Pet Advice: Pet Friendly Cleaning Tips

One Pet or More?
Susan NC Price - Chicago Pets Examiner

For most of my life, I’ve been a one-pet-at-a-time person. Mostly that has meant one dog, although for a decade or so our family had one cat. OK, a couple of years in the middle of the one-cat period included a couple of gerbils, but the cat thought of them as self-motivated amusement, not fellow pets. And so did I, pretty much. Cute little beasts but I didn’t really bond.
I’ve heard arguments both ways, single pet or pair-at-least. Some echo to an amusing degree the arguments for and against having only one or more than one child. “He/she will be lonely” doesn’t hold true with only cats or dogs any more than with only children, in my experience. Of course, dogs have a genetic predisposition to pack behavior. Cats also have an inherited understanding group dynamics. Most birds have some sort of flocking instincts, if only for migration—but particularly when raised from a young animal, a cat, dog, or bird will identify with the human family as its pride, pack or flock.

Even our ferret, which previously had a number of cage-mates, has adapted to the “single” life quite well. Of course, I made sure to give him extra human interaction in the traumatic first week or so after he first started living as sole ferret in the household.

As for the, “they need someone to play with when you’re at work” argument, well … wouldn’t you much rather have your pet safely napping most of the time you're gone? Do you really want another cat/dog/bird inciting your pet to foolish unchaperoned behavior?

On the other hand, if you have the time, space and energy to care for more than one dog, cat, or bird, then go for it. Within reason. But most of us know how to stop before we get to the elderly-person-with-57-cats stage.

Getting two animals at the same time makes the transition easier, for you and for them, as both animals will be introduced to your “territory” at the same time. Easiest of all is to get littermate kittens or puppies. But animals who have already lived together—birds who’ve shared a cage or ferrets, cats or dogs who’ve been socialized together—also makes the adoption process easier.

And, as I mentioned in “Getting the second dog,” even introducing another animal to an established household can work. But that’s a topic for another day.

Dog Bite Risk for Kids Greatest in Summer
US News & World Report

Family pets caused 27% of injuries; Pit bulls most often involved in attacks, study finds

(HealthDay News) -- Young children are at the greatest risk for dog bites in the summer and are especially vulnerable to severe bites in the head and neck areas, say researchers who analyzed 84 cases of dog bites in children.

It's not clear why children are more likely to suffer dog bite injuries in the summer, but it may be because children spend more time outdoors playing with dogs in warmer months, the researchers suggested. Or it may be that dogs are generally more irritable in hot weather.

The study found that 27 percent of dog bite injuries were caused by family pets. The most common sites of bites to the head and neck were the cheeks (34 percent), lips (21 percent), and nose and ears (both 8 percent). Sixty-four percent of the children suffered dog bite wounds in more than one location, and the average wound size was 7.15 centimeters. Pit bulls were the breed most commonly involved in attacks.

The findings were published in the March issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

In the United States, dog bites account for about 1 percent of all emergency room visits, including 44,000 cases per year of facial injuries.

Implementation of more accurate and timely reporting of dog bites to local health officials can help educate medical professionals on how to identify dog bite trends and develop prevention strategies, the study authors said.

They recommended a system for uniform data collection that includes all the circumstances of the dog bite: signs of provocation; adequacy of child supervision; breed and sex of dog; spay-neuter status; history of prior aggression; dog restraint; time of event; patient's previous history of dog bites; length of dog ownership; location where injury occurred; disposition of dog after the event; and dog's vaccination history.

The researchers also said families need to be made aware that the risk of dog bites increases during the summer.

How to treat dog bites.
Knowing about dogs and how treat dogs is important. People forget dogs are animals and it is a natural defense for the dogs to bite. I came across this new search engine for dogs, this section is about treating dog bites: I hope this is useful.

California Lawmakers’ Focus on Dogs
Los Angeles Times

Sacramento —- Motorists, beware: Puppy hit-and-run could soon be a crime.

A state lawmaker has proposed slapping California motorists with a fine and possible jail time if they flee the scene after hitting a jaywalking dog, cat or any other pet or farm animal.

Democrat Mike Eng’s measure would require that drivers try to provide medical aid to an injured animal and notify the owner or animal-control authorities.

The assemblyman said he wrote the bill out of respect for the central role pets can play in family life, noting that he got the idea from a constituent who lost a beloved family dog.

He said he hopes to “start a dialogue” and set a precedent.

New York has a similar law, as do Germany and Singapore.

Cats May Help Owners Live Longer, but ...
By Gary Bogue - Contra Costa Times

A cat a day ...

... keeps the doctor away.

"Here's good news for cat owners — your finicky feline can help you live years longer!"

At least that's what it said in a story in The Sun, one of those little tabloids you can sneak a peek at while you're standing at the supermarket checkout stand (when nobody's looking).

My wife brought the article home with the groceries last weekend and taped it to my computer screen, with a big HA-HA-HA scribbled across it in bright red lipstick.

For a minute, I thought it was blood.

The story, written by Linda Wruss, says researchers at the Berlin Longevity Institute worked five years to draw their startling conclusions.

That's pretty startling in itself.

"We didn't zero in on the amazing powers of cats until our figures began to show they acted like a fountain of youth for their owners," Dr. Horst Becket is quoted in the Sun story. "Any pet will add a few years to its owner's life, but cats add a whopping average of 10.3 years to people who've had one since childhood."

Why is that? Because, says Dr. Becker, cats have an almost instantaneous calming effect. Holding a cat lowers your blood pressure and slows the heart.

Oh, yeah?

They obviously didn't run my fiendish Siamese on their longevity-testing treadmill.

I can have a really low-key day here at work, where all is calm and peaceful and we do a lot of group hugging, and then get home, hug my sweet, lovable Isis ... and become instantly enraged.

Why is that? Because she always bites me on the neck. Hard.

And if I don't pick her up and hug her, she bites me on the ankle. And if I hop all evening from first one foot and then the other, she waits until I sit down and bites me on the leg. I can't win.

So when I get home from work, I pick up the cat so she can bite me on the neck, and then go find my wife so she can peck me on the cheek.

Coming home from work can really be brutal.

"Welcome home, honey!" smiles my wife, pecking me on the cheek. "Playing with the vampires again?"

My blood pressure starts to rise and my pulse quickens, even as we speak. So much for longevity research in my household.

If the Berlin Longevity Institute would like to expand their research to include my bloodthirsty Siamese — at a nominal fee, of course (the cat's) — I think they'll find their figures are reversed.

The figure is 10.3 years, all right, but it doesn't add them to this cat owner's life, it takes them away.

See the gray beard and no hairline on the character pictured at the top of this column?

Would you believe I'm only 18?

Dear Gary:

As I drove off to work this morning, waving to my cat, I noticed a large black crow walking along the sidewalk.

I often see these crows in the orchards, but should I be concerned for the safety of my pets as these birds wander into the neighborhoods?

Cathy, Brentwood

Dear Cathy:

In a word, nevermore.

Crows are scavengers. They may heckle your pets from afar and raid your dog's food dish when he isn't looking, but they pose no danger to the animals.

Your pets, on the other paw, could do a lot of damage to a crow, and the crow knows it.

Save 5% on Pet Supplies Orders Over $75

Pet Food - What You Need to Know
By Melinda Smith

The best way to know what goes into your dog's food is to make it yourself. With the recent pet food recall, many pet owners are doing just that. Though some experts argue that a homemade diet is best for dogs, others insist that the appropriate course is to consult your veterinarian, as canines have definite nutritional requirements. Dietary changes should be done slowly to avoid digestive upsets. Recipes or ingredients may be rotated to ensure nutritional variety.

One method to be certain of what your dog is consuming is to make his pet food yourself. Considering the recent issues with packaged food recalls, this is becoming an attractive option. It is important to remember that a drastic change is not the proper way to proceed. Consult with your animal's health care professional, get a list of ingredients which cover all nutritional needs, and slowly change them over. One nice thing about making your animal's food is that they can have a bit more variety introduced into their daily routine.

One more area which needs argument is bones. According to some experts, it is advisable not to feed your dog bones, particularly cooked bones. Some parts may be accumulated in the digestive system. It is agreed by all that cooked chicken bones must be kept away from dogs. However, various other cooked bones aren't clear cut. It is also suggested by many doctors that dogs should be fed bones, but opinions differ upon whether to choose raw or cooked one. Canines in the wild, eating bones, get the advantage of consuming hair and hide also and this have been noticed to 'pad' the bone parts and help them to pass. Chocolate, avocados, mushrooms, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic are some other eatables which are harmful to dogs.

Being aware of the recent pet food recall, various pet owners have started looking for nutritional guidelines for homemade dog food. Beliefs related to natural balance dog food keep on changing. In ancient times, it was believed that canines were carnivores but after a number of dogs suffered illness by eating an all-meat diet, it's been decided that they are actually omnivores, that is, they require both meat and plant-based foods. However, cats are different, since they are true carnivores as they eat only meat.

Pet food companies formulated what they asserted was the perfect nutritional balance and turned it into a $15 billion dollar industry. However, there is much controversy on the optimal diet for our dogs. It seems there is a minimum of research in canine nutritional requirements and a maximum of profiteering, in the sense that the main, or only, objective of most pet food manufacturers is profit and nothing else.

For every kind of diet, there will be some kind of 'expert' who claims that it is the absolute healthiest diet for your dog. Some recommend nothing but raw kibble, others say that homemade is the only way to go, and others claim that all-meat, vegetarian, or even vegan diets are best for dogs. The only real way to judge is observing the health of your dog. No matter what you feed him, if your dog seems healthy, gets regular checkups at the vet, and keeps an appropriate weight and healthy appearance, you can bet that his diet is probably fine.

Dogs require protein containing ten amino acids. Many commercial dog foods have a corn base which, even though it is protein, contains only four of these amino acids. The most popular diet, at present, seems to be one that is meat based and supplies a good quality protein such as egg white, chicken, beef, lamb, or fish with some carbohydrate such as wheat, corn, oats, rice, barley, or soy, including vegetables for energy, and vitamins, minerals, and fats.

You can find such ingredients in the top food products on the market or you can make them in your own home with foods you would eat yourself. If you are making homemade dog food, you should use an assortment of recipes to provide your dog with a nutritional balance. If you should wish to attempt making an array of fine meals, you will discover lots of excellent recipes for homemade dog foods on the internet.

It is easy to make pet food. Dogs have certain needs that have to be met for their health to be maintained. The aftermath of the recent food recall is that many people are searching for healthful recipes to make their own homemade dog food. Thinking toward natural balance dog food is continually evolving. Commonly accepted thought is that meat should be the main staple of dogs, but after all-meat diets proved to be less than healthy for many canines, the common consensus now is that dogs need a mix of meat and plant-based foods.

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Pet-Friendly Cleaning Tips
By Ingrid King

While cleaning may not be anyone's favorite activity, there is something satisfying about throwing the windows wide open to let in the spring air and giving every room in the house a thorough cleaning to welcome the new season.

Dangers of Chemical-based Household Cleaners

But did you know that many commercial cleaning products can be extremely toxic, and even deadly, to your pets? Cats are especially susceptible since they groom themselves by licking and as a result ingest anything that comes in contact with their feet or fur.

Many household cleaners contain contain hazardous ingredients such as organic solvents and petroleum based chemicals which can release volatile organic compounds into your indoor air. Some ingredients in household cleaners are known to cause cancer in animals and are suspected human carcinogens. Inappropriate use, storage and disposal of these hazardous household substances may impact your personal health and the health of our environment. Lysol, Pine-sol and other products containing phenols are deadly to cats as they can cause serious liver damage. Chlorox bleach, especially when concentrated, can cause chemical burns when it comes in contact with sensitive pet paws.

Non-toxic Cleaning Products

With the wide variety of naturally based and non-toxic cleaners available, there is no need to continue to use unsafe, toxic products. Brands such as Seventh Generation and Method offer every type of cleaner imaginable and are available in all major grocery stores. If you have cats, try to steer clear of natural products containing essential oils. Even though many manufacturers of essential oils claim that they are safe to use around cats, this is not always the case. Tea tree oil in particular can be deadly to cats.

Some of the safest and least expensive cleaners are baking soda and white distilled vinegar. Some suggestions for use are:

Baking Soda:

Pour a layer in the litterbox before adding fresh litter to quell odors.
Add 1/2 cup to the laundry to freshen pet bedding.
Use as an abrasive cleaner for sinks, bowls, and non-porous surfaces.

White Distilled Vinegar:

Use to disinfect feeding dishes, the litterbox, and non-porous toys.
Add 1 cup to the wash cycle to freshen and soften pet bedding.
Apply a diluted solution (one part vinegar and one part water) to help remove the appearance and odor of urine stains from carpets.

Baking soda and white vinegar combined make a great non-toxic drain cleaner - pour some baking soda down the drain, follow with a cup or so of vinegar. The mixture will foam, and the foaming action will clear your drain. Repeat if necessary. For tough drains, follow with hot water.

If your pet does come into contact with toxic chemicals, contact the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for help.

Ingrid King is a writer, Reiki Master Practitioner and owner of Healing Hands. Healing Hands provides Reiki for pets and people. Ingrid publishes periodic newsletters on alternative health topics for pets and people and a blog on conscious living for pets and people. For more information, and to subscribe to the Healing Hands newsletter, please visit

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My Dog's Life and Welcome to It
By Ronda Skinner

My dog is getting old, having been a gift to my daughter on one of her childhood birthdays. Although she has since gotten a different dog, a miniature dachshund, and moved on to her adult life. Leaving her old friend, a mocha brown Australian Shepherd behind and in my care. He's a great dog, a real pal, always ready with a tail wagging friendly greeting. This dog has always been an outside dog, loving the snow or lying in a warm patch of sunlight or shade on an overly warm day. He enjoys watching for the occasional cat that comes to visit and rub up next to him, or standing guard for the birds or night creatures that try to steal his food.

We have dogs all around us, a single medium-sized dog of unknown breed up front, and two tiny dogs next door that all come to visit him. He interacts with all of them, occasionally adding his bark to theirs when something catches their attention. Once in awhile if he's loose, he will even visit the neighbors further away that have dogs, forgetting where he lives for a few hours.

When he is allowed to run free there is nothing he loves better than to visit the creek in warm weather, find the deepest part and flop down on his belly in the cool water. He'll just lie there, drinking fresh creek water and cooling off, after he's had his fill of running all over around our house, across the field, up on the hill behind, having a good old time. Once its time to return to his tie up, generally he will come right away when you call him, something I really appreciate in a dog: one that minds. After he is back to his place he might sleep dead to the world, for hours after all the exercise, either in his house or flat out on the ground; it matters not to him.

Dogs are amazing creatures, unsurpassed by any other pet that I am aware of, always there with a friendly greeting, and insatiably, unconditionally happy to see us. We are very fortunate should we have such a friend in our lives. They will be there through thick and thin regardless of the situation or circumstance, while we in return should do our best for them. The dog is undeniably one of God's greater creations.

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What to Look For in Aquarium Lights
By Len Loman

If you have decided an aquarium is what you want you are going to be in for a treat. Aquariums are beautiful and the fun part is - you can set them up however you want. The aquarium lights are going to be one of the enhancing parts of the aquarium. They will increase the detail of your tank and make the décor you use more noticeable. The type you use will depend upon whether your aquarium is going to be for fish or for a reptile. Since there are many different needs for certain fish as well as reptiles the focus will be on an aquarium for fish.

What Type Should I Choose?

The best type of aquarium light is going to be the one that enhances your aquarium to the fullest. In addition, the light it provides for your fish and live plants if you decide this is the way to go will be important as well. Plants add the realistic look that you want for your aquarium so live ones are really better than the plastic variety. There are many to choose from so basically your personal preference is going to be what ultimately decides the type you will use.

Compact Fluorescent Lights

When it comes to aquarium lights, the compact fluorescent type may be your choice. If you want the aquarium to be brightly lit, this is a good choice. The compact type uses either two or four lamps for greater luminance. A single bulb of this type will light the same as two regular fluorescent lights. The compact fluorescent lighting is usually what people choose when upgrading from the regular fluorescent lighting.

Lunar Lights

There are lunar lights available for your aquarium. Since they are made specifically to mimic moonlight they are sometimes called moon lights. Many people prefer this type of lighting to allow the inhabitants of the tank to feel more like they are in a natural setting. The lunar light is normally a LED light.

Fluorescent Lighting

The full hood light with fluorescent lighting is the choice of many first time aquarium owners. The bulb can be changed to a different color if you want but make sure it is bright enough to enhance the objects in the tank, mainly your fish. A white reflector type light will give you the maximum lighting for your aquarium.

Halide Systems

This type of lighting is one that is quite popular for those who are really into aquariums. The reason is because these light provide extreme lighting. The halide fixtures will produce hundreds of watts of light. One metal halide light will be more than many standard light bulbs or even the compact type of fluorescent lighting.

VHO Fluorescent Lighting

There are several different kinds of fluorescent aquarium lighting. They are usually recognized for the amount of light they put out. The VHO or Very High Output bulbs and regular fluorescent bulb are very alike. The big difference is the VHO has a unique ballast which allows them to put out almost three times that of a standard fluorescent bulb.

Day and Night

When you have decided on the type of aquarium lights that you will use, the next question will be how long you should leave them on. This should be similar to our day and night. The amount of time it stays daylight will be the period of time to leave the lights on. Turn them off when it is night time so the fish will experience day and night just as we do. Approximately twelve hours of daylight should be plenty for plants as well as the fish. However, you must keep in mind what the fish require as far as lighting. So some fish may require longer periods of day and night.

Replacing Bulbs

When you typically replace a bulb used for your aquarium lights is when they no longer work. But, did you know that even though a bulb still lights, it may not be shining with the necessary luminance that your fish need? Over time the bulb can put out less light than it originally did. This can cause algae to grow in your aquarium. So replacing the bulbs if you notice they do not seem to be shining as brightly as they were is a good idea. This will help to keep your fish in top shape.

Aquariums are spectacular if they are set up with the care and the right lighting to enhance their beauty. The best aquarium lights will show your fish and the plants and accessories off to their fullest extent.

Author- Len Loman

About Best Pet Lighting:

Our site is best known for having the right equipment for the right aquarium. We will soon have great articles up on all areas of care for your aquarium but our main focus is Aquarium Lights And Aquarium Heaters

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Best Horse Buying Tips Available
By Bryan Burbank

Before you run out and buy a horse there are some things that are important for you to know. When you go to look at a horse make sure that the seller does not try to tell you that you better buy now because if you wait you are going to lose out. This is a way for him to try to make a quick sale and you may not get the best deal or the best horse so make sure you are cautious when making a purchase. You also do not want to tell the seller what you are willing to spend because this is only help him to over charge you.

It is also important when you are negotiating with a seller to buy a horse that you have a poker face and do not show him that you are interested in the horse too much. This can give him a red flag that he can charge you what ever he wants because you are going to buy this horse no matter what the price is. If you are purchasing the horse for your child it is important to let them know that there instructor need to approve the horse before you make a purchase like this.

Remember that buying a horse is not a hard thing to do but make sure that you know the facts before you make the purchase. It is always important that you do not let the seller strong arm you into thinking that you have to buy the first horse you see or you will miss out.

Bryan Burbank is an expert in the field of Horse Riding and Training

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Caring For Older Cats - Arthritis
By Kathy Robinson

Just like us, cats can get arthritis and slow down as they get older. Arthritis seems to afflict more male cats than females and cats that are overweight. Feeding your cat a balanced diet is important for general health, as is making sure it has the opportunity to exercise. Schedule some games and play times as well as outdoor exercise.

If you notice you older cat having difficulty jumping onto your bed or chair or other favorite place, check to see if you can feel any hot spots around the joints or unusual swelling. If your cat is limping, that could also be an indicator of arthritis. Awkward gait is another sign as your cat might be trying to compensate for pain.

A trip to the vet is needed so an accurate diagnosis can be made. Your cat might be in pain without you being aware of it. And as the signs of arthritis don't normally appear until the disease has already damaged the joints, it is vitally important to keep a fairly close eye on your older cat and be aware of any changes in behavior. Any unusual behavior such as hissing or scratching while being stroked or unusual lethargy need investigation.

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, caused when the cartilage between the bones wears away. This allows the bones to rub against each other, causing pain from the nerves in the bones. Small pieces of bone can also chip off, causing further pain.

Your vet will undertake an examination of your cat, take blood for analysis and probably have an x-ray taken to assess any damage to the joints. The sooner an accurate diagnosis can be made, the earlier you can start on treatment and help alleviate any pain your cat may be in as well as help prevent further damage. Your vet will prescribe medication and pain relief suitable for your cat. Remember, your cat can't tell you when it is in more pain than normal, you have to be aware and take measures to help it. Make sure there are no side effects to the treatment, or if there are, how to treat them.

Try to keep your cat warm. Cold or wet weather aggravates the symptoms of arthritis. A small electrical heating pad left on low and placed under the bed will help ease the symptoms. A hot water bottle will do the same. Make sure your cat gets enough exercise by playing with it as much as is possible. Make sure your cat's diet is suitable for its age and condition.

While not curable, arthritis can be managed in older cats. Some extra help from you will be necessary. Make sure your cat can still easily get into the litter box, and perhaps place a few more around the house as your cat slows down. Place your cat in its favorite place such as the bed or couch and give it some extra love and care. Arthritis is not fun for anyone.

Kathy is the author of numerous articles on cat problems and the care of cats. Visit her website at today to find answers to problems you might be having with your cat or kitten.

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