Barney Unleashed
Washington Post

Finding a Way to Help the Fledglings
Los Angeles Times

Own Any Dumb Pet Products?
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Successful Co-habitation of Pets
by Belinda Osgood

Raise any two animals together from babies and they will learn to live as siblings, whether they are traditionally prey and predator or not. I have heard of numerous examples where this is the case. My husband often relates a story of his cousin who kept an owl, rat, and cat as a cheerful trio. Like raising human children, our smaller family members learn behaviour, interpersonal relationships, and what is acceptable from the parents (humans). Thus the ability of different species of animals to co-habitat is learned. There are exceptions to this, of course. Just like children, pets have personalities which can create friction in a household. Jealousy, mean-spiritedness, fear, domination, and so on all can affect how well pets get on together, even when they are the same species.
The story can be entirely different when a younger animal is introduced into a home where an older pet resides. When my husband and I took on our two kittens at the tender age of six weeks, I wondered how they would relate with our eight-year-old black Labrador, Wag. We were pleasantly surprised to find a respectful awareness developed between canine and felines.

Wag is an outside dog, being far too exuberant and large to risk being in the company of our interior furnishings. For many weeks we kept Smooch and Simba, the two cats, inside. They were the cutest, most vulnerable little boys ever. When they finally did foray into the great ‘outside’ it was with a great deal of suspicion and short scouting trips, always rushing back to the safety of a watchful mum -- me! Within a week they had found their joy in the outdoors and keeping them inside was not far short of an impossibility.

To my delight the two cats soon lost their wariness around the big, black dog, and became quite at home sharing the back yard with him. Wag, in turn, was discouraged from chasing them, even if they ran. This type of communion between animals must develop through the leading of the authority figure. We had to discipline Wag if he showed the wrong reaction.

In the beginning I introduced them slowly. Cuddling a cat to me, I would gently advance to Wag. Feeling secure the cats choose to stay in the safety of my arms. In a gentle voice I introduced the animals to each other and they had a chance to get one another’s scent. The cats can now pass right by the dog and the most he will do is look or lower his head to sniff. Smooch and Simba are always careful, but quite comfortable in his presence. Wag barks at every cat, except our two. If they get in a fight with a neighbourhood cat, he will rush to their defense.

This all went very smoothly and we enjoyed a happy family. It was time to introduce a new family member in the form of a rabbit. Smooch had hunted and brought home a baby rabbit and Wag was used to chasing them when we went to the river. I was naturally a little more concerned about how these relationships would develop.

I should not have worried. It required the same procedure of introductions, always keeping the more vulnerable individual safe and comfortable. Opal, the rabbit, happens to have quite a dominant personality and was never at all afraid of the cats or the dog. The older three were very curious and spent many hours in and around the hutch, watching. It might be surprising to expect them to be affectionate with each other, but I feel they are. Just last week, Wag and Opal had their heads together in her food bowl as Wag helped himself to some stolen nibbles. Wag usually lies up against her hutch when he naps during the day.

Animals can be taught how to co-habitat safely. With patience and due care, it is possible to create a harmonious family, no matter the variety of pets one may choose to own.

About the Author
Belinda writes from her home, in the company of one dog, two cats, a rabbit, and tropical fish. This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com/ which is a site for Pets.

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Ruling Cats and Dogs

How To Go About Choosing A Cat Breed That Suits You
By Birgit Hulsing

Cats make great pets for most homes because they are very easy to care for and generally bond easily with humans. Most of the societies and cultures around the world have made it a practice to adopt cats into their family structures. However, domestic cats do vary quite a bit in their physical design and personalities from one breed to the next. Choosing a cat breed that suits you and your family is not a task that should be taken lightly. Nor should choosing a cat breed that suits you seem like a difficult task.

The first consideration when choosing a cat breed is the size of your living area. You may always think of cats as being leisurely lounge lizards, but many breeds spend as much time playing as lounging. Playful cat breeds need plenty of room to play. Also, the larger the play area and the more there is to do, such as another cat to interact with, the less likely the cat is to go mad if it doesn't see you much for a few days.

That leads to the second consideration when choosing a cat breed. You need to think about how much time your family is going to be able to spend with the cat. If your new little friend doesn't at least get a couple of gentle touches and a cuddle every other day, it will go mad. Although how much attention is necessary has a lot to do with the breed. The other part of the time consideration is that some cats require more grooming maintenance such as bathing and brushing. A busy family should get a cat with short fur.

The third consideration when choosing a cat breed is allergies to cats. These allergies are not uncommon, but there is much variance in the degree in which they manifest themselves. Someone with a very heavy cat allergy probably should not own a cat. Someone with a light allergy that results in a few sneezes or coughs a day can have a cat, but should be careful in choosing a cat breed that will minimize allergen exposure. For example, you will want to choose a cat breed that has short fur and rarely sheds its fur to reduce your exposure.

The fourth, and probably most often forgotten, consideration when choosing a cat breed is the cost of taking care of that breed. Some breeds are hardier than others. Many breeds have common ailments, such as deafness or fur balls, that may get costly in veterinarian visits. Also, a cat that weighs half as much and has a lazy temperament will eat less than half as much as the cat that weighs twice as much and is packed full of energy.

The fifth, and final, consideration when choosing a cat breed is how the personality of the kitty matches up with the other personalities of your family. Cats come in different temperaments. There are lap, child-friendly, indoors, independent hunter, and jealous, one-person cats.

Brigit Hulsing is a cat behaviour researcher and helps cat owners with practical tips and advice on cat toilet training and cat training

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Pets Behaving Badly
Los Angeles Times

Feather duster
by socalcde

Shower Curtain Shred
by Jayb - Wow - How did this happen?

The Limits of Sharing!
by Steve Robbins - Merry Christmas THIS, pal! The mailman is MINE!

The Standoff
by Steve Robbins - Step aside, pal. Those are mine!

Oh no Satchmo
by Liz - Leaving little Satchel alone too long...

That's My Girl
by jeanne - don't ya just love friday nights

Thanksgiving? - by boom chick
Honda, Toyota Aim for Dog Lovers
Baltimore Sun

Breeder Surrenders 132 Dogs to St. Paul Humane Society
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Firefighters Get Training on Pet Rescues
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Goin' Up North - A Pet Friendly Vacation
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Why You Shouldn't Over Use Your Fish Food
by Derek Rogers

One of the worst things that you can do when caring for fish in an aquarium is to overfeed them. There are a couple of different reasons why over feeding the fish in your aquarium is a bad thing, but we are going to look at two of the most prevalent ones.
First of all, fish tend to eat whatever they can find, hungry or not. This is especially true for goldfish, which tend to simply eat whatever has been made available, even if they are eating far too much in the process. Because of this, many fish can develop health issues as a result of overfeeding and over eating. If you want to keep your fish healthy for a long time, it is vital that you put serious consideration into how much you are feeding. Do a little bit of research on the fish in your aquarium or tank. How much food are they supposed to eat? Betta fish and goldfish are notorious for over eating. Other fish will also overeat if given the chance. We are not advocating under feeding here, but rather learning how much is just enough and feeding consistently at all times.

The second reason why over feeding your fish is one of the worst things that you can do for the health of your aquarium should be common sense. The more your fish eat the more waste they will produce in turn. This excess in waste is going to make the tank dirtier. Any excess food that is not eaten and processed by the fish is also going to create additional waste within the aquarium, and all of this is completely unnecessary. Not only does waste have a negative effect on the chemical composition of your aquarium, but it can also jam up your filtration system, which will only allow your aquarium to become less and less healthy for your fish companions. Your fish rely on your filtration system to keep their water in liveable conditions. When the chemical composition of the aquarium is compromised, fish can become sick or die.

So now it is important that you understand how to choose the right amount of food for your fish. You should only be feeding your fish whatever they can eat up in about 3 minutes. If you have bottom feeding fish, or timid fish, you should see how much they can eat up in about 15 minutes, and only feed that amount every single day. Your fish may respond to feeding as if they are starving, but this does not necessarily mean that they are underfed. Fish will beg for food much in the same way that your dog or cat will beg for table scraps, so you should not let it deter you from following set guidelines regarding their feeding. Fish do not have large stomachs and do not need that much food. As long as they are eating their food up in 3 minutes or 15 minutes depending on your fish, you are probably on the right track with their feeding schedule.

About the Author:
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For information on fish, he recommends Seapets, one of the UK's leading suppliers of fish food.

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The Jack Russell - From Being Banned In Dog Shows To Celebrity Status
By Kellie Rainwater

There are showing events that do allow Jack Russell's and there is a portion of owners who take part in such events. The majority of Jack Russell's do not meet the appearance requirements for showing, and those that do are rarely ever trained to work the field and perform complex tasks, but instead trained in obedience and poise for showing. This means that in the majority of cases a Jack Russell is either a show dog or a field dog, not both. Many spectators find the compact size and comical personalities of these feisty little terriers to be the highlight of any organized dog event.

The popularity of dog themed events also gave rise to further interest in these animals, and the Jack Russell once again experienced a resurgence of interest as a family pet in the late seventies and early eighties. New breeders began to establish themselves and build breeding pools based on the Jack Russell not as a working dog or a show dog, but a family pet. Families all over the U.K. and North America began to invite this energy packed dynamo in their home. The energy and intelligence of the Jack Russell has endeared it onto the public, a fondness that has continued to this day.

At some point someone in Hollywood took notice of the energy of the Jack Russell and its ability to learn complex tasks and remain constantly alert. Soon special trainers were teaching these dogs how to act and be involved with movie production. The Jack Russell became famous all over the world as people would watch their antics in movies and on television from the comfort of their own living rooms. Jack Russell's can be observed in television shows such as Fraser, Wishbone, Chef Rick Stein, television commercials and more. Movies in recent history that have featured the Jack Russell have been The Mask starring Jim Carrey, Crimson Tide, The Earnest movies, Harry Potter and many more. The increasing presence of the Jack Russell in film and media has made it one of the most desirable breeds of dog known today.

Kellie Rainwater and her husband Don are avid lovers of the Jack Russell Terrier. Through the love of the bred they have written a book on how to train, breed, and show this tenacious dog. is a site that features this book signed and sold by the author along with Jack Russell products, toys, watches and other Jack Russell gear.

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Little Maximus proves that while Yorkshire terriers may be pint-size, they pack plenty of personality. That's what makes them 6th on the list of most popular breeds in metro Atlanta, according to the American Kennel Club. readers offer a few more cute examples of why we love yorkies... Sandra Lewis

Zuma knows that yorkies can really crank up the cute factor! Lobel Family

Still, it's good to be a yorkie! Diane Lobel

Okay, in this one Zuma is just plain tired. Diane Lobel

Sometimes sharing is completely overrated. Melanie Hawkins

I also like a clean, shiny coat, which requires rigorous grooming! Ashley Mayer

Atlanta's Top Dogs
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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SF Gate

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Ask the Travel Dog
Trips with Pets

A Dalmatian dog leans over a balcony in the harbour of Port d'Andratx on the Balearic island of Majorca. (Photo by Oliver Lang/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman tries to take a photo of "Tama", a nine-year-old female tortoiseshell cat wearing a formal stationmaster's cap of the Wakayama Electric Railway, as the feline sits on a ticket gate at Kishi station on the Kishigawa line in the city of Kinokawa, in Wakayama prefecture. The number of passengers who travel along the line increased 10 percent for the year to March 2007 from the previous year, credited to Tama after the "stationmaster" cat appeared at the unmanned small station. (Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images)

Have Fun With Your Little Kitten
By ContentMart Editor

Every housecat has a little tiger within it. So, the instinct to hunt is strong in all cats. Though you may have confined your little tiger within four walls and provided it with the finest foods, you can't take the jungle out of the cat. So, as an owner of a pet cat or kitten, it's not possible to ignore its basic need to hunt. Fortunately for you, the act of hunting is more important than the actual prey. So, you can easily substitute the live prey with an inanimate toy.

Often, owners are frightened by their playfully aggressive cats and kittens because they look quite dangerous. They are startled by the constant need of the kittens to silently ambush feet and ankles as they pass by, surprising, upsetting, and sometimes, even hurting, the victim. And in some cases, the cat owners inadvertently encourage this trait by playing with the kittens. But as the kitten grows into a cat, bigger and stronger, these playful pounces and bites can puncture the skin.

So, the solution is to direct the cat's playful but predatory energies toward toys. However, the easiest and best solution is to get another cat or kitten of the same sex and approximately the same age and activity level as a playmate. Though there will be two kittens to take care of, which means more effort and time, you'll save your home from a lot of wear and tear. However, if it's impossible to get another pet, then you should provide your feline with scheduled sessions of controlled aerobic exercise, i.e. play therapy.

Interactive Play Sessions

The interactive play sessions should be scheduled for the times of the day when your kitten is at its most rambunctious. Ideally there should be two or three well spaced out sessions during a days. And, the length of each session depends on how athletic the kitten is. So, each session can be between 10 and 20 minutes.

If you don't really want to exert yourself, you can use a fishing pole-type toy that enables the pet owner to control the cat's activity level while remaining inactive. And the sessions shouldn't stop till the cat is exhausted. While, playing, you should build up the kitten's confidence and enthusiasm by allowing plenty of "captures". But, once the session is over, the fishing pole toys should be carefully stored out of the cat's reach, for the kitten may otherwise continue to hunt for it, long after you've left the room.

Solo Play Sessions

There might be times, when you're not around, that your kitten would feel like playing. In such situations, to avoid damage to your furniture, you should leave some toys lying around. However in such circumstances, it's important to have a variety of safe, interesting toys to keep the kitten occupied. Also, make sure that the toys don't have any parts that can be torn off and swallowed, or long strings that your cat might get entangled in.

Also, like people, cats can get bored with the same toys. So, be sure to rotate the toys to keep the kitten interested.

Playful Attack Sessions

Playful attacks are not accompanied by any hissing and growling. And the natural human reaction to such attacks is to swat at the cat. However, physical punishment might cause your cat either to fear you or engage in even rougher play. But, if the attack can be anticipated, a blast of air from a compressed air can, a squirt from a water gun, or a sudden sound, like an alarm or a shaker is an effective deterrent. However, timing is everything. If the reaction comes a second or two after the incident, the deterrent will not be connected with the attack, in the cat's mind.
The best deterrent is one's voice.

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Members of the Dutch search and rescue unit SIGNI arrive with their search dogs in the town of Hanwang in southwest China's quake-stricken Sichuan province. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Quake survivor Mr. Lei proudly displays "Kitty," the family cat, moments after recovering the animal which was trapped for twelve days in his second-floor flat in the town of Hanwang in southwest China's quake-hit Sichuan province. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Easy Dog Tricks - How To Teach Your Dog To Retrieve In Just One Afternoon
By Daniel Waser

Retrieving is probably the most basic and easiest of all dog tricks. Even without specific training, many dogs learn to retrieve on instinct. Not only is it fun for you to be able to play ball with your dog on a bright, sunny afternoon, but he will also have an absolute blast each and every time.

Your first goal is to simply get your dog to focus on a particular area that you want him to retrieve the object from. This is easily accomplished by pointing to that area with your finger. The idea is for your dog to understand where to go and then to investigate the location.

Bring along small snacks or pieces of his favorite dog food to help make things easier. Pull out a handful of these tasty treats and sprinkle some on the ground. Avoid letting your dog run over to gobble up all the food at once. In fact, it is best if you train him to be patient while staying in the sit position until you say otherwise. Then, after a few moments, release him and say "Pick Up, Pick Up!"

As soon as your dog runs over and picks up the snacks, sprinkle a couple of additional pieces a few yards away and say once again "Pick Up, Pick Up!".

As you can assume so far, you are training your dog to associate the command of "Pick Up" with that of looking for something to put in his mouth. This training period goes very quickly. In fact, most dogs will learn this association in just a few hours.

Now it is time to move from using dog treats to a regular non-food object. As soon as he has gobbled up some treats, throw him a curve ball by tossing a small towel or his ball behind you, then quickly say the commands "Pick Up, Pick Up!".

At this point in training he should immediately run over to where you dropped the ball and put it in his mouth in order to bring it back to you. It is vital to give your dog showers of praise when he is successful.

The final step in teaching your dog to retrieve is having him drop the object at your feet once he picks it up. This is where the "Drop It" command comes in to play. Whenever he picks up something in his mouth and starts to run toward you, have him stop, sit, and while you pull the object out of his mouth with one hand, rub his head lovingly with the other hand, while giving praise at the same time.

Repeat the entire retrieving process over and over until he successfully grabs the object, brings it back, and releases it right in front of you.

Daniel Waser is a dog lover since his childhood. He owns 3 dogs of his own and has a lot of experiences with dogs. At his websites he's providing helpful information and tips about Dog Health Care and Dog Training.

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Search dog "Rifka" barks after picking up a scent amid the rubble during a search and rescue operation by the Netherlands-based unit SIGNI in southwest China's quake-stricken Sichuan province. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

A dog is carried inside a bag as people celebrate Memorial Day on the beach at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Pat Miller, owner of Peaceable Paws Dog and Puppy Training in Fairplay, Md, issues a stern, but not angry, "stay" command to her 4-year-old Cardigan Corgi Lucy on Tuesday, during a session of leash training. (AP Photo/Timothy Jacobsen)

Pandas eat at the China Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Sichuan Province. Three of the ten pandas that went missing after the May 12 earthquake have not yet been found. - Xinhua, Chen Xie-AP

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'Niko' Is His Nickname - Grand Junction Sentinel

Petie's Advice Column
Pet Love Shack

Do Cat's Have Nine Lives?
Where Did This Saying Originate?
Minneapolis StarTribune

Pets: The Las Vegas Moveable Buffet
Los Angeles Times

Rub-A-Dub-Dub A Pet Parrot in Your Tub
by Robin Bateman

Ask any bird owner and he will tell you, "Yep, birds are messy."
So just how do you keep your new pet parrot clean? And what about his cage, toys, food...are there any special instruction here?

The Bird - To keep feather dust to a minimum, and promote vibrant colors, shower your parrot weekly. Most species love water and will sing, flap their wings and even "dance" when showered. You can purchase a shower perch for let your parrot walk around on the bottom of the shower floor or tub.

You don't have to buy special soap for your bird. Use plain tap water. Be sure the temperature is warm. It's a good idea to test the water's temp by letting the water run on the underside of your forearm, much like you would for a baby's formula.

Some bird owners mist their parrots with water from a spray bottle (similar to the ones used for misting house plants). A few varieties of birds dislike misting, so proceed with caution. If your pet shows signs of apprehension, it's a good idea to avoid the misting process altogether.

The Food Dishes - Wash in hot soapy water, or run through the dishwasher everyday. Consider buying two sets of food and water dishes; while one set is placed in your birds' cage (with fresh contents) the other set is in the dishwasher.

The Cage - A rule of thumb here is; the larger the bird, plus, the more time the bird spends in the gage equals the more frequently you should perform a thorough cleaning on the cage. i.e. more than a "wipe down". Cage liners are wonderful! It's easy to roll up your bird's mess in one thin liner than it is to empty the pan, or pull up newspaper. Change liners daily, or every few days, depending on how messy your bird is. A quick wipe over with a warm wet cloth helps alleviate the difficulty of the thorough cleaning.

Before you thorough clean, remove the bird from his cage and place on a perch away from his cage area. Use a bird safe disinfectant. Sometimes a scrub brush and/or sandpaper can help remove tough dried particles.

The Toys - Soak toys in mild soapy warm - hot water. rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before returning to cage. Cleanse toys every few weeks to remove germs and feather dust.

The Yard aka area around the cage - This area is often plagued with feathers, feather particles and feather dust as well as seeds and other food items your bird drops. Vacuum daily. A cage with a seed catcher helps somewhat and is worth purchasing.

Also, consider purchasing an air purifier one with a HEPA filter.

Whenever possible, use cleaning time as play time, too. Talk and socialize with your pet while you change his bird liners, or shower him. the more contact you have with your parrot, the better caregiver you'll be. You'll also be able to recognize signs of stress and illness quicker.

Keeping your bird clean, healthy and happy requires daily maintenance, but is well worth it.

About the Author:
Robin Bateman is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Writers. This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com/ which is a site for Pets.

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Smooth Sailing Surgeries for your Cat
by Rob James II

If your cat needs surgery, for whatever reason, there are multiple steps you can take to help your cat with this process. There are three main classifications of surgeries. First, elective surgeries are those that you choose to have done, but that do not have to be done. Spaying and neutering fall into this category. The second kind of surgery is called non-elective, and these are surgeries which have to be done for your cat's survival, but which you schedule. Lastly, there are emergency surgeries, that are done quickly and as your pet needs them, such as if your cat is hit by a car. If your cat is having elective or not elective surgery, there are ways to prepare for this, and if your cat is recovering from any type of surgery, you can do certain things in your home to make this easier.
First and foremost, when your cat is going to have surgery, it is usually best for this to happen when your cat has an empty stomach, unless your vet indicates otherwise. The most common response to the anesthetics used is vomiting, so your cat will have fewer problems if his or her stomach has no food in it. If you deny your pet food for about 12 hours before the surgery, most of the food in the stomach will be gone. In most cases, your cat having access to water is fine. If you have other pets in the house, you may need to confine your cat to one room so that he or she doesn't eat from other dishes, or you may need to withhold food from all of your pets.

When your kitty goes into surgery, remember that any number of things may go wrong. You'll be responsible for the vet bill, even if it is higher than the estimate. After the surgery, it may take a day or even longer for your cat to be awake and functioning. You may also be looking at a few days--sometimes more--in the vet hospital for recovery. You should visit during the hours allowed, and volunteer to help feed or care for your cat. This will let your cat know that you have not abandoned him or her.

When you bring your cat home, follow all instructions completely. Your cat may need multiple medications daily or a special diet. Your cat may also not be allowed outside for a certain amount of time. For cats with any kind of incision, assume this to be at least a week or two, which may be difficult if your cat is used to going outside often. If your cat's fur had to be clipped or shaved, keep in mind that he or she is probably colder than normal, so it may be a good idea to provide extra blankets warmed in the dryer or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. Remember, your other cats will need attention too. By making sure that your house is safe and loving, you can keep all of your cats happy after surgery.

About the Author:
Rob is a writer from San Diego. Are you neglecting your beloved pet? Find out here. Rob's other sites: AgilitEase, Shop.AgilitEase, Google Magic Formula Review

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Summit Fire Destroys Animal Sanctuary
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The Hyena Gets New Spots
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Euthanasia Never Easy, Whether for Race Horses or Family Pets
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Having A Healthy Dog - Some Simple Steps
By Lori Matthews

Having a healthy dog is important. You want your best friend to be as healthy as possible. It is said they age twice as fast as humans so keeping them in top shape is imperative. It helps immunity and helps the aging process possibly slow down. There are many things to think about when you consider your dog's health. Many of those things include dog food, vaccinations, exercise, water, love, and more.

Dog food is one of the most important things to think about if you want a healthy animal. Many of the shelf dog foods have chemicals that are not healthy for an animal. These dog foods are cheaper but they can be harmful to your animal. Consider a food with concentrated amounts of meat as protein as opposed to cheap fillers that are so hard to digest, can cause severe allergies and most importantly do nothing to keep your pet healthy.

Exercise is also important for any animal. Your dog should have sufficient amount of room to run around and play. If your dog is kept indoors for most of the day then you should take the time everyday to walk it outside and give it the exercise it needs. Ideally, a dog should have a good sized back yard to be able to run around in. If not consider a dog park. Exercise is important for a dog to keep their circulation healthy and their blood flowing. This allows for a healthy body, strong muscles, and a happier life for your dog. It also may help there mental state just like humans.

Water is important also. A dog can get dehydrated much quicker than a human being. You should always ensure your dog has plenty of water to drink each day and that it is always available to drink. You may even want to consider spring water or filtered water. The chemicals and other things from the faucet may not be so healthy.

Another important aspect to having a healthy pet is love. Dogs need daily interaction. They need plenty of petting, holding, and love. A dog's primary goal is to please their owner and you need to show your pet that you entirely approve of them and it will be happy. Studies have shown that dog's with a lack of love or interaction is not as healthy as pets that have a lot of love. You should spend time talking to your dog and playing with your dog. This will ensure you have a very healthy and happy pet that will last a long time.

A great conversation to start with your vet if you haven't already is: vaccinations. It is becoming increasingly popular that pet parents refuse to vaccinate every year because many feel it is harmful to the pet. As puppies, vaccinations are necessary and can save your canine's life. As they get older though you may want to ask your vet about titer testing to measure the antibodies in your baby's system and then you can determine if that vaccination is necessary. Depending on where you live, some vaccinations are necessary and some are not. This is something you can discuss with your veterinarian.

Everyone wants their dog to be healthy to ensure their life and longevity. There are many factors that play a big role in making this happen and as their owner; your dog depends on you to ensure they have a healthy life. You should ensure the food your dog is being fed is healthy, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of exercise each day, and you are giving it plenty of love and knowing more about vaccinations.

Lori Matthews studies health, nutrition and wellness. She enjoys writing articles on health for both people and pets. Please click here if you would like more information on Life's Abundance healthy dog food

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Your Kitty Cat's Care
by Adrienne Manson

Every cat needs a certain level of care. Depending on the breed, they may need specialized care in terms of grooming as well as any special health provisions.

The Stages of Feline Development When a kitten is born it's hard to imagine them growing into full-grown cats. When kittens are born they are blind and completely dependent on mom. The first stage of their life involves eating and growing. Once their eyes are open, however, they will begin to explore the world around them.

By the time a kitten is four weeks old, they will begin romping around with their siblings. They will begin to learn about the litter box as well as become well socialized. In the wild, the mother will supplement their diet with prey that she has caught and killed. This means you should consider providing a soft cat food or dry food that is softened with a little water.

By six to eight weeks they will begin exploring a little more. They will venture into other rooms and follow their mother around. They will also begin to develop their hunting abilities. At eight weeks old they are usually completely weaned and ready to move to their new home.

For several months after weaning they will continue to grow and will do so rather quickly. They will need series of vaccinations to ensure that they don't catch any diseases. They will also learn how to interact with the family and learn their boundaries. Your kitten should also learn his name and perhaps a few other commands. If you have a longhaired cat, you will also need to begin regularly grooming the cat and get them used to it.

Hold Your Nose

The Litter Box

One of the biggest drawbacks for some cat owners is the litter box. Not only do you have to clean it, but you also have to teach your kitten to use it.

It is usually fairly easy to teach your kitten to use a litter box. The most important thing is that you put it in the place you want it and leave it there. You also need to keep it clean so that they won't decide to use the carpet instead. A litter box should also not be kept near food bowls or water, as cats like to keep these areas clean.

Once you find the right place for the litter box, you will need to teach the cat what the litter box is for. Begin by placing the cat in the box and raking your fingers through the litter. Your cat may quickly decide that they need to use it right away. If they hop out, play with them a few minutes and then place them back in the box. Repeat the process several times, but try not to overdo it.

After your cat eats, you will want to wait for about 10 to 15 minutes and then place them in the litter box. If they use it, then you will want to praise them. If your cat is taking a nap, watch the cat and place him in the litter box when he wakes up.

If your cat has an accident, you don't want to scold them. They will only become frustrated or angry. Instead place the litter box in the area the cat tends to have accidents and encourage the cat to use it. Once they get in the habit, they should start to use it regularly. If the cat stops, try cleaning it. If it is not dirty, have the vet check him out for a bladder infection or other health problem.

There are several litter box designs that make it easier to keep the litter box clean. The hooded type is best for cats that want their privacy. It is also good for those who kick and make a lot of dust. There are also removable lines that help you in cleaning the litter box. Simply lift out the whole liner and discard it. Another popular litter box is the design that is self-cleaning. These are best for multiple family cats. The litter box automatically cleans itself after each use. You then empty the container the soiled litter is discarded in.

For more helpful tips with your pet's health care go to

About the Author
Passionate writer for the past 25 years, currently own and operate Abundant Waters Ent., where we teach tomorrow millionaires today.

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Dogs and Death. Do They Really Mourn?
by Diane Gray

Many dog owners ponder this question. It's an interesting and intriguing idea. Do they grieve the way we do? Or do they even grieve at all? It's probably one of those questions that will always remain a mystery. But we can get some clues from our canine friends and maybe even draw a couple of conclusions.

When a dog shares his life and home with another being, whether a human, another dog, cat or other animal, a strong bond forms. The dog has lived his life with his pal and his pal's scent is all around his environment. His human feeds him, plays with him, spends time with him and a lot of times sleeps with him! His animal pal, whether another dog, a cat or some other animal that he has bonded with, also plays with him, sometimes eats with him, and in general spends time with him. This way of life between the dog and his pal forms a strong friendship.

A lot of times the dog with form multiple friendships. An example would be between his human pal, and maybe another dog in the family. Or perhaps several humans in the family. Regardless of this, his pal's scent is everywhere. It's hard for us humans to comprehend this, but a dog's scent is so powerful, that it is just part of his whole life. Dogs use their sense of smell a whole lot more than we do. They establish their territory (your house, your car, his crate), with their nose, so smell is very important to them. I once heard that dogs smell things and objects like we read a newspaper!

When that daily scent of his friend is suddenly gone, and the daily routine is absent, the dog must certainly become confused and actually disorientated. We think that dogs don't actually understand the concept of death, much like small children, but he knows that his pal isn't there, and his scent is gone from his environment. So because he doesn't understand what happened, and because he can't play or smell his friend, and his daily routine is completely and abruptly turned upside down for him, he might just lay around all day. His familiar smells are gone. He might not eat or drink. He might just plain look miserable to us. We probably will interpret this as sadness or grieving.

Now, with no human or friend to play with, and the loss of their scent, some owners say that the dog does feel some sort of grief. Remember the story about the Skye Terrier "Greyfriers Bobby" in Scotland who stayed and slept near and on top of his master's grave every night for 14 years after the man died? People have said that the dog was grieving for his master.

Many might say that this is just anthropomorphism, which is attributing our own human qualities to our pets. But others say that dogs can become profoundly depressed, and deeply mourn the loss of their loved one. Some dog owners even say that dogs can die of grief. But perhaps all we can do is take clues from our pets and come to our own conclusions.

But one way to comfort a pet whose friend has passed might be to introduce him to a wide variety of other people and other animals (thus lots of different smells!). It might happen that he will take to another human or animal. This could perk him up and even get him to start eating and drinking regularly again. Perhaps even to play! Whatever we conclude from this intriguing subject, we owe it to our faithful dogs to take care of them and to be sure they're happy and healthy in their life and even in our death.

If you would like to read more about dogs and puppies, please visit If you are interested in learning how to train your dog or pup, please visit

About the Author:
Hi, My name is Diane Gray and I live with my husband and 5 Australian Shepherds in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico where I own and run a small show kennel. I have learned a lot about dogs over the years, and enjoy writing articles on how to help pet owners care for their dogs.

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Why Do Some Cats Have Blue Eyes?
by B Abbott

You've probably seen a beautiful blue-eyed cat before. But why do some cats have blue eyes? This article will answer all your questions about blue-eyed cats.
Eye color in cats is genetically related to coat color. The coat color that is associated with blue-eyed cats is the pointed pattern. Pointed cats have dark points on the extremities (face, paws and tail) and a lighter body shade. This is the pattern of the Siamese cat, but many other breeds as well as non-purebreds come in this color.

The reason for the pointed color is that point coloration is a form of albinism resulting from a mutation in tyrosinase, an enzyme involved with melanin production. The mutated enzyme is heat sensitive and fails to work at normal body temperatures, but becomes active in cooler parts of the skin. As a result, dark pigment is limited to the coldest areas of the the body which are the extremities. Pointed cats are born white as it is warm inside the womb. As the kitten ages, the cooler areas darken while the warmer areas remain cream colored or white. However, as the cat grows older, her cream colored body will also darken somewhat.

Because of this restriction of pigment, a pointed cat's eyes will always be blue because the top layer of the iris is not covered in another color and therefore the blue shows through. The back of the eye also lacks pigment, giving the cat's eyes a red reflection in the dark instead of the usual green to blue in a normally pigmented cat's eyes.

Pointed cats come in many different colors. Seal pointed cats have dark brown points and a body color in shades of light brown and ivory. A blue pointed cat has grey points and a light grey or beige body. A lynx point has tabby points, a tortie point has tortoiseshell points and blue cream point has blue cream points.

So whenever you see a blue-eyed cat, you'll know that her coat color is pointed and why she has those beautiful blue eyes.

About the Author:
B Abbott is the owner and operator of and also the proud owner of a beautiful blue-eyed cat.

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After the Pet Food Recalls, What Can You Feed Your Pets to Keep Them Healthy?
by Linda Chae

My pet food was on the list of pet food recalls last year and now I feel I have to question EVERY product I want to buy for my pets!
Do you ever feel as though your entire grocery list for your pets is off limits? A lot of us who had never worried about safe, clean food got a VERY rude awakening the past several months. Even when we were used to reading labels to make sure we were buying healthy food and treats, we soon learned that was no longer an assurance of safety.

So, what can you do about it?

I've received many e-mails and phone calls asking for simple lists and recipes to make for your pet. While this was a pretty normal reaction to the storm of recalls, few pet owners realized the sacrifice and time that would be required to return to making your own pet food.

Obviously, the decision to make your own pet food depends on the type of pet you own. For example, it's much easier to cook up or mix up food for a cat than for a large St. Bernard. If you are determined to go this route, there are some ingredients that you SHOULD NOT include in a diet for your cat or dog. This list comes from the ASPCA and is based on illnesses and deaths in pets, not on hearsay.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

- Alcoholic beverages

- Avocado

- Chocolate (all forms)

- Coffee (all forms)

- Fatty foods

- Macadamia nuts

- Moldy or spoiled foods

- Onions, onion powder - all forms

- Raisins and grapes

- Salt

- Yeast dough

- Garlic - all forms

- Products sweetened with xylitol - artificial sweetener

Now, if you're concerned about the pet food recalls and want to try a homemade cat chow and dog chow recipe to keep your pets healthy, here's one to get you started.

This simple, healthful chow mixture is easy to make for your dogs or cats. I like this recipe because it includes meat, vegetables and rice. I prefer recipes that do not include large quantities of wheat or white flour as main ingredients because many pets can become sensitized to those ingredients.

Meat, Vegie and Rice Stew


3 pounds minced chicken meat or ground hamburger

2 1/2 cups frozen vegetable blend (no garlic or onions), minced

4 cups rice 6 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup olive oil


Place chicken, vegetables, and rice into a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Stir in water until the mixture is smooth. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Everyday Common Sense Precautions

Now that we've dealt with the issue of feeding your pets healthy, safe food, the next most important thing for you to remember is to have a qualified veterinarian examine your pet if anything unusual occurs - whether it's from food or from other products they're exposed to during an average day. Unusual symptoms might include vomiting, lethargy, listlessness, incontinence, loose bowel, or general loss of appetite.

I like to remind pet owners that their companion animals can be affected by products they are using in their homes or cars where the animals live and ride. For example, most people don't realize that air fresheners with synthetic chemicals and fragrances settle to the floor where pets walk in the residue, clean their paws and ingest the toxins.

As a result of the indoor pollution many pets are exposed to, we are seeing an increase in the number of chronic illnesses in our pets just as we see the increase in the general human population.

Learn about toxins that can affect your pet's health, not just about the food they eat. Your pet is counting on you - be their advocate! Look for natural, organic products that are certified by an organization you trust.

About the Author:
Linda Chaé is President & Chief Formulator for Chaé Organics, Inc. and a pioneer in 'go natural' skin care for consumers. She is committed to clean, safe toxic free products for the whole family, including pets. Her organic pet waterless shampoo is an easy to use foaming shampoo that requires no water or rinsing. For more information or to order her products, visit

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Designer Dogs and Pampered Pets
by Donna Boras

What are designer dogs? The biggest trend in dogs isn't purebreds, but specially created hybrids (puggles, pookimos, Jack-a-bees). Dogs that fall under the designer category include boxers, doxies, dachshunds, beagles, poodles, and more. The list of what is considered to be a hybrid is long; however; if your pet doesn't make it on this list, it doesn't mean that he is not a designer dog. This descriptive name also refers to pampered pets and any pet can be treated like royalty.
Pampering your dog has become a very popular trend, and shows no sign of slowing down. Treating your dog as one of the family and providing a better life for your best friend is no longer a novelty or luxury but a lifestyle.

Hollywood's Influence on Dog Fashions

You have probably seen the pampered pooches many celebrities of the moment are sporting like the latest accessories. Often seen carrying their toy sized dogs at red carpet events or just out on the town for the evening. Since American life can reflect Hollywood trends, being accompanied by a dog has become a fashion statement.

Spending for Upscale Dog Products and Services

There are about 73 million pet dogs in the United States. Mans best friend is the most popular pet with 43.5% of US households owning a dog. The American Pet Manufacturers Association estimates that in 2007 pet owners spent $41 billion on their furry friends. High-end and luxury product account for a growing percentage of the total spent on posh pooches.

Sales of dietary supplements and healthcare products formulated specifically for pets have benefited as well. With more families seeing their dog as a member of the family and deserving of the attention and care this entails coupled with the increase in the number of older and overweight dogs.

This trend continues in other parts of the world such as Canada and the UK. In the UK 11% of the people said theywould re-mortgage their home to pay for a vital vet bill! There is no question we have gone to the dogs.

Designer Dog Carriers

The world of doggy fashions does cater to the small dog. Handbags for ladies to carry their beloved friends wherever they go. A dog tote bag for every occasion from casual to very elegant with designer tags attached. These carriers are not only attractive but functional in styles such as over the shoulder, purse designs and hands free front and backpacks.

Dog Beds

Chances are your four legged friend's secret obsession is a comfy bed to dream on. Dogs love to laze around on an extra cushiony and snuggly bed. There is no shortage of designs where fashion meets functionality that will cater to the style conscious canine, no matter what breed you own. Designer and fancy dog beds and furniture are abundant with seriously supportive padding and luxurious fabric choices that will complement your home decor.

"Canine couture" is the new buzz word in the doggy fashion world. Designer doggy wear for every occasion from casual to the most formal, casual parkas, active wear, backpacks, hats, hiking boots, sun visors, evening wear, faux fur coats, jewelry, fancy dog collars,leads and footwear. Your haute hound will need a walk-in closet to accommodate all these clothes and accessories.

Here is a rundown of the hot trends:

Bridal registries for high end doggy items.

Some hair care giants have launched lines of pet grooming products.

Gourmet pet treats.

Exclusive hotel chains welcome small dog and pamper them with gourmet meals, plush beds and spa style treatments.

Doggie daycare is not just a bowl of food served in a kennel. Pets are now treated to exercise and training programs.

Pet spas are replacing a simple shampoo and clip with full salon treatments, including hair conditioning, highlights, nail color and care, massage and body treatments.
In summary, the pet care industry has experienced growth every year, which happily has provided a greater variety and better quality of merchandise for your designer dogs. Browse the virtual shelves, you might just find something that your four legged friend can't live without.

About the Author:
Donna Boras is the webmaster of and a life long dog lover. For more information on designer dogs and dog beds, advice on caring for your dog and dog product reviews please visit our website.