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Protecting Your Pets from Poisonous Household Substances
by Sivakorn Siricharoensataporn

It becomes our responsibility to take proper care for the pets when we bring them into our house.
Here are few precautions that we should take to make our home poison-free for our loving pets:

- Beware of the plants present in the house and in the pet's yard. Ingestion of oleander, azalea, sago palm, mistletoe, Easter lily and yew plant by a pet can prove to be fatal sometimes. - Never let your pets reach the area where you have stored your cleansing agents of your house. These cleansing agents have chemical properties that may cause some mild upsetting in the stomach while some severe ones may even cause burns in the tongue, stomach and mouth of the pets. - If you are using mouse or rat baits, roach or ant traps, slug or snail baits, place them in the areas that are not accessible by your pets. Most of these baits contain inert ingredients that are sweet smelling such as sugars, peanut butter and jelly which can really attract your pet to eat. - Never give any medication to your pet unless a qualified veteran recommend.

Some people tend to use human drugs on pets but they must understand that the medications that can be safely used on humans can prove to be deadly for animals if used improperly. For example, a 500 mg acetaminophen tablet can really kill a 7 pound cat. Keep all the medicines and prescription drugs out of the reach of your pets, possibly in the closed cabinets.

Cold medicines, pain killers, anti-depressants, anti-cancer drugs, diet pills and vitamins are the human medications that can even kill a pet even if taken in small dosage. For example, a 200 mg ibuprofen can be a cause of stomach ulcer in a 10-pound dog.

Unattended chocolates can also be harmful for the pets as even small amounts can be a cause of pancreatic problems in animals. Some other household items that can be poisonous for certain species of pets include pennies, mothballs, fabric softening sheets, potpourri oils, dish detergents, batteries, cigarettes, alcoholic drinks and coffee grounds.

All the automotive products like gasoline, oil and anti-freeze should be kept away from pets. For example, a tea-spoon of anti-freeze can kill a 7-pound cat and a table spoon of it can be fatal for a 20 pounds dog. While applying a house spray or a fogger in the home, remember to remove all the pets from there.

While treating your garden or lawn with herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers, keep the pets away until it completely dries. Always take these points into consideration and provide your pets a healthy environment to live.

About the Author
To see some tips for your favorite pets.

New Swiss Law Sets High Standards for Animal Care
Dr. Eric Barchas, DVM
Comments (1)
An interesting article appeared in the June, 2008 issue of Veterinary Economics.

Swiss law orders pet buddy system
Guinea pigs need friends, dog owners need classes.

A new law in Switzerland taking effect Sept. 1 widens animal rights laws in revolutionary ways. Consider the law’s fine print:
>Animals classified as “social species”–such as guinea pigs and parrots–will be considered victims of abuse if they don’t live or interact regularly with others of their species.
>Dog owners will need to pay for and take a class. The first section of the class focuses on dogs’ needs and wishes, according to The Times of London. The second section explains how owners should walk their dogs and deal with different behavioral situations.

The article goes on to describe new regulations that will take effect to promote humane fishing and farming. The law also sets standards for responsible care of fish kept in home aquariums.

The article ends with a note about enforcement and a strange exception to the new regulations.

Authorities promise they won’t be going door to door to check up on pet owners. They expect public opinion and mandatory training classes to do most of the work for them.

On a side note, it’s not all roses for cats in Switzerland. The Times reports that it’s still legal in Switzerland to skin cats and sell their pelts for domestic and foreign markets. Some people believe that touching cat fur can lessen the pain associated with rheumatism.

It appears that even ultra-progressive cultures such as Switzerland are not free of superstition! To people who believe that touching cat fur lessens the pain from rheumatism, I suggest the following: try petting a real, live cat.

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In Celebration of Teachers: A Dog Can Teach Us New Tricks
by Robin Reynolds

I used to say that the number of good teachers that I've had, I could count on one hand. There was Miss Kirby from the second grade who taught me that reading opens a door to the world. There was Mr. Opland, our school band, chorus and music teacher who taught me to sing and play some of the world's most beautiful music, even though I lacked the natural talent to be great. There was Miss Heath, my high school English teacher and drama coach who taught me about passion and gave me the will to try things outside my comfort zone. There was Mr. Morowitz, my journalism teacher who taught me that good writing could ease someone's pain or inspire someone else to action. There was Eugene Lyons, my college theatre professor who taught me that remaining silent to injustice was unfair to myself. These were the teachers who truly inspired me and who made an indelible mark on my future.
But that was when I was only counting the teachers I had in school. Once I realized that every person and every situation had the opportunity to teach me something, my roster of good teachers grew considerably. Many of those teachers came in unexpected forms -- the bankruptcy of the company I was working for, a 4-year-old girl in my son's preschool class, Russian-born comedian, Yakov Smirnoff and our dog, Max.

Max, was a seven-month-old Airedale Terrier, we adopted from the local humane society as a companion for our female Airedale, Bernie. When we helped Max pass 11 years later, I looked for books to help ease the grief of our family and that would especially speak to our 10-year old son. What I found were either chapter books or young reader picture books. Instead I decided to write a story which remembered the major episodes of Max's life paired with the lessons we learned from him.

Over the years, when a friend's dogs would pass, I would often share the typewritten manuscript. The manuscript got passed around so much that it became (pardon the pun) dog-eared. Afterwards, the response was always the same, "You should publish this." It took me six years to finally find the design style, book format and time to do it and the result is my book, "Life to the Max: Maxims for a Great Life by a Dog named Max."

What I wanted to accomplish with my book was to provide not only a vehicle for dog lovers to deal with the loss of a much-loved family pet, but also to give families a means to talk about important life issues -- disappointment, adoption, friendship, love, family, illness and death. It also deals with the importance of a positive attitude when dealing with life's challenges. Even though it deals with the important stuff of life, it really is a joyous romp. It provides a gateway for remembrance, reflection and inspiration.

I also think it gives people of all ages an opportunity to appreciate what we learn from the experiences we have in life and to recognize the value of the teachers who come into our lives -- no matter in what form they present themselves. What we come to realize is that teachers are all around us. The trick is whether or not we choose to learn from them.

About the Author
Robin Reynolds is an award-winning writer who has more than 25 years of experience writing in a variety of formats. An Airedale Terrier lover since youth, Robin lives in Tempe, AZ with her husband, teenage son, and two Airedales. Visit Nice Creative and Life to Max.

Big Al's Online

Herbs For Cats: Safe And Natural
by W.P. Allen

Have you eve thought about herbs for cats? Well, something which has rapidly gained in popularity over the past two decades is the use of herbs and other remedies for the treatment of many human illnesses, especially among patients with chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and gastrointestinal ailments. They have also been used to cure depression, anxiety, and insomnia. So if they can be used for humans, then why not for animals?
Click here to learn more!

It is important to understand however, that the popularity of using herbs has increased because some of them do actually work. However, there are wide varieties that are all hype and propaganda for companies manufacturing such products. For this reason it is important to rely on information produced by scientific studies and medical literature.

It is imperative that you seek advice from your veterinarian before you proceed to give your cat any kind of herbal treatment. Listed below are some indications as to what herbal remedies for cats that can be used:

* Anxiety

Some success has resulted from humans using Valerian in the treatment of anxiety and sleeplessness. It is possible to obtain this herb from most health-food stores and in many groceries and pharmacies. Anxiety related and fear induced problems can be controlled such as restless during car travel, fear of thunder, and anxiety while left alone, when using Valerian.

* Forgetfulness & Senility

Ginkgo is another herb which may have a useful role in pet health. It has been proven that this herb can help to improve memory and concentration in people with Alzheimer's disease. This herb may be good in older cats with random and excessive vocalization.

* Irritability

Studies are taking place as to whether Chamomile can decrease irritability amongst cats and dogs.

* Cat Spraying

To reduce cat spraying, Cantharis and Staphisagria are used.

Click here to learn more!

It is important that you, as a pet owner, are cautious in the use of any new treatment, and this caution is extremely important when using herbs for cats. Herbs are not always reliably packed and labeled. Simply because something is natural, does not automatically mean that it is safe. Think of natural poison, arsenic, for example.

There is a very common herb by the name of St. John's wart which can cause sensitivity to sunburn in not only humans, but also animals.

There have also been many deaths amongst dogs from being given too many doses of the over-the-counter supplement called 5HT, also sometimes known as Griffonia seed extract.

Therefore, in conclusion, if you are considering using herbs for cats, ensure that you gather reliable information in the first instance.

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