Should you leave your Long Grove cat home alone?

leave Long Grove cat home alone

Should you leave your Long Grove cat home alone?

Imagine a cat named Dejavu. But, Dejavu is more than just a pampered pet. She’s a Himalayan cat with a soft and flowing silver coat, a white mane and a black face that extends into her erect and pointed ears. But, even more than that, she’s a member of the family and a permanent resident, since Christmas, in the home of long-time Long Grove residents.

Her arrival in the home was a cherished event. I mean, how doesn’t love a kitten at its cutest? But now, though she still possesses considerable cute factor, her presence is posing a slight problem. In particular, summer is beckoning around the corner from spring. And, that means vacation.

Even before Dejavu joined the family, plans for the family vacation were in the works. After all, there were a lot of plans to consider: scheduling time off of work, reserving hotels, airfare and more. What doesn’t fit with those plans is the idea of taking a kitten along.

Some people would probably assume that a cat could take care of itself. Unlike dogs, to a degree, there’s some truth to that. It depends on how independent the cat is and how long the family will be away. But, with a kitten, the idea is unacceptable even on the face of it.

What’s the cat-care solution when you go on vacation?

For dogs, they have kennels and canine resorts. The solution, when someone needs care for their cats or kittens is a kitty hotel. And yet, you may be asking, ‘Why can’t I leave my cat in our Long Grove home alone? There are several good reasons. Here are a few of them:

  • Whether you feed your cat wet or dry food, cats do best when they’re fed at the same time each day.
  • If you leave them with a large bowl of food, intending that it will last an extended period of time, they’re liable to eat too much too early and be without food later.
  • They need fresh water and, while dogs may drink out of the toilet (Yuk!!) few cats will do so.
  • Though their independence may suggest otherwise, cats can feel stress and anxiety when left alone too long. They get lonely and crave the companionship of their family.
  • Who will clean the litter box? When the litter box is thoroughly dirtied, cats are liable to take their business out of the box – on your floors, rugs and carpets.
  • What will happen to your cat if they have an emergency? Though the risk is probably not great it’s not out of the realm of reason.

In the final analysis, your cat may be safe in your Long Grove home while you and the family are away but why take the chance when inexpensive kitty hotels are available.

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Is my St. Charles puppy too young for training?

puppy too young to train

At what age can you start training your St. Charles puppy? As with these puppies, they’re almost never too young.

Your puppy just wants to run around your St. Charles home having fun. She’s a puppy. Having fun is her job, right? Let her have some fun before you take her to school – the puppy training academy. There’s plenty of time for that, right?

One aspect of the concept suggested in the previous paragraph is that you should allow the puppy to have some fun being a puppy before you begin molding her little mind, and behavior, to fit what is acceptable round your home. This misses one of the key aspects about training a puppy, if it’s done right; puppy training should be fun.

If you do it right, your puppy will enjoy the dog training experience. And, if you take your St. Charles puppy to a dog training facility, if they do it right, your puppy will still find the experience something they’ll look forward to. In other words, if your dog isn’t enjoying dog training, you’re not doing it right.

So, at what age can a puppy begin dog training? Current research suggests that puppies have the capacity to learn from dog training as early as three-weeks old.

Think about it this way: if one year of a dog’s life is equal to seven years in a human’s life, then a three-week-old puppy is the equivalent of a 21-month-old child. Clearly, you’ll want to start providing some behavioral skills to your nearly two-year-old child.

In truth, few dog owners begin puppy training at this young age. For one thing, puppies are usually older than that by several weeks when they’re adopted. Puppies generally need to maintain their connection with their mothers until the puppy is about eight weeks. Taking the puppy away from its mother sooner can cause lasting issues for the puppy.

Another consideration that may moderate the age when you introduce your puppy to dog training is that, in a group setting, a puppy as young as three-weeks old is probably not vaccinated properly for socialization with other puppies and dogs. This, however, doesn’t mean you can’t begin training your puppy at home. Do this and, by the time they’re ready for a puppy training class, they’ll have a head start.

The point is that, dogs can learn new tricks at any age. But, the sooner you start training your St. Charles puppy, the more likely you’ll have a well-trained, well-behaved dog. And, living with a well-trained dog is a dramatically different experience than living with an untrained canine.

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Why do people look like their dogs?

people who look like their dogs

As this photo, which has been around the internet for a while, suggests, people often have dogs that look like them. Or do they look like the dogs?

Certainly, you must have noticed that a lot of people seem to have dogs with similar physical characteristics. For instance, you’ll see the guy with a slim face and a goatee who owns a miniature Schnauzer. Or, you’ll see the stocky fella with a round face who owns a bulldog. Then, you’ll find the lady with a long, narrow face who owns a whippet.

It’s not to say that people actually look like dogs. Some might find that insulting. But, often, it seems there is a similarity in appearance between people and the dogs they own. It’s hard to say why but, most would concede, it’s an unquestionable phenomenon.

According to an online story by David Robson in the Nov. 12, 2015, British Broadcasting Corporations online edition, a psychologist from the University of California, Michael Roy, tested the idea by taking pictures of people and their dogs in area dog parks. He then separated the pictures of dogs and owners, laid them out and asked strangers to match the photos of the dogs up with the photos of the owners.

According to Robson’s article, “Despite no additional clues, he found that they were able to work out who lived with whom with reasonable accuracy.”

This only goes to prove what most of us probably knew already.

Robson suggests, rather logically, that this is “due to the allure of familiarity.”

He also attributes the phenomenon of dogs that look similar to their owners to a degree of narcissism on the part of the dog owners. That seems to take the idea to the negative extreme.

A more pleasant explanation, and one that Robson also considers, is that the phenomenon of dogs that look like their owners is a reflection on the value of the relationships and the degree to which we bond with our dogs.

“It is awe-inspiring to think of how this relationship first emerged,” wrote Robson. “Humans started domesticating dogs as much as 30,000 years ago to help us with hunting, but slowly we have bred these creatures in our own image …”

Then again, maybe the phenomenon is purely the result of random chance. But, what fun is it to look at it that way?

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Air filtration systems handle pet odors – can wipe out that doggy smell in a kennel


Aldens Kennels uses an air filtration system in their kennel and, while dramatically reducing the risk of kennel cough, the air is so clean you can’t smell the dogs. Imagine what an air filtration system will do for your home.

There are a lot of reasons why someone might out an air filtration system in their home. One reason is to do something about the odor associated with pet ownership. That’s a good reason. And a quality air filtration system can do such a good job with eliminating pet odors that kennel operators also use them.

Denise Netzel, of Clean Air Illinois, said that she’s provided a “PureAir 3000” system for Aldens Kennels.

“It will help the kennel keep the dogs healthier longer,” said Netzel, adding that a quality filtration system virtually eliminates the risk of kennel cough.”

Other benefits of an air filtration system, whether used for a kennel, a home with pets or simply a home that wants better quality air, include:

  • Eliminates Mold and Mildew (it works wonders in basements)
  • Knocks out 99.9% of Dust Mites
  • Reduces the fecal matter from Dust Mites
  • Virtually eliminates surface bacteria
  • Eliminates all kinds of Odors, such as:
    • Tobacco
    • Cooking (fish is back on the menu)
    • Dirty Fireplace
    • And, of course, Pet Odors

Netzel described how, after giving the dog a simple bath, one of her clients was able to completely eliminate the odor after her dog was skunked.

“It (the air-filtration system) actually neutralizes the smell,” she said. “And it kills bacteria before it can get to the dog.”

air filter for pet odor

With the air filtration system at our kennel, canine guests don’t just stay in clean-looking surroundings; they stay where the air is clean and pure.

She said the system works wonders for people with allergies. She wears a small filtration device on a lanyard around her neck that helps her with allergies.

“The one I wear around my neck – it’s like walking around with an invisible spacesuit on,” Netzel said.

She also said that, for people who like to burn candles, incense or pot pourri, all they have to do is turn the filtration down or off while they’re enjoying their favorites scent. But, when they’re ready, they can turn it back on and clear out all of the odors from their home.

“Friends will ask if you got rid of your dog or cat,” she said, “because they won’t smell them anymore when they come into your home.”

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Razor blades run amuck – what to do with a teething puppy

puppy teething_puppy with sharp teeth

When a puppy is teething, it’s often hard on you and the house.

Those little razor blades are shredding your property and occasionally puncturing your skin. It’s as though a diabolical arch villain has used a vile subterfuge to turn the cutest, most cuddly critters on four legs into non-stop chopping machines.

Yes, those puppies have teeth. And those sharp little buggers are chewing shoes, important papers, furnishings and, occasionally, your body parts in a little buzz saw fastened just below the nose of your puppy. With a puppy around, it’s just possible that the dog ate your homework.

It’s called ‘teething’ and it’s a fact of life for puppies and for their owners. When the puppies are teething, batten down the hatches, clear the decks and pray the destruction is short lived – that your puppy’s teething passes quickly.

In the meantime, when the puppy is teething, is there anything you can do to help? Whether you’re more concerned about helping your puppy with the teething, or saving your property is a personal matter. But, there are things you can do. For instance:

  • When the puppy’s teething attack attacks your skin, demonstrate to the puppy that this isn’t an acceptable place to apply its razor blades. Startle the puppy with a firm ‘NO!’ to dissuade the tendency to bite people. When the puppy reacts appropriately, reward that good behavior with a treat or, maybe even, the next idea for dealing with teething puppies …
  • Give that puppy something to teeth on – something that’s less valuable than your prescription glasses or even a pair of slippers. In other words, give the puppy designed for young teething dogs. In other words, give them a squeaky toy or some other object designed to bear the brunt of the puppy’s teething dilemma. Generally, these are rubber or nylon toys that can hold up under the repeated application of canine razor blades.
  • Fill a chewy toy with water and freeze it. Even humans teeth when they’re young. Many a parent has discovered that, allowing their infant to chew on frozen peas, or such, can do wonders for alleviating the pain of teething for the child. Applying the same principle for a teething puppy is a grand idea.
  • Reinforce positive behavior. It helps to keep in mind that it wasn’t the puppy’s idea to teeth. It happened as much to the puppy as it’s happening to you and your home. A little patience will go a long way for you and your puppy.
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Make sure you rescue the right rescue dog for your Barrington family

Tips for choosing wisely when you rescue a rescue dog


When you choose a rescue dog for your Barrington home, there are some points to consider.

Rescuing a rescue dog is a decision you that you’ll appreciate for years to come. Often, you’re rescuing a dog that was treated badly before it was initially rescued by the pet adoption center. In some cases, the dog was treated with criminal cruelty. You are putting yourself in a position to offer this poor puppy a new lease on life in your Barrington home. But, you should still take the time to choose wisely before bringing a rescue dog home with you.

After all that he, or she, has gone through, it’s imperative that things work out well at their new home – your Barrington home. It will take some effort on your part to ensure that your new dog has a healthy and happy living experience in its new home. That effort starts before you choose which dog to bring home.

Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a rescue dog to join your family:

  • Go to a reputable pet adoption center. At a reputable pet adoption center, they’ll give all the pets they rescue a thorough physical exanimation. You’ll need to know if your new rescue dog has any physical handicaps or ailments to consider and what you’ll need to do to provide any necessary treatments or for any special conditions. You’ll also have a chance, before you bring the dog home, to determine if you’ll be able to meet its needs.
  • Consider the breed of the dog you’re adopting. Can you provide a good home for a large dog? How much room do you have to offer the dog? Read up on the general characteristics of different breeds. Of course, this can get a bit mixed up when you’re dealing with mixed breeds but, even then, it can give you a starting point to consider the breeds you’re willing to consider.
  • Look at the dog’s body language. Is he alert? Is she happy to meet you? In fact, is the dog excited and does the dog come to the front of the kennel to greet you? You may consider a rescue dog that sulks in the back of the pen, shivering and fearful. But, that creates the potential for an additional challenge when you go to earn the dog’s trust and create a bond.
  • Have the dog meet the entire family. Everyone who will live with the dog should meet the dog before you bring a rescue dog home. It’s not just so they can all have some input on which dog to rescue; it’s also so you can see how the dog interacts with the entire family.
  • Find a veterinarian office you can trust before you adopt. You don’t want to rush around looking for a place to take your new dog if it gets hurt or sick; you’ll want to know where you’ll bring the dog, and who you will call, before the dog comes home.

Along with choosing the right rescue dog to rescue, there are some other considerations you’ll want to keep in mind, such as …

  • Make sure your rescue dog has, or will soon receive, all required shots and register it with the appropriate government agency. In Barrington, that probably means registering the dog with the McHenry County Department of Health.
  • Consider what you will do to train your rescue dog. This isn’t just about making sure the dog will behave in your home, which is important. It’s also about helping to give the dog boundaries that will instill confidence in its new environment. It’s also about bonding with the dog. There is no better way to bond with your rescue dog than by spending time training your dog.

Barrington is a great place to live, as your rescue dog is sure to agree, if you take the time and due diligence to choose the right rescue dog to rescue.

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Plan summer vacation right – place your pet in a qualified, quality kennel

Plan vacation good kennel for dog

You should be thinking about that beautiful sunset when you’re on vacation, not worrying about how your puppy is doing. A quality kennel will give you peace of mind on vacation.


Alright, summer isn’t here yet. You’re probably not leaving on vacation next week, or the week after. But, it’s not too late to start thinking ahead. Think ahead to what?

  • Where will you go?
  • How long will you be gone?
  • What will you do on your vacation?
  • How will you get there (presumably, you’re not going to pile the family into the car for a cross-country trip – otherwise known as travel torture)?
  • What will you do with your pets while you’re gone?

So, what will you do with your pets while you’re on vacation?

For the purposes of our discussion here, we’ll leave the first four of these questions to you and other sources. Instead, we’ll focus on the later – ‘What will you do with your pets while you’re gone.’

Many will seek to save a few dollars by burdening their friends to pet sit while the family is away. This can save a little money but, even if your friends protest otherwise, it involves introducing a four-legged guest into their home for an extended period. Suddenly, they have to adjust their plans around the presence of your pet(s).

Whether you have a dog or a cat, taking care of a pet is a demanding process. If they don’t do a good job of it, your pet could get sick, it could get loose and be lost or run over by a car. If this happens, you’ll feel terrible, but so will your friends.

Imagine trying to explain to your friends how their dog or cat, a beloved member of their family, is lost, hurt or dead because you were unable to properly provide care. It’s a heart-wrenching thought.

And, while caring for your dog or cat is an inconvenience for them, it’s also potentially traumatic for your pet. They have to adjust to their host’s home and family, too.

A qualified, quality kennel may be the answer

Yes, your pet will have to adjust to new surroundings at a kennel, too. However, if it is a qualified, quality kennel, they’re in the business of helping dogs and cats adjust while they are guests. They have experience helping dogs and cats adjust.

A quality kennel is a kennel that offers amenities and care that ensures your dog or cat is safe, comfortable and enjoying its stay. A qualified kennel is a kennel that can demonstrate it is a quality establishment that takes the welfare of the pets it cares for to heart.

The answer, therefore, is to do a little research; find out what people are saying about the kennels you’re considering. Caution: don’t just look at the cost. You wouldn’t leave your children with just anyone; you don’t want to leave your family dog or cat with just any kennel.

Oh, and in reference to amenities, the best kennels can offer any, or all, of the following:

  • Nature walks
  • Roomy and comfortable pens
  • Air conditioning/Heating
  • Safe pet toys
  • Training – yes, some of the best kennels can even train your dog while you’re away (cat’s are a different story, of course).
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