Lifes Abundance content relating to 'dogs '

Pets’ Role in Online Learning

dog sitting next to laptop

Most of us are more than familiar with what last year’s pandemic brought. Working from home, a lot of time indoors, and for the kids - virtual schooling. Students transitioned from classroom settings to desks at home, which changed the game for many of them. Along with taking away the in-person time with their teachers and peers, kids also started having trouble focusing and performing well in their schoolwork. A new study by Mars Petcare shows that a specific member of the family helped students with this tough transition.

The study shows that those families with furry friends benefited greatly when it came to online learning. 52 percent of kids spent more time with their pets than before the pandemic. Now, they have been engaging in a range of activities including playing, talking, and reading to them. And it did them good!

When school went virtual, many students were left feeling lonely and even started having feelings of anxiety and depression. According to the study, having a pet around them significantly reduced those negative feelings. 87 percent of parents believed that their pets improved the children’s overall mood, not to mention decreased loneliness and stress.

Did someone say study buddy? You heard that right. Pets also helped students’ academic performance! 56 percent of parents reported that they saw improved concentration in their kids and 72 percent saw an increase in motivation. As mentioned above, students have been reading and talking to their pets more which resulted in a jump in their confidence levels when communicating with their teachers and peers.

kitten watching young girl do homework

Students may not have been able to run around the playground or socialize with their classmates as they once did, but pets have provided a great alternative for them. Now, kids have spent their breaks with their pets and 81 percent of parents reported that the interaction encouraged more physical activity. This promotes the exercise that they’ve been missing by sitting in front of their computers all day. It also gives their eyes and mind a rest from the screen. In addition, being around their pets more and taking care of them has taught more responsibility and patience.

As a bonus, not only did students benefit from having their pet home while being in virtual school, but vice versa too! Parents discovered that their furry members of the family seemed happier with the kids being home. 77 percent reported that the pets were actually more calm as well.

The role that pets play in online learning even extends to teachers. Many of them have started to incorporate their companion animals in their virtual classrooms as well, which has benefited students in similar ways. As they all return back to school, it’ll be no surprise when the idea of classroom pets once again becomes popular. Just another reason to love and appreciate our furry friends!


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Appreciating The Joys Our Pets Bring

Ways A New Puppy Improves Life With Teens

All You Need To Know About Bathing Your Pet

cat getting a bath

“You smell like a wet dog” isn’t much of a compliment, is it? While most of us know the rush of warm fuzzies you get from snuggling up close with a clean, fresh pet, most pet owners are also aware of the opposite end of the spectrum: the stinky side.

Perhaps you’ve spent the past year closer than ever to your pet, so you may be more familiar than you’ve ever been with their particular…fragrance, shall we say. Questions about your pet’s skin and coat are some of the most common conversation topics in the vet clinic, so let’s tackle some of the most frequently asked questions about what’s normal, what may need a vet visit, and what are the best things you can do at home to help your pet look and feel their best.

How often should I bathe my pet?

If the thought of struggling to get your dog in the bath on a daily basis gives you hives, here’s the good news: daily bathing is rarely the answer. For a pet with good skin and coat health, a good monthly washing may be all they need in order to clean away accumulated dirt and oil and get them smelling nice. If you have a cat, the answer’s even better: since they groom themselves, healthy cats may not need baths from you at all (everyone cheer).

The actual answer is: wash your pet as often as they need. If your pet gets dirty all the time because they’re constantly getting in the mud, there’s no reason you can’t bathe them more frequently. It’s important to use the right shampoo to avoid over-drying the coat, stripping out oils, or causing flaking. More frequent bathing may also reduce the effectiveness of topical flea and tick products such as Advantage and Frontline.

Pets with medical conditions often require more frequent bathing as part of their treatment. Whether it’s a pet dealing with infection, a pet suffering from conditions like seborrhea (think of it like a form of doggie dandruff), or a pet with allergies who needs to remove environmental allergens from their coat, there are many reasons a pet may require bathing weekly, or even a few times a week. Make sure to follow your vet’s recommendations as to the type of shampoo and how to use it- it may seem like a lot of work, but topical treatments can be very effective and much nicer than needing to rely on a systemic treatment!

dog getting a bath

What’s the best type of shampoo to use?

If your pet has a medical condition, you may be prescribed a special shampoo. Think of it less as shampoo and more as skin medication. Keep in mind these tend to work very differently than your typical shampoo which is just there to gently clean, so be careful to follow the directions and don’t use it for other pets in the house. Many medicated pet shampoos may not even have any cleanser in them, so if you’re not sure, ask your vet if you need to first use an over the counter shampoo before using the medicated one. Some of the most common medications delivered via shampoo format are:

  • antibacterials: chlorhexidine for skin infection
  • antifungals: ketoconazole for yeast infection
  • antiseborrhea: coal tar, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur to combat dandruff-like conditions
  • anti-mite: lime sulfur dips for topical parasites such as demodectic mange
  • anti-itch: oatmeal, hydrocortisone

For everyone else, shampoos designated for pets are your best choice. These shampoos have much less stripping action than human shampoos and are much gentler on the skin, so never use a human shampoo on your pet. If your pet has particularly sensitive skin, you may need to look for one with no fragrance added. For the rest of the crew, look for a gentle formula with conditioning properties like our very own amazing-smelling Revitalizing Shampoo. I’ve sniffed a lot of dog shampoo over the years, and this one takes the cake in the “wow your dog smells delightful” department. If you’ve tried it, you know.

What are signs my pet may need a vet visit?

Regular doggie-smell should resolve with a good cleaning. If they still feel oily or greasy, or still have a strange odor after bathing, make an appointment as this may be a sign of a problem that goes below the surface of the skin. Even smells that aren’t necessarily “bad,” but just strange, can be a sign something’s off (ever heard someone talk about their dog’s Frito feet? Yes, it’s a thing, and often means infection). Any red or raw patches should be evaluated as well, as these can be signs of allergies or infection.

Bathing is a good time to check your pet’s ears as well. While you don’t want to put shampoo and water in their ears, I like to clean my pet’s ears with a dedicated ear cleaner right before their bath. If your pet is prone to ear infection, you may also want to put a cotton ball in their ear before bathing to keep water out (Be gentle if you do this! There’s no need to stuff their ears full of the fluff).

So there you have it! Smelling like a wet dog might not seem like a compliment, but with the proper shampoo there’s no reason it couldn’t be. Here’s to a pleasant, snuggly summer!


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

The Secret Ingredient To A Sweet Smelling Pet

Tips For Grooming Your Dog At Home

Keep Your Pet From Melting Down When You Return To Work

person petting sad dog

Rewind back to March of 2020 when many of us started making the transition from working in the office full time to mostly working from home. This was quite the adjustment for those who were used to the commute to and from work every day. Along with working from home, some people took up some new hobbies. Maybe for you it was gardening or cooking, and others it was home workouts or painting. While you were filling your time with these activities, there was one member of the family that got used to you being home all the time. Your furry, cuddly companion. Whether you already had a dog or cat, or got a so-called ‘pandemic pet’, they definitely got accustomed to having you around from morning to night. 

Now, as it’s time to return to work, you should start thinking about how your absence will affect your pet. They won’t be used to seeing you every minute of the day anymore so some pets, especially those you got during the pandemic, could develop separation anxiety. Symptoms of this include excessive drooling, destruction around the house, or howling. Not only is this stressful for you, but it’s just as stressful for your pet too. There are some tips to help them ease into the transition and lower their stress while you’re away.

Tip 1:

If you know you’re going back out to work soon, come up with a plan to train your pet how to be alone. The best way to do this is by leaving your house for small increments of time and then working up to 1, 2, 3 hours and so on. By doing this, your furry friend starts to feel confident that you’ll come back.Then, once you leave for work for a bigger chunk of time, they will already be used to it and feel more comfortable on their own.

Studies have shown that an action as simple as petting your dog or cat before you leave actually decreases their anxiety while you’re gone. Generally, dogs get nervous when you leave and those negative feelings worsen as more time passes. So, giving them this love and affection as you say goodbye could help them stay calm and lower their heart rate.

woman holding dog in arms

Tip 2:

Sometimes, you can train your pet as much as you can to be without you but fact is, some just get bored. They want to play and be entertained but if you’re not home, they have no one to give them that attention. The result? Maybe some chewed on shoes, or even worse - walls. If your dog loves to chew, or chews to relieve stress, give them something that'll occupy them such as a chew stick. The flavor and activity will satisfy their urge and provide them with entertainment.

Tip 3:

When you come home after your workday, it’s important not to overreact when you see your dog. We understand - you miss them and they miss you too, so it’s hard not to excite them as soon as you open the door. However, this can lead to a bunch of bad habits over time. They could start to jump on you (and other guests) as you enter, knock down anything you’re carrying, or bark excessively. The best thing you can do is be as calm as possible while entering and teach them to greet you in the same manner. Always remember to reward this good behavior!

Going back to work in the office won’t be out of the norm for just you. It will be a huge change for your furry friends too. Try your best to be patient with them as they work through this adjustment. Once you’re back home after a long day, you’ll both appreciate all the cuddles and playtime just a little bit more.


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

A Closer Look At Pet Anxiety

Tips For Calming Stressed Cats

Make the Holidays Safe and Stress-Free for Your Dogs and Cats

If you’re like most people, you’re currently in the midst of another incredibly busy holiday season. With planning, traveling, baking, shopping, get-togethers with friends and family, there seems to be no end to the to-do list … or the holiday stress. Unfortunately, during all of the hustle and bustle, we sometimes forget about the needs of our four-legged family members.

Dogs and cats can be overwhelmed by visitors, the smells coming from the kitchen, and the curious colors and textures of holiday decorations in the home. The holidays offer up unique hazards for our pets. In fact, every year thousands of pets are seriously injured or sickened by dangers that could have been easily prevented. In most of these cases, pet parents are simply unaware of the risks associated with holiday food, treats and decorations. And that’s why we’re so pleased to bring you the following presentation.

In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah details many of these holiday hazards for dogs and cats, including decorations and food risks that might be present in your home right now. Additionally, Dr. Sarah shares easy-to-follow tips on surviving the holiday season with less stress and more joy.

Be sure to share this safety video with your friends and family. Who knows … one of the gifts you give may be saving the life of a furry companion!


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Dog Safety Checklist Of Holiday Foods

Useful Tips For Winter Puppy Care