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Always consult your veterinarian before using any home remedy or if your pet is exhibiting signs of a more serious condition. Use this website as a reference at your own discretion. Just some of the topics covered are anxiety, brushing teeth, hiking tips, how to deliver puppies/kittens, dander, animals with ADHD and dangerous plants just to name a few. There is also a section on this website called Animal CPR and other serious injuries. If you want to learn even more cool stuff there is a section called " Did you Know-Fun Animals Facts" too.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting a Dog

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Do I have time for a dog?

Dogs are fun and loving companions that can make a wonderful addition to your home. But if you work long hours or are frequently traveling, you'll have to consider options like a dog walker or doggie daycare. Dogs thrive on exercise and mental stimulation, so it's important that you don't bring home a new dog only to have him left alone with no stimulation for 8+ hours every day.

Am I prepared for basic training and problem behaviors?

Regardless of whether you buy a puppy from a breeder or adopt an older dog from a shelter, your dog is going to need some basic training. Find a positive trainer near you who can help you through your new dog's adjustment period, which can span from days to months. Remember-bringing a new dog into your home is just as much an adjustment for the dog as it is for you. A puppy or dog may come to you with some more serious behavioral problems, so it's important that you have a good relationship with a veterinarian and a trainer so you have a good support system to work through those problem behaviors.

What breed or breed mix should I get?

This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself before falling in love with a specific dog. One of the biggest mistakes a prospective dog owner can make is choosing a dog based on its appearance. Heavily research the breeds or breed mixes you're interested in, and don't expect your dog to be the exception to the breed's typical temperament. A herding breed like an Australian Shepherd, for example, may not be the best pet for a couch potato owner, and a sight hound, such as a Greyhound, may not be a good match for a home with cats. Do your research beforehand so you find a dog that's the right fit for your family.

Should I get a puppy or an adult dog?

Many people choose to bring home a puppy because they feel they can shape him into the perfect dog. Keep in mind that a dog's personality and temperament is partially shaped through genetics, so even a perfectly raised puppy may have its own set of issues as an adult. It's also important to decide whether you're prepared for the responsibility of raising the near-equivalent of a human baby. Be prepared for barking, whining, pooping, peeing, and chewing. Adult dogs will have a more developed personality and don't have to potty nearly as often as a puppy. They, too, can come to you with some behavioral issues, although if you choose to adopt from a rescue group, they will be able to tell you a great deal about a dog's personality.

Can I afford a dog?

The expenses of responsible dog ownership go far beyond the basics of food, water, and shelter. A happy and healthy dog receives routine veterinary care including spay or neuter, is fed high-quality food, and receives regular exercise and mental stimulation. Small expenses like a collar, tag, and dog bed can really start to add up. Make sure you're prepared for these additional expenses before committing to a dog.

Am I prepared for the responsibility of a dog?

When you adopt or purchase a dog, you are making a commitment for the rest of that dog's life. Many dogs live to be 15-20 years old or more. You need to be prepared to care for this dog for the rest of its life--are you willing and able to make that lifelong commitment?

Should I adopt a dog or buy from a breeder?

This decision is a purely personal one, but make sure it's a smart decision for your family. Rescue dogs make wonderful pets, and when you adopt from a rescue group, most of that dog's initial vetting will be completed and the group will be able to tell you about the dog's temperament and personality. You're also saving two lives by choosing a rescue dog-that dog, and the one that will be saved in its place. With the world's extreme pet overpopulation problem, rescue is a wonderful choice to make. If you want to know your dog's history and lineage, and are dead-set on a specific breed, find a reputable, responsible breeder in your area.

If I want a purebred dog, should I go to a pet store?

The short answer--absolutely not. Pet stores are notorious for purchasing their puppies from puppy mills, where they are raised with minimal care or socialization and the puppies' parents are used as nothing more than breeding machines. If you purchase a pet store puppy, you can expect to be getting a puppy with genetic health issues and extensive socialization needs. Rather than purchase from a pet store, find a breed-specific rescue in your area or find a responsible breeder. A responsible breeder will provide you with health certifications, won't allow puppies to leave their mother before 8 weeks of age, and will require you to sign a contract before purchasing a puppy.

Are all my family members (animals included) ready for this new addition?

Adding a dog to your home is a decision that affects all members of the household, including any existing pets in the home. Make sure everyone in the family is on board with the decision, and confirm beforehand that no one has any severe pet allergies. Introduce your new dog slowly to existing animals in the home. Take special considerations when you have a small child in the home. Teach your child how to be safe around dogs, and never leave your child alone with any dog.

How do I pick the right dog?

Don't rush this decision or take it lightly. You're making a long-term commitment, and you want to choose a dog that will be a mutually good fit. Get in touch with a local rescue group and learn more about the dogs in their program. Visit adoption events in your area, and if you want to purchase from a breeder, talk with local breeders and see which seem to be right for you. Adopting a dog is an emotional decision, but it's important to think with your head, and not just your heart.


Potty Training Puppy Apartment ® See the video clip below

  • Click the PLAY Button to View
  • Over 50,000 Dogs Potty Trained
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  • No More Accidents in your Home
  • No More Waking Up Extra Early
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  • No More Rushing Home from Work

Why did we invent the PTPA?

As dog lovers and owners, we believe dogs deserve the same potty option as cats and other domesticated animals (including people). Hundreds of years ago cats and people had to potty outside. Our innovative society invented great devices, such as toilets for people and litter boxes for cats. These devices allow us and our pets to potty in a safe, warm and comfortable environment. We decided to invent the amazing Potty Training Puppy Apartment® (PTPA), because dogs deserve the same potty option as cats and people.

Not only does the PTPA provide your puppy a safe, warm and comfortable environment, it also potty trains your puppy at the same time in a very humane way. In addition, veterinarians strongly recommend keeping your puppy indoors until they have all their vaccinations.


Loose Dog? Don’t chase! Stop, Drop and Lie Down

Have you ever had a dog escape your arms or car or home? What is the first thing you do? If you’re like most people, you chase after them. They run and then you run. It seems almost instinctual, doesn’t it?

The problem with our first instinct (to chase) is that it rarely gets us closer to getting them. In fact, the more we run the more they run, and in most cases, they run even harder and faster. It must be pretty scary seeing a bunch of people chasing you. (Heck! It’s scary being a human and having a bunch of people chasing you! I would run too!)  I don’t imagine a dog is likely to stop and ask itself “Does that person mean me harm?” No. They’re probably thinking “I am in danger. I need to run!” The truth is it can be pretty hard to go against the instinct to chase a loose dog, but we really must learn to so, because when we chase we risk putting ourselves and the loose pet in danger.

This past week, a lost dog was lost forever when a good Samaritan gave chase. The person was only trying to help. They saw a lost dog and wanted to reunite him with his owners, but in giving chase, they put Marty in more danger and sadly, he was hit by a car and killed. I cannot imagine how the person chasing him must have felt. One never expects to do a good deed and end up feeling like they did the opposite. I feel badly for both Marty’s family and the good samaritan. How could the person chasing Marty know what would happen? He/She was doing what was instinctual.

But what is instinctual is exactly what is most likely to put the dog in more danger. There are a great many things I learned while working at our local animal shelter, but among the most helpful were the tips we received on how to get a loose dog back once it has slipped its leash or collar. I thought it might be helpful to share them here in the hopes that it will prevent one more family and good Samaritan from feeling the pain of what happened to Marty.  (Please note: These may not work with every dog, but they have worked with many.)

What to do if a dog gets loose:

  • Stop, drop and lie down – It might sound silly, but dogs find the behavior odd. When you don’t give chase and instead lie down and lie still, a dog will get curious and will often come back to see if you are okay or to see what you are doing.
  • Stop, drop, and curl into a ball – This is also a curious behavior for a dog. Because you are not moving and your hands are closely wrapped around your head, they see you as less of a threat and will come to check you out. This gives them a chance to sniff you and realize it’s you, their owner, or to allow you to pet them and grab their collar.
  • Run in the opposite direction – What? Run away from the dog? That’s right. Some dogs love a good chase. Instead of you chasing them, let them chase you. Even if the dog is not up for a good chase, he may be curious about your odd behavior and follow along until you can get him into a building or car or someplace where it is easier to corral him.
  • Sit down with your back  or side to the dog and wait – Again, dogs are thrown off by this odd behavior and will become curious and approach. The other advantage is that by sitting down with your side or back to them, you appear less threatening and they are more likely to approach. If you have good treats, place a few around you to draw them near.
  • Open a car door and ask the dog if she wants to go for a ride – It almost seems too simplistic and silly to be true, but many a dog has been fooled into hopping into a car because they were invited to go for a ride. It makes sense, especially if the dog has learned to associate the car with good things (e.g., the dog park).

Although it is no guarantee, I can tell you that I have seen nearly every one of these work with one of our shelter dogs. The key is to fight your instinct to chase the dog and do something that is not as instinctual.  Instead, do what seems counter-intuitive to both you and the dog.


Choosing A Dog Breed (That’s Right For You)

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, then you should first take some things into consideration in choosing a dog breed that best suits your needs.

If you just choose a dog that you find cute, for example, without taking your circumstances into consideration, you may end up with an unsuitable dog. And as your new dog is likely to be a part of your life for years to come, it’s only fair for both you and the dog that you avoid such a situation, if possible. It’s important that you make the most informed choice you can. So what factors should you take into account when choosing a dog breed?

Choosing a Dog Breed - If you’re thinking about getting a dog, then you should first take some things into consideration in choosing a dog breed that best suits your needs.

Photograph by Tony Alter

Factors You Should To Take Into Account When Choosing a Dog Breed

Consider Your Lifestyle

If you have children, it’s important that you choose a dog breed that gets along well with them. Some breeds can be aggressive towards children. Others may be unsuitable because they’re so small, they may easily be injured by clumsy and/or curious children. For example, young children can easily pick up and drop the toy dog breeds. Or, they may pick the dog up to give it a cuddle, which may startle the dog, causing it to jump out of their arms from too great a height.

Does your job mean you’re going to be away from the house for long periods every day? If so, you may want to avoid dog breeds that are prone to separation anxiety.

And some dog breeds need much more attention and exercise than others. So choosing a dog breed whose needs match your own time availability and levels of energy is very important. Another factor related to this is that some dogs need a lot of grooming, which is another time commitment (and expense, if you opt for professional grooming rather than doing it yourself).

Do you already own other pets? If you do, you may be best choosing a dog breed that’s known to get on well with other animals.

One other lifestyle factor that’s important to consider is, how likely it is that your lifestyle will change in the future? If you expect your circumstances to change, you definitely need to factor this into your choice of breed.

Your Experience

What experience do you have when it comes to dogs?

If you’re going to be getting your first dog, it’s probably best to avoid the more aggressive and domineering breeds.

Larger dogs require more more strength to be able to handle them.

And some breeds are easier to train than others. If you’re inexperienced with dogs, it may be easier for you if you choose an easy-to-train breed.

Your Property

If you live in a small apartment, you’re not going to want a high-energy dog or one of the bigger breeds.

And if you’re planning on keeping your dog outdoors, you should avoid breeds that suffer from separation anxiety and/or struggle with extremes of temperatures. Some dogs are just not suitable for being kept outdoors.

If you’re house-proud and like a clean and tidy house, you’ll want to avoid the breeds that shed a lot of hair and instead go for one of the non-shedding dog breeds. And if you suffer from allergies, your best option may be one of the so-called hypoallergenic breeds such as the Maltese.

Do you have a beautifully manicured lawn? If so, you won’t want one of the dog breeds that love to dig!

Your Financial Situation

Are you prepared for the financial costs of dog ownership? Grooming, dog food, and vet fees all add to the cost of owning a dog.

Some dogs are more expensive to keep than others. For example, breeds that are prone to hereditary health issues are likely to incur higher vet fees, while larger dogs will cost more to feed, as they’ll obviously eat more than smaller dogs.

Your Reason For Getting A Dog

Think about why you’re getting a dog and choose an appropriate breed.

Are you looking for a lapdog, or a quiet dog, to provide loving companionship? Or do you want an energetic and independent dog to go exploring the great outdoors with you? You’ll want to choose a dog whose personality and temperament matches your own.

Do you want a watch dog or a guard dog? Small dog breeds tend to make great watch dogs, but when it comes to the crunch, they don’t have the size and power to scare away intruders that larger dogs do.


Choosing a dog breed is something that should be given a lot of thought. You’re going to have a long-lasting relationship with your dog, so you want to choose a breed with characteristics that best match your needs.


How to Properly Socialize Your PuppyOvercoming Shyness

Excessive Barking

Excessive barking

Barking that is a behavior problem may result from one of several different issues. The key is to first identify the cause of the barking and then to change your dog’s triggers.

Loneliness Barking

When loneliness is the cause of incessant barking, giving your dog more attention may solve the problem. In a family situation, encourage family members to take turns playing with your dog and taking him for walks. When he is left alone, provide toys for him to amuse himself.

Sometimes more attention won't solve the problem. If your dog has developed a habit of barking, place some pennies in a can and tape it shut. When he barks, shake the can near him and say "quiet" in a firm voice. The purpose of shaking the can is to startle him. If the barking resumes, shake the can again and say "quiet." Keep the can away from him so he does not consider it a toy. As your dog catches on, your verbal command "quiet" should stop the barking.

If the can does not work, use a squirt bottle to squirt your dog's legs and back accompanied by a firm "quiet" command. Please remember any action to deter your dog from barking must be made while he is barking. After-the-fact corrective action only confuses him. Use a strong, firm voice, but avoid yelling, which can be stressful to a dog.

Separation-Anxiety Barking

Dogs that are left inside alone may suffer from separation anxiety. Some may show their fear and resentment by barking. The ideal way to prevent this problem is to train a puppy to be left alone. Similar training can be applied to an older dog, but more time and patience may be required.

Put the puppy in a room by himself. Say "quiet" and leave the room. If the puppy barks, return, say "quiet" and leave again. If the puppy is quiet for a brief period, return and praise him. Extend your time away from the puppy and, upon returning, praise him for being quiet. With an older dog, leaving the house or apartment may be necessary because the dog may pick up your scent and will be sensitive to familiar noises.

Territorial Barking

Some dogs bark to protect their territory and a "bark/reward" cycle may be established. A dog who barks at a letter carrier when the mail is delivered is "rewarded" when the letter carrier leaves. This bark/reward may lead him to bark at other service people, neighbors and passersby. If possible, introduce your dog to people who come to the home regularly. Short conversations with delivery or service people, with your dog present, may solve the problem.

Another solution is a firm "no" or "quiet" when your dog begins barking. If he responds by being quiet, praise him briefly. Remember, you have to be present when he is barking to give the "quiet" command.

Other Barking Behaviors

Often a dog will bark in an invitation to play. This is accompanied by body language — tail-wagging, crouching with the head lowered and hindquarters raised. Barking usually stops when play begins or the invitation goes unanswered. A dog may bark to threaten intruders. This is usually a more menacing bark and may be accompanied by growling. Depending upon the situation, you may need to move the dog to a more secure location or quietly reassure him.

A dog will also bark to warn other dogs or people of danger. The barking generally continues until the source of danger is removed or the dog is taken to safety. Sometimes pain or illness triggers barking. If a well-behaved dog in his usual environment begins barking or creating other forms of vocalization, a trip to the veterinarian may be in order.

Consistency Is Key

As with all aspects of behavior training, consistency is the key to success. Enlisting the cooperation of each family member is important in controlling your dog's barking, as well as in all other aspects of training. Verbal commands and expectations for your dog's behavior must be consistent if you are to be effective.

10 Mistakes Made By Dog Owners

Picking the Wrong Dog (or Getting a Dog Before You're Ready)


Getting a dog on impulse is pretty easy to do. It can be so hard to resist those puppy-dog eyes, especially when it's is a dog in need of a home. However, there are many practical decisions to make before you decide that dog is the one for you. To name just a few,

  • Can and will you take the necessary time for dog training, exercise, other activities, bonding, etc.
  • Are you willing to put up with shedding, messes, illnesses, behavior problems and more?
  • Can you afford the dog?
  • Is the dog's size appropriate for your living space?
  • Are you even ready to own a dog? Or, to own another dog (if you already have a dog)?
  • Will your current pets tolerate the addition?

Ask yourself these questions and more before you risk getting a dog that will be unhappy (or that will make you unhappy).

Dismissing Training and Socialization


Every dog needs basic training and socialization. Some need more than others, but they all need some. If you decide not to train your dog, you are putting her at a disadvantage. How will she know the rules? What kind of structure and guidance are you providing? Don't think of training as a chore. When done positively, training is actually fun and enriching for dogs. Socialization allows a dog to get used to things in the environment, like children, other adults, other animals, objects, environments, and various situations. Without proper socialization, dogs can develop fears and phobias. Even worse, lack of socialization can lead to an array of behavior problems. Socialization is not just for puppies. You can socialize your adult dog too! Want to bring your dog out on the town? A well-trained, well-socialized dog will be more welcome in public places that allow pets, such as parks, restaurant patios and even some businesses. Also, your friends and family are more likely to invite you to bring your dog to events if he is behaved and well-adjusted.

Not Offering Enough Exercise and Activity


Exercise is a basic need for every dog. Lack of exercise can lead to health problems and behavior issues. Some dogs need more exercise than others, but most need more than simple walks. Assess your dog's activity needs. Is your dog restless and bored? Does your dog seem hyperactive and excited all the time? Is your dog overweight? These are all signs that she needs more exercise.  Dogs need mental stimulation too. Try exercise that involves games to give your dog well-rounded activity. Many dogs will benefit from involvement in dog sports, of which there are plenty to choose from. Physically active dogs might really enjoy agility. Hounds and other curious sniffers usually love nose work or tracking.

Avoiding the Veterinarian


Are you one of those people who wait until you dog is sick to go to the vet? Well, you're not alone. A lot of dog owners skip or put off routine vet visits unless something is going on with their dogs. You may think, "my dog is healthy and feeling great, why stress him out with a vet visit?" Dog owners often want to avoid the cost and inconvenience of a vet visit. Reality check: This is not the best way to treat your dog.  Your veterinarian is a key part of keeping your dog healthy. Most dogs will hide illness until it becomes unbearable. Routine wellness exams can allow vets to detect small health issues before they become big problems. These vet visits also help foster the relationship you and your dog have with your vet, making it easier to diagnose and treat illness when it comes along. In addition to wellness visits, you should listen to your vet's recommendation about things like heart-worm prevention. When your dog is showing signs that something is not right, don't wait for it to get worse. Contact your vet for advice before it becomes something serious.

The rest of the topics are:

Skipping Heart-worm Prevention

Neglecting Dental Health

Feeding Improperly

Failing to Budget for Dog Expenses

Letting Behavior Problems Get Out of Control

Risking a Lost Dog

These are just a few. To read the rest in depth http://dogs.about.com/od/caringfordogsandpuppies/ss/10-Mistakes-Made-By-Dog-Owners.htm?utm_source=zergnet&utm_medium=tcg&utm_campaign=zergnet-test-303739

7 Dangers of Not Socializing Your Dog

Dangers of Not Socializing Your Dog
Image: CBCK / via Shutterstock

Dangers of Not Socializing Your Dog

By Victoria Schade

Thorough socialization is one of the most important aspects of early puppy training. The goal is to give your puppy the tools to understand that “new and different” doesn’t necessarily translate to “bad and scary.” Having positive experiences with a variety of people, places and things during those critical few weeks of social development – roughly between eight to fourteen weeks of age – can help set the stage for a lifetime of confidence and appropriate responses to new experiences. Though the socialization checklist is long, working through it can be a joyful process of discovery for both dog and pet parent. But what happens if a puppy doesn’t get the benefit of early socialization? How might that impact the dog when its fully grown? Behavior is a product of both nature and nurture, a mix of genetics and experience, but it’s possible that under-socialized dogs can exhibit any of the following problems.


9 Common Cat Behavior Problems (and How to Fix Them)

9 Common Cat Behavior Problems

9 Common Cat Behavior Problems


By Monica Weymouth

Cats are notoriously mysterious creatures. While a dog aims to please, our feline friends have a more curious agenda.We love that cats play by their own rules, but it would be nice to understand some of their less endearing behaviors. Why are they suddenly boycotting the litter box? Why is the new couch so irresistible? Why is your glass of water a gourmet delicacy? Here, the experts explain common kitty behavior problems—and how to fix (most of) them.


Can Pets Get Ebola?

Can pets get Ebola?

If so, which ones? What are the symptoms and treatment of Ebola in pets, and can pet owners get it from them?

Ebola is primarily an animal disease. Its natural reservoir is probably fruit bats, which can live with the virus without getting ill. Gorillas, chimpanzees and humans all die rapidly after getting infected

Ebola is found in some hunted African animals, including forest antelopes and rodents. Pigs, guinea pigs, horses and goats have been infected experimentally and either had no symptoms or mild ones. Ebola has not been found in any African felines, such as lions, so cats may be immune. Dogs living with humans apparently can get infected. Although the virus itself has not been found in dogs, antibodies have been detected in their blood, suggesting the dogs had survived infections.

Gabon has had several Ebola outbreaks, and in 2005 French scientists tested 337 dogs for antibodies. Many were village strays that lived on what they caught and scraps that hunters threw them. Villages in which there were both human deaths and hunters returning with infected bush meat — which often started the outbreaks — had the most dogs testing positive. The most likely explanation, the scientists said, was that the dogs were infected with the virus from meat scraps and from licking human vomit. They were not known to get ill.

Whether dogs can pass the virus to humans or to other dogs is unknown. Many diseases — including polio and typhoid — have silent human carriers who never get sick but pass fatal infections to others. Ebola is not known to exist in any North American animal species, including bats. But many species clearly could become carriers.

Since dogs interact intermittently with humans and with animals in city parks and rural forests, they could be a vector for transmitting Ebola from humans into wildlife, where it could, in theory, establish a permanent American reservoir. While an infected dog could be quarantined, it would have to be caged indefinitely, since it is unknown how long it might remain infectious.


What To Do If You See A Yellow Ribbon on a Dog’s Leash

Anyone who has ever had an in-firmed, unsocial or elderly dog is going to love The Yellow Dog Project, a global movement for parents of dogs that need space. The concept behind it is quite simple.  If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon or other items tied to its leash, that signifies a dog who needs space and you should not attempt to pet the dog or bring your own dog over for a greeting.  Now here’s an idea that’s long overdue.

The Yellow Dog Project has now made its mark in 45 countries and educational materials have been translated into 12 languages. Fans are calling it, “Brilliant” and “The best thing to happen since the invention of the leash!”

You can visit The Yellow Dog Project.

This news has been brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase tournament of heroes.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/what-to-do-if-you-see-a-yellow-ribbon-on-a-dogs-leash.html#ixzz3HRmdxfCG




  • Take your sweet time deciding on which pet... this is a very important decision, and the deciding part is a whole lot of fun.
  • Carefully consider what aspects of your life are going to change with the acquisition of this pet, and especially reflect upon whether you truly have the time, energy, situation and need for this animal.
  • Determine what provisions you will need to shelter, feed and care for the pet, including the costs of such responsibilities.
  • Consider a range of animals, not just the one you had in mind at first... you might find something that is even more appropriate for you.
  • Throughly research the animals you are considering.
  • Carefully consider what is going to happen to this pet as it grows, and determine whether you are really committed to caring for this pet long after its "cute baby phase."
  • Talk with people who own or breed the type of pet you are considering.
  • Check a variety of sources to compare quality and prices before acquiring the pet.
  • Consider checking with your local humane shelter or rescue organizations to aquire a pet that really NEEDS you!
  • Select a source that is very knowledgeable of the particular type of animal you are interested in, keeps its animals clean and healthy, and shows true caring for the pet.
  • Determine where the pet came from (breeder), and be very leery of animals that were obtained from more than 100 miles away.
  • Determine specifically what guarantees are provided by the seller.
  • Determine if any health provisions or certificates are provided or will be necessary (i.e. vaccinations, etc.)
  • Ensure that the seller provides you with an accurate receipt of the transaction, with description of the animal and all warranty provisions included.
  • Have its living environment (bed, cage, crate, etc.) set up before obtaining the pet.
  • Determine exactly what the animal's diet and daily regimen has been, and try to approximate this same routine during the transition phase.
  • Upon bringing the animal home, recognize that it is enduring a very traumatic experience.
  • Be calm and extremely patient with your new pet.
  • Try to make it feel as secure as possible. Place it in the area where it will be spending most of its time, and allow it time and space to get used to its new environment.
  • Prepare yourself to embrace whatever experiences come with this new family member, for better and for worse... as in all relationships there will be some of both.
  • Constantly keep in mind how much you wanted this pet, how you willingly accepted responsibility for its care and wellbeing, and how truly wonderful this creature of God is.


  • Acquire a pet on impulse or on a whim.
  • Acquire a pet as an ego extension.
  • Acquire a pet as a gift for someone else. Pets are a huge responsibility, not something to be handed out like a necktie or flowers. Prospective pet-owners (even children) should go through all of the steps listed above in the "Do" section for themselves.
  • Acquire a pet if your living situation is likely to dramatically change within a short period of time (hello teenagers!), possibly preventing you from devoting the time, energy and overall care your pet needs.
  • Succumb to the temptation to acquire an unusually exotic pet (see PetStation's "PETNOT!").
  • Rely on information provided by pet stores; they are notorious for giving out BAD advice!
  • Allow any salesperson to bully or badger you into acquiring a pet you're not absolutely certain about.
  • Acquire a pet because you "feel sorry for it" unless you are absolutely certain that its present living conditions are unacceptable and you are completely committed to either giving it a better home or finding one for it.
  • Acquire a pet from an individual or establishment that is clearly not taking good care of the animals by keeping them clean, healthy and happy.
  • Place an inordinate importance on getting the cheapest price or even "a good deal" on a pet; expect to pay a fair price for this most precious commodity.
  • Even consider obtaining a pet from a source that provides no health guarantee or opportunity for you to have the pet checked by your vet.
  • Think that you must quickly purchase a particular animal because it is the one and only one of its kind; there are always more, and they are all special.
  • Rush home with your new pet and invite the entire neighborhood to see it; allow it a chance to settle in.
  • Hold and play with your new pet too much the first couple of days.


  • Shower your pet with affection and praise.
  • Try to build up its confidence and sense of security and happiness all the time.
  • Spend quality time with your pet every day.
  • Be firm but always loving in establishing rules of behavior.
  • Provide an appropriate, safe and interesting living environment for your pet.
  • Make sure your pet receives a healthy, balanced and varied diet.
  • Be very sensitive to your pet's physical and emotional needs and wellbeing.
  • Be quick to take your pet to the vet when something seems wrong.
  • Ensure that your pet does not live a life of chronic boredom.
  • Allow your pet to be the type of animal it is; it is not human.
  • Involve your pet in as much of your life as possible (when practical and advisable).
  • Continually read and keep yourself informed about your type of pet; stay on top of new developments in pet-care which may affect your pet.
  • Educate yourself regarding the animal's natural environment and way of life, and think of ways you can bring some of this into your pet's life with you.
  • Take care of yourself; YOU are your pet's most important asset in the world.
  • Make arrangements with family or friends to provide for your pet should something happen to you.


  • Ever, ever, ever hit your pet... and by this we don't mean a relatively mild swat to get their attention (which might be appropriate for some larger pets), but rather the strike that is meant to hurt. You know the difference!
  • Do anything that could jeopardize your pet's trust in and love for you.
  • Become blaise about your pet or take it for granted.
  • Expect your pet to live up to human expectations; it is not a human.
  • Place your pet in harm's way; there are a million and one dangers out there -- think before you do something.
  • Allow friends, aquaintances, or anyone else, to tease or abuse your pet.


  • Admit that it was YOUR mistake.
  • Take responsibility for YOUR mistake.
  • Keep the pet and care for it well until YOU find it a good home.
  • Be extremely diligent in finding someone TRULY appropriate for this pet; remember, if YOU hadn't made YOUR mistake this pet might already have a good home.
  • (If you absolutely cannot keep the pet) Contact a rescue group that specializes in this type of pet, or a no-kill sanctuary, and donate a minimum of $50 for their services in absolving you of YOUR mistake.


  • Take the frustration of YOUR mistake out on the pet.
  • Expect to gain back ANY of the money you spent on the pet; your responsibility is to ensure that this living creature is well taken care of... and you deserve an expensive lesson for YOUR mistake!
  • Pawn the pet off on someone else who may be an equally poor (or worse) prospective keeper.
  • Dump the pet off at a shelter or any other service where it may be euthanized.
  • Dump the pet on the roadside or in the wilderness where it will almost certainly soon die.
  • Make the same mistake again!
  • http://www.petstation.com/do&dont.html


How NOT to Hold a Leash, Unless You Want to Land in the ER

In the picture above, Sanchez is helping me demonstrate how to never hold a leash.  The most important rule for holding a leash for a dog of any size is ALWAYS make sure you can do a quick release. This rule applies whether your dog is wearing a collar or a halter, and weighs 9 or 90 pounds.

In the Vet Street video above, trainer Mikkel Becker demonstrates how to have a strong grip on your leash, while also being able to safely do a quick release. It should be a mandatory watch before adopting any dog.

Read more and see the demonstration: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-not-to-hold-a-leash-unless-you-want-to-land-in-the-er.html#ixzz386Yi8pZ0


What Should You Do When You Find a Lost Pet?

Lost Cat on Car

What should you do when you see a dog or cat wandering around your neighborhood or along a road? You may wonder if he’s really lost, if his owner is nearby or if you should do something to help.  Although you may be worried about sounding a false alarm, it is likely that the pet needs help and you should take action if possible. Here’s what you should do if you find a lost pet.

Approach Carefully

Always use caution when approaching an unfamiliar animal. Frightened or possibly injured animals can behave unpredictably, so approach the animal slowly, speaking calmly. If you’re at all concerned about the animal’s behavior (if he seems aggressive or won’t let you get close), call your local animal control or police department for assistance.  Try to entice the animal with food and lure him into your car or a carrier, or to restrain him with a leash if possible.

Check Tags

Obviously, the easiest thing to do is check the pet’s tags for identifying information and call the owner, says Temma Martin with Best Friends Animal Society. You can also obtain the owner’s information from a dog’s license tags. Contact your local animal control office for instructions on how to use dog license numbers to locate the owner.

Never take the collar off a lost dog or cat, Martin advises. If the pet escapes your care, he will be without identification and even harder to get back home. Also, Martin says, don’t assume the pet does not have an owner if he’s without a collar. Collars can come off easily or may have been temporarily removed by the owner for a bath, for example.

Check for a Microchip

Take the pet to the local shelter, humane society or your veterinarian, where they have special equipment to scan for a microchip. Microchips are tiny electronic devices that use radio waves to transmit a unique pet ID number when they are read by a special scanner. Shelter or veterinary personnel typically contact microchip registries with the ID number, which is then matched with the contact information, so owners can be notified that the pet has been found.

Work With Your Local Animal Control Agency

Many people are wary of calling the city shelter or animal control department because they are afraid the pet will be “put down,” but such agencies can actually be great partners in finding a lost pet’s owner, says Martin, who has 11 years of experience working in municipal shelters.

To read more: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/what-should-you-do-when-you-find-a-lost-pet?WT.mc_id=Email;NewsLetter;Petwire;Jul-2;Article2


Should You Adopt a Second Pet?


Looking to add another pet to your family? Here are some factors you should consider before heading to the shelter and finding a cat or dog that strikes your fancy:

The nature of your current pet

There's a common conception out there that pets who live solo are lonely. Dogs want a friend to wrestle and cats want another cat to sit and contemplate life with. In reality, not all pets are social creatures - some prefer solitude and others find fellow pets a threat to their territory. Before adopting, make sure you tell a shelter worker about any struggles or problems you've had with your current pet. Detail the different ways they like to play, and their usual level of energy and social interaction.

CJ Bentley, animal behaviorist at the Michigan Humane Society, suggests bringing in your dog. "Most shelters allow or require you bring your dog in to meet any potential doggy candidates," she explains. "This may be a good idea. It is important to make sure the animals get along before you take them home".

Your finances

Pets can be pricey. With every pet comes more vaccinations, more check-ups, more food, more pet lodging. If you're worried about having the resources necessary, talk to someone at your shelter. They might know of a local program that can help you out. If you love pets but just can't afford one, you might be able to foster pets waiting for adoption.

What kind of pet you'd like

You may want a pet that's very different from your current one, or you may have kids that are set on having both a cat and a dog. But before making your decision, consider any complications this might bring about. Do you have the extra time it takes to socialize a cat with a dog? When you head to the shelter, ask for pets with calmer natures or previously owned pets that might already be used to cohabitation.

Bringing a new pet into your house is a great way to do something for your local community. The best way to start is by making sure you find the right pet for you - that way we can prevent more pets being brought back to shelters.

Is Your Tap Water Safe for Your Pets?

Tap water often contains impurities that can cause health problems for you and your pets. These include phosphate, nitrate, chlorine, and various heavy metals (see fuller list below). High levels of phosphate and nitrate fuel aggressive algae growth, and copper, often present in tap water due to leaching from pipes, is highly toxic to invertebrates, for example. Public water systems can contain certain levels of bacteria. Is your tap water safe for your pets?

Is your tap water safe for your pets? Is your tap water safe for your pets? Tap water often contains impurities that can cause health problems for you and your pets. Is it time to consider purifying your water?

It’s important to consider what we supply to our cats and dogs to drink every day. Animals, like us, are about 80% water. Water is important! Let’s not forget our reptiles, most of which absorb their hydration through their skin.

Many people drink bottled water but still give their pets the tap water they themselves will not drink. Why should we give our animals water that we consider lower quality?

Besides, bottled water is not only wasteful and expensive, but it’s also a huge environmental disaster waiting to happen. In reality, it’s not necessarily better than what already comes out of our taps anyway.

Is Your Tap Water Safe for Your Pets?

Have a look at the infographic below to see some of the dangers involved in giving your pets regular, impure tap water.

Is Your Tap water safe for your pets?

Is Your Tap Water Safe for Your Pets?

Maybe it’s time reconsider your tap water for the safety of you and your pets. Is it necessary to begin filtering your tap water? It may be. Filtered water may remove many potential sickness-causing organisms or metals from being ingested, including Fluoride, which as been shown to cause bone cancer.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis is a filtration system that purifies water. It is a method of taking out almost all impurities from your drinking water. According to Reverse Osmosis Purified, some of the main toxic contaminants that the reverse osmosis system removes are:

  • Arsenic – is an element naturally found in air, soil and earth. It can be found in tap water through natural means or agricultural practices. Large amounts of arsenic in drinking water has been shown to have higher rates of lung cancer, leukemia, and stomach cancer.
  • Antimony
  • Aluminum
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Chlorine – in drinking water is often used to reduce the risks of pathogens and diseases. Although chlorine is used as a chemical agent to prevent diseases, the chlorine itself has been known to cause cancer and diminished health in many people. A study in the medical college of Wisconsin found that people who regularly drink water with chlorine had a higher chance of getting bladder and rectal cancer as much as 80% versus people who drink clean purified water.
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Fluoride – has been known to be very toxic at certain levels of concentrations and when it is put in tap water, the amount of fluoride cannot be controlled. This is especially dangerous for people and animals with weak kidneys and need to drink lots of water throughout the day. Ingesting large amounts of fluoride can cause damage to soft tissues such as kidneys, the brain, and even bones.
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Magnesium
  • Mercury
  • Nitrate
  • Potassium
  • Radium – is naturally found in rocks, soil, and ground water. Radium is considered a hazard when ingested because when it enters the body only a small amount of it is digested into the intestines. The rest of the chemical is distributed throughout the body. Some places that the radium can enter is the bone tissue. When this happens it can cause serious damage over time, including bone cancer and bone fractures.
  • Radon
  • Selenium
  • Silver
  • Sodium
  • Sulfate
  • Thallium
  • Zinc
Reverse Osmosis has been known to be one of the best methods in purifying unclean water which can then be used for drinking. It removes virtually everything from tap water, including essential minerals. Therefore, it may be necessary to add the essential minerals back into you and your pet’s daily routines.


4 Healthy Oils To Add To Your Dog's Diet

Just like you, your dog may not be getting all the necessary nutrition he needs from eating his regular diet. While standard dog food can certainly come packed with plenty of essential nutrients, you can supplement your dog’s dietary regimen with certain healthy oils—jam packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids—to promote optimum heath.

What are the healthiest oils for dogs?

Fish oil: Fish oil contains EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids that help arthritis, and also has some anti-cancer effects, says Nancy Scanlan, DVM, CVA, MSFP, and executive director of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation. Fish oil can also improve your dog’s memory. “The primary reason I recommend fish-oil based omega-3 fatty aids is to yield a natural anti-inflammatory effect that can help reduce overall inflammation in the body and potentially decrease my patients’ reliance on medications aimed at reducing inflammation and pain,” says Dr. Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA, CVJ, and a certified veterinary acupuncturist with California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness (CPAW).

Krill oil: While fish oil usually comes from fish higher on the food chain, like salmon, krill oil hails from tiny shrimp-like organisms that rank a little lower. This makes krill oil less likely to be contaminated with mercury, Dr. Scanlan says. It also contains EPA and DHA, and will help give your pet healthier joints and skin, in addition to other benefits. “All dogs are omnivores that lean towards the carnivorous side, so they best absorb non-vegetarian-based oils like fish and krill,” explains Dr. Mahaney.

Coconut oil: Extra-virgin coconut oil has become a popular choice for humans because it’s a healthier alternative to more processed saturated and trans fats, and the same applies to dogs. Coconut oil has also been shown to help dogs lose weight, give them more energy, and offer relief to dry skin. Bonus: It will help improve your dog’s bad breath!

Flaxseed oil: This oil is high in alpha linolenic omega-3s, which puts it in the same ballpark as wild fish when it comes to boosting heart health. Like many of the other healthy oils, flaxseed oil also helps with mobility for arthritic dogs, and can aid in blood pressure and kidney function.

How can I serve my dogs healthy oils?

Most oils come in either capsule form or free oil. “But a jar of oil, once opened and exposed to the air, can become rancid—so capsules are usually a better way to go,” says Dr. Scanlan. However, it could depend on your dog’s taste preferences. “Hearty-eating dogs may readily consume a capsule or allotted portion of liquid out of their food,” says Dr. Mahaney. Most liquid oils mix best with moist food, but you can still pour them over dry food like kibble, he adds. Capsules also tend to best be consumed out of moist food. “Pets that are unwilling to consume the capsule may take it in liquid form if the capsule is pierced, squeezed, and mixed into the moist food or a soft treat,” Dr. Mahaney says.

Do these oils have any negative effects for dogs?

Too much of any oil can cause weight gain, says Dr. Scanlan. “A large dose of oil all at once can cause pancreatis in a susceptible individual—especially if they are fat,” she adds. Too much oil can also lead to a vitamin E deficiency if you don’t properly supplement with some additional vitamin E. Fish oil can prolong the time it takes blood to clot, so if your pet is going to have surgery, it’s best to stop the oil for at least five days before and five days after the operation, Dr. Scanlan says.

What’s the best way to tell quality when looking for these oil

Companies that have the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) seal are required to show that their products have been tested in labs to have the right kind and amount of oil in each capsule, says Dr. Scanlan. Look for this seal.

How do I know if oils are right for my dog?

If your dog is consuming a commercially available pet food and is suffering from skin conditions (like skin flaking or a dull coat), inflammation diseases (such as arthritis and cancer), or organ system damage, then talk to your vet about potentially adding oils that are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 nutrients to your dog’s diet, says Dr. Mahaney.


Could Reflective Paint Help Save Animals from Car Accidents?

If you’re traveling around the English countryside and spot a pony with a blue stripe spray painted on its side, don’t panic. The animal has not been a victim of graffiti, but has been marked to prevent it from being run over.
“It’s not only ponies but cattle and sheep as well because they all fall victim to traffic accidents on the unfenced roads on Dartmoor,” explains Marion Saunders, Chairman of the Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society, a registered charity devoted to helping those animals in the area. “There have been over 80 accidents involving animals this year, some animals very severely injured but the majority killed on impact.”

Working in conjunction with a paint manufacturer, a completely safe formula was then created for a paint that would stay on the animals’ hair and reflect once light hit it directly. To test out if the idea worked, DLPS started by painting privately-owned ponies with that blue and green formula. As the trial continues and the idea is improved, the goal is to eventually expand it to more animals, including free-roaming ones.

Once the formula is perfected, the manufacturer might want to make a large batch of it because just while in the trial stages, DLPS has already been inundated with questions and interest from other areas including the U.S.

According to the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, there are over two million wildlife-vehicle collisions in the country every year and numbers are steadily increasing. Most of them happen on rural two-lane roads around early morning or evening leading to about 200 motorists and many animals dying every year as a result of those accidents.

Could a single blue or green reflective stripe help fix all that damage? Time will tell.

Similar reflective initiatives have been tried before. In another part of England, reflective stickers were put on donkeys by their owner and in Finland, where 4,000 reindeer are killed in traffic accidents every year (making things very hard for Santa), the Reindeer Herders Association attempted last year to start spray painting their antlers with glow in the dark paint. In both cases the struggle has been how to keep the paint safe for use in the animals from washing away.


Litter Box Issues For cats.

Behavioral reasons for improper elimination can be for any of the following reasons:

- Litterbox is too dirty to use. Cats are very clean and if the box is dirty they will find another place to go.

- Litterbox is in too high traffic of a place. Cats won't go to the bathroom in a place that is loud or congested, so keep your box somewhere that is quiet and calm.

- Litterbox is too small/large. Your cat's box should be large enough (not too large) for your cat to stand in and move around and the litter should be no more than a few inches deep.

- The litter itself isn't of your cat's liking. Yes cats can have litter preferences and some of these start when the cat is young. When you get your pet check what the pet store, or shelter is using as litter and continue using that type. Also don't get into the practice of continually switching brands and types of litter, this may throw off your cat's routine and confuse your cat as to where to go to the bathroom.

- Your cat has recently been declawed. A newly declawed cat will not like the feeling of litter on his/her paws and may thus avoid the litterbox altogether.

- Litterbox is too close to food or water. Cats will not eat and go to the bathroom in the same place, so keep these two areas separate.

- You have changed the location of your cat's litterbox and your cat is having trouble finding or remembering the new place. Once your cat gets used to his/her box in one place try not to change it. If you do change the location make sure to show your cat where it is and be patient as he/she learns the new location.

- Litterbox doesn't have 2 easy escape routes. Cats like to be able to see two clear directions of escape while in the litterbox, this is an instinctual feeling stemming from not wanting to be 'snuck up on' at an inopportune time.

- Other cats also use this litterbox (in a multiple cat home) and your cat wants his own box. As a general rule you should have at least one box for each cat in your home.

- Your cat doesn't like to urinate and defecate in the same litterbox. If so try to keep two litterboxes available for your cat and clean each often.

- Your cat is in heat or is looking for a mate and is marking or spraying. For many reasons other than this one, get your cat spayed or neutered.

- Your cat is overly aggressive and marking. Try to find out what the cause of the aggressive behavior is and counteract that.

- Your cat feels his/her territory is being invaded and is marking. Have you gotten a new cat or another pet? Can your cat see other cats from the window? Has something changed in the home?

- Your cat is marking to exhibit his/her dominance in the home. This can happen when a new cat is brought into the house or your cat is being treated against the natural cat hierarchy in the house.

- Your cat has had a bad experience with his/her litterbox and is scared to go there. This is one reason why it is important to not put your cat's face in the 'mistake' and then toss him/her into the box.

- Any bad event surrounding the box can make your cat even more likely to stay away from the litterbox.

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time!

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Puppy Basics 101 - How to Care for Your New Dog


First: New puppies between the weaning age and a few months old should be kept away from other dogs the first 4-6 months of their lives till they have had all their shots. That means dog parks or dogs that have had all their shots. Causions always.

Puppies are without a doubt some of the most adorable things on the planet. Parenting a new puppy, however, is no walk in the park. Here’s a guide to help you care for the new addition to the family.

When the time comes to finally bring your new puppy home for the first time, you can pretty much count on three things: unbridled joy, cleaning up your puppy’s accidents, and a major lifestyle adjustment. As you’ll soon learn, a growing puppy needs much more than a food bowl and a doghouse to thrive. And while it may be a lot of work initially, it’s well worth the effort. Establishing good and healthy habits in those first few sleep-deprived weeks will lay the foundation for many dog-years of happiness for you and your puppy.

1. Find a Good Vet

The first place you and your new puppy should go together is, you guessed it, straight to the vet for a checkup. This visit will not only help ensure that your puppy is healthy and free of serious health issues, birth defects, etc., but it will help you take the first steps toward a good preventive health routine. If you don’t have a vet already, ask friends for recommendations. If you got your dog from a shelter, ask their advice as they may have veterinarians they swear by. Local dog walkers and groomers are also a great source of ideas.

2. Make the Most of Your First Vet Visit

Ask your vet which puppy foods he or she recommends, how often to feed, and what portion size to give your pup.

  1. Set up a vaccination plan with your vet.
  2. Discuss safe options for controlling parasites, both external and internal.
  3. Learn which signs of illness to watch for during your puppy’s first few months.
  4. Ask about when you should spay or neuter your dog.

3. Shop for Quality Food

Your puppy’s body is growing in critical ways which is why you’ll need to select a food that’s formulated especially for puppies as opposed to adult dogs. Look for a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) on the packaging to ensure that the food you choose will meet your pup’s nutritional requirements.

Small and medium-sized breeds can make the leap to adult dog food between 9 and 12 months of age. Large breed dogs should stick with puppy kibbles until they reach 2-years-old. Make sure your puppy has fresh and abundant water available at all times.

Feed multiple times a day: 

  • Age 6-12 weeks – 4 meals per day
  • Age 3-6 months – 3 meals per day
  • Age 6-12 months – 2 meals per day

4. Establish a Bathroom Routine

Because puppies don’t take kindly to wearing diapers, house training quickly becomes a high priority on most puppy owners’ list of must-learn tricks. According to the experts, your most potent allies in the quest to house train your puppy are patience, planning, and plenty of positive reinforcement. In addition, it’s probably not a bad idea to put a carpet-cleaning battle plan in place, because accidents will happen.

Until your puppy has had all of her vaccinations, you’ll want to find a place outdoors that’s inaccessible to other animals. This helps reduce the spread of viruses and disease. Make sure to give lots of positive reinforcement whenever your puppy manages to potty outside and, almost equally important, refrain from punishing her when she has accidents indoors.

Knowing when to take your puppy out is almost as important as giving her praise whenever she does eliminate outdoors. Here’s a list of the most common times to take your puppy out to potty.

  1. When you wake up.
  2. Right before bedtime.
  3. Immediately after your puppy eats or drinks a lot of water.
  4. When your puppy wakes up from a nap.
  5. During and after physical activity.

5. Watch For Early Signs of Illness

For the first few months, puppies are more susceptible to sudden bouts of illnesses that can be serious if not caught in the early stages. If you observe any of the following symptoms in your puppy, it’s time to contact the vet.

  1. Lack of appetite
  2. Poor weight gain
  3. Vomiting
  4. Swollen of painful abdomen
  5. Lethargy (tiredness)
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Difficulty breathing
  8. Wheezing or coughing
  9. Pale gums
  10. Swollen, red eyes or eye discharge
  11. Nasal discharge
  12. Inability to pass urine or stool

6. Teach Obedience

By teaching your puppy good manners, you’ll set your puppy up for a life of positive social interaction. In addition, obedience training will help forge a stronger bond between you and your puppy.

Teaching your pup to obey commands such as sit, stay, down, and come will not only impress your friends, but these commands will help keep your dog safe and under control in any potentially hazardous situations. Many puppy owners find that obedience classes are a great way to train both owner and dog. Classes typically begin accepting puppies at age 4 to 6 months.

Tip: Keep it positive. Positive reinforcement, such as small treats, has been proven to be vastly more effective than punishment.

7. Be Sociable

Just like obedience training, proper socialization during puppy hood helps avoid behavioral problems down the road. At approximately 2 to 4 months of age, most puppies begin to accept other animals, people, places, and experiences. Socialization classes are an excellent way to rack up positive social experiences with your puppy. Just be sure to ask your vet about what kind of interaction is OK at this stage.

This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.


Avoid Accidents: How to Stop Your Dog From Peeing in the House

Q: I don’t know why this is happening or how to handle it — but I feel like she’s getting away with bad behavior if I don’t punish her. What should I do?

A: When a previously house-trained adult dog starts having accidents in the home, I always recommend visiting the veterinarian for a checkup before starting any new training. There may be a medical component to the accidents, such as a urinary tract infection or the onset of canine cognitive dysfunction. Once your vet has eliminated these and any other medical issues, you can begin addressing the cause of the potty accidents and working on solutions.

However, punishing your dog for her accidents is never a viable solution. Rather than learning that going inside the house is wrong, your dog will learn that people are unsafe and unpredictable. This can make your dog afraid to go potty in front of you, even outside, and can make indoor accidents more frequent. Instead of punishing your dog by rubbing her nose in the mess she has made (or using any other form of punishment), address the behavior by managing her environment and training better behavior.

Accidents and Anxiety

Dogs with separation anxiety can display various signs, including accidents within the home. If your veterinarian has diagnosed separation anxiety as the reason for your dog’s potty regression, he can work with you to help control the problem or refer you to a veterinary behaviorist to help address the issue. Dealing with your dog’s anxiety will result in a more stable emotional state — which should lead to fewer (or no) accidents.

Your dog may also be anxious about conditions outside. For a dog with noise phobias, the sound of distant thunderstorms, fireworks, construction or traffic can be nerve-racking. While your dog may normally potty outside even when you’re gone, on days when the frightening noise is audible, she may hunker down indoors and refuse to leave the house; this can lead to an accident in the house. If the outdoor noise is temporary — a construction project, for example — consider taking your dog somewhere else, like doggy day care, during the time you are away from home. If the noise is consistent — traffic sounds from a nearby road — soothe your canine by creating a relaxing environment inside the house. Pair calming music, like Through a Dog’s Ear, with a food puzzle to help keep her occupied while you’re gone.

How to Stop the Accidents

Your dog may be pottying inside because she can smell past accidents, which can lead her to think that this is the right place to do her business. For this reason, enzymatic cleaners, which eliminate smells, are essential for dealing with messes. To help avoid new messes, keep her off carpeted areas — she may be less likely to go on a hard surface, and it will be easier for you to clean up if she does.


Determining the Best Age at Which to Spay or Neuter a Dog: An Evidenced-Based Analysis

When Should You Get Your Dog/Cat Spayed or Neutered?

Evidence in this context is defined as credible information from peer-reviewed research. Studies involving more dogs are more valuable than reports of single cases. Multiple studies documenting a given phenomenon are more valuable than single papers. Incidence in this context is reported as a percent; this is the number of affected animals out of a random sample of 100. In veterinary medicine, any condition with an incidence greater than 1% is considered common. Readers are encouraged to carefully read all manuscripts of interest and to ask their veterinarian for clarification if needed. This paper is condensed from a more detailed, extensively referenced manuscript that may be available through your veterinarian (Root Kustritz MV. Determining the optimal age for gonadectomy of dogs and cats. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2007;231(11):1665-1675).

Why do we perform spay or castration at 6 months of age?

Most veterinarians in the United States recommend bitches and dogs be spayed or castrated between 6 and 9 months of age. This is not based in science; no one has performed a large-scale study in which bitches and dogs underwent gonadectomy at various ages and were tracked throughout life to determine what abnormalities developed relative to age at gonadectomy. It is thought that the current age recommendation arose after the World War II, when increasing affluence of American families first permitted them to treat animals as household pets and were, therefore, more interested in controlling manifestations of reproductive hormone secretion and very interested in making sure the animal survived surgery. Anesthetic and surgical techniques available at that time necessitated the animal be at least 6 months of age.

Effects of gonadectomy on behavior

Obesity is very common in dogs, with reported incidence of 2.8% in the general dog population; incidences of 34% of castrated male dogs and 38% of spayed female dogs were reported in one study. Multiple risk factors exist, including breed (Table 1), age, and body condition and age of the owner. A very commonly reported risk factor for development of obesity is gonadectomy. In cats, it has been demonstrated that gonadectomy causes a decrease in metabolic rate. There are no reports documenting metabolic rate in female or male dogs relative to gonadectomy. Obesity is itself a risk factor for some forms of cancer, CCL injury, diabetes mellitus, and decreased life span. Obesity is controllable with appropriate diet and exercise.

Urinary incontinence
A very common form of urinary incontinence, formerly termed estrogen-responsive urinary incontinence and now more commonly called urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence, occurs in spayed female dogs. Urine leaks from the spayed female dogs when they are relaxed and so most often is seen by the owners as wet spots where the dog sleeps. Reported incidence ranges from 4.9 to 20.0%, with female dogs weighing more than 44 pounds and some specific breeds predisposed (Table 1). While multiple studies have documented correlation between gonadectomy and occurrence of this disorder, only one has demonstrated a correlation between incidence and age at gonadectomy. In that study, it was demonstrated that spaying before 3 months of age was significantly more likely to be associated with eventual occurrence of urinary incontinence in a given female dog than was spaying later. Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence is easily controlled medically in most female dogs.

Pyometra is uterine infection overlying age-related change in the uterine lining. Incidence increases with age; 23 to 24% of dogs developed pyometra by 10 years of age in one Swedish study. Specific breeds are at increased risk (Table 1). This very common disorder of aged intact bitches is treated surgically.

Benign prostatic hypertrophy/prostatitis
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is age-related change in prostate size. By 6 years of age, 75 to 80% of intact male dogs will have evidence of BPH; by 9 years of age, 95 to 100% of intact male dogs will have evidence of BPH. The increased size of the prostate is associated with increased blood supply. The most common clinical signs are dripping of bloody fluid from the prepuce and blood in the semen. Development of BPH predisposes the dog to prostate infection (prostatitis). Medical therapy for BPH can be used to control clinical signs but surgical therapy (castration) is curative.

Diabetes mellitus
Only one study has demonstrated a possible increased incidence of diabetes mellitus in dogs associated with gonadectomy. That study did not consider the effect of obesity, a known risk factor for diabetes mellitus.

Two studies have demonstrated increased incidence of hypothyroidism in female and male dogs after gonadectomy. Genetic factors also are involved (Table 1). Cause-and-effect has not been described, nor has a specific numerical factor for increased incidence been reported.

Life span
Several studies have demonstrated that spayed and castrated female and male dogs live longer than do intact bitches or dogs. Cause-and-effect has not been described. It is possible that gonadectomized dogs are less likely to show risky behaviors or that owners who have invested in animals by presenting them for spay or castration continue to present them for consistent veterinary care.

Table 1. Breeds predisposed to various disorders

Mammary neoplasia Boxer, Brittany, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, German Shepherd Dog, Maltese, Miniature Poodle, Pointer, Toy Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier
Transitional cell carcinoma Airedale Terrier, Beagle, Collie, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog, West Highland White Terrier, and Wire Fox Terrier
Osteosarcoma Doberman Pinscher, Great Dane, Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard
Hemangiosarcoma Boxer, English Setter, German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Labrador Retriever, Pointer, Poodle, Siberian Husky
Hip dysplasia Chesapeake Bay Retriever, English Setter, German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Samoyed, Saint Bernard
Cranial cruciate ligament injury Akita, American Staffordshire Terrier, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Poodle, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard
Obesity Beagle, Cairn Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, Labrador Retriever
Urinary incontinence Boxer, Doberman Pinscher, Giant Schnauzer, Irish Setter, Old English Sheepdog, Rottweiler, Springer Spaniel, Weimeraner
Pyometra Bernese Mountain Dog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chow Chow, Collie, English Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard
Diabetes mellitus Miniature Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, Pug, Samoyed, Toy Poodle
Hypothyroidism Airedale Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, Doberman Pinscher, Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, Miniature Schnauzer, Pomeranian, Shetland Sheepdog


Table 2. Conditions associated with ovariohysterectomy (spay)

Mammary neoplasia High High Decreased
Ovarian and uterine neoplasia Low Low Decreased
Pyometra High High Decreased
Transitional cell carcinoma Low High Increased
Osteosarcoma Low High Increased
Hemangiosarcoma Low High Increased
CCL injury High High Increased
Obesity High Moderate Increased
Urinary incontinence High Low Increased
Diabetes mellitus High Low Increased
Hypothyroidism High Low Increased


What to Say (& Not Say) to Someone Who Lost a Pet

What to Say (& Not Say) to Someone Who Lost a Pet

As too many of us know, the death of a pet is devastating. Our pets are more than just animals; they are integral parts of our families, they are our confidants, our best friends, and our biggest fans. So when they pass, the feelings of grief we experience are very similar to the feelings we experience when we lose a person that was important to us–anger, denial, depression…they are all part of the healing process through which we eventually reach acceptance.

Pet loss is a delicate topic, and even if you’ve been through it yourself, it’s difficult to know what to say when someone you know experiences the death of a pet. Pet advice expert Steven May understands this, and in a recent essay titled What to Say, And What Not to Say, Following the Passing of a Pet, he offers some great insight on what to do.

“Throughout my long career working with both pets and [pet parents] I’ve assisted in more than 3,000 euthanasias and have been present in countess situations where a pet has passed due to natural or unnatural causes. And no matter how many times I go through the process it is never easy. The loss of a pet hurts. They remind us of milestones in our lives and often represent the true meaning of “unconditional love”…So what do we say to a person who has lost a pet? And, just as importantly, what do we not say?”

  Say This

“Your pet was so lucky to have you.”

During times of grief many people look inward and ask themselves if there was anything else they could have done differently. Reminding someone of what a wonderful pet parent they were, and that their pet enjoyed the best life possible, can help to alleviate any guilt a pet [parent] may be feeling.

Don’t Say This

“When are you getting another pet?”

This implies that a pet is like a piece of furniture–if it breaks or gets old you just throw it out and get a new one. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our pets provide the kind of emotional connection that, for some, can resonate deeper than what they feel with human beings. Pets demand that we be selfless and in return we are rewarded with unconditional love. That’s not something that can be erased immediately.

Say This

“Do you remember when…?”

Sharing a personal, heartwarming or funny story about a pet with a grieving [caregiver] can help move the focus away from the loss to a remembrance of happier times.  And it’s those happy times that will help many pet [parents] get through the tough times ahead.

Don’t Say This

“What’s the big deal? You have other pets.”

As any pet [parent] will tell you, each pet is different and brings something unique to our lives. Would you tell a parent that has lost a child, “Don’t worry about it. You have other kids?” Of course not. Be sensitive to the loss irrespective of how many pets a person might have.

Say This

“Is there anything I can do?”

It might sound cliché but if it’s truthful, and you’re willing to help, just knowing there is someone there if needed can provide a great deal of comfort to a grieving pet parent. But if you say it you need to mean it. If someone reaches out to you with a request after you’ve offered, and you’re not able or willing to help, you can damage a relationship forever.

Don’t Say This

“Are you really going to have [him/her] cremated?”

Just like it is with the passing of people, everyone has their own particular desires for how to handle the services. In the case of pets, cremation allows us to “keep” our pet with us forever. By implying to someone that their choice of cremation is foolish speaks to a personality void of understanding the desire for some type of physical presence.

Say This

“You did everything you could do.”

Many pet [parents] feel enormous guilt upon the passing of the pet. Perhaps they feel if they’d taken their pet to the vet earlier the outcome may have been different. Guilt is also often felt when it comes to end of life decisions, one of the hardest things a pet [parent] may have to go through. Letting the pet [parent] know they responded appropriately and with love can go a long way in helping to soothe a grieving [caregiver].

Don’t Say This

“It’s just a dog (cat, rabbit, hamster, etc.)”

This will invariably come from the person who has never [had] a pet. They can’t begin to understand the connection we feel with our pets and probably don’t view this statement as crass or insensitive. But you have to wonder if they would say the same kind of thing if they were talking about a family member or friend passing.

Do This

Sending a condolence card will be seen by most any grieving pet [parent] as a very thoughtful act. This is not the time for an email which is impersonal. Include a brief, handwritten note and include a photo of the pet in happier times if you have one. Another kind gesture is to make donation to a pet charity in the name of the [pet parent]. If the dog or cat died from cancer a donation to the Animal Cancer Fund or [another] worthy organization can mean the world to a grieving pet parent.

The bond we have with our pets runs deep. And one of the hardest parts about [having] a pet is that we know the odds are that we’ll outlive them. But in the relatively brief time we have our beloved friends we know the joy they bring and we’re willing to deal with that reality. Death is a part of life and eventually we move on. But that doesn’t negate the finality that comes with death; particularly in the days after. Showing the same type of sensitivity to someone who has lost a pet as we would if it was a relative or friend who has passed not only helps to alleviate grieving it also reminds us of the fragility of life. And if that doesn’t make you want to hug your pet a little tighter I’m not sure what will.

Mourning a Pet’s Death & Celebrating Their Life
Pet Loss: Matters of Love and Death
Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Cat or Dog

7 Signs Your Dog or Cat May be Suffering from Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most common ailments seen in middle-aged to older pets. Even younger dogs and cats, under the right circumstances, can suffer from arthritic changes. Arthritis causes changes within the affected joints that are painful for the affected pet. This pain is responsible for many of the signs associated with arthritis. Here are seven of those common signs.

1. Limping

You may see your pet limping or favoring one or more of his legs, depending on which legs and which joints are arthritic. In some cases, the limp may seem worse when your pet first rises and become less noticeable as your pet “warms up” by moving around.

2. Difficulty Moving
Your pet may also become reluctant to do things that were previously easy for him to accomplish. For instance, your dog may find it difficult to get into and out of the car or may have difficulty going up and down stairs that were previously easily manageable. Arthritic cats, on the other hand, may stop jumping onto counter-tops, perches and other high areas because of the pain and discomfort.

3. Spinal Issues
Arthritic changes can occur not only in the legs but also in the various parts of the spine. These changes may result in a sore neck, an abnormal posture with a “hunch” in the back, or lameness of one or both hind legs.

4. Tiredness
Your pet may tire more easily. For dogs, this may mean that walks become shorter and more painful for your pet. Your pet may spend more time sleeping and/or resting.

5. Irritability
Arthritic animals may become irritable. They may snap and/or bite when approached or handled, particularly if the petting or handling takes place in a manner that increases their pain.

6. Muscle Atrophy
Arthritic pets often develop muscle atrophy or dying off of the muscle tissue due to inactivity and decreased use of the muscles. A pet with atrophied muscles in their legs will have a leg which looks thinner than a normal leg.

7. Licking, Chewing & Biting
Pets affected with arthritis may also begin to lick at, chew or bite at body areas that are painful. This may even reach the point of causing inflamed skin and hair loss over affected areas.

Arthritis Treatment for Dogs and Cats

Though arthritis cannot be cured, there are various remedies and procedures that can help ease the pain for your pet. Consult your veterinarian for advice if you believe your dog or cat is suffering from arthritis. Arthritis in cats can be particularly hard to spot. Many arthritic cats simply become less active. Often, this change in behavior corresponds to the cat becoming older and a cat owner may simply assume that the change is normal when, in fact, your cat may actually be decreasing his activity level because he is in pain due to arthritis.


Introducing Dogs to Cats

Whether you already have a dog and are considering getting a cat, or vice versa, it is very important to think about their first introduction. By letting a loose cat and an off-leash dog meet each other in an open room for the first time, you are probably setting up both animals to fail. Instead, plan ahead and take your time.

Matching Cats and Dogs

  • If you’re thinking of getting a cat for your dog or a dog for your cat, it’s important to consider both animals’ personalities. It may be helpful to look for a companion that has already been exposed to the other species in the past.
  • If a dog attempts to aggressively chase, pin, pick up or otherwise “manhandle” any cat, it is best to not even consider getting a cat — or at least to proceed with caution. Additionally, a dog who growls, lunges at or obsessively barks at a cat would probably do best in a cat-free environment. Likewise, a cat who growls, swats at, runs from or hides from dogs would probably prefer to not live with a dog.
  • If a dog loves chasing things, then a fearful, shy cat who runs away probably wouldn’t be the best choice, as it could trigger the dog to chase. Similarly, an energetic cat who runs and pounces would fall into this same category. A better match here would be a calm, confident cat who will not run (in fear or play).
  • If a dog plays roughly, it is best to avoid kittens or elderly cats who can easily be hurt. Instead, stick to playful adults who are interested in play, but are also confident enough to take care of themselves. If a cat is rambunctious or playful, a dog that is playful, but gentle, could be a great option.
  • If a dog or cat is elderly, laid back, quiet or anxious, then a calm counterpart would be best. Avoid rambunctious companions who may annoy, frighten or otherwise bother the other pet.

The Introduction Process

Regardless of whether you are getting a new cat or a new dog, the first introduction between your current pet and your new pet is a very important part of the process. Here are four steps that can help you ensure a successful meeting:

Step 1: Choose the proper location for the first meeting

  • Resident cat to new dog: If you are adopting a dog, you should not take your cat to meet him at a shelter, or other establishment which houses a number of animals for health and safety reasons. Instead, the introduction should take place at home.
  • Resident dog to new cat: If you are adopting a cat, do not take your dog into a shelter and expose him to the cats, as this can be highly stressful or traumatic for all of the cats. Also, it is not necessarily a good indicator of how the dog will react at home. Instead, ask the shelter’s adoption counselors whether they have any dog-savvy, confident cats they will allow to meet your dog under controlled conditions. If this is not possible, an alternative would be to have your dog meet a dog-savvy cat who belongs to a friend or relative. As a last resort, you can bring your new kitty home and do an introduction at home.

Step 2: Separate the animals

  • Across a few days, rotate which animal has freedom and which is confined to allow each animal plenty of time to investigate the other one’s scent.
  • Sometimes the dog should be confined to a crate or another room (or taken to another location if he can’t be left alone) to allow the cat time to roam free and investigate the smell of the dog.
  • If the dog obsessively digs at the separation barrier or barks at the cat for more than a day or two, the interaction likely won’t work without proper training. You may need the help of a professional.
  • When no one is home, the dog or cat must always be securely confined so unsupervised interactions are not possible.
  • Once the dog is calm (or at least not obsessed with the cat) and the cat is calm, eating and using the litter box normally, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Make leashed introductions

  • Allow both animals to be in the same room at the same time, but keep the dog securely leashed.
  • Continue with this type of introduction until the dog is calm and ignores the cat, and the cat is calm, eating and using the litter box normally.
  • If there is any fear or aggression displayed on either animal’s part, stay at step 2 longer.
  • Continue indefinitely until both the dog and cat seem happy and relaxed around each other.
  • When no one is home, the dog or cat should be securely confined to separate areas so unsupervised interactions are not possible.

Step 4: Allow unsupervised interactions

  • Unsupervised time together can occur after the cat and dog have been supervised around each other for a significant period of time (a month or so) and you are positive they will not hurt each other.

Training Tip:

If the dog stares at the cat or the door separating the cat, try to distract him and get him to look away with treats, a happy voice or by gently guiding the dog away on a leash. Once the dog is away from the cat, try offering a treat. If he takes it, repeat this process until he is no longer focused on the cat or door.

Warning Signs

  • If the dog remains overly focused, does not take his eyes off the cat or the door, completely ignores you or lunges suddenly as soon as the cat moves, this is probably a dangerous match. If you are looking for a dog for your resident cat, try another dog. If this is your dog, you should probably not get him a cat.
  • If at any time the dog lunges toward, growls, snaps at or shows any aggression (PDF) toward a calm, quiet, still cat, this match will probably not work out. The same holds true if a cat attacks a calm, quiet dog. If you are committed to make the relationship work, you will probably need a professional at this point.
  • If you are looking for a cat for your dog, and your dog displays questionable behavior around a cat who is growling, hissing and swatting, try again with another, calmer cat. If he continues to display questionable behavior around multiple cats, it is likely he should not live with cats.
  • If it is your cat who is growling, hissing or swatting (PDF), give the cat a break and try again on another day. You might also need to try a different dog. A cat who continually hisses and growls at all types of dogs will likely not want to live with dogs. Your cat may tolerate a dog, but she probably won’t be happy — which is an unfair situation for her.
  • If the cat stops eating, drinking, using the litter box or visiting with family members, she is not happy. You might want to consider finding a better match or contacting a professional animal behaviorist for advice.
  • https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/introducing-dogs-to-cats/

Kitten Basics 101 - Taking Care of Your New Kitten


Raising a kitten is one of the most fun things you’ll ever do, but it’s also a big responsibility. The following guide will walk you through the basics of how to take care of that playful, purring bundle of fur.

Kittens are so cute, it’s understandable that cat owners sometimes wish their kittens could stay kittens forever. This is the when you, as the pet parent, lay the foundation for your cat’s future health and behavior. Not to mention, it’s the stage where you have to decide what food to buy, what vet to visit, and where to place the litter box. Fortunately, all of your hard work during these first few months is compensated by loads of snuggling and adorability.

1. Verify Your Kitten’s Age

Though it’s not something you have any control over, your kitten’s age is more than just a number. In fact, it’s crucial that you learn it. Kittens have very specific developmental needs for the first 10 weeks of their lives in terms of nourishment, warmth, socialization, and excretion. For this reason, most breeders and shelters typically wait until their kittens are of age before they’re put up for adoption. If you, by chance, find yourself in a situation where you need to care for an orphaned kitten under 10 weeks old, consult your vet for special instructions.

2. Find a Good Vet

If you don’t have a vet in mind already, ask friends for recommendations. If you got your cat from a shelter, ask their advice as they may have veterinarians they swear by. Local dog walkers and groomers are also a great resource for pet recommendations.

One of the first things you should do with your new cat, if not the very first, is take him in for an exam. This trip is almost as important for the owner as it is the kitten, because it not only tests for health issues like birth defects, parasites, and feline leukemia, but it allows you to ask those all important questions including advice on litter box training your kitten.

3. Get the Most Out of Your First Vet Visit

  1. Have your vet recommend a type of food, how often to feed, and portion sizes.
  2. Discuss kitten-safe options for controlling parasites, both external and internal.
  3. Learn about possible signs of illness to watch for during your kitten’s first few months.
  4. Discuss how to introduce your kitten to other household pets.
  5. Schedule future visits and vaccinations to establish a preventive health plan for your kitten.

4. Shop for Quality Food

Feeding a kitten isn’t as easy as grabbing a bag of cat chow at the nearest convenience store. Growing kittens need as much as three times more calories and nutrients than adult cats. That’s why it’s important to find a good quality food designed especially for kittens. A name brand food, formulated for kittens, is the simplest way to ensure that your kitty gets the proper nourishment without supplements. Also, check to make sure your kitten’s food includes a statement from the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) displayed on the packaging, ensuring the food is nutritionally complete.

5. Set Up a Feeding Schedule

To keep up with your kitten’s appetite, you’ll want to establish a daily feeding routine. The best way to ensure that you’re not under or over-feeding your kitten is to consult with you veterinarian about how much and how often to feed. At 3 to 6 moths of age, most vets recommend feeding your kitten three times a day. Once he’s reached six months, you can scale it back to twice a day. Keep stocking your pantry with kitten food until your baby reaches adulthood, 9 to12 months old. In addition, don’t forget to keep his water bowl fresh and filled at all times. But hold the milk. Contrary to popular belief, milk is not nutritionally sufficient for kittens and can give them diarrhea.

Get advice on the best way to litter box train your kitten.

6. Be Sociable

Once your vet has cleared your kitten as free of disease and parasites, it’s safe to let your new kitten explore its new surroundings and other pet roommates. Handling and playing with your kitten at least once a day will help him form a strong emotional bond with you. If you have children, monitor their introduction to the new kitten to make sure it’s a positive experience for both the kitten and child.

7. Prepare a Room

Before you bring your kitten home, it’s best to designate a quiet area where the kitten can feel comfortable and safe. In this base camp, you’ll need to put a few essentials like food and water dishes, a litterbox (preferably one with low sides), and some comfortable bedding. Tip: Remember, cats don’t like their food and litterbox too close together. So place the food dishes as far away from the litter as possible within the space.

8. Gear Up

Here’s a list of the most essential items you’ll want to have before bringing your kitten home:

  1. Quality food, specifically formulated for kittens
  2. Collar and ID tags
  3. Food bowls, preferably metal or ceramic
  4. Litterbox and cat litter
  5. A comfortable, warm cat bed
  6. Cat carrier
  7. Scratching post
  8. Kitten safe toys, no small pieces that your kitten can swallow
  9. Cat brush
  10. Cat toothbrush and toothpaste (get him started at a young age)

9. Watch for Early Signs of Illness

Young kittens are more susceptible to a number of illnesses, and it’s always best to catch a health issue in its early stages. Contact your vet immediately if your kitten displays any of the following symptoms.

  1. Lack of appetite
  2. Poor weight gain
  3. Vomiting
  4. Swollen or painful abdomen
  5. Lethargy (tiredness)
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Difficulty breathing
  8. Wheezing or coughing
  9. Pale gums
  10. Swollen, red eyes or eye discharge
  11. Nasal discharge
  12. Inability to pass urine or stool

This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.

11 Proper Pointers For Awesome Dog Park Etiquette

dog park pawtiquette

Dogs go to play, hoomans go to swap pup tales: it’s pawsome. The only cloud that can dim that doggy sunshine is when someone decides to, well, go a little Rambo with the rules. Not that we have anything against Sylvester Stallone, but his problem solving skills don’t exactly foster furry harmony. Often, we wish there were an Emily Pawst to write into when it comes to navigating the niceties of these delicate situations. Since there isn’t, we did the next best thing and compiled an (unofficial) guide for dog park etiquette.

1. Don’t Be A Hater.

Image via chal.lt

It was once your first time at a dog park. Not everybody knows their way around the run. If you see someone looking a little bewildered, show ’em the ropes! Likewise, if you see someone not following the individual rules of the run, assume maybe don’t know they’re doing wrong. All it takes is some ‘splaining and a smile.

2. It’s Ok To Be A Wallflower.

Image via gettyimages.com

Not every dog is like Cher from the movie Clueless. Some are more like Angela Chase in My So-Called Life. Your dog might just take a while to warm up to a crowd, especially if it’s chaotic and they’re young. And if a pup just likes playing one on one, or even prefers camping out by their human, there’s nothing wrong with that. The dog park isn’t for everyone with four legs, and hey, that’s pawfectly fine.

3. The Only Humps Anyone Likes Are The Ones On A Camel.

Image via turisticky.net

Sometimes, hey, dogs will be dogs. But just like you don’t let your pooch hump a dinner guest’s leg, it’s not polite not let them get their groove on another dog’s behind. Or face. Or…side?

4. No, You Can’t Play With The Big Pups Yet.

Image via twitter.com

If your pup is under 12 weeks, it’s probably a good idea to wait until they’ve had all their shots before you let them run circles around the grown up dogs, just for health reasons.

5. Everybody Poops.

Image via lighthousepasco.wordpress.com

We all know the world is one big doggy toilet and us humans are the flushers. So, flushers, do your job and make sure any messes they make get deposited properly :)


Image via blog.ncliving.com

Don’t be that person playing a round of Angry Birds while your pawtner-in-crime manages to steal someone’s wallet out of their bag and then does a triumphant circle around the park, keeping their prize out of reach. That’s an offense worthy of some major dog-house time for humans.

7. When You’re A Baller…


We’re not saying dogs who haven’t been neutered or spayed shouldn’t go to dog parks. BUT it can get the neutered and spayed dogs excited or aggressive, especially your dog is in heat. Why? Maybe they’re jealous. Maybe they’re curious. Maybe there’s some funky pheromone magic going on. Who knows? Just be forewarned that if your dog still has their manly (or womanly) parts, shenanigans might go down.

8. Sharing Is Caring.

Image via tailormadepets.blogspot.com

Not everyone has a generous spirit, especially if their favorite squeaky ball has suddenly been co-opted by that terrier with the bedazzled cerulean collar. If only they had Sesame Street for dogs. Until they do, if your pup turns into Gollum and thinks all toys are “their preciooouuusss” might be best to leave toys safe at home.


Image via weheartit.com

Dogs. Will. Find. It. And then they’ll eat it. Best to leave any human or dog treats at home or at the very least safely secured unless you want fifteen new best friends who won’t leave you alone (and one sneaky thief who manages to gobble it up right under your nose).

10. No One Likes Being Picked Up At The Dog Park.

Image via crushable.com

Small dogs and big dogs can either be like peanut butter and jelly or like oil and water. Disagreements happen, and it’s always up to the humans to be able to make sure things don’t get out of hand. And while it might seem instinctual to grab your tiny pooch and lift him out of harms way, that’s basically an invitation for a bigger dog to jump up on you. And sometimes, dogs can jump way higher than your arms can lift. So if your small dog is being bullied, a better solution might be to calmly lead them away to another area, or out of the park if necessary until things settle down. (Side note: humans don’t always like being “picked up” either. Would-be lovebirds, respect everyone’s pawsonal space.

11. Stop Trippin’… Over That Leash.

Image via collegehumour.com

If they’re not used to it, you dog might feel more secure on a leash. Leashes get tangled though, and tangles equal epic wipe outs. Plus, some dogs actually get MORE nervous when restrained. So let your pooch run free, free as the wind in the off-leash area! :)

To read more great stuff: http://barkpost.com/dog-park-etiquette/?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_357744

Tail Docking, Ear Cropping, Dewclaw Removal as Dog Breed Standards

There is no longer a defensible reason to dock, crop or declaw a dog. This animal cruelty is unnecessary and perpetuates animal abuse. Currently, more than 20 countries ban these forms of animal mutilation completely, while many others have partial bans. The United States does not.

Currently more than 50 breeds of dog have their tails docked. Many of them also have their ears cropped and dewclaws removed. This behavior is perpetuated by the breed standards set by the AKC as judgement criteria for breed excellence. 

As a club that purports to respect animals, encouraging these practices via your breed standards is contrary to the AKC Mission Statement:

Founded in 1884, the AKC® and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership.

According to he American Vetrinary Medical Association:

Some commentators consider a long tail to be a potential hazard for some breeds of working dogs. For example, it has been suggested that:

A guard dog could be seized by the tail to thwart its attack.

Hunting dogs, such as pointers, may damage their tail tip in underbrush.

Long-haired dogs may become more soiled if they have a hanging tail.

These justifications for docking working dogs’ tails lack substantial scientific support. In the largest study to date on tail injuries in dogs the incidence was 0.23% and it was calculated that approximately 500 dogs need to be docked to prevent one tail injury.

Tailing docking is painful. The intensity or duration of the pain under ideal or typical circumstances is difficult to quantify. Painful procedures conducted in the neonatal period when the nervous system is vulnerable can result in negative long-term changes which affect how pain is processed and perceived later in life.

The only benefit that appears to be derived from cosmetic tail docking of dogs is the owner’s impression of a pleasing appearance. In the opinion of the AVMA, this is insufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure.

Traditions are challenging to change and many of your participants have already docked, cropped or otherwise conformed to your current standards. As a practical solution, these animals could be "grandfathered" during a transition period toward banning this behavior completely.


Dogs and Skunks: A Smelly Dilemma

APCC: Skunks

While skunks are generally docile creatures, they do have a very potent method of fending off people or animals who bother them. Unfortunately, some dogs don’t get the hint soon enough and become the target of a skunk’s spray. That’s why the  ASPCA Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to offer the following tips and advice for dealing with a dog who has been “skunked.”

Signs and Symptoms

If your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, the first thing you notice will likely be the smell. However, there are several other symptoms or problems your pet may exhibit if sprayed by a skunk:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Red and/or swollen eyes
  • Rolling
  • Face rubbing
  • Sneezing
  • Temporary blindness

These signs are typically seen immediately or within a couple of hours of your pet being sprayed. Symptoms like lethargy, weakness, change in urine color and pale or brown gums may take up to a few hours or even days to appear. These symptoms are rarer, but if they appear, you should take your pet to a veterinarian right away. The compounds in skunk spray are irritating and in some cases can result in damage to a dog’s red blood cells, potentially leading to anemia.

Steps to Take

What should you do if your pet has been sprayed by a skunk? The first order of business should be a bath—but regular shampoo is not going to cut it! Create a mixture out of the following ingredients:

  • 1 quart (4 cups) of 3% fresh hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1-2 teaspoons of liquid soap (dish washing detergent)

Lather your pet in this mixture and wait five minutes, then rinse with copious amounts of water. Repeat if necessary. It is possible this may bleach your pet’s hair, but it is not toxic to their skin. Note that this mixture doesn’t store well, so you will need to make a fresh batch if your pet gets sprayed again.

If your pet’s eyes seem to be affected, rinsing them with copious amounts of tepid water for 20 minutes may relieve some discomfort.

Prevention Is Key

No one wants their pet to be sprayed by a skunk. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to discourage skunks from coming near your home:

  • Make sure there is no easy access to pet food or bird seed. Use well-sealed containers and latched lids when necessary.
  • Remove or prevent access to wood piles and areas underneath decks and houses, where skunks like to den.
  • Invest in motion-activated lights or sprinklers, as skunks do not like light or noise.
  • Sprinkle kitty litter in front of a suspected den or hole, or stuff paper, leaves or straw into the hole to let the skunks know that it is not a good place for them.

In the United States, skunks can be carriers of rabies. If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a skunk, it is best to contact a veterinarian right away.

The APCC is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency—24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.


6 Signs it’s Time to Change Your Dog’s Food

    Choosing a dog food can be a painstaking process — so much so that some of us stick with buying the same pet food for our dog’s entire life. “The truth is,” says Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, “we now know our pet’s dietary needs can and do change over time due to factors like their life stage, their overall health, and their activity level.”

What Age Should I Change My Dog’s Food?

When it comes to nutrition, there are three life stages which experts believe are important times in your dog’s life to discuss with your veterinarian. The first is the puppy life stage. During this period a dog food rated for “growth” is needed because it is specifically designed for puppies and kittens according to the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials, which sets standards for pet foods in the United States). “Puppies and kittens that are growing require pet foods with a higher protein level and a higher calorie count…to meet their growth requirements,” says Dr. Lorie Huston. “If these nutritional demands are not met, your pet’s growth may be stunted and/or your pet may become ill.” Pet foods rated for “reproduction" or "gestation/lactation” are also a benefit for pregnant or lactating females.

The second life stage for which you should consult your veterinarian about dietary changes is the adult life stage. “Obesity is the most common nutritional disease seen in both dogs and cats today,” says Dr. Huston. “One reason for this is improper life stage feeding. For example, [an adult] dog or cat — especially one that leads a sedentary lifestyle — may become overweight or even obese if fed pet food meant for puppies or kittens.” Pet food labeled as "all life stage" can also deliver excessive fat and nutrients your adult pet does not require, as it is formulated for kittens and puppies. Instead you should be looking for dog food rated “adult maintenance” by the AAFCO.

The third life stage to be mindful of is the senior life stage. Senior pets often have medical issues that may benefit from dietary changes. For example, a veterinarian may recommend a pet food that contains glucosamine and/or fatty acids such as DHA and EPA for senior dogs with mobility issues. According to Dr. Huston, feeding the appropriate pet food can also sometimes be an effective method to manage diseases like chronic kidney disease and heart disease. The AAFCO does not have a senior life stage, so look for a pet food with an adult maintenance statement for your senior dog.

What are other Signs it’s Time to Change My Dog’s Food?

In addition to consulting with your veterinarian about nutrition as your dog undergoes changes in life stage and lifestyle, it’s vital to watch out for certain visible signs a change in diet is needed. Here are six common signs you’ll want to be wary of…

1. Dull, Flaky Coat

Diets rich in essential fatty acids are a key component in keeping a dog’s skin healthy, and therefore his or her coat, in tip-top shape. Many dog foods are designed with skin and coat improvement in mind. Look for a diet containing both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to make your dog’s coat shiny and bright in no time.

2. Lethargy/Weakness

If your dog had recently undergone a stressful event, illness, or surgery, he may understandably be a little worn out. Diets with high levels of antioxidants can help boost the immune response to accelerate your dog’s recovery and get them back on their feet in no time. Remember: a dog who is suddenly acting lethargic and weak should be evaluated by a veterinarian before making dietary changes.

3. ‘Senioritis’

Depending on the size of the animal, pets are considered middle-aged to senior around 5-7 years. And as our dogs age, their nutrient requirements change too. Senior diets, for example, are generally lower in calories but higher in fiber, and often have supplements specific to this life stage such as joint support and antioxidants. Forgo “all life stage” pet food for senior pets, says Dr. Vogelsang. It is formulated with kittens and puppies in mind and will deliver excessive “fat and nutrients your senior pet does not require”.

10 Dangerous Human Foods for Dogs

You might think that giving your four-legged friend all the leftovers that his heart desires will make him happier, but feeding him certain human foods can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, serious health issues — or even death. If you suspect your pet may have eaten a dangerous food, contact your veterinarian immediately. In many cases, early recognition and treatment are critical.


Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in products such as gum, candy, mints, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Xylitol is harmful to dogs because it causes a sudden release of insulin in the body that leads to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Xylitol can also cause liver damage in dogs. Within 30 minutes after eating, the dog may vomit, be lethargic (tired), and/or be uncoordinated.  However, some signs of toxicity can also be delayed for hours or even for a few days. Xylitol toxicity in dogs can be fatal if untreated. It is unknown whether xylitol is toxic to cats.

Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine

Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that is toxic to dogs in large enough quantities. Chocolate also contains caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, and certain soft drinks. Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine and caffeine. For example, dark chocolate and baking chocolate contain more of these compounds than milk chocolate does, so a dog would need to eat more milk chocolate in order to become ill. However, even a few ounces of chocolate can be enough to cause illness in a small dog, so no amount or type of chocolate should be considered “safe” for a dog to eat. Chocolate toxicity can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid or irregular heart rate, restlessness, muscle tremors, and seizures. Death can occur within 24 hours of ingestion.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause acute (sudden) kidney failure in cats and dogs. It is unknown what the toxic agent is in these fruits. However, clinical signs can occur within 24 hours of eating and include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy (tiredness). Other signs of illness relate to the eventual shutdown of kidney functioning.


The avocado tree leaves, pits, fruit, and plant bark are likely all toxic. Clinical signs in dogs and cats include vomiting and diarrhea.

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions contain chemicals that damage red blood cells in cats and dogs. Affected red blood cells can rupture or lose their ability to carry oxygen effectively. Cooking these foods does not reduce their potential toxicity. Fresh, cooked, and/or powdered garlic and/or onions are commonly found in baby food, which is sometimes given to animals when they are sick, so be sure to read food labels carefully.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are common in candies and chocolates. The mechanism of macadamia nut toxicity is not well understood, but clinical signs in dogs include depression, weakness, vomiting, tremors, joint pain, and pale gums. Clinical signs can occur within 12 hours after eating. In some cases, signs can resolve without treatment in 24 to 48 hours, but patient monitoring is strongly recommended.


Many cases of human food toxicity in pets are accidental. A pet may find and chew on a package of gum or candy, or steal food from a countertop or table. The best way to prevent this is to keep all food items in closed cabinets or in areas that are inaccessible to pets. This may be particularly difficult during the holiday season, when more candy, chocolate, fruit baskets, and other food items are around. During these times, increased vigilance can help prevent pets from finding and eating dangerous foods.

Unfortunately, some cases of food toxicity in pets occur when pets are given a human food that contains a dangerous component. In general, human food items should not be given to pets unless recommended by your veterinarian. Children should also be taught to never give candy, gum, or other human food items to pets. For more information on human foods that are dangerous for pets, visit the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Animal Poison Control Center. If you suspect that your pet has eaten a potentially hazardous item, contact your veterinarian immediately.

11 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Cat

Although it can be irksome for owners, being branded finicky could ultimately be a boon for cats — especially when it comes to ingesting potentially dangerous foods. “The main drivers of palatability for cats are protein and fat content, with moisture and texture being important too,” says Dr. Sally Perea, DVM, DACVN, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at P&G Pet Care in Ohio. Some “people food” is safe for cats in small amounts, but certain items — like raw fish and eggs — are definitely hazardous. Dr. Perea lists the top seven no-no foods for kitties:

Feline Food Offender #1: Raw Fish

“Human-grade sushi is generally safe for people, but it can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats,” says Dr. Perea. “There is thiaminase in raw fish that could break down an essential B vitamin called thiamine in cats. Thiamine deficiency can cause neurological problems — and even lead to convulsions.”

Feline Food Offender #2: Onions and Chives

Cats are considered two times more susceptible than dogs to the toxic allium components found in onions and chives, which can damage red blood cells even if a kitty only consumes a trace amount. “It doesn’t matter if the onion is cooked, raw or powdered,” says Dr. Perea. “Cats do not metabolize these compounds.” For this reason, Dr. Perea cautions owners against offering human baby food to their cats to stimulate appetites, because it can contain onion powder, which could cause anemia in felines.

Food Offender #3: Uncooked Eggs

Cats benefit from protein, but raw eggs may expose them to salmonella and other parasites that could lead to an inflamed pancreas, known as pancreatitis. Dr. Perea adds that it's safe to serve your kitty cooked eggs — but only on occasion, and in small amounts.

Feline Food Offender #4: Bones

Bones can splinter and cause a cat to choke, as well as block the intestinal tract, possibly even perforating the intestines. “Never give a bone to a cat,” says Dr. Perea. “And never give them anything that is as hard as their teeth, because it can cause dental fractures."

Feline Food Offender #5: Fat Trimmings

Feeding your feline fat trimmings could lead to gastrointestinal upset and even pancreatitis.

Feline Food Offender #6: Caffeinated Drinks

Some cats may be drawn to lapping up your coffee, tea or soda, but according to Dr. Perea, too much caffeine consumption can cause an increased heart rate and agitation in your kitty.

Feline Food Offender #7: Milk

Food offered #  8 : Raisins and Grapes are Nothing to Smile About and are Not Healthy Cat Food

Food offered # 9 : No Guacamole for Kitty, Watch for Avocado In your Cat Food

Food offered # 10 : Garlic Causes More than Bad Breath

Food offered # 11: Don’t Get Your Cat’s Drunk, Alcohol is Toxic

Foods That Are OK to Offer Your Kitty

On occasion, Dr. Perea says it is safe to give your cat a little canned tuna or a small bit of cheese. But keep in mind that felines only need about 200 to 250 calories a day, so go easy on the portions, limiting treats to about 10 percent (20 to 25 calories) of their daily intake needs.



Constipation in Dogs

Constipation is defined as the inability to defecate normally. Much like humans, older dogs are more prone to this condition, though it can happen to any breed of dog at any age. Constipation should not be ignored, as extended periods of distress can cause serious health concerns.

What To Watch For

A dog that strains to defecate, especially if it is well-trained and evacuates at regular intervals daily, is described as being constipated. (In addition, severe diarrhea and colitis may lead to straining.) Grass particles, matted feces, string, or other objects in or around the anus is also indicative of constipation. The size of the feces will be abnormally small and once the condition has progressed, lethargy, vomiting, and loss of appetite may develop.

Primary Cause

The most common cause of constipation is swallowing objects that are not easily digested, if at all, such as a piece of dry bone. However, it can also be caused by slower intestinal processes, enlarged prostates, concurrent kidney disease, hernias, or simply swallowing grass or hair.

Immediate Care

If you can see a thread or string in the anus, do not pull it. This can cause internal damage. Other important things to note:

  • Always wear rubber gloves when dealing with feces and related anal problems.
  • If you can see grass in the anus, gently ease it out.
  • If feces are matted around the anus, trim carefully with scissors. (For long-haired dogs, see below.)
  • Wash the anal region with warm, soapy water and apply a soothing, water-soluble jelly (such as K-Y) to the inflamed area.
  • Take the dog’s temperature. If it is abnormally high or there is blood on the thermometer or resistance when inserting the thermometer, see your veterinarian immediately (within 24 hours).

Long-haired dogs, especially small ones like Yorkies and Lhasa Apsos, can become frantic with the discomfort caused by matted feces around the anus and the trimming process. You may need to soak the dog’s posterior in warm water before you begin trimming to make it more comfortable.

Veterinary Care


Radiographs, abdominal ultrasound and blood work are some of the more common tests recommended for identifying the underlying cause of the constipation.


In some cases, a dog may need to be hospitalized and given enemas to remove or pass an obstruction located in the anus. If in doubt, or in the cases noted above, call your vet and have the dog examined. Fluids under the skin may be administered to ensure good hydration to the intestinal tract. In cases of intact males where the prostate is the cause of the constipation, castration will be recommended. And in severe cases of constipation, your veterinarian may administer fluids intravenously. 

Living and Management

Some dogs have a history of periodic constipation, especially as they get older. Adding a little mineral oil to the dog's meal can help in these cases. The proper dosage for a dog is 1 tsp for every 11 lbs (5kg). However, you should never administer the oil orally; if it ends up in the lungs, which can occur easily, it can cause pneumonia. Your veterinarian may also recommend stool softeners as well as fiber supplementation to assist in the intestinal transit.


Although it is natural for a dog to eat grass on occasion, this habit should be controlled as much as possible. Avoid giving your dog bones; substitute a nylon chew toy instead. Use purpose-made laxatives to soften the stool and above all else, provide your dog with water regularly. Neutering your dog at an early age will also prevent growth of the prostate, which can lead to constipation.


Why Your Dog Deserves Homemade Food

Negative publicity has surrounded the pet food industry for many years. In 2007 there was a huge recall of dog food in the US that consisted of contaminated imported ingredients from China. A toxic industrial chemical called ‘melamine’ had polluted the rice protein and wheat gluten in several types of dog and cat wet food, biscuits and treats. Very sadly this accident resulted in the renal failure of many pets who subsequently became extremely ill and died.


Why Your Dog Deserves Homemade Food

Commercial companies are often criticized for their methods in the mass production of pet food. The regulations surrounding the manufacture of food for animals are nowhere near as strict as those for humans. Although after the horse meat scandal of 2013, that’s not saying much. So it’s fair to say that dog owners have a justifiable lack of trust about what exactly goes into commercial pet food and whether or not it’s considered to be safe.

Fresh Ingredients

More and more dog owners are choosing to make homemade dog food. This gives owners peace of mind that their pooch is receiving fresh and healthy ingredients in their diet. Some owners may even choose to purchase premium organic food if they use it as part of their own meals.

Where to Start

If you’re interested in making the move to serving up fantastic homemade nosh for your dog, then the first thing you must do is speak to your vet. They may put you in touch with a specialist veterinary nutritionist. This is to ensure that your dog is given a homemade diet that fulfills its nutritional needs. Whatever the bad press surrounding commercial dog food, the fact remains that it has been constructed to be a nutritional all-rounder with added vitamins to support the organs and bones of canines.

Perfect Homemade Diet for your Dog

A nutritionist will base your dog’s diet around factors including age, breed, weight, activity levels and also physiology. Puppies, senior dogs or those with health issues will need extra support in their homemade dog food diet.

Appropriate attention will need to be given to the balance of fat, protein and carbs in your dog’s diet and it may be necessary to mix in a daily canine vitamin supplement to ensure that nutritional goals are met.

Your vet might also request that your dog have annual routine blood tests to ensure that their liver and kidney function are both operating within normal ranges.

Special Treats for Dogs

Once you and your vet’s nutritional team have agreed on the formation of the diet, your dog will surely love the variation and freshness of the meals you give him. You don’t need to focus your culinary skills purely on mealtimes, but can even adapt biscuit recipes so that you’re able to create your own range of sugar-free doggy treats.


Swollen Paws in Dogs

Swollen paws are a common problem for dogs. Although the condition is not usually dangerous, depending on the cause of the problem, it can be very uncomfortable and even highly painful as paws are very sensitive.

What To Watch For

Any sign of limping, favoring a leg, or hobbling must be investigated. Attention to the top and underside of the paws for swelling and pain is fundamental to an assessment of any kind of lameness. 

Primary Cause

Swollen paws are often caused by a foreign object getting trapped between the pads/toes of the dog’s foot. Insect or spider bites, puncture wounds, broken toes, fractured claws, and constant licking/chewing (as with allergies or other source of chronic irritation) are other common causes. Pad burns from running on hot asphalt are also common during the summertime.

Immediate Care

  1. Check the paw for objects caught between the pads/toes.
  2. Check for insect stings or puncture wounds (though often hard to pinpoint).
  3. If possible, remove trapped object with tweezers and wash the paw with warm, soapy water.
  4. If you can’t see anything trapped in the paw, check the dog’s leg to ensure no constricting material is present (which can easily cause swelling).
  5. Soaking the paw in an Epsom salt solution is often of benefit, regardless of the cause. Ten minutes in comfortably hot water (in a tub or basin) with Epsom salts dissolved within is typically an excellent short-term solution for swelling.
  6. If you can see an obvious lesion, the swelling does not quickly disappear, or the dog continues to favor the paw, call your vet for further advice. Veterinary attention in these cases is almost always in order.


Check your dog’s paws and pads for burns when you get home after exercising –– especially after running over, overgrown ground, jagged terrain, or hot asphalt. This is often a problem in the summer.

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How to Give Your Dog Liquid Medicine

Giving a dog his medicine is rarely easy, but knowing the proper procedure and what to expect can make the process more pleasant—for you and your dog.

Many people find liquid medicines easier to administer than other types, such as pills, capsules, eye drops or injections. But it still takes patience, precision, and a bit of strength to get your dog to sit still and swallow the right amount. Here, how to make the medicine go down easier.

The Basics

Liquid medications are prescribed to treat a variety of conditions. Some medicines that are usually prescribed as pills or capsules can be changed, or compounded, to a liquid formulation for easier administration. If you have trouble giving your dog pills, ask your veterinarian if compounding is possible.

Follow Recommendations

It’s important to use only medicines prescribed by a veterinarian and to treat for the full length of time prescribed. Don’t stop treatment early, even if the problem seems to be resolved. You can ask your veterinarian to demonstrate how to give the medicine.


Liquid medications should come with a dropper or syringe for administration. Fill the dropper or syringe with the prescribed amount of medicine. Holding your dog’s head still with one hand, insert the tip of the dropper or syringe into a corner of the mouth, between the cheek and the teeth, aiming toward the back of your dog’s head.

  • Do not tilt your dog’s head back; this may cause him to inhale the medicine. Squeeze the dropper or depress the syringe plunger to empty it.
  • Hold your dog’s mouth closed and stroke his throat or blow on his nose to encourage swallowing.
  • Reward your dog with a treat approved by your veterinarian.

Restraining Your Dog

You may need help keeping your dog still while you administer medicine. If you don’t have a helper handy, you may want to sit on the floor and hold the front of your dog’s body partially against your body or on your lap. If you have a large dog, you can stand behind your dog and have him sit back against your legs. Sometimes it helps to back your dog into a corner.

Small dogs can be wrapped in a large towel and held against your body, leaving only the head free. Be sure not to wrap your small dog too tightly.

If your dog struggles, talk to him calmly and stop administering the medicine if he becomes extremely agitated. Contact your veterinarian if you have questions or run into any problems.

This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.

Home Safety Guide for Pet Owners (Also See The Video Below)

                                                                                                                                                            To many of the 164 million American pet owners, their animals are part of their family. Pet owners make huge investments in food, toys, and much more to ensure their companions have happy and fulfilling lives. Safety is also very important as well.

This is just one topic they cover:  Common Household Dangers for Pets

The average home is filled with items that could potentially harm a pet. If you toss old razors into your bathroom trash can, your pet could get into it and end up with cuts. If you leave chocolate where a pet can reach it, you’re likely heading to the vet soon. When you make the decision to own a pet, keeping them safe becomes a part of your responsibility. You should take the time to research and understand what items you have around that could hurt them. These may include:

Common Household Hazards

All these items can cause problems if your pet gets a hold of them. Some of these are everyday items you need to keep around, but you can make a point to store them somewhere where your animals can’t reach.

To see and read more: http://www.expertise.com/home-and-garden/pet-safety-guide

Please see the video below for more safety tips: Hit the circle shaped arrow at the bottom left corner to re-watch the clip.


How to Give Your Cat Liquid Medicine

Giving a cat his medicine is rarely easy, but knowing the proper procedure and what to expect can make the process more pleasant—for you and your cat.

Many people find liquid medicines easier to administer than other types, such as pills, capsules, eye drops or injections. But it still takes patience, precision, and a bit of strength to get your cat to sit still and swallow the right amount. Here, how to make the medicine go down easier.

The Basics

Liquid medications are prescribed to treat a variety of conditions. Some medicines that are usually prescribed as pills or capsules can be changed, or compounded, to a liquid formulation for easier administration. If you have trouble giving your cat pills, ask your veterinarian if compounding is possible.

Follow Recommendations

It’s important to use only medicines prescribed by a veterinarian and to treat for the full length of time prescribed. Don’t stop treatment early, even if the problem seems to be resolved. You can ask your veterinarian to demonstrate how to give the medicine.


  • Liquid medications should come with a dropper or syringe for administration. Fill the dropper or syringe with the prescribed amount of medicine.
  • Holding your cat’s head still with one hand, insert the tip of the dropper or syringe into a corner of the mouth, between the cheek and the teeth, aiming toward the back of your cat’s head.
  • Do not tilt your cat’s head back; this may cause him to inhale the medicine. Squeeze the dropper or depress the syringe plunger to empty it.
  • Hold your cat’s mouth closed and stroke his throat or blow on his nose to encourage swallowing.
  • Reward your cat with a treat approved by your veterinarian.

Restraining Your Cat

You may need help keeping your cat still while you give the medicine. If you don’t have a helper handy, try wrapping your cat in a large towel and hold him against your body, leaving only the head free. Be sure not to wrap your cat too tightly.

If your cat struggles, talk to him calmly, and stop administering the medicine if he becomes extremely agitated. Contact your veterinarian if you have questions or run into any problems.

This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.

Warning signs of a bad rescue

Recognizing a bad rescue from a good one is getting harder and harder, as the number of bad people involved in animal rescue continue to increase. It is important that everyone knows what warning signs to look for to identify a bad rescue because it can mean the difference between life and death for one or more animals. In addition, giving money to bad rescues just takes the money away from the good rescues and their animals that need it. Everyone involved in rescue needs to ask questions because the animals are counting on you to make sure they are safe. Here are some warning signs to watch for before you work with or donate to a rescue:

1. If a rescue does not network animals locally.
2. If local rescuers do not know who they are.
3. If the rescue always gets animals from far away. Why are they not helping in their local area or more locally to where they live? Are they unable to get animals closer to where they live for some reason?
4. If the rescue does not make adopters do an application and home-check, sign a contract, and or check on the adopter, foster, or rescue that they plan to send the animal to. They should have applications for potential adopters and fosters, as well as information on volunteering.
5. If the rescue will not allow you to visit. They might tell you that you can visit, but when they time comes are they available and willing to allow you to visit with them and their animals?
6. If the rescue does not post follow-up information and photos on their website of the animals after they are adopted. Follow-photos should not just be taken just outside the shelter or when the animal first gets to rescue; but also while at the foster or rescue until adopted, and then an update and photos with their new family should be posted.
7. If the rescue does not hold adoption events, fundraisers, or use fosters.
8. If the rescue does not screen pullers, transporters, fosters, and adopters. They should not just adopt animals to anyone with money; if they are, then that is brokering.
9. If the rescue refuses to answer normal rescue questions. Remember if they are a 501 c 3, then they have to share certain information with you or you can report them to the IRS and state.
10. If the rescue starts attacking people asking them normal rescue questions and or starts bashing other rescuers in an effort to try to divert attention away from them and answering the questions you asked them.
11. If they will not release veterinarian’s information or allow you to pay the vet directly via phone or mail.
12. If they are not using donations for what they are supposed to be for. For instance, if donations are for needed vet care, then that is what they should be used for. If a rescue is not getting an animal needed vet care then do not use them.
13. If they will not give you the name and location of a rescue they are sending an animal or animals to.
14. If the rescue has been reported for complaints or cited for any violations.
15. If the rescue does not report how many animals they have and adopt out as they are supposed to on their website and or Facebook page. They should have multiple photos of each animal taken from good angles. Also make sure the photos are not just of them with the pet, because that is also a bad sign. In addition, if they do not have pictures with follow-up information on all of the animals they have rescued.
16. If the rescue is always complaining about how broke they are, what bills they have, and they are always saying how they need money. Especially, when the rescue complains about all of their personal bills all the time and wants help paying them. If they are really always that broke, then are the animals getting the proper care at home and by a vet that they should get? Legit rescues do fundraising and get donations and do not usually need to beg for funds.
17. If you catch them lying or changing their stories.
18. If they will not allow you to adopt or apply to adopt or foster from them.
19. If they mainly or only rescue animals with high pledges.
20. If they are rescuing large numbers of animals in a regular basis. This is especially important when they are sending the dogs far away and to the same rescues on a regular basis. Where are they all going? Do they post follow-up photos of all of them in their new homes? Legit rescues know that it takes time to adopt animals out to qualified homes, often times months or years.
21. If they ask for donations or pledges to be paid while the animal is still in the shelter or before providing follow-up information and photos of where that animal went and if it was adopted or rescued.
22. If they are affiliated with any known animal abusers or rescue scammers.
23. If they have posted fake reviews online about themselves.

The most important thing is that you ask questions. Don’t just pay your pledges without any information. Verify that the animal is truly rescued and safe per information and photos. One way to avoid this worry is to rescue and donate locally or more locally (within your own state). By rescuing locally you can visit the rescue and get to know the people operating it. In addition, you can also check on the animals yourself. When you find rescues you like locally, start donating money or supplies to them to help them to care for and to keep saving more animals. Remember, the animals are counting on us to keep them safe. They cannot speak up but we can. Ask questions and get answers or do not work with them. There are plenty of legit, good rescues that are more than happy to provide you with all the information that would love your support.

If you know about animal abuse or rescue scams, please report them to the proper authorities.


Dog Safety For Kids Never pet any dog without asking permission from the dog’s owner and from the dog. The kids will be getting the Do’s and Don’ts of petting a dog

Please teach your children (and please remember as adults) to always ask the dog’s owner before you pet their dog, even if the dog is at a public event, in a pet store, or anywhere else people usually bring dogs that are friendly. The owner is the person who knows their dog best, and they may know that their dog is tired, or not in a good mood, or overwhelmed by the things that are going on around him, and may not want to be petted right then.

To ask someone whether you can pet their dog, you should approach them slowly and from the front or side, so that both the dog and owner can see you. Walking up suddenly behind a dog might scare him and he might bark at you. Running up is never a good idea because the dog might want to chase you. It’s always best to walk up slow and be polite, don’t yell, scream, or run.

Ask the person whether you may pet their dog, and be prepared to just say “Thank you” if they tell you “no”. If the owner tells you “no”, it’s not because they’re mean or don’t like their dog to be petted. They might be in a hurry to get where they are going, or maybe they have another appointment. Or maybe the dog is not feeling well or is overwhelmed and the owner knows that now may not be a good time to pet.

Make sure that the dog wants to be petted by you. Just because the owner says it’s okay, the dog might not feel like being petted right then. It’s important to see if the dog is interested before you start to touch and pet.

The way to ask a dog’s permission is by holding your hand out in a fist for the dog to sniff. If the dog comes up and sniffs your hand in a friendly way, you can pet the dog. Look at the dog in the picture – he is sniffing the child’s hand and wagging his tail happily. It’s okay to pet this dog.

It’s not okay to pet a dog who won’t come up to sniff your hand. The dog might be uninterested, look to the owner, try to walk away or hide behind the owner, or tuck his tail. He might even bark or growl at you if he’s in a bad mood, or is sick, or just isn’t used to being approached by people he doesn’t know. You should not pet a dog that won’t come to you to be petted.

If the dog is friendly and sniffs your hand, it’s okay to pet. You should scratch the dog’s neck and shoulder area gently and in a friendly way. Don’t make any sudden movements or loud sounds – those could scare or bother the dog and he might want to chase you or bark at you. Always pet gently and teach children to pet gently. Some dogs love rough petting, but if you don’t know the dog, you should never assume that he will like rough petting or scratching.

A lot of dogs love to have their face ruffled, their back scratched, or their ears touched. If your dog at home loves to be petted that way, that’s great – but you should never do this to a dog you don’t know. Many dogs are sensitive about having their face or paws touched, or their ears and tail messed with. When you meet a dog you don’t know, stick to safe, gentle petting on the chest and neck unless the owner tells you what the dog likes.

To read more: http://dfdk9.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/dog-safety/

Please Don’t Go! Coping with Separation Anxiety in Pets


When your dog suffers from separation anxiety, leaving the house can be just as stressful for you as it is for him. No one likes to see a beloved pet upset—plus, any time away from home might be spent worrying what kind of mess awaits your return. Will your pooch tear up the sofa? Chew the walls? Pee on the carpet? Shake, drool and bark for hours?

Overcoming disorders like separation anxiety takes time, patience and consistency, but it can be done! Don’t wait any longer: take control of your dog’s happiness—and your own—just in time for summer travel season. Follow the advice of ASPCA animal behaviorists, and next time you drop off Fido at a friend’s house or the boarding kennel, you’ll feel sweet relief knowing that you miss him more than he misses you.

  • Doctor Knows Best
    The first step in tackling behavior issues is to rule out any underlying medical problems that might be causing your pet’s behavior. For example, if your pet is urinating in the house, he might be suffering from a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, diabetes or kidney disease.
  • Keep It Mellow
    All greetings—hellos and goodbyes—should be conducted in a very calm manner. When saying goodbye, just give your dog a pat on the head, say goodbye and leave. Similarly, when arriving home, say hello to your dog and then don’t pay any more attention to him until he’s calm and relaxed
  • Dogs Need Jobs
    Providing lots of physical and mental stimulation is a vital part of treating many behavior problems, especially those involving anxiety. Exercise can enrich your dog’s life, decrease stress and provide appropriate outlets for normal behavior. Plus, a tired dog doesn’t have much excess energy to burn when he’s left alone!



The Shocking Truth About What’s in Your Pet’s Food

The Shocking Truth About What’s in Your Pet’s Food

Most of us view our pets as family members, yet we are innocently but mistakenly feeding our four-legged friends food that is toxic and life threatening.

The cats and dogs that share our homes look to us to provide them with a nutritional diet that will protect them against disease and illness. By continuing to purchase commercial pet food that doesn’t have our pet’s welfare in their best interest, we are not only fueling a destructive and deceitful industry, we are also putting our pets at risk.

The Dark Side of the Pet Food Industry

As reported in the 1996 Summer Issue Earth Island Journal v11, #3 pg 27-31:

“The rendering plant floor is piled high with raw product. Thousands of dead dogs and cats; head and hooves from cattle, sheep, pigs and horses; whole skunks; rats and raccoons – all waiting to be processed. In the 90-degree heat, the piles of dead animals seem to have a life of their own as millions of maggots swarm over the carcassess.”

“Rendering plants process decomposing animal carcasses, large roadkill and euthanized dogs and cats into a dry protein product that is sold in the pet food industry.” Unfortunately, this is the stark reality of the pet food industry, and it gets a lot worse…

What “Meat Byproducts” Really Are

If you check the label on your pet food, more likely than not you will find the primary ingredients and protein sources listed as meat byproducts or some sort of meat meal. But what exactly is this? These byproducts are the leftover parts of the animal after the meat has been stripped away from the bone. Which in reality can range from heads, hooves, beaks, feet, entrails, spleens, bones, intestines, blood and other animal parts that are classed as not fit for human consumption.

The animals that these “byproducts” are sourced from include roadkill, zoo animals, 4D livestock (dead, dying, diseased and disabled) and possibly the most sickening of all, euthanized cats and dogs. That’s right, we are forcing our pets to be cannibals and there is nothing they can do about it, so long as we continue to feed them this stomach turning concoction.

Toxic Dangers Lurking in Your Pet’s Food

Along with all these dead, diseased and decomposed animals, a whole host of unwanted and toxic ingredients are also thrown into the soup. From antibiotics, hormones and other pharmaceuticals accompanying livestock to flea collars, ID tags, surgical pins and even plastics and pesticides, the horrors of what’s hiding in our pet’s food is unimaginable.

One of the most potentially life threatening chemicals that can survive the manufacturing process are those used to euthanize cats, dogs and zoo animals, meaning the poisons that are designed to kill pets such as sodium pentobarbital, are the same ones being fed to them by profit-driven pet food companies.

Now that you understand that pet food manufacturers will go to any length to fill their foods with the cheapest ingredients possible, you won’t be surprised to learn that they are also loaded with an assortment of other scary stuff. Cheap grain fillers, chemical preservatives and artificial additives are all commonly found on the ingredient list, and none of which offer any nutritional benefit to your pet.

Nutrition Related Diseases Affecting Your Pets

Today’s modern diet of our beloved cats and dogs is a far cry from that of their ancestors. As well as supporting an industry that carries out underhanded practices in the name of money, the food we feed our pets (if you can call it food) is crippling their health, leaving them to battle no end of diet-associated illness and health conditions.

Some of the most common health problems our pets are experiencing from poor diet include:

  • Urinary tract disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Dental disease
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Chronic digestive problems
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Bloat

Whether it is from a reaction to the additives, a lack of essential vitamins and nutrients, or as a result of contamination with bacteria, drugs, mold or other toxins, our pets are riddled with disease and the pet food industry is to blame.

What Can You Do About It?

The best thing you can do to keep your companion animals happy and healthy is to learn how to readily spot which companies are trying to pull the wool over your eyes, and reject their second rate products.

Read the labels and be vigilant in what you choose to feed your pets! If in doubt, then write or call your pet food company and express your concern.

Ingredients to avoid:

  • Meat byproduct meal
  • Poultry byproduct meal
  • Fish meal
  • Animal fat
  • Propylene glycol
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • BHA and BHT

If you want to avoid commercial pet foods altogether, then why not have a go at preparing homemade pet food. It is a lot easier than you think and there are a whole host of resources available online to help get you started.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/the-shocking-truth-about-whats-in-your-pets-food.html#ixzz2ULhyYu8Q


What Is Normal Dog Temperature, Heart Rate and Respiration?

Dogs at rest have a normal respiration rate of 10 to 35 breaths per minute. Practice checking your dog’s respiration rate at home, when you and your dog are both relaxed, so you’ll recognize quickly when something is wrong.

I always tell folks to watch and listen to their pets every day. You learn to see patterns in their behavior: how much they eat and drink; how much they sleep and when and where; how they breathe, at rest and after exertion.

All of those things are clues to your animal’s health. The best way to recognize when something is abnormal is to be familiar with what’s normal. If you’ve got a hot dog or a heavy breather, here are some guidelines to help you determine if your pet is healthy or having problems.


Breathing is something we almost don’t notice, in ourselves or our dogs. The body regulates breathing automatically, sending signals from the base of the brain down the spine to the muscles that control breathing, telling them to contract and relax on a regular basis. Breathing changes based on factors such as activity level, temperature, the presence of irritants or toxins in the air and emotions such as fear or anxiety.

Dogs at rest have a normal respiration rate of 10 to 35 breaths per minute. The average dog at rest takes 24 breaths per minute. To check your dog’s respiration rate, count his chest movements for 15 seconds and multiply by four to get the total number of breaths per minute. Practice at home, when you and your dog are both relaxed, so you’ll recognize quickly when something is wrong.

When a dog’s respiratory rate is persistently high and can’t be attributed to any of the above environmental factors, it can signal a health problem such as anemia, congestive heart failure or various respiratory disorders.

Shallow or slow breathing is also a concern. A dog whose respiratory rate has decreased markedly may be in shock. He could be in danger of not breathing altogether. This can be a result of a number of factors, including trauma (such as being hit by a car), poisoning or certain neuromuscular diseases.

Other signs of respiratory problems to be aware of are noisy breathing; difficulty breathing in or out; deep, forceful breathing; or coughing, especially a dry cough or one that brings up mucus or blood. Needless to say, any change in your dog’s breathing may well be an emergency and warrants a trip to the veterinarian — stat!


The body functions normally at a given temperature range; this is true for humans and for dogs. A dog’s body is set to a normal temperature of 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The average canine body temperature is 101.3. Puppies can vary a little outside these ranges. For instance, newborn pups have a body temperature of 94 to 97 degrees and may not reach normal body temperature until they are about a month old.

Dogs have an insulating layer of hair or fur to keep them warm when it’s cold, but staying cool is more difficult for them. Unlike people, they don’t have an evaporative cooling system of sweat glands but must release heat by panting. That’s not very effective, so it’s important to always provide your dog with cool water and shade when he's outdoors and to limit activity in the heat of the day. That goes double for short-faced (brachycephalic) dogs such as Bulldogs or Pugs, who can quickly die of heatstroke if they aren’t kept in cool surroundings.

Going Away for a Week? Here’s What to Do with Your Dog

Need a break? If your job feels more boring and tiring than it usually does, it might be a sign that you should go somewhere for a couple of days and forget about everything. But what if going away is not such a simple business? Many of us have pets we are afraid to leave at home alone for a prolonged period of time.

1) Your dog needs company

Dogs are social beings and the most important thing is to never leave them alone. If alone for a long time, the dog will get anxious and this, apart from the obvious suffering that we want to avoid, can lead to some serious damage to your property. To solve this problem, ask someone to take care of your dog and visit it often while you are away. Two or three times per day will be enough.

The best idea is to “hire” a person who is a frequent visitor to your home, someone who the dog knows well. A family member. A good friend. The ideal solution is to find a neighbour willing to do you a service – they can visit multiple times a day and make your dog’s life much happier while its owner is absent.

2) Do not take away their freedom

It’s important to make your pet feel as normal as possible, which is why you should avoid blocking access to some areas of the apartment or the backyard which your pet was otherwise allowed to visit. Limiting movement can backfire, because your pet might feel the need to go to the forbidden part of house just because it is forbidden. You know them, they can be so childish sometimes.

The better idea is to go through the house, remove the valuable objects from your dog’s reach and store them away somewhere.

3) Plan ahead and buy enough food. Make a trip to the place where you usually buy food for your pet or make an order in an online pet shop of your choice. To cover any eventuality, you will need to buy a bit more than how much you would expect your dog to eat in the number of days you plan to be absent. If you are leaving for a week, make sure you have 8-9 days worth of food prepared (and hidden out of your dog’s reach!)

3) Buy basic medicine

Your dog might be the healthiest pooch in the world, but you do not want to test that assumption while you are on the road. Moreover, you do not want to put whoever agreed to help you take care of your pet in an uncomfortable situation and this is why it is extremely important to stock up with medicine which can cover possible unwanted scenarios.



Why Does My Dog... Eat Poop?

Yes, it’s disgusting. Yes, it’s potentially unhealthy. And, yes, it’s fairly common in the animal world.

A pup will eat his own poop for a number of reasons:

  • He thinks it smells and tastes good. (Dogs are notoriously poor arbiters of taste.)
  • He’s hungry.
  • He may be missing key nutrients in his diet or suffer malabsorption.
  • He likes to keep his territory or bedding clean.
  • He has fun playing with it. (This is especially true for dogs that are mouthy.)
  • He’s bored.
  • He knows that removing the evidence means no punishment for inappropriate elimination.
  • He knows that fewer predators will give him grief if there is no physical evidence of his having been around.

There may be other reasons for routine coprophagy, as the condition is known. It can be hard to figure out why a dog chooses to eat poop, but if the problem persists, ask your veterinarian about a remedy for this habit. What veterinarians do know is that it is normal behavior for a wide variety of species — even if humans are revolted by the very idea.

To read more: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-dog-eat-poop?WT.mc_id=cc_moreonvetstreet

Can My Dog 'Catch' a Cold? Your Dog and the Cold Germ


Winter isn’t the only time of year we have to worry about "catching" a cold, but it is the primary time for it. We’re spending more time in closed quarters, with windows and doors shut tight and no way to escape the germs. It is only a matter of time before someone in the house becomes sick. It could be you, but did you know that it could also be your dog that comes down with this common respiratory infection? While there are differences in the types of viruses that infect humans versus dogs, the symptoms are basically the same: sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes. What can you do to protect your dog from catching cold, or if your dog does come down with a case of the cold, what can you do to treat it?

Different Germs, Different Viruses

 As mentioned above, the type of cold a dog suffers from is different from the type a human suffers from. The illness is not communicable between species — at least, one has not yet been discovered — so there is no need to worry about catching your dog’s cold, or vice versa. You will need to differentiate a common cold from a more serious health issue. For example, a common cause of dry cough is a condition known as "kennel cough." This contagious type of cough, as its name suggests, is typically contracted through a kennel or boarding facility. This cough is most easily recognized by its characteristic honking sound. If your dog has recently been boarded or has had contact with a dog that has been boarded recently, this will need to be considered, and will need to be treated by a veterinarian. There are other highly contagious, cold-like illnesses to be familiar with, as well. The influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, and tuberculosis are all illnesses that can be transmitted by infected dogs. Another potentially life-endangering viral illness is canine distemper. A dog exhibiting symptoms of distemper will usually have coughing, vomiting, high fever, and a thick discharge from the eyes and nose.

When a Cold is Not a Germ or a Virus

There are several types of parasites that can get into the lungs, heart and trachea, and which can also cause symptoms that mimic a cold infection. Coughing and other breathing problems are the main symptoms. Fungal infections are also commonly found in dogs, and can sometimes lead to life threatening conditions, when the fungal parasite sets up house in the lungs, causing ongoing, repetitive coughing, scarring of the lung tissue, and eventually, in some cases, pneumonia. More difficult to distinguish in many instances, but just as common in animals as in humans, are allergies to environmental triggers and/or food products. An undiagnosed asthma or allergies that trigger respiratory symptoms can also bring on coughing and sneezing fits in dogs.

How to Care for a Pet with a Cold

If your dog is coughing or sneezing, but is in otherwise good health, you may be able to treat the condition as you would a simple human cold — with lots of liquids, healthy foods (Chicken soup, even? But of course! Just make sure to leave out the bones.), warmth, and maybe even some time in a warm and humid room. This can be done by placing a humidifier near his rest area or by filling the bathtub with steaming water and letting the dog hang out in the bathroom for a bit (not in the water), just to let the steam loosen up his sinuses and lungs. It is important to note that while most respiratory conditions will begin to improve within several days from the time of onset, some dogs’ immune systems are not as prepared for an infection and may need a course of antibiotics or other medications in order to fully recover.

If your dog is either very young or very old, it is best to have her looked over by your veterinarian, since dogs at either end of the age scale tend to have less capable immune systems and can suffer more as a result. You can help to prevent a cold by keeping her indoors during cold, wet weather, with just brief trips outside for relief. It isn’t the cold temperature that creates the illness, of course, but over exposure to unfriendly temperatures or environments can create a physical situation that makes it easier for a bacterial or viral germ to latch on and take hold in the body. And making sure the physical body is at its healthiest is the main preventative for a host of diseases, not just the cold. Provide your dog with plenty of fresh water — even if there is water still in the bowl, make sure to change it out at least once a day, ideally with a clean bowl every day — and healthy foods so that your dog’s immune system can keep up with whatever germs come his way, and so that he has the strength to exercise at a level that is normal for his age and breed. If your dog is of a breed that typically has respiratory challenges, your veterinarian may suggest keeping a humidifier in your dog’s rest area as a matter of course.

Finally, it can be challenging enough to have one pet who is as "sick as a dog," you certainly don’t want a house-full of them. While your dog is ill, make sure she is separated from the other dogs in the house so that the infection is not passed along, and if symptoms don’t improve or appear to worsen, consult with your veterinarian.


5 Simple Ways to Cope With Pet Allergies

You’re no stranger to a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, rashes and welts. You’re one of more than 60 million Americans the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates are affected by allergies in general, but your symptoms always seem to show up when one of man’s furry friends — a pet — comes around. This may not be the most convenient of allergies you could have, especially if you’re an animal lover, but at least you know you’re in good company: Up to a third of all allergies are animal-related, and, according to the Humane Society of the United States, there are approximately 77.5 million dogs and 93.6 million cats owned as pets. This means there are many people out there experiencing at least a few of these symptoms when they’re in the presence of a furry friend:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Coughing
  • Excessive sneezing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

If you count yourself among this group, check out these five methods for finding some relief.

No. 5: Keep Your Distance
The first line of defense for dealing with a pet allergy is trying to limit your contact with animals whenever possible. This includes resisting any urge to become a pet parent yourself, but if you just can’t stand the idea of not having a pet in your home, consider adopting an animal that doesn’t have fur or feathers, such as a fish, snake or turtle. Also, if you’re planning to drop in on friends who have pets in their household, remember to plan accordingly, and try taking antihistamines ahead of time. While you might be able to tolerate being around pets for a shorter event, such as a dinner party, a longer-term situation like an overnight stay could be a recipe for disaster. Springing for a hotel might make a dent in your wallet, but your immune system will thank you.

No. 4: Hands Off
When and if you do come into contact with animals, be sure to wash your hands immediately, particularly before touching any other sensitive areas, such as your skin or eyes. Even if your hands are seemingly free of fur, a good scrub is still necessary, because pet hair is not actually the source of allergic reactions. The allergens originate with animals’ bodily secretions: With dogs, they’re secreted through skin glands, while with cats, allergens are present in their saliva and subsequently transferred to their skin through self-grooming. Regardless of where these secretions come from, once they dry, they become part of the dander, or dead skin, which regularly flakes off pets’ bodies. While something like a lint brush might remove the particles caught in animal fur, it won’t protect you from those that already have become airborne.

No. 3: Zone Out
If you have allergies and pets that are not of the fur-less or feather-less variety, it’s important to maintain at least one or two pet-free areas under your roof. The bedroom is the best place to designate as a pet-free zone if you want to rest easier. Consider removing carpet from this room, too — or better yet, throughout the entire household. Keep a close eye on curtains and blinds, as they can be like magnets for dander-filled dust. As you create pet-free zones, you can also create some designated pet-friendly zones, such as a private backyard, where your pet can roam and explore to his heart’s content (when weather cooperates, of course) while you’re inside breathing easier.

No. 2: Get Squeaky Clean
Staying on top of chores not only brings harmony to your household, it can help your sinuses as well. Dusting is key, and don’t forget to use hot water when washing linens, towels and other fabrics to make sure any dander that’s present is eliminated. Pet allergens can land and stick on woodwork and walls as well, so even if these surfaces look clean, play it safe and give them a regular wipe down. Keeping things clean applies to the pet itself, too, so if you have a cat or dog, grooming is a great way to save a lot of grief for anyone in your household who may have allergies. Grooming includes both brushing and bathing, and taking these steps on a regular basis can help decrease dander levels in your pet’s fur, on his skin and in the air. For cats, don’t forget to keep those litter boxes as fresh as possible, and place them away from any vents.

No. 1: Freshen the Air
There are a number of tools on the market created specifically to help make life easier for allergy-prone people. Some of these are geared toward the household, such as HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters that can be added to your indoor air system to remove airborne particles. You could invest in a vacuum that has a built-in HEPA filter and also consider wearing a facemask while using it. Other options, such as allergy shots or over-the-counter nasal sprays, are specifically targeted toward helping people with allergies control their reactions and symptoms. Speak to your family doctor or an allergist to help assess what might be the best choice for you.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-simple-ways-to-cope-with-pet-allergies.html#ixzz3FN6yDOp0


Don't Stress Over Pet Stress — Combat It

Woman Walking With A Dog

Is stress killing your pet? Harried hounds and frazzled felines are more common than you think. In fact, stress contributes to or worsens many medical conditions in pets and people.

So how can you reduce the harmful effects of stress on your pet? Although there are no easy answers or silver bullets when it comes to overcoming stress and anxiety, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your pet’s stress — and help both of you live longer, more enjoyable lives.

First of all, it's good to understand that there are different types of stress — and some stress is actually good for you. There’s even a scientific name for this beneficial stress: eustress.

Eustress is the sort of stress you experience when you’re exercising or training for an event, preparing for a test or learning a skill. As long as you remain calm and cool, these challenges are beneficial to you. This is why I encourage everyone to map out several new experiences for the New Year.

In terms of goals for your pets, think about what would be healthy or fun for you and your animal. Create challenges for your cat by teaching her to play fetch, tackle a food puzzle or follow a feather dancer. If you are a dog owner,  pledge to walk your pooch every day for at least 15 to 30 minutes — even if it's raining, sleeting or snowing. Then log your progress on a calendar or start a blog: The Year of Walking My Dog. I’d read it. You could even take a picture and post it each day on Facebook. At the end of the year, you could make a video collage and have forever memories to share. I’ve digressed here, but I’m ultimately trying to inspire you to exercise with your dog. It will make both of you happier and reduce stress — which is the real enemy.

Combating stress is critical. Not the fancy-pants “eustress” kind I wrote about above, but the my-kids-are-crying-and-my-boss-is-yelling stress we know too well. Pets recognize and experience it, too. While humans can complain about it on Facebook, dogs and cats have to take it in silence. Just imagine living the life of a predator who's confined inside four small walls. Or envision if every fiber in your body screams, “Chase that squirrel,” yet you never get to go outside for more than a quick potty break. It would be frustrating and stressful.

Stress not only negatively impacts our emotional well-being, but it also wreaks havoc on our bodies. Chronic, low-grade stress in people and pets increases levels of the hormone cortisol, which leads to overeating and obesity, high blood pressure, digestive problems, insomnia, increased susceptibility to infections, aggression and irritability, to name a few.

So go ahead and commit to finishing that 5k, half-marathon or even an Ironman triathlon this year to help yourself — and make a similar plan for your pet. It doesn't matter what you choose to do, as long as you keep moving forward. You’ll both live longer and be healthier for it.

In the next month, Dr. Ernie Ward will devote several columns to pet stress, covering such issues as noise pollution, boredom and pain. Look for these articles on Vetstreet here.


Five Fire Safety Tips for People with Pets


We shudder to think about it. But according to the National Fire Protection Association, each year more than 1,000 house fires are accidentally started by pets. As part of National Preparedness Month, we suggest you take a minute to pet proof your home against potential fire hazards—it could mean the difference between life and death for your four-legged friends.

Secure wires and cords. Cats are especially interested in playing with anything that looks like string. Keep electrical wires and power cords secured and out of your pet’s reach.

Blow it out. Don't leave lit candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock the candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders placed on a stable surface. Want to be really safe? Consider using only flameless candles.

Cover it up. Pets are naturally curious and will investigate almost anything that has a scent. This includes your oven. Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. Believe it or not, exploring stove tops is the number one way your pet can accidently start a fire.

Go crazy with the detectors. There is no such thing as too many smoke detectors. In fact, you should have at least one on each floor of your home. Out a lot? Consider using monitored smoke detectors. These systems send an immediate alert to a call center letting them know smoke has been detected.

Stick ‘em up. In the event of an emergency, our pet rescue sticker alerts rescue personnel that animals are inside your home. Write down the number of pets inside and attach the sticker to a front window or door.

For more information on preparing your family for an emergency, please read our list of Disaster Readiness tips.

What NOT to Do When You See an Injured Animal in the Wild

You were out minding your own business when you spotted it: a sad, orphaned, injured and begging-to-be-rescued wild animal. Your instinct is to save it – to be the hero. But before you put your cape on, you should know you could be making matters worse. No matter how good your intentions, there are some things you should never do when you see an injured animal in the wild.

1. Dont do anything before calling a wildlife rescue.

You know the expression “leave it to the pros”? This is a wonderful opportunity to use it and act on it. Your animal-loving heart may be breaking to see an animal suffer but unless you are a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian, odds are you do not know how to assess and handle the situation best. Unless the animal is in imminent danger (like being run over), reach for your phone, not the animal, and call your local wildlife rescue.

2. Dont assume it’s orphaned.

Sometimes a baby animal can look like it’s all alone in the wild but their parent could have just gone hunting for a few minutes and will be right back. By moving the baby you could be unintentionally separating a family. In other cases, the adults are just giving their babies some space but are watching close by. A momma bear will not care that you wanted to babysit her cubs one bit and could attack. The best bet is to watch the baby animals from a distance and see if their parent returns or if they are indeed orphaned.

3. Dont touch it.

Not only will some species, like rabbits, be extremely stressed to the point of death, but others like raccoons can bite. Being handled by a human can also lead to tragic ostracizing by the animals’ herd as one group of animal lovers found out the hard way as they tried to save a shivering baby bison from Yellowstone Park.

4. Don’t plan on keeping it as a pet.

We’ve all seen the stories online: a rescued baby raccoon who thinks she’s a dog, an adopted squirrel who sleeps under the covers, a rescued fox turned man’s best friend. While that sounds like the magic stuff out of Disney movies, odds of that fairy tale actually panning out are slim. Not only is keeping wild animals as pets illegal in some states, it’s unsafe. Wild animals belong in the wild and could attack you and your pets if domesticated.

5. Dont feed it.

Depending on the injury the animal has, feeding it or forcing it to drink might be fatal. Giving the animal something it cannot properly process like milk or bread, may also cause bigger stomach issues.

6. Dont talk all the way to the vet.

While you may be tempted to reassure the animal a thousand times that everything is going to be OK and that you’ll make sure they’re alright, resist the urge while transporting them to a wildlife rescue center. The animal doesn’t know you or your voice or what in the world is happening to them so the talking will most likely just stress them out and frighten them even more. Keep the radio off and talking to a minimum.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/what-not-to-do-when-you-see-an-injured-animal-in-the-wild.html#ixzz4AEt1jlfM


12 Great Pets For People With Allergies


  Pets are one of the best parts of life, plain and simple. Whether you have a dog or cat, bird or bunny, taking care of a pet is a relationship filled with unconditional love. After all, pets are always there for you and they supply abundant joy.

So it’s upsetting when a person who really wants a pet is allergic. In most allergic reactions, it is the animal’s dander, saliva or urine that poses the problem. Many times, if you can rectify or lessen the allergen, a person can lead a very healthy life with a traditional pet, like a dog or cat. On the whole, cats tend to be more troublesome for allergy sufferers than dogs because they lick their coats in order to clean them much more often than dogs do.

For others, any kind of cat or dog (even hypoallergenic types) will cause grief to the allergy sufferer, and even for these people, there are still viable pet options. Don’t discount other types of animals just because they might not be as cuddly as a puppy. There are various types of animals can make wonderful pets.

Portuguese Water Dog

The nation's most popular Portuguese Water Dog, Bo Obama, is also hypoallergenic. In fact, Malia Obama has allergies and Bo was chosen specifically for that reason. These dogs don't shed much and require frequent grooming, two reasons they are good for pets for people with allergies.  See them all: http://www.babble.com/pets/2012/04/10/12-great-pets-for-people-with-allergies/?



Is My Pet Sick or Just Getting Older?


As our pets get older, we expect them to slow down as part of the aging process, but how much slowing down is too much? What signs should pet owners watch out for in their senior pets that may suggest there is more going on than simply normal aging?

What Qualifies a Pet as a Senior Pet?

Senior pets can loosely be defined as those in the last 25 percent of their anticipated lifespan for their species and breed. For example, a cat expected to live 15 years would be considered senior at 11 years of age. What that means to dog and cat owners is that 9 to 11 years of age is the start of your pet’s senior years. One notable exception is giant breeds of dogs who are considered senior a year or two earlier.

Slow Motion

Many pet owners assume their pet is slowing down because he is getting older, but that may not be the case; your dog may be moving more slowly because he has arthritis. Since aging is associated with a variety of illnesses, if your senior pet seems to be slowing down, take him for a complete physical examination. Your pet can’t tell you that arthritis is making his joints hurt, for example, but your veterinarian can, and he can help ease your dog's pain. There are medications that can help make your arthritic pet more comfortable and kick his activity level back up a notch. A word of caution, though: Never give your dog or cat your arthritis medication; these drugs are extremely toxic to pets. 


Another behavior change incorrectly attributed to aging is loss of housebreaking/litter box use. Older cats are especially prone to developing kidney problems, and the accompanying increase in urine production. Couple an increase in urine production with creaky joints that don’t move so well anymore and your cat may act as if he has forgotten where to find the litter box. Placing litter boxes conveniently near your cat’s favorite perch will help overcome this problem.

Some creaky cats can no longer climb over the edge of the litter box and will “go” right outside the litter box. Substituting a box with lower sides or a cutout for easy entry will often resolve this situation. Diabetes and urinary tract infections will also cause what appears to be a loss of housebreaking. All of these reasons may contribute to a lack of litter box use, but the reason may be as simple as not changing the litter often enough to your cat’s liking.

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

A syndrome is a collection of clinical signs that commonly occur together. Once your veterinarian has determined an illness is not causing your pet to slow down, cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) will be considered. CDS is a decline in brain function in the aging dog exemplified by behavior changes. Dogs with CDS may stand in one place more often, greet their owners less often and have accidents in the house. At a recent conference in New York City, Dr. Chad West, a board-certified neurologist on staff at the Animal Medical Center in New York, discussed a case of CDS in a dog. The MRI findings in the dog were strikingly similar to the second most common cause of dementia in humans, vascular dementia.

To read more: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/is-my-pet-sick-or-just-getting-older


Understanding Pet Behavior

Train Your Dog to Make Eye Contact: The Latest in Training

How to Stop a Cat From Biting and Scratching

Want to put a stop to biting and scratching? Avoid inappropriate play behavior with claws and teeth on skin, and instead redirect predatory behavior toward proper outlets, like toys and food puzzles.  Expert advice for making playtime fun again ›

Understanding the Terrier Personality

My first dog was a Wire Haired Fox Terrier named Scooter. Like many terriers, she was energetic, determined, playful and independent. She was also something of a terror, though.  3 lessons she learned from her terrier ›

How to Pet-Proof Your Christmas Tree

How to Pet-Proof Your Christmas Tree

Winter holidays are especially exciting, with all the sparkly lights and streamers, delicate ornaments and brightly colored garland, and don’t get us started on the candies and treats! All of these things are great fun, and no less so for our pets. So, before you start taking out the decorations, take a few minutes to consider how their placement will affect your pets.


Just to protect your pet and yourself from excitable accidents, hang your delicate and treasured ornaments on the uppermost branches of the tree, and secure them to the branches tightly. In general, it is easier on the whole household if you select tree ornaments that are not likely to shatter. For delicate, glass or treasured ornaments, you might consider creating an area where they can be displayed that is out of reach for your dog or cat, such as from a garland that is hung across a mantel or window. Tinsel, for all its glittery prettiness, is one of the most dangerous tree decorations you can choose. If your pet ingests even a few strands of tinsel — and pets do this more often than you might guess — she is highly likely to suffer the ill, and even deadly effects of an intestinal obstruction. Same goes for edible ornaments, such as popcorn and cranberry strings and candy canes. Leave these things off your tree or your pet will be climbing the tree to get to them.

For cute Christmas pet photos, click here.

Lights, Plants and More

Christmas lights should be positioned away from the very bottom of the tree unless you are sure that your pet has been successfully trained not to chew on the cords. Electric cord injuries are very damaging to the mouth tissue and can lead to long term problems with eating, amongst other issues. Check the electric light cords frequently for signs of chewing.

Other tree decorations that can be hazardous to pets (and children, for that matter) include angel hair — a spun glass or pvc decoration, garland, lit candles, mistletoe, poinsettia plants, and holly berries. Decorations that are not a part of tree trimming, but that are also worth mentioning are advent calendars, in which candy is placed in the small numbered cubbies; and liquid potpourri, which can be spilled or ingested.

It is safest to stick to artificial plants and plastic or unbreakable ornaments, just to be on the safe side. When you can rest in the knowledge that you have done everything to make sure your pet cannot be harmed, then everyone can share in a happy, healthy holiday season together.

See Also: A Truly Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree

More Christmas Tree Tips

It can be very difficult to keep a young, still-in-training pet away from the Christmas tree, particularly if this is his or her’s first Christmas. Even for an older pet, who may have learned not to jump on the tree — either because it fell on him last year or because your admonitions worked — you will still need to be cautious with the ornaments you place within his reach.

A live tree can be especially hazardous. Dogs and cats like to chew on sticks (i.e., limbs) and greenery, and the fir tree oils can be irritating to the mouth tissue causing such symptoms as drooling and vomiting. Also, if your pet is chewing on the branches, there is a good chance he is also swallowing some of the needles. If enough needles are swallowed they can get caught in the intestinal tract, puncturing the lining or bunching together and causing obstruction. Both can have deadly consequences.

A popular tree decoration called flocking, an imitation snow product, can also cause serious problems when significant amounts of it are swallowed. If you are going to have a tree in your home, it is best to at least get a non-flocked tree.

In addition, some trees are treated with chemical preservatives to keep them fresh longer. These chemicals leach into the water in the feeding dish, making the water poisonous to drink — which pets will do if the water is left uncovered. If you do not have a tree skirt to cover the water dish with, you can use towel, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-to-petproof-your-christmas-tree.html#ixzz3LPdInZU2



The Latest in Training

Dogs in training class
Puppy Training 101: How to Properly Socialize Your Dog

Socializing a puppy is a lot like drumming up friends of your own: The more you mingle, the more progress you make. Introduce a puppy to all the new things you can (people, places, and other animals).  How to help your puppy make new friends

red kong with treat inside
Video: How to Stuff a Kong for Your Dog

Kongs or other types of hollow-cavity dog toys that can be filled with treats are a dog trainer’s toys of choice. A Kong can keep a dog of any age busy for hours, and a busy dog is less likely to display destructive behaviors.  See how Mikkel uses Kongs ›



Tip Of The Week

The trick to teaching your dog to heel: Decide whether you want him to walk on your right or left side, then position his shoulder next to your leg. When to opt for clicker training ›

To see more: http://www.vetstreet.com/train/

Why Does My Cat... Meow at Me?

Cat meowing

Behaviorists say that cats meow at humans because they want something and, most important, because meowing gets results.

And that’s undeniably true. Meowing works. But why?

Interestingly, some experts say that the sound “meow,” as we know it, developed at least in part because we humans associate it with the needy cry of an infant. But it’s also undeniable that kittens meow when they want something. So it’s no stretch to assume cats didn’t learn to associate meows with requests.

But cats can meow at varying frequencies, pitches, tones, volumes, and lengths. A meow imploring you to open the back door, for example, can sound completely different from the excited, “I’m about to be fed” meow, which is totally different from the meow that happens right before you scratch her right behind her ear at bedtime.

As anyone who’s ever heard two different cats meow knows, no two feline voices are ever exactly the same. But beyond the vagaries of voice box machinery, most of the variation comes from the cat’s own personality. And there’s no predicting how the interaction of any given human-cat personality pairing will affect meowing. After all, when some cats learn that meowing brings them satisfaction, the very act of meowing can become satisfactory in its own right.

So what do you do when the vocal requests get continuous or turn into an obsessive, repetitive behavior? It’s always a good idea to take kitty to the veterinarian’s office to make sure nothing is awry. If the veterinarian doesn’t find any physical problem, you may want to seek out a certified animal behaviorist or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist to get the answer you need.

But rest assured, the vast majority of vocal cats are not pathologically afflicted. Quite the opposite, most are simply voicing their healthy demands—pleasurably.

This article was written by a Veterinarian.

How To Get Your Sick Cat to Eat
  When cats feel poorly, they stop eating. When they stop eating, they feel worse and are even less likely to eat. This is a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped as soon as possible if a cat is to heal.

The first step in the process is determining why a cat is no longer eating. Sometimes you can figure this out by remembering that most cats hate change. Anything different in the home could be responsible. Visitors, new pets, different foods, a new food bowl, an altered schedule, a different feeding location — you name it and it might be to blame. As much as is possible, return your cat’s diet and environment back to what is “normal” for him or her and see what happens. If this doesn’t work or you are noticing other worrisome symptoms, it is time for a check-up with your veterinarian. Virtually every disease that cats can get has the potential to turn them off their food

The fix may be straightforward. For example, a cat with dental disease will usually start eating again once doing so isn’t painful anymore. Sometimes, however, we need to encourage a cat to eat while we figure out what is wrong or wait for treatment to take effect.

While I have just said that cats hate change, it is possible to tempt them into trying something new so long as that something is darn near irresistible (from a cat’s point of view). Try buying a few types of canned food (pate-style, flaked, etc.) in different flavors. Place some on a small plate and warm it slightly. If your cat shows no interest, try adding a little fish oil, chicken broth, tuna juice, or cooked egg.

Make feeding time a social and pleasant experience. Take your cat to a quiet part of your home, ideally with a diffuser emitting feline facial hormone, a natural signal to cats that everything is “okay.” Try hand feeding him or put a small amount of pate-style food on your finger and touch it to his lips. Pet your cat and praise him. If your cat is willing, try dribbling a thin slurry of food into his mouth using a syringe. Do not force the issue, however. Force-feeding is stressful for cats and potentially dangerous for you.

If none of these tricks are successful, your veterinarian may prescribe an appetite stimulant (e.g., mirtazapine or cyproheptadine) or even recommend placement of a feeding tube. While owners sometimes balk at the thought of a feeding tube, most who have agreed to the procedure are thrilled with the results. Feeding tubes make giving cats all the food, water, and medications they need incredibly simple.

One of the biggest mistakes owners make is waiting too long to make a veterinary appointment for a cat that has stopped eating. The adverse effects of poor nutrition start within just a few days, and the longer you wait the harder it will be to get your cat eating again.



As We Age, Will We Still Love Our Pets?

Hazel the schnauzer and Wrigley the black lab mix mean everything to Harriet Buscombe. The dogs protect her on her pre-dawn runs around her Champaign, Ill., neighborhood, but mostly they make her feel great.

“My children are grown now and having dogs around keeps me ‘still a mom’ in many respects,” Buscombe said in an email interview. “I always feel a lot better — like all of my problems have lessened because I have spent times with my dogs.” The loving link between baby boomers like 49-year-old Buscombe and their pets is well documented. Boomers — typically defined as the generation born from 1946 through 1964 — are a major reason why Americans’ spending on the likes of food, grooming, kennels, surgery, even souvenirs, is expected to top $52 billion this year.

“Boomers are different, for the most part,” said Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Association. “What did they call us? Helicopter parents, because we were constantly hovering over the kids. The kids left home and now we’re looking to hover over something else. And so we wind up doing it over pets.”

But will the beautiful relationship last? Pet ownership rates tend to drop among people in their golden years. And boomers are starting to hit retirement age, with the oldest boomers turning 66 this year. The pet industry is already looking years ahead to when aging boomers eventually could be tempted — or forced — to give up high-maintenance dogs and cats because of fixed incomes, smaller homes or physical limitations. Routine veterinarian care alone can run $248 a year for a dog, according to an industry survey.


Glucose Monitors To Treat Diabetes In Animals

Animals are most likely to be diagnosed with diabetes just like humans. In fact, the trend is increasing, which is why veterinarians are developing tools used by diabetic humans to treat our feline and canine companions.
Now vets are using human tool such as the glucose monitor to develop treatments for Fido and Mittens. This monitor is surgically implanted under the animal's skin and tracks the concentration of glucose in the blood. So, just like in humans, pets with high blood glucose levels experience extreme thirst, frequent urination and fatigue. Thus, if not treated, high blood sugar can cause blindness and kidney failure.
These glucose monitors can give continuous tracking of blood glucose and the insulin level response to drugs, meals and exercise, both for animals and humans. Earlier, vets had to keep track of the insulin and glucose levels by keeping the animal at the clinic, which caused the animal stress. Stress, in turn affected the over all reading and gave in accurate tracking results. Thus, these monitors are much more useful, accurate and give the reading in a natural environment without causing trouble or stress to the animal.
I guess these glucose monitors are wonderful form of treatment and most animal lovers will find them very useful. I wish we would have these in our part of the world where medical facilities and treatment for animals are minimal.

To read more: http://bethevoiceofangels.blogspot.com/


If You Feed Sweet Potato Treats to Your Pet, Please Read This!

It seems there’s another dog snack from China to worry about: sweet potato treats.

According to the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) 1, vets are now reporting health problems linked to sweet potato treats similar to those related to chicken jerky treats also made in China.

Test results on sick dogs show kidney problems similar to the symptoms of Fanconi syndrome. Most dogs recover, but there have been some deaths related to the chicken jerky treat problem.

Symptoms may show up within hours or days after a treat is eaten and include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and increased thirst and urination.

If you’ve fed your dog either chicken jerky treats or sweet potato treats made in China and your pet has fallen ill, I recommend you contact your veterinarian – especially if the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours or are severe.

Pet Treats to Steer Clear Of

The brands currently implicated in the sweet potato treat problem are:

  • Beefeaters Sweet Potato Snacks for Dogs (16 varieties of yam-related treats)
  • Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Yam Good Dog Treats (Nestlé Purina)
  • Drs. Foster and Smith (exact item not specified)
  • Dogswell Veggie Life Vitality (4 varieties)

Keep in mind that although the problem treats are often identified as “jerky” treats, they also go by a host of other names, including tenders, strips, chips, wraps, twists, and several others.

Per Poisoned Pets 2, in 2010 the FDA found that a sweet potato dog treat made by a certain company in China was contaminated with phorate, a highly toxic pesticide.

There is speculation there could be problems with pork treats and cat treats imported from China as well.

For more information on why you need to be vigilant about reading pet food labels, making phone calls to manufacturers, and really doing your homework on what you’re feeding your dog or cat, read my article Pet Food and China - More Cause for Concern?

If You Feed Your Pet Commercially Prepared Treats …

PLEASE don't buy any treat made in China. Not chicken jerky treats, chicken tenders, chicken strips, chicken treats or sweet potato treats. Play it safe. Buy only food and treats made in the U.S. Buying pet food made in this country won't remove all risk of winding up with a tainted product, but it will certainly improve your chances of keeping your pet safe.

Consider making your own sweet potato treats at home. Try to buy produce locally and make sure to wash the sweet potatoes or yams thoroughly. Then slice them nice and thin, arrange on a baking sheet, and cook in a 300º oven for about 45 minutes. Let the slices cool and store them in plastic bags.

For homemade chicken jerky treats, buy some boneless chicken breasts, clean them, and slice into long, thin strips – the thinner the better. Place the strips on a greased or non-stick cookie sheet and bake them for at least three hours at 180 degrees. The low temp dries the chicken out slowly and the strips wind up nice and chewy. Let the strips cool, and then store them in plastic bags or another airtight container. You can also freeze them.


   The Scary Truth About “Free to a Good Home” Dog Classifieds

Every responsible dog owner or pet parent knows that getting a dog is a life-long commitment. From the moment you open your heart and home to a loyal dog, you’re in it for the long haul, through sickness and health, ups and downs, good and bad, through snuggles on the couch to picking up the pieces of yet another pair of shredded shoes.

Responsible dog owners make decisions with their dog in mind. We don’t move to a new home without making sure the furkids are welcomed in the new community, we don’t spend frivolously without making sure the dog is cared for first, and, when times get tough, we’ll skip a meal so that the dog still gets his.

Unfortunately, not all dog owners are responsible. Close to 4 million dogs enter rescue shelters each year in the United States alone, with about 60% of these facing euthanasia. Shelters and animal rescues are busting at the seams as a direct result of irresponsible pet ownership.

Still, even responsible dog owners can sometimes find themselves searching for a good home for their beloved pet. Unexpected circumstances, illness, injury, death, economic collapse. Things happen.

Because our rescues and shelters are packed full, responsible pet owners have an increasingly tough time finding a good home for their pets and are turning to direct-to-consumer classified ads, like Craigslist or the local newspaper, thinking that they’re doing the right thing for their dog. Sometimes, a good Samaritan finds a stray dog and, rather than call animal control and risk the dog being euthanized, will put up a classified ad to find a new home.

To read the rest: http://www.dogingtonpost.com/the-scary-truth-about-free-to-a-good-home-dog-classifieds/

How to avoid you or you dog from being shocked by ordinary street lamp posts and other metal on our streets.

You're Looking At A Likely Shock Scenario In The Making


Miami, Florida

The Sunshine State leads the United States with the highest average of contact voltage episodes per year, surging in June

Summer And Winter Risk: Shockings occur year-round, but evidence indicates that the most hazardous time is in the winter after snow falls and in the summer after heavy rains.  The winter incidents are likely when melted snow mixed with salt-based deicers form a saline solution and conduction path from defective or tampered cables and equipment, usually several days after the snowfall. Summer events usually happen when water builds up or ponds around and infiltrates damaged or defective equipment. Eyeball the Block & Avoid a Shock Pedestrians — Take just a few seconds to survey the immediate surroundings and make your trajectory toward a non-conductive surface, i.e., plastic, wood, cardboard, rather than risking any metal or electrical fixture.  Dog Walkers — The lowly, freestanding garbage bag, is you and your dog's best friend, most of the time, unless it's snowed and salted. 
  Contact Voltage is a chronic hidden hazard that can cause injury or death to unsuspecting pedestrians, dog walkers, and their pets. Be aware that any metal or electrical street fixture may present a potential hazard, if the street itself or its above ground electrical equipment is damaged.  A fixture may be pernicious in spite of appearing visibly intact or in the case of lights, illuminated.   While moisture from rain, ice, snow, or extreme heat can pose the greatest likelihood of a shocking, the risk occurs irrespective of external conditions.  In sum, pedestrians are urged to be on guard and attempt to make more prudent, free standing, non-conductive contact whenever possible.

Avoid tying your dog's leash or leaning/locking your bike onto a lamppost which may appear intact, even unilluminated, but could possibly be leaking voltage.  Non-conductive objects and surfaces, unless salted, are always safer options year-round for you and your dog. Lamppost poles and their compartments are a possible source of shock as thieves and vandals can easily access the electrical connections at their base. Pedestrians should be aware that an ajar or missing panel or one with a protuberant plug constitute significant warnings of tampering/risk.  When the photo cell is damaged internally, a lamppost compartment can leak voltage ... whether or NOT it is illuminated, even when appearing to be fully intact.

Other Ways to help avoid shocking: All footwear provides some insulation, but none guarantees protection.  Open-toed shoes and sandals provide the least safety.  While shoes offer a protective barrier and rubber provides a greater likelihood of voltage deflection than leather or other permeable materials, none precludes shocking.  The only guaranteed insulation may be found in specialty shoes constructed to insure a greater buffer, but even power workers sporadically inspect their shoes for surety.

Dog booties are a no-no: Dog booties may become saturated and will not protect your pooch. In fact, canine shoes may actually INCREASE THE CHANCE OF A SHOCKING if water logged.  A person can complain of leaky boots, a dog can't! Further, the dog booties safety issue is beyond the claim of being "waterproof" as any electrical surety would also require durability and resistance to punctures which would permit liquids to permeate their composition.  The lining may or may not hold water, and without lab testing, it is disingenous to suggest impermeability.   Further, even after testing, the boots must be checked constantly for damage.  Every time an electrical lineman puts on gloves, the technician folds them to trap air and then squeezes the fingers to see if, in fact, any air escapes.  If they do, then there is a hole somewhere and the gloves are discarded.  And if electricians vouchsafe their accessories, then the walker must also do so for the vulnerable dog.   Washing a dogs' paws with warm water once indoors and after exposure to deicers or merely staying indoors with restroom products, pads, or even just newspapers are better alternatives than the false security of canine shoes. Please note that at present, booties' materials and recommended Musher's Wax, merely shield against conventional externals: cold, moisture, and rock salt.

For more information: http://www.streetzaps.com/safety.htm


Keeping Your Dog Safe Preventing Pet Theft


It is estimated that more than 2 million pets go missing each year. Yet, unlike missing children, of which more than 96 percent are recovered, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, national pet organizations have estimated that fewer than 10 percent of pets are found. In fact, the National Lost & Found Pet Database claims the recovery rates decrease drastically when pets are not located within the first days. Animals are being kidnapped at a startling rate throughout the country creating a pet theft epidemic where dogs are stolen and sold to the highest-paying client – often the research industry. This multi-billion dollar industry has many types of thieves who want to steal pets, so if you’re out for a walk, at the dog park or even in your own backyard, it is important to keep your dog safe.
Here are some precautions to heed so that your pet doesn’t end up a statistic:


• Never leave your dog unattended. Your dog is in greatest danger when left alone in a place where he/she can be taken. In many jurisdictions, this practice is also illegal.
• Padlock your fenced yard. This measure places an extra burden on a thief who might otherwise walk into your yard and off with your dog. And even at home, be sure to and keep your dog out of view of passersby.
• Do not include your dog’s name on his name tag. Your dog may be more inclined to leave with a thief who calls him/her by name.
• Microchip and tattoo your dog. While dogs are often required to wear rabies and license/registration tags, these tags can be easily removed by a pet thief. A microchip, being approximately the same size as a grain of rice, can be injected just beneath your dog’s skin and is thereby invisible to a prospective thief. A scanning device may then be used to check your dog electronic identification information. While procedures and requirements for microchip scanning vary among state and local governments, many shelters have adopted procedures for scanning animals prior to transfer or euthanasia. For those institutions not equipped with the proper scanning technology, a tattoo including your personal identification information, and/or your dog’s purebred registration numbers (if applicable), can be placed inside his/her thigh or on his/her belly. Like the microchip, a tattoo is a permanent form of identification. Reputable medical research labs fear the repercussions associated with pet theft and will likely refuse to accept animals with registered tattoos and microchips.
• Register your information. Unregistered microchips and tattoos will be useless to authorities attempting to reunite you with your dog.
• Spay and/or neuter your dog. Not only are mandatory spay/neuter ordinances becoming the law in many cities and counties but also spaying/neutering your pet eliminates the resale value of your dog to an illegal breeder. Depending upon their experimental needs, medical research labs may be less likely to accept animals that have been altered.
• Keep tabs on your community. If you suspect that an animal hoarder or dog fighter lives in your area, inform your neighbors and the authorities. If such persons are found, seek the assistance of local no-kill shelters for rehabilitation and re-homing of the animal victims. While you may not be able to prevent unscrupulous individuals from stealing animals, you can take steps to protect your own dog.


For more information: Anna Morrison-Ricordati
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Rabbit chin

Did you know that rabbits are wonderful indoor companions? They are quiet, clean, affectionate animals who can easily be litter box trained! My House Rabbit is dedicated to celebrating house rabbits and educating the public about rabbit care and behavior. You can find information about creating a safe, welcoming environment for your rabbit and gain some insight into bunny behavior, so you will better understand your rabbit's needs.

 Taking Your House Rabbit Outdoors

  • It is very tempting to take your house rabbit outside in the sunny weather, but be careful in doing so. While taking your rabbit outside for short, structured and supervised visits, be sure to consider the following tips. [Read more]

  • Thinking About Getting a Pet Rabbit?

  • Rabbits make wonderful indoor pets. They are adorable and brimming with personality. But before you swoop into the shelter and pick out a cutie, there are a few things you should know to ensure a rabbit is right for you and your family. [Read more] http://www.myhouserabbit.com/


Natural Flea Control

Controlling fleas indoors

 Fleas in the home can be easily and effectively eradicated without the use of poisons. The age-old scourge of fleas, usually associated with pet dogs or cats, can affect any home. And while chemical-based flea treatments can be effective, they may pose health hazards to occupants as well as pets. Natural and non-toxic flea control methods are safer options.

Groom house pets and check for fleas

Combing your cat or dog daily with a flea comb is an important part of flea control. Bathing animals regularly is also advised. There is no need to use chemical flea shampoos. A water bath with a gentle soap that won't irritate their skin is sufficient to eliminate existing fleas.  The best way to check your pet for fleas is to comb your pet with a fine-toothed flea comb – especially over the lower back near the tail base. You may pick up an adult flea, or you may collect black, pepper-like material. To determine if this black material is flea feces, place the debris on a white paper towel and add a drop of water. If it is flea feces, you will see a reddish-brown stain develop around the “pepper” – since flea feces is actually digested blood.

Set a trap

You can trap fleas by placing a dish of soapy water under a night light near where your pet sleeps. Fleas are attracted to warm light and will drown in the soapy water. This works for adult fleas only, but with diligence, can be effective reducing the flea population. Fleas already residing on your pet aren't likely to leave, so you will still need to flea comb and/or bathe them in a mild shampoo (even a baby shampoo will work as fleas don't survive well in soapy water).

If you'd like to read more on fleas, they have many other natural ways to help indoors and outside:

Guidance On Caring For A Blind Dog


Adopting a non-seeing dog or caring for a dog who’s going blind may be less worrisome – and more rewarding than you might think. Here’s some sound advice (and a few nifty tricks) to put both you and your pooch on sure footing. – Global Animal

I have a bichon frise that’s going blind. I’ve heard of dogs being trained to help as a seeing-eye dog for their “siblings.”Do you have any advice on how we can do this? The dog going blind is 6 and has been with us since birth. The other bichon frise is a rescue dog that gets along with her “sister” well.

It’s great that you are already planning on ways to help your pet adjust to the changes in vision. Here’s a link to a story on Paw Nation that is just exactly what you’’re asking about, i.e. one dog in the household being the guide dog for a dog who is blind. There are some things you can do to get started. Remember, your blind dog will now see the world through the other senses of smell, touch, and hearing.

1. Establish a daily schedule with routines so the blind dog knows what is about to happen. This includes keeping meal times, play and exercise time, and bedtime routines fairly consistent. It is also important to keep everyday objects in their same places (e.g. the blind dog’s food dish or bed is always to the right of the other dog's).

2. Be sure to use verbal cues throughout the day to tell the blind dog what is happening. For example, “Let's go for a walk!” or “Time for dinner!”

3. Have the helper dog wear tags or a bell on her collar so the blind dog can hear when she is nearby or is approaching.

4. You can play games with both dogs that engage other senses such as using toys that have bells, or involve finding treats.

5. Take both dogs for walks together so the blind dog can follow (or be next to) the scent of the sighted dog. You could try a coupler, a short piece of leash that joins two dogs, and eventually fade this once your blind dog knows the drill.

6. Teach the sighted dog the command, ”Go get (use the dog’s name here).” If the sighted dog is clueless the first time you say this, you can start a few feet away, give the command, and take the dog to the blind dog. Over time, you will get further away (in behavioral terms, this is called shaping), until you can send the dog across the room to the blind dog. Then, you can call both dogs to come to you.

7. If your dogs don’t come when called, teach this behavior to one dog at a time with a treat. AKC Canine Good Citizen training will teach basic skills such as coming when called. For more advanced skills (such as the “go get sister” command), consider getting one-on-one help with a Canine Good Citizen trainer near you.

Good luck! It sounds like you have two great dogs.


For a true account of one person’s experience adopting a blind dog, see this heart-warming story:  Woman Gains Insight From Adopted Blind Dog


Yellow Ribbon Warning   “Please don’t touch my dog.”                

      By Terri Crisp, SPCA International staff

How many times have you walked down the street, passing one person after another, without saying a word to one of them? Plenty I’m sure. It’s often a different situation though when the person approaching you on the street has a dog with them. Then you usually stop and say something - at least to the dog.

Not every dog that you see out for a walk on a leash is a dog that welcomes a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ear though. It’s not necessarily because they are mean, but rather some dogs just don’t like “strangers” stepping into their space. It may be that the dog has fear issues, has just been through a traumatic experience or they are not up to speed yet on good dog manners. How do you know this though?

A dog can’t say, “Keep back,” so it’s up to the person walking them to say repeatedly, “Please don’t touch my dog.” However, there is also the person that wants to take their dog for a walk but does not want to broadcast the fact their dog has some issues. Some people feel this is a negative reflection on them not being able to control their dog.

Even when a person is warned, not everyone listens though, especially children that get extra excited when encountering a dog. To them, the dog is a friend to run up to and hug. When a parent is present, they will try to grab a child’s hand or jacket if they hear the owner’s warning, but sometimes they’re not fast enough. Sadly, that’s when children are putting themselves at risk of getting hurt or even bit. When this happens, the dog can be labeled vicious and that usually puts an end to their public walks or even their life.

We encounter lots of warnings in our daily life – red lights at an intersection means stop, a barricade across a sidewalk is there to direct us to find a safer route and a Watch Your Step sign means there is reason to go slow or else you might end up falling. At an early age, we are taught to pay attention to these kinds of warnings for our own protection. To ensure the message is easy to understand, universally recognized symbols are usually used.

Now there is a new warning and it’s quickly becoming recognized here in the United States and in an ever-growing number of other countries. It’s a yellow ribbon prominently tied to a dog’s leash. What this ribbon says is, “Dog needs space – do not approach.”

The ribbon can be seen from a distance, giving anyone approaching a clear warning to not approach the dog or make any contact with it. When adhered to, this reduces the dog and the walker’s stress levels and potentially keeps a passerby from being unnecessarily frightened or possibly bitten.

There are dogs though that should not be walked in public because they have been confirmed to be repeatedly dangerous and unpredictable. Putting a yellow ribbon on their leash is not appropriate. The dogs that have a yellow ribbon on their leash should be ones that are in the process of being trained or their desire to be “left alone” is only temporary, and when strangers keep their distance, they are fine in public places.

How To De-Skunk Your Dog

The Human Society of the United States

If your dog has a chance encounter with Pepe Le Pew, would you know what to do? Skunks are everywhere—in the country and in the city—and if your dog gets sprayed, there are a few ways you can rid him of the scent without using your entire ketchup supply to do it. Over-the-counter products like Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover, are a quick fix, but if you don’t have a de-skunking product on hand, try the following:

Step 1: Keep Fido Outside. Keep your dog outside after he’s been sprayed so he doesn’t carry the smell into your house. Check his eyes and if they’re irritated or red, immediately rinse them with cold water.

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients. Use rubber gloves to wash your dog immediately after he’s been sprayed. Use a mixture of:

  • 1 quart, 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap

Do not save this mixture or make it ahead of time, as it could explode if left in a bottle. If you don’t have all these ingredients on hand, use vinegar diluted with water.

Step 3: Clean and Rinse. Rub the mixture through your dog’s fur, but don’t leave it on him too long (peroxide can bleach his fur). Rinse him thoroughly.

Step 4: Shampoo. Next, wash your dog with a mild pet shampoo and rinse him thoroughly. By now, he should be de-skunked and smelling sweet.

Bonus Tip: If the dog rubbed some of the stink on you, you can rid your clothes of the smell by using regular laundry detergent mixed with a 1/2 cup baking soda.


How To Crate Train Your Dog

Crate training a dog can help in the process of house training, and can keep your dog feeling safe and happy during frightening events like thunderstorms. It can also protect your belongings from a curious puppy’s mouth. Read on to learn how to train your dog to crate. — Global Animal

Crating philosophy

Crate training uses a dog’s natural instincts as a den animal. A wild dog’s den is his home, a place to sleep, hide from danger, and raise a family. The crate becomes your dog’s den, an ideal spot to snooze or take refuge during a thunderstorm.

Don’t leave your dog in the crate too long.  A dog that’s crated day and night doesn’t get enough exercise or human interaction and can become depressed or anxious. You may have to change your schedule, hire a pet sitter, or take your dog to a doggie daycare facility to reduce the amount of time he must spend in his crate every day.

  • Puppies under six months of age shouldn’t stay in a crate for more than three or four hours at a time. They can’t control their bladders and bowels for that long.  The same goes for adult dogs that are being housetrained.  Physically, they can hold it, but they don’t know they’re supposed to.
  • Crate your dog only until you can trust him not to destroy the house. After that, it should be a place he goes voluntarily.

Selecting a crate

Several types of crates are available:

  • Plastic (often called “flight kennels”)
  • Fabric on a collapsible, rigid frame
  • Collapsible, metal pens

Crates come in different sizes and can be purchased at most pet supply stores or pet supply catalogs. Your dog’s crate should be just large enough for him to stand up and turn around in. If your dog is still growing, choose a crate size that will accommodate his adult size. Block off the excess crate space so your dog can’t eliminate at one end and retreat to the other. Your local animal shelter may rent out crates.  By renting, you can trade up to the appropriate size for your puppy until he’s reached his adult size, when you can invest in a permanent crate.

The crate training process

Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog’s age, temperament and past experiences. It’s important to keep two things in mind while crate training:

  • The crate should always be associated with something pleasant.
  • Training should take place in a series of small steps. Don’t go too fast.

Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate

Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at his leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away.  If yours isn’t one of them:

  • Bring him over to the crate, and talk to him in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won’t hit your dog and frighten him.
  • Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If he refuses to go all the way in at first, that’s okay; don’t force him to enter.
  • Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If he isn’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days.

Step 2: Feed your dog his meals in the crate

After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding him his regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate.

  • If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate.
  • If he remains reluctant to enter the crate, put the dish only as far inside as he will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed him, place the dish a little further back in the crate.
  • Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat his meal, you can close the door while he’s eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as he finishes his meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until he’s staying in the crate for ten minutes or so after eating.
  • If he begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving him in the crate for a shorter time period. If he does whine or cry in the crate, don’t let him out until he stops. Otherwise, he’ll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so he’ll keep doing it.

Step 3: Lengthen the crating periods

After your dog is eating his regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine him there for short time periods while you’re home.

  • Call him over to the crate and give him a treat.
  • Give him a command to enter, such as “kennel.” Encourage him by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand.
  • After your dog enters the crate, praise him, give him the treat, and close the door.
  • Sit quietly near the crate for five to ten minutes, and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time, and then let him out of the crate.
  • Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave him in the crate and the length of time you’re out of his sight.
  • Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving him crated when you’re gone for short time periods and/or letting him sleep there at night. This may take several days or several weeks.

Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave

After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving him crated for short periods when you leave the house.

  • Put him in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave him with a few safe toys in the crate.
  • Vary at what point in your “getting ready to leave” routine you put your dog in the crate. Although he shouldn’t be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate him anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving.
  • Don’t make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give him a treat for entering the crate, and then leave quietly.

When you return home, don’t reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to him in an excited, enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low key to avoid increasing his anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you’re home so he doesn’t associate crating with being left alone.

Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night

Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night, and you’ll want to be able to hear your puppy when he whines to be let outside. Older dogs, too, should initially be kept nearby so they don’t associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with his crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

Potential problems

Whining. If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether he’s whining to be let out of the crate, or whether he needs to be let outside to eliminate. If you’ve followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn’t been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from his crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, he’ll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at him or pounding on the crate will only make things worse.

If the whining continues after you’ve ignored him for several minutes, use the phrase he associates with going outside to eliminate. If he responds and becomes excited, take him outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you’re convinced that your dog doesn’t need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore him until he stops whining. Don’t give in; if you do, you’ll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what he wants. If you’ve progressed gradually through the training steps and haven’t done too much too fast, you’ll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.

Separation Anxiety. Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won’t solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but he may injure himself in an attempt to escape from the crate. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counter-conditioning and desensitization procedures. You may want to consult a professional animal-behavior specialist for help.




Is Your Dog Overindulging This Season? Watch Out for Pancreatitis

Sick dog

’Tis the season for family gatherings, gift giving and food galore. Veterinarians know this is also the season for canine pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), a painful, potentially life-threatening condition most commonly caused by overindulgence in foods that are particularly rich or fatty. And what kitchen isn’t overflowing with such foods this time of year?

What Is the Pancreas?

The pancreas is a thin, boomerang-shaped, delicate-appearing organ that resides in the abdominal cavity, tucked up against the stomach and small intestine. Though the pancreas may be diminutive in appearance, its actions are mighty! It is the body’s source of insulin (necessary for controlling blood sugar levels) as well as digestive enzymes, which are necessary for proper absorption of nutrients. When pancreatitis is chronic or particularly severe, this little factory sometimes permanently closes down, resulting in diabetes mellitus and/or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, requiring insulin injections and digestive enzyme replacement therapy, respectively.

When a dog eats, enzymes are released from the pancreas into the small intestine where they are activated for food digestion. Sometimes, for reasons we do not fully understand, these enzymes are activated within the pancreas itself, resulting in the inflammation of pancreatitis. In addition to eating rich or fatty foods, other known causes of pancreatitis include hormonal imbalances, inherited defects in fat metabolism and some medications. For some affected dogs, an underlying cause is never found. Symptoms associated with pancreatitis are variable but may include vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and decreased activity and appetite.

How a Vet Diagnoses Pancreatitis

Short of performing a pancreatic biopsy (a surgical procedure), diagnosing pancreatitis can be challenging, because noninvasive tests are fraught with false-negative and false-positive results. Veterinarians must rely on a combination of the following:

  • A history of dietary indiscretion, vomiting and lethargy.
  • Physical examination findings (particularly abdominal pain).
  • Characteristic complete blood cell count (CBC) and blood chemistry abnormalities.
  • A positive or elevated Spec cPL (canine pancreas-specific lipase) blood test.
  • Characteristic abnormalities found on an abdominal ultrasound.

Treatment of Pancreatitis

There is no cure for pancreatitis — much like a bruise, the inflammation must resolve on its own. Treatment consists of hospitalization for the administration of intravenous fluids, antibiotics to prevent secondary infection or abscess formation, and injectable medications to control vomiting, pain and stomach acid secretion. Affected dogs should ideally be monitored around the clock for the life-threatening complications that sometimes accompany pancreatitis, such as kidney failure, heart rhythm abnormalities, respiratory distress and bleeding disorders. If your dog has pancreatitis, count on a minimum of two to three days of hospitalization and be sure to ask who will be caring for your dog during the night.

At-home treatment for pancreatitis typically involves feeding a low-fat or fat-free diet. This may be a life-long recommendation, particularly if your dog has been a repeat offender. Most dogs fully recover with appropriate therapy; however, some succumb to complications associated with pancreatitis.

Preventing Pancreatitis

  1. When in doubt, check with your veterinarian before offering human food to your pet. This is especially true if your pet is on a special diet or has an existing medical condition.
  2. If you feel you must give holiday foods, do so sparingly and only if well-tolerated by your dog’s gastrointestinal tract and waistline. Keep in mind that whether offered a teaspoon or a tablespoon of something delicious, most dogs will gulp it down in the same amount of time and reap the same psychological benefit.
  3. Don’t offer tidbits from the table while you are eating. This is a setup for bad behavior. Offer the treat only after you’ve left the table.
  4. Most importantly, if you shouldn’t be eating the food yourself (emphasis on shouldn’t), please don’t feed it to your dog! By all means, give your precious pup a bit of turkey breast but without the skin attached and unaccompanied by fat-laden sour cream mashed potatoes and gravy. Remember, most dogs are so darned excited about getting a treat, they don’t care what it is, only that they’re getting it!

Some people dream of sugarplum fairies, a white Christmas and stress-free family gatherings. I’m dreaming of a holiday season in which not a single dog develops pancreatitis!

To read more: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/is-your-dog-overindulging-this-season-watch-out-for-pancreatitis?WT.mc_id=Email;NewsLetter;Petwire;Dec-20;Article3

Heart Murmurs in Pets May Be a Sign of More Serious Medical Conditions

Like humans, your pet may be at risk for heart disease, and it’s important to recognize the signs of potentially dangerous heart conditions. Some heart diseases in pets may begin with a murmur—an abnormal heart sound caused by turbulent blood flow—heard through a stethoscope. A kitten the ASPCA rescued last fall in a Brooklyn hoarding case, was just one month old when veterinarians at the ASPCA Animal Hospital (AAH) discovered she had a heart murmur. An echocardiogram a specialized ultrasound of the heart showed the left and right heart chambers were dilated. She was placed in a foster home and rechecked a few months later, when a follow-up echocardiogram showed that Cherry’s heart had normalized.  

“Heart murmurs are often our earliest warning that a heart condition may be present,” says Dr. Sharon Huston, a veterinary cardiologist often called on by the ASPCA Animal Hospital to provide cardiac consultations. But not all murmurs reveal the same prognosis. “In dogs, murmurs are more accurate predictors of the presence of heart disease,” said Dr. Huston. “But cats are more like people: the presence or absence of a murmur is not as accurate a predictor. Some cats with severe heart disease have no murmur at all, while most dogs with heart disease have a murmur.”

An echocardiogram performed by a veterinary cardiologist is necessary to determine whether heart disease is present and requires treatment."Unlike heart disease in humans, cholesterol and obesity don’t contribute to heart disease in animals,” said Dr. Huston. “Although there are situations where improper diet can lead to heart disease, most cardiac conditions in dogs and cats are genetic, and different breeds are prone to different heart problems.”

In addition, Dr. Huston says heart conditions in dogs and cats that are caused by emaciation or inappropriate food—often identified by the ASPCA in neglect or cruelty cases—can be resolved with proper care.  In cats, a heart murmur can indicate disease of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), the most commonly-acquired heart disease in cats.

“Studies suggest that 30 to 50% of cats with a murmur have structural heart disease,” says Dr. Huston. “10% of all dogs have heart disease, which increases to over 60% with advanced age.” In dogs, a heart murmur may indicate a leaky valve, abnormalities of the heart muscle, congenital heart disease or a non-cardiac condition like anemia. Congestive heart failure, which occurs when the heart muscle isn’t pumping blood as effectively as it should, is the most common emergency caused by heart disease in pets. Those animals require hospitalization and 24/7 monitoring and oxygen therapy.

Signs of congestive heart failure in cats include a fast breathing rate, difficulty breathing, fainting, weakness, lethargy, hiding and a decreased appetite. Often times, cats will experience a sudden crisis, such as paralysis or collapse, which can be caused by a blood clot. In dogs, signs may be more gradual, like a cough (especially a cough at rest), rapid breathing, fainting, lethargy or exercise intolerance. “Congestive heart failure is a treatable condition,” says Dr. Huston. “With proper management, pets can continue to live good lives at home with their families.”


Animal Poison Control Alert: The Dangers of Moldy Food

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) handles thousands of cases of animal poisoning resulting from plants, pills and other ingested items every year. But not all pet poisons are so apparent—in fact, one major risk may be lurking where you least expect it: On food.

To arm you with potentially life-saving information, APCC wants to educate pet parents about the dangers of moldy food. Food mold, also known as Penicillium spp, is a fungus that grows on aging food. It is often visible to the naked eye, and, if ingested, can make a pet very ill.

While mold on dog food should certainly be avoided, the real danger occurs when pets get into household trash or eat garbage outside, including compost piles and moldy nuts or fruits that have fallen from trees. Fungal neurotoxins on old food can make your four-legged friend very ill. Common signs that your dog has eaten mold include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Elevated body temperature

Symptoms can last 24-48 hours, and can be life-threatening if left untreated. Available treatments are primarily focused on controlling the tremors and keeping the pet cool and hydrated, however, the best way to protect your pet is to not let them eat moldy food at all. Keep an eye on your dog at all times, especially when outside, and avoid leaving your dog outside of your yard unattended.

If your dog is observed eating moldy food, contact your vet or APCC immediately to learn the correct action to take. Onset of signs can be very rapid, so if your dog is showing symptoms, take him to a veterinary clinic immediately.

If you think that your pet is ill or may have ingested any poisonous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 immediately!

Resource: http://www.aspca.org/blog/animal-poison-control-alert-the-dangers-of-moldy-food


Winter Weather Hazards – Rock Salt & Antifreeze Can Kill Pets!

Friends, it’s getting on to that time of the year in many part, cold, freezing weather and snow. And to combat the snow and ice many localities spread rock salt. That’s all well and good for safety travel, driving and walking but not so good for our furbabies.  Antifreeze is also another winter weather precaution. When walking they can easily pick it up on their paws and then lick their paw or coat. Consuming rock salt can cause dehydration, liver failure and pancreatitis.

Symptoms of consuming rock salt – which contains the same ingredient as table salt, sodium chloride, but also has harmful chemicals such as magnesium – include burns to the mouth and throat and excessive salivating and drinking.

Another cold weather danger is anti-freeze. Although some manufacturers are making it “pet-friendly”, but regular anti-freeze contains Ethylene glycol as the main ingredient in almost all major antifreeze brands. It has an inviting aroma, a sweet flavor. Its appealing smell and taste often tempt animals and children to drink the highly poisonous substance. It only takes a few tablespoons of highly toxic antifreeze to seriously jeopardize an animal’s life.

The symptoms of ingesting anti-freeze include vomiting, seizures, appearing sleepy and a heightened breathing rate. For safety, be sure to wipe pet’s paws after a walk when there’s a chance of salt and keep away from any area there may be antifreeze.  You should contact a vet immediately if you suspect that you pet may have been in contact with these substances or if you see any warning signs or symptoms.

‘The sooner they are treated, the better their chances of surviving.

Physical Therapy for Pets

I received an e-mail from Cathryn and she volunteers with a youth group where they have different activities for local kids. They are having a pet care event next weekend in honor of Animal Safety and Protection Month. One of the kids in my group, named Sara, found a great resource on physical therapy for pets and asked if I could put this on my website as a great resource. Sara is actually in physical therapy herself and thought it showed how pets are just like us! Sara, I agree with you !! This is a great resource.


Physical Therapy for Pets

Our pets take care of us in many capacities. Humans who have a companion animal generally have better cardiovascular health, a decreased likelihood of depression, reduced stress, and more social interactions. Pets have a tangible impact on our overall well-being. In recent years, doctors and physical therapists have even used pets to help humans rehabilitate in what's called animal-assisted therapy, or AAT. They are now a staple for many therapies and treatments. Dogs, cats, horses, and other animals tend to be very good for our well-being, but what about them? Sometimes, our pets need the rehabilitation services that humans have the luxury to have access to.

Physical therapy for pets, or animal rehabilitation, is about applying the basic principles of physical therapy for the increased function, mobility, and overall quality of life of animals. Most commonly used on dogs, this kind of therapy is known to help decrease chronic pain and help rehabilitate injured pets. With proper knowledge of anatomy, this practice can be applied to many different kinds of pets, from dogs to horses to cats to rabbits to even birds. The overall benefits of this treatment have been recognized by many veterinarians, but there has been recent growth in this field to try to help dogs heal. That field is also known as canine physical therapy.

Common ailments it treats include joint, spinal cord, and soft tissue injuries, osteoarthritis and pain, inflammation, hip and elbow dysplasia, and other conditions from old age. It can help with most neuromuscular or muscular dysfunctions resulting from surgery, overuse of the limb, or chronic pain. Because dogs and cats can't tell us that they're in pain, it may be hard to tell when they need help. If a veterinarian has diagnosed your pet with any of these issues, it may be time to have a conversation with them about these options. However, there may be other indicators of your pet's need for treatment. For instance, if an animal walks with an unusual gait, that can sometimes be an indication of the kind of pain physical therapy can help with. Also, if a pet is obese, physical therapy can be used to ease the dog or cat into regular exercise without hurting it.

These ailments can be dealt with by using a variety of different physical therapy treatment options. The most commonly employed options include massage and passive range of motion (or PROM). This is somewhat like passive exercise, where a professional moves the joints and muscles of the animal to promote a higher range of motion. Like physical therapy for humans, physical therapy for pets also can employ a variety of different exercises to promote balance and coordination. One of the most helpful forms of therapy (and the cutest to watch) involves using an underwater treadmill, which allows injured pets to explore the full range of motion while running without the damaging pull of gravity. Electrical stimulation, where low currents stimulate muscles to combat pain, is also sometimes used.

Because pets cannot communicate like humans through speaking, it's recommended to find someone who is clearly a professional. Pet physical therapists require intricate knowledge of that animal's anatomy along with years of expertise. If you plan to help your dog, the physical therapist in question should either be a CCRP (certified canine rehabilitation practitioner) or a CVT (certified veterinary technician) under the supervision of a CCRP. Regardless of who you go to, be sure that the practitioner is recommended and referred by your veterinarian. Few colleges offer these specific programs, but due to the growth of this field, hopefully, many more will learn this science and art.

Learn more about physical therapy for dogs, cats, and horses with the resources below:

Sara & Resource: http://www.physicaltherapists.com/articles/physical-therapy-for-pets.html

   Springtime Safety Tips


Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts inevitably turn to Easter celebrations, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. But the new balmy weather can prove not-so-sunny for curious pets—or their unwitting parents. Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of potential springtime hazards for your delicate, furry friend. To help you out, our ASPCA experts have come up with a few seasonal tips that will help prevent mishaps or misfortunes.

  • Easter Treats and Decorations
    Keep Easter lilies and candy bunnies in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to cats, dogs and ferrets, and lilies can be fatal if ingested by our furry friends. And be mindful, kitties love to nibble on colorful plastic grass, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration. Moreover, while bunnies, chicks and other festive animals are adorable, resist the urge to buy—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care!
  • Screen Yourself
    Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk—especially cats, who are apt to jump or fall through un-screened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows. If you have adjustable screens, make sure they are tightly wedged into window frames.
  • Buckle Up!
    While every pet parent knows dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them to ride in the bed of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car windows is dangerous. Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury, or worse! Pets in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seat belt harness designed especially for them.
  • Spring Cleaning
    Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ way! Almost all commercially sold cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to pets. The key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage.
  • Home Improvement 101
    Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.
  • Let Your Garden Grow—With Care
    Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients aren't meant for four-legged consumption and can be fatal if your pet ingests them.  Always store these poisonous products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully. Check out our full list of garden care tips.
  • Poisonous Plants 
    Time to let your garden grow! But beware, many popular springtime plants—including Easter lilies, rhododendron and azaleas—are highly toxic to pets and can easily prove fatal if eaten. Check out our full list—and pics!—of toxic and non-toxic plants for your home and garden.



Natural Treatment for Ear Infection in Dogs



By Jayme Otto, Natural Solutions

Dogs hear the darnedest things, but their ears’ construction makes them especially prone to infection. The ear canal drops down and turns sharply before meeting the eardrum, creating dark, dank grounds for infection-causing bacteria and yeast to overgrow when exposed to moisture, explains Robert Silver, DVM, a holistic veterinarian in Boulder, Colorado. Floppy-eared dogs are even more susceptible because their canals don’t get much airflow to help dry moisture.

If your pup’s prone to infection, after he dunks in the lake or tromps through the snow, Silver suggests using a solution of one part acidic apple cider vinegar and one part astringent witch hazel to lower pH and up the ears’ natural infection-thwarting power. If his canals are inflamed or he’s been scratching, swap witch hazel for non-stinging spring water.

Pour the mixture into the ear canal; fill to the brim, and then compress the canal with your thumb and fingers. Keeping your dog still, vigorously massage the entire length of the canal from the outside–it’s OK to give it a good squeeze. After a few minutes of kneading, let him shake his head, and then clear out any remaining solution with a light towel. Repeat for other ear. Chronic infections may stem from food allergies or sensitivities, so a holistic vet can help make appropriate dietary changes.

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

If you's like to read more on this:



Dogs in Cars Can Cause Risky Behavior Behind the Wheel


Whether it’s a joyride or a long haul, taking your dogs for a drive can be fun for everyone involved—but it’s important always to buckle up your pet. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 30,000 car accidents are caused annually by unrestrained pets. In a recent survey of dog parents by the American Automobile Association (AAA), 59% of respondents admitted to participating in at least one distracting behavior while driving with a dog. More than half pet their dog while driving, and 21% let their dog to sit in their laps.

Any behavior that takes a driver’s eyes off the road increases the risk of a crash, and stopping short can send an unrestrained dog flying, causing severe injury to pet and passengers. The ASPCA urges motoring pet parents to keep their pets safe and secure in the back seat in a well-ventilated crate, carrier, or harness. If you choose a crate or carrier, make sure it’s large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in.

Here are some more tips to keep your end-of-summer road trips festive and injury-free:

  • I myself seat belt in my larger dog by his harness.
  • I also have full coverage on my car and Progressive Insurance offers Vet coverage on my dog in case of an accident and they are hurt.
  • Always secure your pet’s crate so it won’t slide or shift in the event of a quick stop.
  • Resist the urge to feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle—even if it’s during a long ride. 
  • Avoid letting your pet ride with his head outside the car window. He could be injured by flying objects!
  • Bring along a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity and comfort.

For more helpful hints, please visit our Top 10 Tips for Safe Car Travel with Your Pet.



Common Pet Poisons Lurking in Your Garden

       Animal toxins in your home, the ASPCA wants to remind folks to take care when planning (or planting) their springtime gardens, too. Whether you’re blessed with balmy weather already or are patiently awaiting the first day of spring (March 20, holla!), please be mindful of the season’s toxic obstacles for our furry friends.

Last year, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center fielded tens of thousands of calls related to pets who accidentally ingested or came in contact with garden-related products, including insecticides, weed killers and pet-toxic plants. Don’t let your furry beloved become a victim of your green thumb—read our expert tips below.

  • When designing and planting your green space, keep in mind that many popular outdoor plants—including sago palm, rhododendron and azalea—are toxic to cats and dogs, and may cause liver failure or heart problems.
  • When walking your dog, take care to keep Fido off the grass and away from toxic lawn and garden products. Cocoa mulch—a byproduct of chocolate—is especially problematic because it attracts dogs with its sweet smell and can cause them gastrointestinal distress or more serious neurological problems if consumed in large quantities.
  • Always store pesticides in inaccessible areas. The most dangerous forms of pesticides include snail bait with metaldehyde, fly bait with methomyl, insecticides with the ingredients disyston or disulfoton, mole or gopher bait with zinc phosphide, and most forms of rat poisons.
  • Unattended garden tools may seem like no big deal, but rakes, tillers, hoes and trowels can be hazardous to pets and cause trauma to paws, noses or other parts of a curious pet's body. Please leave all unused tools in a safe area, not haphazardly scattered on the ground.

For a complete list of tips, check out our online guide to Pet-Safe Gardening. Now, get thee to a nursery and have a safe spring season!

To read more: http://azstarnet.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/poisons-lurk-in-your-dog-s-domain/article_cbd8009d-c97b-5cd5-a815-2b505c31815a.html


Brewer's Yeast & Tick Prevention


Brewer's yeast, the yeast left over from beer making, has many health benefits. One use has traditionally been to repel fleas and ticks. Though there is little scientific evidence to prove that this works, the idea behind it is sound: brewer's yeast raises the acidity of blood, which repels ticks and fleas. Apple cider vinegar works on the same principle.

    Brewer's Yeast Overview

  1. Brewer's yeast is one of the by-products from making beer: there are many strains of yeast used in beer making, but two of the more common types are Saccharomyces boulardii and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, according to The University of Maryland Medical Center. It has been used as a nutritional supplement for years, and has been proven to help with antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It is high in many of the B-complex vitamins, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, but not in vitamin B12, one of the B vitamins found in red meat and often lacking in a vegetarian diet. Brewer's yeast is also high in chromium and selenium. It is contraindicated for people taking MAO inhibitors, medications commonly prescribed for depression.
  2. Brewer's Yeast and Tick Prevention

  3. You can give brewer's yeast to dogs in tablet form to repel fleas and ticks. They generally like the taste, according to Vetinfo4dogs.com. According to an article on PETA.com, provided by PetMD, brewer's yeast for dogs mixed with garlic is effective in repelling fleas and ticks. The article notes that brewer's yeast alone will work for cats, but that the garlic should be omitted. The evidence that brewer's yeast works is based on either the fact that the B-vitamin complex in the brewer's yeast is beneficial to the animal and boosts its immune system, or that it makes the blood acidic, which repels the fleas and ticks. An article by Rose Marie Williams in the Townsend Newsletter describes the importance of keeping a dog's immune system healthy to keep fleas and ticks away. She notes that it is the old and sick dog that will be infested with fleas. Feeding the animals a good diet, including B-complex vitamins, is one way to keep its immune system healthy. Vetinfo4dogs.com notes that brewer's yeast raises the acidity of the blood. Mixed with garlic, which also repels fleas and ticks due to its smell, this can be an effective repellent. Two Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar added to the dog's water can have the same effect.                                                                                                                           
Read more: Best Way - Brewer's Yeast & Tick Prevention | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/way_5348983_brewers-yeast-tick-prevention.html#ixzz0rP6A7jo6


There is also another solution I know of too: Liquid soap
Subject: Tick removal I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great, because it works in those places where it's some times difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc.
Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20), the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.  This technique has worked every time I've used it (and that was frequently), and it's much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me.

Heat Wave Spells Death for ‘Backyard’ Dogs... 

       Dogs who are left unattended in back yards, even for a few minutes, face danger every day of the year. They are abducted, poisoned, and beaten,and they suffer from stress and loneliness. In the winter, they suffer from frostbite, hypothermia, and dehydration.

What Climbing Temperatures Mean for Dogs. The “dog days” of summer pose a particularly dangerous threat to “backyard” dogs: heatstroke. Many people know about the danger of leaving dogs inside cars during the warm summer months, when temperatures can climb to well above 100°F in just a matter of minutes.

But for backyard dogs chained outside and deprived of water, shade, and ventilation, the threat of death has nothing to do with cars—even though they might be tethered to an old jalopy. Baking in the summer sun in a barren yard—day after day,week after week—takes its toll and kills many of these animals.

Beating the Heat

Beating the summer’s oppressive heat is extra tough for dogs, because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads.Heatstroke can occur quickly and can result in brain damage or a gruesome death that’s often preceded by panic and seizures.

If you know of a backyard dog in your community, why not do what you can to make his or her life a little better? The following are some simple tips for helping backyard dogs in warm weather:

  • Let the owners of these forgotten animals know that a dog’s needs for water and shade are especially urgent during the summer months.
  • Ask them to give their dogs fresh water twice a day, or offer to do so for them.
  • Urge them to let their dogs inside during heat waves, much like some owners do during spells of bitter-cold weather during the winter.
  • If your dog isn’t allowed to be a part of your family, why not change that, starting today, by keeping him or her inside with the rest of your loved ones, at least while the weather is dangerous?

Signs of Overheating and How to Respond

Watch all dogs for symptoms of heatstroke,such as restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, and lack of  coordination. If a dog shows any of these symptoms, get him or her into  the shade immediately and call animal control or the police (if the dog is not your companion) or your veterinarian (if the dog is your companion). Lower the animal’s body temperature gradually by providing water to drink; applying a cold towel or ice pack to the dog’s head,neck, and chest; or immersing the dog in lukewarm (not cold) water.



Is Your Dog or Cats Afraid of Thunderstorms Or Fireworks?

Picture this: As the skies darken overhead, an otherwise amiable dog is panting and pacing around the house with his tail tucked between his legs. When the first crash of thunder hits, he bolts into the bathroom and curls up tightly in the tub, where he remains, panting and trembling, until the storm passes. Sound familiar? Does your dog behave this way during storms? Not to worry, pet parents, the ASPCA has some advice for helping your pooch overcome his fear.

Any dog can develop a fear of thunderstorms, but herding breeds seem more susceptible to developing noise phobias. Age is another risk factor: Dogs who are afraid of thunderstorms can become more distressed with each successive season, so it’s smart to start working with your dog as soon as you notice his fearful behavior. If your adult dog has suddenly become afraid of storms, please start with a visit to your vet. A sick dog may become more sensitive to sounds, and no amount of behavior modification will help if your dog’s fear is medically based.

Try the following strategies to reduce your dog’s anxiety during storms. For dogs with mild thunderstorm phobia, these tricks may get rid of the problem entirely.

  • Let your dog take refuge inside. Storms aren’t as loud and scary with four walls around you! Bringing your dog into the house also ensures that he won’t try to escape from the yard.
  • Having some human company often calms panicked dogs. If your calm, quiet touch brings him comfort or if he comes to you for security, it’s perfectly fine to pet and reassure him.
  • Try turning on some calming music, a TV or radio, or a fan to muffle storm noises. Shutting the drapes may help if lightning also frightens your dog.
  • More active distractions may help, too. See if your dog will eat from a food-filled toy, such as a stuffed Kong, scatter treats in the house for him to find, or try playing tug or fetch with his favorite toy.

If your dog’s quality of life is seriously impaired by thunderstorms, consider speaking with a vet about anti-anxiety medication. Medication can enhance the effectiveness of other efforts to help your dog cope with his fear. A technique called desensitization and counterconditioning can also help. This technique involves gradually increasing the volume of an audio recording of a thunderstorm to help your dog become accustomed to it, while at the same time associating the sound of thunder with good things, like treats and toys. Additionally, there are a number of products on the market that may help your dog remain calm during storms, including close-fitting body wraps, noise-reducing headphones and herbal remedies.

Help is just around the corner! Please visit the ASPCA’s Virtual Behaviorist for more advice and useful resources.

Thunderstorms can be very stressful for cats. Cats are connected to their surroundings through smell and sounds. They can sense a thunderstorm coming before we can even realize it. They are able to smell and hear something far better than what humans are capable of. Many cats are well aware of the danger of thunderstorms, thus become frightened when they know a thunderstorm is immenent.

Cats can become fearful when it is raining without the thunder. Some of them are afraid of the splashing sounds and instinctively take refuge for their safety. There are a few things you can do to reassure your furry friends that everything will be just fine.

To read more: http://lovemeow.com/2009/11/how-to-help-your-cats-cope-with-loud-thunder-and-fireworks/

10 Easy Ways to Make Your Dog’s Life More Holistic

10 Easy Ways to Make Your Dog’s Life More Holistic

In honor of National Holistic Pet Day on August 30, here are a few ways that you can help your dog lead a more holistic — where your dog’s soul, body and mind are interconnected — life because a balanced dog is a happy one. (Obviously, before trying any of the tips below, always do your research and consult your trusted veterinarian.)

1. Provide frequent, clean water — Like us, dogs are mostly (roughly 70 percent) made up of water. On average, dogs need “8.5 to 17 ounces of water per 10 pounds (55 to 110 milliliters per kilogram) per day.” There could already be bacteria or other unwelcome things in your dog’s water bowl, so incorporating nice clean water is important. If you make it a point to drink filtered water, make sure the water you give your dogs is also nice and clean.

2. Feed them more raw foods — Dogs are also what they eat. They probably don’t want to eat “food” that’s constantly recalled and pulled from the shelves because other dogs are dying from it. A raw food diet — or even a more raw food diet — that you prepare at home is a sure way to help your dog get the nutrients that he needs. If you’re interested in this, look into what your dog needs for a full, healthy diet, and consult your veterinarian to make sure it’s the right choice for your dog’s health.

3. Practice the art of DogaDoga is yoga that you and your dog (or other pet) can do together. If yoga’s not your style, then good ol’-fashioned exercise will get the tail wagging.

4. Take a mindful walk — This also falls into the exercise category, but walks aren’t just about your dog. Your energy and presence matter, too. Be confident so that your dog wants to follow you; it’ll also help you avoid the less pleasant aspects of walking a dog, e.g. pulling you. The Natural Dog Blog recommends focusing and playing-training for you to truly walk with your dog in a mindful way.

5. Make your dog work — Dogs actually like to work. Give your dog some life purpose by giving her a job. Her breed and natural quirks will help you decide the job for her. A few common examples are making her carry a backpack with your personal items, fetching things for you because you’re too lazy, guarding the house or chasing the cat (just kidding!).

6. Go on a doggy date — Your dog should definitely not be anti-social. There’s nothing like a dog chilling with another dog. Even if you don’t have your own dog pack, training classes, dog parks and dog meet ups are easy ways meet new dogs. Dog socialization isn’t just about making your dog happy and entertaining the humans with their antics. Dog socialization will boost your pooch’s confidence and make them more reliable.

7. Stimulate their mind — Play is the no-brainer way to engage your dog’s mind. You can use it to simulate the thrill of the hunt or stick something tasty in a toy that makes your dog forage for food like his ancestors. You can also get your dog’s mind going by learning a new trick or giving him a new challenge.

A word of caution about dog toys: Part of human holistic living is avoiding toxins and chemicals that are not good for our bodies. Well, they aren’t good for our pets either, but many dog toys are full of them. The Bark notes how many dog toys imported from China are full of carcinogenic and poisonous heavy metals, e.g. cadmium, lead and chromium. Avoid dog toys that reek of chemicals, use bright colors or have fire retardants or stain guards. Never assume that a toy is safe just because it’s made in the United States, either.

8. Unwind with a dog massage — When the fun and excitement is over, it’s important for your dog to unwind. Like us, a good massage can help with that. Holistic Veterinary Healing lists the Tui Na massage as an effective technique to help your dog’s joints and muscles. The technique is used to prevent injury, restore joint and tissue function, improve their performance and endurance and prevent the loss of joint mobility. Another massage technique involves no physical contact. Reiki for dogs works to align all of their chakras from head to tail and remove their pent up negative energy.

Your Holistic Dog has more massage tutorials that will walk you through giving your dog the perfect massage.

9. Relax with some musical therapy — You can also let some music do the relaxing for you. A calming tune offers more benefits than pure relaxation. Pet MD explains that “music causes changes in brain activity, neurohumoral, cardiovascular and immune responses.” While there are many recordings to choose from, studies show that classical music is especially effective.

10. Find a holistic or alternative vet — If you’re loving the idea of holistic medicine for your pet, then there are vets with holistic and alternative trainings. The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association helps you find an accredited vet where acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, dog chakra clearing and homeopathy are the norm. You can also check out International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing and International Veterinary Acupuncture Society for more information.

Bonus Tip: Be balanced, be happy — I’m not sure if it’s because they study us every day or there’s some ethereal soul contract at play, but our dogs are truly our mirrors. If you strive to live your best and most holistic life, then you’ll give them permission to do the same. Now that’s a gift.

Dog Parks: Are They for Everyone?

Dogs playing at dog park

Dog parks are a staple in America’s canine culture and serve as the go-to destination for many canines and their human companions. The doggie-designated zones, which are usually enclosed, have many benefits for well-balanced pups, including the freedom to run and explore as well as play, socialize and interact with other dogs and people.  But though many dogs thrive at dog parks, not all canines are ideal candidates for off-leash playgrounds. Some dogs become stressed, conflicted, fearful or out of control with excitement. As a result, negative interactions, including dog fights, may occur. Not only do such situations present the potential for physical harm to those involved, but a dog may be damaged emotionally and behaviorally by the experience.

Not All Dogs Want to Play

As an animal trainer, I've encountered numerous pet parents who are frustrated and upset with their dog’s behavior at the dog park. Some dogs may be reluctant to play and interact and only tolerate the experience, which can frustrate people who want their dogs to be social. Others have concerns over behavior from their dogs such as fear-based reactions, overly aroused pushiness or unpredictable interactions that sometimes end in aggressive encounters.

Unrealistic Expectations

Not every dog is savvy with social situations, especially one as varied and unpredictable as the dog park. The expectation for all dogs to love the park is like the expectation of a parent that his son or daughter will enjoy the same sports or activities that he did. But being pushed into something that’s not the right fit for that individual’s personality and desires can cause tremendous stress to the individual.

Making Behavior Worse

Many pet parents live with the unspoken rule that "good dogs go to dog parks" and "good people take their dogs to dog parks." The negative connotation of their dogs not being good fits for a dog park often causes guilt and shame. For that reason, despite a dog’s hesitance or involvement in negative incidents, upset dogs are frequently taken to the park in hopes of making the canine more social. With most dogs, when a park is used to “fix” social issues, the behavior only becomes worse.

To read more: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/dog-parks-are-they-for-everyone?WT.mc_id=Email;NewsLetter;Petwire;Jul-2;Popular_blog_posts

This website was called to my attention by Jon who thought would have great stuff to add to my website that is informational. Below is just one example of their work.

The Overall Therapeutic Value Of Pets

While many people think of dogs when therapy pets are mentioned, a large number of animals can be used for therapeutic reasons and give hope to the people who own and interact with them as well. From cats to birds, and even with the inclusion of small rodents, animals can have a powerful healing influence on people and can help us through some of our worst moments in life. Perhaps this is why humans have been keeping pets for as long as we can look back into recorded history. Truly, animals add a value to our lives that cannot be accounted for in any other way.

The most famous of therapy animals are of course the dogs, the animals known for being most loyal to man and for their intensely loving nature. These animals have been trained to help people with depression, autism spectrum disorders, PTSD, and a number of other conditions as well. They can be seen both with loving owners who keep them for their personal use and therapy needs, and within businesses and schools where therapists utilize them to aid in traditional therapies. One of the biggest benefits with dogs is that that they can be any size or shape, allowing every person who comes across them to have a different therapy experience that truly fits their needs.

The next most common animal is the cat, the direct opposite of the dog, but still beloved by millions across the world. Therapy cats generally have less training, but are naturally good at providing the emotional support that people interacting with them need. Recently therapy cats have been appearing in nursing homes, schools, and even in magazine spreads as they comfort young children with autism, muscular disabilities, and veterans with PTSD and other combat traumas. People on all sides of the spectrum comment on the calming nature of a cat's purr and the warmth of their bodies on your lap during your darkest times.

There are other pets that are used for therapy as well. Some people have found success with pot-bellied pigs, birds, and even small rodents to help them through mental turbulence and other forms of trauma. Pigs are amazingly smart and easy to train, birds are able to lift hearts with their simple songs, and small rodents are warm, cuddly, and inquisitive without being too large for people in small spaces to care for with ease. Finally, fish can be used for therapeutic purposes with people losing themselves in the soothing movements within their tanks and being calmed by the water that surrounds them as well.

No matter their size, therapeutic pets seem to be a window into a softer and calmer world of therapy. The recognition of their abilities is a great boon for victims who may feel less comfortable with humans, need more physical contact during their recovery than is generally permissible within society, or individuals who need something they can truly put their trust into without the risk of it being betrayed.

Jonathan Leger is a freelance writer and small business owner. He runs a popular question and answer website with a section dedicated to pets at AnswerThis.co.  http://www.bestanimalsites.com/therapeutic-value-of-pets.html

Dogs Also Suffer from Allergies to Food, Pollen…and Cats!

Does Your Dog Suffer From Allergies?

Find out why dogs get allergies, and what the common symptoms are. Learn how you can identify what your dog is allergic to.
Does Your Dog Suffer From Allergies?

Dogs can get allergies for a variety of reasons, but there are a few culprits that lead to a state of a weakened immune system. Once a dog has a weakened immune system, he may start having allergic reactions to things that would not normally bother a healthy, strong dog. And he may develop a serious autoimmune problem like inflammatory bowel disease or hyperthyroidism.

According to Richard Pitcairn, these things may lead to a dog developing a weakened immune system:

* combination injections used a lot

* excessive use of cortisone drugs
* commercial dog food diets

The latter is an interesting point, as even in miler cases of allergy, dogs may be allergic to some of the commercial foods we feed them. He suggests switching to a special healing diet, made from food you prepare yourself, for about 2 or 3 months. If after this time there is no improvement, then it is safe to safe that food is not causing the allergy. Dr Pitcairn's recommended allergy diet includes grains like brown rice, bone meal, meat, and vitamins.

Once the dog has been on this diet for a few months, you can start introducing foods that he used to eat, gradually. It's best to introduce the foods one at a time, so you have a chance to see whether a reaction occurs after he eats it. Once a food, or ingredient has been identified, the option exists to find a good quality dog food that doesn't contain those ingredients. There exist special foods that are formulated for dogs with skin conditions, and these might be more suitable.

Foods are not the only substances that can trigger an allergy however. Your dog may be allergic to:

* chlorine or other household chemical agents

* cleaning chemicals, either in your house or yard
* gases released from chemicals in our furniture or buildings
* synthetic carpets
* plastic food bowls
* some types of grass or plants
* regular dog care products like heart worm or flea products
* flea bites
The symptoms of a dog suffering from an allergy could be one or more of the following:

* itchy skin

* skin eruptions (especially at the base of the tail and on the lower part of his back)
* inflamed ears
* too much licking of the front feet
* problems in the digestive tract including gas, gurgling of the stomach, loose stools or diarrhea
* inflammation of the toes
* his rear end is irritated
* licking and dragging his rear end on the floor
References: Dr Pitcairn, Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs And Cats

VERY Dangerous dog toy by Four Paws Inc
Everyone needs to read this and forward to anyone you know with dogs. Also, be sure to read the snopes report after reading this guys story.

If you don't have a dog, send it to your friends who do.
On Sunday, June 22, 2008 my 1 0-year old lab mix, Chai, sustained a severe injury from a product that the company Four Paws Inc, produces. The toy I'm referencing is the pimple ball with bell. (Item #20227-001, UPC Code 0 4566320227 9) While chewing on the toy, a vacuum was created and it effectively sucked his tongue into the hole in the ball. From speaking with my vet, this likely occurred because there is not a second hole in the ball preventing the vacuum effect from happening. I became aware of this when Chai approached a friend at my home whimpering with the ball in his mouth. She tried unsuccessfully to remove the ball but the tongue had swollen and could not be released.  Chai was taken to the Animal Medical Center (an emergency care facility in New York City ) and was treated by Dr. Nicole Spurlock to have the ball removed. Because the size of the opening on the ball was so small, all circulation to his tongue was cut off. The doctors had to sedate him in order to remove it. Once the ball was removed, his tongue swelled to the point that he could no longer put it in his mouth. This should never happen to another animal again!



Importance of Brushing Your Dog or Cats Teeth.

Dogs: Where to begin
Number one, this should be fun for you and your dog. Be upbeat and take things slowly. Do not overly restrain your dog. Keep sessions short and positive. Be sure to praise your dog throughout the process. Give yourself a pat on the back, too! You are doing a great thing for your dog!

First, have your dog get used to you putting things in his mouth. Dip your finger in beef bouillon. Call your dog with a voice that means "treat" and let your dog lick the liquid off your finger. Then rub your soaked finger gently over your dog's gums and teeth. After a few sessions, your dog should actually look forward to this and you can move on. 

Now, place a gauze around your finger. (You can again dip it in the bouillon.) Gently rub the teeth in a circular motion with your gauzed finger. Repeat this for the number of sessions it takes your dog to feel comfortable with this procedure. Remember to praise him and keep an upbeat attitude.

After your dog is used to having the flavored gauze in his mouth, you are ready to start with a toothbrush, dental sponge, or pad. You need to get your dog used to the consistency of these items, especially the bristles on a brush. So, let your dog lick something tasty off of the brush or pad so he gets used to the texture.

Once your dog is used to the cleaning item you are going to use, You can add the toothpaste (or rinse). Pet toothpastes either have a poultry, malt, or other flavor so your dog will like the taste. Get your dog used to the flavor and consistency of the toothpaste. Let your dog lick some off your finger and then apply some to your pet's gum brushing line with your finger. Praise your pet.

Now your dog is used to the toothbrush and toothpaste and you are ready to start brushing. Talk to your dog in a happy voice during the process and praise your dog at the end. At first, you may just want to brush one or both upper canine teeth (the large ones in the front of the mouth). These are the easiest teeth for you to get at and will give you some easier practice. As before, when your dog accepts having several teeth brushed, slowly increase the number of teeth you are brushing. Again, by making it appear to be a game, you both will have fun doing it.


Cats: Where to begin
Number one, this should be fun for you and your cat. Be upbeat and take things slowly. Do not overly restrain your cat. Keep sessions short and positive. Be sure to praise your cat throughout the process. Give yourself a pat on the back, too! You are doing a great thing for your cat!

  1. First, have your cat get used to you putting things in her mouth. Dip your finger in tuna water, chicken broth, or other liquid your cat may like. Call your cat with a voice that means "treat" and let your cat lick the liquid off your finger. Then rub your soaked finger gently over your cat's gums and teeth. After a few sessions, your cat should actually look forward to this and you can move on.

  2. Now, place a gauze around your finger. (You can again dip it in the tuna water or other liquid.) Gently rub the teeth in a circular motion with your gauzed finger. Repeat this for the number of sessions it takes your cat to feel comfortable with this procedure. Remember to praise her and keep an upbeat attitude.

  3. After your cat is used to having the flavored gauze in her mouth, you are ready to start with a toothbrush, dental sponge, or pad. We need to get your cat used to the consistency of these items, especially the bristles on a brush. So, let your cat lick something tasty off of the brush or pad so she gets used to the texture.

  4. Once your cat is used to the cleaning item you are going to use, you can add the toothpaste (or rinse). Pet toothpastes either have a poultry, malt, or other flavor so your cat will like the taste. Get your cat used to the flavor and consistency of the toothpaste. Let your cat lick some off your finger and then apply some to your cat's gumline with your finger. Praise your pet.

  5. Now your cat is used to the toothbrush and toothpaste and you are ready to start brushing. Talk to your cat in a happy voice during the process and praise your cat at the end. At first, you may just want to brush one or both upper canine teeth (the large ones in the front of the mouth). These are the easiest teeth for you to get at and will give you some easier practice. As before, when your cat accepts having several teeth brushed, slowly increase the number of teeth you are brushing. Again, by making it appear to be a game, you both will have fun doing it.                                                               If you'd like to read more: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?dept_id=0&siteid=12&acatid=280&aid=997

Secondhand Smoke, Nicotine Poisoning Health Threats to Pets

Oklahoma State University detailed in a press release the serious health risks posed to pets and other household animals exposed to secondhand smoke.

Dr. Carolynn MacAllister is an Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service veterinarian. She says it makes sense that secondhand smoke would be harmful to dogs, cats and birds living with smokers. She said: "There have been a number of scientific papers recently that have reported the significant health threat secondhand smoke poses to pets. Secondhand smoke has been associated with oral cancer and lymphoma in cats, lung and nasal cancer in dogs, as well as lung cancer in birds."

In 1992, Dr. John Reif, a professor of epidemiology at Colorado State University (CSU) and the department chairman for environmental and radiological health sciences conducted a study entitled "Passive Smoking and Canine Lung Cancer Risk." In 1998, he lead a second similar study. According to Smoke Free Society, Dr. Reif said: "These studies are really the first to make us aware of secondhand smoke on animals. They are the first of their kind."

During the 1998 study, the researchers took into consideration the number of smokers in the home, how many cigarettes were smoked in the home each day, how much time the dog spent in the home, and the age, sex, size and skull shape of the dog. The study found that a dog exposed to secondhand smoke in the home is 1.6 times more likely to develop lung cancer than a dog that isn't exposed.


Cold Weather Tips


1.Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wild life.

  1. During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
  2. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm—dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.
  3. Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
  4. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
  5. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
  6. Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
  7. Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him—and his fur—in tip-top shape.
  8. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.
  9. Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.



   "Old Dog" Does Not Mean Get Rid Of It


By Jeannette Cooperman,
The Bark

There’s something disconcerting about being middle-aged and watching my once-agile dog leap ahead of me into old age. No, not leap - she’s too creaky for that, stiff and slow almost overnight, it seems. She’s suddenly terrified of the kinds of storms she once danced through; she spurns a morning walk to go back to bed, circling awkwardly in an effort to get comfortable. Once down, she’ll lie there for hours on end, chin over the edge like Snoopy at his most dejected. She’s depressed about getting old, I decide - never dreaming that it’s I who haven’t made the necessary accommodations.

“A lot of old dogs get what I call the shrinking world’ syndrome,” says certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Lore Haug. “Their owners get in a rut with them; they start walking the dog less” (gulp) “and they don’t train the dog or teach him tricks. The dog doesn’t get as much stimulation and enrichment maybe they stop taking the dog to the dog park and there’s a significant decline in mental and physical challenges.” Stung, I mention Sophie’s arthritis. “So maybe she can swim. Or the walks are shorter. Or maybe you just take her into a wooded park, lie down on a blanket and let her look around and sniff.” It’s the slowing we have trouble with; we expect our dogs to be the same forever. Instead, their senses of sight and smell grow less acute, their joints stiffen, or their legs may splay like Bambi’s on slick hardwood floors.

Some develop a canine equivalent of Alzheimer’s: “It’s called cognitive dysfunction syndrome,” Haug explains, “and it shows up with dementia, changes in their sleep-wake cycles - they might pace all night and sleep all day - vocalizing at night, forgetting their training. You say ‘Sit’ and they stare at you blankly.”

Other dogs develop anxiety disorders for the first time, anything from separation anxiety to storm phobias or nocturnal panic attacks. “The dog may be less social, not coming to greet you, or might get clingier with increased anxiety,” Haug says. “Sometimes they’re just disoriented; they go to the back door but poke their nose at the hinge side. Sometimes we see aggression and irritability. But because anxiety is one of the symptoms, the more you keep the dog stretched mentally, the more you are able to control some of those reactions.” The wonderful paradox is that by working within your dog’s new limits, you can lessen the change in her responses.

Choose games she can still play readily, amusements that don’t stress her, and she’ll be as eager as ever. “Find new ways to connect with your dog,” Haug urges. “Teaching a trick is not only good for the dog’s brain, but it’s a fun, low-pressure way to do something that doesn’t require a lot of physical strength. The trick doesn’t need to be a back flip. They can bow, cover their eyes with their paws, flick their ears… “Grooming is another way to connect; so is hanging out on the porch or at the park.” It’s not just the dog who needs to learn new tricks - we do too. Click here for your FREE issue. http://www.thebark.com/special-offer/barkmag.html

Read More on what you can do to help them:



    "Old Cat" Does Not Mean Get Rid Of It


The Special Needs of the Senior Cat

Just as people are living longer than they did in the past, cats are living longer too. In fact, the percentage of cats over six years of age has nearly doubled in just over a decade, and there is every reason to expect that the "graying" cat population will continue to grow.

How can I help keep my senior cat healthy?
Close observation is one of the most important tools you have to help keep your senior cat healthy. You may wish to perform a mini-physical examination on a weekly basis. Ask your veterinarian to show you how to do it and what to look for. You will find it easier if you just make the examination an extension of the way you normally interact with your cat. For example, while you are rubbing your cat's head or scratching its chin, gently raise the upper lips with your thumb or forefinger so you can examine the teeth and gums. In the same way, you can lift the ear flaps and examine the ear canals. While you are stroking your cat's fur, you can check for abnormal lumps or bumps, and evaluate the health of the skin and coat.

Cats are experts at hiding illness, and elderly cats are no exception. It is common for a cat to have a serious medical problem, yet not show any sign of it until the condition is quite advanced. Since most diseases can be managed more successfully when detected and treated early in their course, it is important for owners of senior cats to carefully monitor their behavior and health. 

To read more:



This is a wonderful website for information on Dog/Cat Cancers.

Who is petMD?


petMD is the largest global source of pet health information in the world today. Part of a global network of veterinary professionals, petMD’s content was created by veterinarians for consumers and veterinarians.

Integrity in our mission and our content.

Our content is written by veterinarians and approved by veterinarians on our team. Hundreds of veterinarians, spanning eight countries across the world, were consulted, interviewed and enlisted to write, verify, and approve our content.

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Our veterinarians created the petMD seal of approval. Whenever you see our brand name and our seal, you know you can trust the content, because it comes from the only trusted resource for pet health - petMD.


Dedication and commitment

We have tens of thousands of articles from across the globe, and every day we generate more. We are working hard to add content on a daily basis. You will find that we add more medical content in a week than most other sites have in total. We are dedicated in our pursuit to create unprecedented depth and breadth in pet health.

To see all they have to offer:  http://www.petmd.com/dog/videos/health/is-my-pet-fat%3F


Why Pets do not make good gifts. 


WE’RE just days into the New Year and already animal rescue centres across the region are inundated with unwanted pets. The four-legged friends shown here are just a handful of the abandoned animals — some of them dumped unceremoniously on the streets over Christmas — who want to find new homes in 2009. It has already been recognised that the North is one of the worst regions in the whole country for cruelty to animals, with RSPCA officers taking more than two people a week to court for mistreating their pets.

Think Before Giving

Adding an animal companion to the family is an important decision. It means making a permanent commitment to care for and spend time with the animal and to provide for his or her lifelong care.  Before adopting, consider the time and money involved in proper animal care. Will your loved one have the time and patience to exercise and house train the animal? Is he or she prepared to pay for food, accessories (such as toys, grooming supplies, leashes and harnesses, and bedding), inoculations, and veterinary care, including spaying or neutering, flea treatment, de worming, and emergency care?
If a family decides to adopt an animal, every member of the family should go to the local animal shelter together to choose the animal, having already discussed the obligations and long-term commitments involved. Please, never buy from breeders or pet stores, and always practice your ABCs—animal birth control. For every animal purchased from a breeder or a pet shop, a potential home is taken away from a homeless dog or a cat at a local animal shelter.

Children May Not Be Ready

Small children may unintentionally harm animals, even breaking their fragile bones or causing other fatal injuries, when they think they are playing. Puppies, kittens, bunnies, chicks, baby ducks, and other young animals are especially vulnerable.
We have heard too many stories about families in which the child has lost interest in an animal, and the adult is forced to make the difficult decision on the best way to "solve" the problem. Often this means turning the animal over to a crowded shelter or pound or—worse—passing the animal on to a series of homes, causing trauma, psychological scarring, and behavioral problems.

Too Few Happy Endings
Animal shelters are filled beyond capacity with homeless animals, many of whom were former "pets" who, for one reason or another, didn't fit into someone's lifestyle. No matter how much they would like to, many people who receive animals as gifts find that they are unable to make the lifelong commitment to care for their new companion. Sadly, many people end up turning animals they received as gifts over to an overburdened humane society or animal-control agency that is likely filled to capacity. In worst-case scenarios, some people even abandon animals on the road or in the back yard when they move away.

What You Can Do

Don't ever give an animal as a gift.  If you have discussed the idea with the prospective recipients and know that they have the time, willingness, ability, and resources to properly care for an animal and make that serious commitment, consider offering them a gift certificate from the local animal shelter. If you attend a fair, flea market, or other event at which animals are being given away, educate those who are responsible. If people are offering free kittens or puppies, for example, explain the risks of giving animals to unknown passersby—some people sell dogs and cats to laboratories or dealers, and others abuse, neglect, or abandon them.
To read more:  http://www.peta.org/features/animals-do-not-make-good-gifts.aspx

THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.. Everyone who is a animal owner should have a plan in place in case something happens to them and their animals are left homeless.

Pet Animals: What Happens When Their Humans Die?

Providing for Your Pet’s Future Without You

Because pets usually have shorter life spans than their human caregivers, you may have planned for your animal friend’s passing. But what if you are the one who becomes ill or incapacitated, or who dies first? As a responsible pet owner, you provide your pet with food and water, shelter, veterinary care, and love. To ensure that your beloved pet will continue to receive this care should something unexpected happen to you, it’s critical to plan ahead. This information sheet helps you do just that.

Providing for Your Pet's Future Without You   What can I do now to prepare for the unexpected?

In the confusion that accompanies a person’s unexpected illness, accident, or death, pets may be overlooked. In some cases, pets are discovered in the person’s home days after the tragedy. To prevent this from happening to your pet, take these simple precautions:

  • Find at least two responsible friends or relatives who agree to serve as temporary emergency caregivers in the event that something unexpected happens to you. Provide them with keys to your home; feeding and care instructions; the name of your veterinarian; and information about the permanent care provisions you have made for your pet.
  • Make sure your neighbors, friends, and relatives know how many pets you have and the names and contact numbers of the individuals who have agreed to serve as emergency caregivers. Emergency caregivers should also know how to contact each other.
  • Carry a wallet “alert card” that lists the names and phone numbers of your emergency pet caregivers.
  • Post removable “in case of emergency” notices on your doors or windows specifying how many and what types of pets you have. These notices will alert emergency-response personnel during a fire or other home emergency. Don’t use stickers; hard-to-remove stickers are often left behind by former residents, so firefighters may assume that the sticker is outdated or, worse, they may risk their lives trying to find a pet no longer in the house.
  • Affix to the inside of your front and back doors a removable notice listing emergency contact names and phone numbers. Because pets need care daily and will need immediate attention should you die or become incapacitated, the importance of making these informal arrangements for temporary care giving cannot be overemphasized.

How can I ensure long-term or permanent care for my pet if I become seriously ill or die?

The best way to make sure your wishes are fulfilled is by also making formal arrangements that specifically cover the care of your pet. It’s not enough that long ago your friend verbally promised to take in your animal or even that you’ve decided to leave money to your friend for that purpose. Work with an attorney to draw up a special will, trust, or other document to provide for the care and ownership of your pet as well as the money necessary to care for her.

How do I choose a permanent caregiver?

First, decide whether you want all your pets to go to one person, or whether different pets should go to different people. If possible, keep pets who have bonded with one another together. When selecting caregivers, consider partners, adult children, parents, brothers, sisters, and friends who have met your pet and have successfully cared for pets themselves. Also name alternate caregivers in case your first choice becomes unable or unwilling to take your pet. Be sure to discuss your expectations with potential caregivers so they understand the large responsibility of caring for your pet. Remember, the new owner will have full discretion over the animal’s care—including veterinary treatment and euthanasia—so make sure you choose a person you trust implicitly and who will do what is in the best interests of your pet.

To read the rest: https://www.petfinder.com/dogs/bringing-a-dog-home/providing-pets-future/

Top Ten Winter Skin & Paw Care Tips

  Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws.

Says Dr. Louise Murray, ASPCA Director of Medicine, “During the winter, products used as de-icers on sidewalks and other areas can lead to trouble for our animal companions, potentially causing problems ranging from sore feet to internal toxicity. Pet parents should take precautions to minimize their furry friends' exposure to such agents.”

To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s paws and skin, please heed the following advice from our experts:Morton Pet-Safe Ice Melt

  • Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in between the toes. 
  • Trim long-haired dogs to minimize the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry on the skin. (Don’t neglect the hair between the toes!) 
  • Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes. 
  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse. 
  • Dressing your pet in a sweater or coat will help to retain body heat and prevent skin from getting dry. 
  • Booties help minimize contact with painful salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical ice-melting agents. They can also help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes, causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.
  • Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt and chemical agents. And moisturizing after a good toweling off helps to heal chapped paws. 
  • Brushing your pet regularly not only gets rid of dead hair, but also stimulates blood circulation, improving the skin’s overall condition. 
  • Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime, sometimes causing dehydration. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help to keep her well-hydrated, and her skin less dry. 
  • Remember, if the weather’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet. Animal companions should remain indoors as much as possible during the winter months and never be left alone in vehicles when the mercury drops.

For more information about pet care in winter, please read our Top Ten Cold Weather Tips. If you spot wounds or redness on your pet’s feet, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

To read more of the list: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/top-10-pet-poisons-of-the-year.aspx


When is a Pet "Senior"?

Senior Wellness
As pets age, their bodies become less able to cope with physical or environmental stress. Since pets are very good at hiding signs of illness, health problems may seem to appear suddenly when, in fact, they have been gradually worsening over a period of months. That's a key reason why most experts recommend that healthy senior pets see their veterinarians every 6 months.

When is a Pet "Senior"?
With many pets living well into their teens, many owners wonder: When is my pet truly senior? The answer is that there is no specific age at which a pet becomes senior. Individual pets age at different rates, and most large- and giant-breed dogs become seniors earlier than small-breed dogs and cats.

Health Issues in Senior Pets
As your pet gets older, being aware of his or her general health can help you monitor for early signs of any problems. As pets age, their organ functioning changes, their immune systems become weaker, and they are more prone to developing certain diseases or conditions, including:


ALWAYS Call your vet if you have concerns.


5 Cold Weather Activities for Dogs

5 Cold Weather Activities for Dogs

As I was looking at the 10-day forecast, it seems apparent that winter is here to stay (and we all knew it was coming). Winter in Minnesota can mean week upon week of not too many long walks or trips to the park with the dogs. Especially when you have two short-haired mutts who shiver when the temps hit below freezing!

Not sure about yours, but our dogs let us know when we go even a single day without a good, long walk or run. There is an obvious abundance of built up energy. So how on earth do we make it through winter without our dogs (and quite frankly, ourselves) losing their minds?

Here are five ideas for entertaining our four-legged friends through the cold months:

1: Enrichment toys!
Think KONG, wobble balls, treat dispensing toys, puzzles, etc. These will provide a challenge to your dog and also reward them with a tiny treat when they figure it out!

2: Training
Whether at home or in a training class, winter months can be a great time to practice with your dog! Stimulating your dog’s mind can wear them out more than you’d imagine. This can be a fun time to test out agility, flyball and other activities!

3: Treadmill
You know you’re the dedicated dog owner when you have invested in a treadmill - solely for your pooch. A little training and you’ll be on your way! This is an excellent solution for exercising when time or weather is an issue.

4: Indoor Dog Parks / Dog Friendly Stores
Dog daycares and indoor dog parks are popping up more and more; a simple Google search for an indoor dog park might have you surprised to find one in your area. Also check with local doggy daycares or training facilities as many offer open play times or private play times (gather a few friends and have a playdate!).

Another idea is to take your dog on a mini outing. Make it a date and visit your local dog-friendly pet store, work on some training while you’re there, pick up a bag of treats or a new toy and you’ll have one happy pup!

5: Bundle Up!
Sometimes we just have to bundle up, protect ourselves (and dogs) from the cold and have fun! Consider purchasing Musher’s Wax (or booties) for those with sensitive paws. Snowshoeing, hiking and even skijoring (if you’re more adventurous than me) can burn the cals and make for a day filled with adventure.

And of course there’s always one of my favorite things to do: cuddling up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and embracing the warmth and comfort of having a dog by our side.

What are your favorite ways to keep busy in the winter with your dog?

*Also a fun activity: five simple dog treat recipes! https://positively.com/contributors/5-simple-dog-treat-recipes/

Stop by and visit me on LolathePitty.com for dog treat recipes, tips, and more!


External Parasites and Dogs: Flies/Fly-Strike


Here is an brief guide on fleas, mites, lice and flies that can cause harmful diseases in dogs.

Fleas: Fleas are common, but potentially dangerous, parasites. They are wingless jumpers that infest the skin and fur, though they do not usually live exclusively on dogs. They can be found in carpets, couches and other areas of home, leaving black and white eggs and feces on the skin, bed, furniture and rugs. They multiply extremely fast (adults can hatch a new set of nearly once a week) and will cause disease on anything they touch. Aside from carrying disease, they also cause allergies, raw skin, blood loss, and itching and hair loss. Fleas are difficult to remove from your pet at home, so prevention is the best course of action. A flea collar only protects the head and neck, while sprays, dips and powders treat the whole body. It is enough, however, to only treat the dog. Your entire home will need protection and cleaning. Vacuuming removes some, but not all, fleas and thorough washing will usually be needed on furniture and carpet. If the entire house is infested; a full-scale fumigation is usually called for. Although you can usually manage a flea infestation yourself, veterinary care is needed if the dog has an allergic reaction or shows signs of illness. The once-a-month flea preventive is an excellent,

Inexpensive means of controlling fleas on dogs.

Mites: Mites can live anywhere on the skin of dogs. Ear mites cause painful, swollen ears. There are easy to diagnose and treatment is virtually 100% effective. Generalized mite infections, like scabies and démodé tic mange, can be particular, serious and must be treated with correct medication, in the right form and for the proper amount of time.

Lice: The lice that infect dogs are the same lice that attack people. These small, light-colored parasites live on the skin and fur. There they nest eggs and gain nourishment. A vigorous bath with insecticide will remove them. People in contact with the dog should also be treated for infection.

Flies: Flies and fly bites can create itching and sore skin. Worse, flies can lay eggs and create maggots, which feed on flesh (especially wounds or in the ears). To prevent these problems, clean all cuts and wounds cut away matted fur areas and use an insect repellent when you travel into outdoor areas that have high insect populations.

Most flea, mite, lice and fly infestations can be treated without damage to your dog. Do not delay treatment, however, since easy problems can become worse quirky.

Zip bags and fly control
It Can't hurt to try this...
When Katie, Kim and I took the youth out to give out bottles of juice and water for VBS, we came to a house that had a baggie half full of water hanging on the hook by the door. We wondered what that was, I thought it was vinegar but Julie said it was water to keep flies out. I know Some of the restaurants that need to try this. I hate flies swarming around when I am eating.

Here Is what Snopes had to say about the whole thing...


How to Solve Kitty’s Destructive Scratching

      As all cat lovers know, our feline friends love to use their claws in all sorts of interesting ways. As part of their daily rituals, cats instinctually pull the claws on their front paws through surfaces that offer resistance. Cats who live outdoors favor logs and tree trunks for this purpose. Unfortunately, in a domestic setting, this instinct often translates to scaling the drapes or reupholstering a nubby sofa.

So what do you do if Fluffy is determined to redecorate your house in the latest version of feline-scratch chic? First, what not to do: Please do not declaw your pet. The term “declaw” is a misnomer, as it implies the removal of a cat’s claws only. In reality, declawing involves amputating the end of a cat’s toes, and is comparable to removing your own fingernails as well as the bones to which they are attached. Ouch!! Declawing surgery also includes many risks, and is accompanied by severe pain.

The ASPCA is strongly opposed to declawing—and other elective surgeries such as debarking dogs—for the convenience of pet parents. One effective way to treat your cat’s penchant for destructive scratching is to provide her with appropriate surfaces and objects to scratch, such as scratching posts made of cardboard, carpeting, wood, sisal or upholstery. Check out these other helpful tips from our behaviorists:

  • Encourage your cat to investigate posts by scenting them with catnip.
  • Discourage inappropriate scratching by removing or covering attractive objects.
  • Clip your cat’s nails regularly.
  • If you catch your cat in the act of scratching an inappropriate object, try startling him by clapping your hands or squirting him with water. (Use this procedure only as a last resort, because your cat may associate you with the startling event and learn to fear you.)
  • Step-by-Step Advice

For more information about helping your pet overcome destructive scratching, please click here to  visit our Virtual Behaviorist.

To read more: http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/articles/25/Destructive-Scratching.aspx


Why Cripple a Cat to Save a Couch?

What Does Declawing Cats Mean?

Declawing, or onychectomy, is a bone amputation, but declawing sounds less painful. Our nails grow from our skin, but cats are different. Their claws grow from their bone, so the last bone has to be amputated to prevent the nails from re-growing. The cats’ tendons, nerves, ligaments, functionality and movements are also compromised during the procedure.

Declawing isn’t a manicure. It’s an invasive surgery that the The Paw Project describes as “so predictably painful that it is used by pharmaceutical companies to test the effectiveness of pain medications in clinical trials.” Comparatively, The Paw Project cites that declawing is “severely painful” while other surgeries like spay and neuter procedures are described as causing “moderate pain” and “mild pain” respectively. Despite the excessive pain that can eventually become crippling, many cats have gone home without any form of pain medication.

The Consequences of Declawing Cats

Vets might treat a declawing surgery as an add-on, but they really are taking away from the cat’s true essence. Here are a few of the ways that a cat is robbed after it has been mutilated:

Health: Like any surgery, there’s always a chance of infection. Unsuccessful surgeries can make the claw regrow with abscesses. Surgery complications aside, declawed cats can’t support their body weight the same way, and their gait completely changes. The Paw Project describes it as “a painful ‘pebble-in-the-shoe’ sensation when they stand or try to walk.” While some cats won’t show their pain (because they are instinctually good at hiding it), many cats will try to compensate for their pain by walking on their wrists (and the wrists will develop arthritis from the constant pressure and eventually cripple a cat), or, in extreme cases of pain, by walking on their elbows.

Behavioral: Many declawed cats will find that the pebbles in their litter box too unbearable to walk in. The cat’s solution: not use the litter box anymore. Coincidentally, many cats are surrendered to shelters due to soiling and spraying issues. Another common reason that cats end up in shelters is aggression, or biting, and aggression has been linked to declawing since the 1960s.

Emotional: Cats have their own priorities. (Play) hunting, climbing, fighting, scent marking and comfort kneading are important in a cat’s universe; their claws play important roles in all of these activities. While we don’t know much about the emotional lives of cats, some feel that declawed cats can become depressed, anxious, insecure, nervous, agitated and antisocial. You can read more declawed cat horror stories from the guardians themselves here.

Outside of those rare life-and-death situations where declawing is the best option, is any of this worth doing to your cat?

The Humane Society doesn’t think so. A much easier and cheaper solution might be to routinely trim their claws. Introducing scratching posts and a little bit of training could also work. There are also safer alternatives like Soft Paws (soft plastic caps that will look like your cat just got a manicure) or Sticky Paws (a tape that you put on furniture that many cats will avoid). If this was about my cat, then I’d just get furniture that I didn’t care about so much.

To see the videos and Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/why-cripple-a-cat-to-save-a-couch.html#ixzz36bUPNgYd


Ways to Liven up Your Dog’s Dinner using people food...


If you’re going to feed your dogs “people” food, shouldn’t you feed them something that’s actually good for them? Here are some healthy, easily obtainable options straight from market shelves that can be added to spice up your pup’s regular fare. There are, of course, a few cautions to keep in mind. First, none of these items by themselves constitutes a “complete and balanced” meal, and if your dog has health or weight issues, check with your vet before introducing them. Next, considering that many dogs are willing to eat almost anything they find, they can be surprisingly fussy about new things in their food bowls; start with a small portion to see if it’s a go… or no. And finally, always introduce new foods gradually.                                                                

1. Banana
High in potassium (great for muscle and blood vessel function as well as for regulating the acidity of body fluids), fiber (a handy home remedy for the occasional bout of doggy diarrhea or constipation) and magnesium (important for energy transport and protein building in the body). Bananas have lots of pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), which helps metabolize proteins and regulates blood cell function so the blood can bring more oxygen to the brain and muscle. They also contain Vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage and helps build cartilage. Pup Prep: Mash a banana and mix it in with your dog’s food. Be forewarned that the compounds in bananas that make them smell banana-y are offensive to some canines.

2. Rutabaga
A sorely ignored veggie, similar to a turnip. Rutabagas are very good boiled and mashed. They’re available year-round in most grocery stores and keep well. Their high levels of Vitamin C, potassium and carotenoids (precursors to Vitamin A) aid eye health and maintenance of DNA activation in cells. They are also important in immune system function and have a number of lesser-known phytochemicals, which are shown to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases associated with aging. Pup Prep: Peel, boil and mash the rutabaga, then add a little bit of safflower or olive oil; these oils are not harmful to dogs, who need fats and handle them far better than do humans.

3. Sweet Potato
Loaded with nutrients, such as the carotenoids and Vitamin C, in addition to some lesser known antioxidants and phytochemicals. They are high in pyridoxine, potassium, fiber and magnesium. They also are good sources of copper, iron and manganese–all essential minerals that perform myriad functions in cells, from transporting oxygen to assisting in the assembly of proteins. Pup Prep: As with rutabaga, boil, mash and add a bit of good oil.

4. Flaxseeds
Small seeds–known for their alpha linolenic acid (ALA) content and benefits to coat, skin, bone and brain function–that pack a big nutritional punch. These seeds are also high in fiber and lignans (a fiber type), which may be beneficial for insulin action. They are a great source of manganese, pyridoxine, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. They also contain the B vitamin folate, which is important for cell regulation. Pup Prep: Grind fresh flaxseeds, which are nutty and crunchy; flaxseed oil is also available in most health food stores and contains a more concentrated amount of ALA. Add the ground seeds or a teaspoon of oil to your dog’s food and increase the nutrient density of any meal. (Note: Store in refrigerator to maintain freshness.)

5. Yogurt
Active cultures known as probiotics (necessary, friendly bacteria) help keep the bad bacteria away. Yogurt, which may improve gut function, contains a number of nutrients, including protein, calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin B12, potassium, zinc and iodine. It is also a fair source of other B vitamins such as riboflavin and pantothenic acid (required for enzyme action and energy production, as well as other cellular functions). Pup Prep: A dollop of non-fat yogurt is a great way to disguise some yucky medicines.

6. Salmon
Bursting with Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s do wonders for skin, coat and brain as well as limit inflammatory processes that cause arthritic pain and other chronic canine conditions. (If your dog has any of these conditions, ask your vet if fish oil in capsule form might help.) Salmon is also an excellent protein source, with many essential vitamins and minerals.* Pup Prep: When you’re cooking salmon steaks for yourself, toss a few extra on the barbie for your dog. Refrigerate or dehydrate the grilled chunks and serve them cold.

7. Nori
Dried edible seaweed (red algae species), a Japanese staple. Often associated with sushi, nori is available in some supermarkets, and certainly in those with Asian food items. It has protein, galactans (a soluble fiber), Vitamins C, E and all the Bs, and minerals such as zinc and copper. It also contains some lesser-known sterols and chlorophyll, which have been investigated for their effects on regulating metabolism. Nori may have beneficial effects on fat metabolism, immune function and anti-tumor response. Pup Prep: Nori does not have a strong odor or flavor, and the paper-thin sheets can be torn and soaked in broth, then added to food, or just added dry. Puppy sushi, anyone?

8. Blueberries
Member of the Heath family and loaded with phytochemicals. Available year round either fresh or frozen, blueberries are a great treat for your dog. The deep blue color comes from anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidants, and the berries also supply Vitamin C, Vitamin E, manganese and fiber. Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential here; as anyone who has ever gorged on this tasty fruit knows, the blueberry “trots” are most unpleasant (and you’re the one who will be cleaning up!). Be judicious. Pup Prep: Rinse and serve whole, or mash lightly.

9. Rosemary
Aromatic mint relative. Rosemary provides some fiber, iron and calcium in addition to several phytochemicals thought to improve immune function and act as anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants. Pup Prep: Wash a sprig of fresh rosemary and add the minced needles (leaves) to foods.

10. Swiss Chard
A pretty veggie known as a “green.” Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and has tons of nutrients, which are best maintained by blanching and not boiling the leaves and stalks to mush. (Some feel that, in order to lap up any leeched nutrients, the water in which chard is blanched should be consumed too.) Blanching sweetens the leaves and frees up some of the oxalates, which can bind minerals. Chard’s nutrients have the potential to maintain bone health, blood vessel integrity, eye health and immune function and benefit optimal muscle function and energy production. Pup Prep: Offer your dog some blanched, chopped chard enhanced with a bit of olive oil; if you’re lucky, your best friend will want the blanching water too! Posted by Mel, selected from The Bark Aug 19, 2009 5:12 pm By Roschelle Heuberger, PhD, The Bark

*The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors the levels of mercury and industrial chemicals that end up in fish, both fresh- and saltwater; updates regarding contamination are readily available.


 Help Your Cat Overcome Hairballs With Natural Solutions


Cat lovers know the sound–that hacking, coughing, retching noise that means Fluffy is about to heave up a hairball. For many kitty caretakers, this purging ritual is simply a necessary evil of having cats. But it needn’t be. With a few simple changes to your cat’s diet and lifestyle, you can minimize or even prevent Fluffy’s hairballs. Hairballs develop when cats lick themselves as part of their grooming ritual. According to Carol Osborne, DVM, with the American Pet Institute in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and author of Dr. Carol’s Naturally Healthy Cats (Marshall Editors, 2006), most of the hair passes through the cat’s digestive tract and ends up as part of its litter box offerings. But some of that hair can also mix with mucus, causing a gooey ball too big to exit a cat’s body through the back door. Either Fluffy coughs it up, or–in the worst-case scenario–the hairball continues to grow and eventually obstructs his intestines. Conventional hairball remedies contain petroleum jelly, which lubes up the whole hairy mess and helps it pass through a cat’s digestive system. But Osborne says petroleum-based products can keep a cat from absorbing vital nutrients, particularly the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Natural pet care experts prefer the following ways to prevent hairballs:

  • Brush your cat every day with a wire bristle brush to remove excess hair.
  • Feed your cat a balanced diet. Osborne prefers a raw diet of meat products mixed with veggies and fresh greens for fiber; you can find some recipes at holisticat.com. If you do buy prepared cat food, Osborne suggests looking for one with natural or organic meat. According to a 2003 study conducted by scientists from the University of Wisconsin and Nestlé Purina, hairballs consist of 15 to 30 percent fat, and lecithin can effectively break up that fat–and the hairball. However, Sandy Arora, founder of holisticat.com and coauthor of Whole Health for Happy Cats (Quarry Books, 2006), says most lecithin is made from soy, which can cause thyroid problems in cats. She gives her Persians lecithin from egg yolks.
  • Increase fiber and help move the hair down and out by mixing a teaspoon of pumpkin, pureed prunes, or baby food vegetables into his food. If Fluffy turns up his nose at these offerings, Osborne advises soaking them in juice from tuna packed in water.
  • For a homemade fiber booster, Osborne recommends adding a teaspoon per meal of a gel made from 1/4 cup of psyllium husks mixed with 3/4 cup of hot water. Or try a teaspoon of slippery elm mixed with 1/2 cup of cold water (simmer until it thickens).
  • Try the homeopathic digestive remedy nux vomica. Osborne recommends one pellet every four hours for up to five days.
  • And don’t forget regular visits to your vet. “A healthy cat on a good, balanced, natural diet should really only have an issue with hairballs a few times a year at most,” Osborne says.

This information is a reference by Melissa Breyer of Care2.

If you'd like to read more:


Pet Meds: The Latest Online Scams and How to Avoid Them

After spending $56 billion on their pets last year, Americans are predicted to increase that to $60 billion this year. About half of that spending was divided between veterinary care and pet medications (prescription and over-the-counter) reported MarketWatch.

Similar to our current shopping patterns for everything from household items to human medications, more of us are purchasing our pet meds online and searching for the greatest discounts. Be careful. Your desire to save a few bucks may cost you your beloved pet’s health. There are a multitude of online scams in the pet pharmaceutical industry.

1. Revolving charges for recurring shipments that you never authorized

If you set up auto-shipments, make sure there is a way to turn that monthly charge off when you desire. Some online companies make it nearly impossible to cancel auto-payments.

What you can do to protect your pocketbook:
Call your credit card company to cancel authorization as soon as you have contacted the online company to discontinue your monthly refills.

2. Shipments that never arrive or are greatly delayed

Particularly watch out for delays in companies who are based abroad. If Fido is waiting for needed medication that his health depends on,  you may not want to take this risk.

What you can do to protect your pet’s health:
Have a backup plan with your local vet or well-stocked pharmacy. MarketWatch also reported,

“To try to get your money back if they don’t deliver when promised, request it both in writing and verbally; that may not work though, in which case, you may have to go through your credit card company.”

3. Fake pharmacies, fake medications

This is the worst of all scams, in my opinion, as it could mean life or death for your beloved pet. Fake pills include “sugar pills, diluted versions of the medication, medication with additives that may be bad for your pet, and more. Of the 420 online pet pharmacies reviewed on SiteJabber (a website where customers can review online businesses), more than one in three were identified as non-legitimate pharmacies, meaning that they likely violated laws or regulations around the sale of drugs,” reported MarketWatch.

What you can do to make sure you are getting the pet meds you ordered:
Verify that the site you ordered from is Vet-VIPPS, Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. Enter the online pharmacy’s website at LegitScript.com. They monitor approved internet pharmacies on an ongoing basis and review compliance with their standards at least quarterly.

Personally, I’ve been ordering from 1800PetMeds.com and have received all of Sanchez and Gina‘s medication promptly. Customer service has also been stellar. I checked with LegitScript and was relieved to learn that they are approved as a legitimate online pharmacy. While I wouldn’t give the included milk-bone treat in each package to my dogs, I do think it’s a nice extra touch.

How about you? Do you order your pet’s medications online? What sites would you recommend? Thanks for sharing your experiences in a comment below.

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time!

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the Through a Dog’s Ear newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/pet-meds-the-latest-online-scams-and-how-to-avoid-them.html#ixzz3ABGvIFpo

Treating Burns on Doggies...   My dog always comes to greet us when we get home from motorcycle rides, so I try to watch for of those hot pipes. She knows how to sit till she is asked to move. But just in case "heaven forbid"...

The thought of an animal suffering a scald or burn is hard to take, but with a little knowledge you can be prepared to take the proper course of action–and to avoid doing things that can hurt your pet even more.

First thing to do: examine the extent of the burn. Look under the fur. If the skin is intact, apply or submerge in cold water. Never use ice. Burns are categorized by depth. First-degree burns are superficial,second-degree burns extend to the middle layer of the skin, and third-degree burns are the deepest:

• First-degree burns: Superficial, stemming from minor sunburns or hot liquids, red and slightly swollen.

• Second-degree burns: Affecting middle skin layer, from deep sunburns or flash burns from chemical, blistered and wet looking.

• Third-degree burns: Involving the deepest skin destruction, white and puffy or charred and black.

First- and Second- Degree Burns
Submerge or rinse with cold water or apply a clean cloth soaked in cold water.
If blisters are closed, apply a clean, dry bandage.
If blisters are open, do not cover.
Do not break blisters open. Do not peel skin.
Let heal naturally.
If blister is large or does not heal, consult your veterinarian.

Third-degree Burns
Do not move the animal unless necessary.
Do not immerse in cold water.
Treat for shock (cover animal to retain body heat).
Apply a clean, thick, dry dressing (don’t wrap, just cover).
Do not remove burned skin or charred material.
Seek veterinary attention immediately.

5 Ways to Make Bath Time Easier for Cats

Cats typically do a wonderful job of cleaning themselves and generally don’t need any help from us.  But every now and then you may have to bathe your cat.  Yikes!  If your kitty is anything like my Jessie Cat (pictured here), she may fight you tooth and nail.  Let me suggest a few ideas for you to help you make bath time easier for cats that may need it.

Make Bath Time Easier for Cats

JESSIE CAT – my 16 year old girl

1)  Timing is Everything

If your cat is less than enthusiastic about bath time, tire her out beforehand. Engage in a nice, long play session to help expend the energy she’d use to fight you in the tub or sink.

2)  Be Prepared

Have everything you’re going to need, such as shampoo and towels, already in place and at arm’s reach before you bring the cat into the room.

3)  Have a Helper

It can be nearly impossible to bathe a cat on your own if she insists on putting up a fight. Enlist the help of someone who is calm and patient.

4)  Clip Her Nails

You may want to trim your cat’s nails before bath time for your own protection. You could do this several hours before the bath, or even the day before the bath so your cat isn’t already overly stressed out even before the bath begins.

5)  Be Gentle

Always talk to your cat in a calm, relaxed tone and handle her with care in the tub. If she squirms, it can be a natural reaction to clamp down. Try to be as gentle as possible to avoid hurting her or causing her to fight back even harder.  The water temperature should also be warm (not too hot or cold) so as to not shock her system, which could trigger a fighting response.

Bonus: Praise, Praise, Praise

After the bath is over, be sure to lavish your cat in praise and treats. This will help associate the bath with pleasurable attention and may help her relax a bit the next time she needs a cleaning.

7 Ways Your Cat Improves Your Health

  Do yourself a favor: It is already well-established fact that having cats or dogs (or bunnies, etc.) in the family is good for your health. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges it. Many studies have found a variety of health benefits we derive from petting and interacting with companion animals. But purring in particular? A new study has discovered that purrs aren’t just adorable, they are also therapeutic. Daily Infographic illustrates: Do yourself a favor: rev up your cat’s purr motor. You will both feel great.

Pets Help Sick People Feel Better WebMD describes a number of benefits ill people derive from living with companion animals.

1. “Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts” if they live with a companion animal.

2. “Pet owners with AIDS are far less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.”

3. People who suffer from high blood pressure, then adopt a cat or dog, navigate stressful situations with lower blood pressure than people who don’t have pets.

4. “Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without.”

Pets Also Help Prevent Health Problems

5. Taking care of a pet provides elderly people with “exercise and companionship,” with such a positive effect that one company gives bonus points to elderly life insurance applicants for having a pet.

6. “Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease — lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels — than non-owners.”

7. Want your kids to breathe easy? Make sure they have furry family members. That lowers the risk that they will have allergies, asthma and even eczema, plus it strengthens their immune systems.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/14-ways-your-cat-improves-your-health.html#ixzz3DyDXLIKG

There are OTC ( over the counter) drugs that are safe for your pet and others that will harm permanently or kill.

The Georgia Shih Tzu An Arizona Breeder

Before I explain anything else please remember that any OTC (over the counter) drugs can harm your dog. Most drugs acceptable for dogs will still harm a cat. They should be administered in smaller weight doses than children and no more than one or twice daily.
There are OTC drugs that are safe for your pet and others that will harm permanently or kill. Acceptable medications include, Benedryl, Aspirin, Pepto Bismol, Pedialyte (not really a medication), Pepcid AC, ChlorTrimeton, Dramamine, Tagamet, Saline sprays and Little Noses, Vaporizers, Antibiotic Ointments, Gas X, Beano, Hydrogen Peroxide, Robitussin DM, and Hydrocortisones. Safe dosage amounts are below. Please be extra careful to read the active ingredients before giving to your pet. Any other drugs I have not listed can cause serious damage so stay away from combination drugs! Stay away from Tylenol, Motrin and Ibuprofen, they will cause serious harm to your dog and cat that can result in death.

Aspirin- Pain & swelling- only safe for dogs; should be administered at 5 mg per pound no more than twice a day.
Benedryl- Allergies- only safe for dogs; 1-3 mg per pound is enough to relieve symptoms; no more than twice a day.
Chlortrimeton- Allergies- safe for dogs and cats; 2 mg per 10 lbs of weight 2-3 times daily per dog and half the dosage per cat.
Antibiotic Ointments & Hydrocortisone- Cuts, abrasions & skin irritations- safe for dogs and cats; applied as much and as often as necessary, external use only.
Pedialyte- Dehydration- safe for dogs and cats; give as much and as often as needed to rehydrate from vomiting and diarrhea.
Pepto Bismol- Nausea- only safe for dogs; 1 tsp per 20 lbs of weight every 4-6 hours.
Pepcid AC- Nausea- safe for dogs and cats; 1 mg per 4 lbs of weight 1-2 times daily.
Tagamet- Ulcer & stomach acid- safe for dogs and cats; 1 mg per 4 lbs of weight 1-2 times daily.
Dramamine- Motion sickness & calming- safe for dogs and cats; 12 mg /small dogs and cats; 25 mg /medium dogs and 50 mg /large dogs one hour before traveling.
Gas X & Beano- Flatulence- safe for dogs and cats; 30 mg /small dogs and cats, 60 mg /medium dogs, 125 mg /large dogs once daily. If you suspect your dog of bloat give a double dosage of Gas X and run to the vet.
Vaporizers- Colds & kennel cough- use as often and as long as necessary, external use only.
Glucosamine with/without Chondroitin sulfate- Joint pain & arthritis- safe for dogs and cats; 500 mg /cats and small dogs, 1000 mg /medium dogs and 1500 mg /large dogs.
Hydrogen Peroxide- Induce vomiting- safe for dogs and cats; 1-10 tsp, per size, given orally once. Do not repeat if not effective and not effective for cleaning wounds.
Little Noses & Saline sprays- Sinus infections and dry nasal cavities- safe for dogs and cats; can be used as often as needed or recommended on bottle.
Robitussin DM- Coughing- safe for dogs and cats; .5 ml every 8 hours. Only the DM product!!
Olive Oil- Constipation- safe for dogs and cats; .5 ml 1-3lbs, 1ml per 3-10 lbs.

Always be very careful before you give your pet a drug. They can have serious side effects that are irreversible and can result in death. Do not give more than one drug to your dog without consulting your vet.  There are other topics offered as well such as: Refusing to walk or use a limb, Bald patches, rashes, irritations & scratching, Infections, Breathing problems, Stomach problems and food and more...

To read more:  http://www.gashihtzu.com/pain.html

Beware of Raisins and grapes causing acute Renal failure.


This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday.  He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1 AM on Wednesday but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7 AM.
I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but... Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison
Control   Center and they said  to give IV fluids at 1 & 1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours. The dog's BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids.  At that point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care. He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values continued to increase daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn't control his vomiting. Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220 ... He continued to vomit and the owners elected to Euthanize.

This is a very sad case - great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk. Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handler's. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern. Onions, chocolate, cocoa, avocados and macadamia nuts can be fatal, too.  Written by: Laurinda Morris, DVM Danville  Veterinary Clinic Danville,  OH

Does Lead in Toys Pose a Danger to Pets?


Whether your pet prefers squeaky rubber squirrels, stiff rawhide bones or fuzzy mice, he or she undoubtedly loves to play with toys. But is the source of your dog's or cat’s merriment safe? Many common household products—including toys for children and pets—may contain trace amounts of lead and other toxins. In most cases, however, the levels of these ingredients in toys don’t pose a significant threat to your furry friend.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) reviewed 200,000 cases from the past two years and produced no examples of lead poisoning from pet toys. According to Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, ASPCA Vice President and Medical Director of the APCC, younger dogs, just like children, are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, but most studies reveal only tiny amounts of lead in pet toys—not a grave risk for acute or chronic lead poisoning in dogs. “Just because it's 'detectable' doesn't necessarily make it hazardous,” says Dr. Gwaltney-Brant. “Even oxygen is toxic at the right concentration.” And what about other types of treats such as rawhide bones? Like pet toys, rawhide chews can include trace amounts of pesky chemicals. Dr. Safdar Khan, Director of Toxicology at the ASPCA, believes many dog lovers would be surprised if they learned the true contents of their pets’ treats. But he also adds that pet parents would likely be surprised if they knew the complete ingredients of what they eat and drink, too.

The reality is that a dog is much more likely to suffer obstruction from a rawhide bone than poisoning from a hidden toxin. In general, the smaller the dog, the fewer rawhide treats he should receive, and only give your pet raw hides under a watchful eye. Remember, it’s always wise to supervise! And lest you think we’re leaving out our feline fans, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when shopping for kitty’s favorite play things:

  • The wand toy, often adorned with feathers, string or small stuffed toys, is ubiquitous. But take care with it, and watch for pieces of string or other components that might fall from the toy and get swallowed by your cat.
  • Another popular treat for the kitty set is catnip. Word to the wise—some cats become very excited when smelling or eating it, so be careful about petting your cat until you know how she will respond.
  • Please don’t let your cat play with rubber bands, paper clips or plastic bags. All can prove dangerous and a choking risk to our feline friends.

For more information about playing it safe with your pet, please visit APCC online.


  Animal allergy prevention and control.

The Allergy Relief Center - Your BEST resource for allergy relief products        

The Allergy Relief Center offers high-quality, physician-recommended products for animal dander allergy prevention and control. The Allergy Relief Center is dedicated to providing the finest pet allergy relief and control products, plus the Allerpet product line of cat dander and dog dander removers.  We offer the Allerpet pet allergy reduction products at competitive prices, together with superior customer service.

Of the many animal allergies, dog and cat allergies are the most prevalent, although many allergy sufferers react to birds, horses, cows and pigs. It is not the cat or dog hair itself that causes the allergy, but the old skin cells (dander) that are constantly being shed. Allergic individuals may produce allergy antibodies (IgE) when exposed to a protein found in cat hair roots and cats' salivary glands. The allergy antibodies cause mast cells to release histamine, exploding "allergy bombs" in the body. 

A major problem for those genetically predisposed to allergies occurs when cat dander or dog dander becomes airborne. Inhaling animal dander may cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, watery and itching eyes, hives, coughing and constricting of bronchial tubes, making breathing difficult.

You may react with pet allergy symptoms to one cat and not another. Long-haired cats and dogs do not necessarily produce more animal dander than short-haired pets. Individual pets produce individual amounts of animal dander.

 To read more: http://www.theallergyreliefcenter.com/animal_allergy.htm


Purchasing Pet Drugs Online: Buyer Beware

"Discount pet drugs—no prescription required" may appeal to pet owners surfing the Web, but FDA experts say it can be risky to buy drugs online from sites that tout this message and others like it.

Some of the Internet sites that sell pet drugs represent legitimate, reputable pharmacies, says Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., deputy director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance in FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). But others are fronts for unscrupulous businesses operating against the law.

FDA has found companies that sell unapproved pet drugs and counterfeit pet products, make fraudulent claims, dispense prescription drugs without requiring a prescription, and sell expired drugs.

Pet owners who purchase drugs from these companies may think they are saving money, says Hartogensis, but in reality, they may be short-changing their pet's health and putting its life at risk.

CVM regulates the manufacture and distribution of animal drugs, while individual state pharmacy boards regulate the dispensing of prescription veterinary products.

Red Flags

Some foreign Internet pharmacies advertise that veterinary prescription drugs are available to U.S. citizens without a prescription. But, says Hartogensis, "There is a risk of the drugs not being FDA-approved."

A foreign or domestic pharmacy may claim that one of its veterinarians on staff will "evaluate" the pet after looking over a form filled out by the pet owner, and then prescribe the drug. "A veterinarian should physically examine an animal prior to making a diagnosis to determine the appropriate therapy," says Hartogensis.

CVM is especially concerned that pet owners are going online to buy two types of commonly used prescription veterinary drugs—nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and heartworm preventives.

"Both drugs can be dangerous if there is no professional involvement," says Hartogensis. "It's not generally a concern if the owner uses a legitimate online pharmacy and mails in a prescription from their veterinarian, who is monitoring the animal. But if there is no veterinarian–client–patient relationship, it's a dangerous practice."

NSAIDS and Heartworm Preventives

Veterinarians often prescribe NSAIDs to relieve pain in dogs. NSAIDs should not be purchased on the Internet without a veterinarian's involvement because

  • dogs should undergo blood testing and a thorough physical examination before starting NSAIDs
  • dogs should be monitored by a veterinarian while they are taking NSAIDs
  • veterinarians should discuss possible side effects of NSAIDs with the owner
  • the prescription should be accompanied by a Client Information Sheet that explains important safety information to the owner

Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal condition transmitted by the bite of a mosquito that is carrying infected larvae of the heartworm parasite. Dogs, cats, and ferrets can get heartworm. Heartworm preventives, given daily, monthly, or semiannually, depending on the product, kill the larvae before they become adult worms.

The American Heartworm Society recommends

  • using heartworm medication for dogs year-round, no matter where you live in the United States
  • getting dogs tested yearly to make sure they're not infected with heartworm

"Testing is important even in dogs regularly treated with heartworm preventive products due to the occasional reports of product ineffectiveness," says Hartogensis. An Internet pharmacy veterinarian cannot draw blood from the animal to perform the test. If the test isn't done, a pet owner could be giving heartworm preventives to a dog that has heartworms, potentially leading to severe reactions.

Tips for Buying Pet Drugs Online

  • Order from a Web site that belongs to a Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacy. Vet-VIPPS—the Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites—is a voluntary accreditation program of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). NABP gives the Vet-VIPPS seal to online pharmacies that dispense prescription animal drugs and comply with NABP's strict criteria, including federal and state licensing and inspection requirements, protecting patient confidentiality, quality assurance, and validity of prescription orders. Look for the Vet-VIPPS seal displayed on a pharmacy's Web site or check with NABP5 (click on "Accreditation Programs") to find out if a pharmacy is Vet-VIPPS accredited. Because this is a new program, begun in 2009, a small number of pharmacies are currently Vet-VIPPS accredited.
  • Order from an outsourced prescription management service that your veterinarian uses. These state-licensed Internet pharmacy services work directly with the veterinarian, require that a prescription be written by the veterinarian, and support the veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Ask your veterinary hospital if it uses an Internet pharmacy service.

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Health Information Web page6, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Safety Tips for Hiking with Your Dog

What better way to spend a fall day than hiking with your best friend—your best canine friend, that is! Sure, the fall season is a great time for hikers to get outside and enjoy the beauty of changing colors, but it’s also the perfect way to spend quality time with your pet. Dogs love to explore our country’s vast natural beauty as much their two-legged counterparts—not to mention, hiking is great exercise for all. But remember, a hiking trail isn’t your average walk around the block. There are some real dangers associated with this seasonal pastime, including heat exhaustion, potential falls and the possibility of getting lost. Lucky for you and your pooch, our experts have come up with a list of safety tips to keep your hikes safe and fun.

Use Proper Leashes:  Extending leashes are great for wide open spaces, but if your romp is taking you through wooded areas, it’s best to leave the flexi-leads at home. Otherwise, you’ll probably spend more time untangling your dog’s leash from trees and brush than you will enjoying your walk!

Drink Plenty of Fluids: Both you and your pooch need to stay hydrated, so bring enough water for two. Don’t allow your pup to drink from puddles, ponds, lakes or streams—they may contain parasites or toxins that could cause harm.

IDs Please: Whether you’re using a leash or not, don’t forget IDs, please! Always make sure that your current contact information, including your cell phone number, is attached to your dog’s collar or body harness. If for any reason your pet gets lost, a collar and tags and a microchip will increase the likelihood that he or she will be returned to you.

Keep Vaccinations Up-to-Date: You never know what you may encounter on a hike—so before setting out into the wilderness, check your pet’s veterinary records and make sure his vaccinations are up-to-date.

Read our complete list of hiking safety tips!


Can I be infected with HIV or AIDS through contact with animals such as dogs and cats?

No. HIV is a Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It only affects humans. There are some other types of immunodeficiency viruses that specifically affect cats and other primates, namely the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV). These viruses are of no risk to humans. Some people have expressed concern that they could become infected if scratched by an animal that has previously scratched an HIV positive person. This is exceptionally unlikely, and there are no documented cases of transmission occurring in this way. http://www.avert.org/faq1.htm

Diseases from Animals

Important Tip!

Many germs can be passed to people from dog bites. Learn more about how to prevent dog bites from the Humane Society of the United States.


Dogs: Some people are more likely than others to get diseases from dogs. A person's age and health status may affect his or her immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick. People who are more likely to get diseases from dogs include infants, children younger than 5 years old, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS, and people being treated for cancer. Special advice is available for people who are at greater risk than others of getting diseases from animals.

Below, you can learn more about dog-related diseases. These are just a few for Dogs:

Brucella canis Infection (brucellosis): A bacterial disease rarely associated with dogs. Campylobacter Infection (campylobacteriosis): A bacterial disease associated with dogs, cats, and farm animals. Cryptosporidium Infection (cryptosporidiosis): A parasitic disease associated with dogs, especially puppies, cats, and farm animals. Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm): A parasitic disease associated with dogs, cats and fleas. Giardia Infection (giardiasis): A parasitic disease associated with various animals, including dogs and their environment (including water). Hookworm Infection: A parasitic disease associated with dogs and cats and their environment. Leishmania Infection (leishmaniasis): A parasitic disease associated with dogs and sand flies outside the United States. Leptospira Infection (leptospirosis): A bacterial disease associated with wild and domestic animals, including dogs. Lyme Disease: A bacterial disease that can affect dogs and ticks.

Diseases from Cats: Although cats can carry diseases and pass them to people, you are not likely to get sick from touching or owning a cat. By following simple health tips, you can be even safe-against cat-related diseases.

Important Fact!

People are probably more likely to get toxoplasmosis from gardening or eating raw meat than from having a pet cat. Special tips are available for pregnant women.


Some cat-related diseases that make people sick are common, such as cat scratch disease (or cat scratch fever), and others such as plague (play-g), are rare. Toxoplasmosis (TOX-o-plaz-MO-sis) is a disease that can come from cats, but people are more likely to get it from eating raw meat or from gardening. Cats can also carry rabies, a deadly viral disease.

Some people are more likely than others to get diseases from cats. A person's age and health status may affect his or her immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick. People who are more likely to get diseases from cats include infants, children younger than 5 years old, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS, and people being treated for cancer. Special advice is available for people who are at greater risk than others of getting diseases from animals.

Learn more about selected cat-related diseases below. These are just a few:

Campylobacter Infection (campylobacteriosis): A bacterial disease associated with cats, dogs, and farm animals.

Cat Scratch Disease (Bartonella henselae): A bacterial disease associated with cat scratches and bites. Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever): A bacterial disease occasionally associated with cats. Cryptosporidium Infection (cryptosporidiosis): A parasitic disease associated with cats, dogs, and farm animals. Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm): A parasitic disease associated with cats, dogs and fleas. Hookworm Infection: A parasitic disease associated with cats, dogs and their environment. Leptospira Infection (leptospirosis): A bacterial disease associated wild and domestic animals including cats. Plague (Yersinia pestis) Infection: A rare bacterial disease associated with rodents and cats and fleas. Q Fever (Coxiella burnetii): A bacterial disease occasionally associated with cats. Rabies: A viral disease associated with various animals, including cats. Ringworm: A fungal disease associated various animals, including with cats.

To read more on each topic :

Can animals have ADHD or be retarded?

Yes to both. 

Animal ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Does your dog jump on you so vigorously that it takes at least a few minutes before you are able to settle in when you arrive home? Is your dog so restless and active that it starts barking every time it hears the slightest noise behind the door? Is it difficult for you to take your dog for a walk, because it pulls on the leash, jumps and barks the moment you want to play? If you answered “yes” to at least one of the above-mentioned questions, it means that your dog may suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Unfortunately, it’s no use trying to convince yourself that the dog will grow out of such behavior. Hyperactivity is not normal for any of the dog breeds and the animal diagnosed with ADHD should be taken care of as soon as possible. In the majority of cases, the main reason of the dog’s extreme activity is too much built-up energy. If the owner doesn’t provide sufficient training for the animal, it won’t be able to let off steam and as a result will get even more excited and hyperactive. It’s very possible that such an animal will constantly search for the opportunity to get involved in some sort of activity and will demand the owner’s attention all the time. Sometimes such a huge amount of energy has been suppressed in the dog for months or even years and it takes a lot of time to get rid of that.

The best way to do so is to get your dog tired. Take it for a long, hourly walk and try to ride a bike or roller blade at the same time. This will give the dog the exercise it needs so badly and will teach it to follow the owner, not the other way round. It is the owner who chooses the route and decides when it’s time to stop. It is also the owner, being the leader of the group, who teaches the dog not to act up when passing by another person or other animals. It is a great way to spend time together while helping your dog get rid of the surplus of energy level. When working on improving the dog’s behavior it’s good to make use of its natural instincts. Try to combine teaching with fun, agility training, searching for objects or people. Training overactive dogs can be long and tiresome process, but sometimes you can see the effects after the first day.

Read more: http://www.petlvr.com/blog/2010/04/can-dogs-have-adhd/#ixzz15EyCNOiB


"Dogs can be mentally retarded. Typically, you will not see these animals around your local neighborhood. Mother dogs sense the challenges that the puppy will have shortly after birth and will neglect it until it dies. There are several cases of mentally challenged dogs taken to the vet and these are euthenized due to the enormous difficulties involved in raising the canine. These animals, if they make it past the previous two stumbling blocks, will tend to die very young due to their ailment, i.e. paralysis and seizures. Most owners referring to a mentally retarded or challenged dog are simply using slang to describe behavior patterns. Training and experience will improve the traits of these animals."

To read more about retardation and other symptoms:

These are formulas for homemade Puppy and Kitten Milk

Home made Puppy milk:

There are a number of different reasons that a puppy might find itself orphaned or "excluded" from the litter. If you have an orphaned or rejected puppy, it's important to know how to take care of it. Give the pup a warm, dry bed, check with a vet about cleaning it and feed it a milk replacer. Puppies drink milk until they're four to five weeks old.
Things You'll Need:

    * Pet nursing bottles
    * Homemade milk replacer (evaporated milk and water/goat milk, egg yolks, plain yogurt, Karo syrup/corn oil, pediatric multivitamin)

Step 1: Mix the formula according to the label, or buy supplies and mix your own. Most pet stores and vet offices have powdered formula to replace puppy milk. For the homemade recipe, mix one-half cup of evaporated milk with one cup of boiling water, one teaspoon of corn oil or Karo syrup, one drop of pediatric multivitamin, two raw egg yolks and one tablespoon of whole plain yogurt. Heat to room temperature. If you don't want to use evaporated milk, substitute goat's milk and cut out the water.
2. Put your mixture into a puppy bottle. Shake the bottle vigorously to mix the formula, and make sure that only a couple of drops of milk come out the nipple at once. Too much milk will choke the puppy.

3. Insert the nipple of the bottle into the puppy's mouth, using your fingers to pry its mouth open. Squeeze the bottle to push a couple of drops of formula into the pup's mouth. This should get the puppy sucking on its own. 

4. Use a syringe to feed the puppy if it's weak. Fill the syringe with the formula, gently pry open the puppy's mouth and squeeze the formula in. Close the puppy's mouth on the formula. Once it swallows, repeat the process.

5. Feed small, frequent amounts rather than overfeeding the puppy.

Homemade Kitten Milk:  You can use this kitten milk substitute to successfully hand-rear baby felines

 There are a number of different reasons that a kitten might find itself orphaned or "excluded" from the litter. If you have an orphaned or rejected kitten, it's important to know how to take care of it.

13 ounces unflavored Pedialyte
12 ounces goat milk
8 ounces plain live culture yogurt
2-1/2 ounces lamb baby food
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons Karo white corn syrup

Put all ingredients into a blender and mix well. Put kitten milk into Nurse-Maid pet nursing bottle (found at Wal-Mart) and heat to lukewarm. Test on the inside of your wrist. Be sure to stir the milk in the container each time before you refill the bottle. Put remaining kitten milk into 8 ounce containers and freeze until needed. Two-week-old kittens will drink about 1/2 ounce every 4 hours. Four-week-old kittens will drink about 1 to 1-1/2 ounces every five hours.

Orphaned Kitten Formula
Keep this kitten milk recipe handy for feeding orphaned kittens in an emergency
1 can  goat's milk
1 cup Pedialyte (or generic equivalent, unflavored)
1 egg yolk
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1/2 teaspoon liquid infant vitamins

Blend together. Heat small amounts in microwave to "wrist comfortable" temperature immediately before administering. Store leftovers in refrigerator no longer than 72 hours. Blend before serving each time.

To administer kitten milk, use a syringe without needle or use a kitten feeding bottle. Start with small amounts and work up gradually as kitten grows. Administer kitten milk once every two hours during first two weeks, every three during third week, every four during fourth week. During fourth week, start blending a small can of high quality ground kitten food into the mixture. Note: Never feed a kitten cow's milk or human baby formula as this causes stomach upset and severe diarrhea. If a kitten is already dehydrated, this could prove fatal. This includes condensed/evaporated canned cow's milk!


Delivering Puppies:

Try not to worry - over ninety-eight percent of all dogs deliver their puppies without assistance or complications. But when it's your pet that is set to deliver puppies it is comforting to know that things are proceeding without hitches and on schedule. Here are some of the things that should happen as your dog begins to deliver her puppies.

Just Before Labor Begins:

Pregnancy in dogs last approximately 63 days (56-69 days). Toy breeds may deliver a week earlier while large breeds often deliver later. Two weeks before your dog’s due date, begin to take its temperature at noon. Purchase a rectal or oral thermometer but use it rectally. You can lubricate it with margarine or KY jelly and insert it about an inch. Leave it in place for three minutes. Your dog’s temperature should be between 101 and 102.5 Fahrenheit. When the pet’s temperature drops below 100F she should deliver the pups in less than twenty-four hours.

Stage One of Labor:

During the first stage of labor the cervix begins to dilate and uterine contractions begin. These contractions are painful and perplexing to the dog. She will appear quite uncomfortable and restless - pacing, shivering and panting. She probably will not eat and she may even vomit. Some dogs whine persistently. Others occupy themselves building a nest. Uterine contractions, although occurring, are not as easy to see as in humans. This is the longest stage of labor. It generally lasts six to eighteen hours. By the end of this period the dog’s cervix will have completely dilated for the puppies to pass. During this period keep the mother’s environment quiet and calm. I usually shut them off in a darkened area such as the bathroom.

Stage Two of Labor:

During the second stage of labor, uterine contractions begin in force. As this stage progresses the placental water sacks break and a straw-colored fluid is passed. Placentas are expelled after each puppy or sporadically during labor. Pups usually appear every half-hour or so after ten to thirty minutes of forceful straining. As the pups deliver, the mother will lick the puppy clean and bite off the umbilical cord. It is important to let the mother do this, if she will, because through this process she bonds with her puppies and learns to recognize them as her own. The rough licking of the mother stimulates the puppies to breathe and improves their circulation. The mother will probably eat some of the afterbirths. If the bitch does not tear away the sac and lick the pups to stimulate respiration, the owner should tear the sac open, clear all fluid away from the pup's nose and mouth, and vigorously rub the pup to stimulate breathing.

It is not uncommon, however, for the mother to take rests during labor and up to four hours can pass between some puppies. If more than four hours have passed without a puppy and you are certain more puppies are present take the dog to a veterinary hospital. Also seek assistance if the mother strains forcefully for over an hour without producing another pup. If you see the rear legs of a puppy protruding from the dog’s vagina you can assist the mother by gently pulling the puppy in a downward and rearward arcing motion. You must do this very gently because puppies are fragile and easily hurt. It is normal for many puppies to be born rear feet first or breach. When a mother dog is stuck in incomplete labor the first thing I do is administer oxytocin and calcium to stimulate uterine contractions. If the puppies are too big to pass through the birth canal or the oxytocin fails to induce successful labor, I perform a cesarean section on the dog.

Stage Three of Labor:

The concept of a third stage of labor is borrowed from human labor terms. It is a very indistinct period in dogs. Once all the puppies have been born the dog enters this third stage of labor during which time the uterus contracts fully, expelling any remaining placenta, blood and fluid.


After thirty-two days of pregnancy the mother’s appetite will begin to increase. She should begin to eat about twice as much as she used to. When the puppies come and she is producing milk, her food consumption should be about three times as much as it was before her pregnancy.
Purchase a name brand puppy chow to feed her with during these periods. If you do so, there is no need to give her supplements of any kind. There is no need to restrict the mother’s normal exercise but intensive exercise or work training should be curtailed.

Around the forty-fifth day, bring the pet in to be examined by a veterinarian. At this time the vet
will be able to palpate the puppies and give you an indication of how many to expect. If you need to know earlier, then have an ultrasound examination performed about the twenty-fifth day.
Blood progesterone levels can be tested about day 34 to confirm pregnancy.

Important note: Feed your dog or cat puppy or kitten food while nursing because it has the most nutrients in it for a boost of vitamins for you mommy animals.
The puppies will be born still covered by their amniotic membrane. This membrane must be removed from the puppy’s face in order for it to breathe. Most momma dogs are very attentive to the newborn puppy and lick and tear the membrane off. If they are not or you just don’t have the patience to wait, assist the dog in doing this. Peel the membrane away and remove mucous from the puppy’s mouth and nose with a soft towel. Tie a piece of dental floss or thread around the umbilical cord about an inch from the puppy’s belly button and cut the cord distal to the knot.
Ron Hines DVM PhD



Delivering Kittens:


What Should I Expect During Delivery?

Twenty-four to forty-eight hours before labor begins, your cat will seem more anxious and restless. It will often poke its head about looking for a place to nest and have the litter. But this behavior sometimes occurs early as three days before they actually deliver. At this point confine her to the room you want her to give birth in. It should be a darkened room with an impervious floor in a quiet area of the house that is not too cold or hot. Place food and water in the room and let her get used to it.

Cats that are about to go into labor will usually lick their abdomen and vagina persistently. There is often a discharge that precedes birthing, but the mother will lick it away as rapidly as it appears. Her cervix will be dilating but no outward signs accompany this. Do not attempt to poke your finger in her.

She will loose all interest in food and become serious and attentive to only her licking. If you are perceptive, you may notice an increase in her breathing rate. It is quite common for the mother to sit with her mouth open and yowl loudly or pace the room. As her labor progresses and uterine contractions begin, pregnant cats will lay on their sides and intermittently squat and press downward to expel the kittens. Do not interrupt or disturb the mother during these periods – just watch from a door left ajar.

How Long Should I Wait?

The first kitten should arrive within an hour after the onset of labor. Sometimes labor lasts only a few minutes before the kitten arrives. Other kittens should arrive with an interval of ten minutes to an hour between them.

Each kitten arrives wrapped in a jelly-like membrane filled with clear fluid – the amniotic sac. Good mothers immediately begin licking the kitten forcefully, which shreds this sac allowing the kitten to breathe. This licking stimulates the kittens circulation and respiration.

In the exceptionally rare case where the mother does not free the kitten’s mouth from the obstructing membrane, you should do it for her and follow this with a vigorous rubbing of the kitten in a soft towel to dry it and stimulate it to breath. Kittens are delicate - so don't over-do the rubbing.

The mother will also chew off the umbilical cord at this time. If she forgets to do this to one or more of the kittens, you can tie off the cord with a length of dental floss or string and snip the cord about an inch long. It is important to let the mother do these things herself if she is willing because through licking and mothering the kitten she bonds with it and recognizes it as her infant. It also helps her to let down her milk.

The mother cat will probably begin nursing the kitten before the next littermates arrives. If she doesn't, place the kitten on one of her nipples. The nursing will stimulate her uterus to contract further so you may seen a bloody or greenish discharge at her vagina. She may eat a few of the afterbirths. There is no problem with that.

It usually takes two to six hours for the entire litter to be delivered. If labor persists beyond seven hours it is wise to take the mother and the kittens to a veterinarian. While she is delivering keep her area quiet, calm and dimly lit. Don’t become involved in the birthing unless you are certain that you are needed. Once the last kitten has been delivered you can quietly clean up the mess she has left behind. Place a fresh bowel of water and some cat food beside her because mother cats don’t like to leave their kittens for the first day or two.

What Will I See?

She should spend about 70% of her time nursing the kittens. Remember to keep a comfortable temperature in the room – kittens can not regulate their body temperatures during their first six days. In a normal delivery, strong uterine contractions are accompanied by abdominal contractions and expulsion of the kittens. The first thing you will see is a small, greenish sac visible in the vagina, which will be followed by the kitten. The placenta is still attached to the kitten at this time. It will slowly drag out following each birth. Although delivery of each kitten can take up to two hours the average time is thirty to sixty minutes. A kitten should not spend more than fifteen minutes in the birth canal. While in the birth canal, pressure on the umbilical cord deprives the kitten of oxygen. If you should see a kitten in this predicament grasp it gently through a soft clothe and pull it with a motion that is backwards and downwards. Grasp the kitten by its hips or shoulders and not by its legs or head. It is normal for kittens to arrive either head first or tail first.

After birth, The mother may discharge a bloody fluid for up to 10 days. Cats usually lick the discharge up as fast as it is produced. Only become concerned if the discharge becomes pus-like or has a strong odor.

Things To Keep On Hand When Your Cat Is Expecting:

Keep plenty of clean towels on hand when your cat is expecting. Go to Wal Mart and purchase a bottle of tame iodine solution (Betadine) for antiseptic, some Q-tips and a pair of blunt scissors. Buy a package of dental floss in case you need to tie off the kitten’s umbilical cords. A baby nose suction bulb works well to clean mucus from the mouth and nose of infant kittens. If it is cold, buy a heavy duty-heating pad.
Ron Hines DVM PhD


Important note: Feed your dog or cat puppy or kitten food while nursing because it has the most nutrients in it for a boost of vitamins for you mommy animals.

PET SAFETY From A Fire Department

Owning a pet has become a popular activity. The care of these animals is often dependent upon school-aged children. Many animals are hurt, injured or killed every day in the because of oversight or carelessness by pet owners.

Cat Safety
Dog Safety

Strange Or Stray Dogs

General Safety Guidelines For Pets

When An Animal Is Injured

Cat Safety

Cats love to chew and play with anything that arouses their curiosity. They often are seen on television commercials running after a ball of string or playing with objects in the yard. Although it is perfectly normal for cats to chase, chew and play with objects that arouse their sense of curiosity, be careful that they do not eat these items and allow them to get lodged in their stomachs. Plus, string could get wrapped around their necks and strangle them. Do not allow them to play or chew on electrical cords since the danger of electrocution and burn injury is very real.

Christmas and Thanksgiving can be dangerous for cats. When cooking turkey or roast, carefully dispose of the grease-filled, flavorful strings in the outside garbage can with a secured lid. A cat will quickly get to them and could swallow some harmful items if they are not secured. Tinsel is also a threat. During Christmas, cats may play with the tinsel on the Christmas tree and swallow it. Tinsel is plastic coated and does not appear when x-rayed. This makes diagnosis of a stomach obstruction difficult. Just like all other electrical cords, Christmas tree light cords also should be placed out of a cat's reach.

Cats frequently eat objects that can cause obstruction or internal injury. A loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea is an indication that the cat is ill. The cat should be taken to the veterinarian for evaluation and treatment. Make sure your cat's vaccinations are up to date to prevent deathly infectious diseases. Also, be sure the cat has an ID tag on its collar. You have a greater chance of finding your animal should it become lost. The cat also should wear a "breakaway collar" that slips off the neck. This prevents the cat from choking to death should the collar become stuck on something. A commonly-held belief is that cats need to roam outside. This is not true. A cat that is allowed to run loose has a much greater chance of being killed by automobiles or injured in fights with dogs and other cats.

Dog Safety

A new puppy is a delight to play with and can bring joy and happiness to a young child and family. However, one must be aware of many hidden dangers, such as swimming pools, poisonous plants, toys, and household chemicals around the home, which can place an innocent puppy in danger. A common misconception is that all dogs can swim. This is not true. Dogs can drown just like children.

Keep young puppies and older, elderly dogs away from the pool. They are at particular risk of drowning since they may not be able to pull themselves out of the water if they fall in. Dogs should be trained to know where the steps are to get out of the pool. As with children, they never should be left unattended around swimming pools. Dogs, like cats, love to chase, chew and eat any number of things, which may potentially cause illness, injury or even death. Keep all toys that can be swallowed out of a dog's reach. They may cause stomach or intestinal obstructions. Select a ball that is large, relative to the size of the dog's mouth, or use other non-destructible toys recommended for dog's. Keep dogs out of the kitchen while you're cooking. You don't want a dog underfoot when you're carrying a pot of boiling water or a hot dish. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs so keep all chocolates away from them.

In older homes, do not allow dogs to chew on wood molding as this may cause lead poisoning. House plants such as oleanders, diffenbachias, azaleas, mistletoe and pyrachanthia berries are poisonous to dogs. These plants should be placed out of the animal's reach. Keep the dog away from freshly fertilized areas. They may become ill if they lick their paws after contacting chemicals and insecticides. Summertime heat poses a significant threat to the family dog. An animal who spends most of its time indoors may not develop thick pads on its feet. When walking or playing on hot asphalt during summer months, the dog's feet may become burned. Be careful not to let the dog run around a swimming pool too much. Cool-deck concrete can quickly wear their pads down. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common occurrences when dogs are left outdoors and exposed to the heat. The dog may die as a result. Keep them indoors or otherwise protected from the heat.

Provide plenty of water. If a dog is kept outside, provide a well shaded, ventilated area. A covered dog house in the sun becomes too hot and lacks adequate ventilation. An alternate shelter must be furnished. Be sure there is plenty of fresh drinking water at all times in the shade. It may be wise to provide two sources of drinking water in case one is spilled over. Use a weighted watering dish or dig a hole in the ground so the pan cannot be tipped over. A water device that attaches to a water spigot is available at the pet store. Avoid taking the animal in an automobile when running errands around town. Even on an 80 degree day, the temperature can reach 105 degrees in 10 minutes inside a car. The temperature has even been recorded at over 215 degrees inside a car on a hot summer day. (Water boils at 212 degrees.) If the dog is overcome by heat, cool immediately with cold water and ice and seek medical attention from a veterinarian as soon as possible.

When traveling with a dog inside a vehicle, it should not be allowed to stick its head out the window. Foreign objects can damage its eyes, and it can develop swelling to its ear flap from the ear flapping in the wind. While traveling, it is best to keep the pet in a dog crate or restrained in a commercially manufactured seat belt. The back of a pickup truck is no place for man's best friend. More than 100,000 dogs are killed each year from falls out of vehicles and numerous vehicle crashes are caused as drivers try to avoid hitting these animals. Commercially-made harnesses and tethers are available to restrain a dog in the back of a truck. Even so, the metal bed of a truck can be very hot during the summer and can burn the dog's pads or expose it to high temperatures.

If you'd like to read more: http://phoenix.gov/fire/safety/general/pet/index.html


Seniors and Dogs

Choosing the right dog for the older person

Over the years, I have worked with many older citizens and dogs of various types. Many of the issues I get called regarding stem back to the owner not being able, due to age and/or physical/mental condition, to give a dog what is needed to be happy and a calm companion. Quite a few are on fixed incomes and cannot afford to hire regular dog walkers or use doggie day care to help meet the energy needs of a higher energy dog. Some are physically not strong enough to manage the type of dog they always owned in the past. Some are showing signs of an inability to concentrate or focus and even remember what was said to them a few minutes earlier. Dogs can be wonderful companions and bring joy to many older citizens. However, is the type of dog or a dog at all a suitable companion? I am hoping this will give our wonderful older friends and their family (who often are the source of the dog in their desire to give Mom or Grandpa a companion) an idea of what they need to think about before they choose a dog. So many of the issues I deal with in regards to seniors and dogs were avoidable with a better choice of companion.

Pets as gifts

Before I continue, I must briefly address pets as gifts. Under no circumstances should a live animal be a gift. The choice and timing of a pet is very personal. If your older friend or relative is actively seeking a pet, give a homemade gift certificate for the fee of that pet. However, let the person make the decision as to what should be best and when! Never go out and give a pet or try to talk a person into a pet because you feel they need one. Do not let a rescue or shelter play on your sympathies. Yes, owning a dog can provide many benefits physically and emotionally to a senior. However, dogs are a major commitment and the abilities of the owner, regardless of age, must be considered with a placement. Many seniors I consult with received pets by well-meaning folk. Some never wanted a pet but did not have the heart to refuse the gift. Others wanted the pet but received critters completely unsuited for them. In any case,    owners were overwhelmed and both dog and human, miserable.

What if the owner passes away or enters a nursing home?

Another concern, what will happen to the dog when the person is no longer able to care for him? Will family step up and take the dog? Is the dog to be returned to the breeder or rescue? Many dogs end up at shelters when a senior enters a retirement home or passes. It is saddening how many families get a dog for Grandma or Grandpa and then refuse to accept responsibility for the pet when the situation changes. Along with the ability of a person to meet the dog’s needs, family must consider what will happen to the dog long term.



Topic:  Air Fresheners.... What about your Pet? Look at what's in Fresheners and you decide if you want your Pet exposed.

Air Fresheners Create Toxic Chemical Soup...
Did you know that by using an air freshener in your living room, you are probably breathing in more toxic substances than you would in the middle of a traffic jam in Los Angeles?

Paradichchlorobenzene (a white, solid crystal) has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and phenol (carbolic acid) is flammable, corrosive and very toxic. (Alive: Something in the Air, February 2004) Even more dangerous, formaldehyde, (admitted by the EPA to be a cause of cancer), and benzene (a carcinogen for which the WHO recommends zero exposure), may hang around the air after the use of several types of incense or electric scenter. Not to mention all the other chemicals not mentioned here and about which we know nothing. (WECF, 2005)
The following list of ingredients that may be found in air fresheners is taken from “Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products“, by Gosselin, Smith and Hodge

Spray Type Deodorizers:
    * ethyl or isopropyl alcohol
    * glycol ethers
    * surfactant (quaternary ammonium salts)
    * perfume
    * water
    * propellants
    * metazene (4.0%)
   Just to name a few....

Wick Type Deodorizers:
    * formaldehyde (37%)
    * water-soluble perfume
    * coloring
    * water
    * emulsifiers
    * essential oils
    * aromatic chemicals (xylene)
    * chlorophyll

Just to name a few....
Scented and aromatherapy candles are no better at clearing the air, and bear little or no relation to true aromatherapy. Such candles, are of questionable benefit regardless of the flowery implications of their names, and have negative effects on air quality and health. Aromatherapy candles:
    * are usually made of chemical (paraffin) waxes & toxic synthetic fragrance oils.
    * usually contain metal wicks made of lead or zinc. 100% is inhaled in the black soot which ends up in the bloodstream and can be particularly damaging to children.
    * create toxic byproducts. Burning scented oils, and even candles with pure essential oils, chemically converts the combustion into unhealthy byproducts.
Source: www.deliciousorganics.com

Electric air fresheners also problematic

One of the most innovative, and popular formats of purifiers is the electric air freshener. These use heat generated by electricity to spread fragrance through the air. It consists of a tiny plastic tray containing a gel-like fragrance concentrate. The consumer simply peels a multilayer barrier film from the top of the tray, leaving a permanent membrane layer that allows the fragrance to diffuse into the air. The tray is inserted into a warmer unit, which then is plugged into an electrical outlet. As the warmer unit heats up, fragrance permeates at a controlled rate through the film membrane, dispersing into the air. (gale-edit.com)

To read more:

Reasons Why Your Dog Hates Water

There are quite a few reasons why your furry family member may be afraid of water. Chances are, if your pup has a fear of water, it may be because they’ve associated it with something unpleasant. Another reason is that it very well may be because they’ve had minimal interaction with it. Although avoiding water entirely is completely unavoidable, let’s take a look at some reasons why your four-legged friend may have a water phobia.

Reasons why your dog hates water.

Reasons Why Your Dog Hates Water

Bad Experiences

In the lifetime of any dog, they will encounter many instances where they’re faced with water. Bad experiences can leave a traumatic impact on a pup to a point where they will avoid water at all costs. Perhaps when they were a puppy, they almost drowned. As a result there is a strong probability this fear will then carry into adulthood. In some cases, a dog owner may resort to water as a method of punishment which may leave them with traumatic memories. If you got your dog at a shelter, ask to see if they might have had past trauma like this.


Some dogs suffer from anxiety. You may not be able to pin-point exactly where the anxiety stems from, but some pups are just afraid of everything. Drinking out of their own water bowl can trigger the anxiety, leaving them ready to run away from it at any given moment. When it rains some dogs may avoid going outdoors when having to go to the bathroom which may result to accidents in the house. If they make it outside, they may avoid doing their business on the grass. Anxiety can also be inherited from your dog’s parents.

Overcoming Fear of Water

It is not any easy task when working with your dog to help overcome a fear of water. However there are many ways to ease the anxiety, and to make it less painful for your pooch and less exhausting for you. Before bath time it may be beneficial to take them out for some exercise, whether that may be a walk or playing catch. Tiring your pup out may make them less likely to fight back during their bath. You want to make this as relaxing as possible. Introduce them to small areas of water and build them up. Baby steps are important, and don’t forget positive reinforcements!

Getting your pup into the tub can help if they know what comes after. Use a soothing shampoo like Roxy’s Remedies natural dog products which can help ease itching and skin irritation. Be sure to always have treats or a calm routine afterward as well. Once established, your dog might come to look forward to bath time.

Nothing Working?

If all else fails consider seeking professional help. Although it may seem a little strange, it certainly may be beneficial to learn new ways of helping someone who takes up a big part of your heart!


Natural Flea Control For Your Pets                       

Let’s face it. Fleas are the WORST, but applying pesticides to our pampered pooches doesn’t make us howl with excitement either. In an attempt to find non-toxic flea control remedies, Care2 staff stumbled upon this amazing technique that kills fleas fast without toxic chemicals. While citrus peel extract (d-limonene) works well for dogs, cats can’t tolerate it, so this is an especially great choice. Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a powder comprised of microskeletons of deceased diatoms, which are a type of algae (both fresh water and sea water varieties occur). You sprinkle the powder on your pets and your carpets, and the fleas die from dehydration. As a foster care provider for hundreds of dogs, this stuff has been a miracle. You can use it on dogs, puppies, kittens, and cats.

How it works:
When applied to the animal’s fur, DE scrubs on the hard exoskeletons of fleas. The tiny granules of silicon (think finely ground sand) work in the tiny holes of the flea’s respiratory system and in the joints of the fleas. Every time the flea moves or breathes, the silicon grinds away at the exoskeleton, eventually killing the flea through blocking/maiming the respiratory holes or by water loss, as the exoskeleton helps keep in the flea’s body water. It works the same way when applied to carpets instead of fur.
How to use it:
1) Wear a mask and put one on your pet. Even though it’s nontoxic, you don’t want to get it in your lungs.

2) Sprinkle the DE along your dry pet’s spine. Massage it along the body, working your way carefully to the extremities, avoiding the eyes.

3) Spread some diatomaceous earth on the carpets, brush it in and leave for about four days. Then vacuum it up to remove most of the fleas in the carpet.

4) Repeat the application frequently during an infestation. You should notice a decrease in fleas within a couple days.

NOTE: Make sure not to use the kind of DE used in swimming pools. Use natural diatomaceous earth; it is available in gardens supply centers, some health food stores, and from natural-pet catalogs.

If you'd like to read more:

What is Propolis : Is it Good for My Dog?

Everybody knows what honey is, its uses as a food, its health benefits, and that it comes from the hives of honey bees; but in comparison, relatively few people know what propolis is, or have much information about it. This article puts forth information on propolis and explains how it can be used effectively by itself or included in human and dog supplements for medicinal homeopathic treatments for both humans and their canine best friends.

What is Propolis, and is it good for my dog?Ancient civilizations knew and used the products of the bees as a valuable resource in their medicine. Medical artifacts of the Chinese, Tibetan, Egyptian, Roman, and many other civilizations are abundant, containing in their ancient literature numerous formulations based on honey, propolis, bee excrement and sometimes the bees themselves, to cure or to help prevent illnesses. Even from the ancient Hebrew civilization, the Bible acclaims and gives noble status to the nutritious and restorative properties of the bee. But throughout history, honey has always been in the forefront in food products and health research. Only in the last few decades with more interest in natural, complementary, and alternative medicines, along with advanced research techniques, has propolis been getting significant attention.

Honeybees gather resins from indigenous trees and shrubs, returning to the hive and blending it with beeswax, pollen, and saliva to manufacture propolis. Typically propolis is 50% resins, 30% beeswax and 20% pollen, saliva, enzymes, and oils. The bees use it in the hive for both structural and antibacterial purposes. Where beeswax is used for most major structural issues in the hive, such as sealing large undesirable openings, and overall lining and sealing of the hive; propolis is used extensively to make smaller repairs.

More importantly than the structural uses of propolis, recent research and advancements of the study in Insect Biology of Social Immunity, propolis has been proven to have significant antibacterial, antifungal, and disease prevention properties. Social Immunity is a developing segment of study that defines mechanisms and actions that are undertaken in “colonies” by individuals to combat disease and its spread in the close dense, living environment. In modern society, we use immunizations, antiseptic hand-wash stations, cover our mouth when coughing, recall tainted foods, establish agencies such as Center for Disease Control (CDC), etc. For thousands of years one of the bee’s Social Immunity mechanisms has been the use of propolis. By coating the entrances with propolis, bees prevent diseases and parasites from getting into the hive. They use it throughout the hive structure to inhibit fungal and bacterial growth. If intruders such as mice or small reptiles enter the hive, die, and cannot be removed, bees “mummify” the corpse by encasing it with propolis. This prevents decomposition of the dead animal, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and fungus and the associated toxic odors.

What is Propolis? Is it Good for My Dogs?

The chemical biological structure of propolis is relatively complex. It contains hundreds of compounds that vary depending on what region of the world the propolis comes from, since 50% of its makeup come from the resins of the local plants near the beehive. Even the cyclical weather and ecological conditions affect the type, concentration, and number of different chemical and biological components in its makeup. In broad-spectrum propolis contains polyphenols, including phenolic acid, amino acids, flavonoids, including pinocembrin, galangin, pinobanksin, caffeic acid, and caffeic acid phenethyl ester, hydrogen peroxide, and methylglyoxal. In addition, minerals such as magnesium, nickel, iron, calcium, and zinc are present.

Polyphenols are phytochemicals found in nature. They are effective antioxidants that counteract unstable free radical molecules in the body that are linked to cell damage that causes degenerative cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Amino Acids are needed by the body to build and maintain protein, which comprises 20% of the body in muscles, bones, skin, and hair. They regulate almost all of the body’s processes that synthesis proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that form tissue and store energy. These acids and their health benefits are common knowledge and fully documented.

Flavonoid is a broad classification of oxygen-containing plant compounds in the large group of water-soluble aromatic antioxidant pigments. They are a sub category of polyphenols. Flavonoids are believed to account for most of the biological activity in propolis. These include anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-allergic, and anit-cancer properties. Recent research has also shown that flavonoids have the capacity to modulate cell-signaling pathways. Cells utilize these well-defined signaling connections to regulate themselves, which directly affect the nature of the genes.

Caffeic acid, and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) have been shown in recent studies to be a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-cancer, and antiviral agent. Propolis from the Manuka plant in New Zealand has high concentration of CAPE and in several studies has been demonstrated to provide effective antibacterial action against the staphylococcus bacteria.

Hydrogen Peroxide, more appropriately called oxygen water because it is water with an extra oxygen molecule, occurs in its natural state H2O2 in propolis. Just as with CAPE Manuka propolis from New Zealand contains a higher concentration than propolis from other regions of the world. Hydrogen peroxide destroys bacteria, viruses, and fungi and is essential to the body’s immune system. It is common practice to use it as an antiseptic on minor cuts and wounds and include it in toothpastes and mouthwashes for killing oral germs and whitening teeth.

Methylglyoxal (MG) is another important compound that has effective antibacterial properties found in propolis. Once again, the New Zealand Manuka propolis contains up to 100 times higher than other propolis. The other significant benefit is once MG is transported into the propolis by the bees it is resistant to heat, light, and enzymes making it much more stable and long lasting than the hydrogen peroxide.

The preceding list of compounds found in propolis that have varied, proven, and effective pharmaceutical/medicinal attributes, substantiate propolis is a product that is beneficial to both humans and their canine companions. It is effectual in combating microorganisms and parasites that cause disease. It is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer. It has been studied and tested and is documented in significant reputable professional and academic publications. Although these studies and research have almost entirely been related to humans, there is no reason that they do not apply to the canine.

What is Propolis? Propolis can be used effectively by itself or included human and dog supplements for medicinal homeopathic treatments for both humans and their canine best friends.

Oral Spays developed for dogs to treat periodontitis and gingivitis that contain propolis have proven to be very effective. The buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums is the source of these diseases that today are the number one health problem for dogs. The combination of strong antibacterial activities and natural whiting action of the hydrogen peroxide actually kills the bacteria in the plaque and tartar and removes the stains without bushing or clinical veterinarian cleanings. The Manuka Propolis from New Zealand is most effective in this process due to its higher concentrations of CAPE, MG, and H2O2.


Recycled household items to make Cat toys.            

By Stephanie Sharpe, Planet Green

Cat lovers will do almost anything for their cats. Buy organic treats, luxurious cat beds, fancy toys—anything to keep your kitty comfortable and entertained. This makes for big business surrounding pet pampering. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your feline friend may be just as happy with ‘toys’ you already have around the house.

For example I’ve always heard that cats love the plastic rings from the tops of milk jugs. However my cats have long been deprived since I tend to buy soy milk or organic milk in cartons. But thanks to my roommate, my cats have now discovered the joy of milk cap rings, and I discovered the joy of watching them play with them. Take a break from kitty consumerism and try offering a few of these reusable household items as toys. You can spice up the ‘toys’ with cat nips or treats to make them even more interesting. It’s a great way to reuse household items that were headed for the recycling bin anyway, plus have tons of fun with your kitty.

Household Items that Double as Cat Toys

Animal Planet also suggests:

  • Toilet paper tubes (try putting treats inside)
  • Wine cork
  • Shower curtain rings
  • Egg carton with treats inside

Note: for your cat’s safety, don’t let them play with anything smaller than a ping pong ball without supervision. Also be wary of strings and ribbons, cats can easily choke on these. Each of my cats has their favorite style of toy. One of them goes crazy for paper products like cardboard boxes and crumpled newspaper, while the other prefers to play with anything resembling a stick, like pencils or pens. So if your cat doesn’t seem interested in one toy, just give another a try. There is nothing like watching your cat discover something new. And you can enjoy this priceless fun for no price at all!

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/cat-toys-from-reused-household-items.html#ixzz19c8BhPsd

33 Dog Toys You Can Make From Things Around the House

Your pup go through toys like a starving Velociraptor? Here are a few ideas to make some toys out of items you already have around your home!

**As is the case with any toy, think of your pup’s safety first. Supervise your dog when they’re playing with all toys and regularly inspect them for damage. Be sure to get rid of any toys that are falling apart– you don’t want your four-legged love to swallow anything harmful!

To see all 33: http://thebarkpost.com/3-dog-toys-you-can-make-from-things-around-the-house/

Advocates for Feral Cats: Alley Cat Allies Urges Americans to Be Prepared For Disasters

Alley Cat Allies reminds feral cat caregivers to have a disaster plan in place.  “Some people will evacuate with their feral cats if they can reasonably transport and confine them,” said Becky Robinson. “You have to be mindful that feral cats are going to be incredibly stressed and frightened if they are going to be confined to a crate or carrier for a few days. You have to take special care to ensure they do not escape.” If you cannot evacuate outdoor cats you care for, Robinson suggests setting up feeding stations in high places that are protected from rain, wind, and flooding.  She also stresses the importance of having a back-up caregiver who is responsible for the colony in your absence and networking with other feral cat caretakers in your area to set up a ‘buddy system’ to create a safety net of care for the cats. Caregivers should also learn more about the Alley Cat Allies Feral Friends Network, a network of organizations and individuals with feral cat expertise who can also provide a support system. Alley Cat Allies also reminds pet owners to have a basic disaster supply kit ready at all times. The following items should be kept in an easily accessible and easy-to-carry backpack or duffel bag in case you need to evacuate quickly. Disaster kit basics are:
  • A portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Supply of prescription medications for pets and people.
  • Credit card and cash.
  • Personal identification and copy of veterinary and microchip ID records.
  • An extra set of car keys.
  • Matches in a waterproof container.
  • Pet food, litter box, collapsible water bowl, leash and collar, blankets or towels.
  • Photos of pets and cats in colonies in case they need to be identified.

Volunteers who respond to a disaster should try to transport the following items that are always in demand during emergency animal rescue:

  • Bottled water
  • Dry and canned pet food and can openers
  • Dog crates and carriers
  • Humane cat traps
  • Old towels, sheets, and blankets
  • Leashes and collars
  • Litter boxes
  • Heavy gloves
  • Flashlights with batteries and lanterns
  • Gas cards
  • Portable generators
  • Medical supplies: Like first aid kits.
  • To read more: http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=543

Our dogs are living longer now than in the past. Today, we have better preventive medicine (e.g., vaccinations and heartworm preventives) and better ways to diagnose and treat many diseases. Now we are seeing more animals whose most severe medical problems are dental problems. To prevent oral disease, which is the number one health problem diagnosed in pets, it is essential to provide our pets with good dental care, both professionally and at home.

Dental disease in dogs

Plaque on the teeth of a dogPlaque: Dogs rarely get cavities, but are much more prone to gum disease and excess tartar build-up on the teeth. Food particles and bacteria collect along the gumline forming plaque. Routine home care can remove this plaque.

Tartar: If plaque is not removed, minerals in the saliva combine with the plaque and form tartar (or calculus) which adheres strongly to the teeth. Plaque starts to mineralize 3-5 days after it forms. The tartar is irritating to the gums and causes an inflammation called gingivitis. This can be seen as reddening of the gums adjacent to the teeth. It also causes bad breath. At this point it is necessary to remove the tartar with special instruments called scalers, and then polish the teeth.

Periodontal Disease: If the tartar is not removed, it builds up under the gums. It separates the gums from the teeth to form "pockets" and encourages even more bacterial growth. At this point the damage is irreversible, and called "periodontal" disease. It can be very painful and can lead to loose teeth, abscesses, and bone loss or infection. As bacterial growth continues to increase, the bacteria may enter the bloodstream. This can cause infection of the heart valves (endocarditis), liver, and kidneys. If treated by your veterinarian with special instruments and procedures, periodontal disease can be slowed or stopped. Canine products that have received the Veterinary Oral Health's Council seal of acceptance are as follows:

  • Bright Bites and Checkup Chews for Dogs - all sizes
  • Canine Greenies® - all sizes
  • Canine Greenies® Lite - all sizes
  • Canine Greenies® Senior - all sizes
  • Del Monte Tartar Check® Dog Biscuit: Small & Large sizes
  • Friskies Cheweez Beefhide Treats for Dogs
  • Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Diet for Dogs
  • Hartz Flavor Infused Oral Chews - Large Dogs and Small Dogs Sizes
  • Healthymouth antiplaque water additive
  • (Hill's) Prescription Diet Canine t/d: Original & Small Bites
  • Iams Chunk Dental Defense Diet for Dogs
  • Purina Veterinary Diets DH Dental Health brand Canine Formula
  • Purina Veterinary Diets DH Dental Health brand Small Bites Canine Formula
  • Purina Veterinary Diets Dental Chews brand Canine Treats
  • Science Diet Oral Care Diet for Dogs
  • Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide Chews for Dogs
  • Vetradent Dog Chews marketed as 'Bluechews' and 'dc Dental Chews'
  • Vetradent Dog Chews - Small Size marketed as Baby Bluechews and dc Tiny Toy Dental Chews

Mechanical removal of plaque can also be accomplished by using toys such as Plaque Attacker dental toys, rope toys, or rawhide chips. Do not use toys that are abrasive and can wear down the teeth. If your dog is an aggressive chewer and likes to bite down, trying to crack the toy, you probably should not let the dog chew on that toy. For especially aggressive chewers, look for toys they cannot get their mouths around. Rawhide or other chews that soften as the dog chews are another option.


Does Dry Food Clean the Teeth of Cats?

By Jean Hofve, DVM

Let's get this one straight once and for all: dry food does not clean your cat's teeth! In fact, dry food really has no benefits for the cat. It is merely a convenience for the guardian. If you haven't already read "Why Cats Need Canned Food", that's a good place to start in your quest for accurate, up-to-date information on feeding cats.

Most cats don't consistently chew dry food; they swallow it whole. Obviously, without contacting the teeth, there is zero effect on tartar accumulation. For cats who do chew dry food, whether consistently or occasionally, there is still little or no benefit. The kibbles shatter, so contact between the kibble and the teeth occurs only at the tips of the teeth. This is certainly not enough to make a difference in the formation of tartar and plaque, which most commonly builds up along (and underneath) the gumline at the base of the teeth.

Keeping your cat's (or dog's) teeth and gums healthy requires a commitment on your part. Daily toothbrushing and regular veterinary cleanings are still important. The labels on even the special "tartar control" diets like Hill's t/d and Friskies dental diet recommend these additional steps. (Of course, brushing daily with periodic cleaning by the vet are sufficient to keep the teeth healthy by themselves, without using a special diet at all!) Dental diets are very different from all other dry foods. The kibbles are very large, and have a different texture than regular dry food.


 All About Hamsters (VIDEO)

Caring for a furry little hamster might look like an easy task, but there's quite a bit you need to know before taking one home as a pet. Hamsters are a low cost pet compared to cats and dogs, but being so delicate, the responsiblity of taking care of one of these cute creatures isn't to be taken lightly.

Take a look at this informative tutorial by the Humane Society of the United States on hamster care!

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/animal-welfare/blog/all-about-hamsters-video/

See the Video Below

Dying Your Dogs and Cats Fur Coat...


It's a trend that seems to be reaching celebrity status, more and more dog owners are dying their dogs hair.
What is interesting to note is that there are dyes approved for use on pets. However, the dyes carry a warning, since the dog can't lick it's coat while the color processes. Using food to stain the hair does seem like the safe alternative. If you are interested in dying your dog's hair safely, there is a guide on eHow.

There is even a group right here on Care2 for Dyed and Colored Dogs.

If you'd like to read more:


Allergic to Your Pet...


Breathe easy—you can still keep your animal companion!

Woman with cats

Although more and more people are discovering the beneficial effects of owning a furry bundle of joy, the fact remains that roughly 15 to 20 percent of the population is allergic to animals. The result? Countless owners in unhappy, unhealthy situations—and their beloved pets are the cause! Allergen is the medical term for the actual substance that causes an allergic reaction. Touching or inhaling allergens leads to reactions in allergic individuals. Symptoms can include red, itchy, watery eyes and nose; sneezing; coughing; scratchy or sore throat; itchy skin, and most serious of all, difficulty breathing. The most common pet allergens are proteins found in their dander (scales of old skin that are constantly shed by an animal), saliva, urine and sebaceous cells. Any animal can trigger an allergic response, but cats are the most common culprits. People can also become allergic to the urine, dander and saliva of exotic pets such as ferrets, guinea pigs, birds, rabbits and rodents. There is no species or breed to which humans cannot develop allergies. Fur length and type will not affect or prevent allergies. Certain pets can be less irritating than others to those who suffer from allergies, but that is strictly on an individual basis and cannot be predicted.

Improving the Immediate Environment

  1. Create an allergen-free room. A bedroom is often the best and most practical choice. By preventing your pet from entering this room, you can ensure at least eight hours of freedom from allergens every night. It's a good idea to use hypoallergenic bedding and pillow materials.
  2. Limit fabrics. Allergens collect in rugs, drapes and upholstery, so do your best to limit or eliminate them from your home. If you choose to keep some fabrics, steam-clean them regularly. Cotton-covered furniture is the smartest choice, and washable blinds or shades make good window treatments.
  3. Vacuum frequently using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter or a disposable electrostatic bag. Other kinds of bags will permit allergens to blow back out of the vacuum.
  4. Install an air purifier fitted with a HEPA filter. Our modern, energy-efficient homes lock in air that is loaded with allergens, so it’s smart to let in some fresh air daily.
  5. Use anti-allergen room sprays. These sprays deactivate allergens, rendering them harmless. Ask your allergist for a product recommendation.
  6. Clean the litter box frequently. Use low dust, perfume-free filler. Clumping litter is a good choice.
  7. Dust regularly. Wiping down the walls will also cut down on allergens.
  8. Invest in washable pet bedding and cages that can be cleaned often and easily.

Decontaminating Your Pet

  1. Bathe your pet at least once a week. Your veterinarian can recommend a shampoo that won't dry out his skin. Bathing works to wash off the allergens that accumulate in an animal’s fur.
  2. Wipe your pet with a product formulated to prevent dander from building up and flaking off into the environment. Ask your veterinarian to suggest one that is safe to use on animals who groom themselves.
  3. Note any symptoms of dermatitis exhibited by your companion animal. Dermatitis often leads to accelerated skin and fur shedding, which will up your allergen exposure.
  4. Brush or comb your pet frequently. It’s best to do this outdoors, if possible. (The ASPCA does not recommend keeping cats outdoors, so make sure your feline is leashed if you take him outside.)

Taking Care of Yourself

  1. If possible, have someone other than yourself do the housecleaning, litter box work and pet washing, wiping and brushing. If you must clean the house or change the litter, be sure to wear a dust mask.
  2. Wash your hands after handling your companion animal and before touching your face. The areas around your nose and eyes are particularly sensitive to allergens.
  3. Designate a “pet outfit” from among your most easily washed clothes. Wear it when playing or cuddling with your companion, and you’ll leave other clothing uncontaminated.
  4. Find a physician, preferably an allergy specialist, who will make sure that your pet is the cause of your allergies and will help alleviate your symptoms. Medications and immuno therapy (desensitizing shots) can often allow you and your companion animal to remain together happily ever after.

 Read more at:


         Some Thoughts On Why Your Pet Misbehaves


Living with behavioral problems can be stressful for everybody involved. Dealing with behavior issues takes patience, sometimes requires visits to professionals, and always involves time and effort working with the animals at home. There’s no easy solution, no simple pill that will take care of the problem completely. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed as you go through the healing process with your pet, don’t be too hard on yourself. Rest assured that others have had to deal with the same experience, and they understand what your household is going through. Getting to the underlying cause of your animal companion’s behavior issue requires looking at the whole picture — life before he came to you, health problems such as chronic pain, the environment you live in, and the connection he has with you. The state of your body, mind and spirit can and does affect your animal’s well being. Using therapies that treat more than just the behavioral signs (in the animal) or symptoms (in people) is very important. Approaching disorders as part of a larger picture is the definition of holistic, and combining the holistic approach with conventional medicine is called integrative medicine. I believe an integrative approach is essential for behavior disorders. Many types of complementary therapies are available for humans as well as animals, such as calming music, aromatherapy, herbs, massage and energy therapies. One of the most important things you can do to help your animal’s behavior challenge is to be aware of the dynamic between the two of you. As I have come to understand the energetic aspects of the human-animal bond, I see that animals instinctively mirror who we are. If you have a dog with separation anxiety, what anxiety issue have you not healed? For those of you with aggressive animals, please have the courage to look at where the human anger is lurking. Is it between people in the household, or perhaps anger from childhood?

One of the best spiritual gifts our animal companions give us is knowledge about ourselves. If our unresolved issue is being reflected back to us by our pet, then it is something that is affecting our lives. We may not be able to see it right now, but with time, this unresolved problem can manifest into illness or other dis-ease. Along with helping them through the behavior problem, we can honor our animal companions by taking care of ourselves. In doing so, we make their healing so much easier.

This information gathered is by Susan Wagner. If you'd like to read more: 


        Does Your Cat Eat Strange Things?



Is it normal for cat to eat strange things? As it turns out, just like humans can manifest a disorder called pica (whereby non-nutritive items like dirt and clay are eaten) so do cats. And it can be pretty common in our feline friends. In addition to tape and photographs, there is an abundance of other odd items that many a cat find irresistible: shoelaces, paper, plastic grocery bags, houseplants, shower curtains, even electrical cords. Yikes. And I am sure there is a whole of host of other strange things that cats find appealing to the palate. But why? Often times it’s nothing to worry about, but it turns out that pica has been associated with a number of diseases including feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus–a veterinarian should examine any cat with unusual eating habits. Here’s what a vet will look at when presented with a cat pica case:

Dietary deficiencies. Some cats will eat their cat litter if they’re anemic. This makes sense, as in the case of human pica the cause is quite often a mineral deficiency. Medical problems. Cat pica is also associated with feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, or it may be triggered by conditions like diabetes or brain tumors.

Genetic predisposition. For some cats, pica might just be in their genes. For example, wool sucking, sometimes a precursor to pica, is seen more frequently in Siamese and Birman cats (More on wool below.)

Environmental factors. Is the cat bored or seeking attention? Maybe he needs more mental or physical stimulation. Behavioral reasons for pica can include boredom, attention-seeking, attractive scents, hunger, and learned behavior

Compulsive disorder. Once other possibilities are ruled out, some pet behavioralists start to look into the possibility of compulsive disorder.

A related behavior that is often seen in cats is the desire to suck on wool–and although this is often lumped together under the umbrella of cat pica, it seems to me to be of a slightly different nature. Nursing on wool seems more of a nursing behavior similar to kneading. To back me up, Arnold Plotnick MS, DVM, ACVIM, ABVP of Manhattan Cat Specialists says that “Wool-sucking is a commonly described abnormal ingestive behavior in cats. Wool-sucking, however, is a compulsive, misdirected form of nursing behavior and technically should be distinguished from true cases of pica.” He continues that “the younger a cat is weaned, the stronger its drive to nurse, and the more likely the cat is to suck on wool–or its owner’s arms, earlobes, or hair. Although some cats may only suck on such fuzzy items as wool, fleece, and stuffed animals, others progress to actually eating these fabrics.”

This information is a reference by Melissa Breyer of Care2.

If you'd like to read more:




        Feeding Dogs Raw Eggs – Fad or Truly Nutritious?


In recent years, this has definitely become a question that all dog owners ask. Since raw food diets for dogs have become more and more popular, more dog owners are looking to see what kind of raw foods they can give their dogs in order to keep them healthy from the inside out. However, raw feeding is definitely a decision that an owner must make. Even today veterinarians are split on whether or not giving a dog raw food, like a raw egg, is healthy or if in the end it can cause some sort of ailment that may ultimately hurt the dog. If you decide that raw feeding may be a good option for your dog, it does take a lot of research and time in order to ensure that you are feeding your dog healthy food that won’t hurt his digestive tract. Of course a raw diet for dogs consists of raw meat, fruits, and vegetables, but owners can also feed their dog nuts, dairy products, and even raw eggs. Raw eggs are always on the chopping block so to speak, but many owners that do feed their dog raw eggs report that it does wonders. Since egg products are in most dog foods, owners don’t see why giving their dog a raw egg is a problem.

Owners who give their dog a raw egg once a week say that the egg is extremely helpful when it comes to shaping a dog’s coat and fur. Eggs are a great source of protein and the protein helps to protect the coat and keep it shiny. When you feed your dog a raw egg, even the shell is okay if the dog wants to eat it. Many people worry about salmonella due to the fact that the egg is raw. But, dogs have great immune systems, and their bodies do not react the same way a human’s body does when introduced to salmonella. If you are extremely concerned, you can always cook the egg by frying it, blanching it, or boiling it.

Dog owners who feed their dog(s) raw eggs point out that it’s important that the dog is given no more than a half to one raw egg one to three times per week, depending on the size of the dog. Too many raw eggs can upset a dog’s stomach, as well as affect the dog’s white blood cell count. Too many raw eggs can also cause your dog other ailments as the yolk is extremely fatty and contains a lot of cholesterol. This can be a problem, so be sure not to feed more than one raw egg a week. 


Plants Dogs, Cats and Horses should be kept from and out of reach: These are just a few.


Plus there are hundreds more: Cats:  http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/?plant_toxicity=toxic-to-cats  And Hundreds more:  Dogs:  http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/?plant_toxicity=toxic-to-dogs

Ten Things Fido Would Tell You if He Could Talk

1. Please get us spayed or neutered. It can reduce or eliminate our risk of getting cancer.

2. I am a pack animal, and I need to be part of the family. Please let me live indoors with you.

3. I need to go outside at least four times a day. Can you imagine only getting to go to the bathroom once or twice a day?

4. Please give me lots of exercise by taking me for long walks, and let me stop and smell the roses (or daisies). I love to explore, and our walks are my opportunity to express my natural curiosity.

5. Please don’t ever leave me alone in a car. Even on a mild day, the inside of a car can reach more than 70°C in minutes. I don’t perspire like you do and can quickly succumb to heatstroke.

6. Please train me with positive reinforcement. If you don’t train me, I won’t know that I’m not supposed to eat the birthday cake off the dinner table.

7. Play with me, and give me toys. But always supervise me to make sure that I don’t accidentally get in trouble.

8. Please get me a harness in addition to a collar. Harnesses are safer and much more comfortable.

9. I’ll get depressed without a social life, just as you would. So let me “chat” and play with other dogs on walks and at parks, or set up play dates for me.

10.  Please check the labels on my dog food! You’d be amazed at some of the unhealthy ingredients in some of that stuff.

Posted by Ashley Fruno http://blog.petaasiapacific.com/companion-animals/ten-things-fido-would-tell-you-if-he-could-talk?c=papenews


Tips and Tricks...



Just a few examples on their website:

Tear Stains

Clean and dry area. Area can be cleaned with water, mild soap, hydrogen peroxide, mineral oil etc. Making sure not to get into dogs eyes. Then apply one of the following: Desitin, Boric Acid Ointment or Bag Balm as needed.

Add 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar per quart of water to dogs water bowl. It is supposed to adjust the PH of the dog’s body and prevent staining from tears or saliva. This is also said to discourage fleas. Add Tylan (an amount about equivalent to a match head) to dogs food a few times a week. This will keep the area dry and stain free.

Flea Control

Homemade Flea Spray:

1 cup Avon Skin-So-Soft
1 teaspoon of oil of citronella or eucalyptus
2 cups of white vinegar
2 cups of water

Mix well and apply from a spray bottle (covering eyes). This also helps rid flies. To discourage ticks decrease water by one cup.

Organic Flea Spray:

Use a citrus dip as an effective organic flea repellent. Citrus peels contain natural chemicals, d-limonen and linalool, which both kill and repel fleas. Add the grated/chopped peel of one lemon to a pint of boiled water and steep the mixture for 24 hours. Sponge the strained liquid onto the pet's coat and let it dry.Mix Tea Tree Oil, one half teaspoon per pint of distilled water to make a rinse after bathing to repels fleas.**Combine Borax cleaning powder with table salt. ( 8 to 1) Sprinkle throughout house, sweep in lightly, leave on for a week, then vacuum. **Sprinkle table salt throughout house, and rub it into everything. Let stand overnight, then vacuum. All three of these powders act as a desiccant, dehydrating the fleas and their larva.

Dog Ingests Sharp Object

Feed dog cotton balls dipped in cream. Let nature take its course. OR Cook one pound of spinach, load with butter. Feed it to the dog. Then feed a lot of white bread. Spinach will wrap around sharp pieces (dogs don't digest fiber well) bread will hold it together thru digestive tract with least amount of damage.

Rawhide Bones

Do not use rawhide bones, they contain arsenic from the leather tanningprocess. Rawhide bones also become slimy when chewed on. This makes themeasily slipped down into the throat of dog, blocking airway, and choking to death.



Home Herbal Remedies..Brought to you by "How It Works" People...


There's a great deal you can do to provide your dog with medical care at home. Don't expect to rival your veterinarian in expertise -- and don't try. Sometimes a sick dog has to go to the vet. But a broad knowledge of common dog illnesses and symptoms will make you a better dog owner, and it could mean a longer, happier life for your pooch. In this article, we cover a wide range of topics relating to dog care.

  • Evaluating a Dog's Health

    For a variety of reasons, it's useful to know how to assess the health of your dog. Should your ailing dog be taken to the vet? Or is it something that can be addressed at home? In this section, we offer a basic checklist of exams you can give your dog to help you recognize common maladies and know how to treat them or when to call the vet. For instance, we tell you how to check a dog's eyes, ears, and mouth. Every dog owner should be familiar with this information.
  • Home Remedies for Dogs With Fleas

    Fleas are a common problem for dogs, and it's easy to see why. Despite not having wings, they can leap from dog to dog. And that's when the trouble starts. Fleas are blood suckers, so they can do bad things to your dog's skin. In some cases, the fleas can cause harmful bacterial infections. Knowing how to deal with a dog that has fleas is of paramount importance. This page offers several basic flea guidelines, including ways to prevent your dog from getting them in the first place. It also tells you how to rid your dog of fleas without having to use chemical products.
  • Home Remedies for Dogs With Foxtails

    A fox tail is a type of grass that has a spiky bristle on top. Fox tails easily can attach themselves to the coat of a dog and then pierce the animal's skin. In a worst-case scenario, these cuts can lead to a dangerous infection. What to do? For one, inspect your dog's coat after the animal has been outside. If you find a fox tail, remove it immediately. If you're unable to remove it yourself, then you need to call your vet. Follow our guide for dealing with the prickly menace that is a foxtail.
  • And much much more....



Pet Poison Alert: Accidental Ingestion of Wood Glue on the Rise...


Our country’s new-found thrift has lead many homeowners to save a penny by tackling do-it-yourself home improvement projects. But take care, pet parents—you may be exposing your furry friends to dangerous tools and tricks of the trade. Polyurethane glue, a water-resistant adhesive and favorite of woodworkers, is highly toxic if ingested by cats and dogs.

According to data from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), pet poisonings from wood glues—and other adhesives containing the substance diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI)—are on the rise. In the past 12 months, the APCC handled more than 170 cases of pets who ingested expanding glues. Of those incidents, the majority involved dogs and were evaluated at high or medium risk for developing severe, life-threatening problems.

Polyurethane glue—also known by brand names like Gorilla Glue and Elmer’s Pro-Bond—is prized for its ability to bond to wood. If eaten, however, the glue expands in the stomach’s warm, moist environment and forms a softball-sized lump. A dog who eats even a small amount of MDI-based adhesive can experience severe gastrointestinal problems resulting in blockages and requiring emergency surgery to remove the mass.

Pet parents should treat any expanding adhesive as a potential hazard, since the offending chemical MDI is not always listed on product labels. Like all toxic household products, wood glue should be stored in a secure cabinet to prevent your furry beloveds from coming into contact with it. If you suspect your pet has ingested polyurethane glue, please call your vet or the ASPCA’s 24-hour poison hot line at (888) 426-4435. And for more information about keeping your pet domestically sound, check out our handy online guide to creating a poison-safe home.

Dog/Cat Diseases A-Z | The full list of Diseases..Tabs are on the left.

Diseases A-Z: Dog

Select from our A to Z list to read all about a disease or condition in one comprehensive overview. Find your topic by first letter.
Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. It is caused by a spirochete (bacteria) species of the Borrelia burgdorferi group. Dominant clinical feature...
Category: Infectious-Parasitic

Mange in Dogs

Mange (demodicosis) is an inflammatory disease in dogs caused by various types of the Demodex mite. When the number of mites inhabiting the hair follicles and skin of the dog become...
Category: video-embed

Parvo in Dogs

The canine parvovirus (CPV) infection is a highly contagious viral illness that affects dogs. The virus manifests itself in two different forms. The more common form is the intestinal...
Category: Infectious-Parasitic


Diseases A-Z: Cat

Select from our A to Z list to read all about a disease or condition in one comprehensive overview. Find your topic by first letter.
Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

Feline idiopathic lower urinary tract disease is a general term for disorders characterized by blood in the urine, difficult or painful urination, abnormal, frequent passage of urine,...
Category: Urinary

Vomiting, Chronic in Cats

Search Chronic vomiting in cats at Petmd.com. Search chronic vomiting symptoms, causes, and treatments at Petmd.com.
Category: Digestive

Hair Loss in Cats

Search Hair Loss symptoms in Cats at Petmd.com. Search hair loss symptoms, causes, and treatments at Petmd.com.
Category: Skin



Yesterday's News...                                                          

Caring for Your Cat

We believe that the more informed you are about our products, the more rewarding your experiences with them will be. Check out these articles and tips to learn more about Yesterday's News® brand products and related topics.

Cat photo                                         

Read All About It

We believe that the more informed you are about our products, the more rewarding your experiences with them will be. Check out these articles,updates, and tips to learn more about Yesterday’s News® brand products and related topics.

Fun Little Video:


The Yesterday’s News® panel of experts is composed of veterinarians, breeders, and pet care specialists who care about the quality of life you and your cat lead. Their professional advice appears throughout this site. If you have a question you can’t find the answer to, by all means, ask! They’re here to help.

Everyone’s situation is a little different, so we have advisers available to help you and your pet adjust to Yesterday’s News® brand products. Do you have a specific question or suggestion we have not addressed on our site? We’re here to assist. Just e-mail us your question and one of the experts on staff will respond as quickly as possible.

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       Is Your Pet a Toxic Dumping Ground?


By Nora Simmons, Natural Solutions

You work hard to reduce your family’s exposure to household toxins, but your pets may face a greater risk than you, says Olga Naidenko, PhD, senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, “Where do our pets spend their time? They sleep on the couch, roll around on the carpet, and get dust carrying toxic chemicals all over their fur and then lick it off.” Relative to humans, dogs are burdened with three times more perfluorochemicals (PFCs)–the chemicals used to stain-proof furniture and sometimes coat the inside of pet-food bags and cans. Our canine companions also face two and half times the amount of human exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants (PBDEs), which are used on furniture and carpet. And our kitties absorb a whopping 23 times more PBDEs than we do, which they store in fatty tissue. Studies have linked PBDEs to thyroid and liver problems as well as cancer. While PBDEs and PFCs have been banned in many parts of Europe, they are still widely used in North America. But Naidenko says she has hope. “Now that we have this information, we can work toward manufacturing reform and better regulation.” In the meantime, here are some ways to lighten your pet’s toxic load:

  • Choose pet food without the chemical preservatives BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, and opt for organic or free-range ingredients to ensure pets are getting high-quality food.
  • When you buy new furniture, resist adding stain-proofing treatments.
  • Replace furniture or pet bedding whose exposed or crumbling foam may have been treated with flame retardants.
  • Vacuum often, preferably using a HEPA filter. Since PFCs and PDBEs migrate through dust particles, keeping your carpets and furniture dust-free will help reduce contamination.

 If you like to read more:


Cocoa Mulch is Toxic...



Even if you don't have a pet, please pass this to those that do. Over the weekend the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden.  Their dog Calypso decided that the mulch smelled good enough to eat and  devoured a large helping.  She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn't acting lethargic in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk.  Half way through the   walk, she had a seizure and died instantly.  Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further  investigation on the company's website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats.
Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and
they claim that 'It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog).  However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it.'  

This Snopes site gives the following information: Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden
Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called 'Theobromine'.  It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die.  Several deaths already  occurred  in the last 2-3 weeks. Just a word of caution, check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens. The obromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs.
Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic
quantities of the obromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and the ophylline. A dog   that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.



10 Ways to Help Animals during a Disaster

Disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or hurricanes, can strike at any time, with little or no warning. Without an easy-to-execute plan, families are sometimes forced to choose between their own safety and the safety of their beloved animals. In recognition of World Animal Week, The World Society for the Protection of Animals has put together a few simple, easy, and effective actions you can take to help make a difference for animals when disaster strikes:

1. Have a plan: Take the time to make a plan and assemble an emergency kit for you and your pets. Consider your evacuation route and plan ahead for a safe place to take your animals. Research animal-friendly hotels, contact local shelters to see if they provide emergency shelter, and ask friends and relatives if they would be willing to take in your companion animal. Keep in mind that evacuation shelters are generally unable to accept animals.

2. Take your companion animals with you: If the severity of a disaster requires you to evacuate your home be sure to take your pets. It could be days or even weeks before you will be able to safely return to your house, and animals can easily be lost, injured, or killed if they are left behind to fend for themselves.

3. Place a window decal in your home: If you are not at home during an emergency, a well-placed window decal by your front door can notify responders that an animal is present in your home.

4. Support your local shelter:  Local shelters bear the burden of aiding lost or injured animals during an emergency. Make an effort to support your local organization with pet food, supplies or donations throughout the year. Also consider supporting shelters that work in disaster prone areas around the world. With your help these organizations can continue to provide their invaluable services to animals. Click here to find a WSPA member society near you. 

5. Make sure your animals have proper identification: All your pets should be wearing up-to-date identification tags that include your animal’s name, your name, emergency phone numbers and any urgent medical needs. In addition, veterinarians can microchip dogs and cats so that they can be identified without their collars in case they are separated from their owners.

6. Keep an emergency kit handy:  In the event of an emergency you’ll want to have everything your animals need assembled in a handy, portable kit. Include food, water, feeding dishes, cleaning supplies, cat litter, photographs of your animals, medication, extra collars and leashes, bedding, carriers, first-aid supplies and a list of emergency contacts.

7. Make sure your animal’s vaccinations are up-to-date:  Keep an extra copy of your companion animal’s health information in your emergency kit.

8. Set up a buddy system with your neighbor: Ask a neighbor to care for your companion animals during a disaster if you are not home and agree to do the same for him or her.

9. Support a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare:  Each year natural and man-made disasters create great distress and suffering for millions of people. Sadly, animals are all too often not considered during emergency preparedness planning. Read about our new celebrity support for the declaration during World Animal Week.

10. Keep informed about disasters affecting animals around the world:  WSPA’s disaster relief teams are hard at work helping animals in the midst of emergencies around the world. WSPA also carries out disaster preparation work with at-risk communities before disasters strike. We work with local authorities to put disaster response plans in place and help communities reduce the risk of their animals suffering should disasters occur. Sign up for our e-news  to learn more about our work and read breaking news about our emergency relief efforts on our Animals in Disasters blog.

To help even more, donate to our Animal Disaster Fund today!

Read More: http://animalsindisasters.typepad.com/


10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let's face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these 10 easy safety tips:

1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets. All forms of chocolate -- especially baking or dark chocolate -- can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it's better to be safe than sorry.  

2. Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween. Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.

3. Keep pets confined and away from the door. Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night … a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.  

4. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.  

5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach. Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins …    

6. Don't keep lit pumpkins around pets. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.  

7. Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach. If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.  

8. Don't dress your pet in a costume unless you know they'll love it. If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark and meow.  

9. Try on pet costumes before the big night. If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too.

10. IDs, please! If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have one of those fancy-schmancy embedded microchips.

Too see all of this topic info: http://pet.pet360.com/hostedemail/email.htm?CID=22638373420&ch=597C6142D8C7EC845AE73D27B7508318&h=6df2c149644c3ed13317444aee67a4f6&ei=so2bMirNs

Petscriptions.Com For Pets... 

I did some checking and this Company seems to be a little cheaper than "PetMeds"       

    Petscriptions.com is a premier nationwide pet pharmacy on the internet and is licensed by the Kentucky State Board of Pharmacy. That means we are inspected by the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy so you can rest assured that our products are not outdated. We also have our Out of State Pharmacy Licenses for most states that require it, so filling prescription medications is not a hassle. We sell prescription and non-prescription medication as well as nutritional supplements. Our goal is to make purchasing of pet medication and supplies simple and hassle free. We promise to be competitive and responsive to your questions and concerns.

Petscription.com guarantees that you will get the exact same U.S. FDA/EPA-approved prescription and non-prescription medications prescribed by your Veterinarian. All of our products are approved for sale and use in the United States. We do not sell any foreign made generic prescription medications.

Petscriptions.com is proudly owned and managed by veterinarians. These veterinarians are actively engaged in their own veterinary practices and therefore are in touch with the needs of pets and their owners. We will continue to uphold the professionalism that you are accustomed to from your own veterinarian. All prescriptions will be filled by a licensed pharmacist trained in the field of veterinary medicine. We will service all of your veterinary medical needs with the up most integrity and efficiency.

We are able to ship quickly and economically due to our strategic location in Louisville, Kentucky which is the home of the largest shipping hub in the world, UPS.


Dogs, Puppies and Even Deaf Dog Training

  If you are interested in getting a dog or whether you already have a puppy or an adult dog, it doesn't matter. We can help you jump-start your training needs and transform your dog's behavior for the better. While training your dog certainly has its own challenges, we have identified for you the most common dog training mistakes that you should watch out and broken down the different types of dog behavior problems you might encounter so that your training process is made simpler and easier. Ultimately, training your puppy or dog is simple as long as you keep it short, simple and fun - for both your dog and yourself. Our aim is to provide you with as much valuable information and stress-free techniques to go about training your dog. Best of all, the methods and techniques are practical and easy that every dog owner can understand, apply and use at this very moment!                                                       

You’re going to learn comprehensive information on the following:



Veg Advantage...  Vegetarian Food Site...

Veg Advantage offers food service brokerage with extensive culinary support. We work with cutting-edge vegetarian products that are designed to dazzle customers and generate bottom-line results. In addition to product sourcing, our services include menu development and cooking demonstrations. Our chefs have helped dozens of restaurants, universities, primary and secondary schools, and businesses incorporate vegetarian selections into their menus and cafeterias—and our consulting services are available to you free of charge. Our clients are all delighting their customers with innovative vegetarian dishes featuring our products.Whether you need menu suggestions, tips on working with new vegetarian foods, or sources for meat analogs and other vegetarian products, help is just a phone call away!  Consider the following facts: Providing a range of vegetarian options on the menu can help your restaurant escape the “veto factor”—where, for example, a family vetoes a restaurant because their vegetarian daughter doesn’t like the options there. An Aramark survey from 2006 found that 30 percent of college students want vegetarian options when dining out.  More and more non-vegetarians are adding meat-free foods to their dietary repertoire. From finicky teenagers to dieters looking for low-fat options to guests with dairy allergies to those seeking easy kosher choices, vegetarian meals are perfect for customers of all culinary persuasions. A recent poll indicated that 60 percent of today’s restaurant goers want vegetarian options to be available when they dine out.  Our trained chefs are on hand to answer your questions about vegetarian ingredients, cooking methods, recipes, and menu suggestions. We can also help you—for free!—to promote your new vegetarian menu items and reach out to local health and vegetarian communities, guaranteeing more customers for your new options!
For more information, please call 800-760-8570  

Starters, Salads, and Soups
1. Fresh Asian Noodle Salad
2. Buffalo Fireballs
3. ‘Chicken’ and Dumplings
4. Carrot-Ginger Soup
5. Coconut-Cabbage Salad
6. Corn Chowder
7. Cuban Black-Bean Stew
8. Hot-and-Sour Soup
Just to name a few.



Animal Behavior College


Career Information Many exciting options are available to certified ABC graduates Dog Training & Working With Animals

Job placement opportunities with Petco Animal Supplies
ABC is in a unique position to help you if you desire to work for Petco as a professional dog trainer. For over a dozen years, ABC's sister company, ABTA, had an exclusive relationship with Petco Animal Supplies, in which ABTA supplied all training classes for Petco. As a result of this relationship, ABC has extensive contacts with Petco and can actively assist if you desire employment with them. Click here To date, literally hundreds of ABC certified dog trainers have taught classes at Petco and Petco is keenly interested in anyone with ABC certification. Petco currently offers training classes in over 600 stores in the US.



Ten Tips on Coping with Pet Loss by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed.


Anyone who considers a pet a beloved friend, companion, or family member knows the intense pain that accompanies the loss of that friend. Following are some tips on coping with that grief, and with the difficult decisions one faces upon the loss of a pet.

1. Am I crazy to hurt so much?

Intense grief over the loss of a pet is normal and natural. Don't let anyone tell you that it's silly, crazy, or overly sentimental to grieve!

During the years you spent with your pet (even if they were few), it became a significant and constant part of your life. It was a source of comfort and companionship, of unconditional love and acceptance, of fun and joy. So don't be surprised if you feel devastated by the loss of such a relationship.

People who don't understand the pet/owner bond may not understand your pain. All that matters, however, is how you feel. Don't let others dictate your feelings: They are valid, and may be extremely painful. But remember, you are not alone: Thousands of pet owners have gone through the same feelings.

2. What Can I Expect to Feel?

Different people experience grief in different ways. Besides your sorrow and loss, you may also experience the following emotions:

  • Guilt may occur if you feel responsible for your pet's death-the "if only I had been more careful" syndrome. It is pointless and often erroneous to burden yourself with guilt for the accident or illness that claimed your pet's life, and only makes it more difficult to resolve your grief.
  • Denial makes it difficult to accept that your pet is really gone. It's hard to imagine that your pet won't greet you when you come home, or that it doesn't need its evening meal. Some pet owners carry this to extremes, and fear their pet is still alive and suffering somewhere. Others find it hard to get a new pet for fear of being "disloyal" to the old.
  • Anger may be directed at the illness that killed your pet, the driver of the speeding car, the veterinarian who "failed" to save its life. Sometimes it is justified, but when carried to extremes, it distracts you from the important task of resolving your grief.
  • Depression is a natural consequence of grief, but can leave you powerless to cope with your feelings. Extreme depression robs you of motivation and energy, causing you to dwell upon your sorrow.

3. What can I do about my feelings?

The most important step you can take is to be honest about your feelings. Don't deny your pain, or your feelings of anger and guilt. Only by examining and coming to terms with your feelings can you begin to work through them.

You have a right to feel pain and grief! Someone you loved has died, and you feel alone and bereaved. You have a right to feel anger and guilt, as well. Acknowledge your feelings first, then ask yourself whether the circumstances actually justify them.

Locking away grief doesn't make it go away. Express it. Cry, scream, pound the floor, talk it out. Do what helps you the most. Don't try to avoid grief by not thinking about your pet; instead, reminisce about the good times. This will help you understand what your pet's loss actually means to you.

Some find it helpful to express their feelings and memories in poems, stories, or letters to the pet. Other strategies including rearranging your schedule to fill in the times you would have spent with your pet; preparing a memorial such as a photo collage; and talking to others about your loss.

4. Who can I talk to?

If your family or friends love pets, they'll understand what you're going through. Don't hide your feelings in a misguided effort to appear strong and calm! Working through your feelings with another person is one of the best ways to put them in perspective and find ways to handle them. Find someone you can talk to about how much the pet meant to you and how much you miss it-someone you feel comfortable crying and grieving with.

If you don't have family or friends who understand, or if you need more help, ask your veterinarian or humane association to recommend a pet loss counselor or support group. Check with your church or hospital for grief counseling. Remember, your grief is genuine and deserving of support.

5. When is the right time to euthanize a pet?

Your veterinarian is the best judge of your pet's physical condition; however, you are the best judge of the quality of your pet's daily life. If a pet has a good appetite, responds to attention, seeks its owner's company, and participates in play or family life, many owners feel that this is not the time. However, if a pet is in constant pain, undergoing difficult and stressful treatments that aren't helping greatly, unresponsive to affection, unaware of its surroundings, and uninterested in life, a caring pet owner will probably choose to end the beloved companion's suffering. Evaluate your pet's health honestly and unselfishly with your veterinarian. Prolonging a pet's suffering in order to prevent your own ultimately helps neither of you. Nothing can make this decision an easy or painless one, but it is truly the final act of love that you can make for your pet.

6. Should I stay during euthanasia?

Many feel this is the ultimate gesture of love and comfort you can offer your pet. Some feel relief and comfort themselves by staying: They were able to see that their pet passed peacefully and without pain, and that it was truly gone. For many, not witnessing the death (and not seeing the body) makes it more difficult to accept that the pet is really gone. However, this can be traumatic, and you must ask yourself honestly whether you will be able to handle it. Uncontrolled emotions and tears-though natural-are likely to upset your pet.

Some clinics are more open than others to allowing the owner to stay during euthanasia. Some veterinarians are also willing to euthanize a pet at home. Others have come to an owner's car to administer the injection. Again, consider what will be least traumatic for you and your pet, and discuss your desires and concerns with your veterinarian. If your clinic is not able to accommodate your wishes, request a referral.

7. What do I do next?

When a pet dies, you must choose how to handle its remains. Sometimes, in the midst of grief, it may seem easiest to leave the pet at the clinic for disposal. Check with your clinic to find out whether there is a fee for such disposal. Some shelters also accept such remains, though many charge a fee for disposal.

If you prefer a more formal option, several are available. Home burial is a popular choice, if you have sufficient property for it. It is economical and enables you to design your own funeral ceremony at little cost. However, city regulations usually prohibit pet burials, and this is not a good choice for renters or people who move frequently.

To many, a pet cemetery provides a sense of dignity, security, and permanence. Owners appreciate the serene surroundings and care of the gravesite. Cemetery costs vary depending on the services you select, as well as upon the type of pet you have. Cremation is a less expensive option that allows you to handle your pet's remains in a variety of ways: bury them (even in the city), scatter them in a favorite location, place them in a columbarium, or even keep them with you in a decorative urn (of which a wide variety are available).

Check with your veterinarian, pet shop, or phone directory for options available in your area. Consider your living situation, personal and religious values, finances, and future plans when making your decision. It's also wise to make such plans in advance, rather than hurriedly in the midst of grief.

8. What should I tell my children?

You are the best judge of how much information your children can handle about death and the loss of their pet. Don't underestimate them, however. You may find that, by being honest with them about your pet's loss, you may be able to address some fears and misperceptions they have about death.

Honesty is important. If you say the pet was "put to sleep," make sure your children understand the difference between death and ordinary sleep. Never say the pet "went away," or your child may wonder what he or she did to make it leave, and wait in anguish for its return. That also makes it harder for a child to accept a new pet. Make it clear that the pet will not come back, but that it is happy and free of pain.

Never assume a child is too young or too old to grieve. Never criticize a child for tears, or tell them to "be strong" or not to feel sad. Be honest about your own sorrow; don't try to hide it, or children may feel required to hide their grief as well. Discuss the issue with the entire family, and give everyone a chance to work through their grief at their own pace.

9. Will my other pets grieve?

Pets observe every change in a household, and are bound to notice the absence of a companion. Pets often form strong attachments to one another, and the survivor of such a pair may seem to grieve for its companion. Cats grieve for dogs, and dogs for cats.

You may need to give your surviving pets a lot of extra attention and love to help them through this period. Remember that, if you are going to introduce a new pet, your surviving pets may not accept the newcomer right away, but new bonds will grow in time. Meanwhile, the love of your surviving pets can be wonderfully healing for your own grief.

10. Should I get a new pet right away?

Generally, the answer is no. One needs time to work through grief and loss before attempting to build a relationship with a new pet. If your emotions are still in turmoil, you may resent a new pet for trying to "take the place" of the old-for what you really want is your old pet back. Children in particular may feel that loving a new pet is "disloyal" to the previous pet.

When you do get a new pet, avoid getting a "lookalike" pet, which makes comparisons all the more likely. Don't expect your new pet to be "just like" the one you lost, but allow it to develop its own personality. Never give a new pet the same name or nickname as the old. Avoid the temptation to compare the new pet to the old one: It can be hard to remember that your beloved companion also caused a few problems when it was young!

A new pet should be acquired because you are ready to move forward and build a new relationship-rather than looking backward and mourning your loss. When you are ready, select an animal with whom you can build another long, loving relationship-because this is what having a pet is all about!





Finding a Lost Pet 

When your beloved dog or cat strays from home, it can be a traumatic experience for both of you. Here are some tips that we hope will help  you find your pet.

  • Contact local animal shelters and animal control agencies. File a lost pet report with every shelter within a 60-mile radius of your home and visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible. To find your local shelter go to www.pets911.comor check your phone book. If there is no shelter in your community,contact the local police department. Provide these agencies with an accurate description and a recent photograph of your pet. Notify the police if you believe your pet was stolen.
  • Search the neighborhood. Walk or drive through your neighborhood several times to search. Ask neighbors, letter carriers, and delivery people if they have seen your pet. Hand out a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached if your pet is found.
  • Advertise. Post notices at grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, online at www.pets911.com,and other locations. Also, place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet's sex, age, weight, breed, color, and any special markings. When describing your pet, leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it.
  • Be wary of pet-recovery scams.When talking to a stranger who claims to have found your pet, ask him to describe the pet thoroughly before you offer any information. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out of the advertisements, he may not really have your pet. Be particularly wary of people who insist that you give or wire them money for the return of your pet.
  • Don't give up your search. Animals who have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners.

A pet—even an indoor pet—has a better chance of being returned if she always wears a collar and an ID tag with your name, address, and telephone number. Ask your local animal shelter or veterinarian if permanent methods of identification (such as microchips) are available in your area.

A microchip? Ask yourself- How many people would actually take the time to take a stray to a vet or the humane society and then pay to have a chip scanned?




Pets Remembered

Pet Remembrance - Online Pet Memorials

Leaving a pet memorial helps us share the pain and grief of pet loss with others. We hope that placing a memorial in remembrance of your pet here will make your loss that little more bearable. Pets Remembrance Online Pet Memorial service is free. Adding a dedication to your loved one is very straightforward - there are three easy steps to follow. We hope that this site will offer you some comfort, give you something to return to and -  given enough time  - something to smile about in the future.


Pet Urns for a Lasting Memorial

Pet loss, the loss of a pet, phrases many of our acquaintances don’t associate with. But it’s this very type of loss that started Angel Ashes and most recently reinforced its need.
When I met Brad Ogle, Co-Founder of Angel Ashes, he was searching for a pet urn that would honor his recently lost dog, Abbey. His inability to find a special memorial lead us to develop the Original Edition, see the Abbey Dog Story, which then led to our "family" of Angel pet urns. (In fact, the Original Edition was deemed so "special", that in 2004 we received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office).
More recently, I experienced this same traumatic loss Brad had experienced. My best and closest friend was lost after a very short fight with cancer.   

If you need help or know someone who does:



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