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Economic Woes Take a Bite Out of Westminster
By BEN WALKER • AP National Writer • Kentuckiana Pets

NEW YORK (AP) — Munching on a hot dog, Monica Schott surveyed the row of French bulldogs backstage at Madison Square Garden.

Pretty sparse, by Westminster Kennel Club standards.

"It's very noticeable," the longtime handler from upstate New York said Monday. "I was hoping to see that a lot of people would spend their money to come here, to give them some outlet from what's going on with the economy. I guess not."

From the no-show Borzois to the empty seats, it was abundantly clear: The nation's recession has taken a bite out of America's No. 1 dog show.
Beth Ostrosky points at Winston, a 3-year-old Old English Sheep Dog while groomer Jeff Yutzy, of Springfield Il., works on another of his dogs backstage during the 133rd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A handler shows off a bloodhound named Moonie's gums in New York, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009.

"We understand it," said Westminster spokesman David Frei, the TV host of the USA Network coverage. "For most people, dog shows are a hobby. When money gets tight, people spend it on food and schools and things they absolutely need."

There are 170 breeds and varieties at this 133rd edition of Westminster, with a perky Brussels griffon and a monkey-faced affenpinscher among the favorites. Best in show judge Sari Tietjen will point to her choice Tuesday night.

A 7-year-old Scottish deerhound named Tiger Woods — his owner is a huge golfer — won the hound group Monday night, then a Scottish terrier took the terrier group.

"Maybe I ought to have a Scotch," said Gabriel Rangel, the terrier's handler.

Michayla Luster, center, of Ramsey Ill., plays with Echo, as Lana Schultz, with Baribie, wait on the sideline for the Blood Hound competition during the 133rd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Ryan Wolfe, of Goshen, Ind., grooms Lucy, a 3-year-old Bishon Frise backstage during the 133rd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The standard poodle called Yes was best among the nonsporting dogs and a puli took the herding group.

Last February, the Garden was packed with more than 15,000 roaring fans when a precocious beagle called Uno was picked as best in show. Uno was back Monday night for a victory tour, but the Garden was only two-thirds full to see him.

The green-carpet event did not fill its usual allotment of 2,500 dogs in a single day. There were 2,486 (at $75 per entry) when judging began in the morning. Tickets (from $40 to $155 for a single day) were moving more slowly, too.

All over, the economy is taking a similar toll. The Super Bowl was missing a lot of its usual buzz, and recent college football bowl games felt the brunt of economic woes.

Desi Lambert, of Silver Lake, Oregon, holds her Miniature Poodle, Dolly, after competition at the 133rd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 9, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Judge Luc Boileau looks over Miniature Poodle Durandel Fashionista during competition at the 133rd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 9, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Spencer, an English Cocker Spaniel from Bethlehem, Pa., waits backstage to be groomed during the 133rd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Famed heiress Patty Hearst was among those on hand. She won a prize last year with her French bulldog, but was shut out this visit.

After attending Westminster for 10 years, Amanda Giles altered her pattern this time when she brought her whippet, Brie.

The owner-handler from Woodstock, Va., stocked up her cooler at Wal-Mart, rather than filling up at a fine Manhattan restaurant. Maybe her dog was a bit hungry — she took a flying nip at Giles' long red skirt.

"It's having an extreme effect on our sport. A lot of people don't want to come to shows because they can't afford the travel and entry fees," Giles said. "And the backers, the people who support dogs, aren't there as much anymore."

Harley, a Long Haired Daschund, takes a rest on owner Alex Davison's lap backstage at Madison Square Garden during the Westminster Dog Show in New York, on Monday, Feb. 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)

The 2008 Best in Show, a beagle named Uno, helps to kick off the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York, Monday, Feb. 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Consider the Borzois: Thirty-four were officially entered, but only 27 turned up. The crowd also was thinned. Instead of fans packed five deep around the daytime show rings, there were open seats in the front row.

William Secord could see a difference. He opened a booth at Westminster last year to showcase paintings from his William Secord Gallery, and was back this February.

Among the artwork was a circa-1870 painting of a smooth-coated fox terrier priced at $28,000. A few dog fanciers trickled in, only to look.

"It does seem a bit slower," he said. "I think people are taking more time to decide. The best is still selling. But it is taking more time."

While some top owners might spend well more than $100,000 a year to fly their dogs first class, there are lots of mom-and-pop operations and people showing up on a budget.

Chelsea Conway came to Westminster in style last year. She brought her husband, and they enjoyed the Broadway show "Mamma Mia!" and a fancy dinner.

This time, no show and a trip to the deli. Oh, and her husband stayed home in Murietta, Calif.

"It's all changed," she said, petting her big Dogue de Bordeaux in a hotel lobby across the street from the Garden. Her dog, also known as a French mastiff, is the one new breed at Westminster.

"You have to watch your money," she said.

That goes for real dogs in the ring and hot dogs at the concession stands.

Schott, the handler from Red Hook, N.Y., thought she'd pointed to a $5.25 jumbo dog. But she got served the foot-long size at $5.75.

"It costs as much as caviar," she said.

There was an hour-long protest outside the Garden by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, with two members dressed up as Ku Klux Klan members. PETA claims the American Kennel Club's promotion of purebred dogs is harmful to their health.

Said Frei: "We want to produce the next generation of healthy and happy dogs, not just for the show ring but for the couches at home."

10 Fun Facts About the Westminster Dog Show's 2009 Winner: Stump the 10-Year-Old Sussex Spaniel

Spaniel proves Best in Show

America is about to fall in love with Stump - the adorable, droopy-eyed spaniel who wowed the crowd at Westminster and became the oldest Best in Show winner in dog show history.

Stump proved an old dog can still pull off some new tricks - and he can count at least one fellow senior among his biggest fans: Dr. Ruth Westheimer. The celebrated sex therapist was in the stands at Madison Square Garden for the competition Tuesday night.

"When I found out he was the oldest to win, I was so happy. I'm 80, and he's 70 in dog years," she said.

And there are plenty of other things fans should know about the 10-year-old champion Sussex spaniel, so here we offer the official "Stump Dossier."

1. His official name is Ch. Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee

2. He was born is Dec. 1, 1998

3. He is named "Stump" ... because he has stubby legs, is brown and resembles a tree stump

4. He has sired pups named Root, Forest and Myrtle

5. His favorite chew toy is a plush Grinch doll

6. He weighs about 50 pounds

7. He lives in Houston, Texas with the 2001 Best in Show winner J.R., a Bichon Frise

8. He didn't train at all for his return to the ring

9. He is the oldest dog ever to win Westminster, that title was previously held by the 1999 winner, an 8-year-old Papillon

10. The Westminster show was his 51st career best in show win

Stump is in fabulous shape for his age and will travel the dog world circuit just like the younger pups who've held the best in show title.

Judge Sari Tietjen said she had no idea the winning spaniel was an elder in the dog world.

"He showed his heart out," she said. "I didn't know who he was or how old ... I just couldn't say no to him."

Bulldog Beauty Contest Comes to Long Beach This Sunday
Lindsay Barnett - LA Unleashed

On Sunday, bulldog fanciers from far and wide will gather at Long Beach's Marine Stadium to celebrate their favorite breed.

The fifth annual Bulldog Beauty Contest, billed as the largest gathering of bulldogs in the world, allows entrants to strut down a 100-foot red carpet in "a competition where gender is no limitation and good looks are no advantage." And that's only the beginning of the festivities, which also include a French bulldog pageant and, new this year, a pug pageant and a senior dog pageant (open to entrants of all breeds and mixes).

Vendors and a pet adoption fair (featuring available pets from rescue groups including Southern California Bulldog Rescue, French Bulldog Village Rescue, Boston Buddies, Dharma Rescue and Best Friends Animal Society) will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pageant schedule is:

Pug Pageant: 11 a.m.
French Bulldog Pageant: noon
Senior Dog Pageant: 12:45 p.m.
Bulldog Pageant: 1:30 p.m.

Marine Stadium is at 5225 E. Paoli Way in Long Beach. Front-row seats for the pageants are available for a $5 fee. Parking is free (a lot is accessible from Nieto Avenue), but event organizers advise allowing plenty of time to park.

The event is a fundraiser for Haute Dogs, a Long Beach-based group which describes its mission as "to help inspire a better understanding and appreciation of dogs, dispel damaging myths, encourage responsible ownership practices, and offer practical adoption and rescue opportunities."

Photo: Skateboard aficionado Darla Bell and her owner Darrin Stout at a previous Bulldog Beauty Contest.

Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times.

Why Is My Pup So Finicky?
Houston Pets

We have a 15 month old rescue Chihuahua. We recently adopted her. It now seems she refuses to eat her dog food without it being spiced up with something in it. We have tried a couple different kinds of dog food. We have resorted to grinding up some cooked chicken in the food processor and mixing a little in with her dog food. Well then she will scarf down her food but it will remain untouched for days without it. Obviously she is hungry but prefers not to eat dog food without something in it. She is only 5.5 lbs and her going without food for a couple days is not a good thing. Should we continue this tactic or keep trying new foods. We have even bought food special for her breed type. Please offer us some advice on this dilemma. The foster mother said she had no problems eating before she came to us but we have had her for about a month now. She otherwise seems very happy with us. Thanks, C

Dear C.,

Dogs are quite clever and if they know holding out means getting something better, then that's what they will do. First, I would check with your veterinarian to ensure that she is of a healthy weight for her size and there are no other outstanding physical issues. If she has a clean bill of health, then the next step would be to choose a food for her and stick to it - no additives, no coaxing her to eat and leaving the food dish down for limited periods of time (usually 20-30 minutes). Often, a dog will go on a little hunger strike (which is why we would want you to check with your vet first to make sure she's up for it) and then when they realize that they get 20 minutes and one food ONLY, they start eating their food. We would recommend using a high quality kibble, of course. The fact that she was fine in her former home is suspect regarding the eating issue and most probably she is just feeling quite special and a little spoiled by the riches you have given her!

Why Is My Dog Nursing Kittens?
Houston Pets

I have a 5 year old black female lab at home. About 8 months ago I brought in 2 kittens for my daughter. The kittens as I had been told were eating dry food and had been leaving the mother alone. I noticed one day that my female dog had been getting a little larger around the tummy and it seems that she was starting to produce milk. (She has never had puppy's). Turns out that these kittens started to nurse on her!!!! (I had never heard of this). The cats are still nursing on her!!! And she lets them! I have tried to separate them at night and during the day, but I can not watch them 24/7. Is there anything that I can do about this? And could this be hurting either the cats or my dog? Thanks -C.M

Dear C.M.,

My first question would be is your dog spayed? If not, please be sure she is not pregnant or pseudopregnant (a condition usually following an estrus cycle where the dog's hormones mimic pregnancy without actually being pregnant). Also please see a veterinarian to be sure the dog does not have any medical problems causing the increase in mammary size and milk production. Having said that, it is not uncommon at all for dogs to "adopt" kittens and allow them to nurse. If the kitten is relying solely on milk for nutrition it will be a problem as cats' milk is quite different in composition from dogs'. If the kittens are eating formulated diets, the nursing is usually just supplemental and will not hurt them. The only harm to your dog may be discomfort from the nursing, sharp nails and teeth. While the behavior is undesirable long term, it is not doing any physical harm to either the dog or the kittens. Other than physical separation, you may try having your dog wear a large t-shirt tied at the hips to cover the mammary area until the nursing stops. Many of these kittens will turn to nursing inanimate objects such as blankets or may even nurse on each other! In that case, a behaviorist may need to be consulted to help with this problem.

Can Horses Get Tapeworms?
Houston Pets

How do horses get tapeworm? There seems to be a lot of colic being caused by tapeworm this year in NC. Thank you, J.M.

Dear J.M.,

Horses get tapeworms from ingesting small, free-living mites found in the pasture and grasses they eat. As with any parasites, this will increase the risk of colic in your horse. The best prevention is a good, routine worming program for all parasites. Contact an equine veterinarian in your area to determine the best worming regimen for the types of parasites found in your region.

Health Tips from a Dog
By: Matt Geri - The National Sports Review

Pets have been an integral part of human society since cavemen started tossing mammoth remains out the cave door. Wild dogs were tempted to loiter around and munch away, marking the very first occurrences of dogs eating trash, a pastime that remains desirable for our canine friends to this day. Of course, it’s also desirable for certain people who live in my East Village neighborhood. But I guess if any city is going to have tasty trash, it’s New York.

Contrary to what the ever-growing antibacterial industry would like us humans to believe, all this trash interaction doesn't make dogs any less healthy. They don't get sick any more often than people do, and discounting the select few in my ‘hood, most of us rarely eat out of the trash or off the ground. Avoiding disease, sickness and unhealthiness are given such prominence in today's world. Don't touch that! Don't eat that! That's disgusting! You'll get sick! Germaphobes are popping up all over the place like…like…germs. Yet people aren't less sick now than they were before Airborne and Purell were invented and marketed to the worried masses.

I’ve heard that children build stronger immune systems from interacting with germs, and I certainly believe it. That kid from middle school who was allergic to everything? He was never allowed to play with anything. Dogs, on the other hand, literally stick their wet, roving noses in everything, and have the immune system fortitude to avoid the common cold and other spreadable sniffles. Give me a germ today if it means my body can defend against its goth older brother tomorrow.

Really, the thing that stops the average commuter from reaching down into the corner trashcan and grabbing a half-eaten slice of pizza isn’t healt. It's just frowned upon. You get looks. And perhaps a handful of change. And business card for a psychiatrist. Dogs, now they don't abide by customs based on what other dogs will think. “I better not sniff this yorkie’s butt or that Tibetan Mastiff will think I’m a pussy!” They also don’t have E! True Hollywood Story, airbrushed magazine covers and designer handbags. They’d much rather spend their time sniffing each other's butts, sleeping in dirt, or licking their own crotches.

All things considered, having a few unwritten rules for society isn't all bad. I've definitely found myself on the subway next to someone who failed the sniff test. It made my commute less pleasant, but the scent violator had all the room he could ask for. Maybe he knew what he was doing. Maybe he’d built up his body odor in order to increase personal space. Well played, smelly man on train.

Dogs, their habits and health issues aside, no one I know has a pet quite like the one in this ad. Now, I love dogs and I own a fish. (Jesus, pronounced Hey-Zeus, is a feisty beta. He matriculated from a pet store Spanish owned and operated.) This commercial combines the two very different pets to promote a car with a slightly different name: The Spacefox. Reminiscent to the celestial vehicles operated by Star Fox for Nintendo 64 perhaps? Perhaps not. And those were pretty sweet polygon-based spacecraft.

Is this ad saying the Spacefox is a combination of two different things: combining a dog and a fish? I guess that would be too expected, so it's actually saying that getting a Spacefox is not at all like buying a car, but like having "anything you can imagine." If you imagine things from at frisky terrier’s point of view. My favorite part? The chipper Dog Fish peeing on a rock at the bottom of the sea. Now that's something a dog would dream up with enthusiasm.

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Tips on Common Pet Problems
by Raphael Cooper

Even though all pets whether they are cats or dogs have their own personalities and traits they have some things in common. Sooner or later all pets will probably end up having fleas, worms or ear mite. There are common problems that occur throughout your pet's life time. Listed below are some tips that a pet owner might find useful if their pet develops one of these health related problems.

Fleas are nasty little critters that can infest your home and make your pets miserable. To rid your pets and home of fleas you must attack them from all sides. To combat fleas you have to make sure that you treat your pets and all indoors and outdoors of your home.

You can begin by using a product that prevents the flea pupa from leaving the egg. You can get this type of medicine from your vet. It is usually prescribed in tablet form which is given to your pet once a month. This treatment prevents flea breeding but does not kill fleas.

You will want to also use a product which will kill adult fleas; some type of topical insecticide. These types of products are usually in aerosol form. They work by dissolving into the fatty skin tissue of your pet which means your pet will still be protected after shampooing. Some of these products last up to 3 months. You can also use flea powder and flea collars on your cats and dogs.

You should also use a flea spray for your home. Make sure it is the kind of spray that takes care of both adult fleas and their larvae. Most of these types of products last up to 7 months. The most important step is to vacuum thoroughly and often. Vacuuming is very effective and should be done daily.

A person should have their cats and dogs wormed regularly. The reason for this is that worms carried by cats and dogs can be a health risk to other people and animals. There are many different types of worms and parasites that your pet can be infected with. Since young animals have a lower resistance to infection and unborn pups and kittens can be infected while in their mother's womb. It is important to start worming pups and kittens at about two weeks of age.

There are different types of worms, including; roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and hookworms. Since all of these types of worms are common in pets it is hard to prevent them from getting infected; but you can control them by worming your pet on a regular treatment schedule.

Usually the doses can be giving orally in powder, liquid or tablet form. By using preventive care and making sure that your cat or dog is wormed at least every three to four months you can control infestations.

Ear Mites
Ear mites are very small parasites who infect the ears of cats and dogs and live in the ear canals. Ear mites are highly contagious among animals. Ear mites can be seen using a magnifying glass or by looking at a sample of tissue from the ear under a microscope. These types of parasites are not always easy to see with the naked eye.

Unfortunately, if one of your pets has ear mites then the rest of your pets probably do too. Ear mites easily spread between animals. It is also a good idea to use flea products on their bodies as well, such as flea powder or flea shampoo. Ear mites can be found on other areas of the body besides the ears. It is also recommended that you wash the pet's bedding.

The type of treatment for ear mites depends on how severe the infestation is. Your veterinarian can prescribe ear medications with anti inflammatory ingredients which will give your pet relief. If the ear mites are severe you may need your pet's ears cleaned along with ear medication.

Today with things such as the cost of medical treatment and veterinarian visits for your pets at a all time high and still increasing; a smart move is to buy pet insurance. This will give you piece of mind and the ability to take care of your four legged family members incase of a medical emergency or injury. You can get pet insurance on older pets too. They don't have to be puppies or kittens to be eligible; as long as you keep the premiums up they will be covered for their lifetime.

About the Author
Raphael Cooper is a freelance author writes articles on Animal Insurance including pet cat insurance, dog insurance and pet insurance cover. To learn more about Pet Life Insurance and Uk Pet Insurance please visit

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Children and Pets
by Help Your Pets

When you have kids, they can often drive you crazy by hounding for a dog or a cat. Some parents are reluctant to give their child a pet due to fear of the animal harming the child being forefront in their minds. There are many dog and cat breeds that you can have in your home that will do really well for you and your family--even with small children. There are, of course, some precautions to make.

First, we will look at dog breeds. There are certain dog breeds that demand respect and kids often don't have those feelings. Most children do not understand that pulling on the pet's tail or stroking too roughly can not only harm the animal, but make it resentful of the child. You can of course work with your child to help him develop proper pet-handling behavior, but you should first consider starting out with a pet breed that is best for children.

For instance, the following dog breeds are well-known for being especially good with children: St. Bernards, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Poodles, Siberian Huskies, and Mastiffs.

While you do have to be careful about their size and make sure they are socialized and housetrained, they make wonderful pets. They are very affectionate and tend to exercise care and protectiveness of the children. These dog breeds will also stand up to a certain amount of abuse. If the child pulls on the tail or accidentally falls into them they are more likely to be worried and protective rather than distasteful or aggressive. You do have to teach your kid to be respectful, but generally these dogs as pets will offer a wonderful family addition.

In general, most cats are going to have issues with children. With cats, who are not as easy to train, you will find they tend to nip or bite a child who pulls their ears/tail or hurts them in any way. It is the cat's way of showing anger. Cats by nature tend to choose one owner. This owner usually showers them with affection and treats them properly. If you do introduce a cat into your household, you should make sure your children are old enough to understand and exercise the proper treatment of it.

Typically you want a child no younger than three dealing with any pet, especially cats. At this age the kid is old enough to understand right from wrong and deal with the pain if the cat bites them for a good reason. Some cats you may want in your home include the Abyssinian, American bobtail, American shorthair, Balinese, Birman, Bombay, Burmese, Manx, Persian, and Siberian. Typically you should not have a Siamese cat around children, as they tend to be very moody and are often one who demands respect. When you consider getting a pet for your child, it is important to realize that not all pets are great for a home.

About the Author
We at are very devoted to caring for our pets and hope that our articles aid you in caring for your own pets.

Boarding Your Pet
by Help Your Pets

Vacations are extremely difficult for those who have pets. -We are always trying to figure out where we can leave them in safe, capable hands. For those who have friends they can trust, they often leave the pet at home or with their friend. If you don't have someone the dog or cat knows to take care of them, you may want to look into boarding your pet.

Boarding your pet can be a difficult decision because choosing the wrong place will allow for bad behavior or neuroses to develop. What to look for when you are boarding your pet is rather simple, if you read these below tips:

• Check more than one boarding house.

• Compare the cost of the boarding houses you have looked into. You are looking for a moderately priced boarding house for your pet. If the price seems outrageously cheap, there could be a chance that the proper equipment and care are lacking. Boarding houses on the more expensive end might offer extra luxuries, however it's up to you to decide if those luxuries are within your affordability. Before deciding, you should compare the offers of each boarding house to make sure you are not overpaying for the same services you could find at a less costly boarding house.

• Get a bit of background information about the staff that will be handling your pet. Are they loving pet owners? Is this just another summer job for an inexperienced individual? Do they want to be a vet? There are all types of questions to ask regarding their personal tastes. Someone who isn't into pets, but has the job because that was all that was available is probably not going to be the best handler. On the other hand, someone who wants the knowledge for further education may be the best person you ever find.

• When choosing to board your pet you should choose a facility that has no more than ten pets at a time. The facility should also be able to comfortably house those ten pets. This type of place offers a better likelihood of giving your pet individual attention and care, as opposed to an over-crowded and under-staffed place.

• You also have the option of boarding your pet with a private person. A private pet sitter usually allows the pet to stay in their home, and they treat the pet as if it was theirs while you are gone. It is a more intimate surrounding and can help the pet feel less anxious in your absence.

• No matter where you choose to board your pet you should always personally check out the facility beforehand. Make sure the cages are spotless, that there is no overwhelming pet odor, and see the activities they offer for the pets--sit in on a few if they allow it. In fact, a surprise inspection never hurts. You can find out a lot by showing up and asking to see the facilities without calling ahead.

Once you have found the place to board your pet, you will need to introduce your pet to the staff, as well as the other "tenants". This can be done with a couple of visits a week before you are actually going to leave. Pets can become very stressed in surroundings and situations they are unaccustomed to, therefore the more you familiarize your pet with the boarding kennel, the less likely they are to feel anxiety when you leave.

About the Author
We at are very devoted to caring for our pets and hope that our articles aid you in caring for your own pets.

Behavioral Issue Related To Pet Cats
by tinny tong

If your cat is anything like mine then he or she loves to scratch at all kinds of things, things that you really do not want to see scratched up. Cats are one of the most amazing and wonderful pets to own but they can wreak havoc if you let them. You need to learn some techniques to keep the cats from their bad behavior.

Male cats tend to be the most trouble some of the species because they are the ones that are prone to spray. Spraying is one of the most terrible of all cat behaviors. This is a process of literally peeing on anything and everything. They spew urine out behind them in order to mark what they feel is their territory. The best way to treat this behavior is before it starts. The younger that you get your cat neutered the less likely he is to spray as he gets older. People are getting their cats fixed as early as 12 weeks. You can solve your cat behavior problem easy, you are only one click away from your solution

Let us look at some common sources of cat behavior problems that might explain why your cat is having difficulties.

Social Issues

Cats are social animals and changes in their social life can have an impact on behavior. The list of potential triggers for poor behavior in this category include introducing a new person or baby into the household, bringing a new pet into the home, or a change in an owner’s schedule or levels of interaction with the pet.

Cats are also sensitive to changes in others behaviors and those alterations may result in problem behavior. If an owner is ill or is acting differently, a cat may respond with inappropriate actions. This may also occur if another household pet develops a sickness or changes its behavior considerably.

Environmental Issues

Cats are particularly attuned to their surroundings. They appreciate consistency in their environment and will frequently react to changes with misbehavior. Anything that changes a cat’s surroundings may have an impact on how it behaves.

Obviously, a move to a new place can be stressful for a cat, but so can lesser environmental changes. Remodeling, new furniture, rearrangement of the home and other things we might see as unmitigated positives may distress your cat.

If your cat is engaging in problematic behavior, it may justify a greater concentration on your training strategy. However, the problem may be spurred by something other than a lack of appropriate positive reinforcement.

Many cat behavior problems can be directly linked to other internal and external factors that will need to be addressed in order for the behavior to subside. In some cases, intervention may be necessary (a veterinary examination, for instance). In other situations, the owner should positively encourage his or her pet while the animal grows accustomed to what it perceives as a bothersome change. After a period of adjustment, behavior may improve.

NOTE: This article is for information only. See your veterinarian for medical advice and you can do some more reading on solving cat behavior problem.

Too Much Stress in Your Life? A Pet Could Be the Answer
by Jay Gaulard

Stress is a part of everyday life. Often from the time we get up in the morning until the time we go to bed in the evening, we are forced to face things that could put us in an unpleasant mood. Traffic jams, no morning newspaper, relationship problems and unruly customers at work are all things that can contribute to our blood pressure rising.
Stress is damaging in many ways. It can cause minor problems, like head and back aches or trouble sleeping to major health concerns, like depression and bleeding ulcers. There are medications that can help us reduce the effects of stress and cope with the problems brought on by it. There are also counselors, support groups and long bouts of complaining to friends and relatives to relieve the effects, but few things help us cope with stress the way a loving pet can.

Odds are, if you aren't allergic to or have a phobia of dogs or cats, you could reap some serious health benefits by bringing one into your home. The way a pet can melt away the stress after a tough day and lighten up our terrible moods will have nothing but positive effects your overall health and well being.

Get up and get moving

Having pets, especially dogs, not only gives you a bit of motivation to get yourself moving, it forces you to do it. Stress and its effects are at their worst when you just sit around and think about what put you into your current state of mind. Having to get yourself up to take the dog out for a brisk walk will give you something else to think about. The walk itself, will get your blood flowing and give you a bit of a workout. You'll be spending time with your best friend, which will likely put you in a better mood. The exercise will increase the output of endorphins, which will do wonders for your state of mind. People who exercise regularly are generally healthier than those who choose not to participate in some form of regular physical activity. They experience less of the negative effects associated with stress.

It's a known fact that an increased activity level is one of the easiest and best ways to counteract the effects of everyday stress. Doctors recommend that an average adult should get about a minimum of twenty minutes of activity per day to promote good health. The average adult dog needs about a daily twenty minute walk to be at optimal health. By giving your dog the amount of physical activity that it needs to be healthy, you'll be giving yourself the amount of activity that you need to be healthy.

The increased activity level will also serve to promote weight loss, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, help with stamina, and let you sleep better. When all other things are considered, it can do wonders for your self esteem.

Say goodbye to loneliness

People who live alone, often suffer from depression and the negative health effects associated with stress much more than those who have companionship. When you're in a bad mood or negative frame of mind that was caused by something that happened to you during the day, it helps to talk about it or share it with a companion. With a loving pet, you'll always have an ear that's willing to listen. You'll have someone who is willing to spend time with you, while you work out your feelings. Studies show that when subjects with high stress jobs were compared to each other, pet owners in the group showed far fewer of the effects of stress of the job than did the non pet owners. This includes hypertension and high blood pressure.

It's very likely that pets make better companions for stress relief than do their human counterparts. Your two legged friends may be in the midst of trying to deal with a bad day themselves. They may want you to listen to their problems and try to help them work through whatever situation they may be going through, before listening to you. On many occasions, it's likely that a human companion may be so immersed in the goings on of their own life, that they either can't or don't have the desire to listen and help you get through your problems. A pet, on the other hand, will provide you with unconditional love and affection, regardless of what their day brought them. Your dog or cat will be by your side to bring a smile to your face and help improve your mood whenever you need them to. If you have the capability of properly caring for a pet and showing them some affection, the kind of love you will get in return will be constant and limitless.

Keeping you safe

Fear can be a huge cause of stress. Being constantly afraid that you, your family or your home is in danger, can bring with it a whole host of problems due to the stress that it puts you under. A dog can immediately erase many of these fears. It's common knowledge that the simple sound of a dog barking, can easily deter a would be criminal from breaking into your home. There are hundreds and hundreds of amazing stories out there of dogs going way above and beyond just barking to ensure that their owners are safe. Dogs have literally fought off would be attackers. They have notified their owners of fires, gas leaks and the presence of carbon monoxide. In rare instances, they have even managed to notify the authorities when their owner was injured. Whether you ever need your pet to perform one of these amazing feats of protection or not, simply knowing that some animals are capable, can put your mind at ease and relieve a tremendous amount of stress in your life.

If you have stress in your life for any reason, getting a pet into your home as quickly as possible is one of the best possible ways of reducing the negative effects that you are experiencing from that stress.

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