Can Cats Get Cold?

cold cat

While we may be daydreaming about the arrival of winter with a light fluffy snow covering, have you ever stopped to think about whether or not your cat is as happy about the cold weather as you are?

Sure, they may have a fluffy coat. But you can get cold even when you’re bundled up, so what if it’s the same for our kitties?

Should we be getting them ugly sweaters to wear this winter, too?

Can My Cat Get Cold?

cat in blanket Of course! Just like any other animal, cats’ bodies will attempt to bring their temperature up to par when they’re in cold environments. Cats can even develop hypothermia and frostbite if left in cold enough environments for too long.

How Can I Tell if My Cat is Cold?

If your cat is starting to feel cold, they may present any combination of the following symptoms.

They Can’t Get Enough Snuggles

When our furry friend leaps up and begins purring as they curl themselves into our lap, it melts our heart. But sometimes this affection is more pragmatic than anything. Sometimes, cats will snuggle up to us in order to steal some of our body heat. Not that we ever mind, of course. But if you notice your cat is constantly jumping back up to cuddle with you, consider whether or not the inside of your house is warm enough for them.

They’re Shivering

Cool cats (sorry….) may begin to shiver in order to raise their body temperature. However, remember that shivering can also be indicative of your cat having a fever. While this may seem contradictory, consider this: if your body temperature was significantly elevated, wouldn’t it be possible that a warm house could feel a bit too cold for you?

If your cat’s shivering is coupled with lethargy, rapid breathing, decreased grooming, or loss of appetite, then it’s possible your cat has a fever. If you suspect a fever, you’ll want to verify your hypothesis by checking the cat’s temperature with a pediatric rectal thermometer. You can read more about how to safely check your cat’s temperature at PetMD. But, possibly a better idea, for most of us, is a quick trip to your Vet to check out your kitty!

They’re Hanging Out by Warm Places

cat fireplace Once they start feeling cold, cats aren’t going to wait around to fix the problem. Instead, you’ll probably find them snoozing on top of the radiator or by air vents if the heat is turned up. You may even find them buried underneath blankets or snuggling in your bed sheets!

Their Extremities Are a Bit Chilly

If you suspect your cat may be feeling cold, gently reach out and start feeling their tail, ears, toes, and nose. If these feel cool to the touch, your cat is likely uncomfortable and would appreciate some help warming up.

How Cold is Too Cold for a Cat?

cat in rain Just as with so many questions about proper pet care, there is no singular temperature that can be considered “too cold” for every cat. According to Dr. M.A. Crist, Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences: “Determining what temperature is too cold for your pet can depend on many different factors, from fur thickness and length to body mass.“ However, it’s generally accepted that kittens, senior cats, and sick cats should never be kept outdoors when the temperature is below 45º Fahrenheit.

Crist says that it’s also clinically accepted that indoor cats, who are not acclimated to cold weather, should not be left outside when the average daily temperature is below 45º Fahrenheit. He goes on to also say that even cats who are acclimated to outdoor temperatures should always have access to warm shelters.

What’s the Ideal Temperature for Cats?

Many people don’t realize that a cat’s normal body temperature is quite a bit warmer than a human’s. While a human’s core body temperature should fall around 98.6º Fahrenheit, a cat’s body temperature should hover between 100.5º and 102.5º Fahrenheit.

Given that their body is adjusted to being at a higher core temperature than ours, cats are generally able to tolerate slightly higher external temperatures than us. Conversely, cats may also feel much colder during winter than you or I would, especially if you don’t turn up the heat often.

Luckily, cats are notoriously skilled at rooting out the most comfortable spots throughout the house and setting up shop there when they feel a need for additional warmth. That being said, there are still a number of ways you can help Whiskers to stay a bit more cozy during the winter.

How Can I Keep My Cat Warm?

Get Them a Cat Bed

cat bed Any old cat bed can help your cat feel more comfortable during cold weather! You can even build your own bed with just two sofa cushions and a couple of tightly wrapped up blankets. You don’t have to devise an elaborate solution to keep your cat warm

Of course, you could also treat your four-legged friend to a covered bed; that way they’ll begin to warm up the second they lay down. Some cats also really enjoy the added sense of security offered by enclosed beds. Consider getting a cave-style or triangular A-frame bed if your cat enjoys being in small spaces. Otherwise, try a donut-style beds; they offer a warm, padded base with walls that your kitty can snuggle up to.

Also, remember that heat rises, so it’s best to place your cat’s bed up high! However, if your cat is elderly or has mobility issues, consider getting a slightly elevated bed with an attached ramp.

Give Them Heat

cat on heater In the middle of really cold weather, you may also want to think about placing an electric heating pad under your cat’s bed. Just remember to switch it off when you’re asleep or out of the house, as a number of accidents can occur when a cat is left alone with a heating pad. Heated sills will also provide warmth and comfort to a cool cat (we’ll wait for the a-paws). But a much better option is to buy a heated cat bed. These have now become quite reasonable price-wise—as for my cats–they just adore their warmed-up beds!

Snuggle with Them!

cat snuggle The only, truly free option on this list is to give your cats some extra TLC. Not only will you be helping them stay warm, but you’ll get to spend some quality time with them! Besides: who doesn’t love a good afternoon cuddle with their feline fella?

For more information on how to keep your cat happy and healthy, visit!



How Much Should I Feed My Cat?

cat eating food

Becoming a first-time owner of a cat entails answering a lot of questions that you’ve never really had to consider before.

Questions like: “Why does my cat cough so much?” or “What the heck is a warble?” or “How is my cat this cute?”

But there’s a one question that pet owners rarely try to really answer definitively: how much food should we give our cat, really?

If you try to answer it on the fly, you might find yourself trying to measure out cat food in your head or defaulting to the timeless “Enough, obviously.” But, in reality, the answer to this simple question is anything but that.

How Much Should I Feed My Cat?

chubby cat You’ll get the most accurate answer to this question from a veterinarian. They are the people who are best suited to offer medically sound, customized nutrition guidelines for your cat and answer any questions that you have.

That being said, there are a couple of ways that you can get a general idea of how much food to give your cat.

Check the Nutrition Guidelines on Your Cat’s Food

cat food Both dry and wet cat food containers will often contain labels that display ranges of how much you should feed your cat based on their weight.

However, be warned that these feeding instructions are based on the caloric needs of an average cat at that weight with an average activity program. You’ll need to take some additional steps if you want to determine the ideal amount of food to give your cat.

Use Rules of Thumb, with Caution

If you’re someone who just wants to abide by a simple rule, then consider this: the Animal Medical Center in New York says that a healthy, active 8-pound cat requires 30 calories per pound, per day.

feed my cat

If your cat feeds on a set schedule twice a day, then you could theoretically split a cup of dry cat food (typically ~300 calories) between two meals and provide your cat with sufficient calories for the day.

On the other hand, you can just drop this amount of food into your cat’s feeder each day if they free feed.

But truly determining the precise amount of food your cat needs per day requires you to take a whole range of factors into consideration.

What Factors Affect How Much Food to Give Your Cat?

As much as we wish there was a simple formula that we could use to answer the question “How much food should I feed my cat?”, there isn’t. In reality, the amount of food that a cat needs every day is dependent on Your answer to a battery of questions. Here goes:


color blind cats For starters, your cat’s age plays a large part in determining how much food they need. According to Francis Kallfelz, DVM, Ph.D., and James Law Professor of Nutrition at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, kittens up to six months old may require three meals a day, while kittens six months old to maturity will usually require feeding twice per day.

Once the cat reaches one year old, Kallfelz says, they should be fed once or twice a day. Kallfelz also notes that senior cats who are seven years old and up should maintain the same feeding regimen they’ve had since becoming adults.


Your cat’s weight will also determine how much food they should be consuming on a daily basis. Larger breeds of cats tend to require more food than smaller breeds of cats. Although, this is not a hard and fast rule – some cats that appear to be large have surprisingly small frames. The “large” is simply a lot of hair! You don’t want to accidentally overfeed your cat just because they look extra fluffy!

Weight and Metabolic Level

fat cat Overweight cats should, of course, eat less food per day than cats who are underweight or of normal weight. Unfortunately, many pet parents are unaware of proper feeding guidelines for their furry friend and end up overfeeding them, which puts them at risk for obesity. According to Dr. Ernie Ward, DVM, obesity is the most common nutritional disease in household pets.

And, while people might flip out to show you the latest video of chubby cats acting adorable, trust us when we say there’s nothing cute about the effects of feline obesity. Feline obesity is associated with a considerable number of potentially devastating health issues in cats including diabetes, arthritis, urinary tract disease, and more.

Along those same lines, cats who are regularly active will require more food to maintain their continually active metabolism per day than cats who are sedentary.. This makes tons of sense if you think about it – when you, as a human, exercise regularly, you’ll often hear your tummy rumbling to remind you to keep the fuel coming!


A number of diseases and ailments can affect both your cat eats and how much they end up eating.

cat purring Cats who suffer from diabetes, for example, should only eat when they’re receiving insulin. This helps ensure that they absorb all of the calories in their food and that their blood sugar levels stay balanced throughout the day.

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism tend to cause an increased appetite in cats. However, while hypothyroidism is often associated with weight gain, hyperthyroidism often presents with weight loss. But, in both cases, you might find your cat purring up to you for a bite of whatever you’re snacking on with more regularity.

Additionally, cats with moderate to severe tooth decay and/or gum disease may exhibit less of an appetite, as eating may become uncomfortable for them. Signs that point to your cat’s mouth as the root cause of disease include drooling, decreased appetite and/or pawing at the mouth.

Reproductive Status

why do cats purr We all know that spaying or neutering our cats can slow them down a bit for a day or so, but the effects that this has on their caloric needs are quite significant. Generally, cats who get spayed or neutered should consume fewer calories than before they were operated on. It’s generally advised to reduce your cat’s daily calories by a quarter following the operation. Then, try and observe what effect the procedure has on their appetite and weight before making any adjustments.

Conversely, pregnant cats will gradually increase their food intake from the day she mates through the end of her term. By the time that she has her kittens, a pregnant cat may be consuming between 50% and 100% more than her daily food intake pre-pregnancy.

Body Condition Score

overfed cat While it may seem a bit strange to score things related to our pet’s health and wellness, using a Body Condition Score is a simple and intuitive way to determine whether Whiskers is overweight or underweight.

A body condition score is a number that’s assigned to specific cat body types, ranging from 1 to 9. A cat with body condition score of 1 would be considered very underweight, while a cat with a score of 9 would be considered very overweight. A cat with an ideal body type would score around a five.

How to Determine a Cat’s Body Condition Score

In order to get the most accurate Body Condition Score, get your cat evaluated by a trained veterinarian. However, you can attempt to get a rough estimate of your cat’s score by following the procedure below.

Before the exam begins, make sure your cat is relaxed. Pet them and love on them before you begin the exam. Remember to intersperse this affection throughout the exam, too! After all, who wouldn’t want some comfort while getting their body checked out?

treatment for cuterebra To begin the exam, give your cat a visual once-over. Evaluate your cat’s profile and try to get a good look at their stomach, limbs, and neutral stance. Then, get a view from overhead where you can see their waist and lower back. After you’ve had time to look them over, it’s time to get your hands furry.

Gently but firmly rub your hands along your cat’s ribs. Your cat’s rib cage should not be visible through their coat. If you notice rib bones sticking out without applying additional pressure, your cat’s weight is probably too low. However, if you have a difficult time feeling their ribs even after applying pressure, your cat may be too heavy.

Next, move your hands toward their waist. Be careful: cats are often sensitive in this area! You should be able to make out an hourglass shape as you work your way down their waist. If, instead of feeling an hourglass you feel something more akin to a cat shaped blob, your cat may be overweight.

Finally, you’ll want to feel your cat’s stomach. A cat who is of normal weight will have a stomach that makes a straight line with their hips. If your cat has something of a small, sagging bit of skin that hangs, don’t worry; that’s just their paunch. Most cats have one! Just be sure it doesn’t drag on the floor when they walk!

Once you’ve completed the above steps, you should be able to roughly determine your cat’s body condition score. If you came away from the exam thinking, “Man, my cat sure is bony!” then your cat may score between 1 and 4 and they may be underweight. On the flip side, if you walked away thinking “Maybe I should stop feeding Whiskers so much popcorn…” your cat may have a score that’s greater than 5 and they may be overweight.

You can take a look at each of the Body Condition Scores and their descriptions here.

How Often Should I Feed My Cat?

a cat licking her lips You must feed your cat every day. It’s generally recommended to split your cat’s daily food consumption between two meals that occur at the same times each day.

While it may seem like a pain to spend time learning the best times of day to feed your cat, it’s worth it. Establishing a feeding schedule provides your cat with feelings of stability and predictability. By providing this constant for them, your cat may have an easier time coping with changes in the house.

A predictable feeding schedule can be especially helpful when you’re trying to get your cat to eat new foods, as it conditions them to be hungry at the same time every day. What better motivator is there to try food than being super hungry?

Ultimately, however, the time of day they eat matters much less to your cat’s overall health than how much they eat at each meal.

For more information on how to keep your cat happy and healthy, visit!



How Much Does a Horse Weigh?

horse foraging
When we say the phrase, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse”, typically what we’re really saying is: I could eat an enormous amount of food right now. However, we never really stop to consider just how much weight we’re talking about when we spout off that idiom.

Conventional wisdom tells us that the average weight of a light horse falls around 1,000 pounds. Yet even the newest horse owner knows that using averages can be a mistake when talking about the typical weight of a horse. A horse’s weight can be impacted by a variety of factors including its breed, diet, and function.

Plus, speaking in averages isn’t something you’d want to do anyway when it comes to your horse’s weight. We have to be as precise with our numbers as possible if we’re going to give our equine partners the best care.

Why is Understanding Your Horse’s Weight Important?

smallest horse Knowing precisely how much your horse weighs is a crucial part of caring for them properly. Without exact numbers to work with, portioning your horse’s daily intake of food and water will be riddled with errors and may lead to overeating or malnutrition.

Knowing your horse’s weight is also necessary in order to determine accurate dosing levels of medication. Also, knowing your horse’s weight helps you determine what the maximum amount of weight they can pull is. Asking a horse to carry too much weight for its size can not only lead to worse soreness, but can also result in musculoskeletal issues down the road.

What Are Heavy Horses and Light Horses?

Generally, horses can be easily separated into two categories based on weight: heavy horses and light horses. Heavy horses are the big, working mares you see out in the fields. Breeds in this category include Clydesdales, Percherons, Belgians, and Shires and they tend to weigh between 1,700 and 2,000+ pounds. 

Light horses, however, are often used for riding, racing, driving, and herding, and are often between 900 and 1,500 pounds. Breeds in this category include Arabians and the American Saddlebred.

How Are Horses Weighed?

While some people believe they can eyeball a horse’s weight, this almost never produces an accurate result and should never be relied on for any serious purpose.

horses cribbing Another common method that yields slightly more accurate results involves the use of a measuring tape that is marked at certain intervals with rough estimates of weight. These measuring tapes, commonly called heart girth tapes, can be bought at any local feed store.

To use, wrap the tape around the circumference of the horse’s heart girth, found at the base of the horse’s withers. Once the tape has fully been wrapped around and meets your original starting point, read the number that is indicated. This number is supposed to serve as a rough estimate of your horse’s weight. However, remember that heart girth measurements only take a single measurement of a single portion of your horse’s body, so they’re not meant to be precise measurements.

Some horse owners also make use of nifty math formulas, some of which have been passed down over the generations and others of which are found online, due to their simplicity and semi-consistently accurate results. Typically, these calculations involve plugging in your horse’s heart girth and length from the point of their shoulder to the point of their buttock. You can find many of these calculators for yourself online just by Googling “Horse weight calculator”.

However, one thing to remember is that you’ll need to add or subtract some amount of weight with any numbers you get from these calculators, depending on if your horse is underweight or overweight.

You’ll need to get your horse weighed with a scale to get the most accurate results, preferably one from an equine veterinarian. If scheduling an appointment with a local equine veterinarian is not an option, call around to local feed mills and tack shops and see if they have any leads on local, certified livestock scales available in the area.

Things to Consider When Weighing Your Horse

sorrel horse running When you’re evaluating your horse’s weight and general health, there are a few areas you should pay special attention to.

For starters, you should not be able to see your horse’s spine with your naked eye. Likewise, a horse’s ribs should be able to be felt, but should not be visible. A horse’s trailhead, withers, and neck bone structure being visible may also indicate a horse that is too thin.

However, one of the best ways to ensure your horse is at an ideal weight is to pay attention to their body condition score.

What is a Horse’s Body Condition Score?

A horse’s body condition score is a score assigned to them after examining critical areas of the body based on palpable fat and visual appearance.

This system, developed by Dr. Don Henneke of Texas A&M University, examines six parts of a horse – its neck, withers, shoulder, ribs, loin, and tailhead – to determine the horse’s weight condition. Horses are assigned a score from 1 – 9, with horses having a condition score of 7 or more being at the greatest risk for developing health issues down the line. The ideal body condition score is 5 or 6.

If your horse’s body condition score is a 7 or higher, begin to seriously consider changing major portions of your horse’s lifestyle in order to get their weight down.

What Factors Affect a Horse’s Weight?

horses get dehydrated Our four-hooved friends are a lot like us when it comes to their weight. Their dental health plays a huge role in how much food they eat, and how much food they eat is directly proportional to their weight. A horse that is steadily losing weight or suddenly begins to take longer to eat than normal should immediately have their mouth looked at. A horse with decaying or rotting teeth will likely not want to eat so they can avoid pain caused by cavities or oral infections.

A horse needs to eat 1.5% to 3% of their body weight per day. However, if they don’t exercise, their daily caloric intake can soon turn into overeating and lead to weight gain. If left unchecked, this slow weight gain can result in equine obesity which is a serious health concern. Equine obesity results in a variety of health issues down the line including laminitis, insulin resistance and/or diabetes, and increased stress being placed on the heart and joints.

For more information on how to keep your horse happy, healthy, and trotting along without a care in the world (even while they’re being treated for things like rain rot, thrush, or fungal infections), visit!



Are Cats Colorblind?

color blind cats

There’s an old tired joke out there that describes what the beginning of a pet’s poem, to his owner, may sound like. It goes something like this:

 Roses are gray, Violets are gray, Everything is gray, I love you.

While certainly humorous, this joke is based on the age-old belief that both dogs and cats are color blind.

While recent research has shown that dogs can, in fact, see in color, the question remains: what about cats?

 Can our fuzzy friends distinguish the same range of colors that we do?

Or are their worlds slightly less dazzling to look at?

How Do Eyes See Color?

Eyes are able to interpret colors based off of light.

cat looking with eyes Sunlight, as we perceive it, is colorless. When sunlight hits an object, such as an orange, the object absorbs some of that sunlight and reflects the rest of it. That reflected light enters the human eye through the cornea, the outermost part of the eye. The cornea then bends this light towards the pupil, the structure which controls the amount of light that hits the lens. The lens then re-focuses the light on the retina.

The retina has two types of photoreceptors, which are the cells that detect and respond to light. These photoreceptors are rods and cones. Rods are activated in low or dim light, while cones are stimulated in brighter environments.

Cones are what we’re interested in here. They contain color-detecting molecules, or photo pigments, that allow us to interpret colors. Humans typically have three types of photo pigments – red, green, and blue. Each type of color corresponds to different wavelengths of visible light.

So, when an orange reflects sunlight, the red and green cones are activated. Once activated, these cones send a signal along the optic nerve to the visual cortex of the brain. The brain then gets to work processing information such as the number of cones activated and the strength of their signal. You then interpret the color based off the information your brain just processed.

What is Color Blindness?

color blind Color blindness is the phenomenon where one or more of the cone types doesn’t function as expected. This can mean that the cones can be absent, under-functioning, non-functioning, or detecting different colors than would normally be observed.

According to the National Eye Institute, red-green color blindness is most common, followed by blue-yellow color blindness. Contrary to popular belief, the ability to only see black and white, otherwise known as monochromatism, is incredibly uncommon.

Are Cats Colorblind?

A cat’s vision is similar to a human who is color blind.

preventing cat coughs As with humans, a cat’s retinas also contain three types of cones. However, there are key differences between a cat’s cones and a human’s cones. Humans have way more cones than cats do (10X more) meaning that humans see far more colors. Having less cones also means that cats are less sensitive to changes in brightness or color vibrancy.

Cats can see shades of blue and green, but, may have trouble perceiving true reds and pinks. Some scientists even believe that cats can only perceive blues and grays, while others think they can also see yellow.

How Are Cat Eyes Different From Human Eyes?

While humans might have a one-up on cats when it comes to color perception, cats have a huge VISUAL leg up on us! 

Remember how a retina’s cones are what give it the ability to interpret color? Well, a retina’s rods are what give it the power to detect movement in the dark and on the sides of your field of vision.

coughing cats And remember how, because our retinas have more cones, we can see more colors than cats do? Well, cats’ retinas have significantly more rods than we do, so they’re much more sensitive to movement.

Additionally, cats have elliptical-shaped pupils which allows them to capture as much as light as possible when dilated. This allows them to need only one-sixth the amount of light that humans need to see an object. Also, cat eyes have a thin layer behind their retinas called the tapetum lucidum that reflects light between rods and cones back to the photoreceptors. This allows cats to capture the very limited light that is available at night and still be able to see well.

Given that cats are carnivorous hunters by nature, it makes sense that their eyes would evolve this way so as to be able to focus on detecting subtle movements in low lighting. But, although being exceptionally skilled at picking out scurrying mice in the dark, to their detriment, cat eyes are also surprisingly near-sighted. Their vision is measured as being 20/100, rather than 20/20. This means that cats need to be twenty feet away to see an object that you can see from 100 feet away.

How Can I Stimulate my Cat’s Vision?

While their eyes may be fundamentally different in construction than ours, we all want our feline friends to be able to see as best as they can. So, if you’re determined to make your cat the ultimate hunter, try out some of the following ideas to keep their senses primed.

using apple cider vinegar for cat ear infections Play with a laser pointer. Quickly dashing the laser pointer across floors and walls throughout your house will cause the light to be picked up by your cat’s rods and prompt them to give chase.

You can also purchase indoor hunting feeders or puzzle feeders to bring out your cat’s inner hunter and make them search for their food. Additionally, playing videos for your cat to watch while you’re away is an easy, passive way to simulate their visual and auditory senses.

It makes sense that any good pet parent would want to make sure their feline friend could see all the colors of the rainbow. If you’re interested in learning more about how to keep Whiskers feeling their best and seeing 20/100, head on over to!



Why Do Dogs Lick Everything?

dog licking everything

For some dogs, showing affection might mean gingerly licking your hand once or twice. For others, it means showering every inch of you in slobbery, wet kisses.

Some dog owners love when their pooch is so enthusiastic with their love. Others prefer drier, less intimate forms of affection.

Regardless of how you feel about it, seeing some pup doggedly (sorry) licking whatever is in sight has likely brought this thought to the top of your mind: Why do dogs seem to lick everything they can get their paws on?

Why Do Dogs Lick People?

Commonly accepted wisdom tells us that dogs lick us as their way of telling us that they love us. Some even refer to licks as kisses!

But, unfortunately, the jury’s still out on why exactly dogs lick us.

One theory raised by Alexandra Horowitz, head of the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, says that dogs may lick people in order to get humans to regurgitate food for them. She says: “Researchers of wild canids — wolves, coyotes, foxes, and other wild dogs — report that puppies lick the face and muzzle of their mother when she returns to her den from a hunt – in order to get her to regurgitate for them.” Being that we’re our pup’s provider of food and comfort, it can be understood how we would become the new target of this behavior…ugh!

dog licking feet Certified applied animal behaviorist Dr. Mary Burch has another idea. She points out that humans’ slightly salty skin may be enticing to dogs who enjoy the taste of salt. This also helps explain why dogs seem particularly attracted to our feet, even when we think they smell…well feet! After wearing socks in shoes all day, our feet get sweaty and, as a result, produce the same salty taste that Fido can’t get enough of!

But licking can also simply be a sign of affection, too! Affectionate licking is something that starts when dogs are puppies. In their first few weeks of life, mother dogs will lick their young to stimulate breathing, urination, and defecation. This leads to dogs to associate licking with caregiving and love. Horowitz points out that licking is also a standard social greeting for many dogs, with even some wild species, licking pack members to welcome them home.

However, the frequency with which a dog licks people is entirely dependent on how licking is treated when they’re puppies. If they’re often allowed to lick as much they want when they’re babies (and, honestly, how can you resist them?), then this habit will stick with them as they age.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

While dogs will naturally spend a little time here and there self-grooming by licking their paws, sometimes this behavior begins to increase to the point of being excessive. And just as with many other dog behaviors, there are a number of reasons why this may happen.

Dog Licking Paw Hot Spot If you notice your dog has begun licking his paws much more than normal, be sure to examine his paws to check for any sign of injury, irritation, infection, or growth that may be causing discomfort. It’s a good idea to contact your veterinarian if this behavior becomes obsessive, regardless of whether or not you find anything, because it may be an indicator of a bigger problem.

A medical diagnosis that attempts to explain what’s causing excessive paw licking will begin with a thorough examination of your dog’s paws. The vet will closely examine the paws to look for injuries like a cut, torn nail, growth, or something stuck between the pads. The vet will also check for signs of irritation or blistering.

If the pads and feet look okay, it’s possible that your dog is licking his paws so much because of a skin condition known as dermatitis. Dermatitis tends to arise as an allergic reaction to things in our environment such as grass, mold spores, dust mites, and plant pollen. Unfortunately, dermatitis is not typically something that you can control sufficiently on your own. Your vet needs to conduct a thorough exam in order to both determine which antigens, if any, caused the reaction and to craft your dog’s treatment plan.

If you and your vet determine there is no medically identifiable reason why your dog is licking his paws so much, then it’s possible your dog is suffering from a behavioral problem such as anxiety or boredom.

Cheri Wulff Lucas, a dog behavior specialist, notes that yeast and other skin infections also cause dogs to lick their paws more often. If the yeast infection is bad enough, your dog may lick their paws until they draw blood. If you notice your dog licking their paws very frequently combined with sores, redness, or a slimy discharge, get your dog checked out by a vet. Diet can play a big role in controlling yeast infections in dogs. Make sure your dog is on a high protein, quality dog food. Less expensive dog foods sometimes contain “fillers” such as soy or corn that can cause allergies that lead to skin problems. Some dog foods are too high in sugar that can lead to a yeast build-up in a dog’s system and that brings along with it, yes, skin allergies!

However, if the infection seems like it hasn’t progressed to those latter stages, apply and massage Banixx Pet care spray 2-3 times per day onto your dog’s infected area for fast-acting pain-free relief. And, don’t worry, Banixx works on-contact and contains no bothersome stinging, stickiness or odors. Your pup can even keep licking their paws without having to worry about ingesting harmful chemicals (though they will need a replacement application).

Why Do Dogs Lick the Carpet and the Couch?

Excessive licking inanimate objects is a problematic behavior that’s often born out of compulsion, anxiety, or stress. Some possible explanations for why your dog has developed these feelings include under-stimulation or under-socialization. If your dog is often cooped up in the house by themselves all day, it’s possible for them to develop feelings of uneasiness that quickly morph into anxiety and stress.

Unfortunately, your pooch’s coping mechanism of licking something to feel better has a habit of reinforcing the feelings that caused him to lick in the first place. If you believe that your dog is licking the carpet and couch out of stress or anxiety, it might be time to seek professional medical help.

In the meantime, Dr. Sarah Wooten of Sheep Draw Veterinary Hospital advises that you try to help your dog relieve some of their boredom or stress by taking them on more walks and playing with them more often. We also recommend that you read up on some common anxiety triggers and how to help your pup calm down.

Nausea may also trigger bouts of excessive licking of inanimate objects, surfaces, and furniture. Additionally, canine cognitive dysfunction and other neurological diseases can cause excessive licking. One study has also linked excessive licking with the presence of certain gastrointestinal disorders.

Another explanation is that dogs may realize that licking the carpet and couches gets them attention. If your dog gets an immediate response every time he licks something, he’s likely to find the behavior rewarding (even if you scold him). A good way to test this is to record your dog’s behavior when they’re alone. If the licking reduces significantly, it’s likely that their licking of the couch or carpet has less to do with how good it tastes and more to do with them wanting your reaction.

dog licking nose Lastly, consider the fact that some dogs just love licking stuff. For some pooches, licking stuff has little to do with anything other than just enjoying the activity.

Whatever the reason your dog has for licking everything in sight, we know that it’s almost impossible to stay mad at him and that you just want what’s best for him.

That’s why we hope that you’ll continue to visit to learn more on how to keep your dog happy and healthy.



How Much Does A Horse Cost?

how much horse cost

We all know the best things in life aren’t free. But, at the least, we hope they’re not wallet-crushingly expensive.

But being able to accurately predict the total cost of ownership of some purchases is unnecessarily difficult. You can hear ten different lifetime costs from ten different sources about the same product. 

People then act on what is sometimes incorrect or incomplete information and end up purchasing something they ultimately can’t afford. This scenario can cause a lot of stress on its own, but it can be made multiple magnitudes worse when the purchase is a living, breathing animal.

To help you avoid this nightmare scenario, we’ve decided to throw in our 2-cents on the age-old question: how much does it cost to own a horse?

How Much Does it Cost to Own a Horse?

horse cost The price paid when the sale is finalized is likely to be the least expensive aspect of horse ownership. However, what that exact price is depends on a variety of factors including the horse’s age, experience, pedigree, and more. That means the purchase price of a horse can range from anywhere between free and a number with so many zeros that it would make your head spin. However, the average cost for a horse that’s going to be used for casual recreational use is around $3,000, according to the University of Maine.

But the sticker price of the horse isn’t the only expense you’ll incur when shopping around. It’s always a smart idea to have a professional veterinarian perform a pre-purchase exam before you buy. This may help you spot any hidden or unknown medical conditions the horse may be suffering from, while also alerting you to their general strengths and weaknesses. The cost of this exam can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the extensiveness of the exams your vet performs and the intended use for the horse.

The initial purchase of a horse will also require the purchase of a considerable amount of equipment, both for the rider and the horse. A horse needs a well-fitting saddle and bridle, grooming tools, saddle pads, and protective boots. All in all, this can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000 due to the variance in quality and functionality between different products. If you’re planning to travel with your horse at all, consider investing in a truck and horse trailer.

Horses that are living in cold climates will also require blankets, indoor and outdoor variety and possibly also sheets, fly sheets…well, the list goes on.. Blanket/sheet prices can range from $100 to $900, as some horses require specific designs or weights to accommodate differing environmental conditions.

A rider will require equipment if they’re going to ride a horse safely. Helmets, riding boots, chaps, spurs, and gloves are only a few of the items you may need, depending on the type of riding performed. Additionally, one should mull over the value of a good trainer relative to the kinds of tasks the horse is expected to perform. If training is deemed necessary, an exceptional trainer with a well-established client base can charge over a thousand dollars per month.

How Much Does it Cost to Board a Horse?

horse costs Boarding is a highly variable cost that is dependent on an assortment of factors including the facility, location, and services offered.

One option is to pasture board. This is where you pay a stable to keep your horse on one of their pastures, meaning they’re on the open field 24/7. However, the staff will still cater to your horse’s needs. Horses who are pasture boarded will usually also be allowed run-ins to escape particularly bad heat or cold This is an ideal option for owners who want their horses to avoid being stalled all day. This option can cost anywhere from $200 per month to $600 per month.

On the other hand, there are high-end, full-service facilities that include feeding and watering, turn-in and turn-out, stall cleaning, and basic care as part of their monthly fee. They may also schedule vet and farrier visits. This tends to be a good option for horse owners who can’t feasibly tend to their horses every single day. This option can cost between $600 per month to $1,600 per month.

Self-care boarding is a great option if you’re wanting to spend more time with your horse while saving money. This involves you paying a stable to house your horse, but you (and you alone) are responsible for tending to the animal’s daily needs. Imagine that it’s sort of like renting your horse an apartment. You should expect to go to the barn twice a day to check on your horse if you self-care board them. Self-care boarding typically costs between $200 and $400 per month.

How Much Does it Cost to Feed a Horse?

cost of horse For those who house their horses in full-care stables, the issue of feeding your horse is taken care of. However, there will be some instances where you are responsible for feeding your horse if your horse has special needs or special feeding.

In those moments, it may be easy to fool yourself into thinking “Ah, horses are vegetarians! And grass is free, right? How expensive could some hay be?”. Not so fast.

Consider this: most adult horses consume anywhere between 1.5% to 2.5% of their body weight via grazing each day, depending on their performance level. Using an average of 2% as a figure, a 1,000-pound horse would consume an average of just over 3.7 tons of hay every year. That’s a LOT of hay and along with buying hay comes delivery cost, storage costs, spoilage costs (oh yes!..hay can spoil very easily and then it s life-threatening to feed to your horse!)

Hay bales usually come in two varieties: square and round. Square bales break off into flakes for easier netting and measuring, making it ideal for horse owners who stall or trailer their animals. Round bales are intended to feed a herd, making them ideal for use on pastures. The price of hay is variable depending on quality, quantity, and the time of year it’s purchased, with prices usually ranging from $4 to $20 per bale.

Nutrition expenses may increase if you decide to supplement your horse’s diet with grain or complete feeds. Grain offers horses certain proteins and minerals that are unavailable to them from grass or hay. It can be an especially useful supplement for horses who work hard, have vitamin deficiencies or have trouble keeping weight on. The price of grain is dependent on quality, as more expensive grain bags will have a higher concentration of minerals and vitamins. However, you should expect to pay between $15 and $40 for a 50-pound bag of grain.

How Much Does a Horse Veterinarian Cost?

horse legs Like any other animal, horses have a number of health care needs that must be urgently attended to by medical professionals.

A typical vet call (where the veterinarian travels to your horse’s location to administer care) is usually charged depending on the time you schedule the appointment and how far the vet has to travel. You will typically be charged much more for after-hours calls than a call during business hours. These visits can cost anywhere from $35 to $150. But that is just for the travel fee; the veterinary service will be on top of this cost.

Horses should get annual physical exams to nip any minor, underlying problems in the bud before they become worse. During this exam, the vet will check your horse’s temperature, pulse, and breathing. They’ll also determine your horse’s body count from 1 to 9, with 1 being very skinny and 9 being obese. These tests can go from being very simple to the very complex, and they’re charged accordingly. A basic exam may cost as little as $60, while a more intensive exam with radiological tests or ultrasounds may cost a few hundred dollars.

Horses also need to get a few core vaccines if they’re going to remain protected against an assortment of potentially deadly diseases, including tetanus, Eastern and Western encephalitis, rabies, Flu-Rhino, Botulism, Potomac Fever and West Nile virus. However, risk-based vaccines (such as those protecting against influenza, rhinopneumonitis, strangles, Potomac horse fever, botulism, anthrax, equine viral arteritis, and rotavirus) vary according to a horse’s use, gender, and location. Generally, it is recommended to get core vaccines annually and protective vaccines biannually. This can cost between $100 and $400, depending on where you go and what vaccines are administered.

It’s also recommended that horses get tested annually for equine infectious anemia virus (EIA). Otherwise known as swamp fever, this viral disease is characterized by fever, anemia, jaundice, depression, edema, and chronic weight loss. To determine whether or not a horse has been infected with EIA, veterinarians will administer a Coggins test. This test checks for antibodies of the disease and usually delivers a positive result within the hour it’s administered. Coggins tests usually cost between $20 and $60. Once a horse tests positive for EIA, an owner must either adhere to a strict quarantine or euthanize the animal.

Additionally, just like with human children, you have to pay close attention to and actively care for your horse’s teeth. Regular dental maintenance ensures your horse will get the maximum nutrient use from their food and can safeguard against discomfort caused by tooth decay. By keeping your horse’s teeth clean, you’ll also reduce the risk of them developing colic or diarrhea. Annual dental checkups can start at $150, but this investment will save money in the long run. If your veterinarian determines that your horse’s teeth are in need of care, they may recommend “floating” your horse’s teeth. And, yes, horses also may need to have teeth extracted too!

Teeth floating is a process through which the veterinarian will smooth out the sharp edges of your horse’s teeth with a rasp or drill, Some horses will need this procedure performed sparingly, while others may require it once or twice a year. The cost of this procedure is largely dependent on the exhaustiveness of the floating required and if your horse needs to be sedated.

Vet bills for minor care options such as non-emergency injury treatment, deworming, and musculoskeletal therapies and supplements can also seriously rack up and throw your budget off track.

How Much Does a Farrier Cost?

sorrel horse running Everyone loves a beautiful, well-kept set of nails. Even your horse. Just like our fingernails, a horse’s hooves have to be trimmed every so often. Luckily, you don’t have to get down there and trim your horse’s hooves yourself.

That’s what a farrier is for! A farrier attends to your horse’s hooves and helps keep them healthy. They usually offer three core services: barefoot trimming, shoeing, and corrective shoeing.

Barefoot trimming is where a horse’s hoof is trimmed back to its original position to ensure even weight distribution throughout the hoof. This is done on horse’s who don’t wear horseshoes and tend to have well-shaped, strong feet. This fits well for horse that is used for casual, low-stress riding.

Shoeing is usually performed on horses who are soft-footed, perform arduous physical labor, or compete in strenuous events. During this process, semi-permanent horseshoes are applied to the hooves to prevent them from enduring too much trauma. This can also be done to hold a damaged hoof together.

Corrective shoeing is performed when a horse’s body isn’t distributed correctly over their hooves causing the weight to shift around and cause damage or for a horse that has conformation issues. A farrier can custom-make a shoe in order to help with this problem. When pursuing a farrier for corrective shoeing, it’s important to only use professionals who understand the functions of the body. Professional farriers typically charge between $100 and $250 per visit per horse but this varies tremendously on distance travelled and the type of service needed


smallest horse The total lifetime cost of owning a horse is highly dependent on a number of factors, meaning that it can cost you as little as just a few thousand dollars per year, or it can cost you more than the average person makes in a year. It really just depends on what you aim to do with your horse. Is he a backyard ornament that you ride a few times a year or a trail horse that you board with a local stable or are you a hard-core competitor?—this decision along with the size of your bank account will be important factors when putting together a plan and a budget for your horse.

There’s one last investment to consider when owning a horse. Ideally, you’d like the medical and home remedy supplies you buy to last a long time and remain potent from the moment you open them to the moment you throw them away,

Well, with Banixx, you can have that without any of the stinging, stickiness or smells that come along with using competing products for bacterial and fungal infections. Use Banixx with confidence to successfully provide fast-acting, no-sting, no-odor relief for wounds, rashes, rain rot, white line disease, horse scratches and more!

To learn more about how to keep your horse happy and healthy, visit!




Why Doesn’t My Cat Purr?

cat purring

Honestly, we’re not sure that there’s a better feeling than hearing and feeling our feline friend begin to rumble and purr. It’s one of the most soothing sounds there is, and it’s even believed to convey some health benefits, such as, lower blood pressure.

So, when your pointy-eared buddy doesn’t purr for you, it may cause concern and even sting a little. You may start wondering whether your cat is dissatisfied, stressed, or maybe even unhealthy.

But before you can understand why your cat may not purr, you need to understand why cats purr in the first place.

Why Do Cats Purr?

why do cats purr This might seem like something that scientists should understand very well by this point. But, surprisingly, there’s no concrete answer as to why cats purr.

While there are certainly cats who purr as a sign of contentment, there are also cats who purr when frightened or threatened. Kelly Morgan, DVM and Clinical Instructor at the Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine at UIUC, has speculated that purring could serve an equivalent, multifaceted purpose like smiling:

“People will smile when they’re nervous, when they want something, and when they’re happy, so perhaps the purr can also be an appeasing gesture,” Morgan says.

Researchers at the University of Sussex in Brighton, U.K. have also decided to explore why cats purr. In the study, they analyzed recordings of 10 cats’ purrs and discovered that cats sometimes add a vocal twist (somewhere between a cry and meow). The team, led by Karen McComb, PhD, suggests cats may be tapping into a mammalian response for nurturing offspring when they do this in order to get our attention.

But, that’s not the last explanation of why cats purr. Cats are also known to purr when in pain, when they’re ill, when they’re in labor, or even when near death. From an evolutionary standpoint, however, this seems like a mistake. Why would cats want to indicate when they’re in such vulnerable positions?

purring cats Researcher Elizabeth von Muggenthaler of the Fauna Communications Research Institute of North Carolina (FCRI) suggests that a cat’s purr can offer a kind of built-in physical therapy to help reduce stress and even heal them: 

“Because cats have adapted to conserve energy by means of long periods of rest and sleep, it is possible that purring is a low energy mechanism that stimulates muscles and bones without using a lot of energy.”

Muggenthaler’s position is corroborated by Professor Leslie A. Lyons, PhD, at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She notes that both domestic cats and some wild cats purr at strong frequencies of 25 Hertz and 50 Hertz, respectively.

According to Lyons, “research on frequencies that promote bone growth, healing of fractures, pain relief and relief of breathlessness and inflammation, show that the respective frequencies are between 20 Hertz and 150 Hertz these are indeed healing frequencies. All cat species have purr frequencies between 20 Hertz and 150 Hertz, with the exception of the cheetah. This corresponds exactly with the best healing frequencies.”

Lyon also notes that purring can reduce stress while also reducing the symptoms of dyspnoea in both cats and humans.

How Do Cats Purr?

At one time, it was thought that a cat’s purr was produced from the blood surging through the inferior vena cava in their heart, but recent research suggests that it’s actually produced in their laryngeal muscles. This hypothesis is further supported by the lack of observed purring in cats with noted laryngeal paralysis.

The precise mechanics of the purr sensation are still not exactly known, but scientists have a general understanding of how cats purr. The most accepted hypothesis is that a region of the cat’s brain signals its laryngeal muscles to vibrate. Simultaneously, the cat will begin inhaling and exhaling and sending a stream of air through their vocal cords, causing them to vibrate. This vibration is ultimately the pleasant sound that we humans have grown to adore!

Why Doesn’t My Cat Purr?

cat veterinarian It’s a common feeling among pet parents that a lack of purring from their little furball may mean their cat is unhappy, stressed, ill, or angry. However, this is often a misguided feeling. Cats who are not content tend to exhibit those feelings outwardly, in a more demonstrative way.

But just as there are a litany of reasons why cats would purr, so too there are a number of different details that may stop a cat from purring. For example, some cats may not purr because they were separated from their mothers before they were ready. Since kittens learn many behaviors from their family, kittens who are separated too early may not learn to purr.

Additionally, any number of physiological issues may prevent your cat from purring including a sore throat, inflammation of the pharyngeal or esophageal muscles, or a physical injury. Anxiety or fear may also be the culprit of a conspicuously quiet kitty.

There’s also the fact to consider that some cats just don’t purr. Instead, a non-purring feline may use facial expressions or body language to communicate with his owner. Other cats may purr so quietly and subtly that their owners simply don’t pick up on it.

How Do I Make My Cat Purr?

ringworm on cat ear Cats display a complex range of emotions and each has its own unique personality. However, they’re still cats and, luckily, they can be persuaded with some easy tricks.

If you want to hear your cat purr, first break out their favorite treats. Your cat may start purring to entice you to toss him a treat, and he may keep purring as he enjoys the treat.

Cats who love to be brushed may also signal a wish to be groomed by purring. If your kitty loves to be pampered, then simply showing them the brush may be enough to get them to start purring.

Another surefire way to keep your cat purring with delight is to keep them well taken care of at all times. If you’re a caring pet owner, be sure to visit to find out more about how to keep your feline friend happy and healthy.



Can Dogs Eat Pickles?

dogs and pickles

Crunchy with a salty-sour taste, pickles are the perfect garnish for a variety of meals including hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches! We like them so much that we just eat them by themselves most of the time. 

But when you’re sitting there about to chow down on a delicious burger and see Fido sitting there giving you those begging eyes, is it okay to throw him a little slice?

Or would it be better to try and divert his attention with a more dog-friendly treat like a regular cucumber?

Can Dogs Have Pickles?

canine acne picture The short answer is that it depends, but you probably should not feed your dog pickles. While cucumbers are fine for dogs to eat, most pickles contain way too many added ingredients.

Moreover, each type of pickle has its own risks to take into account when deciding whether or not to feed it to your dog.

Are Pickles Bad For Dogs?

One of the most common questions people ask is are pickles good for dogs. Rest assured, they are. By eating pickles, your pup will benefit from the numerous vitamins and minerals found within cucumbers including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese.

However, this will come at the cost of simultaneously ingesting other, potentially harmful additives like salt, vinegar, and spices. If you’re looking to give your dog pickles for the health benefits, it would probably be better to just give them plain cucumber instead.

Are Regular Pickles Safe for Dogs to Eat?

pickle jar We define “regular” pickles as cucumbers that are soaked in a simple brining liquid which doesn’t contain additional foods, spices, or additives. 

On their own, eating regular pickles will likely not pose a major risk to your dog’s health. However, they should still be avoided. While certainly delicious, pickles are packed to the brim with sodium. Too much sodium ingestion can lead to the development of health issues in dogs ranging from something as minor as an upset stomach to something as life threatening as salt poisoning.

If a dog begins suffering from salt poisoning, he can begin exhibiting a myriad of symptoms ranging from vomiting, diarrhea, lack of an appetite, and lethargy, to more serious issues including tremors, seizures, and even death. 

If you suspect your furry friend is suffering from salt poisoning, take them to your vet as soon as possible.

Are Pickles with Onions Safe for Dogs to Eat?

onions for dogs It is not safe to feed your dog pickles that have been brined or cooked with onions.

Onions are a non-starter for dogs. Onions, and anything cooked with them, can irreparably damage the hemoglobin found inside your dog’s red blood cells, causing a condition called Heinz anemia.

Dogs that are suffering from Heinz anemia can begin showing a few distinct symptoms that owners should watch out for if they suspect their dog has eaten onions. These include weakness, pale gums, fainting, and reddish urine.

If your dog begins displaying the symptoms of onion toxicity, he will likely require medical attention. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting and will offer ongoing support while your dog’s body recovers and begins producing new healthy red blood cells to replace damaged ones.

Moreover, do not delay in seeking medical treatment. Onion toxicity in dogs can be fatal if left untreated.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Pickles?

pickles So, we know that we shouldn’t give our pups pickles loaded with salt or made with onions. What about sweet pickles? Are those okay to cut up and give to our four-legged friends?

Unfortunately, not really.

The secret behind what makes sweet pickles taste so delectable is, well….sugar! Lots of it, too!.

And, as with humans, eating too much sugar can pose a variety of health problems for dogs, including diabetes, weight gain, and even cavities.

Plus, feeding your dog something that’s loaded with sugar such as sweet pickles also raises the risk of upsetting their stomach, which can lead to some side effects that are less than aromatic.

Can Dogs Eat Dill Pickles?

cure for dog diarrhea If any type of pickle is bound to be okay for dogs, it’s bound to be the one that’s literally called kosher, right?

Sort of, but not really. Like their infinitely more boring brethren, these savory and tart pickles are also loaded with salt.

And we mean loaded with it. A single medium dill pickle can contain between 700 and 1,500 milligrams of sodium; and that’s between seven to fifteen times the daily recommended amount for dogs. That means a single slice of a dill pickle might just be enough to satisfy your dog’s daily requirements!

However, if you can find dill pickles that are made with substantially less sodium (like the “Low Sodium” options in the grocery store), some pet owners report being able to use a few slices to help freshen their dog’s breath and reduce gas.

At this point, it’s pretty clear that feeding your dog pickles is probably not the best idea. While undeniably delicious, the risks of accidentally overloading your pup on salt or other harmful additives from feeding them pickles are too high to justify feeding it to them. Instead, opt for a sodium-free cucumber!

If you’re trying to discover more ways to keep your dog happy and healthy, come and visit us at!


Bot Flies – Just Pesky, or Worse?

Horse Bot Fly

Some of this might sound a bit like high school biology, it’s not meant to be a science lesson. However, bot flies are rather interesting and negatively impact most horses.

3 Most Common Bot Flies in North America

cuterebra botfly There are nine species of horse bot flies (Gasterophilus is the scientific name). Here are the three most common in North America:

  • Gasterophilus Intestinalis (DeGeer) – internal parasite of the gastrointestinal tract, and the most common.
  • Gasterophilus Nasalis (Linnaeus) – nose bot fly.
  • Gasterophilus Haemorrhoidalis (Linnaeus) – throat bot fly.

Bot flies have a life cycle of four stages. The most significant damage is done to your horse when the larvae stage is active. The larvae can attach to your horse’s mouth, cardiac area, and stomach, causing multiple issues while they ‘host’ off your horse as a parasite.

The Bot Fly Life Cycle

botfly aka horsefly To protect your horse, it’s important to understand their life cycle as there are different ways to treat for or manage them in the different stages.

Adult (the actual fly)

The adult female lays her eggs on hosts (that would be your horse). And she can deposit up to 1000 eggs on one horse. One generation is produced per year.


The yellow ‘things’ that are attached to the hair on legs and body of your horse. (Shown in the picture below) Bot flies typically lay their eggs in early summer months; however, that can vary in regions due to climate. As of September, in N. Carolina, my horse gets a swarm of eggs laid on his legs almost daily.


botfly cuterebra larvae

Larvae are developed from the egg after about 7 to 10 days of being deposited by the female bot fly. These larvae are stimulated to ‘hatch’ (to go from egg to larvae) by the action of your horse who ingests them by licking or biting at them. Your horse’s licking/biting actions give them warmth and moisture so that they can develop. As they develop, they find a myriad of ways into your horse’s mouth where they burrow into the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth for an approximate 28 day stay. Then they molt and make their way to your horse’s stomach, or even to your horse’s cardiac regions. Inside your horse they ‘attach’ themselves again and continue to ‘host’ off your horse (host means, steal his nutrition and feed off his blood) and continue their damage. They remain in your horse for 9 or 12 months. Towards the end of this period, the larvae molt again and develop into pupae.


The pupae may grow to be half to ¾ inch in length and eventually are shed from the horse’s system into his manure. They incubate in the manure for one to two months.

What Bot Flies Do To Horses and You

bot flies in horses stomach

First, the bot fly is very annoying when it is flying around your horse, then they lay their eggs. Those yellow looking eggs on your horse are a bit unsightly, well that is just the start of it! Eggs can detach and get into your horse’s eye, or a person’s eye (ocular invasion). When handling a horse with bot eggs, do not touch your face or rub your eyes until you have washed your hands! Then, when the larvae are in your horse, they attach to your horse’s insides, just like a tick, and feed off him. They consume nutrients from the tissues inside your horse.

Most Common Bot Fly Symptoms

Here are the most common signs that your horse may have bots:

  • Inflamed mouth
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Stomach irritation
  • Colic

How To Stop Bot Flies

To control / manage bot flies on your animals, follow these steps:

Grooming / Egg Removal Tips – Egg Stage

  • bot flies attached to horses leg Use a Bot knife to gently separate the eggs from your horse’s coat
  • Pick off by hand (not really recommended – per the eye invasion possibility)
  • Use a grill block to disconnect them from your horse’s skin
  • Heat vinegar and wipe on the areas where the bot eggs are (the eggs will then release from the hairs)
  • Apply a layer of Vaseline over the eggs. Later in the day wipe off the Vaseline with a paper towel and the eggs will come off with the Vaseline. Throw the paper towel in the trash.

*Always wash your hands after removing bot eggs and handling or grooming a horse that has bot eggs.

Deworming – Larvae Stage

Ivermectin and moxidectin seem to be the most effective for the larvae stage. Research suggests that moxidectin is a bit more effective for killing the larvae than ivermectin. Deworm for bots in the spring and in the fall. Be sure to check with your veterinarian regarding your horse and the area in case there are some differences to adjust for.

Pasture management – Pupae Stage

horse leg bot fly

Manure removal removes the pupae of the bot fly but removal is not entirely necessary. Breaking up the manure piles by dragging or knocking the piles of manure apart can destroy the pupae’s environment; therefore, destroying the pupae.

With egg removal and pasture management you have some opportunities to break up the cycle of bot flies, but do not forget the deworming. Fecal counts check for the shedding of parasites, and the timing of a fecal count with a bot infestation may not provide the right information at the right time. If you see bot flies and bot eggs on your horse, your best defense is to attack them through grooming, deworming and pasture management.



Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?

dog eating asparagus

dog licking lips over honey It’s natural to want to give a bite of whatever you’re eating to Fido.

He’s so cute, how could you not at least give him one little piece?

However, dogs’ bodies aren’t the same as human bodies. Once we give our pups a bite of human food, we have to pay close attention and watch out for any negative reactions.

Even when we give them something healthy like fruit and veggies, we still have to watch them closely.

So, what about asparagus?

Can Dogs Have Asparagus?

Yes, absolutely! Asparagus is not toxic to dogs and can even be served as a highly nutritious snack when prepared correctly!

Is Asparagus Good For Dogs?

asparagus for dogs Asparagus is packed full of essential nutrients that make it a delicious, healthy snack for humans and our four-legged friends!

For starters, asparagus is rich in fiber. Eating a diet rich in fiber is essential for your dog to cultivate and maintain a strong immune system.

Additionally, asparagus contains high concentrations of essential vitamins including Vitamins A, K, E, and B9. Having enough of these vitamins in your dog’s diet can support their vision, immune systems, reproductive health, blood-clotting mechanisms, and their amino acid metabolism.

Asparagus also contains a variety of minerals like potassium, copper, and iron that aid in nervous system function, cell maintenance, and connective tissue formation. Asparagus also contains ample sources of antioxidants that fight free radical damage in your dog’s body while also helping control inflammation.

So, if anyone asks you “Is asparagus bad for dogs?” now you know the answer 🙂

What Are the Downsides to Feeding Dogs Asparagus?

While not inherently toxic to dogs, eating asparagus can still pose a number of risks to your pooch if you’re not careful. (Besides his pee smelling funky).

First, asparagus stalks are really difficult to chew through – even for your pup’s tough chompers. To avoid the risk of your dog getting fed up with the stalk and just swallowing it whole, cut up any asparagus you feed him into small pieces.

Moreover, raw asparagus probably isn’t the best food to give your dog, anyway. Raw asparagus is tough to chew and it can cause havoc as it makes its way through your dog’s digestive system. In some cases, eating raw asparagus can lead to unpleasant symptoms like vomiting, gas, or diarrhea.

dogs and asparagus While cooking asparagus can make it easier to chew, remember to never use any butter or cooking oil. These additions can make your dog very sick. Additionally, while salt, pepper, garlic, and onions are delectable additions to asparagus, they’re all potential irritants to your pup’s stomach, so avoid those too!

Instead, just boil or steam plain asparagus before giving it to your dog. Keep in mind that cooking vegetables decreases their nutrient content. And, remind yourself that introducing any new food to your dog’s diet can lead to an upset stomach, especially when given in large quantities. So play it safely, introduce asparagus into your dog’s diet with small portions at the outset.

One last word of caution on asparagus is about the asparagus fern. It’s toxic to both humans and dogs!! And while it’s obviously inedible to us humans, dogs are not so keen on the subtleties between what is and isn’t food. Unfortunately, this means that they sometimes put the wrong thing into their big mouths and end up with a very upset stomach that makes an unpleasant mess in your house!

Luckily, asparagus ferns aren’t generally a problem unless you’re growing asparagus in your own garden. However, if you are, remember to fence off the asparagus to protect your dog from his own curiosity.
How Much Asparagus Should I Give My Dog?
Remember that dogs are carnivorous animals but they can still eat and digest plant matter. This is why it’s recommended that vegetables should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily intake of calories. As a general guideline this translates to:

  • 1 – 2 teaspoons, daily, for small dogs
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons, daily, for medium dogs
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons, daily, for big dogs

How Should I Prepare Asparagus for My Dog?

cutting asparagus As with most vegetables and fruits, the best way to prepare asparagus for your dog is pretty boring and mundane.

First, cut up the asparagus stalk into small, bite-sized pieces no bigger than one inch across.

Then, transfer your cut asparagus into either a vegetable steamer or into a pot of boiling water.

Lightly boil or steam the asparagus until it’s fully cooked through and becomes slightly soft when pressed.

Then, scoop out the asparagus and put it onto your pup’s bowl during dinner time.

Bon appetit!

Now, while we’ve mentioned that asparagus isn’t toxic to dogs, some dogs may be allergic to asparagus. Unfortunately, some pups don’t discover that until it’s too late and they begin developing skin infections or hot spots.

If you want to learn more about how to keep your dog happy and healthy, and how to deliver fast-acting, no-sting relief in the unfortunate event of either of those conditions, visit!