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Dog Training: Frequently Asked Questions
By: Susie Aga

I frequently get asked the same questions by different clients all the time. Here are the questions and the solutions.

Why won't my dog come to me when I call them?
First of dogs with out a fenced in yard are the harder to teach come to, because they do not have enough time off leash and will not give that up when they are loose. If you give your dog ample exercise off leash in an enclosed park or some other area on a regular basis then it is no big deal for them to come to you when they are loose because they are not giving anything up. Also you MUST be exciting no one wants a boring dog and no dog wants a boring owner. I can teach you 3 tools that will get your dog to come to you first their name means come to me, then "come" as an emergencies command and then I have a secret weapon that is fool proof.

Why does my dog tear up paper, eat Kleenex and sticks?
When dogs tear things apart or eat strange things it usually an instinctual behavior passed down from the wolves. Most of the time it comes from when wolves would hunt for food and tearing the meat off the bone is satiating to them. Kleenex eating is a mystery to my vet and myself. I think it just tastes good. A lot of dogs will sit down and eat a whole toilet paper roll or Kleenex box. If your dog does this the best advice I can give is to keep these things out of reach. If they can't reach it they can't chew or eat it!

How to get rid of urine smells in carpet?
There are many different products out there; personally I have not found one that is 100% effective. Natures Miracle seems to have a good reputation. There are many home remedies like a dilution of vinegar and water to get the smell out but this solution can also stain many surfaces and carpets so do a small test site first and wait 3-4 days to see if the color changes. The professional carpet cleaners sometimes guarantee to get the urine smell out of surfaces, make sure so you're not wasting your money on another useless method.

Why should I get my dog spayed or neutered?
The number one reason is that there are more than 5000 homeless dogs in the metro Atlanta area alone not to mention the surrounding counties. There are some dogs prone to testicular and other forms of cancer by neutering/spaying them you could be saving there life in the future. Dogs that are spayed/ neutered seem to have less behavior problems then dogs that are in tact. The health of the dogs is also better and you will have fewer visits to the veterinarian.

Where should I get a dog from? A breeder, a pet store, or rescue group?
If you get your dog from a rescue group (Golden Retriever rescue / Lab etc.) you can get the breed you are looking for and save a life. The humane societies and shelters always have a lot to choose from. If you must go to a breeder or pet store do some back ground checking and make sure you are not buying from a puppy mill.

What are some poisonous things I should be aware of around my house and yard?
Some command foods that are poison to dogs are chocolate, grapes and almonds. Just a few teaspoons of anti freeze can kill a dog in the matter of hours. Pesticides can be very harmful to animals as well rat poisons, bug repellents and moth ball. Some house plants such as poinsettias and mistletoe, azaleas and tulip bulbs are also poisonous.

Author Bio
Susie Aga, Atlanta Dog Trainer
Susie is a Certified Canine Behavior & Training Specialist and a member in good standing with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She has four rescue dogs and donates much of her time and services to Rescue Organizations and hosts The Animal Hour Radio Show which can be heard through her site.

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10 Cat Care Guidelines
By: Dave Markel

There area many common sense rules to follow when caring for your cat. These rules are simple and will ensure your cat will be healthy and happy.

When your cat arrives at home:
Bringing your new cat home can be frightening for it. Be prepared by having a food and water spot already set up. Also have a litter box setup in a quite spot away from the food. Your new cat should be transported in a cat carrier. When you bring the cat inside set the carrier down and open the door. Let the cat come out and explore on its own. Confining the cat to a quiet room for a day or two will make the experience less overwhelming.
Going Outside:
Before letting your cat outside for the first time be sure it is comfortable with you and its indoor surroundings. There are many dangers outside so let your cat have an escape route in case it needs it. My cat uses a cat door and it has save him a few times.

Judge the risk to letting your cat outdoors. If you live close to lots of traffic having an outdoor cat may not be a good idea.
Litter Boxes:If you are using a cat box it should be cleaned daily. Clumping cat litter makes this easy. Simply scoop out the clumps and you're done. Put the litter box in a place where the cat will not be disturbed.
Food and water:
Your cat should always have a supply of fresh food and water. I prefer to use a heavy ceramic bowl to prevent the cat from pushing it or tipping them over.

The water bowl should be changed daily and food should be added to maintain a good supply.

My cat is now on a high quality dry food. I found feeding him can food was a waste. He generally left some behind at each meal regardless of the portion. At 15 I weaned him onto dry food only.

Scratching Posts:
Any cat is
going to have the urge to scratch. The question is where is it going to do it? Best to have a scratching post that is safe and secure. Play with your cat on the post so it gets used to being allowed to scratch there. Rubbing a bit of cat nip on the scratching post will encourage your cat to scratch.

Cat Toys:
There are so many different cat toys on the market these days it is hard to choose a toy your cat will like. After much trial and error I determined my cat likes the string attached to the toy much better then the toy. Whenever I want to play I get a string, or better yet, my gold necklace (his favorite).

Sleeping Places:
A cat always needs a quiet, out of the way place to sleep the day away. A bed near a heater or furnace vent is ideal. In the winter most of the vents in my house have a cat bed near them. If you have small children make sure they can't disturb your cat when it sleeps

Care for eyes and ears:When cats get a build up of discharge around the eye simply clean it with a damp cloth. A small amount of discharge is normal for a healthy cat but if there are excessive amount then consult a vet.

Regularly check your cats ears for dirt or ear mites. Any dirt can be removed with a damp Q-tip. If you spot small brown clumps of discharge you should consult your vet. This is a sign of ear mites.

Care for the claws:
If you have an outside cat, claw care is less important. Climbing trees, and other outdoor stuff helps to keep claws well maintained.

An inside cat has far less need for its claws. There is really no environment where your cat needs to use its claws. You should trim your cats claws once or twice a year. Clip the very tip of each claw. Taking any more then just the tip can hurt your cat. It is recommended that you have a vet show you how to clip their claws properly.

Care of the mouth and teeth:
As cats age their teeth start to get calcium build up which can cause gum inflammation. Check your cats mouth every 6 or 8 weeks. Find and remove and calcium build up before deposits get too large.

Caring for a cat is quite simple, common sense really. I believe that good food, fresh water, lots of love and exercise is best for a cat. By following these 10 simple guidelines your cat can live a long and healthy life.

Author Bio
Visit for more great articles related to cats.

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Fish Make The Greatest Pets
By: Jennifer Shircel

Aren't the children always begging for a pet or another pet?

You don't want a cat - there's that whole litter box thing. You don't want to train a puppy, plus what about when you want to go away for the night? Birds make such a mess and can be quite noisy. And then there's those "rodent" things.

When we found out we were expecting our first child we decided to decorate the nursery in tropical fish decor. Then we thought a fish tank in the room would be perfect for the "white noise" and for a nice little night light. So we bought a 10 gallon tank set that cost about $40 for everything but the fish. We had no clue about caring for fish, so we only got a few fancy guppies that were about $3 each. How cheap!!

Who knew we'd become addicted? Well, me anyways. We learned that guppies are live bearers, meaning that they have "live" babies instead of laying eggs and they can be all sorts of pretty colors. Needless to say, we learned a few things about raising guppies and haven't spent any more money buying fish (well, except for a few more different colored guppies and a bigger tank to start breeding our own)!

Fish are so easy to take care of and are rather inexpensive to keep. We clean out their tank a little bit each month and spend about $2 on food for them that lasts about 3 months. The kids all love the guppies - their pretty colors and especially watching the babies grow. I love the guppies because they're cheap, relaxing, neat, quiet and they teach the children about responsibility with having a pet.

So before you jump down their throats about not having a pet, tell the kids to consider some guppies. If you're looking to do some more research on them, check out . There are plenty of tips and people there that are willing to answer all of your questions.

Author Bio
For more tips on pets and more money saving tips, visit us at
Jennifer is the owner of - an excellent resource for all moms!

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How A Good Pet Care Guide Keeps The Vet Away
Author: Udo8best

Just like human beings, animals have emotions and feelings too. They need the assurance that their masters love and care for them. In return, pets often reciprocate their love by demonstrating various forms of affection to their owners. These may include making soft purring sounds, licking and even body contacts like rubbing their heads or furs against them.

Pet care is an important responsibility of pet ownership. Pet care requires a lot of patience and is also a way of showing the animals that they are important to us. Pet care will include feeding our pets carefully and ensure that they are groomed properly to maintain a good health.

There are educational videos on pet care, that is, how to maintain the wellness and health of pets. These include various demonstrations on how to care for the different types of pets and what are the attentions required.

For four-legged pets such as dogs and cats, good pet care will include giving them regular baths, checking their paws and ears, trimming their nails as well as fixing regular health checks with a professional veterinarian.

Sanitation plays an important role to the health of the pets and their owners. Bathe your pets regularly and ensure that they are clean at all times. Buy a set of dishes especially for the pets and keep them separately from those used by human beings. After every use, wash the pets' dishes thoroughly with soap and water, then give them a final rinse them with boiling water.

It is common for pets, especially dogs, to have fleas. Their bites are irritating and annoying; and make the pets feel uncomfortable if the scratching developed into skin rashes. Fleas are also the cause of other more dangerous and serious skin problems such as allergies or dermatitis. As such, good pet care will include conducting regular checks on the animals and getting rid of the fleas.

Dental care is another essential part of pet care. Most canine pets need to maintain a proper dental healthcare routine. A professional pet shop owner will be able to demonstrate the correct way to brush the animals' teeth. This will prevent gum diseases or other health conditions related to poor oral hygiene.

Products such as detergents, cleaners, fertilizers and pesticides, must be kept well out of the way in the house. These contain chemicals that may be lethal or poisonous to animals and should not be within their reach. This is another way to exercise proper pet care.

Every pet owner, especially those first time owners, should be prepared for the big responsibility of having and owning a pet, as pet care takes more than just skills and experience. Value the existence of nature's creations and ensure that the animals are given the best pet care. Lastly, always choose the best pet products and supplies so that your pet will have the best nutrition and pet care available.

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Pets for Kids – “10 Essential Reality Checks!”
by Leslie Munnings

Essential Reality Check No. 1 – The Type of Pet for kids

The type of pet you can take into your household will depend on a whole host of things such as follows: How much will the pet costs be - not just to buy - but to care for on a daily basis? The ages of your kids - a two year old child will probably not be able to handle a pet gently and certainly won’t be able to care for the pet….. What size of pet does your child want? - What space will be needed? A hamster does not take up much space but guinea pigs, ferrets and rats need much larger cages. How much time do your kids and you as a family have to give to the pet? Will your family be safe with the pet?

Will the pet be safe with your family? If you have a larger pet such as a dog, cat, or goat what effects will it have on your family, friends and neighbours? How will your pet be cared for during your holidays. Will your family be able to cope with the eventual death of a pet? Some pets will sleep most of the day and be awake at night. Hamsters can be very noisy at night! If your child wants a dog you will need to look into the breed, size and exercise needs of the dog. Do you already have another pet, what effect will it have on that pet. For instance will your dog be ok with a cat or rabbit or bird? .

Essential Reality Check No. 2 – True Costs of Pets for Kids

Some pets are very cheap to buy for instance hamsters, guinea pigs, goldfish. gerbils, fancy rats, fancy mice and rabbits and even ferrets. You will still need to consider: The cage set up ( this can be very expensive when looking at the cage sizes that most pets need) in fact they need the largest cage you can manage Food costs per week Bedding Vets bills if your pets become ill. e.g. Ferrets need a yearly injection against canine distemper. Holiday care - you will need to pay for this of course if you cannot rely on friends and family.

Bigger pets such as goats, and dogs and pedigree cats are far more expensive to buy initially, some costing hundreds of pounds. You will need to consider: Bedding and a cage (if buying one for your dog or cat) Leads and collars for dogs. Food bills Vets bills (dogs should have yearly check ups with a vets) Toys Holiday care (kennels can be very expensive) Flea treatment Ongoing veterinary costs if your pets becomes chronically ill.

Essential Reality Check No. 3 – Ages of your Kids

As the parent or carer you will need to decide if your child is old enough to handle and care for a pet. How often have parents heard the cry “oh but we promise we’ll take it for walks everyday” Or “we’ll clean it out mum, we promise”. How will you feel in a years time when you find yourself caring for the pets because the kids are busy with friends or away on a school trip or inundated with homework or just plain bored with the poor thing You will need to decide on a pet that is suitable for the age of your kids. For instance in most cases it would not be wise to buy a hamster for a two year old child who is still adapting to the world around them and may not know or be able to handle the hamster gently.

Do you want to give your kids some responsibility in caring for an animal. Some kids are very responsible and will be able to manage this. Other kids, well the sight of a baby animal is just too appealing, after all who can resist a cute puppy or kitten or baby hamster? At first you may need to help your kids, as caring for a pet is a very responsible job. As a parent or carer you will always need to oversee a pet’s care.

,Essential Reality Check No. 4 – The Space Required

Even small pets for kids such as guinea pigs, fancy rats and ferrets need a lot of cage space for a happy life. They will need the biggest cages you can find space for. These pets also need space to exercise out of the cage. Cats take up very little space, as do small breeds of dogs. Dogs will need a decent sized garden as well as walks to keep them well exercised.

Essential Reality Check No. 5 – Time for your Pets

Do you and the family have time for a pet. For smaller pets for kids you will need to have them out of the cage and being handled daily for at least 2 hours a day. Do you have time to clean out your pet at least once or twice a week, or even daily? Some pets will certainly need the toilet corner of their cage cleaned more often to avoid a foul smelling cage and pet. Water bottles and food bowls will need cleaning and refilling every day.

Will you be able to walk your dog at least once a day? - dependent on the breed some need more! Are you willing to look after your pets for the many years some can live? (From 18 months to 2 years for a mouse up to 15 years for a dog) If you are out at work all day and the kids are at school all day your pets will need and will demand attention when you return home

Essential Reality Check No. 6 – Your Pet and Family Safety

You will always need to ensure your kids safety when they are spending time with any pets for kids. Even little pets can bite and leave a wound. Dogs should not be left unattended with your kids as they are unpredictable. Even a faithful dog will bite and even attack a child if they are in pain or afraid. It happens rarely - but it does happen. You will also need to ensure your pets safety: Is your child able to handle a pet safely without hurting it. Is your pet safe with any other pets in the home? - if you have young children and a dog …. you will need to make sure the dog cannot escape because a door is accidentally left open.

If you have a dog you need to ensure visitors safety as you can be sued if your dog bites someone on your property (or even off your property) Make sure that when pets are having free time out of cages that: Other pets cannot hurt them They cannot chew electrical leads They cannot fall into toilets or baths of water. They cannot escape through gaps in walls or floors They cannot get outside without supervision

Essential Reality Check No. 7 – Effects on Family and Neighbours

The whole family needs to be in agreement if you are getting pets for kids. Pets can be noisy and messy having an effect on family living. What effect will a pet such as a dog have on Granny who suffers with an allergy - will that mean she cannot come to visit anymore? If you get a dog will it bark and howl when you leave them for any length of time and will this annoy your neighbours. Will the dog bark when your neighbours are in their own garden. How will your neighbours take to having your pet cat mess in their garden? You will need to keep your yard free of dog mess to ensure it does not smell -particularly in summer months.

Essential Reality Check No. 8 – Holidays and Care for Pets

If you have pets for kids what will happen to them during your holiday times. Do you have family or friends who can care for your pets while you are away. If not you will have to pay for your pets care. This will be expensive for dogs, cats and larger animals. Even for little pets, holiday care can be expensive.

Essential Reality Check No. 9 – Loss of a Pet and Grief

Some children are really sensitive and will be distraught when their beloved pet eventually passes away, or is lost in some way. This is especially distressing if the pet has died as a result of an accident or illness. How will you manage this? The kids will need to grieve, grieving is a healthy part of a loss reaction. We can suffer losses every day in a small way such as not getting something we want, this causes a loss reaction and part of the healing for this is grief. If your child or other family member struggles with the grieving then look at the following and see if it applies. The grieving process has seven stepping stones through which people move. Your family member may not go through them in order or spend long on any one.

The stepping stones are: Shock, Denial, Guilt, ,Anger, Depression Bargaining, Acceptance Your child may want another pet this is called bargaining and is one of the stepping stones through the grief process. If your child cannot have another pet, break down the hidden losses that the death of their pet has caused. Could there be a loss of your child’s self worth or self esteem. Have they lost their only companion. Has your child lost the only one who listened to them. By chatting try to find out how your child is feeling and help them to work out their losses and then work through to acceptance by doing some healthy bargaining.

Would your child be able to regain their sense of worth or self esteem another way? Perhaps helping out with a friends pet for instance. For some children it may be helpful to have a burial service, so they can say goodbye properly. (My son kept some hair from his beloved dog) Our kids have managed the deaths of their pets really well and have gone on to have other pets, for other kids though it has more of an effect so you will need to decide when or if to replace your child’s pet.

Essential Reality Check No. 10 – Pets for Kids are GOOD FUN!!!

Pets for kids are for the most part a great addition to the family.. They are often good company for your kids especially if the kids are lonely. Kids can learn a lot from caring for pets and by having pets even when they are lost naturally. Dogs can encourage the family out to get exercise as they walk the dog. All our kids love their pets and they are an important part of the family. So whatever pet you decide upon have fun and enjoy.

Lesley and her husband are parents of 18years to four great kids and co authors of
For more information on pets visit best-pets-for-kids

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