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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