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Warning: Don't Let Your Child be a Dog Bite Victim - Use These Helpful Tips
by James Parrish

There are many factors which can increase the chance of you or your child being a victim of a dog bite or dog attack.

Owners of dogs, teenagers, grandparents, babysitters, caregivers of all types and especially parents of young children, must keep in mind all of the factors that can result in or lead to aggressive and harmful behavior in dogs.

Of course, the greater the number of these factors which are present will increase the likelihood that a damaging or injurious bite or attack can occur.

For example: If a canine is continuously kept on a leash or chain, then there is a much increased chance that such a dog will be aggressive and/or lack proper "people skills."

Not surprisingly, male dogs are more likely to exhibit aggressive tendencies and account for a higher percentage of bites and attacks on children and adults.

Notwithstanding the previous fact, dominant, poorly trained and socialized or fearful female dogs will, and often do, bite children and their caregivers.

If there are two or more dogs in a yard without the dog owner present, then there is a significantly higher chance of encountering or experiencing dog bites or dangerous do behavior.

The greater number of dogs that are present equals a much higher risk for attacks, bites, or maulings , which are associated with pack behavior.

Non-neutered or un-spayed dogs typically demonstrate higher levels of aggressive behavior.

Some additional evidence shows that the number of dog attacks and bites goes up during the warmer months of the Summer due the higher volume of people outside and in the presence of a greater number of dogs.

Disturbingly, the single, most common cause of deadly dog bites and seriously harmful canine attacks is the owner of the dog, who does not properly train, supervise or care for their animal.

As a father of two young children and a lawyer who handles injury claims associated with dog bites/attacks, I want to do everything I can to keep my kids safe and avoid them being hurt by a dog.

As a fellow parent, sibling, aunt/uncle, or friend, I know that you also want to keep all the children in your lives safe from dangerous dog behavior.

To help us all achieve this very important goal, I have compiled the following list of things that all children should be taught about dogs:

-Don't chase or tease dogs.

-Wait to be introduced to the dog by the dog's adult owner.

-Ask the dog owner's permission to pet their dog first, before trying to pet the dog.

-Wait for a dog owner's permission to pet the dog and then teach your child to let the dog sniff the child's hand first, before petting the dog.

-Pet the animal gently after the dog sniffs his/her hand.

-Never pet a dog while it is eating or sleeping.

-Never approach a dog that has puppies or is nursing puppies.

Learn the items on this list and then teach the children in your life these valuable tips and hopefully you and your children will avoid be another victim.

-Never pet a dog while it is playing with a toy.

-Never try to take a dog's toy away from the dog.

-Don't play rough with dogs.

-If your child is outside and a stray dog approaches, then teach your child to not run away, but to try backing away slowly. The dog will always be able to run faster than the child and could chase your child and attack.

Put these tips into action and keep yourself and your children safe around dogs. Don't wait. You never know when a dangerous situation will present itself.

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Readers Share Playful Pet Stories

By Linda Goldston Mercury News

Take a dog for a walk and she's in heaven. It's the canine version of reading a newspaper.

So many smells, so many "stories" to read about other dogs. A dog's nose is a wondrous thing and they can be entertained for hours by getting to sniff new things.

Cats are a little more complicated. They enjoy a few new smells but they'd rather you figure out a way to entertain them — one that doesn't offend their sense of supreme self. It helps if you remember they have terrific imaginations and in their minds can turn a tightly scrunched piece of paper into a mouse in no time.

When we asked readers to tell use how they play with their pets, two of them wrote to describe their version of fetch, one played with a cat, the other with a dog.

In Half Moon Bay, Betty Jackson plays with her cat, Aggie, a 16-month-old "half feral" cat she adopted from a winery.

"I say 'ready' and she runs upstairs and peeks around the corner and I am downstairs and I throw the ball up the stairs and down the hall," Betty said. "She gets it and brings it to the top of the stairs and drops it. If it does not reach the floor downstairs, she will bat it around until it does. We do that until she is tired and lays down."

Betty and Aggie also play "peek-a-boo" (a long-time hide and seek favorite of many cats.) "One of us will hide, usually Aggie, and then I will find her." As I do with my cats, Betty also makes a point of saying goodbye when she's going
out but throws the ball up the stairs and Aggie grabs it as Betty walks out the door. When Betty comes back, she goes up to the window of the room where she knows Aggie is sleeping and call her name.

"She always comes to the window so she knows I'm on my way in." Betty also takes Aggie for walks: "I walk, she rides, in her backpack, around my complex and up to the Senior Center." It sounds as though Aggie has a full life.

Linda Cortez of San Jose has a 110-pound Lab-poodle mix who is not very good at retrieving balls, but Cortez has found another game for her. Just throwing an old ball around, "she wants you to chase her." "But her most favorite thing to do is play tether ball. She'll even play by herself. She likes to smack the ball with her snout as she jumps in the air."

Sometimes, a pet's favorite toy is not a toy at all. Barbara Haiges, a former San Jose resident who now lives in Groveland, dangles shoelaces in front of her cats.

"I dangle it in the air above them and in front of them and on the floor and Shadow and Harley just go crazy," she said. "It's their favorite thing to do and it's something they can do together."

Pets are like us in many ways. They like to have fun, too.

Pet-Friendly Landscaping Keeps Animals Safe, Happy
New York Times News Syndicate/Dallas Morning News

The great outdoors can offer both adventure and hazard to pets.

So pet care and landscaping experts suggest releasing dogs and cats into a well-maintained, pet-friendly yard that's safe and fun for them to explore.

Homeowners frustrated by urine-marred sod or emergency vet visits after a pet has ingested something mysterious in the yard may scoff in disbelief. But having a nice outdoor space that's also pet-friendly is well-advised, according to certified animal behaviorist Suzanne Hetts of Animal Behavior Associates in Littleton, Colo., a practice that aims to prevent and resolve pet behavior problems.

An equal dose of realism and household common sense can appease both humans and their beloved fur-babies.

"You can't get upset when a dog digs a hole, because that's what dogs do," Hetts says. "A good improvement strategy for your yard would be one that is based on your pet's needs and accounts for the animal's patterns and preferences."

She adds that studies have shown that expanding a cooped-up pet's environment with supervised or restricted outdoor access can lessen behavioral problems, especially among cats.

Think safety first, says Hetts. Pets need security from the elements, predators, other pets and malicious humans. Remove plants that are toxic for pets, such as tiger lilies, irises and ivy. Don't use ornamental grasses, which dogs like to nibble on. Replace them with dog-resistant plants like pyracantha or barberries.

Even common landscaping materials can be dangerous for pets. Steel-top metal edging, for instance, is often used to outline planting beds. But it can cut the bottom of a dog's paws, so more companies are producing plastic or rubber alternatives.

Elizabeth Bublitz, owner of Pawfriendly Landscapes in Golden, Colo., creates aesthetically pleasing, functional yards that cater to a dog's habits rather than fighting them. The cost for her services ranges from $1,000 for smaller projects to more than $50,000 for high-end landscape makeovers.

Most people use their yards only when the weather is nice, but dogs use them year round, Bublitz says.

"The turning point for me was realizing that my back yard really did belong to my dog, Barney," says Bublitz, a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. "After that, I just started using materials and techniques with him in mind."

Before Bublitz meets with clients, she asks them not to clean or pick up anything from the yard so she can study the pet's behavior before designing the new landscape. If the dog has a favorite spot to eliminate waste, Bublitz will tear out the sod in that spot and replace it with rock. She uses larger rocks such as cobble because pebbles can get stuck in an animal's paws. If the dog tends to eat rock, she uses bark, pavers or concrete, which can be easily hosed clean.

Bublitz has even gone so far as to place statuettes or planters in a landscape for dogs with what she calls the "fire-hydrant complex." She also installs ponds for water-loving pooches.

Does your dog like to dig under the home's foundation? For this common problem, Bublitz puts fabric, chicken wire and then pea gravel down on the ground. Dogs don't like the chicken wire texture on their paws, so that discourages them from digging – a technique that could save homeowners from structural damage caused by moisture seeping into the foundation through the dog's holes.

Chicken wire tacked onto privacy fences stops escape-artist dogs. When dogs dig for shade, Bublitz plants more trees. And when dogs run up and down the fence, usually killing the lawn in the process, Bublitz designs a 3-foot-wide "racetrack" path by removing grass, putting down fabric and then more chicken wire to prevent digging. Nearby shrubs can conveniently hide the path.

"The dog is actually making your yard prettier," Bublitz says. "You end up adding interest to space with organic shapes and water features."

John Kuepper's business, Cat-Man-Do, was born from the tragedy that many feline owners face. One of his cats was attacked in his driveway by a neighbor's dog and later died from the injuries.

Kuepper's company now constructs enclosures that make it safe for cats to roam in the back yard without leaving the property. This infrastructure generally attaches to an existing privacy fence while an indoor system keeps cats active at home. The kits cost $300 and up.

These kitty playgrounds have posts and perches to keep cats entertained. Even dogs up to 20 pounds can take advantage of Kuepper's new tunnel system.

"I am doing triple the amount of business I was doing last year as people become more aware that it is possible to let your cat out and keep it safe," Kuepper says.

For their four cats, Peggy Pitchford and Steve Kram added a perimeter enclosure to the 4-foot-high chain-link fence behind their Denver home.

"(Now) we don't have to worry about our cats being frustrated and tearing up the house, spraying on furniture or crying all the time to get outside," Pitchford says. "It not only gives the cat freedom, but you get some freedom too."

Cynthia McKay just completed a $70,000 redo of her one-third-acre back yard. The new landscape was designed especially for the latest addition to her family – an 8-month-old golden retriever named PJ.

McKay's home now features a waterfall and two ponds connected by a stream.

Eight trees were moved and planted elsewhere so PJ could have ample room to run without obstacles. Landscapers also installed a paw-friendly cobblestone walkway.

A specialized Trex decking system provides PJ with shade and protection from the elements, and a new third deck off the master bedroom gives the pup a comfy place to sleep outside.

Friends have called McKay and her husband "crazy for pouring all this affection onto an animal when you could be feeding kids in Afghanistan." But simply put, "PJ is a family member," she says.

"When preparing for a pet to come into your life," she says, "you have to take the same precautions you would if a parent or relative were moving in."

What You Should NEVER Say to Someone Whose Pet Has Died

Over the years we have received thousands of letters and phone calls from people who have lost a believed animal companion and are plunged into even deeper sadness by insensitive remarks and actions. We decided to ask readers of our Angel Animals Story of the Week newsletter what they thought should never be said to someone who is grieving over a pet's death.

Below are the thoughtless remarks followed by our readers' comments.

"It was only a dog/cat/rabbit/horse. . .Get over it!"

Bianca Rothschild wrote about this kind of remark: "A lifetime of devotion and supreme loyalty brushed aside and rudeness of the individual personified."

Debra Walker-Nipp: "Cleo was not just a dog. She was my true soul mate and gave her life to us. True devotion can't be replaced or found that easily."

"Why don't you just get another one?"

Kathy: "No way can you ever replace a special animal. Each one is unique. I truly believe God made them that way, as he did us humans."

"They are just stupid, dumb animals anyway."

Marla Johnson heard that comment about her deceased rabbit. She wrote, "I couldn't believe how insensitive of a remark that was because in my opinion animals are very evolved spiritual beings who are here on this planet to help humans become kinder, more loving, and compassionate people."

"You really didn't need all the health costs and food expenses of those animals."

A reader named Teresa responded to this remark by saying, "If I choose to spend my ENTIRE check on my babies, it's none of your business."

"At least it wasn't a person. Or, you could have lost a family member instead of an animal."

Jeanne Walker: "My animals are family members. I don't own them. They are part of my family in the truest sense of the word - nonjudgmental, loving, and forgiving.

We have listed resources here that can help you or family and friends as you cope with the highly estimated source of grief and sadness that occurs when a pet dies. We hope these resources help and encourage you to add comments with others you would recommend.

Saying Goodbye to Your Angel Animals

Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains, E-mail:

Everlife Memorials

The Animal Love and Loss Network (ALLN)

The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, Inc. (APLB0)

Delta Society, The Pet Loss and Bereavement section

International Association of Pet Cemeteries (IAPC)

Grief Healing

In Memory of Pets: Beyond Life's Gateway

Pet Loss Grief Support

Pet Loss Support Page

Rainbows Bridge

Remember Your Pets

There Is Eternal Life for Animals
In Memory Of Pets

Animals in Heaven

Pet Loss Support: Healing the Grief of Pet Loss DVD/Video

Classic Memorials, Inc.
Pet Loss & Pet Memorials Resources

Dogbunny Gazette

Joyful Spirit

Mississauga Pet Loss Support

Grief Healing

Pet Loss and Grief Support

If pet loss is something you are going through or continue to cope with, please accept our condolences. We know how much it hurts. We know there are people who understand. Take care of yourself by reaching out to them.


Tips On Moving Pets
by Paul Wilson

A pet like a child is a great responsibility and the animal or bird is dependant on you to care for it and protect it. And if a move is stressful for children the pressure is ten -fold for a pet that cannot quite comprehend what is happening. Often a house filled with strangers, boxes, and din is not just frightening for a pet it can be quite intimidating.

Before you move you must:

Take the pet to the vet and check whether his health will stand the move. Ask the vet about preventive health care and whether the pet will require any vaccinations.
Make a file containing the pet's health records and registration details.
Pack all personal possessions belonging to the pet in an easily identifiable box.
Set aside things the pet will need while traveling and when you reach your destination.
Find out what the law regarding pets is in your new town or area. Ask about whether dogs or pets are allowed in your new home or apartment block and whether you need to apply for new registrations or permits.
Do a bit of research and locate a new vet in your new home. Choose one recommended by your old vet but make sure he suits your needs.
If you are moving fairly close then consider driving down with your pet and kids. Otherwise you will need to take care of details like flying with pets and the rules that apply.
While the movers are in the home packing or unpacking either keep the pet close to you or in a separate room in a crate with a few toys and plenty of water. Of course if you crate the pet you will need to remember to release him and take him for a walk ever so often.
If the move requires an overnight stop then choose a hotel that welcomes pets. This makes the move much easier on the pet as dealing with wary strangers can add to the stress.
Always carry an old sheet, a few toys, medicines, medical files, water for drinking, a little food, a sponge, plenty of plastic bags, paper towels, and a crate, cage, or leash. If it is fish you are transporting then you will need special containers sold by aquariums.
Get the pet a new Id tag and microchip in case he gets lost.
If you are nervous about transporting your pet there are professionals who will undertake to do the job for you.
In case you are moving to a new country and the climate is not suitable for your pet then consider finding the pet a new home. It is kinder than killing the pet.

While transporting pets remember that you cannot ship them in moving vans. And, except for "seeing eye" dogs pets are not allowed on buses and trains. So, you will either have to take your pet by plane or by car. If your pet appears agitated ask the vet to prescribe a sedative. Check carefully about interstate health certificates and vaccination requirements. Be a vigilant pet-parent and find out all the pros and cons of moving a pet well before the actual moving date.

Author Bio
Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for, the premier website to find help on Moving including topics on moving companies search, compare movers, moving insurance, auto transport, moving tips and more. He also freelances for the premier REVENUE SHARING discussion forum for Pet Site

Article Source: - Free Website Content


For the Best Pets Look to the Unusual
by Bob Benson

If you're searching for really terrific pets, you may want to take a little walk into the unusual. While dogs and cats - arguably the two most common and beloved pets - are good choices, there are some other animals out there that may very well be better suited to your lifestyle.

To find the perfect pet, start by examining your reasons for wanting to take this step. That reason is very important. For example, if you're looking for companionship, a turtle probably isn't the best answer. But if you have a child and you're looking for a pet to help teach responsibility, a turtle may be just what you need. Here are some other pets that may not have immediately come to mind.

Gerbils, hamsters and mice
Yes, they're rodents and that may be an immediate turn-off for some people, but these little guys can be really good pets for several reasons. They don't take up much room, they don't eat much and they're fairly easy to care for. On the downside, they also tend to have shorter life spans than some other animals, meaning the kids (and adults) who become attached to them face the heartbreak of losing their pet sooner. Remember that they still take care, even though they're very small. Cages can become very smelly if not cleaned regularly.

Hermit crabs
These are a recent hit with many people and you'll find that hermit crabs are readily available in malls and pet stores. They're not cuddly and they're very shy, but there are some positive points. If handled carefully and often, they can become quite friendly. Children can learn a lot from watching them drink, burrow and change shells. Care is minimal and the biggest routine chore is probably keeping the sponges wet (hermit crabs drink from a sponge).

Prairie dogs
Quite a few people have discovered that these furry little guys make great indoor pets. They're inquisitive and most have very unique personalities. If raised in captivity, a prairie dog will typically be happy to remain inside with no attempts at escape. They can be litter box trained and many families report that their prairie dogs have free roam of the house. The downsides include the fact that these animals like to chew. If trained well, they'll chew only in designated places, but furniture and clothing can become casualties of their need to gnaw. Remember, they're wild animals and you should be careful of your source to be sure you have a healthy animal.

There are plenty more options that you may not have considered. If you're looking for great pets, don't immediately assume that a cat or dog are your only choices.

Author Bio
Bob Benson is the founder of Pets online. We provide information on Owning a pet.

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Tips on Traveling With Your Dog
by Jacques Habra

Who doesn't love a good road trip? Taking in the air on the open road and visiting new and exciting places is a feeling that cannot be beat. Moreover, that feeling is not just limited to you --- your dog shares in the amazement and wonder that accompanies jumping in the car and heading out on the road for an adventure. In fact, anyone who owns a good has probably had the experience of opening the door to get in the car only to have your dog zip by you and jump on the passenger seat, full of anticipation. However, if you plan to let Fido along for the ride, it's important to keep these tips in mind:

* Buckle your dog up: So many people make this simple mistake and it can cost you your dog's life in an accident. Invest in a pet-friendly harness or seatbelt that will keep your dog restrained while in a moving vehicle. Keep in mind that if you get into an accident, your dog can sustain the same life-threatening injuries as a human can. So, buckle up your pooch every time you get in the car!

* Never leave your pooch in the back of a truck or locked in a hot car: Also a common mistake, particularly among people who have little knowledge or experience dealing with dogs. Bottom line is that animals can get just as overheated as you or I, so never leave them in a vehicle with all of the windows up. Don't leave them in the back of a truck unless you are comfortable with them being gone when you come back. Treat the situation just as you would if you have a child so that you can give your pet the best protection when you are travelling.

* Plan ahead if you plan to be gone overnight: if you are planning a longer journey than just a day, make sure to plan ahead for pet-friendly accommodations, places along the way where you can stop for your dog to use the bathroom and run around, and stretch their legs.

* Make sure you pack your dog's necessities: Don't forget food and grooming materials. To avoid the need to pack a slew of items, invest in The Brush Buddy, an all-in-one brush, massager and cleansing and drying agent. The Brush Buddy is perfect for road trips because you can use it to brush dirt off of your dog or dry them off if they take a dip in the water at the beach. You don't have to worry about your dog tracking dirt or water into your car after using The Brush Buddy. Best of all, this product is compact and easy to throw right into your overnight bag.

Taking these steps will ensure a safe and happy trip for both you and your dog and allow you to continue to create travel memories together for a long time to come.

About the Author
For more information on cleaning your dog with The Brush Buddy, and for tips on dog brush and dog towel, please visit our website at The Brush

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