If You Didn't Have Pets....

Oldest Dog Otto,
Nearly 21, Still Jumps on Sofa
Janice Lloyd - USA Today

Otto gets to sleep with his head on the pillow and under a blanket next to his owner, according to this story from the Associated Press.

The Guinness World Records made it official: Otto is currently the oldest living dog. The former oldest was Chanel, who passed away in August. The average age for dogs is 12.8 years, according to this chart. The oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog who lived to be 29 years and 5 months.

Otto and Chanel have more than senior years in common. Chanel was a wired-haired dachshund. Otto is part dachshund and terrier. The secret to his longevity? Owners Lynn and Peter Jones of Shrewsbury, England, say he has a good diet, gets plenty of love and heads off to bed at 8 p.m.

Otto will be 21 in February. Mrs. Jones has owned him since he was 6 weeks old. "He doesn't like his walkies much anymore,'' she says, ''but he's still sprightly.''

Ask The Vet:
Help! My Pet Has Bad Breath!
By ruthrawls

Dogs and Cats both require dental care, just like humans do. On a daily basis we people brush 2 to 3 times. This helps reduce the accumulation of tartar and plaque. Now I know it may not be feasible to brush your pet’s teeth daily but there are many things you can do to help improve your pet’s oral health.

For starters, at your pet’s yearly well check up, ask your Veterinarian to carefully exam your pet’s mouth, and remember to request advice on what you can do to keep your pet’s oral cavity clean and healthy. If you notice a foul smell from your pet’s mouth, this could be a sign of early periodontal disease. In my clinic I commonly see pets with advanced dental infections. These patients have common complaints such as a fever, impatience, and sometimes facial swelling with tooth abscesses. This type of oral disease is entirely preventable, and there are many options for the pet care provider.

It is well documented in people and animals that chronic dental infections can led to widespread bacterial infection throughout the body (i.e., kidney, liver, and heart), which lead to shorter life expectancies.

Many veterinary clinics offer free dental evaluations with written estimates for procedures that range from instructing the owner how to brush and hand scale their pet’s teeth to dental cleanings which are performed under anesthesia.

Disclaimer: This section is provided for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for regular veterinary care though a licensed veterinarian, including regular office visits.

When it Comes to Dog Grooming,
Training is Paramount
By Maggie - GoodDogCare.com

Whether your pet has a short, sleek coat or long, thick fur, grooming will be a part of your normal dog care routine. Since this is a ritual that you will be performing every day or week, dog grooming training will make the process more comfortable and enjoyable for both you and your furry friend. There are a number of steps to keeping your dog looking and feeling his best, from teeth brushing, to toenail clipping, to regular baths and brushings. All of these tasks will go much more smoothly if you and your pet have completed a few dog grooming training sessions together. The main tools that you will require (besides a few basic grooming tools), are patience and rewards, and plenty of them. Are you ready to get your pet looking his best? Read on to find out how to make grooming sessions a positive part of your pet care routine.

--Take it Slow

--Dog grooming training will incorporate activities like brushing your pet’s teeth, keeping his nails clipped, and maintaining his shiny, healthy coat. All of these activities will require that you touch your pet in areas that might be sensitive or guarded, making it extremely important for you to take the process slow and pepper it with many rewards. Begin with brushing his teeth, since healthy teeth and gums will lead to the better overall health of your dog. Since many dogs are not comfortable with their owners handling their muzzles, begin with some gentle strokes to the nose that will eventually lead to pulling up the lip and getting the toothbrush where it needs to go. Praise your pet every step of the way and reward him with kind words and an occasional treat as often as necessary. Before you know it, your dog will allow you to brush all of his teeth on a regular basis.

--The same process can be used when clipping your dog’s nails. Begin by touching his paws, and lightly pressing to expose the nails. With a bit of time and encouragement, your dog will sit calmly as you clip his nails, and you will be able to accomplish this task quickly and frequently. Brushing your dog’s coat may not be as traumatic for your pet as clipping and teeth brushing tend to be – until you begin to touch sensitive areas like his back end or tail. Wait until the end of your session to begin your dog grooming training in this area. Start by petting the area, praising your dog when he allows you to do so. As your pet gets used to you handling his tail and back side, he will eventually relax as you work a brush through the area. This will keep this very important part of your pet clean and free of mattes.

--Dog grooming training takes some time and patience to complete, but it is not difficult and the rewards are far reaching. When your pet allows you to complete the cleaning process, you will both find these sessions to be pleasant and easy.

Roland Parris Jefferson III is a independent writer operating out of Santa Monica, California. You’ll always find current and informative Dog Training advice at my Hunting Dog Training Weblog.

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Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened

If I Didn't Have a Dog...Or Cat

I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety.
My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.

All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture & cars would be free of hair.
When the doorbell rings, it wouldn't sound like a kennel.

When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without
wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there.

I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I wanted,
without taking into consideration how much space
Several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.

I would have money, & no guilt to go on a real vacation.

I would not be on a first-name basis with numerous veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grandkids through college.

The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay, & leave him/her/it ALONE.

My house would not be cordoned off into zones with
baby gates or barriers..

My house would not look like a day care center,
with toys everywhere..

My pockets would not contain things like poop bags,
treats and an extra leash.

I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L,,
F-R-I-S-B-E-E, W-A-L-K,, T-R-E-A-T,, R-I-D-E,, GO

I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside.

I would not look strangely at people who think having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.

I'd look forward to spring and the rainy season instead of dreading 'mud' season.

I would not have to answer the question 'Why do you have so many animals?' from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally by someone as close to an angel as they will ever get.

How EMPTY my life would be!!!

Joan Y. Nied

Fallbrook, CA

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Types of Bird Cages

The first thing that you need to consider while purchasing a pet bird is a place for the bird to stay. Ideally you should keep the bird in the cage itself. For keeping the bird as a pet you should have a bird cage. There are so many bird cages available in the market of different size and shapes and you have to select the cage for bird according to your need. While buying the cage for bird one should consider certain aspects of bird caging. The caging requirements of birds vary from one species to another.

The certain aspects that one should consider while buying pet bird cages are:

•Length of cage: The cage should have good length as all birds prefer to stay in large cages. It is significant for one to provide spacious and tall cage to birds as birds like to fly from one side of the cage to the other.

•Cages are available in different types of materials but one of the best materials with which one can go with is stainless steel. One can also have powder coated metals cage. One should prefer cages that are made up of metals than cages made up of plastics as the cages that are made up of metal are easier to clean compared to the cages that are made up of plastic.

•One should also consider the spacing of the bars while purchasing bird cages. The large sized birds prefer cages that are huge in size and that have wide gaped bars. Whereas small size birds require large sized cages as well because of their behavioral nature of flying from one end of the cage to the other. However, the bar spacing for small birds should be very small.

•The cage you choose for your bird should have wide doors and easy sliding trays at the bottom.

Types of bird cages:

1. Breeding Cages: This type of bird cage is actually designed for two birds that are attached to one another but partitioned by a thin panel. One should remove the panel during the breeding period in order to facilitate mating process in birds.

2. Dome top Cages: This type of bird cage allows the birds to fly freely. This is the most spacious bird cage.

3. Parrot Perches: This type of bird cages are usually for large sized birds. Parrot perches can be made from different materials like - wood, rope, concrete etc.

4. Flight Bird Cages: This type of bird cage provides enough space to birds to exercise freely this will allow the bird to enjoy a full flight. The type of cage is ideal for community bird breeds.

These are the common types of bird cage. Many other types of bird cages are - the single bird cages, the play top bird cages and travel bird cages. One should consider the size of cage before purchasing it so that bird can fit in comfortably. It is significant for one to clean the bird cage regularly.

Put Up Bird Feeders
Now Before It Gets Cold
By Kym Pokorny, The Oregonian

Downy woodpeckers are my current favorite birds.

Last fall I was loving life. Downy woodpeckers, flickers and grosbeaks were hanging out on my back porch. Well, at the feeders, to be exact. It was the first year I'd seen the "big" birds show up. I know it takes a while for birds to find a hospitable yard, but 18 years is a little ridiculous. Still, better late than never.

These tree-clingers really loved the suet. I was putting up two new cakes every three days or so.

This year, they're gone again. I'm bummed. I even put out some fruit. I'd never done that before. Alas, it hasn't worked yet. I still have hope, though. It's only October, right?

For those of you who haven't yet discovered the joy of backyard bird watching, I'm passing along a blog from Valerie Gleason of Green Earth Media Group.

Here we go.

"The backyard can seem barren and bleak when the leaves fall off the trees and the last blooming plant retires until spring. But by charming songbirds, you can brighten your backyard and fill it with color and song this winter.

The most effective bird feeder is the tube design.

Birds are the most accessible and abundant of wild creatures that live among us, and every home – apartment to estate – can offer them a safe way station to refuel. To attract the greatest number of birds, choose feeders and foods that suit a variety of wild bird species.

"Don’t wait until the snow flies to get feeders in place. Fall is a good time to choose a location visible from your favorite window, to secure feeders with sturdy brackets, poles or hangers and to arrange convenient storage for your seed and supplies.

"Feeders come in many sizes and styles, and fall into a few broad categories. The three feeders every backyard bird lover should have include a tube feeder to hold sunflower or nut meats, a hopper feeder for mixed seed and a suet holder to attract woodpeckers and other tree-trunk clingers.

"Tube feeders can be made of clear plastic or wire mesh. They’re sized to hold peanut kernels, sunflower or nyger seed for finches. Experts recommend filling tubes with just one type of seed so birds don’t rummage through the contents in search of their favorite treats.

"Suet is a high-energy fuel that helps birds survive cold winters. Suet feeders attract the larger red-bellied and red-headed woodpeckers, as well as the smaller and more common downy woodpeckers and nuthatches. Pre-formed suet cakes sized to fit feeders can include seeds, fruit or nuts for extra energy and appeal. Position feeders near the protective cover of trees and shrubs to offer feathered friends shelter from predators. A small metal trash can with a tight lid is handy for storing seed nearby and a scoop makes refills quick and easy.

"Once feeders are up, the wait for the first bird can make even patient people antsy. Experts suggest sprinkling some seed in a shiny pie plate set under feeders. When curious birds come to investigate, they’ll find your feeders, too."

Songbird Essentials' Seed Hoop keeps food from dropping to the ground, where it can rot, sprout, attract rodents and all around make a mess.

Some feeders and accessories to help out:

Songbird Essentials' Seed Hoop keeps feeding areas tidy. The mesh tray attaches below feeders and catches spilled seeds, keeping them off the ground and away from rodents. The hoop also serves as a platform feeder for cardinals, buntings and juncos.

A Clingers Only feeder serves smaller avian guests such as chickadees, small woodpeckers, titmouse, nuthatches, goldfinches and others.

You can find tips on attracting birds, as well as photos and details about Songbird Essentials' bird feeders and other products at the Web site. To purchase, visit Audubon Society of Portland, 5151 N.W. Cornell Road.

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Wisconsin Man Says Pet Boxer
Recovering from Bear Attack
Associated Press - TwinCities.com

A Racine-area man says the prognosis is good for his 6-year-old dog, nine days after it was nearly killed in a bear attack.

Tim Peltz of Mount Pleasant says Roxie lost a lot of blood in the Oct. 17 attack, but the boxer's recovery has been promising.

Peltz had just let Roxie out near Crivitz when the dog darted into the forest. As two bear cubs scrambled up into trees, Roxie collided with the mother bear.

The bear locked its jaws onto the dog and swung it around. Peltz ran into the house for a gun, and when he came back the bears were gone.

He found Roxie in a pool of blood. Veterinarians told him they didn't think the dog would survive.

But Roxie is bucking the odds. Her chest is covered in stitches and staples but Peltz says she's regaining her strength.

Tips To Better Dog Health

Your dog gives you affection and loyalty, and is your mate for life. Maintaining its health is your responsibility. There are a few things you need to do to make sure your canine is healthy, happy and disease free. Making a health upkeep schedule and following it will hardly take anytime, but will go a long way.

Follow these steps to provide your pet dog proper health care:

Proper Diet

Good food leads to good health. A well balanced diet is essential for dogs. Feed your canine good quality dog food available at all grocery and pet stores. It is packed with essential nutrients they need. Do not supplement their diet by giving them food you eat because it can cause diarrhea. Also, avoid saving money by buying cheap quality dog food. Never compromise the health of your canine.

Choose stainless steel bowls over plastic ones, although they are more colorful. Your dog may chew them if he is prone to ripping things into pieces and end up at the clinic. Steel bowls are easier to clean and maintain, and are dog proof.
Feed your dog two small meals a day, once in the morning and then in the evening. This will give him energy to run around and exercise after eating, instead of napping right afterwards.


Exercise is an essential but usually overlooked part of dog health. Without proper exercise, your dog will become sedentary and gain weight, which could pose a threat to its life. It is vital you follow an exercise regimen, whether it is taking your dog for a walk around the neighborhood or playing catch, fetch or frisbee in the park. Exercising your dog is good for his heart, lungs, and muscles and keeps him happy.

Teeth Care

Brush your dog's teeth at least once a week to remove the build up of tartar that cause bad breath, swollen gums and may lead to secondary infections. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste that are especially designed for canines and contain the necessary enzymes.

Ear care

Cleaning your dogs ears regularly will avoid inflammation and infection. To do this, dip some cotton in hydrogen peroxide, squeeze the excess out and wipe around the crevices inside and outside the dogs ears. Use a fresh piece for the other ear.

Tick and Flea Prevention

Flea and tick problems are common in dogs, and can be easily avoided or prevented to maintain optimal health. There are various products available in stores or pet shops that guarantee results. Follow label instructions for application and administration to rid you pet from this parasite.


From your dog's first vaccination to boosters and other appointments for injections, keep yourself and your pet up to date to prevent infectious diseases.

Prevent heartworm by testing your canine at least once a year and administer appropriate medication by following label directions.

Tapeworms, roundworms and other intestinal parasites are often diagnosed in dogs and can pose a threat to your family as well. Send a sample of your canine feces to your veterinarian and follow up by giving preventive measure they prescribe.


Use any dog shampoo when bathing your dog to remove grease, dirt and grime but not essential oils. Avoid using your shampoo since your canine's skin is very delicate and can get irritated easily.

Ideally you should bathe your dog only when the coat gets soiled, but if you keep your dog indoors most of the time, and especially on your bed, or your dog has a long coat, you will need to bathe it at least once a week. Groom the coat after it has dried to prevent tangles and air the skin. Use a soft brush in the direction of the hair, and do not forget the stomach, ears and tail.

About the Author

My biggest interest is Hund (my dog). I am also very interested in how to make money online.

Article source: keyknowhow.com/home-and-family/pets/tips-to-better-dog-health.html

Pet Cemetery Offers Final Resting
Place for Beloved Animals
Chicago Tribune

Hinsdale Animal Cemetery lets humans memorialize their furry (and scaly) companions

About once a month, Carl and Ann Christoff visit the cemetery where Mindy and Buttons are buried.

As Carl clips and sweeps grass around their graves, his wife uses vinegar to wash bird droppings off the marble headstones. Before they go, they leave decorations: flowers, an angel statue or a small Christmas tree.

This is no ordinary burial ground. Mindy and Buttons, two Shih Tzus who died in 1990 and 2005, are among more than 15,000 pets -- including dogs, cats, deer, lizards, turtles, rodents, monkeys and a 3-foot shark -- buried in Hinsdale Animal Cemetery in Willowbrook, one of the nation's oldest.

To the Christoffs, of Oak Brook, these were no ordinary pets.

"At one time, every one of the animals meant so much and brought so much joy into one's life," Ann Christoff said.

Just how much they meant to their owners is evident from the epitaphs. "Our Dear Pet," "Gentle Giant" and "Loyal Friend" are common headstone inscriptions. A mausoleum adorned with a dog sculpture reads: "He gave up his life that a human might live. Greater love hath no man."

"You walk through and read the inscriptions on the headstones and some will make you laugh, some will make you cry and some will make you think," said Bill Remkus, whose family has owned the cemetery for four generations. "You can almost understand the story."

Michael Schaffer, author of the book "One Nation Under Dog," said he has noticed the messages on pet epitaphs have evolved over time, reflecting how many people have promoted their pets to "full-fledged members of the family."

"If you visit old pet cemeteries, the oldest headstones might say 'Here lies Fido, a loyal servant,' or 'Here lies Fido, man's best friend,'" said Schaffer. "Nowadays it's 'My little girl,' or 'Mommy and Daddy miss you.' People have developed a conception of their pets as children. That is quite a dramatic development."

Remkus said he did not think the feelings people have for their pets have changed, but instead, modern society has become more accepting of people who love their pets and consider them family.

"Years ago, if you buried your pet in a pet cemetery it would be seen as eccentric," he said. "That's not how it's seen today. Now it is just another way to memorialize."

Hinsdale is not a celebrity pet cemetery, although guide dogs for blind author Bernice Clifton of Oak Park, who died in 1985, are buried here. Rather, the cemetery that began in 1926 is a memorial to many pets who faithfully serve their owners.

The cemetery offers a variety of funeral packages. For about $50, pet owners can purchase a "memorial cremation" -- in which a pet's ashes are mixed with those of other pets and scattered across the cemetery grounds. For about $2,000, they can buy an oak casket with a vault and marble headstone.

Despite the recession, business at Hinsdale Animal Cemetery has remained steady, although Remkus' son, Jonathan, has noticed more "memorial cremations," which he said are "a more economical way for a pet to still be taken care of in a reverent manner."

Still, when it comes to finding a proper burial for man's best friend, money is usually not a factor.

"People who are going to take care of their pets are going to do so, whether or not they are employed or unemployed," Jonathan Remkus said.

Or if they just spent more than $7,000 on medical bills trying to save their pet's life, as Ernie Yamich did this summer. Despite the high costs of sending Bogart, his 11-year-old German shepherd, to the emergency room, Yamich said he did not think twice about spending $2,100 on funeral arrangements for "my first born."

"He was our baby," said Yamich, 30, a heavy equipment operator in Chicago. "You wouldn't do any less to a human, even in a recession."

While some owners are content to simply bury their pets at the cemetery, others go further. Several people have been buried with their pets at Hinsdale Animal Cemetery. And a few people who did not have pets buried there simply chose the cemetery as their final resting place "because they felt it was a happy place," Jonathan Remkus said.

Carol Szabo of Naperville spent $160 for a private cremation to ensure the ashes she received belonged to Teddy, her uncle's beloved Shih-Tzu. Her family planned to mix Teddy's remains with those of her uncle, Raymond Beranek, who died recently, then bury them at St. Casimir Catholic Cemetery in Chicago.

"I'm trying to do right by my uncle and do right by the dog," she said.

Sometimes, it is easier to do so for the dog, like when it comes to cemetery maintenance, some owners say. When Joyce Koziel of Frankfort visited her grandparents' graves this summer in Alsip, her brother had to use a weed whacker to uncover their gravestones, she said.

On the other hand, the graves of her Labrador and a Labrador/terrier mix, Sweetness and Brandon, are in immaculate shape at Hinsdale Animal Cemetery, she said.

"What gets me a little angry is the pet cemetery is in better shape than where my family is buried," she said.

While the owners of Hinsdale Animal Cemetery can be credited for this, the pristine condition of many headstones also may be due to regular visits from people like the Christoffs, who view washing the headstones of Buttons and Mindy as a way of giving thanks.

"This is the reward they get from their owners for being great companions," Ann Christoff said.
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Halloween Costumes for Your Dog Part 4 PLUS Black Cats: Are You Superstitious?

Heloise: Checklist of Hints
for ‘Preferred Pet’ Shipping
By Heloise - King Features Syndicate

Dear Readers: Are you relocating and need to get Fido, Fluffy or Tweetie Pie to where you are going and don’t want to drive? Did you know that many airlines these days have “preferred pet” shipping, where you can ship your dogs, cats and birds in climate-controlled and pressurized comfort?

Here is a checklist of hints to help you get ready to ship an animal:

--Call (or check the Web site of) individual airlines to find out what their restrictions are.

--Make your reservations by phone as far in advance as possible.

--Arrive at least two hours early to be sure all is in order.

--Some pets (dogs, cats and household birds) can be carried on board in the cabin with you. Each airline has special requirements and fees, so call to check. There also are a limited number of animals allowed on each flight, so make your reservations as early as possible.

--Remember that in hot climates, certain breeds of short-nosed dogs and cats cannot fly in the heat of the summer or to some destinations.

--Purchase only an airline-approved pet carrier.

--Attempt to get a nonstop flight, and earlier in the day is best.

--Freeze little clip-on dishes of water the night before the flight so they will thaw slowly.

--Do NOT put towels, blankets, toys or pet food inside the crate unless approved by the airline. Don’t muzzle, leash or put a choke collar on your crated pet.

--Always write your contact info and the pet’s name on the outside of the crate with a black marker.

There may be other additional charges. Some examples are kennel storage fees, terminal handling charges and veterinarian care.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, PO BOX 795000, San Antonio TX 78279-5000; fax: (210) HELOISE; e-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com; Web site: www.heloise.com

Remember to Keep Your Pet Safe
and Comfortable During Halloween
GARY KEAN - The Western Star

While being spooked out is expected and accepted as a fun part of Halloween for humans, the occasion can cause real fear and unpredictable behaviour in some pets.

Making Halloween enjoyable for your pet shouldn’t be too tricky, according to LeeAnn O’Reilly of Corner Brook.

The president of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada said poorly socialized dogs, for instance, can feel threatened and exhibit aggression when they have to unexpectedly contend with the steady flow of wildly dressed and excited kids which epitomizes the Halloween experience.

“Think about it — dark clothes, clothes which add bulk to the human and a huge bag swung on the shoulder can all be intimidating,” said O’Reilly. “For territorial aggression issues, the entrance of people or other animals not known by the dog can be a threat. It’s the same premise with kids dressed as scary monsters or dainty fairies — they are, to a dog, bizarre and unknown. The bag of treats is much like the mail carrier’s bag — only this time, the bag is thrust towards the owner, generally in the dark.”

Dogs which have been properly trained and socialized with children are more apt to be desensitized to the heightened activity on Halloween night, but O’Reilly said even the most sociable of dogs can become overwhelmed by the onslaught of “intruders.”

Aggression isn’t the only issue to beware of. Overwhelmed dogs may also experience physical ailments like bloat if they are fed too early before or too soon after a busy trick-or-treating period.

“Gastric torsion, or bloat, is a life-threatening condition where the stomach actually flips over onto itself and stops all blood flow into the gut,” explained O’Reilly. “Many factors can lead to bloat— stress, heavy exercise, fear can all be contributing factors. The general rule of thumb is no food for at least an hour after heavy exercise or stressful events or two hours before.”

Another way to avoid stress is to exercise the dog during daylight hours, so it doesn’t have to be concerned with the legions of ghosts and goblins gallivanting around in the dark.

Some people go the extra step and actually dress up their pets in costume. Besides supervising costumed animals at all times to ensure they are comfortable, O’Reilly said there are other things to consider beforehand. She urged owners to watch out for materials which might be toxic if ingested, or which could be choked on or cause bowel blockages.

“Many costumes have ties which, if caught in fences or accidentally twisted, can injure a dog quite easily,” said O’Reilly. “You should look for Velcro closures on costumes and avoid ties of any sort.

“Also, the cute wings we attach or the devil horns all can be frightening to the dog that has not come to know them as their own body parts and can cause the dog to be frightened or uncertain.”

Halloween tips:

— Avoid costumes made for humans. Pet-specific costumes are readily available and generally provide safer alternatives which are just as fun.

— Practice putting the costume on to observe the pet’s comfort level and the durability of the costume.

— Supervise your pet at all times when a costume is on.

— Now is not the time for introducing your dog to kids. Kindly discourage any meet and greets.

— Avoid off leash romping since small children can behave unexpectedly in their pursuit of goodies.

— Make sure your dog is safely contained away from open doors or windows. After all, food is being handed out to small children your dog may not know and a quick escape is always possible.

— Make sure your goody bowl isn't easily accessed by your pet. Many treats pose a threat to choking or are toxic when ingested.

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Watch Out for Fido
By Lauren Wicks Suffolk News-Herald

As the season changes, there are the obvious things that need to be taken care of.

Home improvements, thermostat adjustments and other home needs are immediately handled when the weather starts turning cooler.

But there are others in the home that need to have special attention during this time of year as well.

“People need to be aware of the need of your pets, particularly in the winter and very cold and wet periods of time,” said Kay Hurley, director of community outreach for the Suffolk Humane Society. “Nothing would make us happier than for people to treat their pets like members of the family, but we want people to be aware that those pets are completely dependent on them.”

Hurley said there are basic necessities people should remember in colder temperatures, such as remembering to leave adequate food and water as well as shelter, preferably with bedding, for their animals. But, she added, these things alone are not enough for most family pets.

“We unfortunately have a lot of people who keep their pets on chains,” Hurley said. “That’s a pretty miserable existence for them, but in the winter it’s particularly dangerous.”

The Humane Society of the United States has posted a series of tips for pet owners to keep in mind as they prepare for the winter months.

According to the Web site, wind chill can threaten a pet’s life, no matter what the temperature. Even if pets are considered to be “outdoor” pets, they should still be protected by having a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the animal to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his body heat. It is also recommended that the floor of the shelter be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. Additionally, the house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Aside from protection from the outdoors, the Humane Society also warned of storing antifreeze away from where pets can reach it, wiping salt and ice-melting chemicals from animals’ paws and keeping food and water plentiful.

Hurley said it is easy to forget to provide for the animals of the home in a tough economy like the country is currently facing, but these small measures are of the utmost importance.

“You need to remember to look out for your best friends,” Hurley said.

For a complete list of tips from the Humane Society of the United States, visit http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/protect_your_pet_from_winters_woes.html.

Keeping Pets Happy While You’re Away
BY: Lolita Carrico - MyGloss.com

How can we keep our pets happy and entertained while we’re away at the office or school during the day? We spoke with Dr. Debra Horwitz, a veterinarian and board certified animal behavior specialist, about some tips to not only keep pets active and satisfied while we’re away but also about how to make our time with our pets count.

GLOSS: Do you have any tips for keeping pets happy while owners are away for the day at work or school?

For dogs, it is imperative that they have ample time to eliminate and exercise before their owners leave for the day. For cats, they need a clean litter box and a refreshed food bowl. After that, diversity is important, so while it may seem best to leave all the toys out, it really is best to rotate them every few days. The appearance of another toy will be new and novel and stimulate more exploration. For dogs, creating food puzzles that require them to work for their food fits in with their natural ability as scavengers. Cats as well will enjoy playing “hunter” as they try to find the various food dispensing toys and then the challenge of getting the food out.

Make sure to create a safe environment for the pet while you are gone. This might mean keeping windows and blinds closed so that dogs are not bothered by outside noises and engage in excessive territorial displays. It is also important that dogs and cats are safely indoors while their owners are gone. Be sure to always check toys for loose parts before giving them back to your pet and discard torn or non functioning toys and replace them with new ones.

GLOSS: How can a busy pet owner best make “quality” time with their pet?

The first step is to realize that the pet and their owner may want different things from their time together. The pet owner may want cuddle time, petting and to just feel loved by their pet. Many dogs and cats will want that too, but some of our companions also want to use their innate abilities to do “dog and cat” stuff. For dogs, that might mean sniffing new smells, playing with toys, learning fresh tricks, going for a walk or playing fetch. Toys that challenge their skills and mind create the type of quality time that most dogs will find quite satisfying. For a cat, that might mean running, jumping, chasing or pouncing. Most cats are eager to exercise the hunter inside by chasing after a toy, working to get their food or climbing to a high perch. Any way that an owner can stimulate the feline and canine abilities will turn time spent with their pet into quality time.

GLOSS: As a consultant for the development of the Purina Pet Gear line, can you tell us why are accessories like these are important for pets?

Our pets live longer and healthier lives with the current advances in veterinary care and nutrition, coupled with the ability to live indoors and be protected from the world outside. However, they still are dogs and cats and have the need to utilize their strengths to do what they enjoy. Purina Pet Gear accessories are designed to appeal to what the pet likes to do. They help pet owners provide the type of entertainment, activities and stimulation that will be satisfying for their pets. By creating pet friendly and people friendly toys, it takes the guess work out of how to keep your canine and feline family members happy, healthy and satisfied. Not only will they be mentally healthier, the increase in exercise will help fight obesity that has become a health problem for so many of our family pets.

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Halloween Costumes for Your Dog
- Part 4 of 4
Thanks to Kathy from BHC, AZ

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PAW PRINTS: Deciding If Pet
Insurance is Right for You
and Your Pet
By Niki Laviolette - Terre Haute Humane Society

TERRE HAUTE — Few people understand all the facets of insurance. Policies are often confusing when determining which type, rate, or if we even need it at all.

Pet health insurance usually requires you to pay your veterinarian, you file a claim, and then you are reimbursed a portion or all of the fees, with most insurance companies requiring a deductible. Insurance is used to minimize financial loss should your pet need veterinary care.

The purpose of pet insurance is to ensure that you will be able to get the veterinary care your pet needs should a medical emergency occur.

Oftentimes, owners are forced to euthanize their pets due to unaffordable expenses. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Americans will spend approximately $9.4 billion this year on the health of their pets.

Deciding if pet insurance is for you, generally, depends on your financial situation.

If your pet unexpectedly needed emergency veterinary care that would cost $1,000, $2,000, or more, would you be able to afford it?

If so, then you probably don’t need pet insurance.

If not, and euthanasia would be the necessary decision, then you might want to consider pet insurance.

Pet insurance can offer the comfort of knowing that you can care for your pet without compromising veterinary care.

Pet insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions so it will be necessary to purchase a policy before your pet becomes ill.

Keep in mind that premiums will increase as your pet gets older and most policies have spending limits. It’s important to do your research when deciding on which policy to buy as not all pet health insurance companies offer the same value.

Make sure the policy covers your veterinarian; sometimes you will need to choose from a network of veterinarians.

Like people insurance, pet insurance is offered with different types of policies. Various policies pay only for accidents or medical problems; others will pay for preventative care such as vaccinations, spays/neuters and worming. The type of coverage will affect the premium paid.

A number of policies will have a maximum they will pay out each year or per event.

The policies that are available include accident only, accident and illness, wellness care, and senior pets. Typically, cat health insurance is cheaper than dog health insurance.

Reasons include: cats usually live indoors and are generally healthier.

They also have a tendency to not get into trouble such as eating foreign objects or chasing after cars.

Approximately 2 to 3 percent of pets in the U.S. have health insurance. Pet insurance is popular in other countries, as more than half of all the pets in the U.K. have pet insurance.

More than 1,500 U.S. companies offer pet health insurance as a benefit. Pet

insurancereview.com is a site that offers feature comparisons between companies, ratings of various insurance companies, and policy quotes from multiple insurers.

Are You Superstitious About Black Cats?
SF Gate

Let me begin this Halloween-inspired post by stating the obvious: a cat, no matter what its color, cannot influence fortune. But, of course... this hasn't stopped people from believing in the "special powers" of black cats for centuries.

In many countries, having a black cat cross your path is considered lucky.
Whether you believe that these inky felines are good luck or bad could largely depend on where you grew up: If you hail from the United States or most European countries, walking in a black cat's wake might make you quake in your boots. But if you come from the United Kingdom or Japan, seeing a black cats cross your path will likely make you grin because your luck is about to change for the better.

The direction the cat in question is traveling also counts for a lot. Leave it to the Germans to have the most precise rule about black cats: if they cross your path from right to left it's considered a bad omen. But if they saunter left to right, the cat is granting favorable times for you. In most parts of the world, a black cat walking towards you is considered a sign that good luck is coming your way, but if they turn around before they reach you, all bets are off.

In Italy, many hold the superstition that if a black cat lies on a sick persons bed, death is not far off. In China, some believe black cats are harbingers of famine and poverty. But when Latvian farmers discover coal-colored kitties in their grain silos they dance with joy. They believe these black beauties embody the spirit of Rungis, a god of harvests. And in Scotland, finding back kittens near your home is a sure sign of riches and happiness to come.

The ancient Egyptians revered black cats and treated them as royalty. In fact, killing a black cat was considered a capital offense. These favored felines were mummified upon their death to preserve them for the afterlife.

Chasing black cats out of your house is thought by some to ensure that yours will not be a lucky home. It is also believed that stroking the fur of black felines will bring health and wealth. Many people around the world claim that there is a single white hair to be found on even the blackest of cats. And if you can pull out that hair without getting a scratch, you'll have a long, happy and prosperous marriage.

So, how did black cats become associated with witchcraft? In the 15th century, witch hunts spread like wildfire across Europe in a horribly misguided effort to put the kibosh on pagan religions. Many people believed that all witches kept "familiars" — small creatures including frogs, birds, snakes and very often cats — to help them cast evil spells. And if that cat was black — a color associated with magic and sorcery — look out. It became "proof" that the unfortunate victim was a witch or warlock and was a sure ticket to a date with some rope and a few stakes.

Puritan Christians believed that witches had the power to transmute themselves into black cats to avoid death, which inspired many stories and legends. While being sentenced to death, a German witch is said to have cackled at the judge, spat threats at the priest and cursed her executioner. As the story goes, she was dragged from the court and tied to a stake for burning. As the flames rose around her there was a flash of light and a black cat leaped from the flames and ran through the astonished crowd.

King Charles I of England is reported to have kept what he believed to be a lucky black cat as a pet. He was so fearful of losing it that he had it guarded day and night. The cat reportedly died the day before Oliver Cromwell's parliamentary troops came and arrested the king for high treason. Not long after, the king was beheaded. Alas, his luck had truly run out.

Regardless of what superstitions continue to circulate about cats — of the black or other varieties — it's safe to say that most people feel very lucky to have them in their lives.

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Halloween Costumes for Your Dog Part 3

Dogs Edge Out Cats,
Meow, for Best Pet
By Mary Altaffer - USA Today

Dog and cat aficionados gathering in New York City this week helped kick off the celebration in the financial district Wednesday.

Meet the Breeds is Saturday and Sunday at the Javits Center in NYC. It is the world's largest showcase of cats and dogs. The event offers cat and dog lovers the opportunity to meet nearly 200 breeds and interact with dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.

Meet the Breeds chairperson Gina DiNardo rang the NASDAQ opening bell on behalf of leading toymaker and NASDAQ Member Company, JAKKS Pacific. JAKKS is a sponsor of the upcoming Meet the Breeds event being staged by the American Kennel Club and Cat Fanciers' Association.

In the lead up to the weekend's festivities, the organizers held a contest for eight weeks to determine who is the most beloved pet of all -- dogs or cats. Dogs got the top spot.
More than 9,000 pet lovers cast their ballot over the eight-week debate. While cat owners outnumber dogs by nearly 13 million among the pet-owning public, dogs fetched 65% of the vote while cats caught 35% of the poll.

Dogs led the pack by the widest margin in Chicago (69%), Seattle (69%) and Detroit (69%) while cat-lovers' got their biggest support in Baltimore (45%), Philadelphia (41%) and Houston (41%).

Hints From Heloise
Washington Post

Guinea-Pig Guidance

Dear Readers: A new movie was recently released featuring animated GUINEA PIGS. This probably will result in families looking to add a guinea pig to their household. You should do your research before you bring one home! Guinea pigs can live five to seven years and require regular veterinary care, just like other house pets. Here are some things you should keep in mind before you buy one:

- They are nocturnal creatures (noisy at night, chewing and chirping, which may keep you or your kids awake).

- They don't have flexible backs (so they should never be put in those "hamster balls" seen in the movies).

-They cannot jump, so they must be protected from falling off beds and couches.

- They are susceptible to mites and lice.

- They need to be spayed or neutered, like dogs and cats.

- They must be housed in a large cage that should be cleaned often.

- They prefer to be kept in pairs (but unneutered males will fight).

- They need to be fed raw fruits and veggies to supplement their dry food.

- They need bedding that they can burrow in, such as newspaper or pine chips.

Rescue groups get hundreds of piggies turned in each year from people who weren't aware of the commitment required to care for a large rodent. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Judy Dirks of Hutchinson, Kan., sent a photo of her brown-and-white cat, Corky, sitting in the sink with his two front paws out on the counter. Judy says: "Corky is my shadow and pal. He is always checking on me when I get up in the morning and go into the bathroom -- he sits in the sink while keeping watch. He's 10 pounds of huggable, loving companionship!" To see Corky in the sink, visit www.Heloise.com. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: We have two dogs, a border collie and an Australian shepherd. They are wonderful and full of energy. Their favorite toy is the cardboard center from toilet paper or paper towels. We toss it in the air, and they play catch and tug of war until it shreds. I bought them $6 dog toys, and they only like the cardboard ones. Good for the environment, the pooches and the pocketbook. -- Janice S., via e-mail


Dear Heloise: I have yet another litter-box idea, which my neighbor introduced to me. Take a hard-plastic storage box (like the ones used to store holiday decorations) and cut a "U''-shaped opening in the side. The sides are high enough to keep the litter in, and my cat loves the extra space. I use a translucent box; another neighbor got one to match her room. The "inventor" neighbor -- with multiple cats -- cut openings in each end to allow one cat to exit while another enters. In all cases, the cats love it, and the mess is greatly reduced. -- Jane V., Jacksonville, Fla.

Ask The Vet Archive:
Nervous Cat?
Pheromone Sprays Can Work
Melanie Ellis - SF Gate

Q: Do plug-in and spray pheromone products for cats, such as Comfort Zone, really work? Exactly how do they work, and can they have an adverse effect?

A: When a cat is happy or feeling affectionate, you may see her rub her face on furniture, another cat or even you. This is a marking behavior, and the effect of these scents is thought to be positive and soothing. Synthetic feline pheromones, such as Feliway and Comfort Zone with Feliway, are designed to mimic these natural scents. They are available as sprays and plug-in diffusers.

Pheromone therapy is most often suggested for use with urinary marking, and it can be helpful, but only if your cat's marking problem is associated with anxiety. (Any urinary issue needs to be brought to your veterinarian's attention first, to rule out possibly serious medical problems.) These products may also be recommended in cases of general anxiety. Some vets use Feliway spray on lab coats, their hands or around an exam room if a cat seems especially stressed during a visit. For home use, these products seem to be most helpful in association with environmental changes (closing blinds to block views of outdoor cats, for example), behavior modification (working through aversions) or even prescription medications.

Adverse effects are rare - some cats will dislike the alcohol in the spray, so it might help to wait 10 minutes or so after spraying before introducing the cat to the room. Some people with respiratory diseases find they are sensitive to both the diffusers and the spray. And, of course, take care if spraying around delicate upholstery or fabrics. Synthetic pheromones can make a difference for an anxious cat, but you won't know until you try.

Melanie Ellis, DVM, Civic Feline Clinic, Walnut Creek.

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Do You Jog with Your Dog?
You Should
By Mary Brophy Marcus, USA TODAY

There's no better company on a jog than your dog. Dogs are always game for a frolic in the great outdoors and aren't likely to complain about their bad back or sore tendons. There are other perks, too. If yours is a big dog, he can serve as body guard. If you're lost (and he's smart), he can help you find your way home. If you become hurt (and he's really smart), he can go for help.

Jog and dog rhyme, too, which is nice.

Humor aside, keep in mind a few safety tips from Runtheplanet.com to keep your pooch fit as a fiddle for workouts on the road with you:

--Your dog needs to get into shape, too. Don't drag him out for 5 miles on your first run together. Build up distance slowly as you'd do for yourself.

--If you also run with your tot in a baby jogger, don't tie your pup to the stroller or the baby could get toppled if the dog darts off suddenly after a squirrel. Keep the leash gently looped in your hand.

--Dirt and grass are cooler than asphalt for treading paws in summer

--Take along extra water or jog near dog-drinkable water during long forays.

--If you jog at night, put illuminated strips or color on your dog. Don't forget to wear reflective clothes, too.

Breeds suited to jogging include Airedale Terrier, Alaskan Malamute, Australian Shepherd, Basenji, Bearded Collie, Border Collie, Boxer, Dalmatian, Doberman Pinscher, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Samoyed, Siberian Husky and others.

Ask Dog Lady:
New Dog Offers New
Possibilities and Responsibilities

Cambridge - Dear Dog Lady,

My divorce attorney has a small shaggy Lilliput, a dog that first reminded me of a mop head scooting along the floor. I can’t remember what kind of dog it is. In the beginning of seeing the lawyer, I resented this animal being allowed to sit in on meetings. I thought it was very unprofessional. Now I couldn’t bear to be without Lilliput somewhere in the room (sometimes on my lap) while I go over the grim details of my broken marriage and what kind of financial settlement I want. I am also thinking of getting a dog as I move in to a new place and begin my single life after 33 years of dogless marriage. The kids are all grown. Can you recommend a kind of dog that would be a good match for a newly single 58-year-old woman?


Colleen, consider the old expression that acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative. Fie on Dog Lady to exert her opinion about what could be the most important choice in your post-divorce life. Only you can answer the questions and make the choice about your new roommate. Small or large? Purebred or mutt? Older dog or puppy? Shaggy or short hair? Shelter or rescue? You have many decisions to make before you settle down with your new four-legged roomie.

Just know this: It will be a lot of work. There is no such thing as a dog that doesn’t want to be walked. Some dogs need more exercise than others; all require you to get off the couch and put one foot in front of the other every day. In your current condition, that requirement is a boon because walking the dog will carry you out of your comfort zone and into a world of new possibilities. You also must train the dog to do everything you want your dog to do — from socializing with other dogs, to walking on the leash, and maintaining proper potty manners.

It is great you to have made this decision to keep a dog. Lilliput’s silent supportive presence put you in the mood. Now, gird yourself for the work ahead. Dog Lady never wants to scare anybody from bringing home a dog. Still, any potential pet owner must understand the relationship is like a marriage in which divorce is not an option. You have to enter into it with the eyes wide open about the challenges ahead.

Dear Dog Lady,

I’ve been taking Champ to a fantastic place when I go away where he can romp with other dogs in a “just like home” setting (actually, the house is much bigger than mine!). However, he’s had shoulder joint issues and was lame for a long time after the last time I took him there. I’m trying to figure out other solutions: Maybe someone to stay with him or someone with just one other dog who takes visitors — something like that. Any ideas?


Martha, the best idea is always to piggyback resources. When you find a good situation, build on that connection. Ask the “just like home” dog sitters if they know of someone who has the sort of situation you seek for Champ — smaller, less intense so he doesn’t strain his shoulder trying to keep up. If they are as good as you describe, they must have a network with other responsible minders.

Dear Dog Lady,

I have a 14-year-old yellow Labrador that I can’t take care of due to work and travel schedules. He is in the kennel on a weekly basis anywhere from three to 10 days. Even though it is a good kennel, I hate to keep leaving him there [let alone the cost!]. My father used to take care of him for me, but he has since passed and there is no one else available. Any thoughts on a new home for him?


Scott, every breed has a rescue group devoted to dogs. Surely, the Labrador group would be eager to help with resettlement of your aged dog. Many people who adopt dogs with responsible thoughtfulness choose older dogs that are trained and grateful. Google “Labrador Retriever rescue” and “nearest no-kill animal shelter.” Both of these resources can help find a new home for your aged yellow Lab.

Sure, you’re busy but don’t be too busy to find your venerable dog a new home. Forget Craigslist. Dog Lady can’t read the Craigslist pet section without tearing up. If you want to post your Lab’s picture, use Petfinder.com. Many shelters and rescue groups also use this Web resource. Do the right thing for your dear elderly dog. He gave you (and your late father) many years. Now, apply all your energy and resources in resettling him comfortably.

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Halloween Costumes for Your Dog
- Part 3 of 4
Thanks to Kathy from BHC, AZ

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Tips to Choose the Perfect
Rat Cage for Your Pet Rats
by admin - Article Feeder

Picking a rat home can be a challenge.It is not as simple as buying the first rat cage you see in the pet store, as there are many factors to take into consideration to ensure your pet’s happiness. With a few helpful hints you can pick the best rat cage for your pets and your budget.

You have probably already browsed online and in pet stores and seen some amazing cages, but many of these cages will be designed for ferrets, chinchillas and other larger pets, which means that even though your pet rats will enjoy the extra space, they may be able to squeeze through the bars, especially young, smaller rats.

Amazingly an adult rat has the ability to squeeze himself through a space of just half an inch.Now you can see why a ferret cage isn’t really suitable for our ratty friends, unless your rats are rather large.

Happily pet cages designed for smaller pets are readily available.You should try to find the biggest cage possible, whilst still taking into consideration the space between the bars. You want your pet rats to have plenty of room to have fun. Although cheaper, a pet cage made for mice, hamsters or even gerbils is not the best choice for rats. Rats need a lot of room to move and unless the hamster cage is huge it just won’t work.

You will want to consider your rat’s individual needs when choosing a rat cage. Whilst a multi-level rat cage looks great, it is not suitable for elderly or disabled rats, who would be much better off in a single level home.On the other hand young rats just love multiple levels and have great fun running up the ramps. I love watching young rats investigate their cage, climbing the wires and using the roof as monkey bars.It is a joy to watch.

You should consider ease of cleaning when choosing a rat cage, as this is something you will have to do regularly.

Ventilation is very important, as rats can be prone to respiratory diseases. A disused aquarium tank is not suitable for pet rats, as it does not offer proper air flow.

When choosing a rat cage ensure there is plenty of room to add ratty essentials, such as snuggly hammocks, toys and of course food and water bowls.

Cost is also something that many of us need to consider. Not to worry, there are some wonderful cages available that are really not very expensive at all and will still make a great home for your pets.

Don’t just assume that because pet rats are small they will be cheap to keep. Other than a nice cage, food and bedding you will also need to think about the possibility of vet bills later on, which are never all that cheap.

Once you have chosen a beautiful home for your pet rats you will have great fun creating their new habitat and watching them explore their new cage.Remember just because you have a great rat cage, that doesn’t mean you can forget about your rats.

It is essential to give your rats time outside of the cage for at least an hour daily, so that they can play with you. Let your rats enjoy some time outside of the cage and let them get used to you. Handle them, give them a nice scratch and a cuddle and maybe even try training them. By regularly rearranging your rats’ cage you can give them extra stimulation, as they check out their new stuff. Your rats will love exploring their newly arranged furniture.

How to Talk to Your Animal
By Nigel Percy

Most people think of Animal Communication as some kind of psychic skill. That's too limited a viewpoint. Animal Communication takes place every day between you and your animal friend. You just don't think of it as formal 'animal communication'.

Let's look at the variety of ways that people communicate with animals. The goal is to help you see communication differently. To enhance the results you get. And to convince you that anyone can be good at it. Among the subjects discussed in this article, you are bound to find at least one way that you can excel at animal communication. We hope to motivate you to consciously commit to communicating better with YOUR animal companion. We are convinced that you will both be much happier if you do.

Who Can Communicate with Animals?

The short answer is: anyone.

Sure, you think of animal communicators as psychics who talk to pets. There are wonderful people who have a skill for sitting down and having a real conversation with your dog, cat or horse. Just because you can't do that, you think you can't communicate with animals. Nothing could be further from the truth.

All humans have the ability to communicate with any animal. The psychic types have a flare that is hard to deny. Most people would love to be able to do that. If you weren't born with such a skill, you might be surprised to find out that you can learn it. We did. And you can, too.

The average person probably won't go that route. But there are many other ways you can learn to communicate better with your pet. Let's examine some of them.

How Do You Communicate with Animals?

There are many ways you can communicate with animals. Different species will respond better to different styles. The ones listed below apply more to mammals like dogs, cats, rabbits and horses and intelligent birds than to fish, reptiles and amphibians. Think about how many of these you do, and whether you ever thought of them as a form of communication.

--Using particular objects
--Using particular sounds
--Telepathic communication

Do you play with your pet? If not, you should do so regularly for both your sakes. Pets of all kinds need exercise. Lack of exercise is responsible for many expensive and painful physical conditions. But play is also very useful as a form of communication. It allows you to create a harmonious bond with your companion.

Just taking the time to focus on your animal friend tells her so much. It demonstrates your love, commitment and caring. Especially if you use that time to project those feelings or talk about them, it can be a wonderfully communicative time.

Touch in any gentle form lets your pet know you care. Massage, petting and grooming are not chores. They are best approached as an opportunity to bond and share your love with your pet. Again, you can talk out loud or just think wonderful thoughts aimed at your companion while grooming if you want to add a dimension to the activity.

Always talk to your pet. Constantly tell her what you are doing. Treat her like a 5-year-old kid. You build the passive vocabulary of an animal by doing this, but also, you strengthen the bond, an understanding of companionship and love by doing so.

Don't be embarrassed that people will think you are silly for talking to your animal. What matters more? What they think or what your pet thinks?

Singing is an underused method of communication. Most animals understand happy singing. You can make up words of love and praise. My animals collect if I sing to one of them. They all want to be the center of attention.

Objects communicate something to a pet. A dog's leash, a horse's tack, the cat's brush can all attract your animal and elicit certain behaviors from them. You let your pet know it's time to play, exercise or groom using certain objects.

Certain sounds, like a clicker, can also be forms of communication. Think about the noises you use to communicate with your pet. We used to tap on the edge of the fishbowl to announce feeding time, and the fish would come to the surface. Even small animals respond to sounds. Just repeat them in a consistent fashion, and you may be surprised at the results.

Dowsing is an intuitive method that works great for animal communication. You learn to use a tool, then ask yes and no questions, and get the answers. Get our ebook on dowsing if you are interested in this powerful but simple method.

Many animals seem to be able to communicate telepathically. Our dogs and cats definitely respond to telepathic commands. I have seen animals like lizards and flies also respond to silent messages I sent them. This is not something you pick up and get great at without practice in most cases. But it can be done by anyone.

A Short Exercise in Telepathic Communication

It is interesting that what you put your attention on changes or grows. You may never have thought to try to communicate with your animal companion, but if you decide to make a consistent effort from now on, you will see change. You will begin to 'get' things from her or him.

At first, this may not yield amazing results. But be open to the possibilities.

Just commit to doing this consistently, and stay open to receiving an answer. One day you will, and after that, everything will be different.

This is much easier with a pet you are very bonded to, as they are more likely to have something to say to you.

Pick a quiet time when you are not in a rush, and your animal friend is not distracted in any way. Relax and let go of any attachment to particular results. Set your intention to communicate clearly and easily with your friend.

Be aware that some animals regard a stare as a dominant gesture, and they will avoid looking directly at you. You may look at your animal, as their eyes can give you information, but try not to stare, and don't be concerned if they avoid looking at you.

Send unconditional love to your friend. Send a picture of you petting or holding them or doing something that they see as a loving gesture. Send them a feeling of gratitude for their being a part of your life. Keep it simple. Resend the feelings a few times.

You may or may not get a response. If you don't, don't worry.

Try this every day for a brief time. Then branch on to doing this just before mealtime or the daily walk. Send them a picture of love, then a picture of you feeding them or walking them or whatever you are planning to do next. See if you get any recognition or response. Then do whatever you sent the message about. Feed or walk your friend.

You are giving them motivation to tune in to what you are sending. Food and fun are great motivators for animals. Reward them by being clear and consistent. Later on, you can step up the message to a higher level.

I can usually call any of my pets into the house telepathically, as long as they are not totally engaged in some activity that is more interesting. I do it when I get ready to feed, when I plan to put out catnip or if I just want to know where they are. Then I reward them with love or whatever I promised.

This is not a special ability. It is a factor of how focused you are, how clear and consistent you are, and how committed you are to success. You won't fail unless you give up on it. Anyone can do this. For most, it just takes practice.

What are the Benefits of Animal Communication?

Why should you bother to communicate consciously with your animal friend? A short list would have to include:

--It is the best way to modify behavior and train your pet
--It creates a solid bond
--You become aware of what your friend needs, which will save on vet bills and damaged possessions
--It saves you money
--It expands your horizons
--It's fun!

We believe passionately in using your intuition to care for your animal. To find out how, check out our ebook on Holistic Animal Care. It has more useful information than an expensive course.

Nigel Percy (with his wife, Maggie) has been involved with animals for years, at the same time as he has been developing his natural intuitive abilities. He has found that animals are incredibly helpful in all sorts of ways, particularly in understanding the energetic environment.

To find out more about how animals can help, subscribe to the free monthly newsletter at http://www.professional-house-clearing.com/holistic-animal-care.html. To always keep up to date with the unseen world, make sure you subscribe to their free regular monthly newsletter, 'Your Sixth Sense: Enriching Your World' at http://www.professional-house-clearing.com/newsletter.html

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

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Halloween Costumes for Your Dog Part 2 PLUS "I Killed the Class Pet"

How to Tell Your Neighbors
Their Dog Is Too Loud
BY AMY LEE - SunTimes.com

Web site promises to anonymously inform owners of noise problem

Two wars in the Middle East. A global recession. The neighbor's yippy, annoying dog. OK, perhaps the neighbor's barking dog doesn't quite make the list of global concerns, but a peaceful neighborhood ranks high as a day-to-day quality-of-life issue. And a barking dog that wakes a sleeping baby or barks so consistently conversation becomes impossible crosses a line from a nuisance to an aggravation.

The Chicago City Council last week authorized a crackdown that would slap hefty fines - ranging from $50 to $250 for each offense - against the owners of constant yappers.

Southland officers say issues with barking dogs can become so touchy, most residents prefer to have an officer confront a neighbor rather than start a conversation themselves.

"With today's society, it's not like people are out on their front porches and really know their neighbors. They may not know them or they may be very apprehensive and don't want a problem over it," Orland Park Police Cmdr. Chuck Doll said. "Most people want it handled without getting involved, so they'll call us."

A new Web site launched this week seeks to anonymously bridge the divide by informing a dog owner of a problem via e-mail at stopmyneighborsdog.com.

The program "allows victimized neighbors to subtly point out dog barking annoyances by sending anonymous letters to the offending pet parent."

Bark victims will have the option of sending e-mail or traditional mail to the barking offender's owner with an enlightening message "your annoyed neighbors can now find relief and you won't be the goat of the neighborhood!"

Users can select from various messages, from a kind notification to a stern rebuke, and include other information such as "bark control tips" or a list of products designed to control barking. A test of the program shows the sender's e-mail appears as stop@stopmyneigbborsdog.com.

"Most police department budgets are really tight right now. If we can avoid getting involved with a barking dog issue, we do," Homewood Deputy Chief Dale Gustafson said. "We're going to do our job, but a barking dog is really a minor offense. It's not like the 10 most wanted list."

Sometimes a simple conversation with a dog owner can avoid future problems without involving the police. Repeat offenders can get tickets and court dates, said Cmdr. John Burica, of the Frankfort Police Department

"We always prefer neighbors handling things themselves and a lot of times that's more effective than having an officer involved," Burica said. "That's how you get things done."

But if a discussion with a dog owner doesn't "get things done," a polite yet to-the-point e-mail might do the trick. And the neighbor might prefer that to a not-so-polite visit from a local police officer.

Stopmyneighborsdog.com offers sample notes for your neighbor in three "tones."


It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It is wonderful that we all have homes, families and pets to enjoy. We are so happy to have you in our community and enjoy the contribution you make to our neighborhood. We have noticed that your dog is happy to be here too, so much so that he/she is a very enthusiastic barker. We hope this message is received in the kind spirit that it is intended and please know that any effort you could make to quiet your lovable pup down would be greatly appreciated.


Your dog has lots to tell the neighborhood. As much as we would all like to hear what he/she is trying to tell us, we don't speak DOG. Because of this, we would like to encourage you to have a talk with your dog and ask him/her to try barking a little less. We love dogs here and, while we understand that dogs bark, excessive barking makes it tough to enjoy our wonderful neighborhood. We hope this message is received in the lighthearted nature that it is intended and please know that any effort you could make to quiet your happy pup down would be greatly appreciated.

Shut that dog up now!

It is the goal of this community to respect our neighbors right to peace and quiet. I regret to inform you that your dog's barking is a problem. We are unable to enjoy our community as a result of this noise issue. Your immediate action is requested to stop your dog's barking. Prompt response to this message is greatly appreciated.
While Orland Park, Chicago Heights, Frankfort and other communities have ordinances in place to curb noisy dogs - including fining the owner - most officers say they work to resolve dog complaints before the problem escalates to tickets and court dates.

Tips and Tricks for Grooming
Your Cat
by Sean Davids ArticleLife

Most cats can take care of themselves in terms of cleanliness. In spite of this, you will need to do what you can to keep them clean and healthy.

When you groom your cat it is a good opportunity to check for fleas and ticks. Moreover, you should examine the skin for unusual conditions, damage, or balding when you groom. Read the following for some tips to make your cat look even better with proper cat grooming.

You need to shop for proper pet grooming supplies in order to make your grooming job a lot easier and more effective. You should pick up several products like grooming scissors and a grooming glove, in addition to a brush and comb. Ensure that all of these products are specifically created for the grooming of your cat.

Keeping the hair washed and neat is one way to keep your cat looking good. By combing and trimming the hair on a regular basis you’ll both be able to enjoy the rewards of a well groomed cat. You should use a brush that has many small pins when grooming your cat’s hair. For easier brushing, ensure the head is relatively small. In order to properly groom the hair of a cat, you need to brush it in the direction it grows. Otherwise, together with a few scratches, you will likely have a furious cat to contend with.

An occasional bath is an important component in the grooming routine for your cat. While the use of a towel will keep her as calm as possible, the use of a carrier will make the job of bathing less difficult. The shampoo you select ought to be formulated for cats and work up lots of lather. It should also make your cat more comfortable by stopping dry, chafed skin.

Making certain that your cat doesn’t get matted, knotty hair is another vital part of cat grooming. If your cat’s hair is long, trim it regularly using the right grooming tools along with a comb. Always move carefully to avoid puncturing or scratching sensitive skin on your cat.

To lessen shedding and make brushing smoother and gentler, use a grooming glove on your cat. A pair that’s machine washable is best. You ought to also be able to utilize it to get rid of that unwanted cat hair that gets everywhere.

The right tools can make the difference between a sleek, attractive cat and a scruffy looking one. The tools you use for grooming should be used in a way that makes the experience calm and pleasant for your cat.

About the Author:
When it comes to keeping your pet happy and healthy there is nothing more important than proper pets grooming. Whether you take your pet to a professional groomer, do the job yourself, or call up a mobile pet grooming service, you are demonstrating your love and affection for your pet.

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Ask the Vet:
How to Get a Cat to Take Its Meds
Kirsten Williams - SF Gate

Q: I would love for a veterinarian to provide some realistic ideas for getting meds into a cat - besides pilling them (yeah, right) and shooting a syringe down their throat (good luck). One workable idea came from a friend who said to dissolve the meds in canned tuna water and let the cat lap it up. That works, but there must be better ideas, too.

A: Giving medications to cats can be daunting for even the most experienced owners, but there are alternatives to make the process easier. Many people have had success hiding medications in the cat's favorite treat or in commercially available treats designed with a pouch for hiding pills.

Another option is to have medications compounded into a form and flavor that works for your pet. This involves dissolving or suspending medications into a palatable liquid base that can be given directly into the mouth or hidden in the food.

Cats are sensitive to bitter tastes or strange smells in their food and may not get the full dose if this approach is used, but specially trained pharmacists at compounding pharmacies can add sweeteners or use a different form of the base medication to offset bitterness or acidity. They also have a large range of flavoring agents, from meat to fruit flavors, in order to appeal to many different species.

Some medications can also be made into a chewable, flavored treat. Compounding pharmacies are available throughout the Bay Area. Ask your veterinarian if this is an option the next time a medication is prescribed.

Compounding pharmacies can also put some medications in gels or patches where the drug is absorbed transdermally (through the skin or ear flap). This route is not available for all medications, and the dose actually absorbed can vary depending on ambient temperature or blood flow to the skin; however, it's a nice option for many patients.

Finally, some owners have an easier time giving injections. Your veterinarian can show how it is done if he or she feels that's an appropriate option.

Kirsten Williams, DVM, Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Clinic, Oakland, and Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center, San Ramon.

Picking a Parakeet -
How to Choose the Best Parakeet
By Stephen Branch

If you have made a decision to get a new pet to introduce to your family environment, and a Parakeet is the pet you want then be certain to pay some attention to the things that you want to have a look for and understand, when picking a parakeet.

You must make sure you are getting a healthy bird, and preferably from a reliable and reputable source, like a parakeet breeder, or respected pet store. Make your selection, based on what it is you want from your bird, either a friendly interactive companion, or something more beautiful that can be admired from a distance.

The way in which a bird is raised, either by humans or its natural parents, determines the way the bird will behave around folks.

To obtain a pet that is to be kept in an aviary and can be admired from a distance, consider a parent-raised parakeet, this way he has not yet been too affected by human intervention and will act more natural in his environment.

On the other hand, if you want a playful bird that will interact with family and pals, a hand-fed bird is a much better choice. These birds are removed from the nest at a very early age, at which time they are cared for by humans instead of the natural parents.

Picking a parakeet is really quite easy. Actually obtaining your parakeet needs some care. Picking a parakeet isn't something that you want to do gently, so make sure that you either (a) buy from a breeder (b) buy from a reputable pet store, or (c) Adopt a bird from an animal rescue shelter.

Parakeet Breeders dedicate a large part of their lives to parakeets, and are intensely knowledgeable when it comes to picking a parakeet. They are totally in tune with the care and training needed for your pet. One of the great things about purchasing from a reputable breeder is the fact that they are certain to coach you through the various stages of parakeet management.

An important thing to think about is that when you visit with the breeder, you need to naturally get the impression that the person loves birds, and that they are receptive to your questions both now and into the future.

Pet Stores should be reputable stores with a great reputation, and preferably with a specialty in birds. Picking a parakeet is a heavy consideration for you now, and the last thing you want is for a salesperson attempting to change your intelligence, or sell you things you do not want. Staff should be very knowledgeable and you must feel that you can approach them anytime after the sale, to gain help.

All animals in the store should appear healthy and clean, and food should be fresh. Take a little time and wander the store, conduct an investigation of sorts, and do not be afraid to ask questions.

Animal Shelters and bird rescue centers are a great source of animals, particularly birds. Birds are well cared for generally, receive all necessary health checks before being put up for adoption, and the cash you spend here, is usually going to a good cause as against somebody's mortgage.

Take a look at your local council guides for information about centers in your area.

Stephen Branch is a parakeets expert. Do You Want To Quickly and Easily Have the Perfect Parakeets: Healthy, Happy, and Thriving For Years to Come?
Discover more information about Picking A Parakeet, visit http://www.parakeetscaresecrets.com.

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

Cat Survives Shipping Mishap

Maggie Rodriguez spoke to the Bennett family about their missing cat that had been accidentally shipped 950 miles in a UPS crate.

On Monday, Oct. 5, Cody the cat went missing in Dallas, TX. His frantic owners couldn't figure out where he'd gone - until they received a call from a chiropractor two days later and 950 away.

Cody the cat, and his owners, 9-year-old Natalie Bennett, her mom Marie Webster, and her dad, Darryl Bennett, shared their cat's story with Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez.

The family flew in from Dallas and was allowed to have Cody sit on their lap. He trembled the whole way, but he was more relaxed on set.

Natalie was the first to notice that Cody went missing. Cody usually greets her when she gets home from school and follows her around the house.

"I know he likes boxes because one day I was walking in my mom's room and I saw little eyes and I opened up the box and he was in the box," Natalie said.

"They (cats) run off occasionally, so I knew that it was normal," Darryl added. The family has another cat, Zack.

After failing to find Cody, Natalie suspected he had been mailed out in a box from the family-owned medical supplies company - a theory her mother immediately dismissed.

Two days later and 950 miles away, a chiropractor in Woodstock, Ill., opened up a UPS box of neck foams and found the purchases all covered with fur. At the bottom of the box, there was a surprise: 2-year-old Cody, skinny, but alive. The cat had no food, no water, and didn't soil the box for two days.

Cody's tag had his name and his owner's contact information, so the chiropractor called Marie to tell her that her cat had accidentally been shipped to him.

"I said I am so sorry I shipped you my cat," Marie told the chiropractor on the phone.

(Turns out that Marie didn't do the actual shipping, but an employee did.)

She went on to say that she would pick Cody up before she learned how far away he was.

Although scared from the incident, Cody surprisingly acted normal.

"He was himself; he was just a little bit skinny," Natalie said.

From now on Marie and Darryl vow to take Natalie's instincts more seriously.

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Halloween Costumes for Your Dog
- Part 2 of 3
Thanks to Kathy from BHC, AZ

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Pet Poison Helpline Offers
Halloween Safety Tips
posted by Daphne Sashin - Orlando Sentinel

Halloween can be a dangerous and stressful time for a pet, say the folks at the 24-hour Pet Poison Helpline. Make sure your kids know to hide their treat stashes from food-seeking dogs, and keep these other warnings in mind:

Chocolate: Keep in mind, the less sweet and the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to your pet. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem.

Overeating: Remember when you felt ill after gorging on too much candy? The same thing can happen to pets. Large ingestions of high-fat, high-sugar foods may lead to a condition called pancreatitis — a painful and potentially fatal inflammation of the pancreas. Signs of pancreatitis typically show up two to four days after ingesting a large high-fat meal. Monitor your pet for a decreased appetite, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea and other odd behavior.

Raisins/grapes: While small boxes of raisins are popular and healthy treats for people, keep them away from dogs. Even small numbers of raisins or grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs (and possibly cats).

Candy wrappers: Few animals will bother to unwrap Halloween treats before eating them. Ingestion of foil and cellophane wrappers may cause a bowel obstruction when ingested in large quantities.

Glow sticks/jewelry: Pets, especially cats, love to chew on these colorful toys. Though not highly poisonous, the glowing contents can cause pain and irritation in the mouth as well as profuse drooling, nausea and vomiting.

Costumes: While dressing up pets can be entertaining, keep in mind the animal may not enjoy it. Make sure the costume does not impair their vision or movement. Also, beware of costumes containing metallic beads, snaps or other small pieces. If ingested, some metals (especially zinc and lead) can result in serious poisoning. And never dye or apply coloring to your pets’ fur. Even if the dye is labeled non-toxic, many are not meant to be ingested and can potentially cause harm.

Additionally, pets may be afraid of people dressed in costumes and may not even recognize those they typically know. Fear can cause animals to act aggressively or in an unpredictable manner. If your pet seems nervous or afraid, make sure to have a safe area for them to hide or take a “time out.”

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately at 1-800-213-6680.

I Killed The Class Pet
Caroline Howard, Forbes.com

It wasn't an accident. Cupcake's death was premeditated murder.

Cupcake was my son's first-grade class pet. He (she?) was brought into the classroom by Jenny Lombard, who was, according to my son, a "most awesome" teacher. She taught the class how to add and subtract, write poetry and, as an accomplished ukulele player, appreciate a good ditty.

Jenny also shared her love of animals. So she brought in a hamster, Cupcake, whose name was bestowed by a democratic show of little hands.

Cupcake was about the size of a tennis ball and nearly as bulky, thanks to his long, loose coat of golden fur. He was as friendly as a hamster gets and was not afraid of children. Oh, and did he like to have fun. You should've seen him go on his wheel and run-around plastic ball.

At the end of the school year, it was time to find Cupcake an adoptive family. My son asked if he could bring him home and I said sure.

Cupcake's new home was a glass aquarium on top of a bookcase in the kitchen. His world consisted of a carpet of cedar chips, food bowl, water bottle, wheel and the occasional cardboard core of a roll of toilet paper or paper towel to crawl in and chew on.

The average pet hamster lives about three years. We had Cupcake for about two and a half years until one day I walked into the kitchen and spotted trouble. He appeared to have suffered a stroke.

There was a marked weakness to his right side, he couldn't turn his head and had difficulty walking. For about a week, Cupcake mostly slept, hardly ate or drank and barely dragged around his glass cage.

The situation was grave and I brought him to a veterinarian. "Stroke," he said, without even taking Cupcake from the shoebox.

I value life. If there's a spider in my home, I gingerly cup it in my palms and take it outside rather than shmooshing it. But while the vet was laying out the options--extensive treatment, wishful thinking or euthanasia--I thought back to a woman I once met whose pet rat was going through a third round of chemo after yet another one of its teats developed breast cancer; female rats typically have six pairs of nipples.

"How much will it cost to euthanize?" I asked.

It didn't take much thought to reject his answer of $250 to put Cupcake to sleep and take care of his tiny body. I have a conscience but I also have a checkbook.

I sought counsel. One neighbor offered to break Cupcake's neck. That seemed harsh at the time, but in retrospect, it was probably the most humane option. Another friend suggested I simply throw him down the garbage chute. I spent several days with my son, then nine, staring at Cupcake, wondering what to do.

Finally, I decided to purchase rat poison. The packaging suggested it was tasty and quick. The following morning I sprinkled the contents on top of the hamster's sunflower seeds and kibble corn, expecting to walk in from work and after-school pick up to find him dead. It didn't work. Then again, he wasn't really eating.

I started to worry. Although my son knew Cupcake was an invalid and couldn’t be saved, how was he taking this lesson on death, particularly when it was a mercy killing? When we discussed it, he had a distracted but serious look on his face, which I knew meant he was taking it in but wouldn't cop to it.

The following day I added a second dose of poison. It took one more day. We came home and Cupcake was still.

For the first time together, my son and I said a special prayer for the dead. Then I scooped Cupcake up, placed his stiff body inside a brown paper lunch bag and, yes, tossed him down the garbage chute.

The death of pet can be traumatic and is always sad. Share your stories in our Comments section.

Caroline Howard is deputy online editor of ForbesWoman.com.

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