The 5 Best Dogs for Children

Pet Sitters, Kennels
Get Ready for Busy Season

Even though the season of holidays and vacations is fast approaching, Tracy Walder won't get much rest until the new year.

Walder, a co-owner of Crittersitters of Lafayette, said business gets busy for her staff starting this week and running all the way through the start of January.
Crittersitters provides in-home services for pet owners who don't want to leave their furry friend in a boarding facility.

"Most of our family members understand that from about the 20th of November to the 10th of January that we're unavailable," she said. "Typically we'll get a couple of breaks, but we usually do any celebration for family prior to that time."
Kennels in Greater Lafayette are gearing up for the busy season, too.

At Petsburgh Pet Care Inc. on Schuyler Avenue, kennel manager Pam Hardebeck already has 161 dogs signed up to stay at her facility over Thanksgiving weekend.

"We get really crazy," Hardebeck said. "During Thanksgiving last year we had 219 dogs and something like 16 cats -- and a bird."

While the reservation numbers are down a little for this Thanksgiving, Hardebeck said pet owners may be procrastinating. If so, she said, Petsburgh has some remaining kennel openings.

While Walder said there are many good kennels in and around Lafayette, she believes Crittersitters offers an alternative for pets who don't do well in boarding facilities.

"Not every pet is good in a kennel," she said. "Some just don't like to be around other barking dogs. It just depends on the situation."

Crittersitters staff members visit pets in their home and stay about a half-hour each time, Walder said. They can also provide medication to the dogs and cats.
Whether going through an in-home service or a boarding facility, the pet-sitters recommend owners get their reservations in soon for the Christmas holiday.

"Last year we had to turn people away because we were full," Hardebeck said.

Pet Talk:
Feral Cat Group Making
Inroads on Societal Problem
By Jacques Von Lunen, Special to The Oregon

The oddest feature of this cat clinic is its soundscape: A radio's playing quietly, a few volunteers chat, green-clad surgeons ask for their instruments in hushed tones -- but only one kitten meows.

One soft, mournful meow from a bottom shelf. Even though the shelves are loaded with 74 untamed felines in cloth-draped wire cages. Six dozen house cats would be screaming up a storm right now, but these feral cats are quiet.

One little guy -- a 3-month-old brown tabby -- eyes the humans gathered around his cage. He doesn't know he's a celebrity.

That little tabby is the 40,000th feline the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon has spayed or neutered in its 14-year existence. Despite its small staff, the nonprofit is making a difference in Oregon's feral cat population because of community involvement: Seven employees direct a virtual army of volunteers.

The shy youngster getting snipped today is the perfect example of how the coalition works. He, his mom and two generations of his siblings live on the site of a closed lumber mill in Estacada. Feral cats have lived there for some 20 years, says Karen Kraus, the coalition's executive director. Through the involvement of many good Samaritans, the feral-cat cycle at that location is broken today.

The beginning of the end started with the person who's been feeding these cats with no hope of getting anything in return except knowing it's the right thing to do. That caregiver made an appointment with the clinic, picked up traps to set out at the site, got the ferals used to the traps and set their triggers the night before the surgery.

Now the tabby, still inside his cage, is taken to the anesthesia room, where a volunteer technician sedates him with a long-handled syringe.

The tabby falls asleep within a few minutes and is passed through a window to the treatment area. After an exam, vaccinations and a shave, the tip of his right ear is removed to show he's been neutered. This guy, like all males, is neutered right here in the prep area. The procedure is quick; the males don't even need stitches. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

Female feral cats rest on surgical gloves filled with warm water as they await their turn to be spayed. The cats have already been anesthetized.For the females, it's a little more involved. After the prep, they are taken into a sterile surgery area where, on this day, four veterinarians -- all volunteers -- stand behind operating tables in green scrubs. The tables are the size of serving trays. The surgical drape covering the cat's body, leaving only the incision area exposed, is no bigger than a bandana. There are tiny oxygen masks, too.

Debunking myths
The tools and the patients may be small, but the job is huge. An estimated 100,000 feral cats inhabit the Portland area, half a million in the state, about 60 million nationwide, according to Kraus. They live anyplace where people are.

Some people think killing the cats is the best way to get rid of them. The cats are said to be riddled with disease, and they're accused of wreaking havoc with songbirds. None of this is true, the Feral Cat Coalition says.

Studies on feral cats' spreading of disease -- and entry exams at the coalition's clinic -- have shown that feral cats are no more prone to illness than pet cats, Kraus says.

As for songbirds, people who bring injured wild birds to the Audubon Society more often than not tell the staff that a house cat -- either theirs or one they know -- did the damage, the Audubon Society says.

"Birds are really hard to catch," Kraus says. "You need the cat that has a lot of time on its hands and can sit around and wait. Catching a bird takes too much time and energy." She acknowledges that ferals surely catch birds, too, but that house cats are more likely to do so.

The vacuum effect
The most persistent misconception about feral cats is the one on how to get rid of them.

"Trap, neuter, return" was controversial when Portland veterinarians founded the Feral Cat Coalition in 1995. "Kill 'em all" was the battle cry of communities deluged with ferals. But moral considerations aside -- every feral cat is a descendant of an abandoned or escaped pet cat, after all -- things don't work that easily.

That's due to the vacuum effect, a concept known to wildlife managers. "Even if you take out all the cats (in a colony), if there's a food source, such as a Dumpster, other cats will fill back in," says Leah Kennon, the coalition's operations director. As long as there's a steady supply of cats, killing a few will make no difference at any one location.

Which is where "trap, neuter, return" comes in. Females that are spayed don't go into breeding season and males that are neutered don't fight about which one gets to father the next generation. Instead, colonies of fixed cats stay steady in numbers.

"They generally don't allow other cats to come in," Kennon says. "They're not yowling and fighting and spraying."

They're just healthy cats that keep rodents down and slowly die from natural causes.

The problem is that people keep adding to the feral cat population.

"The link between house cats and feral cats is very clear," says Kraus, the executive director. "If you let your cat outside, especially if it's not spayed or neutered, it certainly adds to the feral cat population."

Feral cats are concentrated around places where people move in and out a lot, such as university campuses, mobile home parks and apartment complexes, Kraus says.

That leads to looking at feral cats in a new way: as community cats that aren't owned by anyone, but were created by us all.

'It's go, go, go'
The good news is that many people have stepped up to help these cats. About 700 volunteers make possible the work of the coalition. They have made a large dent through spaying and neutering: Cats are sexually mature at five months and can produce a litter in 60 days.

One of those volunteers is Michele King, the veterinarian who neutered number 40,000. She'd been looking for a way to give back to the public outside of her work at Banfield, The Pet Hospital, in Clackamas. A friend told her about the cat coalition last year and she jumped at the opportunity.

"We see all these cats that need homes (in our practice)," King says. "There are far too many cats; this is a way to stop that from happening."

A year into her volunteer job, she's still amazed at how many cats the coalition's clinic spays and neuters every week. "It's go, go, go," King says with a laugh. "I'm so tired when I go home."

Another change from her paid job is the lack of follow-up: She'll never see these cats again to make sure they healed nicely; that's a professional challenge. It also means there's less payoff than in treating pets that end up licking the helping hand.

"It's amazing," Kraus says. "All these people who care about cats they can never touch or hold."

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How to Stop Your Dog From Fighting
By Robert Markovsky

Should your dog meet up with another, it is very important to keep your animal under control. Although your dog may not be the initiator of the fight the other dog could be.

The first condition is that your dog is trained to be obedient. The second condition is that your pet will obey any command which you give him.

Here are a number of methods you can employ to stop your dog from engaging in fights:

** Ensure that the collar on your dog is properly fitted. It should be neither too tight nor too loose.

** You should consider carrying a spray bottle and umbrella for protection

** Should you meet an aggressive dog while walking your dog, give your dog the "sit" command followed by the command "look away".

** Make sure the umbrella is in a ready position

** Neither your dog nor you should run. This will only make the situation worse.

** Place the umbrella between the two dogs oriented so it can open.

** Place your foot in front while saying "Stop!", then proceed with opening the umbrella.

** While you are opening the umbrella, the aggressive animal will try to go around this barrier.

** If you do use a spray bottle, aim for the aggressive dog's nose while saying "Stop!" and spray. You should try avoiding the eyes.

** Assuming your dog is properly trained, they will obey your commands and not escalate any fight with another dog.

** If the spray bottle or umbrella methods do not work, your dog and you should slowly back away.

** Do not make eye contact with the attacking dog. Generally, doing so will make him more liable to attack either your dog or you.

Should the dog be excessively on the aggressive side, he or she might still continue to attack. In this situation you may have to look for someone to help you. If there is any possibility of encountering an aggressive animal while walking your dog, keeping a cell phone handy will be a wise move.

Robert has been writing articles for over 2 years. Come visit his latest website over at which helps people find the best youth hockey equipment and accessories so kids can have fun and be protected from injury.

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Pet Stains Gone
- No Gimmicks Or Tricks
- Real Answers
By Jamie Ellerman

If you own a pet you know what it is to have to clean up after them. No matter how disciplined, animals can have accidents, and when they pee, or worse, on your carpet, cleaning up can be a real pain.

Depending on what type of mess your animal has made, it's a good idea to move it to an area where it can't make the matter worse. Taking it outside is probably best, but if it's an inside animal, someplace easily cleanable is good too, such as a linoleum floor. Once you have your furry friend safely away, you can get started.

You should have a garbage can, paper towels, and carpet cleaner on hand. First thing is to remove any solid matter if there is any. Use a paper towel so you can throw it and the mess away without having to clean a cloth one later. If it's wet, fold a towel and lay it over the mess, applying pressure to soak up what you can. Afterward spray or apply the carpet cleaner, letting it sit for a few minutes, using a new, clean towel, applying pressure again to get the rest up, letting it air dry. This technique should work fine on darker carpets, but if yours is light, you may need to spray the area again and let it soak longer, using a bit of elbow grease to get the stain up, but as long as you get to it quickly, it shouldn't be much of a problem.

If it's linoleum your pet made a mess on, it should be relatively easy to clean up. The same idea applies here, use a paper towel to pick up an solids, throwing it away before spraying it with a disinfectant, using a clean towel to wipe it all up.

Now, if it's furniture your pet has made a mess on, this can be tricky. As before remove any solid matter, throwing it out. Soak up what you can with a folded over towel. One thing to do before spraying a cleaner on your furniture is to test it on an out of the way spot, just to make sure it's not going to cause any discoloration on its own. After you've tested, spray the area down thoughourly, letting it soak to do it's job, then as before use a towel to wipe it all up. If you can, remove any fabrics that can be laundered, such as covers and pillow cases, putting them in the wash, which will make it much easier. If after all there's still a stain, you can always flip the cushion, hoping your pet wont have a repeat performance on the other side.

Jamie Ellerman is a expert in all thing cleaning related. Check out one of this latest sites about Frigidaire Dryer. Come and visit it

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5 Best Pet Dogs For Children
By Kenny Leones

A pet dog is a wonderful gift to give to a child, especially for kids who don't have siblings since dogs offer comfort, companionship and friendship to their owners - plus it's a great way to teach children about being responsible.

However, not all dogs are suitable for kids, particularly the younger ones hence, finding the best dog breed for children is important. It just won't do to pick the first cute one and hand it over to the child.

Small dogs may get easily trampled by a boisterous youngster while the big ones may harm the child. Researching on the best dog breed for children will allow parents to get one that is just right for their age and size.


Before gifting our children with a pet dog, it is important to understand the behavior of each dog breed, how big they will get once they reach maturity and how to care for them the right way.

Below are five of the best dogs suitable for children:

1. Beagle - Who doesn't love Snoopy? The beagle is a relatively small dog that is friendly and happy all the time. They love to be in the thick of things and would surely love a romp in the backyard with our children. They grow to about fifteen inches and weigh approximately thirty pounds.

2. Boxer - Boxers are also very friendly and they are very affectionate as well. They are gentle pet dogs and are great as family dogs. They can grow up to twenty-five inches and weigh about seventy-five pounds upon maturity. These dogs have a high energy level hence; they are perfect for frolicking, playing and just having a good time with kids.

3. Golden Retriever - This dog is one of the more popular breeds around the world and make for the best dog breed for children. While, the Golden Retriever is usually used in search and rescue programs, they also make for great family pets. They are very affectionate and this is one dog breed that truly loves attention.

They can grow up to twenty-four inches and weigh around seventy-five pounds. One thing to remember about this dog is that it requires plenty of exercise and they love to play as well.

4. Labrador Retriever - Now, this is for most people, the best dog breed for children and the perfect companion for families. Although they are likewise used for search and rescue operations, these lovable and sociable dog makes for a great pet for kids.

They can reach up to twenty-four and a half inches and weigh approximately eighty pounds.

5. Poodle - Lastly, the poodle should also be included as the best dog breed for children because they are just the perfect size even for small children plus their temperament is easygoing that any child would love to have this one as a pet.

This one has the perfect combination of beauty and brains and they make for perfect companions as well. They have three size variations: standard, mini and toy. Poodles are also easily trained so children will have fun teaching them tricks and playing with them.

These five are only some of the dog breeds suitable for children. There are a few others that would fit into the best dog breed for children category which we can further check online.

Learning to Ride a Horse
By Simone Davis and Paula Avery

Learning to ride a horse isn't easy. There are so many things that you need to remember and they aren't always related to the horse. Always ensure that you have the correct clothing and a helmet that fits properly before you start. Then you are ready to continue with the rest.

How to correctly mount a horse

When the bridle and saddle have been correctly fitted and double-checked, stand to the left of the horse. Place your left foot in the stirrup, and grasp the withers (mane), not the saddle as this will cause it to slide. Then keeping both of your hands on the front of the horse or on the cantle (back) of the saddle, push up and swing your right leg over the back of the horse, being careful not to kick the horse, so that you seat yourself comfortably in the saddle. When comfortable, reassess your grip on the reigns and hang both your legs down near the stirrups. Make sure they are at the correct length by having the stirrup reach your ankle. Then you should be able to just slide your feet into the stirrup whilst your foot is raised a few inches. Remember that it important that you are balanced to the horse, not them to you.

Now you are sitting comfortably... Keep your upper back straight and lower back relaxed. Sit tall in the saddle. Always look ahead so that you can see for anything that might spook your horse. Take one rein in each hand; left rein in the left hand, right rein in the right hand. Tuck the reins under all four fingers, with the reins going in under the little fingers. Always hold the reins in place with your thumbs against your forefingers with your thumbs up, palms down and each hand as wide apart as the neck of the horse with them just in front of the saddle and above of the horse. To let more rein in, slide it through by lifting your thumbs. Shorten them by using the opposite hand to take up extra length.

Starting to ride your horse

To start the horse off with a slow walk - the first gait - squeeze your lower legs. After a few minutes stop and check the girth. If you can feel more than one hand under and between the girth and the horse, then you must tighten it. Carry on walking, keeping your heels down, back straight and chin up. You should be able to draw a straight line from the heel to the shoulders. Pull slightly on the reigns so as to turn the horses head enabling you to turn. When you need to stop, simply pull back on the reins and sit deep into the saddle; sometimes you may need to lean back, then relax the reigns and praise your horse. Always release the reins when you stop as this will praise and reward your horse; also they might pull if you don't. Horses can jerk short reins out of your hands, so try to make them long. Practice these basic moves until you and the horse are comfortable with it all.

When you are both ready, try trotting - the second gait. Again, squeeze the horse with your legs and the horse will start to move faster. With a trot, you need to learn how to rise and sit with the trot of the horse. You will need to rise and sit with the movement of the horse without bumping. This takes a bit of getting used to, and you will be using muscles which you may not be used to using! Thinking "lift, sit, lift, sit" in time to the rhythm will help you with this. Try not to sit too heavily as you may unsteady the horse. When you wish to slow down, sit deep in the saddle and pull back slightly on the reins. Again practice this until you are comfortable with the movements. When you are happy, trying turning and stopping from a trot.

Cantering is the next step - the third gait. This is often only managed after weeks of trotting. To ask for canter, squeeze your outside leg while having it back a bit and then squeeze with your inside leg. It's sometimes best to sit trot and then ask, so you are sitting ready for the canter. This means that you should sitting back slightly; when you feel you're sitting back, you're about right. Whilst in a canter, you should be rocking forward backward, with your bottom slightly off the saddle. Again, keep on practicing this as this will take longer to grasp. Ensure you are wary of your posture and heels as you practice; back on your heels and rocked forward but straight with your body.

After mastering the canter, you can move on to a gallop - this is the fastest gait. Again squeeze your calves as you have before, but you must be in a canter. As with the canter you should be sitting slightly forward in the saddle, with bottom off the saddle. It is always advisable to ensure that you are fully confident and well-practiced with each gait before you move on to the faster gait.

When dismounting your horse, swing your right leg over to the back of the horse. Stay balanced with a good grip on the saddle so you don't slip. Then lower yourself down from the left side, you should try to put both your legs down at the same time, keeping your knees slightly bent to absorb the weight.

Other helpful horse hints

Get to know your horse. Always ensure that you approach him carefully from the front or side; touching him and talking to him, thus avoiding spooking him and being hurt by a kick. Then move towards his shoulder, so he knows you're coming closer.

If you are new to a horse, or riding, always make sure that you have had proper rider training before you attempt anything on your own. Try to avoid riding alone; never ride alone if you are a beginner.

Even though it will be a shock and could very possibly hurt when you fall off, try to get straight back on.

Never kneel or sit by a horse; if you are tending to them, always make sure that you are positioned so that you can jump aside quickly if need be.

Make sure that you are comfortable on the horse that you are riding; they will be nervous too if they sense that you are uneasy.

Never yank the bit, as this will hurt the horse and distress him. If you handle it carefully, he will be more relaxed and easier to ride.

For more tips and advice on caring for horses, horse riding and a brand new equine blog, visit the AFI Horse Community website just launched by AFI Horse Insurance - the UK's only not-for-profit pet and equine insurance provider.

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Facial Swelling in Dogs
By Frank Will

Facial swelling in dogs can be a traumatic experience for both you as well as your dog. It can also be a very stressful and painful ordeal for your pet, as well as being a condition that can be very difficult in determining the actual cause.

Although in a large majority of the incidents are caused by hives, angioedema, which is the medical term for facial swelling, can be caused by several other factors.


Urticaria or hives is the most common cause of facial swelling in dogs, and this is a allergic reaction to drugs, chemicals, or something that your dog has eaten that has caused this reaction. However, what is not well known is that the cause of your dogs swelling in their face may also be the result of too much sunlight.

However, the most common form of swelling in a dog is the result of an insect sting usually from a bee, wasp, or a hornet and as a result causes an immediate allergic reaction or hives.

If the cause of this swelling in your dog is from hives, they will develop small bumps in their skin that surrounds their muzzle and the eyes. These small bumps will rapidly develop into s swelling that can be so severe in some cases that you will not be able to recognize your own dog.

With hives, your pets face will swell within 20 to 30 minutes after an exposure to an allergen or the allergic substance that your pet has encountered. In some cases this allergic reaction is caused by a vaccination or a medication that your pet has just been given and if you suspect that this is the cause you will need to contact your veterinarian immediately.

If rare cases where sunlight may be the cause of the facial swelling, it should be treated very seriously, as it could easily be the beginning stages of cancer in your dog. Just like some humans, a long exposure to the sun can cause cancer and the swelling in their face is the first symptom you will see.

The next set of common causes of facial swelling is from an infection or a condition known as cellulitits. This infection is most common in puppy's and is also refereed to as puppy strangles as the swelling can be so severe it actually appears that something or someone is strangling your puppy. It most commonly attacks a puppy between the ages of 4 weeks to 4 months old.

The first symptoms that you will notice will be an inflammation in or around the ears which is followed by a severe swelling in the mouth, jaws, and the eyes; and than followed a nozzle swelling. This is an extremely dangerous situation as the swelling causes blisters that can become ulcerated and spread rapidly throughout the entire body.

This condition was originally thought to be caused by a bacterial infection, but it was very difficult to actually find the cause and is now widely believed to be a hereditary immune deficiency of some kind.

Other forms of infections that cause your dogs face to swell are almost always the result of some type of an injury or a wound that has affected your dog. This type of swelling in your dogs face will be very warm when you touch them and they are very painful to your pet. The warm feel indicates an infection that is usually followed by a fever.

Acetaminophen toxicity is also one of the major causes of facial swelling in dogs. Acetaminophen is a medication that is commonly used to relieve both fever and pains. It is found in Tylenol, Percoset, and aspirin free Excedrin. It can be used in dogs as they are much more tolerate to these medication than cats, but it should never be used without first consulting with your veterinarian. A 50 pound dog can easily withstand a 500mg dosage, but not if it is administered regularly.

None the less, several owners still commonly use this form of medication and the toxic reaction occurs in three phases that can develop slowly over time or very rapidly, depending on the dosage given to your dog. Stage one of this toxicity can produce a difficulty in breathing and brown colored gums and occurs in the first 12 hours.

Stage two occurs between 12 and 24 hours after an overdose and it includes severe facial swelling as well as uncoordinated movements. Stage three is the liver failure and your dog's gums, eyes, and skin will start to turn yellow as jaundice sets in.

Hematoma is also a cause of facial swelling and is the result of a large bruise or a blood clot that has occurred as a result of some type of a bleeding disorder in your dog. This bleeding will usually cause swelling somewhere on their head as well as their face as it spreads.


Facial swelling in dogs is very difficult to prevent, but in most cases it can be easily treated with antibiotics or corticosteroids if it is from an allergic reaction.

However, it can be somewhat prevented by watching your dog closely as they play in your yard and monitor against insects or by not giving them Acetaminophen unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do supplement your dog with this pain relief, be very cautious and consult with your veterinarian on the dosage as well as the frequency.

I am an avid lover of pets and my wife and I have had several pets throughout our years. We are especially fond of dogs, and we have a 12 year old Dalmatian (our 3rd) and a "mutt" that we rescued when someone threw him away to die in a vacant field.

He found us, nearly starved to death, and weighed about 2 pounds.

After severe bouts of mange and severe dehydration, and over 1,000.00 in veterinarian bills, we saved the little guys life, and he is one of the best, if not the best, dogs we have ever had and today is a muscular, fit, and firm 70 pound best friend.

After finishing my MBA, which at middle age was not easy, I decided to keep the research work ethics that I acquired, and devote about two hours each night in understanding the health benefits of supplementation for both humans and pets and how they might strengthen our, as well as our pets, immune system in a pre-emptive approach to health rather than a reactionary approach.

Both of my daughters are avid cat lovers, and asked me to help them with health concerns and challenges with their cats.

I am not a veterinarian nor claim to be, just a lover of pets that loves to research and pass on some knowledge that might be helpful, or at least stimulating to the thought process.

Several of the articles that I have written can be found on my website, Liquid Vitamins & Minerals for Humans & Pets -

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