Pet Advice - Pet News

What Is A Mockingbird?
by Jay Schindler

The mockingbird is the state bird of Texas. If you ask any random Texan about the bird, you will discover that the mockingbird has the most stunning of all songs among the different species of birds in Northern America. That is conceivably the reason behind the mockingbird to have been adopted as the state bird of Texas in 1927.
The song of the mockingbird is actually a combination of the calls of various other birds. Each form of simulation is repetitive in nature. It is rather regular for an individual bird to have as many as 25-35 songs in it repertory.

It is a common urban bird that is 10 inches in length and about 13/4 ounces in weight. The wing span of the bird is about 14 inches long. The mocking bird is an omnivore and a diurnal. Its sexual maturity takes an entire year. Spring and early summer are the mating seasons and the mockingbirds usually nest twice a year however sometimes three or even four times when the conditions are favorable. Their eggs hatch in 12-13 days and the young ones then fledge off in 11-13 days after that. The eggs of the birds are blue-green in nature with unusual brown markings on them. The birds make their nests low towards the ground, which is like an open cup of grass and twigs with rootlets carelessly arranged in a dense form. The mockingbirds do not migrate once they have a permanent resident.

Mockingbirds thrive in open grassy areas for their feeding and diet. They hide their nests behind thick thorny shrubs. Gardens are among one of the birds favorite dwelling places particularly if any winter berries are available. The mockingbird's basic diet is insects (beetles, ants, grasshoppers and spiders), berries and seeds.

A few of the extraordinary facts about the bird is that only the unmated males sing at night. Mockingbirds also often form long-term pair bonds. Scientists have also found that the female mockingbirds are attracted to males that can make the most different of all sounds.

The mockingbird is also known as a vicious guardian of its nest and surroundings. It is sometimes seen swooping down on a dog, cat or predator that may be advancing too close to the birds protected territory.

The mockingbird was adopted buy the Forty-seventh General Assembly of Arkansas on March 5th, 1927 as the State bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas and one of the few birds found in every kind of habitat, from desert to city.

The mockingbird is one of nature's most marvelous wonders. Other than its physical beauty, the bird's ability to imitate sounds and make a combination out of them is remarkably pleasing to the ears. Perhaps, due to mocking birds' capability to imitate sounds it causes a link to mockery and conceivably it gets its name as the mockingbird through that context. Indeed, it is one of the most spectacular birds of nature.

About the Author
To read about tiger facts and cat facts, visit the Animals Facts site.

Do You Have a Pet in Your Family Yet?
Seattle Post Intelligencer

According to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, around 63% of all US households (that's about 71.1 million) are pet owners. And 39% of all households own at least one dog and 34% households own atleast a cat. The point I'm trying to make here with all these statistics is to show how widespread and common pets are to families throughout this country. And dogs and cats are two of the most common pets owned by people. So why is pet ownership so common in the Western countries? Let's dig deeper into knowing how pets become one of the family members in a home.

To children, pets provide unconditional love and support. Majority of children who have pets in their homes are seen to be confiding in them. The gap of age and understanding that sometimes lies between a parent and a child or even between a child and the community is filled by the emotional support of a pet. Also, during the time of turbulence in a family, like a divorce, death or illness, having a pet helps a child to cope better with the situation.

For adults, simple actions like petting a cat leads to lower blood presser, stress and cholesterol levels. Also, owning a pet instills qualities of parenthood in an individual. The mere responsibility and nurturing of a pet can help an individual to learn the basic elements of becoming a parent.

For seniors, having pets gives them a sense of responsibility and reason to welcome a day. Pets motivate them to laugh and exercise more and help them to socialize with different people. Also, animals tend to provide a sense of calm and comfort to the distressed and help to improve seniors' psychological well being.

I have spent the last few weeks highlighting the innumerable benefits that pets provide particularly, in the lives of children and seniors. And today I have tried to paint the picture complete, stating why every family needs to have a pet as its dear member.

Although I grew up in a house with no pets, I still had the opportunity to be around pets quite a lot. Whenever we visited our grandparents, my brother and I got to play with dogs, birds and I even remember feeding the squirrels that used to live in the park behind our ancestral home. I realize that owning a pet isn't always a piece of cake and for some, it might even be an unaffordable option. But there are several ways, how you can include interaction with animals in the lives of your family members.

If you are a parent you could always have a day out with your kids in an animal park or a zoo. Let your kids play with your friends' or neighbors' pets.

And if you are looking for a fun family day out with your pets, visit your nearest participating Walgreens for Walgreens Pet Photo Shoot next Saturday 27th, where for only $5.99 you will receive great pet treats, photo coupons, a pet photo CD and more. Don't miss out on this great experience. Click here for more details. For every person who gets their pets' picture taken and purchases the special photo package, $2.50 will be donated to Delta Society and another $2.50 will be donated to Best Friends Animal Society. Best Friends is all about people helping pets, and Delta Society is all about pets helping people.

Do read next week's post for more information about places you can visit in and around Seattle, to have friendly interactions with various animals.

Pet Sitters International Salutes American Women Business Owners
Beth Greenberg and Pam Ahart, All Friends Pet Care

Women own the majority of independent pet-sitting businesses in the $3.2 billion pet-services industry. I feel a tremendous personal pride seeing so many women achieve success in this business

King, NC (PRWEB) September 21, 2008 -- Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world's largest educational association for professional pet sitters, recognizes women business owners as an influential and sustaining force in the pet-services industry.

With more than 8,000 members worldwide, the North Carolina-based association reports that 84 percent of its member businesses are owned by women.

The trend, the industry and the association show no signs of slowing.

According to the Center for Women's Business Research, one in five firms with revenues of $1 million or more is woman owned.

Pet sitting may not immediately come to mind as a high-revenue business, so it's not surprising that eyebrows are raised when Beth Greenberg, PSI member and co-owner of All Friends Pet Care in Herndon, VA, tells people her pet-sitting business surpassed revenues of $1 million. She's also aware of at least three other pet-sitting companies in the Virginia area that are also at the $1 million mark.

In fact, the northern Virginia entrepreneur and her business partner Pam Ahart hit that revenue mark twice. They expect to do so for the third year in 2008.

"Pam and I knew for years that we wanted to work together, work for ourselves and work with animals; so we started the business in 1998," Greenberg said. "We've been in business for 10 years and we love it."

A slowing economy has had minimal impact on All Friends Pet Care, although Greenberg is quick to note that the company implemented a gas surcharge earlier this year. Revenues are down slightly but the gas charge is helping close the gap. Overall, their revenues have increased almost 8 percent over last year. "People cut back in other areas, but book their pet-sitting engagements left and right," says Greenberg.

David Pearsall is accustomed to the dynamics of this woman-dominated field. His company, Business Insurers of the Carolinas, underwrites the bonding and insurance policies for the majority of pet-sitter businesses in the United States. He verifies the success and influence manifested by this woman-owned industry. Pearsall says his company partners with associations because their members are likely to be more knowledgeable, take on more responsibility and seek more avenues for education.

"Our numbers indicate that these business owners take extra steps to grow and protect their businesses, versus fly-by-night pet sitters," Pearsall said. Likewise, insurance revenues supporting the industry are up about 6 percent over last year.

One reason for the sustainability is that some business owners are choosing to expand and provide additional pet-related services when needs dictate. Overnight and in-home pet care, house sitting and pet grooming are the top three related areas on the rise. Pearsall says these are savvy sitters who have the business acumen to grow and protect all aspects of their businesses.

When she founded the association in 1994, Patti Moran, president of Pet Sitters International, was following her passion for pets. Now, recognized as a leader in the pet-services industry, Moran credits the determination of thousands of women who, like herself, followed a path that turned passion into profit.

"I feel a tremendous personal pride seeing so many women achieve success in this business," says Moran. "There was, and still is, a domino effect that creates opportunities for other women entering this industry. And we're even seeing more men getting involved. But overall, it is the American business women who have made significant and increasing contributions to this industry and who are providing a valuable and important service to the pet-owning public."

About Pet Sitters International
Established in 1994, Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world's largest educational association for professional pet sitters, representing more than 8,000 independent professional pet-sitting businesses in the United States, Canada and abroad. PSI provides members with access to affordable bonding and liability insurance and educational resources such as PSI's Accreditation Program, The WORLD of Professional Pet Sitting magazine, The Pet Owner's WORLD magazine and PSI's annual Quest convention. For more information, visit, home of the Official Pet Sitter Locator™ or visit the PSIStoreOnline to select from more than 2,000 pet sitter and pet owner products.


Pet Sayings: Eye of the Tiger
SF Gate

Lately I've been feeling nostalgic for the early 80s, so a tribute to Survivor seemed like the right pick for this week's pet saying.

In the wild, seeing the "eyes" of the tiger spells curtains for it's prey: right before a tiger attacks, he turns his ears so that the black and white spots on the back of each faces forward. These "eye spots" typically serve to confuse predators and reduce the risk of attack from behind.

Interestingly, Roman soldiers wore the quartz stone "tiger eye," named for its cat-like alternating luminescent vertical bands of yellow and brown, for protection in battle. Tiger eye was thought to be "all seeing."

As the Rocky III theme song goes:

It's the Eye of the Tiger,

It's the thrill of the fight,

Rising up to the challenge of our rival,

And the last known survivor

Stalks his prey in the night,

And he's watching us all

With the Eye of the Tiger!

Have a rockin' weekend!

Pet Care: Dogs
by Jeff

The benefits we can reap from having a pet can be thoroughly rewarding. Dogs are known as "Man's best friend" for their unconditional love, loyalty and friendship. Dog lovers can return the favour by taking good care of their pet.
It might sound like a lot of work at first but caring for your dog, after the puppy days, is relatively easy and most of the chores can fit neatly into your daily routine.

This article talks about some of the essentials you need to know about dog care.

Collar and ID Tag: The first thing you want to do for a new dog is give it a proper collar and an ID tag with your name, address and contact information. This greatly increases the chances of having your dog returned to you if they get separated from you.


Check with your local animal shelter, veterinarian or humane society to find out what vaccinations your dog needs and be aware of dog fouling laws!

Spay or Neuter

If you are not planning on breeding dogs, help reduce the number of unwanted and stray dogs and improve the health of your pet by having them spay or neutered.


Whether you purchase a book on dog training and teach them the basics at home or enrol in a class, having your dog learn basic commands will have a positive benefit on their behaviour and safety.

Register with a Vet: Regular visits to the vet will ensure your dog's health and avoid future issues. If you need help locating a good veterinarian, check with a local shelter, breeder or get a recommendation from a fellow dog owner.

Your Dog at Home: Give your dog a proper place to live. Dogs love to get out and run around, but need extended time out of the elements. Guard your dog from exposure to extreme weather. A big yard with a dog house is wonderful, but spending time with your dog inside and having a comfortable place to sleep, like a dog bed, is essential.

Dog Diets: Feed your dog a nutritionally balanced diet and make fresh water available to it at all times. Consult your vet for information on the type of food and amount to feed them in proportion to their size and age.

Dog Leads: A good, strong lead is a must-have item. Follow the simple rule of, if your dog is off of your property, the lead is on. Always ensure your pet is under control at home AND out in public.

Exercising your Dog: Dogs of all sizes and breeds have one thing in common. They love to run around and play. A fit dog is a happy dog, so spend time together with toys, balls, games and by taking walks. Exercising a few times a day is great for both of you and goes a long way in building a bond.

Groom your Dog: A clean dog is a well cared for. Sure dogs like to play outdoors and run around, and there are few things better for their health, and your relationship, than to give their coats a regular dog shampoo bath, trim hair if necessary and groom them with brushes and combs. Dog clothes like coats, hats and boots are also increasingly popular, and can help shield your dog from extreme weather.

Dogs like Companionship: Any relationship is a two-way street. If you are loyal, patient and faithful to your dog, you will have yourself a companion that brings love and joy into your life.

These are just the basics of dog care and picking up a book about dogs is highly recommended. Choose a book that discusses various breeds, traits and care.

About the Author offers a wealth of information regarding pet supplies such as dog food. Treat your pet with the best products, visit our website to learn more!

Dog Ear Health: Essential Caring For A Dog Advice
Everybody knows how good a dog’s sense of smell is, but not so many owners would know that a dog’s hearing is equally good and vital to its well being, and in fact is critical for his health as a dog that has difficulty with hearing will be severely deprived of being able to distinguish sounds which will make the dog feel less than happy. So, it is important for you to appreciate that you need to pay special attention to dog ear health to make sure that he remains perky as well as healthy, and of course, happy.

Deafness Could Be A Sign Of Other Health Problems

If you perceive your dog’s ear health beginning to deteriorate such as his becoming deaf you should immediately have him looked at by a vet as it might actually be a sign of some other illness or even infection. In order to ensure your dog’s ear health, you need to have him regularly examined by a vet and such check-ups should also form a part of his routine care, and some parts on your dog’s anatomy that merit being checked routinely include where areas that have cuts, sores as well as abscesses and even infectious parts.

When checking your dog ear health, you need to look very closely at his ear canal and this you can do by drawing his ears back and also up so that his eardrum becomes easily visible. Indications of ill health in his ear canal are when the canal seems to be wet or are slightly inflamed and if this is seen, then you should take your pet to the vet for a check-up.

Another ear health is the risk of mite infestation which is known to occur under normal circumstances,but particularly when ear wax is allowed to build up in your pet’s ears because such earwax is ideal feeding ground for mites which will then result in bacterial infections as well as inflammation in the ear canal. But, by treating the ears with antibiotic, you should not face any problem in getting rid of the mites though the treatment may have to be administered for about three weeks which is enough time to rid the dog of all of the mites at their various stages of development.

Also, to ensure proper dog ear health, you must also wash his ears gently with warm water that also contains an ear wash solution and to also make sure that you remove all moistness from the ears after the wash as a damp dog’s ear can encourage bacterial growth.

If you follow these simple steps in ensuring proper care for your dogs’ ears, you can at least make sure that many such common dog ear health problems do not crop up, and thus you will have protected your pet’s hearing which is so vital to his well being.

All dogs, of course, must be properly housetrained. Discover about the best methods
housebreaking tips for puppies
housetraining puppies
tips on potty training for dogs

Tags: Family Pets

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Amazing Exotic Animal Behaviors - How Affection-Based Training Works
Author: Dan Stockdale

The old adage "you can lead an animal to water, but you can't make him drink" was definitely coined by someone who knew nothing about affection-based animal training. If that person had known about and had applied the principles of training animals based upon affection and relationship-building strategies, the phrase most probably would not even exist.

Let's begin by exploring the basis of training exotic animals, which is called operant conditioning. This primary training strategy lays the foundation upon which the principles of affection-based training are built. Through operant conditioning, exotic animals learn from their own behaviors as they are relevant to the environments in which they exist. The probability that a specific animal behavior either increases or decreases is directly proportionate to the consequences the animal experiences. In other words, positive results produce positive behaviors in exotic animals, resulting in the increased chances that such behavior will be repeated.

It is amazing how similar affection-based training in exotic animals compares to the same techniques when applied to human beings. For instance, a child who brings home a fantastic report card simply because he chose to apply himself at school is likely to continue making high marks when he receives recognition and praise from his parents. If the same child's parents pay no attention to his accomplishments at school, it is exceedingly likely that the child's enthusiasm for a job well done will be significantly, if not completely diminished. The child's attitude quickly changes to a "why bother?" mindset.

Exotic animals respond precisely the same way ... no praise, no motivation to repeat the positive behavior. Without a favorable outcome, the animal is far less likely to duplicate the positive, desired behavior.

Acclimating Exotic Animals to New Environments

Building a strong relationship with an exotic animal should begin in the earliest possible stage of the animal's life. Whether you have a young tiger cub, a newborn brown bear, a baby elephant or any other exotic animal, it is essential that the animal becomes acclimated and is comfortable with the human voice and the human touch. Begin with bottle-feeding and raise the animal as part of your family, much as you would a new baby. As the animal grows, so does the relationship, with the animal accepting you as a part of its tribe.

Again, this part of the exotic animal training experience is intriguingly like that of the human experience. Consider the situation in which a new employee comes on board as the result of her company's being acquired by your company. If the new employee is treated with a "hands-off" attitude, it is highly probable that her potential for high performance on the job will never be realized. However, if she is warmly received, treated with respect and given credit for what she brings to the table, it is extremely likely that she will perform well in her new business environment and be a valued member of your team.

Positive Reinforcement in Training Exotic Animals

It is a given that exotic animals respond to experiences they perceive as physical. In other words, a tiger will perform as desired if it receives a positive response in the form of an experience it can feel, hear, see or taste. These forms of reinforcement are primary and tangible, providing the tiger with a stimulus, whether in the form of a rub down, voiced praise, food or even opportunities for mating.

A perfect and amazing example of how training exotic animals with positive reinforcement generates desired behavior can also be witnessed by observing the results in humans when they are likewise provided their respective stimuli. Think back to your younger days when you and your classmates each received a case of chocolates to sell in order to raise money for your school. What could possibly motivate kids to give up riding their bikes and playing ball after school to go door-to-door trying to sell candy? Simple, it was the promise of an ice-cream party for the class who sold the most.

Another technique for training exotic animals to exhibit and repeat positive behavior involves using conditioned reinforcement. This form of reinforcement is not routine or involuntary, but rather is learned. Your exotic animal will learn over a period of time and through repetition that if she performs the appropriate and desired behavior that she will earn a hearty "Good Girl" and a well-deserved back rug.

For an idea of how conditioned reinforcement works in training exotic animals, consider a truly exotic species we call the human teenager. He will most probably move slowly each morning the first week of his new summer job. However, once he earns his first paycheck, he is more likely than not to have a little spring in his step the second week. He has learned firsthand, and much to his delight, that going to work equals a paycheck, which is his stimulus. Likewise, if the top annual producer on your sales staff is recognized with an "all expenses paid" golf trip, it is a sure bet that he will be an amazing go-getter next year and put forth his best efforts towards achieving the same reward.

Regardless of the species of exotic animal with which you are working, a strategically devised training plan that incorporates elements of both primary reinforcement and conditional reinforcement ensures you the best possible outcome in achieving desired results with your animal. Relationships that are established and fostered early on in which the animal is nurtured intensely enable you to become the leader rather than trying to assume the role as master, which inevitably leads to frustration for both you and your animal.

Achieve amazing results in exotic animal training by putting relationship-building, affection-based training concepts to work for you today. This technique ensures optimum results every time. Both you and your exotic animal deserve the best possible opportunity for success, and hands-down, these principles of animal training are the stepping stones upon which you can achieve the success you each deserve.

Choosing Female Dog Names
By Ling L. Tong

Although there are no specific rules for choosing a name for your dog, it only stands to reason that female dogs should have female dog names. The names for female dogs also tend be sound more feminine and have more sounds of the letter "U" in them. Many people do not realize that by giving your dog a calm and soothing name, it can help to calm its personality. You should take the dog's size and personality into consideration before you do choose a name. This means you should have the dog in your hoe for a few days to see how it acts before you make the final naming decision.

You should put a lot of though into the name you choose for your dog. This is because you will be using it al lot - every time you call the dog and in the early days, this will likely be many times. Therefore it should be a name that you like and one that is easy to say. Since the dog will be considered a member of the family, everyone should have say in making the choice of name. If you have small children that do not talk plainly yet, it is important to choose a short name with few syllables so that these children will learn to say the name properly and easily.

Choosing a name for the dog can be difficult because you want to give the dog a name that expresses her personality and demonstrates that she is a lady. The name you choose says a lot about you as a person and about your creativity. You don't want anyone to make fun of the name because this means they are making fun of you and of your dog. The name gives others a view of how you view the dog. A name such as "Runt" for example, may give others the impression that you don't love your dog.

Search through a list of names for female dogs and make a list of the ones that you like. Then consult with the members of the family to eliminate names that most of them do not like. When you have a few choices remaining, try out the names on the dog. Believe it or not, the dog will react to names and may very well choose her own name in this manner.

One important fact about choosing dog manes is that they should never sound similar to a command. This is true of most one-syllable commands, which means you can eliminate any of those names from your list. While you might want to choose a name that suits the cute cuddly puppy, you have to think about the greed of the dog and realize that she will grow into an adult. Think about how the cute name will sound on a large dog. Another name you should avoid is one that is similar to that of another family member. This will confuse the dog and she won't know if you're calling to her or the other person.

For a huge database of female dog names as well as cute dog names and other popular dog names visit http://www.Names-For-Dogs.Co.Uk

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