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Three Simple Dog Training Tips You Didn't Already Know
by Neil Frank

When your pet is stressed out, so are you. Growing up in a household with five dogs, I saw firsthand how correct training can create a stress-free atmosphere for both you and your pet. There are several basic training tips that can help your pet become stress-free and well-behaved:
* Treat training * Understanding developmental periods * Sensory training

Treat Training: A healthy diet is one of the most obvious ways to keep your pet well-behaved. Knowing the specific dietary needs for the breed and age of your pet is important. The occasional healthy treat is a great training tool for positive reinforcement when your pet follows a verbal or physical command.

When treat training, hold a treat just above your pet's head and then slowly lower it while giving the command to sit or lie down. This helps teach your pet that by following a verbal command they will be rewarded.

Understanding Developmental Periods: This is vital to training your pet. In the 1950s, veterinary doctors John Paul Scott and John Fuller studied canine behavioral development, finding that dogs at different ages are at different developmental stages and have different learning capabilities.

According to their research, there are five major developmental stages for dogs: * Neonatal (birth to 2 weeks) * Transitional (2 to 3 weeks) * Socialization (3 to 12 weeks) * Juvenile (12 weeks to maturity) * Beyond the juvenile period

Before you begin training, you will want to research to learn more about these developmental stages and how they affect your pet's learning capabilities. This will help you cut down on your frustration and theirs.

Sensory Training: This is a stress-relief method for pets that I have discovered recently. This technique uses products that release natural dog appeasing pheromones to help pets cope with stressful environments and prevent destructive behavior.

As an Arizona resident for several years, I have become used to the monsoon rains, thunder and lightning. My dog, on the other hand, has not. He also tends to act up when I leave him at home alone - chewing furniture, getting into the garbage and even peeing on the carpet. When I started using Comfort Zone with D.A.P., a pheromone-based product, this behavior stopped.

If you've tried tactics like leaving the TV on or putting a bowl of food on the ground before leaving home, but your dog is still experiencing separation anxiety or fear, pheromones might help. Pheromone products will put your pet into a less stressful mood on a regular basis and specifically in high-tension situations - no matter how badly behaved they have become. Find out more at

There is no magic method for instant success, but training your dog can be easy. Simply keep these three tips in mind to learn about your dog's personality and maturity level. You will see that training your best friend can be simple and even fun!

About the Author
Neil is an author and a pet owner. He has lived and worked across the country, but currently lives in Phoenix, AZ. Several of his articles are found on various news web sites and blogs.


Postman Cat Takes Pet on Delivery Rounds
By Lucy Cockcroft - The Telegraph

A Royal Mail worker has earned himself the nickname Postman Pat, after a ginger-and-white cat took to joining him on his rounds.

Postman Terry Grinter is joined by his feline side-kick at least twice a week, in a scene reminiscent of the classic children’s television show.

In each episode of the BBC animated series, which first aired in 1981, Postman Pat is seen with his black-and-white cat Jess, as he delivers the mail through the valley of Greendale.

Mr Grinter’s companion, named Beezely, loves to ride in the basket perched in front of the handlebars of his bicycle as he makes his deliveries around Lyme Regis, Dorset.

Beezley started hitching a lift with Mr Grinter after the cat-loving postman befriended him. Now he hops into the basket of his own accord when Mr Grinter calls at his owner’s house.

Mr Grinter said: “People have said, ‘Don’t tell me he’s called Jess,’ because of Postman Pat’s cat, and I have to explain that he’s not even mine.”

“He likes sunny days - he’s definitely not a wet-weather cat.

“But he likes company and he knows that he will be made a fuss of.”

Mr Grinter, 44, from Charmouth, a postman in the area for the past 14 years, befriended six-year-old Beezley last summer.

He said: “I’m a cat-lover so I always used to stroke him. The first time I lifted him into my basket, I expected him to jump straight out.”

Beezley rides along quite happily, not bothered by any passing traffic, but always jumps out when he gets too far from home.

Pets at Risk Without Rabies Vaccine
By Carl Hessler Jr.,

POTTSTOWN - Area pet owners beware - your dogs and cats risk a dire future if they are exposed to suspected rabid animals and do not have proof of a rabies vaccination.

Last year, 17 pets in Montgomery County were euthanized because they had wounds of unknown origin and their owners did not keep the pets' rabies shots up to date, according to county health officials.

Another 156 pets with wounds of unknown origin and no current vaccination had to be quarantined at a veterinary hospital for six months at the owner's expense to determine if the pet had contracted rabies.

Health officials said the decision to quarantine or euthanize is a difficult decision for pet owners. Many times, pet owners cannot afford the cost of quarantining. Death is the only option.

Pottstown area residents can avoid having to make that difficult, emotional decision by taking advantage of the county's low-cost rabies immunization clinic for their pets on Saturday.

Health officials will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sept. 20 at the Pottstown Roller Mills, 625 Industrial Highway, to administer low-cost rabies vaccines to cats and dogs. The cost is $8 for each pet vaccinated. All animals must be leashed or in an approved carrier, officials said.

The event marks the final opportunity that county residents have this year to take part in a countywide vaccination initiative, according to Harriet Morton, spokeswoman for the health department. Clinics were previously held in Norristown, Collegeville, Lower Salford and Abington.

Last year, 75 animals were vaccinated during the annual rabies clinic in Pottstown, which is one of five clinics held in the county. Countywide, 789 dogs and cats were vaccinated during the health department initiative during 2007.

"During the fall, residents will be outside with their pets or walking and hiking on trails and in parks. These activities could place county residents at a higher risk of exposure to wild animals and or stray domestic animals," Morton warned.

Pennsylvania law and the county public health code require all domestic dogs and cats three months of age or older to be inoculated against rabies.

Statistics seem to indicate many residents are not heeding the advice of health officials.

A review of the 928 animal bites reported to county health officials in 2007 show that 63 percent of cats and 37 percent of dogs involved in biting incidents were not vaccinated against rabies.

The statistics indicate the proportion of unvaccinated pets has remained consistent over the last five years.

In 2007, there were 11 confirmed animal rabies cases in the county - two raccoons; three skunks; four bats; one groundhog; and one steer. The numbers reflect an increase from the 10 cases confirmed in 2006 but less than the 17 cases in 2005.

So far this year, there have been 15 positive animal rabies cases in the county - four raccoons, four skunks, two cats and five bats. The cases were reported in New Hanover, Perkiomen, Limerick, Lower Frederick, Lower Salford, Abington, Whitpain, West Norriton, Worcester and Upper Providence.

Officials said nothing can be done to stop the spread of rabies in the county's wildlife population. Rabies runs in cycles and must run its course.

However, while vaccinations won't help reduce the wildlife epidemic, they will protect domestic animals from getting the disease.

Officials said vaccinating domestic pets is an important way to prevent rabies from being transmitted from wildlife to humans.

Rabies is an acute viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of its victims. Rabies, which is fatal, is carried in the infected animal's saliva.

Although normally passed from animal to animal or animal to human through bites, the virus also can be transmitted through licking when saliva is deposited on damaged or broken skin.

In humans, it can take as little as nine days or as long as a year or more for the horrible symptoms of rabies to appear.

Initial symptoms include fever, sore throat, nausea, lethargy and abdominal pain. Symptoms rapidly progress to include paralysis, spasms of the throat, coma and finally death.

The delay between exposure and the onset of symptoms, called the incubation period, is the factor that allows humans the time to seek effective treatment, which includes a series of inoculations over the course of a month, officials said.

Walking: A Doggone Good Cause
By Jillian Jamison, Daily Press

ESCANABA - Delta Area Animal Shelter (DAAS) and shelters like it are the saving grace of rescued and homeless dogs. It is at the shelter that dogs are supplied with food, shelter, medical attention and the hope of being adopted by an individual or family that will offer a home and a sense of belonging. This is evidenced on a daily basis at the DAAS, where 100 percent of workers' and volunteers' time and attention is given to the animals, their needs and the numerous duties required for fulfilling both - all within the time constraints of set operating hours.

The services provided by the DAAS are second to none, particularly when considering the volume of animals handled on a regular basis. But, while staff members provide the best possible care to their boarders, they can't provide 24-hour companionship and exercise for the dogs. There simply aren't enough operating funds to make that possible. So what can be done for the dogs once the lights go out and the doors are locked at the shelter? Who talks to them, shows them affection and takes them outside for much-needed exercise?

The answer to all those questions can be summed up by one person: Dawn Hammond, DAAS's most active dog walker. Hammond drives to the shelter at least three times each week - Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays - to walk every dog housed there.

One at a time, Hammond puts the dogs on a leash and takes them out of their cages, out of the building and into the fresh air. She gives each dog individual attention, walking and running time, and the chance to escape the confines of the shelter for just a little while.

"Dogs need to run," said Hammond in reference to the shelter dogs. "They're cooped up pretty much 24/7, and that's no lifestyle for any animal." Hammond, who has numerous years of experience dealing with the needs of unwanted and rescued dogs, explained that in bigger cities the wait time for holding sheltered dogs is only four to five days, after which they are "put down" to avoid situations of overcrowding. Here in Delta County, however, things are different.

"Here, we can keep (the dogs) longer," said Hammond, who explained how a lower population of animals allows for a longer period of reprieve. At the same time, though, being kept longer means the dogs are more prone to going "cage crazy."Their discomfort from the lack of opportunity to exercise and burn off pent-up energy results in a feeling of what people commonly refer to as feeling "stir crazy."

"It's much more difficult to place (adopt out) a dog who is this way," said Hammond. People automatically think the dog must be hyperactive or wild, but oftentimes it's just the opposite.

Hammond is quick to note the value of Delta Area Animal Shelter and the services it provides. Without them, these homeless dogs would have no one to care for them.

"A good dog deserves a good home and should never be left long enough to go cage crazy," said Hammond. From 4 p.m. until 10 a.m., shelter dogs remain confined. Sadder yet, according to Hammond, is having to walk away at closing time Friday, knowing the dogs will not receive any attention at all until 10 a.m. Monday.

There is a very real need for assistance at the shelter, and the answer to it is quite simple: volunteers. Volunteering a little time to the animal shelter to walk/run with the dogs each week could make a tremendous difference in the dogs' lives during their stay. According to Becky Vandermisson, animal control officer, people who are not comfortable performing such a task, or perhaps are physically unable to do so, may choose from a list of other vital needs the shelter currently has - cleaning cages, playing with cats/kittens, do general housecleaning and laundry, bathing/grooming dogs and cleaning outside grounds. Also, either in addition to or instead of time and labor contributions, people may give items on the "needed" list - dog leashes, kitten food, tough chew toys, large rawhide bones and kitty litter.

When it comes to the reasons animals end up behind bars in the first place, neglect and abuse take a back seat to simple lack of patience. For that, Hammond has a few suggestions: Reward dogs when they do something good, rather than punishing them when they're bad; allow dogs to socialize with other dogs, instead of keeping them isolated; have your pets spayed or neutered because it makes them more docile; and finally, don't give up too soon - show patience and have faith in your dog.

Being a pet owner is hard work, initially, because a commitment must be made and trust must be established. This is true for new pups and adult dogs, whether from the shelter or not.

Hammond adopted her newest family member, Ringo, from DAAS. Ringo was 6 weeks old then, and is now 5 months. Her advice to anyone considering adopting a dog from the shelter is to "take it for a walk to be alone with it. See (the dog) and get to know it - make a personal connection." People love to choose a puppy as a family pet, she explained, but once the dog is between 5 months and one year, people don't want it any more. They don't want the bother of training it. For that reason, she does see some adopted dogs come back to the shelter again.

"Dogs suffer emotional upset when coming here or when going to a home. People must understand that and be patient," said Hammond.

How does Hammond deal with the emotions involved in this volunteer work, and will she ever give it up?

"When they're adopted, you just hope and pray it turns out well for them. As for being a volunteer, God gave me this gift with animals, and it hurts me emotionally, but I have to do it - for them."

How to Keep your Pet's Teeth Clean
By Megan Hazel

Just as people's teeth can, pets may be affected by a variety of dental diseases if their teeth are not given regular attention. While cavities tend to occur more infrequently in pets, dental diseases can cause bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, and loose teeth. These problems can lead to your pet having difficulty eating, as well as causing them severe pain.

Causes of Dental Disease in Pets

Over time, your pet's teeth and gums become coated in a thin layer of material from food particles, dead cells and saliva. As this layer thickens, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that cause dental diseases. If the layers are left undisturbed for a long period of time, your pet may eventually develop diseases such as gingivitis (inflammation and infection) and periodontitis, in which the deep tissue of the gums become infected. In extreme cases, periodontal infection may spread to other parts of the body, including vital organs.

Veterinary Services for your Pet's Teeth

Make a point of asking your veterinarian to check your pet's teeth each time you visit. They should check for potential problems such as plaque deposits and gingivitis, as well as swelling, and broken or loose teeth. If your vet notices any serious problems they may recommend an X-ray for a more thorough investigation, or tooth extraction, or treatment for gum disease.

Brushing your Pet's Teeth at Home

The most effective way to prevent development of dental diseases is by cleaning your pet's teeth at regular intervals. This is also the best way of fighting ‘dog breath', as almost all cases of bad breath in pets are caused by gum diseases that are the result of infection or plaque build-up.

Cleaning your pet's teeth is much easier if you start while they are young. Between three and twelve months is an ideal time to start. If you are starting with an older pet, getting them used to having their teeth brushed will be more difficult, and it may take a little longer before you can brush their teeth successfully.

Whatever your pet's age, it's best to start the process slowly, so they can get used to having their mouth and teeth handled closely. Start out by holding your pet in a comfortable position that offers you easy access to the mouth. When they're calm, lift their lips to look at the teeth. Hold the position for a few seconds, then stop and give your pet a small treat, to encourage them to behave well when you're handling their mouth.

Once you and your pet are comfortable with this process, you can attempt brushing their teeth. For this you will need a special pet tooth brush as well as tooth paste that has been made for animal use. Human tooth paste should not be used for pets, as it is harmful when swallowed, and as cats and dogs cannot spit, they will be unable to prevent themselves from swallowing the paste. Animal tooth pastes are available in flavors such as beef and chicken, so your pets will find these much more palatable, too.

The next step is to brush your pet's teeth. Again, find a comfortable position-if your pet is large, they'll usually be most comfortable on the floor, whereas a puppy or small pet can be held in your lap. Start by lifting your pet's lips, and then brush the teeth using circular motions. Be sure to brush at the gum line, and pay particular attention to your pet's molars, as these areas are the most vulnerable to dental diseases.

For the first few brushes, your pet will likely not want to sit still while you brush all their teeth. It's best to start out by brushing just two or three teeth the first few times you brush, and then gradually increase the number of teeth you brush over each session. Give your pet a small treat after each brushing, to reinforce their good behavior, and aim to brush their teeth at least twice a week.

Protect your Pet's Teeth with the Right Diet

Dental diseases are more likely to occur in your pets if their diets solely consist of soft foods, because these foods are more likely to leave deposits at the base of the pet's teeth. Regular brushing is important, but so too is feeding your pet foods that will not lead to the development of deposits that allow bacteria to thrive.

Make soft foods such as meats a treat for your pets, rather than their regular diet. Instead, feed them mostly on dry food-remember to provide them with plenty of water-and give your dogs uncooked bones or chew toys. These are ideal for pets, because they have rough surfaces that help to remove built-up food deposits.

Having Multiple Cats Get Along
by Kathrynn Kelley

If you already have a cat and you are looking to bring a new one home, you'll soon realize that there are many things that you need to think about. When you introduce two cats, no matter how sweet-tempered or shy they are, you might be surprised at how vicious they can be and how bitterly they can react to each other. If you are looking to make sure that the introductions go smoothly, you'll find that there are several things that you need to keep in mind.
When you are looking to make sure that your cats get to know each other safely and easily, take it slow and make sure that you have made the proper preparations. Arrange to have a small room set up for your new cat; a small bathroom or bedroom is ideal. When you are looking to make sure that your cats don't hurt each other, let them spend a few days smelling each other through a door. This way, your new cat will have an area that will be all his own and your old cats can deal with a new comer without getting too stressed about having them in their own places.

After, a few days have passed in this situation, you can bring out the new cat for short periods of time. If it gets too stressful or dangerous you need to take the new cat back to their safe place. For the most part, you'll see that they just want to explore each other, and they'll work out their issues of dominance without harming each other.

If either cat is feeling particularly aggressive, or if you are familiar with their behavior and are worried about a more dangerous introduction, take the time to put the new cat into a carrier and leave him out for the other cat to investigate. This is one measure that you can use to introduce them to each other and this can go a long way towards helping the cats feel safer and more secure around each other. Take the time to really let them get used to each other.

Start with the meeting being a few minutes at a time. Then move on to a few hours at a time. When introducing a new cat into your home, you'll need to be patient. It will take some getting used to on everybody's part. However, if done properly you'll have them getting along in no time.

About the Author
Have a cat behavior problem that needs solving? If so, visit today to get expert information on how to train your cat and eliminate cat problems fast.

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Traveling With Your Dog - Some Easy Tips
by Geoffrey A. English

Traveling with a dog can be tough. Dogs can experience apprehension, over-excitement, dread, nausea and downright fear when they are forced to travel. Some dogs actually are nomadic in nature, and so might love to travel, but bark at people or other animals, are restless, or attempt to escape while traveling. Planning your trip carefully will enable you to relax and enjoy your trip more fully, and enable your dog to be secure and happy for the duration of the ride.

It is always wise before traveling to have your dog seen by a veterinarian. This is especially true if you are traveling across state lines or into other countries. Your vet will check for illnesses, injuries or conditions that might preclude your dog from travel. Upon request, your veterinarian will provide you with a certificate of health, and a copy of your dogs' Rabies vaccination. These documents are necessary to gain entry into other countries. While receiving vaccinations, you should also ask your vet to vaccinate your dog against Bordatella and parvovirus, as some areas that you may be traveling to may have outbreaks of either or both.

If you will be flying with your dog, it is vital to have a clear understanding of the airline's regulations concerning dogs. Most airlines insist that you use only airline-approved travel crates, that your dog's documentation be posted to the side of the crate, and that the crate have 24-48 hours worth of food, and any needed medications. Beware that a large percentage of airlines have the 80 degree rule: if the temperature at any point along the flight is projected to reach eighty degrees or higher, your dog will not be permitted to fly.

Traveling by car with your dog can be a lot of fun. Ensure that you have all documents related to your dog on hand. Whenever traveling, be certain that your dog has a sturdy collar on, with at least one identification tag, and one registration or medical tag. The smart thing for both you and your dog while being transported in a car is for the dog to be secured. This prevents injury to the dog should you have to stop abruptly, and it prevents the dog from becoming airborne and smashing into you. It is not recommended that a dog ride in the back of a pick-up truck unless he is in a crate that is secured to the truck itself. Never leave a dog in a hot vehicle or crate.

Remember that when in the car, your dog should not be allowed to thrust its head out the window, as airborne particles of any nature could cause severe injury to your dog's nose, eyes, or ears. If your dog is a nervous flyer or rider, you can obtain sedatives that aid in keeping your pet calm and cozy. Throughout the entire trip, make sure to help your dog feel as comfortable as possible; bring their toys and bedding with you, and adhere to their otherwise normal eating, exercise, and bathroom routine.

Do your research- educate yourself on places you may be able to visit with your dog, and also the places that you cannot. Some state parks, for example, do not allow dogs to be admitted. Many hotels, however, are quite pet-friendly, and will even make special accommodations for your dog.

Make certain that, when traveling with your dog, you take frequent breaks. Dogs need to stretch and take time out from being cooped up in the car, just like you do.

About the Author
Geoffrey A. English is the Founder of, the internet's premiere online magazine dedicated to bird dogs. They carry a large selection of dog training collars including brands such as Tri-tronics, and Innotek.

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