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Keeping a Pet Raises Your Health Risk
By Sue Mueller

Monday October 6, 2008 ( -- A new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that exposing children to nontraditional pets such as rodents, reptiles, and monkeys may increase risk of infections and injuries such as salmonella and E coli infections.

Nontraditional pets considered in the review include exotic animals, indigenous wildlife and wildlife hybrids including amphibians, fish, mammals: wildlife, domesticated livestock, equines, weasels, lagomorphs (rabbits), rodents, feral animals (cats, dogs, horses and swine) and reptiles.

"Nontraditional pets can expose kids to disease they otherwise might not be exposed to," co-author Dr. Robert Frenck, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and a member of the AAP committee on infectious diseases was quoted by as saying.

The common pets and associated diseases reviewed in the report are cited below.

Reptiles are commonly linked to Salmonella. Six percent of all sporadic salmonella infections in the US or about 74,000 cases each year result from exposure to reptiles or amphibians.

Rodents including hamsters and other rodents are also commonly linked to salmonella illnesses caused by a number of strains.

Monkeys can carry herpes B virus. Cases of its infection have been reported in people who were bitten, scratched by infected animals.

Fish can harbor bacteria including Aeromonas species, Vibrio species, Edwardsiella species, Salmonella species, Streptococcus iniae, and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae.

Animals kept at public settings can also pose risk as well. Between 1991 and 2005, more than 5 outbreaks of human diseases have been reported including serious E. coli O157:H7 infection in public settings such as public settings such as zoos and science museums, and petting zoos.

The authors said in their report "Parents need to be educated about the increased risks of exposure to nontraditional pets and animals in public settings for infants and for children younger than 5 years and for immunosuppressed people of all ages and should be made aware of the general recommendations for reduction of risks of infection, injury, and allergy."

The report was published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

PEDIATRICS Vol. 122 No. 4 October 2008, pp. 876-886 (doi:10.1542/peds.2008-1942)
Exposure to Nontraditional Pets at Home and to Animals in Public Settings: Risks to Children
Larry K. Pickering, MD, Nina Marano, DVM, MPH, Joseph A. Bocchini, MD, Frederick J. Angulo, DVM, PhD and the Committee on Infectious Diseases

For more information on specific pet and their risk, read below.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed information on pets and associated with risks.

Consumer Guide

Dog Tricks: How To Teach Your Dog Go Find Anything You Ask For
by Daniel Waser

One of the best ways to bond with your dog, while at the same time stimulating his mind, is to teach him new tricks as often as possible. Training a dog to learn new things not only gets his mind working, but also teaches the brain to analyze and process information, thus producing a more intelligent and responsive dog.
Another interesting aspect of teaching your dog new tricks everyday is that he will start to understand specific words within the human language. For instance, below we are going to show you how to teach your dog to "Find It". After persistent training and practice of this trick, your dog will eventually be able to find a specific toy within a pile of dozens of other objects. Not only is this entertaining for you, but it activates the animal's thinking process by expanding his understanding of your vocabulary.

The Trick: Find It!
To begin training, line up about six or seven objects on the floor. Then ask your dog to locate a specific one. It is much easier if you start by sending your dog to retrieve something that he is familiar with.

For example, his favorite toy or food dish would be perfect starter objects. Now place the specific object you want him to find right next to a group of other, unfamiliar objects. The other items should be made up of boring, non-attractive things, such as a book, or a glass, etc. The reason for this is to make it easier for him to make the obvious choice when first being introduced to this trick.

Now point your finger to all of the objects that are lying on the floor and tell your dog to "Find The Toy". Without much hesitation he should put the right object in his mouth, and when he does, shower him with praise and offer a treat.

If your dog already knows how to fetch then have him bring the toy back to you. And if he does not know how to fetch then this is a great time to get him started!

Important: If you give your dog a treat for his good work at finding the right object, do not feed it to him while that particular object is lying close by. Dogs are quick to associate positive feelings with many experiences, and he might only go for the toy simply because he thinks he will get a treat each time, thus preventing him from learning new objects later on.

The next step is to place a different item amongst the pile of objects. Perhaps this time choose his food dish or a small ball. Run the sequence over again by pointing to the object and telling him to "Find The Dish".

If he picks the wrong item, say "Nope", and repeat "Find The Dish" over and over until he makes the right choice. Eventually he will be able to associate the name of each object and fetch it for you without fail.

About the Author
Daniel Waser is a dog lover since his childhood. Visit his website for more information about Dog Health Care or get his latest Dog Training Tips.


Foods Your Pets Should Avoid
by Mike O'Brien

If your pets are anything like mine, they may come off as omnivores. My Akita mix is likely to eat anything that does not eat him first. One of my cats has acquired a taste for tomato bisque and all of my dogs enjoy green pepper, zucchini and lettuce. As for my horse, she would drink all of my beer if she had the chance.
There is not much harm in feeding our pets human foods. However, there are some foods that our animal friends should definitely avoid. In addition to foods, certain plants can be downright deadly for our pets.

Chocolate and Pets Do Not Mix

Chocolate has long been considered a human food that dogs should avoid, and with good reason. Chocolate contains a chemical known as theobromine. Theobromine is similar in chemical composition to caffeine and is tolerated by humans in small amounts and is used as a therapeutic drug for certain medical conditions. Like many types of stimulate chemicals, theobromine can be harmful to humans to large doses. When it comes to animals, theobromine poses a significant health risk.

Though the danger to dogs is widely known, theobromine also poses a risk to cats and horses and other domestic pets. The metabolic process for cats, dogs and horses is significantly slower than it is for humans. An animals inability to quickly metabolize theobromine allows toxic levels of the chemical to buildup. Symptoms can range from diarrhea to muscle spasms and vomiting.

No antidote exists for treating theobromine poisoning and it is important to seek immediate veterinary help for any pet who has ingested chocolate. The vet can administer a variety of treatment options that can help reverse the toxic effects of theobromine. The key is to not wait until your pet starts to exhibit symptoms. Seek professional veterinary services immediately.

Since caffeine is similar to theobromine, avoid exposing your pet to sources of caffeine like coffee, tea, coffee beans and tea leaves.

Vegetables and Fruits to Avoid

In addition to chocolate, there are variety of fruit and vegetables that are potentially harmful to domestic pets. Just a few of the fruits and vegetables that your pet should avoid include onions, avocados, mushrooms, grapes and raisons. There are a number of fruit seeds that can cause toxicity problems for your pet including, but not limited to apple seeds, peach and apricot pits, cherry and avocados pits, and mustard seeds.

Fruit seeds and pits contain various levels of cyanide compounds. Though the amount of cyanide may not be fatal to your pet, the effects can be serious enough to require veterinary care. The best advice is to play it safe and avoid exposing your pets to these foods. Onions and similar foods such as leeks and scallions are not poisonous but can cause digestive problems and anemia in some animals so it is best to avoid them.

Candy is Sweet but Not for Your Pet

Sugar and candy may seem like a harmless treat for your pet. Problems can arise when the candy contains any type of artificial sweetener such as Xylitol. Some candy may contain cacao-based ingredients which can expose your pet to toxic levels of theobromine. If you choose to indulge your pet with the occasional sweet, make certain of the ingredients and do so only in moderation.

Other Foods to Avoid

Dogs love peanut butter and giving them peanuts in moderation can make for a tasty treat. While peanuts do not pose a risk for most dogs, other varieties of nuts should be avoided. Among the nut varieties that you should not give to your pet include macadamias and walnuts. If you have walnut trees on your property or walk your dog where walnut trees grow, make sure your dog does not ingest the nut meat or the shells. Either can cause moderate to severe digestive problems that may not show for a day or two.

The best rule of thumb when it comes to your pets and food is when in doubt, throw it out. Take a look around the kitchen and make sure that you pet-proof cabinets and pantries. It is much easier to prevent exposure to harmful foods than it is to see your pet suffer.

If you are ever in doubt about your pets health, seek professional veterinary help immediately.

About the Author
Michael O'Brien is staff writer for the quality online store Shop for unique items for your home or office including Lane Lumber Support Recliners, Adjustable Beds and quality Bed Linens at Fine Web Visit today for all of your home decor and furnishing needs.

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Pets and Roundworms
by C Swarens

While keeping your pet healthy and happy, a pet owner needs to be aware of various gastrointestinal parasites and how to recognize them in your pet. One of the most common types of parasites pets suffer from is the roundworm. Roundworms can easily be passed from one pet to the next. Depending upon the type of roundworm, it is even possible for your dog to pass roundworms to your cat or for your cat to pass roundworms to your dog. Therefore, it is important to know how to identify these parasites so you can treat them properly and keep your pet healthy.
Identifying Roundworms

Roundworms can be easily spotted in your pet's vomit or stool and look somewhat like pieces of cooked spaghetti, in that they are long and thin. Roundworms can be passed on in many ways, including from a mother's milk to her puppies or her kittens. Roundworms can be passed on through ingestion of another animal that has become infested with roundworms.

Types of Roundworms

The type of roundworms that affect dogs and cats may be different, with the one affecting dogs being called Toxocara canis and the ones affecting cats being called Toxocara cati. These roundworms cannot be passed between dogs and cats, but there is a type of roundworm called the Toxascaris leonine that infects both dogs and cats.

Passing on Roundworms

Regardless of the type of roundworm, they are often found in soil and the eggs of this parasite are resistant to both weather and chemicals. As such, they can remain infective for several years, which means your pet can become repeatedly infected. Pets often pick up roundworm eggs in their fur while playing in the grass and dirt. Later, pets lick their fur during grooming, the eggs are ingested and later hatch.

Developing Roundworms

After hatching, the larvae continue to grow inside your pet's small intestine. It only takes about three to four weeks for the larvae to mature and become adults. Once they mature, larvae produce more eggs, which are passed out of your pet through its feces. After the eggs are passed, it takes about one week before they become infective.

Preventing and Treating Roundworms

You can help keep your pet healthy and free from roundworms by giving it preventative medication, with the most common being pyrantel pamoate. Although this drug is effective at killing roundworms, it is only effective against the adult worm. Therefore, it is necessary to give your pet a second dosage about three to four weeks after administering the first dose. Otherwise, the eggs laid by the adults will hatch, produce additional eggs, and continue the cycle of infection.

The second dose of medication is essential in order to rid your pet of roundworms. If you allow too much time to pass before you provide the second dose, the adults will continue to produce eggs, which will continue the cycle leading to your pet becoming reinfected. Vigilence in administering the medication and following the recommended treatment is essential to assuring your pet becomes free from infection.

About the Author
CS Swarens is the CEO of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065 For additional information on dogs, cats, birds, horses, and exotic pets visit the internet's resource for pet classifieds Research pet information with detailed profiles of over 430 pet breeds.

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Tips to Help Find Lost Pets
By ALTHEA PETERSON World Staff Writer

Animal shelter can't keep all indefinitely

When you lose your pet, Jean Letcher wants to return it to you.

Unfortunately, out of 1,000 stray dogs and cats brought to the Tulsa Animal Shelter last month, only 61 dogs and no cats were returned to their owners.

"Our ultimate goal anytime we get a pet is to return it," said Letcher, who is Tulsa's manager of animal welfare. "Almost all of the cats are stray and nearly none of them are identifiable."

Here are Letcher's tips on how to bring Fido and Fluffy home if they're lost:

Identified or impounded: The shelter will first check all pets for vaccination tags and other collar identifications, making these the best way to have your pet returned to you.

Meow for microchipping: If your pet has lost its collar, all pets taken to the shelter are scanned for a microchip, which is placed below the animal's fur and readily identifies it.

Registration for Rover: Register your pet with the city for a $3 annual fee. Registration paperwork is available at the shelter and at many veterinarians' offices.

Pet photography: A current photo of your pet will be useful in making "lost pet" signs to put around the neighborhood, as well as to have an identifier when asking others whether they've seen the lost animal.

Three Dog Night: The shelter's policy is to keep all pets for three business days, not counting the day the pet was turned in to the shelter or Sundays and Mondays. After three days, the shelter will determine whether the pet is adoptable or whether it must be euthanized because of disease or limited shelter space.

In person or online: The shelter's online lost-pet resource is, but the best option is to visit the shelter at 3031 N. Erie Ave., on Tuesdays through Saturdays to see whether your pet is there. Because of the large animal population at the shelter, phone calls are not preferred.

Classified ad: The Tulsa World offers free classified advertisements to anyone who has found a pet. A "lost pet" classified ad costs $15. Call 583-2121 for details.

Choose the Right Pet. Cat, Dog or Something Else
Author: Andy CI

Choosing to bring a new pet into your home is never an easy fact. It's not all about it's price or type, but also it brings some new responsibilities to you - you have to take care of him.

First, you must ask yourself some serious questions: Why do you want to adopt a pet? Do you have time for a pet? Can you have a pet where you live? Can you afford a pet? Are you going to move soon? Do you have the right home for the pet you want? Are your children old enough for a pet? Do you have the financial resources for a pet at this time? Are you able to deal with any special problems that might come up with your new pet?
You must answer careful to these questions before choosing a pet.

When you think to get a new pet you think what type it should be. Well, the most common pets are cats and dogs. Some statistics shows that there are approximately 90 million owned cats and 73 million owned dogs just in the United States.
There seems to be more cats than dogs owned as pets. The main reason may be that cats are more easy to take care of than dogs. Cats are also more funny than any other pet. They have an amusing curiosity when you play with them. Every cat is a true individual. So it’s important to take the time to choose a four-footed friend who’s right for you. A cat’s personality, age, and appearance are all things you should keep in mind when making your selection.

But the fact is why you want a pet? For companion, entertainment or protection? If you need protection, of course you will choose a well trained dog as a pet, while, if you need some entertainment you'll choose a cat. You should know until now that cats are the most funny pets.

But there is not only about cats and dogs. You may want an exotic pet like parrots, canaries (if you like to hear them singing),turtles, lizards, and other pets like fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rabbits, ponies or spiders.

If you want to impress your friends, you may choose an unusual pet like a spider or lizard. These pets must be kept in their own cages and you have to be very careful with them.

There are many places where you can get a pet. Pet shelters are the best idea, but you can adopt a pet from your friends or neighbors too.
If you want a real breed pet, you may choose to buy one, but you'll see that many prices are around $500 to $1600. The easy way to get a pet is to adopt one. You can find them at animal shelters or rescue, or perhaps even a neighbor or friend.

Take care that owning a pet rise some important responsibilities for you.

1. You must feed him. There are many pet stores from where you can buy food for your pet. Some pets, like rabbits need vegetables and you have to provide them.

2. You must care of his health. Take your pet for regular check-ups from your local vet, and ensure you provide the required vaccination for him.

3. Keep a clean, fresh environment for you pet. It is necessary for your pet health. That's obvious.

4. Take some time for your pet. You must take some time to play or just walk around with your pet. It's very important for your new pet.

Things to consider before adopting a pet: how much space will be available for him, your expenses with him (food, care, vets etc), the time you will spend with your pet (the most important) and will he meet other pets of his kind? Good luck choosing a good pet.

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