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Best Dog Breeds For Urban Dwellers
by William Jones

Pug. Pugs aren't gregarious, and neither are they demanding. They are normally lazy pets. They'll busy themselves in some physical activities for a short period of time, then spend the majority of the succeeding hours resting. If improperly taught, they may chew on some domestic items. But their puppies are known to be calm and bright pets that will be taught quick and learn well.

Shih Tzu. Spoil a Shih Tzu and she'll believe of herself as on top of other dogs. She won't mix herself with usual canine activities, and would rather stay on your knees all the time, like a royalty. Shih Tzu's are one of the minority dog breeds that were principally bred for regal people all through the times. Certainly, Shih Tzus are quite used to to a royal way of life, making them great pets for apartment or condominium occupants.

Golden Retriever. Speaking of bright dogs, what is regarded as the third most bright of the dog breeds is the Golden Retriever. These canine friends are the largest of the group enumerated in this list, but their calm demeanor and highly clever skill makes their size quite irrelevant when it comes to the expediency of urban living. Golden Retrievers are so clever that 7 out of 10 escort dogs for sightless people come from this dog breed. Golden Retrievers are veryeasy to train, as well, and they aren't as implishly lively as other dogs.

Beagle. Beagles make incredible pets. One glance at their features would be enough to make you cheerful. They forever seem to display that grin when their handlers are present. Don't let a Beagle's tiny body mislead you. Beagles make excellent guard dogs, as they are most of the time ready to protect their owners against any perceived injury.

Chihuahua. Chihuahua often get people's attention because of their very small physique. Certainly, Chihuahuas are more petite than rats, and it's not rare that their owners often step at these poor pets. Even so, for the more logical speed set by city life, Chihuahuas would attest to be the great match. They are full of beans, yes, but they are easily terrified as well and they will shy away themselves from everything that they'd regard as a hazard.

About the Author
William Jones writes regularly about pets related topics. I hope you enjoy this article.

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Surrendering Pets: There Is A Right And A Wrong Way
By JOANNE SCHOCH - For Pet's Sake - The Tampa Tribune

As we see more and more of the pets in our community losing their homes due to economic circumstances, the public needs to understand the safest and most compassionate procedures for surrendering and helping our homeless pets.

Whether it is your personal pet or a pet that you have found, think of their safety when transporting, surrendering or confining these animals.

While the person who left the box shown in the photo at the Humane Society meant well and wanted to help save them, the five adult cats could have died on the Humane Society ramp in the sun.

Often it can be hours on some days before someone uses that ramped entrance.

Had our veterinary technician not been coming up to the office, these cats may have been found too late.

Just as a cracked window of a parked car is not enough proper air circulation for a pet left in a car, neither are holes punched in a box. The pet will succumb to the heat in these circumstances. It is not safe.

Yes, it is heartbreaking to surrender an animal. No, you do not want to hear that the shelters are full. But that does not change the reality for these poor animals. As human beings we often tend to take the easy paths, we prefer to avoid pain, discomfort and the unpleasant. Do not make our animal friends bear the pain, discomfort and unpleasantness for us, they deserve better.

If you have an animal that you must surrender, whether it is yours or you have found it, bring them into the shelters. While there may be no room some days, volunteers and staff of these facilities will give you possible alternatives for the pet. Hernando County Animal Services never turns an animal away. Might the animal be euthanized there? Yes. But while euthanasia is not desired by anyone, it is a much more humane alternative to an animal baking to death in the sun or being run over by a car or attacked by another animal. We see the result of these circumstances much too often.

There is an answer to this problem: Get involved. Volunteer, donate, become a temporary foster home. Take action to change the laws of our county and state. The pets of our community need your help. They are counting on all of us.

This week I served as a time keeper for the Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum. I heard some very interesting ideas from candidates, I also heard a lot of criticism of our current elected officials. No matter what our opinions are, our government is much akin to animal welfare organizations.... we are only as good as the community who supports and need us. We are representatives of the people and of our pets. We need the people of our community to do their part as well. No one group - Humane Society, Animal Services, Pet Luv or our County Commissioners are going to solve all of our problems for us. We sometimes have to face the painful, the unpleasant and the uncomfortable work to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of our pets. We ask you to make the tough choices and create a better world for our pets.

Pet of the Week: City Edition
San Diego Union-Tribune

Breed: Akita mix

Identification number: 23336

Advertisement Age: 4 years
Weight: 85.4 pounds

Sex: Female

Where: San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, 5500 Gaines St., Mission Valley

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Adoption fee: $100

Precious is a fun-loving, 4-year-old dog who hopes to find a new home soon.

Athletic and curious, Precious cherishes moments to explore the outdoors. She also loves car rides, walks, games and spending time with her friends. While Precious doesn't mind the company of canine pals, she would prefer to be in a home without cats.

It will be important that her new owners provide Precious with consistent leadership and training. As a large and intelligent dog, Precious will require frequent mental stimulation and exercise.

Because of her energy level, Precious will do best in a home with children 12 years old and older, or adults only.

Her adoption fee covers her spaying, current vaccinations, permanent microchip identification and a certificate for a free veterinary exam.

Other adoption centers:

Chula Vista Animal Care Facility, 130 Beyer Way, Chula Vista. (619) 691-5123. Helen Woodward Animal Care Center, 6461 El Apajo Road, Rancho Santa Fe. (858) 756-4117 or

San Diego County North Shelter, 2481 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad. (760) 438-2312 or

San Diego County South Shelter, 5821 Sweetwater Road, Bonita. (619) 263-7741 or

Movie Star Chosen as News Herald's Pet of the Year
By S. Brady Calhoun / Panama City News Herald Writer

PANAMA CITY — A white tabby with "movie star" looks and grace has been selected as the News Herald's Pet of the Year.

News Herald readers gave Marilyn Monroe the crown in the third annual contest.

Ike and Lisa Duren's fluffy Chinchilla Persian cat beat out 111 other animals, including a dog named McGyver and a bunny named Bunny, for the title.

"She's always first in my book," said Ike Duren, Marilyn Monroe's owner.

In 2003, Duren was in a car accident and was injured severely. Marilyn watched CNN with him and stayed by his side through the rehabilitation, he said.

"Marilyn is my strong supporter," he added. She is also a part of family business decisions, he joked.

She helped him through an accident, so now Ike Duren is launching the cat's career.

"I‘m always cutting up about Marilyn," he said. Besides watching television and eating, Marilyn can often be seen "entertaining whoever comes over."

The News Herald's Pet of the Year contest supports the company's Newspapers in Education Program. Newspapers in Education delivers free copies of The News Herald to local classrooms.

Also, the top 12 pets will be featured in a 2009 calendar. The calendar is scheduled to go on sale in October for $10. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Bay County Humane Society.


How to Make a Fish Tank
by John Grant

A fish tank is a good thing to have at home. If we make the fish tank ourselves it will be something we and our family would doubly love. And it's easy to build one. Yeah, that's right. Why go out and buy one when you can have the fun of this simple home project and do it yourself? Also the advantage of doing it yourself is that the space you want your tank in can be perfectly fit into the space when you yourself are doing the work.
We can enjoy an artificial scene of the deep sea that we ourselves have designed and made right in our homes. How? Here is how we make a fish tank. Try with a small tank first or ask the glass store attendant dimensions for a 25-gallon fish tank.

1. We begin by putting together the glass walls of the fish tank. Put two glass wall pieces together at their edges--one is flat on its back (the bottom piece), the other standing beside it at a 90 degree angle (front piece). Glue together their adjoining edges. Tape the glass pieces to the peripheries of two perfect squares standing on the bottom piece.

2. It would help to put a duct tape on the outer side of the edge where the two glass pieces meet. This would steady the edges together. The two perfect squares would help steady both glass pieces to form a 90 degree angle. Then place silicone sealant at the joint edges and have them dry up for 24 hours. With several more squares we may do the same procedure with the other glass wall piece (back piece) of the fish tank.

Now we have the bottom, front, and back walls of our fish tank glued together.

3. Next, we glue the side walls of our fish tank. We simply place enough silicone sealant at the edges where we would attach our side walls. Let the attachment dry up for another 24 hours.

4. Then, turn the fish tank upside down to put sealant at the outside edges after removing the duct tapes. Make sure all edges (bottom and sides) are sealed well and then place the plastic or rubber trims. Then allow for 6 hours for the sealant to dry.

5. Make the fish tank stand upright once more and put sealant on the rims and place plastic or rubber trims to cover sharp glass edges. Allow the sealed trims and edges to dry for another 24 hours.

6. The next day, fill the fish tank with water and observe for 12 hours. Seal-repair any leaks by first emptying and drying the fish tank and applying the sealant. Let it dry and fill with water again. On the final refilling, place our accessories and allow water temperature to equal room temperature. Then check for toxicity and pH balance with test strips.

Have the glass walls cut at the glass store and always wear gloves when handling cut glass. With the right instructions, materials, and tools making our own fish tank is quite easy.

About the Author
John Grant is a the author for a how to site where he is writing articles about how to build a fish tank.


New Kitten Care - How To Kitten-Proof Your Home
by Liz Allan

A very important aspect of new kitten care is keeping your kitten safe from danger. There are a lot of potential hazards round the home for little kittens. This article lists the most common ones and suggests ways you can minimize risks to your kitten and keep her safe.
Washing machine and tumble dryer:
If you leave the door open and there are clothes inside, there's a good chance your kitten will climb in and go to sleep. Always check your kitten isn't inside these before you use them.

Fridge and freezer:
As soon as you've used these, shut the door.

Hob and oven:
Shut the oven door as soon as you've finished with it. Cover hot hob plates.

Raw meat:
Keep it out of reach - it can give your kitten food poisoning.

Put all garbage in a sealed bin that your kitten can't access.

Many plants are poisonous to cats. If you're not sure whether a certain plant is safe for your kitten if she eats it, put it out of her reach.

Pot pourri:
The oils used to scent this can be poisonous.

Open fires and candles:
Use a guard on the fire. Never leave a kitten in a room alone with lit candles.

Electrical wires:
If your kitten is a wire chewer, you'll need to put wires out of her reach or buy plastic covers for them.

Curtain tie-backs and cords on window blinds:
Kittens can get caught in these. Either remove them completely or tie them up out of reach.

Filled bathtubs and sinks:
Make sure your kitten doesn't have access to the room when the tub or sink is full.

Open toilet:
Try to get into the habit of keeping the lid down when the toilet's not in use.

Keep them in a cupboard that your kitten can't get into.

Small objects:
Kittens can swallow small things like paper clips, rubber bands, staples and needles.

String, wool, fishing line and thread:
Kittens can swallow large quantities of these. For this reason, balls of wool or string and pom-poms aren't good toys for cats.

Household chemicals:
Most cleaners etc. are highly poisonous to cats and need to be kept somewhere your kitten can't access.

Tobacco, nicotine patches and nicotine gum are all poisonous to cats.

Reclining chairs, futons, folding beds, drawers:
If kittens get caught when this type of furniture is moved, they can get crushed. Make sure your kitten isn't asleep somewhere she could get trapped before you use any of these.

Safety is a major factor for new kitten care. It's fairly easy to keep your kitten safe as long as you anticipate potential dangers and take the necessary steps to prevent them. Putting brightly colored post it notes up around your home is a good way to do this. Stick the notes on or near potential dangers - for example the fridge, washing machine, oven, toilet and futon - and anywhere else that could be a hazard.

About the Author
Liz Allan has 25 years experience of caring for cats. For more information on cat and kitten care and behavior, sign up for her FREE ezine at

Kennel Cough - A Dog's Common Cold
by Kelly Marshall

If you own a puppy or adult dog that was purchased from your local pet stop, and he is coughing incessantly on a regular basis, then there is a very strong possibility that your new pet has brought home what is known as "kennel cough".
With kennel cough, a dog will usually have intense periods of non-stop coughing and even end these sessions with throwing up. Although this spasm of coughing looks like a terrible experience to your dog, kennel cough does not affect his energy levels and he may still seem very alert and upbeat after having a full-blown cough attack.

Kennel cough is very contagious

If your dog is indeed showing the above signs of coughing problems then you need to accept the possibility that he has a case of kennel cough. The technical term for this disease is called "infectious tracheobronchitis" and is very contagious. It is a respiratory malfunction that is most common in dogs that have spent time in pet stops where they are closed up with other dogs and pets. Kennel cough is a mixture a variety bacteria, viruses, and mycoplasma.

The most common symptom of kennel cough in a dog is when he gives out a dry and rough sounding tracheal cough or what I like to call the 'rumble effect'. Your dog may gag and even choke often in the attempt to clear his air passageway.

Kennel cough in dogs is very similar to the common cold that humans get. Kennel cough symptoms can last anywhere from 5 to 10 days. His kennel cough may pass after that time but then return to bother your dog, much like the common cold comes back to infect human bodies.

A few steps you can take to help your dog's kennel cough

Like any health concern, the first thing you should do when your dog begins to cough incessantly is take your dog to the vet. The veterinarian will be able to appropriately examine your dog and find out exactly how bad the symptoms are, as well as advise you on a few possible solutions.

The veterinarian may administer cough suppressants and he/she may even suggest antibiotics depending on how sever your dog's cough is. Some dogs have a deeper health issue due to kennel cough which can be the configuration of pneumonia. Pneumonia is caused because bacteria has penetrated to your dog's air sacs.

You may also want to consider looking into preventative measures such as intranasal vaccines. This is an excellent way to help prepare your dog to avoid infection of kennel cough if he ever has to be placed in a kennel at any point in his lifetime. These types of vaccines have been shown to offer stronger immunity than injectable solutions because they actually help stimulate both the upper and lower airways with strong immunity. So, if you think that your dog may be suffering from a bad cough, it could very well be kennel cough.

About the Author
Written by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies - for the top small dog carriers source, visit

Is It OK For Dogs To Eat Grass?
by Brooke Palmer

Two of my dogs eat grass every chance they get, but unless your dog is getting sick from this, there's really nothing to worry about. For as long as dogs have been around, they've enjoyed snacking on the green stuff, and usually with very few ill-effects.
Truthfully, nobody seems to really know why dogs eat grass. There are a variety of theories as to why animals that are widely regarded as carnivores would willingly consume moderate quantities of vegetation.

One of these theories pertains to the fact that dogs are not, actually, carnivores. They're omnivores, which literally means, "eat anything". (That description fits our miniature Dachshund to a tee:)

This theory hypothesizes that the modern-day dog eats grass in an attempt to supplement his diet with nutrients that are missing from his daily meals. And while at first glance that does seem like a logical explanation, when you consider how varied canine nutrition can be these days - commercial dog foods VS homemade diets VS the B.A.R.F. way of life (Bones And Raw Food) - yet there isn't any one group of dogs entirely exempt from grass-eating, you have to wonder.

Another popular theory is that dogs use grass as a sort of natural emetic, and while it's true that grass can sometimes irritate the throat or stomach lining and make dogs vomit - we've all seen Rover vomit up something indigestible along with several tufts of grass - there are just as many dogs out there who graze like cows, seemingly for the pure enjoyment of it, and go happily about their day afterwards without any side effects at all.

So while the one possible downside of eating grass is that your pooch might irritate his throat or stomach lining - an issue that will only bother him for as long as it takes to couch the problem away, or throw it back up - there is really no need to worry that any real harm will come of it.

Really, grass-eating is nothing to worry about - it's a life-long habit with many dogs, and if yours does decide that it's no longer in his best interests, he'll simply stop eating it all by himself. You should, however, keep an eye on him around recently treated lawns, or anywhere pesticides, snail bait, or rat poison might be found, since most garden chemicals are highly toxic to dogs. Ideally, you would be keeping an eye on him anyway if he's around these substances, but grass-eaters are at higher risk than most since they're more likely to ingest plant matter that herbicides and other toxic chemicals have been sprayed onto.

In addition to this, it's also best to keep your furry friends away from those clumps of dried-out grass that lie around on the lawn after it's been mowed. If the grass has been cut by a push-mower, then it shouldn't be a problem; but if it's been through a gas-operated machine, the grass will be tainted with gasoline fumes and grease, which at best will taste horrible and at worst can make him pretty sick. (Fortunately for your peace of mind and your dog's peace of digestive tract, all but the most food-obsessed dogs will usually spurn this smelly fare in favor of clean, fresh grass.)

If your dog's grass eating is really bothering you, presumably this is out of concern for your lawn rather than your dog since there's ample evidence that they suffer no adverse effects from the consumption of grassy snacks. There are a couple of things you can try doing to reduce his desire to supplement his diet with eatables from the backyard - but, because this is one area that nobody really knows that much about (scientists are frankly mystified by the appetite of the average dog for verdure), the success rate is more hit-and-miss than guaranteed:

* Try varying his diet slightly. Unlike humans, dogs do not need a widely varied diet to keep them "interested" in food. However, since one of the theories that attempts to explain why dogs eat grass is centered around a lack of nutritional variety, you can try introducing various tasty vegetables into his food; most dogs enjoy tomatoes, carrots (either steamed or raw) and chopped apples. Be sure to stay well away from grapes, raisins, and onions, since these are toxic to dogs.

* Supervise him whenever he's around grass. This may not be a particularly user-friendly option, especially for off-lead walks; you'll have to keep a steadfastly watchful eye on your canine walking buddy to make sure he's not making a dash for the greenery.

Realistically, there's not very much you can do about your dog's grass-eating habit (aside from completely denying him access to any grass, which wouldn't be fair to your dog and would make your daily dog-walking expeditions more of an exercise in frustration than a relaxing stroll). The general consensus from the experts seems to be that grass-eating, although somewhat of an enigmatic occurrence to us humans, is just 'one of those things' as far as your dog is concerned. It won't do him any harm, and you can be sure that if he's eating it, he's enjoying it - so there's really not a lot to be said for depriving him of that simple pleasure.

About the Author
For more information on dog psychology and general canine behavioral traits, with a particular focus on problematic behaviors, you'll want to take a look at SitStayFetch, the ultimate in dog obedience training to STOP your dog's behavior problems. Well worth it!

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