Pet Advice and Pet News

America's Most Popular Dogs
Jeanine Poggi,

A city-by-city look at the pups those in the U.S. love most.

Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog greeted this weekend by the Obamas, may be lapping up the limelight, but the Labrador Retriever is most Americans' top dog.

Other favorites include the Yorkshire Terrier, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Beagle, Boxer, Dachshund, Bulldog, Poodle and Shih Tzu, according to the American Kennel Club's recent report of the country's Top 10 dog breeds. Rankings are based on the breeds most registered in the U.S.

"The list reflects the times," says Sarah Wilson, expert for PBS' Why We Love Cats and Dogs. "These dogs are friendly and happy and love to lie on their owner's lap. People want a dog that is a companion and [that] they can cuddle with."

That's expected to be the case with Bo, a breed of dog that's "very spirited and energetic," says Daisy Okas, assistant vice president of communications at the American Kennel Club. Bred Portuguese Water Dogs typically sell for between $1,800 and $2,500 and grow to weigh about 35 to 60 pounds, depending on sex. Such relatively small dogs are popular among today's owners. In fact, downsizing dogs is one of the animal world's biggest trends, as pups less than 20 pounds account for half the dogs on the list.

One of the most noteworthy of these small breeds is the bulldog, which made the No. 8 spot in 2009. After 70 years at a lower ranking, the Bulldog returned to the top 10 list just last year. The bulldog is especially popular in Las Vegas, where it ranks second in popularity, as well as Boston and Orlando, where it ranks third.

The bulldog, known for its adaptive nature and love of people, makes a great family pet, says Lisa Peterson, spokesperson for the American Kennel Cub (AKC). Since they don't require a lot of exercise, bulldogs are ideal for owners with busy schedules or those who prefer watching television to going for a hike.

But the biggest trend in the canine world can't be found at Westminster or on AKC's list. There has been a growing interest in mixed breeds and rescue dogs.

"The chic thing to do is adopt a dog," Wilson says. "Saving a life and helping an animal in need is a sign of the times."

What's also a sign of the times is the sheer number of breeds available to dog lovers. When the AKC was established in 1884, it registered just nine breeds; today, it recognizes 161.

The Pointer and Chesapeake Bay Retriever were the original top two dogs. The others on that 1884 list of breeds--the English Setter, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel and Irish Water Spaniel--are all currently members of the sporting group, a classification for dogs bred to help man find and retrieve game.

Today, dogs fill a different need--they act primarily as companions. A U.S. family today is more likely to have a dog than to have children. Wilson attributes this statistic to America's aging population.

Despite the economy, people continue to indulge their pets. Spending on pet supplies and over-the-counter medicines for pets is projected to have increased 5.1% last year to $10.3 billion, according to the American Pet Products Association.

"No matter how tough the times get, there is still a sense of security when it comes to dogs," says Jason Taylor, external relations manager at P&G Pet Care/Eukanuba. "The pet industry is pretty resilient, since they are so much a part of our lives."

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Pet First Aid Kits - Buy One or Make Your Own
Maria Devore - Denver Pet Health Examiner

April is pet first aid awareness month. In addition to having your veterinarian’s contact information easily accessible, you should have a first aid kit on hand and know how to use it. You can make your own, tailored to your specific pet’s needs, or you can buy one from several retailers, both in stores and online. PetTravelCenter sells a general pet first aid kit and specific kits for birds, cats, or ferrets. The contents of each kit are listed on the site; prices range from $24.95 to $29.95, before tax and shipping. See below for more sites from which to purchase pet first aid kits.

Doctors Fosters and Smith's pet education web site has several helpful articles, including those on how to make first aid kits for specific pets. There are instructions for dogs, cats, small pets (such as guinea pigs and rabbits), birds, ferrets, and even reptiles and amphibians. There is also an article about aquarium first aid advice.

Know some basic first aid skills. In my previous article I noted classes and books to help you get started. For CUTS: control the bleeding by applying direct pressure with clean gauze; if the wound stops bleeding, gently clean it (NOT with hydrogen peroxide, see your first aid kit ingredients) and bandage it. If the bleeding does not stop, take your pet to the vet.

BURNS: flush the area with cool water, if practical. Cover the burn with a non-stick pad (the Tefla pads from your first aid kit) and apply a cooling pack while you transport your pet to the vet. Your veterinarian can assess the burn to help prevent infection and provide pain management.

HEATSTROKE: Immediately move your pet to a cool area. If possible, put all four paws in cool (not cold!) water. Apply a cool washcloth to the armpits, groin, belly, and head. Take your pet’s temperature; if it is 104°F, take your pet to the vet.

HYPOTHERMIA: Read more here. Move your pet out of the cold and make sure he/she is dry. Prevent further heat loss and get the animal to a veterinarian.

POISONING: Call the poison control numbers I posted in my last article (also see below). Keep these easily accessible so you don’t waste time looking for them in an emergency.

CHOKING: Open your pet’s mouth and gently feel around the roof and back of the throat for a foreign object. Use your fingers or pliers to remove an object, if found, being careful not to push it farther down the throat. You can also try a quick chest thrust to force the item out of the throat. Take your pet to the vet quickly.

Upcoming topics: CPR, poisons/medications, when to take your pet to the veterinarian

Poison control hotlines
ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center 1.900.443-0000 ($55.00 per case). The charge is billed directly to the caller's phone. OR 1.888.4ANI.HELP or 1.888.426.4435 ($55.00 per case). The charge is billed to caller's credit card only.
Animal Poison Hotline 1.888.232.8870 ($35.00 per incident). The charge is billed to caller's credit card only. Staffed 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
National Pesticide Telecommunications Network Toll-free number 800.858.7378
Pet Poison Helpline 1.800.213.6680 ($35/case) Staffed 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Purchase pet first aid kits
First Aid Products
Show Me Animal Products (also have bird and ferret kits)
ASPCA first aid kit
AKC Pet first aid kit from

PetEdge: Helping Your Family with New Puppies, Traveling
Rochelle Paul - Phoenix Travel Industry Examiner

Today is the day... if you're a member of the first family, you're welcoming a new furry family member, and certainly Sasha and Malia are full of joy at the fulfillment of their electoral promise.
For any pet lover and human family member, you know that having a furry friend is an expensive endeavor, one full of joy and laughter, hope and playful good times. It's also darn expensive.

Today, as Bo the first dog takes his first steps on the White House lawn and through the corridors of the President's home, we take a look at some of the products and ideas Jennifer Johnson of PetEdge shared with me for including a dog or cat in your family.

PetEdge is a business-to-business company that primarily specializes in helping vets, groomers and other mall retailers find quality pet products for their customers. However, in our home, we've been shopping at PetEdge for more than two decades as "regular consumers." I'm assured by their marketing representative, Jennifer Johnson, that they will not turn away any potential customer, they just do not actively sell to the genteral public.

In my previous article, Toyota: a great vehicle for traveling with your dog or cat, I talked about how the Toyota Matrix is a great car for traveling with pets, and discuss some of the products we have used to make our travel easier and mroe enjoyable. In all cases in that article, and in all our furry-travel-adventures, we have used products from PetEdge.

We have found them to be an outstanding and economical source for many pet products, form crates to travel gear, grooming supplies to toys. We try to "save up" on the big ticket items and those do all at once, but in many cases, most even, we've found that even with shipping, the costs come out lower than your local store. Ordering is quick and easy, and friendly.

With the new first pup on the South Lawn, and with summer travel season quickly descending upon us all, here are some ideas and products you can find through PetEdge, or one of their pet product customer/sellers. These are some of the ideas and tips that Jennifer was kind enough to share with us all.

Are their considerations someone with a new puppy should think about and act on prior to or at the time of brining puppy home? "Expected Full-Grown Size is a big factor. Higher-ticket items such as crates and beds should be purchased to accommodate the full-grown dog; otherwise owners will need to size up as the puppy grows, which could get expensive.

Some crates come with removable panels or divider walls that make the crate smaller when the dog is smaller. Once the puppy grows, the panels can be removed."

How about housebreaking a new puppy? "How old will the puppy be when it comes home? Will it be spending a long period of time inside before it has all of its shots and therefore need to "go" in the house for awhile before being trained outside? Is the dog tiny or is the owner unable to take the dog out on regular walks? If so, training with Puppy Pads can be a great solution to give pets a safe place to relieve themselves inside without damaging floors or making a huge mess."

Many dogs require grooming on a regular basis. Others only on occasion or even never. How can a new owner prepare? "How will the dog be groomed? At home? At a professional groomer? Even if the owner plans on taking the dog to a groomer or vet for these services, it's still important to have a coat-appropriate brush and some age and coat appropriate shampoo/conditioner. There are also sprays that can be used to keep dogs smelling fresh between grooming sessions.

If the dog will be groomed at home, the owner will need to purchase a nail clipper or grinder and styptic powder. If the dog's breed is one that requires shaving, they'll also need to purchase an electric or battery operated Clipper and possibly a Trimmer (for finishing touches).

Books about specific dog breeds are a great place to start to learn more about a dog's grooming needs. Veterinarians and Groomers are also invaluable resources to advise dog owners on this topic. First time pet owners or anyone grooming their pet for the first time should get advice and guidance before using nail clippers, coat clippers, and even brushes/combs. It's important to keep the animal safe and make grooming as pleasurable and pain-free as possible so they won't hate having it done!"

"If an owner plans on traveling with their dog a lot it's best to get the pooch used to it right away. Puppies and small dogs love the security and coziness of a pet carrier. If the owner is going this route he/she should get the dog used to the carrier right away. Dogs who are trained in the carrier from the outset often grow to LOVE the carrier and easily jump right in to hit the road. Some dogs even choose to hang out in their carrier at home if it's left out because it's a comfy, secure, and private place.

There are also many car seats available for smaller dogs (up to 30 lbs). These give small dogs a secure spot in the car and usually elevate them to a height that will help them see out the window.

Larger dogs that ride in the car a lot can benefit from protective Vehicle Barriers, Car Harnesses, Stairs and Ramps (for use with SUVs and other high cars), and Car Seat Covers.

Dogs need access to food and water when they're on the road, so products such as collapsable Travel Bowls, or easy dispensing "Handi Drinks," make it easy to keep them fed/hydrated on the road. An extra set of stainless steel dog dishes would work well too for car travel.

Dogs need to be stable when traveling in the car, and if they are nervous or hyper and tend to try and come into the front seat repeatedly, that's when a vehicle barrier, car seat, or car harness is key. (Owners could also use a combo of those products.) It's not safe (for dog or owner) to let a dog roam free in the front of the car or travel with him/her on the lap!"

For Cat owners: "Many cat owners transport their felines in hard, molded plastic kennels. Many cats don't enjoy car travel, so structured, vented crates are a great choice to give them a safe spot to curl up in."

What about pets that are unhappy, scared, get sick when traveling? "If a pet has serious issues with traveling, talk to the Veterinarian about medications. These are not always ideal because they can make pets sluggish, but some pets just don't travel well or suffer from car sickness. For less severe cases, we sell a supplement from our exclusive Total Pet Health Supplements line called "Calming." This "safely calms anxious pets with L-Theanine. Comforts pets while traveling, during trips to the vet, thunderstorms, and more." (quoted from catalog). Our supplements were developed by PetEdge staff veterinarian and wellness expert Dr. james St. Clair.

It can also be calming to bring along a favorite toy, or place a favorite blanket or towel or even a pice of the owner's clothing (that's been worn) inside the carrier or crate. This will smell like home and give pets a greater sense of security."

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Celebrity Dog Lover: Miley Cyrus
Stephanie Modkins - Dogs Examiner

Miley Cyrus is the teen sensation who stole America’s heart through her TV character Hannah Montana. To date, we’ve heard a lot about her family life, love interests and famous father Billy Ray Cyrus. However, what we haven’t heard much about are her animals.

Miley Cyrus has a love for our furry friends, which is why she has four dogs. They’re named Roadie, Loco, Juicy and Minnie Pearl. Consecutively, the breeds of her dogs are a Yorkshire Terrier, Shih Tzu, Dalmatian and miniature Poodle.

If you see Ms. Cyrus on the street, you will sometimes see her with one of her dogs. Of course, mostly, she plays with them at home. Two of her dogs (Roadie and Loco) have received awards. What was it? They were named top dogs for the most eligible dogs of the year by Animal Fair Magazine.


For more info on Miley Cyrus: visit Photos and details from Animal Fair, Wikipedia Commons (Ghost Face), Dogster's and Miley Cyrus Lovers.

Please Clean Up After Your Pet
Amanda Chilcher - Phoenix Pet Welfare Examiner

Let’s face it. Poop’s gross. Too bad! All responsible pet owners must clean up after their pet(s), every time and everywhere. You may think to yourself, “Nobody’s looking. I’ll just leave it this time.” I’ll be the first to admit I am guilty. Ashamedly, I have left my pooches’ poop before. I have since wised up and always carry a plethora of disposable bags on my dog walks. Experience has taught me that one bag does not always cut it. So heed the advice…take several!

Leaving your pet’s waste is not only unsightly, it’s downright dangerous. It can contribute to the spread of tapeworm, salmonellosis, giardia, e. coli and parvovirus to name a few. These bacteria and diseases may infect humans as well as animals and can be life-threatening. Is it worth it? In case you’re hesitating, the answer is no! Just grin and bear it. Double-bag, use a pooper scooper, imagine it’s something else, anything to get the job done.

In addition to the potential harmful effects of not picking up after your pet are the social ramifications. Have you noticed how some parks that used to allow dogs now have signs forbidding them? I would bet that negligent owners have something to do with this. How sad that I am unable to take my dogs to the lake on a bright, sunny Saturday. Granted, there may be dog-designated areas, but these seem few and far between.

Let me just say, this is not only directed to dog owners but cat owners too. Recently, one of my dogs has developed a taste for sun-dried cat poo. Her breath is already stinky, so it would be fantastic if we could avoid additional sources of odor.

I hope I’ve convinced you to make ‘clean up’ part of your animal care routine whether it be in your yard, on the sidewalk or in a park. It doesn’t matter. Pick it up anywhere and everywhere! I commend those of you who may go one step further and discard another animal’s waste into the trash. Kudos to you. Let’s keep our community safe and open to our four-legged friends.

For pet-friendly places see:

If you still can't bear picking up after your pet in your yard contact:

For dog park locations go to:

The Silent Killer of Pets
By Sheatina Sparks

What is the one thing that annoys most people about their pets? The number one answer that I get is "their breath!" It is common knowledge that most animals have bad breath. However, have you ever thought of why that is the case? Think for a moment if you never brushed your teeth or used mouth rinse how great would your breath smell? I want to talk for a moment about what the bad breath can mean for your beloved companion animal. It can be a sign of an underlying, more serious disease. This disease can shorten your dog or cat's lifespan and you may not even know it exists.

It is estimated that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats over the age of three suffer from some degree of periodontal disease. In toy breeds, this rate can be much higher. Periodontal disease can seriously deteriorate the gums and go on to destroy the supporting bones of the teeth. You may notice this at first as what people call "doggie breath." If you examine the mouth of the animal, you may notice that the gums are red and inflamed and they can bleed easily. There may be an increased accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth also. The teeth will at some point become loose and fall out as periodontal disease progresses. This can make eating difficult and painful for your pet. Note: If you notice any inflamed tissue or a buildup of plaque and tarter on your pets teeth, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible to schedule a professional cleaning.

As periodontal disease progresses, more serious health problems can become an issue in your pet's health. Bacteria that is found in the spaces between the teeth and gums can enter the pet's bloodstream and cause infection to or serious damage to vital organs such as the kidneys, lungs, heart or liver. This can take three or more years off your pet's life. Prevention of this widespread disease is the key to good health for your loyal animal friend.

Proper oral hygiene, started at an early age, can prevent most oral health problems with your precious canine or feline. A vital component to your animal's oral hygiene health is daily brushing. This can sometimes be quite tedious to do, especially if you have multiple household animals. Cats can be even more challenging in allowing you to maneuver a toothbrush in their mouth. I have found that using a finger brush is easier to use for small breeds.

With over 154 million pets in America, this is a tremendous concern for all animal lovers. Even if you do not own a pet, please be sure to share this information with others that you know and love.

I have been a hobby breeder of toy breed dogs for nearly 13 years and I have used many products on the market for oral health care. In my quest to find the best possible care for my animals I have found an excellent product to help prevent periodontal disease. If your pet drinks water, then you can use it. Should you desire more information on this disease or any other pet related topic, please feel free to email me at or visit my website for more information.

To Your Pet's Health,

Sheatina Sparks

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Are You Going to Buy a Cat Or a Kitten?
By Doris J Canova

Before you get a kitten, you should be prepared for the responsibility that you are taking on. A kitten is not disposable you cannot just get rid of it if the cat becomes a problem on your lifestyle. You are responsible for caring of your cat for its entire life. No cat is perfect they will all have accidents on your carpet till they learn how to use the litter pan and claw on your favorite sofa or chair if left unattended.

It is your responsibility to watch the cat and to properly train him or her. There is no Bad Cats, but there are inexperienced pet owners that fail their pet by not properly training there cat. The cat or kitten should not be penalized for your lacking the skills. If you are not an experienced pet owner, you should talk to cat owners so you can learn what is needed, and you can learn how to teach. Pets can not learn everything they need to know in just one day training your pet is a constant process, and it is your responsibility.

You will also need to figure out just where you are going to get your cat from. If you have made the decision and you are set on getting a purebred kitten, you should check out a good breeder. They also do health checks on their kittens before they are bred them. These health checks test for problems that may affect their kittens. You may want to go to a purebred cat rescue group of your breed of cat. Note: Rescue cats or even kittens are not bad cats. They are kittens that were purchased by irresponsible owners who had no idea and did not understand the kind of responsibility they were taking on.

Some of the kittens were neglected; mistreated, or turned over to the rescue group because of their owners moving, having children, etc. Rescue groups evaluate each cat carefully and make sure they are suitable to be with you and your lifestyle. A rescue group will not let you adopt a kitten from them unless they feel you are a right match with the cat. When you get a Rescue cat they will already be spayed or neutered when you get them, and have up to date shots.

You can also get your cat from your local shelter. Getting a cat or a kitten from a shelter is very similar to getting one from a rescue group. They will already be spayed or neutered or you will receive a coupon to get it done for free. They will be up to date on their shots.

A Backyard Breeder is someone who breeds their pets that have not even had health screens to check for problems that some breeds have, and there kittens are not titled (registered) in anything. With a cat from this type of breeder, typically you will run into health problems during your kitten's life, and you may also have a temper issues as well. Sure these kittens may be cheaper to purchase, but trust me on this one you will be paying more in the long run. A pet store is the absolute worst place you can get a pet. If you are at all sensitive about mistreatment of animals, please do not read any further.

Some pet shops get their kittens through a pet mill. A pet mill is a facility that keeps their cats in small cages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The cats are left to lie in their own feces; they are fed cheaply mixed in dry cat food. They are bred every time she comes into season and they receive little if any vet care during their lives whatsoever. When the female cats are no longer able to breed they are beaten to death or even drown. Purchasing a pet from an out of way pet shop keeps this process going. If we can all stop buying kittens from these shops, they will no longer supply them.

We plan to post articles that are informative and helpful to other cat lovers. Having been "owned" by cats for years, we know they can be demanding, but also be very entertaining and fun.

Best House Cat Care

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