Unique Apartment Pets

Ask Dog Lady:
Absence Makes the Mutt Grow Fonder

Dear Dog Lady,

As long as we’ve had our 4-year-old mutt (we got her at the pound when she was 5 months old), she always cries when my wife and I come home from work or from a 10-minute outing. She greets us like we’ve been gone for days. Why does she do this?


Dear Mike, get used to it. You and your wife are the Alpha and Omega for this dear dog. You’re all she knows — or wants to know.

However, you are not alone. Most dogs greet their cherished human guardians with unrestrained exuberance and irrational joy — as if the beloved humans were returning from a round-the-world trek by way of Outer Mongolia. Dog Lady can leave her dog for the time it takes to put the car in the garage and the terrier welcomes her back with such tail-wagging enthusiasm as befits a side of beef.

Dogs are ridiculous. Their unconditional love is constant and enduring, despite all odds and impediments. No wonder they are so endearing. Your 4-year-old mutt deserves your considerate tender care. She can’t help herself — even if she could.

Dear Dog Lady,

My mother has had a dog for two years. He is a miniature Maltese and 4 1/2 years old. He was neglected before she got him. He is a lap dog. My mother is retired. When she is home, Willie (the dog) is usually in her lap. He was a perfect dog for about a year and three months. This past spring, he started growling. We cannot pinpoint any particular reason. He seemed to start maybe after he went to the groomer, but we are not sure of that. He was put on 15g of Phenobarb twice a day and seemed to be better, but still growling occasionally. He can be good for weeks at a time, but then starts growling again. In the last week, he has gotten worse. He growls multiple times each day. Any suggestions?


Dear Pam, the lap is not a place to keep a dog entirely since “lap dog” is a quaint Victorian notion. Post-modern dogs need outdoor activity, exercise, and they should stand up on their own four feet. When a dog, no matter how small, is treated like a stuffed animal, the beast balks at simple things — such as going to the groomer, or cozying up to another dog or person. They become skittery and scared of things they shouldn’t worry about.

You never explain why wee Willie is on Phenobarbital. Anyway, Dog Lady is not a vet, nor does she play one on the pages of this newspaper. She does know the drug is commonly used for dogs with seizures. If the growling is connected with an illness, Dog Lady advises you to take Willie to a veterinarian for a complete examination. And encourage your mother to ease him off her lap and into the great outdoors. It will do both of them a world of good.

Dear Dog Lady,

Our new 1-year-old small cocker spaniel is a rescue dog who for the first four weeks we’ve had him has been a sweetheart. On neighborhood walks, he generally says hello very nicely to other dogs and people (a growl is rare). However, when we took him to the dog park, things did not go well. He behaved both scared and aggressive, jumping and growling, even on leash or while being held. What’s going wrong, and how can we help him socialize nicely?


Dear Amy, don’t hover. Your cocker is still exploring his new cosmos. When you take him to the dog park, allow him his freedom in small stretches until his behavior is predictably steady. For example, the cocker can accustom himself to the park by sniffing around the perimeter. If he starts to act aggressively with another dog, put him back on the leash and lead him away. But never lead him away for good. Every day, bring him back to the dog park to acculturate him by giving him freedom in incremental doses.

At a dog park, it is not such a great idea to keep your dog on a leash or in your arms. You must allow your dog the independence to learn how to behave with his peers. Naturally, you don’t want your darling fighting or baring teeth for real. However, it’s utterly normal if your pup “plays” with another dog by jumping and mouthing off. Dogs wrestle as if they were beating up each other, but each combatant always sends signals about how far to go. You must allow your puppy cocker to experience inter-species roughhousing because it’s part of his socialization. You shouldn’t squelch natural play but always monitor the activity.

Vet Advice:
How Can I Stop
My Dog's Nuisance Barking?

I have a two-year-old red setter who had meningitis when she was only a couple of weeks old, but recovered fully. However, I'm finding she is doing a lot of nuisance barking!

I have tried barking collars and preventative barking systems but nothing seems to work.

She is kept in with other dogs and if she hears me out in the garden at all, she constantly barks.

Any suggestions how I can stop this, I'm sure the neighbours are as frustrated as myself about it?


Natalia replies:

Dear Rachel,

Barking is a way of communication for dogs.

You have the normal, expected barking such as when there’s a stranger or intruder in the house.

Then there’s barking as a behavioural problem such as boredom, loneliness or mis-communication between owner and pet.

My advice for successfully addressing this problem is to recognise the triggers.

Does your dog bark when she’s left alone for too long? Is she getting enough exercise? Is she afraid of something he sees or hears (such as a neighbour mowing the lawn)? Maybe you could leave the TV on while you’re out, get her some toys or even ask a family member to drop in during the day when she’s alone?

In your case, your dog’s trigger seems to be separation anxiety.

For this, you will need some patience and training for both you and your pet, with a specialist dog trainer.

This will help you to understand ‘doggy’ language and correctly express what you want to tell your pet.

Many of the techniques are based on the dog receiving a reward for the action you want.

In your case the action would be “stop barking”.

For example, your dog barks, you need to make her stop; hold his muzzle or squirt with a water gun; this will startle her and make her stop barking.

When she stops barking, use the word “quiet”.

Immediately after saying that word, if the dog is quiet, reward her.

When she starts barking again, repeat the process.

Eventually she will learn to associate “quiet” with a reward and stop barking without the need of the “punishment” (water gun). Then your dog will stop barking with just the use of the word.

In practise, it’s not that simple and a dog trainer will show you many different techniques. It takes time but it’s a lifetime investment for you and your pet.

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Pet Owners Should
Practice Good Hygiene
The Reporter Staff and USA Today

Pet owners need not be alarmed because one cat has been diagnosed with swine flu, says local veterinarian Dr. Marty Greer.

An Iowa cat has become the first of its species to come down with a confirmed case of H1N1 flu, officials said Wednesday. The 13-year-old cat was brought to Iowa State University's veterinary college, where tests confirmed that it had the new flu virus, the state health department said.

Symptoms in the cat included lethargy, a loss of appetite and difficulty breathing. The cat has since recovered.

Two of the three people who live with the cat had the flu before the cat got sick, according to USA Today.

Greer, from Veterinary Village in Lomira, said one cat does not make an outbreak.
"It is certainly not mainstream to test cats at this point. Part of it may be that Ames, Iowa, is where the national animal disease control lab is located," she said.
The isolated case is no indication there is any major health threat to pets, said Greer, while emphasizing the importance of practicing basic hygiene.
"If your cat sneezes, wash your hands," she said.

To protect pets, some experts suggest taking the same precautions with animals in the family as with someone who has the swine flu, including wearing a mask, keeping some distance, and repeated hand washing.

Greer said that at this point, veterinarians need a lot more information before any conclusions can be drawn about H1N1 and pet populations.

"It's just too early to tell," she said.

What To Do About
Litter Box Accidents

There is probably nothing more frustrating to a cat owner than litter box accidents. In fact, habitual litter box accidents are the number one reason why cat owners give their cats up to animal shelters. When your cat refuses to use the litter box, there is usually an underlying reason. Before you become exasperated by your cat’s inability to make it to the litter box, here are some common causes for this problem.

Litter Box Woes
One of the main reasons why a cat begins to refuse to use the litter box is because their own litter box is dirty. Many cats are extremely fussy about the condition of their litter box, while others will use it no matter how full it looks. If your cat has a litter box accident, the first place you should check is the litter box. Some pets prefer that their litter box cleaned out after each use. While this is time consuming for you, it may be a simple fix to this problem. You should start a daily routine of cleaning out your cat box and you may find that this solves your problem.

Another common problem related to the litter box is there are not enough litter boxes for the number of cats you have. For example, if you have four cats in your home, and you should have at least one litter box per cat. Cats like to have their own space, and this is especially true when it comes to their litter box. In fact, many veterinarians recommend that even if you have only one cat, you should have at least two litter boxes.

In addition, when it comes to litter box accidents, look at the type of litter you are using and the size and shape of the litter box. If you have a tray litter box without a lid, maybe your cat would feel more secure in a closed box. If you have an older cat, or a young kitten, you cat may have a difficult time getting in and out of a closed top box. Watch your cat carefully when he or she uses the litter box. If you find that, they are having a difficult time getting in and out of the litter box and consider getting a different box. Also, look at the type of litter you use. Your cat may be extremely fussy about the smell or texture of the litter. Many people preferred using the scoop away litter; however, many cats will not use this type of litter, because it sticks in the paws. You may also find that the litter you use causes a lot of dust that is disagreeable to your cat.

Health Issues
Your cat may be refusing to use the litter box, because of health related issues. If you have tried all the above tips and nothing seems to be working, then it is time to visit your veterinarian. Cats that have bladder problems, urinary tract infections, kidney failure and diabetes are more prone to litter box accidents than healthy cats. You need to take your cat to the vet and have a thorough health exam performed to find out if your cat is suffering around an ailment. If this is the case, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to help your cat.

Habit and Your Cat’s Territory
If your cat has been ill or have stopped using the litter box for any of reason, you may find that your cat returns to their old ways out of habit. It is extremely important that when your cat has a litter box accident, that you clean the area thoroughly to get rid of any odors that may remain. In addition, your cat may have not stopped using the litter box at all but instead, your cat is marking his or her territory. This is especially common in multi-cat households or when you bring in new pet into the home. This is also more common in males than females. Even male cats that are neutered can mark their territory by spraying urine.

When you determine why your cat is having litter box accidents, you can find a solution. It takes time and patience; however, this is much more preferable than getting rid of your cat.

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Dangerous Foods for the Family Pet

With the holidays coming up, there's a good chance the family pet with get a taste of something it shouldn't. Whether they're feasting on table scraps or digging through the trash, it's important to watch what your pet is sinking its teeth into.

Friday morning on KARE 11 First Edition, Deb Schneider, owner of AllBreed Obedience talked about potentially dangerous foods for your pets.

Schneider says it's important for everyone to keep their emergency vet's phone number handy as well as knowing where they're located. Pets always seem to get sick on weekends and holidays.

With the holidays coming, it means your dog might either get into or be given foods that are bad for them. Be sure to keep a sharp eye out on what folks are giving your dog during holiday partys.

One of the worse things you can give to a dog is alcohol, Schneider says it can cause coma, even death. Caffeine is also bad for dogs, it can affect the heart and nervous system.

It's also important to make sure your dog doesn't get a hold of cooked bones from fish, poultry, beef or other sources. Schneider says the bones can cause obstructions. Also, fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis.

Other foods your dog should avoid, according to Schneider, include grapes and raisins, which contain unknown toxins that can damage the kidneys. Macadamia nuts are also bad, they can affect the digestive and nervous system. And onions, they're bad because they can cause animia.

Lastly, and Schneider says this is a big no-non, do not give your dog Xyitol. That's the artificial sweetner which is in nearly all our surgar free gums and candy. It is very toxic to dogs and can liver failure quickly.

Our Old Pet Friends
Deserve Special Treatment

If you've cared for an elderly dog or cat, you know it's a bittersweet labor of love.

It seems unfair that pets, one of life's greatest gifts to people, are with us for only a small fraction of our lifetime. We all get the short end of the stick on that deal.

Your pet's senior status can sneak up on you. One day you're watching that energetic puppy or kitten romp and play and, before you know it, several years have passed and your childlike friend begins to slow down.

When your pet reaches senior status, take this golden opportunity to give it the best years of its life. Remember, it devoted its life to being your most loyal, trusted companion.

"Generally speaking, dogs and cats attain senior status at about age 7," says veterinarian James D. Lutz of Largo Veterinary Hospital. "Weight, lifestyle and size of your pet are all factors that can speed or slow down the aging process."

Rely on your own observation and the advice of your veterinarian to help you identify when your pet has begun maturing so that you can start to meet its special needs.

Senior wellness checkups may be the most important thing you can do for your aging friend. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends healthy senior dogs and cats visit the veterinarian every six months for a complete exam and lab work.

"As your pet gets older, we're a lot more interested in checking for possible metabolic diseases such as diabetes and thyroid," Lutz says. "And checking early for clues to cancer is very important."

When your pet is healthy, lab tests provide baseline values that can help the vet figure out what's wrong when your pet is sick. And subtle changes in test results, even in the outwardly healthy animal, may signal the presence of an underlying disease.

Dogs and cats should get lab work every year at middle age. During the senior years, healthy animals need a complete blood count, urinalysis, blood chemistry panel and parasite evaluation every six months.

Watch for changes

Older pets are slower pets. You may find yours reacts more slowly to sights and sounds. This loss of sensory perception is a slow, progressive process. The best remedy is to keep your pet's body and mind active.

Use playtime, exercise and training at a slower pace than usual. Pets still need quality time in terms of attention and exercise, but will likely prefer quiet walks and long naps to active play.

"Keep an eye on your pet's gait and posture to identify potential orthopedic problems," suggests Lutz. "And watch for mentation changes (mental awareness) and alterations in activity."

Remember, dietary needs change, too. Talk to your veterinarian about lower-calorie formulas with antioxidants and vitamin supplements. It's critical to avoid obesity, which can speed up aging, so no more rich foods and table scraps!

Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, diagnostics and diet, our pets can live longer, healthier lives. But since they can't tell us how they're feeling, it's important that you, as a pet parent, take a proactive approach to their health, particularly as they age.

One day you'll come face to face with a pair of wise, knowing eyes with a gray muzzle or whiskers. When the day comes, take the opportunity to repay them with love, understanding and the best health care you can provide.

Adopt a senior pet

November is celebrated by animal shelters nationwide as Adopt a Senior Dog Month. In the sunset of 2009, it's a great time to promote the benefits of an older pet in the sunset season of their lives.

Senior pets easily bond with new people, often have excellent manners, are housebroken and know the basic rules of the house. Size, temperament and personality are already established. You also may have advance knowledge of any behavior or health issues.

Senior pets need less supervision. They understand human behavior and probably know what is expected of them in the home. Physical demands are low.

Given the slower pace of most pets in their golden years, a senior person might be the best match. The calm, quiet demeanor and light exercise needs of an older pet may fit a mature person's lifestyle perfectly.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.
- Sydney Jeanne Seward

Write to pet-lifestyle expert Kristen Levine at Fetching Communications, P.O. Box 222, Tarpon Springs FL 34688; or e-mail kristen@fetchingcommunications.com

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Training Your Pet With Tones
By Juanito M Chavez

A majority of people in the United States and elsewhere in the world enjoy taking care of pets. Having a cat or a dog can be quite a large responsibility, especially when you find that that animal does not want to listen or obey. For some owners this has been an ongoing issue for many years. While yet others have just purchased or adopted their new pet to find that it has bad habits or does not obey.

Training a pet requires patience and skill in order to be successful. This skill can easily be obtained by learning and understanding how the mind of your pet works. For most animals making their owner happy has a great deal to do with how happy they are. This means a pet not only understands body language, but understands by the tone of voice if a person is happy or unhappy.

So if your pet is not obeying or has habits that you would like to see broken, one of the best ways to help improve the situation is by training your animal with your voice. When you raise your voice in an angry fashion to your pet it understands that you are unhappy with its actions. This is a great way of training an animal well ahead of time before it even gets into trouble. By simply bringing your animal to a room or location where you do not wish it to reside, you can raise your voice in a stern manner to let it know it is not welcomed in that area.

When your pet does something that you wanted to do, it is good to reinforce that by a positive sounding voice. This lets your pet know that you are not only happy with its action at that moment, but that by continuing to perform that action that the pet itself can be happy too. Once again this goes back to the notion that pets are happy when their owners are happy with them.

Remember to that animals can read body language very well. So a combination of not only the tone of your voice, but the look on your face will also have an effect in your pets understanding of you. The more you use voice and expression to train your pet the better it will become at mastering good habits which you have reinforced.

Juanito M Chavez is a pet lover and writer of all things animals including problems with pets health such as cat worms and cat diabetes. He also writes about how to properly train a pet and reinforce an owners love for their cats and dogs through positive mental reinforcement.

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

Top 3 Unique Apartment Pets
By Pauline Go

There is nothing better than having a playful pet around you, even if you live in an apartment. Not only will the pet lighten up your life, it will be a good companion. Although people usually opt for dogs or cats as pets, you can go for exotic and unique pets that can live with you in your apartment.

Here are the top unique apartment pets that you can think about if you are planning on having a pet:

Pot-bellied pigs: While they can be slightly destructive at time, pot-bellied pigs are easier to train than dogs. Not only are the playful and caring, they are also odor free and above all, they do not bark! They are highly intelligent and just love food. So, make sure you securely lock up all cupboards containing food items, even your rubbish bin. Of course, they require a lot of commitment and can be expensive to own, but they make wonderful pets.

Hedgehogs: The hedgehog is not a very social animal, but a tamed one can be friendly. It has a lifespan of 4 to 6 years and you can take care of it very easily. They thrive quite well on high quality cat food. You might face a challenge getting the hedgehog to get used to you handling it, but the good thing is that they do not require too much attention and are more than willing to keep themselves entertained.

Chinchillas: If you end up owning a Chinchilla from a young age, you can be sure that it will bond very closely with you. The lifespan of this cute cuddly animal is around 15 years, and they are extremely playful and active. Make sure you have a spacious cage and lots of toys for your Chinchilla. In addition, have a dust bathe ready for the animal as it bathes in dust to keep its fur shiny and smooth.

Of course, before getting a pet, make sure you check with your apartment manager what the regulations and policies are about owning a pet.

About Author:
Pauline Go is an online leading expert in the real estate industry. She also offers top quality articles like :
Apartment Listing, Smartest Breeds of Dogs

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

Our Deepest Condolences

Whether you have already lost your pet or are preparing for the loss, let us be one of the first to offer our sympathies during this difficult time and extend our loss of pet condolences. We hope we can help you find the perfect pet memorial urn online, so that you will have a special final resting place for your beloved pet and companion.

Pet Memorial Urns Online was also started to be an informational resource for those seeking advice or help for dealing with the loss of their pet because there are so few complete resources available. Using the content links located on the left you can quickly jump to each of our sections, or you can read a summary of the contents of our site below.

Dealing With The Loss Of Your Pet
As a society we know that with all life comes death, it is inevitable. When the death that occurs is a spouse, family member or close friend it is natural to feel sorrow, express grief, and expect family and friends to provide understanding and comfort. The same does not always hold true if the death that has occurred is that of a pet. You as an owner may experience the same feelings of loss, but encounter less support dealing with the loss of your pet in some instances because others might not understand how important the pet really was. People love their pets and some even consider them immediate members of the family, which depending on the type of animal, may have been for years.

Pets provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love during the years they share with you. If you understand and accept the bond between pets and owner, you can take the first steps toward dealing with the loss of your pet by knowing that it is okay to grieve when a pet dies. The next step is to understand how you grieve and find ways to cope with the loss so it can bring you closer to the day when the memories of your pet bring happy thoughts instead of tears of sorrow.

Children And Pet Death
When the loss of a family pet occurs with children involved, it is important to remember that this loss is probably one of the child's first experience with death and as such should be handled with great care as they can be far more sensitive than an adult would be. With children and pet death the child may blame themselves, the parents, or even the veterinarian for not saving the pet. They may feel guilty, depressed, and frightened that others they love may be taken from them.

Never try to protect your child by saying the pet ran away because honesty is important for their future development. This may cause your child to expect the pet to return or even wonder what they did to make it leave. This will extend the grief period even longer than usual, or even instill a feeling of parental betrayal if they do discover the truth. It will also make it harder for a child to accept a new pet in the future, because they may believe that loving a new pet would be a betrayal to their old friend.

If you had to put the pet to sleep, make sure your child understands the difference between ordinary sleep and death, or you risk the child themselves being fearful of going to sleep and not waking up. Make it clear that the pet will not come back or wake up, but that the pet is happy and free of pain.

Expressing your own grief with your child will reassure them that feeling sadness at this time is okay and help them work through their own feelings.

Pet Loss And Grief Recovery
Finding a way to say goodbye and remember your pet is also important for yourself and your family during the grieving process, and there a number of things that you can do to honor their memory.

Write About Your Memories And Shared Experiences. Compose a eulogy or elegy about what made your deceased pet special to each family member. You can then read it at a special memorial service or submit it to us to be posted within our Online Pet Memorials section, which is also featured on the main page of Pet Memorial Urns Online.

Put Together An Album Of Memories. Creating a photo album, scrapbook, or collage of your pet allows you to focus more so on the good times and can be very therapeutic for dealing with the grief and loss.

Plant A Living Memorial. Let others know how much your pet was loved and cared for as well as help restore greenspace by planting a tree in their memory.
Provide A Special Place For Your Pet's Ashes. Keep the ashes of your pet in a beautiful pet urn or within pet keepsake jewelry. You can also get weatherproof pet cremation urns if you intend to bury your pet in a special place on your property.
Hold A Memorial Service. One of the most important steps in grief recovery is to hold a memorial service so that you or your family can say goodbye to your pet. This is also the perfect time to share the memories you wrote about or the album you put together.

Introducing A New Pet Into The Family
After the grieving process is over and enough time has passed, pet owners usually ponder whether or not they should get a new pet, especially if children are involved or how to go about introducing a new pet into the family. It is important to remember that children need more time to adjust to the loss because getting a new pet too soon can cause feelings of disloyalty or guilt and create problems in bonding with the new pet. Depending on the age of the child, they may also think that if something were to happen to them, they would soon be forgotten and a replacement found. They need to understand that friendships cannot be immediately replaced. Another important thing to remember is that you are not replacing your old pet, and as such you should avoid getting a look-a-like or the exact same breed.

A new pet should only be introduced when everyone in the family is ready to move forward and build another new long lasting bond with a new friend and member of the family. If it was a family pet, plan an outing to a local pet store, or even animal shelter to pick out your new pet together. You will be surprised at how this as well helps even further with the grieving process and moving on.


Pet Memorial Urns Online Staff

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