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How To Build A Dog-Proof Fence
by Andrei Smith

Do you want to keep your k9 safe in your backyard? Worried that your dog might escape when you're not at home or during night time? Do you want to keep him away from other pets, kids and people in your neighborhood to prevent possible trouble from happening? Building a dog proof fencing system is a practical solution if you have qualms about the safety of your beloved pet!
Making a dog-proof fence is not rocket science. In fact, everybody can make their own dog proof fencing system by just following these simple strategies or installation steps. As you all know, most dogs have the habit of digging or going under fences. If the latch isn't secure enough, they can also manage to open the gate.

One way of ensuring that your fence is dog-proof at all times is to regularly check if it needs any necessary repairs. Inspect if there are gaps and holes that are big enough for your dog to squeeze through. If you have a sturdy fence, you will prevent your dog from digging under or jump over it.

Remember, the standard height for a good fence is about 5 to 6 foot tall. On the base, it is highly recommended that it is concreted to prevent your dog from digging out. To stop your canine from squeezing his way under the fence, put cement blocks under the fence or extend the wire from the bottom of the fence to a few feet underground. You should also give your k9 his own little space with loose soil in the backyard where he can play and satisfy his digging urges.

Remove all the objects such as tables or chairs near the fence as they could serve as "jumping pads." Some dogs may be able to jump over the fence though these things.

In most cases, a picket fence along the walkway is not enough to contain your dog inside the yard. This is the reason why you must install fence extensions to make your fence dog-proof. One option is putting an inward extension of the fence made from chicken wire. The other one is an electric wire which will be placed along the top of the fence. You can install a line of electronic fence around the top about two inches above the fence height.

About the Author
For more information on building dog-proof fences, visit dog proof fencing, indoor fence and dog containment system.


Del Mar Surf-a-Thon - Part 2

Find a Plan Before a Pet Gets Lost
By Mary Lou Aguirre / The Fresno Bee

Big dogs run fast. That's bad news when it comes to lost dogs. And when it's your family's pet that's missing, it can be devastating.

This happened recently to a friend and co-worker of mine. Elaine is a dog lover extraordinaire and often takes her four dogs to Woodward Park. Unfortunately, Emma Lee, her border collie, got away from her. Happily, after much footwork and many phone calls over the next four days, Emma was found in a remote area of the park. The beloved pet is once again back with the family that loves her.

Families should have a plan in place, just in case they find themselves in the same situation. Key steps can save time and increase your chances of finding Fido.

Obviously, your dog should have a license tag or microchip. The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association surveyed 187 dog owners who had lost a pet between June 1 and Sept. 30, 2005, and 71% of the dogs were found.

"Dogs were recovered primarily through a call or visit to an animal agency, a dog license tag and posting of neighborhood signs," according to the survey. "Dogs that were wearing a dog license tag also had a higher likelihood of recovery. Owners were less likely to recover their dogs if they believed their dogs were stolen."

Your first stop should be at the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter. Don't call. Drive to the shelter.

Brenda Mitchell of the Central California SPCA in Fresno tells dog owners to check for their missing dog in person. Think about it: You call about your dear dog, a Chihuahua mix. Your description could fit any number of Chihuahuas at the shelter.

"A stranger can't identify the animal if they don't have a tag or microchip," she says.

Even microchipped pets are vulnerable if the owner doesn't update information after a move, she says.

Mitchell recalls a pet owner calling about his lost Pomeranian.

"He was desperate for her," she says. "He looked at the flyers and the lost-and-found ads. It turns out, the dog was a Pekingese mix. We would have never spotted it. That's why owners have to come down here themselves."

Pet owners, Mitchell says, should make lost dog posters and check the lost-and-found classified ads in The Bee. Copies of the ads and lost dog flyers are kept at the shelter, too.

The web site advises searching a neighborhood at night. "A lost pet may hide during the day, so be sure to go out at night with a flashlight and call for him."

Here are some other tips:

Contact veterinary clinics or breed rescue groups in your area if your dog or cat is a purebred.

Leave items with a familiar scent outside your home.

Post signs at intersections within a two-mile area of where your pet was lost.

Mitchell says it's heartbreaking to see the turmoil pet owners endure.

"There is no doubt that people are distraught when a pet is lost to accident, disease, age or just getting lost," e-mailed professor Alan M. Beck of Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine, an expert on human-animal bonding. "It has been suggested that adding to the grief when a pet is lost is the guilt associated with it. Often people feel it may have been their mistake, [such as leaving] a gate open or not joining the pet when it was outside."

Unfortunately, Marcela Magallon of Selma knows this feeling. She listed her lost German shepherd, Casper, on Craigslist on Aug. 28. She wrote: "He is a very friendly dog who is very loved by his family."

I asked Magallon how the search was going.

"We found our dog, but not alive," Magallon e-mailed. "I can't tell you how horrible we feel. We feel so guilty and sad because we don't know what caused his death since there were no visible signs of distress. He was so spoiled and never outside without a leash, so he got lost when he got out."

Should You Bring Your Pet to College?
The Washington Post / Dallas Morning News

One of the many transitions thrust on freshman going off to college is saying good-bye to the family pet. But, guess what: Although college dorms have traditionally been known as pet-free zones, a handful are now allowing certain animals in selected residence halls to give students a more homey feeling about their living space.

Here are some things to consider before you add Fluffy to your list of college creature comforts:

Explore the possibility of keeping pets on your school's campus. The majority of colleges, of course, do ban pets, except for the occasional goldfish, for students living on campus. Off campus housing can be a bit more flexible, depending on the rules of your landlord.

Some animal experts feel that it would be better if students did not take their pet with them or adopt a new one during their college years. "We believe that college is both a stressful time and a fun time and primarily a very busy time, so to bring a pet into that environment may not be the best thing for the pets," says Nancy Peterson, an issues specialist at the Humane Society of the United States. Peterson says students would be better off waiting until after they graduate to get a cat or a dog, when they will have more time to devote to their care.

Right now, MIT allows cats in certain dorms with designated cat-friendly-zones, provided they have all their immunizations and are spayed or neutered. Since 1996, the State University of New York at Canton has had two floors in a residence hall set aside for a "pet wing." There are 24 double rooms where students are allowed to keep small caged animals including lizards, turtles, hamsters, rabbits and mice as well as cats (hmmm). Snakes, birds and dogs are not allowed, according to Courtney Battista, director of residence life at SUNY Canton. "The rooms are in high demand and it's worked very well for us," Battista says.

Oregon Man Captures 6-Foot-Long Lizard in His Yard
Associated Press

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man playing in the yard with his toddler sons captured a 6-foot-long lizard capable of killing pets and injuring humans. Ryan Nelson said he thought it was a crocodile when he first spotted the Nile monitor by the rose bushes.

He was able to capture it and wrestle it into a large metal dog cage with the help of Dalton Brown from MB Reptiles, a pet store in Grants Pass.

No report on missing lizards has been filed recently with either the Josephine County sheriff's office or Grants Pass police.

But officials say whoever lost the lizard should have immediately reported it because the Nile monitor's teeth and claws make it dangerous to pets and people.

The lizard is now on display at the pet store.

Pet Care Examiner
Las Vegas Examiner
Disaster Preparedness: An Ongoing Series of Tips for Pet Owners and Their Pets

Do You Know Your Pet's Medical History?

Patrick Mahaney has loved connecting to animals and people all of his life, therefore he became a veterinarian to help pets and their owners. Patrick provides conventional and complementary veterinary medical care in veterinary hospitals and clients’ homes. Patrick enjoys the opportunity utilize internet, print, radio, and television outlets to educate clients on how they can achieve the best quality of life for their pets.

Upon moving to southern California, I wondered what my first earthquake experience would be like. Not being a fan of urban mass destruction, I hoped that I would feel the earth shake in a non-emotionally, nor physically, traumatic way. I certainly did not anticipate that I would be in the fabulous home of a critically acclaimed actress when the recent LA earthquake hit. I had just completed an acupuncture treatment on her cat and was having a closing discussion with her assistant when I felt a very sudden environmental shift. It felt surreal, as the effect was very subtle, similar to the moment where you are waking from a dream. I was left asking myself exactly what had just happened. The house sits very close to a road, up in the Hollywood hills, so I wondered if a truck had just passed. There was no unusual or loud sounds, so I quickly exclaimed that we had just experienced an earthquake and wondered what would happen next. Fortunately, there were no aftershocks, nor any damage to the house, so we did not have to take emergency measures to save the cat or ourselves.

September is Disaster Preparedness month for people, while June applies to animals. The earthquake motivated me to get more prepared, so here is the first of a series of suggestions to aid the safe keeping of pets during a natural disaster.

Identification- Have your pet wear a collar and tag bearing their name, your name, and the number at which you can be most readily reached. Rabies vaccination tags show the name and number of the facility providing the vaccination, along with a rabies tag number, all of which can help to connect you to your pet. As collars and tags can be lost, have a microchip containing your up to date contact information implanted into your pet. Animal shelters and veterinary hospitals have microchip readers, which will read your pet’s identifying number and allow the person who found your pet to contact the company with whom you have registered your pet.

Additional Resources:

Pet Owners Affected by Rising Cost of Food, Other Supplies
Mary Chao • Staff writer • Democrat and Chronicle

Leah Colombo was surprised by the price of Friskies canned cat food during a recent visit to the supermarket.

"I couldn't believe how high it was," Colombo said.

The 46-year-old Penfield resident who works as a legal secretary estimates she is paying about 15 cents more a can than just a few months ago, showing that price inflation is affecting pet supplies as well as other areas of the economy.

Colombo tried to switch to a generic brand of cat food, but her 14-year-old tortoiseshell cat named Fatty and her 4-year-old tiger cat named Squawky would not go along.

"You go for the cheaper product, but they won't eat it," she said.

And she used to mix in organic cat food with her Friskies, but with those foods costing more than a dollar a can, "I quite frankly don't do that any more," she says.

Colombo decided to limit what she spends on herself, buying items on sale to trim her $50 weekly grocery budget.

The rising cost of living nationwide has triggered more requests for pet food from food pantries and prompted some pet owners to give up their animals. Others are trying to save money by forgoing veterinary care.

In areas where foreclosure rates are high, shelters are seeing a surge in pet intakes.

The situation is sufficiently worrisome that the Humane Society of the United States just created a $15,000 fund to help shelters and rescue groups temporarily accommodate homeless pets.

"The fate of people's pets tracks with their own financial fate," says Steve Zawistowski of the national ASPCA. He predicts that communities will continue to see greater numbers of pets surrendered to shelters unless the economy improves.

In Rochester, where the housing crisis hasn't been as harsh, changes in consumer behavior are more subtle, said Dr. Paul Black, president of Monroe Veterinary Associates, a group of 13 veterinary hospitals in the Monroe County area. Some pet owners have put off wellness care for animals such as dental procedures or spread out other services for their pets.

There have been cases in the area of dogs being left on the side of the street with a bag of food and a bowl, he said.

At Monroe Veterinary Associates, fees have remained flat while overhead costs are climbing, Black said. For example, prices for prescription diet pet food are up 11 to 20 percent over the last three months.

"We're all aware prices are up," he said.

Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, also has been feeling the effects of a slumping economy. The number of cats and dogs available for adoption has remained steady, but more farm animals such as horses and cows are now at the shelter, said President and Chief Executive Alice Calabrese Smith.

"The price of hay (has) skyrocketed," Smith said, noting that the shelter now pays $200 a ton for hay versus $130 a year and a half ago. Lollypop Farm uses 95 to 100 tons of hay annually.

There are currently 15 horses and two cows at the shelter.

The steady Rochester housing market has prevented a surge in pet arrivals at the shelter, Smith said. There are currently about 500 cats and 100 dogs at the shelter and in foster homes available for adoption, which is about normal during the summer months, she said.

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Healthy Dogs: Three Basics For Raising a Happy Dog
by Ben Anton

Just as we have to follow a healthy lifestyle if we want to be physically fit, so to do our pets. Dogs require a combination of good food, exercise, and love and attention from their owners in order to live healthy lives. It doesn't take a lot of money to give your puppy everything it needs to maintain a healthy mind and body. It just takes some care and attention by a loving owner.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your dog requires following some basic principles.

When It Comes To Food, Quality Not Quantity

To make sure your dog is healthy, take care in feeding him or her a high-quality, nutritious diet. Just as you need a nutritious diet that includes balance and natural ingredients, so does your pooch. Veterinarians recommend a dog's diet be roughly 40% meat or protein, 50% vegetables and 10% carbohydrates. Look at the ingredients listed in your dog's food and make sure that protein sources, such as lamb, chicken, or venison, are listed in the top five ingredients. Dogs also benefit from whole grain, low fat dog food. In this one area, spending a little more on a more nutritious brand of dog food really will provide long-term health benefits for your pet.

Regular Exercise

Making time for regular exercise is also a key component to a dog's healthy lifestyle. Dogs do not have the ability to understand the positive benefits of exercise so it is up to you, the owner, to make sure your pet is in proper physical shape. If you are unsure about how much exercise is right for the age and breed of your dog, ask your veterinarian for their recommendation.

Walking your dog is the easiest way to keep it healthy. A 10 - 15 minute walk around a nearby park or your neighborhood can help a dog calm down before bedtime or be a great start to a day. Swimming is also a fun, easy way to get your dog out and active during the summer months. If your dog is social, consider taking them to a dog park for a game of fetch.

During exercise time, make sure you monitor your dog closely for any abnormal changes in breathing or gait. Make sure not too push your dog too hard too fast, and keep his or her exercise pattern as regular as possible. As you start or change your dog's exercise routine, make sure to take note of any eating habit or sleeping pattern changes and notify your veterinarian.

Owner Care

Providing loving, regular attention to your pet is the easiest element to forget but often times is the most crucial to keeping your pet happy and healthy. Loneliness and aggression are common in dogs that have not received proper care and socialization. Dog experts have even found that a dog that has not been socialized in a caring, trustworthy environment by the time they reach sexual maturity may never have close, trusting relationships with people or other animals. As you walk your dog, throw a ball around together or simply curl up together on the couch, be assured that the time together is well-spent and necessary to your dog's health.

The best way to make sure your dog is happy and healthy is to care for it as you do yourself. A nutritious diet, regular exercise and time and attention, coupled with regular veterinary visits, will keep your dog happy throughout its life.

~Ben Anton, 2008

About the Author
The New Dog Bowl: Keep your dog healthy and at a healthy weight by using the DogPause Bowl to reduce your dogs overeating.


What You Need to Know to Have Healthy Fish
by Robert Moore

Learn everything you absolutely need to know to have healthy and happy fish in my free fish care newsletter.

Many people think that taking care of fish is easy, and while it doesn't need to be hard, there are a few crucial things that you need to be aware of if you want to raise healthy fish.

One thing you need to realize is that a fish's environment is quite different from ours. Hamsters, for example, can survive in a normal home with little adjustment. Now could you imagine how long a fish would last if you brought him home from the pet store and sat him on the chair?

Here are a few tips on how to take care of fish:

1) Make Sure You Buy Only Compatible Fish: There are so many different species of fish, each one fascinating in it's own way, but they all aren't meant to live together. Before mixing different breeds of fish, make sure you check to see if they are compatible first.

2) Watch Carefully Over Your New Friends: Once you watch your fish for a while, you will begin to see patterns in how they act. It is important to take note to this, so you can spot it right away when something is wrong. Fish get sick, and the only way to treat them effectively is by noticing a change in their appearance or behavior as soon as possible.

3) Keep your aquarium in a safe place: Even though its tempting to place an aquarium in that special spot in your room, you really need to make sure it is away from direct sunlight. Sunlight will cause algae to grow and can also raise the water temperature to an uncomfortable point for your pets.

I hope you enjoy your fish, just make sure you take care of them to ensure a long and happy life.

Learn everything you absolutely need to know to have healthy and happy fish in my free fish care newsletter.

Latest article on website: How to Build an Aquarium.

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

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Pet Loss: 5 Ways to Prevent it from Happening to You
Author: Derek Wood

These days there are too many ways to lose our pets. We have to worry about dog snatchers, hit-and-run drivers, another neighborhood dog, animal control, or the accidental swallowing of household items, like a needle. And while no one likes to think that we could ever lose our pets, there are a handful of things we can do to help prevent some of these from happening.

Take care of your pets

By taking proper care of your pet you lesson the risk that anyone will have cause to take your pet from you. This means properly feeding, watering and housing your pets. Do not have 10 dogs living in one dog house. Make sure their living area is clean and free of feces and filth. If you have too many pets to care for, cannot afford them, or don't want them, then do them and yourself a favor and give them up for adoption. Do not be the next person we watch on Animal Planet being raided by the animal control officer.

Train your pet

Training your pet to come when called on a reliable basis is a requirement for keeping your pets out of trouble. This does not replace a leash law. If you are going to walk your dog on busy streets, then use a leash. Do not think that you dog could not ever disobey you. The desire to chase a rabbit might easily outweigh the desire to come to you. This training will also help to prevent any unwanted problems with other people. In this day of "suing happiness", why risk fines or worse because your dog jumped on someone.

Supervise your pets

No matter how well trained your pet is, when they are unsupervised they can and will get into things. They are curious natural explorers. They will find twig, sticks and anything that resembles one to chew on. If you left your favorite tools outside, these become a risk to your pet. Remember to look at things around your yard from a pet's perspective. They are low to the ground, sniff for bugs, chew on rocks and dig in the dirt. When they do this, they are looking for stuff to keep themselves occupied with. Make sure what they find is not a hazard to them.

Pet Proof your house

This goes hand in hand with supervising your pets, but is quite commonly missed or done incorrectly We always assume that since the dog never jumps on the counter when we are home that they will never do it when we are not. Well, you're wrong. If you have a dog that is large enough to reach stuff, then move that stuff, or risk losing it to the unsupervised curious dog. Pet proofing means eliminate all potential threats to your pet. Take away anything they can chew or swallow, remove things they can knock over or break, and cover anything that has sharp edges. Take the same precautions with your pets as you would a newborn baby.

Get pet insurance coverage

Many better insurance companies, and online companies like VPI Pet Insurance, offer direct pet insurance to you. These insurance carriers will cover your pet for a host of issues ranging from having your pet spayed or neutered to cancer treatments or surgeries. There is no way to know ahead of time if your pet will develop some medical issue that could cost you thousands of dollars.

Because your pets can be lost in so many manners, it is absolutely crucial that you take what steps you can to protect your pets. You are not trying to protect just from harm, but from other people, other animals and the ever rising costs of pet care. You want the best for your pet because they are a member of the family. Do the best you can for your loved ones, including your pets, and they should be with you for many years to come.

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