Pet Advice - Pet News

Animal Related Hobbies
by Lily Morgan

Working with animals is a dream for many people. It might seem like something that requires training and career orientation but that really isn't so. Hobbies can be animal related. Anything you enjoy doing that involves animals is valuable in a multitude of ways. It takes a special type of person to work with animals, one that possesses patience and compassion.
Most SPCA organizations in any number of cities accept and need volunteers. The volunteers often do tasks like dog walking and playing with the animals within the care of the facility. It can be a stressful position but it needs to be done. Call your local SPCA or other animal shelter to find out how you can help. You might be amazed at the huge difference even just one person can make, plus it's rewarding.

Offering dog walking services, either paid or free is a fantastic way to get some exercise while playing with the neighbourhood pooches. Many seniors or busy families may welcome this type of service. It allows you to spend quality time with several animals while on your own time and conditions. Pet sitting goes hand in hand with dog walking. Caring for animals is a big job but one that can easily be done by the right person.

Sometimes there is nothing better than a relaxing walk or hike. Take your digital camera along and capture pictures of all of the animals that you meet along the way. This is a fine time to start a bird watching hobby if you haven't already. Alone time with nature can be a powerful and personal experience. For many there is simply nothing better than relaxing in a clearing, watching the birds and whatever else happens to come along.

One animal that is perfect for a number of hobbies is the horse. Horses are very dynamic creatures with a vast intelligence. Go out for a leisurely ride or learn how to do something a little wild like barrel racing. An old fashioned wagon is all it takes for a traditional hay ride in any season. A well trained horse will usually be safe for people of all ages, using proper safety equipment of course.

The training of animals is a full blown career for many but it often begins as a hobby. Start with your own animals at home by teaching basic obedience. If you find it to be something you have a knack for, consider a professional approach. Animal obedience training is always in demand.

There are countless animal charities and organizations that always need some kind of financial support. If fundraising is something you exceed at or would like to try, there is no better way to help needy animals than by ensuring they have much needed provisions. Many volunteers consider the work they do to be a hobby. They enjoy what they do because it makes a difference. Animal related hobbies are numerous. Take the first step in the direction that draws you for the hobby you can be proud of.

About the Author
There are as many hobbies as there are people who enjoy them. Learn more about the popular hobby of building and collecting dollhouses and miniatures. Visit our large selection of wooden doll house kits today at

Dog Health Care - Top 5 Tips
by Casey Donahue

Vaccinations should never be avoided and need to be arranged by the pet owners as soon as possible after acquiring the dog. This simple preventative measure helps to improve the resistance of the animal against specific diseases that cause serious and potentially fatal problems in dogs. Like humans, some dogs are more resistant to illness and disease than others. Dogs that are orphaned due to the death of the mother have lesser protection in their immune system. Such animals are to be particularly protected against various diseases.

Dental Health

Veterinary dental treatments are just as important as vaccinations in the overall long-term health of your pet. Overlooking or ignoring your dog's dental health can lead to periodontal diseases and a host of health issues that result from the disease. Professional veterinary dental treatment can be pricey, but it is essential to the well-being of your pet.

Spaying and Neutering

First, an explanation of terms: these procedures refer to the surgical sterilization female and male dogs, respectively. The term 'neutering' is occasionally used as a generic or unisex term to refer to the procedure regardless of the sex of the pet. Spaying and neutering of dogs is essential if you don't want to breed the dogs. Like vaccinations, these procedures need to be conducted by qualified, professional veterinarians under clinical conditions.


The grooming of your dog is a simple activity that can improve your pet's overall health, and help keep your house clean, too! Grooming, among other things, involves the brushing and clipping of the coat, and trimming of the nails. Clipping the coat or nails should be carried out in a careful manner to prevent injuring or otherwise distressing your pet during the procedure. Nail trimming is simple enough with the proper tools, as is coat trimming, but the coat should be clipped in accordance with the specific breed of your pet. If the coat is not clipped properly, dust, mites, and other parasites may accumulate in the coat and result in your dog developing a skin infection or disease.

Regular Check-ups

Dog checkups need not be an expensive procedure or burden to the dog owner. It should be fun! Make it a part of your daily routine to interact with your pet. This interaction should involve general observation and, of course, petting. While petting and taking a "hands-on" approach, you will often discover early signs of trouble in your pet that can be treated while avoiding costly delays and unnecessary suffering. If you fail to do regular check-ups and inspections, then the dog may end up having some major diseases that you don't know about!

About the Author
Casey Donahue is an "experienced" dog owner/lover who likes to share his enthusiam with other pet friendly people!

Check out his website,


Pet-centric Careers
By Kelli Ohrtman , Minneapolis Pet Central

Four innovative Minnesotans who love animals combine a good business idea, good customer service and a lot of hard work to create a business serving Twin Cities pets and the people who love them.

To most, the thought of taking care of other people's pets, making and selling dog food, or picking up pet waste isn't really a dream career. But four innovative Minnesotans who love animals were able to combine a good business idea, good customer service and a lot of hard work to create a business serving Twin Cities pets and the people who love them.

Top Dog Country Club

Jean Beuning, owner of Top Dog Country Club in New Germany, Minn., says her pet-career-epiphany occurred in 1993 when her pet-sitter backed out at the last minute. Jean, a former vice president with Marriott Hotels says, "We had to use a boarding kennel for our dogs and frankly, it wasn't a good experience. After that happened, I got the idea to build a place that dogs wouldn't want to leave." Says Jean, "My biggest fear in life was that at the end of it, I'd look back and regret that I didn't do what I really wanted to do. When that fear became bigger than the fear of leaving my career, the decision was simple."

Eight years into Top Dog's operation, Jean now has a staff of 22, but she made it through the first two years by "working fifteen hours a day, 365 days a year." Guests at Top Dog have three play yards, a swimming pool, heated floors, tapestry-covered orthopedic beds in every suite (yes, the dogs stay in suites), and four to six hours of adult-supervised play every day.

Woody's Pet Food Deli

The desire to help other people's pets inspired Woody's Pet Food Deli, located in South Minneapolis. Enrique and Michelle Palma of Woody's Pet Food Deli reached their epiphany after moving to Minnesota from the Philippines and adopting two older, disease-riddled dogs. Woody had inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and Fred was a 46-pound beagle. Enrique says, "In the Philippines, we feed our dogs real food. Here you have commercial pet food, so that's what we fed our dogs. I thought `I need to try something else.'" So he did. On a diet of raw meat plus supplements and the occasional mix-in, both dogs became healthy.

Enrique is now wearing all the hats necessary to start a business, from operating the cash register and talking with customers to fine-tuning the marketing and grinding up fresh meat in the kitchen. He says, "Anytime you see a dog go from bad condition to a better life you get such satisfaction - it's almost indescribable. That's how we got started."

Solid Gold Pet Food

Dawn Mondane had a similar realization about her dogs' food 13 years ago. She says, "I've had Dobermans for years, and we always thought we were feeding them the best food - it was the most expensive." Then one day Dawn read about Solid Gold, a super-premium dog food. "Back in 1995, no one was talking about healthy foods for pets. We researched what was in pet foods and were alarmed." Dawn ordered Solid Gold from California where the food, treats and supplements are made. "Our dogs loved it, even the one who never eats," she says. Next, she ordered ten bags, then a pallet of bags, and started giving it to friends to try with their dogs.

At the time, Dawn and her husband owned a video store. When Solid Gold called and asked if they'd be interested in distributing the food in Minnesota, they said yes. "After six months we sold the video store, moved into a warehouse and started selling pet food full time." Thanks to Dawn, Solid Gold food is now available at more than 100 Twin Cities retailers.

Doody Calls

Mike Kuehn-Hajder found his calling in a career that to most people doesn't seem all that enjoyable. Mike says, "I enjoy the outdoors, working with animals and helping people with things they don't really want to do." DoodyCalls, a pet waste removal service, combines all of the above. Mike says DoodyCalls is more than just a convenience service for dog owners, "It's healthy for the whole community; we help keep the environment clean."

DoodyCalls also does cat litter boxes, contracts with homeowner associations, cities and even handles goose poop cleanup. Before starting up the Twin Cities business, Mike worked for a sales and marketing company. "I like this better," he says. "I can be outdoors, it's rewarding, and because pet waste is toxic, I can help with the watershed movement - especially in areas close to water."

With inspiration from these four, it's safe to say that if you love animals, have a good head for business and can spot an unmet need, you're well on your way to ditching corporate America in exchange for living the good (though often pet-hair-covered) life.

Kelli Ohrtman is a freelance writer from Minneapolis who works at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.

Animals in the News: Today's Roundup
L.A. Unleashed

Remember the great white shark that the Monterey Bay Aquarium released after 11 days because it wouldn't eat? She had to be freed again, this time after getting caught in a fishing net.

A Glendora family came home last night to find a bear playing with a soccer ball in their front yard.

An Australian animal rights group has launched a national search for a young man who was featured violently beating a kangaroo in an online video.

A Texas software executive is in court for allegedly allowing hunters to kill 32 of his neighbor's bison because they roamed onto his Fairplay, Colo., ranch.

Zoologists have captured a photo of a wild okapi, a relative of the giraffe with zebra-like stripes on its legs and rear. Scientist say the photographs are evidence that the creature, well known to zoo visitors, has survived in the wild in its native Democratic Republic of the Congo despite poaching and civil war.
-- Tony Barboza

Pit-Bull Owners Offended
By Andy Borowitz - Syndicated Columnist / The Seattle Times

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who famously compared herself to a pit bull in her vice-presidential acceptance speech at the Republican National...

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who famously compared herself to a pit bull in her vice-presidential acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, appears to have antagonized a key voting bloc in the upcoming election, the nation's pit-bull owners.

While Palin's assertion that the only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull was "lipstick" drew a loud ovation from the Republican faithful in St. Paul, it raised the ire of the Pit Bull Anti-Defamation League, a powerful association of pit-bull fanciers who monitor the portrayal of pit bulls in the media.

"As someone who has owned pit bulls for the past 20 years, my jaw dropped," said Carol Foyler, the group's executive director. "Most of us are thinking the same thing: Enough is enough."

Foyler said that for pit-bull owners who have grown weary of their prized dogs being defamed and mistreated, Palin's wisecrack was the last straw: "We're all like, first the Michael Vick thing, and now this."

Tracy Klugian, an irate pit-bull owner from Buffalo, N.Y., echoed Foyler's sentiments: "I can think of many differences between pit bulls and Gov. Palin — for starters, pit bulls don't try to get their ex-brothers-in-law fired."

With Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain fighting for every last vote, a coveted voting bloc like pit-bull owners could very well decide the 2008 election, political insiders believe.

While Palin was not available for comment on the pit bull controversy, a spokesman for the McCain-Palin ticket offered this official statement: "Gov. Palin does in fact have one thing in common with a pit bull: Neither is capable of answering questions from reporters."

Humorist Andy Borowitz is author of "The Republican Playbook." To find out more about Borowitz and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

28 Puppy-Mill Beagles Get New Lease on Life in Valley
The Arizona Republic

The beagles napped, howled, played and ate at an Avondale home Sunday shortly after Arizona Beagle Rescue gave them shelter and medical attention.

Before coming to Arizona on Aug. 29, the dogs had spent their time in wire cages, victims of neglect and abuse at a Missouri puppy mill. Some dogs had damaged ears, bloody nails and paws in pain. Several required surgeries.

The dogs now are being cared for in foster homes and in the home of Arizona Beagle Rescue President Dawn Wilkinson.
Many of the 10 males and 18 females are spending time in makeshift houses made of plywood under the watchful eye of volunteers.

All the dogs eventually will be placed in foster homes. Beagle rescue officials are looking for more foster homes.

The rescue would prefer one caretaker per dog instead of one person caring for several.

Lillian Stratmann, a spokeswoman for Arizona Beagle Rescue, said the dogs received medical exams, several had surgery and some received medication.

At the Wilkinson residence, her 14 dogs have received plenty of TLC.

"They got new collars, names, each has a bed, a pillow and a toy," Stratmann said. "They are fed real food instead of sawdust, which a lot of them were fed to fill up their bellies."

Adoption will take place after the beagles are "medically cleared," said Kylie Smith, who keeps track of the beagles and their medical paperwork.

She expects adoptions to begin later this month.

Arizona Beagle Rescue, an 8-year-old non-profit organization in Phoenix, has 150 volunteers. About 50 are active.

Among the volunteers is Braxton Perez, 11, who cared for the dogs Sunday afternoon.

"I played with them, I helped clean up after them," Braxton said. "It's been fun."

What You Should Know: Before Training Your Cat
by Kathrynn Kelley

Cats make great pets. They are loving, affectionate, cute, and are greatly independent making them easy to maintain. Plus, cats are also easy amused, making it easy to entertain them. Of course all this can only happen if your cat is properly trained. It's always fun at the beginning when your cat is just a little kitten. Everything they do is cute and fun to watch. Anything from pouncing to climbing to biting can be amusing. However, when they get older these cute behaviors aren't so cute and now possibly even painful when your the target of all this energetic behavior. Even worse, if they have been doing these behaviors for most of there young lives, their bad behavior has now become a bad habit. Training your cat is simple if you know what you need to do.

Before you try training your beloved pet, first you must know a few things. Your cat is a domesticated animal which means at one point they were wild animals. While your cat lives and acts like a domesticated pet, there are many wild instincts they still have embedded into them. One of these instincts is to be independent, and territorial. They think of your household as a family pack. Like they would have in the wild. There are hunter, and leaders. There are also certain behaviors that happen to let them know who the leader of the pack is, and if you don't establish yourself as a leader it can be very hard to make your cat obey your wishes. Making them seem stubborn, and at times arrogant.

Though cats can be stubborn just like we can be stubborn at times, it helps greatly if you start a routine training program as soon as possible. Don't wait until your cat is so far out of control that you feel hopeless. Plus, cats are creatures of habit and if you wait until their behavior becomes a habit, it can be that much harder to convince them that your way is the better way.

This means that when you get your cat, it is best to train it as early as you can. Of course wait a little while so that your cat can get used to its surroundings and the members of the family. Once the cat seems to be settled, you have to show the cat that you are the master and that it has to listen to you. If you train your cat correctly, you will have the best relationship imaginable.

Think of it this way if you don't start early it would be like jumping into your child's life when they are 8 yrs old asking them to unlearn everything they've become accustomed to doing. That would be hard for them and waiting to train kitty is hard for your cat too.

The most important thing about training your cat is timing and knowing your cat. First, you don't want to train your cat years after you've had it. Start early, that was bad behaviors don't become habits. Also, know that you can't spend hours a day training your cat. Trust me, it will get very boring for the cat and yourself, which makes training that much more frustrating.

It is also important that you get to know your cat. Understand your cat's personality. Besides understanding personality, you have to realize the instinctual behaviors of all cats. Remember, never scream at or scold your cat if it does something wrong. This makes training an unpleasant time for both of you.

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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Train Your Dog - Most Common Mistakes While Training Your Dog
By Rikard Ingvarsson

Nowadays more and more people are getting interested to own a dog or two. But perhaps they do not know that it may bring them before a host of problems. Well, this is not a statement to dissuade them but to make them aware. It is true that the concept of having domestic animals especially dogs is noble and if you want you shall have to act in the most plausible way. For all these you shall have to be careful to train it. But never try to repeat the mistakes that are found in various other training programs.

This article has no intention to castigate any particular one. But most of the trainers are found to repeat the same mistakes time and again while conducting programs on training. These trainers perhaps do not know that these mistakes may exert baneful effects on the dogs. You should also be very aware of these.

What are these common mistakes? Go through the following and be aware from the very beginning.

The first and foremost mistake is that the majority of the trainers remain inconsistent with commands. There are many commands under the sun including sit, stay, fetch, run, stand and others. If the command remains consistent, there is no problem at all. But most of the people don't go on with the same word and tone of voice and that creates the problem. For instance you are giving the command "sit" to your dog in a low tone. But on the very next day you give the command "sit down" and in a high tone. Both of your expressions and ways of speaking will appear to it as a new one. It will get bewildered and fail to act. Never try to do this. Be constant.

There are many who never consider or think it necessary to include rewards as a part of the training sessions. This is a great mistake and should never be done. But it will certainly be a folly if you reward it at each and every hour. This may make it greedy and chesty. This is not desirable and hampers the training. For this it is always better to give food whenever it performs well. It's also good to pat on its head and neck for good acts. This expresses your affection to it.

Many are found to brush off the presence of bad behaviour within their pets. This should never be done since it will indulge the dog and he will go on repeating the obnoxious acts. Now, if you fail to correct them, it will become an accepted behavior. This will pose great problems in the long run. You shall have to handle them strictly from the very beginning. But never try to punish it strictly. Simply utter the word "no" and show it how to behave properly. Never fail to remember that teaching correct behavior is the best way to remove the curse of bad behavior.

Train your dog keeping these in mind. You may add other methods suitable to your discretion. Shortly you'll find a good development.

Save yourself a lot of time as a dog owner and train your dog to be obedient. It gets so much easier for both you and your dog when you have trained your dog´s obedience. Click here to learn more about training your dog.

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