Magnetic Beds for Dogs

Missing: 150-Year-Old Tortoise 'Butch,' Family Pet for Two Generations
Fox News

CUPERTINO, Calif. — A family pet that's been a fixture in a Cupertino neighborhood for 65 years is missing.

A desert tortoise named "Butch" disappeared late last month from the yard of a home where it had lived with two generations of the same family.

The tortoise — estimated to be 150 years old — was a gift to Opal Carle when she moved into the home in 1943.

When Carle passed away during the summer her son and daughter-in-law took over care of the land turtle.

But when the daughter-in-law — Penny Carle — had to go into a hospital on Sept. 25, the tortoise disappeared.

The family believes the tortoise was stolen because there is chain link fence around the property.

Delta Society - Animals Helping People
Candice Curran - Seattle Post Intelligencer

Redeeming Yourself as a 'Responsible' Pet Parent, Step One - Repenting to the Vet
During the 5 years that I worked in the animal rescue and welfare industry, I was offered a unique employment benefit – vet care. Being that the animal shelters where I worked had their own vet on staff, the organizations encouraged their staff to utilize the vet's skills and services for their own pets. In hindsight, having this luxury wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

You see, the paper trail on these services and procedures is not nearly as easy to collect and maintain as that of a private practice vet -- which means that I had lost touch, as many pet parents do, with my dogs' shot and health records. This became particularly apparent to me when I started working for Delta Society and was hoping to enjoy one of their greatest employment benefits (bringing your pet to work).

Per the Pet Policy, put in place for the safety of people and pets alike, before I could bring either of my dogs to work I needed to track down their shot records and have them seen by a veterinarian to complete a health screening. This is a terrific safe-guard to be sure that all of the pets that are interacting in the office are healthy. Unfortunately, all that I could piece together of their shot records, that was relevant, were their rabies vaccination certificates.

I will admit, I was a bit embarrassed that I was qualifying myself as a 'responsible' pet parent when I wasn't maintaining some of the most basic health records for my fur-children. The idea of even making an appointment with a vet was making me anxious. Then, suddenly, seeing a vet was no longer simply about getting to bring my boys to work with me, but about redeeming myself as a pet parent – taking good care of those that take care of me.

So, just like that I propelled myself out of my desk chair and polled the office staff for good and reasonable vets in my area. Since I knew that we couldn't afford getting both dogs into the vet in the same month, I reconciled that I would get Bruegger to the vet this month and Mr. Hyde next month. And, just like that, within one week I was half way to ensuring the health of my boys.

I know from chatting with friends and family over the years that keeping your pets up-to-date on their shots and health checks can be cumbersome, and sometimes quite costly. But ensuring their health is just as important as ensuring our health because of all that they bring to our lives, -- and, when regularly maintained, the costs are not nearly as bad as the costs that would come with having them treated for an ailment that went neglected!

So, I offer this piece of advice – check your pet's health records, is it time for them to go for a check-up? If you don't have a vet, ask a friend or a co-worker if they can recommend one that they trust. Do it now so that you and your furry-friend can snuggle up tonight with the peace of mind that you will have each other for many nights to come.

Think Like a Cat
by Pam Johnson-Bennett - Yahoo Pets

Understanding Petting-Induced Aggression

Does your cat bite for seemingly no reason while you pet her? Has she gone crazy? No, the behavior is known as petting-induced aggression.

Why did your cat suddenly turn on you? Here's a typical situation -- you're sitting on the sofa watching television and you have your kitty in your lap. It's a relaxed setting where you lovingly stroke your cat repeatedly. Suddenly, she whips her head around and sinks her teeth into your hand or smacks you with her paw.

Petting-induced aggression can have a few possible causes. The repetitive stroking may cause a shift from pleasure to over-stimulation. In other cases, the cat may get very relaxed, perhaps even nap and then suddenly awaken and be momentarily confused by the physical contact. Some kitties only like being petted on certain areas of the body.

Even though the aggression may appear to occur out of the blue, your cat exhibited several warning signs before resorting to biting. When we're petting our cats and doing something else such as watching TV or talking, we can easily miss subtle signs. Warning signs can include:

--Skin twitching
--Tail lashing
--Cessation of purring
--Shift in ear position
--Shift in body position
--Muscle tensing
To avoid future petting-induced aggression episodes, become familiar with her tolerance level and stop petting well beforehand. If she likes being petted for 10 minutes, stop after five. Leave her wanting more. Let her relax on your lap and then perhaps you can start petting again later. Stay away from areas that cause stimulation. For example, some cats don't like being stroked near the tail. Learn your cat's preferences.

For more help, order my book, Starting from Scratch.

Special Beds Can Foster Healing and Alleviate Pain in Many Pets
By Eve Adamson - Pet Product News

Dogs who can benefit from magnetized mats are drawn to them.

Before she died at age 16, Penne came to work every day with Terri Grow, owner of PetSage, a retail pet store and catalog business in Alexandria, Va. As the friendly chocolate Labrador retriever grew older and developed arthritis and repetitive stress injuries in her shoulders and hips, she would shuffle around the store, greeting customers and resting often on several strategically placed pet beds.

But Penne had a difficult time getting out of big, cushioned dog beds with high sides. Instead, Grow provided her aging friend with orthopedic pet beds made from recycled soda bottles.

“The orthopedic beds contain a dense filling that holds its shape,” Grow says. “It has more support so it is much easier for an older dog to get out of.”

Both Healing and Green

An increasing number of pet beds are not only orthopedic, heated or magnetized, but also eco-friendly.

Green pet beds may be more durable, with washable covers and filling so they last longer. Some contain recycled filling (from plastic soda bottles, fabric scraps or natural products like kapok or millet hulls), and some are covered with organic cotton or eco-friendly hemp.

“A lot of people want environmentally friendly pet products now,” says Terri Grow, owner of PetSage, a retail pet store and catalogue business in Alexandria, Va.
“So a lot of the beds we carry reflect that philosophy.”
See related article, starting on our cover.

Many retailers report an increased number of customers seeking products for senior pets. Between 2004 and 2006, the percentage of pet owners purchasing dog beds increased from 18 percent to 26 percent; cat bed purchases increased from 7 percent to 10 percent of pet owners surveyed, according to the 2007-2008 American Pet Products Manufacturers Assn.’s National Pet Owners Survey.

Orthopedic beds have become more in demand.

“I sell a lot of orthopedic beds to people with senior dogs who need a little help getting up,” Grow says.

But orthopedic beds aren’t the only beds that make life easier and less painful for older or injured pets. Other beds employ magnetic therapy or heat therapy, with or without orthopedic material, not just to feel good but to promote healing, too.

Animal Magnetism
Hamilton and Harley make formidable agility and Frisbee competitors, but when they get home at the end of the day after a rigorous competition, the two Australian shepherds head to their beds as if drawn by magnets.

Actually, they are drawn by magnets.

“I first tried magnetic beds for the dogs last year when they were taking some time off for physical therapy and rehab, and they are just drawn to those beds,” says Julie Soucy, an assistant to holistic veterinarian Allan Schoen in Sherman, Conn. Harley has always loved her bed, but Hamilton was initially confused.

“He could definitely feel something from the bed,” Soucy says. “He wasn’t sure about it, but then he got used to it. Now he goes in there every chance he gets.”

Magnetic beds aren’t for every pet, and some pets avoid them. Grow believes the pets know best.

“Magnetic beds and magnetic inserts for beds have a very obvious beneficial effect for some pets,” Grow says. “Others don’t like the magnets at all. To me, that says that you shouldn’t force an animal to use a magnetic bed. If an animal doesn’t like it, the animal probably doesn’t need it, but if they are attracted to it, it may be beneficial to them.”

Paul Schmitz, president and co-owner of Magna-Mat, a division of Feel-Rite Magnetic Pet Products in Akron, Ohio, gets a lot of client feedback about dogs that gravitate to magnetic beds, including the greyhounds at Royal Racing Team in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“They tell me the greyhounds go straight for the magnetic beds after a race,” Schmitz says. “I think that’s pretty telling that the beds have a therapeutic effect.”

According to Schmitz, magnetic therapy has been around for centuries, and as holistic approaches to health grow in popularity, so does the use of magnets for both humans and pets.

“Many of our clients call because their veterinarians referred them,” Schmitz says. “Magnets improve blood flow to parts of the body with inflammation. It increases oxygenation, reduces swelling of joints and helps rebuild damaged bone tissue, whether a dog is injured or suffering from arthritis.”

Hot Topic
Many pets gravitate toward warmth, and older pets in particular seem to derive a therapeutic benefit from heat, especially during the winter.

“Stiffness, limping and limited mobility in aging pets typically worsens during cold, damp weather,” says Brad Kane, director of pet bedding for Petmate in Arlington, Texas. “It all comes down to the way heat improves blood flow circulation. Heat therapy is a big part of post-surgical recuperation, and heated beds or pads can also help decrease the progression of joint disease, hip dysplasia and painful arthritis.”

PetSage sells a lot of private-labeled heated beds, Grow says.

“The heat element is about the thickness of a credit card and fits in a sleeve of fleece,” she says. “When you touch it, it feels lukewarm, but when the animal lies on top, it traps the heat so it soothes but doesn’t overheat and has a transformer to prevent accidents.”

The three cats that live in Grow’s store love the heated beds, especially 13-year-old Ripken.

“He gets the coldest and seeks out the heated beds,” Grow says. “He has a little arthritis in his hips. But all three cats like to pile into the heated bed and sleep together.”

Another way to reap the benefits of heat is to employ radiant heat above the bed, says Tim Jahnigan, co-owner of Wavemaker and inventor of the Fauna Sauna, a radiant heat device for pets.

“Animals gravitate toward the sunniest spot on the floor because the sun’s radiant heat not only feels good but has healing properties,” he says.

Jahnigen explains that there are three kinds of heat: convection, like hot air coming out of an oven; conduction, direct contact with a heat source like a frying pan or heated bed; and conversion, which is infrared or radiant heat.

“Your own body heat is infrared,” he says. “Infrared is the heat from the sun. On a cold day, you feel the warmth of the sun because it heats you but not the air. Infrared heats objects, not space, and is a critical part of our overall health.”

Jahnigan says animals respond instinctively to radiant heat.

“Radiant heat is a natural anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antiseptic, muscle relaxant, antispasmodic and alkalizer,” he says. “This is why animals lie in the sun.”

In the wild, Jahnigan says, dogs bask in the sun 8 to 12 hours a day, stimulating metabolic activity on a cellular level.

“Radiant heat is the heat of life,” he says.

Judge Approves $24M Settlement in Pet Food Case
By GEOFF MULVIHILL Associated Press Writer - AM New York

CAMDEN, N.J. - A judge has approved a $24 million settlement for owners of dogs and cats who were sickened or died after eating pet food containing a chemical contaminant.

U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman on Tuesday accepted the deal, calling it "fair, reasonable and adequate."

The ruling clears the way for U.S. pet owners with claims to start receiving checks next year. A Canadian judge has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 3 to determine whether the settlement can also apply in that nation.

Under the deal, pet owners have until Nov. 24 to file claims.

The settlement is to compensate owners for many expenses, including: the cost of the food, medical and burial expenses for their animals, the value of the animals or the cost of replacement pets, checkups for animals who ate the food but did not get sick, replacing carpets ruined by sick pets, and time the owners took off work to seek treatment for their animals.

Sherrie R. Savett, a lead lawyer for plaintiffs in the case, has said she believes that more than 1,500 animals in the U.S. died after eating the food last year.

Lawyers said that so far, more than 10,000 people have filed claims. Of the claims analyzed so far, the average is nearly $1,500. But the lawyers say that average could drop when an administrator reviews the expenses to make sure they are reasonable.

If money is left over after all pet owners have been paid, it would go to animal-welfare charities. If the fund does not cover all the claims, pet owners would receive something less than 100 percent of their economic losses.

A few dozen pet owners formally objected to the settlement _ some of them because they believe it should also compensate them for pain and suffering due to the loss of their pets. Some wrote letters to the judge describing their animals, who died after eating contaminated food, as best friends who should not be regarded as mere possessions.

But lawyers in the case say the law is not on the side of their deeply felt sentiments, and a hearing on the settlement Tuesday focused on more routine legal matters.

The case began in March 2007, when dogs and cats began mysteriously getting sick. It turned out that the common thread was pet food produced under nearly 200 labels _ much of it by Streetsville, Ontario-based Menu Foods Income Fund.

Most of the food turned out to contain Chinese-made wheat gluten laced with the melamine, an industrial chemical.

Hundreds of pet owners sued. Just over a year after the pets began getting sick, lawyers for pet food manufacturers, stores that sold it, and pet owners had worked out the settlement, which would be in addition to about $8 million already paid by the companies to pet owners.

At Tuesday's hearing, the judge also considered the issue of payment for the lawyers in the case.

Nearly 40 were present in the courtroom, and that wasn't all of them. Fifty-five firms did work for plaintiffs. Savett told the judge that the lead firms alone had put in work worth more than $5 million.

Savett, who has spent more than two decades working on class-action lawsuits, said pet owners would do well under the settlement _ even without damages for their suffering.

If the case had been allowed to go to trial, she said, the defendants might have tried to make each plaintiff prove that a pet had eaten the contaminated food and that it was not some other cause that killed or sickened the animal.

"There is a risk that people would not have gotten anything at all," she said.


7 Dog Training Tips to Should Know Prior to Starting Dog Training
Author: Keith S.G. Gilbert

Dog training is very important if you would like to ensure that you and your new pet will be able to live in harmony. Dog training can correct or modify a number of the dog's natural behaviors, making the dog much more suited to life being taken care of in your home. There are a number of different ways available to train your dog and by following these 7 basic dog training tips, you will find that the training goes smoothly and is fun for both you and your dog.

1. If you are unsure of how to train your dog, seek help.
Individuals that would like to train their dog often have no idea how dog training is conducted or how the personality of their dog will factor into the training process. There are a number of different books and reference materials available to help a person train their dog, and if the owner is still unsure or uncomfortable with the training methods, they can ask a professional dog trainer for assistance and additional dog training tips.

2. Negative reinforcement is the least effective training method.
One of the dog training tips that most dog training professionals wish more people knew is that using negative reinforcement or punishment to train the dog is the least effective way to get the dog to obey you, but is the most effective way of making the dog fearful or aggressive towards you and others.

3. Making dog training fun also makes the training more effective.
Another one of the most important dog training tips to remember is that dogs love to please and are eager to learn in all stages of life, so making the dog training fun for the dog not only makes the training more enjoyable but also makes the lesson easier to learn for your dog.

4. Don't be afraid to use small treats as rewards.
Giving the dog a small treat for a job well done will not hurt the training process and will make the training more enjoyable for the dog. The treat chosen as the reward should only be given during the training process and on the successful completion of the task the dog was asked to do.

5. Research training products extensively before deciding which to purchase.
There are a large number of different training products on the market today and some of these products are intended for a specific use, not for general obedience training. Some of the products will have features that are not necessary to the training that you are trying to conduct, while some others may have features that will make your training sessions easier.

6. Dog training takes time.
Just as you didn't learn how to read in a day, your dog will not master a command or a trick within the space of a day. It takes time for a dog to remember and execute a desired behavior after it has been introduced to them, so this important dog training tip is to give the training time to work and the dog time to understand what you are asking him to do.

7. If at first you don't succeed, try again.
This last tip of the important dog training tips is that if your dog fails to understand a training method or a command, try a different teaching method. Just like different people learn in different ways, different dogs learn in different ways as well.

How To Train Your Pet To Become A Treadmill Dog
by Mike Selvon

One of the most popular exercise machines out today for humans is the treadmill. The reasons why treadmills are so popular are they are easy to use, they burn calories, and they create less impact on your body compared with walking or running on hard surfaces and their conveniently located inside your home. Those same reasons can apply to your dog's exercise routine. You can train your dog to be a treadmill dog and walk on a treadmill just as you do.
A treadmill is easy to use for both humans and animals because it allows for the natural movement as walking or running outdoors. There are treadmills made especially for pets, but they work similarly to regular treadmills.

Training your pet to walk on a human treadmill is just as simple as training them to walk on a specialized dog treadmill. When you have the equipment already in your home, there is no need to be out the expense on doggie equipment.

Conveniently located in your home, you are only steps away from helping your treadmill dog maintain a health fitness program. Fluctuations in weather conditions as well as daylight or darkness have no effect on his daily workout. Rainy or snowy weather and unsafe traffic conditions are also eliminated.

The first step in the training process is always safety. Make sure you have a harness with a place to attach a leash in front of the chest. This way it's easier to control the dog while you're in front of them, and it will prevent unnecessary tension on a neck collar.

Another thing to keep in mind while you exercise your dog on a treadmill is that they are doing all the work, and we're not. Treadmill activity can be a big workout for dogs because it requires a steady pace. Make sure to watch and listen for signs that your dog is getting tired or overheated just as you would for any activity.

Now, make sure the treadmill is at its lowest setting. A dog can become frightened by the intensity of the ground moving too quickly beneath him. Get yourself comfortable in a spot in front of the machine so that you will be close to your pet. If you get up and leave your dog in the middle of the training, he may become anxious. Never leave your dog unattended on a treadmill. He could lose his footing and become choked.

Next take and offer your dog a treat to lure him onto the treadmill. You will want to make this a positive experience for your dog. Once your dog is positioned on the platform, thread the leash in through the front of the treadmill and turn the machine on low. Use the treats to lure your dog forward and keep them just beyond his nose until he willingly moves forward with the machine. Don't forget to reward the behavior with a treat.

Dogs respond positively to words of encouragement, so call to him and tell him how great he's doing. Make sure to always start out slow and progress until your dog reaches an easy trot. Do this for five minutes a day until he moves smoothly even without a treat for a lure.

Treadmill use has grown over the years due to how simple and effective they are to get a thorough workout. There is no reason why your dog can't benefit from the same principals as you do. With a little training and reassurance, a treadmill gets results, whether for you or your treadmill dog.

About the Author
Mike Selvon owns a number of niche portal. Please visit our portal for more great information on the treadmill dog, and leave a comment at our pacemaster treadmill blog.

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6 Tips on Choosing the Right Koi For Your Pond
By Dennis Francis

If you lurk around the koi chat rooms and forums as I do you pick up a lot of information from people who are just getting started in the world of koi. These soon to be koi addicts are searching for answers and yet don't have the direct experience of koi culture. The number one topic on their minds is "What kind of koi should I get?"

1) The first decision to make is to whether you want to buy from your local supplier or through the internet. If you have a local koi supplier, go and have a look at the quality of their koi as well as their facilities. Get an idea of how knowledgeable the owner is about koi in general, but more importantly, about the specific koi that he has in stock.

The time of the year to buy your koi. If you want imported Japanese koi, which are the best quality koi usually, then the harvest time in Japan in October and so will arrive in overseas countries in November or December.

2) That they're swimming smoothly and efficiently, and not with any jerking or unsmooth motions.

3) That the koi is not damaged in any way, looking carefully at their gills, all their scales, their fins, and quality of their eyes. Ensure that there are no damage, ulcerations, or discolored spots.

4) That they're not in respiratory distress and that their gills are moving evenly and rhythmically.

5) That they're interacting and socializing well. Koi that swim alone or are hiding in a corner may not be the healthiest or most robust.

6) If you need a closer look at a koi that you like, ask the owner to hold them up close for you to see.

Generally, you should have 1000 L of water for each koi, especially with the Japanese variety. Plus, your pond should be ready before you go buy the koi.

If this is your first ever koi pond and you're looking at top of the range koi, it may be wise to not buy your entire stock of expensive koi at once. If going for a $10 to $20 koi, then many will be able to afford the whole new family at once.

Dennis is a koi fish enthusiast who finds peace in tending to his koi fish pond. You can get free practical information and personal observation on caring for koi at

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Franklin Pet Memorials
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Contact: Cynthia Linnon
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814-346-7205 ph 814-346-7047 fax

5 Power Foods For Your Growing Koi
By Dennis Francis

I'll be brutally honest with you. Koi are omnivorous scavengers that will not only eat anything, they even eat some things twice! Sure unlike rats and cockroaches, koi carp are beautiful aesthetically pleasing sea creatures that give me constant joy and delight to watch and feed by hand.

Koi cannot eat a large amount of food at one time because they do not have stomachs. Since Koi can't eat too much at one time, they spend a lot of time looking for more food to eat. Koi will actually eat anything that is small enough for them to actually swallow whole.

Carp are incredibly adaptable creatures. They consume their carbs and proteins from available sources and will even subsist on decaying plant and animal life. The carp natural diet tends to be worms, crustacea and vegetation. In the wild, they will feed at the bottom of the water and root through decaying vegetation. As the decaying plant mass moves through their system, they will excrete the fecal matter which will mix into the mud. They will actually gather nutrients from the previous passing of plant poop!

So how does this information relate to your average pet koi that lives in your pond? Well, it would be nice to understand why koi sometimes are over fed by their owners. Koi food is divided into five categories, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Here are five tips for feeding your koi properly.

1. Feed at least 2 to 4 times daily when the water temperature is between 15 º-30 º C (60º- 86º F). Do not exceed the amount the fish will eat within 10 minutes. Remove the remaining food after 1 hour.

2. Feed 2 to 3 times weekly when the water temperature is lower than 15º C (60ºF ). The amount should also be reduced to half of the regular quantity.

3. Stop feeding if the water temperature is lower than 12º C (53ºF) or the water temperature suddenly drops more than 5ºC (9ºF). Give your fish 2 to 3 days to adjust to the water temperature than restart feeding.

4. When any sudden drop of fish's appetite is observed, check to make sure your fish is not sick because of improper water temperature or water pollution.

5. If more than half of the tank water has been changed, do not feed your fish for 24 hours.

Most koi feed are made to supply the following balance of nutrients: Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Ash. Their ingredients usually include Wheat Germ Meal, White Fish Meal, Shrimp Meal, Spirulina, Soybean Meal, Dried Sour Whey, Dehydrated Alfalfa, Brewers, Dried Yeast, and multivitamins sources.

Stick with feed that you can afford and on occasion, feed them a little lettuce, peas and even watermelons. There are a multitude of koi food specialty outlets as well as most established pet stores carry koi food by the bag or by the bucket. Remember to pay attention to the feeding guide for important information on seasonal and temperature changes.

Dennis Morales Francis is a small business coach and the author of "Double My Revenues In 12 Months or Less" and "Push Button Profits! A 30 Day Program For Making $120,000 A Year On Auto Pilot" Head over to the site and sign up for your free 30 day course now before it's too late!=>

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