How to Have a Stylish Home AND Pets!

Ask Dog Lady:
Follow Vet's Advice
When It Comes to Sedatives
By Monica Collins - GateHouse News Service

Dear Dog Lady,

Over the holidays, I will be driving a long distance with my 7-year-old pug. She is in good health, I've spoken with her veterinarian, and he's prescribed a mild sedative for her so that she can relax and sleep most of the way. The drive is 13 hours, and he suggested I might start out just giving her half a pill and, if need be, give her the other half as each half is supposed to last 8-10 hours.

This is the first time I've owned a pug, and she's been the light of my life for four years now. I just don't want to take the chance on doing anything that will stress her or cause her any harm. Even though my vet has assured me that she should be okay, I'd like your opinion.


Dear Nancy, you didn’t say if your pug is antsy-pantsy in the car. If so, Dog Lady sees no harm in following your vet’s counsel and doling out half a sedative before the trip. Create a cozy nest with favorite blankets or a crate in the back of your vehicle so your pet will be as comfortable and protected as possible.

The general rule of thumb holds that a properly house-trained dog in repose can last 12 hours with no accidents. Still, during the trip, you should gauge how your darling is doing. If the dog sleeps through, just let sleeping dogs lie and plow onward.

When Dog Lady’s dog was a puppy, he traveled in a bag stowed under the airplane seat. The vet prescribed half a sedative for the journey. Like you, Dog Lady was panicked to administer the medicine, thinking it might somehow hurt him. But she gave the pill and he slept peacefully, with nary a whimper of complaint. There’s so much to stress about over the holidays, this shouldn’t be a pressure point.

Dear Dog Lady,

My friend and I try to outdo each other by sending goofy dog-themed holiday cards. What’s the funniest doggy card you’ve seen so far?


Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Paws. Dog Lady received a hysterically amusing canine card. How funny? So funny that Dog Lady was overcome with giggles for nearly five minutes after opening this holiday greeting sent by the beloved (and clever) parents of a friend.

The cartoon drawing on the front shows a man, dressed in winter outerwear, carrying a traditional pine tree into a living room decorated for the holidays. A cute cartoon dog, sitting in the room with a big smile on its face, watches the tree arrive. A thought bubbles up from the happy dog: “At last! Indoor plumbing!” Inside, the card reads: “Hope Christmas brings everything you ever wanted.”

And so to you, Virginia, and to all creatures great and small – happy holidays from Dog Lady and her muse dog (a scamp that once used the Christmas tree as indoor plumbing).

Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. Her Web site is Contact her at

The Top Pet Names of 2009
by Mark Ramirez -

According to, “Buddy” and “Max” are Nos. 1 and 2 for the third straight year. “Lucy” was the top name for cats, followed by “Smokey.” The full lists:

Top dog names:


Top cat names:


“Bella” made the list for both cats and dogs for the first time, apparently — I think this is a “Twilight” reference? Also, “Midnight,” “Daisy” and “Charlie” replaced usual mainstays “Kittens,” “Princess,” “Tigger” and “Missy.” also collected its favorite strange names of the year:

1.Shyanne Thailand Moo Goo Guy Pan
2.Mr. Tomfoolery Scardeycat Eliot
3.Rusty Buckets
5.Too Fancy for You
6.Angry Donut
7.Maple Syrup
9.Prince Xavier Binxley
I think I like “Rusty Buckets” and “Angry Donut” the best.

The Dog That's Getting
in the Way of Happy Hour
Washington Post

Arlington: I work in an office that has several after-hours social activities. I have a fairly long commute, I work long hours, and I am a single person with a dog at home. I can sometimes get a dog walker on the days that I know well in advance, but sometimes it's impossible and I have to miss the happy hour. I am given a lot of grief by my colleagues for not being able to make some of the events, most along the lines of I'm not a team player. Is there anything I can do about this? I'm already not a fan of my place of work because I come here to work, not to socialize. What's my best way of handling this?

Lily Garcia: Have you tried suggesting to your co-workers that they organize some social activities around the lunch hour? I think that it is wise to invest time getting to know your co-workers socially, even if the idea makes your skin crawl. But it is unfair for your co-workers to pressure you into joining them after hours when you have legitimate personal reasons why you are unable to do so.

No to Fido: Please do not tell someone inviting you to a social event that a pet's needs take precedence. They probably think human interaction and networking offer a strong alternative to dog walking. Keep the Fido news to yourself. Be glad in this economy that you have a job and that your co-workers still seek you out.

Lily Garcia: Thank you for sharing your perspective. However, I think it is better to explain the important personal reason why you cannot make it to a social event rather than just excusing yourself from attendance.

Going home to take care of pets: Absolutely, this is legitimate! Consider the alternative to not letting your dog out! How is this any different than having to pick up your kids at day care? When you have commitments at home, socializing after work comes second. How insensitive!

Lily Garcia: Many people would agree with you.

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How to Handle
Attention Seeking Dogs
by Vivien -

Tips for attention seeking dogs are important to follow. If you have bought a puppy and expect to have a bond with your new pet that is great. However in some cases your pet wants your attention all the time to give him a feeling of security.
Starting to train your puppy is an important step in bonding. It can take time to see that your pet is focused on the training and listening to your voice commands.

Once you feel you have achieved this then move on to the next step.

Your puppy is a worrier, he has recently left his mum and worries when there is no one around to give him the same reassurance he had when with his brothers and sisters.

Start to vary your routine before you go out and then your puppy will not be waiting at the door hoping you are taking him with you.

The first thing he will be worrying about is that you are leaving and not returning.

Try a new routine such as wearing a different coat or go out the front door and then come in the back door. Pick up your keys and then leave them again.

Tip: Go out and do not make a fuss of your pet, in fact ignore him. When you come in only greet him when he has stopped jumping up and down. Then praise him.

If your dog barks, go upstairs and ignore him. Do not come down until he has stopped barking.

10 Tips to a Well Behaved Dog

I remember the first days when I got my puppy: he was adorable and I felt so enthusiastic that he will grow to be a beautiful and well-behaved dog, or at least I was hopping that it will be this way! And then I realized that it’s not going to be that easy. So, I started reading books and asking specialists or other pet owners for advice, any time I had an opportunity. I am very thankful for the support I received because things have become easier for me and I have managed to accomplish my goal regarding my dog. I am now proud to say that I am parenting a well behaved dog!

How did I manage to have a well-behaved dog? Let me start from the beginning.
First of all I taught my puppy that I am the leader and he has to respect me! Therefore he has to obey me all the time.

Keeping your puppy busy will keep him away from doing bad things! I had created for him a schedule which contained training sessions, play times, time for rest, eating time and many other things that gave me the chance to closely supervise him, but also to bond with him.

Making the training sessions seem fun brought me two advantages. One is that my puppy was really into the lessons, willing to learn, and the other one is that it helped us bond.

The secret is to use positive training methods because yelling, hitting or punishing your dog will only scare him, just be calm and patient with him and try not to bore him. A training session shouldn’t be longer than 10 minutes and more than three times a day.

The attitude is very important during the training lessons! The tone I was using was firm, however without yelling.

While the basic commands such as “sit”, “stay” or “down” might sometimes keep your dog out of trouble or even save his life, the command “NO” is not less important. I taught my puppy that he is not allowed to do certain things, like mouthing, barking and the list could go on as I am sure that you agree with me on this.

If you spoil your puppy too much, he will disobey you in time. Therefore I have taught my puppy that he has to earn my attention by doing positive things. I was praising or rewarding him each time he was learning a command.

Avoid confusion! Try to associate your puppy’s name with positive things by calling his name whenever you want to pet him or to take him to a walk or to do anything fun. This way my dog comes whenever I call his name. Another way of confusing your puppy is to use the command “sit-down” instead of “down”. You want to teach your puppy to lie down? The word for this command is “DOWN” – try not to add other words.

Timing is very important! Every time I caught my puppy doing something bad, the message I was trying to send to him was that what he has done was unacceptable. This is a way of correcting his behavior.

Bonding is very important for your relationship with your pup! My puppy understood that the time spent with me is fun and he is happy when he’s around me and he is looking forward to going to the park or any other place now as much as he did in the past.

Food training, house breaking, crate training and leash walking are mandatory! And each puppy should master them.

These are 10 easy to follow tips which I have successfully used. Turn them into rules and you can be as proud of your dog as I am!

Terence Young – For more dog obedience and training tips and ideas visit: obediencedoggytrainingdotcom

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Families Can't Afford Their Pets
By Danica Lawrence -

This isn't Jim Smith's first visit to the Idaho Falls Animal Shelter. He's dropped by at least four times for the same reason, to save his neighbor's abandoned cats.

"There's an apartment building next to mine that people do allow the tenants to have animals, and when they leave they just abandon the animals," says pet owner Jim Smith.

Animal Services Manager, Irene Brown, sees families in a financial hole all the time- dropping off their pet.

"We will get people in here who will say I want to get rid of my dog I can't afford it anymore," says Irene Brown.

Hard economic times mean cutbacks, and for some pet owners, that means, getting rid of their best friends.

"The economy isn't good, and if you don't have a job and if you have to choose between feeding your family and feeding your animals, that's pretty easy choice to make," says Brown.

"I think the main problem is people are not responsible with their animals so they get them and figure out they can't afford them or when they move they just abandon them and leave them," says Smith.

Another contributing factor- keeping up with the animal when you buy it- like spaying and neutering it. Pet overpopulation means more abandoned animals.

Copper's family dropped him off about a week ago simply because they just couldn't afford him. He's crate trained and kid friendly, but he still needs to be neutered.

"Several of these apartment buildings, people cannot afford the animals so they can't afford to get them spayed or neutered and then all of a sudden we just have another litter, and it adds to part of the problem," adds Smith.

Over a year's time, a pet costs about $150 on average, and that's without food. However, if you're considering giving up your four-legged friend there are programs through the shelter to help you afford the cost.

Ten New Year’s Resolutions
to Make Your Pets Happier
By Soumitro Sen, Purdue University News Service/

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — When drawing up a list of New Year’s resolutions, be sure to include your pets, says Lorraine Corriveau, a wellness veterinarian at Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Here’s her top 10 list of pet related New Year’s resolutions:

1. Spay or neuter your pets, adding more years to their lives and improving their behavior.

2. Provide age-appropriate health care so that you develop a good idea about their health and build a relationship with your veterinarian.

3. Give them a diet suited to their age and medical condition. Pets kept at their ideal body weight live longer. Look for foods designed for different stages of life and medical conditions.

4. Give them medicines regularly to prevent heartworm and fleas.

5. Groom them at home, especially the minor grooming procedures, because it causes less stress.

6. Exercise and play with them more often, each day if possible.

7. Ask your veterinarian or seek expert advice on behavior problems. A basic training class might be useful, especially for a new puppy.

8. Socialize pets with other animals and people by enrolling them in a dog park, an agility/training class or socialization classes.

9. Donate time, effort or resources to a local animal welfare group.

10. If your pet is especially social, patient and people-oriented, consider certifying it as a therapy animal. Studies have confirmed that pets increase a person’s life span, help speed recovery for both young and older patients, and are a great morale booster to people in various psychiatric and medical programs.

How to Have a Stylish,
Pet-Friendly Home and Stay Sane

Writer Jean Cocteau once mused, "I love cats because I enjoy my home; little by little, they become its visible soul." Dog owners feel the same way.

The downside of sharing our homes with pets, of course, is dirt, hair and odors. How to keep things chic and clean and still have room for Spot?

Designers and manufacturers offer some ideas.

Liz Levin's experience with her own kids and pets led her to launch a design service, Liz Levin Nesting. Her advice? Color-coordinate with your pets.

"Flying fur's a reality. Unless you're prepared to stand guard with your vacuum 24/7, choose a color that blends with your pet. If you have a black Lab, for the sake of your sanity, don't pick a cream-colored sofa," she says.

Cats are difficult to train; better to just work around them. "Floor lamps with heavy bases. Glass tops for fragile finishes. And a good scratching post!" she counsels.

Pets sleep a lot — dogs about 13 hours, cats several more — so bedding is key.

"Most dogs like to stretch out on rectangular beds that keep their shape, with defined edges for hanging one's head over," says Julia Szabo, author of "Pretty Pet-Friendly: Easy Ways to Keep Spot's Digs Stylish and Spotless" (Howell, 2009).

She recommends a polar-fleece, futon-style bed by Bowser "that's tufted, so the insides don't shift. Burrowing dogs, such as dachshunds, should have a small blanket they can snuggle under. Cats prefer a round concave nest."

Beds should be away from drafty, high-traffic zones, which can disrupt rest and lead to health problems.

William Wegman, the photographer known for Weimaraner portraits, has designed a fun line of illustrated fabrics for pet beds.

The Crypton material is resistant to stains and odor.

TempurPedic makes a bed for older, arthritic dogs. Put a Throver over the top to protect the cover; it's a stain-repellent blanket.

Cool Bed III is a waterbed for dogs. Bowser's Buttercup cat nest has a drawstring to close it up snugly.

Want your pet's bed to blend into your d├ęcor?

Consider the Hardwood Hideaway, a side table with a door that opens to a sleeping spot.

Place it next to your bed or the living-room sofa; the door can be adjusted to allow pets independent access, and the piece is available in several finishes.

Bowser's Moderno chair is an upholstered chair that looks like a miniature Corbusier. Max Comfort's Gustavo pet sofa is a lounger with memory foam mattress.

Szabo says floor maintenance is another priority. Elevate your pets' food dishes if you can, for easier eating and less mess. has contemporary and classic dish styles.

Cats tend to prefer a wide, shallow dish that accommodates sensitive whiskers; has a smart recycled glass one.

Moppable surfaces like wood, bamboo and tile work best.

Carpet is necessary if you live in an apartment where the clicking of claws may disturb neighbors.

Flor's carpet tiles are easy to vacuum, lift up to wash and won't damage the floor.

Szabo, who writes a Pets column for The New York Post, notes several new technologies to help keep pets safe. General Motors is developing an alarm that will sound if you leave a pet or child in the car, she says.

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San Clemente Dog Named
Fastest Wiener in the West
by News Hound -

When you've got a fast dog chasing your butt, it pays to be the fastest wiener in the West. Sully outsprinted seven other wiener dogs to win in the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals race today at the Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade. As the premier dogs were nearing the finish line, the wiener behind Sully bit him in the buttocks – "right in the patoot," said owner Miranda Libres. "He turned around and he kind of tried to bite him back," she said.

Got a Pet Tarantula?
Better Protect Your Eyes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Here's some advice stemming from the unusual case of a man who had spider hairs stuck in his cornea: Be sure to cover your eyes when hanging around with your pet tarantula.

Ophthalmologists at St. James's University Hospital in Leeds, England, used high magnification lenses to find out what made the man's eye red, watery and light-sensitive, according to a study reported in the British medical journal The Lancet on Thursday.

They discovered hair-like projections stuck in the man's cornea.

It was a light bulb moment for the patient, who remembered that three weeks earlier he had been cleaning a stubborn stain on the glass tank of his pet, a Chilean Rose tarantula.

"He sensed movement in the terrarium. He turned his head and found that the tarantula, which was in close proximity, had released 'a mist of hairs' which hit his eyes and face," the doctors wrote.

They said the man's condition was rare.

The authors noted that the Chilean Rose tarantula releases the barbed hair on the back of its body to defend against predators.

"We suggest that tarantula keepers be advised to routinely wear eye protection when handling these animals," the doctors said.

(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)


Tips That Will Help You
To Arrange Your Aquarium
In The Right Way
Posted by: Pet Blogger -

Owning an aquarium is not that easy as it may seem from the first side. If you think that it is not a big deal and all you have to do is just to buy a fish tank and fill it with water and fish – you are deeply mistaken. Starting up an aquarium, you create a small ecosystem, which needs to be maintained and supported. You cannot just install a fish tank with fish in your room and forget about it. There are many more things to be done. You are probably feeling frustrated at the moment, so, let us start from the very beginning and tell you what steps you have to undertake in order to arrange your aquarium the right way.

1. To begin with, decide on what type of aquarium you want to have. There are two major types – the saltwater and the freshwater aquariums. Freshwater aquariums are much better for your home, because if you have a saltwater aquarium, you probably have to hire a special person, who would take care of it. You have to have much knowledge about saltwater aquariums. If you don’t have them, you can have real problems with maintenance. So, don’t you experiment with this and choose the freshwater aquarium. Suppose, you have already chosen a freshwater one.

2. Choose the right type of fish tank. You have to understand what size is better for your room, so that it looks proportional. Modern manufacturers produce fish tanks of different shapes such square, round, elliptic, rectangular fish tanks, etc. The most popular ones are rectangular.

3. Choose the proper filter for your aquarium. It would be great if you had a friend, who could advice you the type of filter, but if you don’t, well, examine some literature on this question and consult a pet shop assistant. In general, the expensive filters are better and more durable comparing them to the cheap sponge filters.

4. Buy all needed measuring devices like thermometer and PH level measurer. You have to know the requirements for the species you have chosen. Be sure that you buy species, requiring similar temperature and PH conditions.

5. Buy the gravel you like more. It can be artificial colored gravel or natural one. Irrespectively of the time, you have to boil the gravel thoroughly not to infect the water and species in it.

6. Get lighting equipment. It is considered to be one of the most important issues, because the lighting is to provide the habitat for you fish as much similar to their natural one as possible.

7. Get the species you like in the nearest pet shop and let them into the assembled fish tank, filled with water.

9 Tips For Choosing
The Best Cat Urine Cleaner
Condividi by Hayden Brown

This is the best cat urine cleaner Guide for those who ask any of the following questions:

How to choose a cat urine remover?

How to select a cat urine remover?

How to find a cat urine remover?

With all this choice in an endless supply of products there is one problem and that is “CHOICE”. How do you choose the right one? how do you select the best product for you and your pet? Well I am going to share with you this secret whether your question is how to choose a cat urine remover, how to find a cat urine remover or how to select a cat urine remover.

The truth is you can spend days even weeks looking at different products and comparing features or value. But somewhere you have to draw the line, some time you will have to make a choice. That is the reason for this article, to save pet owners from wasting their time and money on something that they really are not sure on. I have already spent my time looking at different cat urine cleaners that remove serious pet urine and I’m giving you this information as an easy to understand rating system.

To understand the system completely you will first need to have the 9 MOST IMPORTANT CRITERIA you ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY must know before purchasing any cat urine cleaners. These following 9 criteria will allow you to make a quick sound judgment on any product, so you know instantly if it is a yes or a no! Without it you could be very disappointed with the product bought because of its lack of performance and with no way of refunding it, you would be wasting money.

So for the pet owners who want to find the best cat urine cleaner to remove those serious pet urine stains just use these follow 9 criteria’s.

1. No fragrance to hide or disguise the odor since this will only fix the problem temporarily.

Masking the odor may work for the time being, but wait 2-3 hours and that smell will be back. It is important to be able to smell the urine stain with out fragrances to tell if it was effectively removed. If the smell persists then total removal was definitely ineffective even if no stain can be seen.

2. EASY to use SAVING you time, effort and MONEY!
Make sure the product is an easy one step process for its use! The last thing you need is to spend more time then necessary applying two or three treatments for total removal. I don’t think the company really cares how long it takes you to clean up since they are not the ones cleaning up the mess. I want it to be as easy as possible! And so should YOU!

3. No claim to absorb or sponge the stain, since this will later require effort to clean any remaining remnants.

Any product that claims to absorb or sponge the stain usually (but not always) requires an applying step, then wait after X hours to do the second step, which is to vacuum or clean it up. To me this seems like double work and it would have to be cleaned thoroughly to remove all remnants of the cleaning agent.

4. Unmatched quality GUARANTEED by the manufacturer that will remove all components of the stain from color, texture, odor and the toughest component of ALL!………Uric salt crystals!

A clearly stated GUARANTEE is important to you as the purchaser. This is your insurance and leverage as a customer. And it would not be smart to shop online without any form of insurance. Businesses today usually accept this form of risk to them and I would be suspicious of any business that did not CLEARLY state a GUARANTEE.

The toughest component of urine is the “Uric Salt Crystals”. When looking for pet stain cleaner you should be looking to see what has it been tested on and what does it remove? Does it remove Uric Salt Crystals?

5. Must prevent your pet from repeated soiling in the same area.
The reason I was emphasizing about the Uric Salt Crystals is because it is these crystals that hold the marking scents of your pet. Remember how dog marks his territory by urinating around their area. Well it is these crystals that hold their scent in which they can find that same spot over and over again. If you can remover these Uric Salt Crystals then you can prevent this habit.

6. Must be NON-TOXIC for YOU, children, pets and guests.
I have a one and a half year old son at the time of writing this article and for anyone who is a parent, toxic chemicals are a concern. We place all ours outside in the shed and up high so they are out of the reach of little hands. But if you are not a parent then you too should give a thought about the toxics used in your house. This is for you, your pets and for the people you invite to come around to your house.

7. Must have a long history (i.e. 30 YEARS) of customer satisfaction.
If the business or product has been around for a long period time then you can feel assured that the product may be good. The logic behind this statement is that with all the securities commissions around the world and the strong internet anti-fraud measures, a business will have to be legitimate to stay around for any long period of time. If they were not legitimate then they would only be around for a short time before getting shut down. Scams come and go but a good business or product is around for the long term, that you can TRUST!

8. Size.
How much are you getting in one bottle? You want the bottle to last a while before you have to order a new one.

9. Unbeatable value, including FREE bonuses, with out any drop in quality.
What I am about to say may be common knowledge to some people, but the problem with ‘common knowledge’ is that it is not common. Once you have found your pet stain cleaner that seems to be a high quality product. You MUST ask “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME!” If you purchase this product, what else are you going to get? By doing this you will always get more value for your dollar.

There is a skill to this as well, since you need to look for the not so obvious. Most people look for the little free gimmicks like a free carpet cleaner included or a free black light to find stains (you will need the right UV frequency for it to work). But what I am talking about are extras that work for you. Are you receiving bonuses that you can sell? Might you get the opportunity to join the businesses affiliate program after the purchase and make money off the product you tested (used). Is that business going to work for you long term?, long after the purchase of their product.

So if you are thinking of purchasing a Cat Urine Cleaner to remove the most serious pet urine stains keep these following 9 criteria’s in mind as you will reach the best solution faster. They are valid points in which pet owners must consider and for anyone spending money it is important to ask if that money will return.

For more detailed information on how to choose a cat urine remover, how to find a cat urine remover or how to select a cat urine remover, please look for the free ebook titled “Cat Matters Online”.

The ebook above is also useful to anyone searching for pet odor removal too. For example, san francisco pet odor removal or bay area pet odor removal.

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