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5 Ways to Start Training Your Dog
by Melissa Babin

If you have just recently brought a new dog into your home, you have probably read a lot of information about dog care and feeding. But, have you prepared for what it takes to train your new pet? The following tips will help you embark on a successful journey with your new best friend:

1. Be patient, persistent and consistent. These three behaviours on the part of an owner will develop similar behaviours in a dog. Patience means understanding that learning new behaviours takes time, practice and repetition. Persistence means that you, as the owner, do not give up when training does not seem to be going well. Consistent means that your dog knows what to expect from you. For example, if you always say NO when your dog is misbehaving, they learn to recognize NO as a sign of disapproval. Conversely, if you only give treats for good behaviour, your dog will learn to recognize such positive feedback.

2. Start early. As soon as you get a dog, you should begin training. If you are getting a late start, it may take time to catch up. The key to remember is that training is nothing more than reversing bad habits and behaviours. If your dog is young, they haven't had a chance to develop a significant number of these bad behaviours and training will be simple. With an older dog, you have to unteach everything the dog knows about behaviour and start to reteach behaviours that you find acceptable.

3. Be kind and gentle. An owner who constantly punishes his or her dog for bad behaviour is bound to be a lot less successful than an owner who is gentle and kind, rewarding his or her dog for acceptable behaviours. Offer your dog plenty of praise, and be gentle when redirecting his attention from a bad behaviour to one that is more acceptable to you.

4. Have reasonable expectations. For example, if your dog misbehaves at home you are wise to expect that he will misbehave at the dog park or in the yard. Therefore, if your dog is having trouble paying attention to your commands you will want to make sure to keep him on a leash when outside. If your dog jumps on people in the house, expect that he will be rough with other dogs. You can reverse these behaviours through positive training, but you need to realize that bad behaviours will most likely continue regardless of the circumstances until they have been unlearned by your dog.

5. Always enforce your commands. If you give commands, but do not enforce them, your dog will learn that there is no reason to listen to you. On the other hand, if you back up your commands with reinforcement he will quickly learn that you mean business. Always praise good behaviour as a means of enforcing your commands.

In addition to the tips listed above, you should remember that staying firm and consistent are very important aspects of dog training. These tips will give you some solid ideas about how to start successfully training your dog, but be sure that you stick with it so that your training efforts last.

About the Author
Melissa Babin is currently working online with Joseph Murray building numerous niche sites almost exclusively on the Wordpress blog platform.

Picking the Best of the Cat Litter
by Mike O'Brien

For as long as I can remember, clay based cat litter was the standard. Clay based cat litter was always inexpensive and reasonably effective. The trick was to keep the nasty bits scooped out and change the litter at a reasonable interval. When to change the litter was fairly easy to figure out since the clay would absorb only so much urine. Several cats I've had the pleasure to own over the years were not shy about telling when they thought it was time to clean the litter box.
Prior to the introduction of clay cat litter, owners of inside cats relied on a wide variety of materials. Shredded newspaper, sand, and even plain dirt served the purpose but had some obvious drawbacks. None of these materials was very absorbent and needed to be changed often. As any owner of an inside cat will tell you, controlling the inevitable order from the cat box was difficult.

As with most product inventions and improvements, the inventor was responding to a need. The introduction of what came to be commonly known as kitty litter was not much different. Introduced in the late nineteen forties, clay based cat litter changed the way people, and cats, thought about controlling cat waste. Compared to other soil types, the composition of clay soil makes it naturally absorbent. In its natural state, clay has a very high moisture content, sometimes to the point of saturation. Now this hardly sounds like a substance that would make a great filler for the cat box.

What makes clay based cat litters work is what happens between the time the clay is collected and when it lands in the litter box. Raw clay would be dried, usually in a hot kiln. The process of kiln drying and baking is used in the production of clay pottery and the drying of milled timber. Baking the clay removes a significant amount of moisture. As water is removed from the clay, the volume shrinks and what remains is a substance that is once again capable to absorbing moisture. Its as simple as that and an entire industry sprang up around that one simple fact.

So for almost fifty years, clay based cat litter ruled the cat box. Along the way, attempts were made to add odor control ingredients, including aftermarket products. Since cat urine would turn mildly acidic over time, many folks would combine simple baking soda with the clay litter. The baking soda acted to change the Ph of the urine, neutralizing the acid and reducing odor. Other aftermarket products used combinations of various chemicals, including perfumes and odor neutralizers. These products were easy to use and were just sprinkled into the litter.

Just as we thought the science of cat litter had reached its zenith, along comes scoopable litter. It clumped, it lumped and turned the undesirable chore of cleaning the cat box into something almost bearable. Loaded with deodorizers, this unique product remained in granulated state until being used by the cat. The granules adhere to the urine and feces, encapsulating it in a clump. Using a common litter scoop, the waste is easily removed, leaving the clean litter behind.

The convenience of scoopable cat litter does come with a price. While clay based litter is relatively inexpensive, some brands of scoopable litter can be pricey. The added expense is mitigated somewhat since less scoopable litter is needed to keep the litter pan clean. Still, there are some cat owners who are concerned about the chemicals used to in the production of scoopable cat litter.

In response to some of those concerns, a market has sprung up for scoopable cat litter that uses natural enzymes to control odor. New brands of natural litter stress the low dust and absence of strong chemical deodorizers. Clay is a very rugged substance and will not break down. Without clay as a base, producers of natural cat litter advertise their products as biodegradable and even flushable. While filling the local sewer system with used cat litter would not be my first disposal choice, it is nice to know that it will breakdown naturally.

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.


Pet Sayings: Don't Swap Horses in Midstream
SF Gate

This proverb, which warns against altering current methods of operation or selecting new leaders during a crisis, was first popularized by Abraham Lincoln in his 1864 presidential campaign. He used it to address the Delegation from the National Union League who were urging him to be their presidential candidate for a second term.

An historian of Lincoln's era believes that Mr. Lincoln was quoting an "old Dutch farmer who remarked to a companion once that it was not best to swap horses when crossing streams." Lincoln knew that there had been considerable disaffection with the conduct of the Civil War and that many loyal Republications felt that he had failed as the Commander in Chief.

Said Lincoln in his speech to the Delegation:

"I do not allow myself to suppose that either the Convention or the League have concluded to decide that I am either the greatest or the best man in America, but rather they have concluded it is not best to swap horses while crossing the river, and have further concluded that I am not so poor a horse that they might not make a botch of it in trying to swap."

Other documented uses and definitions of the saying include:

Robert Graves, Good-bye to All That, 1929: "'If ours is the true religion why do you not become a Catholic?'...Reverend father, we have a proverb in England never to swap horses while crossing a stream."

Ridout & Witting English Proverbs Explained, 1967: Don't change horses in mid-stream - If we think it necessary to make changes, we must choose the right moment to make them.

Derwent May's A Revenger's Comedy, 1979: "Changing horses, love? I should look before you leap."

In my humble opinion, I believe a change in horses, and probably streams for that matter, is our country's only hope.

Tough Times: No Reason To Abandon Or Neglect Your Pet
By WILLIAM HAGEMAN Chicago Tribune / Hartford Courant

CHICAGO - The trend of pets being shooed out the front door or abandoned in forest preserves has put animal welfare officials on notice that cash-strapped pet owners are in critical need of help.

"Obviously, the goal is to keep these pets in the homes and out of shelters," said PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) Chicago founder Paula Fasseas, whose organization has deployed staff members to the Animal Care and Control lobby on weekends to counsel people who are coming in to surrender their dogs and cats.

Here are some ways to keep your pet and still be able to pay the rent.

Foster Care
Having a friend, relative or neighbor take over the care of your pet is better than relinquishing the animal. Not just for the animal, but also for you and your family.

"Imagine the trauma [to children]," said Steve Dale, a Chicago pet behavior consultant, syndicated columnist and radio host with a Sunday night show on WGN-AM 720. "The more normalcy and consistency you can provide to kids, the better. And to give up family members is the exact opposite of what you want to do."

If you can't find someone to foster your pet, contact your local shelter or a breed-specific rescue and ask about its foster program.

"Many of these humane societies want you to foster your own animal while they look for a home," said Kerry Vinkler, executive director of DuPage County, Ill., Animal Care and Control. "There is some time investment involved, because they'd like you to bring your animal to, for example, off-site adoption events so that the animal will have exposure. But a lot of times that will give more exposure than you [can give]."

Low-Cost Medical Care
Don't neglect your pet's health needs because of an inability to pay. Veterinarians are often open to compromise.

"I know cases of vets who've been pretty creative," Dale said. "They'll say, 'I know you're out of work; I'll give you a job.' Or, 'You've been with me 10 years. You can pay it out over two years' time and I won't charge you interest.' I can't guarantee every veterinarian would do that under every circumstance, but I don't think compassion has to be diametric to making a living."

If you and your vet can't make some financial arrangement, numerous organizations offer low-cost pet care.

"People need to shop around for veterinary service," said Charles Craft, supervising animal-care clerk at Chicago's Animal Care and Control facility. "If you're just looking for shots, PetSmart and Petco and others have low-cost offers."

Also nationally, the American Animal Hospital Association has its Helping Pets Fund (, which provides financial assistance at AAHA-accredited veterinarians for emergency and nonelective care for those in financial distress.

Food And Incidentals
When money's tight, think about generic pet foods.

"I'm not a proponent of generic pet food generally," Dale said. "But if it's [Association of American Feed Control Officials] approved, and 99 percent of what's on the market is, that's another way to save money."

Also, pet shelters receive donations of food that they'll often pass on to food pantries. So check the shelves of your neighborhood food pantry.

Play Time
So now your pet is healthy and well-fed. Let's make sure he's happy, too, with some toys.

A dog's best friend is a tennis ball. It's as simple as they come and provides hours of entertainment. And you don't even have to buy one.

"You can go to any of the tennis courts," Dale said. "Go right after the courts close at 6, 7, 8 at night, and I guarantee you will find tennis balls."

Another idea, assuming your dog doesn't ingest plastic: Take a gallon milk jug (cleaned out, of course), remove the top and drop some small treats in it. The dog will bat it around — noisy but entertaining — to get to the goodies.

You can also make your own cat toy. Something as simple as a tightly wadded piece of 8-by-10 paper can be knocked around the floor by a cat. Make a cat fishing rod — tie a feather to a piece of string, then attach it to a thin stick and flick it in front of your cat.

General Tips
If you need a place to live, contact your local shelter for a list of pet-friendly housing.

If you absolutely must give up your pet, don't turn it loose. Call a shelter, call a breed rescue.

"They're coming into a shelter and they're treated with compassion, no matter what their outcome," Vinkler said. "But leaving an animal to fend for itself, be abandoned after it's been a domesticated animal, is completely unfair to the animal."

Don't leave a pet behind when you move out.

"Where there's an eviction or a foreclosure," Vinkler said, "families will sometimes leave a pile of food and some water. But by law, the banks can't come in right away, and the landlords can't come in right away. So they don't. ... It's a terribly cruel situation."

For those on solid financial footing, be proactive. Take your animals in for regular exams. A small health issue won't become a big one if it's caught early. Get pet insurance.

And put aside a little money out of each paycheck — as you would for a college fund for a kid — to have just in case the bad economy jumps up and bites you and your pet.

Hints From Heloise
Washington Post

Pet Health Care

Dear Heloise: Through the years, I have adopted many RESCUE ANIMALS and have found it difficult to coordinate all of the animals' vaccinations and blood tests, because I couldn't remember which pet needed what and when it was needed. Despite tracking their files and making elaborate charts, I found that either Fido or Fluffy was missing out on some things.

Now I give myself a special birthday present each year with a trip to the vet with all of the animals. I make my own birthday the anniversary of my pets' annual health-care visit. It gives me peace of mind to know that everyone is caught up on all of the shots and basic health care. I usually take the pets to the local low-cost vaccination clinics for their shots and routine blood work (and microchipping if they don't have one), but take them to the vet for teeth cleaning and their overall health checkup. -- Lynnette Nadeau, via e-mail

Lynnette, how smart, and a gift for all of you! It can be hard keeping up with several pets. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Charlie from Monmouth, N.J., sent a photo of his cat Zorba cuddling in a blanket. Charlie says, "This is usually my clue to turn the heat up!"

Visit to see Zorba in the blanket. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Thanks for all the information in your latest column regarding the longevity of bird ownership. You might want to remind people that there are many, many birds waiting for new homes with various bird-rescue organizations throughout the country. Readers can find a local rescue group through a veterinarian or by checking on the Internet. -- Ruth, via e-mail

Of course you're right! Thank you for reminding me and my readers. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I had problems giving my doggies their medicine tablets. I even hid the tabs in cheese or other doggie treats. I decided to put my garlic press to use and crumble those pills. Now they have no problem taking them with their dog food. We are all happy now! I read your column daily in the Times Record News in Wichita Falls, Texas. I learn something new daily. -- Linda R. Walker, via e-mail

Linda, I've done the same thing. Just check with your vet to make sure the medication can be safely crushed. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: It is a good idea to ask your vet what procedure to follow in case of an emergency after office hours. If the vet is unavailable, find out whom to call and what facility to go to for emergency care. Keep this information filed with important pet papers, and make sure family members and pet sitters or caretakers all are aware. The time saved while trying to find out where to take your pet for emergency care may save its life. -- M.M. in Texas

(c)2008 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

Miami Beach Church Hosts Pet Blessing
Miami Herald


It was Jasmine's first visit to church, and Amy Palma-Crane took no chances.

Before leaving the house, she bathed her 2-year-old, wrapped a hot-pink bandanna around her neck and brought along bottled water in case the black Labrador got thirsty.

Palma-Crane was among the 100 or so people who brought their pets -- most barking, some howling -- to receive a blessing Sunday at St. John's on the Lake First United Methodist Church, 4760 Pine Tree Dr.

The animal-friendly ritual, now in its sixth year, drew a Betta fish, two cats and 70 or more dogs from Miami Beach and Miami-Dade to the hourlong service.

People came to St. John's to remember departed companions, honor their pets and celebrate the often deep relationship between animal and man.

''Dogs give us so much love,'' Palma-Crane said of Jasmine, whom she adopted from the Humane Society after Bella, her golden retriever, died of cancer last year. ``I'm very grateful that I have her, and I'm happy I can spend time with her in church.''

Jasmine was well-behaved by dog standards, barking and wagging her tail throughout the service, which took place inside the church's sanctuary.

The church timed the annual ceremony to fall close to the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, which was Oct. 4.

Pet blessings are an ancient ritual that fell out favor with early Christians, said Paul Waldau, an expert on religion and animals at Tufts University.

St. Francis, a 12th century friar ''was able to stimulate a resurgence in the concern for animals,'' Waldau said.

According to tradition, the friar befriended a wolf who was terrorizing the residents of the Italian town of Gubbio.

St. Francis' friendship with the wolf saved the townspeople from the beast.

He persuaded his followers that animals should be treated with dignity and respect since they are creatures of God, Waldau said.

St. Francis is known as the patron saint of animals.

Pet blessings have become popular at large congregations such as the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City and the Washington National Cathedral, both Episcopal churches.

Earlier this month, more than 100 creatures -- great and small -- were blessed by Francisan priests, whose order was founded St. Francis, at the Humane Society of Broward County's annual Blessing of the Pets. Sunset Congregational Church in Miami also conducted similar ceremonies in September.

At St. John's in Miami Beach, dog owners carried or led their companions to the church's altar, where Pastor Melissa Pisco greeted them.

''May you be blessed in the name of God, who created you, and may you and your owner be blessed,'' she said.

They barked, wagged their tails and licked Pisco's hand as she touched their foreheads.

The lone exceptions: Lucy the cat, and Charm the fish.

The 10-month-old cat was stoic as his owner, Jean Villamizar of Miami Beach, handed Lucy to the pastor. For most of the service, he sat inside his blue-and-tan cage and nibbled on catnip.

Charm swam in a clear glass fishbowl while his owner, Donnie Davis, carried him to the front of the church.

''I think prayer -- and blessing is a form of that -- works,'' said Davis, who got the black Betta fish 19 months ago because his Miami Beach apartment does not allow cats or dogs. ``I believe everything has a soul and this helps them spiritually.''

Pet Column
Telluride Daily Planet

Telluride, Colo. -
Dear Pet Column,

I have three children between the ages of 2 and 7. They saw a cute kitten on the television last week and have been bugging me to get them a kitten ever since. We have never had a pet and I feel it would be a good experience for them. Kittens seem like they are pretty easy to care for but my husband thinks we should get an adult cat — what is your advice?

Kitty for the Kids?

As the most recent kittens up for adoption here at the Second Chance Shelter, we would like to offer you purrs for recognizing the importance of allowing your children to grow up with pets in the home. Pets within families enhance the self-esteem of children as well as teach them important character traits such as responsibility and empathy.

Kittens, like children, do require more time, supervision, and patience than adult cats — so this should be considered by parents with busy schedules. There are also safety issues to be measured, for both kid and kitty, as young children don’t always understand that kittens are not toys but fragile creatures that can become injured by a curious well-meaning child that wants to hug tiny bodies and tug cute tails and ears.

Likewise, kittens in their playtime do not understand the damage their teeth and claws can have on small children. Thus, interactions between kittens and kids need to be closely supervised to minimize the chances of injury to either munchkin.

It is also important for parents to be willingly prepared to be the kitten/cat’s primary caretaker as it is unrealistic to expect a child, regardless of age, to have the principal responsibility of caring for a pet. We need the basics: food, water, shelter, litter box maintenance, etc., and we also need to be provided with consistent human interaction, affection and exercise.

We also need to be taught the rules of the house and proper behavior — which is too big of a task for a child. Teenagers may be capable of this but are often not willing to spend the amount of time required on a regular or long-term basis.

My final point of consideration is that young kittens, as well as adult cats, require an adjustment period to feel comfortable around the foreign actions and sounds of children. It can be overwhelming at first, even without children in the home, and kittens (and cats) should always be introduced to the family slowly.

Give us time and space to adjust — be patient with us — transitioning into a new home is a huge ordeal for any new pet, and as wonderful as it is to leave the shelter and “come home” it still generates stress. Being fully realistic about this can often represent the difference between a successful adoption and a failed one (where pets are returned to the shelter).

My name is Oreo and my siblings, Snickers, Reeces, KitKat, and Dove are ready to meet you and your children. And, as much as we would love to come home with you — please do consider some of the adult cats here at the shelter as well. They have been waiting their turn for some time and typically are much less maintenance than high energy and curious kitties like us. But most importantly, I urge you to make a decision that works for the entire family.

Purrs, Oreo.

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet or learn about SCHS Spay/Neuter Vouchers, Volunteer & Foster Care and other Programs. Visit to see our adoptable pets. Responses to Pet Columns can be sent to

Doctors: No Hamsters or Exotic Pets for Young Kids
By LINDSEY TANNER - AP Medical Writer - Atlanta Pets

CHICAGO — Warning: young children should not keep hedgehogs as pets — or hamsters, baby chicks, lizards and turtles, for that matter — because of risks for disease.

That's according to the nation's leading pediatricians' group in a new report about dangers from exotic animals.

Besides evidence that they can carry dangerous and sometimes potentially deadly germs, exotic pets may be more prone than cats and dogs to bite, scratch or claw — putting children younger than 5 particularly at risk, the report says.

Young children are vulnerable because of developing immune systems plus they often put their hands in their mouths.

That means families with children younger than 5 should avoid owning "nontraditional" pets. Also, kids that young should avoid contact with these animals in petting zoos or other public places, according to the report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The report appears in the October edition of the group's medical journal, Pediatrics.

"Many parents clearly don't understand the risks from various infections" these animals often carry, said Dr. Larry Pickering, the report's lead author and an infectious disease specialist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For example, about 11 percent of salmonella illnesses in children are thought to stem from contact with lizards, turtles and other reptiles, Pickering said. Hamsters also can carry this germ, which can cause severe diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps.

Salmonella also has been found in baby chicks, and young children can get it by kissing or touching the animals and then putting their hands in their mouths, he said.

Study co-author Dr. Joseph Bocchini said he recently treated an infant who got salmonella from the family's pet iguana, which was allowed to roam freely in the home. The child was hospitalized for four weeks but has recovered, said Bocchini, head of the academy's infectious diseases committee and pediatrics chairman at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.

Hedgehogs can be dangerous because their quills can penetrate skin and have been known to spread a bacteria germ that can cause fever, stomach pain and a rash, the report said.

With supervision and precautions like hand-washing, contact between children and animals "is a good thing," Bocchini said. But families should wait until children are older before bringing home an exotic pet, he said.

Those who already have these pets should contact their veterinarians about specific risks and possible new homes for the animals, he said.

Data cited in the study indicate that about 4 million U.S. households have pet reptiles. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, all kinds of exotic pets are on the rise, although generally fewer than 2 percent of households own them.

The veterinarian group's Mike Dutton, a Weare, N.H., exotic animal specialist, said the recommendations send an important message to parents who sometimes buy exotic pets on an impulse, "then they ask questions, sometimes many months later."

But a spokesman for the International Hedgehog Association said there's no reason to single out hedgehogs or other exotic pets.

"Our recommendation is that no animal should be a pet for kids 5 and under," said Z.G. Standing Bear. He runs a rescue operation near Pikes Peak, Colo., for abandoned hedgehogs, which became fad pets about 10 years ago.

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Pets Can Help Keep The Doctor Away
Author: Judy Porter

A pet makes a great friend. We love our pets and that is why we have them. We know that pets can make us feel better. When you get home from work, school, or are retired, or elderly, pet owners quite literally feel and see the love from their favorite dog or cat. Living with a pet can provide you with certain health benefits. Pets help to reduce your blood pressure and lessen anxiety. Pet owners health and well-being are linked together in owning a pet or have a pet visit you in the nursing home or hospital.

When selecting a pet it is important that your pet fits your lifestyle or otherwise your new pet could add more stress. Pets require our love and attention. Going out for a walk, playing Frisbee or hide and seek provides the incentive to owners to interact and get out of the house. You benefit from the fresh air, sunshine and exercise that you might not get on our own. However, what if you can’t take care of your pet? If this is the case, then pet therapy might be the way to go.

Therapy pets are animals that help humans just by visiting them. Animal Assisted Therapy is the term used to describe therapy pets. One pet is assigned to one patient. Nursing home personnel and the pet handler help to figure out ways that therapy will be best suited to the patient. Cats and dogs are the most suitable therapy pets but there is no reason why other pets can’t be trained for pet therapy as well.

Owning a pet can have medical benefits to patients in nursing homes and hospitals, and as well as pet owners. Pet owners, or pet therapy encourages social interaction, reduces stress levels, boosts self-confidence and self-esteem and encourages you to exercise. In addition, pet owners who live alone are less lonely because of their pets’ companionship.

Pets and elderly people have a lot to give one another. Pet owners give them a sense of purpose; a reason to get up in the morning, buying food and or going outside, which helps to motivate them to eat and to get enough sleep and exercise.

Pet owner’s have fewer doctors’ visits, improve your mental well being, and improve you cardiovascular health and lowers you blood pressure. Many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. There are no known symptoms that you can tell your doctor.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to a stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure or kidney failure. The only way to discover if you have high blood pressure is to have your doctor check it. This is why it is often called the silent killer. If you have high blood pressure, you should think about getting a dog or cat as they can help reduce health problems. Owning a dog or cat and stroking them can help to reduce blood pressure and even keep it lower under stressful situations.

Pet owners have better emotional health and mental wellness while caring for their furry friend. Pets can act as a support system for people who live alone or do not have family, or close friends nearby. They offer unconditional love and affection and that alone helps a person reduce loneliness.

When you are in a hospital or nursing home and a pet owner comes to visit you with their furry friend, you feel a little less lonely and depressed and can forget about your illness, even for a little while. Patients tend to be more receptive to treatment when they have regular visits from their favorite furry friend. The need to care for their pet gives them reason to recover and the will to live. It, also, makes the patient happy to have something to look forward to when visiting hours are over.

Having a pet is a great investment, not only because a dog or cat bring joy and pleasure into your life, but the many health benefits that come along with owning a pet. Though a dog or cat can’t replace human relationships for senior citizens, they can certainly enhance them and fill an older person’s life with years of constant, unconditional love. Pet owners have long known that owning a family pet can make life happier, and can lead to a longer healthier life.

Dog Obedience Training Tips
Author: Garry Neale

Obedience training is probably the best thing you can ever do for yourself and your dog. It should be noted that dog obedience training will not resolve all dog behavior problems. However, it's a very useful foundation for resolving most of the dog behavior problems you'll encounter.

Dog obedience training comes in several flavors. The most popular type is basic obedience, where you teach your dog how to sit, stay, fetch and lay down. There is also a more advanced training that can be used for purebred dog on how to behave during a dog show. The basic type of training also has several different methods that are currently popular. Many owners use rewards to get their dogs to behave or listen to commands. Others prefer the clicker method in order to condition their dogs to obey.

Most dog behavior problems can be addressed with proper home training. Obedience training is a commitment by the owner and the dog. You'll need a lot of patience if you want to be successful at home obedience training. Most dogs behavior problems show-up because the owner fails to set and enforce the rules. Dog obedience training serves to make you the pack leader and teaches your dog to follow your instructions. Once this relationship is established, you and your dog will both enjoy a fruitful partnership.

It's important to start basic obedience training when your dog is still a puppy. If you don't train your puppy, you will have a much harder time once all the bad habits have set in. Basic dog obedience is the responsibility of the owner and should probably start with potty training as the first objective. Once that objective is accomplished, you'll be well on your way to having a happy obedient dog.

Does your dog have a problem with excessive barking, biting and whining? Is your dog overly aggressive? While it's always best to start training them as a puppy, the good news is it's never too late to train your dog. If your dog is uncontrollable, then this is going to continue to get even worse. Obedience training can fix your dog's behavior problems and teach your dog to substitute acceptable behaviors for unacceptable behaviors. Dogs are extremely intelligent and they can learn very quickly.

Once you understand how your dog learns, you can train him to follow basic obedience commands. The primary reason some training sessions fail is because the owner expects his dog to think like a human. These owners try screaming at their dog and doing all kinds of weird behaviors just hoping the dog will eventually listen. Obedience training will allow you to communicate to your dog exactly what your want them to do.

Many dog owners today get so frustrated that they end up hiring a dog trainer. But that's only partially effective. There are some things your dog just can't learn from a trainer. That's because most obedience training actually takes place at home in your day to day dealings with your pet. However, with the proper tools, anyone can have a happy well-behaved pet.

Franklin Pet Memorials
“Remember them with a custom solid bronze memorial.”

Contact: Cynthia Linnon
191 Howard Street Franklin, PA 16323
814-346-7205 ph 814-346-7047 fax

How Many Fish Will My Aquarium Hold?
Author: Guest

Have you got yourself a new aquarium? If so, you need to have a plan on how you are going to fill it with those beautiful fish.

Before you work out exactly which fish you want, you need to work out have many inches (or centimetres) of fish you can accommodate in your new aquarium.

The fish will obviously have more room to swim and set up their territories in a larger aquarium, but more important than the size of the aquarium is the shape and proportions of the tank. A long, shallow tank will hold more fish than a short deep tank, even if they have exactly the same amount of water in each.

The reason for this is that the oxygen content of the water depends on how easily it can be supplied. The only place this can happen is where the air meets the water, which is at the surface of the tank, so the larger the surface, the more oxygen available. Similarly, the carbon dioxide that the fish exhale has to be expelled from the water, and this also happens at the surface.

So, to work out the capacity of an aquarium, you need to multiply the length of the aquarium by the depth to get the water surface. For instance, if your aquarium is 24in (60cm) long by 12in (30cm) deep, the answer is 288in2 (1800cm2).

The next thing you need to know is how many inches (or centimetres) of fish you can accommodate, and this will depend on the type of fish.

Freshwater Tropical Fish – 12in2 per inch body length
(75cm2 per cm body length)

Freshwater Cold Water Fish – 30in2 per inch body length
(187.5cm2 per cm of body length)

Marine Tropical Fish – 48in2 per inch body length
(300cm2 per cm body length)

So, in our example tank above you could fit:

24 inches (60cm) of Freshwater Tropical Fish
10 inches (25cm) of Freshwater Cold Water Fish
6 inches (15cm) of Marine Tropical Fish

To calculate the number of inches (or centimetres) of your fish, measure from the mouth to the start of the tail, and don’t forget that the fish you see in the shops are normally juveniles and are not fully grown, you need to allow for the size they will become!

Get this right, and you’re well on the way to having a successful aquarium.

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