"Suffer the Pets"--Hopefully Not!!

Tips When Caring for an Elderly Dog or Cat
Diane Blankenburg - rgj.com

If we are lucky, we get to grow old and enjoy the golden years. The same is true of our pets. And just as some elderly people must depend on others to care for them, our pets depend on us to care for them when they become older.

I have a 12-year-old Lab named Lady, and she is the most precious thing in my life. As she ages, I have become very committed to making her life comfortable. Hopefully, the care we have given our pets prior to aging will help enhance their later years.

As dogs and cats age, they may sleep more and eat less. They have a tendency to be bothered by too much commotion and loud noises and may not come right away when you call. Their coat might be duller, their skin less elastic and their eyes cloudy.

These tips should help you if you are caring for a senior pet.

--Bathroom habits may need adjusting. Most dogs are aware that they should not relieve themselves in the house. If your geriatric dog happens to have an accident, try to be comforting and understanding. This is not a time for punishment, because most dogs sense that they have done something wrong. With senior dogs, it's a good idea to let them out more often than you might have when they were younger.

--Cats may suffer from arthritis that can make it hard to climb into a high litter box. Also, urinary tract infections can cause lapses in litter box use. Try cutting a lower entry into a litter box or providing puppy training pads. Urinary tract infections can be treated with antibiotics from your veterinarian.

--Take your senior pets to the vet regularly for checkups. As is much the same with human medicine, veterinary medicine has made great strides in geriatric care. With some effort on our part, pets can live longer and in greater comfort than ever before. Routinely brush your pet's teeth and have your vet remove any excess plaque. An unhealthy mouth not only causes gingivitis, tooth loss and soreness, but it can also lead to other medical concerns such as heart problems.

--Make sure you give your senior pet a proper diet. Older pets generally are less active and low-calorie food should be considered if your pet is becoming overweight. There are many senior diet foods on the market. Also, veterinarians can provide prescription foods for pets with medical conditions, including heart and kidney problems.

--Watch out for your pet's safety. As eyesight and hearing fail and as coordination becomes more unsteady, your pet may have trouble with stairs and other obstacles. Placing pet steps, pillows and baby gates in strategic places can help make sure that your pet does not take a spill. Provide a comfortable bed, preferably an orthopedic bed, for your older pet to lie on. Many aging pets like to sleep next to the heater vent, which makes a cozy place for a bed. Make sure that you can easily throw the cover in the washer. This way, if your dog does have an accident, it will be easier to clean up.

--Above all, just give your elderly pet more tender loving care than ever before. Your friend has loved you and been there for you through thick and thin, and now it's your privilege to make their golden years a wonderful time for them. Remember that your pet is the same loving dog or cat that he or she has always been, despite a little more gray hair.

Diane Blankenburg is community programs director for the Nevada Humane Society.

Dogs and Heat Don’t Mix

With summer’s hot weather approaching, owners are urged to keep dogs safe from heat

The warmer months are a good time for social gatherings that include pets; however, it’s important to note the hidden and not-so-hidden dangers that can harm animals, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

To keep pets safe this summer, the ASPCA’s Animal Health Services offers the following tips.

Dogs have it made in the shade. Pets dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of water when it’s hot. Also, make sure pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

A pest-free dog is a happy pet. Rodenticides (mouse and rat baits), lawn and garden insecticides and some flea and tick products can harm cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. While there are flea products that can be used safely on pets, products labeled as “dog only” containing permethrin can be deadly to cats. Be sure to read directions on these products carefully.

Water safety is dog-friendly. Do not leave pets unsupervised near a pool — not all dogs swim well. Introduce pets to water gradually and make sure dogs wear flotation devices while on boats. Try not to let dogs drink pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.

Look out for “high-rise syndrome.” During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of high-rise syndrome, which occurs when pets fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured. To prevent this, pet owners should keep unscreened windows or doors closed at home and secure adjustable screens.

Be aware of heated situations. When taking your dog outdoors or in the company of other animals, always keep an eye on those around you. With more people and their dogs enjoying the warm weather, tempers may flare over territory, so it’s important to make sure dogs are safe and secure around strangers and other animals.

Reader Comments
WE have black labs and we care large bottles of water with us on our walks .. we offer water to them about every city block and this time of the year they want it .. when we get home, we put cool clothes on their necks after bathing their faces and have them lay on the tile floor in the kitchen with fans blowing near them to cool them back down slowly. It's hard to convince a Lab they need to skip their walks.
TheTrio, NC, TX

great info
sk, nh, CT

I hope people will take the information in this article seriously. The heat for people and animals can be deadly, and the great information in this article can't be stressed enough.

Think before taking your pet out in this heat. If you want to know what it's like for them, try putting on a heavy coat and walking around in bare feet out in the sun on the hot pavement. See how comfortable it is for you!
S, Phoenix, AZ

Victoria Principal Sued Over Dog Incident

The actress allegedly pulled a gun on a former maid who took too long walking her dog.

Former “Dallas” actress Victoria Principal has been sued for allegedly assaulting a former maid after the woman took too long walking the actress’s dog.

According to a suit filed by housekeeper Maribel Banegas, Principal fired Banegas after accusing her of staying away from the house too long with her dog. Banegas says in court documents that the dog took more time than usual to do “its business.”

Principal then told Banegas to leave her Malibu, Calif., property, prompting Banegas to ask for her final wages. Principal then went upstairs and instead of returning with a checkbook, brandished a gun and threatened to kill her ex-employee. The suit also alleges that Principal asked another maid to step aside so that she could have a clear shot.

The complaint, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, says Benegas locked herself in a room, called 911 and waited until police arrived.

Banegas is suing Principal for lost wages and unspecified damages for assault, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Pet Pampering Continues Despite Recession
Posted By: Janie Porter - tampabays10.com

Tampa, Florida - Despite the recession, people are still pampering their pets. In fact, one upscale pet boutique in Carrollwood is actually expanding.

Groovy Cats & Dogs on Lake Carroll Way just opened a 1300 square foot facility.

''We used to be in a store half this size. And it worked out that we actually got a better deal on a lease in this economy,'' said owner Yvonne Guibert.

It's customers like Amy Haynie that keep Guibert in business.

She and her husband recently gave up cable, mostly because they don't watch TV very much. They've also cut back on dining out. But they won't give up their frequent trips to the pet boutique for their dog Baci.

"Baci's part of the family. She's like a child to us, so [cutting out purchases for her is] not even an option," Haynie said.

Haynie buys pricey holistic food for Baci at the boutique, along with organic dog treats.

Another customer estimates she spends about $15 a week on toys alone. Debra Johnson also drops big bucks for expensive dog food. But she considers it an investment.

"I feed a quality food, which puts money into the bank for me at the vet," Johnson said.

The boutique sells a slew of items that many would consider luxuries.

Pet outfits at Groovy Cats & Dogs cost up to $20, and dog beds top out at $157. The store even carries beauty products for pets, a shimmery lotion for pets' coats and a salve for sore paws.

Guibert has absorbed some increased costs to keep customers coming, but she has had to increase prices a little.

In the last 18 months, Guibert says one pet food has increased by $8 a bag. The increase is due to a recent boost in fuel and freight charges. In addition, the cost of the product itself has increased as well.

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Vet Offers Advice on How to House-Train Your New Puppy
By Barry Burtis, Pet Tales - burlingtonpost.com

The goal is very simple. You want to teach your new puppy to eliminate on a specific surface or in a particular location.

Most commonly, it will be an outside area, usually in an accessible corner of the yard. In some circumstances, it may on a papered area in the house. Regardless, at the same time, you want to prevent the puppy from developing a habit of eliminating on other surfaces and locations around your house.

Here are some tips that may be helpful as you work toward these goals. Remember, it’s always better to get good habits established first. It is much harder if you have reverse bad habits that have developed and then create the desired ones. This means right from the start, your house-training goal is kept in mind. The whole family needs to be aware of what needs to be done and how it is going to be attempted. Everyone needs to participate in the task.

The new pup should be within eyesight of a family member 100 per cent of the time.

Whenever the pup is to be unsupervised, it should be confined to a small area. Usually this means a crate or a small barricaded area in one of the rooms of the house.

A crate should be large enough for the puppy to stand up and turn around comfortably when it reaches adulthood. The crate should be in area where the family spends a good amount of time. The puppy should be in the crate overnight and can be crated for up to four hours, at a time, during the day even when it is very young. You want the puppy to come to view the crate as its den, a place where it can seek solace and security, not a place where it is banished or goes to be punished.

With a comfortable spot to lie down and a bowl of water, the puppy will work hard not to pass stool or urine there, but rather wait for you to take it to the area you choose as the bathroom.

This chosen area is where you will take the puppy to eliminate. In the desired area, he should be allowed to sniff around and become familiar with the surroundings. You take the pup to the area after he eats, plays, wakes up from a nap, before he is to be con-it’s fined and whenever he is noticed sniffing around or acting as if he has to eliminate.

Give the puppy plenty of quiet praise when he relieves himself in the chosen area. When he finishes, give him a treat or a small biscuit. The reward must be given immediately, not when they return to the house. Many people are able to train their dog to go on command by establishing words or phrases that are spoken to puppy consistently at such times and a reward given afterwards.

For proper house-training, as well as for other reasons, it is important to establish a regular schedule for the puppy. Puppies should be fed three times a day, if possible, until they are six months old. Avoid feeding a puppy an hour before confinement and before bedtime.

Also, remember accidents will happen. Puppies are not perfect and an occasional mess will occur. If you catch the puppy in the act of eliminating in an unacceptable area, make a sharp noise — clap your hands or give a loud no. The aim is to interrupt the puppy and stop the elimination, but not frighten him. Then immediately take the puppy to the desired area to finish.

Any area where an accident has occurred should be thoroughly cleaned and, if possible, kept off limits for the puppy for a few days.

There is no set age by which a pup must have achieved being trained. As long as some progress is being made in the early weeks, the end result should not be in doubt. If there is a delay in becoming trained, it should be reported to your veterinarian. It is always important to be sure no physical problem interferes with successful training.

Ask Dog Lady: Keep Dogs Away from TV If They Get Barking Mad
By Dog Lady - wickedlocal.com

West Roxbury -

Dear Dog Lady,
We have two dogs who love to watch TV, but when any kind of animal comes on, especially dogs and cats, they start barking and attacking the TV. We would love to one day sit and watch the dog channel, but I know that’s impossible right now. Of course, there’s always changing the channel when this does occur, but sometimes we don’t get there fast enough and they either scare our 3-year-old son or he starts yelling at them to stop, which we hate to see. What can we do to make them stop?

Jim and Deirdre

Jim and Deirdre, you know how to solve this as surely as you know how to close a door. Keep your dogs separated from the TV. To train them to be quiet, catch them barking and put them in another room. They can only come back in and watch the tube when they are silent. If they bark again, put them out of the room. Repeat and repeat and repeat until, finally, they are quiet when four legs trot across the TV. Simple — kind of. Be consistent. There’s no reason why you have to give up watching Dog-TV. You want your dogs bending to your will; you should not bend to theirs.

Dear Dog Lady,
Today I was browsing through a secondhand shop filled with vintage items from the 1920s on, and I found a curious leather bag that appears to be similar to a modern-day pet carrier, only it’s vintage and much fancier. I am wondering if that is what it actually is. Do you know since when people used pet carriers for small dog breeds?


Elena, you ask an interesting question, so interesting Dog Lady doesn’t have a definitive answer. It’s hard to say when pet purses first burst on the scene. Let’s presume the conveniences were adapted for use over time — poke some holes in fine leather and you’ve got a pet carrier.

The one person who might have carried her dog in a satchel was the poet Elizabeth Barrett. Yet, back in the mid-1800s, there is no indication Barrett transported her cocker spaniel Flush in a bag, which would have been very smart considering the poor animal was kidnapped three times in Victorian England and held for an increasingly higher ransom. When Barrett eloped to Italy with true love and fellow poet Robert Browning, history does not record her toting Flush in a bag, although the dog took up residence with the happy couple.

Dear Dog Lady,
After I started dating my boyfriend eight months ago, he informed me that he shared joint custody of a beagle named Julie with his ex-girlfriend. This bothers me. After they broke up, his ex was so angry she wouldn’t let him see Julie for two months. He is now very cautious not to upset her. He even avoided telling her that he was dating me because he didn’t want her to get mad and take away his dog privileges.

I am bothered by this, but I have noticed that Julie also has a negative reaction to the arrangement. The switching normally occurs by one dropping Julie off at day care and the other picking her up. Oftentimes, when the dog comes home from day care, she is sick to her stomach and has diarrhea or throws up.

I have mentioned the custody arrangement to my boyfriend as a possible source of this. I have suggested he talk to his ex to make sure they feed Julie the same food, but he doesn’t seem to take it seriously. He thinks I am just upset about the situation in general. While I surely am, I have gotten to know the dog and I love her. I am genuinely concerned for her.

How can I talk to him about this and get him to take me seriously?


Anne, when an ex-couple shares custody of a dog, the arrangement must be spelled out contractually. The slipshod deal between your boyfriend and his ex hurts you and the dog.

Julie does suffer because your boyfriend and his ex have not agreed about what kind of food to feed her, what veterinarian to share for vaccinations, checkups, emergencies, etc. With everything spelled out, there is less wiggle-room for emotions to intrude and feelings to be hurt.

Dog Lady is very touched that you stick up for Julie. Continue to do this kindly and politely. You’ve grown to love the dog and you make a savvy diagnosis: her sour stomach is probably caused by constant changes in food. Gently lead your boyfriend to the conclusion he needs a contract with his ex-girlfriend to care for the dog. Do not burn with jealousy if they meet face-to-face to agree on terms. Encourage him. Your kindness and support will be the impetus to calm all tummies.

Visit www.askdoglady.com to ask a question or make a comment. Follow Dog Lady at http://twitter.com/askdoglady. Listen to Dog Lady every Wednesday from 1-3 p.m. on 980WCAP, streaming at www.980wcap.com.

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Dog Breeder Has Tips For Finding A Winner
Karlyn Tilley COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)

Over the past few weeks CBS4 has been reporting on the puppy mill epidemic. We uncovered the terrible conditions in which thousands of dogs live -- and die. Now, we hear from a responsible breeder to see how it's done right.

A reputable breeder will be proud to show their dogs and how they're raised. Anyone buying a dog should see exactly where it comes from. The latest litter of puppies is the first thing seen when going to Sunrise Kennels in Colorado Springs. Owner and breeder Doug Johnson says it's a good way to show off his latest litter, "plus with the puppies up in the front end I have customers that come in all the time so they get plenty of socialization, exposure, because everybody wants to pet a puppy and they love it."

Responsible dog breeding is a far cry from the puppy mills CBS4 captured on undercover cameras while on a dog rescue in Missouri. Terrible living conditions are not illegal in most states, but reputable breeders will say it's not acceptable. For Johnson, it's not even something he wants to see.

"I just don't want to believe that there are people out there that would do that to dogs," Johnson said.

Johnson was the American Kennel Club's Breeder of the Year in 2006. He breeds bouviers and Old English sheep dogs. He goes above and beyond Colorado's breeding laws with thorough health checks, plenty of space to let dogs run around, and state-of-the-art kenneling facilities. He showed off those facilities on CBS4's recent visit, explaining that keeping up with the kennels is a full-time job.

"It stays nice and cool inside of here. We give them plenty of water cause bouviers drink a lot of water." Johnson said. "You know what we do is we'll go ahead and put the bedding down at night for them."

Johnson says responsible breeding is about more than just keeping kennels clean. It's about improving the breed with each new litter. He says it's not possible to get rid of every medical problem in any dog, but it is possible to give them the best chance for a happy and healthy life.

"We're accountable to ourselves, and the ones that are working together, the ones that are going ahead and trying to help each other out, are not the problem. It's the ones who don't want to go ahead and be a part of us."

Colorado's Department of Agriculture works with Johnson and other breeders to improve conditions for dogs in Colorado. Colorado and America have a long way to go to ensure dogs are raised like Johnson's dogs; and not like the puppy mills.

Johnson says consumers should visit the breeders' facilities. Any breeder who won't let a person visit is bad news. Research the breed before going so you can ask specific questions about health issues and health records on the dog. Don't buy a dog the day of the first visit. Go home to think it over before making a life-changing purchase.
While there, ask to see the puppies parents. Johnson says if you're just looking for a good family pet, the first place you should look is the local shelter.

Eyeing Dogs' Sight
By Meredith Cohn - baltimoresun.com

Vets donate time to give service dogs a checkup

Tali's pupils were dilated, so ophthalmologist Nancy Bromberg dimmed the lights and began peering deep into his big brown eyes. She declared them healthy a few minutes later, except for a little allergy-related irritation.

That's good news for Tali, a 6-year-old who lives in Columbia with Meg Meyers and needs good eyesight to continue working.

Sure, Tali works for back scratches and cookies, but nonetheless, he has an important job. The soft, brown field spaniel is a therapy dog who regularly makes the rounds as a goodwill ambassador in a residential high school for girls. He has done similar work in an assisted-living facility.

"We need to make sure they're healthy so they can help others stay healthy," said Nancy Bromberg, a veterinary ophthalmologist at SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center in Fairfax, Va., of the dogs she spent last week examining. "Sometimes we can identify minor problems and treat them, or we can identify more major problems early."

Annual exams
The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists recommends annual exams for dogs, either with a primary vet or an ophthalmologist. The group plans to hold the free exam event next year. Registration and information will be on its Web site, acvo.org.

Diseases of vision affect twice as many women as men In all, Bromberg expected to see about 40 dogs from Maryland, Virginia and Washington. As part of an annual event, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists arranged for about 170 veterinary ophthalmologists around the country to offer free exams for up to 2,000 dogs. The animals aid in search and rescue, offer assistance to disabled people or give time and attention to those who just need the unconditional love of a dog.

There are an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 American service dogs, but no one really knows the exact number because there is no central registry, said Michelle Cobey, a spokeswoman for the Delta Society, which had no role in the screenings. The society connects those in need of service and therapy animals with trainers, partially though its Web site, deltasociety.org.

The dogs can't work in any field without good eyesight, but they can't tell anyone when there is a problem, said Stacee L. Daniel, executive director of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. The group started the free exam program last year, seeing about 1,500 dogs.

Most of the nation's 310 practicing veterinary ophthalmologists already were waiving their $50-$100 examination fee for service dogs, so the group decided to organize the effort to reach more dogs. The group also aims to collect useful data on problems with specific breeds or kinds of service dogs.

"A seeing-eye dog, ironically, might be losing his sight, and the person [he's assisting] may not know," Daniel said. "That may put the person's life at risk. ...That's the most extreme example. Most dogs we see are healthy."

Tali was one of the healthy ones. He left his exam with a prescription for the allergies and will continue working with National Capital Therapy Dogs Inc. He wasn't always the model service dog. Meyers called him a "cuckoo puppy." But he demonstrated his warm personality and ability to obey commands and became certified three years ago.

"He's made a lot of people happy," Meyers said. "He puts them at ease. He makes them laugh. No matter what you do, he's there wagging his tail."

Other dogs, it seems, were born to help. Cooper, a German shepherd who works for the Virginia Search & Rescue Dog Association, is one. He recently went on a two-day search for a blind hiker lost on the Appalachian Trail. The man was found after he lit a fire.

Autumn Manka said her husband insisted on adopting Cooper and putting him to work helping others. Same with David Wyttenbach, who adopted a German shepherd he named Sirius Black (yes, named for the Harry Potter character). Sirius is still in training. But, it's not too soon to make sure his eyes are healthy.

"People think of dog noses being important, but they don't think about the eyes," said Wyttenbach. "But they're pretty important. They get a lot of sticks, dust and pollen in them. They need to be checked."

This time, Bromberg found nothing to worry about with Sirius or Cooper, but she said it's good to check. German shepherds are prone to pannus, a disease can lead to blindness if not controlled early.

"No problems," said Bromberg. "That's what we want."

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Breeding Lovebirds (Part One)
By Danny Oakes

Lovebirds are especially affectionate parrots. There are nine species of lovebird, eight from Africa and one from Madagascar:

Madagascar Lovebird
Abyssinian Lovebird
Red-headed Lovebird
Peach-faced Lovebird
Masked Lovebird
Fischer's Lovebird
Lilian's Lovebird
Black-cheeked Lovebird

It is the long monogamous relationships that these birds have that gave rise to the name lovebird.

Their precise scientific classification is:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Subfamily: Psittacinae
Tribe: Psittaculini
Genus: Agapornis

It is hard to describe the color of lovebirds because they have been bred in so many different colors, but basically they are mostly green with different colors on their upper body. They are really small birds which grow up to seventeen centimeters in height and sixty grams in weight - along with budgies they are some of the smallest parrots. On average they live for up to fifteen years.

In this three part series we take a look at what is involved in breeding these lovebirds.

Caring for parrots takes on a higher level of involvement when you make the decision to start breeding. You need to have very healthy specimens, kept on a special diet, and kept in very clean conditions. Of all of these factors the most important is the diet, because not only is this important for fertility, but also for ensuring that the young a very health.

The first step to breeding lovebirds is getting a male and female, no easy task since these birds are sexually dimorphic and require scientific sexing to tell the male and female apart. In the next article we will discuss what special steps owners need to take for successful breeding.

Danny Oakes writes on http://parrotcare.tropicalpets.com/ about all aspects of parrot care, for those that keep parrots as pets.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Danny_Oakes

How to Care For a Pet Chinchilla
By Kim Hillam

Chinchilla's are wonderful little creatures that almost always get referred to as another type of animal. There really aren't a great deal of people who really know what a chinchilla is or what it does for that matter. Some people mistake them for bunnies, while others may even think they resemble a squirrel. The care of a chinchilla is not a particularly hard process, but there are a few things one must remember when caring for a chinchilla.

One of the most noticeable, and possibly the most annoying habit that chinchillas possess is the inability to control their chewing instinct. A chinchilla will literally chew almost anything, as this is its way of exploration. Some take annoyance from this habit, but it can be quite a cute thing to see when the chinchilla uses its hands to hold the object it nibbles so furiously at. This habit can be much more bearable if you keep items around that are safe for the chinchilla to chew, and present them to him purposely.Feeding a chinchilla this chewing habit, but as this process is natural for him, it cannot be totally contained.

Another care tip to remember is that chinchillas must have a dust bath on a regular basis to keep their fur healthy and protected. Dust baths must not be ignored, as they are an important heigenic maintenance procedure. Much in the same way that we fulfill our own needs for a bath, we must maintain the heigenic needs of our pet.

The socialization process is also important no matter the animal involved in the process. All pets need certain levels of social interaction to really get accustomed to their new homes. This can be done by simply holding them while they eat and letting them explore the house in a supervised manner. If you do decide to let your chinchilla venture about the house, it's a good idea to set up barriers around the area safest for your chinchilla to explore. A playpen can work great, just remember the chinchilla's chewing habit!

By following all of these pet chinchilla care steps you will not only have a fantastic relationship with your chinchilla you will also have a healthy pet. They really are amazing creatures and great pets to have. So make sure to treat your chinchilla properly.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kim_Hillam

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