Best Toys for Dogs - Best Names for Fish!!

Valentine's Day Tips for Pet-Lovers
by Kelly Russ, Orlando Pet Health Examiner

When planning your romantic Valentine's Day, don't forget to look out for your furry friends.Romantics of the world, beware! Many foods, gifts and habits surrounding Valentine's Day can be harmful to your pets!

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is letting pet-owners know what to watch out for on Saturday, February 14.

1. Lilies are potentially fatal to cats, so be sure to get a pet-safe bouquet for your loved one. If you're preparing your own bouquet with fresh flowers, be sure to de-thorn stems away from pets. An ingested thorn or rough branch can cause internal puncture wounds, leading to costly vet visits, surgery or even fatalities.

2. Chocolate is great for people; awful for pets! Caffeine-like chemicals in chocolate, called methylxanthines, acts as stimulants that can cause vomiting/diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and abnormally high heart rates in pets. High-fat content in chocolate can potentially cause a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Keep chocolates up out of the reach of your pets.

3. A Valentine's Day cocktail can be delicious, but unattended alcoholic beverages can be toxic for pets. Because most pets are smaller than humans, even just a tiny bit of alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances and even coma.

4. Certain candies, like gum and other sweets, contain sweetener called xylitol. Pets who ingest this chemical can experience hypoglycemia, or a sudden drop in blood sugar, which can lead to depression, loss of coordination and seizures.

5. Enjoy romantic candlelight or a soothing fire in the fireplace, but never leave open flames unattended. Curious cats or rambunctious pooches can burn themselves, or start a fire by knocking over unattended candles.

6. Wrapping paper, ribbons, tape, cellophane and balloons left over after wrapping gifts can pose serious hazards to your pets if swallowed. They may become lodged in the throat or intestinal tract, causing choking or internal blockages. Shiny, curling ribbon also has sharp edges that can open tiny cuts in your pet's intestines, leading to infection.

7. Lastly, there is nothing less romantic than having to return an unwanted pet after Valentine's Day is over. If you're planning on giving the gift of a furry companion, think twice! Many animal shelters will give you a voucher toward adoption. This way, you don't surprise any lover with an unwanted pet, and s/he can pick out the perfect puppy or kitten!

Legislators Consider Strengthening State's 'Pet Lemon Law'
By DAVID FUNKHOUSER The Hartford Courant

Concern about the sale of sick dogs from unscrupulous "puppy mills" has prompted legislators to propose beefing up the state's "pet lemon law" and sparked a debate over how far liability should go.

State Rep. Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, wants to force pet sellers to cover veterinary expenses that consumers incur when they have to care for a sick animal, up to twice the purchase price of the animal. The law would apply to any disease or injury that existed at the time of sale, including hereditary or congenital problems.

The law also would require sellers to advise purchasers of the obligation.

Those who buy a pet that turns out to be sick or injured are "confronted with a 'Sophie's Choice' option of seeing their new family member euthanized or paying enormous vet bills," former Legislator G. Kenneth Bernhard, now an advocate for the Westport Coalition Against Puppy Mills, testified before the joint environment committee Monday.

Bernhard said most puppies sold in pet stores here come from large "puppy mills" in the Midwest that raise the dogs under poor conditions, and he called the industry "a national disgrace."

Representatives of pet shops countered that the state registered just 28 complaints out of some 10,000 dogs sold in 2007, and they worry about the impact of increasing the shops' liability. But they supported expanding the current lemon law to cover shelters and adoption agencies.

Gary Carr of Tolland, former president of the Farmington Valley Kennel Club and a breeder of Tibetan terriers, said the law should include limits on how long sellers could be held responsible.

Want to Get Out of a Bad Mood?
by Jerilyn Dufresne, Chicago Mental Health Examiner

I started reading 12 tips to bust a bad mood and thought I'd add some ideas to it. I must confess that the article is so thorough and interesting that I was hard pressed to find anything to add to it. Read it and see what I mean.

It is thorough, right? I finally did figure out a few more suggestions:

13. Although the author spoke of setting a goal and then nailing it, I think one thing to lift your spirits is to find an old goal and accomplish it. For example, is your desk piled high with papers that need filing? You said months ago that you'd do it, but it's still a mess. Getting that done will surely lift your spirits. (Yep, I'm going to take this advice myself.)

14. Hug your pet. If you don't have one, hug someone else's pet. Holding a dog can lower your blood pressure and certainly brings a smile to your face.

15. Hang around people who make you smile.

16. Use positive self talk. Instead of saying, "I don't feel like walking the dog," say something like, "If I take Spot for a walk we'll both feel good." It's forcing yourself to reframe things in a positive manner.

Remember that these suggestions aren't when you're feeling fully depressed, although some of them are good ideas then too. These ideas are for when you're feeling bummed out and not quite yourself.

Piano-Playing Cat a Media Sensation
By Amy Lieberman -

While most cats will settle for a toy mouse or scratching post, one Philadelphia-based cat, named Nora, has taken her play habits to an oddly professional level. Taking cues from her owners, who are both musicians, Nora plays the piano, both by herself and while accompanying others. Nora's musical ambitions have helped her develop an international fan base and regular media appearances.

PHILADELPHIA -- Nora, a 5-year-old cat, is one of six cats living in her Philadelphia home.

The rescue cat has found her own way to stand out, though, to her pet parents, Betsy Alexander and Burnell Yow, who are both visual artists and musicians.

Nora likes to play the piano. She will sometimes spend hours by Alexander's side while she gives piano lessons to young students.

"From the very beginning, during the day, most of the cats would be in the bedroom upstairs sleeping with each other," Alexander said. "Nora would remain downstairs with the students. She could be the boss in that environment, and that became her domain. She would just sit on the top of the piano."

With time, Nora became accustomed to the push of the pedal and strike of the keys -- eventually, she decided to experiment with her own musical abilities.

"We hear this sound while we are upstairs, and instead of the walking across the keys, it's repeated notes, and it's going kind of like, 'duh, duh, duh, duh,' " Alexander explained.

"We go downstairs and Nora is sitting on the piano chair ... and playing, just playing like a little person. And we are like, 'Wow, Nora, that's so cool!' "

Nora was not as fazed by her talent, though.

"And it looked like she was sort of going like, 'So, well, yeah, like what, so, yeah?' And she looked back at the piano and started doing it more. She has not stopped since," Alexander recalled.

That was nearly four years ago -- Nora is not a novice anymore, and likes to spend as much time as she can practicing new tunes. Her performances don't actually sound like songs, in a traditional sense, but her playing has, Alexander says, become more complex over the years.

The cat, who favors Bach, has also mastered playing single notes -- a difficult task for a "big fat bowling ball of a cat," with paws to match -- and tries to hit the black keys, as well as the white, to shake things up a bit.

Nora appears aware of the attention her playing creates.

"As you could imagine, when Nora started to play, my students were delighted," Alexander said. "People started bringing their friends and neighbors and she was like a little celebrity. She has always loved the camera."

Nora will sometimes play alongside Alexander's students on an adjacent piano. The pupils are warned beforehand, Alexander says, that Nora does not like to be disturbed while she is playing -- it is the the only time she will try to bite someone.

She also performs solo shows, from time to time, and actually tends to conduct her best performances when she is alone.

"The best playing, the most elaborate playing she will do is when we are not in the room. It's really exciting. We will be down in the art studio and you'll hear, it sounds like there is a jazz musician upstairs," Alexander explained.

Alexander and Yow decided to publicly showcase Nora's talent online and posted one video of her playing on YouTube nearly two years ago. The clip continues to bring in viewers, who can also watch several other videos that were later posted.

The Philadelphia couple were surprised at how quickly Nora's productions took off -- on the first day the video was posted, it yielded 71 hits. Once that number began to push 100,000, "the media got interested," Alexander said.

Television stations from as far as Japan have traveled to witness Nora in action. She has appeared on the Tyra Banks Show, CBS' Early Show, VH1'S Best Week Ever and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, among other shows.

Alexander continues to receive e-mails and calls from across the world -- this week alone, she said, she heard from admirers in Paris, Southern England and Texas.

"They just tell me how they love it and how she put a smile on their faces," Alexander said.

Seeing is believing in this unique story, though.

To view Nora's original videos, visit

Tell us what you think about "Piano-Playing Cat a Media Sensation" below. Share your favorite videos by clicking on the ZootooTV tab. Send us your story ideas by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 877-777-4204.

Save 5% on Pet Supplies Orders Over $75

South Korea's Pet Clone Wars
By Jennifer Veale / Time

When Lee Byeon Chun looks back four years to when he helped clone the world's first dog, he confesses it was a stressful time. All of his colleagues, he says, were obsessed with the puppy — an Afghan hound named "Snuppy," overanalyzing its every move and whimper in the lab. "I would sleep there sometimes," says Lee, who now heads a team of scientists and researchers at Seoul National University. Today, Lee does not devote all his waking hours to Snuppy, who still lives in the campus lab kennel. He now has a lab full of other cloned canines and puppies to watch over, whose development he watches with equal care.

That pack is part of a fledging industry that South Korea is leading: the cloning — and sale — of pet dogs. Since Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1996 by Ian Wilmut at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, scientists around the world have cloned everything from cats, monkeys and fruit flies to horses, rabbits, cows and wolves — mostly for non-commercial uses. Dogs are notoriously complex to clone, and Korea is the only country where researchers have successfully done the deed. (See pictures of presidential First Dogs.)

That there is money to be made on that fact not been lost on RNL BIO, the company that Lee and his team do research for, which sold a $50,000 cloned Pit Bull Terrier to an American client last year. And RNL is not alone on this commercial frontier. Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, another Seoul lab run by Hwang Woo Suk who led Snuppy's cloning at SNU but was later shunned by the international scientific community for fabricating research on human embryos, made headlines in early February for cloning a Labrador named "Lancey" for a Florida couple who paid $150,000 for the pup. Lee says he's cloned 35 dogs — and five wolves — in the past four years; Sooam, which is associated with a U.S.-based company called BioArts International, says it has cloned 75 dogs.

Though South Korea's labs are the only ones in the world commercially cloning pets today, they may discover their fledgling business is not exactly a growth industry. There are ethical concerns over commercial pet cloning, and at a roughly $150,000 per pooch, the service is currently too expensive for most dog lovers to contemplate. Prices could fall to closer to $50,000 as more cost-effective techniques are developed, but for now, cloning "service" dogs — like "sniffer" dogs used to detect cancer and narcotics — seems to be a more viable venture. Nearly a third of the 35 dogs cloned by Lee's team, for instance, are sniffers, and no wonder: South Korea's customs service reportedly bought seven Labrador Retrievers cloned from a top drug-sniffing dog for $60,000 each. The labs have also cloned endangered dog breeds; last year Sooam cloned 17 endangered Tibetan Mastiffs. (See photos of the Sealyham Terrier, a breed on the brink of dying out.)

But supplying bereaved pet owners with a copies of their deceased pets and police with new K9 units is not the only goal for many of these Korean scientists. Since canines share more disease patterns with humans than any other animal species apart from mice, animal reproduction experts like Lee and Kim Min Kyu at Chungnam National University see dogs as a great medical resource. "Dogs have similiar physiology and can communicate with humans,' explains Lee. He is currently working on producing a "transgenic" dog — or a dog whose DNA is manipulated to either delete or introduce new genes — to enable scientists to better understand the role of genes in certain diseases and fast track treatments and cures for diseases like diabetes and Alzheimers. But it won't be easy. "Dog reproductive physiology is so unique," explains Chungnam's Kim, who has the same ambitions as Lee. Kim predicts his team won't get the job done for another three to five years.

In the meantime, the small world of canine cloning has become fiercely competitive. Some of the players are duking it out over who owns the patent to commercially clone animals in the first place. Last year, California-based BioArts International, which says it has the sole worldwide license for cloning dogs after it bought the so-called Dolly patent, accused RNL BIO of black-market cloning by using technology covered in that patent. "They did not develop core cloning technology," says Lou Hawthorne, CEO of BioArts. RNL BIO, however, insists that the company and its researchers are operating under another, dog-specific patent — the so-called "Snuppy patent" — and has not violated any licensing agreements.

How this battle in Korea' clone wars plays out remains to be seen. But one thing is sure — the SPCAs of the world can rest easy for now. It will be a long time before cloning the family pet is more popular than buying a new one.

Can People Safely Eat Cat Food?
By Bjorn Carey - Popular Science

Our experts turn up their noses at nothing in their quest for the truth

Let's take a look at the ingredients in a typical can of cat food: meat by-products, chicken by-product meal, turkey by-product meal, ash, taurine. Nothing too horrible, but in general, these things don't constitute a healthy human diet, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association. "That said, I'm fully confident that your body can handle kitty chow."

Your liver, kidneys and skin do a terrific job of removing foreign substances from the body, especially mild ones like those found in cat food. "Technically, you could safely digest a baseball," Blatner says. Perhaps the worst stuff in cat food is the high mineral content in the ash, but your body would clear that out quickly.

Actually, the ingredients listed on the organic blends of cat food sound pretty tasty. Newman's Own canned beef formula uses only free-range beef from Uruguay, is 95 percent USDA-certified organic, and is chock-full of vitamins. Pass me a spoon, right? "Those are better," Blatner says, "but they too are developed with cat nutrition in mind and aren't formulated to keep humans healthy. It's OK to satisfy the occasional craving, but you shouldn't make it a staple of your regular diet. It's cat food for a reason."

Deal of the Week 120x60
AmeriMark Direct is a leading direct marketer of women's apparel, shoes, name-brand cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry, watches, accessories, and health-related merchandise.

Best Toys for Dogs
by John Williams

Dog toys are essential to keep your dog occupied to stop barking problems, boredom issues and through teething times for your dog. Finding a good toy for your dog through these times is essential, leaving your dog with a bad chew toy that they don’t like will leave your dog with no option but to chew something else, there are many chew toys available so the choice is endless.

Dental health for your dog will be greatly improved by chewing toys so it is important to keep your dog interested in the toy choice you give them. Popular toys usually contain something that tastes good, smells good, some light up, and others make noises to keep you dog entertained. If the toy is fun for your dog then you can use it to reward your dog for good behavior or take it from them when they are bad.

Different Dogs enjoy different textures and tastes, you will need to find what your dog likes to chew and try your best to find a similar product but without it being as destructive to your house like their old toy, the table leg, was.

Avoiding tugging toys may be a good idea in some cases, more excited breeds of dog and puppies especially will get the message that tugging is fun for you as well as your dog, thus encouraging him to tug at you trouser legs when they’re in need of attention and curtains when they’re bored. Personally I would avoid theses toys.

When looking for a good toy for your dog, here are some good suggestions:

1. Look for a dog toy with something different like sound, taste, or lights.
2. Pick a dog toy that is tough enough to withstand your dogs chewing and biting
3. Choose dog toys that you think your dog will enjoy, using experience of what he normally chews is a good idea.

Remember that choosing a dog toy all depends on the dog in question, each dog will have different tastes and experiences of what they enjoy, something as cheap and simple as a tennis ball could be enough to keep your dog occupied for hours on end.

Funny Pet Names For Fish That Are Sure to Make You Laugh
by Mikael Rieck

If you have pet fish and enjoy the fun, serenity and peacefulness that they bring to your home and your life, you probably want to pick a name that makes you happy whenever you say it. What better way to enjoy your pet fish than give them a funny name that makes you laugh whenever you think of it?

Children love the thought of having pet fish, and letting them pick out funny pet names for fish can be a great way to do some family bonding and have some fun together. Your kids will love the fact that they get to be a part of naming the fish and will have a blast doing so. So how do you go about finding the perfect funny pet name for fish? You can start by making a list of the funniest words you know and let the kids step in and think of silly words that make them laugh. Next, you might want to consider the kind of fish it is and what the colors are, etc.

Next, think of a theme that you want to use for naming your funny fish. Do you want to play on words and name it something silly that rhymes? Or do you want to think of funny pet names for fish that are related to a favorite family cartoon fish or movie fish? Once you sit down and let your imagination run wild, you will be surprised with what you can come up with for funny pet names for fish.

If you need some help getting started in the naming process, here are some funny pet names for fish that are popular and you may want to consider for your pet fish:

• Snuggles
• Fetch
• Doogie
• Mr. Bubbles
• Fluffy
• Lollipop
• Princess
• Scooter
• Squiggles
• Jaws
• Cricket
• Flapjack
• Tiny Tim
• Perky
• Pinky
• Aquarius
• Bubble
• Cheeky
• Dribbles
• Fizz
• ET
• Gumball
• Jelly Bean
• Pipsqueak
• Wiggles
• Abracadabra
• Biggles
• Gremlin
• Ladybug
• Mischief
• Larry
• Curly
• Moe
• Einstein
• Moochie
• Tarzan
• Sherbert
• Dickens
• Santa
• Uma
• Zerzer
• Zorro
• Babe
• Buster
• Bub
• Cujo
• Cal
• Carlo
• Arthur
• Apollo
• Fred
• Fin
• Fin Flicker
• Finny
• Finegan
• Flick
• Funny Fins

If you still need some assistance after going through that list of funny pet names for fish, you can always compile a name based off of what each person in your family wants. One fun idea is to take a hat and everybody write down one name that they want to name the fish. Everyone puts the name into the hat and you shake them up. Next, take the names out of the hat one by one and lay them out on the table.

After each name is laid out on the table, everyone can go around making up a funny name that incorporates each of the names in the hat. You can end up with the longest, silliest name you have ever heard of for your fish, and everyone in the family will be happy that they had a role in naming the newest addition to the family. Since fish do not need to know their name to be trained like other family pets, your options are truly endless with long, silly or wacky that you want to make your funny pet names for fish be.

Four Tips For Buying a Chinchilla
By Jake D

Chinchillas are gentle animals, so they make great pets. There are a few things you need to consider before buying a chinchilla. This article will give you a few tips.


One of the first things you need to think about before you buy a chin is where to get it from. You should easily be able to find a pet store in your city that has one. However, you will probably have to pay a lot more money for one. Also, chinchillas from a pet store have a higher tendency to be less friendly and healthy.

You would probably be better off trying to find a breeder. A nearby breeder may be more difficult to find, so you may be forced to travel a little further. However, you'll probably pay less money for a higher quality animal. Breeders usually have chins in a wider range of colors too.


No matter where you get him from, you also need to ensure that you consider his health when buying a chinchilla. His eyes shouldn't be dull or have tear stains around them. Always buy one that has bright, shiny eyes. These animals are also very active, so he shouldn't appear lethargic.

The chin's coat should also be shiny. Avoid taking one home that has a dull fur coat. You should also check all over his body for sores or signs of injury.


You also need to think about color when buying a chinchilla. The most common color is standard gray. This is usually your cheapest option. There are a wide range of colors available, but you will have to pay more for them.


Chins are very sociable animals. They like a lot of attention, so you'll need to make sure you'll spend a lot of time with yours. If you don't think you'll have enough time, you should consider buying more than one. They should be the same sex though unless you want to deal with baby chins sometime in the future.

These are a few tips for buying a chinchilla. If you've never raised one before, then there are many things you need to learn about proper chinchilla care. So, click here now to start learning about some of the most important chinchilla information you need to know.

Article Source:

Click here to visit The EZ Online Shopping Network of Stores

No comments: