News and Advice for Your Pet!

Who Cares What the Dog Drags In?
By JOYCE WADLER - The New York Times

Hillhouse Naturals Farm, a home fragrance company founded by a Kentucky farm family that claims about $7 million in sales yearly, recently introduced two products to its line of Good Dog home fragrances: the Good Dog Reed Diffuser ($43) and Good Dog Soy Candle ($24.50 for the seven-ounce size). Tracy Sullivan, who is 34 and created the scent with her mother, Peggy Batts, explains.

Let’s talk about the dog that inspired this line — he must have really smelled bad.

That’s Henry, the dog on our package. He was a stray. He actually stays at our warehouse. He smelled really bad and he looked really bad when we got him. He was very malnourished and he was losing a lot of hair.

The product information says the scent is amber, vanilla and lavender. Why those fragrances for a dog?

These are natural soothing and calming and odor-neutralizing fragrances. I didn’t want to do a dog collection that smelled like piƱa colada or a fruit, I wanted something that had a little more depth to it. I’m not a big fan of your dog smelling like kiwi or strawberries.

Isn’t it just as silly for a dog to smell like lavender?

I guess it is, but with amber and vanilla it smells more clean and soft.

You say that the scents are calming to dogs. How do you know?

I don’t know, because the dogs cannot tell me. But I’m sure it has the same abilities for pets as for humans. Lavender is naturally a very soothing product.

How does Henry smell now?

Henry smells very good when we bathe him.

We’re out in the country. We sit in the middle of 200 acres of fields. Henry actually has a deer that he got. He’s been rolling in it. They get hit on the road. He dragged him back to the warehouse.

He hauled back an entire deer?

Just part of the leg. He smells really bad.

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Dog Gone? GPS Can Track Him
Sue Stock, McClatchy/Tribune news

RALEIGH, N.C. — For owners of lost pets, the frantic search does not always end happily.

One company, Positioning Animals Worldwide, is betting that even in a recession, pet owners will pay $250 for some peace of mind.

Its product, Spotlight, is a rectangular box smaller than a business card that attaches to a dog's collar and connects with satellites and cell phone towers to provide a GPS location for the dog — and provide a text message to an owner when Fido leaves a "safe zone."

Spotlight is waterproof, weighs less than 2.5 ounces and has a light you can turn on remotely to help locate your dog at night.

Customers pay $250 plus a monthly service fee, which has not been set.

Some pet owners have microchips embedded under a dog's skin by a veterinarian. Each chip contains a number that can then be used to track down the dog's owner if the dog is found. But the microchips produce no real-time data about a pet's location.

"We have a natural customer base for this product," said Tom Sharp, CEO for AKC Companion Animal Recovery, which is partnering with PAW.

Spotlight will be available next month on and

Good Samaritan Does CPR On Pet Poodle

Oregon Man Saves Dog Hit By Car Using "Mouth-To-Snout" CPR!

(CBS) It was a life and death situation for a missing family member who'd been hit by a car. But someone stepped in and saved the beloved poodle, Prince, by performing CPR.

The Good Samaritan, Tim Dehning, and Prince's family -- James and Gina Fogle with their kids Nick, Joshua and Jacob -- and 7-year-old Prince, shared their story with Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Prince escaped from the Fogel's yard, ran into the street and was hit by a car.

Dehning lives in an Oregon neighborhood near that of the Fogles. He was in his kitchen when he heard cars screech and the yelp of a dog.

"I went out my back door and I saw a dog lying in the middle of the road and thought it was actually my dog," he said. "By the time I got up to Prince, he was bloodied up and pretty scraped, and so I actually picked his head up and tried to comfort him, and then he stopped breathing."

An avid watcher of the TV show, "Animal Planet," Dehning tried to use the skills he learned from the show to save Prince's life.

To hear what happened next, click here.

Going Away? Options for Pet Owners
By Sandy Robins -

Pet-sitting is affordable — or consider flying the first pets-only airline

The travel industry is going all out, dangling irresistible incentives in front of cash-strapped travelers to lure them into booking and taking a trip. Along with low fares, offers for kids to sail free and reduced tour booking deposits, they are also offering discounts on pet-sitting services so that pet owners can rest easy knowing their critters are receiving proper care.

While America's popular vacation destinations and resorts have become increasingly pet-friendly, there remain times when it’s not possible to take the family pet along. Consequently, pet care is a huge concern.

Interestingly, millions of pet owners qualify, yet are unaware, of discounts on professional pet-sitting services.

In August, Fetch! Pet Care, the nation's largest franchised operation of professional pet-sitting and dog-walking services, signed a first-of-its-kind partnership with AAA.

The deal gives AAA's 51 million members and 30,000 employees a 10 percent discount on all pet-sitting services booked through company's Web site or hundreds of travel agents, and includes dozens of tour operators, cruise lines and hotels linked to the travel concierge company.

The problem is that the travel service giant offers members such a variety of offers and savings that this pet perk seems to have gotten buried in the dog pile.

What’s more, many of the travel partners associated with AAA aren’t even aware that they are part of the deal!

Disney Cruise Line, for example, said the pet-sitting program was “a nice idea”, but their spokesperson said it does not have such a program available to vacationers. Similarly, Trafalgar Tours — one of the world’s biggest tour operators providing vacations to Europe, Britain Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South America and China — also said they were unaware that AAA members booking a tour with them qualify.

However, since both companies are preferred travel members with AAA, they are automatically part of the deal. It’s A Snap!

The list of travel partners linked to this discount includes most of the world’s top cruise lines, airlines, and hotel groups.

“The 10 percent discount can translate into a saving of about $100 on pet care,” confirmed Heather Hunter, public relations executive for AAA. “All members need to do is contact the branch of the pet services company directly. They automatically qualify for a free at-home consultation worth $25 along with the discount on the services arranged to take care of their pet while they are on vacation.”

“Travelers who are aware of this pet incentive utilize our services as much as three to four times a year,” confirmed Paul Mann, CEO of Fetch! Pet Care. The company currently has 200 locations, servicing more than 1,800 cities and towns in 34 states, and plans to open another 111 locations this year.

Perks to pet-sitting
“We’re seeing demand for a range of services that meets every need and budget, including boarding and daycare in the sitter's home, overnight sitting or daily visits in the client's home, private and group dog walks and pet taxiing,” Mann said.

Many companies, including Trafalgar Tours, are organizing independent pet-sitting discounts to make it even easier for clients to take advantage of the incentives, Mann added.

Additionally, sitters can give travelers peace of mind that extends beyond pet care because they also provide vital home care and crime deterrent services such as mail and newspaper pick-up, plant care and watering, trash placement for pickup and more.

Since February, pet-sitting incentives have been available to British travelers booking vacations with tour operators First Choice and Thomson (part of the British travel giant TUI UK). The company is linked with an English pet care service called Animals at Home which also gives a 10 percent discount on bookings sourced through the travel companies.

On both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, pet-sitting companies say the majority of assignments are for seven days or more.

Beth Stultz, marketing manager for Pet Sitters International (PSI), a global organization dedicated to educating, supporting and recognizing excellence in pet-sitting, said most sitters receive business from vacationers. Currently, the organization’s members serve an average of 191 clients each and perform more than 17.4 million pet-sitting engagements per year.

“So offering a pet-sitting incentive is a great way of attracting new clients and repeat customers which can only boost the industry and help create jobs in this downturned economy.” Stultz said.

Pet-only airline taking reservations
And what if you want to send your pet somewhere instead of having him or her watched while you take a trip?

Pet Airways, the world’s first pets-only airline, started taking online bookings on its Web site Thursday, and passengers can look forward to taking to the fur-friendly skies on the inaugural flight this summer.

The main cabin areas on the Florida-based company's Beechcraft 1900 turbo prop planes have been stripped of seats and redesigned to offer four-legged creatures room in special pet crates.

Initially the airline will offer service on a weekly basis to Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York.

“We are flying out of secondary airports in these cities such as Los Angeles Executive Airport in Hawthorne, Jefferson Airport in Denver, Chicago Executive in Chicago, Baltimore-Washington Airport in Washington and Teterboro Airport in New York to make the boarding procedure and the whole travel experience less stressful for pets,” says Pet Airways’ Executive Vice President and Founder Alysa Binder.

Apart from the crew, the only humans on board will be the pet attendants to take care of the furry travelers as they jet to their destinations.

The service is geared for pets of all sizes, but especially large dogs that don’t qualify to fly “cabin class” on regular commercial airlines.

Airports are being equipped with special lounges where owners can relax with their pets ahead of boarding. Owners can track their pets’ journeys online, and special identification safety tags give them additional peace of mind while animals are airborne. One-way airfares start at about $149.

Apart from well-traveled pets, such as show dogs and cats that fly to competitions on a regular basis, the airline also envisions its customers to be pets who will be going to spend a week with “grandparents” while their owners take a vacation, and even for divorced couples who share custody of their pets.

Who would have thought that Paddington Bear, the lovable children’s book character who came from Darkest Peru and was found at London's Paddington Station with a tag that said “Please look after this Bear,” would unknowingly become the forerunner for real pets traveling on their own?

Sandy Robins is an award-winning pet lifestyle writer. She is the recent recipient of the Humane Society of the United States' Pets for Life Award. Her work appears in many national and international publications.

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Animal Abuse is Very Serious: Here's Why
By Erika Stutzman -

'I ... observed a small black dog encased in clear packing tape. The dog was struggling to free itself from the tape. I saw the dogs (sic) paws and mouth were bound by tape. The mouth of the dog was also covered with a white plastic bag. The dog was taped to the fridge upside down." -- Boulder Police Report

In the wee hours of Tuesday, Boulder Police responded to a domestic violence incident involving a two twentysomethings. Both wound up charged in the violent scuffle, but only Abby Toll, 20, garnered national attention after police tacked on felony animal abuse charges. She allegedly encased her boyfriend's small 8-month-old dog in a "tomb of tape" and sealed the pet, upside down, to the refrigerator in her boyfriend's apartment. (She also is accused of showing up to jail with some heroin, but that's a story for another time.)

The Humane Society of the United States says nearly 1 million animals a year are abused or killed in connection with domestic violence; and 71 percent of domestic violence victims report that their abusers also targeted their animals.

Inevitably, stories about extreme animal abuse -- and yes, this qualifies, even though the pooch survived -- attract some critics.

These aren't human victims, they cry. They're just lowly animals; this is no big deal.

First: Having compassion for pets doesn't rule out compassion for people. The people who get upset when they see a dog cooking to death in the back seat of someone's car would be horrified if the same thing happened to a baby. But that potential horror doesn't prohibit them from calling the cops when they see Fido baking in a grocery store parking lot.

Second: It is a big deal. And here are two reasons why.

Pets are vulnerable. A pet will never be self-sufficient, always requiring the compassion and dedicated care of its owners (or in this case, technically speaking, its guardian.) How owners, society and the law treat and protect those vulnerable beings is what makes us civilized.

Pets are the easy mark for abusive people. The message it sends to others in the house or in their lives is this: You could be next. Maybe it will be a child, next time. Or a grownup in a vulnerable position. The abuser says: I'll bash in your cat's skull to hurt your feelings, I'll torture your dog and tape it to an appliance, I could gravely injure you when you're sleeping, next.

This is the sort of thing that critics of animal abuse news stories and felony abuse charges will get riled up about, saying that it's an exaggerative leap from people who would put fluffy bunnies above their fellow humans. But this is what they don't get: These stories are about humans. And the human capability of doing grave, violent harm to others.

And that's why felony animal abuse charges -- and the spotlight that this case has put on domestic violence -- are totally appropriate.

How Can I Get My Dog to Eat?
Houston Pets

Q: I have two male King Charles spaniels. One is an alpha male and intimidates the other during feeding time. The non-alpha male has quit eating. Separating them doesn't help. What should I do

A: When one dog guards his food against another, it doesn't always help to feed them on separate sides of the room because, sometimes, all it takes to start a fight between two dogs is some eye contact from across the room. Feeding them in different rooms may be the fastest solution, since it will definitely prevent the one dog from guarding food from the other. Another solution would be to teach your dogs to eat in crates spaced some distance away from each other. That way, there would be no way that they could make eye contact, and the one who has stopped eating will have a safe, sheltered environment for his meals. The trick here is to teach your dogs to feel comfortable in their crates without forcing them to stay in their crates, which could create more stress. Please check out our crate-training handout for more information.

At times other than mealtimes, engage in relationship-building activities with your dogs, like walking in the park together and joining a force-free training class. In other words, teach the dogs to associate each other's presence with pleasant activities. If you need more specific advice, and especially if any aggression takes place, I would suggest enlisting the help of a behavior specialist, such as the ones here at Houston SPCA, to help you with the situation.

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Dog Disease: Canine Distemper
by Alex de la Cruz

This is a very dead serious disease. Once your pet is infected, the virus makes it way to the lymphoid and nervous system. From there it will make its way to the respiratory system and then the gastrointestinal system as well. That's a lot of systems for one type of virus to infect. Because of its wide scope of infection, it can and will become fatal to your beloved pet. Aside from the primary symptoms an infected dog may show, there will be secondary signs as the virus makes its way through the animal's body, therefore it can at times be confused as other ailments.
It is a highly contagious disease, especially in areas with lots of wild or stray animals, who happen to be the carriers of the disease. Any pooch coming in direct contact with bodily secretions of a another carrying the virus will have a good chance of contracting it as well. Discharge fluids include piss, poop, saliva, nasal and eye secretions. It may be passed on through pet food and water. The disease can also be airborne. Once contracted, a pet won't be showing any symptoms for the first few days. It will be able to go about its daily routines.

The first sign that will come out is a fever, usually within 3 to 7 days. This will most likely be accompanied by a runny nose and "eye crystals". After which your pet will experience problems related to its tummy, like a stomach ache and diarrhea. A sudden loss of appetite and weight loss will follow. The poor dog will vomit frequently, and drool all over the place. Another symptom may be heavy breathing and coughing. As the days past, like say a week, the dog disease will make its way to the central nervous system. When this happens, it will pee and poop uncontrollably.

Spasms will occur more frequently as well. This coupled with the other symptoms stated above will make it really unpleasant to look at. Imagine your pet in that condition - snot running down its nose, crystals around its eyes, vomiting, pooping, coughing, wining, and drooling while twitching on the floor. It can break anyone's heart. There is presently no cure for this dog disease. Treatment involves the use of antibiotics, but is only good for curing the secondary symptoms, not for the main cause of the arising ailments. Therefore, as always, vaccination of your pet will be the best thing we can do at the moment.

Have your dog vaccinated every year. Puppies are more prone, therefore consult your veterinarian for its vaccination process. Canine distemper cannot survive very long in sunlight, so if you live in a country with cold climate, there is a better chance of it thriving there. It can last for months in temperatures below zero degrees. To eliminate it, sanitation of your area is suggested. You may use detergents and other germ-killing products to rid the dog disease. By doing so, we can save the lives of our pets. Start caring for your pet today.

About the Author
The author of this article, Alex De La Cruz, is a Dog Expert who has been successful for many years. Because most people think that Arthritis is a humans-only disease Alex now informs dog owners with his Ebook on how to discover this disease and let their dogs live as pain-free as possible.

Popular Cat Video Subjects
by Tristan Andrews

Funny cat videos are all the craze on the Internet. There are many sites that host these videos. A Google search brings up 9,980,000 results for them. That number is really flabbergasting! How funny can these videos be? Well, they must be extremely funny to a lot of people.

Thinking about that let us consider what some of the most popular subjects for funny cat videos are and get an idea of what all of the enthusiasm is about. Cats in containers, falling into them like an ice chest and the lid closing, cat in plastic container with head sticking out with the lid on its head, cats in bottles and getting out, and cats in boxes.

Other funny cat video topics are cats chasing people and attacking, cats chasing bears away, cats on hind legs looking like they are boxing, and then they get creamed by the opposing cat that patiently watched the boxing act until the opposing cat got ready to attack. Or cats trucking across the room on his hind legs.

Singing cats are the rage in funny cat videos. There are so many examples of this topic on the Internet. This is truly a big topic of cat video enthusiasts. Ponder this: a search for singing cat videos on Google nets 557,000 results. Do you conclude that people like singing cat videos or what?

In the singing cat genre, dare I call it that? There are sub-genres like cats singing opera, cats singing while yawning, (maybe he's bored with the concept), psycho and monster singing cats, cats singing metal, and so on.

Even cats get into potty humor. There are 687,000 results on Google for cats flushing the commode. One of the most famous funny cat videos of a cat flushing a commode actually happened out in California. Anyone that has ever had an inside cat knows that they are fascinated by the rushing swirling water of a flushing commode. And many people get a kick out of watching videos of cat's flushing the commode with or without musical accompaniment. Are we easily amused, just like cats?

Cats in the act of being clumsy are a favorite topic of funny cat videos. Hey, we normally think of them as graceful animals, but sometimes they miss their mark when jumping, flip crazily into the air and screech or skid and fall off of a counter or table.

One of the craziest videos of a cat that is on the Internet is one in which a cat watches himself in a video and tries to paw at the 'other' cat. Another cool one shows a cat rubbing his face against a babies face. Some people say it is a sign of affection, others that the cat is marking you as his person. But seeing a cat do this to a baby is a very lighthearted scene.

As long as there are cats and people in the world, people will have cats as pets and funny cat videos will be made. When it comes to humor, some people think that cat's rule.

About the Author
Tristan Andrews is a freelance author who writes articles about Funny Cat Videos and Cat Video.

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National Moving Companies for Pet and Animal Transport
by Jennifer Strong

Moving over a long distance can be a complicated and complex task. There is a long list of things that you need to complete in order to complete all tasks that are associated with moving. Animals and pets do not understand what is happening around them, so it is up to you to contain any behavior problems that might arise throughout the move. You can get help doing this, as many cross country movers are happy to help you reduce the trauma on your pets when moving.
Doing the Research

With any long distance move, you need to start by investigating which national moving companies offer their services out of your area, and when their services are available in relation to the general timing of your move. You want to end up with a list of companies that can be hired for your move dates. You should decide on your moving dates before you do this. You can call cheap moving companies that are on your list once you know the dates that you need to move.

Always ask how the company handles animals. Though some movers will not have any specific procedures for handling pets, others will offer custom pet transport, while still others will at the very least have had experience with moving their client's pets along with their furniture. When and if the companies that you contact can not provide the proper information, they should be able to refer you to a company that can.

Making Your Decision

Before you settle on a company, you should carefully consider your options. You need to look at the price of services, of course, but you should also consider the services that you are getting for the price. It may be simpler and ultimately less expensive to go with a single outfit that meets all your needs than to hassle with two different companies, even if the single company ends up costing you more. This particular consideration is key in your process of choosing which movers you will engage.

You should also check the licensing and performance history of each candidate. Request license numbers, customer references, and then do some additional research. You should be able to find some of the referred former customers who will be willing to talk to you about how their moves went. Before you put your signature on a contract, you should be satisfied that all your questions have been satisfactorily addressed. This includes the exact arrangements for the moving of your pet, who will be assigned to look after it during the move, and what exactly the service entails.

Regardless of which moving firm you finally select, the goal is to assure yourself that you, your family, and your pet will be properly taken care of. Anticipating and averting problems is key, and you are best equipped to do so when you know beforehand your rights and responsibilities in the contractual relationship. You can keep your move simple by doing plenty of research before choosing a company.

About the Author is your one stop shop for moving information and tools. Get free cost estimates from the best national moving companies and cheap moving companies in the industry. Visit today for free tips, hints, and moving quotes for your next move.

Aquarium Care for Freshwater Fish
By: Bob Evanston

Compared to saltwater fish, freshwater fish are much easier to care for. Freshwater fish are usually hardier. To begin, you will need a correctly set up aquarium, which includes a tank, and rocks or substrate on the bottom of the tank. Also needed is lighting and a filter.

When choosing fish, it is imperative to make sure the fish are compatible. Not only do they need to be compatible for water temperature and P.H., but they also should have similar food requirements. Try to keep the fish relatively the same size. It has been said that if a fish is small enough to fit in another fishes mouth, that is usually where it ends up. So don't be discouraged if this happens. Even fish that have been housed together for several months have been known to disappear on occasion.

Freshwater fish should be fed twice daily. Feed only a small amount that can be consumed within the first two to five minutes. Overfeeding is a common mistake among novice fish keepers. Any excess food should be lifted with a net if possible, as it will become debris and quickly dirty the tank. Water should be kept regulated and tested weekly. Any discrepancies in P.H. and water temperature should be corrected immediately in order to minimize stress on the fish.

Stress is significant because it causes illness in fish. It is important to monitor the activity and overall well being of the fish in an aquarium. The signs of stress will be fairly obvious. Slow moving or lethargic looking fish will require a stress coat that can be purchased at a local pet store. Try to avoid overcrowding the tank. This should help to reduce the amount of stress

Only change about one third of the aquarium's water at a time; this reduces any disturbance to the tank's inhabitants. Change this much water every two or three weeks, using either a bucket or siphon. When adding water, be sure to remove any loose or floating debris you spot. It is also crucial to make sure that the new water is close in temperature to the water already there, within two degrees or so.

Clean the sides of the aquarium regularly, scrubbing away any algae. Be careful not to disturb the fish when doing this. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly prior to and after touching your aquarium. Also, do not forget to change the filter, according to the recommendation of the manufacturer. Filters perform the vital task of collecting fish waste and left over food, but they cannot function properly unless they are clean.

Start your aquarium with hardy fish such as danios, barbs, gouramis and live bearers. These kind of fish are able to withstand the higher nitrite levels that are present in a new tank. Before adding fish, check with your pet store or other expert, as acclimation times vary per species. As a rule, do not add more than three or four small fish per week.

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