Pets - News and Advice

Rare Turtle Found at Store Was Wash. Family's Pet

RIDGEFIELD, Wash. -- A rare western pond turtle, which materialized at a Hazel Dell pet store earlier this month, is a wild animal by most definitions.

It also appears to have a family that loves him.

Barry Mason immediately recognized the tiny green face in the photograph on the front page of The Columbian on Sunday: His family's pet turtle of the past 21 years.

"There was absolutely no doubt in my mind," he said.

The turtle, part of a species thought to be all but extinct in Western Washington, turned up earlier this month at a Hazel Dell pet store. An employee of the store turned it over to Clark College biology instructor Steven Clark, who, in turn, delivered it to a veterinarian for possible use in a captive breeding program at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo.

Now, Mason would like it back.

"It's more sentimental value than just a turtle someone found along the road," he said.

Barry and Chae Yon Mason were first introduced to Mr. Turtle in 1988.

The couple was camping with their two sons at Lake Pillsbury northeast of San Francisco when the boys brought the wriggling baby reptile back to the campsite. Could they keep him?

Circumstances overcame any reluctance about pulling the turtle out of its natural environment. Two years before, 7-year-old Chol had been diagnosed as a hemophiliac in need of regular blood transfusions.

"I grew up in Michigan and lived on a lake," said Barry Mason, a retired master sergeant in the Marines. "We had turtles my whole life."

They decided to take the turtle home with them to San Diego.

Time marched on. Barry retired from the military, and in 1993 moved the family to Clark County, where Barry Mason could pursue a post-military career as an emergency room nurse - a career choice driven by his oldest son's medical condition.

"I had to learn how to take care of him," he said.

Chol, in turn, took care of Mr. Turtle - right up until the day Chol died five years ago.

Chol, which means "Strength" in Korean, died of complications stemming from a transfusion of HIV-positive blood. Barry and Chae Yon realize they can never bring Chol back, but said they continued to care for the small turtle as an enduring connection to their son.

"I guess we're sentimental people," he said.

The couple first noticed Mr. Turtle was missing when Barry Mason went out to clean a plastic tub on May 14. The tub, 10 feet long by 3 feet high, housed Mr. Turtle along with a pair of store-bought red-eared sliders.

They suspect someone picked up the turtle during a large gathering at their home for the 25th birthday party for their son, Shon, on April 19.

Getting the critter back won't be so simple, however.

Collecting, possessing or importing wild animals violates current state law in Washington. It's unclear whether the same edict would have applied when the family moved here in 1993, or whether it applied in California when the family adopted Mr. Turtle at Lake Pillsbury 21 years ago.

The western pond turtle is threatened with extinction in Washington, and, though more abundant to the south, it has been considered a species of special concern in California since at least 1994.

"You wouldn't be allowed to just pick one up," said Kyle Orr, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game.

Dana Payne, animal curator at the Woodland Park Zoo, said the zoo is merely taking care of the turtle on behalf of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. State officials will decide whether it's released to a protected pond with other western pond turtles, adopted into the captive breeding program, or returned to the Masons.

Though no decision had been made, it seemed unlikely Tuesday that Mr. Turtle will be returning to the Ridgefield-area home of the Masons.

"The animals of this state are managed by the department for all the people of Washington state," agency spokesman Craig Bartlett said. "You can't just go take what you want for your own purposes."

Barry Mason is philosophical about it, and grateful Mr. Turtle appears to be alive and well.

"I understand the conservation value," he said. "If he was out there now, there's no way I'd pick him up. But he survived for 21 years with us, so we're doing something right."


Information from: The Columbian,

Spring Is the Time to Be Bear Aware
By Jack Carrerow -

Now that spring has arrived with its mostly sunny days, it’s time for the community to look out for those four-legged eating machines, known as Ursus americanus or the American black bear

“Bears are foragers and like most foragers, they are opportunists and will take the path of least resistance,” Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Bear Biologist Bill Kinyoun said. “That means they won’t waste time searching out roots and berries if there’s an easier food source like an unattended garbage can.”

Reedsport is one of the more common hangouts for the bears. And even though this year’s bears are coming out of their limited hibernation a little fatter than usual, that doesn’t mean they’re not hungry.

“It takes tens of thousands of calories a day to satisfy these animals,” Kinyoun said. “They will look for food 20 hours a day if need be and people have to take steps if they don’t want a bear hanging around the house.”

While garbage cans are one of the most common attractants, Kinyoun said there are several lesser-known items and circumstances that can draw bears to the neighborhood, or worse, your house or car.

“Items like scented candles, left out pet food, livestock feed and bird feeders are particular favorites,” Kinyoun said. “Compost piles and dirty barbecues will also bring in a curious bear.” Kinyoun said a person should look at their house and yard and try to imagine being a bear.

“Bears have an extremely keen sense of smell to go along with their large appetite and if you can see or smell things in your yard like fallen fruit or a hummingbird feeder, chances are they smelled it a mile away,” Kinyoun said. “And once they’ve had a meal around your house, they’ll be back. They are definitely creatures of habit.”

As for garbage cans are concerned, Trent Carpenter, Director of Operations for Southern Oregon Sanitation said there is no such thing as a bear-proof garbage can.

“There are a lot of cans on the market that claim to be bear proof,” Carpenter said. “But truthfully, if a bear wants what’s inside a can, it’s going to get it and that goes for raccoons and stray dogs.”

Carpenter recommends that people planning to throw out meat, fish scraps or other pungent leftovers first freeze the items.

“Sprinkling baking soda, ammonia or bleach in and around the can will also help,” he said. “The idea is to mask the smell.” Carpenter also advises that people put out the trash just before pickup where possible.

“Too many people put the trash out the night before and then it isn’t picked up until late the next morning,” Carpenter said. “Know when the trash pickup is so you can time it right.”

Kinyoun said people should also be aware of what’s inside their cars or trucks when leaving them parked.

“If you go to McDonald’s, eat in the car and leave wrappers or a half finished Coke or even crumbs, a bear will pick up on the sweet smell and destroy your car to get inside,” Kinyoun said. “Things like lipstick and makeup can also give off a smell the bear interprets it as something good to eat.”

Since Oregon’s bear population is so dense, Kinyoun said he does not relocate bears.

In Oregon, a fed bear is a dead bear. No if, ands or buts. We don’t tag anymore,” he said. “It’s unfortunate for the bears. They’re just doing what comes naturally. It’s people that cause it.”

Because bears have started coming into neighborhoods in the past few years, Carpenter said there’s a better chance of people encountering them. If you come across a bear, don’t run.

“You become game to him and he’s going to give chase. Make sure the bear has an escape route that doesn’t include running over you,” Carpenter said. “Stand up straight as you can and make as much noise as you can, while throwing anything handy.”

There are between 250,000 and 300,000 black bears in Oregon and while one must exercise caution, Carpenter said people and bears can get along.

“If we just use common sense and follow the rules. Everything should be fine,” Carpenter said. “Unfortunately, there are people who don’t pay attention and we have to put down a bear whose only crime was it was hungry. Believe me, that’s never a pleasant task.”

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Salt Water Fish Tank Filter Systems

Choosing the between all the various salt water fish tank filtration systems can be confusing to say the least. But, before you choose your specific system, there are a few points you must know no matter which system you choose. Keep in mind filtration is a very important part of your tank, so don’t rush through this step.

In natural habitats, the fish have an ample areas in which to live. In your tank, they are confined to a relatively small quantity of water. In your tank, waste products can quickly build up and spell disaster. That’s where the filter comes in.

Four factors have a huge impact on the success of your tank, and your filtration system. You must have an adequate biological base, the appropriate choice of animals, not over-populate, and don’t over feed. Get one of these factors wrong, and you most likely will have problems with your saltwater tank.

Biological filtration is the most important sector of salt water fish tank filter systems. The biological filters are living organisms within your tank. They consume oxygen and waste material within your tank. It’s not something you can add. They will occur naturally within your saltwater fish tank.

Mechanical Filtration

The second type of filtration for your tank is mechanical filtration. This is where you choose the type of salt water filter system you will use in your new tank.

Mechanical filtration strains the solid particles from your tank water. It will not remove solids trapped by gravel, or other items within your tank. A good mechanical filter traps enough solids to keep your water clear, without becoming clogged frequently.

Smaller openings catch finer particles and are clogged
faster than a larger opening. Keep this in mind as you choose your mechanical filtration system.

Types of Mechanical Filters

For years, the corner filter has been the least expensive and most used type of salt water fish tank filtration systems. These clear plastic boxes sit inside the tank. An air stone bubbles air through an airlift tube, which forces water through a bed of filter floss mechanically filtering the water.

Today there are better methods,that don’t take up space, look nicer, and perform well.

Power filters are used by many. You’ll find many styles of power filters. The most common hangs on the back of the tank. A siphon tube pulls water from the tank into the filter box and passes the water though a mechanical filter. An internal pump returns the filtered water into the aquarium. Power filters come in many sizes suited for small to large aquariums

Under-gravel filters work by slowly passing water through the gravel on the bottom, which sits on top of a perforated plate. The water pumped with an airlift, with bubbles air lifting the water in a vertical tube attached to the filter plate. One problem is that the gravel clogs up with waste creating a health risk for your fish.

Sponge filters are an efficient,cheap form of biological filtration. Water is forced through porous foam by air bubbling through an airlift tube. Water flowing though the sponge allows the growth of a colony of beneficial bacteria that neutralizes toxic ammonia.

Chemical Filtration

Chemical filtration removes dissolved wastes from aquarium water. The most popular chemical filtration is the carbon filter method. Your water is filtered through gas activated carbon. The best GAC for filtering water is made from coal and is
macro-porous (larger pores).
Cris Stanford is the publisher of where you’ll find money saving advice and expert tips on how to set up the perfect salt water fish tank filter systems.

Clipping Your Birds Wings
by Lee Dobbins -

Clipping a pet birds wings is a common grooming procedure and is necessary for training as well as for your pets safety. You might feel like you are being mean to the bird, but the fact is that it does not hurt the bird and can help to keep him from flying out of an open window or door and becoming lost. Most pet birds would not be able to survive in the wild, especially if your climate is not one that is natural for the bird.

You can clip your birds wings yourself at home, but it is best if you take him into the vet or pet shop and ask if they can show you the proper way to do it before trying it yourself!

Do not try to clip your birds wing until he is very tame and used to you holding him, otherwise the procedure will be very traumatic for you both. You need to make sure that your bird trusts you enough to hold him and open up his wings. Until your relationship has reached this stage, it is best to have this done by a professional.

Once your have your birds trust and are ready to clip the wings yourself, take your bird out of the cage and hold him for a while. You may need 2 people for this as it can be kind of awkward with only 2 hands. Spread the birds wing out and hold it out with one hand, have your scissors ready with the other hand.

You want to cut only the longest feathers ' the one on the very bottom layer. Cut halfway up from the bottom of the wing in a line that is parallel to the wing. Some people leave the very last feather intact so when the birds wings are folded in, you can't really tell that they are clipped.

This should be a quick and painless procedure. After you have clipped his wing, your bird will still be able to fly, but not for any distance. When he does fly, he will most likely, have a downward motion to the flight, so if he starts off at a high spot, he'll able to fly to a lower spot with no problem. Make sure that there are no other animals in the house that could hurt him if he lands on the table or floor as he may not be able to fly away from them to protect himself.

About the author: Lee Dobbins writes for where you can learn about all your pets needs. Learn more about birds and parakeets at http://www.epet-ce

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Pet Scoop: Help Make This a Safe Summer for Pets
By Cindy Wolff - Memphis Commercial Appeal

The Humane Society of the United States and other experts offer some tips to keep pets safe this summer

--Never leave a pet unattended in the car on a warm or sunny day. Cars quickly heat up to a dangerous temperature, even with the windows slightly open.

--Keep pets up-to-date on vaccinations and preventative medications. Fleas and ticks are most active in hot weather. Summer is also when animals are at highest risk of heartworms, which are transmitted through mosquito bites.

--Keep cats indoors. Cars, other pets, and wild animals can all pose risks to your cat's safety. By providing playtime, cat trees, and other enrichment, your cat will be happy and content to stay indoors with you.

--Beware of cocoa mulch and other gardening products. Cocoa mulch can be deadly if eaten and has an appetizing scent to some animals. Pesticides, fertilizers and other harsh chemicals can also be quickly fatal if ingested.

--Plan shorter walks during hot summer months. Change the routine to early morning or evening when it's cooler. Hot sidewalks can burn the pads on your dog's paws, so walk on the grass or dirt paths when possible.

--Keep pet rabbits indoors because they don't tolerate heat well. Keeping a rabbit indoors will also provide protection from predators that might try to attack a rabbit in an outdoor hutch.

--Never leave a dog outdoors unattended on a chain or tether without proper shade or shelter. Long-term chaining during the hot summer months can result in countless insect bites, dehydration, and heat stroke.

--Avoid putting dogs in the back of trucks, where the metal can overheat and burn their paws. Also, they can easily fall out of the truck on a turn or sudden stop.

Summer months are peak season for dog bites because so many kids and dogs are playing outside. Reduce the risk through training and socialization. Also have your dog spayed or neutered. Kids can learn to stay safe through good manners around pets and humane education.

Beagle bulletin

Several readers asked about Meggie, my red beagle who was recently injured while playing with the big dogs at my house. Her last bandage was removed last week and she's back to hunting squirrels. So far, no squirrel carcasses in the house.


Mid-South Spay/Neuter Services is offering a "No Father's Day" special during June. All male cats will be neutered for $20.

The group also is offering to spay the mother for free if you bring in a litter of puppies or kittens to be spayed/neutered. The group will perform surgery on animals that are as young as 6 weeks and weigh 11/2 pounds. Call -324-3202 or visit

American Kennel Club All-Breed Show, sponsored by Olive Branch Kennel Club Saturday-Sunday starting at 9 a.m., City of Southaven MultiPurpose Arena at 7360 U.S. 51. Admission for adults and children over 10 years old: $3.

Annual Putts Fore Pugs Golf Scramble, sponsored by Critter Sitters, June 13 at Cordova Golf Club.

Cost: $80 per person or $320 for foursome. Registration at 7:45 a.m. Shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. To pre-register:


All animals are spayed/neutered and current on vaccinations:

Dogs/cats: St. Francis Animal Rescue and Refuge, 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Petco-Cordova, 1250 N. Germantown. $95. or 482-9921.

Dogs/puppies: Tunica Humane Society, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Wal-Mart, 2630 McIngvale, Hernando. $50. Information: 662-519-1700 or

Dogs/puppies: Good Dog Rescue, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Wags and Whiskers, 5101 Sanderlin and Hollywood Feed, 2015 Union; 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Petco, 3484 Poplar. $150. 276-7751.

Contact Cindy Wolff, owner of three spoiled dogs, by e-mail at, or mail sent to The Commercial Appeal, 495 Union, Memphis, TN 38103 or call 529-5220.

Is Your Pet Ready For Hurricane Season?

The Atlantic hurricane season begins officially June 1

Many organizations are encouraging Virginians to prepare for the season by making a plan, creating an emergency supply kit and staying informed. The Virginia State Animal Response Team (VASART) has one more suggestion: make plans for your pets.

The national State Animal Response Team (SART) organization was created after 1999's Hurricane Floyd claimed the lives of millions of animals in North Carolina, with thousands more separated from their owners. Many of these animals could have been saved by a coordinated response plan. From this tragedy, SART was born. In 2006, Virginia adopted the concept to address its animal-related disaster response needs.

VASART serves as a unifying network of organizations, businesses, federal and state government agencies and individuals that supports the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery for emergencies affecting animals. VASART works with organizations like the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and others to coordinate assistance to pet-owning evacuees to find shelters and facilities that will accept pets in response to the Governor's declaration of a state of emergency.

Realizing that disaster assistance happens most effectively at the local level, VASART is building Community Animal Response Teams (CARTs) across the state. Community coordinators will lead the development of teams of volunteers who will be trained and certified to assist with emergency response.

VASART and its partners will do everything they can to provide pet assistance during an emergency, but it offers this advice now: Prepare your home, business or farm before an emergency occurs by creating disaster preparedness kits and emergency plans for your family, pets and other animals. SART offers the following tips for protecting your animals in a disaster:

--Prepare a Pet Emergency Kit ahead of time - The kit should include a few days worth of medication, your pet's medical and vaccination records, a leash, collar, identification, water, food, toys, a picture of you and your pet, and bedding.

--Make sure that your animals have some form of permanent identification such as a microchip, brand or tattoo.

--Purchase a pet carrier and label it with emergency contact information.

--Store water and pet food for emergencies.

--Create a contingency plan for animals including horses and livestock that addresses transportation, water and feed resources and areas for confinement if needed.

Go to for more information. For information on community level teams, go to

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Things to Know If You’re Contemplating a Pet

From HealthDay News,

President Barack Obama and his family took their time selecting their new dog Bo, and that’s something everyone should do when considering a new pet, says a University of Maryland School of Medicine expert. “There are many health and safety concerns that should be addressed before bringing an animal into the home,” Mary Beth Bollinger, an associate professor of pediatrics and interim chief of the pediatric pulmonology and allergy division, said in news release from the American Osteopathic Association.

5 tips: Bollinger suggested that anyone thinking about getting a pet:

* Consider different kinds of animals and breeds and select the one that’s best for your home and your family’s needs. Carefully assess your family’s routine of work, school, social activities and travel and choose a pet and breed that can live comfortably in your home and neighborhood.

* Understand how to properly interact with your pet. Different kinds of animals and breeds have different traits and temperaments and need to be handled and cared for appropriately.

* Realize that there are no truly hypoallergenic furred pets. Even single-coated or hairless dogs promoted as being hypoallergenic produce allergens — allergy-triggering proteins found in the animal’s dander, saliva and urine.

* Remember that good hygiene is crucial for families with pets. Everyone should wash their hands after playing with or handling a pet. Homes should have pet-free zones, including bedrooms and any rooms where infants or small children are fed or left alone, such as nurseries and play rooms. Wash furred pets regularly to reduce the spread of germs and the amount of dander they produce. Reptiles can carry salmonella and other potential infections and shouldn’t be in homes with children younger than 5 years old or children with weakened immune systems.

* Buy pets only from reputable breeders or shelters. This helps ensure that you get a healthy animal that’s had all its recommended shots.

Once a pet has joined the family, remember that annual checkups with a veterinarian reduce the risk of fleas, parasites and infections that can spread in your home.

Economy Leaves More Pets Homeless

TRUCKEE — Foreclosures and financial woes are now responsible for the majority of local pet turn-ins, according to the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe.

About 65 percent of the animals the humane society has received this year are directly due to the economy, the organization reported this week. In previous years, the leading causes of animal turn-ins were due to moving or pet behavior issues.

“Foreclosures, moving and job losses have forced people to give up their pets because they were left with no other choice,” said Stephanie Hiemstra, executive director of the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe.

“The vast majority of people relinquishing their pets are absolutely heartbroken, but they are left with no options because finding affordable places to live that are pet friendly can be a difficult and sometimes impossible task.”

The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe has kept up with the increase in animals thus far because the community continues to adopt. Many of the animals turned in due to financial issues have lived in loving homes and are often trained, well-socialized and highly adoptable, which significantly increases their chances of finding a home quickly, Hiemstra said.

Animal shelters nationwide are struggling to accommodate the influx of animals due to economic challenges, and national organizations and corporations have responded accordingly. The Humane Society of the United States offered several Foreclosure Pets Grants of up to $2,000 per animal rescue organization. In addition, PETCO, a national pet supply chain, started the “We Are Family Too” Fund, which offers assistance to animal rescue organizations.

If people are contemplating giving up their pet, they are urged to contact the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe at (530) 587-5948 to discuss options.

Could Swine Flu Affect Our Pets?
By Daphne Reid

All birds and mammals can be infected with a form of influenza virus, of which there are three types (A, B and C). Humans can be infected by forms of all three, but most flu varieties in animals and humans that cause serious health concerns are Influenza Type A. Viruses can mutate rapidly, and because hosts' immune systems do not initially protect against new mutations, new strains can subsequently cause widespread infection. Often new strains result from the spread of an existing flu virus from one species to another, which provides the virus with the necessary tools to transmit between members of a different species to it's usual host.

Swine Flu

The latest flu strain to hit the headlines (H1N1) - known popularly as "Swine Flu" is a strain of Influenza Type A. While the normal version of "Swine Flu" causes outbreaks of influenza with low mortality rates in pigs, the strain which is currently causing human deaths is not the same virus. The new strain combines genes from human, pig, and bird flu and is similar to the strain that caused "Spanish Flu", responsible for a human pandemic in 1918. "Swine Flu" is an entirely different virus to the "Bird Flu" which was widely talked about last year, and among the most important differences is that "Bird Flu" infected humans who had direct contact with infected birds, where as "Swine Flu" is being transmitted from human to human.

Flu in Horses

Influenza is widespread in horses and is believed to have a nearly 100% infection rate in unvaccinated populations. Flu in horses is primarily caused by the H7N7 and H3N8 strains. In 2007, an outbreak caused the Sydney Races in Australia to be suspended.

Flu in Cats

An avian strain (H5N1) of Influenza Type A, which was given the popular name "Bird Flu", had until recently posed the greatest risk for a new influenza pandemic since it first killed humans in Asia in the 1990s, but it did not mutate into a form that spreads easily between people. H5N1 is unusual in being deadly to many species, including domestic cats which were never previously susceptible to any influenza virus. Aside from when infected with H5N1, the term "Feline Flu" does not actually refer to infection by influenza, but instead generally refers to the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection. Because cats have little exposure to influenza viruses, any case of flu which was able to transmit between humans or dogs and cats would probably lead to a widespread infection, since cats have no natural immunity to any influenza virus.

Flu in Dogs

Type A Influenza viruses also include equine influenza (H3N8), which in 2004 was discovered to be responsible for Canine Influenza. Because of the lack of previous exposure to this virus, dogs have no natural immunity to this virus.

Flu in Pigs

Although this new influenza is being called "Swine Flu," it is being spread from person to person, not from pigs to people. None of the infected humans in North America have had contact with pigs, and no pigs in North America have been found to be infected with this strain. Pet pigs are therefore not known to be able to contract the strain of "Swine Flu" which is being talked about in the news, however they are able to contract normal "Swine Flu", which does not normally have any more serious consequences than seasonal flu does for humans.


In general, influenza viruses are not transmitted from one species to another. For example, dogs and cats do not develop flu after exposure to owners with a seasonal flu virus. While it is theoretically possible for a new influenza strain to be transmissible between humans and other domestic animals, it is likely that such a strain would be transmissible between only humans and one other animal. Because the "Swine Flu" virus contains genetic elements of human, pig and avian flu viruses, it would seem very unlikely that this strain would have the ability to infect hosts which are not humans, pigs or birds. And, according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA), "there is no evidence that pets are susceptible to this new strain of influenza; it appears to be transmitted solely from person to person".

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Mud Bay Offers Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe and Entertained This Summer
By Sheryl Wiser - Seattle Times

With warmer weather around the bend, I turned to Jon Aiken, manager for Mud Bay's new Ballard store, for the scoop on summer fun and safety for Fido.

SW: Let's start with the car. What should every pet-friendly auto have?

JA: A lot of people travel with their dogs, especially during the summer; keeping them safe and secure while driving is definitely a good idea. We stock several restraint options, including harnesses that work with a car's existing seatbelts and booster seats for smaller dogs. We also have different sizes and styles of crates.

You always want to have fresh water on hand; we carry cool travel-friendly canvas bowls from OllyDog that collapse and fit into your pocket, purse or backpack. They're also great for hikes and trips to the dog park.

I'm sure everyone knows this, but it's so important to avoid leaving pets in parked cars during the summer, even when running a quick errand. On a warm day, it only takes 10 minutes for the inside of the car to reach over 102 degrees, even with the windows left open. That's a big part of safety in relation to pets, cars and summer.

SW: What's your advice when it comes to more adventurous outings, like hiking?

JA: Consider the length of time you'll be out and what kinds of things your dog might need throughout the day and/or night. It's always a good idea to take at least one extra day's worth of food along just in case of emergencies.

If you've planned a long hike or overnight trip, consider travel-ready food like pre-portioned kibble or cans. Semi-moist and dried jerky-type foods work great, and Natural Balance has sausage-like rolls that come in a variety of proteins that are good for snacking but are also nutritionally complete meals.

Again, fresh water is at the top of the list. The Gulpy portable water bottle has an attached tray that flips down to create an instant "bowl."

If your pack is filled with gear, Ruff Wear makes doggie backpacks -- just make sure it doesn't become too heavy for your dog. Foot protection is another consideration. Booties can help protect paws from any potential danger; trails can have sharp rocks and twigs, and asphalt heats up quickly in the sun.

SW: I think my dog loves swimming more than he loves me. What's a good float toy?

JA: Float toys are so much fun. Mud Bay carries many lightweight options that are built to last, like Kilo's Gnarly Hitch Tugs, made from mountain-climbing rope.

If your plans involve boating or water play, a dog life jacket is a great idea. Ruff Wear's Float Coats are designed to keep dogs afloat and upright in a natural swimming position. Even in hot summer months, water can remain at frigid temperatures.

SW: What first-aid products are good to have on hand?

JA: Remedies like Buddy Boo Boo from Cloud Star help heal small cuts or abrasions; Paw Rub from Cain & Able has shea butter and other natural ingredients to soothe dry, itchy skin. Also, alcohol-free sanitizing wipes designed specifically for use on dogs and cats. They can be good for cleaning messy coats and removing cling-ons from playing in the unknown.

We have a new line of natural flea powder and shampoo made by Moosedreams Lavender Farms in Port Angeles.

With summer come fireworks, and they can create real anxiety for your pet. You might consider natural treatments that have calming effects like Animals' Apawthecary's Tranquility Blend. Another way to reduce stress is by using pheromone products; we carry sprays and diffusers by Comfort Zone.

SW: What's one of your favorite products in-store right now?

JA: Cool Beds from K&H Pet Products are really nice. Adding cold water to these insulated beds helps keep dogs cool and comfortable and they can be used indoors and out.

Editor's note: Many local pet supply shops sell great products for summer fun and safety. Check out our guide to pet supply stores for one in your neighborhood.

If you have a shop, sale, event or great product tip you'd like to share, e-mail

Martha Stewart Knows a Thing About Pets
By Jura Koncius The Washington Post

Martha Stewart has launched a Web site dedicated to the world of pets is packed with tips on topics such as nutrition, grooming and pet gear. There is also a blog, "The Daily Wag," written about the lives of Stewart's French bulldogs.

Practical expertise on caring for your "furred, feathered and finned friends" will be added regularly. There are DIY projects, such as a cat house made of cardboard and, of course, recipes for dog biscuits. There are videos on how to keep your pets from gaining weight and about how to choose healthy foods.

Have you done a thorough check of your home for pet safety hazards recently? Now is a good time to make a list and go through all the rooms in the house to make sure there is nothing tempting your pet that could harm it.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals runs the Animal Poison Control Center, a 24-hour facility staffed by 30 vets to help pet owners whose pets have encountered a poison. The Animal Poison Control Center can be reached on the Web by visiting or by calling 888-426-4435. Of course, always consult your own vet in a medical emergency.

Here's the list of information provided by the Animal Poison Control Center:

— Make sure over-the-counter and prescription drugs are not accessible to your pets. Thousands of pets each year ingest painkillers, anti-depressants and vitamins.

— Beware of grapes, raisins, avocado, chocolate and citrus fruits. They can cause serious health problems, especially if eaten in significant amounts.

— Plants that may be harmful to cats, dogs and other pets include rhododendron, sago palm, lilies, kalanchoe and schefflera.

— Chemical bait products used to keep away rodents may be toxic to your pet. So, be aware of the risks and if you must use them, put them only in areas where there is no way your pet could get at them.

Potty Training a Puppy - Tips for Doing It the Right Way!

Potty training a puppy is not too hard, and it usually takes only a few weeks. However, for the best results, crate training puppies should be done the right way

For example, one of the important tips for potty training a puppy is taking your puppy outside as soon as you have opened the crate, and carrying the puppy rather than letting it walk. Otherwise the puppy may go to the toilet right on your floor, as soon as it walks out of the crate.

Potty training a puppy requires you to constantly monitor your pup. Here are some tips, which will make the process of crate training puppies fast and successful:

1. While crate training puppies, look for obvious signs of the puppy willing to go potty, such as: walking in a circle and sniffing, whining, sudden loss of interest in playing, etc. When you notice these signs, immediately carry your puppy outside.

2. As soon as your puppy starts to relieve itself, praise him/her. However, when potty training a puppy, only praise your puppy with words during the actual relieving of itself, and do not pet him/her so that you do not distract your puppy from the process.

3. Always wait for a moment to make sure that the puppy is done. After urinating once, puppies often need to go again within a few minutes.

Another tip for crate training puppies: every time you take your puppy to go potty outside, say “Do you want to go out?” If you do so regularly, you will very soon notice that after you ask this, you will get an answer in the form of the dog barking and running toward the door.

Crate training puppies is sometimes considered hard. However, following the above tips will make your potty training a puppy a fast and hassle-free task.

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This Crew is the Cat's Meow
By TERESA McMINN - For the Daily Record/Sunday News

Several of a Windsor Township woman's 13 felines are show cats

The bathing process begins with a body treatment using Goop -- a brand of degreaser designed for auto mechanics to wash their hands without water.

The next step includes a thorough sudsing with dish detergent, followed by a good shampoo and a blowout with a hair dryer.

Although the cats aren't happy to get 30-minute baths, they learn to tolerate it, said Sandy Breeden of Windsor Township.

On Friday, Breeden was getting two of her 13 cats ready for a Cat Fanciers' Association cat show in Lebanon.

Breeden became interested in showing cats after attending local cat shows, she said. In 2001, a friend persuaded her to show one of her own cats.

"Before the show, you've got to do their grooming . . . nails . . .ears," she said.

Goop is a great product to begin the bath, she said.

"It's gloppy, greasy stuff, but it does take the grease out of their fur," Breeden said as she prepared to bathe Dusty, a 7-pound exotic shorthair blue mackerel tabby and white cat, and Wynter, a 4-month-old sealpoint and white ragdoll kitten with blue eyes.

Among her other cats are Tyler, Lucky, Bandit -- the second best ragdoll in premiership in the country for the 2002-03 show season in CFA-- and Molly, a bluepoint and white ragdoll who in 2008-09 was No. 1 in CFA's ragdoll in premiership in the country.

"My husband . . . is so proud of Molly," she said of Elmer "Whitey" Breeden.

Nicky is the Breeden's sole Maine Coon. Their other cats are Charlie, Max, Belle, Rosie, Bailey and Oliver, who at 11 years old is the senior cat in the house. He's also the biggest at about 22 pounds.

"I've had cats since 1990 . . . when I got divorced," said Breeden, a secretary in a local law office. "I never thought I'd have pedigreed cats, and that's what most of (these) are. . . . I have two more exotics coming this summer."

Producing a winning show cat isn't easy, she said. Judges are tough and look for flaws such as a kinked tail.

"Definitely the temperament" is an important quality for a show cat, she said.

And she would know.

The Breedens' basement has more than 100 prize ribbons hanging on a variety of cat climbers, beds, houses, toys and litter boxes.

"This is my kitty day care center," Sandy Breeden said.

The basement also features a memorial area for their cats who died.

One of the challenges of living with 13 cats is keeping up with the cat hair, Sandy Breeden said.

"I vacuum every day . . . and comb them, too," she said. "It's a constant battle."

The Breedens also go through about 20 pounds of cat food every other week and use three types of litter in nine boxes she scoops twice per day, she said.

"Pretty much, things revolve around them," she said of the cats. "But . . . they make me smile. . . . There's always somebody in my lap."

At the Cat Fanciers' Association show held Saturday in Lebanon, Sandy and Elmer "Whitey" Breeden's cat Dusty made two finals: a 9th place and a 10th place.

Their cat Wynter made a debut appearance at the show and earned a 9th best kitten.

To learn more, visit

Animal House
By Katie Freeman - Citizen staff

New 24-hour service, large facility ensures animal health around the clock

Today, the Bradshaw Veterinary Clinic, located at 9609 Bradshaw Road in Elk Grove, sits on five acres of land and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the convenience of the community.

Hospital directors and veterinarians Michael Johnson and Thomas Zehnder purchased Bradshaw Vet Clinic in 1984. In that time they’ve seen Elk Grove change, along with its residents’ pets.

“When I started it was virtually all dogs and cats,” Johnson said.

They still get their share of food animals too though, Zehnder said. About 15 to 20 percent of the animals he treats are food animals like cows.

Each day the clinic’s vets see an average of 150 animals.

They’ve seen an increase in pets such as reptiles, pocket pets and rabbits, Johnson said. Exotic pets have become more popular too, although the most popular animal is still man’s best friend.

To accommodate the needs of the various animal and pet population in Elk Grove, Bradshaw Vet Clinic staffs 23 small animal veterinarians and three large animal veterinarians.

Johnson is a small animal vet and Zehnder is a large animal vet. The two head up the five-acre property on Bradshaw Road that they’ve worked at since before they purchased it.

Over the years they’ve added on to their facility three times to accommodate the needs of their increasing clientele. The last addition to the facility was completed in 2001.

Their office is now located in a room that used to be a horse stable. The new stables are outside in a large, well-kept facility. Various horse treatment stalls are inside a separate structure along with a study area for large animal doctors.

The number of exotic pets has grown so much they opened an exotic care unit inside the main building. Also inside are many patient rooms, a larger waiting room, and a suite with a bed and a full bathroom for the overnight vet.

In May they became a 24-hour clinic. They’ve always been at hand for house calls and late night emergencies, but now the clinic is open all night as well.

Zehnder said a house call for him might be to perform a Caesarean section on a cow or operate on an animal in the field. For those occasions, a fully stocked vet truck carries all the medicines and tools he might need for such circumstances.

Health concerns for animals change over time and the advances in pet health change too.

From toy dog owners to animal breeders to food animals, the clinic seems to have a room for every category of animal.

“The clinic really does everything,” Johnson said.

Johnson is currently treating a swallow in the exotic animal unit. He wants to adopt the bird when it gets healthy.

They said pet owners these days are more involved with their pets’ health than ever before.

“Our pets are becoming more and more a part of our everyday lives,” Johnson said. “The human and animal bond these days is a whole different dynamic.”

Pet owners these days are told to be proactive with their animals’ health.

“Rather than wait for your animal to develop problems, be proactive,” Zehnder said.

They want to correct pet health problems before they become serious or life threatening.

“Have your animal checked every year whether they need vaccinations or not,” Johnson said.

Pet owners are told to bring in their pets for regular checkups, and even teeth cleanings.

Brushing a dog’s teeth may be a funny sight, even for the veterinarians. But they try to laugh as much as possible.

“Laughter is the best way to break tension and sometimes things can get pretty intense,” Johnson said.

Zehnder said he could write a book about all the funny scenarios they’ve witnessed at the clinic.

In emergency situations and in sad situations they use laughter and recall humorous stories to make it through.

Johnson said one time a client called about a pet pigeon that was perched on her kitchen door when her husband closed it.

“The lady was distraught, apparently she was very close to her pigeon,” he said.

The woman reported that the bird had cuts on the tops of both feet and asked what to do.

“I explained that if the bleeding was profuse that could be an emergency situation,” he said.

Johnson said his other concerns for the bird included infection, broken toes or ligaments, and tendon damage. He recommended an examination for the bird.

About six hours later the woman arrived at the clinic and apologized for the delay.

“She said Bob was really stubborn and it took her that long to convince him of the necessity of going to the vet,” Johnson said. “She turned to the pigeon and said ‘Bob this is your new vet.’”

“This is a real close knit group, we try to find humor in everything we can,” Johnson said.

Bradshaw Veterinary Clinic is located at 9609 Bradshaw Road in Elk Grove.

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Your Pet May Beg for More
By KENNETH KNIGHT - Tampa Tribune

NEW TAMPA - There is a lodge on Morris Bridge Road where Johnny Cash, Sushi and Tucker receive royal treatment

Tucker already has reservations to go back.

"When I picked him up last time, he was all played out," Linnea Olsson said of Tucker. "He was really happy."

That is the kind of testimonial veterinarian Ken Judson and his wife, Carla, hope to build on while their new business, The Lodge at New Tampa, establishes a client base.

Open for less than a month, The Lodge is a luxury boarding kennel that caters to dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and small exotic animals owned by pet lovers willing to pay a little extra to ensure the family pet enjoys top-notch accommodations at its temporary home away from home.

The interior of The Lodge appears more appropriate for a Kentucky Derby winner, but there is no room at the inn for thoroughbred horses. The Lodge was built with man's best friend in mind.

Johnny Cash, a 5-year-old golden retriever, and Tucker, a 98-pound Labradoodle, were among the first dogs to board at the animal lodge. Sushi was the first cat there.

"The pets seem to really enjoy coming here," Ken Judson said. "I haven't seen one yet that had to be pulled through the door."

The facility offers high-end pet services, from pet spas to day care to individual suites and condominiums. Most services cost less than $70 a day, the Judsons said.

More than 200 people have stopped by for a tour. More than 50 pets were registered to be boarded there during the extended Memorial Day holiday weekend, Carla Judson said. An official grand opening will be in October.

Inspired by the Western decor found, in of all places, a New England steakhouse, The Lodge took four years from concept to completion.

The Judsons sold their veterinary and boarding kennel businesses in Connecticut more than a year ago to focus on the New Tampa project.

The couple worked with SunTrust Bank to finance a 16,000-square-foot complex on three acres at 15403 Morris Bridge Road, a rural, two-lane stretch south of Cross Creek Boulevard.

The project transformed a site with a ranch-style house and live oaks into a neatly landscaped parcel sprinkled with elms and an attractive, dark-gray building that resembles an upscale stable.

Richard Bacon of Clearwater designed the building that features an exterior constructed of low-maintenance, impact-resistant planks and cobblestone veneer siding. The contractor, Don Stine Construction Inc. of Plant City, took a year to complete the job. Most of the four years were spent securing proper building permits.

The couple were persistent in their quest for a zoning change to remove some live oaks from the site, Carla Judson said. They worried acorns falling from the trees could be harmful to the dogs if they ate them.

The Lodge also houses a private dog park, four fenced exercise areas and other outdoor venues aimed to attract discriminating pet owners and their pets to various social events.

The main building features a lobby with a beamed, vaulted ceiling, a massive fireplace and opulent, Western-themed antique furnishings.

"We are not worried about the dogs jumping on it," Ken Judson said of the furniture bought at antique stores across the country. "It just adds more scratches."

Carla Judson didn't spare any expense on the decor. "We wanted to create a home environment," she said.

An enormous chandelier with entwined antlers cast light on a king-sized sofa and chairs made of leather, rawhide and other durable fabrics. A pair of saddles purchased at a Denver antique shop are displayed near the front door.

A giant moose head, mounted on the wall opposite the front desk, is the focal piece in the room. They named it "Bugaboo" for the restaurant in Manchester, Conn., where the family was dining when they decided to invest in a local animal lodge.

The business also features an outdoor swim and splash pool, a play area with artificial turf, a fire pit and covered patio. Each building is equipped with smoke detectors, fire sprinklers and a high-tech security system.

The doggie boarding area includes 69 air-conditioned "lodge rooms" with thick, padded bedding, elevated bowls and private lanais; 44 junior and luxury suites are outfitted with the same amenities as well as wall-mounted cameras to allow pet owners 24-hour Internet access to peek in on their pets.

Johnny Cash's owner, Jorge Domecq of Cory Lake Isles, said the online monitoring service eased the stress of leaving his dog at The Lodge the first time.

"I checked online at midnight and they were there giving the dogs water," Domecq said. "They shocked me."

The Lodge, which staffs 15 employees, is open from 6:30 a.m. to late in the evening five days a week, Carla Judson said. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

The couple and their daughters, Kathryn, an 18-year-old senior at King High International Baccalaureate; and Natalee, 15 and a freshman at Freedom High, live in Tampa Palms.

They keep the cats, birds and exotics such as hamsters, rabbits and fish, safely tucked away in the main building. The cats have free range of a lanai, where they can play in a multileveled enclosure, when they are not roaming around their private four-story condominium.

Jonas Urba of Brandon said he and his partner had been searching for some place special for their 1-year-old cat, Sushi, when they discovered The Lodge Web site, They were hooked after touring the property.

"Sushi was exploring the four-level condominium immediately," Urba said. "We will bring her back for sure."

Olsson, who travels a lot for work, said she fell in love with The Lodge the moment she saw it. She is thrilled to have a boarding facility for Tucker so close to home. She had been boarding him at a kennel in Land O' Lakes.

The Judsons, who have spent nearly 35 years tending to animals, have two dogs of their own. Hidalgo and Sakari are borzois, a breed of thin, large dogs also known as a Russian wolfhound.

"They have inspired us to do great thing for dogs," Carla Judson said.

Gary Bogue: Baby Birds: Do They Need Our Help When They Leave the Nest?
By Gary Bogue - Contra Costa Times

Japanese maple

my neighbor pauses to admire

the fresh leaves

— haiku by Jerry Ball, Walnut Creek

Dear Gary:

This morning at 5, my resident Western scrub-jay shrieked 15 times from the backyard.

Of course, I walked outside to see what was alarming him. The last time it was a large raccoon lolling on a high branch in the redwood tree. And this time?

I stood on the gray patio stones, carefully watching and listening. Nothing except a whisper. And again. I looked down. One of the stones moved. A baby scrub-jay hopped by my feet.

"Catch it and put it back in its nest," ran the old saying in my head. The baby had strong legs to make up for its one-inch fringe of a tail, and tiny wings. Hop, hop. It moved faster than I, and stood like a statue in the iris leaves.

Where was its nest? Never have I seen my jay pair's nest in all the years they have been raising young in my backyard.

I left the darling fluff, returned with my camera, and took a picture from a distance.

Could it be safe on the ground? I wondered if I had a better idea than Nature for its well-being.

At noon I returned to search for evidence of the latest chapter in the story, played toss-a-nut with Daddy Jay, and sat in my chair to listen to the baby emit occasional squawks from inside the oleander bush.

Last year that's where the jays' two babies stayed for several days while their feathers were growing.

With luck, and wise jay parents, maybe a wonderful new Western scrub-jay will mature in my backyard.

I wonder how long I should keep my old, old cat from limping outside to sunbathe?

Tania Selden,

Dear Tania:

Nobody has a better idea than Mother Nature. Please remember that. Her ideas have been working for a LOT of years.

If a baby scrub-jay comes hopping merrily past your feet, it's supposed to be doing that. They fledge (leave the nest) at 18 days after hatching.

That means they hop out and start learning how to fly. It means they launch themselves from a branch and crash beak first in the grass. It means they try to take off and ground-loop in the middle of the patio stones and end up hopping past your feet.

Have any kids? Remember the first couple of days when they were learning how to walk? Crash, bam, boom. It's the same with birds.

By the end of the first week the baby jay should be zooming around the yard in pretty good form, so it would be good if you could keep your old, old cat from limping outside to sunbathe for that week.

I'm sure he can handle it and it's for a good cause — a wonderful new Western scrub-jay that matures right there in your own backyard.

Even old, old limping cats can be inspired to great heights at the sight of a defenseless baby bird in the reach of a tired but always eager paw.

I don't think you want that to happen.

The above pretty much applies to all species of baby birds that are now (or soon will be!) leaving the nest and learning how to fly in our yards.

If you're concerned that one of these baby birds is having a problem, call our friends at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek at 925-935-1978 for advice "... or if you're closer to another wildlife rescue center in your area, call them instead.

The life you save may be that of a baby bird.

We can definitely use them!

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Penny Pinching Your Pet Expenses
by Money Talks News

Most everyone is still looking for ways to cut that budget. For pet owners, one way may be cutting back on your four legged family member’s costs by prioritizing their necessities.

“You know we cut costs just as much as you do with your kids, you do with your pets. Not a ton, but every little bit helps.”
-Barry Appet, Pet Owner

Now a days, people are looking for creative ways to cut back on expenses. But the question is, are any of those cuts going to the dogs?

According to Business Week, Americans spend an estimated $41 billion on their pets every year. But in tough economic times, what are people doing to save?

Most pet owners spend money on things like food, toys, and vet visits. But the thing to remember is to prioritize your pet’s needs. Food is obviously a necessity. Toys aren’t!

Here are more tips for cutting down those pet costs…

Make sure to keep your pets up to date on their vet visits and check ups. A $30 dollar vet bill now is a lot better than a 300 hundred dollar bill down the road.

Also, shop around for your pet supplies. With all the major pet retail stores and the internet, you’re bound to find better deals if you take the time to look for them.

“We did some comparison shopping, especially with dog food in particular and we found that we could buy dog food here a little cheaper than we could buy it anywhere else.”
-Barry Appet, Pet Owner
And don’t be afraid to buy generic foods. You might be surprised.

“There’s some generic foods that are made by the more premium pet food companies and they just sell it under a different label. So the best thing is to take a look at the ingredients and if you need to consult with your Veterinarian they’ll help you pick out the right diet.”

-Dr. Robert D. Schachner, Veterinarian

Bottom Line? Of course our furry friends are part of our family. We want them to have the best of everything. But just like with any other part of your budget, you can find ways to cut back without sacrificing quality.

Where Do All the Animals Come From?
Simon Woodrup -

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today we debut a new column by the Animal Protection Society of Durham. Ask the APS will run the fourth Wednesday of each month.
QUESTION: I hear about 20 animals a day get brought in to the Durham shelter. Where do they all come from?

ANSWER: That's often one of the first questions people ask when they see so many animals in the dog runs and cat cages. Before I answer that, I would like to say that the Animal Protection Society of Durham is very grateful to have this opportunity to communicate with the community through The Durham News and welcome any questions you may have for us.

Yes, on average we receive about 20 animals every single day. Over 7,000 animals came to us in 2008. We wish it weren't so and are working to reduce that figure.

Animals come to us from all kinds of situations, but most are considered either "strays" or "owner surrenders." In 2008, 4,103 stray animals were brought to the shelter. A stray is any animal with no apparent owner who is found by caring citizens or picked up by Animal Control. Each is checked to see if he or she has tags and scanned for a microchip in hopes we may locate the owner.

We also received about 400 animals that were abandoned in homes or were taken because of concerns about animal cruelty. Animal Control also houses animals at the shelter that are part of ongoing court cases or that need to be quarantined. The vast majority of the remaining animals we receive are owner surrenders. Last year we took in 2,386 animals that fall in this category.

While the APS believes that owning a pet is a commitment for the life of the animal, there are a variety of circumstances in which people choose to surrender their pets. Regardless of the reasons, the Durham County Animal Shelter takes in all animals because we would rather an animal be in our care, receiving food, medicine, shelter and affection than forced to fend for itself living homeless and unwanted.

Our efforts to reduce the number of animals brought to the shelter include addressing many of the reasons why the animals are brought in. We continually reach out to the pet owners at the shelter, in the media and with outreach at dozens of community events and festivals. We support the important work of a local organization, AnimalKind, to reach out to low-income pet owners with low-cost spay/neuter certificates and we counsel owners who bring in litters of puppies and kittens to get their animals fixed. We provide resources to pet owners such as free pet food through the Salvation Army, and we offer dog training and cat care advice so someone who may just need a little help can keep his or her pets and not need to surrender them.

It remains important for us to be aware of where the animals come from so we can continue to address the causes of pet overpopulation and work to find solutions so fewer animals need to be brought to the shelter.

Simon Woodrup is director of community outreach for the APS of Durham. Send your questions for Ask the APS to him at

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Pet Photos: Let Sleeping Cats Lie - Wherever They Want!

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Pets - Advice, News and Information

Man Saves Dog by Sucking Snake Venom from His Nose

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- A man said he saved his dog's life after sucking venom from a rattlesnake bite out of the animal's nose. Bobby Jenkins said he began feeling ill after getting his dog, Tank, to a veterinarian. He went to the hospital and received a dose of antivenin.

In all, Jenkins needed four vials of antivenin at a cost of $3,500 per vial.

Meanwhile, Jenkins said his dog's head swelled up to three times its normal size. Tank had been bitten after running under some equipment on the family ranch.

The dog also received antivenin and both Jenkins and his dog have recovered.

Freshwater Tropical Fish - Noteworthy and Relaxing Fish You Should Not Ignore!

Freshwater tropical fish can be incredibly attractive to have in the house. These fish are called tropical fish due to they are believed to derive from the tropical regions of the world. At the present, because of hobbyists and breeders, every person can obtain freshwater tropical fish species native to the tropics but born and bred in the USA.

Several pet stores stock up on freshwater tropical fish due to these are exceedingly marketable. Hobbyists and breeders also feel affection for experiment in breeding the freshwater tropical fish. Consequently, this makes them an extremely worthwhile trade.

Compared to tropical saltwater fish, the freshwater varieties are hardier and easier to breed. Numerous of the saltwater tropical fish are in fact shipped from the tropic areas as breeders have a hard time breeding them outside the ocean.

Less Maintenance for Freshwater Tropical Fish

Freshwater tropical fish means less maintenance compared to the saltwater varieties. Salt water habitually gets dirty speedier than freshwater. That is why every person would need to habitually alter the water and make it so that the thickness of the salt is alike to the habitat of the fish species.

Freshwater tropical fish can also live well in a smaller space compared to the saltwater varieties that may get territorial issues with other fish. Professionals do suggest that the bigger the freshwater aquariums, the less maintenance you need to do with it. This is perhaps due to a bigger container can imitate a freshwater pond or lake better than a smaller one.

Freshwater tropical fish aquariums are also less putrid than saltwater aquariums. Regardless of how good the water cleaner system someone has in the tank, the propensity is that the water will begin to have an odd smell after some weeks. Freshwater tropical fish are also more low-priced compared to salt water fish. This makes them perfect, mostly because lots of of the saltwater varieties may die simply in the hands of novice aquarists or kids whom they are habitually purchased for.

If we compare to other pets like cats and dogs, freshwater tropical fish do not need to be walked, bathed or taught perfect toilet training. The fish are also shut in an exceptional space, which means that you do not need to worry about them making a mess in the house or making trouble in the house.

Fun Pet Products For Birds

Birds will generally be kept in cages throughout their life and this environment can seem very confined at times. Birds are very intelligent creatures and some are smarter than others. To keep them entertained, there are fun pet products for birds that will keep them entertained for hours. Some of these items will also help the bird to stay fit and live a happy life.

Every bird has a vain streak in them and many birds will fall in love with their image several times a day. This occurs when mirrors are placed in their cages and many birds will show that they love the new furnishings by singing for hours on end for no apparent reason. Some females are delighted to see a fresh face in the crowd and might think that it is mating season.

Mirrors come in many settings and the most common is a mirror with a perch attachment. Some of the mirrors will come with openings that can hold a small amount of food and with the small beads that are placed across the bottom of the mirror the bird will have plenty of opportunities for playing throughout the day. Some peck the beads and move them back and forth, and larger birds will use their feet at times to move the colorful objects.

There are many toys that make excellent pet products for birds that are active for the better part of a day. Some birds are not concerned with toys because they have poor eyesight and are content to feel a strong perch under their feet. The toy products offered to birds can keep them fit with very little effort by the bird. Other birds are quite inquisitive and will devote many hours to seeing what else the toy will offer them in the manner of play that they are interested in doing.

Some bird pet products allow a bird to dangle on branches just as they would in their own bird habitats in the wild. Parrots are famous for trying out new toys by hanging upside down and using their beak to grab hold of a rawhide chew with a bell attached to it. These large birds are not afraid of metals an will tap the bells a lot and to some pet owners, these sounds might become quite irritating.

Many birds are quite capable of climbing stairs and will spend many hours playing on them. These are pet products for birds that have a high activity rating and carefully trimmed nails. These stairways do not have to lead anywhere in particular because birds get a lot of enjoyment just climbing up and down on them. Some models will offer a bird a reward if they climb to the top properly to receive it.

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More Auto Insurers Are Going to the Dogs
By Kathleen Gray, USA TODAY

At least four U.S. insurance companies offer at no additional cost coverage of $500 to $1,000 for pets injured or killed in car accidents.

Saikou and Kozette are as safe as dogs can be when they go for car rides. The border collie and boxer are always strapped in tight, says Lonnie Olson, 55, of St. Helen, Mich.
Still, Olson says, when she heard that the auto insurance policies offered by Progressive now include coverage for pets injured in vehicle crashes, she decided to move her business to the company.

"Any company that supported animals like that, I wanted to support," she says. "I just hope I never have to use it."

At least four U.S. auto insurers have added — at no extra cost to customers — coverage of $500 to $1,000 for pets injured or killed in car accidents.

With 196 million licensed drivers nationwide, according to the Federal Highway Administration, "it's very competitive," says Lori Conarton of the Insurance Institute of Michigan. "If other companies find that people want this type of coverage, they're going to want to start offering it, too."

Progressive, the third largest auto insurer in the nation with 10.4 million customers in all 50 states, was the first to offer pet accident coverage in summer 2007, says Miriam Deitcher, the company's director of marketing.

"We did it because we know how much our customers love their dogs and cats," Deitcher says. "At first we provided $500 worth of coverage, but in March, we increased that to $1,000, to make sure we're covering even more."

Auto-Owners Insurance, which has 4.6 million policyholders in 25 states, and Farmers Insurance, with 10 million auto customers in 20 states, also offer coverage for pets injured in vehicle crashes.

"We estimate more than 63% of our customers have pets, and caring for them after an accident can be expensive," says Brian Dwyer, a Farmers senior vice president.

People whose pets are injured in a vehicle accident can file a claim under property damage if their insurance provider does not offer specialized pet coverage, says Krissy Posey, a spokeswoman for Allstate insurance, which does not offer pet coverage. What auto insurance companies consider legitimate property damage differs from company to company and state to state, says Jeanne Salvatore of the Insurance Information Institute. In traditional policies, it wouldn't be unusual for a company to deny a claim of pet injuries based on property damage liability limits, she says.

Gray reports for the Detroit Free Press

On Pet Behavior: AKC Gives Mixed Breeds a Paw Up
Lisa Moore - Modesto Bee

As one of the many owners of a mixed-breed dog, it has long been a frustration that our beautiful, well-trained, one-of-a-kind pets have had few opportunities to show off their abilities in various areas of dog sport.

The Purebred Alternative Listing from the American Kennel Club was and still is available for those dogs that appeared to be a specific breed with an unknown pedigree, but very few avenues remained for the dog clearly of mixed heritage. Since 1884, the AKC has been "dedicated to the welfare, sport and breeding stock of purebred dogs," but times have changed, and beginning in October, mixed breed dogs can receive a registration number along with the ability to participate in some AKC events.

Mixed breeds will need to be spayed or neutered in order to receive an identification number, and will then be allowed to participate in agility, obedience and rally events beginning in April, provided they are stand-alone events. This means that any event that includes an all-breed or specialty conformation show cannot include any mixed-breed events. So don't look for mixed breeds to show up on television during the Eukanuba Challenge or Westminster Kennel Club show; they will not be represented.

Mixed breeds will not compete directly with purebred dogs. They may be judged by the same judge and held to the same performance standard, but their classes and titles will be separate. For example, OTCH (Obedience Trial Champion) and MACH (Master Agility Champion) titles will remain for purebred dogs, while mixed breeds meeting the same requirements will be titled as OTCH-M or MACH-M.

The AKC Canine Good Citizen program has long been available to mixed breeds, but soon all of the perks, including a free CGC certificate for those passing the test, a free initial veterinary visit, discounted AKC Companion Animal Recovery Lost and Found service, and discounted coupons for dog supplies will be made available.

Participation in purebred performance events has been down the last few years, and the AKC has readily stated that one of the reasons the mixed breed program was created was to bring new members into the AKC fold, not only to share the knowledge and passion for dogs, but to raise the numbers of dog owners they represent. The larger the number of AKC members, the greater the ability to maintain legislative influence and be a voice for public opinion on important issues.

"Our goal in creating a program specifically designed for mixed breeds is to share our passion for dogs and our sport," said AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung. "AKC will broaden its legislative influence by representing more dog owners and achieve greater exposure for our responsible dog ownership messaging. But ultimately, the positive developments that this program creates will benefit dogs the most, and this is what we value above all."

Lisa Moore's pet-behavior column appears once a month on the Weekly Pet Page. Write to her in care of LifeStyles, The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352.

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The Perks of Using Pet Ramps
By Kim Hillam

It might surprise you, but the number of American households that have dogs averages about 63%, or roughly seventy million families. Are you one of these families? Dogs are not only a great form of protection and security, they're also terrific companions and can be loyal until the end, which could be sooner rather than later if you don't take preventative measures to ensure that your dog remains in top health. This includes the use of dog ramps and steps. You're probably unsure how these items can extend your dog's health, but read on to find out just how important pet ramps and stairs can be.

No matter what breed of dog you have, or how young he is, he is not impervious to joint or spinal injuries that can be cause from jumping to and from furniture and other objects. Of course some breeds are especially susceptible to injury from jumping, such as Pomeranians, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and other breeds that have short legs, fragile bones, or long spines.

No matter what size of dog you have, small dog steps and large dog steps are available to aid your pet in ascending and descending. Keep a set next to your bed, couch, or porch to help him avoid repetitive, harmful impact on his joints and bones. Using pet stairs and ramps can not only prevent an already healthy dog from developing injuries or long-term conditions, but it can also promote healing and comfortable mobility for dogs with pre-existing conditions, such as obesity and arthritis.

There are many stylish dog ramps and steps out there. If you have a breed, such as a Rottweiler or a Pit bull that is more prone to hip dysplasia, then this should be a must have in your home. Apart from hip dysplasia, it will also help those dogs that are prone to spinal and join problems, arthritis, bone wobblers syndrome, bone defects, osteopathy, bone tumors, diabetes, cancer and many other health issues. Vets know what is best for your furry friend, which is why they recommend the steps and ramps for that furry friend.


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How to Best Board Your Horse
By Bryan Burbank

When boarding a horse you need to find a place that will accommodate your horse. It is a good idea to visit several stables before deciding on which one works well for you. You may want to get a recommendation so that you can feel comfortable with the choice you make.

First, pasture board, if cost is an issue for you this many be the best arrangement. Your horse will stay outside all year and be provided with food and water. You may be thinking this is not very safe, but keep in mind horses are herding animals and are use to living outside in the wild. In the event of storms a "run-in" is provided this is a 2 to 3 sided structure for your horse to run in in the event of a storm it may also have a roof.

Second, self board, or as it is sometimes called semi board. This is where you are given a stall and paddock. It is called self board because you are required to take care of the rest of your horses needs. You will supply the grain, hay, feed and turn out, and clean your own stall everyday. This is usually about 1/2 the cost of full board. It can work quite well if you have the time to dedicate to these activities. When considering these arrangements you must consider the distance from your home to see if this situation can work for you.

Last, full board, this is the best arrangement for horse owners who can not make it to the stable everyday. It works well for people with children who use their horses primarily for lessons and training. Full board can be considered the complete solution for the owner who does not want to be responsible for feeding, watering, and cleaning out the stall on a daily basis. These facilities have hired hands to do the work for you. You will only be responsible for calls to the vet, special feed and purchasing special items for your horse. Just keep in mind this may be the easiest way to own board a horse, but it is also the most expensive.

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Have You Considered a Pet Hedgehog? (Photo)

Things to Know If You're Contemplating a Pet

(HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama and his family took their time selecting their new dog Bo, and that's something everyone should do when considering a new pet, says a University of Maryland School of Medicine expert.

"There are many health and safety concerns that should be addressed before bringing an animal into the home," Mary Beth Bollinger, an associate professor of pediatrics and interim chief of the pediatric pulmonology and allergy division, said in news release from the American Osteopathic Association.

"Individuals and families who are well-prepared will get the most enjoyment out of owning a pet," she said.

Bollinger suggested that anyone thinking about getting a pet:

Consider different kinds of animals and breeds and select the one that's best for your home and your family's needs. Carefully assess your family's routine of work, school, social activities and travel and choose a pet and breed that can live comfortably in your home and neighborhood.

Understand how to properly interact with your pet. Different kinds of animals and breeds have different traits and temperaments and need to be handled and cared for appropriately.

Realize that there are no truly hypoallergenic furred pets. Even single-coated or hairless dogs promoted as being hypoallergenic produce allergens -- allergy-triggering proteins found in the animal's dander, saliva and urine.

Remember that good hygiene is crucial for families with pets. Everyone should wash their hands after playing with or handling a pet.

Homes should have pet-free zones, including bedrooms and any rooms where infants or small children are fed or left alone, such as nurseries and play rooms. Wash furred pets regularly to reduce the spread of germs and the amount of dander they produce. Reptiles can carry salmonella and other potential infections and shouldn't be in homes with children younger than 5 years old or children with weakened immune systems.

Buy pets only from reputable breeders or shelters. This helps ensure that you get a healthy animal that's had all its recommended shots.

Once a pet has joined the family, remember that annual checkups with a veterinarian reduce the risk of fleas, parasites and infections that can spread in your home.

When Planting a Garden, Consider Pet Safety
By Niki Laviolette - Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — This is the time of year to be thinking about what type of plants you are going to plant in your garden. If you have pets, it’s important to consider their safety when deciding on which plants to put in the ground. People (and pets) are naturally attracted to the appearance and fragrance of various plants. Often, pets are drawn to eat the foliage and flowers, which can lead to life threatening side effects. Be sure to select non-toxic plants when planning your garden.

If your garden location gets four or more hours of direct sunlight a day, consider annuals, such as zinnia’s, snapdragons, cosmos, calendula, and petunia’s or perennials, such as, bee balm, phlox, roses, catmint/catnip, and coneflowers. If your garden spot receives less than four hours of direct sunlight per day, consider annuals like primroses, butterfly flower, spider flower, and nasturtium. Perennials include columbine, coral bells, turf lily, and goat’s beard.

If your garden receives little to no direct sunlight each day, consider annuals such as, begonias, impatiens, New Guinea impatiens, violets, or coleus. Perennials also include hosta, bugbane, yellow corydalis, astilbe, and queen of the meadow.

Some plants to avoid due to their toxicity are: castor bean, oleander, morning glory, Japanese yew, Jerusalem cherry, foxglove, nightshade, lily of the valley, precatory beans, and the trumpet vine.

If you want to plant a vegetable garden, you will need four or more hours of full sun each day for most plants. Keeping your pet out of your garden may be a difficult task but fencing may help. Stay away from hardware cloth as your pet can become entangled. An effective and safe way to keep pets and wildlife out of newly planted gardens is to use motion detector sprinkler systems. Except for onions, chives, and garlic (and pets like these!), most vegetables are non-toxic. The potato plant leaf and the green section of the potato skin are toxic if eaten in sufficient quantities. Fruits have toxic chemicals in their seeds. Apple, plum, cherry, apricot, and peach seeds contain cyanide that can cause fatal seizures.

Use safe alternatives when planning to use chemical pesticides, fertilizers, or fungicides.

Poisoning of pets is all too common; read all manufacturers’ instructions when applying any chemical to the lawn or garden. A pet can be exposed days or even weeks after the initial application of a chemical. Damaging insects such as, aphids, spider mites, or thrips can be eliminated by spraying water. It may take one or two days but an infestation can be cleared with a shower.

If you have a more serious insect problem, add a teaspoon of dish soap to a gallon of water and use it in a garden sprayer. Soap is an irritant and it helps to break down the protective barriers of their external skeleton. Commercial insecticidal soaps are available that are less toxic than many chemical alternatives.

Recycled kitchen and yard waste combined makes the best garden fertilizer. Applied to the lawn and garden twice yearly can replace the essential nutrients necessary.

And don’t forget to put your pet inside while you’re mowing the lawn or applying any chemicals!

A lawn mower can project a rock or stick that can injure pets. Painting garden tools a bright color will enable you or your pet to see them out in the yard. Store any chemicals in their original containers and out of reach of children and pets.

If your pet consumes any chemicals or is exposed, call your veterinarian immediately with the information from the product label.

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Give Your Pet a Chance

I have seen a couple of times in the newspaper about animals who have either been abused or abandoned. I just wish people would really have a heart and do the right thing and give their pet to the animal shelter where at least the animal has a chance at a loving home, than to dump the poor thing somewhere to fend for itself. I mean how would you feel if that happened to you.

I really don't understand people sometimes, that they can be so heartless and cruel.

So please, if you can't take your pet with you when you move or you can't afford to take care of your pet anymore, please do the right thing and either find your pet a home or take your pet to the animal shelter. Every animal deserves a loving home.

And please consider going to the animal shelter if you want a new pet. They can bring so much joy in your life and you will have a lifelong friend. I adopted my cat from the animal shelter six years ago.

Carla King

Tips on Preventing Rabies
By Carl Hessler Jr -

NORRISTOWN — The most important thing people can do to protect themselves against rabies is to make sure their domestic dogs and cats have been immunized against the acute viral disease, according to health officials. However, officials of the Montgomery County Health Department recently offered some tips on rabies prevention.

They are:

--Never befriend or feed a wild animal or stray animal no matter how cute or cuddly they may appear.

--Never let your dog or cat roam unleashed. That only increases your pet's chances of coming into contact with a rabid animal.

--Do not provide food sources for stray animals. Store trash in durable containers with tight-fitting lids in place.

--Pets that have been wounded should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

--Report all animal bites, or licks to exposed tissue, to the health department so officials can initiate an investigation.

--Call the local police or county health department if you see an animal acting strangely. If the rabid animal can be captured, it should be killed without damaging the head so health officials can examine the animal's brain to determine if the rabies virus is present.

--Avoid touching dead animals. If you must, wear gloves.

--Immediately wash a bite wound with soap and hot water and seek medical attention.

Rabid animals are better recognized by unusual or abnormal behavior. Rabid animals, wild or domestic, may stagger, appear restless, be aggressive or appear to be choking.

Powerloo Dog Toilet Won't Teach Fido to Flush

I've always figured that aliens looking down at Earth must conclude that the dogs are in charge, as it is us humans who walk behind them picking up their poop. The Powerloo doggie toilet from Michigan inventor Curt Fournier doesn't do much to change that, but at least you'll have a place to put all that smelly dog doo-doo.

The Powerloo is a complete outdoor flush toilet that connects to your home plumbing and sewer lines, sucking down the poop after you've deposited it in special biodegradable bags. You still need to pick it up first, which I suppose is why I tend to prefer cats.

Now, if only we could teach dogs to wipe, flush, and put down the seat themselves.

The Powerloo will be available starting in June for about $1000, or about 10 times the cost of a regular human toilet.

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Keep Your Dog safe While Traveling
American Kennel Club -

As the value of pets in our lives rises, many people now consider their dogs to be part of the family and want to include them in family vacations. Whether you're heading out to the beach or to a neighboring state for a dog show, the American Kennel Club offers the following tips to keep your travel days as comfortable as possible.

By Car

- Secure your dog in a crate, carrier or harness that attaches to the seat belt. Pet supply stores sell harnesses, and carry a range of sizes that will fit most breeds, from Pugs to Great Danes! No animal should ever ride loose in the bed of a pick-up truck, which can lead to serious injuries or death in the event of an accident.
- To prevent ear and eye injuries, do not allow your pooch to stick his head out the car window.

- Stop regularly to allow your dog to relieve himself and take a drink. A familiar toy or bed can also make the trip more comfortable.

- Do not leave your pet unattended in the car on hot days ever. Temperatures can rise quickly, causing heat stroke and other problems even with windows open. Stop immediately if your dog begins to pant excessively, drool or act sluggish and unresponsive.

By Plane

- Pet travel policies vary by airline, so check requirements before booking your flight. For a list of carriers and their guidelines, visit

- Reservations are required for dogs traveling in-cabin as well as excess baggage or cargo. The number of pets allowed on each flight, the dog's age and breed, and crate size all factor into the reservation process.

- Your veterinarian must verify your pet's health and ability to fly no more than 10 days before the date of departure. Schedule a visit a few days before your trip to pick up a health certificate. Also request proof of rabies vaccination and other inoculations, which you may be required to show at various points during your journey.

- Weather can impact your dog's travel. Federal regulations prohibit shipping live animals as excess baggage or cargo if an animal will be exposed to temperatures that are below 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, for more than four hours during departure, arrival, or while making connections.

- Travel crates should be sturdy; large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around and lie down; and must be airline approved. Remember to have your name and contact information attached.

Additional tips can be found on the American Kennel Club Web site at

Pet Owners Urged to Make Sure Animals Have Identification
by Jill Burke -

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The people who look after lost and stray pets are urging owners to make sure their animals have identification on them.

Summer is the time when more pets are likely to become separated from their families -- whether because they wander off, or are given up.

The more animals that fill up the waiting rooms at Animal Care and Control, the more space at the shelter becomes an issue.

And when space is tight, the staff is forced to make some tough decisions.

"We try to be flexible and use everything we have to handle as many animals as we can," said Brooke Taylor, a public relations coordinator with the city's Department of Health and Human Services. "But again, especially when it comes to cats in the summertime, our numbers go up and there are times when we have to euthanize cats that might otherwise be adoptable."

About 8,000 animals come through the shelter each year, and Animal Care and Control says of those about 2,000 animals are euthanized.

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Cathy M. Rosenthal: Pets Feel Loss When Owner, Friend Gone
Cathy Rosenthal -

When Suzie told me her 9-year-old dachshund Daisy died, she said her other dog, Mixie, stopped eating and started acting clingy. "She slept more and moped around the house," she says. "Is she grieving? Does Mixie know that Daisy is gone?"

People frequently ask me if dogs and cats can understand when a pet or person in the family dies. Pets don't understand why the pet or person is not returning, but they know when a friend is gone and feel the ache when that pet or person doesn't return as expected. Daisy knows Mixie is gone and is mourning the separation from her friend.

If I am gone for a few days, my husband says our pets search everywhere for me. Because they can't be reassured I will return, they begin mourning my absence. They eat less, walk around with their heads dropped down and often don't sleep in my room (like they always do), preferring instead to sleep near the back door where I would usually enter. They are waiting for me to return, and each day I am gone builds more sadness in their hearts.

When I return home, Brinkley celebrates by jumping and tail-chasing; Miss Kitty screams at me demanding to know where I have been; and Maggie vocalizes a strange sort of talking sound that is as much relief as it is joy. If I didn't return, though, their grief would grow and it could take weeks or months for them to fully recover. Anyone who has ever left their pets to go on vacation knows what I am talking about. They can become very sad when you're gone.

Many years ago, the ASPCA conducted a study on companion animals that revealed 66 percent of dogs exhibited four or more behavioral changes after the death of a canine companion. About 36 percent of participants surveyed said their dogs ate less than usual and more than 10 percent stopped eating altogether. About 63 percent of dogs changed their vocal patterns, vocalizing more or less than normal. Almost all dogs and cats changed their sleeping habits, sleeping more or less often and in new places around the house.

Pets grieve in many ways. They may search the house, sniffing out the last places their friend slept or, sensing your sadness and grief, may try to comfort you by staying close, keeping quiet or even staying more out of your way. Animals do have feelings and can feel the pain of loss and separation and even grief when their best friend, either pet or human, never returns.

If your pet is grieving, give them attention and affection and know that, as with people, "time heals all wounds." Be respectful and allow time for healing before introducing a new pet into the family. Together, you can comfort each other. Grief is usually lessened when shared.

Send your pet stories and questions to Cathy M. Rosenthal, c/o Features Department, San Antonio Express-News, P.O. Box 2171, San Antonio, TX 78297-2171, or e-mail them to Cathy's advice column runs every Sunday.

How To Cook Healthy For Your Pet?

I’ve decided I want to start cooking meals for my dogs and cats. I’m not sure how to go about doing this. I feel it would be healthier than pet food though. I want to give them the best of everything, including diet. I really could use some advice. What should I cook for dogs? Cats? I’m sure I will have to cook something different for each. I’d appreciate any tips and suggestions.
4 responses to “How To Cook Healthy For Your Pet?”

May 24th, 2009 at 22:28

The best resource to start with is Dr. Pitcairns “Complete Guide to Natural Health for your Dog and Cat.”
Feeding a balanced diet isn’t easy but it isn’t rocket science, either. Dogs need protein/ carbs/ fats just like we do and vitamins and minerals. (Hey, didn’t we just figure all of this out on the human front about 50 years ago? We haven’t always known about low fat or good fats or “low glycemic” foods for people!)
Given the astronomical rate of cancer in animals and the warnings we humans get: Eat 5 veggies per day. Low Fat. Cut back on sugar. Maintain a healthy diet. Whole grains … Everything we’re told to reduce our own chances of cancer - doesn’t it make sense that a boring diet of processed food might not be the best for our pets?
Sorry, but the AAFCO doesn’t have ALL of the answers, nor are their recipes a magic formula for health!
Another great book: “The Whole Pet Diet” by Andi Brown (with foreward by Dr. Pitcairn.)

May 24th, 2009 at 22:28

feed them pet food it has all the nutrients they need and vitamins there is no way that you can prepare nutritionally balance meals that provide that. is not practical, Yes I am a pet owner and breeder of chihuahuas and i tried it myself and I will never go back to it I feed all of my dogs Black Gold in the black bag it is championship quality and grade nearly all of the breeders I know that love and care for their pets like their children feed them this I also fry and drain several pounds of ground beef 90% lean and mix it 50 - 50 with rice for them every day. I feed the meat and rice in the AM and they have black gold the rest of the day to eat at their leisure.

I also give them (per 4 dogs) 1 12-oz can of evaporated milk with 1 egg every 3rd day. it is excellent for their coat and they love it. this was suggested to me by 2 different veternarians
I am sorry I do not raise felines so I cannot comment on them

Everybody's Favorite
May 24th, 2009 at 22:28

Wow, I envy your cats and dogs.
They are carnivores, so they digestive system is different than ours. They do not need veggies. In the parasite-free world, it is best of you give raw meat to dogs and raw fish to cats. But if you’re worried about parasites you’ll have to boil their food. Don’t put any salt or pepper.

May 24th, 2009 at 22:28

Oh PUHLEEZE cooking healthy for your pet? Why dont you just ask them what they want to be fed.

Hedgehogs as Pets

Hedgehogs are not the perfect pet for everyone, so before you get one, you need to make sure that you are ready to have a hedgehog as a pet. It's best that you do your research so that you can avoid having to give up your pet because you get bored with it or tired of caring for it after a few weeks or a few months.

Disadvantages to having a pet hedgehog:

* It's cute. Just because it's cute, it doesn't mean that you have to have it, and if that's your only reason, then you don't need a hedgehog as a pet. Pets equal responsibility.

* They don't play fetch, games, or anything at all. Hedgehogs prefer to just eat and run around. You won't find a hedgehog who will cuddle up to or play game.

* They will bite you when they're upset, and because they have sharp teeth, it can be a little painful. Even socialized hedgehogs will bite under certain circumstances, especially if you ignore the huffing and puffing that signal irritation.

* They have short lifespans of only three to five years, so if you're looking for something that lives a little longer, then you'll have to find another pet.

* They can be expensive, depending on the breeder and the color or pattern that you choose, and for only three to five years of companionship, you'll have to weigh if the $200 or more will be worth it.

Advantages of having a pet hedgehog:

* They're plain cute, which is the obvious factor in wanting a hedgehog.

* They don't spread dander, which is great for people who may have cat and dog allergies. You may find that you're allergic to a hedgehog related supply, like the bedding or food, but you will not have a reaction to the animal, itself.

* They are quiet. You may hear them breathing heavily, scuffling noises as they walk around, or noises from a hedgehog running on his wheel, but for the most part, they're pretty quiet.

* They are small, which makes them great for apartments and rental homes that only allow small pets. Just remember that just because they're small, it doesn't mean that they can thrive in a small cage.

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