Advice for Your Pets

How To Keep Your Dog Happy
by Adam Katz

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and I thought I would quickly send this out to you, before I leave for the weekend.
We were discussing how to keep your dog's mind stimulated.

Remember: Bored dogs cause problems. If you don't keep your dog's mind stimulated, chances are that he'll find activities to stimulate his mind, himself. And you won't like those activities.

A dog that is mentally stimulated on a daily basis is a happy dog. And happy dogs don't cause dog problems.

Here's a quick list of how to keep your dog mentally stimulated:

1. Exercise. Lots of exercise. If you can incorporate exercise with another activity such as playing, "Find the ball," or doing some agility exercises, then that's even better.

2. Brain teaser toys. I'll be adding some of these to our web site store, later next week. There are a number of cool toys that actually challenge your dog's mind. For example, one of the more popular ones is the "Buster Cube," a plastic cube that releases a pellet of food, every third or fourth time the Cube is rolled over.

3. Small rituals done at the same time of day, every day. For example; feeding time, grooming, walks, "cookie" time, car trips around town, etc...

4. Dogs like to work. Teach your dog to bring in the newspaper, carry mail back from the mailbox or to walk out with you when you take the trash out. (Whenever I go through the drive-thru window at McDonald's, Forbes - my dog - gets to carry the trash bag to the trash receptacle when we're finished. Sound silly, right? But the dog loves it!)

5. Do obedience training with your dog. Obedience training requires your dog to use his brain and think. Knowing that he will be praised for making the right decision and corrected for making the wrong decision (and allowed the opportunity to make the right decision again) instills a sense of responsibility in your dog and demands that he use his noggin. Remember: Dogs are bred to work. They've been blessed with super-human instincts and drives and they need an outlet for those drives.

That's all for now, folks! Adam

About the Author
Adam Katz is that author of the book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" and has shown literally thousands of dog owners how to train their dogs to Dog Training Videos as editor of the Dog Training website

How to Choose Freshwater Aquarium Fish
by Sam Noel

This is a summary of the important points to be noted before choosing a freshwater aquarium fish. It will be always fun for fish enthusiasts while buying a new fish, but they must take care to consider some important details about the fish, like, what it eats, how large it grows. It is always advised not to buy a fish without knowing fully about the fish.

Fish that are very specific in their habitat conditions cannot grow in home aquariums. This will affect the health of the fish. Sometimes, fish may also die, so it is always advised to buy a fish after knowing its habitat details before buying it.

Your fish also must be compatible with each other. Usually aquarists have fishes of different varieties, colours, shapes and sizes. Those fishes originated from different parts of the world. So their behaviour and food habits may also be different.

Different kinds of fishes prefer different types of water conditions. There are some fishes which prefer hard and alkaline water, while there are some fishes that prefer soft and acidic water. It is not possible to provide separate environment for each type of fish. Some fishes that are not compatible with the chemistry of your aquarium water may not grow well or may not exhibit their best colours.

Pattern of behaviour is also very important. Fishes that swim around fastly will disturb the fishes that swim slowly. Those fast swimming fishes will have and need more food than the slow swimming fishes at the time of feeding. This is because the timid species will hold back and get only very little food to eat.
Differences in behaviour can be very disruptive, conflicts can occur among fishes inside the tank itself, even when fishes have peaceful dispositions. Some of the fishes like the territorial fishes do not allow other fishes to enter their area, leaving only a little place for the other fishes in the tank.

Also remember that the fishes sold in the shops are very young. They will grow in your home aquarium only. So you need to select the fish that fits the size of your aquarium after it grows well. After buying this fish, the tank might look empty for a few months. In the mean time, do not fill the tank with more fishes, as this will create a problem after the fishes grow.
Healthy fishes will always be active, so do not buy fishes that have poor colour, fins that are clamped close to the body, or with odd behaviour in swimming.

When you are approaching the tank, the Freshwater Aquarium Fish must crowd in the front in the anticipation that they are going to get fed. If any fish is not coming with the other fishes, then there could be a possibility it is sick. Never buy that fish.



Why Conventional Cat Urinary Tract Health Medications May be Harming Your Pet
by Rebecca Shelly

Are you frustrated with your cat's urinary tract health? I know I was until I did a little research. Urinary infections respond very well to antibiotics. However, they are very harsh and can cause allergic reactions and resistance to antibiotics given over time that can create further problems down the road.
Are you frustrated with your cat's urinary tract health? I know I was until I did a little research.

Common causes of urinary tract infection in cats

Although cats of any age can be affected by Urinary Tract Infection it most often happens in overweight or older cats do not exercise, use a litter box, are indoor cats and eat dry food.

How is diagnosed and treated?

The symptoms of urinary tract infection in cats can be similar for a variety of medical causes such as urethral plugs; urinary stones, cancer, and urinary tract infection. If you cat is passing little or no urine and becoming increasingly distressed, this is an emergency, requiring immediate veterinary treatment.

Drawbacks of conventional treatments

Conventional treatment for urinary tract infection in cats most likely includes antibiotics. If your cat has a chronic condition, catheterization or surgery might be recommended. Antibiotic treatment may be 7 to 10 days and chronic or acute urinary tract infection may take up to 4 weeks. Unfortunately these treatments compromise immune resistance and encourage persistent infections.

Adverse effects of antibiotics

There are problems with using antibiotics for cat urinary tract health. Antibiotics are toxic to kidney cells or can cause allergic reactions which can be life-threatening. Antibiotics kill the normal flora and leave the cat more vulnerable to other infections which are resistant to antibiotics.

You should only treat a dog or cat with antibiotics if you are pretty sure that an infection is present. The best proof of this is laboratory culture. This has the additional advantages of confirming the identity of the bacteria and allowing for antibiotic resistance testing.

Prevention strategies for cat urinary tract health

Your best bet is prevention for cat urinary tract health. There are some simple procedures you can follow to help prevent or reduce the frequency and duration of urinary tract infection in cats.

--Feed moist small meals frequently and use a high quality pet food.

--Provide clean, fresh water at all times.

--Supply a sufficient number of litter boxes for each cat

--Keep litter boxes in quiet areas of the house, and keep litter boxes clean.

--Reduce changes in routine that create stress

Alternative Treatments for Cat Urinary Tract Health

Unlike conventional treatments for cat urinary tract health, alternative treatments naturally soothe and support the bladder and urinary tract, maintain urinary tract and bladder health, maintain flow of urine, supports immune system functioning to keep pets healthy.

While conventional medicine works by often treating just the symptoms, natural medicine strives to create holistic balance in the body to support systemic health, relieve ailments, and help prevent future disease. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, natural medicines support overall health and functioning (rather than just suppressing symptoms).

Now that you are armed with this information it's time to start putting these solutions to work if you want to protect your cat's health.

About the Author
Rebecca Shelly has been studying alternative health applications for a number of years. She is a regular contributor to Pet Natural Cures, a site discussing some of the most promising natural treatments for pet health on the market today. If you're looking for an alternative to harsh medications for your pet, visit the site to learn more.

Visit us now to learn more about UTI medications

Keeping a Pet - The Pros and Cons
By Isla Campbell

Pets are loved by everyone for many reasons; no matter what breed of animal you own, they can bring happiness to lives. However, when you are thinking of getting a pet for the first time, whether it's as a new addition to your current family of pets or a replacement for one that sadly is no longer amongst you, there is a lot to consider when keeping a pet.

People have pets for various reasons, whether given as a present (remember, they are not just for Christmas!) or perhaps the children are interested in having their first pet; or you were perhaps unable to have a pet as a child but are in more suitable circumstances or simply because you and they share a love for animals, the notion to need and want a pet is deep-rooted in our psyche. This is perhaps not surprising considering pets act as great companions, providing company for people from all walks of life.

Pets can provide excellent social opportunities for both adults and children, with the ability to improve your exercise routine, depending on the type of pet you own. They also provide opportunities to meet new people and begin new hobbies, should you have a pet you can walk around the park or enter competitions with. In that respect, some pets are easier to look after than others, and depending on your circumstances, such as type of accommodation and location you live in, this could be an important factor as not all rented accommodation allows pets; so the type of pet you choose to have may also relate to your situation.

Although pets can bring lots of happiness to lives, it also not too surprising to discover how much responsibility they are to keep, as in some respects they are not too dissimilar to looking after a child in that they have needs to consider too. If you are planning to go on holiday and it is not feasible to take your pet with you, it is always a good idea to find someone suitable to look after your pet. This may not always be an ideal situation, expecting others to look after your pet, whilst kennels can be a costly option should your pet be a dog.

There are further factors to take into consideration when deciding to keep a pet, with probably the most popular deciding factor for many being cost. They are expensive, particularly given the expense of purchasing food, and also those accessories to allow them to have an enjoyable level of living, these including shelter and toys to keep them entertained.

When deciding to keep an animal, pet insurance can help reduce any stress surrounding potential veterinary expenses, having the ability to cover your pet's health through insurance, whilst also attending to any specific needs they require such as ongoing treatments and medication.

Despite there being many pros and cons to consider with keeping a pet, the levels of enjoyment and companionship afforded by pets are often worth every penny we lavish on them. After all, money can't buy you love and pets give it freely.

Isla Campbell writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

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Choosing Unusual Pet Names - The Foolproof Method
By Nerida Murray

Naming a child after a well loved character from literature can sometimes backfire- not many children would willingly stick up their hand at roll call to claim the name Ulysses or Medusa.

This isn't a problem for your pet. In fact, using names from literature or mythology are great ways to find unusual and unique pet names.

You can enjoy the irony of calling your turtle after the speedy god Mercury.

You could easily christen a highly intelligent and stalwart dog Atticus after the lawyer with the same qualities in Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird.

An apparently aloof and superior cat could be called Nero after the emperor of Rome who was reported to have played his violin while the great city burned.

Literature can be an excellent resource in finding unusual names. You may go after unusual names given to human characters like: • Uriah Heap or Spenlow from Charles Dickens' David Copperfield

• Boo Radley or Little Chuck Little from To Kill a Mockingbird Or it may be famous fictional animals you are looking for, like: • Aslan, the majestic lion from Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.

• Fiver or Hazel the adventurous bunnies from Richard Adam's Watership Down. If you have more than one pet, you may like to choose your names from one source. You would be hard pressed to exhaust TS Eliot's list of cats from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. There are around 35 names to choose from; all unusual and all well loved. How about: • The RumTum Tugger

• Bustopher Jones

• Grumbuskin

• Jennyanydots

Or stick with one author, like Jane Austen, and name your pets after her famous characters. A few years ago I met a gorgeous chocolate colored Labrador named Mr Darcy. Within minutes he was surrounded by a group of women, aged across 4 generations, all reminiscing about the dear pup's overly proud namesake. You may also consider:

• Miss Lizzie

• Knightly

• Fitzwilliam

• Lady Catherine

• Fanny Price

Think about how a name can be shortened for ease of affection or discipline. For example, I once had a favorite brown hen I named Lady Catherine de Bourgh after the character from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice as she was bossy and very self important. If I caught her in my lettuce patch this could easily be shortened to a sharp "Cate!"

Choose names with affection and good humor and both you and your pet will have many years of delight with them.

Nerida Murray is the editor of the site that is all about your family and home life. Visit now to find more unusual pet names for your favorite little friend!

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Pet Grooming For a Healthy and Happy Pet!
by Kritthaphat N.

Our pets are more than just animals who happen to live with us. They are also our friends and sometimes even our own family member. We should take care of them and even though some may raise an eyebrow, pet grooming is the "in" thing now.
Two of the most common pets that people have are dogs and cats. In this day and age these animals also have needs that we need to address. Since they are living with us we want them to be clean and we want them to smell good. That is why pet grooming is a must for any pet owner. Let's take dogs for example they are very playful animals and most of the time we play with them in our gardens or in the park. In those areas they can accumulate millions of bacteria while running in the grass or mud. The very basic thing we can do is to give them a regular bath as part of pet grooming. This will not cost you much since you only need clean water and dog shampoo. Just make sure that you clean your dog well so that the germs can be removed. Also brushing the dog's coat is recommended. This will remove tangles and dirt. It is also advised that you brush the dog's teeth twice a week to remove stains and bad odor. You can purchase dog toothpaste and brushes in most pet stores. For added grooming you can visit pet salons which offer, nail maintenance, special fur treatment and other things that will make your dog more beautiful to look at.

Now let's go to cats. They are much more difficult to handle than dogs when it comes to pet grooming. Since we all know that cats hate water they seldom take a bath and on the occasions that they do, you can be assured that it will be a very tough task for both you and your pet. But thankfully nowadays there are pet salons where you can avail of their services. Most of their services already include a bath, personal styling, trim of their fur and toenail trim. If you are willing to pay then this is a good and easy way to make sure your cat is well groomed. But if you prefer to give the cat a bath yourself then you should put him or her in a bathtub and put inside it something that he or she can cling to, like a wooden platform. The cat needs that so he or she will have something to scratch while you are giving the bath. After the bath use a towel to dry the cat. You can also comb the fur, especially for cats with long furs, they should be combed properly. As mentioned above, you can avail of grooming services in your local pet stores if you don't have the time to do it yourself.

Pet grooming is essential so your pet will live a long and healthy life.

A New Dog in Your Home: Welcome Him Home!
by Kelly Marshall

On your pet's first day home, give him a tour around your home on a loose leash. This is the dog's first introduction to any limitations you want to put on his future access to your furniture, souvenirs, books, the kids' toy shelves, etc.
Be aware that this is not the right time for "no." (Your dog might begin to think that "no" is his name.) Use a guttural "Yack!" combined with a little tug-and-release of the leash as he sniffs to warn him away from your untouchables. Your dog is new at this, but just saying, "Puppy!" in a happy voice may be enough to get him to look at you - "Good dog." Now, back to happy talk as you continue.

You are simply letting him know by means of prevention (a growl sound he understands) what things he will need to avoid in the future. Allow him to sniff first because he'll remember the objects more by smell than by seeing. As your dog looks up at you, he's praised. Think of it like this: "No!" means "Don't do that!" whereas "Yack!" means "Don't even think of doing that!" Small talk is natural and pleasurable to both of you; but in the beginning your dog will only pick up on his name because everyone uses it with things he finds enjoyable - play, food or praise. If you use the word "din-din" many times while preparing his food, that word will stick out in his mind as a five minute speech on nutrition as a clue to the observant dog that he is about to eat. The human-canine teaching method is based on short, simple words that are constantly applied to specific actions.

Your dog's first guided tour will teach him the layout of his new home, what it looks like, smells like, even feels like (rugs, carpets, tile, wood) and that a few things are off limits even to adorable pups. There is one more important lesson he is learning from this adventure: that you are the Boss, the He or She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. If you do not take on this role, the dog will. Somebody's got to do it, and he'll fill the vacancy right away! You may be familiar with the saying, "Lead, follow or move out of the way." Every puppy is born with it and continues to live by it!

Once your home tour is complete, now it's down to the basics. Show Rex where his water bowl is located. Let your dog scope his crate. Then take your puppy outside (while leashed) to the exact area where you want him to release waste. Stand there until he is done. (Remember be Patient. He's new at this.) Praise him quietly as he goes, after that you can make the same type of tour outside, with warnings about your shrubberies, flowers or garden. Or you may live in a town or city by law (and responsible dog ownership) must curb Rex. Go to the quietest no-parking location. If you stay on the sidewalk, he will want to join you, so stand down in the street with your dog. It will take time to get your dog used to the noise, the confusion and the speed and size of vehicles. Please note - no outside walking tour during this time. Wait until his vaccinations are done. By this time he will be more accepting of city or town life.

Important Note: If the original trip home from where you picked up your dog took more than an hour, switch the two "tours" to let him remove waste first.

About the Author
Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies, check for current specials on elevated dog feeders online.


Using a Pet Sitter? How to Prepare Your Home and Pet
By Linda Goldston Mercury News

Try to imagine the horror of a pet sitter who shows up and there is no house key or the key does not work. Or there is no food for the pets.

You can get so caught up in getting ready for a trip that you forget a few basics that will keep your pets healthy and happy while you're gone. Carolyn Namba, founder of Silicon Valley Pet Nanny (, comes highly recommended and was kind enough to draw on her experiences to help you get ready for the sitter.

"As a professional pet sitter for the past four years, I have encountered many situations where my clients have forgotten to leave important information, items and most importantly, keys," Carolyn says. "This resulted in my creating a 'pet sitting kit' which sits in my trunk all the time.

"As pet sitters, we value your privacy and are not comfortable searching for household items, so this is a checklist of what you should have ready for us prior to our first visit with your pet:

1. The key — You should have a key ready for your pet sitter before his or her first visit.

If you make a copy of the key, please test it out; there is nothing worse than the copy not working. If you live in an apartment community and must leave the key for the sitter in the rental office, make sure you check with the people there regarding operating hours. We have shown up at the community's rental office and it was not open.

2. Your pet — You

should make sure that your dog has his/her collar and license on, or with the leash if the animal do not wear it while in the house. You should have your cat microchipped, even if it is indoor only.

3. Instructions — Although you will need to fill out paperwork for your pet sitter, it's always a good idea to leave a little instruction sheet. Information provided us can become outdated (i.e. emergency information, phone numbers, veterinarian information, etc.), so leaving an instruction sheet ensures that we have your correct information.

Let your pet sitter know if you have a house cleaner or gardener, or if family or friends will be dropping by.

4. Pet/home items — Make sure to leave pet and home related items where they can be easily found by your pet sitter:

An ample supply of pet food. It is not unusual for changes in travel plans, and we want to make sure we have enough food in case this happens.

Extra kitty litter. Litter box scoop. Towels — in case of rain, there's nothing worse than a wet pooch.

Pet brushes, garbage bags, broom and dust pan.

Ant spray — ants are the nemesis of pet sitters, and we encounter them frequently.

Vacuum, carpet cleaner — in case of dog/cat accident.

Watering can if you have plants you need watered.

5. Prepare your home — This will help the sitter better care for your 'kid(s)' while you're away.

Clean litter box and clean up any dog waste in your yard. We are happy to clean up your yard while you're away, but appreciate a clean yard when we start.

Set thermostat to the desired temperature, and provide instructions if you would like us to adjust it in case of heat wave or cold weather.

Block off any areas that you do not want your pet to be in, and please leave a note regarding these areas."

Sitter recommendations

My thanks to Carolyn. Now that we're armed with how to choose a sitter and how to prepare our house, I'll start running your sitter recommendations next week. There's still time to send me yours; please include the sitter's contact information and price. If you have a good photo of your pet, send that, too, and I'll run them as we go along.

And don't forget: The holidays aren't that far away, so you need to call a sitter or kennel now if you plan to be out of town then.

Contact Linda Goldston at or (408)"‰920-5862.

Pet Sayings: Curiosity Killed the Cat
SF Gate

Everyone knows that, despite being gifted with nine lives, curiosity killed the cat. But there's actually a bit more to the story...

The "killed the cat" proverb originated as "care killed the cat" (with care meaning "worry or sorrow"). It served as a warning that worry is generally bad for your health and can lead to an early grave. The phrase was a nod to the very cautious and careful disposition of cats.

This form of the expression is first recorded in Every Man in His Humour by the English playwright Ben Jonson:

"Helter skelter, hang sorrow, care'll kill a Cat, up-tails all, and a Louse for the Hangman."

The play is thought to have been performed in 1598 by The Lord Chamberlain's Men, a troupe of actors including William Shakespeare and William Kempe. The following year, Shakespeare appropriated this memorable line in Much Ado About Nothing:

"What, courage man! what though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care."

The earlier form was still in use in 1898, when it was defined in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable:

"Care killed the Cat. It is said that a cat has nine lives, but care would wear them all out."

The more modern (and familiar) version, "curiosity killed the cat," now used to encourage caution when investigating situations or to attempt to stop someone from asking unwanted questions, first appeared in print in 1909 in O. Henry's Schools and Schools:

"Curiosity can do more things than kill a cat; and if emotions, well recognized as feminine, are inimical to feline life, then jealousy would soon leave the whole world catless."

Still, the proverb has been widely (although not accurately) attributed to Eugene O'Neill who included it in his 1920 play Diff'rent. The full quote by O'Neill is, "Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back."

Perhaps this saying's longevity and continued popularity is due to the fact that curiosity has not always been valued over the centuries. Saint Augustine wrote in Confessions, AD 397, that, in the eons before creating heaven and earth, God "fashioned hell for the inquisitive." John Clarke, in Paroemiologia, 1639 suggested that, "He that pryeth into every cloud may be struck with a thunderbolt." In Don Juan, Lord Byron dubbed curiosity, "that low vice."

Being a curious soul, I respectfully beg to differ. Is curiosity a vice? Perhaps. But it's certainly not one that I'm willing to give up anytime soon.

May your weekend be filled with curious happenings...and may no cats be killed in the process.

If you're curious about other pet sayings, be sure to check out these previous posts.

Posted By: Amelia Glynn (Email)

Pet Talk: Best Way to Handle Wild Baby Birds?
The Marco Eagle

It’s probably happened to you: You’re walking down the sidewalk, you hear a faint chirping sound, and you look down to see a plump baby bird staring up at you and you think that a cute new pet has fallen right into your lap.

But wildlife experts have three words of advice: leave it alone.

“Take pictures, enjoy them, admire them, but don’t mess with them,” says Teresa Shisk-Saling, a veterinary technician at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University. “The absolute worst thing you can do is pick it up, take it home and try to make it a pet.”

Touching a bird is a bad idea for several reasons. Parasites, salmonella and other bacterial diseases can all be picked up from wildlife, and although birds are not typically known for biting, they can do some damage with their beaks.

In addition, a well-intentioned animal lover may only do more harm than good by moving the bird. The most common reason a young bird ventures out of the nest is because it is fledging, and human interference does not help.

“It is a teenager, and it’s learning how to fly and be on its own,” Shisk-Saling says.

“You may see it and think it’s by itself, but chances are mom and dad are real close by keeping an eye on it — and you’re getting in the way.”

The only exception to the hands-off rule is if the bird is injured or in obvious danger, such as being stranded in the middle of the road.

“If it is bright, alert, and chirping, it is not hurt,” Shisk-Saling says.

However, if the animal shows none of these signs, it should be put in a dark, quiet and warm place, such as a box, and taken to a veterinarian or wildlife specialist. Shisk-Saling cautions rescuers not to feed the bird because it can cause complications, and the bird may already have a digestive tract injury.

“If it can’t wait a couple of hours to be fed correctly, it is probably not going to make it anyway,” Shisk-Saling says.

Occasionally, while moving around in the nest, a baby bird will stumble over the edge, or high winds and rain can knock a nest out of a tree, she adds. If this is the case, Shisk-Saling says that some assistance can be given to the animal.

“You can put it back in the nest, but if the nest is too far up, call and get advice from a vet or wildlife expert in your area,” Shisk-Saling says.

“It is also important to keep in mind that some birds pick up their young and carry them back to the nest, and the parents are not going to abandon the young bird.”

Another way to keep these treetop critters safe is to minimize their predators. Some types of birds, such as mockingbirds, are good at defending their offspring against predators. Others are not, and cat wounds are a common injury seen in wild birds.

Cats should be kept indoors, especially during spring and early summer. If your cat does venture outside, put a bell on its collar to warn baby birds that cannot move quickly.

Shisk-Saling says that being educated on how to handle — or not handle — wildlife will benefit both you and the animal. “If a baby bird does stumble into your path, simply enjoy its chirp without thoughts of taking it home,” she adds.

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be viewed on the Web at

More socialization best for cats usually confined
Gloria Dauphin - New Orleans Times-Picayune

We often hear about the importance of socializing dogs, but it's just as important for cats. When I recently went to a friend's house to feed and visit with their 4-year-old female kitty while they were out of town, I was greeted with less than a warm welcome. Their cat, Gabrielle, has purred at my feet, but it turns out she wasn't comfortable doing so when her human companions weren't present.

This time, I was greeted by hisses, growls and body language that said she didn't appreciate me being in her home. I suspect the situation was compounded by the fact that her owners usually keep her sectioned off in one area of the house when guests are there, especially guests that may not be cat lovers. So when I entered Gabrielle's space, she understandably became territorial and wary of what she considered an intruder.

Shortly after this experience, Gabrielle had to deal with evacuating for Hurricane Gustav. The experience proved to be more than unsettling. When she returned home, Gabrielle was hissing and growling and even charged her human companions. They consulted a veterinarian who provided them with advice and medication to help ease Gabrielle's anxiety.

In the long term, the best help that Gabrielle can receive is more socialization. It's best to socialize cats when they are kittens, but it's not a lost cause when you're dealing with an older cat like Gabrielle. But gradual socialization is best when dealing with an older cat.

The Web site "Perfect Paws," which posts quite a bit of literature about dealing with aggression in cats, recommends allowing an adult cat to approach a stranger rather than the human trying to approach the cat. Forcing an older cat to meet a new person will frighten them even more. Simply giving the cat ample opportunity to approach a human works best.

It may take several days or several weeks, but the more chances the cat has to meet new people, the better. Just allow them to do it on their own terms. After they see that nothing bad will happen, they will develop the confidence to trust people, and confidence is the most important factor when it comes to having a well-socialized cat.

. . . . . . .

An LA/SPCA Adoption Affair will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Canine Connection, 3440 Magazine St.

. . . . . . .

If you have pet-related questions or want to list information or events, e-mail; send a fax to 504.368.5108, attention Tail Talk; or send mail to 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., New Orleans LA 70114.

Harley, left, is a 3-year-old, neutered pug mix and his best friend, Phoebe, is a 1 1/2-year-old, spayed Chihuahua. Their owner is ill and can no longer care for them; they must be adopted together. To meet them, kennel Nos. 565194 and 502812, or any of the other pets at the Louisiana SPCA, visit the shelter at 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd. in Algiers, 7 days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., call 368-5191, or go to on the Web.

How To Have A Healthy Happy Cat
By ContentMart Editor

Giving your cat a simple monthly examination can help prevent potential problems for years, here's what to look for.

We all have the tendency to take our pets for granted, butyou're making a big mistake if you do so. Cat owners, inparticular, share the erroneous belief that their four footedcompanions know what's best for them and rarely thinkabout their pet's diet or health until the animal becomes visibly ill.

The truth is, smart as cats are, you're smarter! With minimaleffort - essentially a once a month home examination andyearly veterinarian exam, you can avert a variety of problemsand unnecessary trips to the vet, and keep your cat asfit as it ought to be for life.

1. Have you noticed any recent changes in your cat'sattitude or behavior, such as listlessness, restlessness,loss of appetite, aggression?

2. Does your cat's coat look dull or feel dry, brittle, orgreasy?

3. Are his whiskers short or broken?

4. Using your hand, brush your cat's hair backwards fromtail to head. His skin should be a normal grayish white.Is the skin a healthy color, or is it red and irritated? Isthe tail area greasy with sparse hair?

5. Also look carefully for fleas or any little blackflecks (the excrement of fleas) on the skin. Do you see any?

6. Does the neck, back or base of the tail show any lesions?

7. Smell your hand after running it through yourcat's fur. Your fingers should not have an unpleasantfishy, rancid odor.

8. Are you able to feel good muscle tone aroundthe sternum (breastbone)? If should not be soft orflaccid.

9. Do you feel a firm muscle mass when you run your hand down your cat's spine and over the ribcage? There should not be more than a pinch of fat.

10. Open your cat's mouth and smell his breath.It should smell clean and not have an offensive odor.Does it smell clean?

11. Look at the gums. They should be pink, not pale or white, nor should they be swollen, bright red,or bleeding.

12. Check the teeth. Do they look white and healthy?They should be free of tartar and not loose.

13. Examine your cat's eyes. Are they clear of filmand free of mucous discharge? Is there any crustingaround them?

14. Feel the inner side of your cat's thighs. Arethere any roundish bumps or swellings? These couldindicate enlarged lymph nodes and usually thepresence of worms.

15. Is your pet's stomach unusually distended?

16. Look at the paw pads. Are they smooth withoutdry, cracking lines?


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Fish Make The Greatest Pets
By: Jennifer Shircel

Aren't the children always begging for a pet or another pet?

You don't want a cat - there's that whole litter box thing. You don't want to train a puppy, plus what about when you want to go away for the night? Birds make such a mess and can be quite noisy. And then there's those "rodent" things.

When we found out we were expecting our first child we decided to decorate the nursery in tropical fish decor. Then we thought a fish tank in the room would be perfect for the "white noise" and for a nice little night light. So we bought a 10 gallon tank set that cost about $40 for everything but the fish. We had no clue about caring for fish, so we only got a few fancy guppies that were about $3 each. How cheap!!

Who knew we'd become addicted? Well, me anyways. We learned that guppies are live bearers, meaning that they have "live" babies instead of laying eggs and they can be all sorts of pretty colors. Needless to say, we learned a few things about raising guppies and haven't spent any more money buying fish (well, except for a few more different colored guppies and a bigger tank to start breeding our own)!

Fish are so easy to take care of and are rather inexpensive to keep. We clean out their tank a little bit each month and spend about $2 on food for them that lasts about 3 months. The kids all love the guppies - their pretty colors and especially watching the babies grow. I love the guppies because they're cheap, relaxing, neat, quiet and they teach the children about responsibility with having a pet.

So before you jump down their throats about not having a pet, tell the kids to consider some guppies. If you're looking to do some more research on them, check out . There are plenty of tips and people there that are willing to answer all of your questions.

Author Bio
For more tips on pets and more money saving tips, visit us at
Jennifer is the owner of - an excellent resource for all moms!

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What to do For a Dog With Separation Anxiety
by Amy Nutt

Just like people, dogs have separation anxiety. As for what causes it, there are many. As a result, the dog and the owner can have quite the difficult experience. Overcoming the separation anxiety can be work, but it pays off for both the dog and the owner in the end because it is healthier and makes the overall environment more bearable.
However, you have to determine that what your dog is suffering from is really separation anxiety. Separation anxiety can mimic a number of other issues. Just because your dog may chew things, tear things up, and have accidents in your house when you're gone, that doesn't mean your dog has separation anxiety. These are non-anxiety issues that need to be addressed. Excessive barking does not indicate separation anxiety because barking can sometimes mean the dog is just bored. Sometimes the way to remedy this is by incorporating more exercise.

The sure fire sign of separation anxiety

The number one way to determine if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety is to look at your dog when you're leaving. If your dog seems nervous as you leave, that is the anxiety kicking in. These nervous symptoms include pacing, trembling, a wild look in their eye, and panting. After you leave, there are things that are going on that you don't know about. Your neighbors may know more about what your dog is doing than what you do because they may hear your dog bark and howl continuously. A dog without separation anxiety will whine, bark, and howl for about five to ten minutes. A dog with separation anxiety will do these things for hours on end.

When a dog has separation anxiety, he or she may try to hurt themselves by trying to jump out windows, get out of their crate, etc. Their entire focus is on areas in which you can exit the house because they want to find you.

The treatment

How fast treatment works depends on the severity of the separation anxiety. If you can figure out how to calm down the reaction, then you can start to deal with the problem itself. If the dog is whining before you leave, try to calm that instead of standing there and worrying. It is hard to know what to do, but try to calm it.

You can also talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication. In addition to the medication, you can work on training. Counter conditioning is commonly used in combination with medication because counter conditioning takes the negative experience and turns it into a positive one. For example: Simply putting on your shoes may make your dog nervous. However, do something positive. Give the dog a treat when you put on your shoes, it's ideal for puppy training as well.

The most effective way of treatment is prevention. This usually starts with crate training and spending time away while in the crate. Each time you leave you can leave them with a treat so that the experience is a positive one from the beginning. Even if you're always home with your dog, make arrangements to leave and leave them with a treat because you never know what's going to happen in the future that is going to take you away.

Another effective way to help a dog with separation anxiety is to know that it isn't your fault. Abuse before you owned the dog, being left alone a lot as a puppy, a naturally nervous personality, not being socialized, and simple moving to a new home can be triggers. By not feeling guilty, you can initiate the most effective treatment possible for your puppy training.

About the Author
Dog training company offers in-home obedience to create happier dogs and happier families. When looking for puppy training and dog obedience services, consider Bark Busters.

Housebreaking You're a Dog
by Kelly Marshall

Most puppies that are born in a nest have a natural desire to move leave the nest to alleviate themselves. Pups will do this without being trained as soon as they are able. At the age of three weeks, puppies will start to leave their bed to relieve themselves. The dog owner just has to train them that a home is our nests, and that they have to step outside when they want to urinate. Take your dog outside to the exact spot in your yard at these times:
* Immediately after each meal, playing and exercise. * Shortly upon waking up from sleep * In the morning * At night * One time hourly

It is imperative to remain outside with your dog patiently. When he begins, say a phrase such as "Be clean!" When he has stopped, praise him excitedly and play a game with him. Make sure that you keep the area clean by picking up any waist and flushing it down your toilet.

Dogs can be distracted easily when outside. This is why having the patience to stay with him until he has settled down is very important. If you allow him to do it alone, he will more than likely run to the back door and his time trying to get back in the house with you. When you let him in the house, the pressure of being apart, together with the amplified excitement and exercise, will make your dog want to go. You will be left with a huge mess inside the house and a miss-educated puppy.

There is no need to stay outdoors forever, waiting for him to release. Simply wait for a few minutes, and if he doesn't go, bring him inside the house and try again a few minutes later. If you notice your dog sniffing the floor and circling or getting ready to crouch, take him outside right away. Allow him walk. Avoid picking him up, otherwise he will not grasp the most important connection in the process, which is: "When I need to go to the bathroom, I need to get to the back door and into the yard."

If you ever catch your dog in the act of going into your house, yell! What you yell out is unimportant, but it has to be loud enough to get his attention right away and to hinder him mid-flow, but not so noisy that he runs to hide. Never chastise or get angry; the anguish this can cause your dog will slow down the learning process. Your dog will also not want to go to the bathroom in your presence because he will know it makes you irritated and will sneak away to use the bathroom. This will make it very hard for you to train him the correct way.

Immediately after you have shouted, run from him, toward the back door. Then call his name in a friendly tone and encouraging him to follow with enthusiasm. Go outside and just wait until he relaxes and complete what he started before. Say your select phrase as he goes to the bathroom. Then praise him, and play with him for a while. Then bring your puppy back into the house and place him in a different room while you clean up his mess.

About the Author
Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies, check for current specials on raised dog bowls online.


Fun Tricks to Teach Your Puppy
by Kelly Marshall

After your puppy has learned the basics of dog training, you can now turn your practice sessions into fun. For instance, put your puppy in a Sit-Stay position, back off a foot or two, show him a toy and throw it to him. Try to avoid going for a catch that requires a super hero leap into the air. The idea is to have him actually catch it!
Put your puppy in a Sit-Stay position and let him watch you hide the toy under the edge of a couch. Make sure that he stays in this position for a moment more, perhaps as you wonder out loud "Where is Teddy?" Then give him the cue, "Okay - find Teddy!" If he doesn't understand what to do, help him search for it, but let him discover where it is.

Stepping back to the "as" routine, you can teach your dog any trick that he can execute by himself just by giving that action a command. Puppies like to roll over onto their backs and squirm, especially on a comfy thick rug! Rotate this back-scratching into a trick by catching Rex as he starts and say, "Rex, roll over. Good boy."

As your dog develops and grows, he'll understand your language more frequently and you'll be able to use words that have great influence as tricks. For instance, rather than saying "roll over," say, "Rex, can you do your rollover exercises?" to bring on a squirming, leg-flailing routine that is worthy of praise. For the beginning, keep it simple as possible.

When Rex has finally gotten to the stage of being able to hold a still Sit-Stay, you can add a new trick. Balance a dog biscuit on top of his nose as simply say, "On trust." If your dog is wiggling his head you might have to hold his head still the first few tries. When Rex has held it for a second, give him the release signal ("Okay" or "Take it") as you softly, yet fast, lift his chin up, which will throw the biscuit into the air so he can actually catch the biscuit.

Children and pups love to play hide & seek, but any person can get in on the game. Puppies seek by scent, so at the beginning kneel down to be closer your dog's level. Place Rex in a Sit-Stay and let him see you hide, kneel down and then call out "Okay!" Make certain he finds you even if it means you must call out to Rex a few times. Make a huge deal of it when he does find you - and then play the game over again. Just don't make it more difficult until he is able to find you right away at the first level.

Reward your puppy often with a little treat and make finding you the most exhilarating part of the game. This means you will advance slowly from hiding where he can see you, to hiding in another section of the home and sooner or later the back of a wardrobe closet where your scent will be hidden. Remember, your dog won't be interested in playing if it isn't fun, so make certain he does find you each time you play.

Shaking hands with your dog is fun and easy to teach. Simply touch the toes and many dogs will raise that paw. Lift it with ease and say, "Shake hands" or "Give me a paw" as he gives it to you. When that has been achieved, you can develop this into a paw raised higher, and without shaking it, say, "Wave goodbye!" This is great for later on; a friendly dog handshake is fine for the moment. The reverse of "Off for jumping up is two paws raised in a jump-up welcome, only on a command of "High-5!"

About the Author
Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies, your top spot to purchase raised dog feeders online.

A Detailed Guide to Grooming your Cat
Author: Andrew Mcgregor

To keep your cat happy, healthy and clean it is essential to properly groom your cat. By reading this section you will learn how and when to groom your cat and also what equipment to use. You will learn how to brush your cat, bath your cat, how to clean your cats ears and how to look after your cats teeth.

Brushing and combing your cat

Cats spend 10 percent of their waking hours grooming themselves by licking dirt and excess fur of their coat but this is not enough to properly keep them clean and some cats do not clean themselves properly. You should brush and comb your cat on a regular basis. Short-hair cats are much easier to groom than long-hair cats. If you are unsure of what your cat is, visit the breeds section. When you are grooming your cat you should be alert and checking for fleas, scars, wounds and lumps.

The first thing you need to know is the difference between a cat comb and a cat brush. A cat comb is used to remove excess hair, remove knots and to remove dirt. A cat brush is to fluff up the fur and make it smooth and look good. If you own long-hair cat I would recommend buying both a comb and a brush as you will learn later on, if you own a short-hair cat it is not as important but you can if you want.

You could alternatively choose to buy a cat grooming kit which includes a comb, brush and everything else you need. You can buy the right equipment from your local pet shop but you could also consider buying online. There are many different combs and brushes to choose from and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages. If you want to get the best results and not spend a fortune you should buy a wide toothed comb, a brush and a flea comb. This should all cost under $10 USD.

It is a waste of time brushing your cat with a normal comb/brush. The advantages of using a cat brush is that it shelters the natural body oils, the bristles gently remove tangles and after brushing your cat it will have a shiny, good looking and healthy coat. But most importantly it is designed to remove excess hair, then in future when your cat cleans itself it does not swallow as much hair, preventing it from having a hairball.

If you have a kitten, it should be brushed from an early age so it becomes accustomed to the process and doesn't find it a scary and distressing experience. It will enjoy the grooming procedure but most of all you will not have to train it later on in its life. If you have an adult cat that does not like to be brushed and finds the experience frightening, introduce grooming slowly and do not make the sessions more than five minutes. If this does not work you could try ending the grooming session with playtime so your cat will look forward to it each day. One of the most important things to remember is that a short session each day is better than a long session each week.

As I briefly mentioned before, short hair cats are easier to groom than long-hair cats, it is a bit more difficult and the process can take a bit longer. If you own a short-hair cat you should groom it on a weekly basis or every few days and it should take from 5 to 10 minutes. If you own a long-hair cat grooming should be done everyday or every two days and it should take about 10 to 20 minutes. By now you are probably thinking 'how can you brush a cat for 20 minutes'. The grooming process is not just brushing but is also cleaning nose and ears if necessary and sometimes brushing your cat's teeth. For more information about these, read on.

To groom your cat, follow these easy steps:

-Place your cat on a bench or table. It depends on what your cat is most comfortable with; some owners brush their cat on their laps.

-Gently brush from head to tale using short and gentle strokes with your comb to remove knots, do not pull hard otherwise it will hurt and distress your cat, making the experience unpleasant and enjoyable. For best results also brush under its neck and stomach. If you have a flea comb, brush again from head to tale.

-Use a brush to fluff up the fur, if you are unsure of what brush to use ask your local pet shop. A cat brush is good for your cat's appearance and health and can be brought from a number of different places.

Bathing your cat

It is not necessary to bath your cat unless it becomes very dirty. Most people who have prize-winning cats bath their cat on a regular basis. Many cats do not like water and find a bath a frightening and traumatic experience. If you ever need to bath your cat, the below information will tell you how. The first thing you need to do is to brush your cat to remove excess hair and dirt. Talk to your cat with relaxed voice to keep it as calm as possible and do no make quick movements. Have everything ready before you start which should consist of 4-6 towels, shampoo, a hair dryer and cotton balls. You can use special cat shampoo or you can use regular shampoo but it really doesn't make a difference.

Use cotton balls to protect water from getting into your cats ears. If your cat has smaller ears use only half or even a quarter. If you have a bathroom or laundry hose, use it because it makes it much easier. If you don't have a hose use a cup or plastic container. You should not wear good clothes because the chances are that you will end up as wet as your cat. Wash your cat in a bath or a laundry sink. Start by wetting it with warm water. Avoid wetting its eyes and ears as much as possible unless it particularly dirty.

Hold your cat firmly because it will try to escape and probably bite and scratch you. Once the cat is wet apply shampoo and gently massage. If your cat is really dirty you can shampoo twice. Rinse your cat from top to bottom and make sure you get all of the shampoo out. Use the towels to dry your cat as best as you can then finish the job off with a hairdryer.

Cleaning your cats ears

Cleaning your cat's ears should be a part of your grooming routine. To get rid of the dirt and wax, use a cotton swab but never go deeper than you can see because it can cause permanent damage to your cats hearing. It should be done every month.

Dental Care

Many people do not brush their cats teeth often enough, some have never done it. If your cat's teeth are not brushed, bacteria will build up and could result in loss of teeth. You should brush your cat's teeth every week. If you have a kitten you should start brushing when all of its 36 teeth have grown which is around 6 months of age. If you have an adult cat, introduce slowly and keep the sessions short.

You can buy special toothbrushes designed for cats but a child's toothbrush will be just as good, just make sure the bristles are soft so they do not cut the gums. Do not use normal toothpaste because it will cause digestive problems and make your cat sick. You can buy special cat toothpaste from your pet shop, vet or online.

To properly brush your cat's teeth start by gently brushing the outer surface of the teeth. Do not brush the inside of the teeth until your cat is used to the process. Brush in a circular motion from the bottom of the gum to the tips of the teeth. Some cats require professional cleaning when there is a severe build up of tartar. When brushing your cat's teeth note the condition of your cat's gums.

Consult your vet if the gums are swollen, if there is any bleeding, bad breath, drooling, dark spots, sores, refusal to open mouth or reluctance to eat. If your cat has any of these symptoms there is a chance that it has gum disease. Gum disease is common in cats and can be fatal unless treated. It begins with the build up of plaque and tartar which causes the roots to become infected. This can be prevented by regular brushing.

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Important Cat Care News
Author: Jim Moore

You've brought your kitten home. You've got her set up with all her needs. Now, you're faced with some of the more puzzling aspects of cat care. You're wondering about declawing. And that's just for starters. Not to worry.

First and foremost, realize that the first step to successful cat ownership is to love your cat. Filling in the blanks on the information you don't know yet will come. And here's some information and knowledge to get you started. Of course homeopathic care for cat is something that is all over the news right now, but there's actually a lot more to know then that.

Yes, cats shed. And the shedding of a long-haired cat is more noticeable than that of a short haired feline. Expect your cat only to shed at the change of the seasons. That's not so. Because of his exposure to a constant temperature and continual artificial light, your indoor cat sheds year round. But it's not nearly as bad as it sounds.

Here's a good piece of important cat care information, cats take care of a lot of their shedding on their own. They are fastidiously clean animals. You'll discover they are constantly cleaning themselves with their rough, sandpaper-like tongues. The very mechanism, though, that helps them to control shedding also contributes to one of their health problems, hairballs. Hairballs are a very real threat to your cat's digestion. They can block the food that's already been digested from traveling through his intestines.

So how can you tell when your cat is experiencing hairballs? You'll be able to recognize them if he coughs them up - as cats are prone to do. If you find cigar-shaped masses of some indistinguishable matter on the floor or on your furniture, you've discovered a hairball.

Sometimes, though, a cat will expel them along with his feces in the litter box. If you find that your cat's bowel movements have hair on them, that means he's got hairballs. Another symptom your feline may exhibit is dry coughing or a hacking. This will especially occur after he's eaten. In fact, if your cat has a sudden, unexpected loss of appetite, you may suspect a hairball is at the root cause.

So how do you prevent hairballs? Take matters in your own hands, literally! Brush! Brush! Brush! Groom you kitty often. Most cats find it most enjoyable and it builds a marvelous bond between you and your feline.

If you discover that your kitten may need more aid than this, there are many effective hairball remedies on the market today. They come in a variety of forms, from granules you sprinkle inconspicuously on his food to gels.

Thinking about declawing?

If you haven't heard, declawing your cat so he doesn't ruin your furniture or accidentally seriously scratch an individual is controversial. A generation ago, this operation was routine, many times performed at the same time the kitten got spayed or neutered.

The public today, though, is more widely educated on exactly what surgery for declawing entails. It's not just a matter of pulling the claws out of the kitty. To remove a cat's claws, a veterinarian must actually amputate the cat's paws at the first joint. This would be the equivalent you getting your knuckles amputated right below your finger nails. Ouch!

In order to perform the surgery, your veterinarian will anesthetized your cat as well as give him pain medication. He will literally cut the first section of your cat's paw off, since the claws are intricately intertwined in the first "knuckle."

Following the surgery, your cat's paws are carefully bandaged. Your cat will undoubtedly spend the night at the animal hospital. The following day you'll be able to bring her home.

Be prepared! Your cat - understandably - will be distinctly uncomfortable for several days following the surgery. (Actually, she'll probably be in great pain. But felines are wonderful actors. Cats hate to show that they're in any type of pain.)

Considering, though, the extent of the surgery, your cat heals quite quickly. You'll notice that your pet walks around the house rather gingerly. That'll last for about a week. After that she'll back to her old self.

To help prevent infection, you should replace her litter with some shredded paper. This avoids getting granules of litter in his already very tender paws.

Declawing your cat does more than just eliminate the problem of scratching. Her claws -and that portion of the toes that are removed, are valuable to her in another vital way. Removing her claws may throw her entire system of natural balance off.

A cat, you see, is classified as a "digitigrade." It's a strange label, but essentially it means that she walks on her toes. But, a cats toes are used for so much more! Her entire balance and form are based on the length of her digits. Nature, it seems, designed the cat's body - including her back, shoulders, paws, leg joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons and even her nerves! - based on walking on her toes. Because of this, her weight is distributed across its toes as it walks, runs and climbs.

That means a cat's claws are absolutely essential for her balance as well as for her ability to exercise effectively. Not only that, her toes - and especially her claws are vital aspects of her stretching. Notice when your cat scratches at a post (or, yes, your furniture!). We all assume she's just sharpening her claws. Not so! She is really stretching her entire body. When you declaw your kitten, it throws her entire body alignment off.

Hairballs and declawing. Not usually subjects that come up in everyday conversations, now are they? But these are only two of the important bits of information that every cat owner needs to know in order to give Fluffy the best of care. That, and your love, will help your kitten live a long and healthy life.

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Woman Enters Burning Building for Pet
By Jennifer O'Brien - London Free Press

A London woman who went back into her smoke-filled, burning home to rescue a dog was “very fortunate,” a neighbour pulled her out of the doorway, firefighters said.
“It was a good thing (the neighbour) did that,” said district chief Fritz Beck outside the home at 646 Oxford St. E. “Going back into a burning building to save a pet is definitely not worth it.
“It takes one deep breath and you’re going to be overcome,’ he said, as the soot-covered woman sat on a curb outside her home hugging Febe, the pet firefighters rescued as soon as they arrived to the burning home.

“She’s my dog, she’s my pride and joy,” said Carolyn Awcock, who was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation.

The fire broke out in a basement electrical panel just before 6 p.m. yesterday, as Awcock was sitting listening to music on her couch she said.

After noticing smoke filled up her dining room, Awcock ran next door, pounded on the door of neighbour Julie MacGregor, asked her to call 911 and then ran back home to get Febe.

“I’m like, ‘you can’t go in there,’” said MacGregor, who called to report the fire.

Awcock did venture inside, but the building was “all black,” she said. “I could hardly see down the hallway. . . I took about for or five steps and felt around for (Febe),” she said.

She didn’t get Febe, but stumbled back to the doorway to take a breath and then began to scream and cry for the dog as she prepared to go back in.

That's when MacGregor raced up the porch steps, and pulled Awcock off the porch, holding her there until firefighters arrived.

Firefighters retrieved Febe and a second dog, and knocked down the basement fire within minutes, Beck said.

For the latest local coverage, read The London Free Press on the web or in print.

To subscribe to the print edition, click on our subscription page.

Jennifer O’Brien is a Free Press reporter.

Dogs are Welcome ... at Some Upscale Hotels
Los Angeles Times

Perhaps you'd like to take your beloved dog with you pretty much wherever you go ... and you might assume that most hotels wouldn't welcome Fido. Think again.

Rosemary McClure reports in the Sunday Travel section that a number of posh hotels are pampering pups. Is this a wonderful treat for pet owners? Or a sign of the end of Western civilization?

While you're trying to make up your mind, consider that one of the local hotels that accepts dogs is the Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. Not bad for a furry friend.

Photo: Rosemary McClure / For The Times

The Homer Horizon


My Puppy is Dangerous?! Yours is Unleashed!
Posted by dieselsmom - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For the last six months, I have fully embraced puppy-ownership. As a first-time dog owner, I have no problem scooping the poop, taking my puppy –an eight-month pit bull named Diesel – on long walks and even buying his expensive food. But, here’s my pet peeve: Unleashed dogs.

At least twice a day as I’m walking Diesel in our complex, minding my business, we’re approached by a dog that shall remain nameless. He’s taller, much older and never on his leash.

A few weeks ago, his owner asked me “Is your dog vicious?”

Something is wrong with this picture.

My dog is always on his leash, in my neighborhood. The other dog is not on his leash. And the owner has the nerve to ask me if my dog is vicious? If she’s worried about such what-ifs, shouldn’t she contain her own dog?

Now, I know I’m new to this dog owner thing, but shouldn’t a good owner always have his or her dog on the leash when in public, especially if the owner is scared of other dogs or worried about them being vicious?

Am I overly critical? Do you see my point? What do you think? What are your pet peeves?

How to Uncover Affordable Veterinary Prescriptions for Your Beloved Pet
by Trevor Price

If you're buying your pet prescriptions directly from your veterinarian, you're probably paying way too much. The profit margins on popular drugs like Advantix, Frontline, GlycoFlex or Program are massive, meaning you're paying a lot more than you should.
However, you don't have to pay those high prices. Thousands of pet owners have found relief for animals by buying their pet medications through online or phone-based pharmacies that specialize in pet meds. When buying wholesale or through a discount provider, you could save hundreds of dollars every year.

But, is it a good idea? How do you find a trusted pharmacy? What happens if you require a prescription? For the answers to these questions and more, read on.

Where do I find wholesale pet prescriptions?

Simply type in pet medications into any search engine and you'll be overwhelmed with options. Look for sites that sell brand name drugs recommended by your veterinarian and opt for a seller that's based in the United States and also requires proof of prescription when necessary.

What if I'm buying a drug that needs a prescription?

Typically, you will either scan and email or fax in your prescription for your veterinarian. Alternatively, some sites allow you to enter your vet's name, practice and phone number - and they will call your veterinarian directly to approve the prescription.

If your veterinarian is averse to transferring your prescription to an online or phone provider, remind them that it is your choice and it's important that you be able to purchase affordable pet medications. Some veterinarians will even match low, online prices, while others simply provide you with the prescription.

How do I ensure quality?

Again, look for sites that sell FDA-approved or EPA-approved, brand name drugs - the same ones that are sold in your veterinarian's office. Don't buy from an out-of-country provider that's not monitored by federal regulations, and stick to providers that are committed to quality pet care.

What if my pet needs medication now?

If your pet needs a prescription urgently, then it's best to purchase the medication directly from your veterinarian rather than waiting a few days for online postal delivery. Many sites offer overnight delivery, but it may not be worth the extra cost.

Compare Prices at Destination RX.Com or Froogle.Com

Try sites like DestinationRX.Com or Google's to compare the prices of brand-name medications at multiple sites. Just type in the name of your prescription, like Cosequin or Sentinel, and you'll get back a full list of retailers selling your prescription, along with prices.

About the Author
For helpful information about pet supplies, please visit, a popular site about needs for your beloved pet, such as a dog bark collar, bird bath fountains, and many more!

Tips for Managing Pet Allergies
Author: Ronnie Wilson

Do you suspect that you have a pet allergy? If you do, you may be looking for ways to seek relief or you may be looking for tips on how you can manage having a pet allergy. If you are, you will want to continue reading on, as a few helpful tips are outlined below.

Although there are a number of steps that you can take to treat or manage allergies that are due to pets, it is first important to make sure that you do have a pet allergy. Visit a healthcare provider or do your own experiments at home or when you are around animals. Do your symptoms get better when you are not near a pet? If so, you may have a pet allergy. Determining whether or not you do have pet allergies can help you save a lot of time and stress, should you actually not have an allergy.

If you do have a pet allergy or if you truly suspect that you do, it is advised that you schedule a visit with your healthcare provider. A doctor may recommend over-the-counter allergy relief medications for you. They may also prescribe a medication, depending on your symptoms. Although over-the-counter medicines and prescription medicines are all great ways to seek relief from allergies, it is also important to know that there are a number of natural steps that you can and should take.

One of the best ways to deal with a pet allergy is to remove the pet or pets from your home. If you aren't a pet owner, but if you have allergy symptoms when visiting friends or family, reconsider your choice to do so. Of course, you can limit the amount of time you are there or reduce your visits, but you may want to consider doing something else instead. Shopping, eating lunch, or having a cup of coffee are all great alternatives.

If you are a pet owner who cannot bear to part with your pets, like if you consider them to be a member of your family, keep your pet or pets out of your bedroom. The bedroom is the place where many individuals spend most of their time. The last thing that you want to be doing is suffering from allergies when trying to get a good nights sleep. If you are a visitor, as opposed to the pet owner, ask to move outside, if the weather is nice. You can also ask to move to a room where the pets aren't allowed.

Vacuuming as much as possible is another great way to relieve the symptoms of pet allergies. If you own a cat or a dog, invest in a good, quality vacuum cleaner, namely one that uses HEPA technology. There are also vacuum cleaners that are designed for pet owners. They may be a good idea if you are suffering from pet allergies. Many come with attachments that allow you to easily get pet air off of bedding and furniture.

As previously stated, it is important to remember that you can suffer from pet allergies even if you aren't a pet owner. If you know of someone who is a pet owner, like a close friend or family member, be sure to talk to them about your pet allergy. Of course, they will not get rid of their pets just for you, but they may take proactive steps to make their home a safer place for you. These steps may involve keeping their pets in another room or vacuuming before you come over.

As previously stated, if you do suffer from pet allergies or if you suspect that you may, it is a wise idea to schedule a visit with your doctor. He or she can prescribe medication to you or offer other helpful tips. With that being said, if you are uninsured, please try some of the easy and affordable steps highlighted above.

Should You Let Your Dog Lick You
by Greg Kings

Do you like it when your dog licks your face or hands? Some pet owners find this disgusting. Others consider it a loving gesture that makes you even closer to them. If you are like the latter, then you may want to think again. It may seem affectionate and fun but, your dog's lick could give you more than you asked for.
To get an idea of why you may not want your dog licking you, all you have to do is think of the places a dog's tongue frequently visits. Most dogs spend a lot of time licking garbage, dirt, sticks and even their private areas and feces on the lawn. It's obvious that remnants of these things could still be on their tongue while they are licking you. Even if the garbage and feces are not in the dog's mouth, the bacteria from them probably is. This means that letting your dog lick your face may not be the cleanliest decision.

There are many health risks associated with letting your dog lick you. One of the biggest is roundworms. Roundworms are an intestinal parasite commonly found in puppies and can be passed to you through licking. If you get your pet tested regularly and give it de-worming medication every month, the risk is slim to none. Either way it's something to consider if you are going to let your dog lick you anytime they please. Some serious medical conditions can be caused by roundworms. Symptoms are cough, fever and headache.

Other illnesses and diseases can be transmitted in addition to roundworms. These include Leptospirosis, Salmonella, and E. coli. These can all be passed through the saliva. Also, strep throat has been linked to dogs licking their owner's faces. Far less likely but, still something to think about is that Rabies is also transmitted through saliva, but if you keep your dog vaccinated this should not be an issue.

Some dog owners will say that a dog's saliva actually contains an enzyme that promotes healing and will encourage their dog to lick their cuts or wounds. This fact is true, but the enzyme only works on the wounds of dogs and does not help humans at all. Therefore, you should not encourage your dog to lick open wounds or cuts on you as this will only increase your chance of infection.

In closing, while your pet passing on and illness or parasite to you is unlikely if you keep them properly vaccinated and tested, it may still be a good idea to discourage licking in order to reduce the chances even more.

About the Author
Greg K. is an accomplished writer and animal lover. If you want to learn more about dogs please visit his blog at

Protect Your Pets from the Pound
By: Donald Lee

Pets are people, too. At least, that's the way they should be treated by their owners. The sad reality, though, is that a lot people own pets when they're really not ready to care properly for their little furry friends. Or they just don't know how to love, clean, and treat a cat, dog, or other animal the right and humane way. What happens to these poor animals? Many end up in shelters, lost and unwanted-to the tune of 6 to 8 million every year according to the Humane Society. At least half of those end up being "put to sleep," to put it nicely.

When they first start out looking to buy a pet, everyone says that they aren't like that, that they won't have their pet end up caged in a pound somewhere. If you want to be one of the people who says this and means it, read on. Your commitment shows you are ready to learn how to own a pet. Once you are trained in the following pet ownership basics, then you can take the next step and find the perfect pet for you.

But before you meet this furry companion, take these following tips to heart:

Go down the list of required health-care needs. This is especially important for puppies and kittens, who need an arsenal of vaccinations when they're little. But even older pets require regular checkups and the occasional medication (such as for heartworms for dogs). Before you get a pet, locate a trusted veterinarian in your neighborhood and go over all of your soon-to-be pet's health needs.

Neuter, neuter, neuter. Point blank, this is one of the most crucial things you can do to protect your pet's health. Remember that number above from the Humane Society (6 to 8 million pets in cages)? Now consider that as many as 100 million other animals, mostly cats, live on the streets. Why? Their mommies and daddies weren't neutered.

Look into insurance. Believe it or not, pet health insurance is all the craze in employer benefits packages. That's because it comes in very handy nowadays, considering the importance of pet health and how pet pills and operations seem to be getting just as pricy as people medicine. Even if you don't get pet insurance through work, look into a package on your own. While you're at it, consider third-party liability insurance, too, especially for instances such as dog bites.

Tabulate the grocery tab. Perhaps the number one thing people don't realize when getting a pet is how expensive their food can be. Figure out just how much your pet will eat before you get it, planning always to provide your critter more than enough in proper and balanced meals. Ask yourself, "Can I afford this?"

Pour attention and love on your pet. Why even bother having a pet if you don't plan to give it affection? That's the whole point of keeping a critter around, right? So when your little guy (or girl) greets you at the door after work, or wants to snuggle in your lap in front of the TV, don't push them away. Award them for their faithfulness.

Groom your pet. Grooming counts toward that love and attention requirement, but it also is necessary for the animal's health as well. Depending on your type of animal, grooming could involve a bath, the occasional haircut, regular hair brushing, tooth exams, and paw inspection.

Hop, skip, and a jump. Animals love exercise. Whether they're normally cooped up in a cage, an apartment, or, well, a coop, be sure to free them from these confines as often as possible. Dogs don't just like to take walks to go potty. Cats don't like to tear up and down furniture just to shred it. They have energy to burn, and will be better off for it.

Teach your pet proper bathroom etiquette. Speaking of going potty, it is essential to train your pet at the earliest possible age to do so properly. Of course, this doesn't mean training them to put down the lid when they're done (although supposedly rabbits can be taught to do so!). But it does mean getting a cat to use a kitty litter box, for instance, or a dog to wait until it's outside. If you don't know how to train them, learn before you own them. Ask your parents or friends, read a book, visit a chat room, or talk with the vet.

Consider a proper place of higher learning. When training becomes an issue, whether it's for potty training or how-not-to-chew-up-your-shoes training, consider obedience school. It is not a mark of shame for either you or your pet. In fact, it may be just what your fur ball needs to live the happiest, safest, and healthiest life possible.

To put it bluntly, if you can't follow these rules, you shouldn't own a pet. Buy a plant instead. However, if you're up to the task-and really, most people are-your rewards will be immense. For a little bit of responsibility, time, and money on your part, you and your family will get a lifetime of love and unconditional adoration.

Author Bio
Donald Lee is the public relations manager for Buysellcommunity provides free classified listing services. Buy, Sell and trade: auto, computers, household items, real estate, pets and much more. For global and localized classifieds, please visit - Free Buy & Sell Classifieds

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Fun Dog Activities
By: Mike Mathews

All dog breeds ( were developed for a purpose. Some breeds were developed to herd sheep, some to hunt game, and some to pull sleds. Dogs, like humans, enjoy having a purpose in life. Dogs like to lead a structured life and be able to associate with their owners in activities and be given the opportunity to please their owner. The following is a short list of fun activities that you may want to consider for your dog.

Dog Agility is a sport in which a handler must control and direct his dog around an obstacle course within a set period of time. Dogs must be controlled off-leash using only voice and body language commands. The handler runs beside the dog and directs the dog through the obstacle course with precision and speed - trying to accumulate the minimum number of faults (both missed obstacles and time faults). Obstacles include: A-frames, elevated dog walks, teeter-totters, tunnels, jumps (such as hurdles and tires), weave poles (like a slalom), pause tables (where the dog must lie down for a fixed time), and other obstacles. In order to be fair, there are usually classes of competition to group dogs of similar size and experience. Therefore there will be several winners at a competition. Dogs and handlers need to be very well trained and seem to enjoy this sport immensely. There are a number of organizations involved in agility performance around the world who sanction clubs to allow them to host agility competitions. In the US, some of these organizations include: the American Kennel Club (AKC), the United Kennel Club (UKC), the United States Dog Agility Association, and the North American Dog Agility Council. Elsewhere in the world: the Kennel Club (in the UK), the Agility Association of Canada and the FCI (World Canine Organization) are all involved.

Obedience is a skill that ranges from mastering everyday commands that all dogs should know to competitive exercises that require significant training and aptitude to excel. You may start out teaching your puppy and young dog the basic obedience commands and find that you and your dog have an aptitude for obedience skills that you would like to take to a higher level. In competitive obedience the dog and handler team must perform prescribed activities off leash and in a carefully defined way. If the dog has the aptitude and training it will gain skills to allow it to advance through the ranks from Novice to Open (intermediate) to Utility (advanced) competitions. At each level the requirements become more difficult and the number of exercises to be performed get longer. Exercises are all done off leash using voice and body language commands and include such activities as: having the dog stay while you walk away; follow the handler in the heel position through complex patterns; come on command; sit and lie down for fixed periods of time while the handler is out of the dog's sight; retrieve items over a high jump; and find a scented object amongst a group of identical non-scented objects. Dogs can earn obedience titles in obedience championships. Purebred dogs can compete in obedience trials sanctioned by the AKC, while the UKC recognizes other purebred dog competitions. As well, there are mixed breed competitions sanctioned by the Mixed Breed Dog Club of America and other organizations. In Canada, the Canadian Kennel Club sanctions obedience trials and awards titles.

Lure coursing is a sport for sighthounds that involves chasing a manually or mechanically operated artificial lure across a field in a "coursing" pattern. The competition is usually restricted to pure-bred sighthounds including: Afghan Hounds, Basenjis, Borzois, Greyhounds, Ibizan Hounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Italian Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds, and Whippets. The operator keeps the lure or "prey" just in front of the chasing sighthounds until they have completed the course. The course must have a minimum number of turns and is usually 600 to 1000 yards long. The hounds love to play this sport and puppies can be introduced to the sport through lure coursing practice sessions. Competitions usually consist of two runs for each dog breed for dogs that have been pre-certified or qualified. In the US, the American Sighthound Field Association or the AKC can "certify" that dogs have been trained and are eligible to enter their sanctioned competitions. In Canada, the Canadian Kennel Club sanctions lure coursing but excludes the Italian Greyhound because they consider it a toy dog.

Tracking can be learned by all dog breeds ( because all dogs use their noses to identify things and explore the world. Training can be started as early as 10 to 12 weeks of age as all puppies love to use their noses to sniff out a trail. As with all training, positive rewards (treats, praise etc,) and re-enforcement work best. The AKC sanctions tracking tests and events in the US. This vigorous non-competitive outdoor sport allows dogs to demonstrate their ability to recognize and follow human scents. In Canada, the CKC sponsors tracking events and you can check their website for a list of nearby events.

Field Trials are regularly held for Basset Hounds, Beagles and Dachshunds to demonstrate their ability to find and track game. Similarily Field Trials and Hunting Trials are held almost every weekend across the country for: the Pointing Breeds, the Retrievers, and Spaniels to allow them to compete and demonstrate their hunting abilities under a strict set of conditions. If you are an owner of a hunting dog puppy, you will want to look into many of the organized activities designed for your dog. Check out the AKC or CKC websites for a list of contacts and field trials in your area.

Other Fun Activites that you might wish to explore include flyball, frisbee, herding and drafting competitions.

Author Bio
Mike Mathews is a contributing writer and editor for the popular dog breed site: He provides informative, real-world advice and tips on dog breeds, dog health, dog grooming and more. As well be sure to check out his free report on Dog Training

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Cat Health - How to Tackle Hair Loss in Cats
By Gary Pearson

Cat care means a full belly, a lot of attention and of course, a shiny, health, well-groomed coat. Every cat loves to be brushed, right? Having their long, luxurious hair brushed for hours and hours, but if your cat is shedding much more than normal when you look at the cat hairbrush, there may be a problem with your cat's health. If you are noticing hair loss in your cat, then may be a medical condition that needs treatment.

One of the most common causes for cat hair loss is simply fleas. Yes, fleas. If your cat has an allergy to fleabite, they can chew at their skin and hair to get to the flea, effectively removing the hair in that area. Cats severely allergic to fleas that can scratch their skin raw in discomfort. The veterinarian will give you medication to ease the inflammation and a topical treatment for the fleas. If you have hair loss in your cat, check it thoroughly for fleas. Chances are good that she's been bitten and is not responding well to it.

There are medical conditions that can cause hair loss in cats. One of the common is a parasite, such as mites. Parasites are a common health problem in cats. Cats with a mite infection will develop hair loss due to the intense itching caused by the mites. It can eventually lead to mange if not treated. There are some thyroid cat diseases which can causes hair loss, so it is best to consult a veterinarian to get a full physical work up on your cat's health to make sure.

Cats with allergy related hair loss could be treated not only with inflammation medications, but also with soothing medicated bathes and a change in diet. Lamb and rice dry food can increase the fatty acids your cat ingests causing an increase in skin moisture. An oilier skin can make a cat's skin less irritated and allow the cat to feel some comfort. Ensuring that there is no flea infestation in your household can mean healthier skin and coat for kitty. Take measurements to rid the house of any fleas, no matter how few you seem to have. A healthy, organic way to kill fleas is to sprinkle salt on your carpet. Vacuum the carpets the following day to remove all the dead fleas.

Following the simple cat care tips can help you and your kitty maintain a happy and healthy home environment for all. Sometimes, just a simple change in diet and exercise can mean the difference to your cat.

Gary Pearson is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

To learn more about hair loss in cats visit Life With Cats for current articles and discussions.

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