is an extraordinary charity, where all of the pets rescued are cared for in foster homes rather than pounds, so that they can get all the love and attention they deserve before they even get paired with their new families.

For June, we’re sponsoring Misty - a female domestic medium hair who is fairly small at 2 years of age. Misty is an affectionate girl, if a little shy. Like many cats, her favourite things to do are people-watching and hanging out in sunny spots. While it can take Misty a little while to settle into a new home, she wastes no time in growing attached to new family and friends and will show you her heart in no time.

MistyLike Russia, Misty is pretty fluffy and will need a family who are happy to brush her every now and then - but you can find information on how to do that in our March post. Her adoption fee is $150, but that price does include microchip, worming and flea treatments, vaccinations and desex. HAR are hoping to find a family who can keep Misty as an indoor cat so that she’ll be safe, warm and out of trouble.

For Misty, the ideal home would be one that is loving and affectionate, but understanding of her shy nature. Once she gets used to you Misty is a big fan of pats and cuddles, but she may take some time to get used to a new social grouping. She is absolutely fine around children (within reason!) and is happy for the kids in her current foster home to pick her up and carry her for short periods of time.

White Brown Short Fur Cat Walking Near Boy in Brown Black Short Sleeve Shirt Riding White Red Toy Misty has the potential to be a great friend for all of your children, be they human or otherwise. She currently lives in a foster home with a puppy and is slowly coming to the realisation that not all dogs are bad. While she has gradually overcome her fear of dogs, though, it’s important to keep in mind that it can take her some time to get to know a new dog.

As well as dogs and humans, Misty is happy to play the role of the social butterfly when it comes to her fellow felines. She had a tendency towards being a little standoffish when she was nursing kittens, but ever since she has been relinquished from this duty she gets great enjoyment from meeting and playing with other cats, whether they’re your own family pets or neighbourhood explorers.

Black and White Kitten on Brown TextileIf you’re interested in getting to know Misty a little better, you can check out her profile on Hunter Animal Rescue’s website. You can also find application forms on this site which you can send to her foster carer.

Misty is currently staying at PetQuarters Broadmeadow - go meet her while you have the chance!

Reunions

Above all else, our aim is to make sure as many pets as possible get to be with families who will love them and give them all the care they need no matter what, and this includes reuniting wandering animals with their worried parents. Here are just a few of our recent success stories!

MalMaloooo
“Thank you to everyone who shared Maloo's alert. We would not have found her if it wasn't for you. She's home and happy now.
Thank you again, Karl”

Bronx


Bronx
“Having the access that lost pet finder had made it a lot easier finding Bronx. Thank you for the Help.”



BjarneBjarne
“Thank you to all those people who helped by searching. He was found up a tree in a backyard many doors down. He was not overly hungry. He was not there long as they have a very large dog. We left a trail of litter from last sighting a few streets away last night. I believe he was here at 7am - I heard something on our screens but could not find him. He went off again- but was in the street.
He is not sick, so that is s relief. He must have built his strength now.
Your service is wonderful and do efficient. Alerts and posts within thd hour. If will be the first and only place I go next time.”

Jayjay


Jayjay
“The people that found check social media and that's how that got in contact with me to bring my baby home. So thank you as I was so freaked out I didn't know what to do and ur site helped me put the right actions in place.”

PabloPablo
“Followed your advice and went looking around neighbours yards at dusk. Heard him answer his name, now safe at home!”

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