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Pet Carriers: Finding The Best Pet Carriers For You
by Lars Garrett

Believe it or not, selecting and purchasing the best pet carrier these days may be more challenging than people would have assumed. In most cases, this is a good development because the origin of this greater challenge is wider variety in available pet carriers.

It might sound surprising, but the same kind of evolution we see in technology can be applied to individual products of all sorts. Just for example, would you believe in the last five years alone we've experienced tremendous development in the quality and versatility of the pet carriers people utilize to move our dear little friends about?

Pet carriers now exhibit a broad assortment of features available for cats and dogs of many personalities, shapes and sizes. We even have pet carriers for a wider assortment of activities too. For example, people may now choose different and unique pet carriers for backpacking and for traveling on planes.

Quite possibly the most popular, and many may say most "trendy" developments in pet carriers, is the pet carrier tote. Pet carrier totes allow us to transfer smaller pets in a more intimate manner. This usually applies to small cute canines like toy poodles and chihuahuas rather than larger dogs, certainly... and it usually doesn't apply to cats as furry little felines are not as likely to enjoy moving around in large crowds of people.

Yet pet carrier totes empower individuals to move our fine furred pals in tight proximity in a simple, comfortable manner. While some folks are concerned that there is a little bit of exploitation going on here -- treating the animal as a fashion accessory rather than a loved pet, which I certainly don't encourage -- that does not inherently mean the pet carrier tote must be unhealthy or inappropriate.

Just be certain that your favorite little friend is truly comfortable with the pet carrier itself and that he feels comfortable being carried about in public with you. So if you happen to have a shy but sweet little buddy, don't attempt to make her or him be something she or he is not naturally.

These sorts of pet carriers come in all kinds of styles, so make certain you shop around a little so you appreciate what's available to you. Some emphasize style with a touch more splashy color and patterns, while some others emphasize conservative styling.

Since they frequently involve being slung over your shoulder, I strongly suggest you consider your own comfort as well. It might be easier for you to keep your little pal comfortable if you're experiencing less stress from the physical function of moving them with you.

So be sure to consider this as you embark on your pet carrier shopping: keep your pet's comfort in mind, considering both their physical and psychological well being, and always remember how your own ease with the carrier will be vital to your buddy's comfort.

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How Bored is Your Cat?
Posted by PetDish - Atlanta Pets

This country has more than 88 million cats, and they are bored. Many of them are, according to experts. Keeping cats indoors has led them to longer, healthier lives (Birds, squirrels and other critters thank you). But, our kitties aren’t getting enough stimulation.

AJCPets’ own cat behaviorist Ingrid Johnson, who has a line of foraging toys for cats, agrees too. So how about installing cat trees? Hiding treats around the house? This week’s Pet Dish column deals with the topic, with plenty of tips on keeping kitty from becoming a couch potato.

'Exotic' Pets Present Challenges
By Shelby Helton, 17, and Viktoria Kreyden, 13 - IndyStar

Instead of awakening to Spot barking or Frisky purring, Lauren Van Atter hears Fiyero singing a solo at 6 a.m.

Fiyero, named for a character in the musical "Wicked," is her cockatiel.

According to Dr. Angela Lennox, more young people are choosing to own exotic pets than ever before.

"In families where they don't have a lot of time, or they don't have a big yard, lots and lots of families like little pets that you can put into cages," says the Indianapolis exotic animal veterinarian. Among her patients at the Avian & Exotic Animal Clinic of Indianapolis are rabbits, birds, snakes, lizards, potbellied pigs and sometimes a tiger or lion.

"Exotic pets usually have to be fed certain things, and they have to go to the vet more often," says Lauren, who also has a dog. "There are specific procedures you have to follow." But the 13-year-old says owning a cockatiel isn't difficult.

Sara Lennox, Dr. Lennox's youngest daughter, also has a cockatiel. It sits on her shoulder as she cleans its cage each day. The cockatiel, Zeus, gets mad at Sara every time she leaves, she says.

The 11-year-old has learned from experience to be careful. He bit her the first time she tried to pet him. She's had him only a few months.

So what animals are exotic? Anything that's not domesticated, experts explain.

"Exotic animals can do just fine without us, and if left to be, that's where they would be -- in the wild. And you can train an exotic animal to behave, but you can never make them domesticated," says Kriss Griffiths-Holm, a zookeeper in the Encounters section of the Indianapolis Zoo.

She and other experts agree that no family should get an exotic pet without a lot of planning and research, including finding a vet specialist.

"The vet has to know about the particular animal and know how to deal with it if something comes up," she says.

Adds Lennox, "Since they're more like wildlife, a lot of times exotic animals hide their signs of illness. And sometimes they're just harder to work with. They may bite or struggle or be- come afraid very quickly."

Often, kids visit the zoo to see the animals they wish to own, such as a parrot or monkey. Most animals at the zoo are considered exotic, but that doesn't mean they would make good pets, says Griffiths-Holm.

She and her husband care for a few rescued animals at their Whitestown home. It's expensive and time-consuming -- Griffiths-Holm spends $1,200 on food every month and 15 hours a week cleaning enclosures.

Although parrots might seem like cool pets, they are often picky about who owns them, the zookeeper says. They require a lifelong commitment, because they can live to 100. And parrots' bites sometimes break bones or require stitches.

Getting permission to own most exotic pets is simple. "In Indiana, you can have almost anything you want, except if you are in city limits," Griffiths-Holm says.

State law requires owners of dangerous animals, such as wolves or alligators, to get a permit for each such animal.

"That way, if there is an escape or an attack, officials can go through their records and then say, 'OK, this person owns this animal, let's go see if it's still on their property,' " says Griffiths-Holm.

Choosing an exotic pet for a child depends on the child's age and maturity.

"For smaller kids, turtles, chinchillas and most small, furry animals would be appropriate," Griffiths-Holm says. Responsible teens and adults can take on animals like small snakes or frogs.

Cautions Lennox, "There always has to be adult supervision, 'cause some children just get busy and forget."

She, her husband and three daughters live on a Lebanon farm. They have horses, and have raised a variety of exotic pets, including a bearded dragon lizard, rats, birds and rabbits. For seven years, they've had a pet emu, Mr. E. He's a large wild bird from Australia that is gentle and doesn't fly, but likes to nibble toes, which he thinks are worms.

Lauren suggests other kids consider an exotic pet like hers.

"They are great friends; you can talk to them about anything, and they don't care because they don't understand."

Yet, on April 18, she learned that Fiyero understood more than she realized.

"He was going crazy, flipping off the cage walls," Lauren says. "Sometimes they can have night terrors, so I was just yelling at him to be quiet."

A moment later, an earthquake with a 5.2 magnitude struck.

REPORTERS: William Andrews, 11; Sam Clark, 11; and Alex Williams, 11.

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Peter Akinola, 15.

Pet Owners Being Warned
By Nicole Franks - 610 WTVN

The Capital Area Humane Society says two dogs were shot with cross bows in two different parts of town.

The Capital Area Humane Society is warning pet owners after two dogs were shot and killed with what appears to be a cross bow.

The latest incident happened Friday evening to a 13-year-old German Shepard dog.

Jodi Buckman, the Humane Society's Executive Director says the dog was in a fenced backyard near Sawmill and West Case Road.

The first attack happened a week ago to a Rottweiler mix near Rumsey and Lockbourne Roads.

"We cannot make any assumptions as we continue the investigation as to whether or not these two attacks are related," Buckman said. "Or if they could possibly be related to similar attacks on cats with arrows earlier this year."

A reward is being offered that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.

To report information people can call the Capital Area Humane Society's cruelty investigations division at 614-777-7387 ext 250.

West Seattle Resident Worries After Her Dog is Poisoned
By Janet I. Tu - Seattle Times staff reporter

A West Seattle woman whose dog was apparently poisoned wonders if someone is deliberately poisoning neighborhood dogs.

Kate Kaemerle had a big scare Thursday evening when she found her dog, Coco, had apparently been poisoned. Now she's wondering if someone is deliberately poisoning dogs in her West Seattle neighborhood.

Kaemerle, a public-relations consultant, was away from her house Thursday evening when her roommate told her Coco was ill. The roommate had been playing Frisbee in the backyard with Coco when Coco went sniffing around the fence, said Kaemerle. About 45 minutes later, the dog apparently started stumbling and shaking.

They immediately went to the vet, who believed Coco possibly ingested slug bait — something Kaemerle doesn't keep, she said. Kaemerle believes Coco was poisoned by something someone threw over the fence.

The vets were able to help the 6-year-old Australian cattle dog, who is now back home and "pretty much back to normal," Kaemerle said.

Seattle Animal Shelter is investigating Kaemerle's case. Before this, the agency hadn't heard anything unusual about pet poisonings in the area, said Ann Graves, enforcement supervisor.

The West Seattle Blog ( posted Kaemerle's story, and soon several blog commenters who said they live on nearby blocks said their dogs, too, had been poisoned in recent years.

Kaemerle said her mailman told her a man who lives a block away said his dog had been poisoned about a year ago and had died.

"It's horrible it happened to my dog," Kaemerle said. "But now, to me, there's a bigger picture. To me, it's way beyond coincidence."

Earlier this year, Pasado's Safe Haven, a Sultan-based animal-welfare agency, had offered a $5,000 reward for information related to a dog poisoning.

In that case, the owner believed her dog may have ingested rat poison at Westcrest Park in White Center.

Pasado's Safe Haven had received reports of poisoned dog treats in West Seattle's Fauntleroy Park, according to a February Seattle Times report.

Animal Shelter investigators want to hear from people in the neighborhood whose pets have been poisoned in the past. They are asking people to call 206-386-7387.

Cats Rule! Atlanta's Pampered Cats


How Your Cats Train You to Obey: Simple Cat Body Language
by Jeanette Barron

I have been trained by 5 cats over the past 10 years. They all used the same basic body language method of training. Of course, there are many variations to the method. It all depends on how fast a learner you are and/or on how fast you complied with their requests. These are the 4 basics communications.

Teaching the Human - I Want Food Now
1. Stand or sit close to human, stare at them until they look at you, then lick your lips to indicate that you’re ready for something good to eat.
2. Jump on human and lick their lips.
3. Jump on human and bite their lips.
4. In all cases, follow up by immediately leading them to your preferred eating place.

Telling the Human - It's Time to Wake Up
1. Sit on bed and stare at them until they open their eyes.
2. Sit on human and stare at them until open their eyes.
3. Lick their lips or eyelids until they wake up.
4. Sit on human and give them a few good smacks across face, claws kept in.
5. If none of the above work, carefully insert one claw inside their nostril and press down firmly.
6. In all cases, follow up by immediately leading them to your preferred eating place.

Letting the Human Know - I'm Unhappy with You
1. Refuse to acknowledge them.
2. If they look at you, turn your back on them.
3. If they touch you, get up and move away.
3. Indicate that you are hungry and then refuse your food.
4. Shred something that belongs to them.
5. Beat up their dog, if available.

Telling the Human - I Like You
1. Sit beside them.
2. Curl up on their lap.
3. Rub your head on them.
4. Lift head, look them in the eye, and indicate that you will allow yourself to be kissed.
5. Present them with a mouse, if available.

There are pros and cons to learning what your cat is telling you. On the one hand it makes life simpler when you know what your cat wants. On the other hand, once your cat has you trained in the basics and knows that you are trainable, she will continue with the instruction. You will be in training for life.

About the Author
I live with 5 cats and 2 dogs. Two of the cats belong to me. Both my cats are leash and harness trained. The oldest has been going for walks on a leash for 7 years now and the youngest is still in training. He only gets to walk in the backyard. I have a cat leash training website at:
and a blog about cat behaviour, cat tips, anything cats at


Choosing a Breed of Dog
By Stanley Pepper

Before making a decision on which breed of dog to choose, do some research on each one of the breeds that you may be considering. This should include, where possible, talking with people who already own a dog of a breed you may choose. It might also include finding out how and why that breed was developed in the first place. This usually provides you with informative and beneficial information, to help you understand the likely nature and behavioural instincts of each of the breeds you are examining. Another source of expert advice is the local Vet.

Points to examine in your research could include:

1) The size of the dog you want;

2) Whether you have the physical strength to safely handle him in all situations that are likely to arise;

3) Things such as the amount of space you have in your yard, and the layout and location of your house or unit or flat;

4) Environmental factors, such as the location of your home. Stop to think about whether you live in a city, or a town, or in a rural setting;

5) The amount of exercise you can give your dog;

6) Your main purpose in wanting a dog in the first place;

7) Other members of your household, such as young children, and elderly or infirm people, who will come into regular contact with your dog;

8) Check to see whether the breed suffers from any serious predilections to inherited medical problems. A Vet would be a good source of expert advice on this matter.

The time and effort you put in at this time will be worthwhile in the long term, and you can be confident that you took every reasonable and responsible step to ensure a happy and rewarding partnership for many years to come.

We wish you every training success and years of enjoyment for both you and your dog.

Read our related article from our webpage: Where To Find Different Dog Breeds

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Animal Communication - It's Not a Psychic Thing
By Deborah Famelos

Animal communication is a much talked about subject these days (it's about time), and more and more people are curious as to whether they too can "talk to the animals". Society is coming to the intelligent conclusion that life on this planet is much more than we once imagined.

So what is Animal Communication?

This universal language between human and animal, is a non-verbal way of instantaneously connecting through mental images, emotions and thoughts.

To make this more clear, think of the spoken language as a typewriter and universal language as the most powerful computer on the planet.

Unlike the spoken language(which is a lazy shorthand of communication)universal language or what some call intuitive language, allows huge banks of information to come through in a nanosecond.

Is Animal Communication reserved for the "chosen" few?

Definitely not! No waving of arms. No incantations, no speaking in tongues necessary...honestly.
Tuning in to this language may seem intimidating and reserved for gypsy fortune-tellers gazing over a crystal ball, but in fact it is simply the act of honing in your intuition.

Intuition, instinct or gut feeling is something we experience all the time. we may think that we communicate through words but what we are always doing is talking and using are intuition simultaneously.

We have gut feelings all the time. We know if someone is lying to us and we can tell almost instantly if someone can be trusted or not. We also know instantly if someone is a good soul.
We can feel very comfortable the moment we walk into someones home or we can know right away that there is bad energy there.

The dilemma however, is that we have fallen into our lazy shorthand ways of communicating and our instincts tend to sit in the background.

Okay, so if you just need to hone your instincts, how do you begin?

Learning anything new takes education,practice and determination. This is no different. It is a very doable, and honourable thing to learn. Animals are extremely intelligent, wise beyond our understanding and sadly so very misunderstood and underestimated by us.

With the new dawn of respect for our earth and all that it holds, it makes sense to explore all the ways in which we can become more connected.

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