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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