Thursday, December 29, 2011

Interesting Facts About Monkeys


So do you think you know everything about monkeys? Did you know that monkeys don't catch cold? Or, that a monkey was the he only animal judged and convicted in a trial? Here are 10 interesting facts about monkeys for you to discover.
Monkeys can be classified into three main groups with important differences between them. Primates or anthropoid monkeys are chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and gibbons. In the second group we find the so-called Old World Monkeys, meaning different species of baboons, mandrils, or macaques, with tails, and inferior to those in the first category. In the third group, that of the New World Monkeys, we find monkeys in the Central and South America, including the most primitive species.
  • The male of the howler monkey in Amazonia is the loudest creature on the planet and its howl can be heard as far as 16 kilometers. Howler monkeys are the laziest monkeys spending 80% of their life sleeping.
  • The rarest monkey in the world is the Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus) that still lives in two forest regions near the Brazilian town of Sao Paulo. It is a reddish orange to golden brown in color and it was first listed as endangered in 1982, rising to critically endangered in 1996, and today, researchers estimate that there about 75 individuals.
  • Chimpanzees are the only monkeys that can drink water using a “glass” made from a leaf. Moreover, chimpanzees can immediately learn how to use a “real” cup or glass. Also, they wash their teeth just like people do.
  • The smallest monkey is the pygmy marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea), adults growing to a height of 11 to 14cm, with a tail of 17 to 22cm length, weighing 75 grams. Pygmy marmosets come from northern South America. They are extremely agile and they eat tree sap, but also small insects and fruits.
  • The largest monkey is the Mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx), which is a relative of the baboon. The male mandrill averages 25 to 35 kg and a body length of 81-90cm, while females, 11 to 14kg and 55-66cm in length. An unusually large male can weigh 50kg.
  • The largest anthropoid monkey and the largest of the living primates in the world is the gorilla. In 1920, a gorilla male of 1,88 meters and 260kg was shot in Zair. The biggest gorilla of all times was a male Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei), called N'gagi, that died at 18, at a zoo in San Diego, in 1944. N'gagi weighed 310 kg. Researchers believed that it turned obese due to captivity and food abundance, which probably caused its early death.
  • A monkey was the only animal judged and convicted in a trial, in the last century, in Alabama, United States. The monkey was accused for having smoked in public
  • Monkeys are worshiped in India being considered as the manifestation of the monkey god Hanuman. In the mythology of Hinduism, Hanuman is he monkey commander of an army of monkeys. In the great Hindu Sanskrit poem "Ramayana" (“Romance of Rama”), Hanuman helped Rama, an important Hindu god, recover his wife, Sita, from the demon Ravana, king of Lanka. As a sign of recognition for his services to Rama, Hanuman is upheld by Hindus as a model for human devotion, and monkeys are, by extension, considered sacred.
  • Monkeys in Africa and Asia always have 32 teeth. Due to the fact that they are more primitive, monkeys in Central and South America have 36 teeth.
  • From 1973, only in United States, over 60.000 monkeys of different species and types have been tortured and killed during lab science experiments, while in the European Union, only in 2004, about 10.000 monkeys became victims of experiments made in the name of science.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

How To Train Dogs For Law Enforcement Officers?

Dogs are our greatest companions. They come in all sizes, from small and cuddly to large and lumbering. Most people keep them as pets, and they gradually become trusted friends and even members of the family.
In many cases, dogs are used as service animals. Originally, some of the larger dogs were specifically bred and trained as pack animals. Dogs have been used for centuries to track animals and hunt game. These days, just about everyone is familiar with seeing-eye dogs.
Dogs have also taken part in the effort to solve crime and ensure safety for citizens. Law enforcement officers are lucky to have these dogs.
Police Canine Breeds
Such a tough, dangerous job takes a certain breed of animal. While most dogs have the instincts to hunt and track, only a handful of dogs are well-suited to help law enforcement officers. A few of the most common are German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, and bloodhounds.
The main attributes that a police dog requires are aggression, intelligence, physical strength, and sense of smell. Most importantly, these dogs must be easy to train, whether it’s housebreaking with a UgoDog indoor dog potty or training to track specific scents. German shepherds feature all of these attributes, making them a well-rounded dog for all K-9 duties.
Labradors are also incredibly intelligent, strong, and active. However, Labs are mainly trained to sniff out drugs and other illicit substances.
Bloodhounds are highly intelligent and were originally used to track and hunt game. Known to have amazing noses, bloodhounds are probably the best trackers in the canine world. This reliable breed is commonly used to track missing persons or objects.
Police Dog Training
As with regular canine training, training to become a police dog occurs at a very young age. By the time a dog is ready for police K-9 training, it has received proper house training with the UgoDog indoor dog potty.
· First, all police dogs must go through basic obedience training. They have to obey their handler’s instructions immediately and without hesitation. This helps keep the dog’s aggression in check and allows the officer to control the amount of force the dog uses
Dogs trained in Europe are only given commands in their “native language.” Although many would assume this is a means of deceiving suspects, it’s actually just how the dogs are trained. A police dog trained with Dutch or German instructions will only understand Dutch or German commands.
· Police dogs also have to pass basic endurance and agility training. Climbing stairs, jumping over walls—a police dog should be able to do it all. K-9 dogs also have to acclimate to city life. After all, they should be comfortable around people.
· Once the dog has received basic training, he will proceed to specialty training, which is where they learn to sniff out drugs or weapons, track missing persons, enforce public order, or perform other K-9 duties.
Police Dogs: Drug Training
It’s often assumed that drug sniffing dogs seek out drugs as food or are themselves addicted to that drug. In actuality, drug sniffing dogs are wholly uninterested in drugs, as food or otherwise. When looking for drugs, these dogs are actually seeking their favorite toy. During training, the dog learns to associate the toy with the smell of drugs.
To begin the training, the handler essentially just plays with the dog and its favorite toy—which is usually nothing more than a white towel. A towel is just the easiest to use for this specific training; besides, dogs seem to love playing tug-of-war with a towel.
During training, the towel itself has been washed to remove any possible scent. Soon, the handler rolls up a bag of marijuana into the towel. After some time, the dog starts to recognize the smell of marijuana as the smell of his toy.
Once the dog has made this association, the handler hides the towel with the drugs in various locations. When the dog catches a whiff of the drugs, he will proceed to dig and scratch in order to get to his toy. He soon learns that sniffing out the drugs leads to a reward of playtime and tug-of-war.
As training progresses, different drugs are placed inside the towel until the police dog can successfully recognize the scents of numerous drugs.
Police dogs might have to go through more rigorous training than your average pup, but for them, it’s all in a day’s work. And don’t worry—they get plenty of love along the way.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What Should We Do If Blood in Dog Stool

Passing trace amounts of blood in the stool is considered quite normal for dogs. But when you see a heavy discharge of red or fresh clots of blood in your dog's stool, it can be a serious cause of concern. Clinically, the condition is known as 'Hematochezia'. In such cases, the animal discharges bloody stool and sometimes, has to make a great effort while defecating. Generally, bloody stool in dogs is an important sign of gastrointestinal problems. But blood in the feces may sometimes be indicative of serious disorders in the body. Below we have detailed the causes and helpful remedies for curing bloody stool in dogs.
Causes
Apart from gastrointestinal disorders, there can be numerous reasons for blood in dog's feces. These are some of the major causes of the disorder
Bacterial infections like 'Clostridium' and 'Salmonella'
Certain allergies from food additives, emulsifiers or fats
Contraction of the anus or colon, due to cancer, trauma or inflammation
Different intestinal parasites like whipworm and ringworm
Disruption of colon or rectum, due to fractures in the pelvis area
Inflammation in the anal sacs or 'Anal Sacculitis'
Inflammation of the colon (Colitis) or the rectum
Overeating or ingestion of sharp things (bone, plastic, needles)
Presence of benign and malignant tumors in the abdomen
Presence of protozoal agents like 'Coccidiosis'
Sudden change in the dietary plan or consuming food meant for people
Viral infections such as 'Parovirus' and 'Coronavirus'
Other bleeding disorders in the body
Home Remedies
Treatments may vary according to the causes of Hematochezia. Listed below are essential home remedies that you can adopt to stabilize and cure the problem.
Avoid giving commercial or packaged food to the animal.
De-worming is necessary in the case of parasitic problems.
Give him 4-5 small servings, instead of two large servings.
Include white rice, cottage cheese and boiled potatoes in the diet.
Provide a bland and hypoallergenic diet with high fiber content.
Specific Cures
Here are some of the treatments that can be undertaken with proper medical supervision or guidance.
Certain drugs can be administered to control the rate of movement of food through the intestines
Cleansing enemas or local surgeries are required to extract foreign bodies like bones and needles.
Corticosteroids can be taken to cure immune-related Colitis.
In severe cases of vomiting and diarrhea, intravenous fluid and electrolyte treatment becomes necessary.
Masses of colon or rectum can be removed with the help of surgery.
Suitable antibiotics with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties can be provided orally or injected into the body.
Sometimes shock treatments are undertaken when there is severe breakdown of the animal or it gets very weak.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dog And Child At Home



While we see gorgeous photos of children hugging dogs, cats and horses and pets loving children by licking them or staring at them lovingly, it is not so harmonious relationship at home. Especially when the child enters the toddler-hood and learns to crawl and walk, pets may look at your child differently. While natural hunting instincts of a large or medium-sized dog may lead him to think that the small moving creature is a prey, smaller dogs may be afraid of the child. They tend to run away from the children. Parents should train the dog to sit or stay near them, while the child is on the prowl by rewarding him with caresses and pats. Trained dogs normally never hurt the child until it is for self-defense but still supervised interaction between your child and dogs is necessary to make them both comfortable with each other.
Teach your child to respect your dog and not to tease it too hard or too often. Keep your child away from exploring your dog's possessions such as its toys, food or water bowl and its litter box and they should know that biting or kicking the pet may hurt it. Discourage them to twist or pull your dog's ears and tails, pinching it and poking fingers or other sharp objects into its eyes. Small and toy dogs often suffer in the hands of the children who like to kick them off or scream in its ear and do not let it sleep properly. Thus, special should be taken to save it from children's tricks. Children need to be taught that pets are not toys and that they feel the hurt too and that they can hug them and pet them gently but should not cause them pain.
It is important that a dog should know its place in the family hierarchy. Dog may feel rejected with a new arrival in home or may like to lick the child and be licked in return. But supervision is always a must when your child and your dog are together. If it is not possible, you may place the child in the playpen for the short period when you are not around. By the toddler age, child is old enough to learn the acceptable and non-acceptable behavior with the dogs and how to interact with them. Dogs may be allowed to enter the nursery but they must be taught to hold a down-stay. Kids find dogs as funny playmates while dogs take them to be littermates. Though, your dog may tolerate a little bit of pulls and yanks, too much of naughtiness may set him against the child. Teach the child and the dog to play together interactive games such as 'Fetch' and 'Hide and Seek' that does not involve rough play.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Concern California Sea Lion

California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are pinnipeds, which is derived from the Latin words "pinna" meaning wing or feather, and "pedis" meaning foot. They are warm-blooded coastal dwelling mammals that glide easily through the water with their torpedo-shaped bodies and propelled by their "winged feet." There are 30 species of pinnipeds and sea lions are the fastest, swimming up to 25 miles per hour. Sea lions get their name from a thick mane that grows along their necks, a feature California sea lions do not have.
Size: Adult males are often between 6.5 and 8 feet in length and weigh anywhere between 400 to 900 lbs. Adult females are more slender-bodied, ranging between 5 and 6.5 feet in length and between 110 and 250 lbs. Newborn pups are usually about 30 inches long and weigh between 11 and 19 lbs.
Life Span: Between 15 and 25 years in the wild, and over 30 years in captivity.
Color: When wet, sea lions are sleek and appear black in color. When dry, their course hairs take on a velvety feel, and they range in color from a light tan or golden blonde in females to a chocolate or dark brown in males.
Continent: North America
Range: The western shores of British Columbia, Canada, the U.S., and Northern Mexico.
Habitat: Rocky and sandy coasts. Large groups of sea lions on land are called colonies. In water, small groups are called rafts.
Food: Sea lions are opportunistic feeders, eating what is abundant and available including squid, octopus, hake, northern anchovy, opaleye, herring, Pacific whiting, rockfish, and when available salmon, lamprey, and benthic fishes. A sea lion needs to eat about 5-10 percent of its body weight each day.
Reproduction: Mating season is primarily May and June and gestation is 11 months. But sea lions have delayed implantation of 2 to 3 months, which allows pups to be born during the summer when food is more abundant. Males become sexually mature between 5-9 years; females at four to six years. Litter size is normally one pup, but twins are born occasionally. Pups are born with their eyes open and can swim (though awkwardly) right after birth. They can vocalize, too, which helps mothers and pups recognize one another.
Fun Facts: Sea lions are often mistaken for seals, but they are different in many ways. Sea lions have small external ears, while seals have pinhole ear openings. Sea lions use their powerful forelimbs to propel themselves, while seals use their hind flippers for propulsion.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tips To Caring for Your Pet Hamster

Hamsters make for great pets for young children as they are friendly, cuddly and easy to look after. However, it is still important that your hamster is provided with the right living conditions in order to make them a happy companion.
Common sense
Like with most things in life, caring for a hamster only requires a little common sense and as long as they have enough food, water, attention and a clean cage then they will be happy.
Light and dark
The first thing you need to know about hamsters is that they are nocturnal, which means they are awake at night and sleep in the day. With this in mind, you need to put your pet somewhere where it can sleep and not disturb you and where you can sleep and not be disturbed by it. If you feel that that place is your bedroom remember: hamsters like to go on their exercise wheel when they are awake so always be sure to keep the wheel well oiled to prevent it from squeaking!
Feeding time
Unlike many other rodents, hamsters are not vegetarians. They don't eat exposed meat rather specially prepared meat that is mixed with all their other food. Although it is possible to prepare your own hamster meals, hamster food is readily available from most pet shops. You can also treat you hamster to some honey sticks, which, perhaps more than anything, will make it happy. But too many treats can cause stomach problems and can lead to operations, so be careful.
Water
Always remember to make sure your hamster has clean drinking water as dirty water can be fatal for some hamsters. The container must also be cleaned, if not then the water might get contaminated.
Play time
Toys are a must! With a variety of toys around your hamster will be extremely happy. The classic favourite 'the hamster ball' never fails to bring your pet joy, and it's a great way for them to explore without getting lost!
Weekly clean-out
Your hamster lives in a cage, which can sometimes get a little on the dirty side and therefore needs to be regularly cleaned out. Clean the cage at least once a month and the beddings too. Cotton and newspaper shredding are a great and cheep way to bed your pet's cage.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dog Health Advice


When caring for a dog, there are many different pet care procedures that are necessary for your dog’s health. While most of pet care can be accomplished through common sense, there are several bits of advice that will greatly help you in providing the best possible care for your dog. Maintaining your dog’s health is the most important part of pet care, since it will help prevent potentially serious medical conditions.
NUTRITION
One of the most important parts of caring for your dog’s health is to ensure that they are receiving proper nutrition. This is more difficult to accomplish than it initially appears, since many of the commercial dog food formulas available on the market today contain ingredients that are not designed with your dog’s health in mind. For example, some pet nutritionalists recommend avoiding any dog food that contains corn, since corn is not easily digested by a dog’s system. Corn is usually added to dog food formulas as a filler ingredient, especially in dry kibble formulas. Many dog owners have made the choice to switch their dog to a completely grain-free diet, since this more closely emulates the diet of dogs in the wild.
VITAMINS
Highly nutritional dog food can be relatively expensive, so it is important to shop around. If you have to settle for a less expensive brand of dog food, try to include vitamin supplements in your dog’s diet as an additional source of nutrition. However, do not exceed the recommended daily allowance of vitamins for your dog. Some dogs may have adverse health effects if given too much of certain vitamins.
WATER
Another important part of caring for your dog’s health is fresh, available water. This is actually ignored by many pet owners, and some dog owners may even refill their dog’s water dish only once per week. In reality, it is much more beneficial for your dog’s health if you provide fresh, clean water on a daily basis. Though this will require daily maintenance of your dog’s water bowl, it can actually go a long way in maintaining good health for your dog.
REGULAR VETERINARY VISITS
Perhaps the best piece of advice for caring for your dog’s health is to schedule regular visits with a veterinarian. A veterinarian will usually be able to identify any potential health problems in your dog during their early stages, which usually results in a higher treatment success rate. Even if your dog does not appear to be sick, it is generally a good idea to bring them to the veterinarian on a regular basis.
There are many different things you can do to help your dog to stay happy, healthy and disease-free during most of their lifetime. Remember, owning a dog involves a significant amount of responsibility. Don’t neglect to pay close attention to any changes in your dog’s health, since they could potentially signify a medical condition that requires treatment. If you use your own common sense, and follow this dog health advice, you will be able to provide the best possible care for your dog.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advice For Take Care Of puppy


I had a fun day today working with Boise Bully Breed Rescue at a local Petco to raise awareness and educate the public on all things dogs. One thing that was troubling to me, however, was the number of people I saw with VERY young puppies in the store. I saw a handful of well-intentioned new pet owners with little tiny pups under 8 weeks of age. This is concerning on two very serious levels.
The first, and simplest, is that puppies so young have not had their second round of shots and are therefore very susceptible to Parvo. Parvo is a HIGHLY contagious disease that affects almost exclusively puppies, but anyone or anything can carry it. It can be on your shoes, your ten year old dog, a grocery cart and many other places. It can be deadly, is always painful, and is expensive to treat. It is just not safe taking a puppy out before they have had their second round of shots. Ask anyone who has dealt with Parvo...it is very scary and you wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy.
The second, and this is what bothers me the most, is that every person I spoke to said they got their puppy at around 4-5 weeks of age from a breeder. PLEASE, please, believe me, that any breeder willing to sell you a dog before 8 weeks of age is not a person you should get a dog from. Do not walk, RUN if someone ever offers you a pup that young. No reputable breeder who knows what they are doing would ever give a pup away so young. Most of the time there are behavior issues down the road.
Why? Because the mother provides nourishment until around 4 weeks of age, then she begins to ween the pups...but her job is far from over. One person today told me their breeder told them the mother stopped nursing at 4 weeks so that's why she was selling them so early. That is a huge red flag that the "breeder" knows little to nothing about a dog's development process.
In the process of weening her pups the mom teaches them boundaries that they just don't learn fully any other way. Between 6-8 weeks they learn bite control and body language from their mother and litter mates. Let me be clear... THE MOTHER AND LITTER MATES ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN TEACH A DOG THIS THE WAY NATURE INTENDED. Yes, you can do some of it with another dog or yourself, but you will NEVER be able to replace those crucial weeks fully.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For Pets You Need Pet Store


Pet Stores are a great place for pet lovers. You can buy pets such as birds, snakes, spiders, fish, dogs, cats, rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, ferrets, turtles, and frogs at pet stores. You can also buy aquariums, pet foods, cleaning solutions and tools, medication and healthcare supplies for your pets. You can also get a variety of pet toys, carriers, leashes, collars, and beds for your pets.
You can find a lot of pet stores in Kelowna , Vernon BC , Penticton , Prince George , Dawson , Williams lake, 100 house , Kamloops , Quesnel , etc. Most of the these, particularly Kelowna have the best and latest varieties of dog, cat, fish, mice, rat, guinea pig, bird, reptile, and spider supplies.
You can find a lot of these stores in Kelowna. The services offered in Kelowna are Aquariums & Aquarium Supplies, Pet Products & Services, Pet Supplies & Foods, Pet Washing & Grooming, etc. The stores in Vernon, BC and Penticton provide pet foods, Pet Products & Services, Pet Washing & Grooming, etc. Prince George provides services such as animal remedies, Aquariums & Aquarium Supplies, Horse Training, Pet Supplies, pet foods, etc. You can find a variety of pet accessories, supplies and food for all types of pets at Dawson Creek. You can find an assortment of pets, Pet Products & Services and pet accessories at Williams Lake . At Quesnel, you can find variety of pet products and services, pet accessories, pet foods, etc. At Kamloops, you can choose a pet the way you desire. Here you can find a variety of healthy pet supplies and pet foods which may be the right choice for your pet. Most in Kamloops provide even pet training services. Those in Kamloops help you to choose the right supplies and equipment for your pet using their educated and friendly staffs having great passion for pet animals.
Finding an appropriate pet store can be very easy if you have a look at the following tips. When you visit these stores, note the smell you get from it. The smell of feces, old food or disinfectants is the signs of a bad one . See to that the pet store you choose maintains the pets they offer for sale in sanitary conditions. Avoid buying your pet from these stores which maintains the pet in dirty cages because the animals living in their own dirt will not be as healthy. If you are looking for a particular type of pet or pet accessories, research and find the appropriate shop which sell that pet or pet accessories. Choose only those at which the staffs answer your questions clearly. This is important to take care of your pet properly. See to that the pet store you choose has well knowledgeable staffs who are ready to answer all of your questions, and will guide you to the right supplies and equipment for your pet. Choose a clean and odor-free pet store where you feel comfortable to visualize all pets and pet accessories and where you feel comfortable to ask questions related to pet care.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dog Food Ingredients

First we need to recognize that nutrients are not the same thing as ingredients. It’s not the combination of ingredients that determines the quality of your dog’s diet and whether or not the dog’s nutritional needs are being met, it’s the blend of nutrients. The ingredients in dog food only have to do with digestibility and palatability. A given dog food can contain certain ingredients that have no nutritional value or that can’t be digested by your dog. You can find two different dog foods that may both seem to nutritious, but one may have ingredients that are better for your specific breed of dog. You should discuss your dog’s nutritional requirements with your vet in order to select a diet that provides everything needed.
Healthy feeding habits should start as soon as you bring your dog home! Your dog’s diet influences such things as health status, appearance, development and attitude. The way you feed your dog will affect certain behavioral aspects like, potty training and begging. When your dog is a puppy, it is very important to prevent it from gaining a lot of weight, which may contribute to the likelihood of obesity and its related health problems as they age.
Since dogs come in all sizes and shapes, there are specific foods available that you should consider depending upon if it’s a small breed, large breed, puppy or adult. The nutritional needs of dogs will change as they age depending on how active they are. For instance, small dogs tend to require more calories per pound than larger dogs and thus need a dog food that provides a lot of energy.
As of late, many dog owners have become seriously concerned about the safety of commercial pet food. With all the recent pet food recalls, many more dog owners are starting to prepare their own nutritious dog foods. There is more than a little concern about how poorly regulated the pet food industry is concerning preservatives. Commercial dog food makers add all kinds of chemicals to keep their foods from deteriorating while setting on the grocery store shelves. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Official Publications lists 35 known preservatives being used by commercial dog food companies. Some of these have no restriction on amount that can be added to your dog’s food. Chemicals such as Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Ethoxyquin have controversial safety reputations at best.
Many of the commercial dog food formulations contain meat and bone meal, which has been shown to contain the remains of euthanized cats and dogs. These dead animal bodies are sent to rendering plants, along with road kill and dead live stock. At the plants they are boiled down to get the fat, which is sold to dog food manufacturers as “animal fat.” The leftover animal parts are dried, crushed and sold to the same manufacturers as “meat and bone meal.” Knowing this, many dog owners have put their pets a on raw diet or started making their own homemade dog food.
Those who advocate raw diets say it is the most natural because canines in the wild are carnivores and have survived and thrived for millions of years. They indicate that ever since commercial dog food appeared on the scene about 60 years ago, the increase in dysplasia, allergies and other health conditions in dogs has increased dramatically. However, proponents of homemade dog food say that dogs are actually omnivores and they need the nutritional benefits of grain. They intimate that dog owners who use only raw food are depriving their dogs of valuable nutrients. In addition, with homemade foods you can be creative while making your own healthy dog food. Proponents of homemade food report the activity as a fun way to feel even closer to their dogs. Especially if they really like what you make. And the debate goes on.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How To Choice Organic Food For Our Pets

As a cat or dog owner, you should be aware of the food that you can buy for your pets. Basically, there are two types of food and they are organic and non-organic pet food. You need to know the differences between these food types. You should only buy the best food for your pets which provide a balanced diet so your pet will live a long and healthy life. Feeding your pet with good or bad food will impact their health. This article will cover both the non-organic and organic pet food.
Non-Organic Pet Food
There are some manufactures that produce good quality and healthy non-organic cat and dog food. You have to read the label to determine which is the healthiest. Do not be confused with the bag and the advertising that is on it as it can be misleading. Not all cat and dog food are alike.
In most cases, non-organic pet food is usually cheaper than organic. The reason being is the USDA (United Status Department of Agriculture) has policies covering organic pet food. What most pet owners should become familiar with is the label printed on the package. This is where you will find which food is actually best for your pet verses another manufacturer. You will find the ingredients that were used in processing of the cat or dog food on the label. The label information printed on the package is regulated by AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials).
For cat and dog food, the first ingredient should be meat and not meat by-products or fillers. By-products and fillers are not healthy for your pets and should not be fed to them. The reason they are used is because they are cheap to the manufacturer, whch helps to keep the price of the food down. All manufacturers must list the ingredients in order by weight. Also look for the type of preservatives used in the process. Avoid BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, artificial flavors and colors or flavoring agents. These can cause harmful effects on your pet’s health over time. The old saying is true, if its not good for humans, it is not good for your pet.
Organic Pet Food
Organic pet food does have some regulations which are governed by the USDA. There are three levels in organic pet food and they are: 100% organic, organic, and made with organic ingredients.
100% Organic
In order for a manufacturer to advertise its product as “100% Organic” it must have all of the ingredients certified as organic in the process. Manufacturer’s can display the USDA Organic Seal on the packaging and advertising.
Organic
A product certified as “organic” its ingredients must be 95% organic. Manufacturer’s can display the USDA Organic Seal on its packaging and advertising.
Made With Organic Ingredients
Products advertised as “made with organic ingredients” must have 70% of the ingredients used in the process as organic. It cannot display the UDSA Organic Seal but, can display the logo of the certification body that approved them.
Other Organic Food
Products with less then 70% of organic ingredients cannot advertise this to consumers but can only mention them in the ingredient statement.
Generally, organic food is healthier for your pet. Also, you will use less food when feeding your pets because of the high quality ingredients being used in the process. Organic food is more expensive than non-organic food. Just like non-organic food, organic foods are not the same. Look at the label and the list of ingredients. There you will find the quality of the organic ingredients being used in the process. This should help select which food to buy.
Changing Your Pets Diet From One Food To Another
Before you can give your pet an organic food diet when you have been feeding him non-organic diet, you must change his diet over a period of time. Here is how it works:
Days 1-4. Mix 25% of the new food with 75% of his current food.
Days 5-8. Mix 50% of the new with 50% of the old.
Days 9-12. Mix 75% of the new with 25% of the old.
Day 13. 100% of the new food.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Indian Food For Pets

Gone are the days when people were not that much of conscious about their own food. However, nowadays whether the person is gone organic or not, knows how crucial a role diet plays in the maintenance of overall health. So, your food performs a key role to lead a long, healthy and happy life. Therefore, even for their pets, people prefer organic pet food.
What should dog food contain?
Many of the people are blissfully unaware of what exactly goes into their dog food. If they will get known to, they might be shocked. Although the food items available in the market are attractive, have no nutritional qualities. Rather, in attempt to keep those packed foods fresh they contain lots of chemicals, which can be harmful for your pet. Therefore, many veterinarians and dog experts agree that much of the widely available canned and packed food is not good for your dog’s health. If you feed commercially prepared food to your dog, it can affect your dog’s health badly. The pets that are fed on commercially prepared dog food tend to suffer from a higher incidence of degenerative-type diseases. Therefore, the best is homemade diet.
When it comes to feed your pet feed the food they are used to. Naturally dogs are wild animals and there is nothing more nutritional than its habitation food. For dog, meat is the best food. It has high quality of proteins that helps your dog to get high quantity of proteins and combat with various diseases. That is why; dogs are given raw meat in their meal.
Nowadays, all the pet owners are realizing just how important it is to feed your dog with holistic pet food. It is the key of your pets’ long, healthy and happy life. Many of the pet owners do not have that much of time to prepare food of their own for their pets. For them there are lots of online stores providing quality pet food.
If you are looking for quality nature’s variety food, DodgerzDen Inc. is the best option for you. It is an Internet retail establishment designed to provide the finest commercial foods and nutritional products that will improve and maintain your pets’ health.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why Not Adopt a So Cute Virtual Pet

  A virtual pet is much like a computerized version of man’s friends from the animal kingdom. Like real pets, a virtual pet is generally kept for company and because of the hours of fun it offers. But unlike real pets, it does not need any real food, sleep or rest. It will not even demand much of your time and attention. Although most virtual pets do thrive better when given a lot of TLC. So while most virtual pets do not require a lot of time; in the end, it all depends on how much time a pet owner is willing to invest. Most games provide virtual pet owners with options for personalization, enabling them to create pets that are best suited for their individual lifestyles.
  Virtual pets can exist in various forms—as a game saved on a laptop, online on a website, or in handheld devices like the Tamagotchi, and as applications on mobile phones. There are plenty of accessible online and role-playing games where players can create a virtual pet and the adoption process is fast and easy.
  Getting a virtual pet is really a breeze these days because of the wide variety of options currently available. You can get a virtual pet in various kinds of animals or creatures. Many websites have a large selection of virtual pets ready for adoption. It’s all a matter of picking out the pet you like best.
  Some say that it’s best to get a virtual pet, since owning one has helped them decide whether they should get a real pet or not. Taking care of a virtual pet is great practice for those who intend to get one in real life. Other people, who cannot keep live pets for one reason or another sometimes opt for a virtual one.
  Virtual pets have been around for a while now. Initially introduced in the mid-90s, the concept of virtual pets has greatly evolved. There is now a huge assortment of virtual pets unlike before. You can even use some virtual pets as avatars or website icons.
  Even adults in today’s career-oriented world can find pleasure in getting a virtual pet. While they are more likely to be bogged down by the challenges of adult life and are often pressed for time, virtual pets can offer them a fun reprieve. Plus with practically unlimited choices, there’s definitely a virtual pet for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Go and get a virtual pet today!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just Some Cute Pigs for a Wednesday Night

Oh Hai!
  I’m pretty tired, but I thought I would post some cute dogs for the middle of the week. Enjoy.
  Personally I am torn. Is dressing your pet up in costumes cute, or is it humiliating and embarrassing (for the pet of course). My German Shepard Tinkerbell wears a police dog uniform for Halloween. She seems to enjoy it, but I have not tried dressing her up as a cheerleader or a cartoon character. Her out fit is breed appropriate and not at all humiliating. For your consideration here are some dogs in costume to help you decide.
  I just wanted to recommend a great website. It is called Fail Dogs.com. It is an off shoot of I Can Haz Cheezburger.com and Fail Blog.com. I like it better than Fail Blog because it combines the hilarity of the failure with the cuteness of dogs and other animals. Sometimes, however, I am not sure why the dogs are categorized as failures when they are just so damned cute. See the example below:
  After surfing the internet for about an hour, I have come up with a list of twenty of the world’s cutest pets for your consideration. My pets were not eligible to compete because that would be unfair. Without further ado, the top twenty cutest pets in the world.
  To all the amazingly cute pets out there that enrich our lives and bring great joy and happiness, I salute you. Whether you be fish or foul, domesticated or exotic, cat or dog, big or small you make the world a better place just by being in it. Special shout outs to Hero, Beatrice, Crookshanks, Tinkie, and Rocky up in heaven (because there is no heaven if my pets can’t be there with me).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More Halloween Pet Photo Contest Entries! Get Your Vote In!

  Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pet in the Annual ThoughtsFurPaws Halloween Pet Photo Contest! Here are some more entries for you to vote on…

  Bonnie

  Donald Treat Dog Dispenser

  Jimmy as King Tut

  Penny and Toby as Snooki and Paulie D

  Pepper as a Belly Dancer
Don’t forget to check out the other Halloween pet photo contest entries too – here, here and here are some tips for a safe Halloween for pets!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Collared today: Gidget and Gabby

  
Gidget and Gabby
  Gidget and Gabby (Cheryl Ingoe)
Related

Pictures: The dogs of BARCStoberfest 2011
Photos: Pictures: The dogs of BARCStoberfest 2011   
Halloween called the most dangerous time of year for pets
Halloween called the most dangerous time of year for pets   By Jill Rosen The Baltimore Sun
6:30 a.m. EDT, October 31, 2011NAMES: Gidget and Gabby
OWNER: Cheryl and Mike Ingoe
HOW THEY MET: Both pets were acquired from breeders in the mid-Atlantic region
AGE: Gidget is 1, Gabby is 3
HOME: Kingsville
BREED: Gidget is a Papillon, Gabby is a West Highland White Terrier
FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Treat time, walks and belly rubs, in that order
FAVORITE FOOD: Venison jerky treats
FUNNIEST MOMENT: The “girls” are at their cutest when we pull into the driveway and they are sitting side-by-side on the back of the couch looking out the bow window waiting for us to get home. Also, when Gidget uses her behind to “bump” Gabby to get her to play.
IF GIDGET AND GABBY HAD A MOTTO FOR LIFE, IT WOULD BE: A daily walk is essential for health and happiness!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

World's cutest pets

  Warm And Fuzzy
There's nothing like a cuddly cat or dog to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. If you need a pick-me-up, look no further. These pictures of sweet little pets are bound to make you smile, even if you’re having a case of the Mondays or a wacked-put workweek.

Yorkie
  Give a dog a bone
BREED: Yorkshire Terrier
This darling Yorkshire terrier named Lacie is just about the cutest thing we've ever seen with that shy look on her furry little face. Her owner submitted her picture to dailypets.co.uk, and when we found it, we just couldn't resist. That bone is as big as she is!
Warm And Fuzzy
There's nothing like a cuddly cat or dog to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. If you need a pick-me-up, look no further. These pictures of sweet little pets are bound to make you smile, even if you’re having a case of the Mondays or a wacked-put workweek.

Basil the cat
  Basil the blogging cat
BREED: Purebred Scottish Fold
This purebred Scottish fold cat named Basil Yuen Farrow is owned by a woman named La Carmina, who is set on making him famous. (After all, in her blog, she claims her kitty was once owned by Mia Farrow.) She even made Basil a focal point of her blog and of other ventures she's cooking up.
Warm And Fuzzy
There's nothing like a cuddly cat or dog to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. If you need a pick-me-up, look no further. These pictures of sweet little pets are bound to make you smile, even if you’re having a case of the Mondays or a wacked-put workweek.

Pomeranian
  Perky pom-pom
BREED: Pomeranian
This 19-lb. Pomeranian named Tinkerbell was recently voted as Woman's Day's Cutest Pet of the Day. Her owner submitted a picture of her, and it paid off. We wonder if the tee shirt adds some extra weight.
Warm And Fuzzy
There's nothing like a cuddly cat or dog to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. If you need a pick-me-up, look no further. These pictures of sweet little pets are bound to make you smile, even if you’re having a case of the Mondays or a wacked-put workweek.

Jack Russell
  Study buddy
BREED: Jack Russell
Can you believe that anyone would abandon a dog this adorable? His new owner found this Jack Russell, whom she named Bubba, alone and almost freezing to death on the side of the road. She took him in, and now his favorite thing to do is curl up on her lap while she studies--to be a vet tech. How fitting!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pets Factor: meet the final 30 - and get voting!

  
Peterborough ET's Pets Factor: the final 30
  We’ve had so many fantastic pets enter our Pets Factor competition there’s no way we could decide on an overall winner.
Our readers have selected their top 30 cutest entrants (as featured here) but we need to get these whittled down in the second round of Pets Factor 2011.
Tell us who your favourite pet is by voting now! See the final 30 pets as a PDF and find out how to vote below
The Top 10 will be printed on Thursday, October 20 in your Evening Telegraph.
Our 2011 Pets Factor winner will receive a top-quality dog or cat bed from Pets at Home, packed full of Mars Petcare food, treats and goodies.
What’s more, the winner will also receive a stunning 16in x 12in colour print of their pet from Starlight Studios. Don’t worry, if the winner is one of two rabbit finalists, there will be alternative prizes that will delight the brilliant bunny and their proud owner.
So to enter and support your favourite furry friend, simply choose your favourite animal picture from those printed, and either text or email your vote before Sunday, October 16.
Our Pets Factor contest is being organised in association with the Love Pets Show which takes place at the East of England Showground, Peterborough on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30, October.
TV vet Marc Abraham will take centre-stage at the two-day animal extravaganza in Peterborough, which welcomes people who are passionate about their pets to enjoy a great-value family day out.
Over the LovePets Show weekend Marc will be giving talks covering a wide variety of pet topics, answering questions from the audience and sharing anecdotes from his days as a vet on call in an emergency clinic.
“The LovePets show is all set to be a brilliant family attraction because it highlights so many different aspects of the animal world in a fun, interactive way,” explained Marc.
“For example, there will be assistance dogs demonstrating their working skills, including guide dogs, hearing dogs and Pets as Therapy (PAT) that are taken to visit people in poor health.
“There will also be reptiles and birds, exotic creatures and some particularly strange-looking insects.
“The LovePets Show brings these wonderful animals together for people to meet, and promises visitors a huge feel-good factor.
The LovePets show will offer a wealth of information on being a responsible pet-owner, and is supported by The Kennel Club, which will be on-hand to answer questions ranging from choosing the right puppy for your family, to rescuing particular breeds. They will also be promoting the Young Kennel Club for children with an interest in canines.
Meanwhile, celebrity dog trainer Karen Wild will be providing masterclasses at the show for those keen to learn best behaviour techniques, and this year’s Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Pippa Langhorne will be providing musical entertainment by singing with her dog Buddy.
Voting for this round ends at midnight on Sunday, 16 October!
VOTE BY TEXT
Text your vote before midnight on Sunday, 16 October to 61500 starting your message with the words EMN TEN then a space, then the number of the pet you are voting for (as printed in the newspaper), then your name, house number and postcode.
Texts messages cost £1.00 in addition to your standard network charge and should contain no more than 160 characters. Please note if you should enter after the stated closing date your vote will not be valid but you may still be charged.
VOTE BY E-MAIL
Email your vote, including your name, address and daytime contact telephone number to petsfactor@peterboroughtoday.co.uk. In your email subject title, please ensure you state the number of the pet you are voting for, followed by the words ‘Pet Competition’ (for example, “1001 – Pet Competition”).

Make 2011 Year of the ‘Hog: A How-To Guide for Hedgehogs

  

hedgehog pet

Hedgehogs can make unique pets.
Some of the happiest discoveries in life can be utter contradictions. Such is the case of the hedgehog, one of the cutest animals on earth that also happens to have a pelt of sharp quills. Hedgehogs don’t immediately come to mind when thinking about fun and cuddly pets, but these unusual creatures can be playful, loving, and loyal.
“We got our first hedgehog, Heidi, as a pet for my daughter,” Ann Salamon, a Connecticut based hedgehog breeder and proprietor of Hedgehog World told me. “She was a great pet with lots of spunk and attitude and she really bonded with my daughter and our whole family. We all really fell in love with her.”
Say Hello to My Little Hedgehog
Most hedgehogs come from Africa, and the species most commonly kept as a pet in North America is the African Pygmy hedgehog.
“It is a hybrid of two different species that were imported into North America in the 1990s,” Salamon said. “Virtually all of the pet hedgehogs in the US are domestically bred.”
Because of their origins hedgehogs typically need to be kept warm to stay healthy. They should be kept in a room that is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit and preferably a little warmer, which makes them a great pet for people in warmer parts of the country. A typical hedgehog will live between three and five years, though some have been known to live as long as ten years in captivity.
“Hedgehogs are very intelligent and they each have their own distinct personality. Most of them are very independent,” Salamon continued. “They don’t require as much time and attention as a dog or a cat and often apartments that don’t allow dogs or cats will allow hedgehogs.”
These Quills Were Made for Loving
While hedgehogs can often be sweet and friendly creatures, their quills present a challenge for those looking to cuddle.
“Scent is very important to hedgehogs because their eyesight is not good, so hedgehogs should be handled with your bare hands whenever possible,” Salamon said. “If a hedgehog is used to a lot of human contact, most will not roll up or will unroll immediately when you pick them up.”
If you don’t feel comfortable trying to hold your new hedgehog with bare hands, try using some cloth that still has your scent on it so he or she will start to recognize you. An old fleece or baby blanket should do the trick, though be careful to check for loose threads, which can get wrapped around a hedgehog’s tiny toes and cause problems.
“Some hedgehogs like to cuddle and sit in your lap,” Salamon continued. “You can watch TV or use the computer with them on your lap, or carry them around in a sweatshirt pocket.”
A Home Fit for a ‘Hog
Hedgehogs are relatively small and can live happily in a cage similar to what you’d use for a guinea pig or rat. They love to have space to roam, but a single level cage of at least two feet by two feet will suffice. They also tend to enjoy exercise and Salamon says an exercise wheel is a must.
“Hedgehogs are burrowing animals so a safe wood bedding like kiln dried pine or aspen--but never cedar--or paper bedding makes an enjoyable environment for them to burrow and dig,” Salamon continued.
It’s also important to give your hedgehog time to play outside of its cage.
“If you have a runner or explorer, you can let them run around supervised or put them in a run about ball, children’s wading pool or ferret exercise pen,” Salamon said. "They love to run on an exercise wheel, play with toilet paper tubes and some also like to push around other child or pet safe toys in their cage.”
Hedgehog’ing is Not a Crime—Usually
Because hedgehogs are still a relatively unusual pet, laws affecting their ownership can vary from state to state. Most states in the U.S. and Canada allow people to own hedgehogs but they are currently illegal in Georgia, California, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. New York City residents are also out of luck.
While not illegal in the state of New York, residents in any of NYC’s five boroughs are forbidden from keeping hedgehogs as pets. In Arizona, Maine, and New Jersey you’re allowed to keep hedgehogs but you’ll need to apply for a special permit first.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Old Age in Dogs

Old Age in Dogs

The age at which a dog can be considered elderly varies widely among models. In general, the larger the dog, the more quickly it declines. For instance, a Great Dane could be considered "senior" at age 5, while a smaller toy poodle would still be spry at twice that age. Remember, however, that just because a dog is chronologically old doesn't mean that an endless series of malfunctions is in store.

In many cases an elderly dog can enjoy many healthy, active, pain-free years.
One of the best ways to prolong the life and improve the functions of an elderly dog is to carefully regulate its fuel intake. Older dogs exercise less and thus need fewer calories.

And since age reduces their ability to digest and absorb nutrients, high-quality food specifically formulated for their needs is a necessity.

Excessive amounts of protein, phosphorus, and sodium can aggravate kidney and heart problems, so most such foods contain smaller amounts of higher-quality protein, along with reduced quantities of other elements. Levels of vitamins, zinc, fatty acids, and fiber, however, are increased.

A popular misconception is that dogs age 7 years for each calendar year. In fact, canine aging is much more rapid during the first 2 years of a dog's life. After the first 2 years the ratio settles down to 5 to 1 for small and medium breeds. For large breeds the rate is 6 to 1, and for giant breeds the rate is 7 to 1. Thus, at 10 years of age a Great Dane would be 80 years old while a pug would only be 64.

How to Tell a Dog's Age

If you've taken in a dog whose age is unknown, there are some ways to determine his age. Here are some things vets check to get a general sense of how old a dog is:

The Teeth: Dogs usually have a set of permanent teeth by their seventh month, so if you've come across a dog with clean pearly whites, he is likely a year old or thereabouts.

Yellowing on a dog's back teeth may put the dog between one and two years of age, while tartar build-up at a minimal level could mean you have a dog between 3 and 5. Missing teeth or severe wear usually means the dog is a senior and could use some special dental care.

Muscle Tone: Younger dogs are more likely to have some muscle definition from their higher activity level. Older dogs are usually either a tad bonier or a little fatter from decreased activity.

The Coat: A younger dog usually has a soft, fine coat, whereas an older dog tends to have thicker, coarser (and sometimes oilier) fur. A senior dog may display grays or patches of white, particularly around the snout.

The Eyes: Bright, clear eyes without tearing or discharge are common in younger dogs. Cloudy or opaque eyes may mean an older dog.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Puppies Care

There's nothing sweeter than puppy breath, those inquisitive little noses and non-stop wiggling tails. Our puppies section covers all you need to know about these adorable little guys, from the time you take one home to the moment you can call your pup an adult dog.

Learn how to prepare your home for a puppy, get the lowdown on what vaccines are needed at each stage of your puppy’s life, and bone up on basic training and commands.

Our experts provide advice on how to deal with teething, house training, spaying or neutering, keeping puppies fit and happy, and then some.

The timing, frequency and components of vaccines that dogs should receive are all hotly contested. However, most vets, including Dogster's own Dr. Eric Barchas, agree that dogs don't need vaccines at 0-7 weeks, 21-24 weeks or at six months.

The general consensus at this time is that dogs should receive DHPPs (that's distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus) every 3-4 weeks, beginning at 6-8 weeks of age and ending at around 14-16 weeks of age.

That basically boils down to shots at 8, 12, and 16 weeks. DHPP should be re-administered at 1 year and then every three years thereafter.

Bordetella vaccines are optional and should be based upon lifestyle. Some vets think Bordetella should be administered every 6 months, others vote for every 12 months.


Leptospirosis vaccines cause lots of controversy. Lepto can spread to people and it is becoming more prevalent, so many vets are now recommending giving it with initial puppy vaccines and boostering every year.

This is a marked change from a few months back, when many vets thought lepto shots weren't worth the perceived risk of increased adverse reactions caused by lepto vaccines.

Some states require rabies vaccines annually while others require this to be done every three years, so be sure to check with your vet.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Pets Chihuahua

I have a 7-year-old long-coat Chihuahua. I have had dogs most of my life, and probably have been fortunate because I have not experienced one being sick as mine suddenly became and won’t eat.


I came home late from work on Friday and he wouldn’t take his treat. He vomited bile three times during the night, and in the morning I took him to the vet. All day Saturday, he would not drink any water. Finally at around 2 a.m. he drank some water. He drank more later, but then sometime during the night he vomited.

I’m thinking that he did retain some of the fluid because he did urinate a little when I took him outside. I know that it takes 24 to 72 hours, but should I try to give him a little Karo in his water for his blood sugar? Do I just wait? I am really concerned.

Theresa


You don’t mention what happened at the vet when you went, but it sounds like no blood tests were run nor X-rays taken. This is not uncommon — many vets and owners decide on a conservative approach to treatment when an animal first becomes sick.

A significant number of pets will recover from episodes of vomiting and poor appetite if they are treated with fluids and basic stomach calming medications.
However, when a pet remains sick after initial treatment, it is important to find out why. Your dog does not appear to have a self-limiting condition.

I am worried about serious problems such as pancreatitis, kidney failure, an intestinal foreign body, or other metabolic, inflammatory, or toxic causes of illness.

Blood tests and diagnostic imaging (X-rays and ultrasound) will give you great insight into what’s wrong. You can only treat serious problems if you know what needs to be treated.

For the record, I am not a proponent of conservative care in truly sick animals. When it fails, animals become sicker and treatment is more difficult than it would have been if diagnostic tests were run in the first place. When a pet is sick, I recommend tests, so that any serious problem can be caught and addressed early.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Dog Pet

What started out as a heavy and distressing turn of events for one dog owner has ended up as cause for celebration.

Harley, a 6-year-old pug from Manville, Rhode Island, recently won the third Annual VPI Hambone Award — an honor bestowed on the dog, cat, or exotic pet with the most creative mishap — for ingesting (and subsequently passing) more than 100 small rocks.

His owner, Lori Laverdiere, still doesn’t understand what prompted Harley to eat the rocks in the first place, but she is relieved to have her pal back at home after a scary overnight visit to the vet in June, when he was given medicine to facilitate the expelling of the rocks in what sounds oddly similar to humans passing kidney stones. Ouch!

Harley’s championship prize package includes a ham-shaped trophy and a bag filled with toys, treats, and an emergency pet kit.

VPI also awarded emergency pet kits to the second-place winner, Chico the Chihuahua, for surviving a tug of war on his leash with a Great Horned Owl; and the third-place honoree, Stella Artois, a Labrador who unfortunately got a big tin can of green beans lodged in her jaws after a (we say) unsuccessful attempt at dumpster-diving.

These awards were determined after narrowing the puppy playing field from 12 nominees who were culled from more than a million insurance claims received by VPI Pet Insurance. What a bittersweet and clearly occasionally amusing task that must have been! We’re glad that these winners are now safe and sound with their families.

Dogsters, what’s the strangest thing your pup has encountered or, well, swallowed?

I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of big brands and designer pieces. I just can’t help loving amazing design and high fashion. And yes, that goes for what I bring home to my dog as well. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love well-constructed, handmade clothes and accessories available on wonderful websites like Etsy.

My dog Miles and I love to comb through this extensive site to find unique pieces with a price tag we love. To show our enthusiasm over all things handmade with love, this week we’re going for the effortless look found on Etsy.

The Snap It Dog Jacket — Created with a high-quality cotton denim fabric and lined with gray cotton flannel, this cool jacket by Bean Town Handmade comes with its own snap-on pouch. If you’re kind enough to spend your hard-earned cash to keep your pooch looking stylish, the least he can do is carry his own poop bags and maybe a few of your small personal items.

Denim Squirrel Dog Toy — I don’t know about you, but my dog loses his mind at the mere mention of the word “squirrel.” He’ll never catch one in a million years, so I like to keep him happy with squirrel toys. I love this one made from recycled scraps of blue jeans. Denim is tough, so it’ll take him a while to rip the stuffing out of this one.

Custom-Embroidered Dog Portrait Canvas Pillow Cover — I’m crazy about commissioning portraits of my dog. It’s the kind of art I’m excited to invest in. This gorgeous embroidered dog portrait pillow is such a special way to immortalize my dog in pillow form.

Sloppy Drinker Canvas Dog Bed — My dog is a neat little water licker, but I know there are lots of sloppy drinkers out there. Don’t worry, it’s okay to call out your dog for being a sloppy drinker. In fact, it’s pretty hilarious.
Brass Arrow Earrings — While tribal-inspired prints and pieces are trendy at the moment, I guarantee you’ll reach for these everyday arrow earrings for seasons to come.

Urban Driftwood Dog Feeder — Driftwood Dog Feeders by Go Pet Design are must-haves for dog owners who love reclaimed rustic wood. The feeder’s modern and organic look is a perfect complement to a design-savvy home.

Blue Seersucker Dog Collar — If you’re on the hunt for a classic collar that will have your dog looking his most handsome, go with this red, white, and blue plaid seersucker collar by Nola and Spenser. It’s timeless preppy perfection at its best!

Organic Wool Jersey Skirt — Perfect for a stroll in the park or a play date at your local dog park, this gray jersey skirt is easy to wear with a tank or a tee. Throw on a cardigan and some tights when temperatures start to cool down, and you have one cute skirt to wear year-round.

Oak Leaf Headband — Call me prissy, but I have a strong attraction to headbands. This beautiful freehand-embroidered oak leaf headband made of shimmery silver silk dupioni with gray embroidered veining needs to make its way into my fall collection.

Hand-Knit Dog Sweater with Alligator Applique — I can only knit scarves, but if I could learn how to knit anything else, it would be adorable dog sweaters with alligator appliques just like this one from Simply Made by Liz.

Monday, October 17, 2011

When is it time to make the decision to say goodbye?

When is it time to make the decision to say goodbye? While no one can really say when that decision is most appropriate for you and your friend, here are a few factors that need to weigh into the decision:

While euthanizing a pet is certainly not a decision any of us want to make, many people are of the opinion that in certain situations of illness, it is the most humane thing we can do. It’s important to discuss your all options with your veterinarian. He or she is able to give you the best information about what your dog or cat is going through, the pain he/she might be experiencing, and your options at that particular time.
If against all your better wishes, you and your vet determine that it’s time to make that difficult decision, consider staying with your pet during the procedure. While it is a fairly painless procedure for the animal, more veterinarians now allow the owner to be with the pet during its final moments as it goes to sleep, so it does not pass away in completely unfamiliar surroundings.

The animal’s condition is incurable, and the animal is facing a very low quality of life. Sometimes a vet can medicate the pet to make it comfortable, but if the pet is facing a possible extended period of suffering, it might be time to talk to your vet about options.
You are unable to afford an extended period of medical care for the pet. If you don’t have the financial ability to make sure your pet gets the medical care it needs (and cannot find anyone who does have the ability), it may be inhumane to allow the pet to suffer. Again, discuss your options with your vet.
The pet’s age is a factor. A younger animal facing a serious health issue has a better chance of a full recovery than an older one—and putting an older animal through the rigors of a difficult treatment might not be advisable and could put the animal in unnecessary pain.
It is a choice none of us wants to make—but if you must make it, there is no dishonor in choosing to experience the pain of pet loss over making the animal go through continued pain. When it’s time to say goodbye to your pet, however it happens, remember to offer tribute to your friend for a life well-lived.
It’s a time all pet lovers dread: the moment when we must say goodbye to our beloved friend. Occasionally, something happens where we don’t really have the chance to say goodbye like we would like. Other times, though, especially in situations like sickness or old age, we are able to prepare better for that moment. And there are also times when saying goodbye to our pet is unfortunately not just a matter of natural death, but a matter of making a difficult decision.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?


We've all heard it: "dogs are allergic to chocolate." Actually, that's not such a bad way to think of it, and keeping your dog away from any and all chocolate is a must.

Symptoms of theobromine poisoning include obvious stomach pain, restlessness, drooling, and vomiting... and the vomit may in fact smell like chocolate, which is a definite giveaway. If enough theobromine has been consumed, then more severe symptoms will follow, such as rapid breathing, increased heart rate, trembling, and cyanotic (bluish) gums.

But it is a good idea to understand the problem dogs have with chocolate, so you can be prepared in case there is a problem.

It's actually not an "allergy." As you know, chocolate contains caffeine. But it also contains a related compound called theobromine, and this is what dogs are very sensitive to.


Cocoa powder is very high as well, and although it's quite bitter to us, dogs seem to love it, unfortunately. You can see the importance of keeping all chocolate securely away from your dog!


Convulsions and death may follow. It's serious, and if your dog manages to get his paws on some chocolate, get on the phone with the vet or poison control center immediately.

o give you an idea... just one ounce of baking chocolate (which has about 10 times as much theobromine as milk chocolate) would be lethal to a small breed dog.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cute Puppies Here

The Unexpected Pit Bull is a not-for-profit organization that creates, markets, and sells merchandise celebrating pit bull dogs. The group donates 100% of its net profits to pit bull rescue, education, and advocacy organizations in need of support.
The dog in the photo at right is Miss July, a beautiful bluenose named Atomic Betty who also graces the cover. Look at that sweet, soulful face! Those ladylike white gloves! Her story is especially touching – but I don’t want to spoil the happy ending, so please buy the calendar to find out why.
Since 2004, its professionally-photographed wall calendar has celebrated the love, energy, and spirit that radiates from these wonderful dogs. Each month features a different, glorious pit bull portrait, in words and images, telling a dozen priceless stories of how these wonderful adopted dogs bring year-round joy to their beloved families.
But the photographs are the real draw – in my humble opinion, the photos of pit bulls cuddling with children do more to dispel negative stereotypes about these wonderful dogs than any mere words ever could.
Not surprisingly, The Unexpected Pit Bull Calendar enjoys the open-arms support of pit bull lovers like Rachael Ray, who featured it on her popular TV talk show.

“Somebody took this dog and threw him out like a worthless piece of trash, and used him for sport,” Misseri continues. “But as rescuers, we found him and put all our energy and effort into saving him. So here are the two sides of the equation: The dirtbags who thought nothing of taking this dog, fighting him, keeping him as a bait dog, and then throwing him out. And then you have the side of what we do as rescuers.
The people who threw him out couldn’t even imagine that someone else would put that much money into a dog they had tried to profit from and thrown out. But rescuers won’t hesitate to go broke and make tireless efforts to get dogs saved and rehomed.”
Pacino’s new life began in March, when two police officers on Long Island found the year-and-a-half-old dog wandering the street at 2 a.m. “The officers witnessed the dog walking very slowly, clearly in pain,” Misseri reports. “He was bloody, with bite wounds all over his body.”
The officers gingerly lifted the dog into the back of their vehicle; the dog complied sweetly, and did not resist arrest. The officers were touched by the dog’s gentle nature. So instead of taking the animal to the pound, the officers chauffeured him to a veterinary hospital and contacted the Guardians.
The next day, the dog was transferred to Dominick Marino of Long Island Veterinary Specialists in Plainview, where he was given the medical attention he needed — not to mention megadoses of TLC from the staff. “Doc Marino and his staff have gone above and beyond for Pacino, and we are very grateful to them,” Misseri says.
Because he had scarring over 60 percent of his body, the dark, handsome dog was named after the famously dark, handsome star of the movie Scarface. And K9 Pacino won the heart of a benefactor, Gail Waller, a Guardians supporter who contributed generously to help defray the cost of his hospital boarding.
Gail is a huge Pacino fan: “She brought homemade chicken several times a week for him, and spent quality time with him … she developed a tremendous bond with this dog,” Misseri explains. “Before, he never knew what it was like to be someone’s pet. Now he’ll be ready to be someone’s perfect pet very soon.”
Meanwhile, renowned veterinary behavior specialist Peter Borchelt has been working with K9 Pacino. Dr. Borchelt is confident — as is everyone involved with this extraordinary dog – that Pacino’s strong, good heart and love of people will make rehabilitation smooth and easy.
“Pacino has a great disposition, and he’s great around people,” Misseri adds. “He’s an example of just how much effort goes into saving one dog’s life.”
The Guardians believe that this dog might have been the victim of a dogfighting ring that was recently busted in the area. And so Pacino’s rescue also offers a valuable teaching lesson: ”A team of Guardians, led by Brian Sperazza, has been posting flyers in the area where Pacino was found, both reward flyers and notices alerting the community to the dangers of having children exposed to dogfighting,” Misseri says.
“We hope to raise awareness of dogfighting in the surrounding neighborhoods as well, so that we can put a stop to this terrible form of animal cruelty. And we’re working to gather information that will help authorities pinpoint other dogfighting operations in the area.”
That’s because this excellent calendar celebrates pit bulls for what they really are – just great dogs - so all dog lovers can relate, whether or not they live with a pit.
For the 2012 calendar, on sale now, the irresistible images of Atomic Betty and her fellow models were provided by HeARTs Speak, an organization made up of an international community of artists working to improve the lives of animals in need. HeARTs Speak members generously contributed the photographs that turn this calendar into a must-have holiday gift for all the dog people on your list, regardless of breed affinity.
Now that Hurricane Irene has come and gone, it’s business as usual for the thousands of rescue organizations across the country that do dog’s work every day of the year, weather or not. You’ve read about Guardians of Rescue in this column before. Now, meet the newest Guardians member: a 70-pound pit bull named Pacino.
Rescuing Pacino has set the Guardians back about $15,000. Was the effort worth it? Dogsters, what do you think? Just check out the before and after photos of Pacino — that’s some impressive makeover!
As the Guardians’ Robert Misseri puts it, “Once you’re in, you’re in for good. Pacino is a symbol of the commitment that it takes to do this kind of rescue work.”

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pet hospice care

The subject of when (or if) to euthanize a pet that is terminally ill or in chronic pain is a touchy one for many. In previous posts, we’ve talked a bit about consulting your veterinarian about situations in which putting your pet to sleep might be the most humane thing to do; however, it’s also important to look at the other side of things, because a lot of veterinarians now offer pet hospice care as an alternative to euthanasia—and some vets even specialize in hospice care.

Pet hospice care works much the same way as hospice for humans; terminally ill pets are given extended care intended to strengthen the quality of life during their last days. In many cases, the pet can receive hospice care while remaining at home with his/her owner.

Additionally, there are times when the best care cannot alleviate the suffering of the dog, cat, bird or other animal, and the animal’s quality of life cannot be improved—at which point, you might want to address the question again with your vet as to whether it is humane to try to keep the animal alive.

As with any end-of-life choice, there are pros and cons to pet hospice care. On the plus side, hospice offers families the chance to spend time with the pet, to cope with the idea of impending death, and to say goodbye.

Additionally, a veterinarian who offers hospice care is likely to be very compassionate, and while there are exceptions (and you should certainly research any pet hospice facility before placing your pet there), there’s a very good chance that your beloved friend will certainly receive compassionate, humane treatment during his/her final days.

On the negative side, extended care for a pet can be costly (and unless you carry some sort of insurance for your pet, you will absorb the expense).
So which choice is right for you and your pet in circumstances like these?

Only you and your vet can make those decisions, and they are admittedly not easy ones to make. If you and your vet feel a pet’s quality of life could be improved through hospice care, or if you have a strong moral or emotional conviction against euthanizing a pet, then pet hospice may be a good alternative for you and your special friend.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Penguins are fascinating creatures

Penguins are fascinating creatures. They generate crowds at zoos and aquariums, and they have attracted even more attention following the 2005 documentary, March of the Penguins. By learning more about these birds, you can create a set of interesting animal facts for kids to explore.
What are penguins?

There are 17 species of penguin; all have feathers, wings, are warm-blooded and lay eggs. While penguins are birds and have wings, they do not actually fly.
How do penguins stay safe if they can't fly?
Without the ability to fly, penguins have had to develop different evolutionary tactics to handle predators. The emperor penguin, for example, manages to stay and reproduce in the cold Arctic temperatures that no other animal stays around to face. This allows them to grow and thrive, reproducing when the dangers of predators are minimal. Similarly, penguins often live on islands free from many predators, and have strong swimming abilities to aid in escape.
Which penguins do we know the most about?
When asking someone to picture a penguin, an emperor penguin may be the first image to come to mind. These penguins were documented in March of the Penguins. The largest species of penguin, the emperor penguin is found in Antarctica.
What do penguins eat?
Emperor penguins are known to eat fish, krill, squid and silverfish. Other species of penguin survive on similar diets, depending largely on what's available in their habitat.

You can check out more animal facts for kids at your local library. Use these and other facts to create a game to test your child's new-found knowledge and get him interested in learning more about these quirky animals.
Do penguins only live in cold habitats?
Among the important animal facts for kids to grasp is that while penguins often are featured in film and on television in cold climates, they also live in warm regions. In fact, different species of penguins can be found in many parts of the Southern Hemisphere, from tropical islands to Antarctica. Different penguin species have different habitats. With 17 species of penguins, that means you are likely to find a penguin where you least expect one — even Hawaii!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pet friendly holiday accommodation

Pet friendly holiday accommodation, such as a pet friendly rental house, caravan park, apartment or hotel can be of great benefit for some devoted pet owners. For some of us, holidays without our beloved pet just isn’t much of a holiday at all. We prefer to take our pets along to share the fun holiday time. We’d miss each other too much we didn’t holiday together.

It can be difficult to find an available, trustworthy person to look after our pets. This is especially the case if we are going away for an extended period of time. Boarding kennels can be expensive and fairly impersonal. Pets used to a lot of human companionship may fret and become anxious. In these cases it is preferable to holiday someplace that offers pet friendly accommodation, where your pet is welcome.
Normally in most situations you will be expected to keep your pet under control and not allow it to cause a nuisance to other people and animals, or to cause any damage to property. It will be your responsibility to clean up after your pet.
Here are some things to check when enquiring about pet friendly holiday accommodation:

Are pets allowed inside? Are they required to stay off the furniture?
If pets are required to remain outside, is there a secure area for them to sleep?
Do they have a kennel, or a securely fenced area outside?
Are dogs allowed to run free, or must they remain on leads in certain areas and at certain times?

Will there be other pets in the nearby area?
Will you be required to produce a current vaccination certificate and flea treatment?
Are there any limits on number, type, size or breed of animal?
Is there an extra charge or cleaning fee for pets?
There is a variety of accomodation options available for the pet owner, depending on the type of accommodation required. Most common are pet friendly caravan parks, which normally allow pets of any kind.
For a little more luxury there are pet friendly hotels and motels. A pet friendly beach apartment allows allows you to exercise your pet on the sand.
There are some more luxury pet friendly accommodation locations, for those who want something special such as pet friendly rental houses or cottages, with room to move, yet lots of privacy. There are even houseboats that cater for pets!
The easiest way to check what is available in Pet friendly holiday accommodation is to search online for details – you can often find special deals that you may not easily find anywhere else.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

story of your pet

Whether it be a dog, cat, bird or other animal, the life of a pet is a gift, and the time we are given with that pet is a gift. When we lose that beloved friend, sometimes the best memorial we can offer is to tell the story of our pet—to share with others about the blessing that our pet was to us, to recount fond memories with others who knew him/her—to relive the good times, the funny things, the favorite moments we shared with that pet. Not only does doing this honor the pet’s memory, but it can also help us with the healing process and dealing with the grief.
There are many ways to tell the story of your pet. There are websites online that offer the ability to create a memorial page where you can share about your pet; or it can be as simple as sharing a funny story with friends around the fire. The Loving Hearts Tribute Series can play a rather unique role in the telling of your pet’s story.
Because our pet memorial artwork is heart-themed and abstract, it tells the story more on an emotional level than with specific details.
The beauty of abstract art is that it speaks to people on a non-verbal level, and different people can see and interpret different things within it.
Our art pieces speak specifically and personally about your pet because his/her ashes or fur is included in the final coat—and yet it is presented subtly, so when you display it in your home, people won’t necessarily know what the painting is saying unless you clue them in. And of course, having a Loving Hearts Tribute painting in honor of your pet gives you the opportunity to share the story of your pet with people as they admire the painting.
What is your pet’s story? What are your favorite memories? We invite you to memorialize your pet by telling the story. If you’d like to tell us about your pet, please feel free to share briefly in the comments section below.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My dog Lulu


When I hosted a book club meeting a few months ago, my dog Lulu stayed upstairs in her crate. As guests arrived, they asked if she could join the group but I politely declined. Lulu can get overly excited around guests; a house full of people toting plates of cheese and other goodies could lead to doggie-induced chaos. I convinced myself that everyone was better off with Lulu upstairs.
It prevented me from having to pull her off someone’s lap, and it saved guests from pretending they enjoyed being licked by a 48-pound dog. As we ate and discussed our book, Lulu provided her own mournful rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” It was annoying, but I stood my ground.
After interviewing and observing quite a few dog trainers, I realize we should have practiced proper behavior around houseguests. Dog trainers Michael Upshur and Deandre Weaver offer a few tips to keep your dog in line around other people or pets.
“People don’t realize it but that leash sends a signal,” he says. “When you are tense and tighten the leash, you tell the dog something is wrong.” Weaver, an anti-dogfighting advocate with the Humane Society of the United States, also reminds pet owners to stay focused during walks. “Just try to be more aware [of surroundings] than your dog is,” he says. “Keep the attention on you, and divert attention from the other dog or cat.
1. Focus on the positive. Upshur tells clients to pick a phrase such as “good dog,” and use it often. “When someone reaches to pet your dog, say ‘good dog,’” he says. “That puts the dog in a relaxed mood.” Our body language also affects a dog’s behavior. Resist the urge to automatically pull the leash when strangers approach. This subtle movement puts the dog on alert, says Upshur, a police officer and dog trainer with Dogma Dog Care in Smyrna, Ga.
It takes training, and patience.” If you see a cat, squirrel or other potential distraction that may trigger negative behavior, Upshur suggest offering a command such as “sit” and petting the dog. This helps calm anxious pets.
2. Take the high road during walks. Every dog behaves differently around other dogs. “If my dog doesn’t know the dog, I don’t walk directly up on another dog or person,” Weaver says. “Pass each other [at a safe distance] and see how the dogs react.”
3. Maintain a short leash when stopping. If you stop to greet someone during a walk, Weaver suggests maintaining a short leash — about a foot or so — limiting your dog’s ability to jump. He also notes that dogs jump on people out of excitement. “Give them no attention when they jump; turn your back, walk away and try again. It’s really a process.”
4. Allow strangers to pet with care. When someone asks to pet your dog during a walk, Weaver says allow the dog to smell the person’s hand first. Then allow them to pet the dog’s side or back, avoiding its head or mouth.
5. Practice makes perfect. Find a pet-loving friend and practice proper behavior around houseguests. “Let your dog approach the person and smell their hand,” Upshur says.
“Then tell the person to lift their knee and turn as soon as the dog tries to jump.” It also helps to turn your back to the dog and fold your arms across your chest, ignoring the dog until it sits or calms down. “Your dog has to learn the boundaries of your house,” Weaver says. “Otherwise it will be hard to keep her under control when someone comes into her house because that’s her couch.”
6. Introduce four-legged guests slowly. If you are introducing a puppy to your older dog, Upshur says things should go smoothly. But it’s important to remain calm when adult dogs pay a visit. “A calm owner sends a signal that it’s okay for another dog to be in the house,” he says. “Let them sniff each other, but watch the hairs on their back
. If hairs on the neck and butt go up, pull the dogs away,” he warns. “If one dog goes down into what we call the praying position, he’s trying to tell the other dog, ‘I’m friendly; all I want to do is play.’” If your dog is a bit willful like my pooch Lulu, Upshur suggests keeping it on a leash during visits.
“Let the other dog roam because he isn’t getting into trouble,” Upshur says. “That will rub off on your dog, and it will understand, ‘I must be in trouble because I’m on a leash.’” Allow your dog to approach, sniff and move away, then repeat this process until both dogs are calm enough to mingle.
Weaver also recommends the “place” command, particularly when guests arrive. “Once you teach them, ‘Go to your place,’ call them to that spot when company comes.” He notes that Lulu’s howls of protest are all part of the process. “If you don’t stand your ground and deal with it, you won’t stop it,” he warns.
7. Every dog needs a place. Upshur and Weaver are firm believers in giving dogs a designated place in the house. It may be in a quiet corner or a favorite spot on the couch. Every time you give the “place” command, your dog should go to that spot and remain there until you allow it to leave. Reinforce that behavior by praising the dog for following commands.“Saying ‘good dog’ does a lot,” Upshur says. “If your dog gets tense for any reason, say ‘good dog’ and pet it.”
8. A little bribery never hurts. Weaver is not afraid to bribe a pet. Take the time to learn your pet’s favorite food, toy or treat and use it to your advantage. “What is your dog going to work for?” he asks. “A lot of dogs will work for a tennis ball or chew toy. Once you make it interesting to them, you can get their attention.” If you notice a cat during your daily walk, move away from the distraction and then pull out your dog’s favorite item. “As you walk, the dog will walk and try to get it,” he says.
“Once you get a certain distance away from the distraction, give her the toy or treat. Do sit command and say, ‘good girl.’” He adds that it’s important to stretch out the rewards program. “Once they do the right thing a third time, then you give them the treat,” he says. “If you give a treat every time, they will only behave for food.” This approach gives the dog an incentive to work for treats.
9. Set boundaries for foster pets. Opening your home to a foster dog can help your pooch stay young at heart, and strengthen social skills, particularly if it’s an older pet. “They know the rules of the house; they are the alpha dog,” Upshur says. “A new dog will get used to the other dog and will try to establish dominance.” To ease the transition, he suggests moving slowly with initial introductions. Not surprisingly, he says that pets adjust better to dogs of the opposite sex.
During the first two days, keep the foster dog crated and allow your dog to sniff the foster pooch in its crate. “Over time, your dog will understand, ‘This dog belongs here now; his scent is here,’” Upshur says. Also, use a leash during free time with the foster pooch as it learns house rules and boundaries.
10. Practice consistency. Whether you are partial to “no” or “psst!,” Cesar Millan-style, use the same command every time you address your dog. That means avoiding shorthand such as “down,” when you typically say “lay down.” A little bit of consistency can help even an older dog like my Lulu learn some cool new tricks.